Tottenham’s handling of Liverpool a barometer of Pochettino’s top-six capability

By Brian Sears 29 August 2014 Played two, won two, scored five, conceded none, and both games in challenging London derbies. Tottenham's start to the Premier League season under new manager Mauricio Pochettino could not have gone better. Wins over West Ham then QPR leave them top of the table before the third round of fixtures, in which Liverpool visit White Hart Lane on Sunday. Spurs in the Premier League era have moved from being a club who finished, on average, just outside the top half of the table for the first half of the League's existence, to being a top-six side, for...


Man Utd on 28-game unbeaten run against promoted teams … since Burnley 2009

By Brian Sears 29 August 2014 Manchester United travel to Burnley for the Premier League's lunchtime match on Saturday with a single point from two games so far, with Louis Van Gaal still trying to sort out the mess he inherited and with the British record transfer signing - £59.7m Angel Di Maria - in their ranks. Their fans will also remember, clearly and painfully, the last time they went to Turf Moor, on 19 August 2009, when they lost 1-0 in a game that was every bit as joyful for Burnley fans as it was terrible for United. As one contemporary report described...


Everton’s failings against Arsenal and Co undermine top-four credentials

By Brian Sears 22 August 2014 Everton are widely and rightly expected to finish in the top seven places in the Premier League this season, as they have done for the past four seasons and in eight of the last 10 seasons. They are stable, consistent, have a talented (and likeable) manager in Roberto Martinez, and a squad with plenty of youthful potential, including multiple home-grown players. But only once in 22 completed seasons of the Premier League era - the 'monied era', during which they have lagged behind financially - have they finished in the top four, and that was in 2004-05....