It’s already obvious the Premier League’s chances of providing the Champions League winner this season are zilch, nada, zero.
If Manchester City’s lethargic capitulation to Lyon and Liverpool’s witless surrender to Napoli in this season’s competition didn’t convince you, then the sheer awful excitement-free clash between England’s best two teams last weekend surely did.
What a borefest. What a shocking indictment of our game. Two teams who feast on rubbish most weeks and thus draw cloying, sickly praise from eager-to-please TV pundits, had no clue how to go about winning a tight game.
Jurgen Klopp (right, with City manager Pep Guardiola), the man without a trophy since 2014, picked the dullest midfield imaginable to try and make sure his Liverpool team didn’t lose and Manchester City’s band of mercenaries lacked the class to dismantle them even though accident prone centre-back Dejan Lovren was playing.
The hilarious late penalty miss by City’s Riyad Mahrez was an accurate postcript on a contest that lacked any quality.
It wasn’t a tactically fascinating clash between two heavyweights. This was more Joe Bugner than Mike Tyson, a real snooze lacking in punching power.
I would imagine Barcelona and Juventus have already written off England’s top two as challengers. Too limited, too predictabe despite gazillions of pounds spent on their squads.
I can see pressure building up on Klopp. Immense likeability will only be a strength for so long when set against a lack of titles and trophies. Liverpool have already blown the Carabao Cup and I really hope they target the FA Cup for a change as they are unlikely to win anything else.
Like many others I did predict Mo Salah would struggle to replicate last season’s glorious goalscoring feats, but I’m amazed at how quickly he has become bad. He’s a one-trick pony who’s mislaid that trick.
It’s a good job Liverpool no longer field a juggler in goal otherwise they wouldn’t get within 20 points of City again.
It’s not as though their fabled support will help. Last weeekend they spent most of the 90 minutes booing a former player who committed the sin of leaving for more money and more chance of success. A bit like most of the Liverpool squad then. Hypocrites abound in the Kop.
I’m not even sure a Premier League title is enough considering the investment City have thrown at their project.
They should defend their title easily enough, but conquering Europe will again be beyond them.
Their back-up boys of Bernardo Silva and Mahrez are good enough to batter the likes of Burnley, but Europe’s cream won’t be so easily tamed.
Obviously Manchester United and Spurs are no-hopers in any serious competition. Both clubs have been horrendously managed, United by the first-team boss and Spurs by those who control the purse strings.