Premier League fans this season are worried. In fact, they are very worried about one thing, and one thing only. Manchester City.
Their opponents dread playing them and being taken to the cleaners, and their title ‘rivals’ (if you can even call them that at the minute), are shaking their heads in disbelief.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea have all been as bad as each other, but City are standing heads and shoulders above the rest, just the way Joe Hart likes it.
The game against Watford was basically a foregone conclusion. Manuel Pellegrini has a team riding the crest of a wave with confidence in spades – and it shows.
Everything has just clicked. The centre half pairing of captain Vincent Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala looks dependable, with full backs Bacary Sagna and Aleksandar Kolarov adding to the solidarity, giving width when assisting in attack.
Fernandinho and Yaya Toure are adept at shielding said back four, allowing the creative juices of Jesus Navas, David Silva and Raheem Sterling to flow with panache. Sergio Aguero is there to score the goals, and we all know how capable he is of that.
For all the superlatives and adjectives, the crux is this: a holistic equilibrium has been struck. The balance is right. This is a team capable of soaking up the pressure and hitting on the counter with pace in abundance and flair.
Sterling and Silva sing a mesmeric duet in midfield, and look a class above anything else in the league.
Sitting pretty at the top of the league having conceded no goals and scoring for fun, they are not only the team to beat, but the team lighting up the Premier League with exciting and entertaining football.
Sterling has made a vital difference with not only his partnership with Silva, but his speed and the space he creates for his teammates to expose. He’s a distraction for the opposition’s defence, something you certainly don’t need when Yaya, Silva and Aguero are ready to exploit those gaps.
The players are working for each other and look to be enjoying themselves while they’re at it. The system works. The team spirit is infectious.
It’s still a mixed bag as far as their rivals are concerned.
Chelsea looked to be going someway to banishing their demons after signing Pedro and their win at West Brom, but then fell flat and lost for only the second time in the league at home under Jose Mourinho to Crystal Palace.
Manchester United look flat and alarmingly short of creativity and firepower following their goalless draw at home to Newcastle.
They also stalled against Swansea, with Wayne Rooney and Memphis Depay showing that it’s one thing to do it against Club Brugge, and another to do it in the top flight of English football.
Arsenal might be winning, but they certainly aren’t convincing, and the less said about the performance of Liverpool against West Ham United, the better.
Although there’s time for those teams to catch up and for City to slip up, the early pace setters show no sign of relenting anytime soon.