2010/11 Soccer Thread - Hitting The Home Stretch

Phillipe Senderos out for nine months. Ouch.

Phillipe Senderos out for nine months. Ouch.
edit: so ouch that's it decided to double itself

Tell you what, if Schwarzer does go to Arsenal (official transfer request in today, apparently), then with that ageing squad I can see Fulham being worth a fiver to go down.

I really want to say that Newcastle should stay up, but I just don't see where the goals are going to come from at this point.

The "strikeforce" of Ameobi, Best, and Caroll put up 30 goals in 76 appearances last season with Kevin Nolan somehow managing 17. I'd say half the goals from those players would be an optimistic projection. Unless there's a miracle bringing in a striker, a creative midfielder, and a winger, I can't help but feel a sense of doom.

Of course, I thought last season was going to be a relegation battle as well because of the disarray and my overemphasis of the pre-season. Shows what I know.

Shocking revelation: According to Capello, Beckham might be too old.

been busy away living life away from the internet.

like the guys Arsenal brought in...... but still a starting keeper away from being taken seriously. I think the current back 4 could hack it but the shaky goalie situation just makes them even more unstable. Going forward fine as usual unless Arsenal get their yearly dose of handicapping injuries.

* Chelsea 2.50
* Man Utd 3.50
* Man City 6.00
* Arsenal 7.50
Liverpool 13.00

odds for the coming season and the only one I see any value in is Arsenals TBH. No value in the first two, City will continue to challenge the top 4 and Liverpool are a disaster or 2nd place at best waiting to happen.

Most interesting thing im waiting on isnt who Arsenal will add cause they wont but is how City will thin out the roster. The 25 rule has seriously just f*cked up their advantage of stockpiling more talent then necessary. If you look at their squad its not championship material IMO but theres lots of quality veteran guys who could go to other mid level teams and create problems for them or their competitors. eg imagine they cut their ties with Bellamy and send him off to a 10-15 team. Look amazing when Bellamy stuns a top team with a goal for a draw or lose, look like idiots if he comes back and has a vendetta game.

so far I think theres a giant staring competition going on. The mid level teams would love to steal a couple of players of the City roster but at the same time City dont want to let them go for pennies on the dollar or for them to turn around and have the games of their lives against them. Problem is lots of the commodities for sale are not exportable outside England as the other leagues have 0 interest in the type of player or the player has 0 interest in taking a wage cut. (definition of Robinho, who I will happily remind you I called was a disaster the second it happened.)

ps when I was in Rio caught Vasco da Gamma vs Flamengo at Maracana. 55k fans going nuts. Was heaven.

2nd edit, United have just signed a never ever heard about Portuguese striker for 7.4... My question is if he even actually exists and is 6´2 and was recommended to United by Quieroz then where the f*ck was he at the WC??

Welcome back jowner

City no squad problems once we get shut of Bellamy and Ireland goes off to Villa (he's apparently holding out for a bid from Spurs...yes, of course Stephen. You'll be cleaning boots at Eastlands before that happens). Plenty of HG players, which I believe some clubs are struggling with. I also feel that the addition of 4 internationals (Y Toure, Boateng, Kolarov and Silva) will invigorate the squad.

Loan deals instead for the fringe players - Onuoha and a couple of others already out, but can always be brought back and are disqualified from playing against City.

Interesting that Bellamy only mentioned Wolfsburg as a team he turned down (I'm presuming as part of a Dzeko part-ex deal ?), but we all know he's been angling for a move to Spurs - I suspect he'll end up at Fulham, where he might save them from the drop.

Oh, and this Portuguese wonderkid..I'm still not sure this isn't a windup. Paying £7m for a player who moved on a free from a Portuguese 3rd division team ? When you could have got him for free 6 weeks ago ? Sounds like Fergie's started to see the gin goblins.

Current striker count - Man Utd 8, Man City 5.

Still, they were advertising Mehmet Ozil as a member of their squad on the official site yesterday. They need something to take that stench away

Predo's for this season

Chelsea - Arsenal - City - Them

This might be the year Chelsea really struggle especially if they catch some injuries.

Sure guys like Ballack and Deco were getting on in age but they were still quality guys to have in a rotation.

Out: Ballack, Deco, Cole and most importantly Carvalho who still has something left.

In: Ramires and Benny?..........

not many young players coming up either really which United at the least can hang onto for their lack of moves.

United are sending many of theirs out on loan, saves on wages. The much-touted Danny Welbeck is the first, off to Sunderland.

Chelsea have seemed to have a fair few youngsters, judging by the friendlies. Plus, unlike Man U, they can buy players in the window.

Oh you gotta be kidding.

MANCHESTER City have offered Zlatan Ibrahimovic a four-year deal worth a staggering £96MILLION - or roughly £500,000 a week.

The mega-deal would make the Barcelona striker the highest-paid footballer in the world, earning £24m a year. That dwarfs the salaries of top stars such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka. City representatives made their mouth-watering offer direct to Ibrahimovic's manager Mino Raiola to show how much they want to capture the Swedish international.

The huge deal dwarfs the 11m euros a year the striker picks up at the Nou Camp.

Indeed, it's from the Sun, which is to journalism what Nellie the Elephant is to nuclear physics.

If City were even thinking of that, they wouldn't have today completed the signing of Mario Balotelli from Inter for €28m. Nor had Mancini dismissing it out of hand at today's press conference.

It is odd, though, that for some reason all of City's transfers (real or imagined) are quoted at the new 'wages included' price, unlike anyone else's. On that basis, Liverpool's signing of Joe Cole would be a £10m deal (assuming he's on about £50k a week), not a 'stunning piece of free transfer business'.

Safest to presume that all football 'journalists' in England are clueless retards who trawl club message boards and other news sites for gossip, like a circle jerk, only more revolting. Actually 'journalism' would require them to exit the pub, or put the mirror and spoon down for a while, so there's more chance of Fergie not having received a bung as part of Man United signing a Portuguese vagrant for £7m who they could have had for nowt six weeks ago. And who notched a superb 4 goals in 24 games last season in the heady atmosphere of the Portuguese 3rd division.

Allegedly.

This, on the other hand, is worth a read.

http://football-racing-betting-forum.co.uk/2010/08/12/manchester-city-not-killing-football-by-howard-hockin/

City = ugly socks, Yaya Toure can pass, Joe Hart can goalkeep.
Ham = solid, solid defence, they look like team. Three decent strikers + slightly better Defoe is not enough, they would probably love to have powerful offensive player.

Fair comments, moreso than the retards on Sky Sports (a gem from Phil Thomson - "City not wanting to sell Bellamy to one of their rivals must mean that he is one of their top players." Eh?? No Phil, nor was he 'their best player last season', in fact once Hughes went he pretty much decided he couldn't be arsed, as his performance against Spurs amply demonstrated.)

City much better second half. be better still once they ditch Richards for Boateng and SWP for Balotelli. Most of those players have only played once on the same team before jetting off for a full week of missed training for some joke international friendlies.

Encouraging thing for me was the second half, the players dug in and fought hard. Overall, I'm a lot more pleased with an away point at a CL team with a side operating at say 60% in terms of team dynamics, than Redknapp whose team is, realistically, as good as it is going to get.

Good performances from big Vince and Toure (K) at the back, but Richards confirms that he is now just the stereotypical England product that you see if you watch the u-20s or u-19s - bags of athleticism, precious little intelligence and skill.

davet010 wrote:

Encouraging thing for me was the second half, the players dug in and fought hard. Overall, I'm a lot more pleased with an away point at a CL team with a side operating at say 60% in terms of team dynamics, than Redknapp whose team is, realistically, as good as it is going to get.

Very well, but I doubt we will ever see City close to 100%.
Nice start for Blackpool, isn't it? Maybe, just maybe, they can pull it off?

UCRC wrote:

Very well, but I doubt we will ever see City close to 100%.
Nice start for Blackpool, isn't it? Maybe, just maybe, they can pull it off?

On what basis ?

Oh, and Blackpool will go down....and Wigan will be going with them.

heh heh - currently getting dogs abuse in the papers here for not beating Spurs with our half-assembled squad (Alan Hansen - "not good enough for a CL spot this season, don't play as a unit"...)

That'd be the same Spurs who beat Arsenal, Chelsea, City, Liverpool and Everton at White Hart Lane last season then, or is there another one ?

davet010 wrote:

On what basis ?

Well, was last year's squad playing at 100%? If it was, then your 100% is still too poor for CL spot. If it wasn't, there, you have your answer.

I'm very interested to see how Balotelli turns out, since, by all means, the boy's talented, and also an enormous prick (even for footballer standards).

UCRC wrote:
davet010 wrote:

On what basis ?

Well, was last year's squad playing at 100%? If it was, then your 100% is still too poor for CL spot. If it wasn't, there, you have your answer.

Wellll, there will be a significant upgrade in components..I was classing it as not 100% because as yet the new players have had hardly any time to bed in, owing to the idiots who decided to have an international friendly week just before the start of the season.

As for Balotelli, time will tell, but even the chairman at Inter felt that the significant amounts of racism directed at someone who is not yet 20 had a significant part to play, such as Juventus' fans charming observation that "there is no such thing as a black Italian". Still, Mancini was the first person to give him a chance in first team soccer.

Oh, I don't doubt there was a metric ton of racist abuse hurled Balotelli's way, but from all reports i've heard, he was always a bit of a c*cksure so-and-so. Perhaps Mourinho brought out his worst qualities rather than his best, we'll see.

Poor from Arsenal today. Liverpool go down to 10 men and then out-posses them for the first 15-20 minutes of the second half. They'll take a point, but it's a lucky point.

Prederick wrote:

Oh, I don't doubt there was a metric ton of racist abuse hurled Balotelli's way, but from all reports i've heard, he was always a bit of a c*cksure so-and-so. Perhaps Mourinho brought out his worst qualities rather than his best, we'll see.

I hope he is c*cksure, you don't win the title with shrinking violets. It's also fair to say that for all his managerial abilities, Mourinho rarely buys or selects young players, which obviously has worked for him, but may be why he didn't get the most out of Balotelli.

I'm happier with City's point yesterday than Roy or Le Prof will be with theirs, I wager.

Prederick wrote:

Poor from Arsenal today. Liverpool go down to 10 men and then out-posses them for the first 15-20 minutes of the second half. They'll take a point, but it's a lucky point.

Shhh. I'm watching Reina's goal on loop. It's one of best I've seen. (I was going to say the best but then I remembered Bent's baloon goal)

The goalie situation at Arsenal is submarining any shot they have at making a serious run at the title. Almunia was just plain shaky today.

Arshavin was very very average also.

Wenger really is forcing the issue with some guys. Wilshere will be great but the pressure to start him today over a guy like Rosicky just seems to be screaming desperation that he wants the kids to come through to rub it in everyones face. Got it backwards today I think for the starting lineup. Rosicky in as the leadership and Walcott as the youth with something to prove over Wilshere/Eboue.

Praying Schwarzer comes to to provide some stability. Koscienly looked confident today. That back 4 with a goalie who doesn't put them on edge might be able to hack it this year if the offense clicks.

just need some luck on the injury front as put Song + Cesc in today over Diaby and Wilshere and Liverpool would of been thoroughly dominated in possession.

Liverpool were already dominated in possession (63-37 I think), but Arsenal seemed to be lacking the killer ball, they created almost no chances other than Rosicky's even against 10 men. Fabregas coming back should sort that out for you.

Wasn't terrifically impressed with Chamakh, I'll give him two or three weeks to see if he's worthy of maintaining his place in my Fantasy League team.

Anyone else get the Sky Sports coverage ? The lineup of Pretty Boy Twitcher Jr and Paul 'Bolivian Special' Merson was beyond nauseating - and the latter appeared and sounded like he was on a different planet most of the time.

Jonas has the football IQ of a poodle and Kevin Nolan should head back to the Championship.

Manchester United dominated the match but eased off in the second half. I was hoping for a 2-nil scoreline, and I guess 3-nil isn't bad.

Sorry mate, but Newcastle are pish.

I always have to laugh at Joey Barton, so glad he left City to go to a 'big club'.

Craig Bellamy.

Floor's yours Dave.

This has turned into the Dave: point / counter-point thread. Still entertaining reading

Let's see....

- Basically gave up last season after Hughes sacked
- hi-fived Spurs bench and Redknapp after the last match of last season
- gave mini-press conference last week which was full of nonsense and fully refuted by the club day after
- shouted insults at Mancini down the tunnel at the home game against EVerton
- consistent pattern of behaviour, does well at start, then blows it, hence the 8 clubs in 10 years.
- we refuse to sell him to Redknapp (for a whopping £2m, christ how could we turn that down), and he goes on the hump. Redknapp then talks more about City than his own club.

No player is bigger than the club. He's wanting a nice final payday before his knees go completely, so I'd let him go on loan to Cardiff and get hacked to bits in the Championship.

Failing that, I'd continue to pay him, and have him in every day sweeping the car parks. Or allow him to train with the first team, then tell Nigel de Jong that Bellamy called him a puff. Might as well have the ambulance standing by at that point.

Oh, and Harry ? Why don't you STFU about City, and concentrate on your own outfit ? Or maybe even on your upcoming court case - after all, fraud is a serious charge, and HMRC don't mess about..

My work is done.

[folds up unused pages 2 and 3, steps back from podium]

[comes back with extra ammo from City forum (hmm, according to the press, all City fans love him...)]

What I dont understand is :

a ) He seems to become a better player every day. He started off as one of City's better players, then became one of the best two, then became our player of the season, and has now become one of the best in the league. He will be Ballon D'or winner by the end of the window.

b ) When we signed him the whole media knew that Bellamy was a ****. He had caused problems at every club he had ever been at. Now he is simply a 100% per cent man that demands the best of his manager and team mates..

c ) If Spurs, Everton, Fulham or Celtoc want him, then put in a bid. £10m - im sure we would sell to anyone at his market price. Of course they all want him on loan.

Laughable that he comes across like a victim in all of this

Bellwhaft update
= off to Cardiff on loan. Expect him to play 4 games, then get injured, then to see a load of 'a source at Cardiff says...' type stories.

Great. Can we have Shay Given now? C'mon you know you don't want him...

UCRC wrote:

Great. Can we have Shay Given now? C'mon you know you don't want him... ;)

Don't make me look back at them posts decrying the tapping up of Cesc now, will you ?

Besides, we'll need him for our FA / League Cup squad, viz.

Given

Richards
Lescott
Boyatta
Bridge

SWP
Barry
Johnson A

Robinho
Adebayor
Jo

To be fair, I personally wouldn't have any objections to him getting a final payday at Arsenal, who I do quite like. However, if you beat us to the title by a few points, there might be some regrets. It is being reported though that Bert will consider it if Given really wants to go.

In other news, Milner is on his way up the M6, passing Steve Ireland and his pink Range Rover on the way, for a fee being £16-18m plus Ireland (ie not the £30m the tabloids here were on about).

Sir Alex has also had a go at clubs with a 'kamikaze transfer policy'. Quite right, Sir Alex....when you are £1b in debt, paying £28m for a Fulham reserve, Mexico squad players and a Portuguese paraffin you've never seen play could be described in such a way.

And a final quote from Gabriel Marcotti - "Hernandez, Smalling, Bebe - £28m, Khedira and Ozil - £23m. Want to resist MUFC 'no value' comparison. Can't".

Breaking news - Bellamy and David Jones both very respectful towards City and Bert during his press conference. That should annoy the journos, who were hanging round like vultures expecting a burnout.

Nice answer by Jones to the question "Who is paying his wages"

"Why do you need to know that ?"

Other Championship clubs might be annoyed, but c'est la vie.