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North London Red

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  1. That would seem to be the implication, although as noted above I wasn't in the meeting, and of course the club may have a different viewpoint.
  2. There was an England Supporters Club meeting in Birmingham last night, with a representative from the FA present. I wasn't at the meeting but a very detailed summary of the discussion points was posted on the England Supporters Club Facebook page a couple of hours ago. The following caught my eye: "Kosovo - Bristol City was a front runner to host the game but the FA couldn't agree it with them, so Southampton was the second choice. The FA said they cannot stop rumours but they confirmed the game once the contract had been 100% signed and all agreed with Kosovo FA."
  3. Didn’t help matters that the West Brom keeper dived the wrong way for all of Villa’s penalties. Credit to the Villa keeper for a couple of solid saves.
  4. Fair enough and I’m totally not disputing that Tottenham have a significant bigger budget than Ajax - but at the same time Tottenham have a smaller budget than Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man Utd, Bayern Munich, Man City and Paris St Germain (and are broadly on a par with Juventus), but have gone further than all of those teams - therefore saying the teams with the biggest budgets always win isn’t strictly true this season. Spurs are hardly paupers but reaching the final is a great achievement for them. And quite a few of their players - Kane, Rose, Alli, Trippier among others - hardly broke the bank.
  5. Well...Tottenham have barely spent anything in the last year or two (relative to a lot of other teams in the Champions League)!
  6. Plenty of decent contributions from the English players tonight and last night - Dele Alli with the assist for the winner tonight, Danny Rose excellent throughout the game, and last night Henderson, Milner and Alexander-Arnold all played very well.
  7. I was talking to a father and son duo in Podgorica at the recent England game - they were diehard home and away Ipswich fans and hadn’t missed a game for years. Their complaints weren’t that Ipswich weren’t potential Champions League winners; their point was that the football under McCarthy had become mind numbingly dull to watch, and a large number of their fans had lost any enjoyment going to games. They were saying they’ve known since about September that they’re going down this season, that they can see what sort of a rebuilding job Lambert is trying to do (and are fully supportive of him), and are looking forward to visiting some new grounds and hopefully mounting a promotion challenge from league 1 over the next year or two. It raises a question as to whether you’d rather be in a higher league but with awful entertainment (how many City fans would take Pulis back if it guaranteed promotion to the premier league?), or take your chances in a lower league playing more entertaining football and having more enjoyable match days?
  8. For whatever it’s worth, I’m in Podgorica tonight ahead of tomorrow night’s game v Montenegro, and have heard rumours from a couple of sources that Ashton Gate is very much in the frame for an England game in the near future.
  9. As Scotland are already guaranteed a play off place (having won their Nations League group), if they lose against Belgium and Russia they could quite quickly end up in a position where it’s extremely unlikely they’ll finish in the top two, and therefore the remainder of their Euro qualifier group games could effectively become dead rubbers, as whoever finishes third in their group will have no bearing on who makes the play offs. That said, they still have time to recover from the loss against Kazakhstan, and I wouldn’t put it past them to run Russia close for second place (and whilst it’s tempting to sneer, they did come within a few seconds of beating England at Hampden in 2017).
  10. Always lots of posts on here in recent years saying how overrated the premier league is, especially whenever premier league teams were knocked out of Europe. That same premier league has just beaten the Bundesliga 17-3 over three ties. That said, Barcelona and Juventus are still looking very strong in the Champions League this season, and Ajax looked resurgent against Real Madrid last week. Should be some decent quarter final ties.
  11. It’s a fair question! And the answer is ‘probably not’. Far too many penalties are given for handball in my view. Intent can also be a very difficult thing to gauge, unless a defending outfield player clearly makes a save on the goal line - eg Suarez v Ghana in the 2010 World Cup.
  12. Kimpembe was looking the other way and there was probably less than a second between the shot being taken and the ball hitting his hand, so I honestly don’t see how that can be deemed as a deliberate handball (and the law is quite clear: it has to be deemed as deliberate in order for there to be an offence).
  13. That didn’t look an intentional handball to me - and for a penalty or free kick to be awarded for handball, the laws are quite clear: it has to be deemed intentional. When seeing a replay, in super slow motion these things always look worse. In real time, Otamendi had a fraction of a second to react as the ball was fired towards him. With VAR, I think referees should be able to watch as many replays as they want, but the final replay they see should be in real time, and not slowed down to a quarter of the pace at which the incident originally happened.
  14. Lahm spent most of his career at right back, so I think it's fair to say Cole would have had a good claim to be in a 'World 11' at his peak. I think Cole was probably the most consistent player in the England team during his time at international level. Off the top of my head I can remember one really bad mistake (at home against Kazakhstan, in a game we won 5-1). He otherwise never let the team down. Off-field matters meant he got some adverse press over the years, but on the pitch I think he was top quality. He also played in Champions League finals for two different teams, which not many players manage.
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