Early Season Review for the Premier League’s “Big Six”

Every year, there are expectations put on the ‘big six’ of the English Premier League (Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea) to not only outperform the rest of the league but also each other. Four match weekends into the 2022-23 season, it is a fair time to give an initial analysis of each and every team and their performances so far.

Without further ado, here is an analysis of the beginning of the season for each Top 6 team:


Not many people were sure what to expect with Arsenal coming into this season. Mikel Arteta, Arsenal’s manager, was definitely under pressure to have a strong season and restore the gunners to their historic heights after years of struggle. The club hasn’t won a Premier League title since their “invincible” 2003-04 season.

The title-winning experience of new signings Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko coupled with the return of William Saliba seems to be the perfect injection of talent. Arsenal started red hot by winning their first four games. Jesus has proved to be the ideal fit for Arteta’s system contributing goals 7 times in 7 games played, a remarkable output for a so-called “reserve winger.” This new fluid style of play seems to suit Jesus and the young team around him.

Currently sitting at the top of the table with 18 points, there is no reason this team cannot be title contenders if Arsenal, Arteta and Jesus can find an elite level of consistency.

Manchester City:

So far, City’s season has been about one man: Erling Haaland. The $63 million summer signing fee already looks like a steal, and Haaland has far surpassed anyone’s expectations. The 22-year-old already has 11 goals in 7 matches. I don’t think anyone doubted his ability to succeed, but few expected it to happen this quickly and at this magnitude.

The rest of the team, of course, is also firing on all cylinders. With four clean sheets by shot-stopper Ederson, and with Kevin De Bruyne linking play and dictating the tempo, this iteration of Pep Guardiola’s team is on track to challenge for another title. 


After a massive summer spending spree that saw nine new signings join the club, Tottenham has quietly gone about their business in recent weeks. In his first full season with the club, Antonio Conte has brought a sense of confidence and composure to the Tottenham bench. Whether it’s through his intensive fitness tests or his testy but detailed-oriented personality, Conte has his squad in a good position to capture their first major trophy.

Compared to last season’s chaos under Nuno Espírito Santo, this must be a refreshing sight to many loyal Tottenham supporters. Conte has seemed to settle on a front three of England captain Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Dejan Kulusevski; all of whom have impressed so far.

What Conte and his well-drilled side make of the upcoming North-London derby will be a true indication of their competitive strength this year.

Manchester United:

For United, all the offseason hype revolved around the arrival of manager, Erik ten Hag. After an almost flawless preseason, which saw ten Hag settle on a front four of Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial, (meaning Ronaldo was relegated to the bench), United came out the gates flat, by losing their first two games. However, a resurgent and motivated United squad went on to win their next four, including wins against top-of-the-table Arsenal and historic rivals Liverpool.

A 4-0 loss to  Brentford seemed to be a massive wake-up call for many of the United players. Inserting the recently signed 5’9’’ center-back Lisandro Martinez has reinvented the United backline that looked out of sorts for the better part of a year now.

Consistency is key for this United team. If they can maintain the levels they found in their previous four games, it seems they have a genuine shot at not only the top four but also the title. However, displays such as their first two games will shackle the team and leave them searching for more.


Oh dear, what has gone wrong at Chelsea? Only 16 months removed from winning the Champions League, manager Thomas Tuchel was sacked after a lackluster start to their season. Barring some spectacular individual performances from Raheem Sterling, this Chelsea team just hasn’t clicked. They lack a focal point in attack, and their once formidable defense seems shaky.

Many will point to the sale of the team by Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovic as a reason for the team’s issues. Almost instantly after purchase, it felt as if new owner Todd Boehly was looking to leave his mark on the club. However, many argue that sacking a Champions League-proven manager this early in the season is foolish and reckless. On the bright side, Chelsea has been able to lure away Graham Potter from Brighton who has overachieved in the past. He is more than capable of leading Chelsea in the future.


This Liverpool squad somehow seems to be snake bitten. A strong team on paper, they have been dropping easy points to teams they should be beating comfortably. It seems that losing Sadio Mane hurt them a lot more than expected. Darwin Nunez has shown he needs some time to adjust to the rigors of the Premier League, and while I don’t doubt he’ll perform to his potential, Liverpool seems to be lacking that alternative threat to Mo Salah they had with Mane.

Another issue for Liverpool has been injuries. Thiago, one of the best midfielders in the world, cannot be sufficiently replaced with a 35-year-old replacement in James Milner. Still, Liverpool should not be constantly drawing with the likes of Everton, Crystal Palace and Fulham. Right now Liverpool is looking for some consistency to catapult them back into at least top-6 contention.