Tag Archives: Manchester United

USHERING IN THE 2018/19 PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON

By Lennox Kimtai

The 2018/19 Premier League season is here. How time flies! Just the other day we were enjoying the World Cup in Russia. Talking of the World Cup, I must say it was one of the best, if not THE best world cup tournament I have ever watched.

The drama started early in the group stages, where the 2014 winners Germany were eliminated. Coming into the tournament, Germany was one of the favorites to lift the trophy. They had just won the Confederations Cup with a squad that was mainly made up of under-23s. There was no doubt about their quality. The only explanation for their early exit is that they underrated their opponents.

Looking at the overall performance of teams, I must say I was impressed by the smaller teams such as Switzerland, Sweden, Russia and Serbia which had hitherto been expected to pose little threat. It is a clear indication that any well-organized team can outshine a traditional football heavyweight.

The Croatia Vs France final was an amazing one. After a 3-0 drabbing of Lionel Messi’s Argentina, we knew that the Croats were up to something great. Personally, I was rooting for Croatia in the final but they just couldn’t replicate their form against other teams in the final. Although they dominated the midfield and controlled the tempo of the game, they were too shy in front of goal.

Anyway, congrats to Les Bleus!

Now back to the Premier League. Clubs have been busy reinforcing their squads since the season ended in May. The summer transfer window has been a busy one, with almost every club making a major signing. Let’s have a look at some of the transfers.

Chelsea

Former Chelsea coach Antonia Conte was replaced by Maurizio Sarri. Antonio Conte apparently failed to meet the expectations of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who has a habit of changing managers almost every season. His lowest point was selling Diego Costa, perhaps the best striker in the premier league when he was at Chelsea.

Sarri has brought in a couple of players. The first is Kepa Arrizabalaga (goal keeper), Mateo Kovacic (defender), Jorginho (midfielder) and Robert Green (Goal keeper). Looks like decent signings. Having lost Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid, Kepa is a great replacement.

Manchester United

Manchester United didn’t really do much in the transfer Window. Only three players have signed for the Manchester club: Diogo Dalot (defender), Fred (midfielder), and Lee Grant (goalkeeper). Mourinho was unable to land most of his targets so it could be a difficult season for the Red Devils. I can picture Mourinho employing his infamous defense tactics when playing against tougher opponents.

Arsenal

The Gunners go into the new season without their former manager Arséne Wenger who has been with the North London outfit for 22 years. It looks like we are going to see a new arsenal under Unai Emery. The former PSG head brought in a number of players: Stephan Lichtsteiner (defender), Bernd Leno (keeper), Lucas Torreira (midfielder), Sokratis Papastathopolous (defender), and Matteo Guendouzi (midfielder).

It will be exciting to see what type of squad Unai Emery will develop, having had tremendous success with PSG and Sevilla. Arsenal looks ready to make a return to Champions League football.

Liverpool

If you look at the current Liverpool, you can’t help but admire Klopp’s genius. He has brought in Naby Keita (midfielder), Allison (keeper), Xherdan Xhaqiri (midfielder) and Fabinho (defender/midfielder).

Having reached the Champions League final last season, it looks like Klopp is hungry for more. With the dangerous trio of Firmino, Mane, and Salah, it looks like Liverpool will contend for every trophy this season.

Manchester City

The Premier League Champions made a few additions to their excellent squad: Philippe Sandler (defender), Riyad Mahrez (midfielder), Daniel Arzani (midfielder). With so many options for nearly every position, Pep Guardiola will easily terrorize opponents with his B team. It looks like the former Barcelona manager might retain the Premier League trophy.

Everton

Everton might look like the underdogs in this list but going by their activities in the transfer window, we can conclude that they are serious about winning the premier league. On deadline day, the Merseyside club completed a deal for Yeri Mina (permanent deal) and Andre Gomes (loan) from Barcelona. The club also signed Brazilian midfielder Bernard. With great players like Tosun and Sigurdsson already in the team, the new additions will enable Everton to fight for a top-four spot.

Tottenham has made history as the only club not to have made a signing in the summer transfer window. This means that Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino will open the club’s new stadium with the same squad that finished third in the 2017/18 season. Despite the fact that they have a strong squad, the absence of a new signing may come to haunt them.

As the new season begins, I hope the league remains competitive to the end. I wouldn’t want Man City to retain the title.

WRITER BIO: Lennox Kimtai is a content writer who is passionate about football. Apart from football, he writes on a wide range of topics such as self-improvement and productivity. Check out his blog here and here.

 

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‘DAT GUY WELBZ’ IS BACK, AND YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!!

We have been treated to a couple of amazing soccer comebacks this past week, with the most dramatic being in the Manchester derby, where we saw the Red Devils coming back from two goals down to win the match against Manchester City (see my comments about the game here).

That game was superb to watch as a football fan, especially, the 2nd half, but that is not why I am writing this piece.

I want to talk about another comeback, this time, an individual one.

Danny Welbeck is back, people, and my faith in Arsenal (not Arsene) is slowly being restored. I can’t help but get a little bit emotional about his recovery and glorious return to form. He has been through so much since May 2015 owing to severe knee injuries, and this has had a profound impact on his career, his confidence, and his game. I firmly believe that his relentless spirit is what has brought his career back to life, and seeing him being able to play, and do so with the same pizzazz he had when he moved to the Emirates, is nothing short of a miracle.

That is why it is so annoying to see people try to bring him down when you can clearly see he is giving his best. Yes, I am talking about those individuals who were harshly criticizing him for not being able to score yesterday against Southampton from this beautiful pass from Wilshere. Granted, he was only about three yards away from goal, and to most people, it was an obvious shot. But, he wasn’t able to stretch far enough to get his foot in, and that is perfectly okay with me. He tried; he missed, but, he tried!

It is also okay that he missed because I do not want him putting his limbs in egregious harm again.  Who knows what would have happened if he had just stretched enough? Who knows what kind of pressure that would be putting on his healing form? For me, it’s better a Welbeck who misses a couple of chances here and there, but he’s taking care of himself on the field, and he’s playing in most games; than, a Welbeck who scores an amazing goal, tears one of his knee tendons, and cannot play for the rest of the season. He is a long term investment, and we need to be seeing him contribute regularly to the growth of our team.

And why are we being such gigantic pricks right now? How can we let the fact that he missed one opportunity overshadow the fact that he scored TWICE in yesterday’s game, and also had an assist? How can we play down the fact that he scored his first goal in seven months yesterday? We’ve had a horrid season, and I cannot believe we are takig his return for granted.

Anyway, I’m just glad he’s BACK, I’m glad he’s BETTER, and I’m definitely glad that he’s SCORING AGAIN!!

We are so glad to have you back, Welbz, please keep scoring for us! (I cannot wait for the day I’ll be writing a piece on Cazorla’s comeback, keeping my fingers crossed!!!)

PS: You can catch my comments about the rest of the game on my YouTube Channel.