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Discussion Starter #1
It's a well documented fact that the English teams have fallen short in European competition over the last 20 years.

It wasn't always this way though, between 1977 & 1984 the English teams brought home 7 European Cups in 8 years.

Then of course came the Heysel disaster, which as a result saw English clubs banned from European competition for the better part of a decade.

Asides from the Manchester United victory in 1999... English football has never really recovered from being exiled, 20 years ago. :cry:

However, the game is totally different now. Those clubs with the most money buy the best players in the hope of achieving the holy grail of European club football, the champions league.

The premiership may be fast & furious and exciting to watch, but it's done us no favours as a collective nation in the Champions League.

Mourinho has been a revelation at Chelsea, for the first time... in a long time, an English club has a very good keeper & defence. Conceeding only 10 goals in the premiership in their first season playing together. :eekani:

My team's recent Champions League exit at the hands of a clinical Milan side brought home how important it is to have a defence capable of handling the best that European club's have to offer.

Now the last thing I want to see in England is an Italian game, whereby everyone defends with 9 men for 90 minutes. However, why shouldn't we value a good goal keeper and defensive unit?

The biggest element that United lost from their football recently was the ability to control the pace of the game, that doesn't happen anymore, yesterday we played at the pace of which the premiership generally imposes. :depress:

I see that ability in Mourinho's Chelsea now, they can slow the game down & speed it up as they wish... which in my opinion is necessary if you want to dominate big games.

English football must adopt a more tactical game if we want to succeed in Europe again on a regular basis, we should re-write the ideal of having a good defence AND potent attack as 'the english game'.

I look forward to reading some of your opinions. :thumbsup:
 

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Simba you raise valid points and it's not a useless thread but leave the "Italian game" comments out. you've just said you watched your team get knocked out by a "clinical" Milan side. at which point in the two legs did you see Milan defend with more men than your lot other than the last 20 minutes when they were home and hosed and saving their energy for the weekend? let's forget the bull$hit about negative Italians then, shall we, it will only destroy this discussion.

English teams don't need to make big changes in style generally; Chelsea may well win the CL this year (and was a semifinalist last year without Mourinho in any case), Arsenal have been unlucky as much as anything else and Liverpool arguably look more convincing in Europe than they do in England. Man Utd are apparently rebuilding, but surely you don't need me to tell you that. it's really not going that bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not turning this into an argument with you Vagabondo, but please don't try to tell me that 95% of teams who play Milan in SerieA do anything else but defend with 9 men.

Nor do I want to see diving/simulation which is sadly on the increase. However that's not to say that simulation is a big problem in Italian football, I wouldn't want to offend you any further.

1 European Cup for English teams in 20 years... seems like it's going pretty bad to me.
 

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Simba said:
I'm not turning this into an argument with you Vagabondo, but please don't try to tell me that 95% of teams who play Milan in SerieA do anything else but defend with 9 men.
They sure as hell do. But if your original intention were to label teams like Milan, Juventus and Inter "defensive" then I won't even bother to start an argument with you - shows how stereotypical you are and how little you know about the sport. :lick:

Diving and simulation is as big a problem in calcio as it is in the English, Dutch, Scottish, German.. leagues. It's a problem in professional football and not restricted to Italy.

Yes, you're right about English teams needing to open up to the idea of a mentality revamp. I remember a quote from someone (Paolo Di Canio, I think?) which made a lot of sense.. he was saying that English teams never succeed in Europe because they tend to play with their hearts, not their brains. Now this is not to say English footballers ain't got brains.. it's just that English teams tend to play with a lot of passion and tenacity, which doesn't neccessarily equate to winning.

English teams have done terribly in Europe over the last 10 years. Manchester United may have won the European Cup in 1999 but that two minutes was a gift from God; they never looked remotely like getting their hands on the trophy and were dominated from start to end by a neatly organised German side. There may be a need to radically re-think how English teams approach European matches if not you're never going to get very far.
 

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Simba said:
I'm not turning this into an argument with you Vagabondo, but please don't try to tell me that 95% of teams who play Milan in SerieA do anything else but defend with 9 men.
not more than the respect that is paid to Arsenal or Chelsea in the EPL really. Messina took the game to Milan at the San Siro and beat them in their first away Serie A fixture for decades :proud: :cool:. better than Man Utd, then, who defended with 11 men for most of the match against Milan even at Old Trafford. i don't want an argument either, but don't come up with dodgy facts or statistics and expect to get the last word :tongue:

Simba said:
Nor do I want to see diving/simulation which is sadly on the increase. However that's not to say that simulation is a big problem in Italian football, I wouldn't want to offend you any further.
i agree you wouldn't want too ;) :thumbsup: . i've seen diving/simulation and worse in England anyway. but let's not argue over this either it happens everywhere i agree.

Simba said:
1 European Cup for English teams in 20 years... seems like it's going pretty bad to me.
what's good though; like you said English teams were banned for a while, and were hardly going to be competitive straight away after being readmitted. you should really only look at something like the last 10 years to be fair on the EPL in my view and maintain consistency with your previous arguments. the winners list for that period would be something like;

Spain 3
Italy 2
Germany 2
England 1
Portugal 1
Netherlands 1

Spain is an odd case anyway because Perez has overspent himself, and Chelski could buy their way to similar success in the years to come. other than that though, it's pretty even. so no crisis in my opinion.

EDIT: Messina's first Serie A away game in decades was a draw with Parma, the second was the gallant victory over Milan :proud: :thmbup: :stuckup:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is a thread to discuss change for the better in English football, not for winning petty arguments point by point. However you look at it, 1 European Cup in 20 years is no good for a league that claims to be the best in the world.

By all means please feel free to make comparisons between the leagues, but don't turn this into a 'my league is better than yours' thread.

To add another point to why the premiership is struggling... I look to the big Italian & Spanish clubs and see there is a core of home grown players there. I believe that's how it should be.

Over the last 10 years in England there's been an overwhelming influx of foreign players to the premiership, which has pushed out much of the young English talent. It's for this reason I feel the big English teams are losing their identity.

Ranieri made a concious effort with his time at Chelsea to install a core of English boys in the squad, Mourinho can't take credit for this.

United have had their core of Manchester boys for 10 years, although with no real crop of fresh youngsters coming through it looks like we're going to have to follow the Arsenal/Liverpool trend of buying foreigners.. which is sad for the game.

However, my point is this; Do those homegrown players give you the extra drive & commitment you need when things get difficult? Surely they identify with the club's tradition more than foreigners can.
 

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oh please Simba, when did i even try to turn it into a thread based on league rivalry? the only mildly quality/performance related statement i ever made was to say that the English sides haven't done too badly it's you bashing your own league, if anything. at least read your own posts if you won't read mine.

back on topic, incorporating local players just for the sake of it is never a sound policy for pursuing results. if they're good enough (like Lampard and Terry at Chelsea), then it's fine but fielding young English players to satisfy a whim of the fans is pointless.

they don't do this in Spain or Italy, where did you get that idea? if Real Madrid has squad shortages and they have to field Raul Bravo or Pavon then they are immediately introuble defensively, and which player at Juventus or Milan looks like he is fielded for patriotic reasons. sure they may have 4-5 Italians, but it's just because they can afford to.

if anything, English teams are sometimes to keen to field young English players and hype them to the heavens in the hope that they can do something worthy of their reputation. At Man Utd for instance, Rooney can play a home game against a poor side like Fenerbahce and score 3 decent goals and rightly receive praise for his performance. after this one game however it seems that he can eat as many cakes as he likes and look immobile and anonymous for the remainder of his clubs matches and remain a fixture in the side all the same.

most big European clubs won't take this gamble. Milan's youngest regular Kaka is 23 and Brazilian, everyone else is in their late 20's or at some stage of their 30's. Juventus is the same except with Ibrahimovic (Swedish) in place of Kaka. While Internazionale live up to their name and field virtually no Italians at all.
 

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stick to how it is, fast and furious, the trouble with United is that they have slowed their game down to try to conquer Europe, they never play with that same high tempo against the top clubs, they should stick to what they do best, but they are lacking in midfield at the moment to do it well.

Arsenal is just the mentality of always being under pressure to do well in Europe, it's a bit like Inter and the Scudetto, the players have to believe they can do it, it's like a vicious circle.

as said Liverpool and Chelsea are both doing well, and Leeds showed what can be done when a high tempo pressure game straight out the EPL is used.

we must keep our style and use it to our advantage, who wants every bloody League to be the same anyway ?
 

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Jern Lizardhous said:
stick to how it is, fast and furious, the trouble with United is that they have slowed their game down to try to conquer Europe, they never play with that same high tempo against the top clubs, they should stick to what they do best, but they are lacking in midfield at the moment to do it well.

Arsenal is just the mentality of always being under pressure to do well in Europe, it's a bit like Inter and the Scudetto, the players have to believe they can do it, it's like a vicious circle.

as said Liverpool and Chelsea are both doing well, and Leeds showed what can be done when a high tempo pressure game straight out the EPL is used.

we must keep our style and use it to our advantage, who wants every bloody League to be the same anyway ?
Good post. But there will still be an inherent need to alter the overall approach of the top few English teams and incultivating the mentality that defending a lead or building games from the back isn't exactly a humilating experience.

I just feel as though sometimes the likes of Arsenal or Manchester United feel compelled to attack and score four or five a game, even in Europe, because of the fact that they're the biggest clubs in England and have a certain responsibility to live up to their history. It might be considered embarassing for these big English clubs to try and close up the game at 1-0 or 2-1 with 15 minutes to go, because they feel obligated to attack whenever they have the ball. Hey, looks great for the neutral, but sometimes the key to winning is tactical balance.
 

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Great Outdoors said:
Good post. But there will still be an inherent need to alter the overall approach of the top few English teams and incultivating the mentality that defending a lead or building games from the back isn't exactly a humilating experience.

I just feel as though sometimes the likes of Arsenal or Manchester United feel compelled to attack and score four or five a game, even in Europe, because of the fact that they're the biggest clubs in England and have a certain responsibility to live up to their history. It might be considered embarassing for these big English clubs to try and close up the game at 1-0 or 2-1 with 15 minutes to go, because they feel obligated to attack whenever they have the ball. Hey, looks great for the neutral, but sometimes the key to winning is tactical balance.

I feel the opposite. Arsenal and United when i have seen them have never tried to amass goals , at least against top flight opposition,i think United have tried to become much more patient and Arsenal always go 1-0 up in group games then try to hold the lead which is completely against their normal philosophy so they get punished, Arsenal took the lead in five of their group games this year and only won 2 of them, basically because they tried to hold a lead whereas in EPL they would have gone for the jugalar and defo won 4 out of the 5.
 

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Vagabondo said:
At Man Utd for instance, Rooney can play a home game against a poor side like Fenerbahce and score 3 decent goals and rightly receive praise for his performance. after this one game however it seems that he can eat as many cakes as he likes and look immobile and anonymous for the remainder of his clubs matches and remain a fixture in the side all the same.
A very unfair and inaccurate description of Rooneys performances and all round contribution this year.
 

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maybe the problem is trying to adapt to the CL. Arsenal for example play a game which has seen them dominate england the past few years. a formula which works in england doesnt work in the CL. How can you expect them to play one style one way on a sunday, and then 3 days later a totally different style against a spanish team in another country. to me that is a problem.

i think mourinho has done well, he plays a style which wins in both england and in the CL. just like united had back in 99 when they won the treble.

if your formula is correct, it should work for everything....its obviously easier said than done, but thats my two cents.
 

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Russell said:
A very unfair and inaccurate description of Rooneys performances and all round contribution this year.
whatever.

Simba was talking about European competitions and i would certainly stand by what i said. You measure the contribution made by players of Rooney's calibre (and i agree that he is a good player, particularly for his age) by what they do in the key matches.

in three hours against Milan Rooney was completely non-existent. enough said.

don't come back now and tell me that he was too young/inexperienced and that this is unfair. it will only support my argument that sometimes English clubs simply give too many opportunities to their players who are either not ready or are not up to the task at all.
 

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CUG said:
maybe the problem is trying to adapt to the CL. Arsenal for example play a game which has seen them dominate england the past few years. a formula which works in england doesnt work in the CL. How can you expect them to play one style one way on a sunday, and then 3 days later a totally different style against a spanish team in another country. to me that is a problem.

i think mourinho has done well, he plays a style which wins in both england and in the CL. just like united had back in 99 when they won the treble.

if your formula is correct, it should work for everything....its obviously easier said than done, but thats my two cents.

yeah but why change style's United team of 99 certainly didn't change style and they won the thing.

United have changes style and Arsenal attempt to change style in the last two years and look what good it has done them.

if they played the 100 mph pressure game ten they would have a better chance.
 

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Vagabondo said:
whatever.

Simba was talking about European competitions and i would certainly stand by what i said. You measure the contribution made by players of Rooney's calibre (and i agree that he is a good player, particularly for his age) by what they do in the key matches.

in three hours against Milan Rooney was completely non-existent. enough said.

don't come back now and tell me that he was too young/inexperienced and that this is unfair. it will only support my argument that sometimes English clubs simply give too many opportunities to their players who are either not ready or are not up to the task at all.
No, I'm going to come back and tell you that i do not write off his season due to two poor matches against Milan, a game in which ALL of our top players did not perform, or weren't allowed to.

He's shouldered the burden of expectation and the responsibility of main goal scorer during Ruuds injury very well. The lads fantastic.

And i wouldn't use the excuse of age or experience, Rooney is by far the most experienced youngster in world football today. He's played in alot of big matches, for club and country.
 

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Jern Lizardhous said:
if they played the 100 mph pressure game ten they would have a better chance.
We would still lose possession and we would still put our defences under pressure. It's not a question of styles, it's a question of Quality. Arsenal and United are just not good enough this year. Yes we lacked a little bit of luck, but there is a good reason why Chelsea are miles ahead in the league and at the same time Englands only realistic CL winners. They are the only team good enough to go the whole way this year.
 

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Russell said:
No, I'm going to come back and tell you that i do not write off his season due to two poor matches against Milan, a game in which ALL of our top players did not perform, or weren't allowed to.
ok then. maybe if Man Utd had someone else they would have got through though. Ferguson could have tried another option after the first leg.

Russell, what amazes me is that Man Utd fans are disappointed with their side and come onto forums looking for suggestions from other fans, and then slam the door shut in their face when they're hit with some home truths.

Russell said:
He's shouldered the burden of expectation and the responsibility of main goal scorer during Ruuds injury very well. The lads fantastic.
correct. and Rooney is fine player. but it's not so hard to score against small teams in a domestic competition. Bojinov has done similar things in Serie A, but i won't be betting on Bulgaria winning the world cup next year.

sometimes you just need players who are better/older and/or more of them. you can keep Rooney though, it's good that you filed so many talented youngsters. just goes to show that sometimes you can't have your cake and eat it too...

Russell said:
And i wouldn't use the excuse of age or experience, Rooney is by far the most experienced youngster in world football today. He's played in alot of big matches, for club and country.
Diego, C. Ronaldo, Bojinov, Vonlanthen have played at a similar (or higher) level than Rooney and are as young as him if not more so. and realistically achieved similar results, for what it's worth. he is, of course, fairly experienced for his age though. good to see you not using the "young and inexperienced" excuse at least, anway.
 

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Russell said:
We would still lose possession and we would still put our defences under pressure. It's not a question of styles, it's a question of Quality. Arsenal and United are just not good enough this year. Yes we lacked a little bit of luck, but there is a good reason why Chelsea are miles ahead in the league and at the same time Englands only realistic CL winners. They are the only team good enough to go the whole way this year.
teams like Milan wouldn't cope as easily though, they are used to being allowed room, a high tempo game is what they are not used to, pressure on the ball and all that, you are right United don't have the midfield to pull this off at the moment, but Fergie changed it when they did with the formation change and the bringing it with Veron.

Arsenal have virtually surrendered all hopes by playing in a more patient way, it's like completely alien concept to them.
 

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Yes we were all very dissapointed, but time is a great healer and the only home Truth we need to live up to is that we were simply not good enough. Bringing up suggestions such as new players, an overhaul of mentality and the current playing system only helps to divert attention away from the real problem; There are just too many players at United who are not good enough, or are coming to the end of their careers. In a few years time we will be back up their and we will be able to compete again.
 

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Jern Lizardhous said:
Arsenal have virtually surrendered all hopes by playing in a more patient way, it's like completely alien concept to them.
couldn't agree more. most of the Continental sides are terrified of teams playing like this. Arsenal can't just go from destroying Inter 5-1 at the San Siro a couple of years ago to struggling tamely against sides like PSV at home now.

Wenger needs to play his side in the CL the same way he does in the EPL. it didn't work at first, but it hardly ever does initially. he can't slow his side down, it's just not their style.

call me insane, but with a bit more consistency and luck i'm sure Arsenal could threaten in Europe next year by playing the way they have done in England over the last few seasons. this (along with the form of Liverpool and Chelsea) is why i've been trying to say that English sides don't really need to change their style to have some success in Europe.
 
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