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Congratulations Man City!
DL, LFC, Geneva
Thank f*ck this season is finally over.
1) Congrats to the Manchester City players. You were phenomenal this season. You deserved to win the league.
2) Congrats to the LFC players. You were also phenomenal and equally deserved to win the league this season. Unfortunately there could be only one….
3) If anyone’s moaning about the lack of fanfare about City’s win…have a word with yourselves. They’ve spent the GDP of a small nation on top of spending a similar amount for the past 7 seasons. And that’s without going into the ‘alleged’ off book salary payments highlighted by Der Speigel. It’s more of a story it they DON’T win the league.
4) Next season should be amazing with all the top teams looking to ramp up whilst the next tier teams (Man U, Everton, Wolves) justifiably think that they can be the ones to punch through the glass ceiling.
James Outram, Wirral
City and Pep truly are incredible. To average 2.61 points per game over 2 seasons – wow. Deserved champions. And they are great to watch.
I’m just a bit curious listening to pretty much all their fans on talkback tonight. I know that people who call these shows have to sound edgy to get on, but they strike me as angry. Angry at United for casting a shadow all these years, angry at Liverpool for some supposed media bias, just angry when they should be over the moon (pun intended). I’m sure the players are absolutely buzzing – just not sure where this fan anger comes from. It baffles me.
97 points and second place. Only one loss all season and second place. Unbeaten at home and second place. Played amazing football, ground out wins when we needed, rode our luck a bit and second place.
Thing is the team that caused our only loss in the league won the Premiership with 98 points, they played amazing football like us, they ground out wins when they needed to and rode their luck. They have an amazing manager too, like us.
So I can’t complain, we have had an awesome season, taken it to the last day and thanks to Brighton for about 15 minutes I had tears on my face as I started to realise it could be ours.
Champions League final now to look forward to. Fair play to City, hopefully next season we will nick it by a point.
Al – happy, gutted, amazed and just about every other emotion you can think of
Well done to City, the best team always wins it and the team with the most points is always that team. The resilience they showed in the run in is something we need to take a serious note of; they got in front and they never let it go. The stuff of Champions.
But I’m so proud of my team. If you said 97 points at the start of the season we’d all say ‘thank you very much!’ Player of the season, golden glove winner, joint golden boot winners, a 22 point improvement from last year, 1 loss all season and quite literally millimeters from going one step further. It’s an unbelievable achievement, and all this with a £200m cheaper squad than the winners. Yes, your substitutes matter and it’s something we can address in the close season.
It sets up the Champions League final quite nicely, Klopp’s men will be chomping at the bit.
Barry, LFC (P.s Thanks to F365 for being a constant throughout the season, the ‘destination’ in the good times and the bad. Im sure there are other footy sites, I just don’t know what they are.)
Well played Pep and City. We have been immense this year. To pip us on the final day speaks for itself. Yet this has been a season to truly savour for me and never forget. I’ve been going since 1976 and in any other year or era or against any other team we would be champions. Big thanks to Jurgen, the players, fans and matchday staff. I love footy and I love Liverpool.
David lfc (hoping Leeds join the party next year)
So today went as expected. A tip of the cap to Man City, how can you feel bad about falling short against that machine. It might be a while before someone gets as close as a point. They deserved it.
Honourable mention to Brighton, Burnley and Leicester. You played as if it was a knockout game even when you were safe so I you have to respect that (special mention to Glen Murray for letting me believe for 60 seconds).
We have a Champions league final to look forward to but second and 97 points hurts. I don’t know if it is possible to improve on this but I do know if it is we have the man to do it at the helm.
What a team and what a season. Come on Spurs let’s make it an actual rivalry.
Gerry S, LFC (Sad but true)
What do the numbers say?
Let’s throw a few numbers out there.
98 – an astonishing winning total. Congratulations Manchester City.
97 – 1pt for each of the 96 lost voices and 1pt for the rest of us who kept singing till the end.
83 – seconds between going behind and City equalising. The mark of champions.
30 – the amount in mm over the line for City’s winner at Burnley. Very close. Of course still a goal. Just a fine margin.
21 – the number of minutes we were ahead on the final day. “It’s the hope that kills you”.
20 – the number of top flight titles that Man United have, and a target for Liverpool and City to aim for.
18 – the number of Liverpool top flight titles (hey youngsters, football didn’t start in 1992. Some of us are old enough to have witnessed quite a few you know).
14 – the number of consecutive wins City had once they went top. Relentless.
11 – the amount in mm that Mane’s effort at City wasn’t over the line. Therefore, yes of course not a goal, just a very fine margin. And season changer.
7 – the number of Liverpool draws. People will say we ‘bottled’ some of them, and whilst there might be some element of truth, I think it’s being disrespectful to teams who played well, like Leicester, an injured Man Utd, Everton and certainly West Ham who would have won if we didn’t get a lucky goal.
1 – the number of Liverpool defeats, and the smallest of point margins over 38 games. Enough for one team to be termed ‘better’ than the other? Maybe, but the other really are pretty special as well.
0 – the number of PL trophies Liverpool have won, and of course the amount of trophies that Jurgen has won. Really hope that changes soon!
In summary? Man City are fantastic champions who were unbelievable to retain their title. Well done. And whilst there’s obvious disappointment, regret and despair, there is immense pride for Jurgen and his boys.
Mike Woolrich, LFC
Closer to relegation than the title…
United finished closer, points-wise, to Cardiff than they did Manchester City. Ole to be sacked?
Not wanting to dwell, but…
After we won at Brighton the other week, I wrote in to say that, among other conclusions, I hoped we were relegated by more than 2 points, ensuring I didn’t need to spend the summer feeling bitter at the ineptitude of the officials against Chelsea.
Gareth Dix, CCFC, Sutton (never imagined a win at Old Trafford could make me feel so enraged…)
We can come back even stronger
Ah the Liverpool fans were amazing. It could’ve easily been a bit of an anti-climax at Anfield but we made it an incredible send off to cap an incredible season of football. Even Klopp looked a bit impressed when Anfield seemed to explode on the 90th minute.
We couldn’t have really done much more. We scored first to try make the Man City players nervous and we were lucky enough that they conceded first too. Beyond that the team that cost nearly £1bn took control of things and made it all a formality. The minute in which we seemed to have a chance was really fun though.
All we can hope for now is to win in Madrid and to bring big ears home for a sixth time. That’s not a bad place to be as a football fan I think.
I hope next season we are able to compete again. I think Studge will be off this summer and maybe Milner too. If we sign a backup player who can play both right and left back plus a new attacker then maybe we can come back stronger than ever.
Up the reds. What a season.
Wolves could finish ahead of United next season
I wrote in after the Everton/Theo Walcott scoring against you shambles to say Woodward could get away with firing Ole at the end of the season because he won’t have won any more games and here we are. Eight defeats in the last twelve. One of the two draws was to already relegated Huddersfield so it’s nine defeats from twelve really. Two goals from open play in the last eight games as well. United really had no choice but to give him the job after that ridiculous night in Paris but that has to be that now. I understand that it’s a relatively poor group of players but one point and one goal from two already relegated teams means players with no sense of a plan on the pitch nor sense of urgency. Only a couple of weeks ago, during the city game, those players would have gone in at half time hearing Arsenal were three down. They had a real chance of champions league football despite themselves but they still came out in the second half and jogged. Do these players not want to get to the Champions League? Of course not. So why the complete lack of urgency? It’s surely a lack of belief. They don’t think they’ll succeed for whatever reason so what’s the point in trying? Solksjaer has been there since November. He’s clearly not doing his job.
As he’s said himself, the club is not going to clear out the dressing room in one summer. Most of that team will still be there in August so what is the point in keeping him around? Either his tactics or coaching methods are terrible or the players don’t respect him or, quite possibly, both. Either way, holding onto him is literally stupid and can be based on nothing but sentimentality and faith. Claudio Ranieri couldn’t do anything with Fulham after taking over half way through the season so they got rid. He had a Premier League winners medal and a host of near misses in different leagues in Europe, he had evidence that he could do a job, but Fulham realised his methods were never going to work with this particular team so they pulled the plug. What’s the evidence for believing Solskjaer can turn United around? This season, a relegated team will have made a smarter decision on their manager than United will have if they keep OGS on. What kind of player who has options will look at United (can’t score at home to a team that’s already relegated, Europa League, managed by someone with basically no experience and boasts about agents ringing up as evidence of his club’s greatness) and want to sign? Players either not good enough or players motivated by money who’ll probably not be good enough as a result. Manchester United under Mauricio Pochettino though? That could be interesting, A good player might actually consider that. The few good players the club has might buy into that and they need *something* to buy into. You get the sense that Spurs and Liverpool players feel like they’re part of one big clique/gang/whatever you want to call it. United players have been going to a 9 to 5 job for the past six years. Whoever manages the club next needs to be able to build that kind of atmosphere. I hope it’s Poch. I know it can’t be Ole.
The players do need a kick though. They’ve been led by a succession of unsuitable managers which is not their fault but I wonder how all these millionaires would be if they went on one of those BBC2 shows for spoilt kids. Why don’t Premier League clubs put programs like that in place for their players anyway? Not saying they all need it; the likes of Raheem Sterling and Wilfried Zaha show they clearly appreciate their luck in life and give back. There are plenty who are detached from reality though because of the insane wealth and sheltered life they’ve had from a young age. If rich clubs make volunteer work as integral a part of their training of young players as school work, more humble, more professional and therefor better players might be the long term result.
Also, it’ll never happen, but if I was in charge at United and had no plan to put proven talent in the role of director of football, I’d sound out Vincent Kompany for it. He has his MBA from Manchester Business School, speaks a tonne of languages and is clearly emotionally invested in the city of Manchester itself. He’s made some insightful public comments about business. If he’s not eyeing up a career in commercial business, I’d say he’d consider a job with United. I’d trust him to make objective decisions over the likes of Darren Fletcher at least. Patrice Evra took a job with City even after they stole half of Arsenal’s players and left them in the dust so why not?
Unfortunately, football seems like a nuisance for Ed and the Glazers. It’s something that gets in the way of their main focus. It’s something they’re forced to deal with now and again like an emotionally distant, uninterested parent having to deal with a babysitter who called in sick. Bond and play games with your child for the evening and train his imagination or stick him in front of the telly for 6 hours while you play online poker? The Glazers are happy for the fans to sit there all night and watch whatever comes on the telly, even past the watershed, as long as we don’t start crying.
Unless a proper manager is put in place, Wolves will be finishing ahead of United next season. They’re certainly not finishing ahead of the rest of the “Big 6”. I wouldn’t back against Everton squeezing ahead either. Manchester United are a cash cow. Nothing more.
The Barca v Real of the PL
Are we looking at City and Liverpool being the Barcelona v Real Madrid of the PL for the foreseeable? Both have been ridiculously relentless under pressure. If Spurs spend wisely in the summer then maybe it’ll be a three way race next season. But can fans of Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal tell us how on earth they’ll get close to those three in the next two years? Wolves, Everton and West Ham are just as likely to pose a threat as them surely?
I wrote in early in this season with what, I think, was the first ABL mail. I stand by it but good grief Liverpool have been immense. I’m not sure City would’ve made 98 points without the incredible pressure put on them by Klopp’s team and, if there is any justice, they’ll win the CL. Their efforts this season must surely end with silverware. They deserve it.
Oh, and the highest respect to Brighton applauding City at the end. Sheer class and very much appreciated.
Mark (Still hope Spurs win mind!) MCFC
African goal machines
The premier league’s three joint top scorers this season are all African – a pleasure to watch the continent’s three best players light up our league this season.
Look how right Mourinho was…
So we close the book on another incredible Premier League season, Chelsea finishing third and reaching two finals must be seen as a complete success, transfer ban or not, I for one am looking forward to next season under Sarri.
On a side note, Jose Mourinho said his greatest achievement in football was finishing 2nd with this current Manchester United side and everyone all laughed, but how right he was.
Banging the Mitchell and Nagelsmann drum
With a seemingly large number of United fans now realizing that Ole is unlikely to be the man to turn the ship (ships have wheels right?) around, thoughts now turn to who or what really is the solution to all of this.
First off, it must start from the top down and it is now clear as day that Woodward is out of his depth on the footballing side (please free him up to secure wine/tyre/noodle sponsors to his hearts content). Out of the candidates who’ve been touted for DOF, Paul Mitchell stands out for a number of reasons, with his Mancunian status actually being a mere cherry on top. A track record of outstanding youth development and recruitment, allayed with heading up clubs that strive to play attractive yet winning football bodes well overall and marks him out as a prime candidate for the role.
On the coaching side, Mitchell’s soon to be colleague (at RB Leipzig) Julian Nagelsmann emphatically ticks a number of boxes. Assertive tactics of a similar fashion to Pep, Klopp and Poch, Champions League experience at the age of 31 and similarly to Mitchell, a known ability to bring through talented youngsters sets this guy out as one to watch. He has also gained a reputation for the use of innovative coaching techniques (see the use of footbonaut and live recording of training sessions), with many of his players lauding his prodigious ability to improve them in all facets of the game. Yes, there is a lack of trophies on his CV. Yes, there may be question marks over his mettle for the job at such a young age. However, the time is coming for a break from the ghosts of Fergie past and a Mitchell / Nagelsmann ticket would represent a new and promising dawn for the football club if it came to pass.
Realistically speaking, we are stuck with Ole going into next season but I’m sure the dynamic duo of Mitchell and Nagelsmann will be hot property over the coming seasons and have a number of the key attributes needed to bring the club back to the top table / perch (if this is in fact what the Glazers want).