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Old 02-28-2013, 12:11 PM   #76
wxwax
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What's interesting about Barca these days is that they no longer press when the lose possession. I don't know if it's because their midfielders are losing their legs or what, but it's a pronounced change from Pep's days. But they still play the high line. Seems to me a high line without a press leaves you really vulnerable to a direct ball over the top.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:46 PM   #77
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I can't really disagree. The responsibility for buying players is opaque. We believe that Michael Emenalo is at least partly responsible, but we also believe there's at least one eminence grise behind the throne.

On the other hand, there's a prodigious amount of very young talent both on the senior squad and also out on loan and on the junior level. So the future is bright, as Chelsea have for years been buying young players in order to lessen their dependence on expensive purchases.

I'm amused at the number of people who insist that Chelsea were lucky to beat Barcelona over two legs and then beat Bayern Munich at home. Three consecutive matches of luck? Please.

So many of the people who go blah, blah, blah about "beautiful football" somehow fail to see the beauty of a difficult and well-planned strategy being executed at a high level. Chelsea were magnificent. Milan were magnificent. Madrid were magnificent.

Frankly, these people are stupid. They believe there's only one way to play and every team should play that way, regardless of whether or not it is in that team's self-interest. Ludicrous. You play to your strengths. You play to win.
Having two world class players (Messi, Robben in ET) miss a penalty in consecutive matches is quite lucky.
Nobody denied that Chelsea played to their strengths. Chelsea had an easy, but well executed strategy.

Chelseas youth team plays with the HSV now.
Actually not absolutely terrible. They got Van der Vaart back from Tottenham as proven quality and the team starts to work with this experience.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:32 PM   #78
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Having two world class players (Messi, Robben in ET) miss a penalty in consecutive matches is quite lucky.
Nobody denied that Chelsea played to their strengths. Chelsea had an easy, but well executed strategy.

Chelseas youth team plays with the HSV now.
Actually not absolutely terrible. They got Van der Vaart back from Tottenham as proven quality and the team starts to work with this experience.
I haven't watched any Werder Bremen matches but I keep reading that Kevin De Bruyne (Chelsea loan) is having a stellar season. Have you seen any of him?

Messi missed but Robben was saved . Difference.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:55 PM   #79
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I haven't watched any Werder Bremen matches but I keep reading that Kevin De Bruyne (Chelsea loan) is having a stellar season. Have you seen any of him?

Messi missed but Robben was saved . Difference.
A saved penalty is about the same as a missed penalty. Slightly off the mark. Good penalties can't be saved.

Well... Werder got spanked 6-1 on saturday by Bayern (with 6 changes to the Arsenal game). De Bruyne shot the first league goal of the year against Bayern though. It was 4-0 before that, so Bayern only defended to keep Neuer from going ballistic on them.

In general, Werder is in transition. The manager, Schaaf seems to be losing the plot a bit. He tries to play this beautiful attack minded game, but doesn't have the players for it. Mostly they play a 4-1-4-1, which might work well with a great holding midfielder and good defense, but Werder has neither. The attack is acceptable with De Bruyne only slightly better than Arnautovic and Hunt.
They are a bit in no man's land of the table. Bundesliga is odd this year anyways. Bayern is up and away with the title. 3 teams just fuck up and with their incompetence made the battle about relegation quite boring. The other teams are 6 or 7 points off Europaleague (7 th might be another spot, depending on the result of the DFB Pokal).

1 Bayern München

23 19 3 1 63:8 55 60
2 Borussia Dortmund (M, P)

23 12 7 4 51:27 24 43
3 Bayer 04 Leverkusen

23 12 6 5 43:30 13 42
4 Eintracht Frankfurt (N)

23 11 5 7 38:34 4 38
5 SC Freiburg

23 9 8 6 29:22 7 35
6 Hamburger SV

23 10 4 9 28:32 -4 34
7 Hannover 96

23 10 3 10 46:42 4 33
8 1. FSV Mainz 05

23 9 6 8 31:28 3 33
9 FC Schalke 04

23 9 6 8 37:38 -1 33
10 Borussia M'gladbach

23 7 10 6 32:34 -2 31
11 VfB Stuttgart

23 8 5 10 25:40 -15 29
12 Werder Bremen

23 8 4 11 39:47 -8 28
13 Fortuna Düsseldorf (N)

23 7 6 10 28:31 -3 27
14 1. FC Nürnberg

23 6 9 8 23:30 -7 27
15 VfL Wolfsburg

23 7 6 10 23:33 -10 27
16 FC Augsburg

23 3 9 11 20:36 -16 18
17 1899 Hoffenheim

23 4 4 15 27:48 -21 16
18 SpVgg Greuther Fürth (N)

23 2 7 14 13:36 -23 13
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:39 PM   #80
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Finally, they found a madman to translate their tactics drivel (Bayern - Dortmund).

http://spielverlagerung.de/2013/02/2...a-dortmund-10/
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:06 PM   #81
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A saved penalty is about the same as a missed penalty. Slightly off the mark. Good penalties can't be saved.
So if Bayern had won the penalty shootout it would have been a lucky win for them?
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:10 PM   #82
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Finally, they found a madman to translate their tactics drivel (Bayern - Dortmund).

http://spielverlagerung.de/2013/02/2...a-dortmund-10/
My cable company has stopped carrying the channel which shows the Bundesliga, so I couldn't see this match. The ESPN talking heads said they were shocked by Dortmund's listless performance, as if they didn't really care.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:34 PM   #83
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My cable company has stopped carrying the channel which shows the Bundesliga, so I couldn't see this match. The ESPN talking heads said they were shocked by Dortmund's listless performance, as if they didn't really care.
There are even more nerves required in a penalty shootout, but in general there is luck involved.

Dortmund did lack Hummels. Neither Santana, nor Subotic can replace his long ball distribution. Hummels usually gets manmarked by the striker to keep his build up play in check. Made it even easier for Bayern to control them. Dortmund only had one player in midfield that I would call "creative" in Gündogan. Sven Bender is a very good defensive midfielder to shield the defense, but he doesn't offer a lot offensively as his twin Lars does for Leverkusen. Großkreutz, the third midfielder is a good combination player with a high workrate, but not somebody to play the brilliant key passes. Bayern had to really control Gündogan and had Dortmunds line to the offense constricted.

Teams can only look as good as the other team lets them. Bayern choked them on wednesday. Maybe Dortmund didn't have their best game, either. They seem to be a bit fixated on Champions League games. Contrary to Bayern they also do not have the skill to grind out low effort wins.

I have heard a few espn "experts"... they probably expected to be able to wank seeing Dortmund play and were dissappointed. That could only have been due to not trying their best.

I'll give you a notice in the next cup round for a stream. Since it is only cup, they might not have sold the streaming rights worldwide and the stations live stream isn't geoblocked.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:17 PM   #84
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Thanks. I go to wiziwig for streams when Chelsea aren't on US channel. Decent links there, but a lot of bad ones too.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:12 AM   #85
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A weakened Madrid beats a not-quite-as-weakened Barca for the second time in a week. Tuesday is going to be very interesting, Madrid are coming together. It seemed so unlikely just two weeks ago.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:41 PM   #86
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A weakened Madrid beats a not-quite-as-weakened Barca for the second time in a week. Tuesday is going to be very interesting, Madrid are coming together. It seemed so unlikely just two weeks ago.
Two names came to mind; José Mourinho and CR7. Is Madrid weakened as you say, or it just gets to the best form in the right timing?
Nothing to do with being Portuguese... They are just the best coach and player.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:50 PM   #87
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Two names came to mind; José Mourinho and CR7. Is Madrid weakened as you say, or it just gets to the best form in the right timing?
Nothing to do with being Portuguese... They are just the best coach and player.
Let me guess where you live . . .
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:04 PM   #88
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A weakened Madrid beats a not-quite-as-weakened Barca for the second time in a week. Tuesday is going to be very interesting, Madrid are coming together. It seemed so unlikely just two weeks ago.
Anyone doubt Madrid will score Should be a good game either way (and I think Madrid will squeak it, just).

Villas Boas is proving with the current Spurs team what a fruitcake Abramovich is (like we didn't know )

As far as Barca the thing. It's the manager. The decline started with his appointment - he's out of his league as he couldn't even make it in charge of a third division team. He's a born assistant coach. And they were robbed of a penalty on Saturday.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:46 PM   #89
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Two names came to mind; José Mourinho and CR7. Is Madrid weakened as you say, or it just gets to the best form in the right timing?
Nothing to do with being Portuguese... They are just the best coach and player.
I only meant Saturday's team was weakened because Mourinho made 7 changes to the team that beat Barca in the Copa. He rested his best players.

I agree, Madrid's form is coming on at just the right time. I really believe that this kid they have at center-back, Raphael Varane, is making a big difference.

If Man United come at them and Madrid can counter-attack (Mourinho's favorite play in the whole wide world) then I think we might see an upset.

The confidence, camaraderie and work ethic they showed at the Camp Nou was impressive. (Being a Chelsea man, I also have a soft spot for Mourinho, even if I don't think he should return to Stamford Bridge.)
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:55 PM   #90
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Anyone doubt Madrid will score Should be a good game either way (and I think Madrid will squeak it, just).

Villas Boas is proving with the current Spurs team what a fruitcake Abramovich is (like we didn't know )

As far as Barca the thing. It's the manager. The decline started with his appointment - he's out of his league as he couldn't even make it in charge of a third division team. He's a born assistant coach. And they were robbed of a penalty on Saturday.
Yeah, I'm sure the manager is a big part of it. This guy says he has no desire to be a manager. But it's not as if Barca won anything important last year, just the Cope Del Rey. They're on a near record pace in the Primera but I still think this has been coming for a while. I thought they looked burned out last season. Now I think it' something more fundamental.

Ask me, Ancelotti should still be working in South London, let alone AVB or Di Matteo. You'll get no rise out of me on the manager issue. But I'll happily count the trophies, as will everyone in the Matthew Harding Stand. You have to take the good with the bad.

I am definitely looking forward to tomorrow's match and I'll be pulling for Madrid, because of dear old Jose.
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