Is The Premier League Tougher Than It Used To Be?

Is It?


  • Total voters
    76

vantoure

Well-Known Member
I'm saying this now, but I've always been confused about the top 6 construct since it became a thing a few years back - probably 5-6 years?

Look, for a number of years, it was Aston Villa and Everton making the push for UCL places. Everton even made it at the expense Liverpool. And the very close races between Arsenal and Sp**s vying for the last UCL places. If anything you can even make argument for it being more difficult to make UCL places back in the 2005 - 2012 period.
 

Atlas

Lost a sausage bet on Xhaka 😭
I'm saying this now, but I've always been confused about the top 6 construct since it became a thing a few years back - probably 5-6 years?

Look, for a number of years, it was Aston Villa and Everton making the push for UCL places. Everton even made it at the expense Liverpool. And the very close races between Arsenal and Sp**s vying for the last UCL places. If anything you can even make argument for it being more difficult to make UCL places back in the 2005 - 2012 period.
It would be a very poor argument. Villa and Everton are not harder opposition than City and Sp**s with Son and Kane are better than any other version you can mention. Liverpool even had Charlie Adam in their team 10 years ago how is that comparable to what we have to face today?
 

Riou

Average Community Shield Enjoyer
Liverpool even had Charlie Adam in their team 10 years ago how is that comparable to what we have to face today?

How you viewed Liverpool and Adam back then, is how every other fan views Arsenal and Xhaka for the past few years....Arsenal of the early 2020s, are the Liverpool of the early 2010s...some good players, but mainly meh in comparison to the Top 4.

Once again proving my point, some teams go up, so teams go down.
 

AberGooner

Established Member
Trusted ✔️
It would be a very poor argument. Villa and Everton are not harder opposition than City and Sp**s with Son and Kane are better than any other version you can mention. Liverpool even had Charlie Adam in their team 10 years ago how is that comparable to what we have to face today?

Liverpool also had a midfield of Gerrard, Mascherano and Alonso and never won the league before they fell down a bit after Benitez left. There ain't a better midfield in the league than that right now.

Newcastle had some fella called Shearer carrying them into the CL back in the day. Leeds got to a semi final. It's splitting hairs outside the top 4 of who was better then or now.

One thing is for sure the top 4 aren't at the same level as they where in the mid 2000's. Regularly there would be 3 of the 4 semi finalists in the CL being English clubs.
 

Atlas

Lost a sausage bet on Xhaka 😭
Liverpool also had a midfield of Gerrard, Mascherano and Alonso and never won the league before they fell down a bit after Benitez left. There ain't a better midfield in the league than that right now.

Newcastle had some fella called Shearer carrying them into the CL back in the day. Leeds got to a semi final. It's splitting hairs outside the top 4 of who was better then or now.

One thing is for sure the top 4 aren't at the same level as they where in the mid 2000's. Regularly there would be 3 of the 4 semi finalists in the CL being English clubs.
That is nothing compared to a Liverpool team that registers close to 100 points in back to back seasons while winning the CL and PL instead of fluking it in the greatest fluke of all time. Newcastle ain’t **** either compared to a Leicester that has won the league and the FA Cup and is a superbly run club. All that without mentioning City who have assembled the most expensive 25 man squad ever. The league is tougher by whatever standards you want to apply.
 

Atlas

Lost a sausage bet on Xhaka 😭
How you viewed Liverpool and Adam back then, is how every other fan views Arsenal and Xhaka for the past few years....Arsenal of the early 2020s, are the Liverpool of the early 2010s...some good players, but mainly meh in comparison to the Top 4.

Once again proving my point, some teams go up, so teams go down.
Xhaka and Charlie Adam? I would have never made that connection.

If you slipped in the past you could always recover it and beat Sp**s or Everton to 4th place. You can’t do that now there are too many clubs going for 4th. There are 6 clubs with CL budgets and squads now. There used to be 4.
 

Riou

Average Community Shield Enjoyer
If you slipped in the past you could always recover it and beat Sp**s or Everton to 4th place. You can’t do that now there are too many clubs going for 4th. There are 6 clubs with CL budgets and squads now. There used to be 4.

Guarantee City, Chelsea, Liverpool and United have no fear of not getting Top Four...they view the rest of the league, how we used to view it back then.

They will look at current Arsenal/Sp**s/Leicester and go..."Yeah, they are no threat to us, even after a few defeats"
 

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
There is no fight for the Top Four this season...City, Liverpool, Chelsea and United will all get in, and that will be the Top Four for probably a few more years in the future...just like in the late 2000s it was always United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.

A few years ago you had...City and Liverpool neck in the neck for the title, with Arsenal/Chelsea/United/Sp**s going for Champions League.
A few years before the late 2000s Top Four era you had...Arsenal and United going for the league, with Liverpool/Newcastle/Leeds/Chelsea going for Champions League.

I don't see the difference, same thing with some different teams...it's always been a competitive competition.

Only reason I post so much about this, is I feel people are trying to diminish what Arsenal achieved back then, by saying the league is tougher now...that's not on, especially on a ****ing Arsenal forum of all places!

Arteta Out, btw...to keep things on topic
City, Liverpool, United, Chelsea have been outspending us for years. Why are we so frightened of them now?
 

Atlas

Lost a sausage bet on Xhaka 😭
Guarantee City, Chelsea, Liverpool and United have no fear of not getting Top Four...they view the rest of the league, how we used to view it back then.

They will look at current Arsenal/Sp**s/Leicester and go..."Yeah, they are no threat to us, even after a few defeats"
In the early 00s it was a two horse race between us and Utd then in mid to late 00s it became a two horse race between Utd and Chelsea with Liverpool in there once or twice. Look how tough it has become to win the title now.
 

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
Xhaka and Charlie Adam? I would have never made that connection.

If you slipped in the past you could always recover it and beat Sp**s or Everton to 4th place. You can’t do that now there are too many clubs going for 4th. There are 6 clubs with CL budgets and squads now. There used to be 4.
You say that but Sp**s outspent us from 2004 to 2015/16. Why did you take it for granted we could beat them before but not now?
 

AberGooner

Established Member
Trusted ✔️
That is nothing compared to a Liverpool team that registers close to 100 points in back to back seasons while winning the CL and PL instead of fluking it in the greatest fluke of all time. Newcastle ain’t **** either compared to a Leicester that has won the league and the FA Cup and is a superbly run club. All that without mentioning City who have assembled the most expensive 25 man squad ever. The league is tougher by whatever standards you want to apply.

That kind of proves the point though on the points thing. No denying it was an amazing achievement from Liverpool but the Chelsea, United and Arsenal sides that they faced that year where a shadow of what they where in days gone by, granted City are a great side as well. I mean City won the league last year on account of being the only side that wasn't dropping points left and right. Certainly wasn't a classic side by any means.

Leicester, again a once in a lifetime amazing achievement but a one off, they've never got anywhere close to that since and barring Vardy and Schmeichel, most of that team is gone. I'd quite happily compare them to the Everton, Leeds and Newcastle sides of back in the day who where all good sides who at different times had great seasons.

I think the high transfer fees of now doesn't mean a rise in quality of player. A Rio Ferdinand for example cost Leeds something like £18m however many years ago, that's a £50-60m signing nowadays.
 

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
In the early 00s it was a two horse race between us and Utd then in mid to late 00s it became a two horse race between Utd and Chelsea with Liverpool in there once or twice. Look how tough it has become to win the title now.
We were spending 4th then, how was it a 2 horse race?
 

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
No they didn’t. We had double their wages.
Wages? Here's the total investment in premier league players between 2004 and 2016 from Transfermarkt. Sp**s outspent us because of the stadium build. There were 5 teams spending more than Arsenal.
432-F1-DAC-572-A-42-EA-858-D-13-FADC5-C7146.jpg
 

Atlas

Lost a sausage bet on Xhaka 😭
Wages? Here's the total investment in premier league players between 2004 and 2016 from Transfermarkt. Sp**s outspent us because of the stadium build. There were 5 teams spending more than Arsenal.
432-F1-DAC-572-A-42-EA-858-D-13-FADC5-C7146.jpg
2004 wages were higher than theirs by 35m. 2014 bill was 66m more.

 

AbouCuéllar

Wishes to get banned elsewhere
I'm saying this now, but I've always been confused about the top 6 construct since it became a thing a few years back - probably 5-6 years?

Look, for a number of years, it was Aston Villa and Everton making the push for UCL places. Everton even made it at the expense Liverpool. And the very close races between Arsenal and Sp**s vying for the last UCL places. If anything you can even make argument for it being more difficult to make UCL places back in the 2005 - 2012 period.
Indeed, and compare the potency of those Aston Villa and Everton squads to now Tottenham, Leicester, Arsenal squads (which are current top 6 competitors) in terms of quality and money spent...there's absolutely no comparison.

To refer to your post before, "how do you judge the quality of the league?", well, the best way is to look at results in Europe over a number of seasons. And there, aside from the logical comparisons...where it's clear that Liverpool and City of 5 years ago have nothing to do with the Liverpool and City of 5 years ago, it's clear that Chelsea's current version is better than any one in recent times bar *maybe* (and I don't actually think so, but rather that Chelsea team found Liverpool still in early construction and City in its first year adaptation phase under Guardiola) the Conte team, it's clear also that United's team, while similarly poorly managed as it has been since Sir Alex left, is of the highest level it has been since then.

The Villa and Everton squads you talk about, if you compare them then to now, you think they're at least as good or probably better. Yet they finished 9th and 10th last season. That should be saying something to you. Or seeing that there's no longer room for the surprise packages that would happen every year in the weaker period for the league (2011-2016)...the Wolves, Swansea, Southampton sides that were constantly getting in there with a good managerial level, that's no longer enough, because there's a higher managerial standard in general along with the talent standard always high and higher. Wolves dropped off in the last couple years as the standard rose, sides like your typical Swansea or Burnley don't have a chance and are rather fighting for relegation, a well managed team under Hassenhuttl like Southampton, the same, relegation fights, slots 13-17 at best...same with Brighton, probably Leeds this season under Bielsa.

Anyways, for however much agenda-driven people like @Makingtrax tries to muddy the waters, it's an extremely clear trend--like I said, just looking at the extremely clear European trend in results would be enough--and I'm really surprised there's even an argument over it or a post like this should be necessary.

The fact is if you break down Wenger's competition for 5th in the years where he often BARELY got top 4, and compare it to what it was once he started dropping out of the top 4 or what it would be now, there's no comparison. We're talking about mediocre Villa or Everton squads with nothing like the squad cost or tactical level of the competition for 4th and 5th now...Redknapp, Sherwood, Jol managed Tottenham sides...I mean if Tottenham had had a competent manager just one of those years when they had a decent squad with Bale and Modric, it would've been trouble, thankfully Wenger was competing against the most incompetent of managers.
 

Blood on the Tracks

Established Member
Trusted ✔️
To me it's pretty obvious the PL is much more competitive than it was 10 years ago or so. Long gone are the days where we could have a relatively poor season by our standards and just have to duke it out with Aston Villa for 4th.

It's largely down to the TV rights deals I think. You've got mid table English clubs these days that can compete financially for players that only a handful of bigger European clubs can match up to.

I think football fans wrongly conflate how entertaining the game is nowadays with the quality of football being played. They're separate.

By virtually every metric the standard is higher now, it's just more boring to watch. Everything's micro managed to the nth degree, you lack individuality and flair etc.

Hate to say it but Wenger generally stuck to his guns in terms of open, expansive, free flowing football where the players were given much more independence and free reign and we'd frequently get turned over by good teams who were more micromanaged, towards the last portion of his spell here.

It's crap as football purists, as a lot of us are but that's just the way it is unfortunately.
 

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
2004 wages were higher than theirs by 35m. 2014 bill was 66m more.

Transfer costs tend to be fixed, well known and some sort of measure of quality of the player.

Wages on the other hand are a one sided arrangement and nobody's really sure what they are, do they include appearance bonuses, win bonuses, etc. There was good discussion on here about Willian's salary ranging from £100K to £200K depending on how you view the bonus structure. I'd need to see where that data you showed was from and how they trawled it.

If wages are gathered accurately I've seen one study that showed a 90% + correlation between wages and transfer costs in the Prem. Certainly not the case in our two charts. :lol:
 
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