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La Liga 2017-18: What is going on?!

Discussion in 'Breakfast with Gazza (with Sachmoneious Bullcrap)' started by InstaFace, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

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    Worth starting just to ask: Anyone watching the Supercopa Espana? Barca looks better than I would have expected after losing their 2nd-best player...

    Luis Suarez just drew a penalty off Navas, the commentators thought it was a flop, I think Navas got him the slightest bit and he made a meal of it, but didn't invent it entirely.

    And now Ronaldo hits an impressive one on the counter.

    ...And now Ronaldo called for a dive and gets a second red. And shoved the referee! WTF.

    This'll be worth watching highlights of if you're not watching live. Mother of god.
     
  2. ifmanis5

    ifmanis5 Member SoSH Member

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    This is crazy.
     
  3. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

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    A shorthanded goal on the counter for Real. Pique looks like he's running with his pants full.
     
  4. speedracer

    speedracer Member SoSH Member

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    Barca look like they'd have been better off trying a last-ditch offside trap on those last two goals.
     
  5. Rowdy

    Rowdy lurker

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    Barca terrible in transition. Yikes!
     
  6. sodenj5

    sodenj5 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Ronaldo's goal was nasty, but for my money, Asensio's is the one I was most blown away by. I know he came off the bench fresh, but on the counter he looked like a Ferrari flying by a bunch of Fords.

    Real has wisely moved away from the strategy of buying the shiniest toy on the market and has invested for more heavily in their young players and it's starting to pay dividends. Guys like Isco and Asensio are the next wave of RM superstars and will allow ZZ to keep Ronaldo and Bale fresh throughout the year, as he did last season.

    Barca, or any club in the world for that matter, cannot match Real's depth.
     
  7. Zomp

    Zomp Turkey Virgin Dope

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    Yeah, I was reading about Barca this morning and someone made the case that in a way the 2015 treble hurt them. Real started snatching up all the young talent across Spain. I think Barca is in a bit of trouble. Of course they will always be competing but losing Neymar does hurt. The fee was ridiculous but he was a top 5 player in the world. I like Countinho enough I guess but he's not going to replace Neymar's production if he goes to Barca and Dembele is very green still. The Paulinho signing is a weird one. Dude was a flop at Spurs but starts every match for Brazil.

    Some of their players (Iniesta, Pique) are aging now and Barca will have trouble replacing them.
     
  8. Dernells Casket n Flagon

    Dernells Casket n Flagon Member SoSH Member

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    The Red Card (second yellow) on Ronaldo appears to be in deep debate on the internet. I'm in agreement that it wasn't actually a dive and just losing his balance and falling over due to legal contact between the two players, but where I think the card was deserved from him turning around looking straight at the ref and putting his hand in the air. If he hadn't called for it, I think it should have just been a play on.

    No matter what you think about the card, pushing the ref is stupid as hell, and will earn him at least a few game suspension. Saw a Spanish site quoting it will need to be between 4 and 12 games. If that's the period, I can't see it being more than 4 or 5 based on the severity of the contact.
     
  9. swiftaw

    swiftaw Member SoSH Member

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  10. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I only got to watch the second half, but Real continues to be lethal on the break. Isco and Asensio are the future of this club and it looks very bright. Although Ramos has not shown signs of slowing down, replacing him is the next big question mark for the Blancos. Varane is good, but I'm not sold on him yet. I think Umtiti is better (they will probably play together for France, right?). Barca looked decent in possession. They were creating lots of chances even before the PK. I agree that CRon didn't dive, but yeah when you're a petulant asshole (Luis qualifies here too), you won't get the benefit of the doubt. The shove was pretty much the man's personality in a nut shell. I'm trying not to overreact, because I feel very good about Denis and Arda stepping up, but Barca fans might not be patient enough to let this team gel thru December. I think the bigger concern is that Messi loses interest and starts thinking about Russia sooner than later. For instance, Argentina has a huge qualifier against Luisito and friends in a couple of weeks.
     
  11. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Do you think Barca wants to keep Arda? I got the sense Valverde wants him gone.
     
  12. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

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    And yet somehow, Luis Suarez did get the benefit of the doubt. I believe it was technically correct - the best kind of correct, as we know - but so incidental that you typically don't see it called, and you probably often see Suarez's histrionics turn it into "diving" in the ref's mind as he charges forward after the play. I was shocked it was called a penalty, and still quite surprised after the slow-motion replay.

    I agree the ronaldo 2nd yellow was a bit harsh, though I think there might've been some embellishment there. But shoving a ref needs to be a bright line, where they come down even harder on stars than the average players. There is disrespect of the referees in world football that far, far exceeds that of any other sport I've ever seen, and of course some prominent murders of officials that have occurred in lower-level games. There can be no room for even semi-tolerance of that sort of conduct. Five seems light to me, even though it wasn't a particularly violent act by Ronaldo, more of a "get the f outta here with that" nudge in the back.
     
  13. Domer

    Domer Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter SoSH Member

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    What scares me about Real was late last season when Barcelona was still challenging for La Liga. Real was essentially playing its A team in Champions League and home domestic matches, but they were rolling Spanish opposition away with its B team. Not only did it keep their stars fresh for UCL, but helped integrate players like Assnsio into the lineup.
     
  14. Schnerres

    Schnerres Member SoSH Member

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    In the highlights, I watched the slowmos. Overhead cam, 3rd goal. Yes, Pique looked like an old man. But that´s not the situation you want a CB in. A fast, fresh guy receives the ball and can go right at you running backwards.
    Okay, I could not see who played that bad pass near the opposing box (and lifting his arms up like "I played a good pass, you have to run where I play the ball!"), that was mistake No.1. And maybe 3 seconds later in the overhead shot, you can see No.6 from Barca (if correct, this is Denis Suarez, who came in about 25-30mins earlier and was one of the freshest players on the pitch!) was about 3m closer to his own goal than Asensio. But he was jogging. Asensio was sprinting. 5 seconds later, Asensio is 5m closer to Barca´s goal and in a 1vs1 with Pique.

    If I´m the boss of the defense (Pique) and there´s a fresh youngster on the field who doesn´t run back to help me cover, I will go to the dressing room and kick him in the balls.
    (I mean, mistake No.1, a bad pass, just happens along a game, especially late in a game. But being relative fresh and not running back as fast as possible is a complete joke.)
     
  15. DennyDoyle'sBoil

    DennyDoyle'sBoil Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill SoSH Member

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    I read that the presumptive range is 4-12, but I don't think Ronaldo has much of a discipline record with respect to abusing refs, does he? He's exaggerated toward them, sure, but that's kind of par for the course in la liga. I definitely agree the fact that it's Ronaldo makes it imperative that you not give a light penalty. I think I'm reasonably convinced that if another non-super star, not Joey Barton or Luis Suarez, had done the same, 5 seems about what they would have gotten.

    For the reasons you give, the punishment needs to be the same whether or not the call that is being protested was correct. Allow a shove, and it's definitely a slippery slope. That said, I know all this, don't give a crap really about Madrid or Ronaldo, and my view that the second yellow was harsh colors my view about what the punishment should be. Not intellectually. But a little bit emotionally. I wish the simulation had been more obvious.
     
  16. sodenj5

    sodenj5 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    This is what Zidane was so good at last year. He kept Ronaldo fresh instead of running him out there every single minute of every game like in the past. He also missed Bale for huge chunks of the season, but Real kept chugging along.

    Barca is a few years behind in the compiling of young stars, and snatching someone like Dembele and telling him "you're the new Neymar, good luck" could potentially ruin him.

    Theo Hernandez is Real's next superstar CB, by the way. Purchased away from Atletico, they'll likely groom him in the same manner as Asensio and Isco, giving him minutes in less significant games and when Ramos or Varane needs a spell.

    5 games seems really steep, however they're likely making an example out of Ronaldo. Putting your hands on the official in any sport is a boneheaded move.
     
    #16 sodenj5, Aug 15, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  17. Zomp

    Zomp Turkey Virgin Dope

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    Asensio with a goalaso and a half. Jesus.
     
  18. sodenj5

    sodenj5 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    No Bale. No Ronaldo. No Isco. ZZ is just showing off at this point. Asensio is a god damned sniper.
     
  19. Zomp

    Zomp Turkey Virgin Dope

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    Suarez hurt. Not a good few weeks for Barca.
     
  20. swiftaw

    swiftaw Member SoSH Member

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    Out at least 4 weeks.
     
  21. sodenj5

    sodenj5 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Dembele is Barca's man. I think in a vacuum, it's a good move. Getting a talent like him at 20 is probably what you would hope for. However thrusting him into that role, with the added pressure of not only replacing Neymar, but trying to pick up the slack with Suarez out, could be detrimental long term.

    Time will obviously tell.
     
  22. sodenj5

    sodenj5 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Semi-unrelated due to the international break, but Isco bagged a brace and nutmegged Verratti into a different dimension.



    Not sure how ZZ manages all the players and their minutes, but it looks like Isco is playing at a world-class level and has been for a while. Not sure how you take him out of the lineup.
     
  23. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    What's interesting is that the injury that sidelined Bale near the end of last season opened the door for Isco. Isco made the most of the opportunity, and is now an essential piece of the Madrid squad, so much so that he's passed Bale on the depth chart and Madrid is better without Bale.
     
  24. sodenj5

    sodenj5 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    They also play an entirely different shape, which I think ZZ prefers, when Bale is sitting. They roll out a 4-4-2 with Ronaldo and Benzema up top, Isco, Kroos, Modric, and Casemiro in the midfield. I think Zidane loves having Casemiro in the lineup and it really gives Real a balanced look, where in the past they've had offensive stars up front but no one to help out the back 4.

    I think having Bale is still a good problem to have, as long as his additude doesn't sour. Thus far, he hasn't complained and all the transfer rumors come from English newspapers begging him to return to the Premier League.
     
  25. Morgan's Magic Snowplow

    Morgan's Magic Snowplow Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Zidane is reportedly out at Real.

    Impossible act to follow for the next manager - three straight CLs and an aging squad.
     
  26. koufax32

    koufax32 He'll cry if he wants to... SoSH Member

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    It’s about to get messy there. Could this signal the end for CR7?
     
  27. sodenj5

    sodenj5 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I think “aging squad” is a misnomer. Most of their starters are certainly aging, but they have more talent in the pipeline than several of the top European teams combined.

    If CR7 moves on, maybe Bale stays as he would likely move up the pecking order. More minutes for guys like Isco and Asensio. Guys like Ceballos might actually see the field.

    There would certainly be a lull, no one expects them to repeat the success they’ve had the last 4-5 years. That’s nearly unprecedented. But they can still retool while remaining competitive.

    Also if Ronaldo and Bale both leave, you have to assume they go all in for Neymar if he’s serious about coming back to La Liga.
     
  28. Morgan's Magic Snowplow

    Morgan's Magic Snowplow Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    They have great young talent in the pipeline and they'll always be able to attract top players. But guys like Ramos, Modric, Marcelo, and Ronaldo are very difficult to replace even for clubs the caliber of Madrid. Just ask Barcelona how easy it was to replace Xavi, Puyol, Alves, and Iniesta.
     
  29. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

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    Makes you wonder what it would take to be kept on as manager for more than 3 years.

    edit: OK, it seems it was actually his choice, he's worn out ("out of gas"), and said this:

    "The time is right," he said. "It's not a decision I've taken lightly. I thought about it carefully and it's the right decision, even though I imagine many may not agree. After three years Real Madrid needs a change, another way of working, another idea, if we are to continue winning. I feel it's going to be difficult to continue winning. And because I'm a winner, I'm going."​
     
    #29 InstaFace, May 31, 2018
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  30. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    This. Even the biggest and most successful club in the world has to compete with other mega clubs for the best players, then find the pieces that fit best, and then a manager who can manage the egos and install tactics that makes the most out of the squad. Let's not forget unsung hero and criminally underrated Big Benz. Kroos is also 28 years old (no spring chicken) although his game doesn't rely on speed or quickness much at all.
     
  31. 67YAZ

    67YAZ Member SoSH Member

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    The search for a replacement is going to be an entertaining saga. Perez has publicly lauded Pochettino in the past, but would Poch walk away just days after signing a new 5-year deal??? And if he tried, what could Levy extract in return?
     
  32. sodenj5

    sodenj5 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Certainly. One of the most remarkable things about Zidane was his ability to start who-the-hell-ever he wanted in whatever game without there being a mutiny at any point. I think the cracks began to show with Bale basically flat out saying he needs to play more after the CL final. Largely, Zidane made all of the right calls and players that could have waltzed into the starting 11 on nearly any other team accepted their role and fell in line.

    I also don’t think Real is going to suddenly fall off a cliff. Those aforementioned players aren’t exactly ready to be put out to pasture. I think Real will pivot and start giving more minutes to their younger guys and maybe resting some of their core players more as a way of integrating the next generation while still remaining competitive.
     
  33. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

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    Zidane to USMNT!!!
     
  34. Dummy Hoy

    Dummy Hoy Angry Pissbum SoSH Member

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    Doesn’t it seem more likely he is set to take over in France after Deschamps can’t close with the most talented team at the World Cup?
     
  35. Vinho Tinto

    Vinho Tinto Member SoSH Member

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    There was no way they were pushing him out. Besides the success (8-0 in cup finals!), he’s a revered figure at the club. This would have to become Klinnsman at Bayern before they canned him. He also telegraphed this months ago, by leaking that the job was wearing him down. It’s clear that, even if you are successful, this will always be a short term position. He went 2.5 years before tapping out and that is an eternity for Madrid. Virtually everyone else they hire is viewed as a short term caretaker until the next guy takes over.

    I believe this, along with another raise and the Neymar rumors, is what drove Ronaldo’s comments. If they hire someone he has no interest in playing for, he’ll want out. He’s got too little time left to grind out another manager he doesn’t want to play for. Bale wss out if Zizou stayed. Next guy can convince him that he’s got a role for him. It’s not like Bale wants to go, but he wants to start regularly. It’s on him to stay healthy.

    I see Wenger lobbying for the job
     
  36. wonderland

    wonderland lurker

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    I can see how it’s easy to get burnt out juggling the team and front office. He’s done an amazing job but will never get the praise of a Klopp or Pep. It’s too bad because winning three champions league in a row is an incredible accomplishment.

    My guess is he asked for control of transfers and he didn’t get it. Wenger has experience working within the parameters of the club so that makes sense.
     
  37. ninjacornelius

    ninjacornelius Member SoSH Member

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    It's also notable that, while Zidane's accomplishments are obvious, he hasn't had to make any significant decisions in the transfer market during his entire tenure as manager. He essentially inherited a top 3 squad in the world and didn't have to retool/rebuild at any point while he was there. It's not crazy to think that he looked at this aging team and thought that he didn't want to oversee an overhaul. As MMS alluded to upthread, how do you move on from the current Real core if you're a manager? You can buy the best players, but how do you make sure that they fit into a cohesive unit? That's a very hard job that you'd have to perform under the brightest microscope in world of sport. By leaving now, Zidane walks away with his reputation fully intact and can waltz into whatever job he might want next.

    When I woke up to this news I was honestly shocked, but after a period of reflection it makes perfect sense.
     
  38. swiftaw

    swiftaw Member SoSH Member

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    I agree, the Real team hasn't really had much turnover. I think 9 of the 11 players that started the champions league final started the last CL match they played against Liverpool in 2014.
     
  39. ConigliarosPotential

    ConigliarosPotential Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Where are you seeing the Wenger rumor? I'm seeing Pochettino as Real's number one target.
     
  40. Gunfighter 09

    Gunfighter 09 wants to be caribou ken Staff Member Dope SoSH Member

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    While he didn't slam the door shut, Poch closed the door on Real pretty firmly this morning:

    I take it that Levy has let all parties know that buying out Poch's contract would be massively painful and expensive for all involved.

    https://www.football.london/tottenham-hotspur-fc/news/im-committed-spurs-pochettino-says-14732077
     
  41. Royal Reader

    Royal Reader Member SoSH Member

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    There's no specific rumour, he's just a big name and obviously available. You'd think they'd go Conte before Wenger, though.
     
  42. Schnerres

    Schnerres Member SoSH Member

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    Please let CR7 go and spend 100m. on Lewandowski. Rumors (from his agent) that he wants to leave. He said "it´s up to my agent..." The guy is an ass. Just let him go on an overpriced transfer after 3 WC goals. I just don´t know who could be his successor and be a constant threat to score 30 goals for Bayern (Werner?) like he was.
     
  43. Vinho Tinto

    Vinho Tinto Member SoSH Member

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    This is true of every manager at RM that I’ve seen there. I don’t recall when a manager drove their transfer policy or makeup of the squad. If a manager views himself as an architect, this is never going to be the job for them. It’s for guys like Zidane or Ancielotti whose strengths are in man management. That’s why Wenger rumors are strange. Yes, it’s the highest profile of jobs; but it doesn’t fit how he worked at Arsenal at all. At this point, I’m not sure how good he is at managing egos.

    Also, letting go of Ronaldo will never be based on budget. For every transfer dollar they collect and wage they save by letting him leave, they will also miss on having possibly the most famous person in the world on their team. That matters to the many entities they have a corporate relationship with. Nike would love to get him back on a club that they are the shirt sponsor for and would be thrilled to grease the skids to get him to leave. If it was about money, and budget, he’d be gone already. Unless his performance hits a wall, he is the one who will decide when he will leave and where he will play.
     
  44. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    https://deadspin.com/zinedine-zidane-the-perfect-real-madrid-manager-left-1826458721

    I came in to post the first quote in response to @wonderland, but I'll just let the article and quotes speak for themselves.
     
  45. coremiller

    coremiller Member SoSH Member

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    I actually think Pcoh would be a terrible fit at Real Madrid. Everything he's talked about at Tottenham has been about putting together a long-term project, which obviously you can't do at Real. He's fought with Levy to get more control over transfers, which he wouldn't have. And his cult leader-esque "my way or the highway" leadership style where he freezes out players he feels aren't sufficiently committed (Walker, Rose, Alderweireld) would never work at Real. I don't think he's suited for the politics/ego management part of that job.
     

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