Premier League predictions: round 26

Here are our predictions for the Premier League yet again! After the last round, Dan took five points, I got a dismal four and Alf took ten. One-zero. Ten.

Dan’s now on 95, I’m on 117 and Alf is sitting well clear on 128. But, as Liverpool have shown us time and time again, no lead is too big to blow.

Onwards we go!

Fulham v Manchester United

Alf: Manchester United won 5 of their 5 away games in all competitions while Fulham are still being Fulham. Ranieri’s not going to keep his job if he failed to win games – this one won’t be the one if he’s to achieve the target. FUL 1-3 MUN

Dan: Ok, so Fulham have conceded 55 goals. Nine more than literally any other team in the league. United have Antony Martial, Paul Pogba, and Marcus Rashford. Look away if murder disturbs you. FUL 1-4 MUN

Oli: Fulham are pretty awful defensively, as I mention every week, having conceded 55 in 25. Manchester United have just moved into fifth and would like to push on into the Champions League slots. They’ll win this easily. FUL 1-3 MUN

Watford v Everton

Alf: The “Marco Silva derby” part 2. Everton are pretty inconsistent these days and last time out, it was a 2-2 draw with Digne scored a last minute goal to save the Toffees. I believe that it’ll be a draw, yet again, for both sides and this time, goalkeepers will be busy. WAT 0-0 EVE

Dan: Everton’s solitary win in their last five game against Huddersfield, which is pretty pathetic. Watford haven’t won in four games. Two similar sides in need of points go at it, but both will come out with less than they wanted. WAT 1-1 EVE

Oli: I don’t like picking my own team to lose. But Everton really aren’t playing well recently and I don’t see any reason why they’re going to improve. Watford are actually pretty decent this season, and they’ll take the three points. WAT 2-1 EVE

Huddersfield Town v Arsenal

Alf: Remember last time out when Emery faced a new manager of a club in relegation zone? That’s right, they lost 3-2. While I’ll still expect them to win the game, it’s another away game for Arsenal and they’ll leak goals. This is why I won’t have high standards on this one. HUD 1-3 ARS

Dan: It’s Huddersfield. Not much else to say here. HUD 0-4 ARS

Oli: Arsenal have just been well beaten by Manchester City, which has to sting a little. Their earlier momentum has really slowed, and they’re down to sixth in the table. However, Huddersfield. HUD 0-3 ARS

Southampton v Cardiff City

Alf: RIP Emi Sala. You’ll be missed. Sorry for the short description but I truly hope that Cardiff will win this one. SOU 1-1 CAR

Dan: Both sides have the uncanny ability to get points where it matters. However, both struggle away. While I think this will be close, Southampton should get a vital three points at home. SOU 1-0 CAR

Oli:  I don’t normally pick Cardiff to take points, because come on. But they’re not doing so badly now, with a win against Bournemouth last week. I’m genuinely really worried about Southampton, because if they get relegated, all of their talent will go to Liverpool for peanuts. But I don’t think they’ll win this one. SOU 1-1 CAR

Crystal Palace v West Ham United

Alf: Palace are unbeaten in their last three games while West Ham are winless in their last three games. I guess it’s not hard for us to predict the winner, no? That’s right, the home side, who’ll do everything to preserve their winning run. CRY 2-0 WHU

Dan: Some how, crazily, West Ham picked up points against Liverpool. Yet they still haven’t won in four and will be a bit shaky. Draw for me. CRY 0-0 WHU

Oli: West Ham United have been slowly creeping their way up the table for a while, and they’ve just drawn against Liverpool – not a bad result. They’ll win this. CRY 1-2 WHU

Liverpool v Bournemouth

Alf: There will be a familiar name for LFC fans in this game. It’s Dominic Solanke, who left them in search for more playing time. Despite of that, this will never change the fact that Liverpool will prevail in this 90 minutes. Oh well… LIV 2-0 BOU

Dan: Ah Bournemouth, 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea one week, 2-0 loss to Cardiff the next. Yet Liverpool have now drawn twice in a row against mid table sides, and I the Bournemouth that thrashed Chelsea will turn up and hold the reds yet again. LIV 1-1 BOU

Oli: I’m getting the feeling Liverpool won’t win this one. I’m not sure what’s giving me that feeling. Maybe it’s optimism at the potential of the Reds throwing another lead away. Maybe it’s realisation that they can’t keep this going. Maybe it’s Maybelline. But Liverpool won’t win this. LIV 2-2 BOU

Brighton and Hove Albion v Burnley

Alf: Brighton are winless in their last three PL games while Burnley recorded 3 draws out of 3. To be honest, this will be naturally a draw as no one seems to have the quality to beat the other team. But I’ll predict a Brighton win if I have to pick a winner. BHA 1-1 BUR

Dan: Yet another draw! The Clarets are still yet to lose in the league in 201, but like Liverpool, have drawn their last two. With Burnley having a thing for drawing on the road, and Brighton an opponent of fairly similar stature, another draw seems the correct result for me. BHA 1-1 BUR

Oli: Yeah, this is looking like a draw. I’d explain more, but Dan and Alf have basically hit the nail on the head. BHA 1-1 BUR

Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City

Alf: A hard time to believe for Tottenham fans as Alli and Kane are out, which resulted in a weaker attack of the Tottenham team. But Tottenham will still be the winners of the game as they don’t play as individuals. Teamwork will win them games. TOT 1-0 LEI

Dan: Life finds a way. So does Mauricio Pochettino. With no budget, and his stars injured, he still gets results. A true great of the modern game. I love Poch. Oh, and Tottenham will win. But Poch is great! TOT 2-0 LEI

Oli: Tottenham, without basically everyone, still seem to find a way to play well. So many times, Spurs have turned nothing into something, and I see that happening again here. TOT 2-1 LEI

Manchester City v Chelsea

Alf: A proper dress rehearsal for the Carabao Cup final later this month. City won against Arsenal but Chelsea will be wary of the attacking combos of the home side. Nevertheless, Kepa, as a newcomer of the league, will have a hard time at the Etihad. MCY 2-0 CHE

Dan: So much of this result depends on which Chelsea turns up. Will it be the Chelsea that lost to Bournemouth. Or the one that beat City earlier in the season? I think it’ll be a mix – A Chelsea capable of giving City a game, but not winning. MCY 2-1 CHE

Oli: City really need to up their game, as we move into the final stretch of the season. They’ll throw their all at this match. Chelsea, meanwhile… who knows, really? If I was a Chelsea fan I wouldn’t be happy with their recent results, and I wouldn’t be happy with this one either. MCY 3-1 CHE

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Newcastle United

Alf: The wolves are bouncing back from their poor run and the magpies are flying under turbulence. Another magpie dinner for the home side on the cards. WOL 2-0 NEW

Dan: Honestly, Newcastle will do the opposite of what I tip no matter what. But look, Wolves are in much better form, despite the Tyne side’s win over City. They’re deservedly seventh and Newcastle is still inconsistent. Wolves win for me. WOL 3-1 NEW

Oli: Wolves really aren’t doing too badly right now. They just beat the greatest football team of all time, Everton, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they won this one fairly convincingly too. WOL 2-0 NEW

Premier League: Our round 25 predictions

Holy shit, we did not tip the last round one. I got four points last round, Alf got three, and Oliver got two. Youch.

Points? Dan: 90 Oliver: 113 Alf: 118. Sober viewing.

On with the tipping!

Tottenham vs Newcastle

Dan

There’s nothing more mid-table/relegation battle team than beating a top four team one week then losing to another next week. 2-1 Tottenham

Oliver

Newcastle just beat City, for crying out loud. They’re starting to finally look like a pretty good football team. Spurs only stumbled their way over the line against Watford and I can’t see them winning this – but I don’t see them losing either. 1-1 draw

Alf

Pochettino will be glad that Son is back as South Korea are eliminated in the Asian Cup final. On the other hand, their opponents, Newcastle, just beat Manchester City at home. The firepower will improve but the fact that Kane and Alli are out doesn’t go away. 2-0

Everton vs Wolves

Dan

Two teams that aren’t really any better or worse than each other play. Will be close, can go any way, so it’s a draw for me. 1-1 draw

Oliver

Wolves and Everton are about as good as each other at this point. Everton’s home advantage will certainly give them a leg up, and I think that’s all it will take for the Toffees to win and overtake Wolves into seventh. 2-1 Everton

Alf

Wolves’ victory against West Ham propelled them to 7th place. Everton won against Huddersfield away, yet Digne’s suspension may affect how Marco Silva alter his preferred tactics. Points shared. 1-1 draw

Chelsea vs Huddersfield

Dan

Chelsea might be really frustratingly inconsistent, but, still. It’s fucking Huddersfield. If Sarri’s team can’t win this one, they will have really, really, big problems. 3-0 Chelsea

Oliver

Alf

It was so pleasing to see the “haha” emojis at full-time on the post on the official Chelsea account on FB after their defeat against Bournemouth. On the other hand, I feel sorry for Huddersfield, who had a hard time in playing well against Everton – you guessed it, it’s going to be tougher for them. 2-0 Chelsea

Brighton vs Watford

Dan

Brighton haven’t managed to win for four games and they’re coming off a loss to Fulham, of all teams. Watford are a quality side and should be able to narrowly dispatch of the seagulls. 1-0 Watford

Oliver

Watford are certainly a better side than Brighton and played well against Spurs, even if they went down. I’d pick Watford to win if they were at home, but they’re not, so they don’t. 1-1 draw

Alf

Brighton lost to relegation struggles Fulham in a goal fest. Watford lost to Tottenham in the London derby, yet a close call for both sides. Both sides are equally strong, but Watford will be able to snatch a draw, in minimum. 2-1 Watford

Burnley vs Southampton

Dan

Sean Dyche stopped Solskjaer’s and Man United’s winning run, Burnley hasn’t lost in 2019, Dyche has gotten The Clarets back on track. Southampton aren’t to bad but Burnley should win this with the form they are in 2-1 Burnley

Oliver

Both Southampton and Burnley are doing quite nicely at the moment. Ralph Hasenhuettl’s adjusted spectacularly to Southampton’s playing style and I’d expect them, for that reason, to just pip Burnley at the post. 3-2 Southampton

Alf

It’s going to be an interesting game (pun intended) with both teams of 23 points. Burnley and Southampton are eager to remain in the Premier League and neither side would want to lose. Last time. it was a 0-0 draw. Will the fear be repeated this time? 1-1 draw

Crystal Palace vs Fulham

Dan

Palace aren’t doing to badly, giving Liverpool a mighty good game, knocking Tottenham out of the FA Cup, and getting a draw with Southampton with just ten men. On the other side, it’s kinda Fulham. Palace should take the three points. 1-0 Crystal Palace

Oliver

Yes, I know Fulham aren’t doing well. And I know their defence is a mess. But Crystal Palace had Wilf Zaha sent off last week and I think that’ll really negatively affect them, enough for Fulham to win. 2-1 Fulham

Alf

Yay, it’s another London derby day. Palace, without Zaha, will be an easier target, on paper. But even without Zaha, Townsend, Milivojević and Ayew will still cause problems to the Fulham defence. Ranieri should be wary of this. 2-1 Crystal Palace

Cardiff vs Bournemouth

Dan

The last time I was tipping Bournemouth I asked “remember when Bournemouth was good?” After Bournemouth’s 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea, I’m regretting that. Anyway, after such a dominant performance, Bournemouth shouldn’t have a problem here. 3-1 Bournemouth

Oliver

Off the back of their huge win over Chelsea, I think Bournemouth will win again. It won’t be as big a victory as the one against Chelsea, but they’ll still take a win against an unlucky Cardiff. 2-0 Bournemouth

Alf

I never expected that Bournemouth to thrash Chelsea before the match. It was supposed to be the opposite, but Howe’s men proved otherwise. On the other hand, Cardiff deserved a point, yet Aubameyang and Lacazette proved otherwise. At the same time, we #PrayForSala. 3-0 Bournemouth

Leicester City vs Manchester United

Dan

As much as I hate to admit it going into this game, Leicester are very much giant killers this season and I can very much see them getting something out of this match. Maybe not 3 points, but still. A draw. 1-1 draw

Oliver

Leicester managed to hold Liverpool to a draw last time out, and that’s no mean feat. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s been flying but their winning run stopped against Burnley and I don’t think they’ll win this either. 2-2 draw

Alf

Leicester snatched a precious point from Liverpool. Manchester United made a comeback to do the same. Leicester will be a tricky opponent at home but I believe in Solksjær’s men to get all 3 points at the King Power Stadium. 3-0 Manchester United

Manchester City vs Arsenal

Dan

Both teams will be nervous heading into this. City’s confidence was shaken after the defeat to Newcastle and they don’t want to City gain too much ground. Meanwhile Arsenal are playing Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. I can see this being a nervy goalless draw. 0-0 draw.

Oliver

City know they need to make a statement now. Off the back of a loss to Newcastle, and with Liverpool five points clear, they need to show England what they’re made of. Arsenal’s a great team to do that against. 2-0 Manchester City

Alf

Just because Arsenal are back to winning ways doesn’t mean that they’re fine. They still lack concentration in defence. Against Manchester City, a side who loves attacking, Arsenal are going to lose all 3 points – well, a draw would be a bonus. 3-1 Manchester City

West Ham vs Liverpool

Dan

West Ham have lost their last two matches 4-2 to Wimbledon and 3-0 Wolves. Liverpool are Liverpool. This won’t be pretty. 5-0 Liverpool

Oliver

This will be controversial. Liverpool were stopped last week by Leicester City, and despite West Ham’s dismal performance I think they’ll hold the Reds again. This could be a turning point for the season. 1-1 draw

Alf

It’s very embarrassing to see West Ham with 0 shots on target when they faced Wolves away. I thought that it’s something which will happen only when I play Dream League Soccer. While West Ham may have some good memories in facing the Reds, Liverpool are going to bounce back from the draw against Leicester. 3-0 Liverpool

 

 

Why the Denis Suárez deal makes sense and why Barcelona can afford to lose him

Why the Denis Suárez deal makes sense and why Barcelona can afford to lose him

As Denis Suárez is now a Gunner for the rest of the season, it ends all the speculations that Arsenal won’t sign anyone in the January window. Even though it’s just a loan deal, it pleases both parties. Here’s why.


From Arsenal’s point of view

  1. Denis is happy to work with Emery. As Denis worked with Emery in Sevilla before, Arsenal now have two Europa League winners in their team, which will help to boost the confidence of the team in winning the UEL.
  2. Denis is the kind of player they want and need. What Arsenal need is not only someone who can play in both upfront and in midfield (like Özil) but also, a playmaker. Denis is the kind of player who can do all these stuff.
  3. If Denis doesn’t play well, he doesn’t have to be here. Arsenal can opt to activate the release clause of 20 million Euros to get him in the summer. But it’s not obligatory, so I’ll see it just a mere option on the contract.

From Barcelona’s point of view

  1. They get money from the deal, should Arsenal exercise their option to buy. Even if Barcelona don’t get the 20 million in July, Denis’ contract extension to 2021 will preserve his current market value.
  2. They would rather develop de Jong than on Denis. de Jong’s arrival will further reduce Denis’ playing time since it’ll be a total waste of money not to play the Dutchman, at least from Valverde’s perspective.
  3. Denis isn’t in Valverde’s plans, so it makes sense to offload him. Barcelona are crowded with talented midfielders like Arthur Melo, Carles Aleñá and Sergi Roberto. Even Aleñá got more chances than him.

From the player’s own point of view

Let’s be honest, if you were Denis, would you rather be a benchwarmer at Camp Nou or the main man somewhere else? For Suárez himself, he decided to opt for a return to England (he used to play for Manchester City before).


The final verdict 

Provided that Denis doesn’t get a lot of chances under Valverde and the confirmed transfer of Frenkie de Jong, I believe that there’s a high chance that the player will sign a permanent deal with the north London club.
Unless there is something bad happen to Arsenal (or Emery), it would be the best for Denis to be a Gunner in the next season. But of course, like Alcácer’s case, it all depends on what Denis will do in the future.
It can’t be certain for now.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

My thoughts on Emiliano Sala

My thoughts on Emiliano Sala

In England, right now, it’s transfer deadline day. That’s the same across Europe, in fact. At any other deadline day, I’m sure that’s where the football world’s attention would be almost exclusively directed. Who’s going where? What deals are going to shock us? How long can Spurs go without signing anyone?

But I’ll be honest, I almost completely forgot about the transfer window’s impending closure, and I think a lot of football fans have done the same. That’s not because this year’s January has been any more dull – ok, maybe it has – but because of the disappearance of Emiliano Sala, Cardiff City’s record signing whose plane went missing on the way from Nantes over to south Wales. It was January 21st when the plane left France and the day after that it was confirmed Sala was on board the aircraft. It’s now the 31st of January, ten days after Sala was due to arrive at his new club. In that week-and-a-half, I believe we’ve seen the best of the footballing community.

Image result for emiliano sala

After days of searching, efforts were called off on the 24th of January because Channel Islands Air Search just didn’t think it was possible to find Sala or pilot Dave Ibbotson. In the space of two days – that’s 48 hours – after the search was called off, donors had raised £260,000. That’s close to $500k in NZD. And that was in two days.

Just look at the way Nantes fans acted yesterday in their match against Saint-Etienne. The match was stopped in the ninth minute to allow the fans to have a tribute, with tifos and chanting all around. And it’s not like the Nantes fans stopped there – they kept chanting Sala’s name for goodness knows how long. There were even Cardiff City fans at the game that had flown over from Wales just for that.

Image result for nantes sala

Football – like any other sport, really – can be pretty divisive at times. Our tribalistic instincts really do come to the forefront when we’re in support mode. I could look at this in a more negative sense and argue that it’s sad that we need an event like this to bring people together. But instead, I think it says a lot about it that we come together in the first place. There are other walks of life where it seems anything that harms opposition is a benefit for yourself. Politics, especially, is an example of an environment where this seems to ring true.

Football fans around the world have put our differences aside for this. It’s the same way Dortmund fans put their allegiances aside and welcomed Monaco fans into their homes after the BVB bus bombing. It’s the same way the Premier League collectively mourned Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha after his unfortunate death in a helicopter accident. And there are other, perhaps more humorous examples that could be given.

When you’re 1-0 down in a football match at halftime, rolling over and not bothering to contest the second half is probably the worst possible thing you could do. Anyone who knows anything about football knows that you’re best off fighting onwards together, as a unit, as a team. You won’t get anywhere if the centre-backs disagree on who should take throw-ins and the wingers won’t cross the ball in cause they don’t think the forwards are any good. You do best together, and it seems with the events of the past two weeks, the football world’s realised that, and done it.

Image credit: http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/480/cpsprodpb/34A8/production/_105408431_hi052008761.jpg

and  http://sf2.sport365.fr/wp-content/uploads/se/2017/08/sala-750×410.jpg

Premier League: Our Round 24 predictions

Another week, another round of premier league football. And another few hours of me scrambling to get everyone’s tips. Folks, say hello to this week’s tips.

Alf really has overtaken Oliver recently, and retains that lead heading into round 24. He’s on 115, Oliver is on 109, and I’m on 85. *mournful sigh*

On with the tipping!

Arsenal vs Cardiff

Dan

It’s been a real tough week for Cardiff fans after the disappearance of Emiliano Sala. As much as I want them to bounce back in the right way, it’s still Arsenal. And they’re still Cardiff. It hurts to predict this. 2-0 Arsenal

Oliver

Cardiff City are going through a difficult time at the moment both on the field and off it. They’re sitting in eighteenth and club-record signing Emiliano Sala has gone missing off Alderney. It’s not looking good for them against Arsenal but I think they’ll make it closer than expected. 2-1 Arsenal

Alf

Sure, Arsenal lost their last game against Manchester United. But it’s a United side rejuvenated under Solksjær, so I’m fine with it. On the other hand, Cardiff are really bad these days. It’s a good time for Aubameyang to grab a hat-trick in the Premier League. 3-0 Arsenal

Fuham vs Brighton

Dan

Fulham were desperately unlucky to lose to Tottenham the other week, and now, they’re rested coming up against a good at times, yet inconsistent Brighton who will be frustrated after West Brom forced them into a replay in the FA Cup. I’ll pick Fulham for this one, though not confidently. 2-1 Fulham

Oliver

Brighton’s last two PL games have been against superior opponents in Liverpool and Manchester United, and so Fulham will be a match they’ll be looking forward. Fulham are Fulham, so that’s all I need to say there. 3-1 Brighton

Alf

Being knocked out of the FA Cup has its perks since they have more time to rest. Brighton just forced West Brom to a replay. With tired players, I believe that Fulham can seize the chance to look for a win. 1-0 Fulham

Wolves vs West Ham

Dan

Losses to Brighton and being shockingly dumped out of the FA Cup by Wimbledon ended West Ham’s purple patch of form. Sure, Wolves got held to a replay by Shrewsbury, but unlike their opponents they’ll have the home advantage and confidence to boot. 1-0 Wolves

Oliver

We’ve got two sides with very, very similar records going up against each other. Wolves are eighth, WHU are tenth, both with a goal difference of -4 and nine wins from 23. How could this not be a draw? 1-1 draw

Alf

The Wolves are on fire at home and they’re not a team to be looked down on. On the other hand, West Ham were humiliated by AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup. I see the home side at least drawing this one, well, if not winning. 1-1 draw

Huddersfield vs Everton

Dan

If Huddersfield’s managerial change is going to make a difference, then this is a golden opportunity for Siewert to install some confidence and belief in his side ahead of tough clashes against Arsenal and Chelsea. And against an inconsistent Everton, I think they’ll just scrape a result. 1-0 Huddersfield

Oliver

So Everton may have just lost a cup match to a team divisions below them… but it’s Huddersfield. They’re the weakest team in the league, and everyone knows it. Even Everton will have no problem overrunning them. 2-0 Everton

Alf

Yet another home game against a strong side after the Manchester City defeat for Huddersfield. This will be Jan Siewert’s maiden game in England after Wagner’s resignation. Everton will want to continue their scoring streak, if not a winning one. 2-0 Everton

Newcastle vs Manchester City

Dan

You know, if it wasn’t for Mike Ashley Newcastle might actually have a chance of being at least competitive in this game. 3-0 Manchester City

Oliver

City know that they can’t be dropping points any more. Liverpool are ahead, and any points dropped is a gain for their opponents. With that in mind, I can see City scoring a few here to try to make a statement. 4-1 Everton

Alf

The magpies are really inconsistent these days. Against Manchester City, I don’t believe that they’ll win. At all. For City, I believe that they’ll score at least 3 goals without reply. This is Guardiola! 3-0 Manchester City

Manchester United vs Burnley

Dan

The Red Devils just keep on winning, don’t they! Burnley might go full defensive mode, but given how United are playing? Nothing is stopping the Solskjaer train. 2-0 Manchester United

Oliver

Burnley have got home advantage in this tie and they’ve not lost a league match since Round 19. Solskjaer’s got United flying, though, and I can’t see the Clarets stopping that momentum. They could, however, slightly slow it down. 2-1 Manchester United

Alf

This should be no contest at all since Burnley are really shit these days. Enough said. {Editors note: When Alf swears you know you’re really bad} 4-0 Manchester United

Southampton vs Crystal Palace

Dan

Despite their contrasting form in the FA Cup in the league, this is a very difficult match to call, with two quite even teams. So I’ll go with the option that won’t please either team. 1-1 draw

Oliver

So’ton are coming into this in better form than their opposition and frankly I can see why. The Saints are a place below Palace at the moment but I can see that changing after this match. 2-0 Southampton

Alf

I still can’t believe that Palace beat Tottenham and knocked them out of the FA Cup. This should be enough to build a momentum for them to win more games and a visit to St Mary’s shouldn’t be hard for them. 1-2 Crystal Palace

AFC Bournemouth vs Chelsea

Dan

Remember when Bournemouth were good? No, me neither. Chelsea have beaten Sheffield Wednesday and Tottenham since their loss to Arsenal and should have built up enough confidence to comfortably dispatch the cherries. 3-1 Chelsea

Oliver

This is much the same situation as Burnley against United – Bournemouth’s home advantage won’t be enough for them to take a point, especially given their downward spiral, but they should still dampen Chelsea’s play somewhat. 1-0 Chelsea

Alf

What’s wrong with Bournemouth these days? They used to be quite good but no, they started to have a shaky form. Despite of that, Chelsea’s dressing room started to be a little bit unstable after the Arsenal game. Can they nick a draw from the Blues? 1-1 draw

Liverpool vs Leicester City

Dan

Leicester are tough to predict in games like this, as they’ve been giant killers a few times already this season. Still, at home, Liverpool should win. Should. 1-0 Liverpool

Oliver

We’ve got the victors of a 4-3 match against the losers of one in this tie. Liverpool are absolutely flying and I can’t see their momentum harmed here, especially given Leicester’s poor play as of late and the pressure on Claude Puel to turn things around. 4-0 Liverpool

Alf

Both Liverpool and Leicester City, who are out of the FA Cup, shouldn’t have any excuses in this game. They have had enough rest and I believe that Liverpool will win, with all their players all guns blazing. 3-0 Liverpool

Tottenham vs Watford

Dan

This is the question that will continue to bug Tottenham until their injury crisis is over: Does their squad have the depth to win this match? For the Watford game, I think no. But they’ll still get a point. 2-2 draw.

Oliver

Here’s my upset. Watford haven’t lost in the league yet this year while Tottenham have been doing the kinds of things you’d expect of Tottenham. With all of the injuries Spurs have had, it’s hard to believe that they’d win this, and I think they’ll lose. 3-2 Watford

Alf

Out of the League Cup and the FA Cup in a row with both of them were London derbies. It’s the third for Tottenham in a week. Both losses and the injury crisis in the team will certainly hit the team morale in the dressing room. A draw would be a fair prediction. 0-0 draw

Premier League: Our round 23 predictions

After a bit of a hiatus, the FootyFans team is back and writing! And you know what we’re doing; It’s premier league predictions time.

Alf has taken the lead and is on 110 points, Oliver follows on 104, and then there is me on 80. That’s depressing.

On with the tipping!

Wolves vs Leicester

Dan

Two teams that are really fighting to be best of the rest and take that coveted seventh spot meet at the Molineux. Neither team is really setting the world alight with their form, and given that both teams are fairly defensive, this has 0-0 written on it. 0-0 draw

Oliver

Both sides lost their last matches, Leicester to Southampton and Wolves to Manchester City. Wolves, however, had centre-back Willy Boly sent off, and for a side with such a strong starting 11 and a lack of reserves, that’s concerning. 2-1 Leicester

Alf

The Wolves were being beaten by a strong Manchester City side away. Leicester lost to strugglers Southampton at home, despite gaining an advantage in numbers. Both sides met each other in the Carabao Cup with a 0-0 draw. I’ll expect goals on this one, though. 1-1 draw

Liverpool vs Crystal Palace

Dan

Ah, Crystal Palace. Liverpool’s banana skin. With some recently impressive away form, and their good record against Liverpool, I can see Palace getting a point out of this. 1-1 draw

Oliver

Palace have always been a bit of a stumbling block for Liverpool. They’ve also got a good record against top-six sides. While I don’t think they’ll manage to pull a win out, I do think they’ll take a point. 1-1 draw

Alf

Palace’s form in the previous games were like a roller coaster. Liverpool, on the other hand, are stable enough to win their games. An away defeat should be expected for the Eagles fans but the team will learn their lessons from Arsenal. 3-0 Liverpool

Watford vs Burnley

Dan

Both teams have started 2019 strongly, and this one will be tight. In the end, it will go down to which team has the stronger side – and that’s Watford. 2-1 Watford

Oliver

Burnley are actually in pretty good nick. They haven’t lost a league match this year and they’re starting to bump their way up the table. Too bad a very good Watford will stop them in their tracks. 2-0 Watford

Alf

The Clarets are currently being dragged out of the relegation zone but no, everything can change if they’re not careful enough. Watford are safe and sound to stay in the Premier League. Burnley may be able to pull a surprise on Watford but highly unlikely. 3-0 Watford

Newcastle vs Cardiff City

Dan

It took Newcastle a replay to beat Blackburn while Cardiff lost to Gillingham and couldn’t beat Huddersfield. This one is gonna come down to whoever is worse on the day, and I’m gonna say that team is going to be Cardiff. 1-0 Newcastle

Oliver

Both of these sides are just really bad, there’s not much else to say. I can’t see either of them even scoring a goal – wait, what’s that? Oumar Niasse is at Cardiff? They’ve got this one then. 2-0 Cardiff

Alf

If you love to see how relegation favourites play against each other, you shouldn’t miss this one. Cardiff are really poor these days while against Blackburn in the FA Cup replay, they displayed their quality to stay in the PL while Cardiff will, well, play like their usual self. 2-0 Newcastle

Manchester United vs Brighton

Dan

At this rate, Ole will get the United job full time at the end of the season as the red devils rampage up the table. A team will hold them eventually, but that team ain’t Brighton. 3-1 United

Oliver

I won’t even try to justify this. Ole’s flying. Brighton are… well… Brighton. They can put up their little paper defence and United are gonna put their shredder right through it. This could be bigger, mind. 4-0 United

Alf

Under Solskjær, United are improving while Brighton under Hughton are stagnating. Arsenal fans must hope that United will lose this one as their club will drop to 6th if Arsenal lose the London derby later. 3-0 United

Bournemouth vs West Ham

Dan

Bournemouth have been struggling while West Ham have been winning. It’ll be confidence that wins this. 3-2 West Ham

Oliver

Bournemouth are really on a decline. They were sitting up pretty nicely for quite a while, just south of the top six, and now they’re down to twelfth. West Ham are a team on the up and should take a win here. 3-1 West Ham

Alf

I believe that it’ll be an equal contest between Howe and Pelligrini’s men. West Ham, though, will have a bigger chance to win as they beat Arsenal last week, which will, supposedly, give them a mentality boost. 1-1 draw

Southampton vs Everton

Dan

This should be a game that ends up with an Everton win, but the toffees just have no consistency. With Southampton continually improving in the prem at least under Hassenhuttl, Southampton should nick three points. 2-1 Southampton

Oliver

Oh, Everton, the ever-inconsistent mid-table team everyone loves to feel indifferent about. I’m of course hoping that this match swings in their favour, especially since Southampton are missing the suspended Valery. And I think they’ll take a win. 2-0 Everton

Alf

Southampton are winning games while Everton are pretty stale at the moment. I’m sorry, Oliver, but Southampton really can cause problems to your club and yeah, they’re capable of pulling an upset to the away fans. 1-0 Southampton

Arsenal vs Chelsea

Dan

There’s just no consistency from ethier side here. This can really go anyway, and both sides can really be world class on their day. As this can go any way, I’ll bet on the points being shared. 2-2 draw

Oliver

This will be a tight match. Not long ago, I would have picked Arsenal to win, but they’ve been a little off recently. Chelsea just keep Chelseaing along, and I think they’ve got just enough to get the win despite being away from home. 2-1 Chelsea

Alf

If Arsenal want to be back to Top 4, they mustn’t lose this one. While they have had a pretty decent record against Chelsea at home, the away side will want to extend their lead in the table. The home team? If they can’t win this one, at least salvage a point! 1-1 Draw

Huddersfield Town vs Manchester City

Dan

Solskjaer’s appointment at United showed just how much a managerial change can effect players. While I doubt Wagner’s will spark a similar run of form for the Terriers, I think they might just be able to give City a game. 1-0 Manchester City

Oliver

We’ve got the last-placed team against the side that should be top. It’ll get big. City might be away from home but I’d still pick them to score a lot of goals, the way they do. Three? Not enough. Four? Maybe a couple more. 6-0 Manchester City

Alf

Huddersfield may be hitting the rock bottom of the PL table but they’re not leaking goals like they did in the past. They started to know how to hit the back of the net too, so as the home side, while very unlikely, they may be able to pull a surprise upset on the champions. 2-0 Manchester City

Fulham vs Tottenham

Dan

Son out, Kane out, Dembele sold, Spurs are a little down on luck right now. And you know what? Despite how trash Fulham have been, I think Caludio Raineri will do a Claudio Raineri and upset Poch & Co. 2-1 Fulham

Oliver

It’s much the same with Fulham and Spurs. Despite their large injury numbers, Spurs should still take a confident win here, especially given Fulham’s dismal defensive record. 4-0 Tottenham

Alf

Kane’s injured. Son’s playing for South Korea. Let’s be honest, this will hurt Tottenham’s chances to score loads of goals. But I still believe that they’ll win the London derby because in reality, they’ll need just one. 1-0 Tottenham

 

Results doesn’t matter, planning does – what FC Barcelona really needs for the time ahead

Results doesn’t matter, planning does – what FC Barcelona really needs for the time ahead

After an admirer of Barcelona, I started to gain more understanding of the club. While I like the first team a lot, I spotted a few things which made me feel a bit uncertain about the future of Barça.

Well, I’m no expert in football, but from my perspective as a follower myself, here are the 5 reasons that FC Barcelona is actually being assessed too highly as a football club.


Reason 1 – Dependence on Leo Messi. 

Without a doubt, Messi is one of the best players in both the history of Barcelona and the world. He’s talented, hard-working and loved by supporters. Well, not only football fans but also, pundits and managers around the globe.

Let’s be honest, though. We all know what happens when Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid. They paid the price, are lacking attacking options with almost all of their strikers misfiring. And seriously, it’s not laughable.

Yes, it’s frustrating to be a Madridista these days, but bear in mind that if Barcelona doesn’t learn from the mistake made by their arch-rivals, the team would be teased at if they’re experiencing the same in the “post-Messi” era.

Football is a team sport. Messi makes everything easier on the pitch but he can’t play forever for Barcelona. The sad thing is that we can’t reverse time to get Messi in his peak form. So deal with it, Culés.


Reason 2 – Their tactics are way too attack-focused.

From the transfer rumours, we know that Barcelona are mainly talking about Neymar, de Jong and Rabiot. While these are essential to Valverde’s “4-3-3” system, they’re missing the essential piece of the puzzle.

Two words needed only. The defence. It may seem not to be a big problem for the team but if Valverde and the scouts of the club don’t realise this, it’ll cost their chances of getting titles in the future.

Piqué is old (31) and started to be error-prone. Jordi Alba is the sole, senior left-back in his position with an inexperienced Miranda as his backup. Valverde should pray that he won’t get injured or he’ll be doomed.

I have no problems with the rest of the defence (e.g. Umtiti, Lenglet and Semedo) but they should also get rid of a few players – with former Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen included – who are not needed in the team.

Some may argue that “attack is the best defence”. But in my opinion, not really. You can’t create a defence which can keep clean sheets every time you play but without a coherent defence, having an excellent attack is nothing.

You can’t stage comebacks every time like that magical night at Camp Nou. Just saying.


Reason 3 – No real leadership at the back despite having Piqué. 

I miss Carles Puyol. He’s not just a defender with curly hair and nods in headers. He’s a leader in the dressing room and is exactly the kind of personality the current Barcelona dressing room need.

Every time I see the goals that the Barcelona defence conceded, I feel that they could have done better in pressing and marking opposition strikers. They’re always outnumbered in their own half and this isn’t a positive sign.

Piqué, as the most experienced defender in the team, should be able to command the defence. Nevertheless, it seems that he either didn’t want to or is helpless in this issue. Well, if he’s not the solution, he’s the problem.


Reason 4 – Lack of focus on La Masia as a football academy for the future. 

In recent years, Barcelona employs, mostly, a “transfer-based” approach for the development of the first team. Current members, like Suárez, Umtiti and Arthur Melo, are mostly from various countries and clubs around the world.

While there’s no guarantee that they’ll get chances, this is the truth in football, where a competitive environment ensure that the best players will stand out.

At the same time, La Masia may have produced some talents for the team, like Carles Aleñá, Munir and Sergi Roberto. However, not all of them have the chance to prove themselves under Valverde.

The internationals will be given the priority to be in the starting lineup for their abilities. Nonetheless, youngsters – like Chumi, Riqui Puig and Abel Ruiz – deserve to participate in La Liga football, not just in the Copa del Rey.

If the head coach decided to focus on the transfer market instead of their “escolas”, La Masia will only become a place for wannabe stars to dream about being “the next Messi” while crushing them with the harsh fact of reality.


Reason 5 – Too commercialised, mainly on the players and image of the club.

As I’ve mentioned before, Messi is more than just a footballer playing for Barcelona. He may only a part of the club’s history, but his contributions to the club are astonishing. This is why fans are seeing him as an idol.

Without a doubt, the “Messi 10” jersey is one of the most selling kits in the world. The other stars, like Coutinho, Luis Suárez and Dembélé, also get their own franchise. Just visit the FCBotiga and you’ll know why.

Players in this era aren’t just Tom, Dick and Harry who kick the balls for a living. They’re money makers for their clubs too. As a fan who supports a club under a tycoon who sees the club as a cash cow, I’m not surprised at all.

Frankly speaking, Barcelona no longer produces “star players”. They get them from the other clubs and brand them as “stars”. When they leave, either they fade away (like Alex Song) or shine elsewhere (like Paco Alcácer).

Yes, players come and go. Ronaldinho retired while Iniesta departed from the club to join Vissel Kobe in Japan. And for Messi’s case, it’ll be a bit special since there’s only one Leo Messi.

While the current model can help the potential supporters to make their decision in supporting a club and to boost revenue for them. The bad thing is, it associates with the arrival of the so-called “talents” in football.

I’m pretty sure that with Barcelona’s own branding, there won’t be a shortage of players who want to be a part of the Blaugrana squad. The thing is, who’ll be the “next star” when Messi retires? I, honestly, don’t know.

To survive in the football world, Barcelona need both “stars” of the sport and local talents in their squad. Perhaps Bartomeu should think of this. For real and with deep considerations with it.


I like FC Barcelona as both a team and a club as they play good football with a distinctive brand of Catalan pride. However, as someone who follows the club, they’re far from perfect, just like any other team else.

With a defensively inferior team and a lack of planning for the future, Barça will still be a football club with a wide, global influence but it all depends on how Josep Bartomeu and his men will manage the association.

It’s about decisions and a clear direction. Right now, Barcelona are doing fine but without a clear picture in the heads of the management of the club, things may not be in their favour. It’s their choice, after all.

.¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Arsenal and 2018 – a complete review

Arsenal and 2018 – a complete review

2018 is the year when Arséne Wenger decided to pave way for his successor at the Emirates. 2018 is the year when Unai Emery proved his doubters wrong by achieving an amazing unbeaten run with his team.

While it wasn’t plain sailing in the second half of the year, the first half of 2018 wasn’t pretty either. In this article, we’ll be taking a trip down the memory lane to review 2018 as a year for both the team and the fans.


The beginning of the end of the Wenger era.

I’m pretty sure that the football world was shocked to hear that Arsenal were knocked out by Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup last season, an embarrassing feat which never happened under Wenger, until 2018.

The away days in the final days under Wenger weren’t nice either, losing most of the games away from home with the chance of winning the Carabao Cup slipped away by being beaten by Manchester City 3-0 in the final.

There was some good news, though. Wenger’s parting gift to Arsenal, Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, proved to be a solid signing for the team and now, Emery is unleashing his potential to his best.

In Europe, Arsenal reached the semi-finals of the Europa League, where Atlético Madrid progressed to the final thanks to the goal by Diego Costa at the Wanda Metropolitano, which made it 2-1 to the home side.

So basically, Arsenal won nothing at the end of 2017/18 season aside from the FA Community Shield. They were 5th in the Premier League and hence, are currently playing in the Europa League again.


The end of the beginning of the Emery era.

When Unai Emery was presented as the new Arsenal manager, I still could remember that he needed a translating device to his ear in order to understand English. But apparently, he doesn’t need one now.

Emery’s first PL games after moving from PSG ended up with two consecutive losses. However, they were reasonable defeats, considering the opponents were Manchester City under Guardiola and Chelsea under Sarri.

After beating West Ham 3-1 at home, Arsenal endured a 22-game unbeaten run in all competitions, including the  North London derby which was won 4-2 in style, until being beaten by Southampton away 3-2.

Their Carabao Cup journey also came to an end as Tottenham gained their revenge from the loss earlier this month with Son Heung-min and Dele Alli knocking the home side out by their goals.

Arsenal will be seeking for improvement after winning against Burnley and starting another unbeaten run. At the time of writing, Aubameyang is the top scorer of the Premier League. Hopefully, he’ll score more in 2019!


Why Emery proved that he’s more than a boss

Emery may not be at the same level as the top managers in the Premier League, like Klopp, Guardiola and Pochettino, but for a club who needs to rebuild the team like Arsenal, he’s a reasonable choice.

Back then when he was with Valencia and Sevilla, he had the reputation of having the ability to win trophies with a limited budget. This is partly why Arsenal decided to offer him a contract as Kroenke is a Scrooge.

Emery happens to be the right man to replace Wenger. As I’ve written before, Emery is the exact opposite of Wenger who doesn’t allow his men to give up and the mentality instilled is amazing, despite it doesn’t always work.

A positivity-driven coach, Emery is also active on social media and listens to the opinions of the supporters. He’s a bit stubborn to make changes during half-time but sometimes, it proved to create the game-changing moment later.


The best signings in 2018 (and why they are)

Note: This list is in no particular order and is subjective with the preference of the author. 

Lucas Torreira (Uruguay)

I’m too lazy to list them out here. Please refer to my answer on Quora for the details.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)

Aubameyang is now proving his worth in the Premier League not only by scoring goals but also giving assists and helping the team in defence for a little bit. What a signing Wenger made before he left us!

Bernd Leno (Germany)

Despite that he could have done better with the positioning and stuff on the pitch, you can’t really blame him for not keeping clean sheets. One thing for sure, though, is that Leno has the qualities to succeed Čech of his No. 1 shirt.


While there’s a huge chance that Arsenal won’t be winning anything these days, it’ll be interesting to see how Emery and his boys will do in 2019. It’s going to be tough, but I believe that they’ll weather the storm eventually.

On a side note, on behalf of the team, I would like to announce that FootyFans will be taking a break in predicting Premier League fixtures. We’ll be back in 2019. See you later soon!

Premier League – Round 18 predictions

Premier League – Round 18 predictions

Hello there, folks! It’s me again. Dan’s AFK at the moment (for a certain reason, of course) and I’m here to deliver our predictions of the Round 18 of the Premier League this season. Onto the tipping!


Wolves vs Liverpool 

“Wolves are the home side this time but against Liverpool, who are currently still unbeaten in the Premier League, fingers crossed that they won’t get the three home points. 1-0 Liverpool” (Alf)

” What’s happened with Wolves? They were sitting in mid-table, and now they’re seventh. One would expect them to put up a good fight against Liverpool. That said, the Pool are top of the division, so… 2-1 Liverpool” (Oliver)

Arsenal vs Burnley 

“Arsenal lost to Tottenham in the League Cup but that’s okay. They’ll play at home again, against Burnley who hasn’t been doing well these days. No thrashing like last time but a goal or two will settle things down. 2-0 Arsenal” (Alf)

“Arsenal might have lost last week to Southampton, of all teams, but that was away from home and Burnley are really, really bad. Arsenal should do enough to take the three points. 2-0 Arsenal” (Oliver)

Huddersfield vs Southampton

“Southampton gained the momentum to survive by beating Arsenal while Huddersfield didn’t show much improvement to prove their worth to stay in the PL. The winner of this game is obvious. 2-0 Southampton.” (Alf)

“After their win last weekend, Southampton will be on somewhat of a high. Will it be enough to get a win away in Huddersfield? No. But they should take something from the match, even if it’s just a point. 1-1 draw” (Oliver)

Bournemouth vs Brighton

“Well well well. What do we have here? Brighton’s win can leapfrog Bournemouth of their position but no, the Cherries aren’t giving up and you know what happens next. 2-1 Bournemouth” (Alf)

“What’s happened to Bournemouth? They were going so well and it’s all started to go upside down for them. Brighton have done worse over the course of the season but I’d still expect them to win. 2-0 Brighton” (Oliver)

Manchester City vs Crystal Palace 

“City are still unstoppable despite losing to Chelsea and it’s Crystal Palace who struggled against Leicester, so winning big shouldn’t be a problem for them. 3-0 City” (Alf)

“City have been the best team in the league this season, in my opinion, and they’ve been making their dominance known. Crystal Palace are… well. Crystal Palace, and they’ll get well beaten. 4-0 City” (Oliver)

Newcastle vs Fulham 

“Both Ranieri and Benítez are having a hard time in facing criticisms regarding the team. The home side is doing fine but I don’t believe that they’ll win big. At all. 1-0 Newcastle” (Alf)

“Newcastle haven’t been great this season, we all know that. But they’ve been better than the dismally poor Fulham, whose defence are letting in goals left, right and centre. Fulham will lose, and they won’t lose prettily either. 3-0 Newcastle” (Oliver)

Chelsea vs Leicester City

“Sarri versus Puel with Kanté facing his former teammates. Leicester showed that they can score against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup but I doubt that they’ll do the same again successfully. 2-0 Chelsea” (Alf)

“Chelsea won last week, Leicester City lost, Chelsea are at home, this has the makings of a regular top-six win. But Leicester City haven’t played badly this season, especially in defence, and should make Chelsea work for it. 1-0 Chelsea” (Oliver)

West Ham vs Watford 

“It’s London Derby day again. West Ham are on a winning run and Watford are… meh these days. The home side should win but here’s a pro tip: Fabiański may concede. 3-1 West Ham” (Alf)

“Ninth plays tenth in this match. West Ham and Watford are perhaps the most alike teams in the division so far in terms of record, and this match will be very, very close. So close, in fact, that no one wins. 2-2 draw” (Oliver)

Cardiff City vs Manchester United

“Solskjær’s first game as the caretaker manager is the away fixture against, ironically, his former side. It’s going to be tricky for both sides. Will Solksjær prove his worth after a few years departing his previous employers? We’ll see. 1-0 Manchester United.” (Alf)

“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first match in control of Manchester United sees him return to his old stomping-ground, Cardiff. One would think that without Mourinho, United would do better. But I reckon Cardiff might have a good match. 1-1 draw” (Oliver)

Everton vs Tottenham 

“Please, Everton. Win this one to shut those Tottenham fanboys’ mouth up. I don’t hate them but they celebrate their win against Arsenal as if England won the World Cup. Still, they’ll always be in our shadows and in reality, Pochettino will be the one laughing all the way exiting the stadium. 2-1 Tottenham” (Alf)

” With rumours swirling around North London about a potential exit for Mauricio Pochettino, it’s understable that his players might feel a little unsettled. Everton can use that to their advantage and sneak a win. 1-0 Tottenham” (Oliver)

Believe or not, Gooners, please stop chanting #UnaiOut

Believe or not, Gooners, please stop chanting #UnaiOut

It’s quite painful to become an Arsenal supporter these days. At the time of writing, Arsenal are out of the Carabao Cup and lost their first Premier League game against Southampton, having their unbeaten run ended.

Now, impatient fans may ask Unai Emery, our newest manager, to get sacked after just four months of appointment. However, while we may not lift any trophy in his first year, I truly believe that Arsenal shouldn’t fire the Spaniard.


Reason 1 – Rome wasn’t built one day. 

If you follow Liverpool, you should know that Jürgen Klopp spent a few years to modify his team. He made a lot of sacrifices and at last, he achieved his aim and are looking forward to clinching the title this season.

Now, I’m not saying that Emery is at the same level as his rival coach. However, I’m thankful that he brought quality signings  (like Torreira, Leno and Sokratis) to bolster the squad.

Even though it’s not something to be finished in a transfer window or two, all he needs is time and money. And we, as supporters, should have his back instead of turning on him at this crucial moment.


Reason 2 – He promotes positivity in the team.

I started to dislike comebacks in sports because it showed that they didn’t pay enough attention when they play and started to make mistakes so you’ll need extra effort to win. It’s not a good sign and should be avoided at all costs.

Frankly speaking, Arsenal were quite lucky in their previous unbeaten run, where they should have lost a few games already. Alas, the philosophy of “winning ugly” is in Emery’s DNA. And it’s unlikely to be changed.

The good thing about Emery is that even though they can’t win the game, he’ll ask the players to fight until the end.

Mkhitaryan kept the hopes of Arsenal keeping a draw against the Saints by scoring a brace before Austin crushed it. It wasn’t pretty at all but at least better than giving up and concede a few more. Good improvement nonetheless.


Reason 3 – Some matters are out of his control.

Sadly, real life is no Dream League Soccer or other football games where you can heal injured players in just one click. As Arsenal are currently hit by injuries, Emery must be having a headache in the selection.

They’re yet to be potential title contenders but thankfully, are on the right track of being one of them. Now, they must treat the “wish lists” in the transfer market seriously and wish that there are no new injuries in the future.


Reason 4 – He’s currently the best option Arsenal have.

I’m a realist and here’s my question, “who are you going to replace Emery with if he’s sacked right now?” Laurent Blanc? José Mourinho? Or would you consider re-hiring Arsène Wenger?

I have to admit that football is an unpredictable sport but you’re not firing someone who led the team to a 22-game unbeaten run when you just lost 2 games in a row (and 4 in total). This is plain stupid.

Arsenal are already doing better than Manchester United who still fails to replace Sir Alex Ferguson to date. At least Kroenke didn’t consider David Moyes when he was scanning through the CVs (I wonder what will happen if it’s true).

At the same time, only time will tell if Emery is the right one. Right now, he should stay unless things go really bad.


Reason 5 – Arsenal needs him for the Europa League. Seriously.

Having won the competition three times with Sevilla, we would expect Emery to help the Gunners to lift the trophy in Baku. Yet, as they’re in the knockout stages of the competition, there are too many uncertain factors in it.

For Arsenal, reaching the “Top 4” in the Premier League is no longer something reachable. With the Europa League being Emery’s favourite competition and a target more feasible to aim, it’s a “now or never” opportunity for them.

Frankly speaking, Emery is one of the reasons why Arsenal are seen as favourites of winning the Europa League this season. Yes, there’s no guarantee that the club will win it, but it’ll certainly be harder without the Spaniard.

So why would the club want to release him at the expense of the qualification of the Champions League, which matters them the most? The management isn’t formed by a bunch of stupid people but smart money makers.


Yes, I understand that it’s demoralising to lose consecutive games, especially against Tottenham. But don’t lose hope, Gooners. The season isn’t over yet and everything can happen with a lot of fortune involved.

Here’s a fun fact for all of us: Wenger didn’t win the title in his first year and the rest is history. Hope Emery will prove his doubters wrong soon! At this stage, just be patient and bear in mind that “nothing worth having comes easy”.