It’s a pretty bleak period for Arsenal right now with manager Mikel Arteta facing intense pressure from fans after his side suffered a painful 1-0 home defeat to Burnley on Sunday, therein equalling their worst top-flight run at home since December 1959.
Whilst it is still relatively early days in this Premier League campaign, the Gunners have won only one of their previous eight league matches and as a result, find themselves down in 15th in the table, already ten points off the top four places.
Their early-season woes are enhanced by the fact that North London rivals Tottenham are enjoying a standout start to their campaign and currently find themselves joint-top of the Premier League table alongside Liverpool.
They’ll take on Jurgen Klopp’s men at Anfield on Wednesday night knowing that a victory would almost certainly legitimise their early-season tag as Premier League title contenders.
It’s been a remarkable turnaround for Spurs who looked a dejected outfit prior to the arrival of José Mourinho a little over 12 months ago. The impact he has had, particularly on their start to this season when compared to the last, is captured in the below.
Tottenham have picked up 11 more points this season than what they had at the same stage of the last campaign. Rivals Arsenal, on the other hand, are four points worse off than what they were at this stage last season.
Southampton are another side who have greatly improved their points return this season, accumulating 15 more than what they had at this stage last year. There have also been impressive boosts for each of West Ham, Everton, Aston Villa and even Manchester United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is another manager under immense pressure at Old Trafford, particularly as a result of his side’s exit from the Champions League last week. However, there are signs of progression for his United team who have accumulated seven more points than what they had at this stage of last season.
Most likely as a result injuries to key players, Liverpool haven’t been able to replicate their scintillating form from last season and are already nine points worse off this year. It’s a similar story for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and Frank Lampard’s Chelsea which perhaps indicates the impact this season’s congested schedule is having on the top sides.
But no team has a bigger negative points differential than Sheffield United so far with the Blades currently an eye-watering 16 points worse off so far this season.
It’ll likely seem but a distant memory for Chris Wilder’s men, but the Premier League’s current bottom-ranked side were actually as high as 5th at this stage last year.
Southampton will act as the inspiration for those sides struggling this year after their decision to stick with manager Ralph Hasenhüttl has seen them go from a precarious 19th in the table to inside the top four in a matter of 12 months.
Man City’s unremarkable start sees them down into 9th from 2nd last season, whilst the Gunners’ place in 15th looks that bit more painful for fans when considering that they were 6th at this stage of last season, and actually sat 8th at the time of Unai Emery’s dismissal at the end of November.
It’s neighbours Tottenham though who are the clear early season winners. Their extra 11 points this season means that they’ve gone from being 13th after 12 matches last season to impressive early leaders this season.