Why Are The Top Six So Good In The Premier League But So Average In The Champion’s League?

Posted: July 12, 2017 in Arsenal, Champions League, Chelsea, European Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion
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At the end of this current transfer window the top six Premier League clubs, (seven, if you include Everton), will have spent millions of pounds improving their squads to have another tilt at winning the title next season.

For five of the top six Champion’s League football also beckons so they need the depth of squad to be able to juggle this with their other commitments.

Arsenal and Everton will compete in the Europa League so it is fair to say that their quality and quantity will also be tested.

The big question is: Will an English club win the Champion’s League next season?

For this to happen circumstances certainly have to favour one of the five. By this we mean that Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich need to be drawn against each other at some stage before the final. This will ease the path for an English side if they can reach, say, the semi-finals before having to play one of the bigger European teams.

They also, of course, need to avoid each other in the later stages as, by definition, the more teams still in the competition, the greater the chance of one of them winning it.

We at WSA don’t buy into this theory about tiredness and “too much football“. Yes, there are many games but if you are to be successful that goes with the territory. Just ask the treble winning Manchester United players from 1999 if they felt tired at the end of their historic season. They would have carried on playing with no break if they could have.

So, for us, the number of games and tiredness are just excuses usually rolled out by a bitter manager after a defeat.

The problem arises when having to rely on good fortune rather than competing at the same level. Why are the Spanish teams and Bayern Munich more successful than the English in Europe?

Is it because they have a winter break? We doubt that very much because, as we pointed out earlier, tiredness is nothing more than an excuse.

So what is it? Is it because their leagues are less competitive? This is probably nearer the truth. Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid and Barcelona are only really tested to the full when they play each other.

Yes, Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao and Villareal will occasionally give them a scare and a tough game but, in general, they are the best three teams by quite a distance.

The same can be said in Germany about Bayern Munich so, the question now is, if they don’t face seriously tough competition every week, then how do they get motivated for the Champion’s League?

Again the answer is simple. Their season is designed to achieve success in this tournament. Bear in mind, particularly in Germany, the league title can be wrapped up by January which is when the serious stuff begins in the Champion’s League.

Injured players won’t be missed quite as much due to the lack of important games to be played. This means they will be given all the time necessary to fully recover.

The likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona are nearly always the best team in their country so the challenge for them is always to be the best team in Europe whereas, in England, just being the best team in the Premier League is quite an ask so a lot more effort has to be put into achieving that status.

So the big Spanish and German clubs do have an advantage when it comes to European competition, but it is only a slight advantage. What they have become very good at is turning that slight advantage into a perceived big advantage which has led to some English teams being beaten before the game is even played. That is simply an inferiority complex built on years of losing to Madrid, Barcelona and, in the case of Arsenal, Bayern Munich.

So the five English clubs competing in the Champion’s League need to do what they are usually good at, which is progressing beyond the group stage and then, whoever they play, they need to approach the game as they would any other and not be fazed by their opponents.

They need to start winning games on the pitch and stop losing them in their heads!


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