RONALDO SOLD, TUCHEL FIRED AND… IT’S COMING HOME: CRAZY 2022 PREDICTIONS | The Eye Test

The Premier League enters a winter break so we asked our panel for their crazy predictions for 2022... and they really understood the assignment with World Cup triumphs, managerial departures, club turmoil and shock relegations, all discussed! If these any of these shock picks happen, it’s going to be a fascinating year...
 
Host and avid Chelsea supporter @Rory Jennings is joined by Man City follower Steven McInerney, @Esteemed Kompany - A Man City Fan Channel, and Man United fan Flex from @United View, discuss their hot takes for the year ahead.
 
2022 will be a unique year for football fans with the Qatar World Cup disrupting the usual calendar - expect your Christmas office party playlist to include Baddiel & Skinner - but will it be a triumphant World Cup for Southgate's England?
 
Thomas Tuchel has been under pressure recently, but surely Chelsea won't sack him after he delivered Champions League triumph last year... knowing Chelsea's ruthless streak with managers, our panel think it's not out the question.
 
Since joining Tottenham, Antonio Conte’s tactics and style of play has improved Spurs with Harry Kane looking more like himself and Rory Jennings believes that Spurs can make the top four... and he reckons they could finally bring a trophy back to White Hart Lane.
 
Elsewhere, they think Manchester City could finally break their Champions League curse while on the other side of Manchester United could implode under Ralf Rangnick. At the other end of the table, three massive clubs in Leeds, Everton, and Newcastle find themselves in a relegation fight, and Flex thinks there could be a shock relegation on the cards!
 
Can England bring it home? Will Tuchel get sacked this year? Who do you think will be relegated? Will City finally win the Champions League?


IS AUBAMEYANG WORTH A TRANSFER WINDOW GAMBLE? | The Eye Test | 888sport

With only two weeks left in the January transfer window, fans are waiting in suspense to see what changes will be made to their club. With Aston Villa signing Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne and Newcastle United bringing Kieran Tripper back to the Premier League, squads are showing their ambition for the rest of the season. As the clock ticks, which teams will get rid of their underperforming players, and which underrated footballers will be making moves?
 
Host and Chelsea fan @Rory Jennings, Manchester United supporter Flex from @United View, and Man City follower Steven McInerney from @Esteemed Kompany - A Man City Fan Channel discuss transfer window rumours and speculation.
 
Rory and Flex both have their eyes on Brighton’s star players, such as Yves Bissouma who has blossomed this season. As United’s Fred and Donny van de Beek have been struggling, as have Chelsea’s Marcus Alonso, Hakim Ziyech, and Ross Barkley underperforming - is it time to spice things up?
 
At the other end of the table are the Toon who are struggling for survival. As the richest team in the world, Newcastle are rumoured to be after former Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who could create magic alongside Allan Saint-Maximin, and Dele Alli is supposedly on the chopping board.
 
Who should your team take a punt at? Would Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Deli Alli thrive away from their clubs? Can a successful transfer window save Newcastle or is the damage done?


NO INVINCIBLES?! RANKING THE BEST PREMIER LEAGUE TEAMS OF ALL TIME | The Eye Test | 888sport

The current Man City team under Pep Guardiola are being spoken about as one of the greatest Premier League teams of all time. But how do they rank up against some of the other great teams to play in the Premier League era. Since the early 90s, different teams have been making and breaking records - from points accumulated, to the fewest goals conceded. But who will claim the title of the greatest Premier League squad?
 
Debating the greatest Premier League squad is host and Chelsea supporter @Rory Jennings  Man Utd follower Flex from @United View,  and Manchester City supporter Steven McInerney from @Esteemed Kompany - A Man City Fan Channel.
 
Trophies, unbeaten records, or their football on the eye - every football fan has different criteria for assessing which team is the best ever - but few could argue the City Centurions, doing what many thought was almost impossible, racking up 100 points in a single season are in the frame. And Steven makes a strong case for their inclusion.
 
Chelsea fans have plenty to boast about with Jose Mourinho’s 04/05 team- conceding just 15 goals to in their first ever Premier League title, which also saw them win the League Cup and reach the Champions League semi-final in a historic season.
 
Sir Alex Ferguson produced many a team worthy of being in contention as the best teams ever, and Manchester United’s ’99 squad don’t just look to stats sheets on games won, goals conceded or unbeaten; they have the best haul of silverware ever seen in the Premier League era to back it up. Fergie's treble winning team of Peter Schmeichel, Gary Neville, David Beckham, Roy Keane, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and more all embodied the lethal combination of skill, determination, and belief of every successful team - and were fundamental to the sustained success under SAF. 
 
Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and the rest of Arsenal’s Invincibles gave weekly masterclasses on how to dominate a pitch. But, some argue that drawing 11 games in a league season and being knocked out in the League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League (to Chelsea) dampens their case as the best ever.
 
What do you think, who is the greatest Premier League team ever? Who makes your top 5? Do Klopp’s Liverpool deserve a place? What makes an era defining team?


MAKE 2022 THE YEAR FANS STAND UP TO GREED | The Eye Test | 888sport

2021 was one of the most controversial and dramatic years in Premier League history. With the big six attempting to join a Super League to consistently contentious VAR rulings – the beautiful game is becoming a nightmare for fans. But as we enter a new year, our panel have suggested some footballing resolutions to reunite clubs with fans?
 
Discussing the future of football is host and Chelsea supporter @Rory Manchester City supporter Steven McInerney from @Esteemed Kompany - A Man City Fan Channel, Man United fan Flex from @United View, and Tottenham Hotspurs die-hard Abbi Summers.  
 
New Years is a time for change, and many believe there are lots the Premier League need to make. The U-turn of the Super League was a monumental moment in footballing history with fans standing together against greed. Owners such as Daniel Levy, Stan Kroenke and Man Utd’s Glazers as well among others have come under scrutiny, as supporters demand fairness and the return of honest football.
 
On the pitch, one resolution is to reform the rules. VAR is the most controversial addition to football in recent years, with rulings disputed nearly every weekend. The ‘clear and obvious’ VAR guidance has become laughable, with goals being chalked off because of armpits and major challenges being ignored. With footballers and fans unable to celebrate goals, the joy and passion is slowly being sucked away from football. Will VAR improve, or it is time to scrap it entirely?
 
What do you think could be done to save football? Do you think big clubs help small clubs facing bankruptcy? Could VAR ever work?


DELE ALLI, WAN-BISSAKA... WHO SHOULD YOUR CLUB SELL IN JANUARY? | The Eye Test | 888sport

The New Year means one thing to football fans, the January transfer window is open! For four weeks, teams will have the opportunity to replace injured players, expand their squad, and, crucially, get rid of the deadwood cluttering up the dressing room - and weighing heavy on the wage bill...

With the relegation and title races being so sharply contested, and injuries and illnesses ravishing almost every team, this has all the makings of an intriguing transfer window, where the emphasis on selling players is as high on the agenda as signing them... so who are the players that need to go this January, and who replaces them?

Host and Chelsea supporter @Rory Jennings , Man United fan Flex from @United View , Man City’s Steven McInerney from @Esteemed Kompany - A Man City Fan Channel , and Tottenham Hotspurs die-hard Abi Summers discuss the January transfer window, who they want out their club and who they should bring in.
             
The December matches has exposed every team’s fatal flaw, from a lacking central midfield to a missing striker, but will the transfer window be the answer? With Chelsea and Man City battling it out for the title, and United and Spurs vying for fourth, the outcome could be determined by transfer window success.

Elsewhere the panel look at Newcastle United opportunity - richest club in the world, but bottom of the league and in desperate need of reinforcements - how will they navigate the transfer window to help claw them out of the relegation zone - and will any players want to join a struggling squad?

What is your dream transfer window? Do you think Dele Alli still has a place at Tottenham? Should Man United replace AWB this January? Will Newcastle spend big this January - and who would go there? 


SPURS FAN: ALL I WANT FOR XMAS IS… A TROPHY | The Eye Test | 888sport

Christmas has arrived and with Santa primed to spread some Christmas cheer, he has gifted our panel one footballing wish: but who wants to bring power back to fans, who wants their team to taste glory and who’s interested in seeing a new team finish in the top four?
 
Today’s naughty and nice panellists are Chelsea supporter @rory jennings, Man City fan Steven Mcinerney from @esteemed kompany - a man city fan channel, Man Utd follower Flex of @united view and die-hard Spurs fan Abi Summers.
 
Most fans can only dream of dominating the Premier League or being the Champions of Europe. But even clubs that have the best players in the world and have several accolades to their name in recent season still have plenty of wishes to ask Santa for, and other fans don’t take too kindly to the other panellist’s ‘ungrateful’ behaviour this festive season. 
 
Away from the pitch, our panel discuss the ultimate gift of bring power back to the fans, following the aftermath of the failed European Super League earlier this year.


‘IF LUKAKU GETS IN OVER RONALDO, I RIOT!’ | The Eye Test | 888sport

Liverpool and Man City, the two most recent champions of the Premier League go head-to-head this weekend and while the panel were lined up to pick a combined XI, they thought better of it and went for a combined XI from last season's top four.

It's fair to say they didn't agree on much with Chelsea fan and host @Rory Jennings vehemently backing his contingent Champions of Europe with Mason Mount, N'Golo Kante and Romelu Lukaku all put forward.

Man City fan Steven McInerney of @Esteemed Kompany - A Man City Fan Channel wouldn't back down from Kevin De Bruyne, Ruben Dias and Phil Foden. Flex of@United View had his say with Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo firmly in his team.

The trio gave Liverpool a fair representation, but it was in midfield and up front that they struggled to agree on who would make it in.

Would you pick Romelu Lukaku or Cristiano Ronaldo? How about Kevin De Bruyne or Bruno Fernandes? Or Mason Mount or Phil Foden? What would be your combined XI?


DOES TUCHEL HAVE PEP’S NUMBER? | CHELSEA V MAN CITY PREVIEW | The Eye Test | 888sport

Two of the favourites for the Premier League will clash as Chelsea and Manchester City clash at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Flex of @United View  provides the neutral voice of reason as Chelsea fan @Rory Jennings  and Man City fan Steven McInerney, @Esteemed Kompany - A Man City Fan Channel discuss who is going to triumph in this one.

This match up pits two of the finest minds in modern football against each other, as Thomas Tuchel and Pep Guardiola lock horns again.

So far, Thomas Tuchel has dominated the match up, with his Chelsea side defeating Man City all three times they have faced off, including in the Champions League final.

Pep has a lock on the Premier League though, winning it in three of his five years in charge, and if he wants to win it again improving his record against Tuchel will go a long way to achieving that.

Since the last match up he has bolstered his squad with Jack Grealish being added to the ranks, some creative flair that he hopes will help him break down Chelsea’s stellar defence.

But Chelsea also added attacking strength, with Romelu Lukaku returning to Stamford Bridge. The striker was the only obvious hole in Chelsea’s Champions League winning side, and so far this signing looks to have taken the Blues to the next level.

Can Pep get revenge on Tuchel? Will Grealish or Lukaku be the difference? How pivotal will this match be for the title race?


ARE SPURS AND ARSENAL FINISHED AS TOP SIX CLUBS? | The Eye Test | 888sport

An interesting start to the Premier League season, but as expected Man City, Man United, Liverpool and Chelsea are looking dominant once again. 

@Rory Jennings, @Esteemed Kompany and Flex from @United View discuss who they think is most likely to break into the top four - and who is at risk of dropping out of the Big Six. 

Last season the two surprising packages were Leicester City and West Ham. The Foxes have been terrific under Brendan Rodgers, and despite failing to clinch a Champions League spot, they lifted their first ever FA Cup.

West Ham qualified for the Europa League and David Moyes has helped reform the reputation he once built at his time with Everton. A long run in the Europa League could potentially stifle domestic campaigns, though they have started this season at a pace.

Another team in Europe are Tottenham, though with a mixed start of season and question marks over their squad, are they still contenders for a Champions League place this year? Or are they at risk of dropping out of the Big Six? Nuno Espirito Santos certainly has a job on his hands.

One final club that has the potential to do some damage is Everton, under the guidance of Rafa Benitez.

Despite the Toffees’ jury being out, Rafa is one of the finest tacticians of the modern era, and has Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and new recruit Demarai Gray flourishing already.

Which team can break into the top four? Who is at risk of dropping off? Are there any obvious candidates the panel missed? How much of a factor will European football play?


DOES RONALDO BLOW THE TITLE RACE WIDE OPEN? | The Eye Test | 888sport

The summer transfer window has slammed shut with all eyes on the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford. But will CR7 be a success or a flop for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season?

And have United done the best business this summer, or has someone else? @Rory Jennings , @Esteemed Kompany - A Man City Fan Channel and Flex from @United View, discuss the craziest transfer window in history.

There have been marquee signings across the top teams in the Premier League, with Romelu Lukaku returning to Chelsea, Jack Grealish moving to Manchester City as well as the homecoming of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United, plus the additions of Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho at Old Trafford.

Do you think CR7's return to Old Trafford will propel Man United back to the summit of the Premier League table - or is either Jadon Sancho or Raphael Varane an even better signing for the Red Devils? And does this mount the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to bring back the glory days to United?

What makes for a good transfer window? Most of the big clubs have splashed out on one or two big players, while Arsenal, this summer’s biggest spenders, have brought in six players for just shy of £150m with Ben White and Martin Odegaard being the most notable names.

The Eye Test panel are not convinced by Mikel Arteta’s dealings and fear he may not be the right man for the Gunners going forward.

What do you think - are Manchester United now favourites for the Premier League? Was Jack Grealish the right man to bring in, or should Man City have chased harder for Harry Kane? Who was signing of the summer?


IS SOUTHGATE STILL THE ONE? | The Eye Test | 888sport

The last two major tournaments for England has been their most successful since winning the World Cup in 1966, all under the stewardship of Gareth Southgate. 

Despite a semi-final and final in the only two major tournaments he's taken charge of Southgate still has some detractors, and on the fourth episode of The Eye Test, our panel of @Rory Jennings, @Esteemed Kompany - A Man City Fan Channel  and @Stevo The Mad Man, discuss if Gareth Southgate should still be leading England going forward.

When appointed, if someone had said Southgate would guide England to a World Cup semi final and a European Championship final, a lot of people would have barely believed you.

However, ever-ambitious England fans spot have been left wanting more and feel a better manager would have guided England to glory in one or both tournaments.

Southgate has shored up the defence, adopting a system utilising multiple holding midfield players such as Declan Rice, Kalvin Philips and Jordan Henderson, or playing with five at the back, with the likes of Luke Shaw and Kieran Trippier thriving in these systems. 

But with the attacking options available, a prime Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling, as well as promising talents such as Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish, Southgate has been criticised for being too defensive.

Do YOU think Southgate should stay as manager? Did England flop in the final against Italy and the semi final against Croatia? If Southgate was to leave the job, who would be the man to replace him?


IS PEP A FAILURE IF MAN CITY DON'T WIN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE? | The Eye Test | 888sport

The Premier League has come back with a bang with last season's Champions and pre-season favourites Manchester City losing on the opening day to Spurs.

Meanwhile, the Champions League's return is just around the corner, with the draw for the group stages taking place this week, and Guardiola's men will have their eyes set on going one better in Europe after losing last season's final to rivals Chelsea. 

In the third episode of The Eye Test, our panel of @Rory Jennings, @Esteemed Kompany - A Man City Fan Channel and @Stevo The Mad Man discuss which Premier League teams have got the potential to win European football’s top continental competition, with current winners Chelsea, Man City, Man United and Liverpool all vying for Champions League glory.

Holders Chelsea have looked like a different beast since Thomas Tuchel took the helm, their victory last season emphasising how strong they have become, and they'll be contenders yet again.

Pep Guardiola's Man City have struggled in the competition, with last season being the first time he made the final and the trio discuss whether failing to win this season will be determined as a failure, and detrimental to his legacy in Manchester. 

Regardless of how well teams play domestically, some sides always seem capable of winning the Champions League because of how the format is set and none of the panel rule out the chances of Liverpool or Man United.

Outside the Premier League, Bayern Munich, Juventus and PSG seem like the squads most capable of taking the trophy away from English football, with Real Madrid and Barcelona now seen as underdogs.

What four teams in Europe do YOU predict to make the semi-finals? Is Guardiola a failure if he fails to bring the trophy to the Etihad? Can any teams outside of England claim the trophy?


MAN CITY ARE NOT A 'BIG CLUB' | The Eye Test | 888sport

The Premier League returned to action with a bang last week as Manchester United and Chelsea secured comfortable wins, but champions Manchester City were defeated by a Tottenham side who were missing their top talisman and potential City target in Harry Kane.

Since coming into money, Manchester City have been a dominant force in the Premier League for over a decade now, breaking numerous records.

Before them, Chelsea did the same, becoming a frequent title challenger after a massive cash injection. But are Chelsea or Manchester City ‘big’ clubs, in all senses, not just financially?

In a very fiery second episode of The Eye Test, returning panellists from last week @Rory Jennings , @Esteemed Kompany - A Man City Fan Channel  and @Stevo The Mad Man  discuss what makes a club ‘big’ and clash over their opinions. Rory and Esteemed Kompany don’t hold back!

Stevo doesn’t have a horse in this race and acknowledges that both Man City and Chelsea are both big clubs. However, he was shut down for suggesting West ham are in the same bracket!

Steven McInerney, of Esteemed Kompany channel, thinks that global reach, quality of player and current stature make a club 'big'. With over a decade competing at an elite level, Steven is confident that City are one of the biggest in world football.

Rory disagrees, noting there is a difference to being 'big' and being relevant. He reckons City shouldn't even be in the conversation until more time passes.

Only then could they be classed a big club like Chelsea - a club operating at the top level for over 20 years and winning the Champions League.

What do YOU think makes a club ‘big’? Are Man City and Chelsea ‘big’ clubs? Was Rory being childish?


THE PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON PREVIEW | The Eye Test | 888sport

Manchester City fan Steven McInerney is backing his team to win the league after romping to the title last season.

He is confident that the Citizens can repeat that feat after Pep Guardiola has added attacking flair in Jack Grealish and he thinks City's chances of winning the league would go from a probability to an inevitability if they were to bring in a striker like Harry Kane, who's rumoured to be on the way.

The chasing pack looks like it could be more competitive than ever. Liverpool welcome defensive rock Virgil Van Dijk back to the squad but Blues fan Rory believes that Chelsea are Man City's main competitors this season.

Fired up and given heart due to their three consecutive wins when facing Man City, including a Champions League final triumph, Rory feels Thomas Tuchel is the man to outwit Pep Guardiola for the Premier League title.

West Ham fan Stevo the Mad Man feels that Leicester City are being underrated, after more shrewd transfer business this summer and believes it'd be naive to underestimate their capabilities under Brendan Rogers - but Rory disagrees and thinks the Leicester manager is the reason they WON'T make top four. 

Stevo is tipping Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United to finally have an excellent season, depsite their Europa League final defeat in May.

Man for man, Rory thinks both Manchester clubs are on a level playing field but doesn’t believe Ole is the man to get United to challenge Man City for the Premier League title.

Neither Arsenal or Spurs get much of a look-in for the top four and all three panellists agree they won't be in the picture, and they agree the Champions League spots will go to the same four from last season. 
 
However, the panel are expecting a dogfight to avoid relegation and find it tough to pick who'll go down this season.

Three sides that were known for free-flowing football in the Championship last season gained promotion, but will they be able to replicate that style in the topflight? Or will strugglers from last season, like Brighton or Newcastle, take the plunge?

With fans back in stadiums, we're in for an exciting season and it could be the most competitive season for a long time - but how do you see it panning out?

Do you agree with our panellists - will Pep’s Manchester City retain the league? Can anyone break into last season’s top 4? Will any of the three promoted clubs survive?

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