Here we are, 5/19th of the way through the Premier League season, and things remain just as messy as they were before.
The title race continues to be as open as anybody can remember. Then you've got the relegation fight at the bottom of the table, where at least one spot looks up for grabs.
A couple of results could end up having a big impact at the top of the table. Arsenal's 2-0 win over Liverpool should hae silenced any doubters for the time being, while Newcastle's 2-0 win over Chelsea makes you wonder if Jose Mourinho has lost his touch.
Although you've got the league table, here's a more accurate depiction of each club's standing, based on performance and a look ahead. The club's ranking in the table and points total are in parentheses to the right.
1. Arsenal (1st; 25 pts)
This decision was pretty easy. With that comfortable 2-0 win against Liverpool, Arsenal went five points clear of both Chelsea and the Reds. Some may still use the wait-and-see approach with the Gunners, anticipating some sort of collapse. But Arsenal have been consistently the best side in England this year.
2. Chelsea (2nd; 20 pts)
Chelsea looked abject over the weekend in that loss to Newcastle. But you have to remember the Blues are still in second place. Between the talent on the pitch and the manager on the touchline, Chelsea remain the second-best team in the Premier League.
3. Manchester City (5th; 19 pts)
It's great Manchester City scored seven on Norwich. Everybody knows City have all the talent in the world and can win the league. However, they need to put together a string of good performances and not fall asleep against clubs such as Cardiff, Aston Villa and Stoke.
4. Tottenham Hotspur (4th; 20 pts)
Some might be looking down upon a draw against Everton, but it's a good result coming on the road. Tottenham Hotspur still have problems linking up the attack. You'd expect that to improve as the season goes on. In the meantime, Spurs remain a better top-four contender than either Liverpool or Manchester United.
5. Liverpool (3rd; 20 pts)
Liverpool had a great chance to solidify their standing as a top-four club but were disappointing against Arsenal on Saturday. Couple that with the loss to Southampton and draws against 10-man Newcastle and Swansea City, and you've got a Reds side that still needs to prove its worth.
6. Everton (7th; 19 pts)
The top four is a bridge too far for Everton, but they are worthy of being a top-six side and could even sneak into the top five by season's end. Roberto Martinez demonstrated his managerial acumen by keeping Wigan up for so long, but even his biggest supporters have to be surprised by a start like this.
7. Manchester United (8th; 17 pts)
Manchester United could end up finishing in the top four. But until they get there, don't overvalue the Red Devils. Their defense is still an issue and fixture congestion could cause a selection dilemma for David Moyes. Liverpool and Everton don't have European football, while Tottenham won't be afraid to sacrifice the Europa League if it means strengthening the domestic campaign.
8. Southampton (6th; 19 pts)
Maybe I'm not giving Southampton the credit they deserve. Few could have predicted them to be sixth in the table after 10 matches. The real test of the Saints' worth will be back-to-back road fixtures against Arsenal and Chelsea. Take points away from those matches, and Southampton are a real threat to snatch a European place.
9. Newcastle (9th; 14 pts)
The win over Chelsea was the perfect response from Newcastle following that Tyne-Wear derby defeat to Sunderland. Alan Pardew's men defended well against the Blues and counter-attacked to much success. Maybe Newcastle will play up to expectations this year.
10. West Brom (11th; 13 pts)
Steve Clarke is a fantastic manager. There's not a wealth of talent in this West Brom side, especially without Romelu Lukaku. But the Baggies are picking up the necessary results and playing the top sides tough. That's the way a club like West Brom finish in the top half.
11. Swansea City (13th; 11 pts)
Swansea are a hard club to read. Almost everything is the same from last season, but here they are, 13th in the table. Topping last year will be hard to do, especially as the club is taking the Europa League more seriously than other EPL clubs have in the past. But Michael Laudrup should be able to lead the Swans to a respectable finish.
12. Aston Villa (14th; 11 pts)
Weren't Aston Villa supposed to be better once Christian Benteke got back to full health? In his two starts since returning from injury, Villa have lost at home to Everton and drawn with West Ham. Maybe the club isn't destined for the top half after all.
13. Hull City (10th; 14 pts)
You should be wary of putting too much into Hull City's start. Don't forget that, back in the 2008/09 season, the Tigers were as high as third in the table after nine matches, then ended up just a point above Newcastle to avoid relegation.
This is not to say Hull are destined for a relegation fight once again. They've got a good side and Steve Bruce is a more composed manager than Phil Brown was. But don't expect them to stay in the top half. They needed a Carlos Cuellar own goal to beat nine-man Sunderland and that was coming off back-to-back losses.
14. Cardiff City (12th; 12 pts)
Cardiff City have the players to push for a top-half place. The Bluebirds have been careful not to purchase a ton of overpriced veterans who will only serve to be a massive burden on the wage bill. The scouts did a great job of targeting Kevin Theophile-Catherine and Gary Medel, while Fraizer Campbell can sometimes win you a match.
The problems stem from—coincidentally—the ownership of Vincent Tan. The Observer's Daniel Taylor wrote an article chronicling how Tan isn't afraid to meddle with the team in ways that only do more harm than good. Rarely is an owner like that a good thing, and Tan's handling of the club could end up putting Cardiff in a tailspin.
15. West Ham (15th; 10 pts)
The thing about Sam Allardyce is that you always know what you'll get with him as manager. West Ham aren't going to be pretty, but they'll get the job done. Things should be even better when Andy Carroll makes his season debut. The defense will remain as solid, but the attack will have that added threat up top.
16. Stoke City (17th; 9 pts)
Stoke City aren't going to get near the top half. They're also not going to fall into the relegation zone. More than likely, the Potters are right about where they'll finish. Defensively, they're good enough not to drop too many points, and their attack is good enough to score the necessary goals.
17. Fulham (16th; 10 pts)
I must admit. I was tempted to put Fulham in the relegation zone. You knew they were going to have problems defensively this season. With Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Bent up top, some of those issues should be mitigated. Only the duo hasn't performed up to expectations, scoring a paltry three goals in 17 combined appearances.
The Cottagers are looking at a tough stretch of matches as well. Among their next seven matches are home dates with Swansea, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Manchester City. There are also road fixtures with Liverpool and Everton.
18. Norwich City (18th; 8 pts)
That 7-0 loss to Manchester City makes the goal differential a bit deceiving. It doesn't change the fact that Norwich are in major trouble at the moment. With all the summer signings the club made, Norwich have scored just six goals in 10 matches.
19. Sunderland (19th; 4 pts)
Gus Poyet was an astute hiring. He's a good manager with experience in the lower leagues. That experience will prove critical when Sunderland are relegated this season. At least, that should be what the club has in mind. It will take an almost historic run from the Black Cats to see them avoid the drop.
20. Crystal Palace (20th; 3 pts)
Next to putting Arsenal at No. 1, this was the easiest decision to make. Crystal Palace remain without a manager, and even when one's appointed, it's difficult seeing him make much of a difference. The Eagles didn't seem to have any sort of plan in place following their promotion. They signed a bunch of players during the summer with no rhyme or reason, and—shockingly—it's led to poor performances on the pitch.
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