Former Manchester United right back Gary Neville has stated that England’s best teams have declined in respect to their counterparts around Europe, specifically the top dogs of La Liga.
After the Manchester City’s 3-1 loss on aggregate to Barcelona this past Wednesday, the Sky Blues’ captain Vincent Kompany shared a similar sentiment.
“The reality is they were a better team,” he said. “There is no shame in admitting that. There is a big difference. I will just mention Bayern Munich and Barcelona, and then there are the rest of the teams. Real Madrid are probably in between.”
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While Neville pondered the same idea, it’s clear that his opinion was largely based off the City-Barca game and also the lack of English teams staying alive in international tournaments.
“I came out of the Barcelona-Manchester City game thinking that Premier League clubs can’t go on like this,” Neville wrote. “At the airport, City fans asked – ‘Were we that bad, or were Barcelona that good?’ The answer was: ‘both.’
“City are a good side. They have won two of the last three Premier League titles. Yet, when we line up our clubs in a discussion about top-class football, we are way below the peak.
“Liverpool v Man Utd will be full of entertainment, the fans will be up for it, the atmosphere will be great, it will capture our imagination. Relate it to the Clasico later in the day, though, and it will come a distant second, in terms of the technical and tactical aspects.
When discussing the elimination of their respective outfits, both Manuel Pellegrini and Everton boss Roberto Martinez did not harp on the supposed gap in skill and determination between the best English teams and those in Europe.
Although Everton was not faced with one of soccer’s best, Martinez believes, like Pellegrini, that PL sides ultimately damage their chances in competition abroad due to a consistently busy schedule.
And you could offer multiple other views on this topic, one being that Premier League teams are mainly concerned with the chase for the coveted league title, an accolade achieved in league more widely competitive than La Liga and Bundesliga.