The Barclays Premier League hits the pause button this week as players disperse to join their national sides. However while there is no Premier League football to look forward to, we can still look back at last weekend's action and analyse the Good, Bad and Ugly that came from week four of the season.
Swansea City and Bafetimbi Gomis.
At the first international break of the season Swansea City go in as one of only two teams who remain undefeated. The Swans sit in 4th place on the EPL table with eight points; a feat made even more impressive considering they have played Chelsea (away) and Manchester United (home) in those first four fixtures. Garry Monk has done a marvelous job since taking over as manager from Michael Laudrup just over a year ago and looks set to push the Swans further up the table in the 2015/16 campaign.
The form of Bafetimbi Gomis is one reason that Swansea is one of the best teams in the competition at this point. After losing Wilfried Bony to Manchester City in the January transfer window of 2015, many thought the Swans would struggle to find goals. Bony had scored 25 goals in 54 matches for Swansea but his absence has not been felt.
Gomis has started the season on-fire, scoring four goals from the four matches and has been a handful for defences. Playing the lone striker role his finishing, work rate, and hold-up and link-up play has been superb, even up against the better defenders in the league. The fact he joined the Swans on a free transfer in 2014 just makes his current form even more impressive. If Gomis can manage to stay fit and continue this impressive run Swansea will push for European qualification.
After four matches Jose Mourinho and his side sit in 13th place on the table with just four points. However what is perhaps more surprising than the low points tally is the fact that Chelsea have conceded the second most amount of goals this season with nine. For a Jose Mourinho side to give-up nine goals in four matches is a very rare occurrence. Something is wrong at Stamford Bridge and the defending champions need to sort it out quickly or the title race may be over for them.
Chelsea has not had the easiest start to the season in regards to fixtures. They have faced good sides in Swansea and Crystal Palace, while Manchester City look the early favourites to win the title. However to have just four points and to have conceded nine goals is still unacceptable for a team that was so heavily fancied to defend their crown this season.
The defensive issues of Chelsea are embodied best by Branislav Ivanovic who appears to have aged five years in the off-season. Ivanovic has been destroyed by whatever winger he was come up against so far, but an unsettled central defensive pairing is not helping his cause. With John Terry suspended and out of form, Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma are trying to establish a partnership but are aware that Chelsea are looking to buy for that position (see the public pursuit of Everton's John Stones).
It is only going to get harder for Chelsea who has to travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton after the international break. While all eyes will be on John Stones (whichever team colours he is wearing), Chelsea must simply win this match if they want to stay in title contention.
Liverpool and Dejan Lovren.
After a solid first three matches to start the season, where they gained seven points from a possible nine and did not concede a goal, Liverpool regressed badly against West Ham. The toothless attack, the horrendous defensive errors, and the feelings of frustration that were all on display for large parts of last season all made their return in the 3-0 defeat to West Ham.
Martin Skrtel's weak defensive header to give-up the early goal was the first sign of real weaknesses in Liverpool's defence this campaign. However if Skrtel's error was not bad enough, it was quickly overshadowed by a laughable Dejan Lovren mistake which was responsible for the Hammers' second goal.
However just to compound the misery for Liverpool supporters the sending-off of Coutinho not only hurt them against West Ham, it also means they will be without him when they travel to Old Trafford in two weeks to take on fierce rivals Manchester United. Overall it was a nightmare of a match for Liverpool who had made such a solid start to the season.