For the first time since 1996, there are no teams in the quarter-finals of the Champions League but there is nothing wrong with English football.
English football is not in decline despite what several online media sources will tell you. The fates of English sides in the Champions League have been cruel this season and based on nothing to do with the state of the English game.
Manchester United and Arsenal were both unfortunate to go out of the competition in the way they did.
United were undone by a refereeing decision, correct or not, which changed their tie against Real Madrid. It was unlucky. Arsenal nearly produced a superb comeback against Bayern Munich who many wouldn’t be surprised at winning the title this season.
Manchester City are still a very inexperienced Champions League team but there is nothing wrong with the way they play and the Chelsea merry go round made it impossible for them to get their teeth into and focus on the competition.
The Europa League is another great example that there is nothing wrong with English football at the moment.
Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United have all progressed through to the last eight of the competition. It’s most surprising that Newcastle have made it but nevertheless, it proves English sides are competitive.
There are so many elements of the game which are beyond the control of players and managers to the point where if just one or two go against a team, it can lead to that side being knocked out of a tournament.
In another year, United and Arsenal would be sitting with a quarter-final place in the Champions League and any of the three teams in the Europa League last eight could easily make it all the way to the final of that competition.
In terms of how English football is structured, controlled and run, there really is no need to start making big changes based on an unfortunate set of circumstances.
The consistency of English sides in European competitions in recent years proves that this is a one-off and any supporters of sides in the Champions League for next season, should expect those sides to perform well.
If things go their way, then it will be very interesting to see how the Champions League and the Europa League both progress next season, but don’t believe everything you read, there is nothing wrong with English football.
What do you make of English sides in European competitions this season?
image: © jorge-11