2011/12 Soccer Thread - Because Vacations Are For Cowards

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Well, it's nearly July, and Fulham have somehow managed to stumble into the worst continental competition around (unless we make the final again in which case ITS AWESOME).*

New season, new bosses, new firings, new transfer coups, and the wait for Lionel Messi to be human goes on. Perhaps this will be the season. This will be two years without a full break for him, that's got to catch up to him eventually.

As ever, let's try to keep the banter light, the transfer rumors silly, and the beers cold. We can wait until August for predictions though.

* - Christ, I can't believe we're in the FIRST F**KING QUALIFYING ROUND. At least a game against a Faroese team might as well be a pre-season friendly.

It's not even on the telly over here - although if I get particularly desperate I can pick up a stream from one of the betting websites.

So I'll be hoping that Pred will be able to fill me in on the first 5 minutes then...

Wait, Fullham start their Europa League adventure tonight? The transfer window hasn't even opened yet!

Well, it's open tomorrow.

Sky now trailing big transfer story from Manchester at 5pm.....

Hmm, bidding for some bloke called Nasri, apparently. £20m as well - hope he's as good as Jordan Henderson. Oh, and apparently some bod called Clichy as well.

Some depth for the squad, I guess (envisions David Silva and Nasri in same team, grins).

3-0 win, by the way.

Clichy supposedly off to City today for a medical. Not sure how I feel about this. Hes been so streaky in the last couple of seasons yet hes still only 25... Would be classic Arsenal. Paint it up as a great move that your turning a player into cash that might walk away for free next year while giving the youth player (Gibbs) a shot to earn his spot.

Honestly involved in to many transfer sagas especially with players leaving.

edit: meh....

7m... I can feel for a guy like Nasri who doesn't want to resign. Arsenal keep acting like they are a big club but keep selling like they are a small one. Sure 7m for Clichy with one year left is pretty shrewd business but it doesn't help Arsenal in the short term.

Must be July now, it's another 'Tevez wants away' story.

Here's a reminder, mate - your contract has three years left to go. So you either find someone who is going to pay £50m for you, or swap someone equivalent, or else shut it. Oh, and there isn't enough money in the entire Argentinian league to pay for you, so you can forget that until 2014, then you can do whatever you like.

davet010 wrote:

Must be July now, it's another 'Tevez wants away' story.

Here's a reminder, mate - your contract has three years left to go. So you either find someone who is going to pay £50m for you, or swap someone equivalent, or else shut it. Oh, and there isn't enough money in the entire Argentinian league to pay for you, so you can forget that until 2014, then you can do whatever you like.

What I don't understand is why he just doesn't move his family to Manchester, as that seems to always be his "complaint". Its not like he doesn't have the money to do that, bring in a tutor so they can keep up with their Spanish, and still afford to send them home first class if they want to visit other family/friends for a while.

Two reasons, Zaque.

1. Apparently they dislike the climate. And the city.

2. He's usually too busy nobbing other girls to look after them. He might have the cash, but she's got the cards in the shape of the kids. His request is coterminous with them having reconciled...until the next time he goes off with some other bird.

Boss man is quite pithily unarsed though.

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

Prederick wrote:

3-0 win, by the way.

I demand an in-depth tactical analysis!

edit: Arsenal being linked with Juan Mata gave me great excuse to watch this again and again. And again.
(Which in turn made me ponder that you probably wouldn't expect most awesome moment of World Cup to happen in warmup of friendly, before WC even started.)

Subscribing in case anyone discusses the women's World Cup.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

Subscribing in case anyone discusses the women's World Cup. ;)

I was excited about it and may have mentioned it in the other thread. Then the Canadian women performed like a typical Canadian team...

Odd times in Greater Manchester, as Dietmar Hamann takes over at Stockport County, newly relegated from the League into the Conference. Should be interesting, although I suspect he'll not have a lot of resources available as the owner continues his campaign to destroy the club in favour of the kick-and-clap bunch who share the ground (RU Premiership team Sale Sharks).

unrelated: Is Zola managing anyone ATM?

Roke wrote:
Fedaykin98 wrote:

Subscribing in case anyone discusses the women's World Cup. ;)

I was excited about it and may have mentioned it in the other thread. Then the Canadian women performed like a typical Canadian team...

I believe I saw your post. So, from what you are saying, are the Canadian ladies done?

US Women play again tomorrow.

Fedaykin98 wrote:
Roke wrote:
Fedaykin98 wrote:

Subscribing in case anyone discusses the women's World Cup. ;)

I was excited about it and may have mentioned it in the other thread. Then the Canadian women performed like a typical Canadian team...

I believe I saw your post. So, from what you are saying, are the Canadian ladies done?

US Women play again tomorrow.

Yeah, they're done. Lost all three games. Losing to Germany was expected and 2-1 was a decent scoreline, they then got thumped by France and lost the dead rubber against Nigeria.

I've been catching a bit of Copa America though the pitch conditions haven't been good at all.

Liverpool sign Charlie Adam... and this also doesn't scare me. At least they didn't pay over the moon for him at 7m.

Arsenal continue to do nothing which does scare me

Arsene won't be doing owt at the moment, he's on his holidays. It was strongly rumoured that Gervinho (I think) was at Highbury having a medical today, though.

And forgive me if I am mistaken, but don't Henderson and Adam play in the same position, roughly ?

Prediction - before the end of the season, Dalglish will do his usual and run off at short notice.

So... Copa America.

I've only managed to catch the matches involving Argentina so far and they were interesting to watch. Columbia were absolutely immense tonight counterattacking with pace and defending terrificly. They should have had a penalty and Burdisso sent-off early in the match for a professional foul and overall they had the better opportunities. I can't recall the name of the guy but there was a Colombian holding midfielder/defender who was man-marking Messi and did it very well without coming close to a yellow card. Columbia's match was a textbook case of how to play Argentina right now: defend narrow (since Argentina have no width whatsoever)

As for Argentina, their manager has had selections wrong if not the overall tactics. Aguero rescued them in the first match but was still on the bench for Lavezzi who has been awful in the tournament. I know the choices at the back are limited but Burdisso and Milito have been so poor it's no wonder Guardiola chose to put Mascherano at a central defender rather than Milito. Of course, then there's Messi. He has had a few nice through balls and the typical amazing dribbles but you can tell that he doesn't have enough familiarity with his team-mates. Considering that, he needs to be a bit more direct with his passing and probably take chances from distance a bit more. There was a freekick from Messi tonight that was deplorable.

The common view of Messi/Argentina is that they desperately need Xavi and/or Iniesta with the way they are set up right now. While that is probably true I think what the system is really crying out for is a Dani Alves type fullback. There's no width on the left (Tevez is playing way too centrally and him and Messi are in each other's space too often) and not much on the right (Lavezzi has been Argentina's worst player). Everything has to go to the middle and they're dribbling or passing into bodies.

If Baptista (Argentina's manager) is smart he'll mix things up. If I were in his place I'd go for the Henry/Eto'o/Messi Barcelona system: Messi on the right cutting in (with the fullback given instructions to overlap), Higuain leading the line and giving some height up top, and probably Di Maria on the left. Also, Pastore in the midfield running from deep. I don't see any side working with Tevez and Messi on the pitch getting in each other's way. I guess you could drop Messi instead if you were so inclined.

I really need to watch other teams in the tournament. Though again, Columbia were terrific tonight.

You've made me want to watch Copa

Wes Brown off to Sunderland, with John O'Shea and possibly Darren Gibson to follow.

Good job Fergie has a sound network of clueless managers to offload his not-quite-good-enough castoffs onto.

davet010 wrote:

Wes Brown off to Sunderland, with John O'Shea and possibly Darren Gibson to follow.

Good job Fergie has a sound network of clueless managers to offload his not-quite-good-enough castoffs onto.

With the type of silly money flying around Sunderland getting Wes Brown for 1m seems like a steal. Its Sunderland after all.

Fee was undisclosed, plus they've got his wages off the books. And Brown is not exactly a Premiership quality defender.

davet010 wrote:

Fee was undisclosed, plus they've got his wages off the books. And Brown is not exactly a Premiership quality defender.

Rumored 1m... doubt its way off the mark.

Whats Premiership quality? Theres teams at the top who are in the Champions League and theres teams that just got promoted. I think Wes Brown will do just fine for what they paid for him and if they are smart what they are paying him weekly.

Its a good move for both sides. Now United have an ally playing for Sunderland who will happily kick lumps out of City/Chelsea/Arsenal/Liverpool players when he gets the chance and especially if they play United in the following weeks.

not sure why im defending this. Its not like Arsenal just bought Sylvestre.

I cannot express how hilarious this is. Outside of the fact that Etihad just so happens to be located in Abu Dhabi, this is the most wonderful, hilarious method of trolling Platini and the Financial Fair Play rules I've ever seen. Kudos to City indeed. I hope the relevant e-mail showed up in Platini's inbox, with this as an attachment.

IMAGE(http://www.spankthellama.com/hashbrowns/main.php/d/2752-1/dancing+troll+face+umad+gif.gif)

Also, is the new thing in South America for models to promise they'll strip nude if their team wins a major competition? Because it's happening again. (Links obviously NSFW-ish)

Can we bring this trend across the Atlantic? Can we apply it to the Football League Trophy? (Are there any hot women in Carlisle?)

Maybe the club can use this to drop things on UEFA HQ that they'll appreciate, you know - £20 notes.

IMAGE(http://content.mcfc.co.uk/~/media/Images/Home/News/Club%20news/2011/July/etihad_city_plane.ashx)

$10 million/year isn't that outrageous when you consider that City's ambitions, current standing in the Premier League, and Champions League football. The deal may not be arms-length but it's not something ridiculous like £100 million/year.

I'm not a fan of the financial "fair play" rules anyway, they should have just been limits on debt. Who cares (other than those already near the top of European football who want to maintain their position) if a rich guy wants to pump his club full of money if he isn't saddling it with debt? Clubs like Inter have been living on ownership generosity for years though I recall that a fair bit of that is probably considered debt.

Being reported in the local paper as £30m per annum. Quite right about the other teams getting support though - Real Madrid's bogus €500m deal from the local authority sticks long in the craw of those really interested in financial 'fair play'

Fulham news, last year, we had Bjorn Helge Riise. Now, John Arne Riise. And Michael Essien's knee has apparently gone kersplut again, which really is too bad, because in his pomp, he was one of the few real box-to-box midfielders around.*

*-Alright, that's generous. He's a primarily defensive midfielder with the stamina to go running up Mount Everest. Still, Chelsea (and I) miss seeing him healthy.

In MLS news, i'll be attending a Red Bulls game soon, and y'know, for a while, I didn't see any reason for European players to play out the tail ends of their careers in the MLS, especially if they can still compete in Europe. But watching Thierry Henry for RBNY has been a blast this year, and i'm exceptionally happy he made the trip over.

Now if we can just convince the USSF to come up with a less idiotic playoff system (or, shock horror, a league table).

Also, Craig Bellamy and Adebayor are throwing Manchester City strops again. Yawn.

Wonder if Adebayor got the message when he was told to report for training at Manchester the day that the full squad jetted off to America on their new plane Hope he gets offloaded somewhere soon.

I'm a bit more middle of the road about Bellamy. There were times last year where he would have been useful, but even by his own admission he does what he wants and just when he wants to, which isn't exactly what Italian coaches like. Might have worked for him last year at Cardiff, where he was a big fish in a small pond. Perhaps City should sell him to someone like West Ham.

Prederick wrote:

Also, is the new thing in South America for models to promise they'll strip nude if their team wins a major competition? Because it's happening again. (Links obviously NSFW-ish)

Can we bring this trend across the Atlantic? Can we apply it to the Football League Trophy? (Are there any hot women in Carlisle?)

Please keep us up to date on this critical football news, Pred!

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