The EPL season is just five games in and already the first manager of the new season has received his marching orders. Sunderland fired manager Paulo Di Canio at the weekend following another bust-up with his players in the dressing room after their 3-0 defeat at West Brom. The Black Cats’ results could barely have been any worse with one draw and four defeats from five games leaving them sitting at the bottom of the league. Di Canio’s Sunderland reign lasted only 13 league games, but given their performances the decision to sack him doesn’t look too harsh. Two of his Italian compatriots, Roberto Di Matteo and Gianfranco Zola, are now favorites to replace him.
If Manchester United can’t turn their season around, David Moyes might have to worry about his own position soon despite the fact he is the man Sir Alex Ferguson chose personally to take over the reins. A surprisingly unambitious United was demolished 4-1 by local rival Manchester city, with Rooney’s direct free-kick late in the game the only saving grace. In the mini-league that includes the top six clubs, the reigning champions have lost their dominance with a draw against Chelsea and defeats to their two fiercest rivals in City and Liverpool this season.
Arsenal moved to the top of the league after they beat Stoke City 3-1 at home, leading London rivals Tottenham on goal difference. Their winning streak extends to seven games, with Aaron Ramsey the key man in the process. The Welsh midfielder has scored seven goals so far this season, living up to the mouth-watering potential he showed before the traumatic leg injury he suffered back in 2010.
Liverpool suffered from the loss of their key man, injured midfielder Coutinho, as they were beaten 1-0 by Southampton at home to lose top spot. After winning their opening three games, the Reds have now suffered a draw and a loss in their past two outings with the only positive news being the imminent return of Luis Suárez, who has now finished his 10-match ban and is expected to feature in the League Cup game against Manchester United mid-week.
In other matches Everton, Swansea and Tottenham – three of the most consistent sides so far – all took full points last weekend. Chelsea beat Fulham 2-0 at home, ending their four-games winless run. After the first five games, Everton are now the only unbeaten club remaining in the league, a situation which would no doubt embarrass David Moyes who moved from Merseyside to Manchester this summer!