Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Association Football Discussion Thread (club level)

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • I was originally really livid about some of the things being called offside, but you know what? It's like any other time they change the law, to daylight or whatever. Strikers adapt. If you haven't adapted after a month, that's really on the player now. Time your run later - end of discussion, as far as I'm concerned.

    I should say as well that I'm not just a 'kick them in the air', 'in my day they were men' type. I get just as annoyed by people arguing with the ref about obvious red cards. Union Berlin players using a praying gesture at their red at the weekend had me ranting at the TV. He practically kicked Tousart in the head!


    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

    Comment


    • Yeah I've never understood why players do that with blatant fouls/red cards, it just makes them look stupid.

      Comment


      • Some turnaround at Fulham. They looked dead early on but look like they can make a fight of it now. Seems as if Lookman and De Cordova-Reid play well, then they have a chance.

        "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

        Comment


        • I still think the bottom 5 will be the bottom 5 come May, with Brighton the most likely to be top of that pile. But Fulham's recent upturn does make me think they'll be challenging Burnley, and WBA now that they have Allardyce, for 17th position. I wouldn't have predicted Sheffield United being where they are now but unless they pick up 4 points before the end of the season I think they'll be cooked.

          Comment


          • I mean right now, they need to pick up to avoid not just being bottom, but setting records. The historically bad Derby, Villa and Sunderland teams all had more points after this many games.

            I think they'll do it - they aren't as bad as those teams, and it'll only take one good run to get out of that kind of company. But honestly, it'd be miraculous to come back from here in the wider terms of relegation. They'd build a statue to Chris Wilder I think.

            "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

            Comment


            • I do think they're doomed, if only because of the points total. If they were bottom but with 6 or 7 points, you'd say they had a shot, but 1 draw and 12 losses is a bit too far of a stretch.

              I agree, they've been a bit unlucky, they certainly haven't played all that badly for the most part.

              Perception is a strange thing. Ask anyone if Man United had had a good start to the season and most will say no. And yet, while people are shouting Ole out they sit 6th, 5 points off the top of the table with a game in hand. Meanwhile Arsenal have had a terrible start, sit 5 points off a relegation zone and yet Arteta seems safe. Despite what the media will tell you, dig deeper and you'll find he's not going anywhere. The hierarchy acknowledge this is a long term plan and it's mostly the players aren't performing. Plus most fans are still backing him fully.

              I'm leaning that way too, but if after Christmas things haven't turned around, there will start being more calls for the sack.

              Comment


              • Forgive the double post, just thought I'd share some thoughts on the upcoming Euro 2020 (2021?) England squad and maybe create a conversation.

                I've come up with my "as it stands" 23 man squad, which is as follows (my starting XI are in bold):

                Goalkeeper - Pickford, Pope, Henderson.

                Pickford and Pope for me are 50/50, although I side with Pickford based on the fact that while his club form can be inconsistent, he's been superb in an England squad and I prefer his "in your face" approach more. I think Pope does have a bigger presence, obviously he's taller and for club level is the more consistent performer, but I don't think he's done enough to dislodge Pickford... yet. With Dean Henderson, honestly, I think he's a little overrated to be honest, but the talent is certainly there.
                Misses out - McCarthy, Ramsdale.

                Left Back - Chilwell, Shaw

                It's quite amazing how much talent we have on the right side of defence and yet on the left I can only think of two that realistically will make the squad. Chilwell has been a steady performer for a while now, so I have no doubt who starts for me. Shaw has improved in the last year or so, but I'm never convinced with him. There could be a joker in the pack in the form of Bukayo Saka, but I feel his place is further up the pitch (and a couple of years too early for me).
                Misses out - Bertrand, Cresswell, Young

                Centre Back - Coady, Maguire, Dier, Walker, Stones, Gomez

                We have a number of good centre backs these days, but only good, not great. I've chosen 6 based on the fact that Southgate may want to play 3 at the back and with Dier and Walker able to play dual roles in midfield and right respectively, it means each player may well play their part. The stand out defender for me this year has been Coady, steady for Wolves and a fantastic England debut outing. He's also a leader, that's clear to see. Dier has also been impressive. Gomez would start for me so long as he's fit, which at the moment he isn't so I think he may not regain his place before the tournament starts. Stones is the slight wildcard, but he seems to have regained his confidence and he is still the best ball playing defender, something we will need in the summer.
                Misses out - Dunk, Keane, Mings, Tomori.

                Right Back - Alexander-Arnold, Trippier

                In some ways the hardest decision, in others the easiest, there is some serious competition for right back. However, it's hard not to give it to TAA after the last couple of seasons he's been magnificent. Dead ball specialist (which is important in International football, see vs Iceland in 2016) brilliant engine, great crosser of the ball. But he is susceptible defensively. Trippier on the other hand is much more dependable in that regard, and isn't too shabby from 25 yards. But the player left out can be left hard done for.
                Misses out - Reece James, Wan-Bissaka, Tariq Lamptey, Maitland-Niles

                Defensive/Holding Midfield - Henderson, Ward-Prowse, Rice

                Henderson is a shoe-in, it's who he is partnered with that is the difficulty. Both have been superb at club-level, so it may depend on the opposition. Against the heavyweights, we may need the more defensive Rice whereas Ward-Prowse comes in when we take the game to the opposition. It's a little bit dependent on formations too. Kalvin Phillips has been huge for Leeds too, so could be in line closer to the time.
                Misses out - Loftus-Cheek, Kalvin Phillips, Harry Winks

                Attacking Midfield - Foden, Grealish, Maddison

                When I began looking the squad I disregarded numbers or positions, I just looked at each player individually and asked myself are they good enough. Because of this, there was about 6/7 attacking midfielders, so we're loaded in this area. For me, Foden and Grealish are no-brainers. Foden is an outstanding talent, who will long be in the England squad for many years to come. I actually like how Guardiola has managed him despite the media outcry. He's 20. He was born this millenium and therefore is about 15% into his career. He doesn't need to play 50 games a season yet and be burnt out by March. You could say the same thing about Grealish, he's an absolute Maverick. Confession: I used to hate the guy, he came across as very arrogant early in his career. Safe to say, he's backed it up and more. As for Maddison, he's very good but not quite on the same level. Mount is unlucky to miss out, but it's done to the numbers.
                Misses out - Alli, Barkley, Barnes, Mount, Oxlade-Chamberlain

                Attackers - Sancho, Sterling, Kane, Rashford

                I've bundled these together as it depends a lot on formation. We'll play with one up top for sure, and that'll be Kane, with Rashford as backup. Then there's the wide players and the problem is that with 6 CBs, it leaves spaces short up front. If Southgate wants to play with 3 at the back, we'll need a minimum of 5 CBs, so another attacker may get a spot, but as it stands these are the 4. Looking at those left out, it's criminal to leave out Calvert-Lewin, and yet I simply can't fit him in.
                Misses out - Abraham, Calvert-Lewin, Greenwood, Ings, Saka, Wilson

                Starting XI (4-2-3-1)

                Pickford

                Chilwell
                Coady
                Maguire
                Alexander-Arnold

                Henderson
                Ward-Prowse

                Sancho
                Grealish
                Sterling

                Kane

                Comment


                • The only thing that jumps out at me is that the Villa full backs are hard done by not to even get on the 'misses out' list! But you've got all the players I want to get into the side in the squad. At this point, I'm not remotely convinced by our centre backs at all. Other than that, I'm feeling pretty happy. When I was drawing a squad up recently the only difference I had going in MF/F from what you've drawn up there is Grealish on the left, Maddison at 10, and Sancho on the bench. Actually a bit of an embarrassment of riches, when you think that we actually can't get all of our creative midfield players into the side at once nowadays.



                  I always find it interesting to compare it with what the statistics say the squad 'should' be. Here's who would go if a computer was picking the team. The closer they are to the position, the more easily they made the side. The furthest away are the ones getting in by the skin of their teeth. I've also stuck to the same formation you're using, Gooner, though if you take more attackers or attacking midfield players then others would get in here ahead of the last two centre backs.

                  Goalkeepers: Karl Darlow, Nick Pope, Alex McCarthy

                  Defenders: Matty Cash, Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Luke Ayling, James Justin, Ben Mee, Ezri Konsa, Harry Maguire, James Tarkowski, Tyrone Mings

                  Midfielders: Jack Grealish, Mason Mount, James Ward-Prowse, Solly March, Ademola Lookman, Raheem Sterling

                  Attackers: Harry Kane, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ollie Watkins, Marcus Rashford


                  The strikers just missing out are Jamie Vardy, Danny Ings and Patrick Bamford. If you consider them all out and out strikers, rather than someone who can play on the left or the right, or as a 10, then the people unlucky to miss out become Andros Townsend, Che Adams, or Jadon Sancho - unless you decide to take a fifth striker.


                  This tells me a few things.

                  1) Keepers get better stats when their sides are constantly under the cosh, hence Darlow looking like our number one. Maybe, though, this is a little bit more powder for those who want the number one to be Pope.

                  2) Matty Cash is being seriously overlooked! He will go behind Trent AA but this strengthens my sense that you could make a decent case for him to be the deputy, since he's the best defender in the country (by the numbers at least) at the moment.

                  3) Our troubles really are defensive, as none of our obvious names are performing particularly well. The stats say we're better off starting with a centre back pairing of Luke Ayling and Ben Mee, which says it all.

                  4) There's no way Solly March is getting in ahead of Jordan Henderson even if he takes a bullet for the Queen.

                  5) Phil Foden probably gets in anyway because his best performances, stat wise, have actually come for England.



                  For completion, here's how we'd line up.

                  Darlow

                  Cash
                  Ayling
                  Mee
                  Chilwell

                  Ward-Prowse
                  March

                  Mount
                  Grealish
                  Lookman

                  Kane

                  "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

                  Comment


                  • Nice work Gooner, I agree with the majority of this squad.

                    Only differences are that I'd have Pope ahead of Pickford, I've never rated the latter. He looked great at Sunderland because he was pretty much facing 15+ shots a game. And I agree on Henderson, I think he will develop into a very good keeper but he's not there yet.

                    I think we will play with 3 CB's but we can't just go with Kane as our only traditional no.9, Rashford is nowhere near as effective playing there so I'd take DCL in favour of a centre half. Also Shaw's played on the left side of a three a few times for United, putting him in a similar bracket to Walker so you could leave out two CB's. Although that's a bit risky.

                    The midfielders/attacking players you've picked are who I would as well.

                    How much do you think this will differ to the squad Southgate ultimately takes, because I think you've left out at least 3 players that I think he'll definitely take. Barring injury of course.

                    This is what I see Southgate taking:
                    GK: Pickford, Pope, Henderson
                    DEF: Trent, Trippier, Walker, Maguire, Dier, Coady, Chilwell, Saka
                    MID: Henderson, Rice, Phillips, Foden, Grealish, Mount, Winks
                    ATT: Kane, Sancho, Sterling, Rashford, DCL

                    Comment


                    • That 'stats squad' makes for interesting reading Prime, and really backs up what I was writing when you posted that about Pickford. For me Darlow is one of the worst keepers in the league, he makes a lot of mistakes. So much so that while he makes a lot of saves he probably costs Newcastle just as many points as he wins them.

                      I think Cash will get a look in once we're past the tournament, but the last thing we need is more quality RB's. Trent, Trippier, James & AWB are all probably ahead of him in the pecking order at the moment, but AWB hasn't been at his best for us this season and with Trippier being suspended til March you never know.

                      It is frustrating that for all the attacking quality we have our defence really isn't great. Trent & Chilwell are better going forward and with the centre halves only being good, although can be great here and there, unfortunately I think we'll be playing three at the back. But if we do I really hope we don't play two holding midfielders. If we've got 3 CB's we only need one of Henderson/Rice/Winks/Phillips in front of them, alongside a Mount/Foden/Grealish/Ward-Prowse

                      Comment


                      • Yeah, Pickford has an error in him. What he has are the best feet in the league, so as long as Southgate wants to try and play a sweeper keeper, someone who can start the play from the back, then he's going to be number one unless he proves to be too much of a liability. And he's not really done that for England yet. You know he's going to make a mistake at some point. But as an international manager, sometimes you can get away with it, if you only need to avoid that mistake over the course of a six/seven game tournament. Pope will give you a more solid look all round, but he won't play the ball out so well and he won't produce the same wonder saves that Pickford is capable of.

                        You're probably right about three at the back. Honestly, I don't care if we go three or four at the back, I don't want us playing two holding players. I'm not sure there's a side in world football that would warrant setting up that defensively at the moment. I like the look of Hendo/Ward-Prowse, with a lot of creative options playing in front of them. Henderson doing most of the clever break-up work, JWP as the more classic midfielder, and then the likes of Grealish, Maddison, Sancho, Sterling, Mount, whoever gets the nod really, going out there and taking the opposition apart.

                        Ideally, though, I'd start with Grealish from the inside left, rather than the classic number ten. There's time to prove me wrong on that but so far it's been his best position.

                        "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

                        Comment


                        • Yeah I do understand why Southgate plays Pickford, and with his thinking I can't disagree with it. But for me if a goalkeeper is too much of a reliability in terms of stopping the ball going past him it doesn't matter how good he is with the ball in front of him.

                          I think the only issue with playing Grealish wide left is that that position has been nailed down by Rashford & Sterling, who can't really play no.10, whereas Grealish clearly has the talent and tools to play there, even if it's not where he's excelled for Villa these last few seasons. I think if we played 4-3-3 with Grealish on the left of the middle 3, behind Rashford/Steling, that could really work.

                          Comment


                          • Yeah, I guess the fact Pickford has never really been a major liability for England is saving him - that, and his bad runs for Everton have always turned around before Southgate has had to drop him.

                            You're right that you can't get Rashford, Grealish, and Sterling all into the same team without playing him as the ten. But then I'm not sure I'd be playing Rashford at this point. He's very good, but I think I prefer getting more ball players in there and keeping Rashford as a sub. His best performances have come centrally and from the right, too, so I wouldn't be shunting him to the left ahead of Jack either.



                            I mean, bear in mind how biased I am in favour of Grealish though.

                            "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

                            Comment


                            • To be honest Prime, Grealish isn't far off being player of the season so far. He's really excelled since Lockdown. I hate to tell you, he won't be at Villa for too much longer if he keeps it up!


                              Originally posted by Prime Time View Post
                              The only thing that jumps out at me is that the Villa full backs are hard done by not to even get on the 'misses out' list! But you've got all the players I want to get into the side in the squad. At this point, I'm not remotely convinced by our centre backs at all. Other than that, I'm feeling pretty happy. When I was drawing a squad up recently the only difference I had going in MF/F from what you've drawn up there is Grealish on the left, Maddison at 10, and Sancho on the bench. Actually a bit of an embarrassment of riches, when you think that we actually can't get all of our creative midfield players into the side at once nowadays.
                              You'll have to forgive me Prime, I had to google who Villa's full back's were, and while I have of course heard of them, they haven't grabbed any headlines my way, so they didn't come to mind.
                              In terms of quality, we're very top-heavy (and right-sided-heavy in a way too) so yeah I agree defensively we're vulnerable regardless of who we go with. I have to say though that I'd only play one of Grealish/Maddison, I feel they're very similar players and we could end up with the new Gerrard/Lampard situation.


                              Originally posted by The Cook View Post

                              Only differences are that I'd have Pope ahead of Pickford, I've never rated the latter. He looked great at Sunderland because he was pretty much facing 15+ shots a game. And I agree on Henderson, I think he will develop into a very good keeper but he's not there yet.

                              ...

                              How much do you think this will differ to the squad Southgate ultimately takes, because I think you've left out at least 3 players that I think he'll definitely take. Barring injury of course.

                              This is what I see Southgate taking:
                              GK: Pickford, Pope, Henderson
                              DEF: Trent, Trippier, Walker, Maguire, Dier, Coady, Chilwell, Saka
                              MID: Henderson, Rice, Phillips, Foden, Grealish, Mount, Winks
                              ATT: Kane, Sancho, Sterling, Rashford, DCL
                              From Gareth's point of view, he views style of play more than a safe stopper, hence why I think he'll go with Pickford even if form suggests Pope should get the nod. He's probably thinking in his head that it's all good saving shots, but if Pope gets pressured on the ball he might not be able to cope.

                              As for the full squad, I think there's a lot of places genuinely up for grabs. There's a lot of competition. 10 plus years ago I'd say we had a solid 8 or 9 players guaranteed starters and then you had to fill in the gaps, usually on the left side of midfield and who to partner with Rooney up front. Nowadays, bar a couple of exceptions (Kane, Henderson, Sterling for me) each position has options.

                              I do think Southgate will go with something closer to resembling your squad Cook, and I think he'll play 3 at the back against the established nations, such as France, Spain etc. and revert to a back four for the more winnable games. Not a bad idea having two plan As so to speak.

                              As much as I'd love Saka to be involved, I think he actually misses out, partly for his flexibility, which I know sounds strange, but when you have Dier, Walker, Shaw in there you've already got flexible options. DCL gets in I think. Mount I'm not convinced, he's only been so so this season and with Grealish and Maddison standing out, Gareth may have to choose between them over Mount.

                              Comment


                              • Yeah I agree on Grealish, and I would probably pick him ahead of Rashford on the left hand side for England, especially in games where we'll have more of the ball.

                                And Gooner, I know what you're saying about the lack of definitive starters but when you look at the squads he's picked since lockdown 1 I think they'll heavily reflect the squad he picks for the Euros which will mean no Maddison/Shaw/ but will mean Saka/Phillips as they've been involved in all of those squads.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X