2010/11 Soccer Thread - Hitting The Home Stretch

Everyone in Poznan is happy with draw. They're really poor this season so they don't care about results too much, so they've actually wanted to play against some big teams. They have very nice stadium (43k capacity and I expect it to be fully packed for all games) and great supporters. Two seasons ago they've enjoyed big success in UEFA Cup and were unlucky to get eliminated by Udinese after progressing from tough group.

I didn't manage to get to Groclin when City went out to them about 4-5 years ago, but mates said it was a good laugh with no bother.

Juventus going to be a bit of an iffy trip - they're currently in the Stadio Olympico with a 27k capacity. It won't help matters that Mario Balotelli will be turning up (UEFA are already on guard with regards to Juventus and their casual racism), or that City are fairly well-known as being twinned with their home town rivals, Torino.

Interesting to see what sort of reception Buffoon gets when he comes along, having decided to announce after a gap of some 18 months that he didn't go to City because they were a 'small club'.

Better than being one who spent more 30 years cheating and got demoted, are propped up by Fiat and are currently playing in a sh*tty ground because their other sh*tty ground is being renovated. Or being a neo-Nazi...you still gutted that your request to wear the number '88' shirt was refused ?

davet010 wrote:

I didn't manage to get to Groclin when City went out to them about 4-5 years ago, but mates said it was a good laugh with no bother.

Groclin was sort of phenomenon because it was small city club with local factory workers being most of supporters and owner of that factory being the chairman. Their stadium has something like 5,5k capacity and town itself isn't much bigger. But they had big funds and built great, great local side in there. So seeing them in Europe was absolutely surreal.
Few seasons ago their chairman decided to sell and relocate whole club to Warsaw, so it's a bit of Dons/Wimbledon situation - original club plays in something like fifth division nowadays.

Some Levity from the English version of the Hannover 96 website. Apparently, they take missing the team photo very seriously.

Back Row, Middle Row, Front Row and....

theheheheh Spurs.

Yes, I thought I could just hear the faint noise of a cockney 'booooo' from here. Was almost as amusing as watching Paul Merson in the Sky studio trying not to be sick...I'm guessing he'd piled on to them as a home banker.

So, you play against a contender, a mid table bunch and a relegation candidate and end up with 4 points ? Wonder what the sycophants in the press will make of all of this...I'm guessing 'CL hangover, inevitable really'. What, when you play the runners up in the Swiss League ?

Monster Masch to Barca, Raul Meireles to 'Pool, Ibra finally heads for AC Milan, where he will continue to flatter to decieve (the man's incredibly talented, but just not a world-class striker), and Mr. McClaren goes up 3-0 on Mainz... and then...

EDIT: Mario Balotelli's R8...
IMAGE(http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00144/balotelli_smash_21__144341a.jpg)

I only mention this because I am so enamored with the R8, i'll take that one, in that condition.

Wrong side of the road, apparently.

Bad news about Ibra, I was hoping for an Adebayor + Robinho swap deal.

Still, Dzeko will be champing at the bit to get out of Wolfsburg by Jan.

Prederick wrote:

Some Levity from the English version of the Hannover 96 website. Apparently, they take missing the team photo very seriously.

Back Row, Middle Row, Front Row and....

What's more: Back Row, Middle Row, Front Row aaaand.... Robert Enke in middle of it. o.O

Oh lordy, big slap on the wrist for whoever put that one on. Nice inclusion of their ex-manager on the middle row as well.

IMAGE(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/48912000/jpg/_48912319_010062999-1.jpg)

Indeed. And a dodgy penalty to boot.

Just saw it again and there's nothing dodgy about it. Richards clearly leans on him and he can either stay on his feet or go down, but either way he's impeded. No?

No, the challenge was a foul (and the end of Richards' City career, once Boateng is fit), but there was a teeny hint of offside, I felt.

If Tevez had scored, City would have done them 2 or 3 nil, but twasn't to be.

Nah, considering the distance he still loses to Tomek Kuszczak (van der Sar's replacement in United): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPEOH...

UCRC wrote:

Nah, considering the distance he still loses to Tomek Kuszczak (van der Sar's replacement in United): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPEOH...

makes it worse he had a legitimate chance to tip it over but didnt.

Fabianski's low light reel from last year puts him in contention also!

and speaking of goalies the rumor is Given on loan to Fulham to make way for Schwarzer to Arsenal. The logic of this seems to be City have 0 interest in sending Given to a direct competitor but are willing to solve their own dilemma while Arsenal only end up with Schwarzer. Not sure if that all makes any real sense. Given > Schwarzer > ?Almunia? hes probably better then this year and last years Alumnia but he was once being mentioned as a possible England #1.... not sure where that Almunia went but it just proves be it Hockey to Football/Soccer that goalie can be a very mental position. One day you have it the next you dont.

UCRC wrote:

Robin, eh?

Every single Arsenal preview said the same thing.

"If they stay healthy, they have a shot at the title."

And every time, I remember thinking "they won't get through August healthy".

If I were in any way creatively skilled, i'd totally photoshop that infamous Sun cover, this time with Javier Mascherano.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2...

10.32am: Scott Parker spent 10 MINUTES in his parked car talking on his mobile at West Ham's training ground this morning. "So, interesting …" fibs Sky Sports' man on the scene.

You've got to love transfer deadline.

Oh, and Robinho's having medical at Milan. This and Ibrahimović few days earlier might be either two best deals (money-wise) of transfer window or just reminders of how stupid Barca and City were to buy them in first place for that kind money, depending on how you look at it.

Welllll....without rehearsing the whole argument again, Robinho was the 4th (I think) highest scorer in the Prem that season, despite being surrounded by some fairly inferior talent. And didn't Ibrahimovich notch something like 21 goals in 42 games last season ?

I trust the taxi drivers in Milan have been told not to mention the weather in winter, or Milan not being blessed with a beach. I'll give him a season there, before he naffs off to Brazil in perpetuity.

There is a small part of me that wonders what would have happened if City had signed Berbaflop and United had signed Robinho....after all, unlike United, City had actually asked Spurs for permission to deal with him. Still, that was a problem that United were happy to pay £2.5m to go away, by all accounts.

davet010 wrote:

Welllll....without rehearsing the whole argument again, Robinho was the 4th (I think) highest scorer in the Prem that season, despite being surrounded by some fairly inferior talent. And didn't Ibrahimovich notch something like 21 goals in 42 games last season ?

Wellll... then extrapolating your argument: City and Barca made terrible mistake by letting such great players go to Milan.

Not really - Robinho markedly lost interest and form in his second season, and apparently we've now cashed him in at Milan for a fee variously reported as £22m or £18m + £2m. Like I said above, I don't think he'll stop at AC either, and if he buggers off back to Brazil they'll make a much bigger loss than we did.

Anyway, he's already been replaced, and in a sense had at least as much of an impact as a statement buy as he did on the pitch.

As for Ibrahimovich, they've effectively replaced him with someone much more likely to keep his yap shut and do things how Barca want them, but a year's use of Zlatan has cost them about €50m. The fact that he's just a one year loan is apparently just to keep him on Barca's books as an asset.

Still no goalie for Arsenal - given up on the title then ?

davet010 wrote:

Not really - Robinho markedly lost interest and form in his second season, and apparently we've now cashed him in at Milan for a fee variously reported as £22m or £18m + £2m. Like I said above, I don't think he'll stop at AC either, and if he buggers off back to Brazil they'll make a much bigger loss than we did.

Anyway, he's already been replaced, and in a sense had at least as much of an impact as a statement buy as he did on the pitch.

As for Ibrahimovich, they've effectively replaced him with someone much more likely to keep his yap shut and do things how Barca want them, but a year's use of Zlatan has cost them about €50m. The fact that he's just a one year loan is apparently just to keep him on Barca's books as an asset.

Still no goalie for Arsenal - given up on the title then ?

if Man City recouped 22m on Robinho then yes not much harm done. He served his purpose. Opened up the gates for other players to actually consider City as a viable destination. Also at the end of the day its only money for people who have to much. Was still right on him flaming out and being way over hyped. Then again compare him to the Berbatov deal and it doesn't look so bad at all.

As for Ibra what a transfer disaster. Doubt they will be able to recoup anywhere near the money they spent and compared to City they actually have some financial issues brewing.

As for Arsenal and the goalie situation not sure if Schwarzer is much of an upgrade at all as I mentioned before. Also Arsenal crash out of the title race past Feb which is after the Jan transfer window. I suspect we will still be in the thick of it come Jan and it will be Almunia and Fabs last auditions..... hopefully. Either Almunia gets back to his form 2 years ago or Wenger buys in Jan. Maybe thats just all wishful thinking though as I dont think I can survive an entire season of shaky goal keeping and Wenger not bringing in someone to compete.

Supposedly Spurs are wheeling and dealing at the end of it for maybe Rafael Van der Varrt. I think theres a reason he starts on the bench for Real and the National side. He really isnt that great or scary. I look at the entire Spurs lineup and is there a single player that would make the starting lineups of the top clubs? I wouldnt even take Gomes over Almunia

speaking of Spurs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJBsI... hahahahah

feel I need to comment on the Meireless deal to Liverpool. Hes a decent enough player but kinda like Rafael he doesnt worry me much. They still have 0 width. Seems like a safe signing as he will give them what hes got but it wont be a title challenge.

davet010 wrote:

Not really - Robinho markedly lost interest and form in his second season, and apparently we've now cashed him in at Milan for a fee variously reported as £22m or £18m + £2m.

I didn't expect them to pay that kind of money. If that's the case then you're right, that isn't such a bad deal.

BTW: great comment from James Richardson: "So... strikeforce of Ronaldinho, Robinho and Ibrahimović? Can't wait to see them tracking back."

Still no goalie for Arsenal - given up on the title then ?

Dunno. Schwarzer doesn't really strike me as that big improvement that we could hang our title hopes on him. Shay Given (or, let's say, Frey) would probably be that kind of step-up, but there's no chance we're going to get one of these guys, so maybe it's just better to stick with Almunia. Sure, he's not Reina or van der Sar but he's still much better than most people think.

@jowner: big thanks for Redknapp, made my day

Nice to see Spurs only able to attract an RM castoff, assuming it goes through. Talk is that Levy wants to sell up soon, so he ain't interested in piling loads more ding into the club.

I love that commentator. He should have just said - "you've made your name as a crooked c**t, you going to be using your swiss account for paying for protection in Wormwood Scrubs ?"

Apparently Spurs made a loan offer for Adebayor - "triffic player, but his wages don't fit our structure". So you want one of your rivals to lend you a striker, and pay some of his wages ?

That one was given the two fingers by 9.15.

Oh, and an interesting article connected to the current cricket betting scandal.

http://www.twohundredpercent.net/?p=...

If you told me Hleb would be returning to England, don't think i'd have put Birmingham anywhere in my top-10 list of possible places.

He's not exactly set the world alight since leaving Arsenal.