The most competitive league in the world? There was a time when the unanimous answer to this question was the Premier League. Right from 1st to 20th the teams were in for the kill game in game out. The Bundesliga, La Liga , Serie A and Ligue 1 simply couldn’t match the Premier League for its competitiveness and entertainment. But we’re halfway through this season and Manchester City are the runaway leaders and that too by a mammoth 13 points. It’s probably the first time in the last 5 seasons that the league leaders at Christmas have had such a huge lead on the chasing pack.

The Premier League table at Christmas…

Premier League table

The chasing pack behind City isn’t very elegant either, United and Chelsea have been wasteful in front of goal with a multitude of chances missed and unnecessary points dropped. Liverpool, as usual, have a 5 star attack coupled with probably a 1 star defence which lets them down time and again. Arsenal, meanwhile, have their own internal issues to attend to, with Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez looking set to leave for a free in the summer or for a relatively nominal transfer fee in the January transfer window. And the Gunners’ performances on the pitch haven’t been too encouraging either. Tottenham have been surprisingly appalling this season with inconsistency being at the centre of all their problems. Even though they enjoyed a healthy 3-0 away win vs Burnley this weekend with a Harry Kane hat-trick, they are just very far away to even take into consideration.  The league leaders and “to-be” Champions (barring a huge blunder) Man City have been rampant. With 55 points on the board and a GD of +48, the Cityzens have notched up a record 17 wins on the trot and are showing no signs of stopping. So, the BIG question now is that whether the “MOST competitive league in the world” is competitive anymore?

PL League lead: 13 POINTS

Let’s have a look at the other major European leagues and see their competitiveness as compared to the Premier League this season…

Bundesliga:

When you hear the name “Bundesliga” , Bayern München are the undisputed kings and with Jupp Heynckes back at the helm, the record breaking German club are at their irresistible best.

Bundesliga table

Traditional rivals such as Dortmund and Schalke are far off the Bavarians as far as the League table is concerned but then, this is no surprise, rather it’s a regular feature in the Bundesliga since times eternal.

Bundesliga lead: 9 POINTS

La Liga:

Real Madrid, Barcelona and who? Atletico maybe….. and Ronaldo vs Messi. This is precisely what the La Liga offers in terms of true competitiveness. But then, to be honest, it seems more competitive than the Premier League this season…. The first El Clasico of the season ended in a comprehensive 3-0 away win for Barcelona and the Catalans further extended their supremacy at the summit of the Primera Division.

La Liga table

Real Madrid meanwhile are 14 points behind the Catalans with a game in hand. All in all, FC Barcelona seem to be the La Liga champions this season.

Primera Division lead: 9 POINTS

Serie A:

Well, how can the Serie A be more competitive than the Premier League? Juventus are a supreme force and absolutely no team usually comes even close to challenging the team from Turin at the top. Not this season. Napoli have improved by a massive margin to take the Italian league by storm. They are the league leaders this season with 45 points so far and Juventus following close by on 44 points. Inter meanwhile are on 40 and Roma on 38. The Serie A title race is the only one in Europe which is alive and on fire!!

 

Serie A lead: 1 POINT

Ligue 1:

Paris St. Germain  that’s it. And if you wish let’s include last season’s champions Monaco as well. That’s pretty much what Ligue 1 offers in terms of competitiveness and flair. PSG with all their big money signings and well Neymar are the runaway leaders this season and obligatorily so. Monaco, as expected again are in 2nd place with daylight between them and PSG. Still, the lead is lesser than this season’s Premier League. Surprising.

 

Ligue 1 lead: 9 POINTS

All in all, the Premier League’s chasing pack behind Man City need to tighten the screws and be far more competitive if the Premier League is to go anywhere near its past competitive standards.

Here’s wishing all our readers a Merry Christmas!

featured image credit The Daily Mirror

 

By Siddesh Iyer

A die hard Man United fan for over a decade now. It's been a journey of thrills and spills, lots of highs and a few lows. A part of AOF for over a year now, I specialize in opinion pieces, FPL and match previews and interviews of some well known names in the footballing world ( Interview of John Dykes on AOF).