With two-thirds of the season already gone, here is a summary of the results, transfers, and performances of the 20 teams in this Barclays Premier League season so far:
With one of the biggest grounds in the UK and the high expectations of Gooner fans, Arsene Wenger has a hard job on his hands with satisfying the crowd. After finding themselves 6th at the end of January, a lot of Arsenal fans were a little disappointed. However, when challenging for high places in the Premier League, you need to be picking up points against your competitors, which they have unfortunately not been doing. Thus far, Arsenal have only racked up 7 of 21 points against last season’s top six. A positive thing for Wenger, though, is that the goal-scoring usually comes from informs Theo Walcott (18 goals), Oliver Giroud (14 goals), and Podolski (11 goals). This trio has scored at least one goal in each of their last 11 Premier League games.
At the start of the season, people would have predicted a mid-table finish for Villa. However, they have shocked the world by performing far below expectations, finding themselves in 19th place at the end of January. People thought Villa had ended this bad form after beating Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield, though, but this was just the start of an even worse form to come after losing to Chelsea with the score of 8-0. Since then, Villa have lost 4 of 6 games in the Premier League, excluding the shock defeat to Bradford in the league cup semi-finals. If Villa plan on rising in the Premier League table, their key player would be Christian Benteke, who is on a goal-scoring momentum this season after racking up 14 goals.
Chelsea started the season with Di Matteo as manager following a successful Champions League campaign. However, in November 2012, Rafa Benitez, who has been out of a job since being dismissed by Inter Milan in the 2011/2012 season, got hired by Chelsea as an interim manager. This season’s key player for Chelsea has to be Juan Mata. The Spanish International has impressed everyone this year and is a joint top goal-scorer with Torres, both of whom have 15 goals. Mata usually starts as an attacking midfielder along with players such as Hazard, Oscar, Lampard, and Moses. When they play with only one striker, a midfielder like Mata, who gives so much for their attacking efforts, is a must for Chelsea. Chelsea currently find themselves in 3rd on the Premier League table, 13 points behind Manchester United, but in a good place to guarantee Champions League qualification for next season. However, they are conceding far too many goals in the second half against teams that they should be beating, such as Reading, Southampton, and Newcastle.
Now, let’s take a look at the first Merseyside club who play at Goodison Park. After a competitive 2011/12 season and finishing in 7th place, an objective for Everton has been to qualify for an international competition. Everton are currently in 5th on the Premier League table, sitting 1 point behind 4th-placed Tottenham Hotspur. A key player for Everton this season has been Belgian international Marouane Fellaini. The midfielder, who can play anywhere from defensive midfield to center forward, is a top goal-scorer for Everton with 9 goals. However, Fellaini hasn’t scored a goal for 6 games, excluding his 3 match ban.
For a Fulham side who finished 9th last season, it has been a fairly average start as they ended January in 12th place. After signing Dimitar Berbatov in the summer, the striker has scored 8 times in a Fulham shirt. Meanwhile, Fulham have the 4th worst away form in the Barclays Premier League. This is where they are dropping crucial points in trying to regain the position they earned last season. But as long as they can keep Berbatov fit for scoring goals, Fulham should be finishing between 10th and 13th by the season’s end.
Written by PAFCBake