The 2017/18 Premier League season came to an end seven days ago but business isn’t over yet as the English FA Cup final takes center stages on Saturday
This is the last shot for both Chelsea and Manchester United to slavage their frustrating seasons. Chelsea has had the most exceedingly terrible of it, coming into the season as Premier League champions but finishing the 2017/18 season in fifth place and having had their Champions League campoaign cut off by Barcelona.
It’s without a doubt been a noteworthy drop off in performance from Antonio Conte’s side, and it’s one that could well cost the Italian his managerial role. Even a triumph on Saturday could see him sacked, while defeat is certain to spell the end of his reign at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho’s circumstance isn’t exactly as awful as his bitter rival. They finished well outside the top four last term but were decisively centered around winning the Europa League towards the end. This season they have improved regarding results, finishing second in the Premier League, yet their performance has been well less than impressive and has left a considerable lot of Red Devil fans disappointed.
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The EPL title marathon has without a doubt ended but Chelsea and Manchester United have an hour and a half or more between them to define their respective seasons, a game that could spell success or failure for either Antonio Conte or Jose Mourinho.
From its pinnacle, United and Mourinho need a trophy and on the off chance that they do triumph over Chelsea, they will set up an exciting derby against Manchester City for the shade raiser of next season. That in itself is enticing. Moreover, Mourinho will get the regard for delivering even with the most negative strategies.
Jose Mourinho is as yet sweating over the availability of Romelo Lukaku. On the off chance that the Belgian forward makes the final, it stays to be checked whether he’ll have the sharpness to cause issues for Chelsea’s probable three defenders. It’s been up to twenty days since he last kicked a ball for United.
Without Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez may be relied upon as he’s shown signs of improvement as of late. His performance against Tottenham in the semi-final was impressive and if the Chilean could replicate that, he’ll be lifting the FA Cup for a successive season in the wake of getting a charge out of FA Cup success with Arsenal a year ago – not forgetting, it was against same rivals; Chelsea.
What about Paul Pogba? Obviously, the Frenchman on his good day can be wrecking. He could give you the motivation to question his consideration and still go ahead to dash the rivals dream.
The former Old Lady midfielder has come under serious criticism as of late from fans and ex-united players, and his game hasn’t been excessively unique from cold and hot. For example against Manchester City and Tottenham, Pogba was in his top form as he lifted the Red Devils with a commanding performance, however, most circumstances as well, when you expect him to be the difference, he just ends up being for the wrong reason.
Pogba could again be the difference for Jose Mourinho but with the France international, it’s a matter of “if”. On the positive side, however, is David DeGea who, remarkably has been United’s best player in three consecutive seasons.
For Conte and Chelsea, the FA Cup triumph would be a soothing ointment to their hurting wounds. Their misfortunes could deteriorate should they lose to United. That implies a consecutive thrashing in the FA Cup final. A flat-out meaning of failure.
Conte hasn’t had it so rough in his managerial role in club level. barely a year in the wake of leading the West London club to a Premier League success in his first spell at Stamford Bridge, the Italian was battling for a top-four place and disappointedly passed up a major opportunity when it even appeared he was picking up energy.
With three defenders, Chelsea are unquestionably up to whatever Man United can defensively. Andrea Christensen has been the Blue’s hot shot this season and has developed well with Czar Azipilicueta and Antonio Rudiger. Upfield, Ngolo Kante hasn’t faded and Cesc Fabregas has been definitive for the Blues lately.
Chelsea are extremely toothless upfront but with Willian and Hazard playing, that spells sharpness and concerning issue for the Red Devils and Olivier Giroud could flex and challenge for anything that flies into the United box.
Conte didn’t lose the profundity of his squad all season. What led them to the Europa League spot was significantly Alvaro Morata’s goal drought and maybe the instability caused by Conte from the beginning of the season.
It’s been another season to overlook for Chelsea but every one of the agonies could be forgotten with a triumph this Saturday, while Manchester United will probably play with the handbrakes on with Jose Mourinho standing firm as his very own ace games.
RECENT FA CUP FINALS:
2017: Arsenal over Chelsea, 2-1
2016: Manchester United over Crystal Palace, 2-1
2015: Arsenal over Aston Villa, 4-0
2014: Arsenal over Hull City, 3-2
2013: Wigan Athletic over Manchester City, 1-0
2012: Chelsea over Liverpool, 2-1
2011: Manchester City over Stoke City, 1-0
2010: Chelsea over Portsmouth, 1-0
2009: Chelsea over Everton, 2-1
2008: Portsmouth over Cardiff City, 1-0
2007: Chelsea over Manchester United, 1-0
2006: Liverpool over West Ham United, 3-3 (Liverpool won penalty shootout, 3-1)
2005: Arsenal over Manchester United, 0-0 (Arsenal won penalty shootout, 5-4)
2004: Manchester United over Millwall, 3-0
2003: Arsenal over Southampton, 1-0
2002: Arsenal over Chelsea, 2-0
2001: Liverpool over Arsenal, 2-1
2000: Chelsea over Aston Villa, 1-0
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere
The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.
The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.
Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues
Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.
Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.
He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.
The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.
In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.
Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.
Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”
- Iago Aspas
Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.
After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.
At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.
In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.
- Diego Forlan
Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.
Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.
In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.
The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.
With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.
Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.
Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.
There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.
These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.
Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1
Ligue 1 no doubt harbors quite a number of talented players, as such it’s quite understandable for those considered to be world-class players among them to cash out hugely on what they earn at the end of the month.
As of late, the players’ salaries have given indications of solid development, on account of the tremendous income pouring into the game. The fierce rivalry between the country’s top football clubs has brought the nature of the competition higher than ever. The league has more than its own fair share of highly paid players.
Here is a rundown of the top 15 highest-paid players in the Ligue 1
- Neymar Jr – (Paris Saint Germain, – €3.06 Per Month )
Behind Ronaldo and Messi, the Brazilian forward is regarded as the third-best player in world football since moving from Santos to Barcelona in 2013 for a deal reported worth €86.2million.
After apparently growing and widening his status as a footballer with his achievement on and off the pitch, it was evident that the former Puskas Award winner would go on to attract top elite clubs.
With the Parisian club brimming with a lot of cash to flex muscles with high spending clubs, it was just a matter of time before Neymar would join them. Fast forward to 2017, the Selecao captain signed for PSG for a world record transfer fee worth €222million, and since then he’s been an important figure of both the club and their project.
Amidst transfer rumors of him returning to his old home Barcelona, plus the fact that the Parisian are also ready to offer him a new deal that would tie him down with the French side for at least another three seasons.
- Kylian Mbappe – (Paris Saint Germain, € 1.91m Per Month)
As a World Cup winner and one of the best prospects in world football, it’s quite understandable for Mbappe to be among the highest-paid players in Ligue 1 and Paris Saint Germain. The 2018 World Cup winner burst into the scene as a young player for Monaco, making his professional debut in 2015 at the age of 15.
The Frenchman signed for the Parisian club in 2017 on loan, which was later made permanent in 2018. He has shown to be a great prospect for both the club and their project in dominating the Ligue 1 and also flex muscles with the top clubs in Europe.
His permanent transfer to Paris Saint Germain is reported to be worth €180million, making him both the second most expensive player and most expensive teenager. Since joining the Ligue 1 Champions permanently, the 22-year-old has scored over 120 goals for the Parisian club.
However, amidst the rumor of Real Madrid prepping up to break the bank in their quest to bring him down to the Bernabeu, the World Cup winner is still actively the second biggest earner in the league and of course Paris Saint Germain.
- Correa Marquinhos & Marco Verratti – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.2m Per Month)
Since the departure of top players such as Edinson Cavani, Zlatan, and recently Thiago Silva, Marquinhos’s status has risen from being a mere squad player in the dressing room into a leader, captain, and one of the best gladiator of the club.
As a 19-year-old teenager, the Brazilian was signed in 2013 on a five-year deal by Paris Saint Germain from AS Roma for a fee of around €31.4million. And as reported by BBC Sport, the deal was said to be the highest transfer fee for a teenager then, while Sky also reports it to be the then fifth highest transfer.
The current form of the Brazilian makes him rank as one of Europe’s most valuable players, most especially as a player who is currently plying his trade with the best team in France.
According to the transfer market rating, Marquinhos market value currently stands at €70million, as such with his years of experience and playing over 313 matches for the Parisian, it’s no surprise that the club captain takes home €1.2m per month tied with the Italian on the same amount.
As for the Italian, he’s also been a very instrumental player for the team since joining the club nine years ago. There have always been rumors concerning his future, either joining Barcelona or go back to Italy, but as it stands his current contract with Paris Saint Germain would expire in 2024.
- Angel Di Maria – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.1m Per Month)
Since joining the Parisian for €63million after a disappointing stint with Manchester United in 2015, the Argentine winger has continued to prove to the world that he’s still one of the best players in football since leaving Real Madrid.
Di Maria isn’t just rank among the highest earner for doing nothing, he earns his pay through his brilliant performances over the years since joining them, accumulating a total of 251 appearances scoring over 88 goals and 104 assists.
The former Real Madrid winger may not stay in the Ligue 1 with Paris Saint Germain for three years or more, as he’s already moving close to the end of his career. However, with his deal still running that makes him the fourth-highest earner in the league.
- Keylor Navas – (Paris Saint Germain, €1m Per Month)
When Navas joined Madrid from Levante in the summer of 2014, no one ever thought he’s going to achieve quite a number of success with Los Blancos based on where he was coming from and his antecedent as a goalkeeper.
After a successful stint with Los Merengues, the imminent arrival of Thibaut Courtois means the Costa Rican goalkeeper days at Real Madrid are numbered.
With his achievement at Real Madrid, it was evident that the Costa Rican won’t find it hard to get good European suitor to come by, as such Paris Saint Germain came calling for his services in 2019 having been told he won’t be Real Madrid number one going forward into the new season.
Following Navas’s move to the French capital, it means his salary would be on the high side based on his achievement and reputation as a Champions League winner with arguably the biggest club in Europe.
As a Paris Saint Germain player, he earns €1m per month, making the Costa Rican one of the highest-paid players in Ligue 1
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- Mauro Icardi – (Paris Saint Germain, €800,000 Per Month)
The imminent departure of El Matador when Icardi joined Paris Saint Germain on loan means the responsibility of goalscoring would be on the shoulder of the Argentine. The former Inter Milan forward made his loan permanent with the PSG following a strong start in Paris.
The Argentine and controversy certainly go hand in hand based on his antecedent with his previous clubs. Everywhere he goes he has always shown he could lead the line perfectly, and since he joined the Parisian permanently no report of controversy has been recorded concerning the former Nerazzurri captain.
Icardi may not be the poster boy of PSG just like his days at Inter, that doesn’t make him less of a player in the dressing room among other star players like Neymar and Mbappe who are no doubt the face of the club.
- Leandro Paredes – (Paris Saint Germain, €750,000 Per Month)
Juan Bernat – (Paris Saint Germain, €700,000 Per Month)
Presnel Kimpembe – (Paris Saint Germain, €670,000 Per Month)
Ander Herrera – (Paris Saint Germain, €650,000 Per Month)
Wissam Ben Yedder – (Monaco, €650,000 Per Month)
Cesc Fabregas – (Monaco, €600,000 Per Month)
Julian Draxler – (Paris Saint Germain, €600,000 Per Month)
Idrissa Guaye – (Paris Saint Germain, €500,000 Per Month)