As we approach the mid-stage of the Premier League season it is time for my colleague and I to start looking at which teams have been impressing us so far this season. We are of course far from the end of the season but it is always worth doing a quick progress report on who has launched the most impressive campaign after the first half of the season, without further ado then, let’s take a look.
It is not the fact that Manchester City are up near the top that is impressive here, what is impressive is the way that they are doing it. City smashed all kinds of records last year and won the league at a canter, the worrying thing for most teams is that this year they are once again on track to smash those records again. City are scintillating and the statistics for goals scored chances taken, chances created, passing and distance ran are far better than their figures last year, highly impressive.
It is becoming harder and harder for newly promoted teams to do anything other than survive in their first season, yet Wolves look to be bucking that trend. The most successful newly promoted teams are Nottingham Forest and Newcastle during the 90s, where they amassed an incredible 77 points seems highly improbable in this day and age, so it would be unfair to rank Wolves alongside them. What Nuno Espirtu Santo’s team is doing however is very good indeed and they currently sit 10th in the table with 22 points, they have beaten giants like Chelsea and drawn with Manchester City yet what is most impressive is the style in which they are doing it.
Everyone suggested that Liverpool would be title challengers this year yet being unbeaten after 16 games and now sitting on the top spot is something which few would honestly have predicted. What is almost more worrying is that Liverpool’s 3 attacking players of Salah, Firmino and Mane have so far failed to click in the way that they did last year, yet they have still managed to avoid a defeat. The Liverpool defence boasts the best record in the league having conceded just 6 goals and although they were thought too be the team that would run City closest, what we are seeing far outweighs what anybody thought in August.
Although Arsenal are sitting at 5th in the table they are certainly close enough to the Champions League places for them to believe that they can snatch a spot. All of this has been made possible thanks to a 17 game unbeaten run which they went on under new manager Unai Emery. Everyone thought that Emery would be the man to bring glory back to Arsenal but nobody thought that he would be able to turn the team around quite so quickly. Arsenal delivered a blow to Tottenham’s league chances with a 4-2 victory at the Emirates, sending a message to the league that the Gunners are very much back in business.