clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Five Questions for Week 3 in the Premier League: Are Chelsea in Trouble?

Following an eventful and surprising Week 2, we take a look ahead around the league to see what trends are developing.

Starting to feel the pressure a bit there, Jose?
Starting to feel the pressure a bit there, Jose?
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Have Chelsea and Jose Mourinho gotten complacent following their dominant, title-winning campaign last season?

There are a number of talking points that came out of Week 2 in the Premier League, but perhaps none bigger than defending champions Chelsea failing to win either of their opening two matches. It's not even just the draw against Swansea City and the defeat to Manchester City that are necessarily bad--they're both very good teams--it's the manner of their performances that have fans and foes alike wondering what the future holds for the Blues.

With their competitors strengthening their squads considerably over the summer, Chelsea can't afford to take last season's coast to the title as an indication of their potential for success this season. It's obviously too early to make ridiculous claims about the title race, but with no standout performers across the opening two matches of the season and Man City already in mid-season form, what will it take for the London club to get back on the right track?

Was it just an off week, or are Southampton really that much worse defensively this year?

A 3-0 capitulation at home against Everton falls in stark contrast with the Saints' defensive form from last season, when they allowed the second fewest goals in the league, behind only Chelsea. While the match was a showcase of the maturing talents of Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley, it also shed light on the importance of players like Morgan Schneiderlin, Toby Alderweireld and Nathaniel Clyne.

The south coast club have earned themselves a reputation for developing young talent, but have also sold some of the best young players in the league year after year to potential rivals. While new signings Jordy Clasie, Steven Caulker and Cedric Soares may yet prove able replacements, the annual squad turnover is proving harmful for the Saints' hopes of stepping up to the next tier of teams in the league. With European football to play, have they sold too many of their stars to replicate the success of last season?

Did Arsene Wenger make the right choice starting Olivier Giroud over Theo Walcott?

The opening weekend defeat to West Ham United, in which Giroud was largely anonymous, led many Arsenal fans (and fantasy managers) to bemoan Arsene Wenger's decision to bench Theo Walcott. It was a confusing decision, especially considering Walcott's energetic performance in the Community Shield the week before.

Following the loss, most people were calling for and expecting a return to the starting lineup for Walcott, but with Sunday's team news came the announcement that Giroud would yet again lead the line for the Gunners. The Frenchman proved his doubters wrong with a lovely volley into the side netting against Crystal Palace, but with Walcott consigned to the bench again, the question remains: Is Giroud the way forward for Arsenal and, if so, is there a place for Walcott other than on the sidelines?

How long can Leicester City maintain their Top 4 position in the table?

Two matches, two wins, and two excellent performances for Riyad Mahrez, Marc Albrighton and company. Claudio Ranieri has managed to keep the Foxes performing at the same level as their incredible run to survival to end the 2014-2015 season. The first week result against Sunderland wasn't entirely surprising and is beginning to look more like the 4-2 win was to be expected, but a win against a West Ham team that had just taken down Arsenal is definitely more impressive.

Leicester will take on an underperforming Tottenham Hotspur team this weekend before heading into some easier (on paper, at least) fixtures against AFC Bournemouth and Aston Villa. Can Ranieri's men keep their win streak active, or will Harry Kane rediscover his scoring boots to drop them back to Earth?

Which Premier League leader has been less impressive: Manchester United or Liverpool?

You could hardly find four less impressive victories than the consecutive 1-0 wins recorded by the Reds and Red Devils to open the 2015-2016 season. And yet, it's six points from six for both of England's most successful clubs. Apart from setting up Kyle Walker for a great own-goal finish, Wayne Rooney has struggled to find the ball in scoring areas since being restored to the striker role under Louis van Gaal, while Liverpool have had to rely on a moment of magic from Philippe Coutinho and a couple refereeing mistakes to claim their victories.

If results continue to fall their way, fans won't mind too much, but patience will quickly run out if the lackluster performances lead to dropped points. Which team do you think is more likely to continue with their disappointing victories (if you can call a victory disappointing)?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!