With the FA Cup taking center stage this weekend, its time to look at part 2 of the Premier League Season, the story so far –
Having scored 63 goals this season, you would think Manchester City would be flying high at the top of the table, but they are currently one point behind Arsenal in second place. City are by far the best team in the league, their new manager looks like he has been at the club for years (as opposed to just 7 months), the players are in phenomenal form and yet they struggle away from home and have been prone to the occasional slip up. If they can start winning all their games, and handle the pressure of being in 3 cup competitions they will soon open up a sizable gap between them and the rest of the league, and their route to becoming champions turn into a walk in the park.
One of the surprise teams this season. Before the season started, this team had disaster written all over it. The manager had fallen out with the chairman, the technical director is a relic from the Stone Age, and half the team can’t even speak English. And yet they have defied all the odds to play some wonderful football and will be fighting for a top five finish.
Also known as the canaries, many people are hoping this little yellow bird flies off to the Championship division at the end of the season. Truly woeful, which is such a shame from a team that had good potential.
Southampton has been a revelation so far this season. They spent the first couple of months in third position, which is remarkable for such a small club. Since Christmas the amount of fixtures and other teams finding their form has seen them slip to ninth, but they are a joy to watch and have some amazing young players.
What to say about Stoke, well, sadly nothing positive – imagine a car stuck in a muddy field, the tires keep spinning, trying to gain momentum to go forward and get out of the rut, only the car is stuck in its hole and won’t be going anywhere fast. Stoke will be fighting for survival come May.
Swansea used to be a beautiful team to watch, but after watching them send Manchester Utd out of the FA Cup, and then watching them the following week at Tottenham, I cant watch them play anymore – just boring. They find themselves sitting uncomfortably in the bottom half of the table – a reach shame for a team that once had so flair and so much promise.
They are getting better, this week the black cats made it to the final of the League cup – an achievement even they are struggling to believe. New manager Gus Poyet has breathed new life into a club that perpetually struggles. Currently second from bottom they have a lot to do to ensure they will be in the Premier League next season, but if anyone can pull it off, they can.
Thank goodness they sacked Andre Villas Boas when they did. New manager Tim Sherwood is a man on a mission; he has rejuvenated a struggling squad, and striker Emmanuel Adebayor is playing like a man possessed. Tottenham are team you just hope will do better; it is debatable whether they will finish inside the top 4 but at least they are fun to watch again.
Okay, so there have been more lows than highs this season. The biggest low came when they fired manager Steve Clark, which was closely followed by the crazy goal celebration by Nicolas Anelka and his Quenelle gesture
– an action that has resulted in the team loosing their shirt sponsor and could result in a ten match ban for Anelka. But in a calamitous season there has been one high – the beautiful Shane Long goal. Sadly that wont be enough to stop them going down.
Do you think anyone at West Ham has realized they are in a fight for survival? The players seem unconcerned, while the manager continues to sink lower and lower into his seat every game. They are blaming everyone but themselves – ‘our players are injured, we have no striker, the referee decisions’ go against us’. Perhaps it has something to do with Adidas supplying shorts that are way to tight, but whatever it is the Hammers are favorites to go down.
So far, the 2013/14 season has been a sight to behold. Manchester Utd are now a mediocre team spending life in mid table, three teams are in contention for the title, and there are eleven teams in the relegation zone. Only six points divide the team at the bottom – Cardiff (on 18 points) to the team in tenth place – Aston Villa (on 24 points).
Image source: bbc.com