Part Two: Follow the Linesman to take you through the remaining 10 teams of English Premier League...
11 Fulham 3 pts
A 5-0 win and Petric's hat-trick seemed indicating a smooth start for Fulham, but consecutive away defeats to Manchester United, West Ham, and even Sheffield Wednesday in Capital One Cup demoralised Martin Jol's side. Losing both Dembele and Dempsey on transfer deadline, especially the former, significantly weakens their attacking end. The arrival of Berbatov compensates by adding some flair up front, while the versatile Kieran Richardson provides invaluable work rate in midfield. Losing three goals to West Ham, though, sounded the alarm at the back. With the attacking-minded Martin Jol, a rather slow defence and missing Danny Murphy to control the tempo, Fulham may struggle to improve from last year 9th position.
12 Stoke 3 pts
Stoke City signalled their determination to finish in the top half of the table this season by bringing in 6 decent players, including deadline signings Charlie Adam and Nzonzi. New boy Michael Kightly scored a debut goal and gelled with the team quickly, cementing the left wing position. The other signings, Owen aside, are also expected to make a similar impact as their high work rate styles look to fit in Stoke's system easily. Tony Pulis, however, will still need to strike a balance between attack and defence as they only managed to keep a clean sheet (a 0-0 draw against Arsenal) when they decided not to go for a win. The Potters drew 12 matches last season and with already 3 draws in their first 3 matches, they definitely need to win more.
13 Sunderland 2 pts
Free signings Cuellar and Saha looked good deals while Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher joined with huge expectations playing alongside Sessegnon, Larsson and McClean. However, Martin O’Neill still needs time to devise his best line-up and tactics as he definitely hopes to end the season with a positive goal difference (-1 last season). Managing away draws against Arsenal and the mighty Swansea with Fletcher scoring a league debut brace are encouraging signs. With Wes Brown, Phil Bardsley and David Vaughan returning from injuries, and a decent fixtures list, Sunderland fans have reasons to be optimistic in the near future.
14 Tottenham 2 pts
It is unacceptable to concede late goals in consecutive home games, that even Andre Villa-Boas could not defend his team on this. It is a tough transition period in the post-Modric era, especially under a manager as radical as AVB. Last minute signings only mean Tottenham has kindly given away the August and their season only starts now. The squad is full of quality that you would not expect them to be out of top 10 by the end of season. Whether they are capable to challenge the top four will hinge on AVB’s ability to get the most out of the young Yids.
15 Norwich 2 pts
Chris Hughton’s return to the Premier League was tougher than expected. The attacking-minded Norwich City was so vulnerable at the back to allow five Fulham goals. They made good recovery though, by bagging two successive draws, with their performance at White Hart Lane particularly impressive. The addition of Bassong provides extra physical presence, who could form a promising partnership with Michael Turner. Goalscoring is never a problem for the Canaries, but they must improve from being the fourth most goals-conceded team last season to ensure they can stay in the top flight.
16 Reading 1 pts
A late equaliser gave them a good start to the Premier League with a draw at home. A reverse in luck in Stamford Bridge brought them back to reality. Brian McDermott luckily had a weekend off to regroup the mentally exhausted team. They did not bring in any new signings on deadline day, but summer signings Danny Guthrie and Pavel Pogrebnyak have already established as important members of Reading. Guthrie, in particular, seizes the first team opportunity and finally begins to shine in top tier league. Reading squad is neither as experienced as West Ham, nor as talented as Southampton. However, if they can repeat their defensive performance in Championship last year, notching 40 points to reach the usual safety line is not a mission impossible.
17 Aston Villa 1 pts
Paul Lambert found himself sitting below his former club by the end of August. Loopholes are everywhere, particularly in the midfield. Either they could not get hold of possession, or they could not organise something to threaten opponent’s goal. The team did not look completely behind Lambert, but significant improvement was observed in St James Park. A more motivated side and magical performance by Guzan earned them the first point of the season. Charles N’Zogbia and Stephen Ireland could be the key if their creativity can reignite Darren Bent's goalscoring form. Otherwise, they could spend most of the season wandering around the bottom half of the table.
18 Liverpool 1 pts
It takes time to transform, especially as radical as Brendan Rodgers intends to. Liverpool has become a better passing team, but the same old problem in finishing is still there. The transfer moves they have made could not address the shortfalls in their squad. Seven goals conceded in three games with Reina and Skrtel committed brutal mistakes, but no new defenders have been recruited, signalling Carragher would still have a large part to play, acting as third/fourth choice centre back. Joe Allen and Nuri Sahin are promising midfielder, but not as defensive-minded as the injured Lucas Leiva or even captain Stevie. Jonjo Shelvey 's development is crucial this season. Loaning out Andy Carroll means there is no plan B for Brendan Rodgers. The younger Liverpool shows lots of potential, highlighted by the emergence of Raheem Sterling. However, how patient are the fans and the owner? Roy Hodgson has the answer.
19 QPR 1 pts
Big-spending Rangers started the season with a hugely disappointing 0-5 loss against Swansea. Another draw and loss made it obvious that Mark Hughes was still experimenting with his giant squad, which has recruited more than 10 new players. Surprising and exciting signings such as Julio Cesar and Granero have potential to lift the team to where Hughes desires, whereas new players with abundant experience in the Premier League such as Park and Bosingwa will help to steady the game, as shown in their narrow loss (in terms of gameplay, not scoreline) at the Etihad. On paper, QPR seem to have everything to prevent from relegation, but frankly speaking Hughes does not look capable substantiating the potential if he continues to underestimate his opponents and overestimate himself.
20 Southampton 0 pts
A very warm welcome to Premier League by the Manchester teams, the Saints could not get anything from the first three matches, however close they were. There were certainly some positives to get out of the tough schedule, but ultimately it is all down to elementary errors. Goalkeeper Kelvin Davis twice misplaced his pass to the Red Devils, with one of them leading to Van Persie’s misfired penalty. Poor corner defending allowed Dzeko to equalise and United to complete the comeback win. Fonte’s mistake gifted Arouna Kone the chance to seal Wigan’s victory. Nigel Adkins’ peculiar decisions did not help the situation. Ricky Lambart, their top goalscorer last season, did not start the match at Etihad Stadium, while Adam Lallana, Jason Puncheon and Lambert, their biggest threats in attack, were all pulled out in the last 15 minutes versus Manchester United, without installing another defenders. To survive in the Premier League, you have to get every single elements right, from managers to players. The break is just in time for the Saints to learn the lesson and it will be up to them to fulfill their potential.