Goalkeeping mistakes, lapses or whatever it may be. The Premier League clubs have been catastrophic in the past three seasons and are looking to follow the same route this time around. English football continues to record world-wide support and views. Financially, its clubs are stronger than those of any other European league. However, on the pitch the English for have are neither scary nor frightening.
Not a single English club made it to the final in the past three seasons, six different finalists from three different countries made it but none of them was from ‘the world’s best league’. Judging from this season’s form it seems unlikely that the trend will change, Jose Mourinho may be an expert in Europe but his Chelsea are suffering domestically and even though his team is most likely to qualify to the next round in the Champions League, Tuesday night’s loss against Porto showed that European clubs no longer fear them. Staying in London, Arsenal are yet to gain a single point in two games, with only four more games, two of which are against Bayern Munich, the gunners would definitely need a miracle to get to the next round. In case they do, Arsene Wenger has little hope of progressing till the end.
Elsewhere in Manchester, the two clubs are doing well domestically but when it comes they have been inconsistent in Europe as well. United fell to PSV on the opening day and City lost against Juventus. The Red Devils had to fight their way back to a win last night against Wolfsburg and the Citizens were lucky to beat Monchengladbach, yet their group includes Juventus and Sevilla too. It’s highly likely both will progress beyond their group but the question remains: How far can they go?
English football is at its worst with a 17% winning rate in Europe’s most prestigious tournament. Over $1 billion were spent in the summer transfer window by the 20 Premier League clubs. Some may sight the increased competition between them as a reason for putting up tired line-ups in midweek games yet all other clubs including Real Madrid and Barcelona have been playing their best players in the league without the chance to rest anyone.
Perhaps it could be a post-Ferguson period for united, a development stage for City and a transitional period for the Blues. Things are not catastrophic, all English clubs can still pull a good result on their day against any team. Their form might improve as the season goes on but truth be told, it is quite harder than ever to attract stars to England. Manchester City paid a hefty sum to sign Kevin De Brunye, Manchester United spent a lot on Angel Di Maria only to sell him one season later and so on.
Stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez made the switch to La Liga yet it’s unlikely that big superstars make the swich the opposite way around. English football is not as strong as it is despite an increase in discretionary income of all its clubs. It is time the English sides review their strategies and push back again to reclaim their place among Europe’s elite but to do so, they need to accept that the other leagues are stronger.