THE BLOG

Chelsea's Premier League Dominance Shows English Football's Decline

05/11/2014 17:14 GMT | Updated 05/01/2015 10:59 GMT

The line from British commentators and reporters has long been the same - the Premier League is the best league in the world. By a mile. No debate. But even if that was once true, it's abundantly clear that it's now a delusion, a line repeated out of familiarity rather than any sort of evidence.

The idea is, or was, that English football is better because of the strength in depth. Any team can beat any other team, unlike those two horse races in Spain, Germany and the like.

It's getting harder and harder to justify that rhetoric though. Last season's race for the league title was certainly close-run, but it looked pretty clear that the close games were due to a drop in quality at the top, rather than the quality rising at the bottom.

Chelsea got within a sniff of the title with 79-year-old Samuel Eto'o as their leading striker. He didn't even hit double figures. Come on.

But as long as it was at least close, the delusion could remain. This season, finally, the blinkers have been ripped off and all it took was Chelsea making two signings.

Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas arrived at Stamford Bridge and immediately turned Chelsea into an uber-dominant super-team. They're unbeaten all season, only dropping points away to the defending champions and away to Man United, in games that they probably should've won.

The only teams to really challenge Jose Mourinho's side this season have been Sporting and Schalke, with the latter being the only team that Chelsea have failed to beat at Stamford Bridge all season. They also, for context, sit eighth in the Bundesliga.

So the smaller teams can no longer challenge the table-toppers in the Premier League. The next test of the league's strength is the performance of the teams in European competition. Here goes.

As it stands, only two English teams are set to qualify from their Champions League groups, with only one of those two sitting at the top of their group. Chalk that up as another 'fail' mark.

Worse still, this isn't just a one-off. In the last three seasons, only three quarter finalists have come from the Premier League (Chelsea twice, Manchester United once).

Anyone who's still willing to argue that the Premier League still has the jump on La Liga should take a second to remember the match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at Anfield. Premier League runners-up vs third place in La Liga.

Both sides were without huge players from their league campaigns - Liverpool missing summer departure Luis Suarez and Madrid missing record £85million signing Gareth Bale.

Liverpool were absolutely taken to pieces in their own back garden. The game finished 3-0, with the Spaniards in cruise control by the second half of the game.

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