Post 2005, English clubs have shown their vaunting authority in Europeai??i??s most elite competitions, most particularly in the Champions League. In these past 6-7 years, two clubs have achieved the distinction of winning the prized ai???Holy Grailai??i?? while as many as 4 clubs made it to the finals. Such is the recent dominance that hardly one counts the q/f, s/f berth as a measure of progress ai??i?? as if it is a minimum expectation. 2011 campaign is proving to be a bumpy ride for the English giants so far.

However, clubbing them under the notion that ai???standard of the English clubs is on the verge of declineai??i?? is absolutely ridiculous. No logic can guide through for such arguments. All the four English clubs participating this season have their own problems, which are different from one another. You just canai??i??t pin point any one and place every one under the same bonnet.

Manchester City (Group A)

As it stands, Cityai??i??s chances of going to the next round is no longer dependent on their own doings. They have to win against Bayern Munich and hope that Villarreal, who have nothing to lose, could salvage pride for them by beating Napoli.

Mancini can only rue their fate. He believes Cityai??i??s exclusion can be down to lack of experience of the club in Europe. One can always sympathize when your debut is marred from the onset by the sheer prospect of playing in ai???Group of Deathai??i??. The new Manchester nouveau riche have strong armory at their disposal, but they are still new to the great game of war. Thereby, itai??i??s not a big surprise that everyone is jumping on to inexperience bandwagon as an excuse of probable early exit for City.

.

Napoli owning City

 

But before coming to any conclusions, letai??i??s retrospect for a moment. The rich history of a football club is fine, but ultimately itai??i??s down to the eleven members of the squad who are fighting on the pitch for glory and points. Players like Yaya Toure, David Silva, Nigel De Jong, Eden Dzeko, Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, and Samir Nasri ai??i?? the core bunch of the group have played at the highest level before and have experienced European flavor on more than one occasion. The manager himself is also an old-pro having experienced the competition before.

Nobody is expecting City to lift the UCL. Making the knockout stages is the best possible thing they could do. One logical explanation might be they couldnai??i??t transfer their successful domestic journey so far to the European competition. It takes a bit of adjustment and focus to shift the gears. It will be too early to say that Mancini is not the right man for them. As for this seasonai??i??s campaign is concerned, Cityai??i??s chances of progressing to the next round is very dim. Though, unpredictability is one feature that you normally associate with the beautiful game.

Manchester United (Group C)

A draw at Basel will do for the Red Devils. The team that looked to bridge the gap with Barcelona at the beginning of the season might not have expected that their qualification to the next round will go down to the wire like this.

.

Man United struggling in Europe

 

The problem with United is conceding goals after taking the lead. Having taken the lead against Basel and Benfica they couldnai??i??t see off their opponent, which in most cases one can expect United to do. Too much tinkering with the back four due to injuries has barred Ferguson in forming a defensive parapet. Permutation – combination is still going on in absence of skipper Vidic, which is hurting the team dearly.

United have been in this situation before, and who knows better how to evade pressures than Ferguson himself. Basel might feel that they have an outside chance of qualifying but having seen United all these years, you can fully expect them to step up when required. In this case, they might not have to.

Chelsea FC (Group E)

Like United, Chelsea is also having problems at the back and conceding goals after taking the lead. In their case, they are conceding late, late goals. This is coupled with poor record away from home. 2 points from 3 games! Heck, they rightly find themselves in a do-or-die tie at The Bridge against Valencia. But, what genuinely shattering their morale is not taking the opponent by the scruff of the neck when they have the chance to do so. This trend has now started for them in league games too.

However, the general feeling is that Chelsea will qualify for the last 16. They have the experience and players to take them out from this mire. Tough games are coming thick and fast for The Blues – Liverpool, Newcastle, Valencia and Man City all waits within few weeks. The caliber of a manager doesnai??i??t necessarily rest on winning games when the team is in great shape, but to put the team back on track when things are not going according to plan. This is an acid test for the young Portuguese. Only time will tell whether he is capable of handling such pressure or not.

.

Who needs Batman, we've got Robin

 

Arsenal have stunned everyone by qualifying without any hiccups. Wenger once again pulled them out from the vortex of crisis. To be fair with the Gunners, their group was equally tough like other English counterparts. Their whole game is centered on their talisman, Van Persie. Another instance when a single player heavily shoulders the fortune of a club is rare to come across. No wonder Emirates reverberate in unison- “Who needs Batman, weai??i??ve got Robin“.

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2 Responses to “Europe Exit Looms Large For English Giants – Manchester City, Manchester United And Chelsea FC”

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  1. Saikat Mandal says:

    If you’re wondering who the dunderhead has written this, it’s me :-) Comments will be highly appreciated.

  2. Abhijnan says:

    Manchester City have experimented too much in the UCL.. That probably led to their imminent demise.