The Premiership is a funny old league, and this season is no different. Each gameweek we are seeing smaller clubs take three points off ‘stronger’ teams, and it’s tight, bar Chelsea, at the top. Rebecca Parry questions whether this is a testament to improved performances by mid-table teams, or a general decline in the Premier League’s quality.
You can argue that despite Chelsea’s recent defeat to Newcastle, they really are taking the Premier League by storm this season. Jose Mourinho seems to have found the perfect formula that the majority of teams have failed to break down.
Although Chelsea are playing well, they aren’t invincible, and although they were leading the table by a long distance, teams are gradually beginning to catch up – these teams include Manchester United.
Some may say that Manchester United have come far since Louis Van Gaal has taken over, and in some aspects they have. At the moment, they’re getting the results they need to climb the table. But despite all of the attention on their progress, the quality of play is still poor in terms of passing and general creativity. It leads you to the assumption that this season has failed to produce some of the high quality football that the Premier League is best known for.
Sides like Southampton, Newcastle and West Ham have started to make their way up the table with winning runs that are the standard of top four sides. With no disrespect to those teams, there’s usually an earlier time in the season where those that temporarily occupy the top spots are separated from the real contenders.
At the moment however, it stills feels like we’re in a slight dilemma – when sides lower down the table causing ‘upsets’ against the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal doesn’t really surprise us.
Furthermore, Liverpool and Tottenham are still within reach of fourth spot. Spurs may have played slightly better than Liverpool, and so their results may be a reflection of bad luck or late wins. However, Liverpool’s decline in terms of performances has turned a lot of heads, and not for the right reasons. From a fan’s perspective, and with the way they’ve been playing this year, we shouldn’t realistically be in with a chance of gaining a Champions League spot. However, the Reds are still only seven points adrift of fourth-placed West Ham – a possible climb if they find the answers to turn it around.
There’s been a lot of hype over the past few years surrounding the Premier League, and how it’s the most exciting league in the world due to its quality of football and of course, its unpredictability. What we are currently seeing is the quality of the league becoming interesting only due to the anticipation that there’ll be ‘shock results’ on most weekends.
So, it makes one wonder – is this a testament to some of the mid-table teams, who are improving the quality of the league by playing better football or; that due to the ‘big teams’ currently misfiring, the league’s quality is currently enduring a slight dip?
Do you think that this season of the Premier League is the worst we’ve seen for a long time? Will ‘mid-table’ teams such as West Ham and Newcastle really finish the season in such high positions? Who do you think will ultimately take the title?