Do I have to defend the Premier League? And defend English teams? Yes, it looks like I have to. All I have heard in the last week two weeks or so is how awful the Premier League is. Why do people say this? Because we’ve got no one in the Champions League. That’s understandable and I think a fair point but I’ve got some issues with that.
Firstly, people can argue it all day and we can watch the replays again and again but really Manchester United should have gone through over Real Madrid. People will not like that and say that’s footballs football but when Mourinho says the best team lost when he’s on the winning side then the best team lost. That would put one English team into the quarter final if the referee had made the correct decision.
I don’t believe Arsenal are the team they once were but that was a harsh draw to come up against Bayern Munich so early on and even though you must teams of that calibre at some point, Arsenal are a team that rely on confidence. An early meeting with the previous years finalists would not have upped theirs but maybe if they had progressed before meeting Bayern then maybe on a good day they would have a chance. They did win the second the leg when they realised they had nothing to lose, something for Arsene to remember, use that do or die attitude.
The other issue with people slamming the Premier League is that people only judge the league by the top few teams, that does not clarify how good a league is. The Europa League has been a bumpy yet happy hunting ground for English teams with 3 teams in the quarter finals. That’s 37.5% of teams left in. The Europa League has it’s critics but its had everything this year, late goals, drama, fight backs and this year managers are fielding strong teams with the goal of bringing silverware in. That’s the competitiveness that makes competitions great and the English teams are excelling off of it. Also, why does the comparisons of leagues only seem to bring the top teams into contention? Would Granada and Celta Vigo beat teams like Wigan and Sunderland? I’m going to stick my neck out and say no, through top to bottom the Premier League is the better league.
The teams in the Premier League have struggled this season I must admit. Manchester City are not the team they were last year but they have got a good squad and good backbone in Hart, Kompany, Toure and Aguero with class players to flesh out the team. However, without bringing in any marquee signings in January, they’ve been struggling when the injury list gets a little cluttered. I personally don’t believe Mancini is the man for City in the long term but I really do hope he proves me wrong.
Chelsea have also struggled this season to a certain extent, their defence of their debut European title was poor and would have been very disappointing for Chelsea and their fans. Their problems though are the same as last year, erratic hiring and firing of managers. The very itchy trigger finger of Roman Abramovich and his annoyance at anyone who seems to be after a sliver of his power has cost Chelsea. There team is good and has some good talents but without a manager to control the workings of the teams and to utilise the players he knows and trusts the system just doesn’t work.
Arsenal have been have a favourite topic for many people this season and all the flack seems to be aimed directly at Arsene Wenger. Some of it seems to be put his way a little unfairly but the frustration from the fans seems to be that they don’t win anything and being top four and not making enough finals isn’t good enough. I’m sure fans would sacrifice the FA cup and League cup to win the Premier league or vica-versa, just something to put in that trophy cabinet.
I don’t believe that the Premier League is a shadow of its former self. Other leagues are battling for supremacy on the European stage, the challenge is getting mightier for the English clubs and they must rise to the occasion and I believe that’s well within their capabilities. With all this anger and animosity flying around at clubs, managers and chairmans it would be a nice change of pace if it was the true football fan who gave his opinion and we didn’t hear the voice of someone paid to just try and stir the pot. So what do you think? Are you club not good enough or is somebody upsetting the status quo? What’s wrong or what’s right about this criticism of every team that can’t win the treble? It’s the voice of the football fan that must be heard.