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United's keeper's quite good. WHO KNEW.
Any more for any more?
Spuds v Lyon?
the weather was perfect for it last night - hail, sleat, icy rain - but it's a bit clear tonight
+ one pretty great save.
Match was awful. fancy a score draw at old trafford or Man U to win by a single goal
anderson is really shit isn't he?
like bog standard fulham or sunderland midfield filler.
don't understand why or how he's at man u.
Tonight the nations most romantic and handsome (french) team Newcastle take on the Rocky style grinding iron man style soviet stereotypes of METALIST in the europa league
Ronaldo didn't score a hat-trick last night proving once and for all that he is an over-rated talent vacuum
Cech will play with a broken finger tonight prompting the opposition to just try and blast it from anywhere sunday league style
Beckham has only just trained for the first time which is either shocking and terrible or perfectly understanding considering he's just had to move house through several timezones
Everyone is asking how much racism will there be when Liverpool face Zenit
i didn't see the Shaktar game but I assume it was the game of the round for the champions league this week
and Man City are going to spend loads on building a new team again
Thanks a lot.
that should be the talking point of the day.
This needs context.
presumably to move to QPR
it's like when i used to play chanmpionship manager and buy all the best players but never play them.
Surprised that's only the fifth time those two sides have played since the late 60s. There was an interesting piece in the Independent yesterday about how Madrid helped out post-Munich - five friendlies in two years with all the proceeds donated, recuperation time in Madrid for the families of those who died, even the serious offer to loan Di Stefano. Great stuff.
Really hard to judge Man United's performance. On the one hand, they got pretty mullered, and were it not for two of their poorer, most inconsistant players having rare decent games (Jones and de Gea) it could've been out of sight. On the other, if van Per$il wouldn't have had his slippers on they could've even sneaked it. I guess you just have to say that the result's fine and bar something extraordinary happening at Old Trafford they'll qualify, so job done i guess, but given how poor several of their players were, they definitely winged it.
Hope they go through, for several reasons, but mainly because i'm quite eager for Mourinho to come back to England with his tail between his legs having been sacked for shameful underachieving. Anyway, over to Royter for a word count...
would be that extraordinary
Had it finished 0-0 last night, yeah, Madrid would be big favourites.
Madrid's away form's poor, as well. They've already been beaten eight times on the road this season, including by Granada, Celta Vigo, Betis and Getafe; hardly tough places to go normally.
but given their own defending has been relatively shaky this term, and given Real's firepower, i think it would be a stretch to say that Real going and scoring a couple and edging it would be extraordinary.
You know an awful lot about current form etc.
I enjoyed the whole game, but then I prefer European chess style games to end to end Premier League affairs.
In fact, most major European leagues, just not the Premier League. Watch very few live games and have no personal involvement, but still see Match of the Day sometimes, and obviously i'm not going to start reading only half of the paper.
Hope you have a good day, chief.
And I'm not trying to shun it.
Quite a few guilty of that. Suppose there's no big deal about it.
Should be decent, second time I'm seeing Bordeaux this season. Pub for newcastle - Kharkiv straight afterwards, before getting the night train across Ukraine for the second leg next week.
Would like the English clubs to go far this year, think they will. Unlike previous years - spurs aside - the teams in it have little distraction going on in the domestic leagues, but both teams at their best are good enough to beat most of the teams in the competition.
in that it's not monopolised by half-a-dozen clubs and is more unpredictable. Some of the games still lack excitement, and it obviously doesn't benefit from scheduling, both in terms of televised games and the Thursday/Sunday stuff encouraging teams to rest some key players, but it feels a bit more worthwhile now than a few years ago, which i guess is handy for some of the English clubs who're underachieving in Europe.
I'd really like Napoli to win it, but i strongly fancy Benfica, whose weaker domestic league means they have a bit more scope to take it more seriously than the likes of Lazio, Chelsea & Atleti.
Some genuinely good dark horses to add to the mix. The Eiropa League has been predictable for ages. I'm not writing it off but saying that the competition with less reputation is textbook forza. If you're a Spanish or Portuguese team you've pretty much got it sown up.
the Europa League is full of potential winners from across the continent this season whereas the champions league is very much in the hands of a few power clubs
You pretty much need to be assured of your CL qualification one way or another to have a real go at it and only a few of the top sides in it are.
because Chelsea seem destined to limp out at the earliest opportunity?
if they limped out at the semi-finals while fighting Liverpool and West Brom for 9th, tbh
and compete with Liverpool and West Brom
newcastle are having the classic midtable club getting into europe campaign this season.
half decent run in europe, disappointing struggle in the premier league
The Europa league will always have greater variety, and that is certainly something it has over the CL. But when watching a European game, that doesn't really come into it when it boils down to how mug I enjoy a game. I like to see teams not featured much on TV playing excellent football (against good opposition), in an important fixture. Last season Bilbao did his, but in 2013 is see greater potential for the likes of Dortmund, Juventus. That's what it boils down to.
Poor English. Argument void.
More teams have won the Europa League (15) than the Champions League since they reformatted the competitions in 1992. It's by no means predictable.
Three Spanish teams have won it 5 years out of 20 combined, fewer times than just Barca and Madrid have won the Champions League, and clubs from more countries (9) have won it than have won the Champions League. Spanish clubs have no more a hold on it than, say Italian clubs have on the Champions League.
Porto are the only Portuguese club to win the Europa League, just like they're the only Portuguese club to win the Champions League.
Of course the Champions League "has the edge". It more than has the edge. It attracts the best teams, the hugest audiences and after the big domestic titles is the biggest pot going, but even with the occasional dark horse added to the mix, or the very odd upset, it's very predictable, and whilst it might not compare in terms of quality of occasion, for me, in some ways (cue the *'s in the initial post) the Europa League has become more interesting.
All 8 of the semi finalists in the last two Europa League/Uefa Cup competitions have been Iberian. I don't give a damn about stats from 20 years ago, that to me is a tournament that hasn't exactly been as varied as you would have me believe.
But that is what really matters
beating newcastle on the way. nb No idea if this is possible with the batshit europa league rules and seedings.
so we might not meet until the final
but then with this competition who knows
You'd need to be out of the running for the top four but comfortably safe from relegation to really give it your all. Maybe Newcastle will give it a go, I'd get behid that.
now that we've shown we are capable of winning league games again it seems like we certainly want to give this a decent shot.
i think the aim is to win this tie tonight by fielding as strong a side as possible for the home leg. we've got the weekend off so it makes sense to try and finish a couple of goals up, and set up to nick an away goal on top of that when we field an inevitably weakened side at their end before the southampton game next week.
we face hannover or anzhi after that neither are pushovers but anzhi didn't look as scary as their chequebook suggests during the group stage.
Darijo Srna's beard > Andrea Pirlo's
love the FIFA world rankings absolute mental, Greece are 11th, Colombia 6th, Brazil 18th...
Points are awarded for any competetive game played, won, drew, and goal scored over a 2.5 year cycle, so a good, say, European team in an easy qualification group will amass thousands of points by battering Andorra, San Marino and Latvia and their rating will become inflated, as has happened to England, or a country won't have so many competetive fixtures to fulfil because of hosing a tournament, so theirs will drop significantly, as is currently happening to Brazil.
and friendlies are meaningless, obviously.
one place above france.
what a bunch of shites
Good decision for me. Done well at Rotherham, Barnsley and Coventry, without having bucketloads of money to spend. Coventry fans unhappy, and I can see their point. Bit silly of him to be saying things like "I'm here for the long term" to then walk out 2 weeks later.
Beyond expecting managers to stick around for very long these days, so if he can keep us up this season, then have us ticking along ok next time, I won't be too upset if he buggers off again.
Been quite impressed with him whenever i've seen him interviewed during his spell at Coventry. Definiteily had a positive impact there, talks pretty passionately and seems to be a good motivator. Think he'll do alright.
Nice to hear Graham Westley got sacked yesterday, as well. Your former manager's on his way there by the sounds of it.
As it suggests they were doing a good job. Nothing worse than signing someone and seeing the selling club's fans celebrating.
Grayson would be a great fit for Preston if they could forgive him his Blackpool past. Coventry could go for him too. Three promotions out of league 1, he definitely knows what he's doing there. Reckon he might fancy the Coventry job more, would be a very similar task to the one he accomplished for us last season.
MICHEAL ESSIEN CALLS JOSE MOURINHO DADDY
but can't work out what it is. (not allergic)
now think welbeck is good again
He's been England's best striker for quite a while now, and he wouldn't regularly play upfront for Man United if he was shit. His problem is he's inoffensive, even when diving. He needs an edge or an angle, or a bit more attitude. He's an easy target, but his deveopment as a player's pretty impressive. I'm sure we've all mocked him at some point, he has the odd game where his technique makes Shaun Goater look like Maradona, but he's a very good player.
For me, he's close to replacing Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the sort of litmus test for making early decisions about the intelligence of other football fans when talking to them. Obviously, the two aren't really comparable, but i like to drop his name into a conversation to see how much time and effort's worth spending on a person.
and if thats the scoring rate of England's best striker, thats scary
Surely you can see that England are a better team with Welbeck than without?
don't really care whether he's good or not but probably doesn't fit into our first team if you assume that rooney will always be first choice striker (which he will)
Eight years of poor-to-mediocre performances and going missing in major finals. A few goals against Eastern European minnows in qualifying doesn't really excuse that. England are a more balanced team without him. Genuinely wish he'd retire.
maybe without the retiring bit.
then controversially drop him before each major tournament as a ploy to distract the media.
welbeck 57 games for man u 11 goals 15 games for england 11 goals
rooney 269 games for man u 139 goals and 79 games for england 33 goals
rooney is england's first choice for a reason, he is an absolutely superb player who scores goals, sets them up and adds so much more with his incredible work ethic.
you've just backed up the Welbeck>Rooney for Engladn argument. Cheers.
i am just a firm believer that strikers should score goals
you have as much need for a sort of litmus test as a bucket of bleach.
The photos from his tour of London were great - just loads of close ups of his grinning face with some of a landmark in the background.
Could do with playing more than 60 minutes once in a while, but he's definitely an upgrade on previous class clowns like Eboue and Santos
doesn't get much better than Eboue
Love that guy.
i loved those things.
Bit small time.
I guessed correctly
You get the feeling that Oscar didn't get the email that we were trying to throw the match.
the cameras at White Hart Lane always lower for European games than domestic games? I really hate watching games when that happens. Portsmouth did it a couple of years ago, as well. Don't know if it's TV stations not sharing gantries or what.
Viktoria Plzen beat Napoli 3-0 in Naples :O
Beat Atletico Madrid this season.
blummin eckers like
with the silly bottom lip biting teeth thing going on.
This Lyon keeper's worse than Wojcech Szczesny.
but agreed, that a 7 million quid player is commanding that kind of price is a sad indictment of the times we live in.
I can do that, y'know.