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By Chris Collinson
BBC Sport statistician
Four members of the Premier LeaguesBig Six – Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham – all have shown signs of weakness up to now this year.
Together with the four clubs carrying a combined 49 points from their first eight matches – far fewer than in recent seasons and the fewest between them – we take a look at the problems they have been confronting.
After taking two points out of their eight matches – their lowest tally at this point since 1989 – Manchester United will be the obvious culprit with this fall in points. And with just two goals scored, it is evident where their problems lie.
With their youngest-ever starting XI at a Premier League season, the team have actually had the shots in the league, but it is the quality.
According to goals that were anticipated Newcastle have had worse shots than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer side, beyond penalties on average.
1 positive for United fans is that while the assault is fighting to produce good opportunities the defence has limited the oppositions chances, making it one of the defences at this phase. After promoting striker Romelu Lukaku on the summertime and spending 130m on Aaron Wan-Bissaka along with defenders Harry Maguire, this is possibly no surprise.
In the Premier League, Tottenham were third on Valentines Day and five points behind leaders Liverpool.
But 22 points out of 20 games since has put a strain on the connection between the team, players and the club, with speak of anunsettled team along with a few allegedly seeking to grab the attention of other clubs.
The problem for Tottenham is the fact that its not one particular region. The table below shows both the defence and the attack so far are equally as awful as theyve been at this stage at both seasons , as well as the players such as before.
While we cant know for certain, this might be down to the fact players and that the manager have been together for a remarkably long time. Eight players are still in the club from Pochettinos very first season in 2014-15 – compared to only three at Manchester City and two in Liverpool – while of the 32 supervisors in the Champions League this year, just Atletico Madrids Diego Simeone has been at his club more than his fellow Argentine.
With the club currently third in the table, it might appear strange to mention that Arsenal have had problems this season. But a goal difference of +2 suggests that all is not quite as comfy as it appears, without a staff having sat as large in the table with so low a guess at that stage since Phil Browns Hull City did so with a goal difference of zero in 2008.
They allowed only over 13 in their campaign final year after enabling 10-12 shots per game in each of the clubs closing 13 seasons under Arsene Wenger. With just sides Norwich and Aston Villa having faced more shots than the Gunners this season this season, however, Arsenal are allowing a remarkable 17 shots a match.
The 1 consolation for Arsenal fans is that while the group was under heavy fire this past year, theyve managed to avoid the resistance from getting shots away, with Burnley allowing lower-quality opportunities.
In the past five seasons before this one 3 sides have allowed 17 or more shots per game – the Burnley of Sean Dyche and David Moyes relegated Sunderland side in 2016-17.
Although many have commended Chelseas youngest-ever beginning XI in a Premier League season, it has also conceded an uncharacteristic 14 goals in its own eight games so far, with Southampton, Watford and only Norwich allowing in longer.
It is only the second time at the Roman Abramovich era which the team have surrendered figures at this stage of the year, after the club collapse under Jose Mourinho saw them concede 17 goals in their first eight games in 2015.
Having saved 48 percent of those shots keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has the worst save percentage in the Premier League so much and takes some share of the responsibility for its clubs defensive woes.
Of those 25 goalkeepers to have played this season, just Southamptons Angus Gunn has more goals than anticipated than the Chelsea keeper.
The blame cannot be laid entirely at his doorway. Despite Manchester City facing shots this season, just four sides have let the opposition more easy chances to score average than Chelsea, so Frank Lampard will be hoping his side can make Arrizabalagas job at the future.
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