David Unsworth

(Pre-Derby) Premier League Power Rankings

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Which clubs are surging? Which are struggling?

[ MORE: MLS Expansion rankings ]

The last time we visited PST’s Premier League club power rankings, there were upstarts high up in the table.

And this time of season is perhaps the most fun period to evaluate clubs in this way, with teams having seen most of the league opposition once yet not at a point where the standings are an accurate depiction of team power.

In a lot ways, we’re looking at power rankings as a measuring stick. Combining recent form with table standing, it’s a bit like saying, “Who’d win in a neutral site match today?” while also keeping in mind that liking Crystal Palace’s recent form more than Spurs doesn’t mean the bottom three Eagles should be eighth.

It’s also a good time to take stock, with three emotional derbies this weekend set to sway the minds and hearts of fan bases: West Ham hosts Chelsea, Everton is off to Liverpool, and Man City visits Manchester United.

Below you will find the latest batch of club Power Rankings as we rank PL clubs in terms of where they’re at right now with their form.


  1. Manchester City (1) — Still unbeaten, and about to contest one of the season’s two biggest league matches against a derby mate missing its most influential player.
  2. Manchester United (7) — With Paul Pogba out, better hope David De Gea is ready to double up on historic performances. Can one more day’s rest help close the gap?
  3. Chelsea (5) — Quietly humming along, with Eden Hazard back to his best.
  4. Arsenal (12) — Lost to Manchester United thanks to a trio of defensive gaffes which, along with De Gea, betrayed a dominant, possessing, attacking display.
  5. Liverpool (10) — Waxed Brighton to continue long unbeaten run into first Merseyside Derby of season.
  6. Leicester City (13) — Don’t look now, but have beaten Burnley and Spurs in consecutive weeks to slide back into European contention. Can they keep Riyad Mahrez in January?
  7. Watford (9) — Consistency in defense is key, as Everton and Man Utd losses came despite two goals in each.
  8. Tottenham Hotspur (4) — The slump is real, as Spurs are winless in four league matches and four points behind the Top Four.
  9. Burnley (2)– Sean Dyche‘s men have lost two of three, still challenged in attack.
  10. Everton (20) — Took momentum from beating West Ham in the last match of David Unsworth‘s caretaker stint right into a win over struggling Huddersfield Town, but Sam Allardyce should be wary of judging results against reeling competition.
  11. Southampton (16) — Charlie Austin is back on the score sheet and something feels right about that. Is he the finishing answer for Saints’ plethora of providers?
  12. Bournemouth (14) — A team that’s lost just once in its last five also happens to have just two points from its last three. Glass half what?
  13. Stoke City — It’s hard to give anyone credit for halting a slide when its stopped by beating Swansea.
  14. Crystal Palace (15) — Would be even higher were it not still in the drop zone despite a fourth-straight result. Have lost just twice since Roy Hodgson took over at Selhurst Park.
  15. Newcastle United (8) — Need January difference makers in a bad way, as steady unit remains unspectacular.
  16. Huddersfield Town (3) — Four-straight losses include Bournemouth and Everton in David Wagner‘s first real Premier League morale challenge.
  17. Brighton and Hove Albion (6) — Liverpool blowout not nearly as troubling as home draws to Palace and Stoke.
  18. West Bromwich Albion (17) — Alan Pardew‘s men showed more style, but still winless since August.
  19. West Ham United (19) — Credit where it’s due: West Ham took Man City to the wire.
  20. Swansea City (18) — Aside from a visit to Chelsea, this was supposed to be a fixture run to move the Welsh side up the table, not down.

Sam Allardyce named new Everton manager

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Big Sam is back in the game.

Sam Allardyce, 63, has signed an 18-month contract to take charge of Everton who had been without a permanent boss since Ronald Koeman was sacked last month.

David Unsworth (who will step back into his role as academy director and U-23 coach) had been leading the Toffees on an interim boss but following their 4-0 win against West Ham on Wednesday, Allardyce has taken over permanently and he was in the stands to watch that win.

It is believed that Sammy Lee and Craig Shakespeare will arrive as Allardyce’s assistant coaches at Goodison Park, with Everton currently in 13th place in the Premier League table with just four wins from their opening 14 games of the season.

“Everton is a unique club and I feel really enthused and energized to come in as manager. Obviously the club has gone through a difficult spell and hopefully I can put that behind us as quickly as possible,” Allardyce said.

Following his departure as England boss in September 2016 after just one game in charge due to being embroiled in a undercover newspaper scandal, Allardyce took over Crystal Palace last December and kept them up before leaving them at the end of last season, pointing towards a decision to slow down and step away from the game.

It didn’t last long.

His proud record of keeping teams in the Premier League and not being relegated during spells with Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United, Sunderland and then Palace meant that Everton and other PL strugglers were keen to get Big Sam on board.

The Toffees have turned to an experienced head to keep them away from the bottom three and Allardyce’s appointment on an 18-month deal suggests that he is not the man to lead Everton in the long run, but his job will be to steady the ship and try and finish in the top 10 this season.

With Roy Hodgson landing at Crystal Palace and Alan Pardew taking over at West Brom, the same old faces keep getting jobs in the PL.

Allardyce has certainly done alright after his decision to step away from Palace and rebuilding this Everton squad may be a little easier than most people think. Getting them solid defensively will be his main challenge in the short-term but they certainly have an array of attacking talents to hurt opponents.

Allardyce, Everton finalizing terms; Unsworth in charge vs. West Ham

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After 37 days without a manager, Everton have finally settled on a new boss: Sam Allardyce is in the final stages of finalizing terms with the club and will be named the next Toffees manager in the next 24 to 48 hours.

[ MORE: Pardew named new West Brom boss ]

Everton made the announcement on Wednesday, hours before the scheduled kickoff of their Premier League clash with fellow strugglers West Ham United (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold) at Goodison Park. The Toffees, who fired Ronald Koeman on Oct. 23 and have been led by interim boss David Unsworth ever since, enter the unlikely relegation battle in 17th place; West Ham sit 18th. Unsworth, who has amassed a record of 1W-1D-2L in the PL, will remain in charge against the Hammers.

In the days following Koeman’s departure, Allardyce was quick to withdraw his name from consideration for the job, but as Everton grew more and more desperate — after failing to land Burnley’s Sean Dyche or Watford’s Marco Silva, among others perhaps — owner Farhad Moshiri returned to one of the more obvious candidates this week as it became more and more apparent that the club must quickly pick itself or face a genuine relegation fight between now and May.

Allardyce has long been lauded a master battler of relegation, but two questions come to mind when considering that reputation: 1) how did it get this bad, that a relegation specialist is required; and, more importantly, 2) assuming Allardyce keeps them up, is he the one to rebuild this thing from the ground up starting in May?

Premier League Wednesday: Intrigue throughout

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Midweek Premier League action continues Wednesday with four Top Four hopefuls aiming to increase their stock following Spurs’ surprising loss to Leicester City.

Manchester United won, too, hoping for some help from Southampton and others in a bid to chase down leaders Manchester City.

[ LIVE: Stream every Premier League game ]

That’s where we’ll begin the Wednesday preview:

Manchester City vs. Southampton — 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN)

The Premier League leaders’ table lead again shrank to five points, but City won’t have a problem with the onus being on them. What they may have a problem with is Southampton, who busted out from its offensive doldrums against Everton on Sunday.

Arsenal vs. Huddersfield Town — 2:45 p.m. ET

Arsene Wenger‘s like some sort of Top Four zombie; Each year many assume he hasn’t done enough in the transfer market and has lost his hold on the modern player, and each year he rebounds from the season’s early nadir. Now Arsenal can move four points clear of North London rivals Spurs, and keep pressure on Chelsea and Manchester United.

The visitors are no slouches, however, and Huddersfield Town has given a lot of good teams runs for their money this season. Circle this one, even if it is at the Emirates Stadium; Should be a beauty.

Stoke City vs. Liverpool — 3 p.m. ET

Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool is yet to lose at Anfield this season, but boasts just two wins and eight points from six Premier League away matches; Stoke scores like a top half side but has conceded more goals than anyone other than Everton. Expect goals at the bet365 Stadium (which of course bodes well for nil-nil).

Chelsea vs. Swansea City — 2:45 p.m. ET

The Blues have dropped points five times this season, and three of those occasions came at Stamford Bridge. Wednesday’s visitors are actually better away from home, but that’s about the only advantage Paul Clement‘s Swans have considering the depth of Chelsea.

(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Everton vs. West Ham United — 3 p.m. ET

Sam Allardyce is reportedly close to become Everton’s new boss, but David Unsworth‘s the man in charge of a visit from Big Sam’s former charges. Completing the bizarre landscape is the return of David Moyes to Goodison Park. A win boosts West Ham out of the drop zone and pushes Everton into it.

Bournemouth vs. Burnley — 2:45 p.m. ET

The visitors could finish as high as fifth if they can manage a road win at the Vitality Stadium; Sean Dyche is staying at Turf Moor despite interest from plenty of Premier League sides, and now looks set to compete for a place in Europe. That may sound funny, but the Clarets have picked up results against Chelsea, Liverpool, and Spurs, and could’ve had a point from Arsenal should James Tarkowski not shoved Aaron Ramsey in stoppage time. Can they avoid a slip up against Eddie Howe‘s Bournemouth?

Unsworth rips into Everton players after big loss

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David Unsworth loves Everton, but hates the performance of his rudderless team.

The caretaker manager and longtime Toffee wasn’t at a loss for words after a 4-1 shellacking at the hands of Southampton on Sunday

“It’s killing me,” he said.

[ RECAP: Saints 4-1 Everton ]

Unsworth has called the Everton job his dream job, but the Toffees have failed to do much of anything since cutting ties with Ronald Koeman.

They remain just two points clear of the drop zone. From the BBC:

“Confidence is as low as it has ever been. The club has to decide and the sooner that happens the better. The players need this resolving. What I see is a happy squad but I’d rather have an unhappy squad that’s winning. I want what’s best for the club and I hope the players do too.”

In other words, Everton’s squad is a sated bunch despite the losses. Somewhere, Koeman is smirking (He loves a smirk, though, to be fair).

Many fearful Everton supporters and neutral pundits have called for Sam Allardyce due to his record of never being relegated, but if a club feels it has to go with a domestic boss with a record might we suggest Tony Pulis? At least there’d be less “me first” talk after games…