The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE -

THE Cham­pi­ons League semis will be con­tested by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bay­ern Mu­nich and Ju­ven­tus. The same old faces?!

Once again, the best play­ers in the world like Lionel Messi, Thomas Muller, Luis Suarez and Cris­tiano Ron­aldo have ar­rived on the big stage.

When­ever we ques­tion our own Pre­mier League and why we can­not al­ways com­pete in the big­gest com­pe­ti­tions, we do need to cast a thought to­wards the abil­ity of Real Madrid to just pluck Ron­aldo or Bale from the grasp of our English clubs. Be­cause in the end, how­ever hard we look at our game, at our coach­ing, at our devel­op­ment frame­works, if the best play­ers in the world choose to play at the very big­gest clubs, then those clubs will have a huge ad­van­tage. I do won­der though whether Brian Clough would have paid th­ese big clubs quite as much re­spect as we some­times do.

By fo­cus­ing on his own team and their abil­i­ties he was able to build the con­fi­dence that won two Euro­pean Cups at Not­ting­ham For­est

There comes a time to suc­ceed. And at that time, a team’s play­ers be­come the best play­ers partly be­cause of the be­lief that is in­stilled in them. Like Atletico Madrid last sea­son.

The win­dow of op­por­tu­nity is nar­row be­cause there will al­ways be a Chelsea will­ing to pay big bucks to sign your Diego Costa – be­fore Real Madrid do the same to Chelsea. And so the world goes round. And so a Clough will al­ways have his chance.

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