Boxing Day and Beyond

Jimy Hendrix

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Bergwjin excepted, those were negative substitutions to the point of insanity. Take off the one player launching counter-attacks for one who can’t pass, then follow it up taking off the player who finishes most counter-attacks to bring on the one who overdribbles and kills counter-attacks. No shit Spurs can’t counter after that.

I do appreciate what Jose’s doing with the defense and I do believe he can get Spurs a few trophies which they badly need, but it’s looking more and more like either Kane & Son are off their scorching form or the league has just caught up to them and they need a new plan.
 

Zomp

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Wolves were all over Spurs in the second half of that game.

Amazingly in my two head to head fantasy leagues I needed Spurs to concede in one to win and Saiss to score in the other to win.

I may have screamed as loud as when Macheda scored against Villa when that goal went in.
 

SocrManiac

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He won't be, but Kane should be banned for that dive.
If Kane wasn’t English he’d be vilified. He’s among the most consistent divers in the league. His undercut move is one of the most dangerous things you can do to another player on the pitch. He can’t close his mouth and always sounds like he’s just been to the dentist. Just awful.
 

candylandriots

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I put this in the wrong thread, so I'll put it here:

Another day, another opportunity for Crystal Palace to stink out the joint.
I realized I put it in the wrong thread just after Tomkins gave up a penalty, though Guaita saved a very poor effort from Ihenacho.
 

swiftaw

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Rumors are that Everton players didn't want to play due to the number of infections in the City squad. The only exception was Pickford, who claimed there was no chance he would catch something.
 

candylandriots

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You're right about the work visa thing. How much effect on the cost of home grown talent I'm not sure. Fair to say it's a seller's market though.

This article provides some info on what's going regarding the issue of player transfers. It's a few weeks old and i know some deals have recently been done re: UK and the European Union.


Football authorities have agreed a plan of entry requirements for overseas players with the Government. The Football Association, the Premier League and the English Football League submitted a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) proposal last month, which has now been approved by the Home Office.

The criteria will provide the framework for clubs to sign overseas players when the UK leaves the European Union after December 31.

The criteria were based on the player's appearances in international matches and their country's FIFA rankings. The higher number of appearances and the higher the nation's ranking, the more points the player in question will have.

A player from a top-10 FIFA-ranked country who has featured in over 50 per cent of that nation's matches in the last two years would enable a player to sign for a Premier League club with a GBE. But for those players representing lower-ranked countries, they will have had to have played almost all matches in order to score enough points.


The article goes into more detail but it looks designed to allow some semblance of free trade with the bigger Europeans Leagues and clubs.
Is it clear what happens to someone like Wilf Zaha who I'm almost certain has the right to work in the UK by virtue of having lived there since the age of 4, but now represents Ivory Coast internationally? I would assume that he would not have to go through the GBE process, but I'm not sure as he doesn't represent England. Anyone know?
 

candylandriots

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Saha played for England youth teams so I assume he has British citizenship.
I'm not clear on all this stuff (obviously) but would someone like him be considered "homegrown" as a result, or does he lose that when switching from England to Ivory Coast?
 

swiftaw

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I'm not clear on all this stuff (obviously) but would someone like him be considered "homegrown" as a result, or does he lose that when switching from England to Ivory Coast?
Homegrown has nothing to do with nationality. A player is considered homegrown if they spent at least 3 seasons prior to their 21st birthday in English football.
 

67YAZ

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Pulisic with the start against Villa.

Grealish already seems to be relishing the chance to run at Jorginho.
 

67YAZ

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Pulisic pounces on a slack pass across the middle, gets into the box with it, but his the side netting. Tough one, but should have been on target
 

67YAZ

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Oooffff. Pulisic tries for the overhead kick, but Cash is right in his hip...and Cash gets a boot right upside the head. Cash flat on his back for a couple minutes getting examined, walks off, and then back on.

The EPL really needs to get serious about head trauma.
 

67YAZ

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They are introducing concussion subs starting in January
Missed that, a good step. Cold comfort to Cash right now.

Pulisic couldn’t steer That one in, but looked like it came off Giroux’s arm anyway?

in any case, Pulisic with the hockey assist on a great header by Giroud
 

TheRealness

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Pulisic was their best offensive player, but man, he should have had at least two goals. He seems snake bit. Tough draw against Villa in a game they should have had all the points from.

And as soon as Werner gets subbed on, they get worse. Just keep him on the bench. He has become a turnover machine.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Its not quite coming off for Pulisic but he looked like Chelsea's most dangerous player all match.

Chilwell is Chelsea's best new addition by far. He has improved them a lot down the left.

I’m not all that high on Lampard but I think the Chelsea bosses dealt him a tough hand last summer. They bough Werner and Havertz on a sort of best player available principle but neither seems like a good fit with the rest of the team. Chelsea’s best 11 is going to have two real central midfielders, a real CF (which Werner is not), and both Pulisic and Mount on the field. Werner and Havertz really just aren’t ideal players to drop into that mix. Both had teams constructed around them in Germany.

How little faith does Lampard have in Havertz that he doesn't get a start in either of two matches that are 48 hours apart?
 

PedroSpecialK

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Thrilled to see Jahanbakhsh starting for Brighton today. Not thrilled that he's essentially been thrust into an unfamiliar #9 role, with a Gross / Mac Allister behind him, against Arsenal... nonetheless, huge day for him.
 

TheRealness

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Its not quite coming off for Pulisic but he looked like Chelsea's most dangerous player all match.

Chilwell is Chelsea's best new addition by far. He has improved them a lot down the left.

I’m not all that high on Lampard but I think the Chelsea bosses dealt him a tough hand last summer. They bough Werner and Havertz on a sort of best player available principle but neither seems like a good fit with the rest of the team. Chelsea’s best 11 is going to have two real central midfielders, a real CF (which Werner is not), and both Pulisic and Mount on the field. Werner and Havertz really just aren’t ideal players to drop into that mix. Both had teams constructed around them in Germany.

How little faith does Lampard have in Havertz that he doesn't get a start in either of two matches that are 48 hours apart?
I agree that Werner is not a great fit. They seem better with Giroud at the 9, but Werner I figured was brought in to take over that spot.

Havertz really puzzles me. I feel like he should be effective as a CAM, but find him so passive in his play. He rarely takes anyone on, and often just passes it back out of pressure instead of finding a way to leverage and press the defense. It just seems he settles a lot for safer plays, and it hurts them.

Ziyech coming back and playing the RW solves a lot of problems for them on the field, but they still have two high priced players in Werner and Havertz that seem like the odd men out if they really need to win a game. Long-term, I really don’t see how Werner will ultimately slot in, but I suppose we still haven‘t seen an extended look at Pulisic at LW, Ziyech at RW, Havertz at CAM, and Werner at ST.
 

fletcherpost

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WBA have regressed and are down 0-4 at home to rampaging Leeds.

Burnley up a goal against The Blades at half time. Not going well for the Sheffield teams this season.
 

fletcherpost

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Lacazette comes off the bench and he's just scored. On the pitch for 43 seconds and he bags a goal. Maybe the God's have turned their benign gaze towards Arteta. Brighton look like they might have a goal in them. That's their problem. Mights and maybes.
 

fletcherpost

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Saka down...Saka off. He's walking gingerly. Saka back on. He's running it off...Arsenal fans around the world can exhale.

Edit: They subbed him off...but it doesn't look too bad.
 

fletcherpost

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Big Sam will not be happy that his team decided not to show up against Leeds. Five goals conceded. He must be beelin.
 

JayMags71

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Havertz really puzzles me. I feel like he should be effective as a CAM, but find him so passive in his play. He rarely takes anyone on, and often just passes it back out of pressure instead of finding a way to leverage and press the defense. It just seems he settles a lot for safer plays, and it hurts them.
I can’t help but wonder how much of Havertz‘ struggles have to with his recovery from COVID. He seems to have had a particularly nasty case.
Germany international Havertz, 21, tested positive in Novemberand said he spent seven to 10 days "just in my bed and everything was hurting".
I know he later goes on to say that he’s “very fit again“ but maybe he’s just keeping up appearances.
 

SocrManiac

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The reports circulating that the FA does not have a Covid pause plan ready to go are truly disturbing.

Since we’ve established that player safety isn’t a priority, maybe we can frame it as “preserving the integrity of the completion.” Clubs playing their matches later have an unfair advantage or something, right? Claim it’s leveling the playing field again. This way, we don’t set a dangerous precedent that the people involved matter.
 

OCST

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The reports circulating that the FA does not have a Covid pause plan ready to go are truly disturbing.

Since we’ve established that player safety isn’t a priority, maybe we can frame it as “preserving the integrity of the completion.” Clubs playing their matches later have an unfair advantage or something, right? Claim it’s leveling the playing field again. This way, we don’t set a dangerous precedent that the people involved matter.
Everton club and fans are not pleased that City pulled out only four hours before their match, in consultation with the league but without talking to Everton (and it was at Everton's ground no less, so Everton had to deal with fans showing up).


Evidently PL policy is that a postponement will not be allowed if a side can still field 14 players. The idea that City, whose B-team could compete for Europe, can't field 14 is ridiculous, as is the idea that they only could raise an alarm about this four hours beforehand. It's gamesmanship, bordering on shithousery. That Everton, with a ton of injuries, can benefit from the rest is irrelevant for this analysis.

I don't doubt that City has an outbreak on its hands and it's a matter of genuine concern. But the lack of a plan enables shenanigans.

I'd favor making City forfeit, but then teams would be incentivised hide positive tests, so that's very bad.

Health and safety come first. You can't facilitate further spread. So to prevent further ad-hoc outcomes and bullshit, let's just shut down for. a time.
 

teddykgb

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Everton club and fans are not pleased that City pulled out only four hours before their match, in consultation with the league but without talking to Everton (and it was at Everton's ground no less, so Everton had to deal with fans showing up).


Evidently PL policy is that a postponement will not be allowed if a side can still field 14 players. The idea that City, whose B-team could compete for Europe, can't field 14 is ridiculous, as is the idea that they only could raise an alarm about this four hours beforehand. It's gamesmanship, bordering on shithousery. That Everton, with a ton of injuries, can benefit from the rest is irrelevant for this analysis.

I don't doubt that City has an outbreak on its hands and it's a matter of genuine concern. But the lack of a plan enables shenanigans.

I'd favor making City forfeit, but then teams would be incentivised hide positive tests, so that's very bad.

Health and safety come first. You can't facilitate further spread. So to prevent further ad-hoc outcomes and bullshit, let's just shut down for. a time.
Everton have been absolutely stupid on this. Don’t contribute. Be mad at the FA all you want about a lack of consultation, whatever that means, but your club are embarrassing yourselves in this very stupid reaction to a Covid outbreak at another club. There’s no fucking gamesmanship to finding out that additional players are testing positive and not being sure whether playing would just result in more spread to Everton players. Your take is awful and wrong. The implication seems to be that City are somehow fearful of Everton and using a Covid outbreak to avoid playing an injured Everton side. You should know by now that I’m not bullish on this City side but the idea that City is seeking some competitive advantage by piling up even more fixtures later is laughable.
 

SocrManiac

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The underlying problem is that the FA did not plan for this. Teams were prepared and protocoled for spot positives, not widespread infection.

Could City find 14 competitive players that could be cleared to play? Of course. I don’t think anybody is disputing that. However, rational people are putting their heads together to postulate that the individuals testing positive are unlikely to be the complete boundary of the spread. My joking aside, they’re making intelligent calls on the fly.

The underlying problem is that there is no procedure for the level of infection the league is now seeing. Quarantining an individual here or there, as defined, clearly isn’t the correct approach anymore. If teams are reporting 15 cases in staff and playing personnel, there’s no way that’s the complete picture. It sucks that Everton were prepared to play, but is there any chance at all that the match itself wouldn’t have been a major vector for them?

I’m all for teams finding a way to cancel matches when they know it isn’t safe. I’m disgusted that the league can’t find a way to support doing the right thing on a wider level than a case by case basis. This will be the norm moving forward until things are shut down for a significant period.
 

PedroSpecialK

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Agreed, this is entirely on the FA. That they didn't enter this season with guidelines on what does / does not constitute grounds for postponement of a match is wild to me - and even more so, the fact that there weren't twice-weekly tests being administered until this week (!!!) is even scarier. Given the false negativity rate of even the best tests, SocrManiac is right on - games with clubs that have even a handful of positive tests carry enormous widespread infection risks.

Given the long-term impact COVID has had on the health / fitness of players like Havertz and Sant-Maximin, this is beyond a matter of gamesmanship from the clubs' perspective - they are their investments (players) as a result of the FA not having its shit together.
 

PedroSpecialK

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In happier news, Thiago is back in the squad on the bench tonight. Liverpool line up with Phillips in for Matip and Milner in for Wijnaldum.