Fans discuss the three positions that Chelsea need to strengthen in January, and is Luke Shaw finally finished as Man Utd’s first-choice left-back? All in the forum.
That’s another block of games we’ve managed our way through and we find ourselves 8 points clear at the top of the league, 9 points clear of City.
That was a run of…D,W,W,W,W,W,W.
Although the draw against Utd was disappointing I don’t think there’s anyone here who wouldn’t take 8 points clear at the top of the league.
Our next run of games are crazy and will stretch the squad to the limits through Dec and the hyper busy Xmas period including the Club World Cup and 2 games in 24hrs on 2 continents.
Palace away 23/11
Napoli home 27/11
Brighton home 30/11
Everton home 4/12
Bournemouth away 7/12
Redbull away 10/12
Watford home 14/12
Villa away 17/12
TBD away 18/12
Leicester away 26/12
Wolves home 29/12
Sheff Utd 02/01
That’s a hectic schedule where we could do without any more injuries.
Our toughest league game looks to be Leicester away although Everton can also be tricky. Napoli our toughest CL opponent but at least that’s at home.
The 2nd squad will play against Villa but there will be another fixture added in there after we play our first CWC game for either the final or play off.
In the same period City have to face Chelsea, Utd, Arsenal and Leicester.
A coupla draws in there particularly against Chelsea and Leicester would be nice.
Massive massive test these block of games ginger but bloody exciting aswell mate.
Really interesting to see were we are after the sheff utd game on 2nd jan with injuries , points etc.
It’s all about the league but what are your thoughts on the world championship? I’d love to win it. A recognised trophy and one we have never won before
Beat Napoli and we finish top of the group that means we could rest players against Salzburg in the final game
What a tough person but this is a proper team now.we Have everything
Sean the sailor
Yes Sean I think we might go all out to beat Napoli at home in order to rest v Salzburg.
I hope we go all out to win the CWC but I also think Klopp will use that time as warm weather training for the squad. The first game shouldn’t be too hard. The second game will prob be against south/Central American team.
My problem is we come back from Doha, it’s Xmas then we travel to Leicester which will be a tough tough game. Not a great amount of time to prepare for that game plus the travel involved doesn’t provide good preparation.
Not the toughest block of games but a hectic schedule. City have a tougher schedule but 2 games less to play. Chelsea have a fixture list tougher than but easier than City with 3 games less. Leicester is the interesting one , 10 games to play with only one among the TOP 6. Hopefully we are able to maintain this buffer start of new year.
What pleased me more than anything yesterday was how proactive our midfield was in possession. Been harping on about this since Phil left about our lack of attacking dynamism in some games especially with our tried and trusted trio of Gini, Fab and Hendo. In Klopp’s 433 or any 433 there has to be balance with the ball as much as without.
Much of our attacking threat does come from our full backs and front three but the midfield HAS to chip in with assists and goals, no matter what your midfield system is in a 433. This HAS to happen if we want to topple City and lift the PL trophy in May.
Their job IS NOT just to support the fulls and front three but to exploit gaps in central mid (Bobby can’t do it all on his own) and one of Gini, Hendo or Fab (normally the aforementioned two) HAVE TO help out between the lines or play becomes massively predictable as we have seen in some games this season (first halves especially).
Hats off to Gini (got into some great 8 and 10 positions yesterday), Fabinho (his positioning was brilliant and got forward and scored) and Hendo (dropping, pushing up helping Trent and Mo and assisted). Those ARE the pre-requisites (not always the priorities) of a three mid man with and without ball regardless of who’s damn system it is. Kudos Gents and Klopp.
Rob Fort Worth TX
Blueowner – we have good players but not world class.
Is Alonso/Emerson world class? No
Is Kovacic world class? No
Is Willian world class? No
That’s 3 positions we can improve on.
Alonso is probably going, Emerson hasn’t got an assist or a goal in the Prem yet.
Kovacic, he is a really good midfielder but not no goals or assists. Jorg doesn’t score many goals from open play, same as Kante.
Willian is 31 and while he is playing well, he isn’t playing amazing.
Pedro will go and need replacing. Barkley is not good enough for Chelsea.
Rudiger is a good defender but not amazing like JT, Carvalho, Vidic, Rio, VVD or Laporte
I think a lot of people are getting too carried away by the really exciting players we have coming through. They will only learn from playing with experienced players, and if we can get a couple of world class players for them to learn off, then it’s even better.
If Ederson is still missing then that City side are vulnerable. Our movement and pace will cause them nightmares. 4-3-3 with that midfield trio makes sense nine. Probably Willian and Pulisic out wide with Abraham up top…so does Mount miss out. I can see Azi being reinstated for his leadership and experience. So, with no post internationals injuries are we looking at a starting 11 of:
67,let’s hope whatever happens in our game v City doesn’t result in the s**t fest that occured elsewhere.
“Cannot condone what was said about the ref and a car accident. Outrageous behaviour from an adult person. Even in that ill fated Champions League debacle against Barcelona that thought never crossed my mind. Totally unacceptable.” Is what any decent person would say but to be fair that’s more than a hop skip and a jump away from what was actually said which was “Hope he has a bad journey home”.
Not relevant to you of course but given everything thankfully things are a bit less emotional on here.😊 Cheers 9’s
nine nine nine
McTominay vital for United
I’ve been telling folk lately McTominay is our most important player at the moment. Hopefully his injury isn’t to serious. If we can get a DM in I’d allow Matic leave. Even somebody like Emre Can on loan for the rest of the season would provide good backup to McTominay.
Going forward I’d be looking to bring in players like Saul Niguez, Sandro Tonali and John McGinn in central midfield
Roygbiv – what do you think of Pogba coming into yesterday’s team in place of Pereira? Do we look a good proposition on paper with him in that team with big Scott and an improving Fred behind him?
S.Tonali and N.Zaniolo are the next generation of world class superstars-just dont know if they would fancy a move to United.
Happy, when Pogba’s back Pereira looks the likeliest to drop to the bench at the moment. The ideal scenario would have been to have sold Pogba last summer and brought in 2 quality midfielders instead but if Pogba suddenly decides to man up and shoulder some responsibility he’ll strengthen us immensely. Don’t see it happening, though, and I think he’ll either leave in January or conveniently be injured again.
Pogba won’t leave this Jan, impossible to bring in replacements
Next summer however…. I’d be very surprised if he didn’t leave for either Juventus or Real Madrid
Luke Shaw finished?
I don’t think Shaw is finished as first choice LB, but the writing is certainly on the wall.
Williams played well on Sunday, and has alwys looked impressive when he played before. If he doesn’t take over shortly I would expect someone else to do so. Though I thnk Willaims can save the club some money.
When Shaw gets fit he will certainly have a fight on his hands.
Will be hilarious when Williams has his first sh*t game, which will happen, and this forum fills up with “he’s shit” posts!
@alfie07 – the worry is that he won’t actually have a fight on his hands when he’s back.
Each manager has played him when fit – even when other players played decently in his position, and despite the fact that he has rarely been superb in the position (how he won Player of The Year last year remains a mystery).
He’s English and young – the ideal player for Ole’s plan. Will he drop a player like him for Williams? I don’t think Ole has the personality for it; he always tries to be the Good Guy and dropping Shaw won’t go down well with the player whilst Williams will be content to play back-up to Shaw, even if he performs better.
Sympathy for the Devils
It’s difficult to say if he’s finished as he’s never even gotten started at United. This is his 6th season at United and he’s never had an extended period of being an undisputed first choice at left back. Last season was okay for him because most of his teammates were so bad and he’s been injured for the majority of this season – yet again. He can’t keep fit or stay in shape and that is completely unacceptable and unforgivable at this level.
Williams has only played a few games but I’d pick him over Shaw any day of the year. He seems to have that drive Shaw lacks and I’ve already mentioned that he’s got a bit of nastiness to him – which we definitely lack. I’m not advocating foul play but you always a need a few players like that and the kid is proving that he’s not going to be bullied.
Being right footed at left back can obviously be a hindrance when crossing but Denis Irwin did okay, didn’t he? With most teams playing inverted wingers it can also be to a full-backs to play on the other flank and Mo Salah, for example has often struggled against right footed left backs as he’s always looking to cut inside.
Williams is way better and he is fitter. Shaw is a lazy lard ass both in attack and in defence. Never understood why we signed him in the first place.
I remember him coming back from internastional championship as a 19 year old and was deemed unfit,says it all.
He has been a finished player @ United for a couple of seasons now,no 2 ways about it.But he has to stay til the summer for us to be able to move the utterly useless Young on in January.Shaw has to go to a team like Newcastle,WHU,Everton,somewhere where the pressure is not on like @ United.Williams all day long,every day of the week.But we are going to have to take a very big hit on him,wont even get close to the £36m we paid for his lardy arse.
I think Shaw will up his game with the competition from Williams. If Williams keeps developing it’s probably best Shaw moves on. He’s a Chelsea fan, maybe he could replace Alonso when he leaves
Williams has earned the spot, that’s for sure. Sunday’s performance was aggressive and decisive, everything Shaw hasn’t been for years now.
The last decent run of performances he put together was behind Depay for LVG (over 3 years ago!) He laughably got player of the season for delivering a steady and ineffective 6/10 most weeks whilst the rest of the team revolted and collapsed.
The guy was blessed with the genetic gifts to be strong, a great sprinter and with a low centre of gravity he’s very difficult to get past, he should be the best left back in Europe by now. It just goes to show that hard work and a good attitude will get you much further than talent in the end.
All of his previous managers and coaches have called him out for his training and application, and he hasn’t improved since the day he joined the club, in fact I’d say he was a better player at Southampton due to youth and natural energy levels.
His career isn’t over yet, there’s always the small chance he’ll start to thrive under Ole’s new and improved culture and management style, but given that he’s being paid superstar wages, that Williams is younger, hungrier and putting in performances like Sunday, that Rojo is getting better the longer he stays fit, and we have Young and Dalot that can play there he is on borrowed time for me.
I hope to be proven wrong.
@mike, I think everyone hopes you’ll be proven wrong but I don’t believe anyone thinks you will be proven wrong tbh. If anything, Shaw’s injury record is a matter for concern, it’s damning. The fact that the club offered him a bumper new contract, until 2023, only 12 months ago shows an equal cause for concern, it’s equally damning in my opinion. If Williams keeps on this trajectory we’ll have a very expensive back-up player, soaking up a huge chunk of our wage-bill sitting on either the bench or the physio table for the next four years.