2 of 10 people who visits my blog use Firefox!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Will an English club rule Europe again?

It's been seven years since Manchester United did the treble, and two since Liverpool's stunning Champions League fightback against AC Milan in Turkey. Now England's big four are homing in on the big one again.

English clubs have won only two of the last 22 European cups, which is unacceptable for the supposed ‘best league in the world’. Recent years, however, have seen an improvement, with Liverpool winning on that famous night in Istanbul and Arsenal grinding their way to the final last year.

England’s best chance of Champions League glory is with Manchester United. Top of the league by six points, and playing some of the best football that the Premiership has ever seen, Alex Ferguson’s side must believe they can improve on their disappointing European history. In Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, they have the two best youngsters in Europe, and with Scholes returning to his best, Manchester United stand a real chance.

Chelsea have reached the semis twice recently but have never had the grit when it was most needed. In Didier Drogba they have the in-form striker in Europe, and with John Terry back fit, they are defensively solid. The midfield is Chelsea’s main problem. They have too many superstars, and not enough team ethic. If Jose Mourinho can drop either Michael Ballack or Frank Lampard, then Chelsea may be better equipped to combat tough defensive teams.

Arsenal are a developing side, and in Thierry Henry, have the ultimate player. However ,any physical team will cause them problems. Against the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, they will fancy their chances as they will be allowed to play football. However, PSV may prove to be a difficult tie for them, as a physical team will intimidate the north London side.

Liverpool will have to overcome Barcelona if they are to progress, and although Rafael Benitez's team has the experience of winning a European Cup, they don’t quite have class of United, Chelsea or Arsenal. However, bigger shocks have happened in football.

The usual suspects are all through to the last 16, with no major shocks yet to occur. Barcelona are exceptional, and Inter Milan have a strong powerful team. Lyon could potentially be the surprise package, and with a great team-ethic, and pacy forwards, they stand a chance.

For article source click here.