The Premier League story so far…

The story of the Premier League after the first ten games.

Ten games into the season, the Premier League is beginning to take shape. Which teams have impressed the most so far? Which teams have fallen short of expectation?

Early Title Contenders.

Manchester City currently sit at the top of the premier league. Arsenal are second, with only goal difference separating the two teams, and with Manchester United closely on their heels, sitting in fourth place.
It is looking increasingly likely that the winners of the premier league will be one of these three teams. Pre-season favourites Chelsea are 11 points off top spot, a gap that is looking almost impossible to close, even at this early stage of the season.

Manchester City have played like a team capable of winning the title so far this season. They have everything required to become champions at the end of the campaign. It will be important to get key players back from injury quickly, if they’re to still be top of the table come the end of the season. Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Aguero are massively important to Cities chances.

Arsenal are in a good position after a shaky start in their first two home games. A team that has continued to improve over the past few years. They will need to do so again this year, if they’re to become champions for the first time in 12 seasons. The form of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will be vital to the Gunners chances. Although injuries to key players threaten to derail Arsenals chances of fighting for the title.

Manchester United have been inconsistent so far this season, but they sit just two points off of top spot. Defensively they look solid. If they are to challenge for the title, they will need to improve in attack. The arrival of Anthony Martial has somewhat eased their goalscoring worries. If some of their other attacking players can hit form, then they could pose a massive threat this season.

Manchester City are the favourites for the title. They have not only the ability in their squad, but also the experience of winning the Premier League. However, I wouldn’t rule out either Arsenal or Manchester United. Both are capable of challenging for the title this season. A lot will depend on keeping key players fit throughout the campaign.

Relegation Threat

The relegation zone is occupied by three teams who in recent years have failed to improve. Newcastle United, Sunderland and Aston Villa are all big clubs within the Premier League, but in recent seasons they have become stagnant. The three clubs who gained promotion will also face a battle to secure their premiership survival.

I like the way Bournemouth play. Although injuries to key players, combined with a leaky defence has made it a tough ask to avoid relegation. Norwich City are also conceding far too many goals. If this continues, they will find it difficult to stay up come the end of the season. Watford have performed the best so far out of the three promoted teams. They look organised, and also possess a threat up front.

Sunderland have been terrible this season. The appointment of Sam Allardyce as their new manager has given them fresh hope. It will be a tough job keeping them up, but I will be surprised if they’re relegated under big Sam. Newcastle are too inconsistent. They have some good players, but you never know what you are going to get from them. I expect them to stay up, but they will need to start winning games soon.

Aston Villa are in serious trouble. No manager, and a squad seriously lacking in quality. Whoever becomes their new manager will have to perform a minor miracle to keep them up.

Sunderland and Newcastle will both stay up. I don’t see how Aston Villa can survive this season, unless they spend big money in January, which I doubt they will do. Bournemouth and Norwich will also go down. Both teams concede too many goals, and I can’t see that changing. Watford look best placed to survive, out of the promoted teams. They look solid as a team, and in Quique Flores Sanchez, they have an experienced manager.

Surprise Packages

The big shock so far of this season has been the form of Chelsea. How can a team who won the Premier League just a few months ago sit 15th after ten games of this season. They’re going through a poor run, but I expect them to recover, and finish in the top four.

Three teams stand out as the surprise packages at the beginning of the season. West Ham United, Leicester City and Crystal Palace are all at the top of their game, and can be considered to be over-achieving.

At the beginning of the season, many people believed that Leicester would struggle. With a new manager in Claudio Ranieri, not much was expected of them. They have surprised everyone. They sit 5th in the table, and have produced some fantastic football. In Jamie Vardy they have the premier leagues top goalscorer. They have shown that they are far too good to go down this year.

West Ham fans demanded a new approach at the club. Attacking football was a must, and by appointing Slaven Bilic as their new manager, they have gotten just that. They are 3rd in the table, scoring the second highest amount of goals. In Dimitri Payet, they have one of the buys of the season. If they continue in this form, then a place in Europe come the end of the season is a realistic possibility.

Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion also sit in the top half of the table. Palace have great pace in their team, and are devastating on the counter attack, while West Brom are more organised, and tough to beat. It is good to see two British managers in Alan Pardew and Tony Pulis doing well in the Premier League, and occupying the higher positions in the league.

The Rest

Tottenham Hotspurs look decent again this season. They have a good manager in Mauricio Pochettino, and also some fantastic young players. Maybe they can mount a challenge for the top four? Everton and Swansea City also both play some good football. This season has seen both teams be inconsistent, they sit mid-table, but have the potential to challenge for European places.

A lot was expected of Stoke City at the start of the season. After a disappointing start, they are beginning to climb the table. As are Southampton, who currently sit in 8th place. I expect Ronald Koeman’s men to have another good year and challenge the top teams.

Liverpool have entered a new era under Jurgen Klopp. He has proven at Borussia Dortmund what a great manager he is. Can he do the same at Liverpool? He has a tough challenge, as he will be expected to challenge for the top four in his first year in charge.

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