The year 2020 proved to us that a lot can change in a short amount of time. However, what can change in a decade? In the Premier League, much has changed since 2010, and thinking about this, we compiled some of the most important events that happened over the last decade in the PL.
The Blue Dominance
Who would have thought that after a decade of absolute Red dominance through Arsenal and Manchester United (2000-2010), the Premier League would witness a true Blue rise?
Manchester City have come from nowhere to bag no fewer than four PL titles during the last decade. Chelsea won three titles in ten years. Completing the Blue wave, we have Leicester City, with an unreal achievement in the 2015-16 season.
Liverpool and Manchester United were the non-Blue teams to win PL trophies during the 2010-2020 decade, with the Merseyside team bagging the league once, while the Red Devils lifted it twice.
The Fergie Retirement
The Alex Ferguson era at Manchester United was possibly the most beautiful love story between manager and club in the history of the sport. The Scotsman who arrived as an unknown face back in 1986 and was nearly sacked following not-so-good results in the beginning went on to become an absolute legend at the Red Devils.
Sir Alex Ferguson left the club in 2013, with 38 trophies secured in that time, some records broken, and lots of history made. Fergie won 2 UCL trophies, 13 Premier Leagues, and 5 Football Association Cups at the wheel of the Red Devils.
At least he bid farewell to Man Utd fans in style, winning their last PL title, conquered in the 2012-13 season.
The end of the Ferguson era at Man Utd can be linked to the Blue dominance, as since Fergie’s departure, the Red Devils did not win a single PL trophy for a number of years.
The Leicester City Fairy Tale
The Leicester City fairytale was maybe the moment of the decade in the Premier League. Led by Italian manager Claudio Ranieri, the Foxes relied on the likes of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Shinji Okazaki, Kasper Schmeichel, and others to lift an unlikely Premier League trophy back in the 2015-16 season.
The few fans who were insane enough to back the Foxes to win the league at the beginning of the season were laying their wagers on a 5,000-to-1 underdog side who ended up enchanting not only the league, but the whole world with a clinical football displayed.
Since then, the Foxes have established themselves as strong contenders to each and every subsequent EPL season.
The 100-Point Champions
In the 2017-18 season, Manchester City demolished every Premier League record they came across. Led by Pep Guardiola, who had his first full season as Man City boss, the Cityzens went on to become “The Centurions.”
Never in the history of the English top flight had a club taken 100 points in a 38-match season. Guardiola’s men not only did that, but they also broke the record for most wins in a season (32), alongside the record for most goals in a season, with 106 goals scored.
This was also the beginning of the Klopp-Guardiola rivalry in the EPL, as the Liverpool manager beat Guardiola at Anfield in the league and also knocked the Cityzens out of the UCL in the quarter-final stage.
The End of a 30-Year Curse
A club of the magnitude of the Mighty Reds cannot spend 30 years at the line just waiting for the trophy to materialise in front of their eyes. They have to fight for it.
And believe it or not, despite the absurd 30-year-wait, Liverpool battled hard for the title. The reality is that the luck didn’t seem to be on the Reds’ side. They came close several times before running away with the PL title in the 2019-20 season.
In 2007-08, Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard were denied the title by Cristiano Ronaldo and company at Man Utd. In 2013-14, destiny was cruel to the club’s biggest legend, Gerrard, who slipped on the most important game of the season, against a Chelsea commanded by Jose Mourinho, who beat the Reds at a packed Anfield Road to end their hopes at the league title fast.
The Jurgen Klopp era began in 2015, and with it, a general hope for better days. With the slogan “We have to change from doubters to believers,” the German manager arrived from Borussia Dortmund and built a team of champions at Merseyside.
They hit the post again in the 2018/19 season, losing the league to Man City in a breathtaking title race. The Reds lost only one game out of 38 gameweeks, but it wasn’t enough to let them end the Premier League curse.
In the next one, though, everything conspired in favor of the Anfield Road team, who went on to beat every PL side and a global pandemic to win the PL title in a 99-point-campaign.
This one is rather sad, but absolutely worth mentioning, as it has been dictating the rhythm in the league nowadays. The coronavirus pandemic introduced the Premier League to the new normal.
Fans were replaced with gigantic banners, and the game suddenly became just like a FIFA simulation, with empty stadiums, chants coming from speakers, and a non-existent atmosphere.
Having checked in on what happened over the last decade in the PL, we can only speculate on how the future will look.
Will we have another underdog fairy tale going on in the 2020-2030 decade? Who will be the first champions of the decade? We know we’ll be checking the Premier League table to keep up on it all.
Further, what colour will this decade’s wave have? Red, blue, or both? When will supporters be able to go back to the stands? We shall find out.
In the meantime, let’s wait and hope for a better near future in the PL!