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Nah, Man City will cruise to the title next season Following Sarah’s prediction of a Liverpool title win next season, I’d like to offer an alternative viewpoint; I think City will win it comfortably, probably by 10 points. Firstly, I fully expect City to strengthen more significantly this summer, definitely in the form of a central midfielder and probably a defender or two as well. Throw in the return of one of the league’s best players in De Bruyne and I’d say they’ll be well set up. Liverpool by contrast, having spent heavily the past 18 months, will be shipping out a squad player or two and replacing them with squad players.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Liverpool had the wind at their sails in the league last season. I don’t want to use the word ‘luck’, because that oversimplifies it and makes it sound like sour grapes, but there exists an unidentifiable force behind teams in certain seasons (United in ’99 being the best example) where you get the decisions and the bounce of the ball, but more importantly, you get them at exactly the right moment. This is then feeds into the fans and the team, creating and reinforcing a sense of destiny, which somehow makes it more likely to happen again. Look at the Spurs game at Anfield; Sissoko screws up a sitter and then Liverpool score a minute later from a Lloris howler. They’re the seasons you remember the most, because they carry the most drama, but they don’t come around that often.
City didn’t have that last season, they’re just a ruthlessly brilliant team and it’s testament to their quality that they were able to resist Liverpool. City will be that same side next season, but Liverpool won’t have that force again. They’re still a really good side, and I think they’ll comfortably finish second, but probably on 80-something points whilst City hit 95+ again.
What shall be interesting, and to which Sarah alluded in her article, is what happens to City in a year or two, when Pep rides off into the sunset and Silva, Aguero, Fernandinho and co are all over the hill and need replacing. The rebuild will be huge and incredibly difficult. Lewis, Busby Way
…I get where Sarah is coming from but the frightening reality is City did what they did last season without the previous best midfielder in the country. This season, Bernardo Silva AND De Bruyne could start. The only word for that kind of midfield is disgusting. Sterling is getting better every game, Aguero still knows where the net is and if you think City won’t spend to improve you are nuts. They are favourites for a reason but you’d be crazy to put your mortgage on either one. Rob A (I missed De Bruyne…) AFC
Celebrating a 13-0? That’s not right… I am a supporter of the national team. I want them to do well. But the excuses after the fact for the celebrations for every goal in a 13-0 win are pathetic. I hear the excuses, that “goal difference might matter”, and then the crowning glory from the US team coach, Jill Ellis: “Part of me is sitting here wondering, if this is 10-0 in a men’s World Cup, are we getting the same questions?”
Well, firstly, it was 13-0. And Yes with a capital “Y”, ye, you are, you are getting exactly the same questions. And you are doing the game a disservice by asking that question. We have a celebration of world football, and you, pathetically, are trying to deflect criticism of your team by implying that women are treated differently from men in journalism. You imply that Portugal could beat El Salvador 13-0 and Christian Ronald could still vault and tear off his shirt and the coach wouldn’t care. You’re wrong, and you need to stop.
Jill Ellis and all the US ‘baysayers’ you’re wrong, and you need to apologize.
By the way, now I hope France tear the US up 14-0 in the quarters. Jill Ellis just ruined the US part of the tournament for me. Steve, Los Angeles
12 minutes later… I mean Cristiano Ronaldo, obviously my grump stopped my “o” key from working. Thank you, MC, for publishing my correction.
Also, while I’m still on the subject, Hope Solo said in an interview the other day that Ellis has no say over how the team plays. Solo says the players are better than she is a coach, and they set the agenda.
I was inclined to think that Solo might have been crushing some sour grapes after her and Ellis’s relationship crashed and burned in 2015, but if Ellis cannot control her players from the sideline – “Hey guys, tone it down” then I think Solo is right. Steve, (I know you don’t get two mails in the same mailbox, but I had to try), Los Angeles
Well done United States Just writing in hoping to keep the Women’s World Cup momentum going on in this mailbox, this site, and the football community in general.
Mainly just glad to brag about a USA National Team being top of the pops. You don’t see many 13-0’s at any level. Now let’s pay them the attention and money that they deserve. Dan, NYC
Big-ups to Jacqui Oatley I was going to write this anyway. Watching the Chile-Sweden game in the world cup. Jacqui Oatley’s commentary was brilliant. No co-comms and she was spot on. Knowledgeable, observant, brilliant.
Then the ref takes the players off due to thunder and lightening and she goes up a gear. ‘Anyone know any good jokes?’. Then a spiel about singing Bette Midler’s Wind beneath my Wings (she’d tweeted about it before the game). Before taking a well-earned break.
I’m hoping she gets a few of the men’s games next season for the BBC but she’s definitely worth a punt on BT or Sky.
Definitely more than just a pitchside reporter.
Hope they bring the players back on soon. Missing her already. Rob, Gravesend
Why don’t the Glazers get any stick? With the mauling Woodward has been getting recently, it always surprises me how little of this is directed at the Glazers. After all, Eds going to Ed, and as the mailbox has agreed, he’s very good at Edding.
But surely, just surely, the Glazers must realise that as successful as the club may be commercially right now, they can be even more successful if they start making sensible footballing decisions. Decisions they don’t have to make themselves because they know it’s not their area of expertise, but ones they can employ someone else to make. And surely they must realise that if results stay as they are revenues will eventually drop. And whether their endgame is to milk the club dry or sell, they would be far better off if the team is successful.
You would assume given the way Ferguson managed the club, he had the ear of the Glazers. Surely having perhaps the greatest club manager of all time in your employment would make you privy to some of the characteristics of a successful football club in terms of player selection, ethos of play, vision (things that have been described in his latest autobiography). Its almost as if the solution is too obvious and they just don’t seem to see it. Samwise, MUFC
Benitez in! I’m happy to see Rafa being lined up as a potential replacement for Chelsea if Sarri is to leave. I see some chelsea fans up in arms about it again all because of some petty rivalry from over 10 years ago. To those fans I would ask who would they have as a replacement instead? The names linked are mostly underwhelming, Blanc no thank you, Lampard it’s too much too soon, Allegri would be a great option but unlikely to happen. Or we could have Mourinho back and nobody wants to see that. So who else is there? I’l be the first to admit I was hard on Rafa back in 2013 when he was with us, but we are not the draw we used to be (and that’s before you even count the transfer ban) for potential managers and Rafa has proven pedigree and we could not hope to attract better. The only other option I would be happy with would be to see Hasenhuttl given a crack at it the work he has done since arriving at Southampton has been phenomenal given where they were at when Hughes left. Aaron, CFC, Ireland
Want some holiday reading? It’s summer, there’s not a lot to discuss in the mailbox and I’m looking for something to read, so I’m hoping my fellow F365ers can help out with football book recommendations. This may have been done before in the mailbox but always good to hear other suggestions. Here’s mine to start…
A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke – Ronald Reng A deeply moving account of German goalkeeper Robert Enke who took his own life at the age of 32. This biography tells the story of his life, his career and the depression that ultimately became too much to bear. It’s more a story about mental health than it is about football but it’s an incredibly important book.
The Fall of the House of FIFA – David Conn A very well researched and brilliantly told book about the corruption and greed that stole the beautiful game from the people it should have belonged to. From FIFA’s early days to the end of Blatter it will interest and anger you at the same time. Makes you wonder what might have happened if money hadn’t ruled international football.
Do you Speak Football? – Tom Williams More of a coffee table book, or one to read in small chunks but it’s interesting and amusing. Contains many expressions used in different parts of the world. I think my favourite being “where the owl sleeps”, meaning the top corner of the goal in Brazil. Also, did you know Dundee United means ‘idiot’ in Nigeria?
Ring of Fire: Liverpool into the 21st century: The Players’ Stories – Simon Hughes One for LFC fans only, but if you’re a fan, and this is your era, it’s a brilliant read. Extended interviews with key players tell the stories of the Houllier and Benitez years and the ups and downs involved. The Torres chapter is particularly fascinating.
So any other book recommendations out there? Mike, LFC, London
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