Posts Tagged ‘Premier League’

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Following a decent start, at home, against an average team, Manchester United players will have gained confidence as well as the three points from their performance. They will have gained little else as the victory over West Ham United was a relative stroll, particularly after the first goal had demolished any “ambition” they may have had of defending for ninety minutes.

Manchester City also experienced an easy day out in Brighton where, despite initially struggling to break down the HOME!!? team, they won quite comfortably in the end. Both clubs, without really being tested, looked quite convincing but were helped by the opposition! (more…)

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The short answer to the above question is: anybody can win it. You only have to look at the achievements of Claudio Ranieri and Leicester City the season before last for proof of that particular pudding.

The more reasonable and logical answer is that the winners will, more than likely, come from one of the current big six with dark horses for a top six finish being West Ham United, Everton or even Newcastle United, rather than a lower ranked team pulling off a major shock.

The main contenders are shaping up as follows:- (more…)

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If reports in the Daily Mail are to be believed then Wayne Rooney is considering staying at Manchester United to see out the final year of his contract. Forgive us our cynicism but why is this thought even crossing his mind? Not through his inherent greed surely?

Reportedly, Everton would like to take him back, but can’t match the wages he is currently paid at Old Trafford. Fine, surely Wayne would be happy to take a pay cut to rejoin his boyhood club, after all he is an Evertonian and loves them far more than he has ever loved United. And he doesn’t need the money. (more…)

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Yet again that mediocre La Liga has three teams through to the quarter finals of the Champion’s League, while that brilliant, exciting, competitive and just all-round good egg Premier League has one.

The good thing is that to prove it’s massive superiority over La Liga, it was a Premier League club which knocked out Sevilla. Yes, little old Leicester did what Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur couldn’t do, they made it through to the quarter finals. (more…)

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Well here we are, dear readers, preparing for the second Manchester derby of the season and we’re only in October!

Regular followers of this irregular missive will have noticed that I have, on occasion, seen fit to bemoan the way that cup draws seem to bring the Manchester clubs together, before the final, on a fairly consistent basis. They seem destined never to get to the altar, always having to have a sordid little affair long before the big day ever dawns which then, invariably, belongs to somebody else. (more…)

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In the not too distant past, José Mourinho would have poured scorn on this competition. He always saw it as a tournament for losers, as a punishment for not being good enough in your own league and, therefore, confined to the basement of European football to compete with teams whose names are difficult to pronounce from countries which are difficult to find.

This was a view shared, strangely enough, by his great friend and hero Sir Alex Ferguson whose own journey into the Europa League was a one-time experience and very short-lived. (more…)

 

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This has been a record transfer window. The amount of money spent by clubs is likely to pass the £1 billion mark, if it hasn’t already done so while I have been writing this article.

The two biggest spenders are, arguably, the two with the most money. They can spend obscene amounts on players without batting an eyelid. The fact that they occasionally have to sell players to “balance the books” is actually an accounting exercise and isn’t strictly a necessity, particularly now that the Financial Fair Play rules have been relaxed or binned, I’m not sure which is correct. (more…)

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(Marcus Rashford shows Cameron Borthwick-Jackson how many fans are at the game)

Since taking the manager’s job at Old Trafford Jose Mourinho has overseen the winning of the Community Shield and two wins out of two games in the Premier League.

Players who have been conspicuous by their absence include a few of the younger members who had some game time last season because Louis van Gaal had a lot of injuries and no experienced cover.

When, for example, Luke Shaw was injured in the Champion’s League, there was no ready made experienced replacement. Wayne Rooney’s continued decline meant that Anthony Martial was given many more games than he would have been had there been an older player waiting for his chance. (more…)

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The squad strengths are similar. The fame and reputations of the two managers are similar. In fact, there are so many similarities between the two teams this season that it is very difficult to say that one is better than the other and even more difficult to say which one that is.

Manchester City have a world class goalkeeper prone to the occasional mistake. United also have a world class goalkeeper who makes less mistakes so United have the edge here. (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…)