It’s been a fantastic decade of Premier League football, with lots of thrills, goals and special memories to keep forever.

Manchester United, Chelsea, Leicester City and Manchester City all lifted the Premier League title this decade, each leading varying periods of excellence. 

However, the biggest change in the premier league this decade is the inclination of fans towards breathtaking attacking football. 

In truth, up until Antonio Conte‘s tactical mastery of the 3-4-3 system in winning Chelsea the title in 2017, and more notably Leicester’s fairytale 2016 triumph, fans prided their title-winning teams in being defensively solid and less-flashy at times.

Pep Guardiola stomping up at Man City in 2016 and Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool the year before, however, provided the watershed moment in the Premier League.

Guardiola and Klopp have heralded the new era of the premier league. (REUTERS)
Both managers brought league titles and tactical acumen from other European Leagues that bred respect for the philosophies they were trying to implement.

Guardiola successfully implemented his uber-attacking style in his second season at City, involving mammoth ball possession with the goalkeeper and defenders also involved in building-up.
The reward for which has been five major trophies in three-and-half seasons, including the only consecutive league titles of the decade, record points tally (100) and a catalogue of wins and goals records. 

Klopp, meanwhile, has revived Liverpool. First turning them into a hungry attacking side with a relentless forward press. 

Klopp graffiti at Liverpool. (Getty Images)

The Reds failed to win the title by virtue of Guardiola’s winning machine finishing a point above their incredible 97 in 2018/2019. 

However, the German has a winning machine of his own currently on a 36-game unbeaten run in the league and 50 at home. This supreme form sees them comfortably 13 points ahead of second place after 19 matches, having dropped only two points.

The new-found tactical awareness sets a new approach for English teams. It has brought out the best in the City and Liverpool squads who have provided a new dawn for Premier League title rivalries.

It is no surprise, then, that Klopp and Guardiola are leading the Premier League into a new decade which promises english domination of European football. 

Wolves: The best of the underdogs. (Getty Images)
In a major shift from the last decade, the smaller clubs have been empowered admirably. More funds made available from television rights in the Premier League means bigger investment in players.

The effect of that is overpriced players but when there’s so much money in the system, it has to be spent round, right?

Leicester City’s remarkable 2016 title triumph didn’t owe to any mind-blowing financial layout, but smaller clubs now influence the top of the table to a higher degree.

There have been countless upsets in the last three seasons that recent results like Watford beating United at home, Chelsea losing to Southampton at home and Wolves coming from two down – albeit with a man advantage- to beat Champions City have become commonplace.

It is pertinent that, going into the new decade, Leicester have replaced Arsenal in the top six on the log, while Wolves and Sheffeld United – both in the Championship only two seasons ago- complete the top eight.

Also going into the new decade, is the influence of technology in football. Four goals were over-ruled by VAR in the final round of Premier League matches for the decade.

The clearest indication that the Premier League – and football- is going into a new era. 

The technology continues to split opinion, and tweaks need to be made to the offside and handball calls, including referees reviewing incidents on the on-pitch monitor. 

However, the concept of VAR dictates that luck and millimetres would matter to win or lose games as much as hardwork on the pitch.

There’s joy and ecstasy in thrilling football, mixed with heartbreak and hard luck ahead if you’re a Premier League fan.

It is why our hearts beat for the game isn’t it? Wish you a joyful 2020.

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
December 30, 2019

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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