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Messages - seafoid

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1
General discussion / Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« on: Today at 09:52:43 AM »
“How could you let this happen, Jeff.”

Replaces

“Unbelievable,Jeff”

2
They can go F**k themselves. Twisted f**king logic makes them think they are doing the city a service. It was only a matter of time before their recklessness killed an innocent person.

Lyra sounds like a great person.
So sad
So pointless

https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/growing-up-gay-in-belfast-i-used-to-bargain-with-god-not-to-send-me-to-hell-1.2950791

3
GAA Discussion / Re: Players dropping out for Championship
« on: April 18, 2019, 03:02:15 PM »
And what about other sports? What would division one club rugby players be training in the week? I wouldn't have great knowledge of it but I was under the impression they were training at least 4/5 times a week (not all collectively)?

Most of them get paid believe it or not well reimbursed for expenses.

They would train collectively twice a week, no collective gym sessions. 18 AIL fixtures set in stone. Easy to play no other commitments bar the 2 games for the 25 who are selected to play for the Irish Club team.

County players are getting expenses, gear, water etc. I'd imagine a county player wouldn't be that much worse of than a club rugby player in terms of what they get back. And the top players would get to play in front of much larger crowds and have much greater exposure than a club rugby player.

Would club rugby players not be expected to do 2 or 3 gym sessions on top of the 2 training sessions a week? And pre season would start late July with the season running to the following May? I'm not seeing how it's such a better lifestyle.

The vast majority of county players are pawns in a funding system designed to suit a handful of counties. The commitment/reward relationship is asymmetric as the Dubs go for the 5 in a row.

4
GAA Discussion / Re: What do New York bring to the Championship
« on: April 18, 2019, 02:07:16 PM »
The obvious answer is that Connacht is a small province and without NY and London would be even more horribly lopsided than Leinster
Connacht has 3 decent teams unlike Leinster

Roscommon are at the same level as Kildare and Meath. Leitrim are a level below Laois, Longford , Westmeath and Offaly.

Connacht has a good Mayo team and a solid Galway team. Leinster has the greatest team of all time, that's why it's so lopsided, remove the dopers and you have a great championship. They would have any decimated any of the provincial championships in the last 10 years.
The Dubs have ruined Leinster
Galway, Ros and Mayo have all won Connacht in the last 4 years. A normal Leinster championship would have that kind of variety as well eg 95-98
Maybe when the empire collapses.

5
General discussion / Re: European Leagues.
« on: April 18, 2019, 01:32:28 PM »
Guardiola took on a huge job with Man City

Not really. Taking over a club that has failed to make any headway in Europe with an unlimited budget to recruit whoever he likes,  while naming his own salary to do so seems like a nice enough number for someone of Guardiola's standing.   It's not like they're gonna sack him anytime soon.  Much less stressful than the Barca or Real jobs since at City he is considered bigger than the club.
Changing the culture is harder than buying the players.
If it was GAA and he had unlimited resources it would be very hard to win an all Ireland with Laois or Fermanagh.

6
General discussion / Re: Brexit.
« on: April 18, 2019, 11:17:15 AM »
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/guns-thunder-at-midnight-when-the-republic-left-the-commonwealth-1.3864493
"Radio Éireann marked the Republic’s official birth at a minute past midnight: “These are the first moments of Easter Monday, April 18th, 1949. Since midnight, for the first time in history, international recognition has been accorded to the Republic of Ireland.
Our listeners will join us is asking God’s blessing on the Republic, and in praying that it will not be long until the sovereignty of the Republic extends over the whole of our national territory.”

7
GAA Discussion / Re: What do New York bring to the Championship
« on: April 18, 2019, 11:09:49 AM »
How many years since Armagh have last won an Ulster Championship game? Or Antrim?

Armagh 2014, Antrim 2009.
That is shocking re Armagh
I wonder how much more time Geezer will get.

Yes it’s poor but we got Donegal in 15, Cavan away in 16. Kick of a ball between us and Down in 17, and Fermanagh in 18, less said the better.

We have to be looking at reaching an Ulster final this year. Anything else and Geezer is gone.
But if ye haven't won an Ulster match since 2014 a final this year is a big ask

8
General discussion / Re: European Leagues.
« on: April 18, 2019, 09:02:36 AM »
Guardiola took on a huge job with Man City

9
General discussion / Re: European Leagues.
« on: April 18, 2019, 08:52:34 AM »
"As the green shorts leapt and danced it felt like the most fittingly shapeless of winning goals; decisive moment in a competition that refuses to bend to Guardiola’s will but continues to remain thrillingly out of reach. "
– Guardian

10
GAA Discussion / Re: What do New York bring to the Championship
« on: April 17, 2019, 05:28:36 PM »
The obvious answer is that Connacht is a small province and without NY and London would be even more horribly lopsided than Leinster
Connacht has 3 decent teams unlike Leinster

11
GAA Discussion / Re: What do New York bring to the Championship
« on: April 17, 2019, 04:58:55 PM »
How many years since Armagh have last won an Ulster Championship game? Or Antrim?

Armagh 2014, Antrim 2009.
That is shocking re Armagh
I wonder how much more time Geezer will get.

12
General discussion / Re: European Leagues.
« on: April 17, 2019, 04:38:28 PM »
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2019/04/17/love-letter-ajax-europes-exciting-team/

•   Luke Edwards
17 April 2019 • 1:01pm

This is a love letter, a tribute to a team that has made me fall in love with football again and a club who have reminded us all that something pure remains unsullied in the beautiful game.
You may not fully appreciate how special Ajax are, not yet. You will probably be unaware of the journey this famous Dutch club has been on, the thinking behind the process that has brought them to the brink of a Champions League final for the first time in 23 years.
Ajax are amazing and I do not use those words lightly. They play with freedom of expression, they play like a team born in Amsterdam, that most artistic and rebellious of cities where you are allowed to indulge; where hedonism is a way of life and your creativity is nurtured and encouraged. If ever a football team symbolised its home city, it is Ajax.
It is an incredible team, not just a joy to behold, but remarkable because this is simply not supposed to happen in the modern game.
What makes them special, so unique, is that this Ajax team will not build a dynasty, they will not dominate. Ajax are like a butterfly, beautiful, bewitching, but already dying. Almost from the moment they spread their wings in Europe this season, long before they knocked out Real Madrid and Juventus in the knockout stage, they knew they were reaching the end of their time together.
They are a team to be cherished because these are already their final days. In the summer, this Ajax team will be broken up, their best players scattered around Europe’s biggest clubs, spread all over the continent depending on who offers the most money to entice them away.
And consider this too – Ajax have produced more players, developed in their academy for three or more years, currently playing in Europe's top divisions than any other club in the world. This is not new, what is different, is that for once they have been allowed to grow and develop together. For the time being at least.
Speak to anyone connected with Ajax they will tell you it is inevitable the team will be torn apart. There is sadness, but it is fleeting because this team has made people proud.
It is a team designed to play to win, to never take a backward step, a team which intends to dominate, not merely to survive, even though that is what the club has been forced to do.
Watch Ajax play and you will see and you will, I’m sure, fall in love. The youngest side to reach the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League has also been by far the best to watch.
The style of football has been likened to playing in the middle of whirlwind, such is the speed and power of those in Ajax shirts, they come at you with such unrelenting ferocity.

They pass and move with a speed not seen for years. Players with good technical ability, able to play in a variety of positions. They are the embodiment of the Total Football values that Dutch football has always prided itself on. They deserve their place alongside all the great Ajax sides of yesteryear, but they have done it in an era when it was supposed to be impossible for them to compete
Ajax have built this side from a mixture of homegrown talent and bargain buys. The most expensive players, Dusan Tadic, signed from Southampton for around £10m last summer and winger David Neres, signed for around the same amount from Sao Paulo two years ago, are a Premier League reject and a player who spent his first season in the development squad.
It is a team forged from the arrogance and swagger of youth, whether it is midfielder Frenkie de Jong – who has already signed for Barcelona for £75m and will leave in the summer – or centre back and captain, the 19-year-old Matthijs de Ligt, a target for every major club in Europe who scored the winning goal against Juventus, everywhere you look there is an Ajax youngster blossoming.
Ajax built this team from the bottom up. They did not poach the best players, they did not buy the established stars everyone wanted. They built a team with their own vision and hard work, mainly in their own academy. They constructed an awesome side because they believed in their ability to produce and nurture their own players
Ajax may be a famous old name, but they are paupers these days, a relic from a more egalitarian age when all the big clubs, from all the European leagues, could dream of conquering the continent.
Those days were supposed to be gone. We are now in the era of the Super Clubs, when oil-rich nation own football clubs and multi-billionaires jostle with each other for international prestige. We are, if you look across Europe, at a point where the same big teams win their domestic leagues year after year, in Germany, France, Scotland, Italy and beyond. Even in England, the richest club, Manchester City could win the quadruple.

Ajax had supposedly been left behind, but this is a club where supporters do not chant excitedly about one of their own wearing the red and white shirt, they expect it.
Ajax’s wage bill last season was less than Aston Villa, Cardiff, Middlesbrough and Wolves when they were in the Championship last season. It was also beneath Celtic’s – a club with an equally grand history and reputation. It has gone up a little this season, but it will still be lower than every Premier League team.
This time last year, Ajax feared the time had come for their best players to leave, but the club asked the likes of de Jong, de Ligt, Hakim Ziyech and Donny van de Beek to give them another season. Only striker Justin Kluivert, son of Patrick, did not listen, leaving for Roma where he has struggled for first team football.
The rest stayed put, promising the club that had launched their careers, one more year. One more season to win the Dutch league, to win silverware together and surely all of us most now hope it is the biggest prize of all that is paraded through the streets of Amsterdam in May.
Ajax, champions of Europe, would be an even better fairytale than Leicester City winning the Premier League.


13
General discussion / Re: European Leagues.
« on: April 17, 2019, 03:24:11 PM »
That's only twice I've had the pleasure of watching that Ajax team this season. They are a joy to watch. Unfortunately they will no doubt be torn apart by transfers this summer.
Like Monaco who got to the semis 2 years ago and were flogged to the highest bidders shortly afterwards

14
General discussion / Re: Man Utd Thread:
« on: April 17, 2019, 03:19:27 PM »
Read somewhere today that 4 of the back 5 for United last night started when United were eliminated by Basle from the group stages in 2011. Jones and Young were in midfield mind you.....
It was in the Daily Telegraph initially

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2019/04/17/end-ole-gunnar-solskjaers-honeymoon-gone-awry-manchester-united/

The end of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's honeymoon: What's gone awry for Manchester United and what must happen this summer?
 Manchester United's form has taken a nosedive - can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turn things around again?
•   Alistair Tweedale

17 April 2019 • 11:13am


Okay, let's not panic just yet. Yes, Manchester United are not quite the force they had threatened to be in the early days of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's reign, and yes, after a resounding 4-0 aggregate defeat to Barcelona, they are now out of the running in every competition, meaning the success of their season rests on securing qualification for the 2019/20 Champions League.
However, given the position they were in when Jose Mourinho was sacked in December - 11 points off fourth after 17 games, if you needed reminding - the chance to make this season's top four certainly shouldn't be sniffed at.
That said, after a run of five defeats in seven games (plus two unconvincing wins) in which dreams of a cup run were dashed both domestically and in Europe, it certainly feels like Solskjaer's honeymoon period has been brought to a resounding end.
So what's happened to United, and what next for the man at the wheel?
What has happened since the high of PSG?
In the second leg of the last-16 tie against Paris St-Germain last month, United produced one of the all-time great European comebacks with a youthful team that just shouldn't have been able to overturn a 2-0 home deficit.
Since then, it's been pretty much downhill. There was a league defeat at Arsenal, followed by the end of their FA Cup run at Wolves. Solskjaer said the dressing room "felt like a funeral" so dour was the performance in the win over Watford, before another loss at Wolves, this time in the league. Then, sandwiched in between two defeats to Barcelona (into which not too much should be read, such was the gulf in quality) was an extremely fortunate 2-1 win over West Ham last weekend, which came thanks to two Paul Pogba penalties.

The results in recent weeks have been woeful, but there had been warning signs already.
What has changed?
There have been a number of factors at play, and the combination of Solskjaer's inexperience as a manager, players losing form and a series of injuries to key men have been behind United's recent slump.
Teams are setting up with compact and narrow defences against them, and with United not currently boasting any wingers and Pogba out of sorts, they have found opponents more difficult to break down.
There has been an attempt in recent weeks to give themselves as much chance as possible to attack on the counter - they have had 51 per cent, 50 per cent and just 42 per cent possession against Watford, Wolves and West Ham, respectively, after having 64 per cent against Southampton, and have had four shots on the break in their last three league games after failing to have any in their previous four. However, this attempt at playing  the 'United Way' has left them far too vulnerable at the back.
A shoddy defence given little protection
Jose Mourinho was criticised for demanding yet more money to spend on a world class centre-back rather than attempting to improve the players he already had, but the need for new personnel at the back has never been more apparent.

Four of United's back five that lost at the Nou Camp on Tuesday were also in the starting lineup when they crashed out of the group stage of the 2011/12 Champions League at Basel. Since, Ashley Young has been converted into a frankly average full-back, while Chris Smalling and Phil Jones somehow remain in front of David De Gea.
It is expected that Solskjaer will make a similar request to his predecessor this summer, and the United defence will be given a refresh.

There has also been an issue further forwards. United's winter revival was centred around a consistent midfield three, with Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic providing protection to a back four that needed it, and Pogba given the freedom to get forwards. Solskjaer has been unable to call on Herrera and Matic at various points in recent weeks, and Fred and Scott McTominay simply haven't provided the same level of screening to a poor defence.
Teams are now scything straight through the heart of the team all too readily, and De Gea, who has made big errors against both Arsenal and Barcelona, could do with a little more help at the moment.

Injury problems

United did well to hold Liverpool to a goalless draw at Old Trafford back in Feburary but the team was decimated by injuries that day, with Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata going off, and Marcus Rashford playing a significant portion of the match with a limp.
Those injuries picked apart the core of the team upon which Solskjaer had been relying during United's incredible run of form after he took over. That quartet have missed 12 Premier League games between them since that day, while Matic, Alexis Sanchez and Eric Bailly have all been absent at various points, too.
For all the money spent at Old Trafford in recent years, their squad still isn't deep enough to deal with this number of injuries, and it has shown in recent weeks.

Where have the goals gone?

United had been fortunate to come back to beat Southampton the weekend before the PSG win, but were bailed out in both games by two Romelu Lukaku goals. That signalled the end of the streaky Belgian's latest run of form: after a run of nine games without a goal he hit six in three, but has not found the net in five appearances since.
Anthony Martial, initially reinvigorated under Solskjaer, has gone missing in recent weeks, while Lingard looks half-fit. Marcus Rashford can be brilliant as a lone centre-forward, but he still seems like he isn't quite ready to do so for a big side week in, week out, and the last few games have seen a bit of a slump. Sanchez has had no impact whatsoever.
It all adds up to significantly fewer goals being scored and results taking a nosedive.

Solskjaer's inadequacies

Fans love to see a manager who changes his lineup depending on the opposition, mainly because it provides a sense that the man in charge has an actual idea of what he is doing.
Solskjaer has changed his tactics weekly, further endearing himself to supporters that already loved him, but he has got a few calls wrong in big games in recent weeks, perhaps highlighting his lack of managerial experience at the top level.
The decision to play Young on the right side of a back three at Wolves was catastrophic, while a two-man midfield was overrun at the Emirates.
He has done incredibly to ensure the players are enjoying themselves and playing with freedom once again, but he is still learning on the job, and there may be a few more harsh lessons as he continues his education.

Is it time to panic?

There is something to be said for the fact United's recent defeats haven't actually been that catastrophic. This season, Spurs too were thrashed by Barcelona, beaten (at home) by Wolves and lost at Arsenal, while they also struggled past Watford, but their matches were just spread out over a longer period than United's tough recent run.
Their confidence has taken a hit but perhaps they should be looking at the Watford and West Ham results as positives in that they got the wins despite playing badly. After a run of 17 games in which the home PSG game was the only loss, a poorer run is not the end of the world.
The problem is that they now face a difficult run-in. They are still to play:
•   Everton (a) - 21 April
•   Man City (h) - 24 April
•   Chelsea (h) - 28 April
•   Huddersfield (a) - 5 May
•   Cardiff (h) - 12 May

Those next three games will be pivotal, and it will be a huge test to rediscover form against an Everton side who have just beaten Chelsea and Arsenal at home, and then against Manchester City and Chelsea. It looks unlikely but their rivals for the top four face tricky fixtures, too, so Champions League qualification is not quite out of sight.
What needs to happen this summer?

The futures of De Gea and Mata need resolving as they are out of contract this summer, while a replacement for the seemingly soon-to-depart Herrera is another priority. A ball-playing midfielder who provides a significant degree of protection for the defence has been missing of late and United should use this chance to upgrade with somebody who can help get the most out of Pogba, which means settling on a formation that uses a midfield three and Pogba as the most advanced of those players.
In defence, it is likely a centre-back will be targeted, while United could do with a better first-choice right-back than Ashley Young.
Yet again, significant investment is needed at Old Trafford.

Finally, were United were right to appoint Solskjaer?

It had seemed like a masterstroke when Solskjaer came in and turned things around so dramatically, but recent results have seen doubts creep in.
Some feel it would have been wise to wait until the end of the season rather than appoint him on a permanent basis when they did, while others still believe a manager with a proven track record of long-term thinking - such as Mauricio Pochettino - would have been a better choice, even if it was the more expensive option.
It is too early to write Solskjaer off, and many United fans will be grateful for that mid-season run of form after  Mourinho's toxic tenure finally came to an end.
But it does feel as though United did themselves no favours by choosing not to wait until the summer, when his long-term impact and the future of De Gea and Herrera had become a little more clear.
Now they have invested in Solskjaer, they need to stick with him through this rough patch.


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