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The Premier League doesn’t really get underway for the top six until Sunday this weekend and even then Manchester City and Arsenal will be missing from the fixture list.

Saturday’s sole representatives of England’s elite were Liverpool who played West Ham United at Anfield.

It turned out to be a fairly routine outing for Jürgen Klopp’s men. West Ham United didn’t even bother to flatter, they just deceived.

A first half goal from Emre Can was followed, in the second half, by further goals from Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané and that, essentially, was that.

West Ham did manage to grab a consolation goal when 3-1 down through Mikail Antonio but the damage, by this time, had already been done. Read the rest of this entry »

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Carabao Cup

The first trophy of the season is officially up for grabs on Sunday. Well, it is if you are Arsenal or Manchester City.

In City’s case, it could be the first one of three and, in the case of Stubborn Old Man, it is a measure of how the mighty have fallen.

He is now not only competing in, but trying to win, the Europa League and so has gone, in the last two seasons, from serial Champion’s League participant and FA Cup winner, to a ‘B’ grade struggler needing to win Big Vase to regain entry to Big Cup. As we said, how the mighty have fallen. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guest Author: Michael B. Howell

It’s been a while since the EPL season felt spoken for quite this early in the New Year. By early February people were already looking at when Manchester City could mathematically seal the deal, which is really rather absurd, (though delightful for plenty of City supporters, no doubt). One could be easily forgiven for calling it something of a bummer for what’s supposed to be one of the most competitive sporting leagues on the planet.

Man City’s presumed title, (the club would essentially have to fall off the face of the Earth to avoid winning outright at this point), makes you wonder what else there really is to watch for in the EPL. Sure, there’s always the relegation battle, but for fans in Manchester or those who zero-in on the top of the table, this isn’t actually that compelling. It’s more interesting to look at after the fact, in some cases. Read the rest of this entry »

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Louis van Gaal – The only United manager as boring as Dave Sexton and Frank O’Farrell, although Moyes came close!

When José Mourinho breezed into Manchester it was, for all but the most cynical of United fans, like a breath of fresh air.

The days of David Moyes promising that the team would try to be as good as City and making Liverpool favourites to win a league game at Old Trafford were a distant memory.

The days of Louis van Gaal sitting rigidly in his seat rather than encouraging his team from the sidelines while they sent the crowd to sleep with mind-numbingly boring football were also consigned to the history books.

Mourinho was here! The “Special One” was now the Manchester United manager having been anything but special in his final season at Stamford Bridge, from where he had been sacked with Chelsea in 16th position in the league. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wigan Athletic v Manchester City - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round

Sergio Agüero – Involved with the crowd

Judging by the scenes at the end of the FA Cup game between Wigan and Manchester City at the DW Stadium, Pep Guardiola, some of his team and some of the City fans don’t appear to be very gentlemanly in defeat.

Supporters threw seats and anything else they could get their hands on, the players stomped and sulked and Guardiola wandered round like a child whose favourite toy had been taken from him.

At the end of the day they had lost a football match, nothing more. They had been beaten because they failed to take any of their numerous chances whereas Wigan, who had two, scored from one of them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Three of the Premier League’s top six remain in this year’s competition as we reach the quarter final stage.

In what can only be described as a crazily premature draw, as it was made before the fifth round was complete, the big three were kept apart with Manchester United given a home draw whilst the two London clubs received away ties, although Spurs are yet to overcome Rochdale to officially book their place.

Sheffield Wednesday and Rochdale will still feel as though they have a chance of progressing but that chance is now very remote. Having both managed to draw their home games they are now favourites to exit the competition in the replays away from home. Read the rest of this entry »

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(Juan Mata’s knee races ahead of everyone but fails to beat the system despite the strangely shaped lines not being parallel to the penalty area!)

Juan Mata scored a goal, against Huddersfield in the VAR Cup, which was ruled out due to his right kneecap being in an offside position.

Unlike the War of Jenkin’s Ear, which resulted in a conflict between Britain and Spain lasting nine years, the VAR of Mata’s Knee only resulted in much discussion, disagreement and conjecture, and will probably last a few days.

Mata, for a midfielder, is caught offside far too often. His goal was the third occasion on which he had been penalised in the first half alone which, for the intelligent footballer he undoubtedly is, is around three times too many! Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »