By Walter Broeckx
In November 2014 I wrote a short series of articles to the effect that the PL was not that superior league that we all think it is. . They can be found here, there and everywhere if you want to read them first.
I linked this to the year of 2009 with the appointment of Mike Riley. Because since then the numbers have gone even more down than before. Here is the table from that article again so you don’t really have to go to that if you don’t want to.
So how is the situation this season?
First of all one team couldn’t qualify from the CL and could just save themselves in to the Europa League. That was Liverpool.
And although the return legs in the CL haven’t yet been played, if we take the first legs as decisive we would get to a situation where only 1 PL team will make it to the Quarter Finals. That would be Chelsea. And that would be the 4th consecutive year that only one PL makes it that far. A quick look at the table shows that we have known different times.
And if we look at the Europa League we see that from the 16 teams that are in there we only have 1 team from the PL in the draw today. That is Everton. Because last night Liverpool and Tottenham crashed out of it.
So the media bombard us each day with telling us that the PL is the richest, the best, the strongest, the most difficult, the hardest, the toughest, the… (you get the picture by now I think) of them all. And yet from that best league we see that we not only hand just one winner in the last 5 years (a winner that has spend a lot of money to win it and more than any other winner has spend).
And to make matters worse we hardly had any teams in the later stages of the CL in the last 5 years. Last year the quarter finals was the last stop for a PL team.
Now isn’t that a rather poor record for what is called the best league in the world?
And how come the serious media keeps on repeating that “best league of the world” sentence without them saying: “now hold on a minute! Are we really the strongest league in the world? Do the facts back this (still) up? Or are we falling behind?”
No the media keeps on repeating that mantra. And we must accept blame also because we like to believe it and so we keep on believing it. If you can say my favourite team is one of the best teams in the best league, that surely rubs off on us, doesn’t it? You support a team from France? Poor you, that is a really poor league isn’t it? Cannot be compared to the PL at all. That is the message we are being fed by the media. And the one we like to believe. But the facts are showing a different picture.
The PL is not that all conquering best league in the world. Yes we have most of the money and we have some really good players but it sure doesn’t show itself in the facts.
I just heard that the manager from Monaco had a very easy kind of peptalk before the match against Arsenal. He just showed them the English media before the match. Telling us how easy it would be for Arsenal (the PL team) to walk over Monaco. Those other leagues don’t stand a chance because we say that the PL is the best and so shall and will it be. So the Monaco players were really pumped up to prove those media experts wrong. And they did.
And what did we as fans do? Of course we believed the media. Of course we think the PL is the best. (Well not I as I have written about it before) And of course we just assume that Monaco will be a piece of cake that we will eat with no problem at all. But sometimes even a cake can be so dry it sticks in your throat and you can choke in it.
I have read so many times that we should have won against Monaco because they play in a league that is just poor compared to the PL. I think that is mostly said because we just believe(d) the media story of the Pl being better than the rest. I think the PL has been best. But no longer is. And this has been going on for many years. But as usual the media is still in the denial phase. The PL must be the best because we say so.
But the wake up was hard. Not just for us Arsenal supporters. We were made to believe it would be a walk in the park by the media. And we bought it. We believed it. Other teams found it hilarious of course how we then got beaten (mostly even by ourselves but that is another story). But Monaco showed that they do know how to play the game in other countries also.
But this morning the awakening in English football should be a rude one. Because in the Europa League the English teams coming from the best league in the world also known as the PL also crashed out apart from one club.
By believing the media story we have had then tendency in believing that we should beat them with ease. Whatever foreign team that comes in front of a PL team it will be piece of cake apart from Bayern, Real Madrid, Barcelona and maybe PSG. But all the rest are cannon fodder for the PL teams. Because that is what the media is telling us.
Looking at my table from the years before and at the current results in European football it looks that they have been feeding us lies. I have woken up a while ago. When will the rest? Oh and sorry to have shattered the dream.
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