2007/08 Soccer Thread - Euro Fever!

jowner wrote:
I'll give a loaded slanted bias review of Arsenal's first game:

For the first 83 minutes I think until the penalty was awarded complete gloom and dread over the entire season. By the time the 90th hit 180 degree switch and pure excitement over the potential. Not gona lie the way Fullham scored and Arsenal reacted all I could think of was god no no no no not an entire season of this but pulling off the win with such a streaky player getting the winner was megatons of anxiety of relief. As far as individual play goes Hleb made a strong case of not losing his spot, Eboue looked effective as a right winger and works very well with Sagna who is damn solid and the best suprise was Bendtner who came on and looked like a super sub. Adebeyor has pretty much lost his spot on the squad unless hes brilliant when he comes back because this Bendtner kid is hungry to prove his spot. Between RVP, Da Silva, Bendtner and playing 5 in midfield Adebeyor is going to have to shine when he gets his chances to play.

On the Rooney injury. Manu might have to consider bringing in another striker depending on the Ole and Saha injuries. Having 0 strikers on the bench proved disastrous in the Reading game and assuming they hurry Tevez into action next game they could be dropping points early all because they sold Alan Smith too early and not closer the deadline, go figure. This season is getting dramatic fast!

I think ManU will be fine without Rooney, especially if Tevez is up to form; I read that he was being called up to start in place of Rooney.

Arsenal are young, so you'll probably want to stock up on heart medicine for games. I can see a few of these "get scored on early, but since we're ridiculously fit and talented, you'll get scored on later" games that give me fits watching (or playing in them).

They're not hitting the Panic Button at Tottenham mind, but they are gently caressing the "heart palpitations" button.

Prederick wrote:
They're not hitting the Panic Button at Tottenham mind, but they are gently caressing the "heart palpitations" button.

Watched the majority of the game and they are just not clicking at all. They have a very interesting schedule for the start of the season that could really make or break it for them. Derby at home, ManU away, Fullham away, then it gets real tricky Arsenal home, Bolton away, Aston Villa home, Liverpool away, Newcastle away and Blackburn home. Derby, Fullham and maybe Bolton should be wins but the rest are gonna take a serious turn around.

First 11 games and then it gets easier but they could be playing some serious catchup by the start of November.

jowner wrote:
Prederick wrote:
They're not hitting the Panic Button at Tottenham mind, but they are gently caressing the "heart palpitations" button.

First 11 games and then it gets easier but they could be playing some serious catchup by the start of November.

We stumbled early last year, to be honest, but I hope it doesn't take us too long to sort things out with that schedule.
With Daws, Bale, and Ledley out, I'm not expecting us to keep anything out of the net. And with Lennon gone...
Its disappointing, but its still early in the season.

Thank god Mido's on the way out, though.

Ronaldo red and ManU are going into the ManCity derby away with no Rooney no Ronaldo and 2 points from 2 games.... Pretty much the worst start they could of got off to and not to rub it in I'm loving it :D.

We really need Liverpool to beat Chelsea in the first big clash of the top 4 to keep this interesting early because after yesterdays halftime swing around I don't think Chelsea are going to drop many points to the lower teams. You gotta really hand it to Mourinho. Down 1-0 away to a pretty good defensive team and he uses his last two subs takes the lead in 5 minutes and collects the 3 points.

Yea yea I know were only 17 total games in but when you look at the point totals last year Man U won the title with 89 points only dropping a total of 25 points and 5 of those were already when they had clinched the title. Thats a pretty insane pace which is even lower then the 3 previous seasons (90,95 and 91). If they drop another 2 or 3 vs Man City who look well up to the challenge under Sven they will be playing some serious catchup which is a horrible mental position to be in.

I'm already looking forward to my team's relegation struggle, regardless (or in spite of) their recent signing of Dyer. I can't wait to see a fight on-field between Bowyer and Dyer again though, to be quite honest -- as a referee myself, I'm not really sure what the hell I would do...

At any rate, ManU needs some stability and once Nani and Tevez, who are now both forced into action are settled, I think even with the injuries and cards (in the Ronaldo's case), they'll be extremely potent, if they can settle a ball down more in the midfield and work their transition game a little more, which will take a ton of pressure off of their defense.

God, I'm praying for Liverpool to do well, but Chelsea looks good in spurts and in those spurts they seem to score and take advantage of their opportunities, C. Shield aside. I have a feeling that Drogba won't be able to keep from being injured at some time during this year... he seems pretty fragile even though he's a beast up front.

Fernandes is represented by the same companies that brought Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano to West Ham last summer, sparking the months of wrangling over the clauses of their third party ownership.

Everton, it is believed, are only buying 50% of the player from Benfica, with third party companies owning the rest.

http://www.teamtalk.com/football/story/0,16368,2483_2666881,00.html

for the love of god make it stop. they mention this contract wont be a problem like the last two but cant the damn FA step in and ban these partial player ownership deals for clarity.

I vote that all players are made PLCs and floated on the stock market publicly. I personally would like to own a share of Ledley King's consistently-injured behind.

Have I mentioned my favorite manager in this thread yet? Then I will. No American sport has anything on Ian Holloway. There's nothing close. If you haven't heard his dissertation on casual sex and football, YouTube him and watch the joy unfold.

RIDICULOUS RUMOR OF THE DAY: Juan Roman Riquelme to Bolton? What?!?!

Kieron Dyer to West Ham. Because that worked out well last time.

And lastly...

IMAGE(http://www.whoateallthepies.tv/n5644333641056963965io6.gif)

Prederick wrote:
Riquelme to Bolton?

...but stranger things have happened!

Two games in, and all the rumors are that the ship at Bolton is sinking. Frankly, i'm not surprised, nor do I disbelieve them. Big Sam was the glue holding the veterans and misfits together, I don't know if Little Sam can command that kind of respect and power in the dressing room, especially on a team with Le Sulk and the inimitable Mr. Diouf.

Daniel Alves may or may not be going to Chelsea. Or Real Madrid. Who knows.

One of my favorite bits of news is that Mr. McClaren has recalled Calamity James and Sol Campbell to the England squad... and is considering bringing back Emile Heskey.

Lots of games tomorrow, i'm going to make life much easier on myself and just predict a few.

Portsmouth 2-0 Bolton - The rot continues. If Anelka is still there by the end of the month, i'll eat a hat.

Wigan 1-2 Sunderland - One of these teams will go down. $10 says it's the one with Titus Bramble on the books.

Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa - I'll bet you money these two will be fighting it out for a UEFA Cup place at the end of the year.

Blackburn 1-1 Arsenal - I don't see Arsenal fixing their hoodoo against more physical teams quite yet, and worse, Blackburns' getting even better at playing a more silky, stylish game.

Liverpool 0-1 Chelsea - Everyone's saying draw for this one, and for good reason. But i'm going to go out on a limb and say that a dodgy penalty decides this one.

Manchester City 2-2 Manchester United - This is the best time ever for City to finally put one over on United. But they won't. I just don't see it happening quite yet. That said, watching Sven (who, for everything he's done at International level, was and is a fine club manager) v. Fergie will be a quite a bit of fun.

I dunno, I think Villa is going to be on the wrong end of a growing legend in Big Sam this weekend.

Bolton moving on Anelka and giving his rights away would be nothing less than a concession of the season and the prem. I don't know that I see them moving him until at least mid-season, but hey, stranger things have certainly happened.

Dodgy penalties always seem to decide games for Liverpool, don't they? I wonder how well Gerrard will play with his broken toe?

Sorry for not quoting...I'm lazy and, well, I'm lazy.

Gotta love a sport where the Management is so important and influential. Portsmouth IS Harry Redknapp. The sniping he has done in the transfer market is just pure genius. John Utaka is blazing fast and is going to prove his worth this year especially against the lower clubs who's defenders will be left in his dust. We won't mention Nugget who I don't rate really ;D It's too bad Fernandes contract situation is confusing because it was Portsmouth who first tried to sign him up into the EPL and he also will be class at Everton.

Its kinda funny as I watch this game because Bolton WAS big Sam. They look like such a shell of their former selves and I agree Anelka will be gone sooner then later if Bolton is smart because once he starts sulking he wont be scoring the goals they need to stay up. Cash out now save on his wages and admit this is going to be a long hard season.

I expect allot of Big Sam at Newcastle but still confused by some of his transfer movement. Mainly Joey Barton. Pretty much my most hated player in the prem since Keano retired. Defensively they will be more consistent just by shedding Titus Bramble who reminds me of Emile Heskey at the defensive position (overrated and plain bad). That was the main issue I think Newcastle has had for ever. Any improvement on defense is going to pay off as their midfield and strikers have always been fairly good. Taking Taylor Milner and N'Zogbia in the fantasy league is probably suicide for me tho ;x

Ugh, Fulham lose, and Brian McBride looks like he really crocked himself scoring. Apparently it's a dislocated kneecap. Ouch.

I wasn't far off on the Newcastle game. Except noone freaking scored. Reading beats Everton, and Tottenham put four past Derby. Not quite righting the ship, but it's exactly the tonic needed.

Not the end of the world dropping points to Blackburn away but in the fashion it happened Arsenal are looking a ways off if they want to be in the title chase. Besides the obvious blackhole at keeper that's sucking all the confidence out of defence watching the team barley even be able to pass it out of their own half in the last 5 minutes playing 11vs10 they really don't look like challenger.

Man U are pretty much out of the title race. You just cant start this slow in such a competitive league. Next four games are Tottenham at home Sunderland at home Everton away and the most important Chelsea at home. 4 wins in a row would put them right back in it but on their current form I wouldn't bet on that. The "easiest" game even is a tough one cause you know Keano is going to have his team foaming at the mouth.

I'm honestly surprised that the rumors around Martin Jol may have hit critical mass already. The word is the Dutchman will be replaced by Juande Ramos of Sevilla in the immediate future, which I can't help but think is... rather harsh on Jol. But that's the nature of the game in the Premier League, isn't it?

I don't really have anything against ManU (since I enjoy watching Lord Rooney invent all new expletives when referring to Referees) but I was thrilled to see City get the three points. I don't think they're quite out of it yet, the rude interruption of European competition always throws teams seasons in a tizzy, and unlike Chelsea, they don't have to worry about losing the best of their squad when the African Cup of Nations comes calling, but it is certainly an uphill battle they face.

Prederick wrote:
I'm honestly surprised that the rumors around Martin Jol may have hit critical mass already. The word is the Dutchman will be replaced by Juande Ramos of Sevilla in the immediate future, which I can't help but think is... rather harsh on Jol. But that's the nature of the game in the Premier League, isn't it?

I don't really have anything against ManU (since I enjoy watching Lord Rooney invent all new expletives when referring to Referees) but I was thrilled to see City get the three points. I don't think they're quite out of it yet, the rude interruption of European competition always throws teams seasons in a tizzy, and unlike Chelsea, they don't have to worry about losing the best of their squad when the African Cup of Nations comes calling, but it is certainly an uphill battle they face.

You're right about ManU worrying -- fortunately for the big four (Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, and ManU), they've all started out of the gates a little slow and there do have to be some serious concerns when the African Cup does come around and they experience a drop in their depth.

Prederick wrote:
I'm honestly surprised that the rumors around Martin Jol may have hit critical mass already. The word is the Dutchman will be replaced by Juande Ramos of Sevilla in the immediate future, which I can't help but think is... rather harsh on Jol. But that's the nature of the game in the Premier League, isn't it?

It doesn't make any sense to me.
Two top five finishes in the last two years (particularly after such a bad start last year).
Quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup only to be beaten by a poor decision in Spain (imagine that).
Attracted some of the best young talent in the world.
And they're going to judge him on two losses where the anchors of his defense are injured?
I'm sorry, but that just doesn't make any sense. Jol clearly has the support of the players.

It all sounds like media sensationalism to me. Particularly given the opening weeks of the season. Pundits are just trying to make sense of all this, and have whipped themselves into a frenzy.
I can't imagine that Levy would be involved in this. He and Jol seem to understand each other too well. Is there a division within the Board? Or is it just the media? And why would they go straight to Sevilla, except that they were the ones to knock us out of the Cup last year?

1 game into the Portuguese league season and Quaresma scores 2 from freekick's.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvxFuI3CUkM

the first the goalie should of maybe had and isn't very good quality but the second is just a rocket and even at that angle I don't think any goalie had a chance.

Wonder what Porto set as the asking price for him as teams probably came sniffing but they had already cashed in on Anderson this summer. He will eventually make a big splash move somewhere will be interesting to see him in the champs league again this year.

I think this is pretty definitive.

I'm glad Levy put his foot down.

Haakon7 wrote:
I think this is pretty definitive.

I'm glad Levy put his foot down.

This really heats up the upcoming weekend game. Both sides are under allot of pressure could be a great game... or a 1-1 tie.

In other news Everton has stepped up the arms race.

Everton agree £11.25m fee for striker Yakubu

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=455661&cc=5739

not sure if I rate him that much but hes definitely a improvement over Anichebe and could pair Johnson very well. Sometimes its not how good the player is but how well he will fit into the squad and this looks like a very good pairing for Everton. This also shows how ambitious those 5-10 clubs are getting. This could also potentially lead to a more exciting UEFA cup which is a complete dwarf compared to the Champions League in TV revenues.

Let's just call them America FC then. Anyone's better than Warner at the moment though.

So Germany beat England 2-1 in the midweek international friendly. The game basically confirmed a few things we knew.

1.) Micah Richards is damn good.

2.) Shawn Wright-Phillips may finally remember how the hell to play Footy again.

3.) Paul Robinson's confidence is shot.

Since the attempt for Sevilla's Daniel Alves fizzled, Chelsea instead bought Beletti from Barcelona, which i'm not really sold on. Daniel Alves last year was one of the most dynamic players in the game, wonderfully skilled and playing every game at a breakneck pace. While Beletti isn't awful, he was part of a Barcelona back-line that looked anything but "rock-solid" last season.

Los Blancos finally ended two way-too-long transfer sagas today, signing Arjen Robben and Gabriel Heinze. I'm sure the dive-happy La Liga will perfectly suit Robben, along with his need for space to run into, which the average La Liga defender is more likely to give. As for Heinze, well, i'm sure Benitez isn't thrilled that he's not seeing him in Red.

And it looks like the writing is on the wall for Diouf and Anelka at Bolton today. If they both leave, I think Bolton are suddenly relegation fodder.

EDIT: Oh, and it looks like Tottenham were chasing Juande Ramos, but may have just decided to stick with Jol.

LONDON, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Jens Lehmann has injured his Achilles tendon and will miss Saturday's home clash with Premier League leaders Manchester City, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said on Thursday. Wenger said: 'Jens is out and he will miss two weeks, I think. Maybe more. I don't know. He is going to see a specialist in Germany tomorrow. He had this injury before but it has got much worse.'

funny how things magically work out sometimes. He had a decent game against England but now this way with at least 3 games before he gets back Alumnia and Fabianski have their window to steal the job. Best solution would be to magically sign a new starting keeper but I have no idea who that person could be and its too late in the window to find one I bet.

Micah Richards is amazing and guess what? The rest of the big 4 are stupid. Chance a high value bid for him would be accepted in the Pearce Pre Thai era? 99%. Now that hes Svens and they don't need to be sellers 1%. The only chance he leaves Man City in the near future now is if a major club managers to unsettle him and he demands to leave which I don't see happening unless Man City stumble and fail to make UEFA this year. Considering Chelsea needed a RB which he looks best at and he can also play center last winter transfer market would of been the best time to swoop in. Looks like the Mourinho Abramovich rift really cost them the real solution to their defensive problems in the second half of the season and at RB for the future.

old one for Haakon. The faces are just priceless.

http://arseblog.com/henryspurs.html

http://www.footytube.com/2007/08/26/man-united-vs-tottenham/

Man U v Tottenham highlights. Nani with the wonder goal.

Bad weekend for Everton. They tie Blackburn which isn't the end of the world but then Yakubu is turned down for a new work permit so that deal is in limbo until a new hearing this Wednesday (most likely will go through) and Valencia steal the Manuel Fernandes deal out of nowhere. Not sure if they will target another midfielder or just keep the cash back but these players with third party owners are really starting to drive me nuts. I was actually excited for this transfer as hes great to watch and just like that not only will I not see him in the Prem he will probably rot on the Valencia bench unless he impresses fast or they run into some injuries.

IMAGE(http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41612000/jpg/_41612214_puerta_ap416.jpg)

Another year, another death. R.I.P. Antonio Puerta.

Sevilla Midfielder Dies

The Sevilla and Spain wing-back Antonio Puerta has died aged 22 after collapsing during his side's match against Getafe on Saturday.

Puerta collapsed after jogging back towards his own goal 35 minutes into the opening league game of the season at the Sánchez Pizjuán on Saturday. Team-mates and medical staff rushed to his side and were seen preventing him from swallowing his tongue as he lost consciousness.

Puerta, who had passed a medical with his club three weeks ago, was able to walk from the pitch after being attended to by medical staff on Saturday, but then collapsed again in the changing rooms and was given cardiac resuscitation.

Doctors at the Virgen del Rocio hospital in Seville confirmed his death. "We regret to report that the patient Antonio Puerta died at [1230 GMT] today," read a hospital statement. "The death was caused by postanoxic encephalopathy and a multiple failure of his organs caused by the prolonged cardiac arrest that provoked his admission to hospital." Puerta's body will now be taken to the Sánchez Pizjuán, where fans will be able to pay their respects before he is buried on Thursday.

The Spanish Football League issued its condolences to Puerta's family and Sevilla's supporters in a statement. "The LFP has asked all their fans to respect a one-minute silence before each game of the second round of the Primera Liga," it read. Sevilla's city rivals Real Betis also issued a statement, in which the Betis owner Manuel Ruiz de Lopera said: "This is a blow to the whole of Seville. Our thoughts are with Sevilla, with the player's family and with the player, who I am sure will be in heaven."

Sevilla's Champions League qualifying second leg against AEK Athens, which was due to be played tonight, has been cancelled and will be played next Monday. The Sevilla squad is currently flying back to Spain from Greece. "Uefa, after a joint request by AEK and the Sevilla team, has decided to postpone the game because of the death of Antonio Puerta and the tragic events from the fires in Greece," confirmed AEK.

Milan, Sevilla's scheduled opponents in Friday's European Super Cup, have offered to postpone or cancel the match. "AC Milan ... grieve at the passing of Antonio Puerta and share the pain of our friends at Sevilla and the player's family," said the club in a statement. "Milan are ready to stand by any decision adopted by Uefa about the playing or not of the European Super Cup."

Puerta, whose girlfriend is pregnant, had been a member of the Sevilla first team for three seasons and spent 14 years in total with the club he joined as a boy.

Marc Vivien-Foe, Miklos Feher, and I know there are 2-3 other names i'm forgetting. All died while playing. Sad.

It's been a pretty crap week for footy, between this, the death of Q.P.R. youngster Ray Jones and the not techincally football-related but still kind-of linked slaying of Everton fan Rhys Davies. Oy.

In some better news, we may get to see L'Imperatore ply his trade in the EPL soon, as he's almost completed his falling-out with Inter.

The Baby-Faced Assassin has retired after a long struggle with knee-knack, meaning Giggsy and Neville are pretty much the last remaining pieces of an era at Manchester United.

Aside:

Since i'm too lazy for fantasy football, how about The Guardian's Pick The Score? Easy, fast, fun, and there's already a "Gamers With Jobs" friend's league. Join ya lazy bastiges!

Alright. I'll play your game, old man.

But you have to send an invite for the League.

Weekend Roundup:

I <3 Diomansy Kamara. Also, hats off to Deuce Dempsey, who scored or assisted on all of Fulham's 3 goals.

10-man Arsenal beat Pompey, ManU win (albeit not convincingly, again), and Chelsea crash out at Aston Villa 2-0. Oh, and Liverpool annihilated Derby. Fun weekend on the whole.

As for the Pick The Score game, to join the GWJ group, I have to send you an e-mail apparently, so if you're in, let me know how to drop you a line.

Lots of boning happening at ManU. ALLEGEDLY.

Plus, Wenger may finally sign a contract and fun in Napoli.

Unless you're interested in hearing about Mr. McClaren's hemming and hawing over whether to give Stevie G. a painkilling injection in his toe so he can play Israel in England's crucial Euro 2008 qualifier (and i'm sure as f*&k not) then not much is happening so far.

So here's Arsenal taking on the Crossbar Challenge, one hell of a team goal and some dude getting naked during a match.

Oh, and Jay Jay Okocha is back in England. At Hull City. I was surprised too.