Breathing in a Wild Start to the Jets Season

Breathing in a Wild Start to the Jets Season

Photo Credit:

It was 8:15 on Monday night. Aaron Rodgers ran out with the American flag just several minutes before the game to a huge roar from the crowd. There was a massive buzz in MetLife Stadium. Breece Hall just ran for 26 yards on his first carry after his ACL surgery. Then, Aaron Rodgers got sacked by a ferocious Buffalo Bills D-line and wasn’t able to put any weight on his leg.

Week 1
It felt like all of the energy got sucked out of MetLife. Jets fans knew that the offensive line was a weak link, but was it this weak? There were only four snaps before Rodgers tore his Achilles. FOUR. Like all Jets fans, I was completely stunned watching Aaron get carted off the field and having to watch Zach Wilson play QB in Week 1.

The Jets defense mainly kept them in the game as they were trailing 13-3 at halftime, but it wasn’t looking too good. A couple of players talked to Rodgers during halftime, including Garrett Wilson. Wilson revealed on a podcast that Rodgers told him, “Sorry, kid” when he went to check on the injured QB. In the second half, the Jets came out, made some big plays, and the crowd got back into it. The Jets capitalized on 3 turnovers from Josh Allen (2 INT, 1 fumble) and a possible catch-of-the-year from star WR Garrett Wilson to take a 16-13 lead with 1:48 to go. A terrific Bills drive and a kick that doinked in eventually led us to overtime. After the Jets made Buffalo punt on the opening drive, undrafted rookie Xavier Gipson recorded a 65 yd punt return TD that sent many fans in MetLife Stadium home happy ! This completed the comeback for the Jets and they won 22-16. On a night that we believed that Rodgers would lead the Jets to a win, it was the defense anchored by S Jordan Whitehead (3 INT), along with Xavier Gipson and Garrett Wilson (5-34-1).

Photo Credit:
To be honest, Zach played solid with the situation he came into. Only making 1 serious mistake (a terrible INT thrown in the 2nd quarter), his stats were: 14/21, 140 passing yds, 1 TD, 1 INT, 6 rushing yds. It definitely could’ve been worse against a very solid Bills defense. Breece Hall also looked electric, going for long gains of 26 and 83 yds, while finishing with 11 touches and 147 scrimmage yds. The offensive line started out terrible, but was better as the game went on, only giving up 2 sacks to Zach and opening up holes for the running game. The Jets defense got 5 sacks and made Josh Allen turn the ball over 5 times, making him look very frustrated at certain times. Lastly, the special teams was solid during the game and only got better with the Gipson return TD. A wild ending to a wild night.

Week 2

Right after playing the Bills, the Jets had to face a team that just beat the Giants 40-0 without their star QB. The score was basically how the game looked: 30-10 Dallas. The game wasn’t in the Jets’ control from the start and they played catch-up for the majority of it. The Cowboys scoring a TD nearly 6 minutes into the game and Zach Wilson getting lit up by superstar LB Micah Parsons set the tone for a rough afternoon. The Jets were only down 10-0 in the 2nd quarter before Zach Wilson threw a dart to Garrett Wilson for a quick 68 yd TD. On the Cowboys’ drive following the TD, Sauce Gardner dropped a would-be pick six that would’ve given the Jets a 14-10 lead. Instead, Dallas responded with a first down and a TD, going up 18-7. The Jets had a nice drive to end the half, getting a field goal and only trailing 18-10 while getting the ball.

The second half seemed like the exact opposite of the Bills game. 2 punts, a fumble by RB Dalvin Cook, and 3 INTs by Zach took away momentum of having another miraculous comeback. The offensive line had a horrendous day, as Wilson got pressured on 70% of the snaps and couldn’t do much at all. The run game was stuffed up for the most part, as the Jets only had 64 rushing yds (36 from Zach running for his life). Breece Hall only got 4 carries for 9 yds, and was unhappy after the game. Zach Wilson played half decent for 3 quarters before trying to play hero ball and throwing 3 ugly picks. Those 3 picks were the result of a terrible rushing attack by Cook, Carter, and Hall. Duane Brown has looked out of shape for the Jets in the first 2 games as he was a main reason why Parsons got through the offensive line with such ease. Also, where was the Jets defense that made Josh Allen look terrible? Lots of missed tackles, costly flags, and Dak Prescott (31/38, 255 yds, 2 TD) made the game look far worse than it was. Star WR CeeDee Lamb also tore up the secondary, going for 11 receptions and 143 yds.

Photo Credit:
The Jets’ schedule in the next 4 games consist of the Patriots, Eagles, Broncos, and Chiefs. If they can finish 3-3 heading into Week 7 against the Giants, that would be a solid start. In his career, Zach has had huge struggles against the Patriots (0-4, 54-106, 693 yds, 2 td 7 int). Will it be a similar result on Sunday? Jets fans sure hope not.
Soccer to Flushing?

Soccer to Flushing?

Photo Credit:
New York City is once again in the heart of a contentious debate about a new sports complex. NYC has become known for its vibrant sports culture and diverse communities. In the article I read about this new project, you could really see Steve Cohen’s big plans to build a soccer stadium in the Queens borough near Citi Field. Cohen is the owner of the New York Mets that play in Citi Field in Flushing Queens. My current event is going to address Cohen’s idea as well as the significant parking issues that the project would pose for the nearby communities of this potential new stadium.

Soccer is something that Steve Cohen, an established figure in professional sports, wants to bring to Queens. His big plan calls for the construction of a revolutionary soccer stadium that is guaranteed to ignite the excitement of soccer fans all throughout the city. This project has numerous potential advantages. Cohen’s proposal has the ability of bringing much-needed economic activity into the local economy in addition to giving soccer fans a new place to call home in the local area. The stadium can grow into a focal point for neighborhood interaction, holding activities that unite locals and guests to enjoy the great game of soccer. But as everyone knows, every big development and project always encounters its fair share of obstacles in the way of getting it done.

Photo Credit:

Concern has been expressed by community organizations and local citizens regarding Cohen’s big project. The stadium’s effect on their daily lives is the main source of their anxiety. One of the biggest worries is the possibility of delays during stadium events due to increased traffic and congestion around the area and their homes. Addressing these issues and encouraging community involvement will be essential to the project’s success as it develops. The issue of parking is one of the most urgent difficulties that is connected to the planned soccer stadium project. Because of the stadium’s Queens location, parking is a special difficulty. The area of Flushing already has a neighborhood surrounding Citi Field and the possible new stadium, so finding areas for parking that aren’t pre existing would be challenging. The massive parking lots often found around big sporting venues are not present in the immediate area. This has raised questions about where thousands of fans will park their cars on game days. Locals and business owners are starting to worry that the increasing number of vehicles looking for parking spots could spread into residential areas, thereby causing an inconvenience to residents that live in the area and worsening traffic conditions there as well. Cohen’s team has discussed possible solutions with neighborhood stakeholders and city officials to lessen these sorts of problems. To lessen the need for on-site parking for these sporting events, such discussions have suggested shuttle services, increased access to public transportation, and promotion of Ubers or taxis to the stadiums.

Photo Credit:
The building of the new stadium has its impacts on parking plans for the surrounding area for sure, but there is not a bigger impact it will have than the impact on the community itself surrounding the complex. The effect of the potential soccer stadium on the neighborhood cannot be stressed enough. Beyond its economic possibilities, the project has the power to influence how the locals of the area live their daily lives. Longer commute times and significant disruptions could result from increased traffic and congestion on game days. To come up with solutions that minimize the negative impacts on local citizens, Cohen’s team and city officials have to work together to figure out how to deal with them. Negotiations between Cohen’s team and local stakeholders have been ongoing, as have community involvement efforts. A crucial element in building a strong relationship between the stadium project and the neighborhood it intends to be incorporated into is engaging with the community and responding to their concerns about any potential faults to their plan. They want them to feel as if they are a part of the whole process of building this new development.

The bold proposal of Steve Cohen to construct a soccer stadium in Queens marks a huge change in the sports environment of New York City. Although the project has the potential to help boost the economy and include the community, it is not without obstacles to overcome. Parking is a major concern, and the locals’ worries should be treated seriously, as they are the ones that will be living in the area and dealing with the effects of it every day. It is crucial that Cohen’s team and city officials continue to collaborate closely with the local community as the project moves forward to identify practical solutions to the parking and congestion concerns by the community. Finding a balance between the economic development it brings and the needs and concerns of the neighborhood is essential to the stadium project’s success. This dream of a stadium can only become a reality that benefits Queens residents as well as soccer fans via cooperation and careful preparation by everybody involved. Steve Cohen is looking to bolster the Queens and Flushing community with this new state of the art stadium and development, it’s just up to the community to help it happen any way they can.

Can Rodgers End the Jets’ Playoff Drought?

Can Rodgers End the Jets’ Playoff Drought?

Photo Credit:
When Aaron Rodgers announced that he wanted to play for the New York Jets on March 15, it probably made every Jets fans’ day.

The Jets were coming off a very disappointing end to the season as they didn’t score a touchdown after Week 15 and finished 7-10 after starting out 7-4. Losing AVT, star running back Breece Hall, and forcing Mike White to play with 5 fractured ribs were several reasons why the team struggled. It also didn’t help that Zach Wilson lost all of his confidence during this losing streak and got booed out of MetLife Stadium against the Lions and Jaguars. The Jets haven’t had a very good QB in a while. Sam Darnold was a massive bust as the No. 3 pick in the 2018 draft. Geno Smith was atrocious throughout the early 2010’s as another bust. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a solid 2015 season, throwing for 31 TD’s and 15 INT with nearly 4000 yards, but he regressed heavily the next season. You can even go all the way back to Bret Favre, who threw the same number of TD’s as INTs (22) and was in a similar situation as this year’s Jets. So, could Rodgers be able to end this drought and lead us to the playoffs for the first time in 2010? Yeah, they definitely could.

If the Jets had an average quarterback (at best) last year, they definitely could’ve made the postseason. They had a top 5 defense that was anchored by All-Pro DT Quinnen Williams (12 sacks) and All-Pro LB C.J. Mosley (158 tackles). They had a lethal CB duo led by DROY Sauce Gardner and D.J Reed. Before Breece Hall tore his ACL, he was the favorite to win OROY (681 scrimmage yds, 5 TD). Star WR Garrett Wilson won the award as he had 83 receptions for 1103 yds and 4 TD’s while dealing with subpar quarterback play.

Photo Credit:
Before the Rodgers trade got finalized, I had expectations of a 8-9 win team that can possibly make the playoffs. Now, I see the Jets winning anywhere from 10-12 games and a team that should make the playoffs. They have given Breece Hall lots of time to work his way up to a full workload, as they signed star RB Dalvin Cook from the Vikings in free agency. In addition, they added WRs Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, and Randall Cobb to increase their depth at the receiver position. Signing S Adrian Amos can be a solid upgrade over Lamarcus Joyner. Rookie Will McDonald looks outstanding at practice with lots of highlights over the summer. The Jets also hired Nathanial Hackett as their new OC to reunite with Rodgers after firing Mike LaFleur. However, one thing that lots of people are questioning is Aaron Rodgers’ productivity this season.
Photo Credit:
Lots of people don’t know that Aaron Rodgers played through a fractured thumb on his throwing hand last season. This led to him having meh numbers for his standards (26 TD, 12 INT). When fully healthy, Aaron is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. Between 2020-2021, he threw for over 8,000 yards, 85 TD and 9 INT. If you go all the way back to 2018, his stats are: 16,858 passing yds, 136 TD, 15 INT. Those are crazy numbers that a healthy Rodgers can have! It may take some time for him to build chemistry with the offense, but I believe it is very possible for us Jets fans to have a very good season! It all starts on Monday night against the Bills.
Polar Bear on the Move?

Polar Bear on the Move?

Photo Credit:
It is a rare occasion when the perception of a franchise and the trust by its fans rely on one crucial decision made by ownership, but this is certainly one of those occasions…

Just this past trade deadline in the MLB, the New York Mets were clearly deadline sellers, as they shipped off key parts of their squad such as Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, David Robinson, and even Mark Canha. The Mets have been a huge disappointment this year after a 101 win season last year, and are definitely failing expectations made by fans and even ownership for 2023. Amidst all of these moves the Mets made,there was one trade rumor that personally gave me the chills even hearing it. The Mets were entertaining a possible trade of their star first baseman Pete Alonso. Alonso is set to become a free agent following the conclusion of the 2024 season. There were reports swirling around that the Cubs and Brewers had serious trade offers and discussions with the Mets to acquire the polar bear from the Mets. While to maybe a regular fan of baseball, seeing the current situation with the Mets this season, trading Alonso during this offseason would actually make sense for the Mets being that they would be saving money and Alonso’s value is very high at the moment. On the other hand, this is something the Mets shouldn’t do, or even entertain quite frankly.

Photo Credit:
Since debuting back in 2019, Alonso has led MLB first baseman in HRs and RBIs, is 3rd in wRC+ and 6th in fWAR. Besides the shortened 60 game season in 2020, Alonso has been a 40 HR and 100+ RBI player. There are not many players where you could say you would get this kind of production year in and year out. He has been one of the game’s best offensive players since 2019 and has been the face of the Mets franchise since entering the league.

Pete brings great leadership on and off the field for the Mets, has stayed healthy for 99% of his career thus far, and is respected and loved in the clubhouse and by the players and the fanbase. Alonso is not just a player you could replace so easily, and the Mets may be making that crucial mistake if they think they could.

Photo Credit:
In my opinion, the most important part of this whole situation is what it would mean for the perception of Steve Cohen’s regime as owner moving forward. A lot of people were shocked to see both Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander traded at the deadline, both elite pitchers who they paid a lot of money for. By trading them both, that really makes fans question how serious the Mets are about competing in 2024 and beyond. If you also decide as a franchise to trade Pete Alonso on top of that, while also coming off probably the most disappointing season in the history of the franchise, it’ll really make the fans question Cohens decisions and make them lose trust in him. It would also seriously lose many fans, and make a lot of people very frustrated and upset, myself included.

The logic of trading Pete Alonso personally makes zero sense to me as a die hard Mets fan, or even as a die hard baseball fan. The Mets have no other top first baseman prospects in the minors. By their logic, if they would make this move of Alonso official, they would just retaliate by trusting an unknown prospect to take the spot or try and go out and sign a cheaper and probably older version of Alonso…. This in my opinion makes no sense and would look horrible on the Mets part. Why part ways with a generational power hitter and homegrown talent? I would not even criticize any fans who decided to not support the team anymore if they decide to move on from the 2x HR Derby winner. It would be a decision that could alter the perception of the franchise potentially for many years to come. Steve Cohen, you better be smart about this….

Surprising Season?

Surprising Season?

The upcoming Premier League season begins on August 11 and heading into it, this may be one for the ages. Manchester City fresh off winning the illustrious treble and going three in a row for Premier League titles, with Erling Haaland breaking goal records, Luton Town in someone’s backyard at Kenilworth Road, and Brighton and Aston Villa posing threats, some of these predictions may come as a shock to some.


(Luton celebrating their promotion)
A fairy tale story, from points deduction to administration and non-league football to playing under the lights at Old Trafford, Anfield, and St. James’ Park, they are living in a dream. Coming up through the ranks of English football with heroes such as Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu and Tom Lockyer, those players deserve this moment.

The problem is, there is a massive quality gap between them and other teams. Now even when 110% percent is given, Wout Weghorst is no better than Alexander Isak. Additions of Tahith Chong from Birmingham City, Issa Kabore from Manchester City, and Ryan Giles from Wolves just won’t be enough to cut it at this level.


(Sheffield players back up after one season)
Unfortunately, the term ‘yo-yo club’ comes into the equation when speaking about Sheffield United. The Blades look like they just might be off the pace and without the creative tactics of Chris Wilder there to inspire the team, they might go right back down.

A team who lost Tommy Doyle and James McAtee to their parent club Manchester City and Iliman Ndiaye to Marseille, the firepower and creativity just aren’t there. Just like Luton Town the lack of quality at this point in the window to survive, even with Aaron Trusty strengthening the defence.


(Wolves player Goncalo Guedes)
The inevitable will become a reality. Wolverhampton have been on the periphery of relegation for the past two seasons and now I feel they won’t have enough to save themselves from the second tier. They needed goals for a long time ever since the headed injury of Raul Jimenez and that has still not been addressed. Diego Costa, Sasa Kalajdzic, Matheus Cunha, none have worked and time is wearing thin.

They have also lost their captain Ruben Neves to Saudi side Al-Hilal, Nathan Collins to Brentford, and Raul Jimenez to Fulham, and they could be losing manager Julen Lopetegui due to lack of investment. Matt Doherty’s return is not enough, and if they don’t strengthen before the end of the window, this prediction could become a reality.


(Bournemouth players celebrating a goal)
The Cherries of Bournemouth are in this position where sacking Gary O’Neil will prove to be a clanger of a mistake. Last season was horrendous with Scott Parker in charge, and when O’Neil took over, they were revolutionized. Phillip Billing scoring goals from midfield was the brightest spark with Solanke, Semenyo, and Tavernier chipping in.

This season will not be easy as they try to avoid second-season syndrome and remain in the top division. They have made decent additions to the squad with Justin Kluivert, Andrei Radu, and possibly Alex Scott, but to have them all gel and test their mettle in the Premier League will be tough this season.


(From Left: Demarai Gray, Conor Coady, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Alex Iwobi)
After back-to-back relegation threatened seasons, Sean Dyche’s men will finally have some relief in terms of positioning in the league. Dyche is a man who has never been relegated with any team, the ginger man has a tough task ahead. With influential, and arguably their best player last season Demarai Gray on his way to Fulham, a winger is desperately needed.

You could say they have already replaced him with the acquisition of Arnaut Danjuma on loan from Villarreal, with the player previously playing in the Premier League with Bournemouth and Tottenham. The loss of Conor Coady could be easily covered by the emergence of Jarrad Branthwaite and Amadou Onana and Alex Iwobi building a decent partnership. The goals will come as Dominic Calvert-Lewin is looking to overcome his injury problems to be back amongst the goals.


(Winners of the EFL Championship Burnley)
Champions of the second division Burnley come in 15th where Vincent Kompany’s ball-playing squad has a good chance to finish. The tiki-taka playing team has evolved their playstyle since Kompany took charge and that play is exactly what is needed to stay up. In certain games confidence, power, and determination, are the ingredients needed to stay in the top division and Burnley has them all.

They already had a good squad with Manuel Benson and CJ Egan-Riley, and with the additions of Jacob Bruun Larsen, Dara O’Shea, and James Trafford, the Clarets look to have a great chance of survival in their first season back in the big time. One note to make is that we have seen this before with last season, where a young promising goalkeeper left Manchester City for big money with international experience and club experience no higher than League One with Gavin Bazunu last season and his team got relegated. Hopefully, Trafford doesn’t face the same fate.


(Nottingham talisman Brennan Johnson [center])
The men from the City Ground have proved doubters wrong last season by finishing above the relegation zone and they will only build on this success. Nottingham Forest led by Steve Cooper in the dugout and Taiwo Awoniyi and Morgan Gibbs-White on the pitch, Forest have a good chance to rival other teams for a mid-table spot.

Adding to that with pacy winger Anthony Elanga and American goalie Matt Turner, there should be no reason they don’t improve. The only thing that could derail their season is losing Brennan Johnson late in the window, however, it seems difficult for any team to fork out $62 million for the Welsh international.


(Palace star Eberechi Eze)
The Eagles in 13th or mid-table mediocrity is almost every season. No matter how much you may like Palace, the players, or chairman Steve Parish, there has to be an admittance of regression this season. Keeping Roy Hodgson as manager for the upcoming season may prove to be a mistake with his pragmatic style of play. Players like Eze, Michael Olise, and Matheus Franca are flair players who don’t suit that style of play.

Losing club legend Wilfred Zaha to Galatasaray this summer is a massive blow and forward reinforcements are needed. They are currently in talks to sign Che Adams from Southampton before the window shuts, Lewis Hall will join Selhurst on loan, and Jefferson Lerma already made the move from Bournemouth earlier in the window but it just won’t be enough to break the top 10.


(Europa Conference League winners West Ham United)
From European champions to relegation fighters, West Ham have only themselves to blame. Losing captain Declan Rice to Arsenal is a massive blow as you’ve taken the insides of that team and left them spineless. With the Hammers, they were in and around this region last season due to a lack of fit and firing forwards. Michail Antonio could be on his way out of London as Everton has shown interest and so have Al-Ettifaq of Saudi Arabia. Gianluca Scamacca has been a flop if I’ve ever seen one and is on his way back to Italy, meaning West Ham have no top striker (Danny Ings is there) and a lack of midfield options.

Tomas Soucek is not enough and they need more. Over the past few days, the London-based club has agreed terms with the representatives of Mexican Edson Alvarez and also a fee with Ajax. They have already been priced out of moves for Scott McTominay and James Ward-Prowse so things may get difficult during the season. Somehow they will turn around their fortunes, with or without David Moyes.


(From left: Antonee Robinson, Willian, Andreas Pereira, and Joao Pahlihna)
This prediction is more of the way the league is going than Fulham themselves. The top 10 teams have just strengthened in superior ways that make Fulham fall back in terms of positioning. They have recruited very well with Calvin Bassey from Ajax, Raul Jimenez from Wolves, and potentially Demarai Gray and Callum Hudson-Odoi which helps them in areas they were lacking.

The Cottager’s biggest addition, however, was keeping Marco Silva at the club after Al Ahli offered him a contract worth over $40 million. That is essential in progressing with this team, and he is the perfect manager to develop the players that they currently have in Pereira, Lukic, etc. They will be their same dangerous selves, and keep more clean sheets, but there is uncertainty over goals.


(Josh Da Silva and Aaron Hickey)
Mid-table, pushing the top 8 till the end, that’s where I place Brentford for the 23/24 season. To be completely honest, they could be lower as the performances of Mark Flekken don’t inspire me with confidence. David Raya is on his way to Premier League team Arsenal and if Flekken is the number one, there could be massive problems. Maybe it is time for Strakosha?

On the bright side, they managed to sign Kevin Schade on a permanent deal and broke their club record to sign defender Nathan Collins. Thomas Frank is somewhat of a magician for the work he has done and is one of the top 8 managers in the league, but this season may be his toughest yet, especially without Ivan Toney.


(Spurs fans waiving the flag high)
Spursy Spurs in 9th and some would think they could be lower based on how the rest of the league improved. With a defense that was shocking, to say the least, last season with Eric Dier, reinforcing that back-line is a must and they have sorted that with Mickey Van De Ven from Wolfsburg and young Ashley Phillips from Blackburn. James Maddison is a most needed creative addition in the midfield, but the question remains; what happens to Harry Kane?

Tottenham has rejected a bid from Bayern Munich worth $120 million for the English striker. If Tottenham do lose Kane, they have options in Randal Kolo Muani from Frankfurt, Jonathan David from Lille, and Medhi Taremi from Porto. The problem is Kane scored about 44% of Tottenham’s goals last season, and that would be a massive hole to fill.


(The Blues of Stamford Bridge)
The high-spending Chelsea who spent over $660 million and finished 12th last season will have spent over $180 million and will finish 8th. Signing Axel Disasi, Christopher Nkunku, Nicholas Jackson, and Robert Sanchez to add to a semi-bloated squad and having Mauricio Pochettino in charge is hope for Chelsea fans.

They will be in and around the mix at the top, but just changing the manager won’t fix everything, especially not in one season. The mixture of new egos, new ideas, and new philosophies will all be on show at Stamford Bridge and I am all here for it.


(Villa star striker Ollie Watkins)
The more things change the more they remain the same and I think Villa will be in the exact same position as last season, but maybe with a trophy. The Villains exploded under Unai Emery when he was appointed and that form may also continue.

The firepower of Ollie Watkins will continue to burn bright, with the addition of Moussa Diaby with Emi Buendia on the flanks, with Pau Torres reinforcing the defense with Diego Carlos the team looks outstanding. The challenge of playing two/three games a week may prove to be their biggest challenge.


(The “Toon Army”)
The money boys of the league Newcastle owned by the Saudi-led PIF foundation have put Newcastle where they belong amongst England’s elite after just one season. This upcoming season however will prove more difficult than the last.

Even though they have made arguably the signing of the season in Sandro Tonali, and got Tino Liveramento from Southampton and Harvey Barnes from Leicester City, the physicality of playing against Europe’s elite will ultimately be their downfall in the league.


(The Reds of Merseyside)
Undoubtedly, Liverpool has improved their team replacing Jordan Henderson with Alexis Mac Allister, and replacing James Milner with Dominik Szoboszlai, however, the lack of defensive reinforcements is what will hurt Liverpool this season. They are an injury in the center-back position away from being a mediocre team.

The other issue is that they still have a hole in the midfield and defending the counter will be challenging. They are still pushing for Romeo Lavia from Southampton, Leeds’ Tyler Adams is also an option, but until they fix the midfield, 5th is the best against the odds.


(The Seagulls fly high)
The best footballing side in the league, and possibly the world, will be challenging for the most part this season and will go deep in all competitions. Next season, they should be punching in the weight class of Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, and Napoli.

The signings of Mo Dahoud, Igor, and Joao Pedro take the team to another level, whether they lose Moises Caicedo or not. Levi Colwill will be a distant memory when fans get a taste of Igor and the way Robert De Zerbi wants them to play, I can see them entertaining us for the entire season.


(Mikel Arteta’s Gunners)
The side that pushed Manchester City all the way last season, the Gunners I feel have not massively improved. Signing Declan Rice and David Raya does improve the team, but they still have no replacement for Gabriel Jesus or Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Kai Havertz was signed and he can play as a striker, but he lacks the physicality, pace, and composure needed to be a number nine to win the league. Also, Kieran Tierney has been off the pace for the past 18 months, and having only one left back can prove costly.


(Champions League Final scorer Rodri [left])
The most controversial pick that could have been made is putting the treble winners Manchester City finishing as runners-up in the league. The thing is they have regressed and it is obvious. Losing Ilkay Gundogan is going to hurt City more than they know. He has been the only player to keep his form throughout the business end between February and May.

Yes, they still have Erling Haaland. Yes, Kevin De Bruyne is still there, but there is something that tells me City will be starting slow again but without Gundogan’s intelligence on the pitch, some games they narrowly won last season will turn into draws and possibly lose.


(New signing Rasmus Hojlund with manager Erik Ten Hag)
Maybe it is red-tinted glasses, or maybe I’m just an idiot, but Manchester United for me will be the Premier League champions for the 2023/24 season. The Dutch magician in the dugout in Erik Ten Hag developing this team to become a household force once more.

With Rasmus Hojlund, a young striker who gives off vibes of a certain Bulgarian forward who ran the show during his time at Manchester United, and if that potential is released, it will be scary but not for us.



(Reggae Girlz captain and striker Khadija Shaw)
With no steady local league, a federation that doesn’t fund the team as they should, and a GoFundMe account to send them to Australia, the Jamaica Reggae Girlz have made history once more in the FIFA Women’s World Cup as they have made it to the round of 16 for the first ever time, and first as a Caribbean nation.

The first bit of history was getting a positive result, a point to France on the opening matchday thanks to a ‘woman’ of the match performance from Deneisha Blackwood and a steady and impenetrable defensive partnership of Chantelle and Allison Swaby. This performance, however, was overshadowed by captain Khadija Shaw picking up a suspension after two soft challenges. The player who set scoring records at Manchester City this season scoring 31 goals would be unavailable against Panama.

(A bemused Shaw as were the rest of us)
Before we continue with the transition of the team through the group stages, just have to give a big shoutout to Cedella Marley, daughter of musical icon Robert Nesta Marley, who has kept this team believing, the one who single handedly funds this team from time to time.

The Jamaican Football Federation led by Michael Ricketts has done nothing for football really, men or women, but they at least pay the match fee for the Boyz. They have been a disgrace ever since he was elected and as a Jamaican seeing this first hand it is even worst than what the Glazers do with Manchester United. Without Cedella Marley, none of this would be possible.

(The woman of the moment Cedella Marley)
In the second group game against Panama, there was a golden chance to stake a claim for progression and when Trudi Carter swung in that peach of a cross for captain Allison Swaby to nod in, Jamaica was in dreamland. No Shaw no problem. With other players stepping up, it made things clearer; draw against Brazil and history.

It was time and my eyes were barely open at 4 o’clock in the morning but the support of the Girlz is needed. Jamaica vs. Brazil, Leticia vs. Spencer, Shaw vs. Marta. A showdown for the ages.

(Deneisha Blackwood leading the dance party)
What a game it was, attack vs. Defence with Brazil peppering the Jamaican custodian Spencer, but the Tottenham goalie was up to the task. There were some fortunate breakaways led by Shaw and even Jody Brown leading to shots fired on target but not challenging the Brazilian keeper.

Full-time struck and jubilation in the heart of the 876, bittersweet in the end as Marta calls it time on her international career, and Jamaicans young and old all celebrated the draw, with the country also going the group stages without conceding a goal. Rebecca Spencer, the first Jamaican Goalkeeper with three straight clean sheets in a World Cup campaign. Next up for the Girlz, is a RO16 clash against either Germany or Colombia and one the world’s eyes will be on.