Premier League – Anyone can beat anyone

by Dave Redden

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Shocks and surprises are the norm here

Anyone wondering why the English Premier League is regularly purported to be the best in the world really need look no further than the last weekend’s round of games.

Surely Liverpool and Arsenal, members of the “Big Four”, can take care of Tottenham and Stoke. Not so quick, this is the Premier League. OK, so bottom of the table Bolton’s at home but Manchester City should easily take care of them, right? Not so quick, this is the Premier League. Even Portsmouth can take care of Wigan on their home ground, can’t they? Not so quick, this is the Premier League.

The parity in English football is unparalleled and from one week to the next no team is really expected to “take care” of the opposition. What a great time to be a bookie!

Take Hull City, for example. If ever a team coming up were favourites to take the drop prior to the season’s start, it had to be Hull. Instead they sit fairly comfortably in sixth place having defeated Arsenal away and given Manchester United the fright of their lives, also on the road, over the weekend. I honestly believe that many people around the country are secretly, if not openly, rooting for the Tigers. Let’s face it, they have been a breath of fresh air when it comes to the usual game plan employed by promoted teams.

Back to the parity of the league, though. Consider this: Newcastle United were second to bottom in the league before they defeated West Brom, 2-1, on Tuesday. Those three points took them from 19th to 15th. By the end of play on Sunday, the results were such that the Magpies had slid all the way down to the bottom of the table, before defeating Aston Villa, 2-0, on Monday night. That’s a drop of five places in six days …. in late October/early November …. Only to jump back up six places to 14th after the win.

Newcastle have been a disappointment so far, not only to their fans, but to the league in general. Let’s be fair though, it’s not all due to the players on the pitch. Maybe they have the time to sort themselves out under interim manager, Joe Kinnear. Time will tell. While we are dwelling on disappointments, let’s mention Manchester City. City are the self appointed heirs to turn the Big Four into the Big Five. Results against Middlesbrough and Bolton within the last week would point to that not being the case. I suppose they are just waiting for the transfer window to open again. Spurs too, should be labelled a disappointment so far, although they had two excellent results with that exciting comeback against the Gunners midweek and another late resurgence against Liverpool to take the 2-1 victory.

At the other end of the table, aka the Top, we still have the Big Four, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal, even with all the parity we have already discussed. The one difference between these four is the ease with which Chelsea are winning some games, such as Middlesbrough and Sunderland, both 5-0. Their goal difference is worth at least a point already.

Still, Chelsea should be able to beat everyone in the bottom half of the table anyway, right? Not so quick, this is the English Premier League, shocks and surprises are the norm here.

Article written by our guest author Dave Redden, a published author originally from Leigh, England, author Dave Redden was introduced to Kentucky high school basketball when he became the athletic coordinator at Millersburg Military Institute in Bourbon County. Intrigued by the passionate players and fans, Redden began researching historic schools and teams around the Lexington area.

Any basketball fans should check out Dave’s brilliant book High school basketball in Fayette County.

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  • Darren

    Villa losing last night was a shock, however, Arsenal losing at Stoke was not. Everyone knows you play to your strengths, Wenger played into Stokes hands by changing his line to mute the Potters arial bombardment, it back fired very badly.

    The Spuds beating Liverpool was also a shock, but not a shock to see them at the bottom again.

    So far though it looks like all the teams can beat eachother, Chelsea should run away with it in my mind.

  • Matt Quinn

    Villa losing was not a shock! Its been on the cards for a while.
    Over the last week….
    We beat Wigan 4-0 and should have lost.
    We beat Blackburn 3-2 and should have lost.

    Were being found out. Mark Ashley Young out of the game and we have no creativity.
    We also missed Stylian Petrov last night. He adds a bit of class to our midfield.

    Also, ive said it before… Milner is the worst player ive ever seen in a villa shirt. A modern Steve Stone… and we paid £12m for him!!! Could have got that Guttierez for half the price.

  • dexylongshot

    I’ve always like Milner, he’s still young and give him a chance, he’s only played a handful of games for Villa. I didn’t see the game but have got Guttierez in my dream team and heard he looked the business again. With him back in the team and Kinnear bollocking everyone as well have some Barton instilling some fight (maybe too much), i think the Magpies will put a run together soon.

  • Darren

    he’s well over rated, like headless chicken who’s been to a 18-30 piss up on a beach with a stick. He goes round and round like a cheap battery, there’s hardly any end product. He’s very good in an England under 21 shirt but we all that’s a completely different level!

  • Jake

    Lets hope soccer ball is the winner this season!! It’s been a great season so far, and Rod Hull and Emu deserve lots of credit for their amazing start.

    Stop it croc!!!

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