Bournemouth have defeated Chelsea and Manchester United in just 8 days, Leicester are top of the League, Chelsea have lost nine in only 16 games played and face a serious relegation threat and Man United may not make it back into the Champions League next season.
Whoever wrote the script for this season’s play must have had a touch of Captain Jack Sparrow’s eccentricity accentuated by a large dose of Niger Delta whiskey. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
Take a look first at the Premier League goals chart.
There’s no Wayne Rooney, no Eden Hazard, no Diego Costa in the top 5 Premier League goal-scorers. Instead the names of Jamie Vardy (15 goals), Romelu Lukaku (12), Riyad Mahrez (11) and Odion Ighalo (10) pop up prominently.
Two seasons ago, Vardy, Mahrez and Ighalo were grafting work in the lower league. Today, Ighalo has seven goals more than the great Wayne Rooney, Mahrez has three times more than Diego Costa, and Jamie Vardy has as many as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi combined.
How shocking is that?!
Then glance at the Premier League table.
Leicester, yes, Leicester are the league’s top dog after discarding Chelsea’s clumsy challenge on Monday night. The Foxes are a delight to watch, have two of the league’s best players in Vardy and Mahrez and have won 10 of their first 16 matches, losing only to Arsenal. Their league position is not down to luck, they deserve it.
Only Dortmund (46), Bayern (45), PSG (45), and Barcelona (36) have scored more than Leicester’s 34 goals in Europe’s big five leagues so far. That’s a form you would associate with Chelsea. That’s league-winning form.
It’s no longer hard to imagine Leicester strolling into the Champions League next year to play Barcelona with Chelsea breezing into the championship to play Brighton!
Let’s not forget United.
Man United may be fourth on the league table but on the evidence of football played, positive energy in the team and goals scored, they would not have been surprised with tenth. The Red Devils have only managed 10 goals in their last 12 games.
Chicharito alone playing for Bayer Leverkusen has 15 goals in his last 12. A further look at United’s rejected stars suggests where Van Gaal must have gotten it all wrong. Nani has six already this season, Angel Di Maria has 4 for PSG, same as Shinji Kagawa for Dortmund. United’s top scorer is Juan Mata with 4.
It would be a surprise if United make the top 4 with their current form.
And then Chelsea.
Almost mid way into the season, analysts have begun to seriously consider the prospects of the Stamford Bridge giants getting relegated. And with good reason.
Chelsea have lost 9 of their opening 16 top-flight games for the first time since 1978-79, a season in which they were relegated.
Who would have thought that six months ago?
About this time last year (14 December 2014) Chelsea were first on the league table while Leicester were condemned to 20th.
How times have changed! At the time of writing this piece (14 December 2015), Leicester are 1st and Chelsea sit nervously in 16th position.
Bournemouth are flying!
It’s been hugely unusual watching newly promoted Bournemouth and Watford look vibrant and organized while Chelsea suffer a slow death?
If beating Chelsea, as claimed by Bournemouth’s manager, was the biggest achievement in their entire history, then defeating Man United barely a week later must have catapulted the Cherries into the seventh heavens.
Eddie Howe’s side are competing in the Premier League for the first time ever and have already masterminded two huge feats.
Bournemouth are only the second team to beat Chelsea & Man United in consecutive Premier League matches (after Everton in Feb 2010).
It would truly be a beautiful sight should Championship title holders escape relegation at the season end.
What a crazy season it’s turning out to be… and more of it I pray!!!