The EPL’s “Big Four,” (Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool), have utterly dominated the league since its inception in 1992. Other than Blackburn Rovers’ title in 1994-95, only Man U (11), Chelsea (3) and Arsenal (3) have lifted the EPL trophy. Meanwhile, Liverpool has not finished outside of the top eight since the EPL began. Even this season, three of the big four are in the top four of the current standings. However, take this weekend for an example of the league’s new found parity. Table toppers Chelsea tied eighth place Aston Villa 0-0, Arsenal squeaked by 17th Birmingham City 2-1, and Manchester United had their fifth draw of the season, 2-2 against perennial minnows West Bromwich. Liverpool have had a terrible campaign thus far, finding themselves in 19th place, winning just one match in eight attempts.
It is obvious that the EPL is still top heavy, with Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal as title contenders, while other big spenders Manchester City and Tottenham are second and fifth respectively. However, the fact that the current top ten finds West Brom (6th), Bolton (7th), Stoke City (9th) and Blackpool (10th) within striking distance of the top five is a pleasant surprise. Perhaps it is because many of the top teams feature players who had little rest after the World Cup, and who are now featuring in Euro 2012 qualifiers. Maybe the smaller teams are finally spending their money wisely, and perhaps the new “home grown players” rule is having its desired effect as well. Whatever the case may be, this season’s EPL race for the top four has the potential to be the most exciting in years, which would only solidify the belief many have that the EPL is the best domestic league in the world.
About the Author
Written by Robert Bode
A sports die-hard through and through. I grew up playing almost every sport possible, and to this day I try to stay as active as possible. However, since I'm not a professional athlete, talking and writing about sports is the next best thing. A University of Florida graduate but living in my hometown of Washington D.C. (well Northern Virginia), my favorite teams are the Florida Gators, Miami Dolphins, Chicago White Sox, Washington Nationals, Real Madrid, good up-tempo NBA teams (so not the Knicks), and Washington Capitals.