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

  1. #281
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    Having grown up watching the Premier League, England, Spain and pretty much all of Barcelona, I can definitely appreciate all the different aspects of how to play the game. There is nothing wrong is doing it that way, so long as it brings results. Think Leicester, counter attack extraordinaires. And very exciting to watch.

    But when I think of how to play the game the 'right' way, it keeps coming back to Barcelona. Some of the stuff they do is just simply out of this world, to the point where I'd say they are the most intelligent team to play the game. It's almost as if a lot of their goals are, for want of another word, artistic. Think of it as Federer in Tennis (this may be a metaphor I have used previously); he's won more than any male player anyway, but what's more, he's done it in the most majestic, beautiful way. And not only that, he has adapted his game to stay relevant well into his 30s now.

  2. #282
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    I like watching Barcelona, because that's the right way for them. But I don't like seeing teams try and do that but not do it as well. I prefer watching a Sam Allardyce team (especially something like his old Bolton team) than trying to get a style out of players they aren't suited for.

    For me, I guess there's beauty in all different ways to play the game, and the right way is the way that fits best with the 11 lads who'll play for you.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  3. #283
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    Haha, I can't say I've ever watched a Sam Allardyce team and enjoyed the match. But each to their own

  4. #284
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    Man, that Bolton team played some beautiful football at times. I got drunk and found myself talking about it with someone who used to cover a lot of their games a few weeks ago.

    But yeah, when they had Okocha, Speed, Campo, Stelios, and Nolan all behind Davies, they played some very nice stuff.
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  5. #285
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    Stoke too, when they had the flying wingers attack.

    Northampton the worst team you've seen Wilkimania? DAMN. I know we suck but that's still some going in that league.

  6. #286
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quasar View Post
    Stoke too, when they had the flying wingers attack.

    Northampton the worst team you've seen Wilkimania? DAMN. I know we suck but that's still some going in that league.
    Yeah but to be honest there's been very few teams that impressed me this season. We still have Wigan/Blackburn/Charlton to play at home so hopefully that changes. Proof that the top teams don't always play the best football would be summed up by the best football I've seen from an opposition this season has come from AFC Wimbledon and Peterborough who are at opposite ends of the table.

  7. #287
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    One of the best games I ever saw in person was in the bottom tier. It was won by Accrington Stanley. So I can agree with that.

    Liverpool fans are ringing the Man United ticket office to try and get champions league tickets, and then singing down the phone when the staff say they aren't in it anymore.

    Juvenile but quite funny too.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  8. #288
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gooner View Post
    Haha, I can't say I've ever watched a Sam Allardyce team and enjoyed the match. But each to their own
    I watched four years of it and don't think I had any real enjoyment...

    I love watching a bit of ball stroking about, but I don't like it if there's no tangible threat. I think that's where Barcelona sometimes overdo (or overdid) it for me before, sometimes it felt like they were just keeping the ball for keeping its sake rather than looking to probe and punish. I actually think they're better at it now than they were under Pep, which might sound heretic but they just feel more focussed on getting the ball in to strikers now. Possibly that's also to do with the fact that since Pep left they've signed Suarez which gives them a 'proper' striker as opposed to a false nine playing up top. He could have been the most important signing they've made recently.

    It's like the whole 'West Ham Way' discussion that's rumbled on pretty much ever since Sam rolled into West Ham some seven years ago. I don't think we've ever really had a great style of playing, or been defined by one. What the real West Ham Way is is given our academy products a run in the side, and we've not done that recently at all - again, pretty much since Sam joined. And we should have done, you know? I want to find out if guys like Oxford, Burke, Cullen, Rice and so on are good enough to play at the level we're at week in, week out. The only one we've really seen is Rice who's done OK this season and I'd certainly be happy to see him in the team more often than he is. I think about when I became a serious fan of West Ham and it was because we had players like Lampard, Ferdinand, Cole, Carrick and so on coming through our ranks. I'd been a fan before then, Kitson, Hartson, Lomas, Dicks, Porfirio and my favourite Lazaridis, but those crop of younger guys coming through were always why I was a really devoted fan of the club. Even when they drifted away we still had people coming through like Noble, Anton Ferdinand, Elliott Ward, Freddie Sears, James Tomkins, Jack Collison, Junior Stanislas...a lot of these players are now getting regular football elsewhere in either the Championship or Premier League. Poor Collison had injury issues which put him out of the game. Jordan Spence is another one, doing well at Ipswich now. I don't know, I think this is the biggest thing that's made me fall out of love with the club a little over the past decade or so, we've barely brought anyone through. We've heard 'this player's promising' so much and then they've just never had a chance.

    That Bolton team you're talking about was great, Prime.

  9. #289
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    People have always felt more connected to players that come through their own academy. West Ham are no different in that regard, though they've a better track record than most. But everyone loves a local boy made good.

    Sam's been a successful manager but his last few sides haven't been his most attractive, and that's probably part of the reason his reputation for playing bad football is what it is. He gets in, gets a team playing, and usually doesn't get the chance to do a lot more than that. But at Bolton it was different, and he really built something there. And a couple of years later his Blackburn side weren't without a bit of flair. A lot of that came through Morten Gamst Pedersen but Diouf, N'Zonzi, Reid, Dunn and Olsson all played their part in it too, on occasion.

    But yeah, I guess I just come back to there being many different ways to play the game and them all having a kind of beauty in their own way - and I still think the right way to play is the way that makes the best game of it. I only really hold the teams who can afford to pack their side with the best players to play a kind of free-flowing game - everyone else I just want them to make the game as interesting as possible with the resources available to them.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  10. #290
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    Saw one of the worst referee displays for a while today, managed to give 2 penalties that shouldn't have been given and failed to give a red card for a goalkeeper pulling back a player by his shirt after he blocked the keepers clearance. Oh well, I didn't except us to make the playoffs this season but that result pretty much confirms it.

  11. #291
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    Sounds like things going from bad to worse for West Ham - with the ruling that one of the owners (Sullivan?) used the club to get out of paying the best part of a million in tax.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  12. #292
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    This is fun. RIP Man City.

  13. #293
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    I think it's too late for us but we may have just scuppered Cardiff. Sorry, Nony.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  14. #294
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Wolves promoted and Man City winning the Premier League in record equalling time. Big weekend of football.

    Meanwhile, West Ham need the points tonight against Stoke - our run in from now is Arsenal (A), Man City (H), Leicester (A), Man United (H), Everton (H), and I can easily see us getting no points for the rest of the season.

  15. #295
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    You very well could get some at the Emirates. Arsenal are very much focusing on the Europa now, have been piss poor anyway this season. And I'm pretty sure you have good form at the Emirates?

    Just looked that up. I'm mistaken. I think that opening day win a couple of seasons back is haunting me still a bit.

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    One thing I'll say about it is that with West Ham getting four from six, and Palace's recent uptick in form, it's starting to look like it'll probably be the current bottom three going down as it stands - especially as Swansea have the two home games against Stoke and Southampton as their last two fixtures.

    Obviously, if they lose both of those, they'll drop - but if I had to bet right now I'd say it'll be the current bottom three. WBA are too far gone and the other two don't look like winning a match (he said, thus ensuring Stoke win tonight).
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  17. #297
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gooner View Post
    Just looked that up. I'm mistaken. I think that opening day win a couple of seasons back is haunting me still a bit.
    There was also something a bit further back - I feel like we were the last team to beat Arsenal at Higbury and the first team to beat them at the Emirates, or something like that. The seconde part I'm sure is true, I remember Green having an absolute blinder in goal and (I think) Zamora nicking a winner.

  18. #298
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    Yeah I think that was the game where Sol Campbell left the stadium? At half time perhaps?

  19. #299
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    It was Marlon Harewood.... but yeah, that was West Ham for sure. They'd drawn a couple already against us and someone else and then you proper stuck the boot in.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  20. #300
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    Oh Marlon. How I miss you.

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    Feed the Hare and he will score!
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

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    My one memory of Marlon Harewood was missing a sitter in the FA Cup Final against Liverpool. Think it was extra time, but he was cramping up so much he simply couldn't kick the ball.

  23. #303
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    Yeah, that was a sad time for us.

    Ashton ruined Carragher that day.

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    Probably the greatest FA Cup final I've ever seen live, so many twist and turns. Both teams probably deserved to win that day.

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    How awesome was Dean Ashton, by the way.
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    I was in a bar for Malta for that game where a bunch of Liverpool fans got me drunk despite the fact that I was definitely underage. Great day. They did it in revenge for the fact that I was the sole person in there not cheering for Liverpool.

  27. #307
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    Worst revenge ever. Sounds amazing.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  28. #308
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    Wenger to step down at the end of the season. Massive news, and possibly a point of no return this summer.

  29. #309
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    Give it to Dyche or Howe!

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    I'd take a punt Howe, even if I'd prefer some other candidates. Lowe or Allegri would be great. Klopp, while completely unrealistic and obviously will not happen, would be the perfect choice.

    I think with Dyche, he completely deserves a shot at one of the bigger clubs (no offense meant to Burnley there) but I don't think Arsenal would be a good fit. Possibly more so than at any other club, the style of play is a very important factor and I think Dyche plays a slightly more defensive game. Howe plays a more attractive game, hence why I'd be happy for him to get a crack at it. He lacks experience at the top end, but I think he'd be refreshing. An Allegri or Lowe appointment would probably be a short term fix, to try and get us back into the top four. With Howe it may be a more gradual process.

  31. #311
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    Brendan Rodgers is the favourite with SkyBet, which is a little surprising. Personally, I'd love to see what Dyche could do in a big job; he's been an absolute miracle worker for Burnley. Also, I think at times this season, Burnley have played nicer football than they get credit for.

  32. #312
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    Interesting that there's been a clamour to get rid of Wenger when there's still mention of the Arsenal style, which until Wenger came along wasn't really a thing. For decade before that Arsenal were associated more with 'winning football' at the expense of style. Very intriguing to think that although the Wenger story will end with something of a whimper, if people aren't willing to go back to that he's clearly left a huge mark on the identity of the club.

    Howe looks a great call on paper, but I could see him suffering much the same fate as Hodgson at Liverpool and Moyes at United. Not a big enough name, undermined from the off, and betrayed pretty quickly by sections of both the players and the support alike. And I like Howe, so I'd rather not see that happen to him.



    I don't know if much of a fuss was made about this at the time, but Wenger will retire as the longest serving manager in Premier League history. It's a bit of a technicality because Ferguson obviously had a number of years before the introduction of the Premier League. But still, technicality or not, it's still true. It'll be 7,894 days after they play Huddersfield Town on the final Sunday of the season compared to Ferguson's time in the Premier League of 7,582 days.

    I'm not sure we'll ever see a dynasty like either again, and I don't know if this is a popular opinion but I'll go to my grave thinking football is the poorer for it.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  33. #313
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    Interesting that there's been a clamour to get rid of Wenger when there's still mention of the Arsenal style, which until Wenger came along wasn't really a thing. For decade before that Arsenal were associated more with 'winning football' at the expense of style. Very intriguing to think that although the Wenger story will end with something of a whimper, if people aren't willing to go back to that he's clearly left a huge mark on the identity of the club.
    He has, massively, changed the way we played in comparison to the George Graham era. I'm 28, so I barely remember watching live Arsenal games pre-1996, but I know enough and educated myself in the history of the club. We were boring boring Arsenal, but successful. It's still chanted to this day, sarcastically, when we're 3/4 nil ahead early in the game. If you were to change the style to something overly defensive, you will split the fans, just like they are now. I think most fans know that we need to improve that area, Wenger gave minimal effort to the defense and it's cost us. But if we went for an Allardyce/Pulis type manager, even a Mourinho type manager, it would have to come with guaranteed trophies for it to be accepted. Mourinho has achieved that with Man United so far, but we saw what happened to Van Gaal, even with an FA Cup win.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    Howe looks a great call on paper, but I could see him suffering much the same fate as Hodgson at Liverpool and Moyes at United. Not a big enough name, undermined from the off, and betrayed pretty quickly by sections of both the players and the support alike. And I like Howe, so I'd rather not see that happen to him.
    Could be wishful thinking, but I think the Arsenal board will have more patience than most clubs and would give Howe a decent shot. Two, maybe three years to achieve something noteworthy. But I could be wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    I'm not sure we'll ever see a dynasty like either again, and I don't know if this is a popular opinion but I'll go to my grave thinking football is the poorer for it.
    The longest dynasty these days is 5 years, max. If someone as successful as Guardiola, Mourinho, Conte... can't seem to stay put for that long, then no one will. And I agree, the sport is poorer for it.

  34. #314
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    It actually goes back a lot further than Graham. I know those of us of a certain age immediately think of that era because it's what we know, and they were so successful at the time. But it seems to have been the Arsenal identity for at least a couple of decades before that. London's entertainers were West Ham, Spurs, even QPR - Arsenal would grind out 1-0 wins. It might even be the case that that was who they were between the late 1930s and the appointment of Wenger. So if the Wenger way is now the Arsenal way.... I mean, that's a huge turnaround not just in a style of play but in a fundamental part of the club's identity.

    I'm not sure we know how patient or otherwise the Arsenal board will be. This is their first foray into modern football with a manager who wasn't a club legend, so only time will tell. There were people who thought United would be more patient, too... hopefully your wishful thinking is correct, it'd be nice to see a club managed with at least something of a moral compass.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  35. #315
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    I just feel nothing. I am so numb to it now that I care very little. I know what happens next. A few years of instability. Pro-Wenger people saying "see". I just gotta see if I can get my love for the game back and give whoever comes in a chance. Happening in a World Cup year certainly improves the chances. Let's see if that can grip me.

    As for who should take over. Vieira for me. Vieira should have always been the plan. The mentoring done by City should have been happening under us. Just one of the things that has really bugged me in recent years. All of the great things Wenger did for the club happened with Vieira at the heart of the team. It all started to unravel with that his last kick which gave us our last trophy for what, 7 years? He's not established yet but I think he is the guy to take a chance on. He gets the Arsenal style. That style isn't pretty passing but soft football. That's how a decade of disappointment has tarnished the reputation. The Arsenal style is heart and fight. Something that left with Patrick and anyone since who showed glimpses of it usually got ushered out of the club.


  36. #316
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    Mourinho.

    Go on, Arsenal. Do it.

    Rodgers is probably the best British manager right now, in terms of track record. I know he's not remembered fondly from his time at Liverpool, but he did have one great season there, plus he's been great at Celtic, all be it in a league and country of one for a lot of the time he's been there.

    Plus, he'll play a style that fits in with what might be considered the 'Arsenal way'.
    Last edited by Oliver; 04-20-2018 at 08:40 AM.

  37. #317
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    I’d give it to Allardyce. Arsenal fans believe so much that they get what they want and he would be the ultimate insult. And he’d probably do a half decent job. He’s stabilise the defence very quickly and is a talented manager. Most of all, it would separate the true fans from the plastic.

    Either that or I hear Joey Barton is undefeated at Fleetwood. He’d add steel.

  38. #318
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    It'd be hilarious if they gave it to Allardyce and he lasted longer there than at Newcastle or one of the other clubs that objected to his style.

    United came from behind to beat Spurs, so they're in another final now. Will meet the winners of Chelsea and Sunderland today.

    Despite trouncing Ipswich we're out of the automatic promotion race. I think Cardiff need to win their game in hand in midweek or Fulham will take it.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  39. #319
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    Graham Potter

    Arteta

    Viera


    In that order for me

  40. #320
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    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 was just having a quick look at the season ending fixtures for the teams from us down to 20th, and then included Palace who have amarginal goal difference advantage. As I said above, I can see us going the rest of this season without a point (which would, somewhat hilariously, give Moyes basically the same points per game output as Bilic had when he was sacked), but I do think there are enough bad teams below us to see us survive in the league.

    Crystal Palace: Leicester (H); Stoke (A); West Brom (H)
    West Ham: Man City (H); Leicester (A); Man Utd (H); Everton (H)
    Huddersfield: Everton (H); Man City (H); Chelsea (A); Arsenal (H)
    Swansea: Chelsea (H); Bournemouth (A); Southampton (H); Stoke (H)
    Southampton: Bournemouth (H); Everton (A); Swansea (A); Man City (H)
    Stoke: Liverpool (A); Crystal Palace (H); Swansea (A)
    West Brom: Newcastle (A); Spurs (H); Crystal Palace (A)

    In all likelihood, West Brom are down - they need to win all three games and hope Swansea lose all three, with Southampton and Stoke not winning more than one each - so essentially those two beating Swanse but losing their other games.

    Stoke and Southampton can survive with two wins assuming Swansea don't match them.

    For Palace, Huddersfield, or us to go down, it's essentially lose all our games and then see Swansea win one and one of Southampton or Stoke win two to be level with us - Saints would likely survive on goal difference, but Stoke's spectacular -33 would probably mean they need to win three more games.

    I seriously don't think we'll get another point this season, but I do think we'll scrape through to next year. Hopefully we sack Moyes off in the summer with some big dirty pay packet for helping us survive and can get someone forward thinking in. You look at the squad and we have enough talent in the final third to be playing on the front foot, we're just not really using it at all wisely.

    Also I'm super pissed off with Moyes for the way he's called out Rice after his and Hart's mix up. Sure, there's a mistake there, but shovelling it on to a 19 year old is a bit of a shit way to go about it.

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