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Old 12th August 2019, 20:04   #1861
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Watched the bigger teams to get a sense of where they stand. Views:
1. City looked very good indeed. Rodri didn't impress me that much though. He just isn't at Fernandinho level and won't protect much in the biggest games. Combined with Kompany leaving, feel City will be a tad more vulnerable at the back. Not much of an issue given the rest of the league though
2. Liverpool didn't impress me at all (even without my "scouser-hating goggles" on). The defence has been iffy all through pre-season and even against weak opposition, they could have conceded a lot more. Their attack will bail them out loads - but I don't see their having done anything to close the gap to City. It's not like Ox etc. returning strengthen the starting XI and City should be comfortably better over the season
3. Spurs have some internal issues in defence. Odd to see Jan benched. Both he and Toby are in the final year of their deals. Same for Eriksen - who was also benched. Bailed out by Tanguy - but while Spurs are stronger (lo Celso to come), they won't threaten the Top Two
4. United had the toughest game of the lot on paper - but made it look like a stroll after an iffy first 15. Helped by Chelsea's defence s***ting the bed each time Rashford and Martial had a run at them - but United made it look very easy and despite what the haters want to say, feel United will ease to 4th. Comfortably better in defence than Chelsea and Arsenal and the attack is better than Chelsea's and at par with (actually, better than) Arsenal if they can fire properly. Gomes, Chong, Greenwood will all ease in as the season goes on and I feel United can be confident
5. Arsenal will struggle methinks. That defence inspires no confidence - and against teams that park and counter, they'll concede. If they can't break them down at the other end, they'll drop points. Having to outscore the opponents in each game makes for some fun games - but hurts in the long-run that is the league season. An injury or suspension for Auba could lay them very low
6. Chelsea flattered to deceive. The attack is blunt and defence was horrid. The return of Rudiger isn't the "next coming" (he's not that good) and Kante will strengthen them, but again, won't make them winners. The striker options are horrid. It'll be a long wait till RLC and CHO can be partnered... Don't expect anything better than 6th.
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Old 12th August 2019, 23:12   #1862
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Liverpool will lift the EPL trophy this time. I have consulted with the Oracle and I know this is the season we will finally get our hands on it.

If they don't, mods please delete my post
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Old 13th August 2019, 09:34   #1863
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4. United ..... Comfortably better in defense than Chelsea and Arsenal and the attack is better than Chelsea's and at par with (actually, better than) Arsenal if they can fire properly. Gomes, Chong, Greenwood will all ease in as the season goes on and I feel United can be confident
Surely not!! There is no way the United's attack is better than Arsenal's. Auba was the league's top scorer last season with 22 goals. Add Laca and Pepe to the mix and Arsenal probably have the best attack in the league. In contrast, United's attack has lost Lukaku and the attack now rests on the shoulders of Rashford and Martial who haven't yet proven themselves to be able to deliver consistently.

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5. Arsenal will struggle methinks. That defence inspires no confidence - and against teams that park and counter, they'll concede. If they can't break them down at the other end, they'll drop points. Having to outscore the opponents in each game makes for some fun games - but hurts in the long-run that is the league season. An injury or suspension for Auba could lay them very low
The main weak link in the defense is Mustafi and with him looking likely to go, and the addition of David Luiz, the defense is going to improve. Yes, it will not be the strongest defense and Arsenal will probably concede more than the top 4 teams but the team is definitely going to improve with the return of Bellerin, Tierney, and Holding from injury. I'd say Arsenal are going to finish 4th above Manchester United and Chelsea.

Manchester United look very fragile and a few losses will be enough to send them down rapidly. Chelsea is rebuilding with a young team and will need more time to get things right.
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Old 13th August 2019, 12:33   #1864
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Surely not!! There is no way the United's attack is better than Arsenal's. Auba was the league's top scorer last season with 22 goals. Add Laca and Pepe to the mix and Arsenal probably have the best attack in the league. In contrast, United's attack has lost Lukaku and the attack now rests on the shoulders of Rashford and Martial who haven't yet proven themselves to be able to deliver consistently.
Neither of Martial or Rashford played as central striker for long before Ole - and both were injured etc. after as well. This time, the system is clear - and both actually have pretty decent numbers when considering only games they start as strikers. The new system is also more mobile and rapid, which will help them - while they too develop and mature. I expect more from them. Also, Arsenal's attack is limited to the strikers. United also have a certain Frenchman who adds a whole new dimension when he wants to. At will. Lukaku really isn't a loss for United. If anything, it's something virtually every United fan wanted! We shall see how it goes - but remember that even last season, it was hardly "scoring goals" that let Arsenal down. It was conceding. Same for United as well, really. And of the two, only one has significantly plugged the gaps at the back. Also, don't underestimate how much Mason Greenwood and Angel Gomes could add once they are eased in. Remarkable talents, both of them.

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The main weak link in the defense is Mustafi and with him looking likely to go, and the addition of David Luiz, the defense is going to improve. Yes, it will not be the strongest defense and Arsenal will probably concede more than the top 4 teams but the team is definitely going to improve with the return of Bellerin, Tierney, and Holding from injury. I'd say Arsenal are going to finish 4th above Manchester United and Chelsea.

Manchester United look very fragile and a few losses will be enough to send them down rapidly. Chelsea is rebuilding with a young team and will need more time to get things right.
Arsenal beat a very poor (likely relegation-bound) Newcastle 1-0. United beat a potential Top-4 rival 4-0. United are just bedding in and while so are Arsenal, right now, I'd reckon United have a much higher ceiling.
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Old 13th August 2019, 14:29   #1865
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Arsenal beat a very poor (likely relegation-bound) Newcastle 1-0. United beat a potential Top-4 rival 4-0. United are just bedding in and while so are Arsenal, right now, I'd reckon United have a much higher ceiling.
I am not at all convinced with United midfield. It's very very pedestrian. Probably weakest in the league. If Pogba in injured or not in the mood, then United will suffer. Chelsea game also highlighted the same. So many times they carved us with ease and dominated the game for most part.
Don't have much hopes for United. Probably will be 5th or 6th at best. Best bet for the season is to win the Europa league so that we can get back to CL again and can hope to sign couple of good midfielders next year.
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Old 13th August 2019, 14:55   #1866
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Neither of Martial or Rashford played as central striker for long before Ole - and both were injured etc. after as well. This time, the system is clear - and both actually have pretty decent numbers when considering only games they start as strikers. The new system is also more mobile and rapid, which will help them - while they too develop and mature. I expect more from them. Also, Arsenal's attack is limited to the strikers. United also have a certain Frenchman who adds a whole new dimension when he wants to. At will. Lukaku really isn't a loss for United. If anything, it's something virtually every United fan wanted! We shall see how it goes - but remember that even last season, it was hardly "scoring goals" that let Arsenal down. It was conceding. Same for United as well, really. And of the two, only one has significantly plugged the gaps at the back. Also, don't underestimate how much Mason Greenwood and Angel Gomes could add once they are eased in. Remarkable talents, both of them.



Arsenal beat a very poor (likely relegation-bound) Newcastle 1-0. United beat a potential Top-4 rival 4-0. United are just bedding in and while so are Arsenal, right now, I'd reckon United have a much higher ceiling.
Let us wait for a few games and see how high the ceiling actually is. Manchester United beat a Chelsea team who were playing their first proper game against a new manager. The 4-0 scoreline was not a true reflection of the game as Chelsea was having a decent game and hit the post a couple of times. Of course the scoreline matters but as an indication of what is to come over the season, I think that Manchester United still has a lot of cracks and will be found out soon enough. If a team stops the counter-attacking style, they will win.

Arsenal started the game against Newcastle without a lot of the first-team regulars. A lot of teams will take a few games to settle and I believe it will at least 10 games before the true standings start to emerge. However, I am confident Arsenal will finish higher than Manchester United.
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Old 13th August 2019, 16:31   #1867
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I am not at all convinced with United midfield.
...
Don't have much hopes for United. Probably will be 5th or 6th at best. Best bet for the season is to win the Europa league so that we can get back to CL again and can hope to sign couple of good midfielders next year.
If there's one thing that Fergie - and recently Klopp - have proved, it's that having a solid defence and rapid attack can compensate for a below-par midfield. That said, it's not like Arsenal have a great midfield either. Not brimming (leave alone overflowing) with talent. United won't threaten the top 3, but 4th should be easy. Simply because United have a better keeper and far better defence than Arsenal - and the attack will keep the team going.

Also, Chelsea pressed very well at the front. That's where United's midfield flaws will show - but not many teams will press! Most will sit back, so I'd wager that a solid defence (to keep the counters out) and more skilled attack (with insane pace) will see United (hopefully) beat out Arsenal. Chelsea won't threaten.

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Let us wait for a few games and see how high the ceiling actually is.
...
I think that Manchester United still has a lot of cracks and will be found out soon enough. If a team stops the counter-attacking style, they will win.
...
I am confident Arsenal will finish higher than Manchester United.
Yup. Need more games (but as a United fan, have tracked all youth and pre-season games, so am fairly confident). United has cracks - but in the race to 4th, I feel Arsenal has more - and importantly, more fatal ones (defence). Luiz is not a sound and stable CB.

As for United, feel the team will be better when teams aren't attacking them than has been the case in the past. Losing Lukaku and Matic will be a huge upside (I hope).

Let's see which is the "least lame" horse in the race to 4th
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Old 17th August 2019, 15:44   #1868
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Nobody here following La Liga? Pretty happy seeing Barca get stuffed! Messi out and now Suarez too. Serves 'em right. Guess Real is in too much of a shambles to threaten the title, but Atleti could!
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Old 17th August 2019, 16:12   #1869
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If there's one thing that Fergie - and recently Klopp - have proved, it's that having a solid defence and rapid attack can compensate for a below-par midfield.
Sir Alex Ferguson himself was worth 10 extra points every season. Theres a reason why I think he is the greatest manager Football has seen. (Apart from the fact that he created several title winning teams from scratch, a feat that is without parallel) he had that power to motivate even outright average players and they would consistently deliver that extra 5% that would make all the difference. I have not seen any other coach do that. The likes of Klopp, Pep, Mourinho, Zidane etc totally depend on extra special players. Sir Alex won titles with players like O'shea, Park, Fletcher, Cleverly etc. No other manager has done anything like that!

I dont think Ole is anything like Sir Alex. I think we will struggle this season as we do not have any dependable midfielders.
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Old 17th August 2019, 16:43   #1870
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Nobody here following La Liga? Pretty happy seeing Barca get stuffed! Messi out and now Suarez too. Serves 'em right. Guess Real is in too much of a shambles to threaten the title, but Atleti could!
Didn't watch the game. However, saw the stunner from Aduriz. What a guy, performing at his age!
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Old 16th September 2019, 16:15   #1871
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What is this new trend of taking short goal kicks with your own defenders in (?at the edge of) the 6 yard box and the opponent attackers lurking around in the penalty box?

Saw both Arsenal and City conceding stupid goals with this 'tactic'.
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Old 17th September 2019, 14:59   #1872
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Sir Alex Ferguson himself was worth 10 extra points every season. Theres a reason why I think he is the greatest manager Football has seen.
True, the fear factor he brought to the opposition was quite amazing.


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The likes of Klopp, Pep, Mourinho, Zidane etc totally depend on extra special players. Sir Alex won titles with players like O'shea, Park, Fletcher, Cleverly etc. No other manager has done anything like that!
Not fully agree with that. If you look at the current Liverpool team, almost all of them were not bought as special/marque player; exceptions being Virgil van Dijk and Alisson. Mane, Salah, Robertson, Trend.. all these players grew under Klopp. And Liverpool midfield is still filled with very ordinary players, just that they click well as a unit.
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Old 17th September 2019, 15:07   #1873
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What is this new trend of taking short goal kicks with your own defenders in (?at the edge of) the 6 yard box and the opponent attackers lurking around in the penalty box?

Saw both Arsenal and City conceding stupid goals with this 'tactic'.
Recent law change, where a goal kick need not be received outside the penalty area, so expect to see more of these, esp. with teams who have specialist 'sweeper keepers'.
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Old 17th September 2019, 22:05   #1874
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Recent law change, where a goal kick need not be received outside the penalty area, so expect to see more of these, esp. with teams who have specialist 'sweeper keepers'.
As in - should not be received outside the penalty box? That is a stupid rule then! And moreover, even the commentators didn't mention the rule change and I was like - what a useless set of goals. Makes the defenders look stoopid.
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Old 18th September 2019, 09:28   #1875
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As in - should not be received outside the penalty box?.
Need not be.

Earlier law was a goal kick had to be hit out of the box (and nobody else could encroach the area) before a second touch could be taken, now it's not mandatory, so we'll increasingly see defenders receiving the ball close(r) to the keeper, and of course it's gaffe-prone with nervous bundles like Otamendi, for example.

All voluntary of course, the GKs can still hoick it down to the other half if they want to, it's just everyone trying to 'play out from the back' without having the players or positional awareness needed for it.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 18th September 2019 at 09:45.
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