I know that everyone is saying it, but the English Premier League is getting more and more competitive. Gone are the days when one team would steam roll over all opposition for an entire season. Gone are the glory years for Liverpool, and more recently Manchester United who, in their respective runs, dominated the English league for years on end.
I know what you are thinking, what about Chelsea? Is it their time to rule the Premiership? This editor is not convinced. Sure, Chelsea have scored 14 goals in their first three appearances, and in the same breath, they haven’t conceded any goals. But one must remember that a season is very long, and even with such a big and valuable line-up of players, a couple of injuries can upset the workings of a time very easily.
More importantly, the race for the title won’t be a one-horse one, simply because the quality of all the teams are getting better and better. Another factor that is contributing to the improvement of the league, is the fact that some teams are being funded by bored people with way too much money.
I think a lot of experts are backing Chelsea to take the crown, but I think everyone knows that Manchester United are never fully out of contention, they seem to have a knack for peaking at the right times during the course of a season. Arsenal’s relatively young and inexperienced squad are quickly becoming more experienced, plus they have managed to retain their World Cup-winning captain Cesc Fabregas, which can’t hurt their chances.
Next for me, is the ever “growing” team of Manchester City. This team that once merely walked in the shadows of their rival Manchester United have been injected with a triple-dose of vitamin finance. Making them a force to be reckoned with, even though they have not gelled as well as a team, they are well on their way.
Even though you might want to, one can also not completely write Liverpool off. Maybe they are not solid title-contenders, but they are most definitely going to be making things difficult for everyone along the way. With Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres slowly finding their form again, they might still create a few surprises.
Spurs are relatively consistent performers, and all teams visiting White Hart Lane, have found it tricky at the best of times. The same can be said for Aston Villa who have also been much more consistent in recent years.
The next bit is where things get interesting though, it’s all the in-between teams that can cause all sorts of chaos.
- Sunderland, have already upset Manchester City by defeating them at the Stadium of Light
- Fulham were able to hold Manchester United to a draw a week ago
- Newly promoted Newcastle have managed to thrash Aston Villa 6-0
- Even Blackpool have started their campaign with a victory.
So, it seems that the Premiership, now more than ever, will be impossible to predict with amount of “Elite” teams becoming more and more, and the “weaker” teams are getting better, and the newly promoted teams are hungrier than ever to stay in the top flight.
I think it makes excellent viewing for the neutral observer. But it should also benefit the die-hard supporter, because if your team is the one to lift the trophy, then you can truly know that they were the all round best time throughout the season. Sounds like an obvious statement, but winning the title doesn’t mean thumping all the weak teams anymore, it means slugging it out week in and out against every team, and being successful despite injury problems and the large number of games to be played.
All I can say is… good luck!