In the world of football for the past decade or so there has been a feeling that the Premier League follows a basic formula. Namely that the "big four" never leave their familiar positions, while newly-promoted teams almost always go back down and the same teams duel for mid-table obscurity.
However, in the past few years things have changed. A "big six" has formed with Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City being added to the existing four or Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal.
Smaller teams also have a strong chance of earning a top-half finish with consistency and sound investment. This season that change has shown itself in a big way and made the Premier League, as a whole, more competitive and bizarre than it has ever been.
Manchester United, the team who every year finish at minimum very third find themselves wallowing in ninth while Arsenal, who are the proverbial bronze medallists, run away with the league at the top of the table.
Reading further down we see the likes of Everton and Southampton looking to break into the top four for the first time in recent memory, while the likes of previously established clubs such as Fulham and Sunderland struggle to survive.
So why the sudden competitiveness in the Premier League? In the case of Swansea City and Southampton it has mainly come down to shrewd signings such as Michu and Dani Osvaldo respectively, and an implementation of attractive and effective football.
For teams like Tottenham and Manchester City it has primarily been the funds that have been pumped into the club.
The days of predicting how the Premier League table will look at the end of the season have mainly gone as the gap between the majority of teams seems to have lessened.
However it came about one thing is certain: it is a great advert for the Premier League and English football in general.
New-found unpredictability also gives clubs from further down the Football League the hope that they too can one day emulate the success of the likes of Southampton, Norwich City or Hull City.
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