With half the season gone and the FA Cup claiming the weekend it’s the ideal time to take a look at the title race in the Premier League.
Our main focus lies on Manchester, naturally. We ponder Pep’s motives and approach, while rejoicing in United’s good run. (Of course, we always had faith in Mourinho.) The big question, though, is: With a Top 4 finish now looking reasonable for United, what two sides would they overtake by season’s end?
Here are the minutes in case you want to jump around:
02:00 Can Burnley plan for PL football in 2017/18?
06:30 What sort of impact will Joey Barton have at Turf Moor?
08:30 Is this the Man Utd of old?
12:30 Will we see Memphis Depay again for Man Utd?
16:00 Can Man Utd sneek into the top 4? What competition will they prioritize?
20:30 Do Arsenal suddendly have grit?
23:00 Is there defeatism setting in for the blue part of Manchester?
Chelsea are the team to beat this Premier League season, while Tottenham are very much in the hunt for a direct Champions League qualifying spot. So, when these two teams meet tonight, it’s the high profile match-up of the 20th round.
It has not always been like that, though. In the 1993/94 campaign, both teams were battling relegation. Meeting on February 27th 1994, it was 17th vs 16th in the league table, as Chelsea hosted Tottenham. Mind, this was still with a 22-team league; but neither side could breathe easy as they were just four and three points off the drop, respectively.
Going into the match Tottenham were also still looking for their first win of 1994, having already played seven matches in the calendar year. In front of some 19.000 fans at Stamford Bridge, the visitors jumped out to an early lead courtesy of Steve Sedgley, Jason Dozzell and some shoddy defending.
Once more during the international break it’s time for our Premier League special/recap. The fourth so far. We’ve jinxed Tottenham, now it’s time for Liverpool.
While doing that, we take a relaxed look at the six championship contenders. Yes, United are still in the race we’ll have you know! But that doesn’t mean we pull any punches on Mourinho, Schweinsteiger & Co.
After musing over what the next stretch of the season might hold in store for the teams we pay a visit to the Bundesliga and our unofficial adopted team.
Here are the minutes, if you want to jump around:
0:02:00 Can Burnley stay up despite their away troubles?
0:07:45 How will Liverpool keep up their intensity through christmas?
0:15:30 Can Chelsea distance their London neighbors in the next few matchdays?
0:21:00 Will The Real Man City Please Stand Up?
0:27:00 Can Arsenal avoid their November-drop?
0:34:15 Could a dual-leadership of Southgate & Wenger work for England?
0:38:30 Should Tottenham pick either League or Europe and go all-in?
0:52:00 Where do Man United go from here?
1:04:00 Has Mourinho lost the plot?
1:10:00 Who would you start, bench, sell: Mkhitaryan, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger?
1:17:30 Can Leipzig maintain their momentum in the Bundesliga?
1:22:00 Is the end nigh?
1:29:00 Will we see SV Horn in the Champions League soon?
We didn’t find any postcards from Big Sam in the mail and concluded we were not invited to join the England squad during the international break. Instead we sat down and recapped the last few weeks of matches and overall goingons in the Premier League: Contenders for titles and relegation places assemble!
Topics include, but are not limited to:
0:01:30 Are Sunderland doomed already?
0:09:00 Can Stoke, West Ham avoid the relegation battle?
0:12:30 Too early to count anybody out of the relegation battle?
0:15:45 Have City been found out? Or is everybody overreacting?
0:19:45 Can Arsenal, Tottenham sustain their form? Wenger to ride off into the sunset?
0:22:00 Could this be Liverpool’s year?
0:25:45 Will the CL be Leicester’s competition this season?
0:29:00 How are our pre-season predictions faring so far?
0:34:00 Where are Man United headed? Would Rooney make the club’s All-Time XI?
0:40:00 Are Burnley able to grind out more results?
0:45:00 Should England just shut up shop at this point? Who should take over anyway?
0:55:30 How is Oliver Burke doing in Leipzig?
1:01:30 Has the time come for Hamburg to go down? Who are the alternatives?
After adopting Burnley as our team of the season, we just had to go back and look at one of their most important matches.
In 1962 Burnley met Tottenham at Wembley. It was their third appearance in the FA Cup final, their record even. But Tottenham were not just any team: Bill Nicholson’s side had achieved the first double of the century. Blanchflower, Greaves & Co. would prove a fine opponent. However, Burnley were also only two years removed from winning the league. And McIlroy, Adamson, Connelly and Pointer some of the finest players in the country.
We give a very quick rundown of Burnley’s club history, the landscape of English football in the early 60s and of course the match itself.
Here are the minutes:
0:00:00 Intro; Why did we adopt Burnley?
0:03:30 Burnley FC history in a nutshell (FA Cup win 1914, League title 1921, FA Cup final 1947)
0:11:45 Building the 1960 side, a second League title & prior meetings with Tottenham
0:19:15 Jimmy Greaves’ transfer; finalists path to Wembley
0:25:00 Preliminaries, line-ups, kits, referees; TV broadcast
0:31:30 Kick-off, first blood to Spurs, stagefright for Burnley?
0:40:00 Corner kick technique, Burnley too impatient, Spurs dangerous on the counter and quick on the trigger
0:52:00 Spurs general set-up, tactics, Burnley’s trouble dealing with Greaves, Jones & Co.
0:59:00 Burnley’s best phase before and after half-time, score the equaliser…
1:07:00 …just to concede again from kick-off
1:12:00 Jimmy McIlroy’s contribution, end-to-end action in the closing phase
1:16:15 Penalty to Tottenham, or was it a foul on Blacklaw? Blanchflower converts
1:23:00 Trophy presentation, MOTM (Cliff Jones), perception of the match
1:28:30 Burnley going forward
1:34:30 How Jimmy McIlroy signed for Burnley
The match itself ganered a very favorable rating and is recommended for anybody with a passing interest on English football from the 1950s-60s. And if that’s not you, what are you doing with your life? Well at least check out the Pathé highlights:
And here are the full 90+ minutes for your enjoyment:
In a cool hour we talk through the biggest topics of the past month in English & European football, including panic buys on deadline day, positive and negative surprise starts in the Premier League, a quick look at the upcoming group stage in the Champions League and the somewhat underwhelming farewell to one of the greats the past decade has seen.
Soundcloud has the episode for you, stream and/or download:
Here are the minutes:
0:01:20 Panic buys on deadline day? Are Arsenal getting left behind?
0:06:00 Have the top 3 been tested? Pep’s early influence?
0:11:30 British players abroad? How good is Joe Hart really?
0:16:00 A place for Schweinsteiger? Sissoko a statement buy?
0:21:00 Will It Last? Everton, Hull, Middlesbrough
0:26:15 Too Early to Worry? Arsenal, West Ham, Stoke
0:33:20 How would Everton rank in the Bundesliga? Leverkusen & Gladbach in the CL?
0:40:00 Schweinsteiger farewell, Donnarumma debut
0:45:45 Prediction game standings & punishment; Fantasy update
0:52:30 Movies: Snowpiercer, The Lobster, Star Trek Beyond