Watch Arsenal lose to Bournemouth without Alexis Sanchez, read 16 Conclusions on Liverpool 5-0 Manchester City, then send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is Antonio Conte trying to get fired?
I begged for a change to 343 on Friday.
He plays 352 and he complains about his players being tired and he has Willian and Pedro on approx 1000 mins each this season.
Then he says in the interview that it’s not the system.
This man is talking utter bullsh*t and he wants to be fired. Probably Chelsea’s fault for entirely ignoring his transfer requests this summer.
But a sad sad situation to be in as defending champions with one of the innovators in modern football.
Charlie (upset), CFC
Already the end for Allardyce?
The last week at Everton has been a complete shambles. Allardyce has managed to alienate pretty much the entire squad. Firstly, he talked of regenerating the strike force after publicly deeming Niasse and Calvert-Lewin below the required standard. To remedy the striker problem, Everton sign Tosun, an unproven Turkish striker, about whom the manager wastes no time in saying he may not be up to snuff. To top it off, he lambasts the whole defensive display in the post match interview against Spurs, and questions the players’ professionalism.
Where does Allardyce go from here? HIs honeymoon period lasted a matter of weeks, and is In a minority of one in the belief that Everton need to be “more boring.” Now, he mostly has a squad that a) doesn’t suit his playing style, b) are directionless in attack, and d) feel got at by the manager.
It is clear that Big Sam has inherited many players that are surplus to his specific tactical requirements. Another perspective is that there are precisely zero top class players at the club in the peak of their career (with the possible exception of Sigurdsson who is being played out of position). However, should Allardyce be further indulged in the transfer market in January, it would only serve to further muddy the waters in a squad built from FOUR different perspectives in the space of 6 months; himself, Koeman, Walsh and Board’s impulsive Rooney purchase. This scattergun strategy is not doing them any favours.
Come May, when the managerial merry-go-round doubtless whizzes around again, Everton will be left with a gigantic wage bill and a huge squad – but no discernible direction or style to the team. With both relegation and Europe our of reach, better to hold on to the pursestrings for now and regroup in the Summer with a coherent and clear strategy (and a manager committed to cracking the Top 6).
Rob S (Prediction – Unsworth to resume as caretaker manager before the season is out)
Somebody in the mailbox suggested Daniel Sturridge as an ideal fit at United, and I scoffed to myself and thought, yeah, and we’ll take Pogba in return I guess. But then I thought, actually, Mkhi would probably be a fair swap, and would please all parties, other than the fact that they’ve had to deal with the club they hate. So here we go, a list of proposed swaps between teams that have no business dealing with each other.
Fans, tell me if you’d take them, or find some others that would work.
Where possible, they’ll be comparable players for one reason or another.
Sturridge for Mkhitaryan?
Eden Hazard for Alexis Sanchez?
Gabriel Jesus for Marcus Rashford?
Harry Kane for KDB?
Mesut Ozil for Cristian Eriksen?
Ederson for DDG?
I imagine that both sets of fans would turn their nose up at the proposition, which says something about how much we value our own players over everyone else in the league, but it’d be interesting to hear which of these or others you’d be keen on.
KC (I’d swap Sturridge for Mata)
City in the Champions League
City will not win the CL. And I do hate them, as a team but also in 2976 I was head butted in a chippy in Manchester by a light blue thug. He had to jump like Lukaka as I am 6’4” and he was a little shit, but that is why he caught me by surprise and was able to run off without retaliation.
They will not win the CL because they are getting used to playing without real competition. The lead they have has resulted from the lack of competitive football being played against them, with so many teams just not believing that they have a kick at drawing let alone winning. Don’t get me wrong, they are playing terrific football, but it is a bit like shooting practice sometimes as the opponents are playing so deep.
So they will come up against an Italian or German team, or a Spanish team will give them a lot to think about and they will lose in the quarters. Mark my words.
Why are City not hated?
In response to the mail from Dave of London, the reasons why Man City are not hated are actually quite simple.
Bear in mind that for decades, other than possible Leeds, Man United have been the most hated club in the country by far. The reason is simple jealousy as the biggest, most popular, successful and well supported club in the land. The only time in living memory that a significant number of non-United fans demonstrated goodwill towards the club was during the 2006-07 season.
As we all know, following the Abramovich takeover in 2003 and subsequent sugar daddy spending spree, Chelsea had finished second and then won two consecutive easy titles. Having signed Ballack, Shevchenko and Cole in summer 06, people were resigned to seeing them walk off with it again and United’s success came as a pleasant surprise. By the time they won the league/CL double in 2008, all that had been forgotten and the United hating was back in full swing. City, meanwhile, were everyone’s favourite comedy club due to their habit of doing everything the hard way and making a mess of things and were never any serious threat to win anything.
City are benefitting from three factors:
* The lingering goodwill from the days when they were a comedy club.
* The fact that, unlike Chelsea, their sugar daddy purchase didn’t result in almost immediate dominance. Whilst they have won their share of silverware, the Arabs have been pumping money in for so long that many people have become accustomed and indifferent to it.
* The fact that they are not United. Whilst there is a fair bit of resentment out there about another sugar daddy club being bought trophies, people are balancing that against getting enjoyment out of seeing United’s neighbours succeeding. This was never more apparent than the Liverpool fan, whose name I forget, who wrote in claiming that he (and according to him “the whole country”) was jumping round the living room celebrating after City scored the 97th minute winner against Southampton, despite the fact his team had just fallen another two points off the pace and despite the fact that people used to hate on United for doing the very same.
At the moment, the enjoyment at United’s neighbours succeeding is winning. My long term prediction is that, assuming City succeed in winning the league this season, if they manage to retain it next term (difficult, nobody has done it since 2009) then we will soon start to see the hatred come to the fore.
Reading Matt LFC’s email about two same-day signings with huge gaps in quality, as a Juventus fan I remember all too well a highly satisfied Marcello Lippi posing with four same-day additions to the Old Lady’s ranks.
1. World’s most costly goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
2. Czech midfield dynamite (and future Ballon d’Or winner) Pavel Nedved.
3. Cristian Zenoni.
4. Legendary French defender Lilian Thuram.
Zenoni was……not very good.
I’ll let other readers decide whether that’s a gap or a chasm.
Dario (I support both Spurs and Juve, so the Champion’s League will be a little interesting.)
I remember seeing a picture of our new signings with Sir Alex in 2003 and getting quite excited!
World Cup winner Kleberson!
Cameroon international Eric Djemba-Djemba!
Who’s that lanky Portuguese kid??
A great question
With the likes of VVD leaving a premier league club for a top 6 team (probably top 4 team), it got me thinking..
Would the other 14 teams be able to put out a Premier League all star team that would theoretically challenge for the title?
Surely the likes of Mahrez, Vardy, Zaha we could compile a team strong enough to at least challenge?
Jeffery Johnson (AFC, The ‘shire’)
More pedantry please
Just to pick holes in the “record signing for each year” article, but you wrote that neymar went for “officially a metric f**k ton” at £198m.
Well, a £20 note weighs about 0.9g (according to Google) so £198m/£20=9.9 million notes
So more like 8.91 metric f**k tons. You’re welcome.
Adam g, Tokushima, Japan