La Liga – “take a bow”

Yes he is!

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

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8 Responses to La Liga – “take a bow”

  1. GingerDon says:

    Good article, can’t agree with you more about Andy Gray. I only turn on sky sports just as it’s about to kick off so as to avoid watching him and “The Wolfman” Keyes repeating each other over and over.
    Only question it leaves to be answered is “Who will replace him?”. Apparently Jamie Rednapp is in the frame… help.

  2. derek lawler says:

    la liga best to watch by far. Andy Gray is boring and a pain in the neck. Good article.

  3. ST says:

    50+ plus goals a season, unless Shawcross breaks his leg first

  4. Shaun says:

    The fact people say that La Liga is more technical and more enjoyable makes me laugh

    Bale vs Stoke
    Berbatov vs Liverpool
    Elmander vs Wolves

    There’s three reasons why it isn’t lacking in Technical qualities, and then all you have to do is watch a game of EPL, and you will see that its faster, more enjoyable, unpredictable, and hugely passionate.

  5. Oliver McGrath says:

    messi wouldn’t be effective in the prem bcuz he wouldnt have as much time to create somethink like hes got in la liga and i think he would only be a bit better than average

  6. Andrew Quigley says:

    I agree with most of this, and I think Messi would be a hit in England, but it’s two completely different games. Messi plays from the right for Barcelona and is free to go and do as he pleases. In England, he would be required to track back. Same with Ronaldo. When he first came here, he was a quality player out wide, but even better when given the freedom to do as he wanted.

  7. Tim Lloyd says:

    Andew – Thanks for leaving a comment. You say Messi would be required to track back in England? What do you base that on? Surely it depends on the team and formation he plays in and, being as good as he is going forward, you’d build your team around him which means playing to his strengths which means not tracking back……
    I also don’t buy the earlier comment that he wouldn’t have enough time to create in the prem. IMO the pace of the Premiership has slowed down over the years and with more teams playing with just one upfront the pace has slowed considerably as its more about keeping possession and breaking late as you need the runners from midfield to support the lone striker.
    Messi is by far the best player in the world – he’d run riot in the prem, like he is in La Liga

  8. Andrew Quigley says:

    Tim – I completely agree about having to build a team around Messi, but with the rigidity of teams in the Prem (and going back to your 4-5-1 point) I wouldn’t have thought that Messi would be the lone striker. And in keeping with the fear of losing attitude, I would guess that anyone who isn’t the lone striker would have to work back to do their bit.

    All ifs and buts though I suppose.

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