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Iskaral Pust

Football: A New Hope

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7 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

You should probably not enable him. 

*L* Slight exaggeration. But it feels like it when I'm hanging up laundry. He informs me the total is 13, so I was close. 

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1 hour ago, polishgenius said:

Nah, the Wolves penalty was fine.

No way was that a penalty imo especially compared to the blatant penalties not given for Kane, Silva and Martial. Seems to me the VAR officials so far have just been happy to concur with whatever the on field referees decision is which is like having no VAR at all. 

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I didn't expect Arsenal to come to Anfield and try to dominate the match, but I was very surprised to see how they played. At half-time they showed the statistics that ball was in Liverpool's defensive third of the pitch for 9% of the time and 53% in Arsenal's.

Sure, Liverpool are European champions, and they are a team that can punish you easily if you go toe-to-toe with them and playing them away will never be easy but this defensive setup from Arsenal with relying on counters only and basically hoping for a goalless draw is better suited to a mid-table team or even a team in relegation battle. A team trying to make it to top 4 should do better.

That could be a bit harsh on Arsenal from my part, since they did have a couple of shots to make it a different game but still I wasn't under the impression that Arsenal could win the match for a single moment. And I think that a team fighting for top 4 should go for the win in every league match. It's not as if this was second leg of a knockout competition with Arsenal having a two-goal lead from the first leg so the draw got them through.

I apologize to board's Arsenal fans if I'm out of line. ;) 

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11 hours ago, baxus said:

I didn't expect Arsenal to come to Anfield and try to dominate the match, but I was very surprised to see how they played.

I'm on the fence about whether it was a least-worst approach that almost worked, or a damning surrender.  I think Emery is similar to Rafa in his pragmatic approach to tactics, and considering the recent pattern of Arsenal losses at Anfield it was worth trying a different way.  Arsenal played like Burnley, but with much less practice at it but with much faster and higher quality forwards (even with Ashley Barnes currently in hot form).

Conceding space to Liverpool's FBs wasn't exactly suicide in the first half because the four defenders deep and narrow were handling the crosses reasonably well.  Robertson played a few dangerous low crosses between defenders and keeper, but TAA was generally very wasteful by lobbing in crosses (and over-hitting most of them).  Once it was obvious that the Arsenal defenders were retreating so deep that you could not cross behind them, then TAA should have shifted to disguised passes to Henderson at the top of the box for him to shoot.  But we only did that once (and almost scored).  It was really important that Klopp shifted the tactics at half-time rather than continue a futile pattern of Moyesian crossing.

In fairness to Arsenal, they had two good chances in the first half, but both were gifted by unforced Liverpool errors rather than created.  Adrian's kick was needless and ridiculous to set up Auba.  Henderson's shinned mis-kick was compounded by Robertson's over-confident missed tackle (underestimated Pepe's trickery at full speed) to set up Pepe.  But Liverpool also had several good chances that were well blocked, well saved or narrowly failed to connect with a cross -- all of which are hard for Arsenal to sustain at high volume.  Those Liverpool chances don't look as dangerous on replays but the odds were much higher for Liverpool to out-score Arsenal.

The real gap in Emery's tactics was that the deep line to defend the intentionally-allowed crosses, meant that neither Luiz nor Xhaka had any time or space to pick out an accurate long pass to the speedy forwards, which meant Ceballos, Pepe and Auba were basically passengers -- not pressing, not a threat on the out-ball, only living off scraps if the opponent made an unforced error.  If they didn't have time to play an accurate long pass, then either Liverpool easily retrieved inaccurate long passes and continued to attack in waves or else Arsenal had to try to play through the press and risk turnovers close to their goal.  If you want to play a defense that deep, then you need a realistic out-ball.

From a Liverpool point of view, Matip was excellent and is deservedly starting ahead of Gomez based on form these past few months.  Gini did not offer enough threat with room to make late runs to the edge of the box.  Our front three have started the season much sharper than last season.  Firmino's ball control and subtle touches were absolutely filthy at times.  While TAA had several poor crosses, he also hit two great corners, one of which created a goal.

Edited by Iskaral Pust

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Chelsea is moving in the right direction!!! A month from now we'll be number one!!! Eat it Liverpool and your awful bowl haircuts!!!!!

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Was pleased with a pretty good performance from Chelsea away to Norwich. So far, I can't really complain about any of the performances from Lampard's side. Each game we have been able to go forward and create many more chances than I expected this side to be able to. We go forward with pace, and we have actually been very entertaining to watch, which couldn't be said for the 17/18 season under Conte, where we were devoid of ideas and overly negative, or the 18/19 under Sarri, where we trudged through the winter and spring months with a one dimensional and aimless possession based style. Under Lampard, we are able to move the ball a lot quicker, which is what Sarri wanted to do, but was unable to get us to do. Part of that may have been down to having more individualistic players like Hazard and Willian featuring more last season and Sarri's possession based style seeming very rigid in comparison to Lampard's, which seems to allow for more freedom. 

Mount's integration to the first team has been exceptional; he's been one of our best performers in every game we have played. Emerson seems to have levelled up, and is so far looking like one of the best full backs in the league. Take Abraham's goals from the game and he still played really well. He held the ball up and played some nice one touch passes. 

Defensively, we still look very easy to score against, although I thought our centre backs had a better game on Saturday - particularly Zouma. The only consolation for our defence is that our best centre back, Rudiger, still isn't back from injury. I will reserve judgement on our defence until I see how we perform when he returns.

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Terrible news for Bury FC. The proposed takeover by C&N Sporting Risk has been called off and with just an hour remaining until the EFL deadline, expulsion from the football league looks all but certain. 

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Romano reporting that Inter have reached an agreement with United for Sanchez on a season long loan. Says Inter will pay around 40% of his wages - €5m net of his €12m net wages. No obligation or even option to buy so not a great deal for United since Sanchez will most likely be back next season clogging up the wage bill. We are looking woefully short in midfield and attack with Fellaini, Herrera, Lukaku and Sanchez all leaving and no replacements brought in. 

 

ETA. It's official now. Bury have been expelled from the football league. Bolton on the brink as well. 

Edited by Consigliere

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Sad that it has come to this, but it is for the best now. Start again like Aldershot, Hereford and AFC free of the debt and parasites that killed their club. Lessons must be learnt - the fit and proper persons test to be given some bite at the least and hopefully giving communities a stake in their clubs so the likes of Dale and Anderson can’t hold them hostage again.

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On 8/27/2019 at 7:07 AM, Jordan La Cabra said:

Was pleased with a pretty good performance from Chelsea away to Norwich. So far, I can't really complain about any of the performances from Lampard's side. Each game we have been able to go forward and create many more chances than I expected this side to be able to. We go forward with pace, and we have actually been very entertaining to watch, which couldn't be said for the 17/18 season under Conte, where we were devoid of ideas and overly negative, or the 18/19 under Sarri, where we trudged through the winter and spring months with a one dimensional and aimless possession based style. Under Lampard, we are able to move the ball a lot quicker, which is what Sarri wanted to do, but was unable to get us to do. Part of that may have been down to having more individualistic players like Hazard and Willian featuring more last season and Sarri's possession based style seeming very rigid in comparison to Lampard's, which seems to allow for more freedom. 

Mount's integration to the first team has been exceptional; he's been one of our best performers in every game we have played. Emerson seems to have levelled up, and is so far looking like one of the best full backs in the league. Take Abraham's goals from the game and he still played really well. He held the ball up and played some nice one touch passes. 

Defensively, we still look very easy to score against, although I thought our centre backs had a better game on Saturday - particularly Zouma. The only consolation for our defence is that our best centre back, Rudiger, still isn't back from injury. I will reserve judgement on our defence until I see how we perform when he returns.

I'm pleased Lampard went with Tammy instead of sticking with Giroud. I even think Michy was on the bench? Won't do TA any good being benched every other match.  Was happy with the performance. Let's get Rudiger, Kante, and CHO back by the Liverpool match on 9/22 and I'm curious to see how we hold up. 

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Romano reporting that United and Roma have reached an agreement for Smalling on a season long loan - €3m loan fee and no option to buy. 

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1 hour ago, Consigliere said:

Romano reporting that United and Roma have reached an agreement for Smalling on a season long loan - €3m loan fee and no option to buy. 

Guess Lovren is staying then

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I know United have a lot of centre backs at the moment, but Smalling is reliable and not constantly broken down, which is not something you can say about most of the other dudes. They better hope Lindelöf and Maguire manage to stay fit!

Is OGS gradually trying to whittle the squad down to 11 senior players?

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Solskjaer doesn't fancy Smalling because he can't pass for shit. He's genuinely among the worst passers in the entire league which is why even Southgate would rather pick Jones in the England squad ahead of him. Even in pre season, Smalling was bottom of the list - he didn't start any games, played the least minutes among all the CBs and only got the minutes he did because Bailly got injured.

It's a risk given the injury records of the others but one worth taking for a player who is currently 7th choice. Smalling is a solid defender but I'm not sure that this is a good deal for Roma - they should have paid the money for Lovren imo because Fonseca wants his teams to play out from the back and Smalling is useless at that. 

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Di Marzio and Fabrizio Romano tweetIng that Neymar to Barca is close to being finalized. Such a lame transfer if it happens imo. Crawling back to Barca after accomplishing very little at PSG is kinda sad. Hope Barca don’t win CL but they have to be favorites if they get Neymar back. 

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I wonder whether Barca have finally come up with the money. Bouhafsi reported yesterday that PSG rejected Barca's proposed deal that involved Rakitic+Dembele+cash and that PSG have set a certain price and will not accept players as part of the deal. Dembele's agent also came out yesterday saying that the player has no intention of joining PSG.

Edited by Consigliere

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