Is this the worst ever standard of Premier League football?

'The best league in the world'

The Premier League has long been hailed as the best league in the world by many fans around the globe. The unrivalled competitive nature, the star names, unpredictability and the gargantuan clubs are just a few reasons as to why so many of us are obsessed with English football.

Down the years, we have been blessed with incredibly competitive seasons. Any Premier League fan will remember the year the Manchester clubs battled until the final seconds in 2011/12, and West Ham United's great escape of 2006/07, or the time Tottenham Hotspur beat Manchester City in a winner takes all battle for the final Champions League spot.

Famously, since the rebranding in 1992, the Premier League has been the most watched league in the world, with complete justification for that claim, as well. Now, England's top-flight has taken a very surprising downfall this year.

Inconsistencies like never before

Other than the league leaders Liverpool, every single team has failed to capitalise on another and remain on the right path. This year, teams are so incomparably inconsistent across the board, with Manchester City losing five times already - just one less than the past two seasons combined.

At the same time, the top-four contenders Chelsea, Spurs and Manchester United have all lost eight times, whilst Arsenal have drawn 12 - that is 50% of their games.

Never in a Premier League season have we seen so many teams draw and lose so often at this point in the league. To put it in perspective, at this point last season Spurs are 20 points worse off, Arsenal 17, Watford 10, West Ham eight and United 11.

A one-team league

Without discrediting Liverpool too much, they couldn't have chosen a better season to hit their unstoppable form. At a time when the Reds have been winning like never before, teams such as City have struggled to win four games on the bounce.

Now, Liverpool's dominance is just an indication on how poor the rest of the league have been, as in previous years, the runaway leaders have somewhat been challenged.

Today, it seems ridiculous to bet against Liverpool. Whereas years gone by, the Arsenal Invincibles drew 12 games, United's '99 treble season was close until the final whistle, and Chelsea's 2004/05 season was still a test for them at times.

In truth, Jurgen Klopp's men are looking like going unbeaten, as nobody else is consistent enough to compete with them during 90 minutes. Plus, they certainly can break City's 100-point haul from 2017/18, as they are just one point behind where the Sky Blues were after 24 games that season.

Little difference between relegation and Europe

To see how far the Premier League has fallen this year all you need to do is look at the top-four race. Last season, after 24 games, 19th-placed Fulham were 30 points behind fifth-placed Chelsea. This season, 19th-placed Watford are only 11 points behind fifth-placed United.

Even in the season most teams were below par when Leicester City won the league, fifth-placed United were still 21 points clear of 19th-placed Sunderland after 24 games.

For the majority of this season, we have put teams like Newcastle United and Burnley in the relegation mix, yet both of these sides are just four points off Spurs and the Red Devils - so where does this leave their standards right now?

Where does this leave the league?

For a start, it leaves the 'Big Six' a little off the pace with regards to attracting the big name players. The likes of Christian Eriksen are already trying to get out, whilst United are struggling to get players like Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon over the line - a club in which they have easily taken Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani from in the past.

Plus, this surprising stint of form from the Premier League outfits is only going to benefit Liverpool moving forward. Not just can the Reds claim their 19th title this year, but winning and equalling United's 20th may be just as easy the following season.

Something has happened to the Premier League this year, and it is quite bizarre considering we had an all English final in both of the major European finals last season.


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