The boy who cried wolf

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soccer11
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Post by soccer11 » 08 Mar 2011, 15:02

Secondly the Premier League is only getting stronger mate
definitely agree with that. I don't know how you can say it's getting weaker? It's more even now and more teams are competing for a top 4 spot. 4 years ago, it was a question of what order the top 4 would finish and now it's uncertain who will even finish in the top 4. Manchester city, Tottenham, Bolton's even better than in the past. You could argue that the top teams have dropped off a little, but the league as a whole is much stronger now than it was.
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matt
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Post by matt » 08 Mar 2011, 17:52

WatchKingKennyPlay wrote:
Firstly for the past 15 years..in terms of overall squad depth and quality has gone, SAF hasnt really gone wrong. Sure Valencia is no Ronaldo but you dont need a Ronaldo. You need a player that can fit into what the manager wants, be consistent and most importantly gel with the squad. In most cases a Ronaldo is needed to win the league. But Man U have plenty, as do Real Madrid and Man City, and I dont see them on any trophies. SAF is a knob to me, but brilliant. He makes good players great players by letting them adapt and be so comfortable and fluent in the line up and team they play to the best of their ability.

Secondly the Premier League is only getting stronger mate. Liverpool have been steady eddys really for years. Sure we came close 2 years ago we werent good enough. Drawing consecutively vs Stoke aint gonna win you anything. We stuffed around with Alonso and co but we went from dancing in the street to hiding under the covers. We didnt get worse at dancing....we were just under the covers...and we are gonna go out and dance again. Liverpool doesnt falter like that, neither will many top 4 teams.

And Arsenal havent been that great all year, and Tottenham have been wobbly, hell I havent seen the Man U of recent seasons come out yet but they sure as hell are getting the results.

Tottenham dont have a youth system of great calibre sorry. They just buy other players.

And Arsenal have a great picture of nurturing youth but....i have never seen it flourish. Only really been impressed with Fabregas growth and West Hams Wilshere. Djorou aswell perhaps.

In England brilliant youth systems IMHO are, Liverpool, Everton, Newcastle, West Ham, Middlesborough, Southampton.

Even Man U have a decent system

Ajax and Barca overseas are great too just to mention some.

When a team splashes millions on a Ramsey or Walcott...it doesnt really strike me as 'what a youth set up'
I agree with all of this except for the suggestion that Liverpool have a 'brilliant youth system', as opposed to United's 'decent system'. Until Martin Kelly there had been zero home-grown players who played in the first team since about 2001. United have had several first team regulars since then who have graduated from the academy, even if most of them have moved on.

With regards to Ferguson, as a United supporter I have often said to people "yes he's a tw** but you can't deny his brilliance". That phrase could apply to a few players, past and present, as well as SAF.

One of the hallmarks of a good manager is the ability to get the best out of players, even if they are of relatively limited technical ability to the Ronaldos of this world. Ferguson and Wenger are the masters of this aspect of the game. Cases in point: Carrick, Valencia, Ljungberg, Butt, Wiltord, and *groan* Bendtner.

It's hard to say really whether the league is getting stronger or weaker. Are the traditionally lesser teams getting stronger, or do they look stronger because the top teams have declined? An interesting trend until last season was the apparent need for the eventual champions to accumulate more points than in previous seasons, which wouldn't suggest that the bottom teams were getting any better. Generalisations about the overall strength of the league shouldn't be made if the changes have only really been evident for a year. Instead it would be more accurate to say that on a match-by-match basis the league is more unpredictable than it used to be. Comparisons could be made with Scotland, Italy and Spain.
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ScottyBoy
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Post by ScottyBoy » 08 Mar 2011, 19:17

You can argue that the Premier league is both stronger and weaker compared to years gone by.

It is stronger in the sense that the smaller teams are stronger and the gap between top and bottom is not as vast making the league more competitive/exciting.

On the other hand you can argue that it is weaker as the quality of the top teams that play on the world stage are weaker.
Man Utd are not as strong as they were 2/3 years ago, Same can be said about Chelsea and Liverpool
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WatchKingKennyPlay
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Post by WatchKingKennyPlay » 08 Mar 2011, 21:40

matt wrote:
WatchKingKennyPlay wrote:
Firstly for the past 15 years..in terms of overall squad depth and quality has gone, SAF hasnt really gone wrong. Sure Valencia is no Ronaldo but you dont need a Ronaldo. You need a player that can fit into what the manager wants, be consistent and most importantly gel with the squad. In most cases a Ronaldo is needed to win the league. But Man U have plenty, as do Real Madrid and Man City, and I dont see them on any trophies. SAF is a knob to me, but brilliant. He makes good players great players by letting them adapt and be so comfortable and fluent in the line up and team they play to the best of their ability.

Secondly the Premier League is only getting stronger mate. Liverpool have been steady eddys really for years. Sure we came close 2 years ago we werent good enough. Drawing consecutively vs Stoke aint gonna win you anything. We stuffed around with Alonso and co but we went from dancing in the street to hiding under the covers. We didnt get worse at dancing....we were just under the covers...and we are gonna go out and dance again. Liverpool doesnt falter like that, neither will many top 4 teams.

And Arsenal havent been that great all year, and Tottenham have been wobbly, hell I havent seen the Man U of recent seasons come out yet but they sure as hell are getting the results.

Tottenham dont have a youth system of great calibre sorry. They just buy other players.

And Arsenal have a great picture of nurturing youth but....i have never seen it flourish. Only really been impressed with Fabregas growth and West Hams Wilshere. Djorou aswell perhaps.

In England brilliant youth systems IMHO are, Liverpool, Everton, Newcastle, West Ham, Middlesborough, Southampton.

Even Man U have a decent system

Ajax and Barca overseas are great too just to mention some.

When a team splashes millions on a Ramsey or Walcott...it doesnt really strike me as 'what a youth set up'
I agree with all of this except for the suggestion that Liverpool have a 'brilliant youth system', as opposed to United's 'decent system'. Until Martin Kelly there had been zero home-grown players who played in the first team since about 2001. United have had several first team regulars since then who have graduated from the academy, even if most of them have moved on.

With regards to Ferguson, as a United supporter I have often said to people "yes he's a tw** but you can't deny his brilliance". That phrase could apply to a few players, past and present, as well as SAF.

One of the hallmarks of a good manager is the ability to get the best out of players, even if they are of relatively limited technical ability to the Ronaldos of this world. Ferguson and Wenger are the masters of this aspect of the game. Cases in point: Carrick, Valencia, Ljungberg, Butt, Wiltord, and *groan* Bendtner.

It's hard to say really whether the league is getting stronger or weaker. Are the traditionally lesser teams getting stronger, or do they look stronger because the top teams have declined? An interesting trend until last season was the apparent need for the eventual champions to accumulate more points than in previous seasons, which wouldn't suggest that the bottom teams were getting any better. Generalisations about the overall strength of the league shouldn't be made if the changes have only really been evident for a year. Instead it would be more accurate to say that on a match-by-match basis the league is more unpredictable than it used to be. Comparisons could be made with Scotland, Italy and Spain.
Yeah sorry about that. I do think Man U have an insane system. But Liverpool up and comings is to drool over.

Unfortunately we have always had them, but Houllier and Rafa really destroyed it unfortunately. In saying that Rafa was trying to implement a new system, but that wouldve taken years to grow.

But players like Hammil, with Wolves now, Anderson..etc look like good players that couldve gone on to be great Liverpool players. Spearing is the only one of their generation, and i believe he can make it IF given game time.

Have you seen Raheem Sterling btw. Awesome player

klc123
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Post by klc123 » 08 Mar 2011, 23:00

I respect that view, but it depends what you define as getting weaker or stronger. I agree, the teams lower down in the league are now competing against the top teams for European places and so on. But as also mentioned, the top teams are a hell of a lot worse than they previously were.

The Champions league is always a good indicator, a few years back I remember an all English semi-final, last year there was only one English team in the semi's.

On the world stage, the German league has had massive leaps up the scale, and the Italian league which has always been a strong league improved. French and Dutch leagues also improved in their own right. As for Spain, words don't do it justice...Even the Scottish league has improved, as now Celtic and Rangers are more in competition, whereas usually one team walks the league. The majority of arguments I hear from English supporters is that the English league is the best because it is so tight, where as their argument a few years ago was that England dominated Europe. You don't hear many people talking about how poor English teams have been in Europe in recent years compared to those before though do you...

They also have the misconception that other European leagues are two horse races. Well in my opinion, the Spanish and Italian leagues have far better teams on average across the board, it is only made to seem like a two horse race in Spain because Real and Barca are just so good. If you put Barca and Real in the EPL it would be very interesting to see how many people changed their opinions of La Liga as a walk over.

One of the biggest comparisons you can make however, is the International stage. A few years ago England had a side that on paper was a potential world beating side. Now they are an embarrassing average and extremely over-rated team at best. 99% of England fans would reply to this saying that "English league imports all of its players from around the world", but they try to make that sound like a good thing? I'm sorry, having a reasonable amount of players from around the world is good for a league, but when there is next to no English players in the line-up for some teams, it just shows you how poor the English league is and the FA is,as it has done nothing to improve the situation on developing youth football.

Look at Spain, the best team in the world, most of those players either came through the Barcelona academy as kids, or they came through the youth systems of other Spanish teams before been bought by teams such as Real or Valencia. The thing I respect here is that even teams like Real who are infamous for splashing the cash for players, still look around for young Spanish talent from lower clubs, and pay good money for them and give them match experience. You rarely see such things happen in English teams these days unless some kid is exceptional.

soccer11
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Post by soccer11 » 09 Mar 2011, 00:41

German league has definitely improved. The Italian league however has fallen greatly. So much so that they have lost a champions league berth and it has gone to Germany
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/sport ... .html?_r=1 (bottom of page)
Italy is an overall weaker league now.

I also think you give Spain too much credit. It's an overall pretty fun league to watch but the defenses are weak, which leads to a fair number of blow outs. the 3rd place team is 13 points from Real whereas the top 6 teams in the EPL are all within 12 points
Just as an example, Schalke (10th in Bundesliga) tied Valencia (3rd in La Liga) at Valencia. When was the last time we saw a Spanish team advance far in the Champions league beside Real and Barcelona? A couple quarterfinal runs but the last semi-finalist was Villareal in 06 if i remember correctly.
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scottS4
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Post by scottS4 » 09 Mar 2011, 00:51

So it looks like Nani will be out for 3 weeks or so.

matt
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Post by matt » 09 Mar 2011, 01:52

klc123 wrote:I respect that view, but it depends what you define as getting weaker or stronger. I agree, the teams lower down in the league are now competing against the top teams for European places and so on. But as also mentioned, the top teams are a hell of a lot worse than they previously were.

The Champions league is always a good indicator, a few years back I remember an all English semi-final, last year there was only one English team in the semi's.

On the world stage, the German league has had massive leaps up the scale, and the Italian league which has always been a strong league improved. French and Dutch leagues also improved in their own right. As for Spain, words don't do it justice...Even the Scottish league has improved, as now Celtic and Rangers are more in competition, whereas usually one team walks the league. The majority of arguments I hear from English supporters is that the English league is the best because it is so tight, where as their argument a few years ago was that England dominated Europe. You don't hear many people talking about how poor English teams have been in Europe in recent years compared to those before though do you...

They also have the misconception that other European leagues are two horse races. Well in my opinion, the Spanish and Italian leagues have far better teams on average across the board, it is only made to seem like a two horse race in Spain because Real and Barca are just so good. If you put Barca and Real in the EPL it would be very interesting to see how many people changed their opinions of La Liga as a walk over.

One of the biggest comparisons you can make however, is the International stage. A few years ago England had a side that on paper was a potential world beating side. Now they are an embarrassing average and extremely over-rated team at best. 99% of England fans would reply to this saying that "English league imports all of its players from around the world", but they try to make that sound like a good thing? I'm sorry, having a reasonable amount of players from around the world is good for a league, but when there is next to no English players in the line-up for some teams, it just shows you how poor the English league is and the FA is,as it has done nothing to improve the situation on developing youth football.

Look at Spain, the best team in the world, most of those players either came through the Barcelona academy as kids, or they came through the youth systems of other Spanish teams before been bought by teams such as Real or Valencia. The thing I respect here is that even teams like Real who are infamous for splashing the cash for players, still look around for young Spanish talent from lower clubs, and pay good money for them and give them match experience. You rarely see such things happen in English teams these days unless some kid is exceptional.
Not wishing to pick a fight, but this seems a tad contradictory and frankly I'm not ready for bed yet. So here goes.

1) Using the Spanish national team as an example, how strong can the Spanish league be if all of the top players play for the same two or three clubs? I think eight Barcelona players started the World Cup final. One of the reasons the English league is 'stronger' across the board, or as I would put it, more unpredictable on a game-by-game basis, is the (slightly) more even distribution of local talent.

2) England have always looked good on paper and 90% of the time are embarrassingly average. 5% of the time they are embarrassingly bad and the remaining 5% of the time they live up to expectations. No amount of foreign imports has changed that; you rightly alluded to the need for more time, investment and effort into grassroots football. Most of the team from the 'golden era', e.g. the players under Sven who played in Japan/South Korea and Germany, played in South Africa. I think this is a good indicator of the predicament of the young English footballer today. Having few English players in the line-up of an English team is not an indictment on the strength of the league itself; it is a more fundamental problem than that.

3) Inter Milan started the Champions League Final against Bayern Munich with no Italians in the line-up (Materazzi came on for about thirty seconds). Yet in the Italy team that won the World Cup Final in 2006, all of the players were, at the time, playing in Serie A, representing seven different clubs. If the Champions League or international football are good indicators of the strength of a country's league, where does that put your argument about the influence of foreign players? In the Premiership about 60% of the players are foreign;in Italy the figure is 30%, while in Spain it is about 40%.

My point is that if a team does well in a tournament it is not because it is a part of a 'strong league' where most of the players are local, or where most of the teams are quite strong.

4) Celtic and Rangers are the only teams capable of winning the Scottish league, and the same has been true for donkey's years. Both Celtic and Rangers regularly disappoint in the Champions League. Scotland haven't qualified for an international tournament since 1998. On what basis has the Scottish league improved?

5) Judging by the performance of Roma against Ukraine's second team tonight, and by Milan's against England's fifth or sixth team the other week, I don't think it is reasonable to say that the Italian league is stronger across the board. Unless of course you dismiss the argument that the Champions League is a good indicator of the strength of the league. Don't forget that last year United were knocked out by an astonishing away goal and were not helped by some dodgy refereeing. In short, using tournaments, whilst useful in some respects, is not a perfect tool for providing evidence on the strength of a league. Nor, as I mentioned in an earlier post, is quickly forming opinions based on things that have only really been evident for about a year.

In closing I don't think it is really possible at the moment to say if one league is 'stronger' than another. Especially if you only use European and international tournaments as indicators. You can only really speculate about how much you can really speculate about the outcome of games or the final league table. In England and Italy the top four is likely to be different to last year. But I couldn't say with any confidence where, say, Tottenham, Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool will finally finish. Ergo the English and Italian leagues are more unpredictable, and in that respect more interesting to watch, than the Spanish league. Only Real Madrid or Barcelona will win the league this year; the same was true last year and the same will be true next year. The gulf between those two teams and the rest of the league is ridiculous, both in the calibre of the players and in the quality of the football being played.

It is important that we distinguish between the strength of a league, the unpredictability of a league, and the overall footballing quality of a league. They are not synonymous but they can be easily confused if one is not careful. Similarly it is not the strength of a league nor the strength of the clubs within that league which determine international success.

I've been getting rapidly sleepier as I type this so I hope it makes sense, at least grammatically. Do excuse any incoherence.
scottS4 wrote: So it looks like Nani will be out for 3 weeks or so.
That wolf got him good alright.
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