North v South (No, not the Civil war!)
Looking at the table there is an obvious gap between the top six clubs and the pack. The top three clubs are from the north and the next three are from London in the south. So, apart from the rivalry between the top six clubs, there is the additional rivalry of two smaller groups; the three northern clubs, and the three London clubs. What does the future hold? What follows is just idle speculation (sorry, I was bored). But if the media can get away with it, why can't I?
City are obviously on the rise and setting the standards in the PL this season. It's difficult to see this changing or, at least, seeing them fall below second place on the table in the immediate future.
United have progressed this season and been firmly entrenched in second place for most of it. But there is a sense that they lack something and are far from unbeatable. They are not the attacking force they have been in years gone by. United's playing style seems to have become more conservative under their less-than-humble manager and their supporters are starting to miss the 'swagger' their team used to display on the pitch.
Chelsea's performance has dropped off from last season. They are nowhere near as consistent, resulting in them being locked in a real battle to secure a CL place for next season. It will remain to be seen what the club's response will be should they miss out on a top four spot. The odds are that their manager will disappear and whoever takes his place would be given a fertiliser-load of money in an effort to buy their way back into the CL. That might work but how long would it take?
Liverpool has certainly improved from last season. They look very good when they are going forward and are having little difficulty in finding the back of the net. Pool's defence could do with some tightening as they have leaked more goals than the four clubs around them. Their position on the table rightly suggests they are fairly consistent, and on the rise. A club to be wary of?
Arsenal have so many problems it's hard to see them turning their recent decline around in the near future. It's also difficult to see their manager staying at the club beyond the end of this season, after which .... who knows? They do have some good players but, as a team, they lack the consistency that they have enjoyed for a couple of decades. The club is virtually certain of being without Champions League football for the second season in a row .... something that will feel like a death knell to the supporters. Personally, I really struggle to feel sad about all of this.
Spurs are certainly on the rise. We are well on track to secure a Champions League place for the third season in a row. That, in terms of our history over the last two decades, is significant. We possibly enjoy the best balanced squad in the Premiership and our team spirit is unequalled. If we can retain our top players (of which we seem to have many) and add new players such as our latest recruit, Lucas, there is every possibility that our progress will continue to the point where trophies follow.
In terms of local rivalries, City appears to have the edge in the north. In the south it is more complicated. Chelsea could buy their way to the top. Arsenal could get lucky, although I'm not sure how unless a new manager turns their fortunes around. Spurs, with the added revenue from their new stadium and extra money from TV and the CL should be able to operate without the financial constraints that, in the past, have limited our options. We are daring and doing!