Monday, November 11, 2013

Of course van Persie would score; Don't rush Messi


Robin van Persie was bound to score the winner against Arsenal. It was a reminder that Manchester United are far from out of the title race, and Arsenal aren't the clear favorites for the league. Both teams will be there or thereabouts in the run up to Christmas, but much will depend on the strength of their squads when the league, cup and European games are coming thick and fast.

One player United won't be bragging about in their squad is Marouane Fellaini - if Tom Cleverly is coming on before you in a big game, you cant be that good. He doesn't fit in at Old Trafford, and I can only think that Moyes wanted him as a familiar face around the place - but he really wanted Leighton Baines, and seems to have ended up with Fellaini when he couldn't get anyone else.

Manchester City, Chelsea and Spurs are 3 teams I just can't work out. Great one week, awful the next. Spurs probably haven't been great all season, but they should be so much better. They don't create anything, and Soldado looks completely lost. Andros Townsend was the savior of England a few weeks ago, but cutting in and shooting every time you get the ball is probably the reason he wasn't offered a second month's loan spell at Leyton Orient. In the words of John Barnes, 'there's only one way to beat 'em, get round the back.' Soldado needs crosses to score, surely that's why they have all these wingers.

City are a strange team. They have no excuses (Joe Hart wasn't playing) for not beating Sunderland. Smashing Norwich by 7 doesn't mean much if you are going to allow Phil Bardsley to bully his way into the box and finish (and yes, he did finish well, I'll give him that).

Chelsea were saved by a dive to maintain Mourinho's run at home. Get Lukaku back as soon as you can/play Mata/sell Obi Mikel/get Courtouis back to replace Cech. Because no one else can understand why you haven't done these things already.

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PSG are going to win Ligue Un. Zlatan is just too good. End of.... Juventus are going to win Serie A. Not as certain on this one, but Roma are coming back down to earth after their amazing start, Napoli couldn't live with Juve yesterday, and Tevez, Pirlo, Llorente and Pogba have all the quality they need to compete in multiple competitions... Bayern Munich are too good.

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Will Barcelona miss Lionel Messi? What do you think? But they need to be patient. His hamstring injury could keep him out a few months, but they still have more than enough quality to beat the majority of teams in La Liga. Xavi, Iniesta and Neymar don't become bad players because Messi isn't there. Real Madrid will be hot on their heels now that Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema seem to be clicking, but the overall quality of the opposition in La Liga means that Barca should be able to at least keep pace until Messi's return in late-January.