Author Topic: World Cup and European leagues  (Read 411650 times)

Offline Hoosier Titan

  • All-Conference
  • ****
  • Posts: 898
  • Karma: +107/-44
    • View Profile
Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #780 on: May 02, 2007, 09:28:59 am »
So was that tense enough?

It was tense, but rewarding.  (From the standpoint of Liverpool supporters, of course  ;)). 

It was clear what each team was trying to do at first--Liverpool had to score, and Chelsea tried to stop them--but it didn't seem that Chelsea had a Plan B after the Liverpool goal.  That was a beauty, with Stevie G's kick contributing a great deal to Agger's finish.

I thought the "Special One" might change formations when more offense was needed--Drogba was awfully alone up front there.  Chelsea are a very good side with a lot of wonderful players, but they seem to have an attitude that they can do no wrong.  Every call that did not go their way brought moans and complaints, even some when it was obvious on replay that there was no contact at all.  The comparison to the Yankees is spot on.

Don't know which matchup would be better for the Reds in Athens.  There is talk on the BBC that FA officials are concerned about policing should it be the two English clubs.  But what a great testimonial to the EPL!

I'm taking a group of students on a London semester this fall, and one thing my family is going to do is visit Anfield.   I already have my "This is Anfield" scarf--can't wait!
You'll never walk alone.

Offline Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan)

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 12189
  • Karma: +674/-347
    • View Profile
Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #781 on: May 02, 2007, 10:15:16 am »
I wonder what affect Anfield had on Robben and Geremi?

I know it's total coincidence, but it seems odd that the two guys who got stopped were the ones with the freshest legs.


I'm taking a group of students on a London semester this fall, and one thing my family is going to do is visit Anfield.   I already have my "This is Anfield" scarf--can't wait!

This probably goes without saying, but you do have to take a nice train ride up to Liverpool to see Anfield.  Not too bad a side trip, but certainly some extra planning required.
Lead Columnist for D3hoops.com
@ryanalanscott just about anywhere

Offline Hoosier Titan

  • All-Conference
  • ****
  • Posts: 898
  • Karma: +107/-44
    • View Profile
Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #782 on: May 02, 2007, 10:38:39 am »
Hoops--Don't worry, I am only too aware of the planning involved.  Have been to London countless times and Liverpool three times to date.  But I can see why you might have thought that from what I wrote.:)

We're planning an optional three-day Liverpool weekend for students:  the Beatles Story, the Magical Mystery Tour Bus, the McCartney and Lennon home tours, and the tour of Anfield.  Then, my family and I are going back at a later time to go to a match. 

Oh yes, there is also teaching involved in this gig, just in case anyone was wondering :D
You'll never walk alone.

Offline Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan)

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 12189
  • Karma: +674/-347
    • View Profile
Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #783 on: May 02, 2007, 10:40:42 am »
Oh yes, there is also teaching involved in this gig, just in case anyone was wondering.

So you got the raw end of the deal, huh?  Aren't travel seminars just "read a few books, visit a bunch of museums, write a few papers, pay for the prof's vacation?"
Lead Columnist for D3hoops.com
@ryanalanscott just about anywhere

Offline Hoosier Titan

  • All-Conference
  • ****
  • Posts: 898
  • Karma: +107/-44
    • View Profile
Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #784 on: May 02, 2007, 10:49:27 am »

So you got the raw end of the deal, huh?  Aren't travel seminars just "read a few books, visit a bunch of museums, write a few papers, pay for the prof's vacation?"

I've heard of a case that was exactly like that--but I could never do that.  I used to lead hikes for the Appalachian Mountain Club (in New England, not in Illinois!) and the only times I ever had problems were when I tried a hike I hadn't done before, or done recently.  Trips and museums are on the agenda, sure, but there is an academic context.

And as for a vacation...playing mom and pop to twenty 19 and 20 year-olds who are suddenly of legal drinking age, many of whom have never cooked for themselves before or lived away from home?  I'm expecting to work for my trip to Anfield! :D
You'll never walk alone.

Offline sac

  • Hall of Fame
  • All-American
  • ********
  • Posts: 14298
  • Karma: +2676/-2151
  • Rejoice in Hope
    • View Profile
    • Speaking of Alaska - my basketball blog
Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #785 on: May 02, 2007, 11:02:41 am »
I thought Chelsea and Liverpool flipped roles this week........last week Liverpool looked lost once Chelsea scored, same could be said for Chelsea yesterday.  Although Drogba got a couple really good scares in there late that almost stole it.   Speaking of Drogba, I could probably like him more if he wouldn't complain and whine so much.........3 straight weeks i've seen an opposing player make the dive gesture to the ref, even a sweet one of Agger wiping mock tears away last week.  Wonderfully gifted player and  many times has been the best player on the field, hands down, wish he'd just play the game though.

Mourihno's act has worn thin, even on me who's not exposed the the British media daily.  I was not sad to see Chelsea lose.  In fact I think back to 3 years ago when it was rumored (or more than one) that Gerrard was on his way to Chelsea, because he wanted to win in Europe...............fast forward to this year and Gerrard will be leading Liverpool to a 2nd appearance in the final, potentially a 2nd Champions League title and have eliminated Chelsea 3 straight years.  Pretty ironic.

I, like many, see big changes at Chelsea this summer.  Somethings not working like it should there.



Hoosier Titan----one of the things I wrote down a couple years ago that I wanted to do was see a game at Anfield.  So you have my envy. ;D


Hopefully this afternoon's contest is just as entertaining and tense.  Really its a can't lose final matchup.............a rematch of Liverpool/AC Milan from 2 years ago, or Liverpool/ManU.   Whats not to like about either matchup.
Give to Hope
Twitter  -- words, occasional words

Offline Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan)

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 12189
  • Karma: +674/-347
    • View Profile
Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #786 on: May 02, 2007, 11:11:31 am »

I think Gerard's threat to leave for Chelsea is what prompted Liverpool to invest more consciously in the European futures of their club.  They certainly would not have gotten Kyut or have paid up for Crouch if they weren't afraid of Gerrard leaving.  They also resigned Hyypia a few years back when they weren't planning to.  I think ultimately they'd agree that those moves have paid off quite nicely.
Lead Columnist for D3hoops.com
@ryanalanscott just about anywhere

Offline sac

  • Hall of Fame
  • All-American
  • ********
  • Posts: 14298
  • Karma: +2676/-2151
  • Rejoice in Hope
    • View Profile
    • Speaking of Alaska - my basketball blog
Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #787 on: May 02, 2007, 07:08:02 pm »
Wow did ManU lay a big egg today.  Could have been 4-0 in 12 minutes, they were actually a little lucky it wasn't worse.

AC/Liverpool should be a good match, I'm sure they'll spend 3 weeks talking about 2 years ago.  I'm not sure who's the favorite.
Give to Hope
Twitter  -- words, occasional words

Offline Stinger

  • Starter
  • ***
  • Posts: 648
  • Karma: +323/-178
    • View Profile
    • K Hornet Hoops
Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #788 on: May 02, 2007, 08:55:40 pm »
Im so disappointed in today's game. I'm not a Man U fan, but I don't think anyone can explain that mess today.  Was it the downpour? Anyone? Sir Alex?   That was an embarassment.    Kaka is incredible.  After (yes, I hate to say it), C. Ronaldo Kaka is the best player in the world right now.   

As long as they have Gerrard, I'm taking Liverpool. 

As always, Hala Madrid!
There's only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch.

Nigel Powers - Goldmember

Offline Hoosier Titan

  • All-Conference
  • ****
  • Posts: 898
  • Karma: +107/-44
    • View Profile
Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #789 on: May 02, 2007, 11:32:47 pm »
Just watched the tivo'd game.  It was disappointing, all right.  The first goal, by Kaka--well, that was great.  You can't fault anyone on that.  But the second--the defense!  I think the makeshift defense must have had a lot to do with Man U's collapse. 

AC looked very good in difficult conditions--short, crisp passes that were easier to control.  The final should be a cracker!
You'll never walk alone.

Offline ScotsFan

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 3009
  • Karma: +212/-329
    • View Profile
Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #790 on: May 03, 2007, 10:20:01 am »
I was also very disappointed in ManU's performance last night.  I have to think that fatigue is just catching up to the Reds at this point.  Not to mention the makeshift defense that Sir Alex has to run out on the pitch.  And then there was the less than ideal weather in the 1st half.  The conditions were attrocious in the 1st half and Milan were the side that coped with them best.  With the exception of about a 10-15 minute stretch in the 2nd half, ManU was just simply outplayed. 

I'm going to look forward to seeing how Liverpool does vs. AC.  What I'm not going to look forward to is hearing about how motivated AC will be having blown a 3 goal lead the last time these two clubs  hooked up in the CL Finals.  As if Liverpool won't have any motivations of their own?!   One final thought:  I hope the refereeing is better for Liverpool than it was for ManU?! ::)

Offline Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan)

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 12189
  • Karma: +674/-347
    • View Profile
Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #791 on: May 03, 2007, 11:14:42 am »

I didn't get to follow the match as I was in the dentist chair for two hours yesterday afternoon.  However, the result wasn't a total surprise to me.

I figured that ManU would get one goal, two if everything went their way.  The rain was actually supposed to help United, so I don't think that can be attributed.  Obviously they ran out Vidic, who wasn't quite ready to play, coupled with the weakened defense and the fact that AC had a week to watch film and figure out a plan of attack, the result wasn't all that surprising.

The key to the final, as it was the last time Liverpool made the run, will be the play of Jamie Carragher.  He didn't get much mention in the Chelsea ties, but he is a lockdown defender, which is absolutely essential in European play where the opponents always have a star striker.  In fact, Liverpool may be the only club that has done well in Europe recently without a top ten goal-scoring talent.  That comes because Carragher is so good at controlling the play in the back.  The Liverpool defense doesn't get enough credit, but they're dominance releases the offense to take chances and stay rested by not requiring them to run back so far.
Lead Columnist for D3hoops.com
@ryanalanscott just about anywhere

Offline Hoosier Titan

  • All-Conference
  • ****
  • Posts: 898
  • Karma: +107/-44
    • View Profile
Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #792 on: May 03, 2007, 11:51:40 am »
Bingo, Hoops!

We were just talking about the Liverpool defense at the breakfast table this morning.  Carragher is the key, but Finnan, Riise (when needed), and the relatively new Agger and Arbeloa make up one of the strongest backfields.  It does soften the impact of a short list of top-flight strikers on the side.  (Although I am far more impressed with Peter Crouch than I ever dreamed I would be at first, and Dirk Kuyt's work ethic is outstanding all over the pitch).  Also, Riise, Agger, and Arbeloa are regular scoring threats, and Carragher even scored a goal this season off a corner kick.  And, although Sami Hyypia's career is winding down, he was a mainstay for years, can still give some good minutes, and scored the only goal against Portsmouth last weekend.

The last time I checked the Liverpool site (liverpoolfc.tv), Carragher was either leading the voting for player of the year or second to Stevie G.  I can't find it on the site right now.
You'll never walk alone.

Offline Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan)

  • All-American
  • ******
  • Posts: 12189
  • Karma: +674/-347
    • View Profile
Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #793 on: May 03, 2007, 01:09:00 pm »

I'm not insulting the abilities of the Liverpool Strike Force (puns welcome), but I think even Peter Crouch would admit he's not one of the ten or fifteen best goal scorers in the world.  As a whole, the front line is solid and the lack of a big name (and usually big ego) provides a chemistry boost that is essential.
Lead Columnist for D3hoops.com
@ryanalanscott just about anywhere

Offline Hoosier Titan

  • All-Conference
  • ****
  • Posts: 898
  • Karma: +107/-44
    • View Profile
Re: World Cup and European leagues
« Reply #794 on: May 05, 2007, 09:09:40 am »

I'm not insulting the abilities of the Liverpool Strike Force (puns welcome), but I think even Peter Crouch would admit he's not one of the ten or fifteen best goal scorers in the world.  As a whole, the front line is solid and the lack of a big name (and usually big ego) provides a chemistry boost that is essential.

I needed a little time to respond to this.  I know what you're saying, but I doubt if Peter Crouch would admit that--nor should he.  Found this quote from Bill Shankly on the LFC website:  "A lot of football success is in the mind. You must believe that you are the best and then make sure that you are."  Like a three-point shooter or an opera singer, a striker who doesn't believe he or she can excel is likely to fail.

In terms of numbers, Crouch has a total of 18 goals this year, 9 of them in the EPL.  He leads LFC, while Kuyt has 13 and Gerrard 11.  In the Premiership, there are 20 players with more goals than Crouch, and a lot of them would mostly likely bring, ahem, chemistry issues--people like Didier Drogba, who's leading the league in scoring with 19 EPL goals.  Also, Crouch did not start for a long stretch in the season, as Benitez tried different lineups.

In terms of a big name striker, my saddest day following Liverpool came when Michael Owen decided to test the waters at Real Madrid.  Even though he did well, he wan't playing regularly, and he wanted to return to Liverpool.  Of course, if he had, they would have lost him for this year, rather than Newcastle, following the ACL injury in the World Cup.  I am cheering for him to make a full recovery, and I, personally, hope it works out for him to return to Anfield or its successor.

At any rate, the war chest promised by the new owners should make it possible to bring in more top flight talent--but I think Peter Crouch has proven himself, ungainly as he sometimes appears.  And it does seem that most of the side have a good, unselfish attitude. 
You'll never walk alone.