The year 2015 has ended with one of the most surprising seasons in recent memory of the English Premiere League. I would have never predicted, let alone uttered, the words Jose Mourinho is sacked and Chelsea are in the bottom half of the table. Expecting one or two mid table teams to make a push into the top 6 is a reasonable thing to expect. I’m joyed that Watford is making its way up the top half of the table with the firepower of Troy Deeney and Orion Ighalo. Checking their game results each week became a habit of mine last season. Arsenal is on the cusp of FINALLY winning the league this season. It’s theirs for the taking, assuming they can grind out results and take leads when opportunities present themselves. I get the feeling Leicester City and Arsenal are going to go toe to toe during the second half of this season in a lead up that will head towards the last fixture. I predict that last fixture is going to declare the 1-3 spots. The unpredictability and surprising narratives so far have made this a blast to watch.
Which brings me to the topic of Leicester City being able to keep their squad intact during the January transfer market. Vardy and Mahrez are two of the most desired footballers in the league right now, and for good reason. The ridiculous speed in which this team transitions from absorbing pressure to getting the ball to the attackers is a sharp punch followed by the KO punch that drives the commentators to start making noises indicating a goal has been scored. Teams that tend to be mid table or go on unlikely successful runs tend to be picked apart during the transfer windows. From of the top of my head I recall the Liga de Quito team being stripped after their Copa Sudamericana victory, Dortmund stars Gotze and Lewandowski being lured away, several of the members of the Holland 2014 World Cup team being purchased away from the teams they belonged to in Holland, and most recently Southampton being picked apart by the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United.
It has to be said though that both Sahin and Kagawa left Dortmund for Real Madrid and Manchester United respectively only to return when things didnt quite work out for them due to injuries and not being played to their best abilities. Players such as Classie and Jaanmat could have been sold for more money than they were purchased for. This of course made them bargains for the teams that now employ their services. Southampton have a really good academy and transfer policy which allows them to replace the players they lose. Both Liga de Quito, Southampton, and the Dutch league are ultimately stuck in a selling economy where they need to bring in income to keep operations going. It’s a sobering reality when we realize football is not a fair sport. Money dictates the modern game in a way the big teams are the juicy ribs on a slab while the rest of the teams offer the sides. I hope Raineri and the board of Leicester stay resilient and at least hold on to the end of the season to see the two coveted players they possess.