Football season 2011/12

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Jonny Whizz
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Football season 2011/12

Post by Jonny Whizz »

I really enjoyed last season's football thread so I thought I'd get the ball rolling by starting one for the upcoming season.

The English Premier League season kicks off on Saturday 13th August, with the first Football League games the previous weekend. Of course, north of the border the SPL has already begun - but the season start was so early that each team is allowed to postpone one fixture to accommodate a friendly match!

As a Liverpool fan this season should hopefully be better than the last one. I'm quite pleased with our summer transfer business so far - the midfield certainly seems better now than it was last year - although we probably need a proper left-back and I'd like to get rid of some fringe players like Poulsen and Jovanovic, who aren't good enough and are being paid more than I think they are worth right now.
'Michael Owen isn't the tallest of players, but his height more than makes up for it' - Mark Lawrenson

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Digifiend
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Re: Football season 2011/12

Post by Digifiend »

Don't get your hopes up. Hull City thrashed you 3-0 last weekend. :P

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Jonny Whizz
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Re: Football season 2011/12

Post by Jonny Whizz »

Yeah, it wasn't a great result! At least this year Roy Hodgson isn't there to praise poor losing performances, like after the Merseyside derby last year where he claimed that a lacklustre 2-0 defeat against our local rivals was our best display of the season up to that point.

The Championship is usually tricky to predict before the start of the campaign as it is such a competitive and unpredictable league, but my guess is that Hull will be in the top half - they came eleventh last year after struggling in the opening few months.

Elsewhere in that division, I think West Ham will be in contention to go straight back up as they've made excellent signings in Nolan and Taylor, while anything other than top-six for Leicester would be a failure in my opinion, given the quality of the players they have brought in and the amount of money they've spent so far. I can't see Blackpool going straight back up as they out-performed themselves in merely reaching the Premier League this time, especially as Adam and Vaughan have left, while Birmingham are losing most of their players in a fire sale and will need time to rebuild (though Chris Hughton is a safe pair of hands so they should be OK).
'Michael Owen isn't the tallest of players, but his height more than makes up for it' - Mark Lawrenson

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stevezodiac
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Re: Football season 2011/12

Post by stevezodiac »

I don't expect much from Millwall but the games against West Ham could be interesting. We've given their fans 2000 tickets for their visit to the Den. Heads might roll as a consequence.

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Jay
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Re: Football season 2011/12

Post by Jay »

Millwall fan... :coat:

West Ham have given you more tickets than the Cardiff fans, we only gave them 1,250. Category C supporters I'm affraid. You and Cardiff are bad eggs and we all know what the 'C' stands for. :P

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stevezodiac
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Re: Football season 2011/12

Post by stevezodiac »

I went to a Charlton v Cardiff match many years ago and there was some barney rubble with visiting Millwall fans. Also went to Charlton v West Ham and stood in the West Ham end, had to endure them hurling abuse at Millwall throughout the match. Some of my best friends are Hammers fans.

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Jonny Whizz
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Re: Football season 2011/12

Post by Jonny Whizz »

This is my prediction for the final Premier League table come May 2012:

1. Manchester United - I can see number 20 coming unfortunately. They remain a safe bet for the title, though they may not be as good defensively without van der Sar, and the midfield lacks sparkle.
2. Manchester City - They really ought to put in a strong title challenge, and they have the players to do it. I can see Balotelli causing more controversy though.
3. Chelsea - I'm not inspired by their title chances, but a lot depends on whether Torres can get going again. I'm not sure whether Villa-Boas will be able to win the title in his first season.
4. Arsenal - Difficult to judge until we know whether Fabregas and Nasri are staying or going, but I'm predicting more of the same, i.e. great football but no end product.
5. Liverpool - We are better now than we were last season, but top four might be a step too far this year.
6. Tottenham - I think they've plateaued now. Their midfield is very strong, but their strikers and defenders are not as good as those of their rivals.
7. Everton - Will follow pretty much the same pattern as the last two seasons - poor start, good second half.
8. Fulham - I'm expecting another good season, as Jol is a good manager and the team is still solid. He seems to have bought well. A new goalscorer wouldn't go amiss, though the form in Europa League qualifying seems promising.
9. Sunderland - Their squad seems better now, and as long as the new signings come together well, there's plenty of potential in the team.
10. Villa - Not inspired by the new manager, as McLeish was quite defensive at Birmingham, though they should avoid another relegation scare and they have a proven goalscorer in Bent.
11. Stoke - Will produce another strong season and punch above their weight.
12. Newcastle - I'm not totally sure about them, but I'll put them in mid-table. I think Cabaye and Ba look like good signings, but Nolan is a big loss.
13. Bolton - Another mid-table finish I reckon, but they need another forward or they could be in trouble.
14. West Brom - I think they're on for a solid season and for once won't need to worry too much about the drop. Their team hasn't been disrupted too much either.
15. QPR - On paper, the best of the promoted teams, and there's money to spend if things go awry. I feel they can establish a Premier League place.
16. Wolves - I don't think much of their style of play (or pitch for that matter), but the formula works and I think they've got enough about themselves to stay up.
17. Swansea - I have a feeling they will just stay up. They've got some quality players and are good in both defence and attack.
18. Blackburn - Their owners seem clueless, and I'm baffled as to what they see in Steve Kean. Their defence is decent, but short of cover, and their attacking options are pretty poor - Birmingham were in a similar situation last year, and went down.
19. Wigan - They usually end up in a relegation battle but manage to stay up. However, I'm tipping them for the drop as they've lost N'Zogbia (who helped keep them in the top flight) and have only added Al Habsi who was on loan last year.
20. Norwich - Their squad is short of Premier League quality. I can't see them staying up, though I don't think they'll disgrace themselves like Derby did a few years ago.
'Michael Owen isn't the tallest of players, but his height more than makes up for it' - Mark Lawrenson

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Jonny Whizz
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Re: Football season 2011/12

Post by Jonny Whizz »

Quick update - Blackpool beat Hull 1-0 last night in the first game of the Championship season, so they´ve made the perfect return to the Football League.
'Michael Owen isn't the tallest of players, but his height more than makes up for it' - Mark Lawrenson

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stevezodiac
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Re: Football season 2011/12

Post by stevezodiac »

My text was read out on 606 bemoaning the fact that Millwall let a two goal lead away to Reading slip and ended up drawing. Still I would have been happy with a draw before the kick off as Reading are one of the favourites to get into the play-offs. I don't think McLaren will last long at Forest, he's too much of a sap to inspire players.

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Digifiend
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Re: Football season 2011/12

Post by Digifiend »

The other Championship results:
Coventry City 0-1 Leicester City
Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Doncaster Rovers
Bristol City 0-3 Ipswich Town
Burnley 2-2 Watford
Derby County 2-1 Birmingham City
Middlesbrough 2-2 Portsmouth
Nottingham Forest 0-0 Barnsley
Peterborough United 2-1 Crystal Palace
Reading 2-2 Millwall
Southampton 3-1 Leeds United

Embarrassingly, the Football League website, despite having all the results up, has a fixture list up for 6 August which includes Hull vs Blackpool as a Saturday 3pm kick-off, instead of a Friday evening game.
http://www.football-league.co.uk/page/ChampionshipHome

dreamticket
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Re: Football season 2011/12

Post by dreamticket »

I won't be watching any football until after rugby world cup, but I'll make a few predictions:

Liverpool to finish in top four.
Tottenham's star will wane, but they might win some silverware somewhere.
Without Fabregas Arsenal will either implode (not top four) or win the thing (bit of a cheat, that prediction).
Man city are a mirage (based on Man U. coming back from 2-0 down) and finish mid-table.
Chelsea also drop out of top four, which gives Spurs a whiff of a chance of CL return, possibly along with Everton.

Internationals: Wales's misery continues. N. I. take points off Russia and Portugal but buck it up against Luxemburg. Britain fail to put up united team for home Olympics.

To be honest, I'm a tad fed up with our overpaid footballers, what with all that's going on at the minute (not just on the streets but in/and behind the scenes at the press).

Don't worry. I'll be in a better mood after Ireland return with the Webb-Ellis.

(That's not a prediction, that last bit, btw).

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Digifiend
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Re: Football season 2011/12

Post by Digifiend »

Several League Cup games were postponed this week due to the riots, along with the England vs Holland match at Wembley. Hope we won't be seeing more of the same in the league this weekend. Damned rioters, we can't let them win.

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stevezodiac
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Re: Football season 2011/12

Post by stevezodiac »

Millwall v Morecambe in the LC 2nd Round. I don't think we've ever played Morecambe before. I remember travelling to Kidderminster in a cup game many years ago and a few Wolves fans turned up to act brave in front of us but I have no idea where Morecambe is except Lancs rings a bell. I hope they enjoy their day out at the Den. I wish we could get drawn away to Liverpool so we can outsing the Kop.

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stevezodiac
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Re: Football season 2011/12

Post by stevezodiac »

Joey Barton has started for Newcastle. Leeds yet to get a point and have two players sent off. QPR have a disastrous start to their Premier campaign. Liverpool slip up at home.

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Jonny Whizz
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Re: Football season 2011/12

Post by Jonny Whizz »

I watched the Liverpool match earlier today (it was on in a bar) and the first half performance was very promising. It was a shame that Suarez missed the penalty, but he then made up for it by scoring the opener. The new signings looked good, as Adam was running the show, Downing nearly scored a stunner and Jose Enrique looked solid at left-back, particularly considering that we only signed him yesterday.

In the second half we let Sunderland into the game a bit more and as a result they got their equaliser, though their goal was chiefly the result of a moment of class by Sebastian Larsson. We've always tended to find Steve Bruce's teams a tough nut to crack though, going back to his time at Birmingham, and it was the same today, while Wes Brown did as well as anyone has in keeping Suarez quiet.

It would have been nice if we could have started with three points, but overall it was a decent opener and we should be much better than we were last year.
'Michael Owen isn't the tallest of players, but his height more than makes up for it' - Mark Lawrenson

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