The points tally for Chelsea reduced in seven of its past sixteen Premier League games in 2005/06. It was when the FA Cup and Champions League intensified, although the title was already taken. The scenario serves a classic case best handled by Jose Mourinho. In 2014/15, Chelsea had a similar season with 26 points put up on the board after ten games before losing points in eight of their past twenty matches. The set example by Mourinho’s Chelsea and Arsenal’s Invincibles has had an influence. Right from the first day, the Top Six and Big Four have shown off their strength.
Since 2003, it is only Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool that have led the ten-game mark. The shift of the average champions league position post ten matches has gone from 2.45 to 2. On the other hand, the tally for their average points has ramped up from 20.8 to 24. In 2013/14 and 2015/16, Manchester City and Leicester City had the worst in the campaigns for winning the title within this era. They picked up 19 points from the initial matches and the two seasons are infamous for the underperformance of any football team to seize control adequately.
In the recent past, Liverpool and Manchester City have taken things up a notch. The side of Pep Guardiola had 26 and 28 points following the ten matches of 2018/19 and 2017/18. On the other hand, Liverpool had 28 points in the first ten games of 2019/20. Thanks to a combination of 37 points, the team scooped the last and foremost of these titles. Such an achievement serves as the point of reference for any football team targeting to challenge this title. It comes as no surprise that the Champions League’s competition adopts a similar trend, although the impact becomes apparent in a couple of years down the road.
Between 2001 and 2002, Aston Villa, Bolton, Birmingham, and Portsmouth took the fourth place following 10 Premier League matches. During this period, the top four teams in the Premier League would, for the first time, qualify to be in the Champions League. All these sided winded up culminating lower or sixth, with Birmingham going as low as the tenth in 2003 and 2004. Since the Top Four’s transformation to the Big Six, there has been no team in fourth following ten matches who went on to finish lower than sixth.
The list is exclusively compiled of top-tier teams such as Chelsea, Manchester United, Everton, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United. It shows how difficult it is to compete for the top four positions after ten football matches, let alone one spot by the season’s close. Whereas there have been a few surprises within this timeframe, it is evident that a fast start is crucial in securing the top-four final. After ten games, Newcastle, West Ham, and Southampton emerged at the top three slots.
From 2001 to 2010, football clubs that would go-ahead to finish fourth had an 18.1 average point tally post ten matches.
However, between 2010 and 2020, the tally rose to 19.2. From 2001 to 2010, the fourth team had more than 20 points in the first ten football games. The same occurred four times within the period from 2010 to 2020. Anomalies are evident with Manchester United finishing third with 13 points from ten games in 2019 and 2020. The control of the same football teams at the Premier League top has caused random things to occur at the other end. It is unnecessary for teams to be perfectly matched and have an exceptional start to maintain the pace.
Survival is still a cause worth pursuing despite a lousy start in the season. In 1995, the Premier League turned into a division with twenty clubs with Newcastle and Crystal Palace, getting three points following ten matches. The 17th place is the average finishing slot for teams in the twentieth position after ten games. Eleven of the twenty-five teams have managed to avoid relegation. Football teams taking the final relegation position in the 18th following ten games, in the meantime, hold a survival rate of 60%.
Since 1995, 15 of the 25 football clubs have maintained that position, with five changing their manager halfway through the season. Teams high above the set relegation zone following the first weeks into the season are vulnerable. It is probably because these clubs fail to assume similar actions to address a lousy start.