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Introduction: Soccer fans the world over are naturally drawn to the UK Premier League. Premier League.com revealed interesting broadcast research into global viewership during the 2018-2019 campaign. Nielsen Sports analysis revealed that the ‘cumulative’ audience for UK Premier League matches rose by 11% to an estimated 1.35 billion people. That's almost 20% of the global population by today's standards.
Consider that the UK Premier League was broadcast in 188 countries around the world, excluding the 5 countries that had no access to the 2018-2019 season. At that time, Liverpool and Manchester City were locked in a battle royale for Premier League dominance. By 2020, of course Liverpool destroyed their opposition, ultimately becoming the undisputed Premier League champions for the first time ever, albeit over a disrupted sporting season.
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Which Premier League Teams Are Revered as the Best Ever?
It is difficult to remove bias from any assessment of the best teams ever, particularly with respect to the UK Premier League. As a Liverpool FC supporter myself, I'm naturally inclined to rank the Reds as one of the greatest Premier League teams of all time, but their long-term record does not warrant as much.
True to form, Liverpool FC is always a worthy contender for best UK Premier League team in recent years, but certainly not the best of all time. For the 2019/2020 season, Liverpool invariably clinched victory with a dominating performance throughout the season.
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Let's briefly take a look at the top 3 finishers over the past 15 seasons to gain a broader perspective on the best UK Premier League teams in recent history:
2019/2020 – Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester City
2018/2019 – Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea
2017/2018 – Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur
2016/2017 – Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City
2015/2016 – Leicester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur
2014/2015 – Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal
2013/2014 – Manchester city, Liverpool, Chelsea
2012/2013 – Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea
2011 /2012 – Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal
2010/2011 – Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City
2009/2010 – Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal
2008/2009 – Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea
2007/2008 – Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal
2006/2007 – Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool
2005/2006 – Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool
When we extrapolate the data over the past 15 seasons, it is clear that the current favorites dropped out of contention for the best UK Premier League teams of all time. Liverpool FC has been hot in recent years, but this is a relatively new phenomenon for the team.
More importantly, we can see that Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Arsenal have performed consistently well. It is against this backdrop that I will attempt to determine the best Premier League team over the past 15 years.
Who are England's greatest FCs?
* Chelsea managed by José Mourinho
Chelsea dominated the Premier league in 2004/2005 through 2006/2007. They have 2 Premier League titles and 2 FA Cup titles to their credit. While José certainly regretted not being able to win the Champions League with this fantastic team, Chelsea was incredible over this period of time.
* Manchester United managed by Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United needs no introduction to the soccer world. Manchester United pulled off one of the greatest ever achievements in soccer by winning the treble. While they certainly berated themselves for not being able to do it again after the 1998/99 through 2000/2001 season, they remain one of the most successful, valuable, and incredible soccer teams of all time.
Then again in 2006/2007 through 2008/2009, Manchester United went on to make history, winning the Premier League three times in a row. Many experts believe that this particular team was the best ever for the club.
Love them or loathe them, Manchester United and the UK Premier League have become synonymous.
* Liverpool managed by Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan
Despite the lack of UK Premier League titles, Liverpool has been an outstanding outfit over the years. Particularly in the 1980s when the likes of Kenny Dalglish graced the team. Other players like Ian Rush, John Barnes, Alan Hansen, and Graeme Souness certainly added plenty of firepower to the team.
If we wind the clocks back to 1975/1976 through 1977/1978, Liverpool once again produced one of the best teams of all time. This particular Liverpool team won the UEFA Cup, making it 3 European trophies across 3 seasons – a remarkable achievement by anyone's admission.
Different metrics produce similar results, and if we look at the total points scored between 1992 and 2019, the Premier League’s teams with the most points include the following top 5:
* Manchester United
Once again, Manchester United rises through the ranks, along with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur in tow. Another important metric to consider when evaluating the best Premier League team of all-time is the average points scored per game. Once again, the usual suspects come into contention, including Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City.
After reviewing all the data, and there is mounds of it, one has to give credit where credit is due. Manchester United is undeniably the best Premier League team of all time, and that's my opinion.
* Photo Courtesy of Rui Vieira and AP