Barring a miracle, like the one we saw with Leicester City, very few teams in the Premier League harbour ambitions of winning the title in the near future. Every season you can probably gauge who thinks they can win it and the rest that aren’t aiming to. It’s usually determined by what players teams sign, sell and the amount of money being thrown around.
You’d probably look at it this season and say aside from the Manchester clubs and current title holders Chelsea, that there aren’t really any other teams showing the same level of ambition.
So, is it acceptable that some teams don’t have title aspirations? You’d probably say yes and there a few reasons to support this. First of all, Leicester’s remarkable feat of winning the league under Claudio Ranieri, probably gives sides hope but even they would not have expected to win the division and I very much doubt they set out to either. Most fans at most clubs are realistic, they know where their team should be come the end of the season but the key ambition every club should have is to make progress.
You can’t realistically expect a team who just survived in the English Premier League to suddenly think they can win the division, it’s just not realistic. What you can expect though is progress to be made season after season. So a team could go from relegation candidates, to comfortably safe, then to finishing between maybe 10th and 15th and so on. Aiming to make progress is acceptable.
Now, if you’re a top club, who should be challenging, not having title ambitions probably isn’t acceptable. Mauricio Pochettino the Spurs manager came out and said about teams in a rush to win the league and that’s why we’ve seen huge amounts spent by the likes of City and Manchester United. He kind of went as far as to say there’s no pressure on his side to win it this season. You could look at this two ways, he could be saying it to take the pressure off of his own players and put it on those big spending clubs.
The other option is that he probably feels they can’t compete. They don’t have the financial freedom of their rivals but after pushing Chelsea close last season, surely Spurs fans want to see them mount another challenge?
All in all, just being in the Premier League is lucrative enough, especially with the TV money increasing all the time. Clubs have to be realistic in their aims and so do their supporters. Another good point of just being a member of the top flight is that clubs are much more appealing to foreign owners and we’ve seen what the likes of Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour have done since arriving in the EPL. Premier League title ambitions could become more realistic quicker than people think but you have to be in there first and capable of staying there.