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Waragainstsleep Sep 1, 2012 12:36 PM
2012-13 EPL Season
After the rip-roaring success that was the two or three people that were interested enough to join the Euro 2012 thread a couple of months back, I thought I'd start one on the new English Premiership season.

My thoughts:

Last season Mac City underachieved given the quality of their players, Man United overachieved given theirs. City have just about managed to get a couple of players in at the end of the Window and should be even better but they don't look like doing it on the pitch yet.

Adding Van Persie takes United from a weak-looking squad that would have overachieved again to a far more formidable prospect. Maybe still a little weaker than they'd like in other areas though.

Spurs implosion since the middle of last season is baffling, as is Arsenal's choice of operating strategy in recent years. I cannot see the point of rebuilding if you are going to give up halfway through.

Chelsea look formidable on paper this season with their new additions and their early results. It will be fascinating to see how they stack up against the big opponents.

As time goes on I am getting more and more disillusioned with Brendan Rogers at Liverpool. I have to admire what he did at Swansea, and what Laudrup has continued there so far, but he hasn't put a foot right at Liverpool yet as far as I'm concerned with the one exception being giving Raheem Sterling some time in the first team and even my Mum could have worked out that was a good idea. The way he has treated Carroll is nothing short of foolish and his transfer policy now looks imbecilic. We have two strikers left on the books. Two. At this stage they'd be mad not to go after Drogba and Owen but I get the feeling they won't. Pity its too late to move for Del Piero.
Rogers has come in and fixed a problem that Liverpool didn't have and looks to have made their real problem significantly worse. Yet another case of progress being undone.
How Southampton can land Gaston Ramirez and Liverpool can't sign a striker period is beyond me.


Anyway, Arsenal will come 4th again because they seem to be incapable of doing worse than that under any circumstances, the title will be a three horse race between City, United and Chelsea. Liverpool, Spurs, Swansea and Sunderland will fight for 5th IMO.
 
mattyb Sep 1, 2012 01:00 PM
City will win it, and win it big. Van Persie signing has proved that Fergie is senile. 29 years old FFS. We need a Keane or a Cantona, and we need him in midfield.

Agree about Rogers, look what Carroll did today.

Its a long season, with lots of very big games for the Champs League teams, one or two key players out for a month or so will change everything for the followers like Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal etc. Sorry, but can't see Liverpool doing anything. Maybe another Cup win. Maybe. Owen at Anfield, wonder what odds you'd get for that.
 
Waragainstsleep Sep 1, 2012 02:34 PM
I forgot Newcastle, they'll be fighting for 5th as well. Agree Liverpool will win nothing unless they recall Carroll and change style/manager or spend very big in January. Only just heard that Sturridge wanted a permanent move which is why he didn't come on loan. Still prefer Carroll but there you go.

Thing is, who is available as a Keane or Cantona type player? There aren't many. I was surprised AF didn't get Sneijder.

I never rated Keane that highly anyway. Cheating and fouling was the biggest part of his game and at any other club he wouldn't have gotten away with as much as he did and he still got a fair few red cards as I recall.

Van Persie cost a lot for a player his age but last season he was simply superb. He knows the league inside out, creates goals as well as scoring them, I can see why he commanded such a fee. You clearly aren't going to get that level of play from him for more than 3 or 4 years at the most but if he averages 20 goals a season and you win one title or more he is money well spent.

I hadn't heard the interesting consequences surrounding the renewed TV rights next year. Basically if you can spend £100M and it guarantees you stay up, you'll break even on that investment. There is going to be some serious money spent during January, might make things very interesting indeed.
 
mattyb Sep 2, 2012 04:33 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep (Post 4187835)
Thing is, who is available as a Keane or Cantona type player? There aren't many. I was surprised AF didn't get Sneijder.
Nobody under £35 million that would make the difference. Plus when you have players that good why would they come to Manchester as opposed to somewhere in Spain or Italy?

Quote, Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep (Post 4187835)
I never rated Keane that highly anyway. Cheating and fouling was the biggest part of his game and at any other club he wouldn't have gotten away with as much as he did and he still got a fair few red cards as I recall.
Said like a true Scouser. He (and Cantona) had charisma, teams were frightened of them, they could change a game (either through skill or motivating the others). A Talisman if you want. A number 7 in the true Man Utd sense.

Quote, Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep (Post 4187835)
Van Persie cost a lot for a player his age but last season he was simply superb. He knows the league inside out, creates goals as well as scoring them, I can see why he commanded such a fee. You clearly aren't going to get that level of play from him for more than 3 or 4 years at the most but if he averages 20 goals a season and you win one title or more he is money well spent.
With a bit of luck, they could have won the title last season (not saying that they deserved to). Need a Champs League win, and (even though I'm not complaining) not by a missed penalty from a serial adulterer. If Persie can help Man Utd do that, I'll eat my hat. With the defensive lineup, I can't see it happening. Goals aren't the problem, the back four is where the weakness is. Reminds me of the Keegan philosophy : we can always score another goal. Doesn't work as shown by Utd's piss poor Champs League showing last year. Who the **** are Basel anyway?

Quote, Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep (Post 4187835)
I hadn't heard the interesting consequences surrounding the renewed TV rights next year. Basically if you can spend £100M and it guarantees you stay up, you'll break even on that investment. There is going to be some serious money spent during January, might make things very interesting indeed.
Pity those that take the risk and don't stay up.
 
Waragainstsleep Sep 2, 2012 06:44 AM
I dislike him just as much but Cantona was a far, far better player than Keane.

Liverpool were worse than last year today. One or two good spells but never looked like scoring. I watched a Youtube montage of Borini scoring prolifically when he joined but he seems to have literally no end product. He doesn't like passing when he has the slightest sight on goal but when he does pass it goes nowhere. I don't think anyone bar Shelvey had a shot on target today. Suarez was in one of his "it should be easier to get a penalty than a shot on target" moods today but that was never going to happen with a Man U player refereeing the game ;) I doubt we'd have scored the pen if we'd got one anyway. New guy Sahin had a couple of chances to shoot and refused to even try.

Allen is great at getting good pass stats but doesn't play risky, inventive or useful passes so whats the point? Given that Downing and Shelvey were our only attacking options on the bench I have to question Rogers' sanity even more today. No Adam Morgan? No Assaidi? I'm getting more and more disillusioned with BR on a daily basis right now.
 
mattyb Sep 2, 2012 08:52 AM
Well **** me.
 
Waragainstsleep Sep 2, 2012 08:55 AM
Looking like money well spent now huh?
 
mattyb Sep 2, 2012 09:14 AM
We'll only be able to see that in May.
 
mattyb Sep 25, 2012 11:50 AM
Didn't see any of the game, but I'll take a win over Liverpool anytime. Vidic out for 8 weeks. :cry:

BTW disgraceful what Utd fans sang after the match.
 
Waragainstsleep Sep 25, 2012 03:23 PM
Some of ours weren't much better with what they said to Halsey on Twitter afterwards.

The ref had a poor game though. I'm obviously biased, but if Shelvey warranted a red, so did Evans at the same time and so did Van Persie nearer the end. I think we had two clear penalties denied too. The first one would have been very soft if it had been given. Ferdinand leant on Glen Johnson until he fell over so he couldn't chase a loose ball that went all the way across the area from a corner. He would have certainly gotten the ball first and kept it in, though hardly in a very dangerous position, but it was a clear and deliberate foul and it was in the box so it should have been a pen. The second one was typical recent Suarez. There was contact, but he looked overly flamboyant as he went down and given his reputation its easy to see why it wasn't given. That said, if its not a pen, its a clear dive and the ref didn't punish him for it. Still, even when he doesn't dive, he goes looking for penalties too often. If you're going to do that, you have to be prepared to put yourself in harms way and get hurt without waving your arms about and making a fuss.
I'm pretty sure Valencia dived though. Johnson denies making contact at all but Valencia was practically on his knees before Johnson even got there. Reina was very unlucky not to save it at any rate, he got a fairly good hand to it. I thought he had actually saved it for a split second as my stream stuttered.

It was typical of recent Liverpool. Lots of possession, no end product, poor finishing and not enough shots for the possession really. They run out of ideas around the box and worst of all seem reluctant to even get in there for someone to put a cross in. The few attacks United made they did some lovely passing but overall they hardly turned up. They wouldn't have won without the extra man, though they might have got a point. Sterling should have stayed on until the end, he was terrorising Evra. We looked even less threatening without him.

I really don't understand Rodger's problem with Carroll. Or why FSG wouldn't stump up for Dempsey. You'd think he'd help push the brand stateside and be worth paying a little over the odds. Having handed over all that cash for Andy due to necessity, you wouldn't think they'd quibble over a couple of million for a proven creative goalscorer who would sell them shirts in the US. I'd also like to see this kid Yesil get a first team game, he seems to know where the goal is better than anyone right now and hasn't had a run out yet.
 
mattyb Feb 10, 2013 01:10 PM
Nice to be so many points ahead, but I'm not counting out City yet.

Hope that I can see the Champs League game somewhere.
 
Waragainstsleep Feb 10, 2013 06:00 PM
This season is sadly lacking in competition. Its a pity because I actually think that standards of play have slipped across the board but somehow United have just kept winning games they really shouldn't have and nobody else has done that. They look like they'll run away with it now. Its difficult to call who will get 2nd through 6th though.
 
mattyb May 8, 2013 04:10 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep (Post 4187891)
Looking like money well spent now huh?
Yes, yes it was.

Now, who is going to replace Fergie? Moyes seems to be the bookies favourite, but I'm thinking Phelan would step up.
 
Waragainstsleep May 9, 2013 04:44 AM
I'd be quite pleased with Moyes actually. A manager who has never won at Anfield in 10 years of trying ;)
 
mattyb May 9, 2013 06:28 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep (Post 4229809)
I'd be quite pleased with Moyes actually. A manager who has never won at Anfield in 10 years of trying ;)
LOL.
 
mattyb May 9, 2013 09:57 AM
Makes me laugh when stuff like this starts.

Moyes to take over, Rooney to quit, Ronaldo to come back.
 
Waragainstsleep May 10, 2013 03:55 AM
I don't see Ronaldo coming back tbh. He is a much better player now than when he left United, and I assume still a big shirt seller, particularly in the far east. I can't see United paying £60M for him let alone the £100M Real would probably want. They have a lot of money but not Sheik/Oligarch money to burn.

The Rooney one is interesting too. Where would he go? He will face the same problem of squad rotation at City or Chelsea or PSG. Basically anyone who might think they could afford him.
 
mattyb May 10, 2013 12:40 PM
I can see Rooney at PSG. Purely as a marketing exercise of course - just like Beckham. If he does go there, his England career will be over though - if it isn't already. Then PSG will implode from having too many stars. And no, I don't see Ronaldo coming back either.

Wonder what Moyes has been told, if anything, about selling or buying. I also haven't read anything about any backroom staff following him. And what will happen to Phelan? If Moyes is as clever as he seems, Phelan will just carry on as before. It would be nice to see some more young'uns coming through. It seems that Utd haven't been producing as well as they did in the past.

Then of course if Morihno comes back to Chelsea, it might be harder for the other big teams to recruit. City can't always just splash the cash - RVP as evidence.

The summer will be interesting.
 
Waragainstsleep May 12, 2013 10:11 AM
RVP knew he'd get more games at United. If only because there were fewer egos to compete with.

I heard Neville might go (back) with Moyes. I heard he will try to bring Fellaini with him too.

If Mourinho goes back to Chelsea, I suspect they will win the league next year. On paper they have an excellent team and its been ten minutes or so since Abramovich spent a pile of cash on a striker, so the rumour that he'll go for Falcao is believable to me. I guess Torres would go back to Spain then. Probably Atletico by choice. Maybe a swap deal.

It'll be interesting to see who else Moyes buys in the summer. I imagine there will be a few deals already in place so he might not get too much say in it, but I don't think anyone would argue against Fellaini.

Man City will try to spend big again but its hard to see where. The problem with the whole 'galactico' approach is that its difficult to foster team spirit amongst 11-18 superstars who all believe themselves to be such. Too many mercenaries, a bit like QPR but better quality ones. Mancini is a good manager in many ways but if you are going to spend so much on players, I think you need a manager who has an even bigger ego then they do. Mancini comes across as a bit too quiet and humble to reign them all in the way he needs to. Many of his players 'phoned in' the season in the wake of winning it last year. Look at the FA Cup Final.

Liverpool are a tricky one to predict in terms of the summer market. Often there will be one or more well-known players who will make me think, "maybe they will make the difference this year" but I don't see that happening this summer. Whoever Rodgers gets in will be a largely unknown quantity to me I suspect so I won't whether dare to hope until I've seen them settle in and play. I can only hope he unearths a few more gems like Coutinho. Unless he can persuade Xabi Alonso to come back. Also hope we have the stones to hold on to Suarez.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but it doesn't feel like there are too many big signings to be made this summer (by anyone). Falcao has attracted interest (but not bids) for some time, but it would surprise no-one if he stays put. Rooney going would be a big deal for the english press but not really anybody else. I don't see Ronaldo moving (has he got a CL medal yet? That might sway him I guess). Munich have already blown their wad domestically by the looks of it so an exodus from Barca seems unlikely too. It sort of feels like the big spenders in Man U, City, Real, Chelsea and PSG have already bought all the big players and there aren't really any left to move this summer. I'm probably wrong, but it feels that way at the moment.
 
mattyb May 12, 2013 02:25 PM
Fellaini would be a great addition. You have to wonder what Everton will put up with though. Joke question : would they take Rooney back for 3 or 4 players?

Several stories that Mancini is out. I have a feeling losing to Wigan was just too much. Don't know anything about Pellegrini.

I think that you're right regarding transfers. Dortmund's Polish striker will probably big the biggest name to move. Maybe some South Americans? Doubt anyone in the UK would take on Rooney so PSG looks most likely - he could commute with Becks and share hookers on the Eurostar. Yeah Ronaldo got a medal against Chelsea, 2008. He scored the goal but missed his penalty.
 
Waragainstsleep May 13, 2013 09:26 AM
I think there are teams in England that would take Rooney, not sure there are any he'd go to. Maybe Chelsea but no-one else. Abroad I think its PSG or Real or no-one. I don't see any other team wanting to stump up what would surely be an overinflated price for him.
 
Waragainstsleep May 13, 2013 09:28 AM
Also of interest is Benitez. He wants to stay in England but knowing he wants to go back to Liverpool I don't think he'd go to Everton if they'd even entertain having him (especially after that "small club" comment). He'll fancy Man City but would they fancy him? They might you know. If he wins the Europa League it would further cement his undeniable talent at European competitions. Could be worth a little bet actually that one....
 
mattyb May 13, 2013 11:06 AM
Good point about Benitez at City, never thought of him there. Think he's 'big' enough for the owners?

I wonder if Fergie wasn't really supposed to open his mouth about Rooney. I suppose he had to after leaving him out against Swansea.

Wonder whats going to happen to Lampard. Still a great player. Seems idiotic not to give him a yearly contract.
 
Waragainstsleep May 13, 2013 12:04 PM
I don't think he is really 'big' enough, but I think they might make the concession if they think he'll win them a european trophy or two, which he very well might.
 
mattyb May 24, 2013 05:06 PM
 
Waragainstsleep May 24, 2013 09:48 PM
No transfers yet and next season is already shaping up to be very interesting indeed.

Man City should get better since whoever takes charge will spend cash. Same is true of Chelsea and they'll be better still if Mourinho returns. I like to expect Liverpool to get better but I've learned not to. They need to sign a few players and those they do will need to prove themselves. If they get another Coutinho or Sturridge they'll be on to something though. Also need to keep Suarez. I expected United to get worse. Spurs too, whether they hold on to Bale or not. Which I expect they won't.

The really interesting thing is that had Ferguson stayed and Mourinho come back and bought a Falcao or Ronaldo with him (or both) I think Ferguson would have moved for Bale and got him. Will United have the same pulling power over players without AF? Or will they wait a year or two to see how things turn out under Moyes?

I think there are so many super rich clubs now and so few available world class players, and the ones who are pondering moves know better than to follow the money under the assumption it will bring trophies. Particularly in Europe.

The more I think about it, the more I think City would be stupid not to appoint Benitez. He has proven time and again he can do well with under performing or underrated squads in Europe or cup competitions and while his league success is not like that of Mourinho or Ferguson, he hasn't had the time Ferguson had to build or the money that either of them had to spend and he still managed to beat the spanish old firm. (Was he the last one to do so?) And his 2009 Liverpool side should have won the league but let him down, (also true of the 2007 ECL, Milan were poor but Liverpool were worse).


Arsenal are next years darkest horses. They finished very strongly and are threatening to spend big. Are they back or playing for 3rd or 4th place again?
 
mattyb May 25, 2013 11:31 AM
Just seen that its Napoli for Benitez. NAPOLI, WTF? Suppose being in the Champs League is enough for Benitez.

Agree with you about player pulling power of AF. "Hello its David Moyes." will probably get a "Who" response from anyone not in the UK. Looks like he might get Fellaini to Old Trafford though.
 
Jawbone54 May 25, 2013 07:40 PM
Arsenal rumored to be pursuing Rooney, as they're committed to spending around £70 million, and are committed to the wage demands as well.

As a Gunner loyalist, I'm in favor of purchasing a formidable striker, but I'm convinced it can be done as effectively, but cheaper, with enough to spend elsewhere, especially on the back line and/or a new keeper.
 
Shaddim May 26, 2013 02:00 AM
Yes. Gunner here too. They don't need to be wasting that much money for Rooney, there are others who are as good who can be had for much less. Depth at keeper is a worry.
 
Waragainstsleep May 26, 2013 10:50 AM
I heard they were in for Sunderland's Mignolet. He's good, I rate him. Which striker will they go for though? Lewandowski is headed to Bayern and Neymar now to Barca, other than Rooney that leaves Falcao? I don't think Suarez would go to Arsenal but I guess you never know.
 
mattyb May 26, 2013 12:33 PM
If there's one person who could use Rooney to his fullest potential it's Wenger. He's probably the best manager overall after Fergie (IMHO) although I do hate the Gooners. You have to wonder if Gill wants to take the risk of playing against Rooney though. I still see PSG (due to Champs League, not Premiership and still commutable) as the most likely place.

Neymar to Barca is a great capture. I never thought that Man Utd could have him, but probably better its them instead of a London club.

As an aside, nice to see Robben finally win something. Apparently a bit of a prima donna but again IMHO, a great player.
 
Waragainstsleep May 26, 2013 02:59 PM
Yes, I always thought Robben was good and Chelsea foolish to let him go.
 
Waragainstsleep May 28, 2013 09:46 AM
Just saw a stat which makes me think Fellaini would be a good fit at United: 203 fouls in 83 games.

:p
 
mattyb May 28, 2013 10:29 AM
And why Suarez is so good for LFC : At the age of 15, Suárez was red carded for headbutting a referee.
 
Jawbone54 May 28, 2013 11:12 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep (Post 4232271)
I heard they were in for Sunderland's Mignolet. He's good, I rate him. Which striker will they go for though? Lewandowski is headed to Bayern and Neymar now to Barca, other than Rooney that leaves Falcao? I don't think Suarez would go to Arsenal but I guess you never know.
I believe Falcao was swooped up by AS Monaco, taking advantage of Atletico's dire financial situation.
 
mattyb May 28, 2013 11:39 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Jawbone54 (Post 4232454)
I believe Falcao was swooped up by AS Monaco, taking advantage of Atletico's dire financial situation.
£50 million is hard to refuse in this economic climate. I'd love to see Monaco do well, just to shake up the PSG/ Marseille/ Lyon hegemony.
 
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