The Top Six And Their Weekend + Mourinho And Guardiola Seem Settled

Posted: April 29, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
Tags: , , ,

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This weekend sees games for the top six spread across three days. Only Liverpool and Chelsea played their games on Saturday with the former at home to Stoke City in the early game and the latter away to Swansea City in the late game.

A win for Liverpool would guarantee that they finish in the top four and mean another season of Champion’s League football at Anfield.

As it turned out a poor performance in drawing 0-0 with the relegation favourites was ample evidence as to why Roma will still think they have a chance of progresing to the final in Europe!

A win for Chelsea would keep alive their faint hopes of making it into the top four as it would take them to within two points of Tottenham Hotspur who don’t play until Monday evening.

The game was a struggle for Chelsea and was indicative of how they have played for the majority of this season and their fortuitous 0-1 win was just about deserved. On this evidence though, they will be staying in fifth position.

If they could improve and overhaul Spurs for fourth place it would save them the ignominy of replicating Arsenal’s non-achievement of last season where they were the only member of the top six who didn’t qualify for the Champion’s League, (albeit that this would also depend on Arsenal winning the Europa League which now looks highly unlikely).

The amusing scenario for us Mancunians has become the most likely and that is both Arsenal and Chelsea competing in the Europa League next season.

The incentive to finish third as opposed to fourth has now been removed by UEFA’s decision that the fourth placed team no longer has to pre-qualify so it is now just a straight race for the top four places with only pride and a bit of money as the difference between finishing second, third and fourth.

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Guardiola, just before sticking his tongue out, hides behind Moyes who, as usual, hasn’t a clue where he is!

The champions and the likely runners-up both play on Sunday with Manchester City away at West Ham where they will face former United failure David Moyes and Manchester United at home to Arsenal.

The game involving City should still be a good one despite the fact that the title is already sewn up as they are chasing the points and goalscoring records and West Ham United will feel a little safer if they can take something from the game so it is by no means a dead rubber.

Manchester United fans will get a final chance to see Arséne Wenger in the dugout at Old Trafford and the general feeling will be one of “so what”. Despite reports to the contrary, genuine United supporters couldn’t really care less what happens with the manager of a rival club, they are only concerned with their own.

So they will be respectful because of Wenger’s longevity in the job but that is it. The game itself should see United collect the points with relative ease against a team who couldn’t win at home, despite playing against ten men for 80 minutes, in midweek.

On Monday Evening, as previously alluded to, Tottenham Hotspur host Watford in a game Spurs will be looking to win to re-establish a five points gap over Chelsea and hang onto fourth place.

Watford are reasonably safe with an eight points cushion between themselves and the relegation places but will play for the pride of winning. Whether Javi Gracia has done enough to ensure that he keeps his job next season remains to be seen. The Watford owners don’t seem to have any particular criteria for hiring and firing the man in charge, it just seems to occur when they fancy a change. As always, it’s a case of “watch this space” with The Hornets.

And finally…..

Both Pep Guardiola and José Mourinho are talking about next season and what they expect to do in the transfer window and what they expect from their teams next time out.

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José Mourinho has never stayed at a club for more than three years

From this we can only assume that they are both sticking around for a while which is good news for the fans of both teams as neither of them has a track record of remaining in charge of a club for very long. Pep’s four years at Barcelona was his longest stint whist three years at both Chelsea and Real Madrid was the best Mourinho could muster.

As we have said before, they both want to be in England and, as they are already at the two best clubs, there is really nowhere else to go. Mourinho will occasionally use the attraction of another club, such as PSG, if he is not getting the attention he feels he deserves but Guardiola doesn’t bother with such silly little games.

The catch, of course, is that they must both keep winning and this should also ensure that they contest the top two places in the Premier League for the foreseeable future. After all, who is the competition now?

Liverpool are, by far, the best of the rest. Arsenal and Chelsea are currently going backwards but their fortunes are expected to revive with the arrival of new managers at both clubs and Tottenham appear to have reached their pinnacle where a frustrated Mauricio Pochettino has to beg his chairman for money sign players and then some more to pay them!

Here’s to the continued dominance of the north over the south. All we need now is for Newcastle to be taken over by somebody with money and they will be up there as well!

 

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