Four points clear in 2nd place despite having played only two home games.....I'm starting to wonder if the heat from New York's seemingly never-ending summer has made me delirious. As with the Birmingham win, we were clinging on at the end but that's clutching at straws perhaps, as it was inevitable that our second goal would require a focus on defence over attack for the remainder of the game.
Our style of play clearly suits us playing away from home. Provided we do indeed soak up inevitable crowd-induced home side pressure, then Murphy's passing and the devastating pace of Thomas, Rommedahl and Bent will always allow us plenty of chances on the break. We have scored first-half goals in each of our four away games, which proves that this style is anything but defensive and far more than a simple case of 'hoping to nick a late goal'.
Ironically this fantastic run we are now really began with Ambrose's sending off at Sunderland, a rash act which persuaded Curbs to play Thomas at home to Wigan, and this attacking move set the basis for the fluid but solid 4-5-1 which rapidly becomes a pacy 4-3-3. Indeed the stability of his current first-choice eleven implies that a number of players whom we may have presumed would be far more prominent, may indeed spend far more time in the reserves, the unfortunate Ambrose included.
It's fair to say that I would have accused you of being fanciful if you told me that we would accumulate 15 points from 6 games with our 2nd choice keeper in goal, Chris Powell at left-back, the Herminator at centre-back and Chris Perry as his partner. As Curbs himself has intimated, the new signings, whilst obviously useful squad additions per se, they also served the purpose of lifting the whole club, and in the process improving the individual performances of those that were already here. Hreidarsson in particular had a disappointing end to last season but has been rock solid this campaign.
Whilst Chelsea bore the entire football world to death and prove that money really is everything (I continue in vain to hope that Abramovich goes the way of Mikhail Khodorkovsky) elsewhere some interesting and perhaps unpredictable trends seem to be emerging. Two results from today stand out in this regard: Man U 1-2 Blackburn and West Ham 0-0 Arsenal. As their own fans feared, Arsenal look as weak as they have done since Wenger took over, and with Henry injured and Vieira gone, they look on paper at least, dare I say it, ordinary?
Meanwhile, Man U limped to a draw with neighbours City, and then lost at home to a Blackburn side that has hardly set the world alight this season. Both sides' failure to win three of their first six games will rightly be seen by their fans as precisely that ie. a failure. It is far too early to suggest that the 'top three' has now become the 'top one' and that there are really three Champions League places up for grabs, but the early signs are encouraging from a Charlton perspective.
Speaking of Champions League places, it is hard to ignore the poor start that Everton have made. When combined with their dire European exploits, it suggests that their heroics from last season really were a one-off, and it leads to an obvious conclusion: Form tends to revert to the mean unless success is used as the basis for improving the squad, something Everton singularly failed to do during the summer (£4m for Simon Davies anyone?!). As we bask quite rightly in our early-season glory, it is worth remembering that things can change swiftly if the people in charge take their eye off the ball and believe they've found the holy grail.
Returning to the Arsenal result, it is hard not to be impressed by West Ham's bold approach to the Premiership, and moreover that of Wigan's also. It would be a healthy development if the promoted clubs are seen to be competing, and the early signs for these two at least is promising even if Sunderland look doomed already. I watched West Ham destroy Villa 4-0 and it was hard not to be impressed, and I'm pleased for former Addick Alan Pardew who got some unjustified stick last season.
It's Spurs next and whilst our home form against them has been patchy, we are firmly in the ascendancy overall in recent seasons, and Curbs can make a simple telephone call to find out how to beat them (the number begins 01472, the code for Grimsby.) Oh how we laughed.