With the transfer window well and truly open we are already seeing the usual constant speculation surrounding various clubs and players. While these always remain fairly tedious at this point in the summer, what has changed is the amount of money that players are rumoured to be sold for to our English clubs. And it is for that reason why I think a difficult road lays ahead for those who support a club outside ‘the top six’.
So far Manchester City have spent £42 million on Bernado Silva, a creative and technical midfielder who will join ranks with Kevin De Bruyne (£55m), David Silva (£24m), Leroy Sane (roughly £37m), Nolito (£14m) and Raheem Sterling (£49m) in those midfield positions alone. That is a lot of talent but also a lot of money spent. The point is this was probably already a side that possessed the strongest squad in the league and it is only going to get stronger which not only makes it near on impossible for any side out of the top six to compete with but as a side story, will we really see what Pep Guardiola is made of? With incoming deals for Benfica goalkeeper Ederson (£35m) among others Guardiola would surely be nothing but a failure without a league title next season and if he does lift the trophy with his all star team then do we really have to acknowledge his level of coaching or appreciate what he has it his disposal?
Of course the Citizens won’t be the only big spenders, all of the top six have far and away out-powered the rest of the pack but how far have they really come? Spurs, considered arguably now as the most consistently strong unit in the league, recorded 2 wins in 8 in Europe last season and exited the Europa League to Gent. Embarrassing.
So despite all this money spent, maybe fans outside of these clubs would just accept it if these clubs were waving the English flag high in Europe but they are still being embarrassed despite the riches. If a Europa League success by Manchester United is used as a counter argument then that really does speak volumes about the English game while Arsenal get hammered 10-2 by Bayern Munich and Manchester City exited at the hands of Monaco in the Champions League, from a league which many English fans taunt for possessing poor quality. There doesn’t seem like there is any real progression to become European heavyweights, the chances are we may not see one genuinely world class player arrive come the end of the window, it’s simple that the English elite have more money than sense and that is contributing to the destruction of the Premier League…
Writing as a fan outside the top six, the future is not one of genuine excitement and I’m sure this could be spread with the other surrounding clubs who ultimately have to look to survive each season. Contrary to belief, my club Watford can have ambition and as a fanbase we aren’t just happy to finish 17th each season ‘because we are Watford’. At the start of each season each club and its fans should have real aspirations about where they can go, the reality is 8th place is ‘the dream’. West Brom occupied this position for large spells of the season but when their position was comfortable they tailed off really poorly and finished 10th. You can’t blame sides for taking their foot off the gas but those are the lofty heights we can only push for. We were told anything is possible after Leicester’s title win but is pure rubbish and hype from fantasist pundits.
credit dom fellowes
Approaching Watford’s third season many are already tired of the top tier, it may not have helped having such a shocking manager last campaign but I believe this would have remained regardless of head coach. Money is killing the league, making the gap bigger year on year while these top sides continue to disappoint on the European stage. With money infecting the brand that is the Premier League, the impossible really is the impossible and it is not a whole lot of fun for anyone outside the top six with mid table finishes year on year the best possible outcome.
With Huddersfield Town joining the Premier League for this season, having just experienced a magical season in the Championship, they are about to be placed in a league that is known for being the most competitive in the world but is becoming anything but.
Do you agree with these thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image credit Mancity.com