Have you taken a peak at the current Premiere League standings lately? Because there’s a chance that you’ll be shocked at what you see at the top of the table.
Go ahead, take a peak right here. I’ll wait.
Yes. That’s right. Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Leicester City is currently sitting on top of the top division in English football. And that’s defending league champion Chelsea in 14th, just a couple of points above the relegation zone.
Welcome to the 2015-16 edition of the Premiere League and welcome to the very reason the league is the best that Europe has to offer.
One of my biggest issues with European football/soccer leagues is the lack of parity. Why should I watch La Liga when I know Real Madrid or Barcelona will eventually win? Why should I care about the French league if PSG will win every title?
But somehow the Premiere League has managed to avoid that fate. Sure, there are those top, “big boy” type teams, but they aren’t necessarily the ones that win. And on any given weekend, any of the lower level teams can take down the top dogs. It’s why these matches are played on the field not paper.
And that’s why the Premiere League is the best.
Let’s take a look at Leicester City, shall we. This is a team that managed to fight off relegation last season and that came into this season given no shot to compete with the big teams. But they sit two points clear of Arsenal for the league lead. Jamie Vardy broke a Premiere League record with a goal in 11-straight matches. And even the great Sir Alex Ferguson is saying that the Foxes have a chance to win the title. Leicester City might not stay in the top four all the way to the end of the season, but it’s still quite an accomplishment for this team.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Europe, a story like this is practically impossible. La Liga basically gives all of its television revenue to Real Madrid and Barcelona, allowing those teams to buy up all of the talent they need to win while the other teams in the league fight for the scraps. Sure, this allows Real Madrid and Barcelona to compete and win in the UEFA Champions League, but league games are basically unwatchable. Sorry, I don’t like to watch 5-0 blowouts every week unless it’s a team I root for doing the destroying.
Now, a look at the list of league champions since the Premiere League began in 1992 reveals just one champion outside of the big boy teams — Blackburn Rovers of all teams. But within those top four or five teams, there’s always a dogfight and uncertainty about who will come out of that group on top. And anyone of the lower teams has the ability to play spoiler on those teams.
And that’s what makes English football so great and the Premiere League so interesting. There’s a reason that NBC shows all of the matches in one way or another or shows Everton versus Crystal Palace on a Monday afternoon. It’s great competition and no one knows what’s going to happen.
And even if Leicester City goes onto win the Premiere League title, it’d be a difficult argument to make that this isn’t the best and most entertaining European league.