The Premier League is deemed the highest quality and most competitive football league the world has to offer. Recent results and events in the league are starting to strongly support this theory; so is this potentially going to be the best Premier League season we as football fans have the pleasure of seeing? I hope to get close to an answer in the following article and look at why so many teams this season are falling victim to gross inconsistency (with the exception of a few).
I am revelling in the fact that week by week I am not sure what is going to happen. Cast your mind back over the last five or six Premier League seasons and you will be reminded of the dominance of Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal in the top four spots in the league. This trend was broken last season only by Tottenham achieving fourth place in what was a slightly different season to what is deemed ‘the norm’.
How is this season different? Well, quite simply inconsistency is more prominent amongst the vast majority of Premier League teams. We see a Chelsea side topping the table having lost just under a third of their Premier League games this season. Chelsea’s four losses this season have come at the hands of Birmingham, Sunderland, Liverpool and Man City; only one of whom are in the top seven.
When we look slightly further down we see a Man City side starting to work cohesively in fourth place. Just behind them are Bolton, who lie in fifth place despite losing half the amount of games Chelsea have! We then see Tottenham, who have demonstrated some extremely inconsistent form this season. Yes we have seen some outstanding victories and inspiring performances, but can a team with such high ambitions afford to lose to West Ham, Wigan and Bolton in the opening third of the season. Title contenders at this stage? I tend to concur with the views of Robbie Savage on BBC 606, suggesting that Tottenham simply do no have the depth or consistency to contend for the title.
Further success stories this season would include the likes of Stoke and Sunderland, whose strong home form in particular sees them sitting comfortably in the top half of the table. Are these the type of stories we as fans of the league want to hear? I think they certainly are! Undoubtedly, if your team is not used to wallowing down near the bottom of the table then you may find yourself begging for equilibrium to return.
Aston Villa’s ability to produce the most inconsistent form in the Premier League continues to amaze me. I have supported Villa for 16 years and I cannot guess what is going to happen each week. Will I see a strong resilient performance full of counter attacking and pace? or will I see a laboured, lifeless and dull loss at the hands of a Premier League side who themselves are struggling to produce?
Everton and Fulham find themselves at the wrong end of the table having accumulated only five wins between them from 28 games this season. When we look back these are two teams who have been challenging for European places on a regular basis, so why the inconsistency!?
Last of all, when discussing inconsistency in the Premier League we must remember that Man Utd remain the only team not to have lost yet. It might only be a matter of time before the inevitable does happen, but for now perhaps the most consistent team in the Premier League have been Man Utd; consistently avoiding defeat and fighting back when three points seem all but lost.
One thing is for sure, this Premier League season may well prove to be the most hotly contested season of all. Such changes could be attributed to a whole host of things. The changing pace of the game, the quality of modern coaching or changes in personnel to name a few. Either way, I like what is happening in our Premier League. I hope we continue to see the pundits and fans of the modern game shocked and surprised week by week.