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Football
Topic Started: Aug 25 2011, 09:24:28 PM (39,937 Views)
Life as Fiction
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The group stage draws are out today with some rather silly groups:

Group A - Bayern Munich / Villarreal / Manchester City / Napoli
Group B - Inter Milan / CSKA Moscow / Lille / Trabzonspor
Group C - Manchester United / Benfica / FC Basel / Otelul Galati
Group D – Real Madrid / Lyon / Ajax / Dinamo Zagreb
Group E - Chelsea / Valencia / Bayer Leverkusen / Genk
Group F - Arsenal / Marseille / Olympiakos / Borussia Dortmund
Group G – FC Porto / Shakhtar Donetsk / Zenit St Petersburg / APOEL
Group H – Barcelona / AC Milan / BATE Borisov / Viktoria Plzen

We're going to have to put up a hell of a fight to beat the #2 French team and then the German champions. Terrible Group G, though Group A should have some great matches.
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Cippenham
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I take it you support Arsenal Life as Fiction from the clues given.
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Life as Fiction
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Cippenham
 
I take it you support Arsenal Life as Fiction from the clues given.


Indeed. Turbulent times.

How about yourself?
Edited by Life as Fiction, Aug 25 2011, 09:42:45 PM.
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Cippenham
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Manchester United from the age of seven,, great times! :D

However due to the influence of money over the game I am really disillusioned by Football and so only have a passing interest now sometimes see on TV and have really changed to being an old movies fan ,, although you can be both I know..
Edited by Cippenham, Aug 25 2011, 09:46:24 PM.
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Life as Fiction
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Cippenham
Aug 25 2011, 09:43:19 PM
Manchester United from the age of seven,, great times! :D

However due to the influence of money over the game I am really disillusioned by Football and so only have a passing interest now sometimes see on TV and have really changed to being an old movies fan ,, although you can be both I know..
Definitely. That's actually a reason I don't care for baseball much anymore in the U.S. At least American football has a structure that forces teams (at least starting in 2013) to play on as level a playing field as possible.

Thankfully, Wenger has also kept us "modest" in our spending, though it also hasn't brought us home any trophies for a while.
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bal3x
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Thanks for this thread. Barca fan here, love their game! :)
Arsenal have a tough job on their hands, tricky group... with all due respect looks like this season Arsenal has less chances of winning any major titles, the team seems to have lost a number of good players that have not been replaced by equal calibre guys. But you never know, surprises do happen :)
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Life as Fiction
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bal3x
Aug 25 2011, 10:11:28 PM
Thanks for this thread. Barca fan here, love their game! :)
Arsenal have a tough job on their hands, tricky group... with all due respect looks like this season Arsenal has less chances of winning any major titles, the team seems to have lost a number of good players that have not been replaced by equal calibre guys. But you never know, surprises do happen :)
Picking us to finish fifth in the league this year, so anything better (including a 2012-13 CL berth) would be a small victory.
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bal3x
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Life as Fiction
Aug 25 2011, 10:23:47 PM
Picking us to finish fifth in the league this year, so anything better (including a 2012-13 CL berth) would be a small victory.
Yes, I think that's a fair assessment coming from a fan :) Frankly I have never been a fan of British teams (I am neutral in fact), I did like Liverpool a couple of years back. Like I wrote on the Tottenham - Hearts thread here it seems all major British teams have been bought by foreigners and as Cippenham says money dictates too much these days... but I love football and just hope the teams can deliver some great moments for the fans of the game.
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Knaldskalle
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Life as Fiction
Aug 25 2011, 09:48:25 PM
At least American football has a structure that forces teams (at least starting in 2013) to play on as level a playing field as possible.
Er, what? They have salary caps in place now in the NFL (with the recently signed CBA), so I'm not sure I know what you're talking about... The last two seasons were uncapped (due to owners opting out of the CBA), but other than that the NFL has had a salary cap for many years now. Keeps the playing field level for (most) everyone. Or are you referring to some other aspect?

(CBA: Collective Bargaining Agreement between players and owners)
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Life as Fiction
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Knaldskalle
Aug 26 2011, 03:29:05 AM
Life as Fiction
Aug 25 2011, 09:48:25 PM
At least American football has a structure that forces teams (at least starting in 2013) to play on as level a playing field as possible.
Er, what? They have salary caps in place now in the NFL (with the recently signed CBA), so I'm not sure I know what you're talking about... The last two seasons were uncapped (due to owners opting out of the CBA), but other than that the NFL has had a salary cap for many years now. Keeps the playing field level for (most) everyone. Or are you referring to some other aspect?

(CBA: Collective Bargaining Agreement between players and owners)
The existing CBA didn't force teams to utilize all their cap space, so you had teams basically being cheap with the owners effectively making money by losing. The new one has a "must spend" clause that goes into effect in 2013. ESPN had a good article on this: How to win big by losing cheaply
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Knaldskalle
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Life as Fiction
Aug 26 2011, 04:09:46 AM
The existing CBA didn't force teams to utilize all their cap space, so you had teams basically being cheap with the owners effectively making money by losing. The new one has a "must spend" clause that goes into effect in 2013. ESPN had a good article on this: How to win big by losing cheaply
Thanks for the link, that was a most interesting read.

I would, though, argue that the playing field is level, the way it is now: There's nothing in the system that gives any one owner a better chance of winning just by throwing money at the problem (I remember Chelsea basically buying every good, expensive, player out there some years ago).

That there are team owners who are more focused on the bottom line than winning is another (quite sad) matter. That is a choice made by a team owner, not a restriction caused by lack of money. I'm glad to see that the situation will improve in 2013. Enough with "Cincinnati Bungles" and "Cleveland Clowns" and so on. 32 teams - 32 actual potential Super Bowl Winners every year. That'll be nice.
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Life as Fiction
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Knaldskalle
Aug 26 2011, 04:39:38 AM
Life as Fiction
Aug 26 2011, 04:09:46 AM
The existing CBA didn't force teams to utilize all their cap space, so you had teams basically being cheap with the owners effectively making money by losing. The new one has a "must spend" clause that goes into effect in 2013. ESPN had a good article on this: How to win big by losing cheaply
Thanks for the link, that was a most interesting read.

I would, though, argue that the playing field is level, the way it is now: There's nothing in the system that gives any one owner a better chance of winning just by throwing money at the problem (I remember Chelsea basically buying every good, expensive, player out there some years ago).

That there are team owners who are more focused on the bottom line than winning is another (quite sad) matter. That is a choice made by a team owner, not a restriction caused by lack of money. I'm glad to see that the situation will improve in 2013. Enough with "Cincinnati Bungles" and "Cleveland Clowns" and so on. 32 teams - 32 actual potential Super Bowl Winners every year. That'll be nice.
Exactly. The NFL has had the greatest parity of any major global sports league, but the most-spend rule flattens it to the point where it ultimately comes down to talent and teamwork instead of dollars.
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tommy_leazaq
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Real Madrid fan here.

And I am just wondering when is the last season we hav not met Lyon. It;s amazing how they continously meet each other given the fact that Madrid did not go beyond second round for the past 5 or 6 seasons.

And yesterday's ManU vs Arsenal was a shocker. Really feeling sad for Arsene. I watched foortball from the 2004 season where they were invincible. I got quite attracted to their attacking play at that time and that got me hooked into football. But I guess, ever since Henry left them they are not the team they used to be :(
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Life as Fiction
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Think I may have to temporarily shift more attention to my purported MLS team after yesterday's loss.
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bal3x
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I could hardly believe the result yesterday... didn't see the game, but I hear Arsenal defense has been horrid... well, they did miss a couple of key players due to injury, but I wonder if time has not come to look for a new manager and some reinforcements? Top 5 might be a bit difficult to reach with this quality... Manchester clubs look impressive this season on the other hand! Look forward to seeing Man City in the Champs League, could be quite interesting!
Edited by bal3x, Aug 29 2011, 11:46:26 AM.
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metaller
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Bayern München fan here. I would have wished for an easier group. I consider Man City about equally good as we are and Villareal and Napoli are both nasty opponents that are not beat easily.
I'm also quite fascinated by the fact that we have one team from each of Europe's strongest leagues in the group.

From a German perspective, Leverkusen got quite a hard group with Valencia and Chelsea. I think they'll battle with Valencia for the second place.

Dortmund played stellar football last year in the Bundesliga and where without a doubt a deserving champion (although that's kinda hard to admit as a fan of Bayern). And although they lost a key player with Nuri Sahin to Real Madrid they still have an interasting and hungry team and their coach is an excellent tactician. I think this will be a hard duel between Dortmund and arsenal for the top spot in the group and I would give Dortmund a slight advantage after the rather disadventaguous trades of Arsenal this season. Marseille and Olympiakos shouldn't be able to play out more than the third place.

Most other groups look kinda boring with either one or two clear cut faves. And what's up with group G? That has to be some kind of joke. Porto must be laughing their asses off ;)
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bal3x
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Bayern will have tough time with Man City... the others you should beat I think. Not even sure if Spain as a league is better than Germany these days, basically they have 2 teams that are way above all the rest (money, money...) and the rest of the guys are struggling. And I am Barca fan, hehe. La Liga is a boring league now unlike England, Italy and Germany where there are much more teams having a real chance winning the title. OK, England probably also has 5/6 teams, others have little chances really.
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Life as Fiction
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Mikel Arteta, Yossi Benayoun, Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos and Park Chu-Young: Five reasons to be a bit more optimistic about our chances against Borussia Dortmund. I'm glad Wenger finally bought us some quality experience, and considering the numbers 4 of the 5 received, he expects them to be an integral part of our team for the next 2-3 years. (Well, except that Park has to go do military service in 2014.)
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Muellwind
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Hooray for FC Basel! Well, after not qualifying for EURO 2012, this is a great and consoling achievement by a Swiss football club. And as I live in Basel, the more excited I was about this sensation.

And:
Quote:
 
Most other groups look kinda boring with either one or two clear cut faves. And what's up with group G? That has to be some kind of joke. Porto must be laughing their asses off ;)


They sure did. :rolleyes:
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AdamH
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Cippenham
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Fact is most people would prefer to watch bigger teams, therefore will switch off in later rounds if the smaller fry go through. :( .
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tommy_leazaq
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London 2 - 0 Manchester.. :)
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AdamH
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Cippenham
Dec 8 2011, 09:28:35 AM
Fact is most people would prefer to watch bigger teams, therefore will switch off in later rounds if the smaller fry go through. :( .
Fact is it's great to see Man Utd, and all these millions of people who aren't even from Manchester yet claim to support them, go out.
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afirm
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Wow, I love the fact that Manchester United managed to avoid advancing from this group!
Basel sure put up a fight yesterday, and were deserved winners! Hope they can make it far in the competition, though it will be hard!

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Limedebois
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The victory of Lyon 7-1 over the Dinamo is very... weird.

I don't like these contests when a club needs a lot of goal and another is already eliminated.

Less groups, more rounds.
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AdamH
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Lim Guela
Dec 8 2011, 12:09:22 PM
The victory of Lyon 7-1 over the Dinamo is very... weird.

I don't like these contests when a club needs a lot of goal and another is already eliminated.

Less groups, more rounds.
It was more exciting when it was the European Cup and it was for the champions. It's now all about money and every season the gap between the top teams in each league (who qualify for the "Champions" League each season) and the rest of the teams increases.
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bal3x
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Dec 8 2011, 08:36:41 AM
Hooray for FC Basel! Well, after not qualifying for EURO 2012, this is a great and consoling achievement by a Swiss football club. And as I live in Basel, the more excited I was about this sensation.

And:
Quote:
 
Most other groups look kinda boring with either one or two clear cut faves. And what's up with group G? That has to be some kind of joke. Porto must be laughing their asses off ;)


They sure did. :rolleyes:
Didn't know you're from Switzerland! Good work!!! On the one hand it's great ManUtd are out as I don't like them, but on the other hand it's not that good for the competition for both Manchester teams to be eliminated so early, there will be very little opposition to Spanish giants (except Bayern and the Italians maybe). Maybe they can both meet in the final of Europa League? :ph43r: And Porto didn't really laugh their asses off, did they? :D
Edited by bal3x, Dec 8 2011, 04:29:27 PM.
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Lilarcor
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Lim Guela
Dec 8 2011, 12:09:22 PM
The victory of Lyon 7-1 over the Dinamo is very... weird.
Wouldn't be surprised if that match was fixed.

Picture of Dinamo defender Domagoj Vida winking and giving thumbs up to Gomis having just conceded:
Posted Image

I'm a Liverpool supporter by the way. Miss CL football.
Edited by Lilarcor, Dec 8 2011, 05:37:11 PM.
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Limedebois
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Yes but it could mean a lot of things.

"ok man, you've just scored three goals in three minutes, Give me a break, ok (winking)"

"wow, an hattrick in three minutes! I want your jersey! Now! No?! Come on! Well... you won't have the ball 'till I got your jersey (winking)."

"Your faster than DSK! BTW, I want my french maid in room 456. Don't forget it (winking)"
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Lilarcor
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Could be, of course. It's just that when I look at the goal replays from that match it seems to me like Dinamos defenders are going out of their way to let Lyon score. The marking is absolutely atrocious, particulalry in the last two goals. The keeper could've also easily catched Lyon's second. Usually letting in a lot of goals motivates defenders into not making complete embarrasments of themselves but I see no such thing here. Also, Lyon are suspiciously calm about it as the game goes on despite them absolutely destroying the opposition.

Dinamo had nothing for play for though so it could all be down to lack of motivation. With one man less and things getting progressively worse I guess some can't help but take it with a smile and get some ironic distance to it as a way of coping (as that defender may have done) and stop caring about the game. But they are professional footballers and should act accordingly, the team's reputation is always at stake, especially in a match that goes on at the home ground and with a bigger TV audience. Dinamo's coach was fired after the game, he might have been a poor motivator for these particular players. Still, I certainly think this needs to be investigated further.
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Knaldskalle
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Lim Guela
Dec 8 2011, 09:36:01 PM
"Your faster than DSK! BTW, I want my french maid in room 456. Don't forget it (winking)"
You'd think that they'd learn that Frenchmen and hotel maids don't mix... :)
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JCS
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Great group stages and stunned that Man U got knocked out already after being in the CL Final last season. Man City had a tough group but would have liked to have seen them face a big team in the knockout stages.

Glad Chelsea got through of course, and top of the group so hopefully we get an easier team in the next round. :)
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AdamH
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Barca and Bayern into the semi-finals.
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JCS
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And hopefully Chelsea tonight too. :)
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bal3x
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Go Barca!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I hope Bayern will kick some Real ass...
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Cippenham
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Chelsea and Real Madrid are winning I believe


Yes they have won.
Edited by Cippenham, Apr 4 2012, 08:43:48 PM.
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bal3x
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Barca vs Real final would be interesting, but Bayern may have other plans as to who should play in the Munich final, Chelski already got too far...
Edited by bal3x, Apr 4 2012, 10:10:17 PM.
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niesl2
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I hope Bayern wins this year.

I'm not that fond of both Real and Barca.
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Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi
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Chelsea are clearly not at their best this year, and they stand very little chance against Barca this time around, but that's reason enough for some neutrals to root for them, isn't it? (let alone died-in-the-wool Chelsea fans like me)

Come on, you Blues!!!!
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Lilarcor
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Local Hero -- aka MestnyiGeroi
Apr 12 2012, 02:04:36 AM
Chelsea are clearly not at their best this year, and they stand very little chance against Barca this time around, but that's reason enough for some neutrals to root for them, isn't it? (let alone died-in-the-wool Chelsea fans like me)

Come on, you Blues!!!!
Although I don't dislike Barca, Chelsea were robbed of a final in 2009 and deserves a revenge here.
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