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On one hand, yes. On the other hand, no. If we had a third hand we would also plump for not knowing whether or not those two accomplishments would be deemed an improvement over last season’s three trophies.

In the league table, it has to be admitted, that any finish above sixth would be seen as an improvement but it must also be remembered that the final few games of last season’s Premier League campaign were deemed less important than usual due to United’s intent on winning the Europa League.

Winning the FA Cup would, of course, be an upgrade on winning the Carabao Cup as it is the major domestic knock-out cup in England. It requires, however, a favourable draw at some stage of the competition so United will be hoping for this in the coming rounds. Read the rest of this entry »

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Alexis Sánchez – Reportedly being paid more than Pogba

When Manchester United signed Alexis Sánchez it was reported that the first thing on the mind of Paul Pogba was to ensure he received a pay rise so as not to be paid less than the Chilean.

We here at WSA find this difficult to believe as his contract had previously been negotiated and signed and he was obviously quite happy with the result.

If Sánchez is now being paid more than Pogba that is not his fault. If his agent negotiated a better deal than that of Pogba then good for him.

Manchester United are certainly not in a position whereby they have to give the Frenchman more money. If anything, and judging by his recent form, they should add a couple of performance-related bonuses and take away some of the basic! Read the rest of this entry »

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Ilkay Gündoğan – Man-of-the-Match and two goals to boot.

After emphatic away wins for Manchester City and Liverpool they are both, barring disasters of seismic proportions, through to the quarter finals of the Champion’s League.

Having beaten Basel 4-0 in Switzerland City fans will be thinking that there will be tougher tests ahead and they would be right in so thinking.

The only question raised by the performance of the Swiss team is how they managed to beat Manchester United and Liverpool in the recent past!

On this form, which has been pretty consistent all season, City need fear nobody and are certainly a match for the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Münich. Read the rest of this entry »

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José Mourinho is a winner. He hates losing almost as much as Pep Guardiola likes winning. His big problem is that, this season, it would appear that Guardiola is going to win more than his Portuguese counterpart.

There is a very slight chance that United will win the Champion’s League and the FA Cup but it is highly unlikely and there is a far greater chance that City will win the Carabao Cup and the Premier League, particularly as they are so far ahead in one that they have disappeared from view of the chasing pack, and they are in the final of the other with only Stubborn Old Man’s Arsenal standing between them and the first trophy of Pep’s City career.

City are among the favourites for the Champion’s League and the FA Cup as well so the season could be spectacular! Read the rest of this entry »

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Manchester City will end this season as Premier League champions. They have been far and away the stand-out team in the division since day one and will, deservedly, be confirmed as winners, possibly as soon as when they play Manchester United at The Etihad in April.

Is that rubbing salt into United wounds? Not really, City are bound to be crowned champions at some stage and does it really make a difference against which team they are playing when it happens? Absolutely not.

What must be more annoying, particularly for José Mourinho, is that one of the main reasons City have been so good this season is the form of one of his Chelsea cast-offs! Read the rest of this entry »

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Antonio Conte v Nigel Adkins

In a draw which has been uncommonly kind to the remaining four clubs from England’s big six, the only difficulty any of them should encounter is the travelling conditions as, of the four, only Chelsea have been drawn at home.

They are set to face Hull City in a tie which has grown in importance over the last couple of weeks as the cup now represents their best, and possibly, only chance of silverware. (They face Barcelona in the Champion’s League and are unlikely to pass that test).

Tepid defeats at home to Bournemouth 0-3, followed by Watford away 4-1 have made the result of this cup game less predictable than it should have been.

Chelsea, despite their recent woes, should still be too good for Hull and we expect them to go through without the need for a replay. Read the rest of this entry »

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The meeting of the two Uniteds at St. James’ Park provided the Manchester one with an opportunity to strengthen their hold on second place while the one from Newcastle was looking to pull away from the bottom three.

The way the game went, an outsider would have been hard pressed to spot which was which and Newcastle ended the match as deserved winners.

Manchester United, in truth, were pretty woeful and if this defence is one of the best in the Premier League it must be because the opposition this season have all been short-sighted. Read the rest of this entry »

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An away trip to Newcastle should hold no fears for Manchester United this weekend. Having sat, feet up, in a decent hotel on Tyneside and watched Manchester City stretch their lead to sixteen points whilst Arsenal dropped more points, the game is an ideal opportunity to pull a little further away.

Only Tottenham Hotspur, to date, have reduced the gap which, to them, is still four points and they have now played a game more.

Liverpool will do well to take three points from Southampton on Sunday evening, given their inconsistency and the recent upturn in form of the Saints. Read the rest of this entry »

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Saturday’s early game…..

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Hoping for his first Arsenal goal

Spurs against Arsenal at White Hart Wembley should be interesting if only because Chelsea’s recent disintegration has opened the door to a top four place again.

Having won 2-0 at The Emirates in November, Stubborn Old Man will be hoping for a repeat and with new signings Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the side he may well get one.

His only problem is that it was the defence which needed strengthening not the attack and it is the defence which will be tested as Spurs have a pretty decent forward line themselves.

It remains to be seen if Lucas Moura makes his Spurs debut but, irrespective of this and as is the case with most derby matches, the most likely outcome is a draw. Read the rest of this entry »

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Antonio Conte – “Happy” to stay at Chelsea

Antonio Conte will not resign as Chelsea manager. If he did that he wouldn’t be entitled to any compensation so, from his point of view, it wouldn’t make sense.

Roman Abramovich will not sack Antonio Conte at the moment because that is exactly what the Italian wants him to do and the Russian doesn’t do what others want, only what he wants.

So an uncomfortable impasse is now in place whereby Chelsea have a manager who doesn’t want to be there and an owner who doesn’t really want him there, but he is going nowhere.

The other consideration for Abramovich of course, apart from his own pride, is that the timing, if he were to sack Conte now, would be inconvenient, to say the least. Read the rest of this entry »