Title’s a flip of a coin between Man City and Liverpool – Alan Shearer analysis


It sums up Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s relentless drive for trophies that he is chasing a hat-trick of hat-tricks this season.

Well, now it is definitely time for him to come out and address that situation. If he is not leaving Old Trafford, then he needs to come out and say that he is staying, that he is fully committed to the club, and that he will give his all on the pitch.

Until that happens, he is just letting other people speak for him.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be the one facing the questions about what is going on, but there is only one person who can quash the rumours and that is the man who hinted a couple of months ago that he might be on his way – Pogba himself.

‘Chelsea have issues at both ends of the pitch’

Frank Lampard: Transfer ban, being a ‘modern dad’ & risking his Chelsea legacy

One area United did get right this summer was at the back.

They were very weak in that department last season but they have made the key signing they needed in the shape of England centre-half Harry Maguire.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka will improve them at right-back too, and you can see how much importance Solskjaer puts on getting his defence right from the money he has spent there – £130m on two signings.

I am not convinced Arsenal have done the same with their spending spree this summer, which was a bit strange because it came after reports that they did not have much money.

Yes, they have brought in David Luiz and Kieran Tierney but I am not sure that will stop them conceding, because I am not a huge fan of Luiz defensively.

But at least Arsenal will carry a big threat up front. From an ex-striker’s point of view, their attack is going to be very exciting and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe are going to score a lot of goals.

Chelsea need to be ‘competitive straight away’ – Giroud

Meanwhile, Chelsea might have problems at both ends of the pitch.

In central defence, they look short of numbers after Luiz’s departure. They have got Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger – who is out with a knee injury – plus Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori.

They also look short of goals after Eden Hazard’s departure. They could not even try to replace him because of their transfer embargo, and life without him is going to be very difficult.

It does seem odd not to be talking about Chelsea as potential title winners, because that has been the case most seasons since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003.

But their circumstances are different right now. I am delighted that Frank Lampard has been given the opportunity to manage them, but he should get a little bit of leeway because his hands have been tied when it came to strengthening the squad.

‘Life and soul has been sucked out of Newcastle’

‘Just judge me over a little bit of time’ – Bruce

Sadly my old club Newcastle are more likely to be at the other end of the table.

There is a lot of anger among the fans – towards the owner Mike Ashley, not so much the new Magpies manager Steve Bruce, who has found himself in a very difficult situation through no fault of his own.

Ashley has said himself in interviews that he has not done a very good job as Newcastle’s owner – they are his words, not mine – and the supporters’ animosity towards him is simply not going to change while he remains in charge.

Newcastle’s net spend in the 12 years since Ashley bought the club works out at less than £6m a year, which is nothing in the modern era, and the issue the fans have is that the life and soul has basically been sucked out of the club.

This season? Well, I am still confident we will have enough to stay up, but I just think there is a lot resting on Joelinton’s shoulders because, straightaway, he is the player the team needs to score goals.

The players who scored most of them for us last season – Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez – have both gone now, so it is really down to him.

That is not me trying to make life more difficult for him by putting pressure on him, it is just a matter of fact – he needs to hit the ground running.

Alan Shearer was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

Related Posts