What Premier League Clubs have done so far after Match Day Eight?

The second international break provides an opportunity to assess.

The second international break provides an opportunity to assess clubs after eight matches of the Premier League campaign.

Here the PA news agency takes a look at who is top of the class and who has to pick up the slack.

  • Star pupils

Tottenham – It is safe to say Spurs are exceeding expectations quite considerably so far. Showing no adverse effects from the sale of Harry Kane, new manager Ange Postecoglou has got them playing in a way which maximises the squad’s combined strengths and they have yet to taste defeat.

Arsenal – A first league win over City in eight years was just the confidence boost the Gunners needed as they edged ahead of their title rivals in the table. And as the only other unbeaten side it looks like they are starting to build momentum for a sustained second stab at City.

Liverpool – There are still creases to iron out but the overhaul of their entire midfield has settled in quicker than expected and they seem to have rediscovered their resilience. They look much more of a threat going forward again but defensive lapses still a minor issue.

Aston Villa – Villa’s two defeats have come at Newcastle and Liverpool and while a 6-1 thumping of Brighton showed their potential when everything clicks consistency will be the key for their season.

  • Good but should do better

Manchester City – City get a category all of their own due to the exacting high standards they have set themselves. Defeat in a tight game at Arsenal was not beyond the realms of the imagination but losing at struggling Wolves, who had won just one of five matches at the time, was not in the script for a side of Pep Guardiola’s strength and quality.

  • Promising start

Brighton – Juggling a maiden European campaign was always going to be the difficulty and, despite defeats against West Ham and Villa, the Seagulls appear to be doing OK so far.

West Ham – Four wins in eight is more significant than their losses, against City and Liverpool, considering the criticism manager David Moyes’ football got last season and has provided a solid platform on which to build.

Crystal Palace – Fixtures have been kind to Palace and while they have not taken advantage of games against Forest, Fulham and Brentford, winning at Old Trafford was a bonus.

  • Better than expected

Wolves – After a late change of manager hopes were not particularly high but beating fellow strugglers Everton was massive and then winning at home to City a bonus which has put a positive slant on things.

  • In line with expectations

Fulham – The Cottagers would probably settle for another mid-table finish and while their only wins have come against teams in the bottom five that is all they will require to keep clear of trouble.

Forest – Steve Cooper is looking for gradual improvement and nine points represents that after they managed just four at the same stage last season. They have been beaten by more than goal only once as another indicator of better solidity.

Everton – Fans expected another relegation battle and it has been a struggle for results – particularly at home – but performances have been encouraging and with a squad almost fully fit there is room for greater optimism.

Luton – No one gave Luton a chance so four points from eight games – including a huge win at Goodison – almost represents something of a success.

  • Must do better

Manchester United – Were it not for Scott McTominay’s double papering over the cracks at the weekend United’s situation would be even worse. Injuries are a factor but four defeats in eight is a concern and it is unlikely a repeat of last season’s nine losses will result in a similar third-place finish.

Newcastle – Expectations are sky-high this season and, even taking into account their 8-0 hammering of Sheffield United, dropping points at Brighton and West Ham has left them off the pace. However, the signs are that things are moving in the right direction.

Chelsea – Mauricio Pochettino’s side are still something of a mixed bag but do appear to be finally generating some momementum courtesy of back-to-back wins over Fulham and Burnley. Tougher tests await, however, with Arsenal, Tottenham, City, Newcastle and Manchester United to come in their next six league matches.

Brentford – The absence of the suspended Ivan Toney is probably starting to show more in a winless six-match run. They have scored two goals in a game only twice – and both of those were draws – while just one clean sheet is hurting them at the other end.

  • Bottom of the class

Burnley – After running away with the Championship to book an immediate Premier League return, hopes were high that Vincent Kompany’s brand of football could be transferred to the top flight. However, the Clarets have looked far too exposed, conceding 20 goals already.

Bournemouth – The decision to replace last season’s saviour Gary O’Neil with Andoni Iraola to introduce a different style is already looking like a bad one. No victories, players who look unable to adapt to the new coach’s philosophy and the lowest scorers in the league are all problems.

Sheff Utd – One point from eight games is a terrible return and with Manchester United and Arsenal to come immediately after the international break things are looking bleak for the Blades, who have not kept a clean sheet, while Paul Heckingbottom has already faced speculation about his future.

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