Friday, December 11, 2015

The English Premier League: Most Overrated in the World

Good evening all. I hope everyone reading this is just sitting down after a hard day’s work, ready for all the football that’s gonna take place this weekend. One game in particular I want you all to keep an eye out for is newly promoted Bournemouth against a Manchester United who are struggling to find form but are still sitting 4th in the table.

Four or five years ago this game would’ve been a banker on your accumulator. Now though with Manchester United having more dips than a ride at Alton Towers (but with a lot less entertainment) this is anyone’s to call. With The Cherries beating Chelsea last week and Manchester United getting knocked out of the Champions League, confidence could play a big part in this game.

Quick question though; is it just me who has this worrying, “oh for fuck sake”, feeling that Manchester united are going to win the league this year? Not through their own brilliance of course, but from teams like Man City and Arsenal dropping points against teams you’d seriously expect them to beat. While they’re dropping a few points here and there, Manchester United will continue to pick up draws and cheeky wins to send them above their title challenging rivals.

Now obviously Leicester have to be taken as serious contenders (as much as everyone at the club likes to deny it) but still I’ve got this feeling they’ll slip up and get pipped to the post by The Red Devils. Now I’m positive every man and his dog would rather Leicester win the league over Man Utd but this feeling I makes me think that Man Utd could actually win the title whilst playing some of the worst football the Premier League has ever seen.

Now I’m personally not too bothered who wins the league this season (I’m a Sheff Wednesday fan, we’re winning the Prem next year when we come up anyway...a man can dream.) What I am bothered about though is the state of English football and how potentially the best English team got knocked out of the Champions League group stage.
~ All this hypothetical if MUFC win the Premiership whilst playing the type of football they have this season ~

It shows to me a decline of the quality that the Barclays Premier League has to offer. The reason people said this was the best league in the world was because we had between 4-6 teams all challenging for the title every season but to me it didn’t make us great, it just meant all our teams are just as shit as each other.

In Spain you look at the big hitters; Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. These three are normally a large number of points ahead of the teams in 4th or 5th and this is simply because there is a real gulf in class between them. In The EPL there seems to be normally maybe 5 or 6 points separating the teams finishing 4th and 5th. La Liga on the other hand have had gaps ranging from 10 to 30 points between their title challengers and the rest of the league!
~ Look it up. In 2011/12 the gap between Barcelona (2nd) and Valencia (3rd) was 30 points ~

In the Bundesliga Bayern Munich have finished 10 or more points clear at the top of the table for the past three seasons. The runners up Wolfsburg finished 10 points below the The Bavarians and are also the team who knocked The Red Devils out of the Champions League. Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League 3-2 by a team who are 10 points below Bayern Munich...what I’m trying to say is Munich would rip “Louis Van Gaals Army” a new arsehole.
~ ...Which I’m assuming we all knew anyway ~

It's even proven with the world class players we produce leaving when a truly top team comes in. Ronaldo was world class and went to La Liga with the rest of the world class players. Gareth Bale was world class and went to La Liga with the rest of the world class players. Luis Suarez was world class and went to La Liga with the rest of the world class players. There’s a pattern emerging here. Alexis Sanchez couldn’t get on Barcelona’s bench, now he’s one of the best strikers in England currently…
~ Not saying Sanchez isn’t a good player, it just seems a little strange that he wasn’t featuring in La Liga but he’s world class in EPL ~

There was a time when England dominated Europe and could attract any player. I read that from 1977-1986 an English team was in the final 8 out of the 9 years. In these years the tournament was won by an English team 7 times (Liverpool: 77, 78, 81, 84 | Nottingham Forest: 79, 80 | Aston Villa: 82.) Back in a time when you were excited by your side signing an unknown Scottish wonderkid from Hartlepool. Nowadays people get excited because their team have signed a Brazilian...just because he’s from Brazil doesn’t mean he’s any good.

One thing I would like to point out was that these teams did have top quality players but they also had world class managers leading them. Managers like Bob Paisley, Tony Barton and my favourite manager Brian Clough. Some of the greatest managers England has seen and in my opinion no current manager in the Premier League has a scratch on any of these people.
~ While I’m on the subject of Clough I’d recommend reading The Damned United. Really funny book, with some stories that show Clough’s quirky yet brilliant managerial reign ~

Now if I’m honest I  don’t think any EPL team has got it in them to truly outplay world class opposition like those teams through the 70’s and 80’s. Like I was saying at the beginning of this post if Manchester United were considered the best team in England then it would be an embarrassment to the Premier League and English football.

The last English team to win the Champions League was Chelsea and I think even their fans would admit Munich had by far the bulk of attacking play. The last time England properly dominated European football was when Manchester United beat Chelsea in the Champions League final in 2008; two English teams battling it out playing impressive football, either team would’ve deserved it that year.

What happened to that Chelsea? What happened to that Man Utd? They could challenge any team. Nowadays Man United would be lucky to get 4th in the Bundesliga and maybe 5th or 6th in La Liga. Chelsea, with how they’ve stated, would more than likely be in a relegation place. Admittedly once form picks up as it surely must for Chelsea this season I’d expect them to finish one place above Man United.

Manchester City are, for me, the best team in England currently with a good combination of youth and experience that can  hopefully prove me wrong and win the Champions League but it doesn’t look likely as without their spine of Kompany, Toure, Silva and Aguero they look as weak as Man Utd and Chelsea.

Fingers crossed it’ll change for The Barclays Premier League but it seems to me that it’ll take years to get out of this rut of losing our league's most prized assets to the bigger leagues. But anyways thats all I have to say on the subject.

~ Anyone who enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at ~

Cheers for reading.

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