it feels like the apocalypse is upon us, and judgment day must be just around the corner. i’m not exactly what you would consider a man of religion, but i think the bible might just confirm my fears in revelations 6:12…
when he opened the sixth seal, i looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and no english side will reach the champions league semifinals.
i mean how can you possibly ignore this!? it’s prophecy… it’s infallible… the end is near!
ok, so maybe i doctored that bible passage.
well, that’s what the english press would have you believe. both manchester united an arsenal were dispatched this week in the quarters, meaning that there isn’t a single side from the premier league left in this year’s edition of the champions league.
after three straight years with three english teams in the semifinals, it almost feels unnatural to be deprived of an english presence in the final four. however, the so-called “english dominance” created considerable ire on the continent, as many believed that the influx of money into the british game was creating a power vacuum in the game’s greatest club tournament.
but since none of the big four are still competing for a chance to play in this year’s final, what in the world is uefa president michel platini going to cry about now? oh yeah.
personally, i’m more than fine with this development. the last time we saw semi-final matchups sans-english teams was in in 2003 (a.c. milan, inter, juventus and real madrid). even better news about this year’s edition is that it features four teams from four different countries (the last time this happened was in 2004, featuring porto, monaco, chelsea and deportivo la coruña).
so for me, this year’s tournament has become infinitely more intriguing. well it’s intriguing so long as we’re not discussing who will win, because that one is a simple pick… lyon barcelona.
hopefully, england’s semi-final no show will also end all of the snobbery permeating from the british isles and the EPL fanboys the world over. it’s kinda hard to claim you’re the best league in the world when you can’t even put a team into the continental championships last four, wouldn’t you think?
i really think there is only one downfall about the lack of british presence at this stage , and that has to do with potential tv ratings. here in the states and, more importantly, in asia the premier league and it’s sides are the most popular league and teams in the world. after finally beating out the nfl’s super bowl last year for the title of the most watched annual sporting event, will a final lacking an english side mean the champions league will surrender its new found crown?
i don’t know the answer to that question. but as far as the competition on the field is concerned, the lack of english teams for the first time in a long, this is a really good thing. all four of the other big five leagues (spain, italy, germany and france) are represented.
it’s a clear sign that the premier league hasn’t pulled as far ahead of the other domestic leagues as platini likes to make us all think. and even if the premier league is raking in more money than the others combined (i doubt this is true, but uefa’s president makes me feel that it is), it goes to show that the so-called “minnows” are capable of knocking off the big dogs.
and if english football fnas are looking for the golden lining in this otherwise upsetting scenario, perhaps this can be good news for the country this summer. with all of the luck seemingly sapped away from their domestic league, maybe this means their good luck is shifting over to the three lions just in time for the world cup.
well, probably not… but we have to keep these hooligans looking forward to something.
DJ–I think Chris’ game is at 1:00 EDT today rather than 3:00, isn’t it? 19:00 is 7:00 p.m. their time and 1:00 eastern–correct?