A few questions that have been asked – some in the past 24 hours, others in the past year or so. Surprisingly (or not) they involve the big four (and their two closest challengers), so let’s look at them one by one:
Should Theo Walcott Leave Arsenal?
Not till the end of next season at the very least. Another season will give Walcott a chance to properly assess his chances at the Emirates in comparison with RVP, Ade and Bendtner (and Eduardo, when he comes back).
If Walcott wants a regular starting position he should probably move in the summer and never look back – it’s quite tough to get a starting place at a club like Arsenal, and Walcott has not been consistent enough to deserve it.
On the other hand – if you can make it at a club like Arsenal, you have it made for the rest of your life (look at the transformation in Flamini and Adebayor). Walcott is young, so putting in another year under Wenger and alongside such illustrious peers can only help him. Of course, if he’s still not in rotation by 2010, he might want to reconsider, as he’s going to get plenty of playing time to establish himself by then.
Are Chelsea ‘just as beautiful’ as Arsenal?
They’re not, and no one (least of all John Terry, to whom this statement has been attributed to) is claiming that. However, there have been times under Mourinho and more recently under Grant that Chelsea have played fluid, attractive football. There are times when the passing is exquisite and the opposition is left motionless and hopeless.
But of course, comparing to the pretty footballing gods at Arsenal, Chelsea are just acolytes, albeit very rich ones (although calling Chelsea players altar boys is a bit unfair, but couple that with Mourinho’s legacy at Stamford Bridge and there are several disturbing images right there…).
When Will Ferguson Retire From Manchester United?
In 3 seasons (08/09, 09/10 and 10/11), apparently, before taking the British team to the Olympics and then retiring for good (he’ll be 70 by then, I’d say that’s as good a time as any).
That would make 25 years at the helm of Manchester United, a legendary achievement no matter how you look at it.
And 3 seasons (4 if you include the current one) gives this Manchester United squad plenty of time to a) win the Champions League and b) win more Premier League titles to close down the gap with Liverpool’s title count.
Next United manager?
Who Will Own Liverpool?
Not the fans – collecting 500m is a daunting task and made more daunting by the knowledge that DIC and the Americans are locked in heated discussions over a 400m takeover deal – one that should be finalised before hell freezes over (or the amount of time it will take the Liverpool fans to collect the necessary takeover funds).
At this point, Hicks and Gillett seem more concerned with making a buck than the future of the club – a start departure from the approach of the Glazers, who have refused to deal with anyone interested in a takeover of Manchester United either publicly or privately. There have been rumours but Glazers have more or less quashed them with inaction, discretion and timely public statements.
Hicks and Gillett? Gillett has already made a deal with the DIC and Hicks is holding out for more money.
What about Liverpool dammit? What about your club? Doesn’t Liverpool mean anything to you two?
Why did Tottenham and Everton lose last night?
To be honest I wasn’t surprised to see Everton lose yesterday – away game against the #4 (and closing in on #3) team in Italy, what did you think would happen? Some people expected Everton to at least get an away goal, but I think in this case experience (the lack thereof) counted against Everton. They’ll do better in the return leg, surely, but it will be tough for them to win the tie (they need a clear 3 goal advantage).
Tottenham – well, some Spurs fans were saying after the Birmingham defeat that the season is over in the league and that the Uefa Cup is all they really care about. Ramos will have to make the players care a bit more than usual in the return leg because regardless of their Carling Cup win against Chelsea, Tottenham lack the experience in Europe and the mental toughness to grind out results against opposition that does not piss them off from the start.
PSV have a valuable away goal and will be tough to beat in the return leg.
And before you Everton and Tottenham fans ridicule the idea of experience in Europe, see Bayern’s 5-0 win away from home last night. Comprehensive, and scary. That’s what champions are made of, and that’s the standard these two Premier League sides will have to match before they can call themselves ‘big’ or call the Premier League the best league in the world.
Is the Premier League the best league in the world?
So what can you say about the Premier League? Some great history (United, Arsenal, Liverpool) and rivalries (United v Arsenal, United v Liverpool, Liverpool v Chelsea), some false claims of grandeur (Liverpool, Tottenham) and ultimately, disappointment (Tottenham, Liverpool, Everton).
If you’re looking for drama, then the Premier League is the best by a mile.