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My pick of Chelsea to finish third is looking very optimistic. Lampard needs to find the right back four, but he doesn't have that many options. Need Rudiger back and Azpilicueta needs to find his form.

So I guess both Arsenal and ManUre have thrown in the towels on the Sanchez-Mkhitaryan swap. I like the fact the latter has to pay £215,000 of Sanchez' £390,000 weekly salary.

 

Hopefully the CL loss to Napoli yesterday will help bring Liverpool back down to earth so they don't run away with the EPL. Does Napoli have the team to win Serie A this year?

Ross Barkley took charge of that penalty kick for Chelsea yesterday brushing off Jorginho and Willian. Way to go Ross...tool. Lampard's sub of Giroud for Zouma just moments before the Valencia goal looked like a bad decision. And while quiet yesterday, Tammy Abraham leading scorer in the EPL so far. We need Kante and Rudiger back though.

Oh yeah, the sweepstakes for the first manager to get sacked is already over. Seemed harsh to me, but Watford did bounce back to draw the Gunners.

VAR IS RUINING FOOTBALL!

Every week in the EPL there are cases in which VAR is not making game better. At least two of them on the weekend, this time Spurs and Chelsea being the victims with the former being the most egregious. VAR cannot possibly determine with total certainty that Son was offside on that play, but there is no benefit to that kind of measure anyway. This isn't long-jump, shotput or javelin. Goal line technology provides the only real measure required in football. There were not even protests from either Leicester City or Liverpool players on either goal. I don't expect the EPL to drop VAR this season but let's hope the voices against get louder and it goes away next year.

That aside Chelsea's defense is a problem. I used to think Christensen had a bright future on the team, but he's not looking good this year or last for that matter. They might have to bring Ampadu back from loan in January, assuming they have that option. I did like the way the Blues played in the second half and they showed that Liverpool have weaknesses, as Napoli showed last week in the CL game.

West Ham are looking pretty good so far. Another ManU loss was satisfying. Good comeback from the Gunners with 10 men, but they have problems too.

Ha ha, ManUre lose again. Solskjaer is in big trouble. Had Watford not been so hasty in sacking Gracia I would be in excellent shape to get the first sacked manager prediction correct. Tomorrow morning?

Spurs...wtf??? Pochettino might not be far behind the exit. Shocking loss to Bayern in the CL and equally so against Brighton.

Even thought the season is young, it might be very difficult for anyone to catch Liverpool and honestly, nobody looks even close to being as good they are playing right now (in the EPL).

In Serie A today, Conte v Sarri. The former seems to be doing a good job at Inter.

steve8 posted:

Ha ha, ManUre lose again. Solskjaer is in big trouble. Had Watford not been so hasty in sacking Gracia I would be in excellent shape to get the first sacked manager prediction correct. Tomorrow morning?

Spurs...wtf??? Pochettino might not be far behind the exit. Shocking loss to Bayern in the CL and equally so against Brighton.

Even thought the season is young, it might be very difficult for anyone to catch Liverpool and honestly, nobody looks even close to being as good they are playing right now (in the EPL).

In Serie A today, Conte v Sarri. The former seems to be doing a good job at Inter.

Can't believe that ManU is a few points away from relegation Zone.   Need new coach and possible some good players.  Get Bale in from Madrid

steve8 posted:

Ha ha, ManUre lose again. Solskjaer is in big trouble. Had Watford not been so hasty in sacking Gracia I would be in excellent shape to get the first sacked manager prediction correct. Tomorrow morning?

Spurs...wtf??? Pochettino might not be far behind the exit. Shocking loss to Bayern in the CL and equally so against Brighton.

Even thought the season is young, it might be very difficult for anyone to catch Liverpool and honestly, nobody looks even close to being as good they are playing right now (in the EPL).

In Serie A today, Conte v Sarri. The former seems to be doing a good job at Inter.

Where to start, where to start ...

With Juve, obviously.

I was very disappointed that they threw away the game to Atletico by conceding a stoppage-time goal. An away win would have been a great start to the campaign. An easy win last week leaves them in good stead to qualify for the round of 16.

Their win against Inter in the Derby d'Italia was good and showed the guile of an experienced team. That said, I am a bit concerned about the lack of pace, especially at the back, to defend against teams like Inter. If there was a little more experience on that front, it may have caused more problems. This may pose a problem yet again in later stages of UCL.

Liverpool were lucky to pull out three points against Leicester. They aren't firing on all cylinders yet, but they've still got maximum points this season. What was more disconcerting is that the title race may already be finished and it's only October. Nuno had a great plan to handle City's deficiencies at the back, especially after only having a couple days off after their Europa League fixture. Wolves were full value for the points, and Pep must be ruing not bringing in central defenders in the close season. I know they balked at the Maguire fees, but they needed to do something, as Otamendi and Stones are failed experiments (and expensive ones at that).

flwino posted:
steve8 posted:

Ha ha, ManUre lose again. Solskjaer is in big trouble. Had Watford not been so hasty in sacking Gracia I would be in excellent shape to get the first sacked manager prediction correct. Tomorrow morning?

Spurs...wtf??? Pochettino might not be far behind the exit. Shocking loss to Bayern in the CL and equally so against Brighton.

Even thought the season is young, it might be very difficult for anyone to catch Liverpool and honestly, nobody looks even close to being as good they are playing right now (in the EPL).

In Serie A today, Conte v Sarri. The former seems to be doing a good job at Inter.

Can't believe that ManU is a few points away from relegation Zone.   Need new coach and possible some good players.  Get Bale in from Madrid

That's an absolutely terrible idea. If Woody brings in Bale, that will just continue the terrible track record of signings in recent years for exorbitant fees and even more ridiculous salaries. They sent Sanchez to Inter on loan, but are still on the hook for over half his salary (more than 400K/week, I believe). To then bring an injury-prone Bale to Old Trafford on a crazy fee of surely 100m+ and to also pay his 400K+ weekly pay packet makes no sense. Let Bale rot in Madrid. He's more than happy to spend his time at the golf course when not getting into matchday squads anyway. Real wanted to sell him in the summer after Zidane stated he wasn't in his plans, but how can they move him without Bale agreeing to a pay cut? Not a surprise that he's still at the Bernabeu. 

Ole isn't the only problem at the club. The root cause is the rot of everything that happened even before Fergie left. The focus has been on corporate revenue and turnover, not necessarily on the product on the field. Woody isn't a football person. He's an accountant. Until someone is brought in on the football side and has a budget as well as autonomy to make transfer decisions (with the input of the coach), the situation won't improve. Rumours were that Van der Sar was approached about a Director of Football position, but he's declined because he wouldn't have the power to make decisions.

Let's be perfectly honest here - what's a new manager going to do with the existing lot? Furthermore, what manager is going to want to take the job? There are rumours of Allegri coming in, should there be a vacancy, but he's not going to wave a magic wand and all of a sudden turn them into a top-four side, let alone title contenders.

And this talk of Poch going to United is ridiculous too. Regardless of the fact that Spurs are being as Spursy as they've been in years and are really up against it with Lloris' elbow injury keeping him out until at least the new year, Poch would be crazy to go to United.

First off, Levy probably won't fire him. Levy being Levy, he'll wait until the close season to have Real fire Zidane and then accept some stupid amount to release Poch from his contract. Secondly, why take a step down?

United need to get rid of Woody and completely revamp the decision-making process at the club. They need another 3-4 transfer windows to continue clearing out dead wood, and another 700m+ in transfer fees to *strategically* bring in players to build a new squad. Oh, and have fun doing that when turnover is going to decrease this year from things like their shirt sponsorship deal losing 25% of its value for being out of the top four for four consecutive years. I wouldn't be surprised to see other performance-related clauses in these sponsorship contracts.

Hell, at this rate, United will be lucky to not get relegated - that's about all I agree with in your post!

 

Ah come on Fut, don't take the fun out of it. I enjoy seeing ManU outspend every other club in the EPL and get very little for it. It would be great to see them spend that kind of money on Bale, even though part of me doesn't want to see him in a red shirt.

I wasn't aware of the sponsorship issues. That is awesome. Red devil!

I'm happy Chelsea is on a transfer ban and am enjoying the fact that Lampard is giving the young players so much opportunity. They aren't going to win the league that's for sure, but they're fun to watch, except for defensive set pieces, and the future is bright. They need to bring Ampadu back from RB Leipzig in January. He's not getting the playing time there and they need the defensive help.

azwiese posted:
steve8 posted:

Good game for Pulisic yesterday, although the gushing from the NBC commentators was a little much.

Gotta know your audience. He is Landon Donovan 2.0, the great American hope! 

With all due respect to Donovan, I'm hoping Pulisic is a much better upgrade than 2.0

Maybe you did it on purpose to show your dislike, but I think his name is Unai Emery. I can understand your frustration though. What is he doing with Ozil? Totally banished him? The fans at the Emirates yesterday were pretty harsh on Xhaka too.

Joe, it looks like you may be getting Arsene Wenger to replace him, although perhaps only on a temporary basis. They better sign him quickly though because I think there are a lot of Arsenal fans who want him back.

Chelsea-Ajax was a fun game to watch yesterday, but what a mess. If anyone needs more evidence that VAR is not making the game better, this is recommended watching. I've never seen anything like that play which ended with Ajax having 2 players sent off and a penalty awarded to Chelsea. Chelsea really need to work on defending set pieces. So many goals conceded from them this season. 

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