Overthinking and over-reacting to situations is the human way but when it comes to football something clicks in a person that makes things comical, ludicrous and rarely sensible. That being said during an international break across in Europe, there were bound to be a few hare-brained ideas.
Manchester United will finish above Liverpool
In a recent interview, Manchester United legend Gary Neville has admitted that he believes his former side will finish above reigning champions Liverpool.
SC Take: Few will deny the impact that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made as manager but to claim that his side have the capabilities of finishing above Liverpool is going a bit far. This is reigning Champions Liverpool after all and the same time who finished 33 points clear of third-place United. Even they do have a drop-off, given the hectic schedule that is very likely, United have little to no chance of making up that difference in a year. Especially given the shape of their team. Much like the Reds, Solskjaer’s first team is amongst the best in the league but that’s as far as they go.
His squad depth is terrible and while Odion Ighalo was a smart stop-gap move, he isn’t a long term option. The same goes for Jesse Lingard, and a few other players and given the schedule, squad depth will be key. Furthermore, this is a Liverpool side that has taken years to build with them more than a team. Whether or not Manchester United like it, the Reds are light years ahead of them in everything including their backroom and recruitment. That’s not to say that the Red Devils won’t win a title in the future but they won’t do it this season.
Lionel Messi is clearly just a power and money-hungry ego-maniac
With Lionel Messi announcing his decision to stay at Barcelona until his current contract expires, many on the interweb have claimed that the Argentine is just a power and money-hungry ego-maniac.
SC Take: Even if you don’t want to take the Lionel Messi interview word for word, then look at it this way. In his first full-length interview, Messi doesn’t just reveal and hit out at the problems that Barcelona have created for themselves over the years but he admits that he hasn’t been perfect. If that makes no difference, then the fact that he admitted, he would never take his boyhood club to court alone shows that he isn’t a “power and money-hungry ego-maniac”.
If he was, then PSG would have signed him years ago over Neymar. The bigger problem is that nobody actually knows why Messi did this, even though he admitted that he did it because he was upset about everything. However, rumours, reports and various other snippets of information have claimed that it is because of something a lot bigger. Probably why we all know that this is, in all likelihood, going to be his final season as a Barcelona player.
Tottenham are nothing more than a one-man team
With the release of All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur, many have realised just how much Spurs depend on Harry Kane and it has seen the interweb claim that the North Londoners are nothing without Kane.
SC Take: Nothing without Kane huh? The same team that reached the Champions League final while their superstar striker was injured for four key games. The same team that beat Manchester City while Kane was injured? That same Tottenham and yet the truth is that while there is little doubting what Harry Kane can do for and to a team, Spurs survive without him as well. That’s mainly thanks to the fact that Dele Alli, Lucas Moura, Son Heung-Min and now Steven Bergwijn all combine together to help lift Tottenham.
It’s the same problem Manchester City would have if they lose Kevin De Bruyne, the same issue Liverpool would have if they lost Virgil van Dijk and the same problem Arsenal would have without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Would they be able to cope and find new ways to survive without said stars in the team? Naturally, because football, whether we like it or not, isn’t a one-man sport, it’s an eleven-man sport. Now if Lionel Messi left Barcelona, then hell would break lose but you get the point.
Juventus have lost their way as a team and a force in football
Juventus appointing Andrea Pirlo as their new manager, letting Gonzalo Higuain leave only to potentially sign an ageing Luis Suarez, it has seen many claiming that the Old Lady have lost their way as a team and are no longer the force of nature they once were.
SC Take: For once, the interweb has got things right. Juventus have been ‘the’ financially perfect team over the last decade or so. Every move they’ve made has been well within their reach, and every transfer they’ve made has been done with the future in mind, until Cristiano Ronaldo. The legend of Portugal proved to be a move that few could resist and he has repaid the club in gold and various other bonuses including single-handedly leading their Champions League run.
However, since signing Ronaldo, Juventus have made bad move after bad move with outrageous contracts for players with little to no re-sale value with the latest potentially set to be Luis Suarez. The Barca man is about to sign a €10 million a year on a three-year contract and it’s sending Juventus down another financial black-hole if not within the next year, then within the next two odd years. Not only that, while you can see the reasoning behind the move, the fact that it is Luis Suarez, a man who has truly struggled in the Champions League over the last few years, makes it even worse. Something needs to change for the Old Lady but the pursuit of the Champions League often makes football clubs do something stupid.