English clubs have had a bad week in the Champions League, with three out of four losing, but I don't think we should be surprised.
For years they have got away with treating the group stage lightly, and trying to coast through to the knockout rounds.
Most of the big continental sides rest players in the league before a European game. Premier League sides seem to do the opposite, hoping they can do just enough to get through.
You could interpret that as evidence of the Premier League's strength, or point out that teams such as Porto often play on a Friday to get extra rest - but I still think English sides are guilty of complacency.
They do not appear ready for the challenge posed by sides like Ajax, Schalke and Shakhtar Donetsk. These are young, hungry teams with great movement and tempo.
Watching Gareth Barry in Manchester City's recent European games was shades of World Cup 2010 against Germany. He just looks unable to cope with the technique and mobility you see in modern sides.
Ajax have come out of the doldrums in recent years and have a great set-up. Nobody makes any secret of the fact that their players are desperate to get a big payday in one of the top leagues. The club accepts that. But while they are there, they give everything for the cause.
And such is the quality of youth development, they always seem to have ready-made replacements when their top players do leave.
This summer, Gregory van der Wiel went to Paris Saint-Germain. What did they do? They simply promoted Ricardo van Rhijn from the youth ranks and he looks just as good.
City's starting XI last night cost £185 million to Ajax's £4m. They should have superior players, but I just think that desire is hard to replicate among players who have already had their big move and achieved financial security.
As for Arsenal's defeat at home to Schalke - I just don't think people realise how good they are. Fans are quick to talk up English opposition like Stoke, then seem surprised when a team with players like Afellay and Huntelaar can string two passes together.
German football is on the up, and Schalke have been consistently near the top for several years, gradually accruing Champions League experience. And yet Arsenal's defeat to them seemed to shock people more than losing to Norwich.
Similarly, Shakhtar have been in the Champions League for a long time, and they are financially strong so do not have to sell their best players.
That is the reality of the modern Champions League. In the past, you maybe had one other strong team in the group but could be confident of qualifying. Now there are multiple rivals to contend with, making elimination a real possibility. Chelsea are in a three-team mini-league with Shakhtar and Juventus, and still have to travel to Turin.
As Roberto Mancini has said, City need a miracle now. But more importantly they need to learn how to cope better in Europe.
Last season, both City and Dortmund looked out of depth in their first season in the Champions League for some time.
But Dortmund made some changes, came back and improved. They play a tighter game with a deeper line, and now they are beating Real Madrid.
I see no such progress from City. Improving his team's European fortunes should be Mancini's top priority.