Thierry Henry fears Premier League will lose Champions League place

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry fears the Premier League could lose one of its Champions League places unless lessons are learnt quickly.

Poor results over the past few seasons along with improved performances from clubs in Italy has seen the gap between the two leagues close dramatically.

If Premier League clubs don’t start to perform in the next six to 18 months there is the very real prospect that England could drop to three Champions League places.

Henry told The Sun: “There is a real danger that the Premier League will soon lose one of its Champions League places because our European results have been so unimpressive.

“When you see a side like Dinamo Zagreb beating Arsenal, it is clear that even the smallest teams in the Champions League now fancy their chances against the English. Back in the day, a match like that would have been a guaranteed three or four-goal win.

“Now Arsenal are already on the back foot and under pressure just to get through the group stage. Thank goodness they are playing Olympiakos and not Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

“Manchester United and Manchester City are also under the cosh after losing their opening games and have no margin for error against Wolfsburg and Borussia Monchengaldbach this week.

“Chelsea look to be best equipped to make a strong challenge, but I thought that last season when they were totally dominating domestically but were killed off by ten-man Paris Saint-Germain at Stamford Bridge.

“People can argue that the English teams are hampered in Europe because the Premier League doesn’t have a mid-season break. When the German and Spanish sides are enjoying a two or three-week rest, we are cramming in even more games during the Christmas and New Year period.

“But that was also the case when English teams were dominating Europe 10 years ago. So it doesn’t really excuse the recent poor results.

“Yes, the Premier League is very competitive. But so are the Spanish, German and Italian leagues.

“People say, ‘Oh, it’s so easy in Spain and Germany because the same teams win the title every year.’ But if Barcelona, Bayern or Madrid played here, they would probably win the Premier League as well because they are simply the best in the world.

“So now it is a case of what can England bring to the table that is new? I hope they can find the answer to that question very quickly.”

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