Former Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia has questioned whether the passion of the Premier League is still as strong as when he played in England.
Hyypia is now the manager of German side Bayer Leverkusen, who take on Manchester United in the Champions League this week.
Ahead of the clash, Hyypia has claimed the league, that many claim is the best in the world, is missing something.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he commented: “I saw a few games recently and I wondered if they were trying hard enough."
“Somehow the passion was not there."
“This was always the trademark of the English game — the tempo was high and there were tackles. But this time I was thinking: ‘What’s happening?"
"Maybe it has developed in the wrong direction, that when a player goes somewhere and he is earning £200,000 a week, he is happy just to get the money."
"Maybe the focus of playing football is the second most important thing. Maybe players are not working hard, not putting their heart into the game."
The Finn's last full game for Liverpool was at Old Trafford when his side claimed a famous 4-1 victory and now the former centre-back returns to Manchester in the hot-seat this time.
Hyypia was appointed manager of Leverkusen in 2012 following the sacking of the previous manager, Robin Dutt.
Hyypia left Liverpool for Leverkusen as a player back in 2009 having made over 300 appearances for The Reds.
Partnerships with Stephan Henchoz and Jamie Carragher at centre-back firmly installed the Finn as an Anfield legend as was given a rousing send-off by the Kop in his last game.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/130seMa
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.