2011/12 – There are no longer ‘easy games’ in the Premier League

by Steve Sharman

So far, the 2011/12 season has definitely been one of the most exciting seasons in the Premier League for a long time. We have seen a variety of odd results, upsets and some fantastic goals but what is becoming visible is there are no easy games for anyone.

We are currently half way through an incredible season that has seen some incredible results that no one would have ever predicted at the start of the campaign. The 8-2 demolition of Arsenal by Manchester United at Old Trafford in August is the stand out result that saw the current league champions make the Gunners look  a complete laughing stock. However this result came back to haunt the Red Devils when their rivals and big spenders Manchester City beat them 6-1 at home. Other results that have stood out so far include Arsenal beating London rivals Chelsea 5-3 at Stamford Bridge and Tottenham Hotspur beating Liverpool 4-0 at White Hart Lane.

It is now clear that a top four in the league no longer exists. Teams like Spurs and Manchester City have significantly improved their squads and now are competing for the top positions in the league. What was a top four 5 years ago has now become a top six, meaning one of the clubs will miss out on a European position at the end of the season. We can’t rule out the form and ever growing improvement from Newcastle United either. Their 11 game unbeaten run at the start of the season surprised everyone, with impressive results against Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United and the phenomenal goalscoring of striker Demba Ba has given the club the notice they deserve.

There may have been some odd results between the top teams in the league but we can’t ignore how well some of the lesser teams have done against the bigger clubs. The notable games include QPR’s home win against Chelsea, Sunderland’s late win against Manchester City and quite recently Aston Villa’s away win against Chelsea.

No team can play anyone else in the league and expect an easy win whether it be home or away. Every team in the league has their strengths and against some teams, these pay off and they get the result they deserve. For example Wigan Athletic pulled off two draws at home against Chelsea and then Liverpool, results that they deserved due to resilience and sheer determination. We take Swansea, newly promoted but with their slick passing game and a solid goalkeeper, they have picked up some good results this season. Even Blackburn Rovers have beaten Arsenal and Manchester United and have drawn at Liverpool yet got beaten by relegation rivals Bolton the following week.

No one is unbeatable in the league and nothing will change as the season progresses. Teams will become stronger, squads will be strengthened and there will be more surprising results to come, making the Barclays Premier League more exciting than ever.

2 Responses

  1. Jamie says:

    Really have to disagree. No easy games for anyone? The top teams are actually more dominant than usual .

    Currently, the top three are on target for 85 points + each, with the champions set to hit 90. Look back on the history of winning margins, and that’s pretty rare. The top teams usually drop points more regularly than they have this season.

    Up until this week, it had looked like both City and United were charging towards 90 points, and this with what everyone considers United’s weakest squad in years. This year they threaten dominance this league hasn’t seen, not even from the ‘Big Four’.

    You can look at Man Utd’s defeat to Blackburn and bring out the old “anyone can beat anyone in this league” cliché. But if you look at it this year, they haven’t really. City, United and Spurs have strolled to away wins more easily than ever, we had the state of national shock when Sunderland dared beat Man City, and of course the Baggies celebrating like they’d won the cup or something when they drew 0-0 with them.

  2. What I was aiming at wasn’t just looking directly at the top three teams. Yes they are dominating the league at the moment. But if you look at the league in a broader context and not just the top teams results, Chelsea have dropped points at Wigan and QPR, arsenal drew at home to wolves and lost to Fulham away, as did Liverpool.

    Newcastle were beaten at Norwich, Spurs were held at Swansea. There are games you would look at like Liverpool Swansea at Anfield. You would expect an easy home win, but that wasn’t the case.

    There are games where you expect an obvious result whether it involves a top team or not and you get a result you didn’t expect. Yes we were surprised to see City and United drop points over the same weekend and yes they are running the show alongside spurs at the moment but I was trying to see it from a bigger angle and not focus on big teams results

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