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Everything posted by IlDuce

  1. Re: Fixes for Liverpool (From a non-fan) Understandable. I did briefly postulate that new owners would have to come in and spend some money. The Higuain acquisition was an exchange for Torres. I think Madrid would do it if, like I said, you made the price a little lower than Ribery. I like Higuain, too, but it all depends on what you find more attractive, Torres and Benz or Higuain and Benz? And does the Negredo buy-back play into this? I agree with the idea of Marc Janko, and I don't understand why no one has yet to give him a serious shot. Especially as an Everton fan, if I won the lottery I'd send Mr. Kenwright a nice chunk of it to go buy him. I like Chamakh's game though, and I think maybe he's just a bit of a late bloomer. The Higuain/Chamakh combo would be interesting. Again I agree on Di Maria, but disagree on Toulalan. I like him and he's only 28 right now. I'd be worried about age if you tried to bring a Marcos Senna, but as a defensive midfielder I feel you can play at an elite level longer. CB is such a crapshoot, but you cannot, repeat, CANNOT win in the CL without at least 1 elite CB who can run and handle the ball a bit. I would throw out a player like Hangeland, but I don't think he has the necessary skill to anchor a top European defense line. EPL? Yeah, he can be very good. But up against the Spanish teams? I think he'd get carved up. Maybe it'd be smarter to go with Gonzalo and try for a Brazilian like Toloi? Who knows. As for the cost of all this, it is all predicated on new ownership. In fact, Liverpool are looking up at the best example; Manchester City. Money moves people. Liverpool aren't a big club right now, but they are still top 10 in terms of name recognition and (obviously) tradition. If you can bring in owners committed to smart spending (if you sold Torres/Masch/scraps you could have $100m to start with) the players will come.
  2. Re: Fixes for Liverpool (From a non-fan) Some I'd certainly agree with. Di Maria in particular I think will be manning the left wing as the successor to Ryan Giggs. I have heard however, at least rumors of Liverpool keeping tabs on Chamakh, and Toulalan will leave Lyon when his contract is up (call me out if I'm wrong). I don't think that most of the transfers I suggested were improbable. Who amongst them would you be skeptical of? Most of those players are at clubs you would still put "below" the level of a Liverpool, and most of it was financed by selling Torres. Also I just watched the abomination of Juventus vs. Chievo, and I've got even money on Rafa moving to Turin very, very soon.
  3. Re: Fixes for Liverpool (From a non-fan) Not actually intended but rather funny nonetheless. I blanked that game out of my memory it seems. I still think Kuyt is somewhere south of rubbish. I do love Benayoun though--Liverpool just seem like a much more dangerous, active team when he's in there. Dirk Kuyt's thought process in a game; "Okay....yeah.....yeah....got the ball....okay run hard with it....oh, here comes a defender....okay run harder but this time go really wide around him....yeah....yeah....okay let's cross this one......cmon Dirk don't kick it over the back line...c'mon Dirk keep it in....looking good................*ball lands in the river*...............oh hamburgers"
  4. Re: Fixes for Liverpool (From a non-fan) Not true, I left the following bench players Cavallieri Skrtel Maxwell (as part of the Masch deal, may be someone else I was just suggesting you get a player back) Lucas Benayoun N'Gog Plus I didn't know what to do with Riera And a veteran striker/strong youth player That was the bench I left, and certainly looks better than what you thought, no?
  5. Re: Fixes for Liverpool (From a non-fan) That's a rather poor accusation to make (if directed at me). I can't use the languate I'd like to direct at you if you're saying I copy/paste. And yes, I have a bad habit of using the word "we" when referring to sports. There's a lot of us, mind you.
  6. Re: Fixes for Liverpool (From a non-fan) Benayoun or Babel is an interesting debate, but you're not going to lure a 36 year old Pipo from Italy and solve your scoring options. Also if you bring in Guti and sell Gerrard you are MASSIVELY downgrading your midfield. I like Guti but he's on the wrong side of 30. Guti-Lucas-Aquilani-Babel-Kuyt certainly doesn't strike fear in the hearts of stalwart opponents. I'm still mixed on Mertesacker, I don't get to watch many German games let alone Werder. Maybe Bruno Alves is the better choice? I'd revise and go Alves if he was a significantly faster player than Mertesacker. If you're going to compete in Europe you need at least 1 central defender with good legs.
  7. Well now that your inability to ward off Stoke City has put another dagger in Rafa, and your utter mess of a team/organization is in grave danger of falling ANOTHER 2 points behind the Champions League spots, it's time to do some critical thinking. How do we fix this team? Who stays? Who goes? How long can we continue to get laughed at? The following "plan of action" needs to begin immediately. Now, I've ommitted two key elements. I am assuming that a) Rafa is gone, and so are the owners. However you don't get off easy Liverpool, you don't get to hire Guus Hiddink and have some wealthy Saudi prince buy your club. No, this is a working plan. On a side note, yes I am an Everton fan, but I find this situation fascinating and let's face it, the list to fix Everton is two items long; stop getting hurt, buy a striker Step 1: Sell your soon to be peripheral players Goodbye to Fabio Aurelio, Daniel Agger, Nabil El Zhar, and Dirk Kuyt. A few are obvious, but Kuyt is the key here; he has to go. The fact that Gerrard and Torres score 50% of LFC's goals is indicative of a paltry midfield. Now yes, many clubs are limited to two goal scorers, but you would still assess that many other players are threats to score goals and create goals. Watching Kuyt you have to keep reminding yourself he used to be a striker. Misses at Portsmouth and Stoke are too critical to a long campaign like the Premiership. If you're going to be average on the ball and average delivering the ball, you had better score, and Kuyt doesn't do enough clinical finishing. Projected windfall: $25-30 million. Step 2: Time to sell some stars First up and out of Merseyside is Javier Mascherano. The cyclical nature of trends in sports has come around to the "defensive midfielder/Makelele" position. After years of the position being undervalued, it is now OVER-valued. Not in that it is not a critical position, but in that there are many players who can adequately fit the position. Mascherano is a walking red card who has a high cash value. We're going to sell him off to Spain for a good price, and hopefully bring in a nice bench player to bolster squad depth. If he goes to Barcelona, I'd suggest Maxwell as a player who can ably back-up your left back of the future, Insua. If Real Madrid want him then perhaps a Drenthe/Granero as a youngster coming off the bench who may prove himself. Okay, now for second part of this equation. No, we are not going to sell Steven Gerrard. The damage to your fan base would be irreconcilable, and it's too tough to find English midfielders like Stevie. So instead, we're gonna sell your other big boy, and that means goodbye Fernando Torres. The reasoning? Well, you're going to have to sell him if you don't make the Champs League. He also get injured/nicked a lot and in the EPL it's only going to get worse over time as the injuries mount up. He'll be the premier player available, as we're hoping Valencia make the CL and David Villa stays. Send 'Nando to Spain for the highest bidder. If Man U. can sell CR, then you can sell him. particularly when you most likely aren't going to have a choice. Gerrard will stay if you don't make the CL, but it's unlikely that Torres will. Again however, we dangle out two options to interested clubs. You can either pay a boatload of cash, or let us pick a player for exchange. As I think Mascherano was more highly pursued by Barca, let him go there. Let Real Madrid take 'Nando, but undercut the Ribery price and ask for Higuain in return. Don't worry, he'll start, but you have to convince Perez there's no room for Benz, Torres, Negredo, AND Higuain, the player we want. Projected Windfall; around $25 million for Mascherano + a player, and let's say at least $65 million for Fernando, or $55 + Higuain (preferred) Step 3: Back to 4-4-2 You can't play a Spanish style 4-5-1 in the EPL with the way that the lower teams play you. Slow possession and timely passing get countered out by packing men, and hitting you on the counter-attack. We need to do a few things with the new 4-4-2. First, relieve the pressure on Gerrard. I love 4-5-1 formations, but this guy would be better served playing behind two strikers. It's too easy to pick him out when a player like Torres has the ball in a non-scoring position. Fernando's on-the-ball ability is countered by the fact that he only has Gerrard to finish his moves. Letting Gerrard into the play later makes him more lethal, forcing a midfielder to pick him up rather than a central defender. And by going with a 4-4-2 we try to increase chances from crosses/set pieces. I love Torres, but he's not as much a menace in the air as we need from set pieces. Step 4: Okay, who's playing in this formation? Valid question by myself. We'll start from the back. Glen Johnson is fine. Insua should be given the opportunity to prove himself. We do however, need to bring a central defender. Carragher is just getting too old, and we are going to give Martin Skrtel the chance to prove himself. If Johnson is going to bomb up the right side we need a tougher player on his side of central defense. The first player we will attempt to bring in is Per Mertesacker. He's gigantic, swats away balls in the air, is still young, and plays for a team in a non-bulletproof position. Put him next to a leader like Carragher and let him learn how to command the back line. Back-up options: Bruno Alves (I would be happy to settle on), Phillipe Mexes, Gonzalo at CB. If you're unconvinced that Insua can do the job, grab Leighton Baines and be very happy. Up top we've already nabbed Higuain, and now we need to pair him with someone. Since we've been able to pick up a nice pot of cash, we can afford to overpay on Marouane Chamakh. Goal.com recently did a quick piece on him, and they are right in pointing his "aerial efficiency". He is also used to playing with a great attacking midfielder right behind him (Gourcuff) and not at the advanced age of others. We're going to need to break down these defenses with power alongside Higuain, not another skillful player. Back-up options; Carlton Cole, Marcus Berg, Marc Janko. And keep developing N'Gog, but also don't spend money on flippin' Kenwyne Jones. Ugh. Also look for an older player who can sub for Chamakh. RVN, Trez, that sort of finisher who is inexpensive, doesn't need to play every game. There's always an Hernan Crespo-like player out there. Finally, the midfield. Hoo boy. We start by replacing Mascherano, and I'm going back to France with Jeremy Toulalan. A player who can break a stone wall, cover deep in defense (he's played CB), and will not be too expensive as he is near end of contract and a few years older than Masch. Toulalan is also unselfish in his responsibilities; which means you can sit Aquilani down next to him, and allow Alberto to make plays right behind Gerrard, and move up the field as long as Toulalan can cover. Pairing two players more accustomed to attack (Leiva and Aquilani) would leave us in the same position of getting beaten on counter-attacks. And finally to pair up with Gerrard we have a bit of a decision to make? Do we keep Riera? Can Maxi fill in? I'm going no on both accounts. Maxi will stay, but as a great cover for injuries, and to allow us to flex into a 4-5-1 with Maxi on the right if needed. Playing up with Gerrard will be Angel Di Maria. I wasn't convinced Di Maria could play in the EPL until I found out he's nearly six feet tall(!). He provides goal scoring-ability and is left footed to boot. If you can get Glen Johnson in an advanced positon, you then swing Di Maria out left and have a sort of 3-5-2. He may be expensive, but you're going have to spend some money here, folks. Back-up options; Jonathan De Guzman, Steven Defour/Alex Witsel, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, etc. So we now have a new look formation bought with players that CAN be had. That is of the utmost. No matter how much money you have, you won't be able to pry away talent from CL teams. Bring in a great, international coach who is going to excite these guys, and hope that a few of them don't even make the CL. We're also staying away from players out of our reach like Kjaer, Dzeko, David Silva, etc. And again, with Chamakh, the money we just raised through selling allows us to overbid the competition (Arsenal). Reina Johnson--Mertesacker/etc--Carragher--Insua Toulalan--Aquilani Gerrard------Di Maria Higuain--Chamakh Step 5: Copy Sir Alex (a bit) The most curious transfer of the off-season might have Gabby Obertan to Manchester. However, he is the type of great gamble you can make after selling off so many keep players. This one is up to the club if they've given up on Ryan Babel. Babel could be an impactful substitute on the right wing, but I like Benayoun and the cash from his sale. Yossi is a great bench player, a more skilled Park Ji-Sung who overshadows more expensive under-achievers. But with the leftover money we've acquired, we'll go out and spend good money on high rated youngsters. Romano Lukaku, Andre Ayew, Moussa Sissoko, Afellay, these kind of players. We all know who they are from searching the database. But the key is start building a younger side, stay away from players in their late 20's/early 30's who are about to start slowing down. Do you miss 'Nando? Of course. But I am quite afraid that the continued wear and tear on him is going to leave you with a Michael Owen-like injury consistency. I also think you have to make sacrifices, and this is akin to Ronaldo leaving Man U. Without the bench strength and youth prospects you cannot survive the long EPL campaign, and unfortunately Torres is the way to solve these problems. This team, if it comes through on potential, would slice apart the likes of Man City/Spurs, and give you more opportunities to start putting up 3-4 goals on the lower teams, instead of praying to scrape by on a late goal 2-1. Did we spend more than we sold? Yes, but the difference is huge if you keep Torres. The total here could run up near $80-100 million with Torres, but by selling him we try to keep the deficit down near $30 million, and a much more manageable plan for new investors.
  8. Re: Walcott trade help I don't see Dembele as ever being better than Benz, Higuain, Dzeko. I also don't see Hangeland as ever being better than Pique, Silva, or Vermaelen at least. So I'd say do it if you like Walcott actually, as you aren't losing anything you really need.
  9. Re: Walcott trade help Walcott has a higher ceiling (my opinion) than the other two players. Should go to the World Cup as long as he regains fitness, and provides a good service as an off the bench attacking winger with more ball skills than a Beckham. Although he could move down the order if Lennon is on the bench/more match fit than Walcott. The deal depends on your team. If you're still Arsenal, I might hold off for a few weeks to see if Walcott gets back into the first team. He's a Wing/Fwd (right?) and I like his versatility, too. If you're a mid-level club and the other two players represent upgrades at their respective positions, then I could definitely say accepting would be justified.
  10. Re: Who will be better... Tevez/Ade aren't going to rise immediately, you'll have to wait for them to enter the Champs League. You certainly want to dump Inzaghi and Nihat as they have no chance of re-rising due to age/other conditions. Any younger 89 striker would make sense long-term. Mutu -- 92 Henry -- 93 VDV -- 92/91 (although he just earned a starting spot it seemed before getting hurt, shame) Kaka -- 96/97, I just don't find him as effective for club anymore. Dinho -- 92/93, playing brilliantly lately but might be too late to stave off a decent drop. I would actually go with Adebayor to replace Mutu/Henry, as I think VDV can rebound his career, whereas Mutu/Henry are both on their way down and probably won't be at their current clubs for much longer. Also, I'd consider adding a striker as your backups are not adequate in case of an injury. All things considered you can't really make a bad choice here, Nasri is a very good young player as well.
  11. Re: I can have ANY of these. Please help me choose who Yikes that's a doozy of a list, if only because you have some tough choices. You've got a few sub-groups sort of. Consistent Performers; Emanuelson Llorente Jurado Oft starters/sometimes Substitutes; Rakitic Canella Marcano The Talented, High Profile Guy who is underperforming/making his coach mad and is probably going to leave in the summer so who knows; Ben Arfa Personally I like Llorente and Jurado. Llorente could be an impact sub for La Roja during the world cup, as I think he's more match-fit than Bojan and Guiza isn't featuring. Jurado has been playing well and with Maxi on his way out he could be part of the new look Atletico. Emanuelson is playing better after being a bit up/down for Ajax, however the Dutch League is capped at 90 and he doesn't deserve to go up until a move to a better league. Ben Arfa is a big risk, as he's argued with the coach and is probably trying to get out. Long term, he's probably the best buy as the most hyped guy in your list. I like Llorente as he's a stable 90 and Jurado, and the Rakitic/Canella/Marcano group are all players who could up 1 the next ratings check, but not any more than that I suspect.
  12. Re: transfer help Are you using Silva as a Winger in the midfield or a Fwd? I'd accept anyways, you're getting two very good players and a little cash.
  13. Re: Help with the formtions and tactics.... I don't think I've ever seen em injured, but I'd assume they can be. Plus if you get the fixtures backed up and all of a sudden you're playing a game where your 90 rated GK is at 85%, you're usually better off going with the fully fit guy.
  14. Re: Help with the formtions and tactics.... 2 GKs and a young prospect GK is all you need. I guess sell De Sanctis since he's older, Howard should be one of the better GKs in the game but SM's vague capping system limits him since he plays on Everton.
  15. Re: Help with the formtions and tactics.... Aye you just beat me to it, when I started the reply the post was still un-replied to.
  16. Re: Help with the formtions and tactics.... Sell; Maxwell -- He's peaked at 92, and while hurt a 91 is likely. Zanetti -- If only because he doesn't have very long left in his career. Cazorla -- Yes, he was hurt, but he hasn't been playing great and you have 3 other wingers. Kanoute -- If you can get good value, he's getting old and will be gone for the Cup of Nations, and if Negredo wins his spot he'll have much reduced time. Babel -- I personally think he's garbage, and would sell him for the right deal, especially you can find someone who's high on him. Keep; Rafinha -- He's moving somewhere higher up, possibly a replacement for Grygera at Juve. Kiessling --12 goals on the year, should get bumped up next time around. O'Shea -- CONDITIONAL KEEP. I would keep him since he's still 89 for a few months, and you need cover at CB with only Corluka and Vidic there. Also get rid of one of the on-loan goalkeepers. There's no reason to be paying wages for the both of them. Howard is great, you keep a backup and buy a goalkeeping prospect (check other threads). Tactics; I am not a huge fan of the 3-5-2, as it's too easily countered and results vary unless you have a stellar back line. I'm a big fan of 4-2-3-1, in which case I'd go; Howard Arbeloa--Corluka--Vidic--Maxwell Zanetti--Pizarro Schweini--Cazorla--Trochowski Kanoute And yes I did use some of the players recommended to sell, but I'm sure you can figure out the backups. You have too many RBs, and if you go with 1 striker, you need 3/4 at most for non-GC worlds. Try to grab a strong AM, and use excess players for top prospects like Salvio/Kjaer/Rodwell/etc.
  17. Re: DM Riser You're right, DM isn't a flashy position. And all of the top DMs have maxed out like Zanetti. It's also just a bad time for the position as a whole, with Melo stinking up the joint, Carrick, Flamini being rather "meh", and a lot of older players. For rising 90+ I'd keep an eye on; Gokhan Inler -- Udinese Miguel Veloso -- Sporting However, both of these guys need to change clubs in order to see any rise. You're much better off grabbing 2 of the high 80's listed before, as they have a better potential.
  18. Re: Manchester City Sack Mark Hughes If you didn't see Sparky's firing coming then you need to head to your local optometrist and get your eyes checked my friends. As much as I loathe what Manchester City have become, the first half of this year was an excellent opportunity for them to move into the top 4. When you look at the rather immense investment their checkbook-wielding board has made, 6th is just not good enough. They're looking up at a Spurs team that had to scrap out of relegation for a large part of last year, and, most troubling, an Aston Villa side of which Man City raided for their captain (Gareth Barry). Combine this with the struggles of the two teams at the top, and it should be a little easier to see how an obviously over-ambitious board can be disappointed. Man City's biggest problem is that, while some clubs fall under the cliche of "victims of their own success" (see Hull City last year), Man City is a victim of their own ambition. When you declare yourself a Champions League contender by spending money on players expecting Champions League football, you put yourself in a too-difficult position. With the winter transfer window up-coming, City are in a poor bargaining position. The players they want are not going to come in order to play in the Europa League, and if you are not a large part of the top-table discussion, then you are not going to attract top-table talent. Look up the table, and see an Arsenal team who struggle to spend $20 million in one transfer window, a Spurs side who recently thrashed you 3-0, and Aston Villa, who are if nothing else, a reflection of Martin O'Neill rather than their individual talent. And perhaps the most ominous threat of all is that man City have failed to put any distance between themselves and Liverpool, who are within a very small string of successes from leapfrogging the Citizens. Whether right or wrong, you can't expect City to act like a mid-table team. They are truly a "Mini-Madrid of Manchester". Their free-spending ways and desperate, lofty ambitions mean that mediocrity will not be tolerated; and in this case mediocrity has clearly been defined as 6th. If the season ended today, just try to imagine the repurcussions. How will Barry, Toure, Tevez, Lescott, Adebayor, and Robinho act when bereft of Champions League football? Regardless of fault (which must of course mostly fall on players), any exodus from the club of their top stars would be devastating, and represents a severely failed financial investment. I am not attempting to justify the firing of Hughes, who I felt was a lame duck manager coming into the season anyway. City were so strangely flirting with every big name manager available that this can't be a huge shock to anyone. Mancini now has half a season in order to bring this team up in the Champions League positions. I guarantee you, with 100% certainty, if Mancini does not do this, then even fifth place will surely bring about his head at the end of the season. Cheers
  19. Re: Gold Membership I really like the GCs. I've played some European Championships, and every time the managers change every day. With the GCs you get more competition, better international management. However, you generally get less transfer moves because most players are managed. The big negative against the GCs right now is that it isn't worth it unless you are going to pay to reserve clubs. If you aren't willing to reserve, you aren't going to get an EPL team, and around 2/3rds of the big leagues will be taken up, as well any good Russian/Dutch/French clubs, etc. So it's really up to you, I have a lot of fun with my Gold Membership, however I can no longer get decent teams because of the reserve clubs. So it's up to you if you have the money to spend.
  20. Every once in a blue moon someone posts about the best under-21 team you can make, or best risers blah blah blah. How about some love for the old guard? No team restrictions, all players must be 32 or older, not in the process of retiring, and obviously active. Van der Saar Zambrotta--Nesta--Gallas--Grosso Zanetti Camoranesi--Giggs Veron Totti--Henry
  21. Re: English Ratings finished according to SM... I'm sure they've rated both Chelsea and Man U. and just haven't put the ratings up. Despite my intense aggravation at times with SM, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't miss two of the 5 or so biggest clubs in the game.
  22. Re: Need help with a Deal Well then; The biggest factor in determining whether or not to pull the trigger this one is the rest of your current squad. A quick list of midfielders (with ratings) would help out. I ask this because I would pull the trigger on the deal if both Becks/Landycakes would be immediate starters for the long term in your side. Donovan will stay 88, and I feel his potential is probably around 90 or so. However, you will have to sit and wait on this as he'll miss the current English ratings (I'm assuming a loan move to Everton). Beckham will most likely drop to 89 due to age/etc. However, he won't hit a sharp decline for a little while due to his probably inclusion in the World Cup and the Milan loan move. Sessegnon is a good talent, however Pazzano is right to say he won't rise until he finds a bigger club. The bar is fairly set right now in the French League as a max rating is around 92 (Gourcuff). How is your team doing? Do you rotate players a lot? How many competitions? I ask these because I usually favor depth if I like the players involved.
  23. Re: Sabrosa SIMAO Definitely not a riser, almost on the wrong side of 30. But it always depends on what you're giving up.
  24. Re: BIg trade..offered Iniesta for De Rossi and Da Silva I'd probably pull the trigger on that one. I'm a big fan of depth. Other way to look at it is; where does Iniesta top out? Will he ever get to 98. I doubt that. Can De Rossi and Silva get to 95? Probably, but 2 guys, one of which at 94, another a lock to get there soon, isn't bad at the least. I'm also afraid of Iniesta getting hurt as he is prone to do. Both literally and figuratively. He's rocking that balding, short, unhealthy vampire look. Go grab a five dollar footlong or something you midget Romulan.
  25. Re: Sergio Busquets Vs Ya Ya Toure Don't forget that Seydou Keita is now first choice, it's his presence more than Biscuits that has/is knocking down Toure. Just looks like Ya Ya doesn't have the skill for this Barca side after some recent howlers (like against Xerez).
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