The summer fixtures have come to a close in the Premier League and after 3 weekends this is where things stand:
Let’s skip the pleasantries and dive right into the rankings, because much like you, I need to sit in front of my Twitter feed waiting for transfer news to roll in in anticipation of Thursday’s deadline.
1. Manchester United (✋🏻 no change)
For good reason since the opening game of the season and the dominance that followed, I have been begrudgingly praising the red half of Manchester. Three games, ten goals scored, zero conceded.
But, if there’s one thing to keep an eye on it would be when those goals are going into the back of the net. 7 of the 10 goals have come after the 70th minute, with only 2 coming in the first half and eventually you’d have to think late game heroics will dry up.
2. Manchester City (✋🏻 no change)
Raheem Sterling is becoming a cult hero for the other half of Manchester the past two weeks with a late equalizer against Everton two weekends ago and then a 97th minute winner against Bournemouth last weekend.
Similarly to their neighbors, I’d be concerned these fortunate late results won’t be a sustainable formula once the heart of the season commences.
3. Liverpool (👍🏻 3 spots)
xG map for Liverpool – Arsenal.
My eyes! The goggles, they do nothing! pic.twitter.com/F0hGNZa0ov
— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) August 27, 2017
Coutinho who? Sadio Mane and Emre Can are making Liverpool fans wonder if they may be better off putting $100m+ in their pockets instead of holding on to the Brazilian after how the team has carried on without him. But, then again let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, they were playing Arsenal after all.
4. Chelsea (👎🏻 1 spot)
Alvaro Morata became the first player to record a goal and an assist in their first two home games in the Premier League and has looked every bit worth his price tag since moving to Stamford Bridge.
Back to back crucial victories for the Blues heading into the international break before a stretch that that will see them play 7 games in 3 weeks during an absurd September schedule.
5. Tottenham (👎🏻 1 spot)
Wins at Wembley since August 2016:
Hull FC – 2
Tottenham Hotspur – 1 pic.twitter.com/BIwfMDMnas
— bet365 (@bet365) August 27, 2017
Wembley. Hoodoo. Possibly the dumbest narrative in sports, but it just sounds so, so sweet as Tottenham can’t seem to buy a win in their temporary home. This past weekend against Burnley it seemed they’d finally buck the trend before dreadful defending lead to a stoppage time equalizer and delicious fodder for British tabloids.
6. West Brom (👍🏻 2 spots)
Don’t look now, but West Brom may be positioning itself to be the surprise of the season.
7. Everton (👎🏻 2 spots)
It’s hard to blame Everton for the 2-0 result against Chelsea, considering they’d played 3 games in a week’s time and have no striking threat to speak of.
How do they expect to cope when their primary offensive weapon, Wayne Rooney, was described as “an old granny shagger” on the Men in Blazers pod? Well, here’s a possible idea…
Rumours that Atletico Madrid will sign Diego Costa for €45m and send him on loan to Everton for the season.
Surely this can't happen?😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/K6pkIcPXHH
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) August 28, 2017
8. Watford (👍🏻 1 spots)
9. Southampton (👍🏻 1 spots)
10. Huddersfield Town (👍🏻 2 spots)
That’s “Tied-For-Second” Huddersfield Town to you. Cue happy Patrick Stewart!
11. Arsenal (👎🏻 4 spots)
A team that was once revered for revolutionizing English football looks as stale and uninspired as any team in the league. Arsene Wenger seems to once and for all lost the locker room and if the exodus doesn’t come before this deadline, next summer it certainly will.
The wildest thing about this was the decision to bench Alexandre Lacazette before the £52.7m check that brought him to the Emirates barely had enough time to clear.
12. Stoke City (👍🏻 1 spot)
Your yearly reminder that Peter Crouch is still cashing those Premier League checks.
13. Swansea City (👍🏻 1 spot)
Swansea picked up their first win of the year (does Crystal Palace actually count as a win?) and Tammy Abraham netted his first top flight goal.
August 28th, 2017: Tammy Abraham will win the league’s Golden Boot award within 3 years.
14. Leicester City (👎🏻 3 spots)
15. Burnley (👍🏻 2 spots)
Chris Wood had a top notch debut scoring a beautiful goal on just a preposterous pass in stoppage time to ensure we got another two weeks of “Wembley Hoodoo” headlines as North London is falling apart more and more by the week.
16. Newcastle United (👍🏻 3 spots)
Newcastle scored their first goal and picked up their first win since returning to the Premier League and solidified West Ham as the league’s most embarrassing team in the process.
17. Brighton and Hove Albion (👍🏻 4 spots)
18. Bournemouth (✋🏻 no change)
Win, schmins, Charlie Davies netted the goal of the season. It’s just too bad the game ended in utter heartbreak for the Cherries when Raheem Sterling ripped their hearts out at the death.
19. Crystal Palace (👎🏻 3 spots)
The Frank de Boer experiment to bring beautiful football to Palace has backfired spectacularly in the opening weeks of the season and firmly (and unfairly) have him on the hot seat.
20. West Ham United (👎🏻 5 spots)
My god, West Ham United is putting together the worst display to open a season I can recall since well, Chelsea’s 15/16 title defense. Scheduling conflicts have forced them to play their first four competitive matches away from home and has left them beaten and weary headed into the international break with Slavin Bilic holding on for dear life to his job.
And there we have it. There’s no Premier League this weekend, so catch some World Cup Qualifiers and refresh “your favorite team” + “transfer news” nonstop until Thursday and we’ll be back with a recap of the league’s best business soon thereafter.