EPL 2012-2013

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EPL 2012-2013
Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:51 am
  • Less than a week remaining till the kick off of the 2012-13 season. After last season's crazy finish, 3 teams gone and 3 new teams arriving, and the new players coming into their new teams it's time to get everyone's predictions and for the back and forth banter to begin. So let's get it started.
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    Gatehawk
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:16 am
  • Well done Gate...

    How about predictions to start the campaign off.

    Top 4
    Bottom 3
    FA Cup winner

    Top transfer
    Leading scorer

    Biggest team improvement

    Biggest drop

    First gaffer to get the axe
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:30 am
  • Got to be said... the mood around England right now is very 'meh' towards the football re-starting. The success of the Olympics has really made people second guess why such a vulgar and money dominated league is so popular compared to what we've just seen from so many great Olympians.

    Even so...

    Top four - Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal

    Bottom three - Wigan, Swansea, Norwich

    Top transfer - Olivier Giroud

    Leading scorer - Papiss Cisse

    Biggest team improvement - Liverpool

    Biggest drop - Swansea

    First gaffer to get the axe - Di Matteo
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:54 am
  • Top 4 - Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal

    Bottom Three - Wigan, Reading, So'ton

    Top Transfer - Eden Hazard

    Leading Scorer - Aguero

    Biggest team improvement - Liverpool

    Biggest drop - Spurs (sorry, hawkspur)

    First gaffer to get the axe - Di Matteo, and the revolving door at Chelsea continues.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:57 am
  • Let's also do predictions for the various cups:

    Premier League champs - Man City(again)

    FA cup - Liverpool

    League cup - Arsenal

    Champion's league - Barcelona

    Europa league - Inter
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:03 pm
  • Top 4 - Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea
    Bottom 3 - Reading, Swansea, Wigan


    Top transfer - Kagawa
    Leading scorer - Wayne Rooney

    Biggest team improvement - Liverpool

    Biggest drop - Swansea


    EPL Champs - Man Utd

    FA Cup - Man City

    League Cup - Spurs

    Champions League - Barcelona
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:53 pm
  • Top four - Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Spurs

    Bottom three - Wigan, Southampton, Norwich

    Top transfer - Marko Marin

    Leading scorer - Aguero

    Biggest team improvement - Liverpool

    Biggest drop - Sunderland

    First gaffer to get the axe - Di Matteo
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:20 am
  • Top four - Man City (by a large margin) followed by Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal could finish 2-4 in any order.

    Bottom three - Wigan, Swansea, Norwich

    Top transfer - Olivier Giroud

    Leading scorer - Sergio Aguero

    Biggest team improvement - Sunderland

    Biggest drop - Swansea

    First gaffer to get the axe - Sam Allardyce followed closely by Roberto di Matteo.


    Peaches, I reckon that Spurs, Newcastle and Liverpool will fight it out for 5-7. Spurs are the only team I've paid any real attention to this summer so I'll just tell you briefly what my thoughts are 5 days out from kick-off. The noises coming out of training about AVB are positive. Apparently the first thing he did at Chelsea was to identify Lampard as someone he wanted to sell, only to have Abramovich veto any move. AVB, probably foolishly, told Lampard that he didn't fit the system he planned to bring in and therefore should expect a severely reduced role, which didn't go down well with Lampard or many vets. It doesn't appear that he's had any such problems so far at Spurs.

    I think Spurs will have a slow start to the season. Redknapp was famous for his 'feckin kick the ball and run around a bit' approach to tactics, letting his players play their natural game rather than practising any sort of Plan B, let alone a Plan A. van der Vaart reckoned in an interview earlier this year (while things were still going well) that Spurs had not practiced a set piece the entire time he'd been at the club. To be perfectly honest, that's exactly what it looked like come game time. It's fair to expect that the players may take some time to get used to Villas-Boas as his practices and expectations are going to be a bit different.

    As far as transfers go, it all started well. I'm looking forward to Sigurdsson. I'm hoping that he's be able to learn from vdV and put us in a position to sell van der Vaart at the end of the season. Vertonghen should suit AVB's high-line, ballplaying defenders perfectly, but I suspect he'll have a similar introduction to the Premier League as that of David Luiz, lots of magic interspersed with moments of calamity. I'm gutted we missed out on Oscar. It sounds as though contracts we being drawn up when Chelsea called and there's no way that Spurs going to get him after that, but such is life. I think it's a risky move for the player. I'd put him about 6th on their CM depth chart.

    Obviously the Modric thing is infuriating. It appears that no other transfers are happening until he's sold and Real Madrid don't appear to be anywhere near Spurs' evaluation. I have mixed feelings on this. I think that if you want to be seen as a top club you have to keep your best players, or at the very least sell them on your own terms. I doubt very much that Spurs have turned down bids of £38m as has been reported. I'm inclined to believe that Madrid haven't gone above £25m + potential add ons. I think that Modric must be sold for a club record fee though, which is £32 for Berbatov. Madrid are used to being able to unsettle players to drive down the price, yet at the same time they have helped set the market by paying £80m for Ronaldo. I don't blame Modric for wanting to go to Madrid, but I don't think Levy should be bullied into selling low. There doesn't appear to be any other market for him and he's contracted until 2016. I can see this getting messy. I don't mind if we keep him. I wouldn't be shocked to see a drop in effort, but what I really don't want to see is Modric going at 23.55 on August 31st.

    We are in desperate need of a couple of strikers. Rumours persist about Leandro, which I think is unlikely. I'm guessing Adebayor will come back, but I'd prefer him to be a 2nd choice. Defoe is still here but isn't ideal for a 4-3-3 or 4-5-1. A right winger would be nice, and we really need a goalkeeper who is comfortable on the ball. Assou-Ekotto is without a doubt my favourite footballer, personality wise, but as far as footballing goes he's decent, but he could be upgraded too. We'll need a replacement for Modric if he goes too. It appears that one reason for Levy not caving in to Madrid is that the replacements we have lined up all look like they're going to cost more than £30m (Moutinho, Witsel etc).

    I think the squad is decent as it stands, but no real threat to the top 4 as stated above.

    That could change if we have a good few weeks on the transfer front. Piecing all the rumours together, my ultimate wish is that we can sign Leandro, Adebayor, Niang, Moutinho and Lloris. Then I think we could have a good season.

    Right now I think it's unlikely.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:23 am
  • What the hell are the FA up to? Why is there a meaningless friendly 3 days before the season begins? Football really needs to sort its s**t out, beginning with a vote of no confidence in the Football Association. It was fantastic to see a full stadium loudly boo Blatter at the World Cup. Between FIFA and the FA the game hardly stands a chance.

    I've not really paid attention to anything apart from the Olympics, cricket and Seahawks recently and this has blown me away that they've agreed to this again.

    Edit: I've just noticed that FIFA insist on the games and it's either today or tomorrow. Boo! Send the under 19s.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:36 am
  • So...RVP to united, that has to close the gap a bit don't ya think??

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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:06 am
  • Smurf wrote:So...RVP to united, that has to close the gap a bit don't ya think??

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    We'll have to see what City do now. I still give City the edge, as they have a better goalkeeper, better back 4 and better midfield, along with a not-too-shabby strikeforce to boot. That, and they now have gotten over the proverbial hump of winning their first league title, the next should be easier.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:02 pm
  • What I'm hearing is this deal was mainly done because Wenger pulled Robin aside before the Koln match and told him that he isn't apart of Arsene's plans anymore. At this point I'm skeptical about how much weight is behind this rumor.

    Another rumor is that Arsenal might turn around and place an offer for Javier Hernandez.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:12 pm
  • Gatehawk wrote:What I'm hearing is this deal was mainly done because Wenger pulled Robin aside before the Koln match and told him that he isn't apart of Arsene's plans anymore. At this point I'm skeptical about how much weight is behind this rumor.

    Another rumor is that Arsenal might turn around and place an offer for Javier Hernandez.


    That first rumor is nonsense. You live on a different planet if you think that's anywhere close to true. The deal was done because RVP wanted away and wasn't going to sign a new contract. That's all.

    I doubt that United sell Hernandez at this point. RVP is prone to injuries, and aside from Hernandez, the only other striker on the books not named Rooney is Wellbeck. Most of the top teams keep 4 decent strikers on the books.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:08 pm
  • peachesenregalia wrote:That first rumor is nonsense. You live on a different planet if you think that's anywhere close to true. The deal was done because RVP wanted away and wasn't going to sign a new contract. That's all.

    I doubt that United sell Hernandez at this point. RVP is prone to injuries, and aside from Hernandez, the only other striker on the books not named Rooney is Wellbeck. Most of the top teams keep 4 decent strikers on the books.


    First off, I'm not totally believing the rumor about Hernandez, I'm only pointing out that I have seen some talk about it.

    Secondly, the first rumor isn't really a rumor at all it's mostly speculation about what got the deal to happen. We all know under normal circumstances that Wenger wouldn't even begin to think about the possibility of selling a player to Man United.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:56 pm
  • Top 4 : Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Spurs
    Bottom 3 : QPR, West Ham, Wigan
    FA Cup Winner : Spurs
    Top Transfer : Vertonghen or Sigurdsson
    Leading Scorer : Aguerro
    Biggest Improvement : Spurs
    Biggest Drop : Sunderland or Fulham
    First gaffer for the Axe : Hughes purely for the owners having a view they should be higher up the table than the reality of the team strength and position in the league or failing that , Di Matteo for whatever reason Abramovich decides, deserved or not
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:38 pm
  • SussexSeahawk wrote:Top 4 : Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Spurs
    Bottom 3 : QPR, West Ham, Wigan
    FA Cup Winner : Spurs
    Top Transfer : Vertonghen or Sigurdsson
    Leading Scorer : Aguerro
    Biggest Improvement : Spurs
    Biggest Drop : Sunderland or Fulham
    First gaffer for the Axe : Hughes purely for the owners having a view they should be higher up the table than the reality of the team strength and position in the league or failing that , Di Matteo for whatever reason Abramovich decides, deserved or not


    I like the cut of your jib. As a Spurs fan I'm really excited to see what Sigurdsson and Vertonghen can contribute. I'm hoping that our best transfer will come in the form of a striker, though. I really can't share your pessimism for Sunderland unless they sell, and don't replace, Sessegnon. I think Everton may have bit of a drop though, as things stand.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:09 am
  • Cheers :D The Prem League club i follow is Spurs and have had some good days out at the Lane; but thats not because I chose Sigurdsson, the guy just seems to ooze class when i've seen him play and I say more than adequate replacement for Modric; Vertonghen, potential to be a great defender in the Prem if he can adjust to the pace, tactics which i feel he will be able to.
    Everton, could potentially drop; they're just one of those teams that will never get up in the top 6, probably not get relegated, never really progress, you gotta wonder why Moyes bothers? comfort zone? I have a feeling IF he ever went to Utd as mooted as the replacement for when bacon face retires, he'll be found wanting and shown the door quick!
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:06 pm
  • 1. Manchester City
    I really hate putting this team of bastards up here, but they are the defending champions. They've had a really surprisingly quiet summer, aside from the constant will they won't they talk, namely about RvP. The only player they've bought is Jack Rodwell, who for some stupid reason calls this his dream move(I bet if they didn't have the billions of bucks he wouldn't be saying that). Balotelli has apparently spent most of his summer in clubs aside from being Italy's best player at Euro 2012, while Nasri continues to drag his name and reputation through the mud. Honestly nothing has really changed about this club, it's still a bunch of good, yet overpaid, players who let their egos get the best of them. The clubs only significant move came in the form of contract extensions for Roberto Mancini and Vincent Kompany, who happens to be the only City player I respect. The key for this club lies in keeping their ego's in check, namely Balotelli. At one point last season, before their turnaround, they were fighting over who would take a free kick. If the club keeps their mouths shut and focus on playing like what City's rich as hell owners pay them, they can repeat. I doubt that cause in my mind, Balotelli's a ticking time bomb still, I'm still trying to figure out what's going through Tevez's brain(complaining about being treated like a dog 1 minute, and then being all lovey dovey the next), Dzeko has apparently become fed up with being a bench player, and Nasri is still trying to fight with Arsenal fans over justifying his transfer. In reality, I think this club's gonna need another crazy finish to repeat as champions, but they're still the favorites.

    2. Arsenal
    I know I'm gonna catch a lot of slack for this, but quite frankly this makes sense. Arsenal in my opinion is the most improved team even without RvP in the lineup. Wenger finally spent cash and although he didn't break the bank, he bought quality players. Santi Cazorla is no doubt the biggest signing of Arsenal's offseason, he was arguably one of the top players in Spain and when you look at the difference of Villareal and Malaga's last two seasons (Villareal from 4th to relegated and Malaga from 11th to 4th) he can be very influential. Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud will probably now have to have a baptism by fire with the departure of RvP though Podolski is sounding like he's ready for the challenge. I think the key for Arsenal's season is staying healthy, some of Arsenal's players have had injury concerns and last season at one point Arsenal's defence was stretched tissue paper thin and it showed. If Arsenal can keep it's players healthy and avoid a repeat of the horror start of last season, this finish isn't beyond their reach, and even contending for the title would be plausible.

    3. Manchester United
    I was really tempted to put Man U #2, but one thing kept me from it, health concerns. Before RvP's transfer I wouldn't have any trouble putting Arsenal #2, but Van Persie does still have that suspect injury record and Vidic is just coming back from his own injury. Man U's defensive issues have been masked by the attcking threat. Man U's only real notable acquisition before Van Persie was Shinji Kagawa, who hasn't been that out there in terms of exposure. That was mainly due to his inclusion on a Borrusia Dortmund team that is extremely well run by Jurgen Klopp, most of the players don't stand out on that squad because they play so well together, like they're 1 team and not 11 individuals. In truth, Man U's key to the season is really the same thing they've been doing, relying on Fergie's leadership. They actually have a better chance of winning the league than Arsenal and appear to be the one to challenge City, but if something goes wrong, such as injuries, 3rd place is definitely a possibilty.

    4. Chelsea
    While Chelsea did make the biggest transfer in acquiring Eden Hazard. But at the same time, they lost quite possibly their best player in Didier Drogba. Fernando Torres had a good finish to last year and Euro 2012 was probably the best he's been since he signed with Chelsea, but he's still wildly inconsistant. Aside from that, who else could they use as a striker? Another thing is that impatient owner, I think if a manager makes it through a whole year with Chelsea should get an award. More importantly, how long can Roberto Di Matteo rely on that defense that was the main reason for their Champions League title. If their new players adjust quickly and Torres continues his Euro 2012 form, I think they can challenge for the title. But on the flip side, Hazard cannot keep make bonehead moves like the failed backheel and if Torres falls back into his "take open shots into the upper deck" form this might be another failed EPL season.

    5. Tottenham Hotspur
    No true striker, that's all I'm seeing when I look at Spurs. Last year they had loanees Louis Saha and Emmanuel Adabayor but both have returned to their parent clubs, with Spurs still attempting to secure Adabayor on a permanent move. Couple that with Modric's pending departure and Spurs are sitting in no man's land. The signing of Jan Vertonghen may have improved the defense somewhat, but it will do nothing to help if the offense isn't improved on. Last year I was thinking they were a player or two short of a true title challenge, this year if Modric does leave, and he seems to be getting more frustrated with Levy's stubbornness with the move, they could be 1 or 2 players short of a Top 4 finish at the very least.

    6. Newcastle United
    The surprise team of last year who I believe has some staying power, namely due to Cisse and Ba. If those two can be in form at the same time they could be in major contention for Top 4 and maybe even a title challenge(that all depends on if they make any more moves).

    7. Liverpool
    They haven't really done much. Really, all Liverpool's done this offseason is be linked with numerous players. Joe Allen and Fabio Borini are the only done deals and that in my mind is only good enough to push them past Merseyside rivals Everton. If they get more deals done they could push further up the ladder.

    Relegation
    18. West Bromwich Albion
    This is a really close one, I was stuck between West Brom, Villa, QPR and Southampton, but I think the departure of Roy Hodgson will be too tough to handle for them.

    19. Norwich City
    Unfortunately the second season syndrome hits Norwich the hardest. Sadly this club is fairly exciting.

    20. Wigan
    This club will run out of rabbits to pull out of their hat. This club should have been relegated last year but somehow survived, but luck doesn't last forever.


    FA Cup - Arsenal
    Capital One Cup - Newcastle United


    Top Transfer- Santi Cazorla (Was a shining star in the other 18 teams of La Liga)
    Golden Boot- Sergio Aguero (The only player who truely deserves what he's paid on City)

    Biggest Team Improvement- Arsenal

    Biggest Team Drop- West Brom (10th to 18th, just one more spot than Norwich)
    First Manager Sacked- Roberto Di Matteo (When was the last time a Chelsea manager made it through a full season?)

    I waited to see when and if the RvP deal would be completed before I finished this. RvP to Man United got my brain thinking about the predictions I was contemplating and it became extremely tough to put Arsenal ahead of Man U, but I couldn't bring myself not to do it. Van Persie's suspect injury record was the main selling point to keep Man U 3rd. If he stays healthy for the majority of the season, then they'd definitely could finish above Arsenal, hell I'd even say they'd be in prime contention to win the league. The fact of the matter is that Man U struggled at points last season when they normally wouldn't. As for Chelsea, it could have been really easy to put them Top 3, but they bought players they wanted, not players they needed. Spurs, it's about the deals they haven't done. Newcastle, can they keep up. Liverpool, it's practically been all talk from them this summer they've been a part of more rumors than facts.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:13 pm
  • Gatehawk wrote:1. Manchester City
    I really hate putting this team of bastards up here, but they are the defending champions. They've had a really surprisingly quiet summer, aside from the constant will they won't they talk, namely about RvP. The only player they've bought is Jack Rodwell, who for some stupid reason calls this his dream move(I bet if they didn't have the billions of bucks he wouldn't be saying that). Balotelli has apparently spent most of his summer in clubs aside from being Italy's best player at Euro 2012, while Nasri continues to drag his name and reputation through the mud. Honestly nothing has really changed about this club, it's still a bunch of good, yet overpaid, players who let their egos get the best of them. The clubs only significant move came in the form of contract extensions for Roberto Mancini and Vincent Kompany, who happens to be the only City player I respect. The key for this club lies in keeping their ego's in check, namely Balotelli. At one point last season, before their turnaround, they were fighting over who would take a free kick. If the club keeps their mouths shut and focus on playing like what City's rich as hell owners pay them, they can repeat. I doubt that cause in my mind, Balotelli's a ticking time bomb still, I'm still trying to figure out what's going through Tevez's brain(complaining about being treated like a dog 1 minute, and then being all lovey dovey the next), Dzeko has apparently become fed up with being a bench player, and Nasri is still trying to fight with Arsenal fans over justifying his transfer. In reality, I think this club's gonna need another crazy finish to repeat as champions, but they're still the favorites.

    2. Arsenal
    I know I'm gonna catch a lot of slack for this, but quite frankly this makes sense. Arsenal in my opinion is the most improved team even without RvP in the lineup. Wenger finally spent cash and although he didn't break the bank, he bought quality players. Santi Cazorla is no doubt the biggest signing of Arsenal's offseason, he was arguably one of the top players in Spain and when you look at the difference of Villareal and Malaga's last two seasons (Villareal from 4th to relegated and Malaga from 11th to 4th) he can be very influential. Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud will probably now have to have a baptism by fire with the departure of RvP though Podolski is sounding like he's ready for the challenge. I think the key for Arsenal's season is staying healthy, some of Arsenal's players have had injury concerns and last season at one point Arsenal's defence was stretched tissue paper thin and it showed. If Arsenal can keep it's players healthy and avoid a repeat of the horror start of last season, this finish isn't beyond their reach, and even contending for the title would be plausible.

    3. Manchester United
    I was really tempted to put Man U #2, but one thing kept me from it, health concerns. Before RvP's transfer I wouldn't have any trouble putting Arsenal #2, but Van Persie does still have that suspect injury record and Vidic is just coming back from his own injury. Man U's defensive issues have been masked by the attcking threat. Man U's only real notable acquisition before Van Persie was Shinji Kagawa, who hasn't been that out there in terms of exposure. That was mainly due to his inclusion on a Borrusia Dortmund team that is extremely well run by Jurgen Klopp, most of the players don't stand out on that squad because they play so well together, like they're 1 team and not 11 individuals. In truth, Man U's key to the season is really the same thing they've been doing, relying on Fergie's leadership. They actually have a better chance of winning the league than Arsenal and appear to be the one to challenge City, but if something goes wrong, such as injuries, 3rd place is definitely a possibilty.

    4. Chelsea
    While Chelsea did make the biggest transfer in acquiring Eden Hazard. But at the same time, they lost quite possibly their best player in Didier Drogba. Fernando Torres had a good finish to last year and Euro 2012 was probably the best he's been since he signed with Chelsea, but he's still wildly inconsistant. Aside from that, who else could they use as a striker? Another thing is that impatient owner, I think if a manager makes it through a whole year with Chelsea should get an award. More importantly, how long can Roberto Di Matteo rely on that defense that was the main reason for their Champions League title. If their new players adjust quickly and Torres continues his Euro 2012 form, I think they can challenge for the title. But on the flip side, Hazard cannot keep make bonehead moves like the failed backheel and if Torres falls back into his "take open shots into the upper deck" form this might be another failed EPL season.

    5. Tottenham Hotspur
    No true striker, that's all I'm seeing when I look at Spurs. Last year they had loanees Louis Saha and Emmanuel Adabayor but both have returned to their parent clubs, with Spurs still attempting to secure Adabayor on a permanent move. Couple that with Modric's pending departure and Spurs are sitting in no man's land. The signing of Jan Vertonghen may have improved the defense somewhat, but it will do nothing to help if the offense isn't improved on. Last year I was thinking they were a player or two short of a true title challenge, this year if Modric does leave, and he seems to be getting more frustrated with Levy's stubbornness with the move, they could be 1 or 2 players short of a Top 4 finish at the very least.

    6. Newcastle United
    The surprise team of last year who I believe has some staying power, namely due to Cisse and Ba. If those two can be in form at the same time they could be in major contention for Top 4 and maybe even a title challenge(that all depends on if they make any more moves).

    7. Liverpool
    They haven't really done much. Really, all Liverpool's done this offseason is be linked with numerous players. Joe Allen and Fabio Borini are the only done deals and that in my mind is only good enough to push them past Merseyside rivals Everton. If they get more deals done they could push further up the ladder.

    Relegation
    18. West Bromwich Albion
    This is a really close one, I was stuck between West Brom, Villa, QPR and Southampton, but I think the departure of Roy Hodgson will be too tough to handle for them.

    19. Norwich City
    Unfortunately the second season syndrome hits Norwich the hardest. Sadly this club is fairly exciting.

    20. Wigan
    This club will run out of rabbits to pull out of their hat. This club should have been relegated last year but somehow survived, but luck doesn't last forever.


    FA Cup - Arsenal
    Capital One Cup - Newcastle United


    Top Transfer- Santi Cazorla (Was a shining star in the other 18 teams of La Liga)
    Golden Boot- Sergio Aguero (The only player who truely deserves what he's paid on City)

    Biggest Team Improvement- Arsenal

    Biggest Team Drop- West Brom (10th to 18th, just one more spot than Norwich)
    First Manager Sacked- Roberto Di Matteo (When was the last time a Chelsea manager made it through a full season?)

    I waited to see when and if the RvP deal would be completed before I finished this. RvP to Man United got my brain thinking about the predictions I was contemplating and it became extremely tough to put Arsenal ahead of Man U, but I couldn't bring myself not to do it. Van Persie's suspect injury record was the main selling point to keep Man U 3rd. If he stays healthy for the majority of the season, then they'd definitely could finish above Arsenal, hell I'd even say they'd be in prime contention to win the league. The fact of the matter is that Man U struggled at points last season when they normally wouldn't. As for Chelsea, it could have been really easy to put them Top 3, but they bought players they wanted, not players they needed. Spurs, it's about the deals they haven't done. Newcastle, can they keep up. Liverpool, it's practically been all talk from them this summer they've been a part of more rumors than facts.


    lol. Oh jesus christ im going to jump out a window.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:19 pm
  • Gatehawk wrote:1. Manchester City
    I really hate putting this team of bastards up here, but they are the defending champions. They've had a really surprisingly quiet summer, aside from the constant will they won't they talk, namely about RvP. The only player they've bought is Jack Rodwell, who for some stupid reason calls this his dream move(I bet if they didn't have the billions of bucks he wouldn't be saying that). Balotelli has apparently spent most of his summer in clubs aside from being Italy's best player at Euro 2012, while Nasri continues to drag his name and reputation through the mud. Honestly nothing has really changed about this club, it's still a bunch of good, yet overpaid, players who let their egos get the best of them. The clubs only significant move came in the form of contract extensions for Roberto Mancini and Vincent Kompany, who happens to be the only City player I respect. The key for this club lies in keeping their ego's in check, namely Balotelli. At one point last season, before their turnaround, they were fighting over who would take a free kick. If the club keeps their mouths shut and focus on playing like what City's rich as hell owners pay them, they can repeat. I doubt that cause in my mind, Balotelli's a ticking time bomb still, I'm still trying to figure out what's going through Tevez's brain(complaining about being treated like a dog 1 minute, and then being all lovey dovey the next), Dzeko has apparently become fed up with being a bench player, and Nasri is still trying to fight with Arsenal fans over justifying his transfer. In reality, I think this club's gonna need another crazy finish to repeat as champions, but they're still the favorites.

    2. Arsenal
    I know I'm gonna catch a lot of slack for this, but quite frankly this makes sense. Arsenal in my opinion is the most improved team even without RvP in the lineup. Wenger finally spent cash and although he didn't break the bank, he bought quality players. Santi Cazorla is no doubt the biggest signing of Arsenal's offseason, he was arguably one of the top players in Spain and when you look at the difference of Villareal and Malaga's last two seasons (Villareal from 4th to relegated and Malaga from 11th to 4th) he can be very influential. Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud will probably now have to have a baptism by fire with the departure of RvP though Podolski is sounding like he's ready for the challenge. I think the key for Arsenal's season is staying healthy, some of Arsenal's players have had injury concerns and last season at one point Arsenal's defence was stretched tissue paper thin and it showed. If Arsenal can keep it's players healthy and avoid a repeat of the horror start of last season, this finish isn't beyond their reach, and even contending for the title would be plausible.

    3. Manchester United
    I was really tempted to put Man U #2, but one thing kept me from it, health concerns. Before RvP's transfer I wouldn't have any trouble putting Arsenal #2, but Van Persie does still have that suspect injury record and Vidic is just coming back from his own injury. Man U's defensive issues have been masked by the attcking threat. Man U's only real notable acquisition before Van Persie was Shinji Kagawa, who hasn't been that out there in terms of exposure. That was mainly due to his inclusion on a Borrusia Dortmund team that is extremely well run by Jurgen Klopp, most of the players don't stand out on that squad because they play so well together, like they're 1 team and not 11 individuals. In truth, Man U's key to the season is really the same thing they've been doing, relying on Fergie's leadership. They actually have a better chance of winning the league than Arsenal and appear to be the one to challenge City, but if something goes wrong, such as injuries, 3rd place is definitely a possibilty.

    4. Chelsea
    While Chelsea did make the biggest transfer in acquiring Eden Hazard. But at the same time, they lost quite possibly their best player in Didier Drogba. Fernando Torres had a good finish to last year and Euro 2012 was probably the best he's been since he signed with Chelsea, but he's still wildly inconsistant. Aside from that, who else could they use as a striker? Another thing is that impatient owner, I think if a manager makes it through a whole year with Chelsea should get an award. More importantly, how long can Roberto Di Matteo rely on that defense that was the main reason for their Champions League title. If their new players adjust quickly and Torres continues his Euro 2012 form, I think they can challenge for the title. But on the flip side, Hazard cannot keep make bonehead moves like the failed backheel and if Torres falls back into his "take open shots into the upper deck" form this might be another failed EPL season.

    5. Tottenham Hotspur
    No true striker, that's all I'm seeing when I look at Spurs. Last year they had loanees Louis Saha and Emmanuel Adabayor but both have returned to their parent clubs, with Spurs still attempting to secure Adabayor on a permanent move. Couple that with Modric's pending departure and Spurs are sitting in no man's land. The signing of Jan Vertonghen may have improved the defense somewhat, but it will do nothing to help if the offense isn't improved on. Last year I was thinking they were a player or two short of a true title challenge, this year if Modric does leave, and he seems to be getting more frustrated with Levy's stubbornness with the move, they could be 1 or 2 players short of a Top 4 finish at the very least.

    6. Newcastle United
    The surprise team of last year who I believe has some staying power, namely due to Cisse and Ba. If those two can be in form at the same time they could be in major contention for Top 4 and maybe even a title challenge(that all depends on if they make any more moves).

    7. Liverpool
    They haven't really done much. Really, all Liverpool's done this offseason is be linked with numerous players. Joe Allen and Fabio Borini are the only done deals and that in my mind is only good enough to push them past Merseyside rivals Everton. If they get more deals done they could push further up the ladder.

    Relegation
    18. West Bromwich Albion
    This is a really close one, I was stuck between West Brom, Villa, QPR and Southampton, but I think the departure of Roy Hodgson will be too tough to handle for them.

    19. Norwich City
    Unfortunately the second season syndrome hits Norwich the hardest. Sadly this club is fairly exciting.

    20. Wigan
    This club will run out of rabbits to pull out of their hat. This club should have been relegated last year but somehow survived, but luck doesn't last forever.


    FA Cup - Arsenal
    Capital One Cup - Newcastle United


    Top Transfer- Santi Cazorla (Was a shining star in the other 18 teams of La Liga)
    Golden Boot- Sergio Aguero (The only player who truely deserves what he's paid on City)

    Biggest Team Improvement- Arsenal

    Biggest Team Drop- West Brom (10th to 18th, just one more spot than Norwich)
    First Manager Sacked- Roberto Di Matteo (When was the last time a Chelsea manager made it through a full season?)

    I waited to see when and if the RvP deal would be completed before I finished this. RvP to Man United got my brain thinking about the predictions I was contemplating and it became extremely tough to put Arsenal ahead of Man U, but I couldn't bring myself not to do it. Van Persie's suspect injury record was the main selling point to keep Man U 3rd. If he stays healthy for the majority of the season, then they'd definitely could finish above Arsenal, hell I'd even say they'd be in prime contention to win the league. The fact of the matter is that Man U struggled at points last season when they normally wouldn't. As for Chelsea, it could have been really easy to put them Top 3, but they bought players they wanted, not players they needed. Spurs, it's about the deals they haven't done. Newcastle, can they keep up. Liverpool, it's practically been all talk from them this summer they've been a part of more rumors than facts.


    INCORRECT
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:53 pm
  • peachesenregalia wrote:INCORRECT


    Okay Mr. Expert, care to elaborate on why it's incorrect? Cause I don't see a reason why I might be wrong, and all that tells me is that you don't like my predictions. Last year you said I was wishful thinking about me predicting a 3rd place finish for Arsenal, but I was right? Hell I was right bout the Top 3's exact order.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:48 am
  • Pretty good opening day.

    Always nice to see Liverpool get smashed
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:58 am
  • Jog on, Bill.

    Liverpool were admittedly poor. I'm not happy to see so many players out of position. I don't think we have the personnel for a solid 4-3-3 like that. Suarez not putting away his chances is one thing, but he was basically the only one creating them. Downing is awful, Gerrard needs to step back, Borini was poor, Allen was a non-factor, lucas was way out of position. Rodgers needs to start putting players in position to enhance their strengths, not weaken them. First game, lots of lessons to be learned. WBA were great up front, and decently organized in the back. Liverpool's back 4 were shambolic, especially in the second half.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:17 am
  • I just finished watching the Arsenal game. Sunderland didn't even try today, but had almost as many decent shots on goal. I was watching while cooking and there was no commentary so my assessments may be well off, but Carzola looked very good, Giroud looked promising, despite a pretty poor miss, Gervinho has skills but lacks control when it comes to finishing, Podolski was a bit off the pace. Mertesacker didn't have to do much, but still didn't look convincing in defence.

    They had absolutely no help from the crowd. As there was no commentary on my feed (living the dream!) you could hear the crowd pretty clearly, or you could have, if they'd bother to open their mouths. Poor effort.

    It was still promising for Arsenal though. A few new faces settling in and most of the possession and territory, but Sunderland did sweet FA, passing poorly and hoofing it long out of the box all game, so it's hard to make a proper judgment. Except that Carzola looked good.

    Oh, and Song's gone. Barcelona for £15 million.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:35 am
  • I watched the majority of the Arsenal match and it was a fairly good match by Arsenal. They were unfortunate not to score with the amount of shots they had. Sunderland played very good defense, which was really all they could do. The new signings were good, especially Cazorla who I think was man of the match. Podolski had some good chances but didn't finish them and Giroud was good as well. I will have to disagree with Hawkspur about Mertesacker, as I'm not sure if it was just me, but he almost looked faster. I still question Per's decision to push forward some of the time.

    Sunderland on the other hand were way more worrisome with the lack of possession on the attacking half. They did have a great chance 5 minutes in but McClean shot straight at Szczesny. Most of their other chances were either shut down, or a bad pass or touch ruined it.

    I liked how Arsenal played today, obviously I would have liked a win, but it looked like a better game than last season's opener. If the injured players comeback fit and stay that way it looks like it could be a good season.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:00 am
  • So while watching the Arsenal-Sunderland match this morning the announcers commented that starting this season the PL was requiring all pitches to be the same size. Anyone know why they made that change?
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:04 am
  • SeatownJay wrote:So while watching the Arsenal-Sunderland match this morning the announcers commented that starting this season the PL was requiring all pitches to be the same size. Anyone know why they made that change?


    This is the first time I've heard about that.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:37 am
  • Bad result, bad not a bad start for Spurs. We restricted one of the league's best front lines to 2 goals from about our only mistakes in the game. We should have scored more, but such is life. The result highlighted our need to get the Modric nonsense over with and buy a striker and another midfielder. Defoe had a good game but I'd be happier with him coming on as an impact sub and we I'd prefer if we didn't need to start with Livermore too often at this stage.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:47 am
  • That was a great strike by Demba Ba
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:57 am
  • Yeah, it was. He's a good player alright. Newcastle have quietly assembled a whole lot of them.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:14 pm
  • Pleased to see Fulham thumping Norwich today to chants of, "Are you watching Clint Dempsey?"

    Too many players spit the dummy out when they don't get their own way. If you sign a contract, it's the clubs perogative to turn down offers for you. Well played Fulham.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:49 pm
  • 3 things I learned from the Arsenal-Sunderland match today:

    1. The team isn't going to have a problem distributing the ball.
    2. There wasn't enough action for the defense to have a definitive opinion on where they stand.
    3. We are going to hear the RVP excuse for EVERYTHING and it isn't going to be Arsenal using it. Examples: If Arsenal missed a shot, "if that was RvP they would have scored". If Arsenal drew or lost, "If they had RvP, that would have turned out differently."
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:07 am
  • Watched Match of the Day last night and it was a great opening day; unfortunately for Spurs, Newcastle looked good, but if Spurs had another Striker other than Defoe, i'm not sure this would have been the result; however Ba and Cabaye are definately quality players!
    Swansea, well, stunned by their play, and Fulham aswell!
    Rodgers and Liverpool? Teething problems possibly, but not helped by the crap defending; if something doesn't improve there, I can certainly see him losing the fans, though not necessarily his job but I'm thinking if Hughes has a few more days like that with the super hoops, he'll be making my prediction of him being the first one for the chop come true; I just don't see Tony Fernandes being THAT patient with his investment; he looked so pissed off when the camera cut to him on the stands! I personally don't see QPR as ever being good enough to be more than relegation dodgers/bottom half at best, but I think the Chairman does, so Hughes will be a gonner with either a few more results like that, or they're not top half later on in the season, rightly or wrongly!

    Early days though, but i think it's going to be a good season :D
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:00 am
  • Sussex - how are Brighton's prospects this season?

    Gate - What you say about people's lazy comments about missing RvP is undoubtedly true, but....RvP would have scored. Gervinho and Giroud got loads of great service but couldn't finish it off. Of course you can't guarantee that RvP would have scored, but I'm certain he would have threatened more than Gervinho did.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:19 am
  • Hawkspur wrote:Sussex - how are Brighton's prospects this season?

    Gate - What you say about people's lazy comments about missing RvP is undoubtedly true, but....RvP would have scored. Gervinho and Giroud got loads of great service but couldn't finish it off. Of course you can't guarantee that RvP would have scored, but I'm certain he would have threatened more than Gervinho did.


    I think Gervinho's main problem is that even he doesn't realize how fast he is and that he tries to do too much.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:21 pm
  • Hawkspur wrote:Sussex - how are Brighton's prospects this season?

    Gate - What you say about people's lazy comments about missing RvP is undoubtedly true, but....RvP would have scored. Gervinho and Giroud got loads of great service but couldn't finish it off. Of course you can't guarantee that RvP would have scored, but I'm certain he would have threatened more than Gervinho did.



    @Hawkspur..........Early days but I honestly think play offs this year; there's a few signings coming soon according to Mr Poyet, so i'm hoping they'll be good ones
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:53 pm
  • Hmm, I wonder what happened to Man United today. They bought Van Persie to aid in scoring goals. Instead they started him on the bench and they couldn't score. When they brought him on, they still couldn't score. They just flat out couldn't score even when Howard was caught out of goal. They better hope this is just a blip and not a sign of things to come.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:20 pm
  • He hardly played in the preseason, give him a few games to get rolling. Everton isn't a pushover either especially at home.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:07 am
  • Looks like Sahin is off to Arsenal on loan. It's strictly 1 year, though, as Mourinho has once again absolutely refused to consider any possibility that the deal could become permanent.

    I think Llorente could be on his way to Chelsea. Boo.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:20 am
  • Gatehawk wrote:Hmm, I wonder what happened to Man United today. They bought Van Persie to aid in scoring goals. Instead they started him on the bench and they couldn't score. When they brought him on, they still couldn't score. They just flat out couldn't score even when Howard was caught out of goal. They better hope this is just a blip and not a sign of things to come.


    RVP is not match fit yet. Everton are prety tough to beat at Goodison. HOWEVER. I thought United looked flat. Their defense - although having a couple of injuries - was shambolic. Couldn't cope with Fellaini at all. Scholes was far and away their best player, and I think that's worrisome to pin your hopes on a 39 yr old. Kagawa didn't look great, their wingers were pretty awful, and Rooney couldn't get anything going. Having said that, it's a long season, and you know United will be there at the end. RVP will score goals for them, provided he can stay healthy.

    You need to learn that players leaving your club is part of football, Gate. Nothing personal.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:41 am
  • I made the mistake of turning on the radio when, arguably, the two biggest idiots in sports (Andy Gray and Richard 'Smash It' Keys - if they're not the most idiotic they're certainly the most odious)) were in the midst of declaring that Everton will probably finish in the top 4! Talk about knee-jerk. Pretty much sums up that particular station though, I guess.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:52 am
  • Hawkspur wrote:I made the mistake of turning on the radio when, arguably, the two biggest idiots in sports (Andy Gray and Richard 'Smash It' Keys - if they're not the most idiotic they're certainly the most odious)) were in the midst of declaring that Everton will probably finish in the top 4! Talk about knee-jerk. Pretty much sums up that particular station though, I guess.


    Andy Gray's always been a muppet. Everton looked well against United, but I don't think a top-4 finish is on the cards.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:22 am
  • This is actually the hypocrisy of the move, I can't mock Van Persie cause he isn't "match fit" while it's alright for people to mock Olivier Giroud, who had virtually the same amount of preseason action, for missing really the only shot he got against Sunderland. I wasn't taking anything away from Everton, they were obviously the better team yesterday.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:24 am
  • peachesenregalia wrote:
    Hawkspur wrote:I made the mistake of turning on the radio when, arguably, the two biggest idiots in sports (Andy Gray and Richard 'Smash It' Keys - if they're not the most idiotic they're certainly the most odious)) were in the midst of declaring that Everton will probably finish in the top 4! Talk about knee-jerk. Pretty much sums up that particular station though, I guess.


    Andy Gray's always been a muppet. Everton looked well against United, but I don't think a top-4 finish is on the cards.


    Everton's got about a snowball's chance in hell to finish Top 4, qualifying for the Europa League is probably their finish at the most this year.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:58 am
  • Gatehawk wrote:This is actually the hypocrisy of the move, I can't mock Van Persie cause he isn't "match fit" while it's alright for people to mock Olivier Giroud, who had virtually the same amount of preseason action, for missing really the only shot he got against Sunderland. I wasn't taking anything away from Everton, they were obviously the better team yesterday.


    Who mocked Giroud? all reports I read said he looked pretty good.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:15 am
  • peachesenregalia wrote:
    Who mocked Giroud? all reports I read said he looked pretty good.


    Probably the Arsenal 'fans' who were all over twitter saying that they hoped van Persie contracted AIDS after signing with United.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:41 am
  • What reports have you been reading? And Hawkspur, get your head out of your ass, Arsenal fans just want RvP injured in some form, they haven't criticized Giroud.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:15 pm
  • Busy day at the Lane today. Levy seems to have cashed in on two 5-0 thrashings on the weekend by offloading our surplus centre backs to Norwich (Bassong) and QPR (Dawson) respectively. It'll be sad to see Dawson go but I couldn't see his style of play suiting AVB's high-line, ball-playing defensive style. Apparently the fee agreed for Dawson is £9 million too, which would be nothing short of mind-boggling.

    Adebayor is back as well. Reports about the fee vary but £5 mil seems to be what City have received. The BBC are reporting that City will continue to pay the majority of his wages for the next 2 years too, which, if true, would be incredible business for Spurs, and quite frankly serves City right for driving up wages by paying ridiculous amounts, seemingly to anyone who asks for them.

    If all these fees are true (and the Dawson fee goes through) we'll be in profit for this window with the Modric deal still to come. I have my fingers firmly crossed for some exciting signings in the next 10 days.

    Striker, playmaking midfielder and winger please!
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:21 pm
  • Daily Mail is reporting that the Nuri Sahin deal has been completed, with a clause that will allow Arsenal to make the move permanent for £14 million at the end of the season. Sky Sports, on the other hand, is reporting that the deal is almost complete. If this true, We should expect the deal to be confirmed by the end of this week

    AC Milan is reportedly after Nicklas Bendtner and are prepared to offer Philippe Mexes as part of their bid for the Danish striker.

    Fernando Llorente's agent has stated that there are two EPL clubs that have made their interest in the Spanish striker, one in Manchester and one in London. We all know who the Manchester club is but the London club may be either Arsenal or Spurs, not so sure about Spurs after Adebaywhore's completed move.
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Re: EPL 2012-2013
Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:22 am
  • $14 million for Sahin? seems, well..... thats a very un-Arsenal like offer. I've been reading that Wenger is not sold on the deal... if that's the deal I can see why. They just did solid business in off-loading a 29 year old, oft-injured striker and would now be willing to throw 14 million and an even more oft-injured mid fielder?Something's off there. I see Sahin going (and doing above average) but not at that deal....

    Its taken me some time to step in here after the debacle on Saturday. Christ on a bike, just find the freaking net and we're sitting at three points.. instead its Liverpool-as-usual and already the fingers are out of the ears and resting firmly on the panic button.

    Its only game 1, but obviously some concerns are apparent for a few teams, including Liverpool, United (Everton looked good to net 3-4), Spurs depth and Arsenal's wastefulness near goal. Interesting reading Gate, I'm not sure we watched the same game. All true it was the first game, but the defending will get better as well. Carzola looked the part. Podolski looked average. Giraud.... well this isnt Ligue 1. He will need to step up (with Posolski). Is the Song deal complete? seems a massive loss... is it?

    Liverpool needs another striker-winger to add... and quickly. It cant wait until January. The Dempsey deal may come around again, but seeing that Carroll has no place in the squad they will need to more than just Dempsey (or Adam Johnson, Walcott, etal).

    There seems to be some steam gathering on Kaka coming as well.... i have nothing to add to that (except if it was sstill 2009 we would have Alonso)...

    and the holders this weekend.... getting late early
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    Uncle Si
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