Is the Premier League In Decline?

For years the Premier League has been branded as the “best” league in modern day football. Yet as this season has shown, this statement can no longer be the case. The abject failure of many English clubs in Europe has totally transformed the myth and the reality is something altogether different.

Take Manchester United, the undisputed kingpins of the Premier League era, how many times have they prospered in Europe’s premier competition during this period? Only twice! For a side which has won twelve league titles this fact is curious to say the least. Perhaps the Premier League was always more of a brand than being actually competitive on the European stage. Certainly, I cherish the excitement that the league produces on a weekly basis; however for the same pundits to consistently label the league as outstanding is remarkable.

Games such as the Arsenal-Spurs game last Sunday evoke pleasure in even the most timid of football fans, yet quality wise the game was sorely lacking in this respect. Maybe, the necessity for quality has been discarded and replaced by the need for excitement but if this is so are these clubs doing themselves justice? Take Napoli Chelsea, the tie while not over looks to be in a perilous state from a Chelsea perspective, would their supporters wish to be involved in six goal thrillers with Man Utd at the Bridge or keeping clean sheets in Europe and progressing to the latter stages. The biggest disappointment of all the English teams has been Manchester United!

For a manager who has enjoyed so much success, Sir Alex’s tactics in Europe are constantly being outmanoeuvred by opposition coaches. His failure to win more Champions League titles during his tenure is a damning indictment on not only his tactical nous, but also it is systematic of the lack of quality present in the Premier League. The arrival of foreign players into the country was lauded and rightly so, but the standard of domestic players has never progressed to any notable extent during this period. The Premier League brings more joy to households than perhaps any other league in the world, however its insistence on marketing itself as the ‘’best’’ has essentially become laughable.

Too often today players a built up in the league after only a few good games and made out to be world beaters when anything couldn’t be further from the truth. The so called’’ golden generation’’ of English players that dined at the top table of English football, while good players were certainly not great players. Perhaps the biggest indictment of English football has been the actual world class players who have come to the Premier League in their prime? Zidane, Figo, and Raul all these superstars of the modern era would never have contemplated coming to the league as standard wise it isn’t the best. The best player of the last ten years in the Premier League Ronaldo will unquestionably reach his peak in Spain. Will we ever see a Messi playing in the league that we all love? I would love to say yes, but historically speaking the chances are he will ply his trade elsewhere. Until the Premier League realises that it needs to become more skilful the English clubs will suffer on the European stage and we will never see any of the truly great players playing every weekend in England.

One thought on “Is the Premier League In Decline?”

  1. I think it has more to do with tactics than anything else. In the
    premier league the majority of clubs play a 4-4-2 long ball style
    with a few exceptions that don’t. Also unlike other leagues where
    goals are made up of technical skill the Premier league has goals
    that happen basically by defensive mistakes or just plain
    exhaustion of the defense. When the Premier league teams meet a
    technical team they lose because they don’t know how to stop them
    because they are so used to long ball style attacks from other EPL
    teams. Also I would say the problems of the ENgland national team
    lies with the tactics use din the premier league. Yes there are
    more foreigners in the EPL than English players but that is not an
    excuse. Look at Portuguese Liga where basically all the players are
    South Americans with very few Portuguese. A similar situation to
    the EPL but the Portugal National team has been succesful this
    decade coming 2nd in Euro 04 and 4th in the WC06 and always
    advancing past the group stages in all tourneys plus players like
    Figo and Ronaldo came from there. The only difference between the
    Portugal Liga and EPL is that the Portugese Liga is more about
    technical skill. There may be fewer portuguese players in the
    league than South Americans but the few Portuguese players that are
    there are good because they have to compete day in and out for
    their job vs Brazilians and Argentines. The English players should
    be doing this in the EPL too but the lack of good tactics being
    applied to the EPL teams by archaic thinking coaches is why englsih
    clubs and the NT suffer. If technical skill was placed ahead ofver
    the long ball and 442 style then the England NT would be in a
    similar if not better position than Portugal and would have players
    equal to or better than Figo and Ronaldo. Blame the managers and
    their tactics.

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