Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pennant Fever

The big English clubs have all played seven of the 38 games in the English Premier League's soccer season, so this is a good time to check on things in the Mother Country.  Just to catch you up, here are the last 10 winners of the EPL (teams that won the "double" by capturing the league and F.A. Cup titles in the same year are in bold):

2002-03:  Manchester United
2003-04:  Arsenal
2004-05:  Chelsea
2005-06:  Chelsea
2006-07:  Manchester United
2007-08:  Manchester United
2008-09:  Manchester United
2009-10:  Chelsea
2010-11:  Manchester United
2011-12:  Manchester City

As you can see, the EPL is not a hot-bed of parity.  Manchester United and Chelsea have mostly had things their own way, although Manchester City nipped United at the wire in last year's race.

So it's not surprising to see that the top of the leaderboard is dominated by the usual suspects (teams get three points for a win and one point for a tie):

1.  Chelsea:  6-0-1 (17 points)
2.  Man Utd:  5-2-0 (15) (goal differential of 8)
3.  Man City:  4-0-3 (15) (goal differential of 7)
4.  Everton:  4-1-2 (14) (goal differential of 6)
5.  Spurs:  4-1-2 (14) (goal differential of 5)
6.  West Brom:  4-1-2 (14) (goal differential of 4)
7.  Arsenal:  3-1-3 (12)

The biggest shock of the season so far is that once-proud Liverpool is mired in 14th place with a record of 1-3-3.  They will probably still finish in the top 10 before it's all over, but I don't see them getting a top-four spot to qualify for next year's Champions' League.

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