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Soccer/Football Around The World Thread

post #1 of 2457
Thread Starter 
The counterpart to Casey Moore's US Soccer 2009 Thread is here! If you support a team from the English Barclays Premier League, let this be the outlet for all hopes, fears, and playful ribbing of derby rivals. What might initially seem like an odd time to start this thread (so near the end of the 08/09 season) is actually its greatest strength. What better time to plunge into the thick of it than the agonizingly tense final run-in with so much at stake at both ends of the table.

But that's not all... if your club is still in the Champions League or UEFA Cup, don't let the non-domestic nature of the competition stop you talking up a storm here; that's what the deliberately accommodating thread title is for! And since this discussion may well die on its arse due to an inadequate number of fans out there, I think one thread for all seasons will more than suffice.

For a kick-off (snort), I support the Champions (Manchester United, for the uninitiated.) Tonight's Champions League Quarter Final First Leg against Porto promises much tension, though I wholly endorse Fergie's approach. Plus, Rooney, Vidic, and Scholes all return. Come on, United!
post #2 of 2457
Thread Starter 
Well, that sucked. Hard, hard watch. Passing was mostly appalling. Not good enough.
post #3 of 2457
Thread Starter 
Barcelona are embarrassing Bayern Munich tonight. It could've been upwards of 5-0, in the first half alone.
post #4 of 2457
Any considerations for the Cup in '10?
post #5 of 2457
Man, did that goalie eat some shoes.
post #6 of 2457
Thread Starter 
Wow... responses! Ed, my heart says United. No surprises there. (I keep hoping Rusty enters the fray here and we can rekindle our banter from the Hot Rod post-release thread.) You watching, Tati?
post #7 of 2457
I was watching a streaming feed at work for a while. After the 4-0 i tuned off.
But that hit to the face was HARD. That's got to leave a scar.
post #8 of 2457
Thread Starter 
Was that the close range shot (from Iniesta?) I think I might have been catching up on the Canadian Culture thread posts, at the time.

Barcelona's football has frequently been absolutely majestic. Eto'o's nutmeg finish after that reverse pass... the stuff of dreams. And Van Bommel should be ashamed of himself (and suspended/fined heavily) for that elbow on Messi.
post #9 of 2457
I have no clue who was it, but someone did a slide to try to score and hit the goalie with BOTH feet head on to the face. It was brutal. He was bleeding like crazy
post #10 of 2457
Thread Starter 
In case any sticklers are reading and planning to bust my balls about Barcelona not being a Premiership Club - they're virtually certain to play Chelsea or Liverpool in the semis. That's my justification for talking about the brilliance on show tonight and I'm sticking to it.
post #11 of 2457
Thread Starter 
Oh right, Tati! Must of been when I went downstairs. In other news, Chelsea turned it around against the Mickey Mousers (come on, Rusty. Where are you?) Didn't think they had it in them.
post #12 of 2457
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Bear View Post
For a kick-off (snort), I support the Champions (Manchester United, for the uninitiated.)
And this thread started so well ....
post #13 of 2457
Thread Starter 
Who's your team, Geoff?
post #14 of 2457
I used to like Liverpool (still watch out for their results). But now I'm more of a Rugby League fan (St. Helens).
post #15 of 2457
Thread Starter 
I thought I sensed Scouse. You a local boy?
post #16 of 2457
All I know about Liverpool is Robert Caryle's constant repating of the chant "L-I-V-E-R-P-OO-L FC" in the episode of CRACKER where he killed Christopher Eccleston.
post #17 of 2457
Haydock (St. Helens)

Which is about as local as you can get without being in Liverpool I suppose (not including the demilitarized zone that is Knowsley).
post #18 of 2457
What's the word on Manchester City?
post #19 of 2457
Thread Starter 
I've not seen that episode. In a life littered with aggro Liverpool fans singing at me and fellow United supporters, I've not once heard that song, Ed; stereotypically rubbish screenwriting strikes again.
post #20 of 2457
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdHocken View Post
All I know about Liverpool is Robert Caryle's constant repating of the chant "L-I-V-E-R-P-OO-L FC" in the episode of CRACKER where he killed Christopher Eccleston.
He claimed to be a resident of St. Helens, too. Fits the local profile.
post #21 of 2457
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdHocken View Post
What's the word on Manchester City?
Richest club in the world. I'd say the future's bright.
post #22 of 2457
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdHocken View Post
What's the word on Manchester City?
Not good. They've always been a fairly mediocre (and comical) side and now they exemplify much of what's wrong with football what with their benefactors' seemingly infinite financial reserves.
post #23 of 2457
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Foster View Post
Haydock (St. Helens)

Which is about as local as you can get without being in Liverpool I suppose (not including the demilitarized zone that is Knowsley).
Oh, right. St. Helens are the local side of a good friend of mine from uni. Stuff like that really interests me about England (especially, the north.) The whole Wirral issue, for instance.
post #24 of 2457
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Bear View Post
Not good. They've always been a fairly mediocre (and comical) side and now they exemplify much of what's wrong with football what with their benefactors' seemingly infinite financial reserves.
Wait a second, I thought United was the richest club.
post #25 of 2457
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Bear View Post
I've not seen that episode. In a life littered with aggro Liverpool fans singing at me and fellow United supporters, I've not once heard that song, Ed; stereotypically rubbish screenwriting strikes again.
I don't know if it's a good idea to call Jimmy McGovern a liar.
post #26 of 2457
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdHocken View Post
Wait a second, I thought United was the richest club.
They were, until Sheikh Mansour of the ruling family of UAE bought City.
post #27 of 2457
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Bear View Post
Oh, right. St. Helens are the local side of a good friend of mine from uni. Stuff like that really interests me about England (especially, the north.) The whole Wirral issue, for instance.
The Wirral’s a bit like Shell Beach in “Dark City”. Everybody knows where it is but none one ever goes there.
post #28 of 2457
Thread Starter 
*chuckles*

Met a couple from the Wirral in Boston (in Cheers, actually!) with two buddies from Manchester. They were really dead-on. That was a real eye-opener into how people identify themselves from the North. It never really occurred to me that some people could be so pointed about it, before then.

I'll take Jimmy McGovern on.* Mr. 'The Street' doesn't scare me. Paul Abbott would be the British TV writer I wouldn't fancy tangling with.

Also, I'd like to suggest that from this point, every mention of City be spelled either as:

1. "siddeh" - to make it sound as unpalatable as possible.
2. or simply "city" with a lower case s - to indicate their small club credentials.

If it doesn't catch on, let this post be a key for anyone to understand me if I refer to them in this way.

* Defend my remark verbally.
post #29 of 2457
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Bear View Post
*chuckles*

Met a couple from the Wirral in Boston (in Cheers, actually!) with two buddies from Manchester. They were really dead-on. That was a real eye-opener into how people identify themselves from the North. It never really occurred to me that some people could be so pointed about it, before then.

I'll take Jimmy McGovern on.* Mr. 'The Street' doesn't scare me. Paul Abbott would be the British TV writer I wouldn't fancy tangling with

Also, I'd like to suggest that from this point, every mention of City be spelled either as:

1. "siddeh" - to make it sound as unpalatable as possible.
2. or simply "city" with a lower case s - to indicate their small club credentials.

If it doesn't catch on, let this post be a key for anyone to understand me if I refer to them in this way.

* Defend my remark verbally.
I think "Citeh" is closer to the mark.
post #30 of 2457
Thread Starter 
Good call, Geoff. This way, Football 365 can appreciate the citeh-bashing.
post #31 of 2457
What of those of us who support teams outside the Premier League? Can we discuss either our team or general Premier League business?

For I would like to comment on the relegation battle!

We all know West Brom are down, it's not looking good for Middlesbrough unfortunately and I'm dearly dearly hoping that Newcastle go down.

I say unfortunately for Middlesbrough because they're my 'adopted' home team and I like Southgate. My feelings towards Newcastle is nothing to do with local rivalry, I just think they're awful and their fans need a wake up call.

Plus, I would LOVE Blackburn to go down. Awful team, can't believe they beat Tottenham.

For the record: I support Charlton, I lived near Middlesbrough for 15 years but now I'm back in South East London and off to the game tomorrow!

Which ties in with the thread because Birmingham will be a Premier League team next season. Neat as a bow.
post #32 of 2457
Thread Starter 
Hey, Russell! I gave the thread's remit a lot of thought. Originally, I was gonna go with either European or British Football Discourse. In the end, I went with Premier League due to uncertainty over how many people might get involved if it were any broader. I knew there were Premiership-based fans around; SPL and Irish league too. But I thought making it too general may have lost its focus.

Now, I feel bad for not going with the broader title and seemingly excluding good cats like yourself. Please, pull up a chair for the relegation chat and discuss any other football matters you wish! Speaking of relegation, Citeh are the only team I ever keep an eye on. Sadly, they seem to have escaped the drop for another year.

By the way, excellent wrap-up at the end. Neat as a bow, indeed.
post #33 of 2457
Why thank you sir.

While we're talking abou wealthy benefactors (and I apologise for this not being a Premier League team...), what about QPR?! Their fans were dancing on the streets when they were taken over but the new owner is chopping and changing managers every two weeks. It's not always a blessing.

There were a couple of other posters in the other footy thread, I remember a Derby fan, hope they join in the banter here.

So are Utd still in pole position despite their recent wobbles? Depends how much Chelsea's win dented Liverpool's confidence. Don't count Chelsea out as title contenders either.

I'll be watching Liverpool-Blackburn with much interest! They need to prove they can cope without Gerrard, and a home game against the sack of shit that is Blackburn is perfect opportunity.
post #34 of 2457
Thread Starter 
No bother, Russell! Totally agreed about take-overs, by the way.

That'd be awesome. There are a few more cats I was hoping to see. Maybe the United factor, as Geoff mentioned, has warded them off?

Yes, we are, indeed, still in pole position... just. I was actually coming in to say phew. I see also that we'll be sharing the disappointment about Blackburn bending over against the Scouse. I realize that they may have been totally outclassed, but I'm choosing to ignore that possibility.
post #35 of 2457
I can't imagine how infruriating it must be to support Liverpool when they can give a performance like that and rip a team to shreds, but then you look at their home draws this season against the likes of Stoke, Fulham and Hull.

Utd's defence still looks shaky, I'm sure Fergie is hoping the return of Rio will sort that out. Though he did play in that, ahem, 4-1 defeat that seem to rock the entire squad.

Good win for Middlesbrough, I was gutted when Newcastle equalised, I just plain don't like them! Portsmouth are looking increasingly like a club that needs a squad clearout.

If Birmingham go up and play like they did today they're heading straight back down. But I watched them totally outclass Wolves on Monday so I can only guess the awesome home support in The Valley intimidated them!
post #36 of 2457
Thread Starter 
A good point, Russ (may I call you Russ?) But I'd wager it's even more infuriating to watch your Blackburns totally capitulate against Liverpool and then play like it's the FA Cup Final against us. This is beyond the natural "just having a go/we've got nothing to lose" spirit of an underdog team. This feels like a grudge against United. Yes, a United fan would say that but it's gone on too long and happened too many times for it to be a coincidence.

I'm not wild on Newcastle either. But that's more because I don't rate Shearer as a person. And the 4-1 defeat you mentioned was a black day for football.
post #37 of 2457
It's difficult to see United slipping up, especially after the momentum they gained (excluding the embarrassing Porto result) from last minute victories over Villa and Sunderland. Their remaining fixtures certainly shouldn't frighten them. But slip-ups happen, even to the best of teams.

Liverpool look very good at the moment (barring their embarrassing result against Chelsea). Torres is on fire, Mascherano is too. Gerrard should be fit forthwith. Up to the Chelsea debacle I think they were more concerned about Europe, but things may change now.

Like most fans and observers I have no time for Newcastle. Failure is its own reward. What thought process encouraged Mike Ashley to hire a manager with no experience whatsoever for a team rooted in the bottom three and with a host of difficult fixtures remaining? I can only think he's banking on some diaphanous notion of charisma or religious intervention through the son of God.
post #38 of 2457
Thread Starter 
I didn't think the Porto result was embarrassing as much as infuriating, Geoff. Our passing - if you can call it that - was shocking throughout. Even worse than the home-leg against Inter, in fact. The general consensus seemed to be that the only decent performances against Porto came from Rooney and Fletcher. I'm in total agreement with you regarding Shearer, though. That's one boy I've very little time for.

It still sickens me a little how just a few weeks ago words like "imperious" and "impenetrable" were synonymous with United's defence. Now, John O'Shea's "back off, let them run at you, and take you to the line" defending style seems to be spreading.
post #39 of 2457
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Bear View Post
I didn't think the Porto result was embarrassing as much as infuriating, Geoff. Our passing - if you can call it that - was shocking throughout. Even worse than the home-leg against Inter, in fact. The general consensus seemed to be that the only decent performances against Porto came from Rooney and Fletcher. I'm in total agreement with you regarding Shearer, though. That's one boy I've very little time for.
Despite United's run of form, I still think they are missing Hargreaves. You can get by without a midfield destroyer if you've got attacking players of the calibre of Rooney, Ronaldo, Tevez and Berbatov. But when it comes to the crunch games against teams with competitive midfields problems arise.
post #40 of 2457
Thread Starter 
Totally right about Hargreaves. My United superfan brother said something very similar, last week.
post #41 of 2457
Feel free to call me Russ, and doesn't everyone have a grudge against Utd?

You must have enjoyed Citeh's result today! I thought it was just their away performances that were diabolical but there you go.

Is Hargreaves injured? I can't remember the last time I saw him in a Utd shirt.

Ashley hiring Shearer is a joke, and so is Shearer hiring Dowie! Here's a man who continues to find work despite messing up at every club he goes to. And who else do I spot on the coaching staff there? Colin Calderwood?! The man who took Nottingham Forest to the depths of the Championship? Why, he's perfect for the job!

I do hate Newcastle but I also hate that these idiots have got well-paying jobs when they're clearly incompetent. But that incompetence will hopefully see Newcastle relegated... I'm so conflicted!
post #42 of 2457
Say what you want about Shearer, but the man commands respect from his colleagues. Ashley's idiocy has shown no bounds this season, but getting in Shearer is the first good thing he's done, alongside getting rid of Dennis Wise. Shearer may not have huge experience in management (but he does have some, in assisting Glenn Roeder when he kept us up a couple of seasons ago), but 1: it's an emotional appointment, for sure, and 2: Shearer was a good enough player to be able to take that kind of appointment on, and in his stride.

I don't really understand the dislike for him (well, coming from United and Boro supporters, maybe I do!), although I think we'll still get relegated, but through no fault of his.
post #43 of 2457
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Faraday View Post
Feel free to call me Russ, and doesn't everyone have a grudge against Utd?

You must have enjoyed Citeh's result today! I thought it was just their away performances that were diabolical but there you go.

Is Hargreaves injured? I can't remember the last time I saw him in a Utd shirt.

Ashley hiring Shearer is a joke, and so is Shearer hiring Dowie!
Excellent. Thanks, Russ! Yeah, we are undoubtedly loathed near and far. It just really riles me when weaker clubs fold against other other top teams, and then play well above their level against us. They often have little to no respect for us and infinitely more for Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool.

Citeh are a valuable source of amusement, yes.

He's been out for donkeys. So long he's definitely easy to forget.

Even though I don't agree with non-natives playing for countries, Dowie was a fine servant to Norn' Ireland and, as such, will always have a modicum of respect from me. That said, I realize this has nothing to do with his managerial ability or track record; if I were a Newcastle fan (shudder), I'd likely share the skepticism over his appointment.
post #44 of 2457
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Brigden View Post
Say what you want about Shearer, but the man commands respect from his colleagues. Ashley's idiocy has shown no bounds this season, but getting in Shearer is the first good thing he's done, alongside getting rid of Dennis Wise. Shearer may not have huge experience in management (but he does have some, in assisting Glenn Roeder when he kept us up a couple of seasons ago), but 1: it's an emotional appointment, for sure, and 2: Shearer was a good enough player to be able to take that kind of appointment on, and in his stride.

I don't really understand the dislike for him (well, coming from United and Boro supporters, maybe I do!), although I think we'll still get relegated, but through no fault of his.
Setting aside personal allegiances, I like his Roy of the Rovers style appointment. But I have a very hard time accepting the level of respect a man so ill-tempered and nakedly biased (on and off the pitch) commands from so many people. It typifies the widespread tendency of the British press and public to see only what they want, romanticize suspect individuals (Terry, Lampard, Gerrard, etc) and lambaste better players/people (Keane.)
post #45 of 2457
Looking at Newcastle's strikeforce, Carroll seems a bright prospect and I wouldn't be surprised if Shearer starts him for at least one of the remaining games. I'd imagine the home games against Fulham, Pompey and Boro will be ones where Shearer really goes for it, as those games are easily winnable.

Owen was invisible against Stoke, Ameobi is beyond awful and Martins rings up the gaffer to tell him he can't play? Shearer needs to get Owen scoring again.

I'm not feeling optimistic about Liverpool's chances tomorrow, people are pointing to Bolton scoring 3 at Stamford Bridge but that won't happen again. Plus Chelsea scored 4 so it has no relevance anyway.
post #46 of 2457
Thread Starter 
Shame what's happened to Owen. If things had gone his way fitness-wise, he'd still scream out to be a first team contender for England.

Russ, I think Liverpool will go for it and maybe win the leg, but not the tie.
post #47 of 2457
I could see that happening, I'll go for Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool.

While I'm at it, I'll go for Arsenal 2-0 Villareal.

The Utd game is a whole different issue, that could go anywhere!

Had a discussion during Stoke game, is Owen past it or would he thrive at a different club? My head says his best days are long behind him but I just wonder if new surroundings or a new system of play would see him banging in the goals again.
post #48 of 2457
Thread Starter 
Agreed about Arsenal, Russ. Though, I think they'll make hard work of it. Speaking of which - United... I dread to even think of it.

Interesting theory & discussion about Owen. I could see a move rejuvenating him for a while but he seems, sadly, to be spent. At least, as far as being a genuinely world class striker is concerned. Sure, he could still do a job and be as good as/better than most journeymen forwards in the Premiership, but when you think of the fear he used to strike into defenders, it's just not the same thing.

Henry Winter was actually talking about this a lot the other week on the Sunday Supplement. He thought Shearer's appointment was great news for Newcastle, and, by extension, England because of what it would likely mean for Owen. He sees (a fit) Owen as still being an obvious first-choice England striker (spot-on) and valuable presence in the squad. To be fair, the guy's got a point; Carlton Cole's recent performances are his greatest evidence. Winter was very happy with Shearer's arrival, reasoning that Owen would likely become a key figure in his team.
post #49 of 2457
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Brigden View Post
I don't really understand the dislike for him (well, coming from United and Boro supporters, maybe I do!), although I think we'll still get relegated, but through no fault of his.
Hi Charlie.

I don't mind Shearer. He stinks the place out as a TV pundit because of his rigid personality, but I have a ton of respect for him and his achievements as a player (especially getting Roy Keane sent off - LMAO!). The problem I have is with the media and those Geordie fans who consider him - like Keegan - a messiah who will lead Newcastle to a promised land of milk and honey etc. It just doesn't work that way.

I fancied Shearer as a successful manager of the future - not now and certainly not at the helm of a club teetering on the edge of oblivion with a mediocre set of players whose confidence is shot facing a string of incredibly tough fixtures. IMO, he couldn't have taken over at a worse time.
post #50 of 2457
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Bear View Post
Shame what's happened to Owen. If things had gone his way fitness-wise, he'd still scream out to be a first team contender for England.
The problem Owen sets any manager is one of plusses and minuses. The plus side is he is a world class finisher. No doubts about it. Give him two chances in front of goal and the money is on him sticking one away. No England striker since Lineker could that be said of.

The minus side is his lack of usefulness as anything other than a finisher. You can't ping the ball up to him and ask that he hold it up like a Heskey or a Crouch because defenders know they can simply bump him off the ball. You can't ask him to play down the channels because he can't cross. His lack of close control prevents him from dropping deep - he certainly can't run at the back four because he can't dribble. Owen finishes and that's that. Which is a problem for someone like Capello who prefers a patient approach and steady build up of play - which demands that the midfield and forwards share the burden of passing and movement: not five working their backsides off with one doing his own thing.

It's an unfortunate dilemma: Don't play Owen, create more chances but with a lower conversion ratio. Play Owen, create less chances but with a higher conversion ratio.
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