Posts Tagged ‘EFL Cup’

IMG_1494

Judging by the amount of money with which José Mourinho has been entrusted to buy players during this transfer window, Manchester United seem pretty confident that he is the right man for the job medium to long-term. Bear in mind, he spent around £150 million in the last Summer window and is likely to spend anything between £100 and £200 million this time, maybe even a little more. (more…)

Advertisements

IMG_1426

So it’s nearly all over. On Wednesday night the fat lady will sing, at least as far as any English interest in Europe is concerned. To continue the mixed metaphors from the previous article, then is the time that José Mourinho will find out if the straws at which he has been grasping can be pulled through the silver lining he has decided the Europa League to be, or if they will get stuck in the cloud.

(more…)

IMG_1414

It is now Wednesday, 26th May. Manchester City are two points behind Liverpool with two games in hand and an inferior goal difference.

Manchester United are three points behind Liverpool with two games in hand and a vastly inferior goal difference.

The upshot of all this is the following: If Thursday’s derby game is a draw, both Manchester clubs gain a point on Liverpool and both will overtake Liverpool should they win their other game in hand. (more…)

IMG_1409

(Top four or Europa League? Why not both? José ponders the obvious!)

José Mourinho loves the Europa League. Not that he has much choice as it is the only European competition in which Manchester United are competing this season.

He didn’t appear to love it at the start of the season and it was only when he was reminded that it offered automatic Champion’s League qualification that his feelings towards it grew in a dramatic fashion. (more…)

IMG_1247

Maybe the manager’s expectations weren’t too high. Maybe the fan’s expectations WERE too high. Either way, for Pep Guardiola or José Mourinho, if the season was to end now, then it hasn’t been that bad.

City would qualify for the Champion’s League through their Premier League position and United would qualify for the Europa League because of their EFL Cup triumph and their position in the Premier League. This may not be exactly how the supporters envisaged it at the start of the campaign but it would still represent a decent season for the two. (more…)

IMG_1262

So Manchester United managed to overcome a terrible pitch and a good team and are now in very real danger of reaching the final of the Europa League.

The pitch, at the end of the day, was the same for both teams although Rostov are, obviously, more used to playing on it. It didn’t really make a difference. Providing United, who had the better players, played to their potential then they were always going to be in a position to win the tie over the two legs. (more…)

img_1208

Alright, it may be asking a bit much to expect this team to win the Premier League. They will also need to play considerably better against Chelsea in the FA Cup than they did against Southampton in the EFL Cup, where they proved that it is possible for the better team to lose.

Take Zlatan Ibrahimovic out of that EFL final team, give Southampton back the goal that was wrongly disallowed and the trophy would be heading to St. Marys, not Old Trafford. (more…)

img_1195

Barring a miracle at The Emirates, Arsenal are out of the Champion’s League. Surprise, surprise! Beaten again by Bayern Münich, although the opponent in the round of Arsenal is largely irrelevant, whoever they played would have won the tie. It’s surely time for Arsene Wenger to seek a different challenge.

Tottenham Hotspur, who weren’t good enough for the Champion’s League and so thought they would quite like a crack at the Europa League, proved that they couldn’t hack it at that level either, beaten by Gent, one of those Belgian teams with no good Belgian players because they are all playing in England for teams such as Tottenham Hotspur. (more…)

img_1164

Although a top three finish would have virtually the same outcome as winning the Europa League in that they would both mean automatic qualification for next season’s Champion’s League, the more prestigious of the two is the higher finish in the Premier League.

Fourth place, of course, would mean a chance to compete for the Champion’s League through the qualifiers, which is by no means a guarantee of participation in the competition proper. (more…)

img_1138

The top six were all in FA Cup action this weekend. They all fielded “weakened” teams which, however it is viewed, means that the FA Cup is now regarded as being on a par with the EFL Cup. They are both competitions clubs would like to win but, if they don’t, then it’s no big deal and some of the fringe players and youngsters have had a run-out.

One manager was quoted as saying that, “we don’t have a weakened team we have an alternative team“. This should be true, especially when you consider the size and quality of the squads belonging to the top six, but it was said tongue-in-cheek. (more…)