Shearer Says: “Make no mistake, Leicester can win the Premier League. It would be the biggest shock ever in football if they did it”
“It’s time for people to stop saying Leicester can’t win the league”
I think it’s time for people to stop saying that Leicester can’t win the league. Make no mistake, Leicester can win the Premier League. Three points clear, after 23 games is a remarkable achievement, so nobody should say they can’t do it. I know they have three tough games coming up, but they had three tough games over Christmas and they answered the questions then as well. We have been waiting a long time for this Leicester bubble to burst, but it must be the biggest bubble in history at this stage!
The more people keep on expecting the blip to hit, the more the pressure will be off Leicester. It would be absolutely amazing if they did it, it would be the biggest shock ever in football. I can’t remember a team that were that big a price at the beginning of the season, to go on and win the title. It would also be pretty embarrassing for all the other clubs who have spent hundreds of millions. Every neutral will want Leicester to do it.
Let’s not rule Spurs out either. They look like a different side to previous Spurs teams of a few years ago. They look as if they have a bit of toughness about them, they have a world class goalkeeper, they have the best defensive record in the league, they’ve got Dier and Alli in midfield and Harry Kane upfront, but they’ll definitely need to keep Harry Kane fit to be in with a shout.
“Diego Costa is the player every fan loves to abuse”
I didn’t like Diego Costa’s theatrics on Sunday, but Mertesacker deserved a straight red card, there’s no question about that. Costa is the player that every opposing fan loves to abuse, but in my experience when I went to away grounds and fans wanted to give me stick, it just gave me that added incentive to give that extra five percent and it gives you more pleasure when you score the winner like Costa did. People don’t have to like you, all you have to do is go out and do a job for your team. If I was an Arsenal fan on Sunday, I’d look at Costa and say I want him in my team.
I have to say I was surprised by Wenger’s decision to take Giroud off. Without him, they lacked a threat and presence in the box. Wenger said he brought him off due to an ankle injury he suffered in training, but judging by Giroud’s reaction to being taken off, I suspect he wasn’t injured. He was as mystified as anyone; he was shaking his head, and couldn’t believe he was being subbed.
Arsenal will never have a better chance of winning the Premier League than this season, and I know they only picked up two points in their last three games and people will start pointing the finger, but they have got to prove people wrong. Over the years they have wobbled in the last third of the season, everyone will brace themselves for the same thing to happen again so they have to go out and silence the doubters.
I still think it’s unlikely Chelsea will finish in the top four but they showed a bit of form at the weekend. I know they played against ten men for most of the game but they still defended very well and didn’t give Arsenal much of a sniff. They are fourteen points off top four, with fifteen games left, so to get a Champions League spot will be a massive ask, not impossible, but unlikely for me.
“When the fans turn on you, you haven’t got long”
I don’t expect anything from Man United in the league this season. I’ve seen them in action a few times, I watched them at Newcastle when they drew 3-3, and I just wouldn’t put a penny on them. I didn’t expect them to beat Southampton, but I didn’t expect them to get beaten either. With their current system and the players they have, they can’t win the league now.
The Man United fans have been pretty patient with Louis van Gaal up until now. He’s been getting a lot of flak, but the fans in the majority have stuck with him, but for the first time on Saturday that changed. Serious questions are now gettingasked of van Gaal and you haven’t got long when the fans turn on you. Football Club boards don’t listen to newspaper articles or pundits, they listen to fans and when fans shout, that’s when it becomes a big worry.
“Liverpool can’t defend corners, crosses or set pieces”
Defensively Liverpool are all over the place. They can’t defend corners, crosses or set pieces and inevitably they are going to concede goals as they did at the weekend. Klopp knows major surgery is needed to get his side to where they should be. It’s impossible to predict the final top four places given the way this season is going, but Liverpool will have to improve massively to get near that.
If they can bring in some new players in the transfer window, then you never know. West Ham jump out as a team who could cause a shock and finish in the top four. They are six points off and showed great character on Saturday, so they would be the outside bet.
“If Big Sam can’t pull off a great escape, I don’t think anyone can”
The relegation battle is going down to the wire. Villa are showing signs of improvement but I still think it’s too late for them. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Sunderland avoided relegation. If Big Sam can’t pull off a great escape, I don’t think anyone can.
As for Newcastle, I saw them against West Ham the other week and it was their best home performance in a long time, but then they go back to their old tricks against Watford at the weekend. Newcastle have spent nearly 60 million in six months, and still haven’t got a goalscorer.
Shelvey was brilliant against West Ham, he’s got ability, but Newcastle need to score goals, they can’t keep missing chances. They are third bottom for a reason. Dropping down to the championship is now a genuine reality; nobody expected them to be in this position.
Do you agree with Alan’s views? Then why not head to Coral and place your bets on the midweek Capital One Cup semi-final second legs?