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We Go Again! The 2014/15 Premier League Thread

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Post by Ent on Sun 12 Apr 2015, 10:36 pm

First topic message reminder :

Missed the game today Sad great result!

City have bought terribly since they won the title in 11/12, 100s of millions and no real certain starters or class players introduced.

They've prospered in a relative decline of the pl, picking up the top players from the non top 4 and the sub elite Europeans was good enough as a base but they didn't kick on and it has showed in Europe and this season.

6 wins in a row for United, city, Spurs and Liverpool in that run.

Top 4 all but secured, big test next week against chelsea.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 1:07 pm

Not sure what it has to do with you Liam considering up until about 4 weeks ago you couldn't stop yourself having a pop at a team that has nothing to do with you. Practice what you preach maybe.

I will bang on about it because we simply never play an entirely defensive way like Chelsea do and people use Park as a single example, he had a great engine but was also used in an attacking sense.

Not sure how saying Chelsea play a boring negative way is a controversial point of view or why I can't hold such an opinion purely because we haven't won anything for two seasons.

Chelsea playing 'great' stuff against the lower teams is about as relevant to this argument as a pig flying in the sky.

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Post by CFCNick on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 1:16 pm

It's not negative though. We score a lot of goals.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 3:46 pm

You don't honestly expect me to have examples of games for a team I don't support?

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 3:48 pm

To be honest yes, an opinion must be based on something.

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Post by Ent on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 3:54 pm

Crimey wrote:
Ent wrote:
Crimey wrote:
Ent wrote:That hasn't been true since 3 points for a win was introduced.

What do you mean?

It's been shown that the move to 3 points for a win has changed very little.

Generally teams try to win. Chelsea didn't need to die to the lead they had built up, that is their right and what they had earned by their play/results this season. But let's not pretend they would play like that if they needed to win.

If not having possession worked then the best sides would average under 50%, chelsea average 55% this season. If sticking extra defenders on and camping out in your own half was they way to do things the likes of palace etc would be top 4.

Of course I'm not suggesting that the change to "counter-football" is a complete one and that all teams will now play with less possession. It was just the case that it was thought that possession was crucial to winning, that those teams with more possession win more often, which is still true. The difference is that in recent years teams have gone against that. Tony Pulis' Stoke literally changed the perception of possession in football, or at least it should have done, because they showed that it wasn't necessary. 

I'm suggesting that big teams have started to recognise the merits of "counter-football" and the difference in possession in big games is often more vast than it had been say ten to fifteen years ago. So we're seeing a more 75-15, or 60-40 than we are 55-45 or 50-50 in big games now than had been the case. In response to possession football brought by Barcelona and Spain's success, the natural progression in tactical innovation is "counter football".

This is a case of history being written by the victors, it is not the norm for teams to win using these tactics. Just go through who wins the major leagues and cups to see.

Rooney hits the target early on and falcao puts that 2 inches closer and a different narrative is being spun. Every body is just so reactive and do not look at the bigger picture.

Pragmatism has cost chelsea last years title and progression in Europe 2 years running. But jose is amazing because they beat the 3rd best team in the country (with a depleted side) 1-0 whilst having 30% possession.

He is becoming a parody of himself.

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Post by compelling and rich on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 5:27 pm

bit late to the party on this one but not sure i see the love in over mourinho over saturdays result, it was no master plan.

lets face it, with the team we had out we were there for the taking, a less cautious manager with the same chelsea side would have put our very weak defence to the sword. in the very little of the 25% possession they had they showed it was capable. if fergie was in charge the other way round it would have been a big win.

yes they won and the the 3 points at this point in the season is all that matters, chelsea fans will be happy but cant think anyone here thinks that chelsea dont have the better side out of the two and were on the back foot mainly through their negative manager. its not like we had barcas/reals front line either with loads of pace and threat where sitting deep and soaking up the pressure is the right thing to do, we had rooney playing in cm doing his best alan smith impression and the donkey falcao who would probably be beaten in a race by meretzacker!! we had no pace anywhere! mourinhos tactics played straight into our hands as it enabled us to play the possession game we have been doing so well recently while our lack of pace wasn't exposed, one mistake cost us but we were clearly the better side against a better team

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Post by mystiroakey on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 6:00 pm

C&R/ENT . I am not saying that particular game was a tactical mastermind- however dont expect Chelsea to have played in that way throughout the whole game if lets say rooneys early effort had gone in. He would have changed it up.

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Post by GSC on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 7:04 pm

It seems more a case of sour grapes than anything to be honest
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Post by compelling and rich on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 7:05 pm

how is, if they came out and played more they would have beaten us by more being sour??

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Post by GSC on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 7:08 pm

In response to Ent
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Post by Guest on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 7:17 pm

Doesn't matter if you score 1 or 10, you still only get three points. Mourinho's men did the job required, he was happy, his players happy, the fans were happy & Abramovich was smiling in the crowd. That's all that matters, not pleasing some pathetic, moaning United fans, who still can't come to terms they don't win trophies anymore.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 7:29 pm

What have pathetic jibes about us going two seasons without winning anything have to do with this discussion or are you as ever just trying to antagonise. You'd gone all quiet in recent weeks too, why was that I wonder, oh yes Manchester United a team you apparently don't support or follow stopped playing crap.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 8:53 pm

It does sound a bit like jealousy, and a lot of rewriting history that United were this free-flowing side. Have there been many poorer teams that have won a league than that United side in Fergie's last year?

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 8:58 pm

We were so defensive and conservative that season weren't we Dolph as our useless side waltzed to the title, it's almost as if a Man United fan can't be critical of another team without petty childish responses

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 10:22 pm

Its almost as if a United fan has to act like a little b*tch the minute they get beaten by a better team.

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Post by Guest on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 11:13 pm

I don't want to argue HH, just my view that you should move on & forget about Chelsea's style, that's the way they will play in big games & it's successful.

I see you're linked with Memphis Depay today, interesting news. If you sign Depay, Hummels & Clyne, would you be happy & class that as a successful summer?

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 11:35 pm

I'm surprised we didn't buy Depay last Summer, he was the one Dutch player that Van Gaal thought had a bright future and he's being somewhat misrepresented by the media as a striker which he is not. At a reasonable price I would say yes, he's young, quick and should improve, not sure where he fits into our system and won't be expecting a bucket load of goals.

A fair chunk of Dortmunds downfall this season has to be attributed to their senior players which includes Hummels, he has been injured for parts but it makes me wonder about his behind the scenes attitude. In an ideal world I would say no but the paucity of defensive talent means he's higher up the list than most so a regrettable yes.

The simplest decision of the lot and a definite yes for Clyne; been the stand out right back in the league this season and shown real maturity, seeing Chambers move to Arsenal seems to have spurred him on. Will be a significant defensive upgrade on Valencia while still being a reasonable threat going forward, being young and English is an added bonus plus enables us to sell Rafael.

I presume those leaving will include Rafael, Lindegaard, Falcao, Cleverley, Hernandez, possibly Evans, Van Persie, Januzaj, Powell and Nani. We have a strong regular 14 to pick from beyond that it's quite a poor squad that still needs significant restructuring.

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Post by Ent on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 6:55 am

GSC wrote:It seems more a case of sour grapes than anything to be honest

Well no, if you recall I predicted they would shut us down and beat us comfortably enough. I'm as happy as you can be with a defeat really.

We have won once at Stamford bridge in 13 years I believe (league), it is a real bogey ground for us.

I am just addressing the fallacy that saturday was some sort of tactical master class, when it was nothing of the sort.

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Post by Ent on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 7:02 am

I think hummels will prove to be too slow, but given we live in a world were David luiz and mangala cost £50 million (reportedly) he is a great option.

Not sure if depay will fit in but he has quality.

Clyne I'm predicting to be a disaster, he is quick, decent going forward. Doesn't lose out in 1 on 1s often but is positionally poor and not good in the air. In other words he is exactly like valencia.

2 of these signings taking out 2 of our better players in this run of form.

That is going to be our major problem this summer. Apart from centre half (and arguably right back) where do we improve our first 11, given that the individual players who would seem to be at risk have been playing the best and are most important in this system/current form.

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Post by compelling and rich on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 8:52 am

just re-read some early nonsense about us being defensive because we played park picard

you do realise that team also had, ronaldo, rooney, tevez, giggs and scholes playing in it. really defensive!!

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Post by Hero on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 10:32 am

Whilst Hummels is deemed slow (he's not Mertsacker level slow) he makes up for it with an excellent reading of the game. Vidic was never the quickest defender in the game but no one called him.

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Post by Hero on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 10:35 am

Depay is one that concerns me, while he's been top scorer for PSV this season he's also come across to fans as being halfarsed for several games. Not sure if I want another Nani at the club who shows moments of brilliance in 1 game followed by 3 or 4 of being anonymous.

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Post by Fernando on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 10:37 am

Merty ain't even the slowest player at Arsenal Ok! Also i don't get the hate for Chelsea parking the bus, Arsenal did it at Citeh & United everyone seemed roundly happy for us not being blown away in a big game for once Laugh

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Post by GSC on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 10:40 am

Mertesacker is pretty quick when he gets going.

Sadly he has the acceleration of a moped pulling a caravan
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Post by Hero on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 10:46 am

I don't get the hatred either. You do what it takes to get three points. Some days you can turn on the flair, some days you have to grind them out.

When Utd beat Arsenal and Southampton earlier in the season when both sides dominated play and possession would Utd fans have preferred to have played well but be 6 points lower down the table now?

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Post by Hero on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 11:02 am

And everyone moans at Wenger for not being able to get his team to dig deep at times in games, that he only has a Plan A, Maureen chooses Plan B and is vilified for it.

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Post by mystiroakey on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 11:10 am

Ent wrote:I think hummels will prove to be too slow, but given we live in a world were David luiz and mangala cost £50 million (reportedly) he is a great option.

Not sure if depay will fit in but he has quality.

Clyne I'm predicting to be a disaster, he is quick, decent going forward. Doesn't lose out in 1 on 1s often but is positionally poor and not good in the air. In other words he is exactly like valencia.

2 of these signings taking out 2 of our better players in this run of form.

That is going to be our major problem this summer. Apart from centre half (and arguably right back) where do we improve our first 11, given that the individual players who would seem to be at risk have been playing the best and are most important in this system/current form.

I dont know. LVG seems to have turned Valencia back on track and elevated Fellini and the biggest surprise of all Ashley young(who has had an absolute blinding season compared to9 the few seasons before- no one is talking about him- but its time to give him credit)

Valencia eventually will be too old - so even if Clyne is close to a like for like replacement that isnt a bad thing and he is by far a much better defender.

LVG's man management seems Decent and unlike other managers can get the best out of the key players.. well bar the mercenary signings anyway. But Di Maria seems to have a much more positive attitude again- so he could be key next season as he seems like he wants to stay on and give it his best shot.





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Post by GSC on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 11:17 am

Hero wrote:I don't get the hatred either. You do what it takes to get three points. Some days you can turn on the flair, some days you have to grind them out.

When Utd beat Arsenal and Southampton earlier in the season when both sides dominated play and possession would Utd fans have preferred to have played well but be 6 points lower down the table now?

Must've been like receiving caviar that's a week out of date for HH and Ent
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Post by CFCNick on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 11:28 am

compelling and rich wrote:just re-read some early nonsense about us being defensive because we played park picard

you do realise that team also had, ronaldo, rooney, tevez, giggs and scholes playing in it. really defensive!!

I remember a few games between 07-09 when you played Park and Hargreaves on the wings to double up on big teams wingers. I mean you did this against us in a couple of games when our wingers were Kalou and Malouda. Our fullbacks were Cole and Boulahrouz then Bosingwa.

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Post by FIFA Diva on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 11:30 am

I don't see Wenger or Sir Alex playing three DM and a CB in midfield. They never made it a habit parking the bus like Mourinho, it's a disgrace when you're spending that much and your style of play is a slightly better version of Stoke.

It gets Chelsea results so fair play to them but I'd hate to see my team playing like they do.
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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 11:44 am

CFCNick wrote:
compelling and rich wrote:just re-read some early nonsense about us being defensive because we played park picard

you do realise that team also had, ronaldo, rooney, tevez, giggs and scholes playing in it. really defensive!!

I remember a few games between 07-09 when you played Park and Hargreaves on the wings to double up on big teams wingers. I mean you did this against us in a couple of games when our wingers were Kalou and Malouda. Our fullbacks were Cole and Boulahrouz then Bosingwa.

I would love to know what games they were Nick considering Hargreaves was only ever fit for the 07-08 season, we didn't do in the champions league final nor did Hargreaves start either game against you in the league. After the 2006 world cup Hargreaves became a kind of obsession of mine so I remember almost every single game he played for the club not that there were that many.

We went all defence in that period with a front six of Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney. I don't think a team can ever be accused of going defensive when they play a midfield two of Carrick and Scholes to be honest.

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Post by Ent on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 12:59 pm

Hero wrote:I don't get the hatred either. You do what it takes to get three points. Some days you can turn on the flair, some days you have to grind them out.

When Utd beat Arsenal and Southampton earlier in the season when both sides dominated play and possession would Utd fans have preferred to have played well but be 6 points lower down the table now?

I don't really care how they play, just not having it was some sort of tactical master class.

We had McNair and blackett in defense against arsenal and could have scored 3 or 4 on the break.

Southampton we just played crap, they then repaid the favour at old Trafford.

Had we. Played with the tempo and intent we currently are all season we would probably have been in the title race for a good while.

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Post by Ent on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 1:03 pm

Hero wrote:Whilst Hummels is deemed slow (he's not Mertsacker level slow) he makes up for it with an excellent reading of the game. Vidic was never the quickest defender in the game but no one called him.

He had Rio beside him, still managed to get sent off loads in important games.

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Post by Hero on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 1:56 pm

Ent wrote:
Hero wrote:I don't get the hatred either. You do what it takes to get three points. Some days you can turn on the flair, some days you have to grind them out.

When Utd beat Arsenal and Southampton earlier in the season when both sides dominated play and possession would Utd fans have preferred to have played well but be 6 points lower down the table now?

I don't really care how they play, just not having it was some sort of tactical master class.

We had McNair and blackett in defense against arsenal and could have scored 3 or 4 on the break.

Southampton we just played crap, they then repaid the favour at old Trafford.

Had we. Played with the tempo and intent we currently are all season we would probably have been in the title race for a good while.

I disagree on this, a fair number of games we ground out results whilst playing poorly and for the most part reserved, who's to say with the defensive injuries we had earlier in the season that those wins or draw would have been worse due to a cavalier approach. We could have quite easily played with flair, lost a number of games through recklessness and therefore the morale seeps from the squad. Instead they bedded in when it was neccessary and look to have come through the other side better for it.

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Post by Ent on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 4:01 pm

Hero wrote:
Ent wrote:
Hero wrote:I don't get the hatred either. You do what it takes to get three points. Some days you can turn on the flair, some days you have to grind them out.

When Utd beat Arsenal and Southampton earlier in the season when both sides dominated play and possession would Utd fans have preferred to have played well but be 6 points lower down the table now?

I don't really care how they play, just not having it was some sort of tactical master class.

We had McNair and blackett in defense against arsenal and could have scored 3 or 4 on the break.

Southampton we just played crap, they then repaid the favour at old Trafford.

Had we. Played with the tempo and intent we currently are all season we would probably have been in the title race for a good while.

I disagree on this, a fair number of games we ground out results whilst playing poorly and for the most part reserved, who's to say with the defensive injuries we had earlier in the season that those wins or draw would have been worse due to a cavalier approach. We could have quite easily played with flair, lost a number of games through recklessness and therefore the morale seeps from the squad. Instead they bedded in when it was neccessary and look to have come through the other side better for it.

Which games where these?

When we lost to swansea, mk dons, Leicester? Drawing with west brom, Burnley, West Ham, villa etc?

We had around 60% possession in most of those games, and the ones we won in that period many were due to de gea. We were too tentative with our play.

Now we are more aggressive with a higher tempo, without being Wreckless and have all but secured top four.

The results have been bad enough all season for morale to drop to be honest- until lately.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 4:19 pm

Indeed, for all the talk about how can this Chelsea team play so poorly and win the league, United will get top four and have been awful for much more of the season. Arsenal could well get second and don't look anywhere near good enough. Been a poor year at the top

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Post by Stella on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 4:32 pm

Next season's title race should be a lot more interesting. I think most had Chelsea or City to win the league this season, but who for next year?
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Post by PaulHv2 on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 4:34 pm

Think Chelsea will win it again next year to be honest Stella. United still need improvements, City are likely to have a clear out in the summer and it'll take a while for their squad to gel. Arsenal will do their usual trick of playing average until the second half of the season, and Liverpool I expect to struggle again.
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Post by Stella on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 4:36 pm

I'm gunning for Arsenal, though I'm always wrong. Winning the cup last year, and possibly this, will give them the taste for success.
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Post by Rowley on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 4:39 pm

I am not going to defend Mourinho particularly as his style of football frequently leaves me cold. However, he did make a reasonable point when people were criticising him for not bringing youth team players through in comparison to a club like Arsenal. His argument was unlike Wenger he cannot afford to go four or five seasons without a trophy. He said he is more than capable of giving kids their chance, but if an inexperienced right back costs the club 12 points a season while he learns his trade he cannot afford that, as he simply cannot sacrifice winning trophies to blood young players for the simple reason he will lose his job.

Personally I think similar applies here. Mourinho knows he can set his team up fairly negatively and get the results he needs and thus win trophies. Agree it does not always make for the most aesthetically pleasing of spectacles but when you have your job on the line pragmatism will tend to win the day unfortunately.

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Post by CFCNick on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 6:37 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
CFCNick wrote:
compelling and rich wrote:just re-read some early nonsense about us being defensive because we played park picard

you do realise that team also had, ronaldo, rooney, tevez, giggs and scholes playing in it. really defensive!!

I remember a few games between 07-09 when you played Park and Hargreaves on the wings to double up on big teams wingers. I mean you did this against us in a couple of games when our wingers were Kalou and Malouda. Our fullbacks were Cole and Boulahrouz then Bosingwa.

I would love to know what games they were Nick considering Hargreaves was only ever fit for the 07-08 season, we didn't do in the champions league final nor did Hargreaves start either game against you in the league. After the 2006 world cup Hargreaves became a kind of obsession of mine so I remember almost every single game he played for the club not that there were that many.

We went all defence in that period with a front six of Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney. I don't think a team can ever be accused of going defensive when they play a midfield two of Carrick and Scholes to be honest.

This is one game that stands outhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/7613923.stm

You played a 4-5-1 shape with Scholes and Fletcher holding. Rooney and Berbatov playing as the AM and striker.


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Post by Ent on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 8:01 pm

So 2 ball playing centre midfielders and 2 centre forwards is a defensive set up.

Right.

Pl at the worst standard is has been for a long time, one good side in it and even they aren't good enough to compete in Europe.

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Post by GSC on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 8:23 pm

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:Its almost as if a United fan has to act like a little b*tch the minute they get beaten by a better team.
This sums it up pretty aptly tbh
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Post by Ent on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 9:45 pm

Mourinho got £50 million for David luiz. Now that is genius.

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Post by Guest on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 9:49 pm

Ent wrote:Mourinho got £50 million for David luiz. Now that is genius.

more like the negotiating team got the £50m. Annoys me people giving credit to Jose for this, all he did, was simply say 'I don't want him'.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 10:13 pm

Exactly. Mourinho didnt negotiate sh*t.

Also, whoever posted that United weren't defensive when they played Carrick and Scholes is nonsense. They play the ball, but thats like saying Makelele wasnt a destroyer so he wasn't defensive. Holding midfielders are defensive players

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 11:06 pm

Finally some good PR at West Ham. Dropping season tickets by about 25% for the Olympic Stadium first season

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 11:48 pm

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:Exactly. Mourinho didnt negotiate sh*t.

Also, whoever posted that United weren't defensive when they played Carrick and Scholes is nonsense. They play the ball, but thats like saying Makelele wasnt a destroyer so he wasn't defensive. Holding midfielders are defensive players

That is the biggest load of tosh i've read on this debate, a deep lying ball player is not a defensive player, their role is to initiate attacks and to set the tempo of the game, it would be like calling Pirlo a defensive player. Makelele was the one Chelsea player I did like in Mourinho's first incarnation but his main role in the team was to break up play, mainly done through interceptions and his brilliant reading of the game. Carrick does do that but he's not in the team for defensive reasons, what this does overlook is that we largely played with two more traditional central midfielders, there is no way on this planet you can call that two man midfield defensive.

We did however often change the set up of the team, mainly it has to be said against Arsenal to combat the intricate ball retention of their midfield, we would then bring in either Hargreaves or Fletcher as a destroyer. There seems to be an assumption that any change in formation of personnel is an all out defensive change.

You'll notice how the main gripe is with the second incarnation of Mourinho, I personally thought Chelsea circa 04-07 were an interesting team to watch playing with natural width, Duff, Cole and Robben were beautiful to watch. Using the logic of some one here their three man midfield must have been defensive, it was in fact anything but that, Makelele sat deep doing his thing while Lampard drove forward and Essien was an absolute beast in midfield. Their problems started when they signed Deco, a player who didn't suit the premier league and didn't fit into the side at all, I don't think it was any coincidence that they fell right off around that time.

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Post by Crimey on Wed 22 Apr 2015, 12:53 am

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:Finally some good PR at West Ham. Dropping season tickets by about 25% for the Olympic Stadium first season

To be fair, you'd expect Championship football to cost less. Wink

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Post by Ent on Wed 22 Apr 2015, 6:04 am

LiamB wrote:
Ent wrote:Mourinho got £50 million for David luiz. Now that is genius.

more like the negotiating team got the £50m. Annoys me people giving credit to Jose for this, all he did, was simply say 'I don't want him'.

Tongue in cheek comment.

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