Premier League Rundown: Arsenal’s Complacency, Man City’s Winning Streak, and Chelsea’s Struggles

In Episode #245, we dive deep into Arsenal’s recent performance, Manchester City’s unstoppable winning streak, and the struggles Chelsea faces under Lampard.

We discuss Arsenal’s complacency and how West Ham’s style of play under David Moyes is causing trouble for them. We also explore Manchester City’s ruthless victory over Leicester City and Pep Guardiola’s ability to adapt and change the team’s playing style.

Moving on, we examine the lack of structure, trust, and leadership in Chelsea as they lose to Brighton and how Brighton’s data-driven, metrics-focused approach has made them one of the best-run clubs in the Premier League.

Finally, we celebrate Bournemouth’s impressive victory over Tottenham Hotspur and discuss Gary O’Neil’s potential for manager of the season, as well as Aston Villa’s transformation under Unai Emery.

Join us for a thrilling conversation about the current state of the Premier League and the exciting matches we’ve witnessed!


Chapters & Time Stamps

0:00:00 – Arsenal’s Complacency and West Ham’s Tactics

0:03:11 – Stadiums and Football Games

0:05:26 – West Ham vs. Arsenal

0:12:33 – The Fierce Fight for Survival

0:16:55 – City and Trouble for Lampard

0:18:28 – The Constant Change of City

0:23:22 – Brighton’s Success and Chelsea’s Struggles

0:25:07 – Brighton & Data Network

0:35:03 – Learning From Mistakes

0:38:40 – The Top Four Fights

0:39:43 – The Great and Powerful Bournemouth

0:46:21 – Spurs Find Identity

0:48:47 – Aston Villa’s Transformation Under Unai Emery

0:56:20 – Reaching Nine Wins

01:03:45 – The Relegation Battle for Football Clubs


#PremierLeague #Arsenal #ManchesterCity #Chelsea #WestHam #DavidMoyes #PepGuardiola #FrankLampard #Brighton #Bournemouth #TottenhamHotspur #AstonVilla #UnaiEmery #GaryONeil #football #soccer #analysis #PodcastEpisode




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Hello, and welcome to the squeaky bum time podcast presented exclusively on the chop sports channel of the Premier streaming network. We are recording this on Monday, April seventeenth. I am your host, Laurent Cortez. In this episode we just saw a Liverpool wrong at Ellen Road versus Leeds Chelsea get deserved by Brighton and Holland. Breaks another record. What first? Oh my God. Arsenal drop a deuce again. Arsenal dropping. Another two goal lead versus West ham in this week's fixtures. But first, just some notes, please Like share, subscribe the show. It means everything to us. We need you to be part of the show. We need you to follow along. We need you to spread the word about the squeaky bum time podcast. We love you. We need you. If you wanna be in the WhatsApp group, please let me know in the comments and I will send you a note so you can join us with our regular occurrences. Okay. Let's get to the show.


So, Arsenal drop points for the second week in a row this time versus West Ham. I know that narrative is bottling it. I know that everything says that arsenal are losing I know that everyone says poor Bakari Sako has felt nervous, but I don't really buy the nervous narrative. And I'll tell you why. A team could not possibly be nervous and play the way that arsenal played the last two weeks in the first half hour of both those games. In Liverpool, I saw a dominant team. I saw a team that had a plan. I saw a team that could bump it around. And score and put the ball in a net versus one of the most decorated teams in the last five or six years in Union Claps Liverpool. And in in in the West Ham game, I think the world thought that West Ham were completely utterly and totally cooked. Nobody saw that performance coming from West Tim before the penalty, nobody saw any of those things. So Arsenal, if they're guilty of anything, It is a level of complacency and not really understanding how big the moment is. In fact, it's the other way around. They're not nervous. They don't think it's squeaky bum time. They think it's still mid season. And in fact, I'd argue they need to start feeling nerves and they need to start acting as though they're in the running against a super blue machine of death that is coming for them to destroy them. Because don't get me wrong. Manchester City are coming for your Red Gunner asses. The citizens, this is no sweat off our back. We will come and get you. Says the city fan. But I do wanna talk about this game because it was fascinating.


Arsenal come into the London stadium. And as a city fan, there's something about the London stadium for a team that plays in swaps the ball around. The pitch seems gigantic. The racing track around it because it's from the game's seems like there's just no background and you can pop the ball around. And liver and Arsenal did that in the first half.


To the point that I was watching this game, I turned it off. I turned it off. Because I was like, oh, man, I like to watch I've got a shot in Freud. In me, I like to see if Arsenal are gonna blow it. And then I didn't really realize that they did indeed blow it, and I have to check back in for the second half. But, yeah, this came and just to give you a sense of how lopsided it was in those first few minutes, I've just gotta track down my trusty machine of doom here, the old FB ref.


Just in the first thirty minutes here, it's all arsenal. They score two goals, one on seven. And one on ten, they're up two in the first ten minutes of the game, and then they just kinda sit back and relax until they get a penalty from from Gabrielle who just inexplicably dives in when his team is cruising And this is after Thomas Parte is fucking around with the ball, Deckling Rice closes him down, knocks it off him. God love Deckling Rice. He does play so hard. He never gives up. He's probably overrated, but That doesn't mean he's not good. Like, players who are overrated are still really, really fucking good. It's just that they have a little bit of an outsized feeling on their team.


Then that penalty that Saeed Ben Rama puts in, we have a game that's two one going into the break, no harm, no foul, and it's just one of these things. But from then on, Westham take it to Arsenal especially in the second half Antonio has a really good shot that saved from his head. And it doesn't feel like And then Arsenal do pick it back up second half and they get a penalty drawn. That's a clear penalty. It's a handball by Antonio. I mean, we can go through a whole discussion on handball another day. There's a whole off season. I think the penalty does not justify the crime half the time. But that's okay.


So Bakari Saka, who is Arsenal Starboy, they keep using that term, he famously made it through his penalty miss in the euros. He steps up and he hits it high and through just straight straight through. And he misses. Doesn't it target? Doesn't force Fabiana and Skins get a save? Just fires it past the goal. And from there, two minutes later on a really just lumped ball, I in the air, that just gets kicked back in. They don't close their lines properly. They don't mark Jared Bowen. Jared Bowen on the violin. Pop sit in. Two two.


And there it really stayed and there wasn't much to do about it, but I think what's interesting when I really found so fascinating about this game was the the medal of West Ham. I thought David Moise was in trouble. I thought you know, all the things about West Ham that have been troublesome, they Thursday, Sunday, they don't play, they bought all these players, all that stuff, and David Moise is just like, Fuck this. I'm Scottish. I'm from Dymphurmlin. I don't care. Here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna huff it into the box. We're gonna do long throw ins. We're just gonna keep playing our game, which is fighting which is muscle, which is size, which is everything that Arsenal doesn't wanna do.


This was a game From, you know, from the eighties, this was balls into the box winning second balls muscling guys out of way, this was for Antonio to run the channels, and I think what what Westham capitalized on was Arsenal's inability, especially with Rob holding back there. Sorry, I love you Rob holding in your hair piece. You just don't clear balls into touch because you're and and out of play and into the and into corners because you're doing what West ham want. What they don't want you to do is take the ball down has a composure and play. Rob Holden can't do that? Gabrielle can't do that. It's Saliba who's the player who does that. And every single time. And I don't think that holding or or Orgarvia were particularly bad. It's just they weren't composed an understanding of what they appointed wanted to do. So by ticking the ball and kicking it into touch. They just continued the pressure that that that West ham wanted to play on.


If you remember famously when boys was with United, Rio Ferdinand famously revealed in a position to complaining about their not being allowed to eat chips, AKA french fries. He revealed that Moise had a number of crosses and throw ins that he wanted to gain per game. He was very meticulous about this is how we play. We get thirty throw ins a game. Set pieces. And and that was actually anathema to United. But for West ham, that worked. And we saw a fighting troublesome, Westham, Kurt Zuma, clearing everything away. Everything is headed out and away. McAltonio, just bodying everyone until courtney came on late.


Arsenal did seem to recognize that they had a playing problem because they stopped playing they stopped attacking. They brought on Trussard for Part A and Georgino for Rejesus probably was actually the other way around. And tried to just control the game with the ball, but they were unable to do that. So some of their principles that Arsenal have played with all season went out the window. But but but the doom and gloom for Arsenal, I think, is inaccurate.


Think of it this way. What if this draw was the Bournemouth game at day one three two? What if the and they had won and they won this game and the Bournemouth was a draw, which it should have been. What if the Aston Villa game that they were gonna lose became the Liverpool game. So if you start putting it together in that context, ultimately, it's gonna come down to a week from Wednesday. In the Etihad. Arsenal now and not lose. A draw keeps them in decent shape means they'll have a one point lead when Citi get their game in hand done finally. And that's it's still in their hands. They still have to get a result at anfield. I mean, at at the Etsy hat. So it doesn't really change their narrative. Now, if they win on Friday against Southampton, where they have a weird schedule. They have to go to Southampton, not gonna be easy, but Southampton are really cooked at this point. And then win at the Etihad, they're fine. Ultimately, this result does not change the fact. That they have to go to the Etihad and get a result.


It ruined some of their point of error, margin for error, but that's what this whole season was for. You knew squeaky bum time would come. You knew the run-in would come. You knew that this city game would be important. You gained all those points so that you could sustain this dip, this troublesome time. And do it.


I think the issue is narrative wise. Two times in a row, two games in a row. You went up to for Arsenal. You were playing great and the tide turned. The tide turned. So the results became these two draws that look like paint. I think arsenal fans could rationalize Liverpool away, but they could not rationalize West Ham as a result, even though they were both the same general narrative of the game. At Anfield, they got Anfield. We talked about that while I was in Palm Springs, how, you know, the whole ethos of the city being behind the team.


But in the West Ham game, it's a little bit different. This is a relegation fight. But in this case, you got moist as bad as moist as as a top six skill, top six results. His teams have a way to play. They have a character they have a thing and they're asking you to play them off the park, to beat them. And Arsenal did that. But then stopped doing it. Then gave them a lifeline in their penalty by Gabrielle. And from there, it became a a Norwegian street fight, a Scottish fight to the death, a ski and do in your heart, hilts, bagpipes, and award. This was Jakobites versus long shanks. This was serious shit.


And Westham came and said, we are not gonna lose this game. We're gonna scratch, fight, flaw, and go to the wall. To get these points, and they did. And arsenal have to find that inside them. I don't begrudge them this result. They like I said, It's just math. They still have to go to the Etihad and get a result, but they are wobbling. They just have to find that inner resolve. And say to themselves, we've played great, we're good enough, we've been good enough, We've been the best team in the country for most of this season. We've we've stood Gabrielle being out. We've we've stood that wobble in the middle of the season and the law the first loss to Citi at our pitch. And now they need to dust themselves off and go We go again. We go again. And they can do it. They can do it. They can do it. This is a good arsenal team. They can do it.


The question is, will they? And so we don't know what we know and we'll transition now to Manchester City. Is that Manchester City or a ruthless machine of destruction, force, and evil? I don't care. I'll play the heel. City or evil. They go, get a hold of Lester City, and beat them like a rented goalie. Faster and dispatch them more quickly than you would expect.


They scored three goals in twenty five minutes. Bing, bang, boom, stones on an amazing outside the box shot. It's his first shot on target for marks out of the box. Now granted he is playing midfield now. We all love John Stones. This is an amazing season for him to see him there.


Then a handball, again, Indeedy. Leicester just simply make mistakes every week and it seems to be in Didi. If there are any lesser fans out there, can you tell me why he still plays? I guess there are no other options. Good to see Telemons back. This is, again, Dean Smith's first game. Holland put it away. Really nice for city fans to have of penalty taker who wants to take them. And then De Bruin struggling to the midfield, really a nice drawn in deserve y ball kind of drawn in, narrow, then pop around the corner, create a transition moment into De Bruin. He fights off a tackle. Earlen Holland sees the run takes off and puts it away. City up three now in twenty five minutes, and it was over. City's game was over.


Nothing else happened in the first half, especially, but then in the second half, especially after greenish and the boys all come off on sixty eight. There are two changes at halftime. Stones and Holland come off for Alvarez and NAKANji. And then Phillips and copama come on on sixty two, and that and then Greenwich comes off on sixty eight. Those changes really disjointed city, and Lester did get back into it. I don't begrudge them. They did get a goal from a hanacho. On a shot that was blocked, that that was saved, and then put through.


And the x g story, just for many. Is that Lester Winless game? Is another case of XG not being great. They did hit the post, but you never got the feeling that Citi were in trouble in this game. I don't feel like as I watched this game, that that city we're in trouble and we're gonna lose, they just killed the game off. Got their three goals and then kept it powder dry for the game on Tuesday against Byron Munich, which is where their heads at. So yes, Lester put up a good fight in the second half. Dean Smith, new coach of Lester can take that and go, okay, We got that one. We got those that happened. And he can spin it how he wants. And you can spin it how you want many. That that city were lucky not to not to lose this game. I think it had had it gone to three two, then we would have had some panic stations. But nothing really happened there and city just cruise and keep the pressure on arsenal. City Now are on ten wins in a row in all competitions. They are starting to rev the engines. We're seeing that moment that arsenal that Liverpool fans know about, that the rest of the league know about.


It slid in time it it it's been this narrative has been it that it's been in the winter or whatever. Whatever it is, there is a period in the season when city turn on the jets and get their groove back. I don't know what the timing was specifically for this season. There was a long period of the season where City had won more than two or three games in a row, but now it's on ten. Just to give you a sense of their last ten, four one against Boynton's three nil against Bristol at the Epic Cup, two nil against United, one nil against Palace away, where we dominated then that seven nil against Leipzig, six nil versus Burnley in the Epic cup, three four one liver pool, four one Southampton, three nil against Byron, and now three. So scoring almost four.


I can't do the math fast enough. Feels like about four and a half, five goal four, about four goals a game over the last ten. Just an incredible amount of gold age that everyone should be worried about. And I think rightly so, I think the funny thing is with Citi is, you know, every time we win, it's expected, every time anything happens with Citi It's all expected. This is how it should always be. Being a part of it and being a fan who watches all of their games it doesn't feel that way. There's always periods of struggle. There's always periods of change, the can say low change, the changing of the back for the incorporation of John Stones, this stepping into midfield double pivot, change, there's there's just been trouble and work and items that happen. And like John and Manny have said on the show if you wanna be part of the WhatsApp group. They're just it's PeP. We're all just waiting for him to leave.


He's such a good coach. He finds challenges. He finds his newness. He changes the way city plays so there's no complacency. In fact, he makes the team uncomfortable and is willing to sacrifice some of the fluidity at earlier points in the season to find a new fluidity, to find a new identity, to find a new way to play that disrupts the team in the season and changes it. As much disruption as there has been during this season with the World Cup, Peppa's found it again to do something new, to to fuck about, to to have Bernardo Silva at left back, to move Concealer one way, to have Rico Lewis, have his moment in the team. But now it's settled in. It's the four defenders at the back with, you know, it it's it's moving La Porte out. It's It's about finding Greeleish, getting him to be where he he needs to be because he has a specific need for him to do that he wants to try and then adding Holland and incorporating his runs and getting the team to feel good about what he's doing. And now we're seeing city and it feels inevitable and inevitable and it felt easy but it's not its work and city put in the work. And that's why I'm so proud of this team.


It's great to follow city. It's different. I know as a non fan, you don't see it. You just see a machine of doom and death. But if you go through it week after week, you sort of know what work has gone in and what has happened. Like, you know, these losses against Tottenham and losing against United two one and and dropping in the NFL cup against Southampton and losing to Bradford inexplicably and even in this season losing away at Liverpool unable to score a goal or the or the draw against Southampton to to save fucking Steven Girard's job way back when these are all these moments that just, you know, are blips that city have now put the season together and are now moving forward in a way that just has them clicking and moving and it's starting to feel like we're inevitable. It's one of the verbs, action words that that a lot of city fans or people who follow city regular, we get into this inevitable mode. Yet, we're down a goal. It's inevitable. We're gonna score two. Yeah. It's nail nail. It's coming on seventy. It's inevitable. Kevin De Bruin will find a goal. We get this inevitable feeling about us. We're rolling. We're rolling. We're rolling. We're rolling. And a week from Sunday, arsenal better be ready because we'll fucking stop them.


We move on to the our other friends in the Premier League and talk about Chelsea. I think it's a good transition to go from city to Brighton and Chelsea and lampard because in this game. And I think lampard is in a lot of trouble even as an interim manager. When I say that Brighton wiped the floor with Chelsea, it was not close. It was not a contest. There was nothing coming from Chelsea that said they were gonna win the game.


Did they get a goal? Yes. Are they at home? Yes. Do they have all these players that are names or famous or have YouTube clip videos or whatever? Yes. But here's what they don't have. They don't have a structure, they don't have trust, they don't have an organization, they don't have leadership that knows what they're doing, and they don't have a coach who can galvanize the team as an us against the world. Frank, lampard may be a legend and he was signed as a PR move. It's a catastrophe. He cannot coach at this level. He cannot coach against someone like Desirby. Who has his team playing at a level that is changing the Premier League in terms of influencing PeP, influencing other teams, trying to work out what are they doing?


And Brighton deservedly got the win in this game from a couple of one specifically great goal from is it and CISO from Paraguay? What an incredible player. Curiyada says that and seesaw on sixty nine. Connor, by the way, Chelsea were up in this game on on a Gallagher goal from a great run by Boudrick. Boudrick looked good in the first fifteen minutes and then fucking vanished. And even with Feldman and Evan Ferguson, who again was fantastic, if you don't know the name Evan Ferguson, get to know him. He may be the next great striker in this league. He's a nineteen eighteen year old Irishman. Playing striker for this team. He did do his ankle, I think it looked like, but he had incredible chances in this game.


Links up play this brightened team. Is what you want your team to be. This brightened team, how it plays, how its structure is from Tony Blum, down to directors of football, down to scouting networks, down to pricing, down to on the pitch play, down to players improving. Everything about Brighton is what I think Chelsea wanted to be. And they tried to buy with Brighton. But I think what we're finding out is that it's not the individuals. It's the institution of Brighton. It comes from the top in Tony Blum and his metrics driven gambler centric, data driven network. Same when that brightens it.


Through the best run clubs in the Premier League are Brighton and Bradford. It's not a coincidence that they are heavily data driven in motion removed, smart teams that get things done and are selling clubs. They find players around the world of football. Right now, Brighton have a pipeline to the lesser South American countries, so they've been mining paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela versus Argentina, Brazil. The way transfers work is absurd. They don't it you can find players before.


Matoma was found for two and a half million pounds. I mean, that's a crazy number. He's incredible. Every time a ball went out to the wing with him. Chelsea were screwed. Did they have the right player out there? Probably not. But, you know, Trevor Chalba is a professional. He was he's a defender. He's out there on his own trying to guard Matoma. Solly March was sort of on off the boil right now, but, you know, it came down to McAlister and in CISO and Kaiseido. This team is just incredible. Please, please, please. Just watch brighten. They came out with a with force and a mission after they got fucked. In the Spurs game, and they took it to Chelsea. I can't tell you how good brightener. You have to experience that. But on the other hand, Chelsea are just just let this season in. They needed to end. And they need to announce their new coach. I feel very good that it will be novels, man.


I think A lot of the backroom staff that BOLI has been hiring, take that with a grain of salt, has been from the Red Bull Tree you know, a corporate company that is running multiple business lines of business set up by by RANNYk Now granted he didn't do great, but at least there was a structure and a plan in place. So that's the awesome huddle the Marsh, the Nozzlesman path through Red Bull Salzberg, through Red Bull Leipzig, and that's a corporate entity and they've sort of pulled their resources and done the best they can, trying to create a club and a system to sort of identify players and move them through. Remember, Holland came through the Salzberg Leipzig process was he at salzburg and then went to Parisia. I think that's where it's his path. And so they have a system in place and BOLI being the smart ass that he is. He's probably just, you know, grasping at straws, but he has hired a bunch of guys from there mixed with some of the brighten holdover guys who came over with Potter. So there is some structure coming together.


Chelsea just needs that thing to coalesce. They need to get bully out of the room, get him away, let the football guys modern football guys, not, you know, Sam Allerges. Get the modern football structure in place so that they can reset and move forward. They have a lot of players that are good They have a lot of players who will improve. They have a lot of players who need coaching. They're all really young They've been put into this institution that's been hollowed out and nobody seems to know what the fuck is going on, least of all Franklin Park. You need a real coach who can put processes in place that go beyond just football. It needs to be What is our food like? What is our what is our analytic structure? Who reports the who? Like all those pieces of structure need to be put together? Because Chelsea has been completely hollowed out.


And saying that. They have institutional damage, and the fans have a memory of an institution that they think structurally exists, but it's gone. And so you have an empty vessel that's being filled in by the void of only. And he doesn't know what he's doing. And I'm sure he'd admit that he doesn't know what he's doing. And he's just getting making mistake after mistake after mistake. I I think we could sort of start making the argument that it was a mistake to fire potter as well because they're still losing. And Franklin Park still just as clueless as Potterlock. So this was a bad result for Chelsea. And they do go they do host real Madrid at Stanford Bridge. Crazier things have happened, but I don't think Chelsea have scored three goals in a game or let's see.


Chelsea scored three goals three times this year. Once in a Champions League in October against Milan, at home. That seems like an outlier. Once against wolves in October, so those were back to back games. So that looked good for Potter.


And oh, no. Oh, no. That was eight. Sorry. I'm reading the dates wrong. That was in I can't I can't forget the sound right now. Why can't I forget the sound? Let me see. And once again, Lester, who can't stop anyone. So that was in October that they scored three against wolves. That was in the Bruno large era.


And really, they have not scored three goals except three times this year, and they've scored two a bunch of times. It's mostly ones and zeros for for Chelsea. However, to be fair, when they scored two, they do win. They have secretly had a very, very good defense, and that's only started to slip lately giving up four to Brighton was very, very poor and out of character. One thing that I think gets overlooked under Potter was that Chelsea didn't give up many goals. Their promise they couldn't score, but they were at least staying within the principle of holding onto the ball to stop people from scoring. But now they they're doing neither because Franklin Park is not a good coach and he doesn't know what he's doing. That's my take. And then Brighton are just flying. And if they hadn't been fucked in the Spurs game, they would be even closer to a chance.


At being in Europe this season. Okay. Our friends at Manchester United. They're in a crisis, and it's not that it's not an all day crisis. They played Nottingham Forest, away.


I will admit that I was very concerned for United in this game. McGuire and Lindenoff had a start Salvitzer got injured in the warm up, and so Eric's had to come on. It's at the city ground. This is a do or die for Nottingham Forest. And United played one of their better games, no rashford, more shells in the team.


He's do have Anthony and Santiago. Anthony was in many games, in part of the goals created the Great Pass early for the last goal, I think. And then Bruno was fantastic. So this was a good, good, good, united performance and really sharp from them. Ten how can probably be really happy with this result. He's a good coach. I think I've sort of said it more than once. I think that Ten Hogg has done an incredible job with this United Squad because it frankly is not very good. And if you play the XG game, this was one of their more dominant performances of the season. Yeah. The the place the Anthony play was the second goal to Diego Dalo. He played them in.


This game was one nil for most of the game and that they didn't get their second until seventy six, but they battered Forest. Forest didn't really create much at all. Really just had the six shots None on target. De Haya didn't have to make a save, and none of the chances they had, their most valuable shot was won by on Oohie that he hit off the bar and then Felipe had another one both on a header late in the game on seventy six. So here's a team that is about to go under water and their best chances at home, and United controlled this game really, really well, especially in the second half. They just completely dominated the play and and created lots and lots of chances. So United have gotta feel good. They are gonna have to rely on Maguire. And I think that's probably their biggest issue. They do take the points. They're still focused on their tea on their finishing. They still have a Europa League game at home against the away, sorry, against the Via that they had the game in hand. They're gonna have to go and fight and play hard. And teams are gonna players are gonna have to step up.


But one thing I do know is Tenhan doesn't tend to make the same mistake twice. He seems to learn he seems to keep the team like, if he try something and it fails, he'll move away from it. We know about Bacorp's he was using him for a particular reason. To press and defend. He does now have Casa Miro back, which makes the balance and the defense of the team much much better. Even though Maguire and Lyndaloff are there, they said that's your third and fourth choice, center backs. Let's be clear. And if you remember, Luke Shaw was ahead of Maguire So I think he'll he'll he'll keep WombaSaka in the side with that with Maguire and Lindaloff and sacrifice some attacking intent because warm attack is such a good defender. I don't know where he is positionally, but at least we know he's gonna defend first and let the ball let let some of the fluidity go out the window and try and play with Ericsson Bruno and Casa Miro as a three man in midfield and Marcielle who he really loves and is trying to turn around.


I give a lot of credit to Ten Hawk he seems to understand man and management and getting guys back on side and all the body language and getting a a guy like Marc Xiao who has historically you know, if he lost the ball, he wouldn't track back and go find it again. But he's got Marcio playing for the team and for the unit. I don't know what he's doing. I don't know how he's doing it. He is a good coach. So that I like for United, and then for on the forest side, just more of the same. They just they just don't have enough. I don't understand why Jesse Lindgaard is not playing. They're not scoring from any of their front three. So might as well put Linguard in. He's got experience. He'll try and win something.


Froiler's been a bit of a disaster for them. They let O'Brien go. He's in MLS. He's scored a goal. Emmanuel Dennis comes in late, doesn't really do much. So they have something. It just it looks like it's slipping away for them.


If you told me that Cooper got fired, Would I be surprised? No. At this point, as much as I like him, they got to get to nine wins. And it does not look like they're going to get to nine wins for forest. Their goal is to stay in this league, and they have liver pull away. That's a loss right in that home. That's a loss. Brighton away. Draw. Maybe because Brighton are on the beach. South Hampton at home must win must win Chelsea away, draw, That's five points arsenal at home, loss, crystal palace away. They might be safe or give them a win. That's eight points. That's eight points. That's gonna put them on Thirty five. Thirty five is not enough. Thirty five is not enough. Maybe two wins. At least, maybe three. So I worry for Palace. I mean, for for Forrest, they are in trouble, and Steve Cooper is in trouble for sure.


United are in in that in that top four fight. I don't see them slipping up. You know, they've now pulled ahead of Newcastle. They're both on united on fifty nine with Newcastle on thirty six. Potlum have a game in hand on fifty three. They probably they've got a six point lead on top. So they're pretty locked in to that top four. So the goal for the season has been reached for United, I'd say. And they can try and they have two paths. Right? They have the Europa League. As well. So they're in really, really good shape and have a lot to be prouder for their season and have done really, really well. Our next two friends are gonna be around the Champions League places.


And I'm gonna talk about my friend, Gary O'Neil, and Bournemouth taking it to Tietnam, hotspur. What a fucking performance by the great and powerful Bournemouth I've been talking about it and I kind of knew I think in my preview that got lost, the lost episode, I talked for quite a bit of time that I thought that Gary O'Neil had a shout at manager of the season and that taught them basically just removing Dante from the team so he wouldn't criticize Daniel Levy, but leaving everything that Dante did in place with Stellini is absurd. And Bournemouth, listen, they did what they're supposed to do. They sat deep, they hit on a break, And Dominic Selenke, like I said, is a good player.


If you remember him from his early days as a Chelsea youth player, then he went on to Liverpool. He had great great seasons as a youth player. This is a guy with really, really good pedigree. Over twenty five goals in the championship, the season before. And I think as a youth player, he was youth player of the year, something crazy, like, at Chelsea, at sixteen years old, won the under seventeen World Cup.


And and with Bournemouth has been on a on a steady progressive forward. Fifteen and twenty nine, and now he's he's got five five goals this season, but six assists. So he is providing something to the team and and and and doing knockdowns and getting things to billings and He's been good. He's been their best player. And he's still just twenty two, twenty four years old. So he's a striker with a lot of pedigree and we have to remember.


It's really hard to develop in the Premier League. That's why, you know, you see a kid who's seventeen or eighteen they don't make it. It's hard to score to learn how to score in a Premier League. And now he's coming into his prime Selenke has been he's gonna be he might become someone. He might be a guy that if a team goes down, he'll get bought and moved on. If you remember. He played you know, so Selenke was with Liverpool nineteen years old. He had twenty one matches play at about six Five starts, you know, he he did a little something something. He was with the club and they moved him on to Bournemouth. You know, this is one of those things where Liberty had a bunch of young players that they sold, if you remember, the Rehan Johnson one where they got, like, forty million from fucking Sheffield, you know, you're like, what the fuck? So this is another one that they sold and did well on the sales department. But, you know, Selenke has had a hard time developing in the Premier League. But now that he's in the Premier League, he's playing well and has moved Bournemouth forward along with his partner billing.


And we wanna give our guy, Gary O'Neil, a lot of credit. He identified the issues with the team that they needed to become a counter attacking team Bovinia and Oterra, both players who came in the January transfer window and are players who can run. And attack on the brake. And, you know, you saw Atara's goal in the last minute after Dan Juma in the eighty eight minute level put Sorry, leveled the game at twos. We saw, you know, another late draw from spurs being the best worst team anyone had ever seen. Otoro just did not let it happen coming on at seventy nine, knocked down from Zelenky on the break and then he has the poise to stop, shake shake parasic, or was it was it Heidelberg on a cutback and then calmly slotted into the corner. For the win and cue the scenes, for the great and powerful bournemouth. But yeah, Kinnman's son, got back on this four, then Juma got some burn and actually got to play. It was a really difficult game to see four spurs, just blow it again and again and again.


They've really missed Bettencourt, I think, is probably the low key biggest miss for them because he was connecting the team from back to front. And without him, they just don't have any fluidity as they move from defense into attack They don't have the wing backs to do what they need to do. Parisic has to play, but he gives a lot back in defense and he's old. And Heidelberg and Skip are destroyers. They are not creative players and so you're requiring Kain to drop deep so he's not in the box and the whole thing kind of breaks down. If you remember, the Kuleshevsky son and kain thing worked because they can all break together. And without Betts and Core linking that whole thing together, it doesn't work.


There was a sort of dark moment for the great and powerful Davis to Sanchez who's come to represent what Spurs fans feel as their weakest period, and he represents Levy on the field for a better lack of a better word. So Came onto the field, got booed on every touch and eventually was pulled off after twenty minutes. So he was a subbed that was subbed. And you feel bad for the guy It's not his fault that the fans have decided that he's their worst player. He just doesn't have a skill set that they're asking him to do. He can't plan from the back. He doesn't have the skills. He's not a champions league level player and spurs who fancy themselves at champions league level club just are not there. And so, you know, he came on for Lang Lang in the first half and then eventually was pulled for Desjuma who ended up scoring. So that was like a a Levy Levy transfer of weirdness hopefully, you know, Sanchez can move on and doesn't have to suffer.


But for Spurs, it's just like, what the fuck are you guys doing, man? I don't think they're in as bad shape as Chelsea. I think they're one good manager appointment away. But, you know, we still have Levy. We still have of the things. I think it needs to be a very clear structure of just like, hey, manager guy. This is where we are. This is what we're doing. Don't ask. This is spurs. This is how we do shit. And if you just wanna coach and put your head down and move forward that way, don't be out here trying to complain.


I think the problem that spurs have is they thought that they were ready to challenge. And thought that they were one piece away. That's why you saw Marino, that's why you saw Conte. And the fact was they weren't one piece away. They were not ready to go to another level. They weren't one transfer or one defender away. They weren't one great coach away. They're more than one great coach. So they need to go back a step so that they can go forward again.


But Chantino got them to a certain level, and they tried to push for those trophies with that trophy winning coach, quote unquote, TM. And from there, they've gotten stuck. And now they're kind of they've gotta get out of the pragmatism and back to the hope and back to the dreaminess, and back to the progressivism, and back to the Spursy, Glenn Hoddle, kind of swab and fever and go, well, we lost, but we looked great losing. So go back to to being more swashbuckling and attacking and just like, yeah, we're gonna suck anyway. Let's just suck the way we wanna suck. Let's let's drop back into eighth, but score more goals and give up more. Like, Stop trying to defend. You don't have defenders. Just just go for it. Go attack. The fans will be fine if it's four three and you lose. They'll be fine with it. They're ready for it.


But I think the key thing is Cain. If they lose Cain, they're doomed. And then for Bournemouth, it looks like they're staying up. I mean, There cannot be another manager that I can think of that has been more maligned. I thought that they would go down I thought that they would go down. I thought that they would go down. They were a team that had locked on to go down, but they never did go down. And from there, they're just going from strength to strength as they say, as I use more and more cliches. They sit in fourteenth. Feeling good. They're they're long. They're six points away with eight to play from with seven to play from the drop. So they are in fantastic shape and they've gotta be feeling good.


Gary O'Neil for president. Gary O'Neil for resident. Speaking of people who need to become the president, good evening from Aston Villa what a performance. They kicked the shit out of Newcastle. Ollie Watkins offside goal within the first minute And from there, it just kept on going.


Aston Villa have a way to play. They have the players to play it. They have all these subtlety things that that Unai Amri has taught player to be on a half turn, how to do stuff, and that improvement showing on the field. Watkins is a player transformed. He's scoring goals for fun. He's now on fourteen Win Dea. All the things that they're doing are working somehow. Ashley Young is starting on a regular basis and not getting exposed. He's thirty eight years old. What the hell is going on? That's crazy. But I love this team. They're so so fun with crazy Emmy balloon. Amy Martinez who we love.


So if you remember or if you're new here, Mike and I really loved Villa under Dean Smith. We had a real crush on them. Especially I always had a crush on Jack relish, especially in his early days. I just loved his swagger. I loved his calves. I loved all of it. And then there was a dour period there where it looked like they'd go down. Then we had the COVID break. Dean Smith's rescued them. They had the off-site. They had the non VAR goal against Sheffield United because the cameras broke, that ended up helping them win the foot stay up by luck.


Dean Smith gets the team to be defensive, then they can him the following season and bring in Gerard, and I really believed in Gerard, but the team just went flat. You know, he was like, oh, I need this. I need this. I need this. He's very charismatic. He's very persuasive. They did get the players in, but it does not appear that Steven Girard is a good coach. Sorry. So You can talk a good game, you can say all the things you want.


But ultimately, it's about the details, it's about improving players, and that's how you get the buy and you need. And clearly Unai Emery, and his fifteen hours of doing video and staying in the hotel and making guys review videos of plays and how to move and how to do movements, and how they're gonna play out from the back, and how they're gonna get their triangles on the wing, and how they're gonna have Ali Watkins have his bending runs in between the two defenders. If you notice, go through the same channels every single time on the brake after they hold the ball on the side and then fling it in there. And so he's just there. He's their goal score. He's their leader. And, you know, he committed to Unai Emery. Emery committed to him by moving things on and saying, okay, you wanna be the man? You're the man now, dog?


And we have Ali Watkins, who never went to a great academy, was at Exeter, was just like a worker, a guy who pushed himself to be the player that he is and took a securedest route into into top level premier league status. Ali Watkins' career started at Exeter City in League two. And then, of course, our friends from Brentford identified him because that's what Brentford does. And he was in that championship team for three seasons with Dean Smith, that great Brenford team. He's got the twenty five goal season then he moves on. Ivan Tony takes his place and and Bradford to come into the league and then Watkins moves on to Aston Villa.

By Laurent Courtines

I'm here and I am ready to go. Been doing my homework and I have things to say.

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