1- Size Just A Football By The Way:
Did you know that the shortest and therefore smallest team in the just concluded English Premier League season is Manchester City? This fact makes a mockery of the widely held belief that to thrive in England’s top flight you must have big and strong players. Only four of Manchester City’s average starting eleven are over 6 feet tall. They are keeper Ederson, Kyle Walker and the two central defenders. The rest compensate their lack of physical power with superior tactical awareness, thoroughbred fitness and technical proficiency.
2- Liverpool 2019 like Holland 1974 and Brazil 1982:
Winning silverware is overrated. Throughout football history there are teams that didn’t win but left an indelible mark on the game. Hungary’s Magical Margyrs of World Cup 1954, together with Holland’s 1974 World Cup losing finalists and Brazil’s 1982 World Cup side are etched in football folklore because they competed well and entertained with fervour. So is the case with Liverpool 2019. We shall always remember Jurgen Klopp’s go getting side that finished second with 97 points.
3- Spurs Must Splash Cash Or Perish:
Tottenham Hotspur’s qualification for the June 1 Wanda Metropolitano final and next season’s Champions League shouldn’t hoodwink the club hierarchy into thinking their squad in strong enough to continue outlasting Arsenal and Manchester United. Spurs struggled badly in the EPL home straight because their small squad couldn’t cope with injuries. Now that the £1bn Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is in place, Daniel Levy must back manager Mauricio Pochettino with an open cheque book or he will walk.
4- Give Sarri The Benefit Of Doubt:
All and sundry who are waxing lyrical about Pep Guardiola’s achievements with Manchester City forget that he ended his first season at the Etihad empty handed. This shows why Chelsea’s impatient fans must show more tolerance towards Maurizio Sarri. The Italian achieved his most important brief of getting the west Londoners back into the Champions League. Next season will be a better measure of his managerial mettle as he will have come to terms with the relentless pace and energy needed to compete at the very top in England.
5- Klopp The Best But Pep Is King:
Jurgen Klopp’s lasting impact on Liverpool while allowing the club to post record profits means that pound for pound, he is the best manager in the Premier League. But the title of king must be reserved for Pep Guardiola, who has now won eight league titles in ten years in three of Europe’s top five leagues. The idea that the Catalan uses money to succeed is preposterous because ‘Quiet Neighbours’ Manchester United are not gaining traction despite spending equally astronomical amounts in the last 36 months.
6- Solskjaer Not Ready For Old Trafford Hot Seat:
Manchester United’s farcical end to the season which saw them win just one of their last eleven matches – and that courtesy of two penalties against West Ham – point to one fact: manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was not ready for the Old Trafford hot seat. He was appointed to the permanent seat on a wave of excitement following the red-hot start to his career. Make no mistake about it. Manchester United have a better 25-man squad than Liverpool. They just have to find the right manager.
7- Leicester City To Challenge Top Six:
Which EPL team has the youngest, most mobile, upwardly mobile outfit? If you answered Leicester City, you are correct. Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes are teeming with up and coming English talent, which if kept together, can challenge the Top Six hegemony. Rodgers must do everything in his powers to keep on loan Belgian Youri Tielemans and Harry Maguire out of the way of predators. James Madison, Tielemans, Ben Chilwell, Wilfred Ndidi and Demeray Gray are all super stars in the making. They just need the correct tutelage.
8- Nuno Espirito Santo Top Six Manager:
Should any of the traditional Top Six clubs lose their manager, as is wont to happen if a season is going haywire, the best man to recruit would be Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Nuno Espirito Santo. The Sao Tome and Principe born manager has shown through his results against Top Six teams that he has the tactical nous to live with the big boys. The only aspect of his managerial skills set that needs improvement is how to dominate lesser teams. Nuno Espirito Santo is definitely headed for the big time.
9- Money Doesn’t Buy Success:
Although the final Premier League table shows the who is who of the division’s richest clubs, Manchester United’s continued failure to make headway despite spending big, proves that money is just one of many ingredients necessary for success. Fulham’s relegation despite splashing over £100m on new players is further proof, if any is needed, that money doesn’t buy results. Spurs’ refusal to spend a single penny for 18 months but still reach the Champions League final, is evidence proper management takes precedence over money.