• The KillerFrogs

2021-2022 European Football Thread

Purp

Active Member
It’s the year no one wants to finish 4th. Arsenal thump Chelsea and MANUre after playing like a League Two side in losing to Palace, Brighton, and Southampton. Right after Chelsea annihilated Southampton 6-nil. Football bloody hell and all that.

The NLD on May 12 will be more massive than usual this time. A winner probably finishes 4th. Otherwise it’s which of us chokes least. If it comes down to the final day level on points, I’d favor y’all facing an already down Norwich while we’ll have to deal with an Everton side likely needing a win to stay in the league (of note, Everton have the second longest continuous top flight streak; haven’t been down since 1954.)
Yeah, I just had this conversation with one of my vendors who is a life long Everton supporter (grew up right across the river about 2 miles as a crow flies from Goodison Park. They picked up a huge point late on Wednesday, but most of our conversation revolved around the recent surge by Spurs. Figured the ugly outing against Brighton was an anomaly and the schedule set up very favorably. After 2 completely lifeless performances I'm lowering my expectations substantially.
 

dawg

Active Member
Yeah, I just had this conversation with one of my vendors who is a life long Everton supporter (grew up right across the river about 2 miles as a crow flies from Goodison Park. They picked up a huge point late on Wednesday, but most of our conversation revolved around the recent surge by Spurs. Figured the ugly outing against Brighton was an anomaly and the schedule set up very favorably. After 2 completely lifeless performances I'm lowering my expectations substantially.
Everton's plight goes to show the impact a manager can have. Last year with Ancelotti, one of the best in the world, they finished top half and nearly made Europe. This year...well, not so much. Rafa Benítez was always a questionable choice, given his legendary status with Liverpool (The Kop serenaded him when he returned with Newcastle), and Lampard is still very much a novice. Look at what Chelsea did last season after replacing him with Tuchel.
 

Purp

Active Member
Everton's plight goes to show the impact a manager can have. Last year with Ancelotti, one of the best in the world, they finished top half and nearly made Europe. This year...well, not so much. Rafa Benítez was always a questionable choice, given his legendary status with Liverpool (The Kop serenaded him when he returned with Newcastle), and Lampard is still very much a novice. Look at what Chelsea did last season after replacing him with Tuchel.
Yeah, the Benitez hire was to the Toffees what Briles would be to TCU. Made no sense at all. He's hopeful to lure Rooney. He's done very well at Derby County and there's a natural historical/cultural fit there too.
 

Purp

Active Member
Slonina is certainly an impressive looking keeper, but I think the Buffon/Neuer comparisons may be a little premature. He's still got a ton of developing to do. That said, if we produce a Buffon/Neuer type of talent and he plays his international career for darning Polska I'll lose my mind. I realize GK has historically been the deepest position for the USMNT, but Steffen has had an underwhelming year and Turner is a liability with his feet. Slonina needs to get a start in the Nations League match against Grenada in June. Cap tie him now and see what he's got this summer. If Gio could be a WC qualifying starter for us at 17 y/o why not trot Slonina out there at 18 y/o? If he's a generational talent he needs to play and the recent form of Steffen creates a real opportunity here.

 

dawg

Active Member
Slonina is certainly an impressive looking keeper, but I think the Buffon/Neuer comparisons may be a little premature. He's still got a ton of developing to do. That said, if we produce a Buffon/Neuer type of talent and he plays his international career for darning Polska I'll lose my mind. I realize GK has historically been the deepest position for the USMNT, but Steffen has had an underwhelming year and Turner is a liability with his feet. Slonina needs to get a start in the Nations League match against Grenada in June. Cap tie him now and see what he's got this summer. If Gio could be a WC qualifying starter for us at 17 y/o why not trot Slonina out there at 18 y/o? If he's a generational talent he needs to play and the recent form of Steffen creates a real opportunity here.

All of this. Steffen sits behind Ederson, then commits howlers. Turner won't displace Ramsdale when he gets to Arsenal, so his situation will be the same as Steffen's: League Cup keeper (I don't think Arteta will run him out there in the FA Cup; we like winning that particular piece of silverware). The MNT doesn't need both its keepers collecting rust on the benches of their respective club sides. If Slonina is getting regular matches, then Berhalter needs to cap him and give him a run with the senior XI.
 

Purp

Active Member
All of this. Steffen sits behind Ederson, then commits howlers. Turner won't displace Ramsdale when he gets to Arsenal, so his situation will be the same as Steffen's: League Cup keeper (I don't think Arteta will run him out there in the FA Cup; we like winning that particular piece of silverware). The MNT doesn't need both its keepers collecting rust on the benches of their respective club sides. If Slonina is getting regular matches, then Berhalter needs to cap him and give him a run with the senior XI.
Admittedly I wouldn't have run Slonina out there either in a WC qualifier given the perilous situation we were in coming into the last window. That said, we better not lose the kid to a European side that, in the 8 WCs since 1990, has either failed to qualify (5 times) or never made it out of group play (3 times). This year they're a Pot 3 side grouped with Argentina and Mexico. That history isn't changing even with a prodigy in goal. The kid needs to join our golden generation and do something special in 2026. I just can't believe this is even a threat to happen. Berhalter better already have this tamped down and on lock.
 

Purp

Active Member
Dest may be out for the season, which isn’t long now but this could impact the WC…
Apparently Dest is 4-6 weeks. He may be up in the air for Nations League kickoff, but it's not a threat to the WC. Way too many hammy recurring injuries, though. That's the threat to the WC.
 

Purp

Active Member
We have 3-4 guys who are just constantly hurt. What a beating.
And they aren't just marginal guys either. They're our most important players. Pulisic, Adams, Dest, McKennie, and Reyna are the reason we're so excited about 2026. And Weah has had more than his fair share of injuries as well. In Weston's defense he's been quite durable until this nasty tackle broke his foot, but the other guys always suffer from non-contact soft tissue injuries. That's the problem.

I really think most of it has to do with their age. They're starting to play at the highest level in the world as teenagers going from one league at a time with targeted training to 3-4 at one time with rigorous training. You can't prepare a teenager's body for that. Add in the corona crisis that condensed all of those busy schedules even more than they usually are and it is simply way too much to ask.

I'm hoping these injuries don't make them susceptible to the same injury throughout their careers. I feel like these guys will start to get more durable a they hit their primes, but if you've had 4-5 major hamstring injuries before you hit your prime can you ever get that muscle to the point it can be durable enough for all of those top competitions year round?. Pulisic is getting close to that age right now. He really needs to get his body right and take good care of it for the next 10 years.
 

dawg

Active Member
After you've missed two penalties at the weekend, and you're on the road in a Champions League semifinal with your club trailing by two goals:


I rarely pull for the mob that is Real Madrid, but lulz... scheiss off, City. IIRC Benzema now has 42 goals in 41 games for Madrid this season. Ballon d'Or stuff.
 

Chongo94

Active Member
After you've missed two penalties at the weekend, and you're on the road in a Champions League semifinal with your club trailing by two goals:


I rarely pull for the mob that is Real Madrid, but lulz... scheiss off, City. IIRC Benzema now has 42 goals in 41 games for Madrid this season. Ballon d'Or stuff.
Same….City have become PSG these days. I’ll be pulling for Villarreal today as well.
 

dawg

Active Member
Same….City have become PSG these days. I’ll be pulling for Villarreal today as well.
+4. If they can somehow nick an away goal and get out of Anfield only down 2-1, they'd have a shot in the return leg. Emery's a cup tie master, but I'd have liked their chances more v City.
 

dawg

Active Member
Or not. Villarreal were solid for 88’, but those other 2’ look decisive. Can’t imagine them keeping Liverpool out of the net, or scoring the 3 they would then need.
 
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Moose Stuff

Active Member
McKennie allegedly is in Max Allegri's doghouse and will be offered as a make weight as Juve attempt to sign Alvaro Morata permanently from Atlético.

How do you get in someone’s dog house while you’re hurt?
 

Purp

Active Member
McKennie allegedly is in Max Allegri's doghouse and will be offered as a make weight as Juve attempt to sign Alvaro Morata permanently from Atlético.

I saw the ESPN.com version of this yesterday. It doesn't make sense because the reason he isn't at Tottenham right now is because he was so valuable to Allegri he had become a long term piece around whom he'd plan future signings in midfield. After the January window lapsed Weston became even more integral for Juve. Then he gets hurt by a nasty tackle and suddenly winds up in the dog house? This doesn't add up. I'm with Moose on this one. I think this has more to do with Allegri prioritizing Morata over McKennie and Juve playing media/PR games to make the price for Morata more manageable. Part of me hopes McKennie gets out of there, but not for Atleti. I really wish it had worked out at Spurs.
 

dawg

Active Member
I saw the ESPN.com version of this yesterday. It doesn't make sense because the reason he isn't at Tottenham right now is because he was so valuable to Allegri he had become a long term piece around whom he'd plan future signings in midfield. After the January window lapsed Weston became even more integral for Juve. Then he gets hurt by a nasty tackle and suddenly winds up in the dog house? This doesn't add up. I'm with Moose on this one. I think this has more to do with Allegri prioritizing Morata over McKennie and Juve playing media/PR games to make the price for Morata more manageable. Part of me hopes McKennie gets out of there, but not for Atleti. I really wish it had worked out at Spurs.
Yup. Conte would have drawn the best out of McKinnie. Rivalry placed to the side momentarily, Spurs would’ve been a better spot for him b/c idk how he fits @ Atleti. Hopefully he lands somewhere where he can get regular matches with a manager who plays him and believes in him.
 
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