Vlog on the Pitch — Keegan’s right about ‘boring’ Premier League

May 6, 2008

“This league is in danger of becoming one of the most boring, but great, leagues,” was the verdict of Kevin Keegan after his Newcastle side failed to stop the Chelsea juggernaut on Monday. Owen Wyatt is joined by Vlog on the Pitch regulars Jon Bramley and Darcy Lambton to discuss Keegan’s comments, as the Premier League draws to a close with the same top four sides as usual.

Keegan seems to have come round to the way this blog has been thinking for a while (see this from August last year). But is he right? And if so, what’s the solution? Should we all just be watching the Championship, as Mike Collett suggested? Let us know in the comments, or record your own answer on video, whack it up on t’internet tagged ‘Vlog on the pitch’ and we’ll track it down and uppost here.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Probably yes. IMHO it’s the inconsistent performances of the big teams but good performances by the smaller teams that is making other leagues interesting. Apart from the “Big Four” not many teams can perform well in europe. For the league to be intersting the smaller teams should perform well. They cannot always be outclassed, can they ?

Posted by harithski | Report as abusive

i agree with Keegan that it is boring, but for exactly the oppostie reason. A few years ago i would watch any Premier League game that was on the box. Now I steer clear of the Bolton v West Hams etc as they are invariably dull.If one of the top four are playing there will at least be some great play and often drama

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

I would have to disagree with you mark..For me the matches on television are becoming increasingly boring because the games between the top four and any club outside the top four are incredibly dull..the games between clubs like bolton vs west ham atleast have a sense of “unpredictability” about them..this season i have gone to the pub coutnless times to watch a game down the pub with one of hte top four involved and it isn’t even a contest!! Man Utd can simply stroll to victory..Matches between the top four are often an absolute anticlimax..They are overhyped by the media so that we are wipped into some frenzy..give me fulham vs brimingham any day sir!!Now dont get me wrong, i am not slating the top four for being too good, but there are fewer and fewer surprises..Could an american style salary cap stop the gulf between the top and bottom from widening??

Posted by james | Report as abusive

******whipped not wipped, appologies…

Posted by james | Report as abusive

Keegan has a point but I think the trend is toward more quality, ie: the Big Four will soon be at least a Big Six. I think that Juande Ramos has demonstrated his quality with Spurs and has used this season to suss things out – Spurs will definitely challenge for a Champions League spot next season. And either Villa, Everton, City or Newcastle will eventually have the manager and the expensive players to make a similar challenge for Europe. The outcome? Less boredom than Keegan predicts and more angst amongst owners and fans as they see big teams with big money not qualify for Europe. Therefore MORE excitement. Under this senario we could see the likes of Manchester United not qualify for the Champions League a couple of years from now simply because there will be more and better competition taking points from the big boys. I have a separate thought: if it’s really going to be a “Premier” League, reduce the number of teams so that we don’t have to see the likes of Derby getting crushed by 5 or 6 on a regular basis. I think 16 teams for instance would be enough.

Posted by Beautifulgamer | Report as abusive

This top 4 dominance is the reason England didn’t make it to the Euro2008. If 10 teams in EPL has closedcompetition, English player’s quality will be one level up.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

Thanks for your comments. I very much agree with Beautifulgamer’s comments about Juande Ramos at Spurs. I think that by the end of the summer he could have put a squad together to rival Liverpool and Arsenal. With so much money now at stake the key would seem to be finding a manager you can trust to invest your money on players that can deliver. Keegan’s prediction that the top four will remain the same next season overlooks the fact that other key players may follow Flamini out of Arsenal in the summer. It is up to the owners of clubs like Aston Villa to place their trust and dollars in the hands of managers of the calibre of Martin O’Neil, Juande Ramos, Mark Hughes (Santa Cruz …what a bargin!!) and allow them to try and push these clubs forward. The goal of survival should not be good enough for any established Premiership side..you know who you are!!!Anyway thanks for taking the time to comment and keep checking the vlogs!

Posted by Owen Wyatt | Report as abusive

Keegan is right on the money. Outside of matches between the Big 4, Prem football is pretty atrocious for a number of reasons; the utter lack of technical ability on display after the Big 4 is way up there.People talk about Ramos at Spurs showing well and going to the next level, but you forget to realize that Berbatov is gone and I’m sure many other players all going to Big 4 clubs are top clubs in other leagues. Everytime a team seems poised to take that next step up, they lose key players to United, Chels, Pool or Arsenal and the status quo is retained.The only way it is broken is if 3 more owners decide to spen Abramovich type bucks to force another team into the mix otherwise it’s foolish to expect anything but more of the same.

Posted by papa bear | Report as abusive

in all other leagues it is just 2-3 teams… in fact la liga is only about barca and real madrid… bundesliga is about bayern munich and shalke (i guess), serie a is a little better with AC milan, Juventus, Inter and Roma and lique is ridiculously Lyon centric…so in other words it is the same if not worst situation in other countries… at least in the premiership you have 4 teams who are not only strong domestically but also powers on the european front… history has noted that there will always be just 2-3 teams per country who will dominate and that is the way it has been for ages….i think english people have a strong sense of inferiority complex… it is funny becasue when things are actually going good for them they sit down and start cribbing.. newcastle needs a heavy mental check because let us accept it they have always been the club that ‘was supposed to be a heavyweight’ and nothing more… geordies are a laughing stock and the players who come there are there for their retirement benefits… let us just leave it at that

Posted by Shyam Tallamraju | Report as abusive

Hi Shyam,I am not sure that you can say that the French League is Lyon centric anymore – Bordeaux are two points of the top sport with two games left.

Posted by Owen | Report as abusive

Quite: see Julien’s blog here…http://blogs.reuters.com/soccer/200 8/05/05/are-lyon-going-to-lose-it-after- all/

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

Germany is often said to be a one-team league, but there is a fair bit of movement in terms of who will emerge as Bayern’s main challengers.Last year Stuttgart won the title, in 2004 it was Werder Bremen and a couple of years before that Dortmund were champions.Schalke generally look like they’re going to be champions for long periods each season, but then never quite manage it. Hamburg SV pushed Bayern hard two years ago and Bayer Leverkusen have got close a few times as well.I know that’s not exactly a great number of teams capable of winning the title, but it’s more interesting than just having the same bloody top four year in year out.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

Another great Vlog gents, sparking some lively online debate. Premier League boring? Isn’t that coming from a manager who plays seven forwards, one holding midfielder and two at the back..? Yep Kev, you play entertaining footy but you’ll never win anything – that’s why you’ll make outrageous statements like this to deflect from your own tactical failings.Just read L’Equipe or La Marca to find out if the Premier League is boring – they love ‘EPL’. Watch Serie A on Channel Five if you want boring football. Has ANYONE EVER actually sat through ninety minutes of Italian dross and been entertained?Back to the studio, Wyatt is turning into the new James Richardson, with the sporting insight of Guilleme Balague. Brambles is the midfield dynamo who keeps the squad ticking over and the exotically named Darcy Lambton is surely the glamour signing of the season. Even if he is a Tractor Boy.

Posted by Riley | Report as abusive

….and just thinking about it, isn’t Sunday going to be the most exciting finish to a Premier League EVER?!!!! Down to the last game after a herculean push from Chelsea, managed by Boss Nass from Star Wars Episode One?!!!

Posted by Riley | Report as abusive

Great stuff gents. I think Darcy makes a great point about the resurgence of the Championship as a league in its own right. It’s a division that is deliciously unpredictable year in year out. I think John is more Shambles than Brambles this week if he thinks Watford fans are genuinly happier this year. The Premier League is where teams all want to be no doubt about it. Keep up the good work boys you’re the best triumvirate since 3T hit the charts with “Anything” back in the long summer of 1995…good to see John Shambles

Posted by Adam Hutchinson | Report as abusive

I only hope the inevitable European League comes around sooner rather than later and the so-called Big Four can clear off and leave the rest of us to watch a proper league, rather than a self-perpetuating cartel. In fact, let’s throw them out now!I agree with Glamour Boy Lambton that watching a team play in a competitive league like the Championship is preferable to seeing them stuffed each week, a la Derby County….Then again he hasn’t recovered since the Tractor Boys missed out on the Premiership three years ago despite finishing ten points clear of the team that went up through the playoffs – West Ham.

Posted by JimD | Report as abusive

even if it’s boring to see the same 4 at the top everyyear,you cant deny the fact that EPL is by far the best league in the world.Fact that the lesser teams not putting up the Competative performance makes it boring rather than top four putting top notch play every year.Top 4 English Clubs are doing fantastically well in Europe and it’s high time for Kevin keegan and Co.. to Shop wisely ,get the tactics right from begining and make a serious challenge to the Crown.

Posted by chethan | Report as abusive

I think Owen Wyatt is almost better than Don Ridell.

Posted by Pedro Pinto | Report as abusive