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Iskaral Pust

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  1. Juventus really had fun with free transfers, didn’t they. Can, Ramsey and Rabiot were all a bust, and that’s just the midfielders on high wages. There’s probably a few others that I don’t recall right now.
  2. But still surprising that they didn’t demand a transfer fee. A loan with option to buy lets Everton wait for Godfrey’s recovery and then dump a then 30yr old Coady back on Wolves. I would have expected his stock to be higher right now, even if he has only looked viable as one of three CBs.
  3. I’m really surprised that Coady fell so far out of favor at Wolves so abruptly. What happened there? It’s not like the defense was the big problem, although I can see why they may want to shift from three CBs to two so that that they can actually get forward (unlike Chelsea, who refuse to learn that lesson). And why could Wolves not demand a transfer fee considering Everton were in desperate need of CB reinforcements after two new injuries? It seems strange.
  4. I’ve read only one of the comics (which corresponds to the ‘24 Hour’ episode), and my wife has read none. So far, through five episodes, we’ve enjoyed it a lot and have recommended it to others. Visuals, acting, tempo, production quality, etc all seem very good. The plot is unfolding still but the early character dynamics bode well. I’m glad the quest for the three McGuffins was relatively short, suggesting that there is more plot development ahead. Patton Oswalt is still jarring, even though I like him a lot and Matthew had a couple of funny lines. A drier, more cynical British voice would have worked better. Patton sounds too much like an over-excited fanboy who won a spot in the cast via promotional lottery. David Thewlis is compellingly creepy and ominous in his role. And Corinthian offers a sense of jeopardy too. Constantine was a very good cameo, I hope she’ll return. GC is better as Lucifer than as Phasma anyway, but she’s still so pompous and stiff in all of her delivery — she has so little range that it really limits her characters. One looming concern is that Dream/Morpheus has an unearned self-importance (in the eyes of the audience). I can see a journey ahead where he realizes his errors and tries to atone for them and grow as a person. But why should we root for him to do so, rather than, say, see someone else supplant him in his realm and do a better job? And for both the helm and the ruby, Morpheus pulled off some Harry Potter-level of the protagonist’s super specialness allowing him to prevail in every situation. Which links back to the unearned self-importance. I hope that doesn’t become a pattern.
  5. VAR also ignored a clear foul on Henderson that created the turnover for Fulham’s first goal yesterday. It still has the problem that it tries to avoid making the ref look bad, instead of being embraced as a positive tool because no referee can expect to see everything perfectly. Rugby does VAR much better.
  6. Really poor by Liverpool today. They didn’t seem prepared for the intensity levels of a newly promoted side at their home. Our midfield was over-run. Both goals conceded were poor, with Trent too passive defending at the back post yet again, and a blatant dive rewarded with a penalty when we were finally the much more dangerous team. And Firmino, after being praised for looking sharper in preseason, has been terrible against City and Fulham. It’s understandable to ease in Nunez but with Jota out injured we don’t have that luxury. And of course the aging MF with no new recruits comes under further pressure as Thiago joins Keita, Jones and Ox in the treatment room while Hendo and Fabinho stunk the place out. Of course that would happen. Just like the season we took a risk with being light on CB cover.
  7. Perhaps a better analogy in the US are the star athletes who accept below-market salaries in order to free up money for a stronger roster around them in pursuit of championships. Tom Brady is a famous example but it happens in the NBA too. Also players who are happy to re-sign where they are happy and settled without testing free agency for a bigger salary. Sometimes players prioritize something other than money. There aren’t any real alternate leagues for the four major American sports, so you can only see this pattern play out in choices by players of which team to play for and for how much, not which league/country to play in.
  8. Seems like a big fee for the player and for a position where Chilwell is expected to return. But I think there was some speculation that Cucurella could play LCB in a back three instead of LWB — although, Koulibaly has previously mostly played as a LCB. If Chelsea overpaying for a player they may not need takes him out of City’s grasp, then I’ll consider that a net gain for football.
  9. Ironically, just as the five subs rule arrives, a large chunk of Liverpool’s bench are all unavailable anyway. Kelleher, Konate, Ramsay, Tsimikas, Jones, Ox and Jota are all injured, plus Keita is out with illness (hopefully short). Milner may now be the primary back-up for several positions for a few weeks. There’ll be lots of kids on the bench for the next few weeks at least. Alisson is injured too but hopefully close to a return, even if he has missed all of preseason.
  10. Yes, I would have said McLaren has has been on a slightly better trend than Alpine, which might get more noticeable if Ricciardo replaces Alonso there. But the cone of future uncertainty far exceeds any predicted gap between them.
  11. There’s a report that DCL has a new knee injury that will keep him out for 2-3 months. Do Everton have enough cover up front?
  12. Ricciardo’s career progression is a doozy. S1 of Drive To Survive showed getting bent out of shape at RB because Verstappen was the new golden boy, so he flounced off into a series of mid-grid cars with shrinking relevance on race days and getting outperformed by his younger teammates more and more often.
  13. That would frustrate me too. One of the things I really like about my firm is that any can (and regularly does) question any decision and call out bad logic. No sacred cows are permitted. It’s such a change from the usual expectation that everyone go along with bad decisions and rank favoritism. It doesn’t mean bad decisions don’t happen but they get called out loudly enough to effect change and prevent the next one. In your shoes, I would definitely ask my manager why she had been chosen to represent the team. I’ve asked those sorts of questions many times. They do often bring negative consequences though, but arguably also bring a benefit over the long term.
  14. Konate injured his knee in the additional friendly yesterday. Waiting for a scan to reveal the severity. That friendly against Strasbourg was mostly kids because so many of the second string are injured already. Jones and Keita had a muscle strain and illness respectively. Jota and Ox have been out for several weeks already. Tsimikas picked up a new injury last week. And we really need Alisson and Kelleher back soon because Adrian showed again why he cannot be relied upon.
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