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Artful's Soccer Thread

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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:03 pm

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Arsenal went to Milan 4 nothing, wouldn't you say?

But really, Arsenal were really a shower of excrement yesterday. Gave the ball away too cheaply, got overrun in midfield, Vermaelen picked a great time to lose his bottle, and they had nothing going forward.

Anyway, don't mind me. I'm just going to enjoy Thursday nights on Channel 5 watching Man United in the Europa League vs. Ajax in a bit.
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:12 pm

You have to say Kevin Prince Boateng scored a sweetly stricken goal. Defending was poor, but it takes some serious skill and control to pull off a cracker of a goal such as that:

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He's really come a long way since his Pompey and Spurs days.
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby lastingsgriller » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:21 pm

lastingsgriller wrote:While Arsenal are in good form right now, I think they have just gotten too unlucky with their draw. Milan are really amongst the class of the world right now. I think Milan are way too strong up front and will tear apart Arsenal's back 5, and if anyone is going to keep RvP in check, SIlva-Nesta-Abate are the ones to do it..

Milan 4-1 on aggregate.
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:48 am

Not to take anything away from Milan (they played very well), the outcome was more of a case of Arsenal being piss-poor than Milan playing them off the park out of sheer quality. It really was a shock horror night all around for Arsenal.

A big mistake Wenger made was not taking full advantage of Milan's vulnerabilities down the flanks. Arsenal set themselves up to sit back and hit the counter, but they played it too narrow. It would have helped had Wenger kept Walcott on (subbed for Thierry Henry's swansong) and had he started Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Van Persie was starved for service until he had a proper link-up man in Henry come on, but like I said, the midfield had a poor game. Aaron Ramsey was poor, especially when he had to resort to playing the long balls to the onrushing wingers and/or frontmen.

I thought Milan would win the first leg, but with the right tactics, Arsenal would have walked out down 2-1 or 3-1, and still be in shouting distance of progressing. Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a fantastic game and often times, the defense was flat-footed and Alex Song was often times out of position to help the back four.
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby A Fleshner Fantasy » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:42 pm

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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:01 pm

0-2, 0-2 be, 0-2 be a... Gooner! :-b

I don't dislike Arsenal as much as I did 7-8 years ago, but still, it was amusing to see them crash out of the FA Cup following the beatdown at the San Siro. Another trophy-less season just like that for Arsenal. Deserved win for Sunderland and Sessegnon's pace, as well as Arsenal's careless errors, attributed to it.

So, FA Cup replays for Chelsea-Birmingham (underwhelming Chelsea performance again) and Stevenage-Tottenham (Stevenage looked the more threatening side, Spurs a tad fortunate). Another fortunate FA Cup draw for Chelsea should they advance (Leicester). Liverpool apparently signed Own Goal today (Andy Carroll sighting too 8-o) and for their reward, they get Stoke at home and Liverpool have labored to scrap draws against mid-table teams at (Kl)Anfield.
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:33 am

Back from traveling (this time to China) but managed to catch up on Norwich-Man United and Arsenal-Spurs. Spurs were really run roughshod by Arsenal when 'arry got his second-half tactics disastrously wrong. As for Norwich-United, thank Giggsy (and Ashley Young) for this:

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No Scott Parker next week for getting sent off vs. Arsenal and I like United's chances come Sunday.

Anyhow, it's one of those dreaded international friendly days tomorrow. England v Netherlands, Italy v US, Germany v France, Spain v Venezuela among others.
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:46 am

This GIF is even better. Love, love, love the away end gone mental and Phil Jones flailing his arms like a madman. :-b

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Giggs' celebrations remind me of THAT goal in 1999 vs. Arsenal (except he didn't take his shirt off this time). Way to notch his 900th all-time Man United appearance in style.
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:46 am

I suppose I'm a horrible person for laughing at Klaas Jan Huntelaar eating grass after scoring a goal that put Holland in front 2-0 from a (dare I say) great Dirk Kuyt cross...

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Then I saw Chris Smalling also down on the floor for butting heads with Huntelaar and just said bloody hell, just our luck: another injured United player.

As for the game, it was a good one. England put on a nice fightback with Gary Cahill and Ashley Young scoring before Arjen Robben won the game with a suckerpunch of a goal. Decent performance from a relatively young England side meshing together. Some suspect defending was to England's undoing, especially Cahill unsure with his marking.
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:18 pm

Funny little game between Spurs and Man United today. Spurs were the better side, as their second-string midfield did well to press Scholes and Carrick and they retained possession. United took their chances when Spurs had their defensive lapses and won, 3-1. Not a good performance, but it's the result that counts.

Have to feel very good about United's title chances after getting past a difficult stretch of games unbeaten (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Norwich, Spurs). The schedule gets kinder for United until the big showdown against City at the end of April.

As for City, they still have Arsenal away and potential banana skins against Swansea, Stoke, and Norwich. It's going to be interesting to see how Chelsea will be after sacking AVB and City have to face them again this time at home not too long from now.

Speaking of AVB getting the sack at Chelsea, it shows what a plastic club Chelsea are. It was a silly appointment to begin with from Abramovich shelling out big money for AVB to have to transition the team to one that's best tailored to his style of football. Figures the likes of Lampard, Terry, Cole, the declining old guard had to have their big say in wanting AVB out. Given the time, I think AVB would work out at Chelsea, but that wasn't bound to happen.
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