COLUMN: Six reasons why this is the best Premier League season EVER
Sports writer Ricky Charlesworth lists half-a-dozen reasons why this is turning out to be the best Premier League season EVER.
1. Leicester City’s remarkable transformation
This column has mentioned Leicester City previously, but you cannot ignore their meteoric rise.
Last season they were cannon fodder, almost consigned to relegation to the Championship.
Flash forward 12 months and their attentions are turning to next season’s Champions League instead.
Players brought in for relative peanuts have outshone their overpriced peers.
And with wily Italian Claudio Ranieri steering the ship, Leicester are on the brink of pulling off the greatest Championship win in English top-flight history.
2. Chelsea’s fall from grace
The defending champions’ attempt to defend their title was all but over before December arrived.
Jose Mourinho paid the price with his job and although Guus Hiidink has revived the Blues over the last few months, they are stiull unlikely to attain a top-four finish.
The failure to improve their squad over the summer has cost Chelsea, but just how far they have fallen has still been an eye-opener.
3. Money doesn’t buy everything
Raheem Sterling opted to join Manchester City for a little under £50million last summer.
Since then he has notched just five times in the Premier League.
In stark contrast, Jamie Vardy, a snip at £1m for Leicester, is the top flight’s top scorer with 19 this season.
It shows that paying the big bucks does not necessarily mean you will romp home with the big prize.
4. Managers with personality
Jurgen Klopp arrived on these shores with a big reputation not only as a manager but as an entertainer.
He is certainly living up to that, after his touchline antics in the win over Norwich (where he lost his glasses) and his zany press conferences.
Another character is Slaven Bilic, who is doing wonders on the pitch with West Ham and is a stern but straight-talking individual off it.
These personalities are needed in the sometimes over-serious world of football.
5. Bournemouth leading the way
Bournemouth’s remarkable rise from a points deduction in the bottom tier to making the top table of English football is one that will inspire all other clubs languishing in League Two.
Eddie Howe has masterminded the club’s incredible rise up the divisions and is one of the country’s brightest talents.
At the time of writing the Cherries are eight points clear of the dropzone and on the brink of securing safety - and adding another brilliant chapter to their fairytale story.
6. Pep on the horizon, Jose too?
When Manchester City announced on February 1 this year that Pep Guardiola would be taking over the managerial reins next season, it sent shockwaves through the Premier League.
Suddenly Chelsea and Manchester United were panicking about their choices for next term.
With Mourinho recently admitting that clubs chase him, not the other way round he possibly opened the door for Old Trafford bigwigs to offer him a deal.
Who knows whether that will materialise.
But if it did it would renew the rivalry of the two from their El Clasico clashes.
Add to that the possibility of Diego Simeone at Chelsea, Arsene Wenger, Jurgen Klopp and Claudio Ranieiri (Defending his and Leicester’s crown?) and all of a sudden next season could be even more mouthwatering than the finale that this term promises.
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