Premier League: September update

We are still within the embryonic stages of the new Premier League season but the table tells a trending tale ahead of the break for Euro 2016 qualifiers.

It is no shock that Manchester City have replaced Chelsea as title favourites, a result of a perfect start at both ends of the pitch, but take a peak at the early scrimmaging for positions in behind the 2012 and 2014 champions and it makes for interesting viewing.

With 34 rounds of matches still to go it can be confidently assumed that Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Swansea City will not be joining the Citizens in next term’s Champions League. You will not boost your wallet by taking a punt these, so don’t.

However, that trio does currently find themselves occupying a spot inside the top four of the English top flight and significantly it is the so-called minnows collective carefree approach to matches against the alleged heavyweights that is paying handsome dividends.

Swansea snaffled four points from fixtures with Manchester United and Chelsea by scoring twice in each match. West Ham won at Liverpool and Arsenal by netting five times. Leicester, under Claudio Ranieri, remain unbeaten averaging two goals a game.

It is so long ago now that the ‘Big Four’ totally dominated the English top flight that I can barely recall their original identity and while talk of the Premier League’s demise, when measured by recent lack of success against Europe’s elite, is plentiful, it should be realised they simply are not allowed to bully seemingly inferior domestic opponents any more.

As we saw at Anfield, Stamford Bridge and the Liberty Stadium in the latest round of fixtures alone that managers of teams taking to the pitch as underdogs are refusing to have their tummies tickled by previous owners and preying on the vulnerability of teams that are expected to oblige is surely the way to sustained success.

Fergie’s empire has crumbled. Arsene Wenger hasn’t raised the Premier League trophy in over a decade. Even cracks are appearing in Jose Mourinho’s granite-like persona.

The inferiority complex in the Premier League has been removed by a new wave of coaches not sporting the scars of previous battles with the aforementioned triumvirate and, importantly, there is method to their management.

Alan Pardew and Garry Monk, in particular, are singled out for praise. Their Eagles and Swans respectively are seen to best effect in full flight - combining pace, power and penetration to plunder points. In contrast to parking the bus.

Scoring more goals than your opponents has always proved successful in the beautiful game and it is expected the likes of Ronald Koeman, Eddie Howe and Alex Neill will all remain fully paid up members of that club too. Regardless of the club they are facing on a Saturday.

The fear has been removed and the gap is narrowing as a consequence. As a result the naysayers from around the world including my little patch in South Africa, will continue to mock the quality of the best league in the world. Fear not. Let it continue.