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Post #522081  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:13 am 
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So half the season gone. What would be an acceptable return for the second half of the season. Given everyone was pointing out that we had all the tough games away from home early in the season I would have thought 35 points would be okay plus winning the Europa Cup to go into the CL.

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Post #522082  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:18 am 
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Gaz from Oz wrote:
So half the season gone. What would be an acceptable return for the second half of the season. Given everyone was pointing out that we had all the tough games away from home early in the season I would have thought 35 points would be okay plus winning the Europa Cup to go into the CL.

Winning the Europa League, as long as we also don’t go down, would make it better than acceptable. A mid-table finish and winning the FA Cup would be acceptable in my view. Winning the Europa League would make it very good, outstanding or excellent.


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Post #522083  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:42 am 
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https://www.theguardian.com/football/2021/jan/20/mesut-ozil-the-galactico-who-became-symbolic-of-arsenals-decline

Worth a read.


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Post #522084  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:56 am 
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Gunfire wrote:
Bernard wrote:


A surprising outside bet for me are Leeds. I think they will stay up. However, when they were scoring for fun I was never convinced they were quite as good as some (like Ian Wright on MOTD) seemed to believe. Now they’re also conceding for fun. As I said, I think they will survive. Yet I see an outside bet on them going, if the odds are generous, as not a total waste of money.


I agree 100%. Have seen Leeds a few times and there is a little bit of the Emperor's new clothes about Bielsa. He has a mystique about him that seems to have hypnotised pundits and commentators alike. Leeds defence is very poor and when I see them play they always look like they could concede 3 or 4. They probably won't go down but it is not impossible.


I think the problem Leeds have is that Bielsa's game-plan has always been to demand an ultra-high energy contribution from everyone. That seems to be why his teams tend to excel early on but then have trouble maintaining such an high tempo effort over the course of a full season. There's even a term for it - 'Bielsa burn-out'. Theory is that's why they blew up in a couple of recent promotion charges. Carney recently copped for plenty when she suggested that the only reason they did well last year was down to the forced suspension of the league which gave them a chance to recover and re-group. This season, the games will come thick and fast from here to the end. Leeds don't have a massive or indeed particularly high-quality squad. They could well be vulnerable.


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Post #522085  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:48 pm 
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Lots of reports we've agreed to terminate Sokratis contract and he will leave the club today. No word on where he is going.

I don't think he was a disaster, in fact I'm struggling to think of any really bad errors he made of games he cost us but we clearly need to move forward without him and his big wages so it seems like the best for all parties.

Sokratis, Özil and Kolasinac all gone - 1 space left in the squad for a non-home grown player and £550k per week shifted in wages, £14.3m for the next 6 months saved assuming there were no 'pay off' agreements.


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Post #522086  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:12 pm 
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I only know the actor, not the player. But I can see how he got his tough guy reputation by watching him play football.


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Post #522087  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:17 pm 
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I like Sokratis. Solid if not good. He squeezed all of his ability out of himself for us. Good luck to him.

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Post #522088  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:35 pm 
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No.5 shirt and No.10 shirt available.
Partey likes number 5 so I wonder if he might change to that.

We've only seen small bits of Partey but it feels like we have a player who can become one of the top 5 midfielders in the league. I cant think of many box-to-box central mids who I'd rather have from everyone in the prem. There are not many (if any) players we can say that about in our squad


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Post #522089  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:22 pm 
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Lukas Podolski..remember him? He's come out to say he's glad to see his compatriot, Özil, back in action in Turkey to play football again. Makes sense as Podolski is playing for Antalyaspoor in Turkey.

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Post #522090  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:23 pm 
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DHD wrote:


Beautifully written. Pretty much a final word on the Özil story really. Misguided but talented player but we let him down a little by not building round him


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Post #522091  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:25 pm 
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All the best on a good future for Papa Sokatris to Real Betis or wherever he chooses to play.

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Post #522092  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:48 pm 
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Zed wrote:
All the best on a good future for Papa Sokatris to Real Betis or wherever he chooses to play.


Sounds like we've paid up the remainder of his contract. We paid £17.6m plus salary for 44 games since July 2018. We're now paying him off, so no return on the transfer fee. Not great business, is it?

Actually, I never minded Sokratis. Wasn't his fault he wasn't a better player. Wasn't his fault he never played more games. Wasn't his fault we bought him. Wrong club, wrong time. Best of luck mate.


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Post #522093  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:57 pm 
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Leno is the only one left in the squad from the summer signings post Wenger, Leno, Sokratis, Lichsteiner, Guendouzi, Torreira.
Lichsteiner was a stop gap so not too many problems there. Sokratis money probably should have been put to a younger CB but we went down the route of chasing immediate re-entry to the champions league. Guendouzi may still have a future with us. I suppose Torreira is the most disappointing. Just seems ill suited to the pace and physicality of this league and was quite often never played in his best position. Hasn't started a game for Atletico since October. He needs to be sold back to Italy in the summer although I'm not sure how much of our £25m we'll get back. If we can get close to £20m then take it and run.


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Post #522094  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:09 pm 
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AmericanGooner wrote:
I only know the actor, not the player. But I can see how he got his tough guy reputation by watching him play football.



Interesting viewing. Vinnie Jones may have been primarily a thug 'enforcer' but he wasn't a bad player. Popular inspirational captain for Leeds when they were promoted to the (then) first div. I think the second division was more his level.

I'd forgotten Laurie Cunningham was in the Wimbledon team. Archway lad who never made it with us as a lad but turned into a real talent later for WBA and Real Madrid. Sadly never got to the absolute top but most who saw him believed that he could have.


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Post #522095  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:11 pm 
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long time gooner wrote:

Good old Daily Tottenham (Mirror) putting a spin on the interview
I read it as their usual spin to make it negative on our club, by taking the words out of context with the question and the tone in which they would said.
My view from seeing the video is he answered a direct question on AMN and saying he is the same as every other squad member and has to fight for a place in the team and we will rotate our squad as needed.

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Post #522096  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:04 pm 
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HoddGooner wrote:
long time gooner wrote:

Good old Daily Tottenham (Mirror) putting a spin on the interview
I read it as their usual spin to make it negative on our club, by taking the words out of context with the question and the tone in which they would said.
My view from seeing the video is he answered a direct question on AMN and saying he is the same as every other squad member and has to fight for a place in the team and we will rotate our squad as needed.


What’s your take on why AMN isn’t actually being played much Hodd ?

On the face of it he has more natural talent than Joe Willock or El Nenny or someone like that. Attitude ? His mum ?


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Post #522097  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:15 pm 
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TOP GUN wrote:
HoddGooner wrote:
Good old Daily Tottenham (Mirror) putting a spin on the interview
I read it as their usual spin to make it negative on our club, by taking the words out of context with the question and the tone in which they would said.
My view from seeing the video is he answered a direct question on AMN and saying he is the same as every other squad member and has to fight for a place in the team and we will rotate our squad as needed.



What’s your take on why AMN isn’t actually being played much Hodd ?

On the face of it he has more natural talent than Joe Willock or El Nenny or someone like that. Attitude ? His mum ?

Not mum as she is no longer involved in his career directly
It's not like he hasn't been in the squad - at least until Monday, so I actually think its down to form and the fact that he is seen as more of a wing-back than a holding midfielder; that's due IMHO to the unbalanced squad we have.

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Post #522098  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:27 pm 
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Saw this online. Come this summer and in the past 3 years Arsenal have let go Sanchez, Ramsey, Özil, Cazorla, Wilshere, Sokratis, Mustafi, Mkhitaryan and Welbeck all for a total income of £0. We spent £190m on those players.

It is a toss up whether this or the extremely poor purchases is the biggest reason we are where we are right now.


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Post #522099  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:36 pm 
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Okay, thanks, so Vinnie Jones was known as a thug-ish type player? Archway story is interesting. I have some reading and videos now to look at.

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Post #522100  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:34 pm 
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AmericanGooner wrote:
Okay, thanks, so Vinnie Jones was known as a thug-ish type player? Archway story is interesting. I have some reading and videos now to look at.

Not just a thug-ish player, he was THE thug-ish player. He could actually play as well but for a while I think players were genuinely scared when they played him. The rules on tackling were a lot different in his day though, he’d be sent off every game with today’s rules

I think Vinny Jones holds the record for quickest yellow card in a game at 4 seconds!


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Post #522101  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:35 pm 
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David Ornstein reporting we’re interested in and have made an approach for Martin Ødegaard on loan from Real Madrid. He was the 15 year old Norwegian Real signed under much fan fare some time back. Had 3 loans since, still a talented player, seems like he needs time away from Real Madrid to fulfil his potential


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Post #522102  Posted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:23 pm 
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Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (who remembers him) scored the second half equaliser to get Livingston a 2-2 draw against Celtic, to take two points off Celtic. Good news for those, like me, who want Rangers to win the Scottish title.


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Post #522103  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:23 am 
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I have a political-ish question for the English on here. With regards to the MP of an area. Does he or she have any sway in brining in local projects? Or is that the mayor, borough council, etc?

For example a Senator or House of Representative member in the states with a certain amount of seniority/power can make deals to have a highway, bridge, built or benefits for local companies, and such.

Can an MP do similar things?

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Post #522104  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:15 am 
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Bernard wrote:
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (who remembers him) scored the second half equaliser to get Livingston a 2-2 draw against Celtic, to take two points off Celtic. Good news for those, like me, who want Rangers to win the Scottish title.


I, too, am rooting for Rangers. And only because it is boring to see Celtic win it all the time.

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Post #522105  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:48 am 
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Bernard wrote:
Gaz from Oz wrote:
So half the season gone. What would be an acceptable return for the second half of the season. Given everyone was pointing out that we had all the tough games away from home early in the season I would have thought 35 points would be okay plus winning the Europa Cup to go into the CL.

Winning the Europa League, as long as we also don’t go down, would make it better than acceptable. A mid-table finish and winning the FA Cup would be acceptable in my view. Winning the Europa League would make it very good, outstanding or excellent.

Furthermore, I do think we're realistic contenders for the cups, given our defensive stability.

Fifth place, ahead of Spurs, would be most satisfactory!

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Post #522106  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:55 am 
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Decaf wrote:
Furthermore, I do think we're realistic contenders for the cups, given our defensive stability.

So do I. Both of them.


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Post #522107  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:16 am 
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I'm just hoping no one gets injured on Saturday. I would put key players staying fit even over a win. With all the big clubs still in the competition, I don't think there is much chance of winning. If we can avoid them with lucky ties and a few of them gets knocked out, then we have a shout like last season.

I'm also assuming if we can get to the semis with a little luck, we'd have solidified a bit as a squad. Again, we haven't seen Gabriel, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang, Martinelli, Tierney, play together on a regular basis. On any given day we can knock off one of the top of the league sides.

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Post #522108  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:45 am 
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gooner7 wrote:
Bernard wrote:
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (who remembers him) scored the second half equaliser to get Livingston a 2-2 draw against Celtic, to take two points off Celtic. Good news for those, like me, who want Rangers to win the Scottish title.


I, too, am rooting for Rangers. And only because it is boring to see Celtic win it all the time.


I’m certainly not. Went to ibrox a few years ago for a friendly with us and was in the home end and was disgusted at the monkey noises every time one of our players touched the ball. Far from a minority

Since that day I’ve always wanted them to lose and even a lack of variation wouldn’t change that.


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Post #522109  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:50 am 
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Decaf wrote:
Bernard wrote:
Winning the Europa League, as long as we also don’t go down, would make it better than acceptable. A mid-table finish and winning the FA Cup would be acceptable in my view. Winning the Europa League would make it very good, outstanding or excellent.

Furthermore, I do think we're realistic contenders for the cups, given our defensive stability.

!


Sorry decaf you have just made reference to something positive there for Arteta when referencing our defensive stability. Therefore you need to counter it with something negative like “but I still don’t see a coherent plan”

Btw I agree


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Post #522110  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:03 am 
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TOP GUN wrote:
I’m certainly not. Went to ibrox a few years ago for a friendly with us and was in the home end and was disgusted at the monkey noises every time one of our players touched the ball. Far from a minority

Since that day I’ve always wanted them to lose and even a lack of variation wouldn’t change that.

Have you been to Celtic away? I have, twice and once not in the away end. They’re hardly the most tolerant people either.


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Post #522111  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:53 am 
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Bernard wrote:
TOP GUN wrote:
I’m certainly not. Went to ibrox a few years ago for a friendly with us and was in the home end and was disgusted at the monkey noises every time one of our players touched the ball. Far from a minority

Since that day I’ve always wanted them to lose and even a lack of variation wouldn’t change that.

Have you been to Celtic away? I have, twice and once not in the away end. They’re hardly the most tolerant people either.


Must admit my sympathies (though that’s the wrong word) tend towards Celtic largely because my mother was a Catholic and I was brought up in that faith as a child. Also because I was at that pre-season ‘friendly’ in the late ‘60s game that I mentioned recently and I witnessed the filthy, disgusting and moronic behaviour of the Rangers fans. In truth, I don’t have much time for either team, nor indeed for Scotland. Over the years I’ve visited most European countries but I managed to avoid Scotland. I considered it a sort of 'badge of honour' until a couple of years ago when I had a weekend in Edinburgh – which was mostly foreign tourists and very few scots. I shan't be rushing back.

A near neighbour back in the ‘60s was a black cab driver and of course a solid Arse man. Every year to coincide with the Home Internationals, the London and Glasgow Black Cab organisations would take turns to host a formal black tie dinner and dance at some posh venue for the football supporting cabbies from the two cities and their wives. They apparently went quite well until a wrong word or two led to a wild-west style drunken brawl, resulting in broken heads and ripped ballgowns and putting the kibosh forever on that well-intentioned but futile attempt at cultural interaction.


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Post #522112  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:54 am 
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Bernard wrote:
TOP GUN wrote:
I’m certainly not. Went to ibrox a few years ago for a friendly with us and was in the home end and was disgusted at the monkey noises every time one of our players touched the ball. Far from a minority

Since that day I’ve always wanted them to lose and even a lack of variation wouldn’t change that.

Have you been to Celtic away? I have, twice and once not in the away end. They’re hardly the most tolerant people either.


I have and I agree.

Religious fundamentalism is stupid, pointless petty and their fan base seems to indulge in a lot of that posturing.

However publicly vilifying someone over their skin colour is pure evil, abhorrent and I hadn’t experienced that level of anger inside me before. What was even more remarkable was that this was at the time when Mark Walters was in their team I believe.

It will never leave me hence I want rangers to lose every single game they play.


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Post #522113  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:11 pm 
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DHD wrote:
Bernard wrote:
Have you been to Celtic away? I have, twice and once not in the away end. They’re hardly the most tolerant people either.


Over the years I’ve visited most European countries but I managed to avoid Scotland. I considered it a sort of 'badge of honour' until a couple of years ago when I had a weekend in Edinburgh – which was mostly foreign tourists and very few scots. I shan't be rushing back.

.


Found this comment quite sad really (dont mean this in a nasty way) I would suggest you reconsider as you get older. Scotland contains some beauty that other parts of the UK can’t compete with and Edinburgh as you said isn’t really Scotland. If you ever get the chance to visit the highlands I’d take it. If you still don’t like it at least you’ve got the whisky mate


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Post #522114  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:21 pm 
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Arteta has said he has a 'solid idea' on who was leaking private information out of Arsenal to the media.
https://www.football365.com/news/arteta ... ed-destroy


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Post #522115  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:24 pm 
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Rich wrote:
Arteta has said he has a 'solid idea' on who was leaking private information out of Arsenal to the media.
https://www.football365.com/news/arteta ... ed-destroy


I’d be shocked if it’s not David Luiz

It’s in the chelsea players handbook to leak information to the press on what’s happening inside the changing rooms and apparently Luiz was at the heart of Mourinhos departure when he did the same. Luiz was dropped shortly after and now Rob Holding is playing-every game.


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Post #522116  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:30 pm 
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TOP GUN wrote:
DHD wrote:

Over the years I’ve visited most European countries but I managed to avoid Scotland. I considered it a sort of 'badge of honour' until a couple of years ago when I had a weekend in Edinburgh – which was mostly foreign tourists and very few scots. I shan't be rushing back.

.


Found this comment quite sad really (dont mean this in a nasty way) I would suggest you reconsider as you get older. Scotland contains some beauty that other parts of the UK can’t compete with and Edinburgh as you said isn’t really Scotland. If you ever get the chance to visit the highlands I’d take it. If you still don’t like it at least you’ve got the whisky mate

I hiked and hitch-hiked from Inverness to the Isle of Skye one golden summer about a quarter of a century ago, stopping off at every inn for a wee dram. Based on that experience, I'd say it's not just other parts of the UK that can't compete with the Highlands.

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Post #522117  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:51 pm 
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For some reason I was remembering the times when Wenger used to put out teams of teenagers in the cups and they used to still dominate experienced Prem and Championship sides. The one game that sticks in the memory from this period was a 6-0 demolition of Sheffield Utd in the league cup. Arsenal had an average age of 19 - this was the team that night.
Arsenal: Fabianski, Hoyte, Djourou, Song, (Lansbury 70), Gibbs, Randall, Ramsey, Merida (Coquelin 71), Wilshere, Bendtner (Simpson 71), Vela.

For all the success the youth teams or Chelsea and Man City have had, and all the hype any young player at Man U gets I haven't seen any of these teams be able to do what we used to be able to do by putting full teams of teenagers out and winning


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Post #522118  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:12 pm 
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TOP GUN wrote:
DHD wrote:
Over the years I’ve visited most European countries but I managed to avoid Scotland. I considered it a sort of 'badge of honour' until a couple of years ago when I had a weekend in Edinburgh – which was mostly foreign tourists and very few scots. I shan't be rushing back.

Found this comment quite sad really (dont mean this in a nasty way) I would suggest you reconsider as you get older. Scotland contains some beauty that other parts of the UK can’t compete with and Edinburgh as you said isn’t really Scotland. If you ever get the chance to visit the highlands I’d take it. If you still don’t like it at least you’ve got the whisky mate

I love Edinburgh. A beautiful (in my honest opinion) city. Believe it or not, went up to Edinburgh for a dinner out a while back (we live in Hertfordshire so it is quite a way). Wanted to go the Tom Kitchin’s Michelin Star restaurant The Kitchin. It only has one star, but was equally as good as any, and better than some, two star restaurants we’ve eaten at. Deserves a second star in my humble view (we enjoy fine dining so have been to lots of Michelin Star restaurants).

One thing I mentioned years ago was a report I’d read that three quarters or 75% of football fans in Scotland support either Rangers or Celtic. From memory dec thought that was probably an exaggeration (apologies to dec if it was someone else). But I can believe it as when I’ve been to Edinburgh (I’ve been more often than anywhere else in Scotland), you see far more people wearing Rangers and Celtic gear than Hearts and Hibs stuff. And don’t forget, along with Aberdeen the Edinburgh clubs are two of the third, fourth and fifth biggest clubs in Scotland (in whatever order).

You’re right about the highlands too, and malt whiskey. As people here know, my expertise in alcoholic beverages is primarily focused on red wine, though I also collect Sauternes (the sweet white wine region of Bordeaux). As a result I rarely drink whiskey. But on the occasional times I have tried it, malt whiskey is at a different level to the blended stuff you get like Bells, Teachers, Grants, Famous Grouse, Haig and Chivas Regal.

Been all around Scotland. Glasgow is atmospheric, Edinburgh beautiful, Aberdeen distinctive, Inverness fabulous (close to Culloden Moor), Fort William, St Andrew’s and so on. Loch Ness is narrow but very deep. I think I saw a documentary that said it has more water than any other lake in Britain. The biggest place in Scotland I’ve not been to is Dundee.


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Post #522119  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:18 pm 
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Are we going to send the suspect(s)who leaked info to Guantanamo Bay for 'questioning'?

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Post #522120  Posted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:04 pm 
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Bernard wrote:
TOP GUN wrote:
I’m certainly not. Went to ibrox a few years ago for a friendly with us and was in the home end and was disgusted at the monkey noises every time one of our players touched the ball. Far from a minority

Since that day I’ve always wanted them to lose and even a lack of variation wouldn’t change that.

Have you been to Celtic away? I have, twice and once not in the away end. They’re hardly the most tolerant people either.

Another reason I like Rangers was my dad used to take me to a few England games at the old Wembley. One was an England versus Scotland match that was part of the annual home international tournament. I was stunned by the away support. It seemed every single spectator in the ground was a Scotland fan. I’m sure that wasn’t the case, but at the time it seemed like it.

Anyway, leaving the ground after the match we (my dad and I) were walking over one of the concrete bridges leading to the road named Olympic Way. It was jam packed with p*ssed up jocks. You could hardly breath. My dad was doing his best to protect me from the pushing as I was only a small kid, probably still at primary school, and looking back may have been in some danger.

When the bloke directly behind us saw I could get in a bit of trouble, he started helping my dad and turned round and shouted to the people pushing behind him words to the effect of ‘careful, there’s wee lad here’. Behind him was another drunk Scotsman who said in colourful language why should I, or why should we? The Scots bloke immediately behind us said very threateningly to him words to the effect ‘because if you don’t you’ll have me to answer to.’

Anyway, we got away from the ground okay as the guy behind us had calmed his p*ssed up countrymen down. Before we went the other way to him my dad thanked him. He said, again words to the effect, in a thick Scottish accent that’s fine or no problem or whatever, followed by ‘the wee boy had to be looked after’. Then my dad thanked him again and asked what club he supported. He answered, no words to the effect this time as I remember to this day, ‘Glasgae Rangers’ in his thick accent.

If he’d said Celtic my Old Firm affinities would presumably now be different, but he was Rangers. Also Celtic were so dominant at the time and the Ibrox disaster around then made it easy for me to feel sorry for Rangers. They’ve been my favourite Scottish club ever since and are still behind only Arsenal and Bayern as my third team.


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