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2020-21 Premier League Thread

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Liverpool laid a LARGE egg today, losing 7-2 to Aston Villa. Can’t just walk into these games thinking they’ll be handed the 3 point, sometimes they have to work for it.
I mean ... three of Villa's goals were fairly flukey but it would still have been a horrible showing if all the deflected shots dribbled wide. That's as disorganized in the back as I can remember Liverpool looking since the early, early days of Klopp when they really didn't understand how to do the counter-press in a controlled manner. Villa are sharp right now, but not that freaking sharp.

Oh, and by the by, it looks like Villa do intend to go with the 4-2-3-1 against better teams with Ross Barkley in the pivot. That role really suits him and it's been years since somebody used him in that far forward a position.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
A crazy last day of the transfer window:

Man U signed Edison Cavani on a free, left back Alex Telles from Porto, Amd Traore from Atalanta, which will complete in January and sold Chris Smalling to Roma

Arsenal signed midfielder Thomas Partey from Atletico and sent Lucas Torreira to Atletico and Matteo Guendouzi to Hertha Berlin on season long loans

Southampton sign Theo Walcott on a season long loan from Everton. He came out of the Saints academy about 100 years ago.

Leeds signed wing Raphinha from Rennes

Celtic signed left back Diego Laxalt on loan from AC Milan

West Ham and Jack Wilshere mutually agreed to terminate his contract.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Ready for Project Big Picture? It would essentially place the Premier League in charge of all professional soccer in England. The Premier League would be reduced to 18 teams, the other EFL leagues would be 24 teams. There would be 2 automatic relegation spots from the Prem, the 16th placed team would join the promotion playoff with the teams placed 3rd - 5th in the Championship. Payments to the lower leagues would dramatically increase; in fact, the project was conceived by the EFL.

This is from The Athletic, it’s behind a paywall but they offer a 7day trial. They have good Premier League coverage, oth overall and club.

 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
It's gonna take me a minute to digest all of that, but I would say that the FA hasn't exactly covered themselves in glory over the last decade or so. Seeing them take a back seat would be a net gain, as a starting point. And if the payouts to the lower tiers is better without sacrificing promotion opportunities, then that's a big chunk of their concerns addressed. Not sure the reduction in size of the top flight is strictly necessary, but whatever.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
It's gonna take me a minute to digest all of that, but I would say that the FA hasn't exactly covered themselves in glory over the last decade or so. Seeing them take a back seat would be a net gain, as a starting point. And if the payouts to the lower tiers is better without sacrificing promotion opportunities, then that's a big chunk of their concerns addressed. Not sure the reduction in size of the top flight is strictly necessary, but whatever.

I guess they were supposed to go from 22 to 20 to 18, where the Bundesliga is. But the others...Spain, France and Italy are at 20 teams.
 

StormChaserBH

Well-known member
I don't follow as closely as some of ya, but it would seem like the Palace's, Burnley's, Newcastle's, Leicester's, etc.. of the world are going to have a big problem with that proposal... giving up 1) money to the lower leagues, 2) power to the bigger clubs, and 3) available PL spots for them to claim going forward.... what's in it for them?
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
I mean, in theory, over time the number of teams in the top flight doesn't really matter ... so long as it isn't too many, and so long as opportunities to gain promotion aren't artificially limited by the disparity in revenues between flights. In the short term, a reduction of teams in the top flight definitely hurts the middle and bottom layer of teams, but over the long haul it shouldn't be that big a deal. That's why it's a "big picture" shift, and not a short term solution to a short term financial issue.

What's hampering free movement up the tiers right now is that MASSIVE gap between revenues for Championship sides and established Premiership sides, combined with parachute payments for relegated teams creating two financial classes of teams in the 2nd Flight. There's just no way to jump that gap without significant owner investment or the parachute golden egg, and owner participation is restricted by financial fair play regulations ... should the owner not have deep enough pockets to lawyer their way out of those ... cough, cough ... Man City. Anything that bridges that gap even by 10-15% opens up the market for more free movement between the First and Second tiers, which in the long run will be good for the entire FA. And let's be honest, parachute payments created a cancerous mass of unintended consequences and needed to be mercy killed for the good of everyone involved. Again, I haven't studied this closely, but I see that the intentions seem honorable ... at least on their face.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
I don't follow as closely as some of ya, but it would seem like the Palace's, Burnley's, Newcastle's, Leicester's, etc.. of the world are going to have a big problem with that proposal... giving up 1) money to the lower leagues, 2) power to the bigger clubs, and 3) available PL spots for them to claim going forward.... what's in it for them?

The proposal came from Rick Parry, the Chairman of the EFL Working in conjunction with the Glazers from Man U and John Henry from Liverpool. Clubs outside the “Big 6” consider it a hostile takeover.

https://theathletic.com/2130676/202...oject-big-picture/?source=user_shared_article
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
It appears that Project Big Picture is dead. The Prelier League clubs not named Liverpool or Man U told them they’d never agree to it.

Yeah ... the more I read, the more likely it seemed to me that this would be a non-starter. There's elements of the plan that would help settle some issues, but it's just too much. And probably too American, honestly.

What I fear is that doing nothing will grease the skids to the European Super League that seems almost inevitable at this point. And while that will be exceptionally good for the tippy top layer of big money clubs, it will siphon so much money away from the existing league structures across Europe as to basically doom everybody that isn't currently at (or very near) the Champions League level to a lingering death rattle.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Brighton sign Danny Welbeck to a 1 year contract. His contract was terminated by Watford earlier this month.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
FWIW ... and it's worth something for me and VDC, at least ... Villa beat Leicester Sunday on a late goal from Ross Barkley to go 4-0-0 to start the season. It's the first time since 1930 that Villa have started a season in the top flight 4-0-0. And they've actually spent the majority of that time in the top flight, so ... woofta.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
And only 1 was against a newly promoted side too. Leicester is playing in Europe, Sheffield went to the last few weeks of last season with a shot at Europe. But Liverpool? Chalk it up to a bad day in the Midlands if you want, but a bad day for Liverpool against Villa should be a closer match than a 5 goal curb stomping.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Look ... we all know that Villa isn't deep enough to keep this up over the long haul, but even so ... the thought of last season's side ripping off four clean wins in a row would have been preposterous. So, yeah ... they really did take a step or two up in class with their recent signings and the galvanizing effect of simply surviving in the re-started season past.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Slaven Bilic sacked by West Brom, Sam Allardyce to take over.
And they promptly went out and looked utterly boneless in a 3-0 loss to Villa. Good thing they've got a transfer window coming so Big Sam can go find some goons, because otherwise this is going to end in tears for the Baggies.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
And .... Big Sam sets West Brom up in the most negative formation against Liverpool that I can ever recall seeing over the last decade or so in league play. Pretty sure they played six across the back line most of the time ... tactics generally only deployed by tiny, underdog World Cup sides. So, can the Baggies survive if they just draw the rest of their schedule?
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Man City v. Everton scheduled for today was postponed. City are dealing with a Covid outbreak that has shut down their training ground indefinitely. They had positives on the weekend that kept players from their Boxing Day match against Newcastle.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Man City v. Everton scheduled for today was postponed. City are dealing with a Covid outbreak that has shut down their training ground indefinitely. They had positives on the weekend that kept players from their Boxing Day match against Newcastle.
Last I saw there were 6 or 8 clubs shut down across various leagues and divisions. It's going to get worse before it gets better.
 
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