It’s the end of May and the season is over… and so is the fairytale.
We all got caught up in the sheer delight of a different team winning the league and the joy for most of us as we watched those top teams fall from grace.
It was a season that will be held long in the memory, especially if you are a Leicester City fan. For others, this was a season to forget and so one to move on from.
All of the so-called top teams that regularly eat at the table of Europe stuttered, tripped and fell headlong into the mire of inconsistency, often to the amusement of many.
This past season saw the rise of the underdogs. Those teams that only ever aspire to be more than they can be and are fed the crumbs of the influential four or five in the Premier League.
Tottenham broke into the top four with a style of play that had us on the edge of our seats, as very often they swept opponents away with ease. Leicester have been mentioned many times in the media and surpassed belief, as each week they were expected to fade and then rapidly descend the league table, only for them to outwit many. West Ham nearly broke into the top four and gave others a good run for their money, with Southampton pushing in the latter half of the season and taking a more than creditable sixth place.
And all of this was laudable and unexpected and added some spice to a season, but next year, the Premier League will be a return to the norm and that’s a shame.
Can we really expect to see another Leicester challenge or Southampton or West Ham taking the title in yet another unexpected twist?
The answer will be, no.
With Chelsea, Manchester United and City all changing managers, plus Jurgen Klopp stamping his mark on Liverpool, their impact next season will be huge as they spend big to re-build their reputations on the domestic front and for those involved, in the European arena as well.
With the spending power at these clubs, they will still be able to afford and attract the quality that the other teams can only watch and admire. With respect, teams like West Ham and Southampton, no matter how well they’ve done this season, will not be as attractive to the star names, at least not yet.
Their time may well come and with the advent of huge TV money in the game, the football in this country is now on a level playing field, but the other revenue the big clubs generate will make the difference.
Arsene Wenger thinks the days of the big four are over.
“The big question mark is what happened with Leicester can happen again because first of all every English team can buy players,” he said. “The difference out on the market between those who really make a difference and are just a fraction better, where players go to lower teams with a bit more spirit and a bit more fighting, bit more support and a bit less expectation. And maybe a team that nobody expects now will come next season and surprise everyone. All the English clubs have the money to buy now.”
We all expect the traditional top four teams to be bouncing back next season, but maybe the question should be – will it be a different big four in the future?