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Old 08-29-2013, 08:29 AM   #601
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No matter how optimistic you are, Chelsea blew that game. They should've shattered United. Mourinho decided to not start with a striker, dumb move. Thats something you pull in a cup tie, not in a league match against Manchester United. Terry and Rooney had great games and were MOTM material for sure. Van Persie is a dirty bastard. How he elbowed KDB in the face and KDB got a yellow card was beyond me. It was boring, and Chelsea played better football with RDM, AVB, and Rafa. FACT
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:33 AM   #602
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ThePikeman, for some reason Premier League clubs love to leave deals until the last days of the transfer window. I expect Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City and perhaps Manchester United to all announce signings before September 2nd.
3 for 6, so far.

Arsene Wenger finally found a player for a price he's willing to pay. He spends nothing to land unwanted free agent Mathieu Flamini.

Eto'o to Chelsea is interesting. At 32, it's fair to ask how much Eto'o has left. He's there to bring touch in tight spaces that Chelsea's other strikers don't have. What we can expect from Eto'o is full throttle commitment, as he had in Milan. Perhaps he'll even inspire Mata to learn how to tackle.

To make room for him and for Willian, it's expected that Demba Ba and Victor moses will be loaned out.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:48 AM   #603
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No matter how optimistic you are, Chelsea blew that game. They should've shattered United. Mourinho decided to not start with a striker, dumb move. Thats something you pull in a cup tie, not in a league match against Manchester United. Terry and Rooney had great games and were MOTM material for sure. Van Persie is a dirty bastard. How he elbowed KDB in the face and KDB got a yellow card was beyond me. It was boring, and Chelsea played better football with RDM, AVB, and Rafa. FACT
It depends how you define "better."

I'll certainly agree that under AVB and di Matteo the attacking was more fluid. But when you keep conceding goals, it's hard to be competitive. That's why AVB is at Spurs and RDM, unfairly in my opinion, is out of work. The Fat Spanish Waiter was somewhat better, but he's a non-issue, a mistake to be blotted from the record book.

It has been written that both sides played conscientious defense, that defending had made a return to the top of the table... and that this bodes well for success in Europe, an arena where English teams have slipped lately.

As for Chelsea, we'll define "better" as winning the Premier League and the Champions League.. not fighting for top-4 and playing in the Europa League.

So we'll have to wait and see if Mourinho's Chelsea is "better" than AVB's RDM's and FSP's. But history suggests it will be.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:49 AM   #604
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There are links from Liverpool to Moses. And we are odds on to sign Yarmolenko. If hes gotten better since the Euros we would be getting a nice tidy speedy winger.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:55 AM   #605
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It depends how you define "better."

I would define better as beating your rival in a league game. Rafa, RDM, and AVB would never gamble with not selecting a recognized striker to prove a point to Abram. IDK, I hate Chelsea but wanted them to win and it was just massively disappointing. And by "better football" I mean more fluid attacking, more fluid change from defense to attack on the counter, and better teamwork with less relying on star players.

Dont get me wrong hes an amazing coach, but his arrogance is on another level.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:59 AM   #606
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I would define better as beating your rival in a league game. Rafa, RDM, and AVB would never gamble with not selecting a recognized striker to prove a point to Abram. IDK, I hate Chelsea but wanted them to win and it was just massively disappointing. And by "better football" I mean more fluid attacking, more fluid change from defense to attack on the counter, and better teamwork with less relying on star players.

Dont get me wrong hes an amazing coach, but his arrogance is on another level.
Yes, he is arrogant. To some extent a coach needs to be, or he won't be the equal of his players. But Mourinho is a bit public about it.

You gave two definitions of "better." I like your first one. League wins, something AVB, RDM and FSP struggled with.

Mourinho didn't play Schurrle to make a point to Roman Abramovich. Their relationship isn't that poisonous. And he didn't need to make a statement to get Eto'o on what is basically a free transfer. Makes no sense. Not logical. Don't believe all that newspaper gossip. It's 90% garbage.

He played Schurrle because he was looking for a player who combined speed with touch. He wanted to fast-break against ManU. He didn't need a target man to hold up the ball, which is what the three strikers are best at. He needed someone who could link a fast break, and who could chase a ball over the top.

The reason it didn't work is because Chelsea'a passing on the attack was just awful, something Mourinho mentioned after the game. And the lobs over the top weren't much better. In the end, it was an experiment that failed. But let's not hang a man for trying something unconventional. Instead, let's praise him for fresh thinking, even if it fails.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:06 AM   #607
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There are links from Liverpool to Moses. And we are odds on to sign Yarmolenko. If hes gotten better since the Euros we would be getting a nice tidy speedy winger.
I'd prefer to see Moses rejoin Martinez at Everton, dunno if they're interested though. For my money Liverpool will be too close to the top 4 to do business with. I think they're hugely improved. Kolo Toure has looked very good so far, great addition. It's a real shame that he did his groin on Tuesday. Those can take a long time to heal. It's funny how they have a better record, by some distance, without Suarez.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:16 PM   #608
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A really excellent analysis of Barcelona on Slate HERE
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:43 PM   #609
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A really excellent analysis of Barcelona on Slate HERE
Very interesting. Love the politics, even if the writer has an agenda. First time I've seen mud thrown at Messi, though.

There was a moment in the second leg against Atletico that summed up Neymar's dilemma. He got the ball inside the box on the left side with only the keeper to beat. Instead of shooting, he crossed the ball. But Messi wasn't there to receive it and the danger was past.

In Brazil or for Brazil, he would have shot, with a high probability of scoring. Instead, he deferred. One assumes he'll sort himself out sooner rather than later, but it does illustrate the challenge.

Given Barca's pressing needs elsewhere, I always thought Neymar was a luxury buy. Better to beef up the defense and make an effort to keep Thiago Alcantara.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:44 PM   #610
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Very interesting. Love the politics, even if the writer has an agenda. First time I've seen mud thrown at Messi, though.

There was a moment in the second leg against Atletico that summed up Neymar's dilemma. He got the ball inside the box on the left side with only the keeper to beat. Instead of shooting, he crossed the ball. But Messi wasn't there to receive it and the danger was past.

In Brazil or for Brazil, he would have shot, with a high probability of scoring. Instead, he deferred. One assumes he'll sort himself out sooner rather than later, but it does illustrate the challenge.

Given Barca's pressing needs elsewhere, I always thought Neymar was a luxury buy. Better to beef up the defense and make an effort to keep Thiago Alcantara.
Yes, as I said earlier, Neymar seems more of a business decision than a tactical footballing one. Unless, as Cruyff pointed out, your tactic is to eventually sell Messi as inconceivable as that is.

It's also the danger of having a player as big as Messi. What do you do with a talent that huge when it lays waste to the likes of Villa and Ibra?

P.s. nice to see that the argument between Messi and Villa is pretty much the same one we've all had playing the game. Talent doesn't change that at least
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:31 AM   #611
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This could be the year that Arsenal don't make it out of the group stage.

Group F: Arsenal, Olympique Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:22 AM   #612
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Apparently Bayern rested a number of players on Tuesday, in preparation for today's UEFA SUper Cup. It cost the dumbasses two points when they could only manage a draw against SC Freiburg. Whoever heard of resting players for a glorified exhibition match? I wonder why Pep cares so much?



"It was Drogba, it was the angels, it was the heavens, it was the stars, it was the gods, it was everything for Chelsea. This is not anything to do with football. This is more than football, this is spirit. Never giving in, fighting to the end, that English spirit running right the way through this Champions League for Chelsea."
- Gary Neville, 2012 UEFA Champions League Final
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:39 PM   #613
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Excellent first half to a match most of the United States can't watch because Fox, in their constant stupidity, put it on a channel nobody gets.

Both sides are pressing the ball all over the pitch. That's opening up space and so we're getting a lot of end-to-end football. Chelsea look sharp on the break. Andre Schurrle, whose importance is surprising me, is playing right wing and it's his cross to Torres, who took a wonderful first-time volley to score the only goal, which gave Chelsea the lead.

Bayern began to dominate possession in the last 15-20 minutes of the half. They seem to prefer working on their left, finding Ribery at the top of the box with an overlapping player. Most of their shots have come from Ribery. Robben has been mostly invisible.

Chelsea are playing outstanding team defense, extremely well organized. This is why Mata is struggling to find playing time. He's not willing to fall back and tackle or disrupt the way Oscar, Schurrle, Hazard and Torres are.

A most entertaining first half. Bayern look increasingly threatening. There are goals left in this game, that seems certain.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:56 PM   #614
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There are goals left in this game, that seems certain.
Ya think! gota love Hazard.

P.s. a man down and Mourinho's beating Pep. If Pep loses, his next month in Munich is going to be hell.
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:32 PM   #615
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That's Lukaku in the transfer window
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