The question of entertainment is a highly subjective one. Like beauty and "special interest" films, entertainment in football is in the eye of the beholder. Some believe Barcelona's rat-a-tat passing is beautiful to watch. Some think they are awful, pious bores who could do with a few more long balls.
In truth, the Premier League has its fair share of fairly tedious teams, which isn't exactly surprising given the precarious nature of management. It's better for a manager to be cautious and tight rather than taking a risk like making his side enjoyable to watch.
However, there are some sides that are easier on the eyes, and for different reasons too.
Arsenal are the team most frequently held up as the entertainers of the Premier League—their smooth passing seen as England's best answer to the tiki-taka in Cataluyna. And indeed they are attractive to watch, and even more so this season when their delicate approach play has actually been rewarded with some wins.
However, they still have a tendency to go for the perfect goal, to try just one pass too many, something that can be enormously frustrating and spoil the spectacle.
Southampton are exhilarating in their own way too—their rapid pressing game is an entertaining alternative to the more careful approach of some. Jose Mourinho's second Chelsea side have found a style that entertains, with their attacking line of any three from Willian, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Oscar and Andre Schurrle making their lack of a proper centre-forward almost irrelevant. When Liverpool get going—Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in particular—they are also often a joy to behold.
There are other teams that provide moments of diversion as well, but the best side to watch in the Premier League are also (arguably) the best side in the Premier League.
Manchester City sit in second place at the time of writing, but with the way Manuel Pellegrini's side are playing at the moment, they will surely usurp Arsenal at the top of the table.
And they're not just winning. They're winning in style.
City have comfortably the highest goal-tally so far, with 59 strikes to their name, including six games in which they have scored four or more. Their results list features frankly preposterous scorelines of 7-0, 6-0 and 6-3.
It seems to be a deliberate policy, as well. Pellegrini told the Manchester Evening News in December:
"The way in football is to score goals, that is why people pay for their tickets. Fans are always trying to celebrate the goals of their teams.
"That is very important, I think it is the best way to win. As much as you can. Maybe sometimes winning 1-0 is a very good goal, and that goal is three points more.
"But if you are playing well, why would you change if you are winning by two goals? If you are winning by two, why don't you continue the same way?"
It's not just goals, though.
In their team this season, City seem to have struck a perfect balance of power, pace and skill. Their first-choice front four combines these qualities beautifully. Yaya Toure and Fernandinho provide the solidity in the centre and David Silva and Samir Nasri cut inside from the flanks to give subtlety and invention, with Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo lying in front of them.
The Spaniard and the Argentine are the best strike partnership in the Premier League at present, and it's remarkable how they have struck up such an understanding in such a short period of time. Their interplay is a wonder to watch, so as well as providing 38 goals in all competitions already, it simply rounds of City as an entertaining force.
It's not often that the best side in the division are the most entertaining. But in Manchester City, the two have come together.
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