After a short hiatus to accommodate the FA Cup games, Premier League action resumed yesterday. And, for the umpteenth time, the events of the league underscored the reason why all eyes are on it. The drama fans resumed to is what makes it stand out as the most exciting of them all.
You weren’t expecting me to say, “The Premier League is the best in the world,” were you?
That statement remains a myth until proven otherwise. And here’s why (let’s digress a bit, shall we?).
On what basis do you judge a league and acclaim it to be the best in world? The caliber of players it attracts? The spending power of the clubs therein? The audience it attracts? The buzz constantly created by the employees of the clubs and the media covering it?
Is it the intensity and drama of the league itself? Do you declare one football league to be more exciting than the others because that’s the one you watch the most?
You see, these are just some of the factors to be considered, to mention but a few. Moreover, there are people who won’t hesitate to have my head once I call the PL the best in the world. They’ll be quick to mention the tactical style of the Germans and the Spanish.
We all have differing views, right? But the love for the game remains the same.
Back to where we started, MatchDay 24 of the PL started with a bang. You see, the Premier League is not the most-straightforward league in the world (does this sentence even make any sense?). Fans of teams in the league often times go on and on about how anything can happen and how any team can defeat any other team.
But most of them were not ready for the shock that the results delivered yesterday.
86 mins: Man United 0-2 Burnley
94 mins: Man United 2-2 Burnley
— Djaay Kaji (@Djaay_kaji) January 29, 2019
Burnley’s trip to Manchester was supposed to be an ’against all odds trip.’ After losing 5-0 to Manchester City, they were to face a side that was on a roll. Eight wins in eight, they were looking to make it nine.
As expected, the unexpected happened. But you see, most, if not all fans, did not see this coming (my friend, Dr. Dara Abimbade, actually did see it coming. He predicted a Burnley win). What was expected to be a stroll in the park needed an equalizer in the dying minutes.
Of course, there was the minor issue of Manchester City losing away to Newcastle. That loss was the first time in 23 games that City would lose to United. Did you see that coming? Did anyone expect that a Man. City side that had kept a clean sheet in the last six games before this one would fall apart against struggling Newcastle?
Manchester City have dropped 16 points so far this season – they dropped 14 in the whole of last season
9 of the 16 dropped this season came after scoring first (defeats v Palace, Leicester and Newcastle) pic.twitter.com/r7Qtc7lWFR
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) January 29, 2019
It remains to be seen what would happen tonight (and in subsequent Gameweeks).
Pep Guardiola, when asked about his side’s chances of winning the league, said, “It’s still a long season.” However, a Liverpool win against Leicester City will create a seven-point gap between the Reds and the Citizens. Guardiola will need an incredibly long season to overturn such advantage.
🤯Rafa Benitez – finally winning the league for Liverpool?🤯
Newcastle 2-1 Man City pic.twitter.com/AzPtfboMdx
— ⚽️442oons⚽️ (@442oons) January 29, 2019
The season doesn’t look long enough to feature such drama. However, the season looks long enough to serve fans more of the kind of drama we witnessed yesterday. And isn’t that what we live for as fans of the beautiful game?
Quick one before you go: What’s your take on the Premier League being the best football league in the world? Do you support this claim or are you against it? Share your thoughts with me by dropping your comments and joining the conversation. I’d love to hear from you.
Author: Rotimi “Papi the Great” Daramola
Rotimi Daramola aka Papi the Great is the owner of ForTheGoal.
A freelance sports writer who focuses on football, Rotimi is also a freelance writer, a copywriter and a football analyst who regularly appears on radio and television to talk football. You can follow him on twitter @papi_thegreat to keep up with his writings, engage him and also find out about how you can secure his writing services.