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Mails: Already analysing next season’s top six…

Send your emails to theeditor@football365.com…   Let’s open with some karma It’s 1979. I’ve been Arsenal-mad for a couple of years now and my two younger brothers want to get in on the act. But, naturally, I don’t want them supporting better teams than mine. Liverpool are winning everything every year, so they’re out. Man Utd supporters are common. So, I convince Trav that Everton is the best club in Liverpool. Meanwhile, Marsh is persuaded that Man City is much cooler than Man Utd. My guerrilla tactics include (but are certainly not limited to) secretly cutting all Liverpool and Man Utd photos out of my Shoot! magazines, before passing them on to my brothers. Fast forward 40 years and they’re both still big fans; supporting their clubs through thick and thin. Everton has worked out well. Man City less so. But, I can’t help feeling ruefully pleased for Marsh, who is loving every second of this. That big old wheel, eh. Nigel Brackets NZ   How the top six shapes up next season They said the English league is different. They said it’s a lot tougher here. They said the league is a lot more competitive. They said you can’t succeed without being pragmatic. They said Pep will be found out. Needless to say, Pep has emphatically proved his critics wrong racing to the title in a swashbuckling fashion rarely seen before in the Premier League. With this season’s title decided, how is the top 6 shaping up for next season: – Manchester City: The most impressive aspect of City’s achievement is that they haven’t won by investing in proven players at their peak (a la Mourinho style) but Pep has assembled a talented young squad that could remain title challengers for years to come even if the funds dry up (unlikely I know). – Manchester United: They may well finish second this season and claim to be the best of the rest, but expect another summer of upheaval at United. They have too many question marks on their squad and no matter how much they spend over the summer, I expect they will slide down at least one position come the end of next year. Ageing fullbacks, at least once central defender, a couple of midfielders; that’s already 5 new players needed. Given Mourinho’s expensive taste, you don’t see United being able to plug all the gaps. – Liverpool: I wrote in a few months ago that next year Liverpool may well be challenging for the title. With most of the heavyweights knocked out, Liverpool actually stand a good chance of winning the CL this year. Not many would have predicted that at the start of the season and Klopp deserves enormous credit how he has turned the club around. Their consistency has improved too over the course of the season and the addition of Naby Keita can only strengthen the squad. A couple of tweaks here and there but no other major fixes needed. Their attacking trio is outstanding and they should rightfully be disappointed in they aren’t challenging for the title next year. – Tottenham: When at their best, this Tottenham side is simply brilliant. Pochettino like Klopp, has assembled a highly impressive squad on a relatively small budget. His ability to identify talent and nurture them is up there with the best. This magnificent squad though, should have won at least one Premier League title by now and the absence of any titles leaves question marks on both the manager and the squad. Is it due to the manager’s tactics or the mental frailty of his team? The question remains, can they make the step up? Expect them to finish in the Champions League places again next year but top 2 might be a leap too far. – Chelsea and Arsenal: Both club managers had the backing of the board only a year ago (albeit with a great deal of trepidation in Arsene’s case). This season, both managers have made a brilliant case for why they should be fired rather than retained. For Chelsea, poor recruitment in the past window has been compounded by poor managerial attitude. Arsene on the other hand, it appears is simply not good enough any more. The board of each of these clubs need to step up and stop the rot. Expect some erratic transfer business in the summer and the clubs to finish outside the CL spots again. Expect at least one if not both managers to be elsewhere next season. Adeel   Joe Hart cannot go to Russia ‘Huge error from Nick Pope!’. You ever seen this sentence before? I don’t think I have. How can Joe Hart, on the basis of one performance last week, go to the World Cup when stats suggest Nick Pope has been the second best goalie in the prem this season? A league which includes the France and Belgium number one. Pundits seem to only remember Joe’s few and far between excellent performances in between a catalogue of incompetence. I was trying to think who this reminds me of and then it clicked- Lieutenant Frank Drebin. Presumably this makes Nick Pope an up and coming highly dependable officer – say that young looking fella from Line of Duty. Continuing this analogy who would you rather have act as your bodyguard? No contest. Howard, Bristol   Respect to referees is an education issue Education is Critical, Enforcement is Paramount. I read Johnny Nics article yesterday whilst nodding my head in agreement, I have also mailed in on this subject several times. It doesn’t matter what level of football I have refereed at, whether it be junior matches when I first passed the course (the home of the quintessential ‘Fan-Coach’ – where somebody’s son/daughter can do no wrong…) through to combined counties leagues where expectant, talented lads are trying to be picked up, and the odd ex jobbing pro is still getting a hefty whack to wheeze his way through 90 minutes, being shouted at & threatened happens all the time. The main issue is that nobody ever thinks that they have fouled anyone else, and that everybody always feels hard done by when a decision goes against them, granted its human nature to always think you are right (in the main, obviously) and that “but he was pushing me Ref”!! will mean that what you did, at the same time, or to instigate said pushing, warrants a decision in your favour. Until we crack down on this at all levels nothing will ever change,...

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Published By: Fottball 365 - Tuesday, 17 April, 2018







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