Victories for London clubs Chelsea and Tottenham declared half time in EPL season of 2013-14. The fight for crown and humiliation is pretty tough. Only 3 points are separating top 3 and bottom 4 of the list. It could be anybody’s EPL and anyone can be dropped.
It was the parousia season for Arsenal and Liverpool. Both reached to the top of standing on more occasions than one and seemed determined to regain lost glory. It was Marry Christmas and not so good Happy New year for the reds. Liverpool lost to title aspirants Manchester city and Chelsea in identical fashions and slipped from 1st to 5th in 2 last games.
December was the month when Suarez broke the record of scoring maximum goals in a calendar month in EPL. His 4 goals (all field goals) in game against Norwich City was the best solo act of the first half. Currently, he is leader of the pack with 19 goals. Aguero and Remy has to do extra labour if they want to catch him. Rooney provided maximum assists (8). Mezut Ozil is second with 7.
Goals rained for Manchester City. They have already crossed the half century mark and showing no signs of mercy. They virtually annihilated Tottenham and city rivals by tennis score lines. Liverpool emerged as the second most threatening side with 44 goals. Crystal Palace has the worst record of notching only a dozen goals so far. Fulham is keeping the ugly lead in goal difference -22, with 41 goals conceded. Was Brown was most notorious with 2 marching orders.
The Magpies and The Saints earned respect this season. Southampton was once 4th in the table but dropped later on. West Bromvich, Aston Villa, West ham are mid table fighters and played as per their reputation.
EPL is used to see London, Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle derbies by far. This season, first Wales’s derby was played between Cardiff city and Swansea City. New kid on the block, Cardiff shocked Manchester City in the first game. Manchester City is unbeaten at home but fragile in away tours. They have to overcome this deficiency in next half. On the other hand East London clubs, both Tottenham and Arsenal were brilliant in away outings.
6 coaches were shown the door in first half of the season. Sacking of Andre Villa Boas of Tottenham was the biggest sacking. Paolo Di Canio (Sunderland), Ian Holloway (Crystal Palace), Martin Jol (Fulham), Steve Clark (West Bromwich Albion) and Milky Mackay (Cardiff City) were the other members of the litany. Even emotional farewell and banners of fans read ‘Milky in, Vincent out’ could not convince Malaysian owner Vincent Tan.
The crystal gaze indicates some bizarre predictions. In past 21 seasons, the team which is at top at the festive time has won the title on 10 occasions. 7 out of past 10 years winners were first on this day.
So, first half showcased pretty identical teams and no one has emerged as clear favourites. Transfer window is going to be open soon. It can shift the balance in any direction. Meanwhile, it could be anybody’s cup.