GRADES: How did each Premier League team fare in the Summer Transfer Window?

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After the 2015 Summer Transfer Window slammed shut at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 1, we can now start to analyze the moves each team made over the last two months.

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Premier League teams have spent a whopping $1.3 billion during this transfer period, which is a record for any window involving England’s top-flight, but have they spent that cash wisely?

Let’s break down the business they managed to do. Here is a grade for all 20 PL teams after their deals.

   GRADE

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A Manchester City: After buying Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph and Nicolas Otamendi, then adding Kevin de Bruyne, City have become title favorites. The have spent over $220 million on transfer fees and Pellegrini’s boys are set up to challenge for the PL title and the Champions League.
source: B+ West Ham: The Hammers had a great Deadline Day, and they added 13 players in total. Top business from new manager Bilic as Moses, Song, Ogbonna, Lanzini, Jelavic and Antonio will make a big difference.
source: B +   Swansea City: Garry Monk continues to excel in the market as he brought in Andre Ayew in attack on big wages but for no transfer fee, plus Eder and a bunch of players to augment his strong squad. Top window for Swans.
source: B + Crystal Palace: The Eagles have added Cabaye, Bamford, Wickham, McCarthy and Sako to strengthen throughout their spine. Pardew didn’t lose any important players. Great business.

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B ChelseaMany complained that Chelsea didn’t get the big-name signings but they did land Pedro, and grabbed Falcao and Begovic early on. Mourinho didn’t sign Stones but added two CBs in Hector and Djilobodji. 
source: B Stoke City: A busy, busy window for the Potters. They lost Nzonzi and Begovic but brought in Afellay and Shaqiri in shock moves. All in all, Potters look like a top 10 team once again.
source: B Manchester UnitedScratching your head, yeah, me too. David de Gea’s move collapsed at the last minute, then United seemed to panic buy teenager Martial late on for $55 million. That said, Darmian, Depay, Romero, Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin have all settled in well. Decent business, but plenty of lost opportunities.
source: B Newcastle UnitedFour key players arrived in the window for the Magpies as Thauvin, Wijnaldum, Mitrovic and Mbemba arrived for $80 million in total. Steve McClaren has strengthened the side.
source: C+ WatfordThe Hornets have spent lots of money and bought more players than any other PL team. That will give them a chance of staying up, but most are unproven in England and that will be a big challenge.
source:  C+ Southampton: After losing Schneiderlin, Clyne and Alderweireld, Koeman has pounced to bring in plenty of new faces. Jordy Clasie, Oriol Romeu, Martina, Cedric, Caulker and Virgil van Dijk arriving from Celtic was a big signing at CB. Keeping hold of Mane was huge for Saints.
source: C+ Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers took a different route this season and signed players early and bought from within the PL. Ings, Milner, Clyne and Benteke arrived, while Gomez and Firmino may take longer to settle in. They lost Sterling (a big blow) but overall, a decent window.
source: C+ BournemouthThe Cherries weren’t scared to splash some cash and the arrival of Max Gradel and Glenn Murray in attack will boost their chances of survival. Sensible business from the new boys.
 source: C Aston VillaSherwood has gambled on the French market and so far the jury is out. Gueye has been superb but Ayew, Amavi and Veretout have struggled to settle. Let’s see if Richards, Gestede and others settle quicker.
source: C  Leicester CitySome shrewd buys from the Foxes as Ranieri brought in Okazaki, Inler, Kante and Huth. Solid buys throughout their spine should improve their chances of staying up after a spectacular start to the season.
source: D EvertonThe big thing about this window was keeping John Stones around, and the Toffees have done that despite Chelsea offering $60 million. Martinez has added Cleverley, Lennon and Mori, but apart from that it was pretty uneventful.
source: D- Tottenham: Harry Kane needs help and although Son and Clinton have arrived in attack, Spurs’ new boys are unproven in the PL. Bringing in Wimmer, Trippier and Alderweireld bolsters their defense and Pochettino has trimmed his squad but not grabbing Berahino or a top striker to help Kane will hurt Spurs.
source: D- West BromBerahino did not leave on Deadline Day but he is now refusing to play for the Baggies. Huge blow. They have signed Rickie Lambert and Salomon Rondon in attack, plus Jonny Evans in defense, but overall Berahino’s situation could be very harmful.
source: F Arsenal: Yeah, that striker never arrived did he? The Gunners are the only team in the top five leagues in Europe to not add a new outfield player this summer. They signed Petr Cech, which was great, but how did Wenger not grab a striker and a DM to strengthen this summer?
source: F Norwich City: The Canaries failed to sign a striker and with Alex Neil serious about keeping Norwich up, they have to buy a predatory forward. Norwich failed in late bids for several strikers and right now, their chances of staying up look bleak.
source: F SunderlandSpeaking of bleak survival chances, Sunderland signed plenty of players in the window but you have to argue if they were any better than those Dick Advocaat had before. Lens, Toivonen, Yedlin and Kaboul aren’t really upgrades. Another season of struggle ahead.

The 2 Robbies podcast: Liverpool, Chelsea through to UCL knockouts

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Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle on Liverpool’s nervy 2-0 win against Red Bull Salzburg to take first place in Group E of the Champions League (1:55), Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Lille to secure a place in the Round of 16 (13:15) and who is the current favorite to win it all (20:45).

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Plus, what Arsenal’s come-from-behind 3-1 win at West Ham means for both London clubs (29:10) and the Robbies discuss what they’re looking forward to most at the next Live Premier League Mornings Fan Fest in Miami Beach (46:05).

To listen to more lively conversations and passionate debate from Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, subscribe to The 2 Robbies Podcast on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

And you can follow them on Twitter @The2RobbiesNBC here.

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]

PL Club Power Rankings: Week 16

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The Premier League didn’t issue too many surprises at the bottom of the table this week, but two top-tier sides didn’t behave as such and shook up our rankings.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Chelsea and Man City have dipped low, and Bournemouth’s skid doesn’t have it sinking lower (yet) because of the teams beneath it.

Green: New season-high ranking
Red: New season-low

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings archive ]


20. Watford — Liverpool and Manchester United are next, and it’s looking a long way back to safety.
Last week: 20
Season high: 17
Season low: 20
Last match: Drew 0-0 v. Crystal Palace
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday at Liverpool

19. Norwich City — Outshot, out-passed, our possessed Sheffield United at home and still lost. Bad vibes, man.
Last week: 18
Season high: 10
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 2-1 v. Sheffield United
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Leicester City

18. West Ham United — Just feels like there’s something lurking below the surface here. Doesn’t smell right given the Irons talent.
Last week: 17
Season high: 5
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 3-1 v. Arsenal
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Southampton

17. Bournemouth — Losing to Liverpool is no shame, but it’s almost officially time to worry.
Last week: 16
Season high: 6
Season low: 17
Last match: Lost 3-0 v. Liverpool
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Chelsea

16. Aston Villa — Tom Heaton is a heck of a goalkeeper but he can’t be expected to save four A-plus danger chances per game.
Last week: 14
Season high: 8
Season low: 16
Last match: Lost 4-1 v. Leicester City
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Sheffield United

15. Southampton — West Ham and Villa back-to-back have to provide four points if Saints revival is to be believed.
Last week: 15
Season high: 13
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 2-1 at Newcastle United
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday v. West Ham United

14. Everton — Duncan Ferguson gives the Toffees board reason enough to be patient with their managerial hire, and then Napoli goes and fires Carlo Ancelotti.
Last week: 19
Season high: 5
Season low: 19
Last match: Won 3-1 v. Chelsea
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday at Manchester United

13. Burnley — The defending against Spurs — we know, Spurs are good — was enough to drop them far lower than four spots. Abject stuff from a Sean Dyche side.
Last week: 9
Season high: 5
Season low: 15
Last match: Lost 5-0 at Spurs
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Newcastle

12. Arsenal — Freddie Ljungberg started Nicolas Pepe, and Nicholas Pepe was his best player. Stunning stuff, really. Look at the assist below.
Last week: 13
Season high: 4
Season low: 12
Last match: Won 3-1 at West Ham
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday v. Man City

11. Crystal Palace — I want to believe, but am holding out for something more. A derby win versus Brighton would suffice.
Last week: 7
Season high: 5
Season low: 18
Last match: Drew 0-0 at Watford
Up next: 2:45 p.m. ET Monday v. Brighton

10. Newcastle United — Again, Steve Bruce‘s men are getting tremendous Fortune and he’s pushing almost all the right buttons (It takes guts to start Andy Carroll over the struggling record signing Joelinton). This could be a sign of the Geordie Apocalypse.
Last week: 11
Season high: 11
Season low: 20
Last match: Won 2-1 v. Southampton
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday at Burnley

9. Sheffield United — A little wobbly lately, but still a good comeback at Carrow Road.
Last week: 10
Season high: 5
Season low: 17
Last match: Won 2-1 at Norwich City
Up next: 10 a.m ET Saturday v. Aston Villa

8. Brighton and Hove Albion — Doesn’t it say something that a country who starves for young, strong English coaches had one sitting in Sweden for eight years? Graham Potter is legit.
Last week: 12
Season high: 6
Season low: 18
Last match: Won 2-1 at Arsenal
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday v. Wolves

7. Chelsea — Some of those young guys who’ve played so well, so early, are looking a little ragged. It’s a shame Frank Lampard is still waiting on Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who will really help things take another step.
Last week: 5
Season high: 2
Season low: 12
Last match: Lost 3-1 at Everton
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Bournemouth

6. Manchester City — It probably has nothing to do with the system, and a lot to do with not having Aymeric Laporte, Sergio Aguero, Leroy Sane… Still, it needs to be better than a home derby loss to a Paul Pogba-less United.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 6
Last match: Lost 2-1 v. Manchester United
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday at Arsenal

5. Tottenham Hotspur — We’re gonna need multiple screens on Sunday morning, as Wolves-Spurs and Man Utd-Everton are both must-monitor.
Last week: 8
Season high: 2
Season low: 16
Last match: Won 5-0 v. Burnley
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday at Wolves

4. Manchester United — Ole’s at the wheel, and still doesn’t feel like Lewis Hamilton or anything but we’re not worried about heading off a cliff.
Last week: 6
Season high: 2
Season low: 16
Last match: Won 2-1 at Man City
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday v. Everton

3. Wolves — Beat Spurs on Sunday and I’ll go ahead and bet on them as a Top Four finisher, even after the Brighton draw failed to deliver the goods.
Last week: 3
Season high: 3
Season low: 17
Last match: Drew 2-2 at Brighton
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday v. Spurs

2. Leicester City — Wow.
Last week: 2
Season high: 2
Season low: 10
Last match: Won 4-1 at Aston Villa
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Saturday v. Norwich City

1. Liverpool — Wow, only atop the table.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 3
Last match: Won 3-0 at Bournemouth
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday v. Watford

Champions League Weds. preview: Two spots remain

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Only two spots remain in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds, and those will be settled Wednesday afternoon.

In Group C, hosts Shakhtar Donetsk need to beat Atalanta to go through, while the visitors can also go through with a win if Dinamo Zagreb fails to defeat Man City.

[ MORE: Ancelotti reportedly speaking w/ Everton ]

In Group D, Atletico Madrid is through with a win over Lokomotiv Moscow, though Bayer Leverkusen can complete a remarkable comeback from an 0-3 start to the group stage if they beat already-qualified Juve and Atleti loses to their Russian visitors.

You certainly wouldn’t be against Diego Simeone there, though.

“Tomorrow is a great opportunity, every day that you wear the Atletico shirt is,” Simeone said, via Marca. “I believe in my team, in the humility that they have at the moment. The results will come based on what they are demonstrating on the field.”

Premier League sides Man City and Tottenham Hotspur both have their fortunes settled, with City having won Group C and Spurs settled into Group B’s second spot, but they still have plenty to figure out on Tuesday.

Jose Mourinho’s Spurs are going up against a Bayern team that walloped them at home, while City is living an unusual 2W-3D-2L lull in form.

Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League action

12:55 p.m. ET
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Atalanta
Dinamo Zagreb v. Man City

3 p.m. ET
Club Brugge v. Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid v. Lokomotiv Moscow
Bayer Leverkusen v. Juventus
Paris Saint-Germain v. Galatasaray
Olympiacos v. Red Star Belgrade
Bayern Munich v. Tottenham Hotspur

Ancelotti fired by Napoli as Everton, Arsenal lurk

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Carlo Ancelotti won a place in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds, then lost his job.

The Napoli’s boss strained relationship with club president Aurelio De Laurentiis came to a head, with the Neapolitan side advancing in Europe to end a nine-match winless run.

[ MORE: Sporting KC adds Liga MX top scorer ]

That run may’ve included seven draws, but it also saw Napoli dip into seventh on the Serie A table. They are seven points back of sixth and 17 points behind leaders Juventus.

A strained relationship got worse when Ancelotti refused to take the team on a De Laurentiis-ordered “team retreat” following a draw against Salzburg in early November.

Gennaro Gattuso is rumored as Ancelotti’s replacement, and the fired coach himself is being mentioned as an immediate target for Arsenal and Everton.

In fact, the Toffees are in discussions with the Italian legend already, according to Sky Sports. Football Italia claims Arsenal is in on the action, too.

Ancelotti has won the Champions League with AC Milan twice and a third time with Real Madrid. He’s claimed domestic titles in five of Europe’s top leagues, with silverware at Chelsea, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, and Real Madrid.