2011/12 Soccer Thread - Because Vacations Are For Cowards

Can I just add that the bit Pikey highlighted doesn't actually make any sense from a grammatical standpoint, unless Gourlay is saying that Chelsea have 'demonstrated'. What, they have a march or summat ?

"Certainly since I have been in the role, we have always done what we believe is right for the football club in the long term." Just love that bit.

And to answer the question, unfortunately, I think he IS serious. He better hope that the RML doesn't think that winning the CL means that it's time to collect the chips and go and do something else.

Hey, before the white collar criminal invested in football all that money went to hooker and blow. Now at least it goes into the sport (before the players spend it on hookers and blow of course)!

dejanzie wrote:

Hey, before the white collar criminal invested in football all that money went to hooker and blow. Now at least it goes into the sport (before the players spend it on hookers and blow of course)! ;-)

I'm pretty sure there is an awesome Keynesian economics / Keynesian multiplier joke in there somewhere. Someone call Malor!

ahhhhhh

arseblog ‏@arseblog
I just heard from an impeccable source that Eden Hazard is going to announce to Yann M'Vila the time and place of his next announcement.

he always cracks me up.

I know we all like to moan about our lot and the injustices meted out to our various clubs, but spare a thought tonight for the fans of Darlington FC. Members of League Two just a couple of years ago, they were relegated from the Conference this season after going into administration, and have now been relegated a further THREE tiers into the Northern Football League (which despite its status as the second oldest league in the world after the Football League, is actually tier 9 of the pyramid in England).

They will therefore be leaving the 25,000 seater arena that has proved to be such a millstone around their neck, and will be using a 2,500 seat stadium instead. Let's hope they can make it back up the pyramid, and once more thrill the world with what football writer Harry Pearson described as 'one of the great chants in world football - "Quaker aggro !" '. He might have been somewhat ironic in this description - after all, he said that he supported Middlesborough because he was a glory-hunter

davet010 wrote:

"Quaker aggro !"

Allow me to recommend the book from which that was quoted. It's one of those books ideal for leaving in the smallest room in the house, for dipping into when you have some time to kill

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Far-Corn...

League one playoff won on penalties by Huddersfield over Sheffield Utd, and it ended up with one keeper scoring his penalty, and the other one (Steve Simonsen, once Britain's most expensive keeper from the lower leagues) blazing his over.

USA beat Scotland 5-1 and Michael Bradley (who had a great season at Chievo) did this ...

Sol Campbell: "MY GOD. IF YOU'RE BLACK AND YOU GO, YOU'LL BE DOUBLE-LYNCH-MURDERED TO DEATH."

Andriy Shevchenko: "THERE ARE NO PROBLEMS ANYWHERE WE NEVER NOTICED"

The Probable Truth: There will be a few incidents, but being that this is a major international showcase for the hosts, they'll actually try to prevent having a gigantic, embarrassing stain on their international rep, the kind that is caused by 40,000 people making monkey chants at Ashley Cole.

I think it would be a great shame if the reputation of either (or both) countries was stained by the actions of a few nobheads - after all, football shouldn't be charged with the responsibility for solving social issues.

Talking of nobheads, apparently Captain Needy has decided that his destination is....Chelsea. Hopefully the 6th best team in the Premiership is big enough for him, and the new manager fancies him. Still, looks like he's in the right place.

Owner - Crooked gangster who likes 'signature' buys which are universally sh*te (see - Torres, Veron, Shevchenko etc). Looks like an audition for 'Dumb and Dumber'.
Fans - Moronic cockney vermin, identifiable by Lacoste shirts, gold chains, BNP tattoo
Ground - Mismatched sh*thole
Team - Looks like was assembled by a 6 year old, no identified striker, though they appear to have a lot of midfielders....oops.

I hear that City were actually interested, right up to the point where he said 'I'll be playing in the AM slot in the centre', at which point he was asked how he was going to demonstrate that he was better than David Silva, Yaya Toure or Samir Nasri....City were going to use him in a wide position.

Apparently Chelsea are also after Modric and Hulk. Love to see who's going to manage that assortment of egos.

davet010 wrote:

I think it would be a great shame if the reputation of either (or both) countries was stained by the actions of a few nobheads - after all, football shouldn't be charged with the responsibility for solving social issues.

Talking of nobheads, apparently Captain Needy has decided that his destination is....Chelsea. Hopefully the 6th best team in the Premiership is big enough for him, and the new manager fancies him. Still, looks like he's in the right place.

Owner - Crooked gangster who likes 'signature' buys which are universally sh*te (see - Torres, Veron, Shevchenko etc). Looks like an audition for 'Dumb and Dumber'.
Fans - Moronic cockney vermin, identifiable by Lacoste shirts, gold chains, BNP tattoo
Ground - Mismatched sh*thole
Team - Looks like was assembled by a 6 year old, no identified striker, though they appear to have a lot of midfielders....oops.

I hear that City were actually interested, right up to the point where he said 'I'll be playing in the AM slot in the centre', at which point he was asked how he was going to demonstrate that he was better than David Silva, Yaya Toure or Samir Nasri....City were going to use him in a wide position.

Apparently Chelsea are also after Modric and Hulk. Love to see who's going to manage that assortment of egos.

Chelsea could be in be in trouble as they transition because the guys they are replacing were actually really really f*cking good even if you hate(d) them. If a couple of the guys coming in do pull a Torres, Veron, Shevchenko then they will have a tough time breaking back into the top 4.

Drogba was not the most likeable personality but god damn he was was/is a great footballer. Same goes kinda for Terry but hes showing way more rust IMO. That Lampard guy wasn't bad either.

In terms of wage and playing time Chelsea is probably the best spot for Hazard (of the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea), though I think he'll be on the left with license to roam playing in the middle - the middle is where Mata was used when they went 4-2-3-1 under both AVB and Di Mateo.

Chelsea's youth setup is apparently pretty good these days though they haven't really given anyone a chance, Bertrand in the Champions League final excepted. They should be able to get at least one more year out of both Terry and Lampard and hopefully blood some more of the youth in that time. You're absolutely right though Jowner, this transition is going to be very risky and could blow up pretty with only a couple of things going wrong.

I'll add my voice to those not pleased with the way this whole Hazard transfer saga is going. It's like he owns a newspaper or two.

Since we are talking about transfers, I'll just say my piece once and for all: if Arsenal buys M'Vila I think the new midfield trio could get us extra 10 points next season.
Apart from that all I can wish for is that van Persie stays or we bring in a proper replacement.

To be honest Chelsea buying Hazard, without even a manger in place btw, is good news for me. One less talent at Manicini's disposal next year. It's not as if they don't have enough already, Hazard being thrown into the mix would have been just a massive headache (IF Mancini pulled off integrating Hazard's ego/game into the team). As a rival, I am glad to see Hazard be taken into a horrible mess of a team.

jowner wrote:
davet010 wrote:

I think it would be a great shame if the reputation of either (or both) countries was stained by the actions of a few nobheads - after all, football shouldn't be charged with the responsibility for solving social issues.

Talking of nobheads, apparently Captain Needy has decided that his destination is....Chelsea. Hopefully the 6th best team in the Premiership is big enough for him, and the new manager fancies him. Still, looks like he's in the right place.

Owner - Crooked gangster who likes 'signature' buys which are universally sh*te (see - Torres, Veron, Shevchenko etc). Looks like an audition for 'Dumb and Dumber'.
Fans - Moronic cockney vermin, identifiable by Lacoste shirts, gold chains, BNP tattoo
Ground - Mismatched sh*thole
Team - Looks like was assembled by a 6 year old, no identified striker, though they appear to have a lot of midfielders....oops.

I hear that City were actually interested, right up to the point where he said 'I'll be playing in the AM slot in the centre', at which point he was asked how he was going to demonstrate that he was better than David Silva, Yaya Toure or Samir Nasri....City were going to use him in a wide position.

Apparently Chelsea are also after Modric and Hulk. Love to see who's going to manage that assortment of egos.

Chelsea could be in be in trouble as they transition because the guys they are replacing were actually really really f*cking good even if you hate(d) them. If a couple of the guys coming in do pull a Torres, Veron, Shevchenko then they will have a tough time breaking back into the top 4.

Drogba was not the most likeable personality but god damn he was was/is a great footballer. Same goes kinda for Terry but hes showing way more rust IMO. That Lampard guy wasn't bad either.

I found Drogba to be despicable on the field as a person, but absolutely respectable off the field, and most certainly not someone I could disregard/overlook in terms of footballing ability. Chelsea has a crater to fill in the shape/capacity of Drogba, and I just can't see Torres being the one.

Lampard is gone now too?

UCRC wrote:

Since we are talking about transfers, I'll just say my piece once and for all: if Arsenal buys M'Vila I think the new midfield trio could get us extra 10 points next season.
Apart from that all I can wish for is that van Persie stays or we bring in a proper replacement.

Rvp's life boss (wife) was quoted in the sun as saying she wanted to stay in London with Arsenal. Withhold that sex until he signs a big contract with Arsenal!

Pikey26 wrote:

To be honest Chelsea buying Hazard, without even a manger in place btw, is good news for me. One less talent at Manicini's disposal next year. It's not as if they don't have enough already, Hazard being thrown into the mix would have been just a massive headache (IF Mancini pulled off integrating Hazard's ego/game into the team). As a rival, I am glad to see Hazard be taken into a horrible mess of a team.

Ditto - I'm holding out for Javi Matinez and I'd quite like that van der Weyl chap from Ajax. Wouldn't mind Vertonghen either, but apparently he's not interested in CL football, he keeps mouthing off about Spurs

Pikey26 wrote:
jowner wrote:
davet010 wrote:

I think it would be a great shame if the reputation of either (or both) countries was stained by the actions of a few nobheads - after all, football shouldn't be charged with the responsibility for solving social issues.

Talking of nobheads, apparently Captain Needy has decided that his destination is....Chelsea. Hopefully the 6th best team in the Premiership is big enough for him, and the new manager fancies him. Still, looks like he's in the right place.

Owner - Crooked gangster who likes 'signature' buys which are universally sh*te (see - Torres, Veron, Shevchenko etc). Looks like an audition for 'Dumb and Dumber'.
Fans - Moronic cockney vermin, identifiable by Lacoste shirts, gold chains, BNP tattoo
Ground - Mismatched sh*thole
Team - Looks like was assembled by a 6 year old, no identified striker, though they appear to have a lot of midfielders....oops.

I hear that City were actually interested, right up to the point where he said 'I'll be playing in the AM slot in the centre', at which point he was asked how he was going to demonstrate that he was better than David Silva, Yaya Toure or Samir Nasri....City were going to use him in a wide position.

Apparently Chelsea are also after Modric and Hulk. Love to see who's going to manage that assortment of egos.

Chelsea could be in be in trouble as they transition because the guys they are replacing were actually really really f*cking good even if you hate(d) them. If a couple of the guys coming in do pull a Torres, Veron, Shevchenko then they will have a tough time breaking back into the top 4.

Drogba was not the most likeable personality but god damn he was was/is a great footballer. Same goes kinda for Terry but hes showing way more rust IMO. That Lampard guy wasn't bad either.

Lampard is gone now too?

I don't think so but unless hes Scholes/Giggs he only has so many years left in his current 33 year old legs. Hes a strange talent. I've never seen someone consistently score so many deflected goals.

Bosingwa and Kalou are out. Might of just been cheaper to keep them as role players. I think Arsenal have proved over the last several years what happens when you leave the bench to thin.

New Football Weekly Euro preview got me excited for the tournament. I feel like I have to explain something, because three of four guys out there betting on Lewandowski being the top scorer left me entertained. So, here's a quick roundup of Polish football team from yours truly, just so you know what to expect from that team.

lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate
Basically try imagining Arsenal playing with Szczęsny, Sagna, Walcott, van Persie and seven second-choice players Let's have a look:

Szczęsny in goal is a great keeper. Definitely good and confident enough to play in major tournament. He can draw us games with major opponents which we would otherwise lose.
But then there is defence pairing of... actually, I don't have an idea who's playing, they're all useless. You could make comedy reel hours long out of those clowns, just have a look at the video above. Polish defenders are either tactically inept or technically... uh, lacking, to say the least. I think it will be:
Marcin Wasilewski, Polish Vincent Kompany (when I say Polish read it as exactly the same minus footballing skills), guy who was at the end of that tackle and came back, and
Damien Perquis, Ligue 1 defender who doesn't even speak Polish. He's average but we don't have anyone better, and there is a feeling that since a lot of players born here 'defected' to play for Germany (Klose, Podolski) we have a moral right to take in any player with Polish roots. We don't.
Left-back is one guy or the other, they're all average.
Łukasz Piszczek is our Sagna but more dynamic. He's probably the best outfield player in this team - he always seemed to be an average full-back but under Klopp was transformed into best right-back in Germany (provided Lahm plays on left ;]) and one of the few best in Europe. He's amazing going forward, overlapping and even getting into the area and scoring. But once again - is that going to matter when you surround him with all those average players?
And here is the funny part about him that I didn't mention - he was part of match-fixing scandal from back in 2005 and in 2011 he was sentenced by Polish court (for taking part of fixing one game) and suspended from playing for international team for six months. Some say he still shouldn't be in the team, I tend to agree on principle.
Defensive midfielders are legendary. They are Karl Henry-meets-Muppet Show. They're generally average holding players from average clubs. I think two starters will be Rafał Murawski who used to play for Rubin in Russia when they had a good run in CL but was found lacking (oh, really) and Eugen Polanski, average Bundesliga midfielder - one another guy who isn't really Polish. That's it, they are basically there to make up the numbers and not f*ck anything up, feat that they rarely accomplish.

second part of the team coming later

Oooh, Ooh, I wanna do a preview too!

U.S. National Team - NOT PARTICIPATING IN THIS TOURNAMENT

Also, this is wonderful.

I'm sorry - Szczesny and 'great keeper' do not belong in the same sentence, except where a negative is present.

IE - "Szczesny is not a great keeper". Good - yes, great - no. Does seem to let a number of weak shots through him (first against Norwich in the 3-3 draw as an example).

Good luck to Poland in the tournament though, hope they do well.

Bayern apparently 'discussing a contract with Dzeko' (aka 'tapping him up, as not entered into negotiations with City regarding a fee for a player under contract'). This might well be Hoeness's technique when negotiating with Bundesliga clubs, but it doesn't fly with City, fatso. This is rumoured to be their replacement for Gomez, who is off to Real Madrid. Yeah, right, like RM need someone who needs 10 chances to scuff one in. I'd go for it if the deal was Pig-Climber or whatever he's called for Dzeko in a straight swap, but just so long as Robben ain't involved.

Uli Hoeness, pictured yesterday

IMAGE(http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20101104024460/spawn/images/e/ec/Clown.jpg)

Funny how Poland suffers from the same issues as Belgium: great players in some positions, very average ones in other positions like left back and right back

So who will win this tournament? I'm guessing Germany. I don't believe Spain will win their third big tournament in a row, their hunger will be less ferocious than before. Germany hasn't won anything since Euro 96, and has such a great team. By team I really mean 'team' as a whole, as in 'a machine'. They play with such maturity and class that I don't see anyone stopping them. The Netherlands lucked into the finals two years ago, and England will play awful as usual Italy and France have some great players but no team.

Has anyone made any "Germans go marching into Poland" gags yet? I cannot be the first.

I have dual longshot picks. Russia or the Czechs. But if i'm being realistic, I think (say it quietly) the Dutch get #2.

jowner wrote:
Pikey26 wrote:
jowner wrote:
davet010 wrote:

I think it would be a great shame if the reputation of either (or both) countries was stained by the actions of a few nobheads - after all, football shouldn't be charged with the responsibility for solving social issues.

Talking of nobheads, apparently Captain Needy has decided that his destination is....Chelsea. Hopefully the 6th best team in the Premiership is big enough for him, and the new manager fancies him. Still, looks like he's in the right place.

Owner - Crooked gangster who likes 'signature' buys which are universally sh*te (see - Torres, Veron, Shevchenko etc). Looks like an audition for 'Dumb and Dumber'.
Fans - Moronic cockney vermin, identifiable by Lacoste shirts, gold chains, BNP tattoo
Ground - Mismatched sh*thole
Team - Looks like was assembled by a 6 year old, no identified striker, though they appear to have a lot of midfielders....oops.

I hear that City were actually interested, right up to the point where he said 'I'll be playing in the AM slot in the centre', at which point he was asked how he was going to demonstrate that he was better than David Silva, Yaya Toure or Samir Nasri....City were going to use him in a wide position.

Apparently Chelsea are also after Modric and Hulk. Love to see who's going to manage that assortment of egos.

Chelsea could be in be in trouble as they transition because the guys they are replacing were actually really really f*cking good even if you hate(d) them. If a couple of the guys coming in do pull a Torres, Veron, Shevchenko then they will have a tough time breaking back into the top 4.

Drogba was not the most likeable personality but god damn he was was/is a great footballer. Same goes kinda for Terry but hes showing way more rust IMO. That Lampard guy wasn't bad either.

Lampard is gone now too?

I don't think so but unless hes Scholes/Giggs he only has so many years left in his current 33 year old legs. Hes a strange talent. I've never seen someone consistently score so many deflected goals.

Bosingwa and Kalou are out. Might of just been cheaper to keep them as role players. I think Arsenal have proved over the last several years what happens when you leave the bench to thin.

There are few players in the premier league I see pulling off a "Scholes". I can almost see Lampard being one of those players, despite the 'fatty' reputation he seems to have for whatever reason.

Well Poland and Belgium at least have great players in some positions, Denmark doesn't even have that going for it. I still don't understand how they qualified. The only thing they seem to do well is play together as a team, even Bendtner seems to play more as a team player.

As for a winner I have to say the Germany looks very good.

davet010 wrote:

I'm sorry - Szczesny and 'great keeper' do not belong in the same sentence, except where a negative is present.

I wouldn't say he's world class but he's certainly good enough for international level and huge improvement over Fabiański, probably over Dudek as well.

Oh, undoubtedly, and he's only 22.

In other news, Roma seem set to unvail Zdenek Zeman as their new boss. One of my all-time heroes as managers go, both for his activities with lower-status clubs in Italy (he's just gotten Pescara back into A, and his mid-90's Foggia team were legendary), and for his getting the best out of underachieving bigger sides. Very vocal about cheats (he'll have plenty of targets now then) and drugs - his hatred of Juventus is awesome. Shame that Luis Enrique couldn't get Roma going, but I suspect he'll be back in management soon.

Wow, Zeman! I've heard about him a lot (mostly from Jonathan Wilson and some other guardian writers), now I wish I can pay more attention to Serie A next season.

And now, apparently, chunky Lampard is injured (I must say, given the option of spending two weeks in June with Christine Bleakley or Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Terry, I'd be 'injured' as well). So Hodgson is likely to send for....Jordan Henderson. A player who's 20 million pricetag must have been denominated in Turkish lire. A guy so bad that he was kept out of the Liverpool starting XI by such noted talents as Jay Spearing towards the end of the season.

I bet Charlie Adam is gutted he's not English now. After all, every other English demic from the 8th best team in the Premiership seems to be in contention, even their second choice right-back was called up in an emergency.

This is a very subtle ploy. Unlike previous managers, Roy is now lowering expectations to such an extent that coming 3rd in the group will be deemed worthy of a ticker-tape parade. Christ, with this squad I wouldn't be surprised if UEFA aren't scouring their rulebooks to see whether England's qualification can't be reversed..that'd have Platini soiling his underwear every day, that would.