Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughBig Four, Top Six, Also-Ran Eighty Six - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Big Four, Top Six, Also-Ran Eighty Six - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Big Four, Top Six, Also-Ran Eighty Six

So here it is, the day when any hope of a slightly competitive league structure in England takes a step beyond that of Spain into the realms of predictability. Sure enough the Spanish only have two teams who can feasibly challenge for the league ala Scotland, but at least they can put the blame due to their rather terrifying television money discrepancies. What’s our excuse?

The money being flaunted today does not concern me; it’s been going on for the last decade. The worrying thing is where the money has gone. Jordan Henderson and Phil Jones should be the pride of their clubs, coming through the academies before playing a good few seasons in the first team until a move to a Champions League club is their only way to progress their domestic and international careers. However, with less than 150 games between them, these two have been picked up by top six sides. The chances of Sunderland and Blackburn having another player of that calibre and that age in their team in the course of the next decade are very slim indeed. Should they somehow repeat their feats of youth development, there is only one place those players are going to end up… or should I say one of six places.

I read an article earlier posing the question, ‘Is the top six now a bridge apart?’ Is that even a question? Of course the two Manchesters, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs are out of reach of everyone else. Spurs just need to hope Bale and Modric don’t get their heads turned in the next 18 months before they can cement their place and prevent a ‘Top 5’. The comparatively incompetence of every other Premier League team was evident on the last day of the season, when my club, Bolton Wanderers, dropped 6 league positions in the space of a 90 minute defeat. Look at Liverpool’s ‘disastrous’ start to the season, followed by mini revival and then evening out. They still cruised to 6th and were nearly in the top five again.

The worrying question is, where does this leave teams like Everton? Sir Alex Ferguson stated at the start of the season they could challenge the big boys. Sure enough a few years ago they clinched 4th. How likely does that seem next season? Hell they have even produced one half decent looking young, albeit injury prone player in Jack Rodwell and rumours of United’s interest in him seem unlikely to die before those of Ashley Young’s do at Villa, another once top-six-chasing club. The dearth of English top talent is being snapped up by the big boys and the top foreigners are out of reach, or massive expensive flops. Without big investors coming into new clubs, there seems no end to the dominance of these 6 clubs in England, leaving every other league club peering up hopelessly.

A final thought and a really worrying question… the excellent, although probably inaccurate Damned United aired again the other night. How long until another Brian Clough brings another Derby County from nowhere to national glory? Scratch that, who can honestly say it is actually imaginable ever again?


Philip Gillett



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