SINGAPORE — The curtain has come down on the 2022/23 English Premier League (EPL) season. So, has it been a classic?

The general feeling among fans is that, while the best team certainly won - and Pep Guardiola's Manchester City certainly were a brilliantly-coached title-winning side - it has hardly been a memorable contest when place among the more unforgettable EPL seasons in its 31-year history.

For starters, the enforced mid-season break for the 2022 World Cup Finalsnot only made the competition feel disjointed, but it also dragged the season out until the end of May, whereas it would usually end around the first two weeks of May.

By then, fans were already clamouring for a break from football - and one suspects some underachieving teams likeLiverpool,Tottenham or Chelsea are feeling the same way too.

Meanwhile, Manchester Unitedand Newcastlewere just making their way back into the title-contending picture, after years of stumbling in mediocrity. While there were certainly many encouraging wins throughout the season for their long-suffering fans, there were also enough inconsistent performances to show that both the Magpies and Red Devils need more astute recruitment to properly mount a title assault.

That left only Arsenal as the sole serious challenging team to Man City. Mikel Arteta's men were the only side who pushed City all the way, leading the table for much of the season as they overachieved by far this season.

And even so, the manner in which they ran out of steam in the closing stage of the season, allowing Man City to power past them, meant that a classic, nail-biting league battle never really materialised all season.

In the end, Man City's fifth title in six years felt inevitable and drama-free, and that might not be a good sign for a league that prides itself on being the most entertaining league in the world.

And when the season culminated in the relegation of Leicester City - authors of the last fairytale, underdog title win in 2015/16 - the latest EPL season felt like a giant shrug of the shoulder, as in, "What can we really do to stop the financial juggernaut of dominance that is Man City?"

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2023-05-31T08:40:27Z dg43tfdfdgfd