Top european football from the 2010s first half was better technically and competitively than the second half of the 2010s in my opinion

matbezlima

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Honestly, I feel like football from 2010-2015 was better technically (at least when it comes to the quality level of the top european teams and the semi-finalists in UCL) and more competitive than 2016-2020 football. I prefer the first half of the 2010s instead of the second, the games also hold up so well tactically and technically. With exception of Chelsea, all semi-finalists in 2012 were better than almost any top european team now. The top european teams now don't have less great players, but almost all are struggling collectively to play great football, look at Real, Barcelona and Juve specially.

Teams playing too safe when having the ball now, collective issues, as I said, or just not knowing what to do in the final third, no chemistry. Lack of creativity to penetrate the defenses, lack of mutual understanding between the players. These problems that the stellar squads of Barcelona, Real and Juventus face (they are just a collection of great players that don't play great as team for some reason even despite changes of coaches) make Klopp's Liverpool and Guardiola's City stand out even more in last years. Though it seems that Bayern was finally recovering their best football and playing great again this year after seasons of lukewarm football, but then coronavirus happened...
 

Brightonian

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I prefer it when the real giants have their shit less together. It makes the tournament more open to disruption, less of the usual parade where Barca, Real and Bayern all waltz into the semis along with one other. Means we get to see things like Ajax's run to the semis, or indeed a team like Liverpool who are more than the sum of their parts triumphing against the superstars of Bayern and Barca.
 

matbezlima

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I prefer it when the real giants have their shit less together. It makes the tournament more open to disruption, less of the usual parade where Barca, Real and Bayern all waltz into the semis along with one other. Means we get to see things like Ajax's run to the semis, or indeed a team like Liverpool who are more than the sum of their parts triumphing against the superstars of Bayern and Barca.
Makes sense
 

11101

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Really? You had a great Barcelona vs a good Manchester United in 2011, it was all pretty poor after that:

A weak Chelsea team
Bayern
A fun to watchbut hardly great Dortmund side
An average Madrid side who were just getting settled
Atletico
Juventus
Barcelona who were a shadow of their former selves

Look at Mourinho's Inter side in 2010, or especially the Manchester United or Barcelona of the late 00s. Any would be massive favourites for any CL from 2011-2015.

In fact, i think any of those would be favourites for any CL in the last 10 years. It's been a pretty poor decade.
 

matbezlima

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Really? You had a great Barcelona vs a good Manchester United in 2011, it was all pretty poor after that:

A weak Chelsea team
Bayern
A fun to watchbut hardly great Dortmund side
An average Madrid side who were just getting settled
Atletico
Juventus
Barcelona who were a shadow of their former selves

Look at Mourinho's Inter side in 2010, or especially the Manchester United or Barcelona of the late 00s. Any would be massive favourites for any CL from 2011-2015.

In fact, i think any of those would be favourites for any CL in the last 10 years. It's been a pretty poor decade.
Bayern from the early 2010s, specially Heynckes' Bayern in 2012-2013 season, was an amazing team, the best since Pep's Barcelona. Real in 2012 and 2014 were pretty great. Barcelona in 2015 was amazing. Borussia and Atletico had historical sides. The last two or three years have been poor.
 

11101

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Bayern from the early 2010s, specially Heynckes' Bayern in 2012-2013 season, was an amazing team, the best since Pep's Barcelona. Real in 2012 and 2014 were pretty great. Barcelona in 2015 was amazing. Borussia and Atletico had historical sides. The last two or three years have been poor.
You are probably right the first half of the decade had better teams than the last 5 years. I definitely think it's been a poor decade overall though. There were a number of teams in the 2000s that were better than anything we have seen in the last 10 years.
 

stu_1992

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Is that just because we were good in the firs half of the decade (most of it anyway) and shite in the second half? :lol:
 

SilentStrike

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I wouldn't say it was a poor decade at all.

Bayern, Real and Barca have all fielded teams which can claim to be among the best ever. Of course we had Pep's Barca at the start of last decade which many claim to be the best team of all time, and the Bayern of Jupp Heynckes was no worse. Bayern 2013 and Barca 2011 can match pretty much any team in history.

Oddly enough I think Real had their strongest team in 2011-2013, despite winning only toward the end of the decade, but it seemed they had bad luck in the first half of the decade and a lot of luck in the second.

So yes, I definitely agree with the thread title.
 

Raees

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Can’t disagree with OP .. second half of decade is very weak in terms of elite level quality. Having said that it’s been an interesting half decade in terms of seeing new wave of talent break through and greater spread of players.
 

Brightonian

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The Madrid side that Ancelotti put together and Zidane carried forward for a couple of years were genuinely top drawer, they would have gone toe to toe with United 2008 or Barca 2009.
 

Bastian

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I would say 2006 to 2011 was even better.
For sure.

So why is it? Inflation in the market - making it harder for the top sides to nab all they want (and, on a related note, the introduction of nation state players). The more evenly spread money in England, making mid-table sides more competitive, and, subsequently, the top sides more vulnerable. Is this about tactical evolution?

You can explain the situation at various clubs, most obviously Real, Barca and Untied, who have all significant mitigating factors.

What about teams that are below the top level - I'm not an aficionado - has their level improved at the same time?
 

AshRK

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For sure.

So why is it? Inflation in the market - making it harder for the top sides to nab all they want (and, on a related note, the introduction of nation state players). The more evenly spread money in England, making mid-table sides more competitive, and, subsequently, the top sides more vulnerable. Is this about tactical evolution?

You can explain the situation at various clubs, most obviously Real, Barca and Untied, who have all significant mitigating factors.

What about teams that are below the top level - I'm not an aficionado - has their level improved at the same time?
Money definitely has played a role. Top teams back then were really good. You had 4 quality english sides who all deserved to win CL for their performance from 2004 to 2010. I mean Arsenal in 2005-06 campaign were really good and they had world class players. Chelsea not winning even one CL during that time for the side they possessed back then is a shock. Liverpool even though failed to deceive in the league always were a steong outfit under Rafa in CL and then you had us. I think we were unlucky to not have won more than 1 CL in that era for the side we possesed. Amd then you had a strong Barca side, Milan powerhouses, although Bayern and Madrid did not do that well during that time but possesed world class players. This is why I don't buy the argument that city from 17-19 or liverpool 18-20 are the best sides. Very good yes but the lack of quality has made them do well.

Also, the downfall of the two milan sides is a big reason. Yes you have PSG/City now but let us not kid the football especially CL misses a strong Milan sides. I hated playing them and that is why I always regard our win against inter in 08-09 as one of the best.

The other reason I can think of which might spark debate is lack of quality footballers in present time in comparison to then. I don't know but I always think players then were more skillful and passionate to win things. Again I am not saying players today don't want to win or are not passionate but skill wise give me footballers from then.
 

Bastian

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Money definitely has played a role. Top teams back then were really good. You had 4 quality english sides who all deserved to win CL for their performance from 2004 to 2010. I mean Arsenal in 2005-06 campaign were really good and they had world class players. Chelsea not winning even one CL during that time for the side they possessed back then is a shock. Liverpool even though failed to deceive in the league always were a steong outfit under Rafa in CL and then you had us. I think we were unlucky to not have won more than 1 CL in that era for the side we possesed. Amd then you had a strong Barca side, Milan powerhouses, although Bayern and Madrid did not do that well during that time but possesed world class players. This is why I don't buy the argument that city from 17-19 or liverpool 18-20 are the best sides. Very good yes but the lack of quality has made them do well.

Also, the downfall of the two milan sides is a big reason. Yes you have PSG/City now but let us not kid the football especially CL misses a strong Milan sides. I hated playing them and that is why I always regard our win against inter in 08-09 as one of the best.

The other reason I can think of which might spark debate is lack of quality footballers in present time in comparison to then. I don't know but I always think players then were more skillful and passionate to win things. Again I am not saying players today don't want to win or are not passionate but skill wise give me footballers from then.
Yeah, I don't buy the hype around City or Liverpool either. Both fantastic sides, no doubt. But the competition is lacking. Transport them to 2006-2011 and I'm not sure they'd look the same, at all.

I suspect you're right that players have changed too, but for me it's less around skill and more around the mentality. It's not a generational thing, IMV, it's simply the hype that surrounds the game and the immediacy of celebrity status and riches, even before you've earned it. Of course that affects your mentality. No question. Not that it applies to every player, but I've no doubts it has quite an effect on many.
 

adexkola

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Yeah, I don't buy the hype around City or Liverpool either. Both fantastic sides, no doubt. But the competition is lacking. Transport them to 2006-2011 and I'm not sure they'd look the same, at all.

I suspect you're right that players have changed too, but for me it's less around skill and more around the mentality. It's not a generational thing, IMV, it's simply the hype that surrounds the game and the immediacy of celebrity status and riches, even before you've earned it. Of course that affects your mentality. No question. Not that it applies to every player, but I've no doubts it has quite an effect on many.
I don't know how fans can make these sorts of statements with any degree of confidence.
 

VorZakone

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I agree tbh. Last years have been quite underwhelming although Real Madrid 2016/17 were a genuinely amazing team.
 

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Elite European clubs stronger in the first half of the decade, top English clubs stronger later in the decade.
 

bosnian_red

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I think over a 3-5 year period you'll usually have the peak teams be somewhat comparable to the best teams of any other 3-5 year period in general. You get exceptions like Pep's Barca, Sacchi's Milan, etc, but those are greatest of all time teams.
What changes is where that quality is. Right now, the 2 best teams around that everyone will fear are City and Liverpool who are on the very top tier. Tier below them would be teams like Barca, Bayern, Juve, Madrid, etc. Teams that are always there and always compete (partly because they have greats like Messi and Ronaldo), but aren't quite fully together like they were not too long ago. Go back in the mid 2010's and you had Madrid dominating. Early-mid 2000's had Milan, late 2000's had United, early 2010's had Barca, and so on.

Now, was Pep's Barca and the Messi - Neymar - Suarez trio version of Barca better than the current top teams? Of course, they had peak Messi. Not a fair comparison though. In general I think it was a normal year in terms of quality all around. You always have a few favourites, a few giants who aren't their normal selves but always a threat, a few underdogs who can upset, and then others who don't have their shit together enough.
 

matbezlima

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Money definitely has played a role. Top teams back then were really good. You had 4 quality english sides who all deserved to win CL for their performance from 2004 to 2010. I mean Arsenal in 2005-06 campaign were really good and they had world class players. Chelsea not winning even one CL during that time for the side they possessed back then is a shock. Liverpool even though failed to deceive in the league always were a steong outfit under Rafa in CL and then you had us. I think we were unlucky to not have won more than 1 CL in that era for the side we possesed.
Ferguson could have had two more UCLs if there was not Guardiola's Barcelona, that Barcelona was maybe the best team ever, at least when it comes to the crazily high technical level that they reached.
 

Righteous Steps

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I prefer it when the real giants have their shit less together. It makes the tournament more open to disruption, less of the usual parade where Barca, Real and Bayern all waltz into the semis along with one other. Means we get to see things like Ajax's run to the semis, or indeed a team like Liverpool who are more than the sum of their parts triumphing against the superstars of Bayern and Barca.
What superstars do Bayern and Barca have? Barca has Messi that’s it, Bayern have Lewandowski that’s it, Liverpool have more superstars than them which is why they are faring better, If Bayern has players the quality of VVD Alisson Salah Mane TAA Robertson or Sterling Aguero Laporte Sane Ederson Bernardo Silva they would be doing better also, both teams need to go through rebuilding.
 

RedStarUnited

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What superstars do Bayern and Barca have? Barca has Messi that’s it, Bayern have Lewandowski that’s it, Liverpool have more superstars than them which is why they are faring better, If Bayern has players the quality of VVD Alisson Salah Mane TAA Robertson or Sterling Aguero Laporte Sane Ederson Bernardo Silva they would be doing better also, both teams need to go through rebuilding.
i see Ederson and Alison mentioned but you didnt mention Ter Stegen for Barca.
 

rotherham_red

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Honestly, I feel like football from 2010-2015 was better technically (at least when it comes to the quality level of the top european teams and the semi-finalists in UCL) and more competitive than 2016-2020 football. I prefer the first half of the 2010s instead of the second, the games also hold up so well tactically and technically. With exception of Chelsea, all semi-finalists in 2012 were better than almost any top european team now. The top european teams now don't have less great players, but almost all are struggling collectively to play great football, look at Real, Barcelona and Juve specially.

Teams playing too safe when having the ball now, collective issues, as I said, or just not knowing what to do in the final third, no chemistry. Lack of creativity to penetrate the defenses, lack of mutual understanding between the players. These problems that the stellar squads of Barcelona, Real and Juventus face (they are just a collection of great players that don't play great as team for some reason even despite changes of coaches) make Klopp's Liverpool and Guardiola's City stand out even more in last years. Though it seems that Bayern was finally recovering their best football and playing great again this year after seasons of lukewarm football, but then coronavirus happened...
Agreed but neither were a patch on the 2005-2010 period (specifically 2007-2009) that was the absolute peak in terms of equitable spread of talent across the big leagues and the Prem having arguably the best collection of players across them all. Just look at the midfields across each of the big 4 at the time. There was an argument that could be made that each and every midfielder for each team in the big 4 could have had his pick of clubs across the continent.
 

TrustInJanuzaj

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It’s because it’s City and Pool. If we won the league with over 100 points we’d be calling it our best ever side.
Disagree, it would as usual depend on circumstance and overall team quality. It's not actually hard to put the 07/08 Utd team next to this Liverpool and City teams and realise our team was far better, irrespective of results.
 

Brightonian

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What superstars do Bayern and Barca have? Barca has Messi that’s it, Bayern have Lewandowski that’s it, Liverpool have more superstars than them which is why they are faring better, If Bayern has players the quality of VVD Alisson Salah Mane TAA Robertson or Sterling Aguero Laporte Sane Ederson Bernardo Silva they would be doing better also, both teams need to go through rebuilding.
When I say superstars I'm not solely referring to quality, but rather status within the European game. Only with Liverpool's success over the last two seasons have fans outside of the UK really started to pay any attention to the likes of Mane, VVD, TAA and the like as the world-class players that they are. Whereas Lewandowski, Thiago, Neuer, Muller, Alaba and others are well established in the European lexicon of 'star' players. Likewise Messi, Griezmann, Suarez, Pique, Busquets etc at Barca.

You've mentioned a load of City players there but I didn't say anything about City. I actually consider them currently to be more one of the 'established' group of clubs than the disruptive group. Hence I agree Aguero, both Silvas, De Bruyne, Sterling etc also fit that mould of star players who would be recognised as such by fans outside the PL.

So this is precisely what I was saying. I prefer periods where the giants both traditional and 'new money' - Barca, Real, Bayern, Juve, PSG, City - are going through periods of transition and more unexpected things can happen, like Ajax's run, or Liverpool's re-emergence*.

*Obviously as a United fan this is terrible, but it's a good example of the kind of thing I'm talking about.