Manager: Sam has proved to be a good tactician that gets the best out of average players. He is an expert in sports science and the long-ball game and has a knack of signing players to suit his style of play. Since coming to the Boleyn Ground he has never won the hearts of the fans and this is an area he must work on to improve. At present, the fans respect Sam for what he has achieved; however, he has a way to go before the fans totally accept him. Marks so far: 8/10
Defence: The defence started the season well. They have the third best defensive record in the league; a statistic they share with three other teams. They have defended well to help the goalkeeper keep five clean sheets in eleven games. At times they have lapses of concentration during the game which results in slack marking taht costs us goals. The defence could be benefit by signing extra cover in the two full back positions. Overall, a good performance so far, but they need to improve their concentration. Marks so far: 7/10
Midfield: The midfield has come of age this season.This is the strongest section of the team and incorporates two of the most important players in Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble. Ten of our goals have come from midfielders. Nolan is our top scorer with five goals and his contribution so far is invaluable. Noble has scored two goals so far and has the best work-rate out of all his teammates. Diame has fitted in well and has helped plug the gaps when Nolan pushes forward in search of goals. His goal against Arsenal waas quite spetacular. Midfield is an area we have plenty of cover and if the midfield unit continues playing the rest of the season the way they have started, this will be the key to achieving a respectable finish in our first season back in the Premier League. Marks so far: 9/10
Forwards: The forwards have underperformed so far. They have scored just two goals between them, which puts them on par with the defence. Whilst Andy Carroll has made a positive start in terms of work-rate, he needs to start scoring goals to improve his all-round performance and to justify us paying £17m for him next summer. Only Vaz Te and Maiga have scored in league games and this simply isn’t good enough. The overall assessment of the forwards is poor. They must improve and start doing what they are paid for- score goals. Once they contribute on a regular basis, who knows where this will lead us this season. Marks so far: 4/10
Team: The team has played well as a unit. The new signings have fitted in well, complementing the manager’s style of play. Our midfield and defence have played well but must continue in this vein if we are to sustain our fine start to the season and maintain our position in the top half of the league table. Our weakness to date is our lack of goals from strikers. They must start to contribute because if Noaln has a barren spell, we will find ourselves in trouble. Overall a very pleasing start to the new season but we must not get complacent. As our forwards have let us down- Marks so far 7/10