There was some discussion on another thread about ManCity's lead right now, how it compares to last year's leaders at this point and to what extent that lead is inflated a bit do to the quality of the teams they have played. I put together this table which compares everyone based on the average number of points earned by their opponents. Basically, who has had the easiest go so far and who has had the hardest.
Once again, the Spurts screw it up by having their Everton match delayed but we will see that this result wouldn't dramatically alter the conclusions other than to push them further down the list.
TOP is Total Opposition Points and is derived by adding up the points earned as of today by all the opponents a team has played. I forgot what OR means. It was late last night when I started this but it should be clear that this column is just TOP divided by the number of games played. It is read like this: This season, on average, WBA played about a 16 point team each week. Swansea has played about a 17 point team each week. Etc. The e's and t's indicate who has played Everton and Tottenscum and thus could have a slightly tougher TOP depending on that result.
Obviously, ManCity jumps out. They are leading the league right now but, by this measure, only because their opponents have been shite this year. The ManU result does seem to indicate that City are legit (they are certainly beating the teams they are supposed to beat) but they still have a lot to prove. Everton have played the toughest schedule so far. Had they played 12 games they would be even higher (Spurt's points would drag Everton's OR up, Everton's would drag Spurt's down). Against tougher teams, Newcastle has lost to City and drawn us and Spurts while Chelsea has lost to us, Manchester United and Liverpool. It's early but these may be signs that these teams aren't up for it this year and may fall away.
Arsenal, ManU and Spurts (and, to be fair, Everton and Swansea) are the teams, it seems, who have done well with tough schedules. Considering the obstacles we've faced this year it could be argued that we are the most impressive of this group.