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Soccer Report Extra Podcast: Premier League Season Preview – Part 4

Written by on August 12, 2011 | 8 Comments »
Posted in Soccer Report Extra Podcast

Hooray!  The 4th and final instalment of the SRE Premier League Season Preview podcast in here!  Bobby & Eoin save some of the best commentary & analysis for last, as the final 5 Premier League teams are primed for the beginning of the 2011-12 Premier League season.  We hope you’ve found this series of podcasts to be both informative & entertaining… they certainly were fun to produce!  Keep listening & stay tuned for more great podcasts in the future.

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8 responses to “Soccer Report Extra Podcast: Premier League Season Preview – Part 4”

  1. Mark says:

    Bobby: I am a Manchester United supporter. I want to see them do well in the Champions League this season and SAF has said it is his main goal to win it. I don’t think with their current roster that they have the midfield to beat several of their European opponents (who have all improved their teams since last season). I feel they need to add at least an experienced, top Playmaker and if possible, a midfield “destroyer.” (eg. Pepe did a fair job vs. Barca- before he was sent off last season). Question: Do you think that United currently have the squad to win the C.L trophy and if not, do you think they need a new playmaker and/or defensive midfielder, in order to lift the C.L. trophy? Thanks!

  2. Is the team good enough to win the Champions League – yes. Will they – I don’t think so.

    Each season there are 8-10 teams that if catch a break or two along the way then they can get to the Final and probably win it. Barcelona will again be the team to beat but as we say two seasons ago sometimes things do not go to plan.

    Absolutely don’t agree with the idea of a midfield destroyer. Pepe was used for a specific purpose in a set of specific games. That was all. I would not be reading too much into that one.

    One thing you don’t list is who of the European rivals don’t you think United can beat.

  3. Mark says:

    Perhaps I should first give you my definition of Playmaker. He is usually a CM, who “orchestrates” the attack. A player like Pirlo, Riquelme, Xavi, Xabi and Fabregas. I believe that Paul Scholes was used in that role, as is Michael Carrick (who seems quite inconsistent. I think Carrick needs time and space to be effective, and he doesn’t always get that against “better” teams) Even Anderson was used (although he seems effective in that role only against bottom-half-of-the-table teams and pre-season matches). I’m guessing that Cleverley is being groomed for that role. I think that Modric would have been effective in that role for United (but he doesn’t want to go there) and Sneijder would certainly help them out with his range of passing, instinct and creativity.

  4. C.How says:

    your volume level is set waaaaay toooo loooowwwwwww

  5. I really don’t understand the idea that some how United needs a designated playmaker.

    Scholes has been at best a deep lying passer for the last two seasons.

    United’s style – or certainly latest over the last two seasons – has been one of moving the ball very quickly, getting it wide when they can and fluid movement in attack.

    Why would you dump that style and revert to a stoic “you have to give the ball to him because he’s the playmaker” system.

    The problem that few seem to pick up on is that in many cases the team’s system has to be built around the playmaker or what we think of as a playmaker.

    Pirlo – he needed Gattuso beside him in a deep position. My opinion not a playmaker but an exquisite passer who sits deep.

    Riquelme – the consummate example of having to build a team around a player.

    Xavi – I don’t think you can use Barcelona as an example without Iniesta, Messi, Busquets etc.

    Xabi – same as Pirlo and certainly not someone who gets forward to support the strikers.

    Fabregas – how to you balance this with no trophies in 6 seasons that we are reminded about so often.

    In summation – be careful what you wish for because you might get it and in the process only then realize what you had.

  6. Mark says:

    Ok – you’ve schooled me. Perhaps I was using a looser/wider definition than most for playmaker. I never thought that a playmeker HAD to get into the attack necessarily. I thought that a playmaker COULD also be what you call “a deep lying exquisite passer of the ball.” I think Xavi is an extreme version of playmaker – where the ball goes back and forth, from him to teammates, while they all move forward. I may be wrong, but Pirlo & Xabi both get many more touches than do the other midfielders, but they still act like fulcrums in the attack. They also spray the ball far forward to the wingers and forwards, leading their runs. Now, Steven Gerrard also does this, so is he a playmaker, in my eyes? No. Gerrard is an exquisite passer of the ball, but I don’t think he gets as many touches as Scholes, Xabi or Pirlo. He is not an axis point as frequently as the others that I call playmakers.
    I certainly don’t have the football know-how or experience that you do, Bobby, so I defer to you in this matter. I’ve been watching football regularly only since the 2001-2002 season. But I believe that I saw Scholes centrally, then move deep to receive the ball from defenders and then spray it out to attackers. Not to the degree that Riquelme or Xavi get the ball, but more often than his midfield partner. Perhaps thats just Paul Scholes wanting the ball and making himself available. Perhaps a “Modric” would suit United better than a “Sneijder?” I’m not arguing that point. But I do feel that they need someone who doesn’t give the ball away cheaply often, and can consistently and instinctively get the ball quickly to the United attackers/wingers, by means of various appropraite passes. Someone who can dictate the pace of the game would help as well.

  7. What you have described is what Carrick does. His passing percentage is usually high 80s low 90s. His problem is that when he is off he is really off.

    For $50M or so that it cost to sign the type of player you are looking at isn’t going to deliver that much of a difference over an entire season – certainly in my mind it won’t make the difference between losing to or beating Barcelona.

    Neither Modric or Sneijder focus on getting the ball wide – certainly more effective supporting and leading a striker in and creating chances. But with United’s system the wide players create the majority of the chances.

    Go for a more central player and you run the risk of them holding the ball more and allowing defenders to close down the wide men.

    The point I am trying to make is that there is always something that could be improved upon but it almost always comes at the risk of what you have unravelling.

  8. Roberto Manita says:

    Another vote that the ManU central MFs simply do not have the quality to match up with either FCB or Real Madrid. If ManU is serious about winning the UCL any time soon they will have to upgrade that position big time. In my eyes, the current ManU squad presently constituted has very little chance beating either of the two Spanish giants over two legs. They need a MF maestro like Sneijder, Modric, Nasri, etc. that can pull the strings and also be a scoring threat. Maybe Rooney will be that guy as he loses a half step or two in the next couple of years and drops deeper to play an AMF role? I think Rooney has the vision and range of passing to be that guy.

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