The old Big 4


If you have a look at the top of the Premier League, it wouldn’t look out of place say 10-15 years ago, with 3 out of the old top 4 sides (Arsenal, Liverpool, and Chelsea) occupying spots near the summit, but with a different Manchester club at the very top. How many here feel that the teams currently in the top 4 will finish there by the end of the season, in any order? Also more generally, is this the shape of things to come, with the old big 4 retaking their places at or near the top of the Premier League, but with one Manchester club replacing the other?


Manure need a massive overhaul and a new fresh manager combined with some promising players, not old glories to go back to the top.


I still think of United as a top 4 club. Take a good few more years before that changes for me.
City bucked the landscape by default of the free ground.


I just want that United’s misery continues.
How smug & dismissive they were of us & our 4th place trophy, and now they beg to be at that 4th spot.

Suck on that fuckers.


I just don’t get the whole premise that they haven’t signed promising players.

De Gea, Bailly, Darmian, Shaw, Herrera, Pogba, Schneiderlin, Martial, Rashford, Lingard, Mkhitaryan, Smalling, Blind, Depay are all 27 or under with most being under 25. I’d hardly call it an aged squad. It’s simply the fact that they haven’t got the right structure in place to get the most out of those players right now.

If they had a manager who wasn’t so obsessed with being confrontational and not managing players correctly they’d actually be in a good position right now. But they’re so desperate to get out of the post-Fergie transition period they’re trying everything like spending a lot of money and hiring and firing managers. If they find stability, and with the vast riches available, that squad is actually a good squad who are a few players short of title challenging status.


Its true. United have a really good squad. Their managers just arent getting the best out of them at all.

Even fringe players like Lindgaard are half decent.


The big problem for them is that players like Pogba, Mkhitaryan, De Gea, Martial etc, aren’t going to hang around if they don’t play in the CL.

I don’t even understand why Mourinho bought Mkhitayran, he is too much of a flair player for him, but players like Poigba, Bailly and Ibrahimovic suit Mourinho’s his style of play.

The board at Man U don’t seem to know what they are doing, and this what happens when people who don’t much about football are running a club, and what worries me about who is going to choose our next manager when Wenger retires.
If it is Kroenke or Gazidis, we could be in the same situation as Man U.

Personally, I still think Man U will be challenging for the PL at the end of the season, along with us, Man City, Liverpool, spurs and Chelsea, but they are certainly making hard work of it and have also completely outplayed two opposition teams this season, having around thirty shots without winning.
So it’s not like they are playing any worse than other top teams, they just can’t score.


De Gea- WC. No doubt about it.
Bailly- he looks to have a big potential.
Shaw-he looks to have lost something after his injury.
Herrera-underrated. I like him.
Pogba-so, so overrated, but Mourinho plays him out of position.
Schneiderlin-good squad player.
Martial-so many ups and downs.
Rashford-massive young talent.
Lingard-another pace merchant.
Mkhitaryan-Mourinho doesn’t know how to use him. Another de Bruyne-in-a-making.
Smalling-he looked better under LVG, but he is still very good.

So not a squad full of talent in the end, imo.


I’d agree with you if you swapped the assessments of Herrera and Pogba. :smiley:


Why? United always play better with Herrera dictating the play.


I think the 4 is done. With the money floating about and the quality of the better teams, we’ll go to a more consistent top 5 or 6, and 1 or 2 genuinely decent sides will miss out on CL football every year.

The problem for some of these will be finish 5th or 6th and your coach is sacked and you’re back to square one. It’ll take a while to get over the “4th or fail” mentality, if anyone even does even get over it. I think Klopp, Wenger and maybe Poch would survive but the rest I’m not sure.

But after complaining about the quality of the league for most of last season, I’m really liking it this season :grin:. I think Mourinho will pull it back in the second half and be in the mix for 4th, Chelsea will get stronger, City will get stronger. Should be a good watch.


The wanting to play in the CL is really a altruistic way of saying ‘I want a huge contract’. Hence why they sign Pogba, Martial and Mkhitaryan without CL football and keep all their best players.


Not entirely sure I’d count Liverpool that far up already. It’s still early days so far this season and they may still drop below ManUtd in the table.


It is still early days, and I’m never one to get on the Liverpool train, but if anything if you look at the few fixtures that have been played so far, Liverpool have had arguably the toughest run. That said, Liverpool do tend to turn it up against ‘big sides’, and maybe it is the Burnley’s which will be their downfall as the season plays out. I still think they’ll be top 4. I think of the current top 4 only Chelsea will slip out by the end of the season, with Tottenham sneaking in. I hate to say it but the sort of defense the Scum are running is more than good enough to get them into the Champions League.


It’ll look that way until we go there and piss all over their defence, show the other teams how to do it and it will wreck their campaign :sunglasses:


When other teams (traditional big four + City) have their shit together Tottenham doesn’t make top four. And it seems like other teams have their shit together.


9 times out of 10 I would agree. But I think under Pochettino they look sturdier than they have done for a good few years. I think they will stay right behind the title chasing pack till the end, and I’m not entirely convinced that Chelsea will ‘keep their shit together’ till the end of the season.