Football Insights - Didi Hamann
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Football Insights - Didi Hamann

Former Premier League star Didi Hamann had a glittering 20-year trophy laden career representing clubs like Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Manchester City, not to mention being capped 59-times by Germany and finishing runner-up with his nation in the 2002 World Cup, and with his former clubs being the center of attention ahead of the Community Shield, who better to give his expert opinions ahead of the new season!


On The Community Shield

 

Based on pre-season, surely an easy win for Man City is on the horizon?

I could see Man City running away with the Community Shield and would make them favourites. I wouldn't read too much into pre-season results because that's just about building up fitness, but at Liverpool, some of the key players haven't played too many minutes and therefore I'd make Man City favourites. I think they'll win it.

 

Nunez and Haaland facing off for the first time. Who comes out on top?

We need to see if they both start first because of course both teams want to win it but the first game of the season the week after is the one they'll focus on.

I'd probably go with Erling Haaland to come out on top against Darwin Nunez.

 

Can you see either team winning the quadruple this year, Liverpool so close last year, have Man City surpassed them?

Liverpool and Man City are both capable of dominating in a number of competitions this season but I don't think the position that Liverpool were in last season will be repeated any time soon.

Psychologically it will be tough for Liverpool because they know they can't play much better than they did last year and so I think Man City have an advantage in that respect.

 

Can VVD handle the presence of Haaland? Who comes out on top in that battle?

I don't know of any player that Virgil Van Djik can't handle. What he's done at Liverpool for the last two to three years has been phenomenal. He took a bit of time to come back after his cruciate ligament injury but he's as good as ever.

Van Djik doesn't mind a physical challenge and it will be a different test for him because Erling Haaland is one of the top two or three strikers in the world but the composure and authority that Van Djik has will mean he'll be ok.

 

Score prediction?

I think Man City will win 3-1


On Liverpool

 

Another loss for Liverpool in pre-season with Klopp claiming there were too many mistakes made. Is this a worry for the Reds so close to the season?

Fans shouldn't be worried about Liverpool's pre-season form. RB Salzburg have already started their season so in terms of fitness they're two or three weeks ahead of Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp made a lot of changes so I wouldn't read too much into that result.

It remains to be seen how the dynamics of the team change because Darwin Nunez is a different player to Firmino who made the centre-forward position his own for the last few years.

And then in Sadio Mane, Liverpool lost a player who averaged over 20 goals and ten or 15 assists per season and we need to see if Luis Diaz can do that. He had a good start to his Liverpool career but whether he can do it year in, year out remains to be seen.

The biggest issue with Liverpool is the lack of an attacking midfielder. They need to find a few goals from midfield but the way they're set up now I can't see them doing that.

 

Roberto Firmino is close to joining Juventus for a reported £19m. Is that a fair reflection of his value or should Liverpool be asking for more / less?

Roberto Firmino hasn't played that much over the last couple of seasons and there's obviously a reason for that.

If Liverpool get the reported £20-25m fee then I can definitely see him leaving.

 

Linked with Marco Asenjo in recent weeks, is he a viable replacement?

Liverpool don't need to replace Roberto Firmino because they've got Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez.

Marco Asenjo is familiar to Firmino and is a very capable player and in a team like Liverpool, he could easily rejuvenate his career.

 

As far as transfers go, a lot of departures. Highly-rated Neco Williams leaving for Nottingham Forest, is he the type of player that can help them secure PL survival?

Nico Williams is a very good player and he needs game time so I think it was a good move and the right move and he'll help Nottingham Forest massively to stay in the Premier League.


On Aston Villa 

 

Former Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is into another season with Aston Villa, how do you see them performing this season?

Steven Gerrard did really well last season. Phillipe Coutinho is there on a permanent deal now and even though expectations will be higher, he can handle the pressure and he'll know what it takes to succeed.

I was taken aback by the way he took on the job and the way he spoke after games. It's not an easy thing to do when you're full of emotion for 90 minutes. Gerrard has handled things really well so far and I don't expect that to change this season.

 

Made a huge decision to change captaincy around this year, is that a big risk given Mings is a fan favourite?

Sometimes the wrong decision is better than no decision and if Steven Gerrard feels that this is the way it should be done and the captaincy needs a change then that's his job [to sort it out].

Taking the captaincy away from players can also make them feel free again because we've seen in the past that it's a big responsibility to be a captain in the Premier League and maybe Tyrone Mings will be better suited if he's not the captain.

 

John McGinn taking over, a good player but is he really captain material?

John McGinn is a good choice for the Aston Villa captaincy. He's ever-present, rarely injured and I think that most importantly you need a player who averages 80-90% of the games and in McGinn, Gerrard has a player like that. It's a smart move and one that will work out.


On Newcastle

 

Linked with £35m move for Jack Harrison from Leeds. Is that price tag too steep?

The problem for Newcastle is that everyone knows that they have money now. Jack Harrison may be £25m for other clubs but Newcastle it's £35m and sometimes when other clubs know you have money it can be a hindrance because a lot of players cost double their value.

£35m is steep for Harrison, but he's a player that would definitely help Newcastle.

 

Is he better off staying at Leeds or is Newcastle the better option?

Jack Harrison could momentarily better himself by going to Newcastle but Leeds have added some good players to their squad.

Jesse Marsch has signed players that he knows and I think they could be the Premier League dark horse this year because everyone is talking about Leeds getting relegated but I think they'll be ok.

If Harrison wants to play international football in Europe then Newcastle will do that in the next few years and he may want to move on.

 

Another player they’re linked with Nicholas Pepe from Arsenal who is reportedly open to a move. Is that something of a coup for the Magpies?

Nicholas Pepe has shown glimpses of what he can do and when he's on form he's as good to watch as anyone else but the risk is too big for me.

Newcastle are a special club and I think the pressure could be even bigger than at Arsenal because at Arsenal the expectations are lower.

For a player who performs well one in every eight games, I'd leave that transfer alone if I were Newcastle.

 

Dwight Gayle leaving for Stoke, is the Championship his level? Not a starter but are Newcastle leaving their forward options too limited so close to the season?

If Dwight Gayle can score goals in the Championship then he can have another crack at the Premier League next season.

I think Newcastle will be fine with finding a replacement because a lot of transfers do happen in the last week of the window and they will have plenty of options.

 

Armand Broja linked with a move from Chelsea, are they stupid to be letting another talented youth product go?

I don't know what plans Chelsea have because they do need a striker so I am surprised that they'll let Armando Broja leave.

Tammy Abraham is another one who left and has done really well and I think clubs like Chelsea have too many players.

The system is wrong. There should be a restriction on how many players you can have under contract because now these clubs just loan the players out. It's a flaw in the system but in Broja's case, he's a tremendous talent so I'm surprised they're letting him leave.

 

A lot of big money players are linked, are Newcastle at risk of becoming victims of their own downfall? Players only moving for big payday..

Newcastle having money is a risk because you have you make sure players aren't just coming for the money. So far they've withstood all these agent offers and I am liking what they're building so far.


On Manchester City

 

Zinchenko latest departure. Will Man City regret letting him go?

Oleksandr Zinchenko was an underrated player at Man City and very versatile. Whenever he plays he does perform. I think that both Zinchencko and Jesus are big losses for Man City.

 

Zinchenko and Jesus signed for Arsenal now.. Are they going under the radar for a strong top-four finish?

Arsenal are genuine top four contenders this season, they just need to be consistent. Both Arsenal and Tottenham are top four contenders and Chelsea and United will have their work cut out if they want to get into the Champions League.

 

How much of a loss for Brighton will Cucurella? Do they have the pulling power to recruit a suitable replacement in time for the new season?

Brighton have plenty of time to get a replacement and they'll get a great fee for Marc Cucurella and if he wants to leave then it'll be hard for Brighton to stand in his way.


England v Germany

 

Much like the mens Euros, Germany face England in the Womens final.. The Lionesses look unstoppable.. Can Germany cope with them?

The two best teams are in the final and it'll be a great game. There's a belief in the German camp that they can go on and take the trophy home. The home advantage will be huge for England but I hope Germany win and I think they will even though England were outstanding in the semi-final.

I think the England men's team should've won and they only have themselves to blame, but maybe the England women's team can go one better.

 

Who wins the Women’s Euros?

Germany will win 3-2

 

 

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