Originally Posted by danny_boy
It's true 5 years ago today the top 3 teams in goals conceded were
Man Utd - 11
Arsenal & Chelsea - 16
Sunderland - 40
Reading - 44
Derby - 46
Chelsea - 18 (Played 2 games less)
Man City 19
Stoke - 20
Wigan - 39
Reading - 40
Aston Villa -41
Interesting the Defensive standards at the bottom end of the table are improving but that's such a big shift at the top in the space of just 5 years
I believe that part of the reason for this is that premier league players can't get away with as many hard tackles as they could in the past, therefore more defenders are likely to back off and jockey a good dribbler and allow him more space and freedom.
Defending in this league has generally always been about physicality (to a point), passion and bravery as opposed to great positioning (obviously there are exceptions) and reading of the game. Premier league defenders are just going to have to move with the times, which is a good thing because it can only help the development of young English defenders who are potential candidates for the national team.
I'm sure there are other reasons as well, possibly including the recent influx of top class forwards that base their games on beating defenders with ease. Skill and pace are exceptionally hard to defend against.
EDIT- I've also got to point out that the improvement at the bottom end of the league for conceeding goals isn't significant enough to really take notice of, especially if we're going by percentages.