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Mesut Ozil, Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao…
That’s a list of three players currently playing in the Premier League who arrived on a wave of ‘World Class’ accreditation, but have now been swallowed down into the underbelly of Premier League triviality.
I have a theory – the Premier League is a graveyard of class. World class.
Where are the days when the Premier League played host to the biggest talents in world football? When we had Thierry Henry at the top of his game… Or Invincibles like Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Viera playing out their golden years on our turf…
Collectively, we form the richest league in the world. I worry a top player now comes here for a payday, and not for a footballing challenge. No – Spain or Germany is where you go now to compete at the highest European level.
Even when the top players get here, they are swiftly no longer seen as ‘top’. We have Manchester United buying an Angel Di Maria who stormed the World Cup in Brazil (yes, even more than Messi), only for him to wither on the Old Trafford bench like a frightened flea.
What is it about the Premier League that is so impenetrable? Why is it that proven class finds it so hard to shine through on these shores? Di Maria is not suddenly a bad player. Neither Falcao or Ozil. Is it due to that British hard-tackling, no-nonsense, ‘I’ll-kick-you-into-next-week’ nature of the Premier League that is so often shoved down our throats, despite the fact that team sheets show barely a British name among them?
Not only does our national team suffer as the Premier League continues to toss young talent into the rubbish tip in favour of international ‘stars’, but now we have to force a smile as said international stars flicker and fade before our very eyes. A low grade league bursting with English grit and vigour I can handle. A world class league brimming with the best this globe can offer I can also bear. But right now we are condemned to a low grade league populated by the ghosts of international stardom, while our homegrown lads twiddle their thumbs in the reserve squad.