For me, as a Newcastle fan this season the top 5 has been like an incredibly attractive girl in a nightclub. A distant dream, to be admired from afar. It isn’t going to happen for us this season, the most realistic target being (for all the newly promoted clubs) staying in the league.
I’m not able to predict the future, and if I could I’d use that power to see what the lottery numbers were going to be next week. But I can make a decent stab at who I think are the best 5 teams in the league. That’s easy, because they’re all at the top of the table as we speak!
Man United – Unbeatable at home, unbeatable though shaky away, the Red Devils very rarely throw away a title when they’ve got their claws into it. They’re not playing great football at the moment, and it’s fair to say that Rooney isn’t firing on all cylinders, but they’re winning games, and grabbing points when they need to. I don’t think they’ll get to the end of the season, like Arsenal did 2003/04, because the league is a lot tighter, but it’s theirs to lose.
Man City – This is going to be the year that Man City will finally make a real mark on the Premiership table. They have the players, the manager and the financial backing to make a real attempt on the title. I still think their brethren from the red half of Manchester have the league in their grasp, but Sky Blue really is the limit for the next couple of seasons at Eastlands.
Arsenal – Whilst Arsenal have undoubtedly played some great football going forward, defensively they look shaky. They’ve conceded the most goals out of the top four sides, and you can hear an audible groan from the Emirates crowd when they concede a corner. Magnificent to watch, with players you practically drool over, but I think City have the better back four and keeper, which is ultimately what wins you games.
Chelsea – I have a soft spot for Chelsea. Whilst I would never back them against the Toon, I do have a certain amount of tolerance for any club that plays ‘The Liquidator’ by the Harry J. All-stars before they kick off. I also like how every now and again, you catch sight of a fan celebrating a goal in a Fred Perry polo shirt.
It harks back to a simpler age. Nowadays, most of the Chelsea players don’t know the meaning of the word Mod! That little wobbly patch they had over Christmas might have cost them dear, however they still don’t concede many goals especially at the Bridge. Maybe, Newcastle should play skinhead reggae before kick off if that’s the effect it has!
Tottenham – And finally, Spurs. Good old Spurs. Compared by Colin Farrell’s character in ‘In Bruges’ to purgatory, the state of existence between heaven and hell. And that film was made before they had Van Der Vaart! Once again, I believe Spurs will occupy that spot between the leagues, so to speak, which under Bobby Robson was our little home for a while. They haven’t got a bad win to loss ratio, but they need to improve away from White Hart Lane.
So, there you have it. But then, it doesn’t really matter what I say! I just have a format with which to say it. Interestingly, it seems the top 5 teams are made up of London and Mancunian clubs. Far be it from me to express any sort of conspiracy. The way I see it, players want to live in London or Manchester. Top sponsorships have their headquarters in the cities. And ultimately, that’s where possible new owners fly into to set up shop. So really, it’s a bit of a foregone conclusion. But then, I am a Northern Monkey aren’t I?