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I love this comment on the BBC website: "If Southampton are to compete for a Champions League place then they really need to be beating these mid table sides."

Wenger on City...   "They are one of the teams with a chance, of course, but I would not say they are the best team we have played so far this season. Everton were as good as Man City, and so were S

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3 hours ago, Hafnia said:

We've got to double down in January... Top 4 is doable with the surrounding clubs in Europe, break top 4 with Carlo and in the summer you have possible signings that we never would have thought possible.

Didn't I see somewhere that Carlo said in an interview that he wasn't interested in doing much business during the January window? I understand the importance of getting Digne, Allan and James back, but if we're seriously pushing for top 4, we have to bring in a backup striker that's capable and another winger.

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9 hours ago, dunlopp9987 said:

Didn't I see somewhere that Carlo said in an interview that he wasn't interested in doing much business during the January window? I understand the importance of getting Digne, Allan and James back, but if we're seriously pushing for top 4, we have to bring in a backup striker that's capable and another winger.

This season is an anomaly... Never before have I seen top 4 sides drop points against lesser sides with such regularity.

Once we get in top 4 and we make group stages of champions League then that's when we should break through the glass ceiling of ffp and with Carlos pull we should get top quality players in. 

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10 hours ago, dunlopp9987 said:

Didn't I see somewhere that Carlo said in an interview that he wasn't interested in doing much business during the January window? I understand the importance of getting Digne, Allan and James back, but if we're seriously pushing for top 4, we have to bring in a backup striker that's capable and another winger.

He did indeed.

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4 minutes ago, Formby said:

Indeed! This may be of interest: Law 12 of the FA Rule book. Some changes were made in the Ferguson era, I think.

 

Direct and indirect free kicks and penalty kicks can only be awarded for offences committed when the ball is in play. Or, in the case of Manchester United, when a ball is no longer in play and the game has ended.

 

Direct free kick

A direct free kick is awarded if a player commits any of the following offences against an opponent in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:

 

  • charges
  • jumps at
  • kicks or attempts to kick
  • pushes
  • strikes or attempts to strike (including head-butt)
  • tackles or challenges
  • trips or attempts to trip
  • Or, in the case of Manchester United, when an opposing player comes within twelve feet of making a tackle, when a Manchester United player trips over their own feet, and when a Manchester United player simply asks for one.    

   

 

 

:lol: 

Villa have been fucked twice over the past two seasons with penalties for United. That one yesterday and last season when Fernandes did a turn and jumped onto the Villa defender. He actually fouled the Villa defender (Konsa)! How VAR looked at both of these incidents and decided they were penalties is crazy.

The amount of penalties they get is ridiculous.

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Arsenal starting to look like the Arsenal we usually know. A likely win here puts them 3 off the top 6. I still think they're weak at the back, but they've got some real weapons going forward (Saka looking the real deal) and I think they're gonna start being in the discussion for all these teams bunched up in the top half 

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1 hour ago, dunlopp9987 said:

Arsenal starting to look like the Arsenal we usually know. A likely win here puts them 3 off the top 6. I still think they're weak at the back, but they've got some real weapons going forward (Saka looking the real deal) and I think they're gonna start being in the discussion for all these teams bunched up in the top half 

Quite funny that a couple of weeks back Allardyce was calling them relegation rivals:D

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56 minutes ago, dunlopp9987 said:

Arsenal starting to look like the Arsenal we usually know. A likely win here puts them 3 off the top 6. I still think they're weak at the back, but they've got some real weapons going forward (Saka looking the real deal) and I think they're gonna start being in the discussion for all these teams bunched up in the top half 

I wouldn't get too excited, two wins against relegation fodder doesn't change anything for me, they're a poor side that have been overstaying their welcome in the top six for a while now, against teams of real quality I still have questions to ask about them. 

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Just now, Zoo 2.0 said:

I wouldn't get too excited, two wins against relegation fodder doesn't change anything for me, they're a poor side that have been overstaying their welcome in the top six for a while now, against teams of real quality I still have questions to ask about them. 

We barely managed to squeak out a 1-0 against a team that has 2 points all season. Arsenal have thoroughly dominated against a team that, in the last few weeks, have drawn with City and Liverpool. Not saying they're world beaters, cause I still think they'll finish outside the top 6, but I think they're finding their confidence and are going to be in the conversation for top 6

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On 02/01/2021 at 20:33, dunlopp9987 said:

Arsenal starting to look like the Arsenal we usually know. A likely win here puts them 3 off the top 6. I still think they're weak at the back, but they've got some real weapons going forward (Saka looking the real deal) and I think they're gonna start being in the discussion for all these teams bunched up in the top half 

I have been critical of Arsenal's kids on here recently but Saka has really stepped up. He has shown some excellent decision making and execution too. 

My view with Arsenal is that they look more of a team than us, but we have the better players and probably a more cohesive squad when fully fit. 

Any team that puts a run together can dramatically change their position. On the one hand you have Arsenal and on the other you have Chelsea!

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I wasn't sure about him to start with but now he has settled Ruben Dias looks a player. Not only that but he has such a great mentality. It takes a lot for someone to come into a top side like that, displace Laporte and then command games the way he has been recently.

More importantly for City is that he has formed a great partnership with Stones who look a really good pair too.

I also thought that is two games in a row that Gundogan has been outstanding. It isn't often that a player in that midfield outshines KDB but he has done that in my opinion.

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17 minutes ago, Bailey said:

In case anyone finds this interesting. Its the average positions from last nights game. I thought the City formation wasn't something you see a lot of! 

 

you do if you love Biesla, he used the 3313 at atheltic bilbao.  pep is an admirer, it's obvious where he got the formation

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2 hours ago, pete0 said:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/marine-tottenham-hotspur-fa-cup-19598821.amp

Marine sold 30,000 virtual tickets for the game last night. Great for the club and wonder whether that'll count as the highest attendance this season.

See they did a special "Merseyside" shirt for the occasion (shame about the model).

Capture.JPG

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4 hours ago, Btay said:

It just shows how big an opportunity to break into the top 4 we have this season.

Let Liverpool, United and City take the headlines. We just need to keep picking up steady points because our closing fixtures are very favourable.

I've only seen the league like this a few times, once when we finished 4th .... We staggered over the line cos other sides around us dropped points, the other when Leicester won the league and maybe another couple that have slipped my mind 

We really need to spend in the window.... Double down and go for it. 

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4 hours ago, Btay said:

It just shows how big an opportunity to break into the top 4 we have this season.

Let Liverpool, United and City take the headlines. We just need to keep picking up steady points because our closing fixtures are very favourable.

Why did you say that? :shakingfist:

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It is mad this season. Bar those early games I haven't really watched us play and thought we looked like a good side and yet somehow we are in there pitching.

I think Leicester are a better side that us but I thought that last time when we beat them too. Big game! 

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On 18/01/2021 at 08:52, Bailey said:

It is mad this season. Bar those early games I haven't really watched us play and thought we looked like a good side and yet somehow we are in there pitching.

I think Leicester are a better side that us but I thought that last time when we beat them too. Big game! 

I don't see Leicester fading away this season like they did last. They'll have learned from that experience, and I agree, I do think they're a better overall side than us. 

I think we could realistically see a 7-team race for the top 4, potentially even for the title. Think it'll be Liverpool, United, City, Spurs, Everton, Leicester and Chelsea in the mix, but not particularly in that order. 

I do agree that we should spend this month to really push for a top-4 (or higher) finish, as this season might end up being an anomaly in that the race is wide open. Sadly I don't see that happening, and I'm afraid it might mean we finish outside the top 4. Crossing all my fingers and toes that I'm wrong there

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22 minutes ago, dunlopp9987 said:

I don't see Leicester fading away this season like they did last. They'll have learned from that experience, and I agree, I do think they're a better overall side than us. 

I think we could realistically see a 7-team race for the top 4, potentially even for the title. Think it'll be Liverpool, United, City, Spurs, Everton, Leicester and Chelsea in the mix, but not particularly in that order. 

I do agree that we should spend this month to really push for a top-4 (or higher) finish, as this season might end up being an anomaly in that the race is wide open. Sadly I don't see that happening, and I'm afraid it might mean we finish outside the top 4. Crossing all my fingers and toes that I'm wrong there

On the evidence of tonight I'd take Chelsea out of the mix, if we can take four points (preferably six) from our next two games I can see a gap opening behind the top six. We have games in hand over almost everyone so need to use that, can't afford to drop any more silly points like we did against West Ham.

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Chelsea have really fallen off a cliff of late. The two goals they conceded today were so avoidable. So sloppy for the corner and then for the second Rudiger was more interested in Vardy than the ball and James didn't fancy running with Maddison. 

I think the 4 best performing teams are Leicester, City, United and Liverpool and Spurs are probably next but only really because of the fire power they have and Southampton are a very good team albeit one that is light on quality.

Chelsea quickly need to find their way again and if they do they will string wins together. Where Arsenal will finish will depend on how they get through these next 6 games as they have a tough run and Villa were playing some good football too before they got shutdown. 

It should be an exciting end to the season!

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33 minutes ago, Btay said:

Thoughts on the first goal in the city v Villa game guys?

Mings loses possession instantly to the striker who’s coming back from a well offside position and then city score. Dean smith got a red card straight after it from the ref for protesting. 
 

Surely it’s offside in my opinion.

Not seen it but it sounds very offside from what I've read.

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7 minutes ago, Romey 1878 said:

Apparently because Mings deliberately plays the ball by chesting it down that means it’s a new phase of play and Rodri is then onside.

Think it’s horrible rule that. He should be able to play the ball with no pressure in my opinion as the striker shouldn’t be in the game.

One of those ones that if it went other way would it be the same decision by officials 

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18 minutes ago, Btay said:

Think it’s horrible rule that. He should be able to play the ball with no pressure in my opinion as the striker shouldn’t be in the game.

One of those ones that if it went other way would it be the same decision by officials 

It is a horrible rule, he’s clearly gained an advantage, but it is the rule so it’s actually the correct decision. It’s something that should be changed though in my opinion because it’s penalising defenders unfairly. 

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50 minutes ago, Romey 1878 said:

It is a horrible rule, he’s clearly gained an advantage, but it is the rule so it’s actually the correct decision. It’s something that should be changed though in my opinion because it’s penalising defenders unfairly. 

I agree. It is the rule but its a dodgy rule. 

Where an offside player affects the decision making of the defender, it should be always called offside. As an example using that goal, if Mings heads the ball clear because he knows Rodri is offside behind him and it falls to Silva dribbles through and scores anyway, in my opinion it still shouldn't be a goal either. 

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37 minutes ago, Bailey said:

I agree. It is the rule but its a dodgy rule. 

Where an offside player affects the decision making of the defender, it should be always called offside. As an example using that goal, if Mings heads the ball clear because he knows Rodri is offside behind him and it falls to Silva dribbles through and scores anyway, in my opinion it still shouldn't be a goal either. 

I think the rule just need a tweak to what a phase of play is.

A defender has the right in my opinion to bring a ball down, get out of his feet and get his head up to play the ball. If he chooses to take a few touches then that’s a phase. Similar to an advantage. 
 

It’s a very grey area but it really needs looking at.

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12 hours ago, Romey 1878 said:

It is a horrible rule, he’s clearly gained an advantage, but it is the rule so it’s actually the correct decision. It’s something that should be changed though in my opinion because it’s penalising defenders unfairly. 

There are other rules on offside that are just as important imo and they haven’t posted them in their statement. What I saw was a common incident that Ive seen happen up and down the country and at GP for years. I can hand on heart say that the minute Rodri attempts to tackle Mings the ref will and has blown for offside 99 out of 100 times. 
 

The rules 

Offside offence

A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched* by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play by:

  • interfering with play by playing or touching a ball passed or touched by a team-mate or
  • interfering with an opponent by:
  • preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or
  • challenging an opponent for the ball or
  • clearly attempting to play a ball which is close when this action impacts on an opponent or
  • making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball

*The first point of contact of the 'play' or 'touch' of the ball should be used

Would it not be challenging for the ball?

Rodri is moving towards Mings and is within a metre or so. When the ball hits the turf he’s on him. The other option for Mings is not to chest it down but head it clear where Villa could lose possession. Therefore the offside player is affecting the game and gaining an advantage as it’ll mean Mings can’t take possession of the balls he to the offside player. 

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15 hours ago, Btay said:

I think the rule just need a tweak to what a phase of play is.

A defender has the right in my opinion to bring a ball down, get out of his feet and get his head up to play the ball. If he chooses to take a few touches then that’s a phase. Similar to an advantage. 
 

It’s a very grey area but it really needs looking at.

Even then, the question becomes how long can a player hold onto the ball before the attacker becomes active?

I would like to see a return to anyone being offside getting pinged and see how that goes. Its straightforward.

I would also be tempted to only use VAR based on feet, rather than any point of the body that can score a goal. You would still get some tight calls but at least it is easier to be confident about a line drawn on a screen that trying to do what they do at the moment.

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2 hours ago, Bailey said:

Even then, the question becomes how long can a player hold onto the ball before the attacker becomes active?

I would like to see a return to anyone being offside getting pinged and see how that goes. Its straightforward.

I would also be tempted to only use VAR based on feet, rather than any point of the body that can score a goal. You would still get some tight calls but at least it is easier to be confident about a line drawn on a screen that trying to do what they do at the moment.

Always felt that, it's bloody ridiculous you can be offside for leaning forwards imo.

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