Football (the one with feet) - Close season and August Thread - it's that time again

Well here we go again. It’s time for August’s thread.

The season has pretty much started for all but the EPL and that is 119 hours away (spurs v Bindippers – 12.45 Saturday), so how do people think the close season went.? How do you see your club’s fortunes?

Any thoughts on Svengate? (I am taken with the fact that when he gets a slapper back to his, he clears the table and loads the dishwasher before getting into her, it must be a Swedish thing) How are the Wold cup qualifiers going to go for England (or your team of choice)?

Any predictions?

Who’s your player to watch?

How will your club do?

Any other thoughts?

I went to the last 2 friendlies for Bolton Wanderers, and i think we have made some promising new signings. I was particularly impressed by our new centre/left back Julio Cesar. That said I think we will struggle to equal last seasons finish. I’m predicting around 12th or 13th for this season.

My thoughts:

It’s been the most upheval at Spurs that I can ever remember - even more than the gooner occupation period, amd I am very happy so far. We seem to have a good magerial team in place who are all pulling in the same direction (no more back-stabbing since we got rid of the poisonous Pleat).

We’ve signed well if not spectacularly, and each signing certainly seems to be an improvement on what we’re already got, so I am hoping for improvements all round - it really can’t get any worse than last season. Maybe a UEFA place at best?

One to watch - Defoe. Should have gone to Euro 2004 instead of either Heskey or Vassell and the most exiting striker at Spurs since Lineker or Klinsmann (it’s a bit early to be making comparisons with Greaves though!)

Team to watch - Middlesbrough could suprise a few people. They’ll still be boring smog-monsters though.

Predictions: Chelsea to buy the title. I really dislike them, to such an extent that I would rather the filth won the title - they are at least a real, if nomadic, football club, not some crook’s plaything. Although I could do without them winning it at White Hart Lane this year.

England will piss their qualifying group - Northern Ireland and Pyjamastan. It’s once we get to tournements we get found out. So Sven’s safe till 2006.

To go down? WBA and Palace with one from Everton or Man City.

First division - I have bet each way on Sunderland, but I think the Hammers should do it (spur’s feeder club and retirement home).

European Cup _ Inter Milan.

Any other ideas?

News: Steve Carr to Newcastle - £1.7m. Feck off you ingrate.

American football doesn’t have feet?

I have got to start watching sports again…

Let’s kick this one over to Café Society.

Heh. Get it? “Kick”. It’s like, a play on words, or something.

I was hired for my good sense of humour you know.

AJAX!!! :slight_smile:

I posted this a few weeks ago, but no one paid any attention. I guess that should be a hint, but I’ll give it another try. I started a fanatsy football league based on the English Premier League. It’s free.

League name: SDMB Fantasy Footie
Password: dope123

Some predictions on league champions:

EPL: 1. Chelsea - looked very sharp in pre-season freindlies and I think they have a better team this year than last; 2. Arsenal - I think they can survive fairly well the loss of Viera, esp. if they get Maniche to fil the hole; 3) Liverpool - I actually think the addition of Cisse will be big, and I expect Kewell to be back in form; 4) Man U - Their defense, even when they get Ferdinand back is too suspect.

Scottish Premier: Rangers
La Liga: Barcalona
French: Marseilles
Italian: Milan
Germany: Bayer Leverkusen
Dutch: Ajax

Heh, even Our Dons managed to take a point from them in the first match of the season. It looks like a rebuilding year for them so I’d have to go with Celtic, again.

Honestly, even taking into account my obvious bias on the matter, I can’t see any reason to think Rangers will win the league this season.

Granted, I just think Celtic are going to miss Larssen tremendously. Of course, they were so much better than everyone last year (including Rangers) maybe it won’t matter. And I am probably biased by watching them play pre-season here in the states and being very unimpressed. Still, I am sticking with it as more of a gut than anything rational.

Not really a fair way to judge them, seeing as MON wasn’t with them for most of that tour.

Really, Rangers are so bad, I can’t see them challenging at all.

Yank chiming in here - I’ve watched the Tournament of Champions Series in the US the past 2 years, have steadily increased my following of the major leagues in Europe over the past several years - especially the EPL (thank you, FOX Sports). Anyway, I’ll just make the following comments:

EPL - I think there are about 4 teams that will view for the Premiership title - Chelsea, Arnsenal, Man Utd., and Liverpool). Chelsea is loaded and I predict they are the odds on favorite to win the title. Dogba and Kezman appear to be exicitng additions up front (especially Drogba; however, I think Kezman, at the end of the year, could very well have the better season). I also think Robben will have a good season as well (I was impressed with his play in the Champions Tournament). I wasn’t overly impressed with the two new Portuguese defenders - Ferriera and Carvalho (?) - but Maurinho had them at Porto and should be able to use them effectively, nonetheless.

Arsenal is still Arsenal, although if Viera leaves that will have some impact on their ability to feed Henry and Bergkamp consistently. But I don’t think it will adversely affect Arsenal too much.

Liverpool appears to be much improved - I agree with an earlier poster that Cisse will make the team much more exciting. I also liked what I saw in Amana-Pongole, although he appears to still be a bit unpolished. But the potential is definitely there.

Man Utd. appears to been on the downturn. Ruud will still be Ruud, but where’s the other firepower in the lineup? Sure, they have Smith (from Leeds), but I haven’t been overly impressed so far. Giggs is still effective on the left, but after that? Forlan’s too inconsistent; Ronaldo, although at times spectacular, is still a bit raw. Scholes and Keane are getting older, and the defense just doesn’t seem that effective (to be sure, I really think O’Shea is good and I absolutely love Ferdinand, but who else do they have that stands out?). Howard is a good goal keeper, but I fear he’s going to have a more difficult season this year than last.

As for up and coming teams in the EPL - I think Newcastle will be better this year, as will Middlesbrough. I aslo think Fulham and Southampton are sleepers as well (just a hunch - I was impressed with Beattie and Niemi at Southampton the few times I saw them play).

With respects to Champion’s League play - I give Porto little chance to repeat and will not be surprised if an English team makes it to the finals (especially Chelsea).

I think that Alan Shearer would have had a devastating impact in the SPL - it’s a shame for all concerned that he wants Sir Bobby’s job so badly.

As regards the above post re the EPL contenders I see it like this:

Chelsea; My favourites for the title. They’ve bought better this season than last and have a good strong, English (and yes it does matter) spine to the team. Possible weaknesses are the goalie (but they can always buy another one) and just playing together as a team, with so many new faces. I am well impressed with Mourinho and hope he carries on winding up Fergie so well. IMHO his best decision so far is to reduce the size of the first team squad to around 23 players. I also like his “Charlie Big Potatoes” attitude. Let’s see if the tabloids leave his allegedly colourful private life alone.

Having said all that it will be a black day for English football if they do win, as it will end the league to any meaningful degree. Also has anyone given any thought as to what would happen if Abramovich were to be hit by a bus? CFC would fold within hours (no bad thing) but the bubble of over inflated transfer prices would burst again. (What he really wants is an F1 team apparently, but I suppose he can afford both)

The Filth: Vieira out Carrick in. Says it all really. Can’t compete financially with Man Utd or CFC. Wenger is a talented manager (one of the best ever) but there is a limit to how much even he can do. Furthermore his initial advantage of knowing where some of the best French talent is has gone as other teams have increased their scouting networks. They might have one last really good season in them and then Wenger (or more likely his successor) has to start rebuilding without really big money to do it (IMHO they should bite Real’s arm off for €30m for Mr Peanut Head. He’s just past his best and will never be worth that much again (and they could do with the dosh)

Man Utd: Really not sure. Good squad but Keane is pretty much shot and d they haven’t really got a replacement lined up. Ronaldo looks like the real deal, and the strikers look good. Can’t see them winning much until they get a new Keane. Easier said than done though.

Liverpool: Fourth again, but closer. It all depends on Michael Owen – tonight’s team sheet will be interesting (if he plays is he cup tied for the Euro-pot?). A transitional season.