Keep your mails coming to firstname.lastname@example.org…
Bale or Sancho?
Both… Rashford, Martial, Greenwood and James don’t have 40-50 games in a season in them, adding both gives 6 options for 3 positions.
United need both. Otherwise we are going to see too much of Lingard and Andreas.
Nick (Is James is actually better than Lingard) J
Yes indeed Man United are in dire straits. How could a squad containing De Gea, Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Marital and potentially Jadon Sancho or Gareth Bale plus another one or two ever hope to compete in the Premier League?
They should be aiming for the title without doubt.
Well there we have it, Game Week One is completed and Chelsea claim an important three points ahead of a long season, so what are my takeaways? Glad you didn’t ask:
1- RLC was quite frankly awful in that first half, which is a true shame as he was always talked about as our greatest academy product at one point but sadly injury has hit him hard, maybe a loan move could do him the world of good.
2- Talking of academy players WHAT A GOAL from Reece James, just stunning and I did get up off my sofa when he hit the back of the net.
3- Timo Werner’s work rate was a joy to watch, can never complain when you see a player fight for every ball.
4- Kepa was again average and really shouldn’t be allowing that kind of strike to lead to a goal, the sooner Mendy is signed the better……we hope.
5- Lamptey is a special talent.
The new Lingard
If Ross Barkley leaves this transfer window and Loftus-Cheek stays it will be the only wrong move made by the club. RLC is well on his way to becoming Lingard 2.0 never really actually does anything, very occasionally has a decent game but generally very disappointing he’s been given plenty of chances already, time to cut our losses take 20 million off some mid table team for him. Barkley deserves a place ahead of him on all evidence when comparing the two, Barkley offers an attacking threat and willingness to carry the ball forward and shoot not just trot around in circles giving the ball away. With the direction Chelsea want to go in there’s no room to be carrying over rated midfielders who at 25/26 need to be doing something tangible rather than just having “potential” that they will never achieve. RLC has some similarities to Dominick Solanke in they both came from out academy with big hopes and both turned out to just be a bit sh*te, but at least the likes of Mount and James are showing them how it should be done.
Aaron CFC Ireland.
Chelsea: fun but flawed
Looking at Chelsea and the recruitment they have done, it’s quite clear they are going for the league and believe in Frank Lampard. That much outlay for an unproven manager speaks volume. They have assembled a properly scary attacking team, the names on both the starting 11 and the bench will cause sleepless nights to many. I personally think Chelsea have a better team than Liverpool this year, it’s just a question of how quickly they will gel .
The one thing I’m concerned about is that the summer outlay was very much focused on the attack. The midfield and defense barely got recruitments, and I feel Frank has a propensity to neglect the defensive part of the game. I think this will ultimately cost him, but it’s a good sign for the premier league to have 3 really strong teams competing.
Dave (if Chelsea can go get Koulibaly, then its game on), Somewhere
…Poor game, great result. Frank repeated exactly what I was thinking when the final whistle blew. We’d have dropped points in a game like this last year.
This was not a vintage, get up off your seat and take notice performance from Chelsea. It excited me nonetheless. Last year we constantly dropped points in games where we dominated possession, lacked a cutting edge and ended up dropping points. It was refreshing to see us grind out a game. Nothing fancy, just blocks, clearances and towering Zouma headers. We seemed disjointed, were nowhere near our best, but still managed to get the three points. More than a high scoring win, that is the true mark of champions. I’m not saying we’re title contenders, but to have that ability is a promising sign of things to come.
Loftus-Cheek was poor. Nothing he tried came off and we improved when he was substituted. Havertz had a forgettable debut. There wasn’t anything spectacular, but he had a few touches which suggested he will be a phenomenal player once he settles. Having only trained with the team for a few days, I’m hoping things will click sooner rather than later. Jorghino doesn’t get in this side when kovacic is fit. His lack of mobility means kante has to be in two places at once and puts the back line under pressure. I was actually pleased with our centre backs. The addition of Thiago Silva has clearly had an impact, as there is only one spot for Zouma or Christensen. Id personally prefer Zouma. Thiago’s experience and leadership will improve his awareness and Zouma’s athleticism making up for Thiago’s lack of pace.
We seemed to be defending in a 4-4-2 at times, with Loftus-Cheek playing with Werner. This may be because of injuries to Pulisic and Ziyech, or it may be something Frank has been working. Either way, when our wingers are back and Havertz can play as the second striker, this may prove to be an excellent plan.
Overall, I think it’s important to remember we lacked our first choice left back (Chilwell), centre mid (kovacic), wingers (Pulisic and Ziyech) and hopefully our new keeper. Instead of seeing a weak, disappointing performance which suits the ‘Chelsea should be title contenders or they’ve failed and wasted money’ narrative, this should be seen as an indication of a deep and flexible squad with plenty of room for improvement. This is a solid base on which to build.
Tashen, South Africa (excited for the season ahead!)
Mourinho is your mid-life crisis
You are 46 and have recently become single following a painful, and expensive, divorce.
You decide to “get out there” and try a bit of online dating which you find way to difficult, weird and demoralising.
You decide to go for a pint with a few old football mates and bump into a girl from school, that you havent seen for a while, that used to be one of the fit birds. She looks well, good pedigree, and says all the right things.
A month later you are stuck with a new bird who is nothing like what you expected and is, quite unbelievably, actually more hassle than your ex.
That bird is Mourinho.
AMK (All aboard the Arteta train)
The Premier League is back and we have all been busy watching the weekend’s fixtures and then discussing them. So, perhaps Uli Hoeness recent pearl-clutching in the media passed a lot of us by. Manchester United and Liverpool “have no style” and “are trying to blackmail [Bayern]” over Thiago and his expiring contract. He also called Pini Zahavi a “greedy piranha” because his client David Alana has had the temerity to not sign the contract that Bayern want him to sign.
It’s a real shame for the Bundesliga that he didn’t feel this way last summer when he was arranging Alex Nübel’s recent free transfer (as well as trying to arrange one with Timo Werner). Or when he was doing the same for Leon Goretzka. Or Sebastian Rudy. Or Robert Lewandowski. I imagine Dortmund, Schalke, and Hoffenheim would have appreciated Bayern acting with more “style” and paying actual fees for some of their best players.
I guess that it’s okay to run your contract down elsewhere but not at the mighty Bayern Munich. The hypocrisy stinks.
Klopp and living in hope
Sorry, DRS City, apart from the long rambling sentences with no punctuation, the essence of Klopp complaining about no spending is entirely wrong. In fact, Klopp has been the opposite of complaining and pointing out that ‘it is what it is.’ He has been consistently telling fans not to expect signings and has consistently denied that they were trying to acquire the latest red top transfer rumour.
Klopp has done well through improving existing talent, giving one or two homegrown players a chance, buying cheap players with potential and, oh yes, a couple of expensive buys to complete the team. None of Liverpool’s front three were considered world beaters when signed. Do you think he’s forgotten that?
If the whole scope of the email was to question why any top team would bemoan a lack of transfers, I think you need to distinguish between the team itself, their fans and the papers looking for click bait. No need to say too much about the latter; this site’s venerable MediaWatch column would be a good place to start. The Teams are NOT complaining. For fans, it is mostly fun to imagine who may be acquired or argue the merits of what players or positions need moving on or beefing up.
Sure, we will likely see the odd manager (looking at you Mourinho) complaining about a lack of transfers after losing a few games, but that is not ‘The Team’ complaining. Clearly ulterior motives going on in those cases.
The season has just started. We all live with new hope. We got to see a newly promoted team play some great stuff against the champions, promising more good stuff to come and then…the email complaining about top four teams complaining. Ironic in itself. Lets let hope string out for a few weeks longer eh.
…Dear DRS City, Take a trip over to Mediawatch and you will find that there are journalists out there that will take comments and use them as springboards to make up whatever story they want, regardless of how inaccurate.
You will also see that there are editors who will make up headlines that are also bull.
Klopp was answering questions about Liverpool’s potential signings this transfer window and comparisons to the spending of other clubs.
His answer was that Liverpool could not make a lot of signings in this window as there was a concern about income with no fans going to games. Liverpool rely on that income and do not have a benefactor/government/oligarch/Bond super villain who is willing to spend lots of money with little prospect of getting it back.
That is called answering a question. He is not complaining about what Chelsea and others are doing, he is explaining why Liverpool have not been able to do similar… in this transfer window!!
He did not say that he never paid a big transfer fee. He did say that LFC were unlikely to be able to pay a big transfer fee in this transfer window.
All of his answers were in relation to this transfer window as it is the one he was being asked about.
He was being quite reasonable and pragmatic… and then journalists and editors fed it to you as if it was an attack, and you seem to have bought it.
I’d also like to say fair play to Lampard. Journalists tried their best to get a big response to Klopp’s faked attack but he didn’t really rise to it. He did however forget that Klopp was talking about this transfer window and not about the combination of all of his transfer windows.
It just so happens that this transfer window is very odd – partly because of lack on Fan income, but also because Chelsea are playing catch up after their transfer ban (of sorts).
Alan (late Sunday night) Córdoba letter about assists got me thinking.
I mean there has to be a final touch before any goal, so someone is goping to get an assist next to their name. but what kind of assist is it, do the people who collate this information (no doubt sitting in air conditioned offices with laptops, blummin kids today) break them down into types? Is it the Messi / De Bruyne type of assist where they play a ball from their own half that bypasses 8 players from the opposition and is slotted home, or is it the type of assist that involves a mishit shot that bobbles into the path of your team mate who puts it in the net.
A lot of the times it is the ball before the assist that makes the goal, again if Messi put a ball through to Alba who then only need to square it to Suarez to score the assist goes to Alba and the ball prior to that is ignored.
Then again, as Alan wrote, how far to do you want to go back, Ederson for Man City would rack up 25 assists every season if we go down that route.
…Addressing Alan: It’s an assist.
It is weird no doubt but it is what it is. Think De Bruyne/Pirlo/Carrick doing their magic in middle of the park, splitting the defense with a beauty to a Walker/Dani Alves/Eva to simply pass it across for Aguero/Higuain/Rooney to tap in. The first three did a lot of the magic passes that made a lot of goals, but not always the last one. A second assist should be a thing.
So who is the best at not assisting but assisting? I hated Carrick until I loved Carrick, and now I miss Carrick.
Equally…who is the best at assisting but not assisting? I’ll go with Richarlison, you’re there, and you do it, but do you really…?
Calvino (Pool-Leeds – 2 more years and this could be the standard (Sorry not sorry Moyes & MouMou)