J-Rodd: Let me start off saying this about Nasri, I think he may live to regret not going to Man Utd. With him in our midfield, we would have been a stronger team and he would have had an even greater chance of winning trophies. Whereas at Man City, he is a luxury player - if Silva is injured then he will become influential but unless that happens, he will not be an important player for them. When he plays he will do well and he will win trophies at City but I think his personal career would have flourished across the city.
Mata is a quality player for Chelsea, but I think Lampard is once again showing his importance to Chelsea and Sturridge is a breath of fresh air up front. I do not think that they are in the free fall you make them out to be in. Defensively, I agree they are struggling as Terry needs a quick partner and Chelsea do not have one for him and Cech is in relatively poor form. They will still finish 3rd though.
I have changed my mind regarding 4th though. I think Spurs are nailed on, and will even push Chelsea for 3rd. Adebayor (although not scoring at the moment) is allowing their midfield to flourish and an attacking force of van der Vaart, Lennon, Modric and Bale is difficult to live with. They are ably supported by Parker who is one of the best players in the Premier League at this time and man of the match for England v Spain. Defensively they are not brilliant which is the reason they will not win the league but they are improving.
Liverpool need to score more goals, as you said, only Suarez can find the net. Vorm said after Swansea drew 0-0 with them that if you stop Suarez, you stop Liverpool and he is right. Arsenal are improving greatly but I still do not see them finishing any higher than 5th.
Stoke have lost every game after a European tie - interesting fact for you which may explain their Jekyll and Hyde form. I feel for them as their away trips have been to Ukraine, Israel and Turkey. Playing in those locations on a Thursday night is tough for any team, let alone a side with a reasonably small squad.
Mid table and below is still too close to call. Blackburn and Wigan, in particular, are struggling but both are playing ok. Bolton should now rise up the table as they have favourable fixtures and will hopefully be boosted by Stuart Holden when he returns from injury. Everton and Fulham will both rise up the table also. Everton in particular are a decent side.
Robert: I’m just happy Arsenal is starting to look like a team. I think my top five most valuable players in the premier league this season so far are:
David Silva - the engine that runs Man City. He is more valuable than Toure and Nasri. Even though Aguero is one of the best signings, Dezko and Balotelli could make up his production.
Michael Vorm - best keeper so far this season? I think so.
Robin van Persie - as RvP goes, so does Arsenal. Without van Persie’s offense, Arsenal would have only scored something ridiculous like five goals.
Emanuel Adebayor - Tottenham is a completely new team with Adebayor and are making a strong case for third in the table
Demba Ba - Newcastle’s only scoring threat, which is one of the main reasons they are doing so well.
What are your thoughts?
Also, just read an article about Fabregas stating the need for Arsenal to keep RvP and how they cannot afford to lose him (I know the irony right?) and I can’t be mad at Cesc. I will always wish Fabregas the best, but I still hate Nasri. I don’t get it. I thoroughly enjoy Nasri riding the bench and then getting hurt. The best thing would be for France to get bounced from Euros for something that Nasri did on the field…that would be awesome.
J-Rodd: I think those top 5 look like pretty strong bets.
Silva was badly missed yesterday by City against Newcastle. I know Newcastle defend well even though City scored 3 goals, 2 were penalties and the other goal was given to them on a plate. Good sides win when they are not playing well but I think without Silva, they were badly lacking in creativity.
Michael Vorm has played well this season but Joe Hart has been solid and even David de Gea is looking like a top keeper. Ali Al Habsi also rarely makes errors in the Wigan goal and is horribly overused.
RVP again showed his importance to the Arsenal team. Only the 5th player to score 30 goals in a calendar year and it is still only November. He has always been quality but fitness has always been his major problem. If he gets injured I fear for Arsenal and on that basis he is definitely one of the top 5 players this season.
Adebayor has improved the Spurs side as they now have a strong striker who can hold the ball up and also run in behind defences allowing their midfield to work its magic. He will be looking to score a few more goals though (he is in my fantasy football team and so I really need him to score more)
Demba Ba has done well so far this season but as I have repeatedly said, Newcastle have played generally poorer sides. He will score goals but not to the same level that the top class strikers in the league will. Newcastle’s strength has been their defence which is the major reason for their lofty league position.
Whats Your Verdict?