First place- Leicester City.
Who would have dreamt it?
A simply tantalising season with thrills, spills and upsets, the perfect ingredients for another whirlwind season.
The season started out with one of the biggest shocks of all however, the downfall of Chelsea. It all started with the Eva Carneiro situation which then sent their season into pieces. The special one, or should we say not so special one began to falter and was coming under some harsh criticism. The poor form continued, with home losses to sides such as Southampton, Crystal Palace, Liverpool, and most shockingly of all newly promoted Bournemouth; who were impressing under young manager Eddie Howe.
This prompted the unthinkable, the sacking of Jose Mourinho. Not many saw it coming. Chelsea fans were left devastated, but the thing that left a sour taste was the fact it had appeared the players were beginning to show signs of revolting against the man who won them the title the season beforehand.
Another twist at the top was to follow, with Liverpool becoming increasingly poor and inconsistency a major downfall. Brendan Rodgers became another managerial casualty. One of the main problems Rodgers faced in charge was of course the undependable Daniel Sturridge and getting him to play, injuries sustained to Sturridge have so far blighted Liverpool’s chances of recapturing a top four finish. The English striker has shown many- a -time how prolific he is wearing a Liverpool shirt, as he boasts the record of having the best goals to game ratio ever as a player of the reds. However, Sturridge has been unavailable for 54.8% of his time at the club – that’s 614 days missed out of 1,121 spent on Merseyside- not the kind of statistics i’m sure Liverpool fans will want to be reminded of-as without him their attacking football lacks that cutting edge and precision that he brings.
£32.5 million pound signing Christian Benteke hasn’t been up to standards by any stretch of the imagination either, at the moment he has become Liverpool’s 4th choice striker! Not exactly ideal for your second most expensive player in the club’s history. The tides did turn in Liverpool’s favour however as they managed to recruit a top quality manager in Jurgen Klopp, who has shown his title winning credentials as a manager with Borussia Dortmunnd where he won the Bundesliga in back to back seasons ( 2010/11 , 2011/12 ) , one DFB- Pokal, and the DFL Supercup on two occasions.
There have also been a few surprise packages this season, one of which being Tottenham Hotspur. A resurgent force this season – they have appeared- which has seen Spurs sky-rocket up to 2nd place in the league, not a position Spurs fans are usually accustomed to.
Harry Kane has kept up his goal scoring form of last season, netting 16 goals so far, but the real key addition has been youngster Dele Alli who has got 7 goals and 5 assists so far. A Premier League title for Spurs seems unlikely , however, they are only two points behind leaders Leicester. Their North London rivals Arsenal looked dead favourites to win the league this season after the collapse of reigning champions Chelsea, Liverpool’s sluggish start, and both Manchester clubs looking mediocre.
Louis Van Gaal’s ignorance this season has cost Manchester United massively. Fans have been left with their heads in their hands on a number of occasions this season with the club’s style of play becoming increasingly boring to watch. 0-0 is becoming an all too familiar scoreline at Manchester United now, with the fear factor slowly fading out of the Red Devils.
Their noisy neighbours haven’t fared much better this season either with back to back home defeats to Leicester and Tottenham, the title looks to be slowly slipping away. It’s been City’s defensive issues that have mounted problems for them this season, a plight of setbacks to Vincent Kompany has taken its toll on results as Martin Demichelles, Eliaquim Mangala, and Nicolas Otamendi haven’t been able to cut the bill.
The biggest shock of all however, Leicester City. 20th to 1st in one season.
With only £26 Million being spent, the Foxes have shown everyone that the biggest asset is team spirit.
They have taken the league by storm and have been catching the attention of the world’s elite. One of the most talked about players in this rise of the club is of course Jamie Vardy, a man who was not long ago playing for Stocksbridge Park Steels, has now broken the record for most goals scored consecutively, by scoring in 11 league games in a row.
Two other key men have been Riyad Mahrez and N’golo Kante. Mahrez’s ability to weave in and out and simply dazzle opponents has earnt his side many points this season, having being playing for second tier French side Le Havre; his rise to the elite has been admirable.
While Kante’s biggest attribute has been his work ethic, no other player this season has made more interceptions to win the ball back for their side, his power and energy allow him to control the game which he showcased in Leicester’s narrow 2-1 defeat to Arsenal last weekend. Of course, Claudio Ranieri has also been a prominent figure, with his counterattacking mindset and humble attitude you can seen how he’s completed an amazing turnaround at a club who were in a relegation dog fight last season.
Leicester City are an example to every club, as they have shown you don’t need to spend £200 + million a season to win the league, and team spirit and desire is what really carries the team.
Will Leicester win the league? We’ll have to wait and see, this has been a truly magical season so far! One in which we won’t forget.