So seven games into this seasons Premier League, comment on each teams progress so far.
Manchester City – 18 points
The Pepolution is well under way, six straight victories at the start of the season (including a win at city rivals Manchester United) put them clear. However they were bested at White Hart Lane in their match last Sunday who showed their so called invincibility cloak can be breached. Some thinking for Guardiola to do but lets be honest whoever (if anyone) finishes above them they will very likely be winning the title this season. Still the team to beat.
Tottenham Hotspur – 17 points
The only unbeaten team left in the Premier League and are showing everybody that last seasons assault on the title was no flash in the pan. Their dominant performance against title favourites, Manchester City showed exactly what they are capable of on a going day. They will be there or thereabouts no doubt
Arsenal – 16 points
After their opening day home defeat to Liverpool 3-4 the fans were ready for a revolt against manager Arsene Wenger. Roll on seven weeks and a last gasp win at Burnley last Sunday, they now stand third ahead of their conquerors on the first weekend care of a better goal difference. A draw and then five wins in a row have shown Arsenal are not going away in the most competitive Premier League we have and will be seeing.
Liverpool – 16 points
Jurgen Klopp has been given everything he has asked for by the hierarchy at Anfield and boy is he repaying the faith. They are playing scintillating football, destroying teams on occasion, but more importantly they have shown fight in key games, especially their come from behind win last weekend against Swansea. A very promising start and a challenge for the title is on, especially as they have no European distractions this season.
Everton – 14 points
Ronald Koeman has worked wonders with a demoralised Toffees squad. Their transfer window was quiet but getting in Ashley Williams to replace John Stones and keeping Romelu Lukaku was decent enough business. Recent results have been disappointing, a loss at Bournemouth followed by a home draw against Crystal Palace after four straight league wins. They have a good base to progress and a top four place is well within their grasp, maybe even more, Leicester did it, Everton also have the quality to surprise.
Manchester United – 13 points
Under new manager, Jose Mourinho it has been an average start really. Three straight wins, followed by two losses in a row (one from arch city rivals in the derby). Their home draw against (at the time) bottom of the table Stoke was their season in a nutshell. A match they should have won easily but were pegged back by a lack of clinicality, leadership and organisation. Work for Jose to do and the players also need to step up, as top four is a minimum requirement let alone a title challenge – Liverpool and Chelsea away up next, we will learn a lot more after those matches.
Chelsea – 13 points
It seemed after three wins from their first three matches new manager, Antonio Conte had got to grips with the Premier League quicker than was expected. However back to back defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal brought some reality to their situation. A win at Hull in their last game has put them back on track a little but with no European distractions a title challenge and top 4 place is the minimum requirement for the Italian.
Crystal Palace – 11 points
A huge Scott Dann equaliser way back on the 27th August against Bournemouth made sure the Eagles didn’t start the season with a third straight defeat that would have seen them propping up the table after three matches. Since then form has picked up with 10 points gained and they look a completely different side from the one at the start of the season. The signing of Christian Benteke has given the team the focal point they were badly missing. The international break has come at the wrong time, but they can look forward to the resumption of the league with relish.
West Bromwich Albion – 9 points
West Brom have been, well West Brom. A solid if unspectacular side, but under the management of Tony Pulis a a crack unit who work hard for each other and can cut loose when necessary as West Ham will testify when they were blown away by the Baggies in a four goal blitz in mid September. The future of the club is in good hands with a takeover pre season to Chinese investors. Their target this season will be to consolidate and secure Premier League safety, they are doing a good job of it as we stand.
Southampton – 9 points
Ronald Koeman upped sticks to Everton and it has been a slow start to the season for the Saints under new manager, Claude Puel. The loss of Sadio Mane, Victor Wanyama, Graziano Pelle did not help the situation either, though it has to be said their early performances deserved better. In the last few weeks they have found their feet with seven points out of nine, they will be looking to continue in this vain once the league resumes in mid-October.
Watford – 8 points
After a more than adequate return to the Premier League last season with a 13th place finish, you would think the owners at the club would have been satisfied with the job Quique Sanchez Flores had done. However they were not and it was mutually agreed that the Spaniard and the club would part company. He has now been replaced by Walter Mazzarri who to be fair to him after a poor start (one point from the first nine) has galvanised his team to pick up seven from the next twelve available, including an outstanding performance over Manchester United in a 3-1 win. This recent form needs to continue or Mazzarri might not even make it to the end of the season.
Leicester City – 8 points
The CHAMPIONS have struggled this season, but to be fair after the amazing achievement of last year I think a bit of a bad run can be tolerated, they have already lost there times in the league this season, the same amount they lost in their whole title winning campaign. Defensively they have been poor conceding far too many goals from set pieces. To be fair they still have a lot of quality and will be fine this season for a mid-table finish. Nobody can take away what happened in the 2015-16 campaign and they should enjoy the ride especially away from home when they can sing as the champions and deservedly so.
AFC Bournemouth – 8 points
After a superb debut season in the Premier League, Bournemouth will be looking to make further progress. Eddie Howe, their outstanding manager was disappointed at the end of last season as his team seemed to go on holiday once safety was assured. With the return of a fully fit Callum Wilson after a cruciate injury and the acquisition of Jack Wilshere on loan, the Cherries mean business this campaign and want to progress. After a slow start with two defeats they have improved with only one loss in their last five matches (and that was to a rampant Manchester City). Plenty to build on, the future looks promising.
Burnley – 7 points
What you see with Burnley is what you get. A hard working solid team who give 100% all game every game which makes up for the disparity in quality from the teams they are facing. After an opening day defeat, victory over Liverpool in their second game seemingly ignited their season, however they have been a bit stop start since. Late (and I mean last gasp in stoppage time) home goals conceded against Hull and Arsenal have cost them three points, and even though they were unfortunate to not get what they deserved from those matches, this is something their manager Sean Dyche knows they will have to rectify sooner rather than later.
Hull City – 7 points
No permanent manager, hardly any players come the start of August most Hull fans were dreading the start of the season. However six points from the first nine available, including beating the champions, Leicester on the opening day gave them more than they could have dreamed of. A last gasp stoppage time equaliser at Burnley gave them seven points after four games, something fans could not have dreamt of in pre-season. Three straight defeats have followed, though admittedly against Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea, but they would not want the rot to set in and a positive start after the international break is needed
Middlesbrough – 6 points
After three matches they had 5 points (one win and two draws) a superb start for a promoted side. Unfortunately three back to back defeats followed which saw them plummet down the table. They did well to draw at West Ham in their last match before the international break. Aitor Karanka’s men were promoted on the back of a solid defence which has understandably struggled at a higher level. Their target this season is to finish out of the relegation zone by hook or by crook, it is early days so plenty of time for their Spanish manager to get the balance right.
Swansea City – 4 points
Francesco Guidolin did a decent job at the end of last season to secure Swansea’s position in the Premier League and this campaign got off to a good start with a 0-1 away win at newly promoted Burnley. Unfortunately what followed (five defeats and a draw) is what has done for the Italian as he has now been sacked. Admittedly performances in their last three matches at home to Manchester City (twice) and Liverpool, were improved, but were lost. Rumours had been rife regarding the ex Udinese manager losing his job for some weeks with the hierarchy at the club being pretty open about it. New man, Bob Bradley will need to hit the ground running very quickly or a long long long season at the bottom awaits.
West Ham United – 4 points
After a promising 7th place finish in the 2015-16 season and their new move to the London Olympic Stadium, this campaign was going to be the one to propel the Hammers into the upper echelons of the table, especially with a number of new signings being brought in. However it has gone horribly wrong as we stand. Just one win in seven games, a lack of team cohesion allied with schoolboy defending and they find themselves in the bottom three. Slaven Bilic needs to find a solution quickly as a relegation battle is not what was expected and no team is to big to go down, West Ham can vouch for that one.
Stoke City – 3 points
They had a poor end to last season and their hangover has carried over into this campaign. Their unusual propensity for conceding goals (16 conceded) actually put them bottom before they faced a trip to Old Trafford last Sunday where they had lost all eight of their Premier League clashes. However they completed a smash and grab and earned a 1-1 draw, which took them off bottom and gives something for manager, Mark Hughes to build on after the international break.
Sunderland – 2 points
They lost Sam Allardyce to England and brought in David Moyes in late July. Unfortunately it has made no difference and as has been the case in the last few seasons they cannot buy a win during the months of August and September. Another long season ahead for the Black Cats with seemingly survival the only goal.
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