Return to General Talk

Artful's Soccer Thread

Moderator: Baseball Moderators

Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:45 pm

j24jags wrote:Who the f*** was that Miquel guy who came in for Arsenal and played left back? He certainly played a role in the goal they allowed and made several other noticeable mistakes. I'm not saying Arsenal was the better side today, but Miquel did not help their cause. The rest of the backline was pretty good overall. They generated some chances, but obviously came up short.


Miquel came on for Djourou who was injured. I don't think you could blame him being the youngster who had to fill in during a big game.

Arsenal played fairly well today but were utterly useless in the final third. Gervinho in particular played to type as a pacey player with frustrating lack of end product. Same for Walcott. Wenger did the curious thing of pushing Aaron Ramsey higher up the pitch when usually he's forming a deep three-man midfield pairing with Alex Song and Mikel Arteta.

It was quite an interesting game, all in all. City had trouble retaining the ball and couldn't keep a firm hold on the game. They also played narrowly up front, which meant that it was easier for the fullbacks to cover despite not being in the right positions. Arsenal were able to push City in the final third especially in the second half but lacked any real edge.

As I've probably said long ago, I haven't been convinced that City will be a runaway train in the Premier League. It seems like Roberto Mancini is trying too hard to shake off the overly conservative label and playing a more open, attack-minded game. It hadn't worked in Europe and they risked not getting the three points in a fairly even game against Arsenal. So, Man United are only two points back of City including a great performance over QPR (should have scored more goals than 2-0). Should be level with City given that annoying home draw vs. Newcastle.
Image
The Artful Dodger
Chief Wikitect
Chief Wikitect

User avatar
CafeholicResponse TeamFantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyePick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 21871
(Past Year: 370)
Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Downloading rice

Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:04 am

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.


Arsenal-Milan will be too close to call on paper, IMO.

Milan aren't best suited to playing three or all of Pato, Robinho, Ibrahimovic, or Cassano on the pitch simultaneously, and each of the four provide something different up front. Koscielny or Mertesacker could better contain a hold-up man like Ibra, but struggle against a pacier Pato whose job is mainly to get behind the lines. KPB can play as a third forward at times coming out of midfield, but that's not where he's best deployed.

Milan tend to be susceptible down the flanks, where Gervinho and Theo Walcott's pace can cause some fits. Thiago Silva is class at the back and Alessandro Nesta is most useful as a footballing brain being past his best before picking up recurring back ailments. They could still have trouble when Van Persie plays a false-nine and marks one of the two center backs out of position. Granted, Van Persie plays as a permanent frontman these days, but I think in games where he's dealing against a great CB partnership, he's best dropping back instead of waiting on the supply (which he did against the loss vs. City).

Going to be close but I see Arsenal slightly edging it. Should be a joy to watch, as well as Napoli v Chelsea. I'd say the two English teams drew the toughest assignments. Barcelona and Real Madrid got decent draws whereas I think APOEL Nicosia have a good chance at upsetting Lyon. Just a hunch.

The Europa League is looking strong too. Defending Europa League champions Porto face Man City. I can't get excited about the Europa League really, although the Man United v Ajax Amsterdam tie provides a great sense of occasion. Two of the world's truly great footballing institutions who have been influential in establishing the ideal aesthetics of football.
Image
The Artful Dodger
Chief Wikitect
Chief Wikitect

User avatar
CafeholicResponse TeamFantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyePick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 21871
(Past Year: 370)
Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Downloading rice

Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:14 am

Of course, Barcelona proved they're by far the best in the world, officially, soundly trumping Santos of Brazil, 4-0 in the FIFA Club World Cup final.

Not the best quality here, but indulge in the highlights:

Santos v Barcelona - FIFA Club World Cup 2011

It was really quite a mauling from Barca, as they just put on a passing exhibition and a lesson in total football, with a terrific opening goal from Lionel Messi and an exquisite goal from Xavi on the second with that impeccable control.

David Villa figures to be out for the season, injured in the semifinal against Al Sadd but of course, with the kind of depth Barca have, they shouldn't skip a gear, no?
Image
The Artful Dodger
Chief Wikitect
Chief Wikitect

User avatar
CafeholicResponse TeamFantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyePick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 21871
(Past Year: 370)
Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Downloading rice

Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:20 am

That aforementioned goal from Xavi:

Image

A great team goal but that control from Xavi is sublime and what makes it.
Image
The Artful Dodger
Chief Wikitect
Chief Wikitect

User avatar
CafeholicResponse TeamFantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyePick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 21871
(Past Year: 370)
Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Downloading rice

Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby lastingsgriller » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:44 am

The Artful Dodger wrote:
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.


Arsenal-Milan will be too close to call on paper, IMO.

Milan aren't best suited to playing three or all of Pato, Robinho, Ibrahimovic, or Cassano on the pitch simultaneously, and each of the four provide something different up front. Koscielny or Mertesacker could better contain a hold-up man like Ibra, but struggle against a pacier Pato whose job is mainly to get behind the lines. KPB can play as a third forward at times coming out of midfield, but that's not where he's best deployed.

Milan tend to be susceptible down the flanks, where Gervinho and Theo Walcott's pace can cause some fits. Thiago Silva is class at the back and Alessandro Nesta is most useful as a footballing brain being past his best before picking up recurring back ailments. They could still have trouble when Van Persie plays a false-nine and marks one of the two center backs out of position. Granted, Van Persie plays as a permanent frontman these days, but I think in games where he's dealing against a great CB partnership, he's best dropping back instead of waiting on the supply (which he did against the loss vs. City).

Going to be close but I see Arsenal slightly edging it. Should be a joy to watch, as well as Napoli v Chelsea. I'd say the two English teams drew the toughest assignments. Barcelona and Real Madrid got decent draws whereas I think APOEL Nicosia have a good chance at upsetting Lyon. Just a hunch.

The Europa League is looking strong too. Defending Europa League champions Porto face Man City. I can't get excited about the Europa League really, although the Man United v Ajax Amsterdam tie provides a great sense of occasion. Two of the world's truly great footballing institutions who have been influential in establishing the ideal aesthetics of football.


I figure we will see Pato and Ibra up front with Robinho coming and providing a spark from the bench once Arsenal's D wears down. Cassano is a piece of garbage and I hope he is relegated to the bench permanently.
again, I think this one will be a mauling in favor of Milan. I really see no hope for Gunners, but hopefully you are right and it comes out a great match.

APOEL seem to be the tournaments darlings for the darkhorse team to make an unexpected run. I don't really get it. I watched one of their games against Porto and they seemed to be pretty low quality and lacking excitement.. maybe they were just a bit off form in that game, but certainly didn't look anything special to me.

The Napoli-Chelsea match is the one I think will be most exciting. I really hope they are wide open games, because if it is, these two teams can provide some serious excitement. Cavani and Hamsik are really fun players to watch..
Follow me on the twit! @chadmiller16
lastingsgriller
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Cafe WriterCafe Ranker
Posts: 3883
(Past Year: 81)
Joined: 21 Jan 2009
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: ..skipping the light fandango.

Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby lastingsgriller » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:49 am

The Artful Dodger wrote:Of course, Barcelona proved they're by far the best in the world, officially, soundly trumping Santos of Brazil, 4-0 in the FIFA Club World Cup final.

Not the best quality here, but indulge in the highlights:

Santos v Barcelona - FIFA Club World Cup 2011

It was really quite a mauling from Barca, as they just put on a passing exhibition and a lesson in total football, with a terrific opening goal from Lionel Messi and an exquisite goal from Xavi on the second with that impeccable control.

David Villa figures to be out for the season, injured in the semifinal against Al Sadd but of course, with the kind of depth Barca have, they shouldn't skip a gear, no?


how did Neymar fare in this game?? I've heard Neymar talked about like he is the next Ronaldo or Ronaldinho, but I've never seen him play.
Follow me on the twit! @chadmiller16
lastingsgriller
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Cafe WriterCafe Ranker
Posts: 3883
(Past Year: 81)
Joined: 21 Jan 2009
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: ..skipping the light fandango.

Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:11 am

lastingsgriller wrote:I figure we will see Pato and Ibra up front with Robinho coming and providing a spark from the bench once Arsenal's D wears down. Cassano is a piece of garbage and I hope he is relegated to the bench permanently.
again, I think this one will be a mauling in favor of Milan. I really see no hope for Gunners, but hopefully you are right and it comes out a great match.


You overrate Milan. In terms of marquee names up front, they seem a potent attack but like I said, the attackers fit different purposes and they themselves are hit-or-miss. Antonio Cassano is the frustrating striker who can bag a difficult goal on occasion but lacks the bottle to finish. Ibra is a seemingly lazy hold-up man who can slow down the attack but can make up for it with on-the-ball technique and his height. Robinho is the typical skill player who can't be arsed at times to show up.

Milan haven't really been a fluid side in attack, aside from the individual flourishes of their star attacking players. In fact, they've even struggled to open up the lesser teams in Italy; recently Bologna and Siena come to mind.

lastingsgriller wrote:APOEL seem to be the tournaments darlings for the darkhorse team to make an unexpected run. I don't really get it. I watched one of their games against Porto and they seemed to be pretty low quality and lacking excitement.. maybe they were just a bit off form in that game, but certainly didn't look anything special to me.


I haven't seen any of APOEL's games or at least not that I remember off the top of my head. They were able to gut out results against the likes of Porto and Zenit and that's sort of all that counts. I mention they have a good chance to upset Lyon, who outside a remarkable win against Dinamo Zagreb, have been fairly unconvincing in Europe.

lastingsgriller wrote:The Napoli-Chelsea match is the one I think will be most exciting. I really hope they are wide open games, because if it is, these two teams can provide some serious excitement. Cavani and Hamsik are really fun players to watch..


I think this and the Milan-Arsenal game could be potentially open-ended. AVB has Chelsea playing deeper and cutting out the adventurous high backline strategy when he doesn't have the personnel to keep up with attackers getting in behind. Chelsea need to be less wasteful on the ball because Napoli are usually deadly on the counter.
Image
The Artful Dodger
Chief Wikitect
Chief Wikitect

User avatar
CafeholicResponse TeamFantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyePick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 21871
(Past Year: 370)
Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Downloading rice

Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:18 am

lastingsgriller wrote:how did Neymar fare in this game?? I've heard Neymar talked about like he is the next Ronaldo or Ronaldinho, but I've never seen him play.


Well, it was difficult for Neymar to make a big impact in the game when Barcelona retained the ball to death as usual and he was starved for service. The other promising Brazilian attacking player for Santos, Ganso was far more impressive when he got hold of the ball. Composed on the ball and really made some lovely passes.

Neymar is closer to Robinho than the next Ronaldo. Skilled flair player with tantalizing potential, but not the finished product and would be a shame if he's the sulking player Robinho was/is who could use a major dose of motivation to get going. He's only 19 and has some room for improvement.
Image
The Artful Dodger
Chief Wikitect
Chief Wikitect

User avatar
CafeholicResponse TeamFantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyePick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 21871
(Past Year: 370)
Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Downloading rice

Re: Artful's Soccer Thread

Postby The Artful Dodger » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:51 am

Terrific result for Man United at a venue that has posed as a bogey ground for United in recent years: 5-0 over Fulham at Craven Cottage. Blistering first half for United, Fulham were more lively in the second half, but United had two superb goals from Rooney and Berbatov to cap it off.

Man City did the business, 3-0 vs. Stoke at home and Aston Villa continue to be rubbish, losing 2-1 at home to Arsenal. I've got to see Newcastle-WBA and QPR-Sunderland both of which resulted in 3-2 wins to the respective away sides, West Brom and Sunderland.

Some very entertaining games in this midweek round in the Premier League and that includes the Wolves-Norwich 2-2 thriller yesterday. Hope we're treated to an excellent game tomorrow between Spurs and Chelsea.
Image
The Artful Dodger
Chief Wikitect
Chief Wikitect

User avatar
CafeholicResponse TeamFantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyePick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 21871
(Past Year: 370)
Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Downloading rice

PreviousNext

Return to General Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest