Fans around the world are constantly arguing as to what football league is the best. “This league is better,” “that league is better,” but nothing beats English Premier League football.
The English Premier League – founded February 20th 1992 – is the top footballing division in all of England. It is home to some of the best football players in the world, as well as home to some of the most recognizable football teams and managers in the world. Through the years, it has played host to fights, affairs, shocks and cheats making it one of the most entertaining sporting leagues for fans to witness and enjoy.
With some of the greats of the sport plying or having plied their trade in Premier League football, it really is no surprise to see that the audience of the league is constantly burgeoning as more fans, young and old, tune in to watch their footballing idols on and off the pitch.
From gravity defying strikes to kung fu kicks, from jaw dropping transfers to embarrassing fans, we are providing you with 15 reasons why the Premier League is the best league in the world.
15. League History
With a grand total of 47 clubs having played in the Premier League, it’s a bit of a surprise that only six clubs have won the trophy. That doesn’t mean to say that there hasn’t been some incredibly close run-ins – one of the most notable of which came when Sergio Aguero‘s 93rd minute winner for Manchester City against QPR ended his club’s 43-year wait for a league title whilst snatching it from under the noses of their noisy neighbours Manchester United.
However, the craziest season was probably when Leicester City won the title. Jumping from 14th to 1st in the league table over the course of a single year is phenomenal. Another famous season is a recent of Liverpool’ Steven Gerrard‘s famous “let’s not let this slip” quote quite literally coming back to haunt him. Even if you travel further back into more of the glory years, there’s plenty of madness and craziness when it comes to Premier League football.
14. Respected Legends
There have been countless extremely talented footballers to grace the Premier League. From Cristiano Ronaldo to Gianfranco Zola, from Marcel Desailly to Michael Owen, the list truly is endless. Legends for each team are respected by fans around the globe, for being such consistent and inspiring individuals for their club. However, there are some notable mentions for legends that have graced multiple leagues with their high level of skill.
Thierry Henry is a prime example of that. The man is worshipped in France, England, Spain and the USA for his ability to score brilliant goals for any team (maybe with the exclusion of Juventus in Italy). Frank Lampard is another. Although maybe not as much as Henry, Lampard is considered as possibly one of the best Premier League players ever. Having been a club great for Chelsea, scoring 211 goals and becoming their top goal scorer of all time, he signed for Manchester City as well as New York City where he was welcomed with open arms to both clubs.
13. The Fans
Without the support, footballing clubs would not exist. No revenue, no support, no business. The Premier League has arguably some of the best fan-bases in the world, but also unfortunately some of the more embarrassing and shocking fan-bases alike. Many fans travel around the world to watch their team play football, but with the Premier League, all of the clubs’ support is louder than that of any other league’s support. The Premier League is the most watched league in the entire world, an astounding 4.3 billion people tune in every weekend to watch some of the greatest teams in the world face off. However, not all of these fans are a credit to their club.
Not all of these fans know how to cope with defeat. In April 2013 after the Newcastle versus Sunderland Tyne-and-Wear derby, 47-year-old Newcastle fan, Barry Rogerson, was filmed punching a police horse in some post-match riots after his side lost 3-0. Luckily, the horse received no serious injury. For the rest of us, however, the whole situation provided us all with some hilarious entertainment as the video of the fan embarrassing himself went viral.
12. The Rivalries
The Premier League is home to some of the most well-known rivalries in all of the world. From Liverpool versus Manchester United to Sunderland versus Newcastle, the derbies and rivalries within the Premier League have resulted in some of the most enjoyable games of football in modern football.
It can be inferred that perhaps Spain have the upper hand surrounding the hype of the “El Clasico” and Germany may also brag about the “Der Klassiker,” but the inconsistency and unpredictability of teams and results in England brings a whole new level of excitement when derby days are announced. When it comes to derby day, form goes out of the window – it’s all about beating your rivals there and then to essentially earn 3 valuable points as well as bragging rights.
11. Fantastic Managers
The Premier League has provided us with some of the absolute geniuses of the footballing world. Whether that be Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger or Jose Mourinho, it cannot be argued against that the Premier League has produced the best managers the world has seen. Recently, English football has welcomed some more world class managers who are keen to challenge within the most competitive league in the world.
Pep Guardiola has recently signed with Manchester City. A brilliant manager for Barcelona and Bayern Munchen, only time will tell if he can repeat his heroics with Manchester City. Jurgen Klopp. Another brilliant manager who is known for his true respect of the players he coaches; the giant German has fancied himself to mount a serious title challenge with Liverpool. Nonetheless, with many footballing fans growing up with legendary managers like Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Sir Bobby Robson gracing the Premier League, maybe it is no surprise that so many fans have loved the English game for so long.
10. Premier League Shocks
Last season saw one of the most remarkable seasons of English football, as Leicester City won the Premier League title. They beat footballing giants Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea to the throne, and their best player of the season, Riyad Mahrez, picked up the PFA Player of the Year award for his key performances for the side who won their first ever league title.
Despite all of last season’s wonders, this is not the first time a team like Leicester have won the title. In the season of 1994-95, Blackburn Rovers shocked the country when they won the Premier League title. With the strike partnership of Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton scoring them an amazing 49 league goals combined, Rovers beat Manchester United to the trophy by one point. With the quality of players joining different sides in the league, who knows? Maybe Burnley could be en route to winning the Premier League this time next season!
9. Fantastic Goals
Goals galore! There have been over 25,000 goals scored in the 24 years of Premier League football. The goals scored may be the main reason why Premier League is so exciting. Goals have been scored from the halfway line, the opposite half and even by the goalkeeper! Every single one of these remarkable goals have been enjoyed by the fans for years as they cherish these exciting memories.
Arsenal fans may say that Thierry Henry’s fantastic winner against Manchester United where he flicked the ball up and volleyed it over Fabien Barthez from outside the box is the best goal ever scored. Whereas, Newcastle fans may strongly argue for Papiss Cisse’s brilliant strike against Chelsea, where he struck the ball with the outside of his boot from near the by-line as the ball looped over Petr Cech. There will always be confrontations surrounding which goal is the best, but this is one of the many reasons why English football is relished by fans worldwide.
8. Current Players
The Premier League boasts some of the best players in the world. Young and old, these players are looked up to by millions worldwide. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – notably one of the best strikers in the world – currently plies his trade in Trafford with Manchester United. Eden Hazard, the Belgian international who has played out on the wing for Chelsea for over 4 years, constantly dazzles fans with his pace, trickery and his keen eye for goal (with the exception of last season perhaps).
Sergio Aguero, Diego Costa, Mesut Ozil, Hugo Lloris, Harry Kane, Philippe Coutinho, Petr Cech, David De Gea – the list can go on and on as Premier League footballers continue to establish themselves as some of the most exciting and inspiring sports stars around the globe.
7. Rise of Homegrown Talent
English footballers are becoming more and more recognised around the world. Season after season, more English footballers come onto the Premier League scene and begin to make a name for themselves. This is obviously very good for England and their national football team.
Take Dele Alli for example – he played for MK Dons for 8 years. From the age of 11, Alli worked his hardest to progress through the youth rank, with the dream that maybe one day he could make a name for himself globally. He struggled to make an impact until the 2013-14 season, when he was given his first full chance to flourish in centre midfield. He had a fine season, and was beginning to be noticed by a host of European clubs. As he continued this impressive form into the next season, spearheading MK Dons attack with his sudden influx of goals, Dons negotiated and reached an agreement with Tottenham Hotspur for the transfer of Dele Alli. He arrived at Tottenham for the 2015-16 season after spending the rest of the 2014-15 season on loan at MK Dons. He snatched at the opportunity. He scored 10 goals and registered 11 assists in 46 appearances all season as he broke onto the scene, scoring brilliant goals against multiple teams but, most notably, the ones against Crystal Palace and France, on his England debut, were exceptional. With the increasing number of young English footballers continuing to impress in the top flight, many children will look to them as inspiration as they also chase their dreams.
6. Off the Pitch Controversies
Everybody loves a bit of controversy – a bit of frisk between people. Well Premier League footballers have not let us down with the amount of controversies constantly circulated around the tabloids. The dirty deeds of Ryan Giggs, John Terry and Wayne Rooney have been exposed, Mario Balotelli‘s madness was furthermore exploited, and some of the West Ham supporters were shown for their true cowardice.
Premier League football never runs dry of social media hype either. One of the most recent amusing Twitter confrontations, being that of the argument between Sunderland defender Lamine Kone and ex-Sunderland and current West Brom winger James McClean. After the Sunderland/West Brom game, McClean took to Twitter to praise his team whilst also goading the Sunderland fans and team, Kone replied to this and McClean further replied. This continued for a little while as fans from around the country began to retweet the humorous tweets until James McClean made a comment about the Sunderland’s team’s teeth and Kone chose not to reply, probably realising just how ridiculous McClean sounded.
5. On the Pitch Controversies
From Eric Cantona’s kung-fu kick to Luis Suarez‘s bite, from Alan Pardew’s David Meyler headbutt to Di Canio’s referee rage, the Premier League has always provided laughs as well as great sporting memories. Fans were left shocked January 25th 1995, after Eric Cantona, having just been sent off, suddenly ran and jumped into the crowd, kicking a fan and following it up with a few punches. Cantona claimed the man was racist and had also insulted his mother, something the fan has denied ever since. However, Cantona was banned from football for nine months, stripped of his Manchester United captaincy and never selected for France again after his brief moment of madness.
4. Record-Breaking Transfers
With all of the money coming into football, it really is no surprise that the most watched league in the world boasts some of the most expensive transfers that football has ever seen. The most recent example is Paul Pogba. Manchester United paid Juventus £89 million pounds to bring the French creative midfielder back to Old Trafford or back “home.”
Now, £89 million is A LOT of money. So much, in fact, that it could buy you the Luxury Island Resort (approx. £40 million), the Gulfstream G280 private jet (approx. £13 million), 100 new Lamborghini Huracan Spyders (approx. £10 million) and you’d still have £26 million to spend on your heart’s desires. So yes, a lot of money is spent in football and many people dislike and disagree with this, but not everybody understands just how much money is made for these record breaking transfers. After three weeks of him signing, Paul Pogba had already made Manchester United £190 million through shirt sales. Sure, the club won’t get ALL of the income, but it makes you think, doesn’t it…
3. European Excitement
Fans from every country in the world love Champions League football. Whether it be because of teams of their own country, or different countries, fans pay money to go and watch football games as the different styles of play clash when footballing giants collide. This is no different in England. The start of this Champions League season saw Leicester City participate in their first outing in top-level, elite European football.
It’s so far, so good for Leicester – they have qualified for the knockout stage, won every game they have played and have only conceded one goal. Fans from up and down the country have been praising the Leicester team on social media as the U.K now continues to root for them. Everybody wants to see Leicester play the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, but can they win the whole competition? With only 5 English teams having actually won the Champions League, perhaps an English team is due to win the trophy, and, who knows, maybe the fairy-tale can continue?
2. The Stadiums
The Premier League boasts some of the best stadiums in the world. The largest in England, Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, holds a grand capacity of 75,643. Meanwhile the Emirates Stadium, home to Arsenal, also holds a large capacity at 60,432, while the Etihad Stadium, home to Manchester City, holds another huge capacity of 55,097. The Vicente Calderon Stadium (Atletico Madrid’s stadium), the Juventus Stadium and the Parc des Princes (PSG’s stadium) all hold smaller capacities than those that have been listed.
Those three foreign stadiums are home to some of the biggest clubs in Europe, yet a high number of Premier League clubs put these capacities to shame. Newcastle for example, a now Championship club, have the ground St James Park, at a capacity of 52,354 whereas French giants PSG, who are owned by multi-billionaires, have the Parc des Princes, that contains a mere 48,583. It’s just a fact that Premier League stadiums need to be bigger than that of other teams from other leagues to simply hold the increasing number of fans that continue to enjoy this fantastic league.
1. Pace, Physicality and Style
Every single Premier League club has their own unique playing style that is suited to them. Whether that be Tottenham holding possession and getting nowhere, a Sunderland tactic of hit and hope, or even a West Ham style of passing to Payet and allowing him to do the rest, each club is different.
What is noticeable about the Premier League compared to other leagues, however, is the physicality of the league (although that is being cut down on by some referees). English football is known for the aggression, the hard hitting tackles and the fights. They’re some of the reasons people enjoy the league so much. Let’s be honest, there is nothing better than seeing your club’s centre half absolutely smash the opposition’s striker who’s been diving and complaining the whole game and only picking up a yellow card.
Finally, something that has been praised about the Premier League – as well as being a point difficulty for some players – is the pace. Many clubs have signed players that have been fantastic in their own league, perhaps scoring 25+ goals every season – but that league is nothing compared to the Premier League. Here, the centre backs are hounding your every move, they are comfortable with the ball at their feet in their own box, midfielders are constantly applying pressure, attempting to get in to gaps to exploit flaws in a team’s set up, and there is always a striker waiting for any loose passes or mistakes from the goalkeeper or defenders, consistently chasing down every ball, to try and get their name on the score-sheet. You’ve got to be ready at all times to be able to cope with the pace of Premier League football – after all, it is the best league in the world.