What may be obvious when considering the Champions League is the immediate ability to compare the top clubs and therefore the leagues.
Take Celtic for example, cruising to victory yet again for the 47th time only to scrape through qualifying and lose to Barcelona again despite a hopeful psychological impact from 2012/13 season winning with a dismal 11% possession. Yes, that happened.
However, you may argue that the Scottish league is ‘surprisingly’ unattractive so top players aren’t as inclined meaning that the European tournaments are far from suited. On another note, we can look at PSG, having success as well as being able to compete in the latter stages of the champions league but never going onto win it since their big money take-over, only back to back Ligue 1 wins.
Following on, the Bundesliga is often criticised for being to easy for Bayern Munich with Muiller even coming out to say that it was harder to win in training than the Bundesliga.( Only to go onto lose to Borussia Dortmund next game) but understandably, he has a point.
So Why is it then that with regards to the Premier League, despite being the most viewed domestic league in Europe, are they useless in the Champions League? Surely competing at a competitive level would mean taking even higher ranked club games seriously? Only to be pushed aside by the likes of Monaco against Arsenal…who have yet to reach the quarter finals since 2010. Is this an English thing?
The answer must lie within the concept of being the top club in the league. Obviously with easy title victories comes easy money to spend on top players, maintaining a nice consistent run of domination with a dream team. Yet, it’s almost embedded into their brains to treat every team with a challenge leaving the likes of Celtic tonight to lose 7-0 to Barcelona. Poor poor Celtic. Yet, with Barcelona being giants compared to some of the La Liga team, does this mean the English League could be too difficult?
Perhaps so, with the eager season bringing games of brilliance even when Man City play the likes of Sunderland and Watford- a good game is always guaranteed but with this consistently good idea of maintaining a competitive domestic league comes little divide between top and bottom meaning that it seems hard for the best of the best to flourish because of how undivided the league is. Top players end up at all teams. Middlesborough managed to pull of the signings of Negredo, Valdes and Traore which has gave them a cracking start to the season. Yet, it’s with this comes a poor European tournament for the English clubs.
Of course it is about who spends the most money for the top players but only the best of the best can afford that, even with Manchester United splashing out around £90 million on Pogba, they will probably still lose in the Europa League. The team just isn’t quite good enough. Barcelona and Real Madrid practically have a B-team of substitutes which could challenge easily for the Premier League. It’s with this that it’s easy to see why we don’t see Arsenal reaching the latter stages as well as City despite setting a high last season, it wasn’t quite the same as watching the best of the best.
Suppose with Manchester Clubs spending heavy along with the new managers-maybe I will be proved wrong? but for me, the sheer fact that we have such a competitive league means that one club cannot reach complete domination and I believe that out of any club, City will be the most likely due to the money they currently have as well as the Guardiola encouraging a style of play of Champions. He could be the foundation of a future of successful Premier league clubs in the Champions League.
IN summary, other than City buying their way to the top, only way of seeing an English success is is the league becomes more divided allowing the top to compete against the European giants rather than being pushed aside like a bag of Worcester sauce Walkers Crisps. But until them, we will have to settle for a cracker of a league and hope for the best in Europe.
It’s never easy being from England, even the clubs crack under pressure. A hint of Psychological impact enters soon as you touch down in Britain? Seems the most logical explanation…