The So-Called “Big Four” (And Others) Return To Real Action This Weekend. What Can We Expect From Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal And Chelsea?

Posted: October 11, 2016 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion
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That’s almost it folks! We’ve nearly survived another international break! In just a few more days the debate will return to whether or not Wayne Rooney should be picked for Manchester United rather than whether or not he should have been picked for England. Either way the debate will return to Wayne Rooney.

It is surely time for something seismic to occur to shift the subject away from the boring scouser who refuses to admit he’s finished when it is very obvious to everybody else. Even his managers at club and international level have finally come to the conclusion that you don’t select a player just because he used to be quite good!

Now all they need to deduce is that somebody who doesn’t shout, cajole or in anyway present himself as a leader, is not the ideal choice as captain of their team.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a while longer to see what happens in the next thrilling instalment of the “Wayne Rooney saga”, as Sky have decided that Liverpool versus Manchester United is a game worthy of televising and will be particularly well received on a dreary Monday night.

In other news, Manchester City return to action against Everton. Sergio Agüero says he is fit and available for selection unlike Bacary Sagna who is neither. He will miss some games through injury picked up while away with the French team, who must be as hard up for a right back as Manchester City if an injury to Sagna is of concern!

Pep Guardiola has discovered that there is a pretty decent train service between Manchester and London. He was impressed that he could get some work done and, almost before he knew it, there he was in the centre of The Smoke. Quite what work a football manager can do on a train is intriguing and worthy of selection as a question on Mastermind. Watch scouting videos on a tablet I guess.

He was in London to help launch Johann Cruyff’s book as he is, apparently, forever grateful to Cruyff for having taught him everything he knows about football.

Arsenal can look forward to a relatively easy run of games which means that they will
probably start to drop some points. In fact they don’t play top half opposition until November 6th when they meet Tottenham.

Swansea, Middlesbrough and Bournemouth are next up in the Premier League and, somewhere in the middle of it all, are two games against Ludogorets in the Champion’s League and an EFL Cup game against Reading.

So, a month or so from now, Arsenal should be being talked about as title contenders, Champion’s League knockout stage qualifiers and EFL Cup possibles. Here’s the rub though. This is Arsenal, they could just as easily be out of the top four, struggling to get through the group stage in Europe and out of the EFL Cup. As always, anything can happen, and probably will.

Chelsea would also expect to collect some points between now and November even with quite a mixed bag of games. If Antonio Conte has managed to sort out his leaky defence, which may have proved difficult as his two leakiest defenders were away on international duty with Brazil and England, then there should be three or four wins in the next five games.

If, as is said, the cream always rises to the top and, according to football people in general, Manchester United, City, Arsenal and Chelsea are the cream, then it is time for them to start rising.

The problem with this theory is that it is unknown in Germany, Argentina and the Netherlands and so, consequently, Jürgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman are unlikely to step aside and allow the ascendency of the aforementioned teams.

This season could be the most interesting yet and, despite this claim having been made every year since the Premier League began, it may actually have a ring of truth in it this time!

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