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The FOOTBALL Thread (2005-2006)

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Me too, New Chelsea are just totally annoying.


I have never really hated United, I have some lingering respect for them. (But don't tell my mates back in Liverpool, ok?)

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hehe me too, I always support them in Europe. I actually want them to win the title this year, even though it spoils our automatic qualification for Europe, just because 'I would luv it' if Chelsea lost the title. I have respect for Terry and one or two other players, but the rest of them are cheating sods. Joe Cole is an outstanding player but he has to sort his cheating out.


I actually think their run of bad form lately is related to all the stick they have been getting for diving. But the main think I hate about them is Mourinho and his lack of modesty or humility in defeat. He really acts like an 8 year old when he gets beat, refusing to attend post match interviews or refusing to hand credit to the victorious team. He needs to grow up.

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If there were 2 or 3 more games in the season, I'd think it might happen - just think there isn't enough time for ManYoo to catch them.


So I'd really rather we got the 2nd.

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If Chelsea lose one and draw one then I believe man utd can beat them at stanford bridge to go level on points. IT CAN HAPPEN! have faith!

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2 really big games tonight...

Well, 3 if you could Liverpool ;\)


Looking forward to it. It would be so good if West Ham somehow managed a draw (or even a win) and then United mashed up Arsenal.

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I thought we might be in luck when West Ham scored then one of the Chesleas got sent off. So much for that though..


Cracking game with Arsenal - worth staying up for to watch. clap.gif

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From Guardian rumour mill today


"Arsenal are planning to add Joey Barton to their number despite knowing full-well he's English"


lol.gif lol.gif


I've not been keeping track but how is Shaun Wright Philips doing at Chelsea - is he getting the games?

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"The average basic salary of a Premiership footballer is £676,000. (The Independent)"


Not bad hey. Of course the ridiculous amount a certain few are getting is distorting that. It would be interesting to know the average was if they disregarded the top 10%.

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Don't know where it came from giggsy, but you see this?




10th Apr 2006

By Nigel Smith


Last autumn, few could have imagined that a faltering United team would find itself just seven points behind the Premiership leaders Chelsea with five games left to play.


Then, United looked to be going nowhere. Indifferent performances against uncelebrated European opposition had led to early elimination from the lucrative Champions League. The team struggled to score goals and seemed over-reliant on the sublime gifts of Wayne Rooney.


Worse, a woeful midfield display and comic defending in a 4-1 hammering away at Middlesborough, provoked a furious tirade against falling standards and sub-standard players from United’s talisman, Roy Keane.


Sir Alex Ferguson was indicted by fans, players and the media alike for appearing clueless as United decayed. The scouting system had delivered duds. Team selection seemed incomprehensible and was the preserve of an overly defensive coach. United, in short, were a shambles.


Fast forward three months and the picture above seems scarcely possible. United are now entertaining, purposeful and deadly in front of goal. The team’s slick performances against Bolton and most recently at home to Arsenal, were a vivid vindication of Sir Alex Ferguson’s rejuvenation as a master of his trade. The Scottish giant, once derided as being as out-dated as Spam, is back!


How Sir Alex turned United’s season around is worthy of high praise indeed. In part, it can be explained by strange twists of fate. Mostly, it is testimony to a formidable strength of character, endurance, courage and the application of tried and trusted footballing principles.


The premature termination of United’s European interest and the limp performance which marked the end to this year’s FA Cup campaign, did give Ferguson that most precious of footballing commodities – time. Of course, Sir Alex would have welcomed continued involvement in the major cups but the visible wilting of Arsenal yesterday, especially in midfield, amply demonstrated the benefits to the United team of better preparation.


If Sir Alex has reaped the rewards of having six days between matches, he has earned his luck by re-discovering the tactics and attacking philosophy that had driven United to glittering success. Roy Keane’s departure from Old Trafford had the effect of liberating United from a team formation designed to prolong his career as the fulcrum of the side. Ferguson was clearly beguiled by the Irish warrior who had given charisma and an identity to United for more than a decade. Yet, injuries had made Keane less mobile and thus, less effective. The player, whilst still capable at the domestic level, could no longer maintain the highest standards required of elite central midfield performers. In selecting a 4-2-3-1 formation with the sole aim of playing to a fading Keane’s strengths, United lost the width and the attacking vim that had been their hallmarks for 14 years.


Keane’s post-Middlesborough spleen, forced Fergie into abandoning a formation which had stifled United as an attacking force. A supine FA Cup performance against Liverpool aside, the team has not looked back since.


The return to a 4-4-2 formation better suited the personnel available at Old Trafford. The cruel leg and ankle break suffered by Alan Smith at Anfield, the mysterious eye complaint that forced out Paul Scholes and the exhaustion of Darren Fletcher, further narrowed Sir Alex’s options in midfield, leaving him with little choice but to select Giggs and O’Shea regularly. Whilst no-one would pretend this midfield pairing represents the future of United, it has done all that has been required so far. The examination at home to European semi-finalists Arsenal was passed with flying colours. Giggs, free of injury, has flourished as a playmaker whilst O’Shea has proved solidly competent as a defensive shield.


United’s attacking formation has been enhanced by a settled midfield and reinforced by the solid platform Fergie’s defenders have provided. Wes Brown, still perhaps too fragile to be reliable, showed international form before succumbing to injury. In Nemanja Vidic, his seven million pound replacement at centre half, United may have found, at last, the kind of imposing, uncompromising defender needed to bring out the best in Rio Ferdinand.


Even the hapless Mikael Silvestre has looked a different player since being redeployed at left back in place of long term casualty Gabriel Heinze. The harum scarum, school-boy defending is less frequent. Silvestre’s goal assists for Saha at Bolton and for Rooney against Arsenal, proved his worth as a fullback, though they might still not be enough to warrant another year at Old Trafford.


Resolute in defence, imaginative in midfield, United have begun recently to bear comparison with the one-touch, remorseless, attacking football machine of old. Even the gamble of rotating goal-king Ruud Van Nistelrooy with Louis Saha as partner for the immense Rooney, has paid off for Ferguson. Saha’s return to fitness has been a boon and both strikers have scored crucial goals to keep the pressure on Chelsea.


Perhaps Fergie’s most significant achievement in recent months has been to keep intact the player’s commitment to him and to the United cause. A Carling Cup victory over a Wigan side suffering from stage fright, may be small potatoes compared to the thrills of yesteryear but it was proof of the hunger and desire for success of both players and manager. United have continued in similar vein since the Cardiff triumph, joyously chalking up nine straight wins to maintain a firm grip on automatic entry to the Champion’s League next season.


Sir Alex Ferguson, newly armed with a contract for another year, has said that this United team is within two years of greatness. Few would have believed him just three months ago. The fact that the Premiership is competitive again when just six weeks ago Chelsea were 18 points ahead and cantering effortlessly to the title, is a reminder to all his doubters that Sir Alex may still have enough of the right stuff to guide the new United towards a serious challenge for the title ahead of schedule.

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And thats probably without the ad campaigns and endorsements.


Good article Honest John. Still think Chelsea are going to win. It's a great way to end the season though - next season looks like it will be very interesting.

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" ...In fact, for something as brave, I'm indebted to Peter Lorimer. For a bit of nostalgia and to while away a flight to Japan, I read his book. If you don't do seventies football, my apologies, but you don't really need to.


All you need know is that the hard man of the era was Liverpool's Tommy Smith, whose complexion was pimply if you were kind, badly pocked-marked if you weren't. Smith would make a Vinnie Jones or a Mark Webber look like the sugar plum fairy.


Leeds had a new player, Allan Clarke ('Sniffer' to aficionados), who fancied himself a bit. When the two teams met and ran out onto the pitch, Clarke produced a bit of sand-paper from his shorts and said, "Here you go Tommy, a present. It'll help you get rid of all the zits when you're having a bath..."


Smith spent the next 90 minutes chasing Clarke all over the pitch trying to break his leg while the rest of the Leeds forwards luxuriated in the gaping chasms left in the Liverpool defence.


Brave? Undoubtedly."

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Tommy Smith. Now there's a name I haven't heard for a while.


Look at the line up for Sky this weekend:



4/14 (金) 27:40 マンチェスターUvsサンダーランド 181

4/15 (土) 20:40 ボルトンvsチェルシー 183

4/15 (土) 22:55 アーセナルvsウェストブロムウィッチ 185

4/16 (日) 19:55 アストンビラvsバーミンガム 182

4/16 (日) 22:25 ブラックバーンvsリバプール 306

4/17 (月) 20:40 トッテナムvsマンチェスターU 183

4/17 (月) 22:55 チェルシーvsエバートン 184

4/17 (月) 22:55 サンダーランドvsニューカッスル 307

4/17 (月) 27:55 ウェストブロムウィッチvsボルトン 182


9 live games



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