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Zoo 2.0

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Zoo 2.0 last won the day on June 18

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About Zoo 2.0

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    Tim Howard

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  1. Good to get the monkey off our back early doors with the first win, and quite comfortable too might I add despite what the critics might suggest. Watford's whole tactic was to play the "English pass", long ball throughout the game and it played right into our hands with Yerry Mina on the pitch. The second balls were mopped up with minimum fuss and despite the odd scare (them hitting our post in the first half and the Deeney chance) I don't think we realistically looked like dropping points. Hopefully we can use this as a springboard to put in better performances as for all the positives there were several passages of the game where we looked sloppy, something that hopefully improves over time. It was another good game for Pickford, a great save (albeit with his face) when Deeney went through one-on-one to keep us in the game and his whole persona was brilliant controlling the back four. Two clean sheets is everything we could have asked for. It's worrying that we have a potential injury in Lucas Digne as he was fantastic too, a constant threat down the left hand side and kept Deulofeu in his pocket for the duration of the match. Keane and Mina dealt with anything thrown at them, like I said earlier the long ball played into our hands but it still had to be dealt with. I've always liked Yerry so glad to see that he's getting the plaudits. Coleman on the right did well and slotted into the left-back position. I was a bit nervous about him going there up against Geri but he handled it well, so stable and a formidable rock. It'll be interesting to see what we do with Sidebe with Seamus on form. My old man picked André Gomes as his MOTM and it's not a bad shout, it's overlooked sometimes having players that can put their foot on the ball and take the sting out of the game, he never looked in trouble all afternoon and played some great football. Alongside, JPG had an excellent first half and a great end to the second however slipped into a passage of the game where he couldn't make a pass stick and looked like the player that showed up to Selhurst Park. There's a player in him that's bound to come out but I think it's going to be a patient wait as he's not quite at full speed. Bernard - fantastic. Great first goal cutting in from the wing and had some magical dribbles through the park that should have been rewarded. A constant thorn in the Watford defence and ran them ragged, he also did well in the last few minutes holding the ball up with Gomes and Sigurdsson, the latter having another quiet afternoon but by no means terrible. However, the one player on the pitch who won't be happy with his performance is Richarlison. I'm not sure if it's old club syndrome with him but he couldn't get anything going, his passes went astray, he never looked like scoring and missed two massive free headers to put the game to bed. Interesting how when he blazed a through ball to DCL out into touch for a goal kick Silva immediately asked Boa Morte to get Walcott on the pitch, the boss clearly not impressed with Charlie's afternoon. Dominic himself up top did well at holding the ball up, linked well with the wingers but never really looked like getting himself on the scoresheet. The sooner Kean is up to speed (and it looks like he is) the better as I think it'll be night and day between the two strikers over the course of the season. Overall, it's not a performance for the history books but it's three points, a second clean sheet from two and a great platform to build from. UTFT 💙! The game management from the first half was brilliant, we never looked on the ropes once despite Watford having a good chunk of possession throughout the match. Pickford deserves a lot of credit for his role in this. Looked much more "on it" than against Palace and I don't think he did too badly last week. He was within an inch of scoring, although it would have been chalked for offside. Unpredictable, like Niasse 👀!
  2. It's impressive how even with VAR, Lee Mason is totally clueless.
  3. I wouldn't call it a rivalry as such as for that to happen both teams need to give a shit, I think Watford are far more obsessed with us than we are of them. Even when they were building up to the FA Cup Final last summer when we weren't even involved they had to start crying to the BBC presenters about how we cheated our way past them in '84. Add into the mix that they bizarrely stole Z-Cars to walk out to, despite playing in yellow and the embarrassing inflatable balloons that they brought all the way from London I think it's clear to see the mentality of the fanbase. I think it's a bit of bitterness to be honest, one whisper of interest about their manager and he was off and took Richarlison with him. Their local derby is Luton Town, so understandably need to fill the gap with someone to hate while the two teams are seperated. Edit: Just got to the ground, flag on every seat which is going to look class for when the teams come out. Not sure why but the Upper Bullens is the only section without them.
  4. When you haven't won anything since 1995 I don't think you can have the privilege of calling any trophy "Mickey Mouse". I get what you are saying don't get me wrong but as someone who was 2 years of age the last time we lifted something I'll take whatever I can get. A Carabao Cup would be fantastic and let's not forget that going all the way guarantees the Europa League, albeit from the qualifying rounds.
  5. One of the greatest defenders of all time, Paulo Maldini is quoted as saying "If I have to make the tackle, I have already made the mistake". He made a career at the top of the game for sniffing out chances and stopping moves before they happened, reading the game and being one step ahead. Sergio Busquets, arguably one of the best holding midfielders of the decade isn't the fastest but constantly gets himself in the right place at the right time to protect the back four. Being a good defensive player isn't about running fast and last ditch tackles as by doing so there has obviously been an issue that's allowed players to run in behind. I'd take tortoises all day at Everton if they could be in the right place at the right time. Speed doesn't come into it for me.
  6. I'll throw my two cents into the ring having had a day to mull things over. There were positives out there for sure, but to only come away from what is a really poor Crystal Palace team with a point is rather deflating. From the minute the teamsheet was announced the obvious prediction was a 0-0 draw, we have been comfortable defending to say the least this summer and have looked solid up front but for all the chances we've created throughout pre-season there has been nobody up top in the final third to kill teams off. Whilst it's not fair to pin the entire blame on DCL the sooner we get Kean up to speed and firing on all cylinders the better, although the players around the striker need to look at themselves too. Sigurdsson has to bury his chance no questions asked and the half chances that we create need to be met with a finish as it's what splits teams like us from the elite. Had Manchester City been playing Palace yesterday they would have found a way through, not from genius football that we couldn't replicate but by simply having that killer instinct. The positives to take away from the game is that we are creating chances as opposed to hanging onto games. Having the ball cleared off the line in the second half summed up our afternoon to be honest, 99% of the way there but just not that final bit of luck to get the ball over the line. I'm hopeful that this will come throughout the season starting with Watford at home who were beaten 3-0 on the opening day. As the team goes, Jordan Pickford was my MOTM. In the second half we were having our right-wing pants pulled down as Palace constantly overloaded us on the left. That save when Ayew was played through on his own was world-class and is the difference between winning and losing. His half-saves throughout the game were nice and tidy too, especially the block at the end which could have easily cost us the match. A great start to the season for him picking up a clean sheet. In defence, Digne was superb as was the middle pairing of Yerry Mina and Michael Keane. I do worry about the pace (or lack of it) that we have in the middle but hopefully it doesn't bite us on the backside too many times, especially if Jordan plays as a sweeper keeper in the mould of Manuel Neuer or Ederson. The only chink in the armour, and it pains me to say it was Seamus. Great going forward, especially in the first half but constantly got dragged out of position and left us exposed on the right flank in the second. Several times we allowed Palace to get in behind through that avenue and against better opposition it would have been punished, thankfully Zaha was on the bench and was marked out of the game when he came off it. In the middle, as others have said the best player on the park was André Gomes. He orchestrated the play and after he went off the pitch we really suffered. I know that it's Gbamin's first game but he was really poor. The number of times that he gave the ball away and put us under pressure wasn't funny and even though it was a baptism of fire for the lad he needs to get up to speed quickly - especially as he will surely start at the weekend. Schneiderlin alongside Gomes wasn't that bad throughout the 90 but can't complain about two horrendous bookings that just didn't need to happen, he can only have himself to blame for heading into the dressing room early, even if the first yellow was dubious. Bernard and Richarlison looked entertaining on the wings but the latter looked badly off the pace. There's an element of rustiness running through the squad and it's no difference up top. Sigurdsson in the No. 10 role failed to have an impact on the match, badly firing wide in the opening few minutes when it looked for all the money in the world we'd take the lead. DCL as already mentioned put in a good graft but isn't at the level yet to carry the weight of a team wanting to break into the top 6. The sooner we have Kean fit the better - hopefully Watford. Bottom line - as André says. It's a continuation of the 2018/19 season with solid defending, not many chances getting through and a clean sheet to kick start the season. Once the engine is oiled and we start to really tick the goals will come and we can push on, Watford were spanked 3-0 at home so we've absolutely nothing to fear.
  7. The first 30 minutes were brilliant however we really finished the half as the second best team. How Sigurdsson missed that chance with about 10 minutes on the clock is beyond me, any decent connection and it's a goal but he decided to fire it into the floor? Bizarre. I'd be looking at brining in Moise Kean on the hour mark, DCL doing a good job of tiring out their defence but not doing much more - Gylfi struggling to get a grip of the game too but give him time. In contrast, Bernard and Digne on the left look superb and have been a real thorn in Palace's defence. Hopefully we tap into that in the second half and start the season with three points as anything less would be dissapointing considering how Crystal Palace have performed. The wind is a joke yes, but get it on the floor and that's a problem solved. Not sure why we would be playing high balls at any point in this game, not that we should be against defenders that are pretty poor at covering the lines but adept at crosses. Edit: I wouldn't worry too much about Gomes either, I think he was just taken off as a precaution. The fact that he walked off without any assistance from the physio suggests it's a nasty knock and not something that could keep him out for weeks on end.
  8. I'm pleased that we haven't signed Zaha, for all that he could have arguably strengthened us the prices quoted were absolutely insane and even at the initial £40-50m mark I thought we were being a bit naive. When you consider Hirving Lozano, one of the hottest properties in Europe was signed by Brands at PSV for just £7.2 million you have to sit back and think about the value for money in these deals. Clubs from "B" tier leagues survive on buying cheap products from the likes of South America and selling them on for massive profit. An example is Eder Militao at FC Porto, signed for £3 million last summer and shipped off to Real Madrid last month for just over £50(m). The English league is mocked throughout the continent for its love affair with spunking money up the wall and it's hard to argue against it when you've got Harry Maguire and Wilfried Zaha touted at £80m players - just because they are proven in the Premier League. We should be looking at players from the continent who could do the same job (or better) for a fraction of the price. David Neres was my dream transfer from the start but he's just signed an extension with Ajax, although there will be others like him. As much as Palace were doomed without Wan-Bissaka and Zaha it'll be interesting to see how the latter reacts as it's been confirmed already that he's seriously fallen out with the board. If he throws a tantrum all season and fails to deliver, I expect them to be battling relegation big time. Hope he boycotts the game on Saturday too!
  9. It basically means that once we accept an offer for Kean, we have a contractual obligation to notify Juventus at which point they can decide to either match the terms or decline to join negotiations. It happened most famously with Cristiano Ronaldo when he was moving to Real Madrid. Sporting CP (his first club) put one of these clauses into his Manchester United contract however they hung up the phone without saying a word when United told them that he was being sold for £80,000,000 - a then world record fee. It's a good option to have for both parties really as it doesn't weaken our hand (as we'd be selling him anyway) and Juventus are happy as they have the chance to match whatever offer we feel is agreeable. A much better clause than a fixed buy-back fee.
  10. Oumar Niasse came from the Russian league with Lokomotiv Moscow and Cenk came from the Turkish league with Besiktas, both countries being far inferior footballing wise to Italy's Serie A. Kean has a brilliant goal to game ratio when you consider how young he is and the league that he has played at. The Serie A is arguably the most technical of all and therefore one of the hardest to score consistently as a forward, to do what he has done and burst onto the scene at 19 is impressive and had it not been for Cristiano Ronaldo up front for Juventus, they would have kept him. Heck, even the Juventus fans wanted him to stay! Don't worry mate, we've got a diamond here.
  11. CONFIRMED!!! I've never doubted Silva and Brands throughout this summer and as expected they continue to deliver. Gbamin through the door who can either play in the midfield replacing Gueye or dropping back into the more natural centre-back position to provide cover. The striker we have been screaming for is announced too, an absolute steal for a 19 year old kid who has been banging them in since hitting the big time, always a threat for Juventus whenever he played and did alright with Verona too. I'm convinced that this is finally the replacement for Lukaku and can't wait to see him at Goodison.
  12. Adrian Durham and TalkSport literally base their whole station on winding people up and getting them to have a meltdown on air. I was listening a few days ago and they had an Aston Villa fan on there saying that they would get the top four this season due to the signings they'd made. Durham himself has been banging on about West Ham being "nailed on" for the top four for ages. It's all just to get people rattled and call up, there's no actual intelligence or substance to his ramblings.
  13. That was the best race of the season, loved every minute of it. A shame for Mercedes but with the Drivers and Constructors all but wrapped up, they can have the odd slip up and still remain at the top. Bottas crashing out was the best thing that could have happened on a very dismal day for Lewis, a poor strategy call really cost him as in the rain he was really comfortable in P1, without the cock-up in the pits he would surely have had more of a say in the race (and radio confirms he didn't want to go onto Mediums). Amazing for Kyvat though, Toro Rosso on the podium is nothing short of fantastic. With silly season starting this has now thrown a lot of questions around the paddock. Pierre Gasly constantly being overtaken by Alexander Albon in the satellite car and then pulling a DNF being one, it's becoming more and more clear that he's out of his depth at Red Bull and it's just a question as to whether they go with a rookie again in Albon or re-hire Kyvat for next season. With the problems at Renault, I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see Danny Ric making a surprise return too. He clearly has the pace and with the constant problems at Ferrari it's slowly looking more and more as though Red Bull will be the car to take the challenge to Mercedes, with Ricciardo desperate for a top car he should honestly but his pride to one side if the phone rings (although it has been speculated that he's a potential replacement for Vettel too). Toto Wolff stated this week that Bottas' position within Mercedes would be decided on how he performs over the next two races before the summer break. Crashing out whilst failing to catch a Racing Point is the worst scenario that could have happened and I fully expect Esteban Ocon in a Silver Arrow for 2020. It was one of my bold predictions before the season started that he would compete in a race for 2019 and whilst that was a bit optimistic I do think Mercedes will cut ties with Valtierri - over the course of the season it is evident that he's never going to get the better of Lewis. When asked by Ted Kravitz about Bottas after the flag, Toto simply stated ''Shit race''. Ouch. Haas have deep driver problems too, infamously crashing out in Silverstone after hitting one another and then doing the same this afternoon (albeit without terminal damage). Either K-Mag or Grosjean need to go and I think it'll be the latter. He's had a poor season so far and given that he struggled in 2018, he will more than likely be the driver sacrificed. Good drives from Sainz and the two Alfas in tricky conditions too, promising signs.
  14. I got back from the game at 11:00 so wasn't really able to post anything about it 😩. On reflection though it was a decent run out for the lads, we never really looked like threatening but then again neither did Wigan who are much further down the line in terms of pre-season. There seems to be quite a bit of negativity surrounding Yerry Mina but I think it's worth noting that this was his first game back after returning from the Copa America so I think we can forgive the odd spell of rustiness from him. Once he's back up to speed I'm hoping that he can be a real asset to us, having someone that's about 18ft. tall is really going to help both at the back and going forward from set-pieces. Pickford didn't have much to do but made a decent save in the first half when called upon, nothing that you would expect him to struggle with but still a solid stop. Michael Keane looked comfortable at the back before having his night cut short with an eye injury, Holgate replacing him in the centre looked good too and I'm hoping that he doesn't go back to West Brom, instead continuing his development in and around the first team this campaign. Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman again rather comfortable on either flank, other than the save Pickford had to make it was very comfortable defensive wise, even for the youth team that came on for the second period. Nice to see Fabien Delph make his debut and he was very vocal throughout the first 45. Comfortable on the ball and always wanting it in and around our own third. Him and André Gomes dropping really deep and spraying balls to the flanks whenever possible, the latter getting a bit further forward. Siguardsson didn't really get into the game for me and something which was a bit worrying was that on one occasion he asked for the ball to be played elsewhere as opposed to into his feet (despite being in space). As we get up to speed hopefully he can be that pivot in the middle that allows us to switch flank and play through the lines with ease. Theo Walcott had some good moments on the ball but looked terrified to shoot, Bernard similarly had some great moments but never really looked like scoring - the service for DCL wasn't exactly great as both he and Hornby struggled up top. The youth seemed to hold up well in the second half too (especially Tom Davies), with nobody standing out for the wrong reasons and on another day perhaps could have put the ball in the back of the net. Overall though and workout and not much more, the chances for both sides were few and far between and it's when we fly out to Germany that we will hopefully see the team right up to speed. During the season I sit quite high up (I prefer the tactical element of football as opposed to seeing the players close) however with it being pre-season decided to try and sit near to the action. Some snaps that came out alright are included and a massive thumbs up to the Everton support last night, we took over Wigan and could be heard chanting in all corners of the ground walking up. Electric inside too when the teams came out considering it was a friendly, must be fantastic for the players.
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