Merseyside on the Rise

It’s been a struggle for both Everton and Liverpool over recent year’s, with them rarely threatening the top of the premier league and spending most of the time around mid-table. Not since the day’s of Moyes and Benitez have we seen the two clubs really challenging for trophys and that seem’s all too long ago. However, with arguably two of the brightest managers in the game in charge, there is at last hope for all Scousers.

Firstly with Everton, it was clear that the fan’s never took to Martinez. They didn’t agree with his style and ultimately didn’t see him as a long-term replacement for the void left by Moyes. Now on the other hand, it seem’s that the introduction of Koeman has finally given the Everton faithful  someone to get behind.He paid his due’s at Southampton helping them establish themselves as a top 10 side and now he has earned his post as the man entrusted in taking the toffee’s forward. After only 4 games, it’s clear he has made a difference. They look fitter, hungrier, and most importantly more organised than they did under Martinez. Perhaps yes the football isn’t always as nice as before, but if they are winning games then the fans won’t care one bit. Arguably, Koeman’s main job was to keep Lukaku at the club. Not only has he achieved that but based on last night’s performance against Sunderland, he may have helped the big Belgian re-discover his best form.

The story is similar across Stanley Park  where everybody’s favourite German is well on the way to taking Liverpool back to their former glory. He has rejuvenated so many players’ who looked short of confidence under Rodger’s and this is no where more apparent than in the recent performances of Adam Lallana. The Englishmen has struggled for form  since his arrival to the club but under Klopp it look’s like he could finally reach his full potential which is brilliant for Liverpool and even more so for England.

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Lallana celebrating his goal vs Leicester on Saturday (see above)

Maybe the most impressive thing has been the recruitment from the two managers. The signings of Mane and Wijnaldum at hefty prices did raise some eyebrows at first but they have slotted into that team perfectly clearly buying into the way Klopp want’s to play. Koeman on the other hand has bought in equally impressive signings. The acquisition of Ashley Williams adds that much-needed experience and stability at the back which was clearly lacking last season. Furthermore, the inspired performances of Idrissa Gueye suggest he could turn out to be a snip at £7 million.

There certainly is a lot of excitement  in Merseyside at the moment and you wonder how far these two sides can go this season. Maybe the title is beyond but with Arsenal, Spurs, City and United all having to worry about European football, you sense that Liverpool and Everton are going to be right amongst it this season.

Fellaini would be perfect fit for the Black Cat’s

It’s safe to say that Marouane Fellaini’s Manchester United career hasn’t gone to plan. After signing 3 years ago for the Red Devils at a hefty price of £27.5 million from Everton, many of the United faithful had high hopes for the big Belgian. However, like many of United’s recent signings, he failed to live up to the hype.

Struggling to cement a place in the starting 11, Fellaini’s appearances for United during his tenure have been mainly from the substitute’s bench. Whilst at times he has shown signs of adding something different to United’s game, he has rarely showed any real consistency. The goals have also dried up from Fellaini’s game. In his final season at Everton, Fellaini contributed 11 premier league goals which for a midfielder isn’t a bad return certainly in an Everton team still finding their feet. On the other hand, during his three seasons at United, he has only managed 11 goals all together. Whilst it could be said that Fellaini has been restricted when it comes to appearances, the odd time he has played, he has rarely looked the threat he was at Everton.

To add to this, with the arrival of more creative player’s this summer such as Henrik Mkhitaryan, who managed 23 goals for Dortmund last season, you have to wonder were Fellaini fit’s in under Mourinho. Furthermore, the acquisition of Ibrahimovic  means that United now have that threat in the air so perhaps this is an indication that the Belgian is surplus to requirements.

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Fellaini spent 5 season’s at the Toffees before moving to Manchester (see above)

Despite all his critics, Fellaini does still have his admirers, one being the new Sunderland boss David Moyes. Moyes was after all the one who bought Fellaini to both Everton and United and has already stated his desire to bring Fellaini to the north-east. Of course the majority of players would prefer to play for Manchester United rather than Sunderland, but does Fellaini want to risk the fact that he may be succumbed to the bench for much of next season. To add to this, Moyes know’s how to play to his strengths and at Sunderland, a team not known for their glamorous football, you could certainly see  Fellaini thriving just like he did at Everton.

In saying all this, it would probably take a hefty fee to bring Fellaini to Sunderland but United could certainly do with clearing their squad out a bit. And who knows, the idea of working with Moyes again may appeal to Fellaini and we could perhaps see the man with the Afro at his best once again.

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Moyes bought Fellaini to Everton and then United in 2013 (see above)

£50 million for Stones is Ludicrous

Pep Guardiola is hailed as the best coach in the game by many and he is responsible for the rise of many great player’s including Gerard Pique and even the little man himself Lionel Messi. Manchester City fans will be hoping that he can continue to discover world-class talents during his team in England. However, if reports are true, and £50 million is prepared to be splashed out on Everton’s John Stones, perhaps the hype about Guardiola’s arrival is a little over-stated.

Guardiola has made it clear that he wants defenders who are good with their feet and can distribute the ball across all avenues of the pitch. Looking at John Stones over the last few year’s, he certainly aligns with the new City manager’s ideology.  Sadly, when it comes to the job defenders are actually supposed to do, defend, Stones has looked well short. Everton had arguably one if not the worse defence last season and whilst other’s in that back line had a poor season, Stones was the one that stood out. Constantly losing the ball in area’s that left his team vulnerable, it was clear that Stones had yet to master when to dribble out or simply punt the ball up field. Perhaps some of the blame must lie with manager Roberto Martinez who was set on playing the game the ‘beautiful’ way  believing  the only way to win in his book was passing the ball from side to side. Furthermore, in Stone’s defense, that Everton team lacks leader’s and at his age as a player, you need someone to direct you and let you know how to adapt to the current situation. Maybe, with Kompany’s guidance at City , Stones may take his game to the next level.

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Stones struggled for form for much of last season (see above)

Although, £50 million for a player who has yet to really impress across a consistent period is an awful lot of money. You only have to look at fellow Englishmen Raheem Sterling to see how even a slight drop in form can mean you suffer large amounts of criticism following a big money move.

Centre-backs are few and far between these days, good ones especially, and with City having struggled to find a decent partner for Kompany over the years, you can understand why they want to spend big. But City are hailed for having this illustrious youth system, so why not give one of your own kid’s a go rather than spending big on a kid who is yet to hit top gear. We have seen that recent centre-back signing haven’t worked out with Mangala failing to live up to the hype surrounding his arrival and Otamendi spending more time rolling around on the floor rather than defending. Guardiola is supposedly the best in the world but he must be blind if he really thinks John Stones is worth the bother. The craziest thing, is that Everton think he is worth more.

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Otamendi struggled at times during his first season in English football (see above)