Unpopular Opinion: United and Chelsea can challenge next year

Mainoldo

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I don't think that we could challenge next year even if we got Sancho + kept Pogba. Our 11 would be quality sure, but our bench is nowhere near good enough. As we saw today, we almost got embarrassed by bottom of the league Norwich with our bench players starting. We still need to clear the lot of them out and bring in some quality rotation players too. I just don't think we're capable of doing that realistically. Especially in this post Covid landscape.
So why can Liverpool win it with their bench?
 

Stretender

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Only if we make good investments in the summer transfer window. A minimum of 4 players will do. The team needs a tier 1 striker like Harry Kane. Rashford and Martial do not score enough goals for me. Get Sancho, but signing him without a striker to convert his chances is pointless. Then my 3rd investment will be a central defender. Lindelof doesn't cut it for me he's not good enough. The 4th player on my list would be Jack Grealish. Enough creativity is needed if Pogba or Fernandes are off their game or injured. I think these 4 signings would make United title contenders.
 

Majima

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So why can Liverpool win it with their bench?
Luck. They have been very fortunate to go through the season without injury to Mane, Salah or Firmino. Both Rashford & Martial have missed 2 months for us at separate points this season. If that happened to them, they don't have any direct replacements so they would be affected. I do think our attack is easily good enough, Rashford, Martial & Greenwood have outscored the Liverpool 3 this season (50-47) and that's with us missing them for large chunks and impotent creativity behind with no Pogba or Bruno for the majority.

But i think the bench is key. The reason why Rashford/Martial got injured to begin with was no rotation. And even though their bench is light, it's still better than ours. The Ox, Milner, Lallana, Keita & Shaqiri are a cut above ours still. They actually contribute when they play. Lingard, Mata, Pereira, James even, need to be replaced if we're to mount a proper challenge. That's why i think just signing Sancho wouldn't be enough imo.
 
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Infestissumam

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don't see a proper challenge next season, but I do think that a new "big 4" will be the case in the next few years.
 

TheLord

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United are one Jadon Sancho and one tier-one striker away, while Chelsea are a CB and a LB away from challenging the top-two. If United and Chelsea can capitalise in the transfer window, we could have a really good four-way battle for the title.
 
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Untd55

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We seem to be getting better and better in people's heads. First, it was 'we are clearly the third-best team in England'; now, it seems to be edging towards 'we are as good as Liverpool.' Come off it. We lost and drew to them this season; we are 37 points beneath them. We are nowhere near them.
 

Sky1981

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Nope.

Based on this season not a chance.

We need to overcome +30 pts . Even if we sign a world class RW/MF/CF at best we could potentially challenge the top 3.

Unless you're talking about being optimist, then by all means, next year is the treble year. Bring it On
 

Cheimoon

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Whoever can get 90+points can challenge.
This is the thing, I think. It sounds obvious, but getting 90+ points is extremely difficult, cause there is almost no room for error. That's not just a matter of having good players, it also means having tactics that give an extremely high chance of success against every single team in the league. I don't expect both Liverpool and City to drop off significantly next year: there is no reason why Liverpool's team and tactics will regress (and they weren't actually all that lucky with injuries this year; Allison especially was a big loss), and I would expect Pep to address his squad issues with some big transfers and slight tactical tweaks. So 90+ points should be the target, but that's not where United and Chelsea are right now (see on this forum every time United encounter a low-block team!), and it's not something that can simply be fixed by adding quality and depth. Pre-season is the time to make tactical changes and get them ingrained into your team, so Ole and Lampard will have their work cut out for them to show their true worth.
 

MetoTTT

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I know it's far-fetched, but I think United and Chelsea can challenge for the title next year, if Ole and Lampard are properly supported in the transfer window.

Why?

1. Liverpool is not the club that can win the title two consecutive years. Just not gonna happen
2. City is showing all kinds of trouble. Even if Pep stays, they are not as formidable as they were.

3. Ole has done a huge amount of work. We are couple key signings and increase in squad depth (good bench players) away from being a very good team. Ole will have to make some painful decisions like letting De Gea go and promoting Henderson, motivating Pogba (if he is to stay) or replacing him and we probably need to sign Jadon Sancho. None of these are unthinkable, however.
4. Spurs have run out of steam. Jose is spiraling, so they don't seem to go anywhere. Arsenal is headless. Wolves top at fighting for top 6. Etc.

I don't know, maybe I am a hopeless optimist, but this is Premier League, and it doesn't feel like top-heavy dominance of two teams is what we will continue to keep seeing, if other teams (like us) play their cards right.
1.I pray that you are right but unfortunately I am afraid they will win again next season. Yes, they have been lucky many times this season but have deserved to win.
Klopp is a factor for them, there is a healthy and competitive stability within the club. They will no longer have the weight of the EPL title so it could free them even more.

2.City is an enigma. Anything is possible, I don't really know what to expect. The sanction could penalize them, Pep may lose interest ... I don't know.
I don't think United and Chelsea will be title contenders.
 

eire-red

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Just looking at Klopp and Liverpool and so much reminds me of Ferguson's teams down the years, so I feel like that relentless drive will still be there next year.

Can anyone other than City get 90+ points, which now seems to be the benchmark to even get anywhere near. I mean were talking 30 wins probably, almost no room for error.

If we get Top 4, do we have the squad depth to compete for the PL, CL and FA Cup? You look at Lingard, Pereira, Mata and Jones and the answer is no. The drop off in quality is so large, any injuries and we're struggling.

To compete, we need to finally sign a right winger, and a couple of quality squad options to replace Lingard, Pereira, Jones, Rojo etc. We also need another quality CB.

With the uncertainty around the economic climate, future revenues etc, will we splash out in the window?

My expectation for next season is a Top 4 of Liverpool, City, Chelsea and United, and it should be a Top 4 well clear of the chasing pack of teams like Spurs, Wolves and Leicester. Anything more than that is impossible to predict, as we know anything can happen. But I suspect a genuine title push next season is a year too soon for us.
 

SinNombre

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I keep reading that us and Chelsea need to overcome a 30 point deficit.

Liverpool are not getting the same points tally next season with the same level of performances.

This season has been record-breaking in how much they have outperformed xG and xPts by.

If you believe in reversion to the mean (which always happens in the long run), this is how this season's table would look like (in xPts)

City 69
Liverpool 64
Chelsea 59
United 57
Wolves 54
Leicester 49

A 12 point gap is surmountable especially if Pep & co lose motivation if the CL ban is upheld, and they fail to win the CL this season.

Biggest reason why Chelsea or United won't win it next season is they have no recent memory of getting 85+ points, which will be required.
 

Dve

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If Pogba stays, and we don´t lose key players to lengthy injuries (Rashford, Martial, Fernandes, Pogba), then yes, I think we can challenge.
 

Adnan

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It will come down to how far we could push the boat out in the transfer market and Ole's/McKenna's tactical acumen.

When United start beating the likes of Liverpool and City in a proactive way rather than the reactive way we're doing it now. We will then be very close to toppling the pace setters.
 

K Stand Knut

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Not a chance!!!
with right investment we’ll comfortably finish top 4 but yesterday showed on3 thing and that is the squad still isn’t deep enough and unless we avoid injuries all season, the players who will b3 brought in for some games are not good enough
 

buckooo1978

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the next 8 or 9 games will be a test

that's the kind of consistency you need over a season to match Liverpool

Think Sancho, a strong CB, an attacking LB are essentials

a mobile, passing DM would be great too

The front 3 of Greenwood, Martial and Rashford have all developed this year but if you had the chance to have a striker like Cavani on a short term deal it could be good as long as we were able to get players enough football, whilst keeping people happy

We need more strength in reserve and I doubt that in Gomes, Chong, Tuanzebe we have it. Axel has barely made a dent and his injuries have been a major obstacle.

if we managed to sell Jones, Smalling, Periera, Lingard, Rojo, Sanchez we might be able to fund it partly but I wonder how much of a potential Sancho deal relied on Pogba going

Really our scouting team should be helping us get the jump on players like Haaland, Bellingham and others

even with all that I think you need Liverpool to drop a level
 
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Neither will challenge for the title with their current managers.

Potential is there with both squads, better coaches needed. Chelsea will get there first. United don’t sign many players per window, to get 5 good players in you’re probably talking 3 summer windows. Chelsea act faster in the market.
 

Infra-red

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Anything is possible, but you'd have to say that Liverpool and City have more complete, more settled sides and top class coaches with much more experience at this level.

It is a massive challenge for Chelsea/United and an awful lot of cards would need to fall into place for either side to have a chance. I'd describe it as "improbable".
 

tomaldinho1

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I don't see it with us sadly, I expect we'll be a lot better than this season (which isn't hard) but people need a reality check if they think the gap to Liverpool is that small. Even if we signed Sancho I still think the style of football we play means we just pick up way too many draws and teams still find it pretty easy to sit in against us.

I expect City to come back with a bang next season, if they get banned they will have to spend big to keep Pep happy and I still see them as the best team in the league - they just had key injuries where Liverpool didn't and then momentum did the rest.
 

Zlatan 7

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Because neither are elite managers, and it’s going to take an elite manager to beat City & Liverpool.
I disagree, I think both Man city and Liverpool are more at the end of their good teams, Liverpool May have one more year in them. Also, who would you say these elite mangers are that it would take?
 

nokillingmoths

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Chelsea are in a better position to challenge than us at the moment.

They have had a better season so far, and have signed ziyech and werner who improve their first 11. We'll have to see what we can do but at present I think we're slugging it out for 4th again.
 

GenZRed

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I just think we are too inconsistent to challenge next season. I don't buy this idea that Liverpool will nott be at the races next season. Having said that City looks indestructible two seasons ago and look at them now.
 

GazTheLegend

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Chelsea absolutely battered Liverpool in the FA Cup, and they do look really good.

I think City-Chelsea-Liverpool will be the top 3 again next season, but we're a bit closer than we were. We'll be the best of the rest.
 

anant

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I do think if we have a good transfer window and are lucky with injuries, we'll be challenging for the title.
For all one may say about Pool, they've been playing like Champions for 2 seasons in a row. They're most likely going to be mentally and physically drained after the two seasons that they've had where they've maintained a really high level. Add to that, they've had luck going with them as well this season- with none of the major players suffering from even as much as a hamstring injury. That's just not going to happen to them every season!
As far as City are concerned, they just don't seem that invincible do they? Teams have started figuring out ways to play against them, to beat them. Aguero, as good as he is now, is getting old. Fernandinho can't play every game of the season. They lack a partner for Laporte, Mendy is shite, Gundogan hasn't been at his best for the past 2 seasons. Suddenly, when you look at it, City's side seems to have quite a few many holes.
I do believe that should we sign Sancho, Grealish/ a replacement for Matic and a CB, we would stand more than a decent chance of fighting for the title
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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Both United & Chelsea might be going into the right direction but doesn't mean both clubs are closed to Liverpool's level. You can talk about new signings but let's be real that Ziyach, Werner & Sancho aren't Salah & Mane level yet at the moment.

Liverpool settled the PL title with 28 wins 2 draws & 1 lost with 7 matches to go. And it's not a coincidence because last season they finished 2nd place with 97 points. If the battle of PL title is depending on 80-90 points then we've a chance. Unfortunately this Liverpool team is capable to win more than 90 points. There are many factors need to be considered not just the transfer windows. The current squad also play big factor in it and how the new players will adapt to new club & even new league as well.

Midfield, I have no doubt that Pogba & Bruno are good enough in both mentally & quality to push us into title challenger. However, the issue here is that down to our attackers & defense.

Our attackers aren't on par with Liverpool attackers at the moment even if we add Sancho. You can talk about our attackers score similar amount of goals as them but can they back it up with consistency until end of the season? Remember, both Salah & Mane are proven to score 20+ league goals per season, Liverpool can count on them to keep scoring until the final day of the season while there is zero proof at this moment to say that both Rashford & Martial are capable to do so. So this is down to whether Rashford & Martial can step up their level to world class level next year. There is potential so there is faith but small chance to expect them to do it next season.

Defense, well, we are improved and if not because of those silly mistakes that could be avoided we would be in much better position and defensively will look much better. So the big question is that can they cut off those mistakes? We are challenging for top 4 and they still make silly mistakes, imagine the expectation we'll put on if we aim for the title. However, I still believe we need a new centre back, I just don't think we can rely on Lindelof week in week out if our aim is challenge the league, he has so much weakness to play against PL attackers. And also De Gea need to stop making those ridiculous errors.

I don't think we will challenge the title next season. However, if somehow Rashford & Martial can score 20+ league goals, we sign Sancho, upgrade Lindelof and DDG doesn't make a single silly mistake that cost us point then we have a chance to do it. And remind you we still haven't count the manager. Both Lampard & Ole will be tested about their managerial ability & mentality against the likes of proven ones like Pep & Klopp.
 
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Strelok

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Because neither are elite managers, and it’s going to take an elite manager to beat City & Liverpool.
How about Ranieri? Or the very Pep of 2008, before winning the treble? Did Pep was considered elite back then? If all bosses think like you, they would hire only the well known managers and never give the chance for ones like Pep. Basically managers would be considered elite only after they won big things. Regarding Ole, well he has pretty good records against both Pep and Klopp. His issue is rather beating the smaller sides consistently.

Tbf your logic is generally right but not 100 %. Mourinho has won shit for ages. Football is just unpredictable, that's the beauty of it.
 
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How about Ranieri? Or the very Pep of 2008, before winning the treble? Did Pep was considered elite back then? If all bosses think like you, they would hire only the well known managers and never give the chance for ones like Pep. Basically managers would be considered elite only after they won big things. Regarding Ole, well he has pretty good records against both Pep and Klopp. His issue is rather beating the smaller sides consistently.

Tbf your logic is generally right but not 100 %. Mourinho has won shit for ages. Football is just unpredictable, that's the beauty of it.
Ole has a great record against Pep and a decent record against Klopp, but as a tactician he struggles against the lower teams who park the bus. Winning the league requires consistency and we don't have the players or the manager to match City and Liverpool right now, particularly with our issues dropping points to bottom half teams. Lampard has similar issues at Chelsea. If United and Chelsea were to hire (for example) Pochettino and Nagelsmann in the summer I would consider them serious title contenders with one or two signings in key areas. I expect Chelsea to get there first because their board has less patience than ours.

Pep was very highly regarded as a coach in 2008, coming off a successful stint as Barcelona B manager. He also had the luxury of walking into a dressing room with Messi, Eto'o, Henry, Xavi, Iniesta, Toure, Alves, Puyol etc. The side was so strong he even sold Ronaldinho and Deco. The only player we have anywhere close to any of those players right now is Pogba.

Mourinho hasn't won anything serious in 5 years. I mean you can count the league cup and europa league, but both were pretty easy runs. He almost fecked up the europa against Anderlecht and Celta Vigo too. He'll not win anything at Tottenham, I'm very confident in that. His MO these days is more based around alienating certain players that he doesn't like. We saw it here with Pogba, Martial and Shaw, and we're already seeing it there with Ndombele. He's a diva who makes statements with his team selections, like dropping Pogba for the Liverpool game and the CL KO round with Sevilla. Like playing McTominay and Herrera at Centre Back while we had Eric Bailly sat on the bench. It's all about Jose and never about the club or the fans. I don't rate Ole but I'm so much happier with him than that toxic miserable bastard.
 
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horsechoker

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I don't think our strength on depth is enough to challenge. We'd need a lot of luck to avoid injury and always start a full strength 11.

For the first XI, 2 areas that we need improvements on are RW and LB. Perhaps even in CDM position with someone who can play more incisive passes and protect the back 4.

For the squad players like Lingard, Pereira and maybe Mata need to be improved upon. Its sad that Angel Gomes wasn't considered good enough because we could have avoided spending more money if we have him a chance. Back up RB may also need to be improved on, Dalot hasn't really kicked on and I'd like us to have someone who could offer more attacking threat. AWB has improved slightly going forwards but a back up RB who can offer some attacking threat would be helpful.
 

TheLord

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I keep reading that us and Chelsea need to overcome a 30 point deficit.
The deficit is not 30, but closer to 40 - 86 vs 49.

Bridging such a big gap is difficult unless United get at least 2 tier-one players in the correct positions, if not three.
 

TrustInJanuzaj

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One thing I’ve learnt about football is that it can move more quickly than everyone anticipates. One second City are the reincarnation of Barcelona, on for trebles and quadruples and the next moment they are in need of rebuild, talk of crisis etc. Liverpool are 100% the team to beat but it’s naive to assume they will continue this form forever. It’s really hard to go again in the Premier League. They have also been massively fortunate to avoid injuries to key players. What happens if Van Dyke breaks his leg or even just the general wear and tear catches up on them, they will drop eventually.

Utd just to have to focus on ourselves and make sure we are in the best possible place to capitalise. Under Mourinho we have no chance, but now I think we have he makings of a genuinely fantastic team. Maybe next season is a step too soon but it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see us there or there abouts.
 

Kostov

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At the moment I would say Chelsea can, they already signed two top players and I think they will strengthen even more. We are yet to do any business while we have some glaring holes in the team. If we sign a top RW, a first team CDM, and someone like Grealish I think we can get close.
 

Amir

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Bridging such a big gap is difficult unless United get at least 2 tier-one players in the correct positions, if not three.
I'm not even sure how you can plan a team that will have an almost near-perfect season. While such teams can be created - Liverpool are living proof - it's realistic to think the gap will be narrowed both by Chelsea/United and improving and Liverpool not sustaining that sort of results (which is bound to happen).
 

Stevondo8

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There are two big factors that will determine if anyone challenges Liverpool next season.

1) Man City euro ban. If they’re banned and therefore unable to do the big spending they require (particularly on their defence) then I can seem them falling back into the pack next season. If there is no ban however, can see them spending big and getting right back in the mix.

2) The Africa cup of nations. Liverpool will lose Salah and Mane for a month or so in the middle of the season (assuming tournament goes ahead). Can their other players step up and fill the void or will they struggle in that period?

Personally don’t see any other team making up that difference. Ok Chelsea and United might be closer, but not enough to really challenge.
 

EwanI Ted

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Liverpool went from 75 points in 2017-18 season to 97 points the following season, so those scale improvements are certainly possible at the top end. Leicester went from 41 in the 2014-15 season to 81 the next season and Chelsea went from 50 points in 15-16 to 93 the following season (granted, those were both odd circumstances).

So I don't think we should assume a title challenge is impossible. WIth the current standard points total being in the high 90s, actually winning the title looks a bit of a stretch (though of course Liverpool may go backwards). Personally I think that being in the title mix until the business end of the season is certainly achievable next year.
 

Strelok

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Ole has a great record against Pep and a decent record against Klopp, but as a tactician he struggles against the lower teams who park the bus. Winning the league requires consistency and we don't have the players or the manager to match City and Liverpool right now, particularly with our issues dropping points to bottom half teams. Lampard has similar issues at Chelsea. If United and Chelsea were to hire (for example) Pochettino and Nagelsmann in the summer I would consider them serious title contenders with one or two signings in key areas. I expect Chelsea to get there first because their board has less patience than ours.

Pep was very highly regarded as a coach in 2008, coming off a successful stint as Barcelona B manager. He also had the luxury of walking into a dressing room with Messi, Eto'o, Henry, Xavi, Iniesta, Toure, Alves, Puyol etc. The side was so strong he even sold Ronaldinho and Deco. The only player we have anywhere close to any of those players right now is Pogba.

Mourinho hasn't won anything serious in 5 years. I mean you can count the league cup and europa league, but both were pretty easy runs. He almost fecked up the europa against Anderlecht and Celta Vigo too. He'll not win anything at Tottenham, I'm very confident in that. His MO these days is more based around alienating certain players that he doesn't like. We saw it here with Pogba, Martial and Shaw, and we're already seeing it there with Ndombele. He's a diva who makes statements with his team selections, like dropping Pogba for the Liverpool game and the CL KO round with Sevilla. Like playing McTominay and Herrera at Centre Back while we had Eric Bailly sat on the bench. It's all about Jose and never about the club or the fans. I don't rate Ole but I'm so much happier with him than that toxic miserable bastard.
I see your points, true that Ole is a bit naive tactically sometime. Both Pep and Zidane were highly rated within their clubs however there was so many doubts when they were appointed. And they had world class players in basically every positions and even their bench. Still, if my memory serves me right, despite such they had a lot of critics threw at them in their first year. It's only after they won big things that those doubts and critics disappeared.

It's normal that you have doubts in Ole, me as well however imo it's too early to call off on him. If Pep or Zidane didn't have that kind of players under them would they had won that much ? Or it would take them a few years at least? At least let Ole have his squad and we'd see I think. With the current squad and current market we won't be able to challenge the title or CL any time soon. The market is too different now and building a world class squad take much more time and much more difficult. No longer the day you spend 100 £m in a window and would have like 3 world class players at their peak. As you said, we need to add more good attacking players. Our first XI then the bench. Imo we're doing pretty fine regarding that. We're now on the right path, as long as we keep making progress one day we'd be up there about I think. Not anytime soon though.