What is more likely? That United get much better or that City and Liverpool get worse?

adexkola

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And I hate to burst everyone's bubble but City and Liverpool aren't getting much worse. If you're planning to win the title in the next 3 years you'll have to wrest it from them, not hope they magically drop 2 levels down.
 

romufc

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City will always be up there, they will keep spending money.

Liverpool, as long as the first 11 is fit, I cannot see a drop off, they just seem to have found a style of football that teams cannot play against.

I feel that apart from City, other teams have way too many mistakes in them and Liverpool are the best team when it comes to punishing mistakes.

However; if one of Trent, VVD, Mane get a long term injury, they will not be the same form I think.
 

Teja

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90+ pts seems to be the new base for a title challenge. Used to be that 82-86 would get it. City, Pool will both hit that numbers. We were at 66. I'd be happy with 80+ and comfortable 3rd next season.
 

Sandikan

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City will always be up there, they will keep spending money.

Liverpool, as long as the first 11 is fit, I cannot see a drop off, they just seem to have found a style of football that teams cannot play against.

I feel that apart from City, other teams have way too many mistakes in them and Liverpool are the best team when it comes to punishing mistakes.

However; if one of Trent, VVD, Mane get a long term injury, they will not be the same form I think.
Just Salah or Mane being out for a while massively reduces their threat. They've had super luck having two seasons with both missing mere odd games here and there.
They've also swerved the African Nations being in January - maybe taking both away for a month.
 

hmchan

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I guess I'm of a minor opinion here, I actually think "Liverpool and City getting worse" is more likely than "United getting better". Liverpool look unbeatable this year for sure, but after this title winning campaign their desire and hunger will inevitably drop, like City last year. In those games after they've crowned champion they just look miserable and it's a bold assumption that they will certainly recover next season. They may also want to challenge for another CL or domestic cups and they have to make compromises.

As for City, Silva's departure is definitely going to be missed. Bernardo and Foden are good alternatives but it's a doubt whether they can fully replace the classy veteran. Aguero's fitness is another concern as Jesus is obviously not up to the task, and there are few striker options in the market. Ake is an important introduction to them though, he could be a big boost to their defence if he fits in well.

We, however, have no much room for an upgrade. We can of course look for a better partner for Maguire, a proper right wing like Sancho, a younger defensive midfielder to replace Matic etc. but I don't think they will bring a significant boost to the team. What we need is to develop tactically and minimize the reliance on individual quality from our star players. Whether Ole is capable of doing that remains to be seen.
 

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This Liverpool side is so complacent and lack of desire.
 

MrEarl

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The total number of points needed to win the Premier League this year may be quite a bit lower than last year. The third through eighth best teams have made significant improvements. That should flatten out the point spread between the top two teams and the best of the bunch. Far fewer gimmies for City and Liverpool.

Last year United's biggest problem, BB (Before Bruno) was with the poorer teams that parked the bus. Bruno and Pogba's return addressed that problem and now we had added DVB. We have gone from a toothless midfield to, arguably, one of the top in the Premier League. We proved last year we can deal with the top six. So we should see our point total increase while City and Liverpool will have to deal with a much stronger 4-8 so their point totals are likely to go down.

Will we contend? Who knows? But, it will be closer.
 

Josh 76

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To be honest I've written this season off. Liverpool will win it again. But next season is where I can see the tide turning. Most of the Liverpool players will be 30 and will be looking for new contracts. Can't see Liverpool offering them their last payday, so they will defo be some departures.

City have a bigger rebuild job than us, so I don't believe they will be a threat.

Chelsea are the ones to watch.
 

Bilbo

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It was always going to be the season after this one where we should expect to be ready. Too much work was needed on the squad over the last 18 months, and I know in a broken record on this but we are - IMO - a year ahead of schedule on the first team.

We need this summer and then the next to completely round out the squad though. Then we will have a squad thats in a great position to compete for everything.

We cant control what City and Liverpool (and Chelsea) do, but we do know, with the age and mentality cycles that all clubs go through, how tough it is to stay at a truly high level. We should hopefully be very well placed at exactly the right time.
 

JakeC

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Honestly, all we can focus on is improving our consistency, our ability to not just play to the level of our opponents, and our our game management in crucial periods. For a long time it's felt that we've struggled to keep pressure sustained for key periods, our best periods of play seem to coincide with our most vulnerable moments of defense. Ole and his team have brought back a more fluid way of playing, and it's a project that's definitely worth continuing with, but we're definitely 2 or 3 signings away from challenging, unless we have a massive upturn in motivation, or an injury crisis for Liverpool which is even less unlikely given their "fitness" regimes. I can't comment on City, as they're hard to judge before they've kicked a ball, genuinely no clue how they'll react to last season.
 

Jeppers7

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City’s owners will do what it takes to keep them at the top....ours will do what it takes to get top four.
 

glazed

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It will be between City and Liverpool again because they are tactically more sophisticated than everyone else (blah blah high press etc). I imagine City will win it. I would expect us to come somewhere between third and fifth. I would say fifth if I had to put money on it but the margins are tight. I expect Chelsea and Arsenal to improve and Spurs and Leicester to deteriorate.
 

RyRy11

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City will win it at a canter this year. Liverpool won’t be able to keep up their consistency without adding new hungrier players.
 

Withnail

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City will win it at a canter this year. Liverpool won’t be able to keep up their consistency without adding new hungrier players.
I don't know. I think that all depends on who else they sign in defence. It's also totally uncharted territory for Pep. He's never done a 5th season anywhere. Can the players keep up with the intensity he demands or will they be affected by burn out?

United will definitely be better than last season barring a catastrophic number of injuries happening again.

I think it's more likely Liverpool drop off after winning the league and City could struggle.
 

DeeDee7

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Gosh i hate all this codswallop talk.
It does not matter if you are individually going to be better then Liverpool or City. The champions are the victors over a full season. We are better then at least 15 other teams. And can be better on the day against all.
Liverpool could be better this year but drop points due to an injury over 2 weeks. They could play the game of thier lives and lose 1-0 to west brom who get a bullshit var pen. Who knows.
All i know is ruling any team out because there not better then Liverpool or City in a one on one is silly. Just go back to 2016 if you want proof.
 

Pep's Suit

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City will get worse. Genuinely think they'll finish 3rd or 4th this season. Also Livarpool should drop a bit but will still make 88+ points.
 

Borys

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We will get better for sure, maybe 75-80 points what will get us comfortable 3rd spot. Exen if Liverpool and City drop more points this season (I expect they will), there will still be big gap between 2nd and 3rd spot.
 

TheLord

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I think Liverpool will definitely worsen, City will improve marginally, Chelsea will improve significantly , and we will remain static.
 

Eddy_JukeZ

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I think Liverpool will definitely worsen, City will improve marginally, Chelsea will improve significantly , and we will remain static.
Why do Chelsea improve significantly and we don't? They have to bed in so many new signings. Their defense is still poor.

We'll have Greenwood, Pogba and Bruno from the start this season instead of using them heavily towards the tail-end of the season.

Our defense is settled and has a stable back 4.

Rashford/Martial might take another leap forward.

People are starting to downplay some of our players again. Our depth is not that big of a problem. Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool don't have great depth either.

We should be getting top 4 comfortably.
 

Withnail

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Why do Chelsea improve significantly and we don't? They have to bed in so many new signings. Their defense is still poor.

We'll have Greenwood, Pogba and Bruno from the start this season instead of using them heavily towards the tail-end of the season.

Our defense is settled and has a stable back 4.

Rashford/Martial might take another leap forward.

People are starting to downplay some of our players again. Our depth is not that big of a problem. Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool don't have great depth either.

We should be getting top 4 comfortably.
Exactly. There seems to be a huge amount of pessism about United and in some cases unwarranted optimism about our rivals.

Chelsea's main issue was there defence and I'm not sure it's something Frank can fix. They may score a lot of goals this year but they'll leak a fair few too.

Spurs aren't making top 4 and Arsenal will continue to be inconsistent in my view.

We'll be much better with Fernandes, VDB and Pogba available from the start of the season and yeah I'd expect Rashford, Greenwood, Martial, AWB to kick on and have a better season.
 

TheLord

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Why do Chelsea improve significantly and we don't? They have to bed in so many new signings. Their defense is still poor.

We'll have Greenwood, Pogba and Bruno from the start this season instead of using them heavily towards the tail-end of the season.

Our defense is settled and has a stable back 4.

Rashford/Martial might take another leap forward.

People are starting to downplay some of our players again. Our depth is not that big of a problem. Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool don't have great depth either.

We should be getting top 4 comfortably.
Chelsea players will probably need a few months to bed in nicely. They won’t start great, and certainly won’t challenge the top two sides. I think they will be one of the best sides in the second half of the season.

They have amazing players in their early 20s, who were already playing at a top level last season, and are good for many more years. Our problem is the squad depth. We are relying a 18-year-old who has barely played 30 League matches to carry us through the season. That is enough to rest this discussion.
 
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arthurka

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Liverpool won´t be as good and we won´t become much better we will end up with around 75 points this time. City will win it this year.
 

MrEarl

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United's Achilles' heel last year was an inability to break down teams that played with 10 men behind the ball. The team had zero creativity in central midfield. Fernandes' arrival at the halfway mark provided a solution finalized by Pogba's return at the restart. With the addition of DVB last year's greatest weakness is now arguably the team's greatest strength. Our central midfield is now as good as anybody's.

This is not a static team. It is a team on the move. Add a right wing to give us width and a speedy central defender and it will be a team to worry City and Liverpool..
 

hmchan

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Why do Chelsea improve significantly and we don't? They have to bed in so many new signings. Their defense is still poor.

We'll have Greenwood, Pogba and Bruno from the start this season instead of using them heavily towards the tail-end of the season.

Our defense is settled and has a stable back 4.

Rashford/Martial might take another leap forward.

People are starting to downplay some of our players again. Our depth is not that big of a problem. Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool don't have great depth either.

We should be getting top 4 comfortably.
Exactly. There seems to be a huge amount of pessism about United and in some cases unwarranted optimism about our rivals.

Chelsea's main issue was there defence and I'm not sure it's something Frank can fix. They may score a lot of goals this year but they'll leak a fair few too.

Spurs aren't making top 4 and Arsenal will continue to be inconsistent in my view.

We'll be much better with Fernandes, VDB and Pogba available from the start of the season and yeah I'd expect Rashford, Greenwood, Martial, AWB to kick on and have a better season.
It isn't something new. Some react like the end of the world seeing we can't finalize Sancho's deal.
 

Smores

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It's rare for teams at the top to maintain a really high level. Surely our fans know that better than anyone?

I still expect a Liverpool title but it won't be such a big gap. I still think we might end up close to City with both of us just behind Liverpool.
 

Withnail

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It's rare for teams at the top to maintain a really high level. Surely our fans know that better than anyone?

I still expect a Liverpool title but it won't be such a big gap. I still think we might end up close to City with both of us just behind Liverpool.
It's notoriously difficult to retain, even more so if you don't freshen up the squad at all for two years. To be fair they've played out of their skin for two years and the points total the year before would have walked the league 99.9% of the time, only City were slightly better.

It really would be unprecedented for Liverpool to hit those heights for a third season in a row. It's really hard for me to see any team getting into the high 90s again for a while.
 

Chesterlestreet

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It's rare for teams at the top to maintain a really high level. Surely our fans know that better than anyone?
Indeed. One of SAF's many strengths was his ability to keep pushing the players (without alienating them by pushing too far).

Giggs (or possibly Neville) mentioned once that winning the league under SAF meant celebrating for five minutes (figuratively speaking, of course) - and then, snap out of it and back to focusing on next season and the next big trophy.

That sort of mentality (and being able to, as a manager, to transfer it successfully to an entire squad) is extremely rare. Everyone knows it's what you're supposed to do - but to actually do it, in practice, is very hard.
 

Pep's Suit

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Chelsea and United making some good signings buuuut... Usually PL's won by big-name managers who won trophies and coached other huge clubs before so will be interesting if Lampard or Solskjaer can break this trend.
 

Nikelesh Reddy

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All things considered, the end of last season was a genuine success for United. From New Year onwards, the team played some excellent football, we went on a terrific unbeaten run, we conceded fewer goals, Bruno has been a revelation and we qualified for the Champions League. It may yet get even better if we win the Europa League!

Yet in a few weeks a new campaign will be upon us again and with new signings to come (Jadon Sancho and maybe Jack Grealish); surely we can start thinking about closing the gap on Liverpool and City and (hopefully) being in the conversation for the title again can't we? Or is that overly optimistic?

As optimistic as I am about what we might achieve next season I am also realistic enough to know that winning the title may still be out of United's reach for a while to come. Whilst I can definitely see us improving on the 66 points from the past two seasons, the fact is that the evidence of the last three seasons is that City and Liverpool have set a completely new benchmark for title winners. Even with the massive improvement from the pre-Lockdown to the end of last season, I cannot see United achieving a 33+ point swing in one season, which is what it would take to overhaul the gap to Liverpool (if Liverpool achieved a similar level of performance next season).

Realistically, I think next season, the best we can hope for is a gap narrowing campaign which is absolutely achievable (eg: 80+ points). Competing for a possible title shot, will in my view require Liverpool and or City to get significantly worse. City showed this season that it can happen, but even a comparatively poor City still managed to achieve 81 points, which would have been good enough to win the title in six of the previous 28 Premier League seasons. I cannot see City performing worse next season. It is just not going to happen. As for Liverpool I can only see a collapse if they lose Van Dijk and other key players to injury for extended periods. All things being equal City and Liverpool will achieve 90+ points next season.

But what do you think? Is a punt for the title next season realistic or not?
Liverpool dont have the resources and the infrastructure to consistently challenge for the major trophies for a sustained period of time.I can’t see Liverpool emulating Chelsea(from 2004-2016) or City....Liverpool will begin to fade away within a few years....Klopp won’t be able to extra every ounce out of every player for the next 2-3 seasons....City will continue to be competitive even after Pep leaves,but they obviously won’t be as good as they are right now....Either way,we have to improve significantly over the next 2-3 seasons if we want to get close to even compete with the top 2....
 

Will Singh

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We ain’t got the consistency to go up to a level that compete with the dippers and Citeh. Plus we still find it hard to break teams down who park the bus. So even if the dippers and Citeh dropped levels we would still be way off!
 

Withnail

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We ain’t got the consistency to go up to a level that compete with the dippers and Citeh. Plus we still find it hard to break teams down who park the bus. So even if the dippers and Citeh dropped levels we would still be way off!
How many times have we struggled against bus parkers this year?
 

amolbhatia50k

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Them maintaining their level (title challengers) and us maintaining ours (top 4 challengers) is more likely.
 

hobbers

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Liverpool will get worse. Inevitable with no signings and teams wising up to them.

City will stay at the same level.

At this rate we'll be staying the same as well.