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Thread: Association Football 2017/18 - Premier League, Champions League etc.

  1. #41
    Senior Member Freeman's Avatar
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    Gareth Barry set to equal Giggs' Premier League appearance record if he plays for West Brom today.

    This came out of nowhere for me, I had no idea he was even close to any sort of record. Fantastic achievement though.

  2. #42
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    Gareth Barry is everything a professional footballer should be. What a pro, and in all his time at Villa across five different outfield positions I don't think his performance ever dropped below a 6/10. Very few people in the game with a bad word to say about him either. I think my favourite Gareth Barry moment was when he was first identified as good enough to be a real playmaker by Martin O'Neill, and he rewarded that vision by heading in a winner in O'Neill's first home game in the dying minutes. We'd drawn against all odds against Arsenal a few days earlier but all that momentum would have been lost if we'd not beaten promoted Reading at home on the following Tuesday (or maybe Wednesday, but I think it was Tuesday), but he stood up and made a big statement. He did that for the next two years as the most important player in the side and no one could really begrudge him the move to Man City when he finally got it. The stuff with Liverpool had left a sour taste but he did so well for the rest of that season that it was all water under the bridge for most fans. If anything, you were kind of glad that he did get some winners medals at City (including the Premier League), and that he was so well appreciated at Everton as well.

    Fast forward to the modern era and the only bright spark of the season so far has been the emergence of young Keinan Davis, who looks like he could mature into a right handful.

  3. #43
    Want to see Wolves, Villa and Wednesday promoted to Premier League.

  4. #44
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    Barring us going on a ridiculous run, which I guess we have the players to do, I don't see it happening for us this year. Wolves look good, mind.

    Anyone see that Paddy Power offered odds on Ugo Ehiogu to succeed Harry Redknapp at Birmingham, despite his being dead?

  5. #45
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Yeah - claimed it was an error copied over from an old market on managers, didn't they?

    Not surprised at Wolves looking good, given their summer business. Feel bad for players like Hause and Iorfa, though - loads of chances for those two guys in previous seasons, but now seem to have really dried up. If they get promoted next season I suspect it will be the end of their time at Wolves, and both looked like really promising prospects previously.

    Speaking of Iorfa, I'd quite like to see Ipswich go up this season from the Championship.

  6. #46
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    Yeah, that's right. Stupid mistake to make though. Always check your work if you do a copy-paste!

    Not great news for the London clubs - Costa leaving for Atletico Madrid presumably in the next window, and it sounds like PSG are very much in the driving seat to take Alexis Sanchez.

  7. #47
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Costa was always going to leave, I think. Sanchez is an interesting one - given that he clearly wants out and Arsenal aren't exactly going to be able to stop him from January onwards, if you're PSG do you offer Sanchez a contract and get him on a Bosman? Or do you try for a cut price transfer in January?

    Can Sanchez play in the Champions League given he's already made Europa League appearances for Arsenal?

  8. #48
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    Unless Mbappe or Neymar is their 'designated transfer' then I think so. But it's more complicated in Europe than in Britain so I'm not completely sure. I know that if they were to drop into the Europa League, he wouldn't be eligible.

  9. #49
    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    Great weekend for football. Really enjoyed it. The Manchester battle for the title could be a lot of fun. Especially as I see Chelsea winning it. Surely one of Wenger, Poch or Klopp will go this year? My money's on Klopp.

    On 606 they were debating whether you'd have Morata, Kane, Lukaku or Aguero. I'd be in the minority on their poll but right now I'd take Morata. He's settled in incredibly and his pace and skill puts him above Lukaku/Kane for me. Aguero is quality but much older.

  10. #50
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    As much as I hate to say it, Kane for me. Aguero a shorter term fix, Morata is unproven in the league (but great start). Lukaku is close, but I believe he is a little more one-dimensional. Kane can score from almost anywhere and links play better. Lukaku will rarely score outside the box.

  11. #51
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    I'd agree with Gooner, with the asterisk being that you'd reserve the right to change in a year's time to Morata.

  12. #52
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Kane or Morata for me, too. I don't know how Kane does it - every time I see him I think he's not got that much to his game other than scoring goals. And yet he just keeps scoring them time and time again. There must be something I'm missing in it.

  13. #53
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    It's not just the scoring goals, either. It's the variety of types of goal that he scores. Sure, he isn't going to beat people and run the length of the pitch to score, but he seems to find himself in the positions where his brand of technical ability is just really useful.

  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    Yeah, that's right. Stupid mistake to make though. Always check your work if you do a copy-paste!

    Not great news for the London clubs - Costa leaving for Atletico Madrid presumably in the next window, and it sounds like PSG are very much in the driving seat to take Alexis Sanchez.
    Sounds like PSG is in no position to buy anymore.

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    Probably bias, but it's Harry Kane for me. He has the ability to score all different types of goal, and he is so efficient.

    Perfect example just then, first three shots all goals. He has that ability of scoring when he's seemingly had no influence on the game.

  16. #56
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    It's not just the scoring goals, either. It's the variety of types of goal that he scores. Sure, he isn't going to beat people and run the length of the pitch to score, but he seems to find himself in the positions where his brand of technical ability is just really useful.
    It's just ridiculous. Kane now has 12 more goals in his career than the last 30-odd strikers to be signed by West Ham have actually scored for West Ham.

    For some reason, my mind always goes to him being a bit like Shearer. But I don't really have a good memory of Shearer at his peak, just little snippets. There's something in the way he plays that is just ridiculous.

    I wonder if he'd ever move. Can't imagine how many he might score in a Madrid team without Ronaldo.

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    He'd move if Spurs don't win the league in say the next 3 years. I think he probably understands that at the moment he is at the best club for him. In three years time, suddenly he's hitting his peak and with no trophies to show for it... he'll move. Anyone else would.

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    Always thought he'd end up at United but with the Lukaku signing and the fact that a move from United to Spurs isn't a step up any more then we'll probably not see it happen.

    Hope he breaks Shearer's record. Long way to go, but he is at Messi/Ronaldo level of over a goal a game in 2017 so if that continues who knows what he can achieve!


  19. #59
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    If he stays at Tottenham or only moves amongst the top teams, and he plays until his mid-thirties, then he should break Shearer's record on paper. It's not a truly fair comparison because Shearer scored plenty of goals before the EPL existed. But what that means in practice is that Kane has almost twice as many Premier League goals by the same age as Shearer managed.

    15 goals a season will do it if they play to the same age. If he scored 25 goals every year, he'd break the record at 32.


    In other news, I don't wanna say that the pressure is off Bruce and that we're out of the woods just yet, but he's played an absolute blinder. He's managed the situation very well and bought himself the time to get a few good results and performances on the board. If we can keep this league unbeaten streak going on until November and enough of those results are wins, then all talk of change will be gone.

  20. #60
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    Surely Mark Hughes will go soon? Signings aren’t working out, no progression and now a humilition. Wenger is the same as ever and somehow retains his job.

    Massive Kudos to Palace though. Incredible result and shows how much they miss Zaha.

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    I don't know. Maybe. I mean, there's no evidence of progression at the moment, but he did give the team their best finishes since the 1970s. The current position is a fall back, but it's no further back than to where there were when he took over from Pulis. They are still looking at finishing in the same kind of position this year, but have gone backwards so if they did make a change it wouldn't be out of step with modern football. But you could argue that by giving them their best league finishes in generations, that maybe he deserves more of a chance to turn it around.

    I'm actually not sure where you get someone better than Hughes. Allardyce maybe? But given that Hughes has had more hits than misses on his CV you'd want a proven coach to replace him rather than taking a punt. If he doesn't get a few wins (starting with Bournemouth at home) then that might chance and you might think about rolling the dice.

    But I wouldn't worry about one bad result. Villa got tanked annually by a top team when Martin O'Neill was in charge and it didn't mean an awful lot, and we were supposed to be a fair bit better than Stoke are now. It happens from time to time against the top teams.

  22. #62
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    I actually think it’s time Eddie Howe, Sean Dyche or Chris Hughton got a chance with an Everton or a Stoke. Especially the first two. They do an incredible job every game they win in the Prem. I’d even consider them for the Arsenal job if that became available.

  23. #63
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    I can see an Arsenal or an Everton, but are a Stoke really a step up from a Burnley or Bournemouth? Honestly, if I were in their boat I'd rather stay where I was. It seems like a risk you just don't need to take - not least because Eddie Howe in particular probably has a job for life if he can keep Bournemouth in either of the top two divisions.

  24. #64
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    Do you think Arsenal or Everton would ever take them though? Foreign seems the way at the moment.

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    No, I don't think they will. Arsenal certainly wouldn't take Dyche. Or at least I'd be massively shocked if they did.

    I think part of the problem is that outside of Newcastle, West Ham, and Everton, most of the clubs that would traditionally be seen as either a step-up are either challenging at the top (Spurs) or are out of the division (Villa, Leeds etc). It basically means there's not a lot of places you can go. You can move to a team that are slightly more established than the one you are at, or you can stay where you are and try and build on what is already there.

  26. #66
    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    Strangely, I would put Leicester in that category right now. Their title win probably escalated them into a higher level. I understand what you mean though. I just find it somewhat tragic that these Managers are more likely to get the England job than a decent Premiership job.

    I also find it odd that Benitez is still Newcastle manager though. It's crazy that he's been with them so long when, in my opinion, he's one of the best managers in the League.

  27. #67
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Dyche is a really weird one. I can't see him having anywhere near the success he enjoys at Burnley anywhere where a slightly more progressive type of football is expected. That's not to slag off his approach, because it works, or his tactics, because he gets them spot on. But his team is very expressionless.

    Remarkably, I think we hit on the way to beat them at the weekend (whether by luck or by judgement, I'm not sure) by just letting them have the ball. They spend so long containing, and are so ingrained in doing that, that when the opposition plays like that they don't seem to have the ability, or tactical know how, to break a team down. I know they did eventually break us down, but they offered little with us having 8/9 behind the ball after Carroll was sent off.

    I don't think I've ever seen a game like that, mind you. When was the last time there were three substitutions at half time in a PL match?

    End of the day, though, we've now probably lost 4 points this season as a result of silly sending offs - Arnie and now Carroll. Not good enough in either instance.

    I'm also stunned at the poor form of Cresswell this year. Last year there were a bit of mitigating circumstances around him being a little bit ball and tackle shy given he had his first real injury due to a wayward tackle in a friendly. But I thought a preseason might shake him out of it. Seems like he's regressing further. He seems completely afraid to get within 5 yards of the player with the ball at the moment.

    Another West Ham note, but just for me really - we've got Toni Martinez in our youth set up and he is basically scoring goals for fun for us. Knocked in a hattrick at the weekend against Man United U23s as we won 4-2. He's 20 now - surely we've got to give him a chance in and around the first team soon?

    We've actually got a little crop of youngsters coming through that there's some excitement about at the club - I think Martinez leads the way somewhat, but there's Rice, Burke, and Oxford in defense, Haksabanovic who we signed in the summer, Holland, Cullen, Quina. I keep hoping/thinking we'll see some break through for us, but other than Rice we've not seen too much. Part of that, possibly, is because Bilic is always on the back foot - he's unlikely to play youngsters when he's supposedly only got 1/2/3 jobs to save his job.
    Last edited by Oliver; 10-16-2017 at 07:44 AM.

  28. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by anonymous View Post
    Strangely, I would put Leicester in that category right now. Their title win probably escalated them into a higher level. I understand what you mean though. I just find it somewhat tragic that these Managers are more likely to get the England job than a decent Premiership job.

    I also find it odd that Benitez is still Newcastle manager though. It's crazy that he's been with them so long when, in my opinion, he's one of the best managers in the League.
    I hate Benitez. But even allowing for that hate, I think he's at the right level. His record with top-tier clubs isn't great. But next level down, I don't see why not - there's enough in his Liverpool and Chelsea runs to make people take a chance and it seems to have paid off for the Toon. Newcastle is still one of the top ten jobs in the country, so given that he's bombed out badly at a number of strong sides, I think that's about as good as he can expect. They may have had a difficult few years but Newcastle's ceiling is still a lot higher than most Premier League clubs.


    Interesting point on Leicester. I'd say it gives them the opportunity to move up a level, but they need to solidify and have a good few years in the Premier League first. If they can match of improve on 12th for the next few years then you'd start to see them as a move up for someone. The title does make them a bit special but to be honest I still think of them first and foremost as a bit of a yo-yo club.

    The other thing to think of is that there are a number of teams who, if they were in the Premier League currently, you'd think were bigger teams. Villa, Leeds and Sunderland are obvious ones, but there's also Nottingham Forest, Wolves, Sheffield Wednesday... and you could even make a case for the likes of Norwich, Ipswich, Derby, Sheffield United, Blackburn, though some of those will convinced more than others. So, it's a long road from 'provincial club' to 'big club'.



    Oli, I'm still not quite sure how things have turned so much for West Ham, but it's certainly something that we're getting used to now. I've seen that they are predicted to finish around 14th this year. If that came off it'd be their worst finish since the last time they were relegated. Can't be sitting well with the fans.

  29. #69
    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    Who would you want as your manager, Oli?

    Harry Redknapp made a substitution at half time in 35% of his matches . I also found this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/foot...up/4259719.stm very amusing...as Chelsea ended up with 9 men.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    The other thing to think of is that there are a number of teams who, if they were in the Premier League currently, you'd think were bigger teams. Villa, Leeds and Sunderland are obvious ones, but there's also Nottingham Forest, Wolves, Sheffield Wednesday... and you could even make a case for the likes of Norwich, Ipswich, Derby, Sheffield United, Blackburn, though some of those will convinced more than others. So, it's a long road from 'provincial club' to 'big club'.
    I've always been curious about this, as I feel it is a generational thing. What would your top 20 UK clubs be, in terms of being 'Premier League' material? Obviously the top ten or so write themselves (in no particular order):

    Man United
    Arsenal
    Liverpool
    Chelsea
    Tottenham
    Everton
    Man City
    Newcastle
    Aston Villa
    West Ham

    After this it becomes a bit tricky as loads of clubs have arguments to be placed there. My second 'ten' would probably be (again in no particular order):

    Leeds
    Sunderland
    West Brom
    Blackburn
    Leicester
    Southampton
    Stoke
    Crystal Palace
    Fulham
    Middlesbrough

  31. #71
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    It is a tough question. You can factor a lot in and that makes it complicated but a simple version based solely on what teams have won and the size of their support might look like this.

    Man United
    Liverpool
    Arsenal
    Chelsea
    Everton
    Aston Villa
    Man City
    Newcastle
    Tottenham
    West Ham
    Sunderland
    Sheffield Wednesday
    Leeds
    Nottingham Forest
    Middlesbrough
    Wolves
    Blackburn Rovers
    Derby County
    Leicester City

    And then the last place would either be taken by West Brom or Ipswich. About the same levels of support. Ipswich have done stuff that WBA have never done in Europe. Their successes are also more recent than WBA's which are predominantly in the early days of football, but WBA fight their way back in by making more of an impact in recent days, even if they've not actually won anything. I think it's an absolute coin toss. The club of Bobby Robson against the club of Bryan Robson, and I'm not sure I can split them. One thing is clear, and that is that if Leicester hadn't won the league they'd probably both be in.

  32. #72
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Who I would like and who we'd probably end up with are two very different things - probably part of the trouble I'm having with the club right now, if I'm honest.

    I'd love to see us go for someone like Bielsa, and would have loved him to be the guy we got when we actually got Slav. I feel like he's the kind of manager that players look at having the opportunity to work for and almost jump at the chance.

    I don't know how likely it is, how much he'd want it, and how well it would work, but I think it would be really exciting to see him manage any team in the Premier League - I'd love it to be us.

    Other names like Tuchel seem almost too obvious, given that he's available on a free and did pretty well at Dortmund after doing well at Mainz. Laurent Blanc is another one a bit like that - I'm not sure whether he's really exciting as a manager, but he's got a high profile in the game. Ancelotti is the same. I'd probably be happy with those kind of guys, not necessarily excited about them though.

    If not Bielsa? If we were going to be really exciting we'd go for someone like Julian Nagelsmann - I've enjoyed watching his Hoffenheim side over the past couple of seasons, and he doesn't seem to want or need to spend big money to do it. Gasperini has done really well at Atalanta and brought youth from the academy through, which is kind of what we need to have at the helm to regain some identity after the move.

    In all honesty, though, more than anything I'd like to stick with Slav. I think we're improving this season, I think he's worked some things out, and I think we're getting there. I just wish it wasn't in such bad circumstances. Feels like the game against Brighton this week is one where if we lose we'll again here stories of his job being on the line in the next game and so on. It just feels so bloody cyclical, we get a couple of good results and things look on the up, and then we either have a match where we struggle, or maybe a couple of matches where we struggle, and suddenly he's got his back against the wall again.

    I think it's either shit or get off the pot time. Either we publically back him until the end of the season, or even give him a contract beyond that, or we bin off and replace him. I've heard talk of everyone from Benitez to Mancini to Jokanovic being in the frame for the job.

  33. #73
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    Well, as of a few hours ago, Craig Shakespeare is available. Leicester have sacked him.

    Be interesting to see if the likes of a Dyche or a Howe see Leicester as a step-up, and interesting to see if Leicester look to the Premier League or go abroad.

  34. #74
    Scotland’s next manager, Craig Shakespeare.

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    I'd love to see Martin O'Neill back at Leicester

  36. #76
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    Mixed feelings on that one. O'Neill is popular so for some it's real feelgood story, but Leicester's board are unpopular so... yeah. As I say, mixed feelings.

    The favourite for Scotland still seems to be Moyes, but I've heard Cesare Prandelli's name mentioned in connection with the job.

    Meanwhile we need to get back to winning ways immediately after being pretty comprehensively beaten away at Wolves.

  37. #77
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Feels kind of hard on the Midlands Bard to sack him. His four losses this season are Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea, and Liverpool - and two of those were close. Sure, there's only one win on the board, but there's little shame in draws with Bournemouth and West Brom, and Huddersfield away isn't exactly easy as I expect a lot of teams will discover.

    Is the money in the Premier League making Chairmen/women now far more knee jerk in their reactions?

  38. #78
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    Yes, I think it is. We've reached a point where most of the top clubs are businesses first and foremost, run by people with no actual connection to the club beyond the financial. That's not to say that football hasn't always been a business. But in the old days, even though they were local businessmen and generally didn't know a lot about football, they were still fans of the club. The only clubs run by people are likely to be long time fans in the Premier League now are Brighton and Huddersfield. Even Bournemouths' chairman is a Russian businessman. Around half of the second tier are owned by foreign billionaires, too.

    It's not that the ownership is from abroad that is the problem, per se. But what I think is clear is that they are in it first and foremost for the cash, in the majority of cases. Being in the top flight is a licence to print money. You'd don't actually have to challenge for anything, just staying there is enough. So there isn't really a need to try and build anything, so the risks of sticking with someone and trying to develop actually outweigh the benefits of the sudden upturn that can come from freshening things up.

    While a fan of the club might want to think about how someone can recover from a bad patch and stick on a plan that will lead to a title in five years, the risks associated with losing the spot in the division is now so great that most people are going to pull the plug on a plan the minute it looks like relegation is a possibility. Having owners who see this as a business opportunity more than a labour of love is just going to amplify that.

  39. #79
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    Just a heads up, to try and stimulate a bit more life in the sports forum I've spun out all the stuff about England thinking that there'd be enough there for it's own thread. Unfortunately that means I've caught a lot of stuff about Wales, Scotland, and Ireland in with that, because of the nature of a lot of the posts, so if people take it that way we can re-title it as an international football thread, if there's enough interest in that.

    Short and long is that this thread is now club football specific.

  40. #80
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    I think that might be the nail in Bilic's coffin.

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