Bill Shankley, the famous Liverpool boss of the late 50s and early 70s once said not to look at the league table until 10 games had been played because it meant nothing. So this week on languagecaster we take a quick look around three of the big leagues in Europe who have reached the 10 game point and see which teams are in the driving seat, which are pushing to challenge for the top spot and champions League places, and which teams, if any, are slipping into the danger zone. The report has a transcript below and explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the foot of the post, while other key phrases (in blue) also have meanings explained.
First the Premier league with 10 games gone:
Leaders – big spenders Manchester City (28 pts), who seem to be coasting. They’ve stamped their authority on their league with the impressive 6-1 defeat of rivals Manchester United. Fergie’s team, the Red Devils (23 pts) lead the chasing pack, followed by surprise package Newcastle United (22 pts), who are stealthily maintaining a record of no defeats and crept above Chelsea (19 pts), who were stunned by 7th place Arsenal last week 5-3.
At the bottom? Blackburn (6 pts), Bolton (6 pts) and Wigan (5 pts) all teams from the North West are struggling and the the Trotters and the Latics are already most people’s favorites to go down.
Next, La Liga also with 10 games gone:
No surprise to see the usual suspects, Real Madrid (25 pts) and Barcelona (24 pts) opening up a lead. Leaders Madrid have an eight point gap between them and 5th place Malaga. While it was great while it lasted it looks like injuries and good luck running out are pulling Lavante back down to earth. valencia look well placed on 21 pts to cement a Champions League spot with other teams around them lacking consistency.
At the foot of the table? Well, take your pick – 3 points separate 13th from 20th. But Getafe on 7 points and without a win in 5 games and Real Sociedad on 8 and with no victory in 6 must both be very nervous.
Finally, the Bundesliga – 11 games played:
Again, no surprise to see giants Bayern Munich (25 pts) with a four point cushion over Shalke. Despite the fact that the German Champions are in fact Dortmund, who lie in third on 20 points, it seems natural order has been restored with the most successful club in Germany topping thee table. But don’t rule Dortmund out, especially if Munich have a good Champions League run, they may just take their eye of the ball and let their lead slip.
Struggling are Freiburg on 7 points and Augsburg on 8. The team above them, Hamburg, has found some form recently, and if you want to look for someone to join them in the relegation zone, Nurnberg look a likely candidate.
So, 10 games in and the leagues are taking shape. But a lot can happen between now and next May.
coasting: playing well, winning in a relaxed fashion
stamp their authority: be so strong that your rivals are nervous; lead the league by a comfortable margin