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Reasons Not To Worry About Chelsea
I think my fellow Chelsea fans are over-reacting a bit to a quiet summer. Not surprising – this is a pretty unique modern phenomenon… But here are some reasons not to worry:
– Over-reliance on a Diego Costa: Last season we had Costa, Drogba and Remy; the season before we had Torres, Eto’o and Ba; This season we have Costa, Falcao and Remy. A lot depends on Mourinho upgrading Falcao, but that seems a reasonable bet.
– in which case this looks like the strongest roster of strikers we’ve had in a while. And ahead of everyone bar potentially Man City in the rest of the league.
– Over-reliance on Matic: We have exactly the same players as last season, plus the now ready-to-play Loftus-Cheek. Again, looks like an upgrade.
– Over-reliance on Hazard: Again, little has changed, and there’s every reason to suppose that Cuadrado (and indeed Oscar, Willian and Hazard himself) could play better and Bertrand Traore play a bit. So we look at least as strong as last season.
– Risk of injuries: Chelsea had relatively few injuries last season, but this wasn’t a new thing. The club just seem to be better at avoiding unnecessary, or unnecessarily long injuries than other clubs. Hazard and Matic in particular seems to have a Ronaldo/ Messi-like ability not to get injured and to maintain a high level of form consistently. (I really hope this one doesn’t come back to bite me…).
– In defence we’re clearly weaker because we’ve lost players, but then we’re almost certain to sign a new left back and centre back before the transfer window closes.
– Squad depth: Our bench looks likely to be Begovic, Falcao, Remy, Cuadrado, Ramires, Zouma, new defender. With another new defender, Loftus-Cheek, Mikel, Traore not making the bench. That looks pretty strong to me.
Mourinho deserves some trust – he’s clearly an excellent manager, he knows what he wants, and he sounds pretty confident in the squad he has. There’s no indication that there’s a lack of funds – more an indication that he intends to use our young players.
All our rivals have strengthened, but I still reckon we’re ahead of all of them. This season should be more competitive than last year, but there’s nothing too much to worry about in the Chelsea squad.
Tim Colyer, Chelsea fan, London
A United Fan Worrying Like Mad
Over the past two seasons, Man United has undergone a lot of changes (to say the very least). Three managers we have had in the past three seasons and three completely different ‘philosophies.’
The word philosophy annoys me now. Have United really become that club which spends over a 100 million pounds EVERY year, just because they can? Are they going to play Football Manager with the team every transfer window? Star players are coming in, not doing well, leaving. While the assurances are that the team is getting better, it just feels to me like the soul of the club is dying.
Last season, United spent country miles more than any other club. It was because it was a year in transition, that makes sense. A front five of Rooney, Falcao, van Persie, Di Maria and Mata had all the fans licking their lips. One season later, we have just Rooney and Mata left, with severely underwhelming performances from the so called stars. We also bought Blind and Rojo last season and we are buying players again this season for those same positions?
When Ferguson was at the club, there was always a sense of optimism of a team being built from the ground up. Van Gaal looks like a kid who has been given full freedom and a lot of money. The 2011-12 season started with players like Welbeck, Cleverley, Evans looking like they would go on to be key players for years to come. That kind of optimism is lacking, no matter how many debuts Van Gaal has handed in to youngsters. He needs to trust the players he has for a slightly more extended period.
I feel like he does not have as much of an idea of what he is doing as he makes it seem like in his press conferences. I hope to be proved wrong, but if the rapid restructuring of the squad continues, I can’t wait for him to complete his three years and hang up his boots.
Will United Live To Regret Valdes
Of all the nonsense that’s been going on amongst the United transfer sagas there’s only one issue that’s really p***ing me off. What’s the deal with Valdez being treated this way? Alright, he didn’t understand LVG’s “philosophy” initially, but the guy wants to play now doesn’t he?
Valdez is still a damn good keeper and I’d go to the extent of saying that in certain areas he’s better than De Gea. Treating him like this is just simply detrimental for United considering that the other two simply won’t last the season. LVG needs to take a cold, hard look at himself and his attitude and do what’s best for the team. Di Maria and De Gea are both issues where players want to move and he’s right about the fact that when your heart isn’t in it it isn’t in it.
We’ve seen many times before how Fergie’s bullishness created problems in pivotal positions and this may just be another one in the offing. I pray that Valdes buckles down and forces LVG’s hand which is only possible if the keeping issue goes haywire (which I’m sure would be the case for United this season).
Champions: City. The attack of Aguero, Silva & Sterling sounds delicious but, I’ll be honest, I’m basing this more on the fact that City have a trend of winning one, capitulating, winning one. Given they capitulated last year, reckon they’ll win it again.
Rest of top four: Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool. Well I wasn’t gonna not put Liverpool in here, was I? Liverpool will score more goals this year and that’s when Rodgers is at his best. Reckon 2nd and 3rd could swap around it’ll be that close.
Europa League – Utd & Spurs. I too think Stoke will make Europa this year depending on cup winners but outright I’ll go with Utd and Spurs. Spurs are perennial Europa League and I reckon Utd fans will be a bit shocked when they realise that they’ve significantly weakened in both boxes and they put all their faith in a Bastian of poor fitness (according to Pep).
FA Cup – Arsenal. Sod it, I hate them and their ridiculous Cech helmet-wearing fans but even I think it’d be a right laugh if they did the threepeat.
League Cup – Chelsea. Because they’ll win a trophy.
Relegation – Everton, Bournemouth & Norwich. Lack of investment and an erosion of a solid defensive core surely means it’s time for a Big Bobby Special right?
Player of the Year – Just got a feeling that Aguero will stay fit & will make everyone else look like human garbage.
Young Player of the Year – Raheem Sterling. 21 and a vital part in my predicted title-winning side. No-brainer.
Team that everyone forgets about – Villa. After seasons of flirting with relegation, a relatively quiet 13th place finish seems about right for them.
Goal of the season – An audacious 40 yard volley. Let’s say… Gueye from Villa.
First manager to go – Ranieri. Before somehow lucking himself into another job.
Top Scorer – Aguero with 24 goals.
The 50-50 signing – Memphis Depay. A lot will be placed on the 21 year old’s shoulders. With Di Maria gone and only Rooney ahead of him, the burden of pace, creating & finishing will rest on his shoulders. Could crumble.
Finally the funniest moment of the season – Pulis’ cap flies off mid-match and lands on a ball. The ball becomes sentient and goes on to take over at Leicester, avoiding the drop. Pulis meanwhile gets West Brom relegated, leading the collective realisation that it was the cap all along.
Kris, LFC, Manchester
…Champions : United. Spent well and hopefully one more bit singing to be made. This may be dependent on who our eventual goalkeeper is and the centre back paring ahead of him.
Following three: Arsenal, City, Chelsea (in that order). Arsenal look good and I personally believe Giroud to be underrated. With Sanchez fit again they will be strong and city should be ok too. If Chelsea are as injury free as they were last year I can see them being 2nd, but I think they won’t get so lucky. Having attended all 19 home games at old Trafford last year I can tell you Falcao is past it.
5/6: Liverpool followed closely by Stoke. I like what Mark Hughes has done and think Rodgers has bought well too, albeit some of his signings will either sink or swim. Europa League will likely lose Saints a few more points (although I’d love them to do well) and I think Spurs are too reliant on Kane.
Relegated: Sunderland, Norwich, Watford. I like Eddie Howe and really hope they stay up. Norwich haven’t bought and Watford have bought too many unprovens. It also must be time Sunderland just packed it in?
Golden Boot: risky one but Sanchez? Not sure there are many 20 goal a season strikers as Aguero can rarely stay fit.
Best Signing: Depay, Firminho and Sterling could all have good years
Worst signing: Falcao (again)
Most red cards: Lee Cattermole / Sergio Ramos if he signs for Man U
Oddest moment: Roy Keane joining Twitter and posting a selfie of his stomach
Goal of the season: Got a real hunch this could be Hector Bellarin…don’t know why
First manager sacked: Rodgers
Number of different line ups to be fielded by Leicester if Raneri stays for whole season: 38
Wacko Jacko, London
Can Mediawatch include itself in Mediawatch? It’s about their Ian Wright slating.
Don’t get me wrong Ian Wright can say some idiotic things as it is so you shouldn’t really need to put words in his mouth. Unfortunately they’ve done that. They slate Ian Wright for saying ‘I genuinely believe Arsenal can beat everyone at home.’ A normal thing to say.
Of course they can beat everyone at home. Bournemouth can also beat everyone at home. How do Mediawatch report it at the top of the page?…….By saying this ‘He thinks Arsenal will win every home game’. ‘Can’ and ‘will’.
Johnny (Arsenal), Bangkok
(For the record, Wright was not talking about the mere technical possibility of Arsenal winning every home game. “I think they can” goes beyond that).
Out Of Vorm
Judging by the way Vorm let Bale’s goal go right through his hands I’d say Spurs are f*cked this season.
Brian (That is why no one is tipping Spurs for anything but Europa) LFC
Do You Work For The Metro?
I notice that Chuba Akpom has gone out on loan again. We are obviously now in a dire need of a replacement.
I can only think that we’ll shortly be buying Benzema as cover.
JazGooner (if I will it to happen enough then it will happen)