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Thread: New Soccer Thread+An EPL Preview

  1. #1
    Let the kids play ASUcruz's Avatar




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    Default New Soccer Thread+An EPL Preview

    Well its that time of the year again; the start of a new EPL season. So I figure its time for a new thread. I'm gonna do a preview of the EPL but not all the teams. I'll do the big 5, plus Newcastle since Damien C is a big fan.

    We'll do them in order of finish, so.......

    Chelsea

    In

    -Michael Ballack
    -Andriy Shevchenko
    -John Obi Mikel
    -Saloman Kalou
    -Ashley Cole?

    Out
    -Hernan Crespo
    -Damien Duff
    -Eidur Gudjohnsen
    -Asier Del Horno
    -William Gallas?

    Strengths


    There's an old adage in baseball that says to win you have to be strong up the middle. Well the same is true of Chelsea, and up the middle they are very strong indeed. It all starts with their captain John Terry. Arguably the best CB in the EPL, Terry has been the emotional leader of the Chelsea machine. With Terry in the heart of the Chelsea defense its is very tough to score. Especially when he's backed by Peter Cech. The one knock on Terry is he doesn't have much pace, but that's solved when he's paired up with Gallas in the middle. Those 2 are probably the most formidable partership in the EPL. The big thing though, is Gallas seems to want out, while Ricardo Carvallho is a good CB in his own right, he's a clear downgrade from Gallas. In addition Carvallho isn't very fast so quick, fast forwards can get the better of those 2.

    Chelsea play a central midfield of 3. Makalele in a holding role, Lampard going box to box, and last year usually Gudjohnsen in a free role. Essien can play in the Makalele role but I see him more as a Lampard style player. With the decline of Paul Scholes, Frank Lampard is the best shooting midfielder for me. He had his troubles in the World Cup, but he has a tremendous shot and has hit double digit goals(great for a mid) the past few seasons. He's also a great passer in his own right. And they've upgraded from Gudjohnsen to Ballack in the attacking mid role. Ballack for me is the world's best midfielder and adding his passing, vision, heading, and shooting will only help Chelsea. Some have made the argument that Chelsea have too many stars. That there's too many chiefs and not enough indians. One thing to keep in mind, Ballack is German, when was the last time you heard of a German rocking the boat. These guys are all about the team and never cause any chemistry problems to speak off. Mourhino is a great coach and I'm pretty confident he'll make it work. JM demands that everyone on the field play defense, and Ballack is more than capable of doing that.

    Up front the addition of Sheva(for my money the best striker in the game) is a big boost to the Chelsea attack. Drogba is what he is, a big physical CF who'll attack crosses with reckless abandon and while he's good in the air, I wouldn't really call him "clinical". Sheva has it all though, good pace, good smarts, decent in the air, great shot, and a good passer. I think he'll do very well in England especially since he's surrounded by a ton of talent. Included in that talent are 2 of the best wingers if not the best in the EPL. Joe Cole on the left, and Arjen Robben on the right. A big part of Chelsea's attack are their wingers, cutting inside and shooting at goal(rather than the traditional role, hugging the touchline and sending in crosses). Robben, is a fantastic finisher and has plenty of speed and trickery in his game to get past defenders. His off the ball play is good and he also crosses the ball extremly well. Cole, is also a good finisher, while not as fast as Robben I think he's got a few more tricks up his sleeve. A lot of credit has to go to JM into making Cole an effective player. Early in his career he was a bit of a one trick pony that never played cause he didn't bring much to the table. Mourhinho has made him into a far better player.

    Weaknesses

    There's not too many chinks in Chelsea's armor. One are that they are vunerable in is fullback. Until they sign, Ashley Cole(seemingly a done deal), Chelsea is very thin at LB. I think Wayne Bridge is a good player, but I think injuries have taken some of his pace away and he's still very attack minded. The lack of pace though gets up caught up the field and Chelsea can be caught on the counter. I don't think Ferreira is all that great. He's dependable but the best wingers will get the better of him. Mourinho has played Geremi in that RB spot but that's really just a stop gap. Depth up front is a bit of a problem for mighty Chelsea. Joe Cole is hurt already and the sale of Duff leaves them thin on wingers. Robben is also fairly injury prone so there is some concern. Kalou had a fantastic season for Feyenoord(Van Basten wanted to naturalize him as citizen so he could play for the Oranje) but there's always gonna be a transition period from the Dutch league to one of the big 3. Plus Shaun Wright-Phillips has been a huge disappointment. Chelsea could regret selling Duff, a move that was didn't really need to be made.

    Possible Formations

    Mourinho's money formation has always been the 4-3-3/4-5-1. He's been on record in saying that he wants to play more attacking football and will feature a 4-4-2 from time to time. I think he'll attempt to do this, but in big games and in the Champion's League, Mourinho will revert back to the formation that's gotten him to the top.

    4-3-3

    --------------------------------Sheva-----------------------------------

    ----J. Cole------------------------------------------Robben------

    -----------------------------Ballack----------------------------------

    ------------------------------Lampard-------------------------------------

    ---------------------------------Makalele------------------------------

    ----Bridge/Cole?-------Gallas?/Carvallho-----Terry-------Ferreira

    -----------------------------Cech---------------------------------------

    4-4-2

    -----------------------Drogba-----------------------------------
    ---------------------------------Sheva---------------------------

    --------Cole-------Lampard-------Ballack-----------------Robben--

    ----Bride/Cole?---------Gallas/Carvallho---------Terry-----Ferreira


    United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, and Newcastle to be up soon.

  2. #2
    The Icy Lake Damien C's Avatar




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    Hey now, NUFC isn't one of the big 5? C'mon we won the uh, that cup, a while ago...



    Ok so it was 1955, but who's counting




    and I'll do the NUFC preview right here


    IN: Damien Duff, and lots of goals in the next 8 months.

    OUT: Anyone who played offense

    Strengths: Shay Given, good beer, Scott Parker

    Possible Formations: Fetal

    Projected Finish: 11th

  3. #3
    Let the kids play ASUcruz's Avatar




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    Manchester United

    In

    -Michael Carrick
    -Tomasz Kuszczak
    -Marcos Senna?
    -Owen Hargreaves?

    Out

    -Ruud Van Nistelrooy
    -Tim Howard

    Strengths


    This season, Man U's strengths lie in their back 4 and their front 2 along with some pretty good wingers. Lets start up front, where United's always potent attack is led by Wayne Rooney and Louis Saha. Rooney is one of the best young talents in the world if not the best. Speed, power, passing, shooting, dribbling. The guy has it all. The only knock on him is his temperment but hey Roy Keane was the same way and it worked out for him. I think Rooney's inclose finishing leaves a bit to be desired but its good enough. Alongside Rooney will be Saha, the Frenchman and Rooney formed a formidable parternship in United late title challenge. Saha's ability to hold the ball up, pass, and move with speed and power complements Rooney well. Saha is also good in the air, and on his day his finishing is there. Saha goes through eriods when he misses a ton of chances but he's no Diego Forlan. Give him enough and he'll start burying them. For me the only big knock on Saha is his inability to stay healthy. He will get hurt at some point in the season and hopefully by then, Alan Smith is fully recovered and I'm excited to see what Giuseppi Rossi can do.

    The return of Gabriel Heinze will be a big boost to a back 4 that was solid and dependable last year. Heinze is a big fan favorite in Old Trafford. Fans love his tenacity, Heinze is always fully committed and he always leaves everything on the pitch. Rio Ferdinand is the main man at the back. He calls all the shots and is very good at what he does. He's not really your traditional CB in that he doesn't fly around and make challenges. Instead he relies on speed, positioning, and smarts. 2 big knocks on Rio, because he's not flying around people seem to think that he's not really trying. I don't think that's the case, its just his style, he's so calm under pressure that it doens't look like he's trying hard when he is. The other knock is valid. Rio really struggles with the big physical CF(Drogba, Beattie, Berbatov will give him trouble). Rio just isn't that physical and he'll get outmuscled in the air. Enter Nemanja Vidic. The big Serb is the opposite of Rio, he's more a throwback, a big physical force who will make those full blooded challenges and be a beast in the air. Vidic struggled a bit with the pace of the English game but torwards the end of the season he had adjusted well and was putting in some fine performances. At RB, Gary Neville continues to be a consistent performer. The one constant seems to be Neville, I think he'll be a Red Devil for life.

    Sir Alex Ferguson also has 3 world class wingers he can call upon. Hate him or love him, you can't deny C. Ronaldo's talent. He's among one of the best wingers in the world and when he's got his shooting boots on he's very dangerous. He's had a running bet with SAF, the premise being whether not Ronaldo could hit 15 goals. He hasn't won yet, I'm not sure if he will, 15 goals is a lot for a winger. Although long in the tooth, Ryan Giggs is still a very good winger. I like to compare Giggs to an old power pitcher in baseball. From start to start, the pitcher gets by, goes 6-7 innings and does a good job, nothing spectacular. That's how Giggs is now, however every now and then that pitcher will have a start that reminds you of what he was like in his prime. Giggs is the same way, every now and then he'll have a few games where he'll look like the Giggs of old, skinning defenders left and right and being a threat down the left the whole game. Last year he filled in admirably for Scholes at CM but I think we'll see more of him on the wing this season. The third winger, Ferguson can call upon is Ji-Sung Park. Park biggest asset is his workrate. The guy never seems to get tired and he runs the legs of the fullback facing him. Pretty good technical skills that were developed in Holland and a decent crosser. He has a tremendous head for the game, SAF has called him the best player off the ball he has at the team.

    Weaknesses

    Last season, Man U were forced to field a center midfield duo of Ryan Giggs and John O'Shea. Not exactly an ideal partnership. This is one of the main reasons, Ferguson paid such a steep price to bring in Carrick. I like Carrick's game. He's smart and a great passer. He's great positonally so you don't seem him flying around studs up making tackles. Mostly because he doesn't have to. His game is his ablity to keep possession and spray the ball all over the pitch. That being sad, I'm convinced Ferguson bought him as a long term replacement for Scholes, rather than a quick fix CM solution. Scholes is healthy this year and while he still has the abilty to control the game from the midfield he's getting older and less influential. A midfield partnership of Scholes and Carrick works well against weaker EPL competition. But against teams like Chelsea, Liverpool, and in Champion's League games, a Scholes-Carrick duo doesn't have enough still. Thus the rumors of a potencial move for Villereal's Marcos Senna or Bayern Munich's Owen Hargreaves. I would prefer Hargreaves as he's younger, a bit more technically skilled, and there wouldn't be a culture shock of living in England(very underrated factor). Until a move for Hargreaves or Senna is complete, United lack the requisite steel in the midfield needed to win at the highest level. A solution is to play 5 in the midfield, with John O'Shea or Darren Fletcher as the third CM to do the donkey work. The downside to that is, O'Shea and Fletcher while ready, willing, and able to do the dirty work, a lot of skill is lost. Not to mention, Rooney must play alone as a lone striker(not very effective in this role) or as a winger(not utilizing his abilities correctly)

    Possible Formations

    4-4-2


    ---------------------------Saha------------------------------------------

    ------------------------------------Rooney-------------------------------

    -----Giggs----------Scholes-----------Carrick---------------Ronaldo------------

    -----Heinze---------Rio------------------Vidic------------------Neville----

    ------------------------------Van Der Saar-------------------------------------------------

    4-5-1

    -------------------------Saha/Rooney---------------------------------


    ---Giggs-----------Scholes----------------Carrick-------------------Ronaldo/Rooney-----

    ----------------------O'Shea/Fletcher/Hargreaves?-------------------------

    ----Heinze---------------Rio-------------------Vidic--------------Neville---------------

    ---------------------------------Van DerSaar---------------------------------------------

  4. #4
    Let the kids play ASUcruz's Avatar




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    Let the kids play ASUcruz's Avatar




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    Chelsea sign Boulahrouz, a Dutch defender.

    Clearly a move to replace Gallas. Boulahrouz is a good defender but nowhere near the level of Gallas.

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/st...76297&cc=5901b

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    You'll Never Walk Alone chu gar's Avatar




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    Tomorrow!! Yes, it starts!!!

    Woo Hoo on Kuyt! I love this guys attitude.

    Chelsea is going down! I hope anyway. By who, we'll see soon enough!

    Here's to all the England teams doing well in Europe too...

    Tomorrow!! Yes!


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    #1 fan VEGASKING's Avatar




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    Now Gallas can move to North London to replace Sol. Sweet.

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    Let the kids play ASUcruz's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by VEGASKING View Post
    Now Gallas can move to North London to replace Sol. Sweet.
    Now JM says he's staying.

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/st...376119&cc=5901

    If they do sell him, I don't think JM will sell him to an EPL team, especially a contender like Arsenal. I'm sure a team like Milan fancy Gallas. If he does move I bet it will be abroad.

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    #1 fan VEGASKING's Avatar




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    Arsenal and Madrid are the two teams I've heard were interested in bidding for him.

  10. #10
    #1 fan VEGASKING's Avatar




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    also from skysports.com

    Villarreal have stated that Marcos Senna will not be joining Manchester United as the Spanish side have lost patience with The Red Devils' after their lengthy pursuit of the World Cup midfielder.

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