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The Good, The Bad & The Surprise (2017/18 Edition)

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I'm pretty sure it was @Batard that did this once on TFF and it was interesting reading once the season wrapped up in May. Basically, name one team/player/manager that you think will be good in the league next season and do the same for a team/player/manager that you think will do bad. Finally, pick one team/player/manager that you think for whatever reason will be a surprise next season. 

When we look back at this in May it's actually interesting to see what predictions were accurate and what predictions were bonkers. 

For me, I'll say; 

The Good: 


If Gabriel Jesus can avoid the injury spells that kept him out in the 2016/17 season then I think he will be more than good enough to challenge Harry Kane for the Golden Boot. The Brazilian looked ready made for the Premier League even at 20 and impressed with his mixture of confidence and raw talent, if he keep recapture that form that made the world sit up and take notice last year then my tip is that Jesus will shine this season. 

TL;DR - This is Gabriel Jesus' breakout year, if he can stay fit expect him to trouble the likes of Kane & Lukaku for the Golden Boot. 

The Bad:


Moving to a new stadium in Wembley and having not signed a single player this season I expect Tottenham to struggle. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it will be a Leicester City style implosion that will see them flirt with relegation but I do think that they could slip out of the top four and seriously struggle to mount a title challenge. I think that Pochettino will keep his job and in time turn things rosy but I think for this season coming Spurs will have a little mountain to climb. 

TL;DR - Spurs will finish 5th-7th, qualifying for the Europa League but failing to mount any kind of title challenge.

The Surprise:


Watford have a great manager in Marco Silva and someone who took a really poor, struggling team in Hull City to being on the verge of the great escape in May. It was this spell that made English fans stand up and take notice and with a more stable club in Watford will no doubt do well here too. With some decent signings, most notably Andre Gray from Burnley I expect Watford to turn a few heads and challenge at the right end of the Premier League. Don't get me wrong, I don't think they will push for Europe but I do think that they can surprise one or two people and do what West Brom did last season. 

TL;DR - A solid season from the Hornets with plenty to build on for 2018/19.

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The Good

Everton's core steps up to the next level, Barkley plays like shite, and the club continue to overachieve to the point it becomes the norm. Rooney steps it up a notch with something to prove after a few years of decadence.

Image result for everton

The Bad

The Manchurian clubs both falter and splutter. Anything less then winning the League is failure for both of these huge money, big name, and cringey manager teams.Image result for united v city

The Surprise 

I hope all the Facebook fans that support Chelsea fuck off and die after Alvaro 'Fernando Torres' Morata #Cursed9 wins the Golden Boot.

Image result for alvaro morata chelsea

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3 minutes ago, Spike said:

Screencap this post.

Rooney will score a dramatic goal against Liverpool. The social media wankery will explode into levels beyond the bicycle kick against City.

He always does, mate. Usually a fucking tap in as well.

Also, it's Mancunian. Manchuria is a region in China.

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The Good: Manchester City

I'd love to see Guardiola stutter and win nothing this season but I think things will click for them. Between De Bruyne, Silva, Sane, Sterling, Jesus and Aguero (who seems to have become some sort of forgotten man in the footballing hive mind which I find scandalous), they should have enough to beat any team and while it's understandable that people are laughing at their outlay on full backs, upgrading in this area will add a threat going forward that they've been missing a bit. Defensively, they've still got John Stones, but Ederson can't be worse than Bravo so while I don't think their defensive record will be anything special but they'll score so many it won't matter.


The Bad: Arsenal

Arsenal will once again slide just incrementally further from the top teams. Wenger will probably continue to be a bit smart and do well in cup competitions, winning one of the domestic cups or maybe even the Europa League but in the league they'll be comfortably outside the top four again. 


The Surprise: West Ham

Bilic was under pressure at times last season and they struggled in their new stadium. It's become popular to poke fun at West Ham but signing Hart and Hernandez is big news for them. If Carroll can stay fit they'll be a handful for anyone and I reckon they're the most likely to trouble the top 7.

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The Good: Leroy Sane (Man City)


First and foremost, I believe City will win the league. I think they have greatly improved the full back situation that bugged them the past two years as well as the goalkeeper and although they will sweat on the fitness of Kompany still, they have an embarrassment of riches in attack with goals a plenty.  

One man who I think will really kick on and be instrumental in this will be Leroy Sane. He took a while to get to grips with the Premier League and looked a little short of confidence when he first appeared but ever since January, he shone brightly and finished the season with great credit, chipping in with goals and assists to his game, posing a real threat.

In addition to that, Sane has frightening pace, is very skilful, and actually deceivably strong for someone his age. He will only get better under the influence of Guardiola. It has worked out brilliantly for him and City by missing the Confederations Cup and having a well rested Summer and he's been eased into pre season gently so there should be no question on his fitness levels.

And he fit's perfectly into City's system on the left of the front three. I expect him to fully kick on this season and be one of the best players in the league, providing he stays fit, healthy and isn't consistently rotated by Pep.

Infact, I'd tip him to win the PFA Young Player of the Year for 2017/18. He's one of those players that looks like he has an 'X-Factor' about him.


The Bad: Mark Hughes (Stoke)


I have a feeling the second longest serving PL manager, Mark Hughes, will get the sack with Stoke this season. Infact, I think they may find themselves really struggling this year in a fight to stay up. I don't see how the fans will put up with the 'same old, same old' tag of just being portrayed as a mid table club going nowhere fast.

I feel like under Hughes, they have stagnated. After firmly establishing themselves in the Premier League, and three consecutive ninth placed finishes, last year was a very mediocre year for them. 13th place wasn't exactly very inspiring. Sections of their support began to sound disgruntled mainly because of the standard fare served up by Hughes since his appointment in 2013. The football was nothing exciting. They were the 5th lowest scorers in the league with just 41 goals. They will start the season with 36 year old Crouch, Diouf who managed the grand total of one goal last year, Bojan and Joselu who spent last year unwanted out on loan that resulted in nothing spectacular and an utterly bereft of confidence Berahino.

This season looks to be no better having lost their best player in Arnautovic. Their transfer business doesn't scream to me like they have improved what they already had. So, as a result of the above, I feel like Hughes will inevitably start this season as Stoke manager for the last time. If they get off to a poor start, the pressure on him will continue to rise, ultimately resulting in him losing his job. Infact, I'd go as far to say, it wouldn't surprise me if he's gone by Christmas. Either way, I'm nearly certain he will suffer the chop at some point.


The Surprise: Huddersfield Town


I think Huddersfield will surprise a lot of people and stay up this season. They played some really good football under David Wagner last year and presuming that they continue to play to their beliefs the same way, I think there will be a few shock results go in their favour.

The home games are going to be bouncing. Cheap season tickets meaning they will have a full house backing them, and to their credit, they generate a good atmosphere. No one will relish going there that's for sure.

They play well as a team, that's what did for them so well last year, no individual brilliance, and I'm sure knowing Wagner, the players he will have identified and signed will fit in with Huddersfield's team ethic. The players will buy into what he want's them to achieve.

Tom Ince is someone who really has the tools to be a tidy player in this league. He has skill, pace, he scores goals and creates assists. You just have to question his attitude and why it's taken till now for someone to take a punt on him at this level. He's shown signs of promise in pre season with 4 goals and could be a very canny signing.

Aaron Mooy was unbelievably good last year, too good for Championship level and would have been a brilliant signing for a mid table PL team in all honesty. So it's been massive for them keeping him and a few more of their signings really intrigue me. Steve Mounie looks like a good coup, scoring 14 for Montpellier in Ligue 1 last year (one behind Mbappe), great in the air and he's only 22 too. Then there is Depoitre, a physical striker who has valuable Champions Legaue experience with Porto and Gent who should cause problems. It really bodes well for them.

I also like the look of the Danish defender, Mathias Jorgensen. Danish international, has good pace and will get in the faces of strikers. He looks made for the PL and will compliment the cool and composed German, Christopher Schindler at the back.

I also think that the gap between the Championship and the bottom half of the Premier League really isn't as big as it once was. There are a lot of average clubs treading water that Huddersfield will fancy turning over and I can see them getting enough points to stay up and live to fight another day.

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The good - Salah. 

I reckon him, Mane & Firmino as a front 3 will ruin teams. He especially, will cement his return to the league with a prolific season.

The Bad - Stoke 

Good chance they'll go down. Their biggest signing this window looks to be Martins Indi...which says it all.

The Surprise - Watford

They've signed a very promising manager in Silva. Add to that the good squad they have and the addition of an underrated Gray and I think they will survive comfortably while playing attractive football.

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Will do a proper one of these when I can be arsed but I'm with Lucas on all three of his.

Biased comment on the way - I reckon Mahrez will have a good year. Better than the last one anyway.

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The good:

Man City. I think they'll click and Aguero/Jesus will tear shit up with the support of De Bruyne, both Silva's, Gundogan, Sterling and Sane. Their attacking options are ridiculous. Admittedly I don't know much about Ederson but surely better than the liability that is Bravo? Defensively I'm surprised they got rid of Zabaleta but let's be honest who needs defence when you have attack like that xD

The bad:

Similar to Lucas, Stoke. They've had nearly 10 years in this league and although establishing themselves up til now I think their time is up. I don't think they've moved forward over the past couple of seasons and Hughes has become stale there. Consequently the club has too. Losing Arnautovic may hit them hard as I'm not sure how they will reinvest in the squad. He was hot and cold but it says a lot when one of your best players is like that. Shaqiri is now the the little big fish there and Stoke are asking a lot to rely on him. I think they may be relegated this season, if not close to it. 

The surprise:

Again similar to Lucas in the form of a promoted team upsetting the odds but for me, it's Brighton who will survive. I like the way they play and I like Chris Hughton so part of me is hoping he does well anyway. If Knockaert has learnt and grown since he was with us then they've got a fine player on their hands. Maybe he'll be the spark of creativity that Brighton need to stay up. 

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The Good - Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Palace/Chelsea) 


Ruben has all the qualities to excel in England. Tall, Strong, great dribbler, and fast. Has raw ability that needs to be tapped and a loan at Palace will do just the thing. His decision making and end product need to be improved on, so he needs to be at a club that can give him minutes as well as the opportunity to improve. Palace utilise him correctly (which appears they are doing so) then this will be a beneficial year for him as well as for both Palace and Chelsea.   Early shout of YPOTS as well as a call up for the England National side for the world cup. 


The Bad - Chelsea and Spurs


Conte is growing increasingly frustrated from the board's decisions to go after players he doesn't want, getting rid of players he wants, as well as reducing his squad size with the season about to start. As things stand, our team hasn't improved and we now have a smaller squad size compared to the start of the transfer window. Teams are understanding our system's weak points and expose them, yet we have had all summer to address those issues yet to no avail. We lack depth in our most crucial areas (wing backs) and have a limited number of midfielders. As Conte's recent history has shown, it will only be a matter of time until Conte walks due to his demands continuing not being met. 

 Spurs on the other hand are at a new stadium, as well as not improving in terms of depth, and have lost Walker and potentially Rose to rivals. 

With Champions League and The league to focus on this year, I reckon both us and Spurs will fail to meet expectations in both competitions due to the lack of depth and quality. 


The Surprise: Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford) 


This will be the year Chalobah performs to his potential and marks his place as one of the league's and England's best central midfielders. At only 5 million (which still makes me cringe), Watford have signed a player who has experience in both England and Italy, and understands what it takes to be a part of a title winning team. Chalobah has great urgency, vision, power, and passing range to be a success. His dynamism in midfield makes him the perfect candidate for what England are missing in the National side. 


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The Good - Manchester City's Attacking Options

I didn't want to name a specific player as they will all be under a rotation system enforced by Pep but I presume the two that will get the most playing time - and the two I'm most looking forward too - after Gabriel Jesus and Kevin DeBruyne. Jesus looked to adapt very quickly when fit last season and I can see DeBruyne having his best season and arguably being there most influential player with the role he will have in this team.


The Bad - Antonio Conte

At the end of last season I wanted Chelsea to win the league by a canter again and to do well in Europe just to end this shitty excuse of 'European fixtures' and 'the leagues too competitive' bullshit that the likes of Jose Mourinho keep preaching. However the way he has handled himself this summer has made me U-Turn. Firstly, the Costa text scenario has clearly not gone down well in the dressing room, and has cost Roman a shit load of money on the player. Secondly, he had an excellent array of young players to integrate in to the side to cover the additional players, all of which had been playing and progressing well and not one of them seems to be given a chance. Thirdly, his transfer policy just seems to be weird, getting rid of Chalobah and Loftus-Cheek and spending a fortune on Drinkwater? Bringing in class players like Bakayoko, Morata and Rudiger yet claiming it's not enough? With Romans track record with Managers I'll be very impressed if he keeps his job for another twelve months.


The Surprise - Brighton and Hove Albion

They seem to know what positions they need to strengthen and the type of characters that would be suitable for these position. Given how free flowing as a team they've looked over the last two years and they are led by a manager who has experience at this level I fancy them to survive this season. Which I think will be a surprise to many.

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Again, Conte has nothing to do with who leaves Chelsea. He wanted both Chalobah, Baker, and Matic to stay. 


And the 'text' to Costa is apparently bollocks. He informed Costa back in January he can leave in the summer. 

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Just now, Aaroncpfc said:

Again? I know you're desperate to defend the man but I didn't mention Matic.

Just mentioned it to Storts so it's becoming redundant. He didn't get rid of Chalobah or Loftus-Cheek, the board did. Only brought up Matic because it shows yet again that the board sell players without the consent of Conte. 

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When asked about Chalobah, Conte made comments about Bakayoko being a better player. So I think im well within my rights to presume that Conte wasn't willing to to put up a fight to make him stay.

He also made comments in the second half of last season about Reuben Loftus-Cheek going out on loan this season. So once again I'm well within my right to assume that Conte would have approved it.

This is meant to be a light hearted thread. There's no need to come across so irritated.

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The Good - Manchester United

Jose Mourinho has said that he's only completed 75% of his Summer shopping at United and looking at who they've signed thus far (Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku) added to who they've already got (Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly and David De Gea amongst others) and their performance against West Ham United on the opening weekend, United look like they could be very good this season. I think Pogba will be a more involved and more successful player this season with Matic's arrival, Lukaku has hit the ground running and if they can keep everyone fairly fit, I can see them going very well this season.  I also like United for the fact they have a decent set of fixtures up and till October and a good start could lay the platform for a serious go at the title. 


The Bad - Crystal Palace

Frank De Boer has developed a reputation as a manager who likes to play Football a certain way and I think that if he tries to play that with Crystal Palace and shows signs that he's unwilling to adapt to his surroundings and play to the strengths within his team, Palace will struggle. 

I'm not convinced with the signings they've made either. It's admirable that Palace have sought out young players when others would disregard them completely in favour of more experienced players but I'm really unsure as to how much of an impact you can get from Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Jairo Reidewald. 


The Surprise -  Huddersfield Town

Good manager, not the best squad but they have all the right attributes and a strong mentality and I don't think teams are going to relish a trip to Yorkshire to play them and I think they'll get some good results there this season. 

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6 minutes ago, HoneyNUFC said:

How did you know those 3 would start their season exactly like those category placements? :ph34r:

In fairness, I wanted to do Liverpool as the surprise because I think they'll be shit and will bin Klopp this season but I'm not sure that's the surprise meant by this category. 

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my take -

the good  - United.    it's jose's second season in charge of a team and history shows that his team is better on his sophomore year.


the bad - arsenal, who else, every year they are bad ... but for this year, i'll choose - Chelsea.   they had it easy last year with no Euro-football, but now, with them playing in the UCL.   it will be a baptismal of fire for Conte realizing that an EPL team has boats load of games to play.


the surprise - that's the whole point, we don't know, we'll see this december ......


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On 8/19/2017 at 0:02 PM, bozziovai said:

my take -

the good  - United.    it's jose's second season in charge of a team and history shows that his team is better on his sophomore year.


the bad - arsenal, who else, every year they are bad ... but for this year, i'll choose - Chelsea.   they had it easy last year with no Euro-football, but now, with them playing in the UCL.   it will be a baptismal of fire for Conte realizing that an EPL team has boats load of games to play.


the surprise - that's the whole point, we don't know, we'll see this december ......


I think you've missed the point of this thread entirely here.

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On 28/08/2017 at 5:04 PM, Dan said:

I think you've missed the point of this thread entirely here.

how come ??  i'm only mirroring what HoneyNUFC has said, coz a surprise won't be a surprise when we know who/what it is.


just like rando said that his surprise is WestHam but look at how Westham is doing right now, very poor.

i'll stand by to what i said, we'll see this coming mid-season to which of the "low" teams will be performing well in the table.

Dans family are rancid Leicestershire lepers

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