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

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

    Shiny new thread for the new season - all CLUB football matters relating to Premier League, Champions League, SPL, Championship, League Two, La Liga, or even the Beazer homes league, goes here.


    Piss poor start from Villa. Best squad in the division and three defeats on the spin. You best believe that Bruce will be feeling the pressure to work out what's going wrong.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 11-19-2017 at 05:31 PM.

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    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    I don't subscribe to that at all. A draw with Hull was not a bad result, Cardiff are looking fantastic and destroying teams for fun and Reading are a bloody good team too. They've had really tough fixtures. Let them play Brentford, Bolton, Barnsley and Burton and see how they do. I think it's madness to sack Bruce for three results that every team in the Championship would probably get.

    I think a manager of Bruce's experience deserves a bit of TLC and time. Villa aren't going to go down and wil probably make at least the playoffs.

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    Not saying he's going to be sacked for it. But yeah, don't doubt that he's under pressure already. The truth of the matter is anything less than automatic promotion will be seen as underachievement this season, and losing a lead before losing two games convincingly isn't going to cut it. Remember that clubs of our size are held to a different standard when they're out of the top flight, by their own fans as much as by anyone else.

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    Change of pace.

    Who would win a Premier League 5-a-side tournament from the best each team has seen since the 25 Years since the league began? Who makes your teams? And the who you got winning!?

    Manchester United: Schmiechel - Ferdinand - Keane - Scholes - Ronaldo

    Arsenal: Seaman - Adams - Vieira - Pires - Henry

    Chelsea: Cech - Terry - Lampard - Hazard - Drogba

    Would anyone get close to these three teams? Liverpool? City? Spurs?


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    Hmm...

    Villa's would be something like Friedel - Southgate - Barry - Milner - Yorke, who'd not win but give pretty much everyone a solid game.

    Man City... maybe Hart - Kompany - Y. Toure - Silva - Aguero? That's a very decent outfit. Could definitely compete with the others.

    Liverpool, I guess Reina - Carragher - Alonso - Gerrard - Suarez or similar. Could pass most of the others to death though might get outmuscled.

    Not sure about Spurs. Kane probably has to lead the line though, and I think you'd have to find space for Eriksen as well.

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    Senior Member Freeman's Avatar
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    For Spurs I'd go Lloris, Ledley King, Eriksen, Bale and Kane. Tough to leave Modric out but I'd argue he's a much better player at Madrid now than he was at Spurs.

    For Everton I'd go Southall, Baines, Pienaar, Cahill and Duncan Ferguson

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    Couldn't leave Ginola out of the Spurs team.

    Maybe flip it on the reverse, who would have the worst team? Hull City? Sunderland? Derby?


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    Being a West Ham fan is an excruciating experience.

    I know it can be worse but Jesus H. Christ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden View Post
    Maybe flip it on the reverse, who would have the worst team? Hull City? Sunderland? Derby?
    Derby wouldn't be too bad, some good players in the Jim Smith team. Poom - Stimac - Eranio - Asanovic - Wanchope would struggle to win prizes but would hold their own.

    Similar for Sunderland, I think. The worst would be Swindon Town by some distance if I had to guess.

  10. #10
    Fun idea...a Newcastle 5-a-side team.

    Given - Woodgate - Ginola - Asprilla - Shearer. Fairly damning indictment of anyone who has played for us in the last 15 years!

    Pretty bare cupboard in terms of defenders, I was tempted to say sod it and pick Les Ferdinand instead and just try and score more than the other team...

    Blackpool's team would be pretty shite, as would Oldham.

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    Generally the teams who've had one season will be worse than those who hang around for a while and get a couple of strong players.

    Blackpool would have Adam and Gilkes had a very decent season in goal, but the other three would be making up the numbers. Oldham had players who hung around a few years. Paul Gerrard, Gunner Halle, Richard Jobson, Mike Milligan, Graham Sharpe would get beaten a lot but might sneak the odd one.

    Swindon would be Digby, Summerbee, Moncur, Ling, Fjortoft - and I don't see any depth to choose much else.

    Barnsley also bear out the one season crapness - Watson, de Zeeuw, Redfearn, Ward and John Hendrie would struggle for points.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 08-20-2017 at 12:28 PM.

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    You missed Cardiff... Marshall, Caulker, Medel, Whittingham, Bellamy could have fun.

    Not including the prem, Collins and Ramsay would be great additions.

  13. #13
    I reckon Bolton might have a surprisingly good side.

    Jaaskelainen - Cahill - Okocha - Djorkaeff - Speed might have caused a few problems.

    Boro could be strong too; Schwarzer - Southgate - Juninho - Ravanelli - Viduka.

    Makes me yearn for a new Fifa Street, this.

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    Leeds would give it a rattle too.

    Martyn - Ferdinand - McAllister - Kewell - Hasselbaink.

    Ferdinand's second appearance in the five aside rosters. Wonder would the West Ham fans consider him for selection in theirs to make it a hattrick!


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    That Cardiff team is pretty good. They can be the exception to my one season sides being shit.

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    I always felt they were strong enough to stay up on paper. Unfortunately they were shambolic off the pitch and it transitioned onto the pitch.

    We'll be talking about Lossl, Schindler, Mooy, Kachunga and Mounie as the greatest promoted 5-a-side team. Though at this rate it could be more than a season. Huddersfield have spent incredibly well it looks. Newcastle look like a defeated team already.

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    In most seasons there is at least one side who is good enough to stay up but for whatever reason dont. Cardiff had the misfortune to play in a season where every side could have stayed up, and to be the least stable club in the league. Writing was on the wall at that point.

    I had a look at Sheffield United and struggled, so they would be pretty shit (Jagielka being the exception).

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    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golden View Post
    Ferdinand's second appearance in the five aside rosters. Wonder would the West Ham fans consider him for selection in theirs to make it a hattrick!
    I certainly would!

    Miklosko - Ferdinand - Lampard - Cole - Di Canio

    Was tempted to do an entirely homegrown one, with Defoe up front, but I'm hitting a blank on a keeper. Probably have to be Stephen Bywater.

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    You could do a pretty awesome, if unglamorous, side from the Jack Walker era Blackburn Rovers.

    Flowers - Hendry - Sherwood - Wilcox - Shearer would give anyone a tough game. You could always go a bit more negative and sub in Le Saux for Wilcox and that's still very decent.

    Thinking back to the beginning of this, since five a side is usually on a smaller pitch, might that influence your choices? Could think that without space to run into, Bergkamp looks a real good bet to get into the Arsenal side, for example. Box to Box midfielder less in demand than crisp passer of the ball, and so on.

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    I'll bite, my five would be...

    Seaman - Adams - Bergkamp - Fabregas - Henry


    Fabregas may be the slight surprise there, but I probably rate him higher than most people do. Wouldn't fit a 5 a side, but Ashley Cole is someone that gets forgotten about a lot. Best left back in the world for a good 5 years for me (most of which he was with Chelsea granted).

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    For England....

    Seaman - Cambell - Gazza - Scholes - Linekar

  22. #22
    Wonder what Big Sam is up to.

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    I think Sam's basically retired. As a club manager at least, and given what happened with England you can only imagine a minnow taking him on at international level.

    Snodgrass in at Villa on loan. Seems a much better fit for him than West Ham, to be honest. He should be good enough to tear teams apart in the second tier.

    Rumour has it Coutinho will be sold for 148m to Barcelona. Staggering sum for someone who is only really half-proven at the very highest level. Still, not sure how Liverpool would replace him.

    Meanwhile Arsenal look to be in disarray. Bet Mazza is pulling what's left of his hair out.

    EDIT: And for what it's worth, I'd probably pick Rio in a 5-a-side England team as a defender. Mainly because I think he's got better feet than Sol, who was a very old-school player, and the point above about smaller spaces and ball retention would come into it. It's the same reason I'd pick a Gareth Southgate over someone like Tony Adams, if it came to it, and why I took Gareth over Paul McGrath and Olof Mellberg when I did the Villa one.

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    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    West Ham are fucked.

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    Why exactly have things gone quite so wrong at West Ham? I remember when Bilic could seemingly walk on water.

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    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    Why exactly have things gone quite so wrong at West Ham? I remember when Bilic could seemingly walk on water.
    A combination of things, really. A tiny sex toy salesman playing Director of Football with his son's FIFA, unwillingness of said tiny sex toy salesman to actually pay full fees (my understanding is that any sizeable fee is paid in repayments over multiple years - Carvalho was supposedly an offer of 25m in three installments, Ayew is something crazy like 2m a year for a decade reportedly. We only paid Carroll off last summer or the summer before), apathy of the larger sex toy salesman allowing the tiny sex toy salesman to dictate the business, poor signings as a combination of the first two points above, tiny sex toy salesman wanting to play billy big balls for the media, tiny sex toy salesman undermining the manager since last summer (when he wanted to see if Slav was a 'one season wonder' or not before offering a new contract)...

    I think Bilic still has a lot of support from a lot of supporters. However, he's tactically been a bit found out (especially since Christmas) and he has made the odd decision - Antonio at RB/RWB some see as baffling (personally I thought it worked OK, and if mistakes had been allowed he'd have been fine playing there), Kouyate at RB, persisting with Randolph, reverting to four at the back when three was working for us. Some also see him as being unable to change from his tactical set up, with his substitutions not changing formation/tactics at all. And there is a big question mark over the general fitness levels of the squad, we look lethargic in games at the moment.

    Ultimately I think our biggest issue (and this is from top to bottom) is that there is no defined style of play that the club wants to follow. You look at the signings we made this summer - Zabaleta is a right back, but last season we showed better form with a back three and wing backs. Arnautovic is a left winger, but our record signing from last summer in Ayew is a left winger too. Hernandez is a fine striker, but he's most commonly prospered in a two up top system so why buy him if the plan is 4-2-3-1? Is Hart actually an upgrade on Adrian (he definitely is on Randolph)?

    Four signings we made this summer, and I would argue that the only 'upgrade' in the team is probably Hart, if he recaptures his form from a couple of seasons ago. Hernandez is obviously good, Zabaleta is obviously good, Arnautovic is obviously good - but I don't think any of them actually were the player we needed and all have been signed because they are 'big' players.

    Then the only system that all three outfield ones can really work in is a 4-2-3-1, which leaves us getting constantly ripped open through the midfield where - sadly - players like Noble and Obiang don't have the skillset to prosper. Part of the reason Carvalho was so exciting for me was that he can pick a good 40-50 yard pass out to a winger - I thought a shift to 4-1-2-2-1 was on the cards, with two wide guys up top around a central pivot. But with that deal slipping away, it means we're pretty much stuck in a 4-2-3-1, which our star striker isn't suited to at all.

    You end up thinking about it, and the more and more I do the more frustrated I get that nobody has actually defined how we want to play. Without that, we're just signing 'names' and not thinking about the bigger picture.

    I look at someone like Mounie signing for Huddersfield and think he'd have just been the perfect signing for us - less glamourous than Hernandez, for sure, but fits into the 4-2-3-1/4-1-2-2-1 system perfectly as a skillful targetman. Arnautovic, while I like him as a player, just seems like a waste of money in a position where we already had plenty of cover (until we sold all our wingers...) and a record signing already. Why not keep that money and sign the defensive screen we lack and wanted in Carvalho?

    The biggest sign that something isn't working is that of the 12 signings (permanent and loan) made in 16/17, only four of them are still at the club. Two of those were clearly actual scout team finds (Masuaku and Fernandes), and the others Ayew and Fonte. And I think we'd have listened to offers on those two if they'd have got our money back this summer. When you consider that this was a summer after coming within a whisker of European football, and actually remarkably close to Champions League football, when we had a big stadium move, one of the best players in the World firing on all cylinders, it's just flabbergasting that we didn't spend at all well to maintain some momentum.

    Bilic is an unfortunate fall guy - the club is rotten to the core.
    Last edited by Oliver; 09-11-2017 at 05:34 AM.

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    Cheers, Oli. Great post. I had no idea that the issues ran so deep. I mean, I know from their time at Birmingham that Sullivan and Gold built on sand and there was definitely more limelight-hogging going on this time around (a lot of that being Jackie boy, if I'm right), but I thought they'd gotten reasonably lucky so far. Shame for Slav that more fans don't recognise he's got a bum hand, given his status as a former player.

    Not a lot to add about Bruce and Villa, from my club's perspective. I wouldn't sack him because I think he's proven at that level and will figure it out. But if you think he's not under serious pressure, stick his name into google and look at all the news stories that come up. I reckon he's got about six games to save his job.

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    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    It's difficult to really sort it out. I don't think another manager coming in will necessarily do any better with this set of players than Slav has and is, though. Maybe a bit more organised, but we'll likely still struggle unless we hit on a real formula.

    There's definitely a lot of limelight hogging from the two, though. I remember reading before that Sullivan had announced (when at Birmingham) that they'd bid for Andy Johnson, and Simon Jordan went public with the fact that there was no such bid and they were just trying to look active and trying to make a high profile signing.

    De Boer sacked. Shortest ever tenure as a Premier League manager.

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    If I was De Boer i'd sue the club. That can't be right. There should be some form of punishment to clubs that make this rash of a decision. Something like a manager must be in charge for a minimum of 10 games or suffer a fine.

    De Boer's reputation is now very much tarnished, don't think many will go for him.

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    Yeah. I mean, people will look at three months in charge at his last two clubs and say 'Who cares what he won with Ajax, any fucker can win the dutch league with Ajax' and that'll be it.

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    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    Is Hodgson better than De Boer? I just feel it's taking a complete step back towards the Allardyce era that was supposedly not right for them. So wrong.

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    Senior Member Freeman's Avatar
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    Palace are a bit of a joke really. Why appoint a manager who is going to play possession football when you don't have the squad to play said style? Hodgson will do alright but they'll probably still finish in the bottom half.
    Last edited by Freeman; 09-12-2017 at 01:39 AM.

  33. #33
    West Ham gets the first win and get some points on the board. Huge sigh of relief.

    Don't know if Bilic is the right man for the job long run but pleased for him. He's a good man.

    Also all these talk about Palace and did anyone else notice Bournemouth also has 0 wins?

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    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Palace needed a huge overhaul to really fit De Boer's system. Realistically, they either needed at least half a new team in the summer, or a different manager.

    Thought they played well at the weekend, though - there were some promising signs.

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    De Boer screams shiny new toy to me. They wanted him because he had a big reputation (now tarnished) but didn't know what the hell to do with them. The thing about Roy Hodgson is that they should be fine under him. He's got a great track record of getting mediocre sides to play pretty well, even if all his opportunities with top clubs have been ultimately disappointing. I'd say that unless he has finally past it, he'll stabilise them, manage them for a year or two and get them into comfortable midtable positions, and then retire. And then they'll need to find someone else to do it all again. And the great irony is, of course, that there's nothing he can do for them that Allardyce wouldn't have done, and the football isn't likely to be any prettier.

    Leeds are top of the championship. The long road back could be coming to an end, at this rate. I'm not sure how people will feel about that. In most cases people would be glad to see such a big club come back from the brink, but.... y'know.... it's still Leeds, at the end of the day.

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    I'm okay with Leeds being top but there's 23 teams in the league I'd prefer. Even Bristol.

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    I had a bet on Leeds at $17 (roughly 17-1 in English!) so it's not too bad for me, but I still hate them. I also had a bet on Morata for top scorer (11-1) and Mane to score the first hat-trick (23-1)


    De Boer was so bad at Inter, but worse at Palace, he won get another job now, surely! If Woy can do the same as he did with west brom, that's all Palace need. Man for man, Palace are actually a decent side, 3 at the back is not the formation they are made for though

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    Philosophical question - in a case like this, is it the Chairman's fault for hiring a coach who doesn't fit the side that they have; or can a chairman reasonably expect a manager to fit his own tactical blueprint around the players at his disposal.

    Or to put it another way, is Steve Parish to blame for hiring someone with the wrong tactical vision for the club? Or is Frank de Boer to blame for not having the flexibility to managerwhat is in front of him?

    Curious to see people's thoughts.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 09-15-2017 at 08:33 AM.

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    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    I think it's Parish's fault, which by changing the manager he's accepted responsibility for. He is culpable and has taken the blame on his shoulders. I feel bad for De Boer though.

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    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    I'd be perfectly happy for dirty dirty Leeds to become a Barclay's team again. 12th biggest stadium in the country, and I think the fans have been through enough crap to deserve a return to the big time. Radrizzani has already made some positive moves for them, buying back Elland Road and including Leeds United Ladies back in with the men's team. He's also backed the club pretty handily in the transfer market over the summer - no one big signing but a series of guys between 1.5m and 4m through the door. They've got some real players, too - Lasogga looks like a diamond and I suspect if they do go up they'll try and make his loan permanent, Jansson is bossing it at centre back, and Saiz and Roofe are creating a lot.

    Remains to be seen how it pans out across the rest of the season, but they are threatening to run away with it if they can keep this form up for the next couple of months.

    Do the crowd issues from last night suggest that away fans, certainly in European competition, should be granted bigger allocations? Seems like Arsenal allowed only 3,000 seats for away travellers, but couldn't sell their home allocation at all. Why not offer the unsold tickets to away fans if they aren't sold within, say, two weeks of the match? They could then pretty easily move people around in the stadium and get the home and away fans sat with each other.

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