Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has written an intriguing column on the decline of English football, commenting on the quick exit of all Premier League clubs from Europe this week.
Arsenal and Manchester City followed Chelsea in being dumped out of the Champions League, while Everton then followed with defeat in the Europa League.
Writing in his column for the Daily Telegraph, Neville explains that English football has to stop clinging to the idea that it is superior in certain areas, when in fact they are lagging behind in almost every aspect.
“Watching Premier League games I’m still enthused, still entertained, but at times I despair when I judge them alongside the Champions League matches I see midweek,” he said.
“Most elite European teams are better organized and physically better – which is a scary one – and are certainly better technically.
“We talk about intensity and aggression and toughness in English football. Stop saying English football is ‘tough.’ Jordi Alba, the Barcelona left-back, is as aggressive as hell. He would tackle anything. So would Javier Mascherano. We see Thiago Silva and David Luiz smashing balls into the net with their heads. Look at Barcelona’s determination to win the ball back. We must stop hiding behind the idea of our ‘toughness’.”