German teams fall foul of the Premier League effect
German Teams Fall Foul of the Premier League Effect
For the first time in a decade all four Premier League teams have made it through to the quarter finals of the Champions League. For the first time in 13 years not a single Bundesliga team has managed to make it to the last eight.
The Premier League was pitted against the Bundesliga in a total of three ties. Tottenham Hotspur met Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City went up against a struggling Schalke, and last year’s finalists Liverpool faced Bavarian superpower Bayern Munich. How did it end? 3-0 to the English.
English teams have been given an incredible 39% chance of picking up the Champions League trophy come May. If you fancy United, City, Liverpool or Spurs to go all the way make sure you compare betting sites before you back a bet.
The Premier League is often touted as the best league in the world and while in many ways it does top a number of lists, such as financial earnings through TV deals and sponsorship money, whether or not the Premier League really is the best league in the world is a matter of conjecture.
One charge weighted against the highest echelon of English club football is the fact that their teams consistently underachieve in the European theatre. For all the money, all the hype, all the talent, only one or two English teams usually make it this far in Europe’s most prestigious club competition.
Compare England’s performance with the likes of Spain and Germany and it falls by the wayside. Three Spanish teams had qualified for the quarters six years on the bounce until both Madrid sides were knocked out over the last fortnight. We all expect the Spaniards to be in the mix this time next year though.
The same can’t be said as surely about the German teams except perhaps Bayern. For all their efforts Borussia Dortmund are in a constant state of flux, having their players perennially poached by the elite clubs of Europe, forcing the Ruhr outfit to source and rejuvenate almost continually.
Bayern on the other hand are a behemoth of German and European football. They can poach the best talents from the Bundesliga and regularly compete with the elite of Europe for the top players. The fact that German clubs have failed to match their English equivalents tells us two things.
The most obvious is difference between the two leagues is the money and prestige. Bundesliga teams simply cannot compete with their English counterparts when it comes to attracting the talent they need to match up. If you contrast the two other Germans teams that featured in this year’s Champions League, Schalke and Hoffenheim, with any of the English teams, the difference is plain to see.
The fact that the big two of German football have failed to overcome what should be considered as fairly even opposition for them in the round of 16 is more due to present circumstance, rather than a wider inability to compete effectively.
Borussia and Bayern are experiencing the same difficulties that have hindered, held back and plagued Premier League teams for some time now. The toll that the intensely competitive nature of the Premier League takes on English teams has been regarded as a myth. What was originally a top two became a top four, which has now become a top six. Pile on the fact that mid table opposition is fiercer than ever and it’s hard for Premier League teams to put all their eggs in the Champions League basket.
Bayern and Borussia are currently suffering from that very same Premier League effect in their own league. For the first time in quite some time there is a genuine title race being fought out in the Bundesliga between the very same teams.
The fact that Bayern have run away with the league title season after season is usually a charge against the competitiveness of the Bundesliga, but it has presented opportunity elsewhere. When the league is out of reach it means other teams can usually concentrate on their Champions League campaign, something Borussia Dortmund have been able to do in the past.
The same goes for Bayern who have previously been able to reserve energy at the weekend with a comfortable points cushion in the Bundesliga to focus on the final stages of the Champions League. Now that the two are trading blows domestically it has a direct impact on their ability to compete in Europe.
The intense competition that has blighted English ambitions for so long is now taking its toll on German football’s biggest potential on the European stage. Managing that balance is something that they’ll have to figure out for the future if they’re to compete across the board, something the English seem to be getting to grips with.
Bayern and Borussia’s present European woes are simply a crisis of circumstance, of altered ambitions and priorities. But for the rest of the German teams who fancy their chances in the Champions League the future’s not looking bright, especially against the English.
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