Premier League 101
Currently, the Premier League of England is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most important league competition in the world of football and that is why the Premier model has been tried to imitate in several countries, although to this day there is none that achieved that level.
In recent years, the Premier League has featured top teams with a notorious purchasing power that almost no club in Europe can match, world-class players, the best managers on the planet and a pace in each game that is very attractive to fans. All these elements combined with an excellent organization have made the English league a reference in the world.
In the 70s, English football dominated Europe with teams such as Liverpool, Aston Villa, Leeds United or Nottingham Forest, with all of them protagonists in the European Cup (currently called UEFA Champions League). However, as the 80s went on, with the flourishing of hooliganism, fans began to move away from the stadiums for safety reasons and that affected the economy of English football.
The worst moment came in 1985 when all English teams were banned from participating in any European championship, due to the incidents that occurred in the 1985 European Cup Final between Juventus and Liverpool, where 39 fans lost their lives. Another consequence of the sanction was that the main figures of the English championship decided to leave the country in search of competing at the European level.
This is how the proposal to become independent from the FA (English Football Federation) and create an independent league in search of better television and advertising contracts that would generate more income that could be reinvested in stadiums, security, facilities, etc., obtaining a better product to offer to football fans in England. This is how in 1992, the English Premier League was inaugurated with 22 teams and a new organization that has evolved to obtain the current competition.
Most important figures
Throughout the history of the competition, there have been some figures who have made their mark in the Premier League and here we mention some of the most notorious players.
• Sir Alex Ferguson: The Scottish manager has been the biggest Premier League winner since its inception, having done so 13 times with Manchester United. Until his retirement, the Red Devils, under his guidance, were one of the dominant teams in England.
• Arsene Wenger: The historic Arsenal manager was a benchmark in the Premier League for having coached a league champion team, but greatest success was to do so with a very colorful game that was innovative for the time, reaching its peak in 2003- 04 when the Gunners were champions without losing any game.
• Alan Shearer: Much of his career coincided with the birth and growth of the Premier League where he was a reference among the league’s scorers thanks to his performances mainly with Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United. He is the all-time top scorer in the Premier League.
• Ryan Giggs: An icon of English football and more specifically of the Premier League. He was one of the most talented and capable players in the league, having scored a goal in all the first 21 Premier seasons.
The format of the Premier League is typical of a European football league, where 20 teams compete against each other twice, once at home and once away. At the end of the season, the team that scores the most points is the champion, the second, third and fourth place qualify for the UEFA Champions League. Fifth and sixth place qualify for the UEFA Europa League and seventh for the UEFA Conference League. The last 3 teams are relegated to the EFL Championship (second tier of English football) and are replaced by the top three teams in that league.
Currently, the Premier has a series of players who are among the best in the world due to the economic power of the clubs. Below we list some of the main figures of the championship considering only one player per team:
• Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City): A very complete attacking midfielder who has become an essential piece in the Manchester City game. The Belgian combines excellent technique, good shooting and a vision of the best game in the world that allows him to make great passes and assists.
• Raphael Varane (Manchester United): One of the best center backs in the world in the last decade (perhaps the best), a champion who stands out for his simplicity and effectiveness in solving defense situations. Fast, good in the aerial game, good control of the ball and a great marker.
• Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea): a striker who is pure power, very difficult to stop when he runs due to his physical strength and speed. He has a very good shot and the facility to hold possession of the ball. He joins a team that comes from being European champion.
• Mohamed Salah (Liverpool): For several seasons he has been one of the best players in Europe due to his speed, skills and scoring ability. At Liverpool he is a huge threat especially when he combines with Mané and Firmino. More on Mohamed Salah on wikipedia.
Within the competitiveness of the Premier League there is a group of clubs that are considered to be champions in the 2021-22 season.
• Manchester City: The reigning champion not only maintains the base of the previous season but adds Jack Grealish and may be reinforced with Harry Kane, making them favorites not only for the Premier League but also for the UEFA Champions League.
• Chelsea: Thomas Tuchel’s team showed its solidity last season when it made several future signings, which for this year are expected to be in a more advanced stage of adaptation. To this must be added the signing of Lukaku.
• Manchester United: The Red Devils have been on the rise in recent seasons and this year with Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho they may become a firm candidate to win the Premier League. Manchester United are their own enemy and it is up to themselves whether they achieve a major trophy or not.