We all remember Sergio Aguero's injury-time winner against QPR in the last seconds of the Premier League to snatch the title from Manchester United and place it in the hands of their bitter rivals, Manchester City.

Aguero's late goal ensured the most dramatic finish to a season in EPL history. But that encapsulating climax aside, have the standards been dropping in England's top tier? Perhaps we can look at English club's European shortcomings this season as case in point.

Chelsea may have won the Champions League last season, with a bit of luck here and there to say the least, but they were the only British team to progress to the quarter-finals, with both Manchester clubs crashing out and into the Europa League with little success.

It's a similar story this season, with Manchester City and Chelsea unable to progress past the group stages. Rafa Benitez's side became the first ever holders to exit at the group stages in the process. Arsenal now face an uphill battle against one of the competition favourites, with the unenviable task of overturning a 3-1 deficit against Bayern Munich in Germany, whilst Manchester United were knocked out in controversial circumstances against Real Madrid.

There's little respite at the bottom of the table, where the Premier League has prized itself on creating the best battles for survival, with the points tally to survive growing higher and higher, year upon year. Unfortunately, the pundits have failed to look elsewhere, with the big European leagues in Spain, Germany, Italy and France all in need of much higher points-per-game for teams to survive - all requiring at least one point a game, unlike the Premier League's 0.8 per game.

There's also the problem of the 'big-spenders' who are slowly ruining the English game by snapping up the sought-after talents before they have a chance to look elsewhere. The financial capabilities also have an effect on the amazing youth systems within the UK - teams such as Southampton demonstrate how much a young player can do for a club's immediate and long-term future.

Overall, the Premier League is not going to lead a French-style collapse but it is slowly losing it's credibility and may be overtaken by the increasingly competitive divisions in both Germany and Spain.

Watch this space.


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