Premier League half-term report playing cards: Who's passing and failing?


It was at all times going to be an odd Premier League season, straddled both aspect of the World Cup, and it’s proving to be precisely that. No one noticed Arsenal‘s title cost coming. Who would have believed that as issues stand, Fulham, Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford have extra mixed factors than Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Liverpool?

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At across the halfway level within the marketing campaign, Ian Darke supplies half-term report playing cards full with grades for all 20 golf equipment.

Arsenal | 1st in Premier League | A+

Gunners followers should really feel they’re about to get up at any second from a beautiful dream. Enjoying vibrant soccer and with the correct mix of silk and metal, Arsenal have misplaced solely as soon as all season within the league. They present no indicators of stopping, even with key striker Gabriel Jesus out till March. Martin Odegaard must be on the shortlist for participant of the season. Can they now move the take a look at of nerves that lies forward, beginning with the Manchester United conflict on Sunday?

Aston Villa | eleventh in Premier League | B-

4 wins out of six since Unai Emery took over from Steven Gerrard. The Spanish supervisor’s profession document suggests he was not given a good crack at Arsenal, and it is likely to be that he has the important thing to get a greater tune from a gifted group at Villa Park, particularly if he can tighten up a defence that doesn’t hold too many clear sheets. A cost into European rivalry must be the goal.

Brentford | eighth in Premier League | A-

Seven video games unbeaten, successful 4 of their previous 5, the exceptional Brentford story gathers tempo. Liverpool and Manchester United have felt their pressure. With the Bees’ wonderful supervisor Thomas Frank signing a brand new deal, might “the bus stop in Hounslow” turn out to be a European venue? One fear is a possible long-term ban for star man Ivan Toney, who’s going through allegations of inserting greater than 200 bets on soccer.

Brighton & Hove Albion | seventh in Premier League | A-

Underneath Roberto De Zerbi, the Seagulls are actually including targets to their enticing soccer. They’ve scored 12 occasions of their previous 4 video games. European soccer is a sensible risk for the primary time within the membership’s historical past. No marvel World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister is in no hurry to depart.

Gary O’Neil did an outstanding job when first stepping in as caretaker supervisor, a lot in order that he was given the job completely. The wheels have come off, although, with 9 defeats in ten video games, and the Cherries have failed to attain of their previous 5 matches whereas their defence is making approach too many errors. They should pull out of the nosedive, and quick.

Chelsea | tenth in Premier League | D+

Out of each home cups and approach off the tempo within the Premier League, this can be a huge take a look at of the persistence of Chelsea’s new proprietor Todd Boehly, who has spent £415 million on gamers in a matter of months. They’ve taken 9 of the previous 30 factors out there as new supervisor Graham Potter adapts to working at a giant membership with larger expectations amid a mounting damage record. The squad is in transition, and this is likely to be a uncommon fallow 12 months at Stamford Bridge, however Potter deserves time.

Crystal Palace | twelfth in Premier League | C+

Dropping their approach a bit of with 4 defeats in six video games, midtable appears to be the most effective Palace can obtain this season. There’s undoubtedly extra aptitude within the workforce as of late with Ebere Eze and Michael Olise supporting Wilfried Zaha, however the mix doesn’t look proper and scoring targets is an issue, particularly away from dwelling. They lack a bit of of the spine of Roy Hodgson’s groups.

Everton | nineteenth in Premier League | D

In severe hazard of dropping the top-flight standing they’ve held since 1954, the Toffees have taken only one level from their previous six video games, remarkably in a preventing 1-1 draw at Manchester Metropolis. A poisonous ambiance pervades Goodison Park, though the discontent is aimed largely at proprietor Farhad Moshiri fairly than supervisor Frank Lampard. Everton moved on from their greatest ahead in Richarlison this previous summer season, changing him with Neal Maupay, who has scored simply as soon as since his arrival.

Fulham | sixth in Premier League | A-

Marco Silva has carried out a exceptional job at Craven Cottage in not solely getting Fulham promoted, however now difficult for a top-six place. The midfield energy of Joao Palhinha has been a key addition whereas gamers like American veteran Tim Ream, Andreas Pereira and the shrewdly acquired Willian present nice backup to the targets of a sharper and leaner Aleksandar Mitrovic. Keeper Bernd Leno has been excellent, too. Fulham have modified divisions in every of the previous 5 years. They will not this time.

Leeds United | 14th in Premier League | C+

In all probability among the many greatest groups to observe in England, except you occur to assist them. Each sport looks as if a nervy, wild, curler coaster trip, with targets galore barring a stunning 0-0 at Newcastle United. Coach Jesse Marsch has gone public in saying he finds the expertise on the sideline robust. Leeds carry sufficient tempo and menace to consider they may keep up once more, particularly with breakout star Wilfried Gnonto, however they should cease the nasty behavior of conceding no less than twice per sport.

Leicester Metropolis | fifteenth in Premier League | D-

Appeared to be recovering from an terrible begin till the World Cup got here alongside. Since then, enjoying with out the injured James Maddison, the Foxes have misplaced all 4 league video games, scoring solely as soon as. Cash is tight and so additions shall be modest. This can be a Leicester aspect that includes an ageing Jamie Vardy unable to supply the targets he did so magnificently for years. They give the impression of being too good to go down, however now we have heard that earlier than.

Liverpool | ninth in Premier League | D+

A bitterly disappointing season, solely partly rescued by the truth that Jurgen Klopp’s workforce are nonetheless alive within the FA Cup and have a mouthwatering Champions League conflict with Actual Madrid forward. Evidently final season’s daring bid to win the quadruple has taken its toll on ranges of vitality and depth this season. Accidents to Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota haven’t helped, whereas Darwin Nunez has been hit or miss in entrance of objective, however most worrying has been a wide-open midfield providing no screening to a defence that’s leaking targets.

Manchester Metropolis | 2nd in Premier League | B+

Champions in 4 of the previous 5 seasons, there’s a feeling that successful the elusive Champions League crown would possibly turn out to be the principle focus this season. Metropolis have gone off the boil a bit of of late, being held at dwelling by Everton and dropping contentiously at Outdated Trafford. Erling Haaland is operating away with the Golden Boot race — think about what number of extra he might need scored if Metropolis had performed extra to his strengths. That is nonetheless a really sturdy squad that may pounce on any slip by Arsenal.

Manchester United | third in Premier League | B+

Foiled by Crystal Palace in midweek as they sought a tenth successive win, Erik ten Hag has nonetheless effected a revolution at United, who’re unrecognisable from final season’s shambolic outfit. His robust dealing with of Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford despatched messages that gamers should respect the shirt and the membership. Some kind of silverware seems very a lot on the playing cards this season, and they’re within the dialog for the Premier League crown if they will keep away from defeat at Arsenal on Sunday. The Europa League knockout-round tie in opposition to Barcelona subsequent month shall be one other acid take a look at of how far this workforce have come.

Newcastle United | 4th in Premier League | A-

Unbeaten in 14 Premier League video games since their solely defeat at Liverpool, these are heady days for the Toon. On the coronary heart of their bid for a Champions League place is a defence that has conceded solely twice previously 10 video games. Sven Botman, a £35m signing from Lille, has been significantly spectacular, even when the targets have dried up a bit of of late. In a 12 months when Liverpool and Chelsea have underperformed, Eddie Howe’s workforce can clinch a top-four place.

Appeared to have signed too many gamers and struggled badly within the autumn, however Steve Cooper has welded a fairly settled workforce now, with the artistic skills of Morgan Gibbs-White beginning to flourish and Brennan Johnson and Ryan Yates discovering their ft within the Premier League. From trying like relegation certainties earlier this season, they’ve gone six unbeaten at dwelling and will scramble clear.



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Southampton | twentieth in Premier League | C-

The Saints had been in freefall not way back and followers had been telling new supervisor Nathan Jones, “You don’t know what you’re doing,” however two cup wins and a victory at Everton impressed by James Ward-Prowse has modified the temper. That is nonetheless a flaky, erratic workforce, although, and it will likely be a close-run factor on the finish of the season.

Tottenham Hotspur | fifth in Premier League | B-

Relations between supervisor Antonio Conte and chairman Daniel Levy appear frosty. Do the gamers marvel if Conte is on his approach? If that’s the case, that may affect performances. Son Heung-min has misplaced his kind this season, and the workforce have trailed at half-time in 9 of 19 video games. Spurs badly have to get Rodrigo Bentancur match and firing in midfield, but regardless of the frustrations, the north Londoners are nonetheless preventing on three fronts and there’s a suspicion that there’s a higher workforce ready to get out.

West Ham have received extra video games within the obscure Europa Convention League than the Premier League, by which they’ve misplaced six of their previous seven. The strain is rising on supervisor David Moyes, who bought a tough trip from followers after the most recent defeat at Wolves. Jarrod Bowen seems a shadow of final season’s star, Gianluca Scamacca and Lucas Paqueta have not likely fired but, Tomas Soucek has misplaced his approach in midfield and everybody is aware of that is Declan Rice‘s remaining season in east London. The Hammers are in a relegation struggle.

Indicators of a pulse since Julen Lopetegui took over with seven factors out of twelve, however Wolves are nonetheless the bottom scorers within the division. The arrivals of Matheus Cunha and Pablo Sarabia would possibly effectively pep up their assault and enhance a reasonably dreadful away document. By no means under thirteenth since they had been promoted, they’d take seventeenth this time.

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