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Author Topic: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD  (Read 783978 times)

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Offline SmethDan

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7850 on: December 30, 2018, 04:47:21 PM »
I haven't seen the game but from what you've posted I'm hoping he's not demoted to a game of ours any time soon  :-X .
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Offline BigFrank20

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7851 on: December 31, 2018, 12:41:23 PM »
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Offline Albionic

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7852 on: December 31, 2018, 01:18:45 PM »
nice one, a cracking read, states so eloquently what many on here have tried to say for a while now.

Fulham versus Huddersfield Town. One of those fixtures that sounds like it should belong to another era: an era of heavy jerseys and maximum wages and wing-halves. And these days, the approach to Craven Cottage feels similarly dissonant: this quaint little throwback of a football ground nestled amid the rows of opulent £2 million terraced houses, each bearing a fluffy Christmas wreath on the door.

These days, the quaintness is built into the spiel. “London’s Original Club”, boasts the promotional literature, a reference to Fulham being London’s oldest professional club. Dwarfed in size and stature by its bigger neighbours, Fulham has in recent years increasingly marketed itself as a sort of chic layover on the west London tourist trail: Portobello Road Market in the morning, Premier League football in the afternoon, fish and chips and a pint of Fuller’s in the evening.

In this respect, of course, Fulham is blessed by geography. Huddersfield, by contrast, isn’t on the tourist trail to anywhere. Hit by the decline of the textile industry in the second half of the 20th century, and more recently by local government cuts, it gets by, but not much more than that. From the moment Huddersfield Town were promoted to the Premier League in May 2017, its return to the Championship has felt inevitable. No footballer’s wife dreams of settling in Denby Dale. No Chinese tourist dreams of taking in a game at the iconic John Smith’s Stadium. (Even though both are lovely.)

You can sense that grim resistance, that nagging impermanence, in Huddersfield’s football. They have a fine manager in David Wagner, wonderful fans who follow them all over the country, a strong work ethic, good defensive shape. But it’s when they get the ball that the impostor syndrome begins to surface. Every pass is safe. Every decision, whether it’s laying the ball back to Jonas Lossl in goal, or pumping it safely up the touchline, is parsed for minimum risk. It’s almost as if, having waited so long for a glimpse of top-flight football, they’re terrified of letting it slip from their grasp.

The fear is real, and in many ways so is the danger. Often, you would see relegated clubs getting picked apart like carrion. These days, it’s very much a buyers’ market. If Huddersfield were to go down, how many of their squad would find a Premier League gig next season? Aaron Mooy and Terence Kongolo, perhaps. Maybe Alex Pritchard. For many of the rest, this is pretty much it: their first and their last chance of making it as a Premier League footballer.

And it shows in the instinctive caution, the innate conservatism, the refusal to countenance any manoeuvre that might result in giving away possession in a dangerous area. Because, after all, these days virtually any Premier League side can hurt you. Even Fulham, who by the standards of the division really aren’t very good. Every team can play out from the back these days. They can all do stepovers. They can all run hard for 90 minutes, and they all look like athletes. If this is the worst the Premier League has to offer in 2018, then it’s still… not that bad.

Let’s just clarify that. The quality of the footballers is not bad. As the whistle blows for half-time, however, the quality of the football has been extremely bad. Barely a chance has been had, because barely a risk has been taken. Fulham are terrified of losing the ball, so they’ve decided not to have it at all. Huddersfield are terrified of getting countered, so they’ve decided not to do anything with it. When Jonathan Hogg drops into the defensive line, they’re basically six at the back. After all, when you’re playing another team in the bottom three, the one thing you can’t afford to do at any cost is lose.

This is the natural corollary of the Premier League’s extreme stratification: the creation of a thicket of teams - at least eight, but perhaps as many as 13 - whose sole objective is to avoid getting relegated. Last season, Huddersfield received £102 million in TV and merit payments for finishing 16th in the Premier League. Wolves, by contrast, received about £7.4 million for winning the Championship. Survival isn’t just a sporting aim: it’s a business imperative.

Which is why you get managers whose only goal is to survive the month. Players desperate not to screw up their next deal. Games like this. The bigger teams put up with it for now, because they need someone to beat every week, and in any case nobody’s really watching. It’s one of those Premier League games that seems to exist solely to carry Premier League status: to convince everyone, in the face of all available evidence, that we’re watching something elite here.

I wonder how long people are willing to carry on being convinced. One of the consequences of globalisation has been to shift the balance of power away from the local and towards the elite. If you don’t like the band playing in your pub, you can go and watch a K-pop video on YouTube. If you don’t like your local football team, you can watch Barcelona instead. The Premier League has benefited immensely from this process, using its financial might to harvest players from all over the world, denuding other domestic leagues of their best talent along the way. But what made you think it was going to stop there? Once the bottom half of the Premier League begin to outlive their usefulness, what’s to stop them being jettisoned too? Already the big clubs have begun flexing their muscles, trying to win a greater share of overseas TV rights, holding clandestine talks over a European breakaway league.

Naturally, there will be the usual howls of protest. But if the market wants what it wants, then who might resist it? Beneath the Johnny Haynes Stand at Craven Cottage, Fulham have installed a kids’ play area, with a face painter and some games consoles to play Fifa on. At half-time, a couple of young Fulham fans are preparing to give each other a game. The teams they’ve selected to do battle are Chelsea and Real Madrid.

Fulham don’t have quite the same restless hunger as Huddersfield. Unlike their opponents, most of their players will be fine whether they get relegated or not. Calum Chambers, Sergio Rico and Luciano Vietto will go back to their parent clubs. Jean-Michael Seri, Andre Schurrle, Aleksandr Mitrovic and Ryan Sessegnon will all find willing buyers. That’s not to pinpoint individuals for indolence: merely to define the basic character of a squad in which most, in one way or another, are simply passing through.

What they do have, however, is quality. Man for man, they’re better for Huddersfield, and as the second half progresses, they begin to grind them down. Mitrovic forces a good save out of Lossl with a sharp header. Joe Bryan surges down the left wing, puts in a cross, and as Chris Lowe advances on the loose ball, it hits his arm. Aboubakar Kamara, who won the penalty, angrily snatches the ball away from Mitrovic, the designated kicker.

“I wanted to kill him,” Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri says afterwards. Worse: Kamara misses the penalty, and is booed by the home fans for the rest of the game.

Again, it’s hard to imagine anything like this remotely happening within the Huddersfield ranks. Things are hard enough when you stick together, never mind when you turn on each other. The same spirit of common endeavour that got them out of the Championship is still present in the Premier League: they work as a team, suffer as a team, win as a team, lose as a team. Trouble is, they’re beginning to lose quite a lot.

In injury time, Huddersfield allow the one scenario they’ve been specifically set up to avoid: a Fulham counter-attack. Philip Billing loses the ball trying an audacious shot from distance, and 11.3 seconds later - via Tom Cairney, the snaking run of Sessegnon and the sharp finish of Mitrovic - Fulham have won the game. Full-time brings dejection and exhaustion. “It’s hard to accept,” says striker Steve Mounie, who hasn’t scored since April and had a grand total of four touches in the final third all game. “But we will still fight until the end.”

It’s all they can do. In a fairer world you’d curb the power of the biggest clubs, level the playing field, filter more of the revenues down the pyramid, narrow the terrifying financial gulf between the Premier League and the Championship that turns a dozen clubs into zombified survival bots, clinging with decaying claws to the sheer cliff face. But until that happens, all they can do is fight, and scrap, and strain every sinew to stay in a league that - if we’re perfectly honest - barely registers its existence.
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Offline Standaman

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7853 on: December 31, 2018, 06:41:47 PM »
It is hard to argue with the central premise that being part of the bottom 14 in the Premier League varies between being at best okay and just plain grim.   

Huddersfield are always going to struggle as are most teams who are promoted but the key thing is they never close the gap on the top 6. Fulham in many ways have a lot of advtantages (London location and wealthy owner) however long they spend in the top flight they will bump around 7th to 20th until it goes tits up and they land back in the Championship.


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Offline GREGMT

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7854 on: January 01, 2019, 01:29:55 PM »
Everton v Leicester absolutely dreadful fare everyone asleep watching this

Online Dan87uk

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7855 on: January 01, 2019, 02:25:32 PM »
Another tight Leicester win so i'm pleased! - Because the more stability there is at Leicester over January the less likely it becomes that they call Barnes back.

The run they've put together in the last couple of weeks has been great in that respect.
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Online TheJacko2000

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7856 on: January 01, 2019, 02:36:38 PM »
Another tight Leicester win so i'm pleased! - Because the more stability there is at Leicester over January the less likely it becomes that they call Barnes back.

The run they've put together in the last couple of weeks has been great in that respect.


Viva Marco Silva. Everton fans are not happy. As you say good for us, though I doubt Leicester are seriously considering recalling Barnes drifts out of games too much for the Premier League at the moment.
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Offline gavinrussell

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7857 on: January 01, 2019, 06:06:02 PM »
Watching Spurs demolish Cardiff. 3-0 after 33 minutes...i know we had some poor games in the Premiership but cant remember us ever being as bad as they are...

Offline zippyandbungle

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7858 on: January 01, 2019, 08:00:27 PM »
Watching Spurs demolish Cardiff. 3-0 after 33 minutes...i know we had some poor games in the Premiership but cant remember us ever being as bad as they are...
I went for a double
Eriicson anytime and Spurs -3

Their bloody finishing 😂😂
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Offline lewisant

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7859 on: January 08, 2019, 01:29:25 PM »
Hudson Odoi - 35 mill to Bayern, thoughts?

Offline smethwick2

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7860 on: January 08, 2019, 01:44:21 PM »
Hudson Odoi - 35 mill to Bayern, thoughts?


Crazy figure for a totally unproven player, regardless of his potential

Offline AlbionFan

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7861 on: January 08, 2019, 01:47:36 PM »
Hudson Odoi - 35 mill to Bayern, thoughts?

A bit of payback!
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Offline AlbionFan

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7862 on: January 08, 2019, 07:38:36 PM »
Hudson Odoi - 35 mill to Bayern, thoughts?

Not actual signed for them yet according to Telegraph Twitter account

Chelsea team news: Callum Hudson-Odoi starts despite Bayern Munich speculation while Andreas Christensen is preferred to David Luiz #CFC
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Offline 17GD

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7863 on: January 12, 2019, 04:52:50 PM »
Harvey Barnes has come on as a sub for Leicester. At least he's being played.

Offline gavinrussell

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7864 on: January 12, 2019, 06:52:47 PM »
Rondon playing the whole Chelsea back 4 on his own...really needs some support...

Offline The Black Pearl

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7865 on: January 14, 2019, 06:22:49 PM »
Wagner leaves Huddersfield by 'mutual consent'. Good manager, shame, don't think they will do any better, would have been better off keeping him and yo yoing for a few seasons.
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Online MarkW

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7866 on: January 14, 2019, 06:36:10 PM »
Really surprising that. Thought their board were going to stick with him due to what he's done at the club.

Their squad is quite poor and they're without quite a few players due to injury, including Aaron Mooy
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Online TheJacko2000

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7867 on: January 14, 2019, 07:00:12 PM »
Chairman states they had no intention of sacking, seems to be Wagner driven.

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Offline don1thedon

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7868 on: January 14, 2019, 07:02:46 PM »
Quite a surprise, not great to watch them but you’ve gotta applaud the efforts last couple of years with promotion & avoiding relegation.

Offline AlbionFan

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7869 on: January 14, 2019, 08:29:27 PM »
25mins
Dingles losing 1-0 and down to 10 men after Boly given straight red.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 08:56:20 PM by OldburyWBA »
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Offline elmo_in_swansea

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7870 on: January 14, 2019, 08:35:50 PM »
Boly sent off and according to the BBC we're still in the PL as he's suspended for their game against us  ;D
quote
That's a three-match ban for Wily Boly.
Means he will miss Premier League games against Leicester and West Brom, plus the FA Cup fourth round tie at either Shrewsbury or Stoke.
Boly will be back for Everton away on 2 February.
He'd only had one booking before today as well.
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Offline AlbionFan

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7871 on: January 14, 2019, 08:43:12 PM »
41mins
2-0
respect and humility for everyone, absolutely everyone, who we come into contact with”

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Offline wbako

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7872 on: January 14, 2019, 09:27:33 PM »
Man City's atmosphere is utterly shocking...so, so quiet apart from a few hundred degenerates, who, to be fair to them, are the only ones making any noise. Another reason I don't miss the Premier League - non-existent atmospheres
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Offline AlbionFan

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7873 on: January 14, 2019, 09:45:04 PM »
85mins
Man City 3-0 Wolves

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Offline AlbionFan

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Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« Reply #7874 on: January 14, 2019, 10:01:31 PM »
FT Man City 3-0 Wolves
respect and humility for everyone, absolutely everyone, who we come into contact with”

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