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shadowen On January 17, 2020

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1966New Post! Jun 01, 2019 @ 14:11:45
Nice to see NL back at the Jungle.
Jennifer1984 On January 18, 2020
Returner and proud

Penzance, United Kingdom
#1967New Post! Jun 02, 2019 @ 08:27:20
And so Liverpool are the champions of Europe and Chelsea have won the Europa League, the second tier competition. Two English clubs hold Europe's premier trophies for the first time ever.

The most controversial match was the Arsenal v Chelsea final because of the venue the match was played at. Baku, in Azerbaijan is 4500 Km from London. It's a long way for fans to travel, tickets were very expensive and both clubs were only allocated 13'000 tickets anyway for a match held in a stadium with a capacity of nearly 70'000. The match had to kick off at 11 pm local time to allow for TV viewers in England to watch it in prime time. Azerbaijani TV coverage was also poor with the camera view too far back which showed the play from too far away.

The huge empty spaces in the stands prompted the Baku administrators to open the gates and allow people in for free, which will only exacerbate the annoyance of fans who stumped up big money for tickets only to find that if they'd travelled without them they'd have been able to walk in for free.

Add to this, Arsenal were deprived of being able to play Mkhtarian because the Azerbaijani authorities couldn't guarantee the safety of the Armenian in their country. This is something UEFA need to look at when allocating stadiums in countries that have major disputes ongoing with their neighbours, for major matches. One wonders what will happen if Armenia qualify for the European Championships. Baku has been allocated 3 group matches and a Quarter Final in the tournament.

All the goals came in a second half where Chelsea dominated and Arsenal crumbled. Eden Hazard waved the Chelsea fans goodbye with two goals and we must feel sorry for Petr Cech who had four stuck past him in his final match as a professional. He's been a great goalkeeper who has graced the Premier League for 13 seasons and will be missed. He couldn't have done anything to stop any of the goals.

Arsenal really need to do something about Mesut Ozil. Once again he failed to deliver when a performance from him was really needed. Too many times he's disappeared in matches when Arsenal have needed him to deliver. There's nothing wrong with his ability, just his apparent desire. "Ozil Goes AWOL" has become far too familiar a byline in embarrassing Arsenal defeats.

The Champions League final last night in Madrid was a much better attended affair but sadly didn't live up to the pre-match hype.
Perhaps the game was hamstrung by a penalty award that I fear may become far too commonplace next season.

Law changes make it likely that players will practice chipping the ball up at defenders arms and hands in the penalty area. When Mane chipped the ball up onto Sissoko's body in the first minute, the ball deflected off the defender's chest and brushed against his arm. There was nothing Sissoko could have done to avoid a completely inadvertent handball but according to the laws as they have been revised the referee correctly awarded a penalty that Salah smashed past Lloris.

1-0 to Liverpool and this, I think, had a major effect on the match thereafter. Spurs dominated possession but Liverpool shut up shop and killed the game. Dull, dull, dull football for the next 80 minutes with nary a shot on goal and very little from Spurs to break Liverpool down.

Harry Kane had been preferred to Lucas Moura which was surprising considering Kane has been off with injury for more than a month and Moura has scored two hat tricks, including the one that got Spurs into the final. Moura has a right to be quite miffed about that.

It wouldn't have been so bad if Kane had performed but he was completely anonymous. Dele Alli didn't turn up either. Son plodded around as if he was playing in lead divers boots and Eriksen was marked out of the game by Henderson.

When Origi came on and smashed a late second goal it was all over.

So.... congratulations to Liverpool. They've only won it six times..!! Joy for Jurgen Klopp who now has the trophy his leadership and team building deserves. Loved his comment when asked on camera if he was going to go for a beer. He replied "I feel like I'm already pissed." Love ya, Jurgen. Take a bow mate. You've earned it.

A brief mention for the female streaker (not really, she kept her top on and wore a tiny thong) who ran on the pitch in the first half. The thong really was tiny, but it was there just the same.

Apparently, she's a Spurs fan and has been nicknamed "Crotchettino"


Congratulations Liverpool

shadowen On January 17, 2020

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1968New Post! Jun 02, 2019 @ 13:58:19
Despite her name Wolanski appears to be Brazilian.
shadowen On January 17, 2020

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1970New Post! Jun 25, 2019 @ 14:29:12
No surprise to see Rafa leave...
shadowen On January 17, 2020

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1971New Post! Sep 01, 2019 @ 12:59:04
A nice win for the bhoys at the hunnery.
shadowen On January 17, 2020

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1972New Post! Sep 01, 2019 @ 13:01:01
Take me to your paradise,
I want to see the Jungle.
shadowen On January 17, 2020

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1973New Post! Sep 01, 2019 @ 13:07:27
shadowen On January 17, 2020

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1974New Post! Sep 07, 2019 @ 15:51:54
I feel for Bury supporters...
shadowen On January 17, 2020

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1975New Post! Sep 15, 2019 @ 11:41:09
What a win for the injury ravaged Canaries over the billionaires of City.

The absence of Aymeric Laporte obviously is hurting the visitors but Norwich were without seven players themselves.
Jennifer1984 On January 18, 2020
Returner and proud

Penzance, United Kingdom
#1976New Post! Nov 09, 2019 @ 20:12:50
There is a belief among some people in the game that if a team does badly the manager should get the sack. They're entitled to their opinion and that's cool, but I think they should at least be consistent..... you know.... apply that argument to all instances of team failure.

Once upon a time, the England women's team was brought up from the very bottom of international football to a highly competitive level. Sadly, the manager who started that building process did her work with an ageing team and concentrated her main efforts on creating a structure to build a new team of young players. The team she took to the world cup did not do well, but she didn't expect them to. She was building for the future. But after a vindictive campaign against her, by a player angry at being left out of the world cup team and her husband, who had been overlooked for the England job, she was sacked from her job before her crop of new young players could come to fruition.

It has been argued on this forum that she got the sack because of results. While it is true that the results were poor, there were other, darker forces at work against her.

And so her crop of new young players were taken over by a new manager. A man who, it was later revealed, was known at the time of his appointment to have a past as a sexual predator, a racist and a misogynist. Who would put such a man in charge of a team of women..? The FA, that's who.

But all was OK because he "got results." Nobody paid any attention to the fact that he got these results off the back of the team building carried out by his predecessor. He took all the credit and for her work in the creation of the team he was able to field, and as far as his employers and the football world was concerned, that was OK.

All OK, that is, until he over reached himself and found that one of his black players wasn't going to stand for his racism. A lawyer by profession, she was able to take appropriate action over his remarks to her and set in train a series of events that brought his murky past into the harsh light of dayn and despite the best (or worst, depending on your point of view) efforts of the FA to cover up his misdemeanors, both past and present, he was exposed for the vile man he is. Eventually, and with much bad grace - and after every attempt to keep him in his post - they bowed to the inevitable and let him go.

And so to his successor. The current incumbent of the job. A man with far less qualification and organisational ability than the female who had held the job (she holds the highest coaching qualification it is possible to get, and he doesn't) and having NO managerial experience anywhere, prior to applying for the job, the FA gave him the top job in English women's football.

Phil Neville came into the job with a ready made team (comprising mostly of the players reared by the female manager (remember her..?)) and that had already qualified for the world cup. He took that team to the world cup and at first all went well. The team won group matches against the weaker teams. England reached the Semi Final of the tournament. But by then, Phil Neville was starting to re-shape the team into his own vision of how he wanted them to play. The results since then have been:

England 1 USA 2
England 1 Sweden 2
Belgium 3 England 3
Norway 2 England 1
England 1 Brazil 2
Portugal 0 England 1 (hooray...!!! A win...!!)
England 1 Germany 2

1 win, 1 draw and 5 defeats in just about 4 months.

Not very good, is it..?

Results are bad. The team itself hasn't changed that much since he took over. The difference is that pretty much the same players that he inherited, have gone from being a successful team to a losing team. I've just watched the match against Germany tonight and frankly, England were awful. Losing by only 1-2 flatters them.

The question all this is coming to is...... why isn't Phil Neville's job under any threat...?

The FA were very quick to dump Hope Powell on the spurious argument of poor results when the entire footballing community here knew it she was sacked by an insidious cabal motivated by envy, racism, homophobia and long held grudges.

But a man in the job..? Ahhhh, now that's different. Public disgrace forced the FA's hand but still public opinion almost had to crowbar Mark Sansom out of the post after multiple attempts at cover up, not taking legal advice, lying about his history and buck passing over who knew what. The FA did everything in their power to hold on to him.

And now we have a manager who is conspicuously failing in the job. The team is not only losing matches, but the players have gone backwards in terms of formation, tactics, motivation and - it is plain to see if you're watching -desire to compete. I have never seen such a lacklustre performance from an England women's team.

A lot of heads were down as the players traipsed off the pitch with hardly a look back at the 77'768 fans who had set a record attendance for a women's international in England. How let down and disappointed must they feel...?

And yet.... no questions are being asked of Phil Neville's tenure as England women's manager. Why..?

If a female manager was sacked when results were bad..... why is the man in the job not being sacked for the same reason..?
shadowen On January 17, 2020

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1977New Post! Nov 21, 2019 @ 17:50:10
shadowen On January 17, 2020

Bunyip Bend, Australia
#1978New Post! Nov 21, 2019 @ 17:52:17
Interesting times at Tottenham.
Jennifer1984 On January 18, 2020
Returner and proud

Penzance, United Kingdom
#1979New Post! Nov 24, 2019 @ 06:54:15
I hope Spurs know what they're letting themselves in for by hiring Maurinho. They got a win at West Ham yesterday but right now anybody could beat the Irons.

Manchester City got back to winning ways, beating Chelsea in the televised tea time kick off. Not convincing though. They really need to get LaPorte and Zinchenko back and bring some stability to their defence. The swagger that City have played with for these last two seasons is not there now and I put that down to nervousness over their defensive fraility. Pep needs to deal with this.. in the transfer market if necessary... during the upcoming transfer window.

Liverpool roll on, overcoming a spirited Crystal Palace who were the latest team to complain about VAR, having a goal chalked off for a push which they would otherwise have gotten away with. It's funny how they weren't complaining about VAR a few weeks ago when they benefited from it.

Liverpool look good though. I can't see them letting the title slip this season.

Leicester City are doing brilliantly under Rodgers. Celtics loss is Leicesters gain. They look solid in every department and Vardy looks hungry again. Announcing that he is no longer available for international football has focused him on his club game. Leicester look very good for a Champions League place next season.

Not long now until Arsenal part company with their manager I reckon. It is probably only a matter of how long it takes the board to find his replacement behind his back before they sack him. Such is football in the 21st century.

The expected suspects are propping up the table while Bournemouth continue to improve. They lost yesterday, but Eddie Howe has done such a terrific job to establish the Dorset club in the Premier League. Truly a tremendous achievement. Who says the poor clubs can't survive at the top...?
Jennifer1984 On January 18, 2020
Returner and proud

Penzance, United Kingdom
#1980New Post! Nov 29, 2019 @ 05:15:42
David Duckenfield has been found not guilty of gross negligence at Hillsborough in April 1989 which lead to the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans.

Duckenfield was the senior police officer at the match where what has come to be known as The Hillsborough Disaster took place. 96 fans died when a crush developed at the Leppings Lane end of the ground after Duckenfield gave the order for an exit gate at that end of the ground to be opened to allow fans in who had arrived for the match without tickets.

Many more were injured and the events that transpired that afternoon are still harrowing to see on video 30 years later.

The Sun newspaper in particular spread a number of articles blaming Liverpool fans for the tragedy, accusing them of being drunk and behaving like hooligans. Complete untruth. It also accused them of breaking the gate down when in fact, it was Duckenfield who gave the order to open it.

A crush developed on the terrace and because at that time, anti hooligan fences were in place to prevent fans from invading the pitch, those at the front had nowhere to escape to and the deadly crush developed.

Many other things went wrong that day. All of which were under the remit of the senior police officer - David Duckenfield - to control, which the families repeatedly argued he failed to do which made him responsible.

David Duckenfield declared himself to be in no way to blame for anything and various inquiries since have repeatedly absolved him. But the families of those died persisted and public pressure built for Duckenfield to be brought to trial.

That trial has now taken place and to the incredulity of all, he has been found not guilty.

Naturally the families are disappointed and some statements have been quite angry. Liverpool FC have issued a statement supportive of the families and has pointed out that it has become evident that Liverpool fans were not to blame for the tragedy.

With this verdict, which must now be accepted, meaning that this is finally the end of the matter, the question must be asked: If Duckenfield isn't to blame, who is..?
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