If there is one thing missing from this stage of the Premier League campaign, it’s the fact that there is no real title race.
Chelsea are dominating the Premier League, and it seems no one else is going to challenge them for the top spot. If anything, there is more of a battle for the other remaining Champions League places. So is the standard of Premier League slipping?
At this point of the season, Chelsea are just a point better off than they were 12 months ago. But, as I am sure we all remember, it was not a dead cert that Chelsea would win the title. In fact, they finished their season in third place. The top four spots looked very different overall this time last year. Liverpool were in second with 71 points: now they’re in 5th with just 57 points.
Manchester City, on the other hand, were in third after 31 games in April last year. They’re in fourth now, but on a horrendous run of games. The points difference between the side then and now? A staggering nine points. City went on to take the title last year – now, they’ll just be glad to finish within the top four.
[ffc-gal cat=”premier-league” no=”5″]
Arsene Wenger’s north London side? Much of the same. At this point, they have just two more points to their name than they did last year, but it just happens to be the difference between sitting in fourth and now in second.
Are the teams getting worse and is the standard dropping? For some sides, the quality of their football has been sub par compared to last year. The current champions Manchester City are falling short of the side they one were. Their recent successive losses show no sign of slowing down, and their manager’s job hangs in the balance.
Liverpool were undoubtedly going to struggle this season. Following the departure of their top goalscorer Luiz Suarez to Barcelona, their attacking presence isn’t what it once was. And surely they have not quite recovered from the loss of last year, and of what could have been.
Manchester United are the new addition to the top four, being the only side to make a noticeable progression over the last year – unsurprisingly since dropping David Moyes for a competent manager. Twelve months ago United were a joke, and now they’re making their way back into Europe.
By next year, with some luck, there will be an actual title race to watch. Chelsea will still be one of the sides to watch, but should have some more serious competition. Manchester United will be looking to make a real mark next year as Louis Van Gaal will have a year’s Premier League experience under his belt.
And Arsenal will probably be in fourth.