Let’s be clear, The UK tumbling out of Europe is one thing, The Arsenal tumbling out is an altogether more serious matter, however, it’s not just us. Why?
My first thought was that having just been reminded about the wretched League Cup, it would be down to our larger league and excessive fixtures. I turned to Bayern as a point of reference. To my surprise, I discovered Bayern only played one less game, although they had 41 domestic fixtures to our 46. Here are numbers of games played last season:
League Cup 2
Charity Shield 1
DFB (Their FAC) 6
However, English sides were far more successful ten years ago, despite the same difference in games played between ourselves and our European chums. Below I list how English Clubs have fared over the last 10 years, from the last eight, semis and finals of the CL, and there is a remarkable decline.
English Clubs record CL last 10 years for last eight, semis and finals
2016 City semis
2014 Chelsea semis
2012 Chelsea win
2011 Spurs, Chelsea last 8. Utd Final
2010 Arsenal, Utd last 8
2009 Pool last 8, Chelsea Arsenal semis, Utd Final
2008 Arsenal last 8, Chelsea Pool semis, Utd winners
2007 Utd Chelsea semis, Pool Final
Some possible conclusions:
- The more the cash flows into the PL, the worse English clubs do in Europe
- Leagues in Germany and Spain have a bigger divide between elite clubs and the rest
- It’s an English problem as much as an Arsenal problem
- Those four additional League games equates to a winter break
- It is not the number of games played by English sides that is the only problem, but I suspect it is how competitive they are that really takes its toll.
QUESTION: are we happier to watch more competitive league games on a weekly basis to the detriment of being successful at the top table?
MY VIEW: I want my cake and to eat it, so I’d merely say reduce the fixtures as much as possible to give us a better chance, as I think there are only two alternatives: firstly, more elitism amongst Premier League teams, or, just accept it’s tougher for an English side to be successful in the CL.
Written by MickyDidIt89