Tables turn in “El Classico”

“In the nine years that I have been here, it is the first time that I feel inferior to Madrid”. Those were the words of Pique after losing 5-1 on aggregate to Real Madrid. I agree 100% with him on this statement, it was weird seeing them being outplayed by Madrid’s midfield. Madrid looked like the dominant team. In the past when Madrid have won classico games it was because they were better on the day or you can say they had a gameplan. But the two legs showed the world that Madrid are a better team right now.

If you go back 8 years to the summer of 2009, Madrid bought Ronaldo, Kaka, Benzema and others to compete with the treble winning Barcelona team. Since then Madrid have won 2 La Liga titles and 3 Champions League titles, Barcelona have won 5 La Liga titles and 2 Champions League titles. Whilst Madrid have won trophies the view has never been that they are better than Barca. But after winning the Champions League in 2015 I think they have declined as a team. They have been too reliant on the their front three and haven’t recruited well in midfield or defence. Since Xavi has gone the style of the team is different, they should never have let Thiago go. Whilst that has been going on Madrid have developed a perfect midfield three of Kroos, Modric and Casemeiro that is possession based and athletic. Watching them play in the Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup it’s clear to see that they are the best team in Europe right now. 

So what of Barcelona right now? They had their superstar player stolen from under their wing and are now scrambling to replace him. Having Neymar up front with Suarez and Messi was almost unfair. That’s 3 of the top 5 players in the world scoring over 100 goals a season between them. I think more will come out about why he left but I don’t think they honestly saw it coming. Without him I now see them as a world class team but not a great team like Madrid. Who does Barcelona have coming through into the first team, Deulofeu? Dennis Suarez? I don’t think they are ready to step up yet. Madrid on the other hand have Asensio replacing the suspended Ronaldo and scoring in big games on a regular basis as well as Lucas Vasquez. It’s weird that the tables have turned and now the best young players are coming from Madrid rather than Barcelona.

Now that Neymar is gone what can they do in the short term? They are trying to buy Coutinho and Dembele which would be good signings but I don’t see that as a direct replacement for Neymar. You can’t replace a great player with two really good players, look at previous examples with Liverpool and Arsenal when they sold their best players. However let’s not forget they still have Messi and Suarez upfront which is better than nearly everyone. But the problem is they are use to having the best attack or team in the world. This season may be a difficult season for them to adjust with the loss. 

In the long term I think that they need to try and get back to playing their original style of football which made them unique. Recently they become more of a counter attacking team which I don’t think gets the best out of their team. Now that Iniesta is ageing they need to get in a great midfield player like Veratti to allow Messi more time to spend up front rather than always trying to create for the team. The team from a few years ago with Xavi, Iniesta, Pique and Messi is nearly gone. Messi just turned 30 so he is now entering the last part of his prime years, everyone would like to see these years spent with him happy and winning trophies. He is currently in contract negotiations and Barcelona need to show him that they have a plan going forward because I don’t think signing players like Paulinho will impress him. Suarez is also out for a month with a knee injury so there will be even more pressure on him come the start of the season. 

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And my Premier League winner is

We’re now at the eve of the new Premier League season, 3 months after the last ball was kicked. Although everybody in the league has spent a lot of money I still expect the same teams to be competing for the title. I expect the competition to be stronger but I also said that last season which wasn’t the case. City have spent over £200 million to a team with a potent attack already. Man Utd have added the second top scorer from last season along with strengthening their midfield and defence. Arsenal have also spent big on a striker and have looked good in pre season. I would be very disappointed if my team United are not in the title race. My heart is telling me that we will win it this year, Mourinho always wins the league in his second season with a club and we have someone who can convert those missed chances. But my head is telling me that the defence and midfield is not good enough, they can be a bit slow to move the ball forward sometimes. Below I have listed my predictions for the season and the order for the top 6 take a read below. 

6. Liverpool

They managed to maintain a top 4 spot after a great start to the season in which they faded away. They managed to add Salah on the wing who is a very good player but I think a top striker upfront should have been a priority. They don’t have a 20 goal scorer, Coutinho was there top scorer with 14 last season. I think to win the league they need a reliable scorer, if he’s fully fit Sturridge could be that. The reason I think they will struggle this season is because I don’t think they have the squad to manage the Champions League with the league. Playing once a week was one of the reasons they played so well at the start of the last season. But when cup competitions started in the new year they started to fall of a bit. They haven’t done much to fix this and they haven’t fixed their main problem at the back. The defence cost them a lot of points from winning positions, most notably away at Bournemouth. If they get van Dijk who just handed in a transfer request that is a major upgrade. The season will also depend on if Coutinho is sold. Last season was his best season and if Liverpool want to call themselves a big club they can’t sell their best player every few years. They need to keep their best players and add not sell and replace them. I see them scoring a lot of goals with Mane and Salah on the wings, Mane is even better than I thought. Unless they strengthen the squad I don’t see them finishing in the top 4. 

5. Spurs

If I was a Spurs fan I would be very disappointed with what has happened this summer. They just finished 2nd and above Arsenal, this is the opportunity to solidify their place as a top team and send a message to rivals but they haven’t done that. They made a lot of money selling Walker but there hasn’t been any business. They have a really good young team at the moment but not much of a squad. I think the teams that finished below them have improved a lot. If you don’t spend money in the Premier League you are basically moving backwards with how much the rivals are spending. I’m very surprised they haven’t bought in one big player. The added effect of playing at Wembley will play apart in their season where they finish just behind the team in 4th in my opinion. I wrote about this in previous post.

4. Arsenal 

Based on the signings Arsenal have made I expect the same old Arsenal. Last season they hugely underachieved even by their standards, it seemed like some of the players weren’t playing hard enough. They have signed Lacazette who should be an upgrade on Giroud and Kolasnic who looked decent against Chelsea. They still haven’t addressed the centre back issue which I think is the biggest issue they had last season. I think the Europa League will affect their form so I don’t expect them to challenge for the league but I think they will have enough to get back in the top 4 which would be an average season for them. I also wrote previously that I think this will be Wenger’s last season.

3. Chelsea

It seems like Conte isn’t happy with the summer Chelsea have had even though they have spent a lot of money. Rudiger, Bakayoko, and Morata is a decent transfer season but I don’t think they were his first choices. There is also the problem of what happens with Diego Costa who isn’t part of the plans and still hasn’t been sold. If Morata doesn’t start well the fans could be calling for Costa to come back. One of the big advantages they had last season was no European football. This was hugely beneficial as they had a small squad which will be tested this season in the Champions League. It’s also a fact that no team has defended the title since Man Utd been 07-09. I predict a difficult season for them where they finish behind the Manchester clubs but I think they might make one more big transfer.

2. Man Utd

How do I feel about United’s summer? 50/50.

None of the signings made would have been my first choice but they are good signings. I’m not the biggest Lukaku fan but I know he will score goals. I’m not the biggest fan of Matic but he is better than what we have right now and I don’t know much about Lindelof. So overall this should be a better team plus it is Mourinho’s second season. Not being in the Europa League will also benefit the team so at the minimum I’m expecting a title fight. If Zlatan re-signs we should have no problem up front but I am still concerned with the team formation. I’m not sure how we will line up which is concerning, if Fellaini keeps playing I’m going to have a heart attack. I’m also still concerned about the defence particularly centre back. I don’t trust Smalling, Jones or Lindelof yet alongside Bailly. If the formation is sorted out and one centre back is added I think we have the best team in the league but I think we are still a couple players short. 

1. Man City

After a difficult first season I think Guardiola learnt a lot about playing in the Premier League. The style of defending he usually coaches didn’t work here, they were awful defensively and the keeper was even worse. By signing Walker, Mendy and Danilo he should’ve sorted out the fullback situation which was a problem for him. If you look at his previous teams, he’s always had the best full backs to provide width for his team. Bernardo Silva and a fully fit Gabriel Jesus should make an exciting attack along with Aguero, De Bruyne and Sane. I think he’s overspent on some of the players but I think he has the best team in the league and they should win the league and challenge in Europe. I also think keeping Kompany fit is the major key, alongside one of the other centre backs they should be massively improved. I’m predicting a tight race but I think they have more quality in the starting 11 and a more experienced team.

If you have your own thoughts or list comment below. 

Twitter – Faniel_T


5 Premier League predictions 

The summer is coming to an end and that means one thing, the Premier League is coming back. The weekend’s ain’t been the same without Match of the Day, all these transfer stories don’t excite me like watching football. A lot of the managers who came in last season now have had a full summer to bring in their own players so they have no excuse to disappoint like last season. All of the top teams have bought one big player apart from Spurs which I will get into later, so I expect the competition to be stronger domestically and in Europe. Everton are also trying to challenge the top 6 and have spent over £90 million whilst bringing back old favourite Rooney. I have written out my predictions for the upcoming season including golden boot winner so take a read and let me know your views. 

  1. Lukaku to win golden boot

Even though I ain’t his biggest fan, it is clear to see he is a goalscorer at this level. He scored over 20 Premier League goals and even though the majority were against the smaller teams this will benefit his new team as that was their main problem at home. With the amount of chances that were being created last season I expect at least 25 goals from him. He will have competition from Kane who has been on fire in the last few seasons and Aguero who when fit is the best player in the league. But I think Spurs will struggle a bit which might affect Kane’s form.

     2. Spurs to drop out the top 4

If you want to know why Spurs will never be one of the biggest clubs in Europe and continue to be nearly great just look at this summer as an example. I wrote about this in a previous post about Spurs at certain points previously reaching a point where they have to take the next step to becoming a great team and winning things. They broke the Arsenal curse and had their highest points tally ever in the Premier League. But now a week away from the start of the season they have made no signings to strengthen the team, they only have one striker to rely on for goals. We all know Daniel Levy likes to be hard in transfer market but whilst all rivals have strengthened they have done nothing and even if they do sign some good players it will take them time to fit in with the team. They also haven’t replaced Kyle Walker who they sold to City. Pochettino probably isn’t happy with the way the summer has gone even though they have had a decent pre season. I expect the two Manchester teams to be stronger and Arsenal which may leave them in big trouble.

       3. An English team in Champions                    League semi final 

This season will have 5 english teams as United won the europa league. Last season the English teams were very disappointing and weren’t very competitive. Leicester were our best team which tells you everything, this season I’m expecting Chelsea to progress far as well as the two Manchester clubs. These managers have a lot of experience and we should be expecting them to reach the quarter finals at least. I’m also expecting Spurs and Liverpool to get out the group if the draw is favourable for them. 

     4. Aguero to win player of the year 

It’s amazing that Aguero has never won the player of the year award. The main reason being injuries which have prevented him playing a full season. Whenever he is fit he scores nearly every game and is one of the few players we can all agree is world class. He had a few issues last season with Guardiola but he came back stronger and score over 30 goals. As long as Guardiola proves how good a coach he is I think he will get the best out of him the way he did out of Lewandowski and Messi.

     5. Arsene Wenger to leave at the end            of the season

Even though it feels like or has gone on forever I think this will be Arsene’s last season. The level of anger with the fans has reached breaking point and even though they have spent money on Lacazette, I predict a slightly better season but not anything to make Arsenal fans happy. I don’t think they will ever win the Premier League with him as their manager and soon the performances will affect revenue and then the board will have to make a decision. 

Feel free to leave a comment below on my predictions. My next post will be on who I think will win the league this seaaon. 


Is Neymar really leaving ?

Is it transfer silly season or should i actually believe this. Every sports publication is saying that Neymar is about sign for PSG for a world record €222 million fee which is his buyout clause. I just saw a video of him walking out of training after getting in a little argument with a teammate which is fuelling the rumours. I find it hard to believe that Neymar is really leaving Barcelona. Whenever one of the most important players at Barcelona or Real Madrid says they are about to leave it’s usually a ploy to earn more money, a power move or to let the club know that they are valuable and that they have interest from other teams. Look at previous examples with Ramos, Ronaldo, Messi and Bale. The big two clubs never let them go especially those in their prime. 

If you look at the times these clubs have sold for big money it’s because those players weren’t first team players like Alexis, Di Maria, Ozil, Fabregas and Morata. Neymar is clearly not only one of the best players in the world but a key player for the club. His skills are unique even to Barcelona, he’s a silky, skillful dribbler with almost perfect technique. His skill on the ball brings so much attention to him from defenders, even more than Messi. He is still only 25 so isn’t even in his prime yet so personally I don’t see him being sold. The team he is being linked with PSG surprises me because it isn’t the best league even though they have competition with Monaco. There are a lot of Brazilian players on the team right now but winning the league won’t get him the recognition unless they get to a Champions League final. 

Looking at why he would want to leave the best team of the last 20 years I could only think of 2 reasons. More money or to star on his own away from Messi. The first point about more money could be something considering it is reported that he could be earning 3 times more than what he is currently on at Barca. It is also reported that he will receive €40 million fee if he signs which would turn anyone’s head. I think this is a factor but the main reason i think he is looking elsewhere is to gain more recognition. Even though he is a superstar and earns a lot of money, he will never be the star of the show whilst Messi is around. This has been a problem for many great players in the past like Ronaldinho, Zlatan and Villa. They have all been sidelined for Messi which is understandable but for those players is obviously a problem. Neymar wants to win a Ballon d’Or and to be recognised as the best player in the world. To do this he has to be main player upfront which isn’t happening right now. There have been moments where he has led the team and played amazing but Messi’ s aura will always overshadow him. Messi is only 30 so he will still be great for the upcoming years. It’s clear to see that both players love and respect each other but I respect Neymar’s view. The only problem I have is going to PSG which I don’t think will put him on Messi and Ronaldo’s level. 

I do think in the coming years Neymar will slowly evolve in to the main player as he gets better. Being the best player at Barcelona is a completely different feeling to playing for PSG. Think of the players who starred for them Messi, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Ronaldo. Winning trophies there puts you in a completely different space compared to other clubs. They are legends of the game because of what they achieved at Barcelona. For this I think unless a team from another league comes in he should stay at the club and regain the league from Real Madrid.

Neymar has acknowledged that this upcoming year is the most important of his career. He isn’t a young player anymore and the World Cup on the horizon. So far he has won everything for Barcelona including the treble in 2015 where he was the best player in the Champions League that season. He is already the fourth highest scorer in Brazil history and finished 3rd in the Ballon d’Or. I can see him becoming the best player in the world very soon. That game against PSG was all about Neymar leading the team back from the dead. What he did in those final 20 minutes was amazing. I think the situation he is at right now is him trying to accelerate that and separating himself from being Messi’s understudy. 

Lukaku’s second opportunity to become a great

As I woke up Thursday morning and turned on Sky Sports News expecting news on the signing of Morata, I was shocked to see that the signing of Lukaku was imminent. There had been nothing reported on this transfer in the weeks leading up to this, most reports were saying that Chelsea would have this deal done to replace Costa. Morata was suppose to be having a medical last week and Mourinho was allegedly frustrated with the lack of signings up to this point. But it looks like Lukaku was always Mourinho’s first choice as the Zlatan replacement. Considering he sold him at Chelsea most people are surprised that he is desperate to spend over £70 million.

My initial reaction to this signing is disappointment. I rate Lukaku as a player but I don’t think he is a world class player. When I’ve watched him play in big games for club and  country he has been disappointing. For the money that is reportedly being spent I would’ve preferred Aubameyang but there aren’t many top strikers around. It seems like for once United played the transfer market in their approach strategy by distracting journalists from the Lukaku transfer with Morata. 

So what are the pros of the signing? 

He is a proven Premier League striker. He scored 25 goals last season and 17 were against the bottom half teams. At this point in his career he has scored more goals than Ronaldo, Rooney and Zlatan. This was a big problem for Utd last season as we dropped so many points at home against teams like Burnley, Stoke and West Ham. He’s also a great target man who can run in behind which we haven’t had consistently up front in a long time. I think we can now have counter attacking tactics performed away from home. I think this will hugely benefit players like Pogba, Mhky and Mata who will have more space to operate. I like the fact he’s ambitious and has stated that he wants to be the best and wants to win trophies which most players don’t talk about. If he reaches his maximum potential I can see him becoming a better version of Drogba. I think he’s quicker than Drogba and a better finisher than Drogba at this point in both of their careers. One of the things o respected about Drogba is that in finals and big games he was always a beast and usually scored. 10 goals in 10 finals is amazing and he was incredible in the Champions League.

What are my concerns?

At Man Utd teams come to Old Trafford and defend deep which a lot of players find hard to play against. I feel that Lukaku will struggle with that as he’s use to playing with more space. This ties in with my other point about his first touch and IQ as a striker. Whenever I’ve watched him play it’s obvious that he has the full physical attributes but his first touch and link up play even though it has improved is not the best. When he plays against defenders who are just as strong and smart he’s easily neutralized. I’m hoping that it’s something he can improve on because in the Champions League he could be exposed against the best teams. 

My best starting line-up as the squad stands

                                De Gea

Valencia       Bailly        Lindelof          Shaw

     Pogba  Herrera   Fosu – Mensah/Blind

Mkhytaryan    Lukaku   Martial/Rashford

Looking at the starting line-up I would use compared to in recent year there is a lot more pace in the team. It’s also a very tall and powerful team which if you look back on Mourinho has always had in his title winning teams. It’s an exciting team and I think has more balance than last year, I also am more happy about the centre back pairing alongside Shaw who has to deliver in his third year here.

Overall I’m hoping the signing is a success and that it’s not the only one. Another midfielder and left back is needed ahead of Fosu – Mensah who I rate highly and I think the team should be good enough to challenge for the league. Apart from the signings I am hoping that the football is played in a way to get the best out of Lukaku so that he is given a fair chance. At age 24 Lukaku has score 85 Premier League goals, he has the opportunity to become a legend for United. Imagine if he helps them claim the first league trophy since the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson ended. He would join a list of great strikers like van Persie, Rooney, van Nistelrooy, Cole, Yorke etc. At the current rate he is on he could be in the top 5 scorers in Premier League history in the next 4-5 years but more importantly he is in position to be the main man to win trophies for the biggest club in the world which is abgreat responsibility.

Premier League upgrades A-Z part 4

Thank you reading my post on Premier League team upgrades. The final part of my blog includes Swansea, Spurs, Watford,  West Brom and West Ham.

Part 1 is available here 

Part 2

Part 3

Swansea City 

Last season position – 15th

Swansea did well to stay up after a bad start to the season. They had Bob Bradley at the start of the season which didn’t work but Paul Clement came in and managed to get the best out of his players. They were conceding a lot of goals but massively improved their defence and finished the season well winning there last three games. One of the key factors in surviving was the quality up front. Compared to the other teams around them, Sigurdsson and Llorente proved to be the difference. It is important that they keep them as Sigurdsson is a quality player in particular and I think he could play for a top 6 team. If they could get another striker to support him it would help as they don’t score a lot of goals. At the back I think they also need a couple of centre backs to improve on their current starters. 

Tottenham Hotspur

Last season position – 2nd

Spurs established themselves as one of the best teams in the league and proved that the season before last wasn’t a fluke. It now comes to the point as I explained in a previous post as to whether they want to finish in the top 4 or win the title. If they want to win the title they need to spend money on one big player. Someone who when Spurs play against Chelsea or the Manchester clubs they believe they will beat because of that player will make the difference. I know Kane and Alli are quality but they still haven’t hit their prime yet. If they could get a world class winger or striker I think they can win the title, they should now have that belief with finishing above Arsenal for the first time in over 20 years. Signing Sissoko or Janssen is not going to make the difference for them.

Watford 

Last season position – 17th

Due to the fact they have a huge turnover of players every season it is hard to understand their team and players. The owners had ownership in teams in Italy and Spain so players were being moved around all the time. They had some good performances but also some terrible performances and runs. Goals were a big problem for the team. Deeney struggled a bit but this may be down to their style. Capoue is a good player in midfield and they should try to build around him with another creative midfielder. At the back they have an ageing defence so trying to reduce the squad age should be a priority.

West Brom

Last season position – 10th

I think West Brom have a solid team at the moment. They are strong at the back and midfield and have some goal threat with Chadli, Phillips and Rondon. They ended the season winless in their last 9 games which was disappointing. I think to get better they need to be more positive in their gameplan as they have the players to score goals but didn’t score a lot. They finished 5th bottom in chances created and bottom in possession and passing percentage which backs up my point. I think in midfield they should look for a playmaker who can create chances for the attacking players to score goals. With their current team if Pulis gives them more freedom they are btter than people think.

West Ham Utd

Last season position – 11th

After the first season under Bilic, last season was a bit of a disappointment. The situation with Payet affected their form and they had injuries to key personnel. I thought Snodgrass would be a good signing for them but it hasn’t worked out. A proven striker is needed because Carroll can’t be trusted to stay fit and Sakho hasn’t been good enough. They also need to replace Payet if possible which will be hard for a team like them. He could create or score a goal at any moment and it’s rare to have a player like that. Another fullback is necessary as it always seemed to be a point of weakness for them. 

That’s all for my thoughts on this topic. I appreciate the people that checked this out. If you like it please share and I should be putting up some more posts soon. 

Premier League upgrades A-Z part 2

Welcome to my blog looking on the areas of improvement needed for all 20 Premier League teams. If you have read the first part of this post I really appreciate it. Part 2 here includes the next five teams Crystal palace, Everton, Huddersfield, Leicester and Liverpool. 

Crystal Palace

Last season position – 14th

I think Crystal Palace undperformed last season with their squad talent. This obviously wasn’t helped by the situation of having a new manager. I think if they keep Zaha and Benteke their two best players they should look to add a creative midfielder. As they are mainly a counter attacking team they struggled at home to break teams down. I also think they need to sign a dominant defender to play alongside Sakho if they keep him.

Everton 

Last season position – 7th

After a slow start to the season Everton ended the season pretty well. They have new owners who are willing to spend money but most of there transfer business will come down to if Lukaku and Barkley are sold. It seems like Lukaku is looking to leave so as long as they reinvest the big money on a world class striker they could be ok. The Barkley issue is a bit weird as it seems like Koeman is not really bothered if he leaves. I think Everton need another quality attacker as Bolasie is still out and another striker to support Lukaku or his replacement as they had problems finding goals from other sources. There are also rumours about Will Keane joining which would be a good signing at the back considering they have an ageing defence. I also think they need a new goalkeeper as an upgrade on their current ones.

Huddersfield Town

Last season finish – 5th in cham (playoff winners)

I think Huddersfield are the worst team in the Premier League this season. They managed to get through the playoffs but I think they should enjoy the season and hopefully get some big results as they have nothing to lose. They only scored 56 goals in 46 games last season and their top scorer Kachunga scored 13 goals. Most of their players I am not familiar so I can’t really comment to much on them however they have to get some Premier League experience and quality before the season starts.

Leicester City

Last season position – 12th

I think Leicester were brought back down to earth and reminded of where they stand in the league. Teams know their game plan and they didn’t adapt well to that. I’m not sure the caretaker manager will stay on but I think the main area to improve on is at the back. Morgan and Huth looked very old last season and I think Kante helped them a lot. I also think a creative midfielder will really help as Drinkwater and Ndidi are not the most creative. I think this will help Vardy and Slimani a lot who had to live of scraps. If this is done successfully I expect them to finish in the top half of the table now they will be playing once a week. 

Liverpool 

Last season position – 4th

After managing to sneak into the top 4 I’m pretty sure Klopp and the Liverpool fans understand what areas need improvement. The defence needs an instant upgrade as they cost the team a lot of points. van Dijk was a target but that ended recently, someone of that quality would help. A fullback would help move Milner move into midfield and I still think they need another top striker up front. As they are now playing in Europe they should be looking to upgrade their bench as towards the end of last season their team seemed to lose their energy and quick movement which they had at the start of the season. As with Arsenal I think Lacazette up front would be perfect.

 

Part 3 will be coming soon. 

If you have any thoughts or comments on what you’ve read feel free to comment below.

Premier League upgrades A-Z part 3

Welcome to third part of my blog looking at my recommendation on signings for Premier League team. This part will look at some if the title contenders such as Man City and Man Utd as well as Newcastle, Southampton and Stoke. 

Part 1 is available here 

Part 2 is available here 

Manchester City

Last season position – 3rd

I’m not sure what to make of City’s overall season because they some really bad performances as well as some amazing ones as well. Their highs includes their performance away at United and at home against Barcelona. But they also had some terrible performances which I think all as a result of having a poor defence. For Guardiola I think it’s important that the full backs are technically and tactically great like he had at his previous teams. This want the case at City and he is already looking to improve this situation with signings. So far they have signed Bernardo Silva and the Benfica keeper Moares so they have found a solution to their goalkeeper problem. I think they need another midfielder and centre back to go straight into the team. I think the rest of the squad will improve as they have another year under Guardiola’s coaching which was provably hard in the first season. I would like to see him coach the older players into his style rather than than just sign 10 players to prove how good he is as a coach. 

Manchester United 

Last season position – 5th

As a United fan if I had to describe last season I would say it was disappointing but ok. We are back in the Champions League and won a couple of trophies. However the main problem the team had was scoring goals. 10 home draws is unacceptable, I can remember at least 7 which were stupidly given away after missing chances. If Zlatan is to leave then two strikers are needed. At the back Lindelof has signed who I don’t know much about but I’ve read good things about him. I think in midfield another signing is needed as a holding player to allow Pogba more freedom. Apart from that my main issue is if Mourinho will allow the players to use their talent to create chances. Towards the end of the season I didn’t even want to watch them because the football was so negative, winning the Europa League helped him a lot but next season this is not acceptable with all the money which has been spent.

Newcastle United 

Last season position – 1st in championship

Considering most relegated teams struggle in the championship Newcastle did well to keep most of their squad and come back up. Benitez is a really good manager and they have a a decent team already. I would look to add another striker to help Dwight Gayle and a creative midfielder. They also need a centre back as last time they were in the Premier League the defence was very leaky.  

Southampton 

Last season position – 8th

Even though they finished in the top half and reached the EFL cup final this Southampton team weren’t as exciting in previous seasons.  They only scored 41 goals laat season but had a solid defence which allowed for a lot of 1-0 wins. The fans weren’t happy with the style of play and they now have a new manager. At the back they are pretty solid as long as they keep key players such as Forster and van Dijk. Upfront they need to improve on creating chances. They miss the threat of Mane and need more pace. Gabbiadini looks like a decent signing so far and they need to provide more support for him. I think Gray from Leicester would baba good signing for them.

Stoke City 

Last season position – 13th

After four years Mark Hughes is still trying to move the team away from the stigma they developed under Tony Pulls. There have been some big signings like Shaqiri and Bojan who have provided different quality but the team still looks like an ageing slow team. If they want to move away from the old Stoke style they need to sign a playmaker in midfield, this would improve the team and get the best out of the key players. I also think they need an outlet out wide who can take on players like Bolasie who can then get the best out of Berahino who can be a really good player. 

What are your thoughts on this post ? Feel free to leave a comment below ….

Let me upgrade you! Premier League upgrades needed A – Z

As I said in my previous post about the transfer season everyone gets excited about the thought of buying an exciting player who might change the teams fortunes. I think every team has room for improvement and there will be big money spent next month from the big teams as well as the newly promoted teams. So far there have been some big signings such as Bernardo Silva, Salah and Lindelof. It seems like every team in Europe wants to sign the whole Monaco team which makes sense considering how young the players are and how good they were last season. I’ve put together my ideas on what every team needs in order to improve next season, kind of like a director of football. This post will include the first 4 teams alphabetically.

Arsenal 

Last season position – 5th

Before last season started I was speaking to one of my friends about the team and we both agreed that they should at the very least be in the title race with the squad they have. They massively underachieved and the players should be mad at themselves for letting the fans down. They managed to end on a positive with a great performance in the FA cup final which must annoy the fans. Looking to next season it is pretty obvious what they need. A ready made striker who will score 25 goals next season and is already a top player, not a prospect. I think they also need a top full back to replace Monreal and another winger. I also think they should free up money by getting rid of players who haven’t delivered such Wilshere, Gibbs, Walcott and maybe Ozil if a big offer comes in. 

Bournemouth

Last season position – 9th

After struggling around the Christmas period Bournemoirg have done well to not only remain in the league but finish in the top half with the size of the club. They have some good players such as Josh King, Arter and Wilson. They score a lot of goals which is good but they concede a lot of goals. Only four teams conceded more goals last season. Therefore I would prioritise buying 2 defenders and a holding midfielder. I also tgibk they can upgrade on the keeper Boruc who can be a bit reckless at times.

Brighton 

Last season position – 2nd in championship

To be honest I don’t know much about the squad but they did well to get themselves promoted after many attempts. The top scorer last season was Glenn Murray who I thought was a decent premier league player. The main problem newly promoted teams have is scoring goals so I think that should be the main priority. They also need more premier league experience as a lot of the squad are new to this level of football.

Burnley

Last season position – 16th

Sean Dyche did really well to keep this team up as most of the squad was the same squad that got relegated two season prior. There home form was what kept them in the league as they were very solid at the back. There are rumours that Keane may be sold for big money so they will have to replace him. There main point for improvement is their away form which was terrible. They only won one game and scored 13 goals. If they can add more goals to the team they could comfortably finish in midtable. 

Chelsea

Last season position – 1st

I think Chelsea surprised everyone with how good they were last season. They had a slow start to the season but once they switched formation they went in baking unbeaten run up to the new year. Looking forward to this season they now will have European football which will be a big test as they have a small squad. I think another centre back and two top striker are needed as Diego Costa might be leaving. I think they need ankther midfielder and winger to rotate with during the season. Up front I think Morata or Lacazette would be the right signing.  

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