Wednesday 16th January 2013
Every football season has a narrative arc. In the Premier League, the focus of the drama is usually at the top of the table, with two dominant plot strands: Which team will emerge as League Champions and which teams will end the season in the top four?
Last May, the season came to a particularly dramatic conclusion, with Manchester City only eclipsing Manchester United in the last minutes of its final game. There was also a decent sub-plot, with Tottenham finishing fourth, two places above Chelsea, but missing out on a Champions League place thanks to Chelsea becoming European Champions.
This season, however, there's precious little drama at the top of the table. United have established a comfortable, seven-point lead ahead of City and few people expect them to be caught in the remaining 16 league games. There's some uncertainty about who's going to fill the other two top-four slots, but it looks likely that Chelsea and Tottenham will hang on to their third and fourth spots respectively. Liverpool are nowhere and Arsenal show few signs of reversing their slow, inexorable decline.
No, the action is all at the foot of the table – and, specifically, Queen's Park Rangers' relegation battle. (To read more, click here.)
© 2004 - 2013 Toby Young