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  #676    
Old May 21st, 2012 (12:19 AM).
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Some of my favourite comments during the match were "Bayern are being really unChelsea tonight" and "Di Matteo should become a professional Casino player, he's quickly amass millions".

But hey, notice a pattern in CL winners these years?
2009: Barça after beating MU
2010: Inter after beating Barça and Bayern with a ridiculously defensive setup
2011: Barça after beating MU
2012: Chelsea after beating Barça and Bayern with a ridiculously defensive setup
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  #677    
Old May 21st, 2012 (01:00 AM).
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How exactly were they supposed to stop a team like Barcelona whose style of play involves keeping the ball as much as possible and constantly attacking or Bayern who play wide and create infinite chances in a game? They defended, like I'm positive many teams would have done. They played against two of the best attacking teams, knowing they themselves aren't that much when they attack; an inconsistent striker in Torres and an aging, one-chance player in Drogba. It's called tactics; I don't know why people are that much criticizing a TACTIC. Not the most appealing, but hey, it worked, right? They defend with as much as possible and wait for a chance to counter or make use of their -- albeit limited -- set pieces [which they scored from]. Besides, they only defended against those two teams -- and to an extent, Benfica in the second leg -- and people are generalizing that they always 'park the buss'.

But they got lucky. Bayern have only themselves to blame [and Gomez and Robben]. Clear chances went to waste and they couldn't exploit the absence of 4 starting players from Chelsea, two out-of-form CBs, a penalty, and the penalty shootout which Bayern are usually experts in. Add to that playing on their home ground. The way I see it, everything was against Chelsea and for Bayern.
  #678    
Old May 21st, 2012 (03:33 PM).
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I don't blame them for it, I mean it worked and they won. It was still a hell of a lot more entertaining than Barca passing us all into a deep coma last year. They simply played how any weaker team would've and got away with it because Gomez had an off night.

Chelsea going to need some rebuilding next season anyway, another year clocks on for the old players and it looks like Drogba & Torres will soon be leaving. Finishing 6th in the first place is a cause for concern.
  #679    
Old May 22nd, 2012 (09:03 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Captain Fabio:
Chelsea's next plan is to buy 6 new defenders and change their formation to 9-1-0.

Seems to work for them.
http://www.chelseafc.com/page/LatestNews/0,,10268~2785353,00.html

Make that 10-0-0. With Drogba gone, they're going to lose a lot of attacking power outside of Torres, Ramires and Lampard. Which is still decent I guess but they might find themselves a bit lacking up front if they wanna keep using their bus.
  #680    
Old May 25th, 2012 (11:53 PM).
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And so, for the ages, the 2011-2012 Athletic Bilbao team will be remembered as "that group of people who played very well and had wonderful matches against United and Schalke and then lost their two finals with a really pathetic display". Two 0-3 conceding two goals before the 23rd minute in each (last night, Barcelona had even scored the third one in the 24th already, we had to wait until the 87th for it) don't really speak very well about them. They are a very young team and they can improve greatly as this was just their first real chance to win anything, but such a failure at the end of a really promising season might hit them hard :\
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  #681    
Old June 3rd, 2012 (04:23 PM).
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I fully expect this to erupt when the Euros start and will be disappointed if it doesn't.

Anyway, England took a blow thanks to this awful tactic yesterday.



It's things like this that ruin football.

Anyway, I'm predicting Germany will win the tournament this time around, although I'm sure I said that before the World Cup too.
  #682    
Old June 6th, 2012 (05:07 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Nuke:
I fully expect this to erupt when the Euros start and will be disappointed if it doesn't.

Anyway, England took a blow thanks to this awful tactic yesterday.



It's things like this that ruin football.

Anyway, I'm predicting Germany will win the tournament this time around, although I'm sure I said that before the World Cup too.

This was a complete joke. Surely it would be time for Fifa to step in and do something about that? Blatent push. Seems typical that one of our best players has something like this happen to them and nothing really is made about it.

As for prediciting this, I know for a fact England won't win it, I can't understand some of the choices Hodgson has made for his team, bringing Kelly up instead of Ferdinand being one of many things I really don't understand.


Paul Lambert has been confirmed as new Villa manager as well, what's people's thoughts on that? I don't think he's that bad a manager, not sure if he's quite the standard Villa should be looking at though.


Birmingham have apparently given Houghton permission to talk to Norwich though. I'm a fan of Houghton, think that would be good for Norwich.
  #683    
Old June 8th, 2012 (01:15 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Nuke:
Anyway, I'm predicting Germany will win the tournament this time around, although I'm sure I said that before the World Cup too.
I personally think Germany are a bit overrated-or, in any case, have been underperforming for the expectations they have created every time. Nobody is going to deny that they are a force to be reckoned with, as three world cups and three Euros prove, but they also have a gigantic record of always falling one step short of the glory- they have lost 4 WC finals (more than they have won) and 3 Euros (as many as they have won), not to mention a large run of being defeated in semifinals.

In fact, in the last three major tournaments, they have been the fan-favourites. Germany? Damn, they were playing at home! And then Italy came and beat them in an epic match, just being the same Italy as ever. Austria? They had been playing very well and were used to win stuff- and Spain were the eternal losers. Until then. South Africa? Löw had learnt his lesson, and they had been scoring goals by the dozen whereas Spain had been clinging to 1-0's. And 1-0 it was, and Germany had something ridiculous like 2 shots on target in the whole match.

In short, Germany haven't won anything since 1996- that's 7 major tournaments in between- and no German team has won the CL since 2001 - 11 years ago. And you see, this year Barça were weaker and a wonderful victim for Bayern at home- and then Drogba came in instead and everything went to hell.

I'm not saying that the Germans should be ruled out, at all, they may win it no doubt, but I think that their favouritism should be taken with a grain of salt.
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  #684    
Old June 9th, 2012 (05:46 AM).
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Winning, not winning... I'm seriously can't say whether we are even going to get through the group stage until after the Portugal game. Was Jogi Löw trying to pull a Sepp Herberger and the team intentionally performed so absolutely horribly in these test games to get rid of the expectations (which, in this case, didn't work out as planned) or do we just suck?
  #685    
Old June 9th, 2012 (06:31 AM). Edited June 9th, 2012 by Went.
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Euro 2012, Day 1:

Group A, 1st Round

- Poland 1 - 1 Greece: The Poles started with great energy, ready to impress the home crowd, and they steamrolled the Greeks for the first half an hour, with a uncontested goal included. Of course, the ref (Velasco Carballo- ¡hola!) had to mess it up by sending a Greek defender off for no apparent reason- and suddenly the Poles started playing like crap. Szczezny (sorry if his real name has nothing to do with my spelling XD) gifted the Greeks their first goal and almost costed his team a second one, with a stupid penalty that was kicked in a really pathetic way by the Greeks, who could barely believe what was going on. And they could have very well won. Group A is going to be very interesting.

- Russia 4 - 1 Czech Republic: The Czechs started really well but, as soon as they lost a ball, the Russians taught them how to counterattack in a beatiful wave that ended up with the ball hitting the wood before being pushed in. Since then, the Czechs didn't appear again, other than for a few flashes in the second half that helped them get at least a consolation goal (thaks to some shambolic defending from the commies). Otherwise, it was a perfect example of how NOT to play a passing style. The Russians didn't even have to put on pressure, they just simply had to be somewhere around the Czech player with the ball to calmly pick it up after one of their constant abysmal passes and set up a lethal counter. Special mention to Pavlychenko's goal, that was highly impressive. Can see them easily winning the group.

Group A:

Russia 3pt
Greece 1pt
Poland 1pt
Czech Republic 0pt

- Tonight: Group B 1st Round
Netherlands - Denmark (6PM CET, 5PM UTC)
Germany - Portugal (8:45 CET, 7:45 UTC)
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  #686    
Old June 10th, 2012 (05:53 PM).
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Very nice summary of the first two games, Went.

I don't think I'll go as in depth since there's six games worth of posting I have to catch up on. Honestly, I think it has been a disappointing start to the tournament and only Russia have really lit it up so far. (No offence here Went) Spain are tipped to win another tournament and they started without a striker, I think that pretty much sums it up. I'm glad that tactic effectively backfired and hopefully the danger they posed with Torres (who is still on a terrible run of form) on should encourage Del Bosque to stick a lone striker on from now on.

Time for England's inevitably disappointing campaign to start today anyway. :P
  #687    
Old June 11th, 2012 (12:12 AM).
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Am I the only one who has been impressed with ONLY Russia so far? Spain fell short in my eyes, Netherlands were shocking, Italy weren't bad but still couldn't convert.
Big teams aren't impressing me and I am finding lower matches more impressive.
  #688    
Old June 11th, 2012 (01:04 AM). Edited June 11th, 2012 by Went.
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Euro 2012, Days 2 and 3:


Group B, 1st Round

- Netherlands 0 - 1 Denmark: The first upset of the tournament, and a very well deserved one. The Oranjes had a very individual mindset and each one wanted to go and win the match by himself alone, which resulted in a myriad of failed attempts. Meanwhile, the Danes simply kept a clear order and relied on the errors from the Dutch to counter- and it worked perfectly. It was one of those days when the two teams could be playing for three hours and the result wouldn't change, as the ref showed in the last minute refusing to concede a handball penalty for the Netherlands.

- Germany 1 - 0 Portugal: "zzzzzzzzzzzuh? Look, what the hell is Pepe doing? Christ, it almost went in!" That completely describes the first half, probably the most boring one so far. Tactical markings, longballs to nowhere and all chances just being wasted as soon as anybody got any close to the box. It was ridiculous. The second half was the same yawnfest until the Germans woke up and started trying some shots, and it got better when, out of nowhere, Mario Gómez headed one in when he was about to be substituted. Then Portugal broke the rope that had been holding then for the entirety of the match and started bombarding the German goal- they almost scored a couple of times. But alas, it was too late. Who knows how it could have ended hadn't they wasted the first half.

Group B

Germany 3pt
Denmark 3pt
Netherlands 0pt
Portugal 0pt

(Tiebreaker condition: UEFA rankings)

Group C, 1st Round

- Spain 1- 1 Italy: SACA A UN DELANTERO VICENTE POR DIOS AAAAAAA- I mean! Entertaining match, with each half being dominated by each side alternatively. Italy started playing really well against a Spain without any strikers (for the love of god) and had some beautiful chances- but Ballotelli, good grief, he's so out of it. He wasted some absolute sitters, specially one when he was completely alone against Casillas... and he waited for Ramos to appear and snatch the ball before attempting to do anything. Ridiculous. Meanwhile, Iniesta created all the danger in the Italian side, although the few shots taken by Spain went off-target. In the second half, Spain swapped positions and the wingers stepped up, creating loads more of danger in the sides. As a result, Italy started playing counter and Di Natale found the goal right after getting in the pitch. When it all seemed lost for Spain, a beautiful pass from Silva was made justice by Cesc, equalizing the match. Del Bosque decided to (omg) put a striker and, as bad as he might be lately, Torres alone created more danger than all of Spain in the previous hour- shame he missed two one-on-one chances. Llorente anyone?

- Ireland 1 - 3 Croatia: First of all, the Irish have very good arguments to be angry about the ref- Croatia's second goal was clearly offside and Keane was blatantly penaltied later. Even so, Croatia showed more during the match and Ireland only created serious chances from set pieces. I'd like to make a more in-depth summary but I was watching F1 then and I had to make do with a video review of the match XD

Group C

Croatia 3pt
Spain 1pt
Italy 1pt
Ireland 0pt

(Tiebreaker condition: UEFA rankings)

- Tonight: Group D 1st Round
France - England (6PM CET, 5PM UTC)
Ukraine - Sweden (8:45 CET, 7:45 UTC)
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  #689    
Old June 11th, 2012 (01:38 AM).
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That's new, didn't know Portugal were in two groups! :P
  #690    
Old June 11th, 2012 (11:25 AM).
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Well I'm typing this while being bored to death by Ukraine and Sweden. It's not even a bad game, it just seems so uninteresting.

Anyway, England claimed a good result against superior opposition and we should have a good chance of progressing from the group. The referee became more and more of a joke toward the end of the game though.
  #691    
Old June 11th, 2012 (03:57 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Nuke:
Well I'm typing this while being bored to death by Ukraine and Sweden. It's not even a bad game, it just seems so uninteresting.

Anyway, England claimed a good result against superior opposition and we should have a good chance of progressing from the group. The referee became more and more of a joke toward the end of the game though.
Do you really think France are superior? I think they were too even teams considering the players playing for both teams. I think the result also reflected this.

Referee was certainly shocking though. Oxlaide-Chamberlain (spelling?) looks like he could be a damn good player though, also disappointed with how deep England were defending at some points. Anyway, first game over with and it wasn't a loss so that's a start.

Just wondering why he didn't start Defoe either, the most natural finisher England have and it wasn't like we had many chances.

Also, what does everyone think should happen with Russia in regards to the fans? I'm sure I read something about them attacking both Irish and Croatian fans after their game as well. Just wondering whether the team will be made an example of with regards to them cracking down on this sort of thing. I feel for the players and the fans that have gone to genuinely support their national team though.
  #692    
Old June 13th, 2012 (04:15 AM).
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Well, the most entertaining moment of the two matches yesterday, was seeing Cech pull off a complete howler of a mistake, leading to a goal, even though it wasn't enough for Greece, but still painfully amusing; he doesn't seem to do well at Euros, does he.
  #693    
Old June 13th, 2012 (06:42 AM). Edited June 13th, 2012 by Went.
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Euro 2012, Day 4 and 5:

Group D, 1st Round

- England 1 - 1 France: Do you know England? The stereotypical England? Let's see: bus? Check. Desperate counters as only way to get close to the goal? Check. A keeper that gives off a constant feel of danger (even if he stopped two wonderful shots)? Check. Scoring from a set piece? With a header? Double check. The Sun celebrating the draw? You can bet on that. The only way for England to have been more English would have involved drinking tea while playing. Without Rooney they couldn't expect anything else sadly. If anything, France are the ones who should be angry about the result. They felt very diesel-y: it took them waaay too long to start up. They learnt something from the games people played against Chelsea though: the best way to get through the bus is not even trying and shooting from outside- the goal came that way and Hart had to save two great efforts. Still, not enough- more was expected from them.

- Ukraine 2 - 1 Sweden: Sweden could be renamed to Ibrahimovicland and nobody would notice a thing since he was the end of all their serious attempts and -let's be honest here- they wouldn't even be playing the Euro if they didn't had such a beast in their team. He buried a great pass with his heel in a move you'd hardly expect from such a giant. But, sadly, he eventually lost to Shevchenkoland. This guy is eternal, and, even if his feet aren't as good as they used to be, his head is still fit for everything- including beating a guy who must be like 30cm higher than him in a jump to score two goals. The crowd must have helped a fair deal though, they were celebrating as if it were the final and not the first match of the group stage.

Group D:

Ukraine 3pt
France 1pt
England 1pt
Sweden 0pt

(Tiebreaker condition: UEFA rankings)

Group A, 2nd Round

- Czech Republic 2 - 1 Greece: If England were stereotypical, the Greeks outdid themselves: not a single shot in the entire first half, just defending and hoping for a mistake from their rivals to score (Petr, really? Really?). Except, well, they failed at the defending part, and deploying the Greek Bus™ is pointless if you let two in while some people are still taking their seats on the stands. It was very sad to watch them attempt to attack with utter desperation in the last minutes- save for a disaster, they might only have 90 minutes left to play in this tournament. Against Russia. Meanwhile, the Czechs can aim for a draw against Poland in the last day- not that it's going to be that easy though. But they did look much better than in the first match.

- Poland 1 - 1 Russia: Boy, that was a surprise! Although the match was definitely more heated than it would have been if any of them had been facing, let's say, Italy or Sweden, instead of a rival with such a shared, deep, intimate political hatred. That definitely helped the Poles, at Russia is still a much better team, but in a derby like this, specially with the weaker team playing at home, quality becomes much less relevant than in other cases. A very thrilling match, although I don't think the police enjoyed it that much.

Group A:

Russia 4pt
Czech Republic 3pt
Poland 2pt
Greece 1pt

- Tonight: Group B 2nd Round
Denmark - Portugal (6PM CET, 5PM UTC)
Germany - Netherlands (8:45 CET, 7:45 UTC)
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  #694    
Old June 14th, 2012 (12:30 AM).
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Great matches to watch yesterday. Highlight for me was Netherlands vs Germany.

That game was very fast paced and just exciting. Also, Gomez is on such a roll it is untrue!
  #695    
Old June 14th, 2012 (05:59 AM).
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Hurrah for Poland actually having something to play for in the last match, especially after managing to not lose to Russia. Can certainly say that match meant a lot to the polish supporters. Hopefully they can get a win against the Czech, although our coachs needs to be more ambitious with his subs (or lack thereof) from the first match against Greece. That cost us then; their subs clearly changed things whiles our sole (forced) change was questionable anyways with who he took off.
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Old June 14th, 2012 (10:42 AM).
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Sick of the people saying we parked the bus against France, Italy did against Spain & Denmark did against Netherlands. There has been no bus parking in the tournament as far as I'm concerned and each of these teams did their fair share of attacking.

Anyway, I think I just witnessed one of the better games of the tournament, Italy vs Croatia, it's a shame that one of them will probably go out.
  #697    
Old June 15th, 2012 (08:28 AM).
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Lol.

So the Ukraine vs France match has been suspended due to crazy weather. Mass amount of rain and crap loads of thunder overhead.
They are going to wait 30 minutes before making a decision.

I don't remember the last time a match was suspended due to weather in this type of tournament...
  #698    
Old June 15th, 2012 (08:38 AM).
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This match being abandoned threatens to ruin my record of watching every match. It would be so cool to be in that stadium right now though.
  #699    
Old June 15th, 2012 (02:05 PM).
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BOOM. WE LONG YOU ENGLAND, WE DO!

Awesome match, though I think my life has been shortened due to stress! XD
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Old June 15th, 2012 (02:12 PM).
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Quality of football = very average
Quality of entertainment = up there
Quality of Theo's New Star Soccer inspired goal = off the charts

Shame about Stevie Me stealing that chance from Chamberlin and some of our defending.
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