There have been many unsavory, if not repulsive, angles to the attempt to create a European Premier League two years ago. Among those lurking beneath the destruction of the entire structure of European football or the naked unfathomable greed was the embarrassment with which the merger and excitement of English clubs had initially marked their participation. Because the Premier League is, basically, a Super League already.
The league’s global popularity, thanks to it being ahead of the curve in both domestic (and especially) international television deals, has earned Launch it at breakneck speed ahead of the other five major tournaments in Europe. As such, for the foreseeable future when it lists Topping the list of the 12 or 15 richest clubs annually, along with the list of biggest transfer spenders, seven of them will come from England. maybe more. while Saudi Capture Newcastle It’s gross on a range of levels, and there’s a reason why a mid-to-relegation-threatened club in England is a different matter, and wholly more attractive than a club in Spain or Italy. The Saudi Public Investment Fund was not chasing Spain for some reason.
The beginning of the fall
Of course, what the big clubs in England were trying to avoid is that there are only four Champions League seats (it will become five) against seven donkeys. Thanks to Saudi money, but thanks to the management of Eddie Howe at Newcastle, the club is now one of the 7 greatest players in the English Premier League. Three teams per season will not get the Champions League money that fuels how all these clubs are run and their budgets. And as Chelsea and Liverpool have discovered this season, as Tottenham, Arsenal and Man United have discovered in previous seasons, the margin of error that takes you from enjoying an open-air pub to getting DJ Jazzy Jeff’d in the alley isn’t all that great.
While their fans would be loath to admit it, the similarities between the two are pretty striking, especially right now. Liverpool fans point to Roman Abramovich’s endless cash reserves, and now Todd Bohle is no less bottomless, not as poor as Fenway Sports Group (FSG). But the point is that just two and three years ago when Chelsea were winning the Champions League and Liverpool the Premier League (or on the verge of achieving the quadruple last season), everything for both teams was having to grumble at its most extreme.
They may have weighed in on opposite sides but follow the successful teams at Anfield and Stamford Bridge and you will be hard pressed. To find a player who was not playing at or very close to the best football of his career. While Liverpool relied on being on a knife edge defensively, Virgil van Dijk always kept them on the right side of them, and Thomas Tuchel kept them on the same edge in attack – always finding the one goal they needed, and he always succeeded. It was a high-profile feat for both of them, however, since everything was buzzing loudly, they never fell for it.
So far. Chelsea are 10th in the league and just crashed out of the FA Cup by something of a second team to Man City. Liverpool are sixth but seven points off the Champions League places and barely held on to earn a replay in the FA Cup against Wolverhampton. (Twentieth in the League) B-Team. And they both look like they’ve gone circling in the most important area.
The old man glanced at the midline
Both teams’ problems stem from the fact that both midfielders are aging and slow. Liverpool’s success rested on their midfield outrunning everyone, smothering everyone, and quickly returning the ball to the battered front line. Whenever they lose the ball around the penalty area, opponents don’t have time to look before Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum or Fabinho stun them.. They either created an instant spin outside the penalty area or just caused a wild break for Liverpool to collect the ball and start over.
The midfield didn’t really require creativity or invention, a deficiency that was partly rectified with the signing of Thiago in 2020. Not that Thiago can’t press and harass, it’s not the sharp end to his game. But even though he can, he has the same problem that Henderson and Fabinho have now. he sold. It’s slower. They just don’t get there. Defenders now have time to pick passes into (or simply through) Liverpool’s midfield. Fabinho is good at catching passes that are made under duress. He’s not very good with players who actually have the ball, and he’s not that fast. It is tucked away in the middle of the park.
Chelsea’s problems aren’t all that different, even if they’re asked to do different things. Jorginho and Mateo Kovačić have a lot of miles on them. N’Golo Kante can’t get on the field often. And Ruben Loftus-Cheek can’t do that either. Conor Gallagher can’t pass. Chelsea never pressed like Liverpool did, but their midfield can’t catch up to anything the opposition is doing either. Anyone can play around or through them with the Chelsea midfielder a step or two away from being intercepted or tackled. They are behind everything.
Injuries have not helped either team, as Chelsea currently do not have 10 players in the first team, and Liverpool have had to navigate injuries all over the field, currently without Van Dijk, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota at the moment. But the roots are the same.
And their solutions seem to be the same, and they are quite extensive. Liverpool signed Cody Jaco at the beginning of the month. Today, Chelsea have reached terms for the loan of Joao Felix from Atlético Madrid until the end of the season. Both are strikers who could fill the current injury gaps up front. Both of them are not midfielders. There may not be good midfielders in January, but that’s what each of them is up against.
But that is what will happen in the Premier League for the foreseeable future. Lose 5-10 percent of your engine, and you will succeed. Now, Newcastle and Arsenal are running with everything in the green. Man City are the only ones who seem to be bulletproof and don’t need to stop, either because of Pep Guardiola’s management, Scrooge McDuck’s cellar, or both. Man United may have been a tough case before, but Erik ten Hag is no moron and he took advantage of them. That’s all it takes.
Chelsea is an example that all the money in the world is no guarantee. Liverpool are an example of progressive management and list building it’s not. In the Premier League, everything has to work at maximum to stay in the top four. As soon as the process starts to shake and there is a leak or it starts to overheat, another paddle in the side mirror immediately increases in size.