Top Teams in the Premier League
Whilst some may argue that Manchester City is a team that has an unlimited budget and they can just buy the best players, it is impossible not to acknowledge what Pep Guardiola has done with the club. The Spanish manager has brought his own tactics and style of football to the Premier League and made it successful. The Premier League is famous for having football that is fast paced and extremely physical, which is the complete contrast of Guardiola’s possession based passing football game. Manchester City has been crowned the English champions 8 times, including 6 times in the Premier League era. Pep Guardiola won four of those Premier League trophies in the space of five years.
The team that Jurgen Klopp has built in Liverpool has become one of the most likeable sides out there. The high pressure, quick counter attacks and hunger for goals are all weapons that Liverpool have in their arsenal when facing both lower ranking teams and the top teams in the league. One concern that Liverpool fans have is squad depth, because the club did not have enough top quality substitutions or players to rotate in their squad. The way Klopp addressed the concerns was by using youth players and trying to play several players in different positions, to cover more areas on the pitch with the squad he has and improve the versatility of players at the same time. Liverpool have only won the Premier League once in recent years, though they have chased Manchester City right down to the very last game twice, in 2018/19 and 2021/22, finishing with over 90 points each time.
Chelsea are definitely title contenders with their history and the strong team they have put together. Their last two titles were won in 2014/15 and 2016/17 with managers Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte. Since then, the team has been through a handful of managerial changes and could not find a winning formula until they signed German coach Thomas Tuchel from PSG. Tuchel had been Klopp's assistant when Klopp was manager of Borussia Dortmund, and though the two worked for a while, he has quite a different style to the current Liverpool manager. Tuchel's style is far more cautious than Klopp, with more of a possession based game, where there are less quick counter attacks and more play at the back and midfield, where they try to stretch the formation of their opponent or try to pull players out of position to unleash dangerous balls for their forwards. In the beginning of the 2021/22 season, it looked as if Chelsea would provide competition to Liverpool and Manchester City, as all three teams were within reach of each other for an extended part of the season, but Chelsea dropped too many points in December and they fell out of contention for the title.
Manchester United is a team that has fallen hard since the glory days with Sir Alex Ferguson. The team was virtually unstoppable and seemed to always win the Premier League or at least contend for the title, but as soon as Ferguson left, nearly 10 years ago, the team fell apart. At the beginning of the last season, United looked like they could potentially contend for the title. They had finished the previous season with a good run, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemed to finally have a game strategy, and they re-signed the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo. United had one of the worst starts in their history and Solskjaer was sacked. Ralf Rangnick was brought in to bring life to the team but he couldn’t, and at the end of the season it was announced that they would be hiring Ajax’s former manager Erik Ten Haag. Ten Haag is a very analytical manager who has a similar style of managing to Liverpool’s Klopp, and with a lot of restructuring going on behind the scenes, fans will hope that they will finally see some true improvement in the upcoming years.
Tottenham Hotspur has been amongst the top teams for the past 15 years. Most recently, their biggest success in the Premier League came under manager Maurizio Pochettino, who guided them to a runners up place in the famous 2015/16 season when Leicester City won the league. Since then, the team has gone through four managerial changes and finished the last season in fourth place, three points behind Chelsea in third place. Their current manager is Antonio Conte, who won the Premier League with Chelsea in 2016/17. The team has some world class players such as Harry Kane and Heung Min Song in attack, who can score 30 or more goals together in a season. This attacking duo have been extremely important to the Italian manager as he uses his go to formation, the 3-4-2-1. Conte has not been the manager long at Tottenham but the team has already shown signs of improvement and will be a difficult team to play in the upcoming season.
Ten years ago Leicester City were not even playing in the Premier League. They were promoted from the EFL Championship in 2013/14 and the following season did well to finish 14th place in the Premier League for a team of their stature. The following season was arguably the biggest surprise in the history of the league. Leicester City took the lead in the rankings early in the season, and whilst pundits kept on expecting them to drop points or eventually fall behind and for the top teams to take the lead, Leicester kept hanging on to their lead. The team finally went all the way and won the Premier League, and won over a huge number of fans and respect from the football community. The team then struggled in the league, but appointed manager Brendan Rogers in 2018/19 and he helped them reach fifth in that season and the following. Though the team does not have the same financial resources nor the same number of world class players as all the other teams in this list, they have an extremely positive style of playing and they are always a threat to any team they play against.
It is difficult to believe that the last time Arsenal won the Premier League, with the famous Invincibles team, was nearly 20 years ago. In 2003/04, they won the Premier League without losing a single game and the team was immortalised in Premier League history forever. In the following 15 years, the team always finished in the top four. This was during the time when Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and later Manchester City were the competition for winning the title. Arsenal parted ways with their long-term manager Arsene Wenger and hired Unai Emery in 2018/19, but the Spaniard had difficulties bringing the squad together. After Emery, the club hired their former player, Mikel Arteta to manage the team. Arteta had some experience with managing, having been Pep Guardiola's assistant in Manchester City for three years, but when he took the reins at Arsenal he was still in his thirties and had not proven himself as a senior manager. Arteta failed to make the top four, finishing 8th place in his first two seasons, but in 2021/22 he brought Arsenal to a 5th place finish. At the start of the season, the team lost three consecutive games without scoring a goal, with the third being a humiliating 5-0 defeat to Manchester City. Arteta looked like he was going to get the sack, but he changed his formation to 4-2-3-1 and found new success with it. The team has quite a dynamic midfield, with two pivots and three forwards behind the main striker.