Week 13: Guess Who’s Back, Back Again?

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Sunny von Bulow
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Wolves- Chelsea. 0-0 at the half. Zouma just got a ridiculous vertical leap to head a ball right off the crossbar.
 

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Sunny von Bulow
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Havertz seems not very useful so far. He's got skills but he seems just to drift through games.
 

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Sunny von Bulow
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Chillwell was dithering on a throw-in and Podence just completely lost his shit and attacked him and ripped the ball out of his hands. Yellow, could maybe have been red.
 

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Sunny von Bulow
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Neto with the 2-1 winner at literally the last fifteen seconds at stoppage time. Brutal for Chelsea.
 

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Sunny von Bulow
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JFC West Brom's third kit is as bad as their second kit, they look like a team of Ronald McDonalds.
 

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Sunny von Bulow
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But the Baggies get a result off City.

No one seems to want to dominate so far. Top half of the table is as tight as I remember it this late into a season.
 

SocrManiac

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I feel like Pep has created a new role for himself. He’s a strategist. He’s a scientist. He’s a thinker. He needs to be paired with a more mundane mind that limits his tinkering and directs his brilliance.

I wonder if Arteta really was that guy. He’s steadfast and unbreaking. He doesn’t seem capable of creative thought. Was he a perfect pairing for Pep’s brilliance and now neither can succeed without the other?
 

Warning Track Speed

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Now that right there is an ideal boiler.

Brighton has Fulham Wednesday and Sheffield on Sunday (5 a.m. MST!), coming off an undressing by Leicester, probably their worst outing of the season. Yes the six teams to beat Brighton are all in the top eight, but enough with the 'attractive play' and whatnot, this group needs points. They'll be looking up at Fulham if they lose that one. Lamptey, Lallana and Webster all missed the Leicester game, should all be back for these two.
 

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Sunny von Bulow
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I feel like Pep has created a new role for himself. He’s a strategist. He’s a scientist. He’s a thinker. He needs to be paired with a more mundane mind that limits his tinkering and directs his brilliance.

I wonder if Arteta really was that guy. He’s steadfast and unbreaking. He doesn’t seem capable of creative thought. Was he a perfect pairing for Pep’s brilliance and now neither can succeed without the other?
That’s intriguing.

from what I saw City were just... I was like “just tear these guys apart, they can’t touch you,” but they were just, I don’t know what.

Fair play to the Baggies tho.
 

Tuff Ghost

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I think City's problems may be more related to a transitioning squad than having anything to do with Pep and Arteta. While I'm sure he misses him, Pep has a long enough history without Arteta to really place that much importance on this change. It's a particularly tough year with the crazy schedules and lack of practice time to have some changes to the core of the squad.

The Athletic pointed out a few things today:
(1.) The amount of time missed by Aguero has been notable. He has been their most clinical striker for a while and Jesus is not cutting it as a replacement.
Since 2016, Aguero has converted on 54% of his big chance opportunities (41 goals out of 76 big chances). In that same timeframe, Gabriel Jesus has converted at a 33% rate (28 goals out of 85 big chances).

Since August 2019, Jesus and Sterling are converting 28% and 40% of big chances, respectively. They are missing a clinical finish.

(2.) David Silva is a huge loss. He meant a lot to the club over the years, even as he got older. Only De Bruyne has created more big chances for City than David Silva since 2016.
[Guardiola] treasured [Silva's] “pausa”, his ability to bide his time on the ball and wait for exactly the right moment to release it. There was also the way he kept the ball moving and kept the opposition chasing. It gave order to City’s game, allowing them to strangle matches, the perfect yin to Kevin De Bruyne’s yang.

And then there was the simple fact that he created loads of bloody chances. He played for Guardiola for four seasons and, in that time, only De Bruyne created more big chances and more opportunities from open play. Even if you include this season in the stats (with Silva no longer at the club), he’s still second.
(3.) Fernandinho was an absolute force as a defensive midfielder just a couple of years ago and Rodri is definitely not a like-for-like replacement. There are a few graphics in the Athletic article that differentiate the smarterscout defensive ratings of Fernandinho 2018/19 with Rodri this year:
  • Ball recoveries & interceptions: 80 Fernandinho / 26 Rodri
  • Disrupting opposition moves: 82 Fernandinho / 43 Rodri
  • Defending intensity: 86 Fernandinho / 6 Rodri
  • Defending impact: 68 Fernandinho / 22 Rodri
  • Aerial Duels Quantity: 93 Fernandinho / 65 Rodri
 

Tuff Ghost

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Havertz seems not very useful so far. He's got skills but he seems just to drift through games.
One thing to partially explain Havertz's play is that he was bed-ridden for 10-days with significant COVID-19 symptoms in November. That certainly dropped his fitness level. It's easy to forget with big-name players getting COVID-19 seemingly every week, but he seems to have had a more serious case than other players.
 

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Sunny von Bulow
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Playing hooky right now for Leicester-Everton. Arsenal-Southampton and Leeds-Newcastle also playing.
 

fletcherpost

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It was written.

Edit: To be fair i fancied Walcott to miss that, but he did well.
 

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Sunny von Bulow
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Richarlison opens the scoring on a shot that Schmeichel should have handled.

Ragged game,end yo end but sloppy.

Allan looks like he’s torn s hammy. Bad.
 

fletcherpost

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I know he got the vote of confidence from the suits but this feels like a big half of football for Arteta.

Southampton fully deserve to be a goal up at halftime. They've been lively going forward and playing with confidence.

Arsenal not so much. Saka looks to be the player most likely to make something happen for The Gunners.
 

fletcherpost

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Aubameyang ends his scoring drought. Good play by Saka beating a couple of players to get a ball into the box, Nketiah lays it off and Auba gets the ball where he wants it and slots it home. Fair play to Arsenal. Came out with purpose.
 

Blundatola

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And of course Leeds take the lead minutes later. Speaking of which, this Peacock stream is about two minutes behind.
 

67YAZ

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Oh wow. This match was getting good! Now let's see if Soton can take advantage.
 

fletcherpost

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Rob Holding hits the bar in stoppage time. Arsenal could have nicked all three points, but it was not to be alas.
 

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Sunny von Bulow
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Toffees come away from Leicester with a 2-0 win. Holgate puts in a third or fourth rebound off a corner - Schmeichel made one of the best saves I've seen on DCL from the ground but he just handed it right back to Holgate for a tap-in.

After Allan was taken off - and it could be devastating if he's seriously hurt, he's the guy that really makes Everton go - Leicester dominated for 30 minutes. Andre Gomes is a shell of what he was before his injury. Doucore was MOTM for his box-to-box play IMO, but Gomes and Sigurdsson do not provide enough starch in the midfield and the Toffees were overrun. But the back four of Keane, Mina, and two CB's playing out of position of Godfrey on the right and Holgate on the left were excellent and Leicester never really threatened. Other than a point-blank header saved by Olsen (starting for Pickford), Vardy was quiet.

After a string of bad results, Toffees have now beat Chelsea 1-0 and Leicester 2-0 back to back.
 

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Sunny von Bulow
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Is that a confidence problem, or is it lingering after effects from his injury?
A little of both I think. He's a step slower but that's not all. He seems timid and his decision-making is poor. He commits stupid fouls in unnecessary places. His passing touch is off.

He was pretty good at the start of the season but that's when Everton were blowing everyone off the pitch. I think the quality around him hid that he wasn't doing much on his own.
 

coremiller

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Liverpool comfortably on top, controlling the game without running over Spurs. We're a quarter of the game in and Spurs haven't attempted a shot yet.
 

Zososoxfan

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All Liverpool so far. The best thing you can say about Spurs' "attack" so far is that there's been a couple of counters where you can see the isolations Spurs are trying to create. But this just doesn't seem sustainable at this rate.
 

Zososoxfan

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Really annoyed at Davies over Reguilon. Davies is awkward at best going forward. If Reguilon comes on for Bergy or Davies in the second half and gets to go at a tired TAA I'll understand it better, but still don't like it.

I also understand GLC over Tanguy to start, but Spurs really need another creator on the field, and that's just not GLC from deep.
 

Cellar-Door

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Yeah looks like Cress was just an ankle, not sure why he grabbed the back of the leg, might be fine