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About Alan:

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer is the Premier League's all-time top scorer with 260 goals and a leading TV pundit from the BBC's flagship football programme Match of the Day. Euro '96 Golden Boot winner Alan will be sharing his thoughts on all things football every week throughout the 2016/17 season.

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Shearer Says: “This is one of the most open Champions Leagues in a long time.”

Goalscoring great shares his insight

It tends to go in phases in the Champions League, with different countries enjoying strong seasons.

We’ve seen it in Spain, in Germany and even England a few years ago. 

It could well be that it’s England’s turn again and to have five teams going through with four topping their groups is brilliant for the Premier League.

It’s a great achievement and hopefully they can continue in the competition.

On a side note I watched Liverpool last night and was very interested to see Phillipe Coutinho barely celebrate despite scoring a hat-trick. Could that be a sign that he’s off elsewhere in January?

Inconsistent Tottenham

I said back at the start of the tournament that I thought Spurs would qualify and they’ve done brilliantly to top the group.

However I do feel that their European performances are affecting their domestic form.

I’ve watched their last few games and they’ve started slowly, conceded early goals and found it hard to claw it back.

They were fantastic against Real Madrid home and away but they must start translating that form into the bread and butter league games, whether that be at home to West Brom, away to Watford or anywhere.

They are yet to find the balance between Champions League and Premier League form and a few of their players are finding it tough to get up for some of the league games.

It’s anyone’s this season

This is one of the most open Champions League tournaments in a long time. You can normally hang your hat on two or three teams who you’re almost certain will be there or thereabouts in the latter stages, but you can’t this year.

Real Madrid are having a sticky spell by their own high standards, Bayern and Juventus finished second in their groups.

Meanwhile PSG are again walking away with the French league and the English teams have qualified with relative ease. It’s one of the most open seasons I can remember.

That has had a knock on affect in the Europa League and Arsenal’s task looks a whole lot tougher now with Atletico Madrid, Napoli and Borussia Dortmund amongst the sides dropping from the Champions League.

You don’t know what you’ll get with Arsenal, on their day they can beat anybody but they can also be beaten by anybody. But for sure it will be more difficult for them now in the Europa League. 

Alan