2023/24 Premier League & General Football Discussion

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Nobody saw this coming at all, but shockingly Big Wayne hasn't been a Shrekcess at Birmingham and they've sacked him after 15 games - which he says wasn't enough time to judge him. Yes, Wayne, it was. We all judged you from the moment you were signed.

Meanwhile we're the 6th best team in the league over the last ten games, handed Hull City their arses, won two in a row for the only the second time this season and have clawed up from 12 points from safety and rock bottom to 3 points and above Rotherham and QPR.

I'm not sure why he keeps playing Dawson in goal (nobody is) but he seems to be doing the sweeper-keeper role he wants (surely the Colombian youngster Vasquez can learn that, and I'm pretty sure his save rate is higher) and it's difficult to argue with most of the results thus far. The three goals against Hull were mental - I can't even pick which was the best:



Don't think Morton's red should have been a red though, but if you lead with both feet off the floor in a challenge you're always at the mercy of the ref.
 
The entire footballing world gets its laughs from Birmingham. Sacking a manager when 5th in the table to bring in someone based on nothing other than the fact he was a big name... as a player. Ridiculous. Hilarious.

The desperation of the English footballing world to keep the names Rooney, Lampard and Gerrard alive is embarrassing. Let it go. Let other people have their shine.

Edit: What was said by Birmingham when he was appointed:

Wayne is a born winner. [...] His playing philosophy will help to realise the ambitions we have set for Birmingham City. [...] Creating an identity and clear 'no fear' playing style.

It's day one of learning how football works that not all great players are great managers. What identity were they expecting from someone with a distinctly below average record? He was brought in literally because of his playing reputation and nothing else. Birmingham's chief exectuvie is Garry Cook who, when in charge at Man City publicly ridiculed club captain Richard Dunne by saying "Richard Dunne won't sell shirts in China and India" but guess what? It's not 2008 and Rooney's not playing for you.

It's a bit harsh to dunk on Rooney personally in wanting to get involved in management but it's a chronic condition where big name players don't learn the ropes down the leagues and get jobs over better qualified and better experienced candidates.
 
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The entire footballing world gets its laughs from Birmingham. Sacking a manager when 5th in the table to bring in someone based on nothing other than the fact he was a big name... as a player. Ridiculous. Hilarious.

The desperation of the English footballing world to keep the names Rooney, Lampard and Gerrard alive is embarrassing. Let it go. Let other people have their shine.
At least Lampard has some potential. Took Derby to the play-off final first time of asking, losing to Villa, consecutive top 4 finishes for Chelsea despite being hamstrung on chosen transfers, kept Everton up at a time when the club was in complete disarray, got given the caretaker job again at Chelsea toward the end of a challenging season where he was the 4th man to manage the side that season and Pochettino who succeeded him, has done no better.

I agree he maybe isn't a world class manager who should be sought after by every managerless club, but I don't think he can be put into the same category of embarrassment as Gerrard and Rooney. He underwent one of the biggest shifts in management from managing Derby to Chelsea, then with Everton and his caretaker stint at Chelsea, was thrown into 2 situations where the clubs were in pretty dire situations off the pitch as well as on it.
 
I agree he maybe isn't a world class manager who should be sought after by every managerless club, but I don't think he can be put into the same category of embarrassment as Gerrard and Rooney.
He didn't deserve the Chelsea job at all based on one season not getting promoted with Derby and wouldn't have gotten the Everton job if his name wasn't Lampard.

How the three get on might differ but his name as a player is what gifted him huge benefit of the doubt and credibility by pundits in the media like the other two.
 
Liverpool got another impressive win last night as they maintain their position at the top of the table. I think the race for the premier league title will go right down to the wire between Liverpool and Manchester City.
 
To say Gerrard had no managerial skills or success is a bit unfair on him. He did take Rangers to the Scottish League title, breaking Celtic's stranglehold and giving the Phoenix club version of Rangers their first ever title. Once he got to the Prem however, he was rightfully found out.
 
Liverpool got another impressive win last night as they maintain their position at the top of the table. I think the race for the premier league title will go right down to the wire between Liverpool and Manchester City.
I don’t know about impressive. The scoreline should have been much higher, Newcastle were denied a penalty and Liverpool were gifted one which should never have been given. Could easily have finished 3-3.

They did set a record for most expected goals (xG) ever at 7.27. Newcastle for 0.70. Suggesting Liverpool should have won 7-0 or more.
 
At least Lampard has some potential.
Lampard is the fraudiest fraud of them all. He's never - never - improved a club, and all except Derby (in the most unique of circumstances) have seen an improvement after he left:

Derby County

Pre-Lampard (2017-18): Championship, 6th (75pt)
Final position before Lampard's appointment: Championship, 6th
Lampard (2018-19): Championship, 6th (
74pt)
Final position before Lampard's departure: Championship, 6th
Post-Lampard (2019-20): Championship,
10th (64pt)

Chelsea (1)
Pre-Lampard (2018-19): Premier League, 3rd (72pt) + UEFA Europa League Champions
Final position before Lampard's appointment: Premier League, 3rd
Lampard (2019-20): Premier League,
4th (66pt)
Lampard (2020-21): Premier League,
9th (29pt)
Final position before Lampard's departure: Premier League,
9th
Post-Lampard (2020-21): Premier League,
4th (67pt) + UEFA Champions League Champions

Everton
Pre-Lampard (2020-21): Premier League, 10th, (59pt)
Final position before Lampard's appointment: Premier League, 16th (23pt)
Lampard (2021-22): Premier League, 16th (
39pt)
Lampard (2022-23): Premier League,
19th (15pt)
Final position before Lampard's departure: Premier League,
19th (15pt)
Post-Lampard (2022-23): Premier League,
17th (36pt)

Chelsea (2)
Pre-Lampard (2022-23): Premier League, 10th, (59pt)
Final position before Lampard's appointment: Premier League, 11th (39pt)
Lampard (2022-23): Premier League,
12th (44pt)
Final position before Lampard's departure: Premier League,
12th (44pt)
Post-Lampard (2023-24): Premier League,
10th (28pt)

Discounting Derby's post-Frank slump - dominated by off-the-pitch idiocy like appointing Philip Cocu and lying about their finances leading to administration - he's never guided a team to a better league finish or more points per game in any spell than either his predecessor or successor (failing to match only his predecessor's [the management titan Gary Rowett] points per game at Derby).

The most offensive display of his inability is when he was sacked mid-way through 2021 by Chelsea, who were in 9th having picked up 29pt in 21 games, and his replacement got them to fourth (which would have qualified them for the Champions League if not for the fact that...) and won the Champions League with the exact same squad...

They did set a record for most expected goals (xG) ever at 7.27.
This one's been making me scratch my head a bit.

Firstly, this weird obsession everyone's suddenly acquired about xG makes my head spin. It's crackers. But, more importantly, how can they have the record xG at 7 when teams have literally scored 7, 8, and 9 in the past? Were those goals somehow unexpected - in which case how does one measure expected goals if actual goals don't result in the expectation of a goal?
 
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This one's been making me scratch my head a bit.

Firstly, this weird obsession everyone's suddenly acquired about xG makes my head spin. It's crackers. But, more importantly, how can they have the record xG at 7 when teams have literally scored 7, 8, and 9 in the past? Were those goals somehow unexpected - in which case how does one measure expected goals if actual goals don't result in the expectation of a goal?
Quality of chance and likelihood of it being scored based on historical data of similar chances or something along those lines. Man City had the previous highest at 5.87xG in an 8-0 win over Watford. I assume that a 35 yard pot shot would result in a relatively unexpected goal and would be worth 0.15 or something, whereas Liverpool missed some high probability chances, penalty, penalty rebound, point blank shot straight at the keeper, probably all worth around 1xG or thereabouts.

It’s also a stat that will surely alter over time as various types of chances are scored or missed, the value of them will shift.
 
Gerrard is having a stinker is Saudi with Ettifaq, they are on a bit of a losing streak.
 
Firstly, this weird obsession everyone's suddenly acquired about xG makes my head spin. It's crackers. But, more importantly, how can they have the record xG at 7 when teams have literally scored 7, 8, and 9 in the past? Were those goals somehow unexpected - in which case how does one measure expected goals if actual goals don't result in the expectation of a goal?
xG is a stupid stat, but it's based on the liklihood of goals as opposed to actual goals. So if a player scores a 30 yard screamer from a wide angle and the liklihood of a player scoring from there on average is say, 20%, that creates an xG of 0.2 regardless of if it results in a goal or takes out an airliner. One thing it's supposed to be able to do is help identify the players who are more clinical in certain areas compared with the average, instead of you know, just looking at a players goals scored.
 
xG is the dumbest statistic out there. It's pure cringe how some people turbo it.
I can see some merit in using it for individual players (especially strikers), but it makes no sense to use it for a team. And even then it doesnt make sense on its own and without any context.

For example, Fernando Torres xG for Chelsea was probably 0.0000000000000000000001 , however... ;)
 
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Contender for Fallon'd'floor 2024
 
The FA Cup third round is this weekend and it starts tonight with Crystal Palace v Everton.

Looks like Swansea will finally be getting a new manager as we seem to be in advanced talks with Notts County boss Luke Williams, we sacked Michael Duff a month ago now after he was pretty poor, Alan Sheehan has been in caretaker charge and he has at least been better than Duff was.
 
Already getting into the spirit. Hopefully its a good, tense, match tomorrow!

image_2024-01-05_162756598.png
 
That news yesterday about the Sunderland bar in the stadium being decorated with Newcastle banners, I genuinely thought that some Newcastle fans broke in to do it, I cant believe that Sunderland actually okayed it.
 
Not much to shout about in the FA Cup so far this weekend, biggest shock was Maidstone of the Vanarama South beating League One Stevenage 1-0, a team 68 places above them in the League pyramid, aside from that there have been a few lower league sides taking higher placed teams to replays.

Spurs are signing former Chelsea striker Timo Werner on loan from Leipzig on loan.
Jadon Sancho is joining Dortmund on loan from Man United.
 
Not much to shout about in the FA Cup so far this weekend
Aside from Wednesday spanking Cardiff 4-0 with the Wednesday 'keeper saving two penalties in three minutes while at 1-0 (all inside the first seven).



And I will have to stop complaining about Dawson, even though he had one absolutely charmed existence moment in the second half where he jelly-handed a tame shot underneath himself only for it to stop just short of the line.
 
Liverpool beat Arsenal 2-0, Arsenal had several big chances but fluffed them all, it was a Kiwior own goal and a Diaz strike both in the second half that sealed the win, Arsenal so badly need a striker and have now only won one of the last seven in all comps.

Luton, Forest and West Ham will need replays against Bolton, Blackpool and Bristol City. Man City had a predictable 5-0 win over Huddersfield, Wrexham knocked out Shrewsbury in the derby there and West Brom knocked out Aldershot.

FA Cup fourth round draw is tomorrow night before the last game of the weekend which is Wigan v Man United.
 
It's a cross-border derby. And we beat them in their cup final. Magic.

Once again, fans of another club give us grief despite our game away to them being their biggest attendance of the season.
 
It's a cross-border derby.
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Where does this even stop now? A derby was always two teams from the same city, then we got "the M62" derby (as if they're playing on the motorway), the "south coast" derby (where the "the" is fluid depending on who's in the same division), the Tyne-Tees derby (named after a television channel), and now it's supposed to be two teams 30 miles apart on a three-digit A-road and in different smegging countries?

Can't wait for the "European Derby" in the 2026 FIFA World Cup Final (a different European Derby from the 2018, 2010, and 2006 finals).


It's a rivalry.
 
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