The Premier League is wide open – and long may it continue

by Ashleigh Rose

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Another weekend of Premier League football and another surprising set of results, proving once again that this is shaping up to be the closet league for many years – and it’s about time too. For us neutrals the Premier League was slowly starting to resemble it’s neighbors north of the boarder, with a top four (rather then a top two) dominating both the league and cup competitions. But this season has slowly seen a shift and a break in the dominance of those four clubs, paving the way for some unpredictability that’s been lacking in recent seasons.

Yes I know with a glance a the table it sees the same familiar team at the top of the pile. Manchester United have shown that without playing particularly well and without the gust and guile of Ronaldo and Tevez that they will still be the team to beat – mainly down to their resolve to never be beat. But even the champions haven’t had it their own way thus far, dropping points to both Burnley and Sunderland, and were a Gary Cahill hair length away from letting a two goal lead slip on Saturday, and they look more beatable then we’ve seen for a long time. Chelsea arguably their main rivals are also looking unusually shaky, especially at the back. Defeats to Aston Villa and Wigan have come via set-pieces and seen the Blues out-muscled, much to the brilliant annoyance of John Terry and his hissy fit on Saturday.

Further down the table you can see Spurs in third place and looking like a much stronger more consistent Tottenham team then we’ve seen before and Arsenal & Man City who if they both win their games in hand, would see only two points separating the top four as we head into the busy winter period. Throw into that the Champions League schedules for the big four, then it really is a big possibility we could see new faces trading for those top four spots come May.

The real losers in all this could well be Liverpool. Beyond the whole beach ball fun, was yet another league defeat, meaning a loss to Man Utd this weekend could see their title dream over before we even get to Halloween. And that’s not the only worry, with Champions League qualification on the line tonight and a squad that looks like it’s not even as good as the likes of City, Spurs and possibly Villa. Questions are being asked about not only their title credentials but top four as well.

It’s not just the top end though, throughout the league each team is getting closer and making the league impossible to predict, which is great for English football. You can no longer go into a weekend and be confident that certain teams are going to get the same result that they would have got last season. Wolves drawing at Everton? Burnley beating Sunderland? Ok it’s not the Championship where anyone can literally beat anyone, but it’s getting there and makes Saturday night infront of Match of the Day a hell of a lot more entertaining then in past seasons. Long may it continue!

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  • Tom

    I’m loving the season so far, I predicted west ham would go down, I also predicted sunderland would gatecrash the top 4! Let’s see if they can, I don’t c why not.

    On top of that you’ve got the most xciting championship in years with only 4 points separating the top 10, Blackpool in the prem league? Ne one 4 a beano?

  • dexylongshot

    West Ham don’t look too clever at the mo but they will be ok. Tony Pulis said on Saturday The Hammers don’t deserve to be down there and they don’t. We have been playing some excellent football and haven’t had much luck. Also, we have had mostly away trips and the defeats at home to the Tots and Scousers (who were lucky) were expected (although Stoke wasn’t, maybe without that penalty and Huth getting what he derserved, we could have come up trumps on Sunday). Sunderland are flying, I too thought they would do well this season although I think top 4 is out of reach. Top 8 if they keep up the good work although Cattermole will be missed, 3-4 months out, ouch!

  • Mike

    Liverpool have been unlucky with injuries but we all knew this was going to happen. You have to get cover for Gerrard and Torres. And by cover I don’t mean Jay Spearing and David N’Gog.

    Watch Fulham leapfrog Sunderland and fly up the table!

  • dexylongshot

    Don’t count out the mighty Hammers getting in the top half by the end of the season.

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