2010/11 Soccer Thread - Hitting The Home Stretch

Well, they've survived playing Blackburn and Bolton, should be OK now....or until Wolves turn up.

Wow, Jeventus 3, Lech 3. Four goals after shocking defending and then two stunners, take a look at that.

Nice to see Juventus fans turn out in their hundreds...and that Alex Manninger still looks like he's about 16 years old.

I presume they are all using that floaty Jabulani ball, based on the final 2 goals.

It's Friday, so allow me to cheer you all up with some comedy gold...

http://www.skysports.com/story/0,195...

Maybe he can prove himself if this mythical consortium takes over Blackburn...you know, the one that has £300m to spend but currently has 11 outstanding county court judgements against it for non payment of debt. And that no one has ever heard of.

And just maybe Fat Sam can then afford to launch his much-delayed law suit against the BBC, you know, the one where they accused him of illegal involvement in transfers. After all, it's 4 years since that was on and he did announce his intentions immediatly after.

Sidenote, after re-watching some of Chelsea's recent games.

Is Michael Essien really good? Or really, really, really good?

Very good player in a very good team, so helped by the fact that his teammates do things so he doesn't have to. A bit like Andres Iniesta...he'd drifted out of the first team picture at Barca until they got it together, then they could slot him in because he didn't have to tackle and get the ball, just had to use it properly.

The upside: Not losing on the road

Downside: Now playing a ton of bore draws on the road. I mean, the good news is that through five games, Fulham's unbeaten. But the record's 1-4-0. But again, like I said, three road trips, three draws.

Welcome to Mark Hughes World.

What Diouf was doing during those long punts into Fulham box was shocking. Somebody should look at those replays and there should be consequences.
Not that I expect it to happen.

As I have no desire to watch Rovers and Fulham, can you elaborate ? I'm sure it's something unsavoury, given Diouf's status as a primo tosser.

I am starting to really dislike Big Sam.

Prederick wrote:

I am starting to really dislike Big Sam.

"C'mon aboard, I promise you you won't hurt the horse. We treat him well, we feed him well. There's lots of room for you on the bandwagon..."

Extra point for naming the group.

davet010 wrote:

As I have no desire to watch Rovers and Fulham, can you elaborate ? I'm sure it's something unsavoury, given Diouf's status as a primo tosser.

I caught it on MotD yesterday. Their tactic (like always) was to do these long, 60, 70 yard punts into the box and have four, five guys ready to head it. Or elbow somebody. Only this time Big Sam decided to introduce something even better - Diouf was just supposed to run into Schwarzer and body-check him. No interest in the ball what-so-ever. There are two replays where it's very clear that he doesn't even care where the ball is - as Robinson is kicking it forward, he's just eyeing Schwarzer and then running into him.
And in one of these situations they've scored, with Schwarzer just lying there helplessly, watching as ball was rolling into the net.

Prederick wrote:

I am starting to really dislike Big Sam.

Me too. Another way to put it would be that I really despise that f*cker.

So the fun starts Saturday, with Tottenham taking on Citeh. In that light, let's lay down potentially embarassing statements now and say how we think they'll finish.

Here's mine WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT IT WAS IN AUGUST THERE HAVE BEEN NO CHANGES MADE:

1.) Chelsea
2.) Manchester United
3.) Manchester City
4.) Arsenal
5.) NOT LIVERPOOL
6.) Everton
7.) Tottenham
8.) Aston Villa
9.) Fulham
10.) Wigan
11.) Sunderland
12.) Birmingham
13.) Stoke
14.) Blackburn
15.) West Brom
16.) Newcastle
17.) Blackpool
18.)West Ham
19.) Wolves
20.) Bolton

Those bottom five could switch around, but I think it'll be those five filling out 16-20. And i'm putting City behind United largely on experience, but I think it's totally feasible that (like the Granuidad's writers say) City finally gets ahead of United.

Well, at least the "horror tackles" phenomenon isn't only happening in England.
IMAGE(http://estaticos01.marca.com/imagenes/2010/09/20/g2009.jpg)

Just a bad sprain, apparently.

Ujfalusi - quelle surprise. I'm surprised that Blackburn haven't been in for him yet, or Everton getting him to form a dream team with that other nutcase, Heitinga.

Plus, the 'horror tackles' syndrome is more prevalent in England due to the prevalence of UEFA's chief bugbear. the 'tackle'. Successfully eliminated from the game in many countries, its continuation in England in particular is no doubt due to climactic factors, or sheer bloody-mindedness.

Can't wait for the Merseyside derby....a real relegation sixpointer

Given that photo, it's amazing that Messi only suffered stretched ligaments. The human body is very flexible, I guess(At least when your Messi's age). I watched the game yesterday on TV and I couldn't see why he was in such distress. The replays didn't show it clearly. It looked like Ujfalusi had just stepped on Messi's foot.

On another note, is Zlatan Ibrahimovic really the humourless bully he appears to be?

http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/blog/_/name/schaerlaeckens_leander/id/5584821/more-our-zlatan-watch

He does strike me as a complete c*ck, with an extremely high opinion of himself which his transfer to Barca no doubt reinforced in his mind (ooo, I'm worth Eto'o plus €65m).

Mind you, no wonder Milan are struggling - with a front 3 of Ronaldinho, Robinho and BigNose, when they lost the ball it's 11 on 8

That picture is horrifying and surprising Messi came out of it not seriously injured.

as for the Sunderland game meh. Seem to catch a break with the flukey goal then Cesc goes off injured, get a player sent off, miss a pk and give up the tying goal on the last kick.

Chelsea is sitting with a GD of +20 btw. I know every team plays the same teams but you think they would factor in the importance of momentum when handing the defending champs the equivalent of 5 warm up games. I honestly feel sorry for City.

We've conceded 2 (one penalty and one goalie aberration), they've been piling it on against muppets - they've not played a single decent side yet. We did the double over them last season, so let's just see how it goes.

UCRC - seen some footage of the new Poznan stadium (I think) this morning - looks very smart, though not open til next summer for football according to the report.

Well, it's Euro 2012 arena. I think they're playing there already, but stadium can pack at about half of it's intended capacity because some stands are closed. But I'm too lazy to check, so I'll take your word for this

always great to beat Spurs and in an ironic twist of fate

Mexico duo Carlos Vela and Efrain Juarez have been handed six-month bans for allegedly throwing a party following a friendly against Colombia.

De la Torre said: "Carlos Vela and Efrain Juarez will be suspended for six months from the date of these events [September 8], for calls for the national team, because there were faults in four sections of the national team rules."

what a blessing. 6 months of Vela not flying back and forth, always coming back tired and knackered playing games for Mexico.

Considering the fixture pileup and our never ending rotation of injuries were going to need him this year and its also a year hes going to have to really show hes either got it or not.

Lessens the blow of Gibbs potentially being out with a metatarsal.

edit:

The Club is happy to confirm that following last night’s Carling Cup Third Round match at Tottenham Hotspur, a scan to Kieran Gibbs’ foot has shown there is no fracture.

Kieran has suffered severe bruising to his left foot and will hopefully only be missing from first-team action for the short term.

Nice to see Twitcher having a whine again, even if the penalties were a bit soft and I had to stifle a laugh at Alan Smith on Sky's commentary desperately trying to convince the disbelieving neutrals that these were actually the most obvious penalty decisions in the history of the game.

Even more enjoyable was The People's Club going out at the hands of a mighty League One club. I wonder how long the appellation of 'Excellent Young British Manager' lasts for, given that he's been there 8 years and won jack. If he's hoping that he'll be the next into Fergie's boots, he'll to keep himself in the eye of the Glazers (though I guess he could always put 'used to working with no money' on his application form).

Wow. Everton, Tottenham, City, Liverpool, Chelsea all out.

Well, I'm willing to accept an away defeat at a Premiership team when Berto makes 11 changes from Sunday's outfit. And at least we didn't suffer any injuries, unlike Chelsea who have lost Kalou and Benayoun.

As for the Grievers of both blue and red varieties...well.

Maybe it's time to retire the Carling Cup. It's obvious no one really cares (one look at the attendances tells you that), most countries only have one cup tournament, and the prize money is a joke.

Just realised, it's 21 years ago today that I was present at this magnificent spectacle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3SoLyyNOGk

TV commentary made all the more amusing by the fact that it is provided by Clive Tyldesley, one of the bitterest and most biased Reds ever to be allowed on TV, and renowned for his ability to shoehorn references to that 'Magical Night in Barcelona' into games where neither club is remotely involved.

And in further news which should bring a smile to Italian soccer fans everywhere...

http://www.whoateallthepies.tv/fail/...

I like League Cup, but only as more serious version of reserve games. I have no problems with teams playing their second elevens. You get profit from ticket sales and TV, young players get a chance to perform on bigger stage and games are quite interesting because lower-league teams really go for it (watch replays of Sc*nthorpe-ManU). It's cup competition for reserves, really

UCRC wrote:

I like League Cup, but only as more serious version of reserve games. I have no problems with teams playing their second elevens. You get profit from ticket sales and TV, young players get a chance to perform on bigger stage and games are quite interesting because lower-league teams really go for it (watch replays of Sc*nthorpe-ManU). It's cup competition for reserves, really ;)

I dont mind it either TBH. I just have a problem when the pro English pundits try to give stick to Wenger for fielding a 'weakened' squad and disrespecting the competition. What a load of sh*te. If anything its an opportunity to blood young English talent that Arsenal tries to develop in real competitive matches. I honestly try to catch as many League cup games as I can because I love to see the players the academy is trying to develop even if the majority never pan out.

edit: also looks like Szczesny is getting itchy to play. Not sure I understand why hes at the club and not out on loan. Give him a loan till xmas and let Fabianski potentially hang himself as the #2. Roster currently has 4 keepers + James Shea even.

Vincent Kompany and Nigel de Jong...in the word of that portly buffoon Andy Gray - "Take a bow, son(s)".

Nice game today by Boyata.

Fair play to Ancelloti..."Manchester City deserved to win". Obviously not been here long enough to have picked up the monging myopia of Fergie, Moyes and Twitcher.

Is 3pm early enough to start on the ale ?

Ha! I already had two before game has ended. (And then needed two more because West Brom happened)