The Champions League was back this week and the English teams struggled apart from Chelsea who had the easiest game at home but have had a poor start in the league so far.
Both Manchester teams lost 2-1 to Juventus and PSV respectively on Tuesday and Arsenal also lost by the same score line against Zagreb away from home yesterday.
This leads to the question what is wrong with English teams in Europe? Particularly Man City because they have been flying in the league and they looked nothing like that team when they played Juventus. They have had this problem for a few years now where they just can’t play well in the Champions League.
Juventus were the runners up last year but they have lost crucial players in Tevez, Vidal and Pirlo and are not the same team as a result. Man City have spent so much money for the last couple of years and they should be right up there but they aren’t. I still expect them to qualify but they will probably finish second and therefore play a harder team in the knockout stages.
Man United who are in the competition again after missing out last year were expected to beat PSV. But playing away is never easy as they found out. Luke Shaw’s early very bad injury might have played on their minds but they should have still got something from the game.
Again I know football isn’t all about money but considering the amount Man United have spent they should have won comfortably. Memphis Depay scored for United against his old team but they ended up losing. I do think they will go through to the last 16 but will struggle and I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t.
Arsenal were in a similar situation as United playing against an away team who they should be beating considering the money difference between the teams but they ended up having a nightmare. Giroud got sent off as Zagreb won 2-1. Like Man City, Arsenal will probably still finish second but will then be likely to face a harder team and get knocked out in the last 16 as they have done for the last few years.
Chelsea were the only English team to win but they really should have won against a fairly unknown team at home. They should easily win their group and probably have the best chance to win the competition out of all the English teams.
So the worst possible start for 3 out of 4 of the English teams and they have it all to do now.
For once I am actually hoping all the English teams do well because of the possibility that we might only have 3 teams who can qualify soon. Italian teams have done very well in Europe and they can take over us at having 4 teams if this carries on.
Imagine the English teams battling it out for 3 places! That would be crazy as it is hard enough to only have 4 teams enter every year with Liverpool as well.
So English teams need to start playing better and this applies to the Europa League as well so I am cheering Tottenham for once! West Ham and Southampton didn’t help at all but they did have the excuse of not having a big enough squad and fear of relegation due to too many games.
It doesn’t help that we play so many more games than other leagues especially at Christmas time where they get a winter break. This might need to be seriously addressed if this carries on.
English teams need to be a real force again in Europe and show everyone why the league is the best in the world!