The international break has given us ample time to look back and reflect on the first instalment of Premier League football as we count down the minutes until its return.
Norwich’s Teemu Pukki was named Player of the Month for his five-goal haul in August – who would have predicted that? – while Liverpool won all four of their opening games to assert their early title credentials.
But the season has only just begun and it remains to be seen whether Pukki and Liverpool can maintain their flying form until May – so in the meantime, here’s five thoughts on the first month of action.
1 – All in favour of Liverpool
Heading into the 2019/20 season, champions Manchester City were marginal favourites over Liverpool to retain their crown and deny the Reds what they believe has been coming to them for the past 30 years.
However that has now flipped, after Liverpool’s perfect start to the season and some alarm bells ringing in Manchester over a long-term injury to Aymeric Laporte.
The odds have now shifted in favour of Liverpool with bookies in the United States plumping for Jurgen Klopp’s team as the one to stop the Citizens claiming a third successive Premier League title.
Liverpool’s defence once again gives them a solid platform to build from, despite the current absence of Allison, and if the goals keep coming freely, they could indeed be very difficult to stop this year.
2 – Pukki, Pukki, Pukki!
The last man to win the Golden Boot playing for a team that finished outside of the top six at the end of the season? Kevin Phillips in 1999/2000.
Norwich City’s Finnish forward appears to be every bit the goalscoring threat that he was in the Championship last season and has already surged up the pecking order to win the prestigious award – but he’ll have to maintain his form to keep pace with the bug guns.
Norwich look a little lacking in the rest of their squad if they intend to put anything together that resembles Wolverhampton Wanderers’ success last season, but Pukki’s contribution certainly won’t be going amiss with the fans.
3 – It all seems so simple at Arsenal
Ask any Arsenal fan what they want to see at the Emirates this season and the answer will likely comprise of four words: Aubameyang, Lacazette AND Pepe.
Recently, the Gunners’ main issue has been a pure lack of adequate defenders and this year looks set to be no different – something Arsenal fans need to accept.
That said, the to-do list for Arsenal seems simpler than it has been in recent years – fit your three main attackers into the starting lineup and see what damage they can do.
With the defensive problems Emery has, another less-than-stellar season is likely around the corner but if the front three can form an understanding, all will not be lost.
4 – Too much too soon for Lampard?
Chelsea are a whole new proposition this season with new Blues boss Frank Lampard opting for an injection of youth – something that hasn’t been seen at Stamford Bridge for a long time.
The likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic have been at the forefront of Chelsea’s attack and looked right at home but it is what is happening behind them that is the cause for concern.
Defensive frailties were exposed against Manchester Untied, Norwich and Sheffield United and Lampard will be praying for the fast return of N’Golo Kante too bring some solidarity and experience to the midfield.
Injuries and a transfer ban have left the Blues with the bare bones of a defence that is leaking goals – only Norwich conceded more than Chelsea’s nine in their first four games.
Lampard may have bitten off more than he can chew and only time will tell – something Chelsea have been less than generous with over the years.
5 – Tottenham Don’t Look Right
Tottenham have not looked themselves so far this season and are facing a pivotal stretch already with winnable games against Crystal Palace, Southampton and Brighton all on the horizon.
Fresh off a run to the Champions League final, and playing for the first time in their glorious new stadium, Mauricio Pochettino opted to strengthen the squad for the first time over the summer but has not had the best of luck with his signings so far.
Ryan Sessegnon arrived from Fulham already crocked and record-signing Tanguy Ndombele and Giovanni Lo Celso have both picked up injuries during their short stays in London.
But while Pochettino’s side has shown glimmers, their main role has been as a spoiler thus far, taking points from Manchester City with a dramatic draw.
How a quality team can pick up points at the Emirates and the Etihad but lose to Newcastle at home in a span of weeks is a mystery but Spurs wanted to be in the discussion for the title again this season and won’t be satisfied with the way things currently stand.