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A Horse Named Stranger

Football: pool in to the Final Spur of the season

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Open for suggestion regarding changes to the topic name.

 

Today in the Bundesliga Bayern will presumably wrap up their title defense. Whether that'll be enough to keep Kovac in the job is a good question.

I'll enjoy the final home game of the season tomorrow in Bundesliga 2.

Oh, and Liverpool will also become the team with the highest number of points to not win the league.

 

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I've been thinking a bit about Gana. 

He's under contract until 2022. However, he was strongly wanted by PSG in January, and while they may now go with Herrera (?), I don't think he'll lack suitors. So should we keep him, trusting that he'll keep his tremendous skills for three years, or should we sell him - for a profit - now, and try to restructure the team accordingly?

If bigger clubs (CL-clubs) come calling, he'll probably want to leave. However, I do not see us being able to replace him, and I think him leaving will impact our defense quite a lot, just when it has set. I would thus try to keep him. 

Really hope no-one comes for him.

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Letting Herrera go when we should be making him captain is as bone-headed stupid a move as Arsenal have done with Ramsey.

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Yeah that's another step into the direction of being the new Arsenal. Fred could be a decent replacement for Herrera though. He's younger, as good as him when it comes to get the ball back, and I think their passing abilities are quite similar.. ?

On another topic: 

Bayern dropped 2pts at Leipzig today, while BVB won against Fortuna. It probably isn't going to be enough of good fortune for BVB to hope for a title though. With one matchday to go, there is a margin of 2pts and +17 of GA in favor of Bayern. But who knows ! 

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I'll be sad to see Herrera go but I also understand why the club did not bow to his wage demands. And it was not just wages, Herrera wanted a long contract as well (4-5 years). Had we caved we would have been paying £200k/week until he was 34-35. We fucked up by giving Sanchez 390k/week but that doesn't mean we should now double down on that mistake. Herrera isn't a top player who would be difficult to replace either. Only in glimpses did we see Bilbao Herrera. Majority of the time for us he's been a backwards and sideways merchant who runs around a lot.

What we really need is a replacement for Matic as he does not have the legs to play a pressing game. Someone with good distribution as well - Marcos Llorente would be a good signing and rumour is Zidane is prepared to allow him to leave. Thomas Partey would be perfect and he has a reasonable release clause as well (€50m) but convincing him to leave Atleti will be difficult. We'll probably end up paying £70m for Declan Rice though. 

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I want Ruben Neves. Not sure he's quite the presser you're envisaging though he's fine but his interception skills are on point and he might legitimately be the best passer in the league (well okay Tielemans is but other than that. And we should get Tielemans too).


On Herrera: he's definitely not the passer he wanted but I think describing him as a 'backwards and sideways merchant' is harsh and overlooks how much he carries the ball in short bursts when in possession and how good he is at being available to pass to. So like his actual pass might be sideways but he's already broken through the defensive line in question with a sharp move with the ball or in order to receive it.


Fred might get there someday he's got a lot of the same attributes but at the moment he's still too keen to prove he is the expansive passer and it costs us, and he's not yet

 

But also Herrera's just a huge and visible positive effect on the team, in my opinion. His personality will be a huge miss.

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Bayern party has been postponed to the next weekend.

Bayern basically need one point from their final game against Frankfurt.

But the race for the fourth place looks interesting.

ATM Gladbach got it, but Frankfurt has a game in hand.

Relegation/play off spots are confirmed now.

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5 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

On Herrera: he's definitely not the passer he wanted but I think describing him as a 'backwards and sideways merchant' is harsh and overlooks how much he carries the ball in short bursts when in possession and how good he is at being available to pass to. So like his actual pass might be sideways but he's already broken through the defensive line in question with a sharp move with the ball or in order to receive it.


Fred might get there someday he's got a lot of the same attributes but at the moment he's still too keen to prove he is the expansive passer and it costs us, and he's not yet

 

But also Herrera's just a huge and visible positive effect on the team, in my opinion. His personality will be a huge miss.

Herrera's been stalling on a contract for over a year and his performances have been poor (not to mention a mysterious injury) ever since his head got turned by PSG. Paying 200k/week on a 4-5 year contract is not worth it -  Herrera is a decent player but it shouldn't be that hard to replace him. Tielemans would be a good signing and one we should prioritise. Neves is quality too but I think Wolves will slap a 'fuck off' price tag on him.

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Posted (edited)

I don't know who was talking about Spurs not letting Poch go, or more specifically Levy not letting Poch go, as much as people might be fans of Levy, you can't really stop someone that wants to leave. I don't think Poch has got to that stage primarily because the interest in him hasn't been concrete by the big clubs, the timing just wasn't right for them to make a concerted effort to get him, if they had he would have walked, imo. 

Also, West Ham need to sign Mustafi & Welbeck from us. That seems like something west ham would do.

Edited by Raja

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Just now, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Isn't Welbeck's contract running out anyway? So no need to get Hammers involved for that.

Yeah, Welbeck's contract is up now. Mind you, I still reckon we could screw a transfer fee out of those buffoons over Stratford way.

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Arsenal need a bit of a rebuild but we're going to have trouble if we don't have CL to play with.

The problem is that Lacazette and Aubameyang, our excellent strike team, probably only have a couple more seasons of top performance in them before they start to age, and the rest of the team isn't up to their standard to capitalise on their golden years.

We need a world-class centreback straight away to take over from Koscielny who's now 33. Ideally this CB would be a senior partner to Sokratis, Mustafi and Holding, none of whom are good enough to be the dominant defender we desperately need. If you look at Liverpool with Virgil that's the kind of effect we need to get.

Losing Ramsey hurts the midfield, and too many of our midfielders are inconsistent and blow hot and cold - Mkhi, Ozil, Xhaka are all just as likely to have a terrible match as a good one.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Jeor said:

We need a world-class centreback straight away

The problem with that (and it's the same problem United are facing) is who is this world class CB that would be attainable as well. Alderweireld seems to be the most attainable due to his contract situation. All the other best CBs are already at top clubs. Some of the very promising young CBs have already been snapped up - Pavard and Hernandez by Bayern, Militao by Real Madrid and looking very likely that De Ligt will join Barca. Ancelotti and De Laurentiis have said that Koulibaly is not for sale and Napoli don't need to sell - he also signed a new 5 year contract this season with reportedly a €150m release clause (nobody is paying that).

United and Arsenal will have to set their sights a little lower and look to sign younger CBs with potential - guys like Jonathan Tah or Nikola Milenković. Djene could be a good option as well. While not a youngster, he has been excellent over a few seasons at Getafe, is a solid defender, passes well and wouldn't cost an arm and a leg. 

Edited by Consigliere

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49 minutes ago, Consigliere said:

The problem with that (and it's the same problem United are facing) is who is this world class CB that would be attainable as well

You're right, of course - what we need is not really available. I guess that's why Van Dijk cost such an astronomical sum, given the market.

Holding may well turn out to be a really good CB but he's still got a way to go before he gets there. Until then we might be stuck bridging the gap from Koscielny to Holding with people like Mustafi/Sokratis....ugh.

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Posted (edited)

I'd be happy with a complete rebuild of Arsenal's defensive line and midfield (Torreira can stay). So umm, not seeing a fun team for awhile...

Edited by Mexal

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I think both United and Arsenal absolutely should be in for Alderweireld this summer at £25 million.

United especially have a number of players who are talented enough in defence what they lack is some experienced leadership. In theory Dalot, Lindelof, Alderweirald and Shaw with De Gea behind them is a pretty good defence. If Alderweireld can have a positive influence on Bailly that's even more of a bonus. 

Arsenal probably have more issues overall than United but they need some leadership too and Alderweireld's better than all their current centre backs so why not at that price?

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Yes, Alderweireld should be a prime target. He's 30 so not old for a CB and the higher wages he will need to be paid is offset by the cut price transfer fee. United also need to get rid of Jones and Rojo - that would free up wages for Alderweireld. Unfortunately, every United manager these past 6 years seems to have a blind spot for Jones and Rojo. It's shocking how two bang average, injury prone players are still at the club and get contract renewals as well.

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Posted (edited)

Fuck’s sake. About 30 seconds of hope there.

ETA: And that’s pretty much it. I can’t see Brighton getting 2 goals.

Edited by ljkeane

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