Half Term Reports – Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd, Middlesbrough

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liverpoolLiverpool – 1st

Successful season so far? Yes. After many years of talking about it, Liverpool are finally mounting a proper title challenge. Haven’t been overly impressive but have been very effective. Ended Chelsea’s home record and have also beaten Man Utd. Have done all this without Torres too, he has only played nine games.

Top player: Gerrard is expected to do well and has done. It’s Dirk Kuyt who has really shone though, having morphed from plodding, non scoring right midfielder into an ever present who has provided incisive play from the right wing. Five goals too.

Flop player: Three goals over Christmas does not prevent Robbie Keane being a flop. Dossena has been about as useful at left back as Rafa Benitez.

January shopping list: Another striker, back up full backs.

Dream scenario: Liverpool keep plugging away until Torres comes back, he then inspires them to their first title in twenty years. Man Utd win nothing.

Realistic scenario: Liverpool crack when it really counts, once again too many draws being their undoing. Man Utd win the league.

 

 

man-cityMan City – 13th

Successful season so far? Let’s just say it’s not quite what City’s owners expected when they bought the club. Inconsistency has been their main problem, they have found it impossible to string two wins together. A 6-0 victory over Portsmouth would be followed by a 2-1 reverse at Wigan. Given time Hughes will make them a physical and solid side, but until then he must find a way of getting enough points to avoid being the drop.

Top player: Robinho has taken the money but also delivered the goals so cannot be criticized. Stephen Ireland has been the real star of the show though, playing in every game and providing seven goals and six assists.

Flop player: Jo looks overpriced and not ready at £20million, Elano has fallen out of form and out of favour. Considering how solid the defence was under Svennis, Richards and Dunne have been poor this year too.

January shopping list: For all the talk of Kaka and Buffon, Hughes will be after proven Premier League players. Players like Wayne Bridge may not sound glamorous but might help steady things.

Dream scenario: Superstar players signed in January, Uefa Cup finish come May. Man Utd don’t win the league.

Realistic scenario: Decent Premier League players signed in January, top half finish come May. Man Utd win the league.

 

 

man-utdMan Utd – 3rd

Successful season so far? Stuttering. Neither Utd nor star player Ronaldo have really got going yet this season. Despite this they remain in striking distance in the league, whilst also having become champions of the world. Lots of unimpressive 1-0 wins, which will turn into comprehensive 3-0 victories come the end of the season.

Top player: Ronaldo has been quiet but still fairly effective. Rafael is now first choice right back. Vidic and Carrick have been consistently impressive.

Flop player: Considering his exploits last season would it be wrong to put Ronaldo down as a flop this time round. ‘Only’ eight goals, all against crap teams. Berbatov is pushing him hard though, having yet to fully adapt.

January shopping list: A back up winger perhaps?

Dream scenario: Improve dramatically after Christmas, Ronaldo hits top form again, United equal Liverpool’s league title record. Man City go down.

Realistic scenario: Improve dramatically after Christmas, Ronaldo hits top form again, United equal Liverpool’s league title record.

 

 

middlesbroughMiddlesbrough – 17th

Successful season so far? What is classed as success for Boro? If it’s uneventful survival whilst getting some impressive results along the way then yes, it’s another successful Middlesbrough season.

Top player: Tuncay and Downing are current transfer flavour of the month. Ross Turnbull seems to make twenty saves a game.

Flop player: Alves hasn’t really been worth the money Boro paid last year.

January shopping list: Players to keep them ticking over.

Dream scenario: Something exciting to happen, like a cup run or a win against a big team.

Realistic scenario: Nothing exciting to happen beyond bottom half safety.

 

T.

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