consistency. making the chavs marginally better over the course of the season, certainly over Utd and say doubly so over LFC. As things stand ATM that is, the gap might close or widen between these teams before the season ends proper, but highly probably NOT by a great deal.
CFC plyd 35 pts 88 MUFC plyd 35 pts 79 LFC plyd 35 pts 73
LFC- two distinct periods of inconsistent and poor play, season start and the run down in feb when mostly the strikers profligacy ended a great run of form. Liverpool need to improve by the same amount they have this season to mount a REAL title challenge, the poor start and striker problem have let them down this season. Liverpool have lost 5 games on the road which is still too much to really challenge for the title.
Man U- very poor winter coupled with general inconsistency in the first half of the season. vastly improved form in the run in (bar recently sunderland). I'm not sure that the introduction of a new "Roy Keane" will be enough to ressurrect man utd to the level of chelsea, they just simply seem to have lost some of the magic of old, rooney aside.
CFC- consistent if not pretty all season only marred by recent dip in form, mostly now recrouped. clearly they will be favourites again next season.
there will not be a *great* deal in it IF both manU and LFC can step up a notch in the consistency stakes, cos chelsea won't actually improve unless they REALLY become unbeatable and that has only happened once when arsenal recently went the season unbeaten, however thay can lay justified claim in their being a definite margin between themselves and their nearest challengers citing their record points tally as the defining criteria and double so IF they match it again, indeed it might even be possible to argue that there are no challengers when the gap is approaching double figures with such a high points tally.
here's another league table AND pointedly the form table (on the right)
the bar,imo, HAS been raised (by chelsea) in terms of a season long competition, a brief look at the stats from any of the last few seasons shows this to be true but it also shows that they have not raised the bar THAT much but maybe enough to see off all challengers with frankly astonishing form.
this century the league has been won by teams gathering (2000 on) 91 pts, 80 pts, 87 pts, 83, pts, 90 pts, and 95 pts. with 9 points available CFC can only equal their record points tally which one could argue shows just how consistent they have been.
here's a link to EPL tables, you can easily alter the year-00,01,02 in the URL to scrutinise the various years.
BTW,if you place your cursor over various stats (and player names or club names) GD, GF,GA,W,L,D etc a breakdown of game by game menu appears.