With Chelsea, Manchester United and City languishing on a slightly less than earth shattering seven points, it has fallen to a couple of other clubs entirely to get us speculating as to just how far they can go this season. Yes, Spurs and Arsenal are also doing rather well so far, but quite honestly, given the money spent by Spurs that was expected. Arsenal may also be doing well after their opening day debacle and have Mesut Ozil to boot, but again, not exactly raise your eyebrows kind of news.
What people did not expect however was for Liverpool to be sitting with nine points – from three games and the chance to go back to the top of the table should they beat Swansea on Monday night. The club have made a brilliant start to the season, capped off with beating rivals Manchester United to boot. Yes, their wins may have been rather unspectacular, but all of this is without Luis Suarez and managing to keep clean sheets and look impenetrable at the back. After the retirement of Jamie Carragher and the departure of Pepe Reina, many people wondered quite how Liverpool’s defence would fare this season, but so far it has looked the pick of the bunch.
Add to that some rather shrewd acquisitions in the transfer market by Brendan Rodgers such as Simon Mignolet and Iago Aspas and players from last season like Philippe Coutinho having that little bit extra experience, not to mention the ever present Steven Gerrard, and you actually have a rather decent side that most people had forgotten about. Each season, Liverpool fans claim that it is ‘our year.’ This season, for once, Reds fans did not. How ironic.
Will it be their year for the title? In the real world the answer to that is no. Jose Mourinho et al will not be losing any sleep over Liverpool having a few points lead on them. A push for the top four however is far more likely after the start to the season they have had. Is it sustainable? Again, not to be too negative, but most people would expect a top six finish and not much more. Luckily for Liverpool fans, most people are not Brendan Rodgers, Steven Gerrard and Danny Sturridge, all of whom will believe that the club can build on their start and really make a play for the top of the table. Given their manager and star forward have just picked up the manager and player of the month awards, they are certainly making a good go of it so far.
On the other side of Liverpool, Toffees fans are still celebrating their win over Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea and really starting to believe in Roberto Martinez. Yes, losing long term manager David Moyes was a huge blow, but there is no denying Everton are a well run club and that showed in the transfer market -unlike down at Old Trafford!
One of the big winners of deadline day, Everton showed how clever they were to bring in Gareth Barry from the wilderness under Manuel Pellegrini and the midfielder rewarded the club with a brilliant display against Chelsea – with a very timely interception in front of goal too. Speaking of Chelsea, Martinez also managed to convince Romelu Lukaku to join on loan for the season and given the beast of a forward netted 17 times last term for West Brom, and now has an even bigger point to prove, you have to suspect that he may well be a key man for Everton.
Leighton Baines remains with the club and will be rewarded for his loyalty, yet Marouane Fellaini did leave – and whilst this will be a miss for the club, it is not the be all and end all. Everton have lost top players before and carried on, and will do so again. They were able to bring in James McCarthy – a player that Martinez of course knows well – and have one of the most talented young English players around in Ross Barkley. What could have been a very difficult start to the season for Everton fans has turned into a rather good one – and fans will expect more to come – and so they should.
How well will the duo do? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.