This week saw English teams lose in the Europe’s biggest competitions. The positives, however, were the fact that Liverpool and Manchester City progressed in their respective competitions. Although the draws haven’t been kind to the English teams with Liverpool facing Europa League favourites Borussia Dortmund and City going up against Ligue 1 Champions Paris Saint-German (PSG).
With two tough draws many English people will expect our clubs to be out by the end of the 2 legs but why? What happened to English Clubs dominating Europe? I’m going to try and put my finger on it
I think the major contributor is Money. Now you may be thinking surely that helps a club improve and I would agree with you there but we only have to look at what money has done. Let’s look at the 4 clubs in the Champions League.
The former Invincible’s have never won the Champions League despite appearing 18 consecutive appearances 1 behind Real Madrid. They have reached the final once in those times losing 2-1 to Barcelona.
The Gunners have somewhat struggled to make it past the first Knockout round in recent years getting heavily beat in the first leg giving themselves to much to do in the second.
Arsenal are very famous for not spending money during transfer windows, however, the money they have spent has paid off. For example, Alexis Sanchez, Petr Cech and Mesut Ozil all coming into their own in the last 2 seasons. However, we (I am an Arsenal Fan) haven’t spent enough money there are many areas on the pitch we need to improve including centre back and striker.
The biggest underachievers out of the English teams are definitely guilty of spending money on unproven talent. The first name that springs to mind is Anthony Martial, although I think he hasn’t had a bad season, the amount of money spent on the teenager was extortionate and puts enormous amount of pressure on him. Another is Memphis Depay, Hollands breakout star has looked extremely average this season and defiantly not the player everyone was raving about.
After going out at the group stage no one can argue United just haven’t been good enough and unwise with their money. For me, a new manager that knows how to spend his money will be able to bring United back to the top and, more importantly, winning champions leagues!
Our most recent European success came in a true underdog story when Didier Drogba scored that penalty. Their season hasn’t been great and being knocked out by PSG is no shame. However other than their success in Munich they haven’t really threatened Europe’s big boys. Chelsea have actually spent money wisely in places bringing in the likes of Willian and Diego Costa. However, what’s cost them, in my opinion, is letting players go, for example, who lets their player of the season (2 seasons in a row) leave for Manchester United? Juan Mata I believe would walk back into that team, and another player Andre Schurrle is a phenomenal player, I would definitely take him at Arsenal, with Wolfsburg in the next round of the competition as well, you could say he has made a step up. Finally, Juan Cuadrado. The Columbian barely started a game for the Blue’s and the goal he scored against Bayern Munich on Wednesday was a different class. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be for Juve and Juan will have to wait till next year.
Finally, our only hope left in the Champions League Manchester City
The loaded Club have already tasted silverware this season and with Pellegrini leaving with a point to prove, I can really see them winning, but only if they put in performances like they did in the first leg against Dynamo Kiev. The Sky Blues have spent a lot of money over the years, some wise and some plain old stupid, however, they have actually balanced their squad and have a solid core throughout.
No-one knows what happens to City in the UCL and this season they have actually turned up for once. With their position in the table in jeopardy, winning the competition may have to be the way they qualify, especially if United have a good end to the season.
One key performer is obviously Sergio Aguero, I can only name about 3-4 Strikers (not wingers) better than this man and even some of them are debatable, with a world class striker you can go anywhere is this competition.