With only a handful of games left of the 11/12 season remaining, we’re in for a terrific finish.
So far we’ve seen:
- Man City mount their first title challenge
- The demise of Chelsea under AVB
- A ‘poor’ Man United side doing just enough to win games
- A Liverpool side who have disappointed once again
- Arsenal comeback from a poor start
- Spurs seeming to implode again towards the end of the season
- Newcastle flying high for the first time in a while
- Two newly promoted teams exceeding expectations in Swansea and Norwich
Many have commented on Fergie’s side this season as being the worst Man United team in a while. And the fact that they top the table highlights just how poor the rest of the teams in the Premier League are.
Just looking at the ‘top teams’ and their performance in Europe, it seems the League has taken a step back in quality. Man United somehow failed to qualify from the relatively easy group they were drawn. Man City had a tough group and it was their first taste of the Champions League so we’ll excuse that exit at the group stages.
But neither team performed well in the Europa League (the mickey mouse cup of Europe) either. Man United crashed out to an Athletic Bilbao side who are mid table in La Liga, while City struggled against Sporting Lisbon who are 4th in the Portuguese league.
If City and United represent the best in England, it could be argued the Premier League is not the strongest league in the world like many suggest.
But this ‘weakness’ of the top teams has, in my opinion, made this season fascinating to watch.
It’s going down right to the wire and I’m looking forward to more thrills and spills. With the finishing line in sight, we still need to decide who will; be crowned champions, gain those all important third and forth spots and of course who will be relegated.
Have Man City handed the title to their neighbours, or have Man United snatched it from their clutches? Both I think. However poor a side people think Man United are, going 12 games unbeaten, before the 1-0 defeat to Wigan, while only drawing one of those is still a feat in itself for any past Man United team. Time and time again we see United kick on in the second half of the season; something the blue side of Manchester failed to do.
Although the Etihad Stadium remains a fortress, their away record has cost them dearly. Since the turn of the year, City’s away form looks like 3-1-4. And this has let the reigning champions back in when it seemed unlikely.
Elsewhere, Spurs have given up their 3rd spot which they worked so hard for. Chelsea and Arsenal have both seen a resurgence in the second half of the season while Newcastle remain consistent. It’s anyone’s guess as to who will be lining up in midweek with that iconic Champions League song blearing in the background.
Are the top teams weaker defensively? Or are they more attacking? We’ve been served up so many great high scoring games this season and it’s been great.
- Man United 8-2 Arsenal.
- Man United 6-1 Man City
- Arsenal 5-2 Spurs.
- Chelsea 3-3 Man United
- Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal
- Spurs 1-5 Man City
- Spurs 0-5 Man United
At the other end of the table, five teams are battling for their lives down at the other end. I’ve written off Wolves here; after the sacking of Mick McCarthy and the appointment of his inexperienced number two Terry Connor, they get all they deserve for a monumental f*** up. Again, any of these teams could be waving bye bye or breathing a sigh of relief.
Honourable mentions go to newly promoted side Swansea for the style of play while managing to maintain a respectable league position. We saw how open Blackpool were when they tried to play football the way it should be played and go down. Even when they are being pressed, they refuse to lump it long.
Next season will be interesting. I can see the top teams investing heavily after how poor all of them have been this season.
Is this the most exciting Premier League ever? Tell us in the comments section below.