Allow me to quickly reflect on yesterday’s match against Burnley and the José Mourinho era at large: Things always feel like straw piling up on a camel’s back, and when it feels the next straw will break the back, someone clears a lot of the straw. It always starts piling up again, though.
Ramble of the Day
It’s the start of a new month, so it’s time to check in with our Premier League teams to see if they’re meeting expectations and embarrassing themselves. As it turns out, it varies from team to team.
As always, everyone gets a score out of 50 based on recent form. You can freshen up on the rules here — maybe you’re like me and last month feels like a really long time ago despite February being the shortest month.
- Manchester City, 46 points (no change)
- Chelsea, 37 points (+8 places)
- Arsenal, 37 points (+4 places)
- Leicester City, 33 points (no change)
- West Ham United, 33 points (-3 places)
- Manchester United, 32 points (no change)
- Leeds United, 32 points (+2 places)
- Fulham, 31 points (+12 places)
- Wolverhampton Wanderers, 31 points (+8 places)
- Aston Villa, 31 points (+2 places)
- Crystal Palace, 30 points (+5 places)
- Tottenham Hotspur, 27 points (+3 places)
- Everton, 26 points (-5 places)
- Burnley, 25 points (-9 places)
- Newcastle United, 25 points (+4 places)
- Southampton, 23 points (-5 places)
- West Bromwich Albion, 21 points (+1 place)
- Sheffield United, 18 points (-5 places)
- Brighton & Hove Albion, 18 points (-16 places)
- Liverpool, 16 points (-6 places)
This is quite a reflection of recent results! One thing you can see is that there are a lot of teams close together, and part of it is that a lot of teams had pretty similar records over the last five games. 11 teams had anywhere from six to nine points in their last 15, which for most means they’re near the mark of meeting expectations — not exceeding, not falling short by much.
As for Tottenham, the team didn’t do too poorly when it comes to recent form — in all competitors, it was nine out of 15. It’s just that the team is still underperforming for the most part. That’s mostly why the team’s ranking is low, but I think about the other two categories, entertainment value and being a good loser. They both only count for five points each so it won’t ever sink you, but this last stretch of matches was selectively entertaining and Mourinho was not a good loser during the bad patches. A little bit better on either, and you’re in contention with the next group up.
tl;dr: Another round of the Expectation-Embarrassment Index, where a lot of teams are performing similarly and Liverpool’s doing really badly.
Stay informed, read this: basketball player Jeremy Lin’s Facebook post on the racism faced by Asian Americans
Links of the Day
Former West Ham manager Glenn Roeder died aged 65.
Derby’s Colin Kazim-Richards was racially abused on social media after scoring against Nottingham Forest.
Former US 7-a-side player Seth Jahn was booted from US Soccer’s Athlete Council after making racist comments during the organizations annual general meeting.
Chinese Super League champions Jiangsu FC will cease operations.
Leicester’s Harvey Barnes, Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson, and Southampton’s Oriol Romeu picked up long term injuries.
Sacramento will no longer join MLS in 2023, with the ownership citing financial difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A longer read: Ed Aarons on Derby County’s financial difficulties after a takeover attempt failed and as debt piles up for The Guardian