English Premier League: Thoughts down the table
Football in England isn't about title contenders alone, sometimes, the spotlight is taken off the big spenders and the talented group, a thought is shared with struggling ones, the learning ones and the ones that need a shoulder.
Last time out we had Burnley, the only thing we remember about them was that unlikely victory against a sloppy defending champions Manchester City, we had Queens Park Rangers, who went down with little resistance and of course the survivors... Leicester City.
How would we have loved to have Middlesbrough back in the Premier League? We savoured the probability until Norwich City said an emphatic NO at the playoffs, 2:0 and it could have been worse, we're stuck with the Canaries for one season at least, they joined Watford and Championship conquerors AFC Bournemouth.
No crystal ball to decipher who will be in the top flight next August, but by their drive, spirit and ultimately, results... We shall know them.
Leicester City have picked up from where they stopped last term, they blew Sunderland away in the sunshine of King Power Stadium, Riyad Mahrez is up there with Philip Coutinho on the list of best performers for the opening weekend.
The predicted doom around Claudio Ranieri seems to have vanished like the chances of Arsenal signing Kareem Benzema, it will take an embarrassing run of results and hard luck to see Leicester City going down, as long as they keep their men motivated.
This run will throw them just outside the top ten on the average, but they started well last season too, beating Manchester United and picking a point at home against Arsenal when Ulloa nodded home after Sanchez' opener, they must avert early capitulation, they are the picks of the moment.
Watford hit us like a bomb this time, if Aruna Kone's late effort had bounced off the post and return into play or roll away for goal kick, Watford would have ran out winners at Goodison Park, if the first goal was fortuitous, the second wasn't, Odion Ighalo swept aside Jon Stones before unleashing an unstoppable shot to beat Tim Howard, what a start.
Too early to ascertain anything but displays like that can only keep you up, you can't blame Watford for daring to dream... No you can't!
Norwich City lost at home to Crystal Palace, those are the kind of visitors they should be beating if they want to make an impression early on, with due respect to Alan Pardew's men, Norwich didn't do enough against the Eagles on the day.
Fixtures aren't really in Norwich's favor and they could be heading down as soon as December if they just lie there and let teams run them ragged, their choice of buys are questionable, they may use some tips from Everton, try some loans from top teams, there are quality lads who want first team football, look around London and Manchester, if Norwich must stay up, they must add up.
AFC Bournemouth hosted Aston Villa on the opening day of the league season, like Norwich City, they lost at home.
Experience counts, but squad balance does too, playing a team that had several new faces and the hangover of the loss of their best players, come on Bournemouth you should be doing better than just tackling high up the pitch.
After conceding, the hunger to even up wasn't obvious, nothing taken away from AstonVilla's performance but more of this and Bournemouth will be picking points in the championship next summer.