West Ham are by far and away the Premier League’s most improved side when their results are compared to the commensurate fixtures last season.
Sam Allardyce’s side have taken a hefty 24 points so far this term, an improvement of 11 points on where they stood after 14 outings in 2013/14.
At that juncture they were fourth from bottom, now they are fifth from top.
However, it’s not simply been the result of a generous hand of games, with the Irons claiming 14 points more than they did in the fixtures they’ve fulfilled last season.
A drastic improvement in road form has underpinned their upturn, with wins at Crystal Palace and West Brom and draws at Stoke and Hull where defeats were sustained in 2013/14.
Meanwhile, if the Eastenders’ improvement feels obvious then Villa’s will be less so, with a six-game losing streak marring their nascent campaign.
However, shockingly they’re a healthy six-points better off than they were from the same games last season.
Like West Ham an increased resilience on the road has aided their upgrade, with victories avenging 2013/14 losses at Stoke, Liverpool and Crystal Palace.
The wins at the Britannia and Selhurst Park must regarded as particularly encouraging given they are far more likely to be readily repeated than last term’s shock successes against Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea.
From the astounding to the sublime, Jose Mourinho’s men are they only other side currently two wins ahead of the curve based on the exploits of the previous campaign.
With the exception of the draw at Sunderland an utter refusal to make the same point-squandering mistakes against lesser sides is the root cause.
Besides the Black Cats, away trips to Manchester United and Manchester City are they only occasions on which they‘ve dropped points in 2014/15 league action.