Over the course of the last few weeks we’ve seen many fans and pundits alike discussing the overwhelming excitement around the Premier League this season. One big part of that stems from the unpredictability we’ve seen in most of the games, and as we look ahead to the immediate future, it certainly seems as if that trend is going to continue.
We can’t say for sure who is going to win the league and who is going to be relegated – but that’s the fun of it all. That layer of intrigue is far better than seeing Liverpool run away with the title before we’ve even really reached the new year.
Alas, we have to remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint, which is why the great work shown by Aston Villa and Everton needed to be put into some kind of perspective. In the last few days that perspective has been simple: progress comes gradually and anyone can beat anyone in the top flight.
Leeds United were given the task of trying to slow down the rise of Villa when they met on Friday Night Football, and we’d say they did a pretty good job of it as they ran out 3-0 winners in the Midlands. Patrick Bamford was the man who was able to put them to the sword, and during the 90-minute encounter, it was really difficult to think that Villa had been able to batter Liverpool 7-2 before the international break.
Still, it served as the perfect reminder that Leeds are a team you shouldn’t mess with, as if we didn’t know that already. Dean Smith needs to go back to the drawing board, but for now, they shouldn’t be panicking all too much.
Everton, though, were arguably given a dose of karma in the wake of their fortunate 2-2 draw against Liverpool. They were humbled in every single sense of the word by Southampton as the Saints ran out 2-0 winners in what was a fairly comfortable day at the office for the hosts. Yes, the Toffees are still definitely contenders in the race for the top six and perhaps even top four, but they needed to be knocked down a peg or two.
They’ve come a long way under Carlo Ancelotti but they’ve still got a really long way to go – and there’s no shame whatsoever in admitting that.
We’re talking about two clubs that are on their way back to the top of English football, which is a place they’ve been many times in the past. You can expect some bumps in the road and you can even get involved in the action through the betting page, and that’s all a part of the journey.
The next few weeks are going to be very interesting as they attempt to get back on track in what is turning into one of the most competitive Premier League campaigns in years. Who knows, maybe this will spur them on to even greater things between now and next May.