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2020.08.29 18:20 IdolA29Augl Fa-st G-ay Spe-ed Da-ting Minn-esota

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https://preview.redd.it/hk5k1i5yvyj51.jpg?width=275&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=5fa2ad5ce3347eceb00b9590b866e03abb5a3853
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2020.08.26 13:02 JEVC789 Failing driving test

Well, I would like to share my experiences so far regarding my two unsuccessful driving test attempts.
I did my first driving test in Maybush centre, in Southampton. I was really nervous and I forgot to bring my "L" plates and the mirror. However, the driving instructor was fairly nice and brought the "L" plates so everything could go ahead. I got lost a couple of times because I didn't know the area, however everything was going smoothly up to the point where I was driving on a rural road with the National Speed Limit, there I got confused because after the NSL sign I saw a little sign with displaying this message: "Max Speed 20 MPH, skid risk" So I progressively slowed down my car... then the examiner said to my "This road has the NSL, please speed up" I tried to speed up but I was driving up hill and I have a significant old but reliable red Almera so I just got up to 40mph, but it was too late now. We came back into the DTC and he said to me that I was driving at a dangerous speed because I was fairly below the NSL. When I checked my email I just had that one serious fault, no minor faults whatsoever.
Today, 26/08/2020 I got my second driving test. I decided to book it in Salisbury. HUGE mistake, two weekends ago I drove around Salisbury for a bit just to be familiarised with the roads, but wasn't enough. This time I brought my "L" plates but when I greeted the instructor he asked "Did you bring the extra mirror" and I said, sorry no, and he whispered something and then brought it. Then, he became a bit upset because I didn't bring my pen either, and sarcastically replied "well, I'm impressed you didn't forget your car" at this point, I became significantly anxious and really nervous, this impacted in my driving skills because I forgot t check the mirror before indicating. After around then minutes, I was driving into the town centre, he started to chat with me and this distracted me, and because I am not from Salisbury I almost got into the bus lane instead of turning left, and when he said "you need to turn left" I knew it was over. I pulled up for two minutes, I felt so stupid and frustrated. I drove back to the DTC and he said to me the reason I already knew. I just said thanks and pretty much cried outside the DTC for at least ten minutes (this second attempt mixed with additional things that have been worrying me, and I couldn't manage it anymore) . I feel really frustrated at this point, I've been driving for more than ten years, but I because I am not from the UK (just to confirm in case you haven't noticed) I feel like the examiners underestimate non-European drivers. I've booked some lessons because I need some feedback regarding my driving skills (things only can get better at this point). Also, I'm queueing for another Driving test appointment, currently there are 110,000 people before me so I might be able to book it in at least a couple of days.
I will try to book my driving test in Poole, which is where I live... if not I will try again in Maybush or Forest Hills...
Could you share some of your experiences about driving test? Before finishing my post I would like to say to all the learning drivers that don't give up, keep practicing and in case you fail, have a debrief and share/talk to somebody about it. And to the new drivers, congratulations for passing your driving test, please continue driving safety, and drive responsibly. The other day I read on the Bournemouth Echo that the police removed and banned a new driver just six days after he passed his test because he broke the speed limit and also was driving drunk or something like that, after reading that notice I just felt more sad because a lot of learning drivers are waiting for a date to pass their test, and so of the new drivers just don't give a f... about their full driving license.
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2020.06.20 22:42 JayDeeIsI Post-match thread: AFC Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace

Match Thread: AFC Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace [Premier League, Round 30]
90+6' - AFC Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace
Date: 20/06/2020
Competition: Premier League (Round 30)
Venue: Vitality Stadium - Bournemouth
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Seeing as this is the first ever Premier League game to be shown on British terrestrial television - and the first top flight match to be shown since 1988 - I thought I'd dedicate a proper manned match thread to it
Lineups:
Bournemouth: Crystal Palace:
12: Aaron Ramsdale (GK) 31: Guaita (GK)
17: Jack Stacey 2: Joel Ward (YC - 71')
3: Steve Cook (YC - 87') 24: Gary Cahill
5: Nathan Ake 6: Scott Dann
15: Adam Smith (YC - 45+2') 3: Patrick van Aanholt
22: Harry Wilson 14: Danjuma Groeneveld (Sub - 45') 18: James McArthur 44: Jairo Riedewald (Sub - 88')
16: Lewis Cook (YC - 67') 4: Luka Milivojevic Goal - 12'/22: James McCarthy (Sub - 65')
8: Jefferson Lerma 8: Cheikyou Kouyate
20: David Brooks 19: Junior Stanislas (Sub - 61') 9: Jordan Ayew Goal - 23' (YC - 45')
7: Josh King 9: Dominic Solanke (Sub - 50') 17: Christian Benteke 10: Andros Townsend (Sub - 76')
13: Callum Wilson 11: Wilfried Zaha
Substitutes:
Bournemouth: Crystal Palace:
1: Artur Boruc (GK) 13: Wayne Hennessey (GK)
4: Dan Gosling 7: Max Meyer
6: Andrew Surman 10: Andros Townsend (Sub - 76')
9: Dominic Solanke (Sub - 50') 12: Mamadou Sakho
14: Danjuma Groeneveld (Sub - 45') 22: James McCarthy (Sub - 65')
19: Junior Stanislas (Sub - 61') 36: Nikola Tavares
21: Diego Rico 39: Tyrick Mitchell
26: Lloyd Kelly 40: Brandon Pierrick
33: Chris Mepham 44: Jairo Riedewald (Sub - 88')
Here is a legal, free link to the BBC stream, sadly for British users only. Could use a \* cough ** VPN ** cough** but I didn't tell you that)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0' - Traditional pre-kick off silence for Covid-19 victims, and just as importantly, all 22 players take the knee.
2' - Bournemouth completely controlling the early early stages, Josh King looks to be playing on the left hand side as opposed to up front.
4' - Bizarre to be watching a Premier League match with the BBC overlays as opposed to green and blue official Premier League snazzy boi. Feels to me as if the camera is much closer to the pitch too.
5' - Nice piece of play from David Brooks to run the ball to, and eventually behind, the touchline; Bournemouth looking brighter early on.
7' - Palace starting to use the ball for the first real time. Zaha running from the left but a heavy touch lets him down as he reaches full speed. It's all very 'we've not played for 3 months' at the moment.
11' - First real sight of goal, and it falls for Palace. James McArthur passes a defender on the edge of area and is poleaxed, but the ball falls for Zaha, who jinks inside the 18 yard box and curls one just over the far post. Palace looking promising.
12' - GOAL! Palace looked bright for the previous few minutes, and the resulting free-kick from the edge of the 18 yard box is bent perfectly into the top left corner by Luka 'Set-Pieces are Ez Pz' Milivojevic! 1-0 Palace.
17' - Two chances for for Bournemouth! Brooks, who has looked very energetic early on, plays a lovely ball into Callum Wilson, but the rustiness shows, and his first touch is very poor, eventually leading to a corner. This time, another lovely Brooks ball finds Wilson again, only for the striker to head over from a whipped delivery.
18' - This has been the best match of the post-lockdown season by a mile so far.
23' - GOAL! Some goal this. Van Aanholt overlapping on the left hand side absolutely thunders into the 18 yard box, and takes the pass from Zaha well, before whipping a beauty of a ball to Jordan Ayew, who finishes first time into the bottom corner; great build-up, great finish. 2-0 Palace.
24' - D R I N K S B R E A K T I M E
27' - Fully aware that we are barely a quarter of the way through their first game back, but Bournemouth have looked very poor outside of the first few minutes. Everything they try is overhit or ruined by a poor touch, the break has definitely gotten to them.
30' - If this was tennis, Palace would have about 15 'forced errors' on Bournemouth so far.
32' - Bournemouth attempting to come forward in numbers, but Palace are very well organised. Lerma has a slither of sight at goal from just outside the area but toe-prods the ball 30 yards over.
36'- Seems like every attack in this game is coming down the same side; Bournemouth's right, Palace's left. Wilson does well to win a corner, which leads to another; Bournemouth do nothing with it mind, and Palace regather on from left back with a throw.
38'- Another Milivojevic delivery, this time a corner from the left, causes havoc in the six yard box, but a few blocked shots eventually lead to a (imo, soft) free kick for Bournemouth.
42'- Nathan Aké goes down in the penalty area from a corner, nothing in that though, so just another Bournemouth corner. Palace do well to force Cherries back to the halfway line, and again, back to trying to build from midfield.
45+2'- First bookings of the game, Ayew gets a yellow for sending Jefferson 'Discipline points mean prizes' Lerma to the ground. Again, Bournemouth come down the right hand side and win a corner, Stacey breaking forward this time; Palace then break away at pace from the corner, but Adam Smith slams Zaha into the ground and takes a yellow for it.
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Halftime - Palace comfortably lead and deservedly so. Bournemouth seen a lot of the ball but have produced very little outside David Brooks, whereas Palace have looked sharp and lively from the first ten minutes. Hard to see a way back into this for Bournemouth.
It's okay though because £25m 'one PL goal in his career' Dominic Solanke is waiting on the bench for them.
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One change at half-time as Harry Wilson is taken off for Danjuma Groeneveld (I must say, I have never heard of this player in my life)
47' - Second half is underway, and straight into life. Josh King is absolutely clattered by Gary Cahill; he gets the ball but his follow through is definitely high, studs showing and very 'ankle-breaky'. VAR is looking into this, and I would not be surprised if it led to further punishment here for Cahill.
50' - VAR lets Cahill off the hook, but King is done for the game. He hobbles off, and is replaced by the Man, the Myth, the Legend - Dominic Solanke.
55' - Bournemouth have been much brighter this half, dominating possession and flirting with chances in the final third. Danjuma looks lively when on the ball, but Bournemouth need to make solid chances soon.
60' - Considering that Bournemouth have had a considerable amount of the ball, I don't think Guaita has made a save yet. Stanislas set to come on for Bournemouth for a cramped up and struggling Brooks.
64' - Guaita does have to make a save there though! Corner from the right is floated to Aké who meets it well, but only heads it straight at the Spaniard - Aké gets twatted on the head for his troubles, but he stays on after some treatment.
65' - Milivojevic comes off for James McCarthy. The McMidfield is back on.
67' - Another booking, this time for Lewis Cook, who is perhaps unfortunate to see yellow for a challenge on Ayew.
71' - Game is getting very bitty now. Palace look like there in on the break, but Ayew lets a tired touch break the attack down. Joel Ward is then booked for a soft foul on the right.
74' - Cahill lashes over on the volley from 15 yards, Benteke won the knockdown and has had a really solid match. I just learned that Dominic Solanke miraculously has an England cap. Hope for us all.
76' - Second change for Palace, as Townsend replaces Benteke. I'm not commenting on Townsend's hair.
80' - Palace have been excellent, and they defend well again on the right hand side after Callum Wilson broke free. I will be genuinely stunned if Bournemouth get something out of this game in the last ten minutes.
84' - The match summed up in one moment. Bournemouth free-kick from 20 yards, almost identical to where Milivojevic scored from earlier on. Stanislas, right footed, straight into the wall.
86' - Steve Cook catches Ayew and goes into the book. Pack it up boys, this game is done and dusted.
88' - Heartbreak as the McMidfield is broken up. McArthur comes off for an Afro-donning Jairo Riedeweld.
90' - There are SIX minutes of added time. Other than the drinks break, I have no idea where that's come from. Bournemouth don't look like scoring if there was sixty minutes added on.
90+2' - VAR check for an elbow from Lewis Cook, nothing doing though. Would've been a suitable end for Bournemouth had he been sent off.
90+6' - A corner for Bournemouth in the last minute, but nothing comes of it apart from a Zaha counter attack. What a turgid performance; strong from Palace though, who looked impressive.
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2020.06.20 20:32 JayDeeIsI Match Thread: AFC Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace

Match Thread: AFC Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace [Premier League, Round 30]
90+1'' - AFC Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace
Date: 20/06/2020
Competition: Premier League (Round 30)
Venue: Vitality Stadium - Bournemouth
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Seeing as this is the first ever Premier League game to be shown on British terrestrial television - and the first top flight match to be shown since 1988 - I thought I'd dedicate a proper manned match thread to it
Lineups:
Bournemouth: Crystal Palace:
12: Aaron Ramsdale (GK) 31: Guaita (GK)
17: Jack Stacey 2: Joel Ward (YC - 71')
3: Steve Cook (YC - 87') 24: Gary Cahill
5: Nathan Ake 6: Scott Dann
15: Adam Smith (YC - 45+2') 3: Patrick van Aanholt
22: Harry Wilson 14: Danjuma Groeneveld (Sub - 45') 18: James McArthur 44: Jairo Riedewald (Sub - 88')
16: Lewis Cook (YC - 67') 4: Luka Milivojevic Goal - 12'/22: James McCarthy (Sub - 65')
8: Jefferson Lerma 8: Cheikyou Kouyate
20: David Brooks 19: Junior Stanislas (Sub - 61') 9: Jordan Ayew Goal - 23' (YC - 45')
7: Josh King 9: Dominic Solanke (Sub - 50') 17: Christian Benteke 10: Andros Townsend (Sub - 76')
13: Callum Wilson 11: Wilfried Zaha
Substitutes:
Bournemouth: Crystal Palace:
1: Artur Boruc (GK) 13: Wayne Hennessey (GK)
4: Dan Gosling 7: Max Meyer
6: Andrew Surman 10: Andros Townsend (Sub - 76')
9: Dominic Solanke (Sub - 50') 12: Mamadou Sakho
14: Danjuma Groeneveld (Sub - 45') 22: James McCarthy (Sub - 65')
19: Junior Stanislas (Sub - 61') 36: Nikola Tavares
21: Diego Rico 39: Tyrick Mitchell
26: Lloyd Kelly 40: Brandon Pierrick
33: Chris Mepham 44: Jairo Riedewald (Sub - 88')
Here is a legal, free link to the BBC stream, sadly for British users only. Could use a \* cough ** VPN ** cough** but I didn't tell you that)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0' - Traditional pre-kick off silence for Covid-19 victims, and just as importantly, all 22 players take the knee.
2' - Bournemouth completely controlling the early early stages, Josh King looks to be playing on the left hand side as opposed to up front.
4' - Bizarre to be watching a Premier League match with the BBC overlays as opposed to green and blue official Premier League snazzy boi. Feels to me as if the camera is much closer to the pitch too.
5' - Nice piece of play from David Brooks to run the ball to, and eventually behind, the touchline; Bournemouth looking brighter early on.
7' - Palace starting to use the ball for the first real time. Zaha running from the left but a heavy touch lets him down as he reaches full speed. It's all very 'we've not played for 3 months' at the moment.
11' - First real sight of goal, and it falls for Palace. James McArthur passes a defender on the edge of area and is poleaxed, but the ball falls for Zaha, who jinks inside the 18 yard box and curls one just over the far post. Palace looking promising.
12' - GOAL! Palace looked bright for the previous few minutes, and the resulting free-kick from the edge of the 18 yard box is bent perfectly into the top left corner by Luka 'Set-Pieces are Ez Pz' Milivojevic! 1-0 Palace.
17' - Two chances for for Bournemouth! Brooks, who has looked very energetic early on, plays a lovely ball into Callum Wilson, but the rustiness shows, and his first touch is very poor, eventually leading to a corner. This time, another lovely Brooks ball finds Wilson again, only for the striker to head over from a whipped delivery.
18' - This has been the best match of the post-lockdown season by a mile so far.
23' - GOAL! Some goal this. Van Aanholt overlapping on the left hand side absolutely thunders into the 18 yard box, and takes the pass from Zaha well, before whipping a beauty of a ball to Jordan Ayew, who finishes first time into the bottom corner; great build-up, great finish. 2-0 Palace.
24' - D R I N K S B R E A K T I M E
27' - Fully aware that we are barely a quarter of the way through their first game back, but Bournemouth have looked very poor outside of the first few minutes. Everything they try is overhit or ruined by a poor touch, the break has definitely gotten to them.
30' - If this was tennis, Palace would have about 15 'forced errors' on Bournemouth so far.
32' - Bournemouth attempting to come forward in numbers, but Palace are very well organised. Lerma has a slither of sight at goal from just outside the area but toe-prods the ball 30 yards over.
36'- Seems like every attack in this game is coming down the same side; Bournemouth's right, Palace's left. Wilson does well to win a corner, which leads to another; Bournemouth do nothing with it mind, and Palace regather on from left back with a throw.
38'- Another Milivojevic delivery, this time a corner from the left, causes havoc in the six yard box, but a few blocked shots eventually lead to a (imo, soft) free kick for Bournemouth.
42'- Nathan Aké goes down in the penalty area from a corner, nothing in that though, so just another Bournemouth corner. Palace do well to force Cherries back to the halfway line, and again, back to trying to build from midfield.
45+2'- First bookings of the game, Ayew gets a yellow for sending Jefferson 'Discipline points mean prizes' Lerma to the ground. Again, Bournemouth come down the right hand side and win a corner, Stacey breaking forward this time; Palace then break away at pace from the corner, but Adam Smith slams Zaha into the ground and takes a yellow for it.
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Halftime - Palace comfortably lead and deservedly so. Bournemouth seen a lot of the ball but have produced very little outside David Brooks, whereas Palace have looked sharp and lively from the first ten minutes. Hard to see a way back into this for Bournemouth.
It's okay though because £25m 'one PL goal in his career' Dominic Solanke is waiting on the bench for them.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
One change at half-time as Harry Wilson is taken off for Danjuma Groeneveld (I must say, I have never heard of this player in my life)
47' - Second half is underway, and straight into life. Josh King is absolutely clattered by Gary Cahill; he gets the ball but his follow through is definitely high, studs showing and very 'ankle-breaky'. VAR is looking into this, and I would not be surprised if it led to further punishment here for Cahill.
50' - VAR lets Cahill off the hook, but King is done for the game. He hobbles off, and is replaced by the Man, the Myth, the Legend - Dominic Solanke.
55' - Bournemouth have been much brighter this half, dominating possession and flirting with chances in the final third. Danjuma looks lively when on the ball, but Bournemouth need to make solid chances soon.
60' - Considering that Bournemouth have had a considerable amount of the ball, I don't think Guaita has made a save yet. Stanislas set to come on for Bournemouth for a cramped up and struggling Brooks.
64' - Guaita does have to make a save there though! Corner from the right is floated to Aké who meets it well, but only heads it straight at the Spaniard - Aké gets twatted on the head for his troubles, but he stays on after some treatment.
65' - Milivojevic comes off for James McCarthy. The McMidfield is back on.
67' - Another booking, this time for Lewis Cook, who is perhaps unfortunate to see yellow for a challenge on Ayew.
71' - Game is getting very bitty now. Palace look like there in on the break, but Ayew lets a tired touch break the attack down. Joel Ward is then booked for a soft foul on the right.
74' - Cahill lashes over on the volley from 15 yards, Benteke won the knockdown and has had a really solid match. I just learned that Dominic Solanke miraculously has an England cap. Hope for us all.
76' - Second change for Palace, as Townsend replaces Benteke. I'm not commenting on Townsend's hair.
80' - Palace have been excellent, and they defend well again on the right hand side after Callum Wilson broke free. I will be genuinely stunned if Bournemouth get something out of this game in the last ten minutes.
84' - The match summed up in one moment. Bournemouth free-kick from 20 yards, almost identical to where Milivojevic scored from earlier on. Stanislas, right footed, straight into the wall.
86' - Steve Cook catches Ayew and goes into the book. Pack it up boys, this game is done and dusted.
88' - Heartbreak as the McMidfield is broken up. McArthur comes off for an Afro-donning Jairo Riedeweld.
90' - There are SIX minutes of added time. Other than the drinks break, I have no idea where that's come from. Bournemouth don't look like scoring if there was sixty minutes added on.
90+2' - VAR check for an elbow from Lewis Cook, nothing doing though. Would've been a suitable end for Bournemouth had he been sent off.
90+6' - A corner for Bournemouth in the last minute, but nothing comes of it apart from a Zaha counter attack. What a turgid performance; strong from Palace though, who looked impressive.
submitted by JayDeeIsI to soccer [link] [comments]


2019.08.04 18:40 DB_Cooper727 Team DBview - Manchester United [Premier League 2019-20 - 14/20]

Manchester United Football Club

by nitedfan

Welcome back to the first(? I've lost count) iteration of our long-running series, in which actually I really can't think of anything that even resembles humour to parody this opening paragraph. I apologise.
So yeah, Manchester United.
This will be a doozey.
About
"It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart." - Anne Frank on DB’s /soccer explusion.
Arrested 75 years ago today.

Last Season

Pos P W D L GF GA GD Points
6th 38 19 9 10 lol 65 54 11 66
Last season was another in what has become a long slog since AAlex Ferguson left. Our managers since have been nothing short of disgraceful. First, the club had the audacity to appoint the man that Ferguson handpicked to be his successor. Then we had to endure the hardships of the man who led Ajax to a Champions League win and dominated with Barcelona and Bayern Munich. The man who was at the helm at the start of this season really was the pick of the bunch though. The inept hybrid of innovation and success, whose odorous little trophy haul “boasted” European Cups and League titles from across the continent was what we, the official United Supporters Club of Houston, Texas, had to suffer through with such great fortitude, saddled with such phenomenal mental trauma.
But then, In the Bleak Midwinter, a hero emerged. Following a humiliating 3-1 loss to Liverpool (which Travis and Brad still won't let me live down, the freaking bin dippers) Medusa saw her own reflection. Manchester United and all-round soccer legend Ole Gunnar Solskjær took over. He brought the United way back. The passion was there. The desire was there. No more shying away, Ole's at the wheel, oh let me tell you how good it feels.
BANG talk to you later Cardiff! Oh hi Huddersfield, nice idea but this is Ole's unstoppable train. Hmm Bournemouth, some nice cherries you have there, be a shame if a certain Norwegian PICKED them. Game after game the heads of the English soccer titans rolled at the feet of Ole's irrefutable boys. The Busby Babes had sex with the Class of 92 and Scotty McSAUCE was the result. Defenders could barely move they were so scared of Tony M, Rashy and Big Chungus. PogChamp feeding through balls oh yes Ole, oh yes. IT FEELS SO GOOD.
"they've had a good start, he's no miracle worker"
Oh is that right bro? Well sit down and strap in as I tell you a story about the most iconic Champions League Round of 16 game to have ever graced the sport. When Manchester United drew the impenetrable Paris Saint-Germain, much famed for their dominance of the most competitive league in Europe and their irresistible form in the Champions League, nobody gave Ole's lions a chance. After the first leg the salty ABUs giggled to themselves. 2-0 loss with Paul Pogba suspended for the second leg? My god, it'll be a massacre! But they forget. This. Is. Manchester. United. A team fabled for their never say die attitude, for their ability to pull something out the hat when all the chips are down. Whose fans - the best in the world - will NEVER turn their back on the team. You gave up. We didn't.
BAM Lukaku 0-1. Juan Bernat 1-1? THIS IS MANCHESTER UNITED, LUKAKU 1-2. Hear that? It's the sound of the Red Devils knocking on the door. The pressure is insurmountable, Kimpembe glances over at our dugout. He sees a man who knows we will win. A man who knows the United way. He sees our Ole. PENALTY! Marcus Rashford, cool as you like. Neymar looks on bewildered from the stands. He knows which franchise's jersey he'd rather be donning. He knows who he'd rather have driving him forward, who he'd rather have behind the wheel. Tell me, how good does it feel?
We went on to lose 4-0 to Barcelona in the next round, finish 6th and end the season empty-handed.

This Season

This season is already shaping up to be something special. The lightning speed of new boy Daniel "vroom vroom" James mirroring the elegance of Anthony Martial with inch-perfect balls sent to feet by the Pirlo-esque passing of Paul Pogba. An attack spearheaded by two of Manchester's finest in Marcus Rashford and something Greenwood. On the rare occasion that a player gets past McSauce, they'll have to deal with the hard-hitting defending of Arachnid Wan-Bissaka. All this emulsified by the tactical prowess of Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
Youth. Courage. Success. Oh, that doesn’t resonate with you? Hey, that’s fine, Manchester United didn’t reach the pinnacle of football by being like the run-of-the-mill club y’all support. See, before Ole we had a series of transfers that, whilst at the time may have been claimed to be in the vein of the United way, in retrospect turned out to be a string of red herrings. But now Ole’s back, so is the United way. Manchester United don’t build their foundations on spewing money everywhere like Manchester City and Liverpool. No, we’re different. We care about youth, we care about courage, and we define ourselves on success. This is why we’ve spent this summer going for young gems as opposed to spending silly money. Matthijs de Ligt, Jadon Sancho and Aaron Wan-Bissaka to name just a few of these players were targeted in hopes of showing clubs that you can still organically develop a football team in to a European Goliath by just putting a little faith in youth.
However, a dark cloud overshadows this. The Glazers once again threatened with their paltry sums to do nothing but accumulate more atop the £800m pittance they've spent in the last 5 years. Anger boiled over in tidal waves of sweat as the grease dripped down from shaggy locks whose humble abode lay atop my fair head. I tapped away vigilantly at my phone screen as the concoction of sweat and grease engulfed the display. Before all touch capability disintegrated in to a puddle of human despair, I managed to send out the tweet.
#GlazersOut.
A spark, prefixed by a hash. A revolution is afoot.
But this is no ordinary revolution, this is organised by some of the finest minds that Manchester United Reddit & Twitter has to offer. I'm trying to think of a way to say this humbly but I can't so I'll just say it. We got the hashtag to NUMBER ONE trending on Twitter. I'm welling up a little just thinking about it. The date was set for the protest. June 29th would be the fateful day the Glazers feel the wrath of the Red Devils, inhale the smog of the fiery pits of hell. Love Manchester United. Hate the Glazers.
Me personally? Well I wouldn't be attending, no. Think of me as a Field Marshal, like Haig if you will. I'm the orchestrator, my subjects will do the protesting - and protest they will. Green and yellow banners will unfurl, songs will be sung, fan groups will roll up in the bus-load à la the miners at Pride in '85. The Glazers will have sold up come closing hours through fear of being left completely at the mercy of the famous Manchester United fanbase. It will be the day we get OUR United back. Hated, adored, NEVER ignored.
20 people turned up.
Transfers
Highlights
Player Type From To Fee(£m)
Matthijs de Ligt Perm Ajax Manchester United £75m
Aaron Wan-Bissaka Perm Crystal Palace Manchester United £50m
Daniel James Perm Swansea City Manchester United £15m
All transfers from muppetiers
All incoming/outgoing transfers
Full 2019-20 squad
3 players to watch out for
⭐️ Paul Pogba
Despite the salty ABU infested media's attempts at trying to besmirch Paul by doing things like directly quoting him saying he wants to leave, true Red Devils such as myself and my friend Trevor know better. On his day indisputably the world's best midfielder, Paul bleeds Manchester United football club. He could have gone to any club, but he came to us. After we offered to double his wage and made him the most expensive footballer in the history of the sport. A man who never gives up on the pitch, never turns his back on the club, is never involved in any controversy. Who showed so much passion in the CL RO16 first leg that he got sent off putting us in a potentially precarious position for the second leg, although we ended up playing better without him. That's the kind of man you want to be the linchpin of your side, and the man I myself am rallying behind to slide that captain's armband on to that huge defined bicep of his.
⭐️ Michael(?) Greenwood
Wow. What a prospect this young man is. Having absolutely blitzed pre-season, he undoubtedly must have one hand on the PFA YPOTY award. Like most Manchester United fans, I know a lot about him and have been following his career trajectory for the best part of a decade now. Never before has a more talented footballer graced the academy of a team in English football, and - whisper it quietly - but give it 5 years and we may bump that from "English football" to "World football". With massive goals against the likes of Le*ds (scum!) he looks set to follow in the footsteps of Marcus Rashford and hit that prolific 1 goal every 4 games mark that really acts as a litmus test for separating the wheat from the chaff. The Lord Bendtners from the Emile Heskeys XD.
⭐️ Cristiano Ronaldo
Having started his pre-season on a strong note of having rape allegations dropped through lack of evidence (thots, begone!) Ronaldo is really shaping up for another season of doing Manchester United proud. Whilst the pedants may point out he left the club 10 years ago, and if he'd had his way he'd have left 11 years ago, it is clear Cristiano Ronaldo absolutely adores the club so we make a point of following his progress each season as if he didn't literally use us as a stepping stone, turn down every opportunity to rejoin us, and celebrate after scoring against us by flashing his abs. And at the risk of riling y'all up in the comments, c'mon dude, it's totally Ronaldo > Messi (no /s).
What the fans think
Thanks to /The_Donald for their help
How do you think this season will go?
I'm not sure really I'm more looking forward to the next transfer window and continuing to publicly support a man who puts children in cages.
  • Jroades267
I'm currently in a hotel in Kho Phangan and just saw the Lukaku news there and loudly screamed "HOLY SHIT LUKAKU" and this Thai lad a few balconies below replied "I KNOW!!"
  • TyperSniper (editor's note: literally nobody asked, Typer)
This pre-season has been immense. I have a feeling we’re being underestimated by people who haven’t been watching us. What Ole has managed to galvanise tactically is something completely new which I think is going to take the league by storm. Basically, when an opposition player is on the ball, two or more United players will run at him closing down any passing avenues. This decreases the chance of the opposition player making a dangerous pass, and increases the chance of a United player potentially winning the ball. Then, on the occasions when we get the ball, we start to move forward and kick it towards the opposition goal. It’s something completely new and in fitting with what you expect from Manchester United. I’m calling it “pressurising”.
  • paeders
Which player is going to be your star of the season and why?
ITK 27. I’m convinced that this one actually has a source.
  • Ubergorp
Harry Maguire. He is going to completely transform this defence. For the steal price of £140m we’ve managed to quickly storm right in to contention for the best defence in the league with AWB and Slabbers. Whilst Wan-Bissaka has been superb, and through his appearances in the ICC has essentially already paid back his price tag, Maguire really is going to be something else. Affectionately dubbed “Slabhead” by the United fans (god we’re clever and original) the all-conquering defender comes from defensive juggernauts Leicester, who conceded a mere 48 goals last season in comparison in to our disastrous 54 goals. Squawka Comparison Matrix with the right selected stats actually shows him to be a better defender than Virgil van Dijk, the so-called best in the world. He’ll easily win us 15-20 points and have us back in title contention.
  • AutoModerator
I was saying they look older than they are, not that I’m attracted to them!
  • Alleged Paedophile
How do you think the team will line up?
De Gea – Shaw, Maguire, Koulibaly, Wan-Bissaka – Fernandes, Pogba – Martial, Dybala, James – Rashford
  • “Reliable ITK” xisimon
The 11 of whoever is facing Liverpool
  • TopRed99

DB's Debrief

by the DB_Cooper727
As someone who has been permanently banned from both /RedDevils and /LiverpoolFC, DB feels like he’s best placed to be giving a preview on Manchester United.
The Manager: Usually found snorting lines of Carrington dust that he believes to be remnants of Alex Ferguson's dead skin, OGS has taken a slightly unorthodox approach to this window in buying from close to home. This, in part, is likely because he thought he wasn't yet worthy of using Ferguson's old scouting setup and first had to prove himself by signing players he already knew about. Whilst on the face of it you could argue he has a win percentage comparable to that of David Moyes, completely leans on Mike Phelan to do any kind of coaching work and has, by his own design, overshadowed his entire United reign with an inferiority complex in relation to Ferguson, Ole is a manager beyond his years. So much so that, despite being almost 5 years removed from his tenure at Cardiff, he still managed to deliver them a big 4th PL win under his tutelage when kamikazing his United side against them. Most worryingly for United fans, though, is the fact that the only people who like Ole more than they do is the fans of their rival clubs.
The Team: Through one technicality or another, United boast the incredible record of their entire team being academy products. Every United fan is well-versed in the intricacies of these technicalities and will be able to offer onsite assistance to anyone whose mind may stray away from their infallible club being fuelled by anything other than the United way. They also have an unnervingly brilliant ability at plucking absolute nobodies from clubs lower in the table and making them one of the best in the league without so much as a senior appearance. Take Wan-Bissaka for instance. I bet you can’t even name which irrelevant minnow he used to ply his trade for, but one thing we’re all able to agree on is that as of the 29th June he is indisputably one of the best right-backs in the league.
Why to like them: They ruined your childhood but now they’re shite. Like watching the kid who used to make fun of you for still eating Lunchables when you were in your teens drink himself in to having wet brain. Fuck you Jake you’re a burden on your family and your mum just liked Dignitas’ page on Facebook. Their record with managerial appointments and transfers is horrendously poor, to the point that if they managed to get a manager or signing right it’d be a surprise only dwarfed by the time Taylor Swift brought out Robbie Williams to sing Angels at Wembley. Rival fans can delight and revel in the fact they’ve become everything they used to criticise and mock. Spending loads of money on prima donnas, give nauseating recounts of their history, and the best moments of their post-Ferguson era have been the two times their local rivals beat their biggest rivals to the title. I realise these aren’t really reasons to like them, but come on, it’s Manchester United. DB can only bend the truth so much.
Why to dislike them: No Gun Ri Massacre, My Lai Massacre, Highway of Death. Their legends are littered with women beating, brother's wife pulling, granny shagging, chicken tongue-fucking dangers. Without even the slightest trace of irony they belt out verses about wanting to "go on the piss with Georgie Best", a man who denounced alcohol and the impact it had on his life whilst laying on his deathbed. Whilst for a spell in 2011 their club resembled a bastion of the civil rights movement, more recently their fans have shown a less progressive attitude as they fought back against organisations such as Kick It Out over the racial connotations of their Lukaku chant, defended a homophobic Patrice Evra rant, and claimed that someone who recently called Ashley Young the N word was, in fact, trying to say "like". However, I think we can all agree that which really stands out, tangled within this mesh of reprehensible and immoral actions, is their treatment of our oh so sweet and precious DB. His only crime? Correctly predicting the downfall of the /reddevils at the hands of the ITKs. Their potential saviour, only ever given the chance to be the villain. For shame.
Summary: Unban me from /soccer I’ll be such a good DB 😭.

Links

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
#FuckScooterBraun
submitted by DB_Cooper727 to soccercirclejerk [link] [comments]


2019.07.31 15:46 BonemanAndTheBrisket OC: Top 126 Moments of Liverpool's 2018/19 Season (#76-#67)

Introduction
Part 1: #126-#117
Part 2: #116-#107
Part 3: #106-#97
Part 4: #96-#87
Part 5: #86-#77
Hello all! Yesterday I was carrying some takeout Indian food into my apartment, but as I went to open the door to the building, I dropped the box. It then proceeded to fall down 3 flights and land on the ground below. Amazingly, it was completely unscathed and hadn't even opened. As such I'm on top of the world right now. I truly hope things are going that well for all of you.
Today we've got some incredible team goals, the our first official moment from the Champions League final, and Liverpool legend Alberto Moreno Pérez. I won't keep you waiting, let's get into it.

Moment #76: https://streamable.com/3h1i2 (credit to u/pat_at_exampledotcom)

Date: 6/1/19
Match: Tottenham Final
Score: 1-0, 38'
Player(s): Matip, Robertson
Summary: Matip's insane pass under pressure in the final
This is, unfortunately, the last time Matip will feature in this list. That's mostly due to the incredible quality of the other players in our squad and the plethora of amazing moments we've had this year, but I'm still sad I couldn't include more of everyone's favorite giraffe.
Matip doesn't get enough credit in general, but whenever he does, it's usually for things like his aerial prowess or his funny-yet-effective driving forward runs. Quite rarely do people mention how genuinely good he is on the ball. Having three different top-class ball-playing center backs on our roster is one of the main reasons our attack managed to stay so lethal even after teams started to defend the front 3 more effectively. Between Van Dijk, Matip, Gomez, and Alisson, I've actually become comfortable with us trying to play out from the back, which was honestly unthinkable as recently as a year ago.
This clip here may be the best example of Matip's passing ability. Tottenham are pressing high and still have plenty of wind in their sails. Robertson makes a simple backpass that takes just a bit too much time to get to Alisson, who's now under pressure from Kane to get rid of the ball. He goes to Matip for an easy outlet pass, but Heung-Min Son, rapid as he is, has closed the gap between the two. Matip, now on the ball, is in a real conundrum. He doesn't have the time to turn right and find Alexander-Arnold on the wing, he can't go back to Alisson with Kane right there, Fabinho is cut off, and both Van Dijk and Wijnaldum have men bearing down on them. The only free player left in defense is Andrew Robertson, who's all the way on the other side of the pitch. The problem is that Christian Eriksen is cutting off the straight pass to Robertson, so in order to find him, Matip has to make a pass with just the right amount of spin on it, while putting a good bit of pace into it as well. And he has to do this basically from a standstill with Son breathing down his neck.
And that's exactly what he does. This pass is so pretty that it almost distracts from how important it was. 90% of center backs launch this ball out for a throw-in, turning possession over to the other team. The few that are crazy and confident enough to try to actually find a teammate here probably end up turning the ball over one way or another, which is even worse. Somehow, Matip finds the perfect pass, giving Robertson a golf course of space in front of him. He takes all of it and fires a deceptively difficult ball that Lloris manages to swipe away. Can you imagine if he'd scored this? If Matip got an assist here? This pass would be top 10, easily.
I love Joel Matip so much. I'd say we robbed Schalke, but you can't rob something that's free.

Moment #75: https://streamable.com/02fp5

Date: 6/1/19
Match: Tottenham Final
Score: 1-0
Player(s): Alexander-Arnold
Summary: Trent denies Son 1v1 in the final
We'll stick with the Champions League final for now, and come to a moment that most of us probably forgot by now. I only say that because I did, but it's quite possible that my memory is just shit.
First, we need to be honest with ourselves, the final was a bit shit. There's nothing wrong with that, most major tournament finals are, especially when there's 3 weeks in between the end of the season and the final. Of course, for Liverpool fans, it was a heart-pounding ride right from the start, but I found myself more than a bit frustrated at times with how much of the ball we were giving Tottenham. It was the right move, of course, I'm not criticizing the tactic, just saying that there wasn't much to enjoy from an attacking perspective. That's why a good few moments from the final ended up being on the defensive side of the ball, where we were, quite frankly, absolutely imperious.
It wasn't that Tottenham weren't able to create dangerous situations, quite the opposite really, they had more than a few moments where they'd managed to get their forwards in space with numbers. It's just that every single time, our back 4 and our goalkeeper denied them before that danger could manifest as a real chance. That's exactly what Trent manages here. Christian Eriksen, undeniably great player that he is, finds Son with a fantastic pass despite being harassed by Van Dijk the entire way. Son is now essentially 1v1, and he gets greedy, trying to take Trent out of the equation altogether. Trent sees the pullback coming through, and gets a vital boot in to clear the ball away, dissolving the situation before Son had a chance to shoot.
This moment didn't make many highlight reels (hence why I've pulled from a less-than-official one with a grey filter to avoid content identification), but the situation makes it incredibly important. If this is against Brentford in the League Cup, I'd probably hardly think twice about it, but in the Champions League final, up just 1-0, against one of the most underrated forwards in the world? I can't just leave this one out. Top class play from Trent.

Moment #74: https://streamable.com/p1918

Date: 8/25/18
Match: Brighton
Score: 0-0, 23'
Player(s): Salah, Firmino, Mané, Milner
Summary: Salah scores great team goal against Brighton
After a year in which our high-flying, "heavy metal" style of football got us one match away from the football Mount Olympus, Liverpool adopted a generally more sensible approach the following season. With world-class players at every single defensive position, it only made sense to lean heavier on the defense and not press like madmen quite as often, and the decision paid huge dividends.
Still, it's not as if we completely abandoned the gegenpress approach. The only thing better than an effective tactical approach is multiple tactical approaches, and being able to switch between poised, calm defense and wild out-and-out pressing at a moment's notice made Liverpool a headache for defenses to deal with.
That's precisely what happens here, as Brighton get lazy in possession. They've won a free kick in their end, and elect to take it short. It seems the sensible decision, as the front 3 aren't showing a press at the moment. But on the backpass, Firmino makes a casual, probing run forward. He's not trying to win the ball, but rather to persuade the defender to pass it where he wants him to. It works. The defender completely ignores Montoya on the wing and makes a panicked pass right down the middle, and the exact second he does, James Milner starts running like a bat out of hell. Bissouma's touch is a bit too heavy, and Milner's excellent anticipation lets him poke it away to Mané. Suddenly, out of seemingly nothing, Brighton are on their heels.
The commentator call from there about sums it up. Mané, Firmino, Salah!. It takes those 3 about 2 seconds to turn Milner's challenge into a goal, one that would end up as the match-winner no less. This sort of thing doesn't happen in 17/18, because teams see it coming. Being able to lull the opponent into a false sense of security is a powerful tool, because it means that your opponent can't relax even when they have time and space.

Honorable Mention: Van Dijk yelling at Trent

Virgil Van Dijk has of course been an amazing player in terms of his individual skill, but he's also everything we could have ever wanted in terms of a leader for the backline. In his first match against Everton in the cup, I remember being shocked at how much he was yelling. I thought "is this normal? Are defenders supposed to communicate this much?". As incredible and capable as all our other defenders are, Van Dijk really is the glue that holds everything together, and as such he can shout as much as he damn well pleases. Long may he scream.

Moment #73: https://streamable.com/8xhb5 (credit to Redmen TV twitter)

Date: 1/3/19
Match: City A
Score: 1-0
Player(s): Everyone
Summary: Incredible team goal vs. City
I'm going to be quite honest, I don't like thinking about this game. Every time I do, my brain gets filled with nasty, useless thoughts that just make me unhappy and ungrateful, and though I'm young, life is just too fleeting to spend any time focusing on things like that. Which is why I was initially more than happy to let sleeping dogs lie and just not mention anything from this match on this list.
But sweet Christ this is a pretty goal. So much interplay, so many passes that even this brilliant clip wasn't able to get all of them, so much quick thinking and moments of genius from the boys here. We were under pressure from City quite literally the entire time in this clip, but they never managed to even touch the ball. Rather than go through it play-by-play, which would take forever, I'll just highlight the particularly impressive moments:
-Trent's high boot pass to Mané that starts it off in this clip is very pretty to look at, and deceptively difficult to pull off on the sort of ball that Hendo gave him.
-Mané's settle and immediate pass to Gini might actually be the most impressive thing in this clip. I do not understand how he was physically able to pull this off, it looks almost like he takes two touches before hitting the ground.
-Fabinho's ball up to Firmino was pitch-perfect, love to see him spraying passes everywhere.
-Trent's cross-field pass to Robertson is fucking filthy, he makes the ball curve so subtly in the air like it's absolutely nothing.
-I will never, ever tire of watching Trent psych out Leroy Sané that hard. Sané couldn't have bit harder if he were Luis Suarez in a frustrating, physical match against world-class defenders.
-Trent finding Robertson that well 6 yards from net with his left foot will never cease to amaze me.
-I love Bobby Firmino so much.
Yeah, I think that about covers it. I'm going to move on now, but it really was an amazing goal.

Moment #72: https://streamable.com/eyrrz

Date: 4/9/19
Match: Porto H
Score: 1-0, 26'
Player(s): Henderson, Alexander-Arnold, Firmino
Summary: Hendo and Trent make things easy for Firmino
Pretty much every Porto moment so far has been, admittedly, a bit trivial. That can happen when you beat a team 6-1 on aggregate and only really have to sweat for about 30 minutes. However, at this point, the tie was still very much in the balance.
Liverpool had gotten lucky on Keita's opener (and frankly, a bit of good fortune was overdue after the constant tough draws in the Champions League), but in a match where you're clearly the better side, on such an important stage, you want to bury the opponent as much as you can. As we know all too well, there's nothing more scary than an underdog that's hung around too long.
Luckily, we had our beloved captain finally back in his best role, just in time to help tear apart a team in the CL quarterfinals. Pay attention to the defense when Hendo gets the ball. Positively everyone is back for Porto, they have 9 men behind the ball, one of whom is off-screen. Their backline has, no exaggeration, 6 men. And yet somehow, not a single one of them picks up Alexander-Arnold's run on the right side. Hendo, to his credit, gives no indication as to where his pass is going, and Salah intelligently lets it run for Trent, who has now somehow gotten past every single defender with one pass.
From there, it's child's play to get it straight across to Firmino. I'd say that he'll never score an easier goal in his life, but his opener against Arsenal at Anfield was at least this easy. This, incidentally, was also a no-look goal, which is always nice to see.
The feeling after the match was that Liverpool could have scored more, and to be fair we absolutely could have. But 2-0 is a fantastic result, and we couldn't have gotten it in a simpler way.

Moment #71: https://streamable.com/bmrwb

Date: 4/5/19
Match: Southampton A
Score: 2-1, 86'
Player(s): Henderson
Summary: Hendo polishes things off from his new position
Surprise everyone, it's a Jordan Henderson episode! Henderson finally being back in an attacking midfield role was a sight for sore eyes, and a rather ingenious move by Klopp too. Late in the season, teams are usually set, and everyone knows what to expect, so any innovation, no matter how small, can really help throw your opponent off. Klopp is a big fan of versatility in his players, so I'm sure he saw the value in Henderson switching positions this late on.
And boy would this decision pay dividends. Southampton away was honestly one of our toughest fixtures this season, Champions League included, and it took some absolutely heroic performances from the boys to get back into it. We'd grabbed the lead by this point, but nothing is ever certain in the Premier League. Southampton had been pushing for the tying goal, which left them wide open to the counter. Firmino gets the ball right near the endline, and steps back to beat his defender, but he's lacking the option in the middle that he needs.
Luckily, Jordan Henderson has made an absolutely gut-busting run right into the heart of the Southampton defense, and Firmino, himself a connoisseur of effort plays, decides to put it on a plate for him. Henderson taps it home and the match is over.
The celebration deserves some attention as well. It may honestly be my favorite of the season. Henderson's just scored his first goal for us in 2 years, an absolutely massive one, and he puts every bit of passion he'd built up over those 2 years into it. The mist flies off the grass behind his hand like skidmarks behind a formula-1 racecar. Everything about it is so satisfying. I, for one, cannot wait to see Henderson celebrate more goals this upcoming season.

Moment #70: https://streamable.com/eg9aj

Date: 4/26/19
Match: Huddersfield H
Score: 1-0, 46'
Player(s): Salah, Alexander-Arnold
Summary: Salah chips the keeper to put the game away
I'll be honest, going into this match, I was fucking exhausted. Just take a look at the league fixtures before this match. Burnley 4-2, Fulham 2-1, Tottenham 2-1, Southampton 3-1, Chelsea 2-0, and Cardiff 2-0. Some memorable matches, for sure, but 6 nailbiters in a row in the midst of a dead heat for the Premier League title. I love excitement, but I'd had about a month and a half of nothing but excitement. For once, I wanted an easy victory, one I didn't have to worry about, especially with Barcelona at the Camp Nou looming just 5 days later.
This match delivered on that on so many levels. In the first place, Huddersfield kept it level for all of 15 seconds (more on that later), and by the end, we were taking starters off and putting Ox on for a feel-good story (Moment #82).
And yet, going into halftime, the score was just 2-0. Granted, Huddersfield were extremely unlikely to score 2 against us, but we couldn't relax just yet, not the way we wanted to. We needed at least one more to really be able to coast through the rest of this.
Thankfully, we have Mohamed Salah. With about 50 seconds left in the half, Salah makes a dangerous run between two Huddersfield defenders, and Trent sees it all the way, delivering a perfect ball right up the middle. Lossl can see that both defenders are beaten, so he makes the right choice and comes out for the ball. Salah sees him coming though, and opts to chip the keeper. Lossl actually anticipates this well, but he doesn't manage to get a touch on it, and Salah's chip floats peacefully into the net. Liverpool now have the cushion they needed going into halftime, which allowed everyone to have fun and relax for a change.

Moment #69: https://streamable.com/dvryn

Date: 10/24/18
Match: Red Star H
Score: 0-0, 20'
Player(s): Firmino
Summary: Firmino opens the scoring to start the rout
Liverpool started off their Champions League redemption campaign more than well enough, with an incredibly memorable win against PSG that somehow probably doesn't even rank in the top 10 CL games this year (it really was a wild campaign). However, things took a turn for the worse against Napoli. Liverpool put out easily their worst and most lethargic performance of the season and suffered their first away defeat. Going into their easiest match on paper against Red Star at Anfield, Liverpool needed to win, and ideally win big.
They didn't get much credit for it, but Red Star were a far better side than their recent reputation suggested. They would of course go on to beat Liverpool in one of the few matches this season that didn't register on this list (although it did get an honorable mention), but even by this point they'd managed to hold Napoli to a draw at home. They were absolutely a resolute defensive side, capable of defending for 90 minutes and forcing teams to break them down.
As is so often the case with Liverpool, the first goal would be absolutely crucial in this game. Shaqiri gets the ball from Firmino in Red Star's half, but rather than step up and put pressure on the midfield, Red Star have opted to keep their defensive shape, not pressing Shaqiri until about 10 yards outside the box. The idea here is to cut down on the space Liverpool have to run, neutralizing their speed advantage. An unfortunate drawback of this approach is that it gives midfielders time to pick out a good pass, and that's exactly what Shaqiri does here, finding Robertson with a lovely threaded ball.
Robertson could cross, but he's a bit close to the goal and doesn't have any target at the back post yet. Instead, he opts to pull the ball back for Firmino and let the front 3 work their magic in the box. Firmino has two Red Star defenders directly in front of him, but he shows remarkable poise, taking a quick touch inside that completely turns one defender around, before firing his shot. He gets a bit lucky on this one, as it takes a deflection off a defender to fool the goalkeeper. It's slight, but you can just see it on the behind the net replay.
Still, great teams make their own luck, and Firmino's well-worked goal would open the floodgates, letting Liverpool get a very important rout over Red Star underway.

Moment #68: https://streamable.com/th1pd

Date: 10/27/18
Match: Cardiff H
Score: 1-0, 65'
Player(s): Mané, Moreno
Summary: Mané great goal to double the lead
Looking back, I'd forgotten just how tense this match was. For as early as Salah got on the scoresheet, it really took us a while to build on the lead, and we weren't able to really relax until very late in the match, as Cardiff managed to pull one back. This was a deceptively tough match, and in situations like this, the best way to beat a defense like Cardiff's is clever interplay, switches of the field and creative decision making.
Or you can just do it all yourself, like Mané does here. To be fair, Firmino does well to pull the ball out between 3 defenders and keep possession for the team, but this moment is all about Mané. He gets the ball and immediately turns inside, but his path is cut off and he has no choice but to turn back. This just invites more pressure on him though, and his touch outside is a bit heavy. Somehow he manages to get to it before the Cardiff player does, and then he manages to get to the rebound first to touch it through Moreno's legs. Now with just a little bit of space, Mané decides that he has everything he needs, and lets it fly. The strike is perfect, somehow finding its way inside the far post from a really tight angle. Almost makes you feel bad for Etheridge.
The real star here though? Alberto Moreno. Just look at his pass inside to Mané, the timing of it, the pace, how... straight he makes the ball go, it's breathtaking. And then the brilliant little basketball screen he does, letting Mané nutmeg him so that he can get past a defender, really giving it all for the team. Truly a heroic performance from the spaniard.
I kid, of course, but it was nice to see Albie get involved here, I was starting to wonder if he'd ever show up. For all his mistakes, I love that little goofball, and I wish him the best with Villarreal.

Moment #67: https://streamable.com/v08vs

Date: 2/9/19
Match: Bournemouth H
Score: 2-0, 48'
Player(s): Firmino, Salah
Summary: Firmino backheel to Salah
I have a confession to make. I am... American. I know, and I apologize. I understand if no one wants to be my friend anymore, I can't say I'd react any differently in your shoes. (Those of you who were here for the first post in this series know this fact, because I foolishly didn't realize that NBC sports is region-locked outside America)
All this to say, the only times I'd managed to see Liverpool in person were when they finally started making trips to the US. My family and I went all the way to Chicago to watch Raheem Sterling put one past Olympiakos in Soldier Field. I was too young to drink at the time, but I occupied myself on the party bus by handing out drinks to everyone. Then just this last year, we went up to Ann Arbor to visit my brothers and watched Xherdan Shaqiri score a bicycle kick against Manchester United. My foot was injured and in a boot that day, but I still jumped up and down like a kid.
Still, those were ultimately just preseason matches, appetizers, samples, the little puff of perfume they spray on you in the store even though you didn't want or ask them to and now you smell like Caroline Herrera's "Good Girl" all day. They don't compare to the real thing, seeing an actual league game at Anfield, live and in person. For so long, something like that was a dream, some far-off Mecca-esque pilgrimage that I might maybe make one day when I had a sensible job and enough vacation days saved up.
Luckily, I got a temporary teaching job in last year in France, where they hand out vacation days like candy. My mother, the absolute saint that she is, decided to come over to visit me, and she brought along my brother who, incidentally, is the real Liverpool fanatic in the family, the one who got everyone else to start watching with him. We'd all decided to visit England for my brother's first time in Europe, and, well, opportunity came knocking.
(I still remember the day my mom ordered the tickets. My brother and I got a text from her that read, and I quote "I'm trying to find good tickets, is 'The Kop' a good place to sit?". Bless her heart, she doesn't know quite as many club terms as we do.)
Going to an actual match really is different. In preseason, you're just there to have a good time. Any positive event is just a treat, something that lets you say "I say so-and-so score live". But this was the real deal, an actual match. As excited as we were, there was this tension in the air: "What if we lose?"
Luckily, we got treated to an absolute banger of a match. We couldn't really relax by this point, but we were tearing Bournemouth to shreds. Another goal was coming, and you could feel it. And what a goal it was. This first ball by Keita is absolutely sublime, he was on fire that day. But then Firmino manages to one-up it with a perfect little backheel into the path of Salah, who does what he does best and bends it into the far corner. I still can't really believe that I saw this happen live.
I may be over-rating this goal for sentimental reasons, but in my defense, we didn't actually score very many backheels this year, that was more of a 17/18 thing. Either way, this goal is pure quality.

Honorable Mention: Mané, Salah, Keita, Firmino, and Trent near-goals vs. Bournemouth

On the face of it, I got everything I could have asked for in this match. We won 3-0, played amazing football, and me and my brother got to chant our lungs out the whole match. But it could've been so much more. I'm not kidding when I say that we could've scored 8 that day, we were that good.
As proof, here are 5 straight golden chances that we missed, back-to-back. I didn't even have to edit them together, they all just happened in a row. First Mané somehow puts a point-blank header wide of the far post, then Salah strikes the crossbar, then Keita blasts a golden opportunity for his first Liverpool goal over the bar, then Firmino somehow doesn't score on a breakaway, and finally Trent takes a bit too long to line up his shot near the end of the match.
The Keita and Firmino misses hurt the most, I think. Keita was imperious that day and deserved to score his first (plus his picture was on the match program, so that would have been a wonderful little moment). Meanwhile, Firmino was the only member of the front 3 who hadn't scored, and we chanted his song for a solid 8 minutes to try to get him to score, and right at the end it he got that golden opportunity and missed it.
I can't actually be that upset about this, it was a wonderful experience, and I found everyone we met to be exceedingly kind and welcoming. Also, the meat pies were the best thing I've ever tasted in my life and made me want to move to Liverpool.
And that about does it! Apologies for getting so personal and sentimental at the end there, but given that this list is ultimately just my personal opinion, I felt like it was necessary to talk about these moments from my perspective. It really meant a lot to my brother and I to see that match, and we'll forever be able to say that we saw the European Champions play in person.
I'll leave on that positive note. Sincere thank you's to everyone who's been following and commenting all those nice things every day, it's really nice to know that people enjoy this series so much.

-Boneman

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2019.07.27 15:46 NickTM Team Preview - Bournemouth [Premier League 2019-20 - 7/20]

AFC Bournemouth

by bluecherry94

Welcome to the triumphant return of the Premier League Previews, a series where a fan gives an overview of his team for your perusal, and I get an excuse to take pot-shots at other clubs. This will run until the eve of the Premier League, taking a look at each club in turn. We're continuing our seaside theme today with AFC Bournemouth.

About

Last season

Pos P W D L GF GA GD Points
14 38 13 6 19 56 70 -14 45
After the first 12 games of last season and sitting pretty in 6th place, rumour has it that certain Cherries fans had started picking which destination they'd prefer for a Europa league 1st qualifying round away day. However after yet more long-term injuries and a resulting loss of form the season fizzled out to a safe 14th place. Don't let the 14th place finish fool you as in my opinion this was the season where the most progression was made since promotion to the Premier League, with the team pulling off some brilliant results (see Bournemouth 4 - 0 Chelsea) and a slight tweaking the style of play, producing scintillating football at times.
The emergence of the deadly "front 4" providing goals and assists galore saw Callum Wilson finally get his deserved international call up and debut goal against the USA, resulting in him being linked to Chelsea for £40m+ in January. Ryan Fraser narrowly missed out on being the top assister in the Premier League to a certain £130m Galactico and has in result been linked with the likes of Everton and Arsenal for £30m (with a year left on his deal). David Brooks has emerged from young boy into a £50m player linked with Manchester United and Josh King continues to be one of the most criminally underrated strikers in the Premier League. With these 4 signed at a combined £13.4m, I'd say the efforts of Eddie's long term planning are coming to fruition.
As has been the issue with every campaign since promotion however, the defence has been the issue. 70 goals were conceded last year, a figure beaten only by Fulham and Huddersfield, who will be playing for Championship glory next season. However a return of 56 goals scored, the most outside the top 6 make up for this. Don't ever say you don't get value for money at Dean Court.
The final couple of games gave reason for optimism however. A brilliant debut against Spurs for young Irish keeper Mark Travers came as a pleasant surprise, as well as promising performances from young fringe players such as January signings Chris Mepham and Dominic Solanke as well as academy product Jack Simpson.
Overall, another entertaining season of good football was left with the bitter-sweet taste of what could have been after that early season form. Injuries to Lewis Cook and record signing Jefferson Lerma were absolutely key, and came at the same time as the drop in form, which is no coincidence. It is hard to complain as a Bournemouth fan, but you get the feeling that fans are starting to get frustrated at a stale-ness within the club. No progress has been made on a new stadium and the cups still seem to be an opportunity to give fringe players some minutes. The new training ground is however under way, so the pavilion outside the ground can stop being used for training soon enough and hopefully can be used as a tool to attract better players to the South Coast. As if the beach and the prospect of a house on Sandbanks was enough!

This Season

After spending £31m (Transfermarkt) on Chris Mepham and Dominic Solanke in January of last season, I wasn't expecting too much from the business this summer. Eddie had been chasing Mepham for what seemed like an eternity, so I'm excited to see what he'll bring to the table this season and Dominic Solanke seems to be hugely rated in the England setup, however he has a job displacing King or Wilson up top.
So far only 2 signings have come in, and they can now be described as very 'Bournemouth' signings. We seem to have found a niche in attracting some of the best young British talent in the Football League and offering them a chance at breaking into a team in the Premier League. Lloyd Kelly comes in for £13m as a highly rated left back who, again is highly rated in the England setup and performed well at Championship level last season for Bristol City. We've also signed right-back Jack Stacey from Luton Town who, I confess I don't know much about but he seems like a full back who loves to get forward and scored a few goals last season as well.
We're rumoured to be looking for a Goalkeeper, Centre Midfielder and a StrikeWinger in the rest of the window. We've been strongly linked with Jack Butland, who could go down as one of the best signings in our history if completed as he was very close to Jordan Pickford in competing for England's #1 spot, but his stock has dropped after playing for an underperforming Stoke in the Championship. That superb shot-stopper is still in there however and could be a massive signing. We also seem to be heavily linked with Philip Billing from Huddersfield. From afar I've heard stories about him having a bad attitude when not picked which you never like to hear, but Eddie could go after Anna from Love Island for all I care, I'd still back him to make the right decision on signing a player.
In terms of exits, we've managed to start being able to get good fees for our players. £20m rising to £26m for Tyrone Mings is a great deal for all parties. It's such a shame it hasn't worked out for Tyrone and I truly wish him all the best at Villa. Whoever managed to convince Sheffield United to not only target Lys Mousset, but fork out £10m for him deserves a heavy commission as a result of that sale. You can see he's got ability, but he's too friendly with Jordon Ibe and I don't think that's helped his attitude. It was a sad moment to see Marc Pugh finally leave, however it's absolutely the right time. As of the time of writing this, Harry Arter is still with us and I would love to see him charging around our midfield again.
To use the old cliche however, the best business this summer has been to retain the aforementioned front 4. Wee man (Ryan Fraser) still hasn't signed a new deal as of yet. With 1 year remaining I'd be gutted to see him go on a free, but I heard someone saw he liked a tweet begging him to sign a deal. Looking forward to the official announcement in the coming days.
I'd love to see us have a go in the cups, I've always said it would be a dream to see Bournemouth at Wembley and I feel we're established enough as a Premier League side to be able to afford the risk of a deep cup run. However as always, the priority has to be staying in the league.
Transfers
Highlights
Player Type From To Fee(£m)
Lloyd Kelly Transfer Bristol City Bournemouth £13.3m
Jack Stacey Transfer Luton Town Bournemouth £4m
Lys Mousset Transfer Bournemouth Sheffield United £10m
Tyrone Mings Transfer Bournemouth Aston Villa £20m
All fees from Transfermarkt
All incoming/outgoing transfers Full 2019-20 squad
3 players to watch out for
David Brooks
It's hard to put Brooksy in as a player to watch out for after a break-out season last year, but boy does he have talent. Dejavu occured when he got injured during the 4-0 battering of Chelsea which ruled him out for a while. I can see him progressing further this year and providing more game deciding contributions, could be one to watch out for in the Fantasy League too as he's got bags of goals and assists in him.
Lewis Cook
Had injuries not been a concept, Lewis would be a sure starter in England's midfield. Yet again his season was ended early with a ligament injury and he's only just come back into training. However given an extended run of games he can build a formidable partnership in midfield with yellow card machine Jefferson Lerma to put him right back in contention for another England call up.
Chris Mepham
As mentioned above, Eddie had chased Mepham for 18 months prior to him actually signing in January last year for £12m. Another one of those 'Bournemouth' signings who can come from the Football League and make an impact at Premier League club. Steve Cook and Nathan Ake have become the standout centre-back partnership for us over the last 2 years, however if last season's 70 goal concession is on it's way to being repeated, something will have to change and from the few performances (bar his debut away at Arsenal) he put in last season I can see him progressing to be a real leader in the team. I've seen him touted as a future Wales captain and I'd love to see him also develop the leadership qualities to be a key part of our team to come.
What the fans think
Thanks to /AFCBournemouth for their help.
How do you think this season will go?
We should be capable of making the top half of the table. I wouldn't be surprised if we fall somewhat short of this ambition at the start of 2020 when we have a number of easier fixtures. With another possible league cup quarter final in the mix this would be very much on the cards in my mind. I'd hope for 52-54 points if we're playing as good as we can but 46-48 would be expected.
It's going to very much depend on us getting over our injury problems, because they seem to rear their ugly head every season, but I am quietly optimistic of challenging our high points total of 16-17. If we get the luck we can maybe do a Wolves. We have a nicely settled team and I think that will work in our favour over buying lots. I wouldn't mind two or three new ins to replace outgoings though.
We’ll finish on our highest points tally to date, but not highest table position. We’ll be plagued by injuries a couple of these will be out for long periods (Wilson, Fraser, Brooks, Lewis cook) that will result in some non-starters having to step up.
Which player is going to be your star of the season and why?
David Brooks or Lewis Cook would be the best bets. Brooks is extremely technically gifted and I fully expect him to be one of our highest contributers in combined goals and assists next season. With the Euros coming next summer he should be attracting all sorts of admirers so this might be his last season with us. Cook on the other hand is essential to how Eddie Howe wants us to play. His passing ability is unmatched in our squad and he sets the tempo of how we play. He's back from a lengthy injury so I'm hoping his presence could revitalise the squads performances. Might not contribute in goals and assists but will certainly play a decisive part in whether or not we have a successful season.
It could be any one of four or five. At Bournemouth we don't really seem to do star players, but put it down to a team effort. Saying that, Ryan Fraser is going to be a key player, simply down to the fact that we still don't know for sure that he is staying. If Fraser stays then his partnership with Callum Wilson is again going to be pivotal.
I'm excited to see how our midfield shapes up this season too. Lewis Cook has the ability to really cement himself as a future England staple, and I really believe Jefferson Lerma can show how good he really is in his second season in England. Lerma is the tough man in midfield we have cried out for for years (ever since Marvin Bartley in L1 really - different standard, of course) and I can't wait to see Jeff terrorise his opponents again come August. At the back I expect Nathan Ake will be as dominant both positionally and in the air again. That man just has a sixth sense on where to be and when. On the right I hope that young David Brooks can continue to show the ability he served up in his first Premiership season last year.
Lewis Cook back from injury is ready to show us the quality that we know he has and start to fulfill his potential
How do you think the team will line up?
Boruc, Kelly, Ake, S Cook, Smith, Lerma, L Cook, Fraser, Brooks, King, Wilson. Formation: same 4-5-1 horseshoe when off the ball and using King and Wilson's speed to counter while relying upon Brooks, Fraser and Cook to make the right decisions to keep up the counters momentum, 4-2-2-2 on the ball with Fraser and Brooks working the space on the wing while Cook controls the tempo until we facilitate an opening with Wilson and King plugging the space in front of the opposition back four.
Line up
Agree with matey above: Boruc Smith Cook Ake Kelly Brooks Cook Lerma Fraser King Wilson

Wrap Up

by NickTM

The Manager: Eddie Howe has been highly rated since before he even stepped foot in the Premier League, and since then his reputation has only grown. With a glowing track record of developing talent and what is clearly quite an effective recruitment team behind him, that Howe is entering his seventh full season as manager is something of an achievement for Bournemouth themselves, given the bigger clubs that were circling every time they dumped one of their managers. His commitment to decent football has won Bournemouth a fair amount of admirers in the media, and for good reason.
The Team: Pace is all over this team, from the quick off the mark Nathan Aké at the back to Jefferson Lerma's charging around in midfield to the absolute array of quick forwards. Jordon Ibe, Dom Solanke, Callum Wilson, Junior Stanislas, Ryan Fraser and especially Josh King all have pace to burn, and the threat of it alone is enough to keep teams off-balance. It was nice to see Callum Wilson return with a good haul of goals last year after some particularly nasty injury travails, and Bournemouth fans will be hoping Lewis Cook pulls off something similar. It's also a very English team, which will probably keep them afloat when the Faragian blackshirts march on Westminster next year and burn anyone with a particularly foreign sounding name at the stake.
Why to like them: Artur Boruc is always worth keeping an eye on in case he does something utterly insane. The aforementioned pace means some quite gorgeous raking through ball counterattacks can occasionally be seen, and when in more thorough possession of the ball Bournemouth's attractive style of play is pleasing on the eye.
Why to dislike them: Despite their reputation for positive football, a constantly overlooked feature of Bournemouth teams over the last few years has been their cynical fouling and approach to play that gets constantly glossed over by pundits in favour of talking about how plucky and small they are. Personally I've always had a small, nagging vendetta against them ever since a Bournemouth fan a few years ago adamantly insisted Junior Stanislas was better than Wilf Zaha.
Summary: Another season in the Prem for the smallest team in the league, and it's another season where they'll be hoping to stay up with authority. Enough time has passed now that lots of people are expecting them to push on a little this year, and if injuries don't rear their ugly head they could well be on their way to the top half.

Links

Aston Villa Sheffield United Norwich City Brighton Southampton Burnley
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2019.04.09 20:26 dcfevr 'On This Week': 1st April - 7th April

1st April, 1989 - New signing Carl Shutt had a debut to remember, scoring a hat-trick against AFC Bournemouth in a 3-0 win at Elland Road. Shutt arrived from Bristol City in a player-exchange deal, with Howard Wilkinson swapping Bob Taylor and £50,000 for the striker.
2nd April, 1991 - Leeds showed fellow new boys Sunderland how much better they had settled into top flight life with a 5-0 drubbing at Elland Road. Lee Chapman and Gary Speed both scored braces, with the aforementioned Shutt also finding the net.
3rd April, 1945 - This date marks the birth of Leeds' longest serving goalkeeper, Gary Sprake. Born in Swansea, Sprake made over 500 appearances* in his 11 years at the club, posting a clean sheet in over 200 of those games. The Welsh international's reputation was damaged by his occasional high-profile clanger, most famously throwing the ball into is own net in front of the Kop at Liverpool.
4th April, 2001 - Leeds produced the most memorable performance of their Champions League run when they dispatched Deportivo La Coruna 3-0 on a jubilant night at Elland Road. A 25-yard free kick from Ian Harte set Leeds on their way, with second-half set-piece goals from Alan Smith and Rio Ferdinand completing the scoring. A clean sheet against the Spanish side meant Leeds had a real chance of progressing to the semi-finals.
5th April, 2000 - The most tragic night in the history of Leeds united took place on the eve of their UEFA Cup semi-final with Galatasaray in Istanbul. Travelling fans Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight were stabbed to death in Taksim Square. "Tonight is going down as one of those black nights in history," said then-chairman Peter Ridsdale. Shamefully, the Turkish justice system has so far failed to bring justice for this unprovoked attack.
6th April, 2000 - The game that shouldn't have been played. Never has a European semi-final mattered so little. In light of the tragic events in Istanbul the previous night, this was an occasion to be endured rather than enjoyed by both the Leeds United fans and players, as the Turkish side ran out 2-0 winners. As the game kicked off the travelling Leeds supporters stood with their back to the pitch in an act of solidarity to their murdered fellow fans. The Leeds players wore black armbands, the Galatasaray players did not.
7th April, 1973 - Another FA Cup semi-final defeat for Wolves. Billy Bremner scored the only goal as Leeds won a hard fought match at Maine Road to book their place at Wembley.

*Wikipedia has Gary Sprake making 381 appearances, however articles by The Telegraph (https://bit.ly/2G0ltnF) and Yorkshire Post (https://bit.ly/2ImVYQ8 for some reason the text on the article doesn't show but on a Google search, it appears in the preview section) confirm the figure of over 500.
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2019.03.07 23:59 halbpro Chapter 85 'Progro.Naut' Preview & Discussion

Show Details

Venue
O2 Academy, Bournemouth
Date
Saturday, March 9th 2019
Doors Open
2.30pm
Show Starts
4pm
Show Ends
8pm

Card

Trent Seven vs. Jody Fleisch
Match Announcement
Trent certainly had a rather eventful time at Chapter 84: Eskeewd Beef! Have Anybody Got Any Bokkle Oran Doove?. While BSS Gifs may have ducked out of the Open Challenge yet again, Timothy Thatcher was more than happy to step up in her place. After a gruelling match, Trent pulled out every trick in the book to retain his title, and to put the Atlas Championship Open Challenge to bed.
After his sixth successful defence, Trent decided he needed to take things to the next level, challenging WALTER to a match at Super Strong Style 16 to unify the Progress World and Atlas titles. With WALTER accepting the match, Trent clearly needs to keep his momentum going, which is where Jody Fleisch enters the picture.
While a newcomer to PROGRESS, Fleisch is one of the most experienced British wrestlers still working. A stalwart of the British scene when it was a fraction of the size it is now, Fleisch's career stretches back to 1997 and spans the face of the globe. Simply put, his not an opponent to be taken lightly.
However, while Trent is looking to maintain momentum, Fleisch needs to build some. Despite a storied career and a wealth of experience, he's lost both of his matches so far in PROGRESS, and a win against Trent would certainly get things going in the run up to Super Strong Style 16.
It's also worth noting that both of the competitors in this match specifically asked for the matchup. Although there may be nothing but pride on the line here, this matchup could be something truly special.

Super Strong Style 16 Qualifier

Angelico vs. DJZ
Match Announcement
Angelico made his debut for PROGRESS at last year's Super Strong Style 16, managing to edge his way past Mark Andrews in the first round (courtesy of an Eddie Dennis distraction), before losing out to Keith Lee on day two in an absolute barn burner. While his appearances have been limited since last year's showcase, he'll still be keen to make his way back to PROGRESS's premier tournament and push further into this year's competition.
However, Angelico's path to Alexandra Palace isn't an easy one. Although DJZ is making his PROGRESS debut, he's already had an extremely impressive career. Probably best known for his work with TNA/Impact, where he was a multiple time X-Division and Tag Team Champion, he's wrestled all across the United States and the world. He's also got extensive tournament experience should he make it to Super Strong Style 16, where he may be one to watch.
Expect this match to be a high flying, energetic affair, with touches of technical wrestling creeping in as well. Although Angelico and DJZ can be seen as more lighthearted figures, you never expect less than their absolute best. With a Super Strong Style 16 spot on the line, these two will do everything in their power to secure their place in the tournament.

Super Strong Style 16 Qualifier

Jordan Devlin vs. Austin Theory
Match Announcement
Much like Angelico, Jordan Devlin is looking to qualify for Super Strong Style 16 for a second year in a row. After suffering a first round loss to Tyler Bate last year, Devlin will be determined to show exactly what he's capable of this time around. He's also coming into this match on a good run of form, having won his last three matches in PROGRESS, picking up wins over Chris Ridgeway and Mark Andrews, as well as a DQ victory over Travis Banks (more on that later).
Devlin's route to the tournament is at least as tricky as Angelico's though, as he'll have to beat one of the best young talents in the world. Although Austin Theory hasn't wrestled for PROGRESS in the UK before, he's actually appeared on three shows during PROGRESS' US tours last year. Although only one of those shows featured a victory for Theory, teaming with Jinny against Will Ospreay and Kay Lee Ray, he's had plenty of success in other promotions. Last year he picked up the FSPW Championship, the WWN Championship, and the FIP World Heavyweight Championship, and he also currently holds the EVOLVE Championship and The Crash World Heavyweight Championship. At just 21 it's an incredibly impressive résumé.
It's clear that both men certainly have the ability to come out on top in this match, but it's hard to call exactly how this match will play out. However, given what's at stake both are going to give this one all they've got.

PROGRESS Women's World Title Match Qualifier

Session Moth vs. Millie McKenzie
Match Announcement
Last month Nina Samuels booked herself a place in the Four-Way Dance for the Women's World Title at Super Strong Style 16, and now both Millie McKenzie and Session Moth will be looking to join her.
McKenzie has had two shots at the Women's World Title before, losing to Jinny both times. However, Jinny's loss to Samuels at Chapter 84: Eskeewd Beef! Have Anybody Got Any Bokkle Oran Doove? has removed her from championship contention for now, and McKenzie's victory over Bea Priestley at the same show has got her rolling.
While Millie McKenzie will be looking to earn her third shot at the Women's World Title, Session Moth is aiming for her first. The Irish party animal hasn't been seen in PROGRESS in almost a year, but has used that time to compete in the UK, Ireland and the United States, alongside two tours in Japan for Stardom.
Given that Session Moth has never picked up a win in PROGRESS before, the obvious pick here is Millie McKenzie. However, it's clear to anyone that's followed Moth's career over the last year that she's come along leaps and bounds. In reality, this should be a hotly contested match, and it wouldn't be a surprise if McKenzie misses out on another title shot.
Jimmy Havoc, Mark Haskins & Eddie Dennis vs. Do Not Resuscitate (Spike Trivet, William Eaver & Chuck Mambo)
Match Announcement
After an unfortunate injury to Mark Andrews at an NXT UK show left him unable to compete at Chapter 84: Eskeewd Beef! Have Anybody Got Any Bokkle Oran Doove?, Mark Haskins decided he'd take on Spike Trivet and Chuck Mambo by himself. Despite being at a numbers disadvantage, Haskins was more than holding his own before Drew Parker interfered and helped his Do Not Resuscitate stable mates to take out Haskins. Unfortunately for Drew, he hadn't accounted for the returning Jimmy Havoc, making his first appearance since a DNR beatdown at November's Chapter 79: One Big Neck With Sausage Hands.
With Jimmy returning to PROGRESS, shelving Drew Parker in the process, and Eddie Dennis having plenty of his own issues with DNR, these two teaming with Haskins may prove too much for the trio of Mambo, Eaver and Trivet. However, since DNR bonded over a mutual feeling of being cast aside by PROGRESS management, they've certainly had a little more pep in their step. They've also shown that they're not above bending the rules to get the job done, and are more concerned with eliminating those they view as dinosaurs than picking up wins.
Will Havoc's wraith turn the tide against DNR though? Or will the younger competitors find more success in their campaign to create some room at the top of PROGRESS' card? It's honestly very hard to overlook an enraged Havoc, and this may be where we see DNR start to learn their lesson.
Travis Banks vs. El Phantasmo
Match Announcement
Although Travis banks did lose at Chapter 84: Eskeewd Beef! Have Anybody Got Any Bokkle Oran Doove?, it was very much a loss of his own making. During his match with Jordan Devlin, Banks was joined by TK Cooper and NIWA in the ring, reforming and expanding the South Pacific Power Trip, leading to a DQ loss for Banks. With the faction back in action, we may well see El Phantasmo suffer the same fate as Devlin; a beatdown from the South Pacific trio.
El Phantasmo will be looking to avoid his third successive loss in PROGRESS, although the Canadian competitor is more than capable of holding his own, utilising his speed and agility. He'll also be looking to pick up a win here in the hopes of getting a Super Strong Style 16 qualifying match on one of the two shows before the tournament. However, as a former World Champion, Banks is extremely tough competition without the potential addition of Cooper and NIWA. If those two make their way down to Bournemouth, El Phantasmo may be out of luck.
The Anti-Fun Police (Chief Deputy Dunne & Los Federales Santos Jr.) vs. The 198 (Flash Morgan Webster & Wild Boar)
Match Announcement
Neither of these teams have been seen in PROGRESS this year, but they had a very big 2018. Both teams appeared in the Tag Team Thunderbastard match at Chapter 76: Hello Wembley!, and the associated series leading into the match, although neither managed to come out victorious, with Aussie Open instead picking up the win and the PROGRESS World Tag Team titles.
Interestingly, it was The 198 who eliminated The Anti-Fun Police from the Tag Team Thunderbastard after Wild Boar hit Chief Deputy Dunne with his patented Trapper Keeper for the pin fall. Dunne and Santos may well be looking for a measure of revenge in Bournemouth, while both teams will be looking to make their way back into the Tag Team Title picture.

Public Transport Info

The O2 Academy Bournemouth sits between Bournemouth and Pokesdown stations. Pokesdown is the slightly closer of the two, but is served by less trains than Bournemouth. There are regular bus services from both train stations to the venue.
For those of you travelling from further afield, make sure you check ahead for any engineering works that may affect your journey.

Up Next

Chapter 86: Corrupted Harmony
March 10th 2019
O2 Academy, Birmingham
Chapter 87: Breadknife
March 31th 2019
Electric Ball Room, Camden, London

More PROGRESS

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2019.02.28 16:04 Jack2142 2019 Countdown to Kickoff: Seattle Sounders

Welcome to Seattle Sounders entry in the Countdown to Kickoff.

Basic info:

Uniforms: Yes we are special and we get black secondaries

2018 in Review

Final Standings: 18-11-5 (W-L-D), 59 pts, +15 GD, 2nd in the West
Seattle began 2018 with a miserable CCL campaign in a match which saw Jordan Morris our starting forward tearing his ACL and missing the season. The Sounders rallied at home and handily dispatched Santa Tecla although they would fall in the next round to eventual champions Chivas. Sounders continued to battle injuries and absences in this first half of the season and by the time Raul Ruidiaz arrived on June 29th we had been comfortably last in the west. If you had to sum up this first half of the season it is this… the last action of Clint Dempsey’s soccer career
However that game did see the first start of Raul Ruidiaz tenure and Seattle rose like a Phoenix from the ashes as they tore through the western conference. The players who needed to get healthy got healthy, and instead of death spiraling like other clubs the Sounders clawed their way back to our second best finish going 16W-2L-0D down the stretch.
As a result we earned a bye to the Semi-Finals of the Western Conference and were ultimately drawn to face Portland. At Providence Park the match turned into a disaster as we lost Cristian Roldan in the first 15 minutes in to let’s just say a strong challenge by Jeff Atinella. Portland would capitalize and score and the first half got worse when Chad Marshall also went down with a non-contact injury. Neither would return for the short turnaround second leg in Seattle. Which was an incredibly frustrating experience which I don’t want to relive. It was a good game, but one I would be happy to never see again and I am glad the two leg playoff is now dead. With the ambition of a third MLS Cup appearance cut short, Seattle enjoyed its longest offseason in years. With no looming CCL the team would finally have a chance for a breather, which will hopefully help this year in 2019.

Pre-season Moves

New Sponsors

Seattle announced on January 17, 2019 they would have a new shirt partner in Zulily dropping Xbox after 10 years. This resulted in... mixed reactions to say the least online. I don't want to re-hash very long SaH & Reddit threads, but it seems in general like maybe not the most popular possible option.
On the flip side however, it is reported to be a much more lucrative deal. Since shirt sponsorships are one of the few Non-MLS controlled revenue streams this could be very important moving forward for Seattle to continue to compete in MLS 3.0

Tacoma Defiance

Seattle also announced that their USL franchise S2 which had recently relocated in 2018 to Tacoma would rebrand as the Tacoma Defiance. This move was much better received giving the USL team a new identity, along with announcing steps towards the construction of a local SSS in Tacoma, WA. Also announced was the move of the NWSL team Reign FC to Tacoma which adds some weight to a prospective stadium push.
This rebrand was the culmination in the re-inventing of the USL side which began when Garth Lagerway took over the team and wanted to create a more cohesive pipeline from the academy to the first team. In this pre-season we have seen many of these kids mostly hold their own vs MLS sides, or at least go down swinging. With the Sounders Academy dominating at the youth level, Defiance will give them an actual identity to play for as they transition to the pro game.
The goal ultimately is to much like the Red Bulls have a talent pipeline that would allow us to consistently put out strong teams even if individual signings don't work out.

Players In

There were very few offseason acquisitions, it is unlikely any of our draft picks sign with the Seattle Sounders and they have yet to sign deals with the Tacoma Defiance. Trey Muse is a top goalkeeping prospect and also unlikely to appear on the senior roster outside of the Open Cup. SAS & Campbell are mid-20’s MLS journeymen who will be depth pieces for the season. Tucker Bone also has a military commitment and while seen as the “best” of the draftees he has additional hurdles to a professional career. There is also a rumor of Seattle looking at picking up another CSL castoff who looks to be a target forward.
D Saad Abdul-Salaam, GK Trey Muse, D Jonathan Campbell, D Aleks Berkolds, M Joel Rydstrand, M Tucker Bone

Players Out

  • W Aaron Kovar (Retired) – Loaned out in 2018 to LAFC never really broke out in his 5 year MLS career. Has some skills, but dealt with unfortunate injuries at times. Looks like plans are to move on from soccer, which is a shame because I think he had talent, just had some bad breaks and Seattle will do better with integrating young players to the first team.
  • DM Osvaldo Alonso (Waived to Minnesota) – The Elephant in the room, he was not re-signed by Seattle. On a good day he is a top class MLS D-Mid which Minnesota is banking on. He was technically re-signed and traded because MLS free agency is honestly garbage. I think most Seattle fans are sad to see him go, but also understand why it happened. Goodbye El Corazon! You are the most important player in our team’s history and a team icon.
  • FB Waylon Francis (Traded to Columbus) – I think he was brought in to start at fullback with Lagerway hoping he would rebound to 2015 form after a couple down years. Lost his starting spot to Nouhou and looked frankly bad. He got pushed down the depth chart even more with Smith’s arrival. Traded to Columbus to fill in for the injured Milton Valenzuela.
  • GK Calle Brown (Loudon United) – 3rd String backup, arrival of Muse makes him superfluous to requirements. He returned home to his native Virginia.
  • CB Tony Alfaro (C.D. Chivas) – Alfaro had a couple good performances as a rookie, but only seemed to get worse as time went on. Indecisive in defense he left his fellow partners on the backline out to dry, and while having decent ball control skills for a centerback would panic under pressure. He got cut from Seattle and picked up by Chivas Guadalajara. It remains to be seen if this is anything more than a random roster padding move.
  • F Felix Chenkam (FA) – Backup Striker signed before Ruidiaz arrived, loaned back to S2 might re-sign with the Defiance I don’t think he played more than a couple minutes for the senior team.
  • F Lamar Neagle (FA) – My favorite player and 253 native. As far as I can tell the only MLS player to sign 4 times with the same team. He had some really good years and I wish him the best. I was hoping he would be brought back to be a player-coach type for a young Defiance team, but that remains to be seen. He was last seen on trial with Phoenix Rising FC who might want to pick up a former USL MVP forward.
  • RB Jordan McCrary: He was a backup picked up after getting cut from Toronto II at the end of 2017. While he did nothing wrong and filled in reasonably well as a backup forward in 2018, by 2019 he appeared superfluous. It sounds like Seattle wants to convert Wingo to a fullback, and Saad-Abdul Salam became available, a player who in my opinion is just a little better. Hopefully he finds another team and lands on his feet I have no ill-will towards him.

Technically left in 2018, but will give them a sendoff here.

  • F Clint Dempsey (Retired) – Pour one out for possibly the best USMNT field player so far. 2018 was a bad year for Dempsey, who had bounced back in 2017 from heart surgery to show he was still an effective player winning comeback player of the year. However father time caught up to him and a series of poor performances possibly tied to some back issues lead to him ending up on the bench and eventually retiring. Since retirement Dempsey seems to have dropped off the earth and is I assume having a good time fishing and maybe working on a new mixtape.
  • AM Magnus Wolff Eikreem (Molde) – Norweigian international, was the hyped offseason signing in 2018 and honestly wasn’t that good or at least didn’t mesh well with the team. Was released in the summer and returned to Norway with Molde. Where it seems like things are going better and he contributed to a second place finish.

Tactical Overview

Brian Schmetzer loves the 4-2-3-1
  • Ruidiaz
  • V-Rod - Lodeiro - Morris
  • Svenson - Roldan
  • Nouhou/Smith - Kim - Marshall - Leerdam
  • Frei
Bench: Bruin, Torres, Meredith, Bwana, Shipp, Delem, SAS
Expect V-Rod to cut inside a lot from the left, Morris is supposedly working a lot on his crossing and using his speed to get to the end line so expect him to stay wider than you would expect from a former forward. Nouhou or Smith will be overlapping on the left, while I think Leerdam will generally stay deeper. I expect Svenson to be primarily shielding the backline, while Roldan will push box to box. Lodeiro will do Lodeiro things. and the team should line up pretty much like this most games. The goal this year is to add some Asymmetry to create mismatches and exploit them. With Morris, Ruidiaz and Smith there now is some speed in the team to threaten on the counter as well.

The Front Office/Coach

The Coach: Brian Schmetzer

Brian Schmetzer was signed by the NASL Sounders in 1980 out of High school, since then he has been with the organization for almost 40 years (i.e. before any current MLS player was born minus Tim Howard). Not just as a player, but a coach as well in both Association Football, Indoor Soccer and four different professional and semi-professional leagues. Finding success at multiple levels having been involved in… well I doubt there is any head coach in the United States with as strong ties to his team as Schmetzer. Schmetzer is a down to earth and humble guy and to a lot of people is a grounded reminder of Seattle’s roots in a shifting landscape. While he will openly admit he is not the most tactically astute manager he has managed to navigate poor results that would send and have sent other teams into death spirals.

The General Manager: Garth Lagerway

While most of the focus around the league is usually on the coach, in Seattle Garth Lagerway is the driving force of the team. He was poached away from RSL in 2015 to help revamp Seattle and move the club forward to the next level. While Lagerway was once a MLS player, he left soccer to become a big-law lawyer with Latham & Watkins LLP and has brought in some ways a more ruthless and pragmatic corporate culture in decision making. Evidenced by clashes with Sigi Schmid and letting former captains in Brad Evans and Osvaldo Alonso walk. Garth Lagerway has generally made good signings and has worked to integerate the academy and minor league squads with the first team. There is criticism of his timing of signings, but few have actually flopped. However he survived the 2018 GM vote and now has a continued mandate to run the franchise. With only Stefan Frei & Chad Marshall pre-dating his hire as GM now there is little doubt for better or worse 2019 Seattle is now fully “his” roster.

The Roster

(I originally had more links, but saved over my work on my personal post to edit, this was dumb and I am very mad)

Key Players

  • GK Sebastian Stefan Frei: Undisputed Starter for Seattle, since joining Seattle from Toronto in 2014 he has transformed into one of the consistently best goalkeepers in MLS. He is a good shot stopper and has made many point blank reaction saves to keep Seattle in matches even in our putrid streaks. He is probably most famous for a save on Jozy Altidore in the 2016 MLS Cup to force the game to penalties where he came up big. Unfortunately in 2018 he was unable to duplicate that post-season success and Seattle would lose to Portland in the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Should have been the Goalkeeper of the Year in 2018.
  • CB Chad Marshall “Air Marshall”: Now the longest tenured member of the Sounders, Chad Marshall is one of the best defenders in MLS history having won DPoY 3x which is more than any other player. While not that fastest player he relies on smart positioning and strong tackling to cut out attacks. Likewise he is excellent in the air snuffing out floated crosses and winning most aerial duels. Unfortunately he suffered a reasonably serious knee injury in the 2018 playoffs and worries exist about the effects of father time on our backline lyncpin.
  • CB Kim Kee-Hee: Korean center back signed on a TAM deal as a result of ever shifting CSL roster regulations, Kee-Hee had low expectations on arrival after a poor tenure in that league. To most peoples surprise he took on the starting role quite well and was forced into the fire in Santa Tecla. While he was unable to meet his stated goal of working his way back into the Korean World Cup squad, he benched Roman Torres and didn’t look back. Compared to his fellow center backs he is much more mobile and comfortable on the ball and will look to bring the ball out of the back. He was moved over to LCB in the pre-season presumably to have a more mobile defender when Nouhou or Brad push up.
  • RB Kelvin Leerdam: Signed to stabilize the right back position in 2017 he played a big role in getting Seattle to a second MLS Cup. He dropped off some in 2018 with some disciplinary concerns and increased caution at getting forward. As a TAM fullback the hope is he will be more active and involved, with signing SAS he will hopefully face a little more competition and stay motivated.
  • LB Nouhou Tolo: Originally signed to S2 from Cameroon he played well enough to earn an MLS deal backing up Joevin Jones. During the latter's transfer saga and when he was pressed into a midfield role Nouhou saw minutes increase. Showing well his rookie year, he beat out Waylon Francis to the starting role, and recovered it again after the arrival and injury to Smith. This offseason was cut short with visa issues and rumors of Ligue One interest. Generally seen as a solid defender, with lackluster attacking ability he contrasts heavily with his fellow LB platoonmate.
  • LB Brad Smith “Other Brad”: On loan from Bournemouth, Brad Smith is an Australian International who came out of the Liverpool Academy. The Sounders fanbase is split on him and some like Bobby Warshaw seem higher on him than most Sounders fans. The general consensus though is he is very Yedlin-Like fast and can get into the overlap, but is fairly defensively weak especially compared to Nouhou. His loan is only until summer, but it is reasonably likely to be extended as he doesn’t appear in Bournemouth’s plans long term. Yet maybe a great season in MLS changes that?
  • CM Cristian Roldan “CR7”: In 2018 Roldan broke into the USMNT, solidified himself as one of the best young Americans in MLS and played a billion different positions. I think on the balance Roldan had the best year of any Sounder and with a new TAM deal in hand the hopes are 2019 will be even better. A versatile player many are hoping he can be our midfield anchor ala Alonso, combined with the positional flexibility of Brad Evans. I would expect to see him start as a Box-to-Box #8, but will move around a lot as well. Also is best buddies with Jordan Morris and it will be cool to see them both back on the field together.
  • DM Gustav Svenson “Goose”: Okay Svenson might have had a better 2018 than Roldan, having made it back into the Swedish National team picture and the World Cup in Russia. As part of the Swedish team he made it further than any other MLS player, and played in the knockout stages as a starter. Most of the burden of Alonso's departure will fall on Svensons shoulders as he will be asked to hang back and do a lot of the dirty work in locking down midfield.
  • LW Victor Rodriguez “V-Rod”: Our Catalonian winger who spent some time in the Barcelona Academy. Signed in 2017 V-Rod has unfortunately struggled with injuries and not seen the time most fans were hoping for leading some to wonder if he has a role. However once he was healthy he put up .46 G+A/90 which is comparable to players like Lucho Acosta at DC, while not occupying a DP spot. Look for V-Rod to be the unheralded 3rd option in Seattle’s attack as long as he is healthy. He has the ability to be a top tier winger in this league and hopes are high albeit guarded.
  • CAM Nicolas Lodeiro “Poseidon”: Our excellent playmaker had a rough 2018, dealing with an injury early in the season that potentially lead to him missing the cut on Uruguay’s 2018 world cup roster. Despite consistent rumors of moves back to South America… he is still set to be the engine of Seattle. Almost everything Seattle does flows through Lodeiro, and while other #10’s in the league may put up more goals and assists none will make as many passes or cover as much distance as Lodeiro.
  • RW Jordan Morris “J-Mo”: Morris is another HGP from Mercer Island. While many USMNT fans have been frustrated with his decision to remain in Seattle he still is a local favorite despite his absences. Injuries have derailed an excellent start to his MLS career and Morris will be looking to bounce back. Seattle has given him a big contract (loaded with incentives) and a role out wide in the 4-2-3-1. If Morris can navigate his way back to success I think everyone in Seattle will be ecstatic. It was also revealed he had a cute dog and it made Jermaine Jones really mad.
  • FW Raul Ruidiaz: Signed from Liga MX side Morelia in the summer, Ruidiaz filled a void at forward that Seattle was missing since the departure of Obafemi Martins. After arriving in Seattle Ruidiaz was scoring for fun posting up .83 G/90 which was just behind Zlatan and Martinez. This doesn’t look like an anomaly with him having 40 goals in two years with Morelia as well. I think Ruidiaz is a sneaky dark horse to be in contention for the golden boot and will thrive on the chances Lodeiro, V-Rod and Morris will create.

The Other Guys

  • FW Will Bruin “Dancing Bear”: Did you know Will Bruin is 5th in the standings for active MLS goal scorers? For what is potentially the third forward in Seattle he is a strong option off the bench, who struggled when pushed into a starting role. One thing a lot of people get wrong is Bruin doesn’t really play like a target forward despite his size which I have termed Kenny Cooper disease. Despite this malady he is one of my favorite players on the team. Look to see him chip in 5-6 goals this season coming off the bench or in rotation.
  • CAM/W Harry Shipp: Once a hyped up Chicago Fire prospect, he was bizarrely traded away to Montreal by Nelson Rodriguez. While he hasn’t hit those early high’s Harry Shipp is a solid depth player who most teams would love to have. I expect to see him see plenty of minutes in 2018 deputizing for Morris & V-Rod on the wings. He isn't the fastest or most athletic player, but is very smart and deceptively technical.
  • CM Alex Roldan: The younger brother of Cristian, he saw a surprising amount of minutes in 2018 early in the season. Much like his brother he is nominally a central midfielder, but saw minutes in multiple roles. I expect to see him get more time at Defiance than the First team to hopefully tighten up his game which was quite sloppy at times last season. However his older brother improved dramatically year over year, so maybe it runs in the family and he will surprise me.
  • CAM/RW Handwalla Bwana: The most exciting of our young rookies for 2018, Bwana is going to be challenging for a spot in the attack in 2018 and his agility and ability are clear to see. After a couple excellent showings the injury bug struck and kept him down for most of the season. While he is not yet a US citizen to my knowledge that could potentially happen this year. He is my pick for a breakout player at Seattle.
  • CB Roman Torres: Had a mixed 2018, he showed up to pre-season out of shape and seemed distracted by Panama’s trip to the World Cup. He lost his starting spot to Kee-Hee and only regained it with Marshall’s injury in the playoffs. Rumors abounded about potential trades that have yet to materialize. If he stays with the Sounders he will form some really strong depth on the backline. For a defender he is a legend not for his ability to stop goals, but a penalty kick for Seattle... and the goal that sealed the coffin on US chances of a World Cup in 2018.
  • FB? Henry Wingo: Originally a forward signed to a HGP deal, it sounds like Wingo is going to be converted into a right back. In limited minutes he has shown flashes, but it feels like further up the field he overthinks things. I expect to see him at Defiance most of the year learning the new position and it will be curious to see his development in a season or two.
  • GK Bryan Meredith: Backup keeper, been with Seattle in 2 stints. The consensus is he is okay, and… well I don’t have much to add. Obviously Seattle likes him as there are no shortages of backup keepers floating around the MLS & USL.
  • GK Trey Muse: MAC Hermann semi-finalist HGP keeper. At only 19 he is a long term developmental project, he will likely be on the Defiance every day and will be part of their exciting young core.
  • DM/CB Jordy Delem: Solid if unspectacular D-Mid and a really bad right back at the MLS level. He filled in decently as the 4th man on the depth chart and unless a new signing comes in is probably our main backup to Svenson & Roldan here. Has improved significantly as well since his initial USL days. He also will look to lead Martinique at the 2019 Gold Cup as it looks like they qualified from the nations league.
  • RB/LB Saad Abdul Salam: He went from starting for SKC, to backing up TAM right back Graham Zusi. Then got traded to New York where he backed up TAM right back Anton Tinnerholm. Now he was just traded to the Seattle Sounders to backup TAM right back Kelvin Leerdam. Along the way he has shown flashes of attacking ability and good athleticism. I figure he is going to make the 18 as he has been used across the backline in the pre-season.
  • CB John Campbell: Journeyman Centerback from Chicago, he looked promising a couple of years ago, but ended up on the bench this last season. He had experience with the PDL Sounders U-23 team and when being shopped around requested to come to Seattle. While it is doubtful he sees a ton of minutes and looked shaky in pre-season he adds depth to a fairly old back line. Jury is out on him from my perspective, and maybe he will have growth we didn't see in Alfaro.

5 Unanswered Questions for the Season we will hear rehashed way to much

  1. Who will replace Osvaldo Alonso?
  2. Who will Garth Lagerway sign in the summer?
  3. Who will win the left back warz?
  4. Will the slow starts finally die?
  5. Will players stay healthy?

(Realistic) Best case/Worst Case scenario

Best Case Scenario

Sounders stay healthy, Morris bounces back from his ACL tear and returns on a trajectory that put him in the USMNT picture and is a dangerous offensive threat as an on the wing. Ruidiaz puts up a golden boot worthy season, and Lodeiro continues to run the offense. Roldan & Svenson lock down the midfield and our defense remains sturdy as Marshall fends off father time for another season. Meanwhile in the USL our prospects continue maturing and start coming together as a cohesive team and we establish a true pipeline. Any weak points on the roster are identified and reinforced come summer, and without the dread two leg playoffs we ride home field advantage to another MLS Cup, but this time at home.

Worst Case Scenario

Sounders continue to battle injury problems, missing significant numbers of first team players. The few depth pieces brought in are insufficient cover and Seattle lurches to a slow start that has become so familiar. Supporter Shield hopes are dead by May and Lagerway scrambles in the summer to jumpstart the engine for the fourth time. We squeak into the playoffs and then get bounced out by the Timbers at Providence Park.

Realistic Scenario

Seattle stays mostly healthy, Morris and other injured players from 2018 contribute at decent levels and Seattle has a solid if not spectacular season start. There are some questions across the board and its clear some reinforcements are needed come summer. There is upheaval at least at one position which impacts the team’s performance. Seattle plays well enough down the stretch to end top 3 in the West and has a solid shot of making the MLS Cup, but likely away yet again.

Online Resources

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Sounder at Heart
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2019.02.28 10:34 Jack2142 2019 Countdown to Kickoff: Seattle Sounders

Welcome to Seattle Sounders entry in the Countdown to Kickoff.

Basic info:

Uniforms: Yes we are special and we get black secondaries

2018 in Review

Final Standings: 18-11-5 (W-L-D), 59 pts, +15 GD, 2nd in the West
Seattle began 2018 with a miserable CCL campaign in a match which saw Jordan Morris our starting forward tearing his ACL and missing the season. The Sounders rallied at home and handily dispatched Santa Tecla although they would fall in the next round to eventual champions Chivas. Sounders continued to battle injuries and absences in this first half of the season and by the time Raul Ruidiaz arrived on June 29th we had been comfortably last in the west. If you had to sum up this first half of the season it is this… the last action of Clint Dempsey’s soccer career
However that game did see the first start of Raul Ruidiaz tenure and Seattle rose like a Phoenix from the ashes as they tore through the western conference. The players who needed to get healthy got healthy, and instead of death spiraling like other clubs the Sounders clawed their way back to our second best finish going 16W-2L-0D down the stretch.
As a result we earned a bye to the Semi-Finals of the Western Conference and were ultimately drawn to face Portland. At Providence Park the match turned into a disaster as we lost Cristian Roldan in the first 15 minutes in to let’s just say a strong challenge by Jeff Atinella. Portland would capitalize and score and the first half got worse when Chad Marshall also went down with a non-contact injury. Neither would return for the short turnaround second leg in Seattle. Which was an incredibly frustrating experience which I don’t want to relive. It was a good game, but one I would be happy to never see again and I am glad the two leg playoff is now dead. With the ambition of a third MLS Cup appearance cut short, Seattle enjoyed its longest offseason in years. With no looming CCL the team would finally have a chance for a breather, which will hopefully help this year in 2019.

Pre-season Moves

New Sponsors

Seattle announced on January 17, 2019 they would have a new shirt partner in Zulily dropping Xbox after 10 years. This resulted in... mixed reactions to say the least online. I don't want to re-hash very long SaH & Reddit threads, but it seems in general like maybe not the most popular possible option.
On the flip side however, it is reported to be a much more lucrative deal. Since shirt sponsorships are one of the few Non-MLS controlled revenue streams this could be very important moving forward for Seattle to continue to compete in MLS 3.0

Tacoma Defiance

Seattle also announced that their USL franchise S2 which had recently relocated in 2018 to Tacoma would rebrand as the Tacoma Defiance. This move was much better received giving the USL team a new identity, along with announcing steps towards the construction of a local SSS in Tacoma, WA. Also announced was the move of the NWSL team Reign FC to Tacoma which adds some weight to a prospective stadium push.
This rebrand was the culmination in the re-inventing of the USL side which began when Garth Lagerway took over the team and wanted to create a more cohesive pipeline from the academy to the first team. In this pre-season we have seen many of these kids mostly hold their own vs MLS sides, or at least go down swinging. With the Sounders Academy dominating at the youth level, Defiance will give them an actual identity to play for as they transition to the pro game.
The goal ultimately is to much like the Red Bulls have a talent pipeline that would allow us to consistently put out strong teams even if individual signings don't work out.

Players In

There were very few offseason acquisitions, it is unlikely any of our draft picks sign with the Seattle Sounders and they have yet to sign deals with the Tacoma Defiance. Trey Muse is a top goalkeeping prospect and also unlikely to appear on the senior roster outside of the Open Cup. SAS & Campbell are mid-20’s MLS journeymen who will be depth pieces for the season. Tucker Bone also has a military commitment and while seen as the “best” of the draftees he has additional hurdles to a professional career. There is also a rumor of Seattle looking at picking up another CSL castoff who looks to be a target forward.
D Saad Abdul-Salaam, GK Trey Muse, D Jonathan Campbell, D Aleks Berkolds, M Joel Rydstrand, M Tucker Bone

Players Out

  • W Aaron Kovar (Retired) – Loaned out in 2018 to LAFC never really broke out in his 5 year MLS career. Has some skills, but dealt with unfortunate injuries at times. Looks like plans are to move on from soccer, which is a shame because I think he had talent, just had some bad breaks and Seattle will do better with integrating young players to the first team.
  • DM Osvaldo Alonso (Waived to Minnesota) – The Elephant in the room, he was not re-signed by Seattle. On a good day he is a top class MLS D-Mid which Minnesota is banking on. He was technically re-signed and traded because MLS free agency is honestly garbage. I think most Seattle fans are sad to see him go, but also understand why it happened. Goodbye El Corazon! You are the most important player in our team’s history and a team icon.
  • FB Waylon Francis (Traded to Columbus) – I think he was brought in to start at fullback with Lagerway hoping he would rebound to 2015 form after a couple down years. Lost his starting spot to Nouhou and looked frankly bad. He got pushed down the depth chart even more with Smith’s arrival. Traded to Columbus to fill in for the injured Milton Valenzuela.
  • GK Calle Brown (Loudon United) – 3rd String backup, arrival of Muse makes him superfluous to requirements. He returned home to his native Virginia.
  • CB Tony Alfaro (C.D. Chivas) – Alfaro had a couple good performances as a rookie, but only seemed to get worse as time went on. Indecisive in defense he left his fellow partners on the backline out to dry, and while having decent ball control skills for a centerback would panic under pressure. He got cut from Seattle and picked up by Chivas Guadalajara. It remains to be seen if this is anything more than a random roster padding move.
  • F Felix Chenkam (FA) – Backup Striker signed before Ruidiaz arrived, loaned back to S2 might re-sign with the Defiance I don’t think he played more than a couple minutes for the senior team.
  • F Lamar Neagle (FA) – My favorite player and 253 native. As far as I can tell the only MLS player to sign 4 times with the same team. He had some really good years and I wish him the best. I was hoping he would be brought back to be a player-coach type for a young Defiance team, but that remains to be seen. He was last seen on trial with Phoenix Rising FC who might want to pick up a former USL MVP forward.
  • RB Jordan McCrary: He was a backup picked up after getting cut from Toronto II at the end of 2017. While he did nothing wrong and filled in reasonably well as a backup forward in 2018, by 2019 he appeared superfluous. It sounds like Seattle wants to convert Wingo to a fullback, and Saad-Abdul Salam became available, a player who in my opinion is just a little better. Hopefully he finds another team and lands on his feet I have no ill-will towards him.

Technically left in 2018, but will give them a sendoff here.

  • F Clint Dempsey (Retired) – Pour one out for possibly the best USMNT field player so far. 2018 was a bad year for Dempsey, who had bounced back in 2017 from heart surgery to show he was still an effective player winning comeback player of the year. However father time caught up to him and a series of poor performances possibly tied to some back issues lead to him ending up on the bench and eventually retiring. Since retirement Dempsey seems to have dropped off the earth and is I assume having a good time fishing and maybe working on a new mixtape.
  • AM Magnus Wolff Eikreem (Molde) – Norweigian international, was the hyped offseason signing in 2018 and honestly wasn’t that good or at least didn’t mesh well with the team. Was released in the summer and returned to Norway with Molde. Where it seems like things are going better and he contributed to a second place finish.

Tactical Overview

Brian Schmetzer loves the 4-2-3-1
  • Ruidiaz
  • V-Rod - Lodeiro - Morris
  • Svenson - Roldan
  • Nouhou/Smith - Kim - Marshall - Leerdam
  • Frei
Bench: Bruin, Torres, Meredith, Bwana, Shipp, Delem, SAS
Expect V-Rod to cut inside a lot from the left, Morris is supposedly working a lot on his crossing and using his speed to get to the end line so expect him to stay wider than you would expect from a former forward. Nouhou or Smith will be overlapping on the left, while I think Leerdam will generally stay deeper. I expect Svenson to be primarily shielding the backline, while Roldan will push box to box. Lodeiro will do Lodeiro things. and the team should line up pretty much like this most games. The goal this year is to add some Asymmetry to create mismatches and exploit them. With Morris, Ruidiaz and Smith there now is some speed in the team to threaten on the counter as well.

The Front Office/Coach

The Coach: Brian Schmetzer

Brian Schmetzer was signed by the NASL Sounders in 1980 out of High school, since then he has been with the organization for almost 40 years (i.e. before any current MLS player was born minus Tim Howard). Not just as a player, but a coach as well in both Association Football, Indoor Soccer and four different professional and semi-professional leagues. Finding success at multiple levels having been involved in… well I doubt there is any head coach in the United States with as strong ties to his team as Schmetzer. Schmetzer is a down to earth and humble guy and to a lot of people is a grounded reminder of Seattle’s roots in a shifting landscape. While he will openly admit he is not the most tactically astute manager he has managed to navigate poor results that would send and have sent other teams into death spirals.

The General Manager: Garth Lagerway

While most of the focus around the league is usually on the coach, in Seattle Garth Lagerway is the driving force of the team. He was poached away from RSL in 2015 to help revamp Seattle and move the club forward to the next level. While Lagerway was once a MLS player, he left soccer to become a big-law lawyer with Latham & Watkins LLP and has brought in some ways a more ruthless and pragmatic corporate culture in decision making. Evidenced by clashes with Sigi Schmid and letting former captains in Brad Evans and Osvaldo Alonso walk. Garth Lagerway has generally made good signings and has few “busts”, but there is criticism of his timing of signings. However he survived the 2018 GM vote and now has a continued mandate to run the franchise. With only Stefan Frei & Chad Marshall pre-dating his hire as GM now there is little doubt for better or worse 2019 Seattle is now fully “his” roster.

The Roster

(I originally had more links, but saved over my work on my personal post to edit, this was dumb and I am very mad)

Key Players

  • GK Sebastian Stefan Frei: Undisputed Starter for Seattle, since joining Seattle from Toronto in 2014 he has transformed into one of the consistently best goalkeepers in MLS. He is a good shot stopper and has made many point blank reaction saves to keep Seattle in matches even in our putrid streaks. He is probably most famous for a save on Jozy Altidore in the 2016 MLS Cup to force the game to penalties where he came up big. Unfortunately in 2018 he was unable to duplicate that post-season success and Seattle would lose to Portland in the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Should have been the Goalkeeper of the Year in 2018.
  • CB Chad Marshall “Air Marshall”: Now the longest tenured member of the Sounders, Chad Marshall is one of the best defenders in MLS history having won DPoY 3x which is more than any other player. While not that fastest player he relies on smart positioning and strong tackling to cut out attacks. Likewise he is excellent in the air snuffing out floated crosses and winning most aerial duels. Unfortunately he suffered a reasonably serious knee injury in the 2018 playoffs and worries exist about the effects of father time on our backline lyncpin.
  • CB Kim Kee-Hee: Korean center back signed on a TAM deal as a result of ever shifting CSL roster regulations, Kee-Hee had low expectations on arrival after a poor tenure in that league. To most peoples surprise he took on the starting role quite well and was forced into the fire in Santa Tecla. While he was unable to meet his stated goal of working his way back into the Korean World Cup squad, he benched Roman Torres and didn’t look back. Compared to his fellow center backs he is much more mobile and comfortable on the ball and will look to bring the ball out of the back. He was moved over to LCB in the pre-season presumably to have a more mobile defender when Nouhou or Brad push up.
  • RB Kelvin Leerdam: Signed to stabilize the right back position in 2017 he played a big role in getting Seattle to a second MLS Cup. He dropped off some in 2018 with some disciplinary concerns and increased caution at getting forward. As a TAM fullback the hope is he will be more active and involved, with signing SAS he will hopefully face a little more competition and stay motivated.
  • LB Nouhou Tolo: Originally signed to S2 from Cameroon he played well enough to earn an MLS deal backing up Joevin Jones. During the latter's transfer saga and when he was pressed into a midfield role Nouhou saw minutes increase. Showing well his rookie year, he beat out Waylon Francis to the starting role, and recovered it again after the arrival and injury to Smith. This offseason was cut short with visa issues and rumors of Ligue One interest. Generally seen as a solid defender, with lackluster attacking ability he contrasts heavily with his fellow LB platoonmate.
  • LB Brad Smith “Other Brad”: On loan from Bournemouth, Brad Smith is an Australian International who came out of the Liverpool Academy. The Sounders fanbase is split on him and some like Bobby Warshaw seem higher on him than most Sounders fans. The general consensus though is he is very Yedlin-Like fast and can get into the overlap, but is fairly defensively weak especially compared to Nouhou. His loan is only until summer, but it is reasonably likely to be extended as he doesn’t appear in Bournemouth’s plans long term. Yet maybe a great season in MLS changes that?
  • CM Cristian Roldan “CR7”: In 2018 Roldan broke into the USMNT, solidified himself as one of the best young Americans in MLS and player a billion different positions. I think on the balance Roldan had the best year of any Sounder and with a new TAM deal in hand the hopes are 2019 will be even better. A versatile player many are hoping he can be our midfield anchor ala Alonso, combined with the positional flexibility of Brad Evans. I would expect to see him start as a Box-to-Box #8, but will move around a lot as well. Also is best buddies with Jordan Morris and it will be cool to see them both back on the field together.
  • DM Gustav Svenson “Goose”: Okay Svenson might have had a better 2018 than Roldan, having made it back into the Swedish National team picture and the World Cup in Russia. As part of the Swedish team he made it further than any other MLS player, and played in the knockout stages. Most of the burden of Alonso's departure will fall on Svensons shoulders as he will be asked to hang back and do a lot of the dirty work in locking down midfield.
  • LW Victor Rodriguez “V-Rod”: Our Catalonian winger who spent some time in the Barcelona Academy. Signed in 2017 V-Rod has unfortunately struggled with injuries and not seen the time most fans were hoping for leading some to wonder if he has a role. However once he was healthy he put up .46 G+A/90 which is comparable to players like Lucho Acosta at DC, while not occupying a TAM spot. Look for V-Rod to be the unheralded 3rd option in Seattle’s attack as long as he is healthy. He has the ability to be a top tier winger in this league and hopes are high albeit guarded.
  • CAM Nicolas Lodeiro “Poseidon”: Our excellent playmaker had a rough 2018, dealing with an injury early in the season that potentially lead to him missing the cut on Uruguay’s 2018 world cup roster. Despite consistent rumors of moves back to South America… he is still set to be the engine of Seattle. Almost everything Seattle does flows through Lodeiro, and while other #10’s in the league may put up more goals and assists none will make as many passes or cover as much distance as Lodeiro.
  • RW Jordan Morris “J-Mo”: Morris is another HGP from Mercer Island. While many USMNT fans have been frustrated with his decision to remain in Seattle he still is a local favorite despite his absences. Injuries have derailed an excellent start to his MLS career and Morris will be looking to bounce back. Seattle has given him a big contract (loaded with incentives) and a role out wide in the 4-2-3-1. If Morris can navigate his way back to success I think everyone in Seattle will be ecstatic. It was also revealed he had a cute dog and it made Jermaine Jones really mad.
  • FW Raul Ruidiaz: Signed from Liga MX side Morelia in the summer, Ruidiaz filled a void at forward that Seattle was missing since the departure of Obafemi Martins. After arriving in Seattle Ruidiaz was scoring for fun posting up .83 G/90 which was just behind Zlatan and Martinez. This doesn’t look like an anomaly with him having 40 goals in two years with Morelia as well. I think Ruidiaz is a sneaky dark horse to be in contention for the golden boot and will thrive on the chances Lodeiro, V-Rod and Morris will create.

The Other Guys

  • FW Will Bruin “Dancing Bear”: Did you know Will Bruin is 5th in the standings for active MLS goal scorers? For what is potentially the third forward in Seattle he is a strong option off the bench, who struggled when pushed into a starting role. One thing a lot of people get wrong is Bruin doesn’t really play like a target forward despite his size which I have termed Kenny Cooper disease. Despite this malady he is one of my favorite players on the team. Look to see him chip in 5-6 goals this season coming off the bench or in rotation.
  • CAM/W Harry Shipp: Once a hyped up Chicago Fire prospect, he was bizarrely traded away to Montreal by Nelson Rodriguez. While he hasn’t hit those early high’s Harry Shipp is a solid depth player who most teams would love to have. I expect to see him see plenty of minutes in 2018 deputizing for Morris & V-Rod on the wings. He isn't the fastest or most athletic player, but is very smart and deceptively technical.
  • CM Alex Roldan: The younger brother of Cristian, he saw a surprising amount of minutes in 2018 early in the season. Much like his brother he is nominally a central midfielder, but saw minutes in multiple roles. I expect to see him get more time at Defiance than the First team to hopefully tighten up his game which was quite sloppy at times last season. However his older brother improved dramatically year over year, so maybe it runs in the family and he will surprise me.
  • CAM/RW Handwalla Bwana: The most exciting of our young rookies for 2018, Bwana is going to be challenging for a spot in the attack in 2018 and his agility and ability are clear to see. After a couple excellent showings the injury bug struck and kept him down for most of the season. While he is not yet a US citizen to my knowledge that could potentially happen this year. He is my pick for a breakout player at Seattle.
  • CB Roman Torres: Had a mixed 2018, he showed up to pre-season out of shape and seemed distracted by Panama’s trip to the World Cup. He lost his starting spot to Kee-Hee and only regained it with Marshall’s injury in the playoffs. Rumors abounded about potential trades that have yet to materialize. If he stays with the Sounders he will form some really strong depth on the backline. For a defender he is a legend not for his ability to stop goals, but a penalty kick for Seattle... and the goal that sealed the coffin on US chances of a World Cup in 2018.
  • FB? Henry Wingo: Originally a forward signed to a HGP deal, it sounds like Wingo is going to be converted into a right back. In limited minutes he has shown flashes, but it feels like further up the field he overthinks things. I expect to see him at Defiance most of the year learning the new position and it will be curious to see his development in a season or two.
  • GK Bryan Meredith: Backup keeper, been with Seattle in 2 stints. The consensus is he is okay, and… well I don’t have much to add. Obviously Seattle likes him as there are no shortages of backup keepers floating around the MLS & USL.
  • GK Trey Muse: MAC Hermann semi-finalist HGP keeper. At only 19 he is a long term developmental project, he will likely be on the Defiance every day and will be part of their exciting young core.
  • DM/CB Jordy Delem: Solid if unspectacular D-Mid and a really bad right back at the MLS level. He filled in decently as the 4th man on the depth chart and unless a new signing comes in is probably our main backup to Svenson & Roldan here. Has improved significantly as well since his initial USL days. He also will look to lead Martinique at the 2019 Gold Cup as it looks like they qualified from the nations league.
  • RB/LB Saad Abdul Salam: He went from starting for SKC, to backing up TAM right back Graham Zusi. Then got traded to New York where he backed up TAM right back Anton Tinnerholm. Now he was just traded to the Seattle Sounders to backup TAM right back Kelvin Leerdam. Along the way he has shown flashes of attacking ability and good athleticism. I figure he is going to make the 18 as he has been used across the backline in the pre-season.
  • CB John Campbell: Journeyman Centerback from Chicago, he looked promising a couple of years ago, but ended up on the bench this last season. He had experience with the PDL Sounders U-23 team and when being shopped around requested to come to Seattle. While it is doubtful he sees a ton of minutes and looked shaky in pre-season he adds depth to a fairly old back line. Jury is out on him from my perspective, and maybe he will have growth we didn't see in Alfaro.

5 Unanswered Questions for the Season we will hear rehashed way to much

  1. Who will replace Osvaldo Alonso?
  2. Who will Garth Lagerway sign in the summer?
  3. Who will win the left back warz?
  4. Will the slow starts finally die?
  5. Will players stay healthy?

(Realistic) Best case/Worst Case scenario

Best Case Scenario

Sounders stay healthy, Morris bounces back from his ACL tear and returns on a trajectory that put him in the USMNT picture and is a dangerous offensive threat as an on the wing. Ruidiaz puts up a golden boot worthy season, and Lodeiro continues to run the offense. Roldan & Svenson lock down the midfield and our defense remains sturdy as Marshall fends off father time for another season. Meanwhile in the USL our prospects continue maturing and start coming together as a cohesive team and we establish a true pipeline. Any weak points on the roster are identified and reinforced come summer, and without the dread two leg playoffs we ride home field advantage to another MLS Cup, but this time at home.

Worst Case Scenario

Sounders continue to battle injury problems, missing significant numbers of first team players. The few depth pieces brought in are insufficient cover and Seattle lurches to a slow start that has become so familiar. Supporter Shield hopes are dead by May and Lagerway scrambles in the summer to jumpstart the engine for the fourth time. We squeak into the playoffs and then get bounced out by the Timbers at Providence Park.

Realistic Scenario

Seattle stays mostly healthy, Morris and other injured players from 2018 contribute at decent levels and Seattle has a solid if not spectacular season start. There are some questions across the board and its clear some reinforcements are needed come summer. There is upheaval at least at one position which impacts the team’s performance. Seattle plays well enough down the stretch to end top 3 in the West and has a solid shot of making the MLS Cup, but likely away yet again.

Online Resources

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2019.02.28 06:38 Jack2142 2018 Countdown to Kickoff

Welcome to Seattle Sounders entry in the Countdown to Kickoff.

Basic info:

Uniforms: Yes we are special and we get three jerseys.

2018 in Review

Final Standings: 18-11-5 (W-L-D), 59 pts, +15 GD, 2nd in the West
Seattle began 2018 with a miserable CCL campaign in a match which saw Jordan Morris our starting forward tearing his ACL and missing the season. The Sounders rallied at home and handily dispatched Santa Tecla although they would fall in the next round to eventual champions Chivas. Sounders continued to battle injuries and absences in this first half of the season and by the time Raul Ruidiaz arrived on June 29th we had been comfortably last in the west. If you had to sum up this first half of the season it is this… the last action of Clint Dempsey’s soccer career
However that game did see the first start of Raul Ruidiaz tenure and Seattle rose like a Phoenix from the ashes as they tore through the western conference. The players who needed to get healthy got healthy, and instead of death spiraling like other clubs the Sounders clawed their way back to our second best finish going 16W-2L-0D down the stretch.
As a result we earned a bye to the Semi-Finals of the Western Conference and were ultimately drawn to face Portland. At Providence Park the match turned into a disaster as we lost Cristian Roldan in the first 15 minutes in to let’s just say a strong challenge by Jeff Atinella. Portland would capitalize and score and the first half got worse when Chad Marshall also went down with a non-contact injury. Neither would return for the short turnaround second leg in Seattle. Which was an incredibly frustrating experience which I don’t want to relive. It was a good game, but one I would be happy to never see again and I am glad the two leg playoff is now dead. With the ambition of a third MLS Cup appearance cut short, Seattle enjoyed its longest offseason in years. With no looming CCL the team would finally have a chance for a breather, which will hopefully help this year in 2019.

Pre-season Moves

New Sponsors

Seattle announced on January 17, 2019 they would have a new shirt partner in Zulily dropping Xbox after 10 years. This resulted in... mixed reactions to say the least online. I don't want to re-hash very long SaH & Reddit threads, but it seems in general like maybe not the most popular possible option.
On the flip side however, it is reported to be a much more lucrative deal. Since shirt sponsorships are one of the few Non-MLS controlled revenue streams this could be very important moving forward for Seattle to continue to compete in MLS 3.0

Tacoma Defiance

Seattle also announced that their USL franchise S2 which had recently relocated in 2018 to Tacoma would rebrand as the Tacoma Defiance. This move was much better received giving the USL team a new identity, along with announcing steps towards the construction of a local SSS in Tacoma, WA. Also announced was the move of the NWSL team Reign FC to Tacoma which adds some weight to a prospective stadium push.
This rebrand was the culmination in the re-inventing of the USL side which began when Garth Lagerway took over the team and wanted to create a more cohesive pipeline from the academy to the first team. In this pre-season we have seen many of these kids mostly hold their own vs MLS sides, or at least go down swinging. With the Sounders Academy dominating at the youth level, Defiance will give them an actual identity to play for as they transition to the pro game.
The goal ultimately is to much like the Red Bulls have a talent pipeline that would allow us to consistently put out strong teams even if individual signings don't work out.

Players In

There were very few offseason acquisitions, it is unlikely any of our draft picks sign with the Seattle Sounders and they have yet to sign deals with the Tacoma Defiance. Trey Muse is a top goalkeeping prospect and also unlikely to appear on the senior roster outside of the Open Cup. SAS & Campbell are mid-20’s MLS journeymen who will be depth pieces for the season. Tucker Bone also has a military commitment and while seen as the “best” of the draftees he has additional hurdles to a professional career. There is also a rumor of Seattle looking at picking up another CSL castoff who looks to be a target forward.
D Saad Abdul-Salaam, GK Trey Muse, D Jonathan Campbell, D Aleks Berkolds, M Joel Rydstrand, M Tucker Bone

Players Out

  • W Aaron Kovar (Retired) – Loaned out in 2018 to LAFC never really broke out in his 5 year MLS career. Has some skills, but dealt with unfortunate injuries at times. Looks like plans are to move on from soccer, which is a shame because I think he had talent, just had some bad breaks and Seattle will do better with integrating young players to the first team.
  • DM Osvaldo Alonso (Waived to Minnesota) – The Elephant in the room, he was not re-signed by Seattle. On a good day he is a top class MLS D-Mid which Minnesota is banking on. He was technically re-signed and traded because MLS free agency is honestly garbage. I think most Seattle fans are sad to see him go, but also understand why it happened. Goodbye El Corazon! You are the most important player in our team’s history and a team icon.
  • FB Waylon Francis (Traded to Columbus) – I think he was brought in to start at fullback with Lagerway hoping he would rebound to 2015 form after a couple down years. Lost his starting spot to Nouhou and looked frankly bad. He got pushed down the depth chart even more with Smith’s arrival. Traded to Columbus to fill in for the injured Milton Valenzuela.
  • GK Calle Brown (Loudon United) – 3rd String backup, arrival of Muse makes him superfluous to requirements. He returned home to his native Virginia.
  • CB Tony Alfaro (C.D. Chivas) – Alfaro had a couple good performances as a rookie, but only seemed to get worse as time went on. Indecisive in defense he left his fellow partners on the backline out to dry, and while having decent ball control skills for a centerback would panic under pressure. He got cut from Seattle and picked up by Chivas Guadalajara. It remains to be seen if this is anything more than a random roster padding move.
  • F Felix Chenkam (FA) – Backup Striker signed before Ruidiaz arrived, loaned back to S2 might re-sign with the Defiance I don’t think he played more than a couple minutes for the senior team.
  • F Lamar Neagle (FA) – My favorite player and 253 native. As far as I can tell the only MLS player to sign 4 times with the same team. He had some really good years and I wish him the best. I was hoping he would be brought back to be a player-coach type for a young Defiance team, but that remains to be seen. He was last seen on trial with Phoenix Rising FC who might want to pick up a former USL MVP forward.
  • RB Jordan McCrary: He was a backup picked up after getting cut from Toronto II at the end of 2017. While he did nothing wrong and filled in reasonably well as a backup forward in 2018, by 2019 he appeared superfluous. It sounds like Seattle wants to convert Wingo to a fullback, and Saad-Abdul Salam became available, a player who in my opinion is just a little better. Hopefully he finds another team and lands on his feet I have no ill-will towards him.

Technically left in 2018, but will give them a sendoff here.

  • F Clint Dempsey (Retired) – Pour one out for possibly the best USMNT field player so far. 2018 was a bad year for Dempsey, who had bounced back in 2017 from heart surgery to show he was still an effective player winning comeback player of the year. However father time caught up to him and a series of poor performances possibly tied to some back issues lead to him ending up on the bench and eventually retiring. Since retirement Dempsey seems to have dropped off the earth and is I assume having a good time fishing and maybe working on a new mixtape.
  • AM Magnus Wolff Eikreem (Molde) – Norweigian international, was the hyped offseason signing in 2018 and honestly wasn’t that good or at least didn’t mesh well with the team. Was released in the summer and returned to Norway with Molde. Where it seems like things are going better.

Tactical Overview

Brian Schmetzer loves the 4-2-3-1
  • Ruidiaz
  • V-Rod - Lodeiro - Morris
  • Svenson - Roldan
  • Nouhou/Smith - Kim - Marshall - Leerdam
  • Frei
Bench: Bruin, Torres, Meredith, Bwana, Shipp, Delem, SAS
Expect V-Rod to cut inside a lot from the left, Morris is supposedly working a lot on his crossing and using his speed to get to the end line so expect him to stay wider than you would expect from a former forward. Nouhou or Smith will be overlapping on the left, while I think Leerdam will generally stay deeper. I expect Svenson to be primarily shielding the backline, while Roldan will push box to box. Lodeiro will do Lodeiro things. and the team should line up pretty much like this most games. The goal this year is to add some Asymmetry to create mismatches and exploit them. With Morris, Ruidiaz and Smith there now is some speed in the team to threaten on the counter as well.

The Front Office/Coach

The Coach: Brian Schmetzer

Brian Schmetzer was signed by the NASL Sounders in 1980 out of High school, since then he has been with the organization for almost 40 years (i.e. before any current MLS player was born minus Tim Howard). Not just as a player, but a coach as well in both Association Football, Indoor Soccer and four different professional and semi-professional leagues. Finding success at multiple levels having been involved in… well I doubt there is any head coach in the United States with as strong ties to his team as Schmetzer. Schmetzer is a down to earth and humble guy and to a lot of people is a grounded reminder of Seattle’s roots in a shifting landscape. While he will openly admit he is not the most tactically astute manager he has managed to navigate poor results that would send and have sent other teams into death spirals.

The General Manager: Garth Lagerway

While most of the focus around the league is usually on the coach, in Seattle Garth Lagerway is the driving force of the team. He was poached away from RSL in 2015 to help revamp Seattle and move the club forward to the next level. While Lagerway was once a MLS player, he left soccer to become a big-law lawyer with Latham & Watkins LLP and has brought in some ways a more ruthless and pragmatic corporate culture in decision making. Evidenced by moving on from clashes with Sigi Schmid and letting former captains in Brad Evans and Osvaldo Alonso walk. Garth Lagerway has generally made good signings and has few “busts”, but there is criticism of his timing of signings. However he survived the 2018 GM vote and now has a continued mandate to run the franchise. With only Stefan Frei & Chad Marshall pre-dating his hire as GM now there is little doubt for better or worse 2019 Seattle is now fully “his” roster.

The Roster

(I originally had more links, but saved over my work on my personal post to edit, this was dumb and I am very mad)

Key Players

  • GK Sebastian Stefan Frei: Undisputed Starter for Seattle, since joining Seattle from Toronto in 2014 he has transformed into one of the consistently best goalkeepers in MLS. He is a good shot stopper and has made many point blank reaction saves to keep Seattle in matches even in our putrid streaks. He is probably most famous for a save on Jozy Altidore in the 2016 MLS Cup to force the game to penalties where he came up big. Unfortunately in 2018 he was unable to duplicate that post-season success and Seattle would lose to Portland in the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Should have been the Goalkeeper of the Year in 2018.
  • CB Chad Marshall “Air Marshall”: Now the longest tenured member of the Sounders, Chad Marshall is one of the best defenders in MLS history having won DPoY 3x which is more than any other player. While not that fastest player he relies on smart positioning and strong tackling to cut out attacks. Likewise he is excellent in the air snuffing out floated crosses and winning most aerial duels. Unfortunately he suffered a reasonably serious knee injury in the 2018 playoffs and worries exist about the effects of father time on our backline lyncpin.
  • CB Kim Kee-Hee: Korean center back signed on a TAM deal as a result of ever shifting CSL roster regulations, Kee-Hee had low expectations on arrival after a poor tenure in that league. To most peoples surprise he took on the starting role quite well and was forced into the fire in Santa Tecla. While he was unable to meet his stated goal of working his way back into the Korean World Cup squad, he benched Roman Torres and didn’t look back. Compared to his fellow center backs he is much more mobile and comfortable on the ball and will look to bring the ball out of the back. He was moved over to LCB in the pre-season presumably to have a more mobile defender when Nouhou or Brad push up.
  • RB Kelvin Leerdam: Signed to stabilize the right back position in 2017 he played a big role in getting Seattle to a second MLS Cup. He dropped off some in 2018 with some disciplinary concerns and increased caution at getting forward. As a TAM fullback the hope is he will be more active and involved, with signing SAS he will hopefully face a little more competition and stay motivated.
  • LB Nouhou Tolo: Originally signed to S2 from Cameroon he played well enough to earn an MLS deal backing up Joevin Jones. During the latter's transfer saga and when he was pressed into a midfield role Nouhou saw minutes increase. Showing well his rookie year, he beat out Waylon Francis to the starting role, and recovered it again after the arrival and injury to Smith. This offseason was cut short with visa issues and rumors of Ligue One interest. Generally seen as a solid defender, with lackluster attacking ability he contrasts heavily with his fellow LB platoonmate.
  • LB Brad Smith “Other Brad”: On loan from Bournemouth, Brad Smith is an Australian International who came out of the Liverpool Academy. The Sounders fanbase is split on him and some like Bobby Warshaw seem higher on him than most Sounders fans. The general consensus though is he is very Yedlin-Like fast and can get into the overlap, but is fairly defensively weak especially compared to Nouhou. His loan is only until summer, but it is reasonably likely to be extended as he doesn’t appear in Bournemouth’s plans long term. Yet maybe a great season in MLS changes that?
  • CM Cristian Roldan “CR7”: In 2018 Roldan broke into the USMNT, solidified himself as one of the best young Americans in MLS and player a billion different positions. I think on the balance Roldan had the best year of any Sounder and with a new TAM deal in hand the hopes are 2019 will be even better. A versatile player many are hoping he can be our midfield anchor ala Alonso, combined with the positional flexibility of Brad Evans. I would expect to see him start as a Box-to-Box #8, but will move around a lot as well. Also is best buddies with Jordan Morris and it will be cool to see them both back on the field together.
  • DM Gustav Svenson “Goose”: Okay Svenson might have had a better 2018 than Roldan, having made it back into the Swedish National team picture and the World Cup in Russia. As part of the Swedish team he made it further than any other MLS player, and played in the knockout stages. Most of the burden of Alonso's departure will fall on Svensons shoulders as he will be asked to hang back and do a lot of the dirty work in locking down midfield.
  • LW Victor Rodriguez “V-Rod”: Our Catalonian winger who spent some time in the Barcelona Academy. Signed in 2017 V-Rod has unfortunately struggled with injuries and not seen the time most fans were hoping for leading some to wonder if he has a role. However once he was healthy he put up .46 G+A/90 which is comparable to players like Lucho Acosta at DC, while not occupying a TAM spot. Look for V-Rod to be the unheralded 3rd option in Seattle’s attack as long as he is healthy. He has the ability to be a top tier winger in this league and hopes are high albeit guarded.
  • CAM Nicolas Lodeiro “Poseidon”: Our excellent playmaker had a rough 2018, dealing with an injury early in the season that potentially lead to him missing the cut on Uruguay’s 2018 world cup roster. Despite consistent rumors of moves back to South America… he is still set to be the engine of Seattle. Almost everything Seattle does flows through Lodeiro, and while other #10’s in the league may put up more goals and assists none will make as many passes or cover as much distance as Lodeiro. 2019 Sounders are Lodeiro’s team and expectations are high.
  • RW Jordan Morris “J-Mo”: Morris is another HGP from Mercer Island. While many USMNT fans have been frustrated with his decision to remain in Seattle he still is a local favorite despite his absences. Injuries have derailed an excellent start to his MLS career and Morris will be looking to bounce back. [Seattle has given him a big contract (loaded with incentives)(https://www.sounderatheart.com/2018/12/6/18129220/jordan-morris-extension) and a role out wide in the 4-2-3-1. If Morris can navigate his way back to success I think everyone in Seattle will be ecstatic. It was also revealed he had a cute dog and it made Jermaine Jones really mad.
  • FW Raul Ruidiaz: Signed from Liga MX side Morelia in the summer, Ruidiaz filled a void at forward that Seattle was missing since the departure of Obafemi Martins. After arriving in Seattle Ruidiaz was scoring for fun posting up .83 G/90 which was just behind Zlatan and Martinez. This doesn’t look like an anomaly with him having 40 goals in two years with Morelia as well. I think Ruidiaz is a sneaky dark horse to be in contention for the golden boot and will thrive on the chances Lodeiro, V-Rod and Morris will create.

The Other Guys

  • FW Will Bruin “Dancing Bear”: Did you know Will Bruin is 5th in the standings for active MLS goal scorers? For what is potentially the third forward in Seattle he is a strong option off the bench, who struggled when pushed into a starting role. One thing a lot of people get wrong is Bruin doesn’t really play like a target forward despite his size which I have termed Kenny Cooper disease. Despite this malady he is one of my favorite players on the team. Look to see him chip in 5-6 goals this season coming off the bench or in rotation.
  • CAM/W Harry Shipp: Once a hyped up Chicago Fire prospect, he was bizarrely traded away to Montreal by Nelson Rodriguez. While he hasn’t hit those early high’s Harry Shipp is a solid depth player who most teams would love to have. I expect to see him see plenty of minutes in 2018 deputizing for Morris & V-Rod on the wings. He isn't the fastest or most athletic player, but is very smart and deceptively technical.
  • CM Alex Roldan: The younger brother of Cristian, he saw a surprising amount of minutes in 2018 early in the season. Much like his brother he is nominally a central midfielder, but saw minutes in multiple roles. I expect to see him get more time at Defiance than the First team to hopefully tighten up his game which was quite sloppy at times last season. However his older brother improved dramatically year over year, so maybe it runs in the family and he will surprise me.
  • CAM/RW Handwalla Bwana: The most exciting of our young rookies for 2018, Bwana is going to be challenging for a spot in the attack in 2018 and his agility and ability are clear to see. After a couple excellent showings the injury bug struck and kept him down for most of the season. While he is not yet a US citizen to my knowledge that could potentially happen this year. He is my pick for a breakout player at Seattle.
  • CB Roman Torres: Had a mixed 2018, he showed up to pre-season out of shape and seemed distracted by Panama’s trip to the World Cup. He lost his starting spot to Kee-Hee and only regained it with Marshall’s injury in the playoffs. Rumors abounded about potential trades that have yet to materialize. If he stays with the Sounders he will form some really strong depth on the backline. For a defender he is a legend not for his ability to stop goals, but a penalty kick for Seattle... and the goal that sealed the coffin on US chances of a World Cup in 2018.
  • FB? Henry Wingo: Originally a forward signed to a HGP deal, it sounds like Wingo is going to be converted into a right back. In limited minutes he has shown flashes, but it feels like further up the field he overthinks things. I expect to see him at Defiance most of the year learning the new position and it will be curious to see his development in a season or two.
  • GK Bryan Meredith: Backup keeper, been with Seattle in 2 stints. The consensus is he is okay, and… well I don’t have much to add. Obviously Seattle likes him as there are no shortages of backup keepers floating around the MLS & USL.
  • GK Trey Muse: MAC Hermann semi-finalist HGP keeper. At only 19 he is a long term developmental project, he will likely be on the Defiance every day and will be part of their exciting young core.
  • DM/CB Jordy Delem: Solid if unspectacular D-Mid and a really bad right back at the MLS level. He filled in decently as the 4th man on the depth chart and unless a new signing comes in is probably our main backup to Svenson & Roldan here. Has improved significantly as well since his initial USL days. He also will look to lead Martinique at the 2019 Gold Cup as it looks like they qualified from the nations league.
  • RB/LB Saad Abdul Salam: He went from starting for SKC, to backing up TAM right back Graham Zusi. Then got traded to New York where he backed up TAM right back Anton Tinnerholm. Now he was just traded to the Seattle Sounders to backup TAM right back Kelvin Leerdam. Along the way he has shown flashes of attacking ability and good athleticism. I figure he is going to make the 18 as he has been used across the backline in the pre-season.
  • CB John Campbell: Journeyman Centerback from Chicago, he looked promising a couple of years ago, but ended up on the bench this last season. He had experience with the PDL Sounders U-23 team and when being shopped around requested to come to Seattle. While it is doubtful he sees a ton of minutes and looked shaky in pre-season he adds depth to a fairly old back line. Jury is out on him from my perspective, and maybe he will have growth we didn't see in Alfaro.

5 Unanswered Questions for the Season we will hear rehashed way to much

  1. Who will replace Osvaldo Alonso?
  2. Who will Garth Lagerway sign in the summer?
  3. Who will win the left back warz?
  4. Will the slow starts finally die?
  5. Will players stay healthy?

(Realistic) Best case/Worst Case scenario

Best Case Scenario

Sounders stay healthy, Morris bounces back from his ACL tear and returns on a trajectory that put him in the USMNT picture and is a dangerous offensive threat as an on the wing. Ruidiaz puts up a golden boot worthy season, and Lodeiro continues to run the offense. Roldan & Svenson lock down the midfield and our defense remains sturdy as Marshall fends off father time for another season. Meanwhile in the USL our prospects continue maturing and start coming together as a cohesive team and we establish a true pipeline. Any weak points on the roster are identified and reinforced come summer, and without the dread two leg playoffs we ride home field advantage to another MLS Cup, but this time at home.

Worst Case Scenario

Sounders continue to battle injury problems, missing significant numbers of first team players. The few depth pieces brought in are insufficient cover and Seattle lurches to a slow start that has become so familiar. Supporter Shield hopes are dead by May and Lagerway scrambles in the summer to jumpstart the engine for the fourth time. We squeak into the playoffs and then get bounced out by the Timbers at Providence Park.

Realistic Scenario

Seattle stays mostly healthy, Morris and other injured players from 2018 contribute at decent levels and Seattle has a solid if not spectacular season start. There are some questions across the board and its clear some reinforcements are needed come summer. There is upheaval at least at one position which impacts the team’s performance. Seattle plays well enough down the stretch to end top 3 in the West and has a solid shot of making the MLS Cup, but likely away yet again.

Online Resources

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Sounder at Heart
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2019.02.21 15:26 Doitlive_23 Leeds write up August - December Season 1.

So this is my first time doing something like this, if you guys like it great if not no big deal.
Started a CM with Leeds (not the most original but I've been following them in the championship for the last several seasons)
Doing 7 min Halves Legendary, now Currently I am using a slightly adjusted setting Speed down a tick for CPU and also pass accuracy decreased by 2, and Goalies at 90, mainly due to me transitioning from world class to Legendary, the second half of this season ill be playing with default sliders to give the CPU more of a chance. So here we go with the season: Lets start with a back story on the manager, saw the idea on here recently.
Leeds have appointed a new Manager from the USA with former ties to the club. Mike has been managing in the USA but previously managed the U23 team in Leeds as well as played for Leeds, Wolves, and Portsmouth in his career. Netting 50 goals in 200 league appearances, he was never the best on the team but always commanded the respect of teammates around him. Called a "coach on the field" he was forced into a early retirement due to a horrific Knee Injury in an F.A. Cup game at Sheffield United. After his recovery he got straight into coaching with Leeds U23 and has been with the Chicago Fire and L.A. Galaxy in different capacities gaining knowledge for a moment like this.
Speculation is that he is on a short leash, and with Leeds desire to return to the Premier League ASAP he knows he wont have any sort of honeymoon that other choices may have received.
Started out the season in August with Stoke City and Derby County, both away games. Stoke City, a relegation team from last season premier league were determined to start off on the right foot. It was a tight game, not much in terms of chances for either team, Stoke opened the scoring with a fantastic strike into the top right corner from the left side of the box by Diouf, that was answered moments later by a Pablo Hernandez Free Kick to tie at 1. Ultimately the good times didn't last and James Maclean scored the Game winning goal, Leeds condemned to 2-1 defeat in Mikes first game as boss. the next game was more of the same, facing Derby county away Klich scored a brace but it wasn't enough as Leeds lost 3-2. Talk around Leeds was that the board was considering a change already and impressed that onto Mike and his team. They got the message.
The next set of games, 13 to be exact, were all wins for Leeds, This included 3 1-0 wins vs Norwich, Luton in the League Cup, and Boro. Also were a fair share of high scoring games with a 6-1 win at Millwall and 6-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday where Kemar Roofe scored 3 and 4 goals respectively. During this winning run they scored 40 goals to 8 for the opposition, This was a stark difference from the first two games and calmed the nerves of the fans and board. The push for not only promotion but success in the league cup was right in-front of them. Wins over Villa, Luton, and Swansea found Leeds up against Bournemouth in the League cup, a 3-1 win saw them get matched with Manchester United, finally a team that could send Leeds a shock of reality. The game was at Old Trafford, with a spot to the Semi Final on the line, Leeds came out of the gate like gangbusters. One after another they pummeled the Manchester United goal scoring 3 in the first half! the final ended 3-1 to Leeds, the away fans singing Leeds, Leeds, Leeds, as the home supporters go home disappointed and angry their premier league side couldn't defeat an old rival whose side was considerably weaker on paper. This sent Leeds to the Semi Final where they will face Huddersfield Town in January. Now back to the Championship.
Leeds winning run ended with a 1-1 draw at Ewood Park. however their unbeaten run was extended all the way to 20 games and finally came to and end with a 3-2 loss against a good Reading side currently in one of the playoff spots. 17 wins and 3 Draws in the 20 games sent Leeds to the top of the table after a rough start with 0 points from the first two games. 60 goals for and 21 given up during that span showed Leeds had the offensive firepower to get past championship teams, but concerning is the 21 goals especially considering the last three games of this stretch Leeds allowed 3,3,2 goals respectively. Mike is already sending scouts around the country for any talent in lower leagues that deserve a raise in competition or upper leagues that aren't getting enough playing time and would be helpful next season if promotion is reached. After the Manchester United Quarter Final win Leeds closes out the month with games against QPR, Bolton, Villa, Rovers, and Hull. Wins over QPR and Bolton 3-1 and 7-2 sent Leeds back to their winning ways in the league. Extending their gap on first place to 7 points by Christmas. Another win over villa 4-1 brought them to 52 points on the season with two more games until the new year, and the opening of the transfer window. A record of 16-4-3 with 72 goals scored and 32 allowed this is surely to be a special season in Leeds.
It hasn't been all roses for Leeds in the locker room, injuries have hit this team hard, the backup GK Peacock-Farrell got injured in training for 5 months right before the first game, this wasn't a huge setback as the club had gotten Casilla from Madrid in the summer (I know they got him in the winter, just adjusting the storyline a bit). A bigger loss was that of Jack Clarke a promising winger for Leeds. He was hurt with an ACL injury in October and scheduled to come back as early as April. Due to that injury Mike did go out and make a move already agreeing to a transfer for a RM Matias Zaracho from Racing Club in Argentina once the window opens. the 20 year old winger with big upside will fit in nicely to a young improving roster. Also some players have been disgruntled, Berardi has requested to be transferred due to lack of playing time. Mike is reluctant to give him up in a season where they may need every body they have but he has no choice if he wants to keep the locker room in a good place. He will be looking for a RB in this window through loan or buy.
Got any tips for Mike to strengthen his squad? Keep in mind this transfer period is important not just for this season but for getting pieces to be useful next season in the Prem if we can hold on to a promotion spot (Currently 11 points above 3rd place). Here is how it currently stands:
ST: Roofe, Roberts, Bamford (Plays CM on occasion), Edmundsson
LM: Alioski, Dallas, Murphy (Youth Player)
RM: Harrison, Clarke (Injured until April), Hernandez (plays CM), Gotts, Zaracho (Available when Window opens)
CDM: Phillips, O'kane
CM: Brown, Klich, Forshaw, Nicell
LB: Douglas, Pearce, Davis
RB: Ayling, Berardi, Shackleton ( Also plays CM on occasion)
CB: Jansson, Cooper, Halme, Struijk
GK: Casilla, Peacock-Farrell, Huffer
I also have clips of some of my best goals to date I will eventually put together into a video perhaps or just release one by one, haven't quite figured that out yet.
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2019.02.20 23:21 halbpro Chapter 84 'Eskeewd Beef! Have Anybody Got Any Bokkle Oran Doove?' Preview & Discussion

Show Details

Venue
The Electric Ball Room, Camden, London
Date
Sunday, February 24th 2019
Doors Open
2pm
Show Starts
4pm
Show Ends
8pm

Card

PROGRESS World Title Match

WALTER (c) vs. Chris Ridgeway
Match Announcement
WALTER's 2018 was absolutely incredible. Not only did he claim the PROGRESS World Title for his own, he went completely in PROGRESS for the entirety of 2018. In fact, his last defeat came in a tag match in November 2017, while his last singles defeat was all the way back in August of that year.
While Chris Ridgeway's 2018 may not have been on quite the same level as WALTER's, he still established himself solidly, making the finals of the fifth Natural Progression Series in a losing effort Mark Davis, and going undefeated in his last three matches. And now, as he made clear at Chapter 83: Remove Child Before Ironing, he wants WALTER.
WALTER may have the size and form advantage here, but that's no reason to dismiss Ridgeway. Ridgeway's striking and technical ability isn't to be disregarded, and he's certainly got the speed advantage over the Ring General. Whether that will be enough to put away the bigger man is an intriguing question that will be answered on Sunday.

PROGRESS Atlas Title Match

Trent Seven's Open Challenge
Match Announcement
Since Trent Seven won the PROGRESS World Title at Chapter 76: Hello Wembley!, ending Doug William's career in the process, he's been welcoming all comers in a series of Open Challenge matches. From PROGRESS regulars, like Zack Gibson and Kyle Fletcher, to those making their debuts, like Dan Moloney and Gino Gambino, if you make the weight limit then Trent will take you on.
The question, of course, is who answers the call this time around? Shigehiro Irie would certainly be an interesting challenger. We've already seen him take a shot at the World Title against WALTER; will he try his hand at the Atlas Championship next? Could Joe Coffey be seen in PROGRESS for the first time since 2017? Will BSS Gifs step up, instead of ducking the challenge like she did at Chapter 82: Unboxing Live - A Dukla Prague Away Kit? Whoever answers the challenge this time, it's bound to be good.

PROGRESS World Tag Team Title Match

Swords of Essex (Will Ospreay & Paul Robinson) (c) vs. Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher)
Match Announcement
If you were lucky enough to see these four tear the house down at Chapter 82: Unboxing Live - A Dukla Prague Away Kit, with Aussie Open losing their belts to the Swords of Essex, you'll know that this match should be something truly special. Even with both Ospreay and Robinson getting injured early in the contest, we still got a strong Match of the Year candidate. It was a match with absolutely everything, with a result that left the Ballroom in shock.
Now, after beating Do Not Resuscitate (Chuck Mambo & William Eaver) at Chapter 83: Remove Child Before Ironing, Aussie Open are out to reclaim their belts and begin their second reign. Obviously, the Swords of Essex will do everything in their power to stop those belts going home with the Aussie boys.
If you can only watch one match on the card, this is the one you want to see. It's hard to imagine how both teams will top their last match, but I don't doubt that they will.

PROGRESS Women's World Title Match Qualifier

Jinny vs. Nina Samuels
Match Announcement
The build up to this show saw PROGRESS announce the first match for Super Strong Style 16 2019, a Four-Way Dance for the PROGRESS Women's World Title. Whoever is the champion going into the final day of SSS16 will defend against three challengers, who'll all have to win qualifying matches.
It's safe to say that Nina Samuels finally getting her hands on Jinny after the implosion of the House of Couture would have been a fairly tense affair before PROGRESS made this match one of the qualifiers. Ever since Jinny abandoned Samuels, Charlie Morgan and Chakara, instead allying herself with Laura Di Matteo, her former protégés have been breathing down her neck. Now that Samuels finally has a chance for vengeance, thing are likely to get personal in the Ballroom. As for Jinny, she'll be hell bent on getting herself into that Four-Way Dance and winning back the title she lots to Jordynne Grace at Chapter 82: Unboxing Live - A Dukla Prague Away Kit.
Travis Banks vs. Jordan Devlin
Match Announcement
This match is one that sets us firmly on the path to Super Strong Style 16 2019, with both men looking to build some momentum before May rolls around. Although Banks may have lost the PROGRESS World Title in July at Chapter 74: Mid Week Matters, and missed most of the Autumn through injury, that hasn't stopped him from entering himself into this year's tournament. With wins over David Starr and Ilja Dragunov since his return from injury, Banks will be looking to keep things rolling with a win over Devlin.
While Banks may already be in this year's SSS16, the Killer Import will need to earn his way in. At Chapter 85: Progo.Naut he'll get the chance to do just that, facing Austin Theory with a tournament spot on the line. However, before that match in Bournemouth, Devlin has a great chance to put his stock on the rise with a win over the former champ.
Millie McKenzie vs. Bea Priestley
Match Announcement
Funnily enough, Priestley's last appearance in PROGRESS was in a losing effort to Millie McKenzie. That was back in January of last year, and although she hasn't been back to PROGRESS since then, Bea's been very busy in Japan, working extensively for Stardom, as well as wrestling for a number of promotions around the UK.
As for Millie, she's been far more of a PROGRESS regular since her last meeting with Bea, and competed for the Women's World Title back at Chapter 76: Hello Wembley! However, she hasn't been seen in Progress since surviving a beatdown from Jinny and Laura Di Matteo at Chapter 77: Pumpkin Spice Progress.
While winning this match won't give the victor a spot in the Four-Way Dance at Super Strong Style 16, it'll certainly put them in the picture for a qualifying match. After coming so close at Hello Wembley, Millie almost certainly wants another shot at the gold, while Priestley will be keen to add the PROGRESS Women's World Title to an already impressive résumé.
Mark Haskins w/ Vicky Haskins & Mark Andrews vs. Do Not Resuscitate (Chuck Mambo & Spike Trivet)
Match Announcement
Since Drew Parker, Spike Trivet, William Eaver and Chuck Mambo decided to come together as Do Not Resuscitate, they've been making enemies at record pace. After forming by taking out Jimmy Havoc at Chapter 79: One Big Neck With Sausage Hands, they've managed to anger a decent sized chunk of the Progress roster, although possibly none more so than Mark and Vicky Haskins. DNR have repeatedly inserted themselves into the Haskinses business, and have further angered Mark by daring to put their hands on Vicky.
As for Mark Andrews, he shared a post-match beatdown from DNR with Mark Haskins at Chapter 81: Pour Some PROGRESS On Me and hasn't been seen since. While Andrews is normally a pretty relaxed figure, his long term feud with Eddie Dennis showed just what he's capable of when pushed too far, and DNR would do well to beware of that side of White Lightning.

Pre-Show Match

Although PROGRESS haven't confirmed a pre-show match for Chapter 84 just yet, if there is one you can expect it at 3.30pm. As per usual, the match's participants will be unannounced, but it will likely feature some up and coming talents in the British scene.

Public Transport Info

The nearest London Underground station for The Electric Ballroom is Camden Town, which is served by the Northern Line, while Camden Road Overground station is a short walk from The Electric Ballroom. Although there are no planned engineering works effecting either station, there are significant closures on the Piccadilly Line, London Overground and TfL Rail. Further details of planned disruptions are available from Transport for London.

Up Next

Chapter 85: Progro.Naut
March 9th 2019
O2 Academy, Bournemouth
Chapter 86: Corrupted Harmony
March 10th 2019
O2 Academy, Birmingham

More PROGRESS

On Demand Twitter Facebook YouTube Instagram
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2019.01.04 15:18 sazio1984 2019 – The Year Chelsea Finally Gives Themselves An Identity?

“Blue is the colour, football is the gameWe’re all together, and winning is our aim”
But at what cost? Hear me out…
Since Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea back in 2003 – the club has well and truly been a trophy machine. 15 years, 15 trophies (17 if you include the 2 Community Shields).
1 UEFA Champions League (2011/12)1 UEFA Europa League (2012/13)5 Premier League Titles (2004/05, 2005/06, 2009/10, 2014/15, 2016/17)5 FA Cups (2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2018)3 League Cups (2004/05, 2006/07, 2014/15)
Only 4 of the last 15 seasons have we gone without a major trophy. No other club in England can boast a recent record like that.
From the day he bought Chelsea, Abramovich started sowing seeds for one of the most captivating transition stories in English football – stupendous wealth and astronomical ambition surpassed only by the will to dominate and rewrite Premier League (& Champions League) history.
However, with every machine – over time it starts to wear and tear.
Then, it eventually breaks. The cause for concern over recent years has been that even though the club has continued to win trophies, the club has stayed stuck in its out-of-date ways.
Short-term obsession, no long-term building, ageing squad, poor squad investment, lack of youth promotion… the list is far too long for a club of our stature. Even with another FA Cup in 2018, last season was seen as the season where everything (unfortunately) finally fell apart.
The Russian funded, globally built machine needs a tune-up. The machine needs to adapt (well overdue for some fans) so it doesn’t suffer another malfunction anytime soon.
More importantly, I think it’s time to give this machine more than just a tune-up. It needs something new…
An Identity.
New marquee signings, youngsters breaking through, have great footballing minds control the football side of the club thus allowing the business experts to continue making us financially sound, a philosophy to adhere by and then be envied by everyone else. If you combine all of this and allow it time to mould, settle and form, something incredible could happen.
An Identity. The ‘Chelsea Way’. Imagine that for a moment.
We never have had an identity at this club, not even close. Since Abramovich took over it’s always been a ‘Win at ALL costs’ mentality. This can’t last forever. Short-term fixes don’t always lead to constant success and definitely does not allow the future of the club to ever get going. We need a new way of life at the club. With this in mind, can this new identity be built by an Italian ‘engineer’ recently brought in? I hope so.
Here are the major issues that need to be rectified so Chelsea can move into the future with positivity, success and finally for fans/media to know that this is the ‘Chelsea Way’:
SQUAD NEEDING A MAJOR OVERHAUL
4th in the Premier League, Carabao Cup Semi-Final, easy group qualification in the UEFA Europa League… you could argue that the 2018/19 season so far hasn’t been too bad. With that said, everything is not as positive as it seems.
A lot of positivity – in terms of results, performances and stand out moments – can be attributed to one major factor. One person even.
Eden Michael Hazard.
Now, I’m not saying we’re becoming a one-man team but it’s not far off if we’re being honest. When Hazard doesn’t ‘turn up’, the team doesn’t seem to either. 2017/18 was arguably the worst season for transfer dealings in our history. Just the mere thought of those 2 windows send every single Chelsea fan into a cold sweat. Issues with the squad investment go back further but last season was definitely the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s been attritional for the last 12 months since the humiliating 3-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth and 4-1 capitulation to Watford.
If you look at the current squad we have – you could argue as few as only 11 (1 or 2 more possibly) of the squad would be wanted by the majority of our fanbase to continue to be a player member of our club.
Kepa ArrizabalagaAntonio RüdigerJorginhoN’Golo KantéEden HazardRuben Loftus-CheekMateo KovačićCallum Hudson-OdoiAndreas ChristensenCésar AzpilicuetaEthan Ampadu
With those mentioned, it’s not too hard to work out who the current ‘deadwood’ is in the squad and therefore needs to be replaced by players of a higher (& younger?) level. The likes of Danny Drinkwater, Victor Moses, Davide Zappacosta and most especially Álvaro Morata simply don’t meet the standard of player we need. We’re an elite European club – therefore only the best (ready made and/or youth prospects) should be fighting for a starting position at Stamford Bridge every other Saturday. The blame game could be laid at multiple doors here.
A lack of a Director of Football (since Michael Emenalo departed in November 2017), a questionable scouting system, combined with a board that whilst is brimming with business intelligence, severely lacks in football acumen – shows the current problems with our transfer dealings and general player attraction. Square pegs, round holes comes to mind. This needs to be rectified as soon as possible. If this happens, we will be successful both on AND off the pitch.
So far, this season’s acquisitions of Kepa, Jorginho, Kovačić (along with Christian Pulisic in the Summer) is a step in the right direction. A direction we used to be synonymous with. If we can back to signing that calibre of player (higher level even?) on a regular basis, along with developing the finest youth players there is… we will be challenging on the domestic and European front once again. No more being content with just top 4 security and potential Europa League success. League titles and Champions League glory – that’s where we belong.
TIME TO START TRUSTING OUR ACADEMY
John Terry. 717 club appearances, 78 International caps, captain of both Chelsea and England. Captain, Leader, Legend.
And the last genuine player from our academy/youth system to break into the first team and become great for our club. Breaking through and establishing himself in the 2000/01 season – that means we’ve gone 18 and a half seasons without another player coming through and to say that he’s made it.
Over the years, we’ve seen the likes of Josh McEachran, Gael Kakuta, Jeremy Boga, Bertrand Traore, Ryan Bertrand, Scott Sinclair, Patrick Bamford, Jeffrey Bruma, Nathaniel Chalobah and Nathan Ake make the odd appearance, score the odd goal… and then disappear forever.
In my opinion, Ake is a better CB than Gary Cahill, Chalobah would be a better midfield option than Drinkwater and so on.
Now you could argue that none of them was good enough to play for us on a regular basis (besides Ake who I strongly feel can and we need him back ASAP) and I would understand that. But if you look at our current squad and continue to see the majority of academy prospects not get a look-in – especially with the current situation regarding Hudson-Odoi – you start to question what is the actual point of the academy?
Since Ambramovich fund and develop (continuing to do so) the state-of-the-art youth facility at Cobham, the academy has gone on to win 7 FA Youth Cups (including FIVE in a row), 2 U18 Premier League Titles and 2 UEFA Youth Leagues. Incredible considering the youth system as a whole only had 2 major trophies to date pre-Abramovich (FA Youth Cups – 1960 & 1961). With all this recent success, you would be confident in those academy players breaking through and becoming the nucleus of our squad?
Nope. Once again, the short-term ‘disease’ of the club (instant success > building a future) has made it so that there is a huge fracture – a brick wall even – between the academy and the first team. Year after year, manager after manager simply didn’t want to give youth a chance because due to being under pressure from the board to get trophy after trophy. This was summed up perfectly by Jody Morris back in September last year. The club needs to stop seeing the academy as a cash cow (this is pretty evident with 30+ players currently on loan and less than a third of those having a chance even at breaking through).
Now, I’m not saying winning trophies is a bad thing because if you were a Chelsea fan pre-Abramovich, every trophy won in this era will be forever cherished as this could arguably be the golden era of this club. With that said, I’m sure a huge proportion of our fanbase would have been content with sacrificing the odd League Cup here and there if that meant seeing the future of the club be given a proper chance at potentially breaking through.
With all of this considered, maybe, just maybe… things are indeed changing. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is finally starting to fulfil the potential everyone has known he’s had for years and is becoming a first-team regular. Ethan Ampadu – already a full Welsh International – is being regarded as the new Marcel Desailly and the next Chelsea captain. Andreas Christensen is wanted by every major club in Europe as they see him as one of this generation’s finest centre-backs.
We also have the likes of Reece James, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori, Ola Aina, Jay Dasilva and Tammy Abraham currently on loan making huge strides in their development. Along with youngsters such as Billy Gilmour, Connor Gallagher, George McEachran, Daishawn Redan et al making a name for themselves in our current youth system – the future does certainly look bright for Chelsea.
And there’s Callum-Hudson-Odoi. Seen as the definitive future of our club and possibly a generational talent. His potential is indescribable as there’s no ceiling to what he could be capable of in a few years time. This is pretty evident by the fact that Bayern Munich is desperate to get him – which is a huge concern for us as he feels he’s not being given enough time in the first-team at the moment and rumoured to be stalling over a new contract extension. That would be disastrous. With that said, I also feel that Hudson-Odoi’s management team have not been helping him as they’ve most probably used the example of Jadon Sancho at Borussia Dortmund and think CHO would be an instant success for the Bavarian giants.
Let me give you a couple of bits of info to say why Hudson-Odoi would be better off at Chelsea than at Bayern:
– Bayern Munich currently has SIX wingers at their disposal: Arjen Robben, Franck Ribéry, Thomas Müller, Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry and Alphonso Davies. All fully fledged internationals. Whoever is telling CHO he would break through all 6 of those is basically feeding him lies.– Hudson-Odoi is 18 and has made 5 competitive appearances for Chelsea this season. Oliver Skipp at Tottenham Hotspur is also 18 and made 1 more competitive appearance. In my honest opinion… you could say that both players are getting good opportunities for their age right now. If Skipp doesn’t have an issue with his current game time, why does Callum? I feel the people around him are causing more problems than solutions. Why is he in a rush? He has a contract till the end of next season – a simple solution would be to go on loan to either a club in the Premier League or a competitive team in Europe. Sign a new deal, come back after the loan spell and he would walk into the starting line-up let alone the squad.
Getting back to the point of the issue – I understand that the academy situation is a complex one and cannot be discussed in black and white terms, I get that. I just hope that the fears of the fans over the last few years were nothing more than overreaction (& a tiny bit of obsession) than anything else and that we’re finally starting to the REAL progression of the academy system.
Chelsea having the cream of the crop in youth? Let’s hope so.
IMPLEMENT A PHILOSOPHY FOR THE WHOLE CLUB
You know what is as good as winning trophies? Playing attractive football WHILST winning trophies.
Just as important as overhauling the current first-team and giving academy prospects the chance to excel is giving them an ethos of what it means to play for Chelsea Football club and doing so, how to play.
Only 1 manager since Abramovich bought the club you could say won trophies whilst playing football that was easy on the eye. Carlo Ancelotti.
Although his second season in charge didn’t go well and in my opinion abruptly sacked due to Roman’s obsession of Champions League glory above everything else at the time, Carlo’s first was a thing of beauty.
A conductor presiding over an orchestra, hitting the perfect notes every single time. Intelligent build-up play at a frantic pace and exquisite possession in the final third of the pitch combined with aggressive domination and a nucleus of players at their absolute peak… watching Chelsea was simply euphoric.
Brushing teams aside at a canter for fun, scoring 6’s, 7’s, 8’s every other game along the way to 103 goals overall (a PL record at the time), going to all the big clubs away from home and making it a walk in the park – I wish I had a time machine, went back to 2009/10, created a blueprint, brought it back to today and said to the club “Just do this.”
And this is why I want this at the club right now, an upgraded version even.
Of the 5 Premier League titles won over the last 15+ years, only 1 was won with swagger and flair. The other 4 was – at the time looked impressive – 4 seasons of passive-aggressive, counter-attack football. We have had incredible players over the years such as Robben, Hazard and Joe Cole where had they played only attack-minded football… Imagine how much more they could have contributed both personally and to the team as a whole. Frightening to even just imagine that.
This was most evident under Antonio Conte. Even though certain records were made during the 2016/17 season – most notably 30 wins in a single season (since broken by Manchester City last season) – you could argue that that season was successful as much due to the rest of the aforementioned ‘Big 6’ severely underperforming as well as no club being able to overpower Conte’s fast-paced, counter-attacking 3-4-3.
If Conte initially showed his ingenuity, adaptability and organisational prowess to reconfigure Chelsea six weeks into his first season in charge, then you could safely say we doubled down on their title-winning formation last season. Going from the flexible 3-4-3 to the incredibly rigid 3-5-2 that consisted of 3 defensive midfielders and playing Hazard playing off a target man – Chelsea got found out and were punished. Badly at times. The 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad last March was for me the worst performance I had ever seen by my club. Inept, soulless… a complete embarrassment.
I don’t want to see that sort of performance ever again. That’s why I believe in Maurizio Sarri. Why do you ask? Because he – not just for the board/fans but for himself too – wants to be entertained. He wants to his team to play football that is so expressive and free-flowing it makes every team want to play like that.
‘Sarrismo’ (or the altered saying of ‘SarriBall’) during Sarri’s leadership at his previous club Napoli was a sight to behold. Sarri preaches the gospel of playing beautifully, and that is one church I would be proud to be a part of. If it wasn’t for an all-conquering Juventus cruising past teams (not Napoli mind) for the last 3 seasons in Serie A, the Naples faithful would have seen their beloved team win a lot of trophies. Easily.
Full-backs attacking at break-neck speed, a midfield including Jorginho and Marek Hamšik conducting the style of play and interchangeable forwards such as Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne scoring goals for fun whilst confusing defenders… give me some of that at Stamford Bridge. In fact, I want all of that throughout the entire club. Develop our youngsters/youth teams in this style of play so they’re ready for the first team when the time comes and can fit in straight away.
At the moment, I still feel we have too many ‘Conte’ players and that the team as a whole is still structurally wedded to that style of play. This has to change.
CONCLUSION
So, with all of that has been said and suggested… a new Identity is achievable.
I’m not saying it will be easy. And I’m not guaranteeing it’ll be the exact same as Barcelona’s ‘La Masia’ youth dynasty, the spectacle of a team managed by Pep Guardiola or as all-conquering as Manchester United at its peak under Sir Alex Ferguson…
But why shouldn’t Chelsea at least try to have their own? There are signs that Abramovich/the board is FINALLY listening to the fans and understanding that the cracks at the club can no longer be papered over. Thus, things need to change both on and off the pitch.
This is a transitional season. The heydays of keeping up with the title challengers at the start of the season were great to see but it was almost as if we were over-performing and everything was going our way to an extent. Once teams started to see the holes in our (still being developed mind so take that into consideration) and began to expose them – that’s when we saw where Chelsea really was a team in terms of how far behind and what was needed to rectify. This hasn’t been a disastrous season but I don’t our fan base to get carried away. I understand we have been privileged and fortunate over the last few years with our success. But it’s not going to happen every season and certainly won’t if we continue along with short-term thinking – from both the board AND the fans – of demanding instant gratification.
A new philosophy, style of play, a new spine of a team, creating our own ‘class of… it needs time and patience, something I hope everyone can get behind.
Six months for Sarri is like a day in Rome – it cannot be built overnight. But once SarriBall gets perfected, it will be a spectacle to behold when it’s unleashed.
The ‘Chelsea Way’ is coming. Alongside the blue flag, keep the faith flying high.
submitted by sazio1984 to chelseafc [link] [comments]


2018.10.06 03:29 MosF94 A Guide to Every <= £5.5m Midfielder & Forward

Carrying on from my thread on bargain-basement goalkeepers and defenders from the other day (https://www.reddit.com/FantasyPL/comments/9l3kgw/a_guide_to_every_44m_goalkeeper_defende), here I'll be looking at midfield/attacking enablers. I've gone for a slightly different format, ordered by team, because the number of cheap midfielders in the game is ridiculously high (Leicester alone have 12 midfielders priced <= £5.5m), and opted for £5.5m as the upper limit because it's just below the value of the popular (rightly so) cheap picks like Fraser, Gudmundsson, Ings and Jimenez. There are probably (definitely) even more non-options to sift through than last time, so particular players of interest (for whatever reasons) will be bolded, so if you're short on time, skip to those. And like last time, if I've got anything wrong, please let me know!
ARSENAL
In midfield: Xhaka (£5.3m) will grab a couple of bangers and assists from corners a season, but will blank much more frequently and get loads of yellows, so he's a poor option, as ever. Iwobi (£5.5m) has decent returns (1 goal, 2 assists) from his limited minutes so far, but barring injuries won't play enough to be worth serious consideration. Guendouzi (£4.5m) has lost his place to Torreira (£4.9m), who is too defensive to be enticing, though should strengthen Arsenal's defence through his presence. Maitland-Niles (£4.4m) was playing at left-back before he got injured, and is unlikely to play many minutes when everyone's fit. Elneny (£4.3m) is interesting insofar as he's one of only 3 midfielders currently priced at £4.3m, but hasn't played a single minute yet, so would only be worth considering if you're Wildcarding, have 5 playable defenders but need that extra £0.1m to get the squad you want...
Up front: N/A
BOURNEMOUTH
In midfield: Brooks (£5.0m) is an intriguing option - I saw him play a lot for my team (Sheffield United) last year, and he's extremely talented: a great dribbler, great technique, good creativity: but he's still quite raw, has already missed a few big chances this season, and may be about to lose his place to the returning Stanislas, so I wouldn't recommend buying him at present, but he's one for the watchlist for sure. Lerma (£4.5m) looks to be nailed, but offers little going forward (the penalty assist last week was quite flukey) and is a yellow card magnet - 3 in 4 starts this season, 16(!) in 25 games for Levante last year. Surman (£4.8m) and Gosling (£4.9m) won't play enough to be worth their prices, while Lewis Cook (£4.8m) should be starting alongside Lerma, and is a talented deep-lying playmaker, but offers little from an FPL perspective. Pugh (£4.4m) has yet to feature, and probably won't play much throughout the season. Ibe (£5.1m) has barely played and appears to be out of favour.
Up front: Mousset (£5.0m) features sporadically, and only plays a handful of minutes when he does
BRIGHTON
In midfield: Knockaert (£5.5m) is an exciting option who's been hyped a fair bit recently; he's already got 3 assists, compared to 1 last season, scored a lovely goal against Spurs, has spoken about his battle with depression last year and how much better he's feeling now, and he looks very lively - I do worry, when Jahanbakhsh, Izquierdo and Gross are fit/up to speed, to what extent they'll be splitting minutes, but for now he looks like a very good pick. March (£5.0m) has started every match so far, but offers fewer attacking returns and is likely to lose his spot sooner or later. Propper (£4.9m) has started every game so far, and chipped in with a few assists last year, but there are better options at his price. Bissouma (£4.8m) looks like quite a lively player, but lacking in end product and perhaps isn't attacking enough to be an FPL option. Stephens (£4.4m) is interesting, because he's one of (if not the) most nailed £4.4m options, can grab the occasional assist (3 last year) and is on the way (-85% and counting according to fplstatistics) to dropping to £4.3m. He's currently struggling with an injury, but when fit he's pretty much the perfect enabler. Kayal (£4.4m) is his back-up.
Up front: Locadia (£5.4m) tends to come off the bench, and doesn't offer a great deal of goal-threat when he does. Andone (£5.0m), on the other hand, could become an exciting option - he's been injured and is only now returning, so hasn't played and PL football yet, but should provide tough competition for Glenn Murray. He scored 12 goals for Deportivo in his first season in La Liga (faring less well last year in a poor team), is a real handful for defenders, and should suit Brighton's style of play. Not someone to bring in until he gets regular starts, which could be a while with Murray having scored an impressive 5 goals in 8 games, but he's one of very few forwards at his price with the potential to score a decent number of goals this season - if he starts to start.
BURNLEY
In midfield: Lennon (£5.0m) has played every minute so far this season, and got a great double return in GW6, but I don't expect him to get many returns throughout the season; his FPL pedigree isn't great, Burnley's fixtures turn pretty grim pretty soon, and he may soon lose his place to Brady (£5.4m), who looked lively before injury curtailed his season last year, and may become a decent differential once he's back to full fitness, though he's more likely to provide assists than goals. Westwood (£4.5m) is one of the highest scoring £4.5ms, bagging 2 assists in his last 2 games, and could be a tempting option, but I suspect he'll lose his place in the coming weeks to the returning Defour (£5.4m), who is himself too defensive-minded to provide anything close to decent FPL value. Cork (£4.8m) was good value last year, but is too expensive for this year for his very limited attacking potential. Hendrick (£5.4m) will get the occasional attacking return, but not enough to justify his price. McNeil (£4.5m) probably won't get many minutes.
Up front: Vokes (£5.3m) has started the last 3 games and grabbed a goal vs Cardiff, but with Wood, Barnes and Vydra also at the club there is no guarantee that this will continue, so he's probably too much of a gamble at his price
CARDIFF
In midfield: Camarasa (£4.5m) has started the last 6 matches, 3 in centre-mid and 3 on the wing, and has grabbed a goal against Arsenal; he isn't an overly attacking player, but is a bit more creative and playing in a more advanced role than most players at his price. Murphy (£4.8m) is a more natural winger and a more likely goal-threat (grabbing 7 goals for Norwich last season), and should see more starts after his goal vs Burnley - though I'd want to see him playing more consistent minutes before considering bringing him in. Ward (£4.5m), as an OOP striker, is a popular option, with a bigger upside than any other player in his price-bracket; however, there's also the risk in any given week of him only playing a handful of minutes. If you're looking for reliable 2-pointers, I'd avoid him. If you're willing to take the risk of fairly frequent 1-pointers and the occasional 0 for the chance of a 7-pointer 3 or 4 times a season, then he's your man. Ralls (£4.8m) looks a more reliable pick, scoring 7 goals with 4 assists last season, taking many of Cardiff's set-pieces and only missing 12 minutes to date, but has yet to record a single goal or assist this season. Hoilett (£5.2m) also performed impressively last season, with 9 goals and 11 assists, but has yet to demonstrate this quality in the PL. Arter (£4.9m) is too prone to yellow cards and not prone enough to attacking returns. Paterson (£5.2m) also scored plenty of goals (10) in the Championship, but he's another one who's yet to step up, and has struggled for consistent minutes. Mendez-Laing (£4.8m) is out for another month or so with an injury, while Damour (£4.4m) and Harris (£4.5m) have yet to feature. Neither has the injured Gunnarson (£4.4m), who is close to dropping to £4.3m, but has been a regular starter in the Championship when fit, with just a hint of goal-threat about him too; if he does drop, and if he does start when he's fit, he'll be the best £4.3m mid that we have.
Up front: Zohore (£4.8m) has been criticised by Warnock, player far fewer minutes than were expected of him, and not looked up to the PL. Madine (£4.5m) has played even fewer minutes, though not as few as the £4.4m strikers, so that's a small plus. Reid (£5.3m) had a great season for Bristol City last year, grabbing 19 goals and 7 assists, and is probably the most likely of Cardiff's strikers to find his feet in the PL eventually, but he's yet to score and didn't feature at all against Burnley, so he's one to watch from a distance for now.
CHELSEA
In midfield: Jorginho (£5.1m) would be a great option if players scored a point for every 50 passes completed, but they don't, and he doesn't offer much goal-threat or assist-threat playing as deep as he does, so he's a poor pick. Kante (£5.0m) is more interesting; he hasn't got any attacking returns since GW1, and the box-to-box role Sarri has deployed him in doesn't suit him perfectly, but it looks like he'll continue to play in a slightly more advanced role than Jorg, and if he can adapt well to this more offensive role, he could be a decent option - I'm not saying he could do a Yaya Toure, but perhaps he could become a 4/5 goals and 4/5 assists a season player, which would provide pretty good value at his price - his quick free-kick through-ball to Hazard against Liverpool was a positive sign. Loftus-Cheek (£5.2m) isn't playing enough to be worth consideration, unfortunately, but could be an exciting option if another PL team loans him in January. Drinkwater (£4.8m) hasn't played yet and doesn't look likely to, and Ampadu (£4.4m) has not been trusted with PL football yet. The same applies to Hudson-Odoi (£4.3m), one of only 3 midfielders at his price, and the closest to dropping to £4.2m (though still a long way away) - if he does drop again, and he may do before Christmas, he'd be the stand-alone cheapest of all midfielders; if this was combined with a loan move to a lower-half side in January where he'd be getting regular minutes (and we all know Chelsea love a loan), he could become an excellent option.
Up front: N/A
CRYSTAL PALACE
In midfield: McArthur (£4.8m) has scored 5 goals in each of his last 2 seasons, but seems to be playing fairly deep this season and may face competition for his place from Kouyate (£4.8m), who is himself too defensive a player to consider. Kaikai (£4.4m) has managed a grand total of 3 points over the last 3 seasons, one in each, which is kind of impressive in a way but definitely not somebody you want in your squad. Puncheon (£4.3m) may actually be a good option for his price; he hasn't played any PL football since he did his ACL in January, but he's been back in the squad for the last couple of weeks and played 90 minutes in the League Cup. I wouldn't expect him to be starting games, and ACLs are extremely tough injuries to recover from, but he's the club captain, still only 31, and may get a fair few minutes from the bench as the season wears on.
Up front: Wickham (£4.9m) is long-term injured, and isn't prolific even when he's fit. Sorloth (£4.9m) was expected to feature more this season, but has yet to start a game, despite Benteke missing 3 games through injury, as Jordan Ayew has been preferred.
EVERTON
In midfield: Gueye (£4.9m) is a sure starter when fit, but his price is too steep for a defensive mid. Davies (£5.3m) is a more creative player, but not a huge attacking threat and unsure of starts. Schneiderlin (£4.4m) also isn't sure enough of starts to be a tempting option, especially with Andre Gomes (£5.4m) likely to start when he recovers from injury - he too doesn't offer enough of an attacking threat for his price (there seems to be a pattern emerging here...) McCarthy (£4.4m) is long-term injured, Baningime (£4.4m) won't play many minutes, and nor will Dowell (£4.5m). Lookman (£5.1m) did really well on loan at RB Leipzig last season, and I was hoping he'd get plenty of minutes this year and prove a bit of a bargain, but he's barely featured so far, and a lot would have to change for him to become an option.
Up front: Niasse (£5.2m) only features sporadically, and always from the bench. Calvert-Lewin (£5.4m) has started the last 4 games, but isn't a great finisher and is unlikely to keep his spot in the mid-to-long-term.
FULHAM
In midfield: Seri (£5.5m) looks like a decent pick primarily because of he's a bit of a bonus-point magnet - his baseline BPS is really good even when he doesn't get an assist/goal (he got 2 bonus points in the 1-1 draw with Watford without contributing to a goal), and he's got 1 goal and 1 assist so far, which is fine but not great - but in his best season with Nice, he got 7 goals and 9 assists, which is very similar to Gross's numbers from last year, who is another player with that ability to get bonus points without goal contributions, and we know how highly he scored last year - so Seri too might score better in FPL than his returns would suggest. Cairney (£4.8m) is another exciting option, and perhaps will play in a slightly more attacking role than Seri, when he returns from injury shortly; 6 goals and 5 assists in the Championship last year, 13(!) goals and 10 assists the previous year - if he has a good season, 4/5 goals and 4/5 assists isn't out of the question, which would be very good value at his price. Zambo-Anguissa (£4.4m), Johansen (£5.2m) and McDonald (£4.4m) have been battling to lock-down a spot, and I expect Zambo to win out, long-term, as the 3rd man in Fulham's midfield - if he does, he'll be a solid if unspectacular option at his price. Ayite (£4.4m) is a very attacking player (unusual at this price bracket) but unlikely to get enough minutes to be reliable - Kebano (£4.4m) is injured, but will be even further down the pecking-order when fit. Cisse (£4.4m) has yet to feature, and I don't expect that to change in the near future.
Up front: Kamara (£4.4m) hasn't played since GW2, and only has a place in any squad if you're playing 352/442 and have no interest in ever playing with 3 up-front (that's a big issue with 2-striker formations, that it's tough to find a reliable 3rd striker that costs <=£4.5m and can reliably score you 1/2 points if needed, whereas there are plenty of midfielders who can fulfil this role). Vietto (£5.5m) has started the last 5 games and raked up an impressive 3 assists, but the price still seems a bit steep for a reverse-OOP wingeinside-forward who has yet to score a goal.
HUDDERSFIELD
In midfield: Billing (£4.5m) has started every game and grabbed a goal, making him a popular, and pretty decent, option - however, he does like a yellow card, and it's unlikely (as a defensive mid) that he scores many more goals this season. Hogg (£4.4m) plays a similar role, but is less assured of starting, while Williams (£4.5m) and Bacuna (£4.4m), have yet to feature. Mooy (£5.3m) is a genuinely good, creative player, but he plays too deep to get many attacking returns. None of Pritchard (£4.8m), van la Parra (£4.8m), Sabiri (£4.5m), Sobhi (£4.8m), Diakhaby (£4.7m) have been able to nail down an AM/winger spot in the team, and until someone does, none of them are viable (even by Huddersfield standards).
Up front: Quaner (£4.4m), perhaps the least technically proficient attacking player in the league, has yet to feature after last season's heroics, and like Kamara only has a place in any squad if you're playing 352/442 and have no interest in ever playing with 3 up-front. In his limited minutes, Kachunga (£4.9m) has played as a reverse-OOP winger. Depoitre (£5.2m) actually managed a relatively decent 6 goals last season, but Wagner's inability to decide whether he prefers him or Mounier makes him unreliable even as bench fodder.
LEICESTER
In midfield: Gray (£5.5m), currently injured until after the international break, usually starts when fit, and is a lively, direct player, but is lacking in end product and consistency - he's worth watching though, because if he can find those 2 things he could be a good differential. Mendy (£4.5m) has started the last 6 games and grabbed a flukey assist for a Maddison free-kick - he won't get many attacking returns, but his consistent minutes in a team with good fixtures that is improving defensively make him a solid option at his price. Old favourite Albrighton (£5.3m) has played fewer minutes this season, and is not at present a viable budget option. Ndidi (£4.9m) is too expensive for a primarily defensive player. Adrien Silva (£4.9m) has seen his minutes dwindle into nothing. Ghezzal (£5.3m) has yet to nail down a starting spot, and may take a while to settle. Amartey (£4.5m) has played a lot of minutes as a reverse-OOP right-back, but when Pereira has adjusted to the PL I expect him to shift back to right-back and Amartey to be dropped. Iborra (£4.8m) has played very few minutes, James (£4.4m) is long-term injured and Diabate (£4.7m) and Choudhury (£4.4m) have yet to feature.
Up front: Okazaki (£5.3m) is aging, and has barely featured this season
LIVERPOOL
In midfield: Wijnaldum (£5.5m) has started every game so far, and grabbed a goal, but his role in Liverpool's team isn't particularly attacking - he scored 1 goal with 2 assists last year, which pales in comparison to his returns from previous seasons, and this season he's unlikely to score many more. Henderson (£5.3m) plays in an even more defence-focused role and hasn't been as consistent starter as you might expect so far this season.
Up front: Solanke (£4.8m) hasn't played yet, is unlikely to play much, and hasn't impressed much when he has played.
MAN CITY
In midfield: Fernandinho (£5.4m) got decent returns last season (5 goals, 4 assists), but he looks to have started regressing slightly and his increased price makes him an unappealing option. Foden (£4.7m) is unlikely to feature enough to be worth considering (maybe next year), Diaz (£4.8m) will feature even less, and when Zinchenko (£4.8m) features it will probably be as a reverse-OOP left-back.
Up-front: N/A
MAN UNITED
In midfield: Fellaini (£5.0m) - it feels ugly recommending Fellaini as a potentially decent FPL pick, though probably no more ugly than it feels for Utd fans to watch their team hoof it up to him as their only plan to get back into a game they're losing... But that's what could make him a decent pick; I'm unconvinced that he'll be a long-term starter (he has started the last 4, and played 90 in all of them), but if he is, the combination of regular minutes with his aerial goal-threat (4 goals last season in 611 minutes, 11 goals in his best season for Everton) could make him a viable option - unlikely, perhaps, but possible. Matic (£5.0m) should be a much more guaranteed starter, though lacks the goal-threat to be an interesting option, while Herrera (£5.0m) lacks both goal threat and likelihood of starting, as do Pereira (£4.7m) and McTominay (£4.4m), although the latter did start against West Ham.
Up front: N/A
NEWCASTLE
In midfield: Diame (£5.0m) and Shelvey (£5.4m) are the first-choice centre-mid pairing, and neither offer the likelihood of very many attacking returns. Kenedy (£4.9m) was hotly tipped for a good season back in August, but has since floundered, putting in his best performance of the season as a reverse-OOP left-back against Leicester; still, there's a decent chance Kenedy returns to the wing, turns it around and starts to deliver once Newcastle's great run of fixtures starts in GW9, so keep an eye on him. Murphy (£4.9m) and Atsu (£5.2m) are rotation options at a push, as is Ki Sung-Yueng (£4.8m). Hayden (£4.4m) is a card-magnet and will only play against big teams to solidify the midfield, while Longstaff (£4.5m) is unlikely to play at all.
Up front: Joselu (£5.0m) has played a lot of minutes so far, and has managed to score 2 goals with decent headed finishes. However, even if he's the cheapest starting striker in the league, the fact remains that he is not a good player, and Rondon will surely be taking his place one he overcomes his niggle.
SOUTHAMPTON
In midfield: Hojbjerg (£4.5m) is the standout midfielder in his price-bracket. He doesn't have a great history of goalscoring, so expecting him to repeat his exploits from a couple of weeks ago with any sort of frequency is probably unrealistic. However, he is getting in some good positions and showing more attacking intent than you might expect from a £4.5m player, and seems to have solidified himself as the partner of Lemina (£5.0m), who perhaps has less attacking threat at a higher price. Redmond (£5.3m) hasn't quite lived up to his New Henry moniker (understatement of the millennium...), has frustrated a lot of FPL players in the past, and has yet to record a goal or assist this year - however, he has looked lively, playing every minute of every game, and he's the kind of player that, once he gets one goal, could go on a bit of a hot-streak after a boost in confidence, so I wouldn't dismiss him outright. Romeu (£4.4m) is only likely to play against the big teams to solidify the midfield. Ward-Prowse (£5.2m) and Davis (£4.7m) have barely featured and appear to be out of favour. Armstrong (£5.2m) is still settling into the PL and has yet to find a role that suits him in the Saints' team.
Up front: Long (£4.8m) has played plenty of minutes, but as per the last couple of seasons looks about as far from prolific as it's possible for a striker to be...
SPURS
In midfield: Dier (£4.8m) and Dembele (£4.9m) are the first choice pairing, but neither are too defensively-minded to be FPL options. Winks (£5.5m) is a more creative player, but is unlikely to play enough, or in an advanced enough role, to be worth his price. Sissoko (£4.9m) won't play much, and is rarely good when he does. Wanyama (£4.9m) has been injured a lot over the last season, hopefully for Spurs' sake he regains his place in their midfield soon, but he won't get many FPL returns even if he does, except for his annual banger or two. Amos (£4.4m) and Nkoudou (£4.9m) won't feature at all often
Up front: N/A
WATFORD
In midfield: Hughes (£5.0m) is a very good option; 60+ minutes in every match so far, 1 goal, 1 assist, and he usually looks quite lively. The big question for Hughes is whether he keeps his spot, or is moved to the centre (which could benefit him, being his natural position), when Deulofeu (£5.4m) returns and (presumably) plays primarily on the right-wing. Deulofeu could himself be a good differential - he looked good on loan last season before he was stricken by injury, and bagged 2 goals & 9 assists in under 1400 minutes during his best season with Everton. Capoue (£5.0m) has played every minute so far, but his price is too steep for a holding midfielder, especially when he could lose his place to Chalobah (£4.5m) in the nearish future. Cleverley (£5.0m) is out for a while with an achilles injury, Sema (£4.8m) is an occasional sub and nothing more, at present, while Quina (£4.4m) is still young and unlikely to see much PL football this season.
Up front: Okaka (£5.0m) has yet to feature this season. Success (£4.5m) has featured in every game this season, off the bench for between 1 and 20 minutes, making him the best out of a motley bunch of £4.5m forwards in this year's game. Despite scoring a couple of goals, Gray hasn't been overly impressive, so can Success steal his spot at some point this season? Maybe he can - and then he really would be good value
WEST HAM
In midfield: Noble (£4.9m) looks a surprisingly decent option - he's already got 2 assists, playing in a slightly more advanced role than in recent years, with 2 more defensive midfielders alongside him, and is probably on penalties. Though when Wilshere (£4.9m) returns, he may take up this more advanced role in the midfield 3; a lot has been made of how West Ham have improved since Wilshere's been out, which is true, but is more to do with Pellegrini switching to a more balanced formation with more midfield stability than anything Jack had been doing wrong - playing as the most advanced and creative of a midfield 3 may well be the position to finally see Wilshere thrive; if he can stay free from injury, of course. If Obiang (£4.4m) can keep his place in the midfield 3 he looks like a good option at his price - though, if I owned him, I would worry that he may be the one to make way when Wilshere returns (assuming Wilshere does eventually find his way back into the starting XI). Masuaku (£4.4m) is another good budget-enabler, despite playing as a reverse-OOP left-back - he seems to be strongly favoured over Cresswell by Pellegrini, though there may be some rotation throughout the season. Snodgrass (£5.4m) won't start frequently enough to be worth consideration, Carlos Sanchez (£4.5m) is probably out injured for the season, and youngster Diangana (£4.5m) is unlikely to feature much.
Up-front: Big Andy Carroll (£5.4m) is still injured, and very likely to keep up his remarkable record of failing to play more than 1500 minutes since the 12/13 season. When he plays, he can be really dangerous, but he doesn't play nearly often enough to be a viable option.
WOLVES
In midfield: Moutinho (£5.5m) and Neves (£5.2m) is a great real-life centre-mid combo, but for FPL, they aren't great options at all. You'll get a couple of screamers from both of them across a season, a couple of assists each too, but not much more than that; their real strength lies in dictating and spreading the ball. Costa (£4.9m) has started every game, but is always subbed off early, and has yet to deliver an attacking return - it's a bit like the Pedro/Willian situation at Chelsea - whoever comes off the bench and is running at a tired defence seems to be the likelier to grab attacking returns - and the man who comes on for Costa is usually/always Traore (£5.5m) - not someone I'd recommend bringing in now, because he isn't playing enough minutes, and he's notoriously unpredictable/lacking in end product, but he's so dangerous, and his decision making improved a lot under Tony Pulis at Middlesborough last year. If he can work on the consistency of his delivery and his finishing, he could become an incredible option, but it's too early to be confident of this happening. Cavaleiro (£5.3m) played a similar "super-sub" role against Southampton last week, scoring with his first touch of the season, but I expect Traore to outperform him more often than not. Youngster Gibbs-White (£4.4m) will only appear sporadically off the bench, while Dendoncker (£4.4m) may eventually steal Bennett's spot as Wolves right-sided centre-back, but that's unlikely to happen while Wolves continue to be very defensively solid.
Up front: it's been a long time since Bonatini (£4.9m) scored a league goal, and I wouldn't bet on him scoring anytime soon - I doubt Jimenez has any worries about keeping his starting spot.
That's your lot, thanks for reading (if you read it all, I'll be impressed!), and I hope there's some helpful info in there among the copious dismissals of copious terrible options... TL/DR: there are barely any good striking options <= £5.5m, while in midfield, there may be quite a few decent options...
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2018.04.23 23:43 manc68 How Pep built a team fit to sweep all before them

I am not sure if this has been posted before, but it was behind a pay wall, so I figured I would copy and paste it. It is a phenomenal read!
Here is a direct link if you are a Times subscriber: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/sport/how-guardiola-built-a-team-fit-to-sweep-all-before-them-lrk8p2wzl
The date is March 14 of this year, and Pep Guardiola is making the short journey from the seven-star Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi to the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, where a special guest is waiting to greet him.
His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the billionaire owner of Manchester City, has invited Guardiola to his office for a catch-up and to personally thank the Catalan for leading the team to the brink of a third league title in seven seasons.
Sheikh Mansour, accompanied by Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the City chairman, greets Guardiola with a handshake and hug before showing him around his office. Guardiola, who is in Abu Dhabi with his squad for a warm-weather training camp, is then invited to take a look at something that is of great personal pride to Sheikh Mansour — his trophy cabinet.
The Sheikh, a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, has a full-size replica of all six trophies City have won since he bought the club in 2008. Each is encased in a transparent box.
Sheikh Mansour points to one of the two Premier League trophies on display and says: “Maybe we will have another one soon,” drawing laughter from Guardiola and Al-Mubarak inside the air-conditioned room, which offers those present a respite from the baking temperatures outside.
That hope has turned into reality. City’s fifth title in their 124-year history was secured yesterday after Manchester United fell to a surprise defeat by West Bromwich Albion.
Sergio Agüero gets City’s season-long goal rush under way with the first against Brighton Sergio Agüero gets City’s season-long goal rush under way with the first against Brighton GERRY PENNY/EPA The Sergio Agüero-inspired title win of 2012 may have been the most dramatic trophy success, but this season’s triumph seems more significant purely because of the way City have swept all before them. City’s Champions League exit against Liverpool was disappointing — as was their league defeat by United — but their performances in the league this season have been near faultless.
Guardiola’s men have claimed the title in record-equalling time, losing just twice, and crucially they have done it playing some of the best football this country has seen.
They have made it look easy, but of course it has not been. So how exactly did City win the league in such impressive fashion? Those close to Guardiola say there are three factors behind the club’s title triumph:
1) GUARDIOLA’S WORK RATE AND MODUS OPERANDI Given his touchline histrionics and tense demeanour in press conferences, there is a perception from outside that Guardiola is something of a control freak who does not know how to switch off. But more often than not, he is so relaxed that he regularly potters around his office at the City Football Academy (CFA), the club’s £200 million training ground, with his shoes off. He will walk along the corridors of the first-team building in his socks talking to staff. “How are you? What have you been up to?” he will ask.
The same approach applies to his relationship with his players. Contrary to popular belief, he does not insist on sitting his players down and subjecting them to video clip after video clip of action on his laptop. Only on a couple of occasions per season will he beckon a player into the office for a chat or to point out something he has spotted during a video analysis session. “Come, come,” he will say softly. “Let me show you this.”
Guardiola has an unrelenting belief in his methods, but he always wants feedback from his players and coaches too. He is not an authoritarian. “Do you like the way we play?” he asked his players in a training session this season, conscious perhaps of the failures of last term. The unanimous answer was “yes”.
Feedback is welcomed on match days too. In the final team meeting before City’s coach departs from the CFA and makes the two-minute drive across the road to the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola’s last words to his players are always: “Any questions?”
The focus is on the collective. Every time he wins the manager of the month award, Guardiola insists on all his coaching staff being present in the photo. Guardiola’s coaches are well liked and respected. The assistant coach Mikel Arteta’s work on the training ground and in video analysis, has been key to improving City’s possession game.
Guardiola becomes tense only on match days or the day before a game when he has to conduct his pre-match press conferences. It is no secret that Guardiola does not enjoy media engagements. During his press conferences, he fidgets a lot in the 25 minutes he sits on his swivell chair at the top table in the press auditorium at the CFA. In the press conference that preceded the derby, he scratched his nose repeatedly and buried his head in his hands when asked a question about the possibility of winning the title against their neighbours. At one point, he even started lining up the Dictaphones on the desk to keep himself occupied.
His first media briefing at the CFA took place in a small 4mx3m room. About 15 journalists crammed inside.
Guardiola looked overwhelmed and uncomfortable, holding himself with his arms across his chest. It is not that he has a hatred for the media, he just would prefer to be out on the training pitch. On bumping into me at the CFA recently, he asked with genuine concern: “How are you? What have you been doing? How is your newspaper doing? I read some bad things about jobs in the industry in Spain . . .”
Ask those in the highest and most influential roles within the club to describe Guardiola in one word and the most common reply is “genius”. But there is little point in having such a brilliant technical mind if you do not have drive and ambition to go with it. Guardiola has those traits in abundance.
April 1, the day after City had recorded their 27th league win of the season, was designated as a “recovery day” for the players who had taken part in the 3-1 victory away to Everton. Raheem Sterling, Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne were told they just had to report for a massage and gym work.
Those who did not feature at Goodison Park were told to head out to the training pitch. Some managers palm off recovery-day training sessions with squad players to their assistants, but not Guardiola. The Catalan always wants to be in his natural habitat — out on the grass. He was soaked through in the torrential rain, bouncing up and down on his feet, animatedly showing Lukas Nmecha, the academy striker, how to attack the box; advising Tosin Adarabioyo, the 20-year-old, on defensive positioning; and encouraging Oleksandr Zinchenko, the young versatile Ukrainian, to try new things. “The players appreciate that kind of gesture,” one training-ground source said.
It is this kind of dedication that makes Guardiola such a popular figure and such a superb coach.
Guardiola’s working day usually lasts about ten hours and he will work six or seven days per week. On a non-match day, the 47-year-old will set off from his £2.7 million flat in the Deansgate area of Manchester at about 8.30am and make the 15-minute drive east to the CFA.
There, he will have breakfast in the canteen in the first-team building with his players and staff. Sometimes Ferran Soriano, City’s chief executive, will join his long-time friend and they will talk about football or politics as they eat fruit or a bowl of cereal.
After breakfast, the players head to the gym or the massage tables while Guardiola and his many coaches set the training session up that they had meticulously planned the previous afternoon. After a warm-up led by Lorenzo Buenaventura, the fitness coach, training starts at 11 with a series of “rondos” — a game of keep ball in which six players try to keep the ball away from two tacklers within a box no larger than a few square metres.
The aim is to improve a player’s first touch and passing ability in tight spaces. It is no coincidence that many of City’s goals this season have come from lightning-quick one-twos on the edge of the box.
Given how much emphasis there is on their ability to play it out from the back, it will come as no surprise that Ederson and Claudio Bravo, the goalkeepers, take part in the rondos. Such is the speed at which the players flick the ball to each other during this exercise that new signings are said to take a few days to get up to the level of their contemporaries.
Tactical and positional work follows, but sometimes this can be as short as 15 minutes as Guardiola is wary of overburdening his players.
Everyone then retreats inside. Guardiola starts planning for the following day while the players have a massage or a swim in the pool before they convene for lunch. It was not the case during Manuel Pellegrini’s reign, but under Guardiola it is compulsory for players to have lunch and breakfast at the CFA. The former Barcelona coach wants to ensure his players do not gain weight and he insists they stick to a healthy diet of lean meat, vegetables and fish.
Instructing your players to eat two meals per day at the training ground is an abnormal request for professional footballers, but City’s squad do not mind.
“They know it helps create a positive environment,” one official said.
The players go home at about 2pm, but Guardiola stays to analyse videos of his team and the opposition, and plan for the following day.
The players enjoy training much more than they did under Pellegrini. The Chilean’s sessions were more “formulaic”, according to one player. Guardiola has made other changes that have been welcomed by the players too.
After matches, the squad used to eat at home. Given that some of them live an hour away, players were often not eating their evening meal until late, which was unhealthy. Now they have a meal laid on for them in the players’ lounge at the CFA straight after games.
Players can take their meals home with them if they want and they are given cardboard cups of mixed nuts to take away too. And rather than stop in the basic dormitories of the CFA the night before matches, the players now stay at home with their families and travel in on the morning of the match.
“Pep knows that because his players play around 60 times per year — often twice a week — they get very little time with their families,” Martí Perarnau, Guardiola’s biographer, says. “If they stop in a hotel the night before every match, maintaining a good personal relationship with your family is practically impossible. For that reason, he prefers that they stay at home. He started to do it from day one at Barcelona and he kept doing it at Bayern. The Bayern players were surprised to begin with but they liked it a lot.”
Home time for the City manager is about 7pm. Because of his relentless work rate, he only has a short amount of free time, which he likes to spend with his wife, Cristina, and their three children Maria, Màrius and Valentina. During international breaks and in the summer, Guardiola likes to play golf. He has played several courses in Greater Manchester, one of which is Denton Golf Club, the £700 per year course to the east of the city. He also likes box sets. Last season, he used to watch Narcos, the drama series about Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, and American political series House of Cards.
Guardiola’s key staff
Xabi Mancisidor, Head of goalkeeping (top, left) A former goalkeeper for Mallorca in Spain, Mancisidor joined City as goalkeeping coach under Manuel Pellegrini , who he worked with at Malaga. Guardiola made him head of goalkeeping upon his arrival in 2016.
Carles Planchart, Performance analysis coach (top, second left) Renowned for his attention to detail, Planchart has been by Guardiola’s side since the City manager began his coaching career with Barcelona B in 2007. His role involves analysing collective and individual tactical aspects to help make improvements to individual players and the team.
Lorenzo Buenaventura, Fitness coach (top, second right) Another of Guardiola’s trusted lieutenants, Buenaventura worked with the Catalan at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. He plays an important role in helping City play with the intensity that is a hallmark of a Guardiola team.
Manel Estiarte, Head of player support and protocol (top, right) Having worked with Guardiola at Bayern Munich, Estiarte, who is an Oylympic gold medallist having played for Spain’s water polo team at six Olympics, is a trusted friend of Guardiola and has a wealth of sporting knowledge that the manager like to tap into.
Mikel Arteta, Assistant coach (bottom, left) The former Everton and Arsenal midfielder linked up with Guardiola in 2016 after deciding to end his playing career in north London. He was the first member of Guardiola’s coaching team to be officially confirmed and is one of his key assistants.
Brian Kidd, Assistant coach (bottom, second left) A former Manchester United and Manchester City player, Kidd was assistant manager to Alex Ferguson at United and later joined City in 2009. He has worked under Roberto Mancini, Pellegrini and now Guardiola in his role as an assistant.
Rodolfo Borrell, Assistant coach (bottom, second right) Borrell was Lionel Messi’s first coach at Barcelona and he also played a role in the development of the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta. He first moved to England when appointed technical director at Liverpool’s academy under Rafa Benitez. He joined City’s academy in 2014 before joining Guardiola’s staff in 2016.
Domenec Torrent, Assistant coach (bottom, right) Perhaps Guardiola’s most trusted member of staff, Torrent has worked alongside the City manager at his previous managerial roles at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Torrent, one of four assistant coaches, usually sits next to Guardiola on the bench.
2) DRESSING-ROOM UNITY An unrelenting commitment to hard work is not the only facet required in a title-winning team, of course. “Unless the players are with me, it will not work,” Guardiola tells his staff. Luckily for City, they very much are.
“Harmonious” is an adjective one staff member uses to describe the atmosphere in the dressing room. Another says there is an “egalitarian” feel to the squad. Some of those who have worked for the club for more than a decade say this is the most united group of players they have seen.
Senior figures at the club have noted that during goal celebrations there is never one player who breaks away to celebrate on their own. And in the majority of cases, the first thing the goal scorer does after the ball hits the back of the net is turn and point to the team-mate who set him up.
It is fair to say that at times over the past two years, the bond between manager and players has been tested. It is understood that Joe Hart complained before being loaned to Torino at the start of last season that not enough of the squad were speaking English at the training ground. Other players were mystified by the tactics employed in last season’s Champions League last-16 defeat against Monaco. Others questioned why they had to fly to Spain to take part in a friendly against Girona, City’s sister club, which is also part-owned by a company fronted by Guardiola’s brother, Pere, in the second week of this season.
Overall this season, however, observers have noted a huge improvement in the togetherness of the squad. It is less cliquey. Guardiola’s staff have spotted that unlike last year, during breakfast at the CFA, the Argentinians (Sergio Agüero and Nicolás Otamendi) will mix with the Portuguese-speaking quintet of Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus, Ederson, Danilo and Bernardo Silva. John Stones and Kyle Walker will break off from Fabian Delph and Raheem Sterling to talk to Leroy Sané and Ilkay Gündogan, the German duo.
So why are the squad closer now than they were last year?
There are several reasons. Firstly, players have had time to adapt to their surroundings and working environment. Staff noticed during the pre-season tour of America last summer that Sané’s English had improved dramatically. He got the jokes he did not get last year. He understood the instructions of his team-mates that he did not understand the previous year.
The personality of the signings City made in the summer has also made a big difference. In particular, the players warmed immediately to Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy, the two arrivals from Monaco. Silva, the first signing of the close season, started only four league games before Christmas, but has been out of the team only six times in the Premier League since the turn of the year. “He is always smiling, always laughing, always optimistic,” one colleague says.
The Portuguese does not mind being on the end of a practical joke. This season he has been pelted with eggs by his team mates at the CFA, thrown into the swimming pool fully clothed and, on another occasion, his colleagues spray painted his shoes black and hung them from the ceiling by the laces. “It’s always Bernardo... always him,” says Kevin De Bruyne, the City playmaker, with a chuckle.
Mendy has been injured for most of the season, but his impact on morale at the CFA has been profound, not just with regard to the players, but with staff too, from the kit men to the media team to the marketing graduates with whom he was playing beer pong at the Christmas party. The Frenchman was not drinking (he is teetotal) but he just fancied joining in with staff, many of who were startled to see the players mixing with everyone else from the club. That was a directive of the manager.
At the party, which took place at the Menagerie bar in the city centre, just a stone’s throw from the Lowry Hotel where José Mourinho resides, Guardiola insisted there should be no ropes or barriers separating players from staff. They must mix, which does not happen at some other big clubs such as United. It is this kind of approach that has made Guardiola’s players feel a sense of belonging; they have a strong affinity for the club and the city. Guardiola wants to create a family environment within the squad.
Before they headed to Menagerie in December, the players had their Christmas party at the CFA. They were encouraged to bring their families. An indoor ice rink was set up for the children. The squad have taken part in other activities together. They regularly play pool in their lounge at the CFA.
Guardiola took them to the cinema to see La La Land last season. This year, Kompany organised a paintballing trip. The closeness of the squad is no more evident than in times of celebration and there have been plenty of those this season. When City flew to Abu Dhabi a couple of hours after their win over Stoke City last month, the players sang the Kolo Touré/Yaya Touré song during the flight, and another chant about City’s front three to the tune of The Archies’ 1969 release Sugar Sugar. “We’ve got Raz [Sterling], Sané Sané, and we’ve got Agüeroooo,” the lyrics went. Every victory has been celebrated with songs in the dressing room. The loudest celebrations came after the 1-0 win away to Chelsea. De Bruyne, the match-winner, and Delph, delayed their post-match TV interview when they walked off the pitch when they heard strains of “Ooooh Kevin De Bruyne” being sung from within the away dressing room ten yards away. “Give us a couple of minutes first please, we have to go and celebrate this with our team-mates,” De Bruyne said to the TV reporter.
3) THE PLAYERS Hard work and a unified dressing room will only get you so far in a title race. A manager has to have a squad blessed with an abundance of talent playing in the right way.
There is an acceptance among the City hierarchy that they have spent a lot of money since Guardiola took over. “I’m a lucky guy,” the City manager said recently when speaking about the financial backing he has received from the board.
Seventeen players have arrived at a total cost of almost £440 million. But for the most part, City have invested their money wisely. Of all the players Guardiola has signed, only Claudio Bravo and Nolito — now with Seville — have not lived up to expectations. City were ridiculed for paying £35 million — a world-record sum for a goalkeeper — when they signed Ederson last summer, but now some at the club believe he is worth three times as much. The same goes for Sané, a £37 million signing from Schalke, and Jesus, who cost £33 million.
Although he will never say so in public out of respect to his players, Guardiola did not feel he had the squad at his disposal to win the title last season.
The improvement in the full-back and goalkeeper positions last summer has made City into a title-winning team. Guardiola identified the goalkeeper position as a weak point when analysing Hart’s kicking during training sessions in Shenzhen on his first pre-season tour.
The England goalkeeper kept putting the ball out of play when trying to chip to Xabier Mancisidor, the goalkeeper coach, on the touchline just 30 yards away. Guardiola inquired about signing Manuel Neuer, but Bayern Munich told him he was not for sale. Then they asked about Marc-André ter Stegen, but he had just been made Barcelona’s No 1. Bravo, who had been a first-team regular with Barça the previous season, was not a bad third choice, but just two or three months into last season, Guardiola reluctantly accepted the Chilean was not up to the task and Txiki Begiristain, the director of football, started the process of signing Ederson, whom they had scouted extensively, from Benfica. The Brazilian has been outstanding. He has the composure and technical ability that Bravo lacked, and he is extremely brave.
Ederson transmits a calmness and confidence to his back four, which is part of the reason why City have conceded the fewest goals in the league.
Full back was another area of concern for Guardiola when he took over. Guardiola considered buying a pair of new full backs straight away — Héctor Bellerín, of Arsenal, was sounded out — as he knew Pablo Zabaleta, Gaël Clichy, Aleksandar Kolarov and Bacary Sagna were not quick enough, but after a meeting with Soriano and Begiristain two summers ago, he decided against bringing two in because he felt it would cause too much upheaval after making six first-team signings.
A year on, Walker, Mendy and Danilo joined the club and all four full backs from the previous year departed.
All three new signings made a big impression on Guardiola in America, where they beat Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur. City’s only defeat came against United in which Ederson made an almighty gaffe, running out of his area only to be rounded by Romelu Lukaku, but Guardiola did not panic. With Bernardo Silva, three new, younger, more vibrant full backs and a confident goalkeeper in his squad, everything was falling into place.
The manager and his players left their seats to mingle with staff on the flight home from Nashville last July. Songs were sung. “There was a feeling that it was the start of something special,” one staff member said.
Not long into the season, Guardiola felt his decision to buy Walker and Mendy for a combined total of more than £100 million was justified, even though the latter suffered cruciate ligament damage against Crystal Palace in September. By the sixth match of the season, Walker and Mendy had already recorded more assists than Sagna, Zabaleta, Kolarov and Clichy had between them the previous year.
But it was not just on the attacking front that the new full backs helped improve City. One of the reasons why Guardiola bought Walker and Mendy was because of the impact their presence in the team would have on Sterling and Sané.
The previous season, there was a feeling within the City coaching staff that the two wingers were reluctant to get forward because they knew Zabaleta and Clichy would not be able to provide cover if Sterling or Sané lost the ball and the opposition hit on the break. Given Walker and Mendy’s pace, that was no longer the case. Mendy’s injury led to a big hole at left back, but Delph quickly adapted to the position.
Guardiola does not feel he has been let down by any of his players this season. There are a number who have exceeded expectations, according to those who know him best. David Silva is playing the best football of his career even though he had to go through the trauma of seeing his partner, Yessica Suárez, give birth to their first son, Mateo, prematurely in December. Fernandinho’s work rate has been phenomenal, Guardiola’s staff concede. “Without him, none of this would be possible,” Guardiola said recently. Guardiola told Sterling he should be scoring 20 goals per season when he arrived at the club. This season, he has 22.
But the one man who has impressed Guardiola more than any other this season is De Bruyne with 15 assists and seven goals in the league. Ask those in Guardiola’s inner circle why De Bruyne has had such an excellent season and they point to a decision the manager made last summer. In Guardiola’s first season, he formed a four-man senior players’ group, the members of which were Kompany, Fernandinho, David Silva and Agüero. When Kompany was out of the team, the other three shared the captaincy and were seen as the link between the squad and the management. Last summer, Guardiola said: “I want a fifth [member].”
Each player cast a vote. De Bruyne was the overwhelming winner. When the result was announced in front of the squad, De Bruyne was bursting with pride according to those in the room. That was one of the reasons why he signed a new contract in January. He feels more important, more responsible. He can be seen offering advice to younger players. He is an intelligent and humble professional and has been earmarked as a future club captain. That he speaks four languages helps. “Whoever is talking you can understand them a bit,” he says.
There were times last season when De Bruyne was not completely happy. Indeed it was only about 13 months ago that the 26-year-old finally understood what Guardiola wanted. “Now I get it. Now I know what he wants from me,” he told friends after the 2-0 win away to Middlesbrough on March 11.
A tactical shift from the flanks to the “free 8” position, as De Bruyne puts it, has helped too. Guardiola first earmarked De Bruyne for a central role, where he has more touches and therefore can do more damage, after studying footage of Belgium’s 8-1 win over Estonia in November 2016. De Bruyne played in a 3-4-3 formation alongside Axel Witsel and set up Dries Mertens for a goal. “I watched your match; you can play there,” Guardiola said to De Bruyne.
MOST TITLES IN THE TOP FLIGHT 1. Manchester United 20
  1. Liverpool 18
  2. Arsenal 13
  3. Everton 9
  4. Aston Villa 7
=6. Sunderland, Chelsea 6
  1. Manchester City 5
=9. Newcastle United, Sheffield Wednesday 4
And thus the idea of lining De Bruyne up alongside David Silva and Fernandinho in a three-man midfield was planted in Guardiola’s head. That midfield, possibly the best in Europe, is in no small part responsible for City’s title win and that the team have passed the ball more than 6,000 times more than United this season.
SO HOW LONG WILL THIS LOVE AFFAIR LAST? Guardiola and his agent Josep Maria Orobitg will sit down with Soriano, Begiristain and Al Mubarak in the summer to discuss an extension to his present deal, which expires at the end of next season.
The club are hopeful Guardiola will extend his contract by at least one season. The man himself has not decided what to do. Those who know him best say there is no chance of Guardiola staying for ten years. That is not the way he operates. His staff have not ruled out extending the deal by 12 months, but Guardiola has genuinely not made up his mind yet.
He will wait until the season is over before giving it serious consideration. What is for sure is that he will be backed in the transfer market again this summer. Such is the strength of his present squad that only two players are set to arrive.
Guardiola wants a new central midfielder to provide competition for Fernandinho, who turns 33 next month. Jorginho, the Napoli player, and Julian Weigl of Borussia Dortmund, are among a number of candidates being assessed.
With those improvements, and Guardiola’s drive to succeed, it will surely only be a matter of time before Sheikh Mansour has to clear more room for even more trophies.
Five key matches en route to the title Manchester City 1 Everton 1 — August 21
Manchester City 1 - 1 Everton City appeared to be heading towards a home defeat in only the second game of the season after Wayne Rooney had given Everton a first-half lead and Kyle Walker had been controversially sent off for two bookings in quick succession shortly before half-time. Raheem Sterling capitalised on a poor defensive header from Mason Holgate to volley City level with eight minutes remaining. How different things might have been had they suffered an early defeat.
Bournemouth 1 Manchester City 2 — August 27
Bournemouth 1 - 2 Manchester City In their very next fixture, City were staring down the barrel of yet more dropped points. Charlie Daniels’ early thunderbolt had been cancelled out by Gabriel Jesus’s equaliser in the first half and, despite City’s relentless pressing, the game remained level as it entered the seventh minute of stoppage time. Sterling was the hero again as his scuffed effort looped into the net. The City winger was subsequently sent off for overzealous celebrations.
Chelsea 0 Manchester City 1 — September 30 This was a dominant display against last season’s champions but it needed a moment of second-half magic from Kevin De Bruyne. The midfielder has a habit of reminding his former club what they are missing and he struck the winner at Stamford Bridge, a powerful, rising strike with his left foot from outside the penalty area. The result meant that City kept pace with local rivals United as both enjoyed blistering starts to the season.
Manchester United 1 Manchester City 2 — December 10
Manchester Utd 1 - 2 Manchester City Manchester City’s season has been synonymous with free-flowing attacking football but it was two goals from set pieces that won it for Guardiola’s side at Old Trafford. David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi pounced on loose balls in the box either side of Marcus Rashford’s equaliser to allow City to open up an 11-point lead on their rivals in second.
Manchester City 3 Newcastle United 1 — January 20
Manchester City 3 - 1 Newcastle A comfortable home victory against a side who for most of the season were fighting against relegation may not seem like a significant result. But this fixture came directly after their first Premier League defeat of the season against Liverpool at Anfield. They responded courtesy of a Sergio Aguero hat-trick to get their march to the title back on track.
submitted by manc68 to MCFC [link] [comments]


2018.03.16 16:15 holla15 Americans Abroad Recap (Mar 10-16)

Not going to be much of an intro this week but do want to shout out Total Soccer Show Podcast, livesoccertv, and twitter as these are great resources in getting news on matches and players when google fails and I recommend everyone use at least the first two.
England
Huddersfield— CM Danny Williams (28)- A little surprisingly Williams came on in the 70’ against 10-men Swansea. Huddersfield was chasing a goal and Williams came on for the engine/creative force in the team Mooy. Williams didn’t really do much and really didn’t have much to do as Huddersfield came away with a goalless draw. Williams broke his fibula in training and will miss the rest of the season and the upcoming international friendlies. (Next Game Sat 3/17 V Crystal Palace NBCSN)
Newcastle— RB DeAndre Yedlin (24)- Started and played the full game in 3-0 win against Southampton. Yedlin looked good going forward and you really see the recovery speed he’s got that helps him when he overcommits on defense. He had some good ideas in getting the counter going but just lacked the execution. ( Sat 3/31 V Huddersfield may play Tottenham before haven’t had an official announcement on make up date yet checking Tottenhams websites shows TBD in April while Newcastle shows it as still coming up today (Mike Ashley probably was too cheap to get someone to manage the website though))
Stoke—CB Geoff Cameron (32)- Started and played the full match in 0-2 loss to Man City. He was ok. A little lackadaisical at times tracking back but did a decent job at keeping shape and allowing Badou and Allen to be a little more adventurous. (Sat 3/17 V Everton NBCSports Gold)
Chelsea- CM Kyle Scott (20)– Played 86’ in the 1-0 win against West Ham picking up the assist for the goal. (Next Match Sunday 3/17 V Arsenal U-23s)
Bournemouth—CM Emerson Hyndman (21)- Not in squad for tottenham match. No new news besides rumors of return to Rangers and just getting out of Bournemouth (Sun 3/17 V West Brom NBCSports Gold)
Man U (U-23) - RB Matthew Olosunde (19)- Was not involved in the U-23s comeback win against Liverpool U-23s. He picked up a knock that had him come out at half time of the last official game. There haven’t been any rumors that it was an ongoing issue. There’s been a recent rumor of him returning to MLS for a loan spell but I don’t know if there’s any truth to it. (Sun 3/18 V Swansea City U-23s MUTV.com)
Tottenham (U-19) —GK Brandon Austin (19)- not involved in the 3-1 win against Arsenal u-23’s but has gotten major praise from pundits for his February performances. Started the 0-2 loss to Porto and from reports had an ok game where he made a few good saves but the second goal could have done better. And just received and accepted a call up to England U-19s. (Next Match Tue 4/7 V Derby County)
Arsenal—CM Gedion Zelalem (21) - No new news this week. Still recovering
Championship
Fulham- CB Tim Ream (30)-. Started and played the full in game in a 2-1 win over Preston. Was again very solid and made a couple of last ditch tackles to ensure Fulham kept the lead. (SAT 3/17 V QPR WatchESPN)
Fulham (U-23)- CM Luca de la Torre (19)- The Norwich game was made up midweek and de la Torre grabbed a goal and an assist in that game. However against Wolves it was quite the opposite as Fulham would fall 0-3. Luca did play the full game though. Rumors are coming that he may be loaned to the Revs in the MLS. (Next match Sat 4/13 V. Southampton U-23’s)
Fulham (U-23) – RB Marlon Fossey (19)-Played the full game against Wolves in a 0-3 loss (Next match Sat 4/13 V. Southampton U-23’s)
Nottingham Forest—RB Eric Lichaj (29) – Was not in the team for the 0-0 draw against Derby and will have a real fight to get back into the team as according to all reports Darikwa who has played really well. (Sat 3/17 V Sheffield Utd)
Ipswich Town—CB Cameron Carter-Vickers (20) – Played the full match in a 0-0 draw with Sheffield Utd. He was again a standout in a solid defensive performance by Ipswich. Started in the 0-3 loss to Hull City but definitely wasn’t his best game though you could say that for the whole squad. (SAT 3/17 V Bristol City)
Bolton--- LB Antonee Robinson (20)- sat the bench in a 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday. That’s two games in a row with him not playing. He’s played a lot this year so hopefully it’s just a fatigue issue. (SAT 3/17 V Aston Villa Watch ESPN)
Sunderland—AM Lyndon Gooch (22)- was back on the first team bench for the 0-1 loss to QPR but didn’t see any play time. (Sat 3/17 V Preston Fri 4/6 V Man Utd U-23s)
QPR - LB Niko Hamalainen (21) - not in squad for the win against Sunderland or Aston Villa nor was he in the u-23 squad. The last news I could find was back in January where he had bronchitis but hopefully something comes up soon (SAT 3/17 V Fulham WatchESPN)
Aston Villa (U-18) - MF Indiana Vassilev (17)- came on in the 86’ minute in a 2-1 win against Fulham U-18s. (Sat 3/17 V West Ham U-18)
Wolves (U-18)- MF Owen Otawsowie (16) – Started and played the full 90’ in 1-2 loss to Liverpool U-18’s. Didn’t play against Everton U-18s. Started and played 72’ in 0-2 loss to Man U U-18s. (Sat 3/17 V Derby County U-18s)
submitted by holla15 to ussoccer [link] [comments]


2017.08.07 23:42 Blubbey Transfer rumour collection thread summer 17/18 7th August week 11

Newcastle at the weekend and no signings, an interesting strategy.
Some info may be wrong (e.g. positions) so apologies in advance. Any help would be appreciated, no blogs/clickbait sites. The low bar is set at terrible newspaper rumours.
*names under sections have no recent source but have been linked in previous windows

Sources are shite do not take any of them seriously

Dates are dd/mm

Reliable?:
x = no
? = dunno
~ = eh sometimes
✓ = yes

Goalkeepers

Name Age Club Est. Fee Date Source Reliable?
Turner 18 Bolton ? 07/08 calcio x
Dahlberg 18 IFK Göteborg ? 27/06 expressen ?
x

Defenders

Name Age Position Club Est. Fee Date Source Reliable?
Nuhu 22 CB young boys ? 22/08 ghana x
Tierney 20 LB celtic ? 20/08 DRecord x
Laxalt 24 wingback genoa ? 03/08 calcio x
Barreca 22 LB Torino ? 25/07 SWitness x
Benkovic 20 CB Zagreb ? 23/07 FInsider x
Gibson 17 CB Newcstle ? 19/07 star x
Rafael 27 RB lyon ? 13/07 GFFN ~
Zappacosta 25 RB Torino ? 28/06 Sky ~
Conti 23 RB AC Milan ? 28/06 Sky ~
Weiser 23 RB Hertha ? 28/06 Sky ~
Soares 25 RB S'hampton ? 27/06 Mirror x
Konsa 19 CB Charlton ? 24/06 Mirror x
Foyth 20 CB Estudiantes ? 24/06 Mirror x
Smalling 27 CB Man U ? 18/06 DM x
Mawson 23 CB Swansea ? 18/06 Sun x
Henrichs 20 RB Leverkusen ? 14/06 Sky ~
Pereira 23 RB Porto ? 09/06 sabado x
Sakho 27 CB Liverpool ? 08/06 Express x
Aurier 24 RB PSG ? 08/06 RMCsport x
Nanizayamo 19 def (?) Tours FC ? 02/06 OMondial x
Lejeune 26 CB Eibar ? 01/06 NEcho x

Midfielders

Name Age Position Club Est. Fee Date Source Reliable?
Suarez 23 CM Barca ? 16/08 metro x
Brozovic 24 CM Inter ? 10/08 sportske ?
Rabiot 22 CM PSG ? 01/08 star x
Fejsa 28 DM Benfica ? 26/07 sun x
Kondogbia 24 CM Inter ? 18/07 calcio x
Carvalho 25 DM Sporting ? 18/07 calcio x
Nzonzi 28 CM Sevilla ? 03/07 Switness x
Aleñá 19 CM Barca ? 26/06 AS x
Gomes 23 CM Barca ? 22/06 MDepo x
Zungu 24 CM Vitória S.C. ? 22/06 SLaduma x
Vecino 25 DM Fiorentina ? 21/06 TMWeb x
Marcel 20 cm Nice ? 24/06 Sun x
Kovacic 23 CM RM ? 14/06 express x
Zielinski 23 CM Napoli ? 14/06 Ilmattino x
Silva 28 CM Sporting ? 08/06 SDesporto x
Ozyakup cm besiktas 24 ? 08/06 turkfoot x
Broughton 16 CM Bolton ? 05/06 DM x

Forwards

Name Age Position Club Est. Fee Date Source Reliable?
Martial 21 forward man u ? 12/08 Bouhafsi
Sancho 17 winger man city ? 02/08 independent ~
Schick 21 CF Sampdoria ? 01/08 FItalia x
Karamoh 19 fw Caen ? 29/07 Mirror x
Gabigol 20 fw inter ? 26/07 Finsider x
Bakan 16 AM Gaziantepspor ? 25/07 ESPN x
Candreva 30 winger inter ? 24/07 finsider x
Kramaric 26 striker Hoffenheim ? 07/07 LeiMerc x
Barcon 18 AM Independiente ? 02/07 donbalon x
Soteldo 20 AM Huachipato ? 01/07 donbalon x
Defrel 26 fw sassuolo ? 26/06 TMW x
Luan 23 AM gremio ? 20/06 442 x
Keita Balde 22 winger lazio ? 15/06 Mirror x
Cuadrado 29 winger juventus ? 15/06 Sun x
Bellarabi 27 winger leverkusen ~30m eu 04/06 Bild ~

out

Name Age Position Club Est. Fee Date Source
Wimmer 24 CB Southampton ? 25/04 Standard
Janssen 22 cf WBA/PSV/BMG/Lazio/Marseille ? 30/04 bmail
Alderweireld 28 CB Man City ? 02/05 Times
Rose 26 LB Man City/Man U/Chelsea ? 02/05 Times
Lloris 30 GK PSG ? 02/05 Calciomerc
Dier 23 CB/DM Man U £40m 17/05 Telegraph
Dele 21 AM Real Madrid/Barca ? 17/05 Telegraph
Sissoko 27 ? Barca/RM/AC Milan/Marseille/WBA/Trabzonspor ? 17/05 DStar
N'koudou 22 ? ? ? 20/05 mirror
Eriksen 25 AM Barca ? 07/06 Mundodep
Kane 23 striker RM/Man U ? 13/06 Ladbrokes

Other

Fabio Paratici, sporting director juventus Calciomerc

Not happening

Zaha 24 FW Palace ? 26/05 Telegraph
Bruma 22 winger galatasary ? 10/05 Finside
Kessie 20 DM Atalanta ? 02/05 insidefutbol
Philipp 23 forward freiburg ? 17/05 GFFN
Zakaria 20 DM Young boys ? 04/05 blick
gnabry BM
Costa 26 winger Bayern ? 14/05 Calciomerc
Maguire 24 CB Hull £15m 25/04 standard
Klaasen 24 AM Ajax ? 17/05 Telegraph
Alves 34 RB Juventus ? 17/05 yahoo
Ramirez 21 fw malaga ? 25/04 eldesmarque
Sessegnon 17 LB Fulham ? 19/05 Express
Diaz 23 striker RM ? 21/06 FLondon
Driussi 21 striker river plate ? 05/06 FLondon
Calhanoglu 23 AM Leverkusen ? 12/06 Bild
Keane 24 CB Burnley ? 25/04 standard
Ginter 23 CB Dortmund ? 07/06 Guardian ~
Veltman 25 CB Ajax ? 17/05 Telegraph ~
Glik 29 CB Monaco ? 08/07 sport.pl ?
Ünder Under 19 AM Başakşehir ~£8m 29/05 ajansspor x
Sidibe 24 RB Monaco ? 30/05 Metro x
Hernandez 29 striker leverkusen ? 29/06 Bild ~
Bernardeschi
Smith 26 RB Bournemouth ? 08/05 mirror z
Iheanacho 20 fw man city ? 10/07 Sun x
Rodriguez 25 AM RM ? 15/06 Star x
Saint-maximin 20 winger monaco ? 19/06 Telefoot ?
Gray 25 striker burnley ? 15/05 Star x
Simeone 22 striker Genoa ? 01/08 dude ?
Toljan 22 RB Hoffenheim ? 14/06 Skysports ~
Sigurdsson 27 10 Swansea ? 19/05 DM x
Cancelo 23 RB valencia ? 15/07 calciomerc x
Diop 19 CM Celta Vigo ? 13/07 ESPN ~

out confirmed

McGee Portsmouth
Walker 26 RB Man City/Chelsea/Bayern ? 02/05 Times
Fazio
Njie
Bentaleb

loan

Onomah 20 CM Brighton/H'field/Celtic/Swansea ? 13/06 LFNews
CCV to Sheff. Wed

CONFIRMED

Sanchez 21 CB ajax ? 09/08 sun x
Gazzaniga 25 southampton ? 03/08 sun x
submitted by Blubbey to coys [link] [comments]


2017.08.01 00:49 Blubbey Transfer rumour collection thread summer 17/18 31st July week 10

Thoughts on having newer sources for old rumours, useful or not? Removed old rumours, added to comment post
Some info may be wrong (e.g. positions) so apologies in advance. Any help would be appreciated, no blogs/clickbait sites. The low bar is set at terrible newspaper rumours.
*names under sections have no recent source but have been linked in previous windows

Sources are shite do not take any of them seriously

Dates are dd/mm

Reliable?:
x = no
? = dunno
~ = eh sometimes
✓ = yes

Goalkeepers

Name Age Club Est. Fee Date Source Reliable?
Turner 18 Bolton ? 07/08 calcio x
Gazzaniga 25 southampton ? 03/08 sun x
Dahlberg 18 IFK Göteborg ? 27/06 expressen ?
x

Defenders

Name Age Position Club Est. Fee Date Source Reliable?
Laxalt 24 wingback genoa ? 03/08 calcio x
Barreca 22 LB Torino ? 25/07 SWitness x
Benkovic 20 CB Zagreb ? 23/07 FInsider x
Gibson 17 CB Newcstle ? 19/07 star x
Cancelo 23 RB valencia ? 15/07 calciomerc x
Rafael 27 RB lyon ? 13/07 GFFN ~
Zappacosta 25 RB Torino ? 28/06 Sky ~
Conti 23 RB AC Milan ? 28/06 Sky ~
Weiser 23 RB Hertha ? 28/06 Sky ~
Soares 25 RB S'hampton ? 27/06 Mirror x
Konsa 19 CB Charlton ? 24/06 Mirror x
Foyth 20 CB Estudiantes ? 24/06 Mirror x
Smalling 27 CB Man U ? 18/06 DM x
Mawson 23 CB Swansea ? 18/06 Sun x
Toljan 22 RB Hoffenheim ? 14/06 Skysports ~
Henrichs 20 RB Leverkusen ? 14/06 Sky ~
Pereira 23 RB Porto ? 09/06 sabado x
Sakho 27 CB Liverpool ? 08/06 Express x
Aurier 24 RB PSG ? 08/06 RMCsport x
Nanizayamo 19 def (?) Tours FC ? 02/06 OMondial x
Lejeune 26 CB Eibar ? 01/06 NEcho x

Midfielders

Name Age Position Club Est. Fee Date Source Reliable?
Rabiot 22 CM PSG ? 01/07 star x
Fejsa 28 DM Benfica ? 26/07 sun x
Kondogbia 24 CM Inter ? 18/07 calcio x
Carvalho 25 DM Sporting ? 18/07 calcio x
Diop 19 CM Celta Vigo ? 13/07 ESPN ~
Nzonzi 28 CM Sevilla ? 03/07 Switness x
Aleñá 19 CM Barca ? 26/06 AS x
Gomes 23 CM Barca ? 22/06 MDepo x
Zungu 24 CM Vitória S.C. ? 22/06 SLaduma x
Vecino 25 DM Fiorentina ? 21/06 TMWeb x
Marcel 20 cm Nice ? 24/06 Sun x
Kovacic 23 CM RM ? 14/06 express x
Zielinski 23 CM Napoli ? 14/06 Ilmattino x
Silva 28 CM Sporting ? 08/06 SDesporto x
Ozyakup cm besiktas 24 ? 08/06 turkfoot x
Broughton 16 CM Bolton ? 05/06 DM x

Forwards

Name Age Position Club Est. Fee Date Source Reliable?
Sancho 17 winger man city ? 02/08 independent ~
Schick 21 CF Sampdoria ? 01/08 FItalia x
Simeone 22 striker Genoa ? 01/08 dude ?
Karamoh 19 fw Caen ? 29/07 Mirror x
Gabigol 20 fw inter ? 26/07 Finsider x
Bakan 16 AM Gaziantepspor ? 25/07 ESPN x
Candreva 30 winger inter ? 24/07 finsider x
Kramaric 26 striker Hoffenheim ? 07/07 LeiMerc x
Barcon 18 AM Independiente ? 02/07 donbalon x
Soteldo 20 AM Huachipato ? 01/07 donbalon x
Defrel 26 fw sassuolo ? 26/06 TMW x
Luan 23 AM gremio ? 20/06 442 x
Keita Balde 22 winger lazio ? 15/06 Mirror x
Cuadrado 29 winger juventus ? 15/06 Sun x
Bellarabi 27 winger leverkusen ~30m eu 04/06 Bild ~

out

Name Age Position Club Est. Fee Date Source
Wimmer 24 CB Southampton ? 25/04 Standard
Janssen 22 cf WBA/PSV/BMG/Lazio/Marseille ? 30/04 bmail
Alderweireld 28 CB Man City ? 02/05 Times
Rose 26 LB Man City/Man U ? 02/05 Times
Lloris 30 GK PSG ? 02/05 Calciomerc
Dier 23 CB/DM Man U £40m 17/05 Telegraph
Dele 21 AM Real Madrid/Barca ? 17/05 Telegraph
Sissoko 27 ? Barca/RM/AC Milan/Marseille/WBA/Trabzonspor ? 17/05 DStar
N'koudou 22 ? ? ? 20/05 mirror
Eriksen 25 AM Barca ? 07/06 Mundodep
Kane 23 striker RM/Man U ? 13/06 Ladbrokes

Other

Fabio Paratici, sporting director juventus Calciomerc

Not happening

Zaha 24 FW Palace ? 26/05 Telegraph
Bruma 22 winger galatasary ? 10/05 Finside
Kessie 20 DM Atalanta ? 02/05 insidefutbol
Philipp 23 forward freiburg ? 17/05 GFFN
Zakaria 20 DM Young boys ? 04/05 blick
gnabry BM
Costa 26 winger Bayern ? 14/05 Calciomerc
Maguire 24 CB Hull £15m 25/04 standard
Klaasen 24 AM Ajax ? 17/05 Telegraph
Alves 34 RB Juventus ? 17/05 yahoo
Ramirez 21 fw malaga ? 25/04 eldesmarque
Sessegnon 17 LB Fulham ? 19/05 Express
Diaz 23 striker RM ? 21/06 FLondon
Driussi 21 striker river plate ? 05/06 FLondon
Calhanoglu 23 AM Leverkusen ? 12/06 Bild
Keane 24 CB Burnley ? 25/04 standard
Ginter 23 CB Dortmund ? 07/06 Guardian ~
Veltman 25 CB Ajax ? 17/05 Telegraph ~
Glik 29 CB Monaco ? 08/07 sport.pl ?
Ünder Under 19 AM Başakşehir ~£8m 29/05 ajansspor x
Sidibe 24 RB Monaco ? 30/05 Metro x
Hernandez 29 striker leverkusen ? 29/06 Bild ~
Bernardeschi
Smith 26 RB Bournemouth ? 08/05 mirror z
Iheanacho 20 fw man city ? 10/07 Sun x
Rodriguez 25 AM RM ? 15/06 Star x
Saint-maximin 20 winger monaco ? 19/06 Telefoot ?

out confirmed

McGee Portsmouth
Walker 26 RB Man City/Chelsea/Bayern ? 02/05 Times
Fazio
Njie
Bentaleb

loan

Onomah 20 CM Brighton/H'field/Celtic/Swansea ? 13/06 LFNews
submitted by Blubbey to coys [link] [comments]


2017.07.25 00:51 Blubbey Transfer rumour collection thread summer 17/18 24th July week 9

Thinking of putting old (before June) rumours into an "old" comment. Also thoughts on having newer sources for old rumours, useful or not?
Some info may be wrong (e.g. positions) so apologies in advance. Any help would be appreciated, no blogs/clickbait sites. The low bar is set at terrible newspaper rumours.
*names under sections have no recent source but have been linked in previous windows

Sources are shite do not take any of them seriously

Dates are dd/mm

Reliable?:
x = no
? = dunno
~ = eh sometimes
✓ = yes

Goalkeepers

Name Age Club Est. Fee Date Source Reliable?
Dahlberg 18 IFK Göteborg ? 27/06 expressen ?
Lopez 23 espanyol ? 16/05 sport.es x

Defenders

Name Age Position Club Est. Fee Date Source Reliable?
Barreca 22 LB Torino ? 25/07 SWitness x
Benkovic 20 CB Zagreb ? 23/07 FInsider x
Gibson 17 CB Newcstle ? 19/07 star x
Cancelo 23 RB valencia ? 15/07 calciomerc x
Rafael 27 RB lyon ? 13/07 GFFN ~
Zappacosta 25 RB Torino ? 28/06 Sky ~
Conti 23 RB AC Milan ? 28/06 Sky ~
Weiser 23 RB Hertha ? 28/06 Sky ~
Soares 25 RB S'hampton ? 27/06 Mirror x
Konsa 19 CB Charlton ? 24/06 Mirror x
Foyth 20 CB Estudiantes ? 24/06 Mirror x
Smalling 27 CB Man U ? 18/06 DM x
Mawson 23 CB Swansea ? 18/06 Sun x
Toljan 22 RB Hoffenheim ? 14/06 Skysports ~
Henrichs 20 RB Leverkusen ? 14/06 Sky ~
Pereira 23 RB Porto ? 09/06 sabado x
Sakho 27 CB Liverpool ? 08/06 Express x
Aurier 24 RB PSG ? 08/06 RMCsport x
Nanizayamo 19 def (?) Tours FC ? 02/06 OMondial x
Lejeune 26 CB Eibar ? 01/06 NEcho x
Arias 25 RB PSV ? 30/05 psvinside x
Ismaily 27 LB Shakhtar ? 22/05 ukrinform ?
Rakitskiy 27 CB Shakhtar ? 22/05 ukrinform ?
Gnagnon 20 CB Rennes ? 22/05 GFFN ~
Boateng 28 CB BM ? 12/05 DStar x
Gibson 24 CB M'brough ? 25/04 standard ~
de ligt

Midfielders

Name Age Position Club Est. Fee Date Source Reliable?
Fejsa 28 DM Benfica ? 26/07 sun x
Kondogbia 24 CM Inter ? 18/07 calcio x
Carvalho 25 DM Sporting ? 18/07 calcio x
Diop 19 CM Celta Vigo ? 13/07 ESPN ~
Nzonzi 28 CM Sevilla ? 03/07 Switness x
Aleñá 19 CM Barca ? 26/06 AS x
Gomes 23 CM Barca ? 22/06 MDepo x
Zungu 24 CM Vitória S.C. ? 22/06 SLaduma x
Vecino 25 DM Fiorentina ? 21/06 TMWeb x
Marcel 20 cm Nice ? 24/06 Sun x
Kovacic 23 CM RM ? 14/06 express x
Zielinski 23 CM Napoli ? 14/06 Ilmattino x
Silva 28 CM Sporting ? 08/06 SDesporto x
Ozyakup cm besiktas 24 ? 08/06 turkfoot x
Broughton 16 CM Bolton ? 05/06 DM x
Hughes 18 CM Hamilton Acc ? 23/05 ScotSun x
Stepanenko 27 DM Shakhtar ? 22/05 ukrinform ?
Benyu 19 CM Ipswich ? 08/05 DM x
Keita 22 CM RBLeipzig ? 07/05 Finside x
Seri 25 CM Nice ~£20m 03/05 guardian ~
Lucas Torreira

Forwards

Name Age Position Club Est. Fee Date Source Reliable?
Karamoh 19 fw Caen ? 29/07 Mirror x
Gabigol 20 fw inter ? 26/07 Finsider x
Bakan 16 AM Gaziantepspor ? 25/07 ESPN x
Candreva 30 winger inter ? 24/07 finsider x
Schick 21 CF Sampdoria ? 02/05 switness x
Iheanacho 20 fw man city ? 10/07 Sun x
Kramaric 26 striker Hoffenheim ? 07/07 LeiMerc x
Barcon 18 AM Independiente ? 02/07 donbalon x
Soteldo 20 AM Huachipato ? 01/07 donbalon x
Defrel 26 fw sassuolo ? 26/06 TMW x
Luan 23 AM gremio ? 20/06 442 x
Saint-maximin 20 winger monaco ? 19/06 Telefoot ?
Rodriguez 25 AM RM ? 15/06 Star x
Keita Balde 22 winger lazio ? 15/06 Mirror x
Cuadrado 29 winger juventus ? 15/06 Sun x
Bellarabi 27 winger leverkusen ~30m eu 04/06 Bild ~
Gameiro 30 striker atletico ? 30/05 AS x
Lemar 21 winger monaco ? 27/05 lequipe
Meyer 21 AM Schalke ? 24/05 Switness x
Coric 20 AM Zagreb ? 24/05 DStar x
Marlos 28 AM Shakhtar ? 22/05 ukrinform ?
Taison 29 AM Shakhtar ? 22/05 ukrinform ?
Iheanacho 20 striker man city ? 21/05 sun via hitc x
Sigurdsson 27 10 Swansea ? 19/05 DM x
Alario 24 striker RPlate ? 17/05 switness x
Perisic 28 winger Inter ? 17/05 insidefutbol x
Gray 25 striker burnley ? 15/05 Star x
Berardi 22 forward sassuolo ? 14/05 Calciomerc x
Lanzini 24 AM WH £30m 13/05 mirror x
Mahrez 26 winger leicester ? 09/05 independent ~
Suso 23 winger milan ? 08/05 Calciomerc x
Gray 20 winger Leicester ? 04/05 DM x
Sidibe 15 fw PSV ? 04/05 voetbalzone x
Dolberg 19 striker ajax ? 04/05 tmweb x
Dembele 20 cf Celtic ? 02/05 FrFoot ~
King 25 CF Bournemouth ? 02/05 ldnftblnws x
Barkley 23 AM Everton ? 01/05 Telegraph ~
Osayi-Samuel 19 winger Blackpool ? 22/04 sun x
Thauvin 24 winger marseille ? 20/04 rmcsport x
mertens, pulisic, Nadiem Amiri, vietto, quincy promes, Joaquin Correa, Jean-Kevin Augustin (supposedly approached for 2018), Moise Kean

out

Name Age Position Club Est. Fee Date Source
Wimmer 24 CB Southampton ? 25/04 Standard
Janssen 22 cf WBA/PSV/BMG/Lazio ? 30/04 bmail
Alderweireld 28 CB Man City ? 02/05 Times
Rose 26 LB Man City/Man U ? 02/05 Times
Lloris 30 GK PSG ? 02/05 Calciomerc
Dier 23 CB/DM Man U £40m 17/05 Telegraph
Dele 21 AM Real Madrid/Barca ? 17/05 Telegraph
Sissoko 27 ? Barca/RM/AC Milan/Marseille/WBA ? 17/05 DStar
N'koudou 22 ? ? ? 20/05 mirror
Eriksen 25 AM Barca ? 07/06 Mundodep
Kane 23 striker RM/Man U ? 13/06 Ladbrokes
Onomah 20 CM Brighton/H'field/Celtic/Swansea ? 13/06 LFNews

Other

Fabio Paratici, sporting director juventus Calciomerc

Not happening

Zaha 24 FW Palace ? 26/05 Telegraph
Bruma 22 winger galatasary ? 10/05 Finside
Kessie 20 DM Atalanta ? 02/05 insidefutbol
Philipp 23 forward freiburg ? 17/05 GFFN
Zakaria 20 DM Young boys ? 04/05 blick
gnabry BM
Costa 26 winger Bayern ? 14/05 Calciomerc
Maguire 24 CB Hull £15m 25/04 standard
Klaasen 24 AM Ajax ? 17/05 Telegraph
Alves 34 RB Juventus ? 17/05 yahoo
Ramirez 21 fw malaga ? 25/04 eldesmarque
Sessegnon 17 LB Fulham ? 19/05 Express
Diaz 23 striker RM ? 21/06 FLondon
Driussi 21 striker river plate ? 05/06 FLondon
Calhanoglu 23 AM Leverkusen ? 12/06 Bild
Keane 24 CB Burnley ? 25/04 standard
Ginter 23 CB Dortmund ? 07/06 Guardian ~
Veltman 25 CB Ajax ? 17/05 Telegraph ~
Glik 29 CB Monaco ? 08/07 sport.pl ?
Ünder Under 19 AM Başakşehir ~£8m 29/05 ajansspor x
Sidibe 24 RB Monaco ? 30/05 Metro x
Hernandez 29 striker leverkusen ? 29/06 Bild ~
Bernardeschi
Smith 26 RB Bournemouth ? 08/05 mirror z

out confirmed

McGee Portsmouth
Walker 26 RB Man City/Chelsea/Bayern ? 02/05 Times
Fazio
Njie
Bentaleb
submitted by Blubbey to coys [link] [comments]


2017.07.18 00:58 Blubbey Transfer rumour collection thread summer 17/18 17th July week 8

Thinking of putting old (before June) rumours into an "old" comment. Also thoughts on having newer sources for old rumours, useful or not?
Some info may be wrong (e.g. positions) so apologies in advance. Any help would be appreciated, no blogs/clickbait sites. The low bar is set at terrible newspaper rumours.
*names under sections have no recent source but have been linked in previous windows

Sources are shite do not take any of them seriously

Dates are dd/mm

Reliable?:
x = no
? = dunno
~ = eh sometimes
✓ = yes

Goalkeepers

Name Age Club Est. Fee Date Source Reliable?
Dahlberg 18 IFK Göteborg ? 27/06 expressen ?
Lopez 23 espanyol ? 16/05 sport.es x

Defenders

Name Age Position Club Est. Fee Date Source Reliable?
Benkovic 20 CB Zagreb ? 23/07 FInsider x
Gibson 17 CB Newcstle ? 19/07 star x
Cancelo 23 RB valencia ? 15/07 calciomerc x
Rafael 27 RB lyon ? 13/07 GFFN ~
Zappacosta 25 RB Torino ? 28/06 Sky ~
Conti 23 RB AC Milan ? 28/06 Sky ~
Weiser 23 RB Hertha ? 28/06 Sky ~
Soares 25 RB S'hampton ? 27/06 Mirror x
Konsa 19 CB Charlton ? 24/06 Mirror x
Foyth 20 CB Estudiantes ? 24/06 Mirror x
Smalling 27 CB Man U ? 18/06 DM x
Mawson 23 CB Swansea ? 18/06 Sun x
Toljan 22 RB Hoffenheim ? 14/06 Skysports ~
Henrichs 20 RB Leverkusen ? 14/06 Sky ~
Pereira 23 RB Porto ? 09/06 sabado x
Sakho 27 CB Liverpool ? 08/06 Express x
Aurier 24 RB PSG ? 08/06 RMCsport x
Nanizayamo 19 def (?) Tours FC ? 02/06 OMondial x
Lejeune 26 CB Eibar ? 01/06 NEcho x
Arias 25 RB PSV ? 30/05 psvinside x
Ismaily 27 LB Shakhtar ? 22/05 ukrinform ?
Rakitskiy 27 CB Shakhtar ? 22/05 ukrinform ?
Gnagnon 20 CB Rennes ? 22/05 GFFN ~
Boateng 28 CB BM ? 12/05 DStar x
Smith 26 RB Bournemouth ? 08/05 mirror z
Gibson 24 CB M'brough ? 25/04 standard ~
de ligt

Midfielders

Name Age Position Club Est. Fee Date Source Reliable?
Kondogbia 24 CM Inter ? 18/07 calcio x
Carvalho 25 DM Sporting ? 18/07 calcio x
Diop 19 CM Celta Vigo ? 13/07 ESPN ~
Nzonzi 28 CM Sevilla ? 03/07 Switness x
Aleñá 19 CM Barca ? 26/06 AS x
Gomes 23 CM Barca ? 22/06 MDepo x
Zungu 24 CM Vitória S.C. ? 22/06 SLaduma x
Vecino 25 DM Fiorentina ? 21/06 TMWeb x
Marcel 20 cm Nice ? 24/06 Sun x
Kovacic 23 CM RM ? 14/06 express x
Zielinski 23 CM Napoli ? 14/06 Ilmattino x
Silva 28 CM Sporting ? 08/06 SDesporto x
Ozyakup cm besiktas 24 ? 08/06 turkfoot x
Broughton 16 CM Bolton ? 05/06 DM x
Hughes 18 CM Hamilton Acc ? 23/05 ScotSun x
Stepanenko 27 DM Shakhtar ? 22/05 ukrinform ?
Benyu 19 CM Ipswich ? 08/05 DM x
Keita 22 CM RBLeipzig ? 07/05 Finside x
Seri 25 CM Nice ~£20m 03/05 guardian ~
Lucas Torreira

Forwards

Name Age Position Club Est. Fee Date Source Reliable?
Candreva 30 winger inter ? 24/07 finsider x
Schick 21 CF Sampdoria ? 02/05 switness x
Iheanacho 20 fw man city ? 10/07 Sun x
Kramaric 26 striker Hoffenheim ? 07/07 LeiMerc x
Barcon 18 AM Independiente ? 02/07 donbalon x
Soteldo 20 AM Huachipato ? 01/07 donbalon x
Defrel 26 fw sassuolo ? 26/06 TMW x
Luan 23 AM gremio ? 20/06 442 x
Saint-maximin 20 winger monaco ? 19/06 Telefoot ?
Rodriguez 25 AM RM ? 15/06 Star x
Keita Balde 22 winger lazio ? 15/06 Mirror x
Cuadrado 29 winger juventus ? 15/06 Sun x
Bellarabi 27 winger leverkusen ~30m eu 04/06 Bild ~
Gameiro 30 striker atletico ? 30/05 AS x
Lemar 21 winger monaco ? 27/05 lequipe
Meyer 21 AM Schalke ? 24/05 Switness x
Coric 20 AM Zagreb ? 24/05 DStar x
Marlos 28 AM Shakhtar ? 22/05 ukrinform ?
Taison 29 AM Shakhtar ? 22/05 ukrinform ?
Iheanacho 20 striker man city ? 21/05 sun via hitc x
Sigurdsson 27 10 Swansea ? 19/05 DM x
Alario 24 striker RPlate ? 17/05 switness x
Perisic 28 winger Inter ? 17/05 insidefutbol x
Gray 25 striker burnley ? 15/05 Star x
Berardi 22 forward sassuolo ? 14/05 Calciomerc x
Lanzini 24 AM WH £30m 13/05 mirror x
Mahrez 26 winger leicester ? 09/05 independent ~
Suso 23 winger milan ? 08/05 Calciomerc x
Gray 20 winger Leicester ? 04/05 DM x
Sidibe 15 fw PSV ? 04/05 voetbalzone x
Dolberg 19 striker ajax ? 04/05 tmweb x
Dembele 20 cf Celtic ? 02/05 FrFoot ~
King 25 CF Bournemouth ? 02/05 ldnftblnws x
Barkley 23 AM Everton ? 01/05 Telegraph ~
Osayi-Samuel 19 winger Blackpool ? 22/04 sun x
Thauvin 24 winger marseille ? 20/04 rmcsport x
mertens, pulisic, Nadiem Amiri, vietto, quincy promes, Joaquin Correa, Jean-Kevin Augustin (supposedly approached for 2018), Moise Kean

out

Name Age Position Club Est. Fee Date Source
Wimmer 24 CB Southampton ? 25/04 Standard
Janssen 22 cf WBA/PSV/BMG/Lazio ? 30/04 bmail
Alderweireld 28 CB Man City ? 02/05 Times
Rose 26 LB Man City/Man U ? 02/05 Times
Lloris 30 GK PSG ? 02/05 Calciomerc
Dier 23 CB/DM Man U £40m 17/05 Telegraph
Dele 21 AM Real Madrid/Barca ? 17/05 Telegraph
Sissoko 27 ? Barca/RM/AC Milan/Marseille/WBA ? 17/05 DStar
N'koudou 22 ? ? ? 20/05 mirror
Eriksen 25 AM Barca ? 07/06 Mundodep
Kane 23 striker RM/Man U ? 13/06 Ladbrokes
Onomah 20 CM Brighton/H'field/Celtic/Swansea ? 13/06 LFNews

Other

Fabio Paratici, sporting director juventus Calciomerc

Not happening

Zaha 24 FW Palace ? 26/05 Telegraph
Bruma 22 winger galatasary ? 10/05 Finside
Kessie 20 DM Atalanta ? 02/05 insidefutbol
Philipp 23 forward freiburg ? 17/05 GFFN
Zakaria 20 DM Young boys ? 04/05 blick
gnabry BM
Costa 26 winger Bayern ? 14/05 Calciomerc
Maguire 24 CB Hull £15m 25/04 standard
Klaasen 24 AM Ajax ? 17/05 Telegraph
Alves 34 RB Juventus ? 17/05 yahoo
Ramirez 21 fw malaga ? 25/04 eldesmarque
Sessegnon 17 LB Fulham ? 19/05 Express
Diaz 23 striker RM ? 21/06 FLondon
Driussi 21 striker river plate ? 05/06 FLondon
Calhanoglu 23 AM Leverkusen ? 12/06 Bild
Keane 24 CB Burnley ? 25/04 standard
Ginter 23 CB Dortmund ? 07/06 Guardian ~
Veltman 25 CB Ajax ? 17/05 Telegraph ~
Glik 29 CB Monaco ? 08/07 sport.pl ?
Ünder Under 19 AM Başakşehir ~£8m 29/05 ajansspor x
Sidibe 24 RB Monaco ? 30/05 Metro x
Hernandez 29 striker leverkusen ? 29/06 Bild ~
Bernardeschi

out confirmed

McGee Portsmouth
Walker 26 RB Man City/Chelsea/Bayern ? 02/05 Times
Fazio
Njie
Bentaleb
submitted by Blubbey to coys [link] [comments]


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