Quantcast
Would you swap our season for Arsenal's or United's? - The Burning Question - Articles - Articles - Home

Jump to content


FREE TRIAL SUBSCRIPTION with every new registration!

Register on the forums today and receive one month's FREE access to all subscriber only content, including match reports, the TLW Diary and Premier League Round Ups. Registration costs nothing and there is no obligation to continue with your subscription once the free month trial has expired. 

 

To register a FREE account with us, click here, and then be sure to check the box for 'the FREE Monty' to receive immediate access to the subscriber only content and exclusive Members Forum.


Support the site

Follow TLW




TLW Facebook TLW Instagram TLW Podcast TLW Youtube TLW RSS

Advertisement

Snack Media

TLW T-Shirts

Uncle Sam Sports

Sponsored Links




- - - - -

Would you swap our season for Arsenal's or United's?


The Reds finished above both Arsenal and Manchester United this season and secured a place in the top four for only the second time in eight years. Arsenal and United both lifted silverware though, with Jose Mourinho's side also claiming a place in the CL for next season as a result of that. We asked three of our writers whose season they'd rather have had...

 

 

If we're completely disregarding context and simply asking. Would you rather finish fourth, fifth with one trophy, or sixth with two trophies, then I’m taking option three every time, obviously. However, when you factor everything else into it then as a Liverpool fan it becomes more complex.
 
On paper United's season has been the most successful by far and only a fool would try to argue otherwise (it was also the most spectacularly spawny, but that's another story). They were also clearly the worst team of the three and certainly the most tedious to watch. 

 

If my team was the most expensively assembled in the history of football, I'd be a little disappointed if it felt like I was watching West Brom every week. With that in mind, two trophies (that until very recently Mourinho and Utd fans both looked down their noses at) isn't enough to make me think I'd want to swap places with them.  

 

Arsenal spent most of the season in turmoil and with the fans fighting among themselves, yet they finished only one point behind us and deservedly beat the Champions in the FA Cup final. Had they won just one more league game we’d have had absolutely nothing to show for our season.

 

Still, it's difficult to shake the notion that they are a club going backwards while we are going in the other direction. The league table suggests we've passed them already, but it's such a fine margin that it's difficult to say that with any certainty. Next year might be totally different. 
 
So from a purely results based perspective I’d take United’s season, as it's trophies you remember in years to come, not "that year we finished fourth". I'd have loved to have won a trophy (or two), but that said, I wouldn’t swap our current situation with United or Arsenal because I believe we're a better team than both. 
 
If we're all in the same situation this time next year and you ask me this question, my answer will no doubt be different as we need to start adding some silverware quickly. Right now though I wouldn't swap places.
 

 

Dave Usher

@theliverpoolway

 

 

 

  
It’s been a perverse sort of a season where every team in the top six could probably argue that they have had a successful year, so context and perspective mean absolutely everything when making a call on this.
 
You can immediately discount Arsenal though. Three FA Cups in four seasons and a quite respectable 75 points in the league may sound like the work of a pretty solid club but the Arsenal of 2017 reeks of decay and stagnation.

 

They feel like an empire collapsing in on itself, one where all the talk is of holding onto ambitious players and damage reduction rather than progressing. FA Cups do not paper over the cracks for them, it feels like recruitment may be tough. 

 

The comparisons of Utd and Liverpool’s seasons are a little more interesting. If you are from the Utd camp then it would be hard not to conclude that winning two trophies and being back in the Champions League is preferable to finishing 4th. Utd are of a size and stature that, even with a few seasons’ absence from the top table, players are not going to be in much doubt of their potential to compete at that level consistently in the near future.
 
Despite being cut off from the top five sides this season and being comfortably, unswervingly the sixth best performers in the Premier League, and despite the overarching narrative of playing misfiring and defensive football, they are a giant and retain huge clout. 

 

The situation with Liverpool is a little different. The club have been in the Champions League on only the single occasion since the brilliant 08/09 season of Rafa Benitez and, the 13/14 Rodgers title challenge aside, had finished no higher than 6th during that time.

 

In that context, a season where you are clearly not at the level of the other big boys, but managed to get yourself into the Champions League through one of your two cup wins, is simply not as transformative as the season Liverpool have just had.
 
A season where you wipe the floor with the other top teams and show that you have the potential to be a viable, exciting, attractive prospect to interested players looking at the next few seasons of their careers is huge. You cannot underestimate the value of the outside perception of being a club with momentum on their side this summer, something a Liverpool side cut adrift from the top five would not have to the same extent, cup wins or not. 

 

What may now define the next decade of the club is the ability to concrete that status with a second top four finish in the coming season. Above trophies, even possibly above points totals, a confirmation of being back at the big table, consistently and reliably, will be huge.
 

Stu Montagu

@SimianJustice

 

 

 

Our season wasn’t all that as far as I’m concerned. Yes, we improved in the league and our points haul was good, but given our position on 2nd January it all feels a bit hollow. Not qualifying automatically feels a bit of a let-down to me.

 

Our league campaign was the fantastic mixed with the abysmal but at least I can see a direction the club is headed in. But losing the semi-final to Southampton sticks in the throat and our failure to make any mark on the FA Cup at all was very disappointing too. 

 

Instead of a guaranteed place in the group stages we are faced with some kind of playoff which disrupts our pre-season, although thankfully we seem to have missed most of the truly massive names. 

 

Firstly let me rule out swapping with Arsenal. We are at that phase in our rebuild where we need to fund a better squad packed with depth as we got horribly exposed this season. We needed Champions League football. I’m one of the dwindling number of people who loves the FA Cup and I’d love to win it but no, I wouldn’t swap our season for theirs. 

 

Unfortunately, the Mancs have had a better season than us and I would swap their season for ours. Football is all about winning trophies (something that FSG need to be reminded of) and they won two and secured Champions League qualification in the process. Whilst they got very lucky along the way (because they played nobody whatsoever in that cup and John Guidetti missed a sitter with the last kick of the semi-final) they still have two cups. 

 

Nobody will look back at 2016-2017 as the season Liverpool dominated the top team table and scored lots of goals, it will just dwindle into history as people look at the one thing that matters in the record books – trophies. 

 

I hate United and everything The Translator stands for and I absolutely would not swap the managers or style of play and approach to the game, but that’s what sport is about – winning cups. 

 

Have you seen our new stand though?

 

Dan Thomas

@TLW1Dan

 

 

 


  • 0


52 Comments

Man Utd had the best season.  They have two trophies, automatic CL qualification and will sign Griezmann.  We'll fanny around for the whole summer until after the qualifier, then revive our interest in Clint Dempsey.

    • 0

Southampton was the only cup tie for which we put out a full strength team. That was without Europe. I don't reckon the club is arsed anymore as long as we're generating revenue elsewhere.

    • 0
I'd bite your hand off for Man Utd's season.
    • 0
Sadly Utds yes
They've made it through the back door but won silverware

Arsenal sadly no.
As much as we need to win things the clubs needs the lure of champions league more. Having said that if we fuck up this window then yes
    • 0

The Mancs season unfortunately is the right answer. Its what we nearly did last season under klopp. I'm starting to forget what its like for us to win trophies our record over the last 10 years is dreadful.

    • 0
Qualifying for the champions league and winning two trophies is better than qualifying for the champions league and winning no trophies it's as simple as that. Mind you I still couldn't bring myself to click united.
    • 0
Finishing top 4 means nothing until the owners actually cough up the finances and sign the calibre of player we actually.

I'm still not convinced they will do so I'd take the 2 trophies to go along with CL football every day of the week.
    • 0
Shit happened the way it did. I'm not arsed about what anyone else accomplished, and I certainly wouldn't be happy playing shit-on-a-stick football with the most expensive squad ever assembled, managed by a scruffy man-baby.

I think top four represented good progress for us, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.
    • 0

I'd swap it for Uniteds obviously. Not Arsenals. We need CL football in terms of money and attracting better players more than we need a trophy (which we also badly need, all the same).

    • 0

Success is measured on your ability to be knock out of the CL qualifiers by Sparktak Ljubabsbtaznosiwnf, not winning trophies. So, no. Obviously not.

    • 0

Neither. I rather watch us play fantastic football and rip teams to shreds before christmas and watch us put all the best teams to the sword than sit through shithouse ultra defensive football, 15 draws, and a manager crying about conspiracies and acting like a gobshite every day.

 

I'd also prefer it to the entire fanbase being at war with each other and watching a club legend get treated like a piece of shit on the floor.

    • 0

A season isn't just the sum of the trophies at the end of the season. Remember that galling draw against Southampton at Anfield? Man Utd had at least 10 of those games at Old Trafford. Liverpool also had a good half-dozen home games where they wiped the floor with the opposition. I doubt if they had more than one.

 

And yet, I'd still take their season. Fuckers.

    • 0

If the EL didn't get you into the CL, then it would be quite an interesting question. However, seeing as it does, the answer to this is pretty obvious to me.

    • 0
On the face of it Man Utd had the best season, but we need to look at a bit of context. For them, the wider context is one of decline since Ferguson retired. Obviously he was there for so long that the whole financial empire built up, so they aren't going completely away any time soon. But their cheque book cannot disguise what they have become. They haven't competed for the title for a few years now, and they've also slipped out of the top four. The get out of jail UEFA cup card doesn't disguise that. And the football they play is dour percentage stuff.

They might get back to challenging for the title and the Champions League but there are a lot of questions marks over them, and their manager has such character flaws that along the way he is going to have various spats with players, board members, the FA, refs, other managers, etc. They will put up with it to a certain point, but it remains to be seen if he can be relevant again at the sharp end of the Prem table and in the latter stages of CL.

As for us, the context is clear progress. 8th to 4th is very good. And we played some great stuff and had the beating of the bigger teams in the Prem. Our lack of quality depth meant a title challenge could not be sustained, but we cannot forget the feel good factor returning and the hope that coursed through our veins as we wiped the floor with so many in the first half of the season.

In isolation two cups and going straight into the CL groups is definitely the better season, but when taken in the context of where the teams have come from, we are on the up while Man Utd are yet to show that.
    • 0

In isolation two cups and going straight into the CL groups is definitely the better season, but when taken in the context of where the teams have come from, we are on the up while Man Utd are yet to show that.

 

I would take issue with this.  We're only "on the up" because we had a clear run at the league.

 

In seasons where we've had Europa/Champions League football we've struggled in the league.

 

It seems to me that competing on more than one front is a serious problem for our club under its current ownership. 

    • 0

The argument that the Mancs play shite football ( Which they do clearly) doesn't hold that much water for me. We were tripe to watch under Houllier but won trophies.

 

Winning trophies is brilliant. One of the best finals I can remember apart from Istanbul was the FA cup with Arsenal playing us off the park and should have destroyed us on the day. But we beat them late on with a real smash and grab job.

I don't think any of our fans had an issue with the football at the time as the end justifies the means and the buzz I got from that win lasted a long time.

The mancs have got the summer to celebrate champions league football and adding more silverware. I'd snap your hand off for a season like that every day of the week.

    • 0

 For them, the wider context is one of decline since Ferguson retired.

 

But that's precisely why it's been a good season for them... Under Moyes they finished 8th or so and won nothing. Van Gaal's two seasons they qualified for the CL once and won an FA Cup. Those aren't good seasons in any context. In the context on the past 3 seasons though, this is a good season - two trophies and back into the CL. Obviously, in the context of where they were under Ferguson, it's not that fantastic a season but the context now has to be the post-Feguson era and this is their biggest step in the right direction since. However, the one caveat is that they've largely been pretty poor on the whole and had an absolute gift of a run in the EL, so the jury's out until next season to some extent.

    • 0

I would take issue with this.  We're only "on the up" because we had a clear run at the league.

 

In seasons where we've had Europa/Champions League football we've struggled in the league.

 

It seems to me that competing on more than one front is a serious problem for our club under its current ownership. 

 

 

Going from 8th to 4th and qualifying for the CL (albeit only a playoff at present) is a clear indication that we are on the up, in relation to where we've been. The football we played, albeit only for half a season, and the way we bettered the top six regularly, was also another solid indication.  

 

Don't get me wrong, we haven't arrived and we are still far from where we need to be, but I see progress. 

 

I take your point though. To go further and to be able to fight in Europe and the Prem we need more depth, and quality depth at that. It remains to be seen if we can do it, but hopefully we have a good summer and we are better placed to fight on more than one front next season. 

    • 0

I would take issue with this.  We're only "on the up" because we had a clear run at the league.

 

In seasons where we've had Europa/Champions League football we've struggled in the league.

 

It seems to me that competing on more than one front is a serious problem for our club under its current ownership. 

I think you can quibble over the details and the degree of optimism but I think the sentiment of what the Rev says is undeniable.

 

Each team is adjusting to the need to make a massive change; I believe our season which on paper looks pretty crap, especially relative to what some thought might happen given our early season form, most confirms were on the track we need to be on.

 

Arsenal and Manchester United achieved more but did they achieve what they need?

    • 0

As much as it pains me to say I'd take Utd's season as it's been too long without winning anything.

 

With Arsenal any other time I'd take beating Chelsea in a Cup Final all day long but with us still being  one of the greats of European Football the thought of being walloped 10-2 by Bayern is something I really wouldn't want to happen.

So no I wouldn't take theirs over ours.

    • 0

But that's precisely why it's been a good season for them... Under Moyes they finished 8th or so and won nothing. Van Gaal's two seasons they qualified for the CL once and won an FA Cup. Those aren't good seasons in any context. In the context on the past 3 seasons though, this is a good season - two trophies and back into the CL. Obviously, in the context of where they were under Ferguson, it's not that fantastic a season but the context now has to be the post-Feguson era and this is their biggest step in the right direction since. However, the one caveat is that they've largely been pretty poor on the whole and had an absolute gift of a run in the EL, so the jury's out until next season to some extent.

 

I don't want to go down the road of defending them again! I did that on here recently and was chastised for it (not a complaint at all, as it never feels right as a Liverpool fan to be doing that).

 

So even if Mourinho has been an improvement on Van Gaal, who in turn was an improvement on Moyes; I'm going to argue that since Ferguson's tenure is still so fresh in the mind, and since he signed off by leaving them as Champions, again, the overall story in the few years since then is one of decline. Man Utd have to improve further to be able to compete for the Premier League title, whereas in the very recent past it was a given that they would either win it or be thereabouts.  

    • 0

I don't want to go down the road of defending them again! I did that on here recently and was chastised for it (not a complaint at all, as it never feels right as a Liverpool fan to be doing that).

 

So even if Mourinho has been an improvement on Van Gaal, who in turn was an improvement on Moyes; I'm going to argue that since Ferguson's tenure is still so fresh in the mind, and since he signed off by leaving them as Champions, again, the overall story in the few years since then is one of decline. Man Utd have to improve further to be able to compete for the Premier League title, whereas in the very recent past it was a given that they would either win it or be thereabouts.  

 

Rev, I'm with you.  In the past Man Utds competitive differentiator was Ferguson, he's gone now they're just a club with a load of money.  The problem for them is there are loads of clubs with a load of money and they don't seem to be throwing money at the problem any better than those clubs.  They've employed a manager whose track record is of winning in the short-term and crashing and burning in the long-term.  So they won some stuff in the short-term, first stage of track record: Completed.  Just means they're closer to the next, I'd say inevitable step, crash and burn.  Everything Mourinho has done until now reassures me. 

    • 0
United's. I still think they were jammy as fuck though and their football is dog shit the whole feeling of the club is grim. But id take 2 trophies and qualifying for the champions league over ours. Fuck them though.
    • 0

I don't want to go down the road of defending them again! I did that on here recently and was chastised for it (not a complaint at all, as it never feels right as a Liverpool fan to be doing that).

 

So even if Mourinho has been an improvement on Van Gaal, who in turn was an improvement on Moyes; I'm going to argue that since Ferguson's tenure is still so fresh in the mind, and since he signed off by leaving them as Champions, again, the overall story in the few years since then is one of decline. Man Utd have to improve further to be able to compete for the Premier League title, whereas in the very recent past it was a given that they would either win it or be thereabouts.  

 

Yeah, I get that but since the low point (or high point!) of Moyes era and the mediocrity of Van Gaal's stint there, this has been a good season for them. Yes, there's still the overriding whiff of decline there since Ferguson left but the trajectory, based on this season, is slightly on the up, with the caveat I keep adding that they have obviously been fairly poor this season and next season is yet to pan out. Also, the whole "Mourinho 3 years cycle" angle might or might not turn out to be the case. As of right now though, they've won 2 trophies, got back into the CL and have a platform to kick on. In a more long-term sense, I agree with the view that it will be difficult for them to ever reach the level they were at in the 90s/00s but not necessarily that they have to improve a massive deal to be considered title contenders.

 

Anyhow, I feel like I keep being positive about them and like you that makes me uneasy, so I want to leave it here!

    • 0
The mancs. The fact that they had such a routine path to the trophy sickens me.
    • 0