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Hugh Jass

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  1. Probably a very unpopular opinion, but here goes. Generally attacking players are just better players than defensive players. Statistically it is far more difficult to score goals than to prevent the other team from scoring. Even if Bayern Munich or Real Madrid win 4-0, they'd probably have created another 15-20 or so goal-scoring opportunities in that same match which they hadn't been able to convert. Generally a very small percentage of goal-scoring opportunities actually result in goals. Also as kids far more people aspire to be attacking players or forwards than defenders, defensive midfielders, goal-keepers etc, as those positions have more prestige, glory and glamour. So being one of the best attackers in the world is more impressive to me than being one of the best defenders, as an attacker would have beaten off more and tougher competition right from their school and junior days to get that far. Also, I think that generally a lot of attacking players would have found it easier to adapt to other positions than vice versa. For example I think that a lot of centre forwards like Drogba, Shearer etc could easily have become excellent centre-backs had they trained for it. However I think a lot of defensive players would have found it far more difficult to excel as attacking players. There will be exceptions to that hypothesis of course.
  2. Hugh Jass


    It probably won't happen, and Nadal is looking too strong on this surface at the moment, but this would be a great time for the Stanimal to re-appear again. I would love it if he continued this current streak of red-lining and winning one grand slam each year. He beat Fognini pretty convincingly yesterday. The all French 3rd round battle between Monfils and Gasquet sounds intriguing. I will try to catch it when it resumed today. I find Monfils both exciting and frustrating to watch. His athleticism is incredible and he makes some retrievals and hits winners from the most impossible positions on the court. But then again with his size and power, he should play far more aggressively than he tends to do.
  3. I don't like Bayern (I tend to dislike the dominant clubs in the top leagues and very much root for the underdog), but I certainly respect them a lot more than Real Madrid, Barcelona and the other European giants. Off the pitch they do the things the right way, having made a profit for 24 consecutive years and counting, not having a penny of debt, and treating their fans to the lowest ticket prices out of the any truly big club in the top European clubs (I believe their ticket prices are lower than Dortmund's). They don't benefit from an unfair distribution of TV money or state aid either. I won't contribute much on this thread so I thought I'd get that out there!
  4. Both Juve and Milan could have won even more Champions League titles in the 90s, they both lost multiple finals in the decade. Milan were generally the best team in Europe from early to mid 90s, and Juve were generally the best team from the mid to late 90s. I imagine that Juve would have been the heavy favourites to win both the 1997 and 1998 finals. As weird as it may sound, it can be argued that 'only' 3 Champions League titles for Serie A clubs in the 90s, when the league was by far the strongest in the world with none of the Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga coming close, was actually an underachievement for the league. Of course though their clubs utterly dominated the UEFA Cup in that decade, and also won a few Cup Winners' Cups.
  5. Hugh Jass


    Muguruza has the ability to become the dominant force on clay from her generation, and win this tournament multiple times. If Sharapova can win 2 RG titles in 3 years, she can definitely top that, and it helps that there aren't exactly a whole of contenders on the surface. She has the shots, the power and she moves pretty well considering her height. Generally clay has never been a great surface for women's tennis, it has usually been the worst surface to watch the girls on. On the other than I used to find the WTA European indoor events more enjoyable than the men's ones. There have always been very ew female players that have looked comfortable on the surface compared to the men's game, where there have been stacks of players from mainland Europe and Latin America born and bread at perfectly at home on clay.
  6. He has his ideals and his football principles and how he wants his teams to play, i.e. expansive, possession based attacking football, but he has shown some flexibility as well and I did see games where Las Palmas could mix it up and heaven forbid hit some long balls when necessary. During his playing career his main mentor was Aragonés I believe. It's no surprise that the Las Palmas fans love him and were continually chanting his name even after he announced that he was leaving. They have been treated to some very entertaining football under him. The midfield trio of Mesa, Gómez and Vieira in particular were a treat to watch. The 3-3 draw between Las Palmas and Berizzo's Celta team bac in October was definitely one of the matches of the season, especially for purists. That's an interesting point you raised about his teams always ending seasons badly, but you're right that he has always worked with shoestring budgets. I strong Betis team would be great for Seville and La Liga in general. I doubt they'll hold on to Ceballos for next season but we'll see.
  7. Yeah exactly. I think there was a West Brom-Leicester game at the Hawthorns last season when Vardy was getting heckled and abused by the some of the more vociferous Baggies fans all game, and he celebrated his goal in front of them and taunted them a bit. He did absolutely nothing wrong there. No West Brom fan that heckled him had any right to turn into a delicate flower and be annoyed at or offended by his celebration.
  8. When players have received abuse from the opposition fans, I personally have loved it when they have 'given it back' and made fun of those fans after scoring a goal against or beating their team. I probably shouldn't, but I just can't help it. That's regardless of whether it has been David Healy taunting our fans at Deepdale after he had moved to Leeds and was given all sorts of stick, Rooney doing it to the Liverpool fans in the Kop at Anfield, Walcott doing it to the visiting Spurs fans who made fun of him getting injured at the Emirates, Adebayor doing to it the visiting Arsenal fans at Man City after the vitriolic abuse he had received that day etc. Some of those idiots in the crowd like to dish out the abuse to players, but can't take it and turn into a bunch of over-sensitive, hypocritical wimps when those players give a bit of banter back. Of course I'm not condoning doing an Eric Cantona style karate kick on abusive fans, although that Palace fan in question was a nasty piece of work (check out his criminal record) and deserved it.
  9. Setien new Betis Coach New Real Betis Coach Quique Setien has promised the club he will maintain his attacking and possession philosophies as he was unveiled by the club. The 58-year-old was appointed on a three-year deal by Los Verdiblancos having left Las Palmas and added Dani Ceballos, Ruben Castro and Antonio Adan will all have important roles in his team. "Everyone knows who I am, how I see the game," Setien told his unveiling press conference. “You all know my philosophy of playing the game with the ball, of keeping possession and to forge close relationships with my players to help in this regard. "I don't think it is going to take much for me to convince them regarding my proposal for playing the game, we want to grow gradually in one direction. “When I arrived at Lugo, in the third tier, they said that they couldn't play football which is something I had to address immediately. “I make this promise to Beticos that this will be the case with our club, I guarantee attacking, possession-based football. “I don’t want to make any promises in terms of achievements for next year but this is a big club who need to be ambitious. “By signing a three-year deal here it gives security for the players, for me and for the club – it benefits everyone. “I see Dani Ceballos as a ‘benchmark’ player, we can build a team around him, as for Antonio Adan and Ruben Castro – I want them both to play big roles here. “In terms of transfers and how we will form our squad, there will be a consensus between me and the sports management "What I must do is to thank the President, the sporting director for the fact that I have been given this wonderful opportunity.” https://www.football-espana.net/64295/setien-promises-betis-attacking-football Hopefully Setién's arrival can re-vitalise Betis. I've always preferred them over Sevilla, and they have one of the most passionate fanbases in Spain. He has had a good track record, getting Lugo promoted to the 2nd tier and keeping them there. With Las Palmas he led them to a mid-table finish last year, and they made a good start this season and were briefly threatening to challenge for Europa League qualification. But amidst his constant disputes with the board, he announced a couple of months ago that he was leaving, and their form dropped sharply with them picking up just 1 point from their last 7 games. To me he is one of the most intriguing coaches in Europe, and his Las Palmas team generally played fluid attacking football and were a lot of fun to watch.
  10. Hugh Jass


    So Roland Garros is underway. Nadal is the overwhelming favourite to win the men's tournament and complete La Decima. The women's tournament is up in the air. Halep would be the favourite but it remains to be seen whether she has shaken off her ankle injury. Great to see Kvitova back playing again and winning her first match back after being stabbed in her dominant left hand by a robber just before Christmas last year. The world no. 1 Kerber has had a terrible year and unsurprisingly was bounced out of the first round. Hopefully some of the younger players can make some noise and progress to the latter stages of the men's draw.
  11. Cheers mate that makes sense. Even his year at Roma in 2011-2012, with their notoriously demanding and hostile ultras constantly protesting and complaining, will have been incredibly draining. And in terms of pressure his 3 year stint leading that Barcelona B team won't have been stress-free either. It's no surprise that he would want a long break from football and focus on other things. As a Sporting fan (they've been my favourite Spanish team since 2008), I would love to see him coming home one day after he has re-charged their batteries. God knows that would give the club such a lift. However it's difficult to see that happening.
  12. In-spite of the criticism that he has received for tactics, lack of rotation etc, you definitely cannot argue with that trophy haul. Are there any thoughts or rumours on where he is likely to go next? 3 years at a club like Barcelona would be exhausting for anyone.
  13. The guy has always been dodgy to the core, so no surprise to hear there. In addition to the Neymar deal saga and his feud with Laporta, on my main memories of his time as Barcelona president was him publicly gloating after they beat Real Madrid 3-1 at the Bernabeu in 2011-2012. Firstly it is something that a club president just shouldn't do, and secondly it riled and geed up Real Madrid who then won their next 11 league matches.
  14. This is a weird one, but I hate snobbery and inverse snobbery from football fans. I have come across plenty of people who support Man Utd, Chelsea, Barcelona Real Madrid etc, who think that they because they support bigger and more successful clubs, that they are higher class of football fan or something. When it has come to Champions League game days, I've heard serious comments along the lines of 'what would a Preston fan know about this?'. Basically they are smug about, and like to live vicariously through the the achievements of people who don't know they exist, and which in reality have nothing to do with them. That is pretty comical. Anyone can choose to support a successful football club; I could become a Juventus fan tomorrow and boast about how they are far superior to any Premier League club at the moment; it is nothing to gloat about. Then again I have encountered a lot of inverse-snobbery as well. I have been a season ticket holder at Deepdale for most of my life (excluding the 3 years when I was a student living off cheap pasta). There are of course a lot of Man Utd and Liverpool fans in Preston, and I know quite a few Arsenal fans here as well. A lot of my fellow season ticket holders that I speak to think they are superior and 'more genuine' football fans to their friends who support bigger clubs. That is also crazy IMO.
  15. Agreed. And in that same summer Real Madrid also signed Xabi Alonso from Liverpool, who spiralled into decline, had a disastrous 2009/2010 under Benítez and would only qualify for the Champions League once in the next 7 seasons. Man Utd's achievement of winning 3 consecutive Premier League titles from 2007-2009, alongside their tremendous Champions League consistency in those seasons; semi-finalists in 2007, winners in 2008 and finalists in 2009, is incredibly underrated. Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal were probably 3 of the best 6 teams or so in Europe at that time, so they beat off such tough competition to win what was indisputably the best league in the world at the time 3 years in a row. If Liverpool and Arsenal hadn't been drawn together in the Champions League quarter-finals, we could realistically have had an all-Premier League semi-final line-up in the Champions League in 2007/2008 Speaking of Ronaldo I do think that he would have comfortably broken the 40 goal barrier in the Premier League on multiple occasions had he stayed here. He scored 31 goals in 2007/2008 when he was just 22/23, and when the standard of Premier League defending was IMO a lot better than it would soon decline to. By 2011/2012 everyone was talking about how bad the standard of defending had become. And he would soon become an even deadlier and more efficient finisher (just look at his Champions League goal scoring record at Real Madrid).
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