We are at the half-point of the season for the English Premier League and its getting far more exciting. As I think about the remainder of the season, I thought of doing a grade-based evaluation of each team based on performance. So, without further ado, let’s get to it!
Grade A & B Teams.
GRADE A TEAMS:
It’s been so exciting to see these four teams grow in this league or improve. Now, before the silly biased talks begin, I will go out and defend my reasoning for Manchester United.
Manchester United had a horrid start to the season and their priorities for signings and team-goals were simply not clear. However, after signings like Edison Cavani came into this team, there is a new identity at Old Trafford and it’s been fascinating to watch since then. Never mind the fact of how much growth Bruno Fernandes has shown in this league thus far.
Now onto the others. For starters, Leicester has been undeniably amazing! Started the season with some injuries but Brendan Rogers has managed to prove that he is just that great of a manager. Standing now in 3rd place only trailing behind by 2 points to the leader, Manchester City. Leicester has a lot going for them and its an exciting time to be a Foxes fan.
Over onto West Ham! What a story David Moyes is cooking with West Ham. The likes of Benrahma, Declan Rice, Michail Antonio and Fabianski continue to just be amazing. The hammers have literally dropped the hammer and they are a dangerous team right now.
Lastly, Manchester City! My goodness what a team. Pep has managed to rally the troops after a very shaky start to the season and now, they are the leaders. Keep up the great work city.
GRADE B TEAMS:
Now onto the “B” teams. Honestly, hard to give these teams a B grade but even harder to give them an “A” grading. The league has been just that much more demanding!
Liverpool gets a B grade in my book and there’s only two reasons why. Starting with the fact that Liverpool has set a super high-bar for themselves and standing in 4th place while its not bad, it just isn’t the motto Liverpool set. Moreover, the fact that they have yet to recover from the injury that happened to Virgil Van Djik and haven’t signed a dependable center-back defender, just makes zero sense. Sorry, YNWA fans but I think many of you can agree.
Aston Villa, my goodness gracious what a story here as well! Much like West Ham, Villa came this season prepared with a statement. That statement being, DO NOT UNDER-MIND US! Grealish, Watkins, Barkley and a unbelievable keeper in Emiliano Martinez are the many reasons I am very pleased with what Aston Villa has mustered thus far. Great work!
Southampton and Everton. Did anyone expect Southampton to be this unreal this season? Personally quite the surprise and actually sensational to watch Theo Walcott do his thing with the Saints. Everton meanwhile, what a fun team to watch! While there are some struggles they have been dealing with, the Toffees are a great team to watch and kudos to Carlo Ancelotti who has managed to make this team out of nothing really.
GRADE C & D TEAMS
GRADE C TEAMS:
As I go deeper into this, I find it so difficult to give teams a grading but reality has to set in at some point.
Starting with Chelsea. A team that went out and spent close to $300 million in transfers and yet, had to sack their legendary player Frank Lampard from the coaching position due to a lack of performance. Honestly, not sure if a massive mistake here by Abramovich or a saving-grace type of move but come on! $300 Million and you still sitting at 8th place? Will have to see what Tuchel can do here.
Now onto Arsenal and Tottenham. Quite frankly, I am shocked at the level of trust and patience Arsenal’s ownership has for Mikel Arteta. Arsenal had a exciting transfer window and yet needed another transfer in January having acquired via loan, Martin Oodergard. Now the results really need to roll at full steam ahead, currently at 9th, Arsenal in my opinion should really be 5th or at worse 6th.
Then you look at a team like Tottenham. What the hell is Mourinho doing with this team and what is the vision? Alli Dele basically out of the picture in a team that actually needs him badly. Never mind their previous embarrassing loss to Liverpool and the injury that Harry Kane picked up now. Mo could be in trouble and makes me wonder if maybe Tottenham would’ve been just fine having kept Pocchetino.
Oh and then there’s a team like Leeds United. An inspirational run here by Marcelo Bielsa and company with a team that spent $100 Million to reinforce a team in dire need of doing so and yet, the team that most others get annoyed playing because they know they will be trouble. Leeds is currently in 12th place with no major key player signings and showing that they are here to stay, how can I not give them a C grading here.
GRADE D TEAMS:
Pains me to grade teams this way but as I mentioned earlier, reality does hit fast and at times it’s a painful one to take.
Starting with Wolves, this was a team I was so excited for last year then they managed to ruin their own momentum. Nuno Espirito Santo got rid of Diogo Jota and that has been a brutal pill to swallow. Then, put your eggs all in one basket in Fabio Silva and just am not sure that it is paying off, never mind the fact that since Raul Jimenez’ unfortunate injury, Wolves has zero identity. Diego Costa, Nuno needs you sir!
Burnley has been unfortunate honestly. A 6-4-9 record isn’t bad for this team but they can do far more and need to. Then you look at a team like Newcastle, remember the years when everyone feared them? Might be time for Newcastle’s Mike Ashley to sell the team to someone who will be willing to invest?
Crystal Palace, man do I feel their pain! Hodgson came to this team and just hasn’t been the most fortunate run for the guy. I hate to say this, but Crystal Palace needs to do away with Hodgson and bring in a new vision to a team that can certainly adapt given their youth. Never mind the fact that if Wilfried Zaha leaves, that puts Palace in a terrible situation.
Now onto Fulham. It’s difficult right now for any Fulham supporter out there, you have been thru some pains with this team and your loyalty has never wavered. Fulham has a heck of a goalie in Areola, a decent midfield in Loftus-Cheek and Carvalho but frankly, investing is a huge problem here and those glory days may just be furthering themselves away even more. I am sorry, I feel your pain. I hope Fulham stays in the league as they are a fun team in all honesty.
GRADE F TEAMS – SORRY!
Harsh, but not far from the truth by any means.
Sheffield, God only knows what happened here. A hell of a team last year and it burned to ashes this year. Likely team to be relegated and it is honestly a shame as the excitement was there for them this year.
Over to West Brom, a team with decent talent in their lineup and just not much left to desire here really. The best thing West Brom can do right now, is sell their young talented pieces, relegate and come back stronger than ever in my opinion. Create a strong financial base to then write a significant story upon your return.
Lastly, Brighton. It was difficult to decide to put you in this category but with so much talent in that lineup, I just wonder what has taken so long for ownership to shake things up and give this team the tools needed. Alzate, Lallana, Izquierdo, Danny Welbeck and Neal Maupay all in this team and yet facing possible relegation!
As you can see, lots of talented teams here and a difficult league to grade. Hope you enjoyed the grading and please share or leave a comment with your thoughts!
~Diego Galvis (@Diego_TheDJ On Twitter).