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 THIS WEEK ARE BRYAN MCMANUS, CHRIS SERMANNI AND MARTIN FRIEL.
1. CELTIC FIND THEMSELVES 2ND IN THE LEAGUE AT THE TURN OF THE YEAR WITH JUST 5 POINTS SEPARATING THE TOP 5 TEAMS. THIS IS A GENUINE TITLE RACE AND CELTIC SHOULD BE WORRIED.
Bryan McManus: TRUE – Although I’m not sure “worried” is the right choice of word we do seem to have a genuine challenge for the title which I hope motivates the Celtic players. We have all been crying out for a genuine challenge and it now seems to be there. Far from the Armageddon we were all supposed to be worried about Scottish football is beginning to thrive again despite the blazers doing all they can to supress it. As Celtic fans we have all wanted a challenge and now we have one which will make games more exciting and again we will be looking to see how other teams got on to see how it affects the league. We all know that Scottish football doesn’t need a “strong (insert name of current incarnation playing at Ibrox)” but it does need to be competitive and it seems this season is when their is a genuine challenge.
Chris Sermanni: FALSE – Celtic have laboured for a large part of the season thus far, and it is to the credit of Aberdeen and Dundee Utd that they have kept pace with them. However, Celtic’s form has been particularly poor, and their form particularly strong. The 2nd half of the season should see Deila’s style more embedded and the strength of his squad will see Celtic pull away.
Martin Friel: TRUE – Celtic should relish the competition, not fear it. Whilst they’ve dropped 5 points in last 2 games, I think the team’s playing fairly well. They just need to convert more chances. I’m enjoying the league just now, Christmas period has been a great advert for the game up north. With a refreshed Hearts and Hibs thrown into the mix next season, we could have the best league in decades.
2. RONNY DEILA HAS STATED THAT HE WANTS TO KEEP HIS BEST PLAYERS DURING THE JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW, HOWEVER IN THE CASE OF VIRGIL VAN DIJK CELTIC SHOULD CASH IN WHILE HIS STOCK IS HIGH.
Bryan McManus: TRUE – I like big Virgil however he isn’t the outstanding defender some make him out to be and he also seems to be very lackadaisical at times if a Premier League team were to offer us in excess of £10 million for him I think we should take it. There are of course benefits to him staying as he is the best centre half we have however if the figures quoted are true then its too much to turn down.
Chris Sermanni: FALSE – Selling in January is pointless. He is our best centre half by a mile, and his value is only going to increase. The recent form Forster and Wanyama show that big money buys from Scotland have what it takes to play in England. We have big games coming up. Keep him until the summer and cash in then.
Martin Friel: FALSE – If Celtic had a settled defence with adequate replacements then I’d gladly cash in on VVD, but a centre back pairing of Mulgrew and Ambrose could well put Deila out a job in a matter of weeks. Celtic have 4 trophies to go for, they need continuity if they want to finish with silverware this season. If VVD learns how to mark and anticipate second balls we might get an even better fee for him in summer.
3. ARSENE WENGER WAS CONFRONTED ON THE TOUCH LINE BY A FAN DURING THE NEW YEARS DAY DEFEAT TO SOUTHAMPTON. WITH ARSENAL SITTING 6TH IN THE LEAGUE, 13 POINTS BEHIND LEADERS CHELSEA AT THE START OF 2015, IT IS TIME FOR ARSENE TO LEAVE THE CLUB.
Bryan McManus: TRUE – The brilliant reputation Wenger has built for himself is dwindling and his stubbornness is proving to be his downfall. Arsenal are capable of challenging for their domestic title and Champions League every season but it seems like Wenger isn’t cut throat enough for this to happen. Signing Danny Wellbeck when the likes of Falcao, Costa, Higuaine and Guidetti were within their reach is proof again that Arsenal aren’t at the level they should be which is entirely Wengers fault.
Chris Sermanni: TRUE – Arsene is yesterday’s man. He simply does not appear to be a man capable of mounting a serious title challenge. The owners seem content with regular CL qualification and the club continually ticking over. If this is the sum total of their ambition, fine. If not, he has to go.
Martin Friel: TRUE – Arsenal under Wenger have little ambition other than finishing in top 4. He should have gone a long time ago. Having said that, it’s a tough job to follow Wenger given how engrained he is in the club. It could be 2/3 manager changes before someone clicks, by which time Chelsea, City and Man Utd could be long gone. So in other words, Arsenal are f**ked.
4. STEVEN GERRARD HAS THIS WEEK ANNOUNCED HE WILL LEAVE LIVERPOOL AT THE END OF THE SEASON. HIS DEPARTURE IS NEEDED FOR LIVERPOOL TO IMPROVE AND FOR BRENDAN RODGERS TO CONTINUE HIS DEVELOPMENT OF THE TEAM.
Bryan McManus: FALSE – Liverpool have suffered massively this season due to the loss of Suarez and the injury to Sturridge in order for Rodgers to build a team that will challenge at the top for a consistent period he needs stability not major upheaval every close season. Gerrard will be a massive loss to the club and the fact he has announced his intention to leave with half a season to play also poses a real dilemma for the manager, does he integrate a player in Gerrard’s role now and allow him to bed in or stick with the club captain to allow him a swansong?
Chris Sermanni: TRUE/FALSE – Gerrard is still a very good player, and Liverpool will be poorer without him. However, he is definitely weaning and he would continue to be the focus if he stayed at the club. A move will be of benefit to both player and club in terms of moving on, though I would guess Gerrard would benefit most.
Martin Friel: FALSE – Gerrard leaving will have no impact on Liverpool’s fortunes under Rodgers. He had a big budget to enhance his squad this season and bought a bunch of haddies. I don’t see any success for Liverpool in the foreseeable future. In other words, Liverpool are f**ked.
5. BORUSSIA DORTMUND FIND THEMSELVES JOINT BOTTOM OF THE BUNDESLIGA AND IN DANGER OF RELEGATION AS THE LEAGUE TAKES A 6 WEEK WINTER BREAK. DORTMUND CANT AFFORD TO BE SENTIMENTAL AND SHOULD CONSIDER SACKING JURGEN KLOPP TO ENSURE THEIR SAFETY.
Bryan McManus: FALSE – Dortmund are only 4 points off a mid table slot, their league form has been horrendous but they topped their Champions League group. Injuries have badly affected this this year however I’m certain Klopp will turn it around in the second half of the season.
Chris Sermanni: FALSE – Given what Klopp has achieved at Dortmund I believe he deserves the chance to turn things around. No doubt their league form is abject, but it is also true that the Bundesliga is exceptionally tight. A few well placed moves in January and I see Dortmund moving to mid table. Still a poor season, but Klopp has earned one.
Martin Friel: FALSE – Keep him. Relegation isn’t the end of the world. It wasn’t so long ago that the club almost died. A year in the second division might be what they need in order to reinvigorate the squad for the next decade. If Klopp fancies the challenge he is exactly the man to do it.
6. FERNANDO TORRES HAS THIS WEEK RE-SIGNED FOR HIS BOY HOOD CLUB ATLÉTICO MADRID ON LOAN FROM AC MILAN. IF THIS MOVE DOES NOT WORK OUT IT COULD SPELL THE END FOR TORRES AT THE TOP LEVEL.
Bryan McManus: TRUE – This is Torres’ last chance to rediscover the form that made him one of the most feared strikers in Europe. I hope that going back to Atletico will give him the confidence to play to his best again, there is no doubt he has outstanding ability but the slump he has been on has gone on far too long.
Chris Sermanni: TRUE – It already is over for him at the top level. Atletico will give him some space that other clubs wouldn’t afford him, so there is a chance he may make an impact from the bench. But he will never be a top class first choice striker again.
Martin Friel: TRUE – Torres is a busted flush, it won’t work and he’ll be off to MLS or some other half arsed league, sorry Chappers!
THERE YOU HAVE IT, THE CYNICS HAVE SPOKEN, DO YOU AGREE? COMMENT BELOW OR TWEET US @90MINUTECYNIC
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