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2011/2012 Season Thread

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Juan mata's head size to body size ratio is all messed up. He's like those mini footballers you used to get.

GRAB A POWERPOD AND PLAY FOOTBALL WITH THE LADS!

Had Ginola (Villa era), Bergkamp and Ricardo Gardner ones of those. Awesome.

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Apparently Mario Balotelli is driving around Manchester, dressed as Santa, giving money to homeless people.

PLEASE MAKE THIS BE TRUE

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Wow, Andrey Arshavin is lolbad now. He's been bad ages, but now doesn't even have a first touch decent enough to allow him to be shit with his second touch. I can think of 2/3 occasions when he was in good positions and just knocked it straight back to City with his first touch (in his 20 minutes on the pitch). They really need to buy a couple of decent wingers in January but that isn't going to happen with Wenger about or start promoting some young players. Gervinho is incredibly wasteful and was poor (bar one good move today) and Walcott did nothing either.

Joe Hart is probably the most overrated player in the Premiership. The commentators at one point said 'Joe Hart... let's be honest, one of the best keepers in the world, he's a real talent'.

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Joe Hart is probably the most overrated player in the Premiership. The commentators at one point said 'Joe Hart... let's be honest, one of the best keepers in the world, he's a real talent'.

Seriously, i hate City like the rest of us normal folks, but Joe Hart is a cracking keeper. Probably the best keeper in the EPL at the moment (at least up there with Cech, Reina and De Gea).

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Overrated? I wouldn't say he's the best in the world, but he's certainly very good, and amongst the best in the Premier League. And to think the majority of goalkeepers peek in their early 30's, he's on track to be one of the best in the world eventually, that's for sure.

Arsenal look a completely different side to the one of the past few years. They don't really do that tappytappy football anymore. It's much more direct. They are severely lacking though. They have no properly effective wide players. Arshavin is terrible. Walcott just never knows what to do with the ball when he gets into a good position with it. Gervinho is just plain awful. They probably could have done a little better today if they didn't have just about every one of their defenders injured. The midfield of Song, Arteta and Ramsey gives them alot of balance and variety, but they were shakey at the back and other than RvP, they have very little going forward, especially out wide. Park has looked solid when he's played, so it's odd how Gervinho gets the nod over him every time.

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This season, I'd definitely have Krul and Vorm above Hart. Real goalkeepers only have 4 letter surnames, so I won't consider the rest. Of the English keepers I'd probably choose Paul Robinson over Hart on perfomances this season. Hart has good reflexes but his handling and decision making is very poor at times. This season has been noteworthy for goalkeeping errors but Hart is one of the most liable when it comes to fumbling or punching into dangerous areas from what I have seen. (although I probably have seen more of him than a lot of keepers at the smaller clubs, but certainly out of the top clubs, he looks the most vulnerable keeper)

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Watched the Dons highlights. I don't think Pawlett dived and there was definite contact as he was squeezed off the ball by two players. In my mind it's a penalty but if I was a Hibs fan I'd probably think it was a bit soft.

As for the sending off he goes flying in with his studs up. It probably only deserved a booking but I can see why he was sent off.

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Vorm has been great, but he also needs to work on his handling. He's a parrier, especially on shots he should be catching. Krul is the man. Top keeper. Him and Szczesny are my favourite keepers this season, but I think Hart is just as good as those guys. I think his ability to save shots at goal which you expect to fly in is a credit to him at his age, and the basics will gradually become more natural to him as he gets older. I can't think of too many times he's been a liability, and whilst he makes errors, just about every goalkeeper does. Except Van Der Sar. That guy was a machine... except that gaff against West Brom last season. Other than that - a machine!

Don't think De Gea can be considered in the top 5 yet. He still looks ropey, but he's incredibly young with a mountain of pressure on his shoulders. I think he'll come good, but right now, he's showing signs of inexperience, probably due to that pressure of the boots he is filling. He also needs to hit the gym pretty hard. He's a little frail. Needs to be able to barge his way through a packed penalty area like a human plow to grab an inswinging corner. He also needs to learn when to actually come off his line. He's currently a bit Shay Given-like in staying glued to the goal line.

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Watched the Dons highlights. I don't think Pawlett dived and there was definite contact as he was squeezed off the ball by two players. In my mind it's a penalty but if I was a Hibs fan I'd probably think it was a bit soft.

As for the sending off he goes flying in with his studs up. It probably only deserved a booking but I can see why he was sent off.

I actually think the officials got both decisions completely wrong. I wouldn't say there was enough contact to constitute a foul for the penalty and the sending off was probably a booking as you mentioned for how Pawlett has gone in for the challenge but there was next to no contact. It was more of an effort to block the clearance than make a tackle and apparently the Hibs player said it was never a red card. The refs been let down by his linesman on the latter decision as he was the one who made the call by the looks of it.

It was a shame Chalali went off injured as it would have been interesing to see how he would have performed in the position behind the strikers. I thought he was finding good space until he went off.

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Hart is good but definitely has some handling issues. Same with Vorm, who is an absolutely ridiculous shot-stopper. Krul? Very, very good, made huge progress, still ropey at coming out for corners though. I rank Reina as the best in the league and, on current form, Samir Handanovic as best in the world.

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I think Reina has shown a little bit of unreliability, especially this season and the alot of last season. Made some silly gaffs, but he's still a good keeper, and has great athleticism to go with it, which alot of keepers don't seem to have. Despite being so young, I think Szczesny is one of the more complete goal keepers in the league younger than 30. It's remarkable how well he's doing for being so young and essentially inexperienced. He's only played about 50 top flight games. Incredible progress. As for the older folk, since Van Der Sar is no longer in the league, Brad Freidel is untouchable, in my opinion. He's just smashing.

As Jaaskelainen enters the latter stages of his career, he's taking quite a dip in form, which is sad to see. He used to be my favourite net minder in the league. He was superb for years. It's easy to forget he's been at Bolton since 97 and has racked up nearly 500 appearances. Astonishing. He's not quite the keeper he used to be though, which is a massive shame.

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Handanovic is also quality. Didn't he recently tie the Serie A penalty save record? 6 in a season is pretty special. It's good that Udinese have managed to tie him down to a long term deal a few months ago. They keep having to lose their best players every summer.

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Yeah, six penalty saves last season. He'll probably be off at the end of the season, but that's just how the Udinese system works. If they hadn't earned such a huge amount from player sales over the past few years they'd be a lower league side. They have another young 'keeper (Brkic I think his name is) on loan at Siena at the moment who looks the absolute business too.

Their transfer policy is similar to Arsenal's but much more productive. I wrote about it earlier this week for anyone who gives a shit.

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I actually think the officials got both decisions completely wrong. I wouldn't say there was enough contact to constitute a foul for the penalty and the sending off was probably a booking as you mentioned for how Pawlett has gone in for the challenge but there was next to no contact. It was more of an effort to block the clearance than make a tackle and apparently the Hibs player said it was never a red card. The refs been let down by his linesman on the latter decision as he was the one who made the call by the looks of it.

It was a shame Chalali went off injured as it would have been interesing to see how he would have performed in the position behind the strikers. I thought he was finding good space until he went off.

After watching it again on Sportscene I agree it looks more like an effort to block the ball. But I still think with the speed he's coming in, the fact his studs are up and he does connect with the player then I can see why the linesman came to the wrong conclusion.

On the subject of Sportscene, how miserable was Cillian Sheriden?

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Just seen Dons highlights, which confirmed my suspicions at the game. Never a pen in a million years, and never a red card.

The red card decision is just fucking stupid. Firstly, he was trying to block the clearance, not tackle. Second, he missed the man. Third, there was no "intent" to harm, because he was trying to block. OK, his studs were high, but so fucking what if those studs were intentionally nowhere near the man?! Arguably a bit rash, but no way was it worth more than a yellow.

The refs thought process seems to be something like "well, if Pawlett had made contact, he might have hurt him, therefore it's a red."

That's a bit like saying "well, if that perfectly good tackle wasn't quite so good, it would have been a bad tackle, and might have hurt him, therefore it's a red".

Fucking ridiculous. Decisions should be based on what actually happened, not what might have happened.

PS. I won't have a bad word said against Gervinho. Best combover in football.

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Guest Gladstone

That reminds me of the time Schmeicel and Wright burst a ball in a 50/50 tackle. I can't find a video of that though unfortunately.

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I remember that Schmeichel/Wright one - it definitely happened.

Blackburn's Scott Dann is out for 5-6 weeks with a 'groin injury'. Turns out that 'groin injury' means 'ruptured testicle'. Fuuuuuuuck.

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