It’s the international break and there’s no Premier League football. We’re eight games in, so it’s a good time to look at how the teams are fairing using some fairly crude statistics – shot ratios.
Broadly speaking these are a better indicator of performance early on in a season than actual points. A team may have got lucky / unlucky in front of goal in the small number of games so far – shot numbers often can identify which teams’ form is built on sound foundations.
Note: teams above the trend line are generally doing better than their underlying numbers imply and those below are maybe a little unlucky.
- We can immediately see that the early season surprise success of Leicester and West Ham may be more early season luck than a sustainable challenge for the European places. Palace appearing in this group may be less expected. After some impressive signings in the summer they were many people’s dark horses this season.
- There’s not much vindication for Brendan Rodgers. Although his former Liverpool side look marginally better than their points total, it’s not by much.
- On the other hand Mourinho’s Chelsea do look a little unfortunate, although even shot ratio puts them only as high as 9th – probably not enough to calm down Mr. Abramovich. Strangely, lowly Bournemouth have an almost identical points / TSR record to the Premier League champions.
- Tim Sherwood might not be quite as bad as we all think (he probably is), while the North East pair look doomed to their fate.
- Pochettino and Spurs are bang on expectations. While Southampton look solid top half material again, despite losing more of their best players.
- Manchester City look good for their early lead, despite recent setbacks. Rumours of their demise may have been a touch exaggerated.
- Their Machester neighbours however are outperforming their numbers. This could well be an artifact of van Gaal’s rather different approach to the game – prioritising pressure and possession over creating chances.
Are City destined for the title? Can Sunderland and Newcastle turn it round? Who’s early season form has impressed you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.