More On Why The Premier League Title Is (Currently) Between Three Teams

Posted: September 17, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Managers, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
Tags: , , ,

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With Chelsea and Liverpool setting the pace at the top of the Premier League and Manchester City only two points behind them the questions now become two which are; can they maintain their standards and what can Tottenham, Arsenal and United do about it?

In fourth and fifth place respectively sit Bournemouth and Watford who have done well to climb the ladder to such a giddy height this early in the season. Realistically though, they can both be expected to find a snake down which to descend in the not-too-distant future as neither are particularly well equipped squad-wise for a sustained tilt at the top six.

Surprisingly the unknown quantity in that top three at present would appear to be Chelsea who are the only ones with a new manager. They may very well have the squad to maintain a challenge but it should be remembered that this is virtually the same group of players who couldn’t cope with Premier League and Champion’s League football last season having won the title the season before when Antonio Conte was in a similar position to Maurizio Sarri but without European involvement.

Sarri himself has ruled his team out of the title race and, if he were to lose Eden Hazard for any amount of time, he would definitely be right.

This time out they will have the Europa League to contend with, meaning football on Thursday night and Sunday afternoons. Quite why this makes such a difference is beyond us as the gap between games is the same as for those playing Wednesday and Saturday but the “experts” say it is an important factor and if the “experts” say that, then it must be true.

The only effect we can see this situation having on a team is that if their rivals have won on Saturday then they are under pressure to win and if their rivals have lost on Saturday then they are under pressure to win. Either way, and irrespective of the day on which their match is played, they are under pressure to win.

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Pochettino surely has to add to his squad in January or a top four place will be out of reach

As for the other three “big six” members, they all need to improve. Tottenham Hotspur are actually going backwards at present having started the season really well. They have now lost their last two games and are possibly beginning to see the disadvantages of not adding to their squad during the transfer window. Mauricio Pochettino needs to address the current slide quickly before it becomes serious.

Arsenal are slowly improving under Unai Emery and should be able to finish in the top six without too many problems even if they have to rely on Granit Xhaka and Mesut Özil for goals despite having Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the team!

Once Emery gets in a couple of new players in January and the team know him better then Arsenal fans can start to be a little excited about winning trophies such as the Carabao Cup and the Europa League.

Manchester United remain an enigma. After a pathetic performance against Brighton they played reasonably well against Spurs but still lost 0-3. Mourinho has now tweaked the team and they have gone on to win their last two games, both away from home, ending Watfords 100% run in the process.

When a team that includes Chris Smalling scoring with all the assuredness of Marco Van Basten, and two old men demonstrating to perfection how NOT to defend the flanks, can collect three points then it has to be said that is down to good management. When that same team has Marouane Fellaini running the show in midfield while Pogba and Matić watch on in amazement and Fred sits on the bench, then that is also, though painful to admit, good management.

So Mourinho is still managing to get performances out of players who wouldn’t even make the bench of the current top three.

Can he manage this all season long? Doubtful, but then he has a decent sized squad. Does he need new signings in January? Definitely and not just at centre back.

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Does Mourinho needs some new players to ensure a top four finish this time?

So if nothing changes then the title will be fought out between the teams who presently occupy the top three places and the fourth spot will be contested between the teams currently 6th, 7th and 8th.

We do, however, expect things to change. Certainly at Old Trafford and The Emirates and possibly at Wembley or White Hart Lane or wherever Daniel Levy has Tottenham playing after January. To challenge at the very top some things will HAVE to change at these clubs.

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