As a fan of Manchester City, I fully expect my team to be in the top division because we are a big club, always have been and always will be.
There may be some people who point to the season that City spent in the third tier to suggest that perhaps City isn't necessarily shoe-ins for the top division in an open vote.
That said, City is widely thought of as a top team and with the recent investments by ADUG.
This leads me to wonder, which other teams would be called upon to make up an ideal top division?
The old First Division historically had 22 teams. However, the Primier League today has only 20 teams in it.
Ironically, the two teams who currently have most championships, Liverpool and Manchester United, are not the teams with the most seasons in the top division. That honour goes to Everton.
None of these three teams have spent the kind of unbroken string of seasons in the top division as Arsenal has. With 85 straight seasons in the top division to date.
At the other end, the three teams with the least number of seasons in the top division are Wigan with six, Fulham with 22 and Blackpool with 27.
Is that the best Premier League line-up possible?
Do these teams help to create the "perfect Premier League?"
We also must consider one other significant measure, the number of championships won.
There are 23 teams currently playing in the League that have won the championship, so three would have to go.
Of the 23, Ipswich, Notts Forest, Sheffield United and West Brom have only won one League championship, making it impossible to choose just one of these to exclude.
There is one other measure we can try to quantify the teams through. Rather than picking the teams that have had the greatest number of seasons in top tier play or picking whomever has won the most championships, we could try picking the top 20 teams with the most points gained.
Here are the teams who represent the best Premier League line up, listed in order of points gained:
- Manchester United
- Aston Villa
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Manchester City
- Blackburn Rovers
- West Bromwich Albion
- Sheffield Wednesday
- Derby County
- Leeds United
- Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Nottingham Forrest
- West Ham United
Despite having won a championship, it is interesting to note that the following teams don't make the cut: Huddersfield with three, Burnley with a pair, and Ipswich and Sheffield United each have just one.
Through three possible measures of excellence, we have three different lists. Showing just how difficult it is to create a "perfect Premier League."