Pre-seasons So Far... III.
I don't really take Pre-seasons to heart but it's always fun to see so many teams showing desires, building up fitness and also giving young players so many opportunities to stake their claim and also gain recognition for themselves. It's fun to watch and I usually watch the games with lightheadedness. I just want to analyze based on my understanding of how so many teams fared and what we are to expect also for the coming season.
I would be talking about the so-called big teams because they are the ones I actually kept tabs on with results and also highlights. I watched quite a lot of these games too because they were played at the right time for me and most of them got streamed live on YouTube. I watched all the Manchester United games on MUTV of course.
You have to be scared of this team. They led for a long spell last season before they allowed Liverpool to crawl in on them. Funny enough, they have only played 2 preseason games and they won both... 2-1 against Club America and then a solitary goal against Bayern Munich. They have recruited well for the coming season even though they are not as fluid as we have known in their Pre-season games. They have recruited Erling Haaland, Stefan Ortega, Julian Alvarez and Kalvin Phillips. I believe Kalvin Phillips is to replace Fernandinho that left the club.
I still see them as a strong contender especially with having a recognized striker within their rank now who has scored his first goal for City against Bayern Munich. A lot of people have accused Pep Guardiola of not playing with a recognized striker and there was even a theory that it's the reason they haven't succeeded with a trophy in Europe. He decided to go big and went for Erling Haaland who has a wealth of experience in European competition. It's going to be interesting to see how he would fare for City in the Premier League and Champions League if he manages to stay injury free.
His case might be like that of Nunez because he has a lot to prove for City this season and he might catch a lot of defenders by surprise which would work to his advantage and make him score a lot of goals. I see Manchester City doing so well in the coming season, no doubt about that. It's either they win the Premier League again or they stay in second place.
Here comes my team hahaha. Laugh at me all you want but you can't change your favourite team, can you? I'm not fickle. I must commend that they did well in this preseason even though the confidence is still lacking. We are still sloppy and making so many mistakes. Even with the clouds of uncertainty surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo, I feel they are decent enough to at least push for the Champions League place.
They won against Liverpool, Melbourne Victory, Crystal Palace and drew against Aston Villa after they threw away a 2-0 lead which is a replica of what we did in the entire season last season. That game was a bad way to end the preseason in Australia but you can excuse them being preseason and knowing fully well that they had a lot of young players on the pitch too but still, never an excuse. Manchester United has been plagued with a lack of concentration and it became evident again this preseason. Knowing how Erik ten Hag loves to prepare for every eventuality, I am certain he would be looking into this.
We still have Atletico Madrid and Tayo Vallecano to play before we take on Brighton in the coming season, it's another opportunity to see how these players would fare. We have managed to sign Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martínez which should inspire the team a little bit more but I am particularly impressed with Antony Martial because he came back hungry, and willing to prove a point and he has been on fire in this preseason.
I am still not fully convinced with Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire and the most talked about Donny van de Beek. Donny didn't do much to impress on loan with Everton last season. You can see that the quality is there but he is just not cut for it. He has been more of a passerby than an influencer in the team and I don't expect much from him in this coming season.
I don't and won't expect too much from this Manchester United side because they are still in transition. If they managed to push and secure a top 4 position, I think they would be happy but I hope they won't have another disappointing season. I hope they manage to get Anthony from Ajax which would help the width more but I have zero optimism regarding De Jong. The guy didn't want to come, clearly and it's shameful that we are still chasing him.
Tottenham did so well with their recruitment. They have signed Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster, Yves Bissouma, Richarlison, Clement Lenglet (loan) and Djed Spence. They look ready to challenge for the Premier League but still, I don't see them winning the Premier League.
Harry Kane looked convinced to stay at Tottenham even though there have been rumours of him being poached by Bayern Munich after they lost Lewandowski to Barcelona. I love their desire but I still think they struggle sometimes, especially after I watched their game against Rangers. Harry Kane would be another important player for them next season with Son. I have that strong feeling that they would qualify for the Champions League again. We would see an exciting Tottenham Hotspur next season even though they did just okay in their Pre-season games with 2 wins and a draw.
Thank you for your time.
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