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Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal Are Chasing the Premier League Title, as Well as History

Image of the Premier League trophy

Most footballers are not fans of football history, routinely pointing out that they were “not even born then” whenever they are told that their club has not won a particular trophy or triumphed at a particular ground for decades. But this season it may be harder than ever for footballers, particularly those at Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal to avoid football history because whoever wins the Premier League title will have achieved something genuinely historic.

Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal Are Chasing History

Manchester City’s Historic Prize

For Manchester City, the historic prize on offer is the greatest that any of the three teams fighting for the title can win.

That is because if they succeed in defending the Premier League title that they have already won three times in a row, they will become the first team in the history of top-flight English football to win four titles in a row and can justifiably claim to be, statistically at least, the greatest club side in English football history.

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As we have seen before, especially over the last decade, retaining a domestic title for years on end is nothing new in continental Europe. Indeed, almost all of the top-flight title races in Europe’s four other biggest leagues have been dominated by just one team for a long time now.

In Germany, Bayern Munich have already won 11 Bundesligas in a row and even if, as looks increasingly likely, they finally surrender their throne to Bayer Leverkusen this season, they might well set out on another winning streak very soon.

In Italy, Juventus won nine titles in a row between 2012 and 2020, and even if they have fallen off the pace in recent years their uniquely dominant status in Italian football almost certainly means that they will contend for titles again before too long.

And in France, Paris Saint-Germain have won nine of the last 11 French top-flight titles, with their domestic dominance beginning with the Qatari takeover in 2011 and likely to continue even after Kylian Mbappe leaves for pastures new this summer.

In Spain, there has at least been a duopoly of Real Madrid and Barcelona, or a triopoly if you include Atletico Madrid.

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However, over the last decade and indeed throughout most of the last century, it has been English football that has always been the most competitive in Europe.

Five different clubs have been champions since 2010 and in the entire history of English top-flight football no team – not even the dominant teams of Arsenal (in the 1930s),  Liverpool (in the 1970s and 1980s), and Manchester United (in the 1990s and early part of the 21st century) – has ever won more than three titles in a row.

Watch: Who Will Win the Premier League Title This Season?

Liverpool’s Historic Prize

For both Liverpool and Arsenal, the historic prizes on offer alongside winning the Premier League itself are not quite as monumental as that on offer for Manchester City. Nevertheless, they would still be substantial achievements in their own right.

For Liverpool, it is the chance to draw level, on 20 League titles, with Manchester United and become the joint most successful club domestically in English football history. For all of Manchester City’s recent dominance, over most of the last half-century, the most successful club in the English top flight has been either Liverpool or Manchester United.

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And with Jim Radcliffe finally taking over footballing operations at Old Trafford and talking optimistically of knocking both Manchester City and Liverpool off their “perch”, Liverpool will be desperate to draw level with their oldest and most bitter rivals.

Of course, the added incentive for Liverpool to win the league is the unique opportunity it would provide to give Jurgen Klopp the perfect send-off. After nearly a decade in charge at Anfield, the great German will leave at the end of this season.

Although Liverpool have already won one trophy this season (the League Cup) and still have the chance to win a European trophy (the Europa League), they will be especially keen to win it given that the one time they won it before under Klopp, in 2020, they were unable to celebrate with their fans because of the Covid pandemic.

Arsenal’s Historic Prize

Finally, for Arsenal, the historic prize on offer is far smaller than those on offer to Manchester City and Liverpool, but it is nonetheless hugely important for the Gunners themselves and their fans. That is because this year marks the 20th anniversary of The Invincibles, Arsène Wenger’s greatest team, who of course went unbeaten domestically for the entire 2003-04 season.

That season and that team have loomed large over the club ever since. It is now already two decades since Arsenal last won the Premier League title (which is the longest period that the club has ever gone without winning a League title since it won its first in 1931) and every iteration of the Gunners that has followed The Invincibles has been found wanting – indeed, severely wanting – in comparison.

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Of course, the current team cannot match The Invincibles’ invincibility, having already lost four times in the league this season. However, if they could somehow wrestle the title from Manchester City’s grasp, beginning with their visit to The Emirates this weekend, it would be an almost equally impressive achievement.

In addition, it would be the first trophy for this Arsenal team. Mikel Arteta may have won the FA Cup in 2020, at the end of his first and Covid-ravaged season at the club, but not a single member of the starting eleven in that final remains at the club now.

Read More: Arsenal Must Remain Consistent To Win Title

So, in addition to all the history that they could achieve by winning the club’s 14th League title, which would consolidate the Gunners’ position as the third most successful English football team domestically after Manchester United and Liverpool, there would be the sheer – indeed, unbeatable – joy of winning a first major trophy together.


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