Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

166 Veteran
  1. Transfers & Rumors: Deadline Drama!

    Really interesting to see what this means for Hazard and Hudson-Odoi. Thought both were definite gonners this Summer, but surely Chelsea won't sell if they can't replace. A lot of discontent on the way in West London.
  2. 2018/19 Europe Thread - It begins again

    I watched the Liverpool - Bayern match last night. I thought Bayern retained the ball well, without posing much threat. I know it's an obvious statement to make, but the downgrade of Robben and Ribery in their prime to Coman and Gnabry is astronomical. They just don't have the consistent creativity with correct decision making to be the level of player required to be a star at Bayern. I think the game highlighted the main deficiency in the Liverpool team - the ball retention ability of their midfielders. Klopp opts for athletic CMs with unbelievable engines and top athletic ability as a means to force the opposition to relinquish the ball. I felt they did that well at times last night, but eventually the time comes when you have to keep the ball yourself and the midfield 3 were so sloppy at times. That's an underrated aspect of both VVD and Gomez being out injured. They are obviously very good Defenders but they have the ability to step into the midfield line with the ball and distribute like very good midfielders as well. Fabinho is obviously comfortable in that area, but Matip is a poor technical player for a Champions League team. I think Liverpool are more suited to playing on the counter against top teams so the away leg, with VVD back, could suit them better against a team that can keep the ball well like Bayern. They will need more impact from Firmino and Salah though, who were both off their game last night.
  3. 2018/19 Europe Thread - It begins again

    I really don't think I am being hyperbolic, and you haven't given an example of another team who has purchased the amount of players in one unit that Arsenal have on their defense, with as little success. That, in my eyes, makes it historically bad. I said the last 15 years so clearly that would include a couple of those names. But we've got absolutely no way of proving whether a player was developed poorly or whether it was a lack of talent, so it seems a tad fruitless to debate that. What we do know, without any doubt, is that Chambers isn't good enough for a team with the aspirations that Arsenal have. That was my point. If you look into their history, most top full backs these days are failed wingers from some point in their career, whether it be as a youth player or as a pro. To play at a top club you have to have a base level of technical ability, so as a young player these top full backs would obviously be the best technical player in their team and thus wouldn't be playing a position like full back. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1OlCq67Ab0 - That's a video of Jamie Carragher talking about how full backs are either failed wingers or failed CBs. The latter is rarer at top clubs now, given the attacking responsibilities of full backs. I personally don't feel Bellerin has the technical ability required of a winger for a top side, but maybe that is me. Back to my original point - if you go through the list of defenders purchased by Arsenal over the last 15 years, I believe that the list is historically bad in terms of the success to failure ratio.
  4. Manchester United Thread - Fred's a Red

    Yeh I would say CB and RB are definitely the biggest needs. I love Toby - I would do that deal in an instant. We've then got big rotational problems at CM, LB and all across the front 3. I would say a top quality CB, top quality RB, top quality CM are an absolute must, then perhaps a young LB to rotate with Shaw. I think what we do with depth within the front 3 is of interest. Lukaku, in my opinion, will be on his way out. So then it becomes a decision of whether we go spend big on a starting calibre player within the front 3 or do we buy a young player to compete for minutes (should be enough to go around if said player can play either wing). United get linked with basically any good player that doesn't play for City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid or Barcelona. The current 'hot' name is Jaden Sancho but that would cost us an obscene amount of money. I just can't see it this Summer with the amount of business we need to do.
  5. Manchester United Thread - Fred's a Red

    Honestly, if we beat Liverpool on Sunday he will have the job by the following Friday. As you say, it's simply remarkable what he's done with the exact same players. And, as Shearer correctly pointed out last night, it's not all about bringing smiles to the players faces. There is a tactical element to what he's done as well. Last night was a perfect example - I saw Mata and I thought, "oh here we go again - Mata from the right". Instead, he played a 4-3-1-2 with the width being provided by the two forwards and full backs. It's what Liverpool did under Rodgers when they nearly won the league (Suarez and Sturridge drift wide, Sterling at the head of the diamond). It's a lot easier for an unathletic player like Mata to press a DMC like Jorginho and CBs because the players you're pressing are a) less athletic than full backs b) more defensive than full backs so less chance of being taken advantage of. The responsibility of the full backs bombing on then becomes the edge midfielders of the 3 - so that was Herrera from the right (Chelsea's left, so Alonso) and Pogba from the left (Chelsea's right, so Azpilicueta). We managed it almost perfectly, with Pogba slacking a couple of times but it's a tough role to player so I will forgive him. It was a genius move by our Coaching staff and showed how far we've come. As long as we don't suffer a huge dip in form or suffer a massive defeat to Liverpool or City, I just don't see how you can't give it him. Everything about him is perfect for the job.
  6. Broncos trade for Joe Flacco

    I agree with this. It's so weird in the NFL right now that very few teams require a starting QB. Teams either have a quality starter, a player tied down to a big contract or a young QB is still to be determined. However, there is a desperate shortage on dependable backup QBs. It's how players like Josh McCown and Chase Daniel get big contracts. I think Arizona would be a great landing spot for Case as you have mentioned. I would be surprised if we can't fetch a 6th rounder for him. Still doesn't excuse the contract we gave him ...
  7. 2018/19 Europe Thread - It begins again

    Regardless of where you play him, Mustafi isn't good enough for a top 4 team. I fail to see how Mertesacker was a good buy. He was the constant bull boy against all of the top teams, and once again - how many top 4 sides would Mertesacker have gotten into when he was at his best at Arsenal? Holding is still to be determined, I agree. Chambers isn't good enough. Why is this still a debate? He's 24 and has played over 100 games now. He's been below average in that midfield role for a pretty awful Fulham side. You could make an argument to say he was the worst player on the pitch against United (him or Seri). Jenkinson isn't good enough. I think if anything, all of these names pretty much backup my original point - Arsenal's defensive purchases over the last 15 years have been historically bad. If they are to make any significant progress as a squad then this needs to change. It's crazy because there is sooooooo much talent that comes out of North London. You would've thought in that time at least one local kid would've been good enough to give them some rotational ability at CB.
  8. Rugby Thread

    I watched the Waratahs-Hurricanes game. It was a really scrappy fixture, something you would expect this early on. The Canes clearly missed Beauden Barrett, especially when injuries forced Perenara to Fly Half. Still, it's a home game that the Tahs should've won with Foley missing that kick (pretty much) right infront from about 30 out.
  9. 2018/19 Europe Thread - It begins again

    Arsenal are facing the same issues most low budget (compared vs City, United, Chelsea) face - you don't get much money to spend so if you spend it poorly, you're doomed. Has there ever, in the history of the Premier League, been a team that has bought so poor in one unit (Defense) as what Arsenal have the last 15 or years or so? It's simply astounding how bad the purchases have been. Eventually, that is going to catch up to you and we've seen that in how long it has been since Arsenal mounted a title charge. When you compound these defensive issues with sub par performances from high earning players, you are going to see the results we've seen under Emery. I feel for the guy - he had no chance with that squad to do anything of note really, and I would say they massively overperformed before their recent slump.
  10. Love Chubb but...

    Sorry, but everything you've said with regards to Tebow is incorrect. The fact is in the NFL you have, have, have, have to be able to make plays from within the pocket, with a level of anticipation and accuracy. Tim Tebow showed absolutely no ability to throw from within the pocket with any form of consistency, he showed incredibly poor accuracy and he showed no ability to make passing throws 'on schedule'. Jackson and Tebow are not the same player. Please don't take it personal, but it's a bit of a lazy comparison. Jackson has a laser arm with a really quick release. To boot, he's a generational, explosive athlete with game changing speed. Tebow is very good athlete for his position with good speed and physical ball carrier, but that is a totally different animal to Lamar Jackson. I actually think both styles have little/no longevity in the NFL as a QB, but a physical ball carrying QB has NO place in the modern NFL whereas Jackson at least has a chance to make plays with his legs that won't impact his ability to stay on the field. The love for Tebow was entirely because of his outspoken Christian values and his 'high character'; it was nothing to do with his play. The latter held the team back if anything, let's get it straight. Go back and watch the games - he was HORRENDOUS for 3 and a half quarters in every game during that win streak of ours. Tim Tebow wouldn't be a starting calibre NFL QB in any sustainable NFL Offense. It really is that simple.
  11. Let the Offseason Begin

    No brainer to not pick up the Marshall option. Too injured and doesn't have the explosion to counter his lack of weight any more. Loved him in his prime - one of my favourite players to watch.
  12. Love Chubb but...

    You could play this game about any draft in any scenario. There will always be 1st round picks that were available and you didn't make. That's the draft for you. I think you're in for a pretty miserable existence if you play that game every year! I think the only scenario to look back on with merit really is whether or not we should've done QB. That is all this forum was thinking at the time - QB or BPA. That said, I think we've done that one to death enough time over the past year.
  13. Broncos trade for Joe Flacco

    $18.5 mill to Flacco, $10 mill deadcap when we cut/trade Case - $28.5 mill on one of the least enviable QB situations in the entire league. That is not good, John. Fair play to a lot of you - you're taking this better than me. Flacco is an absolute statue back there and our OL is one of the worst drop back passing OL in Football and that's with a healthy Paradis/Leary. I just don't see this working out at all, and I really don't buy the scheme familiarity stuff either. Flacco was plenty familiar with his scheme in Baltimore last year and he was, sans a couple of games, terrible. The biggest positive for me is that we (potentially) keep our veteran players happy in that we're at least 'trying to win'. That said, I just don't see where the productivity is going to come from. I know Klis is an earpiece for Elway and he is saying that this takes us at the QB stakes in the early part of the draft but I call bs on that. a) Elway isn't giving away his draft intentions to anyone 2 months before the draft. b) Flacco is going to be our QB for one year - I would be shocked if Elway thinks any different. c) Elway is going to need some form of young plan b for when this goes to 'poo' because this fanbase isn't a million miles off being done with Elway. One more tragic QB situation and he's in deep, deep trouble. To summarise, I don't like it. I don't really know what scenario I would like to be honest, but this isn't it.
  14. 2018/19 Europe Thread - It begins again

    Lukaku just isn't a good enough technical player for a game against such good opposition. He can't hold the ball up and to be honest, he isn't quick over the first 10 yards so he doesn't offer much in the way of explosion either. I thought we'd bring him on sooner to go more direct because of his strength, but that's about the height of his use against top opposition. That Tottenham game was crazy. They were so outclassed in the 1st half; Dortmund's movement off the ball was just too much for Spurs to handle. Poch definitely recognised the need to disrupt Dortmund higher up the pitch and they forced so much sloppy play from Dortmund's back 5 (inc GK). Dortmund must be stunned they lost that game 3-0, especially without scoring. They were made to pay for their inability to be clinical in the 1st half. There is no way Dortmund are keeping a clean sheet in the return fixture, so that tie is done.
  15. 2018/19 Europe Thread - It begins again

    United don't have the depth in their squad to deal with injuries to two of their front three, especially midway through a game. It's a hell of a lot different to have the injuries known prior to the game (ala PSG) so you can prepare without them, than having to suffer the injuries in the space of 5 minutes. As I mentioned, United aren't good enough to deal with those injuries and it really showed. As soon as Martial and Lingard went off, United lost all ability to press the ball with any quality. Alexis Sanchez is a willing presser without the ball, but he does it with a reckless abandon and zero intelligence; that isn't beneficial against a team with high quality technical players at the back like PSG. Juan Mata looks like he has won a charity raffle to play for United when attempting to press. Honestly, I bet a decent portion of this forum has more athleticism than he does and that just won't cut it against top opposition. Your pressing needs to be so well timed and so coordinated to disrupt the technical ability of these players, so if you give them any time whatsoever the entire press becomes worthless. I thought PSG were excellent 2nd half. Great shape, excellent ball retention and excellent decision making in terms of when to up the tempo of their passing. Considering he's been out injured, Verratti was at the heart of it and Di Maria/Mbappe brought the quality at the business end of the pitch. Hats off to Tuchel who moved the shape 10 yards up the pitch when Martial and Lingard went off. He knew that United had zero threat in behind from wide positions without these two, and United were simply suffocated in their own half for the vast majority of the 2nd half. This is crazy, I know, but I actually think the injuries to Cavani and Neymar may have benefited PSG for this fixture. There is absolutely no way that their shape would've been that impressive with Neymar and Mbappe as their wide players. Obviously the threat going forward would've been far greater, but I don't think the game called for that, given the counter attacking threat they carried without Neymar and Cavani. PSG were sloppy at times in the 1st half with their ball retention so them 2 may have helped with that I suppose. As for United - really, this game didn't tell us much we didn't know. We're still (at least) 3 players short from a Starting XI perspective from being close to the top teams (CB, RB, CM) and numerous players short from a depth perspective. It's just crippling for us that Sanchez is on such a high wage but his production is a million miles off his league leading salary. Ole has done an incredible job to turn this team around in the way he has, regardless of this result. We were beat by a team who are better on paper, better on the night, and better in general. This is the doing of the previous 3 Managers - not Ole.