“Being champions of Europe must not be an obsession here”.
No English team reached the quarter final stage. After being top of UEFA’s coefficient ranking chart not so long ago, English clubs are now in danger of slipping down to fourth place.
The Gunners are bottom of Champions League Group F following back-to-back defeats in Europe.
One of the biggest clashes in English football – and indeed club football across the world – and right now it means more than it has done in years.
“One fake game in the Champions League and you can be out, while the Premier League is all about the work you do over the entire year”.
Gary Neville is expecting this weekend’s Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United to be a big test of each club’s title credentials. Other leagues, but not the Premier League.
“We need to stay focused and continue to train hard”. Players are not machines.
“It is not a problem with the quality of the English teams, clearly we have quality in the Premier League“.
The Liverpool manager believes the Premier League and Football Association could do more to help English teams in European competition. There is no game in the Premier League where you can do that. That is not possible in England. The forward added “I know they only drew their last game against Frosinone, but that was just a slip-up”.
“I also think the big teams overseas can sometimes win games at 70% and conserve their energy and be fresh”. It happens with other federations in other countries. “Why can we not play on Sunday?”
Carlos Tevez did not score a single Champions League goal in two seasons for the club – the first disrupted by his unauthorised three-month sojourn in Buenos Aires – while Wilfried Bony has yet to get off the mark following his January arrival from Swansea.
In terms of possession, City’s 54.07 per cent as opposed to Bayern’s 54.67 per cent suggests little between the two teams, with City’s passing accuracy marginally better than the Germans’, but Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery were simply more ruthless in front of goal.
“We struggled with it at Newcastle and we were not alone in that”.
But titles were never won in September and the Dutchman’s attention turns to the Champions League visit of Wolfsburg on Wednesday.
Alan Pardew has taken charge of 12 away Premier League matches as manager of Palace, nine of which have ended in victories. That’s the reality, even if a few don’t want to admit it.
I was at the Emirates during the week to watch Arsenal’s shock loss to Olympiakos in the Champions League.
Only then will we see the true heavyweights of European football collide again. This, coupled with the fact that David de Gea remains at the club, Anthony Martial’s promising form and the combination of Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Memphis Depay as three forwards behind a lone striker, unquestionably makes them a serious threat to rivals Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal.
They praised the “excellent” performance but both pundits suggested there would need to be a mentality shift at St James” Park – and Neville hinted that fans might have to be “re-educated’.