It’s a Six Horse Race

For the first time in many years, if not ever, any one of six teams can win the league this season. Even in the media sensationalised reporting, who could argue against this fact. We are more than half way through the season, with the January transfer window open, and as a true football fan I am so excited!

But what has this got to do with property or our estate agency? Initially – nothing. Except this blog is going to be an interesting read. I aim to raise personal opinions in true football fan style, but not quite in 606 style!  Although I would love to get Robbie Savage’s unique insight. And then, at the end, will hopefully show how following football makes a good estate agent!

Chelsea are clear favourites to win the Title.

They head into this weekend’s games 7 points ahead of second place Spurs and have a superior goal difference. They have showed that they can win when not playing at their best, soak up pressure by playing a defensive strategy, and then punish any weakness in their opposition.

Conte soon changed the formation to 3-4-3, and since then they have only lost 1 game – and that was to Spurs. Their only weakness was exposed – and that is the right side of their defence. Azpilicueta and Moses are both playing new roles this season, and Spurs targeted them with huge success. Will other teams follow suit?

They have an amazing front 3 with Hazard and Costa playing at their best, with either Pedro or Willian in support. Costa can be unpredictable, but they didn’t miss him in the last 2 games. The only way they won’t win the Title is if Hazard gets injured.

Are Spurs every football fan’s choice to win the Title if their own team cannot?

A bit like Leicester last year. 7 points is a lot to make up, but they do have the qualities to win every game left (except today – obviously!!). They have a superb manager in Pochettino. His tactical awareness gets the best from his players and his insight into the opposition could make the difference. They can adapt their formation from 3 at the back to 4, and Dele Alli links so well with Harry Kane. Erikson is their “creator”, and Wanyama, Dembele and Dier are so solid in the midfield.

But, its their defence that could be the reason they win the Title. They have a great keeper, the best fullbacks in the league, and solid central defenders. The injury to Vertonghen could be the only factor to upset this.

Liverpool have just kicked off against Swansea, and that should see an easy 3 points, taking them to 48 points.

They are a very hard working team, sprinkled with some individual brilliance. But player for player they do not compare with any of the other top 6 teams. So, its a credit to Klopp and his team that they are a real threat.

However, I don’t see them winning it. They have got too many weaknesses that cannot be overcome with just hard work and the “pressing” game that they adopt. The central defence is not good enough, and they also have goalkeeper issues. James Milner is not a left back he will get exposed in the run in.

Their midfield and attack links seamlessly in the system he adopts. Coutinho and Lallana are playing at their peak, supported by Henderson and Wijnaldum and Can. They perhaps lack a forward who will get them 20 league goals.

Two of the top six will not get Champions League next season – could Liverpool be one of them?

 

Arsenal are currently 4th just 1 point being their North London rivals Spurs

Are they going to qualify for Champions League again, or is this going to be Arsene Wenger’s last season? He is an incredible coach. Arsenal players have huge technical ability and show it every game they play. However, they sometimes lack the grit to battle out a win or overcome a physical opponent by matching their aggressive approach.

Wenger is also getting the best out of Ozil, Giroud and Sanchez this season even though there is much media speculation about their futures. The Emirates, like the Etihad, does sometimes lack atmosphere. I think this is a problem with modern stadiums, not just about the supporters.

I think the extra edge of competitiveness between the North London rivals will enable Arsenal to finish in the top 4, but I don’t see tham challenging for the Title

Guardiola gave up the chance of winning the Title after last week’s defeat at Everton.

So, are City fighting for top 4? And why is everyone surprised at their unpredictable season. Last year, they were written off as an ageing squad. Apart from John Stones and Bravo, last week’s team was the same as last year. Our best summer signing – Gundogan – is injured. No-one else has really added anything extra. Sane will be brilliant, but he’s young. Nolito is a bench warmer at best. And don’t get me started on Bravo! Guardiola needs to admit his mistake and drop him.

In many games this season, City have dominated but not taken their chances. The Chelsea game is the best example. We bossed the game for an hour – we played some brilliant football, but couldn’t take the numerous chances we created. And our brittle defence was ruthlessly exposed 3 times.

There isn’t that much wrong with City, as was shown with the 5-0 win at West Ham. We need to lay a little quicker with the ball, and settle on our best 4 defenders and stick with them in front of Cabellero.

I do worry that City will finish outside the top 4

Mourinho is getting in right.

After a slow start to the season where he didn’t find the right balance to his team, he is now playing to the individual strengths of his players. It seemed quite obvious to me that Pogba needed to play in a 3 man midfield giving him the freedom to attack. Zlatan will always score goals with an economy of effort. He also links play better than Rooney.

Carrick is now free from injury and is a huge influence holding in midfield. He has a great brain and a simply approach to breaking up play and finding the right pass more often than not.

They will probably finish above City for the first time in a few season, and qualify for Champions League.

All of the top teams except Arsenal are supported within our office

There are 2 City fans, 2 Liverpool fans. Spurs, Utd and Chelsea are avidly followed by Anthony, Daniel and Karen. Banter and discussion within the office is always high on the agenda on a Monday and a Friday. We all eagerly point out the weaknesses of our colleagues team, highlighting why our team will win the Title

What is the relevance of a blog about football?

Footballers exhibit a number of qualities: technical ability, speed, determination, winning mentality, competitive nature, a desire to improve  and be part of a team.

In my 30 years of being an estate agent, I have found that those successful people I have worked with either follow football or play it. And they exhibit those sporting qualities in the day to day performance of their jobs. They are competitive, they want to sell more houses than other agents, they want to offer the best customer experience possible, they want to improve their sales skills, they want to adapt to new technology or legislation, and they want to win.

The team we currently have is one of the best I have ever worked with. They are all very hard working. They are desperate to be number one agent again in 2017 for completed sales in the CB23 postcode area as we were in 2016.

Malcolm Thomas

Founder at Malcolms Estate Agents

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