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and the NEW
Well saw only a few games this week. Disappointing there are no more games until two weeks time. Well there are internationals, but I dont get to see many over here! Mainly only the England game!

Man United looked impressive, back to their form last season. I thought they would hit this form sooner or later with most of their star players back, and Anderson had a great game in midfield! Ronaldo and Rooney also played brilliantly!

Arsenal game was a great match! Arsenal looked like they were going to romp them at the beginning, it could have easily been 4 nil at the start, but then they let in a couple of soft goals, and were in a real struggle! Though, their class won out again!

Only other match I got to see was the Barca Vs Atletico game! Atletico looked good at the start, and were man marking very tightly, which pissed me off, especially on Ronaldinho and Messi. Though, once that first mistake was let in, it all opened up! It was a great game, lots of room, though Barca are just unstoppable at the moment, probably the best team I have seen assembled in a very long time, maybe ever! Was disappointed to see Ronaldinho taken off again, especially considering he was really enjoying it out there and playing some good football!

You must be disappointed with Valencia slumping, and Real got up once more towards the end of the match! They were lucky to hit Atletico and Villareal in pretty bad form, though they still have Valencia, Barca, Sevilla and Zaragoza to come, so we cant really tell who is infront until 19 games are done with! I actually think Atletico are going to be right up there come the end of the season, well maybe not in title contention, but I think they will go very close and probably grab a Champions League spot!

Sevilla is having a shocker!

Who is playing in the qualifiers/friendlies in the next two weeks?
I think Valencia need a management change desperately. I don't think there is any excuse for the team's form this past Saturday. Flores was handed everything on a silver platter in the off season. He's got arguably the deepest squad in all of Spain and one of the deepest in all of Europe. Some staff members lost their jobs in the off season because of him, and he has continued to coach the team to really shocking form. Don't get me wrong, Espanyol is a good team and I LOVE watching them play because they are exciting. But they SHOULD NOT beat Valencia at La Mestalla. To make it worse, Villa is injured and he'll be out at least 2 weeks, definitley missing the Spain vs Denmark qualifier. The defense is TERRIBLE. I think the team misses Roberto Ayala alot more than they figured when they let him go because nobody is controlling the lines that well. Albiol is an amazing player, but he has been caught ball watching more than once this season and it pisses me off. Alexis is another awesome young talent but he overpursues too much on defense and is often caught out of position, similar to Carlos Puyol last season. I think its safe to conclude that Flores will be gone next season. I don't think they'll renew his contract if he fails to win anything this year. At this rate, we'll be lucky to get 4th in La Liga, and we'll probably make an early exit out of the Champions League. I know that Sevilla's Juande Ramos contract is up at the end of the season, so he's an option and he would certainly open up Valencia's attack more. Jose Mourinho is out there and he's a winner for sure. I would definitely take him over Flores any day.

On a more positive note, I have friends out of Spain who have told me that Rafael Van Der Vaart is already signed for next season and he'll be a Valencia player. Thats the best news I've heard in a while for sure. Kaka is interested in playing for either Barcelona or Real Madrid. I don't think there's room for him AT THE MOMENT in Barca and I'm not sure who's position he'd take at Real Madrid. But I honestly think he would fit in ALOT BETTER at Sevilla.

Arsenal is still not as strong as the real elite clubs on defense. But their attack is 2nd to none, and provided that they don't suffer too much from injury, they could go on and win it. Fabregas is really taking the team to another level and IMO he's on his way to winning the best player of the year award.

Man United predictably hit their form, and now they are whole. And this shows what they can do once the squad is back together. I think they lack some depth on defense, but they could do with a little luck there and hope there are no major injuries or setbacks. Cristiano Ronaldo looked very sharp.

Atletico did what I thought they would do and that was mark very tightly and play Barca very physically. I think Ronnie is being taken off early because of pre-caution. He was injured not too long ago and I think they're trying to look out for him. Messi is enjoying some fine form at the moment and opponents can only hope he gets cold again. Barca's backline has not been really tested enough yet IMO. Stuttgart created some chances against them but couldn't put them away, but I don't really think anyone has really threatened them on a consistent basis. Sevilla was supposed to be the team but it didn't happen. I guess we'll have to wait and see until they play Real Madrid or something.
and the NEW
Yeh, you must be pissed with Valencia! They havent been doing well as of lately, though I will give it to them, they played well against Chelsea! They certainly have the squad to do well this season and if they dont, no excuses, Flores should be on his way! How was the Espanyol game, did they outplay Valencia? Were Silva or Vicente playing? Villa injured is definately not a good thing for them! He is their main man! I would like to see what Jose Maurinho could do for them and would not be surprised to see him going there! Van Der Vaart will help a lot, his a very good player and Riquelme is still a very good option!

I dont think there is any room for Kaka at Barcelona with their squad currently. They have 4 guys upfront where they only need 3 (plus their two youngsters if it gets real thin)! They have 4 in the midfield where they only need 3! Then they have a very capable backline now, with Milito a GREAT defender in my opinion so far!

Ronaldinho, Henry, Messi, Eto'o (Dos Santos is their real thin).

Toure, Iniesta, Xavi, Deco

Sylvinho, Abidal, Milito, Puyol, Thuram, Marquez, Zambrotta, Oleguer.

That is cover for all positions for me! Though, I dont much like much Oleguer or Marquez. Sylvinho is bad in defence, but he combines brilliantly with Ronnie up the left so is ok to have on the bench just for cover.

Kaka will most likely go to Real Madrid I think, though again, not sure where they will play him. Possibly a replacement for an old Raul, or even put him in the centre in Zizous old role, just behind Raul and Van Nistelrooy!

Fabregas and Ronaldo are definately the two standouts of the Premier League. Zlatan and Kaka in Serie A, and Ronaldinho and Messi probably will battle it out in La Liga. These 6 guys will probably dominate the World Player of the Year for the next few years!

As for Barca not being tested yet at the back, I dont want to speak too soon, but I think a lot has to do with Toure (he was away against Stuttgart and it was apparent). Though, Xavi, Iniesta and Deco are all in form this season and them controlling the midfield give the opponent less chance on the ball!

I also think Abidal and Milito are great additions!
The first 10 minutes Valencia played well, and Villa really served up a nice lob for Baraja to head in. But Espanyol's coach Valverde seemed to know EVERYTHING that Flores was going to do. Espanyol dominated possession, and though Valencia created some opportunities, they lacked the spark. David Silva is a very good player and possibly in time he'll develop into a world class footballer. But as of now, his finishing is too weak(Missed 2 sitters on Saturday), he can't cross, and he goes down a little too easily for my taste. Everytime he gets touched he wants a foul called. Vicente is in the squad and appeared to be warming up to get in, but he's not quite ready yet. He'll be brought along slowly and thats probably the only smart thing that Flores is doing right now. Van Der Vaart would be a HUGE help. The gap in the central midfield is big. Manuel Fernandes is a good young player but he's not quite ready yet to assume the position. Sunny is another talented youngster similar to Makelele in style of play but he's still just a prospect and cannot be expected to take on such a huge role. And because of that, both Baraja and Albelda are still in the midfield and at this point in their careers, they just can't offer us much. Albelda at least still defends and fights for loose balls, but Baraja is offering very little. Apart from his goal on Saturday, he seems no longer capable of putting through some good balls, and he lacks pace. And he's not even defending anymore. Its definitely time for a change there. Mourinho would help out ALOT I feel. And he has good relationships with some of the players apparently. He likes Villa ALOT, and he has tried on numerous occasions to sign Joaquin. And I like the fact that he was the one who first promoted Deco to the first team when he won the Super Liga with his club. I would take Mourinho anyday but his salary will be very expensive I fear. BTW, could you imagine Barca's fans reaction at Camp Nou when Valencia comes to town and Mourinho is on the sidelines???... LOL... Wouldn't wanna be there I'll tell ya!!!..

Kaka would most likely end up at Real Madrid I agree, but I don't know. Thats a HUGE move and though Real have the money for it, AC Milan are not going to give up Kaka so easily. A midfield with Kaka and Sneijder would be very hard to contend with thats for sure.

I think Toure was definitely missed when Barca travelled to Stuttgart. That was a win that Barca really gutted out there. Not an easy place to win is Germany and Stuttgart did EXACTLY what I thought they would do. Very good win for Barca there because that one was a very physical game that tested the team's character I feel.

World player of the year this season will surely be between Fabregas, Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo, at the moment at least. Ronnie can still explode any moment and score a hat trick or something. Because Serie A is such a weak league IMO, I don't really put too much weight in what anybody does there. I would like to see how Kaka performs at the real top level in either England or Spain. Along with Ibrahimovic. Not that I don't think they couldn't succeed there, but I think that Fabregas, Messi, Ronnie, and Cristiano Ronaldo all perform at a high level and they score goals and make assists against top football clubs week in and week out in leagues were you have to earn your points the hardway or no way.
and the NEW
Yeh, you are seeing the same problems with Valencia, that I saw with Barca last season! So I can totally empathise and feel how frustrated you must be! Hopefully you guys do get Maurinho (he also needs a club, and most big clubs have big managers at the moment, unless AC Milan slips up, they will surely get a new coach as their domestic form is poor to say the least).

Kaka was voted the FIFpro player of the year, and I think he will get the FIFA and Baloon'dor (or however they are all spelt) also. I thik he is without a doubt, the front runnner, far infront of the pack. Infact, I would be SHOCKED if he didnt get them! Not say he doesnt deserve them, but he is being rated a bit high for me! These other guys are at least on par with him!

Ronaldinho definately has to come back with consistancy and its obvious he is already working hard to help the defence, if he has any chance of being up there next year for the award, though with his ability, I would never write him off. I think he is nearly at the level of all of these guys at the moment (and apparently he is OUT of form).

Interestingly, I am reading a book on Dinho at the moment (Footballs Flamboyant Maestro) by Jethro Soutar, it is brilliant! Talk about meticulous research and unbias! Great reading! The very interesting part of the book (though most of it is) but at the moment I am upto the part where Ronnie went to Barca. It talks of LaPorte as a dictator (having got rid of his sidekick (cant remember his name, but the Nike rep)) and how Rijkard was telling LaPorte over dinner at the end of Ronnies first season there, that he doesnt know what to do with Ronnie. That he doesnt know where to play him, pretty much he doesnt really want him on the team. At the time, the Nike agent wanted to get Scolari in and LaPorte wanted to keep Rijkard. So it does say a little as to what is happening now, with Rijkard still content to leave Ronnie out and as such, having a slightly more "solid" team.
Interesting to hear about Ronnie. It seems to me that Barca, much like Real Madrid and Valencia is a club that has lots of politics and behind the scenes bickering. Yet these are the 3 giants of Spanish football. I guess when you have the amount of talent that these clubs have, then you can go through all that and still have a succesfull season. We are all aware as well of Real Madrid's politics, and Valencia has enough backstage shenanigans going on with the sporting director getting in arguments with the manager and players getting into fights on the training grounds and getting banished for it. So much crap goes on and it gets a little old.

Am I hearing right that this is Frank Rijkaard's last season and that he's going to Chelsea to be manager???... Thats EPIC, if it occurs, considering Camp Nou's hate for Jose Mourinho and Chelsea.

Funny how Ronnie has one bad game and he's out of form, yet players like Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo have their streaks of not doing anything and they're still in "top form". I guess when your the star of what is arguably the most talented club in all of Europe then there is little margin for error.

So, you got any injury updates or possible transfer rumors??.. Not really much else that I'm hearing at the moment.

and the NEW
Yeh the politics are intense! I didnt realise how close Ronnie came to signing for Man United either. Before Kenyon tried to rip off PSG and instead they sold Ronnie on the cheap! Ferguson had his way once again and send Kenyon packing (now paying overpriced sums for Chelsea players, though he did get Alex and Malouda on the cheap I feel).

A lot of politics though, many also felt that Rijkaard was a weak coach, that he couldnt control the players and back in his first season, structure looked shocking! Though, in that department, nothing has changed! He is an attacking coach, but he has no idea how to coach his defensive line! Thank god with the marshel (Milito) at the back now and Toure in the midfield, not to mention Abidal on the left, they can now structure themselves!

Though I dont mind Rijkaard, at least he is attacking and coaches for great technical ability, with a lot of training on the ball. So I hope he doesnt leave.

I havent heard he is going to Chelsea............where you get that from? They just signed the Ajax coach as "assistant coach", so I guess he will be working as a sort of team with Avram Grant.

I also heard Lampard might be leaving Chelsea, with Real Madrid a possible destination!

Funny how Camp Nou hate Maurinho, when he used to be there as an assitant coach under Cryuft (can never spell his name), but he also wanted to get Ronnie off the team at the start, saying he didnt chip in enough in defence! Apparently he gave a LOT of advice back then to Rijkaard!

I think Ronnie gets criticised because he was THAT good! He was rated not just World Player of the Year (as Kaka will likely be in a month or so), but he was UNDISPUTED World Player of the Year. Everyone knew it. A player like that has not come around since Maradona and as such it was expected he continue his great run. Though, come to think of it Ronaldo copped the same junk when he was injured or slightly out of form (fat)! Though, the phenomenons career did nose-dive a bit more than Ronnies!

Dont have much news on the front of injuries or transfer speculation. Im sure a lot more will start up towards the mid year break.

I also get to see the Germany, England and Spain European qualifiers which will be great! Really want to watch Spain! Though I actually did hear come to think of it, that Silva and Puyol will probably not be playing due to injuries!
Rijkaard has now come out to deny the Chelsea rumors. I read it at ... If such a move would occur, it would be after the season is over. Rijkaard is an attacking coach but the lack of structure on defense last year has to be blamed on Puyol and Marquez IMO. Neither of those guys did all that good in controlling the lines. Thats why I think that they blew so many games in the latter stages.

Ronnie is really an attacking midfielder so he shouldn't be expected to be the greatest defender. I think its his ATTITUDE towards defense that Mourinho probably hated. He seems rather disinterested in getting back to defend IMO. This was most evident to me in the last World Cup. I just guess that when you set such high standards for yourself that coaches, players, fans, and the football media look at you differently. Like in Valencia if Villa goes on a small streak of not scoring any goals, then you definitely hear about it in the Valencia community and all the talk of is he really worth what he's getting paid. I just think that if you are at a certain level, you have to have a thick skin and be able to deflect criticism and Ronnie is in that position at Barca, and he's also in that position when he plays for Brazil, arguably the greatest team in the history of international football. And I think thats pretty much it.

EVERYBODY wants to go Real Madrid!!!... Lampard, Kaka, and a few others. Now I read not too long ago that Barca is gonna try to buy back Cesc Fabregas in the off season. Hell, a good box to box midfielder like that is not only hard to find, but comes expensive too. I think Valencia could use Fabregas more, but if they get a new manager in the off season and a player like Van Der Vaart, then they probably won't need him.

I hear that for Spain Villa, Silva, Xabi Alonso, and Puyol are all out. Though Raul Albiol is going to play so hopefully the defense will be good. Torres and Tamudo will be in attack along with Luis Garcia. Hopefully things go well. Its MUST WIN for Spain.

QUOTE(and the NEW @ Oct 12 2007, 01:02 AM) [snapback]360911[/snapback]
A player like that has not come around since Maradona and as such it was expected he continue his great run.

Brilliant at his best but he ain't no Maradona.

Kenyon ballsed up the deal to bring him to Utd but this had nothing to do with his (Kenyon's) move to Chelsea. Besides, United got Ronaldo instead and in the long run EVERY Utd fan is happy with the way things worked out.
and the NEW
He aint no Maradona, he is TOTALLY different to Maradona. For starters, Ronnie doesnt have a left foot, but his vision and passing is the best EASILY in the history of the sport I beleive! The similarities between Maradona and Messi are astounding I beleive! The "goal of the century" was nearly identical, though I would go as far to say as Messis was even better! Though, Maradonas was in a bigger game! Then there is "the hand of god", remarkable!

The deal (or lack there of) is what sent Kenyon packing, no? I would call that having something to do with his move to Chelsea. If he never got sacked, he would not be at Chelsea right now! Worked out in the long-run, but lets face it, Ronaldo took a LONG TIME to get to where he is today and since his arrival, Man United have 1 Premiership to their name, not even a Champions League. No doubt he is one of the very best in the world currently, but if Ronnie went there, who knows what they could have won..........

PR, yeh Real Madrid are buying up big, they already have a very deep squad! Would be incredible if they got both Lampard and Kaka! Fabregas to Barca (god damn Barca produce some great players huh)! He would be a great asset for the team, though Deco is a VERY similar player to Fabregas, so we might see the exit of Deco if Fabregas comes! Who knows, maybe Valencia could land him! Though, I cant see Barca keeping all their players now and adding to that with Fabregas. Much like Guily left because of it, one of the other guys is sure to move on!

All those guys are definately out of the Spain squad from what I hear and man, what a weird attack having Tamudo and Garcia in there! Though, I do think Tamudo is a very good player Im not a fan of Garcia!

Fabregas should also have an assured starting place in the lineup, something that has been very hard for him to come by, with Iniesta and Xavi being the preferred option! Denmark is a very good team, so this is a CRITICAL match! Then in midweek, England go to Russia to play on synthetic, that is definately a very weird thing to do! Not sure how England will go, but I know personally I love when I play on synthetic!

Some more transfer speculation I heard, is Viera to Man City from Inter, Riquelme to Man City also (him not even making a Villareal team is a disgrace to world football). Depriving us of watching one of the best talents in the world! As far as technical ability, vision and passing, he is probably only surpassed at the moment by Ronnie and Fabregas.
Kenyon wasn't sacked by Man United. He was actually head-hunted by Roman Abramovich shortly after the Russian bought Chelsea. He wasn't allowed to start his new position immediately and instead took time out on 'gardening leave'. It was a sore point for United fans because Kenyon had always professed to be a live long supporter of the club.

Ronaldinho would obviously have been a more instant success at Utd because he was a more complete player than Ronaldo at that time. However, even if he had have signed, I don't believe Utd would have won the title because they were going through a transitional period at that time. In time, I believe Ronaldo will surpass him however and the signs were ominous last season with his 23 goals, and 23 assists on the road to winning the league.

I think you're overrating Ronnie by declaring him to be the best passer in the history of the sport. EASILY???? No chance.
and the NEW
The Kenyon saga was very different from what I read. But I must admit, I did not follow United closely through that period (my boxing was far more intense at that stage), though from what I read, as in so many other cases, Kenyon fell victim to Ferguson, as so many others have.

Perhaps Ronaldo will surpass him, for last season he could have been called "world player of the year" and in my book he was! Though, a guy like Ronaldo has to do what he does best, NOW, because his sheer acceleration will not last far into his career and without that, while he can still be a good player, will not be at the very top! Though, he is performing very well, very very young, so he still does have many great years to come!

I beleive he is the best passer in the history of the sport. Most of the other greats, Zico, Cruyft, Pele, Maradona etc were all the same kind of player, more about dribbling, could use both feet very well, speed. Their most valuable asset not being passing and vision. Zizou best asset was finding space and movement off the ball I beleive. He did not thread the eye of the needle balls like Ronnie does week in and week out. Ronnie has already been one of the very best in the world for a few seasons now and no doubt (injury free) will remain one of them for a few more years. Not many players have remained at the TOP of world football for several years, let alone their number one attribute being vision and passing to allow them to remain at that peak. Not to mention, he is possibly one of the worst defensive contributors I have EVER seen! To remain at the top simply by having the ball at your feet and doing what you do best, that is something special!

Who do you think has better vision and passing ability than Ronnie?

As for the weeks matches, what did you think of them PR? I just bought a new channel (its an extra 15 a month) but it shows football 24/7 so I can now pretty much catch any match I want. I saw England dominate Estonia as expected and I must say, Joe Cole is looking one of the best I have ever seen him, so direct these days and he is actually turning his skill into goals!

Spain were LUCKY to get the win against Denmark, the score sure didnt reflect the game! Denmark had numerous chances! Iniesta and Fabregas were probably the two best performers for spain! Oh and I cant forget Casillas!

Brazil looked HORRIBLE against Colombia, in a game they should have lost! Everyone, from Kaka, to Robinho to Ronaldinho just looked drained of energy! Must have been a VERY humid night, not to mention the altitude! The pitch was also SOAKED so it was hard for them to show their (I would say usual, but not as of late) attacking flair. They had no structure, no flair, no creativity and no desire. They just walked around the pitch like they thought the outcome was a foregone conclusion!

Portugal looked good in their qualifier, Quresma just amaizes me every time I watch him, Barca should have never let him go! He was even outperforming Ronaldo as far as tricks were concerned! God they have a good midfield, with the choice of Ronaldo, Queresma, Deco or Simao!
I didn't get to see the Spain match but from what I hear they were indeed VERY lucky in a match that Denmark played very well in. However, considering that the team was without Villa, Torres, Silva, Xabi Alonso, and Puyol, I'm VERY GLAD that they had that amount of luck on their side.

I think at the moment that Ronaldinho is better than Cristiano Ronaldo. For starters, Ronnie is a more reliable finisher. I think he is more of a threat on goal than Ronaldo, he's a better dribbler, and he's more proven overall in the Champions League and at the international level IMO. Yeah I know that maybe Ronnie doesn't always appear to be the phenom he is week in and week out in La Liga for his country Brazil, but lots of times the way the team is formatted has alot to do with that. I also feel that Ronaldinho is more mature as a player than Ronaldo, who is very much a hot head I feel, and tends to go down a little too easily when touched, whereas Ronnie just sticks to the game and takes whats given to him. Maybe in a couple of years Ronaldo will surpass him but I doubt it. Even so, this isn't a good comparison. Ronaldo is a right winger, who can play in the central midfield, while Ronnie is a pure attacking midfielder at his best lined up behind the strikers, and can even play as a left forward.

The domestic campaigns start again this weekend and I'm very much looking forward to that.

In other news, Van Der Vaart has once again reitereated that he is UNHAPPY at Hamburg despite his thus far productive season, and he wants a move to Spain. Due to his mother being Spanish, and practically all of his family being in Spain, along with his ability to speak Spanish fluently, it would probably be an ideal home for him. Valencia were chasing him in the off season and Real Madrid has now thrown its hat into the race apparentley.

Riquelme will be sold in December but to whom remains to be seen. He might just end up at Boca Jrs again.
and the NEW
Yeh, Spain had a STACK of injuries! I didnt like their defence on paper and then once the match was underway, I realised why! They need that kind of luck! Though I must say, I think England and Portugal are looking the best as of late in qualifiers! Funny how things can change so quickly!

Ronaldo sure takes a LOT more shots at goal, though he can afford too, as he creates many of the chances himself!

I think Ronaldinho has better tricks and probably a softer touch and better ball control, but the sheer pace that Ronaldo runs at and still manages to keep the ball close to his feet, is phenomenal! I think this alone puts his dribbling and ability to beat a defender 1 on 1 above that of Ronaldinho! Ronaldinho also has HUGE trouble with his left foot! That beautiful goal he scored for Barca years back, when he cut from the right of the box to the left and then thumped an arrow into the top left corner of the goal, was his first EVER as a professional with his left foot! Incredible! Cant remember him scoring after that with his left foot either! Weird, because he can pass very well with his left foot!

Ronaldinho also has the element of free kicks, he is in another league to Ronaldo at these, but Ronaldo helps out more in defence!

Ronaldinho has FAR better vision and passing. Though, Ronaldo can create space for other guys with his speed and dribbling and lay off an easy pass for them to finish. He still has only got a heap of assists in one season so far and looks more likely to score goals than set them up to me. So overall, based on last season, I think they are pretty close! Only difference is, Ronnie has now been doing that for 4 years (and doesnt look to be slowing down this year), whereas Ronaldo has only done it for 1! To remain at the top like that is very, very hard! Another big thing, is just like Ronaldinho, Ronaldo is going to be double marked more, which is already evident this season I beleive! Tight marking can make a HUGE impact on a players stats at the end of a season!

As for the type of player, I would actually say the comparison is pretty close as to their positioning on the field. Ronnie likes to sit near the touchline where the space is, as does Ronaldo. Just on opposite sides of the park. You also see both of them drifting around and can be seen on the other side of the park sometimes. Though, Ronnie does like to play the drifting role more often where he can use his balls through the middle. Whereas Ronaldo will make his run up the right, and then cut back into the middle, much like Messi. Ronaldo also moves deeper and puts in crosses, wheras Ronnie will cut inside earlier and try and thread a ball.

A GLUT of fixtures is coming up now, with La Liga games on the weekend, Champions League fixtures and a midweek fixture, along with a Cup tie! They play several matches in the next month alone for their club in La Liga! Well at least Sevilla, Real Madrid, Valencia and Barca do (all those competing in the Champs League), so depth of squad is going to be VERY important! Considering on both sides of those packed weeks, you have internationals (the ones now) and more in a month! Two games a week for 6 weeks, that is intense!

Riquelme will be going to the Premier League I beleive, with Man City, Middlesborough both interested! Im sure Tottenham could throw their hat in also and who knows about Portsmouth?! There is just so much money in the Premier League at the moment with all these billionaire owners! Would be unfortunate to see him go to Boca!

One guy I am surprised has not been chased down yet, is Queresma, any of the big clubs could use him on the wing. Though, none really have room for more wingers! Perhaps only Arsenal, so who knows with their newly found warchest! And with Wengers preference for young talent, it would make perfect sense!
In La Liga, the big boys all play on Saturday. Barca have a REALLY tough match, travelling to Villareal, and Real Madrid travel to Espanyol. Valencia play Deportivo at home and they DESPERATELY need a win.

Honestly, Ronado's touch and dribbling cannot be compared to Ronaldinho's. Ronaldo is faster and can control the ball well at full speed, but Ronaldinho is more resourceful and more aware when it comes to spotting the runs made by his teammates. And as you mentioned, ATN, Ronnie has been doing this for years with defenders locking on to him with very tight and physical marking, at club, Champions League, and international level, and can still work his magic. Ronaldo is in form now and pretty sharp, but it remains to be seen for how long he can keep up his top form.

Riquelme will hopefully go to a club that will suit him well. Manchester City would be a good fit for him.

Valencia appears to have first dibs on Van Der Vaart for either this December or next season(Next season is more likely), with Real Madrid in the running as well.

I keep hearing how Deco will exit this coming Summer no matter what, with him reportedly interested in either Chelsea or Valencia.

Real Madrid have reportedly put up a bid for David Villa this December(Though they have denied it), and as of now, nothing has really been done.

I doubt we'll see any serious transfers in December other than Riquelme.
and the NEW
Yeh, this next few weeks will be tough for the La Liga big guns!

I agree, Man City will suit Riquelme!

Its funny, I keep hearing rumours about Deco, but him confirming he is happy at Barca! This is his 4th season with them though, so he might just be ready to move on! Though, if he goes, they really only have 3 great pure midfielders left and they need at least 3, so any injuries would leave them very stretched! Who knows, the Lampard, Deco swap could come up again, Lampard is afterall, apparently still not totally happy at Chelsea!

Real could use Villa, but Valencia will really struggle without him! Would be a HUGE loss for them! I can also see Alvez moving on from Sevilla!

Though I agree, other than Roman, I cant really see many big signings happening in the summer, as per usual.

Though, on the signing front, I heard rumours that Zizou might play in the States next season.........

Oh I also watched an old Barca game the other day on BarcaTV, back in the days of Luis Enrique, Rivaldo and Kluivert! Damn I forgot how good Rivaldo used to be! Such a solid player!

One more move which is sure to happen within the next year, is Alvez from the Dutch league. He EASILY won the top scorer last season, and hit 7 the other day I beleive. A feat that only guys like Van Basten and Cryuft have matched! He will surely go to the Premier League I beleive.
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Well watched Portugal carve up in their game, though only just scrape by! They are going to be hard to stop in the Euro!

France look as solid as ever, they should make it also! Ribery is really developing into one of the best in the world!

England must be spewing about their call against Russia, that penalty was outside the box and soft at that! Though, Russia were the better of the teams! Didnt appear the synthetic really made a difference though! Russia are a very good team!

Brazil played GREAT against Ecuador, all of them played some great football! Ronaldinho, Kaka and Robinho all contributing some great peices of magic!

Argentina looked solid against Venezuela, Messi cracked another great shot and Riquelme is just brilliant! He reminds me of a slightly better version of Deco, more of an attacking threat! Though, Deco does contribute a LOT in defence!

I think Im all footballed out for a while now, with games on this weekend also I seem to be only infront of the TV watching the matches with my spare time!

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Watched Man United DOMINATE Aston Villa, though Villa did do well until the red card. Much the same as Everton doing very well against Liverpool until the red cards started flowing! They were also unlucky not to get a penalty themselves! Very lucky for Liverpool!

Chelsea looked their usual selves, grinding down Middlesborough! Drogba clinical again!

Arsenal looked flat against a well structured Bolton, though Bolton didnt bother to do much attacking for themselves!

Real Madrid looked ordinary! Deserved the loss, leaving out Robinho, Drenthe and Robben being injured (that is all their fast, attacking midfielders), they are looking more back to their Capello style!

Didnt see the Barca match (ESPN fuked up again and played Sevilla twice instead of Barca), but La Liga is so close at the moment and probably will remain so until the end of the season! Heard they tried hard, but couldnt break through (good in a way, hopefully now they realise how much they still need Ronnie and he might get regular game time again!!!!!!). A couple of penalties to get two goals for Villareal, so the score may not reflect the match. Too bad I couldnt watch it.

Valencia cruised to their victory I heard but didnt get to see this match either!

On to the Champions League!
So happy Real Madrid lost. It was WELL DESERVED. They got outplayed the whole match. Tamudo scored a nice lob shot that is easily one the better goals of La Liga this season so far.

Saw the Barca match on delay. The backline looked TERRIBLE. Villareal wasn't the most clinical in their finish but they got through alot. Barca looked flat in the attack and they had no control over the midfield. Ronnie was obviously missed because it seemed Barca couldn't put much collective passing together. I'm sure they'll bounce back.

Valencia actually played entertaining football. The attack was sharp, lead by Joaquin and David Silva. Morientes scored twice from headers, one assisted by Joaquin and the other by Silva. Joaquin scored on a penalty, and was just BRILLIANT throughout. Arguably the best winger at the moment. His consistency is amazing. Valencia's problem is the backline. It was absolutely HORRIBLE, especially in the 2nd half. Canizares is looking like an old man out there and needs to be replaced by Hildebrand IMO. The team still clearly misses Roberto Ayala, and Albiol is in a bit of a slump. If it wasn't for Miguel, the team may have given up more goals.

Man United really put a hurting on Aston Villa. Rooney was brilliant, and there looks to be a real eb and flow to the team right now.

Arsenal weren't at their best, but it was still enough to get the job done. They're at the top of the table for now but we won't know what they're made of until they play a top club like Man U.
QUOTE(PR316 @ Oct 21 2007, 01:20 PM) [snapback]361903[/snapback]
Man United really put a hurting on Aston Villa. Rooney was brilliant, and there looks to be a real eb and flow to the team right now.

Arsenal weren't at their best, but it was still enough to get the job done. They're at the top of the table for now but we won't know what they're made of until they play a top club like Man U.

Arsenal face a difficult away fixture at Liverpool next Saturday whereas Untied are at home to
Middlesbrough on the Saturday. I can see Liverpool earning the draw and United being too strong for the boro.

Then, the following weekend United travel to Arsenal.

BTW, there have been reports over here that United are interested in signing Ronaldinho. Personally I think its just paper talk and don't see a need to sign him but have you two heard anything?
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Yeh the Tamudo lob was great! One of the best goals of the season thus far and will remain so! Real are really looking shaky! They need to bring in Drenthe and Robinho at least to add some attacking spark! Play them as left and right wingers! Their two of the best int he world I beleive, amaizing how the end up on the bench!

Was good to see Anderson in the United squad! I would like to see him earn his place!

Joaquin has been playing brilliantly as of late! Silva is also one of the best out there! Great they did well without Villa!

Arsenal have a hard fixture, but they also are up and with a game in hand! Though, I still think Man United will catch them by the end of the season and end up on top!

United V Arsenal will be GREAT as usual! Their my most awaited games of the season!

Havent heard anything on Ronaldinho to Man United. Chelsea just keeps coming up! Mainly due to Roman desperately wanting him (much the same as Scheva and Ballack). Though I tend to agree, they already have Giggs and Nani who can play up the left, so they dont really need him. Though, Giggs has been in pretty poor form this season and looks to be getting a bit past it, sure doesnt have the pace he used too, and Nani has a lot of polishing to do! Always fukcs up that last pass!

^^^ Haven't heard anything about that, but I doubt that Man United is interested, and I can't see Ronaldinho fitting into Man U's scheme. But that is of course Man United's current scheme. Certainly if Ronaldinho arrived, they would change things up to help accomodate him.

I've tipped Man United to win the Premier League this season and I still am not wavering from it. But I definitely want to see how they do when they travel to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal who overall have been red hot, with none other than Cesc Fabregas leading the way. And if that match is even half as entertaining as last year's encounter at the Emirates, then we have something to look forward to.

These are just rumors, but recently, the players I keep hearing that are on the outs are Samuel Eto'o and Deco. Rumors continue about Barcelona preparing to make HUGE bids in the Summer for either Cesc Fabregas or David Villa. I'm not sure what to make of this because things like this almost always come out, but who would have thought that Thierry Henry would have made his way to Barca, considering that I thought he'd end his career at Arsenal. That said, Barca are red hot at the moment, but at times, I feel that there is something missing with this "Fantastic Four" as the media have dubbed them. They can look brilliant one match, then flat the next. I think the problem is that you have guys like Messi, Ronaldinho, Henry, and Eto'o who all love to make runs, and within a 90 minutes span its not always enough for them to all get their kicks in. Either way, I think everyone knows that somebody will exit this off season. My guess would be Deco or Eto'o. But its all speculation.
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Yeh the thing is though PR, is that they dont play all 4 at once! So having the 3 of them, all you need is a runner up the middle (Eto'o and Henry, this is where Henry comes unstuck, he tries to come down the left in Ronaldinhos place, and he is nowhere near as good at it), then you have the two wide men. I think Messi and Henry appear to have an understanding, as do Ronaldinho and Eto'o. So with all the games in the season and injuries, there is room for them, only one misses out each game and at the moment, that doesnt even have to happen.

There is plenty of room in midfield for Deco, with them really only having 4 midfielders, Toure first was injured, now Deco. So there is always going to be room for all of them, and if there are periods where they are all fit, one can sit out. With all the games, Im sure it wont be too hard. Afterall, in the Primera alone, many of these guys only play 30 games on a fit season, with 38 in total in the season, you already have room for everyone!

With Toure and Deco out, along with Marquez (he can play a holding mid role) and Edmilson injured, Barca will be really struggling in midfield. No idea who they are going to play there along with Iniesta and Xavi! Probably Eider!

But I do agree, out of this squad of superstars, one will most probably leave! And if it is Deco, no wonder they are looking at Fabregas! A Lampard swap would also be ok, add a bit more steel there along with Toure. Either way, one will probably exit, though I do beleive there is room for all of them.

Champions League tonight!

This is a circus. All of Sevilla, Valencia, and Tottenham are in TURMOIL..

Rumors are that Flores may be on his way out due to the humiliation at Rosenberg, while Juande Ramos is set to move on Tottenham, and Jose Mourinho possibly set to take over Valencia.

In all fairness, Flores is not the WORST manager in the world. But he has failed to fix the problem that the backline has. I'm not so certain that a midseason shake up like this is necessarily the answer, but it may indeed give the clubs a much needed new direction.

The 2-0 loss to Rosenborg is UNFORGIVABLE in my humble opinion. Those guys are not even at the top of their own domestic league. Teams like that should NEVER beat a top Spanish club like Valencia. Somebody needs to be blamed and of course the coach is the first, but its also the FRONT OFFICE, along with the coach that needs to shoulder the blame.

And as now, Juande Ramos has OFFICIALLY resigned from Sevilla and is set to pen a 4 year deal with Tottenham. Truly sad for Sevilla who were such an exciting team under him.

Kaka was interviewed recently and said something in relation of Ronaldinho asking him about Milan and things like that. Not sure what to make of that.

This season has really been rather sad so far with alot of the stuff that has happened. Hopefully all things will be sorted out and some normalcy will be restored soon to all clubs.
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Yeh, definately some shakeups underway!

Looks like Ramos is no doubt headed for Tottenham!

Who are Sevilla gonna get? Though, I think Mourinho to Valencia is just what they need! Funny how it was Rosenberg who were the straw that broke the cammels back at Chelsea and now the same team may get him a start at Valencia! Weird.

I saw a few games, Milan looked good, Barca were frustrated against Rangers (who played well) though that kind of footballing does annoy me! Though, they dont have any other choice against the quality of Barca!

Man United looked brilliant, and how about Arsenal! On fire is not quiet the word! They are blazing at the moment! Even Walcott looked good! Their confidence is up in the sky and Im glad to see Hleb being used more, he is a truly talented player!

I also read that interview with Kaka. He was very blunt, saying he is not in a hurry to extend his contract at Milan and I dont think it was his place to go talking about Ronnie being interested in Milan and the club! Creating cleaning up for Ronnie to do!

I HOPE TO GOD he doesnt go to Milan, who are in big trouble domestically and the Champions League involves a LOT of luck! Cant see them doing good in anything this year! Not to mention, I dont get much coverage of Serie A, so I would be shattered if he left Barca!

Though, with the money they will receive for Kaka (either by Chelsea or Madrid I beleive), I can see them splashing out on Ronnie! If Kaka leaves, they HAVE to find someone to replace him! Because while the team is solid, they just dont perform well every week (much like Liverpool).

On another note, whats going on with Liverpool? Benitez might be the next to leave! They looked the best I have seen them look in years at the start of this season, now they look the worst I have seen them!

Porto are definately the dark horse, if they can start converting their chances, they may do very well this Champions League! Some weird looking tables as of half way through the group stages , wonder if they will remain that way at the end! We might have some very easy round of 16 draws for some of the big guns!
Following on from their brilliant performance in Kiev, United were awesome again today, brushing aside Middlesborough 4-1.

Thats 4 games in a row where United have scored 4 times. To think they could barely hit the target at the start of the season. Nani and Anderson have settled in really well and for a player who is only 19, Anderson especially looks like he has the potential to be a brilliant player.

Liverpool-Arsenal tomorrow afternoon and then its the big one next week.

United travel to Arsenal. That is going to be some game.
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OH yeh, both Arsenal and Man United are in form (they looked awesome again against Middlesborough!), and with these two teams in form (of which are as good as any side on the planet at the moment), both so attacking, we are sure for some fireworks!

Chelsea dismantled Man City, that was too easy! Funny again how Chelsea were in a crisis and now all of a sudden they are playing attacking football and Grant is their saviour! Big thing for Chelsea though is keeping Joe Cole healthy! He is the driving force behind a lot of their plays, and with Essien and Lampard behind him, you have some great forward momentum! Lampard had his best game in a very very long while! Infact, I would go as far to say as this is the BEST I have ever seen Chelsea perform, at least on par with any other performance from years gone by, and far better than last season! They OWNED Man City (who have a lot of quality), but Chelsea not only created numerous chances, but controlled the entire game! The squad is really fitting together nicely with Kalou and Cole up there to help out Drogba!

Liverpool Arsenal today should be great, cant wait! Hope Torres is fit!

Anderson is really fitting in there, plays a similar game to Carrick for Man United, though he is more naturally an attacking midfielder! I saw him pull of some great tricks for Gremio, so I would like to see him get up the field more, though with the structure they play, he really cant do this! Either way, he has great technique a good touch and some great vision and passing also! No wonder he was called the "next Ronaldinho"! Though, still a long way from that level! Nani reminds me so much of Ronaldo (even copying his shoes now), runs the same, moves the same, sometimes I get confused which one is on the ball! Though, his final pass is usually poor (how about that goal though, stunning!!!!!!!). Much like Ronaldo, he will polish up and become a very good player in 2-3 more years! Though, cant see him hitting the same height, the only thing he lacks of Ronaldos is that electic pace, Nani is fast, but Ronaldo just has another gear when accelerating!
Well following the humiliation at the hands of Sevilla, I'm not certain how Flores could survive this. At least its one more step to getting a new manager. The only other positive I could take from this horrible match is that at least Vicente provided some moments to be proud of. He was lively, as fast as ever, made great runs, and provided some nice balls that were not latched onto by either Morientes or Arizmendi. Vicente and Joaquin were the only ones out there fighting for their team's colors, and win, lose, or draw, that will make any Valencianista proud. But hopefully this does it. The team was thrashed. The defense is TERRIBLE, and have failed to replace Roberto Ayala. The backline has no structure at all, and they cannot hold formation. And Flores who is supposed to "SPECIALIZE" in defense has not fixed this. Minus well shake things up and replace him now. The team could use a dose of shock similar to what Sevilla has had and use it to make themselves better.

Liverpool probably should have beaten Arsenal, but they failed to hold on to their lead. I guess teams are just marking them tighter because they definitely have not been the goal scoring machine they were at the beginning, lead by Fernando Torres. Arsenal looked rather shaky in defending the set pieces, however. Arsenal almost won in the end when Bentner showed a poor first touch. What a tackle by Gallas in the end to save a possible game winner by Crouch. Their next encounter will be even better I think.

Barca looked their usual strong self from what I heard. Didn't catch that match. But I didn't think that Almeria were a team that could beat them.
Its OFFICIAL... Quique Sanchez Flores has been officially SACKED by Valencia CF. has already reported and the message boards are buzzing. I got a call from my friends in Spain to tell me the news.

Its what was needed overall. The club was stale and it just seemed irreversible. The youth coach is set to take over temporarily while Valencia works out a deal with...

This doesn't look bad at all does it?
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Yeh, their game with Sevilla was the big one of the week! A horrible result for them, though the match was not shown here! I read Flores got sacked, Lippi, Capello and Mourinho are all the main candidates! All very defensive, so while it will be a good coach, it will not be the attacking football Valencianistas are calling for!

Barca looked very bad to me, lacked creativity, though Almeria marked very well and tight, held structure perfectly! Ronaldinho had a bit of a shocker, way too heavy passes and his runs (while making numerous of them), just didnt look dangerous! Henry suffered the same fate! Though he did score a poachers goal! Ronaldinho definately looked very lively, he looks quicker than last season and fitter (running more in attack and in defence), though he is definately not in form as far as his touch on the ball and his weighting of passes! Though, that can improve overnight!

I thought Arsenal outplayed Liverpool (especially at Anfield). I think Arsenal are going to be tough to beat this year, while Liverpool will struggle. With Javier Mascherano, Alonso and Torres all injured this week! Arsenal just had too good touch and technical skills! Liverpool lacks serious in that department, along with creativity! Though Gerrard did have a very good match!

Arsenal and Man United will battle it out for the title, just how it should be! Attacking football gaining results! Midweek game in La Liga this week! Real Madrid V Valencia I beleive. Then Madrid go on to play Sevilla, very tough and crucial time for them! Barca might hit the lead within a week!

I think Valencia will see the arrival of Mourinho in the very near future! Will be weird watching him on the sideline in La Liga!
Mourinho is not the most offensive minded manager, but he will provide that structure in the backline that Valencia is lacking right now. There is a HUGE gap in the central defense ever since opening day and its been exploited by every decent team Valencia has faced(Villareal, Sevilla, Espanyol, Chelsea). I don 't know, the way that Albelda, Baraja, Helguera, and Marchena have been playing, I don't think Mourinho can afford to be too defensive. Can't rely on those guys anymore to control the midfield and backlines. Now we face Real Madrid who are looking like crap too, but are at least winning. What I have always LOVED about Mourinho is his ability to develop youngsters. I'm sure he could do wonders with Silva, Sunny, Fernandes, and Alexis. And he apparentley has good relationships with key players like Joaquin, Villa, and Vicente, all whom at some point or another Mourinho made serious attempts to bring to Chelsea. Valencia's attack is actually sharp. The finishing is not always there, but opportunities have been created in lots of matches. Right now, they're definitely missing Villa and hopefully he'll be back in no more than 2 weeks. I think Mourinho will like the personell that he sees. And if anybody knows how to motivate his players, its the "Special One" himself.

Capello has already stated more than once that the only team in Spain that interested him was Real Madrid so I can't see him coming back to Spain. Lippi has come out publicly today to deny any offers made to him by Valencia and he said he's not so keen on that job anyway. Anything is possible, but for the moment at least, Mourinho seems the front runner.

Barca is said to be in a crisis right now but I would LOVE for Valencia to have THAT kind of crisis. laugh.gif Almeria is a newly promoted side and the kind of hunger that a team like that has cannot be underestimated every. But the fact that Barca got the win against a team that is a potential spoiler cannot be anything but good news. A result is a result at the end of the day and because Barca has the kind of attack they do, I would definitely expect teams to mark them tighter. Barca may well have to grind out some results and they have the team to do that. What I like this year about them is that at least for the moment, they have shown a stronger backline with the possible exceptions of the Stuttgart and Villareal matches when the opposing teams made enough legititmate threats on goal for some concern, particularly Villareal who's finishing was definitely very off for the most part against Barca but they were getting in. But Barca is not blowing games they have in the bag in the late minutes like last year at least for the moment. Ronnie is just not at his optimal fitness level if you ask me. I think the club is working to try to get him fit again. Every player is entitled to have off nights. I wonder what will the press say when Ronnie heats up and Messi cools off. Will Messi be "out of form" too?... Also, has reported the possibility of Frank Rijkaard headed to AC Milan with Ronaldinho after this season.. What do you make of that??... Who would Barca go out and get if Rijkaard leaves??..

Can't wait for Arsenal vs Man United. All I ask is for it to be HALF as entertaining as last year's encounter at the Emirates. If I can get that, I'll be a happy man. Its very difficult to say now who is better than whom. Arsenal are stronger in the back than last year, and Fabregas has finally found that perfect balance between finding the back of the net and supplying killer balls for others. Player of the year so far as I have said before. His consistency is SCARY. I keep waiting for him to level off a bit but its just not happening.

Oh btw, the way Chelsea DESTROYED Man City cannot be overlooked. 6 goals???... WOW... They may not be out if yet.
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Yeh I agree, Mourinho is definately a good candidate for Valencia, and without doubt, looks the most likely!

One man also being talked about, is Scolari, who would be the best option of the lot I beleive! He is one of the best coaches out there, holds good structure but mixes it up with some great attack!

Valencia definately have the players to be appealing for any coach, some great young talent there also!

Yeh, Barca is apparently in "crisis", but a week ago they were playing brilliantly! No doubt the media is fickle and you cannot listen to them! Ronnie will again be "king" of Camp Nou, whenever he does something specacular again! Its really a waste of time reading the media! No doubt the Barca defense has improved though, I just love Toure in the midflield, he is a solid, solid player!!!

Arsenal V Man U will be great, matchup of the two best in the Premier League with the two inform players (Ronaldo V Fabregas), much as the Liverpool match came down to Gerrard V Fabregas in the end. Though, Hleb is looking better and better and has great potential himself!
Negotiations with Mourinho have hit a stumbling block it seems. I think Mourinho wants 6 million euros a year with the original offer about 3.5 million euros a season. Word is that NOW, the president of Valencia, Soler has upped it to 5 million Euros a year so who knows where this ends up. As a fan, I definitely want a proven manager. So I say "GIVE HIM THE DAMN 6 MILLION." Anybody who has won titles in 3 countries has to be worth it. Not just as a tactician, but few can motivate players better. Scolari is another I would welcome with open arms but due to his commitment to the Portugues national team, I see it very difficult to land him at Valencia. Capello has already turned them down and its probably not an ideal situation for him. We all know that he's pretty volatile and has a way of alienating his own players. The club is also looking at Koeman, the current Ajax coach but I'm not too keen on him either. I think he's unproven and the last thing we need is another unproven manager. Its what got us Flores in the first place. Spanish league is a whole different level. Plus Im not so sure that Ajax would be so keen on letting their coach go in mid season.

Juande Ramos recently told radio that the real reasons for leaving Sevilla was the club being in a crisis and thats honestly what I thought the whole time. Everyone immediately thought the money was the issue but I just knew that there was some more going on.
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Ah, interesting about the Sevilla thing from Ramos! How bout their game with Atletico, brilliant game! So open! I love how they dont care bout letting goals in, just try to score more!

My god, the Valencia game was a disgrace! They looked HORRIBLE, like they were TRYING to get cained! I hate Real Madrid enough, but that was painful to watch!!!!

Couldnt get to see the Barca game, wasnt on here, but I heard Ronnie went on fire! Too bad they only got a draw, Real Madrid is just cruising this year! I have a feeling they will get the title again!

Im actually getting excited to watch the Kessler V Cal fight, the first one I have been excited about in a while!

Oh and Man United V Arsenal before that, a great weekend of sport coming up!
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Just read Koeman is coming to Valencia! Dont know much about him, but the Dutch league is similar to the Premier League, so he will probably play an attacking style!

Who knows, he may do well! Afterall, when Arsenal employed Wenger, everyone was asking, WHO THE FUKC IS THAT? He was just an unknown coach in Japan! Look at him now!

Got to at least give Koeman a chance, as Chelsea are doing with Grant, who put on their most attacking display yet!

I don't even know where to begin but I'll give it a shot.

Juan Soler(President of Valencia CF)- Should never show his face at La Mestalla again. In fact, he should resign right now.

Ruiz(Sporting director)- Promised to deliver 3 cracks and has not delivered 1. He should resgin too.

Flores- Already fired so thats one problem gone.

Albelda- Should be sent to the reserves squad for the rest of his career and forbidden to ever wear Valencia's colors again .

Baraja- Needs to be released. Too old and injury prone.

Helguera- Should be sold RIGHT NOW and thats all I have to say about that.

While we are at it, we should clone David Villa so that when one of them gets injured, we could use the other.

Now that I've vented for a bit, maybe JUST MAYBE things might not be so bad. Ronald Koeman is pretty new to the managing scene and he is definitely an interesting pick up. Sure, I wanted Jose Mourinho because our backline has got to be the worst in all of football right now and thats something he would have fixed. But Koeman was a great defender himself in his days as a player so he might just be able to plug that hole. On his playing style, from the little I've seen of Eredivisie, he is definitely not a bad manager. He attacks in style at home, counters brilliantly away, rotates well, and knows how to hold a good defensive formation. His credentials aren't to be taken lightly either.

Managerial Honours

Dutch Eredivisie champion: 2001-2002 (Ajax), 2003-2004 (Ajax), 2006-2007 (PSV)
Dutch Cup winner: 2001-2002
Johan Cruijff-schaal winner: 2002-2003
Portuguese Supercup: 2005-2006
4th place as assistant manager for the Netherlands at the 1998 FIFA World Cup

He's also got a knack for surprising in the Champions League. Despite not being a fan favorite, the football community in Holland really respects him for his ability to bring hom trophies. For a manager that is just 44, thats really good. He's one of the few Dutch managers that doesn't always run with a formation of 4-3-3 but I think if he did it could do wonders for us.

I've actually had Barca fans tell me that they felt similar feelings of a letdown when Frank Rijkaard came but then look what happened. Same thing with Arsene Wenger like you just said.

Barca drew with Valladolid in a game they could have lost I must say. Ronnie looked very good, but the midfield overall lacked presence. Its funny because the Barca fans I talk to DO believe that the team is in a crisis and are NOT happy with the performances. Barcelona fans are VERY demanding much like the Valencia fans. Barca's backline does look shaky still to me. Valladolid's strikers penetrated many times and Valdez had to make some good saves. But at least you guys are in the top 3 at the table.
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Yeh, I bet you would have been furious watching the match! Sevilla play Real Madrid this week, hope to god Sevilla win! At least Valencia can find some stability now, much as Chelsea appears to have done.

Yeh, Barca fans are very demanding, but I hear Valencia fans are even worse! ha ha. I dont think Barca are in a crisis, it was only a game or two ago they were playing brilliantly, so good they even dropped Ronnie! Though, as always, loosing Deco is really damaging to the midfield, he controls everything there. I saw the match on replay, Ronnie looked great, he looks leaner than last season and you can see it in how much he runs now, always taking on defenders and he appears to have got back that pace he had 2 seasons ago!

I really dont like Henry on Barca, he has not fit in well at all and no doubt about it, his age has lost him his extra gear! He looses the balls constantly when he tries to run at guys and he takes up Ronnies spot on the left! Eto'o is a huge loss also, once he gets back, Im sure him and Ronnie will form another unstoppable partnership!

Valencia are BADLY missing Villa, as we knew they would! That backline was horrible. It reminded me of Barca last season, just letting in unforgivable, soft goals! Joaquin tried very hard, running at defenders every time he could, but he was the only one doing anything out there, I barely even saw Silva! I have to give it to Real also, they looked very structured but still played an attacking game. They may be tough to beat this season in any competition! They have a lot of depth now with their new signings also, and I love the fact that they are FINALLY giving Robinho a shot! He is a very damaging player!

Tonight I think it will be 2-1 Arsenal! Thats just my gut feeling!

Joaquin and Vicente both tried very hard, running at defenders while we were down 5-0!!!!... If thats not heart I dont' know what is. Considering Albelda is the one who wears the captain's arm band, you would think that he would be the one playing with fire but he wasn't. He didn't even fight for loose balls in the midfield and he deserved red for his foul on Robinho. Villa has been constantly double marked this year and it pisses me off, but I understand why. He has just 2 goals in La Liga with 1 assist, but in the Champions League he has 3 goals so he isn't having a bad year considering what he's been facing. Silva has been missing in action virtually all season and there have been some question marks about his fitness ever since the beginning of the campaign. Silva seemingly only shows up when Villa, Joaquin, and Vicente supply him but the problem is that his finishing is still too weak and he's blown many opportunities on goal this year as well as last year.

Ronaldinho looks great I think. Messi looked rather ordinary to me. Made some runs and all but didn't really threaten like usual. Ronnie was the man. And he actually FOUGHT for some balls this time!!... I didn't know what to make of it because he actually showed a bit of intensity on defense, amazing when you consider that the word on Ronnie is that he doesn't like to play defense. I think he tries honestly and he does what he can, but its just not his thing. For me, its not about if your good at it, but if you try on defense, then that to me makes all the difference in the world. This is really where you guys miss Deco because there is just control of the midfield. Henry has seemingly taken Ronnie's spot on the left and for me it doesn't work. Ronnie is versatile, though and he can play just as well "in the hole" I feel as he can on the left. Henry though is much better as a center striker. If they line up Ronnie behind Henry, then you give Ronnie the entire view from the center, and he's just as dangerous on the left because he cuts inside better than most out and out left wingers where he can use his pace to dribble at defenders, finish his own shot, or assist. Amazing considering that Ronnie doesn't really have what you would call a very well developed left foot like most strikers.

Barca fans are demanding. The ones I spoke to on the message boards are not happy with the defense and are frustrated with Henry taking so long to fit in. They're also frustrated with Eto'o now all of a sudden being so injury prone. Alot of them blame Rijkaard for the shaky backline and feel that a team like Valladolid should not have more goal scoring chances than them. And to a degree I understand because I thought Barca would mop the pitch with Valladolid, but they were given a tougher than expected fight.

Arsenal vs Man United on for me in the morning. I like Arsenal 3-2 in a thriller. Should be classic.
and the NEW
Well I recorded a heap of matches to watch, but for some reason, they didnt work! So I only saw the one match live, Arsenal V Man United! High intensity and pressure at first, which created barely a chance in the first half! In the second half, things really opened up, and it was good to see Ronaldo actually score and assits after the smack that Clichy has been talking!

Though, Arsenal no doubt did outplay them, looked in more control of the match and better on the ball, very similar to the Liverpool V Arsenal game! Man United looked solid at the back for most of the game! I was actually glad when Arsenal scored their late equalisier, because they thoroughly deserved it! Good result and keeps the table tight! Chelsea is now right back in there, if they perform well in the big games and keep getting their results against the smaller clubs, I would not be surprised to see them take the title again, no doubt they have the squad and the ability to really challenge once more for the title! Though, still Man United as favourites for me! Liverpool looks in REAL trouble after a draw to Blackburn! I think they might miss out on a Champions League spot next season!

Yeh, I can see why some Barca fans would be frustrated, but after last season, I think they are looking OK. Ronnie looks more motivated, Messi is playing great, now they just need Eto'o back! Deco will be back soon also and they are in a good position in the Champs League! Now that Sevilla beat Madrid, we can also go within a point should we beat Betis!

Valencia got a good result in a game they apparently played poor? Definatley need Villa back, but he needs more danger men in the centre of the park with him, either in an attacking mid or another striker, in order to create space for him! Like you say, when there is really only one danger man, he will always get marked tight, which is very frustrating to watch, imagine how it would feel to play like that! I know I get pizzed off when I get man marked in matches!

Anyways, Barca match tonight, then Champions League midweek! Off to watch Cal V Kessler, cannot wait! The closer it gets, the more I think Kessler might do better than I expected! Could and should be a very close fight!
Valencia played ok. I wouldn't consider it poor because not only was it away, but the team is coming off 2 humiliating losses and a management change. The team kept more possession in this game to take pressure off of the defense which is obviously shaky and did ok I thought. It was a solid confidence building win on the way to the Champions League against Rosenborg whom they lost to away 0-2.

What a match between Arsenal and Man United. Fans from both sides say that their club deserved to win, which shows you how close it was. Clichy was a prick, man. Definitely talked alot. Both guys do alot of talking I think, though. That said, its definitely interesting to see the table tight. The top clubs are working for their points week in and week out.

In Spain, it seems neither of the big clubs are playing to their true potential. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Sevilla, and Valencia all have problems here and there. Some bigger than others for sure. But I don't think that the clubs are playing up to their potential. Things like inner turmo(Backstage bickering), injuries, and chemistry or lack thereof are causing this. I hope that whomever wins the league does it in good style and at a high skill level not like Real Madrid did last year when they won but arguably didn't deserve it.

And on the Kessler/Calzaghe fight, all I can say what a great fight. I think Kessler proved himself a really good fighter. And Calzaghe of course was just Calzaghe.
and the NEW
Yeh, this week in the Champions League is HUGE for Valencia, they raelly need the win!

La Liga is close, Ronaldinho helped Barca to the win again by firing two of his trademark free kicks, Henry could and probably should have had a hat-trick! Barca once again looked in tip top form and dominated from start to finish! They just need to find that consistancy away from home!

I think both the Premier League and La Liga will come down to the wire this year! Chelsea, Man United and Arsenal could all be up there at the end, and in La Liga, Atletico Madrid and Villareal look much more solid than last year! You can never count Sevilla out and then there are the three big guns! Of course, Zaragoza could also be in Euro contention also!

Big moves in Jan being talked about, Riquelme is sure to go, Alvez (from the Dutch league) may move and there is talk of Kaka (though I think he will stay at AC until the end of the season)! Lampard and Drogba are possibilities, though both look far more happy now Chelsea is back in form! There is also big talk of Anelka to Chelsea which could very well happen and would spell DOOM for Bolton!

Cal V Kessler panned out pretty much how I expected it, Cal using his punch output, flurries and combinations to win him the fight. Kessler though would knock up any of the other guys out there, from Wink to BHOP to JT!

Hope Cal fights BHOP now, he will put a world of hurt on BHOP!

Saw Ronaldinho and he was awesome(Funny how Messi has gotten cold like I said he would, huh). I think Henry is going to be at least good with Barca no matter what, but he probably won't find the form he had at Arsenal. Ronnie's set pieces have always been great. I don't think Rangers should pose too much of a threat to Barca in the CL but you never know.

Valencia need to avenge their previous loss to Rosenborg or I think its safe to say that they are out of the Champions League. I think they'll win here deservedly. Villa is back along with Vicente, Joaquin on the right, and of course Morientes the target man. Koeman has made headlines already in Valencia with his declaration of wanting Rafael Van der Vaart to join him in Valencia. Apparentley these 2 have buried the hatchet and Koeman really appears to be very excited and motivated with the squad he has. Koeman says that he likes the team and he sees no reason why they can't win a title. Definitely what you want to hear from a new manager. He believes that the PLAYERS are what makes the system for any team. With players like Villa, Vicente, Joaquin, Silva, and Fernandes, Koeman feels that Valencia can play entertaining football and yet defend well at the same time. I like the attitude for sure. I believe a more open style of football would put less pressure on the defense and would get Valencia's danger men more time to get the ball to one another in open space.

Drogba is the only one I could possibly see leaving Chelsea due to the whole Mourinho issue. He feels the club BETRAYED Mourinho and on more than one occasion has lashed out at the Chelsea organization in relation to that issue. Riquelme unfortunately won't go to a big team, I feel. Valencia was reported have been his target for a bit but now that Valencia have set their sights on Van der Vaart(Either in January or next season), thats not looking likely. He'll probably go to one of those clubs thats at the middle of the table in the Premiership.

Calzaghe IMO would beat Bernard convincingly in a pretty decent fight. Hopkins at this point would struggle to beat either Mikkel Kessler or Chad Dawson I feel. Doubt he would be able to handle Joe now.
and the NEW
Well I didnt get to see any of the matches, though the Liverpool result was crazy, and they still might not make it! They really need to beat both Marseille AND Porto, which I see as small chances!

Valencia, WTF happened? How did they play? Rosenberg is going to be an EASY match for whoever draws them in the round of 16! Valencia has a VERY tough go at it now, needing to beat Chelsea and Schalke along with getting lucky in the other results! I think they are gone already!

Glad to see Porto beat Marseille, they deserve to be in the round of 16 and will be tough for anyone to beat! I really hope Quresma goes to a big league soon, he is so damn entertaining and his outside of his right passes are incredible!

Most other results were pretty expected, but there are definately going to be a few easy draws in the round of 16, very important to top the group I beleive, as some easy teams will sneak into that second position!

Its funny because Valencia showed some continuity up front. Some bad luck in the attack, with Villa's biggest chance clipping the crossbar. Its our defense. Helguera was OWNED.. He was offically Iversen's bitch throughout the match. Albelda once again did NOTHING as usual, and by the time Vicente came on, it was too late and the morale was already down. Silva once again failed to show up and Joaquin was marked REALLY TIGHTLY much to my frustration but I should have expected nothing less. Our only chance repairing the club this season is to sell Helguera and buy a real defender, and while we're at it, we should find a replacement for Albelda. I think getting knocked out of the Champions League could actually help Valencia. Maybe then they could concentrate on La Liga and themselves, in building some chemistry within the team which is still getting over a bit of a Flores hangover if you will.

Quaresma is actually wanted by alot of big clubs in England, Spain, and Italy.

Adriano is probably headed to Fenerbahce. Such a shame he hasn't been able to get himself together. He's a talented player.
With United cruising through to the next stage I'm already dreaming of a United-Barcelona final.
and the NEW
Fenerbahce already has Carlos (so there is a Brazilian Adriano would know, makes sense) and they are not a bad club, perhaps he could do something there, though it is disappointing as the Turkish league is barely watched so he will pretty much drop off the World Football map!

Yeh, would prob help Valencia to just concentrate on their domestic front! Will definately be cleaning up to do after Flores, will be sort of like pre-season, with numerous combinations being tested!

Barca and Man United are the two best squads in the world I beleive, and I would LOVE to see them meet in the final, if not, somewhere along the line! Would be fireworks no doubt!!!!
Alot of it is Adriano's own doing, though. I always felt that for all the potential he showed(And he's had alot of moments of brilliance), he was always an immature individual. Granted, his father's death must have been tough, but even before that there were numerous reports of him being unidisciplined and loving the party life a little too much. Hopefully he can repair his career to a degree at Fenerbahce. The Turkish league is hardly watched and one could only hope to see them get into the Champions League more often to see Adriano and Carlos.

Valencia is still a "Flores team". There has been a pretty big mess left and Koeman is not going to be able to clean it up right away. The talent available to the team is amongst the best in the world. They just need a new direction and fresh start to pick themselves back up. Hopefully all is not lost and a possible 4th place finish will be available to them at th end of the season. A 3rd place finish and I would jump for joy. The backline is horrible and everybody knows that. Hopefully in January they can grab a decent defender, and then in the Summer get rid of Albelda, and sign Rafael Van der Vaart who is still desperate for that Valencia move it appears, even though he's been linked to Juve, Chelsea, Real Madrid, and even Barcelona. Imagine Van der Vaart at Barca!!.. WOW..

I would actually throw Arsenal in there with the likes of Barca and Man United. I would have said Sevilla at the beginning of the season if it wasn't for their inconsistence. But those 3 squads I think are going to battle it out. Throw Inter in there as well. I see very good things for them this season in the CL.

and the NEW
Yeh, Van Der Vaart is a very good player, though I hope Valencia get him, they desperately need him! They also needs backs, no doubt about that! Though Miguel is brilliant!

Arsenal for me have to do well for longer before I would call them up there with Man U and Barca. Arsenal at the moment, are one of the best, but it remains to be seen if they can sustain this form throughout the entire season! A few injuries and it will hit them BIG! Especially to key guys in the midfield like Hleb and Fabregas!

Its looking desperate to get a top position in the group pools of the CL though, cause some of these second placed teams at the moment are easy beats and all the big guns are topping the group! You dont wanna draw Barca, Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal, AC Milan, Inter in the round of 16!!!!

Take a look at the "hundred best players of all-time";lid=tab2pos1


and the NEW
That was the most sorry Barca performance I have EVER seen! Everyone except Messi at time and Iniesta looked like RUBBISH!

I cannot wait to see Eto'o back teaming up with Ronaldinho! Henry just has NO understanding with him! Henry just about NEVER beats an opponent, yet tries to take them on time after time! He has lost his edge of pace and looks ordinary! The defence looked aweful! WTF is Puyol doing out on the right, he should be in the centre with Milito! They had Zambrotta fit and even Olegeur can come off th bench and play down the right!!!

Valdez did his usual and just watched the goals go past!

The Barca at home is a beat, the Barca away is a joke! Rijkaard really needs to pick it up now, because with that squad at your disposal, you should not be 7-2-3! Their Champions League form is brilliant, but away in La Liga they are being destroyed! Embarassing!

Valencia got a good win! Liverpool looked like JUNK again!

QUOTE(and the NEW @ Nov 9 2007, 09:19 PM) [snapback]364310[/snapback]
Take a look at the "hundred best players of all-time";lid=tab2pos1


That is without doubt the WORST list I have ever seen.

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