23. Football (soccer), basketball, baseball, and football (NFL) are my loves.
I'm a huge Manchester United fan.
Grew up watching Cantona, van Nistelrooy, Scholes, Giggs, Ronaldo, etc.
Park Ji Sung became a personal hero of mine on United. Always humble. Always hard working. Was known for stepping up in big games (against AC Milan, Arsenal, Liverpool, etc.). Gave all for club and country.
Grew up a huge Phoenix Suns, AZ Diamondbacks, and an AZ Wildcats fan as well. Some of my favorite current players from the NBA: Steve Nash, Kyrie Irving, Goran Dragic, Stephen Curry, etc. I'm a sucker for flashy playmakers.
BEAR DOWN ARIZONA.
BUSY ATM, SORRY IF I CAN'T RESPOND TO YOUR COMMENTS :<
I'm too shell-shocked to get a full reply back to you just yet. This was the worst possible final for me. Many of my close contacts are "deranged Messi fanboys", as you so aptly put it. I know a little boy who was named Messi by his father, that's how insane these f***ers are.
Losing to Argentina, and by extension Messi, in the final is not an option. Suicide would be a valid alternative to facing these lunatics after their God wins the World Cup over my country.
It's hard to argue with your first paragraph. Statistics don't tell the whole story, but they can definitely tell you enough to tell you whether or not a player is effective on the pitch.
I've seen his playmaking ability in the WC now, and I have to say it is impressive. He has definitely increased his stock with me throughout his more recent matches through those passes he's made and his decision making. But, I don't believe it's really as clear cut as it sounds when you say he more assists from through balls than any other forward, because there are factors that weigh pretty heavily into that. I can give him that he is a ridiculous dribbler of the ball, no questions about it, but that really plays into his playmaking abilities too. Think about it this way: when Messi has the ball he's usually crowded by 3 opposing defenders. How does that play into his playmaking abilities? Well, if 2 extra men are on Messi, that means two of his teammates aren't being marked, which really opens things up for a great pass. Of course he has great passing abilities, that much is evident by the weight of his passes, his vision, etc, but it certainly does help his case when he pulls in all the attention and his teammates are left in acres of space. His dribbling ability allows him to pull free for a second, and in that second he get off a relatively easy (when compared to what most playmakers have to do) pass to a relatively open teammate.
Alright, I can concede that he's probably a great player, but to be considered one of the greats is just a step too far for me. I mean, you can't really argue that while he could play in the '50's none of the players I mentioned couldn't. They are all greats, and they could all play in any era. Robben could play in any era, and he's far from one of the greats of the sport. It's also become the norm to praise Messi to death. Look at Roy Keane's quote for example: "...Ronaldo is good but Messi is the best I've ever seen". Ronaldo is practically Messi's equal, and while Messi is beyond him in certain aspects Ronaldo is certainly better than him at others, such as his raw physicality for instance. Yet why is Ronaldo just "good" while Messi is the best he's ever seen? IMO it's because the media have made Messi out to be the golden child of football, and I don't think anybody in a position of prominence can afford, from a PR (public relations) standpoint, to go against that notion because most fans now believe Messi is the greatest player of all time. I mean, could you imagine the kind of backlash one of these individuals would have received had they said that Messi is anything but a great?
Messi, to me, has pretty much become an untouchable public figure in that sense. Just look at some of the stuff he gets away with, such as spitting on opposition players (haven't seen it myself, but heard plenty about it), bullying younger players (again allegedly from my standpoint, but rumours start somewhere), kicking a ball into a group of Madrid fans, tax evasion, pulling off stupid fouls that don't even get called (during the WC so far, twice it happened), etc. How is there not one bit of criticism about him for any of these things? Then you look at Ronaldo, who has been painted as the villain. He is hugely charitable, he donates blood and bone marrow regularly, he pays for surgeries, he's an incredibly hard worker, yet all you hear about him being shouted in the media are the negatives. The media "system" has been designed to make Messi out to be the greatest player of all time, and the all-around great guy and Ronaldo, his chief rival, to be the bad guy. It may be a bit of a tangent, but I feel that it is precisely the same reason in principal as to why nobody with a shred of care about their own public image will criticise, or even fail to praise Messi in public.
You're absolutely right that Barca would not have scored all those goals without Messi, but do you really think they wouldn't have won what they've won (or at least most of what they've won) without Messi? I can certainly say I doubt that. The difference Messi makes for Barca is right there to see in the NT, as was states indirectly in the article you showed me. Barcelona wins by 3-0 and Spain wins by 1-0. That is the difference Messi makes. But at the end of the day, both sides win. Spain won 3 back to back major international tournaments without Messi's presence, which is why I will never believe that Messi is the person who made Barcelona what it was.
I don't really watch Barca too often, but it also seems to me that he is changing his game to suit a deeper position. Maybe at Barca they will play Neymar right up front (assuming he actually comes back 100% from his injury, which is certainly not a certainty) with Messi pulling the strings in a deeper role? It seems like a viable option to me.
I want to clarify what I meant with tapping in goals. I didn't mean to say that Messi taps in goals because of his midfield. It was actually kind of after the whole Messi thing, and what I meant was that I prefer midfielders more than anything because they make it possible to tap in goals. Anyone can score when the midfield behind them is incredible, and that's why I prefer midfielders. It had nothing really to do about Messi, though I can definitely see how it looked that way lol. It does sort of tie in with how I feel about Messi (his midfield making him look even better than he is, and he's already a very, very good player) but the way I meant it was more like that a great midfield can make even an average striker or defender look pretty good.
I have to say, this whole Messi debate has been the first time I really got into it like this over him, and it's been rather exhilarating lol. It's been, in a word, awesome!
The GK swap was just audacious. No other word to really describe it. Definitely can't wait for next season. He is going to really transform our team, and I'm beyond excited to see what he does.
BTW, what are your predictions for the semis, and how do you feel about the new kit?
In the semis I think objectively the most realistic result will be Germany and Netherlands making it through based off suspensions and injuries, but I don't think it'll turn out that way. It could go any way, but I think one of Brazil or Argentina, or both, will definitely make the final. If I had to go with one choice it'd be Germany vs Argentina in the final.
The new kit looks better than I thought it would, but I'm definitely not a fan of the logo. It's too gold, too big, and too attention grabbing. The new kit is okay, but it definitely could have been better IMO.
I actually never really watched James before this WC at all, so I actually had no idea of how good he really was. I'm not a fan of the French or Portuguese leagues (he was from Porto right?) so I never really got a chance to see him play. Yeah, Real seems like an awful destination for him.
Sure Barca looked completely vulnerable without him, but this past season when the Barcelona midfield looked average what did Messi accomplish? Sure he had his injuries, but when he was available he wasn't all that great. Also, look at his impact for Argentina. He has moments of magic, but over 90 minutes he's just a good to really good player.
I read that article, and yes statistically Messi is an amazing player, but football is more than about statistics. Numbers in a chart can't convince me about what I see on the pitch. I've watched Barcelona in the CL, I've watched a few La Liga games when Barcelona played, and I've watched Argentina at the WC. He might make the most passes, take the most shots, assist the most goals, have the best shot accuracy, etc etc, but football is not an individual sport. When Barcelona were dominant, Spain was also dominant. When Barcelona wasn't dominant, Spain also wasn't dominant. Argentina was never dominant during Messi's career. They haven't looked convincing at a single WC he has participated in, including this one.
So, I can give you that statistically Messi may be the greatest player of all time, but there are too many intangibles to this game for stats to tell the whole story. I mean, look at Zidane. Statistically he was probably not anywhere near Messi's level, but can you really say Messi is the better player after everything he accomplished with both club and country? He lead France to a WC victory, and France then looked absolutely rubbish once he was gone, then they went to another WC final when he came back and only lost on penalties after he was red carded.
Xavi is another entity like Zidane. Statistically he was not the greatest of all time, but what he did, the way he played, the impact he had on his team fundamentally (as in the way they played, how they took up space, how they moved the ball) goes beyond what Messi has achieved. Lahm seamlessly transitioned from the world's best RB to a world class central midfielder at the age of 30. He has been called the most intelligent player that Guardiola ever worked with. He doesn't just perform to the required standards wherever he finds himself on the pitch, he excels everywhere.
Neuer is just a goalkeeper, but he's revolutionized what it means to be a keeper. Before him there wasn't such a thing as a sweeper-keeper (correct me if I'm wrong here). He isn't just a wall in front of his goal, he's an extra defender as well. His presence gives his team the confidence to push forward because they now that he counts for 2 walls of defense behind the back line.
These are the kinds of impacts that define what it means to be a player of the calibre that people make Messi out to be. He, individually, hasn't had this kind of impact. He's been an important piece of the Barcelona puzzle, but we can't overlook that as great as he's been his success has only been concurrent with that of Spain and Barcelona. I can appreciate that you find him to be the best based on his peerless goal scoring records, and insane statistics, so don't get me wrong I'm not trying to convince you otherwise, all I want to do is to try and show you how I see this whole debate.
I also have to admit, I generally dislike strikers (false-9's). I like some forwards, mostly when they play wide, but I love midfielders and defenders the most. A great midfield makes anything possible, because at the end of the day anyone can score a tap-in or defend against the few attacks that make it through a strong midfield.
Anyway, moving on lol
I don't think it's out of the question TBH, because every FB we have is perfectly suited to playing WB. It will probably be a 4-3-3, and history would dictate that it most likely will be, but at this WC he's been very prone to changing up the shape of the team. He might try to do the same with United, though it must be said that he is somewhat limited by the quality of the squad available to him with the Dutch NT. Like you said, we'll see what happens.
As long as Carrick is partnered with 2 more CBs to cover for his comparatively weak defending (to other CBs), it could be a fantastic move. I hope we do see it next season.
Carvalho would be a good option, it's just that he's pretty expensive. I agree on Fellaini, it's too early to let him go.
I forgot about Anderson lol. He's only loaned out, so he's probably gone when LvG comes in. Or he will revitalise his career and deliver on his potential. You just never know with LvG lol
And don't worry about long posts! I love 'em :D
Yeah we definitely have too many #10s for us to really have a need for James. What a player though! It will be interesting to see where he goes because I don't really see much of a place for him at RM, which seems to be his preferred destination. I think maybe PSG would be the best place for him because as far as I know they are the only top team that doesn't really have an amazing #10.
I really don't want Argentina to win. I think Messi is overbandwagoned way too hard. Sure he's a great player, but is he the best in the world (or history as some like to say)? For me, not a chance. I need to see him be capable of having a Barcelona-esque impact without a Barcelona midfield behind him, which he seems incapable of.
I've only seen Godin a few times, but he does look quality. It's looking like we're getting de Vrij, so it remains to be seen whether or not we do end up getting another CB. One thing I could see LvG doing is using Carrick as a ball-playing CB in a 3 CB setup (3-5-2/5-3-2/3-4-3). I think that could be a real option for Carrick moving forward, because his lack of mobility is really hurting him in midfield.
Vidal and Strootman would be a dream! If we do get both then it'll be tough to fit everyone though. Strootman CDM, Vidal CM, Herrera CAM for the midfield, and then Mata, Rooney and RvP as the forwards? Doesn't seem LvG like to not have a pacey player up top, and Rooney hasn't been impressive in a wide role for England. Maybe LvG is thinking of just dropping Rooney completely, and he wouldn't really be out of line for doing so after that stinker of a WC.
Wow I had no idea Witsel had said that. I wish we'd go for him, not only because he's a great player but also because he knows Fellaini very well and could probably help us get the best out of him. Plus it's never a bad thing to have more height in the team.
I've heard from Jake Brigance that we're going for 6 players total, so I'll just go with that. Maybe 2 CBs, a winger and a CDM to go with Shaw and Herrera.
As for who I think will leave, that's a tough one. I think Cleverley is safe because he looks to me like an LvG type of player. Nani is quite a bit like Robben, whom LvG loves, so I think he'll probably be safe for one season. Young might be shown the door, though I think LvG could also find a use for him. If it wasn't for his insane contract I'd have assumed Rooney would be gone considering the signings we're making. Maybe Chicharito will be sold.
It's too hard to say right now because I have no idea who LvG will end up preferring, but I think those players are the ones most at risk of being the shown the door. What about you?
What would you prefer-
1) United buying only Shaw and Herrera, and promoting 7 players from our academy and FINISHING FOURTH
2) United spending 200 million on proven players in their prime and FINISHING FIRST?
Yes, Trey. WE ALL forgot about Zaha. I kno Moyes left and we can forget him, but when he was not playing Zaha and making it sound like he was shit then sent him out on loan, I felt he was being offensive to sir alex saying that alex didnt kno talent but he moyes knew shit players. It annoyed me so much. Anyways lets see the tour and then let the season begin!!
Good to know you'll be back in full force when the season starts! I'm here all summer so if you wanna drop a comment at any time I'll respond.
Colombia has been phenomenal. Only word that can really describe them. Plus they don't even have Falcao right now! Chile was one of my favourites too, and I really wanted them to beat Brazil. They could have had it, but I have no idea why they held out for penalties when they are terrible at them :(
Netherlands look really strong courtesy of LvG I think, because on paper that team is actually not that great. Mexico changed my opinion of them after that Croatia game. I felt they were decent before that match, but with that performance they proved they're the real deal.
I love the way France have punished nearly every mistake that came their way, and the way they play is really appealing to me. It's great that they've finally moved past Zidane and now look like they can actually make an impact on a tournament without him. Their group was definitely weak, but I think they will prove themselves against better teams too.
I could also see a Germany-Netherlands final happening, but I wouldn't call it likely. I went with France in my predictions, but realistically between Germany, France and Colombia any team could make it to the finals. I think Brazil are out of their depth in that group though.
I actually think a European team will win it in the end, contrary to popular opinion. Argentina haven't convinced me so far at all, neither have Brazil. The only South American team that looks to me like it can hang with the big European teams this year is Colombia. It would be incredibly funny to see Brazilian reactions to Argentina winning it on their home soil though lol.
A CB I'd like to see us pursue is Benedikt Hoewedes from Schalke. He's not really considered an all-star, but he is quality and he's consistent. Plus he's of a good age (25-26 I believe) and he has experience at all levels of competition. Add to that that he's got experience in being a captain, he's pretty good on the ball, and that he can fill in anywhere across the back four, and I think he starts to look like exactly what we need in a CB. What do you think of him?
For CM I'm not sure who we should target, but maybe Axel Witsel wouldn't be a bad idea? We have Fellaini to help him settle, plus they play well together internationally. He can anchor the midfield, gives us more height (the rest of our midfielders aren't that tall) and he's great on the ball and isn't at a big club or in huge demand. Thoughts?
Well yeah nowadays the average price of players is rising, so I guess it's to be expected.
Lol yeah I agree, it's good to see that we are buying players that fill holes in positions. Damn if the United comment section commenters were the board of Utd we would have bought Alexis, Cavani(wtf), Vidal, Pogba (lmao) etc etc. Seriously a striker? Lol.
Yeah and Herrera's like the only decently aged midfielder we have now, Carrick and Fletcher will be too old to perform at the highest level consistently, Cleverley is Cleverley (hope LvG can turn him around tho, poor Tom), and Fellaini's development is to be seen.
I actually would rather buy a winger now, not a DM anymore. I think van Gaal can make somethign out of Fellaini again. If Fellaini does improve, alongside Herrera (if he does live up to expectations), that would really be good...
Ah no problem, you can still join if you want? 3 people just joined yesterday, so you won't be the only one catching up. Up to you though. Just inbox me if you're interested.
Yeah easily goal of the tournament for me! Cahill's goal was amazing, but this was a once in a lifetime kind of goal. Truly outstanding. Goal of the tournament so far, for you too?
Yeah mate! I'm very excited about this window. Finally we have manager who people outside of UK have heard of lol.
Yeah, we overpaid but they're at least talented players who'll help improve our squad. In my eyes, Herrera and Shaw should've been 20M each, so 40 together, instead of 57 together. Oh well, we need to spend big now we're not in the CL!
Plus, Shaw is a typical Man United signing. Young, English and talented. E.g. Rooney (18 year old was 30 Million), Rio (21 year old, was 30 million). So it's nothing new.
Herrera is rated highly by pundits such as Guillem Ballague who claim he's one of the best #8's in the World, so I'll have to take his word for it. I've seen him play maybe 10 times, and thought he was decent. But his tackling, and passing stats surprised me, they're extremely good. He averages 3 tackles per games (more than anyone in La Liga), and has a pass accuracy of 88%, 6th highest midfielder in Spain (the other 5 are Madrid and Barca players lol). I'm interested though, as long as we get a solid CDM. Vidal would be a dream buy, but I'm expecting someone like Nigel De Jong. Wbu?
A CDM, CB and a winger and we're sorted :) You say experienced CB, which I agree with but there aren't many available atm. Miranda is an option, which I would love, but he's 29, nearly 30! And will be 30 million euros, so it's tough. If we end up with Vermaelen, it would be OK but I don't really rate him that highly, he's not THAT much of an upgrade on Evans in my opinion. Depay would be nice out wide, him and Adnan rotated would be a dream!
What'd you think?
Hey how've you been? It's been a really long time. How have you liked the WC so far? Standout teams?
I've enjoyed France, Chile, Colombia and Netherlands (and Germany ofc), and my prediction is that France will win it all. What do you think?
We finally managed to sign some of our targets, which is amazing. I had gotten used to being linked with players for months, having a new article every day telling us that the deal was "nearing completion", and then never getting our man. I have to say I enjoy the new approach of actually signing our targets better lol.
LvG has been ridiculously good at the WC, so I'm really excited to see how he transforms us.
How many more players do you think we'll go after and get? Anyone in particular you want? Depay and Sanchez have been phenomenal in the WC, and I'd love either one of them.