Assessing the Positives & Negatives From the Opening Month for Each Premier League Team

Oct 7, 2020, 2:15 PM GMT+1
Harry Maguire
Harry Maguire has not been a positive so far for Manchester United fans | Pool/Getty Images

Is there anything more earth-shattering than watching Manchester United concede six and Liverpool concede seven in the most exciting Premier League weekend in living memory, only to remember we have to wait another two weeks for the next decent kick-about?

International football may never hold up a candle to the domestic edition for many people, and the gap between the two games has never felt wider.

Drunk on goals, shocks and shellackings, the break in play couldn't have come at a worse time. That is, unless you're a Man Utd or Liverpool supporter. Perhaps a couple of weeks to forget the harrowing drama of Sunday evening will do you the world of good.

There are 18 other teams in this division, though, each with their own mini-narratives and hopes and dreams for the coming season. So, what can we take from the first four weeks of Premier League action, and what positives and negatives can supporters clutch at one month into the campaign?

90min takes a look at each Premier League side's start to the 2020/21 season. Buckle up, everyone.


Arsenal players feeling the love
Arsenal players feeling the love | Pool/Getty Images

League Position: 4th

Positives: Sitting in fourth place after four games. Gunnersaurus fights off extinction thanks to fellow mascot Mesut Ozil, and a legal Partey is going down at the Emirates. Positivity central.

Negatives: 3-1 loss to Liverpool was a weak showing. Lacking the ruthlessness to kill off games earlier.

Best Game So Far: Fulham 0-3 Arsenal

Overall Start: 8/10 - The time for top four is now, Gooners.

Aston Villa

Jack Grealish, Ross Barkley
Barkley and Grealish struck up a brilliant partnership in the Villa midfield against Liverpool | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

League Position: 2nd

Positives: Who saw this coming? Great summer business. Nine points from nine. Goals galore. Ollie Watkins the Liverpool destroyer. Dean Smith smiling. Enjoy it, Villans.

Negatives: Jack Grealish and Ross Barkley feels like a tabloid front page, naughty scandal waiting to happen.

Best Game So Far: No contest. Aston Villa 7 (SEVEN) - 2 Liverpool

Overall Start: 10/10 - "Whatever you've done until now, keep doing it."


Neal Maupay
Neal Maupay has been among the goals for Brighton this season | Jan Kruger/Getty Images

League Position: 15th

Positives: Played Man Utd and Chelsea off the park for long periods of their games.

Negatives: Switched off a couple of times immediately after scoring. Conceded 10 goals already.

Best Game So Far: Newcastle 0-3 Brighton

Overall Start: 5/10 - Promising signs, but results need to start coming.


Sean Dyche
Dyche is hamstrung by a lack of investment | Pool/Getty Images

League Position: 18th

Positives: Sean Dyche knows how to get a team out of a relegation battle.

Negatives: In a relegation battle. Terrible transfer window, severe lack of bodies and a drained manager.

Best Game So Far: Not a dig - Burnley 0-1 Southampton

Overall Start: 2/10 - The end could be nigh for the Clarets.


Kai Havertz
Things haven't been plain sailing for Kai Havertz at Chelsea | Visionhaus/Getty Images

League Position: 7th

Positives: Lots of new faces, talent and firepower just needing a bit of time to gel and get on the same page. Kepa Arrizabalaga is a distant nightmare.

Negatives: Is the right man in charge to mould them? Leaky defensive issues have resurfaced, and Frank Lampard is clearly unsure of his best XI. A lot to ponder.

Best Game So Far: Chelsea 4-0 Crystal Palace.

Overall Start: 6/10 - Lampard needs to solve this impossible conundrum with a plethora of attacking jewels. No pressure, Frank.

Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha
Palace's fortunes rest on the shoulders of this man | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

League Position: 12th

Positives: Roy Hodgson doing Roy Hodgson things. Organised, dangerous on the counter-attack. Efficient.

Negatives: Lack a serious Plan B if opponents snuff out the threat of Wilfried Zaha. Can get stale.

Best Game So Far: Manchester United 1-3 Crystal Palace

Overall Start: 6/10 - About par.


James Rodriguez
Say 'Queso' | Jan Kruger/Getty Images

League Position: 1st

Positives: Wow. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the new Gary Lineker and James Rodriguez is the greatest playmaker in football history.

Negatives: Defence - specifically, Jordan Pickford. Tried to replace him with the Swedish Jordan Pickford, AKA Robin Olsen. Good at World Cups, horrible for his club.

Best Game So Far: Everton 5-2 West Brom

Overall Start: 9/10 - Fix that defence and I smell a top-four challenge.


Scott Parker
Not going to plan | Stu Forster/Getty Images

League Position: 20th

Positives: We kind of expected this to happen...Is that a positive? Signed a couple of defenders who can't be worse than their current options.

Negatives: Four games, no points and three goals scored. Can't attack, can't defend. Yikes.

Best Game So Far: Sorry - Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 Fulham

Overall Start: 1/10 - Start of a long, long season. Not getting any better.

Leeds United

Marcelo Bielsa
Setting the world record for the longest squat | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

League Position: 8th

Positives: Breath of fresh air to the Premier League. Dynamic, fearless and brilliant. Went toe-to-toe with former and current champions and didn't bat an eyelid. Good transfer business, too.

Negatives: High energy, pressing game and commitment to attack has left some inevitable gaps at the back. Defence needs to tighten up a touch.

Best Game So Far: Leeds United 1-1 Man City

Overall Start: 8/10 - Tricky fixtures but come out the other side in the top half. Back them to end up there, too.

Leicester City

Jamie Vardy
There's only one Jamie Vardy | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

League Position: 3rd

Positives: Started the season as top-four contenders. Great transfer window and Jamie Vardy is on fire.

Negatives: Susceptibility to a shock loss has crept in again with West Ham hammering. Consistency needed.

Best Game So Far: Man City 2-5 Leicester

Overall Start: 8/10 - West Ham collapse has taken the shine off a great start. Bouncebackability needed.


Jurgen Klopp
"Perhaps if I splash water in my face, I'll wake up from this nightmare." | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

League Position: 5th

Positives: Refreshed the midfield in the transfer market with Thiago Alcantara. Looked back to their imperious best, before...

Negatives: Conceding seven (SEVEN) to Villa. Seven goals. A freak result, but the collapse and lack of effort towards the end should concern Jurgen Klopp.

Best Game So Far: Arsenal 1-3 Liverpool

Overall Start: 6/10 - Post-break reaction is key to Reds' title defence.

Manchester City

Dias has been signed to solve Man City's defensive woes
Dias has been signed to solve Man City's defensive woes | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

League Position: 14th

Positives: Addressed defensive issues with signings of Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias.

Negatives: Still can't defend, shipping a shedload of goals. No fit striker and their Twitter account was temporarily suspended. A bad month.

Best Game So Far: Wolves 1-3 Man City

Overall Start: 4/10 - Nowhere near the levels needed to win a league or Champions League. Gotta get that eye of the tiger back.

Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
"Am... Am I fired? I bet I'm fired." | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

League Position: 16th

Positives: Jeez, let's have a think. You know what, come back to me on this one, yeah?

Negatives: Harry Maguire is fouling his own players to let the other team score, and he's the captain. Defensive shambles, no identity, horrific failings in the transfer market. Hurtling from one disaster to another. Oh yeah, and they lost 6 (SIX) -1 to ex-coach Jose Mourinho and Spurs. Embarrassing.

Best Game So Far: Brighton 2-3 Man Utd

Overall Start: 2/10 - Time is running out for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his nostalgia experiment.

Newcastle United

Allan Saint-Maximin
He's got magic in his boots | Stu Forster/Getty Images

League Position: 9th

Positives: Allan Saint-Maximin is possibly the most exciting, talented (albeit unpredictable) winger in the league. Good business in the transfer window, too. Gaps plugged.

Negatives: Painfully abject in attack and bereft of creative input across the pitch (except ASM). Can't do it on his own.

Best Game So Far: West Ham 0-2 Newcastle

Overall Start: 6/10 - Not thrilling, but certainly effective.

Sheffield United

Pointing the way | OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

League Position: 19th

Positives: Signed Rhian Brewster to improve their luck in front of goal. Still got quality in the middle of the pitch in Sander Berge.

Negatives: Innovative style possibly been found out by opponents, and poor end of season form has continued into the new campaign. Second season syndrome kicking in?

Best Game So Far: Slim pickings again - Arsenal 2-1 Sheffield United

Overall Start: 1/10 - Need to pick up points - fast.


Danny Ings
Southampton will be turning to this man for the goals again | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

League Position: 11th

Positives: Danny Ings is back among the goals once again, and the arrival of Theo Walcott will give everyone a boost - off the pitch, anyway.

Negatives: Lost 'winnable' game to Crystal Palace on the opening day. Well-drilled, but can lack that cutting edge if Ings isn't on form.

Best Game So Far: Southampton 2-0 West Brom

Overall Start: 5/10 - Two wins, two defeats. Middle of the road.

Tottenham Hotspur

Jose Mourinho
Mourinho losing count of the scoreline against Man Utd | Clive Rose/Getty Images

League Position: 6th

Positives: Excellent recruitment in the transfer window. Gareth Bale waiting in the wings, and goals are starting to flow under Mourinho. Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son are on a wave of their own. Battered Man Utd in their own backyard. Mou rides again.

Negatives: Can fall into the trap of looking a little dull and out of ideas. Played a lot of games too, so fatigue could become a factor.

Best Game So Far: Man Utd 1-6 Spurs

Overall Start: 7/10 - A so-so beginning looks a whole lot prettier with a 6-1 shellacking stuck on the end. Time to build.

West Bromwich Albion

Matheus Pereira
Pereira has looked good for West Brom this season | Robin Jones/Getty Images

League Position: 17th

Positives: There are goals in this team. Matheus Pereira looks to have adapted well to the top flight.

Negatives: Worst defensive record in the league tells you all you need to know. May not have strengthened enough to survive. Also got a boiler as a mascot.

Best Game So Far: West Brom 3-3 Chelsea

Overall Start: 4/10 - Little to cheer, and celebrations could be in short supply at the Hawthorns.

West Ham United

West Ham have looked brilliant... since Moyes stopped turning up to games | IAN WALTON/Getty Images

League Position: 10th

Positives: Shocking start has quickly been forgotten following two great wins. A pair of clean sheets to boot. David Moyes is getting a tune out of this team - ironically since staying as far from the squad as possible. Food for thought.

Negatives: In disarray behind the scenes, unrest could easily disrupt performances on the pitch.

Best Game So Far: Leicester 0-3 West Ham

Overall Start: 7/10 - Hard not to be optimistic after the last two results, but caution is always needed with the Irons.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Raul Jimenez
Jimenez kicked off the season in style against Sheffield Utd | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

League Position: 13th

Positives: Kept hold of Ruben Neves and Raul Jimenez. New faces look exciting, if a little unsure of their new system and environment.

Negatives: Lost some top quality in Matt Doherty and Diogo Jota. Time will tell if they've replaced them adequately. Until then, it's all a bit disjointed. Losing 4-0 to West Ham is never ideal, either.

Best Game So Far: Sheffield Utd 0-2 Wolves

Overall Start: 5/10 - Results will come - a bit of patience is needed.