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Old 04-07-2010, 11:23 AM   #1381
JNRobert
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Predictions for Man U. - Bayern?

I think Ribery will own Neville and with Robben back it could be a close game. On the other hand, Man U. are always tough at home and Ferguson is a wiley fox.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:54 AM   #1382
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Originally Posted by NorCalMo
Predictions for Man U. - Bayern?

I think Ribery will own Neville and with Robben back it could be a close game. On the other hand, Man U. are always tough at home and Ferguson is a wiley fox.
Hard one.

United aren't the same team without Rooney, obviously. And they've been known to concede goals.

This Bayern team, with Robben and Ribery, is really good. But Robben may not start, might not even play.

I'd say this one's a toss-up. ManU only need a 1-0 win. Should be exciting and tight.
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:03 PM   #1383
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So Rooney plays aftere all. And that's quite a score card for the first half.



edit: How do you blow a 3 - 0 lead

JNRobert screwed with this post 04-07-2010 at 05:18 PM
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:37 PM   #1384
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Should be exciting and tight.


You blow a lead by getting a red card. United have been conceding lately. Couldn't shut down the game.

Good on Bayern.

But the real CL final is the semi between Inter and Barca. A classic clash of philosophies.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:38 AM   #1385
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I've said this before and it bears repeating: there has been a net drain of talent in the Premier League. As a result the level of play at the major clubs is as low as it's been in perhaps a decade.

The evidence is before us.

A Premiership title race featuring mediocre play; none of the teams at the top can put it away. No English teams left in the Champions League. No major investment in players in the off season or in the January trading window. Big clubs either unwilling to, or incapable of, spending.

Today we hear Rafael Benitez complaining loudly that Liverpool need new investors because he needs new players. Manchester United fans complain loud and long about the club's debt level and meanwhile Alex Ferguson sits on the Ronaldo transfer money. Perhaps he's hoping it will hatch? At Chelsea Roman Abramovich has been on a two-year program of cost cutting. And Arsenal have been crippled by their stadium debt for years; their youth movement is a virtue born of necessity.

Meanwhile, Inter spends 15 million Euros on Wesley Sneijder, perhaps the buy of the season. Inter and Barca make a sensational player and money swap. Real Madrid seem intent on creating Los Galacticos Part Two. And in France over the last three years an injection of television money and favorable tax laws has allowed clubs to make an unprecedented level of player investment. It's no coincidence two French clubs made the CL quarter-finals.

The question is, are English clubs in a position to reverse their decline? On the face of it, no. Whoever buys United from the Glazers will be burdened by an equally large debt. The Liverpool tandem don't appear to be in a selling mood. The economy is a long way from supporting bold investments. And while it's generally assumed that Roman Abramovich will open his wallet and let his riches pour forth onto the pitch at Stamford Bridge, there's no guarantee that he'll do so. Recent behavior suggests he may not.

The decline of the Premiership has been an abrupt one. The lure of its television wealth attracted debt-heavy investors who've been undone by the economic downturn. And now the game is in on its knees praying for investment angels to descend from the heavens to rescue clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:26 AM   #1386
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Alex Ferguson is a great manager but a despicable loser.

He whinges about everything. His "typical Germans" comment is sad.

And he took a pot shot at yet another ref. The last one he criticized was bounced out of the Prem for this weekend's games. Wonder if the Bayern ref will suffer a similar fate?

What a prick.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:11 AM   #1387
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Watching Sneijder makes me realize what Chelsea are missing.

IMHO they need to add a solid center-back. But even more importantly they need a midfield wizard. They're making do with Deco, who's often inaccurate and is injury-prone.

Lampard is a great player but he's not in the Sneijder mold. He too, would benefit from a classic playmaker.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:58 AM   #1388
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wxwax
I've said this before and it bears repeating: there has been a net drain of talent in the Premier League. As a result the level of play at the major clubs is as low as it's been in perhaps a decade.

The evidence is before us.

A Premiership title race featuring mediocre play; none of the teams at the top can put it away. No English teams left in the Champions League. No major investment in players in the off season or in the January trading window. Big clubs either unwilling to, or incapable of, spending.

Today we hear Rafael Benitez complaining loudly that Liverpool need new investors because he needs new players. Manchester United fans complain loud and long about the club's debt level and meanwhile Alex Ferguson sits on the Ronaldo transfer money. Perhaps he's hoping it will hatch? At Chelsea Roman Abramovich has been on a two-year program of cost cutting. And Arsenal have been crippled by their stadium debt for years; their youth movement is a virtue born of necessity.

Meanwhile, Inter spends 15 million Euros on Wesley Sneijder, perhaps the buy of the season. Inter and Barca make a sensational player and money swap. Real Madrid seem intent on creating Los Galacticos Part Two. And in France over the last three years an injection of television money and favorable tax laws has allowed clubs to make an unprecedented level of player investment. It's no coincidence two French clubs made the CL quarter-finals.

The question is, are English clubs in a position to reverse their decline? On the face of it, no. Whoever buys United from the Glazers will be burdened by an equally large debt. The Liverpool tandem don't appear to be in a selling mood. The economy is a long way from supporting bold investments. And while it's generally assumed that Roman Abramovich will open his wallet and let his riches pour forth onto the pitch at Stamford Bridge, there's no guarantee that he'll do so. Recent behavior suggests he may not.

The decline of the Premiership has been an abrupt one. The lure of its television wealth attracted debt-heavy investors who've been undone by the economic downturn. And now the game is in on its knees praying for investment angels to descend from the heavens to rescue clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United.
Well, it's a little more complicated than that. Arsenal, Chelsea and Man U. have a lot of their top players out due to injury (and let's face it, Wenger just isn't a good enough strategist against a team of Barca's quality). These things are cyclical anyway and teams learn how to beat systems.

As for the money side, there is still plenty of revenue it's too much spending. Player salaries are killing the goose and if they want to keep the system of hyper-competitive club football where teams can rise and fall, then a European wide salary cap is the only way to contain it. In the Premier league they play too much too which ads to the injuries and the requirement for bigger squads and more demand for the best players.

You also need to differentiate clubs like Man U and Liverpool which seem to have been run as ATMs for their owners vs. those clubs which are spending to compete.

p.s. Ferguson does himself no favors
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:19 AM   #1389
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Well, it's a little more complicated than that. Arsenal, Chelsea and Man U. have a lot of their top players out due to injury
Manchester United aren't particularly injured. Other than Rooney, which major players aren't available?

It says a lot that one player determines their fortunes.

Liverpool have had injuries this season, but they have their major players back (Torres and Gerrard.)

Chelsea's injury problems are well documented, but they also have an aging squad that often lacks pace and creativity.

Money doesn't just buy quality, it buys depth. I'd say the big teams are lacking both.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:21 AM   #1390
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As for the money side, there is still plenty of revenue it's too much spending. Player salaries are killing the goose and if they want to keep the system of hyper-competitive club football where teams can rise and fall, then a European wide salary cap is the only way to contain it.
Two years ago Chelsea played Manchester United for the CL title. Last year Manchester United won the thing.

Nobody was talking about player salaries then. And things haven't changed that much in the meantime.

What has changed is the economy and the pressure it's put on highly-leveraged owners.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:27 AM   #1391
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wxwax
Alex Ferguson is a great manager but a despicable loser.

He whinges about everything. His "typical Germans" comment is sad.

And he took a pot shot at yet another ref. The last one he criticized was bounced out of the Prem for this weekend's games. Wonder if the Bayern ref will suffer a similar fate?

What a prick.
Indeed. What a fantastic manager, but a bigger prick it would be hard to find in the EPL.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:34 AM   #1392
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Originally Posted by wxwax
Manchester United aren't particularly injured. Other than Rooney, which major players aren't available?

It says a lot that one player determines their fortunes.

Liverpool have had injuries this season, but they have their major players back (Torres and Gerrard.)

Chelsea's injury problems are well documented, but they also have an aging squad that often lacks pace and creativity.

Money doesn't just buy quality, it buys depth. I'd say the big teams are lacking both.
Bingo. There are many teams in the EPL who could compete with the big boys IF all their players were healthy. What they can't do is compete week to week when their players are getting hurt - the big boys can deal with that a lot beter.

The problems at Man U and Liverpool (and to a lesser degree Portsmouth I guess) what happens when people buy EPL clubs as ATMs or playthings. The Liverpool owners would love to divest themselves of their stock in Liverpool I'm sure - there's just nobody willing to give them what the greedy fuckers think they are worth. I have been very criticial of Benitez (and rightly so) but even I have continually said he's not the sole reason for the position Liverpool are in right now.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:47 AM   #1393
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wxwax
Manchester United aren't particularly injured. Other than Rooney, which major players aren't available?

It says a lot that one player determines their fortunes.

Liverpool have had injuries this season, but they have their major players back (Torres and Gerrard.)

Chelsea's injury problems are well documented, but they also have an aging squad that often lacks pace and creativity.

Money doesn't just buy quality, it buys depth. I'd say the big teams are lacking both.

Quote:
Two years ago Chelsea played Manchester United for the CL title. Last year Manchester United won the thing.

Nobody was talking about player salaries then. And things haven't changed that much in the meantime.

What has changed is the economy and the pressure it's put on highly-leveraged owners.

You move the ball around better than Iniesta

1. The financial problems of the the clubs has little to do with the economy (that hasn't changed much for the clubs) it's the unsustainability of the model. The chickens are coming home is all.

2. Assuming the decline of a whole league based on the elite teams faiilure in European competition is premature.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:03 PM   #1394
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Originally Posted by NorCalMo
You move the ball around better than Iniesta

1. The financial problems of the the clubs has little to do with the economy (that hasn't changed much for the clubs) it's the unsustainability of the model. The chickens are coming home is all.

2. Assuming the decline of a whole league based on the elite teams faiilure in European competition is premature.
It's happened before and it will happen again. Every year it seems one league is well-represented and others not and that seems to rotate some.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:06 PM   #1395
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Originally Posted by NorCalMo
You move the ball around better than Iniesta

1. The financial problems of the the clubs has little to do with the economy (that hasn't changed much for the clubs) it's the unsustainability of the model. The chickens are coming home is all.

2. Assuming the decline of a whole league based on the elite teams faiilure in European competition is premature.
Before the financial crunch money was freely available, perhaps too freely. Loans were renegotiated, borrowed money floated borrowed money and with a healthy economy it all worked out.

Jerry Jones said on Joe Buck's HBO show that he lies awake at nights worrying about his expensive new stadium because money's so tight these days he can't borrow to cover his borrowing.

It's a different world.

Also, I'm pretty sure the Glazers lost a huge amount of money to Bernie Madoff.

To your second point, it's not just the CL failure but also the mediocrity of this EPL campaign. Remember, I called it as the season started. There's been a net outflow of talent in the Prem.
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