Connect in the back of the net

In the past two years, Leicester City and Chelsea Football Club have enjoyed successful Premier League victories against the odds.

Before each campaign, both clubs chased down Italian managers, Claudio Ranieri and Antonio Conte, and both adopted a different style of football with a change in formation.

Once more, their previous campaigns saw each finish in the bottom half of the division. However, the similarities do not end there. More significantly, they both wear blue.

Oh wait, did I mention that both teams did not participate in the CL during their title-winning season?

 

So, are we beginning to see a new trend in English football?

Possibly.

The demands of playing in Europe are both profitable and detrimental. Of course, there are financial incentives and, in addition, an opportunity to play on the biggest stage.

Yet, travelling and fatigue can be influential in domestic campaigns. Especially since the FA have not implemented a winter break, it is no surprise that there has been a notable decline in how far the English clubs progress in the Champions League.

Also, the PL has become far more competitive in the past decade with the top-two becoming a top-four and now a top-six.

 

Although, perhaps the English clubs are simply not good enough anymore?

There is an argument here. English clubs seem to be incapable of going beyond quarter-finals in the CL these days, sometimes the last 16.

Bayern Munich: ‘Hey Arsenal, give me your dinner money.’ Arsenal: ‘Okay, just don’t hurt me.’

Year in, year out.

I remember the days when the traditional top-four, Arsenal, United, Chelsea and Liverpool would lock horns in the latter stages of the competition.

The excitement, the unpredictability, the drama.

However, with all of Arsenal’s major rivals competing in the CL this year, this recent trend could play into Arsenal’s hands. It may be the time to fire from that cannon.

How about Everton as well? They wear blue?

 

Yes, I know what you’re murmuring. But what about the Europa League?

Valid point.

Then again, both teams could play their youngsters in that competition. Let’s face it, the Europa league is like a second born child. The parents are not as bothered about them.

The truth is that English dominance in Europe is truly over, for now at least.

 

Written by Jack Kelly

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