Arsenal fans dread the Champions League, while Liverpool look ahead to playing Spurs, Mourinho’s reign and Diego Costa’s future are discussed.
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Europa or nothing?
Unless Wenger and the players get their act together soon, we’re in serious danger of missing out on a top four place.
‘It’s a familiar pattern – our season starts to collapse at New Year’; our title “challenge” goes up in smoke, we get dumped out the Champions League in the first knock-out round and suddenly a CL spot is all we have left to fight for. Of course, it’s then that we put a good run together, once everything else (bar possibly a domestic cup) is out of reach.
I know it’s still early days, but there’s only five points between 2nd and 6th and with our current form, we could be well out of the running very soon. We’ve still got a lot of six-pointers coming up against the rest of the top six and our record against them this season is worse than usual.
So, if it comes to a choice, would you guys prefer Europa League or no European football at all?
I guess it’s a toss up between the slight possibility of winning the thing, against the advantage of a lot fewer games and fresher players for the title run-in next year. There’s more to Chelski’s current run than having played fewer games than the rest of us, but there’s no doubt it’s a big factor.
Myself, I just can’t get that excited about the Europa, even if I thought we’d have a chance of actually winning the thing and I think I’d prefer fewer games, so we could have a proper stab at the title – especially if Wenger goes.
To be fair, I can’t get excited about the Champions League either! I think its quite a boring competition on the whole now anyway and also because, we have zero chance of winning the thing. Every year we just limp along until we get knocked out.
I wouldn’t mind having a season being in Chelsea’s position and seeing how close we could get to a league title (with a new manager).
I know some people feel that not being in the Champions League impacts how you can attract players but I think there are ways around that – money being one of them! The board and whoever the boss is should it happen, would need to show some financial ambition to still attract bigger and better names than we have now, if we were out of Europe. Do they have it in them? It would be interesting to see their reaction should they miss out on the precious fourth place gold mine.
What is your views about Jose’s reign at United (so far) on a scale of average, poor to very poor.
I would say very poor. It looked promising for a couple of months but we are stalled since the turn of the year. Our winning run was always going to end, but it is our inability to capitalise on opponents dropping points that concerns me the most. Liverpool & Arsenal are badly out of form but we’re still sixth. I’m sure Jose realises nine draws gives you the same amount of points as three wins and six losses.
The only top seven team Jose has beaten is Tottenham. We still have to play Man City, Arsenal and Tottenham away and Chelsea at home. I doubt we would get a win in these games and I actually feel we are in danger of shambolic collapse when we face these teams.
I’d say average-good…almost a seven. Every new manager deserves to be cut some slack at the beginning. From results perspective we are not far off second spot and it was almost expected there would be a few slip ups in the first games with a new manager.
Performance wise its a vast improvement over Louis van Gaal with more chances. We’d like us to be more attacking but we know with Jose its never going to be like it was under Fergie.
His relationship with players and press is pretty much what one expects from Jose.
My major criticism is that I would have liked more of a clear out in the summer and I cannot really see a team taking shape. He placed faith in Rooney, Carrick, Fellaini and not only brought in past it Ibra but given him an extension. I fear we will become the Chelsea Pensioners!
The Costa dilemma
I am not worried at all if Costa goes. We did not miss him in the games he was not available plus his more for himself than the team, if you remember last season he was badly off form and benched for one measly game and to show his displeasure he throws his bib at the manager in front of the poor other players who are forever on the bench.
Saturday we could have won by more goals if he was not so greedy and rather passed to teammates in far better goal scoring positions on more than one occasion and in other games as well. What we must really worry about is if Conte goes as the reports are that he has been offered £13million plus a very hefty treasure chest to manage Inter who have been taken over by a Chinese consortium. Not sure who they exactly are or how true it is but he is being looked now as the hottest manager in world football so it could very well be true.
100% Lukaku. We could spend big money on Morata, Lewandowski, etc. but who’s to say they will achieve? Lukaku has played season after season in the EPL and has a proven pedigree in this league. I know Torres had the same but let’s all be honest Torres’ form before he signed for us was shocking anyway. Lukaku is in form and has rising potential. Personally I’d go for Lukaku if and only if Costa goes.
Spurs the perfect opponent?
Spurs are the ideal team for Liverpool to be playing. The high line we play will make it easier for them. Plus Spurs are missing Rose and Vertonghen both who are big match players.
Let’s hope for a good game.
This will be Liverpool’s first Premier League match with a first team (almost) fully available and with a full week between matches, so they should look fresher and fitter. We’ve got Mane all rested up after rushing back for the Chelsea match from AFCON, so with some luck we will at least have some threat in our play…
Lovren is maybe going for a scan apparently so I’m gonna make a call that won’t be popular here but I hope that Gomez starts next to Matip. I think he’s at least close to being ready and if it’s down to Lucas or Klavan, we might as well invest in a player who I think will be pushing for a starting place next season.
Ranieri for the chop?
Ranieri, nice bloke as he may be, should be sacked and for me his record is no different than anywhere in his career. He has the odd highlight but overall he is not a top consistent manager.
Kante was massive for Leicester as he is for Chelsea. He also made other players look good. Drinkwater managed to play for England but only because Kante allowed him time and space and made him look good. Based on his performances this year he would not get a sniff at international level.
Foxy – like it or not, Leicester are a one trick pony and relied so heavily on the pace of Vardy and the dribbling of Mahrez. Vardy has been found out, Mahrez wishes he had left and does not look bothered and the midfield is shot without Kante. No wonder that the defence is under much more pressure than at any time last season and so conceding more goals
Really fear for you as the way that other teams are responding I think that relegation is fast becoming a real option?