Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United have been a fresh air this season and their status as Big Six-gatecrashers will provide the Premier League with the shot in the arm it so desperately needs.
I’m no fan of the regime owning the club, but it’s on the football side of things that I wish to discuss.
A Breath Of Fresh Air
Controversy rightly remains over Newcastle’s ownership by Saudi Arabia, but things have been going brilliantly on the football side of things. To see a team challenge the established order and match some of the league’s big-hitters is a true breath of fresh air.
The Premier League is at risk of becoming Manchester City’s playground and developing a level of homogeneousness seen in other European leagues, and this cannot happen if the Premier League wishes to retain its status as the best division in the world.
Manchester City are mesmeric, but they’re becoming so good that even the second-best side in the league, Arsenal, failed to lay a finger on them in both of their league meetings this season. The Gunners will surely improve next season, as will Manchester United, however Newcastle offer something different.
Brighton Deserve Credit
Leicester were the last club to seriously challenge the establishment with their stunning title win in 2015/16 and consecutive fifth-placed finishes a few seasons later. The Foxes were, however, seriously troubled by the COVID-19 pandemic and their loss of revenue has resulted in them on the verge of relegation just seven years after lifting the Premier League trophy and two years after lifting the FA Cup.
Brighton and Hove Albion have been the other standout team outside the so-called Big Six this season, and I sincerely hope the Seagulls build upon their success without having to sell too many of their best players.
We’ve seen false dawns in the Premier League before, with Southampton and the aforementioned Leicester all having seasons in Europe before plummeting down the table a few seasons later. Newcastle’s finances mean that they’re very unlikely to suffer the same fate, though anything can happen in the Premier League.
This Premier League season has been one of the most exciting in recent memory, though the top-spot is becoming dangerously familiar to Manchester City. If the Premier League wants to avoid becoming like Ligue 1 or the Bundesliga, then having controversially-owned teams like Newcastle may have to become a necessary evil.
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