At 10/25/12 03:36 PM, Sentio wrote:
Have English sides suddenly got worse or has everyone else got better?
I want to say that we've hit a rough patch. I mean come on, Real and Barca aren't being the powerhouses in their own leagues at the moment, even with Barca on top of La Liga there have been some dodgy games played by the side and Real are down in 5th, in a league supposed to only be about 2 teams. Real aren't even winning their champs league group (like Arsenal, unlike Man U) where are the questions about them? Sure their group is very hard but Man U have more points and Arsenal just had a bad week.. hopefully.
I don't want to say that the Premier League is the best league in the world - I think it all depends on your taste. But it DEFINITELY is the most competitive with teams all across the board being able to beat each other if their form is right and the others is lacking enough.
Personally I think Man U haven't improved their squad from last year THAT much (where they went out in group stages, better this year already). Arsenal are on course to make it through again - just a blip for them I think. The Norwich defeat was more worrying in my eyes. City I think haven't mentally recovered from that City defeat during their first group game. That is my genuine belief. Sure their form in the league is also questionable and I think there are some ongoing dressing scenes that we're not hearing about which are causing some severe issues on the playing field but to lose to Real how they did in the first group game has to just hurt still. I think had they managed the draw that night then the latter results might have been a bit different. Remember though this is a very hard group they've got and if the other teams want it more (and I think its obvious they do plus with Citys inside problems) then its natural that the results will not go their way. They can get away with it in our league still because such in the strength of their squad against low/mid table sides, it just takes one moment of brilliance and bam they're ahead (I think they have this in common with Barca atm) but against very very good sides competing for what is domestic footballs greatest prize then they just can't and haven't gotten away with it.
Chelsea... hey, we're the fucking champions. When we're questioning our league sides talents in Europe, remember that last year the definitely NOT best team in Europe (who was it, Real, Barca, City, Bayer?), the team who ended up 6th in their own domestic league won the most grand of football competitions. Yes our method for doing so was questioned but attacking is only half of the game. You have to defend and defend well Chelsea did and took their few chances when they got them. Like to point out how after Celtics defeat to Barca most people were calling Celtic unlucky, brave, plucky for basically doing what we had to last year to succeed at Nou Camp, just not doing as good a job, and yet half of the people called Chelsea 'anti-football' at the time. If this isn't hypocrisy then someone will need to teach me what is.
Again Chelsea. If City have the 'group of death' then we have the 'group of wtf why do man u or arsenal never get groups this fucking tricky with sides who actually have a genuine shot at last 16?'.
Don't forget we are playing with a whole new style now. Last year we relied heavily on our ever aging old guard after the AVB thing. It got us the holy grail we were after and I don't deny for a second that we were lucky a lot towards the end of the competition -
We did play with a lot of heart though too. My favourite comment forever during our run was in the final, just after Drogba scored the equaliser, Martin Tylers words; "Chelsea will just not let go of the Champions League" and at the time I didn't hear it because I was busy jumping up and down with my brothers and their friends and getting beer slashed all over me as we screamed in delight, but after the final, rewatching and I heard that, it just rang so true with me. Gary Neville liked to go on about it being Chelsea's time and 'its written in the stars' against Barca and at the time I was too nervous during the game to think on it but yeah I guess in a way it was our time and certainly last year when football and logic said we were done and buried with it, we just would not let go. Hate Chelsea as a club if you must, but don't deny that we didn't deserve to win the Champions League last year through sheer gut alone.
Anywayyy, this year - no more Drogba (the talisman), Lampard can't buy fitness, Terry I think the club wants to ween off soon. And these guys have been so huge for us. Now we have smart little players in midfield and relying on a different kind of striker to get the goals (jury is a little out still on his personal performance level). Either way its a big change (no more lump the ball to Drogba and let him power his way to a goal) and one I think we're all (including us Chelsea fans) surprised that is working so well so quickly. I do think we'll come undone soon in the league. Probably against United or City or we'll hit a string of draws but anyway, its working right now in our league but against some of the best teams in Europe? We are still a work in progress. One that you can see the cracks of against sides likes Juventus and Shakhtar and that will still take time to really get the hang of. I do still think we'll qualify, or hope we do certainly. Thankfully there are questions about Juve too in our group. Had they got that win against Nord then well, Chelsea would be in a stickier situation. As long as we buck up at home and get results there, then I think we'll be fine. Shakhtar though, I can't tell you how well they played against us. It was scary. It actually reminded me of us in the Super Cup with Atletico Madrid. Cech saved us completely from a high embarrassment level. If we can win at home to them, then it'll be a great result for us and put us back on top. Just hope so badly that we can. Would like to get a little further this year in defending OUR cup.
I forgot what the question was a while ago 3: I just needed to express my thoughts on our teams in the Champions League.
And fuck I forgot about predictions again. I genuinely forgot it was Saturday as I was holed up in bed most of the day :( Still waiting for my extra point Heartbreak, I never predict a Chelsea draw or lose! Such is my commitment to them >:'C
Everton 2 - 2 Liverpool
Newcastle 2 - 1 West Brom
Southampton 1 - 1 Tottenham
Chelsea 3 -1 Man Utd