The Premier League newcomers have done a decent job performance wise and deserve the due credit. It is not always easy to come in the toughest league and perform at a high level all the time. For sure, Brighton, Newcastle and Huddersfield have done something good to be in a position they are in right now. Below we review their performances 11 games in.
Brighton & Hove Albion: – (15 points, 11 goals scored, 11 goals conceded)
Chris Hughton’s men have punched above weight so far with their performances. They gave a good account of themselves on an opening day game against Manchester City. Following that, wins against West Brom and Newcastle at home stabilised them as a team on the big stage. Lack of goals was always going to be a problem for the Seagulls with Hughton happy to deploy a defensive lineup.
In the last three games though, Glenn Murray has come back in the club and done wonders. The Englishman has scored 4 goals in 3 games, from which his team has taken 7 points from the possible 9. Now, the defensive stability added with goals coming from the centre-forward has added an extra dimension to this team. Their marquee performance was an away victory at West Ham, where they thrashed their opponents 3-0.
The other thing these promoted teams need is the number of points collected per game. In recent seasons, if a team is going has one point per game, they are safe enough in the end. Brighton currently have 15 points from 11 games, which is actually 4 points more than they expected. They know bigger tests awaits and hard-work needs to continue to be playing Premier League next season.
Newcastle United: – (14 points, 10 goals scored, 10 goals conceded)
Newcastle’s troubles off the field is a perennial concern for the fans. Their transfer business wasn’t done as per the satisfaction of manager Rafa Benitez. Many thought this squad isn’t good enough to play in the Premier League. So, the first few games were always going to be a barometer of how they will fare this season. Defeats to Tottenham and Huddersfield underlined the struggles the manager and pundits were pointing to.
Just a week before the transfer deadline, a 3-0 win over West Ham settled the whole team. Benitez also realised that this is the squad, he has to work with and began the hard work. Post first international break, the Toons collected 7 points from the possible 12 consisting of a draw against Liverpool. This period allowed the fans to be expectant of their team that at least, they can be safe for this season. Although, few dreamt of much more.
Just a stumble of losing the previous two games have brought them down to 11th position. Despite that, 14 points from 11 games is a solid base to start. The tough period of November, December and January are about to come and this is where the squad will be tested. Benitez would be hoping injuries don’t ruin their important period. They lack depth in certain areas of the pitch. Goal scoring is a problem with both Gayle and Joselu, not regular netters.
Huddersfield Town: – (15 points, 8 goals scored, 13 goals conceded)
After 44 long years, Huddersfield Town are back in the Premier League. David Wagner has done a terrific job so far to take them up from a mere impossible position. They started the season well after spending well in the market. Opening two wins and a draw before the first international break was the perfect start. A dream for many of those Terriers’ fans.
Being a new arrival, they had to face a reality period to know the standards of the league. The loss to Tottenham, West Ham and Swansea post-August meant Wagner has to realise the enormity of the job and start becoming a bit pragmatic. This approach rewarded them with a shock win over Manchester United. A win which will be remembered in the Huddersfield history as the greatest of all time.
Rounding off October and early November with an expected loss to Liverpool and win over West Brom is good. They have 15 points from 11 games with goal-scoring being a bit of a problem. Anyway, they are 4 points ahead at the moment with the game and need more goals to stay in this league. Defensive solidity might not win or draw them every game.