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Like you, I always find it hard to believe that a manager who has so much talent at his disposal cannot put his team on top. I'm sorry, but I refuse to believe that Real Madrid have a better squad than Barcelona. I don't even think they have a better squad than Valencia for fucks sake. When you coach a team that has as many internationals as does Barcelona and Valencia, there is no excuse as to why you can't get the best possible results for yourself.

Soler our billionare boss, is apparentley more concerned about our new stadium than our team, but it seems to have hit him hard now. Problem is he's clueless and has NO CLUE about football seemingly. I wish he would just sell his shares. I mean god damn. If we fired Quique, then why can't we get a good replacement. In the last 4 years, Valencia has bought Villa, Joaquin, Fernandes, Miguel, and Banega. They almost landed Van Der Vaart last Summer. Those are not cheap transfers. I just REFUSE to accept and believe that a team that spends over 30-40 million in transfers cannot appoint a decent coach. I'm sorry. I just can't have that. I'm not stupid. There's nothing more frustrating than seeing an organization that has no clue, along with a manager that has no clue.

Laporta has reportedly said Rijkaard can stay as long as he wants. I think because Barcelona has so much talent, they're able to get no lower than 2nd even if their manager is clueless. I wonder how many Barca fans want Rijkaard's head for the underachieving that has happened this season. My understanding is that Rijkaard has the support of the club and the team but the media and the fans do antagonize him. I hear that he receives lots of abuse at Camp Nou the way Soler receives abuse at La Mestalla(He hasn't shown his face there in months).

As far as a coach for Barca, I think Mourinho would definitely bring about some more structure. Barca's flare and pace is what makes them and the PLAYERS make that, not the manager. Plus he's a character!!... Hilarious that man is. His main strengths are his ability to motivate his players and he rotates well.

Van Basten is more attacking than Mourinho and he has a tremendous squad at his disposal come Euro 2008. I really hope Holland emerges out of that group, and that Italy doesn't. I hate seeing them ruin world football tournaments.

Ferguson and Wenger's football style would go well. But Wenger, I'm not so sure he has the PHILOSOPHY of the Barcelona organization. Barcelona is a club known for making BIG MONEY moves just like Man United, Chelsea, and Real Madrid. Wenger one weakness is his stubborness in this area. In the past 2 years, he's had opportunties of landing big name players that bring alot to the table but he's too worried about disrupting team chemistry. Ferguson is a master strategist and draws up great attacking schemes. He's also a no nonsense coach and wouldn't put up with any petty bickering that Rijkaard seems to put up with.

Its looking like Rijkaard won't leave anytime soon, but anything can happen. What I wonder is whom would Barca contact should this happen?..

and the NEW
Yep, I feel your frustration bro!

I agree, Wenger might lack the mentality of Barca, who do spend up BIG to land the players they want! Not to mention, it seems nearly everyone wants to play for Barca at the moment!

Glad Kaka wants to stay at Milan for life, wouldnt like to see what he would do to Milito, Marquez or Puyol if he ran at them in a Madrid shirt!

Van Basten suits the Barca style of football, he is all about possession! However, Im still not convinced, Holland never look overly attacking and just never seem to flow. He also makes bad decsions as pointed out above, including leaving guys like Seedorf out due to petty arguements and arrogance.

Your right, LaPorte has come out and said Rijkaard can stay for as long as he wants! No doubt if he does, Deco will be leaving! Perhaps Ronaldinho also. They both have serious issues with Rijkaard. So I think the majority of the team like him, but no doubt the fans are sick of him! Who knows what will happen at this time, a Champions League win and he will probably secure his spot as coach!

If Rijkaard does leave, I think Barca would most definately go for Mourinho! Who knows, Lippi is back on the market also and a very good coach (though boring also) and who knows what will become of Benitez in the summer (though would hate his rotation rubbish at Barca). Also, as you say, Scolari will probably be free after the Euro. Should be an interesting summer on the transfer front once more!
I'm shocked that Mourinho is still out of a job at the moment. He must really be looking to manage a big club, the likes of Barcelona or AC Milan. For most clubs, the problem will be paying the salary that he's likely to ask for. AC Milan and Barca have the money. Question is whom will he go to??... I hear some say that he has his sights set on Italy, others say he wants to work in Germany(Yeah right), and some say he's looking at managing Barcelona. But if Rijkaard is really "staying as long as he wants", then where does that leave the "Special One"??... Liverpool is another possibility that can't be discounted due to Rafa Benitez apparentley skating on thin ice over there.

Deco I believe wanted to leave in the Summer but was not granted a release. I hear that he's received offers from Chelsea, and other clubs in Italy. Despite the problems with Ronnie, its difficult to see how he'll leave anytime soon. He's under contract till 2010, and his release clause has to be monstrous. The clubs that can afford to get him are...

AC Milan- Sure. But would Ronnie want to risk hurting his career by going to such a weak league with a team thats not likely to win anything in the near future??...

Man United- Man United attack in an open style, but very different from Barca. Man United use wingers and keep a structure whereas Barca allows their attackers more of a free role. They don't really need him either.

Liverpool- They could but they won't after spending so big these past 2 years. And though they attack, they too keep and order and structure about them.

Chelsea- Sure, but I don't think Ronnie would want to go there. The personell on Chelsea wouldn't produce good chemistry for him.

Real Madrid- No way. Talk about betrayal.

Arsenal- They don't make big moves. They have alot of money now but have a problem with buying players.

Inter- They don't need him because their style of play doesn't really include a player like Ronnie.

Valencia- Betrayal, and their technical counter attacking style of play wouldn't suit him anyway.

Roma- Don't need him even though the way they run their 4-3-3 could work well for Ronnie.

Its kinda looking like Ronnie is stuck at Barca. Anything could change, even TOMORROW.. But at the moment, its hard to envision him being bought by another team.

Van Basten to me is one of those managers who has tremendous potential but hasn't yet reached it. Keep in mind that he's still a young coach with plenty of time to improve. Right now he doesn't have too many credentials but he has time and maybe he can actually do something come Euro 2008. He has an INCREDIBLE squad. Better than Italy's IMO. He has no excuse.

Valverde would tighten you guys up defensively, is a great motivator, and has a reputation of being a "player friendly" manager. He wouldn't give two fuks about Ronnie's "night life, ladies, and partying" so long as he produced. He rotates well, attacks with pace, holds a great structure, and counters with precision. He's a young coach who just needs a big club.

In a perfect world, if Ferguson ever left Man United, its Barcelona that I would have him coach. He would make you guys an absolute JOY to watch week in and week out.
Man, now I know why AC Milan is 18 points behind Inter. They are complete SHIT... OMG what a horrible team!!!... With the exception of Maldini and Nesta, the rest of the team was garbage. The referee was absolute SHIT.... The most biased official I have ever seen referee a match at the Champions League level. The yellow card for Hleb.. Are you serious??... Hleb probably made the most out of it but there was clear contact from that sharp kick he received before going to ground, but according to the ref, "Hleb dove" rolleyes.gif Thats enough of him. AC Milan's midfield was nowhere to be found. Pirlo, Gattuso and Kaka were SHOCKING and just moaning when calls didn't go their way. Their coach needs to be fired because he should have played the Gourcoff (sp?). Pato looked ordinary and should have given Milan the lead but his inexperience definately showed. I will say this... RONALDINHO BETTER NOT GO TO THIS CLUB... His career will take a major pitfall if he does. Arsenal were solid but not at their absolute best. Fabregas was the man of the match for me, not just for scoring the winning goal(Great strike), but because he was all over the field in defence, and he provided some dangerous looking through balls that almost got through(He showed up Kaka. Cesc should be World Player of the Year). More than ever, now I know why Barcelona are after Cesc. He's a machine in offense and defense, tackling people left and right, making great passes, clutch scoring. Just top class. Adebayor scored the 2nd goal but overall he had just a decent performance. Had some trouble staying onsides and his touch let him down a couple of times. Overall, the real genius was ARSENE WENGER... He came up with a good plan. Arsenal sat back and defended a little more than usual but thats to be expected on the road. Arsenal took their opportunities BRILLIANTLY when they were there in the end. Congrats to them, they outclassed AC Milan at San Siro.

Maxy,what did you think of Fabregas???... I think he's definitely proving that he belongs on that top level. He works harder in defence than Zidane did though he's not quite the technician that Zizou was on the ball.

Man United won and I'm happy they did. Ronaldo's goal was just class. It wasn't a very good ball, but he seized control even with so many people around him, and he managed to trick the defenders and keeper. It was simply amazing and he deserves full credit for that. I think it was Anderson (?) who passed it up, then it was off Rooney to Ronaldo. I'm glad he performed well today, no more of this "Ronaldo sucks in big games" nonsense. He was MOTM along with Vidic, not only did he score but he made some saves for you guys too. But the defense was very good together. For some reason though they had a lot of players performing good but it was almost like it didn't gel offensively today. I expect a better team performance in the next round from them. Their 2nd half display overall wasn't too good but they got through to the next round and ultimately thats all that matters.

I know Barca won but I didn't see that. How did go ATN?
and the NEW
I dont think Ronaldinho would go anywhere BUT Chelsea or AC Milan. They are really the only two who could afford him and are struggling a bit at the moment in terms of their own expectations, so are the only two who would probably pay that amount of money for him! Roma is WAY too small for Ronnie, Man United are already loaded and in debt, Wenger wouldnt pay out, Inter could use him but have a too big squad already Liverpool couldnt afford him and Real Madrid/Valencia (you said it, betrayal). Only two clubs in the running IMO, but I think he will stay at Barca. He is back in the good books of Rijkaard for the time being and the fans still love him!

As for the games, man, some good matches.

Barca easily outplayed Celtic, who didnt look dangerous whatsoever. Ronaldinho probably man of the match (he and Sylvinho always work great on the left together, too bad Sylvinho cant defend!) and was really trying to get a goal for himself! Eto'o was not his usual direct self and WTF happened to Messi? I hope his not out for too long, he was crying his eyes out after he pulled up by himself without any contact. Sucks for Barca that he is so injury prone, but I feel more sorry for the kid himself! Reminded me of Ronaldo the times he has come off crying. Xavi also played very well.

I thought after that Hleb rubbish that AC Milan were going to break through! Pato really should have done better with that chance, and I thought Kaka played well! He ran past 3 guys to set up that chance and made another couple good runs but his shot was unusually poor. Fabregas was his usual self, great great player! Always just reminds me of Zizou, but his threads are even better I beleive! Misses a lot of Zizous ability to run the ball and find space, but no doubt Fabregas works harder in defence! How about that pace from Walcott at the end, my god, he just tore up the touchline, cut inside beautifully and got the pass off early, did all the work for that goal himself!

Man United deserved their win, though for a little spell there, Lyon were looking dangerous! Vidic was a wall tonight!

Sevilla lost in another high scoring game! Ended on penalties! Incredible! 10 goals in 2 games and a penalty shootout! Fenerbache have some quality players and its good to see them play attacking and mix up the final 8 a bit!

Liverpool, Chelsea, Porto and (?) will make the other 4 I beleive. Inter will come out blazing, as will Madrid IMO, the games to watch!

QFs are really shaping up now!

We might get the treat of a Man United V Barca game in the QF! Will be weird if Barca draw Arsenal, repeat of a couple years back with Henry changing sides!

As for Barca getting Fabregas, I hope they can, he would be a great replacement for Xavi down the track and would fit the style of play perfectly with his technical genius. But I highly doubt Wenger would ever let him go! He, like Henry for all those years, is now the foundation of the Gunners!
A torn hamstring is the initial prognosis Muscle tears are REALLY BAD. Its exactly the same injury he suffered at La Mestalla when you guys trashed us 3-0. He could be out for 2 months easily. I've torn ligaments in my ankle before playing both basketball and soccer so from experience I know that tears HURT. And they hurt badly. I wish him a fast recovery.

Poor kid is so injury prone. Lets hope he finishes the season.
and the NEW
Thanks PR.

I KNEW it was bad when I saw his reaction! He was obviously aware this was going to cause him a lot of dramas!

HUGE loss for Barca in the run for the title and blows some of their Champions League prospects away! Whoever draws them in the QF and SF will be cheering! Messi, like Ronaldo and Kaka, is the kind of player who can single handidly win a match, then again, so can Ronaldinho and Eto'o, ha ha. At least we got options!

Though, with Ronnie and Eto'o on, they have prooven before they can make it happen and be the best team in the world! Now need Henry or Dos Santos to play like Guily who really played well up that right side and is just unlucky Messi came along when he did!
I only saw the United match in full because I watched that one live and I was reasonably happy with the performance because Lyon were always going to be a dangerous side. Last night the inclusion of Fletcher was a masterstroke from Ferguson because his industry and willingness to cover every blade of grass on the pitch was vital. He's not a flair player by any means but for a tie like last night he was absolutely perfect, just as he was in our thrashing of Arsenal in the FA Cup a few weeks back. Between them Vidic and Ferdinand shackled Lyon's attacking threats superbly and when those two are on song it really is extremely difficult to break us down. We simply cannot afford to lose either of them if we are to win trophies this season.

Fabregas is definitely a quality player but he has a long way to go before he can be favourably compared with Zidane IMO. Even Anderson outshone him at the Emirates and he is both younger and has far less experience in the Premier league. In fact I'd say now that in 5 years time Anderson will be rated ahead of Fabregas as perhaps the best midfielder in the world. Seriously.

Barcelona are total fools for allowing Fabregas to leave in the first place and they must be ruing that day everytime they see him play. Word is Cesc won't be going back there and Barca will be reluctant to shell out a huge transfer fee on a player who was already theirs at one time anyway.
^^^^Its scary to think how good Anderson can be in 3 years let alone 5. But let me give this a stab.

Fabregas vs Anderson

Fabregas' full potential(if that) was on display at the beginning of the season where he was banging in goals and getting assists for fun each game. He seems to have faded a bit from the beginning of the season but his potential has been recognized and if he can get that back, then Man U will have a tough time catching Arsenal in the league nor are there any teams who can stop him in the CL. I honestly believe he can become one of the best ever at his position. For a box to box mid, the number he was putting up in that 2 month period was absolutely RIDICULOUS. Not only was he scoring decisive goals and laying off assists to his team mates, he was bossing the midfield, not in terms of physical presence, but in terms of driving attacks, dictating the tempo, quick movement, creating chances and space in abundance with his wide range of passing abilities, and just being all over that midfield in general was making Arsenal an amazing side to watch. And then lets throw in his contributions on defense!!.. The guy is amazing and OVERALL.... The best player in the Premier League this year. Ronaldo has the goals and he'll probably get the scoring title this year. But in terms of goals, assists, defending, tackling, dictating a match, coming through in the clutch(Ronaldo has done this too I admit), I would give World Player of the Year to Fabregas.

Anderson to me, was absolutely AMAZING when he was an attacking midfielder. I don't know if you saw him at Porto, Maxy. Arguably only Kaka and Messi are quicker off the mark, amazing ball control/precision, and great vision. His threads are not on the level of Fabregas, YET.... I do keep in mind that he's still young and has PLENTY of time to get that part of his game level with Fabregas. Its arguable that in terms of pure TALENT, he's better than Fabregas. I like his determination on defense, and in this regard he reminds me of a younger Fabregas, very dogged and unrelenting. He tackles as much if not more than Fabregas. He's a physically much stronger player as well, with Fabregas being more a of a pure technician.

Overall, Cesc is ALREADY PROVEN as among the "Best midfielders" at the moment, regardless his young age. Note that MOST midfielders would reach their best moment at the age of 25 to 27 in average ... like Ronaldinho, Kaka (24-25), Rivaldo, Zidane, Figo, Nedved, Redondo (26-28), and at just 20 YEARS OLD, Cesc is DOMINATING in the Premier League.

In the Premier League ALONE(CL not included), Fabregas has ATM 7 goals and 13 assists... Those stats are INSANE for a young player. I'd be very curious to see how guys that we worship as legends today were at when they were Cesc's age.
Mathieu Flamini has arguably been more influential than Fabregas this season. Yes he hasn't scored as many goals but his pass completion, his tackling and the amount of miles he covers on the pitch have all been superior to that of Fabregas so far this season, including last night.

Add to that the fact that when he has started a game for Arsenal they haven't lost this season. Fabregas is the more attacking of the two and will therefore grab more headlines but Flamini is just as rated and just as respected amongst the Arsenal fans over here.

Roy Keane when he was at his peak didn't get the worldwide adulation poured upon David Beckham but Keane was much the better all round player and far more valuable to United than Beckham ever was. I'm not saying that the scenario is the same for Fabregas and Flamini (neither are as good as Keane was yet anyway) but the attacking players always get the plaudits in football.
and the NEW
QUOTE(Maxy @ Mar 5 2008, 02:35 PM) [snapback]381274[/snapback]
Fabregas is definitely a quality player but he has a long way to go before he can be favourably compared with Zidane IMO.

Depends in what context the comparison was made.

As for Flamini, he is good, but doesnt have the technique Fabregas has, Fabregas works JUST as hard as Flamini, defends just as much, but most importantly, moves OFF the ball PERFECTLY! This is what Zizou did also and something Anderson is lacking! Fabregas always finds space and knows where to move the ball once he does get it. The weight on his passes are immaculate!

Anderson plays with more passion, more of a terrior and is playing the mid role brilliantly!

Funny Fabregas best part of the season was the start, exact same thing as happened last season! He, Ronaldo and Adebayor are my standsouts of the season, but I feel Ronaldo has been more clutch. He has done it himself week in and week out, Fabregas has had Adebayor who is in lethal form and still very young also (great potential) himself.

Porto ran Schalke around the pitch but as usual, lacked the goals needed out of all their shots at goal! Madrid lost, one of the few times Ive gone for Madrid! While Chelsea cruised as expected! Liverpool V Inter is the big one for next week!

I hope Barca draw Schalke next round, practically a walk through to the semi finals (hey, AC Milan got that gift last year and ended up winning it)! Roma is probably the other easy match, while Fenerbache are really unpredictable!

Funny to see the Premier Leauge sides dominating again this year!

Madridistas lose again. So much for the double that Cannavaro was talking about. laugh.gif I swear Raul is so overrated. But thats another issue. Ever since Real los to Betis I just sensed something was wrong with them. I'm not even a fan of Roma, but they executed their strategy to perfection. They knew Madrid would be desperate, and they just held their lines and took their opportunities when they were presented to them.

So Arsenal, Barcelona, Man United, Roma, Chelsea, Schalke, Fenerbache, and presumably Liverpool all go through.

If I were Barca, I would hope to draw either Shalke or Fenerbache. Based on quality alone, Barca would breeze through them. Man United and Arsenal would provide more exciting and competitive matches but their defenses could cause Barca's attackers alot of problems. I think on their day, Barca could beat either, but with Messi out, Henry, Eto'o, and Ronaldinho will really have to pick it up. I would PRAY to avoid drawing either Roma or Chelsea. Barca has better quality than both teams but the negative style of play doesn't suit Barca. Liverpool are unpredictable. They look very strong one match, then ordinary the next. Hard to say there.

I think Chelsea is the team everyone hopes to avoid. Just so big, strong, and grinding. Chelsea just wears you down. Not a match I would be keen on if I was manager of any of the other clubs.

and the NEW
Yeh, its an interesting lineup!

I would be happy if Barca draw Roma, I think they would be relatively easy. Just dont have the quality Barca have. Even a HUGE gap was noticable against Lyon, where Barca in both matches just controlled it from start to finish. Their technical ability with their best squad on is just astounding. Guys like Messi, Ronaldinho, Abidal, Zambrotta, Xavi, Deco just never make mistakes on the ball so there are barely any giveaways of possession in midfield.

Really only the 4 English teams Im wary of, but Id rather see them go out to Man United or Arsenal than Chelsea or Liverpool!

Though, if Barca get a good draw here, I think they are in for a very good chance to win it!

Chelsea are the team to avoid, very trinding, but at least they dont have that pace and trickery in their strikers that really undoes the Barca centre backs. A guy like Ronaldo would make Puyol, Milito or Marquez look stupid! Luckily, he would be coming down the side of Abidal, who is as safe as houses! Also wouldnt like to see Abedayor run at them! Then again, Barca have the firepower up front to crack through even the best defences! Would love to watch the battle between Ferdinand and Vidic (my favourite back two in the world currently) VS Messi and Ronaldinho with all their skills and trickery. Though, Messi wont be playing sad.gif

As for the Madridistas, lets hope their bad run continues! Though, Robinho is back now, who is getting to the point where he could also claim worlds greatest player if he can keep up this form! Clutch for Madrid and Brazil (practically won them the Copa America single handed).

Whos the chica in your photo PR?

Gotta love the Villa expression! ha ha.
I think Barca would beat Roma in all honesty, its just that they probably would have to grind that one out and not look too impressive doing it. I would prefer to see them run wild all over Fenerbache and Shalke and really show off their true fire power.

If I was Man United, I would hope to avoid Chelsea for sure. I would absolutely LOVE it if they drew either Barcelona or Arsenal. Nothing much to worry about with either Fenerbache or Shalke. Roma is unpredictable too. They way they took down Real at Bernabeau was impressive, but I doubt they could surprise Man United with their counter attacks. United along with their attack have a wall in the back, and they hold a really tight structure. Liverpool is also unpredictable like I said earlier, and even though Man United have more quality than them, in 2 matches, styles mean alot. Liverpool though more attacking this season, still concentrate alot on defense, and Rafa Benitez is a master tactician in this 2 legged competition.

Madrid have had a HORRIBLE February, losing to Getafe and Real Betis(WTF), and twice losing to Roma. They're having some problems at the moment it seems. I'm having the feeling that they'll fuck it all up in the end and lose to Barcelona.

The chica in my sig, my friend, is Olivia Molina. She is a Spanish actress who's pretty well known in Spain it seems. She is absolutely GORGEOUS... Very beautiful woman and makes me ask myself, what am I doing in South Florida!!??... I want so bad to live in Spain.

Funny expression by Villa for sure. lol Its like its a torture for him. Whats funny is that Vicente and Villa are looking one way and Morientes and Joaquin are looking the other way. LOL....
I want to avoid all the other English teams not because I overly fear any of them but I have mates both socially and at work who support those other teams and losing to one of them would be unbearable! Going out to Liverpool, our most hated rivals, would be the worst moment ever!

Fenerbache, Shalke or Roma are my choice picks. I would feel confident going into any of those games although at this stage of the competition no-one is an easy game. My dream final is against Barcelona but I'm not counting my chickens yet. I just hope to improve on last year and at least get to the final.
and the NEW
QUOTE(PR316 @ Mar 6 2008, 06:29 PM) [snapback]381412[/snapback]
The chica in my sig, my friend, is Olivia Molina. She is a Spanish actress who's pretty well known in Spain it seems. She is absolutely GORGEOUS... Very beautiful woman and makes me ask myself, what am I doing in South Florida!!??... I want so bad to live in Spain.

Funny expression by Villa for sure. lol Its like its a torture for him. Whats funny is that Vicente and Villa are looking one way and Morientes and Joaquin are looking the other way. LOL....

Then make it happen! Move to Spain!

ha ha, looks like Morientes and Joaquin are perving on her!

I hope Madrid fukcs up, but I have a feeling this is their sticky patch and they will get out of it! Though, they do play Espagnol this Saturday, which will be tough!

Man United VS Barcelona would be brilliant! If we draw any of the Engilsh clubs in the next round, I hope its them! Just for the spectacle!

The more it sinks in though, the more I think we will miss Messi! HUGE loss for Barca! Ronaldinho will really have to pick it up now, though he has been in sensational form since getting back into the starting lineup! Probably best player for Barca overall in their last few outings!

Draw is on the 14th I beleive? Interesting day!
Lol... In truth, at the moment I can't move anywhere. Gotta complete college first and then go from there.

Yeah Joaquin and Morientes get a nice peak while Villa and Vicente miss out!.. Lol...

Espanyol is missing Tamudo so that could be key, but keep in mind that Sergio Ramos is out, as well as Robben(He'll be down for a month I think). I think these 2 guys played key roles when not too long ago, Real was winning in some exciting matches. Real will definitely look to bounce back and I expect them to come out bombing Espanyol with their best stuff. Valverde will have to have sound tactics, and keep a good structure in the back. There is more pressure on Cannavaro now, and when you have De La Pena whom can thread the needle better than most, there may well be some good opportunities for Luis Garcia. I think Real SHOULD win this one, much like I thought they should have beaten Getafe, Real Betis, and Roma. Espanyol is better than both Getafe and Betis, so whats for certain is that this one will not be easy. I think Real will take this one in a thriller 3-2 as the final score.

Barcelona vs Man United would be a spectacle for sure. But I think Barca vs Arsenal would be just as big with the whole Henry thing and of course Fabregas getting back at his old team. There's history between these 2 clubs.

Speaking of Messi, he is starting to remind me alot of Ronaldo. Very injury prone kid with all the talent in the world. I just hope it turns out a little better for him than it did for El Fenomeno, because I would not like to see Messi go out that way. 6 weeks is the minimum that he'll be out, but I'm guessing it will turn out to be more like 8 weeks, just so that the player can recover match fitness and form. I wonder what happened because I didn't see the play. I just saw him down on the ground all of a sudden, but the network I catch it on didn't show a good replay to indicate what happened.

Keep in mind you guys still have Ronaldinho, Eto'o, Henry, Deco, and Xavi to start. Abidal and Yaya have been very good for you guys this season too. I doubt that the youngsters, Krkic and Dos Santos can be counted on with such a big occasion, but there's still alot of talent on the team.

PR, Sergio Aguero has been recieving rave reviews of late and over here the other night they were talking about him as if he could actually become even better than Messi. I haven't seen a great deal of him to be honest so I couldn't judge but I wondered if you could shed some light on him and either confirm or dismiss the "better than Messi" comment?

They play different positions, but I'll give you a scouting report.

He's an AMAZING talent. He's fast, makes good runs, has a deadly first touch, and great precision and control on the ball(Very tricky and quick on the ball). He finishes very well with both the right and left foot, and he works hard out there. A real goal getter.

The way he ripped apart Barcelona's defense was no joke. Even though Puyol and Marquez have trouble with just about any striker who's assets are speed and technique, the way he did it was impressive.

He needs a big club, thats for sure.
and the NEW
No doubt, he is 100% superior to Benzema!!!!! If Man United should be chasing anyone, its him! He even makes Tevez look ordinary IMO. Aguero is the real deal! As PR says, different than Messi.

Though, PR, I beleive it was Milito (not Marquez) Aguero ripped apart.

I also hope Messi does not end up like Ronaldo, but it nearly looks a sure thing! He was accelerating to try and get a loose ball and just pulled up himself (as most look when they do a hamstring). Pull up and start hobbling. Nothing more too it. But we have Iniesta also who can change a game in the blink of an eye and has been a standout for Spain lately!

Tamudo will be a bigger loss than Robben (now Robinho is back). Garcia is a big loss for Madrid, but they have enough backs to cover. Good also to see Drenthe get more time! He is a real raw talent!

^^^Latest news is that Tamudo has made the call up list and will be available for Valverde, even if he is coming off the bench. Thats definitely a plus for Espanyol who are a team that can surprise(In the past 2 years, they've given the likes of Barcelona, Valencia and Sevilla all they can handle). Robinho however could be a factor. But the key will be how Cannavaro holds the lines together because he'll have to work extra hard in this match.

Wow, so it wasn't that he picked up a knock from somebody??... Thats really unfortunate. Especially considering that its exactly the same injury he had this past December. These last 2 seasons he's had to deal with some long term injuries. Vicente too has gone through a stretch of nagging injuries here there, with his ankles, and hamstring problems. He's had a good streak now where he's been ok and he has started to get back alot of his old abilities, but following the situation, I know how tough it was for him and the club. Some guys just seem to get hurt easier than others. I'm so glad that Eto'o seems to be doing so well now after dealing with 2 big ones these past 2 seasons. I hope for a good recovery for Messi.

Thanks people, I knew they played different positions but I also heard that Barca, amongst other clubs, had the chance to sign Aguero but for some reason they declined.

I'd love to sign him judging by the few clips I've seen of him play but I don't think we'd go for someone like that when we already have two relatively short player's in Rooney and Tevez.

Do you really think he's better than Benzema ATN? I rate Benzema very highly and believe he'll be one of the games very best strikers in a couple of years time.

Anyway, I'm gearing up for United-Pompey in the FA cup quarter final just over a couple of hours from now. Hopefully we field a strong team because I really want to win it this season.
Absolute fucking robbery!!!!
Well thats the beauty of the FA cup and that is why its still the no.1 domestic cup competition in the world. Who would have thought that both Chelsea and Man United would lose on the same day, especially as United were at home and Chelsea were playing Barnsley!?

I'm still really annoyed about the way we went out as I am adament that we should have had a penalty in the 7th minute after Ronaldo was barged off the ball in the box. We had enough chances to win two matches but it wasn't our day and thats football.

Louis Saha injured himself in the warm-up AGAIN!!! I like him as a player when fit but this is the final insult. It takes the piss and I suggest we give him away on a free transfer because nobody in their right mind will sign such an injury prone player. Its a shame because he adds a different dimension to our game but my patience has finally run out.
QUOTE(Maxy @ Mar 8 2008, 08:19 PM) [snapback]381570[/snapback]
Louis Saha injured himself in the warm-up AGAIN!!! I like him as a player when fit but this is the final insult. It takes the piss and I suggest we give him away on a free transfer because nobody in their right mind will sign such an injury prone player. Its a shame because he adds a different dimension to our game but my patience has finally run out.

I know what you mean. But at the same time, who else would be an ideal partner for Rooney???.... Not Tevez IMO who is way overpriced and rather ordinary. I definitely don't view him as world class. I don't think United should keep him. They should go for somebody who's more world class for sure.

Though it is rather strange to injure yourself during warm up. Thats rather LAUGHABLE.. But if you guys are going to sign another striker, whom do you go for???...

Strikers that would serve as a good partner to Rooney IMO are...

Cisse- Very quick and skillful on the ball, though he did have trouble performing when he played at Liverpool. He wasn't at his best because of injuries though(Has been rather injury prone too), and Benitez inexplicably played him out of postion(On the right wing, WTF).. I think Man United would be a good fit for him.

Villa- Super smooth with his precision and ball control. Has pace to burn, finishes well with both feet, and is deadly on free kicks. Works hard as hell out there, and he's not selfish. He likes to set up his teammates for goals too. Would definitely be a quality signing if you guys pursued him. Of course prying him away from Valencia would not be easy but a big club like Man United could do it.

Huntelaar- He's been strongly linked with a move to Man United( This kid is going to be a HUGE star. He's something special. He's a tall striker with great skills on the ball, and bomb of a shot. He's the leading scorer in the Dutch league with 33 GOALS in 31 games. True the Eredivisie is not what it once was and the competition is rather non existant but this kid is another ideal partner for Rooney.

Those are the 3 guys I would look at if I were Man United. I think either of those 3 guys would bring alot to your team.

and the NEW
Man United were absolutely robbed! That "shoulder to shoulder" on Ronaldo was more like a mugby tackle! They were running in different directions!

I would be PIZZED if I was you guys Maxy and Fitz!!!! Man United actually played well alltogether, so at least you can take that out of it! Ronaldo was skinning them, just a pleasure to watch!

Real Madrid, another lucky decision! WTF was that grabbing on Raul to earn the penalty! Raul is an old man and slow to begin with, why hold him back in the box? Soft soft goal and that defender should be ashamed!

I love Cisse PR, quick, silky smooth, but really lacks that instinct. Not an out and out goal scorer!

Ive seen Huntelaar a bit lately, I think he is very very good! A different kind of striker to the ones you get these days, but very proficient, strong, big and gets the ball in the back of the net! He would add another dimension to Man United, one which they really miss with guys like Nani, Ronaldo, Evra coming down the wings and putting crosses in for no effect!

Dont see Villa moving.

As far as Benzima, a good talent, but I just dont see him as the danger of Aguero, especially as the years progress.

Saha injured in the warm up, ha ha, have to laugh, but I really feel sorry for him, being injury prone myself, I know the feeling! Very talented striker IMHO, if he could keep fit, he could play for any big club in the world. Really is the whole package and has every quality you would wish a striker to have.
and the NEW
Well thats it for me, Im out of this junk for a while!

Barca are DONE! I hope they go on to loose every single one of their remaining La Liga matches and that way Rijkaards head HAS to be put on a pike! With his team, he is doing NOTHING!

Arsenal slipped up again on a pitch that resembles one of the ones I play on here, with both Fabregas and Adebayor having chances they should have taken! Premiership really comes down to the big 4 head to heads!

Chelsa is right within striking distance now and it would not surprise me at all to see them somehow grind out wins against a couple of the other big 3 and the rest of the pack and end up scraping the title!

Well we can forget Valencia ever getting into Europe this season. Hell, we minus well forget them achieving anything of note.

ATN,I hope and PRAY that you guys absolutley SMASH us in the return leg of Copa Del Rey. That way we are more guaranteed that Koeman will not be here next season. I don't want to dwell too much, all I want to say is that we drew 2-2 against Deportivo in a match we had in the bag. I'm just pissed off and I'll leave it at that. Koeman leaves Vicente AND Joaquin on the bench for no apparent reason, and puts Villa as a lone target man leaving him TOTALLY isolated with 3 DEFENDERS on his ass the whole game. Where the hell is Morientes!!??... Oh I forgot, Koeman is hopeless. Oh please fire this bum!!!...

As for Barca, wow... Rijkaard is SHOCKING... Why in the hell is he playing Ronnie in the center!!???... And Eto'o and Henry on the wings??... WTF!!!... I'm sorry you guys lost. Bad tactics cost you guys that match. Bad refereeing too but in Spain thats nothing new, especially when Barcelona plays.

Horrible week of football. I'll adopt my 2nd team Arsenal as well for the time. My beloved Valencia despite having a great squad has inexplicably sunk to relegation form, are only avoiding it because teams like Levante, Betis, and Recreativo are even worse. Such garbage.

Oh, and once again, Real Madrid benefits from shady officiating to win a match. I hate those damn Madridistas!!!... I wish they would be thrown out of the 1st division.
Here's some encouraging news for you ATN.

Wenger Would Be A Great Barça Coach - Cesc

The Arsenal midfielder praised his current boss and thinks that he could do a great job at Camp Nou if Frank Rijkaard were to leave.

Speaking on Catalan television, the Barça youth team product hinted that if Wenger were to take over at the club then he could be tempted back.

"If I was a Barça player then I would recommend to the club that they sign Wenger, without doubt," Fàbregas said.

"He is the best coach that I have ever had and the more time I work by his side, the more I will learn.

"I am still only 20 and the future is unpredictable. For the time being I just want to continue learning and if that is under Wenger then all the better."

Txiki Begiristain told the same channel last week that Fàbregas would not be the club's first choice as he chose to leave.

"What Txiki said seems right to me. Barça has a philosophy that should be respected," Fàbregas continued.

"But each person needs to chose their path and I am the first to cheer Messi because I played with him for four years and he deserves all the success.

"Also Bojan, he is a great kid and Giovani too."

When asked whether he feels that he would now be a regular in the Barcelona team if had stayed, Fàbregas was not keen to speculate.

"I do not think about that because I am with a fantastic club, have great teammates and a superb coach," he said.

On the matter of whether he left because he did not like Joan Laporta, Fàbregas was adamant that he had nothing against the president and that had nothig to do with his choice.

"That is just not true. It is a lie. When it all happened, it was at election time," he added.

Fàbregas then stated that while he would prefer to meet Barça in the Champions League final, avenging the loss in Paris was still on Arsenal minds.

"If I were to choose, I would prefer to play Barça in the final," he explained.

"But if we are drawn to meet them before, then we will be motivated by what happened two years ago."

All I say is that what a shake up that would be. I think a player like Fabregas is what you guys are ultimately missing.
and the NEW
Yeh, we both have to adopt Arsenal after Barcelona and Valencia horrible action!

I cannot talk on my dislike of Rijkaard (as a coach, not as a person) anymore. Same as you and Koeman! Given up on it, just makes me too angry and I start to sound like a broken record!

Wenger to Barca, MAN, that would be a shakeup! I would love nothing more!

I dont think Barca need Fabregas. Deco plays a similar role (though not as good), he works hard in defence and distributes well. Xavi is also decent at it too. Iniesta is more attacking and Toure adds that steel.

I think Barca are missing 2 elements. Backs, Zambrotta and Abidal are both great, couldnt ask for anything more out of them! The centre halves need to pick up their game, along with getting a new keeper. Valdez has been playing ok lately, but his just not top drawer for a club like Barca who really should be playing for everything, every season now!

The second thing we need is a coach who can play guys in their right position and play the right players to begin with. I mean having Ronaldinho and Messi as lone centre strikers, Zambrotta and Deco on the bench, is just something else completely. Do you know if other Barca fans feel this is as rediculous and are as angry as me? I just cannot beleive how the players are being critisized when it is pretty much Rijkaard who is killing them! His head should be demanded on a pike, no idea how its possible he can keep his job! Like Koeman, he has a LOT to learn! Amaizing big clubs are talking about buying him!

If Wenger did come (I hope he would bring the other half of the Toure duo along with Gallas). Barca, with Wenger at the healm and two great centre backs, would be an unstoppable force!
I hate to put a downer on your dreams ATN but Wenger won't be going to Barcelona next season, or ever for that matter. He's never walked on on a contract in his life and prides himself on that so you'll need to look elsewhere for a new manager.

Just read today that Manchester United will have to pay £37million to tie up a permanent deal for Carlos Tevez. If that's true I'm convinced we won't be following it up. He's a good player but that price is ridiculous and I can't for a minute see us shelling out such a fee.

Looking forward to the draw tomorrow.
37 million for Carlos Tevez???.... I'm sorry but thats way too much for him. He's a good player but to me not world class and at best worth maybe HALF that fee. Ridiculous. If Man United are going to pay such a big money move like that, its going to be for a world class striker who can possibly get them 17-20 goals a season so that some pressure can be relieved off Ronaldo.

Deco's problems with Rijkaard stem from a while back my understanding is, but when he went on Spanish radio and said that he would want Mourinho to coach Barca, I started to see alot there. I think there's a definite feud between Rijkaard and Deco and maybe Ronnie was caught in the middle of all. I think Rijkaard has sort of discarded Deco because of injuries and all, and I think the Fabregas talk also has played a role. It will be sad, but I think we are seeing Deco's last season at Barcelona and its not the send off that a player like him deserves. He just provides such a spark in the midfield for Barca to allow the attackers to do their thing, and he contributes so much on defense. He's in his late 20s or early 30s by now though so I wouldn't be surprised to see him go.

The good thing about Barca's squad is that most of their players are not SPECIALIZED... In other words, Ronnie for example is not really a striker, or a winger. He's a guy who's at his best playing a free role on the left side. I personally like Ronnie in the center right behind the striker, because he can play dribble at the defenders, play 1-2s with the striker, and draw some of the defensive pressure on to him. Messi is another guy who doesn't have a pure position of being either a forward or a winger. He's great at playing his free role on the right side. Henry has not fit in because he's being played on the wings it seems and he cannot work his natural game, though in his past few games he has played well, creating some opportunities for teammates and assisting some goals.

You guys need a coach that would know how to work with that. I had originally said Van Basten but as you pointed out, Holland doesn't flow and don't look overly attacking at times. Mourinho would tighten up the defense and structure, but he plays with wingers so I don't know 100% how that would work, plus I think Mourinho appears to have his sights set on AC Milan next season.
Congrats to all of you guys. Very good draws for your teams.

CL Draw

Man United vs Roma

Arsenal vs Liverpool

Barcelona vs Shalke - Cheers to that ATM

Chelsea vs Fenerbahce

QUOTE(PR316 @ Mar 14 2008, 09:03 AM) [snapback]382397[/snapback]
Congrats to all of you guys. Very good draws for your teams.

CL Draw

Man United vs Roma

Arsenal vs Liverpool

Barcelona vs Shalke - Cheers to that ATM

Chelsea vs Fenerbahce

I'm glad we avoided the other English teams but disappointed that if we do reach the final we will be playing an English team. Not a scenario I wanted. Roma will be tougher than last time but hopefully we get through and then it'll be a Man Utd vs Barcelona semi final. That will be quite some game if it happens.

Chelsea, as always, get the easiest draw.
and the NEW
Yes, great draw! We might get something, considering the league is gone! WTF was that team Rijkaard played on the wkend? Worst he has EVER played! I am not going to even comment further, how the Barca fans havent ripped his eyes out over there is beyond me! I will go as far as to say, the WORST tactician and especially selector I have EVER seen! In any sport, in any league!! An absolute disgrace!

I know we will never get Wenger, its just a pipe dream. Anyone other than Rijkaard will do! Heck, Puyol can play captain/coach as far as I am concerned!

I think Schalke was the easiest draw for Barca, as was Celtic last round. Themselves and Chelsea definately got the easiest run to the semis!

Any team without fast, attacking mids and attackers is never going to trouble Barca overly much. They will easily deal with Schalke, at least they would if their best squad was played. Fenerbache could have troubled them, but a team like Chelsea should deal with the attacking flair of Fenerbache a lot easier.

Arsenal and Liverpool got the only hard draw of the round. Roma will be close, but Man United should have enough to deal with them.

Semi between Barca and Man United will be a CRACKER if it eventuates! Too bad Messi will still be out! Though Im glad they will meet in the semis, really want to see two matches to determine the technical skill differences. Will be interesting to see if Barca controls possession like they usually do to most teams. Close close match, in every aspect. Though, no doubt Ronaldinho, Zambrotta, Deco, Messi and maybe even Toure will all be on the bench. With Bojan, Iniesta, Xavi, Edmilson, Marquez playing instead threaten.gif

Man United clear on top now by GD and with a game in hand. Chelsea is RIGHT back in the hunt! They are concerning, a couple big wins in the big matches and they could win the league! Hard to stop Man United though, they have Ronaldo, the man is a BEAST!!!!!!
and the NEW
Damn, Ronaldo just ripped up Bolton! He reminds me of Ronaldinho a couple years back, just that far infront of the rest! Tevez had some great runs and Rooney spread the ball well once he came on. Keepers have been fantastic for Man United last couple games. Some great young talent there in both guys! Anderson played his usual workmanlike self and did the job! Man United are really in the driving seat now, especially with their superior GD!

Chelsea lost HUGE ground drawing to Tottenham! They really need to come home with BIG games against the other top 3! This weekend has some very important matches!
This weekend could be pivotal in deciding the outcome of the title race.

United-Liverpool games are the biggest by far in England and the rivalry is intense. We have had the upper hand in recent seasons but will need to produce big to beat them because the Pool are playing very well at the moment and still have an outside chance of becoming champions.

Arsenal visit Chelsea and that also promises to be a massive game. My hope is Arsenal draw with Chelsea and we beat the scum to move 5 points clear at the top.....
Just finished watching Copa del Rey between Barcelona and Valencia. I must say that Valencianistas can be very ungrateful and spiteful to their team. So much has gone on and the criticism levelled at Joaquin, Villa, Banega and others is totally unwarranted. That said, on to the match.

Zambrotta was SHOCKING... Gave away stupid passes and appeared to be dragging it out there, almost ZERO effort. I would be upset if I was a Barca fan. Milito for the most part was nowhere to be found, while Puyol fought hard and Slyvinho as well.

Eto'o was class. A real warrior for you guys. Was always dangerous throughout, and was just a tireless worker throughout. Very good goal from him in the 2nd half. Eto'o supplied Bojan in space beautifully in the 1st half on a chance that Krkic should have put away, but such a big match put alot of pressure on the kid. I think you guys should have started with Henry honestly. May have come away with the victory had you done so. Henry showed alot of hunger and spirit in this match, and he was inexplicably benched in this important match. rolleyes.gif

Yaya looked injured to me. Definitely didn't look himself throughout the match. No rhythm and looked uncomfortable throughout. Xavi was ok but I don't recall anything significant from him. Iniesta was heavily involved throughout and tried very hard. He was all over the field in both offense and defense.

I think our counter attacks were very sharp tonight and thats what kept you guys on your heels. Villa was dangerous throughout, setting up opportunities tfor his teammates. Mata was really the big factor, with his 2 goals, while Silva played decently, he had a really shocking miss after being supplied beautifully by Villa. Joaquin didn't have his best game but he was involved and tried hard as always. Maduro was shit as always. Banega was ok but he should have done better with his one chance on goal.

Miguel, Albiol, Marchena, and Moretti all did a very good job for the most part. Very much improved from the 1st leg, but then again, when there is no Helguera, things are much better.

This one could have gone either way. It truly was a CRACKER. It really came down to the wire. I think we need it more because we're fighting for Europe this season, and you guys still have a good chance to win La Liga and maybe even the Champions League this season. Good match and congrats to you guys as well for playing well throughout.

Real Madrid are losing steam. Hopefully Valencia do you guys a favor and make them drop some points on Saturday but you guys have to beat Valladolid.
and the NEW
Thanks for the wrap-up PR, I unfortunately can never watch these Cup matches! Im glad Valencia won, good work! Where was Ronnie, didnt play again?

We need to concentrate on the League and the CL! Badly need a win against Madrid now, who are really loosing steam! Barca again, fukced this themselves (well Rijkaard), if he chose decent teams, we should at least have several more points!

This week in the Premier League is HUGE! Makes the end of the season exciting!!! If Man U win (which is tough, Liverpool are in great form) and Chelsea-Arsenal win, it would be HUGE for United! Cant wait to see the battle of your backs V Torres who is in sensational form!

Great week coming up!
According to Rijkaard, Ronaldinho did not "practice enough to be properly fit." rolleyes.gif Yet he goes on and plays Yaya Toure who clearly was suffering out there from what clearly looked like to be back problems. Then he starts Bojan ahead of Henry in what Rijkaard called "One of our most important matches of the season." shok.gif Well Frank if it was so important, why in the hell are you going with a youngster who doesn't have much experience in these type of matches when you had Henry fit and ready to go????.... Unbelievable if you ask me.

Good news for us against Real this season is that Van Nistlerooy is out for almost the remainder of the season. Thats one problem out of the way(I wonder how superstar Raul is going to score his goals now).. Robben I'm not sure about, nor Sneijder. My guess is that Saviola will finally get some playing time(Still can't believe he ditched you guys for Real Madrid, serves him right to not play much). I THINK Ramos is back from his suspension and if he isn't, then thats another problem out of the way. If Koeman plays a good line up(He's shaky with this too), then maybe we can pull out either a draw or a narrow win. Schuster has been shocking as of late with his tactics. Real look flashy at times, but are lacking any real coherent play. Often seems they pass around and it looks pretty, but it leads to nothing, and I particularly noticed this in their losses to Roma, Betis, and Getafe. We get Morientes back AT LAST and if Koeman lets him start, then we can play Villa in the supporting role and that gives us much better options being that he won't be so isolated with 3 defenders on him the whole match. This one could go either way. Real are not playing well, and Valencia aren't really playing better, but their morale should be good for this match. Hopefully they pull off a win.

Torres may be at the moment at least, the best striker in the world. He has defintley shed that "overrated" tag and is proving that he is truly world class. Liverpool have found something. They are managing to play in an exciting attacking way while at the same time playing solid defense, which we all know is difficult to do. Liverpool are a strong team at the moment and very much a threat and it is so EPIC and exciting to see the Premier League heating up again. I love it!!.. Arsenal have a difficult one against Chelsea as well and they need to win that one badly or they lose serious ground to Man United. I will definitely be watching those matches.
and the NEW
Yeh, Rijkaard is an idiot!

I saw Van Nistelrooy is out, what a HUGE loss for Madrid! He really complimented Raul as you say! Some of their attacking force will be taken out now! Wonder who they will play? Robben is not a striker at all (cant beleive Mourinho used to use him in that position sometimes and so did Van Basten), he is a left winger and that is ALL he can do! Shutting down Robinho is now critical! Madrid could really hit the skids now!

How about AC Milan also, they are really struggling! They are going to CLEAN HOUSE in the summer! Interesting to see who they entice over, their talking of Berbatov now, surely there are several more they have their targets on! Ronaldinho perhaps...........

Torres is in great form! He would most probably get the golden boot this year if not for a freakish Ronaldo!

Run-in to this years title in the Premiership and all their teams still in the CL just confirms how dominate it has become! Though, I think the depth right through La Liga is still better, the top end of the Premier League is second to none! Some true titanic battles there!
Totally delighted with the victory over the scum today. I thought we were controlling the game even before Mascherano got himself sent off for his constant gobbing off at the ref and the performance all round was top notch.

Despite not getting on the score sheet Rooney had a great game up front but I just wish he would start converting his chances...if he can do that he'll be the complete player. Ronaldo scored again - he is just unbelievable this season, although in all honesty I don't think it was one of his better games. Nani took his goal brilliantly and I think he will emerge as a magnificent player within the next couple of years. I just wish he'd cut out the play acting when he feels he's been fouled. We don't like that sorta thing over here.

Was pleased with Anderson but today Scholes was our best midfielder having his best game since returning from injury and it bodes well for us if he can maintain that sorta form in the final run in. Vidic and Ferdinand were rocks once again, dealing with the in-form Torres without too much trouble. I have seen you guys mention Torres as one of the top strikers in the world right now but he's got to do it against the big clubs for me to buy into that theory.

Chelsea's come from behind victory over Arsenal has proved one thing in my eyes...Arsene Wenger made a big mistake not strengthening the side in January. They desperately need a new striker because Bentner doesn't cut it and Adebayor's goals have dried up since he cut his hair.....shades of Samson there I reckon...haha. Arsenal play some wonderful football but they need to invest in some bigger name players if they are to take it to the next level...although I do favour them to beat Liverpool over two legs in the Champions League and who knows what will happen from there.

So we are 5 points clear with 21 points left up for grabs and the visit of Arsenal plus the trip to Chelsea still to come. We are favourites to retain the title but I won't be counting my chickens yet.....

I see Barca won today but Henry missed two glorious chances...just doesn't look the same player anymore...however, if we beat Roma and face them in the semi's I'll be worried...they are the sorta team who are capable of turning it on on their day...they've just lacked consistency in their league.

All in all, a great day.

WHAT A GREAT DAY!!!.... Madridistas HUMILIATED at home by Valencia!!... clapping.gif biggrin.gif

Real had plenty of possession but struggled to create opportunities and their defense was an absolute JOKE... Cannavaro was OWNED by Silva, Mata, and Villa. Not even Ramos could save him from getting exposed as an overrated defender that once again got away with reckless tackles and roughouse play. I hate that he never gets sent off and he's one of the big reasons why I hate Real Madrid. Silva was class today I must say, threading some nice balls up the middle, one which found Villa wide open in space to open the scoring, along with making several dangerous runs. Villa played well, not just because of his 2 goals but because of his heart and leadership. He made runs, created chances for his teammates, and drew fouls. Hildebrand was unbelievable with his saves, and Arizmendi nailed the game winner to give us a 3-2 score, in a match were Real's luck finally ran out. Valencia did Barca the favor. And if all goes well, Barca will have their shot at Bernabeau and hopefully Ronnie will be back in the fold and I think Barca should beat them in the return. Barca just needs to stop dropping those easy points and play like they did today.

Barcelona looked AWESOME . Henry, man. Missed 2 nice chances. He didn't find the net today but I thought that his presence out there did make an impact overall. Bojan Krkic is a futre international and if he keeps this up, he'll suit up for Euro 2008 alongside his fellow countrymen strikers, Torres, Villa, Tamuda, Garcia, and Raul. He's just SO TALENTED.. Its amazing the things this kid does on the field. Scored 2 nice goals. Eto'o is another one who I just LOVE watching. Just so much talent and desire. If your a teammate of his, you can't help but raise your level of work because he just never stops. Overall it wasn't his best game but he took his goal well and his presence out there helped Bojan out a great deal. Yaya looked better today and the defense overall held their lines very well. I was very impressed.

Arsenal, man. FUCK!!!!.... I was so mad when Chelsea equalized, and then when Drogba gave them the lead, I knew it was over. Its gonna be tough to win the league from their position now, but both Man U and Chelsea are prone to lapses and shockers while Arsenal tend to be more consistent in winning the matches they should win, so that title race is not over yet I don't think. Its getting there but there are still quite a few important matches left.

The sad thing for Liverpool is that Man U were not even at their absolute BEST today. They should have scored 6 goals today. Rooney and Ronaldo were really shocking with their misses today. Rooney in particular should have scored at least 2 times. Ronaldo missed a couple easy ones too. But despite that, the class was just WAY TOO MUCH... Anderson looked dangerous and he should have done better with his lone chance but he was still all over the place today. Nani's goal was the best of the match. Great touch and shot. Mascherano is an idiot. WTF was he thinking???...

Overall, Man United have been a joy to watch this season. Beautiful football, along with Arsenal. In Spain, its usually Barcelona that plays the most beautiful football but the past 2 seasons its been Sevilla even if they are struggling. Sevilla is just such a pleasure to watch. Even when they lose, they go down fighting. This past week, Valencia has played some very good stuff against Barcelona and Real Madrid. Barcelona at their attacking best play great stuff though this season its been up and down. They were awfully defensive in Copa Del Rey this week against Valencia and I think overall thats what cost them the win. But normally they're great to watch.

Word is that Ronaldinho is seriously injured. Rijkaard hasn't revealed any details but word is that its a pretty bad injury that has hindered him in training.
Does anybody know what Mascherano said? Up until then, he kept running his mouth for the whole game. He really was pushing his luck, but I don't know if he ran his mouth one too many times or he actually said something that warranted it.
and the NEW
Yeh, Man United looked OMINOUS today! I will not like to meet them in the Champs League semi! Though I have faith in Barca, but we need Ronaldinho and Deco on the field! They are both gone at the end of this season, if not they are idiots! Rijkaard has to go, or they both do! I havent heard Ronaldinho is injured, I heard he was left out of the Brazil squad however, after not playing enough domestic football. Wonder if Deco will see the same fate under Scolari! Wouldnt surprise me!

Its the problem when you clash with the coach, your career is gone in that time! Just look at poor Riquelme and the Valencia example! Even the worlds best can be left out to dry!

Valencia, man, I was so glad when they won! They had some great quick-fire passes and looked menacing on the counter. However, what a TERRIBLE structure! Their backs werent pushing up, leaving their midfield thin, and Villa by himself! Not to mention, if Guti can make that many penetrating runs, you have some problems! Robinho had some great little moments again, that one down the right near the goal nearly ended up in an assist! We jinxed ourselves with Raul! lol

Man United, Ronaldo did have an ordinary game. Rooney played very well I thought, though his takedowns could have been better. Agree on everything else you said also Maxy, Nani looks very promising if he can just execute better, which will come with time. Ronaldo suffered the exact same thing. However, as far as Torres, the same could be said for Ronaldo. Who appears to always get shut down against the big teams. He scored today, but wasnt it against Chelsea Torres scored that great goal? Not to mention, he is only new to this league and against Barca alone, he has prooven he can be a team destroyer! He sure doesnt always have problems in the big games! Not to mention, in the WC he was probably the most dangerous player for Spain.

Funny to see after one week, La Liga is now a closer run to the title than is the Premier League. We DESPERATELY need a win in Madrid!

As for Arsenal, Wenger desperately needs to open his war chests. They are struggling to find players at the moment. Van Persie looked shocking! Walcott is not upto scratch and Rosicky is also in a bad patch of injuries. Like was said above, when goals dry up from Adebayor (and now Eduardo is injured, and he was contributing), they are really struggling! Hleb, Fabregas, Eboue and Flamini are never going to be high goal scorers consistently either. Diaby is probably better at scoring than any of them.
QUOTE(Fitz @ Mar 23 2008, 08:56 PM) [snapback]383646[/snapback]
Does anybody know what Mascherano said? Up until then, he kept running his mouth for the whole game. He really was pushing his luck, but I don't know if he ran his mouth one too many times or he actually said something that warranted it.

All I know is he was booked for the foul on Paul Scholes early in the first half which he disagreed with, telling the ref to fuck off repeatedly, and continued to gob off at the ref (on 6 other occasions ) before picking up his 2nd yellow.

I think it was basically just a case of him confronting the ref one too many times rather than anything he said. I hope he gets a further ban for his reaction after being sent off also!
Mascherano is such a dumb ass. I mean, seriously. Yesterday was a VERY IMPORTANT game. The race for the title is headed to its last lap and he goes on and costs his teammates BIG TIME... Clearly a moment of madness there where all logic and reasoning just went out the window. Players clash with refs all the time but that was just embarrasing for not just the team but the club in general.

Keeping things in perspective, all the match between Real and Valencia proved is how overrated Real is and just how much they rely on Ruud Van Nistlerooy to get themselves going. They are very vulnerable in defense when faced with quick, skillful attackers. Robinho had moments like you said ATN, but overall I would say Miguel did a good job containing him. As unhappy as I've been with Miguel this season, he's really played well since he came back from injury. Valencia's defense as a whole has been shit this year, and it wasn't much better yesterday with sloppy marking on Raul, and constantly getting caugh out of position which is what allowed Guti so much free space. Real are just not as good as advertised, PERIOD... They're a solid team. NOTHING MORE... They're a good team thats prone to lapses and has vulnerabilities in defense, and they were EXTREMELEY LUCKY that Joaquin did not play yesterday because if Arizmendi caused so much damage, then I can only imagine what Joaquin would have done. Still far off from Europe is Valencia, but if they win Copa Del Rey, then thats their ticket in. I honestly have my doubts about Ronald Koeman surviving here for next season but thats not to be dealt with now. For now its just "get through this season" and hope we finish in the top 10. Then we'll see who should go and who should stay.

On and I read that Ronaldinho is injured without any explicit details released. Rijkaard says he has "no problems" with Ronnie and that the team is in full support of him. I'm not that close to the situation, but word is out of Spain that for the moment he is on Rijkaard's "good side" again with Deco being the "black cat" so to speak, especially after making the comments he made about "wanting Mourinho to coach Barca." Deco has really struggled more than ever with injuries these past 2 seasons. Some say that he hasn't been the same since the World Cup, but the same has been said about Ronaldinho, Miguel, and others.

Arsenal find themselves in 3rd place now. The race is still wide open and Man United still has to travel to face Chelsea and they still await Arsenal at home. Those are 2 crucial matches and they have to be careful to not drop any easy points because Arsenal are streaky. RVP was shocking indeed. I mean it seems that nothing has gone right for him this season after such a promising start. Very injury prone kid and its a shame. He's a great talent. Adebayor has been great this season even though he's hit a skid, and being so isolated is part of the reason. Arsene Wenger has been too stubborn in this department here. He's simply REFUSED to bring in a partner for Adebayor. Why doesn't he go for Saviola????.... He could get him for cheap and he's the type of player who can give Arsenal's attack another dimension. I don't know if Real Madrid likes selling to smaller clubs but Arsenal do have the money to land a couple of big transfers if they decide to.

One last thing. Maxy, I am PRAYING that you guys sign Klaas Jan Huntelaar for next season, because Real Madrid are after him in hopes that he'll replace Van Nistelrooy and I would absolutely HATE to have to face him in La Liga. A real goal getter. Very gifted kid with great technique, touch, and control on the ball. Has a powerful shot, can finish with either foot, and he's great in the air, due to how tall he is. Forget Tevez. A player like Huntelaar is what you guys are truly missing. Man United could be unstoppable with him.
Well tomorrow Spain play Italy in a friendly. I hate those roughhouse diving cheats. thumbsdown_anim.gif

What pisses me off though is this.. In Euro 2008, Spain is in group D and Italy is in group C, along with France(Oh God, flashbacks to Germany in 2006).... Anyway, the WINNER of group D will face the runner up of group C, and the runner up of group D will face the winner of group C...

Are we safe in concluding that Spain will meet either France or Italy in the 1st round of the knockout stage???... unsure.gif Oh God I hope not.. Now more than ever I am PRAYING that Netherlands will make it out of there, canceling out at least 1 of those 2 teams. I'm sorry I have to say this but the way Italy played was DISGRACEFUL... They cheated their way to the trophy and I honestly fear that they'll do so again.. resent.gif

I wish they'd just get thrown out of world football competitions.
and the NEW
WTF was that effort by Australia against China in the WC qualifiers Fitz?

Horrendous to watch! The ref was obviously paid off (penalty for a ball Schwarzer touched) and the tackle just before that was 3 times as bad as the one against Eduardo in the Premier League and the Chinese dude didnt even get a yellow!!!!! The one at the start of the match could have been a straight red also! Terrible, terrible refereeing! I cant help but feel the refereeing of Australia in Asia is ALWAYS going to be bias, due to the Western racism (it works both ways, you dont have to be a Westerner to be racist, as much as the media like to trump it up). Those calls in the game were horrible!

Though, Australia looked worse than I can play, and just kept passing it round with their back to the goal they were meant to be attacking! Bunch of Vidukas!

So angry watching it, both the calls and Australias mentality in general! Come on Cahill, Kewell, Emerton get back! Where were Aloisi and Kennedy also? Two of our best two players and Aloisi was commentating the game, WTF?
I missed most of it to be honest. I saw some of the last 20 minutes and managed to catch the penalty given. Shwarzer did it again though, lol.
Australia did have a lot of players missing, but I will admit. I never look forward to watching Australian or any A-League type of matches. I usually watch the games to support us, but not really for enjoyment. Though when they are in the world cup, it is entertaining. But I think it's just great to see that the mindset of so many Australians have changed with soccer. Australia used to be like America, in a sense that you like AFL (Aussie Rules Football) and that soccer is for pussies, it's boring and sucks. I think there is still some of that mentality, but it has changed a great deal since they made the last WC. I have a lot of friends now that watch a bit more soccer, and some premier league games. Guys that only watched AFL.
Like I said, I will admit that the quality sucks and isn't enjoyable to watch, but I am so happy that it's now finding a place amongst Australians. I have never been to America, but I from what I gather, it's the same mentality Australia had. My brother came back from the states as well, and said that soccer isn't overly big there, though it's watched a bit more in Miami. Which seems about right, as there are a lot of South American's there as well I believe.
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