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son_of_foley
September 10th, 2013, 4:54 AM
Think this might be a better idea than the scots sticking to their thread etc.

Couple of TASTY games tonight

Republic looking out of touch of the play-off position. Losing in Austria will probably be the nail in the coffin for that.

Amazing that Scotland, still bottom of their group, could end up overtaking Wales. With all the positive feeling about Wales squad they have under performed to me. Scotland just dont look like scoring many though at this level. You would think Rhodes or someone will get an actual run there maybe eventually off Fletcher.

We're looking to do something away from home tonight at Luxembourg. We've failed to finish off the smaller teams so far despite carving out chance after chance in the games we've had (at home anyway). Really hope for Michael O'Neill it comes good tonight. Love the bloke. Love that he's telling Kyle to start pulling his weight and he's actually found some proper alternatives so we Laffs may actually listen this time. Patterson and Ward are looking brill and Ferguson is a fucking wizard (for our level anyway) with great set piece delivery. It's a real shame that Chris Brunt has never delivered internationally as he's probably our 2nd or 3rd best player at Club Level but at this point I would have him behind Ferguson and Ward.

Bad Collin
September 10th, 2013, 6:12 AM
Huge game for England tonight. Win or draw and we are big favourites to win the group, lose and we are almost certainly in a play off.

Simon
September 10th, 2013, 6:15 AM
Boring 0-0 draw that is both satisfactory and unsatisfying. Backlash to start against Lambert if we lose.

Simon
September 10th, 2013, 6:15 AM
Also if it's true that we turned down Guardiola because we wanted an English manager, that is the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard.

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2013, 6:36 AM
BC you seem a bit concerned it's Steve McClaren all over again?

Outside looking in it seems like this team is a lot more efficient and clinical than his. I honestly think you'll be fine tonight but it will be a lack of incisive play that will cost you next summer.

That said Walcott and Rooney is a good start in International football. Maybe someone a bit "cuter" with the ball in the centre of midfield would be useful. I don't think that's WIlshire at this point I think he's a driving force who will be decisive but I think you would need somone in the mould of Mata or similar to make the system really work.

Alex
September 10th, 2013, 6:48 AM
Armenia are the new Belgium. Good collection of players posting some excellent results.

Simon
September 10th, 2013, 6:56 AM
BC you seem a bit concerned it's Steve McClaren all over again?

Outside looking in it seems like this team is a lot more efficient and clinical than his. I honestly think you'll be fine tonight but it will be a lack of incisive play that will cost you next summer.

That said Walcott and Rooney is a good start in International football. Maybe someone a bit "cuter" with the ball in the centre of midfield would be useful. I don't think that's WIlshire at this point I think he's a driving force who will be decisive but I think you would need somone in the mould of Mata or similar to make the system really work.
It's weird how we seem to have stumbled upon a vaguely functional midfield and a couple of decent strikers (Sturridge has yet to do it at international level but should be able to step up, Welbeck often looks crap at Premier League level but has a knack of scoring for England), but suddenly our defence that was reliable for the past decade looks really ropey.

Heard a good stat the other day, if you look at theoretical first choice elevens for international teams, Belgium's is the third most expensive in the world. If they can get themselves a couple of decent full backs in the next few years they could be a problem. Courtois/Mignolet, Vertonghen-Alderweireld-Vermaelen, Witsel/Fellaini/Dembele/Defour, Chadli/Mirallas/Hazard/De Bruyne, Benteke/Lukaku, that is serious.

Bad Collin
September 10th, 2013, 7:04 AM
BC you seem a bit concerned it's Steve McClaren all over again?

Outside looking in it seems like this team is a lot more efficient and clinical than his. I honestly think you'll be fine tonight but it will be a lack of incisive play that will cost you next summer.

That said Walcott and Rooney is a good start in International football. Maybe someone a bit "cuter" with the ball in the centre of midfield would be useful. I don't think that's WIlshire at this point I think he's a driving force who will be decisive but I think you would need somone in the mould of Mata or similar to make the system really work.

I am a bit, we have looked fragile in every game against a 'good' team in this group and I don't trust them to win two and draw one of the last three.

I think the problem is the mix of 100 cappers on the decline and young players who aren't that good. Cahill's admission that he and jags are a transitional CB pairing is worrying. We need to scrap the 2016 Euros and drop the old guard for good I think, the young players coming through need to play together if we are going to do anything in 2018.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 10th, 2013, 7:16 AM
I don't think I'll be watching Ireland tonight, it's too depressing at the moment. We're definitely coming to the end of the Trappatoni era. It's always strange talking about him, as he has achieved good finishes in qualifying for the most part, but I can't help thinking how much of it has come at the expense of overall progress. He had some good players and he made them tough to beat, but it has been so disappointing how he has marginalised other good players who should be firmly established in the side now and made the team's play an archaic laughing stock. Players like Hoolahan and Gibson are Premier League midfielders who can play a bit and should be mainstays of the Ireland side. Paul Green comes in again tonight, it's cringe-worthy. Ireland should have done better in this group against mediocre Sweden and Austria sides and Trapp's style is directly responsible. His substitutions from a position of strength at home to Austria were a killer blow, even aside from the loss at home to Sweden. Unfortunately when Ireland have to win a game, Trapp's limitations are laid very bare.

Robbie Keane's 60th goal in internationals was an exceptional achievement. He's a player who doesn't get nearly enough credit, probably tarnished forever by that Liverpool move, despite his form prior to that demonstrating he was a top Premier League striker. No one will ever score that many goals again for Ireland. He has always done it for Ireland on the big occasions, his record is not padded by bullying amateurs as many uninformed observers tend to suggest with a sneer. It's a pity he only ever made it to one World Cup and that Euro 2012 was such a disaster. He has deserved better for the service he has given the national team.

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2013, 7:32 AM
I don't think I'll be watching Ireland tonight, it's too depressing at the moment. We're definitely coming to the end of the Trappatoni era. It's always strange talking about him, as he has achieved good finishes in qualifying for the most part, but I can't help thinking how much of it has come at the expense of overall progress. He had some good players and he made them tough to beat, but it has been so disappointing how he has marginalised other good players who should be firmly established in the side now and made the team's play an archaic laughing stock. Players like Hoolahan and Gibson are Premier League midfielders who can play a bit and should be mainstays of the Ireland side. Paul Green comes in again tonight, it's cringe-worthy. Ireland should have done better in this group against mediocre Sweden and Austria sides and Trapp's style is directly responsible. His substitutions from a position of strength at home to Austria were a killer blow, even aside from the loss at home to Sweden. Unfortunately when Ireland have to win a game, Trapp's limitations are laid very bare.

Robbie Keane's 60th goal in internationals was an exceptional achievement. He's a player who doesn't get nearly enough credit, probably tarnished forever by that Liverpool move, despite his form prior to that demonstrating he was a top Premier League striker. No one will ever score that many goals again for Ireland. He has always done it for Ireland on the big occasions, his record is not padded by bullying amateurs as many uninformed observers tend to suggest with a sneer. It's a pity he only ever made it to one World Cup and that Euro 2012 was such a disaster. He has deserved better for the service he has given the national team.

60 goals is flat out ridiculous for ROI

The thing is as well with Trap he's getting paid a good (although I know subsidized by some fans right?) wage and with that sort of money you should be able to attract someone else in. I can't help but think Martin O'Neill might be getting a phone call to see if he's interested and you would wonder if he's really the man to change the football much

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2013, 7:34 AM
I am a bit, we have looked fragile in every game against a 'good' team in this group and I don't trust them to win two and draw one of the last three.

I think the problem is the mix of 100 cappers on the decline and young players who aren't that good. Cahill's admission that he and jags are a transitional CB pairing is worrying. We need to scrap the 2016 Euros and drop the old guard for good I think, the young players coming through need to play together if we are going to do anything in 2018.
I would think though that Ashley Cole will be fine until Luke Shaw comes in and with Baines you have the perfect understudy there.
Walker is a bit lack at times but probably decent enough standard for now.

The worry has to be if Jones and Smalling will make much of themselves in the next 2-3 years.

Grimario
September 10th, 2013, 7:37 AM
It's weird how we seem to have stumbled upon a vaguely functional midfield and a couple of decent strikers (Sturridge has yet to do it at international level but should be able to step up, Welbeck often looks crap at Premier League level but has a knack of scoring for England), but suddenly our defence that was reliable for the past decade looks really ropey.

Heard a good stat the other day, if you look at theoretical first choice elevens for international teams, Belgium's is the third most expensive in the world. If they can get themselves a couple of decent full backs in the next few years they could be a problem. Courtois/Mignolet, Vertonghen-Alderweireld-Vermaelen, Witsel/Fellaini/Dembele/Defour, Chadli/Mirallas/Hazard/De Bruyne, Benteke/Lukaku, that is serious.
And that's without mentioning Kompany, their captain, as well. They do have a ridiculously good squad on paper.


We got thumped 6-0 by Brazil and everyone (again) is calling for the managers head. There are certain sections of the media writing articles that almost sound HOPEFUL that we get smashed by France in a months time and that's the final straw.

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2013, 7:39 AM
Is there much new talent coming through for Australia at the minute. I don't even mean 19 year olds getting a move to Europe but people starting to make first team impressions?

Grimario
September 10th, 2013, 7:59 AM
Is there much new talent coming through for Australia at the minute. I don't even mean 19 year olds getting a move to Europe but people starting to make first team impressions?

Plenty but almost all getting looked over.

Our GK is 40 years old and in a WC season, decided the best move for his career was the bench spot at Chelsea. Our best young talents are stuck behind Weidenfeller at Dortmund or playing in Belgium... but one hasn't received a cap yet and the other is regularly overlooked for a 30 something GK who plays at the stunningly high level of the A-League.
Our captain, Lucas Neill, has just "committed to playing in the Asian Cup, 2015" at the age of 915 years or whatever he will be. In the meantime, we have players like Shane Lowry getting overlooked and we instead cap a 30 year old Englishman who has become an Australian citizen. :dunno:
Our left back is a central midfielder who can use his left foot... and has been in that position for at least the last 18 months. Meanwhile, Jason Davidson has become a regular started in the Eredivisie but at 22 is obviously far too young for our old man team.
The most gifted central creative midfielder we have in his generation (Tom Rogic - Celtic) is overlooked for a guy who couldn't be bothered fighting for a first team spot with Villa and packed his bags to earn mega bucks in the UAE. We've actually "lost" a bunch of younger talent who have seemingly given up on competitive European football for Middle Eastern mega dollars.
And probably the worst thing in our entire team... we haven't ever come close to replacing the brilliance that was Mark Viduka. There are a few youngsters who keep getting the tag of "the new Mark Viduka" but they get 10-15 minutes at the end of friendlies we are playing and completely overlooked for Tim Cahill in important matches.

On the bright side... Tommy Oar (FC Utrecht) and Robbie Kruse (Leverkusen) are both playing regularly at club level and have made the step up to international level as well.

But basically... the coach has failed miserably at integrating new blood into the squad. If we don't start something over the next 7 months, our average age in Brazil will be 35 or something and the stars of our squad will be Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton.

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2013, 8:08 AM
Plenty but almost all getting looked over.

Our GK is 40 years old and in a WC season, decided the best move for his career was the bench spot at Chelsea. Our best young talents are stuck behind Weidenfeller at Dortmund or playing in Belgium... but one hasn't received a cap yet and the other is regularly overlooked for a 30 something GK who plays at the stunningly high level of the A-League.
Our captain, Lucas Neill, has just "committed to playing in the Asian Cup, 2015" at the age of 915 years or whatever he will be. In the meantime, we have players like Shane Lowry getting overlooked and we instead cap a 30 year old Englishman who has become an Australian citizen. :dunno:
Our left back is a central midfielder who can use his left foot... and has been in that position for at least the last 18 months. Meanwhile, Jason Davidson has become a regular started in the Eredivisie but at 22 is obviously far too young for our old man team.
The most gifted central creative midfielder we have in his generation (Tom Rogic - Celtic) is overlooked for a guy who couldn't be bothered fighting for a first team spot with Villa and packed his bags to earn mega bucks in the UAE. We've actually "lost" a bunch of younger talent who have seemingly given up on competitive European football for Middle Eastern mega dollars.
And probably the worst thing in our entire team... we haven't ever come close to replacing the brilliance that was Mark Viduka. There are a few youngsters who keep getting the tag of "the new Mark Viduka" but they get 10-15 minutes at the end of friendlies we are playing and completely overlooked for Tim Cahill in important matches.

On the bright side... Tommy Oar (FC Utrecht) and Robbie Kruse (Leverkusen) are both playing regularly at club level and have made the step up to international level as well.

But basically... the coach has failed miserably at integrating new blood into the squad. If we don't start something over the next 7 months, our average age in Brazil will be 35 or something and the stars of our squad will be Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton.

Ooofff. Our issue is always having young players on the books of prem clubs who wait too long to go get first team football and take years to recover. Nearly all of our premiership players get there by dropping a league and getting promoted yet a lot don't get the message until it's too late.

Our most successul generation for 20 years is now over and by success I mean individual results really more than anything else. The only one who we'll see for an extended period of time now is probably Stevie Davis. O'Neill did what he had to and ripped things up and brought a lot of new players in. We're not suddenly contenders for qualification but there's a feeling again that there's a togetherness with the squad and hopefully that can translate to us getting some momentum as a group in the next qualifiers.

Is Rogic getting much time up north then? Haven't seen much of him tbh but I pretty much only watch Celtic to see Kris Commons these days now Niall and Pat have gone

Grimario
September 10th, 2013, 8:26 AM
Ooofff. Our issue is always having young players on the books of prem clubs who wait too long to go get first team football and take years to recover. Nearly all of our premiership players get there by dropping a league and getting promoted yet a lot don't get the message until it's too late.

Our most successul generation for 20 years is now over and by success I mean individual results really more than anything else. The only one who we'll see for an extended period of time now is probably Stevie Davis. O'Neill did what he had to and ripped things up and brought a lot of new players in. We're not suddenly contenders for qualification but there's a feeling again that there's a togetherness with the squad and hopefully that can translate to us getting some momentum as a group in the next qualifiers.

Is Rogic getting much time up north then? Haven't seen much of him tbh but I pretty much only watch Celtic to see Kris Commons these days now Niall and Pat have gone

We've got plenty of youngsters over there, some who seem to be making some half decent career changes (Lowry dropping down from Villa to Millwall on loan then permanent transfer, Loungo on loan from Spurs) but for everyone of those there is someone who just isn't getting game time, like Mitch Langerak at Dortmund. Big things are expected of him but at 25, you would be hoping he was playing somewhere especially since Weidenfeller is only 33 so probably has a few more years in him as the #1. Some have been pretty smart about their first moves as well... Oar, Kruse, Davidson, Mathew Leckie, James Holland, Mat Ryan have all moved to leagues where the quality is a significant step up from here in Australia but they are still getting first team football. Too many in the past have made moves where they didn't get any first team football and have just ended back up in the A-League 2-3 seasons later.

Ours is over as well :( Our problem is the opposite. Even with our much lauded golden generation gone, we are still expected (and rightly so) to qualify for tournaments regularly. The quality of football in Asia is a damn site higher than what we used to face in Oceania but South Korea and Japan aside, we realistically should be able to beat the rest of them. The problem has been no transition to a future state at all so we are going to get well and truly murdered come next year. Think Saudi Arabia of 2002 levels of awful, probably even worse.

And he is on the bench most games, I think. Played a few of their games so far this season but won't be starting many unless injuries happen.

Andy
September 10th, 2013, 9:32 AM
Kieran Gibbs will be England's next left back after Cole if he can stay fit.

Simon
September 10th, 2013, 9:37 AM
Gibbs is nowhere near as good as Baines right now and Shaw will be better than him in a couple of years. He'll be lucky to get 10 caps. Shaw looks absolute class already.

Andy
September 10th, 2013, 9:42 AM
By the time Cole finishes up Baines will be in his 30s. He won't get more than a year as first choice, if that. Gibbs is class and has CL experience. It's only his fitness that's in doubt.

Simon
September 10th, 2013, 9:59 AM
Gibbs really isn't that great...he's good, nothing more. The gap in class between Baines and Gibbs is massive, there's no way England are in a position to ignore a 30-year old Baines in favour of someone like Gibbs just because he's younger. And by the time Baines is on his way out, Shaw will hopefully have developed into the player he already looks like becoming. I was a bit suspicious of the hype around him last year as he didn't look notably amazing and I wondered if maybe people were just buying into the idea of Southampton producing another left back prodigy after Bale, but the more I saw of him the better he looked. Quality going forward, technically excellent and better defensively than he has any right being at his age.

MMH
September 10th, 2013, 10:52 AM
Baines is better than Cole now let alone in a few years time.

Bad Collin
September 10th, 2013, 10:57 AM
Jack Robinson is better than the lot of them

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2013, 10:59 AM
Baines is better than Cole now let alone in a few years time.

Don't buy it mate. Maybe if you lot did the humane thing and let him move to Man United we would know :lol:

Gary J
September 10th, 2013, 11:32 AM
Baines is better than Cole now let alone in a few years time.

Couldn't agree more Cole is better on his day but Baines has been consistently better then him for about 3 seasons now.

Gary J
September 10th, 2013, 11:35 AM
Also if it's true that we turned down Guardiola because we wanted an English manager, that is the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard.

Why is it stupid I've said before I don't understand all the praise Guardiola gets all he did was carry on the good work Rijkaard started.

Ibrahimovic and Villa suffered under him as his gameplan was to make Messi the focus of his attack. Javi Martinez is getting stuck in defence which is another bizarre tactic of his that a defensive midfielder must play there.

He may do a great job at Bayern Munich but lets just see shall we because at the moment I don't we missed some glorious chance by not appointing him.

Simon
September 10th, 2013, 11:43 AM
Baines is better than Cole now let alone in a few years time.

Na I don't think so...at PL level there isn't much to choose between them, but Baines has never looked half as good for England. I don't know whether it's nerves or just struggling to adapt to the tactics after playing in such a well-defined, linear role for Everton over a long period of time, but he doesn't attack with anything like the same menace for England.

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2013, 11:45 AM
Na I don't think so...at PL level there isn't much to choose between them, but Baines has never looked half as good for England. I don't know whether it's nerves or just struggling to adapt to the tactics after playing in such a well-defined, linear role for Everton over a long period of time, but he doesn't attack with anything like the same menace for England.

Would argue his role for Everton is less linear than the role for England hence the issues.

Think he has to be more restrained for England

Simon
September 10th, 2013, 11:45 AM
Why is it stupid I've said before I don't understand all the praise Guardiola gets all he did was carry on the good work Rijkaard started.

Ibrahimovic and Villa suffered under him as his gameplan was to make Messi the focus of his attack. Javi Martinez is getting stuck in defence which is another bizarre tactic of his that a defensive midfielder must play there.

He may do a great job at Bayern Munich but lets just see shall we because at the moment I don't we missed some glorious chance by not appointing him.
If we had someone good to choose over him then sure...but it seems like, for the second time in a few years, we have gone for a sub-standard Englishman just because we previously 'failed' (although we didn't, but I've done this point to death now) under a foreigner. I believe Guardiola is fluent in English, so it's not like we were employing another Capello who might have had great ideas but couldn't get them across.

Andy
September 10th, 2013, 11:49 AM
You don't understand the praise Guardiola gets? He managed a team that achieved an unprecedented success in a short period of time, he got them playing the best football I've ever seen in my lifetime, he turned a great player into the greatest player to ever play the game, he broke countless records...

Sometimes I think you just come up with these contrary opinions for the sake of it.

Simon
September 10th, 2013, 11:55 AM
There's an element of truth to what Gary has said in that the building blocks were there for Barcelona to be incredible - he had a number of players arriving at their peak, a ludicrous number of young players coming through and Messi was just emerging as a true phenomenon who lived up to the hype...but he still went above and beyond that in winning everything going and doing it playing such incredible football.

Andy
September 10th, 2013, 11:57 AM
Rijkaard's achievements pale in comparison to Guardiola also. He may have won trophies but he supposedly couldn't handle the trouble makers in the dressing room like Eto'o, Ronaldinho and Deco whereas Pep just fucked them off straight away and got the team and got players like Pedro and Villa in who were willing to run like fuck for the team.

Martinez played at the back loads for Bilbao. He can play either position so that's a bit of a weird criticism.

Andy
September 10th, 2013, 12:01 PM
Oh yeah there's no doubt the youth system is incredible and he didn't turn a bunch of cloggers into these world beaters, but the difference in the style of play, the workrate and the sheer quality, from Rijkaard's last couple of years to Pep's is just unreal. I don't think you can overstate just how impressive his achievements are.

Simon
September 10th, 2013, 12:05 PM
The criticism of Martinez makes no sense, considering it's something Guardiola did consistently at Barca to great success. He theorised that by dominating possession as much as his Barca side did, if he had a genuine ball-player at centre back, their usefulness in possession would counterbalance any weaknesses defensively. Mascherano and Adriano both played a fair amount at centre back despite theoretically being unsuited to playing there. I think he played Yaya Toure there a fair amount as well. When he first did it, for sure you could criticise him and say it's illogical - but if he does it now, then surely he deserves the benefit of the doubt seeing as he's made the same tactical decision to great effect previously. And in any case, as Andy said, Martinez has played at centre back for both Bilbao and Spain AFAIK...so it's a flawed point anyway.

Andy
September 10th, 2013, 12:14 PM
Yeah Busquets played there a lot too. In truth they did miss the aggression of Puyol when they played Pique and a midfielder there but it certainly worked well most of the time. Remember the CL final where everyone was going on about how Mascherano at CB would be the weak link United could expose, then he walked through the game and barely broke sweat.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 10th, 2013, 12:14 PM
I don't believe Guardiola would ever have been really interested in the England job. Non-story.

Simon
September 10th, 2013, 12:16 PM
I thought that too when I first heard it, but two different newspaper ran with it separately on the same day, seemingly independently.

Gary J
September 10th, 2013, 12:20 PM
Barcelona won the league last year at a counter without having a manager for half a season. Yeah he deserves some credit for helping that along but again Rijkaard had left him in a pretty good position and how exactly do Rijkaards achievements pale in comparison Pep for all he built the greatest team ever only won one more league title and one more champs league title then Rijkaard. Yeah if we are going to count the Spanish cup which has only become important in the past few season as Barcelona seem to get Madrid and the European Charity shield then yeah Peps's achieved more at Barcelona.

He spent 44m bringing in Aleksandr Hleb , Dmytro Chygrynskiy , Keirrison , to do fuck all apart from be shit lets not forget the stupidness of the Ibrahimovic / Eto'o swap.

Martinez did play at the back for Bilbao a lot yes but he would also stick Mascherano , Yaya Toure and play them there. Schweinstiger's current injury has saved him the trouble of trying to find a place for him in the Bayern team which I can't believe would even become an issue especially when he's been able to find a play Phillip Lahm in midfield.

He did well at a team that had won the champs league a season or two before. Pedro was already there as were most of the players who have been part of their recent success. He's done very well tweaking the tactics but let's not pretend he's one of the greatest of all time as he's often lauded as.

MMH
September 10th, 2013, 12:20 PM
Na I don't think so...at PL level there isn't much to choose between them, but Baines has never looked half as good for England. I don't know whether it's nerves or just struggling to adapt to the tactics after playing in such a well-defined, linear role for Everton over a long period of time, but he doesn't attack with anything like the same menace for England.

To be fair Baines doesnt have 100 England caps either. I dont think there is a massive difference either way for England. I would say at PL level he is ahead of Cole though. Depends what you look for in a full back though.

Not saying Cole is crap or anything, far from it, hes still a cracking player and in his prime he was very very good. I do think people underestimate just how good Baines is though.

Gary J
September 10th, 2013, 12:21 PM
I don't believe Guardiola would ever have been really interested in the England job. Non-story.

Agree it's like when you see the stories Jose Mourinho was interested in the England job. Although I seem to remember Guardiola came close to becoming Brazil manager.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 10th, 2013, 12:27 PM
Barca were in bad shape when Rijkaard left. They were awful in his final season. You should bear that in mind, he took a team that was really on the way down and turned it into the best club side probably ever seen almost immediately. Don't make yourself look too silly, what Guardiola achieved at Barcelona is incomparable to anything else, especially given it was his first top job in management. I don't think he was ever a candidate for the England job nor would it necessarily be a good idea, but think about what he did with that team.

People say "oh he had the youth players" but it takes balls to put youth team players in to the first team. Most big teams never, ever do it, despite fans saying they'd like to see youth players come in it's rarely tolerated because if clubs don't make big signings, they get serious abuse. Real Madrid have a superb youth system yet Casillas is about the only player they've promoted from it properly in living memory. Pedro, to name one player, was not remotely seen as a huge prospect in the Barca set-up, yet he was one of the best players in the team in Guardiola's first season. Guardiola was also previously involved with the youth sides so he had a direct connection to the strength of the first team coming from the Barca system.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 10th, 2013, 12:27 PM
Agree it's like when you see the stories Jose Mourinho was interested in the England job. Although I seem to remember Guardiola came close to becoming Brazil manager.

He didn't.

Gary J
September 10th, 2013, 12:48 PM
Yeah it was just some Brazilian FA member claiming Guardiola would take the job tomorrow if it was offered.

The Rosk
September 10th, 2013, 12:48 PM
Robbie Keane's 60th goal in internationals was an exceptional achievement. He's a player who doesn't get nearly enough credit, probably tarnished forever by that Liverpool move, despite his form prior to that demonstrating he was a top Premier League striker. No one will ever score that many goals again for Ireland. He has always done it for Ireland on the big occasions, his record is not padded by bullying amateurs as many uninformed observers tend to suggest with a sneer. It's a pity he only ever made it to one World Cup and that Euro 2012 was such a disaster. He has deserved better for the service he has given the national team.

Agreed. His record is pretty fantastic, averaging 0.4 goals a game across his career, being a menace to defences in almost every single game he played and improving that at international level is ridiculous.

A lot cleverer player than people give him credit for. Even when he came to Villa in a dross negative side he looked absolutely brilliant. I really rue the day Doug Ellis refused to stump up an extra 250k to snap him up from Wolves. He went to Coventry and then Inter after that, fucking ridiculous wasted opportunity which is up there with us missing out on Falcao in 2008 and going for Emile Heskey instead.

Simon
September 10th, 2013, 12:57 PM
Not a patch on Jermain.

The Rosk
September 10th, 2013, 2:27 PM
Jimmy starts. Time to see the kind of performance we saw every week when you were my favourite player in the whole wide world Jimmy boy. I miss you.

Andy
September 10th, 2013, 2:52 PM
Joe Hart lucky not to give away a pen inside 60 seconds.

Simon
September 10th, 2013, 3:17 PM
Is Wilshere drunk?

The Rosk
September 10th, 2013, 3:23 PM
Put Milner where Wilshere is. He is a fucking central box to box midfielder. Not a defensive winger. Who the fuck have we got on the bench? Id put Defoe on at some point given this is exactly the poor-to-average kind of defence he's based a career on scoring against.

Simon
September 10th, 2013, 3:30 PM
Townsend might be a decent bet on the break. Greedy little cunt will get shots off.

MikeHunt
September 10th, 2013, 3:32 PM
We're looking good tonight. Well impressed with anya, having a belter of a game!

Andy
September 10th, 2013, 3:54 PM
Some finish from Anya

MikeHunt
September 10th, 2013, 3:56 PM
What you watching scotland for? Vital points on the line for engerland.

Andy
September 10th, 2013, 3:59 PM
Deal with it :cool:

Hlebsfall
September 10th, 2013, 4:05 PM
Someone could tell me this was a league 2 game and I wouldn't disagree with them.

The Rosk
September 10th, 2013, 4:06 PM
Young and Milner on the flanks. Oh back in the day.

The Rosk
September 10th, 2013, 4:08 PM
Wilshere and Lampard have been so dross it's actually funny.

Andy
September 10th, 2013, 4:16 PM
Maloney! Great free kick

El Capitano Gatisto
September 10th, 2013, 4:17 PM
Ashley Young looks like he's been on the protein shakes.

Andy
September 10th, 2013, 4:23 PM
Have England actually had a chance yet?

Andy
September 10th, 2013, 4:24 PM
Jesus, Luxembourg beat Northern Ireland?

Andy
September 10th, 2013, 4:35 PM
I make that 92 minutes until the first England chance.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 10th, 2013, 4:36 PM
Walcott had a good chance in the first couple of minutes.

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2013, 4:54 PM
Was playing myself tonight so missed our game. Thank Christ I did. Scundered. Absolutely fucking scundered. If it was Worthington Ild want his head but I still like michael O'Neill I know that's weird....

MikeHunt
September 10th, 2013, 4:56 PM
Delighted! Absolutely delighted! I know it's only Macedonia but fuck me what a difference. Totally echo SLARE's earlier post about the way strachan has us trying to play.

MikeHunt
September 10th, 2013, 5:03 PM
England are shit.

andys a bloody genius managing to watch two games at once btw. Pfffft!

England- draw
roi - lose.
Wales - lose.


Hahahahahaha! What a fucking brilliant night!

Andy
September 10th, 2013, 5:04 PM
The magic of TV and Nexus combo :yes:

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2013, 5:05 PM
Do you pity us mikehunt? I need pity

MikeHunt
September 10th, 2013, 5:05 PM
Impossible to actually do it you fuck. You really need to fucking quit this bollocks.

MikeHunt
September 10th, 2013, 5:06 PM
Do you pity us mikehunt? I need pity

Meh I couldn't give a shit tbh. I know yous are 100% worse than us so I don't need to hate you, so yes you have my pity.

although I still love laffs, was he playing?

El Capitano Gatisto
September 10th, 2013, 5:07 PM
Delighted! Absolutely delighted! I know it's only Macedonia but fuck me what a difference. Totally echo SLARE's earlier post about the way strachan has us trying to play.

Dead rubber game. Wait until there's something on the line before getting too excited.

MMH
September 10th, 2013, 5:08 PM
Was playing with myself tonight so missed our game. Thank Christ I did. Scundered. Absolutely fucking scundered. If it was Worthington Ild want his head but I still like michael O'Neill I know that's weird....

Losing to Luxembourg aint as bad as it used to be (still pretty bad) but conceding 3 goals to them as shocking really.

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2013, 5:08 PM
Meh I couldn't give a shit tbh. I know yous are 100% worse than us so I don't need to hate you, so yes you have my pity.

although I still love laffs, was he playing?
Laffs got sent off against Portugal like a dick. I'm having a lovers tiff with him

MikeHunt
September 10th, 2013, 5:10 PM
Well it wasn't really for us, strachan has highlighted the importance of us not finishing bottom and the players seem to be reacting. The way we have played since He took over is like night and day! I'm not pulling an England and saying we're going to win anything bit bloody hell it's nice to see us pass the ball and play some better football. Hence why I'm fuckingndlighted.

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2013, 5:11 PM
Losing to Luxembourg aint as bad as it used to be (still pretty bad) but conceding 3 goals to them as shocking really.
I don't get it tbh. Improvements in style at cost of any organization

MMH
September 10th, 2013, 5:13 PM
I don't get it tbh. Improvements in style at cost of any organization

Seems to be the modern football way. As long as you win the passing thats all that matters.

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2013, 5:17 PM
Were not set up like Spain or anything just not using 4 or 5 cbs every fucking game. Result getting shite football is one thing but when the results go what's the point. That's sort of what happened with worthy...

son_of_foley
September 10th, 2013, 5:18 PM
It feels like the michael Hughes and lomas days ffs. Sad.

wardy
September 10th, 2013, 9:45 PM
Really pleased with our performance tonight and glad Maloney made up for for shitting out of a challenge and costing us that equaliser. Onwards and upwards lads let's hope we can do it when it matters!

Also backed Anya for the first goal at 20/1 :cool:

Bad Collin
September 11th, 2013, 4:31 AM
Job done last night, it was a shite game but we got the point and it is still in our own hands.

Simon
September 11th, 2013, 4:35 AM
Yeah but the performance was pathetic. Cahill was good, Jagielka, Gerrard, Lampard and Cole were alright, everyone else was absolutely dreadful. Ukraine were just as bad - Konoplyanka provided a threat, everyone else was crap. Even by England's usual standards that was an awful game. After the first three minues nothing happened until Lampard's header in injury time.

Bad Collin
September 11th, 2013, 5:34 AM
Yeah, it was pretty dire but fair play to them for getting the job done.

Darkoke
September 11th, 2013, 7:17 AM
Trapatoni sacked.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 11th, 2013, 7:19 AM
Trap is gone. Probably about 14 months too late, he probably should have bowed out after the disastrous Euro 2012 performance, but I suppose the FAI maybe felt they owed him another 2 years for getting there and they really do make decisions on that basis rather than what's sensible.

MON is the early favourite and I would be pretty happy with that. At the very least he is a brilliant motivator who gets big performances out of average players, he sets up teams to be hard to play against and plays direct but without being as pragmatic as Trap. His big problems in club football have been with player signings and squad management, so really in the international game his hands will be tied there and so his strengths should come to the fore. Not sure about his record with youth players, but his record in knock-out football with average sides doing better than they should is encouraging. I think he's easily the best candidate and probably at the right point in his career for the job too.

Of course a technical director etc. etc. would be great to oversee the progress of the game but that's been an issue forever. Ireland had good youth sides in the late 90s/early 00s, from which Keane and Duff emerged most notably, but I think in recent years they've suffered more from competition from rugby and GAA as much as any inherent systemic failings. Small countries go through cycles and this cycle is being affected by the big provincial sides in rugby being amongst the best in Europe, the Irish team being very strong and GAA's popularity soaring. It's the same kids in school that these sports all compete for in a small population.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 11th, 2013, 7:21 AM
Alex Ferguson might fancy it as well, give him a bit of a hobby. He's younger than Trap.

Simon
September 11th, 2013, 7:31 AM
I should probably know this seeing as I spend half my life claiming to be Irish, but will there not be issues with O'Neill being Irish manager given that he's from the north?

Tony O'Cascarin should put himself forward for the job seeing as he seems to think he knows so fucking much.

El Capitano Gatisto
September 11th, 2013, 7:37 AM
No reason why there would be. He might get a bit of abuse from the knuckle-draggers here in Northern Ireland but being Celtic manager would have been worse for that. Several of the Irish players are from the North, McClean and Gibson in particular from the same locale as MoN.

The Rosk
September 11th, 2013, 7:57 AM
O'Neill is perfect as manager for you lot. He is an extremely average (at best) club manager for reasons that I have gone into before. But he gets players working hard for him.

The best memories Ireland have has have been basically through sheer passion over skill (see Italy 94, draws with Germany and Spain in 02 etc). He will get all of the average players working extremely hard and looking forward to internationals which makes a massive difference. Obviously the right choice for them.

Simon
September 11th, 2013, 7:59 AM
My favourite Ireland memories are Ray Houghton's shit somersault and John Aldridge losing his mind.

son_of_foley
September 11th, 2013, 8:10 AM
Funding for the stadium being witheld because of hiring David Martin again.

Increased level of scumbag at Windsor recently and apparently now making the away trips.

Things are not good. Trap being an incompetent old cunt helped us as Michael managed to convince a few of the "at risk" lads to stay with us rather than play down south. If Martin gets that job I can't see how we could compete with them for players unless O'Neill himself decides to not challenge us for players.

Red Dog
September 11th, 2013, 11:35 AM
Andy Reid should be recalled now. Seriously. He has been fucking ace this season and considerably better than Simon Cox.