Some Premier League clubs have been shortlisted for showing signs of insignificant weakness in this season. Members of the Premier League “Big Six”- Arsenal, Chelsea, United are said to be in sinking sand.
United is the most obvious culprit for the collective drop of points. The club has taken just nine points from their first eight games. This is their lowest tally at this stage since 1989. With only nine goals scored, it’s crystal clear where their problems lie.
With their youngest ever starting XI in a Premier League season, the club has had the fifth-most shots in the League. However, the quality of these shots is the cause for concern.
According to expected goals, its only Newcastle United that has had worse shots on average than Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s young side outside of penalties.
It’s complicated for Tottenham
Tottenham was third in the Premier League table at the beginning of the season. Just five points behind the league leaders, Liverpool.
22 points from 20 games has put a strain on the relationship between the manager, players, and the club.
The difficulty for Tottenham is that it’s not one specific part of the team with the problem. With players not pressing like before, both defense and the attack so far are as bad as they have been at this stage in this season under Mauricio Pochettino.
Gunners under fire
The club is currently third in the table. It may seem strange to say Arsenal has had problems this season. But a goal difference of +2 suggests that all is not as comfortable as it seems. No team has sat as high in the table with so low a figure at this stage since Phil Brown’s Hull City did so with a goal difference of zero in 2008.
After allowing 10-12 shots per game in each of the club’s final 13 seasons under Arsene Wenger, they allowed just over 13 in their first campaign under Unai Emery last season.
This season, Arsenal is currently allowing a remarkable 17 shots per game.
Could Kepa do better in Chelsea?
Chelsea’s youngest ever starting XI in a Premier League season has been praised by many. With praises aside, the club has conceded an uncharacteristic 14 goals in its eight games so far with only Watford, Norwich and Southampton letting in more.
It’s only the second time in the Roman Abramovich era that the club has conceded double figures at this stage of the season.
Having saved just 48% of the shots this season, Kepa Arrizabalaga has the worst save percentage in the Premier League so far and takes some share of the responsibility for the club’s defensive woes.
Of the 25 goalkeepers to have played this season, only Southampton’s Angus Gunn has conceded more goals than expected than the Chelsea keeper.
Nonetheless, the blame cannot be entirely at his door.