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Poll Results: Would you spend €100+ on Paul Pogba??

 
  • 48% (37)
    Yup, still very young and filled with potential...
  • 51% (39)
    Nah, no CM could be worth that much...
76 Total Votes  
post #15541 of 50776
Arsenal should've picked up a bunch of players but you know how that goes laugh.gif
post #15542 of 50776

oh arsenal :lol

meal ticket ticket meal ticket ticket
meal ticket ticket meal ticket ticket
post #15543 of 50776

Yet another assist for Mesut, and a lovely first time finish for Joel. Honestly it feels like it's against the run of play that goal.

HOWARD BISON

WASHINGTON WIZARDS

DUKE BLUE DEVILS

ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB

 

"All I want is a good home and a wife, and a children, and food to feed them every night."

HOWARD BISON

WASHINGTON WIZARDS

DUKE BLUE DEVILS

ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB

 

"All I want is a good home and a wife, and a children, and food to feed them every night."

post #15544 of 50776
Thats right Joel. Pull ya shorts up on these ******



Mesut the machine still steam rollin'
"Lock this up Meth. Prime going through an identity crisis again, thinking he is Coupe this time"
"Lock this up Meth. Prime going through an identity crisis again, thinking he is Coupe this time"
post #15545 of 50776
"Hello my name is Mesut, how may I assist you?"
post #15546 of 50776
They almost connected for a second serving
"Lock this up Meth. Prime going through an identity crisis again, thinking he is Coupe this time"
"Lock this up Meth. Prime going through an identity crisis again, thinking he is Coupe this time"
post #15547 of 50776
Interesting article about Chris Mike Smalling: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/football/article4632867.ece
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

At 6ft 4in, quick and sleek, Chris Smalling always had the look of a Rolls-Royce defender. But, as he explains, it is more what we cannot see, what lies under the bonnet, that has underpinned his blossoming into England’s best centre half.

A suspicion that we still under-estimate the psychological dimension, especially in team sport, is heightened over discussion with the engaging Smalling, who talks about how mental application lies behind his outstanding form.

I had wondered if there had been some technical or tactical shift that has enabled him to emerge, according to Wayne Rooney, as one of the best three central defenders in the world — and, by anyone’s estimation, the best available to Roy Hodgson.

What has changed? Has Louis van Gaal tweaked his game? As Smalling sits in a leisure centre near Manchester United’s training ground, he looks within for the answer.
The first step was challenging himself to take more responsibility after the exodus of experienced defenders from Old Trafford when Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra all departed in the summer of 2014. With more than 1,000 United appearances between them, there was a big hole.

“Bigger names, experienced players had gone,” he says. “When Louis arrived, the centre-back position was very much up for grabs. It was a question of, ‘Who wants to take it? Who wants to fight hard enough to make it their own, to show that they belong, to have the consistency?’

“I saw it as an opportunity to be that voice, that leader. I wanted to show the club didn’t need to go and buy all the players they were being linked with, top centre halves. You see Rio, Vida, Pat all go and that was the opportunity to seize.”

The chance was there but Smalling needed to find consistency. There were some games when he would cruise, others when he seemed startled. A fine display might be followed by an erratic one.

It leads us on to discuss sports psychology. I ask Smalling if he sees anyone for help. He not only says yes, but opens up, almost evangelical about the benefits.
“Yes I do,” he says. “He was recommended through a friend. At first, I was quite a sceptic. You picture it being for bad boys who need to be reformed. I thought, ‘Well, I won’t need that’.
“But it’s not like that. Anyone can benefit. For me, it was a case of focusing. You can have so many different demands; trying to please the fans, pleasing the manager, please yourself. You can put too much pressure on yourself. You can start forcing balls, maybe trying too hard. You make things too complicated. It’s about uncluttering the mind.”

The results can be seen in his new-found assurance, one of United’s most dependable players along with David De Gea. He talks of making better decisions on the pitch.
“Some people or coaches can shout ‘concentrate’,” he says. “But what are you concentrating on? You need to know what’s important, how not to clutter your head with any negative thoughts.

“When I first joined United, I started well but I had ups and downs. As a centre back the manager doesn’t want to see dips. I think the role is all about reliability.”

It is a reminder of Sir Alex Ferguson’s remark that he cannot stand emotional defenders. Strikers? They can be as temperamental as, well, Eric Cantona. But the former United manager wanted centre backs in particular to have ice for blood.

“You can’t be overemotional as a defender, you can’t overreact,” Smalling concurs. “You get punished if you do.

“With the sports psychologist, we do a lot of visualisation in terms of future games, what’s coming up. So if there’s a big game against City in the week I will be visualising different things so I am not too hyped. People might think it’s all about getting up for a game but it’s often the opposite.”

Smalling notes that he does this independently of the club, his own quest for self-improvement. “I go to see him twice a month. A couple of hours each time,” he says.

“It makes sense to me. You work every day technically, physically but so much is in the mind. Look at when players go on big scoring runs, then stop scoring. It’s not that they are any different physically, it’s very often mental, confidence, concentration.”

Smalling is reluctant to say who he sees — he keeps it very private — but otherwise he is a candid talker, chatty, amiable. Unusually for a footballer, he even asks a question, politely inquiring how far I have come to do the interview, how long it will take me to get home.

We are talking at an event set up by the Manchester United Foundation near the club’s training base in Carrington. Smalling joins members of the Volunteer Ninety Nine organisation, which provides training and qualifications for 16 to 25-year-olds interested in pursuing a career in sport. He mixes with them, mucks in, at ease.

Session done, he comes inside to chat, a softly spoken man who seems to appreciate his good fortune as well he might given that, at 18, he had little reason to think that he would ever become a professional footballer.

After a short, unsuccessful spell in Milwall’s academy, league clubs had failed to see much in a lanky young defender who was athletic but not dominant on the ball. He made the England schoolboys side but with A levels in business studies and economics from a grammar school in Kent was thinking ahead to a business degree at Loughborough University.

The Ryman League with Maidstone United, pitched against bruising strikers, seemed to be his limit. “A battle every time,” he laughs. “Playing on mud, trying to pass and the ball not going anywhere. I was a boy against men but you learn to pick yourself up, away to East Thurrock United, a dodgy pitch.”

Wondering if he could do better, Smalling enterprisingly sent out letters to clubs, alerting them to his forthcoming fixtures. He was in his last year at school.

“I wrote to Gillingham, Charlton, London clubs and a few others,” he says. “I just said, ‘Here are my Maidstone fixtures and some for England schoolboys’. I explained my favourite position, my best traits and just said, ‘Please come watch if you are interested’. I had nothing to lose. It was my dream.

“If anyone still has the letter I’d love to see it. It’s strange looking back. These days, it feels like any kid with talent is snapped up at six years old.”

Smalling is not sure if the letter made a difference but eventually Fulham paid £10,000. He stayed at Craven Cottage for two seasons before United splashed out about £11 million in 2010, just beating Arsenal, the team he had supported as a boy.

It has taken a while for Smalling to become a regular. A change of managers did not help. But he is on a run of 21 consecutive league starts, easily beating his previous best (eight in early 2011). “I knew if I got that run of games I could show everyone what a good player I am,” he says.

He smiles at that quote from Rooney about him being one of the top three in the world. I ask him to nominate the other two. He takes his time before answering. “There are quite a few. Varane [of Real Madrid] and Koscielny [of Arsenal] come to mind,” he says.

Does he think he is in the top three? “Well it’s nice to hear,” he says. “Some people might roll their eyebrows, ‘really?’, but it spurs me on to fulfil those words.”

His form is beyond debate, unlike much else at Old Trafford where United fans are concerned about the lack of attacking flair. Smalling breaks into a smile when asked how it is working with the larger-than-life Van Gaal. “What you see in the press conferences or speeches at charity dinners is exactly what we get,” he says. “He’s very black and white, speaks his mind, very honest.

“Even in training, he can say even after one session, ‘Why weren’t you so good on this?’ You never know what to expect.”

Smalling confirms that Van Gaal has very precise ideas. Players can request individual clips on USBs to look at in their own time and, collectively, there is much more on video than under other regimes.

“We do a lot of analysis of previous games,” Smalling says. Most of the work, he explains, is about team movement, on and off the ball.

Smalling denies that Van Gaal is a dictator, saying that he encourages feedback provided that it is constructive. “We have had debates,” he says. “If you’ve got a good argument about how we are pressing he will listen to you. Louis has that image of the tough manager but he’s receptive to our thoughts.”

As for whether it is working, Smalling points to the Premier League table with United a point off the top and what delights him, the best defensive record (only ten goals conceded in 14 matches).

Smalling has felt the lash of his manager’s tongue, notably when he was sent off in the heat of a Manchester derby in November 2014, two daft bookings before half-time; the first for closing down Joe Hart and then for lunging at James Milner. “Stupid,” Van Gaal told the media.

It seemed out of character for a player who is booked with remarkable infrequency. He has been cautioned only twice since. “That was my first and only red card. I don’t think I’ve ever been rash or reckless,” he says.

Indeed, at 26, and playing with composure, perhaps a captain is emerging, although he would make an understated one rather than the Tony Adams style of warrior he admired in his youth.
He needs a few more years like this to join the honour roll of noted United centre halves but Smalling hopes to be remembered one day like Gary Pallister and Jaap Stam, Ferdinand and Vidic. He learnt under the last two and likes to think he can combine their styles. “Vida the rock, Rio so elegant,” he says. “I learnt from both.

“It’s nice to be able to join in, playing the ball, but I’m a defender. I like to get stuck in, a battle with Andy Carroll. I think it’s back to non-League days. It is about trying to bully a striker, overpower them. I like that more than a 60-yard ball.”

One United fan is so impressed that he has sent Smalling a pair of Superman underpants, an early Christmas present. He laughs and says that he might wear them for today’s game against West Ham United. If he keeps on flying, it can only be good news for club and country.

Chris Smalling has kept more clean sheets than any defender in the Premier League: 8: Smalling (Man Utd). 7: Kolarov (Man City); Sagna (Man City); Kompany (Man City). 6: Monreal (Arsenal); Dawson (West Brom); Bellerín (Arsenal); McAuley (West Brom).
Capitals, Manchester United, Ronnie and Friends, DC United, Ravens, Terrapins, USMNT, El Salvador
Check out my gaming podcast: Player vs. Everything
Capitals, Manchester United, Ronnie and Friends, DC United, Ravens, Terrapins, USMNT, El Salvador
Check out my gaming podcast: Player vs. Everything
post #15548 of 50776
What a pass by Ozil
Jamaica.Lakers.Yankees.FCBarcelona.Arsenal.NYCFC.WWE
Current WWE Champion

IG: Chennylou
Twitter: Chennylou
Jamaica.Lakers.Yankees.FCBarcelona.Arsenal.NYCFC.WWE
Current WWE Champion

IG: Chennylou
Twitter: Chennylou
post #15549 of 50776
Wow wth happened there?
post #15550 of 50776

WTH is wrong with Daley's set-pieces today?! 

 

Team McLAREN HONDA
Fittipaldi, Hunt, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Hakkinen, Hamilton 

Seattle Mariners // MUFC

 

IG: SinnerP

PSN: SinnerP

 

Team McLAREN HONDA
Fittipaldi, Hunt, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Hakkinen, Hamilton 

Seattle Mariners // MUFC

 

IG: SinnerP

PSN: SinnerP

post #15551 of 50776
Basti roll.gif
post #15552 of 50776

💪🏻

 

Team McLAREN HONDA
Fittipaldi, Hunt, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Hakkinen, Hamilton 

Seattle Mariners // MUFC

 

IG: SinnerP

PSN: SinnerP

 

Team McLAREN HONDA
Fittipaldi, Hunt, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Hakkinen, Hamilton 

Seattle Mariners // MUFC

 

IG: SinnerP

PSN: SinnerP

post #15553 of 50776
Wth were you trying to do Daley?!?!
post #15554 of 50776

blind :lol

meal ticket ticket meal ticket ticket
meal ticket ticket meal ticket ticket
post #15555 of 50776
Damn, sent the big german in a cycle
"Lock this up Meth. Prime going through an identity crisis again, thinking he is Coupe this time"
"Lock this up Meth. Prime going through an identity crisis again, thinking he is Coupe this time"
post #15556 of 50776

Comical if not infuriating. 

 

Team McLAREN HONDA
Fittipaldi, Hunt, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Hakkinen, Hamilton 

Seattle Mariners // MUFC

 

IG: SinnerP

PSN: SinnerP

 

Team McLAREN HONDA
Fittipaldi, Hunt, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Hakkinen, Hamilton 

Seattle Mariners // MUFC

 

IG: SinnerP

PSN: SinnerP

post #15557 of 50776
BBC seems to be back...
post #15558 of 50776
Damn Morgan off? I don't see why tbh,he was having a good game so far.

Injury maybe? Please no mean.gif
post #15559 of 50776

Morgan limping off... 

 

Team McLAREN HONDA
Fittipaldi, Hunt, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Hakkinen, Hamilton 

Seattle Mariners // MUFC

 

IG: SinnerP

PSN: SinnerP

 

Team McLAREN HONDA
Fittipaldi, Hunt, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Hakkinen, Hamilton 

Seattle Mariners // MUFC

 

IG: SinnerP

PSN: SinnerP

post #15560 of 50776
Dog, get Giroud the **** out of London
"Lock this up Meth. Prime going through an identity crisis again, thinking he is Coupe this time"
"Lock this up Meth. Prime going through an identity crisis again, thinking he is Coupe this time"
post #15561 of 50776

gunners....

post #15562 of 50776
Bayern's losing to Munchengladbach eek.gif
post #15563 of 50776

I just knew something bad was going to happen. Wrong goal Giroud.

HOWARD BISON

WASHINGTON WIZARDS

DUKE BLUE DEVILS

ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB

 

"All I want is a good home and a wife, and a children, and food to feed them every night."

HOWARD BISON

WASHINGTON WIZARDS

DUKE BLUE DEVILS

ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB

 

"All I want is a good home and a wife, and a children, and food to feed them every night."

post #15564 of 50776

madrid looking like madrid again.

one thing i will say about them is they seem to shake off controversy after controversy.

 

 

playing/coaching at madrid is the toughest gig in the world.  they have the worst fans too

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

annnnnnnnnnd

 

 

 

giroud gonna giroud :rollin:rollin:rollin:rollin:rollin:rollin

 

 

world class they said 

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meal ticket ticket meal ticket ticket
post #15565 of 50776
Giroud -_-
post #15566 of 50776
Gladbach's a good squad, like watching them play
post #15567 of 50776
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRIME View Post

Dog, get Giroud the **** out of London

Why? Is he not World class anymore? roll.gif
post #15568 of 50776
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8PM at MSG View Post

Gladbach's a good squad, like watching them play

someone forgot to tell them they were playing bayern today

meal ticket ticket meal ticket ticket
meal ticket ticket meal ticket ticket
post #15569 of 50776

i remember when there were rumors ramsey was going to barca:lol

meal ticket ticket meal ticket ticket
meal ticket ticket meal ticket ticket
post #15570 of 50776

Welp.  Lucky to not be 2 down, TBH.

 

Team McLAREN HONDA
Fittipaldi, Hunt, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Hakkinen, Hamilton 

Seattle Mariners // MUFC

 

IG: SinnerP

PSN: SinnerP

 

Team McLAREN HONDA
Fittipaldi, Hunt, Lauda, Prost, Senna, Hakkinen, Hamilton 

Seattle Mariners // MUFC

 

IG: SinnerP

PSN: SinnerP

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