The January Transfer Window Will Not Help José Mourinho, Or Any Of The Others, Catch Up With Pep Guardiola

Posted: December 30, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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PG

Manchester United need to buy players, that much is evident. The supporters think so, (don’t they always)? José Mourinho thinks so and all we now need is for the Glazers and their little puppet, Ed Woodward, to think so as well.

Buying players however, whether spending the £300 million Mourinho believes is required or less, will not enable Manchester United to catch Manchester City this season. What it should do, if the correct signings are made, is consolidate second place and increase the gap between United and the rest.

This season City have been, and still are, by far the best team in the Premier League and, assuming they don’t take their foot off the gas, will win the title with ease and games to spare.

United can improve and most certainly need quality defenders to replace Smalling, who is rubbish, Jones who is injury prone and Rojo, who is more of a bulldozer than a defender. They also need two full backs if they are not going to persist with Luke Shaw or Matteo Darmian.

The two geriatrics currently employed in the wide positions are OK going forward but cannot defend to save their lives. Their time at United must be coming to an end.

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It can also be argued that they need an attacking midfielder as Henrikh Mkhitaryan doesn’t seem to be able to bring any kind of consistency to his game, except for when he is bad.

Now we don’t know how many players José Mourinho has in mind when he says it is going to need a spend of £300 million, but we have just mentioned at least four positions in which strengthening should be a priority. Let’s see if he agrees!

City don’t need anybody but that has never stopped them before, so expect Pep to wield the cheque book for somebody or other, just to keep everyone else on their toes.

What he has done at The Etihad is, in the main, bring out the best of the players already at his disposal and made some astute signings. He will win the title because he is the best manager, not because he has spent the most money.

Antonio Conte has, in our considered opinion, gone as far as he can with this Chelsea team and that is why he will leave at the end of the season. He managed to get the best from his players last time out when he won the Premier League but that was with no European competition involvement at all. This season that “best” is not good enough.

Other teams have improved, Chelsea haven’t and the problem for Conte is that there aren’t many players around who are better than what he has. So he has to get more from his current squad and this is where he falls down. He doesn’t appear to be able to lift his players any higher. Unlike Guardiola who does it regularly, he has found his level and, for the Premier League alone it was enough but not for the additional competition which comes with being successful.

So, for Chelsea, signings are a possibility but will make no difference to the team this season. What is required is a new manager who will make a difference starting next season.

Returning briefly to Mourinho, he also needs to show that he can get more out of the players he already has at Old Trafford. Without new signings they are not good enough to win the title but have we really seen the best of Luke Shaw and Andreas Pereira, for example? Have they really been given a fair chance?

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It is certainly possible to buy enough good players to win the title. Mourinho has done it himself at Chelsea and, many years ago, Kenny Dalglish did it at Blackburn. The problem now is that Pep Guardiola is proving to be the master mixer. He is buying good players but is also able to improve what he has whilst other managers are just trying to replace what they have.

Júrgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino are not too far behind but need to improve their squads. Getting the best out of the current Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool teams will not be good enough, on it’s own, to win the title.

As for Stubborn Old Man, he needs to bring forward his retirement and allow Arsenal to bring in a forward thinking manager with some fresh ideas to get things moving again. They are not just stagnating under his management, they are regressing.

 

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