Drogba dating

Iconic Moments

2020.11.05 05:05 Anniem0sity Iconic Moments

So many IMs are added in PES 2021 (new card & old ones with different best moments) but there are still legends not added in the game (Rooney, Drogba, Nesta etc.) and Konami decided to turn most base legends to IM cards with only a few exception like Arshavin for example should get one IM card too for his performance against Liverpool where he scored all 4 goals (can't remember the date) but he was so superb that game he should have one
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2020.10.18 16:05 ramnarayan93 [OptaJoe] Players from Ivory Coast have scored 25 of their 28 Premier League penalties to date, boasting the highest conversion rate of any nationality from the spot in the competition’s history (min. 5 taken), with only Drogba, Dindane & Bony missing from 12 yards.

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2020.09.24 09:34 gnorrn [OC] The most prolific goal / assist combinations in football

Player 1 Player 2 Team(s) Date(s) P2 assists P1 P1 assists P2 Total
Lionel Messi Luis Suárez Barcelona 2014-2020 48 40 88
Cristiano Ronaldo Karim Benzema Real Madrid 2009-2018 44 29 73
Robert Lewandowski Thomas Müller Bayern 2014- 42 11 53
Hakan Şükür Arif Erdem Galatasaray      Galtatasaray      Turkey     1992-2000 2003-2005 1994-2003 42 11 53
Didier Drogba Frank Lampard Chelsea 2004-2012 34 18 52
Lionel Messi Andrés Iniesta Barcelona 2004-2018 40 12 52
Lionel Messi Pedro Barcelona 2008-2015 29 22 51
Gerd Müller Uli Höneß Bayern           West Germany           1970-1979 1972-1974 36 13 49
Lionel Messi Dani Alves Barcelona 2008-2016 42 5 47
Lionel Messi Neymar Barcelona 2013-2017 25 20 45
Lionel Messi Xavi Barcelona 2004-2015 34 9 43
Johan Cruyff Piet Keizer Ajax            Netherlands        1964-1973 1966-1974 24 17 41
Neymar Luis Suárez Barcelona 2014-2017 21 18 39
Cristiano Ronaldo Gareth Bale Real Madrid 2013-2018 29 9 38
Youssef Msakni Nam Tae-hee Lekhwiya / Al-Duhail 2013-2019 19 19 38
Sergio Agüero David Silva Manchester City 2011-2020 30 8 38
Gerd Müller Franz Beckenbauer Bayern           West Germany           1960-1972 1966-1974 30 8 38
Thomas Müller Arjen Robben Bayern 2009-2019 20 16 36
Alexander Frei Marco Streller Basel            Switzerland         2009-2013 2003-2011 21 13 34
Aykut Kocaman Oğuz Çetin Sakryaspor       Fenerbahçe       İstanbulspor      Turkey     1984-1988 1988-1996 1996-1998 1988-1995 27 7 34
Cristiano Ronaldo Mesut Özil Real Madrid 2010-2013 26 7 33
Aleksandr Kerzhakov Andrey Arshavin Zenit            Zenit            Russia            2001-2006 2012-2015 2002-2012 20 13 33
Diego Forlán Sergio Agüero Atlético 2007-2011 17 15 32
Oribe Peralta Darwin Quintero Club América 2014-2018 22 10 32
Thierry Henry Robert Pires Arsenal             France     2000-2006 1997-2004 17 15 32
Harry Kane Christian Eriksen Tottenham 2013-2020 27 5 32
Thomas Müller Franck Ribéry Bayern 2008-2019 20 12 32
Sjaak Swart Johan Cruyff Ajax          Netherlands       1964-1973 1966-1972 17 14 31
Cristiano Ronaldo Marcelo Real Madrid 2010-2018 23 8 31
Arjen Robben Franck Ribéry Bayern 2009-2019 23 8 31
Uwe Seeler Charly Dörfel Hamburger SV      West Germany           1960-1972 1960-1964 24 7 31
Cristiano Ronaldo Gonzalo Higuaín Real Madrid     Juventus         2010-2013 2019-2020 16 14 30
Ronaldo Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid  2002-2006 25 5 30
John Toshack Kevin Keegan Liverpool 1971-1977 17 13 30
Tomasz Frankowski Maciej Żurawski Wisła Kraków    Poland           1999-2005 1999-2006 22 8 30

Notes and Caveats

EDIT: There seems to be some inconsistency in Transfermarkt over whether it should count as an assist when player A is fouled and player B scores directly from a resulting penalty. Some pages on Transfermarkt do consider this an assist, but I've used the main "goals" page for each player, which does not consider that to be an assist. This means that the numbers I've been using are lower than you might find from other sources within Transfermarkt.
For example, the "games played together" page for Suárez and Messi, which does include those kind of assists, reports 55 + 41 = 96 goals for that pair, as opposed to the 88 in the table here.
Thanks to AcerbicOrb for helping discover this inconsistency.
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2020.09.23 06:22 gnorrn test

Player 1 Player 2 Team(s) Date(s) P2 assists P1 P1 assists P2 Total
Lionel Messi Luis Suárez Barcelona 2014-2020 48 40 88
Cristiano Ronaldo Karim Benzema Real Madrid 2009-2018 44 29 73
Robert Lewandowski Thomas Müller Bayern 2014- 42 11 53
Hakan Şükür Arif Erdem Galatasaray      Galtatasaray      Turkey     1992-2000 2003-2005 1994-2003 42 11 53
Didier Drogba Frank Lampard Chelsea 2004-2012 34 18 52
Lionel Messi Andrés Iniesta Barcelona 2004-2018 40 12 52
Lionel Messi Pedro Barcelona 2008-2015 29 22 51
Gerd Müller Uli Höneß Bayern           West Germany           1970-1979 1972-1974 36 13 49
Lionel Messi Dani Alves Barcelona 2008-2016 42 5 47
Lionel Messi Neymar Barcelona 2013-2017 25 20 45
Lionel Messi Xavi Barcelona 2004-2015 34 9 43
Johan Cruyff Piet Keizer Ajax            Netherlands        1964-1973 1966-1974 24 17 41
Neymar Luis Suárez Barcelona 2014-2017 21 18 39
Cristiano Ronaldo Gareth Bale Real Madrid 2013-2018 29 9 38
Youssef Msakni Nam Tae-hee Lekhwiya / Al-Duhail 2013-2019 19 19 38
Sergio Agüero David Silva Manchester City 2011-2020 30 8 38
Gerd Müller Franz Beckenbauer Bayern           West Germany           1960-1972 1966-1974 30 8 38
Thomas Müller Arjen Robben Bayern 2009-2019 20 16 36
Alexander Frei Marco Streller Basel            Switzerland         2009-2013 2003-2011 21 13 34
Aykut Kocaman Oğuz Çetin Sakryaspor       Fenerbahçe       İstanbulspor      Turkey     1984-1988 1988-1996 1996-1998 1988-1995 27 7 34
Cristiano Ronaldo Mesut Özil Real Madrid 2010-2013 26 7 33
Aleksandr Kerzhakov Andrey Arshavin Zenit            Zenit            Russia            2001-2006 2012-2015 2002-2012 20 13 33
Diego Forlán Sergio Agüero Atlético 2007-2011 17 15 32
Oribe Peralta Darwin Quintero Club América 2014-2018 22 10 32
Thierry Henry Robert Pires Arsenal             France     2000-2006 1997-2004 17 15 32
Harry Kane Christian Eriksen Tottenham 2013-2020 27 5 32
Thomas Müller Franck Ribéry Bayern 2008-2019 20 12 32
Sjaak Swart Johan Cruyff Ajax          Netherlands       1964-1973 1966-1972 17 14 31
Cristiano Ronaldo Marcelo Real Madrid 2010-2018 23 8 31
Arjen Robben Franck Ribéry Bayern 2009-2019 23 8 31
Uwe Seeler Charly Dörfel Hamburger SV      West Germany           1960-1972 1960-1964 24 7 31
Cristiano Ronaldo Gonzalo Higuaín Real Madrid     Juventus         2010-2013 2019-2020 16 14 30
Ronaldo Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid  2002-2006 25 5 30
John Toshack Kevin Keegan Liverpool 1971-1977 17 13 30
Tomasz Frankowski Maciej Żurawski Wisła Kraków    Poland           1999-2005 1999-2006 22 8 30

Notes and Caveats

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2020.09.01 01:27 AbhimanuGoyal Reviewing the 2014/15 Season, Best/Worst Matches, Highs/Lows - by BluFF

Reviewing the 2014/15 Season, Best/Worst Matches, Highs/Lows - by BluFF
After reviewing Mourinho's first season back after his initial run (2013/14), I decided to review his second season in charge, which we know brought some much-awaited trophies back to the bridge as we reclaimed the premier league as well as the capital one cup. So how did we do this? What were our best matches, worst matches, general highs/lows from this season? Let's find out.
Title Challenge: MANY were expecting us to challenge, especially after the singings we made (securing Diego Costa, Fabregas, Felipe Luis, and Drogba). Plus, we all knew about Mourinho's second season and his serial track record of ALWAYS winning a trophy in his second season. But there were still some concerns, could the old guards still deliver? Will Mourinho bench Petr Cech and play returning loanee Thibaut Courtois? Will losing Lukaku permanently to Everton in the TW be costly? or the departure of veteran players like Lampard, Cole, Torres, Ba, and Eto'o? Well, we know the answers now, but back then it wasn't as clear cut. Does Fabregas still have it? Will Costa adapt to the premier league? Well, I think they did alright for us lol, we topped the table by matchday 3 and never gave it up this season.

Let's talk about some of the least memorable games/moments from this season
Manchester City 1-1 Chelsea: Lampard scoring against us. What was worse was this ended our perfect start to the league campaign. Lampard was on loan from NYCFC, after Chelsea decided not to extend his contract at the end of the 2013/14 season. I did enjoy his celebration, it was respectful and not apologetic, as it should be.
Tottenham 5-3 Chelsea: Getting wrecked by Harry Kane at WHL in the league. This result halted our momentum and was the 2nd out of 3 losses we would incur all season. Kane scored 2, assisted another 2 and won the penalty which he didn't even take! That's how fresh he was. His coming-out party. Spurs released a 5-3 DVD shortly after this game, the clowns.
Chelsea 2-4 Bradford, FA Cup 4th round: If this happened last season we probably wouldn't think twice, but back in 2015, this was shocking, we were up 2-0 and ended up losing 2-4 LOL. This was when our home was still a fortress, when Mourinho's defensive prowess was a thing, so this was ultimately chalked up as a freak result.
Shocking exit at the hands of PSG in the KO, CL: Chelsea did well in the away leg, coming away with a 1-1 scoreline, and things were all set for us in the second leg, with a 1-0 lead against 10 men PSG (Ibra sent off) with 10 minutes to play, ENTER Ex-Chelsea player DAVID LUIZ, he didn't shy away from letting us know who scored, and it was at the death as well. What made it worse is we led again in ET only for now Chelsea player Thiago Silva to break our hearts again at the death, with another header, to send Chelsea packing. This was hard to take.
Newcastle 2-1 Chelsea: Back when Cisse was borderline world-class, and couldn't stop scoring against Chelsea, and we also couldn't stop getting mugged off at St. James Park. This result ended our then club record of 14 games unbeaten (Conte would beat this record 2 seasons later).
Home draw game against Burnley in the business end of the season, spawned the famous Mourinho \"minute 30, 33, 43, 69\" post-match presser, those numbers represented the minutes of horrendous refereeing in this game, minute 69 was the infamous Barnes tackle on Matic which could have EASILY ended Matic's career, and Barnes didn't even get booked! Matic ended up getting sent off and missing the COC final, I hate Burnley and Sean Dyche with a passion because of this game (still do)
Now let's talk about some of the memorable games from this season
Burley 1-3 Chelsea: With the other top 5 all having shaky results in round 1 of games, our season opener against neandertals Burnley away on a rainy night was not the easiest, especially going a goal down early. What came after is a thunderous strike from debutant Diego Costa and arguably one of the greatest assists in Chelsea history, that Cesc fake-shot ala volley pass through a wall of Burnley players to Schurrle for the tap in. What a statement win this was.
Everton 3-6 Chelsea: There is always a game in a season that makes you think you are watching something special, this was the game for me. Going up 2-0 inside 3 minutes at a very tricky ground for us historically, was incredible, Diego absolutely terrorized Everton. This was also the first of 10 assists Cesc would give to Diego. This game was nuts btw, there was a period of 10 minutes ('67 to '77) where 5 goals were scored! Every top side was put on notice, that Chelsea means business this year. This game featured Mikel's backheel assist, highly underrated.
Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal: There was a reason Diego became an instant cult hero and was known as the darling of Stamford Bridge. 9 goals in his first 7 games, including a hat trick and of course this iconic goal against bitter rivals Arsenal (another Cesc assist). This game also featured one Eden Hazard's best dribbles, where he took apart Arsenal's defense and won a penalty.
Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea: Remember those cold rainy away nights to Stoke? Well, this was one of those nights, but we had a lead to defend/maintain. Terry opened the scoring early but what followed was a tense period of Stoke pressure, and when Fabregas ultimately put Chelsea in front 2-0 with a scrappy goal, there was a huge relief (as can be seen with his famous celebration in front of the away support), this was a big away win to maintain our lead at the top of the table.
Chelsea 1-0 Everton: Everyone played their part this season. Having only a slender 4 point lead over Manchester City, and lucky not to be trailing in this game, if not for a world-class Cech save denying Lukaku from scoring, Willian came up huge with one of his finest goals in a Chelsea shirt in the 90th to seal 3 massive points for Chelsea against a stubborn Howard, to put Chelsea 7 points clear at the top.
Swansea 0-5 Chelsea: This was peak Mourinho's Chelsea 2014/15, we had played terrific expansive football in the first 2/3 of the season, and this was our best performance, 4-0 up in 30 or so minutes away to a good side. Oscar and Diego ran riot, Chelsea scored a beautiful team goal and Willian hit two posts, all inside the first half.
Special mentions:
  • Chelsea beating Liverpool in the semi-finals of the COC: this tie felt like a CL knockout game, high intensity, both managers wanted to win this badly, T-Bo kept us in this tie with 2-3 unbelievable saves.
  • QPR 0-1 Chelsea: Fabregas's 88th-minute winner broke City hearts as Chelsea kept their lead safe, against an annoying local rival.
  • Chelsea 2-0 Spurs, COC final: Terry Costa goals and Mourinho's resolute defensive tactics choked Tottenham out completely, great win.

Other noteworthy points from this season:
Eden Hazard's rise to world-class supremacy: In my 2013/14 review I talked about how Eden stepped up and delivered more consistency (17 goals) and won an individual award (PFA young player of the year), well the next step is to continue that consistency and help win Chelsea a trophy. Well, he did that and more! Same consistency (19 goals), won the most prestigious individual award there is to win (PFA POTS), and played a MASSIVE part in helping Chelsea win the premier league title, with vital contributions in the business end of this season as evidenced by the images above and points below. He became a world-class player this season. I hope we have a similar trajectory with Christian Pulisic.
  • Tremendous assist vs title rivals Manchester City in a top of the table clash in January, we needed Eden to step up here because we were w/o Diego and Cesc in this game, and he did
  • Goal against West Ham in February, a tense 0-1 away win, and almost had an unreal assist to Ramires
  • Settled nerves with a thunderous goal against Hull in March after we had dropped points at home against Southampton the week prior
  • That massive goal against United in April, where we won 1-0 and stretched our lead to 10 points at the top
  • And ofcourse winning and scoring that penalty against Palace to win Chelsea's 4th Premier League Title (5th if counting all years). 3rd under Mourinho.
In a perfect world, the next step up would be to help Chelsea win a European trophy (even though he technically already did that with the Europa League in 12/13). But I of course mean the Champions League. Unfortunately, next season didn't go as planned and was one of our worst seasons under the Abramovich Era.
Those two signings: This might be recency bias, but IMO, I don't think we have made two better signings in the modern Abramovich Era then Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas. Our TW business after this season absolutely shat the bed, but in this window, we had one of our best windows, which is of course being rivaled by the 2020 TW. But never have two signings had such an immediate impact then Costa and Fabregas did this season. I certainly hope Ziyech, Werner, Havertz follow the same success that these two had in 2014/15 (and again in 2016/17).
Cesc was coming off a decent enough spell with Barcelona and a lot of baggage from his Arsenal days had everything going against him. But he made us forget all of that by contributing his best assists tally every, a staggering 18 assists, 2 off the premier league record.
Costa was coming off knocking us out of the Champions League semi-finals last season (and coming within seconds of winning it in the finals), had a lot of excitement to be fair. He was a Mourinho player. And boy did he deliver, 20 premier league goals in his debut season, including many big goals (Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, COC final, etc.)
We have to talk about him: If things hadn't worked out the way they did with a certain ex-keeper of ours (who is miles ahead of our current keeper lol), I would have made this "Those three signings" because Courtois played his part and had an excellent first season, vital saves against Leicester, Liverpool, Sunderland, Burnley etc. where the matches were in the balance or at 0-0, and his saves were massive.
Big goals Branislav Ivanovic: This is personal bias because Ivanovic is a personal favorite player of mine, but there was a period of a few weeks where he scored such vital goals in big games. This includes his winner against Liverpool in the 4th minute of ET in the second leg of the COC semi-finals to send Chelsea to Wembley. His incredible weak foot volley in the second half against plucky Aston Villa to seal 3 points for Chelsea in a tricky away game. And he also scored the away goal against PSG in the first leg. Seriously, need a big goal? Call big goal Brana. What a servant.

Fun Moments
  • John Terry's goal against Maribor in the CL group stages (he was one of the only 3 players that ran up the entire length of the field for some random reason, but was rewarded). Eden's goal in this game was a beauty as well. Chelsea won this game 6-0, their biggest CL win to date I am pretty sure.
  • Beating Schalke 0-5 away in the CL (had them in group stages again for the second year in a row)
  • Felipe Luis's debut goal, great free-kick (vs Derby COC). Felipe Luis didn't shine as much as he should have for us, given his technical ability, he did play his part
  • Costa's brilliant goal vs West Ham in December where he took on 3 players and somehow scored, a true goal out of nothing, vintage Diego
  • That defensive block from John Terry against Harry Kane in the Capital Cup Final, Captain, Leader, Legend. Scored in that final as well, iconic moment.
  • Steven Gerrard's Liverpool giving us the guard of honor, especially after what transpired the season before, this was just amazing.
  • Fabregas's deliberate and amazingly accurate kick of the ball right at Chris Brunt's head at West Brom, Cesc was shown a straight red (this was after we had won the title), he got I think what is the only perfect 10 score player ratings on WAGNH for this match. Best red card ever.
  • The actual Chelsea goal of the season, Oscar's unreal outside of the foot wonder goal against bitter rivals QPR, if only Oscar was consistent....
  • Post-match celebrations after the Palace game, celebrating the title win
  • Hazard, Cahill, Ivanovic, Matic, Costa and a 34-year-old "past his prime" John Terry all being included in the PFA Team of the year for 2014/15
  • Idk about anyone else, but I absolutely loved that full yellow away kit we had this season. Delicious.
  • Mourinho winning manager of the season
  • Loic Remy's big contributions when Costa and Drogba were out, (goal vs City, winner vs Hull)
  • Strong CL group stage performance
  • In the 2014 calendar year, Nemanja Matic was honestly where Kante is now, he was considered the best CDM in the world when fully fit, incredible
  • Cesar Azpilicueta and Kurt Zouma's breakout seasons (Zouma won young player of the season)
  • Drogba's return: Drogba played his part, even at 35 years old, he made vital contributions throughout the season (United, Spurs, Leicester), but more than that he was just amazing to have around the dressing room. Its also incredible that his first two goals back (penalty against Maribor in the CL group stage, and near-post header against United) mirrored his final two goals he scored in Munich in 2012. Seriously, go back and check this, its scary. King.
  • Winning the title by 8 points, with 3 games to spare
  • Beating Spurs in the capital one cup final, Jose's bold decision to play veteran Cech ahead of T-Bo when the latter had been good form and the main starter, as well as his iconic decision to play Kurt Zouma in a holding role alongside Fabregas, was a masterstroke (Matic was suspended).
  • The first half of this season is honestly up there with Conte's run of 13 wins in a row, and any other sustained period of pure football enjoyment you have ever experienced as a Chelsea fan. We played such attractive football and scored beautiful goals, see Costa's goal vs Swansea, Schurle's goal vs City, Costa's goal vs Arsenal, Cesc's goal of the season contender vs Palace away, Costa's goal vs Cardiff, Eden's goal vs Spurs (Drogba 1-2).

Overall Thoughts: We had very high expectations this season and Mourinho delivered and then some, we did business in the TW very well, and that set us up perfectly for the season. Mourinho still had that aura where his players fought for him, when he did the whole "us against the world" mentality, probably the last season where he was able to pull that off sadly. It all went downhill after this season. But this season was special, two trophies, and we ended up winning the title at a canter. Lots of players stepped up at vital times when Costa was out, Drogba filled in, when Drogba was out, Remy filled in. Matic and Cesc were immense in the middle and worked well with Willian/Ramires picking up the slack defensively. Breakout season for Azpi, who held his own at LB. Cahill, Terry, and Ivanovic were terrific as well. Lots of positive football this season, first half especially was really fun, contrary to what some rivals might say. Only real disappointment was the CL campaign.
TL:DR: One of the best transfer windows in recent memory (at that time), three signings who contributed immensely to winning the title (Cesc, Costa, T-Bo). Fantastic backline and Eden Hazard, who officially became a world-class player. Won the COC. Disappointing end to the CL campaign. Last pleasant Mourinho memory. Guv'nor + Magic Hat = Happiness.
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2020.07.20 00:48 DickOnesie Chelsea’s history in the FA cup

Following our emphatic semifinal victory against Manchester United, Chelsea will now face Arsenal in their 14th FA Cup Final!
Chelsea have won 8 times (1970, 1997, 2000, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2018) and finished runner-up 5 times (1915, 1967, 1994, 2002, 2017).
Chelsea scored the last goal in the last FA Cup Final at old Wembley (Di Matteo, 2000) as well as the first goal in the first FA Cup Final at the new Wembley (Drogba, 2007).
Chelsea and Arsenal have played 20 times against each other in their FA Cup history. Chelsea have won 5, lost 9, and drew 6.
Ashley Cole holds the record for most FA Cup winners’ medals with seven.
Didier Drogba became the first man to score in 4 FA Cup finals (2007, 2009, 2010, 2012).
Ron “Chopper” Harris holds the club record for most FA Cup appearances with 64.
Frank Lampard has the most total FA Cup goals with Chelsea with 26.
Peter Osgood scored the most FA Cup goals in one season for the club with 8 (1969-1970).
Also in 1970, Peter Osgood became the ninth (and to this date last) man to score in every single round of the FA Cup.
In a first round FA Cup match, George Hilsdon scored 6 goals which is still a club record to this day. This match is also Chelsea’s record FA Cup victory. Chelsea 9-1 Worksop Town (January 1908).
Victor Moses became the fifth (and to this date last) man to be sent off in the FA Cup Final (2017).
Ruud Gullit became the first overseas manager to win the FA Cup in Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough (1997).
John Terry became the first man to captain the same club to 4 FA Cup victories after Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool (2012).
Keep them coming!
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2020.04.30 16:19 Mel0n_Collie [OC] What if every world cup team had the same population? - Group B

Afternoon all hope you’re staying safe and sane in lockdown and haven’t resorted to making in depth hypotheticals and posting them on sport forums…
After an unbelievable response to Group A I’m delighted to be able to bring you the second installment of the alternative World Cup, for anyone who didn’t manage to have a look at the first four teams here’s a link to yesterday’s post.
Group A
On to Group B and it may be my favourite pool of the lot; plenty of quality on show and results that aren’t quite as predetermined as others (ipso facto it doesn’t contain an Indian team). It’s also the group that contains the most politically controversial combinations, but I’ve found in the last month or so that it’s a better time than any to make friends with your neighbors.
Group B
Greater Khorasan
Iran, Afghanistan, 9 Iraqi Governorates (Dohuk, Arbil, Sulaymaniyah, Nineveh, Kirkuk, Saladin, Diyala, Wasit, Maysan), 6 Administrative Units of Pakistan (All except Punjab)
Population (millions): 237.31
Probably for the best if I move straight onto the football when talking about this side. The region in question has five and a half World Cup qualifications between them, along with three and a half Asian cups, all emanating from the two most westernly countries (geographical not ideological).
In the modern age Iran has all but cemented itself as mainland Asia’s most impressive footballing nation, qualifying for four of the last six World Cups. Frustratingly for the Persian Stars they’ve yet to escape the group but by no means have the reputation as an easy three points; they came tantalisingly close to usurping the Potrugese in the most recent edition, and four years previous held Argentina to a goalless draw for the full 90 minutes, unfortunately there was also injury time.
Perhaps the Iranian’s most important appearance in the ‘festival of football’ was a politically insinuated 2-1 win against the United States in 1998. The virtuous manner in which the game was played at a time of great tension between the two nations was perhaps the closest modern microcosm of the fabled Christmas truce of 1914. Although modest, Iran’s pedigree appears ever accelerating, a model example of an organically growing football nation.
Iran’s ticket to Qatar 2022 is currently under threat by noisy neighbors Iraq who top their qualifying group with three games remaining. The protagonist of my personal favourite Asian footballing moment enter this scenario having been divided into two, with pretty much everything north of Baghdad belonging to this team, or as I like to call it, Sunni side up.
Afghanistan and Pakistan make up the numbers for this side, both sitting well in triple figures in the FIFA rankings, the Afghans have only had a national league system since 2012, and if you go to Pakistan looking for a Football match you’ll hear the sound of crickets followed by the sound of Cricket.
Goalkeepers Born FM20 Value Age
Alreza Belranvand IRN Persepolis GK Sarab-e-Yas 62 €0.15 27
Amir Abedzadeh IRN Maritimo GK Tehran 56 €1.50 26
Sadegh Moharrami IRN Dynamo Zagreb RB Hashtpar 56 €0.76 24
Morteza Pouraliganji IRN Al-Arabi CB Pain Ganj Afruz 60 €6.20 28
Majid Hosseini IRN Trabzonspor CB Tehran 60 €2.20 23
Milad Mohammadi IRN KAA Gent LB Tehran 60 €2.20 26
Ehsan Hajsafi IRN Tractor LB Kashan 60 €0.19 30
Ramin Rezaelan IRN Al Shahania RB Semeskande 58 €4.20 30
Osama Rashid IRQ Santa Clara CDM Kirkuk 62 €2.90 28
Mohammad Ansari IRN Persepolis CB Tehran 58 €0.14 28
Mehdi Taremi IRN Rio Ave CAM Bushehr 68 €4.60 28
Alireza Jahanbaksh IRN Brighton RW Jirandeh 65 €13.80 26
Saman Ghoddos IRN Amiens CAM Malmo 65 €5.90 26
Saeid Ezatolahi IRN FC Rostov CM Bandar 57 €1.3 24
Ashkan Dejagah IRN Tractor CM Tehran 61 €0.08 33
Mehdi Torabi IRN Persepolis CM Eshtehard 60 €0.30 25
Omid Ebrahimi IRN Al Ahli CDM Zarandin-e Sofia 59 €3.70 32
Justin Meram IRQ Real Salt Lake LM Michigan 59 €0 31
Sardar Azmoun IRN Zenit ST Gombad-e Kavus 68 €7.80 25
Karim Ansarifard IRN Al-Sailiya ST Ardabil 60 €6.50 30
Mehrdad Mohammadi IRN Des. Aves RF Tehran 60 €2.30 26
Hammadi Ahmad IRQ Al-Quwa ST Ishaqi 55 €0.04 30
Average/Totals 61 €67.80 28.32
The name that jumps out immediately to most will be Brighton’s Alireza Jahanbaksh. Despite a slow start to his life in England the man from Jirandeh won the Eredivisie golden boot from a wide position just two years ago, and scored this goal against Chelsea on new year's day, so his talent is evident to all.
The first name on the team sheet however is standout-striker Sardar Azmoun who earns a living for Zenit St. Petersburg. With an emphatic 32 goals in 50 national appearances at the age of 25 he would be well on his way to being the record goalscorer for most nations, unfortunately for Sardar he is the countryman of statistical anomaly Ali Daei who’s 109 goals demand their own wikipedia page
Iraqi-American wingback Justin Meram is one of three non-iranian’s in the squad, I recommend his 2018 piece in the players tribune which tells his fascinating story of fighting for national pride amidst adversity.
Greater Shanghai
Shanghai, Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Anhui, three Shandong districts (Heze, Jining, Zaozhuang)
Population (millions): 235.48
Someone in the comments may be able to find me a more suitable name but I think it’s clear that Shanghai is the major inclusion in this region.
The world's third largest city is home to two CSL financial heavyweights Shanghai SIPG & Shenhua, the latter of whom have boasted the likes of Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka, Tim Cahill and Carlos Tevez on their books. SIPG however are the current juggernauts in the city with familiar names such as Marko Arnautovic, Oscar and Hulk currently enjoying a pay day out east, unfortunately for the region, none of them are able to pull an Elkeson and become Chinese overnight.
The most notable past product of this area is former Crystal Palace defender Fan Zhiyi, who was the first Chinese player to sign a permanent contract in England. The penalty taking centre back earned 106 caps for ‘team dragon’ and scored two vital goals in their only successful qualifying campaign to date, presumably ensuring he never has to pay for a Tsing Tao ever again.
The squad itself has some exciting players, and one particular star doing his nation proud in La Liga.
Goalkeepers Born FM20 Value Age
Gu Chao CHN Jiangsu Suning GK Shanghai 48 €2.90 31
Yan Junling CHN Shanghai SIPG GK Shanghai 55 €3.70 29
Fu Huan CHN Shanghai SIPG RB Shanghai 42 €1.60 27
Shi Ke CHN Shanghai SIPG CB Jiangsu 50 €3.90 27
Wang Shenchao CHN Shanghai SIPG RB Shanghai 49 €2.80 31
Zhu Chenjie CHN Shanghai Shenhua CB Shanghai 47 €2.20 20
Li Ang CHN Jiangsu Suning CB Jiangsu 45 €3.20 27
Yang Fan CHN Beijing Guoan RB Jiangsu 45 €2.10 24
Zhou Yun CHN Jiangsu Suning CB Jiangsu 44 €2.10 29
Gu Cao CHN Henan Jianye CB Shanghai 42 €1.40 31
Wei Shihao CHN Guangzhou Evergrande LW Anhui 51 €4.50 25
Ji Xiang CHN Jiangsu Suning RM Jiangsu 50 €4.00 30
Cao Yunding CHN Shanghai Shenhua LM Shanghai 49 €3.30 31
Huang Bowen CHN Guangzhou Evergrande CDM Anhui 52 €2.70 33
Jiang Jiajun CHN Nantong Zhiyun CAM Shanghai 30 €0.50 30
Sun Ke CHN Tianjin RW Jiangsu 44 €2.60 30
Cai Huikang CHN Shanghai SIPG CDM Shanghai 48 €3.90 31
Qian Jiegei CHN Shanghai Shenhua CM Port-Gentil, Gabon 43 €4.10 28
Wu Lei CHN Espanyol LF Jiangsu 67 €11.20 29
Feng Boyuan CHN Jiangsu Suning LF Jiangsu 32 €0.60 25
Li Shenglong CHN Shanghai SIPG ST Shanghai 43 €2.00 27
Jiang Xiaochen CHN Sichaun Longfor ST Shanghai 31 €0.11 31
Average/Totals 46 €65.41 28.45454545
The prodigal attacking talent of Wu Lei is a foreshadowing of everything Chinese football hopes to become. A record 102 goals in six seasons for SIPG earned the man from Nanjing an unprecedented move to Espanyol in 2018, becoming the first Chinese player to sign permanently to a La Liga side. In January of this year Lei scored a decisive equaliser against Barcelona in the Derbi barceloní, arguably the most high profile achievement of any Chinese national to date.
Between the sticks will be China’s no.1, Yan Junling who has made 322 appearances for his hometown club, and is revered as one of Asia’s greatest goalkeepers.
One of the better Chinese sides in the tournament, could Wu Lei’s mammoth ability take them out of the group stage?
Former Yugoslavia & Eastern Europe
Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus, Turkey, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia
Population (millions): 242.05
One of football’s most questioned ‘what if’s’. If you’ve frequented this sub as long as I have you would have stumbled upon plenty of iterations of ‘What would Yugoslavia national team look like today’ or ‘Eastern European XI, well strap in boys and girls because here comes another one.
Eastern Europe is perhaps the busiest collection of countries in a confined area, you pass five countries travelling from Zagreb to Skopje but it’s roughly the same distance as Plymouth to Newcastle (green army).
In the 21st century the region has 12 World Cup qualifications between them, two semi-finalists, one European championship win, and in an individual capacity countless Champions League medals. If Croatia alone can reach a World Cup final, what can they do with a 235 million person injection?
Goalkeepers Birthplace FM20 Value Age
Jan Oblak SVN Atleti GK Skofja Loka 86 €58.80 25
Samir Handanovic SVN Inter Milan GK Ljubljana 82 €21.10 35
Kostas Manolas GRE Napoli CB Naxos 78 €51.90 28
Stefan Savic MNE Atleti CB Mojkovac 75 €31.60 29
Aleksandar Kolarov SER Roma LB Belgrade 75 €5.80 34
Caglar Soyuncu TUR Leicester CB 74 €35.10 24
Dejan Lovren CRO Liverpool CB Zenica 75 €39.00 30
Sime Vrsaljko CRO Atleti RB Rijeka 73 €22.30 28
Oleksandr Zinchenko UKR Man City LB Radomyshl 75 €43.30 23
Elseid Hysaj ALB Napoli RB Shkoder 71 €13.20 26
Luka Modric CRO Real Madrid CM Zadar 87 €20.40 34
Miralem Pjanic BIH Juventus CM Tuzla 84 €67.90 30
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic SER Lazio CM Lleida, Spain 83 €65.00 25
Ivan Rakitic CRO Barcelona CM Rheinfelden 81 €46.70 32
Josip Ilicic SVN Atalanta CAM Prijedor 77 €28.20 32
Ivan Perisic CRO Bayern Munich LM Split 77 €37.60 31
Mateo Kovacic CRO Chelsea CM Linz, Austria 82 €69.10 25
Edin Visca BIH Basaksehir RM Olovo 73 €13.90 30
Andrej Kramaric CRO Hoffenheim ST Zagreb 74 €28.20 28
Edin Dzeko BIH Roma ST Sarajevo 79 €19.30 34
Luka Jovic SER Real Madrid ST Bijeljina, Bosnia 78 €52.60 22
Dusan Tadic SER Ajax CF Backa Topola 78 €38.10 31
Average/Totals 77 €754.50 28.23
I’m a huge fan of this team, household names in every outfield position, and Ballon D’or winner Luka Modric leading a metronomic midfield.
Unsurprisingly the Croats are the most generous contributors to this side with seven inclusions, although Serbia are close behind with five. After initially separating Slovenia, this region trust both their keeper spots with the safe Slovene hands of Oblak and Handanovic.
In between generations, 80million strong Turkey only managed to squeeze one man into the 22, Sonyuncu gets the nod over Sokratis who have had obverse Premier League campaigns. The most populous country in the region are waiting on Cengiz Under and Enes Unal to blossom from young talent to the real deal.
I think the squad speaks for itself when it comes to this team, perhaps the greatest benefactor of the stipulations of this tournament, and I predict a semi-final exit.
Lower Middle East
Egypt, Isreal, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, 10 Governorates of Iraq (Al-Anbar, Al-Najaf, Al-Muthanna, Al-Basrah, Karbala, Babil, Al-Qadisiyah, Thi Qar, Baghdad)
Population (millions): 249
I once again implore you to remember that this is all absolute fiction, and I’m writing to you as a football fan with as much political interest as Gunnersaurus, that lefty fuck.
A huge region that spans three confederations creates a unique and on their day rather lucrative squad.
Stars of the past from this region include Yossi Benayoun, Mido and Saeed Al-Owairan who was responsible for one of the greatest solo goals the World Cup has seen
If you were underwhelmed by those previous legends you’d be correct as this may well be the ‘golden generation’ for this particular corner of the world.
This squad contains a genuinely fearsome front line and competence all over the pitch, another terrific varied squad in a group that could offer up some incredibly close contests.
Goalkeepers Birthplace Fifa Football manager Value Age
Ahmed El-Shenawy EGY Pyramids GK Port Said 73 54 €0.20 29
Mohammed Al Owais KSA Al Ahli GK Al-Hasa 72 58 €2.30 29
Ahmed Hegazi EGY West Brom CB Ismailia 74 63 €8.70 29
Ali Adnan IRQ Vancouver Whitecaps LB Baghdad 74 63 €3.50 27
Yasser Al Shahrani KSA Al Hilal LB Dammam 73 57 €2.90 27
Amro Tarek EGY Red Bull New York CB Los Angeles 72 57 €1.70 28
Hatem Abd Elhamed ISR Celtic RB Kafr Manda 72 64 €1.50 29
Karim Boudiaf QAT Al-Duhail CB Rueil-malmaison 56 €3.90 30
Motaz Hawsawi KSA Ah Ahli CB Jeddah 72 58 €3.30 28
Ahmed Elmohamady EGY Aston Villa RWB El Kubra 70 60 €4.60 33
Trezeguet EGY Aston Villa LW Kafr El Sheikh 77 67 €21.00 26
Mohamed Elneny EGY Besiktas CDM El Kubra 77 70 €31.80 28
Tarek Hamed EGY Zamalek CDM Dakahilia 76 56 €0.31 31
Dia Saba ISR Guangzhou R & F CAM Majd al-krum 74 60 €9.70 28
Salem Al Dawsari KSA Al Hilal LM Jeddah 74 62 €4.60 29
Lior Refaelov ISR Royal Antwerp CAM Or Akiva 74 64 €33.00 33
Omar Abdulrahman UAE Al Jazira CAM Riyadh, SA 64 €7.00 29
Omar Kharbin QAT Al Hilal CAM Damascus 63 €4.50 26
Mohamed Salah EGY Liverpool RF Nagrig Basyoun 90 90 €92.40 28
Eran Zahavi ISR Guangzhou R & F CF Rishon LeZion 81 73 €22.30 32
Munas Dabbur ISR Hoffenheim ST Nazareth 80 71 €16.60 28
Omar Al-Soma SYR Al Ahli ST Deir ez-Zor 67 €5.20 31
Average/Totals 75 64 €281.01 29
No prizes for guessing the star man, the gap between Mohammed Salah and Egypts next best export is as long as the Nile, but he isn’t the only forward that knows how to rack up the goals.
Israel scored 16 goals in a frustrating and unsuccessful 10 game qualifying campaign for next years ‘Euro 2020’. 15 of those came from the strike partnership of Moanes Dabbur and Eran Zahavi, let down by a torrid defense, they may be happy to apply their finishing talents in front of a slightly sturdier spine.
Dubbed ‘the greatest player never to leave Asia’, Omar Abdulrahman will show off his incredible technique on the World stage for the first time since the London Olympics. A youtube compilation maker’s wet dream, the football fan in me is frustrated he never chose to ply his trade in Europe, but mourning one player’s prime just shows how spoiled us Europeans are.
Omar Al-Soma will come off the bench and try to emulate at least one of his 160 Al Ahli goals, the Syrian completes an impressive forward roster, a top heavy side that I predict will be involved in some high scoring games.
There we go, hope you all enjoyed this installment as much as yesterday. Check back tomorrow to see the teams of Sadio Mané, Chris Wood and ‘Ahamed Shazny’… nah neither have I.
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2020.03.16 16:23 Hippemann A look into the archives of football news from 10 years ago [09/03/2010 - 15/03/2010]

Hello, everyone!
I recently created Football10YearsAgo, it's a sub about football but ten year in the past, point is to share news articles, events, etc, that are interesting in hindsight or jokingly talk about them like we discover this for the first time
Without further ado, here is a recap of the 7 days period from the 9th of March 2010 onward :
This week i dig up quite a few goal videos
Date Post
March 09th Champions League : Arsenal beat Porto 5-0 [6-2 on aggr.] with a Hattrick from Niklas Bendtner and a wonder goal from Nasri
- Champions League : Fiorentina is leading 3-1 against Bayern München but Arjen Robben scores this rocket to bring it back to 3-2 [4-4 on aggr.] qualifying Bayern on away goals
March 10th Stuttgart has found themselves a exciting young prospects to be the centerpieces of their game as a double-6 : Sami Khedira and Christian Träsch: Stuttgart's new dream duo
- Champions League : Manchester United beat AC Milan 4-0 [2-2 on agg.] with a brace from Rooney on a superb assist by Nani, Rooney 30th goal this season, SAF challenges him to reach 42 (the number of CR9 last season)
- Champions League : Olympique Lyonnais equalized 1-1 against Real Madrid by their exciting new prospect Miralem Pjanić ensuring their qualification for the next round
March 11th In the Championship: Savage shines in goal for Derby County against Reading Derby's keepers were forced out (first Bywater for an injury and then Jay Tabb following a foul by Troy Deeney), Robbie Savage was required to stand between the sticks for over 45 minutes, and during that time he unfurled a range of saves (including a sublime tip around the post from a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick which was lancing straight into the top right corner) “I've never tried being a keeper in training, its just natural,” he told. So there is more than “the hair, teeth, tan and the big house”
- Europa League: Juventus beat Fulham 3-1, The guardian write Dickson Etuhu gives Fulham faint hope on a chastening evening in Turin ...., Hatem Ben Arfa scores a late equalizer for Marseille on a header against Benfica and the 19yo belgian Eden Hazard scores a long freekick for Lille to beat Liverpool 1-0
March 12th A couple of foreshadowing articles by the Guardian : Milan no longer able to mask the decline of Italian clubs' fortunes and Why the rarely spotted British manager is now an endangered species
- Internazionale loses at Catania 3-1 while AC Milan won thanks to a last minute great goal from Clarence Seedorf against Chievo, which means Milan is now only one point behind Inter
- Didier Drogba is named Africa's footballer of the year
March 13th Didier Drogba scores a brace for Chelsea against West Ham United while Scott Parker had scored a wonderful goal, a brace from Rooney for Manchester United against Fulham, and Nicklas Bendtner scores a late winner against Hull City for Arsenal after Andrey Arshavin managed a tricky goal earlier, with these 3 clubs winning, the top of the table look like this. Two other players scored a brace in this round : Fernando Torres for Liverpool against Portsmouth and Roman Pavlyuchenko for Tottenham against Blackburn
- Fernando Torres wants to win titles and says : "We need four or five top class players to compete, players better than the ones we have. If we do not reinforce the squad, next year all we will be able to do is fight for fourth again.", potentially considering a move
- Lisandro López equalized for Olympique Lyonnais in the derby against Saint-Etienne (1-1)
- Guillaume Hoarau scored a goal of pure class for Paris Saint-Germain against FC Sochaux while his team-mate Mevlut Erdinc scored a hattrick. They will most-likely be safe from relegation
March 14th David Beckham's World Cup is over: Three-month lay-off with achilles tendon injury
- Luis Suarez scored the last goal of the match between Ajax and PSV (4-1)
- Sunderland 1-[1] Manchester City - Adam Jonhson 90' Great Goal
- Lionel Messi scored 2 goals in 3 minutes to get his hattrick agsint Valencia
- Toulouse [1]-1 Olympique de Marseille - Paulo Machado 39' Great Goal. With these results, there are 3 teams tied on points and there are only 2 points between 1st and 6th
March 15th Hull City confirm Phil Brown has been sacked
I'm considering doing the same thing u/flyingarab did whereby we would watch a stream of a old games and have a match thread or a live chat/discord. I have in mind the second leg of Fulham vs Juventus in 2 days (Juventus won the first leg 3-1) so don't look at the score in the mean time. Tell me if it's a good idea
Still considering doing an other sub like this but way older like 1968 as it would be way more interesting, currently evaluating how difficult it would be to find stuff
Previous weekly recaps :
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2019.12.06 12:28 chelski365 An epic pre-match promo & scenario to look back on

The date is 18th of August 2013, 3.55pm and Sky sports are playing their pre-match promo for the first game of the season. the game to be shown is Chelsea vs Hull City in Jose Mourinho's first competitive match back as Chelsea manager.
I'll never forget the feeling of that day and that Sky Sports promotional package. Set to the tune of Imagine Dragons' 'Radioactive' with lyrics referring to "welcome to the new age' and 'its a revolution I suppose' we see glimpses of what is sure to be the beginning of a Chelsea Evolution.
We are bolstered to start this new season with a returning manager covered in glory, a new midfield playmaker in Kevin De Bruyne, a new talismanic front man who grew up a Chelsea fan in Romelu Lukaku and Germany winger Andre Schurrle who came with a real buzz about him too. Whilst also boasting talents like 2x player of the year Juan Mata and cult hero David Luiz- on top of legends like John Terry.
That day I felt like Chelsea dominance was on the horizon. Everyone knew how good De Bruyne was after his loan spells and everyone knew how hungry Lukaku was to succeed for us. We were great that day and despite the 2-0 scoreline, it should have been many more.
Success did come the next season too- just not as we expected. De Bruyne was shipped out after arguments with Mourinho, playing a total of 9 games for us. Lukaku left too, being replaced by Diego Costa and then removed as an option entirely by the return of Didier Drogba. Two times player of the year Juan Mata left for Manchester United. David Luiz swapped Chelsea for Paris and more functional players were brought in to replace them all.
In all the great times of 2014-15 with Fabregas and Costa helping to complete our squad and make us champions- I always missed the excitement and feeling that rather than buying established stars, we had let go of so many more that would go on to great things. De Bruyne stung like hell but for me losing Juan Mata was heart breaking. I don't think he will ever again be the player that he was for us. As for De Bruyne- the sky is still the limit for him.
Also present in the lineup (and score sheet) against Hull that day was Frank Lampard.
Frank Lampard the player was the man that I grew up admiring, the talent was great but more impressive was the work that he put in to make the most of it. This man for his limitations became the top scoring player in the history of this club from central midfield. Won it all and left a hero.
Now he is the man at the helm of the revolution that I thought was occurring 6 years ago. We may not be dominating English football yet- or even soon, but he is driving one of the most likable and relate-able teams that we have ever had. Turning boys like Abraham, Mount, James and Tomori into men.
Over the years I have seen us win the champions league, premier league, FA cup, league cup and more... but for all of that I genuinely don't think I've ever felt as wholesome about my club as I do right now. I'm so damn proud of these boys and our manager.
The evolution came boys- just not the way we expected.
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2019.08.02 17:22 Benichis PES2020

I dont like the fact that PES sending the same posts over and over again. I dont care about anything except the myclub new that they are NOT Posting. Look at Fifa for example... Every year they are hyping everyone... Announced legends like Zidane,Pirlo,Drogba and soon will Kaka, Essien and more. And Pes? ARSHAVIN. Who the hell is that guy? They even doesnt tell a date that they will release somthing new. How long can we play the demo? It took me 1 day. And then i just came back to the PES19. Great Demo btw. But not enough to hype me up. What about you? What legends you hope for to be announced?
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2019.07.18 03:29 Xdadotter Christian Pulisic Talks Chelsea Move, London Life & Premier League Memories - SoccerBible


Christian Pulisic was a name that would’ve appeared on the transfer wish lists of many managers of top teams across Europe. The talented young American has enjoyed a stunning rise that has caught global attention, garnering admiration from all angles. But it’s London, and specifically Chelsea that secured his signature.
Pulisic's achievements to date in the Bundesliga make it easy to forget that he’s still only 20. Back in 2016 he became the youngest non-German to score in the Bundesliga followed shortly after by becoming the youngest player in the Bundesliga to score a brace. We sat down with the latest exciting new talent to join the Premier League to find out all about his move.
Christian, how does it feel to have this new chapter ahead of you?
It’s incredible. For me as an American I always dreamed of playing in the Premier League and to move over here to London and be right in the heart of it all, it’s really special.
What are you most looking forward to about the English football experience?
Growing up I always loved the competitiveness of the Premier League, that is something I’m really looking forward to. In the Premier League no game is an easy game, you play against top teams every week. There’s just something about it over here in England. It means a lot to me.
Moving to Germany and then on to England, was this a route you had mapped out?
Not necessarily. When I was younger I didn’t know I’d end up in Germany and then in England, but I’ve just kind of gone with it. I think Dortmund was a great place to start my career but after three-and-a-half seasons playing in the Bundesliga, I felt that it was time to move on and the Chelsea was the next logical step. I feel like I made the right decisions at the time, and so far everything’s worked out perfectly.
To get to the top in football takes a lot of hard work, but you’ve got to have a little bit of luck in there as well. Are you quite pleased with how everything’s worked out so far?
Yeah of course there is a component of luck, I am very fortunate and blessed to be in the spot I am now. However that being said, I work hard every single day to make sure that when opportunities come – I am ready.
What has the Bundesliga taught you and how do you think that has set you up for this new challenge?
I think starting for a top team in Germany, getting first team experience, it’s really helped me. The level in the Bundesliga is really high, it’s not easy to make it. Take this year’s title race for example, it went down to the last day, and unfortunately it didn’t go our way but it just shows how good the league is. I’m at a young age and I’m lucky to have started my career at such a high level, but I’m ready for this next chapter.
You were playing in front of Dortmund's famous yellow wall – is the experience of English fans and different stadiums something you’re looking forward to?
Yeah, definitely. Dortmund have some really good fans over there, all the games the atmosphere is always unbelievable. I’ve already experienced a few games over in England, so I know the atmosphere is crazy here as well and I’m definitely looking forward to that.
Which stadiums are you looking forward to ticking off on the road?
All the big ones. I’ve been to a few games at Stamford Bridge and I’m obviously most excited to play there. I’ve been to Wembley, Old Trafford, and Anfield so playing in those environments is always challenging, but really cool. It will be a lot of fun.
What was it like for you growing up in the States – the football culture is booming right now but did you grow up watching the Premier League?
Yeah I did, I grew up watching as much soccer as I could. I remember waking up early in the morning to watch the Premier League, that is one of the main leagues that they show on TV, so that was the easiest access for me. Yeah, that’s what I watched growing up. It’s pretty much come full circle now that I get to play in it.
What players and teams did you watch? What moments standout from your childhood watching the Premier League?
I remember so clearly when Chelsea won the league in 2005 with Drogba, Lampard, Terry; that team was amazing, or when Aguero scored on the last match day to give City the title. Those exciting stories were what made me love the Premier League growing up. To be in the position I am in now is just a dream.
Did you get the shirts/have the posters on the wall etc?
Of course, yeah. I had all of that. I was a big fan.
Have you been able to get a bit of a fan experience with Chelsea before you’ve got the playing experience?
Yeah, this year I have been able to watch Chelsea as both a fan but also as part of the team, they had a great season so that’s something the club can be proud of. I’ve always admired the winning mentality at Chelsea, that’s an environment that I can’t wait to be a part of.
Players like Jadon Sancho have taken the reverse move. Did you speak to him or any other players about the move to get their input?
I spoke with Jadon and he told me that the Premier League is incredible, that the football over here is amazing. I’m also close with Aubameyang and Sokratis from our time at Dortmund together, so I got their input as well.
How excited are you about the prospect of life in London?
I’m super-excited to be in a big city, to be around people that speak English! It’s incredible. I’ve been to London a few times and I’m excited to get to know it a little better.
Are you someone who plans to get stuck into the culture of London and explore the city as anyone else would?
Yeah, I guess as any American would, you know. I’ll definitely do the touristy stuff in the beginning and after that I guess I’ll slowly start to become a local. I want to get to know the city for sure.
What are the big changes for you and how do you think you’ll find that adjustment?
The language helps, but I feel the culture is a little bit more similar as the U.S. as opposed to over in Germany, which is a lot different. But there’s also going to be a lot of challenges. I’m playing for my first Premier League side, so it’s not going to be easy, but I’m looking forward to it and all the challenges to come.
How does it feel to now put a Chelsea shirt on? Will it be a surreal experience to have your name on a Premier League shirt?
Yeah, absolutely. I always wanted it to happen, it was a big dream of mine, but now that it’s actually here I don’t want to take it for granted. It really is special. It’s just a huge honour and this wave of emotions just washes over you when you put it on for the first time.
Football and streetwear are mixing like they never have before, is fashion and off pitch culture something that catches your imagination?
I have friends that are probably into it even more than I am, you know, the whole fashion side, but I definitely look at trends and I just think it’s awesome how the whole fashion world and football world can combine. Nike have been doing a lot of different collabs, so it’s always exciting to wear that stuff.
When it comes to moving over here, have you got any friends or family with you or are you on your own?
I’ll be coming over here by myself, but I already know a bunch of people over here and I have a lot of friends in London, so that will make it a lot easier.
Pick up the new Chelsea 2019/20 away shirt at prodirectsoccer.com
Photography by Rosie Matheson for SoccerBible.
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2019.06.02 16:01 LordVelaryon [Next-Day Discussion Thread] Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool (UEFA Champions League - Final)

"It's hard to accept injustice, lads. But listen to what I'm going to tell you. If you play the way you did today, you're going to get the prize you deserve. Now I know that nothing will calm you, because you killed yourselves trying to win the match. You deserved it and you didn't get it. Accept the injustice, that everything is balanced in the end. Even if it's impossible for you, don't protest anything, swallow poison, strengthen yourselves, playing like this you will get what you deserve. I congratulate you lads, all of you... all of you." - Marcelo Bielsa.

Tottenham 0 - 2 Liverpool


Venue: Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid.
Attendance: 63,372 (67,829 Capacity)
Referee: Damir Skomina (SLO)
Kick-off: 21:00 local.


Tottenham (4-2-3-1) Liverpool (4-3-3)
Hugo Lloris Allison Becker
Kieran Trippier Trent Alexander-Arnold
Toby Alderweireld Joel Matip
Jan Vertonghen Virgil Van Dijk
Danny Rose Andrew Robertson
Harry Winks 66' Fabinho
Moussa Sissoko 74' Jordan Henderson
Dele Alli 81' Georginio Wijnaldum 62'
Christian Eriksen Mohamed Salah
Heung-Min Son Roberto Firmino 58'
Harry Kane Sadio Mané 90'
Substitutes Substitutes
Lucas Moura 66' Divock Origi 58'
Eric Dier 74' James Milner 62'
Fernando Llorente 81' Joe Gomez 90'
Manager Manager
Mauricio Pochettino Jürgen Klopp



STADISTICS: Expected Goals by OPTA
Shots (on target) 16 (8)14 (3)
Ball Possession 61%39%
Passes 528280
Distance Covered 103,4 kms105,1 kms
Fouls 56
Corners 89
Offsides 32
xG 10,6

UEFA: "Liverpool beat Tottenham to win sixth European Cup."

An early Mohamed Salah penalty and Divock Origi's late strike gave Liverpool victory in Madrid.
Liverpool are champions of Europe for the sixth time after a 2-0 defeat of Premier League rivals Tottenham in Madrid. The Reds' victory, courtesy of a Mohamed Salah penalty awarded in the first minute and converted in the second, plus a late Divock Origi effort, not only exorcises the demons of last season's 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in Kyiv but also ends Jürgen Klopp's run of six successive club final defeats.
It gets sweeter still for Salah. His delight – or was it relief? – at converting from the spot after Moussa Sissoko was penalised for handball after just 24 seconds was no doubt magnified by the fact he was forced off injured in the Ukrainian capital last year.
Salah's strike was not the start of a customary deluge from Liverpool, though, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson going closest to doubling their lead with shots from distance later in the half. Heung-Min Son twice ran in behind for Spurs, but the north London club failed to engineer any clear openings of their own.
Then, much like buses in the city they call home, three came along all at once; Dele Alli headed over, before Son and then Lucas Moura were denied by Alisson Becker. Substitute James Milner had gone close to adding to Liverpool's lead by that point, but it was left to fellow replacement Origi to finish the job with a precise low effort three minutes from time.
Man of the match: Virgil van Dijk: As commanding as he has been ever since moving to Anfield in January 2018; another colossal performance from the Dutchman. Thomas Schaaf, leader of the UEFA Technical Observers in Madrid, said: "Van Dijk showed outstanding leadership and was Liverpool's best defender. He made crucial interventions when needed and played with a cool head throughout."

The Guardian: "Liverpool win Champions League after Salah and Origi sink Tottenham" by Daniel Taylor

Presumably, none of the Liverpool supporters will care too greatly that the kaleidoscope of banners they had unfurled in Madrid suddenly look so out of date. Liverpool had their sixth star and when we see them again next season we can be sure they will have added “Madrid, 2019” to the red, yellow and white flags that have been fluttering from Spanish balconies, hotel windows and lampposts in memory of Istanbul, 2005, as well as Rome, 1977 and 1984, plus Wembley, 1978, and Paris, 1981.
For Liverpool, such devoted collectors of trophies, it was the sixth time in their prodigious history that the club’s ribbons have adorned that shiny old pot. There is only Real Madrid, with 13, and Milan, on seven, with a superior record and the team from Anfield have won this competition more times than the other Premier League clubs put together. Mohamed Salah knows now how it feels to score one of the decisive goals in European football’s showpiece occasion. So does Divock Origi, whose fingerprints are all over this story, and when the rewards are this high it will not bother Jürgen Klopp or the victorious players that they could probably have decorated the event with football of a more sophisticated level.
As for Spurs, this was like seeing a beautiful painting being ripped apart. Mauricio Pochettino and his players will never forget the night they passed up the opportunity to win the most important match of the club’s 137 years. They will be pained, in particular, that Alisson, Liverpool’s goalkeeper, did not have to make a noteworthy save until the late exchanges and, ultimately, they found out the hard way that there is no glory attached to a final when the other team are on the winners’ podium. What a numbing feeling that must be, at the end of the night, to see the trophy, close-up, glistening under the floodlights, but not to find out how cold it is on your hands.
Liverpool’s players had been through that anguish against Real Madrid last year. They were here to make sure the same did not happen again and, this time, they had Salah on the pitch for a lot longer than he was in Kyiv. Liverpool were playing a team that finished 26 points below them in the Premier League, rather than one that had come to think of the Champions League trophy as their own private possession. There was no Sergio Ramos, with his devil’s horns and that look on his face that said: “Who, me?” And, crucially, it was Alisson, not Loris Karius, between the posts. The Brazilian might not have been overworked but he made some key saves during the period in the second half, at 1-0, when Spurs were looking at their most dangerous. It was no coincidence so many Liverpool players ran to their goalkeeper at the final whistle.
And then there was the player in the No 27 shirt whose goal had knocked out Barcelona, in the night of all nights at Anfield, to put Liverpool in this final and was brought on here, after 58 minutes, to replace the out‑of‑touch Roberto Firmino and add some new impetus to the team’s attack.
Origi might be an unlikely hero, but that is precisely what he has made himself: a hero. His goal arrived in the 87th minute, just as Liverpool were looking at their most vulnerable, and as soon as a left-foot shot skidded into the net, aimed diagonally from left to right, that was the moment everybody knew it was over. It wasn’t long before Klopp could be seen getting the bumps, thrown into the air, time and again, by his players.
Amid that kind of euphoria, it would be slightly po-faced to dwell too long on the occasional carelessness that crept into Liverpool’s play. They will know they fell short of their most exhilarating peaks but, equally, will they care? They were ahead before any of the players had a single scuff of grass on their knees and, ultimately, the onus was on Spurs to find a way back after Salah’s early penalty. Dele Alli had a couple of opportunities during their periods of second-half pressure. Alisson’s best save was to palm away Christian Eriksen’s free-kick and Lucas Moura, a substitute, should have done better when a corner arced into his path. Yet there was never one moment when Harry Kane had a clear scoring chance to justify why it was he, not Moura, starting the match.
To be precise, there were 22 seconds on the clock when Moussa Sissoko jutted out his right arm to give away the penalty. It gave Salah the chance to score with his first kick of the night and, even amid the desperate whistles of the Spurs fans, it was possible to make the satisfying thud of leather on leather. Salah aimed his shot through the middle, Hugo Lloris dived to his left and the ball was still rising as it flew into the part of the goal the goalkeeper had vacated.
Unfortunately for Spurs, these were the moments that proved what Pochettino will admit himself: that his team can be callow at the highest level. Every elite player should know the risk in modern-day football of sticking out an arm when a cross might be coming into the penalty area. Yet Sissoko’s pose was of a man looking the wrong way while he changed an invisible lightbulb. The cross came from Sadio Mané and Sissoko will have to live with the guilt of that handball for an awfully long time.
Sissoko, to give him his due, was one of the players driving on Spurs when they started to threaten more frequently in the second half. Liverpool certainly had to endure some anxious moments before the corner that led to Origi’s goal, the little touch from Joël Matip that created the chance and the striker’s precise left-footed finish. This time, for Spurs, there were no late heroics and it was not long before Jordan Henderson, Liverpool’s captain, had the trophy in his hands.

MARCA: "Apotheosis of Rock & Klopp" by José Luis Hurtado

The Liverpool of the myths and symbols has its sixth big crown. The Anfield team, from The Kop, from the Beatle tone, from You'll never walk alone, from Dalglish freckles and Rush mustache, from Klopp and Salah's curls, touched the sky at Metropolitan Wanda. The manhandled slogan said that football owed Klopp a Champions League. He's got it.
The celebration of English football was the celebration of intensity. Little football and overdose of atmosphere. Salah's penalty goal was useful for the reds after the first play and the final whip of Origi, prologue and epilogue of a way of understanding football. An Egyptian and a Belgian at the court of Lennon, Tottenham reacted too late.
Liverpool respects etiquette, listens to the hymn, greets the rival and then burns the piano when the match starts, an identification symbol in a team that doesn't know how to play slowly. At 25 seconds it was already in the corner of Tottenham's kitchen. The ball arrived to Mané and his delivery, after going through Sissoko's anatomy, hit him in the arm involuntarily. A debated penalty that Salah converted.
A goal in the first move must have been a blessing from the gods for Liverpool. For them it was one more final, the territory that was trodden by the shirts of Dalglish, Rush, Gerrard and other saints of the city. For Tottenham, the team of Ardiles, Jimmy Greaves and Hoddle, was the final of their lives, the best chance in history to earn a place in the Olympus. At 25 seconds their team was unconscious.
The final crowned the style of Klopp, the heavy football that electrifies Anfield. A year and a half ago he lost Coutinho, considered king of the team's talent, who had been showing a bad face to the institution for months. The answer has been to reach two Champions League finals
Pochettino, the shaman of the Spurs tribe, was faced with a new challenge, to turn a Champions final. He had done it in previous rounds, but in Madrid his stars were submitting their resignation in an orderly manner. Harry Kane noticed the inactivity, Dele Alli did not touch the ball and only Son and Eriksen appeared with some flashes.
Ronaldo Nazário said the other day that Liverpool was a heavy truck that flattened Barça. Klopp has the keys of the team. With a goal in favour he activated the ambush machine in the centre of the field. There was no quiet and comfortable move for Tottenham. In each action his footballers had a rival showing him their tooth.
You didn't have to see the best cards from the forwards. In Liverpool, where there was a lot of muscle, there were skyscrapers, Van Dijk and Matip, the antivirus couple. Alexandre-Arnold and Robertson were two fighters jets at the wings. They were the ones who looked for the final sentence in each incursion, the banner of what their trainer wants, players who serve on the whole pitch.
Due to the lack of reaction Pochettino delayed the entry of Lucas Moura, the hero of Amsterdam. When he arrived he connected with Son, the best of his team. Tottenham has plenty of character, a team with many layers of integrity. It went to great pains to find a gap in the opponent's box. But there it met a giant, Marshal Van Dijk, a king of one-hundred feet.
The Dutchman's match is to be displayed in the hallway at Anfield and sent by post to all the team's fans. Portentous at the crosses, powerful in the pass and majestic in the air, the central defender showed that being chosen as the best player of this Premier was not a gift. Allison, behind him, was in charge of putting his gloves into Tottenham's best shots.
With the match broken a ball came to Origi, the symbol of the comeback against Barça, who had replaced Firmino. The Belgian mosquito planted a shot in the sidebar of the goal of Lloris. It was the last symbol of red glory. The Beatles sounded in Liverpool's sixth.
  • "Everybody's seen what happened. Any three-week work plans falls with a penalty at the 20th second. Nobody expected that and the effect has been very negative for the team. I don't know if it's a penalty. At no time does he go with his hand to look for the ball, it's a move that when we go to analyze about if it hits the arm, it becomes the referee's decision. It's impossible to predict that you'll lose 1-0 after a minute. Mentally it was very difficult, it's all about learning and experimenting. Liverpool had to live through that last year."
  • "A final is won, not analyzed later. No matter how deserving we are, there is a fair winner because they scored two goals. I don't think it has depended on the Liverpool players having more experience than mine in a Champions League final. We took more risks in the second half but if you see the match data we had twice as many shots, more possession ... but that's useless. We lost because we conceded a penalty and conceded a goal."
  • "I hope this final is something positive for the club and is the beginning of building something good. Victories are built on the pain of defeat."
  • (asked about Kane) "You are creating a drama and there isn’t a drama. He finished the game fresh. He didn’t score like the others didn’t score. It was my decision and it was taken with all the analysis and all the information. I don’t regret my decision."
  • "I'm very proud of his effort, of how we fought, we were unlucky, we conceded the goal in a penalty, we kept fighting and we played very well in the second half. Starting 1-0 from the beginning was difficult. We changed our plans, but we are very proud of these players and these fans. We can be optimistic for the future. I'm very happy to lead this group of players, and congratulations to Liverpool because they had a fantastic season."
  • "You want to experience this again and repeat it. It is the best game in the world after the World Cup. It's about trying, believing and building the journey so it happens again as soon as possible."
  • "Did you ever see a team like this, fighting with no fuel in the tank? I am so happy for the boys, all these people and my family. They suffer for me, they deserve it more than anybody, it was an intense season with the most beautiful finish I ever could have imagined."
  • "I feel mostly relieved, to be honest. Relieved for my family because the last six times we were away on holiday and always with a silver medal and that doesn’t feel so cool. This is for the boys, the fans and for the owners who do not put any pressure on us and appreciate the development of huge steps we have made. For the players, they were pretty much crying on the pitch because it was so emotional, so big, and it means so much to us. I have sat here many times explaining how we lost this game. Now I don’t want to explain why we won, I just want to enjoy that we won."
  • "I know how Tottenham feels right now. More than anyone else in this world. They played a magnificent season, deserved this victory too but we scored the goals. And I have told Pochettino to be very proud"
  • "I've already told UEFA to wait for us in Istanbul. Well, sometimes we have to carry on with our history. To repeat the heroic deed of Istanbul is very ambitious. I spoke with Guardiola some minutes ago. Our head physio worked for Manchester City at the start of the year but he wanted to win the Champions League - no, it’s a joke! We promised each other that we will kick each other’s butts again next season. We will go for everything and see what we get."
  • "Under normal circumstances, 20 minutes after the match I should already be half drunk, but for now we only have water."
  • "Without Millie’s dressing-room talk, with a non-native manager, I think it would not have been possible to win this. I am so happy for the boys. You know what people have said about a couple of the players of this team. Jordan Henderson is captain of the Champions League winner of 2019. That is satisfying.”
  • Liverpool have won their sixth European Cup - twice as many as any other English team (Manchester United, three).
  • Klopp is the fourth Liverpool manager to win the European Cup, after Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Rafael Benitez.
  • Klopp is the fifth German manager to win the European Cup, after Dettmar Cramer, Jupp Heynckes, Ottmar Hitzfeld and Udo Lattek but he only the second German to win the trophy with a non-German side (Heynckes with Real Madrid).
  • Pochettino has lost both of his major finals as Tottenham manager, also losing the League Cup final against Chelsea in 2015.
  • Tottenham appeared in their first ever European Cup final, becoming the eighth English side to do so.
  • The past six first-time finalists have now lost (also Chelsea 2008, Arsenal 2006, Monaco 2004, Bayer Leverkusen 2002 and Valencia 2000).
  • Liverpool (35.4%) have become the first side to win the Champions League final despite having less possession than the opposition since Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan beat Bayern Munich in 2010.
  • This was the first ever Champions League final without a single card shown.
  • Liverpool's Mohamed Salah became the fifth African player to score in a European Cup final after Rabah Madjer, Samuel Eto'o, Didier Drogba and Sadio Mane.
  • Salah's opener for Liverpool was the second fastest goal in a Champions League final (1:48), only behind Paolo Maldini (00:50) for AC Milan versus Liverpool in 2005.
  • Origi became only the second Belgian player to score in a Champions League final after Yannick Carrasco for Atletico against Real Madrid in 2016. Origi has scored with all three of his shots in the CL this season.
  • At just 23 seconds, today’s penalty was the earliest in all the history of the UEFA Champions League (27 years, 3033 matches, and 727 penalties).
  • Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (20 years 237 days) is the first ever player aged under 21 to start in consecutive Champions League finals.
Round of 16 Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
MCI 10-2 SCH MCI 4-4 TOT
  • Real Madrid: 13 (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Milan: 7 (1963, 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007)
  • Liverpool: 6 (1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005, 2019)
  • Bayern München: 5 (1974, 1975, 1976, 2001, 2013)
  • Barcelona: 5 (1992, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2015)
  • Ajax: 4 (1971, 1972, 1973, 1995)
  • Internazionale: 3 (1964, 1965, 2010)
  • Manchester United: 3 (1968, 1999, 2008)
  • Juventus : 2 (1985, 1996)
  • Benfica: 2 (1961, 1962)
  • Nottingham Forest: 2 (1979, 1980)
  • Porto: 2 (1987, 2004)
  • Chelsea: 1 (2012)
  • Borussia Dortmund: (1997)
  • Marseille: (1993)
  • Steaua București: 1 (1986)
  • Hamburg: 1 (1983)
  • Celtic: 1 (1967)
  • Red Star Belgrade: 1 (1991)
  • PSV Eindhoven: 1 (1988)
  • Aston Villa: 1 (1982)
  • Feyenoord: 1 (1970)
  • 2020 UEFA Champions League Final: Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey on 30.05.20.
  • I) Starting XIs: With all the expectation about them, both Firmino and Kane were irrelevant and looked not-truly fit. With hindsight, do you think that it was a mistake to play them? or you would have done the same? Would you have changed something else if you were Poch or Klopp?
  • II) How would you rate this Liverpool against the Champions of the previous years?: The Chelsea of the Miracle, the Bayern of the Treble, MSN Barcelona, and Real Madrid, how do you think they would fare against them?
  • III) What is the most important thing that these teams need to improve?: The summer is arriving, and with it transfers time. What do you think that both Liverpool and Tottenham need if they want to become better and challenge Manchester City in England?
The idea of creating Next-Day Discusion Threads is to offer a platform for those who have seen the match, and inform those who haven't, while also encouraging more in-depth discussion than in the original thread. Here is a link to the original Post-Match Thread.
These threads are made using the icons and bars that the soccer CSS offers for the old Reddit design, so it is heavily recommended to use a PC, old.reddit and ideally also RES while being here.
submitted by LordVelaryon to soccer [link] [comments]

2019.01.11 19:18 sazio1984 Callum Wilson - Should Chelsea think twice spending £50m on him?

Fernando Torres - £50m from Liverpool. 45 goals in 172 games. Álvaro Morata - £58m from Real Madrid. 24 goals in 72 games (to date).
Callum Wilson - £50m from Bournemouth... ???
If the rumours are true in regards to Chelsea are seriously considering a £50 million bid for Callum Wilson, would it be a case of third time lucky for the club spending that amount of money on a striker?
We'll come back to that later on. What we can do right now is see if that Wilson can be considered to be a worthy replacement (upgrade) to all of the strikers currently contracted to Chelsea.
With both Michy Batshuayi and Tammy Abraham on loan at Valencia and Aston Villa respectively, we will be focusing on comparing Wilson only to the two strikers who are currently competing for the striker role at Stamford Bridge - Álvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud.
The Cherries ace has been in good form so far this season - scoring nine goals in 20 games in all competitions, which led to a maiden England call-which Wilson duly marked with a debut goal in a 3-0 defeat of the USA in November last year. And the 26-year-old is also in the hunt for the Premier League’s golden boot, being only behind the likes of Harry Kane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Salah, our very own Eden Hazard and Sergio Agüero. A stellar list of goalscorers to be a part of in my opinion.
This has led to many believing he's ready for the next step in his career and that could possibly be at Stamford Bridge. It was a surprise then to see that interest confirmed by assistant coach Gianfranco Zola recently. “Callum is doing well and is of interest to not only us but many others,” Zola said. “He’s strong he’s fast and he sees the goal. I like him because he’s also strong in the air, which is a very important quality, but I don’t want to go into it too much. He’s doing very well and I am pleased for him.”
With this in mind, how does the Bournemouth man compare to Chelsea’s current pair of strikers?
I think it's fairly safe to say that neither Morata or Giroud have set the world on fire since joining from Real Madrid and Arsenal respectively last season. Both the misfiring Spaniard and World Cup winning Frenchman haven't been able to cement their place as the club's first-choice striker, a problem that has affected both previous manager Antonio Conte and the incumbent Maurizio Sarri.
After a solid first six months of his Chelsea career - 12 goals in 27 games - Morata's fall from grace has been stark with only another 12 goals in the next 45. To say his goals have dried up is an understatement. Giroud - brought in just under a year ago for £18 million - has also floundered in front of goal with a meagre 10 goals in 41 appearances.
These stats don't fully explain everything however so let's go into more detail and compare all 3 strikers:
2018/19 Premier League - stats current as of 10th January 2019
Álvaro Morata - 16 Apps, 951 Minutes Played, 5 goals, 0 assists. (xG - 6.41, xA - 0.21, xG90 - 0.61, xA90 - 0.02) Olivier Giroud - 16 Apps, 596 Minutes Played, 1 goal, 4 assists. (xG - 2.43, xA - 2.17, xG90 - 0.37, xA90 - 0.33) Callum Wilson - 20 Apps, 1670 Minutes Played, 9 goals, 5 assists. (xG - 9.41, xA - 4.25, xG90 - 0.51, xA90 - 0.23)
xG = Expected Goals xA = Expected Assists xG90 = Expected Goals per 90 minutes xA90 = Expected Assists per 90 minutes Highlighted stats = best in comparison
(Statistics courtesy of understat.com)
If we look at the all the stats compared, it's a clear sign that Callum Wilson leads the way in the majority of them. 9 goals & 5 assists in 20 appearances - you could see why Chelsea are considering the England International. However, some could argue that is only due to the fact that Wilson has played 700+ minutes more than Morata and over 1000 minutes more than Giroud.
To put that into actual matches, that's a lot more game time under his belt in comparison. Who's to say Morata or Giroud (or both even?) could not have contributed the same?
With that suggested, it's the expected goals (xG) column that adds most weight to the argument being in Wilson's favour. The Coventry City youth graduate has been very efficient in front of goal so far this season, scoring at an average of nearly every other game. Morata's contribution has him at just over 1 goal every 3 games, whilst Giroud's measly return is 1 in 16.
Neither Morata's or Giroud's form this season can suggest that their time at the club will last much longer and that Chelsea is looking for someone with a far superior goal return, which is what you expect from a striker at the highest level in the profession.
Comparing the strikers Chelsea has at their disposal to Bournemouth's number 13, Chelsea needs a proven goalscorer sooner rather than later if they want to maintain their success in recent years gone by. How soon you ask? Now... that soon.
With everything looked at, 2 questions need to be answered:
- Is Callum Wilson good enough to play for Chelsea? - If so, is he worth the suggested £50m that Bournemouth values him at?
For the first question - if we go on the statistics alone - maybe. But that's a big maybe. The reason why I'm not saying yes (as of right now) is that this is his first real season at Bournemouth (and in the Premier League for that matter) where he has had a consistent run of goals and form without injury. So, would Chelsea be wise to consider buying Wilson off a half-season of genuine form? That's risky in my opinion.
This then leads to the second question and obviously - considering what was mentioned in relation to the first question - the answer is no. Wilson is a good striker and has the potential to become a striker at one of the 'Top 6' but as of right now, he's not worth the £50 million that Bournemouth values him at.
With their previous track record of purchasing £50m + strikers, Chelsea currently has a case of "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." The club cannot afford to be fooled three times.
If Chelsea really wants to solve their goalscoring problems, they can't be looking at striker of 'mid-tier' calibre, they have to look at only the best and nothing else. No question what-so-ever. In recent years, Chelsea has been at it's most dangerous and most successful when they've had the likes of Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka or Diego Costa leading the front line. Someone of that ilk coming to the club would tremendously help get the club back to where they always were in recent memory - challenging for the biggest trophies both domestically and in Europe.
One thing everyone can agree on though - whether it's Wilson or any of the other strikers rumoured recently (Gonzalo Higuaín, Edinson Cavani, Mauro Icardi, etc) - Chelsea badly needs someone to easily do what is the hardest job in football... put the ball in the back of the net.
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2018.12.13 11:51 Return_Of_BG_97 Ranking each MLS expansion candidate heading into the 2020s - Part 2

Continuing from my previous post, this time I focus on cities which would be in the league post-2022 (such as Phoenix), and take a look at even former bids, such as Rochester and the infamous Milwaukee bid.
Post-2022 Candidates
1. Phoenix
Phoenix looks like a shoe-in based on numbers; high Hispanic population, large number of young people and one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.
Phoenix doesn't have a great reputation as a sports city, but there are factors to consider. Phoenix is a heavy transplant city, and transplants are a group MLS does well with, since MLS is a young brand, and many people don't have local soccer teams. In addition, the other teams are... eh. The Diamondbacks have been mediocre in their history beside a World Series win, the Cardinals are literally the worst franchise NFL history, the Coyotes have been awful for so long and might be Mayflower'd to Houston, and the Suns have been great, but are now trying to pull a Precourt.
Phoenix Rising SC are the current soccer team in the market. Since Didier Drogba and others took over the team in 2017, average attendance has been more than 6,000 per game, at capacity level. In addition to star ownership, the team has partnered with Goldman Sachs to fund a new stadium in the Phoenix area. In 2018, Advantage Sports Union purchased a share in Phoenix Rising, further adding more clout to the Phoenix bid.
Phoenix won't be immediately added, but the heavy backing they’re receiving, in addition to their market, make them a strong candidate in the next round. Not only that, but soccer has ‘proven’ itself in Phoenix; a Mexico-USA game did well in 2014, and that success continues locally.
As mentioned before, the Phoenix sports market is crowded, so attention may be an issue. That’s not mentioning Liga MX, and your usual Euro-league watching fans. As teams like Atlanta, Portland, and Seattle have shown, it really does come down to the marketing and image they want to go for. We may see a blend of white hipster millennials mixing in with the older transplants and Latinos, all forming a strong culture and bond, and that’s likely what will work in the Phoenix market. Phoenix is also a university town, which presents a huge marketing opportunity for MLS.
2. Louisville
Louisville is another interesting proposition for MLS. Louisville is not a traditional MLS market; it’s in a state with a relatively unknown soccer scene, and where college basketball and horse racing are king. No other pro sports team has ever tested Louisville, but MLS might try.
Louisville is somewhere in between the Midwest and the South; I’m not qualified to classify Kentucky culturally, but that’s irrelevant so long as it can make a buck for MLS.
Regarding demographics, Louisville is interesting; Louisville has been experiencing a massive uptick in population and is one of the United States’ fastest growing cities; like other metropolitan areas in the region, it’s predominantly White and African-American. Presumably, part of the population growth is due to transplants moving to the region.
An MLS team in Louisville will have to work to capture the city’s image; there isn’t a large Hispanic population compared to other cities, and the Louisville sports scene seems rather conservative. However, Louisville is a college town, which means a lot of students and young people from across the country. It’s also worth making the team a part of the culture of the city itself; events such as the Kentucky Derby and the thriving indie culture scene.
More good news for Louisville is that the local team, Louisville City FC, does well in attendance numbers, with a solid following on social media for a non-MLS team. It helps that the team has been successful on the field and markets itself well. This would indicate that there is a demand for soccer in the city, and it hasn’t been poisoned by failed attempts.
The city of Louisville itself seems ready to embrace MLS. City officials have been in contact for ‘a while’ with MLS; however, the level of interest from MLS is a mystery. Louisville is not a large TV market; the Buchtertown stadium will only go up to 11,000, but according to city officials, it can be expanded to 20,000 if MLS rewards an expansion team. On paper, a Louisville bid looks decent, but until the next phase of expansion candidates, a lot remains to be seen.
3. Las Vegas
Why do I place Las Vegas third? Because Mark Davis and Jon Gruden. I’m not even saying that sarcastically, I’m being serious (obligatory screw you Mark Davis).
Las Vegas first appeared on the radar in 2014, and the initial bid was at Symphony Park. Otherwise, a Las Vegas MLS bid has been silent for a while; the last word from it was that, according to Garber in September 2018, there was ‘some talk about it’, which could mean anything. However, there’s good reason to believe it will come back.
The Raiders’ new stadium in Las Vegas will likely be accommodated to host soccer games. Look at the bigger picture; Mark Davis is heavily connected to Jerry Jones, who recently signed a deal with the FMF to host one Mexico friendly a year in AT&T Stadium (something I absolutely hate; obligatory screw you Jerry Jones). Mark Davis is going to try to make as much money from his stadium as possible, and Jon Gruden may have an ownership stake in the Raiders and will have some sway on those matters as well. With Haslam entering the ring, I wouldn’t be surprised if Davis and Gruden have privately discussed the idea of an MLS franchise, and hosting soccer in the stadium, given the trajectory of the league.
One major issue in this case is preparation; Arthur Blank carefully prepared Atlanta United for a long time; I have no idea what kind of preparations would take place with Davis, Gruden & Co (or have taken). Heck, David Beckham was initially considering putting his MLS bid with Davis but decided to go with the Miami group instead. That could be a bad omen, perhaps indicating the toxicity of Mark Davis. It should also be noted that Mark Davis isn’t a particularly popular (or rich) NFL owner, which makes me wonder how MLS would approach a bid from him. The good news is that the Las Vegas Lights team had a good season attendance wise in 2018 and has already built an image of oddities such as DJs and llamas and would likely continue those aspects if they were inducted into MLS.
Stadium size will also be an issue in using the Raiders stadium for an MLS team; will Las Vegas pack house like Atlanta or Seattle? MLS already hates the idea of using NFL stadiums that won’t fill, unless Davis & Co. can convince Garber that games will be consistently filled. How involved would ownership be anyway? Will we see Jon Gruden jumping around while watching his MLS team play? Frankly, that’s anyone’s guess.
It helps that the Las Vegas Lights had a successful debut season, showing that Las Vegas has a market for soccer. In addition, the Golden Knights had a successful debut season in 2017, further solidifying the potential in its sports market (though NHL arenas are small). I place Las Vegas here because it’s a complete unknown in terms of ownership, stadium, and whether the team will start from scratch, or partner with the existing Lights team. However, as I said before, a lot can change in a few months or a year. Therefore, Las Vegas is the absolute wild card.
4. Indianapolis
Indianapolis attempted to move their NASL franchise to MLS in 2017, but it ultimately died down due to the bad relationship between NASL and MLS, and simply because Indianapolis didn't have enough to be considered at the time.
The bid has been mostly silent since, other than Indy Eleven being focused on getting into MLS eventually. It helps that attendance for the team is quite solid, averaging more than 10,000 people per game at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Demographically speaking, Indianapolis is… interesting. Indianapolis has consistently grown in terms of population, only reporting a population decline in the 1980 U.S. Census. Indianapolis isn’t a very diverse city, being predominantly White/African-American. Median age is solid at 33.7 years old, with a sizable LGBT community and the city is growing, attracting multiple companies to set up shop there. Indianapolis is ranked 25th in terms of TV market size, par with Sacramento or St. Louis. Overall, while the state of Indiana itself tends to be an ‘old white male’ state which is heavily conservative, Indianapolis bucks those trends and is a solid market for soccer. Competition includes the Pacers (basketball is followed religiously in Indiana) and the Colts, alongside college sports.
In terms of stadium, Indianapolis has proposed a soccer-specific stadium in Downtown Indianapolis; the renderings look gorgeous, and funding details are vague, though it appears to mainly focus on private funding with a public partnership. Again, if Indianapolis is going to make a serious push for a spot in MLS, they’re going to need concrete details and strong ownership. Lucas Oil Stadium is probably not an option.
Indianapolis isn’t the sexiest pick, but it has upside. It also benefits that it’s not in the Southeast, where expansion may be at a halt; the question is how strong the push there will be. We can only wait.
5. Tampa Bay
Here’s a more traditional market that MLS has considered coming back to, and previously failed in: Tampa.
Tampa has long been a stronghold for American soccer; the Tampa Bay Rowdies are a popular local brand and were one of the more successful teams of the old NASL. MLS originally had a team in Tampa, and completely screwed it up by calling them the Tampa Bay… Mutiny? They’re wearing teal blue and black, and have a weird Batman alien as their logo? Oh lord, this can only end so well…
Predictably, the team busted because the fans hated the branding and wanted the actual Rowdies (thanks Nike). 10 years after the Mutiny went bust, Tampa got their Rowdies back. You can’t fault the Tampa market for the team failing, and ultimately, MLS has never really looked back.
What Tampa has going is popularity of the local team; the Rowdies brand is well-known in Tampa, and the Rowdies averaged almost 6,000 people in 2018; not eye-dropping numbers, but solid mind you.
What about ownership? Well, the Rowdies were recently purchased by the Tampa Bay Rays, a team not exactly known for their spending habits. Nonetheless, it helps, but the Tampa MLS bid will likely need more financial backing. A lot changes in the span of a few months, and the Rays’ purchase of the Rowdies only occurred in October; it’s possible the Tampa MLS bid finds another investor.
Demographically speaking, Tampa is solid; it’s a growing city with a relatively diverse population and a median age of less than 35 years old. One aspect MLS should consider is location; while the Rowdies do well, they are far from an ideal location in St. Petersburg. The Rays have struggled with attendance in St. Petersburg since they first began playing, and the Tampa bid seems intent on re-furbishing their current stadium. From an MLS perspective, putting a stadium in St. Petersburg could backfire, akin to other suburban stadiums, and the Tampa bid may want to consider a stadium plan in the center of the city instead, closer to Tampa's attractions, restaurants and night life.
The Glazer family are an interesting party in this; they own both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Manchester United. With MLS already pulling Jimmy Haslam in and having Arthur Blank (who is a great representative for MLS), the interest in the league from NFL owners will likely continue. The Glazer family may see a Tampa MLS franchise as a good investment, and their name would bring a lot of clout to this bid.
Finally, it should be noted that Orlando City exists, and Miami will be entering the scene soon. Only the NFL has 3 teams in the Florida marketplace, though MLS might go the same route.
6. The Carolinas
Charlotte has had an interesting journey. The heart of the Research Triangle itself, it is a growing city which has gotten attention over time as an MLS candidate. We’ll also cover Raleigh as well and refer to this section as ‘The Carolinas’.
First, Charlotte. Speedway Motorsports CEO Marcus Smith first proposed a stadium and team in 2017; the bid died down when the Charlotte city council could not get their shit together by October. However, the Charlotte bid has received backing from David Tepper who… want to use the Bank of America Stadium to host soccer games. Not the strongest bid, though Garber was reportedly ‘intrigued’. Despite that, MLS will likely pass on Charlotte if this is going to be their strongest proposal, barring other circumstances, especially since Garber doesn’t envision more expansion in the Southeast (putting a dent to Charlotte, Raleigh, and Tampa). That doesn’t kill the bid; it just means it’s not strong enough. However, David Tepper does appear he would be engaged; he's doing quite a lot of work to develop the Panthers brand and I could see him being similar to Arthur Blank in terms of promoting his team. If Tepper approaches Garber with the same ambition as Blank did, Charlotte might be considered, especially in an opening market like the South.
Raleigh has a somewhat stronger bid, offering a soccer-specific stadium as well as an already committed owner in Steve Malik, who owns both North Carolina FC and the North Carolina Courage. However, I’m unsure about other potential owners; from what it seems, the bid is probably lacking financial clout.
For what it’s worth, it helps that both Charlotte and Raleigh have existing and successful local soccer teams, and soccer in the region itself is popular, so support for an MLS franchise would be immediate. Demographically, both cities are similar; urbanized Southern metro areas with a somewhat diverse and young population who would be a good market for MLS. However, MLS may halt Southeast expansion, though I could see one more Southeast team being added before 2030.
Plus, think about it. Wouldn't Southern MLS derbies be awesome? Mix the college football atmospheres with elements from the Premier League, Argentina, and Mexico and it would be amazing.
7. San Antonio
I might as well add San Antonio to moribund, but I'll leave it last because it still might happen one way or another.
Prior to October 2017, San Antonio was one of the leading candidates for an MLS team. San Antonio had it all - a young and diverse but heavily Hispanic population, long term interest dating back to 2005, and a concrete stadium plan (a soccer stadium that could be expanded to accommodate MLS games) and backing from the San Antonio Spurs. Things looked great.
Then Precourt happened. There was ugly threatened legal action from San Antonio to MLS which has since been dropped but may come back. It all went to shit.
However, San Antonio is still, barely alive, with one of two scenarios.
One, Precourt's ambitions in Austin can always go down the shitter. Unlikely, but it could happen. He could go down to San Antonio and continue the bid there.
More likely though, MLS could double down on Texas, and put a fourth franchise down there. Texas is a large state with a high population, and could conceivably support four teams, and San Antonio is large enough to do so.
Even with those scenarios, MLS has pissed away all its good will with San Antonio. We have a reverse Milwaukee situation here. MLS probably realizes San Antonio is a lost cause, which is sad given the way it's played out.
Moribund/Dead/Hypothetical Bids
A section for MLS bids which are either moribund (as in, no longer active and likely won’t be), completely dead, or have never existed; this doesn’t mean that a city on this list won’t necessarily get a team (circumstances change), but it’s at best highly unlikely. More than likely, another league (like USL) will expand in these markets instead.
1. Albuquerque
The Albuquerque Sol are New Mexico’s professional soccer team, otherwise the demand for soccer is relatively little in the city, Hispanic population notwithstanding. Albuquerque is a middling TV market, but otherwise no other sports league has considered Albuquerque, with little history in supporting pro teams, and their claim to sporting fame is moving the Springfield Isotopes to their city; on the plus, Albuquerque has exploded in population lately, but its sandwiched between Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Texas, all of which will get priority before Albuquerque.
The last update from a potential Albuquerque bid was from March 2017, where Albuquerque mayor Richard Berry met with Don Garber. Perhaps Richard Berry didn’t get the memo that MLS isn’t looking into smaller-sized cities as it did in the past. It’s a city MLS might have considered in the 2000s, but that time is long gone.
2. Baltimore
Baltimore is likely redundant, given that Baltimore only has two pro sports teams in the Orioles and the Ravens, and their most notable claim to soccer fame was a liquor store team making a U.S. Open Cup run. DC United controls territorial rights to Baltimore and they won’t give it up. In addition, DC United is on the upswing with their new stadium and is on an upward trajectory; a better idea would be to market DC United in the Baltimore area, and the rest of Maryland.
3. Canada
Ottawa attempted to enter MLS in 2009 but was ultimately passed over in favor of Portland and Vancouver instead. Other Canadian cities are likely to be served either by USL or the upcoming Canadian Premier League, and MLS seems content on three Canadian teams, not to mention the value of the Canadian dollar versus the American dollar, and that major Canadian metro areas are much smaller than American ones.
4. Chicago
Chicago could be large enough to support two MLS teams, but MLS likely won’t consider another it, though the USL has considered putting a team in Chicago. Unfortunately, the Fire haven’t done a good job of marketing themselves in Chicago; the Schweinsteiger signing gave a lot of buzz but the deal in Bridgeview has stymied the team’s progress, as the Fire play far from the fans and the stadium doesn’t bring much revenue. Shame, it would be nice to see Chicago have a hugely popular MLS team. MLS seems to not do great in very large American markets (New York, Boston, and Chicago), it’s something that needs to be considered moving ahead especially looking at TV numbers.
5. Cleveland
Ah, Cleveland. Imagine an MLS team in Cleveland and the horrible records they would be posting because… Cleveland sports, yo.
The idea of bringing MLS to Cleveland started in 2004 when businessman Bert Wolstein attempted to get public funding for a Cleveland team; he ran into delays with the project, and unfortunately, Wolstein passed away in 2004, leaving the bid in limbo (at this time, Cleveland was passed over in favor of Real Salt Lake and, you guessed it, Chivas USA). His successor sports group attempted again in 2006, this time settling on Macedonia (not the country), a suburb outside of Cleveland, but the bid was skullfucked by public resistance over financing and environmental issues, and the area overall was hit hard by the 2008 recession. This effectively killed any potential Cleveland MLS team.
Don Garber stated in 2014 that talks for a Cleveland MLS team were inactive. With the purchase of Columbus Crew by Jimmy Haslam, it can be assumed that Cleveland’s territorial rights will belong to Columbus Crew, essentially putting the Cleveland-Akron market as Crew territory. Instead of an expansion franchise, MLS will likely focus on promoting the Crew as Cleveland’s team, and marketing Hell is Real in the Cleveland-Akron area.
6. Des Moines
It’s too small. The most I could find for this hypothetical bid was Scott Siepker (a local celebrity apparently) who thinks MLS2DesMoines might be a good idea. That ship has long sailed away, Scott. Not to mention Des Moines has a USL team in the Menace, which is pretty much the most Des Moines can aspire in terms of a soccer team.
7. Los Angeles/Southern California
The last thing we need is another team in or near Los Angeles. Los Angeles seems to be the go-to place for every league and sporting event but there’s one problem: Los Angeles is saturated with sports teams, and millions of other things to do. The Angels, Chargers, Clippers, Dodgers, Ducks, Galaxy, Kings, LAFC, Lakers, and Rams all play in the Los Angeles/Orange area, and most of those teams have very well-established histories. I find it ridiculous that Barcelona wants to create the NWSL version of Chivas USA here with the Barcelona branding; they’ll go extinct like the dinosaurs and Los Angeles will reject them harder than a D list actress.
Limit the California expansion to Sacramento and San Diego and get the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes to get their shit together; it’s a market MLS needs but is making some serious errors in.
8. Mexico
Here’s a crackpot idea: an MLS-Liga MX merger. Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla brought up the idea last October, alluding to it and stating that it could happen post 2026 World Cup. But, is it possible?
First, this would be a mega-league. Whoa. This could be a more than 50 team league by the time 2026 rolls around; this hypothetical super-league would have over-saturation issues and too many games over demand. What would they do, limit the number of teams? That will not sit well in any North American country, especially given how bought in owners are in their respective leagues. That’s not accounting for fan resistance. Smaller fish in this hypothetical league could get sent to a ‘second division’, creating a mass controversy for ages, even if this model had promotion/relegation; a solution would be splitting into ‘leagues’ or ‘conferences’ like MLB and the NFL, and having a similar playoff/championship format, but then the question of interleague play would come in, not to mention how Libertadores and CCL would factor in (don’t get me started with the Caribbean/Central American associations). From a scheduling and formatting perspective, this looks like a huge clusterfuck unless it’s very carefully designed.
This isn’t accounting for other obvious issues such as traveling across borders, the constantly fluctuating values of the Mexican peso and Canadian dollar compared to the American dollar, politics, the traveling itself (a team traveling all the way from Montreal to face a team in Veracruz, and then traveling elsewhere or back, could be grueling, and that’s just one example), broadcasting rights/TV contracts, stadium accommodations needed for this Pan-North American league, security issues across the board, promotion/relegation (oh god) and where Caribbean and Central American leagues would stand on this issue. I would assume this will all be carefully planned over the span of a decade, and by the time 2026 comes an integrated North American Super League may make more sense. But for now, this just seems like a crazy idea, more so than the proposed European Super League that’s gaining traction.
9. Milwaukee
Milwaukee is a relatively large city, with a good sports history. There’s some soccer history here too; the Milwaukee Wave have been relatively successful, so what gives? It’s not the lack of interest that has kept MLS out of Milwaukee; rather, it’s because of the muddied waters, or more specifically, a ploy by the old guard to keep the league out of the city.
In 2002, Tulsa World reported that an MLS team in Milwaukee was either scrapped or on hold (Tulsa itself at this point was in the running), and as it turns out, they were scrapped (the article itself is worth a read and paints a picture of the league in 2002 after the World Cup; even Atlanta, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, and Philadelphia are mentioned, not to mention current candidates in the Carolinas, San Diego, and St. Louis). Here’s where things get spicy: Tim Krause (who sadly passed away in 2011) was adamant for an MLS team in the center of Milwaukee in 2002, but his proposal was killed by the authority operating Bradley Center and Miller Park.
The bid dates to 2001; according to Sports Business Daily, the plan would have included a privately-funded stadium in Downtown Milwaukee; the stadium would have fit 20,000 and could be renovated in the future to hold 26,000 people. The investors were described as having ‘understood the soccer world’ and came from as far as Norway. The stadium would have withstood the cold climate of Milwaukee and would have been close to businesses and attractions in the city. This was an incredibly ambitious bid, especially during a time when MLS was considering ceasing operations. Milwaukee could have been Seattle before Seattle, and the trajectory of the league might have been expedited.
This is where the conspiracy starts; apparently both the Brewers and Bucks conspired to torpedo this bid, and Bud Selig (both owner of the Brewers and commissioner of MLB) did anything he could to prevent a soccer team in Milwaukee, and he was successful. The Bradley Center Board of Directors unanimously killed the proposal, and Krause was furious. For more context, the Brewers hadn’t made the playoffs since 1982, and the Bucks were only re-gaining popularity at that time after struggling in the 1990s.
Yes, even back then, the old guard of sports feared soccer, during a time when MLS and American soccer were punchlines. It makes sense too: why let a new kid on the block when they pose a threat to your languishing business? Ultimately, it was not to be, and perhaps Garber hasn’t looked back because of beef with the Bucks and Brewers. What’s more depressing is that Krause died in 2011; he saw potential for American domestic soccer (and he was right), but it’s depressing to think he got blackballed by the Brewers and Bucks and won’t be remembered like Arthur Blank or Paul Allen. Rest easy, Tim, your vision was fulfilled, but sadly not in Milwaukee.
The last update that I could find from this particular bid was in 2014; a supporter’s group, the Milwaukee Barons, alongside a larger group called the Milwaukee Soccer Development Group, were trying to build local awareness for an MLS team (even at this point, at best it would have been a decade to get a team); unfortunately it seems momentum has died down (probably because there was a lack of local corporate support, and Garber looking at Milwaukee with a cynical eye).
While Milwaukee proper is a relatively large area, the metro area isn’t particularly large. The TV market here would likely include the entire state of Wisconsin, which means areas like Madison, Green Bay, etc. being included, so it’s not a huge market, but not terrible either. However, regardless of demographics and numbers, Milwaukee has burned its bridge with MLS, meaning we likely won’t see an MLS team in Milwaukee, and you can thank Bud Selig for that. For all the hate the NFL gets from soccer fans, they’ve done quite a lot to help MLS grow, whereas MLB and the NBA attempted to hinder it in the past.
10. New Orleans
New Orleans was one of the first cities in the world where pro soccer was played, especially by ethnic communities. However, New Orleans has never really been considered for an MLS bid, and the highest-level soccer team being the New Orleans Jesters. As far as I could find, there has never been any public interest from New Orleans in relation to an MLS team.
New Orleans is not a particularly large market; the metropolitan area is quite small, and the TV audience share isn’t particularly great. A New Orleans team would also have to gain attention from not just New Orleans but also the entire state of Louisiana and extending into Mississippi.
I suppose New Orleans' sports attention is taken away mostly from football on both the college and professional level, and the surrounding demographics aren’t great for soccer, so it’s understandable why MLS hasn’t considered New Orleans. Think about it: are all those rednecks from the boondocks who probably still think of soccer as being part of some socialist plot (which is incredibly ironic when you compare the structure of the NFL compared to the Premier League or La Liga) are suddenly going to jump on the MLS bandwagon? Sure, some will, but not all. Point being, New Orleans would be a difficult market to work with.
11. New York City
Ah, if only the Cosmos were in MLS, but it's not to be.
Garber commented in 2010-11(?) that New York could conceivably support more than two soccer teams, pointing out cities like London that have multiple teams across levels, but it seems Garber has since changed his mind (especially when other markets are hard to pass up). New York expansion doesn’t make sense anyway; like Los Angeles, the New York/New Jersey area is saturated with sports teams (not counting MLS; Devils, Giants, Islanders, Jets, Knicks, Mets, Nets, Rangers, and Yankees).
12. Oklahoma City
Technically speaking, this one is still alive, but I’m listing this one as moribund, primarily due to the latest developments.
In July 2017, OKC Energy FC owner Bob Funk Jr. stated he was committed to MLS, despite setbacks in finding a stadium. However, the latest update from July 2018 is a max 10,000 capacity crowd; I assume this would be expandable, but the article doesn’t mention anything about MLS, which means that the ambition has died down, at least for now.
Of all the cities on here, I would put Oklahoma City as the likeliest to be revived, but I wouldn’t put much on that. Demographics are solid; predominantly white with a sizable Latino community, and consistent growth in the decades since, with a relatively solid median age. However, the metro size of Oklahoma City, and the TV market size aren’t great. However, the Oklahoma City Thunder have been successful (sorry Seattle), so MLS could work here.
OKC Energy FC had a down season in 2018 and attendance wasn’t great, so while there is a market, attendance may not be consistent. In addition, I haven’t heard of much financial backing for this bid, so I could see MLS seeing Oklahoma City as moribund like with Cleveland and Milwaukee, but again, there is some fluidity here.
13. Omaha
Omaha’s most famous sports franchise is… a Legends Football League team?
Jokes aside, Omaha is a fun market to look at; steady population numbers, but overall a small market that is usually covered by Kansas City. Nebraska is a stereotype ‘aging old white’ state that isn’t exactly a market for soccer. In addition, attempts to bring soccer to the city have already come up short, and the sporting scene is relatively conservative. Both USL and NISL are attempting to bring a team here, but the demand here is completely unknown. This is a hard pass.
14. Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh has a good market size, especially in terms of the metro area, so market size isn’t the issue here for Pittsburgh. The problem here is interest.
The Pittsburgh Riverhounds are the local pro soccer team, but attendance there in 2018 was an average of 2,401 for a stadium that fits 5,000. In context, it’s worse, as the team was 3rd in the USL eastern conference and made the playoffs.
It’s plain and simple – there’s not a strong soccer culture in Pittsburgh. The area is obsessed with football, and especially the Steelers. Whatever other attention for sport exists is taken by the Penguins, Pirates, and college sports (damn it, I would love to see Pittsburgh embrace soccer, imagine a cross between a Steelers game and a Premier League game).
Even with the changing demographics of the city, selling soccer there is going to be difficult compared to other expansion candidates. The city of Pittsburgh has not engaged MLS publicly either as far as I could find, so this is a pass.
15. RochesteBuffalo
Funny how time passes and brings change. Rochester was considered a serious MLS candidate back in the mid-2000s, and it’s fun to read about the effort in hindsight. In the 2000s, a team in Rochester might have been considered, with the MLS ethos focusing on smaller cities and suburbs.
The area was hit hard by the 2008 recession and the local team, the Rochester Rhinos, have been mismanaged and on hiatus. to mention nearby Buffalo had an NWSL move to North Carolina. In addition, northern New York is a paltry market compared to other expansion candidates. In 2005, MLS really didn’t have many other choices; in 2019, MLS has a greater cream of the crop.
16. San Francisco Bay Area
The failure of the San Francisco Deltas was likely part of a larger move in hopes of tapping into the SF Bay Area market here the Earthquakes haven’t done a great job of marketing themselves. The Deltas were a noble idea but unfortunately fell victim to a league crisis and the saturated Bay Area sports market.
The SF Bay Area could support a second team, but the market here is saturated, and Earthquakes hold territorial rights anyway. MLS needs to get their shit together here; it’s a large market with favorable demographics and the local team isn’t doing so hot, much like Boston or Chicago.
17. Tulsa
Ah, where the league once was, where MLS was courting Tulsa, Oklahoma, of all cities, for an MLS expansion team.
That died down, as Tulsa, simply put, is too small to support a team in any major league but given the old MLS idea of ‘small cities with no teams will support soccer’, it was attractive at some point. Tulsa nowadays enjoys MLS affiliation via the Roughnecks and are trying to get a stadium built. Otherwise, a nice trip down memory lane.
Whew, and that concludes potential MLS expansion. The situation is much different than it was 10, or even 5 years ago. Markets that weren't considered an option are now opening up, and going up to 28-32 teams is a very real possibility. Of course, expansion isn't the end all be all; for every new Atlanta-like success we still have a franchise like New England or Dallas which is stuck in MLS 1.0 thinking and a crap stadium situation.
The league not only needs to choose its candidates wisely, but grow the league as a whole. More teams means more markets, and a larger audience share. One can lament the visibility of MLS compared to the other four major leagues, but not having teams in major markets such as Detroit, Miami, and San Diego will do that. Additionally, viewers in other key markets like Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York, and San Francisco simply aren't engaged enough, and those are all huge markets.
It's an exciting time for the league, and the 2020s will really give an indication of the league's trajectory. Let the 2020s be the decade where MLS is catapulted as a top league in the world.
submitted by Return_Of_BG_97 to MLS [link] [comments]

2018.12.10 11:18 AlcoholicSocks Peter Crouch: Half Man Half Robot.

Previous Instalments:
Please note that in the 'Goals/Assists' sections of this, not all of them will be shown. This is due to the age of the goals and the quality of the clips available
What if I told you there was a player with more appearances, more goals for club and country, and only 6 less assists than Paul Scholes? What if I told you there was a man with more Premier League games than Ashley Cole, more Premier League assists than Mesut Ozil, and more Premier League goals than Didier Drogba.
You'd be thinking that it was some kind of footballing god. Well you're close; it's Peter Crouch.
Now Crouch is a player that we all seem to love for one reason or another, unless of course you are from Trinidad and Tobago.. Loved by fans for his great sense of humour and realisation that he is lucky to be doing his job. With quotes such as 'If I wasn't a footballer, I'd be a virgin' to 'I’d go as far as to say they got themselves the division’s second best looking target man.' (When talking about the transfer of Giroud.) It's easy to see why the public love him.
He is instantly recognised because of his height, standing at 6ft7 he is one of the tallest players to ever grace the English game, and football in general. His height has always been used to the advantages of his teams, this is something that can be seen by his recent record of 51 headed Prem goals. His greatest strength is also his greatest weakness and unfortunately for Crouch, many managers see him as 'Plan B' in case anything is going wrong and a tactical change is needed. He is the player with the most appearances from the sub bench and 4th most goals from it. This has definitely caused the general perception from the public to be that Crouch isn't good enough to start for clubs and is better off the bench. So let's see how his career has gone and analyse how good his is.
Starting life out in Tottenham, he was loaned out twice. First to Dulwich Hamlet where he would make just 6 appearances and score 1 goal. Then a second loan to IFK Hässleholm where he managed 8 games and 3 goals. as I'm sure you can understand, finding the stats for such obscure teams is hard. Especially as this was the late 90s so I can't really bring much to the table here.
His performances here clearly impressed someone and QPR acquired the services of Crouch for a fee of just £60,000. During the 00-01 season, Crouch would play 47 games and score a reasonable 12 goals. Not bad for a 19 year old. Unfortunately, QPR would only actually win 4 of the games in which Crouch scored in and only 7 all season. Meaning they would finish in 23rd and get relegated. This would cause Portsmouth to buy him from QPR for £1.5Million. A lovely little profit for QPR, and something of a silver lining from the relegation.
The 01/02 season would be a good one for Crouch. He made his debut away against Wolves and scored the opening goal within 8 minutes in what would end a 2-2 draw. Obviously his goal was a header. He would continue this fine form and net 18 times in 37 games (3,309 minutes). A goal every 183 minutes.
This wouldn't go unnoticed and in March 2002, Premier League side Aston Villa came in for him and £5Million later he was theirs. Not bad for a man that went for £60,00 2 years ago. He would be apart of Villa's last 7 games (590 Minutes) of the Premier League season, scoring in 2 of them. A goal every 295 minutes.
At the end of the season he had played 44 games (3,899 minutes) for 2 clubs and scored 20 goals, a return of 1 goal every 195 minutes.
The following year would be a disaster for Crouch. He would make 14 appearances (582 Minutes) and not get a single goal or assist. After finishing 8th the season before, Villa would go on to end in 16th, 3 points above the drop.
Crouch would be loaned out to Norwich, a league below Villa for the first 3 months of the next season. During this time he managed to make 15 appearances (1,189 Minutes) and score 4 goals. 1 goal every 297 minutes. Crouch returned to Villa in January after his loan spell was done. He would go on to make 18 appearances (682 Minutes) for them and score 4 and get 2 assists. That's 1 contribution every 113 minutes. For the season as a whole his contribution was 1 goal every 187 minutes. That's just over 1 in every 2 games. Not bad at all to be honest. His time at Norwich was enough to earn him a winners medal as they would end the season as Champions of the First Division and get promoted into the Premier League.
Goals from this season:
Leicester 0-2 Aston Villa
Leicester 0-5 Aston Villa
Bolton 0-1 Aston Villa
Villa would go on to sell crouch to Southampton for £2.5Million. This season would be his best to date, netting on 15 occasions in 30 appearances (2,121 Minutes). A goal every 141 minutes. 12 of these would come in the league, making him joint 5th top scorer, tied with Andy Cole and Eidur Gudjohnsen. Despite his goal scoring form, Southampton finished in last place, 2 points away from safety.
Southampton's relegation meant they were unable to hold onto the star striker and Liverpool swooped him away for £7Million. Crouch's starts to the big move wasn't a good one. Goalless in in first 1,229 minutes. His general play had actually be very good, his finishing however hadn't. This came to an end when he netted 2 past Wigan in a 3-0 win, the first of which was very fortunate to go in (see below). He would go on to finish the season with 49 appearances (3,299 Minutes), score 13 and assist twice. Giving him a goal contribution of 1 every 219 minutes. If we take away his goal drought at the start of the season he had 1 contribution every 138 minutes. It just shows the effect confidence can have on a player. Liverpool would end the season in 3rd place. 1 Point away from 2nd placed United and 9 away from winners Chelsea. Liverpool would also end the season as FA cup champions after that thrilling 3-3 draw against West Ham. He also got an assist in that game, see below.
Goals/Assists that season:
Goal: Liverpool 1-0 Wigan
Goal: Liverpool 2-0 Wigan
Assist: Liverpool 2-2 West Ham
The next season would be even better for Peter. The season would start strong with him getting the winning goal in the 2-1 win against Chelsea to win the Community Shield. Crouch would go on to make 50 appearances for Liverpool this season (2,575 Minutes), score 18 times and assist 6. Giving him 1 goal contribution every 107 minutes. He would net 6 times in the Champions League on the way to the final, they ended up losing 2-1 against AC Milan. No miracles for them this time. He also got his first career hat-trick in an outstanding 4-1 win at Arsenal. It also just happened to be a perfect hat-trick. You can see all 3 goals below.
Goals/Assists this season:
Goal: Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool
Goal: Liverpool 2-1 West Ham
Goal: Liverpool 2-0 Aston Villa
Goal: Liverpool 1-0 Bolton
Goal: Liverpool 1-0 Arsenal
Goal: Liverpool 2-0 Arsenal
Goal: Liverpool 4-1 Arsenal
The next season would prove to be Crouch's last at Liverpool, his playtime was dwindling, mainly due to the arrival of Torres. That being said he still managed 36 appearances (1,985 Minutes), scored 11 and assisted 6. that's 1 contribution every 116 minutes. Still not bad for a man who only played all 90 mins of a league game 6 times.
At the end of the season he was sold to Portsmouth for £11Million.
Goals/Assists this season:
Goal: Liverpool 1-0 Besiktas
Goal: Liverpool 8-0 Besiktas
Assist: Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal
As mentioned, he played the next season for Portsmouth. he made 49 appearances for them (4,326 Minutes). Scoring 15 and assisting 4, giving him a return of 1 contribution every 227minutes. Not a great return compardd to his last few seasons. it was good enough to keep Portsmouth up in 14th though!
(Note: I had an issue with Imgur and it wont let me upload any more highlights. So no goals from here on :( )
After this season he would return back to Tottenham for £10Million. This would coincide with Spurs' best ever season to date, they finished 4th after his 82nd minute goal against Man City on the second to last game of the season allowed them to secure a champions league place for the first time. A goal that Peter himself as the best feeling he has ever had on a football pitch. Here is a video of that historic goal
Crouch ended up making 47 appearances (2,968 minutes) this season, scoring 13 and assisting 9. A contribution every 134 minutes.
The following season was similar in terms of output for the big lad. 45 games (2,649 minutes) 11 goals and 12 assists. Giving him a contribution every 115 minutes. There was also a very unfortunate and bizarre twist of fate in this season. Last year he scored in a 1-0 win against City to secure Champions League football. This time, in the 3rd to last game of the season, he scored again in a 1-0 against City. Unfortunately it was an Own Goal and it secured City had Cl football this time. In the CL Crouch helped Spurs reach the Quarter Finals, before losing to Real Madrid. The run included navigating a tricky group of Inter Milan, Werder Bremen and FC Twente and then beating AC Milan in the next round. Crouch scored the deciding goal against AC Milan.
In the summer Crouch was sold to Stoke, the 12th club of his career for a fee of £12Million. His powers had started to dwindle and his game time and return would get worse each season. he is still at Stoke now, having made 251 appearances for them (15,206 minutes) scoring 60 and assisting 27. So he has been getting a return of 1 goal contribution every 174 minutes. That's still very good for a man of his age. During his time at stoke he has scored his 100th Premier League goal, hit an absolute worldey against Man City and unfortunately been relegated again.
Let's quickly talk about his legendary England record. In England its a fact people like to mention, Crouch has a better goal to game ratio for England than Rooney, Owen, Shearer, Sheringham and Defoe. Only Lineker has a better record than him. Crouch is 0.52 a game, Lineker is 0.6. However Crouch only averaged 52 Minutes a game, Lineker averaged 80. The stats point to Crouch being Englands best goalscorer. Know we all know in practise, we would rather have any of the other names listed up top. But is that just because we also see Crouch as a tall target man for plan b, and not for a deadly striker? Either way, 22 goals in 42 games can't be laughed at. Also he has one of the most iconic celebrations of all time
In his career crouch played 41,781 minutes of football across 720 games. Scoring 204 and assisting 69. 1 Goal contribution every 153 minutes. That's not bad at all for a man that's considered just a tall target man. His touch is something he doesn't get enough credit for and you can see in some of his goals he can hit them from anywhere. His height is something that should have been a secondary option, but most managers only use him for it. it's fitting he will probably end his career in the second tier of football, the same tier he stared in and made his name.
Crouch will be one of them players that will be remembered for all the right reasons. A lovable, tall, funny man that just happened to be a class finisher.
submitted by AlcoholicSocks to soccer [link] [comments]

2018.12.07 02:21 AlcoholicSocks Olivier Giroud: Quietly Class

Following on from my posts about Fellaini and Murray, I am going to this time be taking a look at Giroud. This was requested by ilaughallthetime.
Olivier Giroud is a strange player, he is widely criticised within England for this league form with many pundits and fans feeling he should score more. While over in his home nation of France he is loved by all for his national team performances, despite the fact that 22 of his goals came in friendlies and he famously didn't score in the 2018 World Cup. Imagine the hate he would get if he was English for that.


Giroud started his career out in the second tier of French football for Grenoble Foot 38. he made 25 appearances for them and managed to get more bookings than he did goals; getting shown 3 yellows and only scoring twice. After clearly failing to impress he was sent down to the third division on loan to FC Istres.
At FC Istres he would get game time and gain the confidence he needed. Making 33 league appearances and netting 14 times.
After this season long loan, Ligue 2 side Tours FC saw something in him and made him a permanent fixture in their side. This is where he would really catch the eye of the bigger clubs. He scored 13 goals and assisted 2 in 26 games (2,159 minutes). 1 goal contribution every 144 minutes. Tours would finish 6th that season, only 5 points away from promotion and 7 away from the title. The following season was his breakout year, he played 41 games for Tours and this includes all 38 league matches. He managed 23 goals and 7 assists in these 41 games (3,614 minutes) a goal contribution every 120 minutes. 21 of these goals came in the league, leaving him the seasons top goalscorer, beating Anthony Modeste by 1 goal. His 7 assists also left him the joint 5th best assister in the league, showing that he was more than just a goalscorer and is able to bring teammates into play. Something that not all strikers can claim.
Despite his exploits Tours could only finish in a disappointing 11th and Giroud was awarded the Player of the Year and sold to Montpellier. His first season was outstanding, managing to make 14 goals and assist 5 in 43 games (3,481 minutes), giving him a goal contribution every 183 minutes, or just over 1 every 2 games. In this season Montpellier managed to get to the final of the Coupe de la Ligue, however they were defeated 1-0. In the tournament Giroud only managed 1 goal, a 117th min winner against PSG in the semis. The he would go goalless for nearly 2 months. This is a theme that follows Giroud throughout his career, he will have runs of not scoring for many games then suddenly for fun again out of nowhere. He finished the season at Montpellier's top scorer and in all seriousness probably was the reason they didn't get relegated. Finishing above the drop by 3 points.
Montpellier would extend his contract and the following season would be his bet he will ever have in terms of output. 25 goals and 12 assists across 42 games (3.698 Minutes). That's a goal contribution every 99.94 minutes, lets call it 100. Just under 1 goal a game for a team that least season dodged relegation by 3 points. That's seriously impressive. 21 of these goals came in the league, making him joint top scorer with Nene. Nene was given the award though due to more goals in open play. His 12 assists also ranked him 3rd on the assist table. This insane season he managed helped Montpellier to win the league title. This was a side that only just avoided relegation just a season earlier.

Move to England

This kind of form was always going to attract attention and Arsenal came calling. He played scored 17 and assisted 12 across 47 games in his first season in England. (3,201 Minutes). That's a goal contribution every 110 minutes. That's only 10 minutes less between contributions than he had in his best season. He clearly started life in England very effectively. That being said, he was purchased to replace Robin Van Persie. So he had massive shoes to fill and RvP netted 26 in the league alone for United that season as he helped them lift the title. So Arsenal fans will have been feeling like he wasn't good enough despite his impressive output.
The next season saw Giroud net 22 times and assist 12 in 52 games (4,092 minutes). 1 goal contribution every 120 minutes. 1 every 2 games. Still an amazing output for 99% of strikers. He managed 16 of these goals in the league and he finished 5th top goalscorer , tied with Bony and Dzeko. Arsenal would also go on to win the FA Cup this season, beating Hull 3-2 in the final with Giroud assisting twice.
The 2014/15 season is a good one for this post as we are able to for the first time use some extra stats. From now on the Expected Goals and Expected Assists stats will be used (xG and xA). Giroud netted 19 times and assisted 4 from 36 games (2,379 Minutes) an output of 1 goal contribution every 103 minutes. Lets just zoom in on the league for a moment though as this is where I can find the data for xG and xA. He made 27 league appearances (1,865 minutes), netting on 14 occasions and assisting on 3. A contribution every 109 minutes. He was averaging 3.37 shots a game over the course of 27 games. We can work out from this he would have had around 91 shots in the league this season so his conversation rate was 15.38%. Now this alone doesn't sound that good, however his xG was only 8.85. So it seems like he wasn't getting many strikes from effective areas and was having to make do with Arsenal's lackluster attack at the time. He still outperformed his xG by just under 6 goals and that is impressive. It shows he was scoring chances he really shouldn't have been while still finishing the ones he should. His xA this season was 3.86 and he made 3 so this is basically where it should be. Also fun fact I found while researching this, he only took 4 shots with his right foot all season. Scored 1. Wasn't able to find that goal though. Edit: OnMeEdSon found it! Here it is
The 15/16 season was another solid one for the big man. Scoring 24 and assisting 6 in 53 games (3,373 minutes). That's 1 contribution every 112 minutes. Again, we will focus on the league. 16 goals, 6 assists in 38 games (2,425 minutes), that's 1 contribution every 110 minutes. Now in this season he had 101 shots, 10 more than last season and netted 2 more goals. The difference is how many were taken from inside the box. 95 shots inside the box this season compared to 53 in the season before. This made a massive difference to his xG with it now being at 14.5, that's a 6 goal increase from last season. He still out performed it, but only by 2. Now this isn't because he was worse at finishing. Infact it's because he was taking more shot's from better places, so he won't outperform it as much as he did last season since he is expected to score more. xA for this season is 5.76 and he made 6 so that's bang on again. Giroud was 6th top scorer in the league and Arsenal again won an FA cup and came 2nd in the league. Do I need to say who won it?
In the 16/17 season Giroud didn't see that much game time. He netted 16 times and assisted 7 in 40 appearances but he managed only 1,780 minutes. That though is 1 contribution every 77 minutes! Over 1 a game and his best season to date. The reason he didn't play that much was mainly injuries. Focusing on the league yet again and he scored 12 and assisted 4 in 29 games (1,194 minutes). That's 1 contribution every 74 minutes. He only had 39 shots this season and scored 12, giving him a conversion rate of 30.76%. That is simply staggering. Out of these 39 shots, 33 were from inside the box. He had an xG of 7 this season and netted 12. Once again outdoing it by 5. Now it should be pointed out that unlike last season he wasn't getting into better positions, with only 4 shots outside the box and none of them lead to goals. Instead he won a lot more headers, 41% of his shots were with his head. By being dominant in the air he was able to outperform his xG. He was expected to get just 2.49 goals with his head but he managed 6 and got an assist. Curiously enough only 1 of these goals came from a set piece, so he was finding space in open play to win these headers. Arsenal would win a 3rd FA cup in a row this season.
We are going to split the 17/18 season in half as Giroud moved to Chelsea on Deadline day in the winter window. This season is his worse. In the first half he scored 7 goals and assisted 0 in 26 games (1,226 Minutes). That's a contribution every 175 minutes. In the league that's 4 goals and 0 assists in 16 games (374 Minutes). 1 contribution every 94 minutes. So in the league he was actually getting just under 1 goal a game but his play time was restricted to coming off of the bench. His xG for this half was actually 3.55 and he has 4 so he performed about how he should. His xA was 0.84 and he didn't get any. Giroud would move to Chelsea, and Arsenal would finish 6th, the worse final position for them since Wenger had arrived 23 years before.

Chelsea Come Calling

Girouds second half was much better, he was able to adapt to Chelsea and only managed 5 goals 3 assists in 17 games (865 Minutes). That's a contribution 8 goals every 108 minutes, which is back to his normal best. In the league he had 3 goals and 1 assist in 13 games (611 Minutes). That's a goal every 152 minutes so clearly something isn't happening for him in the league this season. At Chelsea his xG this half of the season was 4.05 and he only managed 3. While his xA was 2.16 and he managed 1.
Overall for this season he made 12 goals and 3 assists in 44 games (2,157 minutes). A contribution every 144 minutes. In the league this was 7 goals and 1 assist in 29 games (984 minutes). A slightly better contribution of 1 every 123 minutes. For the first time since we have been able to track it, Giroud has underperformed his xG. He was expected to get 7.6 and he got 7. So really he missed it by one. So his finishing was still there and he was scoring when he should have been, the issue seems to be his ability to get into these places.
Now we get to this season. He has 4 goals and 4 assists in 16 games so far (757 minutes). That's a contribution every 94 minutes. In the league though he has only 1 goal yet all 4 assists in 12 games (493 Minutes). That's a contribution every 99 Minutes. So this season Giroud looks like he is actually on track to have one of his best ever seasons! He xG this season in the league is 2.44 and he has 1 so he is underperforming by 1.44, however his xA is 2.11 and he has 4 so he is overperforming that by 1.89. Throughout the course of the season these should level out so we can expect him to keep this 1 in 99 minutes output.

National Summery

For his national side, Giroud has 87 caps, making him the 11th most capped player and his 33 goals makes him the 4th highest goalscorer. he is 1 behind 3rd placed Trezeguet and 2 ahead of Zidane. He has won a World Cup and finished as runner up in a EURO's. It's already easy to see why he is loved among the French. He has 33 goals and 10 assists for France in 87 games (4,820 Minutes). This is a contribution every 109 minutes which is about inline with the rest of his career.

Career overview

So to summarise. Giroud had made 465 Club appearances (31,341 Minutes) and scored 191 goals while assisting 74. Giving him a goal contribution every 118 minutes.
For Country he has He has 33 goals and 10 assists for France in 87 games (4,820 Minutes). This is a contribution every 109 minutes.
In total he has 552 games spread over 36,161 minutes. In this time he netted 224 times and assisted 84, leaving him with a career total of 1 contribution every 117 minutes.


Lets put this in context, I have calculated the career totals of a few other well known strikers to see where Giroud places.
Lionel Messi - 1 Contribution every 70 minutes
Cristiano Ronaldo - 1 Contribution every 82 minutes
Robert Lewandowski - 1 Contribution every 97 minutes (That surprised me)
Didier Drogba - 1 Contribution every 113 minutes.
Olivier Giroud - 1 Contribution every 117 minutes.
Wayne Rooney - 1 Contribution every 120 minutes.
Michael Owen - 1 Contribution every 137 minutes
Fernando Torres - 1 Contribution every 144 minutes


I think the summarize this is fair to say that Giroud is a fantastic striker that is perhaps under rated for his club form. His output allows him to mingle with some of the best of our time and it's easy to see why he is love for France. Other than the 17/18 season he has been performing at a very consistent rate for all of his career and he looks like he will be back to that rate this season. Also he has scored some bangers
submitted by AlcoholicSocks to soccer [link] [comments]

2018.10.23 15:47 FormidableFish Pre-Match Thread: Shakhtar Donetsk vs Manchester City [UCL]


Time/Date: 23/10/18 20:00 BST
Venue: Metalist Stadium
Competition: UEFA Champions League - Group F - Match 3 of 6


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has called on the fans to push the club to Champions League glory ahead of their clash with Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday night.
City head into the game sitting second in Group F, one point behind leaders Lyon after two games as they seek to reach the knock-out rounds for a sixth successive year.
The Premier League champions have never got beyond the last four and were eliminated in the quarter-finals last season by Liverpool, losing 5-1 on aggregate. Guardiola was recently quoted as saying he did not know if City were ready to win the Champions League yet, but has asked the fans to help them push for the European trophy.
Elaborating on those comments on Monday, Guardiola said: "We are going to put in all effort to win this competition, but from what I saw last season we are not ready, that's what I feel. That doesn't mean we are not going to try.
"It's one important thing to win this kind of title, you have to be pushed, not just by the manager, by everyone surrounding Manchester City that we have to win it - and still we don't have that feeling, the feeling that the fans are pushing that we have to win the Champions League.
"Normally what happens is you get closer, that's why I feel we are a really good team, it's a pleasure to work with them. But in this competition you need something special and still I don't feel it."
Guardiola says Kyle Walker is in contention to face Shakhtar after injury. The England full-back missed Saturday's 5-0 Premier League win over Burnley with a groin problem but could be involved in Ukraine.
Kevin De Bruyne could also start the Champions League Group F clash having played the final half-hour at the weekend. Guardiola added: "If they are here it is because they are ready to play."

Team news

Walker is back in contention for City's Group F clash. The England right-back has trained with the squad ahead of the game in Kharkiv.
His availability would ease concerns in the position with Danilo (ankle) out. Midfielder Fabian Delph has not travelled due to a knock, while Ilkay Gundogan (hamstring) is also injured.
Fonseca confirmed that Shakhtar duo Taison and Marlos would miss the match through injury, while Ismaily is a doubt heading into the game.

Opta stats

Thanks Sky Sports, you are useful sometimes...
submitted by FormidableFish to MCFC [link] [comments]

2018.10.08 09:25 subreddit_stats Subreddit Stats: football top posts from 2012-06-14 to 2018-10-07 21:55 PDT

Period: 2306.15 days
Submissions Comments
Total 999 14885
Rate (per day) 0.43 6.45
Unique Redditors 576 6128
Combined Score 82917 66145

Top Submitters' Top Submissions

  1. 5168 points, 80 submissions: Commandant1
    1. Tottenham Hotspur have nine players in the World Cup semifinals, more than any other club (313 points, 27 comments)
    2. World Cup final: France 4-2 Croatia. France are World Cup Champions! (227 points, 115 comments)
    3. Son Heung-Min and South Korea advance to Asian Games final with 3-1 win over Vietnam (125 points, 14 comments)
    4. Joe Hart joins Burnley after 12 years as a Manchester City player (123 points, 14 comments)
    5. Hugo Lloris “more than twice the legal limit” after drink driving arrest (92 points, 17 comments)
    6. FIFA Officials Arrested Amid Corruption Scandal; Could Face U.S Extradition (87 points, 21 comments)
    7. Tottenham star Son Heung-min could play his way out of military service (87 points, 29 comments)
    8. Keisuke Honda to coach Cambodia national team while playing in A-League (85 points, 5 comments)
    9. Crystal Palace Ladies: Wilfried Zaha makes 'substantial financial contribution' to club (84 points, 3 comments)
    10. Usain Bolt to join Dortmund training on Friday (84 points, 10 comments)
  2. 2969 points, 49 submissions: SubbyDoo
    1. Bojan Krkic: ‘I had anxiety attacks but no one wants to talk about that. Football’s not interested’ (100 points, 6 comments)
    2. Sepp Batter says Qatar cheated to host World Cup News The Sunday Times (99 points, 16 comments)
    3. Watford unveil this season's away kit, by sending the away shirt to every fan who attended all 19 away games last season. (99 points, 5 comments)
    4. Chelsea will attempt to withhold part of the £9m owed to Antonio Conte in severance pay on the grounds that his text message to Diego Costa telling him he was not wanted cost the club millions in lost transfer revenue (96 points, 11 comments)
    5. Sony Pulls FIFA World Cup Sponsorship (93 points, 18 comments)
    6. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has now scored on his Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Champions League debut (92 points, 6 comments)
    7. Italian refs' new rule: "If on the pitch a referee hears a player using a racist term, that player is quite simply sent off" (81 points, 14 comments)
    8. Eriksen Does It Again (76 points, 5 comments)
    9. One of the world's oldest known footballs, found in the rafters of a bedroom in Stirling Castle and dating from around the time of Mary Queen of Scots in the 16th century (76 points, 4 comments)
    10. Russia's entire 2014 World Cup squad face FIFA doping investigation (73 points, 4 comments)
  3. 2879 points, 5 submissions: chocolat_ice_cream
    1. Football commentators (LOUD) (1207 points, 43 comments)
    2. Denmark against Iran. Iranian player heard a whistle from the public, he thought that it was the end end of the fist half, and caught the ball with his hands, conceding a penalty. Denmark coach ordered his player to miss the penalty. True football. (865 points, 33 comments)
    3. Japanese fans collecting the garbage after the game today. Winning inside and out of the field. (613 points, 24 comments)
    4. Million dollar baby (127 points, 12 comments)
    5. From Russia with love - Football is nothing without supporters (67 points, 15 comments)
  4. 1953 points, 34 submissions: StaleMilkNothingTher
    1. Messi splitting apart defences with one touch (94 points, 22 comments)
    2. The Zenit St Petersburg photo we'd all been waiting for, even if we didn't know it. (77 points, 3 comments)
    3. Série B is terribly underrated. Everything about this clip is fantastic. (76 points, 2 comments)
    4. Andy Carroll to be turned into very expensive glue (75 points, 0 comments)
    5. A Spanish youth coach is sacked after his team wins 25-0 (67 points, 8 comments)
    6. Michael Cox on Twitter: "Players missing the biggest game of their lives for two minor offences over five games is absolutely crazy" (65 points, 13 comments)
    7. A Liverpool fan is asked about why he doesn't want to pay £77 for a ticket (64 points, 10 comments)
    8. This guy's started the betting season strongly (64 points, 0 comments)
    9. Everton’s Steven Naismith buys Christmas dinner for hundreds of Glasgow’s homeless (63 points, 4 comments)
    10. Leicester City fans were celebrating long after the game. The announcer said: "thanks for your attendance but kindly leave". They responded: "we shall not be moved" (62 points, 6 comments)
  5. 1583 points, 15 submissions: OriginalJoker11
    1. While everyone is talking about Salah, Messi and Ronaldo, let's not forget that Ciro Immobile has scored 39 goals for Lazio this season, same as Salah and Messi (186 points, 10 comments)
    2. truly amazing story. Artyom Dzyuba was thrown out of Zenit by Roberto Mancini and went on loan to Arsenal Tula. Arsenal had to pay $160,000 in order for him to play vs Zenit today. Dzyuba paid half - $80,000 - himself and scored the late equalizer in a 3-3 draw. Payback time! (185 points, 5 comments)
    3. Heung Min-Son been named Best Footballer in Asia for the 3rd time. (129 points, 7 comments)
    4. Mo Salah is the first Premier League player to score 40+ goals in all competitions since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007-08. King. (128 points, 8 comments)
    5. Since the start of the 2015-16 season, no player has more assists for Sunderland in league games than Adam Johnson (5), who has been in prison now for over two years.. (123 points, 6 comments)
    6. Man City keeper Ederson: 'I want to score before the end of the season' (118 points, 27 comments)
    7. Mohamed Salah has scored 31 Premier League goals this season – the joint-most by a player in a 38-game PL campaign (also Alan Shearer 95-96, Cristiano Ronaldo 07-08, Luis Suarez 13-14). Elite. (118 points, 12 comments)
    8. Wenger: “If God exists & one day I go up there and he will ask: ‘What have you done in your life?’. The only answer I will have is: ‘I tried to win football games.’ He will say: ‘Is that all?’ And the answer I will have is: ‘It’s not as easy as it looks.’” (103 points, 4 comments)
    9. Schalke 2-0 Dortmund - Naldo 82'(incredible goal) (102 points, 12 comments)
    10. Di Francesco:"Against Barca, we played as a team, we didn't focus on [Lionel] Messi and, by playing in this way, we can achieve great things. "We can't win this game by only stopping one player, we need to focus as a team. Liverpool is not only Salah, Liverpool has a number of good players. " (96 points, 3 comments)
  6. 1132 points, 10 submissions: Rockithammer
    1. UEFA allows additional extra-time sub in Champions League (206 points, 11 comments)
    2. World cup 2022 dates - 21 november to december 18 (185 points, 92 comments)
    3. Best Fifa Football Awards 2018: Luka Modric beats Cristiano Ronaldo and Mo Salah to be named men's player of the year (130 points, 41 comments)
    4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic's low-key MLS debut: a wondergoal then the winner for LA Galaxy (117 points, 9 comments)
    5. Roma 3 Barcelona 0: Edin Dzeko inspires Champions League away goals upset (110 points, 33 comments)
    6. Stuttgart Player Literally Throws Ball In His Own Net (88 points, 10 comments)
    7. Arsenal have confirmed the appointment of Unai Emery as their new head coach, replacing Arsene Wenger at the Emirates. (84 points, 8 comments)
    8. Steven Gerrard appointed as new Rangers manager: 'It was a no-brainer' (84 points, 4 comments)
    9. Kylian Mbappe nets four goals in the space of 13 minutes as hosts run riot to go eight points clear (68 points, 12 comments)
    10. Atletico Madrid beats Marseille 3-0 and wins Europa League (60 points, 23 comments)
  7. 1031 points, 16 submissions: RedArmyNic
    1. Leicester City are the first English club ever to win their first two matches in the Champions League (120 points, 4 comments)
    2. Chapecoense player wakes up from coma, doesn't remember plane crash (94 points, 1 comment)
    3. Athletic Bilbao fans celebrating their women's team becoming champions of Spain. (87 points, 19 comments)
    4. Russian 2nd division club Baltika Kaliningrad travels 10,300 km for a 0-0 draw in league match (84 points, 10 comments)
    5. Real Madrid are the only club to score more hat tricks in the Champions League than Lionel Messi (7). (75 points, 6 comments)
    6. After a six-year ban due to riots, fans in Egypt return to watch matches (65 points, 0 comments)
    7. Zlatan to United is confirmed (65 points, 9 comments)
    8. Mark Clattenburg got these tattoos to remind him of the big year he's had. (62 points, 10 comments)
    9. Carlos Tevez is set to become the richest soccer player on earth (56 points, 11 comments)
    10. Lionel Messi Said To Be Retiring From Argentina National Team (50 points, 19 comments)
  8. 1025 points, 16 submissions: CryptoandFOREX
    1. Eden Hazard to be offered £300k a week to stay at Chelsea! (121 points, 25 comments)
    2. Jose Mourinho reportedly set to lose Manchester United job and Zinedine Zidane favourite to replace him (119 points, 24 comments)
    3. Messi makes LaLiga history with Barcelona's 6000th goal! (90 points, 4 comments)
    4. Mohamed Salah filmed using mobile phone while driving with footage of Liverpool star handed over to police (68 points, 61 comments)
    5. Ryan Mason: “I have 14 metal plates in my skull. And I was a lucky boy” (65 points, 3 comments)
    6. Spain hit Croatia for six in Nations League opener (64 points, 15 comments)
    7. Luke Shaw in 'fairly comfortable' condition after horror collision, says Gareth Southgate (63 points, 0 comments)
    8. Hugo Lloris: Tottenham goalkeeper charged with drink-driving!! (59 points, 9 comments)
    9. Germany to host Euro 2024! (56 points, 0 comments)
    10. FIFA World Rankings: France sit top and England move up six after World Cup (53 points, 16 comments)
  9. 861 points, 14 submissions: todevils
    1. All jerseys ever worn by Ronaldinho in his career (136 points, 10 comments)
    2. Ibrahimovic drops Nike to launch his own brand (83 points, 12 comments)
    3. Liverpool vs Ludogorets unwatchable for those that are Colourblind (69 points, 18 comments)
    4. Mario Balotelli confirms he is leaving Milan to join Liverpool (69 points, 8 comments)
    5. Cameroonian player dies in Algeria after being hit by object from crowd (62 points, 4 comments)
    6. FIFA member believes 2022 World Cup will be moved from Qatar (59 points, 12 comments)
    7. Feynoord has a throw-in go straight into goal (58 points, 21 comments)
    8. Marco Reus signs new Borussia Dortmund deal (57 points, 5 comments)
    9. Cristiano Ronaldo recently became the official shirt sponsor for Portuguese 2nd division team União da Madeira (53 points, 11 comments)
    10. Shakhtar Donetsk says its club headquarters has been occupied by "armed men" (46 points, 7 comments)
  10. 833 points, 6 submissions: Hyv_Angel
    1. Commentator: “Sokratis Papastathopoulos passes to Konstantinos Mavropanos. He looks for Stephan Lichtsteiner... He’s found Henrikh Mkhitaryan making a run. He passes to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang... And that's fulltime.” (300 points, 16 comments)
    2. I feel Portugal and Spain were really given a run for their money by Iran and Morocco. This was by far the most competitive group so far. Here is a look back at Portugal's game and how Iran punched above their weight to give the Portuguese a real scare. (229 points, 25 comments)
    3. World Cup Matches that Shook the World in the 21st Century. Today also happens to be the day when van Persie scored that stupendous header vs Spain. (137 points, 15 comments)
    4. Rojo: “My goal? Messi told everyone that it was either life or death. It would’ve gone badly. We could’ve conceded but Leo was stubborn. He told me to run forward. Even Masche. He told everyone to attack no matter what. He truly read the game & risks. He’s a leader. The best.” (65 points, 3 comments)
    5. #LUFC are delighted to announce the appointment of Argentine Marcelo Bielsa in the role of head coach (56 points, 5 comments)
    6. Football while fasting: life in the Ramadan Midnight League (46 points, 7 comments)
  11. 818 points, 1 submission: Nempowa
    1. England try to score while Croatia were celebrating (818 points, 95 comments)
  12. 700 points, 1 submission: Falland
    1. Batshuayi hits the target! (700 points, 23 comments)
  13. 688 points, 12 submissions: JoeAllan
    1. Amazon 'very likely' to bid for Premier League streaming rights (112 points, 12 comments)
    2. Manchester United won fewest points per £1m spent on wages (80 points, 2 comments)
    3. The FA Approves Retroactive Diving Bans (67 points, 17 comments)
    4. Check out this Altidore goal in the USA vs Germany game!!!! (66 points, 6 comments)
    5. Premier League scores in the US as NBC coverage finds growing audience (53 points, 8 comments)
    6. The best player from every Premier League club this season --- agree? (47 points, 17 comments)
    7. Villarreal sit top of La Liga for the first time in their history (47 points, 0 comments)
    8. SPAIN V RUSSIA MATCH THREAD (46 points, 83 comments)
    9. Arsenal season-ticket holders’ disgust at £132 Bayern Munich tickets (45 points, 7 comments)
    10. The REAL victims in Qatar WC debacle: the slave workers -- short documentary (45 points, 1 comment)
  14. 686 points, 3 submissions: deckymch
    1. Footage of the French half time team talk during the World Cup final (English subtitles) (487 points, 61 comments)
    2. Monaco sign Russian World Cup star Golovin (106 points, 10 comments)
    3. Son extends Tottenham contract (93 points, 9 comments)
  15. 574 points, 11 submissions: Icanhazcomment
    1. Messi goal vs AC Milan [gif] (71 points, 5 comments)
    2. Drogba great finish vs Madrid [Gif] (63 points, 6 comments)
    3. Hulk fakes himself [Gif] (61 points, 2 comments)
    4. Modric's lovely goal against United [gif] (60 points, 12 comments)
    5. David Luiz's 35 yarder [gif] (55 points, 5 comments)
    6. Hazard stunner vs Stoke City [Gif] (49 points, 4 comments)
    7. Eboue hammers it in against Madrid [Gif] (48 points, 3 comments)
    8. Alaba goal vs Juventus (43 points, 12 comments)
    9. Eden Hazard goal vs United [Gif] (42 points, 6 comments)
    10. Fantastic link up by AC Milan for Muntari's goal [Gif] (41 points, 4 comments)
  16. 520 points, 1 submission: ancestorprotector
    1. Oh what a finish by Bale (520 points, 49 comments)
  17. 490 points, 9 submissions: provenquality
    1. Man City have spent £327m since 2011 to make two changes to their first XI (78 points, 14 comments)
    2. How a curmudgeonly old reporter exposed the FIFA scandal that toppled Sepp Blatter (73 points, 1 comment)
    3. Sepp Blatter admits it was a mistake to host 2022 World Cup in Qatar (56 points, 26 comments)
    4. Mourinho (on Guardiola): "If you enjoy what you’re doing, you don’t lose your hair" (50 points, 8 comments)
    5. Winter in Qatar is Still in Qatar (49 points, 0 comments)
    6. Leo Messi to face trial over €4.1m tax fraud (48 points, 5 comments)
    7. Austrian players say referee was ‘too scared’ to send off Zlatan Ibrahimovic (46 points, 8 comments)
    8. Manchester United appoint Louis van Gaal as manager (46 points, 6 comments)
    9. Daily Mail's England team of the future from 2007... Where are they now? (44 points, 14 comments)
  18. 456 points, 3 submissions: randommanunitedfan
    1. 5 year old Luka Modric is collecting his herd of goats before his family was forced to flee the area and become refugees. (200 points, 36 comments)
    2. Love how the France Chants Kante's name. (169 points, 5 comments)
    3. The 20th goal that Everton scored today. Guess the keeper had enough (87 points, 17 comments)
  19. 445 points, 4 submissions: ammar430
    1. Neymar earned £200,000 to say sorry for behaviour at the World Cup – and he didn’t even write the apology (172 points, 33 comments)
    2. Luka Modric price tag set at staggering £670m as Real Madrid warn Inter Milan off transfer (162 points, 25 comments)
    3. Florentino is willing to pay 300m euros to bring Neymar to Real Madrid (67 points, 22 comments)
    4. Vinícius Júnior: ‘If God wants, Neymar and I will play together at Real Madrid" (44 points, 5 comments)
  20. 439 points, 1 submission: JakFrizz
    1. 5 girls no cup (439 points, 13 comments)
  21. 407 points, 1 submission: LeftyLuke-87
    1. Bend it like Beckham (407 points, 38 comments)
  22. 406 points, 7 submissions: Curiousme14
    1. The FA Council has rejected Hull City’s application to change their playing name to Hull Tigers (84 points, 7 comments)
    2. Qatar paid $1.7 million for Asian votes (67 points, 7 comments)
    3. Argentina Donate Their Runner-Up World Cup Prize Money to Argentinian Hospital (61 points, 1 comment)
    4. Barcelona offer Luis Suarez £40million deal - but only if striker agrees to 'bite clause' (60 points, 11 comments)
    5. Vanishing Spray Is More Revolutionary Than Goal-Line Technology (48 points, 13 comments)
    6. Leicester have been promoted back to the Premier League after a 10 year hiatus. (45 points, 4 comments)
    7. Gianluigi Buffon to play for three more years for Juventus (41 points, 2 comments)

Top Commenters

  1. lorcanmartinvilla86 (354 points, 23 comments)
  2. Salvad00r (264 points, 11 comments)
  3. Sphincterzilla (252 points, 26 comments)
  4. Chive (249 points, 93 comments)
  5. Dukmiester (248 points, 32 comments)
  6. MagicallyAdept (241 points, 23 comments)
  7. TheConceptOfFear (226 points, 4 comments)
  8. transformdbz (225 points, 9 comments)
  9. IntellegentIdiot (219 points, 39 comments)
  10. gullymangulliver (215 points, 2 comments)
  11. SwissJAmes (207 points, 57 comments)
  12. killernanorobots (205 points, 20 comments)
  13. Cisyt (197 points, 31 comments)
  14. pumkinhat (195 points, 23 comments)
  15. zorfog (192 points, 16 comments)
  16. SuperSonic4 (191 points, 30 comments)
  17. Brickie78 (180 points, 27 comments)
  18. Art_Vandelay_7 (179 points, 31 comments)
  19. bostero2 (178 points, 8 comments)
  20. stevenlondono (178 points, 6 comments)
  21. Stranger_Cake (177 points, 13 comments)
  22. xXGreco (175 points, 18 comments)
  23. alpseagle (174 points, 16 comments)
  24. chandler25 (169 points, 32 comments)
  25. resastrive (169 points, 3 comments)
  26. FrankLampard88 (168 points, 11 comments)
  27. rijmij99 (165 points, 47 comments)
  28. Jesus_will_return (164 points, 2 comments)
  29. Rockithammer (162 points, 13 comments)
  30. Waterbarron (161 points, 18 comments)
  31. MttsNmstr (159 points, 6 comments)
  32. AskNotAks (156 points, 4 comments)
  33. Sodass (154 points, 5 comments)
  34. Wildebeast1 (153 points, 48 comments)
  35. LittlePanda82 (146 points, 1 comment)
  36. Commandant1 (144 points, 49 comments)
  37. darthrasco420 (142 points, 1 comment)
  38. firasq16 (137 points, 2 comments)
  39. Subertt (136 points, 3 comments)
  40. Skuffinho (135 points, 15 comments)
  41. DMVboi (134 points, 4 comments)
  42. BonoboUK (133 points, 18 comments)
  43. cotch85 (132 points, 17 comments)
  44. MostWantedBandit (132 points, 4 comments)
  45. MelandrusApostle (131 points, 1 comment)
  46. Fushboire (130 points, 6 comments)
  47. Mattboyd2991 (130 points, 6 comments)
  48. im_probablyjoking (129 points, 10 comments)
  49. panicandrum (127 points, 1 comment)
  50. AFCADaan9 (126 points, 28 comments)
  51. jumacl (126 points, 9 comments)
  52. occupythekitchen (125 points, 19 comments)
  53. johnsonjohnson28 (123 points, 6 comments)
  54. SubbyDoo (119 points, 29 comments)
  55. Englishnotgentleman (119 points, 7 comments)
  56. robizzle89 (116 points, 9 comments)
  57. MrFlibblesVeryCross (114 points, 6 comments)
  58. Michael_Pitt (114 points, 4 comments)
  59. umiupbeat (111 points, 21 comments)
  60. letskillrobots (109 points, 6 comments)
  61. S-BRO (108 points, 4 comments)
  62. BetweenTheCheeks (107 points, 30 comments)
  63. prof_hobart (107 points, 9 comments)
  64. tronoz (106 points, 3 comments)
  65. yourfriendkyle (104 points, 14 comments)
  66. therefai (104 points, 10 comments)
  67. Nempowa (104 points, 2 comments)
  68. galient5 (103 points, 28 comments)
  69. H-habilis (99 points, 4 comments)
  70. 10241988 (97 points, 15 comments)
  71. Masterkid1230 (97 points, 15 comments)
  72. CatoPriscus (97 points, 6 comments)
  73. LitCorn33 (96 points, 5 comments)
  74. LiarsEverywhere (95 points, 16 comments)
  75. Afuckingdrowner (95 points, 15 comments)
  76. kaam00s (95 points, 9 comments)
  77. steadydeath (95 points, 1 comment)
  78. House- (94 points, 3 comments)
  79. tomd317 (93 points, 7 comments)
  80. xanfranreddit (93 points, 1 comment)
  81. brain4breakfast (91 points, 21 comments)
  82. EViL-D (91 points, 3 comments)
  83. JoeAllan (90 points, 26 comments)
  84. boykimjong (90 points, 7 comments)
  85. carlcon (90 points, 4 comments)
  86. AdamyBoy (90 points, 1 comment)
  87. thunderpriest (89 points, 13 comments)
  88. jamadelo (89 points, 8 comments)
  89. Auntfanny (89 points, 7 comments)
  90. FZTR (89 points, 7 comments)
  91. PumpkinTom (89 points, 1 comment)
  92. digitalfoe (88 points, 4 comments)
  93. Heathen_Inferos (88 points, 3 comments)
  94. ken_new (87 points, 7 comments)
  95. OrangeJuiceAlibi (87 points, 3 comments)
  96. offender1992 (86 points, 8 comments)
  97. Lazarus5687 (86 points, 4 comments)
  98. StabbingHobo (86 points, 1 comment)
  99. EfeceoP (85 points, 4 comments)
  100. Matux903 (84 points, 2 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. Football commentators (LOUD) by chocolat_ice_cream (1207 points, 43 comments)
  2. Denmark against Iran. Iranian player heard a whistle from the public, he thought that it was the end end of the fist half, and caught the ball with his hands, conceding a penalty. Denmark coach ordered his player to miss the penalty. True football. by chocolat_ice_cream (865 points, 33 comments)
  3. England try to score while Croatia were celebrating by Nempowa (818 points, 95 comments)
  4. Batshuayi hits the target! by Falland (700 points, 23 comments)
  5. Japanese fans collecting the garbage after the game today. Winning inside and out of the field. by chocolat_ice_cream (613 points, 24 comments)
  6. Oh what a finish by Bale by ancestorprotector (520 points, 49 comments)
  7. Footage of the French half time team talk during the World Cup final (English subtitles) by deckymch (487 points, 61 comments)
  8. 5 girls no cup by JakFrizz (439 points, 13 comments)
  9. Bend it like Beckham by LeftyLuke-87 (407 points, 38 comments)
  10. I'm an American falling in love with football by Waterbarron (381 points, 125 comments)

Top Comments

  1. 220 points: lorcanmartinvilla86's comment in Neymar earned £200,000 to say sorry for behaviour at the World Cup – and he didn’t even write the apology
  2. 206 points: gullymangulliver's comment in England fans celebrating in the street after the Tunisia game
  3. 200 points: transformdbz's comment in Germany goalless against South Korea, eliminated in group stages for the first time in history
  4. 184 points: Salvad00r's comment in England try to score while Croatia were celebrating
  5. 155 points: Jesus_will_return's comment in Denmark against Iran. Iranian player heard a whistle from the public, he thought that it was the end end of the fist half, and caught the ball with his hands, conceding a penalty. Denmark coach ordered his player to miss the penalty. True football.
  6. 146 points: AskNotAks's comment in Why do you use this sub instead of /soccer?
  7. 146 points: LittlePanda82's comment in Commentator: “Sokratis Papastathopoulos passes to Konstantinos Mavropanos. He looks for Stephan Lichtsteiner... He’s found Henrikh Mkhitaryan making a run. He passes to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang... And that's fulltime.”
  8. 143 points: TheConceptOfFear's comment in I'm an American falling in love with football
  9. 142 points: darthrasco420's comment in England fans celebrating in the street after the Tunisia game
  10. 141 points: Sodass's comment in Who do you think should host the 2022 World Cup instead of Qatar?
Generated with BBoe's Subreddit Stats
submitted by subreddit_stats to subreddit_stats [link] [comments]

2018.07.22 02:46 mollymoskins Eredivisie Best Young Player - A history of the winners and their careers

2002-03: Arjen Robben (PSV)
Transferred to Chelsea in 2004 for €18 million, then moved to Real Madrid and finally Bayern where he is considered to be a club legend.
Fun fact: He had a cancer scare at Chelsea after an unusual growth was spotted on his left testicle but ended up being alright in the end.
Notable awards:
2003-04: Wesley Sneijder (Ajax)
Transferred to Real Madrid in 2007 (same year as Robben) and spent 2 years there before moving to Inter where he arguably should have won the Ballon D'or in their 2010 treble-winning season. Moved to Galatasaray for a few years and had a short stint with Nice before joining Qatari club Al-Gharafa, where he is presumably making a shit ton of money.
Fun fact: Has the most caps for the Dutch national football team at 133.
Notable awards:
2004-05: Salomon Kalou (Feyenoord)
Joined Chelsea in 2006 for an undisclosed fee. Stayed there until 2012, when he moved to Lille and had a decent spell there before going to Hertha BSC where he plays now.
Fun fact: Kalou admitted that he brought a camera with him to his first training session at Chelsea's training centre at Cobham because he could not believe that he was going to be rubbing shoulders with famous footballers like Michael Ballack, John Terry and Didier Drogba.
Notable awards:
2005-06: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Ajax)
Stayed at Ajax for a bit longer than expected before moving to Real Madrid for a fee thought to be around €20 million. Only stayed for a half a season there before switching to Milan. Had a 5 year stay at Schalke, scoring 82 times in 175 league appearances before returning to Ajax in 2017.
Fun fact: His nephew, Koen, plays for De Graafschaap.
Notable awards:
2006-07: Ibrahim Afellay (PSV)
Transferred to Barcelona after captaining PSV for a year. His time there was marred by injuries, and he was loaned out to Schalke and Olympiacos before joining the mighty Stoke, where he plays today (not really though, he's been pretty much benched since December). Overall, a pretty underwhelming career for somebody who was considered one of the biggest talents in Dutch football at one point.
Fun fact: He had a training ground bust-up with Stoke manager Paul Lambert this March and was told to stay away from the club.
Notable awards:
2007-08: Miralem Sulejmani (Heerenveen)
Became the most expensive footballer to be purchased by a Dutch club when Ajax bought him from Heerenveen in 2008. When his transfer to Benfica was confirmed in February 2013, coach Frank de Boer demoted him to the reserves for the rest of the season. After Benfica, he joined Swiss club Young Boys, where he helped them win their first league title in 32 years.
Fun fact: He was supposed to go on a yearlong loan to West Ham in 2010, but his work permit was denied and he remained at Ajax.
Notable awards:
2008-09: Eljero Elia (Twente)
Joined Twente from ADO Den Haag when he was Twente years old (see what I did there?), got them into the Europa League, and then moved to Hamburg, got injured, and missed half of his first season there. He then had a four-game stint at Juventus before joining Werder. He got loaned to Southampton and moved to Feyenoord and Istanbul Basaksehir after that.
Fun fact: He and teammate Marko Arnautovic were suspended by Werder for a speeding incident. The club then decided that they had had enough of him when he missed a game due to a gastrointestinal virus and tweeted the words "Ready for War" ahead of a game against his former club, Hamburg. Manager Viktor Skrypnyk dropped him from the first team, and he never played a game for the club again.
Notable awards:
2009-10: Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax)
Moved to PSG in the season after their takeover by Qatar Sports Investments, and had a good spell until Aurier's good play forced him out of the team. He had stints at Fenerbahce and Cagliari before joining Toronto FC.
Fun fact: Was involved in some controversy in 2009 when he refused to travel with the Dutch team to Australia for a friendly due to a concussion, then posted a pic on Twitter of himself at a Lil Wayne concert while his teammates were getting ready for the match.
Notable awards:
2010-11: Christian Eriksen (Ajax)
Born in Middelfart, Denmark, the highly touted prospect transferred from Ajax to Spurs in 2013, where he has been a mainstay in the team for the past 5 years. He is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the Prem today.
Fun fact: He holds the record for most goals (41) scored by a Dane in the Premier League.
Notable awards:
2011-12: Adam Maher (AZ Alkmaar)
Moved to PSV after his time at AZ, was then loaned out to Osmanlispor and joined Twente after that.
Fun fact: Won 5 caps for the Netherlands when he was 19, but hasn't been called up since.
Notable awards:
2012-13: Marco van Ginkel (Vitesse)
The Chelsea prospect has had his career marred by injuries as he never found the form that had him dubbed as the "next Frank Lampard" by former Vitesse manager Peter Bosz. After 2 league appearances for Chelsea, he was loaned out to Milan, Stoke, and PSV.
Fun fact: Mourinho once likened van Ginkel to English legends Lampard and Gerrard, describing him as an engine with immense physical power.
Notable awards:
2013-14: Davy Klaassen (Ajax)
The ex-Ajax captain moved to Everton last year but has only made 7 league appearances for them to date.
Fun fact: His nickname is "cheese straw" (Dutch: kaasstengel) due to his physical appearance.
Notable awards:
2014-15: Memphis Depay (PSV)
Probably the best Dutch footballer to receive this award since Huntelaar, the highly rated Depay was courted by several clubs prior to signing for Manchester United in 2015. After flopping there, he transferred to Lyon and seems to have rediscovered his form.
Fun fact: Early in his career, a PSV coach noted Depay as "very angry", and he now uses a life coach to aid his mentality.
Notable awards:
2015-16: Vincent Janssen (AZ Alkmaar)
Never quite lived up to the expectations placed upon him when he arrived at Spurs (Pochettino said prior to his arrival that Janssen "ticked all the boxes we needed"), and was loaned to Fenerbahce. He rejoined Spurs at the end of this season and it has yet to be seen as to whether he will remain a part of Pochettino's plans for the future.
Fun fact: His mother, Annemarie Verstappen, is a former freestyle swimmer who won Dutch Sportswoman of the Year in 1982.
Notable awards:
2016-17: Kasper Dolberg (Ajax)
The Dane still plays for Ajax, having netted 22 times in 52 league games.
Fun fact: He was recommended to Ajax by Danish scout John Steen Olsen, the same man who discovered Zlatan, Eriksen, and Christian Fischer for the Dutch capital club.
Notable awards:
2017-18: Matthijs De Ligt (Ajax)
The defender burst onto the scene in 2016-17 and remains at Ajax, where he is the vice captain of the club.
Fun fact: He was called up to the Dutch national team at 17 years of age despite having started only two league games for Ajax.
Notable awards:
submitted by mollymoskins to soccer [link] [comments]

2018.05.18 17:20 MatrimPaendrag My Favourite Season - 2006/07

I’ve written about the 2006-07 season starting with pre-season and including videos and other media where I could find them. I thought if people liked it then maybe it would start a recurring series of people’s favourite seasons, but if not then I hope you enjoy this one at the least. I go through almost every game, so it is very, very long.
The Season
The 2006-07 season is generally remembered now as the first year of another hat trick of Prem trophies for Fergie. It is overshadowed, quite fairly, by the following season where the same squad (plus Hargreaves, Tevez, Nani and Anderson) won the league again, as well as the Champions League, with Ronaldo winning United’s first Ballon D’Or since the Holy Trinity. Something that I think gets lost in this is that, during the 2006-07 season, United played some of the best, high tempo, attacking football of all of Fergie’s tenure. In my opinion this team was more exciting, though less effective, than the 2007-08 team.
It is important to bear in mind what a grim pre-season this was for United. In the summer of 2006, United hadn’t won a league for three seasons. At this point we hadn’t won it since Beckham had left. Keane and van Nistelrooy had also subsequently gone and our only summer signings were a loan keeper (Kuszczack) and Michael Carrick - far from the universally beloved figure he is now. The lack of a replacement for RvN went down especially badly with the fans, who chanted his name during the pre-season friendlies. An injury-prone Saha and a Solskjaer still in recovery were our only options as partners for Rooney. This shortage of options eventually led to the loan signing of Henrik Larsson in January.
Arsenal’s invincibles and then (twice) Jose’s relentless Chelsea team had outclassed us in their title bids over the past three years and I am confident in saying that I was not the only United fan dreading a season of trailing behind Chelsea all the way to May.
The major cloud hanging over United, however, was the relationship between our two brightest hopes, Rooney and Ronaldo. For the youngsters out there, it all stemmed from this incident at the World Cup. Basically, Rooney got frustrated and stamped on Carvalho’s balls. Ronaldo ran up to the ref begging him to send Rooney off. You can see Wazza is genuinely miffed at that behaviour from his club mate and this was all exacerbated in the papers the next day because Ronaldo winked - a greater crime in the eyes of the UK press than stamping on someone’s balls.
This incident was so huge in the UK that I found this Independent season preview where ‘Will you boo Ronaldo’ was one of the questions asked of every club’s fans - the United fan’s response was ‘No chance, he’s one of ours.’ FWIW, I think this actually helped us as Ronaldo did get booed all season and he’s just the type of athlete who will use abuse to prove the doubters wrong.
I was definitely not alone in wondering if we would have to sell one of them; it was usually Ronaldo that was mentioned in the press - here for example is the BBC linking him to Valencia. Suffice to say SAF was having none of that nonsense and that was basically that.
Here, as an example of the gloom around United, is an absolutely dreadful piece by Rob Smyth talking about the end of Fergie - article dated 31 July 2006.
This is a bit unfair because it’s just some random dude’s blog, but this season preview gives a pretty representative view of the attitude towards United’s chances at this point.
August - December 2006
The doom and gloom and transfer muppetry of pre-season was over and we could finally settle in for the pain of a long year on Chelsea’s coattails. Except that it didn’t quite go down like that. In fact, our opening day against Fulham at OT was surely the quickest we have ever started a season: we were 4-0 up in 19 minutes. The 4th was a Ronaldo goal from a brilliant Rooney cross (Rooney scored twice himself) and United fans across the world couldn’t have been enjoying it more. The rest of the game petered out a little, but we still beat them 5-1 to go top of the league. The following game we spanked Charlton 3-0 away, hitting the woodwork three times in the process. This game was also notable for featuring Solskjaer’s first goal since 16 September 2003 (he had awful knee injuries). The atmosphere around Old Trafford was steadily picking up - this Guardian article captures the quiet optimism well I think.
We won our next two in the league versus Watford and Spurs - as well as our opener in the CL Group stage, which was an exciting - and lucky - 3-2 vs Celtic.
The luck wouldn’t hold and our next game was 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal (a game I had taken my Arsenal supporting mate to, to my eternal regret). That was followed up by a scrappy 1-1 at Reading, only notable for Ronaldo’s equaliser, a classic Ronaldo goal before Ronaldo was scoring classic Ronaldo goals. September was rounded out with a pretty fortuitous win in Benfica thanks to this brilliant Saha goal.
October 2006 was a great month for United and where I think the fans started to really believe we had a strong team again. We played 6, we won 6. Four of those were in the league including a 2-0 over the scousers at OT and a Rooney hat trick vs Bolton. We also beat Copenhagen 3-0 at OT - great Scholes goal - and Crewe in the League Cup. FYI, we would be knocked out of the League Cup by Southend in the next round.
November 2006 was a slightly odd month. Our form was excellent in the league, but awful elsewhere. We opened with an absolutely dreadful 1-0 defeat in Copenhagen. We then beat Portsmouth 3-0 - Ronaldo FK - and followed that with the afore-mentioned loss to Southend. Two good away wins at Blackburn and Sheffield United were followed by another away European defeat, this time 1-0 to Celtic. An incredible free kick from Nakamura won them the game, but Saha’s 88th minute penalty being saved was a real sickener. This meant that, going into the last game, a defeat for United at home to Benfica, coupled with a win for Celtic in Copenhagen and we would be out at the group stage for the second year in a row.
If that wasn’t stressful enough, next up was our biggest game of the season: Chelsea were coming to OT. This was a big test and Peter Kenyon (snek) was giving it all sorts in the press about how Chelsea would soon be bigger than United blah blah blah. The game itself was a good one, pretty end-to-end and both teams may have felt they did enough for a win. As it was, Saha’s excellent opener was cancelled out by a Carvalho header and the game finished 1-1. We’d failed to extend our lead but remained 3 points clear at the top of the table. November ended with a comfortable 3-0 home win over Everton, notable for two reasons: it was the first time brothers had captained opposing teams in the Premier League (Gary and Phil obvs) and it also featured Evra’s first United goal. The league at the end of November 2006 was shaping up to be a classic two horse race
We opened December with a 2-1 win at Boro before our crunch Benfica tie. As you will remember, a loss would put us in real trouble and relying on Copenhagen to get us through. Sure enough, after 27 turgid minutes, Benfica took the lead with a belter. Fortunately, this turned out to be just the kick up the arse we needed and Vida’s goal on the stroke of half-time was crucial. We scored twice in the second half for a 3-1 win and won the group. As it happens, Celtic lost in Copenhagen and we would have actually gone through as group winners even with a draw.
Final CL Group standing
Next up we had City, pre-Abu Dhabi and still shit. A good 3-1 win followed, check out the match highlights where you can see in the first 20 or so seconds how Ronaldo was still playing a pretty traditional wing role. Then came our second league defeat of the season at Upton Park. It was Alan Curbishley’s first game in charge and the Hammers had a proper new manager bounce, full of energy and blocking every shot. Coupled with our below par performance, and we came away with a 1-0 defeat. We had a pretty easy Xmas period though and won our next three, 3-0 away at Villa including this famous Scholes volley. This game also had two nice goals from Ronaldo - 4:13 and 7:32 in this video. We then beat Wigan 3-1 at home, two goals from Ronaldo and one from Solskjaer, followed by beating Reading 3-2 at home, this game also had two goals from Ronaldo and one from Solskjaer.
January - May 2007
An underwhelming 2-2 draw at St James’s Park on New Year’s Day came next (brace from Scholesy) and after 22 games, it was clear we were in a two horse race with Chelsea. Here’s the top 6 on 2 Jan 2007.
On the 2 January, we also made a very surprising loan signing - Celtic legend Henrik Larsson, who was now 35 years old. His debut was our 3rd round FA Cup game vs Villa and, not surprising, he scored the opener after a lovely team move.
Poor old Villa just couldn’t catch a break and we beat them again - the third time in 22 days - with a classy and comfortable 3-1 league win, which included Carrick’s first goal for the club.
The most upsetting match of the season came next as Arsenal scored 2 in the last ten minutes for a 2-1 win, completing a league double over us. It was a real missed opportunity too, as Chelsea had lost to Liverpool the day before. Instead, we maintained a 6 point gap at the top of the table. This result seemed to spur us on, however, and we wouldn’t lose another game until April.
First up came our 4th Round FA Cup win at home to Pompey, check out Rooney’s beautiful chip for the second. We thumped Watford 4-0 at home, then Spurs 4-0 away - this is the game where Van der Sar broke his nose after we had made three subs and Sheasy went in goal with incredible success.
Next, we strolled past Charlton at Old Trafford, 2-0. This was followed by a draw at home to Reading in the FA Cup 5th Round. The next four matches were all pretty amazing. First, our 1-0 win in the first leg of the Last 16 of the CL vs Lille, where Giggsy’s cheeky late goal nearly led to the Lille players walking off. Next, on 24 Feb, Ronaldo scored a brilliant 88th minute winner vs Fulham in the league in what felt at the time to be a really crucial three points. After the game Fergie said “that was the most difficult game we have had all season...it’s a significant result.”SOURCE. We then won the 5th round replay away at Reading. We were 3-0 up in just 6 minutes(!) and then everyone decided that was enough effort for one day and we spent the remaining 84 minutes hanging on (the match finished 3-2). That exhausting midweek clash was followed by a trip to Anfield, where the tired legs showed. We put in a pretty poor performance (bar the defence) and it was down to the great man John O’Shea to commit a blatant act of daylight robbery and win us the three points in second half stoppage time. BBC Match report. By this point we really were looking good for the title, but Chelsea were stubbornly staying 6 points behind us. On 7 March, we beat Lille 1-0 in the return leg of the Champions League last 16 to get through to the quarter finals of the CL. A shabby performance away at Boro in the Cup quarter final finished 2-2 (a week later we scraped past them 1-0 in the replay). In between those two Boro fixtures, we gave Bolton a 4-1 thumping in the league - potato highlights, check out Park’s miss at 40 seconds and also this awesome two-man counter attack goal. We beat Blackburn 4-1 next - we were 1-0 down before Scholesy did this on the hour mark and we cruised to victory from there.
On 4 April we went to Rome for the first leg of our Champions League QF. Scholesy was sent off after 30 mins and we were under the cosh for most of the game, eventually losing 2-1. The second leg is very well known (it’s coming, it’s coming) but I want to draw attention to the really lovely goal we scored in the away leg, from 40s in this video. In between the two Roma fixtures we got beaten at Portsmouth to throw the league race wide open - report.
We went into the second leg of the CL QF off the back of consecutive defeats and there was a feeling that our reasonably thin squad was struggling with end of season fixture congestion. Well the boys proved that thinking wrong with one the greatest United performances ever. I don’t think I need to say any more - United 7-1 Roma.
Confidence was high and in the FA Cup semi final we gave Watford a 4-1 tonking. Check out the highlights for Rooney’s thunderbastard opener and Watford’s superb equaliser.
We then had two simple league games, home to Sheffield United and Boro. The first fixture was a routine 2-0 - Carrick goal and Rooney goal. I think those two goals how classy and slick our football was that year. That was followed by a crappy 1-1 with Boro. Fortunately for us Chelsea couldn’t take advantage and drew 0-0 at Newcastle the following day. With four league games to go we were three points clear of Chelsea with a much better goal difference, but one of our last 4 games was against them. Table on 22/04/2007.
24 April 2007, Champions League Semi Final First Leg. Manchester United 3-2 Milan, a thrilling game of football - match highlights - best remembered now for this Kaka goal.
That weekend we had Everton away while Chelsea were playing Bolton at home. Both teams were playing at lunchtime on Saturday (I think this was because of CL commitments) and our away match at 5th-placed, Moyes-led Everton appeared a huge test, especially as it came sandwiched between the two Milan CL semi final games. What a day it was. Here’s the Guardian’s minute-by-minute reporting and the highlights. At half-time we were 1-0 down and Chelsea were 2-1 up (this would have left us level on points at the end of the day), We went 2-0 down in the 50th minute to a great hit and things were looking dire. But this was Sir Alex Ferguson and we're fkin Manchester United. In the 61st minute O’Shea scores from a keeping calamity. Our old boy Phil Neville did a favour with a rubbish own goal after 68. Big man Waz Rooney gave us the lead against his old club in 79 minutes before all-time United great Chris Eagles bagged the 4th in stoppage time. Meanwhile at Stamford Bridge Chelsea had choked and drawn 2-2. After 50 mins it looked like we would be level with Chelsea. At full time we were five points clear.
Sadly we were unable to continue that momentum into the Milan game. We had a few defensive injury problems (no Rio, G Nev or Evra) but can have no complaints about the 3-0 spanking we received. Kaka rightly gets lots of the plaudits (he was the Ballon D’Or winner in 2007 and the last man to win it not called Messi or Ronaldo), but my own memory of the game centres around a masterclass performance from footballing legend, and one of my all time favourite players, Clarence Seedorf. Match highlights. The Champions League was not to be that year - fortunately Milan beat Liverpool in the final - but it definitely felt like we could compete against Europe’s best for the first time since about 2003.
There was lots to play for though, we still had to seal the league title and we were in the Cup final.
Next up: City away. A trip to our local rivals off the back of getting knocked out of Europe was definitely a daunting task. Utter twat Michael Ball was incredibly lucky that the referee didn’t see this disgusting stamp on Ronaldo after 10 minutes. Cosmic justice was served, however, when Ball fouled Ronaldo for a penalty which Ronnie then scored. Complete talent blag Darius Vassell missed a late penalty of his own and United held on for a 1-0 win. Match highlights. Ronaldo wanted the world to know he'd been stamped on and paraded round the pitch topless after the match Daily Mirror article pics
Slightly underwhelmingly, Chelsea could only draw against Arsenal the next day, leaving the table looking like this and making us


without playing. Oddly Chelsea drew all of their last 5 league games.
A couple of interesting things about our final two dead rubbers. First up we went to Stamford Bridge as champions, which was delicious. It was made even more delicious by the fact that Chelsea gave us a guard of honour, but Fergie had rested most of our first team so Terry et al lined up to give a guard of honour to an eleven that included Dong Fangzhuo, Chris Eagles, Kieran Lee and Kieran Richardson. That match was a pretty boring 0-0. For the final game of the season we were at Old Trafford to play West Ham, who were busy performing their ‘Great Escape’. A United performance in which the lads gave about 3% effort ended 1-0 to West Ham with a Tevez goal that sent Sheffield United down. Because of the highly controversial nature of the Tevez and Mascherano signings, Sheff United actually sued West Ham and after a couple of years of legal wrangling there was an out-of-court settlement for around £10m. Source.
So final match of the season. The FA Cup Final. The two best teams in England playing the first final at the new Wembley. Two of the best teams in the world to tell the truth (as you all know this was the CL final a year later). And yet....one of the worst f***ing matches in history. Pure tedium the whole way through, only mildly brightened by a decent Drogba goal in extra time. I honestly can’t be arsed to write any more about this forgettable bit of dross.
That crappy final game couldn’t take away from what was a thrilling season and a thrilling United team. From the understandable pessimism of pre-season to Champions, an FA Cup final and CL semi-finals. 7-1 Roma was the peak, but there were so much beautiful high tempo football that season. The addition of Nani, Hargreaves, Tevez and Anderson made us a much stronger squad, but imo we lost a tiny bit of fluidity with the increased rotation. So while the 07/08 team was more successful, I still love the 06/07 team more.
United’s top scorers: Rooney 23, Ronaldo 23, Saha 13, Solskjaer 11.
Rooney tied for most PL assists with 11 (equal with Fabregas)
Ronaldo had a clean sweep of personal domestic honours, winning the PFA Award, Football Writers Award and PFA Young Player of the Year award.
The PFA Team of the Year had 8 United players - with Gerrard, Drogba and Berbatov making up the numbers.
One match I skipped was the United vs Europe XI fixture which happened in March. It was a fun 4-3 win for United. Highlights Go to about 80 seconds to see one of Ronaldo’s best free kicks.
That’s all folks - thanks for reading.
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2018.03.23 13:10 JohnMLTX USL Round Up Week 1: 12 March-18 March

The first week of the USL season is in the books! Here's a full recap of the previous week's action, the current USL Standings, the weekly honors, and the full schedule for the upcoming week. Each game will have a link to the USL Match Center, which contains a full replay as well as highlights for past games, and a link to the live stream for upcoming games.
Once we get to Week 3, I'll begin tracking the current leaders in goals, assists, and saves, and team leaders for clean sheets, yellow cards, and red cards.

With that, let's begin!


Date Home Score Away Recap & Replay Attendance:
03/16 Rio Grande Valley FC Toros 1-1 Saint Louis FC USL Match Center 5,910
03/16 Seattle Sounders FC 2 2-1 Portland Timbers 2 USL Match Center 6,049
03/17 New York Red Bulls II 2-1 Toronto FC II USL Match Center 717
03/17 Louisville City FC 2-0 Nashville SC USL Match Center 7,933
03/17 North Carolina FC 1-3 Tampa Bay Rowdies USL Match Center 4,197
03/17 Charlotte Independence 4-1 Ottawa Fury FC USL Match Center 1,438
03/17 Charleston Battery 0-1 FC Cincinnati USL Match Center 4,598
03/17 Reno 1868 FC 3-4 Swope Park Rangers USL Match Center 3,224
03/17 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 2-0 LA Galaxy II USL Match Center 3,023
03/17 Oklahoma City Energy FC 1-0 Tulsa Roughnecks FC USL Match Center 6,757
03/17 Fresno FC 2-3 Las Vegas Lights FC USL Match Center 7,769
03/17 Orange County SC 1-1 Phoenix Rising FC USL Match Center 3,127
03/17 Sacramento Republic FC 2-1 San Antonio FC USL Match Center 11,569
03/18 Bethlehem Steel FC 4-1 Richmond Kickers USL Match Center 3,284
Note: Not all flairs available at this time.


Eastern Conference
Bethlehem Steel FC 3 - 1 1 0 0 3
Charlotte Independence 3 - 1 1 0 0 3
Tampa Bay Rowdies 3 - 1 1 0 0 2
Louisville City FC 3 - 1 1 0 0 2
New York Red Bulls II 3 - 1 1 0 0 1
FC Cincinnati 3 - 1 1 0 0 1
Atlanta United 2 0 - 0 0 0 0 0
Indy Eleven 0 - 0 0 0 0 0
- - - - - - - --
Penn FC 0 - 0 0 0 0 0
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 0 - 0 0 0 0 0
Toronto FC II 0 - 1 0 0 1 -1
Charleston Battery 0 - 1 0 0 1 -1
North Carolina FC 0 - 1 0 0 1 -2
Nashville SC 0 - 1 0 0 1 -2
Richmond Kickers 0 - 1 0 0 1 -3
Ottawa Fury FC 0 - 1 0 0 1 -3
Western Conference
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 3 - 1 1 0 0 2
Swope Park Rangers 3 - 1 1 0 0 1
Las Vegas Lights FC 3 - 1 1 0 0 1
Sacramento Republic FC 3 - 1 1 0 0 1
Seattle Sounders FC 2 3 - 1 1 0 0 1
Oklahoma City Energy FC 3 - 1 1 0 0 1
Rio Grande Valley FC Toros 1 - 1 0 1 0 0
Saint Louis FC 1 - 1 0 1 0 0
- - - - - - -
Orange County SC 1 - 1 0 1 0 0
Phoenix Rising FC 1 - 1 0 1 0 0
Real Monarchs SLC 0 - 0 0 0 0 0
Reno 1868 FC 0 - 1 0 0 1 -1
Fresno FC 0 - 1 0 0 1 -1
Portland Timbers 2 0 - 1 0 0 1 -1
San Antonio FC 0 - 1 0 0 1 -1
Tulsa Roughnecks FC 0 - 1 0 0 1 -1
LA Galaxy II 0 - 1 0 0 1 -2

Week 2 Schedule

Date Home Time Away Match Page
03/24 Louisville City FC 3PM ET North Carolina FC USL Match Center
03/24 Richmond Kickers 5PM ET Indy Eleven USL Match Center
03/24 Nashville SC 5PM CT Pittsburgh Riverhounds USL Match Center
03/24 Atlanta United 2 7PM ET New York Red Bulls II USL Match Center
03/24 Charleston Battery 7PM ET Penn FC USL Match Center
03/24 Charlotte Independence 7PM ET Toronto FC II USL Match Center
03/24 Tampa Bay Rowdies 7:30PM ET Bethlehem Steel FC USL Match Center
03/24 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 6PM MT Portland Timbers 2 USL Match Center
03/24 Tulsa Roughnecks FC 7PM CT Real Monarchs SLC USL Match Center
03/24 San Antonio FC 7:30PM CT Saint Louis FC USL Match Center
03/24 Swope Park Rangers 7:30PM CT Seattle Sounders FC 2 USL Match Center
03/24 Fresno FC 7PM PT LA Galaxy II USL Match Center
03/24 Orange County SC 7PM PT Sacramento Republic FC USL Match Center
03/24 Phoenix Rising FC 7PM AT Oklahoma City Energy FC USL Match Center
03/24 Las Vegas Lights FC 8PM PT Reno 1868 FC USL Match Center
Full USL Schedule
Note: Not all flairs available at this time.
Goals of the Week
Winner: Jack Blake
Skills of the Week
Player of the Week: Kharlton Belmar
Saves of the Week
And now for my picks of what games to watch this week.
For me, I'll be watching Louisville vs North Carolina, as that looks to be a really good game between two solid teams. After that, Nashville vs the retooled and rebranded Pittsburgh Riverhounds. San Antonio vs Saint Louis should also be a good one. I'll be watching my team, the OKC Energy, take on Phoenix, with Drogba possibly playing. Finally, everyone should go watch Las Vegas vs Reno for the first Nevada state rivalry game. That's my number one pick of the week.
Next one should be up next Tuesday or Wednesday, with three midweek games kicking off Week 3.
That's all for now!
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2018.02.24 12:49 D1794 [Pre Match Thread] Manchester United vs Chelsea

Manchester United vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League Date: 25th Feb
Kick off: 14:05 GMT Venue: Old Trafford

Team News:

Possible starting XI:
-------------de Gea--------------- -Valencia-Bailly-Smalling-Young- ----Mctominay-Matic-Pogba---- --Martial---Lukaku---Sanchez--- 
  • Herrera ruled out
  • Bailly could make 1st start in 4 months
  • Ibra, Jones, Rojo, Fellaini and Blind all out
Player Injury/Ban Return Date
A. Herrera Hamstring April
D. Blind Ankle TBA
M. Fellaini Knee TBA
Z. Ibrahimovic Knee TBA

Form guide:

United: W L W L W D
Chelsea: W L L W W D

Last 3 meetings:

Result Comp Venue Season
1-0 L Premier League Stamford Bridge 17/18
2-0 W Premier League Old Trafford 16/17
1-0 L FA Cup Quarter Final Stamford Bridge 16/17
Match facts
  • Manchester United's only victory in the past 14 meetings in all competitions came at home in the league last season (D5, L8).
  • United have lost 18 Premier League games and conceded 67 goals against Chelsea, more than versus any other team in the division.
  • Chelsea's only goal in four Premier League fixtures at Old Trafford was scored by Didier Drogba in a 1-1 draw in October 2014.
  • There has not been an away win in a league meeting between these clubs since Chelsea's 1-0 triumph at Old Trafford in May 2013.
  • United have conceded just five goals in 13 Premier League home games this season.
  • Jose Mourinho has lost only two of his 49 competitive matches at Old Trafford as Manchester United manager, with both defeats coming at the hands of Manchester City.
  • They have won only four of their 16 league matches under Mourinho against the other established top-six teams (D5, L7), scoring only 12 goals and conceding 18.
  • Romelu Lukaku has failed to score in any of his six Premier League matches against other current top-six sides this season, managing just four attempts on target in those games.
  • Lukaku has failed to score in all 17 Premier League appearances involving Chelsea: 10 for the Blues and seven against them.
  • Mourinho has lost three matches in all competitions against Chelsea as Manchester United manager, more than against any other opponent.
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