With all but two clubs having played 30 games of the Premier League season, prompted by a tweet from Nick Harris of Sporting Intelligence, we’ve taken a look at which sides have made the most and least progress year on year. West Ham have having a splendid old time…
Premier League clubs ranked on points improvement since same stage last season (30 games unless stated):
1) West Ham: +30%
Last season: 30 points; 16th position
This season: 39 points; 9th position
Difference: 9 points more, 7 places higher.
Now they are finally feeling more at home, West Ham’s improvement has been steady and somewhat under the radar, which is probably just how Manuel Pellegrini likes it. It means they can lose to Cardiff and everybody just shrugs. Though it can’t be forgotten just how much of a mess they were last season…
2) Arsenal: +25%
Last season: 48 points; 6th position
This season: 60 points; 4th position
Difference: 12 points more, 2 places higher.
3) Crystal Palace: +22.2%
Last season: 27 points; 18th position
This season: 33 points; 14th position
Difference: 6 points more, 4 places higher.
Palace may be four places better off than this time last term but they are three lower than their eventual finishing position last season. A year ago – from this point on – they lost only one of their last eight. There’s still work to do.
4) Liverpool: +21.7%
Last season: 60 points; 4th position
This season: 73 points; 2nd position
Difference: 13 points more, 2 places higher.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have done all they can to bridge the 25-point gap to Man City at the end of last season, making up over half the deficit themselves (and that’s why second place would not make them losers). The difference: Liverpool have scored the same number of goals (68) as they had notched by this time last term, but they have conceded half the number.
5) Watford: +19.4%
Last season: 36 points; 10th position
This season: 43 points; 8th position
Difference: 7 points more, 2 places higher.
If Watford can avoid the same late-season slide they suffered last year when they finished in 14th place, they are in with a shout of winning the coveted ‘Premier League minus six’ title.
6) Bournemouth: +12.1%
Last season: 33 points; 12th position
This season: 37 points; 12th position
Difference: 4 points more, same position.
Their performances may be infuriatingly inconsistent but the same cannot be said of Bournemouth’s standing in the Premier League.
7) Chelsea (29 games): +7.5%
Last season: 53 points; 5th position
This season: 57 points; 6th position
Difference: 4 points more, 1 place lower.
It seems typical of Chelsea’s latest manager’s luck that Sarriball has reaped four more points than Antonio Conte’s side last season, despite the transitional problems, yet his side sits one place lower than the team that was in flip-flops and sunglasses for much of the run-in last season.
8) Southampton: +7.1%
Last season: 28 points; 17th position
This season: 30 points; 16th position
Difference: 2 points more, 1 place higher.
It was at this point last season that Saints appointed Mark Hughes. There seems little chance that they would be faring quite so well had he not already been given the shove before Christmas.
Year-on-year performance changes in the Premier League pic.twitter.com/mCZdaMWXGM
— Nick Harris (@sportingintel) March 10, 2019
9) Newcastle: +6.3%
Last season: 32 points; 13th position
This season: 34 points; 13th position
Difference: 2 points more, same position.
Rafa, there, still doing what Rafa does. If he ends up at Spurs, or anywhere else next season, you just watch the Magpies plummet.
10) Tottenham: Same
Last season: 61 points; 3rd position
This season: 61 points; 3rd position
Difference: same points, same position.
Things you can be certain of: death, taxes, Tottenham. It would help if the players weren’t on their knees. Still, they should receive credit for maintaining the same pace while failing – or rather refusing – to spend any money.
11) Everton: Same
Last season: 37 points; 9th position
This season: 37 points; 11th position
Difference: same points, 2 places lower.
By this point last season, Sam Allardyce had already been in charge for three-and-a-half months. Has much really changed? Well, they weren’t in the bottom half this time last term…
12) Brighton (29 games): -2.9%
Last season: 34 points; 10th position
This season: 33 points; 15th position
Difference: 1 point fewer, 5 places lower.
Brighton have made 11 permanent signings since the end of last season. That’s gone well…
13) Leicester: -5%
Last season: 40 points; 8th position
This season: 38 points; 10th position
Difference: 2 points fewer, 2 places lower.
Leicester finished last season in ninth – between where they were this time last year and where they are now. No matter how much Brendan fancies his chances, the six-point gap to seventh seems too big to breach in the next eight games. Still, per aspera ad astra, Foxes…
14) Manchester City: -8.6%
Last season: 81 points; 1st position
This season: 74 points; 1st position
Difference: 7 points fewer, same position.
Pep Guardiola’s men have not been as rampant as they were last season and Liverpool have not been as generous at the back. It all makes for a bloody thrilling eight-game run-in.
15) Manchester United: -10.8%
Last season: 65 points; 2nd position
This season: 58 points; 5th position
Difference: 7 points fewer, 3 places lower.
Fewer points, lower in the table, but everything looks at lot rosier with Ole at the wheel.
16) Burnley: -30.2%
Last season: 43 points; 7th position
This season: 30 points; 17th position
Difference: 13 points fewer, 10 places lower.
Burnley have occupied every position in the bottom half of the table this season. Last season they fluctuated only between sixth and eighth post-September. A bad weekend leaves them perilously close to the bottom three.
17) Huddersfield: -54.8%
Last season: 31 points; 15th position
This season: 14 points; 20th position
Difference: 17 points fewer, 5 places lower.
That’s quite the slump. Ta-ra, Terriers.