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Talking To The Enemy- Season Review- Part Two


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Here is Part 2 of the Talking To The Enemy season review, this week looking at the Top 4. Enjoy


Manchester United

Final Position: 1st


1- What would your assement of your season be in comparison with your pre-season hopes and expectations?


Salford_Kid: Champions, third time in a row. Not bad really! We should have done better in Europe but you can’t win them all really.


Ericisgod: Well obviously very very pleased. A few people have put a slight downer on the year because of the Barca game but they will be the plastics who just spoil it for everyone else. Some people have it too good!. I’m made up though, some of the football we played towards the end of the season was sublime. Its just a shame that the same could not be said about the very last game!


2- What would your season highlight be?


Salford_Kid: Pissing of the kopites by winning the league.


Ericisgod: For me, Champions Leauge semi-final, second leg. Fantastic display from our boys that night.


3- What would your season lowlight be?


Salford_Kid: Being totally outclassed by Barca in the CL Final.


Ericisgod: Surprisingly I can pick out a few. The ritual humiliation at the hands of Liverpool at our place, Berbatovs penalty against you boys and Caricks inability to pass a ball during the CL final.


4- The Ronaldo saga is bound to be in full swing again during silly season, what do you think will happen?


Salford_Kid: He loves it here and he wont leave. We are the best so why would he want to go anywhere else? End of.


Ericisgod: Obviously I want him to stay, who wouldn’t? But he is a bit of an enigma. God knows what he wants. If he goes, then we move on. If he stays, then great. He’s just one player at the end of the day and maybe it would be nice for some of the other lads to get some credit. He would be a real loss though, I have faith Fergie would replace him though.


5-Who do you need to bring in during the summer and who would you like to see leave the club?


Salford_Kid: Well Berba can do one as he is a fucking waste of space, nani can carry his bags as well. Everyone wants Tevez to stay as he’s a little grafter. I want Ribery to come in and make the left wing his own. If we don’t bring anyone in though it wont really matter that much, we’re still miles ahead of your inbred brothers.


Ericisgod: I wouldn’t lose anyone tbh, and the only people I would bring in would be replacements. We have real strength in depth and I would like to see some of our young boys a bit more of a run out.


6- What should your aim for next season be?


Salford_Kid: To win the league, FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League. Easy.


Ericisgod: Well, continued success, really. On a more important side though I would like Fergie to bring through the next “batch”, and really start securing the long-term future of the club after he’s gone. It could be the last year of our old boys so we need the next bunch of homegrowns to step up to the plate.




Final Position: 2nd

From our own boys at TT!


1- What would your assement of your season be in comparison with your pre-season hopes and expectations?


Xavier: It was a lot better than what i expected it to be. We finally seem to have found the key to be able to beat teams who come to Anfield and look to defend although that only happened towards the second half of the season. Our away form was absolutely brilliant as well, something which has gone unnoticed. A lot of players have made progress over the season, Kuyt and Alonso's especially please me a lot.


Scottish Red: Any Liverpool fan that claims that this was a bad season is very deluded. I think the main target that we marked out at the beginning of the season was challenge for the title. It's something the fans have demanded for years and this year Liverpool more or less delivered in that regard. We were top until the second last game and the points total of 86 would have been enough to win the title in many other seasons. Unfortunately Man Utd's consistency against lower opposition won it for them in the end. We really can't complain though.


2- What would your season highlight be?


Xavier: Although beating United home and away seems to be the obvious answer, my highlight would be seeing Rafa sign that new deal. He seems to be getting his men at the staff level and i'm happy with it. A club of our size have been really amateurish on some accounts in the past. Hence, i'm glad to see Rafa completely overhaul our reserve and U-18 setup. Parry leaving and Rafa having complete control over his signings is great for the club.


Scottish Red: There were a great number to choose from. We had some brilliant comebacks - Boro, Pompey and Wigan spring to mind - and also thrashings of Newcastle, Aston Villa and Real Madrid were memorable. We also did the double over Chelsea wich was most enjoyable. I'd say that perhaps our performance in Real Madrid was our best from start to finish and one of our best in years but the highpoint for most fans was obviously the 4-1 win at Old Trafford. I think that win definitely gave me more pleasure than any other this year.


3- What would your season low-light be?


Xavier: We scored the most number of goals amongst all teams in the league, had the best record in games between the 'Top four', accumulated 86 points, lost only two games in all but still couldnt win the league. Its the draws that were again our wrong doing. Even worse were the dropped points after we held at lead at Wigan, Everton and Arsenal.


Scottish Red: I have to admit that the Everton FA Cup loss hurt especially after the ITV blackout debacle! In terms of the league I think that the Boro defeat was embarassing. It was one of only two defeats this year and yet it completely threw our title bid off course. I'd probably argue that the season lowlights for Liverpool were whenever Man Utd managed to sneak their way to a victory/comeback after playing poorly the whole game.


4- How far away are you from regaining the league title and do you believe that you can do it next season?


Xavier: Haha, we've always been the 'next year' men, havent we. But this is the first time that i actually believe that we have a shot at it. If we can manage to keep Alonso, i think we have a fantastic chance of winning the league. We've not had the strength in depth that we currently do for 12-13 years now and we're hardly the two man team that many consider us to be. If we can manage to keep Torres fit for most of the season, and if Alonso stays we'll definitely be in the mix. A lot of ifs in there, but the title would have course go to the team who had the extra bit of luck at the right times.


Scottish Red: 4 points is a very small difference. Very small. If Villa and Spurs had held onto their OT leads then we'd have won the title. Obviously that's all just "ifs" but it shows that a couple of halves of football make a lot of difference. I don't think we are far behind United in terms of squad depth now. Statistics show the relied on Rooney and Ronaldo more than we did on Torres and Gerrard according to results (I think, statistics get confused in my brain ).


In the grand scheme of things we certainly lack the depth in attack they had this season with Tevez, Berbatov, Welbeck, Macheda and several others all able to step in attacking roles. We in comparison had to trust in N'Gog when Torres was out. As I say though, 4 points is a pretty miniscule difference and I believe another striker, a world class attacking midfielder/winger (in the Ronaldo mould) and perhaps another full back would give us a first team at least as strong as United's regardless of what those pundits say!


5- Would do you need to bring in during the summer and who would you like to see leave the club?


Xavier: Ryan Babel has underachieved and doesnt really fit into our formation which has the wide players tucking in and pressurising the opposition when they have the ball, along with having the quality to create something when he does. I think he still has some value in the market and if we can get a decent deal for him, he'll be the first player i'd sell. I think he'll do better in a team which gives its wingers a license to attack and not care about the defensive responsibilities... like Aston Villa.

Dossena's another valuable asset to us and we're well stocked in the left back position with Aurelio looking good in most games that he played in and Insua looking like a proper player but still being only 19. I like Dossena, he isnt half as bad as what some think he is but i think we can make some money off him.

I dont think we need too many signings. A left winger would be a nice luxury but more important is a forward who can either play alongside Torres or be good enough to play upfront as a replacement when he's injured/subbed. An attacking rightback would be nice too, to complement Arbeloa in games where fullbacks have a lot of space and time on the ball.


Scottish Red: David Silva has been on Kopite's lips for a while now and either him or Ribery would definitely provide a dimension to attack we've not had before. Riera was a decent signing and Benayoun has stepped up but compared to our rivals we really are lacking in wide options still. If Babel goes we'll have lost another impact player although I'd not weep too much if he did; he's been disappointing this year. In terms of strikers...Villa, Aguero and all sorts of top class players have been linked but I'm not too sure how such high cost players would fit in the formation we tend to play with Gerrard behind Torres. I'd argue that a cheeky bid for a Tuncay-type player might be a wiser option especially if we are going for a winger.


As for Gareth Barry, unless Alonso leaves (which I don't want him to), I really don't have any desire to see him play for us. Alonso and Mascherano form the strongest centre midfield pairing in the league, far superior to that of Man Utd's.


6- What should the aim for next season be?


Xavier: More clean sheets. I dont think we were good enough defensively as we should have been. We let in some uncharacteristically silly goals this year and made work for our midfield and forwards, a lot tougher. Apart from that we dont really have to change much. We did good this year.


Scottish Red: Win the title.



Final Position: 3rd



1- What would your assement of your season be in comparison with your pre-season hopes and expectations?


Ruh Buh Juh: In the end, I think it all worked out as best as we could've hoped for after the Scolari debacle. Pre-season did look very promising, but looking back, we played useless Chinese teams, so it doesn't really matter now. Hiddink rescued us, basically. Had anyone else come in, we wouldn't've won the FA Cup or come 3rd. We may not even have got 4th, that's how poor we were under Scolari. Ahh well.


Bjd: Disapointing looking back at our pre season hopes, but overjoyed at how it ended up considering where we were in January


2- What would your season highlight be?


Ruh Buh Juh: Has to be the 4-4 vs. Liverpool in the Champions League. Easily the most exciting game I've ever witnessed, and for us to come back from 2-0 down at half time was amazing. Alex scored one of our goals of the season too. Brilliant game, absolutely brilliant. It even got one of my mates, who hates Chelsea, to congratulate us and him enjoying his first ever football game that didn't inclue Celtic, Scotland or Wales. Awesome.


Bjd: Winning the FA Cup


3- What would your season lowlight be?


Ruh Buh Juh: Was there a need for this question? I think everyone's answer will be the just completely ridiculous turn of events at home to Barcelona. What the hell happened, why the hell did it happen, and why the hell hasn't that ref been sacked yet?


Bjd: Most will say Barca at home but for me it was how we meekly surrendered our home record , which needs to be blamed on the then management. Closely followed by the realistion we had around Xmas that the club had made an absolute massive f**k up in emplying Scolari (which to be fair they dealt with swiftly)


4- How do you feel Ancelotti will do next season?


Ruh Buh Juh: I'm feeling good about his appointment. He's a proven manager at the top level with Champions Leagues under his belt. I think he'll do really well with us.


Bjd: Very hard to predict. He needs to be given time by supporters and a lot will depend on who he signs.


5-Who do you need to bring in during the summer and who would you like to see leave the club?


Ruh Buh Juh: We definitely a winger, a striker, a left back and possibly a young reserve keeper to challenge Cech, because Cech performed so much better with Cudicini breathing down his neck. Winger because we can't keep playing Anelka and the right and who knows how long Malouda's form will last? We've needed a winger for a while though, since Robben left IMO. Striker because our main 2 strikers, Drogs and Anelka, are not getting any younger, and we need someone to spice things up, as we only really have Di Santo waiting in the wings, who's yet to be proven. Left back is obvious, just someone to cover for Ashley Cole.

Who do I want to leave? I don't necessarily want them to leave, but I think they will go. Carvalho, Kalou, Deco. Deco I won't care to see him walk out the door. But Carvalho has been superb for us every season and this season he's just been plagued by injuries. And Kalou I think will come good, but I think he's had his chance here, he's still young and he can go on to a new challenge.


Bjd: We need a wide man and a striker, and a reserve keeper too. A few of the older heads should leave, Deco, Belletti, Carvalho for example and I would let Kalou go because he isnt good enough.


6- What should your aim for next season be?


Ruh Buh Juh: I'd be happy with a trophy. As long as it's the Premiership or the CL I think we'd most certainly for 2nd in the Prem and then Champions of Europe. But I think a trophy is a must to put Chelsea really back on the map.


No problem dude, hope you have a good transfer season, and all the best to Arteta and Yakubu


bjd: The club want the Champions League, the fans want the League. One of those will be the minimum aim.



Final Position: 4th



1- What would your assesment of your season be?


oompa: pretty much expected. didnt think we would go all the way in anything. of course you cant know with the CL until you see how the knockouts line up but yea, expected.


Balaji: Despite not replacing Flamini or Gilberto, I thought we'd do well in the league, probably the same as last season, if not better. I guess I was banking on one of Denilson, Song or Diaby to come good like Flamini. It wasn't to be. This season has been a massive disappointment.


2- What would your season highlight be?


oompa: i guess from a season perspective, arshavin arriving at the club. maybe both fans, manager and kids can see the difference between made quality and quality in the making. on the pitch, i think beating manure 2-1 home.


Balaji: Season highlight would probably be the victory at home against Man Utd. It looked at that point(as early as it was) like we'd be up there at the top in the league. Signing of Arshavin I guess could be put down as a highlight as well.


3- What would your season low-light be?


oompa: from a season perspective, probably all the fuzz and demoralizing stuff about the club. rumors about how everyone wants to leave or are getting sacked. on the pitch, the last minute collapse against spurs.


Balaji: Not one particular low-light, but I guess being reduced to irrelevance in the league before the half way mark was pretty disappointing. That and the Cup semi final exits.


4- Of the current crop of youth coming through how many do you think can really challenge for a genuine first team place next season?


oompa: as wilshere and ramsey are not really first team players other than on paper, id say the two of them. i dont think anyone from the youth academy will be given much games next season since the first team is almost an academy itself. merida maybe, dont know.


Balaji: Gibbs, Ramsey and possibly Wilshere


5- Who would you like to see brought into the club and who would you like to see the back of?


oompa: preferably no one but then if diaby left and bender left, i think the money might fetch us someone who is better. its hard to kick out young players but when your entire squad exist of them and you pose the question..


Balaji: A CB and CDM are of paramount importance if we're to challange for top honours next season. As for going out, I'd be happy if Sylvester leaves just so that he's no longer an option for AW.


6- - What should your aspiration for next season be?


oompa: to keep players healthy so that we, like most other teams, can field a relatively decent first 11 most of the game. in terms of silverware, our aim should be to get into the knockouts in the CL (again.. zZz), not take the FA or CC lightly since these kids need to know the feeling of winning something, anything. i dont think we can seriously challenge for the EPL trophy, but you never know. with alot of kids it means the average development curve in the team is very steep, alot can happen during one summer.


Balaji: To give the league a good shot and possibly win one of the Cup competitions, whilst going as far as possible in the others

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