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The truth nobody speaks is that the Premier League isn’t actually all that good…

6 years ago

Is the real truth, which nobody likes to speak, that the Premier League actually isn’t very good…?

Maybe we aren’t actually immune to all the hype that is put out there by the TV broadcasters and sponsors, who clearly have a blatant self-interest in getting everybody to buy in to the English Premier League being the World league and the ‘best’.

Too many people confuse money with quality and just because the Premier League spends more on players than any other, sadly it doesn’t necessarily equate to the level of ability much of the time.

Yes English football is exciting a lot of the time and it can be non-stop action but real quality?

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You have racehorses that are sold for millions before they have even ran one race and many of them end up not winning a single one, they had all the hallmarks of potential champions but the reality was somewhat different…

A bit like the Premier League – with so few real quality English/British players, clubs now constanty look abroad for real quality and value, spending fortunes in the process.

All the clubs are at it, though of course it is all relative and some spend considerably more than others because they are shopping at a different level. However, a bit like unraced horses, it is a real lottery as to which players will or won’t be a success when they come to the Premier League. of course this can also apply when ‘bigger’ clubs pluck the better players from ‘smaller’ clubs from within the Premier League.

Chelsea look to have bought real quality in players such as Costa and Fabregas and that is reflected in their position at the top of the Premier League.

The pitfalls of the transfer market can create opportunity for other clubs, which I think has happened this season.

When Newcastle beat Tottenham, Soldado (£30m) played 7 minutes, Lamela (£30m) took off after an ineffective 78 mins, while Dembele (£20m) was an unused sub.

United’s home defeat of Liverpool saw Markovic (£20m) not in the 18, Sakho (£20m) injured but struggling to get games anyway, while Lallana (£25m) wasn’t used either.

Going into this weekend’s round of games, Brendan Rodgers pointed out that Manchester United in fourth had the lowest points total at this stage of the season than any other team in fourth, in the history of the Premier League. Basically saying that if you take away Chelsea and to an extent Southampton and Manchester City, the rest of the clubs had been much of a muchness so far.

In fact before Saturday Man Utd were 13 points off top (three places away), yet only 11 points off rock bottom which was 16 places away…

Taking the above into consideration, to an extent Newcastle’s failure to win any of the first seven games and then winning the next five, isn’t really all that surprising. For better or worse maybe Alan Pardew is right when he says he thinks United were doing pretty much all the same things during the non-winning run as they then did during the winning one. The odd player then given a chance due to injury or abysmal form of others, add a little luck and a bit more discipline at the back – bingo!

Sadly, the limited nature of Alan Pardew’s plan and to an extent the personnel available to him, means that United can’t generally overpower or outclass the opposition at the minute.

We probably have quite a lot of people who can do a job but when it comes to that bit extra, we haven’t really got it.

Moussa Sissoko and Daryl Janmaat are Newcastle’s best players and maybe that should be no surprise when the pair were United’s highest profile players that appeared at the World Cup in the summer.

They stand out because they are better than their teammates and we need at least one player of their level in the middle of defence and another up front, at the very least. In Alan Pardew’s entire time at the club only one first team centre-back has been bought and it appears that the manager had little say in it, judging by how little chance he ever gave Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

After buying nobody for eighteen months, Mike Ashley did allow spending up to a certain point this summer but the real quality centre-back and striker were a step too far. Funded by selling the likes of Debuchy and Cabaye, Ashley chose not to spend last season’s or indeed this season’s extra tens of millions of TV money.

We’ve hit lucky with Ayoze Perez popping up with three match winning goals, without them where would we be in the league?

It is not all doom and gloom but it is recognition that we need extra quality to get away from this up and down existence. It wouldn’t make them hopeless players or a team but looking at the run of matches coming up, Newcastle could struggle to win many, if any, of December’s games.

Players like Jack Colback and others will do a tidy job and move the ball around but at some point they need to give the ball to somebody who will then do something with it.

Against West Ham, Alan Pardew somehow thought it a good idea to play the hapless Yoan Gouffran and dropped Remy Cabella.

Newcastle had slightly more possession than West Ham but only one shot on target in the entire match. Fans who think that we are in a position where we wouldn’t benefit from a player like Yohan Cabaye (in decent form) returning are living in dreamland.

Ironically, if you added Cabaye and Loic Remy to this current team then it would indeed be interesting times.

Some of the media are already speculating that a few more points in advance of January and Mike Ashley will be ‘keeping his powder dry’. The inference being that he will maybe wait for a better time to invest in players but most of us simply taking it that he will see it as a chance to get away without spending any of the TV money.

Your better players need to be encouraged that the team is heading in the right direction and there is ambition within the club. Fans loved Mathieu Debuchy and Yohan Cabaye before we were then supposed to hate them because they’d chosen to leave.

I don’t want players like Daryl Janmaat and Moussa Sissoko being the next ones we are told we have to hate because they choose to join more ambitious clubs, while further down the line potential England players of the future such as Rolando Aarons and Adam Armstrong could end up fulfilling their potential elsewhere.

Newcastle’s recent run of wins shows a snapshot of what is possible and adding extra quality could help prevent that being just a quirky run of games that we look back on with an ‘if only’.


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