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Artful's Soccer Thread

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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby A Fleshner Fantasy » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:19 pm

teddy ballgame wrote:
A Fleshner Fantasy wrote:Slapping France in the face by not including them, are you? Their league IMO is just as good as the bundisleiga, but whatever.

Nah.


Especially now that Ozil is gone, it's hard to argue that there are any top class teams in Germany aside from Bayer. While Bayern is better than anyone France has to offer, Lyon, Bourdeaux, and Mercier are all teams that at least belong on the same field as some of the other best teams in the world.
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby teddy ballgame » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:20 pm

They don't have as many elite sides yet, but that is changing (Wenger recently said he thought more German teams would begin to assert themselves in the CL in the years to come). But if we're comparing leagues then you have to consider the whole league from top to bottom and I don't think France compares at that point. The Bundesliga also moved past Serie A for CL league slots in the 2012-13 competition.
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:35 am

A Fleshner Fantasy wrote:
teddy ballgame wrote:
A Fleshner Fantasy wrote:Slapping France in the face by not including them, are you? Their league IMO is just as good as the bundisleiga, but whatever.

Nah.


Especially now that Ozil is gone, it's hard to argue that there are any top class teams in Germany aside from Bayer. While Bayern is better than anyone France has to offer, Lyon, Bourdeaux, and Mercier are all teams that at least belong on the same field as some of the other best teams in the world.


I think you mean Bayern, not Bayer Leverkusen? Also, I believe you've mistaken Marseille for something else (Mercier). :-b

Ligue 1 is an important league although not as prestigious as Serie A, the Bundesliga, the Premier League, and La Liga. The French league carries the perception of being boring because the style of play is more defensive-oriented. You don't see the kind of reliance on forwards to carry the goal scoring burden in Ligue 1 as opposed to the other top-flight leagues and there's more of these traditional midfield battles between holding mids and attacking mids. This is why you see the top French teams load up on talented attacking midfielders who are flexible to make runs or act as cover and less on match-winning forwards. Historically, Ligue 1 clubs haven't done as well on the European stage as Italian, Spanish, English, and German clubs, which sort of hurts their standing as a league to the other "Big Five" European leagues. Even the Dutch Eredivisie was considered a strong league because of Ajax Amsterdam and PSV Eindhoven's successes in the European Cup stage, more so Ajax. Only Marseille can lay claim as the only French club to have won the European Cup, but even then OM were punished for match fixing in the league a couple of years after winning the "Big Ears".

Funny to mention that growing up, I remembered a time when Ligue 1 was considered a more fashionable league than England before the advent of the Premier League, some 20 years ago. When Eric Cantona was forced to leave Marseille for Leeds (and Man United eventually), a move to England was believed to be a deathblow to a player's career and needless to say, it was considered a demotion from the big leagues.
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:46 am

teddy ballgame wrote:They don't have as many elite sides yet, but that is changing (Wenger recently said he thought more German teams would begin to assert themselves in the CL in the years to come). But if we're comparing leagues then you have to consider the whole league from top to bottom and I don't think France compares at that point. The Bundesliga also moved past Serie A for CL league slots in the 2012-13 competition.


I'd say over the last couple of years, the Bundesliga has become the third-most significant league behind the Premier League and La Liga. However, you have some who think the Bundesliga is a stronger league from top to bottom than La Liga because Barcelona/Real Madrid are back to being what the Old Firm is to Scotland: two dominant sides who are the only reasonable contenders and then, the also-rans. Gone are the days when the likes of Deportivo La Coruna, Sevilla, Valencia, or even Real Sociedad could challenge for the league, partly to do with the financial climate. Still, Spanish sides not named Real or Barca do reasonably well on the European front and why Spain continues to be regarded as the best league, second to the Premier League.

Serie A is usually considered as a top 3 league at worst, but the league has declined some over the last decade. The decline hasn't been more profound than the "Calciopoli" scandal of four years ago. Juventus were relegated as severe offenders of match fixing while a powerhouse like Milan as well two decently big clubs in Fiorentina and Lazio were also punished for match fixing. The Italian league has kind of served as a coronation for Inter Milan since then. Also, Italian clubs are subjected to higher taxes than say, in Spain, which eats away at the margins at even the bigger clubs. For instance, AC Milan are in a world of hurt because of the high taxes, the debt, and it doesn't help matters when the Milan squad is an old one and in need of some new blood to do reasonably well domestically and in Europe. Serie A used to be the end-all, be-all league like the Premier League is now for many years, but that has changed for a number of reasons outside the league's control although the two big culprits were Calciopoli and the current debt crisis.
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby Mookie4ever » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:54 am

I would pick the Dutch league ahead of the French. They're not as solid overall but the KNVB has Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord and to a lesser extent FC Twente, Utrect and Vitesse.
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby Mookie4ever » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:39 pm

TFC beat the best club team in North America Cruz Azul 2-1 in concacaf champions league 8-o
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:46 pm

Mookie4ever wrote:I would pick the Dutch league ahead of the French. They're not as solid overall but the KNVB has Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord and to a lesser extent FC Twente, Utrect and Vitesse.


FWIW, the Eredivisie is ranked 10th among UEFA club leagues. France's Ligue 1 is still viewed as a top 5 European league behind England, Spain, Germany, and Italy in that order. The Russian Premier League is gaining prominence with the new money infused in the league and is also viewed as a stronger league than the Eredivisie. The Dutch league has declined some since about the mid-90's because while the teams have been able to develop great talent, many wind up going to one of Europe's Big Five leagues. The traditional big three (Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord) have to keep rebuilding every couple of years through their youth systems and the funds off the transfer fees made from the sale of marquee players, especially in Ajax's case. The Dutch teams do a great job of unearthing young homegrown talent who go on to take on a featured role in the national team.
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:50 pm

Last night, Internacional do Porto Alegre (Brazil) won the Copa Libertadores, which is the South American equivalent of the UEFA Champions League, beating Chivas de Guadalajara, 3-2 in the second leg of the Libertadores final (Inter won, 2-1 in Mexico last week). Chivas had a brilliant run through the Libertadores, considered underdogs of the tournament. Win or lose, Chivas would not have represented in the FIFA Club World Cup had they won, given that Mexican clubs are considered as invitees to a South American cup tournament and thus, the representative in the CWC has to be from South America.

It's shaping up to be a battle of two Inters in Club World Cup final this December: Internacional vs. Internazionale (Inter Milan).
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby dream_017 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:47 pm

I will be coaching my sons U8 team this fall. They will be playing 8v8. Any tips, drills, practice plans or other info that would be helpful? I played for 10+ years as a youth. Thanks, I'll hang up and listen :-B
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Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:31 pm

dream_017 wrote:I will be coaching my sons U8 team this fall. They will be playing 8v8. Any tips, drills, practice plans or other info that would be helpful? I played for 10+ years as a youth. Thanks, I'll hang up and listen :-B


I'll spare myself some typing and point you here and there. Developing all skills is important, but I'd say for U-8's, dribbling and passing take on the most importance. Also, based off those drills, you have a better feel for what roles the kids are best suited for. Wide players (fullbacks and wingers) should be able to run reasonably well but should exhibit good control (not getting the ball too far). Central players (centerbacks, central mids) don't necessarily have to be fast, but make good decisions in distributing the ball (ball control is also important).

...and to steer this thread back to its main purpose: the Milner-for-Ireland swap is done, with James Milner signing for Manchester City and Ireland for Villa. Interesting to note that Stephen Ireland was demoted to training with the City reserves a few days ago before finally being shipped off to Villa like a bad habit. So, there you have it, a youth product in the City system since he was 15, broken out as 2009's City "player of the year", and only to be unceremoniously swapped for a player similar to Ireland in Milner, who is basically the flavor of the week at City.
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