Tag Archives: Jamie Vardy

Premier league 2020/21: WHO CAN WIN IT?

The new Premier League season begins this weekend, unbeleivably as it seems like only yesterday we were waving goodbye to the last season.

Ahead of the 2020/21 season, we have some questions surrounding the top of the table. Can Pep’s Manchester City rid themselves of last years frailties and compete for longer this time? Or will Liverpool continue their consistency and defend their title?

Let’s not rule out the possibility of Manchester United’s continuing their progression and it would be almost insanity to dismiss Chelsea, given their spends, wouldn’t it?

Here’s how I think the teams involved in the upper echelons of the Premier League title race will play out in 2020/21…

Liverpool

The reigning champions. Jurgen Klopp’s side may have ended the season in somewhat bizarre fashion as they rather limped over the line following lock-down and title celebrations. That should not take away from the sheer dominance the Reds imparted on the Premier League.

While many people question the business, or lack of business done by the champions up until now, its my belief only minor changes are required, if any at all.

Natural left-back cover for Andy Robertson was required and has been found in Greek international Kostas Tsimikas.

One saga, which rumbles on is the Thiago Alcantara links, now joined by the Gini Wijnaldum to Barcelona rumours. Whilst many Liverpool fans may argue why not have both? I’m not sure there is room both in the current group, a squad that already boasts a plethora of central midfield options and the two players are of a similar mould.

The main bone of contention continues to be the back-up options to the starting XI. Should Klopp face a long-term injury to his front-line options the understudies may not be of a level required, although in truth that is the case of almost every team in world football. Not many can be a suitable understudy to Virgil van Dijk.

Overall, I believe Liverpool will go on to retain their title, the relentless nature in which Klopp has his squad churning out results is very difficult to keep up with week on week. Don’t be surprised by the growing influence of some of the younger players, in particular Curtis Jones, and also Naby Keita may finally find his feet in English football.

Manchester City

The main contenders to take Liverpool’s crown, Pep Guardiola’s well furnished Man City side.

There is little doubt 2019/20 can be viewed as somewhat of a failure from a sky blue perspective in Manchester. As glorious a victory as the Carabao Cup may have been, a side comprised of such talent and expenditure is expected to finish closer than 18 points off the summit. Not to mention the dismal UEFA Champions League exit.

That, however, was last term, how about now? The arrival of Nathan Ake certainly plugs a crack in the issues faced at City, a forced to be reckoned with going forwards, just ask Watford, but defensively they were often found wanting, just ask Adama Traore. However, I’m not sure Ake is the answer, for one the Dutchman is very much a left-sided centre-back, similarly to Aymeric Laporte. On top of which, despite being a more than decent operator at Premier League level, he isn’t elite, and City are operating amongst that level.

Elsewhere, the club has seen the departure of David Silva from the Etihad, a fine servant to the football club who leaves with the knowledge he will be forever immortalised in statue form. On the field, in a more mobile capacity, Silva is likely to be replaced by the much praised but lesser seen Phil Foden.

Pep has also spent £20 million on former Valencia man Ferran Torres, a 20 year old right winger who arrives with plenty of plaudits and provides competition to the likes of Rihad Mahrez, Bernado Silva and Foden himself.

Whilst the transfer window remains open there is always the chance City could strengthen further, although the Lionel Messi links have now subsided, as things stand in the week of the season’s opening day they haven’t addressed the areas of the squad suitable to overcome an 18 point swing.

Manchester United

Despite the obvious improvement in the past six months, particularly since Bruno Fernandes arrived back in January, there are still areas of weakness at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær is learning on the job somewhat and with that there is bound to come mistakes, certainly when up against seasoned campaigners over a prolonged period.

Despite the frailties, however, it should be another year of progression for the red half of Manchester, who have already bolstered their midfield ranks with the arrival of Donny van de Beek from Ajax. One or two more signings, particularly in defensive positions and they should find themselves cutting the gap to the top two.

Chelsea

Who haven’t they signed? One thing is for sure is the Blues are set to be an enthralling watch with the attacking prowess in their currently huge squad.

Boasting the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, to name but a few, Frank Lampard’s side will give anybody a match on their day, but it’s consistency they may lack to begin with.

They shipped goals all too regularly to maintain prolonged title challenge last term and as things stand that won’t change too much, despite the arrival of the vastly experienced Thiago Silva, it’ll remain a difficult ask to breach the gap to the top two.

Any Other Contenders

Whilst the Premier League has seen Leicester City win the title against the odds, it seems unlikely 2020/21 will see another Claudio Ranieri and Jamie Vardy shaped fairy-tale, but you never know. The main protagonists would of course be Tottenham and Arsenal, although the rivals may be best focusing on breaking into the top four instead of harbouring serious title ambitions.

Outside of the North Londoners, perhaps Wolves could be considered for a tilt for a time being, however a 38 game threat seems unlikely at this stage.

With over a month left in the transfer window anything can happen (Messi), but for now it’s back to back Liverpool glory. After-all, top flight domestic titles are like Mersey Ferries, you wait 30 years for one and two come along at once….

Latics must look to sign this striker to help avoid relegation

Oldham Atheltic are on a dreadful run of form as they are without a league victory in 8 games. The ‘Latics’ looked revived under manager Richie Wellens when he was put in charge of the first team following the sacking of John Sheridan, but a recent dip in form has seen the club fall into the League One relegation zone.

The club did have Eoin Doyle to turn to for goals but after his loan spell ended and that coupled with the fact that he has an illness which is keeping on the sidelines, the club won’t be able to look to bring him back in this transfer window.

With that in mind, the club should look to sign Stevenage striker Danny Newton.

Danny Newton – A product of Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy, the striker joined Stevenage after plying his trade with non-league Tamworth beforehand, where he scored 36 goals and since his arrival at Broadhall Way he has managed to find the back of the net on 11 times in all competitions.

Just before Christmas the Daily Mail were reporting that Championship clubs QPR and Barnsley were tracking the striker as well as fellow League One strugglers MK Dons. Oldham needs to get another striker in to support Craig Davies and Aaron Amadi-Holloway and in Newton, they could have somebody he certainly knows where the back of the net is.

Oldham fans would you like to see Danny Newton at Boundary Park? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section…

3 Premier League Players who should’ve made the England Squad

The England squad has been announced by Gareth Southgate for the international matches against Slovenia and Lithuania. However, as always when the England squads are announced, people are talking about who is in it who shouldn’t be and who should be in it who aren’t. As well known, the majority of England players come from the Premier League, so here are three Premier League players who could’ve and maybe should’ve been called up by Southgate.

Firstly, Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. Although still early on in the season, and with Shelvey not covering himself in glory with a red card on the first game of the season, the central midfielder has shown he can be a proven Premier League and international player by coming back, showing off his long range passing and tackling, providing a magnificent assist at the weekend which opened the Liverpool defence, showing his capability both defensive and attacking. Looking at others, Delph has made the squad and although he has shown good performances, has only made one Premier League start for Manchester City. So Shelvey, currently proving himself and still developing at the not very old age of 25, could certainly do a job for the three lions.

Leicester City and England star Jamie Vardy is not in the squad for these two games. Vardy certainly should be given a call-up, as the second highest scoring Englishman in the league at the moment with five to his name. He has also put in wonderful performances for the Foxes against the big boys of Liverpool and Chelsea. However, in the form of his life, it looks like nobody will take Harry Kane’s name for the number nine shirt in that starting XI. But Vardy is an excellent impact player, a super-sub which he has shown for both club and country. His pace and power can be used to tear defences to shreds. Therefore, Southgate could’ve seriously missed out.

Also unlucky to make the squad is James Tarkowski of Burnley. The centre-back has been superb since the departure of Michael Keane, winning Man of the Match in the Clarets’ win at Goodison Park and also a crucial part to the side that has taken points off Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham. These results, which Tarkowski and his defence have been magnificent in getting, has lifted Burnley to sixth. Surely worth a go for England?

Other mentions could be that of Tammy Abraham, Andre Grey, Alex Iwobi, the list could go on. Leave your thoughts in the comments below