Is The Premier League Tougher Than It Used To Be?

Is It?


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Rex Banter

Got swerved by DCL's skirt
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Where I agree with @Makingtrax is people constantly point to more money and more kilometers ran as proof when it's not :lol:

Thinks it's an irrelevant stupid debate we probably wouldn't be having if we were in Champions League anyways.

I feel like it’s so subjective because all you can really say football has massively advanced in terms of data and money.

That still doesn’t mean it was easier for a specific team because they didn’t have the resources they would today.

If Henry was born in 2000 he’d still be a baller.
 

Dutch D

Well-Known Member & FPL Champion 19/20
I will say this, regardless of the teams being better or worse, football on the whole has become a lot more boring in the last years.

It has become more conservative as stakes have increased. There are fewer players that electrify an audience, that make me want to watch a game. It seems that as football is becoming more tactical (which I do enjoy up to a certain point as I'm a football coach myself), players are allowed less freedom.

Just looking at Arsenal, players like Arshavin, Rosicky, Nasri, van Persie, Hleb, Reyes, Fabregas, Özil could really excite me. Even though I love Saka and ESR they aren't as exciting as these players, they are much more tidy and composed, but less skillful and they make fewer jawdropping passes.
 

bingobob

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So why is there more emphasis now on the physical and tactical side of the game now compared to before?

Surely if the players we have now are more technical than the ones of the past era, surely clubs won't be signing more plodders? Liverpool is one of the best side in the world, yet their strength is not even their 'technical ability' but their superior fitness and their exceptional physical ability.
I'm not sure what your point is?

I said back 20/30 years ago enforcers took priority over talent. Now talent is breaking through. Talent comes in all shapes and sizes. To get into an academy you need to be talented and not just born in September, be bigger and stronger than most and run really far. Scouts don't look at that they look at base level. They take into account age variation. That someone might be in the same year group but near a year younger. Those players, the best, regardless of physical traits, make it into academies and then it's upto the person to make the grade.

That Liverpool have a physically solid team is neither here nor there. They've all been given the same opportunity based on their talent at a young age. And that's changed the game for the better.
 

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
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I feel like it’s so subjective because all you can really say football has massively advanced in terms of data and money.

That still doesn’t mean it was easier for a specific team because they didn’t have the resources they would today.

If Henry was born in 2000 he’d still be a baller.
This. Nobody's denied there have been advancements in football over the years,money, fitness and data analysis probably the biggest 3. Skill is much harder to measure and at best subjective. Maybe overall footballers have become more technical

Tactics is another area of subjective debate, these have cycled and been reinvented for years and just renamed. Positional play used to be called total football when the Dutch team of the 70s took the world by storm in Cruyffs day. The high pressing game was invented in 1934 ffs. Some great articles on FourFourTwo about tactical progressions.

But anyway the point is, if all teams have access to these advancements in equal measure, the league is progressing but not getting harder. It's only if teams get unequal access to these advancements that some teams will be diasadvantaged. And that definitely isn't Arsenal. Recent managers have been backed financially.
 

bingobob

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I will say this, regardless of the teams being better or worse, football on the whole has become a lot more boring in the last years.

It has become more conservative as stakes have increased. There are fewer players that electrify an audience, that make me want to watch a game. It seems that as football is becoming more tactical (which I do enjoy up to a certain point as I'm a football coach myself), players are allowed less freedom.

Just looking at Arsenal, players like Arshavin, Rosicky, Nasri, van Persie, Hleb, Reyes, Fabregas, Özil could really excite me. Even though I love Saka and ESR they aren't as exciting as these players, they are much more tidy and composed, but less skillful and they make fewer jawdropping passes.
This is a negative of player development. Players are coached a certain way. Short passing with the focus on technical ability. Whilst giving us better footballers it has taken away so many aspects of the game. It's why I'm not keen on the stick given to Burnley or Big Sam or even Stoke back in the day. That type of football is dying but elements of it are exciting. A hard tackle a big ball upto a centre forward who batters a centre back. Unpredictability makes a game better. Now it's safe passing, don't make a mistake, keep shape. Yawn.
 

bingobob

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Tactics is another area of subjective debate, these have cycled and been reinvented for years and just renamed. Positional play used to be called total football when the Dutch team of the 70s took the world by storm in Cruyffs day. The high pressing game was invented in 1934 ffs. Some great articles on FourFourTwo about tactical progressions.
You should read inverting the pyramid. Probably the best footballing book I've ever read. What we see today teams were doing 100 years ago. They've just relabelled it. Today a team will start 433 but in reality play 2 3 5 or 2 2 2 4. 100 years ago teams started 2 3 5 and ended up 433.
 

Makingtrax

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You should read inverting the pyramid. Probably the best footballing book I've ever read. What we see today teams were doing 100 years ago. They've just relabelled it. Today a team will start 433 but in reality play 2 3 5 or 2 2 2 4. 100 years ago teams started 2 3 5 and ended up 433.
I’ll make you a deal. I’ll read Inverting the Pyramid if you read Soccernomics. Most of the work is done on wages instead of squad cost or revenues, but it’s a similar idea. Here’s a taster for you, correlation between finishing position and wages in the Prem/Championship. :lol:

CF26-EB7-A-D58-C-45-A8-87-A3-4-A86-BA2437-A3.jpg
 

Oxeki

New Threads, Old Tweets
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I'm not sure what your point is?

I said back 20/30 years ago enforcers took priority over talent. Now talent is breaking through. Talent comes in all shapes and sizes. To get into an academy you need to be talented and not just born in September, be bigger and stronger than most and run really far. Scouts don't look at that they look at base level. They take into account age variation. That someone might be in the same year group but near a year younger. Those players, the best, regardless of physical traits, make it into academies and then it's upto the person to make the grade.

That Liverpool have a physically solid team is neither here nor there. They've all been given the same opportunity based on their talent at a young age. And that's changed the game for the better.
Show me any evidence that ascertains the fact the fact that players of this era are better technically than players of this 90s and early noughties.

Infact it's the other way around. In the past. Any technically decent these days is quickly labelled world class.

The number of top couches has declined. Now, we see rookies being given top jobs in the league.

There's no absolute metric that actually suggests that the league is now more competitive. This is just an agenda based argument to explain away Mikel's failings imo
 

blrgooner

Established Member
Top post. I enjoyed reading it. Somebody finally thinking through an idea rather than just spouting the league is getting harder without any evidence.

My only concern is that your matching a 7 year average against a 3 year average, which worries me slightly. If you take for example the club finishing in 8th place your average 2018-20 was 57 points. If take the average from 2013 to 2016 the average is 57 as well. So we've seen that 3 year average before, it's nothing new. Whilst the top team plays all those teams below them and has been breaking records 3 out of the last 4 years. That is new. If mid table teams were getting stronger this shouldn't occur.
Agree with your concern here. 7 year average and 3 year average are not directly comparable. I couldn`t think of any way to avoid that approximation though.
It is true that average from 2013 to 2016 does show the same number of points for the 8th place. But the same averages go down to 51,49 and 46 for 9th,10th and 11th places in the table.
Also while its true that the first and second place teams have scored more points in the last 4 years, there is almost a equivalent decrease in the points scored by 3rd and 4th place teams in the same period.
I think we always had a top 6 which included current top 4, us and Sp**s. Everton and one among Newcastle, Southampton, Aston Villa,Wolves etc would usually challenge but usually it was not all of them doing well in the same year. Leicester of course went a couple of steps ahead and went on to win the league.
Of course the whole point is that we are confusing two different questions here.
1) Is the Premier league tougher than it used to be?
2) Is it tougher for Arsenal to get to a better league position in the league now given Arsenals funding and stature.(Better meaning a top 6 place)

For me the answer for question no 1 is maybe yes and answer to question 2 is maybe no.
 

bingobob

A-M’s Resident Hunskelper
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I’ll make you a deal. I’ll read Inverting the Pyramid if you read Soccernomics. Most of the work is done on wages instead of squad cost or revenues, but it’s a similar idea. Here’s a taster for you, correlation between finishing position and wages in the Prem/Championship. :lol:

CF26-EB7-A-D58-C-45-A8-87-A3-4-A86-BA2437-A3.jpg
I don't need to read it as I agree with that premise. Wages correlate to league finishes. I've shared many articles on it and been dismissed. And I know why. People will go on about squad cost and say Wenger out performed his squad cost but when it came to wage bill he finished near on par every season.
 

AbouCuéllar

Wishes to get banned elsewhere
I feel like it’s so subjective because all you can really say football has massively advanced in terms of data and money.
This phenomenon isn't evenly spread out across European football, though. The advancement in terms of data and money occurs exponentially more in England than in the rest of Europe, I'm not really sure people in England quite realise to quite what degree. There are bottom level teams in the Championship which have vastly superior resources to teams in la liga, ligue 1, and Serie A.

The only thing England lagged behind in was tactical / coaching level, due to its unique football culture, but this has been slowly corrected since the Big Bang of Pep and Klopp's arrival, and all the managerial improvements that have occurred almost uniformly across the board in the years since.
 

AbouCuéllar

Wishes to get banned elsewhere
I’m glad he played in his era though. We saw Henry with less freedom at Barca and he wasn’t as fun to watch.

I fear modern managers would drill him into that role from a young age.
****, had responded to this post but the time limit to edit passed while I was attending to something else so forgive the double post.

Was saying that this goes for everyone, really, as @Dutch D 's spot on post explains...the example of Cesc is a good one too, was there anyone more exciting to watch than Cesc pre-Barça? He then went to Pep's Barça at the forefront of the tactical evolution of the sport, where he found higher and more exigent tactical demands, and it wasn't so much fun, hence why Barça was actually better off with a less talented and exciting player but more tactically disciplined and defensively capable one in Rakitic.
 

Rex Banter

Got swerved by DCL's skirt
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This phenomenon isn't evenly spread out across European football, though. The advancement in terms of data and money occurs exponentially more in England than in the rest of Europe, I'm not really sure people in England quite realise to quite what degree. There are bottom level teams in the Championship which have vastly superior resources to teams in la liga, ligue 1, and Serie A.

The only thing England lagged behind in was tactical / coaching level, due to its unique football culture, but this has been slowly corrected since the Big Bang of Pep and Klopp's arrival, and all the managerial improvements that have occurred almost uniformly across the board in the years since.

But there’s always been world class managers in England? Also guys like Rodgers, Moyes, Benitez and until this year Hodgson have been knocking about for ages but are still doing well today.

For me the league has got richer but it was still dominant ten years ago. English sides made the final five years running at one point.

Also what bottom level Championship clubs have got vastly superior resources? League is massively unbalanced and in the bottom half they’re struggling to keep the lights on.
 

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
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I don't need to read it as I agree with that premise. Wages correlate to league finishes. I've shared many articles on it and been dismissed. And I know why. People will go on about squad cost and say Wenger out performed his squad cost but when it came to wage bill he finished near on par every season.
Wages, squad cost and revenue all correlate quite well with finishing position in the long term. You can already see on the graph I showed you from soccernomics that Wenger was out performing his wages. So you'll have to rethink that.
 

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
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Agree with your concern here. 7 year average and 3 year average are not directly comparable. I couldn`t think of any way to avoid that approximation though.
It is true that average from 2013 to 2016 does show the same number of points for the 8th place. But the same averages go down to 51,49 and 46 for 9th,10th and 11th places in the table.
Also while its true that the first and second place teams have scored more points in the last 4 years, there is almost a equivalent decrease in the points scored by 3rd and 4th place teams in the same period.
I think we always had a top 6 which included current top 4, us and Sp**s. Everton and one among Newcastle, Southampton, Aston Villa,Wolves etc would usually challenge but usually it was not all of them doing well in the same year. Leicester of course went a couple of steps ahead and went on to win the league.
Of course the whole point is that we are confusing two different questions here.
1) Is the Premier league tougher than it used to be?
2) Is it tougher for Arsenal to get to a better league position in the league now given Arsenals funding and stature.(Better meaning a top 6 place)

For me the answer for question no 1 is maybe yes and answer to question 2 is maybe no.
Agree with this. Confusion reigns on this topic. But no, the league isn't harder for Arsenal, it's much easier than certainly betwen 2004 and 2013 when Arsenal had to be a buying and selling club to survive. How we got continuous top 4 in those days is beyond belief.
 

Arsenal1508

Mods are unethical! Özil, come assist me please!
Holy crap!

With United and Everton drawing,

Likely City drawing with Liverpool tomorrow,

If Southampton nick a draw vs Chelsea,

We're only within 3 points of 1st :)
 

AbouCuéllar

Wishes to get banned elsewhere
Decent article by Graham Hunter about the trends we can all see, except for the truthers here, that have occurred across European football over the past years. On the surface an article about Spanish football's continuing decline with respect to the rest of Europe but sheds light a lot on this debate:

The initial flood of brilliant footballers heading overseas toward the end of their career has become a regular plucking of talented kids from the continent when they are in their late teens or early 20s. English kids are consistently coming through academy systems better coached and used to far better diets and rehabilitation; a powerful blend of the UK's brand of football that has always been "We go to war," with the technique, strategy and intelligence that they grew up watching when Spanish football was on TV.

There has now been a generation of the best coaches imparting their beliefs and tactics, sharing their science and ensuring that English football is now a hybrid: the best of us and the best of them. It's heady, and it's intoxicating.

 

Monstar-Gunn4r

Established Member
Decent article by Graham Hunter about the trends we can all see, except for the truthers here, that have occurred across European football over the past years. On the surface an article about Spanish football's continuing decline with respect to the rest of Europe but sheds light a lot on this debate:



What a crock of sh*te, its like he had an idea and wanted to justify, Spain didnt win a,b,c because other teams have bigger and faster players.

Madrid and Barca are in a low point because mismanagement and corruption. The Spanish team have a very strong squad and some insane players like Dani Olmo.

Sam Allardyce thinking in that article, laughable at best. Waiting for the next article where he will say Arsenal should play hoofball and play 2 big lads up front.
 

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