BOTW’s Alternative EPL table – Week 2By
Well how about that for a week then? Absolutely enthralling stuff across almost every game across the top division.
A healthy does of the old BOTW favourite “BBA” and a week to remember for the new boys.
Grit and determination win out almost across the board. You have to love seeing that.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts/slatings ladies and gents…
BOTW’s Alternative EPL table – Week 2
Top (Wild) Dogs
1. Wolves (Up 3)
So go on, who expected me to have Big Mick’s boys at the top of the relativity index then?!
Wolves would have been happy with two points from their opening fixtures and “chuffed” with three.
To have four points and a come-from-behind performance at Goodison is as good a start as they could have hoped for.
And I am tempted to say that they are already safe from relegation. But I won’t. Because that would be rash…
En route pour l’Europe
2. Blackpool (Down 1)
Two games played and three points on the board. How many points do we think Ian Holloway had in his planner for Arsenal away then?
So they are still well ahead of the curve and deserving of their place in the upper echelons of the relative world. Many a team will take a spanking at the Emirates this season, so it is nothing for them to linger on.
3. Newcastle United (Up 10)
“Chris Hughton’s men looked far from useless and with the amount of commitment in the team, they will have some good days. About as promising as a 3-0 spanking can be.”
4. West Brom (Up 13)
What a cracking day for the Baggies. A goal for new £2 million Uzbeki-Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie (who looks like a great signing I may add), a clean sheet (with Scott Carson in goal!) and three points firmly in the backburner.
Maybe West Brom aren’t as much of a sure thing for the drop as the bookies and pundits are making out?
Showing such Bouncbackability already is a great sign. Boing Boing.
Plenty to cheer
5. Tottenham (Up 2)
Tottenham deservedly jump a couple of places after chalking up an impressive three points at the Britannia.
Bolton and Birmingham were the only non top 4 sides to win at Stoke last season and given that Spurs were working with only one fit striker, ‘Arry will be delighted.
My only word of warning would be that Spurs are already two points behind based on last year’s results and assuming they do make the Champions League proper, things are not going to be easy for them this year.
6. Man City (Up 12)
It wasn’t the result that has warrented City’s huge leap up the table. Just like it wasn’t the result that saw them in last weeks relative relegation zone.
It was the performance.
That was, mighty impressive. Four points from Spurs (a) and Liverpool (h) for a team still getting to know each other is a great return.
And suddenly that first 45 minutes at WHL seems an age ago…
I have to caveat this with a BOTW assessment. The whole operation still smacks of having no plan whatsoever.
Why is Yaya Toure playing off the front man? Do not try and con me for a minute that he was signed with that intention.
Did you only just figure out you have two world class holding midfielders? (And Gary Barry…)
And what are they planning to do with David Silva? Or Balotelli?
Just buy a proper centre back for crying out loud. And may be use one of those midfielders as part of the deal.
7. Bolton (Up 5)
Johan Elmander and Kevin Davies looked like international footballers at Upton Park on Saturday afternoon. What is that all about?
Joking aside, two of the most underrated forward men in the league “did a real job” on West Ham this weekend. Strong, powerful and committed. It goes a bloody long way in this league.
Away wins are like gold dust to bottom half sides. They are not that frequent and very important in that quest for mid-table mediocrity.
Bolton get even more credit from me for winning without playing overly well. A great sign for our season long selection
September will be an interesting month for them. Their three fixtures are Arsenal (a), Aston Villa (a) and Manchester United (h).
I would take two points now if I was Owen Coyle and someone offered them to me.
8. Birmingham (Up 1)
Grit. Determination. Bouncebackability.
You know how much I love these traits.
And what did I tell you about Sebastian Larsson, Craig Gardner et all?
9. Chelsea (Down 4)
Back to back 6-0 victories and the world is firmly aboard the Chelsea bandwagon.
Except BOTW that is. Anything less than 6 points from those two games (West Brom (h), Wigan (a)) would have been a complete failure and the beginning of the end of the Chelsea side as we know it.
Undoubtedly a great start, but nothing that wasn’t fully expected. And bar a small boost to the goal difference, nothing really has been achieved yet.
As a result they lose ground on those that really achieved something in week 2.
My only footnote from Saturdays game would be on the performance of Didier Drogba. Having chalked up back to back hat-tricks in the League, he failed to get on the scoresheet even though this game was Chelsea’s fourth rout in five games dating back to last season.
But his performance was absolutely top draw and far and above what was actually a patchy. workmanlike effort last week against West Brom. Worrying times for the rest of the league.
10. Arsenal (No change)
Arsenal only hold their ground, despite a 6-0 victory over Blackpool at the Emirates.
As rare as 6-0 score lines are, I can honestly say it would have been my choice if forcing to plump for a bet on that market for this game.
Theo and a number of other players looked great, but given the quality of the opposition I will give it another week or two before I heap too much praise on them.
A side to keep a close eye on over the next few weeks – they could represent value in a number of fixtures.
11. Fulham (No change)
Any points taken off the top 4 should not be sniffled at. And the performance was of a high standard too.
On top of a solid away point last week whilst still bedding in a new regime, and Fulham are more than worthy of a mid table position.
However, it is still only two points and they need to build on this with a win over the coming weeks.
12. Blackburn (Down 10)
Blackburn fall somewhat in the standings after failing to take advantage of what was still an excellent away performance and St Andrews.
As always there are ifs, buts and maybes across the entire league this week, but not many would have been more likely to impact a result than a successful Morten Gamst Pedersen.
Unfortunate to fall so far and should bounce back in the coming weeks.
A bump in the road
13. Aston Villa (Down 10)
That was not good at all. Villa are our joint heaviest fallers in the week from 3rd to 13th.
However, I think they were unnerved by a number of things, including the missed pen (Stephen Ireland will have those from next week), the ‘stache, the midfield thuggery and the front line thuggery.
Let’s keep an eye on them. They may well be inconsistent to the point of volatile for a while.
Certainly not one to be backing for or against.
14. Man United (Down 8 )
Ugly. Spluttered and started at the Cottage, and failed to come away with the three points for the third year on the bounce.
It wouldn’t have been deserved, but the spoils should have been in the bag had Giggs stepped up as planned for the penalty. A schoolboy error which will have SAF spitting feathers this week.
West Ham, be afraid. Be very afraid.
15. Liverpool (Down 7)
So were they good or were Liverpool bad? With four solid wins and a draw against the Gooners under his belt, I am going to give Roy the benefit of the doubt for now.
However, the severity of last nights defeat was such that Liverpool find themselves falling seven places to 15th.
The games will get easy and they need to put together a few wins during Septennial before confidence is impacted.
16. Stoke (Down 2)
They can feel hard done to in a number of ways from Saturday’s game, but the facts of the matter are Stoke are sitting on zero points after two games. They would have been looking to be on at least 2 point after these games in an ideal world.
Despite this, they avoid being in the BOTW relegation zone with room to spare.
17. Sunderland (Down 2)
I have real concerns about Sunderland this season. Don’t get me wrong, I am pretty sure they will do enough to stay up.
But in a relative world, how much pleasure would the fans and the club take from a 15th place finish?
Given their wage bill and squad structure I am assuming the answer would be “none”.
18. Everton (Down 2)
David Moyes will be very disappointed to have failed to take three points from their home game against Wolves on Saturday.
Those are true “dropped points” for a side hoping to make a push for the top six, and as a result Everton drop a couple of places.
However, they haven’t had much rub of the green so far and are another side that could really represent value in the coming weeks. Definitely a team to watch closely over the coming weeks.
Can you say Barry Crocker?
19. West Ham (No change)
In almost any other campaign, West Ham would be bottom of the relative league table after failing to pick up a point in their opening two games. But they escape propping up the table by a whisker.
Another team rueing a missed spot kick, but they ultimate lost the game by failing to deal with Bolton’s physical presence and aerial prowess. They will need to improve defensively, or failings against key sides such as Stoke, Birmingham and Newcastle will really cause them some trouble this season.
20. Wigan (No change)
Oh dear. I commented in my season preview that last season Wigan became the first team to avoid relegation with a goal difference worse than -30.
I am going to predict that they will either manage to repeat this feat, or they are going down.