How Exciting is the Premiership?


The Premiership.

Or The English Barclaycard Premiership, to give it its full name with income generating sponsor attached. The best and most exciting league in the world.

How many times have we heard it said? Time and time again we are told what a wonderful league it is. How wide open it is. How it is more exciting than any other league in the entire world.

As if.

Sadly the premiership is now…… dare I say it…… boring.

For years the Scottish Premier League has rightly been judged as a two horse race. But is the premiership any different?

Every season it’s the same thing. The winner of the matches between Arsenal & Manchester United will win the league, the previous two seasons promoted clubs and West Ham will fight against relegation, previous big names such as Liverpool, Spurs & Everton will put half a dozen results together to excite their fans but ultimately end up in midtable and a bigspending roughie (Chelsea, Leeds or Newcastle) will finish a distant 3rd.

European football is surely the best benchmark for the premierships clubs. It provides a true test – a true gauge – of how the clubs are faring away from their insular English world. Sadly Europe is where the premiership clubs have been found wanting. Arsenal, Chelsea, Newcastle, Liverpool, Blackburn, Leeds, Fulham, Ipswich (yes I know!) and Manchester United. That’s nine teams – nearly half the league – that have played in Europe this season. Only two managed to get as far as the quarterfinals of their respective cups where one – Liverpool – was clearly shown up as outclassed and the other – Man Utd – is, I suspect, about to be. Arsenal – super Arsenal – the champions & double winners – won only 4 of their 12 champions league matches. Judging by the ease with which they won last seasons championship, and the ease with which they are winning this seasons, it is hardly a recommendation of the standard of the premiership is it? Meanwhile Spain have three clubs in the last 8 of the champions league…. as do Italy, who have a fourth club in the semifinals of the UEFA Cup. Clearly there is a gulf between Serie A & La Liga and the Premiership. Even Portugal have two teams in the UEFA cup semifinals. Two more than England as well.

This season we had the sight of a Scottish team coming to England and not only beating their hosts, but destroying them. Celtic’s demolition of Liverpool at Anfield will long live in the memory of half of Glasgow, and most of the worlds neutrals. It was – for the premiership – an embarrassment. Not because Liverpool lost, but because they were shown up to be what the premiership represents…pretenders. This of course after Celtic had embarrassed Blackburn in an earlier round. The premiership should have taken notice then.

And excitement? Well on a goals per game ratio the premiership is behind Spain Germany & Italy at present.

Must admit though …the premierships marketing men appear to be in a class of their own. I wonder if they believe what they say?

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2 Responses to How Exciting is the Premiership?

  1. Ryan says:

    Greetings,

    Let me first start off by saying that I enoyed reading your blog. While many of your thoughts were insightful I have to pledge my full undivided attention to the love I have for the sport. Growing up in the States a “soccer” fan struggles to get their daily fix of European football. But when we do, we take full advantage of it. The English Premier League is pretty much all we have the priviledge of watching on FOX SOCCER CH. along with Italy’s Serie’s A.

    In my personal opinion I wouldn’t choose any other league over the Premiership. I love the battles each season between rival teams. I feel that a great majority of the worlds greatest players come out of the English Premiership – Gerrard, Ronaldo, Rooney, Giggs, Fabergas, Lampard, Ballack, Drogba the list is never ending…I dont know about you but I personally enjoy watching many of the youngster grow into talented young studds – Walcott, Nani, Anderson, Fabio De Silva etc.

    But don’t get me wrong, getting the opportunity to watch UEFA’s Champions League is beyond a treat. The world’s best combined into one league… genius! Let’s also keep in mind that since 2004 an English team has been present as one of the two teams in the UEFA Championship. With and English team running a total of 11 Champions League victories…not to mention the double victors – MANCHESTER UNITED last season

    Feel free to visit my blog, while I’m new to the whole social media blogging world I do appreciate your comments…CHEERS!

  2. footballthinker says:

    Ahhhhhh…thanks for your comments Ryan!!!!! History is often not kind to the blogger or journalist! The above article was written around the time that Abramovich took over Chelsea and its fair to say that the premiership has come a long way since then. There can be no doubt now which league is the best in the world. The Premierships clubs regularly sweep all before them in the Champions League now but at the time the article was written it was vastly different!

    One thing remains the same though and thats the top of the table. Liverpool & Chelsea have joined Man Utd & Arsenal but the top 4 does seem to be the same every season – only the order changes.

    Here in Australia we are blessed with unending coverage of the World Game through SBS ESPN Fox Sports & Setanta. Usually on a weekend all 10 EPL fixtures are shown live, plus up to 3 Serie A matches and 2 La Liga games. There is also live coverage of the SPL, the Bundesliga & La Ligue – oh and bizarrely the Blue Square Premier!!! Not forgetting the A league the Asian Champions league the UEFA Champpions league & the UEFA Cup.

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