tht

akstavrh
Anyway, I feel fairly vindicated in this old argument now
nah.....my fairly uncontroversial contention was that barcelona on paper should destroy all comers, and i don't think that essentially theoretical argument is disproven given their (often self inflicted) misfortune since then

conceding 1 goal in two games v united isn't the problem, it's the not scoring! they haven't scored in ther last 4 games, almost unheard of in recent history

how come.......

if you read about what's happened to ronaldinho, a fucking disgrace of pandering and coverups.....there were inklings of this but the full scale of wastage through indolence and concessions is just untrue....he could have been a rival to cruyff and maradona going by his form at 24, 25, now he's past it at 28

(deco gone the same way to a lesser extent)

messi again heavily disrupted by two major injuries this season, and it's a concern if he'll ever be adequately fit to fulfill his gifts

these are the two most naturally gifted footballers of the age, few who've seen enough of them could argue that kaka and c ronaldo, without their natural athleticism, could compare purely at the level of technique and instantaneous intelligence

then they have the two finest centre forwards, henry and eto'o, the former now seems chronically injured and the latter just hasn't come back from his last serious injury.......should have scored once at camp nou, and if he'd fallen under ferdinand's challenge would undoubtedly have got a penalty

iniesta and xavi showed in both these games that their retention and skill far outweighs any utd midfielder (scholes excepted), but the way this barcelona team is conceived they aren't supposed to play the final ball all the time, that was ronaldinho or deco's job.....it's a division of labour....the midfield can play tika taka tika taka all day long but someone else is supposed to do the final incision

xavi shows this is something of a failure in the catalan-spanish imagination when he says barcelona didn't deserve to lose, since his education is to priviledge possesion and control above opportunism, and the latter's success is always discounted

this determinism is inherent in rijkaard (and through him, cruyff) ALWAYS playing 70s style dutch 4-3-3 even when all these injuries and problems render that formation unworkable.....my mistake was assuming iniesta could sub for ronaldinho at left wing but it seems you do need a proper wing-forward to play there

that said barcelona are the finest techincal collection of players, and no amount of english chauvinism can say that their method is now proven to be defunct - nu-catenaccio is winning for now but barcelona will change this summer and they might not be so poorly managed next time round
 

mos dan

fact music
Has anyone commented yet that (from an ownership pov) the CL final is a rehash of the Cold War? In Moscow!

As with the Prem, I will be hoping that the laws of physics (and football) are defied and somehow both teams lose in the final ;)
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"nah.....my fairly uncontroversial contention was that barcelona on paper should destroy all comers,"
Not just controversial but utterly incorrect. Anyway, I'm fairly sure you said "are" best not "should be".

I said that Henry was a waste of money and they would never win anything unless they sorted out the defence. Aren't you acknowledging that here?

"i don't think that essentially theoretical argument is disproven given their (often self inflicted) misfortune since then"
Or what do you mean by self-inflicted?

"then they have the two finest centre forwards, henry and eto'o"
Bollocks.

"iniesta and xavi showed in both these games that their retention and skill far outweighs any utd midfielder (scholes excepted)"
Shite.

"that said barcelona are the finest techincal collection of players, and no amount of english chauvinism can say that their method is now proven to be defunct - nu-catenaccio is winning for now but barcelona will change this summer and they might not be so poorly managed next time round"
They might be the finest technical collection of players but they are obviously not the finest collection of players. They could still be playing now against United and they probably wouldn't have scored. I'm not saying that the method is defunct, just that the team isn't half as good as you think it is - otherwise they wouldn't be third in a league that United (or Chelsea or Arsenal) would win with one arm tied behind their back. I think if United had played to their own strengths they would have won the game much more easily, Ferguson made a tactial error but luckily the players had the ability to come through.

"barcelona will change this summer and they might not be so poorly managed next time round"
Well isn't that the exact thing I was criticising before? They had the basis of a good side but the management didn't know how to make it into a great team and were buying the wrong players. You said "no, no, they're next level, they don't need to change". So you're actually changing so that you're saying exactly what I said before but saying I'm not vindicated.

Far from this being the case

"nobody in england would get in their front 5 except maybe fabregas, although given he is like an aggregate of xavi, deco and iniesta, if he stayed in barcelona he would probably be covering for them as necessary"
It would be more accurate to say that no-one in Barcelona's front five would get in the United team except for Messi.
 
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jenks

thread death
"nobody in england would get in their front 5 except maybe fabregas, although given he is like an aggregate of xavi, deco and iniesta, if he stayed in barcelona he would probably be covering for them as necessary"

I really don't believe this - they didn't score in either match and their only legit chance was the time Eto was caught by Ferdindand and he didn't go down.

I think this blindness to some of the quality in the Prem is taking things too far - Torres not good enough for Braca's front five? Berbatov? I don't think there's many quality CL sides who wouldn't have either of them.

I also think we're being hard on Man Utd - they started well and obviously Barca were going to come at them once the goal was scored but they let Nani have three good chances and the unsung members of Utd really showed their worth - Park and Brown in particular.

I really thought Liverpool were going to do it in the second half last night!
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"I think this blindness to some of the quality in the Prem is taking things too far"
That's putting it very kindly, it's not being blind it's being perverse; forget how things are just tell it how you feel it ought to be to fit in with your worldview.
 

tht

akstavrh
That's putting it very kindly, it's not being blind it's being perverse; forget how things are just tell it how you feel it ought to be to fit in with your worldview
g-d you can be a twat sometimes

i write from boredom and/or to concretize my own thoughts, not out of some apostolic enlightening-directive and yet you need to psychologize even a few hypothetical ramblings about fucking football of all things

I think this blindness to some of the quality in the Prem is taking things too far - Torres not good enough for Braca's front five? Berbatov? I don't think there's many quality CL sides who wouldn't have either of them
torres is interesting, i think he was somewhat uncharacteristically cowardly in choosing liverpool over utd, where he could have formed an attacking tridente almost as good as i wanted messi-eto'o-ronaldinho to be! anderson and scholes feeding ronaldo and rooney, feeding torres.....maybe torres preferred a homely 'spanish' liverpool and no competition for places

six months ago he couldn't be considered alongside eto'o and henry......barca won 6-0 away at atletico madrid last year and torres looked aghast.......he was crap, as he was all season despite being historically very successful against barcelona

the difference is that in spain, space can be difficult to find.....teams play around the box and look to create openings through very precise interplay, whereas in england (very simply) the more constricted factor is time......the default tempo is super fast and torres thrives on it since the plays are less complex (often just a single pass from gerrard) and when clean through, nobody catches him

the reason i value eto'o above him is that he could arguably prosper in both systems (jose mourinho wanted to sign him more than any other player apparently) since eto'o is maybe even faster than torres, with amazing movement and tenacity

as of current form though, torres wees all over him but i think it's fair to wait and see how eto'o recovers since he's only 27!

incidentally, torres and to a lesser extent fabregas almost look like strangers when playing for spain alongside xavi, iniesta, silva and villa all of whom want to play a trillion passes

they make arsenal look like bolton
 
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hucks

Your Message Here
On the Guardian football podcast (great listen, I reckon), the Spanish correspondent, Sid Lowe, reckons it's been Barca's concentration on the defence that's cost them this season. His point is that they used to have attacking fullbacks, but they are more orthodox now. That's why that tip-tap bullshit ends up going nowhere - no-one's making the runs in behind the defence, stretching the play.

It's a theory, anyhow. Add that to the fact that the Famous Four up front are all various states of injured and - tadaaan! You end up behind Villareal in the league.

Edit: V chuffed to see Zenit St Petersburg heading for the UEFA Cup Final. They're my second team, of sorts
 

tht

akstavrh
there's something to that

abidal is one of the fastest players i've ever seen over sprinting distances but he is prone to a sort of mind-freeze and isn't good in confined spaces, and zambrotta's concentration has gone to shit lately

without continuity in the forwards, they haven't had the chance to form the sort of intuitive relationship cole and pires did for example
 

crackerjack

Well-known member
thread back on topic!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2008/may/06/manchesterunited.premierleague

David Gill, United's chief executive, announced the headline results back in January, stressing that United's phenomenal money-making power, with 76,000 crowding into Old Trafford and the Premier League's huge TV rights deals, had produced record income of £210m and operating profits of £75m. The full accounts show, however, that even though United made a further £11m profit from buying and selling players, the interest and other accounting provisions pushed United into recording an overall loss of £58m.
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
That's why that tip-tap bullshit ends up going nowhere - no-one's making the runs in behind the defence, stretching the play.
lol cf. Arsenal

There are limits to how much you can nip in behind defences in Spanish football tho', as they tend to sit further back than they do here.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"lol cf. Arsenal"
Not sure that's quite fair though - I guess there have been times earlier in the season when Arsenal have chosen to find a pass after the final pass when it would have been easier to score but at least they have been able to find the final pass. United played Arsenal a week or so before they faced Barcelona which gives you quite a good chance to compare the two sides and their methodology. Although both knock the ball around in a similar way Arsenal had far more cutting edge and invention in the final third, they opened up United several times and it was only Adebayor's profligacy (is he really a top level striker?) that meant they didn't win. Contrast that with the way that Barcelona were unable to really make a good chance in twice as much playing time and I don't think it's fair to say that the problem is with the tactics of pass and move as such, it's the team/players trying to execute them. There is obviously nothing wrong with playing ten passes if you have people who can find a way to conjure a chance on the end of it.

"There are limits to how much you can nip in behind defences in Spanish football tho', as they tend to sit further back than they do here."
Well, it's swings and roundabouts isn't it - the deeper you sit the less space there is behind you for the ball to be played into but the consequence is either that there is a gap that can be exploited between midfield in defence or else you bring the midfield deep as well and allow the other team to control a large part of the pitch.
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
Barcelona midfield >>> Man Utd midfield >>> Arsenal midfield (speaking as a Man U fan)

Arsenal can't maintain the pitapat all game, as shown against Liverpool recently.

I think you'll find that Messi is good enough to conjure chances - just that Barca didn't have good enough strikers on the night (should have played that 17 yr old from the start praps)
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Barcelona midfield >>> Man Utd midfield >>> Arsenal midfield (speaking as a Man U fan)
Depends on what you want from your midfield really. In Man Utd vs Barcelona the Man Utd midfield made more chances for their strikers with a lot less of the ball. Over the course of the season Man Utd's midfield has been a big part in winning them the games that mean that if they win their next two games they do the double. I think that you mean that Barcelona's midfield is better at keeping the ball, I don't think that makes it better.
Depends what you're counting as midfield as well - where does Rondaldo play?

"Arsenal can't maintain the pitapat all game, as shown against Liverpool recently."
In the cup? They were pretty close to getting through weren't they? They certainly got a lot closer to knocking Liverpool out than Barca did the year before.

"I think you'll find that Messi is good enough to conjure chances - just that Barca didn't have good enough strikers on the night (should have played that 17 yr old from the start praps)"
He is - but he didn't on those nights. And nobody else looked like they might be good enough. It wasn't that the strikers were missing chances, they were feeding on scraps. Their fans had to content themselves with replays of Decco hitting it over the bar from outside the area as he fell over.
 

crackerjack

Well-known member
He is - but he didn't on those nights. And nobody else looked like they might be good enough. It wasn't that the strikers were missing chances, they were feeding on scraps.
It's part of the striker's job to create chances by getting into position. Eto'o played last week like i did when I was 12 - hang around the goal waiting for chances that never came.

Edit: though I did find myself wishing Messi would sometimes pass the ball as beautfiully as he dribbles.
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
"Do you mean Rondildo or Ronaldaddy-o?"
Well, either really, what I'm saying is that it's not always easy to say who counts as a midfielder and who counts as a striker and it's difficult to compare the midfield of two teams who play with a different number of midfielders and who overlap their midfield with the attack - and the defence for that matter.

"It's part of the striker's job to create chances by getting into position. Eto'o played last week like i did when I was 12 - hang around the goal waiting for chances that never came."
He did look out of sorts but really it was very difficult for him.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Well, United won the league then - no real surprise there although of course there was always the chance of a slip-up. What is surprising to me is the signs of a break-up of the Arsenal side. So much talk of a young team with much to give and yet Hleb and Flamini are leaving before this new dawn has even materialised. Not the most crucial players in the side I guess but each had an important rolee and the fact that they are so willing to move on is a bit of a blow to Wenger's vision I would have thought. So many of the Arsenal side this year have said how happy they are to be playing in such a side and how they expect things to improve as the side becomes more mature and yet they are willing to move to what are arguably weaker sides - why is that? Is it in expectation of more first-team football? Possibly but hard to count on that, maybe it's because there is more chance of winning a weaker league, I don't know.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"There are plenty of Arsenal fans who'll tell you Flamini is actually their player of the year"
So, why does he want to go? Both players seem to have improved this season and I would feel gutted as an Arsenal fan if I had watched them come through the ranks and get good at Arsenal and then fuck off as soon as they started to fulfill their promise. This has not traditionally been a problem for Wenger, I just wonder why it's happening now.
 

don_quixote

Trent End
crisis of confidence, seemed like it was all coming together and then BAM! the minute one player decides he's off suddenly everyone thinks 'oh if he's leaving for success i'd better leave too'

i imagine that's an exaggeration of the facts. but whatever. arsenal will recover aslong as wenger doesn't walk.

anyway, i'm still walking about 10 foot above the ground after last weekend. nottingham forest going up and leicester city going down. unbelievably happy, actually enjoying football again.
 
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