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Is The Premier League Tougher Than It Used To Be?

Is It?


  • Total voters
    91

vantoure

Well-Known Member
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.
it's 6 of 1 and half a dozen of the other. The fact we are poor now is not a basis to judge the league now or back then

For your 1st paragraph, you could say the exact same thing last season, Liverpool were poor (and not just by their own standards) and duked it over Leicester for 4th. Only difference is the teams involved - Liverpool for Arsenal; Leicester for Aston Villa.

For the number of teams in latter stages of European competition, I'm not sure this holds either as there are many variables + the big one that cup competitions are just cup competitions relying heavily on the form on matchday, not necessarily overall quality season-wide. Even with these, there were 3 English teams in the UCL semis in the late 00s. Leeds got to the semi in the early 00s.

Some posters are looking at club teams then and comparing again current club teams - that's just apples and oranges. At the end of the day, the gradient remains the same and you compete against what's presented against you - warts and all.
 

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
Trusted ⭐

Player: Saliba
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.
You're a pompous arse, constantly mentioning me in your posts.

The European trend is not important within the structure of the Prem. For example if all the teams within the prem are all benefitting from more from TV money and improving on the Spanish League, it doesn't mean that Arsenal will find it harder to beat Brentford ffs.

The biggest thing in decades to make the Premier League harder for Arsenal happened years ago when two lowly teams got the oil money. We moved significantly down the pecking order. And if Newcastle had done the same recently, we'd have gone down again. Money is the biggest factor in improving your odds of finishing higher.
 

BigPoppaPump

Reeling from Laca & Kos nightmares
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
Chelsea and City are truly grotesque football clubs.
 

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
Trusted ⭐

Player: Saliba
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.
Explain exactly how it's more competitive please, and what are these metrics showing the higher standards within the premier league (not compared up to European leagues).

I'd be interested.
 

AberGooner

Established Member
Trusted ⭐
Yeah, Klopp really struggled with injuries last year, Ole's got nothing on Fergie, Chelsea sacked their manager, Sp**s sacked their manager . . but but but getting top 4 is harder than ever. We were 8th ffs.

Emery's first season we really bottled it with probably a worse squad than we have now. When the lockdown happened we where only 5 points behind top 4, another decent chance missed and obviously last season was a massive opportunity we never looked close to capitalising on.

That's 3 good chances with us hardly being in great condition. It's not anywhere near an impossible task with competent coaching.
 

Riou

English Super Cup Enjoyer 🤗
After we beat Watford and Napoli, I was convinced we were gonna get both Top Four and win the Europa in Emery's first season.

Really disappointing how the season fell apart at the end.
 

rich 1990

Not A Big Believer In Diversity
After we beat Watford and Napoli, I was convinced we were gonna get both Top Four and win the Europa in Emery's first season.

Really disappointing how the season fell apart at the end.
You thought about staying in 2021 for a change?
 

2Smokeyy

Smokey Blitz Storm is coming 🔥
The last couple of years we had a very good chance as the other teams weren’t that good and everyone was dropping points but I think Chelsea, City, Liverpool and Utd are significantly stronger than us imo.

The last window was the one that cemented us as a mid table team.
 

AberGooner

Established Member
Trusted ⭐
Nobody has convincingly explained why the league is harder btw :lol:

Are we really going to pretend that we haven't been seeing big teams drop all kinds of points in the past couple seasons? @Troopz has already beaten me to it but yeah we routinely get smashed by questionable teams just stop it man.

The rising of fees seems to be the only reason being come up with. Fees and wages increasing has always happened in football though or any sport really. That doesn't mean the standard of player is any better. I mean I'm sure someone like Xhaka is on a hell of a lot more money than Vieira or Petit was.
 

Blood on the Tracks

The Trusted Essayist 📖
Trusted ⭐
I’ve asked @Blood on the Tracks for his obvious metrics, so we’ll wait and see.

I'm not going out my way to track down a load of metrics, they're out there though If you want to track them down. It's pointless as I know you're coming into this believing that the league was at least as competitive back then, if not more so, because it would portray Arsène in an even better light. Which is your MO on here :lol:

I'll just take one thing. Look at the TV rights deals. In our heyday under Wenger it was 670m-1.2b. It was at around 5b the last rights deal and I think came down a little this deal to nearer 4.5b.

The TV rights fees are doled in a relatively fair manner in the PL, compared to Spain for example. Larger clubs don't monopolise the pot to the same extent.

Just look at midtable clubs being able to afford players and outmuscle many historically larger European clubs for players that would be stars in the French league for example.

Look at what would be considered mid table clubs generally like West Ham or Aston Villa.

A decade ago would Jack Grealish be being sold to Man City for £100m or the equivalent fee based on inflation? No he wouldn't. Aston Villa would have been bullied into selling him by Man City or an equivalent sized club. Aston Villa are in a position now where they don't need to bend over for bigger clubs and won't sell their star players till they get the fee they want.

Declan Rice at West Ham is another prime example. A decade ago Man Utd or Chelsea would have financially bullied West Ham into selling him by now, as happened with Michael Carrick. These days West Ham don't want to sell and unless a club comes in with an inflated offer they've got no desire or need to let him go.

Basic point here is due to the stronger state of mid table clubs finances it's much less common that these sort of clubs get bullied by naturally larger clubs into selling their star players, as happened with West Ham 15-20 years ago for example. Now the likes of West Ham or Aston Villa almost have the whip hand over Man City or Man Utd when it comes to the negotiating table. They can't be bullied anywhere near as easily and when they do sell their star players it's more on their terms time wise and more financially beneficial to them.
 
Last edited:

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
Trusted ⭐

Player: Saliba
The TV rights fees are doled in a relatively fair manner in the PL, compared to Spain for example. Larger clubs don't monopolise the pot to the same extent.
So yes if all the clubs are getting more money, how does that give any one club an advantage over another? OK, lower teams will now be able to buy one or two super stars (which they couldn’t before ), but they’ll still have massive holes in their squad. The top 3/4 clubs will still be poaching off the lower clubs and filling all positions with quality including the bench. I’m not seeing this.

This has got nothing on the change that came about when City and Chelsea were injected with billions in oil money.
 

Blood on the Tracks

The Trusted Essayist 📖
Trusted ⭐
So yes if all the clubs are getting more money, how does that give any one club an advantage over another? OK, lower teams will now be able to buy one or two super stars (which they couldn’t before ), but they’ll still have massive holes in their squad. The top 3/4 clubs will still be poaching off the lower clubs and filling all positions with quality including the bench. I’m not seeing this.

This has got nothing on the change that came about when City and Chelsea were injected with billions in oil money.

Well it's the fundamental issue with the squad cost stuff.

Let's say hypothetically you give Man City and Crystal Palace for example an extra £100m each, with your methodology they should improve their team / squad equally.

I'm willing to grant that they both spend the money equally well too. Crystal Palace would still improve their squad / side to a greater degree than Man City in real terms because they're starting from a lower base in quality.
 

myoldarsenal

Active Member
2004 wages were higher than theirs by 35m. 2014 bill was 66m more.

The financial doping Chelsea did, those numbers in 2004 onwards compared to everyone else....my God.

I remember when our fans used to complain about the financial doping we were told to sit down shut up by United fans and accept that we needed more funding.

Now their team has been overtaken due to City's doping in the PL and PSG's doping in Europe, suddenly everyone thinks City are a problem when it was Arsenal fans who complained the loudest back in the day. People forget how much Chelsea really destroyed PL's balance. How all this nonsense started with them.
 

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