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Old 4th March 2012, 06:16 PM   #1921 (permalink)
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Re: Football (Soccer to those across the pond)

Toon 1 - 1 Mackems

Hmm. Not sure whether to be relieved or hugely disappointed. We were awful in the first half, and went in deservedly 1-0 down. Second half was much better from the off - Ben Arfa must surely have done enough to earn himself a start next time out, as he was the best player on the pitch by a mile. Some pretty shameful play-acting by Tiote helped get Sessegnon sent off (arguable whether Cattermole should have been given his marching orders much earlier, something he remedied by directing abuse at the ref after the final whistle), and we bossed it from there. Could have had two pens before the one we did get (I reckon one was more or less nailed-on, the other a bit dodgier), and Ba's spot-kick was poor - should have let Ameobi take it, methinks. Shola finally got the equaliser in added time, but by then we could and probably should have been clear of them already.

Heigh-ho. At least we kept the run going; no losses to the mackems in (I think) 15 matches, and a point gets us that little bit closer to the now managerless Chelski. Could have been worse.
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Old 4th March 2012, 09:22 PM   #1922 (permalink)
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Re: Football (Soccer to those across the pond)

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Heigh-ho. At least we kept the run going; no losses to the mackems in (I think) 15 matches, and a point gets us that little bit closer to the now managerless Chelski. Could have been worse.
Yup, the inevitable has happened and the Chelsea madness continues. Organising some thought on the situation with the club is difficult, but here goes.

Firstly, I'm not surprised or even that disappointed. AVB was clearly out of his depth in the premiere league, over-analysing everything and trying to justify mistake after mistake with his ‘incredible’ knowledge of the game. Football isn’t complicated, it’s really very simple (or maybe more particularly, 99% of the players are really very simple and probably get confused with instructions that extend over several sentences). Unless I’m mistaken though, AVB utilised all three substitutions in every single game this season, and much more often than not the team got worse because of it. I'd given up on fourth place some weeks ago because it's become evident that a string of wins just couldn't happen with the kind of inconsistency the team was showing.

Yes, it’s farcical that a manager shouldn’t be given time and space to do his job over a span of at least three years, and Abramovich is as much the root cause of Chelsea’s problems as he is of it’s previous success, but AVB was simply a case of wrong place, wrong time. No manager in the world could come in and suddenly have Chelsea successfully adopt the gung-ho approach that AVB naively brought with him and Abramovich naively craves. Some of his comments to the media didn't help his case either.

That said, whoever is the next manager should be explicitly told to come in and wield the axe on every player who thinks they’re bigger than the club and simply refused to play for the manager and their astronomically ridiculous wages. They’re every bit as much to blame. On the other side of that argument, however, is that it’s a beast of Abramovich’s own making – with his hire-and-fire policy over the years, it’s only natural that the team learnt to essentially lead itself. Now that has come home to roost with it’s own set of problems. What a bloody mess.

Meanwhile, I'll dare to dream of a Mourinho return...
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Old 4th March 2012, 09:35 PM   #1923 (permalink)
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Re: Football (Soccer to those across the pond)

As a Toon fan, I do sympathise, believe me. I've lost count of the number of managers we've got through in recent years, and the constant chopping and changing never helps. It did seem that AVB's position was becoming untenable, though; even from the outside, it was pretty obvious he didn't have control of the dressing room - or not all of it, anyway. Whoever comes in, they'll have a fairly unenviable task on their hands restructuring the squad.

Having said which, it should be remembered that you are in fifth (for now; we'll run you down...), a position that most fans would give their eye teeth for.
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Old 4th March 2012, 09:52 PM   #1924 (permalink)
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Re: Football (Soccer to those across the pond)

Yeah, at this point I can't imagine a manager who could really sort this mess out without making a lot of changes. The trouble with that is any manager who comes in will want to assess the squad for himself and is liable to go through the exact same problems that AVB faced. Only someone of the character of Mourinho would have the force of personality to command the squad or have the common sense to just drop certain players altogether to blood new ones.

You're right of course though, being in fifth is hardly a reason to go off the deep end, but of course there's a certain russian fella who doesn't see it like that. And to be fair, Newcastle finishing the season above Chelsea would be no injustice - yours has been the much more cohesive and productive team! If you could run down Arsenal too, I'd appreciate it
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Old 4th March 2012, 10:07 PM   #1925 (permalink)
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Re: Football (Soccer to those across the pond)

Trouble with bringing Mourinho back is that half the problem players there are ones he brought in to start with, and while I'm sure he's not one for sentiment I think he'd find it awkward to prune half his old guard. What you need is someone like Guardiola; whether you could get him...not so sure.

Oh, and thank you, by the way. We have been surprisingly cohesive so far this season; there aren't so many big egos in the dressing room anymore, which helps, and until recently our defence had been an exemplary unit. Whether we deserve to finish above you guys, I'm not quite so convinced. Above Liverpool, yes. You and Arsenal? I still think you've both got better quality and strength in depth than us (and I don't think Arsenal have much of the latter, believe me). Given our run-in, I think we'll do well enough to finish sixth - and I'll be delighted with that. It might even get us into Europe, which would be awesome...
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Old 4th March 2012, 10:11 PM   #1926 (permalink)
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Re: Football (Soccer to those across the pond)

A win for my beloved Jags is always nice.

The Blue Bigots going down 2-1 to Hearts (I'm watching the highlights at the moment) isn't too shabby either.
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Old 4th March 2012, 10:15 PM   #1927 (permalink)
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Re: Football (Soccer to those across the pond)

Of course we could get Guardiola - who wouldn't want to trade working with Messi for Meireles

And agreed with the depth of Arsenal comment - when I said 'run down Arsenal' I probably should've said 'run down Robin Van Persie'...
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Old 4th March 2012, 10:24 PM   #1928 (permalink)
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Re: Football (Soccer to those across the pond)

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when I said 'run down Arsenal' I probably should've said 'run down Robin Van Persie'...
Well, I'm sure if you slipped Ranger a few quid...

Then again, he'd probably miss.
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Old 4th March 2012, 10:40 PM   #1929 (permalink)
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Re: Football (Soccer to those across the pond)

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Well, I'm sure if you slipped Ranger a few quid...

Then again, he'd probably miss.


Worth a shot...

On the subject of Van Persie, I do find it amusing that in this season when he's so far been refusing to renew his contract, he's managed to remain miraculously injury free. Typical.
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Old 4th March 2012, 10:52 PM   #1930 (permalink)
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Re: Football (Soccer to those across the pond)

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Worth a shot...
*snicker*

When you're sat in row z,
And the ball hits your head,
That's Nile Ranger...


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On the subject of Van Persie, I do find it amusing that in this season when he's so far been refusing to renew his contract, he's managed to remain miraculously injury free. Typical.
Yes. Strange, that, isn't it...
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Old 18th March 2012, 06:12 PM   #1931 (permalink)
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Re: Football (Soccer to those across the pond)

Football fans often get a bad name* but going by radio and press reports Tottenham fans were a credit to the game - and humanity in general - yesterday when Bolton's Fabrice Muamba collapsed during their FA cup game at White Heart Lane. Let's give credit where it's due.

Muamba is alive but in a critical condition.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17419654


* I've been attending football games since 1953 and in all that time I've seen only one act of off-the-pitch-violence and that was perpetrated by a policeman. I'm not saying violence doesn't occur but I don't think it's any worse than it would be if you gathered hundreds of thousands of opposing politicians together every Saturday.
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Old 19th March 2012, 12:41 AM   #1932 (permalink)
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Re: Football (Soccer to those across the pond)

Best wishes to him and his family/

On a lighter note;

Queen of the South 0 -5 Partick Thistle.

Almost makes up for Scotland's total lack of achievement in the 6 Nations.
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Old 31st March 2012, 08:28 PM   #1933 (permalink)
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Re: Football (Soccer to those across the pond)

Here's one for us older fans who miss him, and the younger ones who don't even know him.

I'm talking about Brian Clough (of course)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/16039736
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Old 2nd April 2012, 11:12 AM   #1934 (permalink)
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Re: Football (Soccer to those across the pond)

Who doesnt know Brian Clough as football fan by reputation ? What he did with Nottinham Forest is giant killing of the highest calibre. The last miracle in european football.


On another topic i wonder what City fans feel about the collapse of City title hopes. Losing big points to Stoke and the lucky draw at home against Sunderland.

United wins tonight its game over. I enjoy seeing the money couldnt buy winning mentality. I feel little bad for City fans who thought this was the year no matter how their club got suddenly rich, big.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 04:26 PM   #1935 (permalink)
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Re: Football (Soccer to those across the pond)

The City collapse is hugely frustrating, not just as a bitter Liverpool fan (the less said about this weekend the better) but in terms of diversifying the lead. United's team isn't even a patch on some of their previous title-winning squad and it seems like they've not even had to get out of second gear this year. City have been huffing and puffing all the way.

I suppose it's the old experience versus inexperience debate but honestly...are footballers really that mentally fragile? Or are United just that arrogant? And just who will City buy this summer if (when...) they end the season with nothing to show but Champions League qualification?
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