Too early to judge Premier League table

You can not win the league in the first 10 games, but you can certainly lose it.

Over the years, too much has been read into sides poor starts. Likewise sides have had lightening starts and been crowned champions before the first international break.

Experience shows us that you should really ignore the league table, probably until after that magic 10th game of the season.

Last season was a perfect illustration of this.

Manchester City won their first 6 games of the season. With Pep Guardiola in charge, the Premier League champions crown was already being put on the bald Spaniards head.

The lost their 7th game, before drawing their 8th and 9th. On matchday 11, Chelsea went top of the league, having been as low as 8th 6 games in (the day they lost 3-0 to The Arsenal). They would be the immovable object at the top of the league for the rest of the season.

Manchester City ended up finishing 3rd. 15 points behind the champions.

Already this season we have seen fans and the media ignore the 10 game rule when analysing the season.

Upon beating Arsenal 4-0, Liverpool were crowned Premier League champions by the media. Their fans started to crow about how this year, it was there year.

It was almost forgotten that on the opening day of the season, they drew 3-3 at Watford. A side who Manchester City stuck 6 past at the weekend.

Liverpool were champions. It was written.

A 5-0 defeat to Manchester City, and a poor performance in a 1-1 draw against Burnley has quickly bought them back to earth. The Premier League 2017/18 champions elect slipped from 2nd to 8th. They were being crowned champions when they were 2nd!

They are 5 points behind Manchester City, and just a single point ahead of Arsenal. That crisis ridden team.

At the same time as Liverpool were winning the league, Paul Pogba was being put forward as a guaranteed winner of the PFA Player of the Year. He is now out for at least 12 weeks with a hamstring injury. Well done son!

Since Liverpool’s demise, from champions to 8th in the space of 2 games, the talk now is that the 2 Manchester clubs are going to run away with it. That the title is certain to go to Manchester.

They have been getting excited over Manchester City’s start to the season. 4 wins a 1 draw in the opening 5 games. It is a run of results that is worse than last season. They won the first 6 games remember!

Likewise, Mourinho is leading the Jose Revolution at Manchester United. He always wins the league in his 2nd season. United are currently second on alphabetical order in the league. Both sides have a 3 point lead on Chelsea. 5 on Liverpool and Spurs, and 6 on Arsenal.

But we are just 5 games in, and looking at who each side has played, both Manchester clubs have had the easiest starts.

Manchester United have thus far played (and beaten) West Ham (H), Swansea (A), Leicester (H) and Everton (H). Their only dropped points coming away to Stoke.

It has not exactly been a hard start to the season for Man U. There fans would have been deeply disappointed if they had of dropped any points to the sides they beat. They have also played 3 home games against 2 away.

There comfortable start to the season continues with games at Southampton and then at home to Crystal Palace.

Manchester City have only had a marginally harder start to the season.

They have played Liverpool, but it was at home. There 3 away games were against Brighton, Bournemouth and Watford – 3 sides who are expected to fight relegation. Whilst they dropped points at home to Everton. A disaster of a result taking into account the Blue Noses horrendous start to the season (they have had an incredibly tough start though.)

Tottenham have also had a relatively easy start to the season. Newcastle (A), Burnley (H) and Swansea (H) are 3 games you would have expected them to pick up a full house. 9 points. Instead they won just 5.

Everton away is a toughie on paper, but they are struggling, whilst Chelsea at home could have gone either way. It is not as easy a start as the Manchester clubs, but dropping points at home to Burnley and Swansea will hit them hard as the season go’s on.

Liverpool and Chelsea’s start to the season has been near identical.

Both have played 3 home games and 2 away. Both played Arsenal at home. Both played another top side away (Man City v Liverpool, Spurs v Chelsea). The other games they played – Chelsea: Burnley (H), Everton (H), Leicester (A); Liverpool: Watford (A), Crystal Palace (H), Burnley (H), really are games you would have suspected them to have got 9 from 9.

Arsenal have easily had the hardest start to the season, and results went as expected. Losing away to Stoke City and Liverpool, and grabbing a draw against Chelsea. They beat Leicester and Bournemouth at home – expected victories.

Over the next 5 games, we will see the table take shape.

Arsenal have 5 comfortable fixtures. Any less than 15/15 will be an underachievement.

The Gunners had a tough start to the season, but it is way to early to crown someone as champions yet. Lets see the state of the league at the end of October before judging too much


14 thoughts on “Too early to judge Premier League table

  1. GoonerEris

    Just my kind of post. It’s laughable how we get carried away so early in the season, but FairPlay to those already handing out trophies in game week 5; some of the starts by the Manchester clubs have been convincing, though I note United’s habit of late flurries of goals against sides that have threatened to equalize. Something to note as the season progresses.

    One observation I have made is that of the top 7 from last season (and probably every team in the league), United are the only side who do not get to play a top 6 (okay, top 5, since they were 6th last season) side until week 8! For me, their season starts from Anfield.


  2. Charles Charlie Charles

    Newspapers have a lot of blank paper to fill up with small text so a large chunk of it is made up bullshit.

    Like when they award a test match victory when only one side has batted their first innings??

    You can’t tell much from what has gone on so far this season. We lose away to Stoke, get a good draw away against the Chavs and then the Chavs go away to Stoke and walk all over them. We get thrashed by the bin dippers, they were humiliated by City who could only manage a draw against the Toffees who themselves have been beaten by just about everybody including some team I’ve never even heard of from the deep south of the USA (or was it Italy?).

    It would take one almighty algorithm to make sense of the season so far.

    That’s the beauty of football though. According to the papers, we were supposed to be knocked out of The FA Cup at the semi final stage by an unbeatable Man City. We were supposed to be the bridesmaids at Chelseas double winning party back in May. Spurs were supposed to be raising the curtain on their Wembley season by playing a showcase match against the league champions.

    None of it turned out like the papers said it would turn out. It never has and it never will.

    Which begs the question, why are sports journos paid so much? If I kept getting things so wrong at work, I’d be unemployed.

    If I’d known at 18 that I could earn a mint for going to top football matches and making up a load of shit, I’d have got a degree in creative writing (whatever that is?) rather than slog my guts out in an apprenticeship for a “proper job”.


  3. kristoman

    the same people who doesn’t know jack according to you predicted no scratch that pointed that with this influx of world class manager into the league last season, it will damn near impossible for arsenal to achieve our usual target (top four). Guess what they do know jack afterall.


    1. GoonerEris

      Oga, they’ve been predicting that same tale for years and failed. The fact we came 5th was down to Liverpool failing to blink as we chased them down in the run-in. We had a poor run after that damaging loss to Bayern but started our “annual” recovery too late…


  4. Johnno

    Agree that it is far to early to be handing out trophies but I`d be surprised if the top 3 now dont end up finishing in those places. I reckon they`ll finish in the same order as well. GoonerEris makes a good point about Manure, they couldnt have asked for a better set of fixtures to start the season but you still have to win them and winning builds confidence and that will take you a long way in a poor league. Charles, do you like Horse racing? Hahaha, that`s sounds like how I read the form for the nags. Never quite works with the Football though. Seeing the results of the 2 Manc clubs and Chelsea over the weekend really hammers home how far we are behind them IMO. Clean sheets and routine wins, 2 of them at tricky away grounds. We havent got the ability to grind out results away from home on a consistent basis and I fear we will miss out on top 4 again this year, I already see it as a 3 team shootout for the final Champions League spot between us, Liverpool and the spuds. If someone offered me a Cup win and Champions League football I`d bite their fucking hands off. I`d take that right now.


  5. GoonerEris

    To be honest, johnno, we’ve all been surprised many times in the last few seasons, so I can bet the placing should will still surprise you again. It definitely, won’t end as it is now. Who thought Chelsea will place 10th the next season right after winning it? Recall the odds on Leicester winning the league? Not many places Spurs 2nd and United 6th last season.

    Things will unravel soon when those clubs have to start thinking about facing PSG, Barca, Bayern, Juve, Madrid, etc. in midweek, or after expending energy in one of the domestic cups in midweek, only to go away to a good side….


    1. Johnno

      Sure, there will be twists and turns and 1 or 2 clubs will go on a charge but the top 3 at the minute look the best balanced teams/squads to me. I said at the start of the season that the 2 manc clubs would fight it out and I think Conte will keep the chavs competitive. Manure left a lot of points behind last season (especially at home) in games they should have won and I cant see them repeating the same mistakes this year. Guardiola`s has had plenty of abuse by the wankers in the press but he`s top fucking class and he`ll get it right. The players will better understand how he wants them to play this year. We are miles behind IMO, not so much in terms of ability as we are good enough to beat anyone on our day (thats how we keep winning Cups) but in terms of mentality we look as weak as ever and you`ll never mount a sustained challenge like that. Weve already lost 2 games and I`ll be surprised if it isnt 8, 9 or even 10 come the end of the season. That is the type of team we are now, there`s a real yellow streak running right through it. I`ll be happy to be proved wrong though.


  6. Pingback: Whisper it quietly: Arsenal going along quite nicely – Three men and a football

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