Full-time Fletch's mid-term football report

By Darren Fletcher, BT Sport commentator

- Last updated on GMT

Verdict: Darren Fletcher asseses all 20 Premier League sides
Verdict: Darren Fletcher asseses all 20 Premier League sides

Related tags: Premier league

With more than half the Premier League season gone, here's my mid-season assessment of all 20 teams.

The big six

Chelsea -​ I thought there would be a distinct improvement on last season, but I didn't expect them to be this impressive. The title is theirs to lose, however, there's still plenty of work for them to do.

Tottenham -​ Their win against Chelsea has changed one or two opinions. People were slightly dubious about them in the early weeks of the season, but they seem to be hitting their stride and look very hard to beat.

Liverpool -​ They are genuine challengers for the title. You could see the signs last season that they were starting to play the high-tempo, attack-minded game that was a feature of Jürgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund team and they are the biggest danger to Chelsea in the second half of the season.

Arsenal -​ It's the same story that we have had time and time again. They have to convince us that they are different to what we expect them to be and, at the moment, they have been typically Arsenal. They will push for a place in the top four but won't have enough to win the league. 

Manchester City -​ The second half of the season is all about consistency and eradicating mistakes. They have the strongest squad in the league, yet they've cost themselves too many points. To mount a title challenge, they have got to stop making mistakes and be more consistent.

Manchester United -​ They are playing as well as anyone in the Premier League right now. The gap they have got to make up is big but they will believe that it's a gap they can bridge.

Mid table

Everton -​ The transfer window is going to be important for them. Ronald Koeman needs to get the players in that he wants because, at the moment, there are too many players that you wouldn't put into a Ronald Koeman XI. As a result, I think you will be waiting until next season to see them turn into the team the former Netherlands captain wants.

West Bromwich Albion -​ They are a big credit to Tony Pulis because he's been able to bring goals to a side that also defends well. Pulis has been able to pick a settled side and they are safe and settled in mid table; he deserves more credit than he gets for the development of that team this year.

Stoke City -​ They have lots of creativity but can be a brittle at times, whereas the opposite always used to be the case. They are a better team than what we have seen so far. 

Burnley -​ If their home form carries on as it is now, it will be enough to keep them in the Premier League. If they do stay up, it will be one of the great achievements of the Premier League era and Sean Dyche would have to be a contender for manager of the year.

Bournemouth -​ The signings that Eddie Howe made in the summer have proved successful and, as a result, they've continued to progress. They play fantastic football and have become a very settled Premier League team.

West Ham -​ The biggest underachievers in the Premier League this year. They have the talent to be a top eight team, but the application is not there. If they do finish in the bottom half of the table, Slaven Bilic will get the blame, but the players need to take a long, hard look at themselves.

Southampton -​ I don't really know what Southampton's identity is. I have seen them play really well and I have seen them be very poor. They are not consistent enough and they don't score enough goals. 

Watford -​ In a word: inconsistent. They don't score enough goals and have been overly reliant on Etienne Capoue in midfield. That said, I wouldn't expect them to be involved in the relegation shake-up.

Leicester City -​ They are in the relegation fight, but there is too much quality in that team for them to get dragged into the bottom three. They have found it really hard to win Premier League games around Champions League games, which we have seen bigger clubs than Leicester struggle with in the past.

Middlesbrough -​ They have got a very good manager and have made progress throughout the season to bed into the Premier League. However, they are in that group of teams that could get dragged into the relegation zone.

The relegation fight

Crystal Palace -​ Really disappointing so far but they have just appointed a manger with a track record of turning these situations around in Sam Allardyce.

Hull City -​ I have no idea what to expect of them because I know nothing about their new manager, Marco Silva; he could be the next Jose Mourinho or the next Bob Bradley. Unfortunately, I look at this team and I see a Championship side playing in the Premier League.

Sunderland -​ Different season, same story. This is a club that will perennially struggle to stay in the league until they can find some stability and structure. David Moyes has not had anywhere near the effect that the owners would have hoped he would have.

Swansea -​ Paul Clement is a strange appointment as manager because you could make a case that he's not as experienced as Bob Bradley. I don't have a great deal of confidence that they can turn it around.

Related topics: Sport

Related news