12/7-8! Game thread

veritas

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Honestly, there are only a couple of players in history—Maradona, Messi—who could pull off a goal like Son’s where abject defense isn’t a contributing factor.

I don’t mean to detract from Son’s effort at all in saying that. Burnley let him do it and he had the skill and duende to pull it off. Fantastic effort.
That run reminded me of a younger Gareth Bale, elite pace with the ability to control the ball closely at full speed or kick it into pockets of space and know he can get there first.
 

DJnVa

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Listening to some of the ManU-Man City game on radio and they had a crazy stat: Man City has trailed for more time in the last 4 EPL games than they did all of last season. That's crazy.
 

teddykgb

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Yeah well now you’re gonna have to keep Ole longer and we are both going to have to start rooting for Brendan Rodgers so nobody is winning here
 

67YAZ

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Villa-Leicester started with a good pace, but all of a sudden a wild hail storm blew in. The wind is playing with the ball. A wacky couple minutes.
 

67YAZ

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Villa too blunt in attack and too pointless in defense. A very poor showing so far.
 

67YAZ

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Grealish makes them pay for not clearing the corner. Not optimistic they have another in them while Leicester look good for a couple more.
 

67YAZ

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Arsenal lose Bellerin in the warm ups (pulled hamstring?) and Tierney at half an hour (hyperextended elbow or shoulder?). And their play has been so ponderously slow - 76% of possession and not a single touch in Wet Ham penalty area. Yawn.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Arsenal lose Bellerin in the warm ups (pulled hamstring?) and Tierney at half an hour (hyperextended elbow or shoulder?). And their play has been so ponderously slow - 76% of possession and not a single touch in Wet Ham penalty area. Yawn.
Was just about to call this the new era of Arsenal football. 70% possession and not a single shot on goal.

And now down 1-0.
 

fletcherpost

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Arsenal were terrible in that half. Some of their build up play was Rees-Mogg levels of conservative.
 

fletcherpost

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I was going to write, if West Ham could come to terms with how shite Arsenal are, they'd win this 3-0. But then Arsenal scored. And maybe they've realized how shite West Ham are and that they could sneak a victory.

All in all. Not a great match for the purists.
 

Cellar-Door

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West Ham lose Cresswell to injury and Arsenal score 3 times in 8 minutes, as they realize that West Ham have no central midfield and a winger playing LB.
 

Cellar-Door

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Classic West Ham. 3 shots on target allowed... 3 goals
4 shots on target taken.... 1 goal.
 

fletcherpost

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West Ham have real problems. They've made Arsenal look respectable. Dunno how long the manager lasts after this match.
 

Cellar-Door

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West Ham have real problems. They've made Arsenal look respectable. Dunno how long the manager lasts after this match.
He's either gone on Tuesday or he gets Southampton (who are so bad even West Ham should beat them) and he gets to the window. We desperately need a new CM, DESPERATELY... also Fabianski back,if people don't realize that he's maybe the best keeper in the league (certainly top 3) they should.
 

Kliq

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He's either gone on Tuesday or he gets Southampton (who are so bad even West Ham should beat them) and he gets to the window. We desperately need a new CM, DESPERATELY... also Fabianski back,if people don't realize that he's maybe the best keeper in the league (certainly top 3) they should.
Ederson, De Gea, Allison, Lloris, Schmeichel, Pickford, Kepa, I like Fabianski but I don't think he is top three.
 

67YAZ

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Turned the match off at half time, couldn’t afford to fall asleep mid-afternoon. Quite the explosion for Arsenal.
Was it a halftime tactical tweak by Freddie?
 

Cellar-Door

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Ederson, De Gea, Allison, Lloris, Schmeichel, Pickford, Kepa, I like Fabianski but I don't think he is top three.
Allison is the only one I think is clearly better. The xg stats generally place him above most of those except DeGea in his prime. Ederson is massively overrated btw.

Edit- I'd say DeGea and Allison are clearly better to me on 2nd thought. Then Lloris and Fabianski are a tier, the rest are below that (Kepa maybe sneaks up?). Ederson is a great passer of the ball, he's secretly not that good at actually preventing goals though.
 
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Cellar-Door

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Turned the match off at half time, couldn’t afford to fall asleep mid-afternoon. Quite the explosion for Arsenal.
Was it a halftime tactical tweak by Freddie?
West Ham's left back got injured and Arsenal scored 3 times in 9 minutes mostly by just running right past Masuaku, then went back to sleep. So generally no, West Ham's defense just shat themselves
 

67YAZ

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West Ham's left back got injured and Arsenal scored 3 times in 9 minutes mostly by just running right past Masuaku, then went back to sleep. So generally no, West Ham's defense just shat themselves
So only 1 starting full back escaped the match healthy? Yeesh.
 

SocrManiac

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Ederson, De Gea, Allison, Lloris, Schmeichel, Pickford, Kepa, I like Fabianski but I don't think he is top three.
Ederson is plus distribution and plus with his feet, but minus in every other area. He’s a field player converted to a goalkeeper and it shows. He also has the worst neck tattoos in history.

De Gea is a complete package, but either plagued by motivational issues or inherently streaky.

Lloris isn’t what he used to be. He was in the conversation two or three years ago.
Missing from your list is Rui Patricio, who is one of the more complete keepers in England right now.

Pickford is good, though emotionally charged and vulnerable. Kasper is a complete keeper, though he berates his defense more than I think is healthy.

When Alisson was with Roma, I marked him way down for utter stupidity. He’s shown shades of that in England, but he’s improved. I’d definitely crown him as the best in the EPL, but I’m biased.

I like Fabianski a lot, but goddamn does he have a lot of match reps (a result of the squads in front of him). It’s hard to pick out whether he’s truly exceptional or just has caught our eyes by sheer opportunities alone. I wouldn’t put him top three, but he’s absolutely the most underrated and forgotten.
 

OCST

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Ederson is plus distribution and plus with his feet, but minus in every other area. He’s a field player converted to a goalkeeper and it shows. He also has the worst neck tattoos in history.

De Gea is a complete package, but either plagued by motivational issues or inherently streaky.

Lloris isn’t what he used to be. He was in the conversation two or three years ago.
Missing from your list is Rui Patricio, who is one of the more complete keepers in England right now.

Pickford is good, though emotionally charged and vulnerable. Kasper is a complete keeper, though he berates his defense more than I think is healthy.

When Alisson was with Roma, I marked him way down for utter stupidity. He’s shown shades of that in England, but he’s improved. I’d definitely crown him as the best in the EPL, but I’m biased.

I like Fabianski a lot, but goddamn does he have a lot of match reps (a result of the squads in front of him). It’s hard to pick out whether he’s truly exceptional or just has caught our eyes by sheer opportunities alone. I wouldn’t put him top three, but he’s absolutely the most underrated and forgotten.
Could be a separate thread.

I agree with just about all of this.

Schmeichel is underrated, no one ever talks about him. Ederson is way overrated IMO.

Pickford is a very good shot-stopper but. You say "emotionally charged and vulnerable," I say "shitty judgment." Tries to do too much. Nick Pope is pretty good. I expect him to challenge Pickford semi-seriously for England.

I would have put Tom Heaton up there but he seems to have slipped a little.

I like the guy from Sheffield Utd, Henderson.

Not a Kepa fan. A little fragile IMO.
 

Zomp

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Henderson belongs to us. When De Gea was having his bad streak last season there was talk of selling him off to let Deano take the ranks.
Thankfully, De Gea has rediscovered most of his form. It’s a nice problem to have but De Gea is still young enough especially in keeper years that I think Dean Henderson’s future is away from the club.
Someone will snatch him up and get a great keeper.
 

JayMags71

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It’s a nice problem to have but De Gea is still young enough especially in keeper years that I think Dean Henderson’s future is away from the club.
Someone will snatch him up and get a great keeper.
Is De Gea done agitating for a move to Spain? I thought Courtois has struggled enough to have Real concerned he’s not a long term answer.
 

Kliq

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Ederson is plus distribution and plus with his feet, but minus in every other area. He’s a field player converted to a goalkeeper and it shows. He also has the worst neck tattoos in history.

De Gea is a complete package, but either plagued by motivational issues or inherently streaky.

Lloris isn’t what he used to be. He was in the conversation two or three years ago.
Missing from your list is Rui Patricio, who is one of the more complete keepers in England right now.

Pickford is good, though emotionally charged and vulnerable. Kasper is a complete keeper, though he berates his defense more than I think is healthy.

When Alisson was with Roma, I marked him way down for utter stupidity. He’s shown shades of that in England, but he’s improved. I’d definitely crown him as the best in the EPL, but I’m biased.

I like Fabianski a lot, but goddamn does he have a lot of match reps (a result of the squads in front of him). It’s hard to pick out whether he’s truly exceptional or just has caught our eyes by sheer opportunities alone. I wouldn’t put him top three, but he’s absolutely the most underrated and forgotten.
As expected, The Champions have answered this for us. Seriously, people need to watch this.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-NN1iQhNz8
 

Zomp

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Is De Gea done agitating for a move to Spain? I thought Courtois has struggled enough to have Real concerned he’s not a long term answer.
He hasn't agitated for a move since the fax machine broke down. Signed a nice new contract this year for 4 seasons.

I mean Real are always lurking, but I don't see him moving unless we want to let him go.

Say what you want about Ole (and he's certainly the bees knees this week) but the players love him.
 

SocrManiac

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I shared that Champions episode with my team immediately. I can't wait for Part 2.

I will now put you all to sleep.

@candylandriots I haven't seen a ton of Guaita, but what's always stuck out when I've seen him is how poorly he positions himself both in his angles and his body shape. He overcomes both to make some spectacular saves through sheer athleticism. This will seem like a cherry pick, but it stuck out in my mind as the first time I "noticed" him and it encapsulates both areas I think he needs to improve. The video: View: https://youtu.be/B8kCl4L8Jfo?t=184


First, body shape. This is his ready position, which is pretty atypical.

Body.JPG

Now, I will say, some of the best keepers in the world will do this based on their opponent. I hate to go to the Buffon well as he's an unfair comp to anybody, but you'll see Buffon change his ready position based on what he expects, especially in a one on one situation. Against a finesse finisher, Guaita's shape makes some sense. He can quickly spring low to either corner. However, he's incredibly vulnerable to a hard shot even a foot or two off the ground. He's only going to be able to get one arm across in time from that distance- the other has to swing up and over his body (note that in the video- it's essentially useless for this save). This is also a position strikers will identify and blast the ball directly at the keeper's head level, or just above. It will be absolutely impossible to get the arms up in time. Essentially, he's giving over half of the goal away just in his set position, and his legs are too far apart to generate much spring. He instead has to rely on torquing his body over his center of gravity, which is ultimately what he does to make the save. Note that he can't push off with his left (our right) foot- he has to throw it in the air to drive his body down. There isn't a lot of power to be had in that.

The second piece is his cutting of angles. He makes two errors here, in my opinion. First is the most difficult skill a keeper has to master, which is maintaining the angle as you shuffle side to side. He goes too far, Vardy identifies it, and very nearly makes him pay. It's subtle, but it's enough for the striker to see and nearly exploit, even in real time. Literally, the frame of him fully set in his final position is missing from the video (fast sport), but you can interpolate that he does achieve balance, has read the shot before it's struck, and is already in the process of starting his dive (great work there).
Angle.JPG

Ederson may be the worst goalkeeper I have ever seen on a top team when it comes to angles. It's tough to learn and it's tough to maintain. Differences in your own strength and speed over time will change your transitioning. Even pitch size all have an effect, as well as the ground you're on. You're relying on reference geometry (markings on the field, landmarks in the stadium, etc) as you don't have the opportunity to physically turn your head and check your post. I can't overstate how challenging this can be, even at the top levels, nor how much time is spent on it in training. You even work on this in your warmup, especially in an unfamiliar location.

The second thing I'd have liked to see him do is charge a bit. If Sakho beats Vardy to the ball, then it doesn't matter. A deflection from that distance is going to be a crapshoot, regardless. If Vardy wins the race, he's got a lot of goal to shoot at from a very close distance. You know he isn't going to chip the ball (again, Guaita has identified the striker bearing on him), so close him down, close the legs, get big, and let the ball hit you instead of reacting to a shot.

This is all hyper-critical, and all on one example. He made the save, right? He's young, he can learn. There's a reason goalkeepers have aged more gracefully, at least historically.

This is part of what has made Buffon the all time great. Look at his most recent work. There are a few spectacular reaction saves, but he does more in shot prevention (positioning his defense with a borderline clairvoyant accuracy), playing percentages (knowing his opponents tendencies ie. power, finesse, trickery), and "cheating" in his positioning to give himself an advantage (he's better to his right, so he skews to his left so it doesn't have to work quite as hard).

So, from what I've seen, Guaita has the athleticism. What he'll become is down to the strengths of his coach to help him with his angles and body shape, as well as his own ability to read the game and learn how best to cheat the percentages.
 

candylandriots

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@SocrManiac thank you very much for that. That is all such interesting info, and I’m glad to have you share it with me. I have a lot to learn after not playing past like 7 years old, so things like this are invaluable.

One minor correction - he’s not young. He’ll be 33 next month.

I think he’s having a career season - and probably won’t be repeated. His stats this year are really impressive (to me) but I know that there is a lot more to it than that, and who knows how scarred I’ve been from watching Wayne Hennessey for a few years.
 

Kliq

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This is amazing. Haaland. Guzan. Roychuck Chesney. Pripyat! The 5-hole at the end. Genius stuff.
I think my favorite part is at 2:18 you see Kyle Walker, sitting at the bar by himself; because he played in goal for 20 minutes earlier this season.
 

SoxFanInCali

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Only thing that annoyed me about that video was they have Alisson's number wrong. He wore 13 last year but switched to 1 this season. Otherwise, it's outstanding.

And yeah, Walker hanging out in the back was hilarious.
 

candylandriots

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candylandriots

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Didn’t expect to read that Man City is interested - though based on what you’ve said about Ederson maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

This is interesting: Guaita leads in goals saved in Europe this season (vs XG) with 9.6.
Next closest are Dubravka at 8.7 and Szczesny at 7.4. Next EPL is Henderson at 7.2.

View: https://mobile.twitter.com/OptaJoe/status/1240229348470292480