Written by @jaytalksfootball
One of the most discussed sagas has finally come to an end this January transfer window. Chilean attacker Alexis Sanchez finally got his much-desired wish and is relieved of his duties as an Arsenal player as he turns into a red devil as a dejected and mentally-battered Henrikh Mkhitaryan goes the other direction to become a Gunner as part of a ‘No Fee, Straight Swap’ deal. Now, if you were to just take a look at this deal on the surface without delving too deep into it, you’d probably say that Manchester United got the better end of the stick. However, there’s a lot more positives for Arsenal to take away from this than you’d expect and that it is an equally good deal for both parties.
First of all, lets look at why Arsenal got the better end of the deal. Now, Manchester United could’ve easily waited until the next season to complete the Sanchez deal as they would’ve not only got him for free but would’ve only really have to have paid agent fees as appose to doing all of the above as well as giving away a quality player who although Mourinho barely used could’ve easily made a good £30 Million in todays market. By doing that, they also would avoided strengthening a direct rival in the Premier League as they would’ve had the choice to where his destination is, probably opting for a move abroad if United had the choice More of a loss for United, rather than a plus for Arsenal I guess.
Getting Alexis this early as well doesn’t really much sense as well. Wait. Let me explain. Signing him now would have little impact on the season that United are having right now. I mean, the addition of Alexis is great and there’s no denying that but even with this addition they’re still miles of Manchester City at the top and the likes of Barcelona, Bayern etc in the Champions League and they’re out of the League Cup .The only thing Sanchez can salvage them is if he can win them the FA Cup or maybe get them to the semis of the Champions League. If these aren’t achieved, you maybe have to question whether it was worth rushing the deal in January and possibly just holding out.
In Mkhitaryan, Arsenal will be getting a player with flair that offers goals and assists to a decent amount. They get a player who actually wants to play for the side and will get along well with his teammates…something Alexis didn’t. With that being said, he suits Arsenal’s style of play perfectly. Arsenal play attacking football, which is something, he rarely experienced during his time at United under the tactics of Mourinho. With the addition of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also incoming, we could possibly see the reuniting of the partnership between Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, which saw them, record A LOT of goals. Arsenal lost a world-class player but in the long run we could look back on this as a good deal for them believe it or not.
However, by no means do I feel that United got a bad deal. Essentially, they got a world-class attacker, which would be an upgrade on any attacker they had before, in exchange for a player they never used and possibly never had plans on using. And it didn’t cost them a single penny in transfer fees. Whichever way you look at it, there is no denying that that is SPECTACULAR business by the negotiating team at Manchester United.
This season for his standard Alexis has been fairly poor and nowhere near his usual best. Some would say that it’s since Chile failed to qualify for the World Cup. Some would say that it’s the whole contract situation. Some would say it’s the poor form of his former side, which just left him demotivated to even put on an Arsenal shirt. I’d say that it’s just all of them. They all piled on top of each other and he was never really focused this season and wanted out. Before it all capitulated, he had the season of his life totaling 30+ goals along with 15+ assists. You could argue that when he’s actually focus and has his head screwed on in the game that’s when you’ll really get the best from the attacker. Quite frankly, Arsenal were never going to get a ‘focused’ Alexis again as he wanted to leave. Now he got his wishes you could say that they’ve got themselves a ‘focused’ Alexis and will have an incredible player if he can replicate his form last season.
If you know Alexis, you know that he’s one of the hardest working players in the Premier League and arguably world football. He never gives up even if things aren’t working out for him. He will try and try and try. This ‘Never Give Up’ attitude is something that Man United have really lacked since the days of Ferdinand, Vidic etc. This could really get them through some hard matches where they could’ve needed this to get that much needed win rather than settle for a draw. Something United gained quite a habit from. Going along with this, Alexis is a presence on the pitch as he adds to the list with the likes of Pogba, Ibra etc. With all this being said, Man United will gain all these qualities with Alexis and arsenal will lose them. Arsenal lose that presence and vocal point on the pitch, which as I said will probably work out better for the Gunners as they didn’t appeal much to this side of Alexis.
Overall, both teams got an equally great deal and both players now suite their team and are happy.
- JayTalksFootball, 2018.
Written by @khanna1905
Deadline Day. A day of immense excitement as football fans around the globe anticipate if their club is going to make a signing. Known to be one of the most exciting days in a football calendar. Or is it?
Although Deadline Day would be exciting as it’s the last day where clubs are desperate to make their business go through, the only big name signings that happen are ones that we are all expecting to happen, for example Pierre Emmerick Aubameyang. An agreement has been reached in principal between Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund for the Gabon international and is most likely to become official in deadline day. Does this really mean it’s a deadline day major signing although it is already known that it’s going to happen? I don’t really think so. It would be more of a shock now if it didn’t happen than if it happened.
There is no argument that on deadline day, deals you are not expecting to happen do happen but it’s never a major signing, for example on deadline day in the summer, Chelsea signed Davide Zappacosta having not been a mention of him during the whole transfer window. So it’s a signing that you are not expecting but you are not exactly jumping for joy as they are not even first team regulars half the time.
At the end of the day as a football fan you still do get a thrill when you see the timer ticking away to the deadline and the entertainment of Jim White in his yellow tie going crazy and the reporters at the grounds of each clubs giving out information as they get it. But if you do think about it hard, do you find yourself feeling disappointment as your club hasn’t done anything exciting? I feel that is the case with most fans and clubs and being a Chelsea fan, it doesn’t seem that there will be any big names heading to Stamford Bridge at 11pm on January 31st.
Who knows, maybe I will be proven wrong and something big an unexpected will happen tomorrow, all we can do is sit back, turn on Sky Sports News and wait.
Written by @khanna1905
At 6pm on January 22nd 2018 it was officially announced that Manchester United have signed Alexis Sanchez with Henrikh Mkhitaryan going in the opposite direction to Arsenal. During this transfer saga there has been a lot of debate about who has got the better deal, Arsenal or Manchester United. I will be weighing up the facts and come to a personal conclusion on who has got the better deal.
Both players are 29 years of age and Alexis Sanchez has spent 3 and a half years at the Emirates scoring 80 goals in 165 appearances for the gunners in all competitions. Mkhitaryan has spent 1 and a half years at Manchester United scoring a total of 13 goals in 63 appearances for the Red Devils and playing significantly less minutes.
Sanchez has won two major honours at Arsenal, both of them being the FA Cup and Mkhitaryan has also won two in his shorter spell, the League Cup and the Europa League where he was United's top scorer in the campaign. In their new contracts, Sanchez is reportedly going to be on around £400,000 per week which would make him the Premier League's highest paid player and Mkhitaryan is reportedly going to be on £180,000 per week at Arsenal making him the clubs second highest earner behind Alexandre Lacazette.
I personally think that although Alexis Sanchez is a proven world class player, I think his talent could be overshadowed by the likes of Pogba, Martial, Lukaku and not get the kind of recognition he was getting at Arsenal and I feel that Mkhitaryan will prosper at Arsenal with Ozil and Lacazette and get the kind of recognition for his ability that he wasn't receiving so much at United.
Both teams are getting world class players with Premier League experience but only time will tell who has ultimately got the best transfer.
Written by @khanna1905
As the Premier League title is slipping away from Chelsea and heading for Manchester, manager Antonio Conte has been feeling the heat after the blues poor run of form. It has become clear that Conte is not overly satisfied with his squad and wants to use January to bolster his attacking options to help the struggling Alvaro Morata.
Conte has repeatedly told the press that he can only give his opinion to the board and that the final decision is ultimately not up to him and after losing out to long time target Romelu Lukaku in the summer to Manchester United, you could sense that Conte was not happy.
In this January transfer window it has become apparent that Chelsea want a target man up top but the players that have been linked with the club make us think of Conte’s voice is not being heard. Chelsea have been linked with Andy Carrol, Christian Benteke, and most recently and veteran England international and Stoke forward Peter Crouch. With players like Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexis Sanchez wanting away from their clubs questions have been asked why Chelsea are not going after them instead of these old, out of form and injury prone strikers that appear to have past their peak.
The only player that Chelsea have been linked with that I personally believe can be a great addition to the squad is Roma striker Edin Dzeko. Dzeko has scored 50 Premier League goals during his spell with Manchester City and got a brace for Roma against Chelsea in the Champions League encounter at Stamford Bridge.
As Antonio Conte’s future seem to be in doubt I believe it’s key to give him the players he wants so he remains happy at the club because let’s face it, there is hardly a better manager out there than Conte.
As a big Chelsea fan myself I hate to see my club not going after the players of Chelsea quality and hope these rumours do not become reality.
Written by @northcurverising
One of the most debated topics in world football is how would Scottish champions Celtic do down south in the Premier League. The money that England get for TV deals like sky sports, BT sports etc. is believed to be around £70,000,000 to £100,000,00 which demolishes the deal in Scotland that is £2,500,000.
If Celtic were given this kind of money would they be a top six side? Well let me give you some facts on the hoops. Celtic Football Club have a support bigger than probably more than half of the team in the English Premier League, the “Bhoys” also have a stadium bigger than 16/20 teams with their small budget.
Celtic have had some remarkable results in recent times against English clubs like drawing 3-3 with a high flying Manchester City side, which Celtic took the lead three times that night, and also getting a draw in City’s own back yard, 1-1, which was a very fair result.
Here is what one of the greatest ever managers in football, Sir Alex Ferguson. had to say about Celtic in the Premier League: “Within five years they’d be knocking on the door of the top four and quite possibly winning the league.” For the money that Scottish football gets, the resources that Celtic and Rangers have are incredible and if they had all of the money that teams like Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United etc. they, IMO, without a doubt would find their feet and be a scary team to face.
Here is what Arsenal legend and Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson had to say about Celtic in the Premier League: “It would be interesting, very interesting. They are a big club and they wouldn’t be fazed at all.” Now that you have been given some facts, do you believe that Celtic would be a strong power in England? Would they be relegated?
Written by @JamesWootton95
With the hectic winter period now over for Premier League sides, teams are now beginning to focus on the latter stage of the season. With the title all but wrapped up, eyes will now be drawn to the race for the Champions League places and the relegation battle. With just five points currently separating 10th to 18th, it looks to be one of the more exciting battles of recent seasons, with any one of those sides in serious danger of dropping out of the world’s most famous league.
The bottom three is currently made up of Stoke - who are level with Southampton but have an inferior goal difference - West Brom, who haven’t won a single Premier League game since August, and Swansea who - like West Brom - are four points adrift from safety.
Stoke’s embarrassing defeat to League 2 side Coventry in the FA cup last weekend was the final straw for the owners as they sacked former manager Mark Hughes straight afterwards. But could this be a turning point in their season? Swansea’s recent appointment of Carlos Carvalhal proved to be an immediate success after capturing a vital away victory at Watford in his first game in charge.
One club whose managerial change hasn’t worked out as well is Alan Pardew’ appointment at West Brom. After a great start to the season, gaining six points out of six, including a hard-fought victory at surprise high-flyers Burnley, the Baggies have gone on a 20-game winless streak. They still somehow only find themselves just four points away from safety however, so at this stage it wouldn’t be classed as a real miracle if they were able to turn things around.
Southampton are one of the sides who many didn’t expect to be in the position that they are currently in. After finishing 8th and reaching a cup final last season, to be outside of the relegation zone only on goal difference with over half of the season played, it’s a worrying time for Saints. They have kept the faith with manager Mauricio Pellegrino so far, but with striker Charlie Austin getting injured just as he was hitting goal scoring form, the lack of goals could see a long second half of the season for the south-coast side.
Speaking of south-coast sides, Bournemouth have struggled to break away from the pack at the bottom this season. Eddie Howe’s side have been inconsistent results-wise but have always remained a constant threat during games. West Ham have had a similar problem this season, but have recently picked themselves up and out of imminent trouble with a stand out victory against Chelsea, as well as a hard-fought draw at Wembley against Tottenham.
Although Crystal Palace are currently in the mix at the bottom, their revival under Roy Hodgson has been nothing short of extraordinary. After losing their first seven straight league matches, many has assigned Palace to the drop, but after that streak they have only lost three of their last 15 matches. If their current form continues, they will remain a Premier League side next season.
The three promoted sides have surprised many this season, with neither Newcastle, Brighton or Huddersfield spending much time in the drop zone at all. Newcastle have recently been in the headlines for their lack of ambition at home to Man City, and with no win at home in six games, they could find themselves in the bottom three for the second time in three seasons. Brighton’s solid defensive unit has meant they have conceded the least amount out of the sides in the bottom half, but their attacking prowess needs to be improved upon. January could be a key time for the Seagulls, and if they were to bring in a real goal scorer, it would be hard to see them in the drop zone in May. Meanwhile, Huddersfield have only lost three games at home all season which has been key to their success so far. David Wagner’s men have deserved the plaudits after their surprise promotion to the top flight for the first time in 45 years, and if they can continue their good home form, they should be strong enough to survive.
Watford may be positioned in the top half of the table, but they don’t escape the struggling pack as only five points separate them and the bottom three. A downturn in fortunes for Marco Silva’s men resulting in a loss of form from earlier on in the season could mean a sting in the tail. Any January business could cause a buzz amongst Hornet fans however, and could propel them to safety without any major scares.
With so many clubs in contention of being relegated this season, the January transfer window will be huge for everyone involved, and with eight of the bottom ten teams facing each other this weekend, the dog fight for survival has well and truly begun.
Written by @samjsneddon
There's been plenty of controversy over West Ham's appointment of David Moyes, with many fans showing their objection to the Man United flop.
David Moyes was appointed the manager of West Ham in early November, playing ten matches for the Hammers; let's take a look.
Matches Played: 10
Matches Won: 2
Matches Drawn: 3
Matches Lost: 5
Win Percentage: 20%
(Correct as of 27th December 2017)
Let's break that down. Moyes started off his West Ham career with a 2-0 away defeat to Watford - not the greatest start for the 54-year old Scotsman. A 1-1 draw against Leicester followed by a 4-0 hammering from Everton at Goodison Park began an uproar from the fans of West Ham. A 2-1 loss from Manchester City saw Moyes' team go four games without a win. West Ham then went on to grab 3 points from a single Arnautovic goal against a dominant Chelsea. A goalless draw against Arsenal was a fair result before a solid 3-0 win away to Stoke showed maybe a glimpse of hope for the bubble-blowers. It soon became dull once again with a 3-2 home loss to Newcastle and a 3-3 tie with Bournemouth.
Next, West Ham will face West Brom at home, followed by a likely battering from an in-form Tottenham.
A brilliant video from 'Copa90', posted just after the signing of Moyes shines a light on the views of some West Ham fans on the appointment of the new manager, with many saying it'll mean relegation for the Hammers.
I've never been a fan of David Moyes, and I feel that a potential top 8 club like West Ham shouldn't have a manager like him. He flopped in his 10 months at Man U, a year at Real Sociedad and an embarrassing last-place relegation for Sunderland last season are just a few of his cons for becoming the manager. He honestly has close to zero honours as a manager, winning only the FA Community Shield with Manchester United in 2013. Even when he spent 11 years at Everton, he was a fail.
West Ham are only 5 points off dead last in the Premier League, as they currently sit 17th, and under Moyes, things can only get worse. The sooner the board sack him, the better.
Share your opinions about David Moyes being in charge of West Ham by voting on our Twitter poll below:
Manchester United’s 3-1 victory over Arsenal on Saturday was widely hailed as a thrilling fixture that showcased much of the best of what the Premier League has to offer. It was played at a high tempo, offered plenty of excitement and was bursting with quality.
Well for Arsenal fans, it was yet another dismal occasion, where they failed to turn up against the big guns. Results such as these, are somewhat starting to become of a norm in recent times at the club.
Despite being the dominant side for majority of the match, the Gunners somehow ended up losing with a degree of comfort. Well the reason for that, would simply be down to their shambolic defending and poor organisation in midfield.
Allowing United to play in the counterpunching style that they thrive upon, Wenger's men fell victims and were virtually caught out. It seems as though Wenger, has never been exposed to the usual counter-attacking displays, as showcased by United throughout these years. Lack of tactical insight and anticipation, was what cost Arsenal the 3 points.
For José, it seemed like another tactical masterclass - which is what he's undoubtedly known for.
However, to cut to the chase, will Arsenal ever achieve consistency and momentum in the league? I'm afraid that's still a 'no'. Arsenal are still a long way off their bitter Manchester rivals and fellow North London rival, Chelsea, at the moment. Why is that so? Having gone on a decent winning run, and eventually losing to one of the big guns, virtually brings the Gunners back to square one. Just proving that their previous efforts have been meaningless.
Playing beautiful football is an art itself. However, Wenger must address changes to Arsenal's gameplay, if consistency and results, were to be ever achieved in the first place.
by UnitedInsight (Instagram @UnitedInsight)
Ipswich Town v Sheffield United
Watford v Bristol City
Birmingham City v Burton Albion
Liverpool v Everton
Brighton & Hove Albion v Crystal Palace
Aston Villa v Woking or Peterborough United
Bournemouth v AFC Fylde or Wigan
Coventry City v Stoke City
Newport County v Leeds United
Bolton Wanderers v Huddersfield Town
Port Vale v Bradford City
Nottingham Forest v Arsenal
Brentford v Notts County
Queens Park Rangers v MK Dons
Manchester United v Derby County
Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City v West Bromwich Albion
Doncaster Rovers v Rochdale
Tottenham Hotspur v AFC Wimbledon
Middlesbrough v Sunderland
Fleetwood or Hereford v Leicester City
Blackburn Rovers or Crewe Alexandra v Hull City
Cardiff City v Mansfield Town
Manchester City v Burnley
Shrewsbury Town v West Ham United
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Swansea City
Stevenage v Reading
Newcastle United v Luton Town
Millwall v Barnsley
Fulham v Southampton
Wycombe Wanderers v Preston North End
Norwich City v Chelsea
Gillingham or Carlisle United v Sheffield Wednesday
The following was written by James Wootton. Find him on Twitter @JamesWootton95.
4 years, 6 months and 15 days ago, Crystal Palace knocked Brighton & Hove Albion out of the Championship play-offs in their own backyard. Since then, Palace have gone on to assert themselves as Premier League regulars whilst Brighton spent a few more years flirting with promotion until they finally made it to the big time in May.
The ‘M23 derby’ is a strange one, due to the teams being separated by over 45 miles. But the animosity both sets of fans share makes for a cracking atmosphere for Tuesday’s upcoming Premier League fixture.
This will be the first time the sides have met in the top flight since 1981. Brighton’s nickname ‘The Seagulls’ originated from their rivalry with their south London counterparts. During a match in the 1975/76 season, Albion supporters drowned out the visitor's chants of 'Eagles' by producing a louder counter chant of 'Seagulls'.
A key talking point will no doubt be Brighton striker Glenn Murray, who famously left Albion first time around to join Palace. The Eagles chairman, Steve Parish, has recently said about his regret of selling Murray to AFC Bournemouth. His 30 goals during Palace’s promotion year solidified Murray as a fan favourite, and many were disappointed to see him leave.
Palace’s season got off to a horrendous start, without a single point in their opening seven games. But with the return of Wilfried Zaha from injury, and the form of Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek, they seem to be turning their season around, winning their most recent game against Stoke City with a stoppage time winner.
Brighton fans would say they’ve had a solid start to life in the Premier League, with the team sitting in the top half of the table on 16 points. Unbeaten at home since the opening day against Manchester City, the Seagulls have been in fine form. One concern would be that they’ve drawn their past three home games, so fans would be eager to get one over the Eagles.
With some tough fixtures coming up over the Christmas period with a defeat at Old Trafford on Saturday, and matches against Tottenham and Chelsea to come, Albion will feel this is an important game and huge opportunity to increase the gap between themselves and the relegation zone. For Palace, every game is a must win now until they get themselves out of trouble. It’s all lined up to be an exciting fixture at The Amex on Tuesday.