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So true. I live in Coral Springs which is like 45 minutes away from Miami and alot of people watch it over here. There are alot of Europeans in the area I live in, as well as Hispanics and when the World Cup was going on, it was a big deal. We have lots of Brazilians, Argentinians, Spaniards, Colombians, Ecuadorians, Peruvians, Urugayans, Jamaicans, Haitians, etc. etc. and so it does have a considerable following in the area.

California is another place that has a considerable following due to the big South American and Central American population. Texas as well. But other than that, its really hard to come up with anything other than maybe New York, due to its mix of Latin Americans and Europeans there but New York is dominated mostly by basketball, baseball, and the NFL(Which I do watch every now and then).
and the NEW
Yeh, it was a second string side! But I like a few of our players actually. Think a few have some quality, but still they are lacking! The intensity is the big thing, they seem to either have it or they dont! Kennedy is one of my favourites and I dont mind Thompson either. Not sure where Kennedy is playing, but he is at least on par with Viduka (I beleive much better). Looks dangerous everytime the ball goes into the box.

Cahill just has that nack and Kewell can have his moments. Aloisi is solid an Carney is a good little player also. Emerton is one of the best backs out there, fast, solid, technically sound. Wish I could say the same about the overrated Lucus Neil.

Yeh, soccer is definately taking off here. Just look at the attendences to some of the A-league matches (I cant watch them either, too poor quality), they are now bigger than the NRL!

Going to check now PR if I can watch the Internationals (probably not shown here again).

Just watched two of them.

Impressive result for Spain, easily outplayed Italy. Though why was that Toni goal diallowed? Spain should also have got a penalty in the box towards the end there! Spain were far superior technically, they used their speed and dribbling ability to help control the game also. Though, Italy was solid at the back and looked dangerous on their rare attack. Either way, very strong performance by Spain, with Villa hitting that volley like Zizou! Spain, fully fit, has an ominous squad!

England looked ordinary against France (infact boring game all-around). But France had more spark to their attacks, more pace, more dribbling ability. England looked better once Becks left the field, sadly. Bentley and Downing adding some spark! Where was Lamps? A real job for Capello, who was testing everything this match! Will be interesting to see what he comes up with! Either way, sure to be a boring, grinding team!
I only saw highlights but by most accounts(Yours included), Spain in fact did out play Italy. Too much speed and skill, and concious of the fact that neither Joaquin, Vicente, Bojan Krkic, or Jesus Navas played. Toni's goal was disallowed for being offsides but since I didn't see the match, and the highlights didn't give a great view, then it was hard to tell if it indeed it was offsides. Buffon and Casillas really shined by all accounts making one great save after the other. What I hear about Italy is that despite having plenty of possession, their game mostly consisted of lots passing that was meaningless and didn't lead to anything. They struggled to create any REAL CHANCES... Villa's goal was impressive and I can only imagine the coverage he'd have gotten if he had done that in either Euro 2008 or in the World Cup. Would be ranked with many of those great game winners. Villa has really been on fire as of late. This will surely attract many offers to him in the Summer even if it looks like he'll stay at Valencia.

All this does is get me excited for not just Euro Cup 2008, but the World Cup in 2010. I'm particularly excited about this next World Cup because we are going to 6 of 53 African teams qualify. In truth, I'm excited about seeing Eto'o in the World Cup. This will be his tournament to shine in. Argentina should still have an awesome squad as they always do and all eyes will be on Lionel Messi for that one. There seems to be some concern over Brazil's squad despite them being Copa America champions. The feeling is that they're complacent and don't appear to have the fire that they are known for, much like this last World Cup where they seemingly sleep walked through their match with France(Though I must admit they were just outplayed much like Spain was). There are of course doubts about Ronnie keeping his spot on the team and even Kaka is coming under fire for "underperforming" and much of the Italian press has blamed HIM for AC Milan's failure against Arsenal a few weeks ago. I agree it wasn't a great game for him at all, but I think he's getting ripped on too much.

I keep seeing potential in Holland but like you pointed out, they just don't seem to flow despite their amazing pool of talent. England will qualify I think. They're not going to be pretty(They weren't this past World Cup either), but bit by bit, they'll get back to winning ways. I don't think they'll win the Cup, but they may get to quarter finals or something like that.

What teams are you excited about??.
and the NEW
I think for the Euro, any team with Ronaldo in it is going to be a force to be reckoned with! Add Queresma (looks like Scolari finally likes him). But they still need more goals, if they rely purely on Ronaldo, they are gone!

France, I like the mix of youth and experience. They have incredible depth in their squad, both upfront and in the backs. Midfield is a bit thin, but fit, it is ominous!

Brazil have DEFINATELY lost their spark, no matter who plays. Diego did play well though in the friendly. Fabiano looked ordinary as did Robinho. Kaka and Ronaldinho are both under fire because they were "World Player of the Year", appears once you win this, you have to be a world beater or you get blasted! Hopefully Kaka doesnt end up on a bench, like Ronnie, what a HUGE waste of talent that is, for a team, but most of all for the fans! Not often a player of Ronaldinhos caliber comes around, and to not be able to see him play, is criminal! Anderson played well when he came on. Pato is a man I am still not convinced about, but does have potential. Either way, a VERY young squad for this friendly, so they have unlimited options! Not to mention the boys from Russia, all skilled enough to make the squad.

As for best team in the world, I am still most impressed with Argentina. Aguero is a HUGE talent and scored against Egypt (African Champions). He has immense talent, add to that if Riquelme keeps playing (though getting up there), with Messi and the workhorse Tevez (who adds another dimension), along with many other talented players (Aimar etc), they are the one to watch in the WC! Not so sure about their backline though, with Milito their best back, they are in some trouble. Its one thing Argentina lack, some solid backs. Even Brazil at least has the permanent fixture of Lucio (who is extremelly talented IMO) and Alex now. Alvez on one wing, they really just lack a left wing back.

England need another top notch striker and real goal getting to play with Rooney. I think Gerrard, Lamps, Barry can all hold the center mids, and to play Cole and Lennon on the wings would add the spark they are missing. Backs, who needs to mention them, many many choices for them! Could be a real force, just need a scorer and the right lineup.

Holland, Im not convinced, cant see them doing much anytime soon. Have some good players now, but Van Basten just hasnt been able to get them to gel, the way Hiddink did in 98!

Romania could be an underdog. Italy always have a chance due to their style, but lack some serious spark also. Rely heavily on Toni to get them goals and then formation. Germany dont impress me either, but they seem to always do pretty decent. Need Klose and Podolski to gel again.

So I guess for the Euro, France, Portugal and Spain would be my favourites.

Globally, Brazil has talent (up there with the above 3 teams), but Argentina would be my pick of the bunch at the moment.
The thing about Portugal is always about how much potential they have. They do great in the group phase and win, but they don't look as spectacular one would think they would. They lack a top striker, even though I have been impressed with Dady from Osasuna. I think he has great potential and if he moves to a bigger club, he'll get out there and provide that extra scoring threat. He's scored 6 goals in just 17 games, though he hasn't been scoring much lately. But if he can consistency, he could be a dangerous player for Portugal.

France are solid all around. Some of them are getting up there and are injury prone somewhat, but still great players and a nice mix of veterans and youngsters. They're gonna always be tough to beat no matter what. They're alot like Chelsea.

The sad thing about the whole Ronaldinho situation is that Barca still have a very good chance at a Liga title. Rijkaard's private feuds with Ronnie and Deco are tearing the team apart emotionally. And as a result, Ronnie has suffered because of it. Unfairly, but ever since the World Cup, the media have been nonstop in blasting Ronnie, Ronaldo, and Kaka for lack of desire and continuity on the field. I must admit that Barca did appear rather complacent in the World Cup, but that could also be due to the fact that the team put together just didn't flow right, not necessarily that they were all partying the nights before the matches. Ronnie needs a manager that just wouldn't give a fuck about his night life, so long as he produces on the field. The whole Brazilian squad has really suffered though they did very well in beating Argentina for Copa America. Argentina had alot of bad luck in that match too.

Argentina's squad for 2010 will be downright SCARY... A never ending pool of talent. Top quality strikers in Aguero, Milito, Saviola, and Tevez. Lead by none other than the great Juan Roman Riquelme, along with Lionel Messi, Aimar, Mascherano, at the back you have Gabby Milito, and hopefully a defender whom can fill the boots of Roberto Ayala. Very difficult to do. Their backline is their achilles heel and has been exploited by the likes of Brazil and Germany. But I'll love to watch them no matter what.

Germany are much like France. Just an all around solid team. Very tall players that are physically very strong, with great technique, despite their lack of "flash" so to speak. But they're very effective with their great defense, and they are masters at wearing the opponent down. I wouldn't want to face them in Euro 2008. They're too strong and solid.

Italy play the definition of "anti futbol" but they are effective. They do lack spark, but more than that they seem to lack continuity and flow much of the time. They always turn it up for the big tournaments, it must be said. But they cheated on their way to the World Cup and play in a style that completely turn off casual viewers. I wish they would get upset in the group phase.

Holland are another team who aren't as good as they should be. Shame too because their squad is IMMENSE with talent.

I think Argentina and Brazil would be my picks in terms of PURE TALENT, with Spain, Portugal, and Holland up there. Doesn't mean I think they are the best but the most talented I say.
and the NEW
QUOTE(PR316 @ Mar 29 2008, 01:55 AM) [snapback]384396[/snapback]
I must admit that Barca did appear rather complacent in the World Cup, but that could also be due to the fact that the team put together just didn't flow right, not necessarily that they were all partying the nights before the matches.

You mean Brazil? Yeh, they certainly lack the flow at the moment, even with their incredible talent out there! I mean, to have Ronaldinho, Kaka, Diego, Robinho, Fabiano, Pato, Anderson, Juninho, Lucio, Alvez, Alex, man, what an insane team! No injury worries there! I think as Anderson plays more for Man United also, he will become a very important aspect of the Brazil lineup! When he came on, it gave the team more cohesion, he moved the ball nicely and worked hard in defence (another aspect their midfielders usually lack). Ze Roberto really being the only guy who contributes on defence, and Emerson (who has always been a BUM IMO). But I would say Anderson is more talented than even Ze Roberto.

Some big matches this weekend, Man United will have their work cut out for them against Aston Villa who are always dangerous. Barca get an easy match against Betis while Madrid have to play Sevilla, could put us one point off the title, though with by far the harder run-in to the end of the season!
QUOTE(and the NEW @ Mar 29 2008, 05:01 AM) [snapback]384435[/snapback]
You mean Brazil? Yeh, they certainly lack the flow at the moment, even with their incredible talent out there! I mean, to have Ronaldinho, Kaka, Diego, Robinho, Fabiano, Pato, Anderson, Juninho, Lucio, Alvez, Alex, man, what an insane team! No injury worries there! I think as Anderson plays more for Man United also, he will become a very important aspect of the Brazil lineup! When he came on, it gave the team more cohesion, he moved the ball nicely and worked hard in defence (another aspect their midfielders usually lack). Ze Roberto really being the only guy who contributes on defence, and Emerson (who has always been a BUM IMO). But I would say Anderson is more talented than even Ze Roberto.

Some big matches this weekend, Man United will have their work cut out for them against Aston Villa who are always dangerous. Barca get an easy match against Betis while Madrid have to play Sevilla, could put us one point off the title, though with by far the harder run-in to the end of the season!

Yeah I meant Brazil. My bad. If Adriano could ever get back to form, and Ronaldo could ever come back and stay healthy for a bit, then those are some extra options on the bench that could come in and potentially change a match.

This upcoming Euro Cup, all eyes will be on Cesc Fabregas. This is his tournament here. He'll be expected to be the boss of that team on offense. Usually, all the pressure is on Torres and Villa to produce. But Fabregas will now indeed be expected to take his level of play to the next level for his country. Fabregas could be the difference maker for Spain the way Zizou was for France for all those years.

Sevilla will be EXTREMELY DANGEROUS for Real. The Madridistas will have to play MUCH BETTER than they have for the past month. Barca should cruise against Betis. I anticipate a win there via 3-1 score. Valencia get an easy one too, welcoming Mallorca but they can't take it for granted. Inconsistency is one problem they've had this season. Their confidence should be sky high now. But they can't sleep or they'll be caught again.
Outstanding performance from United today. We dominated Villa and the 4-0 win could so easily have been doubled. Every player on the pitch performed supremely and I'll go as far as to say it was perhaps our most complete performance of the season so far.

Ronaldo scored a cheeky backheeled goal, nutmegging the defender in the process before setting up Tevez with a pin-point cross and then laying on the 3rd for Rooney with another flick. Tevez' workrate was outstanding and at 3-0 we were able to bring off Ferdinand, Carrick and Evra, replacing them with Anderson, Hargreaves and O Shea...the strength in depth is frightening and lets not forget that Nani, Saha, Van Der Sar, Neville and Sivestre were all unavailable for selection due to injury. Rooney got his second (could have had four) and I'm just delighted by the way we are playing right now. No need to fear anyone on this form.

This is as well as we have played for a long time...consistent, excellent football. Hopefully we can get a good result in Rome on Tuesday.

What I would not give to wake up and go to and find that as the main headline. What I would not give...

Barca fans want this man's head!!!... They are absolutley FED UP with the poor performances and apparent inability to get the best out the talent that he has. Unbelievable how they let a relegation team come back to beat them after going up 2-0 in the 1st half.

LMAO at Rijkaard telling the press "I accept responsibility for this defeat, it is inexplicable." Somebody ship this guy the fuk out of Barca please!!..

Other than that, great comeback by Arsenal. They've still got some ground to make up, though. Man United are in the driver's seat and apparentley looking as good as they can be.
and the NEW
QUOTE(PR316 @ Mar 30 2008, 12:12 AM) [snapback]384524[/snapback]

Fukc, WHAT I WOULD GIVE TOO!!!!! I could provide the shovel to burry him!!!!!!

I am glad to hear other Barca fans want his head! Disgrace! Deco and Ronnie now "injured" despite being fully fit and sitting on the bench for months, so what difference does it make. He would not play them anyways. The two got them to where they are today and are now out in the cold, with Barca fans feeling the full effect! So so glad that other Barca fans want his head on a pike also! He is a disgrace!!!!! All we need now is a poor showing in the CL and its all over for another season! Barca look flat and workmanlike (without the structure) without Messi or Ronaldinho. No creative flare or spark (Iniesta provides some and Xavi has some great balls), but its not the same. Barca are now 3rd, no automatic qualification for CL next year! WTF!

Arsenal, man, what a fightback! That was brilliant! I was up at like 3am and thinking, I am going to bed this is all over, had a shower, came back and it was on again! Brilliant, what fighters!

Man United, I agree Maxy, best performance in a long long time! Every man on the pitch had a cracker! DOMINATED a dangerous (though out of form) Villa side! Ronaldo, ha ha ha, what a cheeky back flick. Not to mention, he set up the other 3 goals! The man is the new phenomenon! Do you ever get to Old Trafford to watch the matches?

As much as I hate him, bring in Mourinho! Changes are due, I hope Juan opens his eyes! Rijkaard is a BUM!
Only Ronald Koeman is worse than Rijkaard. Banega, Joaquin and Vicente, all fit sit on the bench. Villa once again played alone as a target man with no support, and 4 defenders surrounding him.

Shoot Helguera. Responsible for 2 of the goals that occured. A criminal signing by Quique that is haunting us till this day.

While we are at it, lets ship Caneira the fuck back to Portugal.

Send Maduro to the reserves squad for the rest of his pathetic career.

Only Villa, Silva, and Mata tried hard. Sad to say this for me about Morientes because I love him as a player, but his time is up. If he isn't injured, then he disappears during the match. By now he's so injured he's hardly a factor.

I demand that all Valencianistas petition to send Ronald Koeman on his way after this season. Losing 3-0 at home to teams like Mallorca and Bilbao are UNFORGIVABLE RESULTS.. Its time to ship him out and bring in either Marcelino, Valverde, or Unai Emery.
and the NEW
Painful isnt it PR, painful! Even Arsenal are in a slump now! Lucky I enjoy watching Man United and watch them every week, so doesnt bother me who wins England too much, as long as its one of the two! The form Ronaldo has been in, it would be criminal for him not to pick up another Premier League title to add to his honours list! Will be interesting to see him over the rest of his career, if he can end up an immortal such as Zidane. Looks well on his way at the moment! Bar injury, sure to be one of footballs very finest!

We are having a SHOCKER of a season this one, while Maxy and Fitz are sitting pretty!

You guys desperately need the Cup and we desperately need the Champions League! Only slim hope left!

There are sure to be some HUGE summer moves for at least AC Milan, Barca and Valencia! Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool are sure to make a buy or two. Man United dont need a thing at the moment, depth, class, skill, the lot! Perhaps only another striker.

Inter are on the lookout for a new coach, wonder if the Mourinho rumours are true!

and the NEW
Just read this: "Ronaldinho has come in for strong criticism since he refused to play because of a thigh injury despite scans showing no damage" - as I suspected, more than meets the eye.

Tech director just said every player will be reviewed at the end of the season. Sounds like more sweeping changes at the Camp Nou!
Delighted with the result last night. I thought it was a solid performance although Van Der Sar had to be at his best on a couple of occasions. Ronaldo's header was just brilliant and brave. I was worried for a moment when he just laid on the floor because I thought he had done himself an injury but thankfully he's OK. The big concern is the injury to Vidic. If it's serious then it will prove costly because alongside Ferdinand, Vidic is an absloute rock and its the strength of our defense which has helped us be such a good attacking force this season. We must be big favourites to go through to the semi's now and the likely opponents will be Barca. Will Messi be fit for that?

Fitz, Champions League football is far more cagey and slower than the game played in the Premier league and that is why United and most other teams opt to play with just one up front. I actually like the fact that we can bring someone like Rooney off and replace him with the equalling hard working Tevez. It shows how much strength in depth we have, although it's a shame Saha is always bloody injured because he adds something completely different to the team.

Arsenal-Liverpool tonight. Hate Liverpool so I hope Arsenal win but I won't be too fussed whoever goes through out of them and Chelsea.

My dream final now is United-Fenerbache because I don't want to play another English side.
Man United are playing very solid and smart tactical football. Because of the 2 legs, teams who do that have more success, look at Chelsea and last year AC Milan. The defense is a brick wall back there, even if Roma did have their chances. Sometimes I think the team depends a little too much on Ronaldo, but as of now it hasn't cost them dearly and if they keep playing like this, I think only Arsenal and Barcelona at their bests are a threat. I feel bad for Saha always injured because I too know how he feels. I'll play a casual pickup basketball games with my friends and almost always I'll pick up a little knock here and there and have to take a break or stop playing completely. Its really frustrating and of course at Valencia, we have to deal with constant injuries to Vicente and others. It really is frustrating.

Barcelona were more tactical than usual but without Ronaldinho out there, the spark isn't quite the same either. That said, its not easy to win at Schalke. They're a very strong physical team that wears you down with tall players that are good at headers and a strong defense. Bojan is quite a talent at just 17 years old. Its amazing what that kid is able to do. Reminds me of a 17 year old Samuel Eto'o only Eto'o was in the 1998 World Cup I believe. Henry had moments and he looked loose and comfortable out there unlike this past weekend against Betis where he looked stiff, slow, and unsure of himself.

So Ronaldinho is refusing to play???... I haven't heard that until I logged on today. If Ronnie is indeed doing that, my only guess is that he's trying to send a message to the higher ups that he doesn't want to play for Rijkaard. Thats the only conclusion I can come up with. Many Barca fans think Rijkaard will be gone anyways after the season is over but we can only wait and see. Hard for me to tell because even though Barca are underachieving, they're still sitting in 3rd place in La Liga with a Champions League spot.

I know that when it comes to the big clubs, those things aren't always enough and expectations are high. I know that Valencianistas have ridiculously high expectations and when Quique Sanchez Flores was fired, Valencia were sitting in 4th place, tied with Barcelona, Sevilla, and Villareal, just 3 points behind Real Madrid and with a Champions League spot. Koeman was brought in to play more "attractive football" but the cost has been too much. In truth, the team isn't playing more attractive football and all thats been done is that the chemistry has been altered. Koeman has been good about giving young players a chance like Mata and Banega. But his team selections have been very suspect, match tactics horrible, and terrible rotations/substitutions. He seems to lack "feel" for this team if you know I mean. He doesn't understand how they play. It doesn't help that our defense is shit with Caneira and Helguera often used in the back in place of Albiol and Marchena. Joaquin and Vicente despite being fit, sit on the bench, and Villa is left alone isolated with the opposing team's entire backline marking him. With Quique, he at least played his players in their proper positions, and gave Villa a partner, either Morientes or Zigic. He also went with Joaquin and Vicente when they were fit. He had a good feel for the team and knew who played his best where and etc. His problem was his lack of imagination. Quique knew only how to defend and play on the counter attack. He knew nothing else. And that cost us some matches that we should have won.

Looking forward to Arsenal and Liverpool. That will be very good.
and the NEW
Yeh, United looked very ordinary for most of the first half. Ronaldo came into action late! Second half, they outplayed Roma, but Van Der Sar did make a spectacular reflex save! Must say, the keepers at United are a cut above the rest! I would be happy with any of their 3 at Barca!

Barca looked ORDINARY again, but managed an away win. What a showdown set for the Semi! Dont think Messi will be fit in time (HUGE LOSS), Deco is well and truly out of the picture now, whilst Ronaldinho has disappeared! No bench, no word from him, just vanished! Truly a wizard wink.gif he he. Though really pizzes me off!

Eto'o is nowhere NEAR the attacking threat now without Ronaldinho to feed him those KILLER passes! They combined brilliantly, Ronaldinho would lay a cutting pass, perfectly weighted for Eto'o, who would use his pace, run onto it and strike it into the back of the net. Read eachother brilliantly! That combination is now gone also! Sad sad time for Barca, who sad to say, could be demolished by Man United in the semi with the current forms of the two teams. If Ronnie comes back, we are in for a shot. So hope he gets "fit" and a place back in the starting lineup by that time (assuming both go through, which I will assume they will).

Arsenal V Liverpool will be down to the wire (though I think Liverpool will eek it out, Champions League history and all). Probably play Chelsea who should frustrate and contain Fenerbache. Replay of last years semis, only with Barca in the place of Milan (hopefully they can get the same result smile.gif).

Just read your post PR, must have been the same time I wrote mine.

Ronnie is definately sending a message I beleive, but it will cost Barca the title and CL! Though, he wouldnt get a start anyways because Rijkaard is wearing blinkers! He has played, what, 9 games this season? And is still one of Barcas highest scorers? LOL. Last season he was "out of form", yet nearly won the golden boot and had one of the highest assist counts and that is out of the entire league!!! LOL. Amaizing how so many people listen to the media, even "professionals"!

Koeman is no better, leaving Joaquin and Vicente on the bench is just as criminal! Both dutch football legends, both no idea! Think everyone got a bit carried away with the success of Crufft and Hiddink, beleiveing the dutch have some kind of "special touch".

I also feel for Saha, I have been injury prone for the last few years and its so so frustrating! All that work, then an injury, then takes you 6 months or more just to get back to the same level!
and the NEW
That ref call on the tackle on Hleb in the box in the second half was a shocker! He was pulled right down after beating like 4-5 defenders!

Arsenal deserved a 2-1 win and as such, hope more than ever now they beat Liverpool in the return leg!

Fenerbache got a decent result at home! Would be a great CL if they played Arsenal in one semi, with Man U against Barca in the other! Talk about some fireworks!
Congratulations ATN. It looks like you guys are going to be doing big things this off season.

From what I hear, all details are pretty much worked out and next season you guys will have him. A GREAT GREAT buy... The thing is, if Barca is really going for 4 BIG NAMES and will spend about 100 million in transfers alone, then all I can honestly say is that SOMEBODY or more than just somebody is leaving Camp Nou. Deco is pretty much gone. Ronaldinho is up in the air (Nay or may). Zambrotta is pretty much off to AC Milan. I think Giovani Dos Santos will be shipped out as well and you guys should be able to hold on to Bojan. Rumors of Valdez being gone are constant as well. Xavi and Iniesta are true Catalans so I seriously doubt they'll leave. Eto'o is adored for his consistent hard work so I can't see him leaving, and Henry would be difficult for you guys to sell considering he hasn't done a whole lot.

Arsenal outplayed Liverpool I felt for the most part, but Liverpool has an edge now going into the 2nd leg.
and the NEW
Alvez is a great attacking wingback, but Ill be sad to see the back of Zambrotta who played very well overall. Alvez is a big suspect in defence for me.

Deco is gone, Rijkaard could be another one of those four transfers. Zambrotta another and Dos Santos probably the 4th.

Cannot see anyone else going, except perhaps Ronaldinho. As long as he goes somewhere he starts is all that bothers me, I just want to see the man play. He is a freak with pure talent and missing a season is robbing the fans!

Will be interesting though. Sure to be a huge slosh of transfers this season between a lot of the big clubs.
and the NEW
Looks like we might have a game on afterall!!!! If only Ronaldinho plays now, what a match! Imagine the two Ronaldos coming down the wing at eachother, and Messi and Giggs at eachother! Would be a sight indeed!

Just read this from Messi:

'It would be great if I could be in the semi-finals of the Champions League,' he told El Mundo Deportivo.

'If we played Manchester United it would be amazing because we would be playing one of the best teams in the world. But I aim to be back before that.'

Barcelona currently hold a 1-0 lead from the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Schalke, with the second leg at the Nou Camp due to be played on April 9.

And Messi declared himself available to finish the job against the Germans.

He said: 'If it was up to me I'd play this weekend because I feel fine, and even if was just a few minutes I'd like to play in the second leg against Schalke.'

Keep in mind that Alvez is still very young and he has lots of time to improve that part of his game, which we all know will come with experience.

If that indeed comes together, then we have one HELLUVA CL match. Both teams are playing more tactical than usual in this CL and its getting them results. Both teams have lots of depth, and it would be great if both Ronaldinho and Messi could be available for this one. It would definitely be one to talk about for a long time especially if it delivers.

Overall, I think Ronnie will end up staying. He's quite loyal to the club despite his supposed "nightlife antics" and he's not known to be a locker room problem or anything like Albelda was for years at Valencia. Deco and Rijkaard have problems, and the writing has been on the wall since last season about Deco leaving.
Ronaldinho is out for 6 weeks with a thigh injury according to reports on the radio over here.
Sad news. From what I hear, he's picked up a similar injury to what Lionel Messi has been dealing with.
and the NEW
Yeh, I hear Ronaldinho gives the dressing room a real relaxed and happy feeling. Plays his drums and sings Samba before matches, LOL.

I think he will stay also, especially if Rijkaard leaves. Its apparent which one of the two was the biggest contributor in their success!

Ronaldinho and Eto'o are the real danger men for Barca when on together, so I hope they are used together once more. Messi just adds another element all-together!

Liverpool V Arsenal again soon, should be another good match! And a must win for Arsenal! Liverpool look safe in 4th now, especially with Cahill injured for Everton!

If it is indeed correct about his injury, definately sad news, that pretty much the rest of the season!

Ah well, with all that time off, along with the break, he should be mighty fresh for the start of next season! Will miss him in the CL! HUGE LOSS. Barca NEED Messi now, who is the only other man that can give them that spark!
and the NEW
Bad night for Man United!

They finally met that prolific signing that is Alfonso Alvez! Said he was a great signing at the time, and he is going to be one to watch next season! All-round quality striker.

Only 3 points in it now, coming down the stretch. The big match is once again the Chelsea V Man United match! God I will be spewing if Chelsea manage to come back and snatch the title! Gotta give Grant credit though, Chelsea was down and out when he was assigned, now they are right back in the hunt! So much for "the special one".
QUOTE(and the NEW @ Apr 6 2008, 09:31 AM) [snapback]385239[/snapback]
Bad night for Man United!

They finally met that prolific signing that is Alfonso Alvez! Said he was a great signing at the time, and he is going to be one to watch next season! All-round quality striker.

Only 3 points in it now, coming down the stretch. The big match is once again the Chelsea V Man United match! God I will be spewing if Chelsea manage to come back and snatch the title! Gotta give Grant credit though, Chelsea was down and out when he was assigned, now they are right back in the hunt! So much for "the special one".

We missed Vidic so much today but it was an absolutely cracking game of football. End to end edge of the seat stuff. Alvez is a quality striker but he was able to look so much better today simply because our magnificent central defensive pairing were split up as Vidic is injured. Even worse news was the fact that Ferdinand went off injured and left the ground with a protective cast on his foot. He is said to be definitely out of the Roma game and the Arsenal game...this is devastating news as Vidic will also miss both those matches.

Pique came on for Ferdinand and did a brilliant job but I am so worried right now. Everything could fall apart.
and the NEW
Yeh, Vidic was a HUGE loss!

Great game of football though!

Ferdinand out is damaging also! You guys really need to hold it together now and perhaps grind out some victories!

Barca hit the post about 4 times and just had no spark one more against Getafe! Season over! Only the CL to play for now! Come on Messi, get back to that purple patch!

and the NEW
Well WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF can you say about the Arsenal-Liverpool quarter final match! I KNEW it was going to come down to a fukcin penalty for Liverpool after Arsenal were denied a far more legit penalty in the first match!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just had the strongest feeling!!!!!! FUKCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC!!!!!!!!!!

That last goal was simply because Arsenal were forced to push forward, nothing more!

Liverpool are now one of my new most HATED teams!!!!!!!! I actually hope Chelsea beat them in the semi final!

And Wenger, GET THE FUKC RID OF SENDEROS!!!!!! He is rubbish, has been since the start! Hopefully Man United dont suffer the same fate with Vidic out!!! Sounds like Ferdinand may be back in time!

Chelsea got the win against Fenerbache as expected! Same semi finals as last year by the looks of it, but with Barca instead of AC Milan!

and the NEW
Yeh, I think the TV stations got it wrong, said it was meant to be Man United V Roma. But whoever plays first day of the first ties, plays second in the second ties.

Yep, Liverpool sure are wizards when it comes to the CL! Chelsea will be hell bent on revenge! After playing Arsenal 3 times in a row, they will now play Chelsea in a similar situation. They still have to play them at Anfield in the league right? Plus 2 Champions League encounters!

Hope to god Barca and Man United get through tonight, what a contrast of 2 semi finals it will be! If Messi is back, we should have one attacking showdown! Will be great to see Barca at Old Trafford and Man United at Camp Nou!!!! You should try get tickets Maxy!!!! Schalke could still upset though, the way Barca have been playing lately! Cant even beat the teams at the bottom of the league! Need Messi back desperately! Though, doubt he will get any game time against Schalke!
I think Liverpool were lucky to go through. It was never a penalty in my view and Arsenal had a far more legitimate penalty turned down in the first leg at the Emirates. For the first half hour Arsenal played Liverpool off the pitch and were far and away the better side. The difference between the two sides was Senderos - he's a disgrace. My best mate, an Arsenal fan, kick his lounge door off in a rage when Torres scored! Yes, he took his goal well but he should never have had that sorta opportunity - Senderos followed him around and then got was obvious that was going to happen and the first goal, from Hypia was another catastrophic blunder from that man Senderos again. He's nearly as bad as John O Shea!

Chelsea got through...we all knew they would so once again they will meet Liverpool in the semi finals. They do not have to play each other again in the league however. I'm hoping Ferdinand is back tonight and starts alongside Pique in the center because Gerard is so much better than O Shea, especially in such a huge game. I can't even think about going through yet and playing Barca.

ATN, I would love to go to the game at the Nou Camp (praying we don't slip up tonight) but I won't be able to I'm afraid. Really difficult to get tickets. I don't even get to go to Old Trafford much these days (only twice this season) because of work/family commitments....
Arsenal deserved to win. That penalty was bullshit. Senderos made 2 costly errors though, as Maxy pointed out. All that aside, like I've been saying for a while, ARSENAL NEED ANOTHER STRIKER... They need another capable goal scorer that can take some of the heat off Adebayor. Great finish by Diabi for Arsenal's first goal. Credit to Liverpool for capitalizing on their opportunities though. The Champions League is all about taking your chances when you have them because there are so few of them. Arsenal were the better side, but Liverpool got them when it counted.

Barca play Shalke in less than an hour at the moment I write this. They've been rather flat as of late and I'm hoping they don't slip up here. That would really be sad.

We all want to see Barca and Man United go at it.
20 minutes til kick off and the nerves are jangling. I've just be digesting the team news....

No Ronaldo, Rooney, Evra, Nani or Scholes. Silvestre starts his first game in an eternity but at least Rio plays.

Damn, I'm worried.
Sigh of relief can be breathed as both Man United and Barca advance to meet in the semis. Barca didn't look too good but getting the W is what matters when you play a team like Schalke.

Congrats to both of you guys. Wish I could cheer my team in the Champions League but I'm afraid that won't be happening anytime soon.
Wasn't any need to be worried as it turns out.

We were comfortable I felt and deserved to win even though winning wasn't important. I really do believe that we are a better side than we were in '99 when we won the treble. Hargreaves, Park and Anderson stood out tonight and if it wasn't for the ridiculous penalty decision awarded to Roma, I think we would have won the game earlier because that penalty, although missed, seemed to alter the pattern of the game for a while.

In hindsight I'm glad Ronaldo got a rest...just hope Ferdinand is OK for Sunday after having 3 stitches in his foot at halftime. So its Man Utd- Barca in the semi's...I'm hearing Barca weren't impressive despite winning...

This really could be our year...and as far as the quality of football goes I think we deserve it!
Saw both matches in their entirety and here's what I think.

Barcelona vs Schalke..

If Barcelona had that much luck in La Liga then they'd be champions by now. Well, I don't know if it's luck or something else but the way they screw themselves all the time in La Liga is the way opponents opponents in the CL have been screwing themselves against Barcelona. Schalke probably deserved more over the two legs but Barca in the end got the job done with a bizzare goal from Yaya Toure. I hate to say this, but more and more its seeming to me that Xavi and Iniesta just don't work well together in the midfield for some reason against the top teams. Add to the fact that they have to be exhausted. They haven't had any rest in how long???.... I think Lionel Messi will be needed very much against Man United. Apparently, the club, team, and fans don't count on Ronaldinho anymore and thats a shame. I don't know exactly what is going on but whatever it is, its just a damn shame that such a legend at Barcelona is going out the way he is. I hope things get better for him. Thierry Henry looked HORRIBLE... But he does work hard and I think thats all the fans could ask of him. Eto'o was his usual hardworking self but he missed a good chance on goal. Bojan was great. He shouldn't have been subbed off but Rijkaard is really killing this team. He better not cost them the match against Man United with stupid lineups and tactics.

Man United vs Roma

Considering that Ronaldo, Rooney, and others were sitting out, this is good. To be honest, Pique wasn't really too impressive. But next to Rio, who is one of the better CBs in the world, anyone looks worse. He did alot of key defending. Wes Brown is very very lucky that de Rossi missed that PK because if he hadn't, we'd know why... Brown shouldn't have gotten himself in that compromising situation. thumbsdown_anim.gif Mancini in the box + Wes Brown doing his thuggish tackles per usual = trouble. On to the midfield. Hargreaves was providing a lot for you guys today, he was unstoppable. That cross in the first half (I believe it was) was unbelievable. He had a great game today. Anderson as well! He nearly got his goal, but Doni was there. Anderson impressed me today and seemed to always be there at the right time, making his runs. Anderson > Walcott. Then there was Giggs who had a wonderful pass, and proved why he's still good enough. Park also impressed me quite a bit today, he did a lot of running and was involved in the attack quite often. Him, Anderson, Tevez & even Hargreaves were very offensive today and were ensuring Man U would get that goal and thanks to Tevez they got it. Both teams seemed to lack a killer instinct at times. Ronaldo was missing for sure, but now that he's rested, he'll be more than ready for Arsenal in what is Arsenal's most important match of their season. If they lose, you can pretty much forget their title hopes.
and the NEW
QUOTE(PR316 @ Apr 9 2008, 11:58 PM) [snapback]385578[/snapback]
Apparently, the club, team, and fans don't count on Ronaldinho anymore and thats a shame. I don't know exactly what is going on but whatever it is, its just a damn shame that such a legend at Barcelona is going out the way he is.

Eto'o was his usual hardworking self but he missed a good chance on goal.

Rijkaard is really killing this team. He better not cost them the match against Man United with stupid lineups and tactics.

Is it Catelonia or what? Same thing happened to Ronaldo, Maradona, Rivaldo. A short while of dazzling the fans and then they ship them out, more often than not on a bad note! Catalans are known for arrogance and for a good reason I beleive.......though my experience in Barcelona was pleasant.

Eto'o NEEDS Ronaldinho. No two ways about it. He feeds him 50% of his scoring opportunities, if not more. Infact, he opens up the entire game and help plays gel. Amaizing people cannot see this!

No doubt, Rijkaard will kill them against Man United. What a showdown though! Messi better be fully fit for both games and lets hope Barca find some form in the next couple weeks. Because both, fully firing, would have more talent and more frills, than any other game on the planet! Too bad Ronaldinho could not take part!

Man United played good against Roma, but was a close game. I thought they were going to score that REDICULOUS Italian job penalty! Fukc I was fuming again when I saw it, thank god they missed! Still a good effort from United with a poor looking side out there! Hargreaves was the MAN of the match, no doubt about it! He was in everything. Putting better crosses than Beckham himself in there!

Oh and good to see Mr Neville back in first team action! Congrats to the man!
^^^Agree very much. I still think Ronaldinho will end up staying. I just can't picture Laporta shipping him off. The guy just makes the club too much money, still sells the most merchandise, and lets not forget that when he was back, he was playing VERY WELL. He looked quick on the ball, he linked play, opened up the passing game, and even made the effort to defend(Something he's always criticized for not doing). While I do sense complacency within the whole squad, to me thats a matter of a stale manager that has got the players running the same system over and over again with no change. Watch Rijkaard during the games and you'll see that he does NOTHING... Barca are not even playing beautiful attacking football at the moment and I think that they're doing it to actually try to protect some leads, with memories of the Betis game haunting them.

Speaking of managersATN, this might interest you. Barcelona has thrown their hat into the mix of possibly signing Unai Emery as new manager for the team, with Valencia, Real Madrid, and Sevilla the other front runners. He's a prospect coach at this point still. I saw alot of him back in 2001 when I stayed for a Summer in Spain, watching him as an assistant coach Sporting Gijon, a 2nd division club where noneother than David Villa got his start. Interesting enough along with Marcelino there, it was both Emery and Marcelino that promoted Villa to the first team and got him to start while he was just 19 years of age at the time.

He did lots of good work with Almeria last season in La Segunda, getting them a top 3 finish. His style of football is good too. I think those at either Barca or Valencia would love it. He likes a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 with loads of concentration, anticipation, fast and great passing at the ground, lots of opening runs. He doens't prefer his wingers to be static like crossing, he want them to cut in at times, to make it harder for the opponent. He attacks at home, counters away, rotates well, and has an excellent eye for spotting young talent.

Koeman is most certainly on the way out. Rijkaard is good friends with Laporta so if he left, my guess it would be because he opted to. Barca fans are sick of his football now, though. They're making it very clear whom they really hold responsible for this season.
and the NEW
Interesting, could be the next Wenger when he came from Japan.

Sometimes the little names do well!

I agree, football at Barca has become stale. Its just going through the motions now and they look to have no motivation, no desire, nothing new. And even getting worse than any of the football they have played in the past few seasons! Truly at their weakest currently!

To tell you the truth, I dont care who comes in at the moment, NOBODY could do worse than Rijkaard! He is the worst tactician I think Ive ever seen and with the quality of players he has, they could probably coach themselves better!

Really need some more defence (attack is fine). Messi or Ronaldinho to provide that spark, and its all back on in the goal scoring front! Its just a tight, well held defensive line they require. I think Puyol is getting worse (though still probably their best centre back) and whilst Milito started out well, he has been exposed since also. Marquez and Thuram, both just too damn slow for La Liga. Thuram would have been great for Barca, but with age, he has slowed down considerably. Probably why he couldnt make the transition from Serie A to La Liga.

Madrid looking for a new coach again? ha ha.
I actually think its RIJKAARD himself who is the black sheep that is causing the squad to play down to their competition rather than play up. You see the team on the field and because of their talent, there will always be moments of brilliance. The problem is the CHARACTER, something Valencia is suffering from too. Like when Betis got their first goal, it was like Barcelona's defense almost closed up shop and pretty much allowed them to go through. Even Zambrotta has had shocking moments caught out of position. Up front, Eto'o and Henry do work tirelessly, and while Eto'o always rules, Henry despite his great effort to adapt to the team has really struggled. The truth is that Henry despite his greatness has a rather one dimensional game. At Arsenal because he was often played as the center striker, he too often demanded the ball and he had the likes of Fabregas and Rosicky to feed him. At Barcelona he's being played on the left where he is being forced to almost start from the wing, and either link play with Ronnie or Messi, or cut inside himself and he's not used to that. Most of Barcelona's players are not out and out when it comes to their positions. They're not true wingers that hug the touchlines and use their speed to burn and then send in a cross on the inside. They're all players who have adapted to a system of playing in "free roles" so to speak. Ronnie for example has been lined up on the left side, the number 10 role in the center, and even as a supporting striker. Hell, Rijkaard this season has even felt it necessary to line him up as a LONE striker with the opposing defenders all over him giving him no space to work.

Its these team selections and match tactics that have cost you guys so many easy points. You guys should be Liga champions by now honestly. When Madrid was going through their drought, that was when you guys should have been picking up all those easy points. Once again.... Have to look towards the coach there... Its up to every coach to keep his team committed to the cause for 90 minutes. Its one thing if it was so many different things going on but its not. Its always the backline that ends up giving away cheap goals in the crucial moments of a match. There are going to be times where your not going to score, period... Some opponents play such good defense that you may only be able to manage 1 goal. When you can't play your beautiful game, you have to at least make sure that you don't allow the other team to play theirs. Teams like Betis have no business beating Barca. Thats unforgivable. Complacency kills.

Keeping in mind that there are alot of politics at Barca. Puyol for instance is pretty obvious to be a politician. How he can continue to wear the captain's armband and produce miserable performances one after another is beyond me. I think either Xavi or Deco should have been captain for quite some time now. Rijkaard lives off his friendship with Laporta but I think he may opt to leave in the off season . Looks to me like he's not even enjoying it anymore. No fire, no passion. I guess he thinks talent alone wins trophies.

and the NEW
I agree PR.

The entire system has been a complete mess this season, but moreso in the last couple months, where Barca have looked TERRIBLE!

I would usually have complete faith in them against Man United, but not in this form. Henry just does not fit whatsoever as you say. Eto'o is lacking without Ronnie. Bojan is the only breath of fresh air. Xavi, Iniesta and Toure while doing ok in the midfield, Deco is surely missed with his control of the midfield (along with Ronnie controlling the link up play down the wing with Abidal/Sylvinho, switching to Messi coming down the right or cutting up the middle and feeding Eto'o) and distribution. Messi now out, means they have a complete lack of spark.

The defence, rubbish rubbish rubbish. Rijkaards only chance is if they win the CL. And this is why in a way, I hope they dont! He will HAVE to walk otherwise, despite his bum chum being the president.

How bout Valencia! MAN, they are approaching relegation zone!!! Are you still watching them every week? Are Joaquin and Vicente still being benched? You think either of them, or perhaps Villa will be gone this summer?
There's such a circus atmosphere in Valencia at the moment that we really don't know yet. I can't say 100% sure what will go on but here's an analysis. As of now we are 6 points above the relegation zone with a very important match against Racing Santander coming up. The team has played horribly at home this season for the most part.

Yes, Vicente and Joaquin are still being benched in favor of Arizmendi and Maduro. Silva has been off and on this season, while Arizmendi with the exception of his game winner against Real, has been absolute shit. Ever Banega and Juan Mata get their chances off and on and when they do, they do very well but not enough. Villa is coming off a very minor injury that was nothing too bad and he'll be back even if he's coming off the bench. The way Koeman plays his 4-3-3 does not suit the players and in the media it has caused a stir with Joaquin, Vicente, and Villa voicing their displeasure.

As far as possible departures, its hard to say. It would difficult to sell all 3 of Valencia's big stars for different reasons.

Villa- Is unhappy at the moment for sure, but as of late has been on FIRE.. He leads the team in goals as well as assists and has been one of the few bright lights of this season. To be honest, I think he'll stay. Unless................... Something very drastic happens like Valencia being relegated to La Segunda, or if a big club like United, Arsenal , Chelsea, or Liverpool make a RIDICULOUS offer. He's basically the idol of the city of Valencia and if he's shipped off, there is a genuine fear that fans would do something crazy like burn down Mestalla Stadium or something. He has especially captured the hearts of the fans with recent bold comments, going on record saying that Valencia "Will win the Cup." The club would be stupid to let him go.

Vicente- He'll never leave. He's a Valencianista through and through, having come up through Valencia's youth system. The fans absolutley ADORE him. He sells boat loads of merchandise still, and in the games he has featured, he's played extremely well. His speed is not what it once was, but the ball control and ability to link play with his teammates is still there as well as his heavenly crosses that he sends in. Too valuable to the community.

Joaquin- Of these 3, if anybody was to leave it would be him. BUT.... He's not been himself as of late, mostly due to Koeman's system that really limits the guy. He's class, so you never know. But he turned down huge offers to come to Valencia and despite the garbage, he's still a fighter. The man tries HARD. He puts himself on the line out there and has become a fan favorite in his own right. It would be difficult to sell him honestly. There are very few teams that still use out and out wingers that are title contenders and if either of our big 3 will leave, it would have to be for a big club that challenges for trophies every year.

Nothing is in stone. But the writing on the wall appears to be more and more that Koeman is gone. They say Valencia are favorites to land Unai Emery as their manager and if not that, then possibly Marcelino or Valverde. I think if Valencia don't at least get a point in their match against Racing, then the panic buttons will be pushed for sure. Koeman has a slim chance of surviving here even if he manages to win Copa Del Rey simply due to the team being in a relegation battle and out of the Champions League next year.

We just have to hope at this point to just get through the season. Winning the cup would be a bonus, but whats more important is avoiding relegation. We get through the season, then we can look to rebuild. A new center back is priority number 1. If by some chance we are able to somehow land Rafael Van Der Vaart, then that would do nothing but wonders for this club. Fixing the defense is the main thing though. A player like Van Der Vaart would be nice, but wouldn't help much if we're conceding silly goals because of a lack of competent defending.

Valencia will probably NOT be relegated. But nothing is guaranteed. The majority of the teams above us are not really great teams and are all prone to dropping easy points. Valencia have 39 points and being above 40 is usually the safe zone. The table is looking like this at the moment.

Real Madrid 66
Barcelona 59
Villarreal 59
Atletico de Madrid 53
Racing 50
Sevilla 48
Espanyol 45
Almeria 42
Mallorca 41
Betis 41
Athletic Bilbao 40
Getafe 40
Deportivo 40
Valencia 39
Valladolid 38
Osasuna 37
Recreativo 36
Zaragoza 33
Murcia 29
Levante 19

Still relatively safe at the moment. I really feel sorry for Zaragoza. They look certain for relegation as well as Levante. But I think its too soon to panic for Valencia. Grab as many points as we can is what we need to do from here on out. The teams above us are not really far apart. We have some easy ones left with the only tough one being Barcelona at Camp Nou, who will certainly be looking for revenge from Copa Del Rey. But other than that, we should get through this season despite the disaster its been.

and the NEW
Yeh, good analysis. But you never know with Villa, there could be a big offer for him. Though, only teams after a top quality striker would be AC Milan, possibly Liverpool and Man United (but neither of the later two are desperate).

You guys really need to keep those big guns now, or the battle will be far more steep next season!

Rebuilding appears the priority of a number of teams this summer, so there is sure to be some big offers, with teams competing for players! So much cash in the game now! I even see Man City talking of trying to buy Ronaldinho, ha ha, now that would be funny!

Yeh, you should be safe, 6 points is quiet a few at this point and you guys are sure to pick up a few more points in the run-in!

Zaragoza, man, WTF happened to them? Milito could not have made that bigger difference! They still have his brother and most importantly, Aimar! Who will probably change clubs if they are relegated! Would love to see him in the Premier League, which would suit him down to a tee IMO! He would be a KILLER in a team like Liverpool, who could REALLY REALLY use him! He may just be the missing link they need to really spark!

I think like Rijkaard, the writing is on the wall for Koeman! I honestly think both are gone!

Man United V Arsenal this weekend, what a match! I will be going for Man United, just so Chelsea don't climb within striking distance and the title if they could beat Man United at the Bridge!

Maxy, you are damn lucky you even get to watch a couple games a season! I have to put up with League, Union and Aussie Rules here, all of which are complete rubbish! If I only move to the States or Europe, I could at least watch boxing or the real football on a regular basis! Perhaps in a few years!
and the NEW
WOW, some huge news here!!!!

"Ronaldinho has agreed initial terms with AC Milan and the Serie A club will now speak to Barcelona about a deal, Milan and the player's agent have said"!!!

DAMN! I wanted him to leave, but not for fukcing ITALY!!!!!!! I think it will be a done deal, looks definate! HUGE loss for Barcelona and HUGE gain for AC Milan, who with his presence, will probably be a threat for the Serie A title next season!!!

Also from Henry: "Against Spain in Malaga in February, I lost all my bearings in the middle. I was lost in all the calls, all the runs. And in front of goal, I no longer position myself in the same way". - saying Rijkaard is playing him in the wrong position!!!! FUKC, what a HUGE mess Rijkaard has created! The man should be jailed!

On another note, how about that Barca performance and yet ANOTHER draw!!!!! And worst of all WTF was up with the refereeing? The ball was CLEARLY ON THE LINE, you could see white all under the ball, yet the goal was given! I just dont think I can watch Spanish football anymore. Its absolutely rediculous!!!! Like Italy has done, Spain is now handing the mantle over to England to DOMINATE world football for many years to come!!

Good to see Messi back and he nearly scored, he will be a HUGE influence for the team now and give them a shot at beating Manchester. However, that is about the only bright spot for Barca. Other than Messi and Eto'o who scored a cracker, Barca have just about nothing left. Team of individuals all playing in their wrong position! Apparently Eto'o is a right winger these days? WTF!

I also see Valencia lost. This face really sums up the whole thing:

At this rate, we wont even make the CL next season!!!!!
Man Utd 2 Arsenal 1

Brilliant result even if the performance was slightly below par, especially before the introduction of Tevez and Anderson, who between them injected energy into the team which had seemingly been flagging prior to those two coming on.

Arsenal are a good side but they lack depth and that is something everyone has been since the start of the season. They need a new striker, a new defender, a new keeper and quite crucially they need a new captain. William Gallas is a poor captain.

Lovely goal from Hargreaves, he is a fantastic alternative to Ronaldo when it comes to free kicks and I was delighted for him, especially after his brilliant performance against Roma in mid week. So 6 points clear (having played a game more than Chelsea) but we still have some tricky fixtures remaining. If we win all our other games though we can even afford to lose at the Bridge and still retain the title. It's a great time to be a United fan.
Man United can pretty much get ready for a victory parade.

Even though I felt that Arsenal out played them throughout much of the match, they did have some bad luck.

1- Adebayor badly needs shooting practice. The blame can placed squarely on him for not putting Arsenal up 2 goals in the 1st half.

2- They are badly missing Rosicky. He just adds another dimension to their midfield and attack.

3- Bendnter was WORTHLESS today!!... 2 golden opportunities with Van Der Saar at his mercy after being provided with heavenly passes from Fabregas.

4- Shoot the ref.

Fabregas didnt dictate the second half, but once again he was everywhere. Even in places he shoudnt need to be. Ronaldo was absent for the whole game, but he get all the plaudits. Clichy was a class above everyone on the pitch IMO. Hleb was brilliant in the first, but like Adebayor, faded in the second. The defense will get all the criticism, but Arsenal should have been up 2-0 at halftime to my eyes.

Arsenal need to make a couple of quality signings. I know Wenger hates making big moves, but its his team's lack of depth that has really caused him. Arsenal should have long been champions a few months back but they dropped too many easy points.

They need another striker. They need somebody to compliment Adebayor and whom can also score goals. Huntelaar will be available, and possibly Villa if he pushes for a move. RVP is amazing when he's on, but he's too injury prone to really deliver what he would be capable of if he was healthy.

They need another midfielder who can dictate a bit if Rosicky or Fabregas go down. Too much pressure on Fabregas today to manage his team.

They need to send Senderos to the reserves even though he didn't play today.

If Wenger is serious about making a real run for it, he will need to alter his squad quite a bit. Not enough depth, and they need another goal scorer.

QUOTE(PR316 @ Apr 13 2008, 12:43 PM) [snapback]386100[/snapback]
4- Shoot the ref.

You thought the ref played a role in their defeat today?
Not in that sense. I just feel that he was an idiot and made some stupid, unnecessary calls.

In the end, Arsenal lost because they didn't convert their chances and as well know, this game is all about finishing your chances. Arsenal's lack of a scoring threat other than Adebayor also played a major role in this loss. Man United took enough of their chances to win and that was that.
and the NEW
Man, what a match! Game of the season for me (we should get two more of them in the Barca semi finals)! That little peice of skill by Ronaldo at the 93rd minute (going sideways however), was magic! And Hoyte knew it, hence he chopped him down! But see the smile Ronaldo came up with, he knew he deserved to be chopped!

I agree, I thought Arsenal were the better side, but no doubt, Anderson and Tevez added to the game. No idea why Park is getting so much time lately!

I will say this now however, if Arsenal get some key players back in the summer and can keep a decent starting line-up on the field, add a striker (put Senderos and Bendtner to the paddock), I would tip them to win the comp next year (though hard to tip against any team with Ronaldo in it, and Man United and Chelsea both have killer squads in their own right)! I think this squad is capable of doing great things and should still be in with a shout for the CL!

Chelsea tonight, should they loose, title run is practically over!
and the NEW
QUOTE(Fitz @ Apr 14 2008, 02:54 AM) [snapback]386151[/snapback]
Haha. That was just showboating. They wouldn't have liked that.

ha ha yep. Apparently Ronaldinho got punched in the nose back in Brazil due to someone thinking he was showboating.

Doing tricks going sideways (not towards goal), but simply to be cocky, is one of the most frowned upon things to do in Brazil.
and the NEW
ha ha, I agree, I love it also! It's entertainment!

I guess its just a sign of respect thing in Brazil, don't make a fool of an opponent just for the sake of making a fool of him. So I can see the logic, but still, it's entertainment, entertain us!
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