OT: EPL open thread

Submitted by MGoPietrowski on February 14th, 2013 at 10:22 PM
It's super slow on the blog

What say we sound off about our favorite classy sports league, the Premier League!

What say you, football fans?

Comments

santy

February 15th, 2013 at 2:26 AM ^

This Man Utd team is somehow on track to finish the season with 96 points, which is like, woah. They lead the table by 12points and most the key fixtures still remaining are at Old Trafford.

The defence is leaky, the midfield has no steel, they don't create very many chances per game. The biggest reason they're in such a good position numerically is the clinical finishing of the strikers. 

gopoohgo

February 15th, 2013 at 12:30 PM ^

The defense has been leaky whilte Vidic has been out with his knee.

When healthy, he absolutely solidifies the back 4 for United, especially against set-pieces.

If Da Gea can build off the momentum of an absolutely brilliant performance against Real on Wednesday, this United team has the makings of a dominant side.

Otherwise, United will win the EPL, and get curbstomped by Barca or Bayern Munich in the UCL.

SmackJack

February 15th, 2013 at 7:24 AM ^

We could beat most EPL teams with just the players we have out on loan. Big game coming up with Man City, that we most get 3 pts from. Hopefully we get rid of Torres in the summer. He takes aloof the next level. Any takers (liverpool)?we need to resign Super Frank though. If we finish top3 in the EPL and add the Europa League and FA cups, this season will have been decently successful.. BTW, anyone else surprised with Swansea at times? I look for them to be towards the top for the next few years..

Blue in Yarmouth

February 15th, 2013 at 7:56 AM ^

No offense but you guys are barely beating "most" EPL teams with the players you currently have, let alone the players you have out on loan. I'm not trying to be a dick, but Chelsea is having a down year by their standards.

I mean, Chelsea has drawn with QPR away and lost to them at home; drawn with swansea away and lost to Swansea at home; also draws with fulham, southhampton and reading and lost to new castle, west ham and WBA...Other than Swansea and WBA those are teams at the bottom of the league.

Also, they have a pretty tough schedule going forward with games at Old Trafford and Man City with 5 home games against teams in the top half of the table. Honestly I think Chelsea will do well just to stay in the top three, but with the way city is playing they should manage that.

As for Swansea, I am surprised, pleasantly so. My family is from South Wales (a place called Llanelli which is about 20 minutes from Swansea). and I have always wanted to see either them or Cardiff get in the EPL and make some noise. I've been waiting a long time, but this run has been great. 

SmackJack

February 15th, 2013 at 8:59 AM ^

There's no doubt that Chelsea is on a down slide after winning the UEFA Champions league and losing Drogba. We definitely look flat at times, but that's because Rafa puts out shit lineups more often than most. The losses to QPR, NEw Castle, and WBA were tough, as were the countless draws.. Wales is a tough place to play and like I said Swansea looks good with Michu. Our standards are high just like Michigan. Get Rafa Benitez out and Jose Mourinho or Guus in and were back to form. But I stick by my comment that our loaned players could beat many teams in the EPL. I want Lukaku back! Testing year at the bridge, but we're still in 3rd. Bring on the away fixtures in Manchester. We'll level that shit town.

Blue in Yarmouth

February 15th, 2013 at 9:22 AM ^

Honestly, he seemed to have a formula for winning in Europe but could neevr do much in the EPL when he was with Liverpool. With the talent Chelsea has it is definitely a condemnation of a coach if he can't win consistently there.

As for Lukaku, he is playing brilliantly and Chelsea would do well to keep him on their first team following this loan. 

As much as I agree with your assessment of Manchester being a shit town (from a literal perspective I mean) I hope you come out of that 1-1 as I am a Man. U fan. Pound city, but let the Devil's win.

SmackJack

February 15th, 2013 at 10:02 AM ^

Man U cant have all the monies AND all the points.. It was amusing how we played back to back games at the end of October which had a combined 12 goals. High energy football by traditional English giants.. My ideal outcome is a win at Old Trattford and at least a draw at Ethiad. Fair play to the red devils.. Another good season.

the bee train

February 15th, 2013 at 11:40 AM ^

I know Llanelli well! I studied abroad in Carmarthen back in 2001 and fell in love with the country. Naturally, Swansea is my team, and I also am pleasantly surprised. I'd love to see them add another striker in the summer window (like Tom Ince) and maybe something defensively, but I am in love with this team. Hopefully they TCOB at Wembley next week and make the Europa League for next season. Do you ever get over there? I'd love to go back, especially after having our first kid. When I was there Swansea was garbage and there was serious talk about them folding, so this turnaround has been amazing.

Blue in Yarmouth

February 15th, 2013 at 12:17 PM ^

I try to fly back every two years. I have lots of aunts, uncles and cousins all who live in South Wales, most in "the Hendy" and Pontardulais. My great Aunt is actually turning 100 next year and if she manages to hold on I will be taking my wife and kids for a visit. My Wife has been many times with me, but it will be my children's first trip. 

I was born and raised here in Canada, but have always felt as though my home was Wales. We always made frequent trips growing up and I always had a special connection with the country and my family there. I love it!

As for Swansea, I will be making the trip next year and making sure I can take in a game, and hopefully by then they willhave added that much needed striker you mentioned in your post. Always great to hear from people who have heard of Wales, much less actually spent time there.

swan flu

February 15th, 2013 at 7:50 AM ^

Everton. I was so hopeful because they always start slow then blaze into the top 7 late in the season. This year they started top 4, i started thinking they may be able to pull off a top 4 finish, considering how much Arsenal and Tottenham were struggling early. Hopefully the Toffees can qualify for Europa this year.

ATLalumni

February 15th, 2013 at 9:35 AM ^

Long suffering Liverpool fan here.  It's like being a Lions fan right now.  You just look for things to be optimistic about, but you know its all for naught.  At least I have booked my tour of Anfield for April, meet with legends like Dalglish and Gerrard, go in the locker room, then take in a game with the Kop.

Blue in Yarmouth

February 15th, 2013 at 12:26 PM ^

make the trip. Not only for the football, but honestly, I have travelled quite a bit in my lifetime and I have yet to find a country (or set of countries) that are as beautiful as the British Isles. England, Scotland and Wales have some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen, couple that with the history and it is an amazing trip. It's refreshing to go to a country that honors historic treasures rather than tearing them down for the next great shopping mall. Driving through the ocuntryside and seeing castles appear out of nowhere is incredible.

All that and then the chance to watch what I consider the best football in the world and I say if you can afford it, go for it. Flights really aren't that bad and there are accomodations to be had at a reasonable price. The last time my wife and I went we stayed for three weeks and travelled Scotland and England for a week before heading to stay with family for the final two. We had a rental car for the entire time and all the expenses came to roughly 3000 doallrs. You do have to shop around to find deals though. 

GoBlueBrooklyn

February 15th, 2013 at 9:57 AM ^

It has been a rough few years... I have felt many parallels with being a Michigan fan...

The Hodgson/ Rich Rod tenures being at roughly the same time, Hoke/ Dalglish (Michigan Man/ Liverpool legend) coming in around the same time, winning the League Cup/ Wining the Sugar bowl, tough losses to rivals this year. Michigan basketball and Liverpool also seem in synch with our recent skid in hoops coming at the same time as Liverpool have struggled against West Brom and now Zenit... things feel too synched up. I watched the Wisconsin game and just KNEW LFC would lose to Albion, and once that was done, MSU felt impossible and after that, Zenit was out of the question... someone must break the cycle!  If only both Michigan football and Liverpool could get back on top, but we're a few years away on both counts (if ever), so it just frustrates... I've been very quiet about my teams, just gritting my teeth and hoping for better days ahead, especially in BIG matches/ rivalries, both Mich football and LFC have had a really rough patch this year... painful 

snowcrash

February 15th, 2013 at 11:54 AM ^

More like the Red Sox, pre-2004. Liverpool is having yet another transition season, but they may be able to make some noise (seriously contend for a CL spot) next year with Suarez and Sturridge for a full season, the young guys all a year older and hopefully wiser, and everyone more familiar with Rodgers' system. Emphasis on "may".

YNWA

Blue in Yarmouth

February 15th, 2013 at 12:31 PM ^

but I have to say I can't stand Suarez. I'm not a Liverpool fan in general, but I love Garrard and don't wish Liverpool anything but luck when they play anyone other than ManU, but Suarez is one guy I would never root for. He is a talent, there's no denying that, but he is one of the most obnoxious little weasles I have ever watched play.No offense to any Liverpool supporters, I like your team, just not him.

SmackJack

February 15th, 2013 at 2:03 PM ^

I can see Sturride underperforming well into his career. Suarez has the same lack of effort and attitude issues that Chelsea is having with Torres.

Brendan Rodgers is just lacking football knowledge and experience. He's got a heart for the game though.. a la Jason Garrett.

snowcrash

February 15th, 2013 at 4:36 PM ^

Suarez' motor is not the problem. If anything he often runs into trouble because he tries to do too much, not too little. Liverpool fans criticize him for diving, arguing with refs, or running his mouth, but never for lack of effort.

Torres, maybe. In the months before he was sold, his usual MO was to have one moment of brilliance and then disappear for the rest of the game.

SmackJack

February 15th, 2013 at 5:17 PM ^

Your right. That was a poor choice of words. I should have said he seems complacent to let others make the play. The finishing is where I see a lack of focus, which I mistook as a lack of effort. This was evident in the Zenit game, when he couldn't finish a one-on-one chance with the keeper early. Either he's being complacent, losing focus, or isn't attacking out of formation as needed. To busy worried about kissing his tattooed wrist..

That said, I'd still take Torres over Suarez. Torres chances on net are more of a mystery to me.. I really think he is just getting brushed off the play. The know-how and skill are there, but the geometry isnt going his way. Suarez is swell though. Just think, without his goals this year Liverpool would be towards the bottom flirting with relegation.

SmackJack

February 15th, 2013 at 1:40 PM ^

No modern EPL titles.. Props for the FA Cup last year. Brendan Rodgers makes Rafa Benitez, a former Liverpool manager, look like a genius. Ok I'll consider y'all the Braves of the EPL. It's really not your fault though.. Liverpool is a city historically settled by Irish immigrants which has been marginalized by the rest of Britain. That spills over to your football club. I don't wish anything on Liverpool that they aren't already taking care of themselves.

bacon1431

February 15th, 2013 at 10:16 AM ^

Not EPL at the moment (nor in the near future), but I'm a big Wolverhampton supporter. In the last calendar year, we have a winning % <20%, are on our 4th manager, and just above the drop zone on goal differential for our second consecutive relegation. The manager we fired last year is doing well at Ipswich, the manager we said no thanks to (Steve Bruce - who I didn't want and still don't) is pushing Hull to the Prem League, we added nobody in the transfer window despite being winless since mid December. We just now added a quality CB from Reading on loan, although CB was probably our strongest position. We're thinking about extending one of our strikers through 2015 despite him not scoring since God knows when. Our captain, who isn't very good, is criticising our better players while he can barely play 5 consecutive matches w/o getting a red card.

And that's not the half of it. Let's just say it's all fucked up.

SmackJack

February 15th, 2013 at 10:28 AM ^

I respect your support of a non-perennial top flight club. I follow Reading, especially their youth. Reading is fortunate to be enjoying a place in the EPL this season. Hope that Latvian they loaned y'all works out.. Chelsea and Feyenoord are the only clubs keeping me excited about European football at the moment, as Rangers are in they're mess.

bacon1431

February 15th, 2013 at 11:19 AM ^

Gorkss should be good at this level (won promotion w/ QPR & Reading in consecutive years)  and his contract is up in the summer so this is a loan in anticipation of a permanent move. I just don't want him taking too much pitch time away from our young CB Danny Batth who is a future Wolves captain and looks like he could develop into a top flight level player from what I've seen. Gorkss, Batth, and Roger Johnson (formerly of Birmingham & Cardiff)  gives us 3 good Championship level CB. Need to fix our LB situation.

Blue in Yarmouth

February 15th, 2013 at 12:35 PM ^

How is it you became a fan of Wolves? Do you have family from England or...I just wonder because it seems most North American fans gravitate to the bigger clubs mainly because they are the only ones who get any coverage on this side of the atlantic, so I wondered how you got to be a fan of Wolves. Just curious is all. The same question would apply to the poster who said reading is their team. If you'd like to share I'd be interested in reading.

SmackJack

February 15th, 2013 at 1:32 PM ^

I consider my true team DC United. I think as Americans we should support our league first. We have a growing system in the MLS and should do our best to support it. I was born in DC as well and Cincinnati doesn't have a team at the moment.

Anyway, I support Chelsea in the EPL, a big club, because of ancestors from West London and similar traditions to older clubs like Glasgow Rangers. You'll find that football fans who follow a particular club also support other clubs that have formed alliances with each other. My DC United support has nothing in common with my European support. However, Chelsea, Rangers, and Linfield (Northern Ireland) have an alliance called the "Blues Brothers". They are traditionally conservative, nationalist, and loyal to the crown. The "Blues Brothers" have alliances in other leagues and countries.. Such as Feyenoord in the Dutch Leauge and Lazio in Serie A.

As for Reading, their fans often support Chelsea at away fixtures to increase numbers.. It's interesting to follow a smaller team in a lower league like Reading to watch them grow.. It takes more than money to take a team like Reading into the top flight.

To compare this to NCAAF, I have a soft place for Eastern Michigan because of its proximity to Ann Arbor and the relationship the students and fans have with each other. But if they play each other the line is drawn.

Hope I wasn't rambling.. just wanted to offer a humble example of European football from my own support and opinion.

gopoohgo

February 15th, 2013 at 1:37 PM ^

I say 'meh' to MLS. 

Sorry; just can't get into it.  When you can watch EPL, or a Classico, then watch a MLS game, it's like watching the Heat v. Thunder, then immediately watching a WNBA game.  The pace, skill, passing, and finishing are light years ahead in the elite European teams v. MLS.

Don't get me wrong, MLS has been improving tremendously and hopefully will pay dividends for the USMNT, but they are still way behind the Euros.

SmackJack

February 15th, 2013 at 1:49 PM ^

Pick an MLS team. Support it. Watch their games.. even if it's only for a half. If every American soccer fan did that you'd see the popularity and quality of the league skyrocket. You can still watch Euro leagues, MLS goes on through the summer.

And your comparison of the NBA to WNBA is off base. An MLS player can move on to the EPL if they are talented enough.. No way on earth that graduation happens in your example.. Euro leagues are better quality, but not to the extent your stating. EPL also has the money, venues, and fans comparable to our NFL.