Page 9 of 9 FirstFirst ... 789
Results 321 to 330 of 330

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

  1. #321
    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    389 miles from Sheepster
    Posts
    1,151
    I hope Fulham get promoted - they're playing really good stuff. Plus, anything that involves not having to see Neil Warnock's face on a weekly basis on MotD gets my stamp of approval
    I hope West Ham get relegated, go into liquidation and appoint Alan Pardew on a 40 year contract. Bah. Warnock has repeatedly told fans he'd leave if Cardiff got promoted anyway- it'll be interesting if he sticks to that.

    I want Liverpool to win tonight and win the Champions League far more than I should, as a neutral.

  2. #322
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    748
    Bayern for me. The lesser of 4 evils. Can't usually stand Liverpool fans, Madrid have won it 3 times in 4 years already and my ex is from Rome.... So yeah.

  3. #323
    Squared
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Northern England, UK
    Posts
    6,572
    Living in the city has warmed me to Liverpool quite a bit, strangely. I'd have bet money on it being the other way around.

    So I read this today. Probably the first bit of football journalism I've been interested in for quite some time, and it's an interesting take.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Liew of The Independent
    Fifteen years ago today, Roman Abramovich was sitting in the stands at Old Trafford, transfixed. That was the night Manchester United beat Real Madrid 4-3 in the Champions League, and as the likes of Ronaldo, Giggs, Figo, Zidane, Veron and Roberto Carlos served up a feast of mesmerising attacking football, a vision began to crystallise in Abramovich’s mind: of owning a football team that would blind the world with its radiance – not just by points, but by example; that would marry style and skill, charm and charisma, silk and silverware. The ultimate billionaire’s plaything: a luxury marque to which all of football would aspire.

    This season, Abramovich’s dream was finally realised. One snag: it was realised by someone else.

    On Sunday, Chelsea played out a hard-fought 2-0 win over Southampton in front of 15,000 empty Wembley seats, earning a shot at their eighth FA Cup. Two hundred miles away, meanwhile, Manchester City were demolishing Swansea City 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium. They have already seized Chelsea’s Premier League title. Chelsea’s points and goals records are on the verge of falling (City need just six of each from their last four games). Most crushingly of all, they are doing it playing the sort of football that Abramovich envisaged his own side playing when he arrived in west London in 2003 with a brand new chequebook and a thirst for dominance.

    Of course, you could hardly argue things have gone badly for them. The FA Cup would be the 15th major trophy of the Abramovich era. They have conquered Europe, something Pep Guardiola’s side is yet to do. And under Jose Mourinho, and then Carlo Ancelotti, and then Antonio Conte, they have produced some of the great teams of the Premier League age.

    It is tempting to wonder, though, if Abramovich has allowed himself the odd wistful glance at City over the last few months. For all his investment (which according to some estimates runs north of £3bn), none of his teams have produced football as complete, as attractive, as aesthetically pleasing as what Guardiola and Abu Dhabi have managed to achieve at City this season.

    It wasn’t meant to be this way, of course. It’s easy to forget now just what a lightning effect Abramovich had during those early years in English football, as he immersed himself in a game he knew comparatively little about. He would turn up unannounced at youth matches. Leaning heavily on the council of his advisor Piet de Visser and later his sporting director, Frank Arnesen, he would become convinced of the necessity not just to win, but to do so with style, sophistication, plaudits. The players who arrived in that first astonishing summer – Arjen Robben, Joe Cole, Hernan Crespo, Damien Duff, Veron – offered a clue as to the direction in which Abramovich saw the ship sailing.

    Then came the Mourinho era, one that saw dazzling and almost immediate success, and yet would ultimately lead to fatal disagreements over footballing style. The faultline between Abramovich and Mourinho came to a farcical head in late 2007, when the owner himself ventured into the dressing room after a Champions League game against Rosenborg to lecture Michael Essien on his passing lanes, with a bemused Andrei Shevchenko acting as interpreter.

    By the time Ancelotti arrived in 2009, Abramovich was still enamoured by the idea of turning Chelsea into something more than a trophy machine. “Chelsea don’t have a personality,” Ancelotti remembers Abramovich telling him when he was hired. “When I watch Chelsea, I’m not able to find an identity. When I see Barcelona or Manchester United, I find an identity in the team. My team, at the moment, I don’t recognise.”

    Ancelotti’s team won the Double in its first season, their 103 goals setting a record that Guardiola’s side are still chasing. It was, perhaps, the closest Abramovich’s Chelsea have come to perfecting his vision. Still he wanted more. In his second season, as goals and results began to dry up, Abramovich grew impatient. The £50m signing of Fernando Torres in January was an expensive failure. The constant entreaties to Ancelotti to be tougher on his players fell on deaf ears. A browbeaten Ancelotti was sacked within minutes of the end of the season.

    It’s possible to pinpoint that moment as the start of Chelsea’s boom and bust cycle. Until 2011, they spent eight consecutive seasons in the top three. Since then: 6th, 3rd, 3rd, 1st, 10th, 1st and (probably) 5th. And in the subsequent appointments of Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo, Rafa Benitez, Mourinho and Conte, it has become harder and harder to discern anything like a consistent pattern, a strategy, the identity that Abramovich was so keen to instil.

    Between them, City and Chelsea have now scooped up four of the last five Premier League titles. They are, in terms of spending if nothing else, the closest thing English football has to an establishment. And yet, they have taken wildly different paths to get there: Chelsea the slash and burn, the permanent chaos, City the slow build, the long and predictable cycles of growth, culminating in perhaps the strongest expression of pure attacking football the English game has seen in a generation.

    The talk now is that after Conte’s inevitable departure, Abramovich will look to replace him not with a star name, but a young, innovative manager who will commit to playing the sort of attacking football that first seduced him all those years ago. And it’s tempting to wonder whether City’s example has had a bearing here: the humbling experience of watching another club attain the sort of pristine, crystalline success he has spent the last 15 years trying to achieve for himself.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  4. #324
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    2,290
    Quote Originally Posted by anonymous View Post
    I hope West Ham get relegated, go into liquidation and appoint Alan Pardew on a 40 year contract.
    I said at the time of Bilic's sacking that I hope we ended up getting relegated this season.

    I'd love Roma to win it, they've been my second Italian team for as long as I can remember after Palermo.

  5. #325
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    662
    I'll take the old fashion view on this with anyone but Liverpool.

    We finally host probably league champions Wigan tonight, hoping we lose just to stop any chance of Blackburn stealing the title.

  6. #326
    Junior Member Laith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    24
    I've just finished watching the Liverpool-Roma game. If Mohammad Salah does end up winning the Champions League, he would definitely deserve the coveted Ballon D'Or award that has become exclusive to Ronaldo and Messi over the last decade. Liverpool have truly got the bargain of the century when they bought him. He's also on most definitely going to break the record for most premier league goals previously set by Suarez, Ronaldo and Shearer.

    Even though they eliminated us (Manchester City) from the competition, I am rooting for them to take the Champions League trophy back home to England. After being dominated by Spanish teams in the competition over the past few years, it would be great to see an English team do the premier league proud.

  7. #327
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    2,290
    I'm trying to work out if Salah is just that good or if he's just having an amazing season. Time will tell, I guess. But yeah., I agree.

    I'm wondering whether next season might be a really good Premier League season. City developing a bit further, Liverpool seemingly have hit a real groove (and are possibly the only team capable of matching and besting City), Mourinho not being happy to fall to Guardiola again, new manager at Arsenal, new manager at Chelsea, Spurs likely to be there or there abouts...the top six could all be quite competitive next season, I think, and that could make it a more interesting title race.

  8. #328
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    748
    Well, he had an amazing season at Roma, so technically he has done it two years running, although this season was even better. I think the Premier League doesn't cater to a Messi or Ronaldo type player, in that they can dominate for years and years. This league changes so quickly, is too competitive for a player to dominate for an extended period. The closest you will get is a Hazard, Silva, Kane, Aguero... players that have done really well over a number years, and have the one unbelievable season, but perhaps do have dips in form that prevent them from being on a 'Messi' level.

    The thing I always look at is wait until the player has an injury and see how he performs afterward. Injuries change players, only the best come back stronger. And the way the Premier League is, every player will get at least one long lay off in their career.

  9. #329
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    662
    So people's thoughts on selling Wembley?

  10. #330
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    748
    Hate it, it's not necessary. And yet probably after a couple of years I won't even remember it.

    If there is an effect on the actual fixtures that take place (i.e. FA Cup final being played elsewhere, playoffs, etc) then it's a bad move. England should play all competitive fixtures at Wembley, however I am in favour of moving friendlies around the country.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •