The campaign is still in its early stages despite it being January. In the new year, “the most open title race in years” has frequently reduced to a two-horse race. The signs point to a more competitive league, though. The four-year domination of Manchester City and Liverpool has made it challenging for other teams to compete. Too long has passed since City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and Arsenal last competed. As they place in the top six, earn a trip to Europe. And make use of their financial might, the gravy train keeps rolling. It’s a never-ending circle.
Bean counters detest unpredictability. The balance sheets of major teams are thrown off by relegation from a division or the Champions League. As a result, there is constant discussion about European Super Leagues without relegation, teams entering competitions based on their pasts, and the struggle to maintain parachute payments. Aristocrats who have won 14 FA Cups and 13 league championships are not Cinderellas at this event. But not Liverpool nor Manchester City.
Arsenal, Manchester United, and Newcastle United freshen Premier League title battle
The patience sorely lacking in English football, which saw 55 of its 92 clubs change managers in 2022, would be vindicated if Mikel Arteta managed to become the first manager of the Gunners to win the Premier League in 19 years. The board has frequently rebuffed calls for the Spaniard’s resignation over his three years as manager outside of Arsenal TV’s dummies. It would be sufficient to place in the title competition this season, but it would be preferable to prevail.
When Chelsea questions Graham Potter’s ability to lead a major club, they should pay attention. A manager should have the backing of his board and be encouraged by them. It was unexpected how soon Danny Schofield’s management team at Huddersfield Town lost confidence in him. You can either choose a quick fix and evaluate the results in the near term, or you can employ someone to manage a “project” and give them time.
The unromantic ascent of Newcastle, financed by millions of Saudi oil dollars, is being stirred up by someone. At least they avoided going the Galactico route by choosing Eddie Howe as their unglamorous manager (despite the fact that they might have been forced to keep him given how well he has performed) and making smarter acquisitions than flashy ones.
Even though Manchester United aren’t considered underdogs, if they can follow Everton and Chelsea (for 45 minutes). Also tear at City’s façade on Saturday, it gives the other teams hope. However, Leeds coach Jesse Marsch’s remarks about how difficult it was to compete in the top European leagues. It was without having access to significant financial resources. Also writing off his team’s FA Cup ambitions were depressingly foreboding.