What the English contenders may be need for a greater success in the Champions League | Paul Wilson

The next season, assuming Liverpool can negotiate the play-off round, there will be five English clubs in the Champions League. That is a great number, although this does not necessarily imply that increased representation will lead to a better chance of English success. The Premier League sides have been struggling to assert itself in Europe in recent years. From a position a decade ago, when the end was reached at a regular basis and Uefa had a genuine concern when two English clubs have clashed in Moscow in 2008, the strength of the Premier League now seems to be a major obstacle to progress in Europe, in place of the money and attention grabber that once threatened domination.

Chelsea were the last English team to appear in a final, when he won the event in a penalty shoot-out in Munich in 2012, even though the reality of the past five years has been that the English clubs have rarely been around to contest the later stages of the knockout rounds. Leicester City did remarkably well to reach the quarterfinals of this year, which was better than the more experienced teams such as Arsenal and Manchester City managed.

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The city had reached the semi-final stage the previous year, despite the fact that Manuel Pellegrini’s team end of the season there was no real expectation that it could summon the self-belief or strength of character to see Real Madrid and that duly was without scoring a goal in two games. The year before that, none of the four English teams managed to reach the quarter-final, and Liverpool do not even survive the group stage.

Several theories have been advanced as to why the English clubs have fallen off the pace in Europe. Some say that the Premier League is very difficult and unforgiving, leaving little to spare for extra power to the commitments of the week. Others believe that the English competition is very overrated and that his crash-bang-blow to the players that are easily found when faced by continental levels of technique and organisation.

Leaving that argument for another day, the fact is that the English clubs have ground to make up in their European counterparts, in particular, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Short of the signature of three-fourths of the Monaco team, a good idea, but it is probably not a practice, what can English clubs do to be in contention for the finals of the Champions League? Is there any hope of a significant improvement next season, or just end with five disappointing campaigns instead of four? Everyone is promising a very busy summer, including Arsenal, that are only in the Europa League, but here is a look at what each one of the Champions might need to increase your chances.

By far, the most rugged team in England last season, with a simple system that not only works but that fits all the players of Antonio Conte’s disposal, however, were indications towards the end of the champions league could be stopped. Despite the fact that n’golo Kanté and Nemanja Matic are good at the destructive of the duties required of defensive midfielders could have a little more creativity in that area, otherwise too much of the burden falls on Eden Hazard.

Chelsea will also have to resolve the situation of Diego Costa, either to keep or to bring in a striker of similar quality. There are not many of those and even Romelu Lukaku hitting bottom replacement. Chelsea have been linked with unsettled Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata, despite the Spain international reportedly favours a move back to Italy.

The Spurs were great at home last season, but outside of Europe, by Christmas, in part to play their Champions League final in Wembley. Will be able to play all their games in this season, so it’s best to get used to it, although it is still reasonable to raise the question of what Mauricio Pochettino believes his priority. The Spurs would not mind a good run in Europe, but they probably do not see themselves as potential finalists even considering that, with a favourable wind and a couple of settings, the computer must have a very good chance of winning the Premier League.

Tottenham has not won the title since 1961, but first things first. Some of the Spurs players are already attracting the interest of other clubs, so a concerted effort to finish on top in England next year it would be logical and desirable next step.
Manchester City

A defensive rethink is needed at the Etihad, starting with the goalkeeper. The news that City are the signature of Benfica Ederson, at least, means that the team of Pep Guardiola has acknowledged the mistake that was made with Claudio Bravo, after being in denial for most of the season. Of the city are very well in the front, which feature the Brazil and the Argentina No9s in Gabriel de Jesus and Sergio Aguero, and they have a lot of quality in the support positions, but they need a couple of full-backs and, as always, the cover in the centre half Vincent Kompany.

The maintenance of the two Aguero and Jesus happy could be a problem, but the City in most need of strengthening their defence to stop the concession of stupid goals, an observation made by Pellegrini, at least, three years.

Manchester City strikers Sergio Aguero and Gabriel de Jesus is going to be an integral part of their offer for the next season. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/AFP/Getty Images


Like Tottenham, Liverpool might be more tempted to put most of his energy to a title challenge in place of an extended run in Europe, even though the long seasons in Europe will never be frowned at Anfield. The majority feels Liverpool need a goal scorer, not being able to finish with anyone in the Premier League’s top 10 last season, despite Jürgen Klopp can continue to trust Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané contribute enough between them. Apart from that a commanding goalkeeper and the centre-half would not go wrong, and maybe a driving presence in midfield. Klopp also need to evaluate your tactics. Even without European participation last season, Liverpool looked tired at the end. This still does not look like a side capable of terrorising Europe as of old.
Manchester United

United could do with the Uefa relaxing Atletico Madrid for the transfer of the prohibition, if that is what is preventing Antoine Griezmann coming to Old Trafford. The French have the class and the imagination to be a crowd-pleaser in the States, and if his long-predicted move must wait to January to the first, it may be too late to incite the European campaign. The member should keep hold of David de Gea, whatever the cost, and bring in a striker to take over from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Even before the Swedish of the injury of the States were not scoring enough goals and, working on the theory that Jose Mourinho likes a big chap in front of Didier Drogba, Costa, Ibrahimovic, etc – Lukaku has been mentioned. It has not yet been established whether Mourinho rates the Belgian higher than he did when making him leave Stamford Bridge, and the States may end up trying to take advantage of Chelsea by Morata.