Arsenal top, Newcastle second and Liverpool bottom of Only Premier League Table That Matters!

Dave Tickner
Van Dijk praises Klopp

It’s the Premier League table that really counts – the one that compares this season’s results to last to give a reflection of where the division’s biggest improvers are and, more excitingly, see who’s making a right bollocks of it all.

We first did this after three games of the season because Liverpool were bottom and it is fun to have a Premier League table where Liverpool are bottom.

They are bottom again after that disastrous defeat to Nottingham Forest.


1. Arsenal +12
Crystal Palace (a): L3-0, W2-0
Leicester (h): W2-0, W4-2
Watford/Bournemouth (a): W3-2, W3-0
Burnley/Fulham (h): D0-0, W2-1
Aston Villa (h): W3-1, W2-1
Manchester United (a): L3-2, L3-1
Brentford (a): L2-0, W3-0
Tottenham (h): W3-1, W3-1
Liverpool (h): L2-0, W3-2
Leeds (a): W4-1, W1-0
Southampton (a): L1-0, D1-1

We speculated that it might take Arsenal a little while to hit top spot of this particular Premier League table because compared to others they had fewer points to ‘win’ and plenty to protect over the opening games. Turns out it didn’t take long at all. The cracking win over Liverpool was the third game Arsenal have won that they lost last season, and while the goalless draw at the Emirates against Burnley last season was no doubt very frustrating at the time, it did allow Arteta’s cheery band of inevitable runners-up to stick another two points on their total in this, the only Premier League table that really matters. Even the frustrating Southampton draw was an upgrade on last season.

READ MORE: Arsenal have been top of Premier League table seven times since Invincibles: What happened next?


2. Newcastle +8 
Norwich/Forest (h): D1-1, W2-0
Brighton (a): D1-1, D0-0
Manchester City (h): L4-0, D3-3
Wolves (a): L2-1, D1-1
Liverpool (a): L3-1, L2-1
Crystal Palace (h): W1-0, D0-0
Watford/Bournemouth (h): D1-1, D1-1
Burnley/Fulham (a): W2-1, W4-1
Brentford (h): D3-3, W5-1
Man United (a): L4-1, D0-0
Everton (h): W3-1, W1-0
Tottenham (a): L5-1, W2-1

Logically Newcastle should end up real high in this Premier League table and it’s so far, so good. Failing to improve on a home draw with Watford thanks to a home draw with Bournemouth feels costly, though, as does dropping a couple of points – in real and comparative terms – against Palace. Very unlucky not to gain a point (again, real and comparative) at Liverpool. But they are looking down the barrel of a seven-match unbeaten run since, with that win at Tottenham a genuine statement win that takes them into the top four of the actual Premier League table.


3. Tottenham +5
Southampton (h): L3-2, W4-1
Chelsea (a): L2-0, D2-2
Wolves (h): L2-0, W1-0
Norwich/Forest (a): W5-0, W2-0
West Ham (a): L1-0, D1-1
Burnley/Fulham (h): W1-0, W2-1
Leicester (h): W3-1, W6-2
Arsenal (a): L3-1, L3-1
Brighton (a): W2-0, W1-0
Everton (h): W 5-0, W2-0
Man United (a): L3-2, L2-0
Newcastle (h): W5-1, L2-1

It was a hell of a start but since then, there has been some joyless defending of points in which few people have had much fun at all. And then the nadir or Sunday came when last season’s convincing 5-1 win became a pretty depressing 2-1 home defeat to a Newcastle team that would very much like to take their place in the top four, thank you. Sometimes you have to check the Premier League table to remind yourself that Tottenham – at least on paper – are having a pretty good season.


4. Manchester United +3
Brighton (h): W2-0, L2-1
Brentford (a) W3-1, L4-0
Liverpool (h) L5-0, W2-1
Southampton (a): D0-0, W1-0
Leicester (a): L4-2, W1-0
Arsenal (h): W3-2, W3-1
Manchester City (a): L4-1, L6-3
Everton (a): L1-0, W2-1
Newcastle United (h): W4-1, D0-0
Tottenham (h): W3-2, W2-0
Chelsea (a): D1-1, D1-1

Dragging themselves firmly into positive numbers after making literally the worst possible start is impressive, and successfully defending points against Arsenal already looks like a thing few teams will manage this season. Drawing 0-0 with Newcastle United was sub-optimal but they have followed that by successfully defending four points in two Big Six clashes. It remains true that they might well need something close to a +10 improvement to upgrade Europa League football for the Champions League, but they are heading in the right direction.


5. Manchester City +2
West Ham (a): D2-2, W2-0
Watford/Bournemouth (h): W5-1, W4-0
Newcastle (a): W4-0, D3-3
Crystal Palace (h): L2-0, W4-2
Norwich/Forest (h): W5-0, W6-0
Aston Villa (a): W2-1, D1-1
Wolves (a): W5-1, W3-0
Manchester United (h): W4-1, W6-3
Southampton (h): D0-0, W4-0
Liverpool (a): D2-2, L1-0
Brighton (h): W3-0, W3-1

Yeah, that’s a worry for Arsenal and everyone else. City have already overturned one of their three defeats from last season, and given that their best possible final score on this table before the season began was +21, any kind of positive number is going to spell trouble for anyone trying to overturn the chunky gaps from last season. Arsenal’s ‘perfect’ score, for instance, would have been +45. Put another way, if Arsenal are to DO A LEICESTER, they need to be at least 24 points ahead of City on this Premier League table when this accursed season finally finishes. Which we suppose technically they’re actually well on course to do having taken out 42% that total in less than 30% of the season. Forget everything we just said about two sentences ago – Arsenal are winning the league!


6. Crystal Palace +2
Arsenal (h): W3-0, L2-0
Liverpool (a): L3-0, D1-1
Aston Villa (h): L2-1, W3-1
Manchester City (a): W2-0, L4-2
Brentford (h): D0-0, D1-1
Newcastle (a): L1-0, D0-0
Chelsea (h): L1-0, L2-1
Leeds (h): D0-0, W2-1
Leicester (a): L2-1, D0-0
Wolves (h): W2-0, W2-1
Everton (a): L3-2, L3-0

One of the teams for whom this Premier League table feels most relevant after a brutal run of fixtures – they had four of last season’s top five plus Newcastle in their first seven games – left a very good and fun Palace side in some strife in the real Premier League league table that, for all its cliched reputation for honesty, is very capable of spending the early weeks of the season chatting as much absolute shit as a government minister (little bit of politics). Not our Premier League table, though, where Palace are correctly considered to be doing absolutely fine. Which they are and will be.


7. Brentford +2
Leicester (a): L2-1, D2-2
Man United (h): L3-1, W4-0
Burnley/Fulham (a): L3-1, L3-2
Everton (h): W1-0, D1-1
Crystal Palace (a): D0-0, D1-1
Leeds (h): L2-1, W5-2
Arsenal (h): W2-0, L3-0
Watford/Bournemouth (a): W2-1, D0-0
Newcastle (a): D3-3, L5-1
Brighton (h): L1-0, W2-0
Chelsea (h): L 1-0, D0-0
Aston Villa (a): D1-1, L4-0

It’s been a topsy-turvy season with two of 12 results staying the season. Still, they won’t care as they laugh in the face of Second Season Syndrome. Though they really were absolute sh*t at Aston Villa.


8. Brighton +1
Man United (a): L2-0, W2-1
Newcastle (h): D1-1, D0-0
West Ham (a): D1-1, W2-0
Leeds (h): D0-0, W1-0
Burnley/Fulham (a): W2-1, L2-1
Leicester (h): W2-1, W5-2
Liverpool (a): D2-2, D3-3
Tottenham (h): L0-2, L0-1
Brentford (a): W1-0, L2-0
Norwich/Forest (h): D 0-0, D0-0
Manchester City (a): L3-0, L3-1

Were actually seven points to the good after the first four games of the season, but defeat at Fulham wiped out three points taken at Burnley on the opening day of last season. Protected four points off Leicester and Liverpool in fine style but couldn’t improve on a home defeat to Tottenham, who are now responsible for Brighton’s last two defeats at the Amex. That Brentford result was truly a kick in the knackers as Roberto De Zerbi still looks for a first win, while that 0-0 draw with Forest was Peak Brighton, and not in a good way. Still just about in credit.


9. Everton =
Chelsea (h): W1-0, L1-0
Aston Villa (a): L3-0, L2-1
Norwich/Forest (h) W2-0, D1-1
Brentford (a): L1-0, D1-1
Leeds (a): D2-2, D1-1
Liverpool (h): L4-1, D0-0
West Ham (h): L1-0, W1-0
Southampton (a): L2-0, W2-1
Manchester United (h): W1-0, L2-1
Tottenham (a): L5-0, L2-0
Newcastle (a): L3-1, L1-0
Crystal Palace (h): W3-2, W3-0

Given Everton ended up with just 39 points last season it’s reasonable to assume they would like and need to end the campaign doing a bit better than matching their 2021/22 totals, but they are at least back on course after going -5 through the first three games of the season. Lampard speaks on Everton


10. Leeds -1
Wolves (h): D1-1, W2-1
Southampton (a): L1-0, D2-2
Chelsea (h): L3-0, W3-0
Brighton (a): D0-0, L1-0
Everton (h): D2-2, D1-1
Brentford (a): W2-1, L5-2
Aston Villa (h): L3-0, D0-0
Crystal Palace (a): D0-0, L2-1
Arsenal (h): L4-1, L1-0
Leicester (a): L1-0, L2-0
Burnley/Fulham (h): W3-1, L3-2

Leeds were second when we first did this after taking seven points from three games that yielded only one point last season. They’ve managed only two actual points since then, which is bad, and that’s in games that Leeds got nine points in last season. The big question now is whether Jesse Marsch will be in charge to try and turn those frowns upside down again.


11. Chelsea -3
Everton (a): L1-0, W1-0
Tottenham (h): W2-0, D2-2
Leeds (a) W3-0, L3-0
Leicester (h): D1-1, W2-1
Southampton (a): W6-0, L2-1
West Ham (h): W1-0, W2-1
Crystal Palace (a): W1-0, W2-1
Wolves (h): D2-2, W3-0
Aston Villa (a): W3-1, W2-0
Brentford (a): W1-0, D0-0
Manchester United (h): D1-1, D1-1

Graham Potter is still unbeaten as Chelsea manager but that pair of draws was enough to push them out of the top four in the actual Premier League table and down into the bottom half of this one.


12. Southampton -6
Tottenham (a): W3-2, L4-1
Leeds (h): W1-0, D2-2
Leicester (a): L4-1, W2-1
Manchester United (h): D1-1, L1-0
Chelsea (h): L6-0, W2-1
Wolves (a): L3-1, L1-0
Aston Villa (a): L4-0, L1-0
Everton (h): W2-0, L2-1
Manchester City (a): D0-0, L4-0
West Ham (h): D0-0, D1-1
Watford/Bournemouth (a): W1-0, W1-0
Arsenal (h): W1-0, D1-1

The four-match losing run only cost them four points – and one of those was a draw at City that they can’t really have expected to defend after losing to drudgery-based trio Wolves, Villa and Everton – but it has entirely wiped out (and more) the most extreme of all this season’s current swings: turning a 6-0 defeat to Chelsea last season into a 2-1 victory this season. Of course, beating a team like Chelsea and then going on a four-match losing run is very on brand for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s low-key daft Southampton, and we kind of love them for it. Now three matches unbeaten but still losing ground on last season. That’s the Saints for you.


13. Aston Villa -7
Watford/Bournemouth (a): L3-2, L2-0
Everton (h): W3-0, W2-1
Crystal Palace (a): W2-1, L3-1
West Ham (h): L4-1, L1-0
Arsenal (a): L3-1, L2-1
Manchester City (h): L2-1, D1-1
Southampton (h): W4-0, W1-0
Leeds (a): W3-0, D0-0
Norwich/Forest (a): W2-0, D1-1
Chelsea (h): L3-1, L2-0
Burnley/Fulham (a): W3-1, L3-0
Brentford (h): D1-1, W4-0

Villa won 13 games last season. Six of those fixtures had already come round again in the first 11 games of this season, and this time Villa won only two of them, a record which ultimately cost Steven Gerrard his job. How he must have seethed as they then destroyed Brentford with the minimum of fuss. They can surely now only improve under massive upgrade Unai Emery.


14. West Ham -8
Manchester City (h): D2-2, L2-0
Norwich/Forest (a): W4-0, L1-0
Brighton (h): D1-1, L2-0
Aston Villa (a): W4-1, W1-0
Tottenham (h): W1-0, D1-1
Chelsea (a): L1-0, L2-1
Everton (a): W1-0, L1-0
Wolves (h): W1-0, W2-0
Burnley/Fulham (h): D1-1, W3-1
Southampton (a): D0-0, D1-1
Liverpool (a): L1-0, L1-0
Watford/Bournemouth (h): W1-0, W2-0

Now merrily matching last season’s results to lift themselves into the middle reaches of the actual Premier League table but the damage was done early doors with those defeats to Nottingham Forest and Everton.


15. Leicester -10
Brentford (h): W2-1, D2-2
Arsenal (a): L2-0, L4-2
Southampton (h): W4-1, L2-1
Chelsea (a): D1-1, L2-1
Manchester United (h): W4-2, L1-0
Brighton (a): L2-1, L5-2
Tottenham (a): L3-1, L6-2
Norwich/Forest (h): W3-0, W4-0
Watford/Bournemouth (a): W5-1, L2-1
Crystal Palace (h): W2-1, D0-0
Leeds United (h): W1-0, W2-0
Wolves (a): L2-1, W4-0

A recovery of sorts takes Leicester out of the relegation zone in the actual Premier League table and beyond Liverpool in this one. They have certainly benefited from playing two of the teams somehow worse than the Foxes this season, with that away win at Wolves being their first since May.


16. Wolves -10
Leeds (a): D1-1, L2-1
Burnley/Fulham (h): D0-0, D0-0
Tottenham (a): W2-0, L1-0
Newcastle (h): W2-1, D1-1
Watford/Bournemouth (a): W2-0, D0-0
Southampton (h): W3-1, W1-0
Manchester City (h): L5-1, L3-0
West Ham (a): L1-0, L2-0
Chelsea (a): D2-2, L3-0
Norwich/Nottingham Forest (h): D1-1, W1-0
Crystal Palace (a): L2-0, L2-1
Leicester City (h): W2-1, L4-0

It really is a sh*tshow and Wolves have now been publicly turned down by two managers who quite rightly see only relegation on the horizon. It will only take a total of around -15 in this Premier League table to seal their fate.


17. Liverpool -13
Burnley/Fulham (a): W1-0, D2-2
Crystal Palace (h): W3-0, D1-1
Manchester United (a): W5-0, L2-1
Watford/Bournemouth (h): W2-0, W9-0
Newcastle (h): W3-1, W2-1
Everton (a): W4-1, D0-0
Brighton (h): D2-2, D3-3
Arsenal (a): W2-0, L3-2
Manchester City (h): D2-2, W1-0
West Ham (h): W1-0, W-1-0
Norwich/Nottingham Forest (a): W3-0, L1-0

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. That’s a f*** of a lot of points lost, with that defeat at Nottingham Forest particularly harmful in this Premier League table as well as the other one that does not matter quite so much.