As we’re now 10 games into the Premier League campaign, Sky Sports have collected their experts together to hand out grades for clubs so far.
It’s as expected at the top of the table with Liverpool and Man City once again locked in a title battle, but there are surprises up there too with the likes of Leicester City and Crystal Palace threatening to upset the usual top six.
New boys Sheffield United and Aston Villa appear to be in with a decent chance of avoiding an immediate return to the Championship, although Norwich City have been blighted by an injury nightmare which has seen them slip into the danger zone.
In turn, it’s as expected for the most part in terms of Sky Sports dishing out their grades, as they’ve given top marks to Liverpool with an A+ as they lead the way after 10 games with nine wins, no defeats and a six-point lead over reigning champions Man City.
City are arguably slightly fortunate to be given an A- as they have slipped up this season and look a little shaky in defence after injuries to key players, but ultimately they’re continuing to put the pressure on Liverpool at the top of the standings.
After a slow start, Chelsea are given a B+ and there is certainly reason for Frank Lampard to be pleased with his young guns as they’ve shown that they can step up and deliver having been shown faith by the Blues boss this year.
Consistency will arguably be their biggest challenge, but they’ve shown enough to suggest that they will be in the hunt for a top-four finish at least.
However, that’s where things start to go downhill as far as the traditional top six is concerned, with Arsenal, Man Utd and Tottenham all earning themselves a D grade as they have all been underwhelming and below their usual level.
Given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has decided to go with youth and target a long-term rebuild, perhaps United’s struggles were to be expected to an extent. In contrast, Arsenal would have hoped to have shown improvement, while Tottenham were perhaps expected to kick on from their Champions League final appearance last season.
Unfortunately for them, they’ve all been unable to make the level of progress required, and Ds are perhaps a fair reflection of their campaigns thus far.
Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go and plenty of time for all that to change, as ultimately while it’s a good thing to make a positive start to the season, it’s essentially all about where you finish that matters.
Unsurprisingly, Leicester get a top mark with an A after their blistering start, while hapless Watford and Southampton get a F and E respectively with few complaints perhaps to be had with the markings given out by Sky Sports.