The Premier League – Who wants it?

by James Baker

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Another weekend passes us by and still the big teams are falling over themselves to not take the initiative in the Premiership title race. Of the top 6 teams, only Chelsea won making the league one on the most open in recent history. Over the past few seasons, one or two teams have really stood out come the end of October. This season the big teams seem to be playing on a more even playing field.

Manchester United, the greatest team in the history of the Premiership seem to be a little rudderless at the moment. Ronaldo and Tevez were always going to be big misses for them this season but I have been surprised by how ordinary they are looking at the moment. The defence looks shaky after being almost impenetrable last season. The midfield looks devoid of much flair. Valencia looks a decent player but is a work in progress. The same can be said of the poor mans Ronaldo, Nani. Berbatov continues to be an enigma up front and Michael Owen is going to struggle to stay fit for long. The only players seeming to produce the goods week in, week out for the reds are Giggs and Rooney. How long are they going to be able to keep producing the goods? Even these two couldn’t do it on Sunday.

That brings me on to Liverpool. What a wretched start to the season they have had. Struggling in both the league and Europe, not many people expected the scousers to be languishing where they are. I think there was a genuine feeling on Merseyside that this would be the season. I’m not so sure they are so confident now. They won the big one on Sunday and seemed more “up for it” than United but will they be able to maintain this? Again, without sounding clichéd, without Gerrard and Torres they do look very ordinary. By the way, what does Jamie Carragher have to do to get sent off?

I think many felt that the title could be coming back to London with Chelsea this season. They started impressively but then lost two on the bounce away from the Bridge before Saturday’s thumping of Blackburn. Yes, they were good on Saturday and will beat most on their home turf but we have since discovered that Swine Flu is hovering over the Ewood Park club and how much did this affect the team on Saturday? Chelsea have so much depth and quality, surely they will be the ones to seal the deal.

What has happened to the defence of the Wenger boys? In the old days when they were winning titles, if you went one down to the Arsenal, you knew it was very unlikely you would get back in to a game because the defence stood firm and then they would rip teams apart when the other team committed too many men forward going for the equaliser. You could argue they were a little unlucky with the fouls for the goals they conceded on Sunday but how they only drew the game was a bit of a mystery.

Manchester City threw away a two goal lead as well and their defence looks increasingly to be their achilies heel. Villa could only draw and Spurs lost. I think Villa and Spurs are still a long way from breaking in to that top 4 but City should be there or there abouts.

So we have a very open league for the first time in ages. I think Chelsea will be most people’s favourites and you can never rule out United. However, I am going controversial. If they can add a little solidity to their defence, I have a feeling for Arsenal. Maybe it is a season or two too early for them but they have goals all over their team and can beat anyone. If they can put games to bed as they should have on Sunday, they really could be in the shake-up. A big if, I know.

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  • Stevie

    It’s pretty exciting, the top 4 have already lost 10 games between them, that’s as much as the whole of last season. Chelsea look well strong though, especially with Joe Cole back in the side, it’s like a new signing for them.

    It’s going to be tight, it’s wide open with 3 or 4 decent sides knocking on the top 4 door

  • Mike Somerville

    Chelsea would be my choice have said it from day one. Their only weakness is in defence, but Ancelloti will drill it into them until they cancell out there lack of concentration. Carvalho has looked shaky, but they still have top quality center backs such as Ivanovich and Alex if he continues his poor form.

    Similar to City really, but Chelski are more of a team than City and that will see them through

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