Credit to Everton, they played very well, especially James McCarthy who must have had something like 9 blocks. Still, we were pretty terrible. Top 4 is looking a bit uncertain at the moment.
We're getting Guendogan according to Sky. Klopp to United?
Apologies for the lateness, the Chelsea match drained me of my excitement.
The fact that we were missing 3 key starters made it so hard to take the loss. With Blind and Carrick playing, and Herrera back in his regular position and Rooney nowhere near the midfield we would have been much, much better at opening Chelsea up. The movement off the ball and right-side linkup was completely missing, plus the left-side triangle was broken by Shaw trying to run the show.
On that note, as impressive as Shaw was individually, I was completely unimpressed with his ability to work as part of the team. I have no doubt that when Blind is ready he will step back into the LB slot immediately (as long as he isn't needed at DM). Shaw was playing with hunger and determination, Blind plays with his head.
Ah I forgot that Cleverley's contract ends soon. That sucks TBH. I always had high hopes for him and I thought LvG could turn his United career around. Like Fellaini and Young, I think he just needed a confidence boost. His passing and general ability to play the game are all good on a technical level, but what's missing is his willingness to make things happen and try things.
I just brought up Geis with K L in terms of who could replace Carrick. The guy has monster stats on Whoscored for a 21 year old! I really need to watch him more :(
No idea about Augsburg. I thought they were doing crap too TBH.
Yeah the MLS probably has the best chance, although honestly I have serious doubts about them. As a sport "soccer" just isn't most popular option amongst young athletes. Athletes who would excel in any sport will most likely pick American Football, basketball or hockey (maybe even baseball) over football, which means the only Americans left playing football are the ones who intended to play it from the start. That's a huge problem IMO, because it means the homegrown talent will be weak by comparison. For a league to be a major success, I think it needs strong homegrown players. It's why the Bundesliga managed to claw it's way up the rankings and the PL is falling now IMO.
And now I realize that your next paragraph covers this exact same point lol. Anyway, I guess China can be taken off the list too then. Korea and Japan produce good players (better than Americans IMO because they understand the game better), plus they have the money and infrastructure to make a solid league IMO. In the middle east there should be plenty of talent too, but the problem is opportunity and infrastructure. Plus there are too many individual countries. If they had a middle eastern "super league" that covers several countries, they could actually make a solid league there with the right investment.
Africa has the same problem. Many talented players are developed there, but the lack of infrastructure hurts them. They also have a crippling case of a lack of money, like many parts of the middle east. I would assume Africa is hit harder by this though.
South America produces tons of players, but honestly they have been doing so for years upon years and they've never really had an elite league like there are in Europe. I don't see it happening that they make one now.
Looking back at what I wrote, I think that the most likely to produce an elite league would be a country with money and talent. America has the money, but lacks the talent (half their team is born in Germany...). Japan and Korea are on an upwards trend in terms of producing talent, but more money needs to be invested I think. Both are also starting to make an impact in Europe with their players (something America is most certainly not doing), and I think that's the key. But they need to take caution from Africa and South America though, who have both been sending players to Europe for years but can't generate any interest in their domestic leagues because the players never come back anywhere near the top of their game.
Yeah I heard about the UEFA all star game. Not a fan TBH. Football is all about team impact and how a player slots into a team. An all-star weekend would only reinforce the popular opinion that stats and flashy tricks are all that matter.
In regards to English players, I think they lack a philosophy and proper training, not the talent. Every country has talent, and aside from a golden generation I don't think there is any real difference in the amount of natural talent any individual country has over another. It's all in the training and philosophy. It's why Holland always, absolutely always, produces top quality players. They don't produce better children than anywhere else, they just train them right. Germany was producing outdated players for a while, but with the new system in place we suddenly seem to put out golden generation after golden generation of talent. It can't be a coincidence at this point.
Yeah Odegaard is a good example of it happening elsewhere. But, I think it actually argues my case a bit. In other countries young players don't get the media exposure that young English talents get. Odegaard gets that exposure, and suddenly he's a diva just like many of the English youngsters. It's a big problem IMO.
Good call on needing the height. I remember you saying that :D
How do I get suspended so much? Hmmm, I guess it's because I don't shy away from very graphic imagery, or from calling an idiot an idiot. A lot of my comments end up having some not-so-veiled sexual imagery (like Rooney bending the club over and raping our collective assholes for our money, just an example), and that more often than not gets me banned when I'm not directly targeting someone with my offensive comments lol.
This is dreadful. I need more GoT...
BTW, do you watch the X-Men movies? Sansa has been cast as Jean Grey. Yuck, I don't like Sansa.
Oh and while you're waiting for GoT to catch up to the leaks, you should watch Vikings. Season 3 just ended and that shit is right up there with the GoTs and TWDs. Amazing show.
And Ramsay "Sausage" Bolton FTW. I hope he kills everyone in the North against him, and then leads the charge to King's Landing and becomes the king. Then he sails over to Daenerys and kills her and eats her dragons. He's the best (said nobody but me ever... lol)
Only problem with Klopp to Serie A is that he's said he wants to coach where he knows the language, and as far as I know he only knows English and German. TBH I'd hate to see him in Serie A because I don't watch it.
When I woke this morning I couldn't believe my eyes. With all those players out our defensive core is completely broken.
Valencia Smalling McNair Shaw
Mata Herrera Fellaini Young
That's probably how I would handle it. If RvP is fit enough I'd consider starting him over Wilson because he is capable of producing magic moments, which might be just what we need.
The other way I can see this going would be something like this:
Valencia Smalling McNair Young
Mata Herrera Fellaini ADM
I don't prefer this one, but I could potentially see LvG going this way. Shaw doesn't seem trusted at LB while Young has done well there. Di Maria has been his first choice substitute so it only makes sense that he comes back into the team. Falcao is fit so he'd probably start.
LvG already said that Rooney will probably play DM so I think that's pretty much a certainty. Herrera and Fellaini are a must in midfield with him (and not Di Maria) because they've proven they'll track back and help out, which Rooney will need. If he can keep his passing tidy and his head on right, this might actually work out pretty well (or really just not a complete disaster). He's far more mobile than Carrick or Blind, and while he isn't as good at reading the game he is far more combative and aggressive. It could work, but I'm really worried about this game now and I'm glad we have the 4 point cushion on City.
Well, since I'm just sitting here I'm just gonna reply to everything now. I'm sure you'll enjoy me replying to your long ass comment an hour or so after you post it, immediately putting the pressure back on you lol.
Pfffft I would have believed you if you'd told me he's starting over ADM. No I wouldn't have, I'm lying lol. Anyway, I'm so glad he's turned it around, though I have to say I feel a little embarrassed about all the fans who've been gushing over him, since they literally were nowhere to be found when he was down in the dumps. Some people are even saying now they never really doubted his ability, he just wasn't applying himself properly. Bullshit. The amount of hate he, Cleverley and Welbeck got from other fans was just unreal.
I also think he deserves to start. Starting should 100% be based on merit, and Di Maria hasn't merited anything with his shoddy displays. Like you said, a lot of his assists were just terrible shots, and others required insane control and finishing to execute (Rooney and Mata). I wouldn't be opposed to letting him go this summer TBH. If he stays I definitely won't be mad, but I just don't think he fits.
Herrmann actually caught my eye about 2 years ago, but he wasn't really quite ready just then. I'm really excited to see him fulfilling his potential. There isn't a lot to dislike about his game if I'm being honest; he's fast, direct, passes well, finishes well, has good positioning, and he works really hard defensively.
Xhaka is also really good. He has some disciplinary issues, or at least he did before, but in terms of talent he's right up there with some of the best. I really need to watch Geis more lol.
Yeah I'm glad you understand how I feel about the German players in the German league. I think everyone feels that way about their own league, and it's a source of pride to have domestic players doing well in your domestic league. It would really be interesting to see a non-European league become a bona fide big league. It would make the club world cup so much more interesting.
As you said, the Chinese league is likely to surpass the K and J leagues. Do you think it could actually become a pretty big league though? Do you think it would benefit Korean players (and really all Asian players) then to have such a league close by in China?
The first 10-15 minutes of the match seemed like it was confirming my fears that City is just our bogey team. The way we turned it around though was just orgasmic.
Oh I definitely saw Herrera make Fernandinho look like a fool lol. He made it look so easy and Fernandinho fell for it so hard lol. Quick little movement of the ball, and he was off sliding to the touchline lol.
Hmmm that is an interesting take on Rooney's performance. It's not an angle I've really thought about. It makes sense, but it also doesn't fully excuse Rooney IMO. He still should have done better and made more runs. For example, if he moved to one side and pulled the other CB out of the way as well, that would have opened even more space for one of the other midfielders to drive into. He also didn't really do much with the ball either, aside from that one assist.
I didn't see Giggs talk to Valencia on camera, but the commentator mentioned it. He said Giggs charged down the touchline to have a strong word with Valencia, and following that I never really saw him out of position again lol. And I agree and disagree on excusing Valencia. For some things, like keeping the back line intact, I can forgive him for not being quite on the same page as everyone else, which was the case when he played Aguero onside. But for him to be charging halfway down the pitch to challenge Clichy (who really isn't even his player to mark in the first place as long as Silva/Milner is still out wide), that's unforgiveable. It's a good thing he stopped doing that after Giggs talked to him though, because it was so, so scary to see how much space he was leaving.
Yeah I remember that through ball too. De Gea really surprised me when he swept that up, because he's primarily been the type to just deal with shot. If he can really make this a staple part of his game then he will be a much better all-around keeper for it.
TBH I'm not too impressed with most English players as a whole. It's not that they lack talent, because they certainly have it just like players anywhere do, but rather it's the education that seems to be lacking. You compare the footballing IQ of Blind, for instance, to his English counterparts and it's only really the older guys with tons of experience like Carrick that compare. You look at what Herrera and Mata can do with the ball and it's something that only the truly elite English players like Scholes, Lampard and Gerrard can do. Almost every young German, Dutch or Spanish player can do those kinds of things though, to varying degrees of success of course since not everyone is equally talented, but it begs the question of why so few Englishmen can do it.
The attitude is also really important, and I'm glad you brought it up. English players often have such a poor attitude, and I think it's the league and the media that are the big culprits here. They get paid exorbitant amounts of money before they've even made it, and get hyped up as the next big thing before they've played consistently in the EPL. Of course it'll go to some of their heads, and make them think they're already stars, which in turn makes for a shitty attitude. It doesn't "corrupt" everyone, of course, but it does have a habit of happening to the most talented ones.
Hmm interesting points. I would say that with an upgrade at DM we wouldn't necessarily play differently, just more aggressively. Fellaini and Herrera could push further forward, Young and Mata could take more risks, etc. I don't see a reason to change the actual system of how we play, and I have to be clear in saying that I don't mean playing long balls to #Felé but rather the way we have dual left and right side triangles that we use to overwhelm the opposition, because it's effective. Felé makes it more effective of course, but our right side is equally dangerous compared to our left. His size and attributes open more ways for us to move the ball around, but it's the triangles that are really killing teams IMO.
With Felé out I think Rooney does well as his replacement. He has the same combative nature, and he can do well in the triangles as well. Plus he's good at switching the play from left to right. When the opposing team wants to close down on Carrick then we can just lay the ball off to the CBs so they can bring it forward, as LvG has been training them to do all season. Plus the CMs drop back to help out. I think the system is very well balanced TBH and I don't see an easy way to exploit it (or at least one that wouldn't work against pretty much any formation). Our FBs are also great at bringing the ball out from deep. The options are there, and City did at times try to pressure Carrick, but it only worked early on because our passing was completely off as a unit. Once we started getting our passing rhythm on it was easy to avoid pressure from City players by moving the ball around the back.
You know what, thinking about this formation, it's actually an almost exact copy of what Moyes did around November last year, when Jones anchored the midfield and Rooney and Clevs played ahead of him. It's almost literally the same setup, just with more quality and better training. I'm thinking Cleverley could become quite the player under LvG now.
Yeah I also assumed Z Mouw was a United fan before. I read pretty much every article and read most comments, but I don't comment that often. Sometimes I'll get in the mood and post everyday for a while, but then I usually get suspended shortly after LOL.
I guess I should give Football Manager a shot. Probably not right now, since I'm swamped with things to play, but eventually. Thanks for the recommendation.
I also think that GoT started a bit on the slow side, but it's already looking like it's picking up the pace a bit. What I do like is how it's starting to shape up several big arcs that will hopefully provide plenty of excitement later on. Every one of the arcs looks like it's moving somewhere significant, which wasn't always the case before. The one I'm probably most interested in right now is Cersei vs Marjory in King's landing, as it looks like it'll be an epic battle of politics and underhanded tactics. The North just looks epic too, with Stanis gearing up to take Winterfell, Sansa and Little-Finger plotting what they're plotting, John Snow hopefully deciding to join the fight, the Wildings probably joining the fight, and the Bolton's trying to make their claim to the North more legitimate and respected.
I'm super excited about this season, but now I have to wait 4 weeks for more :'( Hopefully the rest leaks lol.
Ya you did, and now I'm asking for more. What do you make of Klopp leaving Dortmund? Where do you think he'll end up?
I think Arsenal is the best fit for him, but I have sneaking suspicion in my gut he's ending up with us. Just like Bayern did with Heynckes to get Pep, I think we'll either sack LvG, because he's a short term solution compared to Klopp being long term, or more preferably convince Klopp to take a year off before taking over. That gives him time to study the club more, become accustomed with the upper management, and make plans for what he wants to do and who he wants to sign.
Right now City is available for him, and Real may well be since it seems Ancelotti might be sold, but honestly I don't see those as clubs for him. He's the kind of guy who seems to like traditional clubs that focus on youth development, and that emphasise a feeling of family and trust. Barca, Bayern, United, Liverpool, Arsenal, etc. These are the clubs that he'd fit in at I think. City and Real though, where fans and the management turn on you after every poor result and who exemplify the type of spending that he doesn't seem interested in, don't seem to match his character and values.
Oh and I've now made up my mind. I was always planning on getting another United shirt to go with my 2011-2012 Young shirt (that's right, I have a Young shirt) now that Adidas will make them, and I'm going with Fellaini. I also want Blind, Herrera and Mata, but my man Fellaini gets the nod after this season. I'll eventually get the other 3 as well though.
GLORY GLORY MAN UNITED!!!!!!!!!!
What a WIN! At first I was devastated by how we were playing. It really felt like City was our bogeyman and that we'd never really get the upper hand on them again in a head-to-head, but man did the team turn that around or what?
Young, MotM for me, with only Fellaini really being any competition. You just can't argue with the end product though, so Young takes it.
Fellaini put Toure and Fernandinho in each of his pockets lol. We finally have a player in him that can bully those guys.
After the first 10 minutes of City dominance, I really only had an issue with 2 of our starters. First of all, a slight complaint about Rooney. It's nothing major, but I feel he isn't getting involved enough, and when he is it often isn't good enough. Our team right now is a complete midfield show, and Rooney isn't really playing at their level.
The second complaint is about Valencia's first half performance. It was, in a pair of words, F*CKING TERRIBLE! I lost count of how many times he charged upfield to challenge Clichy at the halfway line, leaving everything open behind him. Smalling worked like a dog to cover both the RB and CB areas, and that's exactly why there was such an opening for City to exploit for their first goal. I'm so glad Giggs laid the hammer down on Valencia, because afterwards he played a very strong game, and his 1v1 with Aguero was especially brilliant (though it has to be said that he did play him onside in the first place).
De Gea also did something I've long wanted to see from him: play sweeper keeper. The first time it was pretty much out of necessity, but it seemed to me then that afterwards he was a lot more interested in coming out and sweeping up the loose balls. He always before had a bit of apprehension in him when it came to these situations, to me, but after the first instance this game he looked very comfortable.
Good thing that Di Maria wasn't started over Young, despite what some wanted to see. I haven't been convinced by ADM yet, and he needs to change his game quite a bit to match our style. Otherwise, I don't necessarily see him starting anymore barring injury to our starters.
I think what England needs more than anything is for big reforms from the FA about youth development and league rules about foreign players. The door just isn't open for youngsters to break through like it is in Holland, Germany, Spain, etc. The FA needs to identify what qualities they want to develop in English youngsters, and to make that consistent across the country. Every Dutch player is technically brilliant. Every Spanish player can pass with their eyes closed. Every German player can effectively combine technique with directness. England doesn't have that and it would be of great help for them if the archetypal English player wasn't just "pacey and powerful".
I don't want anything to change in terms of ours system for next season. We can make upgrades at DM and across the defensive line, and even at LW unless Young keeps going like this, but the system is perfect to me. The central midfield partnership of Herrera and Fellaini is extremely well balanced, and they are both well-suited to playing European football. I think they can be the cornerstone for a strong CL contender. We have embarrassed all 3 top teams we've faced using this setup, and I honestly think we're taking Chelsea's and Arsenal's scalps as well as long as we keep this up. I see no reason to change things.
Was it Z Moeuw (spelling is probably off)? The guy is just a huge Blind fan and isn't even really a United fan. I do think Blind has been brilliant this season, and he's easily one of my favourite United players already, but top 5 is too generous. De Gea, Fellaini and quite possibly (and very arguably) Herrera have all done better than him this season from our own team alone.
I crunched some numbers after something a commentator said during a match because I had a hard time believing it, but it's absolutely true. With Hummels playing (18 or 19 matches now) BVB have earned about .9 points per game, and without him (10 matches) they earn approximately 2 points per game. The guy is just as error prone as anyone in our back line on their worst day. Unless he can really turn it around, which is of course a possibility when you're discussing a player of his talents, then he won't be an upgrade on what we have IMO. I'd definitely rather look elsewhere, and that's only being cemented with each passing Dortmund game.
Glenn definitely should have murdered Nicholas. The guy completely deserves it. It's frustrating to see the group being such pacifists.
And I have great news for you. The first 4 episodes of Game of Thrones leaked online :D
They introduced a law to prohibit parents from naming their kids Messi? That's epic lol. How many fkn little Messi's do you have to have running around before you do that lol? I wouldn't be surprised if there is a CR7 out there, but there are most definitely some Ronaldos.
Yeah I only play FIFA, never tried Football Manager. I'll have to give it a shot once. Right now though I've just played through Bloodborne, I'm currently playing Dragon Age Inquisition, and I have my sights set on Dark Souls Scholar of the First Sin when I get paid at the end of the month.
Oh yeah, I'm also *insert sadface* because Herrmann signed a contract extension. He's been incredible this season (and he's currently having an amazing game vs BVB, which BMG are winning 3:1 ATM) and was hoping we'd sign him up. I'm still a bit *insert happyface* that a young German talent is staying in Germany and with his club, but sometimes I just want to be a bit selfish and have some of those players for us.