Villa entertained Leicester in a midlands derby made all the more exciting by the fact that they were both managed by old club mates: Stevie G and our Brendan. This pair had come within a whisker of winning the EPL together a few years ago. They also had gone toe to toe in Glasgow as managers of the Old Firm. The last time they met in Glasgow I was praying to the Flying Spaghetti Monster for a Stevie G win. This time I was going for a Brendan win. It was an excellent game, a game of two halves, edged in the end by Villa 2-1, roared on by lively home support. The game was fairly meaningless, neither team will be relegated and neither will challenge the top four, yet it was highly entertaining fare. Such is the quality in the EPL at the moment, the players, the managers, the directors of football, that we are living in the best of times for English football. Though one thing is for sure, it won't last forever.
Back in the late 80s and early 90s, I watched a lot of Italian football. Channel 4 showed several games per week and I was too skint to get Sky, so Italian footy was my thing for a few years. At the end of the 80s AC Milan were top dogs with the Dutch trio of Guillet, Rijkaard and Van Basten. Then into the 90s and the power switched to Turin and the Juventus side with Ravanelli, Baggio and Vialli in attack and Antonio Conte pulling the strings swept all before them. Then in the 00s Spanish football rose and Italian football faded after corruption and match fixing came to light.
Real sparked the Galactico era by buying Zidane and Figo, to be overtaken by Pep's Barça, with Xavi, Iniesta and Messi becoming the greatest side that ever played the game. In 2009, Barça won La Liga, the Spanish FA cup, the Champions League, the World Club Cup and the Spanish and UEFA Supercups. Most of the players went on to win the World Cup with Spain in 2010. It was an amazing time to be in Spain and watching these teams live, but it didn't last. Home defeats for Barça and Atletico last Sunday left them in seventh and fourth respectively, and Real Madrid 8 points clear at the top of a mediocre league.
Spanish football hasn't been this bad for many years. Ten years ago, no-one would have predicted so steep a decline. Yet it is worth remembering that we won't always have Klopp, Pep and Tuchel fighting it out for the English crown. Or Brendan and Stevie G fighting it out for mid table! Or hundreds of millions being spent to try to get teams out of the bottom three. Dominance in European football is cyclical and the English are top dogs for now, with Italy and Spain floundering. So, I intend to enjoy it while it lasts.
English teams won just one Champs lge between 1992 & 2004 . Wenger's invincibles & Maureen's chavs never mastered european football . No English boss has won a euro trophy since Joe Fagan in 1984 ! Expect an all Premier lge final again ) . Prem wise , a title race as tight as 2019 is on the cards . Hopefully , Afcon won't mess up the reds .ReplyDelete
Didn't Sir Bobby win a cup with Barça?
Cup winners cup was a Mickey Mouse trophy Now known as Europa Conference lge . Impressive from LFC last night . Hopefully , they won't be travelling to Paris in the spring . AM will take care of a prem side in rnd 2 .Delete
Don't forget the Scandal at Stamford Bridge when Barselona clearly paid off the ref and Drogba rightly lost his shit. Payback came when we chinned them with 10 men at the Nou camp for most of the game when John Terry got the red in the first half. That final in Munich was something else. Back a bit further I remember watching Batistuta belting down the wing for Fiorentina only to have his hamstring go "Ping" and he was out for months. That was the most exciting thing to ever have happened in Serie A. Boring as cricket in the 90's.ReplyDelete
That was a good performance by Liverpool last night Peter. They are looking serious contenders for the Champions League now.ReplyDelete
Bloody hell get the books out boys and write this one down, Mackers has actually said something complementary about Liverpool!Delete
It sure was. I would say the EPL top 3 are all serious contenders for the UCL. It was an all English final last year and it wouldn't surprise me to see the same again.
Nah, can't agree. It was a lot more tactical than the EPL, no kick and rush in Italy then! But all the better for it. Battigol was some player.
Not disputing it was a lot better technically, but because it was, it was boring to watch. They practically invented the diving and rolling around on the ground trying to con the ref too. Baggio and Weah were different class though. But the Italian game was one of defence supremacy. Nowhere near as exciting as today's PL.
Just learnt the sickening news that Kalvin Phillips is out for up to two months with hamstring injury and that Patrick Bamford damaged his in his goal celebrations on Sunday.ReplyDelete
I now expect nothing from this month's trips to Stamford Bridge, the Eithiad and Anfield and really fear that we are/will be in a relegation dogfight.
Piling up Barry - a most ominous development. And they simply do not have the depth to copeDelete
Some of my fellow supporters have said that rather than building up the capacity of the U-23 squad last summer for the future, Leeds should have signed more automatic first team players.ReplyDelete
But who was it who said you never win anything with Kids, Anthony?
You are still 6 points clear of the drop zone, so hopefully you'll not be too far into the shit come January.
Allan "nonowt" Hansen said "you never win anything with kids" referring to Man Utds class of 92. These kids went on to "knock Liverpool off their perch" as Alex Ferguson promised they would. The same Hansen claimed after the draw at Maine Road - thats Man Citys old ground - in the 79 semi final, that in the replay at Goodison they'd do United "easy". Jimmy Greenhoff had different ideas and United sent Liverpool scurrying off out of the FA Cup, across Stanley Park, yet again.ReplyDelete
anti-Liverpool mood Caoimhin?!!!Delete
Enjoy thursday night football next season # Europa 2Delete
looking like a three horse race at the minute - Man City, Chelsea and LiverpoolReplyDelete