The Real Football Thread

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Conte taking no prisoners. When he took over Juve they were also abysmal the year before and he turned them into an undefeated team in the league and dominated the league. He might just turn Chelsea back into what they were in the mid 00's when they dominated. Six points clear now and they might run away with things. Can you really trust Arsenal or Liverpool to challenge them for the league? Or City at this point? Gundogan out for months now, missing Aguero and Fernandinho too.

Arsenal no luck as usual in their CL draw either, but Bayern aren't as strong this season as they were under Pep. But they will probably improve come February. PSG will crash out. Napoli I think can really surprise Madrid. Milik will return soon from his injury and the way they played when he was fit in the beginning of the season was unbelievable. Mertens, Callejon, Hamsik and Koulibaly in the form of their lives. Their only liability now is actually Pepe Reina who is on the decline.
 
Level of refereeing this season is quickly going down the drain and Premier League is proudly leading the way. Obviously the root cause is the over-the-top leniency which has gone so far that now refs actively try to avoid giving fouls and specially cards for repetitive and professional fouling. Regularily, random mistakes born out of carelessness or poor judgement or just an unlucky bounce of the ball, are punished way harder than systematic cynicism. Refereeing do not even try look like they are officiating the game, instead of judging over a bunch of random episodes that happen to take place during one game of football. Things like giving yellow cards for persistent fouling have become an extinct forms of art.

That kind of systematic problem stemming from interpretation of the rules based on erroneous philosophy, is at least for me, much worse than occasional and random mistakes referees will keep doing from time to time.

The catalyst for writing the previous rant was obviously tonights game between City and Spurs. Started watching as a completely neutral, but ended up almost like a City fan, and that solely because of the horror show that was Andre Marriners refereeing.
 
Mar 25, 2013
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Dazed and Confused said:
Ars 2-1 Bur

Wonderful drama.
I don't know why Wenger was protesting about the Burnley pen. The ref got both pens right. Linesman should have got the offside right before the pen was giving at the end.

Wenger could be in for a touchline ban.

Xhaka never learns. Excellent passing, yet too rash in the tackle at times. He gets his timing in the tackle wrong all too often.
 
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gooner said:
Dazed and Confused said:
Ars 2-1 Bur

Wonderful drama.
I don't know why Wenger was protesting about the Burnley pen. The ref got both pens right. Linesman should have got the offside right before the pen was giving at the end.

Wenger could be in for a touchline ban.

Xhaka never learns. Excellent passing, yet too rash in the tackle at times. He gets his timing in the tackle wrong all too often.
His challenge was, of course, rash and careless but never a red card offense. This whole incident nicely illustrates the point I was trying to make in my last post. Refs overreact to isolated incidents like Xhaka's foul today, but let blatantly cynical defending and general dirty play fluorish. Fortunately, it didn't change the end result today.
 
So, Ranieri is gone. It has been coming, and, in fairness, he had an impossible task to do. After last years overachievement, the club needed to change either a manager or most of the players to retain the drive and hunger for victory necessary if they wanted to remain competitive. In hindsight, the best thing Ranieri could have done for both, himself and Leicester City, would have been resigning immediately after the title was won. As it was, there were too many average players there, who knew all too well they had already achieved more they had hope for. Can the new manager ram home the reality, that they go down if they continue like this? And do most of the players even care after last year?

Also retroactive bans for simulation are likely to be introduced in the Premier League next season. If it's done properly, this will be a very useful tool. By properly, I mean ban should be given out in case the simulation is 100% clear. If they start handing out bans for every 50-50 situation where it is not quite sure the contact is enough for a player to go down, then it will make more harm than good. General concept of giving attacking player the benefit of the doubt should be followed.
 
RIP Alex Young, sadly passed away at the age of 80. Nicknamed The Golden Vision, Alex was a true Hearts and Everton legend. Hearts are currently building a new main stand, due to be opened next year, I hope and I'm sure there will be an appropriate memorial...
 
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Põhja Konn said:
So, Ranieri is gone. It has been coming, and, in fairness, he had an impossible task to do. After last years overachievement, the club needed to change either a manager or most of the players to retain the drive and hunger for victory necessary if they wanted to remain competitive. In hindsight, the best thing Ranieri could have done for both, himself and Leicester City, would have been resigning immediately after the title was won. As it was, there were too many average players there, who knew all too well they had already achieved more they had hope for. Can the new manager ram home the reality, that they go down if they continue like this? And do most of the players even care after last year?
Just shows how important Kante was. Talk about a 'Kerplunk'... I'd shift your resignation to just after he was sold and no decent replacement was found... That would have looked like a bit of a tantrum and may not have endeared him to the fans, but as soon as it happened you knew they would be on the slide.

And now they pull their fingers out with that display against pool.
Your 'care' question has merit, especially after they all got cracking new contracts after last season - big payrise, riding on their laurels, etc... Claudio gone and the spotlight goes onto the players for their dismal performances - the big slap in the face they needed to wake up to their situation - it worked [this week]
 
Unless you're a fan, Zidane's Real is the most frustrating team to watch these days. For long periods they play below of what they are capable of, waste loads of chances, can afford to have an ageing and increasingly ineffective primadonna in starting eleven and still have enough quality to almost always get away with it. Then of course there are added bonuses in soft draws and favourable refereeing. :eek:

To be fair, they were clearly stronger than Napoli over two legs and deserved to go through. Although without that fluke of a second goal it would have been a lot more uncomfortable night for them.

Talking about Napoli their defence was not good enough against the side as good as Real. The draw has been really cruel to them though. They won one of the toughest groups and were rewarded with facing Real in the last 16. It is sad, because they are one of the most watchable teams in Europe this season.
Hopefully they can achieve automatic qualification for next season.

Refereeing tonight was a textbook case of bad performance without a bad mistake that clearly stands out. Large majority of 50/50 decisions went one way and Cakir was lucky the tie was effectively ended early in the second half. Otherwise it could easily have boiled over as Napoli's players were visibly getting increasingly frustrated with his handling of the game as the game wore on.

Speaking of poor performances, Arsenal. Sad to see them collapse like that. This season has to be the end of the road for Wenger. It has been clear for some years now that he is not the type of manager who knows when it's the right time to step down. For some time he has gone around in circles which have gradually turned into a downward spiral.
 
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kingjr said:
Followed it via Goal Alert while watching Dortmund... can't wait for the highlights.
Just watched the highlights myself. Well done Barca, but to be fair to PSG, really, neither were a penalty and I would question at least one of Barca's goals for offside!! That said, that's sport, and as a big Barca fan, I'm happy :) I'm also a big Bayern fan (just like good football), so bring it on:)
 
Superb comeback, an incredible game to watch.

Though I don't agree with it being the best comeback ever, my local team Kidderminster were 2-0 down in the 89th minute a few seasons ago, our striker came on as a sub and scored a hat trick in injury time to win 3-2, my voice was ruined for weeks afterwards! :lol:
 
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ferryman said:
kingjr said:
Followed it via Goal Alert while watching Dortmund... can't wait for the highlights.
Just watched the highlights myself. Well done Barca, but to be fair to PSG, really, neither were a penalty and I would question at least one of Barca's goals for offside!! That said, that's sport, and as a big Barca fan, I'm happy :) I'm also a big Bayern fan (just like good football), so bring it on:)
The first was definitely a pen IMO, the 2nd looked like one at first glance and not so much after watching the replay, but I can see why the ref gave it.
 
Watched mainly the Dortmund game as I was sure the other tie is done after first leg. Apparently, PSG-s players thougth the same. Without that factor, Barca would not have pulled it off, regardless of how well they played. But there's no doubt, it was one of the greatest comebacks ever.
 
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kingjr said:
ferryman said:
kingjr said:
Followed it via Goal Alert while watching Dortmund... can't wait for the highlights.
Just watched the highlights myself. Well done Barca, but to be fair to PSG, really, neither were a penalty and I would question at least one of Barca's goals for offside!! That said, that's sport, and as a big Barca fan, I'm happy :) I'm also a big Bayern fan (just like good football), so bring it on:)
The first was definitely a pen IMO, the 2nd looked like one at first glance and not so much after watching the replay, but I can see why the ref gave it.
I think that with Suarez you have to assume it's a dive, unless really clear. That was a marginal at best call, which in replay was clearly not. The first one was just really unlucky for PSG, but a clear penalty. The first three goals in general were just very weird.
 
Poor refereeing strikes again. Milan get a really soft penalty against them in the 96th minute. Juve score 2-1.

The Barca game was a farce too. Suarez clearly dived, but that match in terms of excitement and entertainment was the greatest I've seen in a long long time. Those European nights..
 
It was really harsh on De Sciglio. Rather it wasn't a penalty. Although in fairness Juve dominated and Milan were kept in the game by Gigio.

Today Arsenal play Lincoln, who'll probably think they are in with a serious chance of winning. And they're right. A loss here would end Wenger's reign.
 
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