True or False – Our regular feature were 90 Minute Cynic contemplates recent and upcoming events in the world of football and gather the opinion of the Cynics. Our questionnaire extraordinaire is Louis McCaffrey and the men behind the answers are Christopher Gallagher , Bryan McManus and Chris Sermanni.
Today we focus on Celtic in the Champions League, the race for the title in the English Premier League, the top two in Spain and their summer transfer activity, and last but not least the competiviness of Serie A. If you would like to submit any questions to True or False or have any comments about the feature as a whole then contact us on twitter or email us at email@example.com.
1. The Celtic board have been heavily criticised after the 4-1 defeat to Legia Warsaw during the week. The blame is misdirected and fan anger should be directed at the players instead.
Christopher Gallagher: True – The players were an embarrassment to the jersey against Legia and I don’t know if even one player came away with any sort of pass marks, maybe MacGregor. Celtic need investment yes BUT the team that was sent out on Wednesday should easily compete with a poor Legia Warsaw team. If we don’t strengthen this season then yes, the board will rightly get critiscised but remember, it’s a football match and Lawwell was on the pitch.
Bryan McManus: True – Its becoming more and more tedious hearing fans on social media blaming the board every time Celtic don’t get a result. We have a new management team trying to implement a new system and it will take time. The board should be applauded for having the foresight to appoint a management team that could actually have the club progress on the field as opposed to being lambasted for us not making big money signings straight away. The board backed the last manager but unfortunately the bulk of his signings turned out to be failures, fans should give Deila (and the board) time to get his plan implemented, bad away defeats in Europe unfortunately aren’t a new thing for us however blaming the board for the result is entirely wrong.
Chris Sermanni: False – Everyone should take a share of the blame for this. Whilst Deila is just in the door and hasn’t been able to implement his style, his tactics and team selection were bizarre and the high line was asking for trouble. The players perhaps have the excuse of fitness, but key mistakes were made by players who have a history of making them. The board have to release funds for Deila, to allow him to bring players in to make the team his own.
2. Ronny Deila made selection and tactical errors against Legia Warsaw, however if he learns from his mistakes Celtic can turn the tie around and progress.
Christopher Gallagher: True – I’m a hopeless romantic when it comes to Celtic and believe they can go through. An average Legia team beat a dismal Celtic, so why can’t a pumped up and determined Celtic repeat what the home side did on Wednesday? Deila, in my mind, should never have played Matthews at LB and started Berget but all that will be inconsequential if we get to the playoffs.
Bryan McManus: False – A lot of people were happy with Deila’s line up and when we went 1 up early doors it looked like a stroke of genius unfortunately the players then turned in an utterly abysmal performance and should hang their heads in shame hopefully it will be the final game in the hoops for a few of them and Ronny can start to properly rebuild.
Chris Sermanni: False – Turning this tie around is almost certainly not going to happen, certainly not at a half empty Murayfield. He needs to win the game though, if only to prove the first leg was a blip and not a sign of things to come
3. Louis Van Gaal has began to stamp his authority on Man Utd however he is correct to down play their title chances.
Christopher Gallagher: True – Louis Van Gaal is an authoritative bully, which is exactly what Manchester United need. He has already been quick to criticize new signings, the board and past managers. I fully expect him to rejuvenate the entire squad but agree that they won’t win the title. Having said that, it’s a long time till the Window closes and maybe, just maybe, United will sign a couple of quality players to push them into the title picture.
Bryan McManus: True – Van Gaal has already shown he can handle the crazy English media, he’s playing the game but there’s no doubt he thinks he can win the title.
Chris Sermanni: True – As it stands, there are probably 4 teams with better squads than Man Utd. Whilst Luke Shaw is a fine player, spending the best part of 30M on a young left back isn’t going to drastically change their fortunes. CL qualification is the aim for this season
4. The potential signing of Frank Lampard by Man City is nothing more than the club ensuring they have enough English nationals in their squad.
Christopher Gallagher: False – I think the Lampard signing has been made for a number of reasons. The first one would be that he can still play at the top level and brings something different that City don’t have already. The second is that they will make money from merchandising, with a raft of fans getting Lampard on the back of their top. Finally, they did it to piss Chelsea and their fans off. It’s a great piece of business from Citah.
Bryan McManus: False – Lampard could walk into pretty much any Premier League team as well as a few on the continent, I’m surprised there aren’t a more big teams in for him.
Chris Sermanni: False – I think there is a bit more to the signing, a little psychology and one upmanship. All eyes will be on Lampard when City play Chelsea, it’ll be interesting to see how he plays it
5. Gareth bale has spoken recently about la Liga being the most exciting league in the world, after the high profile signings made by both Real Madrid and Barcelona it’s hard to disagree.
Christopher Gallagher: False – La Liga is a great league, there’s no doubt about it and they have a huge proportion of the world’s best players BUT it’s a league that I don’t have a huge interest in, so it’s all personal choice. I enjoy watching the key games but feel there is a more competitive edge in Serie A and the Bundesliga. In terms of sheer enjoyment, I prefer the Scottish Premiership…..and that’s not even a joke.
Bryan McManus: True – La Liga is a tremendous league and is great to watch. Even though there were more goals in last seasons Barclays Premier League than La Liga there’s far more enjoyment watching the “lesser” games in Spain than in England. Serie A was great for a while last year and I saw a few Bundesliga games that were excellent however for overall standard La Liga tops the lot.
Chris Sermanni: False – It depends on what you term exciting. In terms of competition, it’s no more exciting than any number of leagues. In terms of the quality of players on display, it’s probably true
6. The departure of Antonio Conte from Juventus and the arrival of his replacement Max Allegri has weakened the Italian Champions and as a result the race for the Seria A title will be wide open.
Christopher Gallagher: False – It has undoubtedly weakened Juventus and I have a feeling they may lose at least one more of their key players, Vidal or Pogba. I’m not an Allegri fan and having seen the impressive signings Roma have made I fear a little for the coming season. I think it will be a lot tighter but still feel that the grand old lady will still triumph.
Bryan McManus: False – However Juventus are the Rangers of Italy and I hope they get horsed
Chris Sermanni: True – I think that Serie A will be far more interesting this season. Roma have certainly strengthened and the loss of Conte is a huge blow to Juventus. Allegri isn’t exactly an exciting replacement given his recent form at Milan. If either Pogba or Vidal leave, I can see the title leaving Turin and heading to the capital.