Recent results at the top of the table show that none of the Premier League’s big contenders have actually grabbed the bull by the horns in the title race.
At the weekend Arsenal were humiliated 5-1 at Liverpool, before tamely drawing 0-0 with Manchester United on Wednesday night.
Chelsea surrendered a late 1-0 lead to struggling West Brom on Tuesday night, after moving to the top of the table at the weekend. Blues boss Jose Mourinho admitted after that draw that his team ‘lacked personality’.
Then there is Manchester City, who have gone from fearless to toothless in the last few games. The Citizens have failed to score in their last two games and Wednesday night’s game against Sunderland was called-up off due to the high winds sweeping the North West.
The clash between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates on Wednesday night was tame by comparison to previous meetings between the two teams. The fact that both teams went into the game on the back of disappointing results probably did not help the game.
Arsenal are currently looking like they are low on morale, even though they are just a point behind leaders Chelsea in the race for the Premier League title. The Arsenal team that drew 0-0 with United looked a shadow of the team that was running away with the league earlier in the season.
It looked like they were happy with a point against a Manchester United team struggling in seventh place in the Premier League table. Both teams were scared to lose this game and I suppose they got what they wanted in the end.
Arsenal’s lack of transfer activity looks to have bitten them on the backside, as their whole team looks tired and in need of fresh ideas. Striker Olivier Giroud missed some golden opportunities last night and it looks like Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger made an error by not signing a striker in January.
Chelsea have been superb in defence in recent months and have the best defensive record in the Premier League. However, without captain and main defensive organiser John Terry the Blues defence do not look as solid.
This point was proved in the West Brom game, as Baggies striker Victor Anichebe was in acres of space to score an 87th minute equaliser at the Hawthorns. I am very doubtful that the Baggies would have equalised in that game had Terry been playing.
Brazilian maverick David Luiz is looking more like a centre-fold, than a centre-back these days. He can be a very good footballer, but he is an accident waiting to happen at centre-back. Luiz is a free spirit and still has not got the discipline to play as a centre-back.
Chelsea had been relatively consistent in recent weeks, but draws against relegation-threatened West Ham and now West Brom have been disappointing. The Blues are hopeful of having Terry back for the FA Cup tie against Manchester City this weekend.
While Chelsea have been missing their inspirational English lion heart, Manchester City have been missing their dynamic little Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero in recent games. City still have three international strikers in Alvaro Negredo, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic, yet City have struggled to find a way past Chelsea at the Etihad and Norwich at the weekend.
The Citizens previously looked unstoppable going forward and the goals have dried up at the wrong time. No doubt the goals will return in the near future and City need them to with some big games to come in the remainder of the campaign.
Liverpool have been one of the most consistent performers out of the top six in recent games. The Reds have now scored 13 goals in their last four Premier League games, after Wednesday night’s late 3-2 victory at Fulham, including big victories at Anfield against arch-rivals Everton and Arsenal.
Even with Luis Suarez not quite firing on all cylinders, the Reds still managed to gain their third victory from their last four games. Brendan Rodgers side are now only four points behind league leaders Chelsea.
It would take Arsenal, Chelsea and City to slip-up for the Reds to claim the title, but the way the season is going Liverpool may not be a terrible bet for the title at odds of 8/1, the same odds as Arsenal.
The race for the Premier League title is the most open one for a long time. There is no dominant team, or even teams. Any of the top four could claim the title in May. The Premier League has been made more interesting by the competition at both ends of the season and we could be in for a very exciting few months of football.
Does anybody actually want to win the Premier League title?
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