2007/08 Soccer Thread - Euro Fever!

Having watched the game, I think Spurs would have beaten the four or five players that would have made Arsenal a first-team side.

We were aggressive on and off the ball, very lucky on Bendtner's richochet, and just generally the better side (through both legs.) Don't even get me started on Walcott's Hand of God goal in the first game, which accounted for fully 50% of Arsenal's scoring over the two legs.

I had my doubts about Ramos, but I'm coming around. Poyet's a cool guy too. These crazy Spaniards.

Too bad Havant & Waterloo, but they gave a wonderful showing of themselves. Tie of the next round of the FA Cup is assuredly going to be Arsenal v. Man U, which should be a sight better than their god-awful snoozefest in 2005.

As an aside, if you haven't been trying to follow the African Cup of Nations, you're missing out on some freaking amazing goals. 101GreatGoals.com has compiled the best 10 from the week, and they're absolute crackers (#6 is just ridiculous).

Some notes on other subjects:

Eddie Johnson signed for Fulham last week. I have no idea why. I know you want to cut your teeth abroad, but doing it with a team in disarray, that's second only to Derby in terms of incompetence (Lord, poor Eddie Lewis and Benny Feilhaber). You're telling me he couldn't have found an interested team in the Championship, where he could've cut his teeth properly? Eddie turns into a fantastic player in FM 2008. Real life is not FM 2008. The U.S. has created some good Football talent, but absolutely none of that has been in the attacking third yet (sorry Clint). So i'm surprised at both ends, that they think that Eddie's going to be ready for this jump. I just don't.

I think Tottenham signing Jonathan Woodgate is a good move. However, it comes with the biggest if ever, because it relies on if Woodgate can stay healthy. Mind you, Woodgate is one of the most consistent Treatment Table attendees in English Football, up there with Michael Owen.

I remember when the Glazers took over at Manchester United, and I thought a lot of the backlash was just xenophobia. Turns out, screaming about the Americans is just a way to give them, and Gillette and Hicks more abuse, because neither of those parties have been running their respective clubs particularly well, although the latter pair obviously have screwed it up in more hilarious fashion. I'll be honest, I don't see any other outcome than both leaving within the next 5 years in a quick cash-out, burdening the clubs with a metric ton of debt. It was a moneymaking move, it always was a moneymaking move, and I (and others, probably) were naive to believe otherwise.

I mention them because there are more Americans getting into the Premiership, albeit at Derby. They've promised not to pull a Hicks/Gillette, but I wonder if they really understand that taking over there isn't about this season, which is lost, but about next year. At least Randy Lerner at Villa seems to get how to do it.

A CONCACAF Champions League? I'm down, if we can get the Mexican clubs to take it seriously and not hold it in even lesser regard than the [ur=lhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copa_Su... Sudamericana[/url].

Oh my, I never thought that anyone here on GWJ might be even vaguely interested in *real* football and I'm glad that you've proven me wrong.
Right now I'm completely sucked into FM 2008, probably last time I commited that much time to manager was back in CM3/CM4 times. I saw it mentioned few times in here. Anyone interested in getting into Football Manager Live when it finally launches? It would be great to establish own GWJ group in-game as it will be community-centered and playing it without friends might be rather poor idea.

Omg! Sweet! West Ham finished one against Liverpool, all but ending the title hopes of the Reds. Boa Morte could've made the score silly, but flubbed twice in the game on two easy, easy shots.

Not much to post besides Arsenal and ManU keeping the race red hot.

2-0 Manuuuuure. ;P
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH7A3wt5oZY Portuguese one two goal. Hopefully they can replicate that at this years euro!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quGVxa_Wjfs goal of the season? freekick of the season at least. Key part is he makes it dip with pretty much no spin just pure power. The ball does maybe one rotation in the air.

3-0 The Arsenal!

http://www.trungso.com/2008/01/arsenal-vs-newcastle-3-0-goal-highlights-29-01-2008.html

first goal classic Arsenal build up. Second goal Flamster rocket! Third to Cesc with an easy one after a good pass.

and an extra treat.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCEXkik6Iuk
old but good. Damn he was amazing. Too bad RVP cant stay healthy long enough to be compared.

Bergkamp's technique was absolutely impeccable. I don't think i've seen many who could control the ball as deftly as him.

Anyone else surprised that Ronaldinho didn't leave Barca during the Transfer window? His career there is flaming out for multiple reasons (lack of drive/desire, constant partying, essentially getting to be the best and not having the insane drive that greats like Michael Jordan had) and there were constant rumors of him leaving for AC Milan or Inter.

Jermaine Defoe will be trying to resurrect his career at Portsmouth while Benjani makes for Manchester City. Pleh.

And Brad Guzan will not be joining Aston Villa after all, as he had his work permit turned down.

Arsenal - Man City 3-1 was another display which left me completely thrilled, make sure to look for replays.

IMAGE(http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44412000/jpg/_44412373_nkong_afp416.jpg)

IMAGE(http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44412000/jpg/_44412713_egyptwin_afp416.jpg)

African Cup of Nations people!

Ghana 0-1 Cameroon

Ivory Coast 1-4 Egypt

Those are really two upsets, as good as Cameroon are. Ghana is the home nation and had been playing really, really well, and the Ivory Coast was being hailed as possibly the greatest African team ever after they'd all but annihilated everyone in their path. I know I would've preferred a Ghana v. Ivory Coast final (though I wouldn't have seen it) but, you take what you can get.

Fabio's first game in charge is a spotty 2-1 win over Switzerland. Fneh.

Meanwhile, America tied 2-2 with El Tri, which i'll take, to be honest.

Chelsea v. Liverpool at the weekend. Should be interesting.

Man U lose 2-1 to Man City on the day that they remember the Munich disaster.... Upset fails to describe this lose with Benjani scoring in his first game for City.

Arsenal 2-0 Blackburn. the Togonator extends his scoring streak to 7 games... and the lead to 5 points!

Chelsea and Liverpool play to a sleep inducing 0-0 draw which pretty much leaves Chelsea dead for the title 8 points back with 12 games left.

over in the SPL Real smash Valladolid 7-0. Caught the first half highlights of this then watched the second half and just wow. The score line is misleading as Vall kept a high line the whole game but Real have done an amazing job in the last 2 years transforming their squad. Filled with Galatacios who are still productive and youth with a very bright future. Raul, Ruud, Iker and Canavaro are great while they have Marcello, Sergio Ramos, Robinho, Gago, Pepe, Sneijder and Drenthe all relatively young looking great already.

jowner wrote:

Arsenal 2-0 Blackburn. the Togonator extends his scoring streak to 7 games... and the lead to 5 points!

Have you seen this? First fifteen minutes of Arsenal's domination were really impressive, it looked like they were playing against League Two side at times.

AC Milan's Ronaldo ruptured a tendon in his right knee yesterday, during an Italian league game.

Looks like this is the end of his career. Well at least his European career. He could always decide to follow in the footsteps of Romario... or come to MLS.

I have news. Mildly football related news.

Essentially, if you've been watching me ramble on here, and actually enjoyed a bit of what I say but wished it was focused a bit more, say on one particular team from Berkshire, then you're in luck.

I recently was hired by one of my favorite Footy blogs, The Offside to write their Reading blog. While I am a Fulham fan first and foremost, Reading was the second team I ever fell in love with, more or less. So yeah, i'll be writing there a few times a week about the Royals and the relegation dogfight.

Or, if you don't want to read all this crap, just check out the link in my signature. That I'll have up soon enough.

Prederick wrote:

I have news. Mildly football related news.

Essentially, if you've been watching me ramble on here, and actually enjoyed a bit of what I say but wished it was focused a bit more, say on one particular team from Berkshire, then you're in luck.

Nice, Pred. If you ever get the urge to come over and experience Madjeski stadium for yourself, you can stay at ours! Its only a half hour or so away.

Are you a Arsenal fan? Today sucked for you then.

Are you a Liverpool fan? Today sucked for you then.

Are you a Southampton fan? Today sucked for you then, albeit not as badly as the previous two.

Today certainly did suck for North London and the red part of Merseyside, as ManU bitchslapped Arsenal 4-0 in a game that featured so much shambolic defending from the Wengaboys (Eh? Eh? See what I did there?) that Darren Fletcher scored. Oh, and Emmanuel Eboue's a prick. Arsenal could've had three men sent off, and were lucky to only have to gotten one.

It may all be coming to an end for Rafa Benitez at Liverpool. Their midweek meeting with Inter Milan looms large, after losing 2-1 to Barnsley thanks to a last-minute strike. Rafa's rotation policy strikes again? The good money seems to be saying yes. If they don't get past Inter (and I doubt, on this form, they will), expect to see Rafa handed his pink slip/P45 in the immediate future.

Meanwhile, Chelsea beat Huddersfield 3-1, Bristol Rovers beat Southampton 1-0, and West Brom put 5 past Coventry.

In Spain, things may have just gotten interesting again, as Real Madrid contrived to lose 2-1 to Real Betis, while Barcelona managed a 2-1 win over Zaragoza. And in Italy it's same-old same-old, with Inter winning 2-0 over Livorno. Juve beat Roma 1-0, and AC Milan drew with Parma 0-0, leaving Inter 11 points up and the league title, essentially, in their hands.

Prederick wrote:

Today certainly did suck for North London and the red part of Merseyside, as ManU bitchslapped Arsenal 4-0 in a game that featured so much shambolic defending from the Wengaboys (Eh? Eh? See what I did there?) that Darren Fletcher scored. Oh, and Emmanuel Eboue's a prick. Arsenal could've had three men sent off, and were lucky to only have to gotten one.

Was it that bad? I haven't seen it but I've heard that Wenger only had 14 players suitable to play and within that fourteen four were reporting various muscle injuries.

Arsenal played horribly but it will all be forgotten if Arsenal can take a comfortable lead against AC on Wednesday. Losing away to Man U 4-0 stings but losing to Barnsley at home would of been much worse.

Funny part is if Pool sack Benitez after the eventual Inter lose they would be sewering their chances at 4th spot also. I think hes done after this season but no sooner as they cant afford to finish 5th also.

2-1 Roma Real... Away goal for real is key.

1-0 Shalke Porto... Good start for Shalke, Porto still have a shot with 2nd leg in Porto but it wont be easy.

0-0 Chelsea Olympiacos Zzzzzzzzz man was this a snoozer. Wheres that attacking Avram grant football?

2-0 Liverpool Inter. Whata farce by the ref. I hate Matterazzi as much as the next non Italian but come on. Let him atleast earn the yellows before you send him walking. Poor guy was a victim of his own reputation. Liverpool were going to win this game anyways on the first 30 minutes but inviting an Italian team to defend for 60 minutes really killed any potential this game for being a classic and maybe even the tie as down 2-0 is a very steep mountain.

Off to the pub to see todays games. Pretty sure they are showing Arsenal and the Manu games which in comparison to yesterday will be heaven. Why did I bother watching Liverpool and Chelsea, same old boring stuff.

Hopefully the gooners can rebound and I wont be crying in my glass.

When I saw ball bouncing off the crossbar in 94th minute, something broke inside me. Blah, for the first time in this season I really miss Henry.

Meh good game but would of been even better if Ade finished that last chance. 0-0 isn't the end of the world though so no worries. 1-1 away is possible and plausible and would mean a win.

I think Henry proved today he still has it and what he has is amazing. Awesome goal to tie the game and 2-2 away is already a huge result the 3rd goal from Messi was just icing that makes the 2nd leg pretty much not needed.

Back to Arsenal I think what they really missed today was on outright sniper. Rosicky and RvP both qualify but they also qualify as injury prone and made of glass. At the very least Eboue didn't do anything embarrassing and Walcott showed signs of greatness.

I contend that van Persie is the Dutch equivalent of Michael Owen, injury-wise. If he ever plays 30 games in a season, i'll eat my hat.

Ughhh my stomach hurts. Too much coffee waking up so early to watch the game. Eduardo out for the season. Walcott wakes up with his 2 first Prem goals. Ref gives 2 dodgey calls and Birmingham score on their only 2 chances. Arsenal should of put 4 in so the ref wouldn't of had any say in the match.

Go Newcastle? Keegan needs a win or hes gonna be fired.

jowner wrote:

Ughhh my stomach hurts. Too much coffee waking up so early to watch the game. Eduardo out for the season. Walcott wakes up with his 2 first Prem goals. Ref gives 2 dodgey calls and Birmingham score on their only 2 chances. Arsenal should of put 4 in so the ref wouldn't of had any say in the match.

Something died inside me. Ouch.

If you haven't seen the pictures and are squeamish then don't go looking for them.

With modern medicine I cant see his career being over but if its as bad as it looks he wont be playing until 2009. ;/

It was David Busst-esque from the pictures i've seen. I agree that it seems awfully sad that Eduardo will miss at least a year, maybe more, maybe his career, while Martin Taylor will get three games, maybe.

Whether it was intentional or not is a bit more iffy. Wenger was understandably enraged after the match, but has since retracted his criticism (of the "he should never play again" variety). Both McLeish and Steve Bruce have sprung to Martin Taylor's defense, although Bruce's "some would say it's not even a Yellow Card" defense is incomprehensibly retarded. Taylor's disciplinary record isn't that of a thug though (this is his only red card since joining Birmingham in 03/04, with only three yellows), but it was still an awful, awful challenge.

I haven't been looking for pictures, but I watched game itself, and Adebayor's and Cesc's faces were telling everything.
btw: Damn, and there shouldn't be penalty at all, I still feel mad about this - it was a clear challenge by clichy

I'm notching the Clichy penalty up as one of those the ref couldn't get right in real time and with his angle. Which means the refs owe Arsenal a questionable penalty in the future hopefully at Old Trafford maybe.

I guess its worth mentioning that Man U did capitalize on the dropped 2 by Arsenal. If Ronaldo could play Newcastle every week he would average 2 plus goals a game for his career. They are just dreadful against him. Hes now up to 29 goals in 30 games played.

2nd half of Carling Cup starting now. 1-0 Chelsea so far on a Drogba freekick.

jowner wrote:

2nd half of Carling Cup starting now. 1-0 Chelsea so far on a Drogba freekick.

Huh, if Drogba's back what are they going to do with Anelka? Are they using classic 4-4-2 or play their typical 4-3-2-1 (sort of) with lone striker? btw: How is Ballack performing lately? I've seen him only against Liverpool.

Just when I was scared that they will screw it again, Cesc proved me wrong - after all it seems that Arsenal and Fabregas punished Milan exactly the same way that Liverpool and Gerrard did. Wonderful match.

Didn't want to post anything after the Villa match and nows the time. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Just as people (even me) were starting to wonder about Cesc he pulls one out for the team. Its only going to get better now as by the time the next leg starts Rosicky and RvP could be back and Arsenal could give a real run at it. Don't even care who they get in the next round as they pretty much proved today that if they can go to the San Siro and pull a result the Nou Camp, Old Trafford, Anfield, Bernabeu and Stamford bridge are all conquerable.

btw: This season quarter-final pairs are decided by draw, yep? Could this time teams from the same country play against themselves or not?