Manchester City Living It Large But Premier League Title Lies Beyond Them

Manchester City Living It Large But Premier League Title Lies Beyond Them

By Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven) The top-end of the Premier League table isn’t always the sole domain of English soccer’s true elite. Every so often an outsider crashes the party for a time, like when Southampton found themselves in second place by the end of September last season. Or when Hull City climbed into the top three after eight games of the 2008-09 campaign. Leicester City have set an entirely different precedent this season, though. The Foxes now head into the festive period atop the pile. There is no qualification, no mitigation – Leicester are top of the Premier League table on merit and could find themselves leading English soccer’s great and great into the new year as well. Every team hits the gold trail every so often, but Leicester have struck something even shinier this season. But for how long can they stay there? The Foxes are already being discounted from the Premier League title race by those safe in their assumption that, eventually, at some point, their streak will come to an end. That presumption is already shaping top-four predictions, with both Spurs and Liverpool working on the conclusion that a Champions League spot is up for grabs this season.  Indeed, that could ultimately be the case. It seems highly unlikely that Leicester City will sustain this kind of astonishing form over the course of the entire season. Claudio Ranieri’s side face a challenging run of fixtures over the next few weeks, with games against Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City and Spurs all on the horizon. Points will surely be dropped, as will their league position. This weekend’s clash against Chelsea could be something of a litmus test for the Foxes. Jose Mourinho’s side might have already thrown in the towel on their meek title defence, but they still have the quality to best any team in England, and have shown signs of gradual recovery of late. Will more curious eyes on Leicester than ever before, it’s possible they could falter. Emerge with three points, however, and some assumptions may have to be revised. Should Ranieri’s men stride into the new year still at the very top it might be time to contemplate the true prospect of a genuine title challenge, but until then their streak should be enjoyed for what it is at the moment. Leicester City are currently the most enthralling team the Premier League has to offer, with storylines and subplots abound.  Of course, there was the record-breaking run of Jamie Vardy – who scored in 12 consecutive Premier League games – which has certainly caught the collective imagination of the European game. But there’s also the eye-catching form of Riyad Mahrez – who was shrewdly signed for just £350,000 last year – as well as the impressive shot-stopping displays of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who is finally starting to impose himself as a top-tier number one aside the legacy of his legendary father. “I don’t think we can win the league,” Mahrez insists, instead focussing on securing his side’s safety first. “We just need to get the 40 points and then after that we will see. I’m not surprised because I knew I could do the things that I have done. Football is just confidence. When you start scoring and you carry on it gives you more confidence so maybe that has helped me.” The Algerian midfielder is right to point out the impact such high confidence has had on his side, because whilst Leicester deserve to be where they currently are not even they could claim to possess the pedigree of the teams found around them. That superior quality, boasted by the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal, will surely tell. Nonetheless, the Foxes’ incredible success shouldn’t be underwritten with snide sentiment. Even fans of City, United and others who have sights on the title this season must admit to savouring the rise of such an unfancied team. Leicester City’s sensational run makes them the story of the season, but that still doesn’t mean they will finish it as winners.

1 Comment

  • ToxicBlob Reply

    August 14, 2016 at 3:06 am

    nStart tinynnI made a moderately u1uccessful iOS game a few yea1 back – the revenue from the game was slightly less than the cost of the accountant! One of my mistakes with the game, in my opinion, was that I didn’t make my tiny game tiny enough.nMaking a game is extremely fulfilling, but, wow, even a tiny game can be a lot of effort! One of the reaso1 my game was so much effort was because I was learning to code games while producing – and so I made a lot of structural coding mistakes. But I wouldn’t realise these mistakes until much later, when I would then discover I’d coded myself into a corner. I had to refactor a bunch of code just to add a tiny feature.nSo, make a tiny, tiny, tiny game. Make it quick. Have fun. Make it fun. Make mistakes. Learn.nRi1e, repeat.

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