Have continental Europe's elite teams declined?

Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by horsechoker, May 9, 2019.

  1. May 9, 2019
    #1

    horsechoker Sailor vee, this is a right off.

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    PSG turfed out by United
    Juventus and Real Madrid turfed out by underdogs Ajax
    Liverpool put 4 past Barca as well as easily beating Bayern on their own turf
    Serie A runners up Napoli brushed aside by the 5th best team in England
    Spurs outclassing a highly praised Dortmund side

    The big boys of Europe suddenly don't look so big, so have they really declined or is this just a freak year? I feel iterations of these teams from the past were mentally stronger and therefore would not have suffered from tremendous comebacks by the other team.

    Is this a consequence of playing in leagues where the quality rapidly declines outside of the top 2/3/4 teams?
  2. May 9, 2019
    #2

    Hulksmash New Member

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    No it's just English Team catched up and stop playing kick and rush football. Also binned bad English managers out of the league and hired the best ones
  3. May 9, 2019
    #3

    Steve Bruce Full Member

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    They're in decline. They have been in the last couple of years.
  4. May 9, 2019
    #4

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

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    PSG - victims of playing in a shit league
    Juve - always been bottlers in the UCL
    Real - obviously in need of a massive rebuild
    Barca - hardest one to judge, hard to see many flaws in that side however it's 2 years on a the trot now they've thrown away commanding leads
    Bayern - like Real obviously in need of a massive rebuild
    Napoli - massively overhyped, battered home and away by City last season and beaten comfortably by both Liverpool and Arsenal this season. Basically not as good as people say they are
    Dortmund - 'young side' playing in a poor league, exposed against better opposition

    With the exception of Real and Bayern I cant say any have declined but more that they're at a level they've always been at
  5. May 9, 2019
    #5

    Raees Legal Guardian of the Football forums

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    I’d say English sides outside of United and Chelsea are getting stronger after a long period of decline. They’re still on the way up and the Spanish sides in major need of rebuilds, Italy are also in need of rebuild as are Bayern.

    PSG in a period where it is stable but they need to make moves and strengthen the mentality of the side as it hasn’t really progressed for years in that respect.

    Dortmund on way up but like Ajax - a few transfers and they’re back at square one again.
  6. May 9, 2019
    #6

    dove Full Member

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    Not sure.

    Bayern and Real just need a rebuild, their squads have reached an expiration date but you can be sure they will fix it in 1-2 years and will be back again.
    Barca needs a better manager.
    Napoli? Not sure you can call them Europe's elite team.
  7. May 9, 2019
    #7

    Welby5 New Member

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    Well, the last World Cup had by far the poorest German team that most people had ever seen. Italy didn't even qualify and their league has been a shadow of what it once was for many years now.
  8. May 9, 2019
    #8

    Treble Full Member

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    Barca are oldish, obviously. And struggle to carry Messi defensively wise as he runs only in one direction. They play with 10 men in the defensive phase of the game but lack a player like Kante to make up for it.
  9. May 9, 2019
    #9

    cyberman Full Member

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    Its because they dominate their league to such an extent that its hard to see their flaws at top level football so domestic success can fool them in to thinking they're not slipping as much as they are.
    The EPL struggled for a good 4/5 years so they would beat our sides then lose to each other every year then tell us it was elite v elite, no shame in going out to the x.
    Now the Englsish have returned to add a bit of context and the truth is coming to light. Juve are not just going out to Madrid every year so the we just need Ronaldo looks a but foolish in hindsight
  10. May 9, 2019
    #10

    roonster09 Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018 Scout

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    They have declined and started the rebuilding process.
  11. May 9, 2019
    #11

    Siorac Full Member

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    It's really not that hard. They have an ageing and vulnerable midfield, a Luis Suárez in steep decline, and their big name signings simply haven't cut the mustard recently: they spent what, €300m on Coutinho and Dembele? They have definitely declined since their last CL win, with Messi keeping them afloat.

    Real Madrid, Bayern and Barcelona dominated the 2010s and all three are in decline. They will be back, obviously, but right now they are not the forces they were.
  12. May 9, 2019
    #12

    horsechoker Sailor vee, this is a right off.

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    Napoli beat Liverpool in Naples and only lost 1-0 at Anfield.

    Second best team in Italy, maybe they aren't part of the elite but I think that the 2nd best team in Italy should beat the 5th best team in England. Especially one with such an abysmal away record.
  13. May 9, 2019
    #13

    Samid follows Pogue around, fixing his images

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    'Barca struggle to carry Messi'

    I've heard it all now.
  14. May 9, 2019
    #14

    Vialli_92 Full Member

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    Football goes in cycles, very few teams are run to perfection where they don't have transition periods or periods of decline

    Real Madrid have had the longest cycle i've seen, they were competitive for about 8-9 years every season being close
  15. May 9, 2019
    #15

    MalcolmTucker Full Member

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    With the money and the calibre of managers in PL it was almost inevitable that the PL teams would start to dominate Europe. With Messi and Ronaldo entering the twilight of their careers I expect a couple of English teams to be in the semi-finals of the CL and Europa in the next few years.
  16. May 9, 2019
    #16

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

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    I dunno I didn't see a lot wrong with Barca's midfield, they obviously dont play in the same way Pep's midfield did but Vidal the first half at Anfield was very good as was Busquets. Suarez hasn't been much of a goal scoring threat for a while but does a job which allows Messi to score the goals. Maybe the only obvious weak link is if Messi isn't scoring the goals who is and that's where you're right both Coutinho and Dembele have been poor signings
  17. May 9, 2019
    #16

    Eleven-Eighteen Full Member

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    We knew this was coming. Could see it happening a couple of years ago when all the money, coaches and glamour moved to the PL.

    Ronaldo had held up Real Madrid, but he's 34 now and Juventus is no Madrid. Barcelona should have declined earlier once Xavi and Iniesta left, and Busquets, Suarez and Pique got older. But Messi being Messi has kept them afloat.

    Definitely didn't think Spurs would be performing so well though.

    Apart from United being god awful, I'm pretty happy to see the crazy Barca, Madrid, Bayern dominance end.
  18. May 9, 2019
    #17

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

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    Just because Napoli only lost 1-0 doesn't mean it wasn't comfortable for Liverpool. Napoli had like one chance all game.
  19. May 9, 2019
    #18

    Moby Dick who hates the homeless

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    PSG have no excuse for losing to the current United team, even without Neymar. They are far into their project and have been collecting talent for a while now, at this stage they should be expected to contest till the end and that result was embarrassing for them. Especially given how Madrid and Bayern were in transition and among the so called elite, Barca and Juve were going to be likely threats, this year was a great chance for them to go the distance.

    Also should add Man City to the list of teams who are currently an elite one in Europe but got knocked out as well. There were claims of them being the best team in Europe this season and also based on last season's performances, so there are no excuses for going out against Tottenham for them. Neither them nor PSG can be said to be in decline, instead they are in their prime and both would have set their expectation of winning the CL this season.

    The possible outcome looks like the teams that have the most quality out there are the moment are the ones who haven't done well in CL previously (say City, PSG) and are lacking the mentality to go the distance. Whereas the ones who are not short of winning experience like Madrid, Barca, Bayern are all in some sort of transition.
  20. May 9, 2019
    #19

    Treble Full Member

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    Your comprehension skills suck. Messi does nothing to help out in defence and this is a problem for a team with oldish legs. Half of their team is 30+ y.o. They are a force in attack mainly because of Messi but they are suspect in defence partly because of Messi and should compensate for it with players like Kante who can run all day. Not Busquets and Vidal.
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  21. May 9, 2019
    #20

    Siorac Full Member

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    Barcelona fans have been complaining all season about Busquets and the little I've seen of him he's certainly not the same player he was a couple of years ago: he's a lot more sluggish now. Similarly, Rakitic is clearly past his peak - no wonder they moved early to get De Jong. It's clear they need reinforcements in midfield.

    As for Suárez "doing a job" - maybe but he used to do that job AND scored a shitload of goals. His decline is obvious. It's not like he sacrifices himself for Messi, he's just lost that yard of pace.
  22. May 9, 2019
    #21

    horsechoker Sailor vee, this is a right off.

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    Well they weren't comfortably by Liverpool in any case.
  23. May 9, 2019
    #22

    redshaw Full Member

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    Bayern, Madrid have and possibly Barca.

    The other examples are silly really. PSG are doing what PSG do, Napoli have done nothing same as Dortmund, there's nothing to decline from since they haven't featured. Dortmund have been in and out of Europa.
  24. May 9, 2019
    #23

    11101 Full Member

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    Its a cliche but its true, it goes in cycles. England has so much money it was only a matter of time before we became good again, and it's happened at the same time a lot of the big sides are rebuilding.

    PSG - have never been the elite
    Juventus - victims of playing in Serie A
    Napoli - all over the place even in Serie A. Can beat anybody one minute and lose to relegation fodder the next
    Real - undergoing a much needed rebuild after being propped up by Ronaldo for so long
    Barca - about to undergo a much needed rebuild after being propped up by Messi for so long
    Bayern - not sure about them but they have a lot of ageing stars too
  25. May 9, 2019
    #24

    hasanejaz88 Full Member

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    Dortmund have been outclassed by many teams in the second half of the season. They have had a lot of injury problems.

    To your overall point, Barca Madrid and Bayern have declined significantly and require a lot of investment to be able to go back to their level. I don't think it will happen over one season though. Maybe in 2 seasons they will get back to their best.
  26. May 9, 2019
    #25

    Siorac Full Member

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    Especially if you consider that it was a barebones version even of the current, by and large shite United team.
  27. May 9, 2019
    #26

    Welby5 New Member

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    Chelsea won the CL with a team that finished 6th in the league that season. That proved anything is possible in a Cup competition.
  28. May 9, 2019
    #27

    Ali Dia Full Member

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    Spurs just doing what we used to do- make smart signings with upside and give talented young players lots of games. The only exception is we used to sign the best players in the PL to add to that. They are very well coached and recruit well, even their superstars are playing for the group unlike us. Same with Liverpool.

    This is going to be a rough few years while all the big clubs go searching for the next wave of players. United totally caught with their pants down, as usual. The best Players will use utd to drive their wages up at other clubs and long term we will be left with unsettled players when we were only their 3 or 4th choice club to join. If they do join it’ll Be pogba all over again come contract renewal time. Nice one Ed.
  29. May 9, 2019
    #28

    bosnian_red Worst scout to ever exist

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    Of course they have. Was always going to happen. Ronaldo and Messi aging, Barca and Real Madrid were always going to struggle massively and have a transition period.

    Bayern changed manager last summer and have an aging team. Again for the last few seasons, they've been nowhere close to their usual. Juve are a good side but they were never thr top top team. They were in the next level with Atletico fighting to get in there.

    Liverpool and City on the other hand have the 2 best managers in the world by far and have built brilliant teams. They're now the 2 best teams in the world. The best have just been replaced by them basically.
  30. May 9, 2019
    #29

    debunkology New Member

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    Load of rubbish. English teams didn't play kick and rush when English teams were dominating Europe in the 70s and 80s right up until the ban on English clubs.

    Neither did they play "kick and rush", when English teams had 7 finalists in 8 seasons between 2005-2012 in the Champions league.

    Teams get old, clubs change management and board. Continuity is the key on and off the pitch. Between 2005-2012 it was the same four English clubs getting into the CL, with stable management in the genius that was Ferguson (Man Utd), peak Benitez (Liverpool), and younger Wenger (Arsenal) and Mounrinho at his peak at Chelsea. Since then, there has been 6 clubs vying for the top 4, which has meant every one of the top 6 has missed out on the Champions League since then. And all have gone through constant rebuilds.

    Barcelona and Real Madrid are really the only 2 elite clubs that have dominated the CL since 2009. And that's because they have the luxury of being in the competition every single year.

    It just so happens that now they are in need of a rebuild. Bayern Munich are the same.

    If Klopp stays at Liverpool, Pep at City, and Poch at Spurs. Not only could they dominate CL, but the worrying thing for Utd, is the Prem too. These teams are coming into their peak. And they could dominate for the next few years. But then it will change again because of change or rebuild.
  31. May 9, 2019
    #30

    André Dominguez Full Member

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    Bosman rule is the main guilty of all this. Before Bosman rule, the foreign limit would guarantee that the talent was much more spread from small to large clubs.
    Also, since the foreign player limit was so low, big clubs were very cautious on the market for foreign players, because unless they were utterly good, they would run the risk of hiring a foreign player who wasn't good enough and they would end up stuck with him because there would be not much interest from other teams on hiring a foreign player that failed.

    The second and third tier leagues suffered the most from this and eventually had to start hiring raw potential players making the base quality of the squad much lower than before.
  32. May 9, 2019
    #31

    Paul_Scholes18 Full Member

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    Yes I think it is most obvious with Real and Barca. They are just not the same force anymore. Barca still got Messi that does wonder, but the rest of the team is not that great even if they got big names.
    You did feel they had problems very early on this season and they need to sort them out.
  33. May 9, 2019
    #32

    POF Full Member

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    Have continental elite teams declined? Compared to English clubs - of course.

    The money in the EPL is astronomical. Clubs like Everton, Wolves, West Ham and Leicester significantly outspend traditional European super powers. I'd be amazed if there wasn't at least one English club in the Champions League final for the next 5 years minimum.

    If United don't get their act together in the near future, you could have another couple of English clubs surpass United's 3 European cups in the next decade.
  34. May 9, 2019
    #33

    BBRBB Full Member

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    Real, Bayern, Atletico and to a lesser extent Barca have clearly declined from their previous status. The other big continental clubs have underperformed in Europe this season.
  35. May 9, 2019
    #34

    Welbeckham Full Member

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    Real: They need a rebuild, but will bounce back eventually. You have to remember they didn’t even get to UCL semifinals between 2003 and 2011 (and final until 2015).

    Bayern: Same as Real. Their current squad is bit past it, and they don’t have a proven manager. After Robben and Ribery, they need players who are individually able to make an impact on the big stage. And I don’t think Kovac will be the manager who helps them step back.

    Barca: Even though they went quite far this season, they look far from a great team. The sheer talent in that squad got them pretty far, but they lack identity, and their current manager can’t get the best out of the players he has. Plus their squad is aging, and namely Suarez and Busquets are way past their peak.

    Juve: They were in UCL final in 2015 and 2017, so it’s not like they’ve really been struggling. I don’t think their squad is that special, (the likes of Bentancur, Emre Can, De Sciglio starting) that squad is aging and the young players aren’t on the same level. Allegri has done a good job there imo. They can’t really compete with English clubs financially, so they just need to do more smart signings like they did under Conte.

    PSG: They had bad luck with injuries, but for all their money and squad depth, during all this seasons, it has mostly been mental weakness that they haven’t gone any further in Europe. They have had really good players and managers, but they just don’t seem to have enough leaders and winners.

    Dortmund: Never really was an elite team outside Klopp’s time at the club. Their squad lacks overall quality to match the top teams, they are inexperienced and their form peaked way too early.

    Napoli: Not an elite team really, but to be fair they were unlucky with their UCL draw.

    Atletico: I think they don’t seem to have that same fire they had a few years ago. They’re not far from competing, but maybe need some new players to step up.
  36. May 9, 2019
    #35

    King7Eric Full Member

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    Hard to see many flaws? They have many, many flaws. Suarez is no longer the elite level CF he was. Rakitic and Busquets are both on the decline. Pique has always been a suspect CB and it gets exacerbated when he doesn't have a top level CB next to him. Coutinho doesn't suit the role they want him to play and as a general Barca are an ageing squad. Messi has been in sensational form this year but they are a team that needs a rebuild.
  37. May 9, 2019
    #36

    broccoli Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016

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    Main difference is the physical edge EPL teams get by playing in a much more intensive league. Some other league get half the effective game time.
  38. May 9, 2019
    #37

    mariachi-19 Full Member

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    Most of them are run like shit... worse than United but have the benefit of living in average leagues so their flaws aren't as exposed as ours.. but apparently we're the worst run club in the world...

    If I had barcelona's wage bill....
  39. May 9, 2019
    #38

    Big Ben Foster Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016

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    There's a bit of a power vacuum with Real, Barca, and Bayern all needing rebuilds. Unfortunately we're not in any position to capitalize on it.
  40. May 9, 2019
    #39

    Keeps It tidy Hates Messi

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    It is pointless to try to make sense of the wackiness that was the CL this season.
  41. May 9, 2019
    #40

    Fosu-Mens Full Member

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    And you have already started with the rebuilding. Many of your players are easy to sell for a good fee.
    Your team is still top 3 among most desireable destinations for players for footballing reasons.

    Biggest issues for your club are: What happens when Messi declines? Your players seems to have a little to much power. And you need to find replacements for Suarez, Busq and Pique soon.