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Woodsinho

2014/2015 Season Thread

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United looked better when Welbeck came on, and Mata had someone running ahead of him. It brought him into the game more too. Other than the first 15 minutes, the back 3 looked good too, even after Smalling had to go off and it was Keane, Jones and Blackett at the back. Blackett looks the real deal, and Jones was colossal throughout. Keane was wobbly early in the 2nd half, but he got stronger as the game went on. Sunderland kept getting to have a go at them because Fletcher and Cleverley were so awful. Those two just killed everything. Fletcher was operating in slow motion. He seems to think he has so much more time than he really has, and just gets pushed off the ball. Cleverley couldn't pass the ball into a swimming pool. Cattermole and Larsson just strolled through both of them and were made to look world class.

 

The 3-5-2 is going to take some adapting, as we've seen, but that formation just needs pace, and it had none. If you don't have pace, then you need technically gifted midfield players to create openings. It doesn't have that either. Fletcher and Cleverley aren't going to create anything. They can't bring the ball out from their own half, or bring the forwards into the game. Young and Valencia aren't going to get behind their opposing full backs either. 4 shirt fillers.

 

Young's dive was hilarious. It did look like Brown's knee made contact with Young's. He probably would have got it if he didn't do some mid-air starfish spin. Just needless. I wish he was sold, but the squad is so imbalanced and ravaged with injury that Van Gaal probably really needs him

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Agree on Welbeck. I don't know why LvG would be keen to let him go if he's keeping Hernandez. Jones had a good match and the young guys were okay but had some nervous moments. Cleverley was just totally crap. 

 

Do you think the 3-5-2 will stay? I assume he'd still want 4-3-3 if he gets the players he wants.

 

 

Nice Messi goal to put Barca ahead, the kind he always scores. That Masch red card might make things interesting though.

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I agree. I reckon 3-5-2 is a temporary fix until the squad is balanced. Van Gaal said right at the start that he wanted a top class winger, and that will probably help with moving towards 4-3-3. Di Maria and Welbeck at either side of Rooney would be pretty great, if he can keep hold of Welbeck.

 

Mata, Herrera and a hard bastard midfielder to make the midfield 3, and whoever is not injured in the back 4. Lots of rumours that two more deals are to be completed this week. One of them just has to be a central midfielder.

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How long was left on his contract? It seems very high considering it appears as if the club and player want the move.

Edited by Paranoid Android

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I think Man U have to and will buy 2-3 players before the window closes.  I watched them yesterday and they looked so average.  Their central midfield were horrific.  Cleverley would probably get a game for The Dons, I guess, biut that was one of his better performances IMO, and he was still terrible.  Jones was very good, but I worry he'll get caught out against a better team: he comes right into midfield to win the ball back - because Fletcher and Cleverley weren't tbf - and at times only had Blackett and Keane in cover.  Chelsea/City/Spurs/Liverpool/Everton will capitalise on that.

 

I thought Spurs were absolutely brilliant.  I only saw the first half, but they look monstorous going forward.  CB pairing of Kaboul and Vertonghen seems to work brilliantly in Maz Potts' system.  QPR were bad, but Spurs looked very, very hard to play against. 

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I only saw the highlights of the Spurs game but they looked good against QPR.  Hard to take anything from their first game against West Ham because of the sending off.

 

Will be a better judge of them next week against Liverpool put Poch seems to be getting more out of the money that was spent last summer.

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To an extent I think that could have happened with whoever came in. A lot of players improve once they have had a year to adjust to a new country and lifestyle. However, I really really like Pochettino and think spurs made the just about the best appointment they could have.

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How long was left on his contract? It seems very high considering it appears as if the club and player want the move.

 

I think he had 2 years left, but there seems to be conflicting reports as to whether or not Madrid want rid of him too, or if it's just Di Maria who wants out. Lots of stuff going around saying Di Maria was unhappy being forced out of his position by Bale. He was excellent in midfield last season after being moved back there, arguably their most consistent player all season, and now they've brought in Kroos and Rodriguez which probably pushes him out of the team, since Madrid seem happy to disrupt a good team in favour of their big new signings.

 

If they stick with that 4-3-3, I would guess that Rodriguez will play as the advanced midfielder instead of Di Maria. Ancelotti has said he didn't want to lose him, but I don't know if Perez is willingly selling Di Maria. Carlo said Di Maria was offered a new contract but rejected it, so it would seem Madrid didn't want to sell, though they're not under too much pressure since they have Bale and Rodriguez who can fill in for him quite seamlessly.

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It would have all been much simpler if they'd just let United sign Kroos. 

 

I might put a bet on Real winning nothing this year. I think it might go a bit tits up for them. 

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United could have done with Kroos. Still would have needed a defensive midfielder and a winger anyway.

 

Kroos would have been a better option than Herrera, and it looked like Kroos or Fabregas were the first choice before both snubbed United, so they went with Herrera. It seems that Alexis Sanchez was the first choice for the wing as well, but he turned down Liverpool and United for Arsenal. I don't think United even got close to getting him.

 

Ending up with Di Maria and Herrera is pretty good. I think Di Maria is a bit better than Sanchez anyway, though Sanchez would have been cheaper. I think another midfielder will come in this week, but I don't know who. Perhaps even a cheap option like De Jong or Blind. Van Gaal might go for Strootman in January once he's fit again.

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Scotland cannon fodder against Germany:

 

Scotland squad:

Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon (Celtic), David Marshall (Cardiff City), Alan McGregor (Hull City)

Defenders : Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town), Craig Forsyth (Derby County), Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion), Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Russell Martin (Norwich City), Andrew Robertson (Hull City), Steven Whittaker (Norwich City)

Midfielders: Ikechi Anya (Watford), Barry Bannan (Crystal Palace), Craig Bryson (Derby County), Chris Burke (Nottingham Forest), Graham Dorrans (West Bromwich Albion), Darren Fletcher (Manchester United), Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic), James McArthur (Wigan Athletic), Kevin McDonald (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Callum McGregor (Celtic), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic)

Forwards : Steven Fletcher (Sunderland), Chris Martin (Derby County), Steven Naismith (Everton)

 

That defence  ;(

 

Not sure what Craig Gordon or Callum McGregor have done to earn a call up, aside from being spotted in green and white for a couple of games.

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If Gordon is healthy enough to be on a football pitch I'd have him in the squad.

 

 

And has Strachan forgotten that Reynolds is Scottish?

Edited by Paranoid Android

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Scotland cannon fodder against Germany:

 

That defence  ;(

 

Not sure what Craig Gordon or Callum McGregor have done to earn a call up, aside from being spotted in green and white for a couple of games.

Craig Gordon was always going to get back into the squad and he's looked pretty handy in the 3 games he's played so far. He's also miles better than any of the other options when fit, which he clearly is.

Callum McGregor is playing a blinder for Celtic at the moment and keeping international players out of the team, he's also on goals coating form.

Anyway, neither of them will probably play. Scotland managers can't win though, pick players who are doing well in a Celtic shirt and there's always an Aberdeen fan who'll moan that there's a bias...

I actually think that's not a bad team. Still, they'll get run ragged by Germany if the World Cup is anything to go by.

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Who would you select in front of Craig Gordon, out of interest?

 

A.N.Other, Gilks probably as he's been the incumbent bench warmer for a while and I imagine McGregor and Marshall are still 1 and 2 in the pecking order.   I have huge admiration for Gordon as a keeper and absolutely expect him to be Scotland's no1 again IF he can stay injury free. But he hasn't played for two years and now he's got a call up to an international squad after 2 games for Celtic.  Just feels too soon for him, let him get 6 months of first team football back under his belt first.

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Happy with Gordon back in the squad to get him involved again. If he can stay fit he is one of our best players. The only other option is really Matt Gilks, but first choice will (should) be McGregor who has done nothing wrong and shouldn't be dropped. Also a good 'keeper playing every week in the Premier League, which helps.

 

That defence though... :( The sooner Christophe Berra fucks off the better. Glad Charlie Adam is nowhere to be seen. Would have liked to have seen Ryan Jack involved as I think he will definitely, eventually, be good enough and would rather have him around the squad for the experience. He also excelled against European opposition and continues to be Aberdeen's top performer.

 

Reynolds is a tough one - he's been brilliant for Aberdeen but I do feel he'd struggle to step up. Has found his level IMO, and I'm very happy that he has!

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Don't have any issues with that squad.  

 

Craig Gordon is the third choice keeper there and if he can stay fit he has the potential to be 1st choice so I understand why he's there.

 

The defense is a tragedy but we just don't have any better options.  Reynolds is arguably better than Berra but Berra plays in a better league so I can see why he still selects him.

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As a Dons fan I actually think introducing Callum McGregor to the set up is a step forward from championship and league 1 journey men who have plagued our squads over the last 10 years. scored 14 in 40 for Notts County last season, a return of a gaol every 2.8 games which is good return for a midfield player all be it at a slightly lower level than he is currently playing.

 

Its just a shame that a few more younger Scottish based players are not included in the squad to get them involved in the whole set up with a view to stepping over the next 2 -3 years. 

 

Out of a squad of 26?!? I think we could afford to have 4- 5 younger guys involved, then if players start to drop out you can call up your journeymen who have been around the squad recently.

 

Also Craig Gordon will be 3rd choice ATM so again no harm in having back involved in the set up. It will help  get him up to speed again on what (if anything) has changed at international level, so he can hopefully reclaim his place as No 1. He is in my opinion the best goalkeeper Scotland have when fully fit. 

 

EDIT: That defence does look ropey though especially given it will most likely be Whittaker, Greer, Hanley/ Russel, Hutton. 

Edited by KSJ81

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Andrew Robertson will surely start?

 

McGregor

 

Hutton - Martin - Hanley - Robertson

 

Anya - Brown - Fletcher - Mulgrew - Morrison 

 

Naismith

 

...or thereabouts. Not sure how many games Anya's played this season, but Strachan seems to like him. Could see Naismith in midfield with Steven Fletcher through the middle.

 

I would personally rather see Mulgrew at CB alongside Martin and McArthur into midfield. Looks after the ball better than a lot of our CM options

:

 

McGregor

 

Hutton - Martin - Mulgrew - Robertson

 

Brown - D.Fletcher - McArthur

 

Anya - S.Fletcher - Naismith

Edited by Adam Easy Wishes

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Not convinced Strachan will risk Robertson, although he should as he is easily better than both Hutton and Whittaker. I think we'll see Strachan go with the 'safe' option of guys who have a bit more experience, which is wrong IMO.

 

Hope I'm wrong but I think he'll go with:

 

                  McGregor

 

Hutton- Greer/ Martin- Hanley- Whittaker

 

           D Fletcher - Mulgrew

 

        Anya- Morrison - Maloney

 

           S Fletcher/ Naismith

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