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NB96

Barclays Premier League 2016/17

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Mr Dragon    296

I dunno if you can say we're especially suspect defensively given that we were playing our 4th and 5th choice centre backs, and I think that none of Liverpool's goals were really caused by defensive errors in particular. I think the bigger issue with Arsenal was the squad selection. Cazorla should be starting every game (our poor run of form last season coinciding with him getting injured wasn't exactly a coincidence), and while both of them had pretty good pre-seasons Chamberlain was definitely a more reliable player to start than Iwobi).

 

The thing I don't understand is how Ozil, Koscielny and Giroud couldn't play yesterday but for some reason Ramsey was judged to be fit I assume there's a real reason for it but the reasons given don't seem to add up. We needed Koscielny far more than Ramsey, but for some reason Ramsey was the player Wenger chose to 'risk' and lo and behold he goes off injured.

 

30 minutes ago, NB96 said:

They were the better team but had a bit of luck. I think their style of play will take time to learn, Clichy and Sagna coming into central midfield is asking for trouble though - Pep isn't working with Alaba and Lahm anymore.  


They weren't bad when they were playing for us (Guardiola's system is different but doesn't take a lot more in terms of stamina and technical ability) but I haven't really paid attention to them recently and they've probably lost a yard of pace. City did look dodgy in that game though, they had lots of possession but lost it a lot more than they should have and Sunderland didn't really look like they were under pressure as much as you'd expect from a team with ~20% possession.

 

I haven't really seen any of the other games in the Premier league so I can't comment on them, though seeing Rafa Benitez's Newcastle losing two out of two in the championship made me laugh.

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NB96    813

Southampton shouldn't be getting 57% possesion at Old Trafford imo. I hope we'll start to dominate games rather than absorb pressure for most of them. In all our games we looked weak in the first half but switched things up a gear in the second. Also I know Mourinho wants zonal defending and to catch the opposition on the break but I think his team selection is off. If you're counter-attacking you need pace so play fucking Mkhitaryan, he didn't leave Dortmund to sit on the bench, we didn't pay nearly £30m for a bench warmer neither. I hope he gets game time on the right wing where I think he will be really good for us, in his cameo he looked quality on the few touches he got and nearly got an assist for Pogba.

 

Speaking of Pogba he had a bad start but grew into the game and looked really good for most of the match. His first four passes or so were all intercepted and he nearly sent one of their players through with an error but he showed what he can do already. He has vision and creativity, never got tackled, wins headers and makes surging runs forward. All this and he's not even fully match fit yet, a really exciting start for him.

 

Our best team right now imo:

 

de Gea

Valencia - Smalling - Bailly - Shaw

Fellaini - Pogba

Mkhitaryan - Mata - Martial

Zlatan

 

Feels so strange to put Fellaini in there but he's in form right now, no denying it. He just wins the ball and gives it to a teammate who is better going forward. It's simple being a water carrier but he doesn't usually give the ball away, and is a threat from set pieces. I would prefer to see Schneiderlin there at some point because I still think he has a future with the club if he starts to see the form we saw at Southampton. In that case I would cut Mata out for a three man midfield with Blind/Pogba/Schneiderlin for balance.

 

Stoke defended like schoolboys and thoroughly deserved to lose to City. They had a penalty shout in the first half but City were all over them throughout the game. The worrying thing is that City only had one signing on the pitch during the game, if Gündogan and Sané come in and hit their stride they could be a real force. I still think they need new fullbacks but their team could be frightening in a few years time, with Jesus, Iheanacho, Sané all helping go forward. That's ignoring Sterling, Zinchenko, and De Bryune is pretty young as well.

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+Urthor    10167

To be brutally honest, if United is going to be spending 100 million plus on transfer fees every summer because of the BT/Sky money, there's no reason that a 30 million purchase can't be a sub off the bench, Real Madrid style.  Out of 200 million, he spent less than 20% of that on Mkhitaryan, he doesn't need to prove anything by him, and the spots for the attacking midfielders are extraordinarily tight.  

 

The thing is no matter the price tag or the wage, players can play themselves into form to take that starting spot, that's what he's communicating by not just sticking Mkh into the starting side.  That was more important than treating a rubber vs Southampton like a cup final and fielding the absolute best side.  It wouldn't be too surprising to find Mkhitaryan playing midweek next March because one of United's cast of 20 different players had pushed him out of the starting side.  


Also whilst the possession statistic isn't sexy, there's no way that Jose is going to change his style away from playing the break come hell or high water, he's won exactly zero trophies not playing the break and he's not about to start now.  

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Aaron    1979
On 20 August 2016 at 2:44 PM, NB96 said:

Southampton shouldn't be getting 57% possesion at Old Trafford imo. I hope we'll start to dominate games rather than absorb pressure for most of them. In all our games we looked weak in the first half but switched things up a gear in the second. Also I know Mourinho wants zonal defending and to catch the opposition on the break but I think his team selection is off. If you're counter-attacking you need pace so play fucking Mkhitaryan, he didn't leave Dortmund to sit on the bench, we didn't pay nearly £30m for a bench warmer neither. I hope he gets game time on the right wing where I think he will be really good for us, in his cameo he looked quality on the few touches he got and nearly got an assist for Pogba.

 

Speaking of Pogba he had a bad start but grew into the game and looked really good for most of the match. His first four passes or so were all intercepted and he nearly sent one of their players through with an error but he showed what he can do already. He has vision and creativity, never got tackled, wins headers and makes surging runs forward. All this and he's not even fully match fit yet, a really exciting start for him.

 

Our best team right now imo:

 

de Gea

Valencia - Smalling - Bailly - Shaw

Fellaini - Pogba

Mkhitaryan - Mata - Martial

Zlatan

 

Feels so strange to put Fellaini in there but he's in form right now, no denying it. He just wins the ball and gives it to a teammate who is better going forward. It's simple being a water carrier but he doesn't usually give the ball away, and is a threat from set pieces. I would prefer to see Schneiderlin there at some point because I still think he has a future with the club if he starts to see the form we saw at Southampton. In that case I would cut Mata out for a three man midfield with Blind/Pogba/Schneiderlin for balance.

 

Stoke defended like schoolboys and thoroughly deserved to lose to City. They had a penalty shout in the first half but City were all over them throughout the game. The worrying thing is that City only had one signing on the pitch during the game, if Gündogan and Sané come in and hit their stride they could be a real force. I still think they need new fullbacks but their team could be frightening in a few years time, with Jesus, Iheanacho, Sané all helping go forward. That's ignoring Sterling, Zinchenko, and De Bryune is pretty young as well.

 

 

blind/pogba/schneiderlin

 

just screams not enough quality on the ball

 

basically pogba off = no party 

 

Mourinho has it right ATM. 

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NB96    813

Biggest derby in years at 12:30, cannot wait. Keep it tight at the back and counter-like Atletico vs Bayern might be our strategy. But we're also one of the tallest sides in the league so from set pieces I hope Ibra, Fellaini, Pogba etc will be a huge threat for City.

 

2-1 to United is my prediction, lets hope I don't end up with egg on my face.

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+Urthor    10167

The problem is you have to be honest and admit United were flat and terrible vs Hull.  Like, yeah they were not a side that was ready for Europe even though they dominated possession vs stragglers, they just kicked it around and weren't even close to clinical in the wet.  Mourinho's systems are not close to being in place yet, they're a very straggly side.  Plus they're hamstrung by the fact Wayne Rooney has to be on the pitch because jersey sales and United tradishun.  

 

 

City have the advantage at least that they're a much more settled side that hasn't had the open heart surgery Mourinho has performed.  Even with Aguero missing City can't be counted out on paper at all, but like all football it depends on who turns up on the day.  

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NB96    813

Tactics and team selection were all wrong from the start. I understand that we start slower because Mourinho wants to take the sting out of the game but you can't do that in a derby. You can't take the sting out of the game against City or Liverpool because the players and supporters will be up for it from the word go. We should have shown less respect and come at them from the start. When we did that towards the beginning of the second half we looked a different team. The game was already lost in the first 20 minutes though. They were so much better than us in the first half it was men against boys.

 

Also had the team selection wrong. Lingard needs game time but a derby isn't the place for it. Should have been Rashford on the left. Additionally I have no fucking clue how Rooney was on the pitch for the whole game, really poor showing from him and I can't count the number of times he gave it away. Mkhitaryan wasn't great but I would have kept him in the team for his pace and potential when 1v1 with the defender.

 

Guardiola had the better of Mourinho tactically from the start. Mourinho has a poor record against Guardiola. Not happy.

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Azzaw    64

There is always time its still early in the season. I feel like Man United really, really need to drop Rooney and polish up that midfield. 

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Obviously right now Liverpool and Man City are in good form but it would be interesting to see how they would cope with the festive period especially City as they are in champions league and if you really look at both teams, they really lack squad depth (City are using Kolarov in CB while Milner is LB at Liverpool) and with injuries likely to occur it would be difficult for both teams to maintain their good form. 

 

Conte needs time to make Chelsea tick the way he wants, people need to remember that he prefers 3-5-2 which the current squad really isn't accustomed or even good enough for that formation. Doesn't really help that Chelsea had to panic buy for their defense either.

 

Arsenal's chances all depend on how Sanchez plays as a striker and whether they can keep Koscielny fit.

 

Tottenham look solid but I think they need Kane firing to get a real chance at the title

 

Man Utd needs Ibra firing again (misses too many chances), Rooney and Fellaini dropped continuously and play Herrera and Mata as these 2 have been our best performers alongside Bailly

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Aaron    1979

Spurs are very very dangerous. The fact Kane is a slow burner/starter and will score later on in the season makes them a very scary proposition. Kane/Lamela/Eriksen in full form will be a scary trident.. if Spurs had bought 1 or 2 more big players to complement their attacking lineup a little better, they'd be big favourites in my book. 

 

United look a mess at present. Just a heavily unbalanced squad with Rooney still knocking about and their midfielders either past it or very unsettled in their roles. However they still have some phenomenal players I'm very scary of and on paper have an awesome squad. I think Mourinho isn't the right manager to get the best out of a few players who probably could explode given a second chance (e.g. Deeply). As I said the biggest issue is Rooney. 

 

Liverpool look excellent and would be title contenders if it wasn't for their defence, lack of a real left back which WILL come back over  a season to haunt them, a flimsy midfield, the african cup of nations taking away Mane and if Struridge starts to play up. 

 

Arsenal on paper look really dangerous and the fact they've had a meh start yet sit where they are is scary... but they're Arsenal so I expect them to flop.

 

City look the best for the title simply due to the fact they have the best squad, best forward line, best attacking midfielders and Pep who is renowned for stringing wins together. And the fact they have title winning experience. I'd say Liverpool edge them in the attacking ethos/pressing department but City look far less susceptible at the back. 

 

Chelsea I just think won't make it. They missed out on so many defensive minded transfer targets over the summer and settled for Luiz; with Conte given the task of reinvirgorating their attacking line. I see them challenging but I see their reliance on Costa ultimately costing them as he will get himself into trouble or cause trouble for the squad. 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend's game Lpool vs United, Liverpool have to be favourites but I can see Ibrahimovic/Mata/Rashford (if playing versus Milner) making the difference on the night. 

Mourinho will try to stifle and slow down the game to begin with and make it a game of few chances. If its a game of few chances where we get 6 chances, United get 4, I'd definitely bet on United tucking one of those away with the more clinical players they have and the fact they have DDG. 

 

If United play attacking football, I think we'll beat them. 

 

Either way its a Derby, anything can happen and it annoys me that a lot of United fans are writing of their chances. 

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On 10/7/2016 at 0:41 PM, Aaron said:

Spurs are very very dangerous. The fact Kane is a slow burner/starter and will score later on in the season makes them a very scary proposition. Kane/Lamela/Eriksen in full form will be a scary trident.. if Spurs had bought 1 or 2 more big players to complement their attacking lineup a little better, they'd be big favourites in my book. 

 

United look a mess at present. Just a heavily unbalanced squad with Rooney still knocking about and their midfielders either past it or very unsettled in their roles. However they still have some phenomenal players I'm very scary of and on paper have an awesome squad. I think Mourinho isn't the right manager to get the best out of a few players who probably could explode given a second chance (e.g. Deeply). As I said the biggest issue is Rooney. 

 

Liverpool look excellent and would be title contenders if it wasn't for their defence, lack of a real left back which WILL come back over  a season to haunt them, a flimsy midfield, the african cup of nations taking away Mane and if Struridge starts to play up. 

 

Arsenal on paper look really dangerous and the fact they've had a meh start yet sit where they are is scary... but they're Arsenal so I expect them to flop.

 

City look the best for the title simply due to the fact they have the best squad, best forward line, best attacking midfielders and Pep who is renowned for stringing wins together. And the fact they have title winning experience. I'd say Liverpool edge them in the attacking ethos/pressing department but City look far less susceptible at the back. 

 

Chelsea I just think won't make it. They missed out on so many defensive minded transfer targets over the summer and settled for Luiz; with Conte given the task of reinvirgorating their attacking line. I see them challenging but I see their reliance on Costa ultimately costing them as he will get himself into trouble or cause trouble for the squad. 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend's game Lpool vs United, Liverpool have to be favourites but I can see Ibrahimovic/Mata/Rashford (if playing versus Milner) making the difference on the night. 

Mourinho will try to stifle and slow down the game to begin with and make it a game of few chances. If its a game of few chances where we get 6 chances, United get 4, I'd definitely bet on United tucking one of those away with the more clinical players they have and the fact they have DDG. 

 

If United play attacking football, I think we'll beat them. 

 

Either way its a Derby, anything can happen and it annoys me that a lot of United fans are writing of their chances. 

Ibra's finishing hasn't been good enough recently and the players for United and if we play the same way we did against Stoke and Leicester then I think we will do fine and in those games we played very good attacking football along with high pressing and if we do that against Liverpool then I see no reason why we can't beat them. That being said a point at Anfield isn't so bad either

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Aaron    1979

nah u dont wanna press against liverpool IMO... more open you leave yourselves, the more you're gonna get fucked up.

I agree that our defence is fragile but pressing plays into our hands. the teams we've struggled most against have been ones who sit back, soak up the pressure. congest the middle and hit us in the counter. we have zero aerial threats and I still get concerned when we have the ball outwide as we have very limited options and on the left side, milner cutting onto his right is a given. 

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On 10/9/2016 at 1:38 PM, Aaron said:

nah u dont wanna press against liverpool IMO... more open you leave yourselves, the more you're gonna get fucked up.

I agree that our defence is fragile but pressing plays into our hands. the teams we've struggled most against have been ones who sit back, soak up the pressure. congest the middle and hit us in the counter. we have zero aerial threats and I still get concerned when we have the ball outwide as we have very limited options and on the left side, milner cutting onto his right is a given. 

United usually (apart from the obvious parking the bus against City) usually involved high pressing from the forward line so our attacking players did most of the defending while Herrera and our back 4 sit back in their position so we can keep our structure and wait for Henderson or the Liverpool back 4 to make a mistake because they will make a mistake under intense pressure. Although you are right in the best tactic being sitting back and hitting on the counter especially on the wide areas since there is no tracking back. Also Matip is quite tall since he is 6 foot 5 (I think?) and Lovren has a decent height as well. Then again United have Zlatan, Pogba, Bailley, Smalling and Fellaini (although he shouldn't start) so we have the obvious edge when it comes to areil battles. Although one thing that should be mentioned is Mourinho's personal record against Liverpool: 8 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses which is pretty good then again his record against Klopp isn't good with a 1-1-3.

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Aaron    1979

United have a clear edge aerially and we are defensively very susceptible on corners.

 

High pressing is so risky for United. Our midfield three have more quality on the ball than yours. The only issue we have is Lallana + Wijnaldum might not make it :(

 

I was about to say, I'd be more concerned in regards to his record versus Klopp than against Liverpool. 

 

I still think United will maybe edge it or draw simply because if we win, we're in the title race... and good things never happen to us. 

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On 10/12/2016 at 1:16 AM, Aaron said:

United have a clear edge aerially and we are defensively very susceptible on corners.

 

High pressing is so risky for United. Our midfield three have more quality on the ball than yours. The only issue we have is Lallana + Wijnaldum might not make it :(

 

I was about to say, I'd be more concerned in regards to his record versus Klopp than against Liverpool. 

 

I still think United will maybe edge it or draw simply because if we win, we're in the title race... and good things never happen to us. 

Henderson, Lallana and Wijnaldum better than Pogba, Mata and Herrera? I disagree, Mata and Herrera have been quality this season and have probably been our best players alongside Bailly. As for Pogba has the talent to be world class so I would say United have far more quality in the midfield. This season so far its finishing that really lets us down, Ibra hasn't been firing and Rashford plays too wide for my liking honestly would prefer Martial on the left instead. 

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Aaron    1979

i don't think you've watched liverpool.

 

name and rep wise, your 3 are better. performances on the pitch, ours have been way better. lallana has been our best player this season, hendo has been pivotal at his goal vs chelsea is better than anything your 3 have done, and wijnaldum has been the missing piece. 

 

herrerra has hardly been started consistently. Pogba is overrated. I don't actually think he's world class but close to it. far from the finished product, not worth 90M. mata is an amazing player but hardly set the world alight so far this season. 

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I'm not basing it on name and rep either, Mata and Herrera have genuinely been class for United this season and they alongside Bailly have been our shining lights so far. Idk if you are aware but since the Leicester game, Herrera has pretty much been a regular and he has continued to show fine form when he has played for Man Utd. Mata has simply been class and he always controls our best plays (not his fault if our forwards couldn't finish) and I think he is at least 1 or 2 steps away from his form at Chelsea. As for Pogba, I just think his critics are too harsh sometimes considering there are some factors that would need to be consideredt:

1. He moved from Serie A to premier league and the transition it takes for players who make those moves take a while to adapt to the pace of the premier league. He has the qualities to succeed just need time.

2. He didn't even have a proper pre-season. He had an extended holiday after the Euros and the only players he knew when he first joined were Rooney, Carrick and Ibra. Ronaldo didn't have much of a pre-season either and he also had a slow start for Madrid.

3. He is 23. People are acting like he is at his prime, I know the price tag doesn't help him but 23 is not the prime years for a midfielder. Its like 26-32 as shown with players like Xavi, Iniesta, Scholes etc. when they hit top form during those years.

He certainly isn't worth 90m but he has the potential to at least be world class.

 

 As for Liverpool, I honestly they would be far better if they play Can instead of Henderson, I mean yeah the goal against Chelsea was a good goal but overall play of a holding midfielder, Can is more suited towards it. Lallana is a decent player but I think he needs to show this season that he can provide the goods at the final third consistently. Wijnaldum is awful, I may not watch Liverpool play regularly, but I watch Holland play regularly as that is where I am from and I can tell you that guy knows how to go invisible. Besides we were talking about ball control and that aspect is mostly about talent.

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Faint    5619

^You're an idiot if you'd drop henderson, he's the best midfielder in the prem at the moment on the form hes been on during the last 5 games. Lallanana and Wijnaldum have been excellent this season (including lallana in the final third), so you definitely haven't watched any liverpool this season 

 

United look very suspect vs big teams, but they'll pick up the wins versus the weaker teams. I actually think Spurs are looking really really good but historically Poch teams can't keep it up for a whole season

 

bournemouth anybody? hull have flattened

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Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Herrera, Xhaka, Cazorla, Capoue, Allen, Wanyama, Ali are just a few names that have done better than Henderson. Heck he's not even the best English midfielder as I would rather have Drinkwater or Dier playing ahead of him. As for Lallana I did say he needs to produce consistently and when I mean that I mean he needs to show he can do it throughout the season not just in under 10 games. Wijnaldum is not even that good and like I said I watch Holland on a regular basis and this guy only turns up when we play teams like Belarus. When we played Sweden and France, that guy practically disappeared in both games. So yeah like my original point says the Henderson, Lallana and Wijnaldum trio aren't better than the Herrera, Mata and Pogba trio.

 

I don't see how you can make the conclusion that United is suspect against the big teams when we only played against City and that game was basically a game of two halves. Played shit the first half then played a whole lot better in the 2nd where we could have won the game.

 

Honestly shouldn't be surprised about Hull getting smashed but I didn't expect it to be from Bournemouth of all teams.

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NB96    813

Game is really stop-start, referee isn't letting things flow imo. Also never a booking for Bailly.

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Aaron    1979

The referee is letting it flow. Its United's game plan. Mourinho did it 2 years ago when we were playing in similar form and intensity. 

 

The match is pretty much going as I predicted. United playing tight, very compact, making it a game of chances rather than the quality of football at present.

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Aaron    1979
On 10/14/2016 at 9:55 PM, Fruits Punch Samurai G said:

I'm not basing it on name and rep either, Mata and Herrera have genuinely been class for United this season and they alongside Bailly have been our shining lights so far. Idk if you are aware but since the Leicester game, Herrera has pretty much been a regular and he has continued to show fine form when he has played for Man Utd. Mata has simply been class and he always controls our best plays (not his fault if our forwards couldn't finish) and I think he is at least 1 or 2 steps away from his form at Chelsea. As for Pogba, I just think his critics are too harsh sometimes considering there are some factors that would need to be consideredt:

1. He moved from Serie A to premier league and the transition it takes for players who make those moves take a while to adapt to the pace of the premier league. He has the qualities to succeed just need time.

2. He didn't even have a proper pre-season. He had an extended holiday after the Euros and the only players he knew when he first joined were Rooney, Carrick and Ibra. Ronaldo didn't have much of a pre-season either and he also had a slow start for Madrid.

3. He is 23. People are acting like he is at his prime, I know the price tag doesn't help him but 23 is not the prime years for a midfielder. Its like 26-32 as shown with players like Xavi, Iniesta, Scholes etc. when they hit top form during those years.

He certainly isn't worth 90m but he has the potential to at least be world class.

 

 As for Liverpool, I honestly they would be far better if they play Can instead of Henderson, I mean yeah the goal against Chelsea was a good goal but overall play of a holding midfielder, Can is more suited towards it. Lallana is a decent player but I think he needs to show this season that he can provide the goods at the final third consistently. Wijnaldum is awful, I may not watch Liverpool play regularly, but I watch Holland play regularly as that is where I am from and I can tell you that guy knows how to go invisible. Besides we were talking about ball control and that aspect is mostly about talent.

 

Herrera hasn't played that many games this season to be classed in the same breath of importance as hendo and lallana period. 

 

Nah Pogba is a good player.. but is he a 90M player at present? Quite simply no. I'm not debating whether its a good deal or not, only time will tell but at present he's not shifting his weight in terms of importance to the team. 

 

You don't watch Liverpool. I can tell. An injury free Henderson, aka the hendo who played when suarez was here, was excellent. He's struggled with injuries but when injury free and fit, he's very good. Can's touch as you can see from today's performance is way too heavy. They're very different players. Hendon can do the pass and move shit. Can is still trying to mould himself into a player he wants to be.

 

Again, you haven't watched Wij for us then. He's really been quite impressive. At Newcastle he was class at home, disappeared away. 

 

 

 

Honestly it pisses me off so fucking much when football fans talk about players they haven't watched. Why not just shut the fuck up and admit you haven't watched these players so therefore your opinion is shitty meaningless and based on whatever tripe you're reading on redcafe or goal.com or sky sports.  Its beyond fucking irritating when people are thick as shit have opinions on players and topics they know nothing about. 

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