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Lando78 sent us the following.

Since the start of the season the talk has been of the 'Big Four' becoming the 'Big Five', with City's new found riches catapulting them into the British elite.

Yet as the first phase of the Premier League campaign draws to an end a different question has surfaced. Has the Premier League become weaker?

Firstly, it was Arsenal who were to be the ones to fall away, criticised for making no high profile signings and losing the experienced Toure and powerful Adebayor.

At the moment Liverpool look like they are the ones to be thrown out of the big boys room suffering from the loss of Gerrard and injured Torres.

Digging deeper, one could put forward a case for United not looking convincing needing a controversial goal to beat City and not really looking like Champions in other games so far this season.

Further proof can be seen after another round of Champions League games last night with Europe's elite on show. The Madrid Milan games have shown a high level of skill and along with Barcelona one could argue that the domination of the Champions' League last four by English clubs looks certain to be broken - for this year at least.

Liverpool are looking like a team on the ropes without both Gerrard and Torres they are distinctly average and Benitez looks like a dead man walking. Arsenal although talented and aesthetically pleasing have already been beaten by both Manchester teams this season and have looked far from an elite team for a few years now.

United have lost to Burnley and Liverpool already, drawn with Sunderland and scraped wins over Wolves and City. More importantly they have not looked dominant in Europe so far this term.

All of the above teams have weakened squads and look poor man for man when compared to Barca, Madrid ad Milan this year.

The only real challenge to them on paper lies in London in the shape of Chelsea. Their squad, although ageing, is the strongest in the Premier League if not Europe, and they have been playing like champions too.

So maybe the emphasis shouldn't be on a new Big 5 but on a weaker Premier League at the top end. Only time will tell if this is true and if the rest of the league has made inroads on the three weakened teams.

One thing is for certain though, with only Chelsea definitely on another level, City should fear nobody and try to be in contact come the African Nations Cup when the Londoners' resources will be tested to the max. Of United, well any United fan will tell you that should Rooney be ruled out for a long period of time they'd be nervously looking over their shoulders and in the same position as Liverpool.

Premier League Top 4 Squads

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The journalist

Writer: Lando78  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 5 2009

Time: 8:33AM

Your Comments

We haven't looked dominant in Europe. Neither has Barcelona - the best team in football so I wouldn't worry about that.That lost to Burnley was a one-off. Just ask Barca about losing to Rubin Kazan at home. Anfield is always a tough place to go we never scraped anything against you. We dominated and we won no matter how much you try to overanalyze scoring 5 mins and 26 secs into extra time! You haven't even won a game in how long and you're here to point out our flaws. Why don't you register a win first and then we'll talk about your credentials.....? OK I'll be back then and we'll engage in some fantastic convos!
ForeverUnited
FU- let's be honest shall we, Utd did not dominate, City had the better of the first half and by half time looked more likely. In the second half Utd dominated for half an hour while playing their best football all season( isn't it funny how they can raise their game whilst playing against a team that according to baconchops aren't a threat). The fact that Utd scored their winning goal so late( irrespective of whether the time should've been added or not) shows they did scrape the victory, no matter how you want to dress it up.
Bluedub
It has been a most strange season thus far, hasn't it? And I suspect it is going to get stranger.
BlueWolfie
OK I'm ready FU. We've registered a win - 5 in fact not including the Cups. We've also lost less games than you. The point is that you are weaker and a hell of a lot of other teams are much stronger. I'd fancy Barcelona to raise their game if they did play you with the same result as last season. A sign that we are closer than you think (or want to believe) is in the fact that every City fan on the planet fancied United in the next round of the cup.
lando78
No doubt that Liverpool look in big trouble but I also think United are overated. They have relied on a lot of luck to get results this year and I would rate both Chelsea and Arsenal ahead of them at the moment. The fact that the PL is alot closer though doesn't necessarily mean that the other leagues are better although the gap might be closer than it has been in the past.
bluesnozza
The Premier League is interesting this season a number of clubs are capable of beating the top four on their day.
king billy
Bluedub- Half an hour? NO FOR THE ENTIRE HALF, YOU WERE CHASING SHADOWS. You had the better of the first half but you were nowhere near as dominant as we were in second. Your one chance came at halftime where Tevez hit the bar.You were lucky that we had Foster in goal and you had Given in yours. Had VDS been in goal, that would've easily been a 4-1 game to us.
ForeverUnited
lando78 - I'd LOVE a chance for us to play Barca again without Eto'o and the fact that Fergie won't make same mistake as last season with that formation. I do hope we get that chance! You fancied us in the next round because we never play a strong team in the CC! Only way you'll be able to beat us anyway so I won't knock you for that.
ForeverUnited
 

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