Jump to content
rllmuk
gospvg

Football Thread 2019/2020

Recommended Posts

Just now, PC Master Race said:

Think how funny it's gonna be when Liverpool fuck up in the new year and Brendan sneaks in Leicesters second premiership.

 

Until we have the trophy in our hands, I refuse to believe. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Liverpool were exceptional today.

 

Although if Sky wouldn't mind fucking off the bullshit like the City coach arriving followed by Pep walking in slow motion DURING OUR FUCKING MATCH PRECEDING IT that would be smashing.

 

I get it's a bigger fixture and a key match this season but to interrupt other live games to show such trivial bullshit isn't really on. 

 

Anyway, thought we showed how much better we are than Villa today, we bossed it and should have won by more tbh. Villa have been unfortunate eith injuries and clearly missed Grealish but Moutinho ran the midfield, and I was delighted how many chances we created. Both goals were great for different reasons.

 

I'm sure Villa will be fine (a lot of daft hyperbole on social media) but I'm delighted with that. We're a good side.

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, PC Master Race said:

Think how funny it's gonna be when Liverpool fuck up in the new year and Brendan sneaks in Leicesters second premiership.

 

Pretty much what Bradigor said but if we do, I'm being this post back up lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is that better of worse than Frank Lampard's Chelsea winning the title at his first attempt. They've looked better each week and will definitely cause City problems after the international break.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Liverpool were eight points clear in mid-April I wouldn’t be confident. It’s bloody November. Not even the Scottish Premier League is won in November.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing that Guardiola is given as much leeway as he is with regards to that defence. "Can he solve it in January?" they ask pensively. He's spent about forty billion pounds on that squad, but it's somehow not his fault they have an absolute carthorse he refuses to play, and some other expensive signings that he doesn't fancy that don't make the bench and just chip around the stadium each week. Putting aside where the money came from in the first place, and the creative ways it's been used this is just bad planning surely? Everyone gets injuries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Liverpool fans are gonna hate people stating they'll definitely win the league..thus cursing them, but it's more that I don't think city are that good this season, not so good wins or even goals are inevitable for them. I never got why people like Barry Glendenning said they'd win it easy. This Liverpool team is formidable, people still seem to be pretending they aren't for some reason. The media and 606 mainly flip out and make predictions based on the points difference which never makes any sense, we've seen turn arounds in April. Liverpool still have to fight for some wins, but a totally freak game aside, the home form is impervious, gotta have another level of confidence after the Barcelona comeback.

 

city will probably go on a 10 game winning streak now won't they. 78 points left, wins til the end would make 103. I think the winning team will get 95+, i don't think they will drop just 7 points in 7 months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Plissken said:

Who else is unsurprised that City are the first to try the "deliberate knock it against the defenders hand and claim the penalty" tactic?


Probably saw how well it worked for Mane last season...

  • Upvote 1
  • Empathy 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Stigweard said:

So?

 

Why even respond? We've been through this plenty, neoELITE is a real football fan because he watches shit cloggers playing football in a ground somewhere close to where he lives.

  • Upvote 8
  • Downvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Adrock said:

 

Why even respond? We've been through this plenty, neoELITE is a real football fan because he watches shit cloggers playing football in a ground somewhere close to where he lives.

 

Haha I know, just throwing out some bait :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Adrock said:

 

Why even respond? We've been through this plenty, neoELITE is a real football fan because he watches shit cloggers playing football in a ground somewhere close to where he lives.

 

Shit cloggers? Jesus :blah:

 

Season ticket holder since 1986. Have some respect!

  • Empathy 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Adrock said:

 

Why even respond? We've been through this plenty, neoELITE is a real football fan because he watches shit cloggers playing football in a ground somewhere close to where he lives.

He’s much more of a fan than those he’s referring to. I completely understand his point. 
 

We’ve done this time and again though. All power to those people supporting clubs they have no connection to. 

  • Upvote 7
  • Downvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, feltmonkey said:

Whatever else is going on in the league, who would have predicted that Leicester and Chelsea would be ahead of Man City after twelve games?  

 

Or that both would be 12 ahead of Spurs after 12.

 

Or that, if you asked at kick off for the CL Final, that Spurs would somehow contrive to be 20 points off Liverpool after 12 games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

penalty arguments aside there isn't a lot of doubt that at the moment Liverpool are the best team in the league, does look like City have run out of a bit of something after the efforts of back to back titles, and Liverpool are playing with the hunger and experience of a team now hunting down their first.

 

surprised to see that even saying that the xG for yesterdays game was very close, as I thought Liverpool had the best of it by some margin.

 

think my only hope now for the season is that the FA do the right thing with the VAR debacle and declare the whole season null and void and don't hand out the title this year.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Gotters said:

penalty arguments aside there isn't a lot of doubt that at the moment Liverpool are the best team in the league, does look like City have run out of a bit of something after the efforts of back to back titles, and Liverpool are playing with the hunger and experience of a team now hunting down their first.

 

surprised to see that even saying that the xG for yesterdays game was very close, as I thought Liverpool had the best of it by some margin.

 

think my only hope now for the season is that the FA do the right thing with the VAR debacle and declare the whole season null and void and don't hand out the title this year.


I felt like Man City created far more chances but wasted them, Liverpool were so dangerous on the break they looked like they would score at will mainly because Man City we’re just poor at the back.

 

What did the XG come out at?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 09/11/2019 at 17:40, neoELITE said:

 

1980s glory boy posts yet another bait post :omg:

 

29 minutes ago, neoELITE said:

Every single time I get people with that "you aren't real fans" thing. Feels good man :D

 

 


E250B94A-0001-4D16-9A2E-E04BDD672497.jpeg.726221c6531534330ed534256c5486ca.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, neoELITE said:

Every single time I get people with that "you aren't real fans" thing. Feels good man :D

 

 

Don't do this. Seriously.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Formatting won't be easiest to read but this is a great article from the Athletic today where Oliver Kay went to watch the weekends game in Sadio Mane's hometown - I have read of the work Mane does back home but this really brings it into perspective, and shows what a decent bloke he must be.

 

 

Spoiler

The biggest game of the Premier League season so far is just an hour away and, in Bambali, a village in a remote part of Senegal some 3,000 miles from Anfield, one of Sadio Mane’s cousins claps his hands and declares it is time to eat.

We venture outside, into the sweltering mid-afternoon heat, and are directed towards a shady spot in the yard of the huge mansion that Mane has had built for his extended family. “Around 40 of us live here,” one of his uncles, Ibrahim Toure, says. “Brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces, grandparents, grandchildren; all the family together. It’s a normal thing in Senegal.”

Another cousin struggles over with a huge vat, plonks it down on the floor and removes the lid, releasing a beautiful smell across the yard. This, he announces, is thiou tiir, a local stew made of fish, sun-dried tomatoes, onions and rice. He passes me a spoon, while others are invited to tuck in with their hands. It tastes just as good as it smells and there is just enough to feed a family of 40 plus one hungry guest. 

It is simple moments like this, in the bosom of his family, that Mane has missed since initially defying his mother’s wishes by leaving Bambali as a 15-year-old to pursue his dream. More on that remarkable act of single-minded defiance later, as well as his extraordinary generosity.

There will be no time for Mane to drift off into wistfulness on this particular afternoon, though. On Merseyside, his focus is firmly on the task in hand. It will be his 100th Premier League start for Liverpool and, with Manchester City the opposition, the match feels integral to the title race. Bambali, where time seems to stand still, waits in a rare state of anxiety.

Did The Athletic really know what it would entail when they came up with the idea of dispatching me to Senegal to watch the Liverpool-City encounter from Mane’s village?

A phrase like “off the beaten track” doesn’t really suffice when it comes to describing Bambali, on the banks of the Casamance river. From the capital Dakar, in the north-west, it is seven hours by road, including border crossings into and out of The Gambia. The nearest airport is in Ziguinchor, a two-and-a-half-hour drive away.

From Ziguinchor, there are two potential routes. On Sunday morning, my driver Salif, a former footballer, follows the scenic route on dusty, potholed roads through the forests before taking the ferry from Ndieba to Marsassou, where we watch the pelicans fly overhead, and proceeding through more forest land. Every few miles, we are slowed down by loose cattle, goats or donkeys.

On our first visit, the previous day, he prefers the quicker route, setting off in a north-eastward direction on the Trans-Gambia Highway — better, faster, safer roads — before dropping down towards the south. The towns we pass through blur into one: stalls on the roadsides selling fruit or charcoal, or clothes or electrical goods, or plant pots or long strips of metal, all of it procured in the hope of turning a small profit. There is little obvious demand.

In the town of Sedhiou, birthplace of the former Newcastle United forward Papiss Cisse, that imbalance between supply and demand appears even more stark, yet there is none of the aggressive hawking you might expect in a place where landing a sale or two might be the difference between feeding your family and not. Every face wears a smile. Sales are hoped for, rather than anticipated.

The same smiles are visible in the villages but there is no such commercial scene. Men and women, young and old, sit in the shade outside their homes while their children amuse themselves, playing with battered-looking footballs, chasing the chickens or using the local well as a climbing frame.

Some of the houses are made of stone, but these are outnumbered by the shacks made of corrugated iron and — by far the most numerous — shacks made of mud or sticks, many of them with dishes drying on a thatched roof.

Whichever route you take, the terrain changes in the final half-hour of the journey towards Bambali. It becomes much more agricultural, with banana and maize plantations in the fields as asphalt gives way to red sand. The only other traffic is the occasional farmer’s cart, pulled by donkeys.

Eventually, the signs say we have reached Bambali. There are signs announcing the village has been the recipient of American aid. The first business we reach is a shack offering photocopying and scanning services. The second, in the shack next door, is a hairdresser. A little further on is a local DJ. Several of the shacks are decorated with the same poster, lauding Sadio Mane as “l’enfant de Bambali, le fier de toute une nation” (child of Bambali, pride of a whole nation).

We ask some local children where Mane’s house is and, a little quizzically, they point us down the road. There it is, a huge house on the left-hand side. Five of the children playing outside are wearing Liverpool No 10 shirts. It is safe to say we have come to the right place.

Hanging from an upstairs window at the Mane mansion is a banner lauding “Nianthio”. “In the southern Senegalese dialect, it’s a name that means lion and warrior,” one of Mane’s many cousins explains later. “When we say Sadio Mane, we say, ‘Nianthio’. He is a lion. He is a warrior. Like a lion, like a warrior. He will succeed, no matter what is put in his way.”

Mane’s uncle Ibrahim, his mother’s older brother, is showing me around what he calls “the compound”.

There are at least 30 children playing in the yard — Mane’s nephews and nieces, but also many of their friends from the village. Some of them are playing football. Others chase the chickens, while the smallest girl cuddles a toy cat. There are numerous Liverpool shirts around, all of them bearing Mane’s name. Barcelona are represented. So too are City, but the boy with the Sergio Aguero shirt seems oblivious to what it symbolises. “Liverpool de Sadio Mane. Sadio Mane de Bambali,” the boys shout in unison.

There are cows in the field, a few goats here and there, but Ibrahim is keen to point out a rather ugly-looking shack with a corrugated-iron roof, just next to the main property. “Sadio has come from a poor, poor family,” Ibrahim says. “His father died when he was young and the family had no money. He grew up in a house just like this one, with his mother and his sisters and the wider family.”

Can we see the house? Is it still standing? “No, it was just next to this one, right where we’re standing,” Ibrahim says. “This house [the mansion] was built on the site where he grew up. It’s symbolic, really.”

Ibrahim gestures towards the fields where a young Mane was sent to work on the family’s farm. “Every day after school, he had to go to the fields to work,” he says. “Every evening, he had to learn from the Koran, learn how to pray. His uncle was the local imam here. We expected him to work on the farm, to cultivate the land.”

Mane did not want to be a farmer, though. He had been kicking a ball around the dust-swept lanes of Bambali for as long as he could remember — and he was faster, more skilful, better than anyone else in the village. When his teams played against those from other villages, his talent stood out. “He was better than everyone,” his friend Bacary Diatta says, “even those who were older than him. But I remember him saying, ‘Every day, I have to go out into the field. But I’m not going to be a farmer. I’m going to be an international footballer.’”

As for what happened next, when he was 15, Mane has offered two rather different versions of events in interviews. One story is that he talked things over with his mother and uncle in a civil manner, which led to them agreeing to send him to Dakar to join a football academy. The alternative, much more dramatic, media-friendly narrative is that he upped and left without telling a soul, such was his desperation to follow his dream, and took a bus on the seven-hour journey to the capital.

So which is it? “He fled Bambali,” Ibrahim says, laughing. “He fled in secret, without informing anyone. Walked a long, long way, and then took the bus to Dakar.

“His mother was very worried and the family were not at all happy. We knew he was in Dakar. After two months, we went to Dakar and brought him home. His mother felt and I felt it was difficult to become a footballer. How could someone from Bambali become a footballer?

“Six or seven months after that, this time, Sadio sat down and said to us, ‘I want to be a footballer. I believe I can become a star. I want to show you I can do it.’”

At this point, Mane’s family believed they could no longer stand in his way. They would at least allow him the opportunity to give it a shot. He went — and he has never really looked back.

Ibrahima Diarra, who has coached top-flight Senegalese clubs such as Casa Sport, is trying to explain just how difficult it is for a player like Mane, in a small village as remote as Bambali, to reach the big time.

“There are so many talented young players all over Senegal, all over Africa,” he says. “Every single one of them dreams of going to Europe and becoming a professional.

“In a place like Bambali, there is very little organised football. Even in Ziguinchor, we don’t have the resources. We might have 50 boys but only two or three coaches. Balls are expensive. There is a synthetic pitch at the stadium, but most of the pitches are sand. We have licensed football schools, but we don’t have a centre de formation.

“The only big academies exist in Dakar, like Generation Foot, where Sadio and Papiss Cisse went, Diambars, where Idrissa Gana Gueye went, and Sacre Coeur. Generation Foot has a partnership with Metz. Sacre Coeur has a partnership with Lyon. But many, many players join these academies — not just from Dakar but all over Senegal, from The Gambia, from Guinea-Bissau etc. Only two or three each year go to those clubs in France. Most of the players who go to the academies come back again.”

Mane was one of the chosen few, offered the chance to join Metz. This time, with his family’s blessing, he took the chance.

For any African teenager, moving to a city in northern France would be a huge culture shock. It was certainly the case for Mane. His friends in Bambali understand that he would sometimes stay at the training ground all afternoon or even well into the evening — not just out of desire to improve but because he liked the staff there and he was not sure what he would do with his time otherwise.

He at least felt safe at Metz, where there were numerous other African players and where his landlady looked after him and took care of his laundry. He signed a new five-year contract after they were relegated to the third tier. He was horrified when the club’s president informed him they had accepted an offer from Red Bull Salzburg. “Metz was my new home and I didn’t want to leave,” he told Canal+. “The president told me, ‘Look, they offered €4 million, so I have no choice.’ That day, I cried like a kid.”

As detailed in Raphael Honigstein’s recent article, those two years in Salzburg were the making of Mane. It has been non-stop since then: two seasons as a free-scoring winger for RB Salzburg, who won the Austrian Bundesliga in his second campaign there, an £11.8 million transfer to the Premier League to join Southampton, where he excelled for two seasons, and a £35 million move to Liverpool, where he has played in two Champions League finals, scoring in the first, winning the second. He narrowly missed out on Africa Cup of Nations glory this summer, with Senegal beaten in Algeria by the final, but, at Anfield, all eyes are now on the Premier League title bid.

“Liverpool will win,” his uncle Ibrahim says. “And Sadio will score. You will see.”

The Mane house in Bambali is awaiting refurbishment, so the grown-ups sit on plastic chairs while the children sit on the floor in front of the TV. There are cheers and shouts when Mane’s face appears on screen during the pre-match warm-up, but there is a call for quiet as we listen to Robert Pires and Olivier Dacourt discussing his recent impact, including the debate over whether he has been guilty of what Pires, who knows a thing about such matters, calls plonger. The jury in Bambali, it is safe to say, rejects Pep Guardiola’s view on the matter.

There is a rhythmic clap from the boys at the front as the two teams emerge from the tunnel but there is tense silence as the game kicks off. Then, seconds after a penalty appeal at the other end of the pitch, Mane streaks away down the left-hand side and crosses the ball into the penalty area. Eventually, the ball reaches Fabinho, who lets fly — 1-0 to Liverpool and the place goes wild. Nobody here even stops to consider the possibility of a VAR check. Even the boy in the Aguero shirt is jumping for joy.

Seven minutes later, Mohamed Salah makes it 2-0 and Liverpool are firmly in control. More and more and more children — including more girls now — file into the living room, where there is a celebration now. An exception is one Mane elder at the front, who, even with his team firmly in the ascendancy, remains as agitated as Jurgen Klopp and Guardiola combined.

The first half whizzes by, with a steady procession of soft drinks and cups of tea along the way. One of the boys looks bored, building a tower from drinks cans, but everyone else is captivated. It has been one of Mane’s quieter games — only six successful passes, one dribble and no shots before half-time — but he is working his flank in the way that Klopp so admires, grafting for his team. “Not playing for himself. Putting the team first,” one of his cousins says.

A five-minute walk from the Mane house is the Lycee Moderne Bambali, a school. Until recently, it consisted of two old single-storey teaching blocks. Now, there are three two-storey blocks, equipped with bigger classrooms and modern teaching facilities. 

It was built last year at a cost of 152 million Central African Francs (around £200,000), which came entirely from Mane. “He built this,” Diatta says. “Not with his hands, but with his feet. He wanted to build something for the people of Bambali.”

Diatta takes me around the corner to a building site, where a new hospital is under construction. “All from Sadio,” he says. “It will serve not just Bambali but the other villages nearby.”

Mane’s generosity is legendary in these parts. It was widely reported that when his team reached the Champions League final against Real Madrid last year, he sent a huge parcel of Liverpool shirts — 350 of them, his uncle Ibrahim estimates — for the children of Bambali to wear while cheering him on.

Less well-known is that Mane sends every family in Bambali and the nearby villages a gift at Ramadan every year. “It’s something like XAF 50,000 (around £65) for every person,” Ibrahim says. “Sadio is such a generous man. He’s also very sentimental, maybe even too sentimental. That is his nature. He just wants to help people.”

It tallies nicely with a video which emerged on social media one Saturday last year, when, rather than paint the town red after scoring for Liverpool during the afternoon, he was to be found helping a friend clean the toilets at Al Rahma mosque in the Toxteth area of Liverpool. “Sadio requested that no video was sent out,” Abu Usamah Al-Tahabi, the local imam, told the BBC on that occasion. “He wanted to remain discreet. He wasn’t doing it for publicity. He’s not a person looking for fanfare. There’s no arrogance.”

In an interview last month with TeleDakar, Mane said: “Why would I want to have 10 Ferraris, 20 watches with diamonds and two aeroplanes? What would these objects do for me and for the world?

“I’ve been hungry. I had to work in the fields. I played football barefoot. But today, with what I earn through football, I can help my people. I don’t need to display luxury cars, luxury homes, trips or, even less, aeroplanes. I prefer that my people receive a little of what life has given me.”

For a moment, belief is suspended. Everyone in the room sees that Jordan Henderson has crossed the ball from the right-hand side towards the far post, where Mane’s run has taken him away from the defender. Everyone sees him meet the ball with a firm header. Everyone sees Claudio Bravo, the City goalkeeper, scrambling desperately, but it takes a second or two for the Mane household to be certain that their hero has scored.

An explosion of ecstasy follows. There are yells and shrieks and the boys at the front are doing whatever their bodies are telling them to do. One of them skids across the floor. Another leaps through the air, on to his backside, and then uses his arms to flip himself upwards again. One female relative looks overjoyed, as if she has just heard the most wonderful news. Liverpool appear to be home and dry and their Sadio, the child of Bambali, the pride of a whole nation, their blessed Nianthio, is the hero.

More and more people file in after that, attracted from outside by the noise, wanting to share Mane’s moment with his family. I start counting but lose track, certain that there are well over 100 people there. There is an air of celebration and, if there is tension at Anfield after Bernardo Silva’s late goal, which forces Mane and his team-mates to work even harder in the final moments, there is nothing of the sort in Bambali, where the outcome has not been in doubt since Fabinho’s early goal. “I told you Sadio would score,” Ibrahim says at the final whistle as everyone headed outside to celebrate.

Their fervour on Liverpool’s behalf is genuine but, truly, their allegiance is to Mane. The more you look at it, through their eyes, the more extraordinary it must be to see Sadio up on the big screen, not only representing Senegal but playing for one of the most famous clubs in world football, winning the Champions League, being crowned African Player of the Year, coming fifth in the running for the FIFA Best Men’s Player award, putting himself in contention to win the Ballon d’Or.

Consider the Liverpool supporters’ pride at seeing a local lad, Trent Alexander-Arnold, playing a starring role — or the City fans’ pride on their glimpses of Phil Foden, or even Harry Kane at Tottenham or Jack Grealish at Aston Villa— and then consider how it must feel not just for the people of Senegal but for the people of Bambali to see “one of our own” scaling such heights on the biggest stages in world football.

To get to Anfield from here has taken five huge steps: from Bambali to Dakar to Metz to Salzburg to Southampton to Liverpool. Arguably the sixth step, from an eye-catching Premier League forward to a reliably brilliant one, thriving in the Champions League, has been the most difficult of all, yet nothing seems to get in Mane’s way. “Incredible,” Diatta says. “Nobody thought it would happen, even if we all dreamed it.”

He came back to Bambali in July to get over the disappointment of defeat in the Africa Cup of Nations final. As the word of his homecoming spread, children walked from other villages, further up the Casamance, to see if they could catch a glimpse of him. It was easier than they imagined. He was happy to walk among them in a pair of shorts and flip-flops, spreading joy, taking the opportunity to visit the school and, above all, relaxing with his friends and family, particularly his sisters and his mother.

I ask Ibrahim whether the woman who sat behind me, looking so emotional, was Mane’s mother. “No,” he says. “Sadio’s mother is outside.”

He takes me to her. She has spent the entire afternoon sitting outside in a state of high anxiety. She doesn’t feel able to watch Sadio play. It is too nerve-wracking. “Too much emotion,” her brother Ibrahim says. She smiles at that suggestion. She will watch the match in a more relaxed state later on, now that she knows the outcome for her son is positive.

She does not wish to be interviewed, preferring for Ibrahim to speak on the family’s behalf. “She is incredibly proud of Sadio,” he says. “Every one of us in Bambali is. Not just for what he does as a footballer but for everything that he does as a person. He does it for all the family, for the people of Bambali, for all of Senegal.”

The child of Bambali, the pride of a whole nation, Sadio Mane, their esteemed Nianthio, continues to inspire. “He told us he had to pursue his dream,” Ibrahim says. “And that dream has become a reality.”

 

  • Upvote 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sterling dropped for the England games following an altercation with Gomez. Seems like a sensible bit of management by Southgate and that Stirling has handled it with maturity and grace. Pretty refreshing to see. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.