SHOCKING (but expected?) Managerial SACKINGS: The HISTORY Behind Graham Potter’s & Brendan Rodgers FIRINGS

In episode #241, we dive deep into the world of football management, discussing the recent firings of Rodgers and Potter from Leicester City and Chelsea, respectively. We explore their backgrounds, coaching styles, and the challenges they faced during their tenures.

We also examine the impressive performance of Manchester City in their recent match against Liverpool and how Pep Guardiola has adapted the 1930s Herbert Chapman strategy, the WM formation. We delve into the struggles of Liverpool and Manchester United, as well as the continued success of Arsenal and Newcastle.

Additionally, we discuss the relegation battle, highlighting the performances of Leicester, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth, and Fulham, and touch on the fluctuating quality of Southampton’s play.

Finally, we discuss the state of West Ham and their struggle to create enough opportunities on the field, as well as previewing the upcoming midweek matches and their potential implications on the league standings. Join us for an in-depth analysis of the beautiful game and its ever-changing landscape!



00:00 – Sacking Managers in Football

03:33 – Graham Potter’s Journey to Premier League

11:18 – Football Management

12:16 – British Soccer Identity & Ambition

16:20 – The Decline of Leicester City Football

23:22 – Pep Guardiola digging in the crates with the WM Formation

25:17 – Pure Manchester City Football

30:19 – Liverpool’s Struggles and Arsenal’s Title Push

36:29 – Arsenal’s Narrative

44:50 – Chelsea Quality Players, but Moments Aren’t Enough

45:42 – The Relegation Battle and Quality Players

55:05 – Relegation & European Battle for Survival

[01:07:40] – Happy Birthday to an old friend


#FootballManagement, #Rodgers, #Potter, #Leicester, #Chelsea, #PepGuardiola, #WMFormation, #Liverpool, #ManchesterUnited, #Arsenal, #Newcastle, #RelegationBattle, #CrystalPalace, #NottinghamForest, #Bournemouth, #Fulham, #Southampton, #WestHam, #MidweekMatches, #LeagueStandings




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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're recording this on Monday, April third, good by March. I am your host, Laurent Corteens. In this episode, city. Stomp Liverpool. Newcastle win the battle of United's first Manchester and Arsenal hold, sir. But first, the great sword has swung like Oprah Winfrey. You get a sack. You get a sack. You get a sack.


Rogers and Potter are out of Lester and Chelsea respectively. Wow. What a weekend we have? Before we get into that, please like, share. Subscribe. Like, share. Subscribe. If you're on YouTube, please subscribe. If you are on a podcast, please Follow. We want you to listen to the show. We want you to be a part of it. This show is great. The fans are great, and I want you to get involved. So let's get right into it.


Late yesterday, grand Potter was fired. By Chelsea football club. After seven months in charge, thirty one games, he did not have a good run. As you guys all know, I am a massive fan of grand Potter. I'm also a fan, I think of Brendan Rogers. He's done well.


Both these managers I think there's some similarities. Rogers comes from Chelsea. They both did manage Swansea at one time or another. And both are progressive managers whose infrastructure, I think, has let them down more than their coaching themselves. But we'll start with Potter. Potter is an interesting case. He comes out of his right in time and his time, frankly, with Austerson, which is where I found him first when he played any Europa League against arsenal, and I learned his story about making guys sing and trying to get Team unity and, you know, all these really interesting ways for man management. And then under Brighton, just how much I loved how they played, how much they they just did things that you wouldn't expect the team that was promoted to do, especially after he took over for Chris Hooten, you know, they were a team that was battling out of the relegation zone. But in the aller dice, dice purest style where it's just we're gonna put eight behind the ball and try and not lose and stay in this league versus Potter who got the first season, got the exact same points number in the exact same place, but completely transformed how they did it.


It was more in the Eddie Howe style of young English managers who've grown up or come of age under the PeP era. And were more progressive, didn't mind giving up goals, but would attack. And that's what made me fall in love with Potter was this tinkering, this progressive, this style of we're gonna go win this game. And the only thing was was, oh, I wish they would just score more goals. I wish they had a goal score. It was Neil Mopey. It was Danny Wellback. It was all these players that just could not finish their goals. And this you thought, oh, what's wrong with this team? And, you know, one season they were, like, a plus tan and x g difference, but they were minus, which meant they weren't finishing changes, between Malpe and Wabak, they just couldn't get anything done.


I wanna give a shout out to Glenn Murray, who was also there, who's a really good player for Brighton and a and a servant of the club. But he takes the opportunity and he did this with swanzy to be fair. So grand Potter don't let his calm demeanor be hide the fact that he is ambitious. He did ditch swanzy for the Brighton Job to be in the Premier League. He had a good season when they sort of fell apart after the Bob Bradley era, and they had the American owners and they had to cut price. And that's what they haven't been in the Premier League since. But I do remember a game in the FA Cup where Swansea were up to nil and only a miraculous city comeback got them level to then have a replay, but they were fantastic that game. Biren Selena, a former city player was amazing. And that was one of the moments where I thought, oh, granddaughter's really good. And then from there, you know, he he takes he's got all the plaudits of of of Brighton, and he was had this team in the top four early in the season.


And the Tukul firing comes in September. We can talk about we'll talk about that institutional damage after that that BOLI is brought in. But then we have Potter come into Chelsea. And really nothing changes from the Chelsea perspective. The first steps are he puts in aryzapalaga Capa over Mindy and there was injury force, and there's a hiding or a sort of a sort of moment where Capa is playing out of his mind and really hiding the fact that Chelsea aren't good. They're not scoring. They're having the same problems they had had under two goal just on their on field performance wise, and that never changes. It continues the same way.


And then you have the BOLI of buying players. You've got Obama Young. You've got all these players that Tucall was allowed to bring in. Then they fire them literally three weeks after the transfer deadlines in. So then potters in all the coaches go. It's all potters coaches. So there's that.


And then you have this sort of they sort of model through kind of, oh, he needs time. He needs time. He needs time. Then we have this crazy transfer window where they buy another tranche of players for another three hundred million. So the money is not interesting to me. Clearly, BOLI is getting played. Clearly, BOLI is a mark. Clearly, all the agents in Europe see a guy with money and he's not he's taking things from the American perspective and just getting played. Anyway, that's not important. What's important though is that Otter is given a difficult hand. He's given a team of players who probably half of them are over fifty million dollars players. None of them are his. And there's like thirty five of them.


If you know anything about football clubs, there is no roster limit the way the Premier League is run. Yes, on the day, you have to submit eighteen players to play. But, really, the number of players you have under contract on your first team is open. You have to name them on a on a for certain competitions in Champions League or for the season. But otherwise, you can have lots of players And the issue for Chelsea was they had three managers worth of players on the team.


Half of them were new. And my understanding is that they would do eleven V11s, which is a sort of standard a, let's play the starters versus the bench versus some of the young kids. But then they'd have to have a whole other group of eighteen doing nine v nine drills. So potter's got this giant squad. He's new. He can't make mistakes. He can't learn on the job and his philosophy is not getting through to the team. I want you to know. I watch Brighton more than I watch City almost almost more under Potter.


And this was a progressive team that was on the front foot that had a way of playing with full backs high, all the things that were indicative of a manager in control of his men on the field. And he would move players around. They would go to a three, go to a four, and all those things would happen. And the players would move almost like a chessboard. They bought in to what Potter was selling. And and I do remember him taking over for howton and being shocked how he could turn the team from a four four two defensive cloud of dust team into this other team. Overnight. And he was not getting that from Chelsea at all. Zero zero Now, Chelsea have structural issues on the field that I think are really underrated.


They don't have a creative midfielder to save their lives. And if you look at how things worked with Potter, they were at their best when Adam Lelana was there, or they had Pasquale gross in the So these were technical guys who would or or Trussart. Trussart is a perfect example. Lelana and Trussart really punching things through, making creative moves to get balls through the midfielders. Now, Chelsea don't really have that. They're better players, but they don't sort of break things down to the midfield. This has been the issue with Chelsea. It's why all their strikers always fail. No one passes the ball through the midfield. They don't have a line breaking number ten type creative passer. That's what's been killing Chelsea. That's why their strikers don't score anything. Everything that's creative comes from the wings. Reese James and chill well. But when Potter was there, they were both out. So a lot of Potter's time, he never really had his whole team, then you've got this World Cup. So a lot of weird things are happening. And so that's the side that absorbs par. And and now the next piece I think in the middle here is what's going on at Chelsea.


I've spent a few episodes and a few minutes here or there talking about institutions, and this is where we'll bring Lester together. The institution of Chelsea, as it is understood, with the Abramovich era that had time to buy its way in and then settle itself with Marino, did continue the legacy. And I talked about this end during Viali's death. The legacy of what Chelsea are. They are a working class flashy London team, but keep their roots in defense, in tough mindedness epitomized with Viali, with Zola, with Frank Labeouf, with Steve Clark, on through to John Terry, on through to guys like Craig Burley, on through this team that is tough, Dennis Wise, Mark Hughes, these are players that epitomize the English toughness that is Chelsea. And that carried through institutionally into the Moreno era, into into all that time. That's why a guy like Robin iron Robin, while a good Chelsea player was never quite didn't quite fit in or chef Crenco didn't quite fit in, they didn't have that verb that is permeated through Chelsea. And Abramovic carried that and that stayed within the team. And that carried on, Chelsea are at their best as a defensive minded in your face team.


Potter is not that. Potter is not that. So that's a mark against him. He's not that. So that's like institutional. But then, what you have after the Brahmevaches ousted by the by the Ukrainian war and the sanctions put on by the British government is Everything that is chelsea from the backroom is erased. There's no check. There's no buck. There's no grand scheme, even down to the marketing. They've essentially Chelsea sits there, the building's there, the blue is there, the fans are there, but everything inside Chelsea is ripped out. So they have no institutional strength. That's why Potter is hired, but it doesn't connect. The fans are still one step behind in that they're holding on to This is an Abrahamovich Chelsea. We have to be what we have to be.


And all of it is disjointed. And then you have Broli who is bringing an American bravado the way he's run the Dodgers. He's trying to be you know, he's talking shit. He's he's phony. He's releasing press releases. He's not quite connecting with British culture. You know, even in the in the potter firing, they're talking about him, you know, staying on and helping. That's so American to do it that way. And right now, this team is just listless. It has no identity.


And I think Potter was there to try and give an identity and try and connect it all together, but he just couldn't he couldn't get his ideas across. They were just playing as a group and Potter didn't help to be fair. He had all those thirty players and I think he thought he was doing the right thing by rotating and trying to get everyone involved, by using all five subs every game, by changing the back four all the time, by changing things all the time to try and appease and and have the players be happy when in fact he needed to be ruthless and he doesn't have that. Or, sorry, that's not true. He clearly has ambition, he clearly works hard. He doesn't have the outward appearance of ruthlessness.


What he needed to do was find a back four. Find a front three. Find a group of players that were reliable and that he could put on this on the scoresheet and just let them play. It needed to be Silva, Fofana, Chilwell, James. And don't change it.


I don't care about Google I don't care about Badishil. I don't care about any of that. What your four best in the back? Always play Kovich because he's your most creative player and then play Mason Mountain because he carries the institutional strength of Chelsea.


Let everyone else complain. Everything else comes from a consistency of like, these are my guys This is my decision. This is what we're doing. And he never did that. And so everything felt disjointed, every game, every result felt like something was off, that he missed something, that he was tinkering too much, that he was changing something. Is that his personality? I don't know. But that's what his downfall was.


So what happens to Potter now? He has a scarlet letter. He bottled it. He can't handle a big club. He has to go back down a level, maybe even below your Aston Villa level, maybe he gets a leicester job, maybe he, you know, he swindles spurs into it, but I don't think Levy will do that. He's gotta go down, rebuild his his thing again, and go again. I think he should take time. I think if we saw what had happened to Moi's, he went to Real Sociedad, he went to Sunderland, and then he landed at Westham this season aside. But that's where he is right now.


Juxtapose that to Brendan Rogers. Who, let's be fair to him, is a really, really good coach who gets really, really good performances out of his players. Especially in the first two or three years. Liverpool fans, you can you can bother him, you can be mean to him, but let me tell you that thirteen fourteen team with Louis Suarez was one of the most exciting teams I've ever seen in my life, aside from the second season with Clop. The first solo season, that team was fantastic. So those two teams to me are the most exciting Liverpool teams, not the best, but the most exciting. So thirteen fourteen Liverpool scored a hundred and five goals, give up fifty insane Louis Suarez out of his mind. And then the first solid team where they gave up every they finish and forth, but solid score is thirty one and they make it to the champions league final. That's the that's the that's the solid shoulder season. So Roger's has a good amount of skill, a good manager. He may not be great with transitioning a team away from the one he and Eric's.


But what happened with Lester is They had their their owner die. His name is impossible. The original owner who died in the helicopter accident, his son taking over the team, clearly is not a hardcore football guy. And then the pandemic really hurt their business because they made all their money on Southeast Asian duty free and airport services like all the stores, all your Hudson News of Thailand. And so that's how they made all their money and they ran that really well. And Vishay, I think, is the original guy. And so those transfer the transfer money would left Lester. And the big at the beginning of this season, they got no players in. So Schmeickel goes out, he loses some of his leaders, loses some of the institutional strength. So what we have with Lester is the institution is still relatively strong, but it's weakening and crumbling.


And then you have a moment that's actually Lester, I think, are somewhat similar to Liverpool in that their team aged without any replacements happening or their replacements have not kicked on. We have Daka never really replaced Vardi. IEnacho has stretches where he can be good for ten games and not. They really function only because James Madison makes it work. Duesbury Hall has taken over some slack in the midfield, tea lemons has been out, but the defense is where everything disappeared. It used to be that when they were at their best, it was Johnny Evans and Soliantu. Then Soliantu just in explicably exploded and disappeared. And then Johnny Evans, of course, older, had been carried the legacy of the Old Men United teams, and it worked in a back three, and they were fine. And then I the Carrera Castagna thing never really worked out again. And they just kind of lapped the last season, they gave up set piece, set piece, set piece, set piece.


And then in January, he gets two players. He gets sooner and vouchfuls. But they pick up, but then it kinda slops down again. And Rogers is unable to get out of it. This has been the story with Rogers. He seems to have a problem getting out or getting to the next phase.


And by the way, this is how a lot of managers are. It's really hard. Football management is really hard. Getting three years on the job is really hard. The average Premier League manager, I think, is now eighteen months. We just had in this season thirteen manager changes on twelve teams. Southampton, thank you for doing it twice. So we've we Roberto Desirby is now the eleventh most tenured manager in the Premier League, and he started this season. So we have a sense so we have Rogers disappearing.


We have but but for for Rogers, I think he has a really good opportunity to go to another team and restart I could see him, you know, going to spurs. I think he would be fine. I know spurs fans don't wanna hear that, but you've never had him as a manager. So you don't know. I think he is a good manager. He would be able to work within the the structure of of spurs and Levy sort of buying the players for him, I think that he would be fine especially in the beginning. And and even works with young players if you think about it, He brought through Rahim Sterling. He brings through Telemons. He brings through James Madison. You know, there are a lot of good places. Just the last the last years been tough. And then, you know, he did have those two near top four finishes. He lost one on the last day of the season against Man United to let Oleg get in, sneak past him, and then one other one wears a real surprise.


But they've played such good stuff I think Lester and and Rogers has to be given credit. I mean, not everyone can be on the merry go round of the seven managers that everybody wants. You've gotta have managers that are just normal guys that are good. And Rogers is a normal guy that is good. He's not quite a Champions League Manager, but he's just beneath. He's a Europa League Manager. You know, he's he's he's not as good as when I am rey. But when I am really specific, he's gotta be in his right team. But that's really all I've got on the managers, really fascinating stuff I really like to think about all the institutional stuff and what it means.


You know, I think I literally talked about this last week of, like, What is a good manager? When do they get there? It's so much involved with timing and players and when and how and where do you fit? Because football more than anything is about the institutions. They have history. They're living and breathing things because coupled with the owners and the fans of the players, there's an ethos that surrounds a club. That, you know, carries them in.


I know I know Manny will laugh at me, but some clubs have to suffer. And there is a suffering going on with certain clubs right now. Like, spurs have been suffering. It's really been tough on them to have to go through Marino was Dour and and Conte who was Dour this he's not last, not last. And then Nuno and and just really never able to get back the pure love and pure joy that Pochettino brought. Especially even in the last season, the league went away, but they'll champions league games against I x, against city. Even the final was such a moment. They never were able to get back to that joy, and it's really been downhill since then. In terms of moments, in terms of joy. I mean, you've had games, you beat city, you have you have games against arsenal, but really as an overall big moment, Spurs have lost that.


And I'm fascinated by what a club is, what what is it as a as an entity, as a living breathing institution. Clubs are their own things and they have all these sayings about them and spurs are spursy and this is rationally and this is wangry and Oh, man United want their club back from who, from where? Oh, this is the man united way. Oh, this is the Chelsea way. Oh, where I want Chelsea back. Back what? What are you looking for? And no one can define it, but they know when they see it. Like, Clop becoming Liverpool's manager was just like, Boom. This is the right guy. So very interesting stuff. And I think Rogers is probably the better one to land on his feet versus Potter. Although we could see a merry-go-round. I saw a tweet going that was novelty to Chelsea, potter to Lester Rogers' disperse. I think that was the the merry go round of managers. And then, of course, we have Rail Madrid may be available as well. Anyway, that is all the manager stuff.


Now, there's been so much going on. Let's get to the football. Which was Of course, I wanna talk about my team. Manchester City four, Liverpool one. What? Fucking performance it was. Good fucking Christ.


I'll start with Citi. Just such not a bad performance in the whole group. Every player in sync, even the first half, which was much more competitive than the second. The first half was tough and Liverpool were playing really well, but I never felt like Citi were in trouble. No Holland for this, but Alvarez was fantastic. Greetings was fantastic. Mars was fantastic. The whole back four Oh, sorry. Back five now because city play this weird hybrid three two two three three two four one, where John Stone's is just in the midfield hanging out, not a right back anymore, just in the midfield with Rodriguez playing a double pivot. And then there's two eights and two tens. So Gunther and and De Bruin playing where they want moving around into changing with Greeley's Amaras really wide really causing problems for who to mark them, and then Alvarez linking things together, dropping into the midfield, making runs in behind. Just all of it was really good But then, Liverpool as they do, as they are so good at it, give respect to them, you know, Trent Alexander on HETTAA, one of his passes, that was fantastic, Anta Sala I'm sorry, Anta Jota Jota then holds it off.


Akanji could've they tried to play offside. Maybe there was a foot too many. Whatever. It's fine. Akanji does stop Jota, but then saw following up slaves at home in in Liverpool sucker punch city. They they just steal a goal and you're like a fucking goddamn Liverpool. You're so fucking liver pooley. You bastards. I fucking hate you. I hope you all die in a fire. But as much as that was happening, you know, city did come back into the game.


And then the second goal, the first goal for city, by by by Alvarez, it's just pure city football. It goes through the hands of half the team, maybe one player doesn't touch it. It's on the back of a near goal where Jack Reelish runs across the field to stop Sala from a near perfect wide open goal. He blocks the the cross inside the inside this just before they get to the six yard box. And then going back the other way, a full city build up out to out to Juarez, who cuts inside, leaves it to gungun, gungun, on a dime in the middle, outside the d, just tops turn out to out to greenish who takes on Trent, not makes them pass into Alvarez and sit here up.


And that goal was just so shitty. It looked very much like previous versions of Citi earlier PeP seasons. Where the team is grooved and everything's flying around and you feel the energy and there, boom, boom, boom, boom. The ball's flying around. There's not the pace is fast. The The rhythm is good, and city just looked different. There was no dallying on the ball. Everyone knew where the next ball was gonna go. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom.


One of the it's one of the things I haven't seen much from Citi this year, especially in the in that little lull period when After the new console game up until about a month ago, city were list list list. They were kind of losing it. They had the draw against New Castle. They had the draw against everton and things were just a little funky and they couldn't find Holland and it was a little bit of a moment and then Boom. They got back into gear.


Pepcordiola found his answer. He's got this now, this w m that he basically has gone back to the thirties. That's what Citi are playing. They're playing a formation that Herbert Chapman invented in nineteen thirty two with Arsenal. They're playing the WM. Look it up. It's insane that PeP goes back to, like, the fourth century. It's an amazing just a great coach I'm looking at the formation right in front of me on the screen. And I'm like, oh yeah, there it is. W. M. Amazing stuff from PeP. They just go back to the fucking You gotta go back into the you went to the crates, and found a a style to play that just has city humming.


And liver pool first half, I thought, oh, one one. This is gonna be a tough one. We're gonna grind that out. I feel good about where we are. We're bouncing the ball around. Really good, really interesting, and a fantastic kind of way that that city we're playing. So we go into the break. And I saw an amazing thing that the guys in TIFO IRL said, and it's that Liver pull from the kick off have the same play every single time. It drops back into into Fubino and he kicks it into the far corner and they try and wind it up high. Just to try and get on the front foot. Nothing crazy. Nothing like oh, you know, some some genius figured it out.


But it looks like in this moment, Citi did figure out and had their own set play on the back of it. So before Liverpool could get set in their high line back in order, city were going the other way. The ball goes into the ball goes into into Alvarez. Who passes it on to sorry. Ball goes into Alvarez, who passes it on to Greenwich, onto De Bruin. It happens in a flash and, you know, there's just a four on three the other way because Liverpool get caught flat footed.


The brine is intentionally offside teams are getting smarter, they're using that offside position the way rashford did to start offside and throw a high line off so De Bruin is beyond the last defender, but not but the ball isn't played to him. So the ball's played onside he's offside, then slows down, lets the run come in fight, gets himself back onside, it throws off Alison, it throws off Sandike, they don't mark him properly, he's wrong side of the defender. And he's just in on goal by himself waiting for the pass from Greeleish who makes it and on city go to score their second. The Hearts the hearts of the hearts of liver pull drop, then they give up another one on fifty three. And and it's and it's on a shot from from Alvarez. That Gunnegan boxes in. That goal on fifty three really destroys Liverpool and they're done after that. But in that goal, Liberty Ball have eight players in the box. The ball's shot from deep. Nobody moves. They're all just standing there like they're fucking subutio players or or or foosball. They have the players there no one engages a city player, puts a body on the ball, puts a man to mark, and Gunnar just slots at home three one sitting here through this game is effectively over.


It's a really sad state of affairs that Liverpool gave up. I'm sorry. They gave up. Manny and I got into a little argument. I was like, where is Liverpool? Somebody kicked someone. He said it's bush league. But I think that that's what Liverpool needed bushley. Liverpool needed to fucking say, we're here. We're not Pussies. You know, we we got into a little bit of tiff about whether, you know, someone's hint diving or whatever is the wrong thing to do. That's not the that that he feels that's the wrong thing to do. But getting stuck in and kicking someone isn't the right thing to do, rather just, you know, just get beat, So he makes he does the checking line.


He brings in oxalate chamberlain, Nunez, Vermino, and Simikas on seventy. That means it's fifteen minutes where at Liverpool just don't do anything. They're just dead. Nothing happened for the last I don't know. Since from fifty three, they gave up forty minutes of nothing from Liverpool. Nothing They disappeared. They were finished. They were washed up. And that is indicative of this liver pool side right now. They capitulate. They stop playing. It happened against real. They went up two goals. At home and disappeared. This was the same. They were all laid for ten minutes. It was bad. There was a pause in. City do not do this deliver pool. This is not indicative of our challenges, of our rivalry. It's always a war and someone is not showing up and it's liver pull. They're out of ammo. They're exhausted. They're finished. They don't have it.


I saw something I'm gonna go look up this game, but effectively, Liberty Pool have not changed their squad. And I think that there's a one game that's indicative of where this team is. So let's let's just look at the names let's just look at the names in this game. Right? So Liverpool have Sala, Gackbo, Jota, Henderson, Fabino, Elliott, Konante, Bendike, Robertson, TAA, and Allison. Right? Let's look let's look at a game from let's look at a game from twenty nineteen. I just wanna show you and then Citi just completely reloaded their team. Well, anyway, I'm not gonna go through it, but as effectively that January third twenty nineteen game that I talk about all the time because it's my favorite city game.


During the night during the during a ninety eight point season where city and Liverpool just go to war. That home game, the Johnstone's off the line game, if you look at the lineup, for that game. Liverpool still have eight players who feature who feature prominently from that game. That game is now four years ago. City have none. John Stones is basically the only and Edison, are and De Bruin are basically the only players that are still playing regularly from that game. You know? I'm just gonna go to it. I'm just closing something out. I'm gonna get the match report right here. So January third, you know, Citi didn't deserve to win that game, but they did win.


But look at city's lineup. Aguuero, sonic, Sterling. Silva didn't play this game. Fernando didn't play. David Silva is no longer in the team. The boy didn't even play this game. La Porte was at full back company. Stones, Danilo, and Edison. So basically, two players from that game. No. City didn't have not had two players from that game four years ago, we're playing in this one. In this one, we've got Henderson. James Milner played in that game.


Genie Wine album. Solid. The whole back the whole back for it's lovren, but it's that one, two, three, four, five, six. And then, you know, millimeter still came on. You know, Navi Kate is still in this team. Just not the same level of player, not the same refreshing, not the same level of changing players. And Citi have reloaded. They they changed styles. They changed everything. Liverpool is still playing a four three three with a high line. So we've gotta say, you know, as much as and I know the money is not the same. I know whatever. But PeP's continual change and evolution, make sure the team doesn't get stale. That's why Citi can go again and are in for a third title in a row. And liver pull are falling apart after trying to go for a quadruple. Just different strokes for different folks.


I talked a lot about that game. I should go into our other friends in the title race, arsenal. They have an easy go against leads. A little bit of criticism for leads. They went very defensive. They have a game midweek against knotting and forest that they probably really need. So they didn't play any of their big players. They didn't play Rodriguez. They didn't play Bamford too afraid to hurt them.


But I thought, to be fair, I watched the first twenty minutes of this game. I thought leads were pretty good. They had decent chances, especially early in the game. You know, you had leads, took Three of the first four shots in the game had a really good chance. Probably with Harrison was probably the best of their three, Summerville's was okay. Then J. Zeus draws the penalty, gets kicked in the knee by by Luke Ailing, the goal goes in, and essentially leads her dead. Once that goal goes in, they sort of lose any impetus that they had in the game.


And I have to say for for Arsenal, they carry on. They've had now four easy games in a row, never really pressured. They haven't had to go through a squeaky bum time, if you will, yet. And they carry on. The narrative for them is they've now have Jezuz back in. They've gotten through their moments. They they haven't had to deal with Rob Holding being a problem because they're not really getting pressured. I mean, the idea that Rob Holding is playing a prominent role in the run-in for a Premier League title is the legacy of arson vendor. I can't believe that a Barnes Lee reject with a hair piece is still playing prominent role for Arsenal. Just curious to show that. Maybe Gabrielle is the better of the two defenders. With Celiva. But, you know, I'm I'm teasing him. But, you know, good to see Gabby get his goal.


Truss art played along with Martin Ellie. They got soccer who's there's been some kind of flu going around in Europe through a couple teams now. So soccer came on late. You thought that maybe there was a prom, but no, leads are just not quite at it, yet not able to really really blast through, really make it happen yet. And they're on the relegation battle. We'll get to that because that's one of the prominent stories of the match week. And so that's really where they are.


Arsenal roll on. They take another game. Another game. Every game that they don't drop points moves them steps closer to the title. Ten eight, nine games to go for Arsenal. Nine games to go. They have Chelsea, they have Citi, they have Liverpool, and Field on Saturday. If they win an anfield, they win in the title. That's just a fact. So I'm get am I gonna root for Liverpool? You bet you're fucking ass. I'm gonna roll for the Liverpool. Come on, Liverpool. Come on. And then we'll go to We'll go to talk to our friends New Castle to Manchester United, Neil Dude.


United got smoked badly. They were not up for this game at all. The vout veg horse shine and experience is not working. And again, as goes, rashford goes this team, no Casa Miro, no party, Matomone back in with Sabitzer, I feel like Fred needed to be in this game. Maybe I don't know what's happened with No, I guess not. Some players not ready. Having dialogue there with Luke Shaw, it's just not working for them right now.


And there was no force. There was no energy. There was really nothing from United. I don't think they took a shot. They had two shots early in the first half. Only took six shots the whole game.


And what we saw from Newcastle was they've gotten over their hump, they've gotten over that draw period, they've gotten over that league cup loss to United. And they've seemed to have swapped places where they're kicking on, they're going forward, and United are in a little bit of a low a little bit of their dip, a little bit of their sort of what's this season for? Can we pick it back up? And I think this is a moment when Ten Hogs got pushed his team. And get them back going. They can't win on the road. They've gave up goals in bucket loads, United on the road. They're really bad on the road. They have a hard time against better opponents. So I think against the top nine against top nine teams away from home, they've given up something like almost thirty five goals, which is half of what you should give up. When you juxtapose that to Newcastle, we've only given up nineteen all season. This Newcastle team is really good.


Even when they were going through their bad period, their issue was that they couldn't score. And they couldn't break teams down. If you come at them and you try and dictate play against Newcastle, they will fuck you up. That's just what they do. If you sit deep and go on a counter, new castle will have a hard time. I don't think they have the creative players to do it yet. But they their dip did come with Gilmarish out. Wilek scored after score after having, like, two or three chances, and then Callon Wilson got a goal late. I thought Zach, even though he didn't score a goal, put himself about. The first after VEGHER's shot on target on twelve, It was all Newcastle one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Ten shots to United's one, then the goal comes from Willock, who had deserved one, a really good header.


St. Maximus, what a fucking man I absolutely adore him. I cannot get enough of Allan's same sentiment. I just fucking love him. He's so maverick like Now he's got braids in the back. He looks like something out of predator. He's such a live wire. I don't care if he doesn't track back. I don't care if he doesn't score goals. I love Allen's Day Maximus.


If you're not watching Newcastle and you are not checking out Allen's Day Maximus, please do yourself a favor. Part of sport is entertainment. He's by far the most entertaining player in the league. He's everywhere. He created oh my god. Look how many chances he created. Let me just look at the stats really quick. Scoring chances created by Allen St. Maxim in. Oh, seven with Trippier also scoring, creating eight just creates one of the goals, say, Maximin, and and Trippier both of the assists. Will it quit the goal along with Calin Wilson late just in the middle of the box on a cross from Tripoli. Just no problem.


Really tough loss, and I think now United have a real struggle on their hands to make the top four. They need to fight. They need to find it in them. They need another player to step up Rashford carried them for a good long period. They need someone else for the goals to come. If you notice, teams that are really good, They're never carried by one player all season. It rotates. It goes from one player to a next. Some filled if you think about city, sometimes it's de brawn. Then, you know, now it's been ghoulish for the last few weeks or Holland is in the goals. Now, you know, different players contributing for Newcastle. It was Almirall Almirall Almirall Almirall Amaron, Amaron. And then the defense was holding them together. They were getting good results. Now they've gotten back Gumeresh. He's making things happen. Ezach pushed him up.


You need players at different times of the season to step up and supplement what you do from a coaching structure to break teams down and have moments. Right? I think that's one of the issues with Liverpool. It's Sala or nothing. Right? And they don't have any fight. None of the midfielders are stepping up. None of the defenders are saving them. Allison's not saving them anymore. Trent Alexander's not saving them anymore. They can only win one way.


And for United, it was just rashford and Bruno for a while. And now both of them have sort of slipped a little bit. Rashford's not getting quite those goals that he needs, that luck, that rub of the green, those runs, Bruno's not seeing him. They need Casimiro to sort of help their offense get into gear that half a second, on a half turn, making it past the right moment. If you slow down in football even a fraction of a second or pass that ball to someone's back foot, you don't know the chance that doesn't get created because you made a bad pass. So that's where I think United are right now. A drop in quality that's making their offense not be as fluid and they're not getting into the attack, not able to get it to rashford, to then go on the offensive, which everything again is connected. You don't get it on attack, you lose the ball in the midfield, then it's coming back your way, and you get dominated the way they did against the force of Newcastle. So we'll see where they go for their next games, but You know, I I don't worry necessarily for for United, but, you know, I've talked about it all season. Their underlying numbers are not good. Only a plus four and goal difference. That's not gonna be good enough to get them through at all.


From our other top four friends or or nearby, we didn't we didn't really have to talk about the result for Chelsea because of the grand potter firing But the catalyst for the potter firing was another potarian result another Telserian result too nil to Aston Villa, who and I am re secretly, quietly, having a manager of the season kind of campaign and this is one of those games and I should talk about it a little bit around x g where the x g story is not accurate. Like I said, x g is not the b l and end all, helps us give a shorthand for things, but in this game, Chelsea took twenty seven shots. Had seven on target and were never in the game. They never showed any flow. They never showed any strength. Had any of those gone in? Maybe it's a different story. BUT THEY DIDN'T.


AND SO THOSE MOMENTS OF QUALITY THAT CLEARLY CHESTY HAVE QUALY PLAYERS, JOE FAILIX, COVID CHICH hambursts. They're all really good players. Conte had a good chance. You reached James almost got one in the corner. They're all really good players and you're living in these moments. But moments aren't enough. A lot of the shots were just trying to make something happen, whereas, you know, with with Aston Villa, you have a strength and understanding of what is going to happen.


Between watkins, between Wendyya, they're working well together. You've got clear partnership with McGinn, McGinn Louise and Ramsay they were able to get Chamoro back in, and then that back four is solid. It's the same group. It's always kanza. It's always when it means and, you know, the the full backs were rotated and out, sometimes it's Dina, sometimes sometimes it's Moreno. Ashley Young got some run. So that core that core group of four that I really like to think of. The box between Louise, Ramsey, Sorry. The box the four between Louise, Kansa, Mings, and Martinez. That's their core group of defense. You always know where they're gonna be. And then Ramsay sorry. And then Buendia and and Watkins really running the channels. They got their first goal Oli Watkins just working hard, long ball right over the top, Watkins Cucarella doesn't communicate with Koolabali, typical, not playing in the same back for all the time.


Like I talked about Potter, very classic Potter problem. Kugarela heads it right into Watkins who finishes, who's now been scoring goals for fun. Yeah. I think he's gotta be let's see. How many goals does Watkins have now? He's gotta be He's on ten. So he's finally on ten in the league. Ten with five assists is really, really a good return. His XG right in line with where you expect them to be. That's now three seasons of the row. Fourteen, eleven, ten, really good return for Ollie Watkins, who, you know, one of these things where The guy was scoring in the championship for Bradford. Comes to Premier League. Scores. Bradford. Developing strikers, man. That's not good for Ivan Toni who's probably gonna wanna move as well, provided he doesn't go to jail for gambling or just get a fine.


So and then begin with a thunder hunt of a blast, hot edge of the box. Just hammers at home. John McGinn has been fantastic. And Chelsea just listlessly fail. They pop it around. Nothing really happens. And the crowd are restless. And there goes potter. He just looks like a broken man. Nothing really happens. Jau Felix is the best player on the team. Fernandez, again, Felix.


I would say, Mudrick had a really good chance. He was in on goal by himself, but just flubbed this shot, just rolled it to the keeper. A guy in form finishes that, I thought maybe he should have gone around, but he shot from, like, eighteen yards out, just a team without a plant I'm sorry, a team without confidence a team without cohesion. Chelsea just never connected with each other. It's like they need to go to like a religious camp and like sit in a sauna together. For hours and tell stories to each other so that they can get to know each other. Because right now, there's nothing. There's nothing there. They need to do like trust falls. Go to Camp Talcott, where I learned all my things when I was a kid. They just need a break. They need to get themselves back together. They got big games coming up Chelsea. They still have to play around Madrid. And weirdly, they might beat them for all I fucking know.


Football is goddamn weird. Football is weird. I wanna sort of capture the relegation. Actually, let's go to Lester. They lose to crystal palace, the game that puts Brandon Rogers over the edge. Are you ready for this one? Crystal Palace, thirty one shots, nine on target with Lester only taking three, but scoring one. I knew when I saw the numbers on a half. I'm like, oh, Lester's gonna grab a goal and just win this thing one nil because football is cruel. And Pereira did just that early in the second half.


Comes on for Tete. They turn it around. Their first half is catastrophically bad. But Pereira scores an amazing goal. From Castagna, then ES8 scores a wonder goal that goes off the back of the keeper on a free kick, iverson is in. Don't know what happened. To their other keeper. I guess Brendan Rogers is rolling the dice. They get a second from they get a ninety fourth minute winner from Philip Mattea and the Justice of Football is served with Palace taking thirty seven shots. That's more shots than they've taken in two months.


I don't know what Roy Hutchin did. I think they were free. I think he just said, go fucking play. It's Lester. Enjoy yourself. But Lester, we're fucking woeful. Just awful. A kind of performance that gets your manager fired. Did they do it on purpose? Probably. Probably. So Brendan Rogers no longer of service to the great and powerful Lester City. You know, that that that championship is now moving further and further into the distance Suter has not changed the the fortunes of the club.


Christiansen was pretty good. He scored. He he he held them together, but it doesn't look like anything was going on there. Danny Ward was benched, so that was their old keeper. Now they have Iverson in. He's no Allen Iverson. He's just Iverson.


But, you know, I don't know, unless there's too good to go down and whoever takes over this team will have a team that'll probably just score thirty should take thirty one shots themselves. So, you know, he played the same group, Edward, Zaha, Alisi, Schlop, the Choré, Ezey. Gayhi Anderson did bring in old boy Joel Ward with Tariq Mitchell. Goyenta back in gold. Thank god. I don't know what that other experiment was. Maybe Goyenta was hurt. But, yeah, Palace are too good as well, and they just needed to be freed. Zaha did go down worrying for them because their downturn for Vieira was when Zaha was out. But I think Vieira was a little bit of a panic firing they had a tough, tough, tough run of fixtures that Vieira just couldn't really get together.


Do wanna give a shout. Sorry for Philip, my my tesa, their first goal by a striker in, like, four million years, to touch and turn at the end of the game. Was just incredible. Just hoping that somehow the strikers for for Lester turned themselves around Sorry. Sorry. Four crystal pals turn themselves around. So they get a win. Lester in the bottom three currently sitting at nineteen. Brandon Rogers out. Crystal Palace. Get their win.


Wooves won, won with Nottingham Forest, Tough, Tough game, for the great and powerful forest. You expect them to win at home. They had the XGE battle. Brendan Rod Brendan Johnson did score a goal. His hair, that red fucking hair looks terrible, but cadence came on and made a difference. He's a good little player. Mike and I had always liked him. He scores the goal on a rebound. But there is a little bit of trouble in this game. He may have spit on someone, possibly on Johnson, not sure the deflected shot by Pedro Neto that POTENCE puts in on eighty three. There was a chance at the end there for Morgan's Gibbs's wife, but he couldn't get it done. And the front and and Steve Cooper is now in trouble as well. So he needed this one, and we'll see if the great and powerful forest can get themselves together. I'm a fan of Cooper.


I'm not sure this team has enough cohesion to get itself over the line. I love Felipe. Nico Williams came in. Toffalo came in. They're always chopping and changing. There's so many players In not even far as you just don't know what the right group is. He went with a battling group in the midfield of Danilo Freeler and Mangala. They've played the most, but we'll see what that front three can do. I really love Brendan Johnson. He showed himself to be a premier league player along with Morgan Gibbs White. We'll see where they go. They really needed that win and opponents spoils the day for nodding in forest. Also still in the relocation battle.


Speaking of the relegation battle, the mighty powerful Gary O'Neil and his born with boys do. Take it to fool them. Like I said, they would. Pull them paper Tiger. They are living on borrowed x g and the power of Polenia. Although Fulham did take the lead from Pereira, a really nice goal, first half, really clear, nice easy game there for them, but Gary O'Neil has the mighty powerful bournemouth fighting till the end. I like what I see from them. I knew Sri Lanka got a goal late to for the wind and bournemouth. Take all three points from Fulham.


Fulham now fading out of the out of the European opportunity. Daniel James had a really good chance that he just straight up fluffed his lines late. I'm just trying to see the moment where is that one? Maybe it was early. Oh, yeah. Right at the end, blocked on eighty seven. He just completely flubbed his lines. But Everyone keeps saying that's Bournemouth and Southampton gonna go down.


But are they? If it's not Bournemouth now sitting in sixteenth, West Hampton do get their win against Southampton. That's going through the whole delegation battle. Iyard. I knew Iyard would score. He's so good. But Southampton, you know, they're so up and down. You don't know what you're gonna get.


Some days, you're like, wow, this team's really good. And then other days, they're just not. They just don't have the goal scores. Feel Wallcott's still playing. I mean, come on, man. That dude scores a goal once every fucking blue moon.


But I do worry for West Ham. They simply don't create enough opportunities just don't create enough opportunities. Jared Bowen led the team in expected goals. But of course, didn't score any. He adds to his number of expected goals that are not goals. But David Moise gets his stay of execution. And again, West Ham's underlying numbers are very, very good I still think that nine win that nine win number will be the number that gets teams out of the relegation fight. And there's a lot of midweek games We'll go to those in a minute, but let's go to the table, see where it is, give everyone a sense of a snapshot, Arsenal still eight points clear, Newcastle ahead of man united on goal difference, and it's an eighteen goal difference. So Man United have to beat Newcastle outright to be in third. The fourth place battle spurs. I do have to talk about spurs. I'll talk about them in a minute. Actually, I'll talk about them right now.


They drew at at everton a game that they had in hand. There was controversy. This game was very evertonian, very dicey, very loud, very fun. The punditry who didn't watch the game are saying this game was boring. This game was not boring. This was a great one, one, it was dirty, it was nasty, the Corey got sent to offer. Slapping Harry Cain in the face who went down like he was shot with an air rifle from right point blank range, gets to Corey sent off, then Mora comes on to try and to try and add some running to the game. He tries to break someone's leg. He's not a genius for doing that. And everton get a late goal from Michael Keene, who I called not minutes before, the worst defender I've ever seen after giving up a penalty to Harry Cain. Spurs were up. Cain scored the goal.


It felt like they had gotten themselves off the tonight, but then inexplicably with the lead. Spurs decide that they need to keep trying to play out from the back. It was fucking suicidal. It was completely insane. They almost lose two or three times by playing out from the back and they don't close down Keane. He's got the ball in the midfield. He's carrying carrying and carrying everything opens up for them and he let's go a thunder hunt of a blast, Michael Keene, the shittiest defender I have ever seen gets it done, dice when they're when it's ten ten because of when it's ten on ten after Mora disappears, I guess those extra players make a difference in the pitch, but who had Michael Keene on the Bingo card for scoring the winner in the ninetieth minute. Incredible scenes, incredible stuff, I thought a really enjoyable game.


Spurs didn't create shit. Nothing. Zero. Zero. They had they were up a man from fifty eight. They had a they had thirty minutes up a man and still only had eight shots on target. Sorry. Eight shots total. Two on target. Still not really creating anything. Not really doing anything. There's no creativity in this side. When Skip and Hoieberger there, they're not good. I think Spurs fans, you think maybe you needed Bettencourt, maybe you should have kept Tengue and Dombolay. You need creative players, you can't spurs and fucking and spurs and Chelsea have the same problem, except Kain is creates for himself.


Sun also had a terrible game, couldn't get his shot the fall, had one chance. He was offside otherwise, very quiet. Spending way too much time defending deep. Don't understand what he's doing down there. How the fuck are you supposed to score when you're in your own eighteen yard box? Just stay high, be a dick, be greedy, score goals. Let Kane stay deep and do all those things.


So spurs with the one one draw at everton. Not really that bad of a result. It was the manner of the result that really hurt spurs. If you'd have said one one where spurs are, where they're feeling not the end of the world, but they're now sitting in the five slot united ahead of them on fifty, so the top four are Arsenal City, Newcastle, and United, only separated by a point. Stoneham or still there. They're still plus twelve. And then Brighton on plus fifteen sitting on forty three with two games in hand. They have the best shot to break into that top four, top five party Brentford, and they play an amazing three three game just bunkers the first half saw five goals in it with McAllister winning it.


In the ninetieth drawing sorry, drawing a brightened level in the ninetieth minute. They had four point two expected goals to Bradford to one and a half. They battered Bradford. What an incredible performance by the great and powerful brighten. Thirty two shots thirteen on target against Brentford. A good defensive team. They absolutely battered them. And getting a draw was not their just rewards. They gave up three goals on a throw in and two set pieces. Classic classic Bradford. They make you earn it. They really, really do. Pontus Jansen, you know, with one matoma broader level on a direct kick off the kick off from steel to Matoma who chips the keeper. Amazing stuff.


Then right after, on the kick off, Tony scores a goal from Embuamo and point this Johnson. Danny Welbeck got the header from Solly march to bring the game back to two two, then pin it on another. Dead ball pass from Humbermo does get the goal and it looks like it looks like Brentford, we're gonna take all three points, but then a clear, clear penalty for McAllister. Who puts the game away. But brighten were fantastic in this game. Even though it's a three three draw, what a bonkers game Brightener just the fucking best.


I love this team still, even despite Potter being fired. It's still Potter's Boys and Robert though Desirby deserves all the credit. This team is flying and scoring goals like crazy. So that's where we are.


Let's look at the table again. Like I said, arsenal, top of the league, top four, city, new castle, Totnam, man united, separated by just the top three and four separated by nothing. They're all level on points on fifty with New Castle. Having two games in hand sorry. With New Castle on United having two games in hand, on top. Brighton sit on forty three with level with Bradford Liverpool on forty two Villa on forty one, Fulham on thirty nine, Chelsea on thirty eight, That is the top half. That's the European battle. And then that twelve to twenty separated by seven points, Palace getting the win really takes them clear. So the big movers there were Palace and Bournemouth who get out of the bottom three.


Your bottom three as of today, leads at eighteen on twenty six Lester City on twenty five in nineteenth with Southampton bringing up the foot of the table on twenty three. So Westham, Everton, Nonium Forest and Bournemouth, all on twenty seven, wolves on twenty eight, Palace on thirty. So Still, up four grabs. Every week, someone is gonna go up or down out of the bottom three. Just an incredible war to save yourself from the Premier League. The two favorites, Lester and West Him, have got to get themselves out of there only David Moise has kept his job from that bottom seven. Everyone else has changed their manager. So now that Brendan Rogers changed, So just Moise hangs on with his beloved West ham. I could see them finishing in twelfth easily. They could just start winning. But We do have more matches. Tuesday and Wednesday, we have more matches.


Tuesday, she's leads versus Nottingham Forest This is about as big as a game as there is for both these clubs. It's at Ellen Road. So Forest have their work cut out for them. If Steve Cooper can get an away win, it will be massive for him. Then, Boardman, host, Brighton, in a seaside affair. Brighton going east going out west to Bournemouth. I would expect Bournemouth would get smoked in this game. They could give up five, but they may wanna worry about their goal difference. Then Lester, host Aston Villa, without Brendan Rogers, who knows what's going to happen there? Then the big, big, big one more managers, more big games, Chelsea, host, Mighty, Liverpool, Inna, Mid table clash, Chelsea on thirty eight, Liverpool on forty two, Chelsea can pull up one point behind them, Does Liverpool have one of their performances in them? I don't know. They simply don't win on the road either. They're in trouble. Then on Wednesday, we have the mighty West Him Hosting, Newcastle United. That'll be a big one. I can see a draw written all over that one, then united.


Play Bradford. At Old Trafford. Remember, early in the season. This was the second game of the season. They went to Bradford and got annihilated early in the season, bit of the early season ten hog. United need a win here. This will be a difficult, difficult, difficult game.


I would honestly say right now, Brentford are the better team. They simply are the better team. You can look at every metric you can find, they don't have more talent. But as a unit, they are better. Brentford, and Man United by expected XG. Brent United on plus four point nine. Brentford on plus three point four, so they're right behind each other. In the x g difference table. United a half a goal better. Brenford a half a goal worse in defense. A full goal worsened defense by XG. Their actual numbers, Brentford on forty six goal thirty seven against United on only forty one goals. Thirty seven against Stanford have the better goal difference, shockingly. But thirteen draws is what holds them back, and they have Ivan Toni and you don't. I love that game. I will be keeping an eye on that Bradford United game. Should be a good one. United are gonna have to bring their big boy pants to fight against a tough, tough Bradford side who are gonna kick claw, scream, scratch to try and get the points that they want and they need to move up the table.


That was a lot. We said goodbye. To Brendan Rogers. We said goodbye to grand Potter. We talked institutional football. We went through the entire fixture list. And we covered these games coming up on Tuesday and Wednesday. And then on Thursday, we'll talk about all those games and preview what happens next. So come back. Come back. Come back. If you're listening this far, why wanna thank and say happy birthday to Mike Salerno? My partner who founded this show with me. What a great dude? I love him dearly. Happy thirty fifth birthday, buddy. You are missed. This show would not be what it is without you, and we want you to come on anytime you wanna love your buddy, love to jest, Take care. That was the squeaky bum time podcast with LaRonde Corteens. We are the football league of the chops sports channel and presented exclusively. By this premier streaming network. We record on Mondays and Thursdays, so be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcast. So you never been in the episode And if you're listening on Apple, please rate and review the show.

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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