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Randomville! => The Locker Room => Topic started by: Cockney Rebel on June 01, 2016, 09:33:11 PM

Title: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Cockney Rebel on June 01, 2016, 09:33:11 PM
Have it at peeps!
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on June 01, 2016, 09:40:57 PM
For starters, Southampton might be in the US for a quick tour.

Linkety link. (http://www.saintsfc.co.uk//news/article/20160601-les-reed-southampton-pre-season-plans-3130750.aspx)

From the article:

Quote
“We’ve penciled in a training camp early in pre-season, which will probably be a young squad with the players who don’t play in the EUROs. That’s likely to be in the US – it's not confirmed yet, but it would be a short, sharp trip, probably a week.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Cockney Rebel on June 02, 2016, 03:40:22 PM
Our sources inside the club are suggesting Baltimore
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on June 03, 2016, 10:19:34 AM
Rville meet up in Baltimore?
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on June 07, 2016, 05:34:00 PM
From the BBC:

Everton have agreed a deal with Southampton to make Ronald Koeman their new manager

Here the link: http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/36455355

Apparently 5 mill. was what it took to get it done.

I suppose the new ownership of Everton must've made large transfer spending promises to Koeman, why would he otherwise have agreed to this?
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Cockney Rebel on June 07, 2016, 11:19:53 PM
why would he otherwise have agreed to this?
The six million reasons the ginger judas accepted.
Everton will crash and burn. Next season's QPR
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 08, 2016, 08:18:28 AM
From the BBC:

Everton have agreed a deal with Southampton to make Ronald Koeman their new manager

Here the link: http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/36455355

Apparently 5 mill. was what it took to get it done.

I suppose the new ownership of Everton must've made large transfer spending promises to Koeman, why would he otherwise have agreed to this?

They doubled his wages, too.  But unlike most Saints supporters I don't think that was the only factor.  The transfer budget was a part of it too. It was... everything.  Basically they offered him the moon and stars and he believed in their promises. 
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on June 13, 2016, 10:01:29 AM
http://sotonians.com/chat/saints-next-manager?p=8

Scroll down to the first "Jack Schitt" post.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 13, 2016, 11:08:30 AM
The rumblings about Koeman and the young players/academy have been going on for a bit.  I would guess there is some element of truth to them.

But they only really get brought up when people are mad.  When Saints were in the midst of that January losing spree, all of this got brought up.

Then all the whining about how he didn't play young players disappeared when Saints stuck to their first team rather than play the youth and made a huge comeback up the standings to qualify for Euro.

A month ago, everyone was all happy that Koeman was going to sign.  Now it's all "Yeah the board weren't that happy with them."

So I think Koeman has his flaws, but so does everyone.  People just choose to focus on the negative bits or not depending upon their mood and agenda at the time.

It doesn't really matter.  I think Koeman was a pretty solid manager.  He's pretty professional and all that.  And that is really want Saints needed after Pochettino left and everything looked like it was going sideways.  He steadied the ship.

But I think pure footballing-wise Pochettino is probably a better manager.  And I think there are other better managers than Koeman out there.  It's a risk, because Koeman despite his flaws was pretty good, just not great.

I think Everton is going to regret it.  They are paying a lot of money and putting a lot of trust into a guy who is just pretty good.  They should have taken the risk on Pochettino or someone more interesting.  But since they didn't, now Saints can. 

To me it's an interesting opportunity.  I would rather have AVB or Emery than Koeman, quite honestly.  But I wouldn't have the balls to sack Koeman for someone else.  But since their hand is now forced...
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on June 14, 2016, 10:46:09 AM
Is Bob Bradley available?!? :) :-)
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on July 01, 2016, 09:44:48 AM
Frenchman Claude Puel is Southampton's new manager. He was heavily pursued by Anderlecht but (wisely) declined them.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on July 01, 2016, 01:34:13 PM
Thoughts from rville on Puel?
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 01, 2016, 03:49:18 PM
I'm alright with it. 

Wenger protege, and I've always liked Wenger more than most.  Puel sucked at Lyon, but seems to have been good everywhere else.  Nice sound like they were sad to see him go.  He actually made something out of Hatem Ben Arfa.

Supposedly good at developing academy talent and working on a budget.  Clubs he has worked for mostly follow the buy cheap, keep a few years, sell high model that Saints use as well.  So he's a good fit, philosophically.

He plays a 4-1-2-1-2 Diamond, which is the greatest formation in the history of football.  Which Saints should play as well since the only winger they had who was worth anything was Mane, and he's gone. 
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Cockney Rebel on July 01, 2016, 11:42:38 PM
I think it's a good appointment. Southampton have not made mistakes with the last two managers they brought in and I doubt they've lost that ability to hire the right man for the job.

His job is simple. Just finish above Tottenham, Liverpool and (especially) Everton, even if that means we end the season in 17th place.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on July 06, 2016, 01:44:59 PM
Which Premier club has the most players still in the Euros?

Why, that would be mighty Crystal Palace!

Wayne Hennessey, Joe Ledley, Jonathan Williams (Wales)
Steve Mandanda, Yohan Cabaye (France)
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 10, 2016, 09:23:50 AM
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is far and away the most exciting Saints Football Manager signing ever.

http://footballmanagerstory.com/scout/fm-2016-player-profile-pierre-emile-hojbjerg/
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on July 11, 2016, 02:26:21 PM
Jeez! What a find. I can't wait until 2021....assuming he's still on the Saints. Of course, that's the problem isn't it?
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on July 27, 2016, 11:52:20 PM
I like that Claude Puel tries to do his interviews himself in English.  But they're horrible.  I don't think he's very charismatic in any language so that doesn't help either.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on August 11, 2016, 01:21:07 PM
Not that it counts for anything or means anything, but it does make for fun reading. ESPN's panel of 17 football "experts" has posted their predictions for the upcoming season:

http://www.espnfc.com/barclays-premier-league/23/blog/post/2925680/espn-fcs-predicted-premier-league-table-and-writers-picks

Seems like City is a quasi-universal pick to win the title.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Cockney Rebel on August 12, 2016, 09:19:56 AM
Are these the same experts who predicted relegation for Leicester last season and/or a slip WAY down the table for Saints? No-one knows. Leicester proved that anything is possible and shitloads of oligarch money can just as easily mean fuck all.

But, season starts in less than 24 hours. Excited? You bet!
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on August 12, 2016, 05:01:42 PM
Are these the same experts who predicted relegation for Leicester last season
yes they are.

That's why I said it's just fun to read but means absolutely nothing.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on August 16, 2016, 02:21:54 PM
So it's sounding more and more like Jose Fonte had a heck of a summer and now wants nothing to do with SFC? Is that what you guys are hearing too?

I never really thought he'd leave....
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: MissKitty on August 16, 2016, 03:45:29 PM
Read this (http://www.fansnetwork.co.uk/football/southampton/news/43537), which explains what seems to be afoot with the Fonte thing. Would appear it is more about his agent's relationship with Jose Mourinho than anything else.

Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 16, 2016, 04:13:03 PM
I would tell Man U they can have him for 9m.  I bet they won't even bid it.  Then seeing as how there are no serious bidders for Fonte, I see no reason why he should get a salary increase.

If Man U really wants him for 9m, they can have him.  Saints valued him quite highly because of his "intangibles" but it turns out he really doesn't care about being captain or whatever.  So now he's really just kind of a crap Ashley Williams on bigger wages.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on August 16, 2016, 05:59:33 PM
Interesting stuff. Thanks MK.
And good point, ZK. I mean, I'm not sure what value a 32 year old defender has, and what he will bring to another "big" club. So it's weird if they bid a lot. And if they don't bid a lot...what's the point?

I wonder how Rickie Lambert feels about his decision to leave Saints at a similar point in his career. I wonder if Fonte has spoken to Rickie about such things.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 16, 2016, 07:16:01 PM
I don't think Lambert left totally on his own, tbh.

I suspect that Saints knew he was getting a bit past it and had a bad back.  So when Liverpool came calling-- mostly for Lallana and Lovren-- I think we tried to hype them on Lambert a bit.  And I think we also may have sorta let slip that Lambert wasn't going to get an extension and that we were by no means pushing him out the door, but hey... if he had a great opportunity come up we wouldn't stand in his way.

So between us opening up a great door for him via Liverpool and us giving him an ever so gentle nudge towards it, I think he read the writing and it tilted the scales for leaving just enough.  But IMO, we could easily have kept Lambert had we wanted, and we wouldn't have even needed to give him an extension or raise.

And really, it should have worked out.  He was the type of player (theoretically) that Rodgers liked as Swansea's style was similar to ours.  He'd be playing for his childhood club.  He'd have Lallana to hang out with.  He'd get a bunch of sub appearances and probably start the Cup matches so he would be more a rotation guy than back up.  And by playing less, he'd stay fresh.

It just turned out unfortunately that Rodgers had no idea what he was doing and he got caught up in Liverpool suckage just like Lallana and Lovren. 

As for Fonte, he's fading a bit and that rate will increase.  But he's still a solid, reliable defender and a good guy to have around for a year or two while you search for a replacement.  It's just that for us, he had a greater value in that he was captain and icon, etc.  If he doesn't have that aura anymore, than he's still a good player that we would optimally keep.  But being a small market club, you really can't afford to hang on to big wage, fading veterans whereas for a larger club his transfer fee and wage demands are a pittance. 

Similar to why the Pirates may have to move McCutchen despite how much they like him as a player and as a person for all the things he has done for them.  Or Bruce, Votto, and Phillips on the Reds.  Optimally they would have moved them all last year or even the season before, but they liked those guys and ended up hanging on too long.






Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 19, 2016, 06:28:47 PM
Hojbjerg and VVD= Awesome
Rest of team= Pants
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Cockney Rebel on August 20, 2016, 12:53:17 AM
Hojbjerg and VVD= Awesome
Rest of team= Pants
So, you didn't think Matty Targett's contribution was worthwhile?
No, me either.

Midfield, we were woeful. Way too many final balls that were terrible, way too many crosses that were wasted, often sending the ball out of play. Cedric was knocking them over during the Euro's, at Old Triffid he could hardly kick the damned thing 3 feet without gifting it to a ManUre player.

Oh, and word inside the club has always been that Lambert only went to Liverpool as a 'make up' in Lallana's purchase because of the sell-on fee for Adam.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on August 20, 2016, 09:39:47 PM
I thought the midfield was better than against Watford.  I mean yeah, they were terrible in the final third but at least they were able to get it to the final third.  Against Watford they were giving it away at midfield.

Targett was not very good, no.  But he wasn't terrible, either.  I would be willing to chalk it up to inexperience and that's okay because he needs to learn.  Except that I think the problem with Targett is he isn't fast enough.  And you can't learn fast.  So I'm beginning to think he isn't going to cut it.  Maybe they could try him as a CB or defensive mid?

Cedric does have the tools, but he's been mediocre for so long now I'm beginning to lose some faith in him as well.

Need to bring in an impact attacking player before the window closes.  Otherwise, they look like a team that is pretty good (not great) at defending, and pretty good (not great) at possession, but can't score.  That's a recipe for 13th place.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on September 11, 2016, 12:43:42 AM
Watched the second half of the Arsenal-Southampton match, wow, that was a tough loss for Southampton. That penalty in the 92rd minute was debatable, to say the least.

Kevin De Bruyne continues his brilliance in the Manchester derby, that guy is gold... And still only 25..
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on September 11, 2016, 02:26:52 PM
It's tough to win a game when it's 11 on 11+the referee.

Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Cockney Rebel on September 12, 2016, 05:50:18 PM
It's tough to win a game when it's 11 on 11+the referee.
Actually 11 on 11 + the referee + the linesman
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on September 14, 2016, 06:26:16 PM
In today's Champions League, Belgium's Club Bruges loses 0-3 at home against Leicester and without putting up much of a fight. From what I picked up in the Flemish pre-game press, there actually were expectations here and there that Bruges would be able to "handle" Leicester, and, hey, maybe even eek out a win if it really goes well, because, you know, it's 'just' Leicester. Seriously? How can you be so delusional? The difference between Belgian club football and English club football is like the difference between AA baseball and major league baseball, I'm not exaggerating. Ok, maybe I am just a little. But the difference is HUGE, and to think that Bruges would give Leicester a run for their money is preposterous.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on September 14, 2016, 10:36:38 PM
As it happens, Fox Sports had the game on tonight in relay, and I watched while reading a book. It was even worse than I had expected. Club had exactly 1 real goal opportunity, which came in the 3rd minute of the game, after a brilliant pass from Van Haken (ex-Lokeren, I might add), sending a Club striker alone in front of the Leicester goalie, but alas he missed. After that, it was just terrible. Embarrassing, really. Leicester played a brilliant match, and the score could've been even worse. Wow.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: MissKitty on September 15, 2016, 09:20:26 PM
Saints won 3-0 against Sparta Prague today too, which after the Arse debacle was quite uplifting.
Charlie Austin + JRod = MK girlboner.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on September 15, 2016, 10:40:49 PM
Saints won 3-0 against Sparta Prague today too, which after the Arse debacle was quite uplifting.
Charlie Austin + JRod = MK girlboner.
Are you guys planning on going to see any of the matches in person?

I did 2 years ago when Lokeren played the Europa League (away at Hull City in the last elimination game before group play, and at Lokeren against Warsaw Legia). Some of my best football memories in my life. Lokeren may not reach European play in my lifetime again. So glad that I was there for a couple of games.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: MissKitty on September 16, 2016, 11:03:22 AM
Saints won 3-0 against Sparta Prague today too, which after the Arse debacle was quite uplifting.
Charlie Austin + JRod = MK girlboner.
Are you guys planning on going to see any of the matches in person?

I did 2 years ago when Lokeren played the Europa League (away at Hull City in the last elimination game before group play, and at Lokeren against Warsaw Legia). Some of my best football memories in my life. Lokeren may not reach European play in my lifetime again. So glad that I was there for a couple of games.

Never say never, but probably not since we were just over there in July. I'd LOVE to go back to Prague again but we won't be able to see Saints play them in the away match because I don't have enough days off left this year (plus it is at Thanksgiving and my mother would never forgive us for missing it).
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: MissKitty on September 16, 2016, 11:13:15 AM
BTW, the league reviewed the Arse v Saints match and have benched that ref from Premier League action this weekend.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on September 16, 2016, 04:34:51 PM
Benching the ref is nice, but does that get us our point back?
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on September 17, 2016, 12:22:11 AM

Never say never, but probably not since we were just over there in July. I'd LOVE to go back to Prague again but we won't be able to see Saints play them in the away match because I don't have enough days off left this year (plus it is at Thanksgiving and my mother would never forgive us for missing it).
Your mother is more important than seeing the Saints in Europa League in Prague? (j/k)
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on September 18, 2016, 03:13:04 PM
You could bring your mother to Prague. Problem solved.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: MissKitty on September 18, 2016, 05:12:51 PM
You could bring your mother to Prague. Problem solved.
Ha! I can't even get her to visit us in Cincinnati, and that is only an hour's drive.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 18, 2016, 11:08:40 PM
Thought the Saints played well today.  Should have won by two or three, but oh well.  They pretty much dominated.

I thought Redmond was excellent.  People are talking about the miss, but other than that he was excellent.  Plus it wasn't really THAT bad.  You could see what happened.  He took a brilliant first touch to cut inside, having busted ass to get to that spot.  Then he saw the GK diving and tried to chip it top corner, but just a bit too much adrenaline so he shot high.

Should he have had it? Yeah.  But it is also the kind of miss that happens to everyone.  I was more dissapointed with Long getting the ball in tons of space, taking a leisurely touch, then weakly shooting it.  He could have blasted that, or faked the GK or even gone for a dribble.

Austin has to play, though.  If he stays healthy he scores 20 goals.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on September 19, 2016, 01:22:05 PM
I don't know about Redmond. It wasn't just THAT miss...it seems like he thinks the goal is 15 to 20 feet up in the air, as if he's playing a version of Quidditch. It's in fundamentals that they teach you to make sure you lean over the ball instead of back when kicking it but Redmond seems forget that when he's in the game.

I'm not exactly a coach, though, so I reserve the right to change my mind. I agreed with others that I was reading that suggested Long should have stayed on and Redmond should have come off when Austin was brought in.

I loved how much attacking we were doing and how, even though we kept missing, we were constantly in front of the goal and threatening. Then, after we finally scored, that drive and attack disappeared and this bothered me greatly.

Oh well. Onward and upward.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on September 19, 2016, 03:47:53 PM
Long is the worst finisher ever.  He blows chances like Redmond's or even easier every single game. In fact, I thought he had two misses against Sunderland worse than Redmond's. 

He took a ball with tons of time and space.  Trapped it.  Thought about it.  Kicked it meekly straight at the keeper.

He also should have scored when he got the yellow card, but his first touch was terrible and left him no chance which is why he dove.

Long's shit finishing has probably cost the team 3-4 goals and at least six points just this season.

But because he is white, people just talk about his gritty play.  How he works hard, and draws defenders and plays defense, blahblahblah.  But against Swansea, Redmond was at least as active as Long.

Shane Long and Stephen Davis are the David Eckstein of the Premier League.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on October 03, 2016, 10:34:38 AM
I LOVE the appointment of Bob Bradley for Swansea. I know this is the bias of an American, but it's great to see that he finally got his chance. I know he'd been wanting something like this for a long time and some have suggested the anti-American bias was preventing him from getting an appointment. So congratulations to him!

I also think he's a really good coach (look at what he did with Stabaek!) and I think/hope that he helps Swansea out.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on October 24, 2016, 03:48:18 PM
Thoughts on this weekend's 1-1 draw with Manchester City? I know you watched it.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on October 24, 2016, 04:02:25 PM
Nice result for Southampton. (I didn't see the match.)

Far more telling for me was Chelsea's complete trashing of ManU. I saw most of that match and it wasn't even that close. I was astounded how poorly ManU played. To think they spent close to 200 mill (can't recall if it was dollars or euros) on incoming players this summer. I honestly can't see them even making the top 4 this season.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: MissKitty on October 24, 2016, 09:01:05 PM
Chelsea players gave Mourinho the kind of performance he wanted from them to 10 months ago. :)
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 24, 2016, 10:38:02 PM
Nice result for Southampton. (I didn't see the match.)

Far more telling for me was Chelsea's complete trashing of ManU. I saw most of that match and it wasn't even that close. I was astounded how poorly ManU played. To think they spent close to 200 mill (can't recall if it was dollars or euros) on incoming players this summer. I honestly can't see them even making the top 4 this season.

I was not surprised.  I thought that hiring Mourinho was not a good move.  I think people are aware of his style of play now.  I think mentally too, he has lost his edge and has gone off the deep end.Also, he is very picky about players so you know when you hire him he is going to replace everyone, even if the guy he gets is not better than the guy you have. 
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on October 24, 2016, 10:51:14 PM
Thoughts on this weekend's 1-1 draw with Manchester City? I know you watched it.

I thought they played very well.  Although it's frustrating to still have to have a "small club" mentality and be happy to nick a point against Man City when by now Saints should be their equals. 

I have been very impressed with McQueen so far.  In fact, I think he looks better than Matt Targett.  Maybe not up to Bertrand level yet, but it seems like he could easily get there.  We will have to see though.  Hard to judge after two games.

The sad thing is, I think this is it for Saints.  It is so hard to play Euro and PL at the same time.  Getting out of Euro group stages and finishing 8th would be an amazing result this year.  Except it means next year no Europe.  And everyone will know (I think they do already) how good VVD is. VVD, Romeu, Forster (and by the end of the year, possibly Hojbjerg) could all easily leave for bigger clubs if they want to.  Leaving Saints in the lurch once again.  It will be hard to re-group yet again.  And in the past we've at least been able to keep a solid core of vets.  But Davis, Long, Fonte are getting older each year.

The managers, coaches, and scouts all leave too.  And each of them take some of the things that Saints do and implement them at their new clubs so there is less and less advantage to having the "Black Box" and the like.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on October 25, 2016, 09:17:36 AM
Agreed to all of that. I know that Saints should be happy with an away point at the league leaders, but I wanted them to win that. I am still astounded that the City goal actually went in - I saw it happening and was like "VVD is there" and he was there. I guess he was caught napping for a split second which gave Inheacho enough edge to poke it past him, but I keep thinking "if only VVD was an inch or two farther..." then we win that game. Blargh. I really thought we had a chance.

Regarding the best players leaving: I resigned myself to this club being a feeder club sometime in the past year. I spent 2009-2014 believing that they could make a dent in the top echelons, but I realize now that won't happen. So that means sell off the best players, but I think they plan to keep all of those "best players" an extra year or an extra transfer window so they can keep getting decent results, too.

Like Hojbjerg or Boufal: I'm all like, "hey I hope this guy turns into the next Robben or the next Mahrez" but then I know if they do that they'll leave. So what's the point? To watch them help our team for a year or two? I guess. And I guess we just enjoy the ride.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: c-lando on October 25, 2016, 10:36:10 AM
No CR mention of this story!?!?!?

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-hampshire-37716100

<edit>Sorry Land, I modified your post instead of quoting it. Tough day today</edit>

CR says:-

Shame it didn't happen the other way round really.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out we actually KEEP the likes of VVD etc at the end of this season. Word from onside the club is that there are few players whose recent contract decisions are PRETTY fucking good financially.

What continues to amuse me is this "SFC are a selling club" repetition. No-one questioned Leicester when they sold Kante, no-one questioned ManU when they sold Ronaldo, No-one questioned Spurs when they sold Bale. Player sales happen. It's about money. Southampton merely understand the business aspect of football better than most fans do.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on October 25, 2016, 12:11:59 PM
One of my favorite things ever from the internet is a Twitter parody account a few years ago that had an "Ask 'Arry" thing going. The tweet went like this:

'Arry, if you had the choice between winning the Premier League or getting another Lamborghini, what color would it be?"
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: c-lando on October 25, 2016, 12:17:50 PM
One of my favorite things ever from the internet is a Twitter parody account a few years ago that had an "Ask 'Arry" thing going. The tweet went like this:

'Arry, if you had the choice between winning the Premier League or getting another Lamborghini, what color would it be?"
LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on October 27, 2016, 06:33:07 PM
Was reading an article on ESPN about the upcoming--I guess starting next year--changes to the Champions League (the top 4 countries--England, Spain, Germany, Italy--will be guaranteed 4 spots each, meaning 16 of the 32 Champion League spots).

And then I came upon this particular sentence:

Burnley will likely earn twice as much in broadcast revenue as the entire Belgian league combined simply by virtue of the fact that they are in England and play in the Premier League -- give certain clubs enormous advantages.

It absolutely blows the mind.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 05, 2017, 02:08:00 PM
Hey, Claude, Ralph, Les, and Katarina.

I can help you out here.  You see, I know what it's like to have Jose Fonte hand in a transfer request.  Because Jose Fonte handed me a transfer request back in 2017 as well.  Just a few weeks from now.

It turned out more than decent.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say Jose Fonte turned in the greatest season I have ever managed.  And I've managed a lot of teams for a lot of years.

The thing is Fonte doesn't really HATE it here.  He just kinda wants to be somewhere else.  But it turns out that "somewhere else" ain't happening.  At his salary/age he is not a fit for any team in Portugal.  Nor in England.  He would not get a game at Man U, etc.  and smaller clubs than us won't pay his wage.

Jose knows this.  So as long as you don't screw him over and make a decent effort to move him, he'll be okay.  He's a professional.

So, what we did was I went down to the public library down in New Forest when they have that annual junk sale.  I bought one of those study carrels.  Set up in one of the unused data analyst offices (because really, why did we have 5 data analysts?).

We let that be Jose's office.  He'd come in, train for a bit, then head to his office and just study for his coaching qualifications.

Thing is, despite his fading skills and enthusiasm Jose is still a professional.  And he still likes the club.  He just doesn't LOVE the club.  He still loves big games though.  And he is still hugely influential.  So, I kept him as captain.

Maybe once a week I'd visit him in his digs and be like "Cedric is whining about playing time" or "Redmond wants a new contract."  Jose would close his book with a satisfying *WHAP* and be like "Yeah, no problem.  I'll straighten them out."  Five minutes later, Cedric would be at my door "Sorry for the fuss. Jose explained it to me. I'm cool with my playing time."

Then maybe twice a month, I'd be like "Hey, Jose.  Big match against PSG.  There's no way we can win it.  Plus, the boys are down after that draw to Norwich earlier this week."  "'No way, Jose?' Big matches is what I do."  90 minutes or so later, we're in the locker room celebrating a vital group win.  Fonte would just go, fire everyone up then put an 8.2 performance.

There is absolutely no way we would have won the PL title without him.  No chance.  Not only that, but the day he leaves this club (which will be in two weeks, it's 2018 where I'm at) I will have to double or triple the wages of at least 4 players, and another 2 are out the door. 

When VVD fucked off in the winter (and thanks for going over my head and signing him to that ridiculously overpriced wage with tiny transfer release clause, Les) not only did Fonte step up for three games and carry us to massive wins over Arse and Man City, he also talked PSG into selling me Presnel Kimpembe for half price to replace him.  Then he went back to his office until I needed him again to play Bayern in the first round knockout.

So yeah, don't worry.  This all works out.  Fonte's massively influence combined with just the exact right amount of lukewarm affection for the club is the best thing that will ever happen to this organization.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on January 05, 2017, 03:22:27 PM
I love it.
I so wish that this was true.


To be honest, I think we all knew that he wanted to go somewhere else. So the request isn't a surprise. I am just worried that both Fonte and VVD will be gone this winter, and then all those boring 0-0 game or 1-1 games will suddenly be Saints 1, Opponents 4.

We can't score, but we seem decent at defense. Without the defense, we're a relegation team.

Personally I think we can get 16 more points between now and the end of the season, which should be good enough for 17th.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 05, 2017, 04:03:05 PM
I would have sold Fonte this summer when he wanted to leave, but not sure if an offer was made.

I honestly don't have a problem with Fonte handing in a transfer request.  I think it is the honorable thing to do, instead of boycotting games or engineering a move behind the scenes.  At least you are willing to give up your loyalty bonus.  In and of itself, I view it as strictly a procedural move.

"I would like to leave this club, and I am willing to give up money to do it.  Here is my formal agreement to do so." The club is under no obligation to move you, you're just requesting a move.  As long as you go out and play hard and everything, I have no problem with it.  If you complain and/or refuse to play, that's a problem.  But you would do that with or without a transfer request.

I also think Fonte would have had to be replaced next year anyway.  So this really does sort of help the club.  There's no awkward phase of having to sit your captain, or looking like jerks for trying to push him out, etc. 

I think Fonte is professional enough not to throw a hissy and will be okay with waiting until summer for a transfer as long as the club doesn't screw him over.  And I think the club is perfectly happy to accept bids for him in the summer since they should be trying to sell him anyway. 

But in the end, the club is still in trouble.  I still don't understand why they handed out so many extensions to aging, good-not-great players this summer while not addressing the need for a striker which EVERYONE knew was an area of need.

I don't think the team will be relegated on talent. They are nowhere near as bad as the bottom three, even if Yoshida replaces Fonte (who tbh, isn't that great anymore anyway).  Problem is, I get the feeling the board knows the team won't be relegated on talent and thus, won't do anything. 

So if they do get relegated, it will be because the team feels (perhaps justifiably) that the board doesn't give a fuck and stops trying.  The club should be doing more to show they care.  I don't mean they have to sack Puel or buy a 50m striker.  But they need to do something, even if it's only press spin.  I'd at least like some reassurances like "Sorry about all this.  We've got big plans in the work and a new awesome, moneybags owner coming in so just bear with us for a bit."

Because to me, they look more and more like they are just waiting to be bought buy whoever wants to buy them and do not care about the product on the pitch or the longterm future of the club.  They just want out.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on January 05, 2017, 04:38:07 PM
Curious - why do you think they want out?
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: MissKitty on January 06, 2017, 09:04:30 AM
I can't speak for ZK, but I reckon they have fulfilled the goals set forth by Markus Liebherr and now that Katharina has seen it through, she wants out.

As for Fonte and VVD, CR has a mate on the inside who filled us in on what is going on, but I'll leave that up to him to either post or not.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on January 06, 2017, 09:29:37 AM
Ummm, you can call me and tell me!
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 06, 2017, 01:50:27 PM
I am in Summer of 2018 and Jose Fonte's contract is up.  I was going to extend him another year and deal with the repercussions, but after yesterday I went home last night and released him.

Then I tried to put the moves on his wife and I got sacked. 



Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on January 06, 2017, 03:00:07 PM
Oooh, the Jose Mesa/Carlos Baerga controversy!

Or is it the Alan Pardew controversy! Even better.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: MissKitty on January 06, 2017, 03:16:33 PM

Then I tried to put the moves on his wife and I got sacked. 


Well if that isn't a GSPOTD I don't know what is. :)
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Cockney Rebel on January 06, 2017, 11:18:18 PM
JF came back from the Euros all Billy Big Bollocks and became surprisingly (& uncharacteristically) disruptive after he swapped agents to someone more aggressive and wankerish.

The club offered him a contract extension with a sizeable wage increase in respect of his new found 'fame' and as a thank you for his service... but..

VVD was signed to a new contract, which stated that if he was not made captain he could leave for a paltry sum <£25m. If he was made captain he promised to stay at SFC until at least 2018.

JF's nose was put out of joint. The pay rise/extension did not guarantee him captaincy status. He remained adamant that it should.  The club recognise that VVD is quite possibly a bigger asset to SFC than JF, being younger and far more valuable price-wise

So basically SFC is willing to sacrifice JF in order to retain VVD for two more seasons. As captain.

Also, FF is totally unathletic and it is only his size that makes him a goalkeeper. He has minimal fitness. ExplaIning perhaps why he can't currently kick a damned ball further than the halfway line.

The club is not happy with CP but vow to keep him until the end of this season. He has a very boorish demeanour which does not help training sessions

Most people think EB is a wanker. A chancer who only got the job because he could speak French. His training methods are far too 'old school' which is why certain players' fitness have not improved.

I am not a gossip-monger, nor do I play one on television
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on January 07, 2017, 12:56:32 PM
Forster-- I pretty much figured that.  I mean, look at the guy.  But he's still fairly effective as a keeper even if only due to size.

Black-- Also not surprising.  Never understood why they hired him in the first place.  Surely they could have found a translator.  Or I'm sure there are other coaches who are semi-bilingual. Pretty much everyone seemed to think he was an ass, and that was before he got caught in that press scandal.

Puel-- Also not that surprising.  When we hired him, all the French pundits and supporters said he was a "my way or the highway" guy who could rub people the wrong way.  Plus, he's French.  I think French people always come off as arrogant to people from other countries.  On the other hand, he actually made Hartem Ben Arfa give a shit.  Which is pretty impressive.  I think there was always the risk there.  And I'm not even sure if it's that big a concern that some people don't like him because that's who he is, and he has still succeeded at other places.  I think waiting until the end of the season to re-evaluate is fine.

VVD vs Fonte-- If this is true, I'm on Fonte's side.  He earned that captaincy for his years with the club.  But, it's not just the title.  I think his experience as one of the players who worked his way up from League One with the team matters.  Plus, he's always been a good captain.  I like how he directs players on the pitch, and he is good with the press.  Saints have always had a good defense, and we just finished in our highest league position ever.  So where is the problem?

It's lame to give someone the captaincy via a contract demand.  I understand the practical reality of the situation, but the club should have realized immediately that Fonte would be extremely pissed off about this.  The guy goes off to win the European Championship for his country and when he comes back he's been stripped of his captaincy on some bullshit.

But once the club did this, they should have moved Fonte right away.  And what I don't get is Fonte is still Captain.  So now you told VVD he could be captain but he isn't, and you told Fonte he wasn't captain but you are still expecting him to do all his Captain shit.  Quite clearly, that's not going to work.

But isn't Les Reed also reputed to be somewhat of an asshole?  I won't deny that he has skillz and has done a good job.  But maybe this is a Cortese-like situation where at some point with a guy like that the shit will hit the fan and you have to move on.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on January 09, 2017, 04:31:31 PM
Fascinating. And drama filled! Good stuff - thanks. From a non-sentimental standpoint, I hope they keep VVD for two more years. From an emotional standpoint, I love Fonte and all he's done for/with the club.

I hope they work it out. The Puel stuff has been on the radar since day 2, so I'm not surprised.

Question: I really liked what I saw from Sims in the one game I saw him play (I've only seen about half the games). I didn't see the Norwich game, and I haven't seen him play in any other games. Is he still looking really good? Do we credit Puel for bringing him in?
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on February 01, 2017, 06:14:46 PM
It seems pretty clear now that the relegation will be decided among these 6 clubs:

15 Middlesbrough   23 4 10 9 19 26 -7  21
16 Leicester City    23 5 12 6 24 38 -14 21
17 Swansea City    23 6 14 3 28 52 -24 21
18 Crystal Palace   23 5 14 4 32 41 -9   19
19 Hull City           23 4 14 5 20 47 -27 17
20 Sunderland       23 4 15 4 20 42 -22 16

I think that at this point one has to look at Leicester as a serious candidate for relegation. Only 2 points above the relegation zone. It blows the mind. Not that they are a relegation candidate, but that they won the title last year. It truly must've been a 1 in a billion shot.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on February 02, 2017, 12:47:29 PM
Don't forget that they know how to go on a tear at the end of the year to stave off relegation!
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 02, 2017, 10:53:24 PM
I think that at this point one has to look at Leicester as a serious candidate for relegation. Only 2 points above the relegation zone. It blows the mind. Not that they are a relegation candidate, but that they won the title last year. It truly must've been a 1 in a billion shot.

They had virtually no injuries the entire season.  They got a ton of penalties their way.  They won a bunch of 1 goal games and lucky escapes.  I thought Manchester City could have won, but they wanted Guardiola.  So they kinda punted the season with a lame duck manager to get the guy they wanted.

Kante was really important for them, and I felt at the time that losing him could hurt them.  I also figured Vardy would slide since 1) he had a crazy career year out of nowhere, 2) he's not the most focused guy in the world, and 3) he's getting a little old.

But all that aside, they were still a really, really good team.  And they still should be top ten.  They just lost the fire or the mojo somehow.  All the positive energy they had has been replaced by negative energy.  There's no excuse for them to be this bad, really.

Sunderland sucking is the least surprising thing in football since the last time they sucked.  Which was last year, and the year before that, and the year before that...

I think it will be Swansea, Sunderland and Hull.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on February 02, 2017, 11:02:59 PM

I think it will be Swansea, Sunderland and Hull.
I think you may be right on this. Although maybe Hull may surprise us after all. In which case, Crystal Palace.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on February 06, 2017, 12:05:13 AM
Question:

would you prefer your team to win the championship against all odds one year, only to be relegated the very next year? Or would you prefer two consecutive seasons in the middle of the pack?

Thinking about it in my own terms (Lokeren in the Belgian Jupiler league), I'd go for the former. The glory of winning the championship against all odds will nourish relegation. It'd be a very bitter pill to swallow, obviously, since you have no idea when your team would be able to come back to the top tier league.

Thoughts?

Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Cockney Rebel on February 06, 2017, 10:25:28 AM
would you prefer your team to win the championship against all odds one year, only to be relegated the very next year? Or would you prefer two consecutive seasons in the middle of the pack?
Paging Leicester City Football Club
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on February 06, 2017, 12:38:53 PM
I choose the glory of the one time miracle season. I'm pretty sure every Bengals fan would choose to not be in the middle as well.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Butter on February 06, 2017, 12:43:24 PM
Have to pick the championship.  That's something they can't take away from you. 
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 06, 2017, 02:07:29 PM
Yeah, definitely the title and relegation.

Plus, I kinda like the Championship anyway.  And presumably you would be able to mount a strong challenge for Championship championship, so you could get two titles in three years. 
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on February 06, 2017, 02:34:15 PM
would you prefer your team to win the championship against all odds one year, only to be relegated the very next year? Or would you prefer two consecutive seasons in the middle of the pack?
Paging Leicester City Football Club
The question came to me as I was watching the last 60 min. of LC - Man.United game yesterday. LC looks utterly lost, to be honest.

Related poll question: how many more matches do you let Claudio Ranieri manage LC if things keep going the way they have been lately? Ranieri brought the unexpected title, now has LC in the Champions League Final 16, and is FIFA Manager of the Year.

This is a really tough call. My heart says "you can't fire the guy after what he has done", but my head says "give him 3 more games. If by then LC is in the bottom three, you gotta sack him".
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on February 06, 2017, 08:42:54 PM
No way. If he gets them relegated, maybe you consider it. But I think that guy has a job with LCFC for the next 5 years otherwise.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on February 16, 2017, 04:25:56 PM
Martin Caceres has signed with SFC through the end of the season.

I know he's been injured a LOT and that's one very legit concern. But otherwise, he's played on Juventus and Barcelona, and he has a boatload of trophies. He's obviously very good if healthy.

But I'm reading implications that he's trouble "off the field." I don't know his history - without looking it up, does anyone know what his issues were/are? Why are some fans reserved about this signing?
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 16, 2017, 08:29:33 PM
He got in a DUI or whatever they call it in Italy.  Crashed his Ferrari.  I don't think his team has ever had any problems with him.

I don't know why fans should be reserved about this signing.  Saints need a Centerback pretty badly.  If Cacares is healthy and can get fit he's way better than Yoshida or Stephens.  If he can't, it's only a half year deal and maybe he can be of some use as a reserve.

I'm excited because Saints have finally signed someone that I signed for Saints in Football manager.  I also tried to sign Giabaddini a bunch of times but could never get him.  I did land him managing Atletico once.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on February 17, 2017, 09:24:15 AM
Well that's good news because I'm totally excited about it.


I don't know what this will really do for them long term (prevent relegation and win the EFL cup are the only two goals in my mind) but maybe if it works out he'll like it here and sign for another few years? Or tutor some younger guys about his experiences? Do you think he can bang in two goals per game for us, too?
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Cockney Rebel on February 17, 2017, 08:33:12 PM
Can't wait to see Gabba Gabba Hey take ManUre down at Wembley. Lu, Jeff and I are flying over for it. I think the price we paid for our tickets means one of us actually sits on the Queen's lap to present Saints with the trophy.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on February 20, 2017, 03:27:35 PM
Can't wait to see Gabba Gabba Hey take ManUre down at Wembley. Lu, Jeff and I are flying over for it.

Awesome! I really hope for you guys that Southampton wins. That will be one fantastic sports memory.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on February 21, 2017, 10:09:09 AM
NICE. Bring home a victory!
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on February 23, 2017, 03:29:42 PM
No way. If he gets them relegated, maybe you consider it. But I think that guy has a job with LCFC for the next 5 years otherwise.

Shows what I know!

Seems disgraceful, but I guess it's complicated and I don't have the faintest clue of what has really happened.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on February 23, 2017, 05:01:03 PM
No way. If he gets them relegated, maybe you consider it. But I think that guy has a job with LCFC for the next 5 years otherwise.

Shows what I know!

Seems disgraceful, but I guess it's complicated and I don't have the faintest clue of what has really happened.
Football is a cold and hard business. Like I said earlier, my heart said "don't fire him", but my head said "fire him".

Unrelated: glorious night just now for Belgian club football, as all 3 Belgian clubs advance in the Europa League:

Gent eliminates Tottenham at Wembley--funny detail: there were more Belgian players in Spurs starting line-up (3) than in Gent's (2)
Anderlecht eliminates Zenit
Genk eliminates Astra Giurgiu
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on February 24, 2017, 02:29:28 PM
I think I just realized that there's a Gent and a Genk. Until now I had always been thinking they were the same and that I was just misremembering the spelling.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 26, 2017, 01:50:54 PM
ONSIDE!  ONSIDE!!!
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on February 26, 2017, 10:34:51 PM
That was a heck of a match today between ManU and Southampton.

The score was Gabbiadini 3 - Ibrahimovic 2

But that wasn't the official final score: ManU 3 -Southamptom 2

For the neutral viewer like me, this is what football is all about. Great match all around.

Despite the result, I hope CR & crew had a great experience. Watching a match at Wembley is till on my bucket list.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on February 27, 2017, 03:25:05 PM
ONSIDE
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: c-lando on February 27, 2017, 03:41:52 PM
ONSIDE

It will never get old.

Gutted for you lot. You deserved a better result.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on February 27, 2017, 10:41:39 PM
Regardless, early results are that Gabbiadini is a very nice pick up for Southampton.

What to make of Leicester City's dominant win over Liverpool today? Were the LC footballers just happy to NOT play anymore under Claudio Ranieri? Or trying to make a point they were upset he was fired? We don't know the whole picture obviously.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on March 05, 2017, 10:36:18 PM
CR, you guys are back in town?

Do tell us of your experience at the League Cup Final! I really want to hear about it.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: MissKitty on March 11, 2017, 02:13:57 PM
It was ACES (well, aside from the bogus result, but there ya go. That's football).

The whole trip was fun - from the immigration officer in Dublin asking why we were visiting ("for the EFL Cup Final," we said. "United?" he asked. "Hell no! Southampton!" "Right!" *stamps passport* "Hope your lot win!") to the 7 a.m. start in the pub on game day with hundreds of other Saints fans getting their drink on before catching the trains north, to the fun coach trip on the motorway - where every other car on the road was decked out in red & white banners, flags, scarves etc, to the fans cheering and holding signs on the overpasses, to the build up at Wembley.

(as an aside, someone on Twitter asked the last person in Southampton to please turn out the lights. And it is true. It seemed the entire city was headed to London that morning)

It was electric. And really, really fun. Wembley had designated "Fan Zones" outside the ground for both United and Saints fans, and while there were very few milling about in the United area, what a treat it was to be surrounded by so many wearing the colors in our area. When we go to Molly's for matches, it's always just the three of us in there wearing SFC colors, but at Wembley it seemed EVERYONE was wearing them. Best legal high I think I've ever had.

We met up with our friend John, who up until he moved to Reading a few years ago had season tix for over 20 years and wasn't able to get one on his own, so he had our fourth ticket (we had to buy 4 in order to sit together in the Saints end) and after mucking about with some photos and what not, we went in to catch the pre game buildup.

Wembley is a fantastic place to see a match. It's huge but there isn't a bad seat in the house. The way it is designed shields punters from the wind, so even though it was cold and blustery outside, it was quite pleasant inside. Surprisingly, the food and drink vendor prices were reasonable - no price gouging on a captive audience - which was nice.

Even nicer was the discovery that every seat in the Saints end had a free commemorative scarf draped across it. Since CR and I had one each, we donated one to Mollys wall (and two United fans visiting from Purdue helped us hang it). The pre game show had fireworks and our fans unfurled a massive banner thanking Markus Liebherr for rescuing the club, and during the 62nd minute of the match all the Saints fans lit the torches on their phones for a minute in his honor. Pure class.

It's a shame Gabbi's goal was disallowed, but our team played so well that we were proud to hold our heads high at the end of the match. Wouldn't trade the experience for all the world.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on March 11, 2017, 10:49:27 PM
Thanks MK for that glorious report. Reminds me in every respect of my experience watching my Belgian team Lokeren at the 2014 Cup Final.

There really isn't anything like it, and as I told my son the other day, if there is one thing I miss about not living in Belgium anymore, it's going to the football games.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on April 03, 2017, 11:16:21 AM
Watched Chelsea -  Crystal Palace over the weekend. What a thoroughly entertaining game. 3 goals in the first 10 minutes, with CP up 1-2, and then Chelsea attacking relentlessly for the remainder 80 min. (actually 90 min, as the ref added 7 min. at the very end which then stretched into 10 min.) and yet somehow unable to score. Wow, just wow. Eden Hazard's first half performance was sheer brilliance. But it went all for naught. Good for the standings although I still don't see Chelsea imploding, even after this shocking loss.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on April 10, 2017, 10:55:07 PM
I worked from home today (due to my car being in the shop and hence not having wheels), and watched the Crystal Palace-Arsenal game on TV (which ended 3-0). Palace was simply MUCH better, what has become of Arsenal??? To think that Palace is hanging on for dear life to avoid relegation was never apparent today.

I must say, the atmosphere in Selhurst Park was OUTSTANDING, with the fans chanting non-stop the entire game, and obviously whipped in a frenzy with the scoring.

Gotta give it to NBCSN, they do a pretty darn good job covering the Premier League. Can't wait for next weekend's ManCity v. Chelsea (possibly 4 Belgians to watch).

I have no bone in any of these games, other than watching the Belgians, and wanting to see them star. Even though Benteke didn't score today, he weighed on Arsenal's defense all day, and was a beast.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on April 12, 2017, 11:26:58 PM
Watched the Atletico - Leicester City Champions League game. Shameful penalty for a foul that was clearly not in the box. So Atletico 1-0 up. Other than that, no too much going on. I have a hunch that Leicester will pull it out in the return game. I know I will be pulling for them next week. What a story it would be. The scrappy nobody (in European terms). Just like last year in the Premier League.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Cockney Rebel on April 13, 2017, 05:39:23 PM
Watched the Atletico - Leicester City Champions League game. Shameful penalty for a foul that was clearly not in the box. So Atletico 1-0 up. Other than that, no too much going on. I have a hunch that Leicester will pull it out in the return game. I know I will be pulling for them next week. What a story it would be. The scrappy nobody (in European terms). Just like last year in the Premier League.
Yeah, Atletico shouldn't have been awarded that pen, whilst Leicester were denied a far more obvious one at the other end. LFC were robbed by a blatantly biased referee.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on April 13, 2017, 11:12:33 PM
The ref definitely seemed more inclined towards Atletico throughout the game....

Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: MissKitty on April 14, 2017, 10:45:06 AM
The ref definitely seemed more inclined towards Atletico throughout the game....

I was too, after I got an eyeful of Antoine Griezmann. Prettyprettypretty
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on April 22, 2017, 03:51:33 PM
What a fantastic FA Cup semi-final that was today between Chelsea and Tottenham. Even though Chelsea led 1-0 and then 2-1, Spurs were the better team and when they leveled at 2-2, I thought they were going to win it. Then Chelsea played their jokers (Diego Costa AND Hazard as subs), and that decided the match.

How many teams can put a Diego Costa and Hazard on the bench for a cup semi-final? It blows the mind.

Let's hope tomorrow's other semi-final (Arsenal-ManCity) is just as thrilling.

Oh and there were 6 Belgians on the pitch today. SIX!
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on May 16, 2017, 05:42:10 PM
Down to the wire: 3 teams for 2 Champions League spots on the last day of the season. Should make for some great TV watching come Sunday. I'll be wearing my De Bruyne jersey. Unless I decide to wear my Kompany jersey   8) :D
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on May 30, 2017, 10:38:00 AM
Huddersfield in the Premier League.

Any thoughts on them?
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on June 07, 2017, 04:07:08 PM
I have never seen anything like this.
http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/40194862

Thoughts on what to think/believe?
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Cockney Rebel on June 07, 2017, 07:46:47 PM
I have never seen anything like this.
http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/40194862

Thoughts on what to think/believe?
I think the bin-dippers have already been sanctioned and have a 2-year suspended transfer ban from trying to tap up some Stoke youngsters. So, obviously, they needed to back the fuck down. I think an apology is not enough, other clubs have been deducted 20 points. Do the same to them.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on June 15, 2017, 09:31:38 AM
Southampton sack manager Claude Puel after one season in charge

http://www.espnfc.us/southampton/story/3143763/southampton-sack-manager-claude-puel-with-immediate-effect

I don't know too much about it, but this seems a little strange, coming a month after the end of the season. Why now?
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 15, 2017, 09:55:13 AM
Southampton sack manager Claude Puel after one season in charge

http://www.espnfc.us/southampton/story/3143763/southampton-sack-manager-claude-puel-with-immediate-effect

I don't know too much about it, but this seems a little strange, coming a month after the end of the season. Why now?

It was kind of a foregone conclusion that he was leaving.  I think it was a matter of (hopefully) not wanting to sack him until they had some replacements in mind.  Also, the team might be sold so that complicated things.

I think perhaps they were also giving Puel time to find another job.  It's probably easier to get a job if you haven't just been sacked, and maybe you have a little more leverage in negotiations.  That way Puel could leave on good terms, Saints might get a couple of bucks out of it, and everyone saves face by not being sacked or sacking someone.

My thoughts on Puel are that I am kind of neutral.  I think people's expectations were too high, and all the supporters saying he was shit and had to go are idiots.  OTOH, I don't think Puel was fantastic, either. 

The club generally played about the level I would have expected.  Puel did a decent job of playing some of the younger players (although injuries may not have left him a choice).  I felt he did like a solid job, and I would give him a B.  And maybe a "B" manager for a B club is fine.

But I think Saints are shooting a bit higher.  You could do a lot worse than Puel.  But you could possibly do better as well.  If the club is willing to take the gamble, or if perhaps there were issues in the backroom we don't know about, I think firing him can be justified.  It's not an outright horrible move to look to improve at manager, but Puel was nowhere near as a bad as the fans think he was.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on June 15, 2017, 11:02:59 AM
Unless the new Chinese ownership is prepared to pour tens, if not hundreds, of millions of pounds in the club, how much higher can Southampton really go? Last year 6th, this year 8th. I think that is quite amazing as it is. Does anyone really expect that Southampton is going to compete for a top 5 or top 4 spot, let alone do it on a regular if not annual basis? I just don't see it without significant more money being invested in the club (read: in better and thus more expensive players), but then again I'm just an outsider.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 15, 2017, 03:40:00 PM
The standings were strange this year, though.  Look at the gigantic gap between 7th and 8th.  Saints were only 6 points from 17th.  So arguably, with teams being that close together every little edge counts. 

I agree that the expectation Saints can finish top 4-5 every year is unrealistic.  But you still have to try to improve, otherwise the teams below you will catch up.  And to me, Puel was more-or-less average.  The whole team was pretty average other than Van Dijk when he was healthy.  Therefore, anyone on the team can be sold or benched or sacked.  Wherever they think they can improve.  And managers are cheaper than strikers. 

We'll have to see who they hire.  It could definitely backfire.  I got nothing against Puel, and I hope he does well wherever he lands.  But he was hardly untouchable, either.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on June 16, 2017, 01:47:43 PM
I was really excited about Thomas Tuchel. But it looks like he's out, now.
Pellegrini would be interesting, but I don't think he fits their mold of what kind of manager they are looking for.

Is Nigel Adkins still available?
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 16, 2017, 02:44:23 PM
I wanted Tuchel, too.  If he would have taken the job, I would not have had a problem sacking Puel.

I sort of wanted Pellegrini last year.  I have this romantic notion of a manager who really has little to lose, and no particular long term ambition taking over a smaller club and running it the way he always wanted.  No big club BS, no risk-averse owners who care more about the business.  Just, here's your club, make your mark.

But I could also see why the club wouldn't want to do it.  If Pellegrini were to do it (at least according to the romantic notion I have of him) he wouldn't compromise.  And he might not stay for long.  He can take big risks as he has no future, but the club has to think longer-term.  And if he has to compromise or finds things not fun, he'll just leave.

I doubt he would come to Saints at this point.

The rest of the managers are very blah to me.  Pellogrino doesn't seem any better than Puel.  Can't stand De Boer, though he could be good.  I personally don't think Howe is a good PL manager.  Don't like Giggs and don't think he would be a good manager but admittedly I have a heavy bias against him.  Pearson knows his shit but is a total asshole.

I wouldn't mind Beattie, but he may not be ready to manage a PL team just yet.  Adkins is available, but I don't think he is qualified.  I never wanted to see Adkins sacked because he deserved the chance and I would have rather see us relegated with Adkins and some of those Championship players than stay up and treat them so unkindly.  But that ship has sailed.  I don't think you can hire Adkins anymore than you could play Dean Hammond, Jos Hooiveld, or Billy Sharp in PL. 
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on June 16, 2017, 03:34:19 PM
Wait - Bob Bradley is still available!
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 17, 2017, 11:54:15 AM
So is Jurgen Klinsmann! 
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on June 19, 2017, 01:45:43 PM
Southampton should definitely sign both of them and have them co-manage.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Cockney Rebel on June 20, 2017, 09:52:27 AM
Looks like Pellegrino or Vieira

That's PellegrinO, not PellegrinI

Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Cockney Rebel on June 23, 2017, 06:04:36 PM
Looks like Pellegrino or Vieira

That's PellegrinO, not PellegrinI
Good, aren't I?
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on June 24, 2017, 12:38:11 AM
yes, you are.

Still don't seen how that will elevate the club to the "next level" without many, many millions of investment in players. It all depends on the new Chinese ownership, I suppose
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 24, 2017, 11:07:23 PM
yes, you are.

Still don't seen how that will elevate the club to the "next level" without many, many millions of investment in players. It all depends on the new Chinese ownership, I suppose

Pellegrino alone is very unlikely to elevate the club to the next level.  No one person or player can.  In fact, you may very well be right that nothing short of a financial windfall will make a difference.

But it's kind of like.. what else are you going to do?  Just give up?  Who would have given Leicester City a chance?

Pellegrino vs Puel feels a bit sideways to me.  But sideways on paper is the only way Southampton can go.  You just hope the guys in charge are geniuses it's some kind of Moneyball strategy where everyone they sign has hidden potential.  I mean, the odds aren't great but you aren't going to beat Man U trying to compete with them for known stud players. 
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on June 25, 2017, 10:33:23 PM
ZK, you are right of course.

One can always wish for a "Leicester City" season, but honestly, how many times does that happen?

As an outsider, it seems to me that Southampton should strive to be a legitimate contender to try and reach Europa League. Anything more than that is just pure gravy.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 26, 2017, 09:58:21 AM
I think that's what Saints have been and are doing.  They just can't admit it.  Or more likely, that's not how they think about it.  It's less a matter of setting an explicitly lower goal and being okay with it than focusing on club stability and fiscal health and see how far you can get.  Realistically, that's probably going to be Europa, and I think Saints know that deep down but they're just focusing on making the team better within the restraints they have.

When Nicola Cortese was in charge, he had huge plans and was spending a ton of cash to do it.  But he has been gone several years now, and Saints have had a similar pattern since then.  They spend within their means in terms of wages and transfer fees.  When the big clubs come in offering huge contracts, they sell their players rather than try to match. 

As their finances and results have improved, they have gradually expanded their wages and transfer fees to match but it's all been done fairly conservatively.

If they were going to make a big spending splash, they had a big opportunity last off-season.  But they didn't do it.  Instead they mostly brought in young players again, and also used some of the younger players in the system.  So it's obvious that their strategy (although somewhat forced upon them) is to get players young and cheap, watch their value rise, and then sell them off for a new crop of young players.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Dan on June 26, 2017, 04:15:18 PM
When Roger Bennett (of Men In Blazers) went to Southampton a couple of Novembers ago and did a whole piece on them he mostly said all the same stuff that us fans already knew in his big piece. However, he said on a later podcast that when he was interviewing all of the front office, and the team was doing VERY well at the time, that instead of everyone getting caught up in the race for a championship or Champions League, the front office kept on talking about a top ten finish. At the time it seemed blasphemy to me, but in hindsight if that was true then the club has continued on that wise and conservative path.

Fighting for a top ten finish every year is a pretty good goal. I want them to win the whole thing, obviously, but it's not my money they are spending so I can't really be upset.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: Zafer Kaya on June 26, 2017, 09:04:30 PM
It was noticeable even in the aired documentary.

Since RK has been there he generally avoids explicit goals.  The most he will do is say that he thinks the team might someday play Champions League, or maybe they could title challenge because who knows?  Never that he felt like the club would be contending every year.  Just... maybe sometime they might get in.

Cortese would always say he felt the team would be the best in Europe.  It wasn't even a goal for him.  He genuinely thought it would happen.  And he quit when it turned out the club wasn't willing to take the financial risk to do it. 

It was kinda cool that Cortese had that attitude.  It would have been fun in some ways to see if the club could do it.

OTOH, he was spending like a drunken sailor.  Not just on players but everything.  I have heard that the cost overruns on Staplewood were insane because he would make everyone redo everything if there was the smallest flaw.  And everyone hated him because he was such a demanding, micromanaging perfectionist.  So in all likelihood the club would be staring at administration right now had KL not pulled the plug on that.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on July 06, 2017, 01:28:07 PM
The Lukaku sweepstakes apparently are over: it's ManUnited after all, for a cool 75 mill. (Pounds of course.)

http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/40516483

I always thought that a move to ManUnited made a lot of sense, with Ibram a goner. But I suspected Chelsea was Lukaku's preferred choice, and he/his agent tried as long as possible to secure a Chelsea bid.
Title: Re: English Premier League 2016/17
Post by: euro60 on July 17, 2017, 10:57:29 PM
ManCity making moves in the transfer market. I'm guessing they'll be one of the top faves for the upcoming EPL season...

Speaking of which, CR, start a new threat already!