Race for the Top 4 - 2017/18

am_yisrael_chai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Messages
5,859
Thread starter #1
Time to be optimistic. While I'm frustrated at the lack of progress on transfers I'm hopeful that by the end of the window we will have a quality replacement for Walker, Barkley and hopefully a wing forward like Keita Balde. If we managed that and the other teams don't add much else I'd be quietly confident about challenging again, with Wembley of course being the wild card.

Once again I think the so called experts / pundits confuse money spent, not even net spend, with automatic improvement in results. I'm not that convinced by the transfer activity at our competitors so far. I also don't think they account for the abilities of the manager. I think we have the best manager with the least ego who can both improve individuals and make the sum greater than the parts. Last year his challenge was to figure out tactically how to defeat teams who defended deep and he did this by moving to a very fluid formation that interchanged seamlessly between 3 and 4 at the back. This year he needs to figure out how to overcome the high press employed by Klopp and Guardiola, I have no doubt he will do this.

Chelsea - have replaced Zouma with Ruddiger, might be an upgrade but unclear, replaced Matic with Bakoyoko, unclear this is much of an upgrade, and Costa with Morata, I actually think this is a backward step as Costa has been so important to Chelsea. However, I very much doubt they are done and if they add then I expect them to be the main challengers for the title.

City - can't argue with the quality of their acquisitions but they still have a weak spine, particularly if Kompany gets injured. Their problem last year was defending and while they have improved their FBs I still think they will be suspect defensively.

Liverpool - I don't get their business, they so need a GK, at least one CB and a quality LB and all they've done is sign an average LB and yet another speedy winger. I think their season will be very similar to last year, they will look exhilarating at times but ultimately be undone by their defence and CMs.

Goons - no doubt Lacazette is quality but the Sanchez saga will hang over them, if he goes it hurts them badly and if he stays it will be talked about all season. Like Liverpool their weaknesses in central defence and midfield haven't been addressed, the final aspect is the poisonous fan split on Wenger, a few bad results and that will rear its head. Famous last words but I don't see them getting back in the top 4.

United - totally over hyped in my opinion. Replaced Ibra with Lukaku which I don't see as an upgrade, bought a fairly average CH in Lindeloff and added another water carrier in Matic. Their issue last year was turning draws into wins at home and they haven't done anything yet to address this.

Everton - spent a lot of money to buy over half a new team, very rarely does this work out. Add to this that they've sold their top scorer and are definitely losing their top creator and again I'm sceptical Koeman can move them forward as much as the media think.

So come on Mr Levy get us the final pieces to our squad jigsaw and let's complete the series:
2015/16 3rd
2016/17 2nd
2017/18 1st

COYS !!!
 
Last edited:

Shadydan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2012
Messages
21,300
#2
And so is starts, looking forward to the arguing, the many permutations, the negatives and positives in this thread over the next 9 months or so.
 

yankspurs

“We’re not a selling club”
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
25,752
#3
Expecting kinda of a down year, tbh. We'll be lucky to get 4th. IF we can get 4th thereby retaining CL qualification for 18/19(big if, IMO), and Levy actually shows some intent(massively unrealistic ask), we could challenge again for the title in 18/19 for the first season in the new stadium. Wont do so this season in Wembley. Just not realistic. Wont retain our WHL home form and i dont see us making up so much lost ground on the road, though I could see it being alittle better this season
 

am_yisrael_chai

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Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Messages
5,859
Thread starter #4
Expecting kinda of a down year, tbh. We'll be lucky to get 4th. IF we can get 4th thereby retaining CL qualification for 18/19(big if, IMO), and Levy actually shows some intent(massively unrealistic ask), we could challenge again for the title in 18/19 for the first season in the new stadium. Wont do so this season in Wembley. Just not realistic. Wont retain our WHL home form and i dont see us making up so much lost ground on the road, though I could see it being alittle better this season
Are you ever optimistic ?
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
177
#7
Time to be optimistic. While I'm frustrated at the lack of progress on transfers I'm hopeful that by the end of the window we will have a quality replacement for Walker, Barkley and hopefully a wing forward like Keita Balde. If we managed that and the other teams don't add much else I'd be quietly confident about challenging again, with Wembley of course being the wild card.

Once again I think the so called experts / pundits confuse money spent, not even net spend, with automatic improvement in results. I'm not that convinced by the transfer activity at our competitors so far.

Chelsea - have replaced Zouma with Ruddiger, might be an upgrade but unclear, replaced Matic with Bakoyoko, unclear this is much of an upgrade, and Costa with Morata, I actually think this is a backward step as Costa has been so important to Chelsea. However, I very much doubt they are done and if they add then I expect them to be the main challengers for the title.

City - can't argue with the quality of their acquisitions but they still have a weak spine, particularly if Kompany gets injured. Their problem last year was defending and while they have improved their FBs I still think they will be suspect defensively.

Liverpool - I don't get their business, they so need a GK, at least one CB and a quality LB and all they've done is sign an average LB and yet another speedy winger. I think their season will be very similar to last year, they will look exhilarating at times but ultimately be undone by their defence and CMs.

Goons - no doubt Lacazette is quality but the Sanchez saga will hang over them, if he goes it hurts them badly and if he stays it will be talked about all season. Like Liverpool their weaknesses in central defence and midfield haven't been addressed, the final aspect is the poisonous fan split on Wenger, a few bad results and that will rear its head. Famous last words but I don't see them getting back in the top 4.

United - totally over hyped in my opinion. Replaced Ibra with Lukaku which I don't see as an upgrade, bought a fairly average CH in Lindeloff and added another water carrier in Matic. Their issue last year was turning draws into wins at home and they haven't done anything yet to address this.

Everton - spent a lot of money to buy over half a new team, very rarely does this work out. Add to this that they've sold their top scorer and are definitely losing their top creator and again I'm sceptical Koeman can move them forward as much as the media think.

So come on Mr Levy get us the final pieces to our squad jigsaw and let's complete the series:
2015/16 3rd
2016/17 2nd
2017/18 1st

COYS !!!
Strange that you don't talk about us buying a right sided centre back, playing our strongest team with a 3-4-2-1 formation we have no cover for Toby, Dier, Wanyama and Tripp's, even playing 4 at the back we only have Dier as cover for Toby, Wanyama and Tripp's !
 

am_yisrael_chai

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Joined
Feb 18, 2006
Messages
5,859
Thread starter #8
Strange that you don't talk about us buying a right sided centre back, playing our strongest team with a 3-4-2-1 formation we have no cover for Toby, Dier, Wanyama and Tripp's, even playing 4 at the back we only have Dier as cover for Toby, Wanyama and Tripp's !
I've assumed we will buy another RB. As to our CBs as things stand we have 4 quality CBs and if Wimmer is sold then I'm sure we will sign a replacement. I also happen to think CCV is an insane talent.

I've got no problem with Poch wanting to work with a small squad of versatile players. Obviously that leaves us exposed to a bout of simultaneous injuries but no squad could really cope with that.
 

Bulletspur

The Reasonable Advocate
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Messages
7,044
#9
we could challenge again for the title in 18/19 for the first season in the new stadium. Wont do so this season in Wembley. Just not realistic. Wont retain our WHL home form and i dont see us making up so much lost ground on the road, though I could see it being alittle better this season
If we won't challenge at Wembley, why do you think we will challenge the following season in a new and untested stadium?
 

spurslenny

I hate football
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
6,966
#12
The one thing we have in our favour over the others is we are under the least amount of pressure to achieve anything. Everyone has already had their say on the Wembley effect, plus, the much hyped additions that the other teams have made all suggests (to a proportion of the media and rival fans) that we'd be lucky to finish any higher than 4th.

City - spent huge, Pep has to prove his worth and owners will demand it.

Utd - same as above in some respects.

Chelsea - conte already behaving like a man under pressure and rumour has it all is not well behind the scenes before a ball is even kicked.

Goons - fans will demand a Cl place, at minimum. And Wenger will start twitching at the first sign of fan unrest.

Liverpool - it's our year rec. Plus Klopp will be expected to live up to his hype.
 

Col_M

Pointing out the Obvious
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
9,217
#14
Manchester United to retain their Draw Kings title please. 100 games without a win and Jose to brand himself Unbeatable
 

dudu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
2,657
#16
Time to be optimistic. While I'm frustrated at the lack of progress on transfers I'm hopeful that by the end of the window we will have a quality replacement for Walker, Barkley and hopefully a wing forward like Keita Balde. If we managed that and the other teams don't add much else I'd be quietly confident about challenging again, with Wembley of course being the wild card.

Once again I think the so called experts / pundits confuse money spent, not even net spend, with automatic improvement in results. I'm not that convinced by the transfer activity at our competitors so far. I also don't think they account for the abilities of the manager. I think we have the best manager with the least ego who can both improve individuals and make the sum greater than the parts. Last year his challenge was to figure out tactically how to defeat teams who defended deep and he did this by moving to a very fluid formation that interchanged seamlessly between 3 and 4 at the back. This year he needs to figure out how to overcome the high press employed by Klopp and Guardiola, I have no doubt he will do this.

Chelsea - have replaced Zouma with Ruddiger, might be an upgrade but unclear, replaced Matic with Bakoyoko, unclear this is much of an upgrade, and Costa with Morata, I actually think this is a backward step as Costa has been so important to Chelsea. However, I very much doubt they are done and if they add then I expect them to be the main challengers for the title.

City - can't argue with the quality of their acquisitions but they still have a weak spine, particularly if Kompany gets injured. Their problem last year was defending and while they have improved their FBs I still think they will be suspect defensively.

Liverpool - I don't get their business, they so need a GK, at least one CB and a quality LB and all they've done is sign an average LB and yet another speedy winger. I think their season will be very similar to last year, they will look exhilarating at times but ultimately be undone by their defence and CMs.

Goons - no doubt Lacazette is quality but the Sanchez saga will hang over them, if he goes it hurts them badly and if he stays it will be talked about all season. Like Liverpool their weaknesses in central defence and midfield haven't been addressed, the final aspect is the poisonous fan split on Wenger, a few bad results and that will rear its head. Famous last words but I don't see them getting back in the top 4.

United - totally over hyped in my opinion. Replaced Ibra with Lukaku which I don't see as an upgrade, bought a fairly average CH in Lindeloff and added another water carrier in Matic. Their issue last year was turning draws into wins at home and they haven't done anything yet to address this.

Everton - spent a lot of money to buy over half a new team, very rarely does this work out. Add to this that they've sold their top scorer and are definitely losing their top creator and again I'm sceptical Koeman can move them forward as much as the media think.

So come on Mr Levy get us the final pieces to our squad jigsaw and let's complete the series:
2015/16 3rd
2016/17 2nd
2017/18 1st

COYS !!!
Have to agree with a lot of what you've said. Most of the other top teams have injuries and have also not improved that much despite spending big. The same teams spent big last season and it didn't get them as far as people were saying.... If we get the two or three we need and have better luck with injuries this year I don't see us falling off the pace. Gonna be an interesting year.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
177
#17
I've assumed we will buy another RB. As to our CBs as things stand we have 4 quality CBs and if Wimmer is sold then I'm sure we will sign a replacement. I also happen to think CCV is an insane talent.

I've got no problem with Poch wanting to work with a small squad of versatile players. Obviously that leaves us exposed to a bout of simultaneous injuries but no squad could really cope with that.
So taking the RB position out of the equation we have 4 quality centre back's and Wanyama for 4 position's, look's like we are a couple of player's short in that dept and let's hope we don't get another Injury to add to Wanyama's especially as Poch doesn't seem to trust CCV !
 

Luka Van der Bale

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Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
5,202
#18
Manchester City my favourite to win the title

Dark Horses - Everton
Everton have done way too much business. By the end of the window they'll likely have 11 or 12 in, and will have lost their two most talented players in Barkley or Lukaku. They'll be double figures for points behind the top 6. Again.
 

talkshowhost86

Mod-Moose
Staff
Joined
Oct 2, 2004
Messages
44,976
#20
Unfortunately I think we're going to have a very slow start.

We already had the obstacle of Wembley to deal with, and now we're going into the start of the season with 4 or 5 key players all injured.

We may still bring in a few players (although I'm becoming increasingly pessimistic about that) but even if we do they'll take a while to bed in, so I just don't see us hitting the ground running.

If that is the case, it's likely that at least one of the mega-bucks sides is going to put a run together early-doors, and from there any title bid would be very tricky.

Based on our lack of spending, and the colossal spending of our rivals, I think top 4 is a reasonable aim this year.

It's just a shame that we haven't been able to deliver the few players we potentially needed to make a title bid a bit more realistic.
 
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