The UEFA Champions League has gotten off to a terrible start for Premier Leagueclubs this season. Chelsea managed to register a 4-0 win over minnows Maccabi Tel Aviv, however Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal all lost 2-1 to PSV Eindhoven, Juventus and Dinamo Zagreb respectively. Only one match of the group stage has been played so far however, it could be argued that there is already a cause for concern amongst English clubs with the majority having lost their opening games against teams that they were expected to beat; in the coming weeks the teams will come across stronger opposition with all English teams expected to progress to the round of 16.

In recent seasons the Champions League has seen English clubs receive mixed fortunes for example, Chelsea managed to get to the semi-finals of the competiton during the 2013-14 campaign but were surprisingly knocked out by Paris Saint Germain in the round of 16 the following year. Since Chelsea last won the Champions League in 2012, English teams have only managed to make it past the round of 16 on one occasion. Considering that the 2007-08 edition of the Champions League featured three English teams in the semi-finals and an all English final, it’s clear that there has been a lot of regression during the years.

Currently England rank third in the UEFA coefficient which gives them four spots in the Champions League along with Germany and Spain, however after the performances of English clubs over the past few seasons, especially last season where in both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League there wasn’t an English club in the quarter-finals, there is a lot of pressure on English clubs to do well in Europe otherwise England risk losing the fourth Champions League spot to Italy, who saw Juventus reach the Champions League final last year.

It’s a very confusing situation for English clubs as they have continued to spend huge amounts of money over the years, with some of the biggest teams in the country spending over £100million in order to strengthen their squads. The revamped squads have had positive effect domestically as more teams have been added into the European debate however, on the Champions League stage the new look teams are still yet to deliver on their potential.

There is a very good chance of all English clubs in the Champions League progressing past the group stage as there are still five games to play however, the start made by all clubs with the exception of Chelsea won’t leave supporters with high hopes.