Following Andy Gray’s comments that Ryan Shawcross would keep little Lionel Messi warm in his pocket on a cold Tuesday night in Stoke, it got me thinking – Why do English fans and media feel that unless a player can perform in the Premiership then he can’t be considered a truly great player? Is the Premiership really that physical? From what I see you touch a player and get a booking nowadays. These well worn clichés are no longer relevant.
It seems that the vast majority of fans in this country have bought all of Skys hype about the prem being the ‘best in the world’……I disagree. Yes, this season the league is tight with only 11 points separating the top 6 teams at the turn of the year but I think the overall of standard of games is well below what you see in La Liga and of previous Premiership seasons.
Technically, La Liga and Serie A are superior and due to huge financial gains with just being in the Premier league, teams are so scared of losing that they pack the midfield, play one upfront and hope to get lucky from a set piece or goal on the break. Teams cancel each other out and the fans are suffering as a result.
La Liga is dominated by two teams which does make the league more predictable but If you look beyond that and watch a game between say Valencia and Villarreal and compare it to Everton vs Sunderland. One will send you to sleep as quickly as drinking 30 bottles of Chang while the other will keep you entertained with nice one touch, free flowing, technical football.
La Liga has definitely over taken the Prem as the league in the world at the moment and it’s about time more fans in the UK realised this and watch programmes like Revista De La Liga to get their footie fix and watch good attacking technical football.. Imagine a league where every team tries to play pass and move football like Arsenal? It’s true, I’m not lying to you, it does exist and as a neutral who loves the game, why would you put up with another Stoke vs Wolves game?
Back to Messi – personally I think he would run riot in the Premiership. If he went to say Arsenal, I could see him scoring 50+ goals a season (If he stays injury free) and getting countless assists. Shawcross will be found running around in circles long after the floodlights are turned off at the Britannia. Now I haven’t got much time for Andy Gray and his ridiculous ‘tactical masterclasses’ on his oversized ipad but surely you have to agree me on Messi? Although a different player to the great Zidane, Messi is the heir to his crown as greatest player in the world who could play in any league in the world and make it look like a walk in the park. Richard Dunne, Christoper Samba, Anton Ferdinand, Robert Huth, Lescott and co would all suffer the Shawcross syndrome within time.
What I’m saying about Messi few would disagree with, so in my mind this makes it all the more important that Sky really need to look at Gray and consider his position as the brains behind their coverage. Or maybe he fits the persona of the Premier league well – stale, boring with little technical quality.
By Tim Lloyd – AFC Wimbledon fan