In the song “Once In a Lifetime” by the Talking Heads, the words “same as it ever was” are repeated over and over. After watching another predictable weekend of Premier League football, albeit entertaining, the likelihood of a club cracking the four horse race seems as remote as ever.
What clubs like Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Portsmouth and Blackburn Rovers lack is that killer instinct. That flash of brilliance than can turn a side of superstars playing ordinary football into a winning team. Think Nemanja Vidic popping up for another header to deliver a cruel blow to the Toffees. Think Emmanuel Adebayor and his wonder goal (the second of the day) against Spurs.
The depressing realization that even with more funds available to buy stronger teams, “The Other 16” are having a difficult time competing at the top level. Even when clubs from “The Other 16” do find players that can give the clubs the edge, massive clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea come calling trying to sign those players away from them. For example, Dimitar Berbatov continues to be on top of Man United’s shopping list and you imagine it’s only a matter of time before the Bulgarian is snapped up in either the January or August transfer windows.
Think back to Fulham a few seasons ago, and the same thing happened to Louis Saha who was knocking a flurry of goals into the net for Fulham before Man United went ahead and snapped up the striker.
With the season thus far, at least the level of play is closer and there aren’t as many one-sided matches. However, the season is still young and a few key injuries to clubs from “The Other 16” could demoralize their chances of even getting close to competing against the Big Four.