Is The Premier League Tougher Than It Used To Be?

Is It?


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Rex Banter

Got Swerved By Steve Bruce
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Other thing to consider is that the PL was still probably the strongest league in Europe over a decade ago.

You can point to the recent all English finals but there were times in the 2000s when you’d have two or three English semi finalists at CL level.

There were English sides for five years running in the finals in those days. That’s to go along with sides like Boro and Fulham making the UEFA Cup final.
 

AberGooner

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Other thing to consider is that the PL was still probably the strongest league in Europe over a decade ago.

You can point to the recent all English finals but there were times in the 2000s when you’d have two or three English semi finalists at CL level.

There were English sides for five years running in the finals in those days. That’s to go along with sides like Boro and Fulham making the UEFA Cup final.

There was a spell late 2000's where it was typically 3 out of 4 English CL semi finalists. If not for a prime Messi or Kaka you'd have had an English side winning it every year. That was when the PL was probably at it's peak for me.
 

Blood on the Tracks

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I'm trying to find some hard data for at least some of this. It's not ideal as it doesn't cover modern day, but I think you'll see my point. During the period studied the physical and technical quality of the PL increased, I see no reason why that trend wouldn't have carried on to the present.


This paper covers 7 PL seasons from 07-13.

Total distance covered was 2% lower in 07 compared to 13.
High intensity running increased by 30%.
Sprint distance and number of sprints increased by 35%.
Players performed 40% more passes with a greater number of successful passes.
Short and medium range passes increased in accuracy though long range passes stayed static.

Take a great team from the early 2000's and they flat out would not be able to cope physically or technically with a team from 2013.
 
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bingobob

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The correct answer is yes. Teams are better conditioned and trained than they were two decades ago. Scouting has went beyond these shores for teams across the league. Technical ability has increased. The coaching has increased.

But all that pales in significance to the financial strength of the teams. They can go and buy players that were lining up for Lazio or Valencia because financially they can out muscle these clubs. Because teams domestically can no longer be bullied and made weaker. United use to be the masters of this. Cherry picking the best of the rest on the cheap, strengthening themselves and weakening their opponents. Now teams can turn down 20, 30, 40m bids right upto 100m plus if you believe the Kane rumours. Teams hold out or secure big fees and invest in academies, science and recruitment. A new cycle starts conditioning, training and searching far and wide for talents.

The teams are managed much better top to bottom and it shows. But the same applies to the top teams who are stronger than they've ever been *except us*
 

Camus

Active Member
He's absolutely not wrong. I am not sure why you guys are so intent on muddying the waters.

How can the results in Europe be used by 'league hasn't improved' truthers to 'refute it'? Confused.
I’m even more confused since don’t you repeatedly say that Arteta has managed in tougher/more high quality PL conditions than Emery’s 1st season and yet in Emery’s 1st season all 4 European finalists were from the PL, an unprecedented occurrence. So by your rationale here that totally disproves that point of yours.
 

Riou

Average Community Shield Enjoyer
So United's 2013 league winning team would dominate our 2004 Invincible team then?

Rio and Vidic with a combined age of about 70, v prime Henry...40 year old Paul Scholes v 27 year old Vieira :lol:
 

Rex Banter

Got Swerved By Steve Bruce
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I'm trying to find some hard data for at least some of this. It's not ideal as it doesn't cover modern day, but I think you'll see my point. During the period studied the physical and technical quality of the PL increased, I see no reason why that trend wouldn't have carried on to the present.


This paper covers 7 PL seasons from 07-13.

Total distance covered was 2% lower in 07 compared to 13.
High intensity running increased by 30%.
Sprint distance and number of sprints increased by 35%.
Players performed 40% more passes with a greater number of successful passes.
Short and medium range passes increased in accuracy though long range passes stayed static.

Take a great team from the early 2000's and they flat out would not be able to cope physically or technically with a team from 2013.

Yeah but again how does that make the league harder for Arsenal?

All sports become more advanced but it’s not like the rest of the PL has advanced while the big six have stood still.

They have even more money than ever before and are miles ahead of where they were in the early 2000s. I bet Arteta has far more advanced data analysts, scouts and sports scientists than Wenger ever did.

If Patrick Vieira or Thierry Henry were born today they’d have access to the cutting edge advancements and would still dominate.
 

Riou

Average Community Shield Enjoyer
This thread shows why people like me exist, tbh...we are needed to remember the past correctly, some horrible opinions in here.

"Gatekeeper of Nostalgia" ...is my true title!
 

Rex Banter

Got Swerved By Steve Bruce
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In my eyes this is all just overran by bias anyway, I said before that people who cape for Michael Jordan but back Arteta are willing to engage in some insane mental gymnastics to fit their narrative.

You can make good arguments either way but to act like there’s some smoking gun evidence that Arteta has it harder is just nonsense and shows how desperate people have gotten in trying to turn chicken sh*t into chicken salad.
 

Blood on the Tracks

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Yeah but again how does that make the league harder for Arsenal?

All sports become more advanced but it’s not like the rest of the PL has advanced while the big six have stood still.

They have even more money than ever before and are miles ahead of where they were in the early 2000s. I bet Arteta has far more advanced data analysts, scouts and sports scientists than Wenger ever did.

If Patrick Vieira or Thierry Henry were born today they’d have access to the cutting edge advancements and would still dominate.

I'm not looking at it from an Arsenal perspective to be honest.

Yeah sure, transplant Vieira or Henry into the modern day and give them all of the advancements and they'd be some of the best players in the world, no doubt.
 

Rex Banter

Got Swerved By Steve Bruce
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I'm not looking at it from an Arsenal perspective to be honest.

Yeah sure, transplant Vieira or Henry into the modern day and give them all of the advancements and they'd be some of the best players in the world, no doubt.

But isn’t that obvious then? Sport obviously improves with time like almost anything else in the world.

The point is then that Arteta doesn’t really “have it harder” than any other previous managers. We’ve advanced just like everyone else.
 

rich 1990

Not A Big Believer In Diversity
I'll probably get another stop shutting down debate comment from one of the mods but I hate conversations like these. All you can do is argue, nothing ever gets answered as nothing can ever be proved because they are totally different eras.
 

Rex Banter

Got Swerved By Steve Bruce
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I'll probably get another stop shutting down debate comment from one of the mods but I hate conversations like these. All you can do is argue, nothing ever gets answered as nothing can ever be proved because they are totally different eras.

Exactly. There’s no actual proof that one is harder than the other.
 

Blood on the Tracks

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But isn’t that obvious then? Sport obviously improves with time like almost anything else in the world.

The point is then that Arteta doesn’t really “have it harder” than any other previous managers. We’ve advanced just like everyone else.

Yeah, I'm not trying to use the fact that the league has improved as an excuse for Arteta or the poor job he's done. He should have been sacked in my opinion.
 

Tir Na Nog

Changes Opinion Every 5 Minutes
Vieira and Gilberto shivering in the tunnel looking at Tom Cleverly uno.

Lauren waking up in cold sweats wondering how he's gonna deal with Alexander Büttner's overlapping Ashley Young.
 
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