Liverpool, Tottenham, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd graded
Liverpool get an A+ but it is a C for Manchester United
Last Updated: 27/12/18 8:34pm
At the halfway stage of the season, the reports are in on how the top six have fared so far.
Here, former England defender Stephen Warnock runs the rule over every top-six team and grades their performance in terms of attack, defence and transfer business.
This is his verdict...
Liverpool - A+
Liverpool have started the season exceptionally well. Defensively it's very sound, they have conceded only seven goals all season which is outstanding.
If you look at the transfers that have come into the club, they have done brilliant business. Alisson was massive money. Was he the right goalkeeper to come in? Yes, he has made two errors leading to goals, but overall he has looked calm and assured and his passing has given Liverpool a new dimension in terms of setting up attacks.
Fabinho has been exceptional of late and Xherdan Shaqiri has been superb, playing a role in key games whether that's as a starter or coming off the bench. The only question on the transfers is Naby Keita. Has he really hit the ground running? Whether that's through injury or lack of confidence I'm not sure, but I am sure he will come good.
The other important side of it is to not let players leave because Liverpool have relied on the squad. Nathaniel Clyne was out of the squad recently and hasn't been involved all season, then he's suddenly playing against Manchester United and was arguably one of the best players on the pitch. These are big decisions that Jurgen Klopp has to make.
Tottenham - A-
Attack-wise when we look at the players on display - Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, Dele Alli, Lucas Moura and Christian Eriksen - you know they are a threat going forward because there are always goals in the team. For me, the attack was never a major issue.
Defensively, there have been questions asked. I think they have been poor at times. They have missed key defenders, whether that is Jan Vertonghen or Toby Alderweireld.
The transfers is the most difficult one to grade because in the summer people were saying they had made the wrong decision and needed to buy. I was one of them. But has he got it right? It was his decision that if he didn't get the right players he was happy to leave it because he was happy with the squad size. But if he'd gone into the market would they be even higher?
Man City - B+
We know the quality in attack. We know the players that they possess with Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling. There are so many that you could talk about because they are so exciting going forward.
But the defence is the problem. Not only is it the defenders but it is losing Fernandinho because he plays such an instrumental role. He does so much work for those defenders off the ball in terms of organisation. The full-backs know they can go forward with the security of him being there seeing the danger all the time.
It was one of the biggest questions facing Manchester City. If they lost Fernandinho then how would they cope? Well, they have lost the last two when he has not been there. That shows his importance. That's the big problem.
Chelsea - B
They have been great compared to where they were last season under Antonio Conte. They have improved.
On the attacking side, I still feel they need a number nine. They need a 20 to 30 goal-a-season man. That is what the best teams have. They have never really replaced Diego Costa and he is a game changer.
Defensively, they do ship goals but that is not because of the defence it is because of the open, expansive football. As for the transfers, I have gone for a B just because they did not get that number nine in.
Arsenal - B-
The players they have in attack are frightening but they have struggled defensively. You only have to look at the goal they conceded against Brighton. That was shocking. It is glaringly obvious that they need a centre-half in the team. Laurent Koscielny is a good defender but it could take him a while to get back from that Achilles injury as it's a nasty injury to have for a footballer.
The players who they have brought in, are they good enough to take them into the top-four positions? I am not so sure they are. They still need a strong leader at the back because the problems that Arsenal have had have always been at the back.
Manchester United - C
It has not been looking good but it has in the last two games. It will improve and it will get better. The attack has never been a problem for Manchester United. I think they can actually improve in attack too. When they start pressing higher up the pitch, they will create more chances. The big problem is the defence but when you press higher, you take the pressure off the defence.
Jose Mourinho moaned about not getting a defender but I actually think this defence is good enough, I just think they are defending the wrong way. It's the team setup. Under Mourinho, they sat deep on the edge of the box but the game has changed. There is only so long that a defence can sit deep and go from side to side before someone finds a gap.
What do they do in January? Do they give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer money to spend? If they do bring in players are they his buys or are they the club's buys? I still believe the manager should have the final say. Whether Solskjaer gets to make those decisions, remains to be seen.
Warnock's top-four prediction
2. Man City