The Premier League got the grand finale it deserved in a season that Arsene Wenger himself has described as the ‘strangest one he has ever known’ in his 15 years in English football. It is back to its unpredictable best and only further underlines the general feeling that England possesses the top League in World Football.
You couldn’t write the script yesterday and why City’s last gasp win has arguably eclipsed Michael Thomas and Arsenal’s title success in 1989, as the most dramatic finish to a league season. We are all left to reflect on a season that has seen the good, bad and the ugly side of football. It is certainly been an exciting Premier League this year without question, given some of the results; however I would find it hard to agree that the quality of the League and teams have improved in any way. The standards of top clubs have dropped dramatically, in the passing years, and we are seeing a changing landscape within the Premier League.
Without wanting to rain on City’s parade, it really hasn’t proved a difficult league to win compared with previous years. Manchester United is a side in real transition and yet they still managed to take City all the way before losing the title to simply goal difference. If we move further down the table then both Arsenal and Tottenham complete the top four places, even though both sides lost nearly over a quarter of their games this season and had major slumps throughout their campaigns. The very fact that both Swansea and Norwich are comfortably in mid-table shows how the Premier League has become an easier gig and any side capable of showing consistency or putting a run of wins together can climb the table very quickly.
One thing this season has done is open club’s eyes and certainly raises a certain amount of optimism among the respective chairman. Football clubs now know that the giant gap that use to exist and the once fabled ‘big four’ no longer exists and there are genuine opportunities for clubs to achieve Champions League football. Aside from that I am sure the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and even Tottenham will be buoyed (given the struggles they have faced this season) by City’s success and will fully believe that with some astute spending in the summer and looking to address the flaws they had within their performance this season that the ability to challenge for a title is well within their reach. The bookies probably won’t look further than City and United next season, but I wouldn’t like to rule out any of the aforementioned sides being in the title mix in the coming year. The Premier League is as open as it has ever been within its 20 years and while the 2011/12 has been City’s year without question, I fully expect, and hope, we witness a far stronger challenge from the also-rans next season.