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In a world, where everything seems new. In a land, that is much like the world. A few brave heroes are about to do the absolutely thinkable and make a thread about their favorite sport. But just when they thought they'd have it easy, things are about to get a lot more plural. Now the singular title is about to understand, just what it means to share the field. From the makers of Football Thread comes... Sport. Dictionary.com says it's "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature." The Free Dictionary claims it's "a physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and is often engaged competitively." Merriam-Webster wrote that it's "a source of diversion; sexual play." And Oxford Dictionary reminds that Sport comes from "late Middle English (in the sense 'pastime, entertainment'): shortening of disport." On March 2010, you better watch out. Balls will fly.


Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:03 pm
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American Football.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:05 pm
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LEAVES wrote:
American Football.


Completely rules uber alles.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:10 pm
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Cool banner.

CR9

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:10 pm
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That banner is so Jedi. I hate Jedi.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:23 pm
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Don't know if anyone here follows hockey, but goalie Kari Lehtonen just got traded to the Dallas Stars and decided to get a new design for his goalie mask. His masks are always pretty cool. His new one:

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His previous masks:

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I heard he got a lot of shit from teammates for his Final Fantasy inspired mask.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:35 pm
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Rumination on the Station of the Argentine National Team

Volume 23, Issue 109, Part Two


Argentina beat Germany yesterday in a friendly match, also known as 'Curiously Important Meaninglessness.' These matches are not quite unimportant, because they allow teams to demonstrate whether or not they can do something and how well they can do it, but the matches themselves don't actually matter, so a certain amount of pressure that would feature in a real match is missing. Nevertheless, I have to assume that Germany wants to beat Argentina any time they have a match-up, especially when the match-up is in Munich. That Argentina kept this from happening -- and, in fact, came out with a victory -- is worth noting. But scoreboards are not as important in friendlies as they are in other matches. What is important, if anything is important, is how the team moved and played.

On that end, Argentina repeated many of its by-now predictable problems. It is unable or unwilling to connect the forwards with the rest of the team: the two men up-front, ostensibly responsible for scoring goals, are detached from the mid-field, and so are fated to linger on by themselves in the solitude of the opponent's half, choking in a sea of defenders that clash at their heels whenever they receive a ball. The reason for this can be found in the mid-field, which lacks density and weight. Veron and Mascherano form an enviable duo, but it's a duo that manages defense and ball-distribution, not play-creation. Even with Veron playing at a remarkably high level and acting as the heart of the team, he cannot and should not be forced to create scoring opportunities a-la Riquelme. His job is to communicate with Mascherano and create dynamic flow around the defensive mid-field, which is what he did against Germany, sustaining several passing plays that consolidated Argentine control over the match, although they did little to bring Argentina closer to a goal.

In Estudiantes, Veron counts with Benitez, who is not National Team level. Maradona has cast Di Maria in virtually the same role that Benitez occupies in Estudiantes, with the caveat that Di Maria has better ball control and more imagination than Benitez without the latter's play-making skills. That means that, where Veron has in Benitez an aid to reach the forward-line, he cannot count on Di Maria to do the same for the National Team. Of course, Di Maria is not a 'made' player, which means that nobody knows what he may become in the future. Right now, however, he does not add weight to the mid-field because he does not have much weight himself. He is important when he's close to the area, as a kind of third forward, but he cannot provide a more offensive counterpart to Mascherano's and Veron's pass-pass mid-field gameplay.

Something similar happens with Jonas Gutierrez. His resume looks humble next to the pedigree of Mascherano, Veron, Higuain, and Messi, but he can often be more crucial than any of them, especially Messi, who continues to be largely invisible for the National Team, although that is not entirely or even mostly his fault. However, Jonas is a player who is both very useful and a hindrance. We cannot say that he is doing a bad job, because he's doing a fantastic job: tirelessly running up and down the flanks, defending, helping in offense, halting incoming attacks, all sorts of things. He's the kind of guy whose name you tire of hearing the announcer blurt out, simply because he appears all over the field, not unlike Veron. But he has one problem, which is that he's a player who needs space. That is, he is best at lengthy runs, defending, struggling for the ball, running with the ball, and so on and so forth. He is not so good at close-quarters mid-field ball-circulation. He does not add weight or density to the mid-field because he is, in a sense, always getting away from the mid-field, wandering about in the flanks, or when he does appear in the mid-field, you cannot ask of him the close-quarters ingenuity of someone like Xavi. He passes the ball around nicely enough, but it is always predictable; passes that seek to unload responsibility, not create something new. It's simply the nature of Jonas: a runner, a flank-man, someone to send centers into the opponent's area, someone to help out in defense, but not someone to contribute to mid-field passing and play-making creativity. This would not be a problem if Di Maria were more of a play-maker, but he isn't, he's more of a winger-forward, and so the mid-field is completely bereft of anyone who can create plays and connect the Veron-Mascherano duo with the Higuain-Messi duo.

There is, then, not only a gap between the forwards and the mid-field, but also, as a result, a dangerously low number of goal-scoring opportunities. We all applaud Higuain for scoring a goal in the one chance that he got to score it. That's what goal-scorers do: they wait all match long and, when they have a chance, they make good on their hype. But it's also a bit problematic when your main goal-scorer has only one chance to score during the entire length of the match, and it's especially problematic if you're referring to someone like Higuain, who is not the type to hide behind defenders. He wants to participate. That he cannot -- and could not, except for that one single opportunity -- is worrying. And how did that play come about? Germany lost the ball in attack and Argentina quickly counter-attacked, with a beautiful Di Maria pass -- which hopefully announces the latent play-maker in him -- received by Higuain, who dribbled past a confused German goal-keeper, who ran out to the mid-field in the hopes of intercepting either Di Maria's pass or Higuain's run, and put the ball into the net, not without some drama and nail-biting tension, as the slowly-creeping ball nearly missed the goal. So, Argentina scores a goal because Germany over-exposed itself to counter-attacks and picked a goalkeeper plagued by bouts of temporary insanity. What other chances did Argentina have? Only two more. Granted, one chance hit the post, and the other should have gone in but several rules of physics were miraculously broken to preserve German dignity. Still, it's worth considering. The star forwards of Real Madrid and Barcelona, and Argentina produces... three attacks? And the two attacks that didn't end in goal had nothing to do with the forwards: a Di-Maria shot and a Burdisso failed karate-kick that could have been a really easy header had Burdisso actually thought about what he was doing.

The Higuain-Messi duo is solid. The problem with the Tevez-Messi duo was that both players tend to fall back close to the mid-field in order to receive the ball. This makes the team really narrow, since the forward-line squishes itself against the mid-fielders. Higuain falls back as well, but unlike Tevez and Messi, he is much likelier to run deep into open areas, hoping for a through-pass or something of the sort that Veron might be able to provide: a long volley, for instance. Tevez and Messi -- especially Messi -- largely wait around to receive the ball so they can then start running and dribbling. They might run into open areas and receive through-passes, but they are not too consistent about it. Messi is usually content to stand around the top-right side of the field, idly waiting for a pass to arrive. He does not look for cracks in the defense when he does not have the ball. He looks for those cracks when he's dribbling with the ball, but not when a teammate has the ball. Messi doesn't run without the ball. Or he does, but not in any particularly noteworthy fashion; of his skills, it is certainly his poorest. Same with Tevez. Higuain, on the other hand, does a lot of running without the ball, and so provides balance to the forward-line, since he's not a lesser clone of Messi, but a different player with a different skill-set. Without a mid-field that can connect with them, though, they're still pretty lonely up there. And Messi, with his tendency to wait for the ball, is going to have a lot of trouble in a team where the ball doesn't get to him because there's nobody to do that for him.

The defense is solid, if unexceptional. Otamendi is not really a right-back, but Maradona is clearly going for solidity up back, even if that means defenders without offensive potential. That's another problem, though, because we go back to those mid-field woes and the lack of offensive mid-field strength. If you have someone like Dani Alves in Barcelona, your defensive right-back (or left-back) can move up his flank and allow the mid-fielder stationed in that same flank to move closer to the middle, which adds density to the mid-field. In the context of Argentina, if we had a Dani Alves, it would allow Jonas Gutierrez -- or some replacement; Aimar, for instance -- to move closer to Mascherano and Veron and help them in the play-making process. We have nothing like that, though. Our defenders stay pretty close to the goalkeeper because both the left-back and the right-back are central defenders at heart: that is, Otamendi and Heinze. In a sense, we have four central defenders. That doesn't do the mid-field any favors, because they can't count on creative help from the defense.

That is my opinion, thus far.


Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:21 pm
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Wow. :fresh:


Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:27 pm
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Beau wrote:
In a world, where everything seems new. In a land, that is much like the world. A few brave heroes are about to do the absolutely thinkable and make a thread about their favorite sport. But just when they thought they'd have it easy, things are about to get a lot more plural. Now the singular title is about to understand, just what it means to share the field. From the makers of Football Thread comes... Sport. Dictionary.com says it's "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature." The Free Dictionary claims it's "a physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and is often engaged competitively." Merriam-Webster wrote that it's "a source of diversion; sexual play." And Oxford Dictionary reminds that Sport comes from "late Middle English (in the sense 'pastime, entertainment'): shortening of disport." On March 2010, you better watch out. Balls will fly.

Love it. :D

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:08 pm
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Tell me when to watch tennis.


Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:09 pm
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I used to have a crush on Lehtonen

In other news, SIDNEY CROSBY.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:15 pm
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Philosophe rouge wrote:
I used to have a crush on Lehtonen

In other news, SIDNEY CROSBY.


But you're a Habs fan!


Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:25 pm
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Von Samuel wrote:

But you're a Habs fan!

What? This is about pure unadulterated athlete sexiness. Nothing to do with team loyalty. I still think the best hockey player ever though was Steve Yzerman in his peak.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:27 pm
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Philosophe rouge wrote:
What? This is about pure unadulterated athlete sexiness. Nothing to do with team loyalty. I still think the best hockey player ever though was Steve Yzerman in his peak.

by best, I obviously mean, sexiest

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:28 pm
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Philosophe rouge wrote:
What? This is about pure unadulterated athlete sexiness. Nothing to do with team loyalty. I still think the best hockey player ever though was Steve Yzerman in his peak.


I rarely ever hear people talk about their adoration for Yzerman if they aren't Michiganders.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:33 pm
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Yzerman was my favourite player back when I used to follow hockey.


Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:35 pm
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Jelly Dynamite wrote:

I rarely ever hear people talk about their adoration for Yzerman if they aren't Michiganders.

Canadians love him. Especially me.

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Especially here.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:35 pm
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His eye!

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:39 pm
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I always thought he looked like Johnny Depp or Skeet Ulrich.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:40 pm
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Trip wrote:
His eye!

It's better now, but even in full on blood eye, I'd do him without hesitation.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:42 pm
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Philosophe rouge wrote:
It's better now, but even in full on blood eye, I'd do him without hesitation.


I tried to find more photos, but most were of the injury. He's OK from what I can tell, looks wise.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:46 pm
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Trip wrote:

I tried to find more photos, but most were of the injury. He's OK from what I can tell, looks wise.

Oh, he's for sure okay. I saw him on TV recently. He made a fairly quick recovery. If you know about his eye, one looks a little off still, but nothing to detract from his handsomeness. He has the nicest lips and the sweetest little thing with his eyes. He's so dreamy.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:47 pm
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Philosophe rouge wrote:
What? This is about pure unadulterated athlete sexiness. Nothing to do with team loyalty. I still think the best hockey player ever though was Steve Yzerman in his peak.

But Crosby looks like a bucked tooth little boy, his teammate Evgeni Malkin is better looking than him.


Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:55 pm
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Von Samuel wrote:
But Crosby looks like a bucked tooth little boy, his teammate Evgeni Malkin is better looking than him.


ewwwwwwwww

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:56 pm
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Von Samuel wrote:
But Crosby looks like a bucked tooth little boy, his teammate Evgeni Malkin is better looking than him.

I pretend to find Crosby attractive to annoy you. In reality, I really don't... REALLY don't.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:56 pm
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Everyone in a Penguins sweater is ugly, including their fans.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:58 pm
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My two biggest sports crushes.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:01 pm
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Baseball guy's aiight.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:03 pm
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I'd do Utley.

And Hamles if he doesn't talk.


Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:05 pm
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Trip wrote:
Baseball guy's aiight.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:06 pm
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Wolfy wrote:
I'd do Utley.

And Hamles if he doesn't talk.

I can't help but be a little gay for this guy too.
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Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:07 pm
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Utley's wife is so hot. I know that Hamels is married to the Playboy centerfold, but I find Utley's wife is so much more appealing to me. She's very involved with animal rights and what not, so I've seen her in a ton of interviews and she seems like such a grounded and intelligent woman. So much more attractive.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:07 pm
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What is with Werth's new beard?


Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:08 pm
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Some other good looking hockey players

Jose Theodore
Jarome Iginla
Markus Naslund
Sheldon Souray
Jonathan Girard
Wade Redden

There are more

pictures are unfortunately difficult :/ here are 2

Image

Image

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Everything around me is evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and its contents, my personality - it's all evaporating. I continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else, that I thought something else. What I'm attending here is a show with another set. And the show I'm attending is myself. Fernando Pessoa

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:09 pm
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Wolfy wrote:
What is with Werth's new beard?

I dig it.
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Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:11 pm
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So, England got the final stage of their World Cup preparation off to a winning start this week. As expected, it was a performance laced with many of the usual problems - mainly a weakness in the wide areas, with wingers not tracking back and full-backs lacking in international experience or (in Wes Brown's case) intelligence. With a result that hides the poor aspects of the performance somewhat, keeping the punters and tabloids happy, and giddy with what the World Cup might hold. That said, African opposition is a bit of an unknown quantity for this English side and you could see that from the very beginning, so in that sense it isn't a bad runout. Egypt are a good, solid side who pass the ball around well. Their practiced 3-5-2 formation has fascinated me for some time, and is excellent for the game. It's great to see a coach go against the grain in that respect, perfecting a tactic that has been phased out in club football. The side has won the African Cup of Nations three times in a row now, so you might think other coaches would have tried something similar. As for England, I was a little surprised to see the starting line-up that Capello fielded the other night. His success thus far has been built upon a combination of strict discipline and the rewarding of club form with a starting position. All the England managers that have failed during my lifetime (meaning all of them) have crumbled when faced with the baying nature of the English mob/public, the famous players, the English tabloids, and the FA. Capello is a different breed, yet for some reason last night he started a handful of players that aren't on the top of their game at present - Theo Walcott being the glaring example. Aside from Wayne Rooney, I've been very impressed with the work of James Milner in recent weeks. No idea why he wasn't on from the very beginning against Egypt but I can only assume (and hope) that Capello has already handed him a ticket to Africa, and is now giving others, like Walcott, a chance to prove their worth. If nothing else, the 3-1 win against Egypt proves that Rooney and Jermain Defoe can't play together up top. They are very similar strikers, but while Rooney doesn't mind that role of coming deep to get the ball, he's worth more to us in an advanced position - a position he can't take up if Defoe is on the pitch. Crouch provides the perfect foil for Rooney, in that respect, and as long as he continues scoring and stays injury free, he would be my pick to partner the red-hot United striker in Africa.

On a different note, much has been said in England about the horrific injury to Arsenal's teen starlet Aaron Ramsey last week. The player went in for a challenge with Stoke's Ryan Shawcross and was left with a broken leg. Now, I'm a fan of Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger but I think it's certainly worth taking everything he says with a pinch of salt. As with most of the country's top bosses, he will always go to extreme and often hilarious lengths to support his players, even when it's quite clear that they and he are in the wrong. That said, his calling for more protection for his young players has obviously fallen on deaf ears, and I belive he has every right to feel aggrieved. It's no coincidence that Arsenal have suffered three huge and horrible injuries in the space of around a year, and while we shouldn't be singling one side out for special protection, I believe the FA have to take his point into account. Arsenal is a side brimming with young talent, but what is that worth when other sides go out of their way to rough these players up, and injuries like Ramsey's are the result? Despite this, I still maintain that the Shawcross tackle was an innocuous one. The ball was there to be won, the tackle was mistimed and we all know the result. I would even go as far as to say that the referee's decision and following suspension handed out by the FA was perhaps wrongly influenced by the extent of Ramsey's injury. It's a late challenge in which the defender is going for the ball but gets nothing but the opposing player's leg - the kind of which happen game in, game out in professional football. Shawcross isn't the cleanest player in the world, but it's clear there was no malicious intent involved, no raised studs, etc. so it's wrong for the press to demonise him and for the FA to single him out for extra punishment.

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Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:46 pm
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Von Samuel wrote:
Everyone in a Penguins sweater is ugly, including their fans.

hey!


Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:59 pm
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ledfloyd wrote:
hey!

Don't wear Penguins sweaters.


Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:04 pm
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
Their practiced 3-5-2 formation has fascinated me for some time, and is excellent for the game. It's great to see a coach go against the grain in that respect, perfecting a tactic that has been phased out in club football.

I've always liked this system, although it's been anything but phased out in Italy. I may write something about it.


Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:42 am
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Well, two very important games ahead for Real. First, it's Sevilla saturday night, one of the few opponents that can give Real a harsh time in La Liga. While Blancos are a complete team, there's always Marcelo. Brilliant against poor Tenerife but sucky when it comes to high level games. I hope Señor Pellegrini can play Arbeloa at the left, I wouldn't enjoy Perotti and Navas dominating the flanks, again.

Though the most "open" spot in the eleven is that one position behind the magical trio (Kaká, Pipita y C.R) my favourite candidate for it is without a doubt Rafael van der Vaart. I've always thought VdV is a intelligent player, maybe even one of the best midfielders in Europe. I hear all this talk about Ribery being amazing in Bundesliga, let's not forget that VdV outshined everyone there and actually won Bundesliga Player of the Year before he went to Madrid, didn't he? Anyways, his quick one touch style let's the attacks flow better, while Granero and Guti like to hold the ball longer then I wish, VdV plays it nice and simple. Also, his constant struggling is nice to see.

With Higuaín being Europe's most effective goal scoarer (One goal every 77 minutes), Cristiano showing his brilliance week after week and Kaká finally convincing me that he may very well be Maestro II, I have no worries whatsoever about the goal scoaring. Real have scoared what? 15 in Cl and 64 in La Liga, that's pretty amazing. Though what satisfies me the most is the relationship between Kaká and Ronaldo, how they seem to get along so well, Kaká GAVE a penalty to Ronaldo last week, beautiful scene. :shifty:

Still though, they all might just freeze and let Lyon take over the Bernabeu pitch just like that.No Alonso! Ah, I'm nervous. :oops:

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:31 am
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I feel I'm required to make my presence felt in this, the effective successor to the RT Football/Soccer Discussion Thread. I can't compete with the essays of certain fellows, so I'll throw out some snappy soundbites like "we're gonna win the league for Aaron" and "psst, say it quietly but Michael Carrick turned the game around for England despite the fact that he didn't score a goal and is therefore utterly insignificant".


Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:44 am
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Circus Freak is here! Everyone pack up the thread, our elaborate plan worked!

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:24 am
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I had to make a banner and everything. Jedi worked me out.


Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:25 am
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Beau wrote:
I had to make a banner and everything. Jedi worked me out.

I saw the Argentina game, I agree with you. Though I did raise my 'brow when I heard Maradona say that they were playing perfect football. :-|

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:28 am
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So... big day in free agency today:
Julius Peppers, Chester Taylor and Brandon Manumaleuna are Bears (I'm waiting for Noc to cum), Karlos Dansby is a Dolphin, Antrell Rolle a Giant, Dunta Robinson a Falcon, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Corey Williams and Nate Burleson are Lions and Vince Wilfork re-signed with the Patriots for a shitload of money. Jake Delhomme was cut.
And how did the Cardinals let Anquan Boldin go for only a 3rd and 4th rounder?

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:15 pm
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Antonio Cromartie to the Jets.

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:22 pm
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LEAVES wrote:
Antonio Cromartie to the Jets.
Oh yeah, for only a third-rounder if I'm not wrong.

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:34 pm
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Wolf of the Winter wrote:
Oh yeah, for only a third-rounder if I'm not wrong.
2011 conditional third, could be second.

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:47 pm
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Armin wrote:
I saw the Argentina game, I agree with you. Though I did raise my 'brow when I heard Maradona say that they were playing perfect football. :-|


I obviously want Argentina to win this World Cup, but if there's one thing that keeps me from embracing the idea, is that Maradona would use the opportunity to blabber on about how brilliant he is and how he always had everything under control and how the naysayers can go fuck themselves in the ass.


Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:47 pm
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LEAVES wrote:
2011 conditional third, could be second.
For a player as talented and yet inconsistent like Cromartie, sounds fair.
It will be interesting how he does now that every single QB will try to victimize him for not being Darrelle Revis.

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I feel like I'm in this river, just getting swept along, and if I hold to anyone, if I'm holding on for dear life, I'm not getting anywhere, I'm stuck... I never wanted to get stuck...

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I AM THE NIGHT!!!*
Futurama.
Deadliest Warrior.
My nerdiest moment.
Favorite intros.
FMA*
The Spectacular Spider-Man
Avatar: TLA
The Beatles*


* = Unfinished


Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:50 pm
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