Football

A Premier League treble: Is it impossible?

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Liverpool did it in 1984. Manchester United did it in 1999. And now Jose Mourinho wants to do it in 2014 with Chelsea. Yes, it's the treble.

The treble was once a great result of English dominance on a club level. Liverpool dominated in the old First Division and in Europe for almost two decades in the 1970's and 1980's, enjoying 11 league titles in 18 years from 1972 to 1990 and also winning four European Cups in 1977, 1978, 1981 and 1984.

Manchester United also managed similar dominance in the 1990's, winning five league titles and a memorable Champions League in 1999. But the question is, do we have similar dominance now as we did during the 90's, 80's and 70's?

Yes we have league dominance and of course that would be Manchester United, winning eight league titles from 2000, and finishing second and third on occasions.

The treble for English sides is becoming seemingly impossible, Manchester United winning the Premier League and Champions League in 2008, but not winning either cup as Portsmouth beating Cardiff to win the FA Cup and Tottenham beating Chelsea to win the League Cup.

They also came close in 2009, winning the League Cup and the Premiership, only losing the Champions League final to Barcelona.

But since then, we've seen Manchester City monopolise, Arsenal sign some raw talent, Chelsea seal the return of Jose Mourinho and looking to revisit their greatest years, and also Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton start to challenge for Champions League places.

As, like last season, we saw a real lack of focus from big teams on both cups, with Wigan winning the FA Cup and Swansea winning the League Cup. Only Manchester City were in either final from the teams above and Bradford famously reached the League Cup final although they are in League Two.

With that, and the sheer openness of the Premiership, it looks almost impossible for an English team to win the treble.

In previous decades, the only games which would endeavour a large degree of focus by the likes of Manchester United would be the games against fellow title rivals, and the promoted teams would simply bounce straight back to the second division (Swindon, Oldham, Bradford to name but a few who did) and were never to be seen again.

However, in recent years, newly promoted teams have surprised astonishingly, West Ham finishing 10th least season in their first season back in top-flight and Hull City currently sitting at eighth.

This means that the title is likely to be brought down to the final game of the season - 2011-2012 for example - and English will therefore lose focus on the cup and/or Champions League.

So however jokingly Mourinho thinks he will win the treble at Chelsea is, he must balance the focus at the club in order to even stand a chance, we don't see many titles won in March or 'Invincibles' like Arsenal in today's football.

The Premier League is more unpredictable and open than ever. The treble is not as easy in an open league, it's usually one or two club leagues that ever see trebles, such as: PSV in 1987-1988 and Ajax in 1971-1972 from Holland (dominated by those two clubs), Celtic in 1966-1967 (Rangers and Celtic dominating in Scotland traditionally), and Bayern Munich last season (the dominant German side).

Exciting football in England has lead to a sacrifice of exciting English football in Europe.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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