The recent struggle of English teams in the Champions League is a matter of concern. The performances are below par and the entire play lacks the desired venom.
Once upon a time, English teams were a threat to teams all around Europe. Liverpool’s magic against Milan; Arsenal’s sole performance as finalists against Barcelona; Sir Alex Ferguson’s treble winning Red Devils and Chelsea’s triumph in the final against Bayern are some unforgettable Champions League displays.
However, the dip in form is raising questions of the Premier League's credentials to win Europe’s biggest crown, such as why the 'best league in the world' is not producing the best Champions League teams. Here are some foremost reasons.
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The competitive nature of the Premier League
The sheer level of competition in England makes it difficult to perform in the Champions League - every game requires 100% physical and mental fitness. A lapse in concentration ends up in loss of points.
In most other leagues across Europe, generally speaking, there are two or three title contenders. In England, however, the challenge is vast and expands to almost six teams.
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Almost every year, a team pops out as a surprise package from the rest. Teams like Swansea, Southampton, Leicester and Stoke City (on cold and rainy Tuesday nights) are proving hard to beat this season even for the top four.
One way or the other, it takes a lot out of you as a player to be consistently playing against capable sides.
The tough, physical nature is not the only thing to blame - the mindset of Premier League bosses is also crucial.
Focusing solely on one major trophy is the mindset of most top team managers now. For few, making it to the competition is a victory itself. Last season, when Chelsea bowed out of the competition, Eden Hazard called it as a blessing in disguise in order to carry on their hunt for the Premier League crown, which is ultimately the wrong attitude.
The growth around Europe
With each prestigious Champions League competition kicking off, the favorites to win it are always Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, and Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
It's no longer a case, though, that it's just the giants that England's representatives need to weary of. Teams from every country are sufficiently bolstering their sides to compete, which makes it every bit harder for the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City to progress.
Either way, It’s about time Premier League teams aimed for higher in the Champions League. To represent a particular country is an honour to behold and requires better efforts.