With Manchester United crashing out of the Champions League on Tuesday night, English hopes of Champions League victory lie in the hands of Arsenal.

They travel to European finalists Bayern Munich, 1-3 down on Wednesday having to score three unanswered goals. So unless the Gunners can pull off one of the upsets of recent Champions League history, none of our Premier League teams will be accompanying the trophy at Wembley this season.

Chelsea, the current Champions of Europe, crashed out in the group stages this year, following defeats by Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus, the first time that has ever happened to holders of the title in the preceding season.

While Manchester City with all their millions of pounds worth of talent couldn't escape their group of death, failing to win a game suffering defeats to Real Madrid, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund and picking up draws against the same.

Although United warranted progression as the words of Jose Mourinho reflected, they were seemingly let down by officiating on their big night.

Is there a question of our English clubs being left behind by the Spanish, German and French elite?

Borussia Dortmund, the reining champions of Germany, boast a team full of rampant attacking threat. With Poland's Robert Lewandowski leading the line, ably supported and assisted by players such as Germany starlet Mario Gotze and his countryman Marco Reus.

Bayern Munich running away with the Bundesliga this season host some of the worlds best known talents including Dutch wizardry from Arjen Robben, French flair from Franck Ribery and German firepower from Mario Gomez.

PSG, recently backed by more oversea investors are assembling an arsenal of players fit to take on Europe, including Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Argentina's Ezequiel Lavezzi and of course England's David 'Golden Balls' Beckham.

As for the Spanish top two, their player list needs no introduction.

Real Madrid boast Portuguese messiah Cristiano Ronaldo, French firing from Karim Benzema, Argentina hitman Gonzalo Higuain, his countryman Angel Di Maria, Croatia's creative engine Luka Modric, Brazil's Kaka, Spain's Xabi Alonso and his countryman Sergio Ramos, to name but a few. Basically, there starting 11 is a dream team all formed and managed by Jose Mourinho.

Barcelona follow suit with their own dream accompaniment. Spain's Gerard Pique, Brazilian Dani Alves, Spanish midfield maestros Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Sergio Busquets and Cesc Fabregas. And they all create and assist with the world's best player, Argentinian Lionel Messi. 

Even with the money of Manchester City, the experience of Manchester United and the world class swinging door of managers at Chelsea, our clubs have undoubtably slipped away from the best in the world this season.

Tottenham have flirted with the idea of making an impact on Europe's biggest stage, and under Andre Villas-Boas they look like cementing another stint in the Champions League next term, but they may need some time before threatening experienced European giants like Real Madrid and Barcelona.

With more investment an inevitability in the summer for all our top teams, this could close the gap, albeit lengthening it for our home grown talent. But it is important to represent the Premier League on the biggest stage and to show the rest of the world that even if our national team have struggled to claim back the glory days of its inventors, we still have one gem in the crown of footballs motherland, OUR Premier League.

 

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