Matt Stanger was left impressed by Chelsea's superb first-half display against West Ham as Sam Allardyce's top-four hopes went up in smoke. The Blues will take some beating...
Degsy is tipping Spurs to pile more pressure on Nigel Pearson with a 3-0 win at Leicester on Boxing Day. He also predicts easy wins for United and Arsenal...
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You know what the worst thing is about Arsenal being a shambles at the moment? I can't properly enjoy Manyoo being rubbish.
Adonis (at least Moyes had a tough start) Stevenson, AFC
Angry At Arsene
I, like every other Gooner on earth is in the midst of what can only be described as a prolonged period of jaw drop and collective WTF-ing as we digest the news that instead of being busy trying to secure any new signings in the three areas we are so obviously deficient, Arsene Wenger has seen fit to fly to Rome to manage a team in a charity football match for world peace organised by the Pope...I kid you not.
Frankly this crosses the line into gross misconduct and/or negligence in the workplace. If I was to take off on from work on one of the two highest profile and busiest days in my working year, leaving a huge amount of work unfinished before a deadline which will leave my company in serious trouble for the next 6 months - I'd be told to get my things and leave - and rightly so!
Conor (I actually can't believe this is happening again), Ireland
Take him as of now, Wenger 2014, not Wenger 2004 and his negligence should be unforgivable to every so called Arsenal supporter.
We're going into another season with massive gaps in our squad, there can no longer be any excuses. Everyone in the world can see the problems, why can't one of the highest paid managers in world football? It can't be a mistake, it happens too often. He's either lost the plot, or it's a strategic decision, maybe both. I think he's chooses to not spend the money because if he goes into the season with a full compliment of players he's accountable. Wenger likes going in with squads that are a "little bit short" because it means there's always this nagging question; what could have been?
In my opinion even with a full squad of City like players, he'd still come up short because he's no longer good enough. Great players can't really hide old systems with poor tactics. They can't hide poor preparation. They can't hide a terrible approach to fitness.
This 'fickle' fan who knows nothing or so I'm told by the press and too many fellow gooners, can call this season like I have the last 6. It has 4th place written all over it. The only way we escape this top 4 mediocrity is if we get rid of the 4th place specialist, because one thing is for sure, Wenger doesn't have it in him to take us to the next level. You're either an Arsene supporter or an Arsenal F.C supporter now, it's patently obvious the two are incompatible.
- fickle #wengerout gooner
Are Arsenal fans the most fickle of the lot?? Before the league started we were treated to many a fan proclaiming this was their year what with Sanchez being the last part of the jig saw puzzle, in Wenger we trust etc.. Now all I read or hear is how they'll be lucky to finish 6th, Wenger hasn't got a clue, Wenger out etc.. I know most fans can be fickle to a certain extent but Gunners take the p**s.
MickT (at least at Liverpool we're eternally optimistic = This Is Our Year) Liverpool
A few months ago somebody in the mailbox asked why United claim to be the biggest club in the world.
A record Adidas deal and signing Di Maria and Falcao...after finishing 7th and out of the Champions league - Would love to know what other club in the world could have pulled that off.
...The effect of no Champions League football on players signing for Manchester United?
The square root of F all.
Parmjeet Dayal (Still no way to operate, shed loads of cash spent guarantees nothing)
Are United actually trying to update Madrid's "Zidanes and Pavons" to "Falcaos and Blacketts"?
Wonderful player (and hair of Batistuta quality), but if there's any strategic plan or logic to United's transfers it's beyond me.
...What is going on with Utd's transfer 'policy'?
With LVG not so much wedded to his 3-4-1-2 as following it home and rooting through its bins, the gaps in their current squad seem so obvious as to be blatant. Yet instead of pursuing players to fill these gaps, they are gilding the lily with yet another huge money signing that they don't particularly need.
More than two hundred million pounds spent in the last 13 months or so, and they are still left with four senior CBs (subject to work permit) for three spots and a big hole in the centre of midfield, and now with the added frustration of fitting in five putative world class attackers - who all prefer to play centrally - into three spots with a maximum of 45 games this season.
Possibly the least balanced squad ever seen. You begin to understand the frustration with Mr Woodward.
Jon Gibson LFC (was it Moreno we signed or Jordi Alba?)
Just Enjoy The Ride
United sign Di Maria - "yeah but it doesn't solve our defensive problems"
United sign Falcao - "yeah but our midfield is still rubbish"
Honestly, I've seen and heard people saying this. It leaves me wondering if some people actually enjoy football. If you can't get excited about signing top attacking talent, then I truly think you've picked the wrong sport.
I know as a rival fan I'm supposed to decry this business and echo these sentiments and say how they're "trying to put out a fire with champagne" (not my line but a cracker nonetheless) but I'd be bloody made up if we'd made these signings. Screw defending and just go all out attack.
When you've had a period of underachievement and have a squad with glaring deficiencies, it can be easy to get into a cycle of negativity about everything that is done. Our chief executive is incompetent, we can't get the right players etc. Been there, it's not fun and you need to get yourself out of that way of thinking.
This time last year, I decided to stop worrying about finances, about whether our chief executive was incompetent and decided instead to just enjoy the football again. No killing yourself with "we have to win this or qualify for that" and just taking it for what it is and having a laugh with your mates.
Kris, LFC, Manchester
...What a transfer window for United! Take a moment and go through the names once again - Falcao, Di Maria, Rojo, Shaw, Blind and Herrera.
Daley Blind is going to be the most important of that lot. While he has the flexibility to play in various positions (Wing Back, Left side of the defence, etc) I think he is going to spend most of his time playing at defensive midfield.
We have struggled for a classy defensive midfielder for a really long time. We have always had the attack. He will give us the solidity and screen the defence. He will also be the vital connecting rod so the Ferrari can tow the caravan at blitzing speeds.
Sudarsan Ravi (Falcao on loan for 6 months and that too with no champions league football. Top four seems likely now)
Football Managers As Film Directors
It struck me today that football managers, like film directors, often seem to make a long career through living off past glories. Arsene Wenger is the Luc Besson of the football world, winning three league titles (La Femme Nikita, Leon, The Big Blue) yet steadfastly refusing to sign a striker since what seems like 1987 while his cinematic counterpart churns out rubbish such as The Transporter and Lucy.
Louis Van Gaal (George Lucas) clearly did most of his best work (Star Wars) in the last century, whereas he has continued to make good money during the past decade based on less than inspiring work (Star Wars - The Phantom Menace). Even true legends like Ferguson (Spielberg) are not bulletproof against some major whoppers (Bebe, anyone?)... Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is surely one of the worst films ever made!
In terms of players, Fernando Torres clearly has an alter-ego in Robert De Niro, producing his best displays many years ago (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) but latterly still earning a good salary to churn out nonsense such as Machete, Grudge Match and The Family.
Any more for any more?
Jamie Bedwell, Cheltenhamshire