Manchester City has been crowned as the champion of the 2017-18 Premier League after arch-rivals slumped to defeat at the hands of West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. The Cityzens now hold an unassailable 16-point lead at the highest point of the table, implying that with only five games to play no one can get hold of the EPL table toppers
After a comfortable 3-1 win over Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday to move to the edge of Premier League glory, with the Red Devil’s home loss to WBA wrapped up the trophy they have appeared to be bound to lift since the beginning of an all-conquering Premier league campaign.
Manchester City were close to securing the EPL title quicker than any club in the league’s history, missing the April 14 mark set by United in 2000-01 by a single day behind.
- 28 – The champions’ dominance has been apparent over a noteworthy 28 league triumphs. They can outperform Chelsea’s Premier League record of 30 (2016-17) by winning three of their last five Premier League fixtures.
- 5 – Manchester City matched the English top flight record by securing the title with five league games to spare, equalling the historical record of United (1907-08 and 2000-01) and Everton (1984-85).
5 – Man City have won the Premier League title with five games remaining; equalling the English top-flight record. They have equalled the efforts of Manchester United (1907-08 and 2000-01) and Everton (1984-85) who all won the top-flight title with five games to spare. Cruise. pic.twitter.com/SbeV1CXB0u
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 15, 2018
- 3 – Guardiola is the third manager to win the Premier League title in addition to no less than two of the other top five European leagues, joining the likes of Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho.
7 – Pep Guardiola has won the top-flight league title in seven of his nine seasons as a manager, with the only exceptions being 2011-12 at Barcelona and 2016-17 at Manchester City. Mastermind. pic.twitter.com/wLGOio3MU2
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 15, 2018
- 902 – The total number of passes completed in an uneven 1-0 triumph over Chelsea in March represented another benchmark since Opta started recording the statistics in 2003-04.
- 16 – With their 3-1 triumph over Spurs at Wembley – and United’s home loss to West Brom – Man City are now16 points clear at the top of the log and pursuing down the Premier League’s biggest title-winning margin of 18, which was set by Sir Alex-Ferguson Red Devils in 1999-00.
- 240 – City’s 240 day add up to at the top of the league in 2017-18 is just one day less than Manchester United spending at the top of the Premier League log (in season) since Sergio Aguero’s goal won the title in May 2012 (241).
240 – Manchester City's 240 day total at the top of the league in 2017-18 is just one day fewer than Manchester United have spent at the top of the Premier League (in season) since Sergio Aguero's goal won the title in May 2012 (241). Noisy.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 15, 2018
- 15 – Kevin De Bruyne, a solid contender for Player of the Year award, has been a relentless and unstoppable creative force in his third season with the club, contributing an awesome Premier League best 15 assists in 33 appearances.
KDB Stats: Kevin De Bruyne now has 19 assists in all competitions for Manchester City in 2017-18; 5 more than any other Premier League player. [Opta] pic.twitter.com/LduvL8svDY
— City 🦈 (@ManCityCutie) February 14, 2018
- 18 – City run of 18 consecutive wins – from beating Bournemouth 2-1 on August 26 to a 1-0 triumph at Newcastle United on December 27 – set another Premier League record.
- 19 – City has beaten every Premier League opponent this season, becoming the third team in history to do as such, after Chelsea (2005-06) and Manchester United (2010-11).
Super League: Respect & Dialogue Needed To Restore Normality
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, disapproving the concept of Super League
President Gianni Infantino has called for respect and dialogue as he expressed FIFA’s strong disapproval of the proposed European Superleague project, and has requested that the concerned parties consider their position in line with respecting the institutions that exist to protect the interest of national, European, and global football.
“FIFA is an organization which is built on values, the true values of sport,” said the FIFA President in his address to the 45th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland.
“It is an organization that is built on our statutes, the statutes that define the institutional framework, with the pyramid, with FIFA, the confederations, the associations, the leagues, the clubs, the players. And at FIFA, we can only strongly disapprove of the creation of a super league which is a closed shop, which is a breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA, and from FIFA, which is outside of the system. There is no doubt whatsoever of FIFA’s disapproval for this.”
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, and a model that he promoted in his 16 years at UEFA:
“FIFA is here, and I am here today as FIFA President, to bring full support to European football, to UEFA, and the 55 member associations of UEFA and of FIFA, to the leagues, clubs, players, and to fans. To all the fans, all over Europe, and actually all over the world as well.”
“We can see that there is a lot to throw away for the short-term financial gain of some,” the FIFA President added. “People need to think very carefully, they need to reflect, and they need to assume responsibility. They need to think not only of their shareholders, but they need to think about all the people, of all the fans, of all those who have contributed to making European football what it is today. It goes back not only decades, it goes back more than one hundred years. People – with love, with passion, with commitment – have created all this. And we need to protect this. It is our task.”
“FIFA is a democratic organization, an organization that is open,” the FIFA President concluded. “Everyone can bring ideas and proposals, but always with respect for the institutions, leagues, associations, UEFA, and FIFA.
With respect for the history and with the respect for the passion of so many people around the world. I understand as well that on these particular days, emotions are very high, but we need to always keep the line. Football is hope, and it is our responsibility to make hope a reality. So we hope that everything will go back to normal and that everything will be settled, but always with acting responsibly, with respect, with solidarity, and always in the interest of national, European, and global football.”
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere
The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.
The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.
Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues
Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.
Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.
He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.
The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.
In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.
Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.
Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”
- Iago Aspas
Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.
After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.
At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.
In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.
- Diego Forlan
Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.
Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.
In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.
The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.
With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.
Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.
Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.
There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.
These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.