OT: 2020-21 EPL and Other Domestic Leagues

European soccer is already back in full swing, aside from the Bundesliga which starts this coming weekend. The first weekend of the Premier League is finishing up this afternoon. It's good to have soccer back already! Let's hope that this season goes more smoothly than the last.

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


thx for starting the thread Brad

coyg coyg coyg and spurs looked like booty! can't ask for much more on the opening weekend

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

Announce Aubame "Blood Claat" Yang contract, Partey, and Aouar.

I have a hard time believing the gunners manage to bring in both before the window closes, even with Emi moving on and with Torreira and Sokratis looking set to move as well. Just seems like there would only be enough cash upfront to get one of them, and if what's being reports is to be believed, it would more likely be Aouar as Atleti appear set on getting Partey's clause in full and up front.

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

Aouar pls

Vardy already going for another scoring title!

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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That will be tough as Mo Salah is on pace to score 114 goals this season

Vardy also didn't seem to do much except from the spot. I expect this year we see a marked decline in form.

0 penalty box touches from open play

0 shots from open play

15 touches all game

2 goals

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

Much more impressed by Castagne's debut, and the improvement of the midfield. Just made Vardy's dissapearance that much more apparent.

Still down on Vardy?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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he's been virtually a nonfactor in attack from open play this season: in three games, he's had 2 shots and 30 completed passes. 43 touches total, only 24 in the attacking third.

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

Yep, 4 out of 5 goals scored by penalty. Even worse than Bruno Fernandes - Pen! To be fair, Vardy has drawn the penalty on 3 of the 4, but I imagine he gets some generous calls.

I totally disagree and not just because he is 2nd in goals Scored this season so far. I think he is playing great soccer, he is conserving his energy like he didn't in the past while still being a breaking threat defenders are still having to account for. When he is getting the ball he is forcing mistakes by defenders who can't keep pace with him

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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He's always been a fox in the box type of player (lol get it) in terms of efficiency and finishing. but he's getting fewer chances than years past and it's clear by watching that he isn't making the runs he always has -- either in possession to make himself available in behind, or in a pressing role. there's no shame in losing a step and some fitness at 33 compared to 27. he's just not influencing the game like he had been.

edit: he had the fewest touches of any starting playing on either team, including the GKs in the 3-0 loss to WHU

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

Jose already in peak midseason form after yesterdays result, Vardy passes Drogba in 43 fewer games, Leeds look legit, my fantasy team stunk absolute ass this weekend, man its good to be back.

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

Brad, I've been meaning to start this thread. So take your leg sir.

I was scared of Leeds as the opening game, with the way we've looked on the backline since winning the league, I had genuine concerns about Biesla's ability to mad scientist his way to victory. What a heart pounding opening match it was. Things don't get easier with the Blues and Gunners thereafter. So looking forward to this season. UTFR

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Leeds is gonna be fun as hell to watch every week this year, except the two matches they play your club.

Third in the table.
I know it won't last.
Let me have a moment.
They'll be bottom half by Halloween.

Goes WAY back to Alan Shearer days.

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

Just as an FYI-I have xfinity and I was able to watch games on Peacock Premium (i.e. most of the EPL games for the next two weeks) for free through the Peacock app. No need to pay extra for a subscription. I'm getting ripped off by Comcast anyway, so I guess I'm getting at least something for it.

Thanks for the heads up Kop, I was wondering how I would watch the match this weekend, can't believe our match won't be on one of the main networks.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

I have Xfinity as well and watched the Tot/Eve game last weekend as a test run. Suprisingly streaming the live game was less clunky than trying to watch parks and rec.

If you have a Samsung smart TV beware that there is no Peacock app (yet?) and projecting through the mobile app is not supported. They are showing Arsenal's matchweek 3 fixture at Liverpool on Peacock only and I'll be sitting here watching it on the computer. House full of Samsung TVs = yikes. Not the worst thing in the world but a bit disappointing.

Beyond the insanity of launching a streaming service with limited availability on popular television brands...I have to question the wisdom of putting big matches behind a streaming paywall. Let people see the matches and they will become hopeless addicts fans like so many of us have.

I'm not sure it's the TV...I bought my Samsung in 2007 and the voice control doesn't work because the TV is too old and thus not compatible with the receiver (which I've had since 2016) and Peacock works fine on my outdated equipment...so I'm not sure that's right. I'd actually be impressed if your TV is older than mine.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin for the golden boot! Never thought I'd say that, but here we are

Sucks that it seems like there will be fewer EPL games broadcast this year because of Peacock. I can't remember the last time there wasn't a match on tv around 10am on a Saturday. sigh

I'm hoping this is a ruse to get people to sign up for Peacock Premium and that the games will be back on NBCSN in a couple of weeks...regardless, if you're an Xfinity customer you already get Premium for free.

I hope you're right. I'm a YoutubeTV guy. I cut the cord a year or two ago.

Check out Golazo - TV looks like they'll have the Palace v United match

I'm hoping this is due to the us open and tour de france being on same time and that they'll cut the shit and stop putting so many games on peacock.

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

Are Leeds United going to become the first team in world football to score AND concede 100 goals in a season? They lead Fulham 4-3 with 20 minutes left...they sure are fun to watch, like Texas Tech under Kingsbury.

I didn't want much Championship soccer last year, defensively were they this bad last season? I know they lost Ben White, but yeesh!

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

They had a better defensive record in the championship last year than Sheffield United did the year prior, believe it or not. But two totally different styles

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

Leeds plays with a high line to execute their pressing. It's a tradeoff they are willing to make to play the Bielsa style properly. I think their goals conceded will normalize at some point. I don't think they will be shipping 3-4 goals every match moving forward.

If you're United do you need Jadon Sancho for 100 million+ or a CB and a defensive mid?

CB. Not sure why Matic didn't feature but he can still put in a shift. Balance was all off with McTominay.

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

Mctominay didnt impress that much, he wasnt terrible but didnt give the team much aside from a tackle or two. from what I was seeing before the game its all down to fitness levels as to why Matic wasnt in the team.

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

We need to get lindelof out of the team definitely and man what I would give for a Declan rice signing as well. Fosu mensah and VDB were the only positives today the backline sucked, pogba and fernandes were ineffective and Dan James and rashford were flat out awful. They badly need signings but woodward is gonna do his best to leave ole with a shit squad two years running

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

๐ŸŽถ Here comes the Son ๐ŸŒž four goals in a game against anyone is impressive

VB born, class of '14


THANK YOU SON AND KANE๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž you too ings๐Ÿ˜‚

We were born for one thing
Tame the greatest fear of all
We were born for one thing
Born to face the greatest fear of all

Son just scored another goal.

So what's reviewable in soccer? They checked for a handball (was close call) but didn't review the straight arm shove down of the defender to score the goal? Burnley and Leicester.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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Handballs & offsides are more cut & dry calls, they're obviously reviewed. Fouls are more subjective so my understanding is they may get in the official's ear if they feel he missed something but if he feels like it wasn't substantial enough to call he won't stop the action.

So even though are looking at same play and players for handball they won't check to see if it was a foul?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Yes. Unless it's an objectively clear and obvious error or red card offense.

VB born, class of '14

All goals are checked, and they can review just about anything leading up to the goal (usually offside, handball, or fouls). Like someone else mentioned, they are only supposed to overturn if it is a "clear and obvious error" by the lead official.

They can also check yellow/red card offenses at any spot on the field to upgrade/downgrade them, and possible penalties (or called penalties to overturn).

So happy about the start to this season. I was worried about starting with Leeds, Chelsea, and the Gunners. 6 points so far is a great start. Thiago broke a record on his debut for successful passes in 45 minutes for a first start. All and all just awesome. Sadio with the brace, Alisson with a penalty save. Just glorious. Looking forward to seeing Jota hopefully during the League FA cup tie.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

And Everton away who now look like a real team for the first time in 20 years+ in the fifth game...also, league cup not FA Cup...away to Lincoln.

A bit of a wake up call for Arsenal this week. Major issue going to Anfield next weekend is Kieran Tierney's hip. Kolasinac at LCB or LB = shambles. The midfield spend about 70 minutes being rinsed by players that are not good enough to be in a Liverpool starting XI. Plus I think it's been about a million years since we even took a point out of that damned place.

6 points out of 6 is what matters but the signs of problems are there.

Preface: No shade, just thought this stat was nuts!

Gunners are gonna be a tough out, so yet again, no shade intended.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Can we call the season today?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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Man City crying about LC. Pep complaining about their tactics and Rodri saying they were lucky

Watching those interviews was embarrassing. Basically because LCFC didn't play like they wanted them to it's "unfair and lucky" give me break.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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A beautiful carryover from his Barca days. Nobody ever "beat" Pep's Barca according to them, it was either too rough, the grass was too long (not a joke), the refs were against them (the most laughable of jokes, no team has a more positive net red card ratio and they get tons of pens, and at one point went over two calendar years without a penalty called against them in La Liga...though this was after Pep's time.), and/or the other team was playing "anti-football."

Pep's a genius, but I think last year and this year, he has to start taking some blame for the defensive struggles. Injuries are something that cannot be avoided, but if the backline isn't trustworthy with injury, he needs to adjust his play style and find a way to still be successful on the attack while providing additional cover. Elite manager, but not always the best at adjusting if it comes at the cost of his attacking ideals.

And who could forget this bit of perfectly normal behavior

The complaints by the city players after the game were laughable. Rodri said LC didnt come to actually play football which made me chuckle for a good bit. It will be interesting to see if their latest signing will be able to possibly fix their defensive issues or not. I dont know enough about ruben dias but for the price tag he is going to have a lot of pressure heaped on his shoulders.

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

Ruben Dias is very good CB prospect, but at 23 he is still young for a CB. That's a position where years of experience go a long, long way in learning the subtleties of positioning and the little tricks and shortcuts in defending at a high level. I think both he and Ake are strong long-term purchases, Dias less proven than Ake and therefore a bit more of a gamble, but he's been playing for the Portuguese NT and Benfica for several years now. I think he is likely to have an adjustment period going from Liga NOS to the PL, but overall I think it's a potentially very strong purchase.

The handball rule needs some serious work. Lots of coaches and players (even on the winning end of things) have been expressing their dislike of how things are going with that rule. No fun when games are decided by silly calls that the refs are forced to make. It might even get to the point where players are deliberately kicking the ball at a player's arm in hopes that they'll get a PK out of it.

Just couldn't deal with the Liverpool press, it was very well done on their part. Absurd fitness levels.

I don't hate anything Arteta did and he seemed to get them playing better in the second half. Maybe have Ceballos in to start. Set pieces continue to be appalling. Mane looked unplayable but if he was playable Rob Holding wasn't going to do it today. There's just a huge talent gap here. Not sure what else to say.

Arteta keeps showing he was the right hire, ownership needs to pony up though if they have ambition. Get the Aouar and/or Partey signings done.
I agree Ceballos would've been good to start to help with possession and coping with the press.

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

I agree they need to sign one or both, but I think there's a misconception that Arsenal's ownership aren't willing to spend. They're actually near the top in terms of total transfer spending in the last few years, they have just made poor choices in who they spend on (big wages for declining players didn't help either).

Don't understand benching Ceballos for Elneny. If he's fit, he needs to start every match unless another midfielder is purchased. Simply no creativity/progression with Xhaka and Elneny.

Mane might've been lucky to stay on the pitch tbh. Such a good player though.

Beautiful, just beautiful! Mane, Robertson, and the surprise Jota. Diogo looked great in the short amount of time, his runs were amazing, and his pressing looked good too. So grateful Alisson played, because Arsenal got behind our lines a couple of times, he bailed our back line out. Villa is a good upcoming match, but that Merseyside derby looms. Damn I love my Reds! #YNWA

S/N: grateful Mane didn't get sent off
Edit: It appears Thiago's exclusion from the squad was a result of a positive CV-19 test. That's most unfortunate, hoping for a speedy recovery for the midfield Rolls Royce (no pun intended).

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

The Villa are top four having played a game less than most of the league. Just need to take care of business this weekend against... let's see, ah, Liverp-oh, goddammit

It's been a few years since Aston Villa were in the top 4 of the EPL...good for them. They've never played in the Champions League (though they won the European Cup about 40 years ago) and they have the EPL's best player name in the stupendous Marvelous Nakamba

This is wild. On pace for almost triple the amount of penalties with a crazy amount of handballs. I'd expect things to flatten out some, but it's pretty crazy.

The issue with the handball rule is its solid black and white now, even if its a header going outside the box and it hits and arm it doesnt matter now by the way the law was written. Personally they have to change it to some sort of intentional or not, I know it adds a grey spot but some laws cant be all or nothing. The overall increase in number of penalties is a concern though.

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

Yeah the rule definitely needs some work. Having it black and white like it is just forces refs to make decisions that would never be called otherwise. The ref should definitely be able to make some sort of judgement call and I expect there will be some sort of change made to the rule.

This season is off to a wild start in most leagues and it's largely being influenced by the top teams not getting a long enough break and a pre-season after going deep in European cup competition. Examples being City, United, Bayern Munich, Lyon, and PSG all dropping terrible games.

Madrid and Juve also have dropped points with draws within the first two fixtures. I think this could be a wild league season in several of the big 5.

Another win for Mikel over Klopp - somehow Jurgen hasn't figured out our game plan of creating absolutely no chances and nicking a goal out of nothing!

Arsenal get City in the next round, should be another good matchup against Arteta's former assistant

I don't know how much to try and take away from a League Cup match I couldn't even watch...but from what the fans are saying Gabriel and Ceballos need to start going forward and one of Luiz/Holding and Elneny need to be on the bench. Especially in league matches.

They're saying Leno had a great match as well which is awesome. Some of the fans need to get behind our keeper. One had to go and Martinez simply made the most sense.

Leno was the man of the match, penalty shootouts are always a crapshoot. It was a inexperienced side for us, and it showed. Congratulations to Arteta, I'm honestly grateful we don't have to worry about this tin cup, the league and big ears is what I want

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Obviously Klopp put the B/C team out there. Bigger fish to fry and all. But winning if fun no matter how little anyone cares about the trophy. Y'all will need the rest with the level of congestion. I've seen too much Liverpool in the last month, glad we don't have to worry about that again until the end of the season!

Yeah, I mean Liverpool played quite a few of their kids (I was surprised they started Salah and VVD). It was kind of like Liverpool went to the C team and Arsenal used the B team with a few A players.

I'm not sure why Gabriel didn't start Monday, but IMO he should be starting whenever possible. He's really good. I think the only reason he isn't starting is that Arteta likes to have AMN at LWB and Tierney at LCB to shift to a back 4 in possession. Gabriel is a true CB so he wouldn't be as much of a fit where Tierney is and I think Arteta really values Luiz's passing in the middle of the back 3. You can't play Gabriel in Holding's spot so unless he beats out Luiz or they finally make the switch to a back 4 he'll be 2nd choice.

Ceballos is so much more progressive than Elneny. Playing Elneny with Xhaka was painful to watch on Monday. Hopefully Aouar gets done soon and I can watch a midfield that doesn't kill me on the inside.

Leeds is gonna be a tough out for any squad this season. What a game! On a side note, I read a stat that said FSG bought LFC for less than MC has spent on the back 4 over the last few years (300 v 410) ๐Ÿ˜ฌ, the new CB looked pretty good though, maybe they've found a Company replacement finally.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Well, the Spurs-United game is off to a ridiculous start.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

What did you expect...its one of several Mourinho Bowls this season

hahaha COYS

VB born, class of '14

What is happening to Liverpool right now? Is Villa good now?

They might be, what I CAN say is LFC is bad right now....ugh...Alisson, Mane, Thiago pls

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

VB born, class of '14

Oof...worst loss in my lifetime and I'm 48...arguably the worst loss in club history. I recorded the game and never watched it due to the texts I received, pretty sure if I'd watched I'd need at least a new TV. Burn the evidence. So much worse than losing to fucking Stoke 6-1.

Every time they lost the ball I expected Villa to counter and score

That match almost made up for the last 10 years of Villa flailing from one catastrophe to the next. I think I could get used to this Ollie Watkins fellow.

Also, Aston Villa just wants to remind Liverpool to take out the trash, finish your homework and try to be nice to your mother, ok?

This is gonna be such a fun season. Feels like there's never been this much parity in the league. Leicester destroy City one week and then get shut out by West Ham the next, Villa destroy Pool, Everton top of the table. Can't wait to see how things play out.

Also, Spurs looked so good yesterday. So fun to watch and I can't wait to se Bale on the other side of Kane. Harry's gonna break the PL assists record.

Shamelessly stolen from reddit, but the last week in the PL:

As a Man United fan I'm so glad I wasnt watching any of the games this weekend. Lamela is an absolute piece of shit and a pussy, both should have been sent off and shouldve been the end of it. Maguire is shit and Pogba is lazy as hell. I may find a new hobby for the upcoming season if Ole is continued to be left in charge.

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

I saw the clip and the problem with Lamela and Martial was honestly Anthony Taylor being a complete disaster of a referee more than anything. To me neither one of them should have been sent off. That problem is solved by the referee telling both of them to knock it off or else. Show both a yellow if necessary.

But you can't question the English referees. The Premier League and the FA back them no matter how horrible they are.

Lamela's looked more like incidental contact while shoving before the corner. What Martial did is a red pretty much every time, especially when the fouled player milks it like Erik did. He's definitely a heel and did exactly what he should've in that situation. Guys like Bruno would've done the same exact thing lol.

Except that Bruno would have somehow also been awarded a penalty...

I agree, a red was laughable...either give nothing or give two yellow cards (one to each player).

Yeah, but they looked the other way on that obvious stomp on Harry Kane. Lucky that wasn't called or it would have been 1-13

I'd love to say they looked the other way but it wouldnt matter the VAR officials in england must be busy sipping tea and eating crumpets to notice the stuff on the field. Officiating in the prem has been bad and VAR is making them look even more incompetent. Shouldve been a yellow for both lamela and martial and thats it if anything and like you said Bailly should have been sent off but somehow they miss it or dont understand how the rules work to when they can intervene or not. I get they dont want to ruin the game so they installed the blatant and obvious catch but thats just made it more confusing.

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

Also that nasty challenge from Shaw on Lucas as he was going toward goal. That should've definitely been red.

Really intriguing start to the season so far.

My early bets for relegation fodder are Fulham, West Brom, and Sheffield United. I think you'll also see Brighton near the bottom of the table even though they will be loud and bothersome in every single match -- the defense just isn't solid enough and they will pay for trying to actually play it.

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

I'm w/ you on the regulation list. How about some early top 4 guesses? I'll, against my better judgement, take Liverpool, City, Everton, and Tottenham.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

I'll go liverpool, city, spuds, arsenal, everton, united for top-6.

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

Surprised no Chelsea sighting in that top 6. They've got better depth this year, and upgrades on the backend.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

yeah the top 9 teams will all be a problem for each other. We havent seen Chelsea with everyone available yet, to be fair, but i don't think Frank is really actually that good a manager and I could see it being a weird dysfunctional year for them as they find their footing.

I think I break the tiers down like this (no particular order within the tier)
Liverpool, City
Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, United
Everton, Leicester, Wolves

It wouldn't surprise me to see the final table have one or two teams creep up or slide down between those two tiers.

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

If Frank doesn't pull things together he's gonna be out by Christmas I think.

I've got Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, and Everton in my 2nd tier, and the gap between them and the top 2 teams is shrinking quickly. I'm still up in the air on Lampard, but they'll be better defensively, and they'll score, so I think they'll be fine. If we're talking about coaching, I'd be more worried if I were a United fan. That team seems to be steadily regressing, yet they have some elite talent. Players get better w/ better coaches, not worse. see Leeds, Liverpool, City, heck even Everton now. As of today, I'm not sure who's play is improving on ManU. Maybe that will change as season goes on, I hope so - Martial, Rashford, Greenwood and Fernandes are exciting.

Hokie fan | W&M grad

Everton have looked really good so far, but it's just hard for me to believe they can actually be this good after so many years of finishing in essentially the same spot in the table. But, if there's any season for them to do it this is the one as the top teams are even looking shaky.

Sp*rs look pretty good so far, but it's hard for me to believe that Jose can keep it going. He's going to ruin everything eventually.

Chelsea may improve but they don't look good so far. Pulisic will probably come back and save them, but Frank is not great.

I agree with your order for the most part - really hope Arsenal finish ahead of Sp*rs, no matter where in the table they are.

Sp*rs look pretty good so far, but it's hard for me to believe that Jose can keep it going. He's going to ruin everything eventually.

unfortunately it's usually sometime within year 3, and i think totspuds will wind up being pretty good this year -- won't prevent me from hatin' on them the whole time though!

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

Amen to that

Kieran Tierney self isolating for 14 days after close encounters with another Scotland player who has tested positive. How did the pandemic not postpone some of these tin cup internationals? They moved the Euros and that one is hugely important ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Wales playing England in a pointless friendly tomorrow that's only going to increase chances someone catches the rona. Especially since England has had idiot players breaking COVID rules on both this AND the last international break. And Wales ALSO has TWO (fake) competitive fixtures this break.

My guess is we're going to see injuries skyrocket this year because they are trying to cram so many matches into a shorter calendar, and while it hasn't happened extensively yet, bet we're going to start seeing postponements due to COVID infections. Some teams dealing with League Cup, FA Cup, League, Champions League/Euros, PLUS for their national teams, UEFA Nations League stuff, and World Cup qualifiers starting. They're already playing 2022 WC qualifiers in South America!

Friendlies and international stuff this season is really not the brightest idea. I get we have Euros and all next summer but the players could use the breaks and the international camps are a bit tone deaf considering the travel and number of players involved while the world fights the pandemic. Honestly I dont get the league cups being such a big deal as well why not cut the carabao cup and just have the FA cup. If we could have fans in seats I might understand having all the cups to financially help the lower league clubs but being the no fans rule I dont see the need for a second cup this season either.

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

Absolute bollocks, great determination by the Ev, but if an elbow or a millimeter of an armpit is offside then VAR is about to ruin this beautiful game unless they work this sh*t out...

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Not Ev...bluenoses or bluenose bastards if you prefer

The reality for Chelsea is that their attack is now as good as you can hope it to be. It's more than good enough to win a PL title. They have an incredible array of complementary weapons and depth to weather a few injuries. However, that defense is so so bad, and was so bad last year. It will be interesting to see if they can do anything to make it better throughout the season. Conventional wisdom would say it won't be much different.

I said before that Leeds could become the first team to score and concede 100 goals in a season, but chelski could do it as well!

EDIT: so could Liverpool

Especially if Big Virg is out for the season 6-8 months that's rumored right now ๐Ÿ’”

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

We might get relegated lol

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

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

Gareth Bale sighting for spurs! Crazy to see him back on the pitch for the lilywhites after all these years.

Lol spurs'd it โ˜ 

VB born, class of '14

Showed some resilience today, tough win. Let's do this for Big Virg!

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Both united and chelsea show how inept they can be. Neither will compete for a title with these teams. Bore of a game neither team seemed bothered to win outside of the penalty call chelsea didn't do diddly and neither did united

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

I've been watching Sergio Ramos for over a decade, and these kinds of plays are way more common from him than most people realize. Unbelievable tackle here to stop a 4 on 3 break where if he misses this tackle it's almost certainly a goal.

Not trying to shade but how much longer does OGS have at Man United? He wouldn't be a premier league coach if he hadn't played for them, and a club of United's stature should be battling for Europe, not to avoid relegation

VB born, class of '14

He should have been sacked in the summer and I'll keep banging that drum he's not a good manager and should be sacked. He only knows how to counter they are inept at anything else.

I'd say congrats on snapping the big 6 loss streak but united are 15th and shit this season

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

Truth be told I am a spurs fan and was pulling for a draw! ๐Ÿ˜‚

VB born, class of '14

Neither team were great by any means but united were so flat. Bruno was awful and has been for most of the season, pogba will get the flack but bruno was invisible again in a big game when he needed to be so much better.

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

And yet they look unstoppable in Europe...that's just 2020 being 2020, I guess

I'd pin that more on their opponents, PSG looked all over the park no real cohesion and discipline and for all the hype around Leipzig they looked pedestrian going forward and played a really high line against Rashford which is not a smart thing to do. Arsenal under Arteta play disciplined and dont play an overly high line and did a fantastic job of denying the space over the top if they lost possession so United couldnt and seemingly refused to go long. Again like I said above United have been so jeckel and hyde its hard to get excited to watch them right now since you never know whos going to show up.

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

First Arsenal win at Old Trafford since Xavier Adibi was playing at VT.

Gabriel looking like the steal of the window. 27 million British pounds for an instant difference maker. Partey is exactly as advertised and was huge in partnership with Elneny today.

Really satisfied with the performance. Some curious bits of finishing early but hopefully the penalty gets Auba going again.

Tough season thus far (VVD, Becker, Aston), but persevering at the top of the table is a glorious feeling when you pair it with how we've starter the UCL effort. It might not last, so I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Great to see Bale score yesterday. Spurs aren't looking as dangerous lately but good to see them getting wins in tight games. Would love to see a midfield three of Hojbjerg, Lo Celso and Ndombele at some point because those three seem to clearly be the best midfielders on the team. It looks like Jose is content with having Lo Celso come on for Ndombele or vice versa. I want to see all three on the pitch at the same time to at least watch for a bit how they all play together.

Spurs provided my ass cheeks a heckuva workout this morning, but ultimately they moved to the top of the table (for now). Boom!

I'll take it, that second half was miserable, hoping we can heal up over the international break. So grateful KDB missed that penalty.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Anybody want to tell me what happened to Arsenal? Not paying for peacock.

A total shambles and possibly the worst performance under Arteta to date. Looked like Villa did everything better. Like their players even looked like faster and more talented athletes. Willian and Lacazette were particularly horrific.

I regret watching sports this weekend.

Wasteful finishing...poor defending. Villa will be your 2022 champions league winners...that's two more than the Arse for those keeping score at home.

Villa fully deserved the points today. Watkins and Barkley were the best signings of the summer.

I played a Bristol City manager career mode on FIFA 20 and the first person I signed was Watkins and he scored me 62 goals in a season๐Ÿ˜‚

We were born for one thing
Tame the greatest fear of all
We were born for one thing
Born to face the greatest fear of all

Just wanted to make a correction, signing Grealish up for a new 5 year contract was the signing of the summer. Watkins and Martinez were icing on the cake, Barkley will be great if they can sign him up on a permanent basis. Worried about his hamstring now, though...

๐ŸฆŠ Vardy almost had goal 9 today.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

BBC says Mo Salah has contracted COVID on international duty. Cup qualifiers and, even worse, dumb friendlies like USMNT vs Wales are going to start wrecking league seasons before it's over. Our team actually flew to a UK in lockdown for a friendly. I really have questions.

Having all of these international games seems to be just about the dumbest thing going on in football in Europe.

Supposedly picked up the virus at his brothers wedding

I agree it's not ideal, but the international federations need money too. Friendlies are one thing, but are they just supposed to not play cup qualifiers? Scotland qualified for Euros yesterday, that's a massive revenue boost for them I'm sure. I'm sure UEFA is planning on holding Euros this summer because again, money.

On the whole, playing sports during a pandemic is not terribly responsible. But the federations have the same motivations as the clubs - money. They're not going to give it up as long as the clubs are playing.

Also, a decent chunk of US players are playing in European competitions so they are already travelling around Europe on a frequent basis. Again, should they being doing that at all? Probably not, but it's not like they would be only playing domestically if it weren't for international matches.

Watching Mourhino's counter attacking and defensive masterclass today gave me real hope for the Spurs this season. He's made Kane even better and built legitimate bench depth.

Gutted Alderwiereld is injured though.

VB born, class of '14

The next few games will really make it known where Spurs stand in the title race conversation. Team looks good. Hopefully the defense can stay strong even if Toby is out for a bit.

They look good. Kane has to stay healthy though. Son is your game changer IMO.


These days I turn on the TV to watch sports and it's buffoonery day in and day out. Yesterday it was Virginia Tech football. Today it's a head butt. It wasn't even a particularly good head butt like Zidane's. Half assed and/or stupid. That's all I see anymore from my teams.

What Pepe did was inexcusable and stupid and we're lucky it didn't cost us the match BUT why the double standard by the League? Mane intentionally hit Tierney and not even a second look by VAR. Or Aguerro grabbing an official around the back of her neck (though not very forcefully). Imagine if Xhaka did that. The dude from Leeds milked that crap too. If he was hurt so bad he should have had to come off the field for a few minutes for concussion protocol. Yes, what Pepe did deserved a red, but the EPL needs to tighten up its officials and get some sort of consistency and not let big name guys get away with worse.


Up the Might Fu#king Reds!!!! 100 injuries, so be it, we keep fighting! Mentality Monsters!

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Don't get too excited over 1 game. teams are going to figure out weaknesses in the back and a good attacking team like Everton will exploit it.


Uh, somebody already did, cough, cough, 7-2.

That game is quickly becoming a complete fluke with each passing day. Great win for Villa, though.

Beat Leicester and Arsenal as well (although the latter isn't that impressive, I know). West Ham loss was a missed penalty and a bs offside call at the death. I mean, trust, I am more than realistic about Villa's ceiling this year, top half would be a solid improvement, but I am enjoying the absolute shit out of this season after the last ten years of misery, and I will be obnoxious about it, because I do not understand that what goes around comes around.

The Puskas nominees are out. There are a few great goals but overall I was underwhelmed. Link here.

gotta be suarez

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

Am I the only one struggling to get into this season? I just cant get that excited for some reason. I've hardly watched any games aside from when United play unlike how I typically watch all the games but with so many on peacock I've quit turning it on on the weekends since its not on half the time.

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

Watching Klopp and the TV reporter go at each other was funny๐Ÿ˜‚

We were born for one thing
Tame the greatest fear of all
We were born for one thing
Born to face the greatest fear of all

Yeah I love Jurgie, but honestly, it's a fight that isn't going to go anywhere. He has tries to voice his frustrations along with other big club managers and nothing transpired. 5 subs (for every club) and later kickoff times for teams fighting on the Euro front would be helpful but yet again ๐Ÿ’ฐ matters.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Top of the league again ๐Ÿ˜‰ four points from man city and Chelsea away is fine by me.

VB born, class of '14

Pretty happy with a point at the Bridge for Spurs. Three away clean sheets in a row in the league for the first time since 2013 which is wild. Rodon played well aside from a few moments that could probably be explained away with being nervous. He did well for his first start, especially against a side like Chelsea. Spurs need to take more shots instead of passing so much in front of goal.

@Joe, I hope you get time to sit down and enjoy the game today. No spoilers, but after an arduous football season maybe some real football will help you smile

VB born, class of '14

Joe watched the game๐Ÿ˜

We were born for one thing
Tame the greatest fear of all
We were born for one thing
Born to face the greatest fear of all

Such a nice thought, thanks! Indeed, I watched live with my 6-year-old while French was banging out his film review. I am wrapping up editing and cutting clips for that now. Spurs defense is tenacious and their counter scares the shit out of everyone. Seven points agains City, Chelsea and Arsenal to keep top of the table. Can't ask for more than that. They need to get Ndombele back, not fuck around against Palace and then get after Liverpool and Leicester.

Honestly teared up at this.

Spurs: soon

KopH, I'm not even lying when I say, that YNWA made me tear up today, and you damn well better believe I sang along. Love this club.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA



โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

๐Ÿ˜‚ I'm hoping for any trophy this season๐Ÿ˜‚

We were born for one thing
Tame the greatest fear of all
We were born for one thing
Born to face the greatest fear of all

Honestly, if the injury bug keeps destroying our squad, the only team/manager I'd be happy for is Jose. I'd hate to lose our title, but they've waited 59 years for #3, they deserve to end they wait.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Raiola coming out and saying pogba is gone in January and I can't be more relieved. Good riddance to him and his absolute ass of an agent. Tired of the soap opera and united could use the money on a player who actually wants to play.

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

I think this will be good for both parties...but my word, what a goal he scored on Saturday. It REALLY hurts me to say that. Back to Juventus?

Issue is that's his 3rd or 4th goal from open play in years. If he would stay fit and try to fit a role instead of tuning in and out constantly and being a defensive liability it would work but unfortunately it hasn't worked. If it wasn't for his ass hat agent I might forgive it being he had covid over the summer and has been trying to get fit after, I had covid two months ago and still can't breathe right so I get it. But the constant bitching and flirting with leaving has gotten old and if he lets raiola say the stuff he said in this interview obviously it's how he feels we need to let him go. Where he can go in January though I'm not sure, juve have no cash to deal in, real I'm not sure what they would do they really need wingers not another creative mid. Barca are broke and can't buy, maybe bayern but honestly don't see that. Only other spot would be PSG but I dunno about them either.

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

Yup...that sums up the day for my Reds too...

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Weird weekend, and weird game week so far. Who would've thought we'd see a Chelsea loss followed by a City draw with West Brom. I love how mad this league is except when it's at the expense of Spurs.

After they earned their best result of the season with a draw at Manchester City....West Bromwich Albion fire their manager Slaven Bilic today. No sense makes sense.

Maybe they thought that other bottom 5 clubs were looking to hire Big Sam, so they moved up their timeline ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿพโ€โ™‚๏ธ

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

BEST IN THE WORLD IS BOBBY FIRMINO!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!! #TopOfTheLeague #ForNow #WhatInjuriesRightJose?

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

By far the best part of this for me was how triggered Jose Mourinho was after the match. Priceless!

Yup! Super triggered, love it!

Edit: per GGC's request

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

pls link nsfw images

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

Look, some of your clubs might win the league this year. Some might win the FA Cup. We might even have a Champions League winner.

But will your club earn as many red cards as Arsenal Football Club? Good luck with that. Your club is already light years behind.

Think how bad it would be if they still Guendouzi...

My 4 year old son around the 85th minute:
"Dad is this practice (session)?" *No son, but it looks like it doesn't it?" ๐Ÿคฃ #UTFR

Good way to get that GD back in order after that Villa arse-whooping.

Top of the league at ๐ŸŽ„ (Not that it's meant much historically, other than last season)

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Tasty matchups in the EFL cuppity cup semi final! A Manchester Derby and Spurs/Brentford. COYS

VB born, class of '14

Chelsea look awful going forward, long ball football is all they know and arsenal his some worldie goals and had luck on their side but they well outdid the tame effort by the blues.

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

I hate to overreact to one match but it's time for the "addition by subtraction" cliche for Arsenal here.

All the young guys do is run and work and should be getting games over Willian and Pepe and a few others. Especially with a team that has no hope for top 4...load them up on minutes and let the chips fall.

I honestly have no clue how this season will turn out. Last season truly spoiled me. I totally forgot about the twists and turns of your typical season. Hopeful we can get our stuff together before the Mancs come to Anfield, else that game could carry a lot more meaning. On to the next one, and as usual, UTFR.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Looking forward to seeing Spurs go up 1-0 in the first minute today against Marine and parking the bus for the next 89...

Joe Hart nearly getting chipped by a non league player should be enough to get rid of him. Respect for that shot off the crossbar.

VB born, class of '14

The stuff from that game was beautiful I love the FA cup so much.

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

Biggest game of the season when united go to anfield and it's on *vomits in the mouth* peacock. I've restrained from getting that service and I think I'll keep it that way I'm sick of this crap.

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

It's a great service. We use Xfinity so it comes with our internet service. Good win today, see ya Sunday, may the best team win. #UTFR

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

I would imagine that's the end of Tottenham sniffing top four. I'm really interested in whether or not West Ham hang on. At this point, they've earned it.

Unfortunately for me my spurs fandom has waned significantly since the festive period to the point of apathy. I just don't see how Mourinho stays, yet fear an exodus of players this off-season

VB born, class of '14

I actually think Jose gets another year unless they completely miss Europe. Kane's eyeing greener pastures, but I don't think there's a chance Levy sells him unless it's for unthinkable money.

Nope, they sacked Jose this morning.

He's now officially the Not So Special One

At this point I'm pulling for west ham to do it, they are top entertainment right now.

Tottenham are in an ugly spot and Jose looked genuinely defeated yesterday to me.

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

The post-match interview with Son was highly deflating. Couple that with Hugo's state of the program a few weeks ago and the outlook ain't great.

Foxes are just collapsing. Between on field issues and off field drama not sure what's happens here.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I heard some talk of off field stuff but cant find much out there whats going on off field?

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

Few players not in the squad yesterday because they attended a party in violation of covid protocols

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

Who else on the board is a city fan?

Removing features to get people to sign up for your service is something EA would would do.

Esh is

you can tell it's been a weird season for most of the popular clubs because this thread sat dormant for months

that said, arsenal look much better with a system change to include an attacking midfielder. just need to shore things up a bit. shoehorning aubameyang and lacazette into the side together is an awkward fit, but gunners look much better when lacazette starts. all eggs in the Europa basket now to save European competition for next season.

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

I'm with you GGC, this season's been an emotional rollercoaster. Tons of heartbreaks, tons of moments where I simply want it all to be over.

Looking forward to things wrapping up, and hopefully a more normal season come August. #UTFR

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

yeah what i actually meant was no weekly LFC circle jerk

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

Well played sir, I'll give ya that one. Still the champs though, that's all I'm hanging on to atm ๐Ÿ˜‚.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

Liverpool fans have had similar issues, but just in case anyone was wondering what our XI and squad looked like yesterday for a league match in the midst of a very close title race...

Starting XI

Courtois (thank god)

Marcelo (out of form, fitness, rare rotation option at LB)
Militao (4th choice CB)
Chust (Real Madrid Castilla CB)
Odriozola (3rd choice RB)

Modric (elite, praise god, but playing his 4th full 90' in 13 days at age 35)
Isco (out of form and fitness 5th or 6th choice midfielder)

Asensio (In starting rotation at RW, but very inconsistent and unreliable)
Rodrygo (in starting rotation at RW, been back from injury for a short period)
Vinicius Jr (Completely worn out LW option after playing mostly full 90's for the 13 day period)
Mariano (was 3rd choice ST before Jovic loan, 455 minutes played total this season with one goal)

Benz and Kroos were late scratches from starting due to (presumably) exhaustion, and had to be rested. We had no goal scorers, two midfielders, and bunch of attacking players who can't score. Without question the most ridiculous lineup I've ever seen in my over a decade of watching the club. It was forced though in the two days before the match Ferland Mendy suffered an injury in training (56th injury of the season) and Fede Valverde got hit with contact tracing the day before the match. I still, after watching the match, cannot explain to you what roles all those wingers/attacking mids were actually playing. The most bizarre unbalanced thing I've watched in a long time. Most of our sub options were also Castilla players who were called up the day before, a day in which they all played a full 90' one day before our match yesterday.

Absolutely ridiculous that we had to field this XI during a title race. I know most of you don't care about La Liga at all, but just know if Barca walks ass backwards into a league title this season despite losing/dropping points in every big match all year, that it was because we were dealing with catastrophic injury misfortune and Atleti choking a huge lead.

Considering how the UCL started for Madrid with losses to Shakhtar (at "home") and Monchengladbach and with the amount of injuries he's had to deal with, doubt any coach in Europe has done as good a job as Zidane. Still on for a La Liga and UCL double. Amazing.

However, it's still Madrid and they're all world class players...but great job Zizou.

I agree, but the sad thing is we may not win either, and this effort by Zidane and the ragtag remains of this team will likely be forgotten to time. The CL I would put PSG and City as comfortable favorites over us, and we are no guarantee to get past Chelsea either. In the league, despite losing both matches to Real Madrid, and potentially losing/dropping points in both Atletico matches (2nd match May 9th) Barcelona might win the league based solely off Atleti and Real Madrid dropping points to weaker comp. Still a long way to go in the league race, but right now it's hard to see us not dropping more points unless our injury recovery turns around very quickly. The raging fury that would burn through my veins if Barca win a domestic double despite losing basically every big match they played in would be enough to burn down a building.

What has happened to Isco hes gone off a cliff it seems?

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

Off field fitness issues (gained a lot of weight, lost a lot of speed) saw him fall out of favor during the season that Zidane was gone (18/19) until he returned at the very end. He's struggled to regain form and fitness even after Zidane's return. Certainly someone who can still flash a bit, but he's a far, far cry from the Isco Disco days of 3-4 years ago during the CL 3peat. Zidane will still play him in some big, important matches, but it seems to be based more on the fact that he just likes Isco and remembers his level a few years ago, than on the merit of his form the last few seasons. He is still comfortably the 5th MF option behind KCM and Fede Valverde.

Curious how others feel on the stuff that went on in Manchester yesterday. As a man united fan I'm all for protesting the Glazers and the way they have run the club but personally feel they crossed the line by breaking into the stadium and therefor escalating it and getting the game postponed and risking not only the staff and media members and the players but on a health level as well. My other concern would be that this now becomes a thing with other big clubs with owners they dont like like liverpool and arsenal and do we have to see more and more suspensions of games due to more protests of this level. I would expect more and more security at the other venues and games to prevent this from becoming an issue otherwise I could see the PL saying no fans in stands for the rest of the season to keep this from becoming an issue.

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

I can't stand the Mancs more than the most US based LFC supporters, but I honestly applaud the restrained protestors for their attempts to wrestle back the beauty of their club. I'm completely against the violence that took place, let that be known. I heard a officer was injured, and there was property damage that took place as well. However, I feel like "English footy" is so steeped in history and connections to the lower to middle class, that it's important to maintain that, by whatever "peaceful" means necessary. I was heartbroken at the Super League fiasco, I felt like the beauty of a working class club like LFC was tarnished by greedy venture capitalists. I think forcing the postponement of one of the biggest fixtures of the year is a great way to show the suits who's game it is. Football without fans is nothing, and I think that owners should really think long and hard about including the voice and opinion of the local supporters before big decisions are made. But that's the purist in me talking.

โญโญโญโญโญโญ #YNWA

it feels incredibly short sighted by the Utd supporters who were vocal on social media with a stated desire to see the match postponed or abandoned to make a statement

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

I hate to ever say I agree with Roy Keane, but he said yesterday that it feels like soccer is the 3rd or 4th most important thing now, behind at least the money and branding (which is really about the money). That's exactly right. Fans are left rooting for billionaires to buy their club so they can do a Man City. It was awesome watching those ManC fans celebrate when Aguero won that title however long ago, but now they're just part of the money making machine.

I don't agree with violence against people either (and there haven't been fans in the stands all season, no reason to see that they'd start now) but I'm fine with protests getting matches postponed. The Glazers, Fenway Group, etc have all the money and all the power that buys. The only voice the fans have is collective action. Hit the owners in the pocketbooks.

The best solution in practice today is something like what Germany does, with supporters groups involved in ownership. Anyone notice the one major league that didn't have anything to do with the Super League (that wasn't keeping their distance because their owners didn't want to risk the World Cup they bought next summer, cough PSG cough)? Not saying the German league is perfect, but they run their teams and their league like they remember why the fuck they exist in the first place (soccer!) and not just as money printing machines that they just have to get their picture taken wearing a scarf every now and again to pretend like they care about the actual team and not just its ability to generate profits.

I thought Keane covered it well as well. I think you hit the nail on the head there needs to be reform to owning a club across the other leagues similar to Germany in model but maybe a few tweaks as well. Not a big fan of how Bayern simply can dominate the league effortlessly almost but would like to see club ownership model the 50+1 rule.
Unfortunately I dont see how that change comes about from any angle with the owners being so wealthy and powerful they will refuse any honest change even if games start getting postponed all the time. Would love to see some ideas that the owners might actually agree to but the odds of that happening with the owner like Man city and chelsea as well where the owners are sole and richer than god and will fight any change with the best lawyers money can get.
PSG act all like theyre innocent but anyone with a brain can smell the bull shit oozing from their ears. They bought a world cup, killed thousands of workers to build the stadiums and are going to get away with in unfortunately.

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