Super Sunday's poor showings indicative of Premier League's lack of spark

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'Super Sunday Triple Header' Sky Sports called it. 'Sorry Sunday' might have been better. 

It kicked off - or stumbled off, rather - with the Tyne-wear derby. An affair summarised by end-to-end chances, direct balls and woeful defending, encapsulated perfectly by Fabricio Coloccini when the Argentine barged Steven Fletcher to the floor and conceded a penalty.

Then again, what more can you expect from two sides who sit in the bottom three?


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Well, from Newcastle, who had the ninth highest net spend in Europe last summer (£42 million), you expected the Magpies to at least score once against their struggling rivals.

Our attention then turned to the Manchester derby - arguably the two biggest title contenders, with Chelsea scrapping for relegation and Arsenal ready to collapse as soon as the going gets tough.

Once again we were let down. Goals do not always mean quality, of course - stalemates can often be exciting and showcase the solidarity of two sides evenly matched. Not the game at Old Trafford, though.

It's difficult to praise the defenders when there was little in the way of attacking threat. Throughout the 90 minutes, both teams combined for just two shots on target, one of which rolled to David de Gea from Jesus Navas.

As soon as a piece of brilliance was shown by Anthony Martial to dink the ball into Jesse Lingard's path, Aleksandar Kolarov was caught napping. Chris Smalling provided perhaps the only excitement of the match when his shot was smartly saved by Joe Hart in the 87th minute. 

The day ended with draw specialists Liverpool gifting Southampton a tame equaliser with minutes to spare.

For all the money received and spent by Premier League clubs, England's top division just seems to be getting weaker. 

To the contrary of what most will say, the league's downfall is clubs aren't actually spending enough. Chelsea are meant to be the reigning champions, yet manager Jose Mourinho is on the brink of the sack and the Blues sit three places above the drop zone. Failing to spend has cost them. 

Manchester City look like the title favourites, but in Europe their frailties still show. It is the same in the league - when a side deploys any tactical nouse, i.e West Ham, the Citizens come crashing down.

The Gunners didn't sign a single outfield player, and whilst the plaudits have started to come their way, even the most optimistic Arsenal fans know a poor display is just around the corner. 

Some will say the teams in the middle of the table are getting stronger, which could easily be argued. However, the top teams have stood still and by doing so have allowed the lesser to teams to catch up somewhat.

Leicester City sit fifth despite fielding six players in their starting XI who were playing in the Championship the year they were promoted. Likewise, Slaven Bilic's Hammers are third.

They deserve credit, of course, as do Crystal Palace. Each identified areas that needed improving and added quality. Sounds simple enough, but the top clubs are struggling to follow suit.

It won't be long before England's coefficient falls behind its European competitors to the extent where four Champions League places becomes three.

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