The English Premier League is perhaps the most open competition it has ever been. Preseason favourites Chelsea, Man Utd and Man City have respectively lost 2, 3 and 4 games. On top of this they have drawn (again respectively) 3, 2 and 1 games. Doing the maths shows that Chelsea have dropped 12 points, Man Utd 13 points and Man City 14. To put this in perspective we are are almost a quarter of the way through the season and in the entirety of last season the champions Man Utd dropped only 25 points 7 of which came after the title was won. Clearly, it is more plausible than ever that an ‘outsider’ could go onto win the title.
It is important to note here that ‘outsider’ is in quotation marks because, whilst I might want to be a romantic I’m only willing to extend the pool of potential title winners to three more teams Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool. Afterall Southampton might be flying high but they aren’t going to keep their current form up forever and similarly Everton haven’t got the quality or the depth to mount a serious challenge. Tellingly for the quality of the premier league however, clubs like Everton are almost certainly going to be both closer to the top spot and closer to relegation (in points) than ever before.
A look at the table proves my point. From 18th place to 10th place there is only 4 points difference. Furthermore, the team sitting in 10th is West Brom who have beaten Man Utd and drew with Chelsea denied victory only thanks to a referee who must have though he was officiating Tom Daley. Whilst at the same time drawing at Fulham and Stoke and losing to Southampton at home. West Brom are not the only examples of teams pulling out yoyo like results. Newcastle are 9th in a season in which they have been spanked by Man City. Played one of the worse 45 minutes of football I’ve ever seen against Everton. Lost to a Sunderland who for much of the season have been as toothless as an old crone. Before completely nullifying and beating Chelsea and then getting three points against a very strong Spurs team. Anyone can and will beat anyone. Week to week nothing there are no cast iron scores.
This makes for great fun but it does rather make lie to the notion that the premier league is the best league in the world in terms of quality. It probably makes it the best to watch however.