Can The Rest Of The Top Six Start Challenging Manchester City?

Posted: November 25, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
Tags: , , ,

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As we write this, the top six includes Arsenal, something which may not be the case by the time the final whistle is blown at Turf Moor tomorrow.

Whilst no realistically-minded football follower would expect Burnley to finish the season above Arsenal, the possibility cannot be discounted.

But, for the purpose of this exercise, we have to assume that Arsenal will regain their spot among the elite.

The other assumption we have to make is that Manchester City will beat Huddersfield tomorrow and maintain their eight points lead at the top of the Premier League. We could be wrong, of course but, on current form, it is unlikely.

These assumptions we are making also remind us of the late, great Benny Hill, who said that “you should never assume, because it makes an ASS out of U and ME”. He could be proved right again and we could well be accused of being an ass in the not-too-distant future!

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Anyway, Arséne Wenger could really do with coaxing some consistently good performances out of his side if he wants his legacy to be that of a successful manager rather than one who stayed too long.

They are now twelve points off the lead and all of their efforts now have to be concentrated on finishing in the top four, something which was second nature not too long ago!

We do not think they will pose any threat to City’s title challenge!

 

Liverpool just need to defend. Simple, nothing requiring the services of a rocket scientist. It seems, however, that Jürgen Klopp is incapable of solving this particular problem. Surely, if the current defenders are not good enough, this is something which was known before the season started and should have been addressed long before now.

The fan’s frustration is compounded by the fact that they are almost irresistible when on the offensive.

Chelsea are getting there. Their performances have improved somewhat since losing to Burnley and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge and their two woeful showings against Roma in the Champion’s League.

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The game between Liverpool and Chelsea, at Anfield, was entertaining enough and the first goal of the game was scored by another Chelsea cast-off Mohamed Salah.

This didn’t prove to be the winner though as substitute Willian equalised for Chelsea in the 85th minute.

On this evidence, however, neither of these two will be catching City

 

Tottenham Hotspur appear to have decided that their best chance of a major trophy is in the Champion’s League which is now the basket containing most, if not all, of their eggs.

This is a shame because, at the start of the season, they were one of the teams tipped to be title contenders. They too have the players who, in turn, have the ability, to show more consistency than they have done recently.

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West Brom took the lead through Salomón Rondón at White Hart Wembley and, for a while, a shock looked on the cards as Gary Megson’s team matched Tottenham in most departments.

It was only a Harry Kane equaliser in the second half which, without really saving Spurs’ blushes, salvaged a point.

If Mauricio Pochettino was filling out a report on his team, the words “must do better” would stand out a mile!

On this evidence Spurs won’t be catching City.

 

Manchester United are, perhaps, best placed to challenge City for the title but, despite having a massive squad, they have too many average players within that squad so that, when they experience injuries to their better players, they don’t have the quality to replace them.

This predicament was never more obvious than when Paul Pogba was injured and United’s performances began to border on the boring and included draws and losses in games they should have won.

The game against Brighton at Old Trafford was nearly another one of those even with Pogba in the starting line-up with United struggling to break them down in a largely uninspiring first half which finished goalless.

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The second half was much the same and only a deflected goal from Ashley Young was the difference between the teams.

On this evidence United won’t be catching City.

As it is also very unlikely that either Arsenal or Burnley will be catching City this season we have to conclude that the title is going to The Etihad unless a collapse of seismic proportions befalls the team.

 

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