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Thoughts are with the families of the 39 victims of the Heysel stadium disaster. 32 Italians, 4 Belgians, 2 French and 1 Northern Irish. They went to a football match and faced a horror unimaginable to us now. I know the pain will never truly go away for those families, but the victims lasting legacy is that we all now have a safe environment for all of us to attend matches, to take our families and to enjoy the sport we all love so much. RIP to the 39. Rocco Acerra Bruno Balli Alfons Bos Giancarlo Bruschera Andrea Casula Giovanni Casula Nino Cerullo Willy Chielens Giuseppina Conti Dirk Daenecky Dionisio Fabbro Jacques François Eugenio Gagliano Francesco Galli Giancarlo Gonnelli Alberto Guarini Giovacchino Landini Roberto Lorentini Barbara Lusci Franco Martelli Loris Messore Gianni Mastrolaco Sergio Bastino Mazzino Luciano Rocco Papaluca Luigi Pidone Bento Pistolato Patrick Radcliffe Domenico Ragazzi Antonio Ragnanese Claude Robert Mario Ronchi Domenico Russo Tarcisio Salvi Gianfranco Sarto Giuseppe Spalaore Mario Spanu Tarcisio Venturin Jean Michel Walla Claudio Zavaroni
We're technically the away side for this, but fuck that, it's a neutral ground so our name is going up first. We'll win this, won't we? Shit match day thread, but I doubt anyone will post much in it anyway, so there we go.
Expecting a fair bit of tldr; responses... Chelsea: The Title We didn’t quite get the barnstorming finish people were after. In the end Chelsea were clear champions and deserve all the plaudits coming to them (which irks). 93 points is remarkable. It’s the second highest tally ever. However, there is still some luck to be accounted for. In terms of losses to their key players, no team suffered less than Chelsea. Costa, Hazard, Kante et al missed few games. Their defence remained untampered with for most of the season. I read somewhere that Chelsea only made 38 changes for PL games all season. This is compared to 100+ for all of their rivals. Injuries and fitness are perhaps the only thing that can truly be attributed to luck, and in this area, Chelsea were very lucky. But… 93 points is a mammoth tally and you still have to win the matches and keep your players in form. They didn’t buckle at any time after their switch to 3 at the back and are worthy champions. Spurs: Now You're Gonna Believe Us Fair play to them. I’ve said many times before this season that I didn’t buy into the hype around Spurs. Pochettino, for all the positive press had previously not managed more than a 70 point season, so he wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire. Their title challenge last year was in one of the lowest points scoring seasons in PL history. Can’t fail but buy in now. 86 points; the most goals scored; the lowest conceded; They play some of the most attractive football in the league while being defensively sound. Spurs look every inch, Champions in waiting. The only concerns are how they cope with the move to a soulless, half-full Wembley and whether they can keep their players. Surely other clubs will be sniffing around Kane and Alli? Would Barcelona be interested in Pochettino? But, I take it back. Spurs have proven themselves the real deal this season. Fair play. Big 6 is the New Big 4 Ten years ago it was pretty...
He's nearly finished his first full season as manager, and he could add his second successive CL to his first La Liga title. It's been a pretty incredible 1.5 years for Zidane (the manager). From coaching the youth team, to being brought in post Rafa Benitez, to now being the first manager to retain the CL. It could be an awesome achievement. Considering he has to face Messi Suarez Neymar in the La Liga, and he's been without Bale for pretty much 60-70% of the season, and Benzema who has been hit and miss, he's done a great job. There are shades of Fergie and Fergie's management style in Zidane. Firstly, the squad management, he's rotated appropriately, and the whole squad has chipped in to this La Liga victory. Youth players like Asensio (who has been fantastic this season), Kovacic (Kroos missed 2-3 months at the start, and Kovacic was an able deuputy), Nacho, Varane, Danilo (not great), Morata, and Lucas Vazquez, and James Rodriguez have all made a great contribution. However, their midfield is world class with Modric and Kroos supported by Casemiro. Marcelo is comfortably the best LB in the world, and Carvajal is not far behind as the best RB. Ramos has scored more goals than some strikers this season. Since Bale has been injured, Isco has come in and shown how WC he is, and well, what else is there to say about Ronaldo? The guy is ridiculous. He's been rested and come in / out of the team during the first 6-8 months of the season, but he's been on another level in the last 2 months. Expertly managed by Zizou. Secondly (shades of Fergie) there is no overt / overall style to the team, they are capable of playing possession football, and dominating games, but they are also capable of playing quick counters. Their scoring output hasn't been as high as recent seasons, but they are very consistent and very hard to beat. They have some great young 'chalk on yer boots' wingers to supply Benzema, Morata and Ronnie, and the squad is a mixture of youth and...