The Premier League has long been considered the best league in the world, at least commercially, yet the financial rewards of achieving success raised expectations and hindered the general quality.
Where winning now becomes more important than playing good football and entertaining, teams are happy to grind out victories, even if those showings are not to supporters' liking.
“As a neutral, I would happily pay to watch (Manchester) City, Leicester, West Ham, (Crystal) Palace and Tottenham in the Premier League at the minute,” the former Wales international wrote.
“But I wouldn’t cross the road right now to watch Aston Villa, Sunderland, West Brom, Newcastle or even Man United. Best league in the world? Maybe it’s the richest, but so far this season the quality has left a lot to be desired.”
Tottenham and West Ham earning the respect:
For clubs such as Tottenham and West Ham, finishing in the top four spots is arguably the ultimate goal, and they could be forgiven if they opt to grind out results in order to get there.
However, both deserve a huge amount of credit for the way they have gone about business this season, and an intriguing blend of youthfulness and flair has really caught the eye.
Spurs haven’t been afraid to opt for youth, playing Dele Alli and Eric Dier as a midfield two, while a number of pundits and observers alike would have probably felt it was too inexperienced.
Moreover, Pochettino’s side have pressed high up the pitch and displayed plenty of energy, even against the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal, picking up positive results in the process.
West Ham, on the other hand, have quickly made the transition from a direct, defensive style under former boss Sam Allardyce to an expansive way of playing under Slaven Bilic.
Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini and Victor Moses have come in an offered flair, exquisite technique and an eagerness to get on the ball – attributes which very much coincide with the West Ham way.