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Premier League Review - 2017/18

Discussion in 'The Away End' started by RajahRar, May 13, 2018.

  1. RajahRar

    RajahRar Pretty cool guy, for a Scouser.

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    Football. Bloody hell.

    A record-breaking season in which all three promoted sides stayed up and Man City owned the PL despite losing three times to an Egyptian inspired Liverpool and at home to a Man Utd side pilloried by their former players yet finished 2nd on over 80 points for the first time since the days of Alex Ferguson.

    Man City - 1st
    It's impossible not to be impressed at the performance of Guardiola's team this season. Sure they have spent a fortune, but they've been doing that for years now and haven't come close to this kind of dominance.

    100 points is ludicrous in such a competitive league and I find it hard to imagine they can replicate it again. But that first half of the season in which they won 18 and drew 1 (at home to a shite Everton of all teams) was unprecedented. And even though the second half of the season saw them dumped out of two trophies and lose to both Man Utd and Liverpool, they still took 45 points. Not too shabby.

    As a one-off season, it's certainly the greatest in the history of the English top flight. Can they now win it again and again and claim to be one of the great teams?

    Man Utd - 2nd
    I'm no fan of Jose Mourinho, but he gets results. He will divide fans at Man Utd, but he won two trophies last season and is on course for another this time out as well. A 2nd place finish and an 81 point haul are what he will bring. His detractors will say he's been overtaken by the new attacking managers, but yet he still gets results. And those people should remember that Man Utd started this season with back to back 4-0 wins and a real attacking flair.

    Lukaku was the perfect signing too. They struggled against the lower teams last season, but in Lukaku they more than solved that problem.

    I tipped them for the title this season, mainly due to the money spent and that Mourinho tends to win titles in his second seasons. They may not have managed it, but with City on the form they were, that's no surprise.

    Tottenham - 3rd
    After a sloppy start handled being at Wembley well. They've become a mainstay of the top 4 and you wouldn't bet against them when we enter the closing stages of seasons.

    But... it sounds like they will lose their best defender due to their pay structure, while Kane has made it clear he wants trophies and Pochettino is still being courted by bigger clubs. How long will they wait?

    Liverpool - 4th
    There were some bizarre Klopp-out calls made by a few 'talksport' types back in September, but few can argue after he delivered a top 4 finish for the second season in a row for the first time in nearly 10 years. A massively improved transfer policy and a CL run that has included them scoring more goals than ever before in a single CL season suggest that the near catastrophic era that started with the Hicks and Gillett takeover may finally be behind us.

    Of course, just like Pochettino at Spurs, Klopp must deliver some silverware or the knee-jerk reactionaries will start to gain a voice again. On top of that, squad depth remains a real problem that very nearly derailed the top 4 finish at the eleventh hour.

    Still, they are a real joy to watch and Klopp has certainly proven he can get the best from a tight-knit group of players.

    Chelsea - 5th
    Win the title one season, sack the manager the next. Rinse and repeat. It's hard to imagine that Conte will still be at Stamford Bridge next season. Is it right and fair? No. But then Chelsea have still won 2 titles in the last 4 seasons, despite being seemingly one step away from a crisis every day.

    They can still take the FA Cup, but looking at the body language of both the players and manager after their final game, you wouldn't bet on it.

    Arsenal - 6th
    Yes, he lingered too long, but it was still sad to see Wenger finally go. He revolutionised the English game and ultimately can look back fondly.

    But as season's go, this was a disaster. 6th place and a second season facing Europa League football. As Liverpool found out previously, once you drop out for a couple of years it gets harder and harder to break back in. Whoever comes in has got a massive job on their hands.

    The Rest
    Special mentions to Burnley, Newcastle, Huddersfield and Brighton. A Europa League spot for Burnley is astounding, while Newcastle finishing 10th despite giving Benitez no funding. In any other season, both of their managers would be in the running for manager of the year. But you can't look past Guardiola really.

    For Huddersfield and Brighton to stay up despite being vastly outspent by their rivals demonstrates again how sticking with your manager can sometimes be the best plan.

    For West Brom, Stoke and Swansea, it was all just a bit embarrassing. West Brom had far too many good players to go down, but their decision re: Pardew was a joke. Hopefully the merrigoround won't see him back anytime soon, while the board of West Brom will give Darren Moore a chance in the championship.

    Finally a mention for Everton. £200m spent last summer and bold claims that they were now the new merseyside powerhouse. They finished the season hating their manager and having been beaten to a Europa League place by Sean Dyche. Ah well. Never mind lads.

    Onto the FA Cup and CL Finals. Can't see past Man Utd for a second FA Cup in 3 years, while there is no way I'm calling old big ears.
     
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  2. Barney

    Barney First Team Regular

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    I agree with almost everything aside from these two points.

    I'm not sure what the point you're making here is. Is this supposed to be an argument that United were attacking this season for part of it? This would be like City winning 1-0 and claiming Guardiola plays defensive football. For >95% of the season United played quite dour stuff, after the first few games.

    I think injuries absolutely killed us and being unable to get the player we wanted to replace Coutinho in January (if there was one). Clyne, Matip, Lallana, Can, and Chamberlain have all missed significant periods of the run in or have been recovering from injury so we cannot rush them back. You plan with depth for injuries, but what is Klopp meant to do in this situation?
     
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  3. RajahRar

    RajahRar Pretty cool guy, for a Scouser.

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    Essentially that he started the season looking to be more expansive and attacking. They scored 4 goals 6 times in their opening 11 games. 33 goals in their opening 11 games. It was an impressive start in which they scored in every game.

    But he did then revert to a type, scoring 16 in the next 11.

    Like I said, he divides opinion. But he is pragmatic and gets the results he needs regardless of what's on display.
     
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  4. Barney

    Barney First Team Regular

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    Did he revert to type or are United's forwards just not consistent enough to be able to keep that up a whole season? To be fair, most teams will have dips, but I think they started playing like that, dipped for a bit, and then never really found their attacking way again leading to Mourinho to quickly go back to his "pragmatic" ways And you can call it pragmatic, but is it pragmatism if they finish 19 points off City?
     
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  5. Big Papi

    Big Papi Bogger

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    Saw a stat that showed that every promoted side from 2016/17 who played in the top five tiers in England stayed up this year.
     
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  6. Nostracarmus

    Nostracarmus Je Suis Un Fanny

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    Bag of wank.
     
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  7. gasman

    gasman Mr Whippy

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    Well....they did finish 6 points up on one of the “best attack’s in world football” (your claim) so it must take a fair amount of organisation to do that with such a failing and blunt attack.
    Call it what you like, it saw his team finish second with a very good haul of points and with such poor players in attack you have to wonder how he did it.
     
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  8. Nostracarmus

    Nostracarmus Je Suis Un Fanny

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    Easy enough to explain.

    De Gea.

    Without the best keeper in the world that's at least 15 points missed. The league table flatters us for what we've served up.

    I mean, if you're not just happy with mediocrity, but feel like championing it, that's fine, but it's fucking weird.

    I mean Jesus man, you sound like you're happy with the season.
     
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  9. gasman

    gasman Mr Whippy

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    Bollox, you’re passing off history as today’s truth. Untied have a mean defence, that includes De Gea but he’s not been as mutually exclusive to it as seasons past.
    United are one hell of a hard team to beat, to get any joy you have to catch them on an off day.
    The attack has been disappointing in the second half of the season as we’ve lacked a player good enough to get up and down the field well enough to assist Matic and to give Pogba enough freedom to get into advanced positions and damage the opposition.
    We’ve been better since Herrera came in but it’s still not allowed us to play totally with our midfield triangle point backwards. Pogba was dragged back far too much to sit next to Matic and that’s hampered our attack.

    Happy enough with the points haul and happy enough finishing second (seeing as first was never an option).
    The football stuttered as we gave up the chase on the title and Mourinho didn’t trust his players enough to see the job through, so he stepped in to stifle the opposition out of any contest.
    I’m happy to give him another window and see what the next season brings.

    We’ve had our best season since Ferguson retired..... perspective eh.
     
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  10. Nostracarmus

    Nostracarmus Je Suis Un Fanny

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    Yeah, pretty weird.

    City aren't an untouchable force, that's something in your head to make a bad season seem better. That kind of stupid attitude will have us end up like an Arsenal.

    The reality is, they didn't have any pressure after the Christmas period due to us going defensive against Liverpool to seal a nil fucking nil followed by a run of poor form due the knock in confidence that caused. Would they have walked it with a record number of points if we were up their arse until April or May?

    Also, we're two seasons in now and he still doesn't trust his players, that's his fault at that point. His system is based solely on results and that's all well and good when you're getting them, but we didn't did we? Limped out of Europe due to one of the biggest tactical fuck ups I've seen since Fergie tried to go gung ho against that Barca side two years in a row. Whimpered out of the title chase. Got out mourinho'ed by fucking Conté in the FA Cup final.

    Either the football gets better, the results get better, or fuck off Mourinho for me. I want to enjoy the game thanks.

    It's utter bollocks of the highest order that the quality isn't in the squad already.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018

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