2010/11 Soccer Thread - Hitting The Home Stretch

Prederick wrote:

In other news though, late as it is, congrats to Borussia Dortmund on winning the Bundesliga in style. I'd love to see that team stay together and try its luck in the Champions League, but we all know they're about to be raided over the summer by the big boys.

Sahin is gone to Madrid already, or at least that's what all German media thinks. (Borussia just signed replacement, another Turkish boy from Nurnberg). But apart from him they don't really have to sell, they can afford to keep their players, and maybe add someone with CL money. Although so far they've been conservative with spending and preferred to bring in cheaper, younger players.

This a surprise to anyone ?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/foot...

Thought not.

Oh, and there's Jack Warner's name again. Another shocker.

And Blatter's response..

Reacting to Triesman's comments, Fifa president Sepp Blatter promised he would act immediately if evidence of wrongdoing by executive committee members is revealed.

"I was shocked [upon hearing]... but one has to see the evidence," said Blatter in Zurich, adding that the said executive committee members were not elected by the same Congress as him.

They are coming from other confederations, so I cannot say that they are all angels or all devils

But Sepp, you're the one who has had Warner in your inner circle for years. And you surely cannot be 'shocked' by allegations made about someone who's activities have been subject to previous unfavourable audit reports and allegations of impropriety made by a national FA.

You're 'shocked' that he was stupid enough to get caught, more like.

Ooh, it's time to look up potential locations for next year

IMAGE(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/52650000/jpg/_52650766_crouch_464x261getty.jpg)

Nice symmetry with this time last year, thanks to Crouchy

davet010 wrote:

This a surprise to anyone ?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/foot...

Thought not.

Oh, and there's Jack Warner's name again. Another shocker.

And Blatter's response..

Reacting to Triesman's comments, Fifa president Sepp Blatter promised he would act immediately if evidence of wrongdoing by executive committee members is revealed.

"I was shocked [upon hearing]... but one has to see the evidence," said Blatter in Zurich, adding that the said executive committee members were not elected by the same Congress as him.

They are coming from other confederations, so I cannot say that they are all angels or all devils

But Sepp, you're the one who has had Warner in your inner circle for years. And you surely cannot be 'shocked' by allegations made about someone who's activities have been subject to previous unfavourable audit reports and allegations of impropriety made by a national FA.

You're 'shocked' that he was stupid enough to get caught, more like.

Big surprise. The largest and arguably the most corrupt non-Gov organization finally gets 'exposed'.

oh wait... this is gonna fly by in a week like everything has for FIFA.

It's ridiculous.

davet010 wrote:

Ooh, it's time to look up potential locations for next year

IMAGE(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/52650000/jpg/_52650766_crouch_464x261getty.jpg)

Nice symmetry with this time last year, thanks to Crouchy :)

Congrats... I really wonder how City's gonna hold up next year, following up Tottenhan's first year performance.

ps. I am wondering how the next season performance in general will be for city, considering 'no European football' will no longer be a barrier for their acquisitions during the summer window.

Pikey26 wrote:
davet010 wrote:

Ooh, it's time to look up potential locations for next year

IMAGE(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/52650000/jpg/_52650766_crouch_464x261getty.jpg)

Nice symmetry with this time last year, thanks to Crouchy :)

Congrats... I really wonder how City's gonna hold up next year, following up Tottenhan's first year performance.

It's a key component in attracting players who want to play in the CL, to enter phase 2 of 'The Program'.

And no, I don't mean Gareth f**king Bale.

BUT HE HAD THAT TOTALLY AWESOME GAME AGAINST INTER! THERE'S EVEN A YOUTUBE ABOUT IT!

/most ludicrous PFA award winner I can remember

One season wonder.

Van der Vaart is the only player I would have from that squad.

Things that amuse me because I'm bitter - part 342.

City supporting mate of mine has been giving it loads of smugness about Cup Final tickets, even though he is well short of the required points...apparently his boss is well connected at one of the local non-league teams, and they all get a small ticket allocation for the Final as part of the League's 'Football Family'.

He went in to see his boss this morning to collect said tickets. Boss's reply..

"Oh, we got sent tickets, but they were for the Stoke end of the ground, so we sent them back". Fair enough, I suppose - all tickets are traceable, so if a tout is caught in possession, the original recipient can be banned from receiving more for a number of years (yes, even you, Sir Bobby Charlton).

My mate is now trying to source tickets, having already booked hotel and travel...cheapest offer currently, Club Wembley seats (face value £115, asking price £400 each).

He got pissed off because I couldn't respond with a sympathetic message for 5 minutes, largely due to me howling with laughter.

hahahaha, I thought you were just bitter cause you were talking to me (a Red).....

and that realllly sucks btw. at least he could have tried trading or something with the stoke end tickets.

Not just for you mate - a lifetime of Blue supporting has made me a bitter man

Even after last night's win, my cousin and I spent a good half hour talking about great City screwups of the past.

We didn't run out of material, let's put it that way.

I love Spain

They squeezed on to the balcony carrying the trophy and held it in the air, €20,000 worth of silver glistening. Down below, held back by a phalanx of policemen, a crowd cheered and someone pressed play. With crushing inevitability, We Are The Champions boomed out. The microphone went round, words of gratitude, cheesy jokes, the promise to do it again. The left-back couldn't stop giggling. The manager pushed his assistant centre stage. And the top scorer hid behind a flag. Then they were off again. Back on the bus, from the council to the cathedral for another offering. Priests and politicians, president, players and their prize. Behind them was a huge mural, giant letters proclaiming: "Congratulations champions! Real Madrid."

Yes, Real Madrid.

Two teams celebrated yesterday but only one team really wanted to. Real Madrid chose 12 May 2011 to formally commemorate their Copa del Rey success. The trophy they had already paraded on the night, Sergio Ramos brilliantly dropping it under the wheels of the bus, got another outing – three long weeks after it was actually won. Conveniently, they did so in the buildup to the Madrid elections, allowing the Partido Popular's Alberto Ruiz Gallardón and Esperanza Aguirre another perfect photo opportunity. Like Aguirre needs one. Even more conveniently, they did so on the day that FC Barcelona did what everyone expected Barcelona to do: wrap up the league title with two games to spare.

And so it was that this morning's Marca led on "the day of the champions", Madrid taking pride of place alongside Barcelona. So it was that AS gave the first five pages to Real Madrid's celebrations – on the day that Barcelona won their 21st league title, their third in a row, their fifth in seven years.

Blackpool, got to love them.

Time for heroes today - Stage One complete.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/michy66/5718790633/

IMAGE(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/52724000/jpg/_52724992_011976253-1.jpg)

And I am not ashamed to say, having started following City in 1977 and seen us relegated 5 times, that I did have a tear or two in my eye when the final whistle went.

A year for Manchester indeed. I've pretty much lost all my faith in Arsenal being capable of competing for the title, so here's hoping next year's a crash-bang-wallop fight for the title between United/City/Chelsea.

Seriously, watch this. Blackpool has to be the most entertaining team in England.

Yes, they are going to entertain their way straight back into the Championship, from whence they will never return. I wonder how glad their fans are that they have entertained everyone else ?

Wonderful final to Wigan - West Ham too. For last ten minutes both teams gave up defending entirely. Green, Hitzlsperger, Parker, Cole, Ba in Championship?

Well, they're Championship standard players, apart possibly from Parker. They should be able to help West Ham out of the 10 point penalty they'll get for going into administration, which they will. Shame for the fans, who are as genuine as any, but nice to see their wretched ownership, Gold, Sullivan and Brady, getting stuffed.

Perm any 2 from Wigan, Wolves, Birmingham, Blackburn and Blackpool for the drop. Can't wait for the Relegation Deciders next week...it's always nicer when you aren't in them

Just need to give Stoke another doing midweek now, and maybe we won't be looking at the qualifiers after all..

Now listening to Paul Merson on Sky - I'm all for rehabilitation of offenders, but what the hell is he doing on TV ? He looks through his Arsenal goggles before every game, and then when his postulations completely fail to unfold, he hasn't got an inkling as to why. And his musings on West Ham were laughable.

"They'll struggle to fill the Olympic Stadium next year"

Indeed they will, Paul, given that the Olympic Games will be in there first and then the stadium will need to be reconfigured...West Ham move in for the 14-15 season, and that's if the legal challenges from Spurs and Leyton Orient get blocked off.

"They shouldn't go down with that squad, they have internationals through the spine of the team"

Hmm, OK. 33 points out of 37 games would seem to suggest otherwise.

davet010 wrote:

Perm any 2 from Wigan, Wolves, Birmingham, Blackburn and Blackpool for the drop. Can't wait for the Relegation Deciders next week...it's always nicer when you aren't in them :)

Amen to that. I don't think they'll get that lucky, but I still hope Blackpool stay up. Damned if they're not entertaining, at least.

If it's about how much I dislike them - then Wigan and Blackburn can disappear and never come back for me. My life would be non the worse if I never heard Dave Whelan's whining voice again - stick to selling shellsuits to Scousers, you no-mark.

Arsenal in last fourteen games:
LWDLLDDWDDLWLL

When I watch games I can rarely make out what fans are signing, with commentators on top of that and microphones turned to pitch. Yesterday though, it was one of the loudest, clearest chants I can remember at Emirates.
Six percent, you're having a laugh. Six percent, you're having a laugh.

I also remember reading somewhere that this was the last season for those fans who fixed their ST prices when Arsenal moved to the Emirates for a period of 5 years, and that for them the increase to the new ST price was more like 40%.

Just shows what a ludicrous sense of entitlement seems to be engendered within all fans, moreso now that prices are so high, I think. Arsenal are probably going to finish 3rd having been in the title race until the last month of the season, got to a Cup Final and were only dumped out of the CL by Barca. That should be cause for a good sendoff for players who only just fell short, and yet given the chorus of boos that rang out at the end you would have thought that Arsenal were going down, and the players seemed somewhat nonplussed by having to do a lap of honour to a rapidly emptying stadium.

Similarly, Spurs fans are calling for 'Arry's head, or looking for the squad to be blown up and rebuilt. Having said that, I'm not sure what Charlie Nicholas had been sniffing when he declared this to have been one of their 'greatest seasons in living memory' - I would have thought there might just be a few Spurs fans who remember the 1961 double winning team, to be honest.

Hey, on the upside, neither of your team's chairmen erected terrifying statues of dead entertainers outside the stadium for no reason other than "I'm rich and clearly out of my gourd."

davet010 wrote:

Just shows what a ludicrous sense of entitlement seems to be engendered within all fans, moreso now that prices are so high, I think.

There's a myriad of factors behind that, I think. The media, certainly, and yeah, the fans are a huge part of that. But I won't lie and say that I wouldn't be thrilled if the next five years of Fulham football could reasonably include the possibility of a title tilt, as opposed to reality, where the highest I expect is 6th, and relegation is the worst.

EDIT: After hearing Baz's Fulham-Europa League conspiracy theory on FW this week...

...i'll be honest, we're safe, and as great as the adventure was, i'm not exactly sure another venture might be worthwhile.

I think I've read that Fulham would go into an earlier qualifying round as Fair Play champs, such that it would actually take you 23 games to win the thing. Yet another ridiculous competition, courtesy of the Gallic Gonk. It's not even as if there is a great deal of money in it - the prize money is negligible and the crowds not exactly stellar until the later rounds.

Well with the early qualifying rounds, you should just think of it as good pre-season warmup games. Not that you'll be playing good teams, or couldn't make more money doing a tour of some foreign country. I suppose as a fan it might give you an excuse to go see some other places but that's available to such a small number of people its not really worth it.

Oh come on. Who doesn't want to take on FK Khazar Lankaran? You get to visit scenic Lankaran, home of....

/checks wikipedia page

...home of FK Khazar Lankaran!

Sounds like City's legendary trip to the Faroes a couple of years ago to play EB Streymur. Some enterprising Blues chartered a fishing trawler to take them on a two day voyage, which was somewhat rougher than expected...

Fingers crossed for a good Fulham showing on Sunday, eh ?

If by "good showing" you mean "finishing with 12 yellows and nine men on the field, knocking us out of the fairplay table" then yes.

No, I was thinking more along the lines of "push Arsene's effete nancy-boys around, allow them to swan about the pitch and attempt to walk the ball in, then break swiftly past their laughable centre halves and thrash the ball past the keeper, Fulham 3 Arsenal 0", to be honest. Do that and I won't mention that statue again.