Champion’s League, London Clubs Issuing New Contracts And Promotion For Another One! What More Could You Possibly Want?

Posted: May 27, 2018 in Arsenal, Champions League, Chelsea, European Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Tottenham Hotspur
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So the Champion’s League final was contested between two teams who, between them, had won almost a third of the total Champion’s Leagues ever held!

For Real Madrid it was another chance to make history. Last season they became the first team to successfully defend the title since the competition was rebranded from the old European Cup. This season they have become the first team to reach three consecutive finals on two occasions.

Between 1956 and 1960 they reached the final of the European Cup for five consecutive years, winning it every time, so it is no wonder that this trophy is considered to be their favourite!

They are also far more appropriate winners than Liverpool based purely on the facts that they were the current holders meaning that they were already the European Champions and they entered the competition as Champions of Spain so, in their case, the competition bears the correct name.

The same cannot be said about Liverpool. Whilst nobody questioned their right to be in the final based on their performances, they entered the competition having finished fourth in the Premier League and having to pre-qualify for the tournament. They were a very long way from being the Champions of England, finishing 17 points behind the winners, Chelsea.

So, as we have advocated on many occasions, maybe this particular competition would benefit from a name change.

Anyway, the game itself got underway and the first half was only memorable for three events. Firstly, Mo Salah went off injured after half an hour. He was followed, shortly afterwards by Dani Carvahal of Real Madrid and then, just before half-time, Karim Benzema had a goal disallowed for offside.

That was it. Two teams who, according to the “experts” were going to provide us with a high scoring final went in at the break with the score at 0-0.


Sadio Mané celebrates equalising against Real Madrid with Virgil van Dijk

That was to change, however, seven minutes into the second half. Loris Karius, who currently occupies Liverpool’s most problematic position, decided to throw the ball against Benzema’s foot. Unfortunately for him the ball then trickled into an empty net and our frequent reminders to Jürgen Klopp that he needs a new goalkeeper may now be heeded.

A mere three minutes later saw Sadio Mané equalise for Liverpool and it looked as though the “experts” may well be right.

Real Madrid’s lead was restored when Gareth Bale, who was on as a substitute for Isco, scored with an overhead kick which would easily be voted goal of the season in most leagues around the world.

In the 84th minute Bale got his second and Madrid’s third when he fired in a speculative shot from around 25 yards which Karius somehow managed to palm into his own net proving, yet again, that Liverpool only have a number three and a number four goalkeeper, they certainly don’t have any good enough to be the number one or even the number two!

And that was that! Madrid won their third Champion’s League final in a row and Liverpool lost their first in ten years.

Back in the Premier League…..

Chelsea are, apparently, holding talks with Maurizio Sarri, the former Napoli manager who has been superceded by Carlo Ancelotti. The chain-smoking Italian is seen by some at the club as the ideal replacement for the other Italian who is also often seen with clouds of smoke rising from his head.


Carlo “Isaiah” Ancelotti has been sworn in at Napoli beginning the potential merry-go-round of Italian managers!

If the transition from one to the other takes place then maybe Chelsea will eventually tell us all that Conte’s services are no longer required, something of which they seem incapable at present. Maybe they are thinking they will keep him if none of their preferred choices are available, who knows!

So let’s be positive and put Antonio out of his misery. That being the case then there will be four managers at London Premier League clubs who will be starting the season on brand new contracts! Is that a first?

Chelsea’s new boss, whoever that turns out to be, will be one of them along with Unai Emery at Arsenal, Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham United and Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham Hotspur.

Those appointments and new contracts would be quite frightening if it weren’t for the fact that the two best managers are in Manchester, so we tend not to worry too much about who comes in to take charge at other clubs.

What it should mean is a more competitive race for the top four and, maybe, a more competitive race for the title itself but we’ll reserve judgement on that one.

And finally…..

Congratulations to Fulham,for regaining their Premier League status. Hopefully they will be a credit to the division as we have been continually reading how they have been the “Manchester City of the Championship” all season.

Commiserations to Aston Villa, Steve Bruce now needs to give it another go next season and get Villa up without the need for a play-off appearance.

Hopefully, next year is his year. This year certainly hasn’t been!


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