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"Analyzing the network of passes between soccer players reveals that one of the world’s most successful teams plays an entirely different type of football to every other soccer team on the planet." Some of you may find it interesting. It doesn't take a study to see that Barca has a style of its own but it's interesting nonetheless.

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/530791/how-network-theory-is-revealing-previously-unknown-patterns-in-sports/
+1
FIFA is demanding that officials return watches that were given in preparation for the 2014 World Cup.

http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/9476429/fifa-orders-officials-to-return-watches-handed-out-at-the-world-cup

"The CBF, which co-operated with the investigation, produced records indicating that it obtained the watches from Parmigiani, a CBF sponsor, at a price of $8,750 each.
An independent appraisal of the watches determined they had a market value of just over $25,000 each, later confirmed by a second appraisal in Zurich."

Hmmm.... wonder what happens to those watches after they're returned to FIFA.
They use them to tell the time.
Magath's job is already on the line..Fulham's form is just abysmal..Leader's Nottingham forest really ripped them apart
Never rated him. Especially when he started questioning Holtby's attitude (no-one works harder)..
fulham 'fully' heading to doom
well, he's sacked anyways.
Is it just me does Arsenal play every game the same way? They just went to Dortmund and tried to outplay them. It works sometimes but most times nowadays it results in Arsenals' defense looking clueless. Arsene needs to adapt and change his tactics depending on games. Why cant they play on the counter with players like Ox, Welbz and Sanchez, especially away from home? I dont think Arsenal will win a major trophy playing such football. It was the same against City llast weekend. As the pundits pointed out on MNF they kept playing the same way after they went 2-1 up.
+8
You are supposed to outplay your opponent to win. I applaud Wenger for trying to play quality football and trying out do his opponent. In most cases the team that attacks and creates the most chances is the one that wins if they have the quality. Today from the game highlight I saw that Arsenal dont have a quality striker because Welbeck had 2 good chances to score, but he failed to capitalize. If Arsenal would have gotten 1 goal maybe they would have dropped of a bit and they wouldn't have been so exposed in the back.
+5
Not really, outplaying the opposition dose not guarantee you a win. Today arsenal had like 3 chances while Dortmund had at least 10 or more. I dont think having a better striker would have changed anything today.

There is nothing wrong with playing conservatively away from home in Europe. Arsenal is so predictable. Every manager knows how they are going to approach a game. Lets be real here. Arsenal is no Madrid, Bayer or Barca. They are not going to outplay every team they face. So when facing tough teams why cant they just change it up a bit. Maybe worry more about the result rather than the performance for tough away games?
+8
I did not say guarantee.
+1
Even the Man U fans can see what Gooners have been saying for ages- it's no wonder Fergie owned Wenger for ages. Predictability all in the name of style.

Not sure if it's his French background, but we all know that he values his style above all things. Somehow, after all these years, he still hasn't learned that there are times when we should value substance over style.
+8
Is it just me or KingLucas always likes to contradict others just for the sake of doing it?? Almost every Arsenal fan who follows evey fu*kin game will agree with with points made by Sam and Yaldho.
"I applaud Wenger for trying to play quality football and trying out do his opponent"?? LOL!! Dude did you even see the game today...they were struggling to hold the ball and string 4 pass together...whats that quality football your talking about?? getting hammered by another big team left and right season after season is quality??

Nobody is asking them to park the bus...its just that you have to respect the opposition at times...not that anyone is asking to sacrifice the quality

+28
Ummm, was Arsenal trying to outplay BVB? Because I did not see it. I saw 9 players behind the ball, not pressing and giving Dortmund total control. When they went behind, they became more adventurous/desperate.

I think the only problems were that Arsenal could not deal with Dortmund pressing, and that Flamini was suspended, so Arteta had to play the defensive role which he isn't very good at.

What you're saying may be true about Arsenal in general, but it certainly wasn't true today.
+1
I didn't watch the game, but I'll just comment in general.

Wenger can be admired for his idealism, which is often implemented (we've seen some great team goals by Arsenal through the years). And that's what makes him a great manager.

But I just sometimes feel like Arsenal would win a lot more if Wenger was a bit more pragmatic.
+2
I rarely saw arsenal with all their players behind the ball. Even when they did they didnt really pressure dortmund. It was way to easy for Dortmund to get behind thier defense. Aubameyang and Immoble had acres of space behind Arsenals midfield. I though Arsenal would have had a better chance had they played with players behind the ball and used Sanchez welbeck or Ox to get in behind their defense.


------Welbeck
OX-------------Sancez
-------Rosicky
---Flamini--Wilshere

This would have been better setup I feel. Rosicky with his drive and Energy would have been a better option than Ozil on the night.
+1
And to think Dortmund were missing the likes of Reus, Sahin, Gundogan, Hummels, Piszczek, Kagawa and Kuba

One thing i'm not understanding is why Wenger is benching Cathorla and Ox, by far their most influential players. The problem tonight was that you have a 19 year old full back that was pushing up the pitch too much (god knows why) leaving Mertesacker and Kocsh exposed. Add to this the lack of pace in Arteta (and Mert) who had a shocker tonight thus Immobile could virtually run the whole length of the pitch with ample space.

This was reminisent of the fixture last year where Arsenal were very lucky not to be a couple down before half, they grinded it out with some patience and luck, then actually had a decent second half, whereas tonight they conceded at the worst possible times you can concede, not to mention that Ozil wasn't completely starved of confidence back then.

In other news, how boss was Klopp's outfit?
+3
Klopp is tactically miles ahead of wenger. I don't think arsenal tried to dominate bvb at all. Irrespective of style, arsenal would have lost because they have too many weaknesses. And the strengths that they do have,they are not using those properly. Playing an out of form ozil on the wings, benching cazorla and OX, etc.
+3
All this talk but the simple answer is, they needed Mourinho not Wenger for that match.
+5
@Bazinga I mostly agree with Arsenal and City fans idk why. Maybe it is because I like attacking and open football too much.

+1
Agree with Tanmay. I didn't see a team who showed enough effort to outplay anyone. I admire AW's values to play beautiful footbal but I think some people overstate his single minded approach. I felt like last year (for the most part of the season) the team knew when to go forward and when to take pressure. The defence was pretty solid and the whole team was patient and took the pressure when needed. This year we're yet to see this sort of synergy from the team. It's a new formation. I'm sure AW's cooking something up but it's not working yet. Believe it or not I think the team really misses Giroud and his ability to hold the ball up front. He isn't a proper striker but he allowed the midfield to move in a different way.
+1
There is nothing wrong with the approach. Utd fans, in particular, should appreciate the differences in philosophies. Rio Ferdinand revealed that, under Moyes, their preparation focussed on "how not to lose" rather than how to win.

An Everton player (can't remember which one) said the same thing after Martinez took over. One philosophy is all trying not to lose, the other is about trying to win.

There is nothing wrong with having principles and saying "this is how we want to play". The issue last night (and it has been an issue before) is the 'execution' of the game plan.

The players couldn't string 5 passes together. Our midfield lost us that game because we repeatedly conceded possession cheaply. If you can't retain possession, you've got no hope of forcing your gameplan onto the opposition.
...and so you try to adapt right? if something isnt working, you try plan b. is that what wenger did? if not then yeah criticism is still warranted. manager still must be able to assess and influence games during the match imo.
+1
Wenger should have enforced the defense after the catastrophic away losses to City, Chelsea, Liverpool etc. last season. Another established CB or DM was easily due.

Think of it this way, what makes Arsenal's defence so different from City? City have Fernandinho to cover and track back for the defenders. Chelsea have Matic to help cover for Terry (who like Mert has no pace) and yet Chelsea last season had one of the best defensive records. Who do Arsenal have? Slow as a snail Arteta and a past his best Flamini? Need better than that if you want to win a title.

Also, do Mert and Kosch actually communicate to each other? i swear they seem like they never talk to one another, look at Kompany, look at Terry, thats another big difference, you need that vocal commanding enforcer to gather the troops.

Simply put, they need that destroyer in midfield for those tough away games and a decent center half. At home they are solid, but away not so much. Every single fan here is seeing the clear problem.
+5
@Deff.
Moyes is who you bring up when you think of united? What about Sir Alex's philosophy that owned arsenal for the last 8 years? there was a point when the emirates was our home away from home. you would get battered season after season after season. From ronaldo, rooney and PJS to Nani, Cleverley, Anderson and Welbeck. they would all have their way with your team.
+3
@Somere,

mate you've completely missed the point I was trying to make.

I was talking about the philosophies. People are sitting here behind the safety of their screens telling the world what Wenger should be doing, that he needs to be more defensive and look at how to stop the opposition.

That is exactly what Moyes did during his reign at Utd. He focussed on preventing a loss, rather than trying to play to win. He was blasted for it, as the most negative, "Un-United" brand of football that you supporters have ever had to suffer.

On paper, that Arsenal team was more than a match for Dortmund but the reality of the situation was that the players failed to turn up. Piss-poor passing and a lack of energy and hunger was visible for all to see. The ideology was right, as evident by the way we played against City (same formation, almost the same players), but the execution was sorely lacking last night.

+8
well that explains it better.

And i dont think they mean focus on stopping Dortmund but rather have a back up plan. for example with the pace you have on the wings, go 4-4-2 and play wider rather than focus on possession in the middle. Imaging welbeck and Sonogo/Campbell in upfront with Sanchez and Ox on the wings getting crosses in, with wilshere and ramsey behind them in midfield (with one sitting deep and one playing b2b), 2 players who can pick out the wingers or play a thru ball to the forwards. Get narrow when defending and exploit the wings when going forward.
Somere brings up a point though. SAF had a philosophy, but he was willing to modify it when we needed to to beat the likes of Arsenal. Honestly I don't know as much about the Gunners, so what is Arsenal's back up plan when the players aren't performing in the system?
It's like you guys are just reading the old textbooks. Wenger HAS adapted this year, the play is more defensive. That's what the 4-1-4-1 is all about! Against BVB it didn't work because everyone played badly, that's all there is to it.

Even if you do pin that on Wenger, you're saying his Plan B is not working. But there is a plan B and Wenger IS being flexible.
+2
psh Tanmay. your explanation is too close to reality, too boring. You won't sell papers with this sort of approach ;) no likes for you :D
+2
So you are telling me that this new formation he uses is really different from everything else we have seen from Arsenal? Arsenal are a team that plays a certain way, i get that. Play 4-5-1, or 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 the football they play mostly stay the same. They changed it up a bit last year. They were playing with more dynamism compared to previous years. But the philosophy stays the same. But when playing against Dortmund away why cant they play on the counter and play a compact 442 like somere said. When is the last time arsenal played with 2 strikers?

And no wenger hasnt adapted his football lately. He completely changed how arsenal played after the invincible era. Since then its been more or less the same. Since then Chelsea won the tittle with a powerful team under Mourinho, Utd won the tittle playing fast paced football and now City have won the tittle with pace and power. The trend is there for everyone to see but arsenal teams during these times have been made of small players like Nasri, Fabrigas, Ozil, Hleb, Rosicky, Eduardo, Ramsey, Denilson playing nice passing football that looks good on the eyes. All I am saying is with players like Sanchez and Ox why not try something else?

I just dont think Wenger is a proactive manager. Moyes cares too much about what other teams do but Wenger is the exact opposite. He just dosent care about what other teams are going to do.
+12
@Yaldho, I think your last paragraph hit the nail on the head. Wenger doesn't care what other teams are going to do, he only cares about what we are going to do.

Personaly I don't dislike that approach. Like I said earlier, there is nothing wrong with saying this is our game, this is what we want to do.

I only have a problem when the players look disinterested and fail to make simple passes. I watched that Dortmund game and thought to myself that I produce better football in non-competitive 7-a-side games every week.

I, along with countless other fans of various fanbases, have often criticised Mourinho for playing such defensive football with Chelsea, given the hoardes of talent he had at his disposal. If we adopted that same overly-pragmatic approach, it would be a betrayal of our principles.
@Deffyduck
I have never criticised Mourinho for his defensive attitude towards certain games. But make no mistake, it is by far the most effective tactic in football. Barca's tika taka is a defensive formation, the man who championed the modern day tika taka himself said that. Counter attacking football is another form of defensive football.

Let's just say, by that logic alone, we aren't doing too much different. Arsenal ARE playing defensive football by starving the opponent of possession. It's just another form of defensive football. But our execution against Dortmund sucked, that's about it. Nothing wrong with the strategy, it's just an age old problem, the lack of a PLAN B.

P.S. I cannot recall a great team which has managed to win titles without a steady defence. If my memories serve me right, every team that has won a title has had a pretty stable defence. The Milans, Utds, Chelseas, Juves, Liverpools, Madrids and Barcas were all founded on a strong defence after all. It's just that their attackers took all the credit.
+1
@Yaldho so basically you want Wenger to completely change the style of the team... to something that his team is not built for. Apart from Ozil and Walcott, there isn't a single player who would be better suited to a more direct system, Alexis included. And Walcott is equally good in either system.

As for why doesn't Wenger change to a 4-4-2 or something, it's not a just a matter of sticking an extra guy upfront. Transitioning from Wenger-ball to a Fergie-style 4-4-2 would require an entire pre-season of work and changing the midfield entirely (including buying very different type of players).

To see my point, consider Guardiola at Barcelona. He almost always went with a 4-3-3, and when he sensed an alternative was needed, he spent an entire preseason working on the 3-4-3 before unveiling it. It was a success but even that had its cost -- our 4-3-3 was never as sharp as before because of the adjustment needed to constantly switch between the 2 systems.

The bottomline is, possession football relies on sharpness, and experience tells us that sharpness and flexibility don't go together in possession football. You don't think possession football has a future, fair enough, but these are the reasons why Wenger doesn't change formation from game to game, not because of stubbornness or stupidity.
^You forgot a fundamental difference mate. Guardiola's Barca were experts at keeping the ball; but they also did it slowly. It's not feasible in England due to the speed and physical nature of the game where ruffians like Stoke players get away with everything. One more thing to note, Barca had the Messi element, we don't have that either. Ramsey is our get out of jail free card, but he is by no means a Messi. Possession football is fundamentally defensive football, never forget that. It relies on an extraordinary attacker. Beautiful to watch? Yes, but effectiveness is compromised when you lack a prolific player like Messi.
+1
If people are saying that AW's philosophy does not change then yea, sure. Just like many other successful managers he sticks to what he thinks is right and koodos to people like him. Now the implementation of the philosophy is quite a different matter and this is where Arsenal has a problem this year. We were outplayed in dortmund not because we picked the wrong approach but because players didn't show up. You cannot lose the ball nearly 200 times in vital parts and expect to win no matter what.

Everytime guardiola loses a big game you get them keyboard warriors claiming his approach is inferior to direct football blah blah, when he wins his philosophy is considered unbeatable. Same with many of the gooners who seem to have a fish memory.
Lol, No one said he has to change anything game to game. That would be stupid but it has to be asked why he dosent change anything when his teams ships in bucket loads of goals away from home against the stronger teams. That was my point, nothing to do with changing Arsenals philosophy.
Guys watch out for Hector Bellerin Arsenal RB who will be making his full Arsenal Debut tonight against Dortmund.Very excited.One of my favorite youth players. ;)
Have him in my FIFA career mode :P He's lightning quick lol
He got torched today
+18
What a unlucky boy! Had to make his debut against those mad pressing yellow bees! xD
+4
No he didn't, he had a decent game compared to the other defenders, he was unnecessarily going forward too much, but i would blame Wenger for that cause he would'v told him to do that.

he's 19 and making his debut against only Dortmund, cut him a bit of slack lol.
What a dream start for Villa. It can't last but at least we won't be in a relegation dog fight at Christmas.
+9
Monday Night Football

http://www.lastminutegoals.org/monday-night-football-premier-league-round-4-full-show/
Liverpool spent $719 million to get to the Champions League - they cannot afford to fail

http://www.theage.com.au/sport/soccer/liverpool-spent-719-million-to-get-to-the-champions-league--they-cannot-afford-to-fail-20140916-10hhfr.html

Hopefully the English teams do better this time round in Europe than the past few years. There are no excuses. As a bare minimum all teams should get out of the group stages, with hopefully 2 teams making it to the semis.
+3
I honestly hope you do well bro, would love to see you stuff Real and their 75 mil James. Hell I would love to see Manchester United give it to them with Di Maria scoring a hatrick, but they would have to be in the Champions League to do that :(
+1
Rajmahal supports Chelsea though :P
+11
keep in mind that's aussie dollars
+1
so big Sam can play football, very interesting to see west ham try and play an open game vs hull. i feel they would get hammered by the top half teams but they will probably pick up more points than usual vs the bottom half given they have some players with goals in them!
They will probably play route 1 stuff against the big boys.
+4
Sure, away from home but at home I feel their fans may want a bit more than parking the bus only to lose anyways lol.
If Chelsea continues in this current form it might be quite the one-"Little Horse Race" for the title, Chelsea are the only top side to have not dropped points let-alone done it multiple times like all the others, and with Costa and Fabregas on close to unprecedented form it's probably going to be impossible to shake them.

Still early days though, I guess that's the good thing about the situation.
+2
but they wont continue this form. its not that often that a team starts doing this well and maintains it throughout the season. Like you pointed out, its still early and alot can happen from now till the end. Will be interesting to see how this season plays out on all fronts.
2010/2011 chelsea started the season by scoring for fun. then there form really dipped around October and they never really got back into good form.

but i still think they are favorites this season and will win it.
+2
People need to realize that we are in September and only four games have been played. Chelsea have been very good over this period and are definitely favorites in my book but there is still a long way to go. This is the Premier League we are talking about here. Anything can happen. Anything.
+1
The thing that can cause them a problem is an injury to a key player like Hazard, Costa, or Fabregas.
+4
Its still way to early to in the season to predict things but every season their is a team that's doing astonishingly well in their opening games.
Lucas - Thats not a rocket science mate..same thing can actually cause problem to all other teams as well.

Injury to Yaya and look how city are not at their best...same goes with united with loads of Injuries..Arsenal have there own issues...you guys are struggling without sturridge and god knows what will happen if sterling joins the list.

All that matters is quality depth in the squad to keep-up the form all season...This season will not be as close as last season by any means and I think its going to be a 2 horse race after Dec.
i feel every season one top team explodes off the block but rarely does that team ever last 38 weeks and win the league. season isnt even close to being close to being close to being close to being worth evaluating who will finish top 4 talk less of who will come up champions.
+1
wishful thinking from all of the non-chelsea fans. If you keep only worrying about us, you'll let villa, swansea, and southampton retain spots 2-4... jk, best of luck, hopefully somebody can give Chelsea a challenge
+6
That is creepy as f**k.
+1
Haha where do you even find these photos Sam
@Tanmay, any time I come across any decent pics, I always try to post them. Don't have a specific site or place I go to- go all over


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Top Goalscorers

 
Diego Costa
7
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3
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3
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3
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3
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2
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2
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2

Seeing Red

J. Puncheon
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Premier League Table

Form
PTS
GD
GA
GF
L
D
W
Pl
Pos
12
9
6
15
0
0
4
4
1
10
3
1
4
0
1
3
4
2
9
3
5
8
1
0
3
4
3
7
5
3
8
1
1
2
4
4
7
3
4
7
1
1
2
4
5
7
2
5
7
1
1
2
4
6
6
1
6
7
0
3
1
4
7
6
1
5
6
2
0
2
4
8
5
3
3
6
1
2
1
4
9
5
0
5
5
1
2
1
4
10
5
-1
10
9
1
2
1
4
11
5
-1
5
4
1
2
1
4
12
4
-1
7
6
2
1
1
4
13
4
-1
3
2
2
1
1
4
14
3
-1
6
5
1
3
0
4
15
3
-8
9
1
3
0
1
4
16
2
-3
8
5
2
2
0
4
17
2
-3
4
1
2
2
0
4
18
2
-5
7
2
2
2
0
4
19
2
-6
9
3
2
2
0
4
20
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