Arsenal 23-24: Watch this Space

lars10

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I don't disagree with any of this either. The team just seems to flow better with Vieira out there from what I can see. There has been something that just doesn't feel right about the team offensively so far, but hopefully having Zinchenko and Gabby Jesus back will help with that.

Also, Edu may have actually gotten money for Pepe, who is going to a Turkish team that sounds like an alien race on Rick and Morty:

View: https://twitter.com/GFFN/status/1699937036134748291?t=sVKvf3qx-sBAtFyzF3E-SA&s=19




Even if it's 3m in Turkish Lira, it's still worth it to get him off the books without eating any of his salary.
I feel like Saka hasn’t come into his own yet this year.. it’s very early obviously but to my eye he hasn’t been as dangerous this year.

Havertz probably shouldn’t be starting over Gabriel soon.. the passing and spacing seem to be better when he gets in.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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This is exaggerated by sample size and him coming on mainly in situations where we are chasing a goal but I think its fair to say that Havertz offers a hell of a lot more than Vieira (or Smith Rowe for that matter) in terms of defensive contribution and ability to match other sides physically. He is also a much better fit for a match where we expect the other side to press us high up the pitch and really pressure us, as he offers an outlet to beat the press over the top whereas Vieira can't do that at all and also hasn't really shown that he can deal with a kicking very well.

View: https://twitter.com/scottjwillis/status/1700273739827449997


With the new guidelines on adjusting for time wasting, these matches often go close to 105 minutes now when you factor in 5 minutes of first half extra time and 8-10 minutes of second half extra time. There's a lot to be said for thinking about Havertz with Zinchenko behind as your openers for the first 60-70 minutes and Vieira with Tomiyasu or Kiwior at LB as your closers for the last 30-40. Five subs lets you plan on those left hand side substitutions while also being able to sub two members of the forward line and potentially one other guy late depending on knocks/fitness/etc.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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RIP Aaron Ramsdale's Arsenal career?

Arteta picking Raya again is pretty bad news for Rammers. I don't see Arteta doing that and then going back to Ramsdale for Spurs this weekend.

Fine by me in the end if it makes the side stronger.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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RIP Aaron Ramsdale's Arsenal career?

Arteta picking Raya again is pretty bad news for Rammers. I don't see Arteta doing that and then going back to Ramsdale for Spurs this weekend.

Fine by me in the end if it makes the side stronger.
Certainly seems like he must have been outperforming in training for the move to occur and I think you're right barring Raya getting the case of the yips or a knock. I'm sure there will be many interested suitors in January or next summer if Raya maintains/improves his excellence from last year.
 

lars10

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Certainly seems like he must have been outperforming in training for the move to occur and I think you're right barring Raya getting the case of the yips or a knock. I'm sure there will be many interested suitors in January or next summer if Raya maintains/improves his excellence from last year.
Just trying to remember.. has Ramsdale really let in anything that he shouldn’t have? Seems odd that he’d just get replaced.. but maybe Raya is better with his feet?

watched todays highlights.. nice to see Arsenal back in the CL and kickin ass.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Just trying to remember.. has Ramsdale really let in anything that he shouldn’t have? Seems odd that he’d just get replaced.. but maybe Raya is better with his feet?

watched todays highlights.. nice to see Arsenal back in the CL and kickin ass.
Yeah, I think it's purely based on his feet and not shot stopping.

Here's an old clip of Klopp, saying that Raya should be wearing 10 based on his passing:

View: https://twitter.com/footballdaily/status/1441844117160476672?t=fcxw7QOWjVLYjWliHZolvg&s=19
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Just trying to remember.. has Ramsdale really let in anything that he shouldn’t have? Seems odd that he’d just get replaced.. but maybe Raya is better with his feet?

watched todays highlights.. nice to see Arsenal back in the CL and kickin ass.
His reaction and recovery was really poor on the Palhinha goal against Fulham - a weird one but that goal should not have been so easy, even with the Saka/Partey brainfart that played Palhinha in.

He was poor also on Rashford's goal. Two defenders had the near post covered and Rashford is clearly going far post once he knocks the ball in that direction. Ramsdale gave him way too much goal to shoot for (it wasn't even a particularly well placed shot).

There are some bad examples from the run in last year as well. The first goal by KDB was really poor goalkeeping to get beat from that position to the near post. We probably get smoked by City regardless but conceding relatively cheaply after eight minutes in a huge match just can't happen.

He then followed that up by giving the ball away really cheaply to Southhampton so that we immediately conceded in that match within the first few minutes.

Ramsdale has made some heroic saves but he also makes a lot of basic errors and for whatever reason his distribution has gotten worse over time.

Its rough on Ramsdale but its basically the same situation as ESR and Tierney in my view - if you really want to go after the biggest trophies, you need to do everything possible to improve the side and that's going to mean players you like being squeezed out.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Ben White is also apparently in the final stages of signing a new contract that will likely run until 2028 as well.

This club is in very good shape with contracts and the wage structure going forward. We've handed out lots of substantial deals, but from what I can tell we have so far avoided going into the 300-350k per month territory with anybody.

Expiring 2028 - Odegaard, Havertz, Rice, Timber, Kiwior, White, Raya (assuming we trigger his option)
Expiring 2027 - Martinelli, Vieira, Saka, Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Jesus, Nelson, Nketiah
Expiring 2026 - Zinchenko, Ramsdale, Trossard, Tomiyasu

Of the 20 most important members of the squad currently, Thomas Partey is really the only one with a contract with two years or less to run. That should give us a ton of squad stability and financial predictability going forward.

IMO, the two key additions on the horizon to this first 20 are another high level striker or versatile forward to improve on either Nketiah or Nelson and then at some point a backup DM replacement for Partey. We'll also probably sell Ramsdale (assuming Raya keeps the #1 job) and buy another cheaper backup keeper, but we'll definitely make money on that switch. Otherwise its really just tinkering with the 21st-25th places on the roster. I think ESR will go next summer and his place as the fourth 8 getting marginal minutes will be taken by Patino or maybe Nwaneri if he comes quickly. We could buy a relatively cheap 8th defender or maybe Reuell Walters will stake a claim there. I can see us extending Jorginho for another year or two in his veteran elder statesman role.

Given that we'll likely also have a few players to sell for decent money, we may have the financial ability to really go big on a striker/forward next summer as there's just not that much more to add or change. Brighton will charge a king's ransom but Evan Ferguson looks like the real deal to me and I wouldn't mind us trying to make him next summer's Rice if he keeps progressing this season.
 
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BostonJack42

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I hadn't realized that Trossard was hurt proir to the match - and I spent 90mins yelling at the TV for him to be brought on.

If Jesus is healthy enough to start he needs to go up front and put Eddie on the bench - even if it's just for 60mins. Nelson and ESR have to get on before Eddie and Kai at this point (and I think Kai should have started over Viera in this game).
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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That was a disappointing NLD but not a terrible result when you consider how many important injuries we're carrying and that we played midweek whereas Spurs did not.

When you're forced to throw on your third string DM who hasn't appeared in a competitive match all season...bad match changing mistakes can happen and one did. Just as importantly, we're now missing two of our top four attackers (Martinelli and Trossard) while another one (Jesus) is still building back fitness after knee surgery and is clearly on a strict pitch count and while the last (Saka) has been played into the ground and could hardly run by the end. That's just not a formula for taking the match to the opponent in the second half and so its no surprise that the match kind of died in the last 30 minutes.

I don't think any of Eddie, ESR, or Nelson are really good enough but when you're forced to rely on your 5th, 6th, and 7th best forwards you are in a bad place by definition.

In the end, this team just really needs to get healthy and limit the damage that occurs until we have the squad back in better shape.

I would play a heavily rotated side against Brentford today. If we lose, we lose.
 
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shaggydog2000

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The added depth is really paying off. In past years I couldn't imagine them going undefeated through their first 7 games with this many injuries. And Kai scoring a penalty was nice, hopefully that and the fan support gets him going offensively.
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

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The added depth is really paying off. In past years I couldn't imagine them going undefeated through their first 7 games with this many injuries. And Kai scoring a penalty was nice, hopefully that and the fan support gets him going offensively.
The away supporter section was certainly awesome yesterday afternoon!
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Some exciting news on the injury front from today's CL lineup:
  • Partey is in the lineup (though starting on the bench). Certainly needs some conditioning to get back to starting, but positive encouragement.
  • Trossard, who was in the lineup but didn't play vs Bournemouth, is starting.
  • Tomiyasu, who was also in the lineup but didn't play vs Bournemouth, is starting.
Felt like injuries for sure hamstrung the team in the draw vs. Spurs, so nice to have so many of these guys back.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Ehh. Results like this happen a lot in the European group stages. You travel, the home side is up for it massively, and your side is playing with 10% less focus and energy, which will equalize any talent gap. And then its a pretty even, lackluster game where the ball happens to go in the net for one team once more than for another.

I don't think its much to get worked up about. The Saka injury is what really sucks but its not really clear if he'll even miss the City match at this point.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Pretty fantastic win yesterday. Though I'm not sure if it's that impressive without Haaland on the pitch.

More importantly is probably how good the team looked with some of the players coming on as subs in the second half: Martinelli, Partey, Tomiyasu and Havertz. In normal health and fitness, you've got Martinelli and Partey in the starting lineup and in for most of the game. The entire back line was fantastic. City was held to only 4 shots total for the day. All of this both without Saka and despite the fact that City should have been playing a man down for 50 minutes.
 

Theodoric

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Pretty fantastic win yesterday. Though I'm not sure if it's that impressive without Haaland on the pitch.

More importantly is probably how good the team looked with some of the players coming on as subs in the second half: Martinelli, Partey, Tomiyasu and Havertz. In normal health and fitness, you've got Martinelli and Partey in the starting lineup and in for most of the game. The entire back line was fantastic. City was held to only 4 shots total for the day. All of this both without Saka and despite the fact that City should have been playing a man down for 50 minutes.
Wait, what? Haaland didn't play?!?!? (Just kidding, I know he spent 90 minutes in Saliba's back pocket. COYG!)
 

shaggydog2000

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City was short Rodri and De Bruyne, Arsenal were short Saka while Partey and Martinelli weren't healthy enough to start, so it's not a complete picture of what these teams might have done if they were both at full strength. It was a game where they both tried to slowly strangle the other team. Like one of those 90's UFC match between two Brazilian ju-jitsu guys that went on for two hours. I'm sort of used to seeing that from City, but to see Arsenal out do City at that game and basically shut them down after the first 10 minutes was impressive. I was so happy that there were only 4 minutes of extra time, because I don't think my heart could have taken a 5th.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Fantastic win.

Saka, Martinelli, Saliba, and Trossard are all staying at Colney over the break to rehab their injuries. White and Jorginho aren't involved in internationals. And Partey and Tomiyasu have only friendlies so hopefully won't be worked too hard.

The next two weeks are a really key opportunity to get this team healthy again. The schedule afterwards is absolutely brutal, basically twice a week until New Year's.
 

litigator02

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Not much to add other than “whew” and “COYG,” but I did take a look at upcoming fixtures. Spurs might not drop points before December, which sucks for momentum purposes

ARS: CHE (a), SHU (h), NEW (a), BUR (h), BRE (a)
TOT: FUL (h), CRY (a), CHE (h), WOL (a), AVL (h)
MC: BHA (h), MUN (a), BOU (h), CHE (a), LIV (h)

(Typing those in made me realize that Chelsea’s life is about to get hard: Arsenal, Tottenham, City, and Newcastle in their next five.)
 

BostonJack42

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That was Rice's best game. First time he looked like the 100m Dollar Man in my eyes. Goal at Chelsea was great but yesterday he was a beast.
 

lars10

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The first "The Tuesday Club" podcast in about 18 months dropped on Monday - required listening for any discerning Gooner. (The "Who said this - Mikel Arteta, or General Franco?" quiz was particularly hilarious.)

Also, that win last night over Luton...Declan Rice, Rice baby indeed.
Arteta’s moves are almost all working out.. Team seems to be clicking. Rice scoring, Havertz scoring.

Only issue now is the goal keeping.. Both look shaky and Ramsdale seems rusty because he’s been sitting so much. Game last night should never have been that close.. does Ramsdale now play this weekend?
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

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My guess, and I'm far from informed, is that Raya'll get another chance on a short leash.

Lost in all the hubbub was Kiwior having a really poor game & struggling with their press. And Chris Kavanagh up to his usual tricks, this time on VAR.

Some very tough fixtures coming up. Guess it's a good thing that the UCL match against PSV is nothing really to play for. For EPL, Aston Villa of course are in amazing form, then it's BHA at home before a trip to Anfield, & back home again against WHU, where they seem to really handle us well as of late.

Really big, big tests. I almost wonder if Ramsdale should start in goal against PSV. If he can get a clean sheet, maybe his confidence will soar again...

Some noise about targeting a defender & a midfielder on loan for the upcoming January window. My dream of a striker doesn't seem to gain much traction. Also, Tomiyasu will be out for 6 weeks. Pity, really, as he was in very good form.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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We badly need a defender in January. We were clearly short after the Timber ACL and it was only a matter of time before someone got a significant injury, especially given the histories of Tomiyasu and Zinchenko. I just hope we can make it to January with the current group. The thought of Cedric Soares on the field playing important minutes again is pretty terrifying.

The really crappy thing is that both Partey and Tomiyasu are injured and we're going to spend the next month getting them healthy only for them to jet off to AFCON and the Asian Cup in early-mid January. And they'll probably come back injured again.

The Raya situation is concerning. I believe Arteta bought him because he just didn't think Ramsdale was reliable/good enough to take the club where he wants to go. So I don't see him turning back to Ramsdale very easily. But Raya just can't keep making these kinds of major mistakes.
 

shaggydog2000

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Porto is a decent draw in the Champions league. Nice trip for the traveling fans, probably in the middle in terms of difficulty compared to who they could have drawn. I like it.
 

fletcherpost

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I think Arsenal win one of the big ones this season. League or CL. If youse get Toney it could be a shut down.

Arsenal are really solid, with flair and quality and I think the players are ready to go the distance.

As long as City don't win, I won't be too unhappy.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Coming off a good point at Anfield, Arsenal host West Ham tomorrow in the start of a relatively forgiving stretch in the league schedule. From now until the spring international break there are 11 matches. The most difficult away fixture is probably the return match at West Ham in February. The hardest home fixtures are Liverpool - a huge one for sure - then Chelsea, Newcastle, and tomorrow's match. The schedule gets much more difficult afterward, including trips to City, Spurs, United, and Brighton in the final nine fixtures.

If the club is going to make a serious bid for the title, it needs to go on a big run starting tomorrow. Its a big ask but that's what title winning teams do, at least in the era of Pep's City and Klopp's Liverpool.

Respected journos like Ornstein and gunnerblog are throwing cold water on a lot of transfer rumors. It looks like a relatively quiet window, except for perhaps a defender. The most intriguing name to surface may be Jorrel Hato, an uberprecocious 17-year-old from Ajax. I don't know how much a 17-year-old will help in a title race but I fell in love with his highlight videos and his stats are off the charts. Its a lazy comparison but he really does look like a left footed Timber.
 
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Time to Mo Vaughn

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I think they need to start Trossard for Marinelli for a few matches in a row. I don't know if it's fatigue or what, but he just doesn't look like the same player right now as early in the season or last year. He shows a few glimpses of it each game, but not at the sustained rate.
 

smokin joe wood

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I think they need to start Trossard for Marinelli for a few matches in a row. I don't know if it's fatigue or what, but he just doesn't look like the same player right now as early in the season or last year. He shows a few glimpses of it each game, but not at the sustained rate.
I thought Odegaard was fantastic yesterday. Saka and Martinelli were both given space and opportunities vs. West Ham and didn't create much. That's been a theme for Martinelli for the past few weeks.

The result was really harsh based on the full 90 but those things happen. No need to overreact.

The crowd is starting to get on Zinchenko a bit. His failed clearance on the first goal was a bit clumsy.
 

The Gray Eagle

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One point from 6 against Fulham, after leading in both games, is... not great.


75890

The last 4 days have damaged the whole season, dropping 6 points to West Ham and Fulham. Good luck recovering from that.
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

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I personally don't like to be too negative on message boards, as I feel I can easily bring down the level on any of my posting, but this is a very frustrating side.

Sure, they've looked good in some matches this year, but I've been yearning for complete dominance during these matches like we know they can be capable. Rarely, if ever, have gotten it.

There didn't even seem to be urgency this afternoon. Kiwior is just not convincing as a LB in our system. Tomiyasu: love the guy, but he's always injured. Timber really would've helped there & the injury was bad luck.

Forget any 'title chase' or 'title race'. We're facing a deep challenge to make UCL.

Have to hope some January business + rest after FA Cup tie against LFC will invigorate the squad.
 

lars10

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Couple decent performances in a row.. hopefully they can string a few more wins together.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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That was a massive result and a really good performance with our backs to the wall and Liverpool flying high. Jorginho was masterful, not a player for every match but such an underrated footballer in general. We really controlled the match in midfield, in and out of possession. There were maybe 2-3 minutes right after halftime where we struggled to adjust to an adjustment Klopp had made at the break but other than that we really gave them almost nothing and that Liverpool side, even without a few key players, can hurt anybody.

I still think we are third favorites for the league but we're still very much in the mix and you never know.
 

shaggydog2000

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That was a massive result and a really good performance with our backs to the wall and Liverpool flying high. Jorginho was masterful, not a player for every match but such an underrated footballer in general. We really controlled the match in midfield, in and out of possession. There were maybe 2-3 minutes right after halftime where we struggled to adjust to an adjustment Klopp had made at the break but other than that we really gave them almost nothing and that Liverpool side, even without a few key players, can hurt anybody.

I still think we are third favorites for the league but we're still very much in the mix and you never know.
I was concerned about them for a bit there because of that same pattern of injuries and performance sagging coming back, but this run allays some of those fears and makes me feel like they're right back in it. Big win against a big team that was playing well, and the best part is that they seemed in control the whole time (except for that blip like you mentioned), and that Arteta had the right tactics to start and made the right adjustments. Martinelli having a big game was nice as well.
 

BostonJack42

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Jorginho being Man of the Match was not on my betting slip. Also have to say, while this wasn't his best game of the year, Rice looks so so good out there. It reminds me of youth games and there's one kid out there and everyone thinks he's a year or two older than the other kids.

Kiwior at LB is just crap. I just assumed he was lost for the free header he gentley passed back to the Liverpool keeper. I say try Havertz there next time. Kai is such a mence to both teams whenever he's playing that it's almost worth the gamble. "You're playing left back - don't go in our own box under any circumstances. Have fun."
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Domestically this team is freaking cooking right now. Porto...yikes. But the last few PL fixtures have been a ton of fun. Newcastle has been struggling in general but our matches against them have been very very competitive the last two years and yesterday we just dominated them in every possible way.

We need Partey, Jesus, Tomiyasu, Zinchenko, and Timber back for the run in, which is brutal schedule-wise.

I think we're third favorites for the league just based on being currently behind and having maybe the toughest schedule. But we look to be peaking at the right time and if we can get some players back and keep others healthy it could get interesting.
 

lars10

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Domestically this team is freaking cooking right now. Porto...yikes. But the last few PL fixtures have been a ton of fun. Newcastle has been struggling in general but our matches against them have been very very competitive the last two years and yesterday we just dominated them in every possible way.

We need Partey, Jesus, Tomiyasu, Zinchenko, and Timber back for the run in, which is brutal schedule-wise.

I think we're third favorites for the league just based on being currently behind and having maybe the toughest schedule. But we look to be peaking at the right time and if we can get some players back and keep others healthy it could get interesting.
Is it good to make up +22 Goal differential in 6 games?
I'm surprised I haven't missed Partey as much this year, but him being back should be a boost in midfield... and the others as well. Those injuries have allowed a few guys to step up and hard to argue with how well they're playing at the moment.

Hopefully they win the next three and also beat City this year away.. will be interesting to see if Liverpool can maintain their lead with they injuries piling up.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Team has been firing on all cylinders since New Years except for that Porto game...

While it's still unlikely to be the final dealbreaker, it is very nice that the team has run up their Goal Differential a bit and are well ahead of City and Liverpool should it come down to that. It would be great to have Partey healthy for the end half of the season and the Champions League matches. Can't do much better than they're doing, but it'd be nice for Liverpool to drop a few points with all their current injuries or for ManU to at least hold for a point when they're up 1-0.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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It'll be a big lift to win the title this year given the quality of the competition and the fact that we're currently behind and still have to go to the Etihad.

I'd absolutely love to get it done this year but I am basically at peace with whatever happens. Given the age profile of the side and the level we're showing, I really like our chances of winning the title one of the next couple years. Its very early obviously but right now I would make us favorites next year with Klopp leaving and also a lot of uncertainty hanging over City in terms of KDB's future, more and more players getting a bit up there in age, and the outcome of the legal proceedings.

IMO, the three big factors in our recent form have been getting a static striker like Eddie out of the middle in favor of a more fluid attack, Havertz and Rice getting more fully settled into the side, and figuring out how to boss games in midfield without relying on Zinchenko, which always gave the opponent a clear weak point in our defense to exploit. We dropped a lot of points in the fall because these issues.

Replace Eddie over the summer with a mobile striker like Gyokeres and Partey with another controlling midfielder like Zubimendi who is actually consistently available and this team is going to be locked and loaded.
 

lars10

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It'll be a big lift to win the title this year given the quality of the competition and the fact that we're currently behind and still have to go to the Etihad.

I'd absolutely love to get it done this year but I am basically at peace with whatever happens. Given the age profile of the side and the level we're showing, I really like our chances of winning the title one of the next couple years. Its very early obviously but right now I would make us favorites next year with Klopp leaving and also a lot of uncertainty hanging over City in terms of KDB's future, more and more players getting a bit up there in age, and the outcome of the legal proceedings.

IMO, the three big factors in our recent form have been getting a static striker like Eddie out of the middle in favor of a more fluid attack, Havertz and Rice getting more fully settled into the side, and figuring out how to boss games in midfield without relying on Zinchenko, which always gave the opponent a clear weak point in our defense to exploit. We dropped a lot of points in the fall because these issues.

Replace Eddie over the summer with a mobile striker like Gyokeres and Partey with another controlling midfielder like Zubimendi who is actually consistently available and this team is going to be locked and loaded.
If Liverpool and City tie tomorrow.. and Arsenal somehow win at City.. couldn't that be the title? Just love that this team keeps putting pressure on the top two.
 

BostonJack42

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Top of the table by goal differential with 10 games league games to go. While obviously City is the biggest hurdle there's some other big matches on there as well.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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We made hard work of it but that was a huge result for the club. Our putrid European record is like a weight on everyone’s shoulders and there’s only one way to move past it.

Porto embraced all the dark arts but they were also supremely well prepared and set up really well to negate us. Conceicao is a bit of an ass but he gave us everything we could handle. I’m happy we won’t be playing them again anytime soon.