It is peculiar how this season the title dash seems to cool down as soon as it heats up. As this weekend’s history making football came to an emphatic end, despite losing, Manchester United will still be the happiest of the top teams.
So when analysing the current top four, who has the best chance of securing the Premier League title?
Many, still do not consider Manchester City as genuine title contenders but with the three teams around them throwing points away, maybe they can sneak in a strong bid. However with 36 points left available, achieving the majority of them will only see them reach the same amount of points which left them in fifth a the end of last season.
Chelsea won the Premier League last season losing six matches; they have already lost seven games this season leaving them ten points adrift in fourth. Still they are not thought of as out of the title race.
This is mainly down to the Red Devils drawing eight games to date compared to the four they drew for the whole of last season. Sir Alex Fergusons’ unbeaten run finally came to an end as Wolves defeated them 2-1, adding to United’s poor away record this season.
Tailing them is Arsenal, who provided the neutral with one of the most exciting games of the season as they collapsed on top of a 4-0 lead against a spirited Newcastle side. They could have closed the gap on the league leaders to just two points but will go the week four points behind. Looking at the stats it is clear to see why they aren’t on top, the Gunners have conceded 27 goals, more than previously mentioned teams.
Yet, all of these negative stats provide the league with an unmatched excitement. Whilst Barcelona may be the best team in the world, watching them scoring goals for fun can become tedious and in La Liga, the outcome has seemingly been decided, taking away its edge.
In the Premiership it is hard to say whether the lower teams have improved, or if the top teams haven’t performed but on the face of it, the latter seems more likely. There haven’t been any real stand out players this season, with Samir Nasri, Gareth Bale and Dimitar Berbatov exceptions. Whether it has been injuries or personal problems, other players have failed to live up to expectations.
Last season we saw Wayne Rooney and Didier Drogba battle it out for the Golden Boot along with Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard trying to show who England’s best number 8 is. Each of these personal duels brought the best out of the top players in England.
In contrast this season, those mentioned have been overshadowed by players who look to be performing heroics by the normal standards associated with their clubs. The likes of Stuart Holden (Bolton), costing only £200,000, have shown that talent doesn’t always come in the form of millions of pounds.
Another, more than worthy of note is Charlie Adam, whose creativity in the middle of midfield has already propelled him to the level of the Premier Leagues best. A player now in high demand, there is a stirring anticipation of whether he can continue to excel at a bigger club if he leaves Blackpool.
Overall the big teams losing out on maximum point’s week in, week out can only increase the climax for the end of the season. We saw the title go down to the last day in 2010, but it was between two teams, it is more than plausible to believe that this time it could be between four.
For once we may not see the matches between the big teams decide the outcome but teams lower down the league deciding it for them.
So with United’s poor away form, Arsenal’s shaky defence, City’s inconsistency and Chelsea’s general form, who is your money on?