We’re on the midway mark for the 2022/23 Premier League season and most followers’ pre-season predictions have been torn up.
Arsenal have emerged because the league leaders as Mikel Arteta’s younger squad proceed to dazzle, Eddie Howe’s unbelievable turnaround at Newcastle has the Magpies sitting fairly in third whereas Fulham have caught the center finger up on the ‘yo-yo membership’ critics.
However, followers of Liverpool and Chelsea have needed to cop taunts from their rivals as they each wrestle in mid-table as West Ham, who went as deep because the semi-finals in final yr’s Europa League, are firmly entrenched in a struggle for survival.
Foxsports.com.au runs the rule over EVERY group’s season so far in our Premier League Mid-Season Report Card!
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Mid-season MVP: Bukayo Saka
Arsenal went prime of the Premier League after Matchweek Three and have by no means appeared like relinquishing it.
Despite having one of many youngest squads within the competitors, Mikel Arteta’s aspect have displayed a maturity past their years in terms of hanging on the proper moments and their defensive consciousness.
The summer time acquisition of Gabriel Jesus proved pivotal in boosting the Gunners’ attacking fortunes, however the fixed presence of Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka on the wings can’t be understated.
Even in Jesus’ absence via harm after the World Cup, Eddie Nketiah has seamlessly slotted in and it’s been enterprise as traditional for Arteta’s aspect.
It isn’t simply up prime the place Arsenal have shined both as their backline has shipped simply 14 objectives all season, chalking up 9 clear sheets.
The title is Arsenal’s to lose for the time being, with the one questions surrounding their title credentials centred round an absence of depth ought to a horror run of accidents hit.
But till that occurs, these on the Emirates will proceed to sing lengthy into the evening and dream of a primary Premier League title because the ‘Invincibles’ season in 2003/04.
Hard to present every other grade aside from full marks.
Mikel Arteta and Bukayo Saka are all smiles due to Arsenal’s type this season. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)Source: AFP
ASTON VILLA: B-
Mid-season MVP: Boubacar Kamara
Aston Villa went into the 2022/23 season with excessive hopes having signed Philippe Coutinho on a everlasting deal in addition to highly-rated midfielder Boubacar Kamara (free) and Diego Carlos ($45m).
However, it took simply 90 minutes for that optimism to evaporate with an opening-day defeat to Bournemouth.
One win (at house to Everton) of their subsequent 5 fixtures did Villa boss Steven Gerrard no favours because the Villa Park devoted’s discontent elevated in quantity with each passing recreation.
Villa would once more win as soon as (at house to Southampton) of their subsequent 5 earlier than Gerrard was sacked after a dismal 3-0 loss away to Fulham that left the Villans languishing in seventeenth and an more and more bleak outlook.
Former Arsenal boss and four-time Europa League winner Unai Emery was introduced as Gerrard’s alternative in an enormous coup for the Birmingham-based membership.
Emery hit the bottom operating and has 4 wins in his first six video games as Villa boss with the Claret and Blues sitting simply outdoors the highest half.
Kamara has been the intense spot within the group and appears set to grow to be an much more essential participant beneath Emery as Villa followers rejoice they lastly discovered a participant to fill the defensive midfield void that has plagued the membership for years.
With Emery to steer Villa via the second half of the season, their last grade could possibly be vastly improved.
Boubacar Kamara’s transfer to Villa on a free switch seems to be an absolute steal. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Mid-season MVP: Marcus Tavernier
It’s by no means a very good signal when your supervisor claims your group is “method wanting the place we should be” and “barely had any defenders” earlier than the Premier League season started.
But that’s precisely what got here out of Bournemouth supervisor Scott Parker’s mouth after the Cherries’ final pre-season pleasant.
He wasn’t fallacious both, given Bournemouth went into the Premier League season with a weaker squad than the one they obtained promoted from the Championship with.
Although Parker oversaw a shock opening day win over Aston Villa, issues shortly unravelled.
A 4-0 loss to Manchester City, a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal and a 9-0 shellacking away at Liverpool value Parker his job as Gary O’Neil stepped as much as the plate.
Despite working with the identical squad, O’Neil loved a six-game unbeaten run which propelled the membership as excessive as tenth within the desk on the finish of it.
But from that second on, it has been an alarming slide again down the desk.
The Cherries have misplaced eight of their final 9, with a 3-0 win over Everton the one vibrant spot through the nightmare run of type.
Summer arrival Marcus Tavernier has been one of many vibrant spots in an in any other case uninteresting Cherries aspect and can be key to serving to the group keep afloat within the prime flight.
Can Gary O’Neil mastermind a Bournemouth resurgence within the second half of the season? (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Mid-season MVP: Ivan Toney
Having seen Sheffield United endure second season syndrome and Leeds come perilously near relegation final yr, followers have been proper to be fearful over how Brentford would get on having completed thirteenth of their debut Premier League season.
Those fears have effectively and really been quashed this season as Thomas Frank’s aspect sit fairly in eighth spot having misplaced simply as soon as of their final 10 video games.
It’s not only a outstanding run, however a outstanding marketing campaign that has included a 4-0 win over Manchester United, a 3-1 win over Liverpool and a 2-1 away to Manchester City.
Central to Brentford’s beautiful season so far has been the type of striker Ivan Toney, who has 13 objectives to his title.
Summer arrival Ben Mee has additionally slotted seamlessly into the Bees’ backline, main the group in blocks per recreation (1.3) and second in interceptions.
Having proved they received’t succumb to second season syndrome, Brentford can begin to consider a possible European push within the second half of the season.
Ivan Toney has been scoring for enjoyable this season. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Mid-season MVP: Solly March
Brighton went into the season having misplaced $154 million price of expertise, with defensive midfielder Yves Bissouma and left again Marc Cucurella departing to Spurs and Chelsea respectively.
Yet the Seagulls didn’t look they’d missed their star duo in any respect as new arrival Pervis Estupinan slotted in at left again with ease whereas his fellow Ecuadorean Moises Caicedo stepped as much as fill the opening left by Bissouma.
Graham Potter oversaw a blistering begin to the season with 4 wins from their first six video games, together with a first-ever win at Old Trafford to beat Manchester United on the opening day.
However, it appeared solely a matter of time earlier than an even bigger membership got here calling for Potter and that’s precisely what occurred as Chelsea plucked the Englishman from the Amex to interchange Thomas Tuchel on September 8.
The Seagulls wanted simply 10 days to discover a alternative as former Sassuolo boss Roberto De Zerbi signed on.
Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi had a tricky begin to Premier League life however has since tailored (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)Source: AFP
The Italian had a tricky begin to Premier League life, failing to win any of his first 5 fixtures as large questions have been requested if he had the credentials to handle in England.
However, these critics have definitely decreased in quantity as De Zerbi lastly obtained his first league win as Brighton boss — no prizes for guessing which group and supervisor it was in opposition to.
Solly March has been pivotal in Brighton’s current run of 5 wins from their final seven and can proceed to be the go-to man because the season continues.
With 4 objectives and 4 assists to date, the midfielder seems a participant reborn beneath De Zerbi.
Should Brighton proceed their type, the massive focus will inevitably flip to their potential to deal with the stress of a push for Europe.
Solly March has loved a resurgence beneath new Seagulls boss Roberto De Zerbi. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Mid-season MVP: Mason Mount
New Chelsea proprietor Todd Boehly backed Thomas Tuchel in the summertime window to the tune of $411 million, as Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Carney Chukwuemeka, Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all arrived.
However, the German boss solely obtained six league video games to function along with his new gamers earlier than he obtained the boot after a shock Champions League loss to Dinamo Zagreb.
In got here Graham Potter from Brighton, swapping the seaside in Sussex for the streets of London.
Although Potter loved three wins from his first three league video games as Chelsea boss, the Blues have gone on to style victory simply twice of their subsequent ten video games.
Five of these video games have led to defeat, with all losses coming in opposition to groups within the prime seven.
For a group that spent so closely in the summertime so as to add to what’s already a star-studded group, it’s merely not adequate.
The new faces in the summertime have additionally confronted severe struggles to make their mark.
Fofana has performed simply two video games earlier than succumbing to harm, Aubameyang has one aim, Koulibaly has been caught out a number of occasions and Sterling hasn’t had the attacking returns anticipated from a $82 million participant.
With Chelsea sitting in tenth, Potter has an almighty job on his fingers to show the Blues’ season round as he seems to maintain the boo boys at bay.
Boehly stays dedicated to giving the embattled boss time in a departure from the hire-and-fire nature of former proprietor Roman Abramovich, however for followers who’ve come to anticipate success for a number of years, the clock is definitely ticking.
Will Potter get the prospect to show this group round? (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
CRYSTAL PALACE: C-
Mid-season MVP: Wilfried Zaha
Crystal Palace as soon as once more stays the Wilfried Zaha present in a wildly inconsistent season.
Patrick Vieira’s aspect have scored a joint third-fewest objectives this season with 17 objectives, with Zaha scoring six of these.
Just one win (3-1 over Aston Villa) of their opening seven video games was adopted by 4 wins from their subsequent six.
However, all of Palace’s wins this season have come in opposition to groups beneath them on the ladder.
And apart from losses to Nottingham Forest and Everton, the Eagles have solely tasted defeat in opposition to groups tenth or increased.
It’s an excessive amount of of a stretch to name them flat observe bullies, however their type represents a group that’s as center of the highway as you may get.
However, is it an excessive amount of to anticipate a group blessed with attacking expertise like Zaha, silky midfielder Eberechi Eze and difficult winger Michael Olise to provide extra objectives?
It’s extremely seemingly Palace can be protected this season, however how lengthy the Selhurst Park devoted are content material with this sort of type will definitely are available to focus because the marketing campaign goes on.
One storyline to look at with nice intrigue is Zaha’s future, given he’s out of contract in the summertime.
Should he stroll on the season’s finish, an terrible lot of the Eagles’ objectives go along with him.
Wilfried Zaha has been Palace’s talisman for a number of years. (Photo by Ben Stansall / AFP)Source: AFP
Mid-season MVP: James Tarkowski
Having survived by the pores and skin of their tooth final season, Everton followers have been hoping their blood stress can be a little bit calmer this marketing campaign.
Unfortunately for Toffees supporters, that has not been the case.
Frank Lampard was backed in the summertime window to herald $149 million price of expertise within the type of Dwight McNeil, Amadou Onana and James Tarkowski to call three.
But Lampard has struggled to seek out any type of profitable system, with simply three league wins all season lengthy — two of which have been in opposition to groups alongside them within the relegation zone.
It’s been a torrid run of outcomes for Everton, shedding eight out of their final 11 video games as they stare down the increasingly-real risk of life within the Championship.
The ambiance at Goodison Park has additionally taken an extremely poisonous flip, with the membership’s board members instructed to not attend their current fixture in opposition to Southampton out of concern for his or her security.
Lampard’s place is sort of untenable and will he keep within the scorching seat, Everton seem headed in just one course.
Hint: It’s not up.
Frank Lampard has Everton hurtling in the direction of relegation. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Mid-season MVP: Aleksandar Mitrovic
Many pundits, together with this journalist, had Fulham pencilled to yo-yo straight again all the way down to the Championship on the season’s finish.
What has transpired since has been nothing wanting mind-boggling.
Despite a comparatively daunting opening begin to the season, the Cottagers emerged unscathed as Marco Silva’s group picked up a number of spectacular wins.
A run of 4 straight wins after the World Cup break helped propel Fulham up the desk to sixth earlier than a slender defeat to Newcastle broke the streak.
Fulham’s seven defeats this yr have additionally come in opposition to groups within the prime 5, except for West Ham United, proving they’re no straightforward beats.
What’s price noting is that Fulham are significantly performing their xPTS (anticipated factors).
According to Understat, Fulham theoretically ought to be in twelfth with an xPTS of twenty-two, however they’re overperforming and have 31 factors on the board within the official desk.
Whether all of it evens out within the second half of the season stays to be seen, however so long as Fulham silence the yo-yo membership critics, it’s a profitable marketing campaign.
Central to the Cottagers’ sensational yr is the goalscoring exploits of Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The Serbian sharpshooter has 11 to his title, equalling his earlier greatest Premier League aim tally.
As lengthy as Mitrovic retains smashing them in for Fulham and goalkeeper Bernd Leno continues to shine between the sticks, there’s no restrict on simply how good a season Fulham might find yourself having.
Mitrovic is on observe for his highest Premier League goalscoring return. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
LEEDS UNITED: C-
Mid-season MVP: Rodrigo
Leeds coach Jesse Marsch would have been salivating at having a full pre-season to get his enjoying philosophy throughout to his squad, however shedding star duo Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha for a mixed $170 million dampened the temper.
But Leeds did splash the money to interchange them and improve elsewhere within the squad as Brenden Aaronson, Rasmus Kristensen, Marc Roca, Tyler Adams and Luis Sinisterra made the transfer to West Yorkshire.
A vibrant begin to the season, which included a shocking 3-0 win over Chelsea, had Leeds followers giddy with optimism at what might await them this season.
But it’s been a worrying decline since, as Marsch’s aspect went on to win simply two and lose 9 of their subsequent 15 fixtures.
Those victories got here on the again of some late heroics courtesy of 21-year-old Dutch sensation Crysencio Summerville, who scored an 89th-minute winner in opposition to Liverpool and an 84th-minute winner in opposition to Bournemouth.
Thankfully, there have been six groups worse than Leeds so far this season, however there’s solely so many occasions they will circle the drain.
One would hate to suppose the place the membership could possibly be with out the 10-goal contribution from Spanish striker Rodrigo in addition to Summerville’s last-gasp winners.
It’s definitely trying prefer it might a nervy stumble over the end line as soon as once more for Leeds.
Rodrigo has been Leeds’ go-to man all season lengthy. (Photo by Geoff Caddick / AFP)Source: AFP
LEICESTER CITY: D
Mid-season MVP: James Maddison
Leicester’s summer time dealings, or lack of, was an omen for the early season struggles they have been about to endure because the Foxes didn’t signal an outfield participant till deadline day within the type of centre-back Wout Faes.
Brendan Rodgers’ aspect drew their first recreation of the season in opposition to Brentford, however six straight losses — delivery a mixed 11 objectives to Brighton and Spurs — condemned Leicester to the underside of the desk.
Remarkably, the powers that be on the King Power Stadium opted to stay with Rodgers somewhat than twist and it paid off.
Leicester went on to win 5 of their subsequent eight fixtures, a run that coincided with glowing type from star midfielder James Maddison.
The England star scored 4 objectives and assisted three in these eight video games and launched him into Gareth Southgate’s squad for the World Cup.
However, the Foxes have as soon as once more returned to wrestle avenue after the World Cup break with 4 defeats in 4 video games, with Maddison lacking the entire matches with a knee harm.
If Rodgers isn’t backed in the summertime window, it could possibly be a really lengthy second half of the season.
Brendan Rodgers is beneath immense stress at Leicester. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Mid-season MVP: Mohamed Salah
Having come so near profitable the Premier League final season, Liverpool splashed $113 million to herald Darwin Nunez with the expectation he can be the one to push the Reds over the ultimate hurdle this season.
However, Liverpool’s 22/23 marketing campaign has been a horror present.
Draws in opposition to Fulham and Crystal Palace within the opening two video games had followers questioning how essential that might show to be within the title race, however such a thought appears laughable now.
A convincing 9-0 win over Bournemouth was adopted by a last-gasp win in opposition to Newcastle to carry the temper at Anfield, however a number of missed alternatives in opposition to groups Liverpool have grow to be accustomed to beating stated all of it in regards to the Reds’ title hopes.
Nunez has additionally badly struggled to stay as much as his price ticket, scoring simply 5 objectives in 13 video games, however he’s importantly getting possibilities to attain and has an xG of 9.48, per Understat.
Darwin Nunez hasn’t precisely hit the bottom operating. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
It’s simply now all the way down to the Uruguayan to begin burying his possibilities extra usually.
Another worrying signal about Liverpool’s poor type this season is their defensive frailty.
So far, the Reds have stored three clear sheets, with two of these coming in wins in opposition to groups within the backside 4, the opposite was in a powerful win over Manchester City.
But a comparability to final season, the place Klopp’s aspect chalked up 4 clear sheets of their first 5 video games, ought to ring alarm bells.
Once once more it has been the Mohamed Salah present for Liverpool in terms of scoring, with the Egyptian notching seven objectives and three assists.
However, with an xG of 10.01, he’s evidently underperforming.
Klopp has pointed the finger for his aspect’s droop squarely ultimately season’s overloaded schedule catching as much as his troops, so with half a season to go, it might get even worse.
But Liverpool have an excessive amount of particular person high quality to proceed sliding down the desk and drop factors … proper?
This season hasn’t fairly gone to plan for Jurgen Klopp. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)Source: AFP
MANCHESTER CITY: B+
Mid-season MVP: Erling Haaland
A summer time window which introduced in Kalvin Phillips and aim machine Erling Haaland gave loads of pundits each motive to pencil in Manchester City on the prime of the ladder.
Although Phillips has struggled with health points, Haaland has exploded.
The Norwegian scored three hat-tricks within the area of 5 video games, together with one in opposition to cross-town rivals Manchester United in a 6-3 win.
So far, Haaland has 21 objectives from simply 17 appearances, an unbelievable return that has him on observe to interrupt Alan Shearer’s report of 34 objectives in a Premier League season.
What’s much more outstanding is the very fact he’s changing at a loopy price, given he has an xG of 16 objectives.
But for all of Haaland’s scoring prowess, City haven’t been their traditional stingy selves on the again and it’s confirmed pricey as they sit eight factors behind league-leaders Arsenal.
Through 38 video games final season, City conceded solely 26 objectives.
At the midway mark, Guardiola’s aspect have shipped 18.
The defensive lapses and ensuing outcomes have precipitated City boss Pep Guardiola to all however concede the title race, which is undoubtedly a psychological ploy to throw Arsenal off.
But given the sheer depth and longstanding success of this group, plus a sure Norwegian up entrance who scores for enjoyable, there isn’t a method this group may be discounted simply but.
Erling Haaland has damaged all types of goalscoring data in his debut season. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)Source: AFP
MANCHESTER UNITED: A-
Mid-season MVP: Casemiro
New Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag barely had his toes beneath the desk earlier than he needed to take care of Cristiano Ronaldo wanting out in the summertime, providing the Dutchman a glimpse into the chaos awaiting him.
The critics took purpose on the membership for a few of their switch dealings too, particularly at Ten Hag reuniting himself with former Ajax duo Lisandro Martinez and Antony for a mixed $142.7 million.
Two early defeats in opposition to Brighton and Brentford didn’t assist proceedings in any respect because the collective world pointed and laughed in United’s course, particularly because the 4-0 loss to Brentford left the Red Devils on the foot of the ladder.
But after some brutal classes — together with one wherein Ten Hag himself ran the distinction in operating distances between Brentford and United — the Red Devils are again on observe.
United have received 12 out of their final 16 to fly up the ladder and sit in fourth spot, shedding solely two video games in that point.
Not even the trainwreck interview from Ronaldo was in a position to derail the group’s season as United terminated his contract and forged him free.
Cristiano Ronaldo was let go by Manchester United after his horrendous interview with Piers Morgan. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)Source: AFP
With the Portuguese celebrity’s poisonous presence eliminated, Ten Hag proved he isn’t afraid to place his foot down and let any of his gamers name the photographs, regardless of what number of trophies or Ballon d’Or’s they might have received.
A return to goalscoring type for Marcus Rashford has been key to United’s revival, with the Englishman scoring eight to date.
So too has been the management and drive of midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who has three objectives and three assists.
But one of many summer time signings, Casemiro, has arguably been probably the most pivotal to the Red Devils’ outstanding turnaround.
The Brazilian has been a rock on the base of the midfield as he clears up hazard and breaks down assaults with ease, mirrored with a team-leading common of three.1 tackles per recreation.
Casemiro has additionally proven his potential to offer the right move for his teammates as he has three assists to his title.
Just how lengthy United’s unbelievable run will proceed stays to be seen, however for the primary time in a very long time, the Old Trafford devoted can really feel hopeful in regards to the on-field way forward for the group.
Erik ten Hag has remodeled Manchester United and given hope again to the followers. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)Source: AFP
NEWCASTLE UNITED: A
Mid-season MVP: Kieran Trippier
At the midway mark final season, Newcastle have been sitting in nineteenth with only one win to their title.
Hit the fast-forward button to now and the distinction is evening and day.
The Magpies are sitting fairly in third and are one level off second place having misplaced simply as soon as this season and even that defeat resulted from a stoppage-time aim in opposition to Liverpool.
It is an unbelievable season unfolding at St. James’ Park with commentators operating out of superlatives to explain how dramatic of a metamorphosis Eddie Howe has overseen.
The summer time signings of Sven Botman and Nick Pope have been crucial to Newcastle holding the league’s greatest defensive report, having conceded a outstanding 11 objectives all season lengthy.
Pope particularly has been in super type given Newcastle have an xGA (anticipated objectives in opposition to) of 20.24, per Understat.
There’s been loads of contributors to the Toon’s beautiful stand up the ladder.
Eddie Howe has labored wonders for Newcastle. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)Source: AFP
Miguel Almiron is having fun with his new lease of life on the fitting wing and leads the group within the goalscoring division, with 9 to his title.
Joelinton’s rebranding as a central midfielder additionally goes from strength-to-strength and leads the group in common tackles per recreation, as Howe’s tactical tweak to shift the Brazilian into the center of the park continues to work wonders.
But there was no participant fairly pretty much as good as proper again Kieran Trippier.
The England star has 4 assists to his title and has the third-highest common within the group for interceptions per recreation at 1.3.
Although he’s primarily a defender, it’s Trippier’s attacking forays that make him so useful.
Trippier holds an xA determine of 0.36 which can not appear too excessive at first look, however while you issue within the league common is 0.07, it stands out like a sore thumb.
Whether Newcastle can preserve their push for European soccer stays to be seen, however for Howe’s first full season on the helm, it has been nothing wanting dreamland for the Toon Army.
Kieran Trippier has been one of many Premier League’s greatest. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)Source: AFP
NOTTINGHAM FOREST: B-
Mid-season MVP: Morgan Gibbs-White
Nottingham Forest had one of many craziest summer time switch home windows in soccer historical past, signing 18 — sure, 18 — gamers as they equipped for his or her first season within the Premier League since 1998/99.
But these signings weren’t simply made for the sake of it, even when an extravagant variety of new faces rocked as much as the City Ground, as Forest misplaced a bunch of gamers from their profitable Championship season because of contracts and mortgage offers expiring.
Forest boss Steve Cooper’s battle to seek out his greatest beginning lineup coincided with the group struggling on the park, because the Midlands outfit misplaced six of their first eight fixtures.
It would have been an extremely straightforward name for Forest proprietor Evangelos Marinakis to sack the person that introduced the membership again to the promised land, however he as an alternative handed Cooper a brand new contract on October 7 to point out his religion within the boss.
That religion has been repaid in spades.
Steve Cooper has impressed in his debut season as a Premier League supervisor for Nottingham Forest. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Since Cooper signed the extension, Forest have received 4 video games, drawn 4 and misplaced three in a serious distinction to their earlier type.
More importantly, Cooper seems to have discovered a system based mostly on defensive solidity first earlier than worrying in regards to the assault, as Forest have conceded greater than 2 objectives on two events: a 3-0 loss to fourth-placed Manchester United and a 5-0 defeat to league leaders Arsenal.
Even although Forest’s resurgence is all the way down to a newfound defensive resilience, report signing Morgan Gibbs-White has been a driving drive for the group’s assault.
The 22-year-old has two objectives and 4 assists to his title, however hell undoubtedly look to extend these numbers as he forges a robust bond with Brennan Johnson up entrance.
If Forest can keep up, it could be a really monumental accomplishment for Cooper given how most had written them off after their early season struggles.
And as soon as his new faces have a full season beneath their belts, who is aware of how far Cooper might take this group into the long run.
But earlier than they will even take into consideration that, they must survive this season.
Brennan Johnson (left) and Morgan Gibbs-White (proper) are spearheading Forest’s resurgence. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Mid-season MVP: James Ward-Prowse
Southampton went into the season with one in every of, if not the youngest squad within the Premier League.
That shouldn’t come as a lot of a shock given the typical age of their summer time signings checked out at 21.25.
Although Alan Hansen’s notorious declare that “you’ll be able to’t win something with children” was disproved by Manchester United within the 90s, the previous Liverpool defender has been confirmed proper by the Saints this season.
Southampton have been in respectable form via their first 5 video games due to wins over Leicester and Chelsea, however 4 consecutive defeats had Hassenhuttl scrambling for solutions because the membership hovered simply above the relegation zone.
Hassenhuttl managed to get issues briefly again on observe with a win in opposition to Bournemouth and attracts in opposition to West Ham and Arsenal, however two defeats later and the Austrian was kicked to the kerb.
In an extremely gutsy transfer, Luton Town boss Nathan Jones was plucked by the powers that be and transported to St. Mary’s.
Jones misplaced his first 4 league video games as Saints boss to a refrain of vocal disproval from followers, however lastly obtained his first win in opposition to fellow struggles Everton.
It introduced Twentieth-placed Southampton as much as 15 factors and a win might transfer them out of the underside three.
But historical past reveals solely three groups who have been backside of the Premier League on Christmas Day have survived since 1992, which doesn’t bode effectively for Jones and his troops.
If Southampton is to have any hope of surviving, it would seemingly be as a result of exploits of skipper James Ward-Prowse.
The midfielder has a wand of a proper boot that finds the again of the web from set items with absurd regularity.
James Ward-Prowse can be key to Southampton’s survival hopes. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: B-
Mid-season MVP: Harry Kane
As Antonio Conte settled in for his first pre-season with Spurs, expectations have been excessive about what the membership would seem like after being whipped into form by the Italian.
Summer signings Richarlison and Yves Bissouma have been introduced in on large cash, whereas Conte reunited with Ivan Perisic who he loved success with at Inter Milan.
With Heung-Min Son coming off the again of a golden boot-winning season, the whole lot appeared arrange completely for a strong marketing campaign.
But as we all know, soccer is a story of two halves and in Tottenham’s season to date, that’s precisely the way it has performed out.
The first ten video games, for probably the most half, have been robust on the outcomes entrance.
Seven wins and two attracts had Conte’s aspect sitting in third, though a defeat to bitter rivals Arsenal left a bitter style.
But within the subsequent 9 video games, issues have unravelled at a worrying price of knots.
Antonio Conte’s aspect began the season brightly however has since taken a flip for the more severe. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)Source: AFP
Spurs have received three, misplaced 5 and drawn one with one of many losses coming in opposition to Arsenal because the Gunners accomplished the league double over their enemies for the primary time since 2013/14.
What’s extra worrying is that 4 of the six defeats to date this season have taken place at Spurs’ shiny new house stadium which can’t be a very good omen going ahead.
There’s additionally the small challenge of Spurs’ horror seven-game league run the place they conceded the primary aim, leaving them with an uphill battle.
Granted, Conte has had a nightmare run of accidents to take care of, particularly in terms of his wingers.
But it doesn’t detract from a collection of insipid shows devoid of creativity as Son and Kane seem like two dance companions which have by no means carried out a routine of their lives.
Unsurprisingly Kane has been the pillar of hope as soon as once more for Spurs, scoring a whopping 15 objectives.
You’d hate to suppose how far off the tempo this group can be with out the English marksman.
Although Spurs are nonetheless effectively within the hunt for a Champions League berth, golf equipment lurking beneath them within the desk little doubt are sniffing a chance to leapfrog them.
Harry Kane continues to be Mr. Reliable for Spurs. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP)Source: AFP
WEST HAM UNITED: F
Mid-season MVP: Declan Rice
Although West Ham completed seventh within the league final season and loved a run to the Europa League semi-finals, the Hammers’ type within the again finish of the 2021/22 marketing campaign was trigger for concern, particularly the dearth of objectives.
West Ham boss David Moyes made a degree of addressing the difficulty in the summertime, signing striker Gianluca Scamacca, winger Maxwel Cornet and attacking midfielder Lucas Paqueta.
Did it enhance the Hammers’ ‘objectives for’ column?
Quite the alternative.
West Ham have scored the equal second-fewest objectives within the league (15), with Scamacca and Said Benrahma the membership’s prime scorers with a measly three objectives every.
A run of seven defeats of their final 9 has additionally sharpened the axe hovering above Moyes who’s in a determined struggle to avoid wasting his job, though the rumoured replacements of Nuno Espirito Santo and Rafa Benitez don’t precisely provide a lot inspiration.
The key to West Ham’s poor type this season could possibly be put all the way down to a number of components, however none extra so than their incapability to take their possibilities.
The Hammers’ xG this season sits at 23.79, virtually a nine-goal swing from their true determine of objectives scored.
Not solely that, however West Ham can’t rating from contained in the field.
Moyes’ aspect have taken 142 photographs within the penalty field and have an xG of 16.11 objectives, however have solely seven objectives to point out for his or her efforts.
Can Moyes resurrect the Hammers earlier than it’s too late?
David Moyes is preventing to avoid wasting his job. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Mid-season MVP: Ruben Neves
Like West Ham, Wolves appeared so as to add some attacking firepower to their ranks in the summertime and introduced in highly-rated midfielder Matheus Nunes, winger Goncalo Guedes in addition to Austrian ahead Sasa Kalajdzic on deadline day.
Three days after Kalajdzic signed, he tore his ACL on debut.
That’s nearly summed up Wolves’ season so far, as they known as on Diego Costa as an emergency addition in a weird signing announcement the place he had three precise wolves on a leash.
Wacky switch movies apart, it has been a dismal season for Wolves which noticed Bruno Lage sacked in October having watched his aspect rating three objectives from their opening 9 video games.
Caretaker boss Steve Davis then went on to win only one recreation from the seven video games he was in cost for, shedding 5 within the course of.
The goalscoring points for Wolves have additionally reared their ugly head as soon as once more as they’ve the unlucky honour of being the bottom scorers within the league with simply 12 objectives.
Even extra alarming is that 9 of these objectives have come courtesy of Ruben Neves and Daniel Podence, who’ve scored 4 and 5 respectively.
However, the astute appointment of former Spain and Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui is a shrewd one and he has already lifted the membership out of the relegation zone.
They’ll be simply protected this season, however Wolves actually did have us all within the first half.
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