Got into an interesting conversation on Sunday about next season, specifically which of the top teams will likely improve ... or otherwise. It's quite easy to see how several teams might well be worse than this season, with plenty of negative factors looming:
Costa will likely leave - if he doesn't, surely it's unlikely he'll have such a good fitness record (I think it was said on Sky the other night that he played 93% of the possible minutes he could have played for Chelsea this season)
They have been very fortunate with injuries this season (the drugs clearly do work)
Extra fixtures due to CL - they've undoubtedly benefitted from no European footy this season
The players are a bunch of cnts and will turn on Conte
They'll have no obvious leaders left in the squad
The Wembley Effect
How do they improve in each individual position? I can't see them being able (or wanting to) replace over half their team - for example, Lloris, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Wanyama, Eriksen, Kane, Alli, Dier
Wild card - hopefully someone entices Pocchetino away in the summer
They don't pay - will start to cause unrest amongst their 'stars'
Probably the most likely to improve. They have clearly underperformed this season, given the resources they have at their disposal. Pep has a years experience under his belt now.
The Tricky Reds
Will be very difficult to replicate our record vs 'top' clubs in the League (there is an obvious counter to this, of course!)
Our injury record has been poor this year - is that systemic?
Lots of good players need to be signed (quality and quantity required)
The continued disruption of the Wenger Effect - and if he goes, the risk/settling in of a new Manager. Following Wenger is likely to be as tricky as following Ferguson was for Moyes, van Gaal etc.
Their best player (by a country mile) is very likely to leave in the summer
Ibra staying - will be a negative
Ibra going - will be a negative
Mourinho is a c***
Hard to see where leadership will come from on the pitch
So I can really see Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal getting fewer points than they have this season.
Risk is United turn a few draws into wins, I suppose. But you can't get away from the fact that they're cnts.
Us - well anything really is possible. We really do need to strengthen - if we go into next season with as thin squad as this, and we suffer a few injuries (not even as manay as this season) we'll be totally screwed.
Manchester City to win the league 2017/18 then.