Hagon Hammers: Everyone but Chelsea…

Hagon Hammers

I was delighted to wake up today, as I have been every day since Trump’s inauguration. Not in the blissful expectation of yet another heinous policy aimed at destroying decent life as we know it, but in the relief, that neither he nor the other lunatics ruling from the roosts have actually deployed a thermonuclear assault on us. As every day passes without cataclysmic apocalypse it’s also another day closer to Chelski lifting the Premier League title (again). To coin a phrase from our stupid cousins across the pond, it’s becoming a ‘cake walk’. Even with a massive fourteen games and 42 points up for grabs, sadly no one else with the exception of Spurs look like credible contenders capable of mounting a cohesive challenge.

Alas, Spurs have to play five games in fifteen days including trips to Europa League opposition and a venture to Anfield. The latter doesn’t seem to hold as much dread as it did a couple of months ago but Klopp will get the Reds firing again at some point and Spurs have a worse record at Anfield than Trump has on US-Hispanic relations. Spurs are also perennial gassers and surely they can’t keep this core starting eleven bandaged together with so many games to come. It’s not unreasonable to think that MoPo will have learnt from last year and will back out of a competition or two at some point to secure at least second place and not get dragged into a 3rd/4th/5th/6th battle.

Given his mastery in his first season on our pleasant isle, perhaps Conte can find some time to sort out Brexit, global warming, the price of petrol, Trump, North Korea, the banks, rude people in hotel lifts, cretins who try to take your head off with their bags on trains and the mystery dog that keeps shitting on my lawn.

Let’s face it everything this man touches turns to gold and if he can manage to spare a few moments to help the rest of us out perhaps most of us will actually move a little closer to renewing a degree of warmth for the Chavs? What has been a universal one-way hate fest since Abramovic took over, which was often fuelled by the ‘average one’ for many years, might just be subsiding, a tad? He has his side playing as dynamically as they need to, and it appears he is able to get a song out of any of his players as he needs them. Willian, Alonso, Moses, Pedro and even Fabregas have stepped up to deliver unexpected brilliance at critical times. Which is a total bitch for those who just expected to have to silence Costa or Hazard to be in with a chance.

What a change since the average one was bullying club doctors and firing as many conspiracy theories around as DJT himself. Conte has also managed this with the inclusion of sideshow Bob in a back 3 which in itself is a freaking miracle. I guess not picking players based on their friendship rating with the manager helps. Maybe focussing more on their own attacking ability and developing counter strategies than worrying about parking the bus and trying to sneak one late on is also of benefit? At least United are having that pleasure now.

Arsenal doesn’t stand a chance anymore as their DNA has mutated so badly it now contains the fail gene permanently and this needs major restorative surgery in the form of a Wenger sacking and a talent transfusion in the board. Any chance they had departed the second the ‘blind one’ started flangeing around with Sanchez and thinking that Xhaka can play as a holding midfielder. Granit as his name partly suggests is tough, however, he is an attacking midfielder, not a holding midfielder, so playing him out of position adds a significant load to his fuse and true to form he likes nothing more than blowing it and kicking lumps out of folks when he is bossed around or made to look ordinary in a defensive setting. It’s as if Arsene is purposely trying to screw the clubs chances of success and boy is he doing a swell job of it.

Although most feel Liverpool will return to some decent form soon, the fact Klopp has made too many silly decisions in January has set them back too far to recover from a disastrous start to 2017. The tail of this ugly monster is wagging even now. The loss against Hull on Saturday was typical of the struggle being endured. Low morale, an unfit squad off the back of too many niggly injuries and tough preseason, too many rotational changes and an over-reliance on people like Mane means the Red Men will have to recover sharpish if they want to be in with a Champions League berth let alone a challenge for the title. I don’t think Klopp is an arrogant sort and I’m sure will have learnt from Conte that you have to be able to change things yet keep a semblance of order to the playing staff. Conte’s decisiveness and ability to get the core of the squad to play for each other when changing formation after the early season drubbings have been spectacular. While Klopp has stumbled around like Bambi on crystal meth in failing to find a way of breaking down any side that comes to park the bus. He will have to learn fast or the prospect of higher quality summer reinforcements will be gone quicker than a pretty intern in Trump’s HR team. Klopp has to refrain for fielding the likes of Can, Moreno, Klavan and Lucas and risk tired players in the right positions. Maybe it’s time to play the talented youth crop rather than the crap.

Citeh? who knows what the hell Pep is actually thinking? I suspect he doesn’t quite believe the state of the side he inherited and all the ego’s and bizarre goings on that seem to have plagued the club this year. However, I’m sure most will be amazed if we don’t see an ongoing improvement in performance and results. Equally, I don’t think he knows what his best side is or what he can get away with week in and week out. They are my shout at 3rd on current showings. In isolation the attacking potential is scary. De Bruyne, Sterling, Dave, Aguero and now Jeeeeeesus and if Pep does get the balance right they could yet get a place in the shake up if Conte has a brain fart and loses it.

United? Don’t make me laugh, has anyone actually seen a good game in the Prem this season? OK, they played satisfactorily against Leicester on Sunday, but the Foxes are looking like a side who are getting worse game by game. Phil Neville disagrees, but he knows jack diddly shit about everything. Phil also thinks that United have the best starting eleven to chase Chelski, I rest my case. The points tally United have amassed does feel like a bit of a fraud, primarily as nearly every point gained has been as a direct result of Zlatan. The pensioner must be close to collapse as he’s been carrying every other player singlehandedly. The boy Mikey-T looks like a talent but as sure as eggs is eggs Jose will drive the inspiration and flair out of his body and force him to capitulate his genius as no player is allowed to be the real star unless it’s in your contract or you are Swedish sociopath. Thankfully for those close by, the defensive element of the side is still capable of bang average performances most games. Primarily, this is down to the French dabber as all his teammates are wondering about the next rick. The average one will simply attempt to buy his way to glory as per usual, come the summer.

So when you weigh it all up, Chelski could have a blip and lose four or five on the bounce but I don’t see any of the chasing pack winning four or five on the bounce at the same time to even make it a close run thing. If Liverpool do Spurs over next weekend the Chavs will just have to coast match per match as Citeh enter the Champions League later stages and face off against United over the coming weeks.

On a positive note for the whole of the footballing universe, with the exception of hapless and unfortunate Crystal Palace fans, Sham Allardyce will be breaking his duck of never being relegated this season. Unless of course Palace sack him before the inevitable.

Each and every cloud……

About the Author

Gavin Hagon
Frustrated sports fan and middle-aged master of nothing. Living in Lytham, Lancashire with wife, kids and a mental cat.