In the last decade a few teams have taken it in turns to dominate the title race and make it a clear one horse race to the finish.
But over the last couple of seasons it hasn’t been as clear cut team bidding for the title, with some big teams dropping down the table and others stepping in, making the race for glory a four horse race and an exciting encounter until the last ball is kicked on the final day of the season.
Last season’s race was by far one of the most exciting title races we have witnessed in the Premier League since its inception. Manchester United were totally out of contention, Arsenal were clear leaders for large parts of the season, whilst Liverpool and Manchester City kept within touching distance the whole way. And in May it could have gone to anyone before Arsenal slipped up to hand the iniatiaive to Liverpool, who then slipped up themselves, allowing Manchester City to come in and steal the glory on the last day of the season.
Let us not also forget City’s previous and first title a couple of seasons before that when they took bitter rivals United to literally the very last kick of the season thanks that THAT goal by Sergio Aguero against QPR.
Manchester United were usually the best at doing this and would normally run away with the title after a fine run of form kicking in after the Christmas period and having things sewn up by April. Chelsea had a spell of dominance as well after they were bought out by the famous and very wealthy Roman Abramovic who employed the “Special One” to come in and assemble his dream team. We also enjoyed Arsenal’s Invisibles in the 2003/2004 campaign.
Those seasons are all well and good for the team dominating the league, but not so much for the neutral that craves a nine month season rather than a short seven or eight month one. But, if you want to read anything into the first few weeks of the this campaign, we could be witnessing a Chelsea side prepared to have the title all wrapped up by April after their unbeaten start of six wins and a draw from their opening seven games.
None of the other title contenders look to have hit any sort of form as of yet. Arsenal have stuttered to a somewhat average start, but slipped further behind the Blues with their 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Manchester City have not dazzled anyone with a great run of form, while Liverpool have surprised a lot of people with a shocking start to the season so far, despite so much fuss and promise being made after last season’s second placed finish.
We might only be seven games in, but it is still a good indicator of who looks good and who looks like they will endure a long hard slog to the end of the season. Chelsea simply look perfect at the moment and, despite the fact that all teams will face some sort of dip in form at one stage or another, they look unstoppable. Jose Mourinho has assembled quite a strong squad of players that boasts competition for places all across the park and good rotational options to avoid fatigue and minimise injuries.
The stars so far have been the two Spaniards Cesc Fabragas and Diego Costa, who together have played as if they had been in the same team for years, not months. The two of them bounce off each other really well and compliment the whole style of play Mourinho has been demanding.
The Blues look fluid, entertaining, deadly on the attack whilst solid at the back. All the ingredients needed to form a serious title challenge.
This season has Chelsea written all over it and it’s hard to see what team will have what it takes to stop them.
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