Alternate Table #3 – Bonus Point for Away Wins
Winning away is considered harder than winning in front of your own fans, isn’t it? The home teams are expected to win at their fortress and are often favorites. You have the opposing fans on your back, even at the Emirates. The home side will know the stadium, know how the pitch plays and feel comfortable while quite often the away players will have just an uncomfortable and basic changing room.
Some teams have even been accused of turning the heating off in the away teams facilities, and even removing the bog roll! Some footballing conspiracy theorists will suggest that the home team, especially those among the big clubs, will get favorable decisions from the match officials.
Given the apparent advantage for the home team, how would the Premier League look if we rewarded a victory on the road with a bonus point?
Manchester United have won an impressive 12 away games with their title rivals Manchester City winning just eight. This would increase the gap from five points to nine. United could have the league title wrapped up more or less next week.
Arsenal open up a six point gap over fourth placed Newcastle (yes Newcastle, not North London rivals Spurs who find themselves a point behind the Geordies). Arsenal have won eight away games, Newcastle seven and Spurs just six. The same amount as West Brom.
Liverpool would overtake their rivals Everton by a point but still be 13 points off a Champions League spot, a good job that they’re doing well in the cups if they want to get back into Europe.
Norwich have won an impressive five away games, so their five bonus points would take them to ninth. No mean feat for a newly promoted side.
At the bottom, Wigan’s five away wins would still only keep them five points clear of the drop zone, but they would leap frog Aston Villa who would find themselves 16th after their measly three away wins. Currently they are six points clear of danger, but in this alternate table it would be just four.
Wolves’ pitiful two away wins sees them a point further adrift of safety, so they look doomed, but Bolton’s reasonable away record puts them level with 17th placed QPR with two games in hand. Of course one of those is against the now troubled Aston Villa.