By Sir Hardly Anyone
Despite the ceaseless announcements by the media concerning purchases by top clubs, there is not that much happening in the window at the moment.
|Chelsea||7 players||£201.30m||5 players||£72.7m|
|Manchester C||5 players (1 swap)||£65.5m||7 players||£42.7m|
|Manchester U||Donny van de Beek||£34.7m||7 players||£0|
|1 loan||3 loans||-£34.7m|
|Tottenham H||4 players||£30m||6 players||£12m||-£18m|
Still I suppose it is the duty of the media to whip up a storm out of nothing and they are certainly trying their level best to do that.
Chelsea look to be the club that is trying to buy its way to the top… Their list of buys according to the Guardian is
- Hakim Ziyech: Winger — from Ajax: £33.6m
- Timo Werner: Forward — from RB Leipzig:£47.5m
- Xavier Mbuyamba: Defender — from Barcelona: Undisclosed
- Ben Chilwell: Defender — from Leicester City: £50m
- Malang Sarr: Defender — from Nice: free
- Thiago Silva: Defender — from Paris Saint-Germain: free
- Kai Havertz: Winger — from Bayer Leverkusen: £72m
Because for the media transfers mean success (although that was not always the case by any means last sesaon) they are now highly rated. And add in the media’s propensity in its predictions to make next season the same as last season, and we have a typical media prediction list of
1: Manchester City
4: Manchester United
It is interesting that Manchester United are being so heavily ticked to come in above Arsenal, based on… well what? Primarily a good run of league matches from 1 February onwards.
What is particularly interesting is that Ferguson left Manchester United in 2013, and so they have had quite a lot time to rebuild since then. And they have had some post Ferguson success, winning the FA Cup, the League Cup, and the Europa League. But their league positions from 2013/14 onward have been much the same as ours…
2nd (once), 3rd (once), 4th (once), 5th (once), 6th (twice) and 7th (once).
During the same spell Arsenal have won the FA Cup four times. Our league position has been
2nd (once) 3rd (once), 4th (once), 5th (twice), 6th (once), 8th (once)
I have gone to the lengths of spelling this out because transfers, the manager, and recent results is what all the media build their predictions on. So that Manchester United run of just two defeats in the last 25 league and cup games is what is making the columnists think that Manchester United is on the way up.
But there is a problem with this approach, for just because a team is in a run of good results it doesn’t mean that is going to be a run that lasts and lasts.
Last season Liverpool most certainly had a run of good results and went on to win the league, but eventually their run came to an end. On 18 February Liverpool lost to Atletico Madrid and went on to lose just under half of their next 13 games.
Now when I was discussing this ahead of writing this little piece, scorn passed across the faces of fellow Untolders, so let me give you Liverpool’s run.
|18 Feb 2020||Atlético Madrid v Liverpool||L||1-0||Champions League|
|24 Feb 2020||Liverpool v West Ham United||W||3-2||Premier League|
|29 Feb 2020||Watford v Liverpool||L||3-0||Premier League|
|03 Mar 2020||Chelsea v Liverpool||L||2-0||FA Cup|
|07 Mar 2020||Liverpool v AFC Bournemouth||W||2-1||Premier League|
|11 Mar 2020||Liverpool v Atlético Madrid||L||2-3||Champions League|
|21 Jun 2020||Everton v Liverpool||D||0-0||Premier League|
|24 Jun 2020||Liverpool v Crystal Palace||W||4-0||Premier League|
|02 Jul 2020||Manchester City v Liverpool||L||4-0||Premier League|
|05 Jul 2020||Liverpool v Aston Villa||W||2-0||Premier League|
|08 Jul 2020||Brighton and Hove Albion v Liverpool||W||1-3||Premier League|
|11 Jul 2020||Liverpool v Burnley||D||1-1||Premier League|
|15 Jul 2020||Arsenal v Liverpool||L||2-1||Premier League|
Five victories, six defeats, one draw. Not exactly the form of champions during that spell. And yet I have not seen anyone really taking this into account.
In other words the upturn in form by Manchester United is recognised and expected to continue, the downturn in form of Liverpool is not recognised and not expected to continue.
This might be true of course, Man United might jog along while Liverpool might fly to the top, but there is no reasoning here. It is all gut feeling. Which means your gut feeling is as good as any of those experts pontificating away in the media.
- The new big six? A big eight? Just a big four again? A big two?
- Penalties: are they fairly distributed among the clubs or is there a bias?
- A prime example of the extraordinary bias in the media against Arsenal
- Arsenal injury crisis is a phantom of the Mirror’s imagination
- In Switzerland Fifa is on the edge of being blown up. In England….?
- Why life working for a football club might not always be what it seems
- The big six transfers thus far, and who’s got more cash?
- Arsenal transfers: Gnabry return, White a disaster, Martinez a loss?