If you took the 20 clubs in the English Premiership and had to sort them into three different categories (“Masterful,” “Mediocre” and “Anti-Soccer”), which teams would go into what buckets?
Interesting question, right? My point is that wealthy clubs such as Chelsea, Man United and Liverpool have created such a gap between the rich and the “poor” in the league. All that the smaller, weaker teams can do is play to avoid defeat. The end result is an anti-soccer style of play epitomized by the 4-5-1 formation.
Here’s my attempt to place the teams into the appropriate buckets. The decision, of course, is made harder by the very inconsistent performance by some teams.
Masterful: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Wigan.
Mediocre: Spurs, Fulham, Manchester United, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Birmingham, Blackburn, Charlton, West Brom, and West Ham.
Anti-Soccer: Portsmouth, Everton, Bolton, and Sunderland.
Twenty percent of the teams are in the Masterful category (and Anti-Soccer), while the lion share of teams (60%) make up the Mediocre category. How does this compare to previous seasons?