Charismatic Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone says that English clubs failing so spectacularly in Europe this season should be the wake up call the Premier League needs, as he aims to take his club into consecutive Champions League semi finals with a win over city rivals Real Madrid.
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Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal were all knocked out of the competition at the last-16 stage, with the Gunners suffering a humbling defeat to Monaco.
The other English team in the competition, Liverpool, didn’t even make it out of the group stage and were also defeated in the round of 32 in the Europa League. Tottenham and Everton, also in the Europa League, both failed to make it to the quarter finals as well, with Spurs losing to Fiorentina in the round of 32 and the Toffees defeated by Dynamo Kiev in the following round.
Former Argentina and Lazio midfielder Simeone believes that English clubs must do something about their faltering European presence and, quoted by Goal.com, said, “”I am surprised there are no English clubs left in the Champions League – English football has enormous potential with its footballers and also its financial clout.
“The fact that there is no English team left in the last eight of the Champions League or in the Europa League is a wake-up call for the Premier League to look at why it is that, despite their great economic power and with all the many great footballers playing in England, Chelsea are so far ahead of everyone else and why they have no teams left in Europe.
“I believe there are many great players in the Premier League and the financial conditions allow a number of teams to bring in top talents. That said, the Spanish league still has the two best teams: Real Madrid and Barcelona.”
The Atleti manager has been linked with a move to Manchester City, should current incumbent Manuel Pellegrini see the door following a trophiless season at the Etihad Stadium.
However, Simeone signed a five year contract at the Vicente Calderon and looks set for a lengthy stay in the Spanish capital with his side third in La Liga, having won the title last season.