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Archive for October, 2017

Chelsea

Chelsea

The Club

 

For years, The Blues were one of the ‘big’ clubs in England without much success. League titles were a rarity, while FA Cup runs and having good players was the norm. Since Roman Abramovich bought into the club in the early 2000s, though, they’ve won league tiles, domestic cups and even the European Cup.

 

They are without doubt among the biggest clubs in England today, with their love of continental superstars and an affluent fan base now having the real financial clout to ensure they maintain their position.

 

16-17 – How Was It?

 

Awesome! Expected to struggle under Italian coach Antonio Conte, Chelsea dominated the league and carried out a league record unbeaten run. Their impressive nature set the tone for a season that seen them win the league with exceptional ease, merely delayed by the good form of others not allowing the gap to extend even further.

 

They won the league in some style, building a team that can easily be seen as one of the most impressive in the country. Sweeping all before them, only an FA Cup loss can be seen as a blight on a dream debut season for the coach.

 

17-18 – What Lies Ahead?

 

Next season, though, will be tougher. European football returns, as does the now-famous Chelsea transfer inertia. Little work has been done so far, with not much going on in the terms of ins or outs. The departure of club legend John Terry is a huge blow in terms of experience, and a lack of movement to build a new spine to a rather ageing side should be of interest to many other clubs.

 

We expect that Chelsea will be in a league hunt for much of the season, but European success is what we believe will be prioritized by both player and coach. Consecutive league titles are huge – but a European trophy would be even moreso for both Conte and the club.

 

October 12, 20170 commentsRead More
Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

The Club

 

Spurs are a perennial also-ran, having not win the league since Bill Nicholson in the 60s. European success in the form of two UEFA Cups occurred in the past, while they have been known for having some of the best English players and foreign imports since the 1990s. from Kilnsmann and Modric to Bale and Harry Kane, Spurs have had some rather fantastic players pull on their white jersey over the years, despite their relative lack of trophies.

 

16-17 – How Was It?

 

Impressive. The club looked set to challenge for the league, but the irrepressible form of Chelsea made that nearly impossible. Unable to compete, they fell away and secured a strong 2nd-place finish as well as reaching the FA Cup semi-finals. They also finally finished ahead of rivals Arsenal, a hoodoo that had stood over the club for decades.

 

It was a good season, but their poor Wembley performances both in Europe and in the cup competitions ensured that another season ended with progress but nothing tangible to show for it outside of another year of easy qualification for the Champions League.

 

17-18 – What Lies Ahead?

 

A title challenge, IF they can get used to the Wembley problem. Last year ensured that the team did not feel at home and if that continues this year, it could become a problematic issue for the fans and the club. New blood is needed, too, with a slow transfer window no doubt frustrating the club and its fans.

 

With most of their competition signing players en masse or even circling around Tottenham themselves to pick up some stars, it will come down to how well they adapt to Wembley and how they can best go about investing in playing staff.

 

 

October 5, 20170 commentsRead More
Manchester City

Manchester City

The Club

Having been a rather also-ran club, the poor neighbours of Manchester United, for most of their long history, Manchester City struck gold when they were bought in 2008. In the 9 years since, they’ve lifted the league twice and become a continuous challenger across the board, winning the FA Cup and League Cup on multiple occasions. European progress is yet to be found once again to add to their sole Cup Winners Cup, but the Citizens, under coach Pep Guardiola, have the chance to forge a genuine dynasty.

16-17 – How Was It?

Transitional. Guardiola spent a lot of time finding out who was going to be good enough in the long-term, with a brutal rebuild job seeing many players move on from the club and new ones come in. A rebirth looks under way, but the season itself was a bit of a let-down as Pep got used to the league and took things a step further.

Their lack of silverware was a problem for some fans, but a season gone under Pep means that he’ll be closer to establishing a side that can easily compete at the top end next year.

17-18 – What Lies Ahead?

The league. We believe that fast-acting City, who have made some very smart signings – including our summer pick Bernardo Silva – is sure to see the club move forward. Many other big names are being linked, too, as it looks like Guardiola wants to ensure that season two comes with some impressive titles. He’s one of the most impressive coaches in the country – can he move further ahead using his undoubted expertise to get there?

We suspect that a title win would not be beyond their reach. City have one of the best teams in the country, so with new additions they could be truly take the entire league by storm.

October 2, 20170 commentsRead More