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Rating Performances of England’s Finest in the UCL (Part 1)

Michael Skok     16 listopada, 2015

After four matchdays, there is a clear idea of who has shown up for this season in the Champions League. Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea all still have a chance to progress into the final 16; all four will certainly look to do so after an abysmal showing by English clubs last season. In light of a falling coefficient, which determines how many clubs from a singular league in the competition, there is more urge than ever for these clubs to start performing well on the big stage. Yet, there have been some disappointments – both with Arsenal’s and Chelsea’s performances so far. The Manchester clubs can both be quietly optimistic – since neither have truly shown dominance so far, yet are in an ideal position to advance.

* These ratings will be counted on a scale of 10, with 1 being the lowest grade.

Arsenal – 3/10
A rating that coincides with how many points they were able to achieve so far, the Gunners have had the most shocking campaign in Europe. This is particularly peculiar since they, as of right now, look to be one of the favorites for the league title in England. In a group with Dynamo Zagreb and Olympiakos, there is simply no excuse for Arsenal to gain the lion’s share of points when the London club competes head to head with these clubs. Yet Arsenal fell to both these clubs, Zagreb away and Olympiakos at home, having achieved nothing after two very favorable matchups in the first few matchdays. It was a bleak outlook for the Gunners, yet they rebounded, if momentarily, with a decent performance against Bayern Munich at the Emirates. Yet any momentum the club gained was crushed when Bayern Munich demolished the club from London at the Allianz Arena. What’s more crushing was how Olympiakos was able to gain all six points from Zagreb after a later winner in Greece on the same match day. Simply put, Arsene Wenger has played a disastrous campaign so far. The club, compared to the Croation and Greek clubs, have resources, experience, and depth to comprehensively beat both clubs. Arsenal gets some recognition for the unlikely win against Bayern, yet the ultimate picture remains unchanged, Arsenal need a mini miracle to advance to the knockouts.

Chelsea – 5/10
Even though Chelsea have a much healthier outlook than their London neighbors, the context of their situation brings them down significantly. They currently reside in 2nd place, with seven points compared to first place Porto, with 10 points. Although Chelsea look capable of progressing into the next stage, they have performed quite below the standards they should play at. Much like the microcosm of their season, Chelsea had to rely on Willian, their Brazilian winger, to play some of the best football in his career, to just scrape by with results against the likes of Dynamo Kiev. Porto, who sold much of their first XI from the side that reached the quarterfinals last season, are playing comprehensively better football than a side that again has more resources, experience, and depth at their disposal. Chelsea should be walking this group, and with the atrocious start they have currently in the EPL, Jose Mourinho and the management will be looking to put all of their focus on Europe soon. What they don’t need is to finish 2nd in the group, and potentially play a Bayern Munich, Barcelona, or Real Madrid in the first knockout stage. It would be much easier to beat the likes of Tel-Aviv and Porto (at Stamford Bridge) to consolidate a 1st place finish in the group. There is time to revive this season, but the chances are running out fast for the Blues.


michael skok sport editor poland.usMichael Skok
Football Editor for
Polish-American Portal www.Poland.us
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