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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sullivans Island, SC

    I have a mancrush on Mesut Ozil

    Quote Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post
    Mesut Ozil is a Gunner. Gooners, go wild. You're going to love this guy.
    In my opinion, this is the biggest news of the window. Other teams may have filled needs more directly, but Mesut Ozil coming to the EPL is perhaps the biggest transfer of its kind (i.e. incoming) in a long, long time. And it is supremely ironic that it is the Arsenal that [I believe] have broken the EPL transfer record (and obviously shattered their own) to bring him in. I'm going to be frank here and I think this is sweet irony hitting me over the head after my Arsenal rant further up the thread: Mesut Ozil is my favorite player in the world. By most metrics, he is the most creative player in Europe. The sabermetrics guys have begun to be able to quantify his influence on the game more concretely than just throwing assist numbers around (which Ozil excels at) and he's at (or near) the top of Key Passes per 90 in all of Europe and created nearly 30 more chances than anyone on Madrid last year. There's a reason Ronaldo's pissed he's gone. He's 24 and his numbers have been improving on a yearly basis.

    I'm excited to watch Ozil play more regularly in the EPL (since I watch it more than La Liga), but upset that it will be for Arsenal. Fewer players manipulate pockets of space to receive and distribute as effectively as Mesut Ozil and I can only hope he's off for the Liverpool matches. "Playing between the lines" is phrase used too often, but I think it is what makes Ozil such a devastating creator. Watch how many times he receives the ball and is positioned perfectly in between several defenders.

    I was told Ancelotti simply prefers the Isco/Modric combination to Ozil which certainly seems plausible, even if it's a sort of different operation. Modric was fantastic for spurs a couple seasons ago and the little I've watched of Isco showed me he's a fantastic talent...I just still can't believe that they let someone like Ozil go. He's entering his prime and already one of the top players in the world.

    Maybe a rundown from the resident Madridista?

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Forest Hills, NY

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGalt View Post
    I'm excited to watch Ozil play more regularly in the EPL (since I watch it more than La Liga), but upset that it will be for Arsenal.
    May I respectfully disagree? . I am thrilled with the move. This should give us a great passing midfield and help up front. I am still wary of our defensive strength, but maybe the Spurs result is a portent of things to come? (I don't pretend to know anywhere as much as the folks on this thread, but just love my Gunners, and Juve for that matter.)

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGalt View Post
    In my opinion, this is the biggest news of the window. Other teams may have filled needs more directly, but Mesut Ozil coming to the EPL is perhaps the biggest transfer of its kind (i.e. incoming) in a long, long time. And it is supremely ironic that it is the Arsenal that [I believe] have broken the EPL transfer record (and obviously shattered their own) to bring him in. I'm going to be frank here and I think this is sweet irony hitting me over the head after my Arsenal rant further up the thread: Mesut Ozil is my favorite player in the world. By most metrics, he is the most creative player in Europe. The sabermetrics guys have begun to be able to quantify his influence on the game more concretely than just throwing assist numbers around (which Ozil excels at) and he's at (or near) the top of Key Passes per 90 in all of Europe and created nearly 30 more chances than anyone on Madrid last year. There's a reason Ronaldo's pissed he's gone. He's 24 and his numbers have been improving on a yearly basis.

    I'm excited to watch Ozil play more regularly in the EPL (since I watch it more than La Liga), but upset that it will be for Arsenal. Fewer players manipulate pockets of space to receive and distribute as effectively as Mesut Ozil and I can only hope he's off for the Liverpool matches. "Playing between the lines" is phrase used too often, but I think it is what makes Ozil such a devastating creator. Watch how many times he receives the ball and is positioned perfectly in between several defenders.

    I was told Ancelotti simply prefers the Isco/Modric combination to Ozil which certainly seems plausible, even if it's a sort of different operation. Modric was fantastic for spurs a couple seasons ago and the little I've watched of Isco showed me he's a fantastic talent...I just still can't believe that they let someone like Ozil go. He's entering his prime and already one of the top players in the world.

    Maybe a rundown from the resident Madridista?
    I am mad we got rid of Ozil. All of the praise you mention is exactly what we feel and more. There's a reason why when Bale was introduced, Uncle Flo had to silence the crowd that was chanting "Ozil no se vende!" ("Don't sell Ozil!") Selling him for 50M euros is a ton of money, but he's worth every bit more. He has more assists than anyone in Europe the past 3 seasons, and it's not even close. In the end, Isco was preferred (and he's been worth every penny thus far) and with Bale entering the mix, there was no room in the starting lineup for Ozil even out of position on the right where he had been playing before Bale's arrival. I wished we had kept him (and Higuain...both were among my favorites on the team).

    I think Ozil's going to flourish in the EPL and can't wait to watch him play for Arsenal. Kind of shocked it was them that broke the bank to get him.
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  4. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sullivans Island, SC
    Quote Originally Posted by blazindw View Post
    I am mad we got rid of Ozil. All of the praise you mention is exactly what we feel and more. There's a reason why when Bale was introduced, Uncle Flo had to silence the crowd that was chanting "Ozil no se vende!" ("Don't sell Ozil!") Selling him for 50M euros is a ton of money, but he's worth every bit more. He has more assists than anyone in Europe the past 3 seasons, and it's not even close. In the end, Isco was preferred (and he's been worth every penny thus far) and with Bale entering the mix, there was no room in the starting lineup for Ozil even out of position on the right where he had been playing before Bale's arrival. I wished we had kept him (and Higuain...both were among my favorites on the team).

    I think Ozil's going to flourish in the EPL and can't wait to watch him play for Arsenal. Kind of shocked it was them that broke the bank to get him.
    Only 10 minutes into his English career and Mesut zil takes a lovely touch to slide it across the box for the first of many assists to come.

    I am so jealous.

    YNWA.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGalt View Post
    Only 10 minutes into his English career and Mesut zil takes a lovely touch to slide it across the box for the first of many assists to come.

    I am so jealous.

    YNWA.
    Jozy absolutely owned Sagna and should have had a goal, but the ref, wrongly, didn't allow the advantage. Sunderland has no one to get Jozy the ball, but he looked better when Gardner came in.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sullivans Island, SC
    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post
    Jozy absolutely owned Sagna and should have had a goal, but the ref, wrongly, didn't allow the advantage. Sunderland has no one to get Jozy the ball, but he looked better when Gardner came in.
    That really was terribly managed and Ramsey's goal shortly afterward essentially ended the game. Di Canio and Jozy have plenty of reason to be furious over that.

  7. #47
    There is no truth--I repeat, no truth-- to the rumor that Karl Hess was the referee for Sunderland-Arsenal.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post
    There is no truth--I repeat, no truth-- to the rumor that Karl Hess was the referee for Sunderland-Arsenal.
    Although does anyone really know what Lenny Wirtz was doing then?
    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  9. #49

    Euro Matchday One

    English teams went 5-1-1 in the opening week of play.

    ManU, Man City, and Arsenal all won in the Champions League. Chelsea stunk up the joint and lost at home to FC Basel. I will be wearing my FCB hat, a souvenir of a long-ago trip to St. Jakob's Park, all weekend.

    In the Europa League, Spurs cruised at home and Wigan ground out a draw on the road. In arguably the biggest surprise of the week, Swansea rolled into the Mestalla and blew away Valencia.

    League play resumes tomorrow. Manchester derby on Sunday.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Skinker-DeBaliviere, Saint Louis
    My wife, who can probably identify two soccer players in the entire world (the other is Miroslav Klose), refers to zil as "Turkish Stewie."

    A movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
    ---Roger Ebert


    Some questions cannot be answered
    Whos gonna bury who
    We need a love like Johnny, Johnny and June
    ---Over the Rhine

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    WSJ had a funny article today on the reception of the Premier League in America (written by an Englishman) -- worth looking for. Last page IIRC.
    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sullivans Island, SC
    Quote Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post
    English teams went 5-1-1 in the opening week of play.

    ManU, Man City, and Arsenal all won in the Champions League. Chelsea stunk up the joint and lost at home to FC Basel. I will be wearing my FCB hat, a souvenir of a long-ago trip to St. Jakob's Park, all weekend.

    In the Europa League, Spurs cruised at home and Wigan ground out a draw on the road. In arguably the biggest surprise of the week, Swansea rolled into the Mestalla and blew away Valencia.

    League play resumes tomorrow. Manchester derby on Sunday.

    I found it pretty annoying that the Chelsea/Basel and Barca/Ajax games were played over the Dortmund/Napoli match. Granted, Chelsea/Basel turned into quite a match even though the storyline was STILL about Chelsea (and how poor they were...versus Basel's efficiency)...and Barca/Ajax has the historical context with the added tidbit of Bojan's return to the Camp Nou...but, come on guys, Dortmund/Napoli was definitely the best matchup of the day. First place in Italy vs first place in Germany. Rafa's system of narrow efficiency vs Klopp's energetic counterattacking. Both managers regarded as preeminent tacticians. I was posted up at my favorite little BYOB cigar bar ready to watch a different kind of game for once and got stuck watching Barca pummel Ajax and then Mou try and organize 9 different managers' worth of signings. I guess whining about what brings in the most money is really a pointless endeavor, but...well...that's my soapbox.

    Citeh really needs to beat United this weekend or Pellegrini will be under pressure EARLY.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX

    2022 Qatar World Cup

    Looks like Platini and Blatter were paid more than I realized --- UEFA signing off on the 2022 World Cup being in the winter.

    Let's set aside the logistical miracle required to allow for the world cup to work in Qatar, as I'm sure they will pull in the "cheap" (read indentured) labor to pull it off. But let's think about the aggrieved parties...

    - Every club that plays an August to June schedule who may have to start earlier, and play later, to allow 8 weeks off, creating issues not just for the 2021-2022 season, but 2022-2023.
    - Every country cup, which may have to compact its schedule
    - Every continental club cup which may need to invite less teams, play less games, etc.
    - Fox, who spent $1B on the world cup to see half their investment compete against the NFL and basketball
    - The 2022 Winter Olympics, potentially.
    - The World Cup qualifying schedule, assuming they are talking January 2022.

    Oh... I'm sure there is more. So why again was Qatar a good idea?

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Partly Orlando, FL partly heard Sandpoint, ID
    Interesting news indeed. But note that none of the details were really discussed, where significant differences will come into play(have it post Christmas and top clubs will be ticked off about major changes to Champions league structure and Winter Olympics are conflicting, have it before Christmas and many domestic leagues are unhappy with major disruption of their league, etc). One major detail that will play out, is that I'm pretty sure that Fox made their $1 bn bid for a summer World Cup and they have the right to reopen the contract which could be interesting(and could cost FIFA 3-400 million).

    Interesting times indeed.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Skinker-DeBaliviere, Saint Louis
    If Fox is covering the 2022 World Cup, does that mean we'll get to see a lot of Erin Andrews?

    A movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
    ---Roger Ebert


    Some questions cannot be answered
    Whos gonna bury who
    We need a love like Johnny, Johnny and June
    ---Over the Rhine

  16. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by throatybeard View Post
    If Fox is covering the 2022 World Cup, does that mean we'll get to see a lot of Erin Andrews?
    Fox will almost certainly be sharing resources and production costs with Sky, so we're more likely to get some right-wing misogynist's idea of a saucy Brit.

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post
    Looks like Platini and Blatter were paid more than I realized --- UEFA signing off on the 2022 World Cup being in the winter.

    Let's set aside the logistical miracle required to allow for the world cup to work in Qatar, as I'm sure they will pull in the "cheap" (read indentured) labor to pull it off. But let's think about the aggrieved parties...

    - Every club that plays an August to June schedule who may have to start earlier, and play later, to allow 8 weeks off, creating issues not just for the 2021-2022 season, but 2022-2023.
    - Every country cup, which may have to compact its schedule
    - Every continental club cup which may need to invite less teams, play less games, etc.
    - Fox, who spent $1B on the world cup to see half their investment compete against the NFL and basketball
    - The 2022 Winter Olympics, potentially.
    - The World Cup qualifying schedule, assuming they are talking January 2022.

    Oh... I'm sure there is more. So why again was Qatar a good idea?
    Excellent question. What's worse, playing the Worldcup in 130 degree heat, or distrupting nearly every other soccer related event for a span of a year? I still don't know how Qatar won the bid*.





    * yes I do.

  18. #58
    There was some delightful football this weekend. Swansea-Arsenal and Sunderland-Liverpool were immensely watchable. Spurs-Chelsea was two evenly matched teams going at each other with 2x4s and brass knuckles. West Brom richly deserved its win at Old Trafford.

    Shame that the weekend had to end with a horrifically bad call by an assistant referee that cost the Galaxy a deserved point.

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Forest Hills, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post
    There was some delightful football this weekend. Swansea-Arsenal and Sunderland-Liverpool were immensely watchable. Spurs-Chelsea was two evenly matched teams going at each other with 2x4s and brass knuckles. West Brom richly deserved its win at Old Trafford.

    Shame that the weekend had to end with a horrifically bad call by an assistant referee that cost the Galaxy a deserved point.
    As a Gooner, I loved this weekend. Both Mans lose and we beat Swansea in an exciting game. Both sides passed well and controlled the ball. I am nowhere near the expert that others on this thread are, but to me, it was a well played game..punch...counterpunch, with a late Swansea goal making it interesting.

    Ozil didn't seem on his game, but others played well. (BTW, when did I miss the Gunners crossing the Maginot line EASTWARD and becoming German-dominated vs French? Very interesting evolution...Per, Mesut, Serge Gnabry...) With Wilshere, Ramsey, Gnabry, Theo and others so young, unless we (continue) to lose developed/ing players, the future is way brighter than a year or so ago.

    (And my other side, Juve, also won the Turin Derby v Torino.)

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sullivans Island, SC

    Interesting subplots everywhere

    1. Arsenal
    2. Liverpool
    3. Spurs
    4. Chelsea
    5. Soton
    6. Citeh
    ...
    13. United

    How many of you all had this at the end of September?

    As a Liverpool supporter, the flexibility in Rodgers' system(s!) has been the nicest surprise. That, and the Alpha & the KolOmega, Kolo Toure, of course.

    The 3-5-2 we've used the last two games has been interesting to watch in that it semi-solves the injury issues, our abundance of CBs, and how to pair Suarez and Sturridge up front. Coutinho's absence continues to hurt though...Moses looks awkward in the hole and I suppose Luis Alberto isn't quite ready for the job. The Lucas/Gerrard double pivot is still not gelling either. I don't understand why Rodgers is so reluctant to push Gerrard - a proven goal-scorer/creator - further up the field. Something is going to change this weekend though because Lucas is out via yellow-card accumulation. I'm hoping Henderson gets pushed inside and one of the teenagers - Sterling/Ibe - gets a run out on the wing.

    Either way, the EPL is as wide open as I can remember it. Odds are City and Chelsea's new managers will continue to learn and massage their teams in order to find the right combinations. Their top 18s are clearly the best squads though. Arsenal's top 11 is probably close, but I imagine with all the competitions that fatigue/injuries will catch up with them. It will be interesting to see what Moyes does. The truth is that the way he's lining up is awfully Hodgsonian...caution at Everton is one thing but United supporters won't stand for it just like Liverpool's wouldn't stand for Roy's.

    ------------
    In other news...Atleti beat Madrid in the league derby for the first time in 14 years. Diego Costa continues to play superbly for Diego Simeone who is quietly but steadily pushing Atletico into the Catalan/Galactico duopoly. As Simeone himself likes to comment...his resources are finite in comparison to Madrid and Barca so he's had to compete organizationally. Atletico is a well-organized, counter-attacking side that retreats quickly to narrow, compact positions when not in possession. It's really interesting to watch too as it extremely different than Barca and even Madrid. Either way...it's no small surprise that Di Maria, in my opinion, was Madrid's most effective player in the match. As a natural wideman, he had space to operate whereas Illaremendi, Khedira, and Isco (playing LW) were troubled in the middle. In any case, big and deserved win for my colchoneros.

    Finally...The 4-4-2 has really enjoyed quite the renaissance this year! Maybe Hodgson and England will win the World Cup after all? (hardy har).

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