Gerard Pique’s comments on how Barcelona and Real Madrid would fare during a hypothetical maiden voyage in a new league are garnering attention, but how controversial are they (if at all)?
The Barcelona defender submits that neither his club nor their La Liga rival would win the Premier League if transplanted into a new league, borrowing from the “cold night in Stoke” adage.
What he says makes a bit of sense. It would take time to adjust to the culture and the flow of a league.
But it also doesn’t. Dropping a side with chemistry into a new league would work obstacles for both teams. While the “home” benefits would certainly aid Arsenal and Manchester City, would they really detract that much from Barce-freaking-lona to make “no chance” to win the title?
“If you go to Stoke, or other types of teams, then it will be really tough. It is a debate – we could spend hours on it.
“If Manchester United or Chelsea go to Spain then I say the same. No chance to win the league.”
This will sound contrarian, but I’m happy to take the opposite view, at least for Barca or Real going to England or Germany.
While it would take time for the Spanish sides to get used to the tactics of non-elite B-sides, it would take longer for Ashley Williams, John O'Shea or Scott Dann to get use to dealing with the Neymar-Suarez-Messi triumvirate flying at them. And it might be even easier for a Man City to adjust to La Liga, given the more diversified rosters of the Premier League.
What do you think? Crazy talk or common sense?