Liverpool FC The Long Term Story (With Rules) Part 2

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A quick look at the players out on loan, roughly halfway through the season. Of course Patrik Raitanen, Liam Coyle, Kyle Jolly and Mile Alvir, all went out on loan in January, every single one of those have been poor so far but hopefully Kyle Jolly improves. Harry Wilson looks to have found a level he can perform in, I would just like to hope a Championship side will pay a bit of money for him, sooner or later. Finally Coulibaly is doing okay at Las Palmas but more encouraging is his progress in training this season.

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Back to our strongest eleven today and I wanted to talk about this probably being close to Klopp's future team in the next year or so. Of course Gomez is out injured and has started Klopp's current season but Matip is still at the club and in his place for my team currently, while Karius remains in goal as Alisson now plays in Klopp's side. Apart from that though this team could be identical to our future side for next season maybe, very attack minded, especially the midfield, the three central players all offer different things to the attack.

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We had some really good chances early on, the best of which fell to Sadio Mane, thankfully Bobby found him with a brilliant cross and Mane delivered on the volley. Mane makes it 2-0 and what a finish, a cheeky little back heel from Keita and he wrapped his foot around it, whipping it in to the far corner! It's not even half time and the more Arsenal push forward the more Mane's pace looks devastating on the counter and that's what happened, Firmino assist, Mane hat trick!!

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Another assist from Naby, as Firmino did the rest. Arsenal did get one goal back, a mistake from Trent was punished by Aubameyang. With the unbelievable amount of chances we were creating against a leaky Arsenal defence I was never worried, even if they did get a few chances. Son assisted by Salah from more terrible defending. Gini another sub even got in on the act, assisting Bobby for his second of the game. If you don't believe how many chances we created just look at the stats! I mean this was against Pep's team none the less but if he as a manager does have a weakness, it's the fact he does go all out attack. You wouldn't of believed that after talking about our best team before, then it comes to the game and a 6-1 pounding dished out by the Reds.

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Incredibly in three games against Pep's Arsenal, It's 10-1 to Liverpool this season! That's something but Pep is the kind of manager who always has big money to spend and at Arsenal, I think it's fair to say it wouldn't be quite the same and definitely more of a challenge. Having said that though he has had a pretty decent amount of money to spend..

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Just the one change from the last one, Trent who along with Van DIjk is a bit tired but the Dutchman stays in and our right back is replaced by Emre Can with Fabinho pushed out to right back. Sadio Mane is like a man possessed lately, that dip in form and eventually dropped from the team for a few weeks, that seems to have really recharged his batteries. Two fantastic goals today and without him we wouldn't of won, his brilliant in behind the defence runs, the difference in both goals and the game.


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Just the one alteration and Trent back in for Emre. Sadio Mane again our best player, their keeper Matz Sels made some really good saves but did make one mistake, Mane's awkward cross hitting the keeper, the post and then going in. We deserved to win to be honest, on another day the keeper doesn't make so many saves and maybe not a mistake either. A bit of luck but he did keep them in it.

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Honestly this game was an utter disaster, I made several changes and in hindsight I probably should have made less. Middlsesborough like Liverpool have played a lot of league games lately probably with the same team, trouble is eight changes before a big game against Juventus naive to think we could do the job. Maybe if more of those eight changes had played more football recently.

I don't really know why I'm making excuses for them, there really was some terrible performances today, Aaron and Salah in particular. Harry Chapman scored their first and he actually looks like a decent player, and what a goal from quite a distance. Just to rub salt in the wounds, former player Sheyi Ojo assisted Braithwaite to make it 2-0. A shambles really but we weren't without chances, the whole team was poor today!

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So United still top the table by a point but we do still have a game in hand. They did drop points in this update, 1-1 away to Leicester but we can still go top, as long as we keep this consistent form up.

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Typical Liverpool really, two huge results against the big sides, 6-1 at home and 2-0 away but we slip up in our last game against Middlesborough, I just hope this hasn't cost us. A big game to kick us off in the next one, away to Juventus in the Champions League and we go on to finish with a cup final against United!

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A very strong side today but an under-performing Salah, especially in the last game is dropped for Chamberlain with Gini moving in to midfield. It was close in the first half but I always felt like if we could got the first goal we'd win this game! Early in the second and Mane with a brilliant cross and Keita finishing with a header! Brewster really was terrific off the bench today, he provided the assist for Mane's goal and Salah whipped in a cross for the youngster to finish late on. Cavani made it interesting bringing it back to 2-1 but we ended the game 3-1.

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Plenty of changes today but a couple of names keeping their place, Dom Solanke put us ahead when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain found a well picked out cross. A game all about subs really, Mane came off the bench and continued his incredible form of late with a goal, brilliant cross from a quiet of late Son. The real story was Curtis Jones though, replacing Naby Keita and he took both of his goals really well and but for a fine save from the keeper, he would've had his hat trick. Even David Coreira who made his debut and looked alright off the bench up top.

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A difficult draw for us after beating Bury in our last match, we'll face United for god knows how many times it is we've played them this season. It's four but still lies the possibly of playing them in every competition, both teams still in the CL.

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The frustrating thing today was some of our second choice players perhaps not looking up to scratch, I mean they should be beating a team in the relegation zone. In the end it was Mo Salah coming up with a dramatic 91st minute winner, to rescue the points. A little lucky to get away with it but maybe it's time to take these teams lower down the table, a bit more seriously. Unfortunately we'll be without Naby Keita for the next three weeks though, going off injured in the 79th minute.

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Just the one player from our academy this year, the rest of the lads look like complete trash well at least for the level we're looking for. I didn't realise that Liverpool's academy is basically La Masia and all the best players are 5ft7 and below. Kevin Robson just like Ian Ryder from our first season of regens is another pint sized attacking midfielder, how do you fit both of them into a side? Well I'm not quite sure but personally I would say Robson looks a better player, short but a little terrier, very aggressive. Some call it little man syndrome, hopeful this little boy won't become such a little man. Definitely fits the system of 433 that I'm current using, more than someone like Ryder.

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Annoying to lose Naby to injury in the last match, for three weeks but a chance for Gini, who's having his best Liverpool season, six goals and eight assists so far. In the match then and I feel like I got it wrong, our defence wasn't great and instead of being pragmatic, I rested players for Wolves and went to attack them. It wasn't working and in the second half we played with a bit more counter attacking in our play, they'll really feel like they should have scored but the game finished 0-0 and going in to ET, 0-0 and on to penalties.

We lost Chamberlain to injury today, Curtis Jones actually replacing him and being replaced just over ten minutes before the end of extra time. No reason other than his penalty taking ability and his replacement Can's experience. Thankfully for us our two usual penalty takers, Trent and Fabinho stepped up and put the first two away. Lukaku scored but not so lucky for Dybala and to add insult to injury he actually had the chance to score from the spot in ET but he missed both times!

Incredibly after Rashford missed and Salah made it 3/3, we only needed one of either Son Heung-Min or Gini Wijnaldum to score and win us the game! Somehow though they both missed, Neves scored and United needed Victor Lindelof to just score and level at 3-3 but Loris Karius with a fantastic match winning penalty, saving the day and winning us the Carabao Cup! We've won this competition three times in a row now and we owe this one to Karius, he carried us today! Four out of six penalties he saved and rightfully so he's man of the match! Some big saves in the game as well.

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Just quickly on the youth candidates and under 18s game this year, Kevin Robson vs Micheal Ezeh. 5-1 it finished with Robson giving the younger lads a glimmer of hope, bringing it back to 2-1, Ezeh meanwhile put four past the keeper in a typically dominating display. Micheal is either really good or like I said other than one, we got nobody good in our academy this year.

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Honestly not really the time in the season you want to be resting players, we didn't haven't the greatest of starts when Danny Welbeck gave Watford the lead. We weren't clicking today and I didn't really change a lot, eventually late on in the match the quality came through and Salah thankfully got his goal. I'm happy considering he's been on poor form lately, Rhian Brewster didn't have the best games but he won a penalty doing exactly what I put him in the team for and that's getting in behind. In added time then and Fabinho stepped up and just about put it away, can't help feel like the keeper could have done better. Lucky today!

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Aaron came off injured in that game early on as well, replaced by Andy Robertson.

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Exactly the same in the table then, it's neck and neck and it has been close pretty much all season. We just have to keep going and the games will continue to come quickly while we're still in three competitions. Next time we'll find out if we can finish the job against Juventus in Europe, there's no time for dropping points in the league and we finish with another game against United, this time in the sixth round of the FA Cup.

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What a goal to open the scoring just five minutes in and Ben Woodburn smashing a half volley top corner from 25 yards! Dom Solanke was fouled early in the second half and Mo Salah put the penalty away and the game to bed. Ethan Jee came off the bench to make his debut today after the recent injury to Aaron, the young lad did okay. It was Mane and Son who came on a few moments later to combine and scored our third of the day.

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The big hitters back in for this one, Naby's injured but Woodburn keeps his place along with Can and Gini comes in to midfield. Firmino's well found cross to Mane and his shot had too much power for the keeper, Bobby made it two after a scramble in the box as well. Trent had the chance to make it three when Firmino was brought down, a good penalty but well saved by Szczesny. Son coming off the bench fouled again and this time the Polish man in goal couldn't stop Ben Woodburn's penalty, he didn't look bad as a false nine second half. Honestly 3-0 and 6-1 overall is a bit harsh on Juve, that's what happens when you don't take your chances but we deserved it.

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Nice to see the u18s advance to the Quarter Finals of the CL equivalent, actually that's the first time they've managed it in the last three years, previously reaching the group stages first season and then the last 16, second season. Of course it was Micheal Ezeh with the goal but encouraging to see that hopefully the development of these young players is getting better.

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Good build up play for the first goal just after half time, Son with a brilliant ball through to Mane and with the form this man has been in lately, I never thought he'd miss. Unfortunately Southampton got one back, sub Jordan Ayew scored the equaliser and we never looked good defensively today. Firmino did manage to restore our lead after poor form of late but another sub Adam Ounas equalised again just a moment later! I honestly feel so frustrated, to stand any chance of winning the title we must win our game in hand now!

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After that slip up recently,it's absolutely vital that we win this game and it doesn't matter how we do it. Thankfully Son was on form with another assist and Solanke smashed it home to make it 1-0! That's all it took, there were a few nervous moments and Robertson fouled Mahrez in the box but well saved the penalty by Karius, taken by Silva. To be fair both keepers, Schmeichel at the other end too made some top quality saves today.

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A great position to be in after almost three seasons at Liverpool, the money is there to slap your balls on the table and sign a mega superstar. Roughly 400k for wages to go along with £200M+ to spend. The tough luck and run continues in the Champions League, we face another difficult test, this time against the mighty Real Madrid.

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I don't think it's something I've really mentioned but Steven Gerrard is still Liverpool under 18s manager and he's actually doing a decent job, he narrowly missed out on the Premier Division Cup Final, losing 5-4 in extra time! Ezeh with a hat trick but not the best defensive display.

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I really went Mourinho today, trying to nick a goal on the break and park the bus. For the most part, I did make it really difficult for United to score and not for the first time this season but like that CB cup final a few weeks ago, the game did go to extra time but this time we couldn't take it to penalties. Alex Sandro pushed in to a further forward attacking left winger role, as the game went on and he was the man who provided both assists for Marcus Rashford to score twice in extra time. It's the big one at home to United, after the Internationals that we really need to win!

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With that draw against The Saints then, there can be no room for any more mess ups. United are three points ahead, we have a game in hand but an in-superior goal difference. Officially then it's the race to the magical 100 point mark, City are famous for getting last season, with 7 games left for United and 8 for Liverpool. There's a possible 21 points for United with 79 on the board and a possible 24 for Liverpool with 76 already confirmed.

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What a situation to be in, gone are the days when you need 80 points to win the league, this season we might need 100! Not the best run of games but the important thing is we're still in touching distance in the league and we went through to the QF in Europe. Lots of Liverpool fans will know what happened in 2009, the last time Liverpool played back to back games against United and Real Madrid. If I manage anything like that it will be a miracle, the United game is almost certainly a must win game, certainly it's a must not lose.

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Ben Woodburn scored a worldie against Swansea this month and rightffully so the goal was named Goal of the Month.

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Returning from the two week break, we actually named a similar strong side that faced United but with one change, Chamberlain comes in for Keita. Andy Robertson stuck one in at the back post and Mo Salah headed down for Bobby Firmino to finish. A poor clearence from ex player Danny Ward and Bobby grabbed his second with the ball hitting him plum in the face. Azzaoui got one back, his header was a bit lucky to go in, hitting Joel Matip and off the post, lucky for us Salah was on hand to supply Mane and restore out two goal lead.

Assaoui returned the favour and set up Chadli, a really frustrating goal to concede just before the break! Fortunately we managed to just about hold out for a 3-2 win, West Brom pushed us our hard and a few chances right at the end, we probably should of took to be honest.

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A typical Liverpool performance coming flying out of the blocks! Wijnaldum rewarding my trust in starting him with an assist just five minutes in to Sadio Mane, Firmino added a second a brilliant counter goal with Salah the provider. Some good build up and Sadio made it three in less than fifteen minutes, Robertson laid him in, he skinned a few man and smashed it straight through the keeper from close to the near post. I actually thought Keylor Navas had a really poor game today, Madrid had a goal disallowed, after Di Maria hit the bar and Ramos headed in but he was offside.


In the second half Angel hit the post a second time, very unlucky for him not to score today but you have to take your chances in this game; we did that today and while Solanke come on and didn't really look clinical, Navas with a few good saves, he stuck at it and eventually gets his goal. What a run from Fabinho, coming on at right back, he intercepted the ball and ran from past the halfway line into the opposition's box, still he had the composure to set up Solanke who smashed the volley home and made it 4-0!

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One change from the team that played midweek against Real, Ox dropped to the bench and Naby comes in. It's fair to say I mentioned the 100 points knowing this huge game was coming up, only one team can make 100 now in the biggest game of the season, it's going to be us!

Or not... unfortunately unlike the last match though we weren't the ones who came flying out of the blocks today, Dybala scored quite a naughty goal smashed home on the volley from Alex Sandro's assist. Harry Kane started the counter by intercepting the ball for the second, link up with Dybala and Kane met the cross with his head. Kane wrapped up the game at 3-0 and before half time, another wonderful strike. A little bit of pressure second half, Salah, Brewster and Firmino all fluffing chances but that's it now, there's the title United, we've handed it to you on a silver platter, it's yours.

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It's fair to say losing Joel Matip early on didn't help our cause but more importantly is the fact that he'll miss some important games at meltdown mode Merseysiders Liverpool.

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No room for complacency after the first leg but we're all very much aware if we can nick a goal and just keep the score down today, we'll be through to the next round. Thankfully Sadio Mane set up Bobby Firmino for the opener. It wasn't long before Real got back in it, Mandzukic's header off the post and annoyingly hitting Karius making it an own goal. Lovren brought down Bale and Marco Asensio stepped up to convert the penalty, making it 2-1.

Bobby managed to equalise in the second half, well found by Trent on the right. We made some changes but we actually had to play the last 25 with ten men, after Mane went off injured. A professional job done away with the real hard work done the week before at home, unfortunately Sadio like Joel will miss some big games over the next few weeks, two big players we will miss.

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So we've royally fudged up our chances of the title then, United have some tough games to comes against City away and at home to Arsenal but it's not like we don't either, you'd expect us to win at home to Everton but still to come are two tricky challenges away to Spurs and Chelsea.

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Devastating result at Anfield to blow our title chances out the window but beating Real 6-2 on a aggregate lead over two legs is a big deal, we also brushed aside West Brom, just about. Next time there's the Merseyside derby to come and we need a big performance at home against Barca in the Semi Final of the CL!

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I think it's pretty unlikely that the title race will still be on this season but the media won't let you think that. Both teams have a similar amount of big games although the fact United play at home to Arsenal is a big plus for them.

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The tough run and I mean tough continues, we've now played Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona in the knockout stages of the CL. if we get to the final it surely will be the most difficult run of any team to make it all the way and if we face United in the final it could be just that bit more nail-bitingly nervous.

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A couple of changes today, Son comes in for Mane who's injured and a reshuffle with Salah up front, Firmino left, elsewhere Woodburn comes back in today for Trent, Fabinho playing right back. Lastly Gomez comes in for an error prone Lovren he came off the bench against Real but he's only been back in full training for three weeks, only just coming back from an injury were the lad broke his leg and was out 5 months.

It was a close game today and when Alderweireld's back pass left sub Curtis Jones in to take the net off, I thought I'd be given a gift from the gods. We scored a well worked goal to make it two as well, Robertson finding Firmino who confidently put it away, unfortunately though we're Liverpool and we let two goal leads go. Wanyama left as a free man on the counter and Luan completed the comeback just minutes later, late drama but Ricardo Pereira's own goal was disallowed in the end. It just hurts that little bit more to see that United beat Wolves 2-1 and move eight points clear, the title race is pratically over. It seems like we just can't buy a win right now, it's just not going our way but earlier in the season we were winning games with ease.

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After some disappointing games it was important to get a win today with a very small chance of still lifting the title. We deserved to win and a few chances for Solanke today but just before the HT whistle, Ox ran 50 yards down the right and this time Dom took his chance. A few nervy moments and my heart was in my mouth when Sigurosson's shot was just about saved with fingertips by Karius. Thankfully we record our first win in four attempts and an important one too.

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We've lost Oxlade-Chamberlain to his yearly end of season injury, it's been a long hard season after all. Not involved much at all this year but Adam Lallana will also miss the next few months and finally Dom Solanke picked up an injury which isn't the worst news we could've got but it just adds to a worrying lack of options in attack.

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Of course with both Ox and Dom out for the rest of the season we had to make two changes, Salah and of course, in form Firmino comes back in but the third change is Son Heung-Min dropped for Curtis Jones! The best chance of the early moments came to Luis Suarez but well saved by Loris Karius, Curtis Jones hit the post with a header later on. Mo Salah gave us the lead before half time! Unfortunately Busquets was in the right place at the right time for a corner just before the half time break.

It wasn't looking great for us in the second half, Trent brought down Dembele and Messi stepped up to score the pen. Thankfully for the boys in the red, we scored a dramatic late equaliser, Mohamed Salah back at it again and Gini supplied the pass. A wonderful finish, unsurprisingly hitting the far corner. A little bit of hope for the second leg then but it's unlikely Matip or Mane will make the game in time. Missing Ox and Solanke as well, we haven't exactly got all our best attackers, available right now.

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Ben Woodburn was the latest player to try his luck on the left in the absence of Sadio Mane. Unlucky for him hitting the post first half but Bobby Firmino scored the opened from Aaron's cross. The Spanish full back found Naby Keita who made no mistake about the finish, smashing it in the bottom corner for the second. Rhian Brewster even came off the bench and hit the post as well but thankfully Woodburn did complete the day with a goal, a late one but what a first touch from the header out, his half volley found the near post.

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So the away draw against Spurs leaves the title practically all over now, United would have had them two games to come against Arsenal and City just three points ahead of us but that draw means the gap is five points. It's not looking good at the minute but with just four games left and just one chance in a cup competition to make the final of the CL, we have to do everything we can to make it there again.

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It's fair to say with a European CL unbeaten record to beat the heat was very much on us today.

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Not the greatest performance in the first leg and it's going to take a really big one to push us in to the final. Superstars everywhere in the Barca team and unsurprisingly they had the better of the game, we held strong defensively for a quite a while. Sooner or later though with their two away goals on the board I knew we had to go for it, 0-0 was no good for us. Barcelona eventually got a goal in the second half from Rakitic, as we pushed they created more chances. Even Sadio Mane returning from the bench couldn't save us and in the end, we just couldn't make the breakthrough.

I know that we went out but at this point in the season, the injuries definitely didn't help us. I'm not too disappointed, sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and admit the other team was better. It hasn't been a great season and the last few months have been tricky but with the quality you see in Barca's team, I reckon they've got a better chance of beating United in the final anyway. I hope they do, United were actually seen off after a narrow home defeat to Atletico, Bruno Fernandes with the goal after a 3-3 in the first leg.

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The game didn't really go how we wanted and picking up injuries to two creative influences in midfield, with Ox out also out it's not looking good for our last few league games.

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With just three games left and five points behind United, it's extremely unlikely we'll win it now. They do however play Arsenal at home and then City away in their next two. If we can win today and win our next two as well, we just have to hope they lose their next two, a big hope but winning today is the most important thing. Missing Fabinho so Gini gets a place in the midfield.

Willian was a constant threat in this game and he assisted Icardi for the first goal, the forward even grabbed a second when Lucas Digne found him with a cross. Honestly and quite frankly we played horribly today, nothing was working, the front three were shocking and a weeks training and rest for Chelsea probably had nothing to do with it. Emre Can's sending off just adding salt to our wounds.

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So United beat Arsenal 3-1 at home with a Dybala hat trick, they lift the title then but apparently it was a double. Not quite sure what trophy it was but yeah a "double", right. The funny thing is they can do the double against Arsenal in the FA Cup.

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Missing the likes of Van Dijk as well as Keita because of injury and Can to suspension today, a chance to try out 4231 with only a few games in the league left. A big chance for Micheal Ezeh up front with Woodburn and Gini in a lack of options midfield. The less said about this game the better, a couple of chances but we're struggling for creativity in the team at the moment really. This season is going down like a bit of a damp squid, to be quite honest with you I can't wait to get this last game out of the way and start again next season.

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The last game of the season then and with little left to play for and the players looking like they're already on the beach, a player or two is worth a look. So another chance for Ian Ryder to make a claim for a place in the side. Again another game were the less said about it the better, playing 4231 the players look terrible at the moment but I imagine it just needs practice. Jorgensen gave Stoke the lead in the second half and a dreadful run of results to end the season, finishes with another disappointing display from Liverpool.

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Got to be probably the worst run of an update this year, I didn't even win a game and I really need to get it right with my one and only transfer. The sandals were on and the lads were on the beach, clearly but we've got to come back stronger next year.

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So I actually went and had a look at Asensio when centre back Jorge signed because I knew we wouldn't need a centre back. It was always known to me it would cost upwards of £75M where as Arthur who recently joined Barca in real life, just a few months ago was available for as little as £14M. Playing alongside Naby in the midfield with a defensive mid as well that could be special. Unfortunately his agent was really hard to deal with, I offered a respectable 225k and a lot of extras but he just wanted too much money and a lot in bonuses.


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Quickly then we turned our attention back to Asensio who comes in on more money but he's played in Europe, Arthur has yet to move from Brazil yet. United get their man then and on less wages, it's annoying that we can't get both of them. I don't know if you remember but in last year's game I actually had a similar choice at a time I believe I was entering my fourth or fifth season so around the same time in game.

Last year the choice was Naby Keita or Bernardo Silva on a free, of course I went with Naby. Arguably you could say I've made the wrong choice twice, let's hope not but I would say Bernardo Silva looks insane on FM18, much better than he was on 17. Time will tell if this is the right decision but just interesting that last time I went with the central midfielder but this time I've gone with the attacking midfielder but not out of choice.


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It's fair to say for our first pre season friendly game and considering our results from last campaign, I certainly wasn't expecting that. 4-0 up inside 25 minutes and Firmino left, Salah right combined with Ezeh and Solanke up front was looking lethal. Ezeh thankfully capped off the first half display with a goal just before the break, honestly he could've had a hat trick and we could've been like 7-0.

Just surprising today really with the likes of Berke Ozer in goal, made a few good saves and also the before mentioned Ezeh, Kyle Jolly and Mark Wilkinson both starting too. Last seasons first game of pre season a 4-0 defeat to Zenit, will make it seem like we've come a million miles in a year, truth is there was a lot of youngsters in that game with first team players not available.

As the second half went on we looked like we'd lost our touch a bit with subs coming on but Rhian Brewster looked the most bright and the most likely to make something happen. Ezeh scored his second of the game and Brewster won a late penalty, which was converted by Fabinho. The game finished 7-1.

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Not the best bit of news after a brilliant opener to pre season. Asensio injured and knocked out by England, his Spanish teammates lost 3-2 in the European Championship Semi Final. Not the best pre season for injuries, Mane also picked up an injury as he played the warm up games for Senegal U23s at the Olympics. Salah and Solanke also opening pre season with an injury each.

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I know it's only pre season but we picked up straight were we left off after our first game, changes but same formation. Kyle Jolly with another assist and Solanke looking like a constant threat, no goals but three assists. 35 shots we had today and if we can play like this when the season starts, teams won't be able to stop us scoring!

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Interestingly the media actually reckon Solanke is our best hope for Top Goalscorer in the league this season, Firmino right behind him but there's no chance of the Englishman doing that in my opinion. More chance of Salah, Mane or Asensio winning it to be honest. One player who did sign a new deal before the start of the season is Emre Can, attracting quite a bit of attention with two years left but five years now on his new deal; that should scare everyone off.

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Loris Karius only has a year left on his contract, trouble is his agent is a ******** and won't even talk to me, not sure what I did to him to be honest. Nevertheless speaking to the player about him wanting a new deal is pointless if the agent still won't even open discussions. In the end I actually got the Director of Football to come up with a deal but the question is do I really want to pay Loris 200k a week? The answer is no, he's been in the PL Team of the Year three years out of three but he's just not worth it.

I'm already paying Joel Matip 170k a week and I honestly would rather sell Karius and give Berke or Awad a go. Selling him looked a good option with Real, Dortmund and Wolfsburg all interested but none of them willing to pay £25-30M, as i continue to lower his asking price, i mean his value is around £40M. The ending of this transfer saga is likely to see him run out his last 12 months and leave on a free, meanwhile Berke has an experienced back up behind him; we're rich, I'd rather that than £25M to be honest.

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We've really demolished a lot of teams in pre season and largely playing 424 in some part of every game, only RB Leipzig stopped us from winning a game. A lack of cover for AMC and AML meant Micheal Ezeh even getting a few games, the likes of Rhian Brewster and Dominic Solanke the best in pre season at least so far. Particularly Solanke who with a new role of target man, has looked a different player, shame about his injury.

Another player who's worthy of a mention in pre season is Kyle Jolly, fresh back from his loan with league two side Yeovil Town, he's not looked out of place in any pre season game and he's started most of them. He starts with a second start in a row for Asensio as well, the Spaniard has played twice so far and even tired from the Euros, being brought off before the hour mark in both games, it's clear how much he offers us something we didn't have before.

Adapting to his new role of shadow striker, I knew when I signed him I didn't just want this guy to be an advanced play-maker. Long shots are my favourite type of goals, for everything fifa, scoring yourself and I want Asensio to be taking shots all the time. Not only does he have the ability to get into the box and score he can also thread a pass, time and weight it to perfection. The only question mark of his game is maybe his defensive work, which Arthur provided more of but I'm not sure we're going to see that exposed unless playing with a 433 against a top side. Still you can play with two central players sitting in a midfield three and push him further up.

On to the the game, yes we are going to talk about it today and there's a reason I'm going crazy about this guy, he scored twice and assisted Salah twice to make it 4-0 in 20 minutes! Juventus just simply could not live with him and when you consider that we didn't score in our last four games last season, the biggest thing I hope for is creativity from him and he's giving us that. It's no longer a dangerous front three now there's four of them, Salah completed his hat trick second half and his later rebound was put in by Brewster.

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