Belfast Telegraph

Alan Green: Drama masked season of little quality

You’ll have to forgive me, in my final column of the season, one more whinge.

Even though I too was involved in the excitement of those final club games, at home and abroad, I refuse to accept the conclusion of far too many that this has been an outstanding campaign. No, it hasn’t.

If it was, how could the two Manchester clubs, clearly our best, fail so miserably in European competition? And, in Europe, how was it that neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid reached the Champions League Final? Chelsea the best team on the continent? Do me a favour!

No, while I applaud the drama that I’ve witnessed — the game in the Nou Camp is fixed in my memory — I’d be ignoring some important facts.

Chelsea’s version of Custer’s Last Stand hides the overall, pitiful, standard of defending in England. Mistakes equals goals, equals excitement but don’t forget the root cause.

And there is no evidence the Premier League is getting better. What we’ve seen is a decline, with Liverpool, Arsenal and, yes, Chelsea drawn downwards towards relative domestic obscurity. I hope I’m wrong but it could get worse.

Belfast Telegraph

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