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Author Topic: Champion's League Discussion [SPOILER for those who are saving the games]  (Read 473 times)

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Offline AidenWhiteTopic starter

So this past week, there have been some interesting demolitions of Spanish teams at the hand of the Germans.

So this got me thinking, "Hmm, if Germans become the new Spanish, it would be terrible, actually I prefer it."

I'm glad Barcelona and Real both got knocked down a few notches because I thought they both needed a reality check.

I'm a somewhat neutral party here, I support the Italian Serie A and AC Milan.

I just wanted to hear some fresh opinions that aren't from my co-workers.

Side note: My god. What a player Lewendowski is! 4 goals against Real is not an easy thing to do.

Offline Kythia

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Stopped watching in a sulk a couple of weeks ago.  Hate Benfica and everything portugese (sorry if that includes you)

Offline consortium11

I hope Dortmond win, just to spite Munich in many ways. The vultures have been circling their squad for a while but with Gotze and Lewendowski now leaving I struggle to see how they will be able to bring in replacements of the same calibre in the way they have the past two seasons. They definitely are giving the whole "do not go gentle into that good night" thing a real go.

That said, I'd also be fairly happy with a Munich win as well. In some ways that would make life difficult for Pep when he joins next season; the only real way would be down.

I'd be reluctant about declaring a new Teutonic order or the like though. Dortmond's team are being picked apart: Sahin two seasons ago, the Kagawa, now Gotze and Lewendowski (who nearly ended up playing for Blackburn). A team can normally absorb losing a couple of their better players but if it happens season after season it tends to break a team; see Arsenal and how they turned from title contenders to a team fighting for fourth place. Even if they win the Champion's League this year it's hard to see where they go next, especially if Barcelona stop believing their own hype and finally buy a defender... with the rumoured option being Hummels.

Remember a couple of years back when English teams dominated the competition? Perennial semi and finalists, the only thing that seemed to prevent a complete Anglo-invasion was Barcelona at their absolute peak. And yet, despite Chelsea's heroics last year, I don't thinking anyone can say the Premiership teams have been anything but underwhelming in the Champion's League.

The only slight caveat to that is that we could start to see some fairly dramatic changes in the heart of Europe. Spanish teams (including the big two) are crippled with debt and for the first time it appears that the local governments that allow those debts are starting to bite back. The Italian league has lost a lot of quality compared to a few years back and even the German teams outside of Munich are struggling. Some of the richer teams have underperformed in Europe this year (Manchester City and Chelsea particularly) and it would be foolish to assume that continues.

Offline CastorTroy

Great to see the Bundesliga doing so well. Bayern may have won it at a canter but it's such an enjoyable league to watch - all the teams play progressive end-to-end football, all the teams really value their fans (teams always salute the fans after a win, for example, not to mention the infinitely cheaper ticket prices) and, Bayern's dominance aside, it's a pretty competitive league. I don't think a shift is in order yet, Bayern will stick around though - their squad is just so complete.

What we may see is a Germany v Spain battle at international level for the next 10-20 years. These two teams have an astonishing amount of talent coming through.

Offline Hellis

Great to see the Bundesliga doing so well. Bayern may have won it at a canter but it's such an enjoyable league to watch - all the teams play progressive end-to-end football, all the teams really value their fans (teams always salute the fans after a win, for example, not to mention the infinitely cheaper ticket prices) and, Bayern's dominance aside, it's a pretty competitive league. I don't think a shift is in order yet, Bayern will stick around though - their squad is just so complete.

What we may see is a Germany v Spain battle at international level for the next 10-20 years. These two teams have an astonishing amount of talent coming through.

Agreed on all accounts. As as a Swede, I have managed to travel to germany for two Bayern matches, the prices are really not that bad compared to say: French and Italian ones.

Offline CastorTroy

Agreed on all accounts. As as a Swede, I have managed to travel to germany for two Bayern matches, the prices are really not that bad compared to say: French and Italian ones.

All things considered, the Bundesliga is definitely the best value for money; it has everything a fan needs, no other league will be able to replicate it, certainly can't see the English league replicating it. Italian stadiums are mostly empty nowadays, sadly, due to to crowd trouble. French league is promising, could be the next to break out (although historically it has never been top dog) if there's more investment like that at PSG and Monaco. Still, the risk-averse football leaves a lot to be desired; as soon as teams go 1-0 up the methodology is to sit back and absorb pressure. That's probably the explanation for the low-ish turnouts in the French league.

Offline Hellis

All things considered, the Bundesliga is definitely the best value for money; it has everything a fan needs, no other league will be able to replicate it, certainly can't see the English league replicating it. Italian stadiums are mostly empty nowadays, sadly, due to to crowd trouble. French league is promising, could be the next to break out (although historically it has never been top dog) if there's more investment like that at PSG and Monaco. Still, the risk-averse football leaves a lot to be desired; as soon as teams go 1-0 up the methodology is to sit back and absorb pressure. That's probably the explanation for the low-ish turnouts in the French league.

Unless you are PSG. Zlatan is a pretty stellar player, and he keeps racking up a goal tally. Footballs premier mercenary indeed

Offline consortium11

Just in addition, whenever people do mention the "German takeover" or the like, it's worth noting that Dortmund were seconds away from going out to Malaga and had to rely on some truly awful refereeing to get their late goal (although as a rule the refereeing across the whole tournament has been terrible). Then there'd be three Spanish teams in the semis, at least one in the final and we'd be talking about how the Spanish league is still dominant.

Looking at the Europa League as well, no German team got past the round of 32 and they were given a hiding in the round of 16. With the way Dortmund are being bled dry I don't think we'll see German dominance... Munich dominance maybe, but not German.

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Very interesting to point out, though that most of the main players in the Spanish teams are Spanish, while most of the main players, strikers and such in the German teams are foreign... and no, I am not forgetting about Messi and CR

Offline consortium11

Very interesting to point out, though that most of the main players in the Spanish teams are Spanish, while most of the main players, strikers and such in the German teams are foreign... and no, I am not forgetting about Messi and CR

I think that's overstating it, at least at the top level.

To use the recent two matches between the best two teams in the respective leagues as an example, Barcelona had 13 Spaniards in their squad and Madrid seven. In contrast Munich had seven Germans and Dortmund 10. That gives a slight edge to Spain but it's not a massive one... in both cases the national teams draw almost all of their players from those two sides.

Offline AidenWhiteTopic starter

Yeah. I'm kind of sad that Italy has had a drop off, but thanks to teams like Udinese, Parma, Fiorentina, Genoa and Milan and the youth systems, we are coming up with players like El Shaarawy, Muriel, Icardi, De Sciglio, etc. etc.

Italy will be fighting for Champions, as more than 1 team, in about 3-4 years, I'd wager. Juventus really needed a striker like Van Persie against Bayern. Vucinic is more of a creator and so is Giovinco. Matri and Quagliarella are mediocre, but hey, I'm a Milan fan so I don't care about them.

Moving on to Milan, I'm glad we brought Balotelli to the team. I hope we keep Bojan and I'm iffy about Robinho. We need a new goalkeeper, god bless Abbiati but the shit he does sometimes pisses me off (i.e not leaving the goal to get balls, punching or catching balls effectively from corners, etc.), and a new midfielder Fabregas-esque.

I made a team on FIFA that I would like to see in Milan:

Lloris or Perin
Abate   Zapata   Mexes   De Sciglio
  Montolivo    De Jong    Fabregas( if only T_T)
Niang/Bojan  Balotelli  El Shaarawy

If we had to stick to the 4-3-3. Also we need to get rid of Allegri. He's just a lesser version of Mourinho in the sense that they both don't really have a way to play football, they just bring morale to the team and that makes the individuals player better, but there really isn't a game.

If any of you have been watching Serie A, Fiorentina in particular, I wish we got Montella as a coach.

Offline CastorTroy

Just in addition, whenever people do mention the "German takeover" or the like, it's worth noting that Dortmund were seconds away from going out to Malaga and had to rely on some truly awful refereeing to get their late goal (although as a rule the refereeing across the whole tournament has been terrible). Then there'd be three Spanish teams in the semis, at least one in the final and we'd be talking about how the Spanish league is still dominant.

Looking at the Europa League as well, no German team got past the round of 32 and they were given a hiding in the round of 16. With the way Dortmund are being bled dry I don't think we'll see German dominance... Munich dominance maybe, but not German.

We'll have to see how things pan out. The medium-long term view is that German clubs will benefit from Financial Fair Play as they're financially very secure - no other league has as many financially secure sides as the Bundesliga. Spanish clubs, bar Barcelona and Real Madrid, are the exact opposite - they're increasingly becoming the hotbed for English clubs to go and buy players on the cheap (Michu being the prime example lately). I think we will see financially stronger Bundesliga clubs, Bayern will always be way ahead but there are plenty of other promising teams. Gotze will leave Dortmund but there's great talent Dortmund can pick from elsewhere in the league. Dortmund easily replaced Kagawa and Sahin with Reus and Gundogan. They may be more savvy when they negotiate contracts now, inserting that release clause for Gotze was asking for trouble.

Offline consortium11

We'll have to see how things pan out. The medium-long term view is that German clubs will benefit from Financial Fair Play as they're financially very secure - no other league has as many financially secure sides as the Bundesliga. Spanish clubs, bar Barcelona and Real Madrid, are the exact opposite - they're increasingly becoming the hotbed for English clubs to go and buy players on the cheap (Michu being the prime example lately). I think we will see financially stronger Bundesliga clubs, Bayern will always be way ahead but there are plenty of other promising teams. Gotze will leave Dortmund but there's great talent Dortmund can pick from elsewhere in the league. Dortmund easily replaced Kagawa and Sahin with Reus and Gundogan. They may be more savvy when they negotiate contracts now, inserting that release clause for Gotze was asking for trouble.

Germany won't really be that well off under FFP; only three of their clubs make the top 20 of clubs by revenue (and let's also remember it's not that long since Dortmond went bankrupt, essentially ripped off their creditors, and started again) and all FFP really does is entrench the existing powers that be. Moreover if anything it may hurt the mid-level clubs across Europe as they'll no longer be able to rely on clubs paying high transfer fees for players. Bayern will still be able to hoover up all the talent as they have for years, Madrid will still be able to put together a club of Galácticos, Barcelona will still have the largest wage bill in the history of football, Manchester United will still be the dominant power. All it means is that clubs that have attempted/managed to upset the hegemony will no longer be able to; no Malaga, no Chelsea, no Manchester City.

And I still doubt Dortmond will be able to hold onto their talent; they simply can't afford it. And teams simply can't expect to replace their best players every season and maintain their success, let alone improve. See Arsenal in the Premier League or the likes of Valencia in Spain... a side that if it had held onto its players could have put out a team with Mata, Silva, Villa, Joaquín Sánchez and Isco.

Offline CastorTroy

Germany won't really be that well off under FFP; only three of their clubs make the top 20 of clubs by revenue (and let's also remember it's not that long since Dortmond went bankrupt, essentially ripped off their creditors, and started again) and all FFP really does is entrench the existing powers that be. Moreover if anything it may hurt the mid-level clubs across Europe as they'll no longer be able to rely on clubs paying high transfer fees for players. Bayern will still be able to hoover up all the talent as they have for years, Madrid will still be able to put together a club of Galácticos, Barcelona will still have the largest wage bill in the history of football, Manchester United will still be the dominant power. All it means is that clubs that have attempted/managed to upset the hegemony will no longer be able to; no Malaga, no Chelsea, no Manchester City.

And I still doubt Dortmond will be able to hold onto their talent; they simply can't afford it. And teams simply can't expect to replace their best players every season and maintain their success, let alone improve. See Arsenal in the Premier League or the likes of Valencia in Spain... a side that if it had held onto its players could have put out a team with Mata, Silva, Villa, Joaquín Sánchez and Isco.

Depends where that revenue comes from. English clubs may have a lot of revenue but the model really isn't sustainable. The big cubs will still remain powerful, I agree. But I don't think Malaga, Chelsea or Man City will be deterred, there are plenty of loopholes in the FFP that these clubs will take advantage of (or have already starting taking advantage of in some cases).

Yeah, Dortmund will struggle to hold onto their talent but I'm a firm believer that they'll manage to do so eventually. With the signing of Reus we definitely saw a certain shift, for a player to reject Bayern over Dortmund was almost unheard of. Difference between Dortmund and Arsenal/Valencia is they can still get quality replacements in, as shown by the fact that they were able to retain the title and even make the run to the final this year (hopefully not jinxing them) even though their league form suffered, basically outplaying Real Madrid. Biggest issue is a lot of non-Bayern Bundesliga winners can't retain the title/get sustained success. We'll have to see how they do in the coming seasons.

Offline consortium11

Depends where that revenue comes from. English clubs may have a lot of revenue but the model really isn't sustainable.

At the top level it is; Manchester United have been saddled with some of the worst debt a side has ever had due to their takeover and yet have managed to pay it down quickly while also signing quality players. That's without mentioning the fact they've just signed ludicrously profitable sponsorship deals and the entire Premiership gets a massive boost to TV revenue next year. Even neauvu-rich sides like City and Chelsea have done a pretty decent job of getting their profit/loss under control.

The big cubs will still remain powerful, I agree. But I don't think Malaga, Chelsea or Man City will be deterred, there are plenty of loopholes in the FFP that these clubs will take advantage of (or have already starting taking advantage of in some cases).

Which means that the more financially prudent German teams won't see any benefit from it...

Yeah, Dortmund will struggle to hold onto their talent but I'm a firm believer that they'll manage to do so eventually. With the signing of Reus we definitely saw a certain shift, for a player to reject Bayern over Dortmund was almost unheard of.

Reus was born in Dortmund and played with them till under-19 level. He's simply rejoining his hometown club again. In addition he's far more likely to get a first team place with Dortmund then he would with Bayern and he flat out said he had one eye on his international future (which requires first team exposure). While players turning down slightly more money and glamour for such reasons is rare it's certainly not unique; Shearer to Newcastle rather than Manchester United is one of the most famous British examples.

Difference between Dortmund and Arsenal/Valencia is they can still get quality replacements in, as shown by the fact that they were able to retain the title and even make the run to the final this year (hopefully not jinxing them) even though their league form suffered, basically outplaying Real Madrid.

The question is for how long though. We already saw the cracks in the League this season (and the league is the best way to judge such things compared to  the Champions League... see Chelsea last year) and while they've done well in replacing Sahin and Kagawa, how long can that go on? How likely are they to replace Gotze with someone as talented? Lewandowski? Hummels (who a lot of clubs are interested in)? Bender? Gündoğan? Subotić? Großkreutz? It's difficult enough for teams lower down the league to survive their best players going; when you're trying to compete with the best it's damn near impossible. And for better or worse, these days Dortmund are a selling club. I hope they do manage to keep their standing... one league teams are even more boring than two league teams... but I'm somewhat doubtful of it, especially with the way Munich generally seem to only ever not win a title when they shoot themselves in the foot off the field.

Biggest issue is a lot of non-Bayern Bundesliga winners can't retain the title/get sustained success. We'll have to see how they do in the coming seasons.

As above, that's my concern. If you look at the last 10 seasons Bayern have won it five times, with five other winners. Outside of Dortmond no team has retained it... and in truth not even done that well the season after; Werder Bremen won it and the next season finished third, 17 points behind. Stuttgart won it... and the next season finished sixth. Wolfsburg won it... and next season finished eighth. Dortmund managed to defend and at least this season will finish second... but they're 20 points off the pace. And Dortmund are continuing to lose their best players...