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Where will the current top teams in the Premier League finish at the end of the season?

By Tony Attwood

It is all getting a bit desperate at the Independent this morning as it uses up a whole article on the fact that someone running Arsenal’s official Twitter account pressed the send  button three times over the same tweet – making out of that mistake (the sort of cock up that happens 20 times a minute when I’m publishing anything on Untold, as you have probably noticed) meant that Arsenal actually believed Ramsey had scored a hat trick.

Amazing what you can dream up when there is nothing much to write about.  (In another piece they write, “Aaron Ramsey must accept that Mesut Ozil is the creative focus for Arsenal and embrace a more defensive role, according to former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard.”)

Well, jolly good show, is all I can say.

But as we know, to the media everything only relates to now, preferably without any proof.

However Untold Arsenal can always take a broader perspective and so here it is  – a broader perspective going forward towards the rest of the season.

One way to work out what the Premier League table after 16 games tells us, is to look back at previous seasons and see what happened to the clubs in the upper part of the table after 16 games compared with their final placing in May.

In the tables below I have added two columns – the final position and the difference between where the clubs were after 16 games and where they ended up.

Last season after 16 matches the top two were already settled, but there were some big movements with West Ham and Newcastle slipping considerably and Arsenal moving up the table.

But these declines of seven and eight places were very unusual. If we look back to the previous year we see less movement.

2013/14 again had two of the top four already in their final places.  In fact this time all the top four stayed in the top four.

2012/13 had three of the top four already in their final places with one dropping out, and Arsenal rising up.

So what does this tell us about this top 12 this season?

I think the first thing to note is that across those three seasons we had one club drop 8 places, one drop 7 and one rise 5.  I suspect these are the outer limits of movement.  My guess is that at least three of the clubs in the top four will stay in the top four, and quite possibly two will stay in their current positions.

But we can’t say the top four positions are not fixed at this point – normally there will be changes although it is always possible that this will be a season completely apart from others.

However this is what we can say from these figures.  Each time a team from outside the top four after 16 games has entered the top four by the end of the season, they were only outside of the top four by two points.  Making up more than two points looks very, very difficult.

Which suggests the current top four will stay as the top four by the end of the season, although not necessarily in the order we see now.

On that basis it is time to add a few ideas as to where clubs will end up by the end of this season…

Another thing to notice is how similar this year’s table is after 16 compared with 2013/14 where the top team had 35 points then, and now.

Using these figures and the limits seen in previous seasons’ achievements, we end up with Arsenal winning the league, and Leicester coming fourth, with the third and fourth teams moving up a place.

The 5th club after 16 games in two of the three seasons looked at comes 5th once again.  I would also expect Liverpool! to rise two places to their customary sixth, claim it as a major triumph and try and sell more season tickets.

Incidentally, doing this bit of looking up, I noticed that in 2010 after 16 games we had Bolton in 6th – and today they are at the edge of going out of business.  Nothing is certain in football which is why 4th really is a trophy – a trophy for staying in business without outside investment.

The last time we had a real outsider in the top four after 16 games was 2009 when Aston Villa were fourth – they ended up sixth.   In 2008 Liverpool were top after 16 but ended up second.  In 2007 Portsmouth were in 5th but ended up 7th.

In 2006, Portsmouth again did ok abd were fourth and Reading sixth after 16, and ended up 9th and 8th respectively.  They are now in the fourth division.

In 2005 Bolton were 5th and ended up 8th.  In 2004 Everton were second and Middlesbrough 5th while Villa were 6th.  Everton ended up fourth, Middlesbrough seventh and Aston Villa 10th.  You’ll see the pattern.  The unexpected interlopers after 16 games always fall away as the season goes on.

We can say that we’ve not had an unexpected runaway success like Leicester in the Premier League this century, but still, given what history shows us, we might anticipate that Leicester, once they lose a game or two, will start to slip.

But let me leave you with one more.  The league table from 4 December 2000.

Leicester ended that season 13th.  Ipswich clung on to 5th   West Ham slipped to 15th, and the Tinies were 12th.

So if Leicester were to make it to the top four, they would break all the records from this century.   I’ll try and remember to revisit this foolhardy prediction as time goes by.

Anniversaries on this day

15 December 1890, Luton offer five shillings (25p) per week offered to 3 players leading to the suggestion they pre-dated Arsenal as the first southern professional club.

15 December 1934: Arsenal 8 Leicester 0.  This game included Drake’s 6th hat trick of the season.  Arsenal thus far had scored eight twice and seven once in 19 league games.  Hulme also got a hattrick, and Bastin the remaining two.

 

 

14 comments to Where will the current top teams in the Premier League finish at the end of the season?

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Leicester so far are playing well and in Vardy and Mahrez have two of the outstanding attackers of the season. Whilst fit and playing at their present level Leicester have the capability of scoring against any other Premier League team. They aren’t infallible though as we showed with the 5-2 win at their home earlier in the year. Sooner or later their two main strikers will a) loose form or b) be injured or c) be “Sussed” by their opponents. At which point they will start to drop points. Should they remain in a European qualifying position they will almost certainly struggle next year with the increased demand on players and staff.
    For now though their success should be applauded as a further sign that unlimited money doesn’t guarantee success.

  • Pete

    Andrew – agreed. Although Leicester don’t have Europe or the League Cup their squad isn’t huge and they are highly likely to pick up a few injuries. You are also right that players get “sussed”. Fairly often new arrivals are brilliant for the first half of the season (the 25% from Tony’s stats I guess) but, when they come up against defenders for the 2nd time the defenders have learnt and the early season stars become less effective.

    Otherwise, I don’t think we can project too far. From my point of view Arsenal are in a very strong position given that there are 7 players due to return before the end of the season. I just hope we have enough to get through the Xmas period intact and stay in the FA Cup before the squad becomes replenished ahead of the CL tie and the PL run-in…

  • JohnW

    Alternatively, Arsene buys one player who was meant to be bought in the Summer, possibly a central midfield player. He helps out a bit in the half season while at the same time he acclimatizes to the league. That would do us the world of good, although i wouldn’t be bothered at all if we don’t buy. Like what they did to Chelski last night, long may it continue.

  • Pete

    Saw this on Goonerholic:

    Citeh
    Andre Marriner
    Southampton
    Jon Moss
    Bournemouth
    Roger East
    Newcastle
    Anthony Taylor

  • Mandy Dodd

    Interesting analysis, but things looking encouraging for us, especially when you condider who we have had out, and the way non first choice players have had to adapt.
    Our squad have great ability, hopefully sufficient ability and depth to overcome most opponents in most instances, ad the PGMOL.
    Hopefully, now our Euro refs have been announced, some of these refs can just do their jobs, rather than trying to impress Riley at every opportunity

  • proudkev

    All very interesting.

    This is the alternative League table; a combination of last seasons final table with the current table.

    LEAGUE TABLE 15TH AUGUST 2014 TO 15TH DECEMBER 2015

    PL:54, W:34, D:09, L:11, F:115, A:55, GD:60, PTS:111 = Man City

    PL:54, W:32, D:12, L:10, F:100, A:49, GD:51, PTS:108 = Arsenal

    PL:54, W:30, D:12, L:12, F:91, A:58, GD:33, PTS:102 = Chelsea

    PL:54, W:28, D:15, L:11, F:83, A:49, GD:34, PTS:99 = Man Utd

    PL:54, W:25, D:15, L:14, F:84, A:67, GD:17,PTS:90 = Spurs

    PL:54, W:24, D:14, L:16, F:72, A:67, GD:5, PTS:86 = Liverpool

    PL:54, W:21, D:13, L:20, F:80, A:77, GD:3, PTS:76 = Leicester

    What this shows is that NO team has conceded fewer Premier League goals than us (49) since the start of last season. But the media and other ignorant folk claim we cannot defend.

    It also shows us that NO team has lost fewer games than us (10) in that period.

    Only Man City have achieved more points over that 54 game period, 3 more to be precise.

    What it does show is that we have been extremely consistent despite the many injuries we have endured – so perhaps the squad is better than people like to claim. I think so.

  • Gord

    Thanks for the reminder Pete. Most of the referee appointments to Jan 3 are out. So, this is longer than usual.

    Saturday 19 December 2015
    K.O. _ _MATCHES _ _ _ _ REFEREE _ _ ASST. REF. 1 _ _ASST. REF. 2 _ _4TH OFFICIAL
    15:00 Chelsea – Sunderland _ _ Roger East _ _ _ E Smart _ _ D Eaton _ _ M Jones
    15:00 Everton – Leicester _ _ _Jonathan Moss _ _M Perry _ _ D Bryan _ _ S Martin
    15:00 Man Utd – Norwich _ _ _ _Michael Oliver _ G Beswick _ R West _ _ _G Scott
    17:30 Newcastle – AVilla _ _ _ Martin Atkinson _M Mullarkey S Child _ _ A Taylor
    15:00 Southampton – Spurs _ _ _Kevin Friend _ _ D Cann _ _ _M Wilkes _ _O Langford
    15:00 Stoke – CPal _ _ _ _ _ _ Robert Madley _ _A Garratt _ P Kirkup _ _A Marriner
    15:00 West Brom – Bournemouth _Mike Dean _ _ _ _S Long _ _ _J Collin _ _M Clattenburg
    Sunday 20 December 2015
    K.O. _ _MATCHES _ _ _ _ REFEREE _ _ ASST. REF. 1 _ _ASST. REF. 2 _ _4TH OFFICIAL
    16:00 Swansea – West Ham _ _ _ Lee Mason _ _ _ _A Holmes _ _S Burt _ _ _S Hooper
    13:30 Watford – Liverpool _ _ _Mark Clattenburg S Beck _ _ _A Nunn _ _ _M Jones
    Monday 21 December 2015
    K.O. _ _MATCHES _ _ _ _ REFEREE _ _ ASST. REF. 1 _ _ASST. REF. 2 _ _4TH OFFICIAL
    20:00 Arsenal – Man City _ _ _ Andre Marriner _ J Brooks _ _M McDonough C Pawson
    Saturday 26 December 2015
    K.O. _ _MATCHES _ _ _ _ REFEREE _ _ ASST. REF. 1 _ _ASST. REF. 2 _ _4TH OFFICIAL
    15:00 AVilla – West Ham _ _ _ _Mike Dean _ _ _ _M Scholes _ I Hussin _ _P Bankes
    15:00 Bournemouth – CPal _ _ _ Michael Oliver _ H Lennard _ D Cook _ _ _B Malone
    15:00 Chelsea – Watford _ _ _ _Andre Marriner _ L Betts _ _ D Cann _ _ _K Johnson
    15:00 Liverpool – Leicester _ _Martin Atkinson _S Burt _ _ _P Kirkup _ _D Coote
    15:00 Man City – Sunderland _ _Anthony Taylor _ R West _ _ _S Ledger _ _C Boyeson
    17:30 Newcastle – Everton _ _ _Lee Mason _ _ _ _A Holmes _ _M Salisbury C Pawson
    19:45 Southampton – Arsenal _ _Jonathan Moss _ _M Mullarkey S Child _ _ K Stroud
    15:00 Spurs – Norwich _ _ _ _ _Mike Jones _ _ _ S Long _ _ _S Beck _ _ _J Adcock
    12:45 Stoke – Man Utd _ _ _ _ _Kevin Friend _ _ M Perry _ _ D Bryan _ _ N Swarbrick
    15:00 Swansea – West Brom _ _ _Roger East _ _ _ A Garratt _ M Wilkes _ _G Scott
    Monday 28 December 2015
    K.O. _ _MATCHES _ _ _ _ REFEREE _ _ ASST. REF. 1 _ _ASST. REF. 2 _ _4TH OFFICIAL
    17:30 Arsenal – Bournemouth _ _Roger East _ _ _ L Betts _ _ D Cann _ _ _D Deadman
    15:00 CPal – Swansea _ _ _ _ _ Neil Swarbrick _ M Salisbury S Beck _ _ _L Mason
    15:00 Everton – Stoke _ _ _ _ _Mark Clattenburg G Beswick _ M McDonough G Eltringham
    17:30 Man Utd – Chelsea _ _ _ _Martin Atkinson _M Mullarkey S Child _ _ M Dean
    15:00 Norwich – AVilla _ _ _ _ Graham Scott _ _ S Long _ _ _P Kirkup _ _K Friend
    15:00 Watford – Spurs _ _ _ _ _Anthony Taylor _ J Brooks _ _S Burt _ _ _C Pawson
    15:00 West Brom – Newcastle _ _Mike Jones _ _ _ D Bryan _ _ J Collin _ _K A Woolmer
    17:30 West Ham – Southampton _ Michael Oliver _ H Lennard _ D Cook _ _ _A Marriner
    Tuesday 29 December 2015
    K.O. _ _MATCHES _ _ _ _ REFEREE _ _ ASST. REF. 1 _ _ASST. REF. 2 _ _4TH OFFICIAL
    19:45 Leicester – Man City _ _ Craig Pawson _ _ M Perry _ _ A Garratt _ M Jones
    Wednesday 30 December 2015
    K.O. _MATCHES _ _ _ _ REFEREE _ _ _ ASST. REF. 1 _ _ASST. REF. 2 _ _4TH OFFICIAL
    19:45 Sunderland – Liverpool _ Kevin Friend _ _ S Bennett _ A Halliday _N Swarbrick
    Saturday 2 January 2016
    K.O. _ _MATCHES _ _ _ _ REFEREE _ _ ASST. REF. 1 _ _ASST. REF. 2 _ _4TH OFFICIAL
    15:00 Arsenal – Newcastle _ _ _Anthony Taylor _ S Burt _ _ _P Kirkup _ _S Martin
    15:00 Leicester – Bournemouth _Andre Marriner _ E Smart _ _ M Wilkes _ _K Hill
    15:00 Man Utd – Swansea _ _ _ _Jonathan Moss _ _J Collin _ _A Halliday _M Oliver
    15:00 Norwich – Southampton _ _Mark Clattenburg G Beswick _ M McDonough S Attwell
    15:00 Sunderland – AVilla _ _ _Craig Pawson _ _ J Brooks _ _D Bryan _ _ A Madley
    17:30 Watford – Man City _ _ _ Martin Atkinson _M Mullarkey S Child _ _ K Friend
    15:00 West Brom – Stoke
    12:45 West Ham – Liverpool _ _ Robert Madley _ _S Long _S Beck _R East
    Sunday 3 January 2016
    K.O. _ _MATCHES _ _ _ _ REFEREE _ _ ASST. REF. 1 _ _ASST. REF. 2 _ _4TH OFFICIAL
    13:30 CPal – Chelsea _ _ _ _ _ Kevin Friend _ _ S Bennett _ M Perry _ _ A Marriner
    16:00 Everton – Spurs

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    That will be our third game under Mr Moss and far too soon since the second (Norwich), Messrs Marriner and Taylor will be for the second time and it will be a season first for Mr East, slightly worrying as he is from Wiltshire which is quite close to Bournemouth but his previous game for them was their 5 – 1 loss at the hands of Spurs. Gives me something to write about for the previews which always helps. So far this year 19 referees used in the Prem but six have been ‘makeweights’. Simon Hooper and Graham Scott have each done only one game, Keith Stroud 2, Stuart Attwell and Paul Tierney three each and Neil Swarbrick has done 5. Combined they have done less than Atkinson who this week will be on 16 out of 17. More when I do the half season review – I’ll check where the ‘makeweights’ have gone to for that report.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    My Takes On This Season BPL Championship Table Finishers Are As Follows: 1st – Arsenal, 2nd – Man City, 3rd – Man Utd and 4th – any one of these 4 clubs: Liverpool, Tottenham HS, C Palace & Chelsea.

    It has been said that, let it be according to one’s faith. The Leicester City manager, Glaudio Ranieri is reported by the media to have said, he’s playing to get 40 points it the table to become safe from relegation to the Sky Bet Championship. He hasn’t shown any ambition at least by any pronouncement to win the Premier League or get a 4th place finish this season. Therefore, so will it be according to his faith.

    The Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger has expressed his faith through his media statements to win the Barclays Premier League title this season. And I believe him. Because he appears to be more serious than in the recent past seasons to achieve his aim and objective. All he needs now, is for we the Arsenal supporters to back him up with prayers always to be successful in his challenging for the title this season.

    After playing 16 BPL games, Arsenal have collected a total of 33 points which I considered to be fair as they have dropped a total of 15 points in the process which is equivalent to 5 games lost. This is too much, I don’t consider this hualiage of 15 points be a championship winning form. It’s short.

    Consequently, the Boss and the Gunners MUST give their title charge whatever it needs to make sure they overcome any challenge by Pellegrini’s Man City side to be a dog in Arsenal’s title charge running engine on Monday night.

    Should the Gunners collect 9 points from their next 3 BPL outings which they MUST, Arsenal will get a total of 42 points out of 19 League games played. And that will bring them to the halfway mark of the League season. Still it is not good enough. Therefore, Arsenal MUST considerable step it up in their BPL campaign to make sure at least they collect a total minimum of 48 points out the available 57 to reach 90 points minimum in total at the end of this League season. But it could more as it will be sweeter as they are crowned the 2015/16 BPL Champions.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    The Untold Arsenal owner – Mr Tony Attwood. Good evening Sir. Can you please make it possible for one to edit his original comment after posting it? So that the typographical errors, mispellings and word omissions later seen in it by the owner of the comment can be corrected by him/her?

    As I read through my comment again after posting it and got it published, I detected some errors in it. e.g. In paragraph 4, I meant to type 33 points instead of the 15 points that I typed. Am I typing absent minded a times, or what is my problem with typing? I am annoyed with myself when I later see mistakes in comments. Thanks. Have a peaceful night.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    The Untold Arsenal owner – Mr Tony Attwood. Good evening Sir. Can you please make it possible for one to edit his original comment after posting it? So that the typographical errors, misspellings and word omissions later seen in it by the owner of the comment can be corrected by him/her?

    As I read through my comment again after posting it and got it published, I detected some errors in it. e.g. In paragraph 4, I meant to type 33 points instead of the 15 points that I typed. Am I typing absent minded a times, or what is my problem with typing? I am annoyed with myself whenever I later see mistakes in my comments. Thanks. Have a peaceful night.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    The Untold Arsenal owner – Mr Tony Attwood. Good evening Sir. Can you please make it possible for one to edit his original comment after posting it? So that the typographical errors, misspellings and word omissions later seen in it by the owner of the comment can be corrected by him/her?

    As I read through my comment again after posting it and got it published, I detected some errors in it. e.g. In paragraph 4, I meant to type 33 points instead of the 15 points that I typed. Am I typing absent minded a times, or what is my problem with typing? I am annoyed with myself whenever I latter see mistakes in my comments after posting them. Thanks. Have a peaceful night.

  • Gord

    The Arsenal.com site mentions a footpool game between France (Giroud, Koscielny) and Germany (Mertesacker, Ozil). The Daily Mail, has a writeup on the game.

    What are the dimensions of this thing? I think some local people might like one.

  • Gord

    I wrote to Citroen, after not being able to find anything. I suppose I could calculate dimensions from the pictures, knowing the heights of the players. In any event, Citroen has acknowledged, and may send me further information.

    I think the “bumpers” need to be on the sides (and possibly some padding under the turf) to make the walls and floor “less lively”.