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80 points will be enough to win the EPL.


Kostas

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The top 4 is no more.

Last season Livepool under Benitez were shocking, losing to relegation fighters and failing to reach the CL knockout stages only a year after their "historical" 86 points that only got them the 2nd place. It looked like either ManCity or Tottenham would take their place among England's finest teams.We won the league with 86 points, the lowest total since ManUnited in 2002/3.

During the summer none of the top 3 clubs improved significantly. United got some young players with potential while we got rid of the dead wood. Arsenal replaced their vulnerable central backs but still can't deal with direct teams.

Some claim the league is more balanced now and much more competitive.

The way I see it the top clubs are just shit. We have the thinnest squad in the league and also the weakest since Roman took over,United haven't been this bad since 2004 and Arsenal remain serial bottlers and and overrated kids who can pass the ball. None of the clubs is strong enough to convincingly and consistently beat midtable opposition not to mention decent teams who can properly defend. Sure you have teams like ManCity and Tottenham who can actually step their game up on a special occasion but they were never going for the league.

The team that will win it will in my opinion just be the best of a horrible bunch.

80 points will be enough to win the league, English clubs stand no chance in Champions League this year.

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You're probably right you know. Especially about the Champions League. Looking at the Manchester United squad, since the days of Best, they've always had someone to take over the "superstar" role once the other left. You had Best > Cantona > Beckham > Ronaldo > Owen. Okay I know Owen's not their superstar but the point is they've failed to replace him and as a result they're just not that good. Even if Roo's on form.

In regards to Arsenal. Ever since Henry left they've struggled. They have no big forward like they used to have.. Wright > Henry > Van Persie. But Van Persie (who imo is truely world class) in injury prone. Their squad is quite weak, even if Fabregas is on form. Since the days of the invincibles of Viera, Henry, Campbell, Ljunberg & Pires. They've had the odd few starring talents; Hleb, Flamini ect, but they were all sold.

Then we come to Liverpool. I used to actually like them as a club (prior to '05 I think). They had a nice team, Hyypia, Owen, Heskey, Baros, Alonso ect. But looking at them today, they're not THAT good. A common trend here is failing to replace the stars these teams once had.

Chelsea is now following suit. We've always had a great midfield, to name a few players: Duff, Makelele, Robben, Joe Cole, Thiago, Ballack, Belletti. Looking at today's midfield though: Lampard, Benayoun, Essien, Mikel, Ramires. (Zhirkov is a winger, uncounted.). A failure to replace he likes of Ballack for example.

The root of this problem lies in the developmental stage, the academy. Only a few examples of academy produced talent exist today: Bale, Milner, Barry, A. Johnson. I know I'm using English examples here but we used to have: Owen, Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard, Scholes, Giggs. World class players in their time. But can we say contemporary talent (bar Bale) is world class? No.

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So you already decided that in march-april, we won't have a chance in the champions league because we had a realy bad november?

I dont know....in 2008 and 2009 we had some bad times and we got to the final/should go to the final, and we didn't won the PL thoes years too.

Oh, and the 2010 champions league winners- Inter Milan, almost lost the italian championship to Rome that season(!)

what i'm trying to say is that its way to early to say that we wont get to the semi finals- finals of the CL, and the local competitions not saying

much all the time.

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I've been thinking myself that the champions this season might win the title with the lowest points tally we've seen in a while. All of the top teams have performed poorly at times...frankly we're lucky to still be top having lost 4 games already. Had United been firing on all cylinders we could've found ourselves with a mountain to climb.

Realistically I think one of three teams could win the title, and with all the squads lacking a bit of depth it could come down to who gets the best luck with regards to injuries - whoever can keep their key players injury free in the run in will have a great chance of winning it.

I wouldn't agree with you that the top clubs are shit, maybe not as dominant as last season, but I believe that's as much to do with the emergence of Spurs and City as bigger threats to the 'big 4' as the fact that our squads have got weaker. Also, we've seen some terrific performances from the 'smaller' clubs - Sunderland's win against us being a prime example.

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So you already decided that in march-april, we won't have a chance in the champions league because we had a realy bad november?

I dont know....in 2008 and 2009 we had some bad times and we got to the final/should go to the final, and we didn't won the PL thoes years too.

That part has nothing to do with this November. I'm not one to knee-jerk over a bad patch and I think my posts since October (when our slump started) prove that.

England's top 3 haven't looked like contenders for the Champions League for a while now. ManUnited fans may claim that last season they were a brialliant volley away from the semis and possibly their 3rd straight final. But if they are honest they know that they had the luckiest draw they've ever had and a road to the final that any ManUtd team from 2005 would simply walk.

The same goes for Chelsea fans, sure we've annihilated many teams during Ancelotti's reign, scored lots of goals and dominated games like we never did but to me when we faced organized top sides we never looked as strong and convincing as we did during 2004-2007.

I'm not ruling out any possibility of us winning the CL. Anyone watching football for a few years knows that in cup competitions luck,penalties draws and incompetent referees are more important than squad depth or the quality of your first XI. Flukes are possible (Livepool 2005) and great teams can get hard done by (Chelsea 2004-2008), you can even get away with having a squad as thin as we do (the league format is the only one that truly tests squad depth).

What I think and was thinking even before October - November 2010 (bad performances - bad results) is that we're nowhere as powerful as we've been in the past and combined with our bad luck the CL is out of reach.

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