Euro flops

Well, the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 (“Achtelfinale”) is in, and the Bundesliga has got soem egg on their faces.

On the plus side, defending champion Bayern München looked reasonably good as they brushed aside Arsenal in London 2-0. Pretty much means they are going to advance.

Borussia Dortmund was solid for the first half, a bit sloppy in the second. But they too are fine with an easy 4-2 win at Zenit St.Petersburg. Obviously this was the easiest paring, but BVB got the job done and are likely to advance.

Now to the bad news.

Of course, Bayer Leverkusen went down sang -und klanglos 0-4 at home to Paris St.Germain. Pretty disgraceful, but we’re used to the Aspirins sucking in Europe, at least recently.

Then of course yesterday Schalke absolutely got crapped on and beaten up at home by Real Madrid 1-6. We’re used to Luserkusen acting like a limp noodle, but this one takes the cake. All players and management should be whipped for this. Now obviously Real is a better team, but this much better?

The first thought that comes to mind is that the Bundesliga isn’t nearly as strong top-bottom as we’d like to believe, a fact that has been pointed out by various readers. That was my first reaction too, but upon reflection I think it just shows the problem with all the Euro leagues. Each one really has only a couple of top teams, and the rest are largely ho-hum. PSG is clearly the class of France, as Barcelona and Real are in Spain. And with the exception of perhaps the EPL, the gaps between the top and the next is *real* big. So Schalke shows up and gets annihilated by Real. Maybe it’s not such a surprise after all, and you can’t draw much of a conclusion about league strength.

What would be interesting is that instead of worthless international friendlies, perhaps once in a while there could be a “league vs league” match, where all 18 of league play a match against the other 18. 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2 ….18 vs 18. That would settle it all about who’s stronger. Plus it would be a hell lot more interesting than the worthless Euroliga, that nobody cares about. Look at the matches below and say it wouldn’t be more interesting:

     BUNDESLIGA      vs      EPL       or      La Liga

 1  Bayern München          Chelsea           Real Madrid
 2  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	    Arsenal           Barcelona
 3  Borussia Dortmund	    Man City          Atl. madrid
 4  FC Schalke 04	    Liverpool         Bilbao
 5  VfL Wolfsburg	    Tottenham         Villareal
 6  Bor. Mönchengladbach    Man United        Real Sociedad
 7  Hertha BSC Berlin (N)   Everton           Valencia
 8  FC Augsburg	  	    Newcastle         Sevilla
 9  1. FSV Mainz 05	    Southampton       Levante
10  1899 Hoffenheim	    West Ham          Espanyol
11  Hannover 96	  	    Hull              Celta Vigo
12  1. FC Nürnberg	    Swansea           Osasuna
13  Eintracht Frankfurt	    Aston Villa       Granada
14  Werder Bremen	    Norwich           Elche
15  VfB Stuttgart	    Stoke             Getafe
16  Hamburger SV	    Crystal Palace    Almeria
17  SC Freiburg	  	    West Brom         Malaga
18  Eintracht Braunschweig  Sunderland        Valladolid

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