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The relative strength of the Premier League

ManUtd1999

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If that's the criteria you are using, which league is the best in the world according to you?
I didn’t quote that stat to use it as a criteria.

But, to your question: it's really hard to say. The CL is the best team competition in Europe, and winning it (or reaching finals/SFs on a regular basis) says something about the quality of the team and the league from which the team comes. In this respect, the English league has done well: there was at least one English team in the previous 3 finals of the CL and one English team in 5 of the last 6 finals (the only exception being 2020). That's really a good return, particularly given that 4 differnet English team have played the finals (City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea).

On the other hand, when a team that has dominated the English league for over a decade fails almost always to reach the final (or even semis), you start wondering. Furthermore, the 1-0 of City over an Inter Milan team that finished third in Italy (18 points behind the winners Napoli) without real stars was the first time that an English team beat a non-English team without the need for penalties since.... Manchester United of 1999! Liverpool beat Tottenham (2019), Chelsea beat City (2021) and Chelsea beat Bayern (2012) on penalties.

And then you see Real Madrid, and Barca for few years before that, winning European titles, but is the current Spanish league better than the English? I don't think so. Therefore, I really don't know; the English league is more competitive, that's for sure.
 

Kwabs

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The PL had two golden periods, the one you are talking about and the one recently where Chelsea, Spurs, City and Liverpool all reached finals and there was 7 finalists out of a possible 12 between 2018 and 2023 which is an incredible record. The other measure of the strength of the PL in the past 5 years is how for the first time in my lifetime, PL teams are making the elite of Europe park the bus, I never remember that happening, English teams used to be the ones having to nullify the technically superior Europeans and reduced to defending resolutely to have a sniff. These things are alwats cyclical though and just like La Liga took over from the PL around 2010 when they had the likes of Messi, Cristiano, Benzema and all those superstars, someone else will do the same to the PL.
The problem with calling this a 'Golden period' is that it included 3 finals between an English club and a club from another country and the English clubs lost 2 out of those 3. English teams basically only won if facing another English club (with the exception of City last year)

Contrast that with Spain winning 5 in a row between 2014 and 2018 with 3 finalists, 2 All-Spanish finals and beating all non-Spanish opponents in the finals where they met them.

I think the real golden period for English clubs in European football was that time in the late 70s, early 80s. Now that was dominance.
 

Ludens the Red

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Yeah a little bit embarrassing this for the ‘all hail English league’ pundits in particular :lol:
Not sure why a lot of them were so sure Arsenal would beat Bayern. Arsenal are a nothing side in Europe. Bayern had full focus on these knockout ties and player for player they’re still more than a match for Arsenal. Admittedly I was surprised city didn’t go through after drawing at the Bernabeu but again before the ties city were such strong favs amongst English pundits as if Real Madrid were some comedy outfit.
Liverpool were basically already in Dublin according to Carragher.
Theyre going out tomorrow along with West Ham. This will lose England the 5th spot which again pundits were talking about with such certainty. Maybe the lesson learnt here is just shut the feck up a bit. Whilst the Pl is undisputedly the most popular league in the world, the notion the teams in it are streets ahead of their European counterparts should end here.
 

KeanoMagicHat

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Maybe I'm just romanticizing my childhood but perhaps PL was stronger in that 2005-2009 period. There were regularly 2 and even 3 English teams in semi-finals and at least one in every final of those years. Got weaker afterwards (except for our final in 2011 and Chelsea's win in 2012) until Pep and Klopp came in + Tuchel's Chelsea win.
That era had a very strong top 4 but the level below was weaker. I think mid-table is much stronger these days, because of the even greater wealth it’s full of highly regarded international managers and some really good players.
 

KeanoMagicHat

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Yeah a little bit embarrassing this for the ‘all hail English league’ pundits in particular :lol:
Not sure why a lot of them were so sure Arsenal would beat Bayern. Arsenal are a nothing side in Europe. Bayern had full focus on these knockout ties and player for player they’re still more than a match for Arsenal. Admittedly I was surprised city didn’t go through after drawing at the Bernabeu but again before the ties city were such strong favs amongst English pundits as if Real Madrid were some comedy outfit.
Liverpool were basically already in Dublin according to Carragher.
Theyre going out tomorrow along with West Ham. This will lose England the 5th spot which again pundits were talking about with such certainty. Maybe the lesson learnt here is just shut the feck up a bit. Whilst the Pl is undisputedly the most popular league in the world, the notion the teams in it are streets ahead of their European counterparts should end here.
Yeah like Arsenal ended up relying on Jorginho and Havertz who wouldn’t make the Bayern team. I find Arsenal a strange one, quite rigid and functional that score plenty of goals. Their pressing is excellent, credit to Arteta for that, and allows them to overwhelm a lot of weaker teams. But at the elite level they have a lot of players that I’m not sure are that good.
 

giorno

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Yeah like Arsenal ended up relying on Jorginho and Havertz who wouldn’t make the Bayern team. I find Arsenal a strange one, quite rigid and functional that score plenty of goals. Their pressing is excellent, credit to Arteta for that, and allows them to overwhelm a lot of weaker teams. But at the elite level they have a lot of players that I’m not sure are that good.
Jorginho starts for Bayern. The guy was a key player for Chelsea and Italy as they won EC/Euros in 2 months. Bayern started Guerreiro, Laimer and Dier tonight

Also yes, Bayern are individually better than Arsenal. Of course they are, they're Bayern Munich. So's Real Madrid. PSG should be but isn't because they spent badly, same as United. Barcelona actually may be still, even with the restrictions. Arsenal isn't City, it wasn't built on infinite money. It's still a young team
 

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More English exceptionalism. Having FA Cup replays and a League Cup is not a supporting argument for the Prem being top dog.

Premier League is world’s best – that’s why its teams failed in Europe

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/sport/fo...hats-why-its-teams-failed-in-europe-5fvtv2xd2
That argument never fails. If English teams are successful in Europe it's because it's the best, if they fail it's because it's the best. To be honest I appreciate it, we have done the same with Top 14. :lol:
 

Pintu

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That argument never fails. If English teams are successful in Europe it's because it's the best, if they fail it's because it's the best. To be honest I appreciate it, we have done the same with Top 14. :lol:

You'll never guess who's at fault for Bernardo Silva's failed Panenka...

Firstly, look at the English clubs’ defeats this week. Shoot-outs give no more an indication of the standard of the respective teams than the flip of a coin they replaced — Villa won theirs, City lost to Real Madrid. Pep Guardiola’s team might even have won had two middle-aged City fans not decided that their desire to keep the ball — blasted into the crowd by Luka Modric after he missed from the spot — as a memento was more important than their team’s fortunes. Instead, Bernardo Silva waited 50 seconds for the ball, struck an awful penalty straight at Andriy Lunin, the momentum shifted and Real went through.

The whole thing:
Premier League is world’s best – that’s why its teams failed in Europe

Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and West Ham all exited European competitions this week, reflecting not a lack of talent but the unique demands of English football

Klopp tips his cap to the Liverpool supporters who made the trip to the game against Atalanta but he will not be lifting any more European trophies before he leaves at the end of the season
ANTONIO CALANNI/AP
Martin Hardy

Friday April 19 2024, 4.00pm BST, The Times
It was getting on for midnight local time in Bergamo, northern Italy, and in a room inside the Gewiss Stadium Jürgen Klopp put a hand to his cheek, gave a bemused look and laughed.
Game 52 of the season for Liverpool had not long finished. It was a 1-0 win against Atalanta in the second leg of the Europa League quarter-finals but a 3-1 defeat on aggregate and an exit from the competition. Klopp was out of Europe, for the last time as Liverpool manager.
Klopp, dressed in a red club tracksuit and cap, looked weary as he was asked whether, at this time of the season, it is more about which team is the most exhausted than any sophisticated tactical plans.

City went out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage, losing to Real Madrid on penalties
MIKE EGERTON/PA
“The Premier League is the best league in the world, I have watched a lot of football and whatever other leagues say — Italy has improved, Spain is fantastic, Bundesliga is there — but the Premier League is the most intense league, definitely,” the 56-year-old German said.
“Besides [Aston] Villa [in the Europa Conference League], all the teams are out in the quarter-finals. Because of extra European games they are getting rid of FA Cup replays. It’s just tricky but it’s not my problem any more. It’s my last European game and I’ll watch it and hopefully not speak any more about these kind of things.”
He looked relieved. The problems of English football are no longer his to be concerned with.
Some context. On Wednesday, Manchester City and Arsenal exited the Champions League. On Thursday morning, the FA, with the backing of the Premier League, announced that replays would be scrapped from the first round onwards in the FA Cup and that the final would be played before the end of the league season. On Thursday afternoon, the Football League alleged that it had not been included in discussions about the changes. On Thursday night, Liverpool and West Ham United went out of the Europa League.


After a penalty shoot-out, Villa at least defeated Lille to stay in the Conference League, the third-tier competition. They are England’s last men standing.
Not for the best part of a decade has England not had a club in the semi-finals of the Champions League or Europa League. That sort of statistic would usually start a significant amount of navel-gazing — about a deterioration of standards, about crisis — but not this time.
Firstly, look at the English clubs’ defeats this week. Shoot-outs give no more an indication of the standard of the respective teams than the flip of a coin they replaced — Villa won theirs, City lost to Real Madrid. Pep Guardiola’s team might even have won had two middle-aged City fans not decided that their desire to keep the ball — blasted into the crowd by Luka Modric after he missed from the spot — as a memento was more important than their team’s fortunes. Instead, Bernardo Silva waited 50 seconds for the ball, struck an awful penalty straight at Andriy Lunin, the momentum shifted and Real went through.
City were the better team against Real. They had more possession, more control, more shots; and a younger, fitter Kevin De Bruyne would have scored the chance he spurned to win the tie.


Arsenal are still a young and inexperienced side at Champions League level. They need to learn. They also need a centre forward. This we already knew. But losing 3-2 over two legs to a Bayern Munich side full of European pedigree hardly spells crisis.
Liverpool would always finish above Atalanta, their Europa League conquerors, in the Premier League. Xabi Alonso has been fêted as the best manager in the world and his Bayer Leverkusen have not lost a game in any competition this season, but they were an 89th-minute equaliser away from doing just that in the second leg against a West Ham side with disgruntled fans and an unpopular manager.
The standard of English football in comparison to our European counterparts is not — as it maybe once was — the concern. The real issue is that, as Klopp alluded to, you cannot have everything.
You cannot have an intense Premier League with ten added minutes every match; games kicking off at all times of every day to suit a worldwide TV audience; the top clubs squeezing every penny possible in order to comply with financial rules; a traditional FA Cup with replays; a League Cup everyone takes seriously from the start; a healthy pyramid where non-League clubs are not crippled by fixture postponements in the winter; an England team that can win the Euros while maintaining the dominance of English club sides in the closing stages of European competitions. Something — or some things — have to give.


Soft-muscle injuries are at their highest level ever in the Premier League. The game is getting faster. Klopp is right, it is the best league. It does not have the best player, Kylian Mbappé, but it has the best teams and it has a stack of brilliant players.
With that in mind — does anyone care that the Premier League is not represented in the closing stages of European competitions?
If they do, cut the players and the managers some slack. Stop taking the proverbial with games on every day of the week. Let people recover. Liverpool flew home from Italy in the early hours of Friday morning. Two days later they will be in Fulham and if they don’t win, any hopes of the Premier League title will most likely be gone.
How tired is Klopp? Tired enough to quit a job he loves. How tired is his team? Tired enough not to be able to see off a side who are sixth in Serie A and reached their first European semi-final for 36 years on Thursday night. The Premier League does that. It exhausts managers and it exhausts players, and as a consequence fatigued teams start losing games they otherwise would win come the business end of the season.
 

hasanejaz88

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Ofcourse the Prem is still the best league in the world, irregardless of the results recently, but this should temper the ignorance that makes fans not rate players from other leagues, or overrate their own.
 

Acrobat7

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The league is simply so competitive that they have to focus on that while Spanish, Italian, French and German teams can focus on European competitions.
I told you this would happen! :lol:
 

giorno

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Love the navel gazing about people no longer navel gazing :lol:

I suppose they had to churn something out so go for the tried and true "nobody is as tired as our teams whoohoo! Best in the world at running people into the ground!".

"Tough draws shit happens" would admittedly make for a less interesting piece I guess...
 

Alex99

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Was it not that long ago that the lack of competition in Ligue 1 was the cause of PSG's lack of European success?

Is there a competitiveness sweet-spot?
 

tomaldinho1

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As a genuine question why are people using the varying European cup comps as some kind of proof for a league being better or worse?
 

JPRouve

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As a genuine question why are people using the varying European cup comps as some kind of proof for a league being better or worse?
Because in this generally ridiculous debate it's the only objective metric.
 

Alex99

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As a genuine question why are people using the varying European cup comps as some kind of proof for a league being better or worse?
Only direct comparison.

Always ignores that cup competitions are a never a great measure of quality and that the coefficient rankings are prone to being heavily warped by one or two teams performing extremely well, even if the rest from the same nation are utter shite.
 

tomaldinho1

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Because in this generally ridiculous debate it's the only objective metric.
Yeah I was wondering if there’s a better way to do it, seems like something we could do a lot more accurately.

For example each team in each league gets ranked by where they finished that year. So Barca would be 1 as they won LL last year, Real would be 2. So Real beating City (the PL’s 1) gains them +1 point. For a single season it’d be hard to form any judgement but over 10 years you should see if any league has its ‘weaker’ elite teams regularly beating their peers in other leagues.
 

JPRouve

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Yeah I was wondering if there’s a better way to do it, seems like something we could do a lot more accurately.

For example each team in each league gets ranked by where they finished that year. So Barca would be 1 as they won LL last year, Real would be 2. So Real beating City (the PL’s 1) gains them +1 point. For a single season it’d be hard to form any judgement but over 10 years you should see if any league has its ‘weaker’ elite teams regularly beating their peers in other leagues.
You can't do it more accurately outside of having all the teams face each others in a league format. The top leagues are fairly close to each others, each tiers of each league is close to each others. Some seasons some teams will better and other seasons it will be other teams. For example some seasons teams like Sevilla, Monaco, Tottenham; Frankfurt will beat the brakes of similarly tiered teams and other seasons they won't.

In general it's a silly debate, it can be fun as long as you don't expect to have a genuine answer.
 

Lyng

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I have to ask: why does it matter which league is the strongest? The idea that everything other than the Prem was farmer level, was always moronic anyway.
 

Fobal

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It's a very stupid thing to think that any League at any period is so vastly superior to any other traditional League that their players there walk on water. And those from other Leagues will not Cope with the all mighty "inserte name" League level.

Yes of course there are periods that some Leagues are better financially, that attrack the best players, that can have more teams trading shots to be the champ, that can have more media on them, better infraestructure etc.
Yet the Tradition itself of any old league will make those competitive and most importantly capable of producing great players. This is the most annpoying point regarding people hitting their chests refarding their League.
Players of course will have to adapt to a differente League, more if a certain style is more predominant, but the main issues for a player to have a good carreer will always be found in: the coach, the team and it's moment, being fit or not and even also extra issues like health, familiy, the city itself the circumstances surrounding the transfer itself.

Particulary the English League it's one of the more "naif, "over the top"? regarding their own "all mighty level" since almost always.
In the past due to their kind of "islanders" isolation, in other periods like now, for its REAL incredible infraestruture, passion, tradition of their fans, financial power, etc. pushing the narrative to an extreme.


As a side note: it's also very very noticeable (for multiple reasons) throught the history of the game that the English League it never was the destination of the truly greatest players ever, the mere list of a Barca's former players it's beyond belief, but that nevcer prevented the Media in the Isles to go way over the top with the praise.
At the end of the day, sadly the current Elitism trend might end with a truly Gargantuan EPL with almost every single extraordinary player in their ranks or a Super Elitist Euro League (that i'm pretty far from being fond) but historically, there were always great players and teams on any traditional League that can get more than just one result against any major Team from any "most powerful" current League. The Farmers stuff, it's so fecking annoying.
 

Kwabs

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I have to ask: why does it matter which league is the strongest? The idea that everything other than the Prem was farmer level, was always moronic anyway.
It matters because people see it as a point of national pride. The problem is that if the Premier League is indeed the best league, it's mainly because of foreigners anyway, so that kind of defeats the object. I mean, an English manager has literally never won the Premier League. Tough to imagine the Bundesliga, La Liga or Serie A going 30+ years without a winning manager from those countries.
 

Marcus

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EPL teams play more games as well as more competitive games than in any other league. So by the time they get to Europe, the players are more knackered than teams in other leagues. European competition is not a great judge of the relative strengths of the leagues in my opinion.
 

cafecillos

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EPL teams play more games as well as more competitive games than in any other league. So by the time they get to Europe, the players are more knackered than teams in other leagues. European competition is not a great judge of the relative strengths of the leagues in my opinion.
Why don't they invest part of their comparatively greater wealth in having deeper squads then? Nah, that argument is nonsense and everybody knows it. The fact of the matter is that, even if the PL may actually be "better" is some ways, it's far closer than many in England seem to think it is, in term of competitiveness in European comps PL teams are rarely the best.
 

noodlehair

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EPL teams play more games as well as more competitive games than in any other league. So by the time they get to Europe, the players are more knackered than teams in other leagues. European competition is not a great judge of the relative strengths of the leagues in my opinion.
It's the best and only judge there is.

Also this "English teams are too tired" excuse has been wheeled out every time our teams don't do well since I can remember watching football. Including when other leagues were considered on par or superior.

It used to be because in Spain they'd move the fixtures back/forward a day while we wouldn't. Now it's because our league is just too hard or something.

It isn't, and even if it is that's just tough. If you want to be the best league and best teans in the world then part of that is meant to be that you're better than everyone else. This is not compatible with "yeah but we only lost because we had to prepare for our game against Luton Town"
 

Sarni

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EPL teams play more games as well as more competitive games than in any other league. So by the time they get to Europe, the players are more knackered than teams in other leagues. European competition is not a great judge of the relative strengths of the leagues in my opinion.
What is a better judge of strengths of the league other than a competition in which they all participate together? Is it a perception of fans of these leagues or the amount of money spent on transfers?

All top leagues aside from Bundesliga are also 20-team leagues with 38 games. The extra 1-3 games these teams will play are in cup competitions are not even universally true as many of them play weakened XIs in them anyway, and a lot of them exit early. Those few extra games a season are not going to suddenly make them so knackered they can’t compete against a team that doesn’t have a League Cup.
 

Pickle85

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It matters because people see it as a point of national pride. The problem is that if the Premier League is indeed the best league, it's mainly because of foreigners anyway, so that kind of defeats the object. I mean, an English manager has literally never won the Premier League. Tough to imagine the Bundesliga, La Liga or Serie A going 30+ years without a winning manager from those countries.
I agree with the bulk of the post but think that the bolded doesn't make much sense. Are you saying that you can't feel national pride if you live in a country with a high level of migration? Loads that is good about the UK is due to migration, to the point where one of the things I'm most proud about the UK is that it probably has some of the best south Asian restaurants in Europe!
 

Acrobat7

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I agree with the bulk of the post but think that the bolded doesn't make much sense. Are you saying that you can't feel national pride if you live in a country with a high level of migration? Loads that is good about the UK is due to migration, to the point where one of the things I'm most proud about the UK is that it probably has some of the best south Asian restaurants in Europe!
I think the concept of "pride" is a bit strange. Personally, I'm not proud of something I can't influence, such as the country I was born in or the culinary offerings in my city. ;)
 

Pickle85

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I think the concept of "pride" is a bit strange. Personally, I'm not proud of something I can't influence, such as the country I was born in or the culinary offerings in my city. ;)
Are you proud of your team when they win something? Not heard a huge amount about the Munich food scene (not sure if you're from there) though my experience of German cuisine has been...mixed.

I don't mean 'pride' in some sort of chest thumping, national anthem singing way. More things like when I'm showing my friends that live abroad around London for the first time I do feel a bit of pride that I love in a city that has such a vibrant and diverse food scene (and culture more broadly).
 

Acrobat7

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Are you proud of your team when they win something? Not heard a huge amount about the Munich food scene (not sure if you're from there) though my experience of German cuisine has been...mixed.

I don't mean 'pride' in some sort of chest thumping, national anthem singing way. More things like when I'm showing my friends that live abroad around London for the first time I do feel a bit of pride that I love in a city that has such a vibrant and diverse food scene (and culture more broadly).
No, when my team wins I'm happy, delighted, but not proud. I wasn't on the pitch myself. And I'm not from Munich. I'm from Hamburg and lived in Berlin for 10 years. The latter has a great food scene. But am I proud of it? No, I haven't contributed to it, apart from generously financing it.

Also, please don't get me wrong, I am not taking a shot at you. Perhaps the combination of being German and being proud was simply drummed out of me at school. :lol:
 

stefan92

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What is a better judge of strengths of the league other than a competition in which they all participate together?
There is no better direct judge, yet the problem is, that only the top teams of each league participate in this. So we lack a direct comparison between roughly the lower two thirds of each league, which is a problem when we want to assess the strength of a full league. So the best metric probably would be mixing the European results with a metric for how close the lower teams in the league perform. I'm not sure what follows is a good one, but I'm bored and don't care:

The question is "how competitive are the teams that play in Europe in their own leagues". I'll propose an "average advantage over the average team in the domestic league" as a metric (limited to the current top three leagues this season because I'm not that bored).

The average Seria A team has 43.45 points, internationally playing teams have 57.57 points, 14.12 points lead over the average team.
The average BL team has 39.89 points, internationals have 52.43 points, a lead of 12.54 points
The average PL team has 44.45 points, internationals have 58.75 points, which is a 14.3 point lead

So I define the "competitiveness adjusted league coefficient" as the UEFA coefficient divided by this points at get these results:
Seria A 19.428 / 14.12 = 1,38
BL 17.928 / 12.54 = 1.43
PL 17.375 / 14.3 = 1.22

Funny... you now have every right to accuse me of being the ring leader of the BDL on this forum with this result that proves the BL to be the best league this season, but I actually had no idea how the results would look before calculating it :lol:

After saying that, the obvious caveat with the numbers for Germany is that fewer matches are played in the league so far, if we adjust to that and extrapolate to the same amount of games, we get a result of 17.928 / 13.83 = 1.30, which would bring Serie A to first place.

So whatever you make of this little numbers game, I hope some of you will find it interesting. I especially didn't expect the PL to actually be the worst in this kind of "competitiveness metric", that surprises me to be honest. The only thing I seriously take away from this exercise is that the "PL teams are to tired for Europe" excuse is just not true. If it was true, the PL shouldn't be the easiest league to play in for the teams that have the burden of international matches, that tiredness should hurt them domestically as well.
 

Zehner

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There is no better direct judge, yet the problem is, that only the top teams of each league participate in this. So we lack a direct comparison between roughly the lower two thirds of each league, which is a problem when we want to assess the strength of a full league. So the best metric probably would be mixing the European results with a metric for how close the lower teams in the league perform. I'm not sure what follows is a good one, but I'm bored and don't care:

The question is "how competitive are the teams that play in Europe in their own leagues". I'll propose an "average advantage over the average team in the domestic league" as a metric (limited to the current top three leagues this season because I'm not that bored).

The average Seria A team has 43.45 points, internationally playing teams have 57.57 points, 14.12 points lead over the average team.
The average BL team has 39.89 points, internationals have 52.43 points, a lead of 12.54 points
The average PL team has 44.45 points, internationals have 58.75 points, which is a 14.3 point lead

So I define the "competitiveness adjusted league coefficient" as the UEFA coefficient divided by this points at get these results:
Seria A 19.428 / 14.12 = 1,38
BL 17.928 / 12.54 = 1.43
PL 17.375 / 14.3 = 1.22

Funny... you now have every right to accuse me of being the ring leader of the BDL on this forum with this result that proves the BL to be the best league this season, but I actually had no idea how the results would look before calculating it :lol:

After saying that, the obvious caveat with the numbers for Germany is that fewer matches are played in the league so far, if we adjust to that and extrapolate to the same amount of games, we get a result of 17.928 / 13.83 = 1.30, which would bring Serie A to first place.

So whatever you make of this little numbers game, I hope some of you will find it interesting. I especially didn't expect the PL to actually be the worst in this kind of "competitiveness metric", that surprises me to be honest. The only thing I seriously take away from this exercise is that the "PL teams are to tired for Europe" excuse is just not true. If it was true, the PL shouldn't be the easiest league to play in for the teams that have the burden of international matches, that tiredness should hurt them domestically as well.
I think that sounds like a nice tag line!
 

Zehner

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Are you proud of your team when they win something? Not heard a huge amount about the Munich food scene (not sure if you're from there) though my experience of German cuisine has been...mixed.

I don't mean 'pride' in some sort of chest thumping, national anthem singing way. More things like when I'm showing my friends that live abroad around London for the first time I do feel a bit of pride that I love in a city that has such a vibrant and diverse food scene (and culture more broadly).
For me, I'm "proud of the city" I live in when they are things I can identify with. I grew up in the Cologne area and I really like for instance that most people here want to be as welcoming and open minded as possible, be it in terms of migration or LGBTQ rights. But it is a different kind of pride compared to the pride you feel when you accomplish something yourself and I wouldn't be proud of my "home area" just for the sake of it.

And that's also the issue I have with football support culture. Most fans see their support as unconditional - you don't pick your team, the team chooses you. You don't change clubs. As a fan of club A you dislike club B. Don't get me wrong, it's fun and harmless as long as it dorsn't get to extreme but the underlying logic is almost nationalistic by nature. And when people can't take off their club tinted glasses anymore, straight out hate supporters of certain clubs or generally become too tribal, I find that worrying. But as Acrobat said, that's just the German upbringing :)
 

Iker Quesadillas

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I agree with the bulk of the post but think that the bolded doesn't make much sense. Are you saying that you can't feel national pride if you live in a country with a high level of migration? Loads that is good about the UK is due to migration, to the point where one of the things I'm most proud about the UK is that it probably has some of the best south Asian restaurants in Europe!
It would probably be different if the reason why the UK had those restaurants was because they were offering lots of money to every good South Asian cook to move there.
 

Mb194dc

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It's just the usual seasonal variance.

Newcastle and you lot had decent seasons last year but massively declined and had loads of injuries this one, Newcastle also got robbed by the ref v PSG. So neither did anything in the CL this year. Arsenal haven't been great in Europe for nearly 20 years and City were unlucky, also possibly Pep too stubourn with starting Haaland, no matter how ineffective in the CL. Liverpool had a terrible game to go out

La Liga used to be better than the PL circa 2010-18, but since Barcelona's implosion and ref bribery scandal, it's massively declined. Not to mention the likes of that Real Madrid Almeria game makes it unwatchable these days... Obviously, Bayern and PSG have always been top sides, but those divisions overall have no depth. Even if those teams lose the odd title, we could well be sitting here in 2124 and you'll find PSG and Bayern won 90/100 titles... Sure Bayer or Dortmund might have a decent season or two, but the wages they can offer mean their top players will leave and it wouldn't surprise if they end up back in the bottom half in 5 years. That's just the nature of the structure of football, with entrenched teams who can offer higher wages and with higher revenue almost impossible to dislodge, and "FFP" rules making sure it's so.

I think football overall is going to see some pretty big financial issues in the next couple of years and I think the heavily diluted Champions League format, from next season will be a disaster as well. Diluted product and lots of pointless games. No one will care until it gets to the business end of the season.
 

JogaBonitoRooney

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I think football overall is going to see some pretty big financial issues in the next couple of years and I think the heavily diluted Champions League format, from next season will be a disaster as well. Diluted product and lots of pointless games. No one will care until it gets to the business end of the season.
It's already like that. New format doesn't even seem that bad. The best teams will still make it to the round of 16 onwards. Get to watch teams vs different teams every time in the group stage instead of sand team twice which doesn't sound either negative or positive.

The issue with football is the disparity of financial power between clubs. Same teams competing in the last rounds every session. Not the format of the Champions League.
 

Massive Spanner

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EPL teams play more games as well as more competitive games than in any other league. So by the time they get to Europe, the players are more knackered than teams in other leagues. European competition is not a great judge of the relative strengths of the leagues in my opinion.
The op was proved wrong on this bullshit statement in 2015 and people are still trying to use it now :lol: