|photo by SuperFantastic||via PhotoRee|
Ed is never short on opinions, some of them even correct:
I recall some time ago asking whether Liverpool FC would have the patience required when changing over to Brendan Rogers. Could they get through a season of pure mediocrity or worse as he transitions from one system to another? Like it is in politics, personnel is policy in football, and so far Brendan has been able to bring over just a few players who dwell in the tiki taka system. Joe Allen being one, and I'm actually not sure who the other one is.
Yet despite the mismatch of personnel, Liverpool have been able to dominate possession. The problem has been, of course, their inability to score. The reality is that Liverpool is still recovering from the monstrous gap from their overspending for West Ham's Andy Carroll, and are left with a deficit and a single striker. Kind of like Chelsea, except without the supporting case of Hazard, Mata, Oscar, and the like.
Give Liverpool some time, fans. They've gotten the possession part down, and will start to move up the table as the season progresses. More importantly, if they could spend 50MM pounds on Carroll, they'll be able to spend it again in the future. How much better would they be, for example, with Berbatov or Chicharito or Ibrahimavic? Maybe they won't be able to shell out the money necessary for this guys this year, but wouldn't be surprised to seem them do it next year. Then we'll see how things go for them. But until that happens, take a deep breath and when you exhale…...lower your expectations (aaaahhhhhhhhhh…….).
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I've heard that there is some consideration to managing the wrestling that goes on during corner kicks following the Fellaini head butt. I think it's high time for this. Clearly, this can be difficult to call for an official as there are so many players in the penalty area during corners. One would think, however, that the fourth official should be able to assist. But also, aren't we really only concerned about the player trying to head the ball? If players are warned that holding will be called, and if a few calls are made, defenders will start to hold less. This will result in more goals and make corner kicks more appropriately threatening. It's time to phase in this simple change, even if it seems hard at first.
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Manchester United has pulled Real Madrid for its first round in the Champions League. It will be interesting to see how the team without a midfield does against the powerful Madrid, a team whose league aspirations are gone and therefore only have the Champions League to play for. I would think Madrid the better team, but would not want to underestimate a United team that will enter into this games with less pressure on them.
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Someone asked who's been watching QPR, and I have to say that I'm guilty as charged. There's nothing like watching those BPL relegation games at the end of the season, and right now, despite being less than half way through the season, QPR is already playing for its life. And it shows.
Every game they play is a full scratch and claw affair. The intensity is white hot. In case you missed it, they beat a despondent Fulham team in their last match for their first win of the season. The bizarre but talented Adel Taarabt (did I put enough "a's" in there?) put in two goals and seemed the best player on the pitch. The team and Harry Redknapp celebrated wildly. They just beat Fulham!!!
The game before may have even been better; I watched as they went from a certain victory to giving up a cheap goal at the end. Defender Clint Hill beat the ground with his fists interminably like they had just blown the World Cup. Awesome.
Seriously, you've got to tune in to these guys, despite their awful away kits -- no, because of their awful away kits. Watch QPR -- the only team who can't afford to even tie anyone if they want to stay in the league. And more importantly, the only team with Harry Redknapp as their manager. Wait, did I mention that already?
So, Corresp. Ed, can they stay up? Will they?
This is farlieonfootie for December 22.