The opening few weeks of the Premier league season has thrown up a few shocks. The top 5 or 6 consist of the usual suspects barring a few. Most of the teams will be happy with how they’ve performed so far this season. On the other hand, there are teams who have failed to impose themselves on the table. These teams will certainly be looking to turn a corner and improve their fortunes. Here are 3 teams that really cannot be languishing in the places they find themselves in, given the quality at their disposal –
West Ham (18th place, 4 points)
Having ended last season in 7th place, big things were expected of Slaven Bilic’s team this term. But so far it has been a disappointing run of games for them which has seen them only pick up one win. Injuries to several key and squad players has undoubtedly had a role to play in their poor performances. That certainly cannot be used as an excuse for a team that were expected to really flourish upon moving to the Olympic Stadium from Upton Park. Dimitri Payet missed the initial few games of the season and his absence definitely had a bearing on the team’s poor showings. He was simply outstanding in his first season in the Premier League. This saw him represent France in the Euro 2016 on home soil.
New signings Jonathan Calleri, Simone Zaza, Gokhan Tore have all failed to get themselves going and that certainly has not helped. Slaven Bilic has a real job on his hands to ensure West Ham don’t finish anywhere as low as they find themselves sitting in the Premier League table.
Stoke City (19th place, 3 points)
The Potters are off to a really bad start as they are only one of 2 teams to have gone winless so far this season, other being Sunderland. Mark Hughes hasn’t got his winning formula right as of yet. Superstars like Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri have failed to show the magic they weaved last term. Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony, loaned from Manchester City, also hasn’t added much to this squad. They could have a really long season ahead unless things start to change.
There have been signs of promise as the team has played well in their last 2 games. They first conceded a late goal that cancelled out their 1-0 lead against West Brom. In the game that followed, they rallied well against Manchester United to get a point off them as Joe Allen scored a late equalizer to ensure Mark Hughes had sort of a happy return to Old Trafford. Bojan and other key players will look to return to fitness. Mark Hughes must get his squad to gel well together and play some of the attacking and fearless football we saw from them last season. The players they have got are certainly capable of performing better and they need every point or three possible to ensure they don’t finish the season languishing in the bottom 3 of the Premier League table.
Swansea City (17th place, 4 points)
Departures of key players like former captain Ashley Williams and Andre Ayew have clearly left a void or two that haven’t been filled in yet. Swansea have had a few good performances but they have nothing to show for it as they have one victory, which came in the opening day against Burnley. Goal scoring has been a clear problem for them. Leroy Fer, a midfielder is the top-scorer for the Swans with 4 goals and that proves the point. Fernando Llorente hasn’t begun his career in England as he’d have liked to. Gylfi Sigurdsson’s magic seems to have faded away. His exploits for Iceland at Euro 2016 have taken its toll.
The defence needs to be shored up. The absence of the now departed Ashley Williams is clearly being felt. Mike Van Der Hoorn and Jordi Amat are the current players playing center back. Both have been caught wanting on quite a few occasions. They had been deployed there by now former manager Francesco Guidolin. He was sacked following matchday 7 following a poor run of results. American Bob Bradley has been brought in to replace the Italian. He will be hoping to stamp his authority on the team. The Liberty Stadium needs to be brought back to its former glory.