What we learned from Round 2 of the Premier League: Everton ascendent, Papiss Cisse struggling and Liverpool scrambling


Let’s go right into it:

1.) Everton can challenge for a Champions League place

Notorious slow starters Everton have come roaring out of the traps so far this season with two highly convincing victories. While the opening victory over Manchester United was impressive, the way the Toffees swatted aside Aston Villa with three goals coming in the opening 45 minutes sent out a warning to the rest of the that Moyes’ men are a definite force to be reckoned with now, rather than in January

Admittedly, Villa were poor at the weekend and in Shay Given appear to have a keeper very much in decline, but Everton’s squad looks impressive and thoroughly well-balanced. The defence, always a strong point for Moyes, can call upon the likes of Jonny Heitinga, Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka while Leighton Baines is currently the ’s outstanding left-back. Midfield, freed from the constrictions of a fading Tim Cahill, contains the powerhouse Marouane Fellaini and the invention of Steven while up front, Moyes can choose from the predatory Nikica Jelavic and the pacey goal-machine bought from Greece, Kevin Mirallas.

Throw in the dependable names of Phil Neville, Leon Osman, Darron Gibson and the supremely talented Barkley and it becomes clear that David Moyes has built a squad consisting of both inspiration and perspiration, capable of challenging at the top of the league. If we assume that the two Manchester clubs and based on their early season form, Chelsea, will be secure in the top three – then Everton’s start compares favourably to those made by fellow Top Four challenges, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool.

2.) Newcastle fans should perhaps be worried about Papiss Cisse

Despite their defeat to Chelsea at the weekend, the Toon Army should not be too downhearted about their start to the season. The opening win over was impressive enough, Demba is scoring again while at the time of writing, there appears to be little substantial talk surrounding any possible sales of their top players.

If there was only one small worry for Newcastle’s fanatic support, it would perhaps be the slow start for last season’s goal-scoring sensation, Papiss Cisse. Poachers such as Cisse do often take time to get into the stride and of course are reliant on service but last season, Cisse could often conjure goals out of absolutely nothing: his two goals at Stamford Bridge last May are testament to this. However, Cisse’s opening three appearances this season have been very, very quiet. Indeed, it would perhaps be fair to say that Cisse has not even really looked like scoring, even against the likes of Atromitos in the Europa League. His performance at Stamford Bridge lacked neither the touch or vigour that we’ve come to associate with the Senegalese striker.

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