Ex-Leeds, Villa boss O'Leary: Premier League quality going backwards

Former Leeds United and Aston Villa boss David O'Leary says the Premier League is going backwards.

O'Leary is concerned that the need to keep the Premier League established as the most exciting brand of football in the world has made the values of simple defending expendable.

O'Leary said: "The quality of the Premier League has not improved - if anything it has gone backwards.

"Chelsea have gone backwards, Arsenal have gone backwards, Liverpool are not a challenge any more.

"I think even Sir Alex would not view his current United side as his best crop so it was a fantastic achievement to get to the Champions League final and win the league last year.

"Manchester City have had an unbelievable amount of money to spend but they are still emerging.

"We have got carried away with it - I've just come back from Dubai and the only football they really get excited about is the Premier League. Defending-wise the top teams are conceding too many goals and that really hurts them in Europe.

"Think of the Chelsea side under Jose Mourinho with a young John Terry and Frank Lampard - a really strong team; think of the Arsenal side of a few years ago or Manchester United when Cristiano Ronaldo was there. Are they as good [now]? No way."

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