Benitez Addresses A Serious And Growing Problem With The Premier League

When pundit Jamie Carragher criticised Newcastle for playing so defensively on Wednesday night he said it was a disgrace that Newcastle played so defensively at home – he was actually talking about something that is not specifically a Newcastle problem.

He just didn’t realize it.

It is a growing Premier League problem that we are in danger of losing the competitiveness of the league.

The top clubs spend hundreds of pounds each summer on new players, and the smaller cubs cannot match that.

So if Manchester City are runaway winners in the Premier League this season – which looks very likely at this point – what will the response of other top clubs like Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham,  Liverpool and Chelsea be?

To spend more money in the transfer market this summer so they can lodge an attempt to win the Premier League next season.

At his press conference this afternoon Rafa Benitez briefly addressed what the growing problem is with the Premier League:

“Pep Guardiola was clear – he has played against teams with different approaches. If you want to keep the Premier League very open, maybe you have to change the financial rules.”

“I won’t talk about other clubs, other players, other transfers. I will concentrate on football, that’s it.”

We basically have two leagues operating now in the Premier League.

The top six – the two Manchester clubs, Liverpool, Chelsea. Arsenal and Tottenham battle it out at the top (although not this season) and they maybe get 80% of the media coverage – or is it 90%?

It’s already split between those clubs who have and those clubs who have not.

Newcastle are in the latter category at the moment and while in the past clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City could come from relative obscurity and are now some of the best teams in Europe – the best teams money can buy in fact – that is not possible today.

That’s because the Financial Fair Play Rules are being used to check clubs’ overspending and becoming bankrupt.

So we see a big problem in the future where the games between the bottom 14 clubs and teams like Manchester City could become mismatches.

That was almost the case on Wednesday night with some Geordie fans just a little worried we could get creamed by City – although that didn’t happen.

Competition is always crucial to any good league but we are losing that competitiveness, and the top six clubs now want (even) more of the TV rights money than they get at the moment.

That will only accelerate the lack of competition in the league.

Newcastle were highly criticized on Wednesday night for trying to get a point against City by all-out defending at home.

Given the current situation, what else can we do?

Try to match City’s attacking play and get creamed 7-0?

And Jamie Carragher’s criticism of Newcastle should have been a criticism of the Premier League; it’s how the big six are getting bigger and more powerful, and the remaining 14 clubs are getting smaller and less powerful – in comparison.

That leads to a league that in the long run is not sustainable.

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Comments welcome.

17 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 29, 2017 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #1

    I don’t think Dummet will play either, nor will Mbemba. I think there’ll be as many as seven changes to the team that played the other night.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 29, 2017 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #2

    Yedlin Clarke Lascelles Manquillo
    Ritchie Hayden Merino Atsu
    Perez Joselu.

  • RUNAWAY777

    Dec 29, 2017 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #3

    Jail really manquillo he would be the first dropped when you could have dummett or mbemba in there who are alround better player .

  • ShirebrookToon

    Dec 29, 2017 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #4

    Mbemba was class the other night, along with Merino too. I would like to see Mbemba start against Brighton.

    I’d go with

    Yedlin Lascelles Mbemba Manquillo
    Ritchie Hayden Merino Atsu
    Perez Joselu

    I’d like to see Saivet in place of Hayden but can’t see that happening!



  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 29, 2017 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #5

    That’s the team I think he’ll go with.

  • Munster Mag

    Dec 29, 2017 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #6

    Mickey is that a fair point ré the purchase? I know the Saudis etc won’t tolerate being ripped off, but surely they want to get a deal done to get players in and save possible relegation? Also, the mansours seem happy to pay top dollar for players s? I just hope u are right but for the sake of say 30 mill surely it’s in their interests to get the deal agreed and get some talent on the pitch before the window closes?

  • RUNAWAY777

    Dec 29, 2017 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #7

    Really lads i think manquillo marking is crap and for hayden shire hes not playing well at the min too.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 29, 2017 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #8

    Just reading .com and Brighton haven’t been travelling well at all, we should have nothing to fear from them, three points would be massive as well. Everyone around us have tricky games as well. These next three are absolutely crucial.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Dec 29, 2017 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #9


    Dummett played the full 90 and it was his first game back after injury so can’t see him starting. Hayden/Shelvey or Diame are the only options in the middle to partner Merino. None of them are exactly on form. Maybe we’ll see Saivet. Very limited options mate

  • toon kk

    Dec 29, 2017 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #10

    Rafa still does not know what his best team is or who his best player’s are. Or which is our best set up come to that.
    Great manager with the right player’s, costing us points on occasions with his baffling decisions.
    Maybe with the right funding we can see what Rafa is all about.

  • Geordie-john

    Dec 29, 2017 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #11

    Well said Rafa. It’s about time that the likes of Carragher and especially Gary Neville need to give themselves a shake and get real. Pundits ? Nah , Never . They always criticize the likes of us every time we are on telly. Even when we have won they never really praise us . It’s a case of Well the other team must have had an off night or they gave Newcastle that goal or goals whatever. The TV / Sky thing has become too big and is totally spoiling not only the transfer market but predicting kick off times as well. It’s a joke !
    Sorry needed that rant !

  • RUNAWAY777

    Dec 29, 2017 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #12

    Ok jail you going this weekend or you away working like me shire guess we will have to wait till 2 pm tomorrow.

  • lochinvar

    Dec 29, 2017 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #13

    Just wonder if Rafa has pencilled in his team for Stoke and then decides who’s best against Brighton. Don’t think he should rotate some players just because they played against City as we need a strong starting line up against Brighton to catty on the performance from the second half against City.

    Yedlin Lascelles Mbemba Dummett
    Ritchie Hayden Merino Atsu
    Gayle Joselu

  • lochinvar

    Dec 29, 2017 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #14

    *catty ? – carry

  • lochinvar

    Dec 29, 2017 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #15

    What we need is a new TV series along the lines of “ The Fans strike back”

    A panel of fans replay highlights of matches featuring said pundits and give them grief for their poor performances, diving, elbows , cards and their teams inept tactics along with criticisms of the managers of those games”

    We could probably get some of them for their fashion sense (flares anyone) and hairstyles.

    What a jolly jape.

  • BeeGuy

    Dec 29, 2017 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #16

    Premier League is like colonialism. The top get everything and the bottom make do with the “not good enough’s”. The FA needs to institute a draft of maybe 5 or 6 UK lads per year, a salary cap and a meaningful roster limit. It works for the National Football League where small market teams like Pittsburgh & Green Bay win as many titles as the big market teams. Who does not get drafted could be drafted by the Championship teams or stay in the draft pool for the next year while playing League 1 or 2..

  • Jib

    Dec 30, 2017 at 8:03 AM

    Comment #17

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