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2017/18 Football Season Thread

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I'd read a few tweets saying he'd be cup tied if he played against Hoffenheim. I'm going by the rule that if it appears on Twitter via more than two sources, it means it's definitely true and I don't have to research it. 

You're right that Liverpool don't have to sell, similar to how Southampton don't have to sell VVD, as both signed 6 year contracts just last year. You shouldn't be signing a 6 year deal unless you're at the club you absolutely want to be at. Asking to leave a year later is a total dick move. I dig that clubs are showing a bit more muscle here, but I don't know how successful they're going to be.

On the flipside, holding on to a player who doesn't want to be there is toxic. There's little benefit to the parent club and the dressing room, and there seems to be very few cases where a player made it pubic they wanted to leave, didn't leave and then knuckled down again. The only one I can think of is David De Gea (There was always Rooney, but I don't think he ever wanted to leave. He just wanted the £££). I think once a player's head is turned and concrete bids are made, the best for all involved is to ship out. Coutinho does seem to have a genuine affection for the club though, so if any player was to come back in to the fold after asking to leave, it would be him. The relationship between Southampton and VVD looks beyond repair, now that he's training alone and taking shots at the club.

Lanzini isn't at Coutinho's level, but he's very similar in terms of playing style. I think he'd be a great fit for that slightly deeper role Coutinho was playing last year. Or Liverpool might go for a centre forward and push Firmino back. If If Kylian MMM-Bop goes to PSG, Cavani might be up for grabs. Cavani with Mane and Salah at either side would be stupid.

Funny how all these players openly want to leave, and are injured

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What are the chances?

Edited by Soda Jerk

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I didn't realise they were all 'injured'. That's laughable. It's crazy the window isn't shut before the season starts. What possible advantage is there to extending the window beyond the start of the season?

It's also crazy how much drama there is in football in general but particularly around transfers. But, if you think about the type of person involved in football it's kinda not surprising - people in their 20s who dab, who eat at Nandos and who carry luis vuitton toilet bags. They're basically still kids, just throwing strops about lots of money.

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What's crazy is how shit Arsenal are and how much Arsene Wenger is basically just a cunt.

How can anyone say he's doing a good job at one of the richest clubs in the world when he is going into the first league game of the season and 'forced' to play two left backs and Rob Holding as his three centre backs.

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Excellent game last night. I'm quite bored of the entire Arsenal topic as a whole, but it's clear that their problems are far from solved. What the hell was that back three even supposed to be? It's not like Mustafi wasn't available, and hasn't Elneny been playing CB in pre-season? Lunatics.

He didn't show much last night, but I like the look of that Kolasinac. Looked a radgie bastard in the Community Shield. I heard a podcaster describe him as "exactly the kind of bastard Arsenal have been missing for years." Hope this is true.

Speaking of which, has anyone checked out James Richardson's new pod, The Totally Football show? First episode was pretty good. I could listen to that man narrate a shopping list though.

Podcasts in general, any good ones to check out? I used to like Football Weekly, but the new host is very bantz. Not a fan. The Final Third is a banger though.

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Great game last night. I love a good comeback and I especially love a game where both teams forget how to defend. 

Agree on Kolasinac. He looks handy. He has the positioning of a drunk baby, but he recovers by being a mad, hard bastard who will just twat anyone in half. Decent on the ball too.

Where is Cazorla? He's been injured for about 3 years now. Is Wilshere still a thing? Is he still at Arsenal? Is he still alive?

Lacazette scored with his 2nd touch in Premier League football. First being the kick off. Cool stat is cool.

if you're after a non serious podcast, Athletico Mince is a right laugh. They promise 7% football content, but it's mostly about Bob Mortimers health. Its the only sports podcast I keep up with, and it's not really a sports podcast. I'll give the James Richardson one a go though.

Edited by Soda Jerk
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The Game with Gab Marcotti is good. He's one of the few journalists who eschews that snearing 'I hate football' attitude that is so fashionable these days and shows genuine enthusiasm for the game.

The first ep of jimbo's pod was ace. He's the best.

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The no defending rule seems to be continuing in the Watford/Liverpool game. It's been ace. Horribly ace. Just bloody awful. Which is great.

I hope it's a full season of Kevin Keegan football from all 20 teams. Well, a maximum of 19 teams. Mourinho won't do that. Because Mourinho. He's no fun.

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fe35cab506407c83918045dc678bc1de.jpg

Knowing how much of an issue shirt numbers are on this thread, I was recently made aware that this happened and thought I'd share. Neymar at santos

Edited by ca_gere

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Huddersfield are going to make the hottest start of all the newly-promoted sides this season. They'll be the team that everyone gets excited by early, because they play some attractive football, but they'll probably fall off by the halfway point.

I thought there was a strong chance they'd woof Palace yesterday. Palace are in the process of transforming themselves from Pardew/Big Sam hoofball towards a more ground-based style under de Boer, while Huddersfield at energetic, in your face, and obviously buzzing about being in the Premier League. So it transpired.

Their coach, David Wagner, is essentially a more abrasive Klopp, which makes sense as they're best friends. The guy plays the same high-pressing, all-energy game, which can be fun to watch, but his side have a tendency to be cripplingly dull when they take their foot off the gas. Huddersfield were promoted with a goal difference of -2, and emerged from the playoffs without winning a single game in open play (they only scored once, too). They'll likely revert to similar strategies at times this season, and I think that that's when their slide will commence.

Wagner, like Klopp, will win a lot of fans in the media because he's a bit wacky and tends to speak his mind. This will be insufferable for a lot of people, because he's also a gargantuan cunt when things don't go his way. Klopp gets away with a lot of this kind of stuff too, but Wagner is next level: some of his gripes come close to Mourinho-esque levels of misery.

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Agree about Wagner. He has something a little likeable about him, but is definitely a total lunatic. With the platform of the Premier League we will soon see all sides of him. I'm looking forward to them being on the receiving end of an unjust penalty against them. It will be like when Ian Holloways Blackpool came up and nobody knew who this gobshite was, despite him being a gobshite for years. And he's still a gobshite, just without the platform.  

Regardless. Every manager is a gargantuan cunt. There seems to be media darlings for one reason or another, but it would be far easier if we could all get on board with every manager being a raving sociopath. You just have to be to reach that level success and absorb that much pressure day to day. They should all be treated as wrestling heels. Ultra bastards, every single one. No exceptions. Not Bilic and his rock band, not the charming everyman Pellegrini. Not anyone.

Klopp seems to get away with murder because of supposed passion, where some managers have been fined and banned for less than he's done, possibly because between the moments of having the 4th official in a headlock and punching his chest repeatedly, he's smiling and joking in his pressers, giving the media pleasant lip service and just being a bit of a goof. It seems to take the focus off some of his ridiculous excuses and tirades, yet I still quite like him, even though he's probably the biggest loony of them all. It's probably where your dour miseries like Wenger and Mourinho are going wrong. They don't get the same leeway, because they're miserable all the time and are known for being so. Mourinho used to, back when he used to smile and having feelings, and his interactions with the press were light hearted. He seemed a fun guy, until Madrid stomped on his soul. Now he's an easy target, like Wenger. The media know what to ask them to get the moaning to pour out. Two of the most impossible to like people.

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I like Jonjo Shelvey a lot, but he's a total dipshit. I'd probably like him a lot more if he played for a different club, though. I'm naturally drawn to flawed players who regularly mix the sublime with the ridiculous because they're always great entertainment, but it his hair trigger is a major problem, particularly when it costs us games. Not saying we'd have defeated Spurs had he stayed on the pitch, of course, but the red definitely changed the course of the match.

The trouble now is figuring out what to do with him. He was made captain at the start of the season because Jamaal Lascelles isn't very good, but there's no way he should retain the armband. We can't just drop him, though. With Shelvey, the good outweighs the bad. Yes, he's a violent moron, but he's also our best player. We looked extremely average without him last season, and while taking some kind of idealistic stand and discarding him sounds great, we must be pragmatic. We're going to struggle enough as it is and I don't think we can win the fight without our most creative player.

Ideally, Mikel Merino will come into the team, play an absolute blinder, and we won't need to put Shelvey back into the XI. I'd like to see Rafa play a Merino/Hayden combo with Siem de Jong in the #10, but given that Siem wasn't even on the bench yesterday, I guess Benitez doesn't trust his fitness. Who knows, though?

Yesterday was a pile of shite either way. Harry Kane and Matt Ritchie should've both seen red. Lejeune and Dummett both got injured. Mike Ashley gave a vanity interview on Sky Sports, and it doesn't sound like we're gonna spend. We're in deep shit already.

Edited by Murrr
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Is he particularly violent overall?

It was a definite red, but it was one of those reds that absolutely wasn't worth it. He just stood on his foot. Probably didn't even leave a scratch on him. Alli hammed it up, as you would.

If you're going to see red for sticking one on a prickly little gobshite (and Dele Alli absolutely is a prickly little gobshite who gets away with lots of sly acts of nastiness and is overdue being on the receiving end of a whopper of a late challenge) at least give him a good wallop. Start throwing punches, headbutts and squaring up to the whole team, like Joey Barton would.

The little I've seen of Shelvey, he just seems like an idiot. Not particularly nasty. Just brainless. He has bags of talent, but doesn't seem capable of connecting that talent to his head.

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14 hours ago, Soda Jerk said:

Is he particularly violent overall?

It was a definite red, but it was one of those reds that absolutely wasn't worth it. He just stood on his foot. Probably didn't even leave a scratch on him. Alli hammed it up, as you would.

If you're going to see red for sticking one on a prickly little gobshite (and Dele Alli absolutely is a prickly little gobshite who gets away with lots of sly acts of nastiness and is overdue being on the receiving end of a whopper of a late challenge) at least give him a good wallop. Start throwing punches, headbutts and squaring up to the whole team, like Joey Barton would.

The little I've seen of Shelvey, he just seems like an idiot. Not particularly nasty. Just brainless. He has bags of talent, but doesn't seem capable of connecting that talent to his head.

He's extremely nasty, and very fortunate to have only received three red cards throughout his career, I'd say. There were countless instances of him treating on opponents, throwing elbows, or firing into unnecessarily dangerous challenges last season, many of which drew only a yellow card, or nothing at all. I found Championship referees to be awful, and they let players away with a lot of dangerous shit.

His yellow card/minute ratio is on-par with Dennis Wise and David Batty, and worse than Roy Keane. A shame, as this is the one major factor preventing him from making it at a bigger club.

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On 15/08/2017 at 0:26 PM, Murrr said:

He's extremely nasty, and very fortunate to have only received three red cards throughout his career, I'd say. There were countless instances of him treating on opponents, throwing elbows, or firing into unnecessarily dangerous challenges last season, many of which drew only a yellow card, or nothing at all. I found Championship referees to be awful, and they let players away with a lot of dangerous shit.

His yellow card/minute ratio is on-par with Dennis Wise and David Batty, and worse than Roy Keane. A shame, as this is the one major factor preventing him from making it at a bigger club.

Fair dos. I didn't watch much Championship football last season. I didn't see much that was particularly violent in the Premier League. Did the Championship bring out his inner-bastard? I do still quite like him, even if he is a lunatic and utterly brainless. He was one of Swansea's best players before he went to Newcastle and everything seemed to go through him, seemed capable of a screamer or a red card at any moment.

 

United have made an impressive start to the season. Better than I expected. Matic especially has been quietly superb. I already thought he was a good signing, but he has been better than I expected. Constantly wins the ball and plays the simple pass. Phil Jones is fit, and hes been excellent so far, but he will undoubtedly get injured for months. Not sure why Rashford is ahead of Martial in the pecking order either. Rashford's end product is garbage. Martial comes off the bench and scores and creates goal but can't get a start. I've never been sold on Lukaku, at Chelsea, West Brom or Everton. He's scored 3 in 2, but I'm still not sure on him. That said, they've started well, and they need to keep up the pace. I still think they need a wide player, one with pace and a good cross. Preferably one who can play both flanks. Dougas Costa would have been perfect, but they watched him go to Juve for hat was a low fee in the current ludicrous market. They play Mata and Mkhi who are both #10s, and the right wing is wide open, as it was all of last season. Sort it out.

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If you're still looking for a good football podcast, a couple of the guys from The Football Ramble (which I like) have just released the first episode of a new one called 'on the continent' - focusing on European football obvs. James horncastle on the first episode - always worth a listen.

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20 hours ago, ca_gere said:

If you're still looking for a good football podcast, a couple of the guys from The Football Ramble (which I like) have just released the first episode of a new one called 'on the continent' - focusing on European football obvs. James horncastle on the first episode - always worth a listen.

Lovely stuff - ta. I'm getting back into Italian football heavily at the moment, so this is relevant to my interests. Always love a bit of Horncastle.

James Richardson's new gimmick is pretty much how I remember the old Guardian Football Weekly shows, before they acquired that gimp from Soccer AM and bantz'd all over the place. This Monday's show had Leroy Rosenior, who's a bit of a goober, but still a good show. https://audioboom.com/channel/the-totally-football-show-with-james-richardson

There's a new BBC podcast starting next Monday: Julien Laurens, Raphael Honigstein, and James Horncastle, hosted by Mina Rzouki, all about the French, German, and Italian leagues. I consider those talking heads to be among the foremost experts on their respective leagues, so it should be a belter.

 

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Auclair is ace as well. I kinda like Sid Lowe too, even though he errs slightly on the side of cheeky Englishman abroad. I picture him sipping a stella wearing loafers with no socks and a polo shirt with a popped collar. He knows Spanish fitba through and through.

I was surprised how insightful David Preece was on totally football or guardian weekly... can't remember which. Made some very interesting observations about goalkeeping. At first I kinda dismissed him due to him having the vocabulary of someone who kicks a ball for a living but he clearly knows the GK position very well.

How good are Milan this season btw?! Incredible transfer activity and they're clicking right away. Serie A could be well juicy this year.

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Looking forward to seeing how Milan do against tough opposition. They were great to watch in the 1st leg in the Europa League last week, but Shkendija were totally awful, whoever they are. I watched the first half of the 2nd leg but it was boring. They weren't even getting out of first gear. They didn't need to. They were decent in the opening league game from the highlights I saw, though Crotone went down to 10 men in the first few minutes.

Bonucci and Musacchio are solid signings. They still have Borini leading the line though.

Also read that Donnarumma would only stay if they re-signed his older brother (who was playing for a midtable Greek side after not being able to get a game for Genoa) pay him top wedge and make him the #2 keeper. That Mino Raiola conducts some serious sorcery at the negotiating table. From all accounts, the older Donnarumma is a bit crap. Who would agree to that?

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Milan have bought very well. Bonucci is a unique player (and the best centre-back in world for football, for my money) who will not only transform their defence, but their entire strategy (thanks to his ridiculous distribution). Franck Kessie is an outstanding box-to-box midfielder who, on his current trajectory, will be recognised among the best in Europe before long. Rodriguez, Contri, Calhanoglu, Biglia, Musacchio - all good players who'll take the club forward.

Borini is a stinking player, but he won't be leading the line. He'll play on one of the flanks when he starts, with Cutrone or Andre Silva through the middle. Cutrone is the main reason that I think Milan resisted the temptation to sign a big name forward, in fact: he looks a great player, though it's too early to call him a wonderkid.

With all that said, I'm going to give a moderately warm take and say that Napoli will be the team to break Juventus' dominance this year. They've kept hold of all their players, and while they haven't added anyone of note, I don't think they needed to. Young players like Rog and Diawara will continue to develop throughout the season, and the team already play some of the best football in Europe.

Juve smashed it on the first day, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if they didn't win the league again, but losing Bonucci really sucks for them. I'm not surprised they haven't tried to replace him, because you can't. He's one of a kind.

Their remaining central defensive options are good, but flawed. Barzagli is an old man. Chiellini is ageing, and everybody knows his flaws. Benatia is injury prone. Rugani is seen as the future, but is he ready to step into the breach? 

Similarly, I'm not too sure about their central midfield. Their shortcomings in that department really stuck out in the Champions League final, when they were really overrun by Madrid (albeit by the an incredible CM pairing). Matuidi is a great buy, Pjanic is fantastic, but I feel like they need a Kante type in there too. We'll see.

It's shaping up to be a really fun season. I get the sense that the league is finally starting to bounce back after several years in the abyss. It's a slow process, but there's a lot of exciting young talent in Italy, and Juventus have now provided an off-field blueprint for Serie A clubs to succeed on a grander stage. Very exciting. 

Edited by Murrr

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