Guest blog: Dietmar Hamann
- Thu 14 Feb 2013, 9:51AM
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc, words: @dietmarhamann
Ex-City and Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann shares a German view on the state of the English footballing nation.
After the defeat to Southampton last week, I think it is going to be very difficult for them.
I still believe that City have all of the tools to go to Old Trafford and win but that doesn't look like it is going to be enough this season.
Both teams are miles ahead of the rest of the Premier League at the moment - it was a two-horse race last season and I’d be amazed if the trophy left Manchester again this season.
"Unfortunately, the league as a whole is not as competitive is it has been in recent years and maybe the top players in the world aren’t in the Premier League in the same numbers as they used to be."
If you look at the Premier League’s success in the Champions League, this is probably the worst they have done in the last 10 years.
There are only two teams [Manchester United and Arsenal] in the last 16 and there’s every chance they will go out might go out as they’ve been drawn against Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
I’m not surprised that Pep Guardiola decided to join Bayern Munich as he joins a team with a global following, it’s one of the biggest clubs in the world – he has continuity and stability which he might not have had at somewhere like Chelsea.
I knew they were in contact last year, so it doesn’t surprise me that a coach of Guardiola’s calibre has decided to join a league which is growing in popularity quickly.
Part of the reason for that success is that there are some very good young, exciting players coming through in the Bundesliga and if you look at the German national team’s performances in major tournaments, they’ve come close to winning things together already.
It’s very competitive, even though Munich and Dortmund are a long way ahead you still have teams like Wolfsburg who won the league four or five years ago.
"In Germany they will throw in a good young player, they’re not afraid to give these players a chance and that’s the only way you can find out how good they are and if they’re ready."
I think that’s the main difference between Germany and England at the moment.
Here, not as many young players get a chance.
Everyone knows that Germany’s disappointing performance at Euro 2000 was a watershed moment in football over there but I don’t really see any signs of a moment like that occurring in England in the next five or six years.
With the new St George’s Park development in Burton and all the investment and new facilities there is a shift in mentality in the way England approaches things but at the moment I believe they are quite some way behind other top countries in Europe.