2013/14 Soccer Thread

Dimmerswitch wrote:
In fairness to Dave, without Lukaku, I'm not sure we'd be in the top half of the table right now, either.

Nonsense! You are sixteen points off the bottom half. You could be playing me in the striker role and would still be above 10th.

(I can be deadly with my right, though.)

UCRC wrote:
Since it's officially mid-season, I went back to have a look at my pre-season predictions, so far I'm doing okay, with exception of putting Sunderland around 10th (Dimmerswitch put them in 6th, though) and United in top four, ahead of Arsenal.

But overall the first page of predictions discussion is mostly Dave explaining how Everton is mediocre, Martinez is a bad manager and they are not going to make the top half.


Season not over yet, baby. Couple of injuries....

Dimmerswitch wrote:
I maintain that Sunderland is a better team than their results so far would indicate, but yeah I was way off on that one.

My only feelings about Sunderland are remorse for Jozy Altidore.

Roke wrote:
...and Fullham, well, poor Fullham.

IMAGE(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jUSw0BO8un8/T6QENBpE_sI/AAAAAAAABF8/UPD1pXzebwU/s1600/dr-who-rain.gif)

Arsenal are not looking so great right now but they have a 9 day layoff after the Spurs FA cup game.

And they need it. Max points for Jan is what it will probably take to be in the running once the schedule gets real tough. Its doable especially with a couple of gaps in the schedule.

Hmm, it looks like Anelka's gesturing antics are more complicated that it first appeared.

www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/a...

Yes, I know it fits in nicely with the Mail's 'Muslim scare' prejudices, but even so...

Roke wrote:
Would you sell Baines to Manchester United in January given that 1) Oviedo's played well 2) He isn't the fulcrum to the side anymore and 3) The money could be used to get a striker (especially since Lukaku will surely be gone after this season)?

Tough call.

Really, with as many spots as we need to manage generational turnovers for in the next season or so, I think we'd have to sell Baines if a good offer came in (in the neighborhood of 30m).

I'd prefer to not sell him to another Premier-League team, but don't know whether any of the well-heeled continental teams are in need of a top-notch left back (though he's not cup-bound, so maybe that's a possibility?)

Losing Baines but getting a striker (and a few other prospects) feels like it's a deal we'd have to make, though. The prospect of having Osman in the midfield for another season fills me with dread.

davet010 wrote:
Hmm, it looks like Anelka's gesturing antics are more complicated that it first appeared.

www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/a...

Yes, I know it fits in nicely with the Mail's 'Muslim scare' prejudices, but even so...

I started browsing through it and had to stop because I found myself agreeing with something that the Daily Mail published

Roberto Martínez says Everton can resist bids for Baines and Barkley.

Martinez laughed off the prospect of a 50 million bid for Barkley by suggesting that would only be enough to take the 20-year-old on loan.

He joked: “Fifty million? We wouldn’t let anyone out on loan in January. We are in a strong position financially. When you have to bring in money, then it can be a real difficult position as you can be anxious and frustrated.

“When you have to make financial decisions the squad will not benefit but when you make football decisions then you are in a strong position. If we can, we are going to add a couple of new faces and make sure we are stronger when the window closes.”

I love Barkley, but am not sure we could realistically refuse a bid north of ₤50mil. That kind of money could possibly retain Lukaku, and some young prospects as well.

In any event, loving the fact that Martínez doesn't blink when big clubs come knocking.

30 milion and he's gone.

Think I'd want to see a bit more than half a season before I would be thinking of splurging £30m on him, to be honest. And unless Martinez is the one in charge of the bank, he'll do exactly what he's told.

Anyroad, hope you all have a peaceful and prosperous New Year (including Pikey !), and all get what you want - except if 'what you want' is the title, in which case you can get lost

Terrible 'look-at-me' performance by Phil Dowd. Somehow he managed to conjure 7 (seven) bookings out of a match with next to no bad challenges, and I swear that he had Kompany's card out before the challenge was made.

Don't be a c**t all your life, Dowd - you can take a day off now and again.

Pardew's done a good job at Newcastle, but his inability unwillingness to fit Hatem Ben Arfa into the side is annoying.

One firm vote for "Chain Berba to Craven Cottage so he can NEVER LEAVE US."

Quote of the Year (thus far)

"Cleverley is like Bruce Willis in 'The Sixth Sense' - he knows what's going on around him, thinks he is in some way involved, but is powerless to do anything about it."

Dave, since you are always hot on Howard Webb and United jokes, how do you explain this? Cheque bouncing?

Prederick wrote:
One firm vote for "Chain Berba to Craven Cottage so he can NEVER LEAVE US."
Tarrabt had an interesting game. (In a way.) Does he start under Meulenstein?

UCRC wrote:
Dave, since you are always hot on Howard Webb and United jokes, how do you explain this? Cheque bouncing?

'You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing...' Let us see from his next performance at Arsenal, City or Chelsea if he has picked a winner yet.

Hull City in 10th has 23 points... 6 points from the drop.

Arsenal in first has 45 points... Liverpool in 4th is only 6 points back.

This season is 'close' but its really two different tables.

Southampton have cooled off (the schedule caught up to them) and are the only team that sits in the middle of not getting relegated but not probably making it in UEFA.

10th down I wouldn't be surprised if any of those teams got mixed into the relegation race and went down.

8th up anyone could finish 4th but it will most likely be Liverpool or United if they ever sort themselves out. You just figure that Moyes cant be that bad and RvP cant stay out that long for them to drop from 1st to 5th in one season.

Title will be decided by consistency vs teams outside the top 4 IMO. Arsenal could actually finish the year with a pretty average h2h record vs top teams but win it all if they can just keep grinding wins out. The defensive record is there. League best 18 goals against which includes that City game.

Where the goals are going to come from is a question... Podolski and Walcott should help but who plays upfront is not clear with Giroud clearly slowing down. The Berbatov rumors seem to be paper fantasy. I don't think theres a workable price. Selling Berbs could pretty much relegate Fulham.

jowner wrote:
8th up anyone could finish 4th but it will most likely be Liverpool or United if they ever sort themselves out. You just figure that Moyes cant be that bad and RvP cant stay out that long for them to drop from 1st to 5th in one season.

Pains me to say it, but I think Liverpool is more likely for 4th.

Definitely two points dropped against Stoke - if we want to play in Europe, we simply have to be able to put teams like Stoke to bed, even playing away.

Dimmerswitch wrote:
jowner wrote:
8th up anyone could finish 4th but it will most likely be Liverpool or United if they ever sort themselves out. You just figure that Moyes cant be that bad and RvP cant stay out that long for them to drop from 1st to 5th in one season.

Pains me to say it, but I think Liverpool is more likely for 4th.

Definitely two points dropped against Stoke - if we want to play in Europe, we simply have to be able to put teams like Stoke to bed, even playing away.

Top 4 odds have Liverpool United as favs vs Spurs ahead of Everton which I find surprising.

As masters of the super loanee you would figure that Everton has more upside this Jan window than most clubs. Especially Spurs who have done all their spending and still dont know what their first 11 is.

City are heavy favorites to win but probably to heavy IMO. 2 vs Chelsea at 4.5 and Arsenal at 5? around that for most bookies. Really? I know Chelsea haven't been great but down the stretch I would invest on Jose knowing how to win in Jan/Feb/March over Manuel.

davet010 wrote:
UCRC wrote:
Dave, since you are always hot on Howard Webb and United jokes, how do you explain this? Cheque bouncing?

'You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing...' Let us see from his next performance at Arsenal, City or Chelsea if he has picked a winner yet.

:D Fair enough, didn't think about that angle.

jowner wrote:
As masters of the super loanee you would figure that Everton has more upside this Jan window than most clubs. Especially Spurs who have done all their spending and still dont know what their first 11 is.

Yeah, I expect we'll try to move Heitinga and Jelavić in the winter window, and if a good enough bid comes in, we'll probably lose Baines. (Though apparently Heitinga is trying to stymie a trade to West Ham, I'm not sure who the hell else will be looking to pick up an old, out-of-form defender trying to play his way back into the Netherlands World Cup squad).

Also, I was surprised that Solskjaer is willing to come aboard as Cardiff's new manager. I'm not sure I'd be willing to work with Vincent Tan for any amount of money. (I know that's probably shocking, what with all the Premier League teams looking to hire me as manager).

jowner wrote:
Dimmerswitch wrote:
jowner wrote:
8th up anyone could finish 4th but it will most likely be Liverpool or United if they ever sort themselves out. You just figure that Moyes cant be that bad and RvP cant stay out that long for them to drop from 1st to 5th in one season.

Pains me to say it, but I think Liverpool is more likely for 4th.

Definitely two points dropped against Stoke - if we want to play in Europe, we simply have to be able to put teams like Stoke to bed, even playing away.

Top 4 odds have Liverpool United as favs vs Spurs ahead of Everton which I find surprising.

As masters of the super loanee you would figure that Everton has more upside this Jan window than most clubs. Especially Spurs who have done all their spending and still dont know what their first 11 is.

City are heavy favorites to win but probably to heavy IMO. 2 vs Chelsea at 4.5 and Arsenal at 5? around that for most bookies. Really? I know Chelsea haven't been great but down the stretch I would invest on Jose knowing how to win in Jan/Feb/March over Manuel.

I'm still leaning towards a Chelsea - City - Arsenal finish, although it will be close and might depend on any business done in the window, or injuries.

davet010 wrote:
jowner wrote:
Dimmerswitch wrote:
jowner wrote:
8th up anyone could finish 4th but it will most likely be Liverpool or United if they ever sort themselves out. You just figure that Moyes cant be that bad and RvP cant stay out that long for them to drop from 1st to 5th in one season.

Pains me to say it, but I think Liverpool is more likely for 4th.

Definitely two points dropped against Stoke - if we want to play in Europe, we simply have to be able to put teams like Stoke to bed, even playing away.

Top 4 odds have Liverpool United as favs vs Spurs ahead of Everton which I find surprising.

As masters of the super loanee you would figure that Everton has more upside this Jan window than most clubs. Especially Spurs who have done all their spending and still dont know what their first 11 is.

City are heavy favorites to win but probably to heavy IMO. 2 vs Chelsea at 4.5 and Arsenal at 5? around that for most bookies. Really? I know Chelsea haven't been great but down the stretch I would invest on Jose knowing how to win in Jan/Feb/March over Manuel.

I'm still leaning towards a Chelsea - City - Arsenal finish, although it will be close and might depend on any business done in the window, or injuries.

Im not sure how much business is going to happen. If Chelsea unload Mata for a boat load I see them dipping into the transfer market otherwise I dont see any of those clubs making moves.

Ill have to think on it some more but Chelsea might be a steal at 4+.

If Jose unloads Mata he's a damn fool. It's already utterly ridiculous that the most talented player on that team isn't starting every day, but then again, I can see how a creative type like Mata might not fit Mourinho's "style" of play. Ugh.

Y'know something i've learned? When you're threatened with relegation, you could genuinely give a f*cking sh*t about FA Cup weekends.

Prederick wrote:
If Jose unloads Mata he's a damn fool. It's already utterly ridiculous that the most talented player on that team isn't starting every day, but then again, I can see how a creative type like Mata might not fit Mourinho's "style" of play.

Well then, didn't you just contradict yourself there?

Lewandowski is supposed to sign up for Bayern today on five year deal starting from this summer. He's only 25 and has best years ahead of him but I'm not convinced it's a best move for him because he is a guy who has his own style and is not going to fit into every tactical system.

Premier League clubs would be better fits for him. I wonder if there were any takers.

UCRC wrote:
Lewandowski is supposed to sign up for Bayern today on five year deal starting from this summer. He's only 25 and has best years ahead of him but I'm not convinced it's a best move for him because he is a guy who has his own style and is not going to fit into every tactical system.

Premier League clubs would be better fits for him. I wonder if there were any takers.

I don't get it honestly.

Its like he was dead set on Bayern to the point he signed the deal now which will hardly endear him to his current fans for the next 4 months.

You figure a summer free for all bidding war between United/Chelsea/Bayern and Arsenal pretending would of netted him the most lucrative contract and he would of been on a competitive team regardless?

He had the leverage as there doesn't seem to be any high calibre strikers available right now as they all did their moves last summer. Chelsea is being linked with Hiquain which just seems ludicrous....

And oh yea City draw. Its getting chilly outside so I doubt Manuel really wanted another fixture.

I rate City's squad as a whole but a couple injuries/fatigue come Feb 1st could really slow them down IMO.

I think that last statement applies to any club, jowner - and City's squad is better positioned to handle it than most.

As for Lewandowski, he was tapped up months ago, in the traditional FC Arrogant manner. They've been robbing other German clubs for decades in a bully-boy stylee, which is why Clown and the rest of them twine so much about 'financial doping'...bit like his tax returns.

davet010 wrote:
I think that last statement applies to any club, jowner - and City's squad is better positioned to handle it than most.

Right but as it stands City are building themselves a pretty hefty schedule of extra games between the FA and Carling Cup.

I agree that they are deep but maybe the cracks only start to show come Feb 1st when its to late to plaster them over.

Arsenal are already showing their cracks but don't play until the follow Monday after todays game. I'm starting to be slightly optimistic that they bring in an extra stop gap player also. The Bendtner injury might actually force Wengers hand to try and get some extra striker cover for the next 4 months. Berbs could honestly be worth his price if he scores 1 game winner late in the 89th vs some lower table team.