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The Camden Cad
Aug 24, 2004
North London
As the halfway point of the Premier League season approaches, we sent Iain Macintosh to compile reports cards for all the movers and the shakers. Who's the most improved student? Who deserves a merit award? Who's so bad that they're in danger of being moved to remedial class? Find out here!

Liverpool -

We've always expected big things of this particular student, but he has a tendency to be easily distracted, especially by foreign trips. We have seen an improvement in the quality of work but a number of recent assignments, none of them particularly challenging, have been filled with grammatical errors and have only just made the grade. It's a shame because more concentration could yet deliver a Merit Prize.

Model Pupil - Steven Gerrard is trying to drag Liverpool over the line on his own this season. If they do fail, it won't be for want of trying from him.

In Detention - At £20m, Robbie Keane looks like one of the worst buys of the season. Rafa got rid of Peter Crouch for this?!

Grade - A-

Chelsea -

We couldn't believe the difference in the quality of this student's work at the start of term. Usually a hard-working but functional boy, we were delighted to see some new ideas, daring school projects and an improved attitude that made him a joy to teach. Unfortunately, we're quite concerned that he may have some problems at home as we've seen a sudden drop off in the quality of his work there.

Model Pupil - Chelsea can buy whoever they like, but their star performer continues to be Frank Lampard. His passing has been superb this season.

In Detention - Every time you think Florent Malouda has cracked it, he lets himself down in the next game. He must improve.

Grade - A-

Man Utd -

We're very proud of our star pupil, but we're yet to see the best of him this term. Every essay has been handed back on time and there is no doubt over the quality of his work, but we feel that he hasn't stretched himself yet. Currently on a school exchange programme in Japan, we're hoping that he returns with new vigour for the rest of the term. Complacency could still cost him the Merit Prize.

Model Pupil - Darren Fletcher has never been a favourite with Man Utd fans, but he has really stepped up a grade this season.

In Detention - It's sad to see it happening, but injuries and old age may be finally catching up with Gary Neville.

Grade - B+

Aston Villa -

It's difficult to believe that we were considering dropping this young man to remedial class a few years ago. Every year has seen a gradual improvement in the quality of his work and we're sensing that some very impressive grades could be within reach now. A well-organised and punctual student, the next stage is to eliminate those occasional moments of sloppiness.

Model Pupil - Gabriel Agbonlahor is having a coming-of-age season. Nine goals in the Premier League and an England start.

In Detention - Nicky Shorey will not be getting back into the England side when he's being kept on the bench by a right-back.

Grade - B+

Arsenal -

We have serious concerns about the plight of this young man. Once one of our brightest lights, there are now doubts over whether or not he should be entered for the Inter-Schools Cup. Some essays, usually the most difficult, have been executed in typically ebullient style, but the easier ones are often forgotten about entirely, handed in two weeks late in green pen with the pages missing. What's going on?

Star Performer - Arsenal will really miss Theo Walcott this winter, especially as he was just starting to look world class.

In Detention - Nicklas Bendtner has had plenty of first team opportunities. One goal is not a productive return.

Grade - C

Hull -

Let's be honest, we weren't entirely sure that this was the right school for a young man of such...erm...modest upbringing. How delighted we were to see that not only was he equal to the challenge, but also enthusiastic enough to take on a number of our star pupils in their own field of expertise. Good starts are only half the story though and we will watch with interest to see if it continues.

Star Performer - Michael Turner is the strength in Hull's defence and he's had a tremendous season so far. Keep an eye on him

In Detention - Hull are in the top six in the Premier League! Who am I going to criticise?

Grade - A

Everton -

We have no complaints about this student whatsoever. Always punctual, always hard-working, he makes the best of his own abilities. Hamstrung a little by his lack of textbooks, he is resourceful enough to get by. More imagination and daring is required to compete with our star pupils, but we can't all be exceptional students. The world needs bank managers, after all.

Star Performer - Phil Jagielka epitomises Everton. Ever-present, determined, unspectacular and willing to try anything.

In Detention - Mikel Arteta is one of the few flair players in Everton's squad, but he doesn't look it this season.

Grade - B

Portsmouth -

It's been quite a year for this young man, what with his excellent Science Fair victory in London back in May. However, we are aware of a change in circumstances at home and are concerned as to what the future may hold. A fine natural student, he won't be able to continue at the school if all of his books are sold in January. Caution must be exercised at this difficult time.

Star Performer - Lassana Diarra has already played for two of the big four, but more of these performances and he'll be at a third in no time.

In Detention - A year and a half ago, David Nugent was at the centre of a £6m tug of love. What went wrong?

Grade - C

Wigan -

Another one of our more impoverished pupils, but we've been impressed with flashes of real insight here and there. Has taken advantage of a few of the older library texts and some of the more exotic foreign pamphlets to form some interesting views. He's never going to be a star pupil, but with the right amount of dedication he should be able to avoid remedial class with few problems.

Star Performer - Emile Heskey is playing the best football of his career this season. Wigan must keep a tight hold of him.

In Detention - Jason Koumas is a natural talent, but he can't do enough to hold a place in the first team. Disappointing.

Grade - C+

Fulham -

Consistency, consistency, consistency. That's why this pupil is passing exams with a degree of comfort this term instead of worrying about dropping down with the slower boys. Still worryingly poor on field trips, as he always has been for some reason, but the impressive home work is enough to compensate. Formulaic, determined and composed. Good work.

Model Pupil - Fulham have struggled to keep their goalkeepers fit in recent years, but Mark Schwarzer has been an impressive ever-present.

In Detention - Bobby Zamora works his socks off, but you can't help thinking that he should have produced more than one goal in 15 games.

Grade - B-


This is a modified caption
Mar 26, 2004
I think you've missed a trick here... In detention for Hull City...



Phil Parkinson? Leaving Hull in deep Championship doo-doo, his predecessor keeps them up, takes them up and then somehow there is still some up left to move in to!

PS IOU one rep once I have spread it round a bit more. It is Christmas so this shouldn't take long.