The Premier League season is underway, and supporters have been treated to new-look lineups as clubs have spent the summer not only fine-tuning their squads on the pitch but also their management teams off it.
From the high profile arrivals of José Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte to the lesser known figures of Walter Mazzarri and Claude Puel, it’s been yet another summer of upheaval for many sides.
No Premier League club have won a major European trophy since 2013 when Chelsea were victorious in the Europa League, and as a result, we investigate whether or not the arrival of new managers in England is likely to put an end to a disappointing spell English clubs have endured in European football.
At the moment the Premier League is guaranteed to keep four Champions League places until the 2017/18 season but after that, the future is currently unclear. Due to UEFA’S coefficient points table and the recent struggle of English clubs in Europe, Italy’s Serie A are now making gains on both the Premier League and the German Bundesliga.
England’s top flight currently has a coefficient lead of 1.952 over Serie A which isn’t as safe as it may sound or look. The only way for the Premier League to retain its current status of 4 Champions League spots is to perform well in the Champions League and Europa League, preferably winning each of the tournaments. With Serie A getting its act together through the dominance of Juventus alongside the potential re-emergence of the two Milan clubs, however, England’s fourth qualification spot is under threat.
One saving grace could well be the new high-profile arrivals in the Premier League. José Mourinho has been there and done it with Chelsea domestically, as well as winning the Champions League with FC Porto and Inter. While Pep Guardiola’s arrival at Manchester City has seen fresh hope installed at the Etihad, with the Spaniard also lifting the Champions League twice, alongside three Club World Cups and three La Liga titles at Barcelona. The experience and know-how of achieving huge success have certainly re-emerged itself in the Premier League this season, so it will be interesting to see if there is a change in the fortune of English clubs by the time the latter stages of the major European competitions come around.
The money now in play in the Premier League courtesy of the new TV deal has also given fresh hope to sides that are usually battling it out around mid-table or even fighting relegation. As was proven last season by Leicester City who exceeded everyone’s expectations and sent shockwaves around the football world by winning the English top flight.
There are usually a few teams a season who around the mid-point of the year are exceeding expectations, but these sides then tend to fade gradually away due to being unable to sustain their position. Perhaps many may now use Leicester’s success as a catalyst to mount their own unexpected challenges.
With other relatively smaller clubs showing huge ambition regarding signings such as Crystal Palace’s purchase of Christian Benteke, the money is evidently now there for clubs to springboard themselves onto bigger and better things. Time will tell whether English clubs can be a dominant force in Europe again but one thing is for sure, all the tools are there in place for that to become a reality once again.