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European Soccer 2009-10


heernumurr

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Is Lescott really that good? Transfer prices for homegrown Britts are way too high. This is exactly why Wenger buys outside of England. For #10m Wenger bought Vermaelen, a 23 year old defender with 23 CAPS. Whereas Lescott has 7 Caps, and is 27 years old, and is worth #24....absurd if you ask me.

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Is Lescott really that good? Transfer prices for homegrown Britts are way too high. This is exactly why Wenger buys outside of England. For #10m Wenger bought Vermaelen, a 23 year old defender with 23 CAPS. Whereas Lescott has 7 Caps, and is 27 years old, and is worth #24....absurd if you ask me.

The short answer is no.

The problem is that City wanted John Terry, but were never going to prise him away from Chelsea, so then they had to scout around for another center half, and thats always something that is in short supply. (I think there are obscure European competition rules that meant City wanted an English center half). The other issue was that Everton were not keen to let Lescott go which is always going to push the price up. I am not sure Lescott is really worth that kind of money, given that he is relatively old, but then again I am not convinced Manchester City is necesarily a better club to go to either. But you see the other issue is that clubs know that other clubs have a bottomless pit of money, City are one of those teams, so the moneybags teams can be subject to inflated prices.

I think Vermaelen might be one of the best signings of the summer. Something of City's lack of skill in the transfer market could be spotted in that they signed Toure (never a great defender IMO) from Arsenal for £16 million. £6 million profit for Arsenal, and IMO a clear upgrade at the position. City pile in £34 million into there center back partnership and get two good, but not great center halves. Just shows that sometimes in sport, money is not everything.

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I feel that pain. At least Norwich got a win this weekend, and is now out of the drop zone.

In better news, AFC Wimbledon is currently occupying a promotion playoff place in the Conference.

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****Breaking news**********

Last years EPL runners up, Liverpool, fall to a second defeat in the season, to Aston Villa. The Reds already in a difficult spot if they really want to challenge for the Premier League title. They have already lost as league many games as they did in the whole of last season. (Though United lost 4 in winning the title)

In other news, Sunderland beat Norwich 4-1 in the Carling Cup (sorry Mockba!)

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3-1 Villa. AT Anfield.

[iCS]Excuse me the hard-on.[/iCS]

Considering the somewhat catatonic state that Villa had been in since the season actually started, this result comes out of NOWHERE. I am happily surprised.

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Italy's Serie A & B split.

The plan, prompted by the desire of top sides to match the success of England's Premier League after it broke away from the other Football League divisions in 1992, was announced in April and has now been ratified after a meeting of club presidents.

Serie A has slipped behind the Premier League and Spain's La Liga in terms of prestige in recent years and top flight bosses hope going it alone will streamline resources.

The two professional divisions will be run as separate entities having previously been managed together, although Maurizio Beretta, former head of Italy's employers' association, has been appointed as president of Serie A and B.

For those who don't happen to know the current intricacies of the way English football is, The Football League used to consist of the Football League First Divison, Football League Second Division, and so on down the pyramid. Then, in 1992 the teams from the First Division broke away from the Football League to form the Premier League, in order to capitalize on revenues and basically make more money so that it could become what it is now, arguably the most prestigious league in the world. All the other clubs moved up a level in the Football League's pyramid, thus making the Second Division the First Division, the Third Division the Second and so on and so forth until 2004 when the First Division became the Championship and the Second & Third Divisions became League 1 and League 2, respectively. So basically, there are two different football organizations in England: The Premier League & The Football League (Championship, League 1 & League 2).

Said all of that to say this: Italy's probably going to do the same thing, if I'm correct.

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Lyon wins 3-1, 8-1 on aggregate. The way they played over the 2 legs, gives me hope of regaining the title from Bordeaux.

The West Ham-Millwall League Cup match was interesting to say the least.

Yeah, a predictable event down in East London there. I'd expect pretty severe repercussions for those involved including possibly the clubs.

Just for fairness to Mockba I ought to point out that the mighty saints lost in the Carling Cup to Birmingham City. Only 2-1 though, not a bad effort really.

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Here's the Champion's League Group Stage Draw:

Group A

-Bayern Munich

-Juventus

-Bordeaux

-Maccabi Haifa

Group B

-Manchester United

-CSKA Moskow

-Besiktas

-VfL Wolfsburg

Group C

-AC Milan

-Real Madrid

-Marseille

-FC Zurich

Group D

-Chelsea

-FC Porto

-Atletico Madrid

-APOEL

Group E

-Liverpool

-Lyon

-Fiorentina

-Debreceni

Group F

-Barcelona

-Inter Milan

-Dynamo Kiev

-FC Rubin Kazan

Group G

-FC Sevilla

-Rangers

-VfB Stuttgart

-Unirea Urziceni

Group H

-Arsenal

-AZ Alkmaar

-Olympiakos

-Standard Liege

Group F is nasty

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I would say group C is a tougher group that group F remembering that 2 sides qualify from each group. Group A could be quite competitive as well. Manchester United won't be happy about the amount of travel they have, and probably have the trickiest draw for the English clubs. Arsenal got lucky in the draw. Chelsea will be happy enough, (certainly the fans will what with Portugal, Spain and Cyprus as destinations!!) Liverpool should be pleased as well, with the easiest Italian team, Lyon and a trip to Hungary. Group G looks very short of quality next to some of the others! Rangers might be positive about being that rarity- a Scottish team in the last 16 of the Champions League.

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I'd say Group C is the Group of Death, but looking at all the groups all of them seem to be distributed evenly with power houses.

Now on to predicting this mess

Group A

-Bayern Munich

-Juventus

Group B

-Manchester United

-VfL Wolfsburg

Group C

-AC Milan

-Real Madrid

Group D

-Chelsea

-Atletico Madrid

Group E

-Liverpool

-Lyon

Group F

-Barcelona

-Inter Milan

Group G

-Rangers

-VfB Stuttgart

Group H

-Arsenal

-Olympiakos

Funny with Group H I have to teams that had to make it through qualifying to advance on to the Round of 16

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If Group F is the Group of Death in this one, then Group C is the Group of Murder by Machine Gun Massacre. How the hell did 3 former UCL champions end up in the same group? Wow. That's gonna be the group to watch, if anything. Anyways, here's my completely uniformed-off-the-top-of-the-head kneejerk predictions to get through to the KO stages (In order of place): :P

A

Juventus

Bordeaux

B

Man U

Wolfsburg

C

Real Madrid

Marseille

D

Chelsea

Atletico Madrid

E

Liverpool

Lyon

F

Barcelona

Inter Milan

G

Sevilla

Stuttgart

H

Arsenal

AZ Alkmar

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IMO F is tougher considering it's the champions of 4 of the top 7 leagues in the UEFA league coefficients, that being said for the most part these are pretty even.

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IMO F is tougher considering it's the champions of 4 of the top 7 leagues in the UEFA league coefficients, that being said for the most part these are pretty even.

One of the issues with F is that traditionally Eastern European teams tend not to travel well, so you would assume that Barca and Inter both have 6 points reasonably guaranteed. In group C, although Zurich are likely to be whipping boys, Marseille could cause both Real and AC trouble.

If I was going to put a little bit of money on top team not making the last 16, I might put it on Manchester United. Wolfsburg might be tricky, and then Turkish teams are never easy. And with United maybe not such a strong team as in recent years, who knows?

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