17 Sep 2015
The English Premier League prides itself on being the most exciting league in world football. Awash with money after last year’s multi-billion dollar TV deal, capable of attracting the cream of the world's talent and watched by a global audience of millions, the Barclay's Premier League really ought to be an altogether gripping spectacle. But something is wrong.
At the time of writing, Manchester City lead the Premier league table by four points. Ordinarily that would not be a problem. However the side in second place is Leicester City. Leicester are punching above their weight. Leading international bookmakers Betfair price them at 1000/1 to take the title outright. Leicester are not the side you’d choose to topple City off top spot.
In contrast, the Premier League's big guns have been seriously misfiring. After five games champions Chelsea sit in 17th place, Liverpool are 10th, whilst Manchester United and Arsenal are third and fourth, a full five points behind Manuel Pellegrini’s table toppers.
So much for the great gripping spectacle! Games in the BPL may be intensely competitive, technically masterful and breathtakingly athletic, but in the absence of anything like a decent contest the whole edifice starts to look decidedly flaky.
It is hard to see how anyone is even going to get near Manchester City over the remainder of the season - and with 33 rounds of matches still to play that makes for a huge number of games that lack that all-important element of historical drama. With the best will in the world, watching the race for second place is never going to be quite as gripping.
Maybe City will do a Devon Loch. Maybe in the absence of a meaningful challenge from their mega-rich competitors they will fall into a state of torpor. Is that the best we can hope for? Or are we about to see Leicester City produce the biggest footballing upset in recorded history? Now that would be worth watching.
Maybe we should stick with the BPL for just a while longer - and perhaps we should take another look at those odds! There is still a long way to go after all…