There have been plenty of great seasons in the history of the English Premier League, but with Leicester City starting the season at 5,000/1 to win it, surely this is the greatest of all time!
When I think back on the best seasons in the English Premier League, I immediately cast my mind back to the 2012/2013 season… we all remember the commentator on the last day of the season… 93 minutes on the clock, as it stood – Manchester United were lifting the title, and then Manchester City scored, then in the 95th, Mario Bolletelli squared a ball…. and then Martin Tyler exploded…. “AGUEEEERRRRROOOOO! “I swear you’ll never see anything like this ever again. So watch it, drink it in… two goals in added time from Manchester City to snatch the title away from Manchester United.” Manchester City won the league on goal difference with the last kick of the season. Simply unbelievable!
1995/1996 was also a great season. Newcastle had a 12 point lead over Manchester United at Christmas, but an Eric Cantona inspired United reeled them in. It included that infamous meltdown from Kevin Keegan! Sir Alex… ey… the king of mind-games!
But what makes this season different, is that the champions were 5,000/1 to win it. They were, in fact, one of the favourites to get relegated. Spurs, who may very well finish second – was a team that’s pre-season goal was breaking into the Top 4.
Lady Luck has shone on Leicester all season. I’m not saying they haven’t deserved it – but when you look back, it’s been written in the stars all along. Their key players and their spine of Vardy, Mahrez, Huth, Schmeichel have missed 4 games the entire season (Huth 1, Mahrez 1 and Vardy 2 for suspension). Not being in Europe has also allowed them to focus on just the one competition. On 17 April, Leicester played West Ham in a crucial match, Spurs were breathing down their necks. In the early moments – West Ham hit the inside up the post – the ball ran along the goal line, hit the other post and ran back along the goal line and into Schmeichel’s grateful arms. When you then watch Spurs play West Brom the same weekend, they hit the post/bar on three occasions and ended up drawing the match. That’s just one weekend of many that shows the season belongs to Leicester and it’s brilliant for the game!
When you read stats like “the entire Leicester team is worth less than what Manchester City paid for Raheem Sterling” – it shows what a diabolical state football is in. Arsene Wenger has moaned for years that his team don’t compete because the other sides buy the league by investing in the best players around! Those excuses can no longer fly, and The Foxes winning the league could quite easily end Wenger’s reign as Arsenal manager.
What will next season bring? Most certainly not this! Leicester will be playing on Tuesday and Wednesday nights against the best in Europe. They’ll also have those big teams sniffing around to buy the likes of Mahrez, Kante or Drinkwater. The likes of Mahrez seems a perfect fit for the Barcelona or Bayern bench. Leicester will undoubtedly have a reality check next year, but it doesn’t matter – they’ve had their year, they have their medals – and no-one can take that away from them.
Chelsea, Arsenal, City, Liverpool and United will all have strengthened in the summer and will all have brilliant managers. Spurs, if Daniel Levy doesn’t cash in on all his talent, will be strong too.
This has been the best season in Premier League history, and next year may be the most competitive. Maybe we’ll have three or four teams still in with a chance of winning it at the start of May.
Take in as much of this season as you can and remember as much as possible… your kids and grandkids will be asking you about this season for years to come!