December 02, 2002

EPL WEEK 16 REPORT: Henry's brace takes Arsenal four points clear at the top. (more inside)

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 12:32 PM - 10 comments

i don't want to talk about it...

posted by StarFucker at 01:15 PM on December 02, 2002

Dudek drops the ball and gifts Man Utd a 2-1 win over Liverpool. Liverpool cling on to second spot, while Man U move up to fourth. Dudek gets added to BBC Goalkeeping house of horrors and The Guardian's updated List of Goalkeeping Blunders. Everton, Liverpool's city neighbors, have their six-game winning streak broken by Newcastle, thanks to yet another Goal of the Week from Alan Shearer. Everton also lost their chance to leapfrog Liverpool and move into second (from third place). Instead, they drop to fifth. Give thanks for this cornucopia of links:

  • Premiership Table (Yahoo! UK)
  • Today's game (8pm GMT/2pm EST/11am PST): Mid-table Southampton vs bottom-of-table West Ham round off Week 16's games. Mark Lawrenson predicts: West Ham win. (BBC) Never mind.
  • Team of the Week (ESPN Soccernet) vs Dream Team (after 16 games) (Yahoo UK)
  • Injury list (Physioroom): Leeds and Sunderland top the table with eight players crocked.
  • Stats (Guardian): Card counts, top scorers, highest attendance.
  • posted by worldcup2002 at 02:23 PM on December 02, 2002

    StarFucker: I'm crushed as well (and glad I didn't get to watch it). But we can't blame it all on Dudek. Houllier ended up using all his subs to get Liverpool back in the game. Maybe he should start with our ideal line-ups rather than his preferred 11.

    posted by worldcup2002 at 02:25 PM on December 02, 2002

    Next time, I'd start: GOAL: Dudek (Yes, I know. Just give him a chance.) DEF: Babbel - Henchoz - Hyypia MID: Murphy - Hamann - Riise FREE: Diouf (slot Gerrard in here if connection is loose between midfield and strikers; the lad needs to sit on the bench for a spot) OFF: Baros - Heskey - Owen This is way too aggressive for Houllier and his staff, I'm sure. (Too thin at the back? Playing all the strikers risks losing strikeforce to injury?) But conservatism continues to fail them. I hope they start shopping for some wingers in January.

    posted by worldcup2002 at 03:19 PM on December 02, 2002

    Dudek definitely... Its fucking Houllier who should be dropped! Read what Westerveld has to say about it... You still persist with Heskey and Murphy... At least you dropped Carragher.

    posted by StarFucker at 04:02 PM on December 02, 2002

    Westerveld's made his mistakes in more crucial games (and probably more of them, too). And anything he says now will look like sour grapes. As for Heskey and Murphy: I haven't seen any of the other options do any better. Murphy has 4 goals and an assist. Riise 3 and 2. Gerrard is bollocks with 1 and 4 (ok, that's not too shabby, but still ... ). Hamann has 2 and 2. Smicer is 0 and 2 (but he's a sub). Heskey gets played because he's got the heft and abilities to make room for the smaller, faster forwards. He can also play in more positions (albeit with less effectiveness). Diouf has the potential to be a more wide-ranging player from midfield to attack (as evidenced in the World Cup), and causing trouble in those areas. But I must say, Liverpool sorely lacks a playmaker of Dalglish's caliber. We may have been able to use Litmanen in that capacity, but he never really fit into Houllier's more physical, direct and boring approach. Who could we buy to be a playmaker? Scholes (heh - that would never fly)? di Canio? What about wingers? Ullises de la Cruz? Igor Balis? Grainger?

    posted by worldcup2002 at 04:47 PM on December 02, 2002

    Grainger?? You mean Martin Grainger, Birmingham City left-back?? Take him mate, we'll even pay the taxi fare for you. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration but I'm sure the Blues would be willing to listen to sensible offers. As for the others De la Cruz I quite liked the couple of games I've seen, but the Villa fans hate him. Having said that they'd moan if they had Beckham playing for them. Balis, dunno, the Baggies fans seem to rate him but Albion will *always* be a selling team, small-time, no ambition. Di Canio, now there's a player, *when* he's in the mood, which he wasn't against Southampton last night. Rumours have him going to Birmingham in January though, and can you really compete with that? ;-)

    posted by squealy at 08:31 AM on December 03, 2002

    Di Canio at Birmingham!? Is he that old?!

    posted by StarFucker at 09:02 AM on December 03, 2002

    Yes. 34. At the rate both teams are going, di Canio will surely prefer to finish his playing days in the Premiership with the Blues (or any team), rather than in the First Div with the Hammers. Also, if West Ham is relegated, I expect they'll lose most of their good players through financial necessity and player dissatisfaction.

    posted by worldcup2002 at 10:47 AM on December 03, 2002

    West Ham isn't going to be relegated, Birmingham is... There is still a long way to go, West Ham will finish mid table.

    posted by StarFucker at 11:58 AM on December 03, 2002

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