Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Thrifty Man Utd and carefree Arsenal – Premier League´s 2023 New Year´s resolutions

SoccerNews in English Premier League 1 Jan 2023

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New Year’s resolutions are easy to set but far less easy to keep.

But in order to enjoy a prosperous 2023, it will be vital for some to change their ways in the 12 months ahead.

That does not apply to everyone, and Premier League champions Manchester City will be sitting comfortably, even with ground to make up in the title race.

For those hoping to match Pep Guardiola’s men, however, Stats Perform has identified some goals for 2023…

Save more money – Manchester United

The January sales make it difficult to save at this time of year, and Erik ten Hag has already outlined his desire to see a new striker brought in before the end of the month.

But if United reflect on past years, they might acknowledge that simply spending huge amounts is not a fix for their problems on the field.

In theory, Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure has left a hole, except he was not in Ten Hag’s first team anyway. The United manager might be better served making good use of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial rather than rushing to buy a player unlikely to be drastically better at great cost.

Exercise more – Chelsea

A cold January provides plenty of excuses not to head out for a run, but Chelsea would love to be able to put their key men to work. Instead, they have too often been injured.

N’Golo Kante remains out, and Reece James and Ben Chilwell have missed a huge chunk of the season. James returned this week but lasted little over 50 minutes before feeling another knee injury, while Wesley Fofana is also out again.

Chelsea will spend in January, but their hopes of recovering a Champions League charge will depend on being able to have existing players back fit again.

Learn a new skill – Darwin Nunez

Liverpool also have persistent injury problems, with Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota still on the sidelines, but they should still have more than enough to really push for a top-four finish.

While the signing of Cody Gakpo helps in that regard, Liverpool’s season might be shaped by Nunez’s ability to score consistently at this level.

Nunez is among the Premier League’s most prolific shooters but has repeatedly squandered big chances. That goalscoring knack is not easy to learn, yet Liverpool need their big pre-season signing to do exactly that.

Live life to the fullest – Arsenal

Arsenal fans have spent years complaining about their team, with no league title since 2004 and no hope of a title challenge since 2016.

They are now sitting pretty at the top of the table heading into 2023, so it is time to enjoy it. There is no guarantee the Gunners will be able to hold off City – or Newcastle United – but this has already been a season to remember.

Even if Mikel Arteta’s men slip away and merely secure a return to Champions League football, supporters must recognise this for the successful campaign it is.

Get organised – Tottenham

If rivals Spurs are to join Arsenal in Europe’s elite club competition next season, they simply must become more organised – not something you would necessarily associate with an Antonio Conte side.

Rather than post-Christmas clutter, Tottenham’s biggest issue is their defence, repeatedly conceding cheap goals that give Harry Kane and Co. a mountain to climb.

The quality of Kane, Son Heung-min and the rest ensures Spurs remain in the mix regardless, but there is too much competition this season for Spurs not to be punished if they continue with these defensive lapses.

Travel more – Newcastle United

Newcastle have emerged as surprise contenders this season – contenders for what exactly we and they are not yet sure.

But for all the optimistic talk of a title surge or Champions League qualification, Newcastle simply must secure European football now to continue their progress.

Although it is an aim that might have appeared optimistic at the start of the season, the Magpies cannot miss out from this commanding position, needing to be travelling Europe to keep Bruno Guimaraes and Sven Botman and attract similarly exciting talents.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

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