A Manchester Derby Of Near Irrelevance To Both Teams, Conte Is Off And Champion’s League Glory Beckons, But For Whom?

Posted: April 4, 2018 in Arsenal, Champions League, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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If Manchester City can beat Manchester United in the upcoming derby match they will he confirmed as Premier League champions.

It will be the earliest a club has ever been hailed as the winners and would set yet another record for Pep Guardiola’s team.

The question, seemingly on everybody’s lips, is can they do it at home to United? People appear to think that this would make it some kind of special achievement. Why? They only have to win ONE of their last seven games, why is this one so important?

Obviously they don’t want to lose the game against their biggest rivals, particularly not when they are playing at home, but that is always a reason to win. Clinching the title, when it happens, will be special for them but it really doesn’t matter who they are playing when it happens.

Does anybody really think that the United players, all of whom are aware of the circumstances, will approach this game any differently? Of course they won’t.

City fans seem to think it will be a bonus to win the title against United. It won’t. Maybe, if the game had been at Old Trafford, then the childish boast could have been that they won it at the home of the 20 times champions, but that is all.

Manchester City have been the best team in the league this season by a long distance and will just be glad to have their superiority over the rest confirmed by being awarded the trophy.

Where they are playing, although they would prefer to be at home, and against whom is very much irrelevant. The achievement is in winning it.

Chelsea without Conte?…..

Antonio Conte – Wondering what happened to all those players he wanted for Chelsea!

Chelsea will play Europa League football next season. That, barring any catastrophic downturns in form, is a fact.

Whoever happens to be the manager will not have the comfort of no midweek European games as was afforded to Antonio Conte in his first season. In fact, he will have, to all intents and purposes, the worst of both worlds. He will be taking over a squad in need of improvement and he will be expected to challenge for the Premier League title whilst negotiating his way through the Europa League which, although not a priority, will still be a trophy Roman Abramovich wants to win particularly as it now carries Champion’s League qualification for the winners.

The bigger problem for the club is that, for the last few years, they have had to worry about more than just Manchester United.

After overcoming Arsenal and consigning them to being the third best team for a while the emergence of Manchester City, the re-emergence of Liverpool and the surprise package which is Tottenham Hotspur have all contrived to make life a lot more difficult for Chelsea.

As things stand they are the second best team in London and are eight points behind Spurs who are in fourth place in the league. They are out of the Champion’s League but have a chance of winning the FA Cup having managed to avoid an away game with Tottenham in the semi-final.

Antonio Conte doesn’t appear to be that bothered and looks like a man who can’t wait to leave. It is questionable if he has managed to bring in any of the players that HE wanted and, if he has, there may only be one or two.

As with Stubborn Old Man at Arsenal, it is difficult to have any sympathy for these multi-millionaires who leave one job as a “failure” only to walk straight into another.

Conte will return to Italy or he will go to France, either way, his time in the Premier League has been very underwhelming.

And finally…..

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The only two teams from the same country that UEFA couldn’t keep apart – now there’s a coincidence!

Good luck to both of Manchester United’s biggest rivals as they go head to head in their Champion’s League quarter-final, first leg, this week.

This game is another reason why Guardiola won’t attach too much importance to the derby. Given the choice, he would much rather progress in Europe than beat United at the weekend.

In Liverpool’s case their season rests on these two games against City. Reach the semi-finals and, despite winning nothing just yet, the season will still be deemed a relative success. Lose, however, and fingers will be pointed, yet again, at Klopp’s failure to deliver silverware particularly as he is now in his third season with the club.

It promises to be an interesting week!

 

 

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