Part 2: My Thoughts on the top leagues in Europe

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May 14, 2013 by backofthenetjl

It’s a debate that go in any direction, for they are many valid points on why people regard certain leagues as the best in the world; the majority of them leagues being in Europe. So how do you judge what is the best league in the world? It’s certainly quite complex as there a few good leagues out there and each league brings something different to the table. I’ve decided to put some thoughts together on what I would consider to be the top leagues in Europe at the moment.

In Part 2, I give my opinions on Serie A and Bundesliga, two of the biggest leagues in the world.

Serie A:

Serie A is often labelled as being boring at times, but avid watchers of the league will strongly disagree; being a frequent watcher of the league myself I would certainly disagree. This may be solely my opinion, but I find Serie A one of the most fascinating leagues to watch; the competitiveness of matches means games are more entertaining and often unpredictable. Looking at the teams in the league, you can see that most teams have a number of talented players at their disposal; there is a neat blend of experienced players who still carry that technical ability, and hungry, young players who are eager to showcase their unique traits and talents. Over the last few seasons, Juventus have been the dominant force, but if you go even further back in the history of the league, you’ll find that there have been plenty of teams who have won the Scudetto, with each side bringing something new to the table.

Another point I’d like to make on the league is that it is currently the best league in the world for producing young talent, in my opinion. There is a long-list of young talents who are attracting interest from all-sorts of clubs, with the likes of El Shaarawy, Erik Lamela, Marquinhos and Luis Muriel among the players linked with big moves away. It’s quite intriguing to see how Italian clubs develop their players and it’s something which is rather extraordinary. Of course, when a player is scouted by a club and if he is successful, he will progress through the academy and then hopefully appear for the first-team when the time comes.

But even if there a host of players preventing the youngster from making a break-through into the side, it’s evident to see the player himself is still well though of within the club. So if a young player can’t force his way into the first-team picture, what happens? Does the club keep him in the reserve set-up? Is he allowed to move on else-where? The answer is send him out on loan, but the difference is that the loan move is likely to be a productive one, as he won’t be shipped out to a lower-league division club, he will be able to learn his trade and take his development to the next level by featuring for a Serie A outfit, usually a team who are lower than the parent club in the league standings. Moreover, it enables the player to get a taste of what it’s like to appear regularly in a top league and the league they may be destined to play in for their parent club, it’s far more useful than making a step down to a lower league for first-team football, at least it is in my view.

Tactically the league is also fascinating to watch, in the way that the game is played. The days of the old 4-4-2 are long-gone in Serie A and that means that new strategies and formations are used, with 3-5-2 and 3-4-3 at the top of the formations most used in Italian’s top tier. If you want a unique experience when watching football, or want to see some of the brightest young talent in the game, I suggest you give Serie A a little watch.

Here are some thoughts from the twitter world on Serie A:

@EuanMcGregor23: “Good football, lacks atmosphere. Teams undermined by very racist fans.”

@ilGoNearPost: “Leagues intriguing and exciting. Host some of the most talented young players in the world. Can be ugly and chaotic!”

@CalcioUnito: “Well it has some great players and talents and is on the rise. But has the wrong structure at the moment.”

@JamesABufton: “What makes Serie A, and Calcio in general, so great is the unpredictability. Managers coming and going, players coming and going, fans getting in the news for all sorts of reason are an integral part of the modern game. Passion is also unrivalled, in my opinion. With players, coaches, fan and even club’s hierarchy’s. In Italy, the only thing organised is the football and that says an awful lot as to what it means to the people. Although it’s not perfect, Calcio means so much to Italians and even observers from a far. Juventus’ recent dominance is positive and I believe that with time, Juventus and Italian football will be back at the top within the next few years.”

Bundesliga:

There is an awful lot of hype surrounding the Bundesliga at the moment, and I for one can certainly see why; it’s evident to see that the league is on the rise and there are a number of reasons as to why it is being considered as the best league in the world at this moment in time. The Bundesliga and German football in general has taken a massive step-forward in recent years, the development of the standard of football being displayed has increased dramatically and games are becoming more and more competitive. Moreover, there have been rapid improvements made in the youth academies and I personally don’t feel we will ever see so many young talents emerge from Germany ever again; so it is certainly something for the Germans to cherish. By no means are the players coming through of a low-standard; the vast majority are extremely gifted and quite versatile, if you ask me, and most players possess enormous potential.

Brentford manager Uwe Rosler, who played in the Bundesliga, made a very shrewd and accurate comment recently, and I have to agree with him. The Bundesliga will never be blessed with the financial muscle of the Premier League, but it has found its route to dominance in its own way. Rosler mentioned that the players in German football are not only good footballers, but they are also tactically educated and disciplined very well, meaning that they have a better understanding of the game; it is something which I deem to be unique to the Germans and that has been one of the primary factors as to why German sides have been so successful in Europe this season. The mid-season break is incredibly beneficial and it’s like a second pre-season for team’s; it enables them to ensure they are just as sharp  and fit for the second stage of the season, and prevents any nightmare ends to the season. It is often used in quite a few leagues and the Bundesliga are certainly one of the league’s benefiting from this break.

A point I’m almost forced to make on the league is the fantastic fan treatment; the way football fans should be treated. The atmosphere inside stadiums is absolutely incredible and it appears that the players are able to develop a connection with the fans; this is relatively difficult to develop in my eyes. Furthermore, when you take a glance at the ticket prices in the league, it is simply phenomenal. Football is a working-class sport, so ticket prices need to be cheap in order for the real fans to enjoy it; credit to the members of club’s in Germany for making the prices so affordable, it is something the English game can learn from. I’ve heard from a few people that with the Bundesliga, your ticket for the game also includes travel to and from the game; now that is magnificent. Fans are also able to drink alcohol in seating areas, with most appearing to be drinking quite responsibly and enjoying the excellent football being showcased by Bundesliga outfits. Also, I’d like to briefly touch upon the stadium’s in the Bundesliga and how the game has been modernised through the expansion and building of modern grounds. Now, in the Bundesliga, you rarely see old-fashioned stadiums, apart from Dortmund’s of course. They are now more of Arena’s than Stadium’s and some of the Arena’s in German are sensational sights. As the football has developed and modernised, the same can be said for the stadiums.

In summary of the Bundesliga, it’s a marvellous league, with passion, good football played at a high tempo and speed and most importantly superb fan treatment. Young players like Andre Schurrle, Julian Draxler, Mario Gotze and Heung-Min Son are all playing their trade in the Bundesliga, and long will the young talents continue to come through. With the Bundesliga on the rise, we may be witnessing the start of a new era in European Football; an era in which German football will dominate.

Here are some thoughts from the twitter world on the Bundesliga:

@ElevenMenBlog: “It’s the perfect league. Has quality top to bottom, and anyone can come out of left field to jump up the table without money.”

@DannySFootball: “There’s a lot of big talent coming from the Bundesliga, especially home grown players. I enjoy it more than most others.”

@ManToManMarking: “It’s all about the increase in German talent. A massive upcoming, much like the recent Spanish influx. World Cup 14 winners in my opinion.”

@UselessDan: “Has the potential to surpass the Premier League. Lovely football and the support is immense.”

@TheHotProspect_: “Phenomenal passion, from the fans – that rubs off to the players and accompanied with all the unseen talent, great to watch.”

@JWalsh97: “The Bundesliga has become the model for the footballing world to follow, with the 50+1 rule preventing billionaires from coming in and taking charge, this has led to greater emphasis on academies and teaching youngsters from a young on the team’s desired ways to play, both technically, mentally and physically. While its success has been best documented to this year due to the Champions League glory, teams like Freiburg and Hamburg pride themselves on producing from their academies and relying on traditions. This new ‘Total Football’ has been revolutionary, normally being played with a taller centre forward than normal, they have the ability to play a passing style and when it needs to be hit long to release some pressure. This is evident through the Bundesliga and can be seen through-out every game, providing a fascinating spectacle for those that go to games. With the standing areas, and the placing of responsibility on fans, it is a privilege to watch a Bundesliga game. These are just a few of many points that, in my opinion, place the Bundesliga in a higher standing compared to the rest of it’s European counter parts.”

@MullerReus: “Bundesliga has a mix of many great footballing aspects – the brutality of the league, the amount of players who have skill in abundance, the many exciting young talents coming through, such as Maxi Arnold and Seb Jung, and the fantastic fans, atmosphere, and cheap ticket prices, makes it one of the best league’s in the world.”

@JoshIlan_BFC: “Great League. Exciting, entertaining and fans are treated like fans, and not second-rate citizens. Its unpredictability is brilliant, but the rise of Bayern may cause an end to the, and potential downfall of the league. Also the clubs have much to be admired with their willing stance on putting young and untested players into their teams without a second thought.”

@efctufc1995: “Its reputation has grown in recent years, and German clubs have a good ownership model – it’s telling that other, supposedly more illustrious leagues are now turning to the Bundesliga for inspiration. The league’s also been producing plenty of young talent recently – like Muller, Gotze, Reus – and that trend looks to continue in the future.

@Liam10Lee: “The Bundesliga offers a different dimension to other European leagues. The excitement, thrills and standard of football make it all that much better to watch. No league currently betters it for me. There is a correct blend of players. Experienced players of a good standard, whilst clubs are not afraid to put their faith into youth players. With the likes of Mario Gotze, Julian Draxler and Marco Reus all benefiting from this policy. The fans are able to enjoy their football the way it should be. Safe standing and drinking in a wonderful atmosphere. I adore German football and long may its development continue.”

So that’s Part 2 of my thoughts on the top leagues in Europe. Thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts on both leagues. Follow me on twitter: @DisguisedPass

 

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