The relative strength of the Premier League

11101

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The Premier League is definitely the best now. The co-efficients have Spain and England up there, but Spain is riding on the coat tails of a Madrid and Barcelona who have dropped off a cliff in the last couple of years and will struggle to replace their respective talismen for some time yet. I don't expect us to truly dominate Europe though, because the league is too physically demanding and the FA refuse to make any concessions to scheduling whatsoever. There will always be a Barcelona (2009 era), PSG or Bayern that are able to coast their home league and focus entirely on Europe.

Ultimately it comes down to money. The PL has the most, but it is spread more equally. We end up with 5 or 6 teams who could challenge anybody in Europe, but none of them are able to truly march ahead, as even the worst teams will make it a physically draining encounter if nothing else. Ultimately, i think that will be the downfall. Questionable ownership rules mean eventually a team will overstretch itself and go under, and when that happens the knock on could be huge.
 

Paddy B

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I hope at some stage in this year's CL that City and Bayern meet each other. It would be really interesting to see how that game would end up.
 

GhastlyHun

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Bayern the best side in the world. City second next to PSG. Then it is pretty open and Spanish league is on a decline.
I don't think Bayern are the best currently. The struggles against Bielefeld and Frankfurt were no accident. Our defense is seriously leaky, worse than City's when it was bad, and a different league to where they are now.
Our system and attacking powers may hide this weakness on good days, and on a good day we may even pressure an opponent enough to prevent them from scoring. But it seems to me right now we need every single player to be motivated to go to his physical limits to pull this off, and especially in the league against smaller teams, every lapse in motivation and effort gets us into considerable trouble. Not too surprising our unlikely endeavour to defend the treble is already over due to a slip up against a very minor opponent. In the CL motivation is pretty much a given, so we may progress further until we meet an opponent good enough to resist our attack and exploit the holes in our defending.
 

Classical Mechanic

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The Premier League is definitely the best now. The co-efficients have Spain and England up there, but Spain is riding on the coat tails of a Madrid and Barcelona who have dropped off a cliff in the last couple of years and will struggle to replace their respective talismen for some time yet. I don't expect us to truly dominate Europe though, because the league is too physically demanding and the FA refuse to make any concessions to scheduling whatsoever. There will always be a Barcelona (2009 era), PSG or Bayern that are able to coast their home league and focus entirely on Europe.
England will almost certainly top the 5 year coefficients at the end of this season, knocking Spain off a long run at the top. You can't predict the future but the Premier League clubs are well placed to cement that place at the top after Covid. The Athletic are reporting today that United made a big loss because of Covid so will have to sell if they are to sign more than one marquee signing. Most big clubs across Europe will be in a much worse position.
 

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There is no doubt the PL is and will be the best league for many years. IT is not even a question / worth a discussion. It is also out of the question that the main reason is the huge financial gap to other leagues. Even the last place team of the PL gets 100m+ , the same amount what Bayern gets. Last place in Germany gets like 40m. The 50+1 rule also prevents the entry of investors like in many PL teams.. City became from a midtable team to a european juggernaut overnight bascially. Even the EFL Championship is full of foreign investors.

So many top players from the Bundesliga went to the PL for obvious reasons. Bundesliga to PL is comparable to Bundesliga teams losing some players to Bayern ( although Bayern haven't really weakened the rivals in the last 4/5 years). Also, Upamecano and Lewandowski would have left to another top team 100% even if Bayern wouldn't approach them.
If this is true, then it is the foreign import players that make the richer PL strong, which is nothing to crow about really. If the PL had to rely solely on English talent, how good would it be in relation to other leagues?
 

Classical Mechanic

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If this is true, then it is the foreign import players that make the richer PL strong, which is nothing to crow about really. If the PL had to rely solely on English talent, how good would it be in relation to other leagues?
When it was at it's strongest ever in the 70s and 80s it was almost entirely populated by British players. It would be cyclical just like it is now.
 

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If this is true, then it is the foreign import players that make the richer PL strong, which is nothing to crow about really. If the PL had to rely solely on English talent, how good would it be in relation to other leagues?
This is something we can't predict, since teams would adapt to the situation , they might still be the best league.

But there is also no doubt that they can simply afford and attract the best and most experienced coaches on international level . It is a never ending circle. Pep, Klopp, Tuchel, Mourinho, Ancelotti, Bielsa, in one league. Hassenhüttl, one of the best german coaches also went to the PL.
Maybe it is just me, although the PL is doing well, it should be stronger. There are also no excuses for Cities weak CL runs in recent years imo or our this year.

PL is and should be the best league.
 

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@Wumminator was right all along ya haters, just took half a decade for this thread to be justified.

Jokes aside, the decline of La Liga is really something else. What happened? I know that Barca has been in a slump for a while and the same was to be expected with Real after being in transition but what surprises me how crap the other teams have looked in Europe. Sevilla really shouldnt lose to an out of form Dortmund and United had difficult weeks as well but brushed Sociedad aside like nothing.
Why did you say jokes aside? It is clear that I was right and this thread has ultimately been one of the most one sided in the forumz
 

dbs235

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If this is true, then it is the foreign import players that make the richer PL strong, which is nothing to crow about really. If the PL had to rely solely on English talent, how good would it be in relation to other leagues?
Just like Barca, Madrid, Bayern and PSG rely solely on their national talents? I can think of an Argentine, a Portugese and Polish forward that those clubs have relied heavily on in recent years.
 

Cardozo

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The Premier League is definitely the best now. The co-efficients have Spain and England up there, but Spain is riding on the coat tails of a Madrid and Barcelona who have dropped off a cliff in the last couple of years and will struggle to replace their respective talismen for some time yet. I don't expect us to truly dominate Europe though, because the league is too physically demanding and the FA refuse to make any concessions to scheduling whatsoever. There will always be a Barcelona (2009 era), PSG or Bayern that are able to coast their home league and focus entirely on Europe.

Ultimately it comes down to money. The PL has the most, but it is spread more equally. We end up with 5 or 6 teams who could challenge anybody in Europe, but none of them are able to truly march ahead, as even the worst teams will make it a physically draining encounter if nothing else. Ultimately, i think that will be the downfall. Questionable ownership rules mean eventually a team will overstretch itself and go under, and when that happens the knock on could be huge.
I think those knock on effects are unlikely in England. We're one of the only competitions where you can see a team regress like United and Arsenal but there's a number of natural successors in the wings. In Spain and Germany once the big club goes under the whole leagues financial structure will be in doubt. I also have a sneaky feeling the fact the FA do pile so much pressure on our clubs creates a certain atmosphere and sense of injustice (and maybe fairness) around the English game which isn't seen in Spain. The fact you don't get favourable treatment over the lower teams means there is more competition internally. However, that is to the detriment of our English clubs chances in Europe, I completely agree there.
 

Hansi Fick

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If this is true, then it is the foreign import players that make the richer PL strong, which is nothing to crow about really. If the PL had to rely solely on English talent, how good would it be in relation to other leagues?
That's a nothing argument. The league is as it is, the transfer markets are as they are, and everyone is participating. The PL grew to be the financially strongest league a long time ago and has translated this financial strength, to degrees varying over time, varying in relation to other factors, varying over cycles, into having the strongest quality on and off the pitch.

It hasn't always been quite as clear, and there's always very many moving parts, La Liga was dominant for many years, but right now, it's very clearly the strongest league on the whole.

In general, only a complete buffoon would claim that, say, the Bundesliga is a better league, or ever has been.
That doesn't mean that in every facet of play, every category, every season, every type of quality, every aspect, the Premier League is always better than other leagues; and it's the casualness with which cliched notions of superiority are thrown around constantly by supporters of PL clubs, 'micro-aggressions' if I'm allowed to call them that :wenger: , that suggests that, while the league is the strongest, it is also clearly the most overhyped. It's the 'murica of football fandom.
 
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JPRouve

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To be considered the best it has to be a consistent effort over time. e.g. Liverpool were always competing for the league and CL over multiple seasons
Okay. Liverpool reached the CL QF stage twice in the last decade and has actually been competing for the PL three times. During the same period Bayern won the CL twice and reached the CL semi finals 7 times.

I'm not sure how Liverpool has a case above Bayern even if we go look at the last decade and it's irrelevant to who is best in 2021. Also I'm not suggesting that Bayern are the best because I don't know but your argumentation makes no sense.
 

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Okay. Liverpool reached the CL QF stage twice in the last decade and has actually been competing for the PL three times. During the same period Bayern won the CL twice and reached the CL semi finals 7 times.

I'm not sure how Liverpool has a case above Bayern even if we go look at the last decade and it's irrelevant to who is best in 2021. Also I'm not suggesting that Bayern are the best because I don't know but your argumentation makes no sense.
its a different squad. Bayern from 2013 are different players. their current players have only just now done something in Europe. This Liverpool group have been strong for last 4 years
 

JPRouve

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its a different squad. Bayern from 2013 are different players. their current players have only just now done something in Europe. This Liverpool group have been strong for last 4 years
I don't care about Bayern from 2013, I care about Bayern and Liverpool in 2021. Are you suggesting that in 2021 Liverpool are better than Bayern and are you basing it on the last 8 years where Bayern has won more CLs and has been more competitive than Liverpool overall?

You chose a timeframe that doesn't even benefits Liverpool, the only time you may have a point was between January 2018-December 2019.
 

Acrobat7

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I don't care about Bayern from 2013, I care about Bayern and Liverpool in 2021. Are you suggesting that in 2021 Liverpool are better than Bayern and are you basing it on the last 8 years where Bayern has won more CLs and has been more competitive than Liverpool overall?

You chose a timeframe that doesn't even benefits Liverpool, the only time you may have a point was between January 2018-December 2019.
He might actually be trolling you
 

cyberman

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If this is true, then it is the foreign import players that make the richer PL strong, which is nothing to crow about really. If the PL had to rely solely on English talent, how good would it be in relation to other leagues?
This argument belongs in 2013 tbh. English football has some of the most saught after players in world football atm
 
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Stacks

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I don't care about Bayern from 2013, I care about Bayern and Liverpool in 2021. Are you suggesting that in 2021 Liverpool are better than Bayern and are you basing it on the last 8 years where Bayern has won more CLs and has been more competitive than Liverpool overall?

You chose a timeframe that doesn't even benefits Liverpool, the only time you may have a point was between January 2018-December 2019.
He might actually be trolling you
No. Liverpool have major injuries and full strength I would say are better than Bayern. Bayern won the COVID champions league of 2020. Overrated team.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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I think City would beat Bayern this season.

I think City probably are the best team in europe at the moment.

It helps that they are used to playing in a empty stadium.
Well I have not watched Bayern in the league that much, but they do look stronger in CL.

There is just the feeling with bayern that they get the job done and play well when they need too. A lot like us under SAF 2008-2009, but I know we lost vs Pep Barcelona that year.

With City I feel they are not mentally at that level and not at Peps Barcelona level in terms of player quality. Although they have tactically improved at defending this season for sure.
 

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This argument belongs in 2013 tbh. English football has some of the most saught after players in world football atm
And France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal don’t have any sought after young players? News to me
 

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That's a nothing argument. The league is as it is, the transfer markets are as they are, and everyone is participating. The PL grew to be the financially strongest league a long time ago and has translated this financial strength, to degrees varying over time, varying in relation to other factors, varying over cycles, into having the strongest quality on and off the pitch.

It hasn't always been quite as clear, and there's always very many moving parts, La Liga was dominant for many years, but right now, it's very clearly the strongest league on the whole.

In general, only a complete buffoon would claim that, say, the Bundesliga is a better league, or ever has been.
That doesn't mean that in every facet of play, every category, every season, every type of quality, every aspect, the Premier League is always better than other leagues; and it's the casualness with which cliched notions of superiority are thrown around constantly by supporters of PL clubs, 'micro-aggressions' if I'm allowed to call them that :wenger: , that suggests that, while the league is the strongest, it is also clearly the most overhyped. It's the 'murica of football fandom.
It’s actually not a nothing argument at all. The reason that people want the premier league to be viewed as the strongest is the same reason that people want England to win international tournaments. National pride. But if your league is only the best because of expensive foreign players and managers, this dilutes any notion of superiority. That’s my point.

I get that there are a number of young English talents that are now comparable to the best elsewhere (still not as good as a France IMO but that’s another story), but this is a recent development.

People were still saying the premier league was ‘far and away‘ the best a few years ago when Spanish clubs were totally dominant in the CL and EL with mostly Spanish players and a whole bunch of homegrown youngsters couldn’t get decent playing time in the first teams of top English clubs
 

Trezeguet17

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No. Liverpool have major injuries and full strength I would say are better than Bayern. Bayern won the COVID champions league of 2020. Overrated team.
If Bayern is overrated for winning the CL in a COVID season then Liverpool has absolutely no business being in this conversation as they went out in the round of 16 during a COVID season
 

Classical Mechanic

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It’s actually not a nothing argument at all. The reason that people want the premier league to be viewed as the strongest is the same reason that people want England to win international tournaments. National pride. But if your league is only the best because of expensive foreign players and managers, this dilutes any notion of superiority. That’s my point.

I get that there are a number of young English talents that are now comparable to the best elsewhere (still not as good as a France IMO but that’s another story), but this is a recent development.

People were still saying the premier league was ‘far and away‘ the best a few years ago when Spanish clubs were totally dominant in the CL and EL with mostly Spanish players and a whole bunch of homegrown youngsters couldn’t get decent playing time in the first teams of top English clubs
Talking about which League is the best in Europe at a given time has nothing to do with international football. It’s a completely separate conversation.

I’m not sure the argument you’re making very is coherent regardless. Barca had a lot of Spanish players (often 6-7 starters) but the Sevilla sides that won loads of Europa league title had 3 or 4 Spanish players starting for them in those finals whilst Real Madrid had 2 or 3 Spanish players starting for them in their CL finals recently. If you look at the all English CL final in 2008 United started with 6 English players and Chelsea 4. Compared to those Spanish example theses are at the high end of native players in the XI (United’s is a similar number to Barca).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_UEFA_Champions_League_Final

In the all English 2019 final Spurs started with 5 English players whilst Liverpool started with 2 (they started with 3 in the final they lost the previous year).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_UEFA_Champions_League_Final

Again consistent with the Spanish sides.

People who were saying that the PL was the best when Spain were dominating recently were completely wrong, however.
 

NasirTimothy

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Talking about which League is the best in Europe at a given time has nothing to do with international football. It’s a completely separate conversation.

I’m not sure the argument you’re making very is coherent regardless. Barca had a lot of Spanish players (often 6-7 starters) but the Sevilla sides that won loads of Europa league title had 3 or 4 Spanish players starting for them in those finals whilst Real Madrid had 2 or 3 Spanish players starting for them in their CL finals recently. If you look at the all English CL final in 2008 United started with 6 English players and Chelsea 4. Compared to those Spanish example theses are at the high end of native players in the XI (United’s is a similar number to Barca).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_UEFA_Champions_League_Final

In the all English 2019 final Spurs started with 5 English players whilst Liverpool started with 2 (they started with 3 in the final they lost the previous year).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_UEFA_Champions_League_Final

Again consistent with the Spanish sides.

People who were saying that the PL was the best when Spain were dominating recently were completely wrong, however.
International football and the strength of the league are not separate issues at all. Which is not to say that you cannot have good international teams from countries with relatively weak leagues (e.g. France, Portugal, Holland), but if a country produces a lot of good young players (like France) it speaks to the efficacy of the systems in that league and country and gives you an idea of how things would look if it wasn’t all so distorted by money. Many of the good young French players for example play abroad rather than in Ligue Un; the league would be a lot stronger if it was the pattern for everyone to stay at home.

Secondly, you’ve been very selective with your figures here. I’m not sure why you look just at starters and ignore squads. If we take the Europa League finals (as a better indication of the median level), here’s a list of the Spanish and English teams that reached the final in the last 10 years and the Spanish/English starters and subs for those finals:

2020 Sevilla 12 (Spanish manager)
2018 Atletico Madrid 6
2016 Sevilla 7 (Spanish manager)
2015 Sevilla 8 (Spanish manager)
2014 Sevilla 7 (Spanish manager)
2012 Atlético Madrid 9
2012 Athletic Bilbao 17

2019 Chelsea 5
2019 Arsenal 6
2017 Manchester United 6
2016 Liverpool 5
2013 Chelsea 4

None of these teams was managed by an Englishman

There’s a definite difference IMO
 

Markolan

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RB Leipzig v Liverpool 0-2 (BuLi 2nd placed team vs PL 6th placed team)
Atletico v Chelsea 0-1 (LaLiga Leader vs PL 5th placed team)
Borussia MG v Manchester City 0-2
Real Sociedad v Manchester United 0-4

Serie A teams have been embarassing in the UCL Ro16, same for spanish teams, while Rennes and Marseille finished bottom of their groups behind Krasnodar and Olympiacos..
I mean, wtf are we talking about. Only Bundesliga are doing a bit better but this season shows that there's a gulf in quality between Premier League and the rest of the leagues imho.
 

tomaldinho1

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RB Leipzig v Liverpool 0-2 (BuLi 2nd placed team vs PL 6th placed team)
Atletico v Chelsea 0-1 (LaLiga Leader vs PL 5th placed team)
Borussia MG v Manchester City 0-2
Real Sociedad v Manchester United 0-4

Serie A teams have been embarassing in the UCL Ro16, same for spanish teams, while Rennes and Marseille finished bottom of their groups behind Krasnodar and Olympiacos..
I mean, wtf are we talking about. Only Bundesliga are doing a bit better but this season shows that there's a gulf in quality between Premier League and the rest of the leagues imho.
Money will always win out. This is why I am convinced the MLS will be the number 1 league in 50years or so - they will take their pick of SA players, set up a draft system and the fan base is so massive it'll become ridiculously lucrative.
 

Classical Mechanic

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International football and the strength of the league are not separate issues at all. Which is not to say that you cannot have good international teams from countries with relatively weak leagues (e.g. France, Portugal, Holland), but if a country produces a lot of good young players (like France) it speaks to the efficacy of the systems in that league and country and gives you an idea of how things would look if it wasn’t all so distorted by money. Many of the good young French players for example play abroad rather than in Ligue Un; the league would be a lot stronger if it was the pattern for everyone to stay at home.

Secondly, you’ve been very selective with your figures here. I’m not sure why you look just at starters and ignore squads. If we take the Europa League finals (as a better indication of the median level), here’s a list of the Spanish and English teams that reached the final in the last 10 years and the Spanish/English starters and subs for those finals:

2020 Sevilla 12 (Spanish manager)
2018 Atletico Madrid 6
2016 Sevilla 7 (Spanish manager)
2015 Sevilla 8 (Spanish manager)
2014 Sevilla 7 (Spanish manager)
2012 Atlético Madrid 9
2012 Athletic Bilbao 17

2019 Chelsea 5
2019 Arsenal 6
2017 Manchester United 6
2016 Liverpool 5
2013 Chelsea 4

None of these teams was managed by an Englishman

There’s a definite difference IMO
I chose the starters because generally they’re generally the best players. English sides have been guilty of using their wealth to pad out their squads with lower quality foreign players that are ‘experienced’. I think that’s the key difference along with the lesser English sides having the money to buy foreign talent whereas smaller clubs abroad are less able to do so. All this has led to England having the best second tier competition in Europe and the best lower professional divisions in Europe.

England does have a lot of depth. I think you can tell that by looking at how they qualify for nearly every single European youth tournament finals. Constantly getting quality across a broad range of age groups is indicative of depth.

In the late 70s and early 80s 3 English sides won 7 out of 8 European Cups and the English national team was probably the worst it has ever been. Bundesliga sides have only won 8 between them in the entire history of European football, despite being the most successful European nation at international level.

All that said, I wouldn’t argue against the idea that the recently passed generation of Spanish football at international level and club level was the best generation of football ever.
 

Wayne's World

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Football is dying a death. Getting worse year in, year out. The top European clubs bar Bayern are all in decline ( I'm including Liverpool in this). It will get to a stage where only PSG and City will win CL's and it will become soulless.

There's no Ronaldinho, Zidane's, Keane's, Henry's, Maldini's, Buffon's, Messi's, Ronaldo etc out there anymore at 18, 19, 20 etc. Yes you have some quality footballers coming onto the scene now in Mbappe, Felix and Haaland but that's really it.

Look at the amount of quality footballers there was back in the 90s and 2000's, all clubs seemed to have genuine stars in their teams but take a look at Real Madrid tonight and they have nothing and won't because the money isn't there anymore to improve it unless you are bankrolled by oil.
 

OldSchoolManc

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The EPL is tainted by the presence of Manchester City. This ‘club’ has nothing to do with fairness. Anything they win is worthless and stained with the stench of an abusive regime. Anything they have ever ‘won’ since the illegal billions came in should come with an asterisk
 

kaiser1

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The EPL is tainted by the presence of Manchester City. This ‘club’ has nothing to do with fairness. Anything they win is worthless and stained with the stench of an abusive regime. Anything they have ever ‘won’ since the illegal billions came in should come with an asterisk
Just like Chelsea, PSG, AC Milan all clubs who ever had a sugar daddy
 

caid

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Its a weird year, its hard to make any lasting predictions. Premier League teams have seemingly managed better than others. It does seem like a lasting shift though.
Its hard to see City ever going away as one of the teams in the running for the Champions League going forward. The fact anyone is getting close to them in the league is kind of creditable. Real, Barca and Bayern have lived off some outstanding talent thats either moved on or will in the not so distant future (Muller, Neuer, Ramos etc.) and its hard to see them being easy to replace. Italy hasn't been producing players of the same quality as 25 years ago for a while. Loads of them have piles of money to be in with a shout. But so do about 15 premier league teams and City and PSG will dwarf whatever they can spend.
 

dbs235

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Think this is actually a really interesting period for football now. With the decline of Madrid and Barca the CL seems more open than ever. PL teams are stonger than they were for most of the 2010s but they're hardly dominating. City vs Bayern seems to be the game we all want to see.
 

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French teams had holidays for three or four months, Bundesliga finished three weeks before PL... Definitely wouldn't count "Champions League" of last summer.
All the more reason french teams should've done worse but they didn't at all. French teams had the biggest disadvantage if anything. English teams have been a big let down in CL over the past 8 years or so.
 

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There is no doubt the PL is and will be the best league for many years. IT is not even a question / worth a discussion. It is also out of the question that the main reason is the huge financial gap to other leagues. Even the last place team of the PL gets 100m+ , the same amount what Bayern gets. Last place in Germany gets like 40m. The 50+1 rule also prevents the entry of investors like in many PL teams.. City became from a midtable team to a european juggernaut overnight bascially. Even the EFL Championship is full of foreign investors.

So many top players from the Bundesliga went to the PL for obvious reasons. Bundesliga losing top player to PL is comparable to Bundesliga teams losing some players to Bayern ( although Bayern haven't really weakened the rivals in the last 4/5 years). Also, Upamecano and Lewandowski would have left to another top team 100% even if Bayern wouldn't approach them.

Disagree completely, PL is only "the best league in the world" because of nonsense marketing. Liverpool have been good in CL in 2018 and 2019, but over the past ten years only two PL teams have won CL. All top 5 leagues are on a downswing, but this is the weakest PL since 2016. La Liga is at its worst in 15 years or so.
 

Daysleeper

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The Premier League is definitely the best now. The co-efficients have Spain and England up there, but Spain is riding on the coat tails of a Madrid and Barcelona who have dropped off a cliff in the last couple of years and will struggle to replace their respective talismen for some time yet. I don't expect us to truly dominate Europe though, because the league is too physically demanding and the FA refuse to make any concessions to scheduling whatsoever. There will always be a Barcelona (2009 era), PSG or Bayern that are able to coast their home league and focus entirely on Europe.

Ultimately it comes down to money. The PL has the most, but it is spread more equally. We end up with 5 or 6 teams who could challenge anybody in Europe, but none of them are able to truly march ahead, as even the worst teams will make it a physically draining encounter if nothing else. Ultimately, i think that will be the downfall. Questionable ownership rules mean eventually a team will overstretch itself and go under, and when that happens the knock on could be huge.

No you dont, you think West Ham can challenge anyone in Europe? The delusion from PL fans is staggering. Leicester struggled in CL too, just stop. I agree that Spanish football is falling off a cliff.
 

Hammondo

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This year pretty poor. We are the 2nd best team and we were knocked out of the group stage.

Our best team has flopped every CL. Not looking good.