Category Archives: Top Clubs

3 Liverpool Players Who Have a Great Future Ahead of Them

Liverpool

The good old days are almost back again at Anfield as Jurgen Klopp looks to lead his young men to Premier League glory and more. There is a sense of belief in the team now and the German does have a knack for getting the best out of a player.

Last season saw us making it into the top four and we should be making it to the Champions League proper after a qualifying round. There has been some really exciting football played last season under Klopp and after the first 10 games or so many sports betting companies such as CrownBet predicted us as favourites to win the league title or at least come second.

Sadly, a bit of a fluff start to 2017 saw the title challenge fade away, but it did give us a glimpse of what we really are capable of achieving with a fit side.

Next season will be just as important as we look to build on the top four and win a cup or two, but we would need help from a few players who aren’t regulars.

Klopp has provided debuts to a number of starlets during his almost two years at the club and we look at three players who will have a bright future should they stick playing at Anfield.

Ben Woodburn

Liverpool’s youngest ever goal scorer; that should be enough to provide an idea of how highly-rated the Welsh striker is. Woodburn might not be the finished article yet but he does have the likeness of Michael Owen, when he was at Liverpool.

The 17-year-old played a handful of games especially in that horrible rut in January 2017. His goal against Leeds United in the EFL Cup made him the youngest ever goal scorer for the Reds.

Woodburn certainly is special as Klopp had a bit of a go at Chris Coleman for naming him in the senior Wales team for a World Cup Qualifier. Keep an eye out for him, that’s for sure.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Imagine a scenario where you play your biggest rivals and your first-team right-back has injured himself at the last moment. Conventional wisdom would apply and the manager would have asked a first-team centre-back to play in that position or even to rejig the formation.

But this is where Trent Alexander-Arnold made his first start in the Premier League for the Reds, against Manchester United at Old Trafford and bossed his position. The 18-year-old was the star player for Liverpool as he kept Manchester United out from their left wing.

Trent is great on the ball and willingly joins in the attack to provide his team with a great option. Next season we should see more of him as he will be rotated with Nathaniel Clyne, at least for the European games and Alexander-Arnold could be the defensive solution we need for a few years to come.

Rhian Brewster

Another young striker that was on the cusp of making a debut for the first team during the end of the season, Rhian Brewster has been the talk of the town for a number of Liverpool fans. The 17-year-old only moved to the Liverpool academy two years ago and has become one of the best strikers in the side.

He was named on the substitute’s bench against Crystal Palace and even though he didn’t get time on the pitch, Brewster is another player who will come good at Anfield sooner rather than later.

The Englishman is young and has a great eye for goal, and with Liverpool having a number of extra games next season, Brewster will be a player to keep an eye on for the present and future.

Meet the Runners and Riders in the race to replace Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger

It’s coming to the time of the season when Arsene Wenger must make the decision on his contract renewal. At any other club, the Frenchman’s future would be out of his hands but this is Arsenal and this is Wenger.

The board of directors – and more importantly, majority shareholder Stan Kroenke – are content with the annual top four finish and financial conservatism that the Frenchman brings. With the umbrella of attractive football protecting him, the majority of supporters are content, or not so unhappy that they want change.

There is an air of ambivalence at times around the Emirates which is the opposite of the febrile atmosphere of the club’s fanbase on social media.

Change is inevitable though. There’s only so long that the Wenger era can continue and the club is faced with the prospect of a seismic change in its operation.

Manchester United made the mistake of appointing David Moyes, a ‘Sir Alex Ferguson lite’ if ever there was one when their legendary manager finally called it a day. Arsenal would do well to heed those lessons.

It seems they are unlikely to. The financial plan which underpins the club isn’t going to change. Kroenke isn’t going to invest directly in the club and he’s unlikely to sell. Increasing the value of his shareholding is pivotal to his vision of Arsenal and at times, that is a direct contradiction of the supporters’ desire for Premier League and Champions League success.

If Wenger decides to end his tenure at the Emirates, who will replace him? We look at the main candidates.

The rank outsider: Steve Bould

The only internal candidate, Bould is as close to an Arsenal man as there is on the coaching staff. A title winner as a player under George Graham and Arsene Wenger, Bould sits patiently on the touchline, conducting his work on the training ground.

He is seen by some as a throwback and without any managerial experience, there is a huge risk involved in his appointment. Is that overcome by his apprenticeship under Wenger?

There is certainly a continuity element in appointing him and few can argue that he knows the club inside out. But is that enough to motivate the calibre of player that Arsenal need to attract and retain if they are to win the Premier League or in Europe?

The reality is no. Bould is the outsider in this race. Not entirely ruled out but his appointment would be the equivalent of Leicester City winning the Premier League title!

The Klopp effect: Thomas Tuchel

Managing Dortmund brings a romantic touch with it. Jürgen Klopp, for so long the favoured successor in the fanbase, has blotted his copybook by joining Liverpool but his successor, Thomas Tuchel, is rated as highly.

Working within budgetary constraints at Mainz is a sound footing for Arsenal, while his time at Dortmund underlines his adherence to the footballing principles Wenger has instilled at Arsenal.

Astute moves in the transfer market are part of the collaborative approach at Dortmund and overhauling Arsenal in that direction works with the likes of Tuchel, who see it as the ‘norm’ rather than an alien concept.

Runners-up last year and fourth again this, he understands the financial and supporter demands of Champions League football. Major minus is the lack of silverware but he’s a popular choice.

The media’s choice: Eddie Howe

The Bournemouth boss’ CV is based on the relative success of keeping Bournemouth and their style of play. Popular with the media because of his willingness to talk football and being English, Howe has no big club experience.

This, as well as never managing or playing in European football, undermines him at this stage of his career. Perhaps he could be an Arsenal boss in the future, if he hasn’t ruined his reputation by taking on the England job!

Europe’s bright young thing: Unai Emery

The Spaniard’s star is on the wane. PSG routinely ran away with the French title but are struggling in the post-Zlatan era. It underlines how much of an influence he was on PSG and how much they relied on his goals.

However, three Europa League triumphs with Sevilla and taking perpetual crisis-riven club Valencia into the Champions League, were phenomenal achievements. More importantly, his sides played with a high-tempo which suits English football.

Anyone who can get Valencia into the top four with their lack of funds and work with Sevilla in their business model, can work at Arsenal. Perhaps he could bring Monchi, the Andalusian club’s feted director of football, with him?

The man to keep Alexis at Arsenal: Jorge Sampaoli

Copa America winner, Sevilla in second place in La Liga, Sampaoli could keep Alexis at Arsenal through their past association.

A renowned tactician, the Argentine is a keen student of the game and is noted for probing the weakness of opponents. This is a regular complaint about Wenger, whose sides are, it’s claimed, routinely frustrated by well-organised opposition.

Recently crowned La Liga Manager of the Month in only his second month in the job, Sampaoli won three titles in Chile and the Copa Sudamericana so has silverware to bolster his reputation but his unfancied adopted country to the final and winning ranks as one of the best achievements of his career.

The one everyone wants to appoint: Diego Simeone

Maniacal on the touchline, a bundle of energy, the Argentine is the popular choice.

Many see the parallels between Arsenal and Atletico as a reason to hire Simeone. Taking Atleti to two Champions League finals underlines his credentials, as well as a solid defensive unit which underpins their regular top four finishes. A return to the days of “one-nil to the Arsenal” won’t be far away.

He’s won the Europa League and European Super Cup, as well as the Copa del Rey and of course, La Liga.

The fly in the ointment? Both Simeone and his son Giovanni, a pro at Genoa, have made recent noises that his next move would be to Serie A. Which is handy because it looks like the Juventus job is going to be available at the end of the season…

The more successful successor: Max Allegri

Can the English-speaking Allegri be the next Arsenal manager?

Speculation at the weekend says it’s very likely he will leave the perennial Italian champions at the end of the season. Looking around, Arsenal are the only club of a similar stature which offers a reasonable prospect of success.

His credentials are impeccable: the Scudetto with Milan and two with Juventus, top three finishes in each of his full seasons in the San Siro, as well as two Coppa Italia and Supercoppa wins.

He routinely takes his sides to the Round of Sixteen and beyond in the Champions League and has a CV which would impress Alexis and Mesut Ozil, Arsenal’s current contract rebels.

Would appease both the pro- and anti- Wenger camps.

Coming in from the left field: Luis Enrique

He’s won everything there is as a manager at home and abroad, but finishing outside of the top two in Spain’s two-horse race might be a signal that his time at the Camp Nou is up.

There’s been plenty of media speculation that he will be on his way following a harder than expected run during their double-winning 2015/16. In the Catalan capital, a failure to retain the Champions League cut deeper as bitter rivals Real Madrid claimed the prize.

At its’ heart, Enrique’s brand of football isn’t much different from Wenger’s which will keep the Arsenal faithful happy. If he can work through the political mire at Barcelona, keeping a split fanbase in check is child’s play.

 

Pep Talk – The Easiest Job In The World Suddenly Becomes Harder

Pep Guardiola

The knives were out for Pep Guardiola well before the announcement that he was swapping Bavaria for Manchester. Bayern Munich’s failure to land the Champions League during his three years in charge was a regular stick with which his reputation was beaten; FC Hollywood wasn’t amused by three semi-final exits.

This, after all, his detractors contended was a squad which your grandmother could manage to the Bundesliga. He was expected to sprinkle magic dust to bring bigger prizes to the Allianz Arena. It didn’t happen and not even a domestic treble appeased them.

And in fairness, it disappointed Guardiola; “I’m sorry for the fans and especially for the players.” His exacting standards demand every trophy but pragmatically accepts there can be only one winner. While it may not have kept fans happy, the players appreciated him.

The erudite Thomas Mueller defended the Spaniard, observing that it was “crude and inconsiderate” to lay the blame solely at the former coach’s door. The team had developed during his reign and were better footballers for it which is a coded way of saying that Guardiola was a player’s coach, popular with those who delivered for him.

Carlo Ancelotti was swiftly signed as Guardiola’s replacement with a simple brief: conquer Europe. The Bavarians dominance at home continued during the early days of the Italian’s reign. Four matches without conceding across three competitions before Rostov were crushed 5 – 0 in the Allianz Arena.

Indeed, Ingolstadt were the only German team to score against Bayern before the end of September but Atletico Madrid were the first European team to do so. Crucially, it was the only goal of the game in the Vincent Calderon when the two sides met in the Champions League.

The first cracks appearing in the sheen of invincibility built up in this decade? Certainly their legs were wobbling as Eintracht Frankfurt and Cologne held them but, it seemed, business as usual with five consecutive wins across all competitions.

It proved to be a false dawn. Dortmund beat them and so did Rostov in a seismic win in the Champions League. The 2 – 3 defeat condemned Bayern to second in the group but it proved a blessing in disguise as they were drawn against Arsenal, a team they have knocked out of the competition twice in the past three years.

The final match before the winter break saw them beat RB Leipzig 3 – 0 and Bayern were crowned winter champions, three points ahead of their upstart rivals. It’s hard to know which is least popular: Bayern’s continual first-place finish or Leipzig’s rise.

The Red Bull financed club are by far and away, Germany’s most hated club. Envy and the manufactured nature of their existence unites supporters of other clubs in detesting them. However, outsiders view this change in the footballing landscape as welcome.

Anything which challenges Bayern’s hegemony is deemed positive for the domestic football scene. Hoffenheim remain the only unbeaten side in the Bundesliga but 10 draws have undermined their attempts to rise into the Champions League places.

There is still a long way to go in the season but with sixth-placed Dortmund the highest ranked of all the ‘traditional’ powerhouses, is the Bundesliga landscape changing?

And what does that say of Ancelotti’s Bayern?

The victory over Leipzig was forged on the pressing game Ancelotti learned under Arrigo Sacchi at Milan. It’s nothing unusual in Germany to see success born from the basics of the wonderful team which dominated Europe. Jurgen Klopp remains a keen advocate of the style and does Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick.

But Ancelotti took his experience at most of Europe’s leading clubs and convinced the players to execute the plan perfectly. Even before Forsberg’s red card, Bayern had 63% possession and were overwhelming their opponents.

It typified the calm Italian’s approach. Methodical, well-organised and hidden beneath a veneer of laissez-faire management. His is a style which treats the players as adults and expects them to behave as such. But he is in command, make no mistake about that.

And he hones them to perform. Bayern don’t use the tactic week in, week out; it’s inconceivable anyone can use pressing for 90 minutes every game and not expect horrendous injury problems. His is a fluid approach based around a core philosophy and tweaked to ensure that the need to win is countered against the needs of the player over the course of the season.

It’s why he engenders loyalty from squads, even in the most vituperative and shallow of football clubs.

Ancelotti’s biggest test this season was to transform the style of play from Guardiola’s way to his own. Many mimic the Spaniard but few are anywhere near as successful. The Italian’s CV is as, if not more, impressive than Guardiola’s but in keeping with his character, is unassuming and mostly under-appreciated. But it underlines that he doesn’t need to copy his predecessor.

At a club used to success, this campaign has the qualities of a duck. On the surface, it is serene, calm and business as usual. The hard work is away from the public eye, beneath the surface, paddling hard to maintain direction.

The winter break may prove to be Ancelotti’s biggest ally. Bayern don’t play again until 20th January with time to work on the wrinkles which surfaced in the first four months of the season. Time spent on the training ground will prove beneficial on the pitch.

It will come as no surprise to see Bayern stretch their lead at the top of the Bundesliga as the winter snows thaw while Arsenal are expected to be beaten with little problem. Carletto, as Ancelotti was known as a player, has his way and the squad he inherited are learning that. Bayern will find it business as usual when they do.

Understanding Why The Premier League Is The Perfect Destination For Zlatan Ibrahimovic

zlatan ibrahimovic

Lots of the football enthusiast community is talking about why the Premier League is the perfect destination for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Mino Raiola is his agent, and Mino Raiola has been more or less trying to keep the fans guessing as much as possible about what is ultimately going to happen to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Many people are excited about the possibility of Zlatan Ibrahimovic being part of the Premier League, and a lot of people believe that this is the only organization that is going to be worthy of his talent.

There have actually been several Premier League clubs interested in Zlatan Ibrahimovic for some time, and this is only one of the reasons why it makes sense that he and his agent appear to be more or less holding the players in a state of flux. It should be noted that episodes like this in the careers of people like Zlatan Ibrahimovic are actually essential for a number of reasons.

For one thing, episodes like this are important for generating publicity. Sports stars are still celebrities. Their lives might not be ruled by publicity in the manner of socialites and even Hollywood actors, of course, but publicity is still really important for them if they want to be able to get ahead in their careers. Hearing about all of the Premier Leagues that are interested in Zlatan Ibrahimovic can really help his career, even though he is certainly an excellent striker.

It isn’t true that if people are talented enough, they don’t have to worry about garnering the right amount of publicity. Agents and the leaders of the Premier League are still going to care a lot about making sure that they have money, and they are not going to be bringing in enough money if their sports stars are not constantly in the news. Hearing about Zlatan Ibrahimovic getting associated with all of these different interested parties should really be able to generate even more buzz than his talents would otherwise.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is now thirty-five years old, which means that he should be reaching the zenith of his career by this point, or his career should be starting to level off soon. Sports stars are playing later and later in some cases these days, but it is important for athletes to really make it by the time they reach their mid-thirties. It is important for someone like Zlatan Ibrahimovic to really demonstrate that he is still in demand, and it is important for him and his representatives to demonstrate that he is still a man who is on the top of his game. This is when he should be bringing his success to new heights, and it looks like this is the case for him.

At the Wintingo Online Casino,The politics of the football world are certainly interesting to watch, particularly when they apply to the rising stars and the stars who have avoided becoming falling stars. Sports betting just adds to the excitement.

And Then There Were Three – Pogba & Mourinho Thrive In Midfield Trio

paul pogba

Just as the crescendo built to a cacophony, Paul Pogba has finally found some form. The world’s most expensive player was in danger of being labelled the worst signing in the history of football.

A late return to training didn’t help. Like many of the elite, he enjoyed a prolonged holiday and then further time off as he moved from Turin to Manchester. Had it been resolved earlier, he may have found his return to United smoother.

It wasn’t a familiar homecoming. Sir Alex Ferguson’s move to the boardroom led to turbulent times. Moyes and Van Gaal were disastrous appointments as United spent heavily and slipped out of the Champions League. Embarrassingly so in Moyes time.

Pogba was part of Mourinho’s masterplan to take United back to the top of the table. It hasn’t happened with United’s start to the season unconvincing. Wins in each of the opening three Premier League games were followed by 1 win 7; United dropped out of the top four and were flailing.

Seven games unbeaten steadied the ship but that included three consecutive draws, all of which were matches United should have won. An excellent 3 – 1 win in Swansea suggested a resurgence in fortunes but the failure to beat Arsenal was a sucker punch which hit United hard. They dominated the Gunners for ninety minutes but a late Olivier Giroud equaliser denied them the points they deserved.

Blighted by inconsistency

Image result for mourinho soccersouls

Pogba was inconsistent. Capable of outstanding displays – he has won four Man of the Match awards already this season – he was equally anonymous in other matches. Mourinho used him as a deeper central midfielder, combining defensive duties with supporting the attack.

As part of a pair – usually with the impressive Ander Herrera – Pogba found his natural football instincts stifled by the defensive side of the game. The performances weren’t of an £85m man and questions, asked since the day the deal was made, were getting the wrong answers.

Mourinho was floundering as well. Increasingly irascible with the media, the Portuguese cut an isolated figure as he sought to lift the malaise engulfing his tenure at Old Trafford. Increasingly, it seemed that his reign might be as short as Moyes and Van Gaal; United were showing no genuine signs of improvement.

When the answer came, it was from a tried and trusted source. The pairing of Herrera and Pogba was augmented by the introduction of Michael Carrick. 35 years-old, the former Tottenham and West Ham midfielder remains an outstanding defensive midfielder.

Like James Milner at Liverpool, he knows his strengths and plays to them for the team. His arrival into the starting line-up to form a trio has given Pogba a new lease of life. The French international’s Man of the Match performances have all been since the inclusion of Carrick as United switched from a 4-2-3-1 formation to 4-3-3.

The series of draws – Arsenal, West Ham and Everton – can be ascribed to the players getting to know the formation and Mourinho’s ideas around it. Pogba and Herrera are certainly the main beneficiaries with both playing more advanced roles, knowing Carrick is minding the shop.

Signs of improvement

Prior to Christmas, United were on a run of four straight wins, games they might previously have drawn or lost. Before getting carried away with this, that run contained four games they expected to win. Trips to Zorya, Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion ought to be won by even distinctly average United sides while Tottenham’s record at Old Trafford is dreadful.

They haven’t pulled up trees in terms of results but some of the collective performances have been light years ahead of the rest of the season.

Since the formation shift, Pogba’s match ratings from WhoScored.com have been improving, culminating in 9.42 out of 10 during the recent win at Selhurst Park. Maybe the yellow card he received stopped it being the perfect ten.

There’s definitely a sense that when the team plays well so does he. Maybe it’s the other way around or a symbiotic relationship. When he is subdued, it’s no coincidence that the team is.

On a personal level, his all-round game has found a rhythm. Against Palace his pass success rate reached a season high of 84% with 77 of 92 finding their intended target. He’s also become more willing to look for the long pass than earlier in the season.

The success of the midfield trio was highlighted in that game. Between them, they had 23.8% possession of the ball throughout the match with Pogba leading the way with 8.8%. It’s a staggering amount of the ball and underlines the dominating effect their manager wants them to exert on matches.

Crucially for Mourinho, the style and swagger associated with Manchester United is showing signs of return. The concerns aired before his appointment seemed to be coming true: a dour style of play, almost the antithesis of everything Ferguson’s sides are remembered for.

Now, United are looking to use the coming Christmas matches to build on the recent upsurge in their fortunes. With Pogba seemingly settled into the English game and Arsenal wobbling, the top four is not yet out of reach.

 

Arsène Wenger: Help or Hindrance

Arsene Wenger

As the final whistle beckoned at the Etihad on Sunday, Arsène Wenger cut a disconsolate figure as he berated goalkeeper Petr Cech for taking a short free-kick as Arsenal desperately sought an equaliser from a match they should never have lost.

Arsenal are in freefall, back-to-back defeats in the Premier League with just three wins in the last seven. Second place and on Chelsea’s heels, the Gunners are now fourth and in Tottenham’s sights.

Wenger’s own fate is intertwined with that of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, with the Frenchman apparently unwilling to sign the new contract on offer from the club until the ‘star’ players have done the same.

The question Arsenal must answer is whether arguably the most successful manager in the club’s history has reached the end of his shelf life?

Sunday’s performance suggested that the club must be close to calling time on his career.

Arsenal went into the game unbeaten at the Etihad since they crashed 3 – 6 in 2013. Indeed, before the weekend, that was their last defeat against Manchester City in competitive or friendly fixtures. The Gunners were in form against their nouveau riche rivals and confident of continuing their string of good results.

In the Premier League – home or away – the Wenger template against City has been the antithesis of his football philosophy. Possession was ceded willingly and the Citizens were sucker-punched at every opportunity. It’s the footballing equivalent of rope-a-dope and City couldn’t cope with it.

Arsenal Go Route One

On Sunday, Wenger varied it slightly. This time there was no Olivier Giroud to play as a target man and to hold the ball up while support arrived. Arsenal’s success this season has been based around Alexis Sanchez as a central striker, linking with the midfield and his attacking colleagues.

A short passing game for which the north London club are renowned throughout the footballing world. Sanchez exploits defensive uncertainty by dropping deep to pick up the ball and turn provider.

That template provided Theo Walcott with Sunday’s opening goal, latching onto Alexis’ pass to calmly side foot his shot past the advancing Claudio Bravo. As the half wore on, Arsenal picked off City at will with Pep Guardiola exasperated by his side’s inability to get even the basics right.

Inexplicably though, Arsenal turned to the long-ball game. Sanchez became an increasingly peripheral figure in the game while Mesut Özil and Alex Iwobi received criticism for their performances; they were never involved enough to give the Gunners attacking intent.

A major problem became quickly evident. Petr Cech, at one point Arsenal’s leading pass maker, found his distribution lacking. Kicks were wayward, throws gained too much air. The once imperious goalkeeper looked like a man betrayed by age.

Or a lack of understanding as to what was required of him.

With the array of attacking talent and City’s vulnerability, this was a stunning volte face. For a manager who regularly berates opponents for not playing football, the Frenchman’s choice of tactics beggared belief. So did the team selection; Wenger got it hopelessly wrong up front.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain apparently had a muscular injury which prevented him playing from the start but it seems a weak excuse when the England international came on as a late substitute for Alex Iwobi. If there was a genuine injury, Sanchez on the left and Giroud centrally suited the tactics better.

It’s not the first time that Wenger’s decision-making has been called into question.

It’s In Me Head, Son

 Technically gifted, Arsenal are tasked with playing football the ‘right way’ by their manager. Increasingly however, Wenger’s beliefs are being routinely exposed. His record against Mauricio Pochettino is one of draws. A man who has seen off a dozen Tottenham managers is struggling against the latest incumbent.

His tribulations against Mourinho’s sides are well-documented and Sunday was another away defeat against a Guardiola side. The Frenchman has never won an away game against the Spaniard.

Add to that list Jürgen Klopp and now Ronald Koeman. Younger managers are routinely outwitting the old master and there’s no sadder sight in football than a great manager continuing in a role for a season or two too long.

His habitual failure in Europe is a millstone Wenger wears around his neck and there is a feeling that having missed the boat last season, the Premier League is going the same way.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Last season’s valedictory title never arrived and there’s a genuine feeling that Wenger won’t emulate Sir Alex Ferguson in departing the scene a champion. In a perverse way that would be in keeping with their relationship; Wenger never quite able to match the Scot’s record.

The danger for Arsenal is that Wenger will sign another contract with them. Whilst Stan Kroenke, the club’s absentee majority shareholder, will be happy to pay a manager who routinely increases the value of his investment, the likelihood is that the club would be forced by supporter dissent into sacking a manager that the board revere.

 

Five Reasons Why Arsenal Will Not Win The EPL This Season

Arsenal

What a difference a week has made in the Premier League for Arsene Wenger’s team. They have lost two games in a week against Everton along with Manchester City and now trail leaders Chelsea by nine points. At the start of the week, the top bookmakers at had the Gunner as one of the favorites to win the EPL this campaign. After suffering from two losses on the bounce, they are now an outsider and are even in danger of not qualifying for the Champions League with fifth-placed Spurs only a single point behind them.

The Gunners fans will be bitterly disappointed after their team took the lead in both matches only to crumble both times in the second half. The losses have greatly affected their chances of winning the league and if they can not recover quickly they will be in grave danger of being overtaken by both Spurs and Manchester United. This is not something new for Arsenal fans as time and time again their team blow their chances of winning the league after getting into a great place. It is one of the main reason they will not win the EPL again this season.

Player Mentality

Arsene Wenger will regret his commons of his team’s resilience and character after finally beating Stoke City who in recent seasons they have struggled badly against. Some Gunners fans even thought that their curse of bottling it had gone away after the result but the last two results have burst that bubble. Since that result, they have thrown away a possible 6 points after taking a 1 – 0 lead in both matches. Instead of challenging at the top they are now in a battle to stay in the top four to qualify for next seasons champions league.

Games Against The Other EPL Contenders

The Gunners have one of the best records against the bottom half of the teams but against the league’s big boys they do badly. So far this season they have won 3, drawn 2 and lost 3 which has greatly affected their chances of winning the title. It has been a common theme over the last decade and it is why they will not win the title against this campaign.

Player Physicality

Everyone in the EPL knows that to beat the Gunners they need to get physical and aggressive against them. More often than not Arsenal will crumble and over the years teams such as Stoke City have used this tactic with great success against them.

Injury Jinks

The Gunners seem to always have top players out due to injury and many have questions the manager’s training methods. Wenger’s team though play a lot of games throughout the season and he puts it down to player fatigue as the reason they suffer more than most. At present, they have eight players out and only Sunderland with nine players injured are above them in the league.

Defensive Weaknesses

Star Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech is having his worst ever run of results without conceding a goal and is now on a run of eight matches. Over his remarkable career in the EPL, he has been one of the league’s most consistent goalkeepers which just goes to show how weak the Gunners defensive line is.

Are Arsenal Bottling It Once Again In The Title Race After The 2 – 1 Loss To Manchester City?

Arsene Wenger

Any Gunners fan will tell you that every time that Wenger’s team puts themselves in a dominant position in the EPL, their team bottles it. Arsenal had the chance at the weekend to stake their claims as genuine title contenders on Sunday and after starting well, they blew it. Instead of finishing the weekend in second place the team is now just a single point in front of North London rivals Spurs in fifth place. Their odds at most of the top bookmakers have lengthened to win the EPL after losing to Man City. If you still fancy backing them you can find the best promotions at and compare footy promo offers.

Arsenal started off the match extremely well and to begin with, it looked like Pep Guardiola would be the one with egg on his face after the weekend. Theo Walcott ripped apart the Man City defense with ease after only five minutes of play. It is not the first time that the Blues have had major problems at the back and is something that the new manager will be working on hard in training to resolve it. If they do not tighten up their defenses they will struggle to win the EPL this campaign and may even miss out on a top-four finish due to the league being so tight this season.

What will annoy Gunners fans most after the defeat is the fact that Walcott’s goal after five minutes was their teams last shot on goal. To not have a single goal attempt on target for 85 minutes plus stoppages is extremely embarrassing and in the second half they were completely dominated by the Blues.

City made the breakthrough in the 47 minute through Leroy Sané. It was his first goal for the club and it was scored at the perfect time as it gave his team the confidence to push further forward and dominate the whole of the second half. It was Raheem Sterling who won the games for the Blues in the 71st minute with a nice finish inside the goals near post. The win helps City to move up to second in the EPL and it ended a run of not winning games after going behind at half-time which stretches back to 2012.

One of the key tactical changes that altered the game’s outcome dramatically was Guardiola change the positions of Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne. For the second half, the new manager put Sterling through the middle and De Bruyne out wide. If he had not made the changes than Sterling would not have been able to cut inside to his favored foot to score the goal.

It was the second time in a week that the Gunners have gone in front only to end up losing the game which has greatly dented their title chances. Instead of being hot on the tales of leaders Chelsea they are now a single point above Tottenham in fifth. In the second half of matches, Arsenal has bottled it and not come out aggressive along with dominate they have gone into their shells. It is something that has been repeatedly happening and unless Wenger can change the team’s mentalities, he may well be out of a job at the end of the season.