Shearer Says: “Man City not qualifying for the Champions League could potentially affect their recruitment…”
Champions League absence will make Pep’s City job even tougher
It’s all to play for going into the final two games of the season for the two Manchester clubs on the back of last weekend’s results. United have done really well to close the gap but City have gifted them the opportunity. Having said that, fourth place for City or United is not really an achievement.
Guardiola will be taking over in the summer and I am sure he did not sign up to be taking over a Europa League team. Regardless of whether they do finish in the top four, he has a massive job on his hands because they need a lot of players to get City to where they want to be. Not qualifying for the Champions League though could potentially affect their recruitment as we saw with Manchester United. It doesn’t matter who you are, these top players want to be playing Champions League football.
The mentality has not quite been right with City this season. It was the same after they had won the league where they struggled to defend their title. The drive and determination has not been there from the majority of the players. I know their form wasn’t great anyway when they announced Pellegrini was leaving but the timing of that news can’t have helped.
Hammers will want to say a fond farewell to the Boleyn
West Ham fans say their farewell to the Boleyn Ground tomorrow evening. They’ve had some fantastic times there over the years. I played there a few times and it was always a difficult place for away teams to travel to.
I remember the old Chicken Run terrace which is now the East Stand. You always got abuse from there as an opposing player. It’s been an iconic ground in this country and it will be sad to see it go. Tomorrow evening will be a grand occasion as they have the biggest club in the country playing there in the last ever game so it should be a fantastic atmosphere.
It was a real damp squib for the Hammers there on Saturday when they were well beaten by Swansea. They will certainly want to put in a better performance than that tomorrow. I am sure the manager will remind them of that. Some great players have played at that ground over the years so they won’t want to go out with a whimper. It will be a tough game for Manchester United who obviously have a lot riding on the result.
Sunderland hunger put Newcastle performance to shame
It was a terrible display on Saturday from Newcastle considering what was at stake. When you compare the performances of Newcastle and Sunderland, it was the latter who had the hunger and fight. Newcastle were expected to beat Aston Villa but they could not find the back of the net, while not many people predicted Sunderland to beat Chelsea.
Sunderland now just need either a win or two draws from their final two games. They are safe if they beat Everton on Wednesday, a result which would relegate both Newcastle and Norwich.
If the worst thing does happen, Newcastle can’t have any complaints. As I have said many times before, they have been flirting with relegation for a while now. You can be lucky or unlucky over five or six games, but after 38 games, the three worst teams get relegated.
If we do go down, I’d be amazed if Benitez was to stay in the summer because of who he is and where he could manage. The club would also need a big turnaround of players for the Championship so it would be a big summer of rebuilding at the club.
Good guy Gibson deserves Boro promotion
Although we will be losing at least one North East club from the Premier League next season, we will be gaining another in Middlesbrough. They’ve been down there longer than Steve Gibson would have liked but it’s a great time to be promoted given the new television deal next season.
They did it the hard way on Saturday. I am sure the nerves were jangling in the closing stages of that game. I am pleased for Steve as he is one of the nice guys in football. He’s put his heart and soul into the club over the years.
Liverpool really going places under Klopp
It was a great win for Liverpool on Thursday in the Europa League where they now have a final to look forward to again Sevilla who are bidding to win the competition for the third consecutive year. We all know how difficult it is playing Thursday and the Sunday but they followed it up with a win against Watford yesterday.
Liverpool really look to be going places under Klopp. He has some good young players in his squad and you’d expect him to strengthen this summer and be even strong next season. If they can win the Europa League then they will qualify for the Champions League which will also help them recruit good players this summer.
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