Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hernan Crespo (for Inter Milan) v Parma, 1 April 2007

For those of you who have't seen it lately, this is the top of the Serie A league table.

Team P W D L F A Pts
1 Inter Milan 29 25 4 0 63 23 79
2 Roma 29 17 8 4 56 23 59

Inter are nine games away from emulating Arsenal's achievement in the 2003/4 season of going through an entire domestic season unbeaten. Some have argued that the points deductions following the match-fixing scandals have downvalued Inter's achievements this season but you have to remember that despite their points losses, Lazio, Fiorentina and AC Milan remain in Serie A along with other strong clubs including Roma, Palermo and Sampdoria.

Three years ago, Arsenal won the Premiership without losing a game. Two years ago, Chelsea lost one match en route to the title.

What does this mean? Are the major leagues getting more uncompetitive, or have there simply been a few "great" and dominant teams in recent seasons?

Alex Ferguson once considered that six defeats was the maximum a team could afford on their way to the league title. If you look across the major European leagues this season so far, the leading sides have suffered only a handful of losses. Lyon, Barcelona, Porto, PSV Eindhoven and Fenerbahce have all only lost four league games. Genk, in Belgium, and Manchester United have only lost three.

The only "competitive" league this season appears to be the Bundesliga where leaders Schalke have lost six games already.

Does this mean we should be lauding Inter's achievements or bemoaning the lack of competitiveness within the game?


adem said...

I don't really pay that much attention to European leagues, but in the Premiership it's much better when it's closely fought.

For that reason I actually enjoy what's going on at the bottom of the table when it's a lot closer, and the risks are a lot higher. I guess it's because we all love an underdog.

swisslet said...

maybe Inter just "influence" the results better than the rest of them.

adem said...

good wording Swiss..... it wouldn't surprise me!

weenie said...

Phew, I thought I'd missed doing the predictions but there don't seem to be any this week....

I doubt many would have predicted the Hammers and Pompey victories though???