Flinkers

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Everything posted by Flinkers

  1. 14/15 Premiership Champions

    At this moment in time, yes. But even if they weren't the all-conquering beast they presently are, most BL teams would still take the league over the CL to show Bayern up.
  2. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    Thanks for that Droy
  3. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    Bit late, but congratulations to the U18s for making another final. Great game by the sounds of it.
  4. Media / Press

    Looks like it includes EL ties Had a look back until I hit a second win for an English club in the CL - that was 08/09 (when Liverpool and Arsenal went through vs. Real Madrid and Villareal respectively). If we only tally CL ties up to that point (including semis and finals) its 3 in 14 or a 21% success rate. 14/15 ties (0 from 1) Barcelona - City 3-1 13/14 ties (0 from 2) Barcelona - City 4-1 At. Madrid - Chelsea 3-1 12/13 ties (0 from 1) Real Madrid - Man Utd 3-2 11/12 ties (1 from 1) Barcelona - Chelsea 2-3 10/11 ties (0 from 3) Barcelona - Arsenal 4-3 Real Madrid - Tottenham 5-0 Barcelona - Man Utd 3-1 09/10 ties (0 from 1) Barcelona - Arsenal 6-3 08/09 ties (2 from 4) Barca - Chelsea (a)1-1 Barca - Man Utd 2-0 (Final) Madrid - Liverpool 0-5 Villareal - Arsenal 1-4 If I've missed something or wrongly tallied, I apologise in advance...
  5. 14/15 Premiership Champions

    I may be wrong in my assumption but, from what I've heard here in Germany, only Bayern would prioritise the CL over the Bundesliga. Everyone else would want the league title - if only to put one over FC Hollywood.
  6. Following Chelsea's Loans

    Thanks Juni, thought he looked a bit bigger these days.
  7. Following Chelsea's Loans

    Nice quick feet there under pressure. Is it just me, or has actually he bulked up a little?
  8. Media / Press

    Sounds like my kind of paper!
  9. 14/15 Premiership Champions

    The point I was trying, and failing, to make is that it's not just about Bayern vs. the rest. It's more the quality of play from all the lesser lights in comparison to the other. Personally speaking, almost every game is more attractive and tactically interesting than a Premier League game between two team of a similar standard. The default setting for most PL games seems to be stop by any means first, play second. For a league that is the self-appointed 'best in the world', IMO that's the wrong approach and showcases only the poorer parts of what makes football such a great spectacle. With respect Europe, the Premier League obviously has its own style and idiosyncracies. Whatever side you stand on, they are part and parcel of the game played in England but surely, when the majority of the continent and the rest of the world don't play football that way, the onus on the PL teams to adjust to the common denominator. The lack of technical and tactical acumen in England is English football's problem. 3/4. My belief is that you can always play technical football in combination with physicality (with my personal preference being for fast, fluid, possession based football). You don't have to sacrifice one to play the other. If you're not good enough technically to beat Chelsea with the ball, by all means play defensively. But IMO you should be able to play with the ball against your peers and you should be capable of string at least a couple of passes together before hoofing it to the big man. If not, you have no business being the league; hence the relegation spots. A proactive style makes the game far more appealing for the millions of casual viewers the world over. No one wants to see to managers so afraid of losing they wait for 90 minutes for the other to do anything. I suppose I'm a purist in that sense; I think all teams should always be striving to play in a positive way. That's my biggest bug bear with the Premier League. One could say, and a previous poster touched on it, the financial rewards of the Premier League are dictating the safety first approach. No one wants to miss out on sucking the teat. 1. OK, the silverware bit was a cheap attempt at point scoring and not relevant. But Villa, now that they've got rid of Lambert play in a style that is far more interesting and attractive to watch. I don't have any particular attachment to them, but I think they're going about things proactively and I hope they stay up. HSV have bought a store load of dross, have done for years, and are painful to watch in part because you know this team should be performing better. I hope they go down, for the good of the team. But at least they try to play. Sunderland, for example, have been buying from a more expensive version of the same store and you couldn't pay me to sit in front of one of their games, unless it was against us. This is a team with Rodwell, Giacherrini, Defoe and Johnson who were coached by one of our most potent attacking midfielders in recent history! The mind boggles. West Ham, until Allardyce was instructed to loosen the defensive strings was another. Palace under Warnock... There are a half a dozen sides like this in any given season in the Premier League and more often than not, you hope they never come back up. I'd prefer not to watch van der Vaart in any way, shape or form... and preferably as far away from HSV as possible. ;-) I think we've gone full circle now, haven't we?
  10. 14/15 Premiership Champions

    Perhaps - a slower game does allow more time for players to think on the ball, but a good team/player should be able to show their technique and impose their game plan on the opposition when playing against a team of a similar calibre. IMO, Burnley, Hull and the like don't. Nor, dare I say it, do we, City or Arsenal when playing our European counterparts. To use a counter example, PSG did. Even with 10 men. I find it odd that you think most technical players do not do well here. There are countless examples in the league, even in the lower reaches, and the best of them marry technique and physicality. A squad of George Boyds (pace and physicality) is likely to get relegated; a team of Stewart Downings usually sit comfortably in mid-table. As you intimate, defensive organisation is a laudable trait and is a crucial aspect of good tactical play. I can understand the mentality when it comes to playing superior teams (us vs. Bayern in 2012, for example). But for every game? I personally don't see the attraction in 10 behind the ball, persistent fouling of the man to stop moves and zero interest in attacking the opposition. That's just me. I believe a good manager doesn't either and looks to use the ball to control the game. Pochettino, Pellegrini sometimes, Laudrup, Sousa, maybe Vialli, early Wenger; even Rodgers does it. Monk is trying to do it at Swansea still. I don't think it's any coincidence that of the league's poorer teams, the highest placed ones tend to be those most confident on the ball and usually try to do something with it. The continental managers that subvert their principles and try to play the English way get sacked, precisely because they sacrifice their technical and tactical advantage for the backs to the wall approach. In any case, the English managers that play with all heart and no brain rarely last long either...and reduce the quality of the spectacle. There are lightweights in every walk of life - but for every De Bruyne or Navas, there's a Silva, Mata or Tadic who accept and embrace the physicality but don't sacrifice their ability in doing so. Pace makes things harder but it's no barrier to good on the ball play IMO.
  11. 14/15 Premiership Champions

    Considering the overall quality of football played, yes, I'd rather watch Stuttgart vs. HSV than Hull vs. Aston Villa. Aggressiveness and speed are good qualities to have in any football team, but not when it's to the detriment of technical play. If the TV money in Spain was shared more fairly, I contend that the overall standard of teams would increase far more than it has in the Premier League. Teams that are already technically proficient would get markedly stronger due to being able to afford a better class of player. The Barca / Real Madrid dominance would disappear but I doubt the quality of the league overall would drop to any huge degree. Conversely, the influx of money into the Premier League and exposure to regular European football has raised a poor technical standard to one slightly more in keeping with the rest of Europe, but it still lags far behind the average Spanish or German team, IMO. That, for me, is mainly due to the English focus on the athlete rather than the football player. The Premier League has marketed itself very well and has put itself in a position of great financial strength in comparison to the other European leagues, but personally speaking, the clubs are woefully misusing the funds available to them.
  12. 14/15 Premiership Champions

    I wouldn't classify myself as a Bundesliga expert either to be honest - I've just watched it more having moved here. It's subjective of course, but the tactical acumen shown and the fluidity of the football shown by the mid to lower level teams in the German League is far superior to that of the comparable English ones. And, if I'm being honest, I think there are far more dead rubber, Championship type matches in the Premier League than here in Germany. I respect your right to disagree though. I will agree that there's a national bias towards their league, it's only natural after all. 1. I'll give you Paderborn, but each of the other clubs have won at least one piece of silverware in the last 30 years. Only Aston Villa can match that. For me, the only quantifiable way they are better is in the bank balance. 2. No problem 3/4. I don't disagree with that and, yes, there is a place for those tactics. But if the default setting for the majority of the league is to spoil rather than to play, I find that a fairly disappointing way to look at and play football. The great sides are usually a mixture of both physicality and technical ability. At present, the Premier League is too focussed on the physical side. And that makes it, for me at least, not the 'best' league. You're right of course - it's a redundant argument. Thanks Dave. I'd also argue that the major leagues (at least at the very top) are played at a similar pace to the Premier League but with more technical fluidity. That's one reason why the English teams come unstuck - they can't rely on overpowering the opposition with their physical attributes like they used to. To compound the error by continuing to spend exorbitant amounts on athletes rather than football players is foolish in the extreme! That money should be going deeper down the pyramid to develop future players with sufficient ball skills and tactical awareness to slowly raise the league's overall quality. In truth, I feel the Premier League already has the players to play a more tactically adept style of football and most clubs certainly have the money to recruit them but, for whatever reason, they don't. I'm exaggerating here but why spend €40m on players just to play kick and rush? That possibility exists in every league. It just happens less often. The overall quality of the football though, is IMO game for game better on the continent than in England.
  13. 14/15 Premiership Champions

    1. The English clubs are richer. Villareal is, IMO, a better, more technically adept side than West Brom which is put together on a shoe string in comparison to English clubs in a similar league position. It would also wipe the floor with the majority of the teams in the Premier League, regardless of whether La Liga is a joke or not. If La Liga teams ever agree a collective bargaining agreement, the Premier League would seriously have to start worrying.
  14. 14/15 Premiership Champions

    Those teams have put out Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Swansea. Hardly mid-table teams. But I take your point, the elite teams in England are some of Europe's strongest. However, that does not equate with the Premier League being the best or strongest league. Even then, 'our' strongest are not technically or tactically good enough to win as much as the wealth should signify.
  15. 14/15 Premiership Champions

    Wow, opened a can of worms here... Here goes! No idea, but of the two I watch with any regularity, and taking into account the kind of football I like to see, for me the overall technical quality of the Bundesliga makes it game for game a better league to watch. Title race not withstanding of course. The clubs taking part in Europe represent the league, hence the league's exploits. Napoli, Besiktas, Benfica, Fiorentina, Basel, Sporting Lisbon, Athletic Bilbao and Valencia are all good teams but hardly the very best in Europe... 1. You're including Sunderland, QPR, Hull, Stoke, Aston Villa, West Bromwich, Newcastle et al in this league of highest average quality?? Here we part ways - unless you're talking wage level of course. 2. (a.) Yes, possession is a thing to be valued; (b.) only if it's used effectively and (c.), no. 3. Pace and aggression reduces the game IMO into nothing more than a war of physical attrition. That's why teams like Sunderland, Burnley etc. come with those tactics. Because they can't compete in any other way. Coupled with limited tactical knowledge, fear of the sack and a refusal to use the ball as a means to control the tempo of a match and move your opposition about, those two things are IMO extremely detrimental to any side's or league's aspiration to be the best. Instead you end up with a league full of matches where players assault players off the ball, and clear fouls being accepted as part of the game or at most as random accidents from players that 'really aren't like that'. Makes for a good spectacle though and spectacle is a highly marketable commodity. 4. It's my argument that the English game is underperforming in Europe because of its overreliance on aggression and speed. Add in poor tactical discipline and a lack of composure on the ball... 1. Sunderland, Hull, West Ham and West Bromwich all spent more than Villareal this season. Are they really better? Than Ajax too? I respectfully disagree. I'm not debating the merits of either Moneyball or 'aggressive player acquisition', but having money doesn't always equate to knowing how to spent it wisely. 2. The players will go where the money is. At present England pays more on average than anywhere else. 3. See above. The truly elite players are still not playing in England. 4. There are poor teams/performances every year, just as there are dominant teams every season. An 8-0, a 9-2, or a 6-3 is no basis for a comparison of league strength. Those are anomalies. It's the same as arguing a league is the best defensively because most games end 0-0!
  16. 14/15 Premiership Champions

    A: Sorry for the lack of clarity. I meant the bell curve as in the average strength of each team in the league in comparison to the other. The French, Spanish and German leagues 'spike', the Portuguese, Dutch and English leagues tend to have a smoother arc. It's a semantic argument but, for me, the Premier League is certainly the wealthiest, probably the most exciting, but not the 'best' league in the world. B: When that pace undermines the overall quality of the league, that's to its detriment and IMO reduces the appeal. I realise that pace and aggression are two of the cornerstones of the English game but there are more attractive ways to play. Especially when those two characteristics arguably reduce a team's effectiveness in European competition. IMO, that should be the benchmark when comparing one league to another. C: Hence the fallacy in playing Transfer Manager 2015 and continually spunking €1b on players who are, in reality, worth only half that. But we love a good window... D: I know you disagree but IMO the top 6 in Spain, Italy and Germany would have little trouble avoiding relegation from the Premier League. Especially when competing on a level financial playing field (I.e. if they were members of the PL and could avail of all its monetary advantages). Add in teams like Shakhtar, Porto, Ajax, PSG etc. and I'd venture the real figure would be closer to 30 teams who could improve the quality/attractiveness of PL football straight away. And add to its technical standard. Surely the strength of any league can only be measured by its exploits in Europe. How else do you draw a comparison? The intensity of each and every match and lack of a mid-season break make the PL an interesting league to watch, and are mitigating factors in European 'non-performance', but considering the year on year failure of almost every PL team other than us (there are exceptions of course) to go further than the 1st knockout round, you could say that the PL teams are getting considerably less bang for their buck than they should be.
  17. 14/15 Premiership Champions

    The money smooths the bell curve and makes the league in itself more competitive, but with the amount of spent and available going forward, the technical quality of the league in general is poor and the return on its investment (I.e. the clubs' European performance across the board) should be far higher than it currently is. As a cash cow and as a marketed commodity, there is no better but it is IMO far from the best league in the world.
  18. Chelsea 1 Southampton 1

    Not from me. First half was poor but we really increased the pace and put Southampton under huge pressure in the 2nd. Looked much the better for it and just wish they'd play like that more often. Disappointed we didn't get all three points, but it was just one of those games.
  19. Chelsea 2 Paris Saint-Germain 2 (AET)

    If I have an agenda, it's that I'd like a team of stars on star wages, coached by a star manager to start finally playing like one. I'm not 23 anymore, I can't watch every game or post after every match.
  20. Chelsea 2 Paris Saint-Germain 2 (AET)

    Why is criticism of the team and tactics such heresy? On nights like tonight, they deserve everything that gets chucked at them.
  21. Chelsea 2 Paris Saint-Germain 2 (AET)

    Not yet, but if we only get the five points in the next 3 games I fear we'll get, I will be. Jose seriously needs to go back to the drawing board and work out a better way to manage the game, than sitting on the edge of the penalty area and holding what we have. There is a time and place for it but not every game and it's not the first time it's cost us. IMO it's a cowardly way of playing for the calibre of player we have and we should be capable of and courageous enough to take the game to a ten man team! I could understand the Drogba sub in some ways because we needed to try and get the ball to stick up front. But considering how well PSG were finding space when they had the ball (even with ten men!), playing from the back, controlling possession and slipping passes for PSG to turn and chase probably would have kept them at bay better. And worn them out more. I would probably have gone for Remy instead. Game management through ball possession - they had it, we didn't. It was embarassing how poorly drilled we looked in comparison, even after a week's rest. I'd also not have subbed Matic for Zouma - it was OK as a needs must solution but it should not be a permanent option. Looks like Jose's got a new trick to rank with the "defender/striker" one he is also fond of. We got exactly what we asked for.
  22. Chelsea 2 Paris Saint-Germain 2 (AET)

    That worked out well...
  23. Chelsea 2 Paris Saint-Germain 2 (AET)

    Sod that, take the game to them! They have ten men and need to score - we should be looking for another goal to kill this off.
  24. Chelsea 2 Paris Saint-Germain 2 (AET)

    Not secretly, no.
  25. Chelsea 2 Paris Saint-Germain 2 (AET)

    Who had the game on Saturday? Are we down to 10 men? Might as well be with Ramires playing the way he is... This cannot be the sum of our ambitions! Good grief.