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Premier League and other football chat - 2020-2021

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Online Roger

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Jimmy Greaves is about to be awarded an MBE apparently   ;D

"Ian St John has led the acclaim for Jimmy Greaves after it emerged that his great friend, former opponent and on-screen partner is finally set to receive a British honour. . . . I am delighted - it would be so much deserved and couldn’t happen to a nicer fella,” said St John, who is now 82 and won five major trophies with Liverpool in the 1960s. “Jimmy gave wonderful enjoyment to football fans and was then on the television for years giving entertainment and fun to people. He is quite simply one of the greatest players to have ever kicked a football."

Greaves scored 357 goals in 516 league matches between 1957 and 1972 for Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United, which remains the all-time English top-flight record. It is also 74 more goals in 43 fewer games than Alan Shearer, who is the record goalscorer since the old First Division was rebranded the Premier League in 1992
."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2020/12/27/exclusive-ian-st-john-hails-jimmy-greaves-set-receive-mbe/
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Thaiwolf

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Online Roger

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The Man City and England 'bad boy' is in the spotlight again - putting the Premier League in jeopardy ? Walker was the first Player I saw spitting this season - makes no sense to me   ::)  And goal celebrations - some social distancing please   :o

"The club announced on Christmas Day that Gabriel Jesus, Kyle Walker and two staff members had contracted the virus but, after the squad were tested again on Sunday, three more positive tests were confirmed, taking the total in the space of just five days to seven. Telegraph Sport knows the identity of the latest three players to be affected but cannot reveal their names on grounds of medical confidentiality. The trio - who it is thought have yet to show any symptoms - will have to self-isolate for at least 10 days. City fear their squad could have been exposed to the highly contagious new variant of the virus . . "

One that Walker cooked up earlier - "On 5 April 2020, the club began a disciplinary procedure against Walker after it was reported that he had broken national lockdown rules and invited two sex workers to his home amid the global coronavirus pandemic." (WikiP).

This Guy is a menace to himself and others   >:( 

Ron Flowers would never have behaved this way   8)
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Thaiwolf

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Rumours are circulating that the Premier League may be suspended sfter matchday 16 due to corona virus concerns.


Online Roger

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Joey Barton always in trouble - who can forget him stubbing a cigarette in a trainee's eye at Man City   >:( 

"The incident with (Ched) Evans was more high-profile than other spats with first-team players, but not isolated. It is believed a bad atmosphere had festered among sections of the squad" - no surprise there then   ::)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-9111359/Joey-Barton-leaves-Fleetwood-Town-mystery-exit.html
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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The 'Euros' are due to kick off - the first game in Rome on June 11th   :(
Will the games be able to go ahead ?
It looks fraught with difficulty and already it's unlikely there will be any fans present    ::) 


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Some well known footballers have died lately   :(

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Frank Worthington R.I.P. "When Frank Worthington arrived at Heathrow Airport in June 1972, ready for an England Under-23 tour of Eastern Europe, he wore high-heeled cowboy boots, a red silk shirt, black slacks and a lime velvet jacket. Alf Ramsey, England’s understated manager, turned white. “Oh s---,” he exclaimed. “What have I f---ing done?” This was classic Worthington, the maverick’s maverick who has died at the age of 72 following a long illness. Off the field, he dressed like a peacock; on it, he played to the gallery. His personal level of performance, he once told an interviewer, “is more important to me than the team winning”.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2021/03/23/frank-worthington-dead-former-huddersfield-leicester-england/

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Peter Lorimer R.I.P. "Peter Lorimer, who has died aged 74, was Leeds United’s record goalscorer and a key figure in its great but controversial team of the 1960s and 1970s, with whom he won seven major trophies. If Johnny Giles was the side’s brains, Norman Hunter its heart and Billy Bremner its elbows, knees and toecaps, Lorimer represented its animating spirit. While condoning the cynical physicality that led the club to be tagged “Dirty Leeds”, he also shone with sublime skill, and above all with loyalty, to the club for whom he played for 20 years.

He made his debut in 1962 aged 15 years and 289 days and remains the youngest to have played for Leeds. An outside-right, often drifting in behind the strikers, he was arguably underappreciated as a creator of chances for Allan Clarke and Mick Jones. Instead, he was chiefly celebrated for his exceptionally clean and powerful striking of the ball (and this on pitches which were often quagmires). It earned him nicknames such as “Lash” and “Hotshot”
."

https://youtu.be/0eRGI7IJ0rM   https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2021/03/21/peter-lorimer-leading-light-don-revies-great-leeds-united-team/

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Alan Slough R.I.P. "Slough enjoyed a marvellous professional career, making over 500 Football League appearances for the likes of Luton, Fulham, Peterborough and Millwall between 1965 – 1982."

https://torquayunited.com/alan-slough/

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It's been a great EPL season despite all difficulties.

Jason Burt of the DT might feel some emabassment at this piece from September 2020 - "Guardiola’s greatest challenge, the biggest challenge of his managerial career in fact, is actually what he is facing right now after the chastening 5-2 Premier League home defeat against Leicester City when for the first time he hinted that there may be a lack of belief among some of the players. The result means that in their first two league games City have conceded six goals. In their last title-winning season it took them 14 games to concede as many. Last season it was just five games and this with Guardiola preparing to take his spending on defenders to more than £400million. “We are not strong enough to be stable and patient. We started to think we were playing bad,” Guardiola said afterwards and it suggested an absence of mental strength in a team that should be heavily drilled in the manager’s methods. Guardiola’s words maybe also betrayed his own concerns."

It seems that Pep WAS up to the job after all   ;)

Some of us predicted that W.B.A., Sheff Utd. and Fulham would be the 3 to go down BUT if Fulham can maintain recent fighting form it's quite possible that leapfrog Newcastle who have a daunting list of fixtures ahead.

I'll miss the EPL this weekend   :'(





''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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"Sergio Aguero will depart English football later this year with his place secure among the greatest of modern goalscorers. To surpass Thierry Henry as the most prolific overseas striker is an outstanding achievement but, just as whenever Harry Kane passes some landmark or other, the ultimate reference point for such achievements has become badly distorted.​

Football was rebranded rather than invented in 1992 and there is no record that has been more comprehensively erased from the collective consciousness than that of England’s leading top-flight goalscorer.
But facts are facts and, whatever the BBC Match of the Day credit might routinely accentuate, Alan Shearer is actually fifth on the real list. Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, is joint 21st while Aguero, who did score another 74 goals in La Liga, just creeps narrowly inside the top 40. And Kane, who should keep surging up the list, is currently back in 73rd - one goal behind Matthew Le Tissier and Peter Beardsely on 161.

This might all matter most to those with a particular statistical thirst, but there is a certain knock-on. Poor old Jimmy Greaves, who proudly tops the list with 357 top-flight goals, had to wait until earlier this year for even an MBE. It was 50 years after he played his last season in the First Division with West Ham United. Contrast that with Kane who picked up his MBE two years ago with 240 fewer goals or Shearer, with his CBE, various doctorates and statue outside St James’ Park.

In some senses, Greaves is still the lucky one. Most moderately informed football fans at least have a passing appreciation for his stature as the greatest of all British goalscorers. Yet what of the other names above Shearer in the list? Local folk heroes but, for the wider football loving world, largely anonymous.

So, in brief, there was Steve Bloomer, a legendary figure at Derby County whose great physical strength derived from his work as a blacksmith. He was the First Division’s top scorer five times and, having become a coach in Berlin after returning in 1914, was held prisoner in Germany during the First World War. It was not until 2009 that a bust of Bloomer went up outside Pride Park.

Next comes Dixie Dean, perhaps Everton’s finest player, whose strike-rate surpassed even Greaves and who also scored more than 30 goals in both the old Third and Second Divisions. Bill Shankly was old enough to see Dean play and asserted that he “belongs to the company of Beethoven, Shakespeare and Rembrandt".
Sergio Aguero is set to leave Manchester City at the end of the season with his place in the history books assured. And then we come to Gordon Hodgson, a remarkable South African-born Liverpool striker who also opened the bowling for Lancashire. He is still third among Liverpool’s all-time highest scorers, with more than double the goals of Mo Salah.

This might all seem like another world but, when you study the list, the spread of eras is actually striking. These are not records which are now out of reach and from another time.  Indeed, the almost identical respective strike-rates of Kane and Aguero (0.68 and 0.67) are just fractionally worse than Greaves on 0.69 and actually better than Shearer, Hodgson or Bloomer.

As well as Greaves, it is also noticeable that the exceptional domestic feats of post-war goalscorers like Ian Rush, Geoff Hurst, Tony Cottee, Denis Law and Nat Lofthouse have become comparatively forgotten. None of this to withhold acclaim for Aguero. It is just to provide context and say that we should never forget the truly exceptional feats of men like Dean, Bloomer and Greaves, whose all-time tally for goals across the ‘big five’ European leagues was actually only recently broken by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

As for Kane, who is still only 27 and actually just capable still of reaching those ultimate records, there is no reason to lower the bar. But it is not Shearer who should be the target."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2021/03/31/jimmy-greaves-dixie-dean-true-reference-points-sergio-aguero/
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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A European Super League   >:(   What a terrible idea !  I  will be taking NO interest in it whatsoever if it ever goes ahead.

Here's a thought from the DM :-

"UEFA should award PSG the 2020-21 Champions League right now. Expel the other three semi-finalists, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City, who have all plotted against the interests of UEFA and European football. ."

I agree with that   ???

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-9484831/MARTIN-SAMUEL-European-Super-League-plastic-competition-threatens-English-football.html

Not that all is perfect in the present set up - I'd like to see the 'League Cup' restricted to the Championship, L1 and L2 Clubs to help tackle fixture congestion. And maybe ditch the Europa League . . .

''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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So Man Utd win the Premier League - for Man City - by losing   ;)   I bet that sticks in the craw.

Surely Leicester are in the Champions League places this year - despite recent wobbles. Well done them ! After last years slump out I guess that's some relief ! Arithmetically, West Ham, Liverpool and Everton can pip them at the post - but it's most unlikely.

It's Goodbye Fulham, West Brom and Sheffield Utd as predicted a few weeks into the season.

Most disgusting foul of the season - John Fleck of Sheffield Utd on Lo Celso of Spurs a few weeks ago. No red. The ball has long gone and it's obvious he actually changes direction and steps the other side of Lo Celso to scrape his boot down the side of the head. Not just a red, but 'violent behaviour'. With VAR - this offence should have been punished post-match https://theboyhotspur.com/video-evidence-on-lo-celso-foul-shows-how-deliberate-john-flecks-attack-was/

Please join me in prayer for Sutton Utd to lose one of their remaining 3 games so TUFC can triumph   :(
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Teessider

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Hartlepool beat Torquay on penalties to return to the EFL. Great news for the Teesside club and the scene of Brian Clough's first managerial job. Sorry, Roger.
Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.
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Online Roger

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Thanks Teess. All on a knife edge until the end   :(   Torquay had the run of the ball against Notts County in the semi final and last night, they did not. Two goals were harshly disallowed and in the 2nd half Hartlepool were on the ropes throughout.

How cute that it took our Brazilian goalie to get the goal in the last minute - another Alison Becker effort. He then saved the first 2 penalties to give Torquay the way through but we managed to miss 3 ! Shocking.

At the end 'Pool fans were abusing your (Sunderland's), Benji Kimpioka whose been on loan for a few weeks - there was some trouble between players and the two sets of Fans, including bottle throwing, as a result. Nice   ::)

This was Torquay's chance and given the finances, they may be stuck in the National League for a very long time. Two of their best, Adam Randell and Sam Sherring are returning to Plymouth/Bournemouth and Ben Whitfield is mooted for Swindon Town. It will be surprising if Connor Lemonheigh-Evans is not a target. So it's back to square 1 and we try again. With Notts County, Wrexham, Stockport, Grimsby, Chesterfield, Yeovil and Southend in the mix next season, I have to think this was our moment and we blew it !

BTW do you remember Andrew Nelson ex Sunderland ? We signed him last close season from Scotland and ne'er a word of him since. I was awol during the L1 playoffs but I gather Sunderland didn't make it. So good luck for next season - automatic promotion this time. ATB
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein