For the second time since the introduction of a group stage in 1994-95 there will be no English clubs in the quarter-final rounds of Champions League.
Manchester United lost to La Liga giants Real Madrid while Arsenal went out to Bayern Munich despite winning the return leg at the Allianz Arena.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger termed it as “massive disappointment” as none of the top level English sides could make it to the quarters when only last season Chelsea became the Champions of Europe.
Wenger said as quoted in the press:
“It is a massive disappointment for English football, for a number of years we are not used to that.
“It is a massive wake-up call for us because we had Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and us all out before the quarter-finals.”
Meanwhile, former Manchester United player and now football pundit Gary Neville feels that this is just a dip but there is no denial that English football is not going through a strong phase.
Neville said as quoted in the press:
“From 2005 to 2012 we had eight or nine finalists, which is a ridiculous success rate when you include semi-finals as well.
“But Barcelona and Real Madrid are stronger, the German teams are stronger, Juventus look like they are getting back to it.
“It works in cycles. You cannot always be at the top. Maybe we are having a period where we are in a little bit of a dip.”
Neville is right here. Just because of one poor season, it is ludicrous to brand entire league as poor or on the verge of decline. Even English clubs had their moments this season.
Had Nani not been sent off in the match against Real Madrid, probably United would have qualified and likewise if Arsenal could have done better at the Emirates, they could have won the tie as well. So, there are reasons to worry, but not to a “massive” extent as Wenger pointed out.