Opening round dismay a stark warning for England's Champions League representatives

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On the back of the first round of group-stage matches in the Champions League, English clubs suffered their worst ever start with three out of the four contenders losing their opening fixture.

Arsenal dismissed by Dinamo Zagreb; Manchester City defeated at home to Juventus; and Manchester United humbled in Eindhoven.

Only Chelsea got off to a flyer with a 4-0 drubbing of minnows Maccabi Tel Aviv - a sign of life from the English Champions.


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With this turn of dreadful results, and the fact that English teams have failed to make it past the round of 16 since Chelsea won the competition, could England soon lose that illustrious fourth qualifying spot?

Well, the answer is yes - it's been a much-discussed topic in recent weeks and if England continues its poor reign of form, then eventually UEFA will lose faith in the Premier League dynasty.

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It's already happened before, to Italy, in the form of the once glittering Serie A.

From the 1980's to the late 90's, Serie A was by far the best league in Europe. AC Milan were at their peak, as were the likes of Inter Milan and Juventus. A league glistening with the brightest stars to shine across Europe.

Even Parma back then had the likes of Gianluigi Buffon and Fabio Cannavaro amongst their ranks.

Fast forward a decade and the Italian dominance is no more. The failure of Serie A's best contenders condemned their representatives, resulting in the loss of a Champions League spot, thereby diminishing the league's reputation completely.

But what can the Premier League do to avoid the same fate? It's simple - the biggest clubs in England need to start prioritising the Champions League.

You often hear about how much more important the domestic leagues are compared to Europe for certain clubs. This mentality contributes towards the loss of reputation that the Premier League is experiencing.

There are an abundance of other theories as to why English clubs haven't stepped up to the European mark, one thing is for certain though - the Premier League needs to produce a noteworthy Champions League contender or suffer the same fate as the once unrivalled Serie A.

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