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Re: Europe general 2017/18

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:51 am
by paquebot
Would France be considered an outlier then? Lyon won their first-ever title in 2001/2002 and had a run of seven in a row. Then it went Bordeaux (6th title), Marseille (10th), Lille (3rd), Montpellier (1st), PSG (3rd-6th), Monaco (8th).

Sure, PSG had loads of money thrown their way, but despite that they still finished 8 points behind Monaco this season. Nice were third ahead of traditionally strong sides like Lyon, Marseille, and Bordeaux.

Re: Europe general 2017/18

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:49 pm
by Rothesay Saint
Nah, still not buying it that Champions League football is the cause of all this. France isn't an outlier at all. Randomly going through Wikipedia pages shows England has had four different winners in the last five years. Spain have had three. Romania three, Norway three. Admittedly Portugal has had the same top three for the last few years, but then again they have had the same top three for the past few decades. The situation in Denmark is surely more to do with the fact that two strong teams combined to make a very strong team. And anyway, in the last five seasons there again has been three different champions so even they aren't all conquering.

If anything German football should be more competitive with Champions League money. There are usually four teams in the group stages from Germany, all of them making large amounts of cash. That should make things more equal at the top, not less. Bayern have always been the huge team though, winning three European Cups in a row in the 1970s. Have they not won about half of the league titles since the 1960s as well?

I'd agree at the top end, the champions league final, it's now only a few teams that can realistically win it, but that's more to do with the format and a different argument from saying that it's making leagues less competitive around Europe. Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa winning it was a huge achievement, but they only needed to play four or five ties to do so. A straight knockout tournament with only the league winners playing in it and although you'd probably still get Chelsea v Bayern and Juventus v Real Madrid as your semi-finals, there would at least be a chance that someone could spring a shock.

Re: Europe general 2017/18

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:21 pm
by eujin
The format of the Champions League is definitely part of what is funnelling all the money into the top few teams. It was clear from the beginning that this was part of the design. We're seeing the effects now of it being in operation for 20-plus years.

The German league is not competitive at all. If you look back at some of the great Bayern teams of the 70's and 80's, the league was still quite close. 1986 they did the double and won the league on goal difference ahead of Werder Bremen. 1974 they won the league and European double as part of a run of three titles in a row. Again they won the league by one point ahead of Borussia M├Ânchengladbach. Kids today would be wetting themselves with excitement if the league was even as remotely as close as that by March, let alone by the end of the season. This was the days when Bayern assembled a team of local boys like Sepp Maier, Gerhard M├╝ller and Franz Beckenbauer who brought them up out of the Regional League South before going on to dominate German football and form the backbone of the Germany team that won the World Cup in 1974.

Nowadays they use their financial muscle and chance of playing in the latter stages of the Champions League to poach all the best players from their domestic competitors like Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels, all of whom were well established at other German clubs before Bayern helped themselves.

Re: Europe general 2017/18

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:37 pm
by Rothesay Saint
I agree the fact that football has moved away from local players to teams made up of the best players from around the country, and the world is definitely a big factor. It's not so much the money, it's that if you play for Bayern Munich, Barcelona or PSG then you are going to win things and you've got a chance at the biggest prize in club football.

Anyway, even if Bayern are running away with the league, you don't have to look much further down to see some heart warming stories. Look at little Leipzig, assembling a bunch of local boys on a shoestring budget, in front of loyal and adoring fans who have been with the club for generations.

Re: Europe general 2017/18

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:43 pm
by SteveW
It's pretty much accepted that money is what determines success in football so any situation where one or two teams have access to wealth that others don't is going to create an imbalance.

Celtics perpetual champions league place is simply powering them further away from everyone else and allows them to buy their closest rivals best players for peanuts if they ever feel threatened. I'm sure it's the same elsewhere.

Of course in england the sky money makes a huge difference because the cl money is then not such a huge factor.

If Celtic qualify for the CL group stages then I think they make more from that than the entire rest of the league makes from TV in the whole season.

Re: Europe general 2017/18

Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:03 pm
by eujin
The quarter-finals of the women's Euros are set to be played this weekend in the Netherlands.

Netherlands vs Sweden
Germany vs Denmark
Austria vs Spain
England vs France

Scotland were actually close to getting through and only needed another goal in their group match against Spain. Denmark have no real chance against Germany. Eujin's rules say that you can't win a tournament by humping someone 6-0 in the group stage or winning all your matches, so that means England cannot win and is probably bad news for the Dutch too. Germany have already drawn a group match and won the last six Euro titles. Women's football is even more predictable than the men's Champions League.


Re: Europe general 2017/18

Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:52 pm
by Rothesay Saint
Netherlands into the semis and Denmark upsetting Germany to join them. Thank goodness we don't have a prediction league running this year!

Re: Europe general 2017/18

Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:04 am
by eujin
Rothesay Saint wrote:Netherlands into the semis and Denmark upsetting Germany to join them. Thank goodness we don't have a prediction league running this year!

Did I jinx the Germans? Whoops.

Actually, rather stupidly I was on a train from Germany to Denmark while the match was going on (it had been postponed the previous night due to waterlogged pitch). The first I heard about the result was when when some guy who was watching on his phone called out the score (in Danish) to most of the carriage. I went to see Denmark play Norway in the group match last week and they weren't great to be honest. Against the Germans they even managed to go a goal down within three minutes as the keeper flapped a weak shot into the net. But, rather impressively they kept their nerve and came back to win 2-1.

The Germans have been European champions for 22 years; the entire lifetimes of some of the players in the Denmark squad. It seems the German press are already blaming their coach Steffi Jones. That's a shame as I quite like Steffi Jones. She was even part of the human chain helping to bail rainwater out of the dugout the night before. You would never have seen the former Germany coach, Silvia Neid, doing that.

Semi-finals on Thursday:
Netherlands vs England
Austria vs Denmark

Re: Europe general 2017/18

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:30 pm
by eujin
Of the five clubs that Celtic can face in the next round of the Champions League, two of them are teams they played (and beat) in last year's tournament (Be'er Sheva and Astana). They played a third team, Qarabag, the year before. Qarabag have won the last 4 Azerbaijan titles, doing the double the last two years. That leaves Rijeka and Slavia Prague as relatively new faces. Rijeka did the Croatian double last year.

Maybe I'm complaining too much. Maybe the point of a league is to play the same teams year after year to get familiar with them and the UCL is doing everything people want it to do. It's certainly doing what it was designed to do.

Re: Europe general 2017/18

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:15 pm
by Suwonesque
Celtic vs Astana :D

Re: Europe general 2017/18

Posted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:58 pm
by eujin
Lots of interesting things going on in the women's game at the moment. England's former coach, Mark Samson, is the subject of a parliamentary inquiry into alleged racial harassment, of Nigerian-born Eniola Aluko amongst others. He'd already been sacked by England for "unrelated" "inappropriate behaviour" in a previous job. Accusations of "institutional racism" have been flying around.

Meanwhile in Scandinavia, the Norwegian FA has allegedly decided to pay its women's team as much as they pay their men's team. Having made the European Championship final this summer the Danish national team decided to put in for a substantial pay rise, probably something along the lines of what the Norwegians are getting, and the Danish FA has refused. So the players are basically on strike now. This has led Denmark to forfeit last Friday's World Cup qualifier with Sweden. Sweden also have met some bumps in their contract renegotiations, but are taking things on a match by match basis, so no forfeiting from them, yet.

One of the things that has corroded the men's game and taken it away from the fans is all the money young players with giant egos get paid. So now it's the women's turn to do the same. Apparently everyone who trains full time to play football deserves to get paid the same amount as Gareth Bale. Presumably because Gareth Bale deserves to get paid as much as Gareth Bale. Meanwhile, Iceland beat Germany 3-2 in Wiesbaden to end Germany's 28 year unbeaten run in qualifiers. Quite an achievement by both Icelandic teams at the moment. It must be all the money they get paid.

Re: Europe general 2017/18

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:06 pm
by eujin
A pearl of an own goal in the Netherlands Eredivisie.

Re: Europe general 2017/18

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:18 pm
by eujin
If Celtic are going to go around losing 7-1 to the likes of PSG in the Champions League, do we need to consider the possibility that the gap between the very top teams in Europe and most national champions (Anderlecht included) is now as large as the gap between most SPL teams and the juniors?