While storm Ciara did enough to ruin the return of Premier League football for us, it couldn’t stop us from analyzing a couple of games that did happen.
It definitely left quite a bitter taste in our mouth after Ciara made sure that we couldn’t binge-watch the Premier League at the weekend. However, one should always count the blessings they have considering the fact that we were able to watch a couple of games that ended up being entertaining affairs.
Everton rise continues under Carlo Ancelotti
When he was announced as the Toffees manager, if you were to bet with your choice of bookie you’d find odds predicting that the once-all-action Italian tactician was set to go out with a whimper at a club that should actually be pumping above its weight at least.
However, Ancelotti’s arrival has really turned Goodison Park into a big happy place. The Toffees have climbed from the bottom three to seventh place in a matter of only two months. And they have done that without being that good to be honest.
Under the former AC Milan manager, the Merseysiders have won six of their last 11 games but that has proven to be enough to wiggle their way around a rather mediocre mid table that starts from Tottenham and ends with Watford.
In fact, Ancelotti would be kicking himself over the two stoppage-time goals they conceded against Newcastle. Had the defense been a bit more resolute, Everton would actually be sitting in fifth place following an important win over Crystal Palace.
While there wasn’t a serious possibility of them going down based on the talent they boast, it’s heartening to know that this team has really turned a corner and is in line for European qualification.
Sheffield defying all odds
If you want to see how intelligent business and management can result in a rewarding situation, take a look at how Sheffield United have fared on their return to the English Premier League.
The Blades arrived in England’s top tier league expected to go down but have gone on to establish themselves as genuine contenders for a place in the Europa League.
What is most surprising about Chris Wilder’s team is the sheer grit they have showcased. They’ve actually trailed in 15 games in the league this season but 60% of those have resulted in them taking a point at least.
Wilder knew from the start that the league wasn’t going to be easy but he has done something with his players who truly committed to the cause and have show the sort of spirit that is badly needed in the league.
Two points off the Champions League spot, Sheffield United are on a fairytale run. And while a top four place may just be a bridge too far, this has been a remarkable season for the Blades who should be eager to build on this.
Doucourse leading the resurgence
The arrival of Nigel Pearson has coincided with Abdoulaye Doucoure playing in a position where he clearly thrives. The midfielder has been moved into a more advanced position and that has seen him score three league goals and provide one assist.
The Frenchman’s free role has also helped Troy Deeney who is now less isolated and is able to contribute more.
Ciara comes to West Ham’s rescue
In all honesty, the home game against Manchester City was always going to be a tough outing for the beleaguered Hammers who are very close to returning to Championship football where life would be tough.
After being spanked mercilessly by the Citizens on the opening day of the season, David Moyes’ men must have been thanking their lucky stars that Ciara paid a visit to avoid what we dare call the unavoidable…..for now!