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***The Soccer (The Real Football) Thread***


Irish Jet
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2 minutes ago, Panzer Division Marduk said:

Well, that's that for the season that promised something, but amounted to utter crap. Can now forget about Solskjaer's utter incompetence as a manager for a couple of months.

Cracking penalty shootout though. 

As a life long Chelsea fan growing up in London there is still one more game to go before the club season is done and dusted.

Then there is the whole Euros thing this summer.

Would North London implode completely if the Blues got Harry Kane?  Overly wishful thinking and lots of competition to land that guy but man, if any team needed a halfway reliable finisher who is not offsides every time it is Chelsea.

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Not too bothered about the CL Final, but it's funny how two of the ex Superleague teams are playing in a game that is less financially valuable than the Championship playoff final.  Hoping Brentford win that one. Just because Swansea knocked Barnsley out.

League of Ireland season's well underway now, just waiting for the restrictions to be lifted so I can head out to a game and watch some live football in person.

If Kane joined you lot, I think we'd see a collective meltdown from Spurs and Arsenal fans. And it's funny how Spurs were so quick to get rid of Poch, and now they're crawling back to him.

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On 5/27/2021 at 7:03 PM, EM31 said:

As a life long Chelsea fan growing up in London there is still one more game to go before the club season is done and dusted.

 

Congratulations.

Joel Glazer was scheduled to meet a United fans forum today, so right on cue, new stories came out linking United with the likes of Tripper, Varane and co beforehand. Then in the meeting the usual platitudes and guff about how they'll be active in the transfer market and that Old Trafford with be upgraded, he then claims the dividends the leeches take out are fair, and they have no intention of actually paying off the debt. So absolutely nothing new.

 

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16 hours ago, Panzer Division Marduk said:

Congratulations.

Joel Glazer was scheduled to meet a United fans forum today, so right on cue, new stories came out linking United with the likes of Tripper, Varane and co beforehand. Then in the meeting the usual platitudes and guff about how they'll be active in the transfer market and that Old Trafford with be upgraded, he then claims the dividends the leeches take out are fair, and they have no intention of actually paying off the debt. So absolutely nothing new.

 

Kind of like the feeling of hooking up with an overweight, rich sugar daddy only to find out he ain't so rich after all.

Chelsea have a bright future but they do need a legit goal scorer and someone needs to tell them it is way harder when the weight of expectations are upon you,

Zouma was a mistake which will need to be corrected.

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  • 1 month later...
9 hours ago, RoadFan said:

Messi leaving Barca…

Indeed.

Seems to be going to PSG. The squads that those state backed clubs have put together are just ridiculous. Messi, Ramos, Donnarumma, Wijnaldum - All joining on free transfers. 

City have spent £100m on Grealish and may have to spent near double that to get Kane. 

Hard for anyone to compete with that. 

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44 minutes ago, Panzer Division Marduk said:

Stoke need to put in a bid. 

Lukaku may be headed back to Chelsea and Harry Kane is not showing up for Spurs practices.... Interesting times.

Chelsea do need a bona fide finisher , there were so very many chances , particularly at the end of last year which were just begging for a legitimate closer. I fear Lukaku may at the point in his career where the next team who gives him a contract will be massively overpaying;

Harry Kane is every inch the great player but I am just not sure that City's light blue is going to suit him very well.

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First full week of EPL 85% in the books with two more games tomorrow.  All the heavy hitters scoring pretty convincing wins so far and the only surprise coming from Arsenal falling 2-0 to newly promoted Brentford.

My Blues got stronger with the signing of Lukaku for $131 Million this week and the squad as a whole looks to be very deep indeed. Getting a 3-0 win today over Crystal Palace without Lukaku, Kante, Ziyech, Chilwell, or Havertz even dressing.  To the extent there is a concern with Chelsea this season it might be at the back where some of the pieces still look to be a little "dodgy".

With all of that said it looks to be the big four once again this year. Chelsea, Man City, Man United and Liverpool with Spurs and perhaps Leicester or Everton in the hunt for champions league spots.

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Pogba having a great game in a red shirt, Bruno getting a hattrick without a penalty, Leeds getting destroyed, not a lot to complain for United fans. And the way Varane was announced to the crowd? Proper old school stuff, none of this "Pretentiously playing a piano" video garbage.

And on a lower level, it was weird being out at Gortakeegan Saturday afternoon. Mons were playing Portadown in a pre season friendly, and Portadown brought a decent crowd (and lots of cans) with them. First time a premier division team has played there in over nine years.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/29/2021 at 4:05 PM, EM31 said:

That was a heck of point for Chelsea at Anfield yesterday.

As for the straight red card, I don't really know.

The ref using just a still frame to decide the issue is a pretty big problem given the red card that followed.

Chelsea were incredible. Played them off the park 11 v 11 and never looked in too much danger even down a man. Hard to do at Anfield.

The red seemed harsh but I think it's the rule that's an issue. It seems to always be a straight red regardless of the level of intent. 

United with an extremely lucky point vs Wolves. They haven't been impressive but 7 points is a decent return at this stage and Ronaldo should give everyone at the club a huge boost. They have scary attacking options but still lack any sort of attacking structure. Fred playing every game in midfield is nothing short of embarrassing. He's abysmal. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Irish Jet said:

Chelsea were incredible. Played them off the park 11 v 11 and never looked in too much danger even down a man. Hard to do at Anfield.

The red seemed harsh but I think it's the rule that's an issue. It seems to always be a straight red regardless of the level of intent. 

United with an extremely lucky point vs Wolves. They haven't been impressive but 7 points is a decent return at this stage and Ronaldo should give everyone at the club a huge boost. They have scary attacking options but still lack any sort of attacking structure. Fred playing every game in midfield is nothing short of embarrassing. He's abysmal. 

 

 

Ronaldo is an incredible freak-of-nature level athlete but 36 is still 36.  For someone for whom part of his dominance has always been tied to his ability to move like a Gazelle on the field.... Well, the question is legitimately out there.  On the other hand bringing back a superstar to the place where he first made his top-flight bones is always good. (I do not include Lukaku in this since he never really delivered when he was at Chelsea the first time around) 

As for the rule I agree there needs to be some nuance added to the red card part of it.  A penalty and a booking would be sufficient in my opinion or at least leave it up to the referee to decide on the color of the card.  Not all handballs are the same,  When you are on the goal line and move your leg to block from point blank range (as Reece James did on Saturday) the arm is going to move as well which is what I think happened in this case but at least make some subjective judgement part of the formula.

Which brings me to my last point.  Under zero circumstances should such a game-changing "review" be based on a glance at a still frame which is what seems to have happened here. That referee needs to be sanctioned in some way for that element of the game on Saturday.  And while they are at it, a straight yellow for Mendy kicking the ball away in protest after several different Liverpool players escaped any sanction for similar if not worse kinking-the-ball-away to make a point.  Well, it all seems a little uneven.

 

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On a different note.  I know the sample size is small but Spurs look pretty darned competent so far which was always one of their issues.  The ability to be ruthless week in and week out.  Let's see how that goes.

 

<edited to add>

Could Arsenal go down?

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17 hours ago, EM31 said:

Ronaldo is an incredible freak-of-nature level athlete but 36 is still 36.  For someone for whom part of his dominance has always been tied to his ability to move like a Gazelle on the field.... Well, the question is legitimately out there.  On the other hand bringing back a superstar to the place where he first made his top-flight bones is always good. (I do not include Lukaku in this since he never really delivered when he was at Chelsea the first time around) 

As for the rule I agree there needs to be some nuance added to the red card part of it.  A penalty and a booking would be sufficient in my opinion or at least leave it up to the referee to decide on the color of the card.  Not all handballs are the same,  When you are on the goal line and move your leg to block from point blank range (as Reece James did on Saturday) the arm is going to move as well which is what I think happened in this case but at least make some subjective judgement part of the formula.

Which brings me to my last point.  Under zero circumstances should such a game-changing "review" be based on a glance at a still frame which is what seems to have happened here. That referee needs to be sanctioned in some way for that element of the game on Saturday.  And while they are at it, a straight yellow for Mendy kicking the ball away in protest after several different Liverpool players escaped any sanction for similar if not worse kinking-the-ball-away to make a point.  Well, it all seems a little uneven.

 

Yeah we'll have to see. Top scorer in Serie A last year which is a notoriously difficult league to do that. Scored more than Lukaku. Ronaldo is declining from greatest of all time levels so I think what is 36 to mortal men isn't quite the same for him. I think like Zlatan his intelligence with his movement as well as his technical brilliant will carry him a few more years. Obviously he isn't the force he was with United previously or with Madrid but he could still comfortably be our best player. With Pogba, Bruno, Sancho etc. we should have more creativity than Juventus had - I'm just not sure Ole is the best guy to oversee it. We heavily rely on individual quality to bail us out, there's very little in the way of attacking cohesion.

Yeah you're definitely correct about the reviews and it's not the first time that's happened. There's always obscene amounts of inconsistencies with how games are refereed and where the game is played is often a huge factor is which team gets decisions. 

17 hours ago, EM31 said:

On a different note.  I know the sample size is small but Spurs look pretty darned competent so far which was always one of their issues.  The ability to be ruthless week in and week out.  Let's see how that goes.

 

<edited to add>

Could Arsenal go down?

They've looked solid but they've been pretty lucky to get out of there with 9 points. Not sure it's sustainable - The opposite of Wolves who've had 3 good performances with 0 points. I imagine that will balance out although I suppose that's the difference between having quality finishers like Son. 

Arsenal are a shambles. You have players going to Instagram pleading to be let go while not even training with the first team. Have absolutely no idea what they're doing. They'll not get relegated but it's genuinely sad to see how they've fallen. Their fans hounded Wenger out of the club and it's beginning to look like he was holding the whole thing together. 

I see Chelsea signed Saul - Strengthening a strength. Comparing their midfield options to United's is sad. 

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3 hours ago, Irish Jet said:

Yeah we'll have to see. Top scorer in Serie A last year which is a notoriously difficult league to do that. Scored more than Lukaku. Ronaldo is declining from greatest of all time levels so I think what is 36 to mortal men isn't quite the same for him. I think like Zlatan his intelligence with his movement as well as his technical brilliant will carry him a few more years. Obviously he isn't the force he was with United previously or with Madrid but he could still comfortably be our best player. With Pogba, Bruno, Sancho etc. we should have more creativity than Juventus had - I'm just not sure Ole is the best guy to oversee it. We heavily rely on individual quality to bail us out, there's very little in the way of attacking cohesion.

Yeah you're definitely correct about the reviews and it's not the first time that's happened. There's always obscene amounts of inconsistencies with how games are refereed and where the game is played is often a huge factor is which team gets decisions. 

They've looked solid but they've been pretty lucky to get out of there with 9 points. Not sure it's sustainable - The opposite of Wolves who've had 3 good performances with 0 points. I imagine that will balance out although I suppose that's the difference between having quality finishers like Son. 

Arsenal are a shambles. You have players going to Instagram pleading to be let go while not even training with the first team. Have absolutely no idea what they're doing. They'll not get relegated but it's genuinely sad to see how they've fallen. Their fans hounded Wenger out of the club and it's beginning to look like he was holding the whole thing together. 

I see Chelsea signed Saul - Strengthening a strength. Comparing their midfield options to United's is sad. 

For Chelsea I need to see a little more before I am convinced that the defense really is fort Knox instead of the sieve that it was under Lampard.

This is setting up to be a really fun season where the early nod still needs to be given to City until we see differently.

As for United, they may not be as deep as Chelsea or City but their weakness may actually be the in the Manager's job.  He is no Ted Lasso

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5 hours ago, Irish Jet said:

 

Arsenal are a shambles. You have players going to Instagram pleading to be let go while not even training with the first team. Have absolutely no idea what they're doing. They'll not get relegated but it's genuinely sad to see how they've fallen. Their fans hounded Wenger out of the club and it's beginning to look like he was holding the whole thing together. 

 

Crazy how excited their so many of their fans were after they put six past West Brom's second string U23s. Them all thinking they've turned the corner, then City... and it's now AFTV's fault.

With Ronaldo, I dont think he will be the force he was, but I'm still looking forward to seeing him get on the end of Shaw's crosses. Though as people have said, Ole's callling the shots. The only man in the world who thinks Fred is a world class player when even Fred's family probably think his one legged blind older brother is better. Meanwhile Donny van de Beek sits on the bench week in, week out, wondering if he's going to be the Dutch Danny Drinkwater. And that Wolves game was daylight robbery.

 

Quote

We heavily rely on individual quality to bail us out, there's very little in the way of attacking cohesion.

This.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, that Spurs bubble certainly popped today.  I know, I know, down to ten men for most of the second half but Palace were beating Tottenham's asses up and down the pitch all day long.  Very fair result in the end.  Zaha was outstanding All day.

The Tanganga red was a bit iffy.  I thought the referee could have given a straight red for the initial infraction and maybe a some of that was in his mind when Tanganga made a bit of a clumsy challenge a few minutes later.  I did not think the second one was a bookable foul.

No more perfect record teams remain.

Old man river later today :D

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