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Spudsy2061
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The November Break: Premier League Grades
So in an article the Daily Mail did (found here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2828364/Chelsea-Southampton-West-Ham-sit-class-Liverpool-F-Sportsmail-s-half-term-report.html), each Premier League team was ranked 11 games into the season. Let's have our own go then. Here's the grades for the Premier League teams: 1st Place - Chelsea Daily Mail: A+ Me: A+ A class apart. Chelsea are already flying well high above the table, and can take comfort in the fact that City are dropping points, Arsenal & Liverpool are rubbish, & Manchester United are building. 2nd Place - Southampton Daily Mail: A+ Me: A+ I was borderline A+/A but the A would be harsh with them having won so many of their games. They are in for a real test soon though as through the end of January they are to face: Villa(A), City(H), Arsenal(A), Man Utd(H), Burnley(A), Everton(H), Palace(A), Chelsea(H), Arsenal(H), Man Utd(A), Newcastle(A), Swansea(A). 3rd Place - Manchester City Daily Mail: D+ Me: C D+ is harsh. The loss to West Ham was against a decent side but the draw to QPR was disappointing. Still, they are 3rd, albeit less impressive from last season and 8 points from Chelsea. 4th Place - West Ham United Daily Mail: A+ Me: A As a West Ham supporter, I must admit this has been an amazing season so far. The crazy thing is, United could be even higher up the table. They should have beat Spurs & Villa & drew Manchester United. Those 7 additional points would have put United on 25, equal with Southampton. It's all points dropped in the end however. 5th Place - Swansea City Daily Mail: A Me: A Swansea look impressive. Bony resigning is a big boost and Sigurdsson looks an amazing player. Swans fans have a great rest of the season ahead and could push for Europe as they just beat Arsenal & drew a tough, gritty Everton. 6th Place - Arsenal Daily Mail: D Me: C+ Arsenal are okay. Yes they lost to Swansea. Yes they are not title contenders this year, but they will make the Champions League and could finish 3rd while Spurs, Liverpool, and Man Utd stay off the pace. 7th Place - Manchester United Daily Mail: C- Me: B- Manchester United, while not faring much better than last season, have bought a few good player who will help get the squad back on track. They need a complete defensive re-work but if they sign a centre-back or two in the January window they will improve quickly. 8th Place - Newcastle United Daily Mail: B Me: B Newcastle fans will not be happy finishing 8th, but the team look to finally be clicking and Pardew was right, he does know what he is doing. They will continue to improve but their run of 6 wins (including the League Cup win over Man City) is impressive. 9th Place - Stoke City Daily Mail: B+ Me: B Stoke are playing well enough and the Britannia is still a tough place to go and play in. They will want to improve on last season but they could find it a difficult task. The win at City was the highlight of the season so far. 10th Place - Everton Daily Mail: C+ Me: C Everton need a tweak defensively and maybe a better midfield option but they're starting to finally come on as a strong team. They are notorious for starting slow but they will need to turn their draws into wins if they are to compete for European places again. 11th Place - Liverpool Daily Mail: F- Me: F There's no such thing as an F- Daily Mail. Still Liverpool are absolute rubbish. They will be buying a striker in the January window and get better but I don't think they'll return to the Champions League next season. 12th Place - Tottenham Daily Mail: D- Me: F Spurs are rubbish. I haven't seen them this bad in a long time and it's wonderful (from a West Ham stand point). They are defensively inept, Roberto Soldado is an offensive tragedy, and they lack any and all passion. Spurs are in for a horrid season and are still recovering from 100 million misspent. 13th Place - West Brom Daily Mail: B- Me: B- Solid West Brom. Much better than last season but still on course for mid-table. Berahino has proved to be a gem in the squad. 14th Place - Sunderland Daily Mail: D Me: C- D is a bit harsh as the Black Cats are 14th. They will be in the fight against relegation but should finish better than last season, if only by a place or two. 15th Place - Hull City Daily Mail: C- Me: D Hull were a strong mid-table side last season and their 2-2 draw against West Ham showed they still have some fight. The team's slide to 15th says otherwise however and their loss to Burnley only raises more questions. 16th Place - Aston Villa Daily Mail: D+ Me: D Villa are going to be fighting against relegation this season as well. They could lose some players in Vlaar and Delph, which would defensive hurt them even more but they need to only look at the fact that Sunderland, QPR, Burnley, & Leicester are struggling with them to give them the chance of staying up. 17th Place - Crystal Palace Daily Mail: C- Me: F Palace opened the season well but Warnock is a terrible fit at Palace. Pulis was a free flowing manager who helped expose the fluidity in the talent at Selhurst Park. Warnock is a harsh, almost bear like manager who usually barks at the referees and his own players. Palace are being mis-managed. The talent is there but underutilized. 18th Place - Leicester City Daily Mail: C Me: C Leicester started great, including a 5-3 win at home to Manchester United but are on a winless streak and are back into the relegation spots. I think they will be fine but for the time being they are in for a real test of character. 19th Place - QPR Daily Mail: C- Me: D Their draw against City was impressive but QPR have been awful in some games, particularly against Manchester United & West Ham. They look defensively lacking although Charlie Austin is starting to find the net. 20th Place - Burnley Daily Mail: C Me: D I don't expect Burnley to lift off the bottom anytime soon but they are putting up a fight and should do for most of the season. They don't have the money to spend and didn't in the summer. Another one and done season for the Clarets.
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