In his newest column, Paul Merson displays on why Arsenal might nonetheless pip Tottenham to fourth spot, the issues at Manchester United and provides his verdict on the Premier League title race…
I have not purchased into Spurs being nailed on for fourth
I nonetheless really feel Arsenal have gotten an opportunity. Arsenal have gotten to go to Chelsea and Tottenham have nonetheless obtained to face Liverpool, which can be a unique recreation. With Chelsea beating Southampton final weekend, that is type of cemented their top-four place.
What I might say is that the Arsenal gamers are at their ceiling. They’re enjoying in addition to they’ll and there is not an excessive amount of extra within the locker. They’d a day towards Brighton the place they dropped off that stage and so they obtained crushed.
Should you take a few gamers out who’re very influential in that group and issues aren’t nice. The squad’s not large and Mikel Arteta nearly picks the identical gamers on a regular basis and towards Brighton, they bumped right into a group who had nothing to play for and who had a free swing.
I felt it might be a dodgy recreation. Brighton hadn’t been enjoying properly however you sensed it might be a pleasant soccer match. Arsenal could not get their full group out and it turned a little bit of a wrestle. Kieran Tierney is an enormous participant and Thomas Partey has develop into more and more influential.
I nonetheless really feel Arsenal are in it as a result of Tottenham have nonetheless obtained a Tottenham in them. I do not imply that in a horrible approach, however they nonetheless have gotten a Tottenham in them. Everybody was going mad about them however they may’ve been blown away within the first half towards Aston Villa.
Villa ought to’ve been out of sight and so they solely must have a type of days within the subsequent seven weeks. The 4-0 win over Villa coated over the cracks. They did some nice stuff, do not get me fallacious, however within the first half Hugo Lloris needed to make save after save. So I am nonetheless not satisfied by Tottenham.
The highest 4 remains to be very a lot on for Arsenal.
Ought to Arsenal have saved Aubameyang?
We’re all intelligent after the occasion so there’s completely no level trying again. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 10 objectives in 14 appearances for Barcelona however La Liga is not an incredible league. Soccer is open and it is free-flowing in Spain and he was a nasty affect on the time at Arsenal.
What Piers Morgan stated is typical from somebody who’s not been concerned in a soccer membership.
Arteta needed to make a name whereby if he saved him there and he was having a adverse affect on the opposite gamers, nobody talked about whether or not Aubameyang ought to nonetheless be there three or 4 weeks in the past. Impulsively, we’re listening to that Aubameyang should not have been offered.
You have to have a look at the way forward for the membership and in the direction of the youthful gamers. All of them revered Aubameyang and he was a nasty affect on the time. The supervisor made the suitable name.
Arsenal wouldn’t be capable of convey one other participant into that membership whereas Aubameyang was there on £350,000 every week. Everybody would’ve needed these wages. I did not hear from Piers Morgan three weeks in the past after they have been enjoying just like the Harlem Globetrotters.
The explanation Arsenal have misplaced their approach not too long ago is as a result of they’ve had a few gamers out and have had dangerous days. They misplaced at Crystal Palace however I noticed Chelsea and Man Metropolis not too long ago go there and wrestle. Chelsea have been very lucky to win there.
It is easy to say issues in hindsight however you’ve got obtained to consider the way forward for the membership. There’s quite a lot of younger children there and you would be shocked how a lot they observe the instance of an older participant.
Ten Hag has been working in a two-team league
I known as the consequence on Saturday towards Everton. I informed everyone that Manchester United would lose that recreation. There was no approach that Everton have been dropping. There’s discuss of a brand new supervisor coming in however these United gamers aren’t working round for a brand new supervisor.
It has been a shambles from the day Ralf Rangnick walked into the membership. I am not saying it is his fault, however United wanted to get their everlasting supervisor in instantly after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked. That is Manchester United. It is stop-start.
Whether it is Erik ten Hag who will get the job, he is somebody who has managed in a two-team league for nonetheless a few years. He is by no means labored on this league earlier than and he is by no means actually labored with large soccer gamers. He is been at locations the place he is motivating gamers in the direction of getting large strikes.
He is labored with hungry footballers whereas the United gamers are already on the high. If you have a look at the Eredivisie, Dusan Tadic is the very best participant over there. I am not saying he is not an excellent participant, however the place would he be within the high 50 within the Premier League?
I did not see anybody else falling over to pay money for him when he was at Southampton, simply to place into perspective the 2 leagues. Ten Hag may be an excellent coach, however he is labored with gamers who’ve been informed in the event that they work onerous they may get their large transfer to the Premier League.
These Manchester United gamers are on the greatest membership on this planet however judging by how they’ve carried out, you’d assume they have been pulling tooth. You have obtained followers who go to each away recreation, and you have got the gamers who simply shrug and need to get the season out of the best way.
They’re nonetheless in with a shout of ending within the high 4 however they have been completely atrocious. For me, that is what United deserve after bringing in an interim supervisor. Rangnick got here in with a repute however he is labored with gamers decrease down.
He is labored within the Bundesliga the place the mentality was additionally about difficult gamers to get an even bigger transfer. It is the identical with Ten Hag. He will are available in and work with gamers who’re already there, gamers who at 22 can be on £150,000 every week. How do you get them going?
They know they’re already 1,000,000 miles away from Liverpool and Man Metropolis. I would not take that job in 1,000,000 years. Why would you? What for? Not one of many United gamers would get into the Metropolis group and most would wrestle to even make the bench.
United want Rashford greater than Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is now 37. What’s taking place at United can be driving him up the wall. He is been one of many best gamers of all time however he cannot now do what he used to. This league is relentless, it is too onerous. I am not going to say, ‘I informed you so’, however I might see this taking place.
He obtained Solskjaer the sack, easy as that. They beat the file for the longest run of away video games with out a defeat and so they performed a sure approach. Rangnick introduced off Marcus Rashford at Everton when he was United’s greatest participant as a result of he did not desire a repeat of what occurred earlier within the season at Brentford.
I used to be at that recreation and it was embarrassing. He should not must justify his resolution as he is the supervisor. At Ronaldo’s age, you’ll be able to’t play each recreation. United want Rashford greater than they want Ronaldo going ahead.
The opposite week, they’d Edinson Cavani alongside Ronaldo up entrance. It must cease sooner quite than later, in any other case this membership is simply going to fizzle out from being the most important on this planet. They will not be for for much longer at this fee.
I might be shocked if Man Metropolis do not win title
It is not over as you simply by no means know however I might be shocked if Man Metropolis did not win the Premier League from this place. It will be a serious shock as I feel they’re too good. Each they and Liverpool are superb groups and I do not see something apart from Metropolis reeling off the wins they want. I do not see them dropping a degree.
There is not any doubt that Liverpool have nonetheless obtained tougher fixtures. It will be a unique recreation if Metropolis had Liverpool’s video games. Manchester United at Anfield is not the toughest recreation on this planet however certainly they’ll flip up for that?
They’ve nonetheless obtained to play Tottenham at residence, who’re combating for the Champions League whereas you have a look at Manchester Metropolis and their subsequent two video games are gimmes – Brighton and Watford at residence. I do not see something apart from Metropolis profitable the league.
It was in Liverpool’s palms on Sunday however it’s out of their palms now. As quickly because it’s out of their palms, it is a totally different recreation. Jurgen Klopp hasn’t received the FA Cup which is unusual in order that’s on the road this weekend and to be trustworthy they’ve executed little or no fallacious.
They have been excellent however they’ve simply ran into an unbelievable group on the similar time. If this Metropolis group weren’t round, Liverpool would win every part in sight. Sport is about timing.
There’s been discuss whether or not it is a nice rivalry or not, however you do not have to beat individuals up with a view to be an incredible rival. We noticed that in the best way Kevin De Bruyne reacted to being hacked down by Virgil van Dijk.
Generally previously once you’ve seen gamers staring one another out, what are they doing? It is only a entrance up. You do not have to face there and stare individuals out with a view to have a rivalry.