June 19, 2003

EPL fixtures decided!: Only two months away from the new season folks. Aside from all the transfer talk, this is all we have to whet the appetite. Go on, who do you think is gonna win it? Who do you want to win it? Who's gonna be relegated? Who's gonna survive? Any rituals for the first game of the season?

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 09:31 AM - 15 comments

So when are we starting the Yahoo league? I am ready for revenge! Man, I am so glad the seasons last so long...having to deal with only MLS is kind of weak...

posted by StarFucker at 10:09 AM on June 19

Who's going to win it? - Arsenal, followed by Man U Who do I want to win it? - An Aston Villa win would be nice, but this is only likely to happen if the devil starts driving a snowplough to work. Who's going to be relegated? - Leicester - Fulham - Any one of Middlesborough, Tottenham, Bolton, Blues, Villa, Pompey or Wolves. (If you force me to choose, I'd have to say Tottenham) Any rituals for the first game of the season? - I shall be praying fervently for the Imperial Lord Ferg, Arsenal Whinger, and everybody else except David O'Leary to make dreadful blunders.

posted by BigCalm at 10:25 AM on June 19

The seaons is starting again? it just ended! what a bizarre sport.

posted by corpse at 11:10 AM on June 19

Well, corpse, it's just like college. Start in Aug and finish in May, then take the summer off. (Unless you're playing in the World Cup or Confederations Cup [US TV schedule] or Euro Championship -- next year is going to be the bomb!).

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:23 AM on June 19

Going down...Wolves, Villa, Tottenham Fergie to get his comeuppance and finish out of the top 3.....Liverpool to win it, piddle of piss. First day ritual we all troop up to St Andrews full of hope expectation and beer only to troop out again 2 hours later full of anger despair and bile.

posted by Fat Buddha at 12:20 PM on June 19

FB: ... Liverpool to win it ... Finally seeing it my way, FB. I knew you'd come around. With Finnan in the fold, we'll have solid and diverse defensive options to choose from: Hyppia, Henchoz, Carragher, Traore, Riise, Finnan. Those last two will be great wing-backs and will go some way to dealing with the width issue. In midfield, I'm still a little worried since we haven't got the player(s) to slot in behind the front two, or to run rampant down the wings. Our choices: Diao (defensive), Hamann (defensive), Gerrard, Murphy, Diouf. If Diouf improves, he could go some way to fixing that slot-man/winger problem. But I'd like to see us buy Duff or Kewell. Strikers is where I have the fewest worries. They just need better service. Choices: Owen, Baros, Heskey. Djibril Cisse would have taken Heskey's place but Houllier's best buddy and fellow heart attack survivor Guy Roux won't let Djibril go from Auxerre. (Saw Cisse last nite in France's 1-0 win over Colombia in the Confederations Cup. That boy is fast, has astute positioning and the ability to lose his marker ... but Henry is still da man.) Our first new season game is the same as the last game from last season: v Chelsea. I expect to go out and trash them 5-0.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:47 PM on June 19

Wow, would I love it if BC is prescient! Do any of you know how they schedule is made? By that, I mean is Liverpool facing Chelsea first on purpose or just luck of the draw? To follow up on WC's analysis, does anyone agree (with me) that Baros is likely to replace Heskey as the primary #2 forward? I think we can do much better than fifth next season but will need some midfield help to get over the top.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:03 PM on June 19

Presumably the winter is mild enough over there to make December-February games feasible. How often are games postponed on account of snow or subzero temperatures? I've played in snow flurries and freezing rain before and it's been miserable.

posted by mbd1 at 03:16 PM on June 19

billsays: ... does anyone agree (with me) that Baros is likely to replace Heskey as the primary #2 forward? I second that emotion. StarFucker will, too. And now that I look at it, one more striker option would be nice. Which is where someone like Kewell would be come in. C'mon Liverpool! mbd1: How often are games postponed on account of snow or subzero temperatures? They are usu. postponed at least 1-2 times during winter. Which then makes for some nice overloaded weeks of match play. Yes, they do slog through the snow and mud (because it's more likely rain than snow, no? Verify please, UK SpoFiers?). And yes, the soccer is miserable.

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:42 PM on June 19

Most grounds in the top leagues have undersoil heating or tarpaulins to keep off snow, though you'll get the occasional postponement for a frozen pitch or (more likely) waterlogging. (The Boro-Newcastle game this year was called off because the area around the ground was frozen solid and considered unsafe, which set off Sir Bobby and his dicky ticker something rotten. Especially when we won the rearranged fixture.) In the lower leagues, and especially Scotland, it's not unusual for many of the fixtures to be lost to bad weather. There's the perennial call for a winter break in England, but with the Christmas-New Year period traditionally drawing the highest attendences, that packed couple of weeks isn't likely to go away. As for the fixtures: first home game against Arsenal is likely to be... eventful. And if the little fella survives the ConfCup (and Geremi stays, fingerscrossed) we shouldn't struggle this season. To go down? Wolves, Fulham, and I'll add Tottenham too. Because it's about time the truth hit home: that Spurs isn't a big club any more, in spite of what the London-based press pack think.

posted by etagloh at 03:47 PM on June 19

etagloh, to whom does "little fella" refer? Also, regarding LFC getting a new MF: Pool dive in for Udinese ace according to Soccernet; the ace is a 23 year old Chilean named David Pizarro and the competition to sign him are three top Italian sides.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:17 PM on June 19

Juninho, I would imagine bill. We don't have major problems playing through the winter here and anyway summer is for cricket, though what people see in that is beyond me.

posted by squealy at 06:01 PM on June 19

summer is for cricket, though what people see in that is beyond me Long, soporific days, getting slowly, but most assuredly, ratarsed.

posted by Fat Buddha at 01:23 AM on June 20

Of course *slaps forehead*. Not like me to miss the drinking angle.

posted by squealy at 02:26 AM on June 20

Aw no, not cricket! Though I have to admit, the new 20-over matches are great entertainment. My summer sports have to be Wimbledon and the Rugby world cup.

posted by BigCalm at 03:56 AM on June 20

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