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One burning question for every top 6 side in the Premier League: Tottenham and Chelsea backslides as The Gunners loose their targets in the transfer Market

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One burning question for every top 6 side in the Premier League: Tottenham and Chelsea backslides as The Gunners loose their targets in the transfer Market

To this point, every Premier League team has played at least 18 games, bringing us to the halfway point of the 2022/23 season.

So far, the campaign has been thrilling, with plenty of shocks. Arsenal maintains a dominating lead at the top of the table, Newcastle is in fourth place, Fulham has surprised everyone in the top six, Brighton and Brentford are ahead of Chelsea and Liverpool, and Everton and West Ham are in the relegation zone.

Sticking to the higher echelons of the Premier League, let’s pose one burning question to each of the top six teams in the rankings. Not the “Big Six” – Newcastle and Fulham, in especially, have earned their badges.

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Can Fulham shock the world by reaching Europe?

We’ll start with Fulham. Now, it is fair to assume that they have an edge in being in the top six because they have played 20 matches. However, the Cottagers deserve to be recognized as a top-six team for the time being.

Fulham have been the season’s standout. Before the 2022/23 season began, they would have been content with simply remaining in the Premier League at the end of the season. Now, though, they are dreaming of European football and appear to be destined to finish in the top half of the table.

Perhaps European football is a stretch, but the Cottagers continue to produce results in the face of doubters. Alexander Mitrovic is scoring every time Bernd Leno has been quite the reclamation project after falling out of favor in North London, while Portugal’s Joo Palhinha deserves all the credit in the world for being one of the Premier League’s most underrated players.

A surprise bid for the Europa League? Fulham should not be held to that standard. However, dismissing that idea could be just as harmful.

Is Antonio Conte’s time at Tottenham over?

Antonio Conte has developed a practice of making bold statements at press conferences. The man expects the best from his board, which frequently results in his parting ways with clubs, as was the case at Inter Milan when the club’s owning firm ran into financial difficulties.

Conte clearly wants to push Tottenham to the highest standards, but Spurs have not supported him this transfer window. 

He is, however, completely correct. 

Tottenham needs better players to finish in the top four of a Premier League that is only growing better, especially with rivals Gunners clicking and Newcastle now looking to stay at the top after the Saudi Arabia deal.

Fans across the Premier League have been counting down the days till Conte leaves the club, concluding that this marriage will not endure owing to the disparities in ambition between Conte and Daniel Levy. 

Perhaps 2023 will truly mark the end of Conte’s productive tenure in North London.

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Is Jadon Sancho the next Manchester United signing?

Erik ten Hag has been a huge success as Manchester United manager, and one of his most significant achievements has been getting Marcus Rashford to perform at his peak. 

Rashford appears to be more confident in front of goal, ready to take on anyone, and capable of assisting plays for his teammates when needed.

While ten Hag may struggle to do the same for Anthony Martial, who appears to be more difficult to teach and less consistent, Jadon Sancho appears to be a viable next project for the Dutch manager to get back on track.

While ten Hag may struggle to do the same for Anthony Martial, who seems to be more difficult to coach and less consistent, Jadon Sancho appears to be a viable next project for the Dutch manager to get back on track.

Sancho was once one of Europe’s top players, guiding Borussia Dortmund with his fierce dribbling and never-say-die attitude on the ball. On a young Dortmund team, he possessed talent, end product, and the mentality to always push for more.

Ten Hag has publicly endorsed Sancho, shielding him from media scrutiny. If he can get the most out of this previous big signing, United are capable of almost anything. Sancho is that talented.

Is Newcastle in contention for the Premier League title?

Probably not, given how far ahead Arsenal is and how the Newcastle squad compares to Manchester City’s remarkable depth.

However, they are still mathematically in contention for the Premier League title. Arsenal leads by eight points, but if people believe there is still a contest with City, why can’t they say the same about Newcastle?

After all, the Magpies drew the Gunners in their previous meeting (click here for our player ratings), displaying the same grit and defensive mindset as a team that has propelled them to third place.

In terms of consistency and team camaraderie, they are on par with Manchester City. The table demonstrates this. So, if City remain title challengers,

What is Manchester City lacking?

Manchester City are so talented and have invested so much in their team that the Premier League is often seen as theirs to lose. While this prediction may be too optimistic for Arsenal, it is clear that City should be able to win the league year after year.

At least, that’s how Pep Guardiola and Manchester City may see things.

City has scored the most goals in the league, which is predictable. They already had a strong offense, and then they recruited Erling Haaland, a historically dominant striker.

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So, what is lacking? Why are they so far behind Arsenal after only 20 Matchdays?

They have conceded more goals than both Arsenal and Chelsea.

They’ve given up more goals than Arsenal and Newcastle combined. That doesn’t mean they lack defensive talent, because their defenders are as excellent – if not better – in terms of individual quality than Newcastle’s and Arsenal’s.

They appear fragile for the first time. There are gaps, errors, and inconsistencies. Manchester City’s play now has a patchiness that did not previously exist. It’s less cohesive, less fluid, and more prone to blunders that opponents might exploit. Take a look at how Brentford surprised them late in the season.

Will Eddie Nketiah be Arsenal’s answer?

Arsenal’s choice not to buy a striker in the winter transfer window to replace Gabriel Jesus may have been the greatest one they could have made.

After all, Joao Félix is no striker, was expensive, and had baggage from his refusal to work with Diego Simeone. He is now in Chelsea.

Duan Vlahovi would have been by far the best striker available, but he is now injured and does not appear to want to leave Juventus.

So Arsenal is putting their faith in a young striker, Eddie Nketiah, in whom they have long believed. Mikel Arteta has a core group of players in whom he has put his trust, and they have done him proud thus far. Martin degaard is a league leader and one of the finest players in the league, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka are terrors on the wings, and the entire defense is rock solid.

Nketiah has recently demonstrated his ability. No, he is not a polished product, but in flashes, he appears like a great striker with the way he never stops rushing off the ball and his mentality of constantly looking for the deadly pass or shot on goal.

One burning question for every top 6 side in the Premier League: Tottenham and Chelsea backslides as The Gunners loose their targets in the transfer Market

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