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  1. #81
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    Ah good old FFP. The thing nobody is quite sure how it works lol. My guess is it will be a do what we want and worry about it later because we have money type deal

  2. #82
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    That seems to be what every one else does, doesn't it? So long as it doesn't lead to points deductions and cost us promotion or something....

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  3. #83
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    I hear Messi is arriving for a medical in the morning!!

  4. #84
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    He'll love Birmingham. I bet he's never even heard of a Balti pie.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  5. #85
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    Honestly, I don't know what Rafa is doing at Newcastle, at least work for a team who are willing to spend.

  6. #86
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    I think it's that he's been at the top clubs and has been fired by a lot of them. It's not like he's suddenly going to change his style, or win so much more, that he'll get more of a chance at them. Newcastle is basically his level, and he's popular there. I guess he's thinking, why risk that going somewhere else?

    Good come from behind win for Villa away at Hull. Probably the sort of performance that'll put a few million on the Grealish valuation, from what I've read. Still expect him to go to Spurs though, even though they have four players like him already.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  7. #87
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    Is the Fantasy Football league active this season? This is the first year I'm going to take it proper serious as I'm in a few paid leagues, so thought I may as well clean up the LoP one too if it's live!

  8. #88
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    I think Maz usually sorts that out?

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  9. #89
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    I'd be interested in that, the official premier league one I assume?

  10. #90
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    Yeah, official premier league one. On a side note, if anyone wants in to a paid one - 10 in - PM me and I’ll get your feet under the table!

  11. #91
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    How do people feel about the window closing before the season starts this year around? On the one hand I'm kind of glad that we don't have weeks of endless transfer talk after the proper football starts, and it's got to be less disrupting for clubs to work in this way. But equally it feels like, with the World Cup and everything, the whole window has been squashed into about three weeks in total, and that no club has probably done all the business they want to as a result.

  12. #92
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    I'm marginally for it. I think from a business standpoint, it's probably for the best, as some clubs were certainly prone to panic buying after the first couple of games went awry. However I would have kept the midnight cut off point, added to the intrigue long into the night (the window closes at 5pm I believe tomorrow).

    That being said, when the panic buys were happening for other clubs and not your own, can't say it wasn't entertaining...

  13. #93
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    ^ I'd probably agree. It felt strange being so early but equally it's good that it's done before the season really gets going. There was nothing worse than being on egg-shells for weeks and then having to reassess your entire season when someone got poached at 11.30pm on deadline day.


    Villa sneak past Yeovil away in the 1st round of the League Cup to keep up their unbeaten start to the season last night. This week we have Ipswich away. Not the easiest assignment in the league but probably easier than it was when they had Mick McCarthy as coach.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  14. #94
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    Why do Arsenal fans hate Hector Bellerin so much?

  15. #95
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    It's a difficult question to answer, especially for me as I fall on the other side of the argument. I rate him fairly highly. But I think most of the hate stems from a few reasons:

    First of all, he's very attack-minded. That in itself is not a problem, but for a side whose biggest problem is the defence, he goes missing at important moments because he is too high up the field. He's not a good defensive full-back and while in the past he has been able to use his pace to get back to a defensive formation, most of the time it's too little too late. We are suckers for counter attacks, more so than most other teams.

    Secondly, probably across the last 12 months, when he is further up the field and in an attacking position, he either makes the wrong decision or a poor cross. We lose possession, which starts a counter attack for the opposing team and thus our frailties are there to be seen.

    Finally, he simply hasn't stepped up his game and has slightly regressed as a player. Two or three years ago, when he first burst on the scene, there was an excitement to his game and the fact that he was 19/20 meant we thought he could only get better. Only he hasn't, at least not as of 2018. I personally don't completely agree with this opinion that he has regressed, I think the whole team has worsened defensively so it's not fair to lump the blame on him completely. But I agree he certainly has not improved his game since then.

    Add in the fact that he's a bit of an oddball when it comes to fashion (doesn't bother me in the slightest, but some people will misconstrue what his "priorities" are), there's a lot of fans laying into him at the moment.

    On a larger scale, I'm very much waiting before passing judgement on Emery. Two sickening games to start the season with, I'm not going to criticise too harshly on that. We'll see towards the end of September where we are before I start forming opinions on the style of play...
    Last edited by Gooner; 08-20-2018 at 10:39 AM.

  16. #96
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    I'm the same as Gooner with Pellegrini/West Ham at the moment. Giving it ten games before I make any judgement on how we're actually doing.

    The Bellerin stuff sounds a bit like the Coquelin stuff. I always thought that Coquelin looked like a decent, if not great, deep lying midfielder for Arsenal when he played, but I know some people absolutely scapegoated him for everything that went wrong during the later Wenger years.

    Then again, Noble is constantly the scapegoat for West Ham fans and I think he's bloody brilliant, so maybe it's me that's wrong.

  17. #97
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Yeah I didn't get the hate for him either. He was a solid player, bit prone to rash tackles at times and not a great passer, but did his job well. My little 8 year old cousin actually met him shopping at Build-a-Bear, just a curious fact.

  18. #98
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    I saw that happen at Villa a few times over the years. Last one I remember is Warnock. Truth is once you're tarred with that brush it does not matter if you have a good game or not, people don't see it. Only guy I remember having that and escaping it was Stiliyan Petrov, when he moved from creative to defensive midfield.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  19. #99
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    Man, I never thought I'd feel so relieved to beat a ten man League One side. Very disjointed start to the season from West Ham, although I think we looked better against Arsenal at the weekend than we had before.

    I'm trying to give it ten league games before really judging anything.

  20. #100
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Yeah West Ham gave us a good game, especially first half. A lucky second goal turned the tide in our favour.

    Champions League draw today. Liverpool in pot 3 suggests they'll likely be in a group of death:

    Pot one: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus, Paris St-Germain, Lokomotiv Moscow.

    Pot two: Borussia Dortmund, Porto, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli, Tottenham Hotspur, Roma, Benfica.

    Pot three: Liverpool, Schalke, Lyon, Monaco, Ajax, CSKA Moscow, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia.

    Pot four: Red Star Belgrade, Viktoria Plzen, Club Brugge, Galatasaray, Inter Milan, Hoffenheim, Young Boys, AEK Athens.

    Imagine a Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool, Inter Milan group... scary thought.

    Then again, they could get Lokomotiv Moscow, Benfica and Young Boys. Pick the odd one out from Pot 1...
    Last edited by Gooner; 08-30-2018 at 04:05 AM.

  21. #101
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    I visited the Emirates for the first time yesterday (was down in Islington for work and had an hour to kill before my train back up North). Was an odd experience but was nice to finally take it in. I think it speaks wonders I've been back in the country 6 years, had multiple London trips but that was my first time. As for Hector, I am not sure myself. If he leaves us, he is sure to upgrade. I am convinced he should be a winger however and not a full back. Actually I do know why he is hated, that fucking awful fashion sense and manbun.

  22. #102
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mazza View Post
    Actually I do know why he is hated, that fucking awful fashion sense and manbun.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gooner View Post
    Add in the fact that he's a bit of an oddball when it comes to fashion (doesn't bother me in the slightest, but some people will misconstrue what his "priorities" are), there's a lot of fans laying into him at the moment.
    Yep, knew it haha. I agree he should be a winger though. Not saying he's anywhere near his quality, but there is a certain Gareth Bale vibe in the sense that, if allowed, he would just attack all the time.

    I myself went to the Emirates quite late on (maybe around 2012? 6 or 7 years after they moved there) first of all just to see it. They have done a decent job in making it feel like their own, with the statues, shop and walkway. It's still no Highbury, and quite frankly never will, but as a modern stadium, it is one of the better ones. Also, in terms of watching a match there, there isn't a bad seat in the house in my opinion. Even high up you feel fairly close to the action.

    Got tickets to see Newcastle vs Arsenal in a few weeks (I live in Newcastle), should be interesting to see how the team will have progressed after a couple of "easier" matches.

  23. #103
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    Yeah will be interesting to see how quickly they find their feet. And I did love the statues, selfied with them all lol. That Adams one was my favourite. Probably my favourite moment as an Arsenal fan. That was my prime time as a supporter. I'd take that 98 team over the invincibles every time. The visit has made me want to get down for a match though. It's a damn impressive stadium even if it's not the home I grew up in

  24. #104
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    They really have got the statues bang-on. Discounting Chapman, the three main ones (Adams, Bergkamp, Henry) show them in their most iconic poses. Wenger will be there soon, I'm sure. It would be deserved, but no need for it so soon after his departure. What do we think, him struggling with his zip?

    Yeah, the "Would you believe it!" commentary makes it even better (and not the re-dubbed version that came out later that takes out the emotion from it). I still watch that clip on Youtube occasionally, usually after a heavy defeat...

    I'm very torn on the two teams, I was 8 in 1998 and 14 in 2004, so each have different memories at different times of my childhood. I'd probably opt for the Invincibles just, bit more variety in the team and a greater appreciation then of tactics and strategies. But I loved Wrighty, who was coming to the end of his Arsenal career in 98. Fun fact, I don't know if you read the fan quotes that adorn the outside of the stadium, but for Ian Wright's one, it's about how he went to a Crystal Palace game as a fan (he was suspended I seem to recall) and the fans around him started chanting his chant so he got up and sang along with him. A 5 year-old me was two rows in front of him. Burst into tears when I got his autograph, too overwhelming an occasion!

    Plus we won 3-0.
    Last edited by Gooner; 08-30-2018 at 07:51 AM.

  25. #105
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    Either that or arguing with Fergie or Jose. Yeah get him in there. Now he's gone I'm over the last decade and can appreciate those amazing early years again.

    Haha that's an amazing story. I was 18 in 98, had a season ticket, went to a bunch of away games, the cup final. It was just magic for me at that point. I'd passed me season ticket onto someone by 03-04. Went to just a couple of games so it didn't have the same connection. Even so my love for Petit pushes it over the edge for 98 I think.

    EDIT: I met Big Tone once. Was working filling up my van in Roehampton of all places, the summer he retired. He was doing a course over that way apparently. That was pretty awesome.
    Last edited by Mazza; 08-30-2018 at 09:37 AM.

  26. #106
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Was lucky enough to go to the Newcastle - Arsenal game yesterday, though perhaps not too lucky as it was a fairly drag affair. Newcastle came out the traps the better of the two teams, a good 20 minute spell but not creating any decent chances, a few corners being the most they made of it. Second half Arsenal shifted gears and started much better with two quick goals. rest of the half mostly just passed by without too much incident.

    No real stand out performances, but some notes. For me, the real problem with playing out the back is a lack of confidence, which I hate to say it, but it stems from Cech. Mustafi and Socratis looked fine with ball so long as it didn't reach Cech. It became a problem from goal kicks; in open play they passed the ball around fine, even deep in their own half. Granted, Newcastle did not press high up, except for the first 15 minutes or so. Another thing I noticed is Xhaka being the pivot between the defence and the rest of midfield just doesn't work. He's late into position, doesn't move the ball quick enough and we got caught a couple of times. I'd much prefer Guendouzi doing that role (bit quiet yesterday). Torreira must start the next game. Came on at half time for Guendouzi and dominated the midfield. Always looking forward, but careful with his passing. He has an intensity not too dissimilar to Alexis, but in midfield. I'd drop Xhaka for him and have him in there with Guesdouzi. Xhaka overall didn't play too badly yesterday, but he has more off games than on.

    Up front, Aubameyang was pushed wide left mostly, Lacazette through the middle. Ozil started right, but with licence to wander and Ramsey in behind the striker. Auba didn't have a good game, but Lacazette showed some nice touches and was unlucky not to score.

    For Newcastle... worrying. They came out and gave a go, unlike against Chelsea and Man City, but after not scoring in the first 20 they just sat back and invited pressure. I'm convinced if they had kept to their guns they would have gotten at least a draw. They need a win and fast, there was smatterings of people starting to question Benitez. It's all very good playing defensively so long as you pick up wins (a la Pulis), but they haven't done so. To be fair, a Spurs, Cardiff, Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal is arguably the worst possible start you could imagine. Even Cardiff with their first home game in the Premier League for a while wasn't to be sniffed at. They need to now turn it around though.

  27. #107
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    West Ham appeared to do just that at the weekend. I can't say I saw lots of the game but I saw the first two goals and in that whole period they looked very, very assured and much the better team.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  28. #108
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    They looked much better from what I saw. A change in shape supposedly helped them up top and in midfield.

  29. #109
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    Remarkable, really, because a lot of people had been saying that we needed a third man in central midfield rather than as an attacking midfielder. But yeah, the three man midfield of Obiang, Rice, and Noble really worked for us. Very much helped by Everton probably having as poor a game as they'll have all season, mind.

    Wilshere's got ankle knack and had surgery. Predictable, but kind of a shame for him as he was starting to look a bit key for us recently. Hopefully it's a simple thing and his recovery goes well.

    I feel really sorry for Newcastle fans right now, though. Ashley has completely wrecked that club, hasn't he? Poor Rafa, too.

  30. #110
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    Anyone else seen that Grant Holt is apparently now a wrestler who has teamed with Paige's dad in Norfolk?!

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  31. #111
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    I’ve read that about Holt... he’s coming to Biggleswade soon! I’m tempted.

    Also, West Ham should play their reserves again United on the weekend.

  32. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    Anyone else seen that Grant Holt is apparently now a wrestler who has teamed with Paige's dad in Norfolk?!
    Teaming with her brothers, I thought! Apparently won a 40-man Rumble recently.

    I love these kind of things - it's like Stuart Tomlinson or...the other guy. German fella? Tim Wiese, that's the one.

  33. #113
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    You could be right - I've just gone back to the place I saw the original story and it's changed to say those two. I reckon a sports journo who didn't care about wrestling got the facts wrong.

    I'm completely out of the Premier League loop at the minute, but huge game for us away at Bristol City on Friday night.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  34. #114
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    So, that was fun.

    Didn't think we'd see a win for us against United at all, let alone the sort of match that was - felt very even, broadly speaking.

    Rice certainly, for me, showed he is worth being paid what he is supposedly asking for. He's going to be a regular this season, and we have to sort out his contract before January when he enters the last six months of his contract. At least, I think that happens in January.

  35. #115
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    I actually think with Anderson, Arny and Yarmalenko you have one of the best attacks in the league. Manchester United would kill for those 3. I’d rather them to Lukaku, Sanchez and company.

    Ps: anyone else think it’s now Cardiff, Huddersfield and ? To go down ? Neither team will survive this season.
    Last edited by anonymous; 2 Weeks Ago at 06:27 PM. Reason: Asking me a reason for editing is a bit like asking a lady her age. It’s fucking rude. So fuck off and mind your own fucking.

  36. #116
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anonymous View Post

    Ps: anyone else think it’s now Cardiff, Huddersfield and ? To go down ? Neither team will survive this season.
    I'd add Newcastle to the hat, they've been just as bad. Then again they perhaps a bit more to them then Cardiff and Huddersfield longer term.

  37. #117
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    I hope The Saints join them. Fuck Mark Hughes.

  38. #118
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    I would if he presented himself in front of me. A true Welsh Deity.

  39. #119
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    I'd throw Fulham in there too - which is perhaps a shame. But their only win this season was over Burnley during their poor period, and otherwise they've not looked that impressive.

    They should have enough attacking talent to stay up on paper, and as long as Mitro keeps up being a goal threat they'll pick up some points. But defensively they've not looked to be at the races at times.

    Probably a bit early to be certain on anything, of course, but would agree on Cardiff and Huddersfield currently. Then again, three or so weeks ago I'd have said we were definitely on trouble this season.

  40. #120
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    Bruce sacked. No idea where we go from here. Two names I've seen so far are the Brentford manager, who has been linked with us before, and Rafa believe it or not.

    But I guess it won't be too long before the Henry rumours start up again.


    One way of telling how we've struggled in recent years is to look at the turnover in the coaches. In my first eight years as a fan we had three managers. In the last eight years, so a similar timeframe, we've had seven. And Bruce is actually our fourth longest serving coach of those to take over in the 21st century:

    Martin O'Neill 190 games
    David O'Leary 131 games
    Paul Lambert 115 games
    Steve Bruce 102 games
    Graham Taylor (2nd spell) 60 games


    It's astonishing if you look at the rest. Houllier didn't last a seaon. McLeish was literally one season, almost to the day. Sherwood was eight months. Remi Garde took over on that fool's errand and lasted five months. Di Matteo got just twelve games and preseason lasted almost as long. Staggering, really, when you lay it all out like that - as derided as he was Paul Lambert is probably the third best manager we've had in the 21st century, because really, where is the challenge to it going to come from?!
    Last edited by Prime Time; 1 Week Ago at 06:18 AM.

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