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Old 28th December 2011, 12:44   #1066
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I agree Saanil!

I too was watching the game and heartbroken at the end of it. No doubt Hennessey had some excellent saves last night.

But with Arsenal - you always know they are going to concede, unless they have scored atleast 3 goals. But that too doesnt hold true as they scored 4 and then drew with Newcastle last year. Just hate the state we are in right now.
Frankly speaking I have stopped dreaming of the title. You tell me one thing - Do you really see us winning the title in the near future with this team. We are still building up our team and it would not be right to expect them to deliver titles very fast. It is not that I do not see the potential but then expecting trophies while playing like this is like asking God to gift you a lottery (It ain't going to happen man). You got to work hard, have the right strategies and have the right players. Till then I keep on seeing the youtube videos of The Invincibles and keep on dreaming!
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Old 28th December 2011, 19:35   #1067
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Just saw the goals from the Tottenham vs Norwich game. I have to say this - Gareth Bale is a rising star. He has the pace, strength, skills - everything. Redknapp has a good talented bunch of players at his disposal. Spurs really deserve to be in the top 3. I think Bale started playing good from last season onwards. Before that I never saw him playing that good (Correct me if I am wrong here). One thing - Whenever Bale scores he has a standard way of celebrating - he shows a heart kind of a sign - What is that?
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Old 31st December 2011, 08:48   #1068
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An informative article on how a transfer window works.

Former Liverpool director Christian Purslow: buying and selling in transfer window is tough - Telegraph

And it looks very likely that Henry will join Gunners on loan in Jan.
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Old 1st January 2012, 13:37   #1069
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What the hell is happening in the Premier League? I missed the matches yesterday as I had gone out but was expecting the usual results. But when I came back home and checked the results – I was stunned. Of course I was happy to know that Arsenal had won but the others – Chelsea/Man Utd/Spurs – what the hell happened? I saw the highlights today morning. The Chelsea match was shocking. I never really liked Lampard. I have never seen him create a magical move but he always seems lethargic on field and short of creativity. I think his mistake cost Chelsea the 3rd goal. Ashley Cole has also been performing inconsistently. AVB will be under serious pressure now. I do not think he will be fired because what Chelsea need is stability in the manager department and a few new players. For Man Utd – Feel sorry for De Gea. He seems to remind me of Almunia. Of course he is better than the Spanish waiter but yesterday the error he made – it reminded me of Almunia. Overall it was a disastrous birthday foe SAF. It will be interesting to see if he will do any business in January transfer market as I think he has been playing a patched up team with the all injuries and stuff.

I think the most consistent team in this league until now has been Man City and that is the reason they deserve to be on the top. I am not saying they are perfect but in my opinion they are quite consistent compared to others. I think this will be a great opportunity for them to win the league with the other clubs really being careless.
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Old 1st January 2012, 13:42   #1070
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What the hell is happening in the Premier League? I missed the matches yesterday as I had gone out but was expecting the usual results. But when I came back home and checked the results I was stunned. Of course I was happy to know that Arsenal had won but the others Chelsea/Man Utd/Spurs what the hell happened? I saw the highlights today morning. The Chelsea match was shocking. I never really liked Lampard. I have never seen him create a magical move but he always seems lethargic on field and short of creativity. I think his mistake cost Chelsea the 3rd goal. Ashley Cole has also been performing inconsistently. AVB will be under serious pressure now. I do not think he will be fired because what Chelsea need is stability in the manager department and a few new players. For Man Utd Feel sorry for De Gea. He seems to remind me of Almunia. Of course he is better than the Spanish waiter but yesterday the error he made it reminded me of Almunia. Overall it was a disastrous birthday foe SAF. It will be interesting to see if he will do any business in January transfer market as I think he has been playing a patched up team with the all injuries and stuff.

I think the most consistent team in this league until now has been Man City and that is the reason they deserve to be on the top. I am not saying they are perfect but in my opinion they are quite consistent compared to others. I think this will be a great opportunity for them to win the league with the other clubs really being careless.
To add on, Liverpool did very well to win 3-1 against Newcastle on Friday. Good to see Gerrard back, and more importantly this was their first match without Suarez in a long time.
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Old 1st January 2012, 22:46   #1071
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I think the most consistent team in this league until now has been Man City and that is the reason they deserve to be on the top. I am not saying they are perfect but in my opinion they are quite consistent compared to others. I think this will be a great opportunity for them to win the league with the other clubs really being careless.
well city have also lost today thanks to last min goal. Makes things little bit more interesting (more so as i m a man utd fan).

its just incredible how many of our first teamers are out injured at the moment! Practically entire defense and midfield!!! Still joint top of the league. Although I dont think we will win the league this year. It will be Man City. Their first team is better and their bench is also much better. Saddens me really but its blunt truth. fergie doesnt hve the money to compete with the likes of Barca, Real, City and Chelsea. Thanks to our parsimonious owners, we are resigned to compete for basement bargains with the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool etc.

If only Fergie had the incredible resources of City, I am sure he could have built a team capable of competing with the likes of Real and Barca.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 17:42   #1072
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well city have also lost today thanks to last min goal. Makes things little bit more interesting (more so as i m a man utd fan).

its just incredible how many of our first teamers are out injured at the moment! Practically entire defense and midfield!!! Still joint top of the league. Although I dont think we will win the league this year. It will be Man City. Their first team is better and their bench is also much better. Saddens me really but its blunt truth. fergie doesnt hve the money to compete with the likes of Barca, Real, City and Chelsea. Thanks to our parsimonious owners, we are resigned to compete for basement bargains with the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool etc.

If only Fergie had the incredible resources of City, I am sure he could have built a team capable of competing with the likes of Real and Barca.
what makes anyone say that Fergie does not have the money - United spent around 60 million pounds to get Phil Jones, Ashley Young and De Gea at the beginning of the season, and honestly speaking whenever he has WANTED a player he was given the cash

the United way is not to really splash the cash around to buy a team of Galactico's, whilst yes they will buy a star player or two they usually try and get younger players to train from the ground up and thats always been Fergies way ie the fledglings for the future is not something new

also a method that they employ is to not keep too many star players ie they will have a squad built up of one or two star players as the focal point but they have willing workers and suppliers around the star who do not want to win attention hence those players will play for the team solely whilst the stars demand the focus has to be on them

city is just buying stars - and for a while this will tend to work but in the Premier league eventually teams will get tired of losing to you - so when they fear you they will set up to play as two banks of defensive lines and play against you on the counter - and thats exactly what happened during City vs Sunderland Sunderland defended in a manner that was hard to break down (Martin O Niel is an experienced manager) and they attacked only on the counter (easily evident from possession stats)

The main reason that United have always been so successful over the years is that teams will always have an undercurrent attitude that they have a chance to beat United, and Fergie always has a squad that allows other teams to cultivate that attitude which means that lots of times teams that are mid table are going to play attacking football against you and leave the space for your one or two excellent players to always open them up and score

This is why it is essentially unwise to just buy a bunch of superstars because every team you play will use negative tactics against you and you have to land up having wave after wave of attacking play being repelled by defensive and negative tactics where teams will let you have the ball in your own half and down the flanks but they wont allow the ball anywhere near their goal so they will totally defend narrow

So Fergie is the one person who is best at looking at the squad he has and identifying where the weaknesses and strengths are and when he needs to change tactically - thats why his 25 years at United have made him the greatest manager thats ever lived and even Mourinho and Guardiola have to go a long way to reach his level of awareness even though they may be better than him at certain aspects of management but as a total manager no-one has and will come near him YET. Even if Fergie was offered billions to rebuild the team just to have a better team on paper than city's he would refuse it cos he knows he can beat them by being cleverer than they are

What lots of people also need to realize is that Uniteds debt is easily sustainable because each year the Glazers are purchasing back those bonds they issued - and the bonds are only due in a long time from now - by then they would have purchased all those back and the club will not be in any debt at all and in the meantime if Fergie asks for a player if he (not anyone else) feels is needed to strengthen the squad then he will get that money ... remember that United has a constant cash reserve of 150 million pounds at the bank (most of which is the money from selling Christiano Ronaldo that they can draw at any time) and they have been showing pretty decent profits in the last few recent financial quarters (profits that they keep using to buy back bits of their bond issue)

Also dont forget that soon the Financial Fair play rules will come into effect and no team will be able to overspend and straight away it becomes a disadvantage to have lots of 30 year old superstars in your side because the wages are a problem in terms of the rules and also if you have a lot youngsters they grow together as a TEAM so you dont need to keep buying stars

So honestly theres absolutely no need to panic over whats happening at City - it wont last long - they wont be able to keep buying the Premier league or champions league unless they begin to think properly and stop just buying star players to just discard when they dont need them

Last edited by naughty001 : 2nd January 2012 at 17:45.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 18:41   #1073
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I agree with most of what you say naughty001! However everyone could see that we had issues in central midfield with lack of ready replacements for Scholes and Giggs. This should have been addressed over the past couple of years and either youngsters like Cleverly and Pogba should have been eased into the team sooner or if they were not prepared for that, then a couple decent midfielders bought to fill this gap.

I totally agree that Fergie has always had money to spend when he has wanted and this summer's splash was another evidence of that. He has made mistakes in the transfer market (who doesn't) but I won't hold them against him one bit. BTW, the cash pile is down to well below a 100 mn quid after the recent buyback of bonds. I also agree that the current debt is manageable but I'm still awaiting answers to questions about where the PIK's have vanished from the books? Glazers surely didn't have the money to pay them off straight.

I had commented on a United forum earlier in the year that us United fans will need to be patient with this team for atleast a couple of years and my exact words were that we would need to be prepared for some embarrasing moments along the way (couple have surely arrived with the City thrashing and UCL exit). But this team will get better as we go along. It will be a fun ride for sure as always! Hop on!!
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Old 3rd January 2012, 19:01   #1074
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@naughty001

Your long post makes me believe you to be a fellow Utd fan

Appreciate your thoughts and your time taken to write what you have, but actually if you look at our past, we have had our fair share of mega buys! Man Utd (and I mean SAF here) repeatedly broke UK transfer records with purchases of Roy Keane, Andy Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Fabien Barthez, Ruud Van, Juan Veron and one Wayne Rooney. Dimitar was a club record buy but not UK record (Robinho had that honor at that time).

Point here is, upto a specific point of time (that time is Glazer takeover), Utd were the top dogs on the land, in every respect! We were the best, we competed for best players and we regularly signed the biggest names. Sadly that is not true anymore.

Theres a saying in football. Its your defense and attack that wins you games, and its your midfield that controls your games! We have a fantastic defense and we are pretty much great in attack as well (thats why you see us where we are), but we are woeful when it comes to our midfield (thats why you see us struggling to control games even against minnows! All top teams regularly beat us in the midfield area, for years now!)
There was a time when our midfield boasted of the likes of Becks Scholes Keane Giggs! Compare that to what we have today!!! Hardly the same class. Why has SAF been ignoring this vital area and for years now??

Look at Barca midfield - Xavi, Iniesta, Busquests - all world class!
Look at Real midfield - Diarra/Khadiera, Alonso, Ozil/Kaka - all world class/or at least international class!
Even at Man City - Toure, De Jong, Silva, Nasri - all really good players (Toure and Silva are arguably world class)

But there is no world class player in Utd's midfield!!! Thats amazing.

How did we come down from Scholes/Keane to now_who_are_our_midfielders???

SAF is a legend and a great manager but it doesnt mean supporters have to be blind and cannot question him. We dont even see him attempting rebuilding the midfield!!! And the reason is pretty simple. He doesnt have the money! If he had, he would spend it. He has done it in the past (Rio, Veron, Rooney etc are examples). But now he doesnt. So he buys youngsters (because they are safer buys. if they dont click, you can still sell them and recoup most of your money). SAF doesnt spend any money on quality midfielders as they will cost a fortune that he doesnt have, and he doesnt want to buy lesser players as they would hardly improve things in there for us!

Give you an example - Utd were after Sanchez but they got Young instead as Sanchez turned out to be out of their reach (This is for Giggs replacement.) And you can very well see the difference in quality of the two. We simply could not afford Sanchez (would have needed a bid of 30m.) The Fergie of late 90s/early 00s would have moved heavens to get Sanchez! Its incredible a club that boasts of annual profits of 100m+ cannot spend 30m now on one player! Since Glazers takeover, united have spent 400m+ to service loans/bank fees etc. Thats 400m of money in drain (This money was not spent on squad or any infrastructure improvements!) In the same time both Barca and Real and also Man City spent nearly the same amount of money and collectively they have signed the likes of Fabregas, Ibrahimovic, Sanchez, Villa, Ronaldo, Kaka, Benzema, Ozil, Alonso, Toure, Silva, Aguero, Tevez! Its simply mind boggling. (BTW all figures are in UK Pounds).

In the last game we played with a midfield of Rafael and Park!!!! What more to say!!!
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Old 3rd January 2012, 19:39   #1075
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A seperate thread for the EPL is in order i say.

Unrelated, on 10th January India is having a match with the mighty Bayern Munich (ie Half the German team + Robben + Ribery among others) at the Jawahar lal nehru stadium.

Tickets available at Audi Football Summit 2012
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Old 4th January 2012, 01:34   #1076
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okay lets look at all your points one at a time

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However everyone could see that we had issues in central midfield with lack of ready replacements for Scholes and Giggs.
for one Giggs was never a central midfielder until he was sparingly used as such recently because of age and loss of pace, he was a winger, and we have adequate wingers on the left hand side ie Nani and Young. And i dont get the obsession that everyone has with replacing Scholes since Paul himself was the first to point out that over the last 5 years his role has been very sparse and he was not the dominant figure that he once was. You can never get like for like replacements for legends so we never needed to replace either of those venerable gentlemen

Please note that im not claiming that we do not need some reinforcements in midfield merely stating though that the reasons are different from what everyone claims

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BTW, the cash pile is down to well below a 100 mn quid after the recent buyback of bonds
that is possibly likely - I havent really looked at the most recent financial statements in loads of detail but with the extra profit posted recently i expected that it had gone back up to previous levels BUT if the additional profit helped in buying back bonds instead it reduces long term debt even more, so it cannot be a bad thing

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I also agree that the current debt is manageable but I'm still awaiting answers to questions about where the PIK's have vanished from the books? Glazers surely didn't have the money to pay them off straight.
the crucial thing about the PIK's was that it was the Glazers debt and not the clubs nor the clubs holding company so as long as the repayment does not appear on the books this need not concern us. It would have showed up if Carrington was sold or if this was paid from club funds so IMHO if the Glazers had to sell a few of their US supermarkets to pay those off then i dont really care as long as it does not affect the club and its day to day business

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I had commented on a United forum earlier in the year that us United fans will need to be patient with this team for atleast a couple of years and my exact words were that we would need to be prepared for some embarrasing moments along the way (couple have surely arrived with the City thrashing and UCL exit). But this team will get better as we go along. It will be a fun ride for sure as always! Hop on!!
Okay the champions league exit was inexcusable but the City defeat was only an embarrassment to people living in Manchester because there is no team that has a god given right to win every game that they play and we lost to a good team. The margin of victory is unimportant in the bigger context because as embarrassing as it was for a fan the score only wins you one game, and the league is based on 38 games

the chances are there that City can win the league but the chances are there that they can also have a major blip and go on a 5 game losing streak allowing us to race ahead of them. Alternatively the chances are there that we could get a few more injuries and we likewise go on a major losing streak but rest assured we wont really wait for title number 20 because i still see it happening within the next three seasons even if not this season. The thing though starting like a house on fire is one thing but maintaining that is difficult and like any sport you have to peak at the right time so to me right now City being praised for their football is like that scene in the fast and furious where the guy in the white Jetta pressed his Turbo boost too early and as he ran out of steam the other guy went easily past him

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Your long post makes me believe you to be a fellow Utd fan
indeed sir

Quote:
Appreciate your thoughts and your time taken to write what you have,
likewise and i also appreciate NKapoor's responses as well (interestingly enough Mr Kapoor my first name is Nitin as well)

Quote:
but actually if you look at our past, we have had our fair share of mega buys! Man Utd (and I mean SAF here) repeatedly broke UK transfer records with purchases of Roy Keane, Andy Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Fabien Barthez, Ruud Van, Juan Veron and one Wayne Rooney. Dimitar was a club record buy but not UK record (Robinho had that honor at that time).

Point here is, upto a specific point of time (that time is Glazer takeover), Utd were the top dogs on the land, in every respect! We were the best, we competed for best players and we regularly signed the biggest names. Sadly that is not true anymore.
no denying that big amounts were spent but you have to remember a few things

1) the cash was not all spent in one go - we purchased players over a spread period of time - so its not a case of not spending - its all about the balance of the squad at any given time

2) players with ambition will still want to come to United players who want a big payday will land up going to city .... besides for the Carlos Tevez saga Mario Ballotelli and Edin Dzeko already want to leave so who says we cannot attract big players anymore. The bigger question is do we want them

Quote:
but we are woeful when it comes to our midfield (thats why you see us struggling to control games even against minnows! All top teams regularly beat us in the midfield area, for years now!)
There was a time when our midfield boasted of the likes of Becks Scholes Keane Giggs! Compare that to what we have today!!! Hardly the same class. Why has SAF been ignoring this vital area and for years now??
the thing is that its nice to change strategies every now and then and the last few years SAF has not really concentrated on the centre of midfield unless we play 4-5-1 but then in that instance any body there is a body there and does not need to be world class but when we dont play 4-4-2 and we play 4-3-3 we depend more on the wing play and not so much on going back in the flanks - and our central defensive partnerships have always been extremely strong so the other teams offensive strengths still do not get them much advantage ie they dont score as many goals as they possibly can anyway out of all that narrow central midfield advantage that they always have - but we always manage to score more than everyone else with skillful wide play providing good service to one or two excellent strikers

i am not convinced that we need more than fletcher, anderson and Carrick when those guys are all fit ... they are good enough to do what we need done in that area

Quote:
Look at Real midfield - Diarra/Khadiera, Alonso, Ozil/Kaka
and yet Mourinho is not happy - Diarra will soon be gone as im sure so will Kaka for nowhere near as much as was spent to buy him (he flopped bigtime there) Ozil is also reportedly not really settled and I dont really like Khadiera (neither does mourinho from all accounts i have read)

Quote:
Look at Barca midfield - Xavi, Iniesta, Busquests - all world class!
Xavi and iniesta - no arguments there - but Busquets you cant mention in the same sentence - he is a cheating diver (literally an unsportsmanlike cheat and i hate him with a passion)

Quote:
Even at Man City - Toure, De Jong, Silva, Nasri
Silva - no arguments there and i wish we had bought him as an attacking midfielder but United wont break their pay structure (financial fair play is almost here) Toure is IMHO over-rated - he has been getting better but i never reckoned he was a player worth giving the biggest wage in the premier league 275k quid per week ... you gotta be having me on, then to me (just me personally and you are welcome to disagree) Nasri is a player i am happy we never got - he is flopping there because his style is not the one touch and go that City are trying to cultivate - he holds on to the ball when he has three or four players on him (thus eventually losing it to them) alternatively when no-one is pressing him he inexplicably looks up and picks a pass without letting any pressure bear upon him and hence taking one or two players out of the game when they try to get the ball away from him, No - he just passes when theres no opposition player near him so whats his point. And Mr Kung-fu De Jong is just an enforcer thug .... nothing world class to see there ... his point is to make you leave the field bruised especially if you are a skillful player

My main point on all these big arguments i am making against these players - spending on midfield players will not help as much as you think it does - as long as there are disciplined organized players there and they keep the shape we play with then even novices will do for our purposes because all we need is someone who can keep passing to a winger who will then start an attack or a counter

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SAF is a legend and a great manager but it doesnt mean supporters have to be blind and cannot question him
I definitely would not ie over 30 trophies during the last 25 years tells me that he knows far more than i do and way more than all the people criticizing him

City for all their current cash have one trophy in the last 30 years ie and that is last seasons FA cup so something tells me that they wont be as hard to beat over a season as everyone thinks even with all their galactico's and glamorous scarf bearing managers

Quote:
We dont even see him attempting rebuilding the midfield!!! And the reason is pretty simple. He doesnt have the money! If he had, he would spend it.
The thing is as i have pointed out elsewhere ... does he need to. Its not all about the money its more about being the cleverer manager over a season ie its more like a chess game and not about brute strength to batter everyone else into submission because then you will need to keep spending each transfer window to just keep buying in form players and getting rid of the ones who are not performing .... how sensible is that even City wont be able to sustain that model for long - within two years new signings are going to become very rare when those FFP rules hit - the bubble is going to burst by then so its best to prepare for that now gradually rather than hitting a brick wall by then and at that stage its going to be the cleverly assembled team going and winning regularly instead of the most expensively assembled full of 30 to 35 year old superstars

Quote:
Utd were after Sanchez but they got Young instead as Sanchez turned out to be out of their reach
I would rather have Nani and Young right now instead of Sanchez - he was injured for most of the time since he was purchased and has the sum total of zero for Barca so far ... so hardly a huge mistake to not get him

Quote:
Since Glazers takeover, united have spent 400m+ to service loans/bank fees etc. Thats 400m of money in drain
no dispute but have you compared how much other clubs have spent in the same period .... dont be too surprised if it is also close to the same figure ... and in that context you will always have that type of expenditure to contend with no matter who the owner is (how much did the previous owners spend in this regard and if you dont know why only research how much the Glazers have spent if there is no base figure to compare it to .... my point being that everyone is complaining without really knowing if its a valid point or not and until figures are produced that prove that the Glazers are as evil as everyone thinks them to be)

Quote:
In the last game we played with a midfield of Rafael and Park!!!! What more to say!!!
yes it seems absurd but it was down to injuries and also it would have been different if Evans, Rooney and Gibson did not have to be dropped for disciplinary reasons (they were also fined one weeks wages to for going out on a boozy celebration after the boxing day match)

Imagine if Evans was in defence and Carrick was in midfield and Rafael was in his usual full back role - then imagine Gibson joining Carrick in midfield instead of Park playing there and between the three strikers who started if one of those was benched and Wayne Rooney started instead ... what would have potentially happened then - this was not about having the players etc available or injured - we lost that Game because Fergusson had to show those guys who is the boss and drop them for going out boozing and coming in to train with a hangover

okay enough from me on the subject now ... I am going to watch Liverpool vs City and for once i am going to be an honorary temporary scouser and hope that "King Kenny" orchestrates another moment of embarrassment for City
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Old 10th January 2012, 08:41   #1077
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A seperate thread for the EPL is in order i say.
I second that.

Coming back to FA cup, Henry rolled back the years, didn't he?

The way he opened up his body and scored with trademark sidefoot, all too familiar. Check out this amazing fan video.


Arsene, pls extend his stay for the N.London derby.
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Old 10th January 2012, 13:30   #1078
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Woohoooo! Awesome to watch Thiery Henry play again for Arsenal after years. And that trademark goal! Amazing. Recorded the whole match hoping he'd score.
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Old 22nd January 2012, 23:31   #1079
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Should have been curtains for Arshavin long back! Why is he still playing for Arsenal? The poorest player in the league (or maybe even Europe) really.

Good win for United though, this one, over Arsenal. No CL for Arsenal fans next season
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Old 22nd January 2012, 23:56   #1080
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Should have been curtains for Arshavin long back! Why is he still playing for Arsenal? The poorest player in the league (or maybe even Europe) really.

Good win for United though, this one, over Arsenal. No CL for Arsenal fans next season
All Arsenal fans have been asking the same question man! Unfortunately Wenger simply refuses to answer it. Wenger has to sit down with Arshavin and tell him – Either play good or simply move away from Arsenal. I am not sure if Wenger is telling the right things to Arshavin. Arshavin’s body language whenever he comes onto the field is shocking. You can clearly make out he is just on the field because he has no other choice. With Chelsea and Liverpool dropping points, I believed even a point off this game would be encouraging but alas! History is witness to the fact that whenever Arsenal has a chance of closing the gap on someone they have always missed.

Frankly speaking I myself do not know what I am angry about. It is foolish of me to expect this team to win matches and be title contenders. When you do not have the team, the tactics and the players it is absolutely stupid to expect big things. I am not saying that the players are bad but then Wenger is not able to tap the entire potential of players or something is wrong with the tactics of the team.

No words about today’s match. A draw was a realistic expectation – Arsenal had their chances but they blew them again. I am sure Wenger will not sign anyone – He is banking on players returning from injuries (as usual). Arsenal will surely crash out of Champions League against AC Milan.

BTW I missed the City-Spurs match - How was it? All the goals came in the 2nd half. Must have been a thrilling match.

Last edited by Saanil : 22nd January 2012 at 23:59.
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