Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thoughts on the Champions League, in No Particular Order

photo by The 5th Apevia PhotoRee
If you're looking this morning for four thoughts on the Champions League, does Columnist Ed ever have something for you...:
1. BoringAm I the only one who finds most of these Champions League group stage games painfully boring? Manchester United's own players seem to be feeling the same thing. They were barely moving and trying against Braga, a team I think might get relegated if it was in the BPL. 
Don't get me wrong, I understand why they're bored. They had to fly a long way to play in a stadium with poor turf and lights that don't always work. And they get to play a team that no one knows about or cares much about. Ugh.
I have two easy sugggestions on how to energize the CL:  First, do some March madness brackets -- rank the teams that are eligible and set up the competition just like the college hoops tournament. And make it one and done.  It's not as fair, but it certainly will keep sides like United from using their B team.
2. ImpressiveTwo teams have impressed me so far in the Champions League. First is Borussia Dortmund. They played a counter -attack game against Real Madrid and almost pulled it off for the victory. They're defensively well-organized and on offense move it around a lot. The other impressive team is FC Shakhtar Donetsk. They moved the ball very well against Chelsea and never looked intimdated. Especially the Brazilian Willian, who scored two and was extremely comfortable in possession. I've heard Spurs wanted him; too bad they couldn't get it done.

3. Real Madrid. It's hard for me to like Real in light of their cheek pinching coach, Pepe the stomper, and Ronaldo the preener. So I wasn't upset to see Borussia Dortmund beat them once, and come within a few minutes of a second win in Spain. Borussia may not have many stars, but they run the counter extremely well.
4. Luca Modric. Speaking of Real Madrid, I wonder if Luka Modric remains happy about his decision to leave Spurs. He's struggling to find a place in the Madrid lineup, and found himself getting the hook at half time. Still too bad he left for Europe....
This is farlieonfootie for November 10.

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