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October 2020
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The big six: how the transfers are going to far, and ignoring Liverpool’s decline

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.

Club Incoming Cost Outgoing Income Current £
Arsenal Willian Mkhitaryan Free
Mari £14m Greenwood Undisclosed
Soares 6 Loans
Gabriel £27m
Ceballos -£41m
Chelsea 7 players £201.30m 5 players £72.7m
7 loans -£128.6m
Liverpool! Tsimikas £11.8m 7 players £10.9m
2 loans -£0.9m
Manchester C 5 players (1 swap) £65.5m 7 players £42.7m
12 loans -£22.8m
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
3 loans

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

2: Liverpool

3: Chelsea

4: Manchester United

5: Arsenal

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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.

Date Game Res Score Competition
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.

 

6 comments to The big six: how the transfers are going to far, and ignoring Liverpool’s decline

  • Mikey

    Interestingly, four of the five games Liverpool did manage to win in that run were at home and all five were against teams in the bottom seven. Further they failed to keep a clean sheet in the majority of those and two of the wins were by just a single goal.

    I personally think they did hit a psychological barrier. A team that good doesn’t suddenly became a bad one. However, your assertion is correct; the media arbitrarily chooses how it wishes to interpret and present a story…….largely depending upon how much they like or dislike any particular team……..as we well know!

  • Tris

    All I can assume is you were drinking before you wrote this piece. Context is not your strong point.

  • Now that is very interesting Tris. As far as I know you have not met me, we have not spoken, and yet you assume that I am a drinker and that it affects what I write.
    Which is a snap decision made on no information. Indeed you don’t even say what you find wrong with the piece.
    This suggests (no more than that because I have very little to go on) that you a) make quick judgements, and b) expect everyone else to see the world in the way you see the world.
    That is a dangerous way of thinking.

  • Chris

    Tony,

    interestingly the Chosen One and his team of intergalactic neighbours does not figure in the top 5…. funny to see the so-called press predict St Totteringham day !

  • Chris

    Tris,

    if this is the way you start a conversation in the pub, they are going to be lonely conversations. I’ll return to my ginger ale and leave you to your insults. Bye now

  • Sammy The Snake

    I think ManU started their good run when Bruno Fernandes joined them. So perhaps he was the one change they needed to turn the corner.

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