For a long while the Premier League was considered by many to be one of the best, if not the best league in Europe.
The big name players wanted to play in the English top-flight and Premier League teams did well in the Champions League.
It seems now that English football and the Premier League have to face the harsh reality that the English top-flight is no longer up there with the best in European football.
English clubs did not exactly excel in last season’s Champions League, and last night the two English teams taking part in Champions League games both suffered defeats. Chelsea went down 2-1 at Jose Mourinho’s former-club FC Porto, while Arsenal were defeated 3-2 at home by Greek Champions Olympiakos.
For consecutive rounds of the Champions League English teams have been shown up as poor quality and it is a worrying trend. English clubs so far in the Champions league have lost five out of the six games played, with Manchester City and Manchester United looking to improve that stat this evening.
The English top-flight has been flooded with money in recent years through sponsorship and television revenue. English clubs are richer than ever before, even the clubs at the lower end of the Premier League table are comfortably surviving.
Logically English clubs should be dominating the Champions League. The richest English clubs seem to have money to burn, yet they still cannot seem to fathom the intricacies of the Champions League.
The likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are in a different league to even the richest clubs in the Premier League. In fact some of the smaller clubs have shocked the complacent Premier League outfits this season.
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern all may spend big at times, but when they buy players they do it in a very effective way. Their recruitment is usually better than that of the big Premier League teams.
The three European giants mentioned also now seem to have more weight when it comes to attracting players. When in previous years players wanted to play for the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, or Manchester United, it is now Real, Barca and Bayern that the best players want to represent.
The biggest reason being that those of the clubs who offer the best chance of winning the Champions League, and becoming a truly top player.
Spain’s La Liga currently contains the two best players in world football in Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Not to mention a plethora of other stars who turn out for the Spanish giants.
Bayern are another club who can attract big name players, despite the fact that they have faced very little competition for the Bundesliga title in recent years.
English teams have had to make do with the players who are not wanted by other big teams in Europe, or even worse pay over the odds to sign players in recent windows.
The vast amount of money flooding through the Premier League clubs has meant the league has been slightly more competitive this season so far.
For the first few weeks of the Premier League campaign it looked like Manchester City would dominate the title race, but the Citizens seem to have hit a road block with consecutive Premier League defeats, and a defeat in their opening Champions League game.
The Premier League may be the most entertaining, and may even be the most competitive of the top European leagues, but it is in no way the best of the top European leagues, and the Champions League results prove that.
Manchester City visit Germany to face Monchengladbach tonight, while arch-rivals United host another Bundesliga side Wolfsburg at Old Trafford. It would no longer be a surprise if either of the Premier League clubs were beaten.
Even if United and City both claim wins in their respective games, it should not gloss over the fact that there is no longer enough quality, tactical nous or experience in Premier League teams to challenge realistically for the Champions League.
Where does the Premier League lie in terms of quality amongst Europe’s top leagues?