Is the title race for the Premier League over already…in October?
Over the past few years, TV pundits and all us normal people for that matter, have had a pretty good idea who would be crowned Premier League Champions, even before a single ball had been kicked. Until last year when suddenly there were whispers of a new team gunning for glory, a team that had never lifted, seen nor even smelt the famous trophy. But then Liverpool finished seventh and Chelsea won it anyway!
You see for me, there are three main attributes a team needs in order to win the Premier League. They are, in no particular order, a fantastic squad, a winning mentality and consistency. Well that’s obvious you may say! Obvious maybe, but easy to achieve all three at the same time…damned near impossible for most. I firmly believe that the most difficult one to achieve and the one that most managers will never drill into their players, is a winning mentality. And it is for that reason that Chelsea Football Club will most likely run away with the League…again! But don’t just take my word for it; lets have a look at their closest rivals using the current league standings.
Manchester City, the mighty citizens!
Recently, City actually stalled Chelsea’s title bid by beating the pensioners 1-0 at Eastlands. But this actually helps to highlight where city’s problems lie. They have an unbelievable squad and if they keep it together without adding numerous players every chance they get; they might even break this monotonous cycle of Chelsea and Utd being the only title contenders, fairly soon.
Carlos Teves joined city in July 2009. He is their longest serving first team regular at one year and three months. It’s not then, a shock to the system to find them up and down in performances and results alike. And surely no team can put together any kind of team spirit or winning mentality when your still wearing name badges in training! (Who are you again?)
Manchester United, have winning mentality in abundance! There’s no team like United when it comes to demolishing a team one week and grinding out a 1-0 win the next. Alex Ferguson has installed that grit, determination and drive into every one of his United sides since the start of the premier league, bagging them eleven championships. United are still by far, Chelsea’s biggest rivals but don’t have the squad to really compete. United are an aging team and this isn’t the Serie A! With the likes of Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Brown, Owen, Giggs and Scholes all staring at the finishing line of their careers, United aren’t quite the dominant force they once were.
Arsenal and Liverpool. Why pair them up you ask? Because they have the exact same problem. Both sets of fans will argue this until their blue in the chops but neither side can compete without their respective captains. Arsenal’s last league win was four games ago against Bolton, and NOT ironically, was Fabregas’ last full game for the gunners before getting injured against Sunderland, a game Arsenal went on to draw after Fabregas had put arsenal ahead in, before getting injured.
Liverpool are simply a shambles on and off the field with the bookies now seeing Liverpool as relegation contenders rather than title hopefuls.
Tottenham. Consistency is the key! If Alex Ferguson were the manager today, they’d probably win the league this year. It’s not that I’m blaming Harry Redknapp as I think he’s a fantastic manager who set’s his teams up in the right manner. Its just Mr. Ferguson has won things, and demands his team win things. The current Tottenham squad on their day is capable of beating anyone. It’s oh too often though that the likes of Wolves and Wigan go to White Hart Lane and win. Tottenham are a young team that has yet to learn the art of the 1-0 win. The kind of hard fought win that has won Chelsea and United countless points.
So after weighing up all of this, unless Karl Henry is let loose on Chelsea’s training ground, the monotonousness will continue.