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9 hours ago, Frederick said:

A banner at every empty stadium demanding the reinstatement of Clive Tydesley as ITV's number one commentator? Seems the least 'we' can do. Matterface? More like Getouttamyface!

 

It sounds like ITV owe Tyldesley and us at least some sort of explanation. Perhaps needless to say though, if it doesn't involve a potential free transfer to Sky and the possibility of a bellowed reveal by Martin Tyler of "and it's Clive!" then I'm not listening.

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12 hours ago, Michael* said:

 

It sounds like ITV owe Tyldesley and us at least some sort of explanation. Perhaps needless to say though, if it doesn't involve a potential free transfer to Sky and the possibility of a bellowed reveal by Martin Tyler of "and it's Clive!" then I'm not listening.

Tyler, who always seemed so robustly competent, has definitely morphed into a dottier specimen over the last ten or so years, which might just be age related (74!), though I'm a believer commentators should be at least 60 anyway as only fair weather Twitter types, the kind who rush to make photoshop mock ups of their team's supposed transfer targets wearing the club kit, would want a wee tyke on the mic during a game that had anything riding on it. I also suspect the reaction to the primal Aguero howl went to Martin's head a bit, did the dreaded catchphrase start before or after that? 

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10 hours ago, Frederick said:

Tyler, who always seemed so robustly competent, has definitely morphed into a dottier specimen over the last ten or so years, which might just be age related (74!), though I'm a believer commentators should be at least 60 anyway as only fair weather Twitter types, the kind who rush to make photoshop mock ups of their team's supposed transfer targets wearing the club kit, would want a wee tyke on the mic during a game that had anything riding on it. I also suspect the reaction to the primal Aguero howl went to Martin's head a bit, did the dreaded catchphrase start before or after that? 

 

I think post-Aguero was probably when the catchphrase started to feel really contrived. Tyler's commentary has gotten increasingly bizarre as of late though, the solid minute spent explaining a joke he'd made about Dani Ceballos and hairdressers culminating in an attempt to mimic Alan Smith's accent the other night was a particular low point.

 

In fairness, I was never the biggest Tyldesley devotee either. The cringe comedy factor of his partnership with Andy Townsend was entertaining at times, but his overly romanticised view of the mighty England, even when the team was playing drab football and struggling to win qualifiers against Macedonia (which of course, was most of the time), had long been a source of irritation for me.

 

With all that said, while wanting to appeal to a younger audience isn't inherently a bad thing, it would be downright naive to think the next generation wouldn't get or listen to an experienced voice. A middle-aged person's idea of what younger people want is almost always how we end up with things like "Fletch and Macca" on BT.

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On 7/13/2020 at 12:56 PM, Michael* said:

While the European ban for Man City has been overturned of course, they do remain under investigation by the Premier League. £500 fine incoming.

 

Who am I kidding, the Premier League would probably settle for a packet of crisps and a can of Fanta.

 

:rofl::rofl::rofl:

 

Yep no standards in football unless they're screwing over small clubs.

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Claudio Ranieri perhaps already en route for Watford's title charge next season.

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13 hours ago, Frederick said:

Superlative choke from Forest, an all time great.

 

Forest's increasingly innovative ways of not getting promoted truly are a thing of wonder but of course, there's always next year (in about six weeks).

 

I will admit to breathing an almighty sigh of relief after Boro's latest date with destiny resulted in an escape from relegation, if only to avoid the indignity of our next pseudo-derby happening in the lower reaches of League One.

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A helluva thing, that. I've long thought we were smoked, steamed and ready to be served up at Kenilworth Road, but credit to Deano and the boys for pulling themselves out of it. We're a funny ol' team, unbelievably foolish at the back especially pre-lockdown, often as dour as we ever were under future Real Madrid coach Steve Bruce (Steve, seriously, I'm sorry) but with Jack and a few of his wacky midfield cohort (and I mean wacky) we do occasionally allow for some good stuff. Huge work to be done over the summer (careful, lads, WOULDN'T WANNA DO A FULHAM 😏)

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1 hour ago, Frederick said:

A helluva thing, that. I've long thought we were smoked, steamed and ready to serve up at Kenilworth Road, but credit to Deano and the boys for pulling themselves out of it. We're a funny ol' team, unbelievably foolish at the back especially pre-lockdown, often as dour as we ever were under future Real Madrid coach Steve Bruce (Steve, seriously, I'm sorry) but with Jack and a few of his wacky midfield cohort (and I mean wacky) we do occasionally allow for some good stuff. Huge work to be done over the summer (careful, lads, WOULDN'T WANNA DO A FULHAM 😏)

 

As nerve-shredding as it can be to only pull away from danger at something approaching the eleventh hour, the first year back in the Premier League was always going to be about survival and Villa managed it with relative ease on the back of the last four games, digging in far more than Watford or Bournemouth after the restart.

 

Which isn't half bad given that the possibility of sounding the Big Sam alarm seemingly came into the equation around March time.

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Sounds like Newcastle are going to be treated to another year of Mike Ashley at the helm and Steve Bruce's unique brand of 4D chess after all, then. On the bright side, the extent to which current crowd restrictions could be lifted for the new season may have just become an irrelevance for them.

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On 7/30/2020 at 10:19 PM, Michael* said:

Sounds like Newcastle are going to be treated to another year of Mike Ashley at the helm and Steve Bruce's unique brand of 4D chess after all, then. On the bright side, the extent to which current crowd restrictions could be lifted for the new season may have just become an irrelevance for them.

A Victorian slumlord and some Tom Clancy bad guys (who for added colour even pinch TV coverage of Burnley-Palace just to give Qatar the finger) negotiating for the right to employee Matt Ritchie is what the youngsters might call 'peak' 2020.

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It doesn't seem like many tears are being shed for Maurizio Sarri at Juve, despite having to his name a European trophy and a Scudetto consecutively and in debut seasons no less. Which doesn't sound too shabby, at least from an outsider's perspective.

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I suppose you'd have to say the apparent lack of enthusiasm for a semi final between PSG and "definitely not Red Bull" Leipzig isn't too surprising. The fact that the not exactly ancient Thomas Tuchel once coached a 20-year-old Julian Nagelsmann at Augsburg makes for a bit of an intriguing subplot, though.

 

Atletico's long-standing naffness before Diego Simeone arrived has almost faded from memory now, so much so that when he delivers Champions League qualification for the eighth year in a row and "only" reaches the quarters, people think it's been a crap season. That's how much he's elevated them.

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20 hours ago, Michael* said:

It doesn't seem like many tears are being shed for Maurizio Sarri at Juve, despite having to his name a European trophy and a Scudetto consecutively and in debut seasons no less. Which doesn't sound too shabby, at least from an outsider's perspective.

When you've got Atalanta scoring by the bag load every week, the pragmatic joys of a squad full of tough codgers, 653 identikit central midfielders and Federico Bernardeschi grinding it out leaves a wee bit to desire when you've got the resources Juve have. It certainly isn't all on Sarri's back, though Lyon sure did a job on them, and I appreciated them for it. A shame Lazio cacked their pants post-lockdown, me ol' mucker Ciro Immobile is a wonder. 

 

20 hours ago, Michael* said:

Atletico's long-standing naffness before Diego Simeone arrived has almost faded from memory now, so much so that when he delivers Champions League qualification for the eighth year in a row and "only" reaches the quarters, people think it's been a crap season. That's how much he's elevated them.

Trouble is, they have to run to stand still in terms of budgeting. Thomas Lemar, goodness me that's been a sad one to witness. Good on Trippier for adjusting well to it all, though. 

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On 8/15/2020 at 4:43 PM, Frederick said:

When you've got Atalanta scoring by the bag load every week, the pragmatic joys of a squad full of tough codgers, 653 identikit central midfielders and Federico Bernardeschi grinding it out leaves a wee bit to desire when you've got the resources Juve have. It certainly isn't all on Sarri's back, though Lyon sure did a job on them, and I appreciated them for it. A shame Lazio cacked their pants post-lockdown, me ol' mucker Ciro Immobile is a wonder.

 

Juve seem to have reached that level where they either win the Champions League or implode, despite having underachieved in said competition for a very long time. What price now Andrea Pirlo develops a stress-induced chain smoking habit by halfway through the season that makes Sarri look restrained. Perhaps needless to say though, he'll still be the coolest guy in the stadium.

 

Had the season not been interrupted, their momentum would have surely at least carried them closer, but the collapse of Lazio (collapzio?) after the restart really was mystifying. Just the manner of it and the way in which they seemed completely incapable of getting anything going at all.

 

In general though, it's been a delight to see Serie A re-emerge as one of the top leagues for entertainment after a long hiatus.

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On 8/15/2020 at 4:43 PM, Frederick said:

Trouble is, they have to run to stand still in terms of budgeting. Thomas Lemar, goodness me that's been a sad one to witness. Good on Trippier for adjusting well to it all, though. 

 

Looking at their most recent acquisitions (particularly Felix, who looks as if he could become a real star), there probably was a plan to make them a less brutalist watch this season, but it's seemingly not always worked and Simeone has often reverted to type.

 

It's hard to contemplate how dull the Leipzig tie could have been, had it been the first of two legs. Not that I particularly dislike two-legged rounds with away goals, but this drama feels different. Keep it up and UEFA might have to look at incorporating these kinds of games into the regular club calendar. Preferably not with Steve McManaman as co-commentator, though. No one needs that.

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Least surprising news ever that Setien has been given his marching orders by Barca, perhaps slightly surprising that Ronald Koeman is in the frame to replace him when Big Sam could have had them stabilised by February.

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21 hours ago, Michael* said:

Least surprising news ever that Setien has been given his marching orders by Barca, perhaps slightly surprising that Ronald Koeman is in the frame to replace him when Big Sam could have had them stabilised by February.

Let's face it, scavenger hunting for Kevin-Prince Boateng and Martin Braithwaite the past two Januarys suggests Big Sam might already be whispering in someone's ear over there. The more you think about it, the more the idea compels. Sammy Lee played 28 times for Osasuna in the '80s so he knows the league, big tick. A Messi/Braithwaite/Carroll forward line with supply from Wahbi Khazri and Stewie Downing? I'm drooling in my armchair. Frankie de Jong under the tutelage of Kevin Nolan? I can scarcely contain my heart rate. Sporting director El-Hadji Diouf wrestling Gerard Pique in the boardroom? Manna from heaven. Get it done!

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10 hours ago, Frederick said:

Let's face it, scavenger hunting for Kevin-Prince Boateng and Martin Braithwaite the past two Januarys suggests Big Sam might already be whispering in someone's ear over there. The more you think about it, the more the idea compels. Sammy Lee played 28 times for Osasuna in the '80s so he knows the league, big tick. A Messi/Braithwaite/Carroll forward line with supply from Wahbi Khazri and Stewie Downing? I'm drooling in my armchair. Frankie de Jong under the tutelage of Kevin Nolan? I can scarcely contain my heart rate. Sporting director El-Hadji Diouf wrestling Gerard Pique in the boardroom? Manna from heaven. Get it done!

 

I genuinely can't picture any scenario where Sam's simultaneous use of a regista, enganche and false ten wouldn't just slay them at Camp Nou. Youri, Ivan, Jay Jay, we're getting the band back together. Gael Givet alongside Gerard Pique at the back, job's a good'un.

 

If it's not to be, perhaps for now he can fill the vacancy with the Dutch national team instead. Oranje is the new Black(burn).

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What better time than now for Leo Messi to make his detractors eat their words and finally settle one of the footballing world's longest running debates. Ryan Shawcross won't know what hit him.

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