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DragonRat
16-07-2004, 10:12 AM
Yeah, I guess the idea of a football thread taken after the Euro thread was a bit of a disaster. I hope that this new thread can revive fans of the beautiful game, to start posting more. As I write this, I read up on the latest transfer rumors, the biggest one of all being: Vieira to Real Madrid, and Morientes & 30 million sterling to Arsenal.

As the days pass, I read more news about it, and it IS quite disturbing to the everday Gunners fan. Oh captain, my captain, Paddy to leave Highbury and the team, even before he has set foot on Ashburton Grove or chanced a Champions League trophy with the red-and-white? Even with the striking skills of Morientes at our beckon call, the midfield simply would not be the same. One could believe that Kolo Toure could move up to midfield - his natural position before converting to a center-back - but then this new season would have a relative youngster compared to Paddy's powerhouse technique in the middle of the pitch.

Still, if Paddy were to leave Arsenal, that 30 million sterling would go well to securing someone of his equivalent talent. I would love to see someone like...say, Steven Gerrard, join the Gunners. If Wenger could acquire Yaya Toure with a work permit, then that would also be awesome. Still, the loss of Vieira would easily send a message to the rest of Europe, and equal the idea of Florentino Perez' call for "every player has a price". I dislike that attitude, simply because loyalty to a club loses its value and volume, if that were to be true. Sure, Real Madrid is the biggest club in the world, but one should never join under the circumstances of greed. Besides, on any given day, Arsenal are world-beaters, and they could definitely oust Real Madrid.

However, it's not necessarily Perez' team to manager; it's Camacho's. And if Camacho says he either wants Emerson or Carvalho, then Perez will have to give up his pipe dream of getting Paddy to play in the white. It would be more likely, if Camacho demanded the re-acquisition of Makelele, someone who is more attuned to the Spanish game, and was a key member in Real's "dream teams" of the recent past.

I simply hope that greed is not the principle behind Paddy's possible leave. Ljungberg has urged him to stay, and hopefully, Henry and Pires are doing so in private. Besides, they can get him after his contract is up. THEN we'll get Yaya and Gerrard. Just give us three years, Real. Then we'll give him up for 30 million.

CFC
16-07-2004, 11:37 AM
Chelsea has thier first pre-season game tomorrow!

I can't wait for the regular season so I can get some of the games on TV here.

alby
17-07-2004, 04:23 AM
I'm more partial to AC Milan. I'm going to go watch them play Manchester and Chelsea later this summer. Hehe.

frodo1511
17-07-2004, 04:27 AM
Manchester and Chelsea all the way this season!!!
Anywho, what team do you want to see go all the way?

DragonRat
17-07-2004, 04:34 AM
All the way for what? The Prem title or the Champions League? As I see it, if Paddy stays - which I most likely think he will - and Wenger goes out and gets his desired targets - Trabelsi and Morientes, to name a few - then it's going to be hard not to see the Gunners go all the way again. Chelsea look pretty good this season, with newcomers Kezman and Ferreira (and Drogba), but the new players will have to adapt to the Premiership style.

For United, they really have not done much to improve their status, although the returns of Ferdinand and Queiroz will aid them. I doubt they can challenge Arsenal for the title this year, but of course, it's unwise to put it past United. They've never gone two straight seasons in the Premiership without the title...

As for the Champions League, the main contenders I can see are Real Madrid and AC Milan. Both added to their already star-studded lineups. Of course, as a Gunners fan, I wouldn't put it the trophy past Arsenal, although they need to prove to the rest of Europe that they can best the best of them.

frodo1511
17-07-2004, 04:38 AM
[QUOTE=DragonRat]All the way for what? The Prem title or the Champions League?

My bad. What I meant to say is what team do you want to see win the Championship/Premiership? Sorry for the confusion :confused:

deviljet88
17-07-2004, 01:48 PM
woah didn't know Viera was leaving Arsenal... I really should catch up with the footballing news, but its been quiet over here after all the europe leagues finished.

CFC
17-07-2004, 04:29 PM
Sat, Jul 17
Chelsea Vs Oxford United

Draw, 1-1

Edward
17-07-2004, 04:35 PM
Aston Villa!!!!!! all the way....

hmm, Angel and Vassell signed new contracts, as well as Barry

we got Cole on loan from chelsea :/

err......new kit looks good (new sponsor)

Chelsea are crap!! :p, we beat you 2 out of 3 last season, 3-2 and 2-1

KeiraDream
17-07-2004, 05:21 PM
Hopefully the good old Port Vale can actually get promoted to the first division this year. COME ON!!!!

Sarah
17-07-2004, 05:54 PM
Grimsby just won their first Friendly. The only way is up! (really)

CFC
17-07-2004, 06:10 PM
Here's a match report:

Striker Mateja Kezman scored on his Chelsea debut on Saturday as Jose Mourinho's team were held by Oxford at the Kassam Stadium.

Veteran striker Tommy Mooney scored on his Oxford debut to give the League Two team a half-time lead.

But Serbia and Montenegro international Kezman hit the woodwork twice before equalising for Chelsea.

Kezman had started alongside Eidur Gudjohnsen in attack as new coach Mourinho fielded his first line-up.

And Chelsea controlled possession throughout the first half but rarely troubled Oxford in the opening stages.

It was not until the 18th minute that Chelsea managed to get a shot on target, but Kezman's strike was easily saved by Oxford goalkeeper Chris Tardif.

However, Mourinho's team eventually started to find more cutting edge and Kezman rattled the crossbar with a fierce shot after Eidur Gudjohnsen had flicked the ball into the area.

Gudjohnsen headed narrowly wide after Geremi broke into the area and Kezman had another shot deflected into the arms of Tardif.

Keeper Tardif, a summer signing from Portsmouth, also had to be alert to beat away a sharp Joe Cole strike.

Graham Rix's Oxford had created little against his former club but Carlo Cudicini could do little to stop Mooney as he burst into the area just before the break and fired home from close range.


Kezman hit the woodwork again after 54 minutes when a rising shot took a deflection and rebounded off the post and Alexei Smertin had a long-range effort pushed away by substitute keeper Simon Cox.

Chelsea were almost caught out again just after the hour when Julian Alsop, a sixth-minute replacement for the injured Lee Bradbury, had a header cleared off the line by Celestine Babayaro.

Former Porto forward Felipe Oliveira came on for Chelsea at half-time and he teeded up the equaliser for Kezman after 66 minutes.

The former PSV Eindhoven star made no mistake from 10 yards after finding space to Oliveira's left.

Oxford were almost back ahead within two minutes but Cudicini tipped over from Michael Alexis.

The pace of the game dropped noticeably in the last 10 minutes as Oxford held on for a morale-boosting draw

Hazzle
18-07-2004, 04:02 AM
Me and DR really shouldn't talk so long about football...he nicked my point about Makelele being more likely to return to Real with Emerson probably going to Chelsea...bah! And that was before I even TOLD him about it...

Vieira will be an Arsenal man next season for my money. The captaincy is just too much for him to give up I feel. That said, if he went, we could cope...it's more the precedent it would set. Like DR said, I disagree with the "everyone has their price" crap.

As for the league...Arsenal will be favourites...United will be strong...and depending on what Liverpool do they'll be challenging...but I still think we should just about be too good.

Champions League...hmm...I suspect we showed against Inter in the San Siro what we're capable of. If we got Trabelsi and Morientes, that'd be the CL signed sealed and delivered in my book, as the only flaws we've had in Europe have been Lauren's positional sense (great going forward but was at fault for most of our European goals conceded) and the lack of a player who can hold the ball up and score goals at CL level...

Then again...Franny Jeffers was good tonight...10-1 to Arsenal...ok...it might only have been Barnet...but still...10-1...may only have been a pre-season friendly...but 10-1...

deviljet88
18-07-2004, 06:22 AM
Hope he (jeffers) does well this season... I didn't like his form much when he was in Arsenal before loan to uhm... Everton.

Hazzle
18-07-2004, 12:59 PM
Hope he (jeffers) does well this season... I didn't like his form much when he was in Arsenal before loan to uhm... Everton.

Yeah...I think this may be his year though. I think if he impresses in the other pre-season games, he'll stay at Arsenal...he grabbed a hat-trick against Barnet...time'll tell if he does it against the better sides we're facing this summer like River Plate and Ajax. I think he'll end up being our 5th choice striker, behind Henry, Reyes, Bergkamp and Van Persie...with Alladiere going out on loan...but I think he'll be willing to take that...I think he regrets not having been a part of the unbeaten season last season...even if he hadn't played many games, so long as he played his 10 league games (and Wenger would've done what he could to ensure he did) he'd have gotten his medal...from a memorable season. Then again, is he an Arsenal type player? Not sure his pace/touch is good enough...and if we can get Morientes, may yet be a good idea to let Franny go.

CFC
18-07-2004, 02:39 PM
I don't think Viera should leave Arsenal. If he does go to Real, he will be a much different player there because most of the glory will go to Zidane, Ronaldo and the other big names they have there.

Hazzle
18-07-2004, 03:20 PM
I don't think Viera should leave Arsenal. If he does go to Real, he will be a much different player there because most of the glory will go to Zidane, Ronaldo and the other big names they have there.

Wow...a Chelsea fan wants Vieira to stay at Arsenal?!?! Amazing :D

Yeah...I agree...captain...key player to our team...could lift the Champions League with us.

I suspect the only reason he's not denied it yet is his agent is trying to get him a raise...I suspect if the club is forced to, they'll pay the difference between what he's paid and what Real would pay him.

CFC
18-07-2004, 04:10 PM
Since this is a football thread and not a Chelsea thread and I am trying to give nonbiased opinions. :D

DragonRat
19-07-2004, 07:18 AM
I think, from what I've read so far online about the Vieira situation, that Paddy will most likely leave Highbury. It's a sad thing, but I guess, like Becks, he's done all he could do in the Premiership, and the next plateau is the other great league, La Liga, with none other than Real Madrid. (With that first-team side, they will almost immediately guarantee the Champions League, unless they get another striker.)

But here's the rub: Madrid don't have the money to cough up any selling price that Wenger would offer for Vieira...say 30-40 million pounds. If Camacho does not get Emerson, and he's not willing to get someone like Maniche or Makelele, then he will want to go for Vieira. Yet, how is he going to raise the money for the bid? He's going to have to sell one of his key players. Bring in Ronaldo.

Of course, Chelsea is the only club in the world whose checkbook never runs out. And Ronaldo has said that he wants to play in the Premiership at one point or another. Ronaldo would provide a definitive scoring threat alongside Kezman, Mutu, and Gudjohnsen (God knows that looks an incredible strikeforce comparable to Milan's Shevchenko, Tomasson, Inzaghi, and Crespo). Real would ask for a selling price of about 40-50 million pounds, and Roman will have no trouble meeting that price. With the money, Real could finance a matching bid for Vieira, and onward he goes to Real, for 30 million pounds and Morientes (we would never ask for anything less...and we're in the hunt for someone of Morientes' caliber anyway).

So, with 30 million pounds and a key player in the European game, we could definitely make a bid for the next best holding midfielder in the Prem (if not, all of Europe) - Steven Gerrard. Sure, Gerrard has said that he wants to win the Premiership as captain of Liverpool, but he could more likely win the Premiership as captain of Arsenal. (Rather, if Vieira leaves, it's more probable that Sol would get the captainship, and Gerrard could assume it in a few years' time.) But the chance to play for Wenger and an awesome side that includes some of his England teammates and Henry...Benitez would have to consider that 30 million bid quite handsome. At this point, Wenger is also trying to persuade Hatem Trabelsi that Arsenal can win the Prem and the CL without Vieira.

If Wenger can work his magic, Trabelsi, Gerrard and Morientes will be ours by the time this fiasco is done. In 1999, one other renowned French player of ours - Nicolas Anelka - demanded a move to Real Madrid, which was accepted for a princely sum, a third of which was used to buy a relatively unknown Juventus winger named Thierry Henry, and the rest to buy a defensive back named Lauren and another winger named Robert Pires. The rest, they say, is Gunners history.

(Imagine it now, as it were, an epic Champions League final, between Arsenal and Real Madrid. The magnificent 'galacticos' of Madrid - including former Gunners captain Patrick Vieira - squaring off against Arsene Wenger's quick and beautiful total football, one of its starting forwards the former Madrid player who literally kicked Real out of the CL the year before, Fernando Morientes.)

I would applaud Wenger twice over, if he could get past this plausible move of his best transfer - even before he was made manager, mind you - and, with three key components to next season, win the treble at Highbury.

deviljet88
19-07-2004, 01:16 PM
The way you put it DR, it could be cool for Arsenal at the end of the tranfers. See I don't like Vieria personally so I don't really care if he gets transferred since 30 million, I'd hope, could get back a decent midfielder.

Hazzle
20-07-2004, 09:39 PM
Nice theory except having signed Drogba for 25 mill there is NO way Chelsea will be buying another forward...Mutu's not going, and Eidur signed a new deal, and you don't buy Kezman to never play him...sorry...Ronaldo is staying at Real...he'll wait until his price comes down and move to Spurs (yeah, he said he wants to play for them :confused: ).

I actually think Vieira's staying...I still think so...remember how it looked SO obvious Gerrard would join Chelsea? Didn't happen...

However I suspect they've already made moves to bring in Gerrard...so we may find ourselves in a position where Stevey wants to sign but Vieira isn't leaving, so I wonder what we'd do then? Suppose we'd have to find the 30 mill from somewhere else.

To be honest...I always trust in Wenger.

What I'M much more interested in is Drogba at Chelsea...have Chelsea got a bargain or a flop?

CFC
20-07-2004, 10:28 PM
Didier Drogba becomes Chelsea record signing

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2004

Although the fee has not been recealed, he is Chelsea's record purchase, and a British record fee for a striker.

The news was exclusively revealed on Chelsea TV on tonight’s ‘Blues News’ where he spoke in careful and impressive English.

Here is the transcript of his first English interview.


Didier Drogba, welcome to Chelsea. This transfer has taken a long time; you must be overjoyed to be here?

Yes, I am very happy to be here and I hope it will be a very good and very long adventure with Chelsea and with all the fans of Chelsea.

You started we hear as a defender. How did you change to an attacker?

I started when I played at my first club, and my uncle told me “go forward, it is better for you”, so I went forward, and here I am at Chelsea today!

At the start of your career with Laval and with Le Mans, and when you first went to Guingamp, you didn’t score a lot of goals?

Yes, it was difficult for me because before playing in Guingamp or in Le Mans, I was in the lower division and it was new for me so it was difficult to score for me, to adapt my physique, but now it is okay!

And it went right for you all of a sudden two years ago, and you got seventeen goals I think?

Yes. You know the work, if you work, you play good and you are very happy. You know football, for me, it’s like fun, so I try to be happy.

You scored a lot of goals last season. What was your best goal?

Probably against Newcastle in the semi-final of the UEFA Cup, I think this is one of my best goals!

And now you’ve come to Chelsea. Do you know anything about our forwards, about Kezman, Gudjohnsen, Mutu?

Yes, I know a lot of things about them because in France, we look for the Championship, and Gudjohnsen, Hasselbaink, and Mutu are very good players, and Makelele, William Gallas …

Ex-Marseille!

Yes, ex-Marseille. All these players are very, very good.

And you, for Marseille, played against Porto and José Mourinho, and scored. Did you play well?

I think I played ... yes I played well, because I think it’s the reason why I am here. Because I was in the group of Porto in the Champions League, the first two, so it’s a big chance for me to come here to work with the coach, José Mourinho, and play for my new team, Chelsea.

You’ve been a regular international player for the Ivory Coast for the last two years. You’ve scored a lot of goals for them.

Yes, it’s very important for me to play for my national team. I want to do many things for my team, national team and for my club for sure, I will do my best to be next year like I was in Marseille, but better in Chelsea

And you are not coming to England on your own; you are coming with your family.

Yes, with my family because for me it’s very important because I need them to play my best football

You have three children, are they good footballers?

One of them, he will be a Chelsea footballer, the youngest.

Eidur Gudjohnsen met you at lunchtime and he said: “My God, you are big”

(laughs) I like (Eidur), he plays very good.



Chief executive Peter Kenyon, having collected the signature on the contract, told www.chelseafc.com: “We’re delighted that Didier has signed and we are certain that he will score lots of goals for us. He has shown last season for Marseille that he can succeed in Europe’s top competitions.

“There’s been a tradition at Chelsea of strong, athletic and quick strikers like Kerry Dixon, and I am sure the fans will love him.”

Drogba’s contract is for three years. He is 26 years old.

DragonRat
20-07-2004, 10:32 PM
I'm sure Drogba will do well, though I don't suspect he's worth that much; I mean, they got Kezman for a fraction of the price they paid for Drogba. And who will Mourinho start in the first-team? Gudjohnsen is the definite Premiership veteran, but I suspect that Kezman and Drogba will start out the season, with Eidur and Mutu on the bench. The four strikers are great at the top of their game, but they're not all automatic choices for Chelsea, unlike Ruud or Henry for United or Arsenal, respectively. The preseason will pretty much show who's going to be the top of the pecking order.

We still don't know if Wenger will bring in another forward. If Morientes does come in, then I can see Henry and Bergkamp starting in the beginning, but Henry and Morientes definitely teaming up in the middle to later parts of the season, and assuredly in the Champions League. Other than that, Henry and Reyes often looked brilliant at times last season, and with Reyes finally settling in to the English game, it's going to be high time at Highbury.

CFC
20-07-2004, 10:50 PM
I hope Chelsea puts on a better show this weekend. I was very suprized with the score vs Oxford. I think the play was bad because Chelsea has a lot of new faces this year and they have not had as much time to play togeather.

Hazzle
21-07-2004, 01:45 AM
I'm sure Drogba will do well, though I don't suspect he's worth that much; I mean, they got Kezman for a fraction of the price they paid for Drogba. And who will Mourinho start in the first-team? Gudjohnsen is the definite Premiership veteran, but I suspect that Kezman and Drogba will start out the season, with Eidur and Mutu on the bench. The four strikers are great at the top of their game, but they're not all automatic choices for Chelsea, unlike Ruud or Henry for United or Arsenal, respectively. The preseason will pretty much show who's going to be the top of the pecking order.

Kezman was a snip as he's not half the player Drogba is...he's quick, yes, good technically, but Drogba has all the qualities of a young Anelka, who could, in my view, have become better than Henry is now. That said I still think Drogba is a poor man's Henry...combines the best elements of Ruud and Henry but isn't as good as either of them yet...and he's the exact same age as Henry so it's not like he has years to make up on Henry.

I think actually the starting pair will be Eidur and Drogba, simply as it's been made absolutely obvious that Mourinho likes target men (see Benni McCarthy at Porto) and I think both Drogba and Eidur would fit his model better. Kezman for me has been bought as a sub to come on and liven up games late on, with his pace and eye for goal, with Mutu filling in for Eidur when he gets an injury or suspension or summat.

We still don't know if Wenger will bring in another forward. If Morientes does come in, then I can see Henry and Bergkamp starting in the beginning, but Henry and Morientes definitely teaming up in the middle to later parts of the season, and assuredly in the Champions League. Other than that, Henry and Reyes often looked brilliant at times last season, and with Reyes finally settling in to the English game, it's going to be high time at Highbury.

All depends on what happens with Paddy. If Vieira goes, Morientes WILL be an Arsenal man...no way we'll let him go otherwise. I actually suspect Morientes will go to Porto to prise away Carvalho, or perhaps to Roma to prise away Emerson, as those are Camacho's preferred targets. I mean even if Paddy says he wants to go to Real (and he hasn't said that yet, just saying "if") doesn't mean Camacho will want him, as he's made it clear he wants Emerson and Carvalho.

Anyway...that's the only way I see us bringing in a new forward myself. I think Trabelsi is his prime target, with maybe a midfielder to come in and replace Parlour if he goes to Boro...of course if Paddy goes Gerrard will probably be on his way...I think Gerrard only turned down Chelsea as he thinks they'll still take time to gel, whereas I think he'd be very happy to join us...especially as if Vieira DOES go we'll have Morientes plus a perfect replacement in Gerrard (maybe not as good now, but he's also a fair few years younger) and perhaps Trabelsi...we'd be in an even stronger position than last season.

Trust in Wenger...and like you said...just remember what happened with Anelka...everyone said "Oh Arsenal will die now, they've sold off their best player". We then sold Overmars and Petit and they said "Arsenal are bonkers, they're selling when they should be buying" So buy we did. Just a french winger who was flopping at Juventus by the name of Thierry Henry. I personally doubt Vieira will go...he must remember that it was Wenger who rescued his career...but if he does...we'll cope...and he'll go the same way as that other Frenchman we sold to Real.

CFC
21-07-2004, 09:54 PM
Chelsea clinch Tiago deal

Tiago
In-depth profile: Tiago
Benfica midfielder Tiago has completed his move to Chelsea after agreeing personal terms with the London club.

The 23-year-old, who had already passed his medical, has agreed a three-year deal at Stamford Bridge with the fee thought to be about £10m.

Tiago was contracted at Benfica until 2007 but left due to differences with the club's new chief Jose Veiga.

"There are big players in my position, but I go to work - then the coach Jose Mourinho will decide," said Tiago.

His signing ends Jose Mourinho's search for a midfielder after the new coach failed to sign Steven Gerrard.

The transfer had been in doubt after Mourinho admitted negotiations over personal terms had hit a stumbling block.


The Portuguese international, a member of the country's Euro 2004 squad, follows Mateja Kezman, Paulo Ferriera, and Didier Drogba as Chelsea's summer signings.


Call me old fashioned but when you spend £10 million, it isn't usually on a pile of rubbish.

Tiago has scored 19 goals in 95 matches for Benfica after joining them from Sporting Braga in 2002.

Mourinho had insisted any new signings must be completed by Wednesday, when the squad leave for a tour of the United States.

However, Tiago is set to miss the opening games of the season after being called into Portugal's squad for the Olympics in Athens.

The squad will meet on 1 August before flying to Greece on 8 August after a friendly with Paraguay in Faro.

Portugal are drawn with Iraq, Morocco and Costa Rica in Group D. The tournament begins on 11 August and finishes on 28 August with the gold medal match.

:D

Hazzle
23-07-2004, 12:24 AM
Vieira's future at Arsenal in doubt? He didn't go on pre-season tour to Europe with the lads, and with Flamini in from Marseille, and Fabregas at the club...hmmm...interesting.

Speaking of Flamini...how many of you've seen him play?

Changing clubs for a moment as they haven't had a mention...how do you United fans think you'll cope without Ronaldo and Heinze for crucial games, Ronaldo especially as he seems to be your only creative outlet.

CFC
23-07-2004, 12:47 AM
Flamini is....

Good defensively, good in attack, very fit and strong. He is a lot like Vieira. I hear that the deal is long term and a friend from another board said it was a good signing for the price. I can't comment on that because I have not seen a figure.

Hazzle
23-07-2004, 01:20 AM
Flamini is....

Good defensively, good in attack, very fit and strong. He is a lot like Vieira. I hear that the deal is long term and a friend from another board said it was a good signing for the price. I can't comment on that because I have not seen a figure.

I hear it's 1.5 mill. Which is a bargain. Perhaps the new Vieira in the making? Vieira himself was only 20 when he joined and he cost us a snip at about 2.5 mill.

CFC
23-07-2004, 01:23 AM
I think Chelsea over paid for Drogba.

Then again spending money is not a problem for them.

Hazzle
23-07-2004, 01:26 AM
I think Chelsea over paid for Drogba.

Then again spending money is not a problem for them.

Yes and yes...should've gone for Etoo in my opinion...think he'll be a real hit at Real.

DragonRat
23-07-2004, 05:48 AM
I pretty much now consider Vieira's exit to be inevitable, as Wenger has come out and bought Flamini, a soon-to-be successor in Vieira's style. But, I think we can definitely come back from Vieira's exit with a better crew. The Trabelsi deal is pretty much a definite, and I hear that Wenger's looking to buy Nuno Maniche from Porto. Maniche was one of the better players on the Portuguese and Porto teams, and he would definitely be competent replacement for the almost irreplaceable Paddy.

As for the Drogba deal, I think it will come out in time, to see if he's worth it. I mean, Real paid a pretty penny for Zidane to leave Juventus, and he was worth it...well, considering he's the greatest active player in the game right now.

Hazzle
23-07-2004, 11:06 AM
I pretty much now consider Vieira's exit to be inevitable, as Wenger has come out and bought Flamini, a soon-to-be successor in Vieira's style. But, I think we can definitely come back from Vieira's exit with a better crew. The Trabelsi deal is pretty much a definite, and I hear that Wenger's looking to buy Nuno Maniche from Porto. Maniche was one of the better players on the Portuguese and Porto teams, and he would definitely be competent replacement for the almost irreplaceable Paddy.

Oooh...Maniche? He'd probably come cheaper than Gerrard...and he's capable for sure...one of the best players in both Porto and not only Portugal but Euro 2004 generally. It's all good...we've come out of big losses before (Anelka to Real, Overmars and Petit to Barca) bigger and better (Henry, Pires and Gilberto)

As for the Drogba deal, I think it will come out in time, to see if he's worth it. I mean, Real paid a pretty penny for Zidane to leave Juventus, and he was worth it...well, considering he's the greatest active player in the game right now.

Well...he's been the greatest...whether he still is the best in the world on form at the moment is VERY debateable.

CFC
24-07-2004, 01:16 AM
I know that there are a few teams doing American tours starting this week.

Does anybody know if they are gonna be aired here in the states?

Elijahfan
24-07-2004, 04:15 PM
I know that there are a few teams doing American tours starting this week.

Does anybody know if they are gonna be aired here in the states?

probably on one of the ESPN channels, my brother and his friends are going down from Minnesota to Chicago to see Manchester United against some other team. they left yesterday and the games on monday, i believe in the brand new stadium down there, i've seem it, it's very nice.

CFC
24-07-2004, 07:15 PM
In case anybody in the States wants to know.....


Fox Sports World will be showing some of the games. They will be showing the Chelsea vs Celtic match this afternoon. That is all that really matters :icon_bigg

CFC
25-07-2004, 01:26 AM
Chelsea 4 Celtic 2

Saturday, Jul 24, 2004

An outstanding Alexei Smertin goal and two second-half Mateja Kezman strikes lit up Chelsea’s impressive victory over the Scottish champions in Seattle.



The general temperature in Seattle was 88 degrees at kick-off, and the game started slowly. Chris Sutton showed good movement early on, but not as good as Adrian Mutu who raced behind Celtic’s defence on to an excellent Gérémi chip, but he was thwarted by goalkeeper Magnus Hedman as he tried to slip the ball under him.



At the other end Carlo Cudicini got sucked out to a long Ross Wallace cross and finished up trying to head the ball on the edge of his area from Craig Beattie who flicked it over him. Fortunately John Terry had read the situation, ducked out of Cudicini’s jump and ran round behind to clean up.



Mutu put in a couple of good crosses and looked like the Mutu of old, but it was Joe Cole who penetrated next, stealing the ball and darting through the middle before just overhitting his pass for Eidur Gudjohnsen.



Chelsea played a 4-3-1-2 formation rather than a diamond with Gérémi on the right looking strong in his natural position, Smertin in the middle and Scott Parker on the left.



Wallace sent in a stream of good crosses, and in the 14th minute Terry stretched wonderfully to divert his header away from Sutton.



Smertin, who shone at Oxford in the first friendly, put Chelsea ahead two minutes later with a spectacular goal. He ran 30 metres with the ball, played it square to his right, got it back, ran square to his left across Joos Valgaeren and blasted a 25 metres left-footer past Hedman into the top corner.



He didn’t score at Oxford, he didn’t score in his year at Portsmouth, he hasn’t scored in 42 internationals for Russia, but he’s looking the find of the summer.



Smertin continued to defend superbly in midfield, and Terry belied his lack of training with his interceptions, but Celtic equalised in the 27th minute when Sutton flicked on Mohamed Sylla’s pass for Beattie to get beyond Robert Huth and slide a shot low across Cudicini. The goalkeeper got a good hand to the ball but just couldn’t turn it beyond the post and it crept in agonisingly slowly.



Ten minutes before half-time, Cole made a penetrating right-wing run from Cudicini’s sharp throw following a fine catch, and skinned Stephen McManus who tried to trip him and failed, pulled the ball back well and Valgaeren cleared desperately from Eidur Gudjohnsen.



Mutu took the corner and Huth’s powerful header was brilliantly headed off the line by Wallace.



But at the other end Didier Agathe got behind Mutu with a powerful run and crossed dangerously, Sutton flicked for goal and Huth blocked well for a corner.



Both sides made half-time substitutions, and lined up as follows for the second-half. Chelsea: Cech; Gérémi, Johnson, Huth, Babayaro; Smertin, Makelele, Lampard (c); Gudjohnsen, Kezman, Robben. Celtic switched to 3-5-2: Hedman; MacNamara, Balde, Laursen; Petrov, Sutton, Lennon, Pearson, Wallace; Hartson, Beattie.



Arjen Robben made an immediate impact. He raced inside Jackie MacNamara and pulled a low ball back for Gudjohnsen to choose his spot from 15 metres, smashing the ball inside Hedman. Two-one.



At the other end Chelsea survived John Hartson’s diving header from Stilian Petrov’s well struck cross, Glen Johnson getting a crucial deflection. Despite the heat the game remained very open.



Celtic opened up beyond belief when Gudjohnsen found space on the left from Robben’s chip upfield and set Mateja Kezman free to place the third goal past Hedman. Fifty-eight minutes gone.



Two minutes later Gudjohnsen and Robben combined again to put Kezman away, and when Hedman blocked his run past him the ball bounced back off Kezman and went only just wide.



Celtic made a triple substitution with 25 minutes left: McGeady for Petrov, Fernandez for Lennon and Petta for Wallace. Almost immediately Stephen Pearson hit a 25 metres right-footer which Petr Cech athletically turned over, but from Bobby Petta’s resulting right-sided corner Beattie headed in. Three-two.



Chelsea began to look tired, and José Mourinho sent on Paulo Ferreira for his first Chelsea action at right-back, pushing Gérémi up the right and taking off Gudjohnsen.



As at Manchester United at the end of last season Johnson looked very comfortable at centre-back, and with five minutes remaining won the ball, raced through the middle, fed the cleverly sprinting Kezman who finished confidently past Hedman to seal the victory.



It made it an extremely impressive afternoon for Mourinho’s side.



Neil Barnett

Hazzle
25-07-2004, 03:47 AM
Hmmm...Maniche's agent has suggested they've been approached, fuelling speculation that Vieira is off to Real. Furthermore rumours have surfaced that Vieira is seeking to persuade Sol Campbell to follow him to Real...if they got the pair they'd be unbeatable, trust me. As it is I doubt they'll get either, but you never know.

Trabelsi's move to Arsenal has hit a few snags in terms of personal terms, but it may yet be resolved.

Suggestion is also that Glenn Hoddle may be approached to coach at Arsenal perhaps with a view to grooming him to succeed Wenger.

West Brom and Charlton are looking to buy Jeffers from Arsenal.

Chelsea face a hard time trying to sign Ayala with Liverpool giving them a tussle for him, and may opt to snap up Carvalho while Real have issues negotiating with Porto.

Real Madrid youngster Javi Garcia has turned down a move to United to battle for a starting spot at Real.

United want Rooney but only at 20 mill. Everton want 30.

Dyce_Blue
25-07-2004, 04:00 AM
Well, I just watched Uruguay beat Colombia on Univision. I think I'm starting to like soccer, I've just never seen it in English. Do the announcers yell "Go-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ol" like they do in the Spanish language broadcasts?

Hazzle
25-07-2004, 04:06 AM
Well, I just watched Uruguay beat Colombia on Univision. I think I'm starting to like soccer, I've just never seen it in English. Do the announcers yell "Go-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ol" like they do in the Spanish language broadcasts?

No, we're more original than just saying "goal"...we often say other things to the same effect like "he's scored" etc...plus why would we pronounce is "Gooooooool"? The bloody hispanics just can't pronounce the word properly.

Dyce_Blue
25-07-2004, 04:10 AM
It's not pronounced like "ghoul". It is like the word "go" was extended for like 20 seconds and an L was placed on the very end. The word in Spanish for goal is "gol", and is pronounced the same as in English.

Hazzle
25-07-2004, 04:11 AM
It's not pronounced like "ghoul". It is like the word "go" was extended for like 20 seconds and an L was placed on the very end. The word in Spanish for goal is "gol", and is pronounced the same as in English.

I know what you mean, I've heard them announce it...it's wrong :)

DragonRat
25-07-2004, 09:22 AM
Not to sound like a disciplinarian, but CFC, cut down on the journalism reports. We could read the headline scores for ourselves. If you want, you can comment on the play of the footballers, without having to resort to double-spacing and italicizing. And no need to give a play-by-play commentary: I think I could read that on Soccernet, if I cared about Chelsea enough :P.

I doubt Campbell would leave for Madrid. This has been one of Arsenal's worst summers of discontent, and if one of them must leave, then I would hope it's Paddy, who's been rumored already. To add Campbell to the mix would just add insult to injury. But Paddy's already met up with the team at training camp, so hopefully he's willing to play through the season. If not, there's always the January transfer window...

Besides, Madrid would really need to pay up BIG time, if they want both Paddy and Sol.

Hazzle
25-07-2004, 01:46 PM
Not to sound like a disciplinarian, but CFC, cut down on the journalism reports. We could read the headline scores for ourselves. If you want, you can comment on the play of the footballers, without having to resort to double-spacing and italicizing. And no need to give a play-by-play commentary: I think I could read that on Soccernet, if I cared about Chelsea enough :P.

I doubt Campbell would leave for Madrid. This has been one of Arsenal's worst summers of discontent, and if one of them must leave, then I would hope it's Paddy, who's been rumored already. To add Campbell to the mix would just add insult to injury. But Paddy's already met up with the team at training camp, so hopefully he's willing to play through the season. If not, there's always the January transfer window...

Besides, Madrid would really need to pay up BIG time, if they want both Paddy and Sol.

Yeah...I'm of the impression both'll be staying, but we'll probably still buy Maniche (as it's just 10 mill) to supplement our midfield...it'll help replace Ray too. Maniche, Gilberto, Edu and Vieira is one heck of a midfield quartet :D. Also that way if Viera DOES leave in January, if we can sign Maniche now it'll give him 6 months to settle in, which every foreign player needs.

Dyce_Blue
25-07-2004, 01:54 PM
Not to sound like a disciplinarian, but CFC, cut down on the journalism reports. We could read the headline scores for ourselves. If you want, you can comment on the play of the footballers, without having to resort to double-spacing and italicizing. And no need to give a play-by-play commentary: I think I could read that on Soccernet, if I cared about Chelsea enough :P.

That original post was better quality journalism than I get in my local paper. Reporting like that, even if not original work of the member, has no place here. P.S.: Where was the dateline?

Hazzle
01-08-2004, 02:19 PM
This thing died fast.

What have you non-UK "soccer" <cringe> fans heard about the Sven-Goran Eriksson (England manager) situation? It's rather big news over here, was wondering if you'd heard about it.

I also heard now that Vieira is almost certain to stay now, and Sol Campbell and Edu to sign new deals, putting paid to those rumours too...good job.

Sarah
01-08-2004, 02:25 PM
What have you non-UK "soccer" <cringe> fans heard about the Sven-Goran Eriksson (England manager) situation? It's rather big news over here, was wondering if you'd heard about it.


The tabloid's are having a field day aren't they!?

Hazzle
01-08-2004, 02:28 PM
Yeah...it's not even that big a deal...so he had an affair....oooh...big news...sack him for being a bad manager, if that's what the FA feels is the case, but not for this pathetic thing.

I'm agreeing with Jose Mourinho (erk! What's wrong with me?!) that Sven should be judged on football, and purely football.

DragonRat
01-08-2004, 10:29 PM
It looks similar to the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal of the recent past, but in that case, Clinton supposedly perjured under oath, so that was the reason for his going into possible impeachment (which never happened anyway). But both Clinton and Eriksson must be judged by their ability to manage - whether it be country or team - not necessarily by their character. If that were the case, then many belligerent and insufficiently moral managers and heads of state - who were excellent in their ways of handling situations - would not have had their jobs.

DragonRat
03-08-2004, 11:10 PM
In other news, it seems that the Patrick Vieira transfer will be complete by this week. It is a sad time to see our captain go. (To quote Walt Whitman, "O Captain! My captain!") I just hope some good thing comes out of this. If we have agreed to 20 million pounds, then perhaps Morientes will be coming to us, and the rest will be spent to bring in Maniche. At least this will finally settle things, though it still leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.

apoggy
03-08-2004, 11:20 PM
These are not in fact sad times DR, Arsenal are for once weakening their tam, unlike the previous 4 or 5 where no big players were sold without bringing in better replacements. I know you will provide acounter example but none will be to the same extent as this. Arsenal fans say Maniche will come in and fil the gap, but in my eyes Maniche is half the player that Vieira is. Fear United this season, a backlash is on the cards after a dreadful season. You mark my words

DragonRat
03-08-2004, 11:26 PM
If Vieira definitely leaves, I don't think anyone can really fill his shoes, not immediately anyways. If Maniche does come, we still have him, Edu, Gilberto, Flamini, and Fabregas in the middle. But Flamini and Fabregas are not as developed as Vieira, and that would leave the two Brazilians to fill the gap. Gilberto is one of the better holding midfielders in England, but he still doesn't have the same class as Vieira. Maniche was probably the best player for Portugal (aside from Ronaldo), and he would fill the role immediately. Yet, I doubt he can come in first year in, and play in the same capacity of Paddy. No one can. The only hope I have is that we get the price we want for Vieira. 18 million pounds is chump change, compared to how much Vieira is worth.

Hazzle
04-08-2004, 12:24 AM
Maniche...player of Portugal's run in Euro 2004...arguably the best midfielder in the tournament. Certainly makes my team of the tournament without a shadow of a doubt.

Want proof? Ronaldo...ineffective against england...Maniche...bossed the game and was HUGELY responsible for them winning. Oh...and then there's the small matter of that wonder goal against the Dutch...and the fact that unlike Vieira he has won the Champions League...

Poggs...the same was said when Anelka, Petit and Overmars left...the CORE of the double side...and with the old back 5 ageing everyone said our time had passed...we bought in Sol...we brought in Pires, Henry and Gilberto...now if you're telling me that wasn't good business, considering how much money we made out of the deals...that's just stupid.

We'll cope...we always do...and I still don't buy it's true until the club confirm it...especially not at the price of 18 mill...

And Poggs...Keane and Scholes...versus Gilberto and Maniche...I know which two I'd take ;)

Speaking of scholes...what do people think of his international retirement? I think England will cope...Lampard was THE free scoring midfielder of Euro 2004...3 goals in 4 games...

CFC
06-08-2004, 08:48 PM
Whew. Looks like Mutu is going to be staying at Chelsea since it looks like the move to Juventus fell through.

I have been out of the loop for the past two weeks, I am having trouble getting infor on 56k. I heard that Vieira was in serious talk with Madrid over the past week. Anybody have any recent news on this?

Hazzle
06-08-2004, 09:02 PM
Vieira is 90% staying now...Real want to pay 18...we want 23...we can't agree...also he hasn't been offered enough money wages wise.

Also we're in the hunt for another midfielder anyway...Michael Carrick from West Ham seems most likely...potentially a few other options.

CFC
11-08-2004, 12:57 AM
Wow.

West Bromwich Albion striker, Lee Hughes has been jailed for six years for causing death by dangerous driving. Link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/coventry_warwickshire/3548840.stm)

Was he any good?

Hazzle
11-08-2004, 01:33 AM
Not really.

Michael Owen on the move?

My view is if Vieira joined Real, Owen won't, as they can't afford both...they never buy two gallacticos in one season...it'd also take them a long time to both gel.

I actually think if Owen does leave his likely destination is either OT (since United need another striker badly with OGS being out all season and Saha and Ruud out at the moment)...and unlike Rooney he'd come cheap and is proven for many years...or Arsenal, and he's expressed an interest in joining us and would come cheap...I do reckon if Vieira goes...we could well use some of the money to lure Owen...especially if we can get Morientes from Real as part of the Vieira deal and offer the same deal Real are considering (Morientes + 10 mill) for Owen...

CFC
11-08-2004, 02:24 AM
I will be very suprized if Owen leaves Liverpool.

Hazzle
11-08-2004, 02:27 AM
I will be very suprized if Owen leaves Liverpool.

I wouldn't. He's yet to sign a new deal, talks have fallen apart and he has one year left on his current contract so Liverpool stand to make nothing on him next summer. He's looking for a new challenge...I suspect...and I VERY much doubt his exclusion from tonight's Champions League game was coincidence...it was to keep him free for any Champions League side wanting to buy him. They already have the Euro 2004 golden boot winner a new signing in Cisse.

CFC
11-08-2004, 02:36 AM
Now that Vieira is gone, who do you think the new captian will be for Arsenal?
Henry, Cole, Bergkamp, Campbell?

DragonRat
11-08-2004, 03:00 AM
If Vieira leaves, then Sol's most likely the captain, though I wouldn't be surprised to see Dennis wear the armband, when he's playing. I've also read that Ashley's a possibility, considering he's one of the few Arsenal first-teamers that has actually worked up through the Arsenal youth system, and he's currently the best LB in Europe (no offense to aging Roberto Carlos, who's about eight years his senior). As for Henry, it's just as likely to see him with the armband, though I'd probably give it to either Sol or Dennis.

As it is, I'd be happy to see Dennis wear the armband, since it'll most likely be his last season with us. Of course, he won't be playing or starting all the time, because of his age, and the growing impressions of Reyes and van Persie. But since Sol is out for several weeks, it might actually be Cole or Henry with the armband. Depends if Dennis starts.

DragonRat
13-08-2004, 06:41 PM
I am glad. Paddy has stayed finally that he is staying, that his love for Arsenal convinced him to stay. After long deliberation, he came to it that his heart won over his mind. And that makes all the difference.

In other news, Michael Owen is moving to Real Madrid. Well, with Raul, Ronaldo, Morientes and Owen, Madrid have four world-class strikers. It almost seems unfair. If they weren't able to get Vieira, Owen would be their next 'galactico', and they made sure of it.

CFC
13-08-2004, 06:56 PM
Zinedine Zidane also announced his retirement from international play the other day. I however would not be suprised to see him make a return when Germany 2006 rolls around.


With Owen on his way to Real, they now have one of the top 4 striking forces in Europe. I think the top four are now Real, Chelsea, AC Milan and Inter Milan. (not in order)

Hazzle
13-08-2004, 08:40 PM
Zinedine Zidane also announced his retirement from international play the other day. I however would not be suprised to see him make a return when Germany 2006 rolls around.


With Owen on his way to Real, they now have one of the top 4 striking forces in Europe. I think the top four are now Real, Chelsea, AC Milan and Inter Milan. (not in order)

Nahh...Milan and Real have world class forward lines...but I can't see any argument for Inter having one just yet. Adriano and Martins are good, but still young...and Recoba is the most over-rated forward in Europe...decent on the wing but passable up front. Vieri's over the hill.

Best strike forces in Europe are easily Real and Milan...with Real clearly having the edge...Milan with Crespo, Inzaghi, Tomasson and Shevchenko still don't quite match what Real have.

So glad Paddy's staying...it's a very good thing and probably keeps us as favourites for the title.

CFC
14-08-2004, 02:00 PM
Today is the:

*~* The Premiership Opening Weekend *~*

Sat Aug 14 2004
Tottenham Hotspurs v Liverpool
Norwich City v Crystal Palace
Portsmouth v Birmingham
Aston Villa v Southampton
Blackburn v West Bromwich Albion
Bolton Wanderers v Charlton Athletic
Manchester City v Fulham
Middlesbrough v Newcastle

Sun Aug 15 2004
Everton v Arsenal
Chelsea v Man Utd

EDIT: I had the Arsenal v Everton match on Saturday, it is actually Sunday. I just finished watching Spurs/Liverpool match. Draw 1-1. Great way to start off the season. It is raining hard here and there are flood warnings so I will be watching everygame that I can today.

deviljet88
14-08-2004, 02:20 PM
Oh no, versing Everton, the ones that struck Arsenal down in end of 2002/2003 season. Oh wait, Arsenal won/drew every match last season! Those suckers are going to die, hoohah! GO ARSENAL!

Sarah
14-08-2004, 04:47 PM
Sorry to butt into the thread, but

Grimsby...5
BURY...1

We're going UP! We're going UP!


Our team is fantastic...!!!

Hazzle
14-08-2004, 04:49 PM
Congrats...but it was only Bury ;)

Sarah
14-08-2004, 04:51 PM
I know, but the point is that our team is really good and we're going up. You just wait until we're in the Prem!!

DragonRat
14-08-2004, 07:42 PM
I know, but the point is that our team is really good and we're going up. You just wait until we're in the Prem!!

So, how long will that wait be?

At any rate, I hope to catch the Arsenal-Everton game, but I have church (my last week before I move to Berkeley, so I guess I should make it worthwhile). Seems like an interesting start to the season (no, not really). It's only the first week in a 38-game season. If Rooney scores a GW goal against the Gunners tomorrow, though, I'll be pissed.

I think, if Paddy still has the heart to play for us, then he should still keep the captainship (as I have read otherwise on Arseblog). Though we all knew he wanted to play for Real, he'll be more willing to play for Arsenal now, to prove himself to the fans and to himself. But with him in the middle, we can challenge with anyone in Europe. Our strike force may not be in the same caliber as Real's or Milan's, but our raw talent can easily be underestimated.

PhoeniX
14-08-2004, 08:06 PM
Viera is staying.SHAME.


Nowich drew their first game 1-1 with Crystal Palace. Next Norwich have Man United, then Newcastle, then Arsenal! Oh well...

Sarah
14-08-2004, 08:51 PM
So, how long will that wait be?



If truth comes to truth, it'll probably never happen. We don't have the money to buy massive players, however, if we play every match like we did today then we would get there!!

Hazzle
14-08-2004, 10:08 PM
DR...Rooney won't be playing...as far as I'm aware...as he's still injured :D

As for Vieira keeping the captaincy...the reason he stayed was because he loves the club...and loves being our captain...his special bond with the club couldn't be broken, even by the allure of Real, even by all his advisors and everyone telling him to go...damn straight he should stay as the captain.

CFC
15-08-2004, 04:59 PM
Chelsea 1-0 Man Utd
Arsenal 4-1 Everton

Great start to the season.

Hazzle
15-08-2004, 07:15 PM
Damn straight...especially as we had no Vieira or Campbell. Fabregas and Reyes again looked amazing :D

CFC
15-08-2004, 08:03 PM
I did not watch the Chelsea game as it was only on PPV and I did not have the 20 something dollars to spend on it. I had to listen on Big Blue radio. But anyway I was very disappointed with Chelsea. They should have put fourth a much stronger preformance against a weakened Man Utd team.

Hazzle
15-08-2004, 08:12 PM
I did not watch the Chelsea game as it was only on PPV and I did not have the 20 something dollars to spend on it. I had to listen on Big Blue radio. But anyway I was very disappointed with Chelsea. They should have put fourth a much stronger preformance against a weakened Man Utd team.

Yes...United deserved a draw...Chelsea really will have to improve if they're to take our crown away.

deviljet88
16-08-2004, 11:39 AM
Olympics means I basically get NO coverage of the Arsenal vs Everton match :( I really wanted to see Arsenal start off the season with a smashing win :(

Hazzle
16-08-2004, 12:27 PM
Olympics means I basically get NO coverage of the Arsenal vs Everton match :( I really wanted to see Arsenal start off the season with a smashing win :(

Oh it was a smashing win...depleted Arsenal side STILL owned.

apoggy
16-08-2004, 12:31 PM
United loose :( but some positive signs came from the Chelsea game. Overall the match was close, considering they were close to full strength and we are still down to our bare bones I think United supporters should take heart from the way we played.

A full strength United team would have won yesterday, I just hope we are back to near full strength when we meet Arsenal so we can break their unbeaten run :D

Hazzle
16-08-2004, 12:37 PM
United loose :( but some positive signs came from the Chelsea game. Overall the match was close, considering they were close to full strength and we are still down to our bare bones I think United supporters should take heart from the way we played.

A full strength United team would have won yesterday, I just hope we are back to near full strength when we meet Arsenal so we can break their unbeaten run :D

Even at full strength I doubt your boys will do it mate...Chelsea were hardly that fluent, played pretty poorly and even then your boys couldn't do it.

My prediction is the gaps'll be lessened this season (it certainly won't be 11 and 15 points respectively)...but we should still have the squad to do it. Considering how easily we ripped Everton without our captain and vice captain we did very well :D

But yeah, United showed some good signs...Scholes was a constant danger and Smith looked good again...still Giggs for me looks to have lost his legs...if I were Sir Alex when I had full strength I'd be opting for Smith on the right side of midfield with Ronaldo on the left, Scholes and Keane in the middle and Saha and Ruud up front...because Giggs clearly ain't got it in him anymore.

Reyes will be a force this season, he's already shown it...and Fabregas will be pushing for a first team berth...I reckon if he's partnered with Vieira we could have a bloody awesome central midfield...with Pennant pushing Ljunberg and Van Persie and Reyes pushing Pires we're still the team to beat. Dennis looks sharper than ever...Ashley's hitting his best form ever...Lehmann's radically improving game to game temprament-wise (which was his only problem...technically he's still one of the best in the league)

I predict the same top 3 as last time, with lesser gaps.

apoggy
16-08-2004, 12:45 PM
I predict the same top 3 as last time, with lesser gaps.

Same here if I am honest although I fancy us to finish second.

Giggs may not have the legs but he is still a damn fine player.

On the Bergkamp front I agree with you totally. My only worry (used lightly) is that if he gets tired/injured you don't have the same type of player to replace him with and so would have to change your formation to a classic 4-4-2 rather than the 4-4-1-1 you pretty much play now, as Bergkamp always drops into the hole between defense and midfield. Sure a classic 4-4-2 with Henry/Reyes upfront looks blinding, but I don't think you would be as effective as you are now with Bergkamp in the hole.

Hazzle
16-08-2004, 04:45 PM
Van Persie plays in the hole :D

Plus we're still in the market for a forward...especially with Alladiere injured and Franny gone...

We have other options...Reyes on the left with Pires in the hole...Pennant on the right with Ljunberg in the hole...

The biggest boost for me is we're now crossing the ball more and we got 2 of our 4 from crosses, and one was a header :p. Reyes and Van Persie are both quite typical forwards in that when they see an opportunity to get into the box they take it...and Van Persie especially is VERY good in the air (should've had a headed goal against your lot in the Shield)...if we can add some headed goals to our repertoire we'll be a force to be reckoned with I reckon.

United could nick second...all depends on how Chelsea bed down. On paper their squad is fantastic...but gelling could be an issue, although if Mourinho sticks to the formula against United (3 of their outfield players were new with 7 of their outfield players being last year's squad) that shouldn't be so much of an issue...I still think United will fall just short, the lack of a midfield general when Keane's missing will be crucial...neither Miller or Fletcher look QUITE ready just yet. But considering you deserved a draw with such a depleted side, you could well beat em to second...

Still reckon the way we've played without Sol and Paddy shows we're probably a better squad of players than last season...a lot more youngsters (Flamini, Van Persie and Reyes were our last 3 signings...all 20)...and lots of flexibility with Reyes, Van Persie and Pennant all providing various options in midfield and up front...be a tighter race though which'll certainly be more interesting...after Easter last season it became all too easy for us...up until then it was tight enough but once you lost to Portsmouth and Chelsea lost to Villa, after we battled back from 2-1 down gainst Liverpool, the momentum all switched to Highbury.

That in the end could tell for Chelsea...United and Arsenal have been here many times before...for Chelsea this is really only their second year at the party.

CFC
16-08-2004, 05:06 PM
Dang. We should have gotten an EPL fantasy league going. To bad I decide to think of this after the season starts.

Mistikle
17-08-2004, 01:48 PM
and now Owen's left Liverpool... :icon_surp
which isn't that great but hey we win some we loose some!

Sarah
17-08-2004, 01:50 PM
and now Owen's left Liverpool... :icon_surp
which isn't that great but hey we win some we loose some!

Once you go to Real, you end up slacking off and turning shit... I feel sorry for Michael.

Mistikle
17-08-2004, 02:25 PM
yeh... what your saying is kinda true, no offense but look at Beckham, he's not as big as he was at Manchester

Sarah
17-08-2004, 02:38 PM
Beckham slacked off big time.

Mistikle
17-08-2004, 03:21 PM
i agree because he hasn't kicked as many goals and just all the Beckham stuff that normally happened when he was at Manchester

Hazzle
17-08-2004, 09:14 PM
Beckham may not be as big or have won as much at Real, but he's by far a better player...as one who analyses football his all round game is far improved...

At United he was a big fish in a small pond...at Real he's a big fish in a shark tank :) Trust me this season...Becks will OWN Madrid.

Mistikle
18-08-2004, 07:33 AM
yeh but what's gonna happen to Micheal Owen?
he was a great player in Liverpool... wont he turn into a small fish?

DragonRat
18-08-2004, 10:09 AM
Michael Owen will be a big fish, but he will have little time to really show off his goal-poaching skills. With Raul, Ronaldo, and Morientes in the mix, he will be fighting and competing for a first-place position. Unfortunately, even with Raul's bad season, he still remains the captain, and he'll pretty much have a first place all to himself. Which leaves Ronaldo, Morientes, and Owen vying for that second spot. At Liverpool, he could easily compete and take a spot from Cisse and Baros, simply because those two are (to be honest) just not in the same class as Ronaldo or Morientes.

However, Owen is a different type of striker than the others. For one thing, Owen is by far the fastest of the four. Combine him with Ronaldo's technique or Morientes' penalty box play, and you could easily have 60 goals.

deviljet88
18-08-2004, 10:27 AM
Hm... Anyone else thinking selling Michael Owen was a stupid decision by Liverpool? I'm not sure about their first team squad, but compared now to Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal or even Newcastle, it looks crap.

Hazzle
18-08-2004, 11:19 AM
Michael Owen will be a big fish, but he will have little time to really show off his goal-poaching skills. With Raul, Ronaldo, and Morientes in the mix, he will be fighting and competing for a first-place position. Unfortunately, even with Raul's bad season, he still remains the captain, and he'll pretty much have a first place all to himself. Which leaves Ronaldo, Morientes, and Owen vying for that second spot. At Liverpool, he could easily compete and take a spot from Cisse and Baros, simply because those two are (to be honest) just not in the same class as Ronaldo or Morientes.

However, Owen is a different type of striker than the others. For one thing, Owen is by far the fastest of the four. Combine him with Ronaldo's technique or Morientes' penalty box play, and you could easily have 60 goals.

What he said...seriously this guy knows his football. Owen'll fucking OWN in Madrid...he'll just take some time to settle in...it takes about 6 months...but Becks got an injury mid-season to boot (which people forget) and thus it took him a full season...assuming Michael stays fit watch for him to start bagging goals for fun in January.

Personally I suspect Owen'll be more used in Europe...Ronaldo more domestically...and Morientes used as a sub for both.

Hm... Anyone else thinking selling Michael Owen was a stupid decision by Liverpool? I'm not sure about their first team squad, but compared now to Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal or even Newcastle, it looks crap.

Nope...it was selling him for 8 million now or getting nothing next season...you tell me which is better? They're NEVER winning the title this season...so what was the point keeping him and losing him for nothing? It was OWEN'S decision that he wanted to leave...the club couldn't keep him against his will...as he'd not give 100% and would go for free next summer...they were afraid of losing him for nothing as Real were willing, it seems, to wait to talk to him in January (the earliest time at which they can approach him without it being "tapping") about a move next summer.

As for Newcastle v Liverpool in first teams...you MAD?! Fuck me the Liverpool first team reads as follows:

Dudek
Josemi
Carragher
Hyppia
Riise
Nunez
Gerrard
Alonso (looks almost done)
Kewell
Cisse
Baros

That team's pretty good...won't challenge the top 3 but it's better than:

Given
Hughes
Woodgate
O'Brien
Bernard
Dyer
Jenas
Butt
Robert
Shearer
Kluivert

Liverpool's back four looks far better, and for me so does their midfield...the front line is closer but again I'd give it to Liverpool, especially if Baros does what he does for the Czechs. Cisse will score 20+ goals in the league this season...trust me. For me he's actually a better all-round player than Owen...he's as good as Drogba and cost half.

For me Chelsea's first team squad looks the best...but they lack cohesive team play...against United they were playing like a pub team and United should've gotten at LEAST a draw...for me United played FAR better football, were far better on the ball...they just didn't take the few chances they created...I tell you if Ruud had played they'd have drawn, or maybe even won that game.

And that, for me, is why Arsenal are still the team to beat...cohesive play...our first team is strong, our squad is not so strong as others though...but I think our team spirit and the way we play will see us good.

CFC
18-08-2004, 11:43 AM
And that, for me, is why Arsenal are still the team to beat...cohesive play...our first team is strong, our squad is not so strong as others though...but I think our team spirit and the way we play will see us good.

I agree that Arsenal is the team to beat in the league this year. But do you think they will be able to go undefeated again?

Hazzle
18-08-2004, 11:45 AM
I agree that Arsenal is the team to beat in the league this year. But do you think they will be able to go undefeated again?

We might...we might not...I wouldn't put it past this team...then again it's a big ask...I put no pressure on them to go unbeaten again...if we do it it'll be a fucking awesome achievement. But realistically? No...I don't see any team EVER doing it again.

deviljet88
18-08-2004, 12:02 PM
I've got a soft spot for Newcastle and Shearer :P On the Liverpool team I only rate Kewell (though last season he didn't fit in well), Baros, Gerrard and maybe Riise. But we'll see...

Hazzle
18-08-2004, 12:45 PM
Gerrard, Kewell, Baros, Cisse, Riise, Hyppia, Alonso...all world class players...

Dyer, Butt, Shearer, Kluivert...all world class players. Jenas is a top class player in the MAKING...other than that it's pretty weak.

4 world class players versus 7 is no competition mate. Alonso for me will be a STUNNING buy (at 22 he's very impressive...if we had sold Vieira he'd have been a good replacement, that's how high I rate him...and Real were interested before they looked at Vieira). Hyppia and Cisse were both sought after by Barcelona...Baros by Real and Gerrard by Chelsea...nuff said really.

CFC
07-09-2004, 12:52 AM
Wow how did this get lost. Anyway a lot has happened.

Man Utd bought Rooney from Everton for around £20m.

Champion's League groups are out.

There was some World Cup qualifying this week. The US looked alright, I thought there was gonna be a fight in their game for a second. England was rather disappointing blowing a 2 goal lead to Austra.

What else has happened?

I just felt the need to resurrect this thread.

deviljet88
07-09-2004, 01:43 PM
Arsenal's kicking some serious butt. Them and Chelsea still undefeated, correct?