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Sivosten webZine :: Premier League, 2008
Premier League, 2008

Author: Lyuben "LifeJoker" Zagorchev, Thursday, 24 April 2008.

In Articles :: Sports; Propose a Second Opinion

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The rise of the British football

The everlasting question Which one is the best football team in the world? is a common subject of discussions in pubs and often leads to Which is the toughest championship in the world? Im going to skip the first question and then Im going to extend the second one to Which is the most interesting championship in Europe? Obviously, in order to be considered the toughest, the championship in question is supposed to promote several teams to the highest level of international club competition such as the Champions league and the UEFA cup. And here we go this year once more. At the semi-finals of the most prestigious European tournament there are three out of four teams from the English Premiere League. Due to good luck, according to some, but I would say not quite an unexpected achievement.

Travelling back in time to the roots of this success, a long time ago we have had some great teams of Man Und, Liverpool and Nottingham Forest which dominated the European football arena. That is until the black year of 1985 when the dark side of British football emerged and some tragic events lead to the long-term isolation of English clubs. Their return to Europe, long-awaited and long-craved, turned into a fiasco which was quite hard to swallow down. During the period we have had some interesting and highly competitive Premiere league however, the teams there didnt have any chance to stand up to the level of the leading European teams. And making their return to the Champions league, the English teams seemed quite away from the recent European tendency of fast-paced high-quality football.

Thus, English football looked like a newborn with a tough puberty ahead and an unbearably long way to go before there is even a glimpse of international triumph. Just imagine how hard it must have been for the symbol of the red devils Eric Cantona to struggle for his European dream and never to achieve it. But he was the emblematic person that founded the forthcoming decades of rebuilding the European fame of English football. Strong and fast forward, he was the real force behind the triumph of that Man Und team.

At first there was some new policy for the clubs. There was also a large flow of foreign personnel (both players and managers). These tendencies enhanced the inner competition and brought in some European experience from the past decade. In order to achieve international success the Englishmen needed to get rid of their old-fashioned typical style of play.

Well, you could say that sometimes there was too much foreign experience for some teams such as Chelsea, even before the Abramovic era when Denis Wise was the sole Englishman on the starting squad. However, it was generally the work of specialists like Arsen Wenger, Jose Mourinho, Raffa Benitez and even Gerard Houllier that moved the Premiere League teams to the next level. And we have also seen a lot of promising stars from abroad like Christiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry and so on.

Some years ago we saw the triumph of Man Und and Liverpool at the Champions League at probably the greatest finals that the modern history of football has seen. However, there was a lot of luck these nights and whether this success was a matter of luck or of skill is still questionable. Nowadays we have the real thing there are four teams at the quarterfinals, three are at the next stage and there will probably be an all English final in Moscow. Its unimaginable that the way that Arsenal and Liverpool literally fooled around with the Milano teams or the real disaster that Man Und brought upon Rome last year was just due to simple luck.

However, the strong side of the English teams are their local leaders. Besides that the foreign stars provide a great variety of the gameplay themselves, figures like Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard possess the strength, the speed and the faith. And they would struggle to the last minute of the game even against all logic if required so.

And moreover, there are not only four teams on the Premiere League. The real competition of the vast range of teams makes the English championship interesting. You have Portsmouth, finalist for the FA cup, but the teams just at the bottom of the UEFA Cup-zone of the Premiership - and they were the only team from the top English division to reach the semi-finals of the tournament at all. But despite the smaller club status, they have players like Milan Baros, David James, Sulley Muntari, Nwankwo Kanu, all of them well-known football stars. And it was a tough game for the team against the West Bromich Albion at the semi-final.

We also have Everton, just a few points behind the town rivals in the battle for the last place on the next year Champions League. The strong squads of Newcastle and the Hotspurs, and also Manchester City, all of them were potential champions in the beginning of the season, but now they are not far from the last place. International stars like Michael Owen and Dimitar Berbatov will possibly stay outside the European competitions where well be watching Blackburn and Aston Villa. The Wanderers, with some strong playing at the UEFA cup this year, will play at the Coca-Cola Championship. Only the Spanish Primera Division could be compared to some point to the Premiere League, but mostly due to the weak play of the leaders Real Madrid and Barcelona.

So, now it is the Premiere League that could be pointed out as the strongest European championship. Unfortunately the English National team is suffering year after a year and it is possibly due to the large amount of foreign footballers playing at the local competition.

Commentary topic: http://www.sivosten.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=202615#202615

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