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August’s Premier League Report Cards: Arsenal – Chelsea

By | 8th September 2008

With one month of Premiership action out of the way, Premiership Talk reviews all twenty teams and grades them based on their early season performances.

Arsenal

WengerThe title hopefuls from London have had an indifferent start to the season. An opening day narrow victory against West Bromwich Albion didn’t convince too many fans, and that performance was followed up with an extremely disappointing 1-0 defeat at the hands of Fulham. Arsenal clearly aren’t firing on all cylinders yet, but Samir Nasri already looks like he’ll be a good signing for the club. I expect them to get the smooth flowing football going soon, but until that happens they should be happy with displays like the one against Newcastle.

Report Card Grade: B

Aston Villa

Aston Villa are one of the surprise packages of this year. Having always been a consistent top table side, Villa have shown once again why they are an exciting team to watch. Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young lead an exciting generation of English players at Villa Park, and thus far Agbonlahor in particular has been spectacular. An opening day hat trick leaves the youngster at the top of the goalscorers chart, and Martin O’Neill’s side already find themselves in seventh place – around where they hope to be come May. Overall they should be pleased with their performance, and Villa fans will be hoping they can continue with their good form. Their recent draw against Liverpool is only a good sign.

Report Card Grade: B

Blackburn Rovers

With a rookie Premier League manager at the helm, many members of the media weren’t sure of Blackburn this season. Paul Ince’s first match for the club ended with a thrilling last-gasp winner by Andre Ooijer against Everton. This display was followed by a disappointing draw with Hull City and a 4-1 defeat at the hands of West Ham. Matches against these sides are especially important to Blackburn as they’ll be counting all getting all three points against lower-table opposition. Currently sitting in 10th place, Blackburn are lucky to be in this position after two disappointing displays. Paul Ince will need to ensure consistency moving forward.

Report Card Grade: C+

Bolton Wanderers

Bolton have historically been a decent Premiership outfit, but since the departure of Sam Allardyce from the hotseat, the northern club have struggled. The Wanderers began the season with a 3-1 win over newcomers Stoke, but then dropped points away to Newcastle (1-0 loss) and at home to West Bromwich Albion (0-0 draw). The offseason addition of Johan Elmander already appears to be a good investment, with Kevin Nolan also appearing to regain his form. Bolton will want to stop dropping points at home, though, especially to Premier League newboys like West Brom.

Report Card Grade: C+

ScolariChelsea

Roman Abramovich’s wealth at Chelsea has gone to waste the past two seasons in the Premier League, but fans are anticipating a new era under Felipe Scolari. In just his first match in the Premiership, Chelsea grabbed a stylish 4-0 win over Portsmouth and a less than impressive 1-0 victory over Wigan. New signing Deco proved his worth in both matches as he started the season with two goals in two games. Chelsea’s last match of the month was a 1-1 draw with cross-town rivals Tottenham, meaning every team in the league has officially dropped points. Regardless of this, Chelsea sit atop the table and looking better than last year.

Report Card Grade: A-

Stay tuned for Everton, Fulham, Hull City, Liverpool, and Manchester City tomorrow. While you’re waiting, check out the Premiership Talk Forum!



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