Spain Still Rules Europe But Could Leicester City Succeed Where Certain Teams From Manchester And London Keep Failing?

Posted: March 16, 2017 in Arsenal, Champions League, Chelsea, Europa League, European Football, Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Tottenham Hotspur
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Yet again that mediocre La Liga has three teams through to the quarter finals of the Champion’s League, while that brilliant, exciting, competitive and just all-round good egg Premier League has one.

The good thing is that to prove it’s massive superiority over La Liga, it was a Premier League club which knocked out Sevilla. Yes, little old Leicester did what Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur couldn’t do, they made it through to the quarter finals.

This is an achievement par excellence. Leicester are currently in 15th position in the Premier League and are not yet safe from relegation. The other three ex-representatives lie in 2nd, 3rd and 5th and will probably all qualify for next year’s competition.

So basically, English clubs are only competitive in their own league. Clubs from La Liga are only competitive in Europe, unless they happen to be Barcelona or Real Madrid, in which case they are competitive in Europe, their own league and their own cup competitions.

On this evidence there is no doubt that, not only could Barcelona and Real Madrid compete in the Premier League, they are both capable of winning it. (Anyone who is unsure should remember that a cold, windy, rainy night in Stoke is the same as a cold, windy, rainy night in Bilbao)

This fallacy about English clubs and their dominance of Europe has now surely gone too far. In the last ten years English clubs have won the Champion’s League precisely twice. On both of those occasions the final was decided on penalties and, when Chelsea won the trophy in 2012, it was one of the most fortuitous journeys ever experienced by any football club in the entire history of European competition.

During the same period Barcelona won the competition three times and Real Madrid twice, despite the added difficulty of having to face those brilliant English teams on occasion.

The Guardian have a similar take on the subject but approach it from a different angle. Have a read what Paul Wilson has to say here.

The Europa League casts the English sides in an even dimmer light. Only one winner, Chelsea again, has emanated from these shores whilst Sevilla have won the trophy on no less than four occasions. Atletico Madrid have won it twice meaning that Spain has provided the winning team in six of the last ten years.

Of the English teams to appear in this years European competitions, only Leicester City and, possibly, Manchester United, appear to have any idea of how to play against foreign opposition. At least, as they are the only representatives still participating, that would seem to be the case.

Tottenham Hotspur discovered, quite early on in both competitions, that European football really isn’t their cup of tea. Playing their home games at Wembley is no excuse for the dismal performances they put in and being eliminated by Gent was the height of embarrassment.

Arsenal fell at the round of Arsenal as usual and, despite qualifying every year for the last twenty or so years, have still never won the Champion’s League. Nor have they ever looked like winning it even when they appeared in their one final all those years ago.

Pep Guardiola seems to think that Manchester City and, in the past, Bayern Munich, are as good as his Barcelona team were. He failed to win the trophy with Bayern and it now looks as though he hasn’t learned very much from his time there.

Yes, Manchester City are terrible defensively, but to go away from home, with a two goal lead and say that you are going to attack the opposition is plain folly, particularly when the opposition is the top scoring team in Europe.

As it turned out, City were so bad in the first half that they were two down by half time which meant they HAD to attack in the second half, whether they wanted to or not.

So now English hopes in the Champion’s League rest with Leicester City. Having won their one and, probably, only Premier League title, could they follow this up by winning their one and, probably, only Champion’s League title?

The smart money says no. This is the same smart money which said they wouldn’t win the title last season. Is it really so smart?

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