The Premier League prides itself as the most entertaining and competitive league in the world. While arguments backing the former still stand tall, that of the latter is fast losing its punches. It is no longer news that the “sleepless” league which was clearly atop the European coefficient years back are not only third but are on the verge of losing their final Champions League place to the coefficient’s last victim, the Italian Serie A.
Worse still is that the mediocrity which saw no English side go beyond the second round of all European competitions last season has now inevitably tricked down to its domestic league. A real testament to this is Leicester’s seemingly comfortable reign at the top of the table. The Foxes will most likely eventually fall-off the summit and possibly the top four but that will more likely be attributed to a poor run rather than outstanding performances from the chasing pack.
This begs the question, would Leicester City be Christmas champions at other top leagues?
Credit must be given to Claudio Ranieri’s men for successfully exchanging destinies with Chelsea by going on an impressive run of 11 wins, five draws and managing only one loss all season. Apparently, they built on their season-saving conclusion of last season where they won seven of their last nine matches, making it 19 wins so far this year. They have now made history in the process by becoming the first ever club to be top at Christmas after being bottom of the log the previous year but again, this would have been impossible in the other top leagues.
At different points this season, we’ve seen also teams like Celta Vigo, Villarreal, and Sampdoria go top in their various leagues but the big guns displaced them at their first slip. This, however, has not been the case in England as the much fancied Manchester City, record winners Manchester United, champions Chelsea and traditional chasing packs Tottenham and Everton have all performed below par, leaving only Arsenal with a fairly consistent run in second place.
Predictably, the eventual champion is likely to finish with less than the recent low of 80 points with which Manchester United were crowned champions in 2011.
Conclusively, the Premier League remains competitive but only because of a conspicuous drop in performances of the so-called big clubs.
Follow Larry Eghosa on Twitter – @LarryEghosa