Bogoljub Karic – How Have England Got It Right in Europe This Year
There is a certain irony to be found in the fact that just a year after Great Britain voted to leave the European Union, that both European football finals would feature only English teams. As a result we will have a Champions League final between Spurs and Liverpool and a Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal. After many years of European obscurity, how have England finally got things right? Football expert Bogoljub Karic and I take a look.
One of the first things to take note of is the fact that England currently has many of the world’s greatest managers from Guardiola to Pochettino, Klopp, Sarri and Emery. For many years England only had some of the world’s best whereas now there are more and more who are coming to British shores in order to make a name for themselves. In Spain, Italy and Germany many teams have done what the English teams did a while back, which was hiring managers who have worked in the league for years. The managerial merry-go-round has changed in England and that has given space for these great coaches to step in.
Something which can be said about many of the English clubs today is that they are no longer scared of the likes of Juventus, PSG, Real Madrid and Barcelona. This season we saw Man United overturn a 3-0 deficit against PSG, we saw Liverpool destroy Barcelona at home, Spurs completed miraculous recoveries against Ajax and Man City and they went away to the Non Camp and got a draw. In the past we would have lost to these teams before we got on the pitch but this is no longer the case.
Champions League Failure
Arsenal and Chelsea have been long-time Champions League participants yet in recent years they have struggled in the league owing to rising teams, which has left them playing Europa League football. What has happened therefore is that Champions League sized clubs, complete with the wage structure and players that would be expected of such a side, have been forced to compete in a competition which in truth they are too good for.
Ultimately it is the highly competitive nature of the Premier League which has resulted in English teams going so well. In France PSG are expected to win by a landslide each season, in Germany there are usually 2 teams fighting it out and in Spain there are no more than 3. In England however any one of 6 teams could win the title, more if you consider what Leicester City have done, which has seen each English side completely raise their game. English sides are used to having hard-fought battles week in and week out, which is exactly why they are always ready for a European night against one of the big boys.
Given a great World Cup and now complete European domination, things are looking very good for English football.