Scepticalscribe

macrumors Ivy Bridge
Original poster
Jul 29, 2008
55,262
38,671
The Far Horizon
Today, the Charity Shield - the traditional "curtain raiser" to a new season, - took place.

The match was played between the Champions of the Premier League, Liverpool, and Arsenal, who won the FA Cup, with Arsenal victorious after penalties, the sides still even at full time, with a goal apiece.

However, as the Champions' League has barely concluded, and, as the normal football season stretched well into the summer - on account of the delays, disruptions and restrictions considered necessary to deal with Covid-19, this past season can hardly be considered to have been a remotely normal one, and, it seems probable that the coming season will be equally challenging, and not just in footballing terms.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Ivy Bridge
Original poster
Jul 29, 2008
55,262
38,671
The Far Horizon
Formally, the new season will commence on September 12, a fortnight's time, whereas in more normal times, merely a week lies between the Charity Shield, and the start of the season.

Indeed, with the Champions' League barely over, it feels as though last season has only just finished.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Silencio
Comment

Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
43,820
35,391
Behind the Lens, UK
Formally, the new season will commence on September 12, a fortnight's time, whereas in more normal times, merely a week lies between the Charity Shield, and the start of the season.

Indeed, with the Champions' League barely over, it feels as though last season has only just finished.
It has been a strange year. Let's hope 2021 is a better one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Scepticalscribe
Comment

circatee

Contributor
Jul 18, 2020
1,075
649
This Messi 'saga' will drag on for all of 2021, won't it?
I cannot stand transfer season as it is. And, now here we are going to have to 'listen' to Messi this and Messi that, for ages.

In other news, here is hoping that Arsenal announce new signings/contract extensions, this week...
 
Comment

Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
43,820
35,391
Behind the Lens, UK
This Messi 'saga' will drag on for all of 2021, won't it?
I cannot stand transfer season as it is. And, now here we are going to have to 'listen' to Messi this and Messi that, for ages.

In other news, here is hoping that Arsenal announce new signings/contract extensions, this week...
I’d be hoping for a contract extension more than new signings if I were you. Abamyang I mean. Hopefully he does sign for you. Otherwise you are in trouble.

At West Ham the only transfer rumour I’ve read about is Declan Rice going to Chelsea. Hopefully not. I suppose it would help fund the signing of Messi for us.....:)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Scepticalscribe
Comment

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Ivy Bridge
Original poster
Jul 29, 2008
55,262
38,671
The Far Horizon
I’d be hoping for a contract extension more than new signings if I were you. Abamyang I mean. Hopefully he does sign for you. Otherwise you are in trouble.

Exactly.

This is at the saga that has dragged on for far too long, - to my mind - to be honest; it would be not just nice, but necessary, to see it resolved wth Aubameyang sting his signature to a fresh contract.
 
Comment

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
14,297
3,605
Sod off
Chelsea have spent a huge pile of money this summer on new signings. Fans will expect improvement. Anything less than a cup win, a strong European campaign, and a top four finish will probably be seen as a failure. Yet there are now about six clubs with similar aspirations.

in

I'll be glad to start the fantasy game again if you guys want me to.

I know I don't play it regularly/often enough like i should but I still like playing.

I"m usually bad about keeping up with it, but in years past it has been fun.
 
Comment

Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
43,820
35,391
Behind the Lens, UK
Chelsea have spent a huge pile of money this summer on new signings. Fans will expect improvement. Anything less than a cup win, a strong European campaign, and a top four finish will probably be seen as a failure. Yet there are now about six clubs with similar aspirations.



I"m usually bad about keeping up with it, but in years past it has been fun.
Six into four doesn’t go. Some ones going to be disappointed come May (or whenever it ends!).
I think the two Manchester clubs, Liverpool will make the top three. Then it’s one from Leicester, Arsenal and Spurs. Wolves just outside that.
 
Comment

Silencio

macrumors 68030
Jul 18, 2002
2,598
458
NYC
Chelsea hasn't really addressed their defensive and goalkeeping weaknesses yet, but I think they're still Top 4 class — definitely ahead of Leicester, Spurs, and Arsenal.

Donny van de Beek will be a nice addition to the United midfield. Huge upgrade over Andreas Pereira, that's for sure. Quality depth so they don't have to ride Bruno and Pogba past the breaking point. If United's interest in Dayot Upamecano is real and serious, I'd be thrilled: he'd be a great complement to Maguire in the backline.
 
Comment

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Ivy Bridge
Original poster
Jul 29, 2008
55,262
38,671
The Far Horizon
Well you’d better hope they have the cash. Without his goals last year you’d have been much lower in the league.

I have a horrid feeling that this was one of the main reasons those poor unfortunate 55 individuals were made redundant; at the moment, Arsenal would sell their grandmother to ensure that they can afford whatever it takes or costs to keep Aubameyang.
 
Comment

Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
43,820
35,391
Behind the Lens, UK
I have a horrid feeling that this was one of the main reasons those poor unfortunate 55 individuals were made redundant; at the moment, Arsenal would sell their grandmother to ensure that they can afford whatever it takes or costs to keep Aubameyang.
Agreed. Which won’t leave a lot else for fresh blood.
 
Comment

Silencio

macrumors 68030
Jul 18, 2002
2,598
458
NYC
Okay, I missed that Chelsea did finalize the Chilwell signing. They also signed Thiago Silva. I was never much of a fan of Chilwell, and Silva is clearly a stopgap signing. Keeper remains their glaring area of weakness.
 
Comment

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
14,297
3,605
Sod off
Okay, I missed that Chelsea did finalize the Chilwell signing. They also signed Thiago Silva. I was never much of a fan of Chilwell, and Silva is clearly a stopgap signing. Keeper remains their glaring area of weakness.

They paid a lot of money for Chillwell...especially in the current economic climate. They haven't done enough in the transfer market to shore up the defense, so it will be interesting to see how the season progresses for them.

Liverpool still have a title-winning squad but are, by necessity, taking a far more sustainable approach to spending - selling in order to buy. "Proper football men" pundits seem concerned that Liverpool aren't doing enough to keep up with the Joneses, but Liverpool's ownership are not Russian oligarchs or Middle Eastern sheiks, so they can't afford to match their spending. As a result, the timing of signings is dependent on the timing of sales, which gives the most financially doped clubs like Chelsea and Man City a big advantage...they can buy at any time. This is why pundits are calling the Wijnaldum/Thiago transfers a "saga" - because, you know, it's not a quick "swoop."

For Liverpool, much may also depend on academy products - Curtis Jones, Neco Williams, Rhian Brewster, etc. Having in-house talent that also qualify as homegrown players is a valuable commodity, if they can develop to the required level (always a big ask!).
 
Comment

Silencio

macrumors 68030
Jul 18, 2002
2,598
458
NYC
I don't see Liverpool having any pressing needs, though all clubs would love to have more quality depth, if they can afford it. Wijnaldum/Thiago is an interesting theoretical swap; the latter is more injury prone but offers more in attack.

I don't know a whole lot about Pool's youth products, but it has to be tough for them to get a lot of chances with such an established core competing for championships and trophies. Chelsea and United weren't title contenders last season, but both clubs did a good job bringing youth into the first team, and I'm pleased that United has got their academy and youth system back in order after some years of neglect.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Scepticalscribe
Comment

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
14,297
3,605
Sod off
I don't see Liverpool having any pressing needs, though all clubs would love to have more quality depth, if they can afford it. Wijnaldum/Thiago is an interesting theoretical swap; the latter is more injury prone but offers more in attack.

I don't know a whole lot about Pool's youth products, but it has to be tough for them to get a lot of chances with such an established core competing for championships and trophies. Chelsea and United weren't title contenders last season, but both clubs did a good job bringing youth into the first team, and I'm pleased that United has got their academy and youth system back in order after some years of neglect.

Getting a world-class first XI player out of the academy is rare for even the biggest clubs. Liverpool won the jackpot with Trent Alexander-Arnold: they couldn't have bought a better wingback for any amount of money. I don't expect the other prospects currently on the roster to hit those heights but they all look like they have the chops to be good professional footballers. With luck, a couple of them might be good enough to play at the highest level.

I am not concerned that Liverpool are not buying right now; they don't need to. The back line is probably set for several seasons, barring injuries and one or two additions for depth. Possibly their biggest challenge will to figure out how to manage the situation with the front three, as they are nearing the end of their "prime" years. They are also incredibly valuable just now and the club might be tempted to sell one or or two of them in a year (and I wouldn't even rule out one of them going this summer if the money was right). Mané in particular is one of the best forwards on the planet, is fit, in-form, and could probably slot into any elite team.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Scepticalscribe
Comment

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
14,297
3,605
Sod off
In other news: the Premier League continues to be divided over whether to continue allowing five substitutes. The split in opinions run purely on financial lines: rich clubs want five substitutes, less wealthy clubs oppose it.

I am against five subs going forward. It was a necessary expedient this past season due to the sudden onset of the pandemic. But it should not be normalized. The clubs in favor point out that players are being asked to play too many matches and need more time to rest. I wholeheartedly agree. But the solution is less matches, not more substitutes. FIFA and UEFA need to stop expanding existing competitions and creating new ones.

It all boils down purely to money. More matches means more money for the fat cats. But the one immovable factor is the endurance limit of the human body. Five subs as a permanent feature going forward (and no matter what they say, this will be a permanent change if it gets voted in) will just increase the inequality between the richest clubs and everyone else.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Scepticalscribe
Comment

Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
43,820
35,391
Behind the Lens, UK
In other news: the Premier League continues to be divided over whether to continue allowing five substitutes. The split in opinions run purely on financial lines: rich clubs want five substitutes, less wealthy clubs oppose it.

I am against five subs going forward. It was a necessary expedient this past season due to the sudden onset of the pandemic. But it should not be normalized. The clubs in favor point out that players are being asked to play too many matches and need more time to rest. I wholeheartedly agree. But the solution is less matches, not more substitutes. FIFA and UEFA need to stop expanding existing competitions and creating new ones.

It all boils down purely to money. More matches means more money for the fat cats. But the one immovable factor is the endurance limit of the human body. Five subs as a permanent feature going forward (and no matter what they say, this will be a permanent change if it gets voted in) will just increase the inequality between the richest clubs and everyone else.
Agree. I’m also against 5 subs. It favours the top teams far too much.
The lower teams often struggle to get 5 fit senior players for the bench.
 
Comment

JamesMike

macrumors demi-god
Nov 3, 2014
6,281
5,661
Oregon
What do you folks think of the Premier League dropping their Chinese contract with effect immediately?

Getting ready to watch my home team, Portland Timbers play Los Angeles Galaxy. Hopefully, no rioting spills over into the match!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Scepticalscribe
Comment

Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
43,820
35,391
Behind the Lens, UK
What do you folks think of the Premier League dropping their Chinese contract with effect immediately?

Getting ready to watch my home team, Portland Timbers play Los Angeles Galaxy. Hopefully, no rioting spills over into the match!
I’m not sure on the details. But I’d rather the Premier league sorted out the domestic front first!
I have zero sympathy for our ex player Marko Arnautović moaning about his time in China. The way he went about getting the move was very distasteful.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.