Monday, July 15, 2024

The best and worst in Europe so far

Another international break gives us a chance to reflect on which teams in Europe have set the world alight so far and which teams may as well set their ground alight.

Here’s a look at five of the best performing teams and five of the worst:

Best five

1. Chelsea are top of the Premier League with seventeen points from seven games. They are unbeaten and at times, have looked unbeatable. Their performance in the win against the much fancied Aston Villa last weekend was clinical, efficient and entertaining.

Remember, that win was achieved without Carvalho, Essien, Deco and Drogba. They are going to take some stopping in the Premier League and in Europe.

Scolari has taken to the role as a Premier League manager like a duck to water.

2. Hull City are the surprise package of the season so far. They have a remarkable fourteen points from their seven games and sit third in the Premier League.

Away wins at Newcastle, Arsenal and Tottenham have astonished all but the Hull supporters themselves as they have started the season more like European challengers rather than the relegation fodder most people expected them to be.

I upset a few people the other day by suggesting that the Hull chairman had ‘gone over the top’ by declaring that manager Phil Brown was a ‘tactical magician’ but I meant no offense. The start Hull have made has been truly astonishing.

3. Hamburg sit top of the Bundesliga with sixteen points and just one defeat from their seven games. They have reached this position with a style and swagger that some Tottenham fans might ruefully recognise.

The success that Martin Jol is achieving over in the Bundesliga is of course in stark contrast to the fortunes of Tottenham, the club that sacked him.

4. Villarreal are unbeaten and sit joint top of La Liga with sixteen points from six matches. On top of their fine league form they have drawn at Manchester United and beaten Celtic in the Champions League.

They are alongside Valencia at the top of the table and we may be seeing a genuine challenge to the big two of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

5. Inter have made a promising start under Jose Mourinho. They are level top of Serie A with thirteen points from their six games having suffered just one defeat.

Mourinho has had a mixed reaction in Italy and Milan in particular, but as he extends his influence over the team I have no doubt that the Inter fans will grow to love him.

A decent start in the league and four points from their first two Champions League games represents the type of form Mourinho is trying to build on.

Worst five

I don’t want to pick on English teams but I know more about them than the rest of Europe and I genuinely think that we have three of the most disappointing teams so far.

1. Tottenham have just two points from seven games. They look clueless, disorganised, confused and totally devoid of any confidence.

For a team that was expected to challenge the top four for a place in the Champions League the down turn in their fortunes could hardly be more marked.

With rumours of player unrest and disputes between the manager and the sporting director, this story has a way to go yet and I would be very surprised if it didn’t end by at least one person leaving the club.

2. There is little more that can be said about the total mess Newcastle have made of things.

They have picked up just five points from seven games but that doesn’t begin to tell the whole story.

The club is in total turmoil and until Mike Ashley manages to sell it and a permanent manager is brought in and some decent players are signed and the players who aren’t good enough are moved on, it looks like staying in turmoil.

3. Everton sit fifteenth in the Premier League with eight points from their seven games. They would have been hoping to build on last season’s fifth place but since the first day of the season that hasn’t looked likely to happen.

With David Moyes failing to sign a new contract, the plans for a new ground being shelved and the expected big summer signings not arriving, it really seems as though the club have taken a step backwards.

4. Bayern Munich are eleventh in the league with nine points and just two wins from their seven games. Jurgen Klinsmann has endured a pretty torrid start to his reign.

Bayern’s start to the current season is officially their worst in thirty-four years and the pressure is quickly mounting on Klinsmann with the Bavarian giants seven points adrift of current leaders Hamburg.

Maybe Klinsmann is having to take one step back before trying to make the club competitive in European competition again, but he may not be given the time to see it through.

5. The great Milan side have been beaten twice already this season in their six games and have picked up just ten points. With no Champions League football this season, the club seem to be at something of a crossroads.

They appeared to have recovered from their two embarrassing beatings at the start of the season, at home to promoted Bologna and away to Genoa, when they got a third straight win against Inter.

However a 0-0 draw at minnows Cagliari last weekend and a huge amount of criticism for the strikeforce of Kaka, Pato and Ronaldinho and the veteran substitutes Andriy Shevchenko and Filippo Inzaghi, seem to have plunged the club back into depression.

What nominations would you like to make?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Graham Fisher


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  • Taiwo Bolaji

    0 0

    Nice comment, but Arsenal are suppose to be among the worst five simply bcos they are yet to play any of the big team yet they have lose 2 matches & draw one. Lossing at home to newly promoted Hull City should make them make the list. I think Lazio deserve some credit, toping serie A at the expense of JUVENTUS and the two MILAN team

  • tipseri.info

    0 0

    Well , i think that you forgot to tell about Rapid Bucharest.I thinnk that only Spurs are worst then Rapid in their championship . They spend a lot of money on new players this summer and now are very close to relegation . In my oppinion , they are in this position because the players that arrived in Bucharest are foreign players and they need to adapt to Romanian Football , Romanian players and so on . The same thing is at Spurs after the massive departures wich has occurred in the summer ,and i am refering at Robbie Keane,Berbatov and others.
    Enter,bet and win with http://www.tipseri.info

  • tipseri.info

    0 0

    Well , i think that you forgot to tell about Rapid Bucharest.I thinnk that only Spurs are worst then Rapid in their championship . They spend a lot of money on new players this summer and now are very close to relegation . In my oppinion , they are in this position because the players that arrived in Bucharest are foreign players and they need to adapt to Romanian Football , Romanian players and so on . The same thing is at Spurs after the massive departures wich has occurred in the summer ,and i am refering at Robbie Keane,Berbatov and others.
    Enter,bet and win with http://www.tipseri.info

  • Taiwo Bolaji

    0 0

    Nice comment, but Arsenal are suppose to be among the worst five simply bcos they are yet to play any of the big team yet they have lose 2 matches & draw one. Lossing at home to newly promoted Hull City should make them make the list. I think Lazio deserve some credit, toping serie A at the expense of JUVENTUS and the two MILAN team

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