The top end of the Premier League is becoming incredibly exciting as most teams have reached the halfway stage of the season. We have Arsenal in 1st place a huge 8 points clear of the champions Manchester City. It cannot be underestimated what a job Mikel Arteta and his team have done so far. This time last year his own fans were calling for his head and to be fair while sacking Arteta would have been unfair it was hard to see where the Gunners were going to go under his supervision. A deep cup run perhaps, but a league title? No way. And yet here we are 8 months later and Arsenal with just one defeat to their name are the favourites to wrap up their first league title in 19 years.
Manchester City won't give up the chase but their best players look tired. Erling Haaland will remain a danger of course and while he has gone a couple of games without scoring he still has 21 an incredible figure for this time of the season, but if he smashes goalscoring records and City end up empty handed will it be a season to remember for the Norwegian? Manchester United have been touted as possible title challengers after their fantastic run and they are only a point behind City, if we argue that City's title hopes aren't dashed then United who have just beaten Pep Guardiola's side have to be in with a shout. Newcastle are back to winning ways after back to back draws and like Arsenal they have only impressively lost one game, but early season form that had seen a succession of draws is written over their season so far and that is why they are 9 points behind the Gunners and have played a game more. Still if the Magpies were to finish in 4th place and qualify for the Champions League that would be a huge achievement for Eddie Howe's side.
You'd have to worry for Tottenham who keep losing games at home, their recent loss to Arsenal was their 4th defeat at home from their last five games and that is why the Londoners will not be winning a league title this season and they won't even be challenging. Their best hope is 4th place and that is slowly falling away. Tottenham are 5 points adrift of that target and have played a game more. And then there is Liverpool who have had chinks of hope and light but ultimately for their standards what a poor season it has been. The Reds are an incredible 19 points behind Arsenal and while they have had some key injuries you would still be expecting them to be picking up points in certain games. Their recent defeat against Brighton felt predictable and that says it all. Jurgen Klopp has history of having poor seasons after success and while a top 4 finish isn't quite over for them it's really hard to see it happening no matter what form they find in the second half of the season.
The excitement isn't just reserved for the top of the table though and next weekend we will be treated to a crunch match that quite frankly (pardon the pun coming up) you couldn't make up! Frank Lampard's Everton side will travel to London to face David Moyes West Ham team and both managers jobs are on the line. Both clubs have nearly identical records and sit in 19th and 18th place respectively with 15 points. Both have scored 15 goals, put that into perspective Harry Kane alone has 15 goals. It has been an incredibly poor season for both sides although perhaps West Ham have been poorer in the fact that they boast a superior team on paper. The Hammers have established internationals in Declan Rice and Lucas Paqueta and before this season they were heading in the right direction but after splashing the cash it has all gone south with just 4 wins so far.
Despite an awful season Everton were expected to bounce back at home and beat bottom of the table Southampton and even were leading in the game before the Saints managed to come back and win. Lampard has been in the job for almost a year and his win rate of just 27% does not make for good reading. One would expect the loser of West Ham and Everton to be sacked and if the game ends in a draw maybe more time will be afforded. There is also the possibility though that both clubs are counting down the transfer window days in order not to give the new manager a choice for buying players. It does seem like both clubs need a change though and perhaps with the right manager results can be achieved at least in the short term. Look at how that effect has helped the likes of Aston Villa and Wolves.
Next Premier League manager to leave: David Moyes 1.50, Frank Lampard 3.00, Jesse Marsch 10.00, Graham Potter 15.00, Antonio Conte 19.00