Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Creepy: Thoughts on the BPL and Champions League

photo by mdpai75via PhotoRee

Ed has some creepy thoughts:

Spurs keep playing well and winning the games they're supposed to win.  This means they're creeping up the bracket.  The tough part is Liverpool seems to be doing the same with a big win over Fulham in the last minute.  Spurs Manager Tim Sherwood is doing something smart that ABV never did -- bench Roberto Soldado.  The Spaniard is probably a very good player but he's simply not mentally fit to play or make an impact at this point and needs to sit until he regains some confidence.

I also like the middle three that Sherwood is playing lately:  Dembele, Paulinho, and the Algerian (now) youngster Nabil Bentaleb.  While Bentaleb struggles a bit defensively in the holding role, his creativity and footwork have freed things up in the center of the pitch.  His speed is also better than Erikson's, making him a welcome addition to the squad and yet another player that AVB had no confidence in.  At this point I'd take him over Llamela and Chadli any day.

It was nice to see Younes Kaboul out there at center back; even nicer to see him perform very well.  It's rumored that Kaboul is the fastest guy on the roster in the 100.  True?  Who knows.  All I know is that every time I see him I can't help but think he may be a genie.

But getting back to my original question -- which team do Spurs have a realistic chance of passing to get to the precious number four position in the league?  Not sure anyone is a good candidate.  Arsenal are the weakest team but they' also are the farthest away.  The closest team, Liverpool, is the hottest right now.  Chelsea wins the big ones but continues to bungle things against weaker sides.  Yet the Blues seem most likely to win the league.  And City, well, even without Aguero they're pretty darn good.  Nothing to do but keep your head down and keep, well, creeping.

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This weeks Champions League games should be interesting.  The biggest is Manchester City against Barcelona.  Many thought City could come in and crush the Catalonians, but without Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho this seems doubtful.  Plus, Manager Manuel Pellegrini seems to have a knack of being outcoached when he's not familiar with an opponent.  Look for Barca to get at least a goal in this one, putting a lot of pressure on City to win at Camp Nou.
Arsenal have the daunting task of facing Bayern Munich.  I expect a blowout.  Everyone expects a blowout.  Which means it will be closer than you think, but still Bayern should have no problem getting past the shaky Gunners' defense.  Sorry BPL, but it's looking like a bad day for you tomorrow.

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As a final thought, there's talk talk talk of Becks bringing a team to Miami.  Problem is there needs to be a new soccer stadium.  The other problem is that Miami is the place pro sports teams go to die.  Unless, of course, you have the best player in the world on the roster and you win championships (see e.g. the Miami Heat).  It would be fun if this got done, even funner if it's done nearer to Fort Lauderdale, but there's not much hope in that.

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This is farlieonfootie for February 18.

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