Sticksboi05

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Which is the exact opposite of what my beloved Arsenal does. We buy 'em young like Man Utd BUT sell them for a huge profit once they are at their peak. Makes for a good business model, but always a too-young squad. Very frustrating.

Yeah I don't know how Arsenal fans do it. My sister actually lives less than a mile from the Emirates and is a huge fan. It seems as if Wenger (and his transfer policies) have finally worn thin on Arsenal supporters. On the plus side, I think Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be a star . . . and he might actually stay at Arsenal if Wenger is gone before he can sell him.

Arsenal always seem to be in a youth movement, which as you mentioned, can affect the squad's performances. And it just seems that the youngsters either never develop into what they could have been (Arshavin) or are sold. RVP will leave this summer IMO, simply because he deserves Champions League football. Jack Wilshere though looks to be a career Gunner. If he can stay healthy then you all have a fantastic central midfielder.

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I've seen too many "career Gunners" so pardon my cynicism. Yeah, agreed RVP will most likely leave. In truth, he's always had this talent but never been healthy to show it through a season.

To be perfectly honest, I think we are better this year than in the recent past. It's just unfortunate that we lost all our fullbacks to injury. Not saying it'd make the difference, but it is the difference between finishing fourth or finishing seventh. Nasri was a douche that didn't produce as much as his talent would've let him. Cesc was my favorite player but when a guy's head isn't into something it shows. I think he was ready to move away and it showed in his play. You probably don't watch too many Arsenal matches but the style of play is much more different this year than in years past. The last 2-3 years so us try to pass masterfully in the box for an easy finish—but too often we lost the ball and never got a shot. This year, things are more pragmatic. More crossing, more wide play, and things are more direct.

What I admire about United is just that. They don't worry about "philosophy" like Barca does (which is good in it's own right) but SAF's teams have always been very pragmatic about attacking.

Part of the problem is that Arsenal built a new stadium and a new training ground and the economy turned (they'd built luxury flats where the old stadium used to be). They need to be fiscally sound to recoup that money.

They are stuck on a philosophy that pays ALL their players generally the same. Which is good when you are young and upcoming but once you are established, you don't understand why you are getting paid the same as the 2nd string keeper. And when you get teams like Man ****ty who will triple the salary of a mediocre left back (Gael Clichy) then you're in trouble.

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^^^ Injuries (particularly to the defense) have indeed doomed any realistic shot of finishing in the top 4.

You are absolutely right regarding both Nasri and Cesc. Nasri played exceptionally well at times last year, but was never consistent. And Cesc is absolutely incredible . . . but you could see he just wasn't into Arsenal anymore. I'll never forget his "performance" in the second leg against Barca in last year's CL. He was practically a 12th player for them.

I agree with you that Arsenal was too consumed with the whole "Barca-style of play." Hell, Wenger would ***** and complain after every loss, saying how beautiful the team played just like Barcelona yet still couldn't get the result. This year seems to be different. Once Gervinho comes back your attack will be even better in terms of being able to attack from wide positions.

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Surely you must be talking about the noisy neighbors (Manchester City) or Chelsea, because the belief that United just outspends everyone is a common misconception.

In the past three years, for example, United has a net spending LOWER than those of Hull City, Blackpool and Burnley . . .

We get amazing talent when they are young (and relatively cheaper than what the market typically dictates), and then reward them for production. Look at some of the numbers: Wayne Rooney for £25M (a steal at the time considering what he has turned into, while players like Andy Carrol are going for £35M), Chris Smalling for £8M, Phil Jones for £16M, and Nemanja Vidic for just £7M!

I can go on and bore you all with more . . . but the above four players make my point.

And in the previous three years to the last three you mentioned, Berbatov, Haregreaves and Nani for a combined £68 million. It's true the club didn't reinvest the ridiculous £80 million Madrid stumped up for Ronaldo until this season (only Valencia at£16 million) with De Gea, Jones and Young.

I get your point to an extent on Utd's transfer policy, but it's a fallacy to suggest Ferguson hasn't spent major money over the last decade and more, with some of the biggest collective and individual fees paid. And he's had some big money busts along the way. The near £30 million on Veron springs instantly to mind.

Hail.

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And in the previous three years to the last three you mentioned, Berbatov, Haregreaves and Nani for a combined £68 million. It's true the club didn't reinvest the ridiculous £80 million Madrid stumped up for Ronaldo until this season (only Valencia at£16 million) with De Gea, Jones and Young.

I get your point to an extent on Utd's transfer policy, but it's a fallacy to suggest Ferguson hasn't spent major money over the last decade and more, with some of the biggest collective and individual fees paid. And he's had some big money busts along the way. The near £30 million on Veron springs instantly to mind.

Hail.

I was not trying to suggest that Fergie has been frugal and has avoided diving into the lunacy and absurdity that now characterizes the transfer windows. I was merely saying that United's perceived propensity to spend big is overblown.

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I was not trying to suggest that Fergie has been frugal and has avoided diving into the lunacy and absurdity that now characterizes the transfer windows. I was merely saying that United's perceived propensity to spend big is overblown.

I got what your we're saying, and over the last few season's windows that's been true up to the past one. (Although he bought very wisely in two of the very few real talented young English players out there; and a top quality young keeper, even given his early problems in adapting to a new Country and style of football.),

I was just making the point that over the duration, particularly through the Premier League years, he's had more than his share of massive money buys that have helped drive up the market at various times.

Hail.

*Edit* I would wish you look for Sat'day, but that would be like wishing a Cowboys fan look before a Redskins game. I wouldn't mean it. :pfft:

Edited by Gibbs Hog Heaven

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^^^ Nobody can deny the fact that United has played a (bad) role in setting the current market . . . WIth the Glazers though that spending has certainly gone down. Most MUFC fans actually hate the Glazers because of this.

Regarding Saturday, I wouldn't expect any luck being wished from you!

Liverpool, at Anfield no less, is always a tough game for United. Win or lose, all I have to say is 19! :)

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Regarding Saturday, I wouldn't expect any luck being wished from you!

Liverpool, at Anfield no less, is always a tough game for United. Win or lose, all I have to say is 19! :)

I think that the atmosphere will be amazing. I think Evra is going to be taunted and insulted throughout the match. I just hope that it doesn't get racial. I hope it is more singing Suarez's name instead.

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Surely you must be talking about the noisy neighbors (Manchester City) or Chelsea, because the belief that United just outspends everyone is a common misconception.

In the past three years, for example, United has a net spending LOWER than those of Hull City, Blackpool and Burnley . . .

We get amazing talent when they are young (and relatively cheaper than what the market typically dictates), and then reward them for production. Look at some of the numbers: Wayne Rooney for £25M (a steal at the time considering what he has turned into, while players like Andy Carrol are going for £35M), Chris Smalling for £8M, Phil Jones for £16M, and Nemanja Vidic for just £7M!

I can go on and bore you all with more . . . but the above four players make my point.

:ols: I'm just a casual fan of it. I try to catch the games Saturday morning. I can honestly say I don't know alot about the EPL other than ManU winning alot, being at the top of the standings and having some of the best players in the league. I picked Tottenham because I thought their name sounded cool, especially with an English accent. :pfft: But anyway, Go Spurs!!!

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US defender Tim Ream off to Bolton. I'm on my phone so I'm not posting the link.

http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/story/_/id/7505589/tim-ream-new-york-red-bulls-makes-move-bolton

BOLTON, England -- Bolton filled the gap in its squad created by the sale of Gary Cahill by signing Tim Ream from the New York Red Bulls on Thursday.

The 24-year-old defender becomes the second United States international in the Premier League club's squad after midfielder Stuart Holden, and replaces Cahill following the England international's switch to Chelsea earlier in Europe's January transfer window.

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I think that the atmosphere will be amazing. I think Evra is going to be taunted and insulted throughout the match. I just hope that it doesn't get racial. I hope it is more singing Suarez's name instead.

Evra will be booed on a level that has typically been reserved for only John Terry right after his personal issues. The atmosphere should be incredible!

---------- Post added January-26th-2012 at 01:57 PM ----------

:ols: I'm just a casual fan of it. I try to catch the games Saturday morning. I can honestly say I don't know alot about the EPL other than ManU winning alot, being at the top of the standings and having some of the best players in the league. I picked Tottenham because I thought their name sounded cool, especially with an English accent. :pfft: But anyway, Go Spurs!!!

Spurs are a very solid team. If for some reason management can convince Modric to stay, then Spurs should consistently finish in the top 4 for the next few years. Gareth Bale is an unbelievable combination of strength, pace and skill. Ledley King has been great this year. Kyle Walker should be a regular for the national team for the next decade.

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Regarding Saturday, I wouldn't expect any luck being wished from you!

Liverpool, at Anfield no less, is always a tough game for United. Win or lose, all I have to say is 19! :)

Touche. All I can say to that for the math and prestige challenged is 18+5 is greater than 19+3. :D

I think that the atmosphere will be amazing. I think Evra is going to be taunted and insulted throughout the match. I just hope that it doesn't get racial. I hope it is more singing Suarez's name instead.

Sadly, to add to the horrid hatred that always surrounds the biggest fixture in England and one of the biggest in the World, I shudder to think what Evra will get slung his way this weekend. (The last few week's 'We're not Racist, We only hate Mancs!' could well be mild in comparison.). The game at Old Trafford in two weeks will be even worse when Suarez makes his comeback. The next two games are gona' be particularly ugly, even for this fixture which is far more about two City's just 35 miles apart in distance but WORLDS apart in almost everything; from the way we speak, dress, our musical tastes et all; than it is about the football. The football is secondary to that on the day.

It's not big. It's not clever. But it is what it is.

With no disrespect to the boys in Glasgow, Buenos Aires, Rome, Madrid/ Barcelona et all, there's NO bigger soccer hatred on the planet than L'pool/ Utd. It's poisonous. It brings out the very worst in normally rational people. But that said, rightly or wrongly, I LOVE IT!

12:45 Saturday lunch time can't come soon enough!

Hail.

Edited by Gibbs Hog Heaven

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Spurs are a very solid team. If for some reason management can convince Modric to stay, then Spurs should consistently finish in the top 4 for the next few years. Gareth Bale is an unbelievable combination of strength, pace and skill. Ledley King has been great this year. Kyle Walker should be a regular for the national team for the next decade.

I do enjoy watching Bale play. He's all over the field and I think easily their best player. I also like watching Pavlyuchenko and Huddlestone play.

Edited by pjfootballer

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And in the previous three years to the last three you mentioned, Berbatov, Haregreaves and Nani for a combined £68 million. It's true the club didn't reinvest the ridiculous £80 million Madrid stumped up for Ronaldo until this season (only Valencia at£16 million) with De Gea, Jones and Young.

I get your point to an extent on Utd's transfer policy, but it's a fallacy to suggest Ferguson hasn't spent major money over the last decade and more, with some of the biggest collective and individual fees paid. And he's had some big money busts along the way. The near £30 million on Veron springs instantly to mind.

Hail.

Again, I'll use the word pragmatic about how Ferguson buys. He buys when needed and only sells if he really has to (his stars). Wenger is about value and bargain basement finds. Which is fine, but you have to let these finds mature. In retrospect, I'll say that the string of being in the top 4 for Arsenal has been an example of over-achievment. If you look back, the teams weren't particularly great. So credit Wenger for getting the most out of his players but the guys on the other side are good too and that's when you have problems. And they haven't had a terrible time against the Big 4, it's dropping results to the rest of the EPL that hurts the final standing.

For example, last year, we would've ran away with the league had we not dropped points against the "small" teams. But that's youth. That's not having a hard man. And that's not having a full-fledged goalkeeper getting you results when the field players aren't having their best games. This last part is something Ferguson has understood very well. He's never really been without a Van Der Sar or Schmeichel for any extended period. Heck, even Barthez was good.

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I'd take issue on goalkeepers Elessar.. That's been one area Ferguson has continually struggled with, save for Schmeichel and Van Der Sar. But even he was well on the wane at Utd and not a patch on what he was in his Ajax and Juventus days.

Barthez was a liability, and there's been a long list in-between of the likes of Tiabi, Foster, Carroll et all. Even De Gea, who I think will turn out to be a good buy, has started his career off in England REAL shakily and been a massive liability for Utd this season to the point of being dropped of late.

As for Wenger, he's long past needing to realise that he's not there to worry about balancing the books at Arsenal. He's there to win trophy's. Leave the financial concerns to the board, and don't worry about fees if they sanction the money. Experience in key areas has been the bane of Arsenal sides for too long now. On their day, the best technical and attractive sides to watch bar non in England, but with the other frustrating Wenger trait of refusing to change no matter what the situation, and often overplaying and wasting opportunity's. For all the good will he's built up at Arsenal from his early years, it makes you wonder just how much longer he can go on using the kids excuse of waiting until they mature. 7 years without a major trophy is too long for a club of Arsenal's stature.

Hail.

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Well you look at those keepers and say they struggle, but they were probably really good options on paper. He knows the need for a good goalkeeper is paramount. Barthez was a World Cup winning keeper at that point, he may not have panned out at United but it's difficult to argue that he was a bad guy to bring in.

I wanted to add that I heard Liverpool are using some statistical analysis to determine their signings. I think Andy Carroll was one of the first to be purchased with this mentality.

Edited by Elessar78

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Well you look at those keepers and say they struggle, but they were probably really good options on paper. He knows the need for a good goalkeeper is paramount. Barthez was a World Cup winning keeper at that point, he may not have panned out at United but it's difficult to argue that he was a bad guy to bring in.

I wanted to add that I heard Liverpool are using some statistical analysis to determine their signings. I think Andy Carroll was one of the first to be purchased with this mentality.

You can even add a young Tim Howard to that list of underwhelming keepers between The Great Dane and VDS.

Regarding Barthez, he was a signing whose reputation was purely based on name. If you actually looked at his ability between the posts, he was extremely suspect. For example, he was often out of position, tried to play the ball with his feet (without having the ability to do it like a De Gea), etc. If my memory is correct, that World Cup was won by players like Vieira, Desailly, Petit, and, of course, Zizou. Barthez certainly had quick reflexes . . . but it takes much more than that to be a solid keeper.

Based on the Andy Carroll signing alone, Liverpool should throw out any evaluation based on statistics.

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Since Kenny's return, in relation to the new ownership, the transfer policy has been perfect for a rebuilding team. Quality, young players for the long haul. The problem has been he's been VERY profligate with the American's money and overreached for certain players. The only real success he's had thus far is Enrique. Adam's game has disappeared the past few months. He never had any pace to start with, and now his passing and set piece taking has gone to ****, he's a nonentity out there. The three North Eastern buys for over £70 million combined have left a LOT to be desired. Downing has been patchy at best, although it hasn't helped that we don't play to his strengths. Henderson looks like a kid that's just stepped up 3 divisions over night. He looks totally lost out there at times. And as for Carroll ..... we didn't need to overreach to start with having already gotten Suarez in. I honestly don't see much of anything to work with. He's little pace. Little goalscoring instinct for a striker. His first touch is shocking. And his supposed strength in the air just hasn't been there. But to be fair to him, we haven't helped him out one bit. Playing either him or Kuyt as a lone forward is ridiculous in the extreme. Neither has any pace or natural goal scoring instincts, and even if they do control it when it's played upto them, they inevitably lose the ball as there's a good 15/20 yard gap between them and the nearest red shirt.

As far as the club now looking into every statistical aspect of a player, from his injury record to minutes on the pitch et all through the whole gambit available; it's true that's now prevalent under Camolli. Which all begs the question just how totally unprofessional have we been through the last few regimes?

Hail.

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For keepers the market is really tight. If you have a Buffon, Casillas, Kahn, or Cech you're not letting them get away. It's just a matter of who is available for a price. Tim Howard didn't work out at United, but can you say he's not one of the top keepers in the world? Maybe not then, but United isn't a place where you go to learn your trade especially at keeper.

---------- Post added January-26th-2012 at 03:37 PM ----------

Are you f'n kidding me?? Zidane at #10! The guy is arguably one of the best ever. For me, I'd put him ahead of Messi, Maradona, and Pele simply because he's a "modern" player. Watch those old world cups, look at the speed of play. It's at a walking pace. Pele was a joy to watch, and yes, I've actually watched as much footage as there is of the guy beyond highlight clips, but I don't know if he'd translate into the modern game. I'm not convinced if Messi ended up anywhere but Barca that he would be as great as he is today. Maradona is a singular talent, he made his teams great. Meaning, I don't think they would've been anything without him.

But if you want to look at it by Generation Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Messi.

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For keepers the market is really tight. If you have a Buffon, Casillas, Kahn, or Cech you're not letting them get away. It's just a matter of who is available for a price. Tim Howard didn't work out at United, but can you say he's not one of the top keepers in the world? Maybe not then, but United isn't a place where you go to learn your trade especially at keeper.

Very true.

There's VERY few World Class keepers out there. Since Khan and Schmeichel hung it up, there's been a real dirth of top quality goalkeepers the World over.

Buffon's coming to the end, and injury's have really set in the last few years. Cech's still a top keeper, but he's not been the same since his injury. Spain in Casillas and Reina, with De Gea coming through are in the best position. And Hart at City has elevated himself into the top echelon bracket the past two years. He's up there with Reina and Cech in England.

After that, it's much of a muchness. And with the best will in the World, Tom Howard is not one of the top 'keepers Worldwide.

Hail.

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Are you f'n kidding me?? Zidane at #10! The guy is arguably one of the best ever. For me, I'd put him ahead of Messi, Maradona, and Pele simply because he's a "modern" player. Watch those old world cups, look at the speed of play. It's at a walking pace. Pele was a joy to watch, and yes, I've actually watched as much footage as there is of the guy beyond highlight clips, but I don't know if he'd translate into the modern game. I'm not convinced if Messi ended up anywhere but Barca that he would be as great as he is today. Maradona is a singular talent, he made his teams great. Meaning, I don't think they would've been anything without him.

But if you want to look at it by Generation Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Messi.

---------- Post added January-26th-2012 at 03:52 PM ----------

Very true.

There's VERY few World Class keepers out there. Since Khan and Schmeichel hung it up, there's been a real dirth of top quality goalkeepers the World over.

Buffon's coming to the end, and injury's have really set in the last few years. Cech's still a top keeper, but he's not been the same since his injury. Spain in Casillas and Reina, with De Gea coming through are in the best position. And Hart at City has elevated himself into the top echelon bracket the past two years. He's up there with Reina and Cech in England.

After that, it's much of a muchness. And with the best will in the World, Tom Howard is not one of the top 'keepers Worldwide.

Hail.

Well that's my point. Is he in the top tier? No. But I don't know if I'd put him in the third tier.

I don't even know how many I'd put in the top tier. Casillas, Buffon, Cech (but the last two are fading).

Then there are a lot of dodgy candidates. Reina, Neuer, Valdes? I'm not sure these guys are CLEARLY better than Howard. Szczeny is making a case to be in this group now.

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Touche. All I can say to that for the math and prestige challenged is 18+5 is greater than 19+3. :D

Sadly, to add to the horrid hatred that always surrounds the biggest fixture in England and one of the biggest in the World, I shudder to think what Evra will get slung his way this weekend. (The last few week's 'We're not Racist, We only hate Mancs!' could well be mild in comparison.). The game at Old Trafford in two weeks will be even worse when Suarez makes his comeback. The next two games are gona' be particularly ugly, even for this fixture which is far more about two City's just 35 miles apart in distance but WORLDS apart in almost everything; from the way we speak, dress, our musical tastes et all; than it is about the football. The football is secondary to that on the day.

It's not big. It's not clever. But it is what it is.

With no disrespect to the boys in Glasgow, Buenos Aires, Rome, Madrid/ Barcelona et all, there's NO bigger soccer hatred on the planet than L'pool/ Utd. It's poisonous. It brings out the very worst in normally rational people. But that said, rightly or wrongly, I LOVE IT!

12:45 Saturday lunch time can't come soon enough!

Hail.

I am not from Liverpool and have never been to Liverpool, but I don't see how the British media were accusing Liverpool and the Club of being racist. The Evra incident is a joke! In simple terms: Evra started the back and forth by referencing Suarez's mother's private parts. Then claimed Saurez called him somethining that starts with n. Then he said he called him that over 10 times. Evra never complained during the match because he was so upset (meanwhile he is on youtube using said n word). All the time saying Suarez is not a racist. Then Suarez said he used a friendly term commonly used in his part of the world (but does refer to the color of Evra's skin). Evra then said that is what Suarez called him. He claims that Suarez told him he kicked him because he was black. Then Evra said he was not called anything 10 times, that is merely a French expression. Lastly, Evra called Suarez a dirty South American in front of the ref....Evra deserves everything coming his way and Suarez's club and team mates and community has every right to defend him IMHO

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Are you f'n kidding me?? Zidane at #10! The guy is arguably one of the best ever. For me, I'd put him ahead of Messi, Maradona, and Pele simply because he's a "modern" player. Watch those old world cups, look at the speed of play. It's at a walking pace. Pele was a joy to watch, and yes, I've actually watched as much footage as there is of the guy beyond highlight clips, but I don't know if he'd translate into the modern game. I'm not convinced if Messi ended up anywhere but Barca that he would be as great as he is today. Maradona is a singular talent, he made his teams great. Meaning, I don't think they would've been anything without him.

But if you want to look at it by Generation Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Messi.

---------- Post added January-26th-2012 at 03:52 PM ----------

Well that's my point. Is he in the top tier? No. But I don't know if I'd put him in the third tier.

I don't even know how many I'd put in the top tier. Casillas, Buffon, Cech (but the last two are fading).

Then there are a lot of dodgy candidates. Reina, Neuer, Valdes? I'm not sure these guys are CLEARLY better than Howard. Szczeny is making a case to be in this group now.

If Maradona had today's training/coaching/cleets etc. he'd still dominate. Comparing eras is almost pointless. Maradona single-handedly won a World Cup. That lone puts him over Messi for now. Zidane was great in 98 but that French team was loaded. Absolutely loaded. Id's say he;s the second best player of the last decade minus Ronaldo.

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