Posts Tagged ‘N’Golo Kanté’

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It is a question which has been raised once or twice in the past. Of the current top six only Tottenham Hotspur have been buying anybody English from the lower divisions, that being Dele Alli, who arrived from MK Dons for £5 million a while ago.

Chelsea went down the tried and tested route by buying N’Golo Kanté from Leicester, shortly after he had become a Premier League winner, so no risk there.

Liverpool went for the unknown foreigners who have yet to prove themselves in the top flight, and Sadio Mané, who hasn’t. (more…)

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When these two managers were appointed by their current clubs it was widely expected, particularly in Manchester, that the top two positions in the Premier League would be contested between them.

Obviously, this view would not have been the case in parts of London or Liverpool but, generally, it was the concensus in the frozen, rainy wastelands of Manchester.

The facts have proven to be quite different. They have proven, for one thing, that even some of the best managers cannot just take over at a club and immediately turn them into champions. (more…)

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Jesse Lingard back in the United team at the expense of Ashley Young. Talk about bitter sweet. On the one hand, Young being dropped is good news but, on the other, Lingard playing is not good news.

Having finally managed to make the Manchester United management see the error of their ways when continually selecting Wayne Rooney, it is now time for them to see who is Manchester United quality and who isn’t. Neither Young nor Lingard would get into a fully fit Manchester United team and it would not be too disappointing if they were both sold in January. (more…)

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(In the above photo Ronald Koeman has cleverly disguised himself by wearing a Claudio Ranieri mask in order to deflect attention away from Everton!)

After tonight’s game between Liverpool and Manchester United the top seven will have a familiar look about it, (assuming that your regular top seven doesn’t include Leicester City!)

A draw will see no movement, a Liverpool win will take them to the same points as Arsenal and Manchester City, and a United win will take them above Liverpool, into fourth place, on goal difference. (more…)

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Not to mention Everton, the dark horses, so I won’t. Mention them, that is.

After only six games of the new season the great British press, the fourth estate, the paragons of virtue, trust and truthfulness, have decided who is going to win the title, who is going to get relegated and which managers are going to be sacked before and after Christmas. (more…)

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The Guardian calls them the “Magnificent Seven”, (that’s quite original for the Guardian!). These are the seven teams they reckon have a realistic chance of winning the Premier League title. They even have a natty little video to demonstrate which teams they are referring to. Have a look here, it’s quite good.

Now, even more realistically, which of the following managers will lift the trophy next May?

Arsene Wenger:

There isn’t much to say about Wenger that hasn’t already been said in his long time at Arsenal. There does seem to be some truth in the rumour that he is happy to finish in the top three, top four at a push, so that qualification for the Champion’s League is assured each year. This keeps the board happy but leaves the fans frustrated. Because this attitude seems to prevail at the Emirates, they will not win the title and may even struggle for top four this time out. (more…)

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So, failing to qualify for the Champion’s League is not the disaster that all the “experts” predicted it would be. In fact it appears to have had little or no impact on the two main “failures” in England. These are the two teams who contested the final only eight years ago in Moscow! The ability of Manchester United and Chelsea to sign top players and managers does not appear to have been diminished at all.

It is probably true to say that a prolonged absence from the competition would begin to have a negative effect at some stage as a considerable amount of money can be made by appearing in Europe’s top competition. The loss of this money over a sustained period would prove harmful to the clubs trying to attract the best players and, by doing so, make qualifying again the following year a more difficult proposition. In this respect it is a vicious circle. (more…)