Vital Football

The premiership getting tougher?

The premiership getting tougher?
I know we are only nearly a third of the way through but this does seem to be one of the most open premierships we've ever seen..

On one hand I can see relegation on the other a top five finish"

When the gap from 5th to 20th is just 9 points, everybody's immediate reaction is naturally that the league is closer than normal. With Every team that has played in the league longer than a year - and some that haven't even done that before - setting there sights on a top 10 finish, it would only be natural to assume that the league was tighter than usual. However no-one has come out claiming they can break into the "top 4". Yet. So it looks like they will be untouchable. Again.

However that is only one way of viewing things.

When the gap between 4th and bottom us just 10 points, and Arsenal just two points further ahead, it looks like it's anybodies game. Particularly when the Champions League is concerned. Teams like Wigan and Middlesbrough, who both finished well off the pace (14th and 13th) last season setting their sights on qualifying for Europe. Do we have better players than both those sides? Certainly 1. So qualifying for Europe this season will be a walk in the park compared to last season, when managers were fighting to stem back fans hopes of qualification.

Another argument is that at the same point last season, Pompey were 5 points better off than they are now - having already played all of the "top 4". Points must be harder to come by this season, as the Pompey team has only improved...

Once again though, there is more than one way of looking at it.

From the same fixtures last season, Pompey accumulated 10 fewer points than we have already - victories against Tottenham, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Everton all resulted in defeats last season, and the draw against Fulham was also a defeat last year. 2

However, whilst all that is interesting, it doesn't really tell us what Pompey will need for safety, and what we will need for Europe.

Last season, Fulham escaped the drop with just 36 points. The season before, it took Wigan 38 points. And before then, Pompey escaped with 38 points too. Assuming teams continue to pick up points at the current rate, it looks likely that 38 points will be the number required again - Wigan, in 17th, have picked up one point a game so far - as have spurs, Newcastle, and Sunderland.

For 7th place (and hopefully Europe), 58, 56, and 58 have all enough and Everton (currently 7th) are on course to make 57 points, so it looks likely that that will be the number again too - however 7th isn't a guarantee for getting into Europe, so it make's it a much safer bet to just win the FA cup again...

So in the end, it seems that competition for Europe will be tough - but the points required looks to be about the same as usual, and the relegation battle will also be tough - and with the "standard" 38 points required too. So whilst the league on face value looks all squashed up, the current 9 point gap between 5th and bottom is all set to increase to 30 points - a figure that once again has appeared - an almost identical number to when Watford were relegated.

So, statistically speaking, is the premiership getting tougher? Short answer: no.3

1 (despite what some Wigan fans said regarding Tony Adam's comments that he would rather be Pompey manager than Wigan manager)

2 Whilst the defeat's to Manchester United, and the draw with Aston Villa resulted in a draw and a loss

3 Although that's only statistically speaking... and that's just one way of looking at things... (coming soon...)

Written by pompeycarpet.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

Join the Vital Pompey Debate

Date:Wednesday November 12 2008
Time: 8:12AM


Great article Carpet. Personally I look at it from another way. Would a top four team such as Arsenal loose to Fulham, Stoke, and Hull - You would probably argue no suggesting that these teams are getting better. Where this season is the team looking to get relegated on the lowest ever points? What is the highest number of points that the bottom team has made?
12/11/2008 09:33:00
Carps, I don't have much experience with these things, but last year, we fell apart after Christmas (although we don't have the African Games this year) and I expect other teams will do the same and then it should open up a bit.
12/11/2008 09:34:00
Good article Rugster! Hope you're right Gandor, so far it's shaping up to be an exciting season for most teams, and mid-table obscurity might not even be an available option!
12/11/2008 10:31:00
Oops - credit due to Carpet!
12/11/2008 10:31:00
yes its close at the moment......and relegation candidates this season wont be evident until at least Feb or even March......
12/11/2008 12:14:00
And it always makes me laugh the way they have that advert at half time at FP about keeping your blood pressure down!!! Anyone with raised blood pressure should be banned from FP, it's probably worse than smoking.
12/11/2008 13:31:00
Bottom club at christmas nearly always go down this could be a nearly season, or will it as Carpet said there are many way's to look at it?
12/11/2008 18:11:00
Stand back for Chixys predictable response....... "I don't care what other teams do, once we have 38 points I'll assess everything else from there"........ Good article Carps by the way....
12/11/2008 18:45:00
it doesn't look like my footnotes came out very well... although I'm sure you can all work out where they all link to...
12/11/2008 20:03:00
Yep the quickere we get to 38-40 pts the better. It could be very tight all the way & not the to clear cut 'til April.
13/11/2008 12:46:00
Page 1/2
  1. 1
  2. 2

Login to post a comment

Recent Portsmouth Articles

On this day in history...23rd January

A look back at this day in history, and what was happening with Pompey courtesy of our sister site PompeyRama, 23rd January.

Sunday Chimes #101 - Pompey frozen off

No game but relief as Carlisle slip up, the transfer window and the return of the Grump......

On this day in history...22nd January

A look back at this day in history, and what was happening with Pompey courtesy of our sister site PompeyRama, 22nd January.

Pompey at Crawley called off

Pompey WILL NOT climb into the top 3 this weekend - whatever Carlisle do - as the game at Crawley has been called off.

Archived Vital Pompey Articles

Vital Pompey articles from

Site Journalists

Editor email
Editor email
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

What do we reckon - top 3 or play-offs?
Suggested By: pompeyrug
Top 3 - Carlisle will be caught0%
Play-offs - not consistent enough0%
With Pompey you can never tell!0%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Doncaster 27 18 4 5 58 21
2 Plymouth 26 17 3 6 54 15
3 Carlisle 27 12 12 3 48 11
4 Portsmouth 26 13 6 7 45 14
5 Wycombe 26 12 7 7 43 6
6 Luton 26 11 9 6 42 13
7 Colchester 27 11 7 9 40 7
8 Barnet 27 10 10 7 40 0
9 Exeter 26 12 3 11 39 12
10 Cambridge 26 11 6 9 39 7
11 Grimsby 27 11 6 10 39 4
12 Mansfield 27 9 10 8 37 -1
13 Blackpool 26 9 9 8 36 11
14 Crawley 25 10 5 10 35 -7
15 Stevenage 27 10 3 14 33 -6
16 Yeovil 26 8 8 10 32 -3
17 Morecambe 25 9 4 12 31 -11
18 Hartlepool 27 7 9 11 30 -9
19 Crewe 27 6 10 11 28 -13
20 Accrington 26 6 8 12 26 -11
21 Leyton Orient 26 7 4 15 25 -11
22 Cheltenham 26 5 9 12 24 -11
23 Notts County 27 6 5 16 23 -22
24 Newport 26 4 7 15 19 -16
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Portsmouth Results (view all)

Portsmouth Fixtures (view all)

Jan 28 2017 3:00PM : Exeter City (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 4 2017 3:00PM : Wycombe Wanderers (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 11 2017 3:00PM : Accrington Stanley (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 14 2017 7:45PM : Blackpool (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 18 2017 3:00PM : Barnet (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 25 2017 3:00PM : Carlisle United (a)
Sky Bet League Two

Vital Members League Table

The Vital Football Members League