OT: 2018-19 English Premier League Discussion Thread

With the summer 2018 transfer deadline passing yesterday, the English season kicks off today with Leicester City traveling to Old Trafford to take on the Red Devils.

Feel free to use this thread to discuss game results and news for (mainly) the EPL but also other European domestic leagues as they kick off.

Also of note: COYG

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DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

I am so pumped. Ever since the UCL final I have been itching to see the reds play again. The World Cup was nice but there is nothing like watching the EPL every weekend...love it.

Hoping my Huddersfield boys can stick around for another year.

Who should I root for since it isn't cool to root for Man City and Swansea was relegated?

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Fulham is the sexy pick this season

I'm excited to watch Tottenham. Never seen them play, but their roster looks fun.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Newcastle United! Intense fan base, fairly down right now because the owner won't invest in the club, but they have a great manager who gets the best out of his players. They have some very average talent, but Rafa Benitez got them to 10th last year. Go Magpies!

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Hot take here- Rafa is at Leicester City by the end of the year.

I wouldn't be shocked when he leaves. He's got to be frustrated with the lack of investment in better players.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

I love Newcastle, but wouldn't want to subject anyone else to this misery. Newcastle have one of the best fan bases in the league though.

one of the best fan bases

That's the main reason I'd recommend them. I was so hopeful Ashley would finally sell the team last winter...oh well. But the moment he sells they will surge back to being a consistent top half club.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

If Mike actually gave Rafa the 50 million he promised we could challenge for Europe. Of course he figures if we can get 10th with that squad, why invest.

Just watch for a few weekends before thinking about picking a team. Read up on the history of the clubs that you find interesting a go from there. I ended up picking Liverpool a few years ago because they have had lots of success in the past, but not so much in the last decade or so (meaning it wasn't a bandwagon pick). The fan base has also overcome a tragedy, which draws them together, which as a VT alumnus I can understand. I enjoy Klopp's system of balls-to-the-wall attacking, and until midway through last season our defense was shit, which made for an exciting yet stressful match every week.

This. I did research for a few weeks before the epl season started after i graduated college. I intended on following Tottenham based off that, but it was very much in flux. As I started watching match weeks I felt this pull to watch Liverpool more. I kept changing the channel to watch Liverpool and I knew I was hooked when Liverpool and Tottenham played and I found myself rooting for Liverpool. As I have grown as a fan, I love the supporters, the history and like you said--they have experienced a huge tragedy which I can greatly empathize with.

Bottom line...you can "choose" your club if you desire...but a lot of times the club will choose you.

You could just root for city anyway, I think then and liverpool are the two most fun teams in the league to watch, doesnt mean I'm a liverpool fan though. I just appreciate entertaining soccer

If you're looking for a plucky underdog Leicester is always a good one. Fulham used to have a huge murican contingent and are a good watch. Wolverhampton might be fun to follow too

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Leicester is getting picked apart. Vardy is fun to watch but not sure how they'll fare without Marez.

Correy

No it's super cool to root for city :)

Recruit Prosim

perhaps this can be of use:

Chiming in late.

If you want, you can think of the cannon in Arsenal's crest as Skipper!

Also the parallels between Arsenal and Tech concerning the current coaching situation create a familiar feel.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Yes it does. Wish Kroenke would open that wallet a bit more.

Correy

Palace. I'm an Arsenal fan but I like Crystal Palace. Their fans seem to be really in the games. Selhurst Park seems a lot like Lane. AND they have a pre game tradition with a popular song like the Hokies do(all be it a 1960's hit Glad all Over). If I make it over to London for a game I want to hit up Selhurst after the Emirates.

Correy

Spurs all day!

I'm pretty sure CYOG is NOT a thing...I've been to a few Arse games and I've never heard it. It's a Spurs thing, you don't want to copy your biggest rival.

Uh. It is a thing.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

YWNA's not a thing either πŸ™„

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

But YNWA is.

And so is COYG.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

How exactly does all this work (champions league vs whatever else)? I used to play soccer but never really got into watching it when I was younger and now I'd like to start following it more s because I want to expose my kids to it. What channels are games on? Is there a primer on how the leagues work? Who's the VT equivalent in champions league (i.e. team that always seems to be on the cusp but hasn't won anything yet)?

So every European country has their own domestic league. England, Germany, Italy, Spain and France are basically your power 5 conferences. The champions league is like the best of each league plus a few others in a grand elimination tournament.

If you like a team that is always promising but can never seal the deal like vt, root for Tottemham Hotspur of the English Premier league. The EPL is televised every weekend on NBC and nbc sports.

Also the MLS in America is usually on espn or fox sports

VB born, class of '14

All of the UEFA countries have their own domestic leagues. The bigger leagues like The EPL, get 4 auto qualifiers in. so the top 4 in the 17-18 EPL season make the Champions League Tournament. Additionally, the UEFA Euoropa Tourny winner gets in. The 5th and 6th place EPL teams make the Europa. I think the 7th gets to try to play their way in. Its set up a little like the World Cup with pool play, I think they play a home and home. The top 2 move on to the knock out phases where they play a home and home in each round except the championship round. The team with the higher aggregate score in the home and home advances. If there is a tie then the 1st tie breaker is away goals. Not sure what the tie breaker is after that,

Correy

Only caught the first half of the Man United-Leicester game today. As a Man U fan, I noticed they hardly used the right side of the field and constantly bunched up making it easy to defend. They kept playing impossible through balls on counters because they didn't have a player dominant enough to dribble for a long period of time (should be Pogba), and their passes weren't crisp enough to create any problems. De Gea was solid as always, and I was really impressed with the back line, especially Lindelof. Watching Luke Shaw put in the second goal was nice after everything he's gone through. Anyone catch the second half that can add anything?

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

The negativity mou is oozing seems to be getting to the players with pogba who is usually quiet even say a few things today on how he feels so maybe mou could be out sooner than I hoped for.
Luke Shaw finally finds form and comes back from all the shit he's been through and you still jabs him and whines still cause he didn't get more signings and shoots more jibes at the board we are 1 game in and I'm losing any joy of it from this guy yeesh.
I'm calling it hes out by Christmas and carrick is interim till they find a replacement

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Honestly I hope Carrick can play some entertaining style and fix that team. Theres to much talent on uniteds roster to play the soccer you do. I respected yall when fergie was there but now you're just painful to watch.

Gimme an exciting manager with an exciting style

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I hear you loud and clear I love the club always have and I'll watch regardless but this guy is not man United at all and I can't wish him gone soon enough, at least van gaal wasn't such a whiner all the time I'm all in on anyone positive at this point my dream would be bringing in zidane at the moment I can't quite pick out who else is out there, sarri would've gotten my vote but he's at Chelsea unfortunately

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Giggsy now has manager experience. Would love to see him get at least a look when Mourinho leaves.

Does anyone have a good website for EPL news besides the official website? I find it clunky

Just listen to the total soccer show. You'll get a full soccer education, be up on the latest news, and hopefully laugh a couple of times.

exit light

Second this, those guys are awesome. If you're into MLS and comedy check out the Cooligans too.

I google specific teams and you get several news stories for that team.

Correy

Respect to arsenal, excellent game and they look like a totally different team under Emery. If Leno can be even a respectable keeper they easily crack the top 4 and make a run at a cup this year

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Did you think Oliver missed the penalty on whoever wrapped up Mustafi around the neck?

Absolutely that was a pk, it was mendy

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

They desperately need VAR for stuff like that. Sure some things are still missed or wrong, but substantially less things are missed

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Agreed.

My biggest takeaway from that game was that Sokratis and Mustafi played rock solid, which was never the case for our CBs last year. If we can get a little more form in front of them (Torreira looked fantastic when he came on, so that's a good start) then I think top 4 is definitely back on the menu this season, which is all you could reasonably expect in a transition year.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Not sure why he didn't have Lucas and Lichsteiner starting. Guendozi looks like he may have a bright future (after 1 game of course).

Correy

I know this isn't EPL related but I figured you guys might know. So, the Mrs. and I got to sneak away for a movie (Incredibles 2 is awesome) and some drinks last night. Sitting at the bar and they had MLS games on. Is it a MLS thing or a soccer thing to list the Home team first? MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL on screen scoring is Away Team @ Home Team top to bottom or left to right. We were initially really impressed with the DC fan turnout in Orlando until we realized DC was home.

Run to Win. Pass To Score
Josh Jackson on Ricky Walker - β€œβ€œHe is the captain of this team, He’s the leader. He’s the bell cow, the Pail Holder.β€œ

Yes it's a soccer thing.

HokieSpider

I'm not the biggest fan of MLS, the quality IMO isn't there, but man, Mr. Rooney, I applaud you sir!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Fantastic bit of play but good Lord the VAR took forever they ought to have a crew watching so the ref doesn't need to stop and check every time like they had it in the world cup.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

If anyone wants to get a little more soccer into their routine or wants to get up with the game and pick a team and is new the ESPN FC podcast is a daily bit to help ya along or for the junkies like me a little bit of goodness to listen to thats funny as well.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Big news coming out of Manchester City...

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/45200783

KdB suffered a knee injury in training and could be out for over 2 months. Even as a Liverpool fan I hate to see this--KdB is so much fun to watch regardless of who he plays for...

only good news I can draw out of this is the extra time foden will see on the field now and the fact that bernardo is in great form. I hope hes ready to roll come december-Feb when champions league and the prem are in full swing. God this hurts

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Supposedly ACL damage has been ruled out. It is thought to be similar to his knee injury in 2016/17 which kept him out for 9 weeks. (Liverpoolecho). So at least two months but I would be optimistic he will be back before December.

But dang, Man City is so deep--I know this will affect you guys but not too badly. Your schedule is also mostly favorable during this time.

City's next nine league fixtures: Huddersfield, @Wolves, Newcastle, Fulham, @Cardiff, Brighton, @Liverpool, Burnley, @Spurs. Not exactly murderer's row.

David Silva didn't even travel to Arsenal. I agree and think City will be fine.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

wonder how long itll take debruyne to get back into form. City sources are saying its his LCL

word on the street is 3+ months

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I mean...yall handled arsenal pretty well with KdB on the bench. And yall hit 100 points without Mendy for pretty much the entire season. I want to say this opens the door for a legitimate title challenge, but I honestly think it doesn't really change the perspective too much.

Liverpool certainly has a shot. Looks like they've corrected some of the issues on defense and you beat City what, 3 times last year? I think Liverpool has a legit shot to take the league. Can't have any stupid losses or draws though.

Correy

That is 100% the key. Liverpool tied so many games. What City did last year was remarkable, not only because they hit 100 points for the first time ever in the EPL, but because they literally won almost every game. Defense and midfield has, for sure, been improved. I have been reading reports that Klopp is treating these 'pre-UCL' weeks a little bit like pre season with some more intensive sessions to get the team in proper fitness before the grueling schedule begins. As such it lends credence to why the team is a bit sluggish and rusty (in addition to some new players bedding in).

They have a real shot--100%. But like you said, no stupid losses or draws. We have had plenty of those and it will take time to get that eliminated from our DNA. It will take a few more of these 1-0 wins for me to feel more comfortable.

I am honestly trying to just enjoy each week without thinking of title implications. The Anfield Wrap podcast was talking about the nightmare scenario of Liverpool getting 101 points and scoring 100+ goals only to have city get 103 points. At some point we just have to enjoy that we are watching one of the best Liverpool teams in modern history (possibly even better than 08/09).

What a win for LFC yesterday. I feel like that would've been a match we would've conceded a late goal last year and came away with a draw. First time Klopp has won his first two matches in the PL. Alisson/Virgil/Gomez were amazing! The front 3 didn't have their best match, Palace was clogging the lanes really well, and closing out quickly. Great job by their backline for sure. Feel like this is a statement win. Two clean sheets to start the campaign, I'll sign up for that any day.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

I don't think we would've won if Benteke wasn't playing...thank god Palace are still managed by Woy and that he paid us nearly 30m for the big Belgian. Not sure about a statement win, we did grind it out in an unspectacular way but I'll certainly take it. Firmino and Salah don't look quite right to me.

Didn't Roy Hodgson take over at Palace during last season? He certainly wasn't the one who brought in Benteke

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Benteke's been there a couple of years. he just can't buy a goal. He missed a couple of good chances this past weekend. Hodgson came in last season after Palace dropped their first 6 games and did a great job of saving them from relegation. It also helped Zaha came back too.

Correy

Honestly KH for me it's a statement win. It's a line in the sand that you can draw a clear distinction between our form at the beginning of last season and this season thus far. A big reason we didn't finish higher in the table last season was because of our keeper/back-line play, and the susceptibility to giving up a lead late in a match. We never seemed to be on our heels even though Palace came out aggressively.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

A couple things to remember:

  • Crystal Palace are big, physical, and tough to play.
  • The last time we played them on a monday night was spring 2014 and we all know what happened there :(
  • Last time a team created 4 "clear cut chances" (defined by opta) was 2015
  • Woy is Woy but Crystal Palace is a team that fits his bill to a T
  • Wan-bissaka is amazing. He was easily their best player. Salah and Firmino are rusty but Mane is sharp and Wan-bissaka did an amazing job containing him for much of the night
  • palace had three crosses that went across the face of goal and only one was remotely threatening. So although we didn't killl the game off with 3-0 or 4-0, the game was handled with a calm born from Alisson, VVD, Gomez
  • Midfield got tired but the Hendo sub was immense. He came in and took control

I think the line in the sand was drawn last year, however. Down a goal and kept fighting back and eventually won that game. The one thing liverpool haven't been able to do is win ugly and that game showed we have the physicality and mentality to win a game when the players are just not as sharp as the should be.

From one red supporter to another:

via GIPHY

I completely agree with all your points above. It truly was an ugly game that we pulled out with a 2 goal advantage. That's saying something. Felt like last season we would've drew even at 1-1 by the time the whistle blew at the end of the match. It would've probably been on a conceded corner across the face of the goal too!

Edit- In Klopp's own words during the press conference, he seemed to feel like this win was a big step too:

"...for us a big step, if you watch us a little bit more often you know, if we aren't brilliant we usually lose"

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

I agree with Klopp's statement. Two years ago of Mane wasn't playing well or was not in the game we tied or lost. Last year if Salah wasn't playing well (did this ever happen?!) or if he was absent we would tie or lose.

Yesterday, against a prototypical Liverpool bogey team, Salah was rusty, Firmino was very quiet, and Mane was being held in check by a very brilliant Wan-Bissaka....we came out 2-0 and really never felt out of control the entire time.

The last time we played them on a monday night was spring 2014 and we all know what happened there :(

My oldest daughter was born. I'm pretty sure nothing else of note happened.

Wan-bissaka is amazing. He was easily their best player. Salah and Firmino are rusty but Mane is sharp and Wan-bissaka did an amazing job containing him for much of the night

Sakho was no slouch either. They played a very solid defense.

Alisson was massive. His distribution is a thing of beauty, constantly putting the ball right at an open man"s feet. Keita had moments of sheer brilliance to cancel out his mistakes. I couldn't be more excited for this team.

a really good goalkeeper makes a huge difference, super undervalued position. Evidence: Bravo to Ederson

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I will say I think it is a huge disservice to Alisson, VVD, and Gomez to say that we would have lost if not for Benteke. The dude can put his head like 12 feet in the air and VVD handled him. He only got one open look on goal and blasted it wide, and one header which was ruled offside because of Zaha and still was saved by Alisson. Any other striker would have fit Woy's system even less and been far easier suppressed by the defense.

And while I am at it...TAA had a woeful game against Palace last year with Zaha running circles around him. Last night Zaha was kept largely quiet and that was the key. Yeah it was ugly, yeah we didn't score a ton but last night....the defense won the game. When was the last time we could say that?

FWIW I think I'm now in the Mourinho out camp. I dunno.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Mourinho and Man U is to Al Groh and UVA to me....they are a perfect match and I hope they never change. But I know they will move on from him. I have bets that he won't last the season as much as I would like to see that happen.

You know as well as anyone the rivalry that exists between our teams...but I think Mourinho has to be my least favorite 'thing' of all time. He sits there and blows money at Pogba, Lukaku, Fred, Mikhtaryian just hoping something will stick. But then has the audacity to claim liverpool are buying the league when a lot of the money was reinvestment of funds from sales and champions league football. I don't mind a negative nancy, I don't mind defensive coaches...But I can't stand coaches who run their teams into the ground and act like a spoiled 4 year old while doing it.

If he lasts the season I'll be shocked but there's no way he's manager next season. I've seen rumors about Zidane joining. I think that might be a good fit. But ultimately this transfer window was a disaster and we desperately need a director of football. Ed Woodward is great at acquiring sponsors, but awful at dealing with transfers.

There's a ton of rumors swirling about Pogba going to Barca. Don't see it happening this window, but I think Jose goes before they let Pogba leave. Personally, I don't care about tactics. If we play defensive football and win I'm 100% okay with it. Obviously I'd prefer exciting football but if the results are there it doesn't matter. My biggest issue with Mourinho is he has seemingly alienated our best talent and perhaps lost the team. Pogba possibly wants to move, Martial wants out. Something has to change.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I agree I don't think he will last. This is classic Mourinho, year three. Alienates talent, loses the locker room, whines about it on TV. The whole Martial situation is nuts. I remember when he scored against Liverpool in one of his first matches and I was just so ticked off because we were really struggling for identity and it was clear United had found a super young attacking talent for the next ten years at least. Totally mismanaged.

I would be surprised if Zidane came--If I am the owner of a team his comments when leaving don't sit well with me: "...I feel it's going to be difficult to continue winning. And because I'm a winner, I'm going."

It sounds like he doesn't want to deal with adversity, he only wants to win. If adversity comes along (which it will, especially in the EPL) then he is going to be sour and want out. Not to mention he has to restore balance to the locker room, make signings that fit his style, integrate with the ownership etc. I am just not sure how successful he would be.

I think you're just saying they're perfect for eachother because you hate them. I mean I think mou is the anti united, and trust me I dont like united. When I think united I think sir alex and their attacking style not mouse siege mentality.

Its gonna be a really interesting offseason at old Trafford because I think they have some ground to make up between them and their rivals

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Exactly. Hate United, Hate Mou. I totally get Mou is oil and United is water....but it just makes it all the sweeter for me :)

#DontFireMourinho

They'll be parting ways sooner rather than later mou has burned his bridge with Woodward and I don't think he has the locker room anymore and this garbage between the scholes and that shit raiola is just more shit to listen to that shows how little under control this is

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Dude could win every game between now and May and it wouldn't be worth the soap opera bullshit off the pitch. Give Giggsy his shot.

So happy that Kane broke his stupid August scoring curse on Saturday. Spurs are looking strong so far.

Well we haven't played anybody huge, but i'm glad we avoided a traditional spursy start! If we can continue to get goals from people like Lucas, Trippier, etc it'll bode well

VB born, class of '14

Has anyone watched All or Nothing Manchester City on Amazon? It's pretty cool to see their style of play develop throughout last season

Oh I'm ready to binge the shit out of it once we finish moving

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

First win under Emery! Still didn't play as well as you'd like, but baby steps.

I feel the substitutions were masterful, we looked sooooo much better once Guendouzi and Iwobi were changed for Torreira and Lacazette, respectively. As promising as Douzi has been, we play so much better with Torreira there and Xhaka is given the freedom to move up to his more natural spot.

And Ramsey is not performing to the level that would justify his wage demands, so hopefully something resolves itself there soon.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

This is the first game I've seen this season. Guendouzi is a major surprise, but his best position right now is also Xhaka's, and probably Ramsey's if I'm being honest.

Xhaka hasn't impressed me. I'm not sure if it's because he was miscast as a "defensive midfielder", but his positioning always boggles my mind and it's why he makes so many rash tackles.

Very concerned about Sokratis-Mustafi pairing. Yikes.

The balance looked much better with lacazette through the middle than when aubameyang was there. Maybe starting them both would take some of the pressure off aubameyang and get the best of both players.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I actually think the CBs have been pretty good. The defensive issues are in the midfield and fullbacks (Bellerin is massive going forward but is getting shredded in defense). It's no coincidence that our defense solidified when Torreira replaced Guendouzi, therefore allowing Xhaka to get out of the DM spot. Guendouzi is wasteful with the ball and asks too much from Xhaka, Sokratis, and Mustafi (as was Ramsey today tbh).

We need to start the players we finished with today, with Ozil in for Ramsey and Auba on the left instead of Dat Guy. Also would prefer to see Lichsteiner get some burn.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Mustafi just looks so iffy to me, and has for a while. Agree about midfield being a key contributor to the centerbacks looking so exposed all the time though - just can't play Xhaka as the primary defensive midfielder.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I wonder why we haven't played Lichsteiner.

Correy

I think it's mostly down to the fact that the right flank is our most solidified attack right now with Bellerin and Mkhi tearing it up pretty consistently going forward. I think Lichsteiner would offer much more in defense, but I'm guessing Emery values that attacking threat a little more right now while Auba, Ozil, Ramsey, etc. are all getting their feet under them in the new system.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Ugh....missed handball on the goal, clear PK denied... still got the draw but liverpool are gonna keep up the pressure this year. Can we all agree that VAR needs to be a thing at this point?

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Orrrr Mustafi getting pulled down in the box vs. City. Yeah I agree it's silly VAR isn't already in place.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

If you read the thread further up you'll see I agree with you. Dunno why were turning this into a pissing match

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

We're not. Carry on.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Willing to bet Var will be instituted by the start of next season at the latest

VB born, class of '14

I felt bad for Wolverhampton in the first half--their disallowed goal was as close as it gets (it was the right decision)...that goal almost never gets called off-sides.

But yeah the handball goal and PK things...VAR was voted to be held off for another year. There are particular clubs that benefit tremendously from not having VAR--the tall, bullying mid-table teams. Then there are other clubs who know they would benefit from VAR but the in-game management of the system is way to slow and disruptive. It will more than likely be here next season.

Another game, another question of var? Not entirely confident in the penalty given to Chelsea against newcastle

VB born, class of '14

Wasn't a pen in my mind but yedlin got a bit of karma for his elbow unfortunately I was loving Newcastle getting the result

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Fulham looking good today wish they'd have had that game on NBCSN instead of the Chelsea and Newcastle snoozefest

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

3 clean sheets and this fancy footwork:

Someone is determined to live up to their transfer fee. #Reds

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Spurs say what's up fam.

VB born, class of '14

seeing ManUre at 14th in the table going into September makes my nipples hard

If mou makes it past the Watford game I'll be stunned, into year three and his only tactic is throw felliaini up top not you know use rashford or change shape, just throw felliaini up top and pray for a draw.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

One of the things I have really enjoyed about Klopp much more so than Mourinho is the freedom he offers his players. It seems like Mourinho has always treated players like cogs in a system which is why he always has a three year collapse. No player (myself included, from many years ago mind you) wants to be on the field and see a possible opening but not play it because it is against the coach's rules.

As much as I enjoy (as a Liverpool fan) watching MUFC suffer like this...there is a part of me that sees what is going on and it just feels so wrong. This is not what Fergie built up, this is not how Man United is meant to play. As much as I enjoy ribbing my United supporting friends, this United side just feels wrong.

I agree with this. Unfortunately sacking Mou only fixes about half the issues. A lot of people want Woodward to be out of the football process and leave him to his commercial success (sponsors, apps, marketing etc) and to hire a Director of Football. I think should be the first move before we fire Mourinho.

From the start, Mourinho felt like a knee jerk hire because he was available. I was hoping we would get Diego Simeone. Alas.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

If I remember correctly, he was lobbying for the job after he was fired by Chelsea.

Correy

I think I read he was lobbying for it when Sir Alex retired too but Alex recommended Moyes.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

It was shocking to me--almost the same amount of shock as us hiring Hodgson. Neither fit the DNA of their respective clubs.

Sadly, I don't think the Glazers or Woodward care about United's DNA.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

That's the biggest issue I don't think the Glazer's give half a fart about it look at the way they run the dump in Tampa Bay. Think about it since Fergie retired the football has gone to crap yet somehow United are the biggest football club financially in the world I don't think they could care about it as long as Woodward brings in money who cares. If they don't hire a technical or football director to get him out of the football situation were done even before mou gets canned

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

LFC top of the table at the international break. I'll take it, great start to the campaign. I simply need Becker to tone it down with the fancy footwork at the backline. I was so pissed that we wasted another opportunity at a 4th clean sheet. Hopefully he's learned that this isn't Serie A anymore. The next stretch of matches should really prove whether we are a for real or just a fraud.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Couple observations and a little help from listening to TAW podcast:

  • Midfield play has been average at best. I think Klopp is implementing a slightly new system in that he values possession more than when Buvac was here. WIth that being the case it isn't as simple as bedding in Keita + Fabinho. The entire midfield is having to learn a bit here.
  • Becker's mistake. Terrible back pass from VVD, looking at the replay Leicester did a magnificent job of blocking every player Becker could play to, hence his cruff turn. I felt a little bad for Karius here as everyone defended Becker but roasted Karius/Migs for their mistakes. Bottom line is Becker is a 60m world class keeper--he will learn from this...see next point
  • Between the 2-0 Crystal Palace, 1-0 Brighton, 2-1 Leicester...one or two of those three matches end in a tie or loss last season. I was supremely impressed with the team after the Becker mistake. The buckled down, and Becker in particular responded very calm and collected for the rest of the game. As close as the past three matches have been--we've not really allowed quality chances for the opponents.
  • VVD also did not have a great game. Credit to Leicester, they had a great gameplan and executed well. Are we for real? Remains to be seen...but have we improved the squad? Absolutely yes. There is leadership, spine, grit, determination that has been missing. This team will improve.

4 wins and most liverpool fans are lamenting 3/4 of our performances. The team will return to full gear soon. I just hope it is in time for one of the toughest months of the season.

Great points VTAE, I've been underwhelmed by the midfield. I've also been disappointed that Fabinho hasn't made an appearance yet. I'm hoping that there is an uptick in performance as the schedule begins to get tougher with two against Chelsea, one against PSG, one against Napoli, and one against MC. It's going to be a rough go at it, from now until the first week of October for sure and we'll need great midfield play to counter those deadly attacking fronts.

I agree with you VVD pass was terrible, there wasn't much Becker could do with it other than kick the ball out of bounds and live to fight another possession. But that's the thing, he didn't do that, and it led to a goal. I feel like it's going to be a tough race at the top and I feel like goal differential will be a critical stat this campaign, and any time we can get a clean sheet we should fight hard for it. I was happy about the result, but that goal was tough to swallow.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

I've been disappointed to have not seen Fabinho either...but I think he is getting the Ox or Robertson treatment where Klopp will play him when he feels ready. Like you I hope that is very soon as we have some extremely tough and congested matches coming up.

As for Becker, with the way he plays, we all knew a mistake was going to happen. As strange as it sounds I am happy we conceded and happy it was a terrible mistake. Better now in a 2-1 win vs. Leicester than a 1-1 tie or 1-0 lose in the UCL or EPL in the coming months. If we had gone 4 without conceding Tottenham is our next. If we somehow made it 6, then Chelsea would be next. I would be worried about the flood gates opening. So yeah, it happened, he showed in the game he was no longer going to be fancy so I expect that to continue.

Yeah Lloris was out of the match as was Alli, but 5 W's is still 15 points. Great way to start the 2018 campaign, YNWA

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

And this is a foul by Firmino...SMH

Shit gets real in October

Not premier league, but Christian Pulisic looks world class and is a scoring threat every time he touches the ball in this game for Dortmund. And then he just scored on a great run. Dude is good, wish we had players on the US team that could allow him to shine and also allow him to play the same role on the national team.

Fugazy

I'm really excited about this next generation, I think theres some serious talent coming up soon

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Kids killer in FIFA 19 as well I really hope he reaches big heights to help grow the game in the US even more

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I think LFC will look back and value that 1 point against Chelsea. It wasn't pretty, the front 3 are really pressing, but depth will always keep you in a match, and I really think LFC finally has some depth at multiple positions. It certainly didn't look that way during the Cup match, but today it showed. Daniel with a beautiful top corner bender. Props to Alisson too, when you get beat by Hazard, you just tip your cap, but Alisson played an incredible match to keep us in the game. This is a tough stretch, and we still have Napoli and Man City to go before we get back to playing some mid-table teams, but this stretch will continue to define us, I hope we'll keep fighting through it.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Having Sturridge healthy and playing well has been a huge boost

I'm beginning to feel like I've seen this season already from United except this is even worse than anything I've seen even worse than LVG and Moyes this has been a bad week for sports

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I mean as bad as it might seem it's still equal to moyes start. I do think mou needs to go, and frankly I'm enjoying it while it lasts because we all know united will get it together. To much money and to big of a brand to fail. Theyve gotta get rid of Woodward though, he just gets in the way so much

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I dont think they need to can Woodward we just need to hire a Technical/Sporting Director to run the football side of things and keep woodward out of the football decisions the guy has a crap United team making loads of money which is always good he just hasnt a clue about football. Bring in a Tech director then let him hire a new manager.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

sure that, I just meant get him away from personnel decisions for the most part

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Yeah he was dumb for hiring Mou. And if he fires Mou he'll hire Zidane. Splash hires all around.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I'm still curious if Zidane was a product of the gobs of talent at madrid or how much he brought to the table because so many times it seemed like they were being outplayed but then bale and ronaldo or....literally insert any player here on their roster.... would do something incredible and theyd win the game. You absolutely cannot argue with 3 straight CL cups though, at that point you're not lucky you're just good

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

We might be about to find out.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

when you listen to Berhalter he talks like a coach, not a national team coach ... but maybe we need a coach there because our talent still requires coaching up

Zidane was probably a coach (youth teams), but a guy who knew intuitively how to transition into coaching a team with the oversize inflated egos and oversize inflated abilities... very hard to find both things in one person... was it the mad respect the guys had for him (mebbe the GOAT) or is he soccer's Phil Jackson... I dunno

I see Liverpool and Man City played to a draw today.

dreadful match...they canceled each other out. I turned if off with 10 mins and apparently missed a terrible Mahrez penalty. The equivalent of VT 0-0 Wake.

Legend has it you can see it streaking through the sky in orbir every year on the 6th of October in the southern hemisphere

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Unai Emery quietly has Arsenal on a 9 game win streak. We're still playing with the fluidity of Wengerball but we're more pragmatic and aren't losing games to teams we should beat. Really happy with the direction of the club right now.

And Lacazette is a machine.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I'm really happy with how well Holding has played.

Nice to know if Kos comes back healthy we'll have 4 dependable CBs.

I'll say this, at least watching United these days in entertaining as it can be one team is always destined to play well usually not United unfortunately

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Awful news after the Leisester City match today.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Just finished watching the match on DVR; Wow!!!!!....πŸ”₯πŸ‰πŸ”₯⚽πŸ₯…πŸ€― #UpTheReds #SuchaBeautifulGame

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Origi of all people. It's really somewhat poetic, I thought he was looking pretty solid up until Funes Mori crushed his ankle a couple years ago, he's never looked a threat since. Credit to him for staying with what looked like a dead play to end the game.

Agreed! So happy for him, was glad he got to hear the Kop chant his name.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

He really should've scored earlier, but chuffed for him, I really expected big things from him after the 2014 World Cup when he looked world class in some of Belgium's games. Sadly, I dont think his future lies at Anfield due to embarrassment of riches, but hope he proves me wrong. We didn't really deserve this, but I'll take it after all the bad luck last season.

When I look at Liverpool, part of me thinks, wow great place for Pulisic. Another part of me thinks he is a little guy who gets by on quicks in the German League where guys are bigger a little slower. Not sure the English League is a place where his advantage will transfer (would certainly be diminished). He would have a tough line to but into in the midfield. Can't see him displacing a central defensive middie, maybe he splits time with Keita, but Keita would probably get more of the time there. Probably have to go outside with the kid, where you can talk shit about Milner but he consistently gets the job done and can probably come inside as well as out. So you have guys like Winaldum (sp), Shaqiri. I could see them getting rid of Shaqiri, but we don't know who he even is yet... at Stoke he was a selfish prick... if he can turn up a new side of himself, he might be really hard to displace. You have Adam Lallana sitting the bench but often on the gameday sub list.... AL reminds me alot of Pulisic.

If Dortmund is a scrap for minutes, I can't see how Liverpool is anything but a risky next step for the kid. I get that Klopp may think his fluidity and skill on the ball will lead to a more effective offense for his strikers, and maybe his is right. But wow... I don't know Liverpool that much. Maybe they would play him up top as a winger / central striker?

Watch the first 20 minutes of the second half of USMNT-England...He will be fine. He stood out way above the rest of the players on the pitch.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Can't see him displacing a central defensive middie

That's because that's not the position he plays. While he often plays centrally for the USA (because they have few other players who can do it well) he plays as a winger for Dortmund. His best position is probably right wing, so that's where he would likely play at Liverpool (although I don't really watch Pool).

Personally, as an Arsenal supporter, I selfishly hope he stays at Dortmund so I don't have to watch him play for rivals like Liverpool or ugh...Chelsea. And I know there's no way he's coming to Arsenal

Just don't think as he plays smaller players he has the burst you look for in a winger. I think he should focus on the middle of the field positions (even playing central forward might work for him).... yes he may have to go lateral or even back (leaving Dortmund for lesser team), but you can differentiate what he has in the middle of the park with skill, deftness and insight. Not so sure he is a dominant winger. Maybe for someone who relies on going wide a lot, which you could argue the US should do with a 4 2 3 1 or something like that. I love the kid, just think as a winger this is the start of a trend of him getting passed. Hope I'm wrong. Mebbe he hasn't worked on explosiveness or hasn't gotten his man strength yet. It can be hard when you're caloric expenditures are so high. Him taking some time off not a bad idea last year. Might want to consider doing it just to train for explosiveness and see what that does for him. Even sitting the bench he should be killing it in focused explosivness training, IMHO.

I understand what you're saying, but there are so many different types of players at winger now. It's no longer a question of speed and explosiveness. Some coaches prefer wingers like that, some like wingers who will drift inside and play a quasi-CM role. Often coaches like to have one of each in the 11 to keep balance. So, while you are correct that he doesn't have the speed or explosiveness to be a traditional winger (Bale) he can still be very successful at that position.

Not saying he is on this level, but Neymar is an example of a winger who is not particularly fast or explosive but plays on the wing.

Didn't know so many Tech people were into the EPL, nice.

Unai Emery ran circles around Pochettino tactically today. Hard to see how Arsenal could have done any better after Wenger. Torreira is a flat out dude on top of that.

Man that game was so so sweet after all the punditry ridiculousness beforehand. Dier made it all the better with his stupid "shhh" gesture after their first goal and prior to the (iffy at best, eat your heart out Mike Dean) penalty to go ahead.

Best game I've seen from Kola and Auba in a while too. North London is red!

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Did you see the stat that Mike dean has called over 6% of all of the PKs in EPL history?

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

The most fraudulent of all the bald frauds. Although Spurs had about a blatant handball as it gets. Easy call on the pen.

I think he wasn't referring to the penalty given to Spurs, when Son was "tackled". There was clearly no contact.

I'm honestly shocked Arsenal won a game officiated by Mike Dean. He's the Ted Valentine of the EPL.

Bad look for Spurs IMHO, then Poch goes on the warpath about the opponent celebrating. His team got owned except for Son's completely ridiculous one after the other flops that Dean went for. How these refs don't look at the tape and decide Son won't get the benefit of the doubt from me again. I dunno. Only way to hold the flopping down IMHO, make these guys play with some integrity. And it cuts both ways there were some no touch fall downs on the Arsenal side as well. But I dunno maybe Dean loves the drama of a floppy game decided by him.

Poch better up his game or he's going to end up in the Spanish League, if he is lucky. You can argue the personnel has been stagnant and maybe it has, but that team looked like it was very comfortable with the performance and the coach.

lol pochettino had a bad game for sure but:

1. he was resting players, probably overly so, who had played alot of games in the past week-10 days. should've made changes at half clearly
2. spurs won't fire him unless the bottom falls out
3. he started coaching in la liga with espanyol and if he goes back it would be to one of the top 4-5 teams in the league

spurs sit above their two main rivals at the moment and I think it's likely it finishes that way. spurs lost to arsenal at the emirates last season around this time and still went on to finish 3rd

Didn't mean to say that Poch was a bad coach, but I think he has been played the fool... by not forcing Levy to get him a couple critical players, he will be gone before summer's end. Your not just a coach, you gotta manage up when you have an independent GM / ownership. Its probably too late to now think, yes lets go bit against ManU, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool who are all going to be aggressive in the window. Levy and Poch just don't have it and Poch will end up getting a much better offer to coach better players. Its a shame for Spurs fans.

I think ManU is seriously thinking about Poch. How often does JM's agent talk him up? Gotta be embarrassing for JM.

Poch 4 me is the best coach in the league. One or two of THE RIGHT players would push spurs over the top. Who knows maybe Poch and Levy are just waiting for those players? And feel totally comfortable with the situation?

Something 2 stagnant about the situation... just see him elsewhere in the summer window. ManU should make him the offer he can't refuse... its a crap hodgepodge of a team, but Poch could make it work. Madrid might be a better talented team, more pressure but less of a hodgepodge.

Spurs are where Arsenal was several years ago and everyone was upset with Wenger for seeming to be content with top 4 finishes. When you build a new stadium and have to spend within your means, you aren't really able to compete in the market. I don't expect many top tier managers like Poch to stick with that situation for as long as Wenger did, but there might not be much Spurs can do about it anytime soon.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Prior to this game, the stat I saw around a lot was that Dean awards the other "top 6" teams a penalty once every 5 games, on average, whereas he was giving Arsenal a penalty once every 21. He's been on camera celebrating a Spuds goal while on the job. When I saw he had the North London Derby again, I figured we'd see some fishy stuff.

VAR can't come about quickly enough for me.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

But surely when you say other "top-6" teams you can't be including Liverpool in that. Tottenham received more PKs at Anfield in 15 minutes than Liverpool did all last season.

I actually don't, it's become habit to say "top 6" when talking of the group. Dean isn't actually allowed to ref Liverpool games and has only done 3 in his career.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I figured--now that Arsenal has some fast, high flying attack you may see a similar thing. It feels like referees look at teams like that and figure they are bound to score a few so it is easier to not call a PK...drives me up a wall...Salah against Everton was grabbed in the face and pulled down in the box, no call by the ref...It gets old

The match wasn't pretty, but this sure as hell was:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

4 touches and 15 seconds from Alisson to the back of the net, beautiful.

That was as close to a LFC goal last season, as I've seen all this Fall/Winter thus far. I think a confident Keita is the difference maker, I'm hoping he can build on this man of the match performance. Hoping Joe G is ok....

EDIT: DAMN! Gomez out 6 weeks with an ankle injury, ugh, that sucks so bad for the kid

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

He's the business. And to think we haven't played anywhere near like the spring and we're sitting in second with our best league start in history. And we've won the league 18 times. Exciting times. Imagine if we finally hit our stride.

I wouldn't say it is so much that we haven't hit our stride as much as we are still adjusting to the drastic changes Klopp has demanded. Last year it was full throttle from the opening minutes and you could see in the spring we were getting tired around 70-75 minutes into the game and by the end of the season, the team looked really gassed.

I believe, especially with the defense we have to lean on, Klopp is pushing for a bit lower tempo, control the game, slow it down, and hit hard on counter attacks. It isn't the high powered, heavy metal football that we all love...but it is a clear sign that Klopp is maturing and understanding the EPL better. I firmly believe we will see the tempo pick up as the season continues on as more of our players will be better rested.

Keita has started to show me he needs to be a week in week out player. The midfield should start with Keita and then depending on who we're playing/tactical reasons we fill in 2 of Shaqiri, Hendo, Gini, Milner.

I will throw up if I have to watch a midfield of Gini Milner Hendo again its so meh with all the sideways/backwards passes with no one trying to take on a player forward.

It's clear to me, just like last season, that the midfield to start will not be the midfield to end the season. I could see a couple different options but what excites me most is Keita - Fabinho - whoever else...Ox, Hendo as a box-to-box, Gini... But it is clear Keita and Fabinho are the sort of midfielders Klopp is looking for.

That said, if Origi is truly back to full fitness and in good form, I think we could run a mean 4-2-3-1 with Fab-Keita as the pivot and then Mane, Firmino, Salah with Origi up top.

THat formation, to me, is killer because you can put on Ox, Hendo, Gini, Milner, shaqiri for Origi and switch to the 4-3-3. Each sub would bring a different dynamic to the team. Or Solanke, Sturridge, Shaq, and Ox can come on to keep it a 4-2-3-1.

edit: tl;dr yes--i want to see keita regularly

this is why you don't though

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Even with howlers leading to 2 goals this season (both in wins), we're the only team to concede single digit goals. With Alisson and VVD in the squad, we've allowed 7 goals through 17 games. Without them last year, we conceded 8 in the first 3 games. Money well spent.

^^THIS^^ single digit goals allowed through almost 20 games is insane!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

And at the same time, I bet De Gea wishes he went to Madrid. More goals conceded this year than all of last year already.

With Alisson, 9 times out of ten, he catches that cross cleanly or maybe even punches it away. I think it just had a little more zip than he anticipated and it caught his knee. He you can tell he has cut out some of the footwork that got him in trouble on the first howler and has been pretty calm since. Can't really replace the distribution either. It's not always perfect, but it's led to some great counterattacks so far.

Some journo's at the game said just a bit before that goal it had started to rain lightly. I think probably the combination of spin and pace plus some like rain falling all contributed. Bottom line is if you asked me that at 17 matches into the season we would be first and only conceded 15 goals I would be thrilled. The fact that its 17 matches, first place, conceding 7 is unreal. I would have said you are crazy. So what he has let in two soft goals out of 7....he has made so many tremendous saves already. Heck that save against Napoli was worth something like 13+million quid just because of the club pay-outs for winning a group stage game and the pay-out for advancing to knock-out rounds....

Arsenal @ Man U was a total shithouse of a match and Rob Holding probably tore his ACL, but I suppose a point coming out of Old Trafford is not the worst thing in the universe. That honor goes to Fellaini for pulling Guendouzi's hair and getting away with it.

Feel so bad for Holding. Thought he was getting better and better. Hopefully it's not that bad even though Emery confirmed it was a big injury.

Honestly that game right there just shows you how much Xhaka means to our midfield. He has been, no exaggeration, world class for us this season and it's flying relatively under the radar. Torreira was the catalyst for that and has been doing incredibly himself. Couldn't be happier with our form at CM right now, especially as it seems Guendouzi will be a world beater one day if he keeps up his progression. Kid's 19!

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Sometimes I feel like people forget that City is still playing like this with Debruyne. They are a well oiled machine

yes, well, when you are backed by a billionaire, middle-eastern royalty, global petroleum owner....and have a squad net worth approaching a billion dollars... it would be a absolute shame to not continue winning when a good player is not on the pitch.

Lol I'm not even a city fan but u mad bro?

VB born, class of '14

Not by City, no. The squad they have, the football they play it really is great--and I prefer blue to red in Manchester anyways.

But when Liverpool go down 1-0 to Burnley, the fans on reddit (very toxic, I know) go into a meltdown about how Klopp has lost the plot, and moaning about players playing out of position, the season is over etc. And then we win 3-1 and all of a sudden it's a title race again.

I just have to chuckle at the city fans who get frustrated when other city fans have forgotten about KdB. Like...your team so good that you have forgotten about a super star, meanwhile at Liverpool we have people melting down, in the middle of the best start to a season in our 126 year history, when we go down a goal. It literally made me laugh..sincerely wish we could be in a place where we laugh when on of our best is missing and we are still so good we forget about him.

Ahhhh very well, I see your point now! Agreed

VB born, class of '14

Easy there nobody's hands are clean anymore from the silly money I'm a United fan and hate city with a passion but you can't deny the job the big bauld fraud is doing on the blue side of Manchester minus his best player for most of this season

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Thank you... I mean you can hate on city all you want but they've done it this year with several players out and pep deserves some serious credit for that. Mendy has missed a lot of games, de bruyne has been out, kompany has missed some games, our backup goalkeeper has been out, sane had some injuries earlier this season, kompany has been banged up (as always)...I mean the injury list has been insane and to be able to plug and play...pep deserves some serious credit

If it really was as easy as spending money QPR wouldnt be bottoming out and united would be challenging city (no offense hokienator i know youre a united fan).

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I am not hating on City by any means--100 points in a season in the EPL is flat out ridiculous. And it looks like if my reds have any chance at the title they have to get 101. My point was just--I can't imagine what it must be like to support a club and become miffed that some fans have forgotten about a player of KdB's caliber because the team has gotten on so well without him. I mean the squad is worth over 800 million and the owner has invested well over a billion dollars into the squad alone.

The fact that there is not a steep drop off when KdB is injured should not be a surprise. Man City has well and truly established themselves as the English version of Barca, RM, Bayern Munich, etc.

Does money equate success? Not necessarily--what City has done well is buying players that fit the system. Unfortunately that is what has done United in...Mourinho and a couple transfer just don't fit together. The end of the Brendan Rogers era for Liverpool was much the same...buying Benteke and Firmino, and then doubling down with Rickie Lambert, Mario Balotelli etc....

But you can't ignore the fact that money does win titles. Chelsea had no history and were bought by Abromovich, and boom--immediate success. But since being purchased in 2008, Man City have finished 10, 5, 3, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 1.

So like...I get it money doesn't necessarily equate success but relating Man City's 17billion dollar networth owner to QPRs owner (who Man City's squad is worth more than) and Man United who are spending buckets of money putting square pegs in round holes...it doesn't necessarily add up.

tl;dr I am not disrespecting city--spending money needs intelligence and they have done it very well. If i was a city fan who had a billion dollar squad and the drop off was substantial from starters to bench--i would be mad. Instead the Watford game saw: Silva, Fernadinho, Silva, Mahrez, Aguero, Sane with Sterling, Jesus, and Gundogan on the bench...that is an unreal squad right there.

Fair enough but to be quite frank I dont think I've met or spoken to a city fan who has forgotten debruyne, we are ecastic for him to get healthy and were heartbroken when he got hurt again. I have no idea who you're talking about regarding him

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Sorry never got back to you on this one...the first post that sparked this thread was griggma saying he felt like people were forgetting about KdB.

I do want to reiterate, however after reading through my posts, that I don't harbor any ill-will towards any city supporter you included...I don't do well wording my arguments without sounding aggressive or rude--one of many reasons I just don't post much. I enjoy the EPL discussions very much, especially here, where we can discuss with those who even support rivals without too much animosity.

Here's a fun fact: Citeh's owners first wanted to buy LFC but the bid was unsuccessful...they then moved on to the blue half of Manchester. We ended up with hicks and gillette....and almost went into administration.

Needed auba to kick ass against United this last game day flry fantasy team and to help push mou out the door and instead a 2-2 that was weird as hell with both teams gifting each other offsetting goals

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

As a neutral, this Chelsea / Man City game has been scintillating, tactically and in quality

VB born, class of '14

Didn't watch today's game, but very impressed with the Chelsea coach. Team plays like they fear him (think a bunch are looking for work, wanna look good for a transfer) and I think he knows what he is doing (ball is moving faster, guys playing more for one another, no scoring yet but that comes with time). There will be transfer window turmoil, but if he can get past that with players he wants, they will be competitive. Right players and some creative offense and they're going to be in the top4.

I was a Blues fan today that's for sure, LFC to the top of the table, last undefeated team in the league.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Tottenham Hotspur, only team not to draw in the league!

VB born, class of '14

You are welcome Liverpool fans

We reallllly missed aguero today, good game blues

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Preface: With no intent of this conversation going political

What are your thoughts, soccer fans, of the Sterling incident this past weekend?

I'm a LFC fan, and I know, no club or culture for that matter, is innocent of some form of racism in their past, by player or supporter. But just would like to hear the thoughts on the board. A conversation across "club lines."

This video almost brought me to tears, you can hear the pain in Earle's voice.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Holy shit I had no idea about that Daily Mail story. That is pathetic. It reminds of this story written by United fan site Rebulik of Mancunia.

I know a lot of folks here don't like United and may think this story is biased, but it's thought provoking and highlights a lot of what Sterling was saying.

http://therepublikofmancunia.com/powerful-pogba-and-unintelligent-lukaku/

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

It truly is pathetic. I hate hearing about the racism in the sport. I think that was originally one reason I was hesitant about becoming a soccer fan early in my adult life; I felt like the American sports weren't as BLATANT about racism (i.e.: see banana peel throwing). But another part of me said, my "half glass full" self wants to believe that racism is a small percentage of the common soccer fan. I just hope that UEFA/FIFA really try to get out ahead of this injustice. Soccer is such a beautiful sport that truly is loved by the entire world. ALL should have the ability to enjoy the sport without fear of persecution simply because of one's race.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

πŸ”₯πŸ•ŠπŸ”₯⚽️ #KnockoutRoundBound #UpTheReds

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

wrong thread, ya silly head

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I noticed that after I posted it, oh well, my squad is in the PL I guess that counts...lol

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Hearing the Kop chant Jose Mourinho's name in antagonist fashion was glorious!

via GIPHY

πŸ‡¨πŸ‡­ Army Knife came through for the boys #UpTheReds #TopOfTheTable #Undefeated

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

#DontSackMourinho

Oh I'm with you, the longer Man U can stay in the dumps the better.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Oh well, it was bound to happen sometime, we might as well be the cause.

Well this just got interesting. Zidane, Pochettino, or someone else? For Tottenham's sake I hope it's not the latter.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Didn't Poch recently sign a new deal? Gotta think he'll be pretty expensive.

Not that I think it'll be Poch, but ManU is paying Alexis Sanchez half a million pounds a week to either suck or ride the bench, so I think they've proven money is no issue.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Man remember when a bunch of people were pissed and confused about the shaqiri signing? Dudes a stud

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I think people underestimated how much he wants to prove he belongs after his time at Stoke. I was excited by his signing mostly because AOC is out long term. When he gets back, the midfield has some serious flexibility; which is needed knowing how fragile Henderson is and how reliant Klopp is on Milly being the utility player.

I was one of those confused, because we were on the radar for Fekir, and then we ended up with Shaq. I am perfectly fine with eating crow for this shrewd signing. Shows that the fans rarely know more than the people who get paid to scout talent.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

I'm obviously wrong a lot, but I've never been happier to be wrong than on this one. So far, signing of the season for us.

Had to upvote you for this--I remember debating you about how I felt 13mil was a safe bet on a player (who I felt) was misplaced ever since leaving Bayern...I personally had felt he would be a good fit and happy to see that has come true...but as we all know, preseason speculations are just that--speculations...I could have been just as wrong myself. Good to see you can admit being wrong as it seems so many on forums have trouble doing so.

With Shaqiri, Mane, and Salah all able to fill it up, that's a dangerous lineup. And if Firmino finds his gaps, man...

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Did Arsenal play this weekend? For some reason I cannot remember a game taking place at all.

...yikes.

New manager bump klaxon. Also, 5-3-5 including cup competitions in their last 13 against Southampton. Every top team seems to have their bogey teams. When Arsenal are clicking this year, they are nice to watch though. Reminds me of Liverpool last year with some of the passing; Ramsey's goal against Fulham was one in particular that was fun to watch.

I forget which season(s) it was (I think 2016/2017)when it felt like Liverpool kept playing bottom teams who had just fired their managers and would lose. I would literally be praying that a club would not fire their manager before Liverpool came to town. A new manager almost always sparks a fire under the players and it is not like Southampton doesn't have talent...

That sounds about right on the year. Finished 8th? that year and made it to the Europa final. I still cringe every time we play Burnley or Palace. At least the league doesn't have to worry about a soggy wet night at Stoke for a while. I don't see them coming back up any time soon.

One available CB (and that one coming back from a year long injury) will do that to a team. Not too concerned yet. I do wish we'd figure out how to play in the first half though.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Ever since I grabbed Auba in my fantasy team arsenal have struggled

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Here we are in december and I'm still confused as to why we havent sack Mou the guys a putz with no brains and has us looking like a mid table side, not to mention his ass hat rhetoric before and after the games embarassing the club left and right. Take away the club name and Joses name and read it without the names and youd think he was the coach of Southampton not the manager of Man United. The guys spent more than liverpool yet liverpool are about to double our point haul before we get 20 games into the season. Hes an absolute joke.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Your team is closer to 20th place than 1st in the table...think about that for a second.

I, too, am fairly surprised. I am wondering if it has something to do with systematic failings. It isn't as if Mourinho is the only issue there. Man United has not enjoyed much since Sir Alex left. I would be curious to see what plays out here, but I don't think just a manager is going to change much for you guys. It could be that they may be waiting to make more drastic changes..

The announcers yesterday kept harping on how the Chief Executive David Gill left at the same time as Ferguson. I really think they're on to something, as ManU haven't really been the same since-that's a lot of turnover...the two most important figures at the club both leaving after long and successful tenures.

It happened to LFC in the early 90s basically right after Hillsborough and some could argue we still haven't fully recovered.

Well, there's always the Champions League. Unless things change by February I'm not sure how much I like United's defense against Neymar and Mbappe. And by that I mean I think they're in for a pounding. Could be the kind of big losses that doom a manager.

ManU's season is about as close as possible to the guy sitting on the stool:

The longer that team is on a downward trajectory the better it is for all supporters, because the money might they have can lead to a quick turnaround.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

What a pleasant morn.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Do not worry, the cycle has only reset. We will be in this same position in 24-30 months unless we hire a Director of Football to oversee the football side of the club.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Mourinho doing one is like Christmas come early.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

wellthereitis.gif

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I've woken up next to some beautiful women in my day but waking up to see Jose was sacked on my phone has to take the cake, ahhhhh the fresh smell of no more festering old specialist at failure to have to listen to or hear about.
Now time to install a footballing director and take the next 6 months to pull in a good young manager.

Curious who gets the interim job I dont mind Carrick taking it personally but if its external I pray its not Conte we dont need Mou 2.0 around this club. Maybe Laurent Blanc? Please no big sam.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Wonder if they will be tempted to take Giggs away from the Wales job

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Looks like Gunner is gonna get the job after all they botched the announcement on their website before deleting it along with the PM of Norway tweeting out her congratulations on him getting it should be announced by tomorrow I'd imagine. I hope he can get em playing like his teams used to back when he was playing in old Trafford

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I don't understand the difference between the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup.

FA Cup is the oldest cup competition and includes all 10 tiers of English football. That is why you hear about non-league teams winning against bigger clubs. The final is usually played the following weekend after the league ends.

The Carabao Cup is limited to the top 4 tiers and has had 9 different sponsers (Carabao is the newest; last year it was unsponsored). Generally this is the cup that the bigger teams use to field the non-starters and youngsters to get game experience. It is usually concluded by late January.

EDIT: https://www.quora.com/What%E2%80%99s-the-difference-between-the-EFL-and-...
I believe this is from last year, but goes in a little deeper than my response.

Thanks for the response. Very helpful.

Did anyone see that Cheeky goal Dele Ali scored?

Tales told of battles won
Of things we've done
Caligula would grin

A good chip is one of the great paradoxes in sports; so delicate, yet at the same time, so emphatic. To chip a keeper that nonchalantly at your rival club's stadium... incredible.

As a Spurs fan, I've really come to love Dele. Despite what rival fans claim, he has matured tremendously over the years and rarely gets himself into trouble anymore. He also has a knack for scoring against our rivals, which is impossible not to enjoy.

Ali and Son are my favorite Spurs

Tales told of battles won
Of things we've done
Caligula would grin

How come no one is talking about water-bottle-gate?

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Arsenal without Holding, Bellerin, and Mustafi is apparently a shambles...as the Brits would say. Koscielny is done at this level of soccer. Xhaka is being played out of position. Ozil did not play for "tactical reasons"...League Cup match or not it feels like he's getting sold in January.

Feeling like a proper pasting is coming at Anfield next weekend.

While my concerns line up with yours almost exactly, I'm actually kinda happy we lost this one. Now Spurs and Chelsea have to play twice in January for that (relatively) pointless cup. And with our depth issues already a problem, I'll take any break we can get to focus on Europa and the league.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

If xhaka keeps at CB I'd be worried about Burnley and Brighton as well glen Murray knows how to score

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Having Xhaka in defense also takes away our best creator in midfield as well. (Well, our best creator assuming Ozil is not seeing the field for whatever reason.)

So not only will we leak even more goals than previously, but we won't be scoring as many either.

Fortunately Mustafi and Sokratis will be back.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

God I hope we are able to keep Poch. Do whatever it takes this transfer window and gotta win a trophy
COYS

VB born, class of '14

I'll take any trophy at this point

Tales told of battles won
Of things we've done
Caligula would grin

I think we hold on to Poch for a couple of reasons:
-both Real and ManU are shit shows currently, in large part because of the presidents of the clubs; Levy may have his faults but him and Pochettino have a strong working relationship and Pochettino recently praised him
-I think Pochettino sees this as a project and wants to get at least 1 or 2 full seasons in at the new stadium before looking elsewhere

A couple other thoughts:

The top priority needs to be finishing top 4 because of the money that comes with it and, assuming we ever decide to buy another player, it will attract more top talent.

Pochettino already said he thinks it's unlikely that we spend in January fwiw.

how u feeling about holding on to Poch now?

he has to get more player clay from douchebag management... or he is going to walk

WWanderers are way under appreciated, but fucksake u better hope Poch is not lying awake tonight

To be fair, a few people were saying at the beginning of the season that Wolverhampton, with the coach and squad they assembled, would easily stay away from relegation and could be a surprise top-10 to top-8 side this year. I think they had a poor start so it didn't look too good and people forgot about this but they are absolutely a tough side to play.

I wouldn't be surprised if Wolves play a close to full strength squad for the FA tie and Liverpool plays a B squad with guys like Lallana, Moreno and Origi and Wolves end up winning 3-1 or something similar. It says something to their strength that they've been able to rotate and guys like Neves and Moutinho have been coming off the bench. It's good to see Coady doing well too.

still pretty good, that one game isn't going to change his decision.

Seems both the primo managerial slots that were open are now closed. I still think ManU is more difficult than RealM, but I can't see them removing the new guy now, even for Poch. Similarly RealM has too much talent to keep whirling the managers, they have to let a system take hold before rendering a verdict.

Still feel like Tottenham and Poch are vulnerable as long as the conversation is Liverpool versus Man City. Who knows maybe with such an underfunded club, Tottenham can keep rocking the Champions and League table enuff this year that people start to view it as a Big3. Certainly at this point Poch would need a path to getting to Big3 status and a GM he trusts and $$$ to play in the windows. Biggest threat may be when Pep gets bored.

Seems both the primo managerial slots that were open are now closed. I still think ManU is more difficult than RealM, but I can't see them removing the new guy now, even for Poch.

Still a lot of season left. If United look way outclassed vs PSG, don't crack the top-four in the league, and/or have a poor showing in the FA cup, things will get noisy. I can't see Poch at Tottenham beyond summer 2020 even if they manage to hang onto him this summer.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

48 points from 18 games...first during xmas...chuffed

KH, if by some strange occurrence we when the next 3 matches, I say the league is as good as ours. #UpTheReds

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Hold your horses...dont forget about 2013...hope you're right, though.

2013 was heartbreaking for sure, but something about the backline this year has me believing. Won't get ahead of myself though. You're right, thanks for sobering me up after the elation of seeing CP beat MC.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

hey now don't forget about spuds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Excuse me but

VB born, class of '14

backline sh**... the forward pressure, the over the top ball to Salah to Mane, Mane sticking with ball falling to Firmino, to Firmino remembering how to be alpha and to dribble.... that was a freaking drubbing of Arsenal

not a fan of Arsenal though I want to see what a couple years with the coach will do....the front line of LVPL is must c tv

Let's make this 2 horse title race a 3 team challenge, shall we? COYS

VB born, class of '14

lol

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Great comment

VB born, class of '14

I've crunched the numbers and this is the result:

From 08-09 to 17-18, the average finish point totals for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th are:
{88.1, 81, 75.6, 71.8}

If we simply double the point totals right now for the top four we see:
{102, 90, 88, 80}

Compared to Man City's record season:
{100, 81, 77, 75}

Based only on the last ten seasons...this season's projected second place finisher would have won the premier league every single time but three (City 17-18 and CHelsea 16-17, while tying 08-09 on points).

Based only on the last ten seasons, this season's projected third place finisher would have won the premier league an astonishing 5 out of ten times!

Based only on the last ten season, this season's projected fourth place finisher would have won the premier league maybe once based on goal differential (10-11).

What is even more interesting is that if i take the mid season results and final results from the past ten years, create averages point totals, I can figure out (on average) how many points 1st gained from MW19 to MW38, what second place gained, etc.

If I use those average gains and add them to the current standings the final point totals would be:
{93.8, 84.2, 80.9, 75.6}
As stated above, the average from the past decade was:
{88.1, 81, 75.6, 71.8}

So, as it stands, statistically Liverpool is in a great place. But just as in 08-09, 13-14, Liverpool has selected one of the toughest seasons to challenge for a title. This season actually looks to be the highest grossing, in terms of points, as well as one of the tighter finishes (if everything compacts in the spring).

I am so tired of hearing the "you haven't won anything" chants, so i desperately want the title. But man....this three horse race could go down as one of the best ever.

Chelsea who?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Choke in the title race? I can count on two fingers the number of times the spuds have been champions

it helps being a hokies fan, a lot of overlapping patterns and feelings.

side note: saying we were in the title race this year was a bit of a stretch; took 0 points from two home matches against the other two

I'm trying very hard to not get my hopes up, but damn if my Reds aren't looking the part.

Can only wait and see now if Kroenke will back Emery financially in the next couple of transfer windows. Not going to get it done with this defense. The guy seems to be happy to watch his US teams suck so I'm not optimistic.

And I'm stunned that whatever is happening with Mesut Ozil cannot be solved. Arsenal is just not good enough to write off the creativity he brings after half a PL season. Such a huge amount of salary just not playing is crazy.

If he doesn't back Emery he's an absolute moron the guy can coach but Wenger left him an absolute shit squad especially defensively they're all over he needs serious transfers in the next few cycles to stand a chance. They and the fans need to be patient or they risk falling into sillyness. On Ozil he's freaky good but inconsistent and obviously he's not someone Emery rates too highly which makes the decision to let Ramsey walk even weirder but all be it I don't think emery likes him and wants to try and lay down his authority so we will see.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

this post 4 sure

think Ars midfield weak... Ars Wenger had the whole crew sniffing one anothers farts.... sure a made for TV passing sequence goal every now and then but couldn't freaking beat a man who wanted to be the man when it mattered...key will be the Evolution as well as making things with the clay he has

Ozil needs to strength lift... and train aerobically less... kid just wears down over the course of a season

letting go of Ramsey, then Ozil will put team in a danger zone where any missteps will put pressure on Emery... hope he has step up replacements before letting these guys go

thank sep 4 joining prem league.... than big german 4 joining prem league... this is really getting fun 2 watch

They have to do something. Either failing to hold onto, or failing to sell at market rates, talent over the past several years has ruined this supposed "self-sufficient" model we want to run, and now we're in a hole. We NEED a van Dijk type of signing, but there's no way in hell Arsenal has that kind of money to drop unless they're playing it very close to the vest. I'm honestly not sure where the solution might be, but the defense is one of the worst I've seen.

Also can't tell you how much I dread December as an Arsenal fan. It always ends up being "Black December" where half the squad gets injured and we go on a huge slide.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

They have to do something. Either failing to hold onto, or failing to sell at market rates, talent over the past several years has ruined this supposed "self-sufficient" model we want to run, and now we're in a hole.

This. Need to be aggressive in bumping players salaries incrementally with frequent contracts so that their market value stays high, rather than playing the van Persie/Walcott/Wilshere/Alexis/Ramsey/Ozil game that has been going on. Losing Ramsey on a free is shambolic squad management.

The defense is hodge podge and maybe it's too early to say that Koscielny is washed, but relying on him to come back from an Achilles at age 33 and be a rock at CB was naive. Especially when he is saying that his return was a little rushed. Some transfer misses at the end of the Wenger tenure really set this squad back (Chambers, Lucas Perez, Gabriel, etc).

I agree with the need for statement signing at CB. It really is a seller's market, though, and Lucas Hernandez or Marquinhos would both be really really costly. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of CBs out on the market with a contract situation to make an obvious move for. VVD and Laporte were the two obvious names at CB in the last few years and they've made their big moves. Frenkie De Jong probably profiles as a ball-playing CB but has his sights set higher than Arsenal; Koulibaly is already 27. Maybe the best option is to make a run at someone like Jose Gimenez from Atletico or Matthias Ginter from Gladbach - both players are young and established in their national squads as well but would also be costly.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I'll be honest I would be feeling a lot better if Rob Holding hadn't gone down (again, December blues). I thought he and Sokratis made a pretty good partnership ("good" is relative with this squad). They even made Mustafi look really good when we played 3 CBs, as they could provide enough cover for his brain farts.

Maybe we don't need a 70+M signing, but we need a big one for sure, or we need to get really lucky.

Jonathan Tah would be another name on the list for me. Not quite the same level as the names you've listed, but young, ball-playing, and big.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Holding was a great signing for the money and should be viewed as the exception rather than the rule of this transfer policy. Just need him to come back healthy and hope his development doesn't stall out.

I agree that the defense will need an overhaul in the next two years, and now is the time to start strengthening:
Monreal is 32 and out of contract this coming summer.
Lichtsteiner is 34 and out of contract this coming summer.
Koscielny is 33 and out of contract in 2020.
Sokratis is 30 and out of contract in 2021.
Mustafi is 26 and out of contract in 2021.
Kolasinac is 25 and signed through 2022.
Chambers is 23 (almost 24) and signed through 2022.
Bellerin is 23 and signed through 2023.
Mavropanos is 21 and signed through 2023.
Holding is 23 and signed through 2023.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

The good news is that those 3 at the bottom with the longest contracts are the most important to keep. Kola is also proving to be our best creator in the midst of this weird ass Ozil situation. Really happy with him at the moment, at least on the offensive side.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I'm ready for the (deserved) opposition to the tweet below, but we could have easily fallen back to where Everton is now before Poch came along (no offense toffees)

VB born, class of '14

Oh spurs deserve tons of credit I dont think anyone can take that away from that

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Context is something that is sorely missing these days. Everyone is looking at other teams saying, "I wish we could have that..."

An easy example: lot's of criticism against Liverpool for lacking attacking prowess since letting Buvac walk...well we have the same goals after 19 matches this season that we did during the final 19 of last season...

Another example is the hokies. This should have been the last season we see the redshirt junior and seniors of Frank B's last recruiting cycle. Well they don't really exist, and a load of injuries later and some poor QB play and we have a bad season. I don't even bother getting into football posts now because it is so toxic.

Spurs have done a great job and have had some good luck (advancing to final 16 of UCL), especially for not having spent money. My concern for them was risking so much to build the new White Heart Lane could sink them if they weren't careful. I still have that concern--getting eliminated first round of Ro16 in the UCL, getting bumped out of the league cup and/or FA cup, finishing 4th (don't see this happening) and losing Poch to Man U in the summer. The stadium is a big burden to bear and the reason they didn't sign anyone.

I like that Tottenham is a team that haven't spent a ton of money but have see consistent success and so I don't want them pull an Everton either.

I absolutely agree. But contextually spurs were always in the 4th-7th range before Poch and have placed 5th, 3rd, 2nd, and 3rd in the PL under him. Progress in qualifying for the CL and making it out of group stages is great compared to getting knocked out or just making Europa league.

I think we will definitely fall to Dortmund in the CL, so beating Chelsea in the Carabao Cuppity Cup is of huge importance. A strong FA cup run is needed as well.

I'd like to bring someone in like last January with Lucas Moura, to add depth even if they dont contribute right away. I just really fear that Poch is gone this summer.

VB born, class of '14

I absolutely agree. But contextually spurs were always in the 4th-7th range before Poch

I think we are mainly saying the same thing. My concern is that if/when BvB knock them out of UCL, if they don't beat chelsea on the cuppity cup, a poor FA cup run, and losing Poch, and with the burden of the cost of the new stadium...they could take a scary tumble which I do not want to see. I am not sure Alli, Son, Kane, dembele, Lloris, etc. will all stick around if Poch goes and they start competing more for europa than UCL.

The timing is bad as Sarri seems to have Chelsea on the up and up, same with Emeri at Arsenal. Combine that with a United team that could have Poch at the helm and all of a sudden top-4 becomes very difficult to break.

There are a lot of ifs here, I am just spelling out my worries for Tottenham and that I don't want them to fall like that.

Ah got it now. Yup 100% agree with what you said. Itll be a very interesting spring which could make summer beautiful or disastrous.

VB born, class of '14

Pulisic is now owned by Chelsea after signing a €64m transfer, but is being loaned back to Dortmund for the remainder of the year.

I'd imagine Pulisic Chelsea jerseys are going to be a big seller stateside from here on out

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

I say that attributed to at least 5 million of the transfer on top of the typical premium to transfer to EPL.

This could be a good fit if he can stay in the squad rotation long enough for the older players to finish out their contract.

Kind of a shocking price. I know Liverpool, with American owners and Klopp having been at BvB for Pulsic's first season, were interested. But that price tag, at liverpool, would insinuate he should be starting and we all know he would not be breaking in over Mane, Salah, Firmino, and even 13-million-pound-man-Shaqiri. I wish him well, and I would love to see him succeed in the EPL.

Also have to remember he's still very young and is showing elite level talent. Chelsea is playing the long game here, if he works out for them, they might have solidified their attacking midfield for the next 10-15 years. If it doesn't, they still might make a hell of a lot of money on him, because he'll be the first American on a major EPL team since Tim Howard served as backup at ManU in the early 2000s, and the first American to wear the proper kit (not goalkeeper) of a major EPL club... at least in most of our lifetimes (if ever). There's a hell of a lot of untapped money in stateside marketing if Chelsea makes it work. There's a lot of unaffiliated neutral fans who might bandwagon to Chelsea if our national star is playing for them.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

what constitutes "major EPL club"? Asking bc Everton (Landycakes and Howard) and Tottenham (Dempsey)

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

the "Big Six"

Arsenal
Chelsea
Liverpool
Man City
Man United
Tottenham

Even though the Big Six really took off about 10 years, ago, I'm not sure Everton has really had that prestige, at least not in recent decades. Then again, I did forget that Dempsey made 29 appearances for the Spurs in 2012-13... so I guess that counts.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Don't get me wrong here, seeing an American be bought for so much by a top-6 EPL team excites me. But here is the thing--as liverpool fan I remember Raheem Sterling, who scored 12 goals between two seasons from ages 17-19. He was already playing for an (arguably) top-6 team and was a huge piece of our 2013/14 title race. They are close but Sterling was doing his part two years earlier, respectively. I think my fear is Pulisic goes to chelsea and sits behind Hazard, Willian, Pedro and stunts his growth a bit. I really, truly hope it works out for the best.

Secondly I just don't buy the marketing stuff Americans keep saying about Pulisic. EPL teams sell about 1.5 million jerseys each year and only net about 10-15% of the price of the jersey. Next, even if some large contingent of Americans finally turns on the TV to watch the EPL and see Pulisic (this is if and when he is starting for the team or on the bench), the EPL divides the TV money evenly among the clubs.

So I get it, more Americans buy his jersey, more americans watch Chelsea, but in the end it really doesn't amount to a ton. I really hope this works out for all involved parties but I still say the money was too high. Either way, I am still stoked to see him in the EPL--it will be surreal to see him on the pitch.

Here's to hoping he sticks at Chelsea and doesn't join the likes of mismanaged Chelsea squad rejects who rehab their career elsewhere and resurface later.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I know Liverpool have benefited from a few of those.

I think my fear is Pulisic goes to chelsea and sits behind Hazard, Willian, Pedro and stunts his growth a bit

-pedro and willian: will be 32 and 31, respectively, by the start of next season; would be surprised if both are still around to start next year

-hazard basically has a sign up saying he wants to go to real madrid

they're spending a huge sum, Pulisic is going to get his chances. hopefully sarri has identified and is on board with this transfer. just sucks that it's chelsea

I clearly don't understand how the soccer contracts work. He had one year left on his contract I believe. If he had waited one more year he could have gone free and gotten paid more? But doesn't that also mean that Chelsea picks up a player who only is under contract for a year. In other words its not a sign and trade type of a deal

So Pulisic could be free and clear in a year? Sounds like he will negotiate in good faith and they've probably agreed on some extensions that will make him happy. I guess that would have been the condition of the trade. That he be amenable to terms that Chelsea willing to pay him.

Still seems like one heck of a transfer fee for a team that was losing its leverage. I guess sitting a year getting scrap and B team minutes at Dortmund was just too much for him to take.

I think he will be a fit with the new manager. Crossing fingers.

Contracts don't transfer in global soccer like they do in MLB, NBA, etc. because the clubs are not franchises, but rather independent entities. So when Chelsea signs Pulisic from BVB, they pay a sum of money to BVB for the right to sign Pulisic to a different contract at Chelsea.

edit: this means that players have a lot more "clout" in where they wind up, since two agreements need to be made (selling club and buying club, and buying club and player). Pulisic could have made it clear that he would not sign with Chelsea, etc.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

to expand on your edit, i believe it was reported he had agreed to personal terms with chelsea prior to dortmund and chelsea agreeing to the fee

in which case, he can make it clear to BVB that he really wants to go and won't accept personal terms to any other club

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Thanks.

Yeah, and if BVB felt like he was going to leave (transfer free) in a year they have an incentive to manage him exactly how they have.

Bring in guys in your spot, hope they are decent replacements and make you sit the bench and want the transfer so they can monetize you.

I am not saying they did this... the guys they brought in seem better than he is... but at least the superstar kid belongs to Barca.

Interesting 4 sure. If NFL had this kind of structure, Pittsburgh probably unloads their head cases but gets enough compensation that they are made close to whole.

That is kind of the catch-22 with the whole structure in Europe. Contracts don't matter to teams with money so the wealthier teams are the more successful. But it does allow a club to offload the head cases if they want to.

Funny enough, RB Leipzig said the same thing about Timo Werner...they literally said they will have to sell this summer if he does not agree to a new contract otherwise they will make no money on him.

Liverpool lost Emre Can on a free and that hurt because he went to Juventus who likely would have paid in the range of 25-40million depending on the day of the week and ridiculous transfer inflation over the past few years.

Today, in Football Association Andre Mariner bullshit.

ftfy

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Typical Jonjo tackle. No doubt he can spray some passes and get the occasional belter, but tackles like that are why he isn't ever going to be more than a bottom half of the table type player. He'd fit in well at Burnley or Stoke.

Found this interesting. So Arsenal is the ONLY club in England to receive zero moneys from the ownership, but it's still evident that with the amount of pure cash flow we generate, we should be buying better. Granted, the acquisitions of Auba, Laca, Torreira, etc. weren't cheap per se, but if we want to consistently compete with other squads who get "injections", we need to be better in the market.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

that's incredible.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I saw this table and the first thing I noticed was the disparity between Owner vs. Operations of Chelsea and Man City. Chelsea, even after all these years of success, still has such low operations revenue.

I would be interested in seeing liverpool post Hicks & Gillette on this chart. I'm pretty certain owner financing and external loans would be reduced, just not sure how much.

red beats blue and it aint even close???

I'm sorry, I am not sure I understand?

I think there is an England "thing" beyond who you root for.

Do you root for a red team or a blue team?

Teams that play in red: (old list)
Man United
Liverpool
Arsenal
Southampton
Stoke
Crystal Palace
Bournemouth
Middlesbrough
Sunderland

Teams that play in blue:
Chelsea
Spurs
Man City
Everton
West Brom
Crystal Palace
West Ham
Leicester
Burnley
Swansea (away)

But I'm not English never really rooted for any team enough to even buy a shirt. It all changes when Pulisic gets his number.

West Ham can't possibly be blue???????????????

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

West Ham could be in either category since our colors are claret and blue. The original color was blue which may be the reason they are listed in the blue section but I agree with you, they should be in the red section since claret has been the primary color for over 100 years now.

Ugh. Not that I blame you for buying a Pulisic jersey or anything but just...ugh...chelsea?

Man if that doesn't go right to the heart of how unacceptable it is for ManU to be where they are in the table, I don't know what does.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

That and the results OGS is getting with the same squad Jose has just shows how shit he was at managing United.

Now imagine if we could get a competent DOF to manage that money on the pitch.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

The book on Mourinho has always been that he's an incredible mind when it comes to engineering a defense, but has a grating personality and isn't good at man-managing. He's never managed even four seasons at a club and a most of those tenures have been marked by incredible squad tension.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

The #1 most damning thing to him right now is that he was on a mission to effectively run Pogba out of town, benching him for vital league matches, and the second he's fired, Pogba looks like a man possessed on the field. I mean, I get it, Pogba played like a spoiled brat for stretches earlier in the year, but he's the big acquisition and a guy with unquestioned talent. You have to be able to get the most out of it, and you were actively making him worse.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Going to be interesting to see how Tottenham handle those external loans once the stadium is complete. If they cant spend and Poch leaves I see them going back to a consistent 6 to 10 spot team. Even Arsenal, with all their operation revenue, had trouble dealing with their loans.

I have no reason to believe we will ever win the league again under this ownership. If we finish 4th every year and secure the CL money that will be mission accomplished and I would be shocked if Kroenke even gave a second thought to the supporters who want more.

What a match so far. It feels like a Stanley cup final game!

VB born, class of '14

As a Liverpool fan I'm not happy with the loss, but as a soccer fan, what a fucking game.

Still salty about Kompany's two footed "yellow card" at 0-0 . The fact that Anthony Taylor, from Manchester, can referee what was, probably, the biggest match of the season is shocking. I can't imagine the reaction if a scouser were to referee a Liverpool match even if they claimed to not be a fan of the team.

Oh please...just move on shit calls happen every game man and it wasnt that bad. I've seen tons of tackles like that go for yellow. Do you know how many piss poor tackles we had to endure last year? It happens move on theres not a manchester conspiracy to bone you guys. If there were there probably wouldve been a pk called on the sterling attempt where Robertson took him down. In a typical game there are a few questionable calls not all of them are going to go your way. It was a spectacular game. It is what it is.

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

You won't get any sympathy from the folks in this thread lol. This thread is r/liverpoolfc lite.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Edited:

I deleted what I originally wrote to say this: I get it, complaining about a ref is sour grapes. It would be hypocritical of me to say that I can't stand when others do it so I apologize...Man City was the better team regardless of Taylor. It was a great game and I am just mostly disappointed to see Liverpool come away with no points.

Tough loss. Kudos to MC for keeping us on our heels the entire match. Don't agree with the midfield we put out there, but clearly I have hindsight available. Still 4 points clear, if you would've asked me at the beginning of December if I would take 4 points clear even despite a MC loss I would of said hell yes. Gonna be a juicy race to the finish.

Didn't realize so many people hated Liverpool till I went on Twitter after the loss. The haters are in full force.

Oh well, Up the Reds.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

The reason most neutrals were probably pulling for City in this one is down to how much we have to hear about it. There are a lot more Liverpool fans out there than City fans. It's easy to pretty much ignore it when City wins the title. When Liverpool wins something, everyone is going to hear about it for a loooong time, including from several pundits who have a very hard time being unbiased as it is.

And Arsenal fans are just taking the small "W" that there will still only be one golden trophy. Have to take those where we can get them for now.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

There are a lot more Liverpool fans out there than City fans. It's easy to pretty much ignore it when City wins the title. When Liverpool wins something, everyone is going to hear about it for a loooong time, including from several pundits who have a very hard time being unbiased as it is.

and several commenters on this site whose perception of all things soccer is tinted red /sssssshotsfired

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

There are quite a few Liverpool fans yes. I try to be...unbiased...in what i post though I accept it is not easy to identify one's own bias.

That being said a lot of liverpool fans are vocal (though I have tried not to be as we have fallen short 3-4 times in the EPL era) because we get a lot of crap thrown at us for not having won the EPL. Even Man City was singing about Stevie's slip during the game.

This...that Gini-Hendo-Milner midfield failed against PSG, Napoli, and I think Red star too...I cringe against big opponents every time I see that line-up. I also felt Milner was rushed back which is a huge mistake against a Man City team as explosive as that. I agree about being happy with the four points clear after playing all of the top-6 once and MC, and Arsenal twice.

I honestly am more disappointed with Liverpool fans after the match...some were really acting like spoiled brats when, truly, Liverpool hasn't won anything major in over ten years. The reaction of some 'reds' was just shocking--you'd think we just lost the title on the last game of the season.

We haven't won the title in 30 years, the reaction was just plain terrible. I think Kop Hokie put me on to the Redmen podcast and the difference between us being up 7 points and 4 points literally was night and day. And those are legit scousers. Maybe it might be the American fan in me but I feel like we are in a great position with 2 "big 6" matches out of the way. Am I scared that we'll fumble the ball towards the end? Sure! But as one fan told me, you gotta enjoy the ride, it's a beautiful time to be a Liverpool supporter. I pray their isn't another "slip" in our future. I bought my first reds shirt after going up 7 points, I hope that purchase hasn't ruined it for everyone else LOL. My superstition is at an all time high!

On a side note, I didn't know so many people hated Liverpool, I feel like being a Yankee fan and a Liverpool supporter is the worst of both worlds. πŸ˜‚

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

It didn't used to be this way...30 years ago we have won the league by now...the Gerrard slip did our heads in and no mistake.

The worst of both worlds is being a Yankees/ManUre fan so you're good in my book. LFC is owned by the guys that own the Red Sox, so that makes you a bit of an outlier

Trust me my skin itches Everytime I remember that fact. Part of me just blocks it out of my head, especially since they aren't overly visible. I actually started liking LFC when LeBron bought a stake in the team. I've been looking for good Liverpool docs to get history on the team.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Yeah RedMen give a lot of great context to how it feels in Liverpool in contrast to the internet meltdown after that loss. I was ticked off by team selection, and Anthony Taylor (Already been called out on this thread for complaining about this so whatever--just google Anthony Taylor/Manchester United and you will see), but at the end of the day, we lost and I slept on it and was fine the next day. We are 4 points ahead, we only have 3 "top six" matches left and two of those are at home. We are in a good position and just need to enjoy it.

I genuinely feel that City is the best team in the world--it is going to take something special and some luck to get to the end in first. That is probably the single most reason I was upset with the loss--we were in good form, City has looked a bit shaky and a win really would have gone a long way--City came ready to play, nothing more to it.

If anyone should be upset that Taylor was appointed that game, it's the Citizens. He's accused of being a Utd fan and if any bias comes into play from a Utd fan, it's not going to be for City. This is only the second loss in the last 15 games Taylor has officiated for Liverpool (the other coming away at Chelsea) so I don't think you can point to him having some agenda against you.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

There was actually an uproar by City and their fans when he was appointed for their derby. In fairness, you are right, two losses in the last 15 matches, I won't question that. I edited above statements to note that it's just sour grapes to complain about officiating. It was borne out of a combination of Mane's red card and 0-5 thumping last season and not coming away from the etihad with a single point.

For the first time in years and years I'm enjoying watching United play and actually have something to pull for other than simply being a neutral God bless our baby faced assassin

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Would live to see the vastly underrated Wolves take down Liverpool today (sorry not sorry Reds fans)

VB born, class of '14

It's all good. I have been a big supporter of Wolves all season long (Except for against Liverpool). Just subbed in our youngest player ever in the FA cup so it's certainly not a full strength line-up on our part.

Hoping Lovren is ok, go figure I was just bashing him since the MC match

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Good news is Matip and Gomez are both really close to being back. But yeah--I am hopeful it is something small. I am listening to the live audio and apparently he went over to the bench under his own power (during the game) and was yelled at by Klopp to get back in the game...which he did do only to promptly sit down. I think it's minor and they are being careful. Psyched to hear Hoever is playing.

I'm listening to the match too, glad that the young reds are getting some valuable minutes, but the closer it gets to 90 minutes and with Salah and Bobby coming on, I wanna win this badly. Guess I want the sour taste out of my mouth.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Spurs drawn at Palace, narrlowly missing the Man U and Arsenal match up. I'll take it!

VB born, class of '14

From reddit...a live look at the clubs dipping into the January transfer market!

:(

odd this thread is so quiet when arsenal and liverpool don't play well...

that difference between getting 1 and 3 points for liverpool is what leads to titles though

I actually think Liverpool played decent in a raucous away game. Brighton hasn't played terrible lately and with a midfielder at CB and a balky TAA, we got the clean sheet. Did we play amazing? No. But I think this type of game was indicative of our early season grind out games. 16 more heart attacks to go.

#SevenPointsClearForNow
#UpTheReds

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

If you insist:

Arsenal sucks on the field and is even worse off it, and there's no excuse for Mesut Ozil to not be playing right now. Emery is cutting off his nose to spite his face at this point.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

and Guendouzi looks like he will develop into a good player, but Emery's in over his head if he thinks Guendouzi should be playing as a first-choice midfielder rather than a rotational/situational option at this point in his career.

If this summer sees Ramsey and Ozil both leave without some class creativity coming in, the club is worse off than I thought it was going into the year.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Yep. Guendouzi should be in the 18 for sure but starting weekly? No. If they don't do something about the Ozil situation and something even bigger about the defense, there's no hope for this squad for a very long time.

Also, it'd be nice if we could have an identity. I wasn't expecting it to manifest overnight, but I'm still not entirely sure what it is Emery is trying to accomplish on match day. We're too reliant on our (fantastic) strikers to produce magic, and yet we're not putting playmakers on the field to get them the ball. I don't get it.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

And the answer to Ozil not playing is...sending Ramsey to Juventus.

I really had minimal expectations for the transition year...but this is ugly. United has pulled even and it's only January. 6th place is probably locked in at this point.

I don't post over the weekends so there's that....Tough game for us but happy to come away with 3 points. It was nice to right the ship after losing 2 straight. I think I heard a statistic that 35% of all games Klopp has lost have come in January. So I just want to get out of this month alive.

I think I heard a statistic that 35% of all games Klopp has lost have come in January. So I just want to get out of this month alive.

Ah the ol' VT Football in the third quarter feeling.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I think you are being generous there....3rd quarter this year was just....there are no words for it really.

Not sure there are a lot of Chelsea fans on here, but we are currently playing terrible soccer. Even though we won today it was hard to watch. If we had a competent striker I think we would be right up there with City and Liverpool for a legit chance to win the title.

Really nervous for this match against Man U, and surprised we're lining up 4-4-2 instead of 4-2-3-1. That combo of Lingard, Martial, and Rashford could be lethal.

COYS

VB born, class of '14

Been an awesome match so far. Hopefully we can get three points and get level on points with Arsenal but this has been a blast so far to watch.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

David fucking De Gea. Damn you

VB born, class of '14

The man is insane. Regardless of my affiliations I think he is the main reason Man U are still relevant after Fergie. He saves them so many points it is unreal.

What a match. David De Gea is the best goalkeeper in the world. No debate.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Yup he kept Phil Jones from spoiling the goods time and time again really loving what we're seeing from lindelof we just need a solid cb to go with him maybe bailly if we can calm his hot streaks he has.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Disclaimer: Man United fan coming in with HOT TAKE

De Gea is the best shot stopper in the world by a large margin but is not the best goalkeeper. He has many holes in his game including often times distribution and his command of the box is lacking. United has conceded many a goals because he refused to cut out crosses in traffic and avoids contact. Still love having him though.

Yeah I see a lot of liverpool fans posting the save percentage data on top keepers (because Alisson is currently #1). But anyone can find the statistics or manipulate the statistics to make their keeper look great. Just watching De Gea I don't think there is another keeper who can rival his reflexes. The main reason Alisson is #1 based on save % is because our defense is allowing the fewest chances per game across the EPL. If United had our defense, De Gea would more than likely be #1 on that same stat.

De gea is legit I've been hoping for years that hed leave

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Being a United fan I am REALLY glad that he hasn't!!!

I wish Europe made a fat-guy Swansea jersey.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Goes up to 3XL online at their store...

Home Kit

They also have the away and alternates available as well. All are 40% off at the moment

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

I thought this was an interesting quote from Pogba regarding Solskjaer...

Before the coach arrived I was in the shadows, on the bench, and I accepted that," he said. "It is a pleasure to play again. Now I am always smiling.

Article here.

The players have certainly rallied around OGS. Whether or not that's a product of OGS or just a byproduct of Jose being gone (i.e., would any manager get these players to rally like this), it's hard to say. But those quotes certainly seem genuine and it certainly helps OGS's case.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

It's generally true for any team post-Jose recently. Chelsea was the most recent before Man U. If you know soccer, are positive, you can coach a post-Jose team to a win relatively easy just on the basis that the players have been unshackled. Jose is notorious for being a control-freak and telling each single player what their exact responsibilities are and are not. He stymies creativity and freedom on the pitch but he makes up for it in that his a tactical genius (for the most part). But once he loses the locker room (year three) it all goes down pretty fast.

He generally goes from taking over season 1, winning titles season 2, losing the team season 3.

There are still heavy rumors linking pochettino to Man U in the summer. Based off some of OGS's remarks in press conferences, it sounds like it was made clear to him this is an interim position.

The transaction actually went down as Man United loaning OGS from Molde for 6 months

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I...I had not read that...wow, that is actually very interesting! I am not sure I have ever heard of a managerial loan.

I love what gollum has done for united thus far but itll take one hell of a rest of the season to convince me hes right for the job so I think the loan deal was smartest. That said Mike Phelan is the man behind most of the immediate success the guys smart as a razor and I feel without him gollum would be in over his head. Love what hes doing but we need a guy like Poch who can truly rebuild a squad to get with liverpool and man city.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Kane out for at least 6 weeks, Son leaving for asian games, Sissoko, Dier, and Wanyama all injured... Spurs are done for on all 4 fronts. #sadnap

VB born, class of '14

Shocking to hear the injuries this morning. Kane is a huge blow...I can't say I could even name his back up that is how integral he is.

Not looking the best for us either V, with TAA going down with the knee injury, Gomez still out, Lovren with the hamstring situation, and Matip vying for a start despite the collarbone being untested. I truly feel like the next 5 league matches will be pivotal in painting the picture of this years EPL champs. All of our matches are winnable, but we've staked our 4 point lead on our back line play.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Matip is already back in full training, Lovren is supposed to be fit after this weekend, Gomez will be back shortly...Fabinho and Milner are both familiar with RB and Camacho looks strong for a young kid.

Also TAA does not have to have surgery so the four week thing is a very conservative guess. He could very well be back training within a week or two.

1. I know Matip is back in full training, but training versus in game contact with something as sensitive as a collar bone will always be concerning till it's tested in real game time action.
2. Have you heard how long Gomez is out from returning? Originally the estimate was mid-Jan and here we are mid-Jan, thought he was supposed to be back before Matip. The delay worries me, especially with his injury history.
3. I prefer Milner even though he's primarily right footed. Fabinho needs to be in the midfield with the situation with GiGi being injured for at least this week.
4. I don't trust Camacho just yet, didn't look the greatest in the FA cup match, KiJana (who I think played way better) is also an option at RB, but yet again, every game is critical, do you really wanna rely on youth this late in the season?
5. Wish we would've included a buy back clause with Bournemouth for situations like this. Oh well.
6. I read that it was a conservative guess as well, that's encouraging, feel like we need to be full strength by the ManUre match.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

1. I wouldn't be too worried about the collar bone. It may be sensitive but the reason he is back before Gomez is because of where he was injured.
2. Broken bone in his lower leg. Haven't heard anything other than they expect him back in training soon.
3. I prefer Fabinho because that is his full time position in the Brazilian squad, Henderson can play DM and then any combination of shaqiri, milner, keita should be fine.
4. I don't either but our next two games are CP and Leicester at home. If we get over that hump we get the majority of the squad back too, and then they are off to dubai for warm weather training.
5. I am on the fence here. There was clearly a riff between Klopp and Clyne... his situation reminds me a lot of Sakho in that he was clearly healthy, clearly in form, but Klopp off loaded him. I don't want to be that Klopp homer...but considering how far this squad has come I will give him a pass on this one.

I didn't hear about a failed drug test, link?

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

I don't want to waste too much time especially if it was just a rumor. I edited my post because I can't find it anymore, and maybe I had it mixed up with something else.

I did see some quotes while I was looking for links that Klopp specifically said clyne did not offer much going forward but was good defensively. That is probably one of the main reasons if true.

Llorente, baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Lol so is Ozil hurt or yall just benching your highly paid guy for laughs?

VB born, class of '14

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Rumors out today that Emery wants Ozil gone due to his exorbitant salary and is willing to pay his new club to be rid of him. Not a good look if you're trying to attract top players, but I think Emery is doing the right thing. Ozil just seems like he can't be arsed (pardon the pun) when he's on the field. My brother is a life-long gooner and he wants to be rid of Ozil ASAP, he's far too inconsistent to justify his wages....but I'm not an ardent watcher of Arsenal, so fire away, Arsenal fans. I just think Arsenal is better off without him in the short and long term. The need to sort out their defense first and foremost.

His wages are too high sure, but our top creator without Ozil in the lineup is... Sead Kolasinac. This is a BIG problem. And quite frankly we've performed better with Ozil than without this season (and in general, always) so Emery taking this hard stance is not doing himself any favors.

No reason why a club like Arsenal shouldn't be able to address this miserable defense without canning our most creative player.

In my opinion Ozil (not a perfect player: offers very little in the way of defense, isn't a natural leader, etc. but is still a genius when it comes to ball movement going forward) is just being scapegoated by many while they ostrich the real problems, which is that the club is being mismanaged from the very top down. It started with the god awful wage mismanagement a long time ago (supposedly something they're trying to fix, we'll see), but now they're saying they have no money yet they're probably letting one of the better scouts in the world walk away due to inability to see eye to eye.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

The whole reason why they have to get rid of him is the owner is unwilling to spend to help the team out. Also I was listening to ESPN FC podcast last night sounds like they just lost their footballing director or one of the heads of recruitment? They need Kroenke to help out or get him out and bring in an owner who wants to build something.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

It's a little more complicated than just that. Honestly the issue with Kroenke isn't that he doesn't want to spend his own money. That part isn't really a big deal for me. Arsenal is one of the most profitable clubs still, the reason why we're "broke" is because of the management from the board/CEOs. The bigger issue with Kroenke is it seems the club is being run without a unified vision right now, and he needs to be the one to get this under control by whatever means.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

The fans don't think he is invested emotionally so to speak. From what I see on AFTV they complain he is an absentee owner, only interested in using Arsenal as a money maker. Its hard for me to see how they don't have 40 or 50 mil to get some reinforcements they need. I know Emery want the kid from Barcelona but they need help on D (today's result notwithstanding). It was shameful how they let guys contracts run out. Ramsey should be a 50 mil + guy.

Correy

My best advice is ignore the whole fan cam realms of stupidity it's just angry fans going way overboard to the simplest of things. Not gonna lie AFTV was brilliant for those outside of arsenal but every club has their own silly fan cams that make skip and Shannon look like calm civilized people and Stephen a Smith look intelligent

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

They're not going to get rid of Kroenke. He just bought out the rest of the shares to have complete ownership over the summer. The report that came out that indicated that Kroenke is the only owner in the top flight not to spend any of his own money kind of reinforced the belief that he won't spend money. But as has been pointed out, the biggest problem has been wage and contract mismanagement. You don't let Ramsey go for free, yo don't let Sanchez run down his contract and have to be bailed out because United got into a mini bidding war with City, you don't let Ozil run down, get scared he will leave for free so give him 350/week, you don't let Welbeck's contract run down. Then you look at what some of the guys are making. I don't know why the director of recruiting is leaving. He is good at his job. Hopefully that doesn't come back to haunt the team.

Correy

It'll be interesting to see if Poch is allowed to buy any reinforcements now. Especially when Spurs management should be keen on keeping him happy going into the summer.

I hope he is allowed to-I don't want him going to United. But I am afraid that Tottenham has invested heavily with the new stadium and with the delays I just don't think they are going to have a tremendous amount of funds available.

I'm going to be in London on 30 March. I'm a PSG fan so my EPL knowledge is limited. Any places I should definitely try to scalp a ticket for?

Forget Chelsea, but you might be able to get joy at Arsenal (if their season has tanked by then) or Wembley if Spurs are still there and their season has tanked by then. West Ham is a definite option. Fulham is a small ground but it might work out. Depending on where you're staying, Watford and Palace might be too far but worth a shot. Watford would basically be a day trip.

The Championship probably is a better bet if you really want to see English football.

Good luck!

Craven cottage would be an awesome place to see a pl game hopefully they'll still have a shot at staying up by March and that would be fun to watch a game there. Huge shame West Ham aren't in their old stadium anymore that was on my list if I ever made it across the pond for a football tour.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I second Craven Cottage. It's a really cool stadium right along the river.

Are there any updates on when Spurs new stadium will actually be done? It's been an embarrassment that it's dragged on this long

They had some issue with software related to safety systems and had to have them reevlauted. The most recent I heard was that Spurs are in wembley until (at least) first leg of the BvB champions league match (2/13) and if they advance in the FA cup against crystal palace, the next game will also be at Wembley. So it is looking like maybe early March.

I was reading that they were having othre issues as well and was looking like late march before they may be ready. They need to get in the stadium badly to bring in money so they can try and wrap up some deals whether it be new players or securing current stars to fend of RM and other big clubs

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Like I've said that has been my biggest concern with them all year long. With the stadium being constructed and Spurs bringing in no transfers in the summer, it was clear they were strapped for cash. I like the spurs for the simple reason that they have had tremendous success with low net spends. Recent numbers show SPurs and Liverpool as the two lowest net spends in the top 6 and I enjoy that. But as I have said a few times in this thread...a couple transfers to RM, Pochettino to United, and all of a sudden I don't see Spurs being able to buy the talent back .

It may take several years to recover from this...it seems very precarious. It was one of the reasons, I think, Liverpool chose to expand one stand instead of an entire stadium. Over the long run, expanding each stand is more expensive than one stadium--but short term it is an easier investment.

Ive always thought moving stadiums is risky but more importantly can wreck a club for a few years instead of what they always say will happen. Look at arsenal and Highbury they move with the promise of being a top top club in the world and since the move Kroenke has quit investing and theyre looking in a rough spot now. West ham left their old ground which was a genuine home field advantage and had a real meaning to it. Now theyve finally found their feet with pellegrini but the new stadium doesnt have any fear factor to it the old one did. And now spurs look as if they shouldve stayed at the old ground and I think theyd be better off in the transfer market plus I think this year mightve been their best shot at a title in forever with Poch, Kane, Ericksen, Alli etc all entering more of a prime in ability and if you match that with how they were at their old ground the way they used to go unbeaten at home etc couldve been the difference between cashing in on the talent they have and actually winning silverware and not winning anything and losing their best assets in the process possibly this summer.

The grass isnt always greener in my mind, you can chase a dollar all your life and be miserable but sometimes a slight less bit of money but a good job and situation in life is worth alot more to me.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

As far as LFC expanding Anfield...that wasn't always the case. Originally, they wanted to build a new stadium in the city that they'd share with Everton, but the Toffees refused because they'd have to rent the stadium from LFC as part of the ground-share agreement. I believe this was at the beginning of the FSG ownership...so essentially they had no choice but to expand Anfield instead. Here's a link:

Stanley Park Stadium

Stanley park had H&G written all over it. It was not long after FSG took over that the plans were scrapped and shortly replaced with a plan for stadium expansion.

They could do a lot if they sold Erikson or Kane. They would get north of 150 for each. I think they value Kane at 300 but they wouldn't get that. Thats how Klopp went from having a poor defense (one that looked like Arsenal this year) to a stout one, sell 1 guy for 140 and buy 2 of the best a their positions. But he NFL will be paying Spurs for use of the stadium. Who knows, maybe Oakland will go here and help them with 8 games. As an Arsenal fan I somewhat envy what Liverpool and Spurs have done with their players. The old regime with Arsenal let contracts run down and now we're losing a guy like Ramsey for free and had to scramble to get something for Sanchez last year, AND had to overpay to keep Ozil.

Correy

Shame Pulisic is going to share the pitch with the likes of Alonso and Barkley, the scum.

Much better from the Gunners though! Very upset about Bellerin though.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I'm sure it's a torn ACL for Bellerin. Never good when they crumple to the ground after no contact and immediately call for the stretcher.

Chelsea really looked awful and it may be the last time we see Hazard in their shirt. Good to hear Giroud get his due from the Arsenal fans, though.

Even better of giroud to have fluffed that late chance at the near post. Old habits die hard I guess πŸ˜…

All joking aside, very well taken goal by Lacazette and some stout defending. But Chelsea didn't even seem interested in trying to find an end product, at times. Possession for possession's sake. Sarri went in studs up on them in the post-game. Jorginho and Kante are too redundant and forcing them both into the side is working everything else up.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Count me as one of those chanting for Oli when he was warming up. I love that guy. Hate that he's at Chelsea but so it had to be.

I liked Sarri before he went there, but he's being very stubborn and rigid. Chelsea isn't known for their patience with managers, so I don't think he'll last long with that approach.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Yes, I always liked Giroud and his meaty French forehead too. Always thought the side was most balanced with him in it and he definitely played the substitute role very well also. Sucks he's at Chelsea but that's how it goes with the club bringing in Lacazette and Aubameyang, unfortunately. He did have 100+ goals for the gunners in all comps, but the other 20 or so he should have scored to seal/salvage a match are always going to stick out to me and a lot of other supporters too

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

He'll always be the scorpion king!

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

We missed Bellerin while he was out. Hopefully Monreal gets back soon though he plays on the other side. I hope Emery sticks with the auba, Lacka Ramsey front (unless they sell Ramsey to Juve this month). They gave Chelsea fits,

Correy

We need the 4 man back line and both strikers playing, regardless of anything else. I think Ainsley can do a job at right back if Kos is going to play like that! He and Papa were immense today.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

They played well. Papa was fired up. Need to play like that all the time. I want to see what the other Greek defender brings.

Correy

I was surprised one of the American owned teams didn't get him. All signs seemed to point to Liverpool.

Correy

The biggest issue is that the majority of people thinking an American owned team would get him don't understand marketing and sponsorship payments. Jersey sales for a premier league team are between 1-2million (for the entire team). Of those sales, the team only sees 10-15% of the sale price depending on contracts. So jersey sales are between 100,000 to 300,000 per year.

TV contracts are much more lucrative but the EPL mandates (internationally) that the TV money be distributed evenly. So when "X" amount of new American EPL fans turn on the TV next fall, all 20 teams benefit from this.

Finally, his price was enormously high for his age and production while at BvB. Liverpool spent all of the Rogers era buying 'talent' and rarely buying the finished product. For the price CP went for, that is a price that Klopp expects to pay for a starter. The media pointed at Liverpool (american ownership, Klopp was at BvB when Pulisic arrived, etc) but it was only ever a rumor. Klopp would have had him for the right price-for sure--but 58million pounds is too much. Heck...shaqiri was a bargain at this point for 13m..

If you're in the market for memes...fuckin' Mou has been signed by one of the foreign networks as a pundit. Based on the clips floating around on Twitter he came storming out of the gate claiming that Klopp and Pep simply have "luxuries" that he didn't and that explains the successes they've had. The man is utterly shameless...and it's brilliant as an observer.

He'll definitely be managing somewhere by the summertime...but man, he should just sit back and keep trying to rile up a different fanbase every week.

I hate Mou, and that statement was hilarious, but the post game questioning from today's London Derby made me feel for him a bit. He was under fire the whole time. He deserves it, but I still thought it was unfair.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

That seems to be part of his shtick. Be a guy people love to hate. I kind of like him for it. But is laughable that he can complain that he didn't have the resources to succeed.

Correy

Anyone remember Special 1 TV? I'm lost as to why this isn't still a thing.

Klopp and Pep simply have "luxuries" that he didn't and that explains the successes they've had

In a way he's not totally wrong. Woodward and the board didn't back his transfer targets last summer (reportedly of course). With that being said we're seeing now he could've won without them. So he can kick sand for all I care.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

If the luxuries are scouting directors that get along with the manager then he is not wrong. In Liverpool's case we are in the lower end of the "top-6" as far as net spend goes. I am trying to find statistics that agree but looking at transfer markt: City - 630mil; United - 550mil; Arsenal - 280mil; Chelsea - 227mil; Liverpool 214mil; Tottenham 24mil;.

Not sure if this is accounting for January but there it is.

have to look over time... Bale sale was a tremendous influx of capital to acquire talent... you can net the sale with the acquisitions ... treat it like an asset, etc, etc... devil in details

I'm not sure what you are trying to say here...I was just saying that Mourinho can lament net spending all day long but United are the second highest.

Regardless of your club, this interview is 1. incredibly fascinating regarding Chelsea and 2. another reason NBC's soccer production quality is leaps and bounds above fox and espn.

VB born, class of '14

I hope NBC is able to keep the EPL and not lose out to a Fox of ESPN. They do a great job. My only gripe (and its not NBC's issue) is I live in Waynesboro and CVille's NBC channel regularly carries ACC football and basketball games instead of the game of the week at 1230. I don't mind that they do that, but they need p pu the game on an alternate station. Luckily Xfinity also cariesWashington's NBC station.

Correy

Love NBCs coverage but I wish they'd have more games on in the early morning slots so we could see more without the paywall.

But I also don't dig foxs soccer coverage and ESPN would find a way to screw it up though I do like ESPN's analysts on the espn fc show

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Sarri is taking a hell of a risk calling out a group of players who have tanked to get managers sacked before by what he said but I like it but it could bite him hard they looked awful Saturday

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Lol well and truly did not deserve 3 points today. If we don't move for anyone before transfer season ends it's a mistake

VB born, class of '14

Nah Tottenham was the better team they deserved the 3

Tales told of battles won
Of things we've done
Caligula would grin

They we're fortunate the penatly wasn't given on the foul on mitrovic early on but the decision from the fulham gk to not go for the ball on the cross was rough

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Pretty indicative of an untenable back-room situation. Looks like Arsenal want a Director Of Football and didn't feel like he fit that so didn't offer him and now he's leaving. Some reports that they want to zero in on Marc Overmars, who has had the same role for Ajax for several years now.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Overmars has done a seemingly great job at Ajax, but I still don't like letting Sven walk. Sigh.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Hiring Monchi away from Roma is flavor du jour, and if that happens I will be ecstatic

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

And now things just go from bad to worse for the Spurs.

Right on the heels of Harry Kane being ruled out through February, the same was just done for Dele Alli with a hamstring injury

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Yeesh... this is exactly the thing I was talking to my Tottenham friend about...that stadium clearly put them back financially so they didn't buy depth over the summer. It was the summer after the world cup so no depth means no rotation which means higher probability of injuries. All that combined with Spurs still not in their new stadium, heavy rumors of Pochettino going to Man U, and now the very real possibility of falling out of the top 4.

Big question is which two teams would surpass spurs? I don't really see Arsenal or Chelsea doing it myself. But my fear (because I actually like what Spurs have built) is they have debt from a stadium debacle, sell players (Kane to RM has been rumored) and instead use that money to pay debt to stadium, Poch goes to Man U, finish outside top 4.....it does not look good.

Spurs are currently third in the table. Chelsea could pass them and they'd still be top-4. Arsenal and United are level on points, 7 back from Spurs. The best thing Spurs have going for them is Chelsea's poor form in the league lately.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

It just seems like the seas are parting for Man U to somehow sneak back into the Top 4 before the end of the season.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

I could see United getting past Chelsea but dunno if they can close the gap to Tottenham, man u have too many big 6 games left and I dunno if they can go that far it would take an utter collapse to drop the 7 point lead in my mind they still are good enough to get results I think

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

agreed. seems more likely to me for United or Arsenal to squeeze out Chelsea rather than Spurs. And it would be really surprising to me to see Arsenal AND United squeeze out Spurs and Chelsea.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

If Arsenal could keep some defenders on the field instead of blowing up their knees, I could see a late push. Maybe.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

RIP Sokratis 110 minutes of clean sheet was nice while it lasted

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Wish they could get someone in the transfer market. They need to address that this summer.

Correy

Arsenal really needs the Champions League money, that's for sure. I don't think any of us was insane enough to believe we would contend for the league right now, but 4th would have been a great starting point.

I actually think we had a good shot at it if United kept Mou for the rest of the season and Chelsea continued having problems. Unfortunately United is now in great form and Spurs got a good cushion in the table before the side was decimated. I can see a 5th place finish now. So close to the cash, yet so far away. Europa League or bust.

Or just win the FA Cup....beat United on Friday and your odds get a lot shorter

I just worry where the Spurs are going to find their scoring. And with the recent comments from Sarri, Chelsea could be on the verge of packing it in to force him out like they've done with their previous 2 managers....

Its not an easy path, but if someone was going to make that climb, I could see it happen this season

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

I cannot figure out why Sarri would call out his best player like that, especially if he really does want out at Chelsea.

I have resigned myself to a spursy 5th place finish, anything better is a pleasant surprise

VB born, class of '14

Sarri needed to make those comments. This is the third manager in 6 years to say that the players are lacking mentally. Sarri just happened to be the most blunt about it. The team lacks any real leaders. Gone are the days when Terry, Lampard, Drogba, and Cech would drag a team to titles. Outside maybe Luiz and Rudigar there is nobody on the team to call somebody else out for not giving it all on the pitch. Hazard's comments the other day kind of reiterates the soft mentality thinking.

Frenkie de Jong to join Barcelona on 4 year deal through 2023. Will be loaned to Ajax for the remainder of this season and joins in the summer. Not EPL news, but Barcelona wins out over Manchester City and PSG.

He's gonna be the next Mascherano but with actual ball skills

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Amazing how transfer fees have gone in few years almost Pogba money for a player with only one year professional playing well one year when he leaves for Barca. Gonna be interesting to see how he does with the pressure it's never a garuntee i.e see gomez

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

that's like a 30m euro difference between the two, but you're absolutely right about transfer inflation

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I thought it was an 85 mil deal maybe I was wrong just trying to relate to what everyone used to think was bonkers a few years ago to now and talk about money. Kinda funny how the spanish clubs have changed in the last few years and Barca it used to be all about the academy and bringing youth through now look at the list of players theyve bought its staggering. Then across the way RM have gone the other way from signing galacticos all the time to nothing but buying and bringing youth in. That said I dont expect RM to remain coy in the market this upcoming summer for both a manager and some top name players they need alot of work.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Pogba was about 105m euros. Not sure what that translated to pounds at the time, but that could be what you're remembering.

There are a few complementary markets in world football right now: making money off player development, making money from off-field commercial development, and making money from on-field success. Too often the first happens at the sacrifice of the last. Rich get richer because they can afford to throw "Godfather" kind of deals to smaller clubs. 75m euros is huge for Ajax.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Higauin to Chelsea on a 6 month loan is official, some outlets are including news of an option to buy for 32.5m pounds in the summer. Morata has been a pretty decisive flop and is likely headed to Atletico, perhaps on a longer loan deal.

I was Very Annoyed when Higuain was leaving Real Madrid and Arsenal did not sign him. Here's to hoping he misfires in West London and doesn't spark a run for Chelsea.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

He plans on wearing the cursed 9 shirt so I fully expect him to score at most 5 goals the rest of the year.

At the time I was very interested in HiguaΓ­n because A) we had nobody to play striker but Giroud and, much as I love him, he's not going to carry the load by himself and B) I'm a big fan of another HiguaΓ­n brother already (#SavedTheCrew).

But in the long run, we wound up with two strikers I like better. But I'll still agree, let's hope he doesn't produce magic in London at this point.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Yes, i wanted him badly for Arsenal as well, especially because it seemed as if Wenger was content to have Sanogo as the rotational option

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Give Ole the job. Hell yes.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Actually couldn't catch the FA Cup match at work...but based on the sad, sad threads in r/gunners it was more of the same. Xhaka returning to centerback is going to be brilliant......ly awful again. Still won't sign anyone either, I bet.

So Sokratis isn't coming back to full training until end of February. I don't think we can even make a push now with all the injuries.

Probably not. Just need to hope we can outscore everyone to a Europa title.

Related: the Denis Suarez deal is a very good one for Arsenal.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

What can you tell me about Saurez? What position will he end up playing? Who's minutes do you see him taking?

He plays in the advanced midfield/winger role. I expect him to take minutes from mkhi/iwobi for that wide playmaker role. Could potentially take the ramsey/ozil spot as well. He's a better direct dribble than most of our team. Good final ball as well.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

So he can play either side too?

I've only ever seen him on the left, but I'm not sure if he can do the job on the right or not.

My guess is the long term idea is to have him sitting in the 10 role once Ramsey leaves and Ozil's situation is resolved, one way or another. For now I'd expect to see him out wide for awhile, but who knows.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Newcastle United over Manchester City...upset of the season?

I'm stunned, I can only hope LFC can handle their business against LC tomorrow.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Tottenham doesn't have a cakewalk tomorrow either, big opportunity for the Reds.

What a day for Newcastle. The fans have been justifiably up in arms over the owner...literally the English Dan Snyder.

Interesting to see how signing almiron does for their run to safety but today was a huge three points

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Yedlin got to take on Sane, Aguero, Sterling regularly in the game. Wish he were more fundamentally sound and a bit bigger, but love cheering for the Americans.

Huge to see him pick Sterling's pocket to create the forward opportunity that led to the pressure that got the PK that got the win. Hopefully if he continues to play the outside wing defender in the back five, he can put his offensive skills on display more often. His crossing seems to have gotten much better.

Newcastle's formation means noone can take them for granted... you will work to score. Three points from this game is a huge step forward from the relegation zone.

What a great day. Finally, broke the club transfer record and a win over city. Peak Newcastle would be to have Almiron fail his medical.

I think Palace beating City was bigger since that happened at the Etihad.

Correy

After today, anything is possible (mostly /s)

VB born, class of '14

I'll take a point #LFC

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

They're trying to get Sarri sacked, aren't they?

If Arsenal can somehow slide into 4th and get back into CL football....wow. Although I still think it'll be United and Spurs in 3rd and 4th. Still, wow @ Chelsea.

Luis?z? couldn't handle the sweep role today. Taking Kante upfield is a massive blunder and will make Luis look like the aging centerback he is. Meanwhile everytime I see Kante running around upfield, I have to ask myself how long til the Russian fixes this situation.

Love Sarri's emphasis on technical, but IMHO he is way off on Kante, who may be the best defensive middie of his generation.

Some D Middies are world class but just don't appreciate how it is a couple year project of developing offensive skills to wander upfield. M Bradley for example. Was in the midst of developing more offensive skills, then after Pjanic took his spot, decided he could take time off in Toronto, where they let him play wherever he wanted no matter the skill level. Just MHO, took a world class defensive middie and deluded him that he could play offense.

After his comments after the game today I'm thinking he might be walking s very thin line.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Chelsea still has to play 4 of the top 6 including at City, at United and at Liverpool. Arsenal has played Liverpool and Chelsea 2x and gets City out of the way Sunday. I don't hold out a lot of hope that they beat City with the defensive deficiencies they have right now. They have United at home in March and at Tottenham in March. I like Arsenal's remaining schedule better. Tottenham could be interesting. They don't have the hardest schedule while Kane and Alli are out, but they're going to have a tough time without both. They certainly can't withstand another injury.

Correy

Tottenham setting records! Well, most games consecutively without a draw, so theres that lol

VB born, class of '14

Tottenham fans need to cheer on something considering they are not able to win anything else

Lol I'll take it. Makes rooting for the Hokies that much easier too

VB born, class of '14

Well well well... ManU is now in 5th and only 2 points back of Chelsea for a UCL spot.

What a turnaround

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Basically saw what I expected out of Arsenal @ City. Lichtsteiner was targeted and flat out abused. He was a fine player in his day but City has invested in world class players and he is simply no match for that kind of quality. Got the usual from Mustafi. Iwobi had one of those days where if he's bad he is an absolute garbage fire. It hardly feels worth even commenting on the Ozil situation anymore. If the top earner can't get in versus a title contender who the hell knows what his role on the team will ever be?

Meh.

Quite simply can't compete when your defense basically comes down to a Koscielny being held together by bubble gum.

The positive I'll take from it is I really think Leno is a great signing. He's playing behind perhaps the worst defense in the league so he's not getting a lot of attention, but I think he's an underrated signing from the summer.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Agree on Leno and on the defense. Need to nail a signing in the summer, just not sure who fits the bill as we discussed above.

One thing that struck me was Guendouzi just being 19. Rather than having an entire game where I went "what is he doing out there????", it was just a few moments where i went "well i guess he is just 19". I think there's a real chance he could develop into a really useful midfield player, like someone in the mold of a Gundogan or Khedira

Another thing that stuck out was just how well Pep nailed his tactics and City executed it. Fernandinho dropping deep to effectively play center back without the ball, but bossing the midfield with the ball was interesting to watch. Absolutely overloaded the center of the park, and then exploited Lichsteiner's lack of pace out wide once the space was there.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Oh Guendouzi is going to be an excellent player. No doubt. I feel Emery is being a bit aggressive with his playing time so early, but it'll pay off in the long run I hope. He's going to be dominant in a couple years.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I enjoyed the banter from the commentary on where does Ozil fit in and they all were like I dunno haha.
Mustafis defending was attrocious for the second goal it was like he was looking at butterflies while the rest of the team stepped up he just stood there drooling

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Injury bug had to catch up with LFC at some point. The week to week makeshift backline, and midfield options are taking their toll. I hate to say it, but we have no chance at winning the league without a healthy TAA, Gomez, and Gigi.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Haha please. Every team gets injuries, its part of the physically of the premier league. If Liverpool slip up it's not due to injuries.

Spurs lost Vertonghen, Wanyama, Dier, Kane, Alli, Moura, Sissoko all for stretches. I know Man City lost de Brunye (twice), Aguero, Mendy, and others. Arsenal lost Bellerin and other defenders to formulate a makeshift D-line. It happens to every team.

VB born, class of '14

I'm clearly making the point that it's a combination of the injuries and the lack of depth at each position. But I'm glad you're able to tell me what the cause is, if we do slip up. /s

We still have a 3 point lead keep in mind. SMH.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Trust me, I think you guys will win it all after making two tremendous signings in Van Dijk and Allison, and then a great January signing in Shaquiri. Your defense is an absolute wall.

I'm just saying dont blame injuries mate, it's all good.

VB born, class of '14

Emotions got the best of me after a tough draw. The loss of Gomez and TAA certainly lessen that "wall" we have, which is my greatest concern. I'm with you, there should be enough depth there to weather a rash of injuries like this (ie Clyne) but it is what it is. MC isn't gonna just give us the title that's for sure, neither is Totty.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Honestly that game had nothing to do with the backline or midfield. Firmino is the glue to this team and he has been pretty poor the last couple of games. His touch and passing just isn't there right now. I'd have him come off the bench against bournemouth.

Only thing I'd like to see change in the backline is Camacho come in for Milly. Need some more speed on that side, because right now salah is getting bracketed on that side because there isn't much of a threat of Milly getting in behind.

Last two games (And coincidentally, draws) have had players drop out of the starting line-up 1 hour before the line-ups needed to be turned in. Yesterday it was Hendo and Gini--both were slated to play, both picked up minor knocks in warm-ups.

What has gotten me agitated is the negativity some Reds are showing right now. with 13 matches remaining we are 3 points clear of city and have played 7/10 of our top six matches. Further, when I saw the line-up, specifically: Milner, Matip, Lallana, Fabinho, Keita I knew we were in a for a rough game. Blame Firmino because he is the key...well he is having to drop back and cover because the mid-3 have NEVER played together and are not marking runs. Blame Salah because his form has "dropped" in the last two games. Again midfield 3 having never played together in a competitive match.

Milner is absolutely exploited on the right hand side when he plays full back. Blame Klopp for selling Clyne...well at the time Clyne is begging for a transfer or playing time, Klopp has TAA and Gomez returning from injury within a few weeks. TAA picks up a knock and Gomez has a massive set back in the recover.

I mean things happen. At the beginning of the season many sensible Liverpool pundits were saying Liverpool could break City's points record with 101 and still lose the title to City's 103. Obviously that is not mathematically possible but the point stands. Did we seriously think we were gonna pull away and win a title by 15 points? Did we seriously think we could make it through an entire season without having some set backs, injuries etc?

Over the last ten games City have dropped more points than we have but based on the last two games everyone is in melt-down status...get a grip guys. The supporters talking about the title being 'all but wrapped up' when we went 7 points clear were nuts. City will always stick around..heck--massive credit needs to go to tottenham for all of there miraculous 1-0/2-1 wins with the winning goal coming after 85 minutes this season. The best teams stick around, and this Liverpool side has shown they can be counted amongst these two.

Bournemouth should have Hendo, Gini, lovren (hallelujah!), TAA back and within a few weeks the Ox could actually be cleared for competitive games. Gomez is expected back this season (not sure the status yet), Keita has yet to really come into his own but we can see the glimpses. It may not click, it may not all come together as we'd like but this team is gritty and has spine that hasn't been seen in decade.

This is the first measured Liverpool take I've ever seen on the internet.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

And ManU is back in the top 4

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Whew! Glimpses of pre January has calmed the nerves at least for a couple of days #LFC

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Klopp made a comment after the game that the two ties were certainly not good performances but there were a few key factors that cannot be disclosed that led to subpar performances. Word that is coming out quietly is the several players caught something during their trip to Dubai and it spread quickly through the squad. I don't think it will ever be confirmed but if true, it makes a ton of sense. The Leicester game and the West Ham game they just looked gassed and that is highly unusual.

It would make sense, and I don't know if you watched the game, but they had Gini go straight to the locker room after he was subbed out. I read somewhere that he was quarantined from the squad too and that Klopp was concerned about the celebration after the goal as they huddled together. So yeah. Granted MC can be back in first if they handle theirs against the Blues tomorrow. So the fight goes on.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Absolutely MASSIVE game by Lloris so far. At least 3 or 4 solid saves. COYS

VB born, class of '14

glad to see lloris have such a good game, probably his best performance in a while

Liverpool fans watching with dread as Chelsea is sacrificed for City's goal difference...

Live look at Chelsea's effort today

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Someone forgot to tell Chelsea the game started. πŸ˜‚

Hokie fan | W&M grad

They just dropped to 6th on goal differential

What a horrendous outing. Sarri will get canned, but he's not the problem. And if I'm a semi decent manager why the hell would I want that job, that team had killed the career of 3 managers in a row.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Mou 3.0...not just a meme anymore.

That's the first game I've seen Chelsea play this season - what is going on with them?

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Have no idea how Hazard is going to get picked up by RM. No off the ball runs, hasn't developed strong relationships with any of the guys he plays with (on the field). Who is he going to displace on that team? What position will he play in a 4 3 3? He looked better playing central striker IMHO than paying outside striker and/or outside mid.

If you are Chelsea you get rid of the guy... RM stay as far away as possible. I have to believe RM plays hardball here only accepts package with Odoi in it. No extension for Hazard, just a contract switching teams.

Wouldnt say the struggles are down to hazard more down to how awful their defense and midfield is set up and his system isn't using his players the right way either way I think sarri is gonna get canned if this season ends poorly. Next few games include man United and city again so depending on those games he could be looking at the axe sooner than later

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

hazard is one of the three best players in the premiere league and i am fairly certain odoi is going to bayern

Love Jaime! #23 Chelsea didn't help much today, but we still got one game in hand, so I'll take it:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

having watched some of city's games over the past two weeks...I have a feeling Liverpool are going to have to be perfect for the next 12 matches. I think there is a good chance City have dropped all the points they are going to drop this season. Fair play to them, they were dominant today

I feel the exact same way. They may have a draw here or there, but I am not counting on it. This upcoming ManUre match is going to be a defining moment for us, whether good or bad. I think it's going to show whether we're in this for real, or just pretenders holding the seat warm for MC. Either way it's been one hell of a ride.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

I'm really glad that Wrighty and other Arsenal alums are finally calling out the fanbase on its toxicity. It's really not fun to follow the team when 22 year old players are regularly raked over the coals for a few mistakes.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!