Recent results have shown that the English Premier League is going to have one heck of a climatic finish. The season has been a roller coaster, with no team looking strong, especially from the “big teams” like Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United. Fans of the league, like myself, see this as a positive, seeing that every team is now getting better and better (all except West Ham United). But it really begs the question: are the lower teams getting stronger, or are the big boys getting weaker?
Why would I believe the big boys are getting weaker? Look at Chelsea. Due to their lackluster buying over the past few years, Chelsea has forgotten about their youth team. The first team for Chelsea is getting older, and with age comes frequent injuries when playing sports. John Terry can’t keep playing through pain for the next couple years, and we are already seeing Frank Lampard having difficulties with his injuries. There is no real successor for those two players in their youth team, at least none that is brought to my knowledge. Manchester United will have fewer problems so long as SAF is in charge, but even he can’t seem to figure out the team’s away form. Although they have not lost yet, no team can win the league by drawing as many times (7) as they have already. Arsenal is getting stronger, but they lack maturity even after so many years of hype. They also lack a true leader, and Vermalean is that guy, but he has been out for two months with one of the most threatening injuries (Achilles).
However, let’s give credit where credit is due. Bolton is by far the best and most improved team in the league. They are creeping up without anyone noticing. They are sitting in 4th of the table due to goal differential. They are red hot, all in part to the team’s togetherness and from a group of players. Any team that deserves any praise is this team. West Brom and Blackpool are playing great football as well. And Blackburn is looking very tricky. Birmingham showed great togetherness to beat Chelsea yesterday. And Newcastle, although very up-and-down, will be staying up and challenging other teams for more years to come.
But I ask you all: what do you think? Is the league getting stronger, or is it getting weaker? Does this say anything about the talent in England, or the need to spend more on international players to make teams stronger?