Out of the 20 games that English teams have played in the Champions League this season, they have only lost one. And 4 of the 5 teams are perched at the top of their respective groups, with Chelsea (the English champions) being the only exception in second.
For many years now, English teams were not even considered in the discussion of being part of Europe’s elite. The days of United’s dominance and Arsenal’s invincibles were long gone and as the statistics show, English teams were bang average. Since Chelsea last won the Champions league in 2012, an English team has entered the Semi-Final of the Champions League only once (Manchester City in 2016). In that time, Real Madrid and Barcelona won 4 Champions Leagues in total, Juventus and Atletico reached the finals twice each and there was also an all German final in 2013.
The English teams always fizzled out of the competition early while the Spanish clubs had asserted their dominance over Europe with their stellar performances and World Class Players.
However this year, the winds of change have blown, somewhat altering the pecking order of Europe’s elite clubs. Sure Real Madrid and Barcelona have the 2 best players in the world and may still be the best clubs, but they no longer are at the height of their powers… and the rest are catching up.
Manchester United have won all 4 of their group games in the UCL so far, Manchester City have beaten the current Italian league leaders twice in the span of two weeks but the biggest shock of all is the fact that Tottenham Hotspurs have beaten Real Madrid 3-1 at Wembley and drawn 1-1 at the Bernabau. 2 years ago, if anyone said that Tottenham would beat Real Madrid 4 – 2 over two legs, they would have been laughed at for their football knowledge. But as Tottenham demonstrated this week, that gap between the 2 Spanish giants and Englands finest is being reduced day by day.
A big reason for this resurgence of English clubs is the Managers we have at our disposal. It can be argued that the top 5 managers in the World, are all managing English teams while Barcelona and Real Madrid still have relatively inexperienced coaches in Zidane and Valverde. Also in recent times no Premier League player would be considered to be part of the best World 11. But now some players would be serious contenders for being the best player in their position in the world, N’Golo Kante, David De Gea and Kevin De Bruyne would be the ideal candidates.
However we are yet to enter the business end of the competitions, and no titles are won in November. But if current form and progress is any indication, the English teams have enough money and quality to forget their recent failures and ignite the new dawn of English dominance in Europe.