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Football Thread 2020/2021


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And that removes a huge part of the interest though.

 

And I know this applies to the fans of maybe 5 teams but once it becomes clear you're not going to win the title this year, as it did at least a couple of months back for Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea for 3, the season becomes about getting top 4.

 

But if Liverpool know top 4 makes no difference then what's the fucking point? And if chelsea won't really be fighting for top 4 because Liverpool will "throw" league games since they don't matter, there's no interest there either.

 

Plus if this is pan-europe, one of the joys of european nights is seeing teams you don't normally see, the likes of Maribor or CSKA or even Lazio.  If this turns the euros into as many games a season against Barca and Atletico and PSG as you play against Brighton it gets very dull.

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1 hour ago, feltmonkey said:

Coefficient is such a bullshit concept.  I remember a few years ago when Burnley qualified for the Europa League and they had to play about fifteen qualification rounds, eventually just missing out on the group stage, whereas Arsenal, who finished one place above them in the league, went straight into the group stage automatically.  It's not a level playing field.

 

The respective coefficients of Arsenal and Burnley had nothing to do with that - that was down to the country coefficient which is used to rank domestic leagues in order to assign automatic places in the group stage. Burnley could have won four Champions League titles in a row to become the highest ranked side in Europe before finishing 7th in the league, and they'd still have started where they did.

 

The club coefficient only determines the seedings in any given round, other than the top seeds for the Champions League which are awarded only to title holders and league winners.

 

Using club coefficients to directly qualify for competitions is the real bullshit, but that hasn't (yet) happened.

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It’s an Americanisation of football where ‘parity’ is falsely ensured, except in American sports there are only 30 or so teams to split that parity across. What UEFA are effectively doing is skimming off 30 or so clubs and ensuring they always retain that wealth and ‘parity’ of top tier status. 
 

I found with NFL, after watching for 20+ years, that it just made the sport meaningless as whoever was shit this year might be the best in a few years. There were teams who were consistently bad and teams who were consistently good but they’re anomalies at the extreme. Largely, your team being shit or good isn’t a thing as it will change every few years. 

It sounds good at first, but it just removes any meaning or sense of achievement from anything. It kind of becomes a team’s turn to do well. 
 

I suspect, over time, the same will be the case with the CL where a group of top teams will just share the inevitability of winning among themselves with no real outside threat. 

 

The NY Giants and Dallas Cowboys represent too much TV revenue for them to be shit for too long or get relegated somehow - the NFL system ensures that doesn’t happen. UEFA is after the same for teams like Liverpool who represent a huge fan base but have historically gone missing a few times. Not anymore. 

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The thing is, I'd be tempted to just quit football, but I don't support football, I support my club, so there's nothing you can do.

 

I'd fully get behind Liverpool, United, and Arsenal fans who boycott games, those will be the fans with most power, but there will be so many football consumers from outside or the north west and london to take thier place that it will make no difference.

 

It's heartbreaking to be honest, our sport has been stolen from us.

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46 minutes ago, Pockets said:

It’s an Americanisation of football where ‘parity’ is falsely ensured, except in American sports there are only 30 or so teams to split that parity across. What UEFA are effectively doing is skimming off 30 or so clubs and ensuring they always retain that wealth and ‘parity’ of top tier status. 
 

I found with NFL, after watching for 20+ years, that it just made the sport meaningless as whoever was shit this year might be the best in a few years. There were teams who were consistently bad and teams who were consistently good but they’re anomalies at the extreme. Largely, your team being shit or good isn’t a thing as it will change every few years. 

It sounds good at first, but it just removes any meaning or sense of achievement from anything. It kind of becomes a team’s turn to do well. 
 

I suspect, over time, the same will be the case with the CL where a group of top teams will just share the inevitability of winning among themselves with no real outside threat. 

 

The NY Giants and Dallas Cowboys represent too much TV revenue for them to be shit for too long or get relegated somehow - the NFL system ensures that doesn’t happen. UEFA is after the same for teams like Liverpool who represent a huge fan base but have historically gone missing a few times. Not anymore. 

What?

 

Without the NFL trying to keep all the teams on a level playing field, the sport would be fucking awful, the Cowboys would win the Super Bowl every season and teams in small markets like the Packers, Titans and the Buccaneers wouldn’t be able to keep up.

 

 

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2 hours ago, feltmonkey said:

Coefficient is such a bullshit concept.  I remember a few years ago when Burnley qualified for the Europa League and they had to play about fifteen qualification rounds, eventually just missing out on the group stage, whereas Arsenal, who finished one place above them in the league, went straight into the group stage automatically.  It's not a level playing field.

 

To be fair, that wasn't because of co-efficient.  Burnley got the "last" Europa League place on allocation, so went in at the earliest possible point.  I think our league coefficient kept us out of the first couple of qualifying rounds.

 

What absolutely killed our chances of progression was drawing the highest possible ranked team out of the 9 available in each round, culminating in Olympiakos who had qualified for the Champions League groups in 17 out of the previous 20 seasons.  (IIRC, some Scottish fans were saying that the SPL was as good as the lower EPL because Rangers got through and Burnley didn't.  They conveniently ignored that Burnley played something like the 40th and 25th highest ranked teams in Europe, and Rangers at the same stage had something like 70th and 120th.  That's just the luck of the draw, really.)

 

If you want to moan about second chances, again IIRC, Celtic got knocked out by Rosenborg in the Champions League qualifying stages, got dropped into the Europa League qualifying, won their next match and were drawn against... Rosenborg who had been knocked out in the next CL round and therefore dropped into the Europa League.

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Comparisons with the US idea of parity are misguided.  The US leagues don't have parity because it promotes better competition - that is just a happy side effect.  The US sports have parity in order to make more money.  Parity promotes more interest across all 30 franchises from all 30 fanbases which grows the overall pot which is shared more equally.  Oddly, the Premier League kind of gets this which is why each club is given an equal vote.

 

Bad franchises still get to fail often and good franchises can prosper for a long time.  In comparison, the Ugly Sisters have won every SPL title for the last 36 years.  Bayern and Juve are on 9 in a row, and no-one can be arsed with Portugal.  The only interesting years in La Liga are when Atletico look like they have a good chance of winning.  The Premier League have at least 4 teams who might fancy their chances of the title at the start of each season, with another 2 or 3 who think they can get to the CL places.

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22 minutes ago, SaintAnselm said:

What?

 

Without the NFL trying to keep all the teams on a level playing field, the sport would be fucking awful, the Cowboys would win the Super Bowl every season and teams in small markets like the Packers, Titans and the Buccaneers wouldn’t be able to keep up.

 

 


Yes, it’s a well meant intent and it works for that purpose, but it does also have the effect of making it a little meaningless as everything is artificially preserved. It makes the competition a little hollow. 

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11 minutes ago, Pockets said:


Yes, it’s a well meant intent and it works for that purpose, but it does also have the effect of making it a little meaningless as everything is artificially preserved. It makes the competition a little hollow. 

 

I completely disagree.  Franchises still fail or succeed on their own terms.  What matters is good drafting, good team building and good coaching.  Teams can't just go out and buy success by buying the best players.

 

I follow the NHL very closely and my team (Boston) has been a contender for 40 of the last 50 years, winning three championships.  They had a ten year down period and got two #1 draft picks, both of which didn't turn out well for them (they've gone on to success with other teams).  In comparison, one of the biggest teams in the sport, Toronto has been a failure for around the same time - last Cup in 1967.  Chicago were similarly awful for three decades.  New York Rangers play out of Madison Square Garden, are one of the richest and most glamourous clubs in the league have precisely one Cup since 1940.  Edmonton had three #1 draft picks in the past decade and whiffed on them all.  Buffalo have wasted their superstar.  In a non-parity world those #1 picks wouldn't even have gone to those cities, instead signing with Toronto or New York. The franchises still need to surround their superstars with the right people and if they don't, then they become unattractive to free agents and continue to struggle.

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6 hours ago, Naysonymous said:


 

Yes it will. It’s extra lives for certain clubs, Liverpool might miss the top four this season so the new rules come in to make sure they still get offered a Champions League spot so they don’t have to deal with shit like budgeting for a season outside the big club or having transfer targets go somewhere else instead.  It’s fucked and it makes me kinda hate football.  


Liverpool of course have history for this and their fans made such a stink about it it’s hardly surprising something like this is mooted because most fans of the big clubs have a sense of entitlement that’s often very much unwarranted - it will be a disaster for Football if it comes in as it will stop clubs bridging the gap in financial power that Man City, Man U, Liverpool and Chelsea have in this league etc etc in all the European leagues.

 

 

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It's the sort of result and performance which costs jobs, no doubt about it.

 

The other results, there have been excuses - depleted squads, better class of opponent and needing time to adjust. But if you can't go out and beat Luxembourg, confidence in the man gets shot to pieces.

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We are on a horrendous run - you don't be unlucky that long. 

 

I am as for anyone rebuilding Irish soccer to play decent football as anyone. But it needs a long term plan from underage up and taking in the domestic league. Kenny is a media driven fix. We've had a succession of them, usually players that are the magic answer to being shit. It's all nonsense. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, kensei said:

We are on a horrendous run - you don't be unlucky that long. 

 

That's a gambler's fallacy if ever I saw one.

 

But tonight wasn't bad luck. It was just bad, with the exception of that lovely sweeping move that lead to Collins' chance in the first half.

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Is the Irish league better than Luxembourgs league? Thats not rhetorical, got no idea, i know you have a few players in England but Luxembourg have players in Germany/Belgium/Holland, the guy who scored plays for Dynamo Kiev

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Is this the policy of finding British players with Irish grandparents and aggressively courting them when they are teenagers showing it’s papering over the cracks when some of those players decide to play for the country where they were born and raised instead?  I’m sure having Grealish and Rice in the team would probably see Ireland in a better place than they are right now but Ireland should be producing better footballers.  I remember some drama  when it came out that the FAI were spending most of their money on lining John Delaney’s pockets, is this situation caused by his regime?

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Yes.

 

The book on Delaney’s management of the FAI is an eye-opener. Unless you are used to the way Irish politics works.

 

The League of Ireland might be ranked higher by UEFA but the bottom clubs in the top division are generally facing bankruptcy every season.

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Isn't this just what happens when Mick McCarthy leaves a management position? Ipswich Town fans were delighted to see the back of him and look what happened to them. 

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There's more to it than this but the decline of Irish football can be basically be summed up in the following points.

 

-Delaney used his power in the FAI to shore up his support base by giving funding to his supporters instead of where it's needed and driving people like Brian Kerr out of the FAI.

 

-Instead of working with clubs to try and improve the sport as a whole the FAI tried to keep them weak instead. 

 

-The growth of GAA in Dublin. 

 

-The growth of rugby in general. The IRFU are richer, better run and have a better reputation than the FAI. They're also improving their facilities quicker. 

 

-England don't let as many international standard players fall through the cracks nowadays. 

 

 

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57 minutes ago, Naysonymous said:

Is this the policy of finding British players with Irish grandparents and aggressively courting them when they are teenagers showing it’s papering over the cracks when some of those players decide to play for the country where they were born and raised instead?

 

I don't think it's that, as Grealish and Rice aside, high profile players haven't left the setup. There's no doubt they'd be giving Ireland an edge, but that's because they'd be the best players in the team, whereas over the last twenty years or so the best players Ireland have fielded were born in the country - players like Given, Finnan, Harte, Keane, Duff, Dunne, Long, Coleman, O'Shea, Whelan, Hendrick, McShane,  Brady, Doyle, and Hoolahan were all key in the teams that made it to the World Cup in 2002, and the Euros in 2012 and 2016. They've certainly been and continue to be supplemented with the diaspora - McAteer, Holland, Walters, McGeady, McCarthy, and the different but no less valid case of James McClean.

 

Right now, the two who left would dramatically improve what Ireland have, instead of joining an international side with a solid core. Ireland without the diaspora might not have been quite as good for their absence, but those sides are still a lot stronger than the ones fielded today.

 

The big issue is related, however, in that Ireland have long delegated the job of developing their players to England and Scotland. Players leave to play in academies across the UK at a very young age, and the FAI gets to wash its hands of the responsibility. When you couple this with the change over the last 15 years or so where teams start to fill their youth academies with promising players from all over the world instead of just British and Irish prospects, opportunities for Irish players to develop have been more restricted than they used to be, and it's a raw numbers game - fewer players getting opportunites at higher level academies (not even in the first teams, but the U23 and U18 squads too) means they drop further and further through the divisions in search of football than they used to. 

 

The FAI cannot control what English teams do, so they need to invest in the domestic game in order to provide further opportunities for the young players to develop as footballers. Instead of large numbers of players going over to third and fourth tier clubs in England, they need to be staying at home and getting the support they need here. Instead of pushing numbers into the UK system at 15 or 16 and hoping some of the brightest talents can push their way to the top, Irish football should be looking towards a situation where the bulk of the exports are 21 or 22, that they're going abroad to play first team football having been brought through a system that's focused on them.

 

A domestic league that can keep a hold of more of its prospects will be a stronger league, but there are other hurdles. Pretty much everyone in Ireland supports an English or Scottish team (and often both). They watch the Premier League every week, the Champions League every season. They don't go to domestic games, with attendances dwarfed by the figures obtained for rugby, Gaelic football and hurling, sports that also draw away from the potential pool of players. But then you can hardly blame the fans for not wanting to see a league that the top Irish talent doesn't want anything to do with.

 

A long game needs to be played, spanning a decade or more, to improve the domestic league. One thing Stephen Kenny has going for him right now is compared to his recent predecessors and most of the alternatives, he's cheap. If the FAI change tack and try to bring in another high profile manager (and even Mick McCarthy was on big money), that's more money diverted from the domestic game when it can least afford to do so.

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36 minutes ago, Fry Crayola said:

The big issue is related, however, in that Ireland have long delegated the job of developing their players to England and Scotland. Players leave to play in academies across the UK at a very young age, and the FAI gets to wash its hands of the responsibility.

 

I read a very interesting idea from either Ken Early or one of his friends that said if Jeff Hendrick had been born with exactly the same football talent but was called Jorge Hendriques, then he would right now be a central midfielder in a top 10 La Liga side known mainly for his silky creative skills.  Instead he was born in Ireland, dumped into the English system and his undoubted talents subsumed into running and tackling.

 

Having watched him for four years, it's an idea that I have a lot of time for.

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On 27/03/2021 at 14:13, Pockets said:

It’s an Americanisation of football where ‘parity’ is falsely ensured, except in American sports there are only 30 or so teams to split that parity across. What UEFA are effectively doing is skimming off 30 or so clubs and ensuring they always retain that wealth and ‘parity’ of top tier status. 

 

It's always been a little bit weird to me that American sport of all sport is basically communism in action.

 

And given that the fans of NFL and especially Nascar are a bit...fash.... it's kinda surprising no-one makes the connection of it making it better for everyone in a sport (while making it not a sport of course) being something applicable to the wider world.

 

 

On 27/03/2021 at 15:04, SaintAnselm said:

What?

 

Without the NFL trying to keep all the teams on a level playing field, it would be a sport

 

 

Fixed.

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@Fry Crayola McClean is not part of the diaspora and would be apocalyptic at even the hint of the suggestion. 

 

The domestic league is only part of it but to grow it needs facilities and for facilities you need money and growth so it's a bit of catch 22. An All Ireland league might help a little, or even better in the longer term  a Hiberno-Scots or Celtic one. It's needs some serious joined up thinking and it's not just Delaney and the FAI - there's a lot of politicking in the Schoolboy FAI and right down the club culture in the country. 

 

The FAI also need to be encouraging players beyond England too. There are many more places Irish players could go with better chance at game time at a high level. 

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