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 Post subject: Premier League 2017/18
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:02 am 
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I am really looking forward to next season. There could be a lot of movement in the current top 6.

I'm setting myself up for failure with a prediction so early on, but I can see Tottenham improving with the squad they have. Klopp's teams usually get better over time he coaches them, I expect some improvement there as well.

For Chelsea and us, I think a lot depends on how the rest of the window goes. Chelsea need a striker, and we need to keep Sanchez and Özil.

I am not convinced by Man Utd yet, I think 4th place would be a good result for them. So far, City haven't really improved either.


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 Post subject: Re: Premier League 2017/18
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:52 am 
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I am dead against the hype machine that now surrounds football, with every transfer link picked apart in minutiae, but this off-season has been fascinating. So much jockeying around the top clubs and, surprisingly, not Arsenal who appear to be struggling to purchase players.

(the term 'get a deal over the line' should be banned forever).

Arsenal - two very good deals. Whether Lacazette was the preferred striker or not, we now have a very sharp no.1 forward who will accentuate our style of play, who has a strong touch and is deadly. The main goal now has to be to ship out anywhere between 8-10 surplus players and free up some budget/wages to go on to perhaps make one more key acquisition. And keep Ozil/Sanchez into the season. As previous, the 3421 is not a magic bullet, but it suits the personnel we have and if Wenger sticks with it we could be looking in fine shape.

Chelsea - quite a negative pre-season to date. Two 1st team players punted, Rudiger in but seem to be struggling to bring in key targets. Hazard misses the start of the season and it remains to be seen whether they will be the same force whilst paying the 'title winner tax'. Additional games and not being able to rely on the same XI every week could be challenging. I don't think they'll retain the title.

City - 'chequebook Joseph' doing what he does best. Remains to be seen whether Guardiola can get across his ideas to his squad. Tactically, last season they were a mess. Will surely improve given the plethora of attacking talent, but their season will be defined by whether they can play in a focused team shape and cut out individual defensive errors / how their new defensive recruits integrate. And Kompany's fitness.

Liverpool - for me, it's all about Liverpool finding a striker and Klopp finding a way to mitigate his attacking style. Firmino did a good job last season and is ok as a forward in Klopp's shape, but Sturridge can't be relied on and will gone if he sits on the bench much longer, and Origi is a willing runner but limited player. They badly need either a proper striker or a very good alternative to Firmino. Also look very light in defensive options, exacerbated by nearly every CM they own being a baller/attack minded player.

Man Utd - I fancy they will be very strong. Mourinho has had a season to iron out his options. They were strong defensively last season even with ten injuries and a new lineup every week, albeit some of that came at the cost of being a potent attacking force. Lukaku will help them soak up pressure and hit on the break, but Mourinho is likely to get them playing more consistent football. Think there's a good chance Pogba could have a strong season. They look strong front to back; if Mourinho can decide on his best team and find improvements in the two/three behind Lukaku, I think they are a cert for the top four.

Spurs - I think their season will be defined by how they take to playing at Wembley. Strong in every strata, perhaps lacking in squad options but not horribly. Have demonstrated they can perform without key players. Hugely strong spine to the side. But there is plenty recent evidence (including Spurs) to show that teams really struggle to integrate to a new/loaned ground. The 'size of the Wembley pitch' is likely to be an overrated factor, but it could impact on their structure and render less effective their rabid pressing.

If I had to judge, I'd put my early money on Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea being in the top four. Inkling towards Spurs for the final spot.


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 Post subject: Re: Premier League 2017/18
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:35 pm 
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LoneGunner wrote:
I am dead against the hype machine that now surrounds football, with every transfer link picked apart in minutiae, but this off-season has been fascinating. So much jockeying around the top clubs and, surprisingly, not Arsenal who appear to be struggling to purchase players.

(the term 'get a deal over the line' should be banned forever).

Arsenal - two very good deals. Whether Lacazette was the preferred striker or not, we now have a very sharp no.1 forward who will accentuate our style of play, who has a strong touch and is deadly. The main goal now has to be to ship out anywhere between 8-10 surplus players and free up some budget/wages to go on to perhaps make one more key acquisition. And keep Ozil/Sanchez into the season. As previous, the 3421 is not a magic bullet, but it suits the personnel we have and if Wenger sticks with it we could be looking in fine shape.

Chelsea - quite a negative pre-season to date. Two 1st team players punted, Rudiger in but seem to be struggling to bring in key targets. Hazard misses the start of the season and it remains to be seen whether they will be the same force whilst paying the 'title winner tax'. Additional games and not being able to rely on the same XI every week could be challenging. I don't think they'll retain the title.

City - 'chequebook Joseph' doing what he does best. Remains to be seen whether Guardiola can get across his ideas to his squad. Tactically, last season they were a mess. Will surely improve given the plethora of attacking talent, but their season will be defined by whether they can play in a focused team shape and cut out individual defensive errors / how their new defensive recruits integrate. And Kompany's fitness.

Liverpool - for me, it's all about Liverpool finding a striker and Klopp finding a way to mitigate his attacking style. Firmino did a good job last season and is ok as a forward in Klopp's shape, but Sturridge can't be relied on and will gone if he sits on the bench much longer, and Origi is a willing runner but limited player. They badly need either a proper striker or a very good alternative to Firmino. Also look very light in defensive options, exacerbated by nearly every CM they own being a baller/attack minded player.

Man Utd - I fancy they will be very strong. Mourinho has had a season to iron out his options. They were strong defensively last season even with ten injuries and a new lineup every week, albeit some of that came at the cost of being a potent attacking force. Lukaku will help them soak up pressure and hit on the break, but Mourinho is likely to get them playing more consistent football. Think there's a good chance Pogba could have a strong season. They look strong front to back; if Mourinho can decide on his best team and find improvements in the two/three behind Lukaku, I think they are a cert for the top four.

Spurs - I think their season will be defined by how they take to playing at Wembley. Strong in every strata, perhaps lacking in squad options but not horribly. Have demonstrated they can perform without key players. Hugely strong spine to the side. But there is plenty recent evidence (including Spurs) to show that teams really struggle to integrate to a new/loaned ground. The 'size of the Wembley pitch' is likely to be an overrated factor, but it could impact on their structure and render less effective their rabid pressing.

If I had to judge, I'd put my early money on Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea being in the top four. Inkling towards Spurs for the final spot.


I think bar Man United and now probably include Everton, the rest have been quite weak in their buying and selling, Man City have done their best impression of write any old figure on a piece of paper and add 20 million zeros to the end, Spurs must be laughing all the way to the bank having just pulled off the con deal of the century for Walker.

Liverpool as LG you quite rightly put still need a proper striker in order to make them true contenders and Chelsea are about to lose the pantomime villain and need someone to replace him and when they do find a replacement up comes the old manager in Boreinho and nabs them.

Man United will be a stronger outfit as long as the manager gets them playing right, Spurs have bought..................................................................... (Where is the tumbleweed smilie?)


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 Post subject: Re: Premier League 2017/18
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:58 pm 
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So Chelsea land Morata as their marquee signing. It'll be interesting to see how that pans out. Costa, for all his faults, gave them a lot. if nothing else, they have lost of a bit of character through their squad in general this summer. I do also wonder about Bakayoko. I haven't seen enough of him to judge fairly, but clubs are falling into the trap of thinking that every player at a high-performing team is automatically a gem. Lemar is, Mbappe is, Silva is very talented, I have a lot of respect for Kamil Glik; less convinced about Mendy and Bakayoko. Someone will get expensively burned this summer.

West Ham have seemingly landed Hernandez, adding to Arnautovic. Incredible how many players in the same type of positions they continue to pursue. They have acquired a raft of personnel since last summer, and to me look to be making similar mistakes. Lots of showboating in the transfer market but I'd be concerned how much balance and actual 'value' they are adding. Hernandez could do well, but he relies on service and they have a lot of individuals in the supporting cast. Feel their season looks a 40/60 - they could click and get back to a potent top 8 team, but I think they look more likely to underperform and have ousted Bilic by Christmas.

Bournemouth perhaps the most impressive business of the non top 6 clubs to-date. Quality no.1, versatile defender who did very well for Howe last season, and a veteran striker who could take a bit of the heat off Josh King and perhaps help to improve his game. Crucially, Howe (so far) has avoided his previous model of buying everything that moves and concentrated on quality.


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