Newcastle hope to steady ship

Newcastle hope to steady ship

The Premier League clubs are back in action this weekend after the international break which has at least given managers time for their blood pressure to settle down while they assess the start to the season.

After just four games, you can't read too much into the league table which unsurprisingly sees defending champions Manchester City sitting on top, the only team with a 100 percent record.

Other teams that will be satisfied with their start are the immediate chasing pack of Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, West Ham and Arsenal, all unbeaten having dropped just two points.

The club which is perhaps least happy with the opening exchanges are Newcastle United in 14th place with just one win and three losses.

Admittedly, they experienced a tough schedule resulting in defeats at Man City and Brighton and at home to Liverpool.

But if Eddie Howe's boys don't get a win against Brentford at St James' Park today, the Geordie fans could start getting a bit restless.

However, Howe will be hoping to pick up points away to Sheffield United and home to Burnley in the coming weeks.

Other big teams that would have been expecting a better start are Manchester United (11th) and Chelsea (12th).

United face a test at Old Trafford today when they face a confident Brighton side who feel they can take on anybody.

After last season's miserable performance, no one really knows what to expect from Chelsea.

New manager Mauricio Pochettino must now realise it is going to be a long job, at least until they find a goalscorer ... Brentford's Ivan Toney perhaps?

However, the talented striker might be wiser staying with the Bees rather than join the malfunctioning Blues.

The teams at the foot of the table are more or less what was expected. But it's early days and it would be foolish to write anyone off.

In the Championship, the teams have played five games and surprise leaders are Preston North End who have dropped just two points.

Manager Ryan Lowe encourages an attacking style and so far it has paid dividends. But there's a long way to go.

Close on Preston's heels are two pre-season favourites Ipswich Town and Leicester City with the Foxes hoping for a quick return to the Premier League.

Birmingham City are undefeated in fourth place.

Of the two other sides relegated from the top flight, Southampton look in reasonable shape in seventh spot but Leeds United won't be happy with 15th after only one win in five matches.

The biggest shock comes from Teeside where Middlesbrough, managed by former Man U star Michael Carrick, find themselves rock bottom with just one point.

It is Boro's worst-ever start and particularly disappointing after last season's fourth-place finish before being defeated by Coventry City in the play-offs.

In League One, Stevenage are the early front-runners followed by Bolton Wanderers who have played one game less.

Derby County, strongly backed for promotion, are down in 11th place after suffering two losses.

There is a big match today at Pride Park where the Rams take on fifth-place Portsmouth who are desperate to get out of League One after seven seasons stuck in the third tier.

In League Two, Gillingham lead the way with unbeaten Notts County hot on their tails. Much vaunted Wrexham are currently in seventh place.

In all these divisions, there's a long way to go and in English football, fortunes can change very quickly.

All it takes is a couple of defeats and unhappy fans and those managerial blood pressures will be soaring again.

Do you like the content of this article?