Same ol’ same ol’?

So how do you Europeans deal with the very static nature of your soccer leagues? Checking the latest Italian news, traditional power Juventus is sitting comfortably in first place. And while there are a few strange faces (e.g. Udinese) among the usual suspects lined up behind Juve, if history is any guide they’ll fade as the season progresses (when was the last time Lecce was in Champions League? Uh, howabout never?)

My guess is that things over in the Premiership are quite similar. Indeed, it seems that in the whole of Europe, only a few sides– oh, say around eighteen or so– really run the show. Don’t the fans of, say, Tottenham, ever get tired of not winning?

Sure, in the States our baseball league has its own perennial powers (and its own lovable losers), but our most popular sport has a nice balance of power. Yes, one team might rise up and dominate for a few years, but then they’ll settle back down and let another team (and its fans) share in some of the glory. It’s not automatic, of course (witness the hapless history of the Buccaneers), but in general fans need not wonder if that last play-off run was, indeed, the last they’ll ever see.



  1. I think someone’s been reading their World Soccer Handbook… Lancer, I love the NFL for just the reason you mention: salary cap and drafting mean every team has a chance (the Bengals being the exception). But it’s not as bad, at least in England, as you make out. The Man U “dynasty” only began in the 90s. Before that Liverpool and Everton held sway (in the 80s). Yes, Everton. Now Arsenal are the dominant team. Chelsea next? 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="" TITLE="ronan at jhu dot edu">Ronan<>


  2. Right– the EPL is a little different this year. ManU is way down there, and Chelsea’s on top. Nothing like a Russian Billionaire to change things up a bit.

    But I thought Man U had been around longer. I thought that they, like the Yankees, had a dry spell in the 80’s and then turned things around in the late 90’s. I’ll have to go back and check that Handbook! You’re right about Liverpool, though– they’re second in league titles behind, I think, Man U… 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>Lance


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