It’s Soccer Saturday and Matchday 38 of 38 in the EPL, meaning we will have a Champion today.
Hippo hands Wakezilla a note. Wakezilla reads the note
All the EPL games are on Sunday and not today? Well that’s some bullshit. Way to let the Americans win, England.
Seeing how the season has come to an end, our contributors have decided to write an obituary for their respective team for this season. Let the therapy begin.
Team: Manchester United
Position: 6th with a slight possibility of 5th but lets face it, they aren’t winning Sunday.
Wakezilla line that sums up the season: United was playing checkers while Liverpool and City were playing chess/ Fuck me.
Initial Thoughts: The first half of the season looked like United was on a wild roller coaster ride that would end up with them safely qualifying for Champions league. This was large in part due to Jose Mourinho and his “play not to lose” bullshit system getting shit canned and getting replaced by Ole Gunnar. Then the second half of the season happened and fans felt like they were victims of baby shaking syndrome.
Manager: Ole injected life into a club that seemed destined for 10th place or worse and took United streaking. As a result, United`s powers that be appointed a guy with 0 experience at the top level after a 20 game sample size. To the surprise of no one, as soon as Ole gained experience, teams made adjustments. What`s terrifying for United fans is that Ole has yet to overcome these adjustments and as a result, United is getting out coached and losing. They have won 2 of their last 8 matches and have tied some of the bottom feeders of the league, as well as gotten slapped around by middle of the pact clubs.
Verdict: I like the guy and I know it’s incredibly harsh to judge before his first full season—as well as the summer transfer window– but I’m starting to think Ole should just step down in the summer. He seems in over his head and should cut his teeth managing in a smaller league. If he does hang around, he needs to take a page out of Klop and Pep’s page during their first transfer window and get some defense.
Goaltending: Up until Early January, if De Gea wanted a million a week, United fans would have been totally cool with it. Then February came and De Gea suddenly forgot how to play goalie. He cost United quite a few games down the stretch because he got caught cheating/distracted, resulting in him letting in some softies.
I can relate to De Gea. I was an Ice footy goalie and there were some years I was on some bad teams where I knew we were pretty much screwed if I let one in. As a result, I would try and do everything—meaning, I would try and square up to the shot while also trying to block the clear pass to the other player because I knew my defense weren’t going to pick up the open man—which would at times result in me giving up a softy, like De Gea.
Verdict: I love De Gea and 51% of me hopes he stays, where the 49% of me hopes that PSG pulls up a brinks truck to Old Trafford and United can use some of that money to get a formidable replacement and spend the rest on getting some help on defense. Either way, De Gea deserves a better team in-front of him.
Defense: They’re shit.
What a dumpster fire
Man City’s number 4 – Vincent Kompany
Liverpool’s number 4 – Virgil Van Dijk
Manchester United number 4 – pic.twitter.com/ehoXlEHswB
— Oran Treacy (@oran_treacy) May 6, 2019
Inexplicably, Luke Shaw was somehow named United`s best player this year. Just look at this . Fuck me. (he`s #23).
Had to rewind this ‘effort’ level from Luke Shaw…
He’s playing for MANCHESTER UNITED. pic.twitter.com/egiTdEwT3c
— Graeme Power (@GrayPower3) May 5, 2019
Higuain joined Chelski in January and scored more Premier League goals than Alexis Sanchez United. Send Sanchez’s ass to any club in the world, free of charge. Just get him the fuck away from this club.
After getting caught banging an instagram model that wasn’t his pregnant girlfriend, Anthony Startial sort of dropped off. While his lack of assists are a little concerning, this season, his average has increased to 0.61 goals per 90 minutes. Of players who have played over 1000 Premier League minutes this season, only Sergio Aguero and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can better this average in the Premier League. What is even more impressive is the fact that Martial’s xG total for the season is just 6.59. This indicates he should have scored closer to six goals rather than ten given the quality of chances presented to him. After having his confidence ruined by Mourinho, Martial looks to be recovering, which is good. Hopefully this means he’ll be taking the next step next year.
Jesse Lingard has not scored a goal or assisted for United in 2019. Fuck me. Despite that, he was named United’s top young player of 2019. “Fun Fact”: EPL analystRoy Keane criticized Paul Pogba for not being that senior player role model for Jesse Lingard to look up to. Gary Neville agreed. LINGARD IS OLDER THAN POGBA.
Marcus Rashford will likely be a great player one day. While he showed glimpses of what might be something special, down the stretch—and possibly due to injury—Rashford looked like he couldn’t cut it in League 2, let alone the EPL. Pogba was starting to look like he was going to murder Rash with some of those horrendous attempts on net after a beautiful pass by Pogba.
Big Rom has been an enigma for United. Even when he’s scoring, he has had more bad touches than Bill Cosby and doesn’t do much without the ball. I think he’s too slow and would be better off playing in Serie A, which is where he expressed he wanted to go lately. Here’s hoping a team like Inter or AC over pay for Big Rom so United can use that money to buy some defense.
Pogba is a central midfielder and has 13 goals and 9 assists, which is fantastic. Seriously, compare his numbers to Modric, De Bruyne, Kroos, Thaigo or any other central midfielder just to see how impressive those stats are for a CM. His numbers are even more impressive because more often than not over the past 10 games, Pogba has been designated to play CDM due to United’s midfield being overrun lately. This is because outside of Pogba, the midfield has been the drizzling shits. Yet, people still expect him to score more, all the while shutting down the other team. Therein lies the problem with United. Their fans and homer analysts like Keane and Neville are treating lesser footy in the EPL as the same game as it was during the Fergie era. That is no longer the case. The game is faster and more specialized. The complete midfielder no longer exists because the game is too fast. Pogba can be a complete midfielder, just he cannot do it all at once. No one can.
Furthermore, some fans and pundits like to point out Pogba isn’t as great for United as he is for France. No shit. Threading balls are easier to complete when Mbappe and Greizmann are receiving the passes, not Lukaku and Alexis. Playing stellar defense is a lot easier when you have Matudi and Kante supporting you, not Matic and Herrera. In all honesty, outside of Pogba, is there anyone on United that’s even good enough to play on a better team? At this moment, no and that’s the problem with the club.
The kicker in all of this is that many fans and pundits want Pogba out of Manchester, despite the fact he was the only player outside of City and Liverpool players to make the PFA team of the year. Factor in he didn’t win United’s player of the year or youngster of the year (which went to a guy older than him who hasn’t put up and goals or assists in over 5 months), and it seems obvious United foolishly wants Pogba gone.
Verdict: I know it’s an inevitability that Pogba will leave. However, United need to hold onto him for at least another year because Pogba leaving the club this summer would be confirmation that United is a place where talent goes to die and that they truly are no longer an elite European Lesser Footy club. Good luck rebuilding and recruiting top players with that perception.
Final thoughts: Blood rival Liverfailure could win the Champions league title while Derby Rival Man Shitty could win the EPL.
United aren’t skilled or fast enough to win a title the way the EPL game is played. There’s less broken plays and more periods of possession. If you watch City or Liverpool, they beat you with speed offensively and defensively. On defense, they present you with three options and they’re all bad. Two of those options involve a player being covered, and the other option is a player that is open, but ripe for a quick turnover and a terrifying counter attack. The fourth option is to just kick the ball down field, but then you just gave a superior team the ball.
On offense, both teams use their speed to always have a supporting player near the guy with the ball, which creates a lose/lose scenario for the defender. The defender can challenge the player with the ball, but one successful pass and that defender looks stupid and it’s 1-0. The defender can give space between he and the player with the ball, and then the player with the ball goes around the defender and scores. That’s why it’s more complicated than just running two yards to challenge a player. This is a franchise who should be challenging for titles, not hoping for a Champions league spot. Until they adapt their game to the modern style, there’s going to be some painful years ahead.
'At the minute… Man United are f***ed!"
Alan Shearer with an unplanned truthbomb 🙊pic.twitter.com/uZKGJIDFVe
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) April 30, 2019
So, as you all know, I don’t have an EPL side, but rather root for Barça. It is therefore appropriate for me to write their obituary for the season as it is truly over.
Yes, they won La Liga and yes they still have a chance to win the Copa Del Rey, but this was, for the second year in a row, a disaster of an ending.
Like last year, Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League after building a hefty first leg victory. The signs that history would be repeated were there when Dembele blew a golden chance to make it 4-0 in Barcelona and Messi went to the ground in disbelief as the referee blew the whistle to end the game.
I think he knew.
Notwithstanding Messi and Luis Suarez, Barça has lacked scoring all year. And Luis Suarez will soon have surgery on his leg and is out for the rest of the season. I personally like Coutinho, but he honestly hasn’t delivered and will soon be sold.
So, I guess it’s a dick move to say that a season in which the team may very well win the domestic double is a disaster, but it is.
Let me put it to you this way: If you can have a foursome with Charlie’s Angels (70s version, 80s version, or 00s, your preference) and you end up having only a threesome with the least attractive two, because you fucked up and called the hottest one fat, wouldn’t you be disappointed?
King Hippo (Everton):
Well, another season, another 8th position and empty trophy case. That’s the surface version, but using some nuance – you can see signs of immense optimism leading into 2019-20.
Since Man City got a late 2nd (in a 2-nil win) on 6 February, no opponent scored at Goodison the remainder of the season. A run that included a draw over the hated Redshite (which is 95% likely to be the difference in the title race), and wins over Chelsea, Arsenal, and United. Each more dominant than the last. It’s Top 4 form, really. Oh, and it wasn’t a “home form only” thing, with the Toffees on a run of 8 clean sheets in 10, headed into the finale at Spurs. Hoping for Pochettino to rest everyone on Sunday, to make it 9 in 11.
And yes, that is in large thanks to the backline additions of Lucas Digne (as good as any LB in the League, go ahead and fight me) and Big Kurt Zouma. Man, that guy is a fucking rock in central defense. Also, DM Idrissa Gana Gueye continues to serve as our “Poor Man’s Kante” – a proper professional who didn’t kick up a fuss when we refused to send him to PSG (his dream move) in the January window.
Hippo ballot for end of season awards follows.
Player of the Season:
Goal of the Season: Digne v. Man United, as seen here:
Young Player of the Season: Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Litre_Cola (Fulham): What the fuck was that? This season showed so much promise after being promoted from the Championship by making John Terry cry. Mighty Whitey did all the right things in the offseason. They threw money at their inadequacies and were supposed to back to battling for 7th like ten years ago. I believed in our Serb manager with his brand of Serbian Sex football and having his fellow countryman as our centre forward was promising. Problem is that Serb sex football leaves large gaps at the back (ahem) and sweet Jesus did they take a fucking in the beginning of the season. Serbian Sex Footy does not work in the prem because these boys can kill you with one mistake, and the back four of Fulham made a lot of mistakes.
Sexy Serb got fired and the Khan’s brought in Claudio Rainieri. The Cottage faithful believed (myself included) that he could save us from the drop. His reputation and nickname of the Tinkerer was just that. He couldn’t settle on a lineup, benched our prodigy Ryan Sessignon, and was a complete disaster show. After the Khan’s fired him they gave former player Scott Parker the caretaker job and he instilled some defensive instinct (gasp!). The last few weeks they look like they could have stayed up playing this brand of football (Beat Everton 2-0). Sadly a lot of the players who I think could help for promotion will be leaving in the offseason. I do not see the Khan’s spending out now that they got a parachute payment due to the drop. Seri, Mitrovic, Sessignon, Babel (who was superb) will all move on and we will be stuck in the Championship for the foreseeable future. Our young captain re-signed for 4 years which was a shock so that is a sign that all is not lost.
Player of the season: Calum Chambers, if Arsenal don’t want him, we will take him back any time.
We will sell Sess to Tottenham, Mitro to West Ham, Seri to some Italian team as his game is more suited to their game, Babel needs another shot for the Euros, the two french guys will go home and we will be fighting hard against Luton Town. Fuck me.
They are developing the riverside stand of Craven Cottage which will be cool because currently you walk along the river and get to the Cottage but have to go all the way around the stadium to continue down the river. They can’t do much else to the old girl as she is a listed property (1896) and it has to be preserved.
It was a year to be forgotten, guess I will be paying for an international membership next year so I can catch some hot Bristol City action. Fuck.
To the games!
Sadly, the only games that matter today are in Germany, as the champions in Serie A and La Liga have already been determined.
Bayern vs RB Leipzig and Dortmund vs Dusseldorf are the two matches worth watching today.
A lot has changed over in the Bundesliga. Earlier this year, Bayern looked like they might finish a distant third behind RB leipzig and Dortmund. Now, Bayern can win the Bundesliga with a win or Dortmund loss.
Maybe the current Bayern players picked up the slack once Bayern became associated in signing all the top, young players rumoured to be sold during the next transfer window.
Enjoy the games!