2015/16 Soccer Thread

UCRC wrote:

Jowner, who do we want to see at Arsenal, assuming we have the budget for one big transfer?

Been avoiding answering this because.

I have no f*cking clue...

Part of the problem is in the area Arsenal obviously need some cover (DM) is the hardest to say so and so player is 100% fool proof world class go get him.

The fact that we slotted Coquelin into that spot and he was brilliant pretty much sums up how random the position is. Didn't we recall him from a championship loan and a week later he's apparently the missing cog(q?) to best City?

It's as if we all know his success there is somewhat a fluke and he will return to more average level of play but I can't name an obvious player to go out and sign.

It's as if Schneiderlin + Carvalho don't convince Wenger so why spend 20-25m. I would love the latter out of selfish reasons of potentially watching a Portuguese player week to week but honestly how many highly rated Portuguese mids have fizzled out in the last 10 years? It's a pretty long list of guys who were highly touted that range from busts to just average league serviceable.

I think the only positive I can spin is that if Arsenal don't spend you know the money is there if a player really convinces Wenger.

For example if Pogba is available next year for 50m and Wenger thinks he's world class we would legitimately be in the running to stump up the cash. Not something we could of thought before the ozil signing.

Coquelin was on loan at Charlton last year, my Charlton-supporting friend wasn't all that impressed with him but that team has serious issues. His (possession-adjusted) numbers for Arsenal were decent last year from what I remember, for a team like Arsenal he'd be an ideal squad/#2 DM. I can't see to find the radar I saw of him. Arsenal really should have been in for Giannelli Imbula. £14 million, already really good, and only 22.

Speaking of radars, Harry Kane and Austin were interesting to look at, especially since UCRC mentioned the vastly different price tags:
Austin
Kane

Thanks, I love looking at those. What I'm reading, though, is that Austin simply does not run with the ball. Rest of differences (and perhaps also the lack of dribbles) is due to the fact that he's been playing for a sh*t team last season.

jowner wrote:

It's as if Schneiderlin + Carvalho don't convince Wenger so why spend 20-25m. I would love the latter out of selfish reasons of potentially watching a Portuguese player week to week but honestly how many highly rated Portuguese mids have fizzled out in the last 10 years? It's a pretty long list of guys who were highly touted that range from busts to just average league serviceable.

Well, to be honest that list isn't long. There hasn't been that many Portuguese players in that league.

slazev wrote:
jowner wrote:

It's as if Schneiderlin + Carvalho don't convince Wenger so why spend 20-25m. I would love the latter out of selfish reasons of potentially watching a Portuguese player week to week but honestly how many highly rated Portuguese mids have fizzled out in the last 10 years? It's a pretty long list of guys who were highly touted that range from busts to just average league serviceable.

Well, to be honest that list isn't long. There hasn't been that many Portuguese players in that league.

Not in the EPL only but all the guys that show promise and get hyped up by their agents. Moutinho was being linked with a move to England that obviously never happened. Etc etc.

Carvalho could be a great player when it's said and done but I think all the rumors about him are just agent driven.

I get Man City were probably in a difficult situation with Sterling, as Liverpool knew they are mega rich and need English players (although I'd say with the money being pumped into their academy, I'd question why that isn't providing good options.)

Still, the fee is ridiculous for a player who does look like he has a lot about him, but I'd hardly put him in a world class category. There are a load of young players in the world who I'd rate higher than him.

Also, Newcastle have finally got a transfer! I did get annoyed at how some of our fans were overly impatient with our transfer dealings, considering McClaren hasn't been in the job that long and the transfer window only opened less than 2 weeks ago, but I hope Wijnaldum will be good for us, I can't remember seeing him play too much, but he's Dutch league player of the year, and you can say what you want about that, but it has to mean he's done something right! He's also our 3rd most expensive signing of all time, so it's quite the turnaround for the club who are really trying to clean up their image with the fans this season.

Mitrovic from Anderlecht could be next. I went to an Anderlecht game in 2014 and I must say that I can't remember him doing anything of note, but that's only one game. I was actually more impressed by the Club Brugge targetman! If he does turn out to be good then I hope Chelsea enjoy his supersub appearences next season (And Besiktas fans enjoy him beyond that!)

Manchester United sign Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin, cornering the market on Sch-named midfielders.

Presumably, signing decent defenders is somewhere on their to-do list?

Or maybe they'll play a 0-5-3-2 this season?

AT LAST! Finally Saints can sign Clasie and Van Dyck and get on with the season!

United looks like they'll be solid as hell this year. Especially if they add that solid CB.

Clusks wrote:

Still, the fee is ridiculous for a player who does look like he has a lot about him, but I'd hardly put him in a world class category. There are a load of young players in the world who I'd rate higher than him.

He's on a 5 year contract, so effectively £10m per year for someone rated as one of the finest young players in England. The latter clause is important as City's home grown quota has taken a bit of a knock with Milner having decided he's not interested in trophies. Hopefully a few more will be given a shot next season...Jason Denayer spent a season on loan at Celtic and ended up as Scottish Young Player of the Year, so he might be worth a go.

davet010 wrote:
Clusks wrote:

Still, the fee is ridiculous for a player who does look like he has a lot about him, but I'd hardly put him in a world class category. There are a load of young players in the world who I'd rate higher than him.

He's on a 5 year contract, so effectively £10m per year for someone rated as one of the finest young players in England.

It would be a funny sentence even without putting emphasis on the last two words. Thanks for going the extra mile.

jowner wrote:
slazev wrote:
jowner wrote:

It's as if Schneiderlin + Carvalho don't convince Wenger so why spend 20-25m. I would love the latter out of selfish reasons of potentially watching a Portuguese player week to week but honestly how many highly rated Portuguese mids have fizzled out in the last 10 years? It's a pretty long list of guys who were highly touted that range from busts to just average league serviceable.

Well, to be honest that list isn't long. There hasn't been that many Portuguese players in that league.

Not in the EPL only but all the guys that show promise and get hyped up by their agents. Moutinho was being linked with a move to England that obviously never happened. Etc etc.

Carvalho could be a great player when it's said and done but I think all the rumors about him are just agent driven.

That's just two, though!
Moutinho was good. He's getting old and lacks energy now.
William is very good, but not great yet. There are moments where you notice his youth.

Clusks wrote:

Mitrovic from Anderlecht could be next. I went to an Anderlecht game in 2014 and I must say that I can't remember him doing anything of note, but that's only one game. I was actually more impressed by the Club Brugge targetman! If he does turn out to be good then I hope Chelsea enjoy his supersub appearences next season (And Besiktas fans enjoy him beyond that!)

Mitrovic would be a great addition anywhere, but apparently he refuses to go to Newcastle because he wants to go to a team fighting in the Champions League.

No problem, UCRC. I'll file it in my joke cabinet, next to "world-class Mesut Ozil".

davet010 wrote:

Oh, and I'd be most obliged if someone could tell me which currency Raheem Sterling is worth 60m of. I'm not expecting 'sterling' or 'Bahraini dinars' in the answer.

(But that's only 12 million per season for a guy who must be so much better than the playmaker for the world champions!)

But he didn't cost 60m, so that's OK.

And German playmaker ? I don't seem to recall him being a standout for Germany in the WC, although mind you it is a year ago.

slazev wrote:
jowner wrote:
slazev wrote:
jowner wrote:

It's as if Schneiderlin + Carvalho don't convince Wenger so why spend 20-25m. I would love the latter out of selfish reasons of potentially watching a Portuguese player week to week but honestly how many highly rated Portuguese mids have fizzled out in the last 10 years? It's a pretty long list of guys who were highly touted that range from busts to just average league serviceable.

Well, to be honest that list isn't long. There hasn't been that many Portuguese players in that league.

Not in the EPL only but all the guys that show promise and get hyped up by their agents. Moutinho was being linked with a move to England that obviously never happened. Etc etc.

Carvalho could be a great player when it's said and done but I think all the rumors about him are just agent driven.

That's just two, though!
Moutinho was good. He's getting old and lacks energy now.
William is very good, but not great yet. There are moments where you notice his youth

Manuel Fernande's who was at Everton but never made it... Veloso was heavily linked with a move to United that never happened. Some guy named Bebe? Whoops. The kid who was a sensation last or the previous summer at a youth tournament that ended up in Turkey instead of Ronaldo 2.0.

It's a simple equation really. EPL is the league with the most money and agents are trying to get their % of a huge pay day. Therefore every hyped up prospect gets linked to a English club. I'm hoping Carvalho is good but once the smoke fizzles out watch him end up at a mid level club for reasonable money... Or off to Spain, Italy or if his agent can really spin a story Monaco or PSG.

Edit: considering his skin tone let's hope his agent doesn't convince him Russia is a good idea.

Veloso! My favourite FM midfield buy circa five years ago. I'd imagine he's playing somewhere in Serie B right now.

UCRC wrote:

Veloso! My favourite FM midfield buy circa five years ago. I'd imagine he's playing somewhere in Serie B right now.

Not quite... He's in the dream location of Kyiv playing for Dynamo.

But yea pretty much many FM teams were created with guys like Fernandes, Moutinho and Veloso centering the mid on the way to trebles.

Real life? Yea not so much.

Carvalho apparently fractured his tibia so there goes those transfer rumours. His agent must be throwing a fit.

If Ospina leaves Arsenal will probably net out at 0 spent this window. Between the fees + wages cut of him + Podolski it probably equals the fee and wages of Cech.

Subtract 2 add 1 and I'm honestly more confident going into this season. The transfer war chest will be full if guys like Draxler are actually available. I was going to mention Reus but he's already 26 and I'm not sure if he actually would start or has more room to grow.

It's William's own fault. He pushed himself in the under 21 Euro.
Sporting just complained formally against the Federation, but William was the one who wanted to keep playing. You could see in the final that he wasn't able to run.

jowner wrote:

Manuel Fernande's who was at Everton but never made it... Veloso was heavily linked with a move to United that never happened. Some guy named Bebe? Whoops. The kid who was a sensation last or the previous summer at a youth tournament that ended up in Turkey instead of Ronaldo 2.0.

It's a simple equation really. EPL is the league with the most money and agents are trying to get their % of a huge pay day. Therefore every hyped up prospect gets linked to a English club. I'm hoping Carvalho is good but once the smoke fizzles out watch him end up at a mid level club for reasonable money... Or off to Spain, Italy or if his agent can really spin a story Monaco or PSG.

Edit: considering his skin tone let's hope his agent doesn't convince him Russia is a good idea.

Manuel Fernandes and Veloso are ok-ish examples. They were never considered great in the Portuguese league.
Bebé is just the worst possible example. The guy never did anything remarkable anywhere before going to Manchester. It was only after that that he did shine in the Portuguese league (scored many goals), but in a lower team.

£32.5m for Benteke seems insane to me, especially when you already have Sturridge, Ings, corpse of Lambert, and I guess Balotelli.

If it wasn't for Balotelli taking a billion long-distance shots (3 shots/90 from outside the box last season) I don't think there's much between the two of them. Well, the bad run of percentages for Balotelli but that's bound to regress.

Not sure about Balotelli comparison, but 32.5 screams another Andy Carroll to me.

Diego Costa was cheaper. What more is there to add.

UCRC wrote:

Not sure about Balotelli comparison, but 32.5 screams another Andy Carroll to me.

Diego Costa was cheaper. What more is there to add.

I think it's a situation of the new TV deal + selling Sterling for so much, they are just desperate for him, so are meeting his buy-out clause and teams know they've got the money.

Saying that though, people seem to be forgetting that Benteke has quite a good goalscoring record, and that was playing in a side like Villa, who have been dull as dishwater for the past several seasons. Not as many people complained when Bony signed for Man City, and that was for a somewhat similar fee. I actually think Benteke will be a good signing for them. Injuries aside, with a good run he's a really good striker.

Hard to agree. Benteke can be good for them, but he's at the very best on the top-4 competitors level of talent. And that should not be enough of an incentive to blew 30-odd million on a player.

Reason one, when a really good player, of title winning quality, becomes available 6 months from now at a 30-60 Mil you've blew your budget already and have to move this donkey out of the team first.
Secondly, after two summers of unexciting transfers and high-profile departures no one (neither opponents nor your own players) are going to think of you as serious force if you're touting signing a guy who almost got relegated as your show of intent.

tl;dr: Andy Carroll much? (and I think Carroll was actually a more exciting signing)

13 goals in 28 appearances, in a side with almost zero creativity or credible other threats ? That's a long way off Andy Carroll, who was never particularly good. Villa would almost certainly be playing Championship football next season but for his goals.

And which 'really good young player' do you foresee becoming available in January ? And what good will he do you when you are already languishing in 5th, with no real chance of making the CL, and why would he consider Liverpool ?

In other news, City have opened the petty cash tin and found the 8m for Fabian Delph, who now doesn't appear to be staying at Villa after all. Reasonable price for a HG quota player.

Dave, Carroll scored 11 in 19 before his mid-season transfer, so that's more impressive than Benteke last season.

Still, no matter how they compare to each other at respective stages of their careers, I just don't see Benteke win them many points. They need a real talent like Aguero or Suarez to become competitive again and I don't think they have 32 million to burn on stop-gap measures. Maybe you're just reasoning from City's point of view, where paying this much for a backup option (Bony) is normal.

Three cheap options they could've chased: Dzeko, Mandzukic or Van Persie. Or if they feel like they need their shiny striker right now, why not try for Lavezzi or Cavani?

I agree Caroll was a more exciting signing. With Caroll there was something to dream about with him being two years younger than Benteke is now when he transferred to Liverpool. Benteke has the track record and is firmly in peak age, but you're going to get what he is (while Caroll certainly wasn't a proven quantity.

**Numbers wall of text digression begins here**
Glancing at Caroll's numbers he was certainly on an unsustainable percentage run with that 11 in 19 at Newcastle. If I didn't mess things up with the calculator his shooting percentage was 42% (I believe the 95th percentile is 22.5%). His shot-rate from Newcastle to West Ham has remained quite regular at around 3.8shots/90 but it dipped heavily at Liverpool.

Funny that Commoli's analytics didn't catch something as simple as a percentage run. Anyone familiar with something as basic as BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) in baseball or shooting percentages in ice hockey would have worried about that. He ended up paying over the nose for potential when a guy's "form" was at its peak because of the percentages.
*Numbers wall of text digression ends here**

Anyway, Lavezzi and Van Persie are in their 30s while Cavani, Dzeko, and Mandzukic are all late 20s. Alone and at this point in their careers any of those five aren't going to make up for the wage gap between Liverpool and the top-4 and they aren't going to get better as they get older. I think money spent on those guys would be wasted more than money on Benteke.

What Liverpool should be doing, since they show no signs of bridging the wage gap, is to go back to buying early-20s players who've performed in other leagues like they did with Canand kind of like with Suarez although he was 24). Guys who can grow into stars that can carry the team above their pay grade. Benteke doesn't look to be that type of player. Sterling was a guy like that if he could get his finishing sorted out like Suarez did but, well, they let that relationship deteriorate.

Torres to Suarez to Carrol to Sturidge to Benteke?

Did I get the order of transfers right?

The price is inflated because of the situation which doesn't bother me much but when Sanchez went for 30m last year and Benzema rumors are 40m... I guess that's the cost of not being in the CL actually.

Hard to lure elite talent when your not in the CL. United were only able to IMO because they payed over the moon and the mish mash of players they brought in last year wasn't exactly convincing. They just spent until something resembling a team stuck and took advantage of Liverpool also buying poorly + Sturidge injury.

It screams of Liverpool wanting to be relevant this season vs trying to be more shrewd in the market.

Wonder what the wages are. That is key the IMO. Problem EPL teams might face going forward with this huge TV deal is turning 70-80k players into 100k-120k weekly players. If they want to unload him next season for whatever reason and he's on 120k guess what? GL finding a team outside of England who can pay that and see if he wants to take a pay cut or just sit on the bench.

That happened with Arsenal and Bendtner and City with Adebayor already.

Not sure how much Rodgers has left to spend but I don't think I'm going out on a limb to say he's sacked this year when it becomes clear Liverpool are not finishing in the top 4.

It's that time of year again - also, some gameplay changes this season which look interesting.

The new season kicks off on Saturday 8 August 2015 so make sure you’re ready by registering your Fantasy Premier League team now.

Fantasy Premier League (FPL) is the only official free fantasy football game of the Barclays Premier League, brought to you in association with EA SPORTS.

Using a budget of £100million, select your squad of 15 players and put your managerial skills to the test.

This season new game-changing features take Fantasy Premier League to a whole new level with the addition of new in-game strategic chips:

* Triple Captain – your captain will score x3 points for one GW only
* All Out Attack – switch to a 2-5-3 formation for one GW only
* Bench Boost – players on your bench will score points for one GW only

Gameweek deadlines have changed too and are now 1 hour in advance of the first GW kick-off – so there’s more time for you to perfect your Gameweek line-up.

Enter your team and discover more about these great game-changing features now. Once you’ve selected your team, you can invite friends and co-workers to join your mini-leagues and make unlimited transfers before the Gameweek 1 deadline (11:45 Sat 8 Aug).

UCRC wrote:

Dave, Carroll scored 11 in 19 before his mid-season transfer, so that's more impressive than Benteke last season.

Still, no matter how they compare to each other at respective stages of their careers, I just don't see Benteke win them many points. They need a real talent like Aguero or Suarez to become competitive again and I don't think they have 32 million to burn on stop-gap measures. Maybe you're just reasoning from City's point of view, where paying this much for a backup option (Bony) is normal.

Three cheap options they could've chased: Dzeko, Mandzukic or Van Persie. Or if they feel like they need their shiny striker right now, why not try for Lavezzi or Cavani?

I think Firmino will probably offer them that bit of flair an Aguero or Suarez could, he'll be key and I got a feeling he will flourish, they just need someone who can finish the ball like a Benteke. My only worry for Benteke, after thinking about it, is that it will turn into a similar situation with Carroll, as in they have a guy who has a main strength as a targetman, but they won't play that way, Rodgers' biggest problem is his refusal to mix it up like that for the team sometimes. As a Newcastle fan, I've never seen a player who is better in the air as Andy Carroll, he was immense, but the fee Liverpool paid was ridiculous considering he'd only had half a season really in form in the Premier League. I would love him back at Newcastle if he wasn't so injury prone. But we do tend to traditionally play with a targetman (and how badly we needed one when Carver was manager - lumping balls up to 5ft6 Adam Armstrong might not work out!)

I think with Liverpool it needs to be noted they aren't established Champions League anymore, a player like Cavani wouldn't go there. I know he's got his feuds with Zlatan, but he'll probably be aiming for a CL team if he can.

I agree with Dave though, you need to remember how terribly awful Villa are and how he managed to find goals there, I went to see us play at Villa Park last season and they looked delighted to finish with a 0-0 draw (the crowd wouldn't give the ball back to our players when we had a corner in the 70th minute), they didn't even have a shot on goal from what I can remember, and that was against a terrible Newcastle side!

Apparently Man Utd have decreed that "De Gea will be staying unless Ramos joins".

That's a bit like saying "I'll only let you slap me in the face if you kick me in the balls as well".

Ramos is a comedy defender of the highest order. To say that you'll only sell your best goalie (and remember, the Iron Tulip has now decreed that Victor Valdes is off as well, as he refused to play in some u-21 game), IF, and only IF, Real promise to send their defensive genius (stop s{racist slur}ing at the back) to them. I'd have thought that TIT would be better off saying that he'd only send De Gea to them if they sold Ramos to Chelsea.

It's not even as if they could play him in central midfield. With Carrick and Pig-Climber there, they've already got a midfield slower than continental drift - does make you wonder how much the latter has in the tank when Bayern prefer to keep a player who's three years older than him.

Still, there's plenty of time left in the window yet.