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ManUre need to get rid of Woodward, but thankfully they won't do that.

What's with Antonio Conte signing all these EPL players? Ashley Young, Victor Moses and now Christian Eriksen. Supposedly he is also interested in Olivier Giroud.

I thought yesterday was the day Liverpool could lose a game away to Wolves. Nope. They continue to find a way to win. As opposed to the teams immediately below them who find ways to drop points on a regular basis. Like drawing with a 10 men Arsenal.

What a surprise. ManUre jump into the lead of the EPL spending spree by signing Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon for a reported €80 million. Desperation.

Speaking of which, hopefully Chelsea do not succumb to that and sign Dries Mertens from Napoli. Nothing against him but we already have one 32 year old striker. Same thing goes for Cavani although he seems to want to go to Madrid (Atletico) over London.

I think Inter did well to get Eriksen for €20 million.

Ahhh ... that's where you're wrong, Steve. Desperation isn't splashing the cash for Fernandes (€55 million plus potential addons, not 80), rather bringing in Ighalo on loan is. Even the failed attempt to bring Josh King from Bournemouth was never a marquee signing.

The Chelsea attempt to bring in Mertens was an odd one for me also. You're right - you've already got Giroud on the bench. Although apparently these transfers were connected - if Mertens came in, Giroud would have been allowed to leave, as he wants to play his way into the France side this summer.

flwino posted:

 Pep Must be devastated as they were the champs recently.

Pep was a champ with Barca, but he hasn't won with ManCity.  It's a pretty devastating blow. Ask any Arsenal fan who has to watch crappy European football on Thursday as opposed to Tues/Wed.  And it really hurts your ability to convince players to come to your squad.  Though money can solve that issue...as ManCity found out and is now paying the price for.

City is appealing to the CAS. CAS is generally pretty spineless, so I'd imagine the two year ban will be reduced to one. Depending on when the appeal is heard, City may still be able to play CL next year, but then be banned for 2021-2022.

CL 2020/21 starts with preliminary rounds in June of this year, so I don't know if UEFA needs to decide on all teams in the tournament at that time or, since the Prem has their teams go straight to the group stage, if those teams can be swapped out later.

Personally, if City are going to be banned, it would be great if it were for the upcoming campaign - imagine if Sheffield United were in the group stages of CL!

This ban has potential to really damage City, however - especially if the two year ban is upheld. Players at their peak, like De Bruyne, will want to play CL and likely want to leave. Pep is unlikely to extend his contract again, and there are rumours that he may end up at Juventus.

The next couple months will be quite interesting.

Not sure how you didn't see this coming FLWino? The investigation has been ongoing for some time now and some punishment was inevitable. I agree with Fut about an appeal resulting in a 50% reduction in the punishment. There is precedence for that. From what I've read the ban will be effective for 20/21 CL as the appeal is unlikely to be heard that quickly. And to think at the beginning of the season I picked Sheffield United to be relegated.

Last week I read a quote from Pep saying he wouldn't be surprised if he gets fired if City do now win the CL this year. That would be crazy but the ambition of City's owners is only surpassed by their riches.

steve8 posted:

Not sure how you didn't see this coming FLWino? The investigation has been ongoing for some time now and some punishment was inevitable. I agree with Fut about an appeal resulting in a 50% reduction in the punishment. There is precedence for that. From what I've read the ban will be effective for 20/21 CL as the appeal is unlikely to be heard that quickly. And to think at the beginning of the season I picked Sheffield United to be relegated.

Last week I read a quote from Pep saying he wouldn't be surprised if he gets fired if City do now win the CL this year. That would be crazy but the ambition of City's owners is only surpassed by their riches.

Knew they were in trouble, but doubted that the penalty was so severe.

If anyone has any doubts about VAR being a total clusterfuck in the EPL they should check out the highlights from yesterday. How can anyone look at Lo Celso's stamp on Azp's leg and not call that a red card?? Michael Oliver is a lazy twat for not having walked a few yards to have a look at the replay himself. The English refs seem to have abdicated their jobs to the VAR official(s).

For the Arsenal supporters here...I think you have a winner with that Saka kid. He looks a really promising talent. Of course that means the club's management will sell him for a profit.

steve8 posted:

For the Arsenal supporters here...I think you have a winner with that Saka kid. He looks a really promising talent. Of course that means the club's management will sell him for a profit.

That's where you're wrong. They'll let him go on a free! 

Apparently the kid's only on three grand a week. Treble his wages, extend his contract, and put a silly release clause in the contract.

Think about it ... if Barcelona put a ridiculous 300m Euro release clause on emergency signing Martin Braithwaite, surely Saka is worth a billion.

Steve and I already talked offline about the farce that was the Lo Celso call. What a ridiculous non-call for what was a possible leg-breaker. I think Lo Celso's a dirty player, and he has priors to boot.

The best thing about the 2-2 draw between Bournemouth and Chelsea on Saturday was Jorginho getting a yellow card which means he misses the next 2 games. Add that to the return game at Bayern in the CL and it means I don't have to swear at the screen for at least 3 matches total.   He played well for a few games in the fall but he has pretty much returned to his pointless passing game and terrible defensive play. Get rid of him.

I've been forgiving of Lampard so far this season even when he made poor choices (imho) such as sticking with Kepa too long. But he made a couple of poor choices on Saturday. If you want to give Tomori a start you don't do it at the expense of Rudiger. Christensen would have been a better choice. And why the f$#@ take Giroud off for Batshuayi?? The former was doing alright.

Oh ya, and Liverpool finally loses. Again, including the CL game against Atletico. Maybe their confidence will be low for the FA Cup game today.

steve8 posted:

The best thing about the 2-2 draw between Bournemouth and Chelsea on Saturday was Jorginho getting a yellow card which means he misses the next 2 games. Add that to the return game at Bayern in the CL and it means I don't have to swear at the screen for at least 3 matches total.   He played well for a few games in the fall but he has pretty much returned to his pointless passing game and terrible defensive play. Get rid of him.

I've been forgiving of Lampard so far this season even when he made poor choices (imho) such as sticking with Kepa too long. But he made a couple of poor choices on Saturday. If you want to give Tomori a start you don't do it at the expense of Rudiger. Christensen would have been a better choice. And why the f$#@ take Giroud off for Batshuayi?? The former was doing alright.

Oh ya, and Liverpool finally loses. Again, including the CL game against Atletico. Maybe their confidence will be low for the FA Cup game today.

Yup, confidence low.  They lost.

More than lost, a clean sheet for the Blues. To not score against Chelsea this season takes a seriously high level of ineptitude. In fairness to Kepa he played well and should now return to his regularly scheduled role.

That's 3 losses in the last 4 games for Liverpool and the lone victory required a late comeback from being down 2-1 to the mighty West Ham. Prior to those games they were less than convincing several times. Overconfidence?

Two clean sheets in a row for Chelsea and a much more impressive display.

Note to the gaffer (Lampard). Take a look at your starting XI for that game and notice who wasn't in the center of the midfield. I know you didn't have a choice because he is suspended but you should seriously think about leaving Gilmour there because he played well for a pfy. Sell Jorginho!

Time to rescue this thread from page 2 with the impending restart of the EPL on June 17. Not to mention the Bundesliga restarted almost 2 weeks ago and La Liga & Serie A are also starting back up in the same time frame as the PL.

Chelsea surprisingly re-signed Giroud and (to a lesser extent) Caballero for another year. Not the case so far with Willian although at least he has said he will stay to finish the season.

I'm ready to see football again!

I let my wife drive on our way from SD to NorCal, just so I could watch the Gunners play City. It took less than 50 minutes for me to almost chuck my phone into the vast central California wasteland thanks to David Luiz. I don’t know what deal Chelsea fans signed with the devil to get him at Arsenal, but so far it is well worth it.

David Luiz, the gift that keeps giving.

You've read enough of my posts to know that I was never a fan of him, even though I will admit he had a couple of strong seasons at Chelsea, perhaps most notably the season (2016-2017) they won the EPL under Conte. He became a serious liability after that. So glad that Lampard got rid of him and while I would have preferred to see ManUre take him, Arsenal was a good second choice.

While I too had plenty of “WTF Luiz” moments during his Blues career, he still gets a pass from me for getting Chelsea on the board during the 2012 Champions League Final penalty shootout.  Bayern was up 2-0 after Mata’s weak effort failed. Everyone knew that Luiz had to absolutely convert from the spot, and he lasered his shot into the top corner.  Even if Neuer had guessed correctly, there would’ve been zero chance for him to prevent that from hitting the back of the net.

Am definitely loving his form for ARSE, though!  KTBFFH!

Azweise, do you still have that phone or is it at the bottom of the Pacific? The Gunners are going to miss Leno if he's out for a long time. Really good keeper imo.

Overall a pretty decent weekend for Chelsea. Took 3 points while most of the teams around them in the standings dropped points.

Liverpool picked up right where they left off before the stoppage, which is to say unimpressive. Their play level has dropped in the past half dozen games or so.

@ProSys posted:

Luiz gets a 1 year extension.  ARSE fans get to enjoy his brilliance till the end of 2020-2021 season!

I laughed when I read that too. Arteta must have been told there will not be much money for transfers this summer.

Chelsea looked good against City on Thursday. Pissed me off a little that all the chatter was about Liverpool winning the title rather than the game being played. That said, congrats to Liverpool on an impressive season. Earliest title win in the history of English top flight football.

Leroy Sané leaving City to Bayern Munich for £41 million. He and Alphonso Davies might be getting in each other's way on the left wing.

As good as Chelsea looked against City last week they were awful in the first half against Leicester on Sunday. The 3 changes by Lampard at halftime worked to good effect.

Solskjær thinks ManUre can go undefeated for the rest of the season in all competitions. I guess he was buoyed by the commanding 2-1 victory over mighty Norwich City with the winning goal scored at the 118 minute mark. What a pantload. I really hope Brighton beats them this afternoon.

That sad performance by Chelsea against the mighty West Ham makes the EPL top 4 race really tight. The Blues continue their abysmal defending of set pieces. All season long. Christensen has been weak and I don't understand why Lamps is giving him the nod most of the time over Zouma. They need to find at least one other defender but I'm not sure Chilwell is the answer. I'd prefer Soyuncu from the same team. Bring Ampadu back. Or Nathan Ake, especially if Bournemouth go down.

I enjoyed watching City thrash Liverpool and playing like that they have a good chance of winning the CL.

ManUre looks dangerously good right now.  If they continue this run of form, then it may well be CHE and LC duking it out for the final CL spot.  

Have to say that Pulisic’s pace and work rate continue to impress.  Will be interesting to see how Lampard integrates the new attacking pieces next season......

Two games to go in the EPL and Chelsea in third, but I am not feeling very comfortable. This team is making hard work of every game and with Liverpool and Wolves left to play it's going to be tough. United are looking the better team and seem to want it more. Have to admit that Mason Greenwood looks like he's going to be a good player for them.

I really hope Jorginho is done. He's been piss poor in the last couple of games and it seems Sarri wants him back. Have at it. I have to say that Loftus-Cheek and Abraham have also been disappointing recently. The latter hasn't played that much but was nowhere near a terrific cross from James at the end of that shellacking they gave to might Norwich City a few days ago. Giroud is hands down the starting striker right now.

 

Thank you Spurs for putting Leicester in a tough position to finish top 4.

I thought the FA Cup final would be a Manchester derby in London. Glad I had that all wrong.

Danny Ings. I wonder how many goals he could have scored this season on a stronger team?

Watford fires Nigel Pearson with 2 games left in their relegation battle??? I'm sure that will inspire confidence in the players. They have not played well since restart but I struggle to see how sacking the manager at this point will help.

@steve8 posted:

Thank you Spurs for putting Leicester in a tough position to finish top 4.

I thought the FA Cup final would be a Manchester derby in London. Glad I had that all wrong.

Danny Ings. I wonder how many goals he could have scored this season on a stronger team?

Watford fires Nigel Pearson with 2 games left in their relegation battle??? I'm sure that will inspire confidence in the players. They have not played well since restart but I struggle to see how sacking the manager at this point will help.

Watford sacking does not make sense unless something happened behind the scenes that is not reported.  Or they are just idiots

Glad to see Leeds promoted. Sad how Bates destroyed a team that had great history. Hope Kroenke isn't doing the same.

I think you might want to check your history. The decline due to debt load started before Bates bought the club. Agreed it is good to see Leeds back...and West Brom.

Entertaining, but not satisfying, game between Liverpool and Chelsea on Wednesday. At least the Blues showed some fight. I'm done with Kepa. Another poor spend by the west London witch. Pulisic otoh has been outstanding. Chelsea's player of the year.

Watford. If the reason Pearson was let go was a personal fight between him and the owner, they deserve to go down. If the owner is unable to put that aside for a couple of weeks he deserves the financial hit he's going to take from relegation. I'd rather see Villa or Bournemouth stay up.

@steve8 posted:

1) Liverpool

2) Manchester City

3) Chelsea

4) Arsenal

Relegation is the future for Sheffield United, Brighton and Norwich City.

First manager to get sacked. So much hate for Steve Bruce. I'm going with Solskjaer.

Not bad predictions for the top 4, but not good on the bottom three, especially on Sheffield United. Neither Bruce or Solskjaer got sacked. Should have picked a Watford manager.

I was definitely wrong about ManUre, including a disparaging comment I made at the beginning of this year when they shelled out big money for Fernandes. He turned out to be a game changer for them and so far the best deal they've made in many years.

Looking forward to the FA Cup final on Saturday. And the CL although death will come swiftly for Chelsea.

ManUre would've ended up in Europa League if they didn't bring on Fernandes.  He allowed Pogba to settle into what looks to be a more agreeable “Playmaker 1B” role for him.  Mason Greenwood certainly contributed to their success, and hardly looked like an 18 year old against both domestic and continental competition.

I’m quite content with a CL spot in Lampard’s first season at the helm for the Blues.  Major roster changes in store with new blood coming in, youngsters performing anywhere from decently to well, and vets like Willian and Pedro moving on to their next destination.  The back line and GK are still areas of concern.  But overall, the future looks more promising than not.

Hopefully CHE can assign ARSE to a season of zero European competition with a victory this Saturday.  Wolverhampton certainly deserves the Europa League spot.

 

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