Premier League: Early Season Grades

Photo Credit: FootballFancast.com

1. Liverpool: A+

Once Liverpool was at the top of the table, they didn’t look back. They have a perfect start to the campaign, winning every match. This has seen the gap grow between them and second place Manchester City by 8 points. They also haven’t conceded more than one goal in any game this season. Liverpool look poised to run away with the league this year.

2. Manchester City: B+

Manchester City have not been able to keep pace with Liverpool like they expected they would. They have dropped 3 points to Wolverhampton Wanderers (12th) and Norwich City (19th). These are supposed to be expected wins for the amount of talent they have. With this less than ideal start, however, they still sit in 2nd place.

3. Arsenal: B

To sit one point behind Manchester City is a positive mark for Arsenal. Their defense has been unreliable, but they’ve been able to overcome that with the playmakers offensively. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been a big boost for their sides, netting 7 goals so far.

4. Leicester City: A

Leicester City find themselves in a Champions League position eight games in, even with the loss of Harry Maguire. Their only losses, so far, have been to Manchester United and Liverpool. If the current struggles with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur continue, then qualifying for the Champions League could be a realistic goal.

5. Chelsea: B

Despite Chelsea’s shaky start to the season (five points from four games), they have managed to be level on points for 4th place (5th on goal differential). Without a proper transfer window for Frank Lampard, it is too early to determine what his side will look like moving forward. For now, Chelsea have their sights on Champions League qualification.

6. Crystal Palace: A

Some analysts had them pegged for a lower half finish this season, even in relegation spots. However, they have exceeded those expectations thus far as they sit in a Europa League spot. A key win early in the season against Man United has given this team a lift. Other than the Tottenham game, they haven’t conceded more than one goal in a single match.

7. Burnley: B+

Burnley has looked a respectable side thus far in the campaign. Their only losses have come from two of the top three in Arsenal and Liverpool. They currently sit in a position that would be considered an over achievement for them. Only time will tell if they can keep this up for 38 games.

8. West Ham United: B

This is about the position that West Ham United would be competing for. Of course, they have European football aspirations, but finishing in the top half of the table seems to be in line with where they are at. It wouldn’t be unheard of if they took the next step. We see top teams struggling early on, which opens the door for teams like West Ham.

9. Tottenham Hotspur: C-

Despite being in the top half of the table, Tottenham Hotspur will not be happy with their performances. Their most recent performance was especially shocking as they lost 3-0 in a match where they were heavy favorites. If this form continues for them, it could see Mauricio Pochettino’s time with Spurs come to an end.

10. AFC Bournemouth: B-

AFC Bournemouth have looked respectable. They have picked up wins where they should and hard earned draws. Even the losses (Arsenal, Leicester City, & Manchester City) are against more difficult opponents. This would more than likely be where Bournemouth would aim to finish.

11. Wolverhampton Wanderers: C

Wolverhampton Wanderers had a struggling start to the season, but have bounced back as of late. Most noteworthy was a 2-0 win over title challengers Manchester City. After two wins in a row they are going to try to ride that momentum and shrug off their slow start. They want to be competing for European football, not sitting in mid table.

12. Manchester United: D

This has been one of the worst starts for Manchester United in their history. They have a 25% win percentage, well below their standard. All three of their losses have come from “lesser” opponents. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been on a poor run of form since he was appointed manager. Some fans have been asking for him to be sacked and at this rate, it will happen.

13. Sheffield United: B+

As a newly promoted side sitting at 13th place is more than ideal. They would have been content by avoiding the drop zone, but here they are in a comfortable position. They will be disappointed that they shared points with Watford, but they have a good string of results for them early on and will continue to keep this form up.

14. Brighton: B-

Brighton have been far from perfect or even consistent, but they are over performing as it stands. Their most recent performance vs Spurs saw them win in that one, 3-0. This stands as their best result this season. It will be difficult for them, but they are going to aim to avoid relegation.

15. Aston Villa: C+

It’s been up and down so far this season for Aston Villa. The positive is they are coming off a dominant win, 5-1, vs Norwich City. That doesn’t instill too much confidence, especially when they are in 19th. Aston Villa are going to be content staying in the Premier League after earning promotion, but could be pushing to finish higher than some expect.

16. Newcastle United: C-

Newcastle United are going to be feeling great after their 1-0 win over Manchester United. However, the team still remains well in the bottom half of the table, despite that. Scoring seems to be the biggest problem for this side as they haven’t scored multiple goals in any game thus far. It may be early days, but this isn’t where Newcastle want to be.

17. Southampton: D+

Six out of Southampton’s eight matches have resulted in a loss for them this season. Their only win comes against newly promoted side, Sheffield United. If Southampton don’t start to turn their form around it could see this side them slip into a relegation spot.

18. Everton: D-

To say Everton’s start to the season is disappointing is an understatement. This is a team that isn’t far removed from European football aspirations. Their current position in the table is due to their four straight losses. Everton have many quality players, which makes this storyline even that much more shocking.

19. Norwich City: D+

It is hard to grade Norwich City so far. On one hand they were able to beat Manchester City and manage to do so by scoring three times. Other than that it has been quiet for Norwich. With them being a newly promoted side the struggles were inevitable, but they showed promise early on. Teemu Pukki has settled in the league well with 6 goals so far.

20. Watford: F

Watford has been the clear cut worst side so far this season. They’ve lost 50% of their games by two goals or more. They lost to Manchester City 8-0. 8-0. No matter the skill gap that is a rare result in the Premier League. They are still seeking their first win of the season and they may be waiting a long time.

Photo Credit: The National

Tyler McDonald

Tyler McDonald is a student at Ringling College of Art and Design, where he is studying and pursuing a degree in film. He began his writing career with The Athletes Hub.

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