The dawn of a new Premier League season suddenly seems to have seen a buy one, get one free on goals thus far. The first 19 games of the season have produced 51 goals but it’s the drubbings that are so apparent.
In the first two weeks of the season there haven been four 6-0 games and even a 4-0 victory for relegation favorites Blackpool. Admittedly two of these 6-0 thrashings have seen Chelsea score 12 and concede 0 from there first two games, while at the other end of the spectrum Wigan are yet to score, conceding 10 in the process. So why are these results occurring so early in the new season?
Perhaps the most shocking result of all saw Aston Villa, 3-0 victors themselves over West Ham on the opening day, crash to a 6-0 defeat to newly promoted Newcastle on Sunday. The final 6-0 was for Arsenal over 4-0 opening day victors, Blackpool. Up to this point I’m not sure what can be read from these odd results except that Chelsea may be hard to beat this season!
It’s not just the results that have been surprising. This season has already seen a hat-trick of hat-tricks, perhaps unsurprisingly one for Didier Drogba, but more so for the likes of Theo Walcott and Andy Carroll.
Could it be that some clubs are unprepared for the new season causing poor defensive displays or can it be credited to quality finishing at the other end? Have defenses become more fragile or are we seeing a change in how games are contested?
It had seemed that the league was becoming closer but early indications seem to show an even greater gulf in class between the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal, to that of Blackpool and Wigan. These gulfs seem to be exaggerated by the fact that the weaker of the sides appear un-phased by their footballing humiliation to the hands of top teams in the league as these are not seen as winnable games.
The days of teams going out to really compete with the bigger boys of the Premier League class may be over with teams more concerned at picking up points here and there when they see possible. Is this not in the spirit of football or is it just good tactics to cut your losses against the bigger teams? Either way it will inevitably affect things at the top end of the table just as much as it does the bottom and we could see the tallies such as champions point totals and top scorers grow and grow.
One thing that is for sure that the unpredictability of the beautiful English game has not diminished and we look to be in for a lot of goals and double the excitement this season which can only be a good thing.