Is The Premier League Tougher Than It Used To Be?

Is It?


  • Total voters
    74

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
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.
Why would that be? If City and Palace both bought a £100m striker, for the sake of argument, City would put a more expensive player he’s replaced on the bench and be stronger that way, or they sell their replaced player for more money. Either way they’d maintain the gap.

I’m not seeing this league is getting harder at all from any angle.
 

Why

Always Me ?
I see people talking about how the league has got harder. I prefer the term more competitive.

I think its down to a few factors, the attractiveness of the league as a whole and that even playing well for Norwich can get you recognised and playing for your country. Plus Norwich probably has more money than a Juventus these days.

Plus a major factor, I truly think we are starting to see a point where talent is middling out.

If you think back to the days of players like Gazza, Adams, and Merson being on the piss all week and still playing well. Players are more professional now, even at a young age kids are drilled into being Footballers by parents. So more and more kids are going through the grinder and pushing their bodies to the limit.

There are only so many clubs and a big fight for an abundance of youth talent. So, the quality every team can have started to become the same. You will always have your generational talents (Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappe, Haaland) but the 99% rest of the players will all be on a roughly even keel to some degree.

With that, you can see the difference in a lot of teams is the coaching and/or system they play to get the best out of what they have, the preparation before each match, and then the mindset of those players.

If you honestly broke down the first 11 of every team in the league, you could probably say anyone can beat anyone on any given day. That's why I like the Premier league a lot of the time.

Palace beating Sp**s.

If you break down the teams, apart from Kane being one of the best strikers in the league. The difference in class is minimal. But Palace were up for it, and Sp**s looked like they couldn't be bothered. Was that down to Kane not caring, bad coaching etc.
 

BigPoppaPump

Points Out The Obvious
Why would that be? If City and Palace both bought a £100m striker, for the sake of argument, City would put a more expensive player he’s replaced on the bench and be stronger that way, or they sell their replaced player for more money. Either way they’d maintain the gap.

I’m not seeing this league is getting harder at all from any angle.
Makes me want to bash my head against the wall that this needs to be explained.
 

Kav

Well-Known Member
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.

This shows a lack of football knowledge and understanding of the development of the English game. You need to go back to football school.

In the streets you would be called a O’ level lad. You need your A levels before you can talk ball.
 

Macho

Has Trust Issues With Processes
Trusted ✔️
Why would that be? If City and Palace both bought a £100m striker, for the sake of argument, City would put a more expensive player he’s replaced on the bench and be stronger that way, or they sell their replaced player for more money. Either way they’d maintain the gap.

I’m not seeing this league is getting harder at all from any angle.
We spent 130 mil and got further away from City and United who spent less or similar somehow :lol:

The lower base argument doesn't even work.
 

Blood on the Tracks

Established Member
Trusted ✔️
Why would that be? If City and Palace both bought a £100m striker, for the sake of argument, City would put a more expensive player he’s replaced on the bench and be stronger that way, or they sell their replaced player for more money. Either way they’d maintain the gap.

I’m not seeing this league is getting harder at all from any angle.


I'm not saying Man City wouldn't improve with buying Harry Kane for example, they would but the improvement would be much less dramatic than if Harry Kane signed for Crystal Palace.

The better a team / squad you have the harder it becomes to make those gains, and when they do come they're more marginal. With weaker sides their floor is lower so the scope for growth is higher, if you have the resources to spend and a framework in place to spend it fairly wisely. Leicester are a good example.
 

Atlas

Lost a sausage bet on Xhaka 😭
This shows a lack of football knowledge and understanding of the development of the English game. You need to go back to football school.

In the streets you would be called a O’ level lad. You need your A levels before you can talk ball.
You probably rate Xhaka and think A levels involves taking something up the ass so I’m going to pass on your suggestion.
 

AbouCuéllar

Wishes to get banned elsewhere
Nobody has convincingly explained why the league is harder btw :lol:
I have.
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.
That second point is actually a point in favour of the league being harder. The league has improved all over. The importation of superior management and the major improvement of the tactical level (which was the #1 thing holding the English league back pre 16-17, where England lagged far behind the rest of the world, due to the deficiency in coaching and tactical training level) + the ever widening gap in economic power wrt to the rest of the world has resulted in this. (Again, it feels like a lie that I even have to argue what seem like such prosaic and obvious points to everyone minus the people on this forum...)
12/13
CL
England: 2 teams in round of 16 (eliminated)
Spain: 4 teams in round of 16, 3 teams in quarter-finals, 2 teams in semifinals

EL
England: 4 in R16, 2 quarterfinals, winner Chelsea
Spain: 1 in R16

13/14
CL
England: 4 in R16, 2 in QF, 1 in semis
Spain: 3 in R16, 3 in QF, 2 in semis, 2 in final, winner Madrid

EL
England: 1 in R16
Spain: 3 in R16 (drew each other), 2 in QF, 2 in semis, winner Sevilla

14/15
CL
England: 3 in R16 (eliminated)
Spain: 3 in QF (drew each other), 2 in semis, winner Barcelona

EL
England: 1 in R16
Spain: 2 in R16 (drew each other), 1 in QF, 1 in semis, winner Sevilla

15/16
CL
England: 3 in R16, 1 in QF, 1 in semis
Spain: 3 in R16, 3 in QF (drew each other), 2 in semifinals, 2 in final, winner Madrid

EL
England: 3 in R16, 1 in QF, 1 in semifinals, 1 in final
Spain: 4 in R16 (drew each other), 3 in QF (drew each other), 2 in semifinals, winner Sevilla

16/17
CL
England: 3 in R16, 1 in QF
Spain: 4 in R16, 3 in QF, 2 in semifinal (drew each other), winner Madrid

EL
England: 1 in R16, 1 in QF, 1 in SF, winner Manchester United
Spain: 1 in R16, 1 in QF, 1 in SF

17/18
CL
England: 4 in R16, 2 in QF (drew each other), 1 in SF, 1 in final
Spain: 3 in R16, 3 in QF, 1 in SF, winner Madrid

EL
England: 1 in R16, 1 in QF, 1 in SF, 1 in final
Spain: 2 in R16, 1 in QF, 1 in SF, winner Atlético

18/19
CL
England: 4 in R16, 4 in QF, 2 in SF, 2 in final, winner Liverpool
Spain: 3 in R16, 1 in QF, 1 in SF

EL
England: 2 in R16, 2 in QF, 2 in SF, 2 in final, winner Chelsea
Spain: 3 in R16, 2 in QF (drew each other), 1 in SF

19/20 (*pandemic effects worth nothing?)
CL
England: 4 in R16, 1 in QF
Spain: 4 in R16, 2 in QF

EL
England: 2 in R16, 2 in QF, 1 in semifinals, 1 in final
Spain: 2 in R16, 1 in QF, 1 in semifinals, winner Sevilla





Clear trend if there ever was one.

Facts:
*From 12-13 to 16-17, just once did all 4 teams from England qualify for the R16 in CL. Since, every single year.

*In that same time, England had 4 quarterfinalists to Spain's 14. Since, 7 to 6.

*In that same time, England had 2 semifinalists to Spain's 10. Since, 3 to 2.

*In that same time, England had 0 finalists to Spain's 6, and 4 winners. Since, 3 to 1, 1 winner each.


(EL evidence you can tally up yourself, but it presents a similar if not as brutally clear picture)
If that's not good enough for you, plus the other evidence I point to below, nothing is going to be. Results in Europe are the only way to objectively measure this. Quality of top 6-7 teams goes down: teams suffer more in European competition. Quality of top 6-7 teams goes up: teams dominate Europe, as England has now since 17/18. Last year the same. 3 English quarterfinalists in both CL and EL, 2 in both CL and EL, 2 finalists and a winner in CL, 1 in EL.
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.
 

AbouCuéllar

Wishes to get banned elsewhere
A couple important articles re: the tactical level in England circa the first half of the last decade, for those who want to educate themselves and stop muddying the waters about real terms and real phenomenons we witnessed in the last decade until the steady importation (with importation I include people like Graham Potter) of superior managerial talent, raising the tactical level of the league in the latter half of the decade.

 

Kav

Well-Known Member
You probably rate Xhaka and think A levels involves taking something up the ass so I’m going to pass on your suggestion.
Shows your lack of understanding if you can’t discuss a topic without straying egregiously off topic.

Since you lack knowledge let me educate you. The PL has always been competitive. It was competitive at inception, mid 90’s early 2000’s, Mid 2000’s, late 2000’s, 2011-13, 2015-19.

There have always been money teams in the league as well. Since you clearly lack knowledge before Chelsea and Man City in the 2000’s Blackburn and Newcastle were the teams with big spending owners in the 90’s. There were always teams that played well and competed for the top 6 spots including Leeds, Everton, Aston Villa and Newcastle.

If you’re going to mention that smaller clubs beating bigger teams as an example of the league being harder we’ll that’s the most simplistic argument ever. I can cite you countless examples going back to the inception of the league and before that all the way to the 70’s (yes English football existed before the premier league).

Football has grown in terms of its publicity and it is certainly more of a business driven Industry despite its entertainment value. That doesn’t equate to the quality of the game being better or the league being more competitive. What you all fail to appreciate is that each league season is unique and what applies to one doesn’t translate to the other. There are too many variables between individual teams across two seasons to adequately compare much less to do so on a league wide scale.

Then again you’ve shown yourself to be a simpleton so carry on.
 

Atlas

Lost a sausage bet on Xhaka 😭
Shows your lack of understanding if you can’t discuss a topic without straying egregiously off topic.

Since you lack knowledge let me educate you. The PL has always been competitive. It was competitive at inception, mid 90’s early 2000’s, Mid 2000’s, late 2000’s, 2011-13, 2015-19.

There have always been money teams in the league as well. Since you clearly lack knowledge before Chelsea and Man City in the 2000’s Blackburn and Newcastle were the teams with big spending owners in the 90’s. There were always teams that played well and competed for the top 6 spots including Leeds, Everton, Aston Villa and Newcastle.

If you’re going to mention that smaller clubs beating bigger teams as an example of the league being harder we’ll that’s the most simplistic argument ever. I can cite you countless examples going back to the inception of the league and before that all the way to the 70’s (yes English football existed before the premier league).

Football has grown in terms of its publicity and it is certainly more of a business driven Industry despite its entertainment value. That doesn’t equate to the quality of the game being better or the league being more competitive. What you all fail to appreciate is that each league season is unique and what applies to one doesn’t translate to the other. There are too many variables between individual teams across two seasons to adequately compare much less to do so on a league wide scale.

Then again you’ve shown yourself to be a simpleton so carry on.
So competitive that the only 2 teams playing for the title between 97-04 was us and United. Blackburn and Newcastle have literally nothing on City and Chelsea. Don’t waste my time.
 

Kav

Well-Known Member
Competitiveness in the entire league does not equate only to who wins the league but as you have shown previously and continue to do your thinking is simplistic and lacks knowledge.

So I am constraining myself from arguing with a fool. Carry on.
 

Atlas

Lost a sausage bet on Xhaka 😭
Competitiveness in the entire league does not equate only to who wins the league but as have shown previously and do so again your thinking is simplistic and lacks knowledge. So I am constraining myself from arguing with a fool.

Carry on.
Sorry I can’t be bothered to reply to someone who never has anything interesting or intelligent to say. Go talk to someone else.
 

AbouCuéllar

Wishes to get banned elsewhere
Since you lack knowledge let me educate you. The PL has always been competitive. It was competitive at inception, mid 90’s early 2000’s, Mid 2000’s, late 2000’s, 2011-13, 2015-19.
England's performance the last 5 years in CL is largely unprecedented. I've posted the data above and I can't be arsed to get further into it for people who willingly want to pull the wool over their eyes, but compare the last 5 year period to other 5 year periods you discuss and there is no comparison, minus 2006-2011 when the league was at a high technical level wrt to the rest of Europe and still had managers who were more or less high level wrt to the level of the sport in the top clubs (Ferguson, Wenger, Benítez, Ancelotti; tbf, in this period, if I did the breakdown all the way down I am pretty sure it will not compare to this recent 5 year period; it only equals these last 5 years in terms of finalists and winners thanks to fluke Chelsea in 2011-12, and English teams were not as constantly present in QFs and SFs as the last 5 years we can recall, except in 07-08; the fact is England's domination of Europe is at unprecedented levels in the last 5 years).

We can look, for example, comparing Wenger's Highbury reign in two parts to the last 5 years:

Last 5 years: 5 finalists, 2 winners (these trends follow down the line to SFs, QFs, R16, Europa League, but like I said, I've already documented them)
5 years before: 1 finalist, 1 winner

1996-2000: 1 finalist, 1 winner
2000-2005: 1 finalist, 1 winner
 

Kav

Well-Known Member
England's performance the last 5 years in CL is largely unprecedented. I've posted the data above and I can't be arsed to get further into it for people who willingly want to pull the wool over their eyes, but compare the last 5 year period to other 5 year periods you discuss and there is no comparison, minus 2006-2011 when the league was at a high technical level wrt to the rest of Europe and still had managers who were more or less high level wrt to the level of the sport in the top clubs (Ferguson, Wenger, Benítez, Ancelotti; tbf, in this period, if I did the breakdown all the way down I am pretty sure it will not compare to this recent 5 year period; it only equals these last 5 years in terms of finalists and winners thanks to fluke Chelsea in 2011-12, and English teams were not as constantly present in QFs and SFs as the last 5 years we can recall, except in 07-08; the fact is England's domination of Europe is at unprecedented levels in the last 5 years).

We can look, for example, comparing Wenger's Highbury reign in two parts to the last 5 years:

Last 5 years: 5 finalists, 2 winners (these trends follow down the line to SFs, QFs, R16, Europa League, but like I said, I've already documented them)
5 years before: 1 finalist, 1 winner

1996-2000: 1 finalist, 1 winner
2000-2005: 1 finalist, 1 winner

What you have failed to appreciate is that how a team performs in European competition has no bearing on how it performs in its respective league. So that discussion is moot.

You only need to look at our last European campaign as an example. We made the Semifinals in Europa Competition but we had a poor league season.

You’re clutching at straws here ithat is how you’re going to construct your argument.
 

AbouCuéllar

Wishes to get banned elsewhere
You only need to look at our last European campaign as an example. We made the Semifinals in Europa Competition but we had a poor league season.
You do realise this can just as easily be an argument against your stance (and in reality it is), no?
What you have failed to appreciate is that how a team performs in European competition has no bearing on how it performs in its respective league. So that discussion is moot.

Nonsense. Over a significant sample this is totally false. There can be an isolated exception here and there (just as there can be in league play, tbf), like Chelsea in 2011-12, but the fates of 6-8 teams against the rest of Europe over a significant sample does not lie. (micro versus macro trends. Same as with chances created or key passes or any other measure-- in a micro sample it means little. In a macro it of course has meaning and tells us things if we are not stubbornly trying to ignore it.)
 

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
What you have failed to appreciate is that how a team performs in European competition has no bearing on how it performs in its respective league. So that discussion is moot.

You only need to look at our last European campaign as an example. We made the Semifinals in Europa Competition but we had a poor league season.

You’re clutching at straws here ithat is how you’re going to construct your argument.
I keep telling him this. Not one of these posters has explained how the league is getting harder that stands up to scrutiny, but they keep repeating it like it’s true.

The seismic shift in the league was when two mickey mouse clubs got oil money. It shoved everybody down two notches.
 

Oxeki

New Threads, Old Tweets
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.
The main thing here is that most of these midtable clubs will still not be able buy top quality players. Even with the increased revenue and spending power, they'll still buying largely the same quality of players they were buying a decade ago. Newcastle and West Ham both spent 40m on Joelinton and Haller respectively :lol:

The only thing that have improved is their spending power relative to midtable clubs of other leagues. Infact, one could argue that the gap is wider than ever and you also have to factor in attractiveness. Most top talents would still prefer to play for clubs like Chelsea, man utd, Arsenal, Liverpool etc than the likes of Leicester, Aston Villa, West Ham etc.
 

AbouCuéllar

Wishes to get banned elsewhere
I keep telling him this
Yeah, you're right, the performance of the top 7 or 8 clubs in the league against the rest of Europe across a five year span tells us absolutely nothing. 🤡

Your willingness for ignorance in the pursuit of your cultist agenda knows no limits, it's truly amazing to see.

I recommend you read the two articles I posted above and educate yourself a bit (not that you will do anything but read it with an eye to see what you can spin in favour of your agenda...).
 
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