Well, I knew that Liverpool's stay atop the table wasn't going to be long. I even said so here on the wrap for the Bolton win. I just didn't know it would be so emphatic.
Clearly, the rational person doesn't believe everything about results in August. That goes for the competition as well as us. Injuries, suspensions, the piling up of matches haven't even come close to hitting yet. Players lose form, players gain it, all the transfers aren't over, and many other factors that play into what is a marathon season. And when you haven't even played 8% of your season, you can't glean too much.
But we were all on a buzz after Liverpool's swatting, stamping, and spanking of Bolton on Saturday. It was as vibrant a performance as we've been treated to by the Reds in quite some time, and the harbinger it could be added to that feeling.
Then the Manchester massacres happened.
Again, early doors. Chelsea put up 12 goals in their opening two fixtures last year, before the Osteoporosis kicked in midseason and they faded badly. We've started seasons well before only to see it go balls up when there's an actual chill in the air. Conclusions drawn now are only those drawn by the stupid and impatient.
However, City and United took what we did -- the interchanging of a front four, the creativity, the lethalness, the inventiveness -- and pumped it up to 11. Mitigating factors here, in that at the moment both Arsenal and Tottenham are a car wreck covered in feces, with odd transfer sagas, managers who are letting their egos get in the way, unhappy players, injuries, and whatever else turns a successful club into "The Big Bang Theory". But still, it was hard not to be taken aback by some of the performances.
Especially City. I know, I know, for that money this is what they should have been doing all along. But when eve Dzeko is looking competent -- and I was in the "He's a complete donkey" faction - you have to be frightened. Yes, his three goals came from a combined 10 yards, with that pretty nifty header accounting for eight of those yards. But this is where someone waxes on about him getting to that position and being there. It must be harder than I think, otherwise more strikers would do it. Seems to me in any pickup game I've ever played, there's always like three guys standing within two yards of the goal. Whatever.
But that's all you have to do when Nasri, Aguero, and Silva get going, and that's the real fear. You could probably put any stiff in front of those three and they'd bag a few. And with that bolstered by De Jong and Toure, it's imposing.
Over on the other, more reviling half of Crowley's favorite City (big ups to anyone who gets that reference), Ashley Young already looks a transformed player. The pace at which United can play at is dizzying. Yes, two of their fixtures were against the North London clubs that have become totally lost, but still. And the youth in the side makes you tremble.
Granted, I wait to see how Anderson and Cleverly do against a side that actually comes with a midfield, which they haven't yet. I doubt they'll find it so easy. But 12 goals between the two sides against teams that at least used to be considered competent. Couldn't they have given us until Monday?
-Another thing I considered is that after spending a Sunday watching United, City, and Madrid absolutely thrash their opponents, is where this game is headed. With these few clubs hoarding all the talent, and the talents desire to only play for them (see: Modric, Luka and Nasri, Samir) is the aristocracy going to get too far from the proletariat? With the wages City and Madrid and the like can throw at players to make them not even care about being on the bench most of the time, are there only going to be five or six teams continent-wide worth watching? And how do teams without the owners on yachts and models and oil fields compete, when their best players will only want to play for those sides? Look at how many players have defected from Arsenal to City, a transfer unthinkable just three seasons ago.
Again, early days, but it makes you wonder.