by Kieran Davies

So we have to endure a week or so without any football due to the inevitable international break. For any real football fan this is the equivalent of the girlfriend or wife’s parents coming to stay for a week. You know that you’re gonna see less action than someone at a Hugh Grant movie marathon! So rather than listening to Woy Hodgson tell us how they won’t miss Wooney and Cawwoll against Moldova it seems a good time to reflect back on the Premier League season so far. The highs, the lows and the ‘what the blazes’?

So Tony Fernandes has accomplished his first goal at QPR of having a squad bigger than the workforce of the Egyptian pyramids but can Mark Hughes shape this band of nearlymen into a Premier League outfit? Their main problem seems to be whatever back four they turn out, you’re guaranteed to see scenes in their penalty box resembling an episode of The Chuckle Brothers and to be honest they could have Gianluigi Buffon in goals and still concede four every week. West Brom have started well and have made some good additions to their squad but you have to wonder whether this is just a ‘honeymoon period’ under a new manager, if it is baggies fans, lap it up. As a Liverpool fan I can assure you that these ‘honeymoon periods’ under new managers are about as rare as an X-Factor contestant who hasn’t got a sob story to tell why the world owes them a favour.

Michael Laudrup has made a fantastic start at Swansea but again you have to question whether he has just stepped on an already moving train and told the driver to keep going. Swansea made massive progress over the last few years under some good managers and that same group of players are working towards the same goal as ever. Laudrup has added the impressive Michu but the time to judge his management will be at the back end of January when we will see if his impressive tan and smile are still radiating on a cold night in the North East. Roberto Di Matteo has made a good start with his new look Chelsea team. Who would’ve thought the man sacked by West Brom would muscle his way into the Chelsea and make it nearly impossible for the powers that be to do anything than offer him a permanent contract. Nobody wanted him as manager, most of all his boss Roman Abramovic. It makes you wonder what Roberto has to do win his boss over. Win the Premier League? Win the Champions League (again)? Find oil under the Stamford Bridge pitch? Only time will tell but as long as he can keep Eden Hazard on top of his game, they are going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Robin Van Persie has made an impressive start and no doubt pleased his new employers. Masking the uncharacteristic conceding of goals but with many defensive injuries this may be something that they have to battle on with for the foreseeable. At least their last fixture saw them playing people in natural positions rather than midfielders converting to centre backs. It is important that RVP stays injury free as Hernandez seems to be a player who thrives on game time for his form so with the injury to Rooney at the moment and Wellbeck still a way off from being the finished goalscorer, the Dutchman carries a lot of weight on his shoulders. Alex Ferguson seems to be more cheerful in pre and post match press conferences. A personality transplant? Probably not, more like a rare side effect of the medication he takes to prevent him having any more blood rush to his face thus creating the illusion that Manchester United are now being managed by some sort of Ribena berry, whisky swilling Scot hybrid.

Everton have been very good to watch, the way they deconstructed Man Utd’s game was good to watch despite defeat at Clarke’s West Brom still find themselves in top half of the table. The only concern for Everton although they have a lot more quality in their starting XI, injuries to any of those players can be critical as they don’t have such quality in the depth of their squad. That aside all is positive at Goodison currently. On the other side of Stanley Park are bitter rivals (if you’re an Everton fan, if you’re a Liverpool fan they don’t really flag up on your radar) Liverpool have not made such a good start under Brendan Rodgers. But in the style of Matthew Kelly’s Stars in Your Eyes……..this season Matthew I am going to be a realist. The fact is Kenny Dalglish was, is and always will be a legend at Liverpool. However, how much he had to do in the transfer dealings how much influence Damien Comolli did, they were part of the same project. The project that forked out in the region of £80m for Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing. Currently Liverpool would struggle to pass off any of these off to human traffickers let alone recoup their investment. As a result this season is about repairing damages and financial haemorrhaging and rebuilding and Brendan Rodgers is being trusted with about as much money as Nick Leeson would if he ever managed to land a low entry job in the London Stock Market in the future. On a positive note, many have commented on the wealth of talent in Liverpool’s academy system and this season is the perfect opportunity to blood some of this talent. Raheem Sterling has looked very impressive in his senior starts hopefully this acts as a catalyst for other youngsters given the chance.

AVB seems to have as much luck in London as Guy Fawkes and both probably reflect back on these periods in a similar manner of rue. I always thought Harry Redknapp was the man for Tottenham but judging by what the fans were saying towards the end of his tenure he had gone from being the messiah to being about as wanted at White Hart Lane as a Paul Merson 1988/89 calendar. It is still early days for AVB and I hope for Spurs fans that unlike Chelsea their board are patient. Sunderland have looked good for a side only amassing a return of two points. Steven Fletcher seems to be proving his critics wrong and had a dream debut bar not sealing the win. Again though time will be his greatest judge as Asamoah Gyan looked world class in his first six months but now finds himself in Paul Gascoigne’s own personal nightmare. A dry country!!!! Adam Johnson has showed his talents so far and one can only wonder none of the top sides went in for him. Kudos to Martin O’Neill. Stoke have signed Michael Owen the man with one hamstring. That’ll go one of two ways, shrewd signing or the inevitable call to Michael’s own stables to see if they will put him down. Fulham have looked good in parts but their problem still lies with the fact that away from home they are about as much use as a three pin plug on the continent.

So a week Saturday is the next Premier League action and before you try it, I’ve already said it three times to see if it appears like Beetlejuice………15th September…….15th September………15th September!!! See. Well let’s hope the time goes quickly and we can all be watching our respective teams rather than international friendlies that only accomplish one thing………all the jobs your partner’s ever asked you to and you’ve never done as there is football on the tv. Time to man up get them done and just think of peace and quiet you will get when REAL football continues!