Can The Big 4 Be Split?
We are only a few games into the season and already we have seen a couple of unexpected results involving the big 4, these results may turn out not to be important at the end of the season but there does seem to be potential for slip ups from some of the big teams this year so does that open the door for a new member or two to the top 4?
Spurs and Man City have built up excellent squads over the summer and look to have the potential to compete with the top 4 this season, well for at least a while anyway. I am not sure that I can see either team winning the league this season but there is a potential that if they can keep their top players fit and on form then they have a realistic chance of breaking into the top 4.
What goes against this is that most of the players at both clubs have never been in the position where they could potentially challenge for a Champions League slot so whether they can see it through to the end or not is a different matter. An example of this was Arsenal two seasons ago when they looked on course for the title only to suffer a string of poor results in the title run in. The situation was slightly different with Arsenal with regards the Eduardo injury however it was still a young team that didn’t have the title experience.
Liverpool has suffered two defeats in their first three games and worryingly for fans the defeats were probably justified. Spurs were the better team when they played on the first game of the season and although Liverpool created a lot of chances against Aston Villa they were so open at the back and slack in midfield they deserved to lose the goals that they did.
Manchester United has lost the creative spark of Cristiano Ronaldo and haven’t yet replaced this which is obvious when you see the team play. However some of the other United players look like they could have more freedom to play now Ronaldo has gone and there is still a possibility of a top player turning up in a Man Utd shirt before the window closes.
Chelsea has only altered the squad slightly and look as strong as they have done for the last few seasons. As long as everyone stays fit the biggest blow to them could be the African Nations tournament at the start of the year.
Arsenal look a much improved team from last season and there looks to be room for more signings before the end of the transfer window. What will most likely be crucial for Arsenal, as it is every season, is the number of injuries that the club pick up if this can be kept to a minimum then Arsenal are in for a shout of the title this season.
Man City and Spurs certainly have the quality in their team to put up a fight with the big 4 and although Liverpool and Manchester United in particular look weaker than they did last season I just can’t see either dropping out of the top 4. It is certainly going to be a good season this year with more competition for the top 4 places which can only result in a more viewing pleasure/nail biting tension for the fans.
Written by Danny Watson, a sports journalist who blogs about football news.