We’re less than one-seventh of the way through the Premier League campaign for 2017/18, so making any iron-like conclusions would be foolish and probably likely to lead to egg being in direct alignment with face in eight months or so’s time.
But already there are little patterns emerging, from the dominance of the Manchester teams to the abject struggles of Crystal Palace, Everton and more. There’s a long way to go, but that will be of little comfort to the supporters of those currently struggling at the wrong end of the league table.
So who were the chief winners and losers from another pulsating weekend of Premier League action?
Winner: Sergio Aguero
One player who has benefited enormously from the decision by Pep Guardiola to play two up front – aided and abetted by the rapid development of Gabriel Jesus – is Sergio Aguero, the brittle Argentinean who allegedly almost left the club after falling out with Guardiola last season.
But now Aguero has a new lease of life with six goals in as many games this term, ad with the sprightly Gabriel leading the line with him the physical requirements of the role are diminished – which presumably means the 28-year-old will play more matches this season.
That sounds like a win-win for all who are passionate about Manchester City Football Club.
Winner: Romelu Lukaku
Following hot on the heels of Aguero from a goalscoring perspective is Romelu Lukaku, who has also blasted six in six for his new employer Manchester United.
Some ‘pundits’ questioned whether Lukaku’s physical style suits the Red Devils’, but a proven goalscorer in the Premier League is worth their weight in gold – the Belgian has now scored in nine of his last ten games for club and country after netting in his side’s 4-0 win over Everton.
You only need to look at how the Toffees are struggling to know the impact that Lukaku offers, and he looks set for his best-season ever in front of goal as United continue to march on in league and cup(s).
Loser: Ronald Koeman
Having watched his Dutch compatriot Frank de Boer get the boot from Crystal Palace after just four games in charge, this was the worst possible timing for Ronald Koeman to experience one of his worst weeks in management.
Sandwiched in-between heavy league defeats to Tottenham (0-3) and Manchester United (0-4) was the 0-3 drubbing at Atalanta in the Europa League, and given the flaccid performances to go with those results you might be cruel and suggest that Koeman has a couple of games to save his job.
The Toffees have four home games in a row against Sunderland in the EFL Cup, Bournemouth and Burnley in the Premier League and Apollon Limassol in the Europa League. Koeman had better hope his side win at least two of those….or he’s toast.
Since getting promoted from the Championship in time for the 2016/17 season, Burnley have enjoyed a hell of a ride in the English top flight.
Last season they turned Turf Moor into a fortress, claiming some notable scalps including Liverpool (2-0), Everton (2-1) and Leicester (1-0).
This season, they are going about things a different way under Sean Dyche, but they are still giantkilling their way through the division. The opening day victory over Chelsea has now been followed by draws at Tottenham and now Liverpool, whom the Clarets held to a 1-1 stalemate on Saturday.
If Dyche’s men can get themselves up for games against lesser sides as well as the big boys, they could well enjoy a top-half finish in 2017/18.
Winner: Crystal Palace’s Accountant
After paying De Boer his severance money it has not been a good time for Crystal Palace’s bank balance, although the failure of their attacking players to find the net at least has saved some cash.
Players like Christian Benteke typically have hefty goal bonuses written into their contracts, so there will be a sly sense of satisfaction among the club’s accounting team that Benteke, among others, continue to misfire. Palace are still yet to score in the 2017/18 campaign.
Incredibly, the Eagles have failed to find the net in nine of their last ten Premier League games dating back to last season, so somebody needs to find answers sooner rather later if Palace are to avoid a lengthy relegation battle this term.