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Old 05-23-2016, 10:55 AM   #41
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I don't really like either option at this stage but not much we can do about it. They're probably both on the same level right about now, call it a coin flip.
Very true Dan.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:57 AM   #42
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I forgot to post this:



Congrats to Benfica for their double!
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:51 AM   #43
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5th is not bad, IMO.
It's bad when you were 2-1 up with 18 minutes to play and lose 3-2.

It's even worse when you realize that if it would have finished 2-2 we still would have gotten 4th given that Citeh went on to draw with Swansea.

But then again 4th and an FA Cup win could have meant another season with LVG and I just couldn't take that.

Last edited by JustinC; 05-23-2016 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:56 AM   #44
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5th is not bad, IMO.
5th is pretty bad when you spend all that money on: Darmian, Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin, Depay, and Martial yet finish a spot lower than last year with no Champions League.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:36 PM   #45
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5th is not bad, IMO.
For Tottenham maybe, but not for Manchester United. They are one of the biggest, if not the biggest club in the world. They should be competing for a domestic title every season, not trying to squeeze out a 4th place finish, that's what Arsenal considers success.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:42 PM   #46
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It's bad when you were 2-1 up with 18 minutes to play and lose 3-2.

It's even worse when you realize that if it would have finished 2-2 we still would have gotten 4th given that Citeh went on to draw with Swansea.

But then again 4th and an FA Cup win could have meant another season with LVG and I just couldn't take that.
It's not just the West Ham game but the whole season in general. They lost or drew so many games to teams they should be absolutely dominating. The brand of football under LVG was just stagnant and boring. Possession is only important if you actually do something productive with it, everything was square or backwards.

I think he would've been gone even if they did snag the 4th spot. They need to be able to recruit players and I can't see anyone wanting to come in and play for him after this season.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:55 PM   #47
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For Tottenham maybe, but not for Manchester United. They are one of the biggest, if not the biggest club in the world. They should be competing for a domestic title every season, not trying to squeeze out a 4th place finish, that's what Arsenal considers success.
I think Arsenal the club themselves consider 3rd success. 5th, definitely not - they have made the knockout round of the Champions League for what 16 or 17 straight years now? and 4th has to qualify with matches in early August that they do constantly talk about how important it is to avoid, though I think there's a massive success gap between 4th and 5th and would be happy to 4th over 5th.
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Old 05-23-2016, 01:19 PM   #48
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It's not just the West Ham game but the whole season in general. They lost or drew so many games to teams they should be absolutely dominating. The brand of football under LVG was just stagnant and boring. Possession is only important if you actually do something productive with it, everything was square or backwards.

I think he would've been gone even if they did snag the 4th spot. They need to be able to recruit players and I can't see anyone wanting to come in and play for him after this season.
Ya he should have been gone after the November/December run of fixtures.
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:36 PM   #49
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I think Arsenal the club themselves consider 3rd success. 5th, definitely not - they have made the knockout round of the Champions League for what 16 or 17 straight years now? and 4th has to qualify with matches in early August that they do constantly talk about how important it is to avoid, though I think there's a massive success gap between 4th and 5th and would be happy to 4th over 5th.
Oh I know, I was more taking a cheap shot at Arsenal because of Arsene Wenger's quote from a few years back referring to finishing in the top four as a "trophy."
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Old 05-23-2016, 03:24 PM   #51
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Oh I know, I was more taking a cheap shot at Arsenal because of Arsene Wenger's quote from a few years back referring to finishing in the top four as a "trophy."
Upon re-read, it's more of a rant on our year, but whatever...

Yeah, no problem, part of being a fan is laughing and poking at your rivals. Even though Arsenal are a big club with a lot of winning history and they make a shitload of money, they played for 7 years paying off the new stadium. When we officially announce the Xhaka signing tomorrow or whenever, he is set to be the third highest transfer fee the club have ever paid after Ozil and Alexis, both in the past 3 or 4 years. Before that, the most they spent on a transfer was 15M on Jose Antonio Reyes in '03/'04. While United brought in 3 players just this past year higher than that, City got oil money, Chelsea spend freely.

So I think a few years ago, when the quote is from I guess, I don't know the quote myself, you're absolutely right. They built a stadium out of their own pockets, impacting their ability to sign players, forcing the sale of their top players and not only never dropped below 4th, but qualified for knockout stage each year. They've done a lot with what they had and 4th was good enough because that Champions League cash was vital to them recovering from the move to the Emirates.

However, they are now out from under that weight, have replenished their cash reserves, and should be competing for a title. The mistake this year was thinking that the outfield was fine and Cech was the missing piece. That's all well and good, but Welbeck never got healthy, we lost significant time from anchors Cazorla, Alexis and Coquelin, let's not even start on assuming health of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wilshere and Giroud & Walcott's streakiness.

What I don't think is exactly fair is fans calling this year a failure. They say because even though they were second, it was Leicester and a year that United, City, Chelsea and Liverpool are all down, Arsenal should win. We lost the same dumb points that United did, but did very well against the top 4. Swansea at home, West Brom (ugh), draws vs. Norwich, 0 points vs. Chelsea etc. But Leicester didn't win the title because other teams were down. After we got within two points of them on Valentine's Day, they didn't lose again. They earned the win with only three losses on the year. Replace the name Leicester with Manchester on the table, and it's another step towards winning and a positive year.

At least it sounds like this was the last straw with them as well, with a center back and striker also on the shopping list.

(edit - oh yeah, I forgot, I'll get pics from my England trip up tonight)
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:21 PM   #52
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:23 PM   #53
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For Tottenham maybe, but not for Manchester United. They are one of the biggest, if not the biggest club in the world. They should be competing for a domestic title every season, not trying to squeeze out a 4th place finish, that's what Arsenal considers success.
Great point
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:25 PM   #54
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Mo needs to coach the Portuguese Nat'l Team when hes done with Man Utd.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:06 PM   #55
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Mo needs to coach the Portuguese Nat'l Team when hes done with Man Utd.
I know a few years back he said he was too young for that job just yet. I think when he does decide to take that role, it will likely be his last professional coaching job.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:13 PM   #56
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Upon re-read, it's more of a rant on our year, but whatever...

Yeah, no problem, part of being a fan is laughing and poking at your rivals. Even though Arsenal are a big club with a lot of winning history and they make a shitload of money, they played for 7 years paying off the new stadium. When we officially announce the Xhaka signing tomorrow or whenever, he is set to be the third highest transfer fee the club have ever paid after Ozil and Alexis, both in the past 3 or 4 years. Before that, the most they spent on a transfer was 15M on Jose Antonio Reyes in '03/'04. While United brought in 3 players just this past year higher than that, City got oil money, Chelsea spend freely.

So I think a few years ago, when the quote is from I guess, I don't know the quote myself, you're absolutely right. They built a stadium out of their own pockets, impacting their ability to sign players, forcing the sale of their top players and not only never dropped below 4th, but qualified for knockout stage each year. They've done a lot with what they had and 4th was good enough because that Champions League cash was vital to them recovering from the move to the Emirates.

However, they are now out from under that weight, have replenished their cash reserves, and should be competing for a title. The mistake this year was thinking that the outfield was fine and Cech was the missing piece. That's all well and good, but Welbeck never got healthy, we lost significant time from anchors Cazorla, Alexis and Coquelin, let's not even start on assuming health of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wilshere and Giroud & Walcott's streakiness.

What I don't think is exactly fair is fans calling this year a failure. They say because even though they were second, it was Leicester and a year that United, City, Chelsea and Liverpool are all down, Arsenal should win. We lost the same dumb points that United did, but did very well against the top 4. Swansea at home, West Brom (ugh), draws vs. Norwich, 0 points vs. Chelsea etc. But Leicester didn't win the title because other teams were down. After we got within two points of them on Valentine's Day, they didn't lose again. They earned the win with only three losses on the year. Replace the name Leicester with Manchester on the table, and it's another step towards winning and a positive year.

At least it sounds like this was the last straw with them as well, with a center back and striker also on the shopping list.

(edit - oh yeah, I forgot, I'll get pics from my England trip up tonight)
Do you really think not having money to buy players was about the stadium being paid off? I think they've always had the money to do whatever they wanted in the transfer market but I always got the sense that is was against Wenger's philosophy to splash obscene amounts of money on player(s). He'd rather find lower cost players that fit his system. Almost to the point that he's too stubborn to spend money on players because he thinks his system and philosophies will eventually prove him right.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:33 PM   #57
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Do you really think not having money to buy players was about the stadium being paid off? I think they've always had the money to do whatever they wanted in the transfer market but I always got the sense that is was against Wenger's philosophy to splash obscene amounts of money on player(s). He'd rather find lower cost players that fit his system. Almost to the point that he's too stubborn to spend money on players because he thinks his system and philosophies will eventually prove him right.
Good question He is frugal, there's no question. Whether that comes from the board, or whether he keeps the board happy by being frugal, I don't know. Honestly, I'm not in a position to say that everything (or even anything) that I've read and heard about it is bullshit. He absolutely will not overpay what he thinks is value for a player. But 41m for Ozil, 35m for Sanchez and ~30 for Xhaka in 5 years after almost nothing for the 8 years before it helps the point that they can now spend. He said he refused to destroy the team financially to move to the new stadium. Finding a guy like Elneny from Basel that immediately took over a position that had been unstable since Cazorla got hurt is natural viagra to him. But if he thinks he can take last year's team and replace a questionable keeper with Cech and win the league without making any other moves, he will.

I feel like I know as much about the current Premier League as anyone could having only watched it for two seasons. I'd defer everything else to the sites and blogs I read, and I have never seen anyone challenge the stadium backstory. They even talked about on the Emirates Stadium tour how important it was to keep finances in order and how expensive it was for things not related to the structure, like paying to move all the companies off the premises as part of the land purchase deal they arranged. He is such a major part of the club, that he was the one making the deals on the stadium. Everything including picking the seat types that the supporters sit in.
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Old 05-23-2016, 09:49 PM   #58
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Ok, here are 20 that I picked from the trip.

Saturday afternoon - Crystal Palace v. West Brom
Spoiler:
- Outside Selhurst Park

- Pre-game

- Kayla

- our seats - could see everything but a clock, had to keep time on my phone

- The ultras



- Bolasie goal

- Yohan Cabaye penalty

- Cabaye goal - I like the celebration both as silhouettes and the background

- Selhurst concourse


Saturday night - Chelsea v. Southampton - I have fewer good pics as I switched to my phone
Spoiler:
- pre-game

- not the best seats, could see the whole pitch though. Also no clock.



- Steven Davis celebration


Sunday afternoon - Arsenal v. Manchester United - Our seats were so awesome.
Spoiler:




- The Clock End













- steps to my basement with a match scarf from each. I couldn't get one at Palace. They aren't official, and they are very protective of their income and their license. You can't buy any Palace gear (legally) anywhere except the team store. So I had to get a regular one the same style. Also framed the Guardian from the next day as it had a huge center foldout of the match.
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:22 AM   #59
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Ok, here are 20 that I picked from the trip.

Saturday afternoon - Crystal Palace v. West Brom
Spoiler:
- Outside Selhurst Park

- Pre-game

- Kayla

- our seats - could see everything but a clock, had to keep time on my phone

- The ultras



- Bolasie goal

- Yohan Cabaye penalty

- Cabaye goal - I like the celebration both as silhouettes and the background

- Selhurst concourse


Saturday night - Chelsea v. Southampton - I have fewer good pics as I switched to my phone
Spoiler:
- pre-game

- not the best seats, could see the whole pitch though. Also no clock.



- Steven Davis celebration


Sunday afternoon - Arsenal v. Manchester United - Our seats were so awesome.
Spoiler:




- The Clock End













- steps to my basement with a match scarf from each. I couldn't get one at Palace. They aren't official, and they are very protective of their income and their license. You can't buy any Palace gear (legally) anywhere except the team store. So I had to get a regular one the same style. Also framed the Guardian from the next day as it had a huge center foldout of the match.
Great pics! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:46 AM   #60
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Great pics! Thanks for sharing.
You're welcome. Waiting for the schedule to come out to plan this year's trip. It will be earlier than last year. I'd love to get to West Ham's new stadium, and White Hart Lane before they tear it down along with the customary trip to the Emirates. Spurs and Arsenal aren't allowed to play at home on the same day, hopefully they'll be Saturday & Sunday as opposed to home/away.
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