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  • Is 35 or even 30 the new 40?


    Key: The year, the teams and their final points total at 3rd from bottom, since the Premier League began.


    1993 Palace 49

    1994 Sheff Utd 42

    1995 Norwich 43

    1996 Man City 38

    1997 Sunderland  40

    1998 Bolton 40


    1999 Charlton 36


    2000 Wimbledon 33

    2001 Man City 34

    2002 Ipswich 36

    2003 West Ham 42

    2004 Leicester 33

    2005 Palace 33

    2006 Birmingham 34

    2007 Sheff Utd 38


    2008 Reading 36


    2009 Newcastle 34

    2010 Burnley 30

    2011 Birmingham 39

    2012 Bolton 36


    2013 Wigan 36

    2014 Norwich 33

    2015 Hull 35

    2016 Newcastle 37

    2017 Hull 34

    2018 Swansea 33

    2019 Cardiff 34

    2020 Bournemouth 34

    2021 Fulham 28

    2022 Burnley 35

    2023 Leicester 34


















    One thing is certain from looking at the final 3rd place from bottom in the Premier League since it started is that 40 points is becoming a distant figure. The first 3 seasons had 22 teams and more matches but 40 wasn’t even a safe position. This season if Luton finish 3rd from bottom they may have less than 30 and we could be heading into an outlook where 30 is the new 40. The big teams have fixed the game so that they get more points and the lower ones must fight for scraps. It is looking like a record points haul for the top four this season. The mighty get more, the weak get less. Does this not give the lie to the oft quoted line as the “Most competitive league in the world”?


    Palace 1993 would have been dreaming of Europe all season now with 49 points

    Now I reckon that for Arsenal fans, sitting nicely on top of the league at the moment and due to stay there for a while as there are no leagues at the moment, and if we beat City on March 31st we will stay there even longer, that they give little thought to those teams on the bottom. Is this a fair approach?

    A drop in points and a drop in stature

    The big teams have huge squads, money to burn, and do everything they can to get any margin in their favour. The only reason they give any thought to the little teams is that they do grab a few points from the entitled monsters. They have worked steadily to make sure that even those few scraps from the master’s table are denied them. They have succeeded. Their points are dropping year on year.


    In football it's the other way round

    Does competitiveness matter? Is it ok that only 10 teams have ever qualified for the Champions League despite up to five being allowed to qualify? And a Leicester may never qualify again? In the nineties, despite Manchester United being mostly dominant, they usually won the league with far less points than are required now. Teams were taking points off each other from every section of the league.

    How do big teams make everything better for themselves?

    But now, draws are becoming rarer. The big teams beat the little ones and points are hoovered up. In the nineties, the teams had smaller squads and the first 11 could be easily named. Arteta is a bit of an exception as few players change except by necessity but it is hard to name the first choice 11 at most teams now. 5 subs is a ridiculous concession to the big teams as they have many players who could come on and force an opposing team, who are doing well, to change their tactics mid-game. Extremely talented players are bought up, leaving the talent pool lower down far scarcer than it used to be.


    Jean Marc Bosman changed football

    I declare that we need to go backwards to make a fairer league. Restrict squads and subs and stop allowing loans which were brought in to allow the clubs have huge squads. If players can’t get into their own team they would move on, allowing lower clubs to have them as it was forever in the past. It may surprise my younger readers but loans were only allowed as we know them since 1996 after the famous Bosman ruling in 1995. Players would move to a lower team for the sake of their career and often become a club legend as they got better as they got older.

    Players get paid to do nothing

    Of course, it still happens as we see with Cole Palmer but talent was spread better in the past and this new system of big teams scooping everything and fixing everything behind the scenes so they always get more and more advantage is actually bad for the sport. There are players who spend their days as a bit player to take a good salary and pick up trophies in which they played only a small part in achieving. I highlighted it at Arsenal here where up to 15 players should go if they are serious about their career but some won’t. Same as at all the big clubs. Sport should be about pushing yourself to achieve the highest you can, not sitting on a bench counting your money.


    Current 3rd from bottom Luton could go down with less than 30 points

    It seems like 30 is the new 40 and soon it will be twenty is the new 40, and then what, ten? If you get a miserable total of 11 points you stay up? I am sorry, not for me. It would be easy to make the game fairer but the game is rigged. And unfortunately, Arsenal are one of the riggers and that makes me sad.



    Update to the Table of Doom

    Table of Doom








    Man City (a)

    Villa (h)

    Spurs (a)





    Spurs (h)

    Villa (a)





    Man City

    Arsenal (h)

    Villa (h)

    Spurs (a)





    And so the big change has happened with Villa and Spurs considered out of the race for the title even if they win all their games from here in. 83 is their maximum but probably around 70 points will be their final tally. They will play a big part, though as they both play all contenders and it could well be the team that beats both that win the title. And there is only one contender clash left, us and City in which Liverpool will probably be hoping for a draw. A win for us would be the sweetest in a long time and it is our next match. A draw is our minimum as City normally finish strongly. It is there for us, though, if we finish like an express train, stopping for no one.



    Like I said last week, if Spurs or Villa find a way, by the top teams dropping points, then I will put them back in, but I really cannot see any possibility for them to win the title.



    The City game is too early to be a true clincher but it could be very crucial. Liverpool host Brighton and that is a game they should win to make us nervous. If we win and then beat Luton we will have had a good spell at the top. I hope the boys get a taste for it and stay there till the end. C’mon the Arse!



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