Is The Premier League Tougher Than It Used To Be?

Is It?


  • Total voters
    76

Sapient Hawk

Can You Smell What The Hawk Is Cooking?
2004/5

-a younger Benitez who had just won La Liga arrived at Liverpool

- Mourinho who had just won the Champions League arrived at Chelsea from Porto with an almost open cheque book

- United had Alex Ferguson who were spending top dollar and had won 8 EPL titles.

- Santini arrived from France to take charge of Sp**s, awarded Best French coach in 2002 by France Football and World's Best National Coach of the Year in 2003 by International Federation of Football after taking charge of France. And quit after 13 games because, fittingly for a Sp**s manager , he was a bonified coward.

Anybody who tells us the league is getting harder these days because its now attracting the best coaches is talking through their arse.

Now, your post looks much more accurate :lol:
 

Oxeki

New Threads, Old Tweets
Can't we just agree that the quality of the PL is higher than it was a decade or so ago.
How is that the case though? Some on here are using CL performance to gauge the quality if PL teams. Okay, I'll bite.

2005-2012 was the absolute peak of PL football. Nothing can compare to it now.
In that span, the PL had a team in the final 8 times times. There was an all english finals once. You also have to factor in the fact that that period coincided with the rise of probably the best football team of time led by probably the greatest player the world has ever seen. Yet the PL was still the pre-eminent force. Despite the small budget we were forced to work with. We were among the top 3 or top 4 team in Europe in that period.
 

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.

Anyone care to read and comment on these articles? People are quick to dismiss the idea that superior tactical / coaching level has changed what I think all reasonable people can agree (that the league has improved in the latter half of the last decade upon what it was in the first half), but I don't see anybody really willing to discuss tactical trends (importation of superior foreign managers either, and squeezing out of so many of the crap Redknapps, Hughtons, Hughes, Pulis--to think this was a manager that had his teams punching above their weight in the first half of the last decade, and who was successful...that enough should tell people something about how the league finally evolved in the second half of the decade--etc etc who always seemed to get jobs year after year) or the tactical systems and levels proposed and executed by current managers vs. previous ones in any real fashion. Same goes for Arteta, there is a lot of criticism of him tactically, but it is a bit of a paradox when people aren't willing to even discuss or sometimes even recognise the necessary frames of reference (his tactical competition; the tactical climate he works in).

Best to take the argument away from a discussion with a certain prominent poster in this thread, IMO, as it is not an actual argument meant for us to glean anything from each other and discuss intelligently but a desperate attempt to pursue agenda at all costs. (put him on ignore in this thread for this reason)

My biggest gripe is the fact that no one was saying the PL was tough when Emery was here. All of a sudden the likes of Everton, Aston Villa and west Ham are now better than us despite the fact that we've comfortably outspent those teams?
It's been a constant evolution. Em*ry came into the same climate more or less that Wenger left (the same in which he had been pushed out of the top 4 because of the improvement at the top with Guardiola, Klopp, and Poch). I think we've seen the mid and lower table clubs significantly raise their level in the years since, though. There's been improvements across the board (Leeds, Brighton, Villa, Everton, Leicester, Southampton, Brentford--modern, tactical manager--etc. etc.). I still think Wolves drop under Nuno from his first year in charge, where his side performed equally to Em*ry on xPTS, to lower positions in the following years despite the same level of investment occurring, makes for a good case study, when you combine it with the common sense observations (all the clubs I mentioned and surely one or two I've forgotten that have improved significantly their tactical level in concert with their talent level).
 

Blankety Blank

Well-Known Member
Can't we just agree that the quality of the PL is higher than it was a decade or so ago.

That is still no excuse for Arteta's poor results or the style of football he's employing. He is underperforming.
I certainly agree with that.
I think Arteta needs to get top 6 this season.
As for the style of play at times it has been poor but imho no worse than Emery. I think too much is put on 'style of play' as results are disappointing.
I dont think Chelsea are the best to watch tbh & they have far better players than us & are European Champions.
Sp**s, Leicester do not play better football than us either imo.
 

vantoure

Well-Known Member
Well if you seriously cannot grasp that Man C, Man U, Chelsea & Liverpool at present combined are stronger than any EPL top 4 have ever been there is little point debating & you may as well keep your head in the clouds.
No question the EPL is harder for Arsenal today than it was 20 years ago. Can you remember when Arsène took over, he took an average mid table team with a solid defence, added a couple of players and won the league. No manager could do that now as the top 4 simply are so far ahead. Because of his great knowledge he benefitted massively by using a largely untapped continental market to strengthen the team. He was revolutionary at the time by also adding diet & supplements.
These type of gains simply wouldnt be possible anymore as football has advanced massively since Arsène came into the British drinking culture & brought new ideas & success.

As for comparing European success & you saying it is not relevant to the EPL? Lol Well its the only metric we have. There was a time when most thought the Spanish or Italian Leagues were stronger. Most if not all agree its the EPL now.

As for comparing Young/Old managers i agree its tough.

Old Arsène had dropped out of top 4 whereas younger Arsène didnt.
So was it because the league got harder or had Arsène perhaps declined as a manager?
Conte took over Mourinho's misfiring almost-relegated chelsea and won the league with them the next season. OR was the UCL poorer last season as Lampard's listless chelsea was turned into UCL winners by a new manager, without any serious addition?

This debate is flawed and is flawed on the side of those that claim the league is harder now, because there's no way to prove it.

Using the claim of comparing the top-4 now to then is a wrong premise, because every period has it's strengths and weaknesses. So if there are difficulties for 2021 arsenal, they also have advantages that 2001 arsenal did not have. It really is not a scientific premise in any form.
 

vantoure

Well-Known Member
Sure but as said European success is a metric but you refuse to accept that.
tbf just about the only person that seems to think the league is not tougher is you 🤔 😂
nope, i don't think the league is tougher. Maybe the question is framed in the wrong way.

There are lot of questions to be asked?
1. Is the gap in points between 1st and 20th decreasing as a trend?
2. What of between 4th and 5th?
3. Between 1st and 2nd?
4. Can random mid-table teams boast of more quality players now than 10-15 years ago?
5. What are the xG and xGAs of teams now vs 10-15 years ago (this is especially for those that claim the tactics have made it harder)

etc.
 

Macho

Has Trust Issues With Processes
Trusted ✔️
Yeah this debate is lame, there is genuinely no reliable way to measure the difficulty of the league year by year, that's why @Makingtrax is laughing at you guys it's purely opinion based.

All the Wenger Out guys get satisfaction from proving the league is harder now
Wenger in guys are going out of their way to prove that is not the case

That's all that's happening here, the posters on each side is the big giveaway.

We should really do a deep dive on why it's been the best 2 weeks of Arteta's footballing life to date.
 

IstraBalagina

Well-Known Member
Yeah this debate is lame, there is genuinely no reliable way to measure the difficulty of the league year by year, that's why @Makingtrax is laughing at you guys it's purely opinion based.

All the Wenger Out guys get satisfaction from proving the league is harder now
Wenger in guys are going out of their way to prove that is not the case

That's all that's happening here, the posters on each side is the big giveaway.

We should really do a deep dive on why it's been the best 2 weeks of Arteta's footballing life to date.
So biased and unobjective
 

Macho

Has Trust Issues With Processes
Trusted ✔️
So biased and unobjective
Not hiding my bias at all, I think the arguments trying to prove the league is harder are weak.

Abramovich has owned Chelsea since 03
City won their first Prem title a decade ago and started buying our better players from further back
Utd are Utd and throw money at their problems until it works
Sp**s have arguably had a better team on paper or atleast on par from Modric/Van der Vaart times
Pool towards the end of their banter period had title challenges and qualified for CL throughout here and there.

These were the teams Wenger were competing against, what's really so different now? Those same teams Sp**s aside are still miles ahead of us.
 

RacingPhoton

❤️ Xhaka ❤️
Not hiding my bias at all, I think the arguments trying to prove the league is harder are weak.

Abramovich has owned Chelsea since 03
City won their first Prem title a decade ago and started buying our better players from further back
Utd are Utd and throw money at their problems until it works
Sp**s have arguably had a better team on paper or atleast on par from Modric/Van der Vaart times
Pool towards the end of their banter period had title challenges and qualified for CL throughout here and there.

These were the teams Wenger were competing against, what's really so different now? Those same teams Sp**s aside are still miles ahead of us.
I think the difference is that mid-table teams like Everton, West Ham and Leicester are much harder to beat than before.
 

Macho

Has Trust Issues With Processes
Trusted ✔️
I think the difference is that mid-table teams like Everton, West Ham and Leicester are much harder to beat than before.
Are they? I don't see them getting top 4, they all drop a lot of points.

Are they really harder to beat for the rest of the league? Or just for us? I'd be far more inclined to believe the quality of our squad and manager has declined rather than the floor of the league necessarily getting harder.
 

Camus

Well-Known Member
Anyone care to read and comment on these articles? People are quick to dismiss the idea that superior tactical / coaching level has changed what I think all reasonable people can agree (that the league has improved in the latter half of the last decade upon what it was in the first half), but I don't see anybody really willing to discuss tactical trends (importation of superior foreign managers either, and squeezing out of so many of the crap Redknapps, Hughtons, Hughes, Pulis--to think this was a manager that had his teams punching above their weight in the first half of the last decade, and who was successful...that enough should tell people something about how the league finally evolved in the second half of the decade--etc etc who always seemed to get jobs year after year) or the tactical systems and levels proposed and executed by current managers vs. previous ones in any real fashion. Same goes for Arteta, there is a lot of criticism of him tactically, but it is a bit of a paradox when people aren't willing to even discuss or sometimes even recognise the necessary frames of reference (his tactical competition; the tactical climate he works in).

Best to take the argument away from a discussion with a certain prominent poster in this thread, IMO, as it is not an actual argument meant for us to glean anything from each other and discuss intelligently but a desperate attempt to pursue agenda at all costs. (put him on ignore in this thread for this reason)


It's been a constant evolution. Em*ry came into the same climate more or less that Wenger left (the same in which he had been pushed out of the top 4 because of the improvement at the top with Guardiola, Klopp, and Poch). I think we've seen the mid and lower table clubs significantly raise their level in the years since, though. There's been improvements across the board (Leeds, Brighton, Villa, Everton, Leicester, Southampton, Brentford--modern, tactical manager--etc. etc.). I still think Wolves drop under Nuno from his first year in charge, where his side performed equally to Em*ry on xPTS, to lower positions in the following years despite the same level of investment occurring, makes for a good case study, when you combine it with the common sense observations (all the clubs I mentioned and surely one or two I've forgotten that have improved significantly their tactical level in concert with their talent level).

Ah yes, Artete last season had to deal with the "importation" of the likes of Sam Allardyce, Sean Dyche, Steve Bruce, David Moyes, Roy Hodgson, Dean Smith, Chris Wilder, Scott Parker and Frank Lampard. Truly the peak of the "importation of superior foreign managers" in the PL.....

Do you actually process the drivel you post before hitting send or is it just an uncontrollable, ignorant stream of consciousness simply to try and defend Arteta at any cost?
 

RacingPhoton

❤️ Xhaka ❤️
Are they? I don't see them getting top 4, they all drop a lot of points.

Are they really harder to beat for the rest of the league? Or just for us? I'd be far more inclined to believe the quality of our squad and manager has declined rather than the floor of the league necessarily getting harder.
I don't deny that Arsenal's quality of coach and squad have declined. But I still believe that mid-table teams are now harder to beat than before. The team that finished 10th scored 59 points last season and 54 in the season before that. Teams at 10th place usually score around 50 or less than 50 before that. Then you have teams like Wolves who are a banana skin for many big teams.
 

Trilly

Full-Time Respecter Of Women
Trusted ✔️
I think the difference is that mid-table teams like Everton, West Ham and Leicester are much harder to beat than before.
I think we're just a worse team tbh.

The league has less of your Pulis, Redknapp, Allardyce types and more of your Lage's Hassenhutl's etc. The former guys were effective but against teams like Arsenal they'd just try defend deep and hit us on the break which usually played into our hands. Nowadays a lot of the mid-table teams don't show top teams that much respect and I think we've been found out.

I will say that Liverpool and City are two of the best prem teams ever though, record point totals for 1st and 2nd place says it all. I'm not sure about the league as a whole but you have to be very good to get top four football now, I'm not sure if some of our 4th placed teams would make if if they were dropped in this era.

Macho is right though, this is just another was Wenger good enough argument in new clothes. The power that Mr Trax has over this forum is something to behold.
 

El Duderino

99 Problems But A Mitch Ain't One
Trusted ✔️
Ah yes, Artete last season had to deal with the "importation" of the likes of Sam Allardyce, Sean Dyche, Steve Bruce, David Moyes, Roy Hodgson, Dean Smith, Chris Wilder, Scott Parker and Frank Lampard. Truly the peak of the "importation of superior foreign managers" in the PL.....

Do you actually process the drivel you post before hitting send or is it just an uncontrollable, ignorant stream of consciousness simply to try and defend Arteta at any cost?

Anticipation Popcorn GIF
 

RacingPhoton

❤️ Xhaka ❤️
I think we're just a worse team tbh.

The league has less of your Pulis, Redknapp, Allardyce types and more of your Lage's Hassenhutl's etc. The former guys were effective but against teams like Arsenal they'd just try defend deep and hit us on the break which usually played into our hands. Nowadays a lot of the mid-table teams don't show top teams that much respect and I think we've been found out.

I will say that Liverpool and City are two of the best prem teams ever though, record point totals for 1st and 2nd place says it all. I'm not sure about the league as a whole but you have to be very good to get top four football now, I'm not sure if some of our 4th placed teams would make if if they were dropped in this era.

Macho is right though, this is just another was Wenger good enough argument in new clothes. The power that Mr Trax has over this forum is something to behold.
Both can be true - We are a worse team and also the mid-table teams got better.

In the past, even when we lost matches, we used to dominate most part of the matches only to lose by a counter attacking goal. These days, we get spanked by random teams. So we are obviously worse than before/ I tried to use the same points argument to prove that mid-table teams are stronger these days. Like the 10th position team scoring 59 points last season which is out of the norm. I don't think that is a clear evidence though. I just feel that all teams over the years have an upward trajectory in quality. It was accelerated by the TV money and some shrewd management by mid-table clubs. Arsenal on the other hand stagnated and even dropped its quality in the recent years.
 

GDeep™

The Solihull Slob
Other clubs are just better run, have shown ambition, have put systems in place to succeed, have spent money better, that’s all.

Had we done all the above, we would be challenging for the top 4 at least, we’ve spent 400M since Wenger has left, fired and sacked many people like Sven, Emery, Raul, scouts, wasted money on bad signings etc.

Last season was the poorest season in PL history. 10-15 years ago even you had stronger Everton and Aston Villa teams then now, when they were managed by Moyes and O’Neill. You had Stoke kicking everyone, West Ham always been a 8-10 team. Leicester are the only one who have made great strides.

We’ve fallen off. We were 12th all of last season.

This season I think we will finish top 6, Sp**s are crap, Villa have lost Grealish and I don’t rate their signings etc.
 

Makingtrax

Planes, Trains & Social Media Rants
I don't deny that Arsenal's quality of coach and squad have declined. But I still believe that mid-table teams are now harder to beat than before. The team that finished 10th scored 59 points last season and 54 in the season before that. Teams at 10th place usually score around 50 or less than 50 before that. Then you have teams like Wolves who are a banana skin for many big teams.
Bro we’re spending a lot more on players, more than those teams. In theory they shouldn’t be a problem for us.
 
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