Author Topic: World Cup and European leagues  (Read 436607 times)

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #3045 on: December 08, 2019, 10:30:21 am »
Pep is under the gun right now....They have given up something like 20 goals already compared to like 8 at this time last year...Difference for me is Vincent Kompany.

Offline blooter442

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #3046 on: December 08, 2019, 11:21:58 am »
Pep is under the gun right now....They have given up something like 20 goals already compared to like 8 at this time last year...Difference for me is Vincent Kompany.

Laporte being out hasnít helped either Ė he was in the PFA team of the year at center back with van Dijk last year so heís legit.

In PL-related D3 news, saw the Tufts presser from the Sweet 16 when Lane mentioned channeling his inner Alex Iwobi. Shapiro and Tasker guffawed Ė I got a kick out of it too.

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #3047 on: December 09, 2019, 05:58:30 am »
I cede to Bloots on this one as I am more of a Bundesliga fan but will always watch any Pep coached side.

Offline truenorth

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #3048 on: December 09, 2019, 07:41:52 pm »
I'm an unabashed Liverpool fan, and I can't recall whether Blooter is as well.  At any rate, in my admittedly biased view, Jurgen Klopp's coaching influence has been every bit as inspiring as Pep's, if not more so, over the past couple of years...

Offline hiyasoccer

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #3049 on: December 09, 2019, 10:27:18 pm »
Iím no Liverpool supporter by any means, but Klopp easily deserves the most praise of any Premier league manager to me over the last 3 or so years. And donít forget to include the other people involved in their transfer and recruitment strategy, who have worked well with Klopp to build a squad suited to his style - though it was important that he actually had time to build that squad, which many managers these days donít seem to be afforded. And maybe itís my Liverpool-hater, but I doubt a number of his players are as good as theyíve looked in his side, but heís managed his personnel and system well to hide their deficiencies. I mean what other Champions league contenders are Jordan Henderson and James Milner playing regularly for? No hate - Iíve loved Milner since his City days. Oh, and his system itself very effective.

Pepís City sides confuse me sometimes. United played an excellent game, but City played poor one. Angelino at LB seemed horrible, and they still seem dependent on Aguero to provide goals. Team defending was meh. I know Pep likes to have his teams high press and win the ball back high up the pitch, but he seemed to leave a makeshift back line that was clearly his teams weak point very exposed whenever the pressed failed. They might have been okay with Pique and Mascherano and co in the back line, but Stones and Fernandinho and angelino are not them and couldnít bail out their team (though Rodrigo did look impressive).

I think basically what Iím saying about City is this - their style necessitates a lot of excellent last-ditch and recovery defending to stop counter attacks, for which you need talented defenders who are good at such things. With the injuries to their back line and already mediocre depth their, itís causing a major problem because good defenders simply wonít cut it - you need great ones. And theyíre not being helped by the press being in my eyes mediocre... Bernardo Silva particularly irked me on that front.

Offline blooter442

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #3050 on: December 10, 2019, 09:48:53 am »
I'm an unabashed Liverpool fan, and I can't recall whether Blooter is as well.  At any rate, in my admittedly biased view, Jurgen Klopp's coaching influence has been every bit as inspiring as Pep's, if not more so, over the past couple of years...

Affirmative on both accounts, acknowledging my own bias as well. I still admire Guardiola ó though admittedly I didn't think a ton of him after he unsuccessfully tried to turn Bayern into Barcelona (particularly when the treble-winning 2013 Bayern team had been so successful playing an attack-minded, direct, physical style) ó but to come to the Premier League and rack up 100 points was no doubt impressive. 98 points the season after was also really impressive. Even so, Klopp's 97-point haul showed a level of consistency with his teams that I never really expected, and winning the Champions League got a big monkey ("Klopp never wins finals") off his back. I think the current side, who was mentally tough even before that Final (e.g. Barcelona at home) now has the added confidence of knowing they can win things, and I think that's what we've seen with them kicking on this year.

Iím no Liverpool supporter by any means, but Klopp easily deserves the most praise of any Premier league manager to me over the last 3 or so years. And donít forget to include the other people involved in their transfer and recruitment strategy, who have worked well with Klopp to build a squad suited to his style - though it was important that he actually had time to build that squad, which many managers these days donít seem to be afforded. And maybe itís my Liverpool-hater, but I doubt a number of his players are as good as theyíve looked in his side, but heís managed his personnel and system well to hide their deficiencies. I mean what other Champions league contenders are Jordan Henderson and James Milner playing regularly for? No hate - Iíve loved Milner since his City days. Oh, and his system itself very effective.

I agree with you about the shared success of Klopp and the recruitment team, and that it needed time. The urge of the modern football club is to pull the trigger when things go bad, and while you get the new-manager bump it is unsustainable long-term, so the fact that FSG has stuck with him through times when results have been questionable and it didn't appear they were going anywhere developmentally (e.g. Fall 2017 and all the 3-3 draws) was admirable. As for FSG, when they first came in they (much like the previous top brass) were more interested in buying a number of good bargains rather than a couple of real stars; this in part seemed a function of Liverpool's lack of CL football but also on just generally misguided strategy IMHO. The Suarez reinvestment was a disaster, and perhaps the most successful purchase of that summer came in the form of Lovren, who ó everyone being fit ó is the 4th-choice CB. You could say that the switch started with the transfer of Firmino but I really think it came when they bought Mane; I said he was good, but worth 25 million rather than 30; now he's worth 100+ (acknowledging that Neymar broke the transfer market in the interim). From day 1 he was a game-changer and showed the value of spending big money on good players rather than buying a bunch of young guys for 5-10 million and hoping they show insane development. They seem to have continued that approach now, but it took a bit for the approach to change.

I also agree that Klopp helps his players maximize their potential (e.g. Henderson and Milner) and masks their deficiencies. Ultimately, that's what good coaches do, but it's much easier said than done. I think the Liverpool fanbase has taken a while to warm up to both of the aforementioned, and I am not a fan of any midfield with both of them in it, but I think they can both do a job and help the team get over the line. As for the style, I think the fact that they can win games any number of ways is immensely helpful ó in possession, set pieces, on the counter, crosses, etc. ó and while gegenpressing seems to be at the root of most of it Klopp's willingness to adapt tactically (and personnel-wise, as seen with the Everton and Bournemouth games) showcases a tactical nous that perhaps many haven't associated with the charismatic German.

In addition to being somewhat of a cynic in general, I've seen Liverpool blow enough things over my lifetime ó I was even certain they were going to find a way to lose the CL final until Origi's second goal ó so I'm not getting ahead in terms of their current position. They could well go out of the Champions League this afternoon, and a drop into the Europa League could be detrimental to their title charge, as the Thursday/Sunday combo is not easy. That said, the combination of attacking dynamism and defensive resiliency (much has been made of their goals conceded this year, and rightly so, but they're still 3rd-best in the League in that department so it's not exactly like the Skrtel/Moreno chucklehead days) really makes for an exciting team to watch, and their ruthlessness and mentality has been on display on more than one occasion this year.

Pepís City sides confuse me sometimes. United played an excellent game, but City played poor one. Angelino at LB seemed horrible, and they still seem dependent on Aguero to provide goals. Team defending was meh. I know Pep likes to have his teams high press and win the ball back high up the pitch, but he seemed to leave a makeshift back line that was clearly his teams weak point very exposed whenever the pressed failed. They might have been okay with Pique and Mascherano and co in the back line, but Stones and Fernandinho and angelino are not them and couldnít bail out their team (though Rodrigo did look impressive).

The thing about Pep is that I think he truly believes that his side ó when their Plan A works ó can overpower any team. Given his success, I can 100% understand that. That being said, it can't work every time, and there are times when perhaps a more nuanced approach would be better, as perhaps would have been the case on Saturday. United were at it, no doubt, and could have been 3 or 4 up. That said, I wonder how Pep walked into that trap. Being without Aguero and Laporte (the latter long-term, for sure) for that game is always going to make it tougher, but he played right into Solskjaer's hands by playing such a high line. Interestingly with the latter, his teams seem to play well on the counter against big sides but have trouble fashioning openings when in possession, which will be something for them to work on (I don't necessarily buy that they "don't get up" for the smaller teams, but rather they lack the creativity to break down low blocks, particularly without Pogba). Rodri does look like a good buy and perhaps his only mistake this year was revealing the truth about tactical fouls. ;)

The United-Liverpool game at Old Trafford this fall was similar in terms of who the better team on the day was. United played arguably their best game of the season ó they were always going to turn up for that regardless of their position ó and Liverpool one of their worst, and perhaps the current Reds do have a bit of an OT mental block, but they still managed to avoid defeat. Given all of that, and the fact that Liverpool looked nowhere near equalizing for most of that game, I was pleased with that point, and given United's success against the top 6 it looks even better in hindsight.

I think basically what Iím saying about City is this - their style necessitates a lot of excellent last-ditch and recovery defending to stop counter attacks, for which you need talented defenders who are good at such things. With the injuries to their back line and already mediocre depth their, itís causing a major problem because good defenders simply wonít cut it - you need great ones. And theyíre not being helped by the press being in my eyes mediocre... Bernardo Silva particularly irked me on that front.

Personnel is really important, and I think you also made a similar point with mentioning Pique and Mascherano: if you want to be long-term successful playing an expansive style then you need top-class talent in defense and defensive midfield. I keep going back to the injury to Laporte; I think he's as good as van Dijk. Anyway, you can play expansively with a guy like that who thinks a step ahead of everyone, but it's tougher when you want to play the same style with players who aren't at that level. Not trying to keep making this about Liverpool, but even with the number of goals conceded this year, I think about how many goals it would be without van Dijk! Silva was not great, but I'll give him a pass since he is usually excellent and would be the one City player (even more than any of the front three) that I'd love to have in the Liverpool team (five years ago, I would have picked the other (David) Silva).

Meant to respond in shorter form, but turned into an essay. Guess that means the PL is fun to watch.

Offline truenorth

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #3051 on: December 11, 2019, 04:22:40 pm »
I appreciate the very insightful and detailed observations about the styles, strengths and weaknesses of Liverpool and City.  Again, with all admitted bias, I agree Laporte is very good, but I don't put him in the same class as Van Dijk...who is extra terrestrial when it comes to size, athleticism, aerial prowess, reading of the game, long pinpoint passes...not to mention his calming influence and command of the box.  I had a lot of (delayed) anticipation when Klopp went after Van Dijk, and I have not been disappointed.  Among a number of recently added difference makers (e.g. Mane, Salah, Alisson, and even Roberston), Van Dijk is the single biggest difference maker in what has become a remarkably dominant and resilient side over the past two years.

Offline blooter442

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #3052 on: December 11, 2019, 07:40:15 pm »
I appreciate the very insightful and detailed observations about the styles, strengths and weaknesses of Liverpool and City.  Again, with all admitted bias, I agree Laporte is very good, but I don't put him in the same class as Van Dijk...who is extra terrestrial when it comes to size, athleticism, aerial prowess, reading of the game, long pinpoint passes...not to mention his calming influence and command of the box.  I had a lot of (delayed) anticipation when Klopp went after Van Dijk, and I have not been disappointed.  Among a number of recently added difference makers (e.g. Mane, Salah, Alisson, and even Roberston), Van Dijk is the single biggest difference maker in what has become a remarkably dominant and resilient side over the past two years.

Fair enough ó should have clarified I meant primarily in a defensive positioning/technique sense. van Dijk's athleticism (particularly pace!) and ability on the ball are different class to most CBs. Agree that he has been the primary Liverpool difference maker, although there have been a fair few. Still, in the last season, they were the two best central defenders in the PL for me.

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #3053 on: December 18, 2019, 10:48:11 am »
Bundesliga+++..anyone catch Dortmund v Leipzig(3-3)? 90 minutes of up and down action...incredible stuff

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #3054 on: January 09, 2020, 07:42:50 am »
Yea Klopp is definitely much more practical than Pep. Pep is more of a innovator and has the respect of his players to try almost anything. Last week v Everton it almost looked like Man City was in a 3-2-3-2. Pep was overloading one side of the field to isolate a winger on the other. Just little stuff like that is fun to watch. It was like a mix of futbol and an NBA team running an iso play.

Offline blooter442

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #3055 on: May 20, 2020, 07:48:02 pm »
Nice to see the Bundesliga resume last weekend. I watched the Dortmund, Munich, and Leverkusen games...the Black and Yellow have always been my favorite Bundesliga team, I actually have a Dortmund hat and training shirt kicking around. As for the game, no fans made for a particularly odd setting, almost reminiscent of a training ground, but I will take it over no football any day of the week and twice on Sundays (so long as it can be done safely).

Offline blooter442

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #3056 on: June 25, 2020, 10:55:20 pm »
Not directly related to my D3 fandom, but in hindsight 90% of my skepticism/cynicism as a football fan came from Liverpool never winning the Premier League. Now that the drought is over, maybe I will become more optimistic. :) YNWA

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #3057 on: July 05, 2020, 11:04:13 am »
2 Things I learned today:

1. Andy Carroll is still in the PL.

2. Coughing in public is almost like as sacred as farting at the dinner table now.

Offline blooter442

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #3058 on: September 26, 2020, 12:53:10 pm »
Much like Amherst vs. Williams in the 2012 Elite 8, Brighton hit the woodwork five times against Man Utd today and still fell to defeat (I thought of this while watching the game). The latter got a jammy win, but they don't need Sancho (the front line is young and dynamic and I think Greenwood, although in a different position, could be just as impactful), they need working on the back line ó kind of crazy we are still saying this the year after spending £130 million! Fernandes has helped with creativity (and penalties) but structurally the midfield seems to be a bit open ó I think Matic is a bit past it and we all know Pogba hasn't hit his potential since leaving Juve, although van de Beek could be good ó and I don't really get what Solskjaer's plan is aside from counter the big teams and go at the small sides, aka Mourinho-lite, albeit with perhaps slightly more ambition. I was pretty concerned when United went on the runs when Solskjaer came in and when they got Fernandes, but in both cases there have been subsequent defeats that have brought reminders that there's still a gap to the top. I'm pretty certain they'll get top 4 again, and they can pull off results against the other big teams, but ó despite their mini-revival after Fernandes came ó they still look miles behind the top 2 in terms of consistency. I think Everton and Arsenal could give them a run for the CL spots.

Glad to have the Premier League back and into a new season straight away. I've been diving into Python the last six months, and the treasure trove of PL datasets out there have provided me with a lot of fodder for visualizations and predictions. Plus, new data always makes for diverse tinkering than re-hashing old datasets through various algorithms.

Curious to see Chelsea back in action today, and wondering if Thiago Silva can bring some level of authority to a defense that I'm surprised is as porous as it is. Werner looks like a proper talent and that's without even mentioning Ziyech, Havertz, Mount, and Pulisic, who I think could be the first genuinely consistent world-class player from the USA (Dempsey, Donovan, et al have shown in fits and starts, but don't think I'd call either world-class). He would have been a big threat against Liverpool last week and I was glad that he didn't play, as he ran roughshod over the defence during his cameo on the night of the trophy lift. Can't say I was disappointed about his goal against Man City back in June: I was utterly convinced that City would win that game 2-1, but when Pulisic made it 1-0 it was the first time I even entertained the possibility that the title might be decided that night. Still didn't genuinely absorb that the 30-year drought would be ending until Willian made it 2-1.

City and Liverpool still look to be the two teams to beat ó City are the bookies' favorites due to LFC's underwhelming post-title finish but I'm surprisingly bullish on my Reds. I figured they had a 20% shot in 18-19 and a 40% shot in 19-20, but I feel like they've strengthened in key areas this summer: Tsimikas some much needed cover at LB, Thiago gives the midfield a new dimension, and I think Jota could follow Mane's trajectory under Klopp from dynamic-yet-inconsistent player to world beater (still think they have a couple years at peak level left). Would be great if he could start to help the process of transitioning the front 3 as they age. Big test against Arsenal on Monday, and Arteta is 2-0 (technically 1-0-1) against Klopp as a manager, but I'm not sure how sustainable the "park the bus and hit Aubameyang on the counter" is long-term. Either way, after so many years of underachievement and disappointment, I have to remind myself to appreciate these halcyon days (on the pitch, if not in the rest of the world). It's certainly the best time in my lifetime of being a Red so far.

Aaaaand just like that, Chelsea are 1-0 down. #SilvaOut (mostly tongue-in-cheek)

Offline blooter442

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Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #3059 on: September 26, 2020, 12:57:01 pm »
Silva, oh my days. 2-0 Baggies.