United Will Probably Exit The Champion’s League But The Rest Of The English Clubs Should Be Alright

Posted: February 14, 2019 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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So the bubble has finally burst! Poor little Ole Gunnar Solskjær has lost a game of football for the first time since joining the club as caretaker manager. In fairness, he managed to do it in some style choosing, as he did, a Champion’s League night at Old Trafford against PSG who won quite comfortably by two goals to nil.

The mitigating circumstances would be that he lost Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial to injury and had to play entire second half with two of his elder statesman in Juan Mata and Alexis Sánchez. This, of course, meant sacrificing any pace whatsoever and completely nullifed United’s attacking prowess.

PSG would argue that they had mitigating circumstances of their own which were the fact that they were without “Spiderman” Neymar and Uruguay’s most famous typing error Edinson Cavani.

On the night, however, PSG were by far the better team displaying a mixture of experience and skullduggery both of which are essential for any team wishing to win Europe’s biggest trophy.

Assuming they can finish the job in Paris they will face better teams than United further down the line. Certainly they will face teams with more guile and Euro-savvy and it would still be a surprise if the French club were to go on and win the tournament.

United, on the other hand, can console themselves by beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and progressing in the FA Cup which is certainly a more realistic target than the Champion’s League. They can then beat Liverpool at Old Trafford to consolidate fourth place in the Premier League and, when the Old Trafford faithful look back at this season, they will do so without any qualms over being eliminated from Europe’s premier competition.

Tottenham Hotspur also proved that being without two of their best players was no obstacle when they beat the Bundesliga leaders 3-0 at Wembley. Again, their opponents could cite the fact they they were missing Marco Reus and Paco Alcácer but this only served to even things up in the “we’vegotmoregoodplayersoutthanyouhave” contest.

Spurs should now progress but, like PSG, they will find better teams waiting for them further down the road and can’t expect to go much further in the competition.

Next week it’s the turn of England’s two best teams, (according to the table anyway), when Liverpool take on Bayern Münich at Anfield and Manchester City go to Gelsenkirchen to play Schalke 04.

Bayern are not the same team which used to regularly score five or more against Arsenal and Liverpool will be slight favourites for this one. A scoreless draw or a narrow win would suit the Merseysiders who will always fancy their chances of scoring an away goal or two.

City are the only one of the English contingent to play their first leg away from home which used to be considered an advantage as the team would be aware of exactly what is required in the home leg.

In this tie it shouldn’t make much difference because City should be too good for Schalke 04 both home and away.

So, in conclusion, we would expect to see Tottenham, City and Liverpool in the next round but, unfortunately, it doesn’t look like United will be joining them. But you never know, it would be foolish to underestimate the value of a boyish Norwegian manager!

Who’s Sarri now?

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Sarri puffs on one of hisreported80 cigarettes per day!

Meanwhile, at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s goals conceded column is beginning to resemble Maurizio Sarri’s cigarettes smoked column.

The Italian is having a hard time at present and has even intimated that maybe he can’t motivate the players. Well there’s something of which we weren’t aware! Imagine that! Chelsea’s players being difficult to motivate!

And here’s us thinking that José Mourinho never had that problem before being sacked the season after winning the Premier League. We were also unaware of that problem when Antonio Conte was sacked, coincidentally, the season after winning the Premier League.

The Conte sacking was even more ludicrous as he lost his job by having a “José Mourinho season” despite promising that the club would not have a “José Mourinho season”.

That, by our reckoning, makes it three managers who couldn’t motivate the players. Maybe, just maybe, the problem lies in the dressing room and sacking the manager is not always the solution.

We are in no doubt that winning nothing and finishing outside of the top four will cost Sarri his job and that Chelsea will have yet another new manager next season. All we can do is thank them for the endless entertainment they provide off the pitch and suggest that maybe they try to provide some on the pitch. They certainly fit the role of classroom clown who manages to have everybody laughing at them.

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