What is going on in the EPL?

Many things have changed in the game of football over the years. Money has created new super teams, there is a big 6 instead of a big 4 (or something). The biggest change has been the parity we have seen in the last few seasons. Sure there is still a "cream of the crop" so to speak. There are only a handful of teams who can realistically think they have a shot at the title, but there are far fewer "easy" games. The points total for teams have moves closer to the median than the extremes.

What has led to this?

1. - More lucrative TV deals signed by the league. The disbursement of TV revenue is fairly even from top to bottom compared to other leagues (the 20th team get's 75% of what 1st gets). Couple this with the fact that the EPL has a much larger TV revenues than other European leagues, so there is a lot of money to go around to all of the teams involved.

2. - Scouting is easier in the Information Age. There are not as many "hidden gems" these days. An expansive scouting network is still valuable, but media outlet's from all corner's of the earth report on the "next big thing." It's much easier for a team to follow up on a lead than to uncover it themselves.

3. - Young players would rather play now than learn under a great coach/system/veteran. This is happening in all sports across the world. While not true in many cases, a lot of young players want to leave the academy's early to get first team action now.

4. - There are more good players. Training has really improved in the English game. Now leagues everywhere know what drills to do, what nutrition guide to follow and how to improve skill and physical performance. There are still few truly elite players, but there are many more second and third tier players to go around.

Will this continue?

Quite possibly maybe. This trend could very well continue, especially because of reasons 2-4 above. The money issue is where a change could revert to help the old guard. FPP might be good to restrict spending, but it almost guarantees that the teams that generate the most money will have the best opportunity to build a successful team. Without getting into details, EPL teams may be fairly even on the TV front (unlike in Spain), but the top teams rule the commercial and match day revenue fronts. FPP does not limit the ability to generate income, just a teams ability to spend above that income. Because of this, the marketable teams (ManU, City, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool) will always have a huge economic advantage. It will be interesting to see if any "small' club can crack the top four in the coming years. In my mind it will remain unlikely.

Some note on teams this season:

United: Can't defend anyone, but keep getting the results they need through sheer goalscoring. They certainly have the confidence right now.

City: The desire and prowess from last year seams gone. They aren't playing bad per se, but certainly not impressive. Again like United they are getting results they need.

Chelsea: They have the creative talent, but are certainly not an impressive all around team. If they make moves in January like they did in the summer they could be favorites for the next few years.

Liverpool: I will just say this, watching Suarez score a huge equalizing goal in an important game, then run to the corner to celebrate with... no one? That says a lot about this team or that player, not good.

Arsenal: Nothing to add that hasn't been voiced many times, except: There are still opportunities for a great season. Can't give up in this new EPL.

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