Another matchday is in the bag, and there are some teams surprising in a good way, some in a bad way, while others are happy to go under the radar.
New stars are emerging, and there’s one constant still- Manchester City at the top of the table. They’re the only team after three matchday to win all their fixtures and another title for Pep Guardiola’s men is likely.
But, what about the rest of the field?
Here are the top five things we learned from Premier League’s Matchday 3 –
Luton Town are ahead of schedule
Losing 0-3 to a Chelsea team that probably spends more on its academy every week than Luton spends on its first team in a year is no shameful matter.
However, the chasm between them and the Premier League is clear to see after two games. The PL is undoubtedly going to provide the fans with some unforgettable moments when they manage a giant killing or two, but it would be a huge surprise if they don’t go straight back down.
Luton are ahead of schedule, and this campaign has the potential to get ugly. However, the riches from the Premier League and the eventual parachute payments will set the club up for a long time to run sustainably as long as they don’t go crazy with that money.
This PL campaign might just be the case of enduring short-term pain for long-term gain.
Before the season began, Everton were widely regarded as one of the teams in trouble this season. Three games in, and that statement is proving to be prophetic.
Their record is dire. No goals have been scored in three games and they’ve conceded six. That is when their fixture list to start the season was fairly giving.
Wolves and Fulham at home should have brought points and the meek surrender in the 0-4 loss away to Aston Villa would hardly soothe the nerves of the fans.
For a long time, Everton have flirted with relegation but the expectation this year was that Sean Dyche would tighten things up and steer them to mid-table safely. That doesn’t look too realistic right now.
Their next game is away to Sheffield United. If they don’t win that game, then the fixture list from there onwards becomes tough. Dyche might not see January at this rate.
Moyes the miracle man
If the prediction of Everton struggling was proven correct, that of West Ham United joining them has so far been completely off the mark. Many pundits could have been forgiven for thinking that the Hammers are doomed when they were trying to account for Declan Rice’s departure and couldn’t sign anyone.
Fast forward to today, and in signing James Ward-Prowse, Edson Alvarez, and Mohammed Kudus, they’ve turned the Rice money into a top Premier League midfield.
JWP is already firing, with his set-piece deliveries always a threat, and he has scored too. Alvarez brings the defensive nous in front of the back four and Kudus will bring goals from midfield.
Moyes is working miracles with the team, bringing them through a tough start in unbeaten fashion.
Their “cede the ball and counter-attack” style of football might not be to everybody’s liking, but they’re putting teams to the sword with it. Brighton and Chelsea have felt the strength of this side and these two won’t be the only ones to feel so by the end of the season.
Tottenham are for real
None of the traditional top-six, barring Manchester City, have started the season on song. Arsenal look frail once they lead, again drawing against Fulham despite Silva’s men being down to 10 men.
Liverpool’s games are entertaining but not good for the heart, generally not a sign of champions. Manchester United have still not found their groove and the same can be said of Chelsea.
Not Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham.
The Aussie tactician has his team playing thrilling football, is already a fan-favourite due to his quips with the press, and Spurs, after a long time, look like a happy club. A potential banana skin fixture away to Bournemouth was navigated expertly, with the new creator-in-chief, James Maddison, turning on the style again.
Spurs are for real, Ange has arrived, and the Premier League is on notice.
Referees are not biased, they’re just bad
Mike Dean recently set fire to social media after he accepted that his inclination to not make the on-field referee feel bad for his decision is what led him to ignore obvious missed calls.
It confirmed the “mates” theory fans have had about referees for a long time. This season, amid new regulations to protect the referees and cut down on time-wasting, the officials have had a nightmare start to the season.
It would be hard to point towards a single team and say they’ve been happy with the referees’ performance in their games.
Be it missing obvious penalty calls, giving dubious ones, inconsistency in carding players already on a card, or just a general lack of time management, the outrage is at an all-time peak.
If you antagonise one, then you’re a mastermind with an agenda. If you antagonise everyone, you’re just bad at your job. Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence, and that is exactly the case with PL referees this season so far.