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Old 2012-04-07, 01:15   Link #3281
RapidPotential
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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As I've said before, when I saw the draw for the quarter-finals I was absolutely convinced UEFA were going to follow up last year's semi-final El Clásico with the UEFA Champions League Final this year. It will be record viewership ratings for a single televised match of the UEFA Champions League, I'm sure, what with two of football's biggest supergiants fighting it out for Europe's biggest prize.

Whilst the teams that Barça and Real were drawn against aren't exactly pushovers (you can't say Chelsea or Bayern are poor), they will prevail in my opinion.
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Old 2012-04-07, 01:45   Link #3282
Kokukirin
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With Bayern regaining their top form, the Bayern - RM tie is going to be an excellent match up. I don't really know which is a better team. RM has a stronger back four (on paper) but Bayern has a stronger midfield (on paper). They play with the same 4-2-3-1 with a style that is somewhat similar to each other. I think Bayern will get more possession, but RM is so deadly on the counter.

I don't think Mourinho would repeat the same tactic in the 2010 CL final though. RM is not really Inter.
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Old 2012-04-08, 13:04   Link #3283
RapidPotential
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In your face Manchester City and Nasri? We ended your trophy hopes. If Arsenal overhaul City for second-place I'm sure to laugh all the way until daybreak.

Stupendous effort from Arteta. I remember mentioning to a friend that Hart would lose to a long shot, and I was spot-on.
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Old 2012-04-08, 13:13   Link #3284
SaintessHeart
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Saw the match just now between Arsenal and Man City. That has got to be the saddest red card ever.
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Old 2012-04-08, 13:41   Link #3285
justavisitor
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I love you Arsenal!!! (from a Manchester United fan )
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Old 2012-04-08, 14:00   Link #3286
SaintessHeart
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Today's Man U vs QPR was a joke.....QPR split their forces out with 1-3-5-1 (offensive-midfield-star-player) lineup while Man U walked over them with a 1-4-4-2 (defence-heavy-midfield-centric), they should learn that there is no such thing as solo in team game.

QPR got themselves a lousy red card from a cross-eyed linesman. Their goalkeeper (Kenny) was panicking at the first free kick which didn't score.

OTOH, Arsenal would have finished the game with a 2-0 if it wasn't for the screwed up 2x header in the initial free kick at 15 minute. The whole game was boring overall and the 1-0 was damn lucky....could have ended with 0-0.

I can't wait to see another Red (Arsenal) vs Red (Man U) lineup. It would be like the British-French colonial wars in the 1800s all over again.....in a football stadium.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.

Last edited by SaintessHeart; 2012-04-08 at 14:11.
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Old 2012-04-08, 21:25   Link #3287
germanturkey
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saddest red card? he should have been off in the first half with a straight red. he had been making horrible tackles the whole game.
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Old 2012-04-09, 02:10   Link #3288
Azuma Denton
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Ooow, Balotelli...
Why always you?
Because only you who would provide us with entertainment so horrible like that...


Is this the Manchester City who dominated first half of EPL this season??
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Old 2012-04-09, 02:19   Link #3289
Kokukirin
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Spanish players need winter breaks. No coincidence that both Mata and Silva see a significant drop in form after the new year.

But more astounding is the number of points Man Utd picked up since Paul Scholes returned. In 2012 they only dropped points to Newcastle and Chelsea and won all the rest. Their 79 points in 32 games is second only to Real Madrid in top European leagues, beating even Barcelona. And that's achieved by one of the weakest Man Utd squad in last two decades. There is something seriously wrong with EPL this year.
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Old 2012-04-09, 05:43   Link #3290
Bri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kokukirin View Post
But more astounding is the number of points Man Utd picked up since Paul Scholes returned. In 2012 they only dropped points to Newcastle and Chelsea and won all the rest. Their 79 points in 32 games is second only to Real Madrid in top European leagues, beating even Barcelona. And that's achieved by one of the weakest Man Utd squad in last two decades. There is something seriously wrong with EPL this year.
Imo it shows the power of squad depth and rotation. United's first XI may not be impressive, but the sheer size of their squad filled with good players pretty much guarantees league consistency against weaker sides. With Arsenal and Chelsea in transition, the league has been a two horse race.

Considering their inability to peak , it's not surprising that United been unsuccessful in knockout competitions.
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Old 2012-04-09, 08:46   Link #3291
monsta666
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I think Arsenal's biggest problem isn't there lack of depth in their squad but their defensive frailties. Even until quite recently you could include goalkeeping problems in that mix; remember the Almunia/Fabianski clown show anyone? Those defensive problems have cost them a lot in the Premier League and even more so in Europe. If they could have a solid back line like in the past then they could mount a more serious title challenge. The other factor working against Arsenal is a lot of players are leaving and quite a few are coming in so the squad is not settled and a lot of the new players are lacking the belief they can really win things.

If Arsenal can improve on their defence and prevent players leaving the club (Man City in particular) then they will get a good team fairly quickly. Just look at the players Arsenal have lost to city alone: Toure, Adebayor, Nasri and Clichy. All of them are good players and those could have been the difference between a distance 3rd/4th place and a title challenge.

Things are looking up for Arsenal as Chelsea are past it and need new players ASAP to replace the ageing Drogba, Lampard, Anelka. Then in the next season or two Chelsea need to consider replacements for Terry and Ashley Cole. Not sure how Man City will fair, if I were the owner of the club I would hire the "special one" to sort the divas in the Man City dressing room. Mourinho does have experience dealing with such things as he been with Real Madrid and has made that club into a organised unit. Man United are not as strong as years gone by but with Fergie at the helm you dismiss them at your own peril. The major disappointment for United would be their European performance this season. Is it a sign of things to come or just an aberration? They will have to prove themselves next season to silence the critics.
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Old 2012-04-09, 10:17   Link #3292
Bri
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Arsenal and Chelsea are interesting opposites.

Stan Kroenke is a 'moneyball' fan, and treats his clubs as he would investment funds. Arsenal will not buy overvalued players nor try to retain players at any cost. Financially it's one of the healthiest teams around, but that will prevent the club from winning prizes as long as their salary cap will not allow them to retain their best players. However if they keep this up they will win the Deloitte Money League some time...

Roman Abramovich on the other hand, exemplifies throwing money at the wall. He wants to win the champions league sooo bad, yet it always remained just beyond his grasp, mainly due to his impatience for success. By sacking manager after manager, he created an atmosphere of quick fixes and short term policy rather than allowing any manager to build a side over time. This to the relief and delight of football fans across Europe I'm sure.
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Old 2012-04-09, 11:08   Link #3293
RapidPotential
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On the subject of clubs and their players, the win over Manchester City may be pivotal in persuading Robin van Persie to stay at Arsenal. Surely we'll have to be able to topple star-studded squads like theirs if we are to mount a serious title challenge come next season. Yesterday Arsenal pressed City to death and had a 62-38 possession ratio. At one point it was at 78-22. I also believe Arsenal are the only team this season with the honour of reducing a normally potent City attack to having absolutely no shots on target throughout 90 minutes.

You cannot buy class with cash. It's been proven that even the cheapest players can turn out to be absolute gems. As for Balotelli, he was seriously asking for a red from the moment he made the challenge on Song. He just leaves his studs in lazily (typical Mario, pfft) and does not make an effort to pull out even though he knows he is never getting to the ball.

For Arsenal's main problems, it's always been a lack of depth in defence, rather than a lack of quality defenders in central defence. It's a big problem when you have defenders who have high and low games in see-saw fashion, without any semblance of consistency. However, Arsenal's injuries tend to befall midfielders and defenders, curiously enough, and this has led to numerous defensive pairings formed throughout the season. This season though, Koscielny has been imperious, bouncing back from a horror start to the campaign to firmly establishing himself as one of the premier centre-backs in the Premier League, with the added consistency too.

Vermaelen has always been prone to committing too quickly and getting turned every once in a while and I think he has been unlucky with a couple of costly slips this season. Fantastic goal-scoring defender though. Also, whoever said Arteta was not a solid signing (because he doesn't add the killer passes which were missing when Cesc left), they can eat their words. Arteta has made the most passes of any player in the Premier League and his ability to position and cover for attack-minded midfielders has been outstanding. He also takes more shots from outside the box, which Arsenal players tend not to do. That won the game for us against City.
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Old 2012-04-09, 17:20   Link #3294
germanturkey
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i wonder how Chelsea recruitment will go this summer. "no, you won't get champions league football. you might not get europa league football. but you will get a huge ass paycheck and get to sit on the bench!"
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Old 2012-04-09, 17:52   Link #3295
Bri
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Winston Bogarde might come back out of retirement for a deal like that.
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Old 2012-04-09, 19:53   Link #3296
Kokukirin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germanturkey View Post
i wonder how Chelsea recruitment will go this summer. "no, you won't get champions league football. you might not get europa league football. but you will get a huge ass paycheck and get to sit on the bench!"
I sincerely hope that Newcastle will claim the 4th CL spot and celebrate it by renaming their stadium back to its rightful name. But Chelsea's old guards still have some good games in them to finish ahead of Newcastle and Tottenham.
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Old 2012-04-10, 01:08   Link #3297
risingstar3110
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Well if only Asernal draw and Chelsea won, then the fight for 3rd and 4th place in EPL would have been fabulous with all 4 candidates equal in term of points with 6 games remaining, and there are still some matches among them
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Old 2012-04-11, 17:02   Link #3298
germanturkey
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jesus United, can't you win the title already. i don't want city to have a chance... but Aguero scoring 2 helped my fantasy team a bit..
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Old 2012-04-11, 17:42   Link #3299
Kizoku Keenan
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Being a united fan is the most nerve wrecking thing any person can do to themselves.
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Old 2012-04-11, 19:29   Link #3300
germanturkey
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i disagree with that statement. anyone who is an Arsenal fan can tell you we've had more heart stopping moments in the last few seasons than any other high profile team.
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