Premiership Soccer

edited August 2012 in Diversions
This is probably just a discussion for Lowlife and myself, but I hope others will contribute too! But I thought it might be an idea to keep it away from the music. To introuce the thread I suspect a lot of the discussion will revolve around two teams anyway.

Manchester United is my team. Over recent years they are the top team in England, with many supporters throughout the World. Other fans criticise MU fans for this, not having a local fanbase. But I have supported them now for 55 years, when as a boy they were my local team. In the primary school I went to, you either supported Manchester United or Manchester City. Fortunately I did choose the right team, as otherwise my life would have been very different.

Lowlife supports Tottenham Hotspurs (often known as the Spurs). This is also the team that all my wife's family, including my stepson and now granddaughter, support too - my brother in law is a season ticket holder. So inevitably I also see/read a lot about Spurs too.

Until the last few seconds of last season, Manchester United were leading the title race, but Manchester City scored in added time to snatch it on goal difference, the closest race there has been. Most teams want to finish in the top four as that means they qualify for the Champions League, Europe's (and hence the World's) top club competition. Spurs did finish fourth last season, but were denied their place because Chelsea took it by winning the Champions League and qualified instead of Spurs. The best players in the World all want to play at Champions League clubs. Consequently, one of Spurs best player, Luka Modric, has just moved to Real Madrid. In many ways, the CL has more of the best players than the World Cup, as it includes great players whose country will not qualify for the World Cup. Certainly the top six or so European teams would generally beat the best international teams.

The new season started ten days ago. Spurs lost away by having a dubious penalty awarded against them. MU lost at Everton. Already this season their best defence players are injured. But normality resumed on Saturday. MU beat Fulham 3-2, with Spurs drawing 1-1. It was a typical Spurs score, they led 1-0 with not long to go, then let in a goal. Spurs fans come to expect this to happen. Even when they are 3-0 up at half time they have been known to loose the game. If matches ended at around 70 minutes, Spurs would do much better. Comversely Manchester United have a reputation of keeping going until the very end if they are behind, often winning in the last ten minutes of a match.

On Friday the Champions League draw will be made - four English teams - the two from Manchester, Arsenal and Chelsea. There is a second tier European competiton - The Europa League. Some teams are happy to reach this, but others who have missed out on the Champions League and want to try to qualify next time, don't put out their best team for this competition. It will be interesting to see how Spurs approch it this season with their new manager.

So the season enfolds. It is great to have soccer back. On Sunday afternoons Sky TV screen two consecutive games. Sunday afternoons in the summer are just not the same!!


  • @greg - My teenage son has travelled all over the world this past year + (long story), but as a result has become a big "soccer" fan in general and an Arsenal fan specifically. He got to tour their stadium this spring on a terribly rainy and dark day. We tought he would be miserable, but he had the best day ever - said it was like a religious experience! He has been amazed that no matter where he goes (including remote areas of Nepal) everyone seems to follow the Premier League. It's replacing his lifelong interest in NFL football, which I would never had guessed would happen.
  • Meh, I'm a Forest fan. Get back to me when you have back to back European cups!

  • Yes Rudie, there is only one country still to be fully conquored by soccer as the major sport, and even that has begun! My team, along with Liverpool, Aston Villa and others are now owned by Americans. It surprised me in West Africa, for example, to see that the main items in the sports sections of newspapers were about Premiership teams. You are right in that it does create a religious type fervour amongst fans. Later today is the Champions League draw - big.
  • Welcome Rudie and Nanker to the footie slot, Rudie as you proberly know Spurs and Arsenal are big rivals. The grounds are about 4 miles apart and where I was born and raised in London was right in the middle. It is funny to see friends and families split up by this and in the week before they play each other the banter can get quite funny and sharp. My best man was a 'gooner' and when his sister got married recently to an Arsenal fan I had to go the store and get her a Spurs garter!

    I feel the way things are going that the season has not started at Spurs but I am hoping to watch the game on Saturday and looking forward to the Europa Cup draw. I see Sparta Prague are still in and have mentioned to Mrs Lowfie that she always wanted to go there, so far with not much response if it included football.

    Greg could be an interesting season at Utd especially with City seeming to still be buying everyone, RVP was an interesting buy and I am sure Ferguson would not splash out unless he thought it was right. We are due to play each other soon so it will be an intersting day. I am watching with baited breath at whats going to happen before the transfer window, Spurs always pull something out of the bag at the last minuite, cant wait to see who.
  • Transfer Window Day.

    Rumours today include from a Spurs angle

    VDV to go back to Hamburg
    Berbatov to go to Spurs ??????!!!! ( That will not be popular on the terraces)
    Somebody very late on that we never expected
  • Yes the Berbatov rumour came from Sir Alex at his press conference, so there might be something in it. I'm surprised to see VDV going, but who are they going to buy in? Lots of names suggested. I know Levy likes to leave things late, but it means Spurs don't start their season until 2 or 3 games have been played.
  • VDV has been confirmed
    Rose to Sunderland on loan
    Jenas also rumours to Sunderland and Bentley to Blackpool

    VDV has gone at a price more than we bought him, this is typical of Spurs as we have so far made a profit on every transfer deal.

    BTW, the Amanda Palmer tracks were really good
  • I suppose Michael Owen is still a free agent, so Levy could sign him too!!

    Yes, agreed about Amanda Palmer, I will look out for the full album when it is out.
  • Rumours are that the local non league club Haringey Borough even rejected him although they said that he could graze his horses there to keep the grass down!
  • We've been given word from Arsenal that, as things stand, it is unlikely there will be any major arrivals before the transfer deadline

    So that is where he is going, as you could no longer call him a major signing!
  • Berbatov signs for Fulham (phew)
  • I assume that you were at White Heart Lane on Saturday, Lowlife. We listened to the second half on the radio. All I can say is typical Spurs! New manager, some new players but just the same result. I hope things improve quickly. At least MU played until the end. RVP impressed despite the penalty miss - he could be the buy of the summer. My 'other team' is Peterborough United - we moved from Manchester to the Fens when I was 10, co-inciding with the Posh's first season in the League. In my teens and twenties I regularly saw them play, and still look out for their results. They have had a bad start, four games, no points. Unfortunately they have mainly played teams going for promotion so far, so I hope it does not lead to a loss of confidence. Maybe SAF will lend his son a decent striker for a few games - a certain Wayne Ronney might want some games in a month or so!!
  • Hi Greg,

    Watched it in the pub on Saturday, games at WHL are out this year as my supplier of tickets is working now in the Far East. AVB is trying his ideas out but we looked slow and cumbersome and you just knew that Norwich were going to score. As it is International weekend now AVB will have time to work on the players for a bit, those who off course dont get called up.

    Great result yesterday for you, RVP looked quality and looks like a great signing for you.

    Looking forward to Friday night to watch England, will be watching it with a my mates most of whom are Gunners ( how does this happen ) but I have early start with family on Saturday so not too much of the dark stuff!
  • Yes I'm looking forward to Friday too. We'll miss Rooney and Carroll. But hopefully Danny Welbeck will have a good game - my concern is our lack of goal potential. I hope AVB can turn it round, as I'd like to see Spurs do well.
  • Hi Greg,

    Hope you have sorted out your problems with the broadband, we have the same problems when we go to the end of our contract. Lots of haggling but got a great deal after we threatend to leave.

    Big game Saturday, bet its the usual we score first and lose 3-1. Bad draw for you in the League Cup, although a trip to Norwich is not great for us either
  • Great to be back Lowlife. Yes big game but on ESPN, so not so easy for me to watch. I am sure every Spurs fan must dread being up 3-1 or similar against MU at half time. I remember last time it happened. We were in the car, ny wife was really crowing at half time about the score. I calmy reminded her of previous events, and the rest is history. Good to see SAF playing Rooney, Welbeck and Chicarito together last night. Just replace one of them with RVP and you know what Spurs could be facing. But defenders certainly a problem at the moment. Chelsea squad against United squad - it might depend upon who puts out the strongest team, but Spurs ought to beat Norwich
  • Well done, Spurs! What a game (well second half) - even until the end I was expecting more goals. I must admit at half time I still had not expected United to lose, given past history 11 years to the day. When United scored at 2-1 I thought this is it, then Spurs get one back and United get another, all in 139 seconds, I really was expecting another 2 goals at least from the home side. But well done Spurs for not letting in more. I actually put part of the reason for defeat down to SAF for his team selection. Dare I say it, but I think it is time that Ryan Giggs either retires or has a long holiday. Once he had gone off United were a different team with Rooney.
  • Hi Greg,

    Thanks for the congrats, yes rather celebrated a bit too much on Saturday but what a game, the last half hour was pure toture and I thought you were going to grab a point at the end.

    Thought SAF was a bit silly moaning about the time but he has to complain about something. Once Rooney came on it was a different game but I though Defoe was brilliant and Galas was huge in defence, I moan about him a lot but in the big games his experience really shows.

    Good luck this week on the Euro travels, we play in Athens on Thursday, will be interested in who AVB plays
  • edited October 2012
    Totally agree that SAF made himself look mean at best over the time, but I have never understood why soccer does not follow Rugby Union with time being out of control of the ref. Interesting, from a MU perspective that a couple of newspaper reports agree with my view that Ryan Giggs is getting almost past it. He's had a great career, but as today's Guardian suggests it must have helped Spurs having Giggs and Scholes both play. Yes, Europe again. I'll miss United's game on TV as we're going to see Northampton Town play in Division 2! I have a feeling that AVB wants to do well in Europe, but finishing third is much more important to most fans
  • What a week it has been - I felt sorry for Spurs on Saturday as Chelsea really were not that good, United going down early yet still winning against Stoke. But they were the only British team to win in the Champions League this week, but again giving the opposition a head start. It is going to be an interesting weekend though with United playing Chelsea twice in a few will be interesting to see how the sides vary between the two competitions.
  • Hi Greg,

    Saturday was not a good day, without Bale in the team we lost our shape and Chelsea were just too good for us.

    Some strange Euro results, I was quite shocked with the City and Arsenal scores it seems that the English teams seem to be going backward at the momment.

    Will watch our Euro game tonight, we have to win it to carry on our campaign and we go again at Southampton on Sunday, might sneak in the pub to watch it
  • edited October 2012
    Some good results today! Quite pleased to see Everton and Liverpool both drop points with a draw. Good victory for Spurs away - I've not read any reports yet. Then I watched the Chelsea - Man United game. The right result if somewhat fortunate, but that is how it goes. United were the better team IMO, but what a midfield Chelsea have got. First sending off deserved, not so sure about the second. Part two on Wednesday - but it'll be differenty teams!
  • Great result for United, watched the 2nd half after the Spurs game.

    Spurs looked weary yesterday,1st half were very good but shabby in the 2nd. Bale made all the difference but wil take the 3 points. Norwich in the cup Tuesday then Wigan on Saturday, must get 3 points there.
  • Yes, I was talking to my brother in law last night, as he said if Spurs couldn't get 3 points at Southampton they did not deserve to be fourth. Yes voctories needed in the next two games to keep up the momentum. United played really well for the first 30 minutes, as well as I have seen this season. Torres was unlucky, but looking at the gamer again on the highlights he ought to have had a red earlier when he got his first yellow.
  • I came home last night and my son (the Arsenal fan) was watching the game with Reading. They were down 4-0, but amazingly came back to win 7-5, including very late goals and crazy play. He almost turned it off at 4-0, but was obviously happy he didn't. Said it was the best game he's ever seen. Reading fans may disagree.
  • Yes, I turned it on at half time, score 4-1, and saw the rest unfold. I thought Reading were unlucky to loose a goal in the fifth minute of added time to give Arsenal the full time draw. I'm currently wtching, well listening and half watching, Chelsea v Man U, currently 2-2, whilst checking through new releases etc on emusic. The next 30 minutes could be interesting...
  • edited November 2012
    They were!! Dissappointing end of normal time - many of the youngsters (and old man?) getting tired, maybe? Totally disagree with Di Matteo's assertion that the victory showed Chelsea should have won on Sunday, as United made 10 changes. Better result on Saturday by United, but Arsenal were so poor in some areas that United should have scored 4 or 5 goals, so poorish performance. At least Sir Alex knows when to substitute a young player on a yellow card and a warning, unlike Wenger - Wiltshire's red card could easily have been avoided in the same way.

    What is happening when Spurs play at WHL? Why was Defoe taken off when Adebayour came on, surely AVB should have played both against Wigan for much if not all of the game. They are playing great away from home, but less well at home this season, must be the set up for home games?
  • Still rather angry after Saturday, AVB and the boys were caught out by Wigan. We cant go on losing games like this if we are going to be a top 4 team. I watched the United v Arsenal game and the Man U boys played really well.

    Greg, good luck tonight, I will be watching the football on Thursday through gritted teeth, its a game we have to win to stay in Europe this year.
  • Yes I agree Lowlife, a must win game on Thursday. Wigan have become a really bogey team for Spurs over recent years. But I was pleased with Ajax's at Man City draw last night, I cannot see Mancini being at City next season. Only two teams left in the Champions League undefeated so far - Barcelona and Man United - but could easily change tonight!
  • Good result on Monday evening for Spurs. We watched the last twenty or so minutes on Sky. A superblate goal from Gareth Bale - a goal worthy of two points! The way he is playing pushes up his value every game, but also increases his desirability for other teams. I would hate to see him go, but if he ends up at Real Madrid it helps the chances of Ronaldo returning to Manchester United! I'm waiting for their second leg against United - a game apparently going to be watched by a quarter of the world's population. But I will watch with trepidation every time Ronaldo gets the ball. But if he is back next season, just wait - a forward line of Ronaldo and RVP backed by one or two of Rooney/Hernadez/Wellbeck. I can't wait!!!
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