The 2019-2020 Football Thread

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macrumors Westmere
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I'm ready for the Man U vs Wolves match starting soon. Hopefully, Man U will have a better result than the last 3 matches.
But Wolves are an excellent and disciplined and organised team; they were very impressive last season.

Manchester United have some very good - indeed, some excellent, gifted and talented - players, but the challenge is to have them play as a team with an agreed shape and common vision.
 
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xflatearthx

macrumors newbie
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Quite please with the game yesterday. Even more so with Dani Ceballos, he was a delight to watch. His passion was infectious. If he keeps up like this, I really hope we have an option to buy...
Quality pickup for Arsenal. He is an extremely talented young player. He was fantastic for the U21 Spanish national squad and was great at Betis. He didn't look playing for Madrid, but of course Zizou already has his chosen few and he didn't make the cut, so he barely got any minutes.

Will be watching the La Liga match between Athletic Bilbao and FC Barcelona. It is a good way to keep up on my Spanish.
Thoughts?

I thought it was a poor performance from Barça. Griezmann hasn't adapted yet, Dembélé looked awful, Suárez got injured early and once again they proved their "Messidependencia." Dembélé actually suffered an injury and will be out for 5 weeks. I think they are regretting not sending him to Paris for Neymar's return.

On the opposite -- a fairy tale ending. Aduriz is retiring at the end of the season and this is final league game at San Mames against Barça and he subs in in the 85th minute and in the 89th minute he scores an incredible bicycle kick game winner. Incredible finish.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Westmere
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Pity it wasn't Jimenez that scored! Still at least he's going to earn me 2 points!

As for the result, a missed penalty from Pogba is obviously the talking point.
He pulled rank, apparently, insisting that he, rather than Marcus Ashford (who is a better penalty taker) should take the shot.

Having said that, once Wolves equalised, - penalty notwithstanding - it never looked as though United would win, whereas Wolves could well have snatched a further goal.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
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He pulled rank, apparently, insisting that he, rather than Marcus Ashford (who is a better penalty taker) should take the shot.

Having said that, once Wolves equalised, - penalty notwithstanding - it never looked as though United would win, whereas Wolves could well have snatched a further goal.
Well Wolves played very well against the top teams last year. Looks like that will continue again this year.
 

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macrumors Westmere
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The Europa League could drag down Wolves' league campaign. Not sure they have the squad depth for that many extra matches.
That is true, with the misleadingly alluring enticing carrot of qualification for the Champions' League if you actually succeed in winning this energy sapping, resource hungry and time consuming competition.

But, the cost of that CL place can be extremely high.
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
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That is true, with the misleadingly alluring enticing carrot of qualification for the Champions' League if you actually succeed in winning this energy sapping, resource hungry and time consuming competition.

But, the cost of that CL place can be extremely high.
With the English league now having a "top six", I feel like teams like Wolves are further than ever from winning a Europa League. At some point they'll face Chelsea or Man Utd or Arsenal, or (possibly worse) veteran continental opposition like a Schalke or a Sevilla.

That's a lot of football to play, and tough matches to boot.
 
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macrumors Westmere
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With the English league now having a "top six", I feel like teams like Wolves are further than ever from Winning a Europa League. At some point they'll face Chelsea or Man Utd or Arsenal, or (possibly worse) veteran continental opposition like a Schalke or a Sevilla.

That's a lot of football to play, and tough matches to boot.
Unless they follow most teams and just play the kids and reserves. But agree the strength in depth is what separates the them and us in the league.
Playing the kids and/or reserves to be able to depart the competition in the relatively early stages (after some small sense of honour has been satisfied) is a sound strategy, if you think, deep down, that you have no chance to actually winning it (and, being runners-up means little).

Worst of all would be to lose one of your key players to injury for the remainder of the season while playing an exhausting match in such a relatively meaningless competition.

Starting with their match against Manchester United last night, Wolves will have five fixtures in 14 days; that is asking a lot of any team, even one with greater resources.
 

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macrumors Nehalem
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Playing the kids and/or reserves to be able to depart the competition in the relatively early stages (after some small sense of honour has been satisfied) is a sound strategy, if you think, deep down, that you have no chance to actually winning it (and, being runners-up means little).

Worst of all would be to lose one of your key players to injury for the remainder of the season while playing an exhausting match in such a relatively meaningless competition.

Starting with their match against Manchester United last night, Wolves will have five fixtures in 14 days; that is asking a lot of any team, even one with greater resources.
Wow that’s a lot at this stage of the season. Especially for the smaller clubs.
 

Lord Blackadder

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Playing the kids and/or reserves to be able to depart the competition in the relatively early stages (after some small sense of honour has been satisfied) is a sound strategy, if you think, deep down, that you have no chance to actually winning it (and, being runners-up means little).

Worst of all would be to lose one of your key players to injury for the remainder of the season while playing an exhausting match in such a relatively meaningless competition.
Playing devil's advocate for a moment:

Which is more exciting for fans of middling (no disrespect intended) Premier League clubs: treading water in the Premier League, or playing in a European cup tournament? Club owners obviously prefer the former, because it means revenue. That's the beginning and the end of their thought process.

But I think there is an argument to be made that, as long as the owners haven't mortgaged the clubs to the hilt to get to the Premier League, why not go for a Europa League? Wolves will never break into the top six more than temporarily, and what do they gain by finishing seventh? Some plaudits in the press and a Europa League spot. Why waste the opportunity to go on a real cup run? Knockout tournaments are easier to win than league championships, especially now that the super-rich clubs have made it impossible to break into the top. The worst that could happen is the club get relegated, and Wolves are in good enough shape, both on the pitch and off, to recover from that.

It doesn't make business sense, but in my mind, from a purely sporting perspective, if I were a Wolves fan I'd want to see my club focus on the Europa League and FA Cup. If you offered them 19th place in the Premier League plus a Europa League trophy, I bet 9 out of 10 fans would jump at it. As I said before, Wolves don't have the squad depth to compete on all fronts, so they have a choice to make. Focusing on the league is the businessman's choice. But is it the best footballing experience?
 
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macrumors Westmere
Jul 29, 2008
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Playing devil's advocate for a moment:

Which is more exciting for fans of middling (no disrespect intended) Premier League clubs: treading water in the Premier League, or playing in a European cup tournament? Club owners obviously prefer the former, because it means revenue. That's the beginning and the end of their thought process.

But I think there is an argument to be made that, as long as the owners haven't mortgaged the clubs to the hilt to get to the Premier League, why not go for a Europa League? Wolves will never break into the top six more than temporarily, and what do they gain by finishing seventh? Some plaudits in the press and a Europa League spot. Why waste the opportunity to go on a real cup run? Knockout tournaments are easier to win than league championships, especially now that the super-rich clubs have made it impossible to break into the top. The worst that could happen is the club get relegated, and Wolves are in good enough shape, both on the pitch and off, to recover from that.

It doesn't make business sense, but in my mind, from a purely sporting perspective, if I were a Wolves fan I'd want to see my club focus on the Europa League and FA Cup. If you offered them 19th place in the Premier League plus a Europa League trophy, I bet 9 out of 10 fans would jump at it. As I said before, Wolves don't have the squad depth to compete on all fronts, so they have a choice to make. Focusing on the league is the businessman's choice. But is it the best footballing experience?
Fair comment and a very well argued post.

I take your well made point, and it is more than perfectly valid.

If I were a Wolves fan, I could see myself playing host to such an internal head-versus-heart battle.
 

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macrumors Nehalem
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Playing devil's advocate for a moment:

Which is more exciting for fans of middling (no disrespect intended) Premier League clubs: treading water in the Premier League, or playing in a European cup tournament? Club owners obviously prefer the former, because it means revenue. That's the beginning and the end of their thought process.

But I think there is an argument to be made that, as long as the owners haven't mortgaged the clubs to the hilt to get to the Premier League, why not go for a Europa League? Wolves will never break into the top six more than temporarily, and what do they gain by finishing seventh? Some plaudits in the press and a Europa League spot. Why waste the opportunity to go on a real cup run? Knockout tournaments are easier to win than league championships, especially now that the super-rich clubs have made it impossible to break into the top. The worst that could happen is the club get relegated, and Wolves are in good enough shape, both on the pitch and off, to recover from that.

It doesn't make business sense, but in my mind, from a purely sporting perspective, if I were a Wolves fan I'd want to see my club focus on the Europa League and FA Cup. If you offered them 19th place in the Premier League plus a Europa League trophy, I bet 9 out of 10 fans would jump at it. As I said before, Wolves don't have the squad depth to compete on all fronts, so they have a choice to make. Focusing on the league is the businessman's choice. But is it the best footballing experience?
I’m not 100% sure but I think dropping out of the PL would cost more than winning the Europa League.
But I think going for the cup and accepting a bottom half finish should be achievable.
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
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I’m not 100% sure but I think dropping out of the PL would cost more than winning the Europa League.
But I think going for the cup and accepting a bottom half finish should be achievable.
Oh, the difference in monetary value between the competitions is vast. For example, Chelsea earned a little over €20 million by winning the Europa League last season. Wolves earned a staggering £127 million for finishing seventh in the Premier League last season.

From a monetary standpoint, just finishing seventh in the Premier League forever, and never winning any trophies, ever, is a golden ticket. The question is, is this something fans want? That's not a rhetorical question. Maybe most fans of mid-table clubs would be happy to do that forever - play the big teams every season, make a lot of money, get knocked out of the cups every season with a B-squad (maybe enjoying the occasional upset)...

...of course, fans not only do not see a penny of that TV money themselves, but also pay ever higher prices for both tickets and TV subscriptions to watch matches. If the Premier league is a pot of gold for clubs, players, staff and their owners....where is the fans' cut?
 
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Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
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I think it's only fair, after all my bloviating about Wolves in Europe, to note that they went away to Torino and won 3-2. Clearly Nuno Espírito Santo is taking his Europa League campaign seriously, at least for now. Best of luck to them in in the return fixture. Win that, and they are in the group stage.
 

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macrumors Westmere
Jul 29, 2008
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I think it's only fair, after all my bloviating about Wolves in Europe, to note that they went away to Torino and won 3-2. Clearly Nuno Espírito Santo is taking his Europa League campaign seriously, at least for now. Best of luck to them in in the return fixture. Win that, and they are in the group stage.
I wish them well, and would love to see them do well both in Europe and domestically.
 
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Zenithal

macrumors G3
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As would I. I'm deciding whether to watch the match and go through the remaining photos at a leisurely pace or take a nap.
 
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