West Bro v. Arsenal

Bro. Arsenal play West Bro tomorrow in a match that doesn’t matter, Bro.

“They are physically very strong and they are very efficient on set pieces, bro.” – Wenger on West Brom.

West Brom have scored more goals from set plays than any other team this season with 16. You can compare and contrast that with Swansea and West Ham who have scored 13 goals from set plays this season but the difference is that between West Brom and West Ham is that, specifically, and to the point, like when you get down to it, bro, West Brom be crushiiin goals like my buddy Harley crushes syringes.

West Brom has scored 20% of their shots from set plays. That’s like a bad night at the club for me, bro, just sayin. But, in the Premier League, that’s tiiight. That’s the bomb dot com.

Let me give you a little bit of perspective. West Brom have only taken 82 shots from set plays and they have scored 16 times. I scored 16 times on your girlfriend. Arsenal, who are like one of those dudes at the club who have to wear a suit with big shoulder pads, you know who else wears pads? Your girlfriend. But, I digest from my original point which was, specifically, that Arsenal have taken 78 shots from set plays and have scored 7 goals. That’s 9% bro. That’s just average.

Tottenham are weak at set plays bro. Just 5%! That’s like second worst behind Sunderland who have scored just one time on 70  shots. My cousin scored once on 70 tries. It was with your mom. By the way bro, your mom makes the best breakfast.

No but serious. What is David Moyest doing at Sunderland?? HA HA HA. They are going to go down faster than, ok, I’m not going to make a your mom joke but you get the point riight? RIIGHT? They are going down faster than me on a really hot girl. I’m talking like Pam Anderson before she got married, bro. But Sunderland, if they aren’t even going to be good at set plays might even make the drop to the 2nd division.

The second division is rough bro. It’s like, if the Premier League is New York City, 2nd division is like Philly. Rough. I got stabbed there once. True story.

West Brom is going to come at you bro. That’s what I’m saying. And West Brom use their head. They have scored 12 goals with their head. They aren’t just all coming into the club with their shirt open and bumping into people, they use their heads. They will be all like “I heard you like poetry, want to hear a poem?” and then they will headbut the girl’s date and be like “fuck that! HA HA. BOMBS” and score.

Arsenal actually lead the league in headed goals with 13.

Solomon Rondon is 4th in the League in headed shots. And Gareth McAuley leads West Brom in set play shots with 14. McAuley is a real threat if he gets hold of the ball, he’s scored 6 times on 14 set play shots. And Rondon is second in the League in headed goals with 5. Tied with Arsenal’s Giroud, who is the beefiest bro I’ve ever seen. I bet that accent slays.

Craig Dawson has 9 yellow cards and Claudio Yacob has 7. They do a lot of kicking out there. They are 6th most foul team in the League, tied with Tottenham, who are a sick fouling team.

Rondon has been dispossessed the second most times of anyone in the League and has the 4th most unsuccessful touches, tied with Paul Pogba. Matt Phillips takes West Brom’s corners and has the most key passes off corners for them. He also tries to dribble but sucks.

Yeah, so, West Brom are basic bro. But they are very good at scoring goals off set plays. And they will almost certainly, and without fail, probably, will fall down when touched so that they can win free kicks and stuff and get their old dudes like McAuley up there to terrorize Arsenal’s Mustafi.




  1. I have no idea why, but I read the entire post in Donald Trump’s voice which added a nice additional layer to the already established tone.

  2. Bro, you slated with this post, dude. I could actually understand your writing finally. Always wanted soccer writers to talk more about scoring- on the ladies- with the head. Great joke.

  3. In theaters everywhere this Saturday – McAuley and Mustafi star in their own rom-com I Love You Bro 2: They Don’t Like it Up em.

  4. West Brom have only taken 82 shots from set plays and they have scored 16 times. I scored 16 times on your girlfriend.


  5. Tim has been possessed by the spirit of Rob Gronkowski, if Rob Gronkowski gave a S*** about SOCCER.

        1. Speaking of. Do you feel confident about tomorrow?

          I’m off to see John Cleese tonight and I won’t be up until late tomorrow. Might have some drinks after.

          1. Confident is an overstatement! Typically Pulis teams struggle against us away from home, so I think we have about a 60% chance to win, but a draw or plucky 1-0 away win on a set piece goal or penalty wouldn’t surprise me.

            I’m quite jealous of you for seeing Cleese. I hear he’s quite the gentleman and the scholar and would love to hear him speak.

  6. Son of 1-Nil is in middle school so I think I’ll need a Bro-Speak interpreter soon. I’ll send you stuff to translate.

    Clearly I’m not very good at. Some random girl showed up at the door the other day and asked, “is this where Sameer lives?” and I looked at him and I was like, “Bro! RIIGHTOUS!”

    Yeah, it didn’t end well.

  7. It’s St Patricks Day.

    My dad did his residency in Radiology at The Rotunda in Dublin.

    At great expense he brought the family over for a visit. I remember my Mum, my wee hand in hers with my older brother ahead of us, crossing the River Liffey over some bridge, with the hospital complex eventually coming into view.

    She wasn’t quite sure so she asked a young man in her heavy Indian accent if that was it. I was scared because of experience of white people was mixed.

    “Yes Ma’am”, he said in a soft Irish brogue, straight ahead and right you are.”

    I remember distinctly now his Arsenal scarf. Form is temporary, class is permanent.

    Up the Arsenal.

  8. Tim, are you channeling Donald Trump? Trying to fit in the new vision of ‘Murica he has? 😛

  9. Wow. Has Welbeck had a touch? Totally invisible.

    Red card for the tacke on Sanchez, btw. Studs up, sliding in. The best that commentator could muster (online or on TV) was that it was “not nice.”

    “Not nice” is me farting audibly at the dinner table, not coming close to breaking someone’s ankle.

    Had that been Xhaka, we wouln’t be hearing the end of it.

    1. It’s about the time when I stop watching football and start aggressively cleaning.

    2. Doc, it’s a sad time for all gooners. I want to say I love you, despite our philosophical differences. We need a collective expression of will, and it starts with the players. They simply did not play well enough today.

  10. I have to say the Hungarian U17 womens’ team performance left something to be desired after the 1st half against the Irish. They won’t make it to the WC this way! But still hope after just a 0-1 scoreline.

  11. I think I’m going to try and force myself to get caught up with March madness. Sounds like a good idea to watch sporting events where the only thing in line is my office pool.

    The 5-1 defeats to Bayern are starting to look respectable.

  12. All right, a few thoughts on the game itself…

    1. Wenger got the selection wrong. If there is a team as predictable as Arsene’s Arsenal, it’s Pulis’ Stoke, err, West Brom, or whichever team he happens to be in charge of. This was not a game for Theo, or Danny because inevitably there are no channels for them to run into. This was a game for creative players (of which we have too few) and for Olivier Giroud who can occupy the CB’s and leave some space for players in front of the D. I’m not sure what Wenger was thinking by selecting Danny ahead of Giroud but it was a spectacular failure. Giroud would’ve also helped on set plays (cough cough).

    2. Speaking of predictable, how about West Brom’s tactical setup? Everyone knows they leverage transitions and set pieces because they can’t play actual football, yet we didn’t seem ready for either. Chambo should’ve been playing closer to Xhaka to help deal with their breakaways and use his dribbling from deeper positions when we do recover the ball. Instead he kept getting caught high with Ramsey and Xhaka didn’t have the speed to deal with their breaks.

    3. Corners. Everyone knew West Brom were great at one thing: corners. Yet, on their first corner, people are pointing at Dawson yet nobody marks him or blocks his run. After that first goal it’s Pulis super comfort zone and they exploited that to the max.

    4. Swarbrick allowed a shocking game in my opinion. He allowed them to rotationally foul Alexis, he didn’t call obvious fouls inside or outside the penalty area and he didn’t even book McClean for almost ending Alexis’ career. Can you imagine if Arsenal tried to play like that in the CL? By the way, Mustafi was kicked on the ankle inside the penalty area after a clearance fell to him. It was clear contact, clear foul, should be a penalty. This is the kind of game that lends itself to refereeing conspiracy theories. It was awful. And the Sky commentary team loved it. Also, booing potentially seriously injured players is apparently a heartwarming English tradition rather than the past time of Stokies only.

    5. At this point, I do think Wenger has to go if only because of what a side show his continued tenure has become. It’s destablizing to the players who, by the way, I don’t think have quit on him. I think they love and revere him but don’t really believe in the football he wants them to play and they don’t really believe in themselves right now either. A parting of ways would be best for all.

    1. He booked McClean, actually. Yellow. Wrong colour card, clearly. I suspect that Alexis will have a reaction and miss some games because of that. Xhaka’s straight red earlier in the season was a milder foul. Oh for some consistency.

      And yes, Arsene’s position is untenable. He should clear up the uncertainty, inform the board of his departure, and have them plan quietly for an effective succession. I’m on the fence about making it public beyond that, because if yu think it’s a sideshow now, wait until the news becaomes public. He needs to ensure that things on the players and playing side don’t fall apart when the announces that he’ll be going.

    2. 1) Not only that but that is a group of players who are never going to be able to control possession: all of them are turnover machines.

      2) Yes, any time you play Ramsey in center mid, you are abandoning transition defense. But I also thought this match exposed Xhaka as possibly one of Wenger’s worst buys. He cannot cover midfield.

      3) The first was again down to Ramsey, he allows his man to run across. But it’s also down to the center backs and keeper. Who is challenging for the ball? The third goal was even worse… No one even challenges.

      I’ve talked about Mustafi and aerial duels before and he won 2/2 again today, raising his average. BUT both of them were high up the pitch. He was noticeably absent in the two aerial duels where West Brom scored. I think he’s afraid of those challenges. That’s my theory.

      4) Yep. Actually think McLean’s tackle was a red card and had it been punished, Arsenal probably would have won. And it’s not the referee’s fault that Arsenal allowed three goals. To be fair, West Brom had 6 good chances in this match.

      5) Not just the sideshow, he’s not able to get a team of players who can play possession football, he’s not organizing them defensively, can’t put together a decent midfield, he can’t reign in Ramsey or Alexis, and I don’t think he can recruit young players anymore. Plus announcing now MIGHT just get something of the best from this group.

    3. Wasn’t McLean in a (marginal) offside position for their second goal and wasn’t he, rather obviously, interfering with play?

      1. 1) He was offside by the stop motion 3D cameras on TV. I tend not to get too worried about those really tight calls because I think the refs are told to favor the attacker and frankly I want it that way.
        2) He was NOT interfering with play. He didn’t make a play for the ball and was not between the keeper and the ball.
        3) He DID give Bellerin a little push. This prevented the Arsenal player from clearing.
        4) However, Almunia spilled the ball into a terrible area. He was credited for an error leading to a goal and rightly so.
        5) There wasn’t anything obvious during play and I think refs just aren’t going to catch all the stuff we see in slow motion replay after the games.
        6) I wonder if we examine all of our goals this season and applied the strictest interpretation of the laws, how many would we like to count?

        1. 1. Totally agree with this point in general. It’s just that a) some consistency would be nice, and b) the ref’s little chat with his linesman after the goal suggests to me that it wasn’t that the lino kept his flag down because he thought McLean was onside (if that were the case, why did they need to chat about it?); rather, he failed to raise his flag because he didn’t think McLean was interfering with play. If he just didn’t see it, I don’t have a problem with that (though video evidence would be nice); if he saw it but didn’t think he was interfering, then…
          2. I confess I haven’t gone back and read what the interpretation of the Laws say about “interfering”. Is it the case that you can’t be interfering if you don’t play it and aren’t between player and ball, as you suggest? If so, that’s cool. If not, and it’s left more vague, then I think a reasonable interpretation is that what McLean did was pretty obviously interfering. Consider: he’s the only West Brom player close to the ball as it’s played through (and he was pretty close to getting there, even though Ospina is clear favorite), so if he’s not there going for the ball (and he was clearly running in order to get the ball, even if he didn’t stick his leg out to kick it), then Ospina collects it with his hands with ease. McLean’s presence and actions played an obvious causal role in Ospina’s reaction and mistake, therefore he was interfering with the play (but I admit I could just be ignorant about how that rule is explained).
          3. I didn’t see the push, but it’s not exactly surprising.
          4. I agree Ospina was awful and is, generally, somewhere between average and awful. But that’s irrelevant to the question of whether Arsenal were hard done by in that incident.
          5. Agreed.
          6. Agreed. I didn’t mean the comment as an excuse for our poor showing or the loss. We were dreadful, but I thought unlucky in that incident.

  13. Good analysis by the Doctor. If Xhaka had made the same foul on a Baggie as the one made on Alexis my money would have been on a straight red.

    As Tim pointed out above in the truly funny “Bro piece”, WBA are famously scoring from corners this season and on both their corners their goal scorers were unmarked. On their 2nd there was a yard of green all around before he makes his run for a relatively easy header.

    It’s been a thrilling ride at times, these past 20 years with Wenger consistently putting together some of the most exciting, entertaining and WINNING football in the history of English football.

    It’s been an absolute joy to witness, almost a privilege at the best of times.

    But today is a far cry from those days and surely then page must turn now.

  14. Clearly there’s a spirit defecit, but man, there needs to a squad overhaul. This form tells me sixth place finish.

    GOING/AGAINST OUR WISHES Alexis, Ozil, Lucas Perez
    GOING/MIXED FEELINGS Oxlade, Gibbs, Ospina
    UP IN THE AIR Giroud, Santi (age), Wilshere (failed loan),(also Lucas Perez)
    SHOULD GO/NOT GOOD ENOUGH Welbeck, Coquelin, Gabriel
    IMPROVEMENT NEEDED Xhaka (who has a hint of the Vermaelans about him, fraid to say)

    That doesn’t mean ALL will go. Such is the unsettled state of the squad, the way I read it.Goes without saying that Arsene should go too.

    1. Up in the air. I thought attacking wise he was decent, defensively asleep. He keep looking to make things happen when he had the ball, but the movement in front of him lacked intelligence.

      1. 1. Ok, honestly, I don’t have the energy to get into another long fight with you, so just let me say from the get go that I come in peace.

        2. He had that one nice moment in the first half when he received the ball in the box and turned and almost scored with his left. But other than that, I just cannot agree with you that he was decent attacking wise. I don’t remember him adding anything, not a single clever pass, run, shot, nothing. Maybe you can remind me of something else positive he did attacking wise…

        3. “He keep looking to make things happen when he had the ball, but the movement in front of him lacked intelligence.” Ok, so I want to call attention to this line of thinking, because I’ve seen it from others defending Ramsey over the years (e.g. Andrew Mangan), and I think it’s really misguided:
        (a) Was our movement up top poor today? Sure, it wasn’t great, though to be fair, West Brom’s defensive tactics make it very difficult to get free.
        (b) However, just because Ramsey does his trademark move of receiving the ball, taking an extra touch, looking up, deliberating about who to pass it to, taking another touch, making a gesture like he wants someone to make a run so he can hit a hollywood ball, before finally passing it sideways/backwards to the man who was open the whole time, DOES NOT mean that his teammates are at fault for not making good runs. Sometimes this could be true, but more often it just suggests that he’s slow of thought and foot.
        (c) Top players see and execute passes quickly. They don’t need three touches and five seconds to execute a defense splitting pass, for one thing because those kinds of passes are typically about the element of surprise and are rarely available after you’ve been dwelling on the ball apparently waiting for your teammates to make such a run. And crucially, if a forward pass isn’t on, the best players recognize this almost immediately and move the ball along in one or two touches, thus doing their bit to keep the tempo of the team’s passing high.
        (d) Ramsey is the opposite of the top player in this respect. Of the several glaring problems in Ramsey’s play with the ball (rarely receiving the ball on the half turn, sloppy passes, first touches that push the ball into space AWAY from the opponent’s goal, etc) the fact that he seems to take, on average, 3-5 touches in these sorts of games, when the opponents are back behind the ball and he’s in midfield with plenty of time, is one of the most galling, because it’s one of the most preventable. He kills any tempo to our play by doing this.
        (e) There are some things done on a football pitch that are cardinal sins in the eyes of supporters and some sins that seem to go almost completely unnoticed. Most fans notice when a player misses a chance, or a tackle, or doesn’t track back, or misplaces a simple pass, or doesn’t jump for a defensive corner, etc, and they will criticize a player mercilessly if he commits any of these sins, even once a game. But most fans seem not to notice the kinds of problems in possession that I’m talking about–e.g. Ramsey taking 6 touches when he needs 1-2–and, in fact, even end up attributing this problem to the “lack of movement” ahead of Ramsey. Subconsciously this is even what Ramsey is communicating when he waves his arms about: “not my fault guys, you’re giving me nothing to work with.” And of course the other players aren’t blameless in these situations. But when it happens constantly with him (and you rarely see the likes of Cazorla dwelling on the ball and gesturing in this way), it suggests to me he just doesn’t have the footballing understanding to move the ball more quickly (or at least not while still being accurate/useful with his passes).

        1. I agree with all of this regarding Ramsay.

          Another frustration that you see when you at games, as cameras do not look at this, is the way he moves when our keeper or defenders have the ball. More often than not he is moving forwards, sometimes just walking, but not looking backwards. Essentially he is not expecting to be involved in the next play and is anticipating a more forward involvement. But as CM, his role is to be part of this and his lack of discipline in opening himself up, physically and mentally, to recievie the ball hampers our midfield possession and attacking options.

          Just an observation I gave noticed for ages.

          1. I see it. I have seen it for years. It’s the professional version of cherry picking. He’s especially guilty of this but it’s endemic to the whole squad.

      2. Why do you see it as a fight? Fundamentally, I’m not disagreeing with you. We’re good. Read the response again.

        1. Ah, sorry, that came out wrong. I didn’t think you were looking for a fight, I just said that to defuse any potential sense of animosity, given past arguments we’ve had (especially since we argued before about Ramsey, as I recall). I just meant, “this might sound like I’m picking on your views, but I don’t mean it that way.”
          But it came out sounding passive aggressive (or just plain aggressive). Apologies.

    2. Ozil out: I don’t want a player who contributes half of one season in four years to one end of the pitch.
      Wilshere out: part of the failed “British core.” I watch him play and he’s clearly got skills but his application is so bad that Bournemouth had to drop him to stay out of relegation.
      Ospina can leave the club tomorrow, if he can’t pack today. He’s one of the worst keepers I’ve seen at Arsenal. I’d take Fabianski and Almunia over him.
      Ramsey out: I’m not longer watching his cinema verite. See the comments above by others to get a sense of what I mean.
      Ox: Sorry, not even close to good enough.
      I think Arsenal could get some really good money if we sell Ramsey, Ox, Wilshere, and Walcott and that would be a good start toward fixing a lot of problems in the squad.

      1. I don’t disagree with all of this, though, as many may know, I have a soft spot for Ozil, who I think is not even close to being a significant part of our current problems, and I sort of have a soft spot for Wilshere too, but I agree it’s hard to see him coming back and winning a place in our midfield now (whether this is due to inherent problems in his game or just a problem in his attitude is hard to say, though I should say, against your “application” point (which I personally don’t disagree with) that Gary Neville mentioned him as his favorite player to coach with England, so he can’t be all bad).
        As for the Ox, I think you’ve got it all wrong, though obviously he was poor today (along with everyone else). I think he’s shown in the last month that there’s a potentially top drawer central midfielder in there (go back and watch the first half of the home game against Bayern), and it’s to both Arsene’s and Ox’s discredit that they’ve failed to bring that player out more consistently.
        But your last line is spot on. Those English players will command decent prices because (a) they’re British and because (b) most of the British media (and surely, that means, some British managers?) are convinced that some or all of those players are actually brilliant (e.g. I seem to recall not too long ago Robbie Savage and someone else calling Ramsey the best no 10 in the Premier League?), so surely someone will be willing to pay good money to see if they can get the best out of them? One problem is we’ve failed to tie down Ox and Jack to new deals, so we might have to let them go for much cheaper than they’re worth in today’s market.

      2. Talking about revamping the squad while Wenger is still in charge is like talking about replacing Sean- the Baghdad Bob – Spicer as the press secretary while Trump is still the President.

        There’s a reason managers go first when teams underperform massively before you make wholesale changes to the squad.

        I’m not particularly opposed to any of your recommendations but it all begins with Wenger.

  15. How you are able to write and generate content at this moment in time as an Arsenal fan is beyond me.

    I’m just confused, really. Not angry, not sad, not anything per se just trying wrap my head around the situation we as a club find ourselves in.

    Wenger is capable of many successes and failures, but one thing I didn’t ever anticipate was him losing a dressing room – players simply love and respect the man, despite his ups and downs.

    I always really hesitate to be some sort of conspiracy theorist of arm chair know it all…but…are we watching a team that no longer can play for the manager?

    1. The players still respect him and I am sure they want to do best for him but I have a feeling that this team is made ip off too many mediocre players. The senior / motivated players don’t have a strong enough personalities to pull the whole group together. I have a feeling that the loss to Everton was a big blow to their confidence. With Man City loss right after that, I think the players felt the title slipping. After that, I feel this year they have given up on 4th place ambitions. They are not immune to all the talk about playing in CL just to make numbers. Frankly I won’t be surprised if we totally miss out on Europe. The players will be looking at Chelsea And Leicester from last two years and thinking of fighting for title next year without the burden of CL Football. Subconsciously, they are already on a holiday. They will most likely fight in FA cup only. I am ok with that if they give their all in it for Arsene.

  16. Wenger Out. If he hadn’t come to England bringing his frenchy notions of fluid passing and nutrition and his fancy pants foreigners, we’d still be a grind it out, route one football team and we’d be able to cope with Pulis and his orcs. Not only that, the referees wouldn’t be able to keep screwing us because the media wouldn’t hate us as much.

    I hope our next manager is more like Pulis. Hell, we should offer Tony the job. Imagine how great he could be with a £300 million pound team, we’d be like the Uruk-hai.

    The fans could spend their money on beer instead of banners and we could have a propper old firm too with a whole lot less whinging.

  17. I used that 3rd goal as an excuse to to get to the dump early with my garbage and get ready to watch my UConn (1) women take on Albany (16).

    I thought red card on that McLean tackle and I see that I am not alone in that thought. Perhaps Swarbrick was just tired of Sanchez, the referee calling a better game.

    Even though I’ve said that Wenger should go, I’ve still been on the fence in my heart. After today, I am no longer on the fence about Wenger needing to go. Today everybody and there brother knew the formula that would be employed against Arsenal including presumably Arsenal and the Arsenal response was not good nor was there any hint that it will ever be good in the future. That is down to the coach and tactics that have been found wanting against a “park the bus” strategy we see season after season with no success at defeating that ploy.
    In addition to Wenger, Gazidis has to go as well. We need to cull this squad too. Bring back Szczesny as the no. 1, get rid Ospina, Coquelin, Ramsey (Man U are you still interested?) for starters. Welbeck wasn’t good today but he’s coming back from a long term injury so he gets a pass. Walcott was anonymous today but no one passed to him in a dangerous position.

    Arsenal are known for possession and an intricate passing attack. You can not play that game if you have players like Ramsey who are unable to receive and control balls in those tight areas without losing them constantly.

    1. You may have left, but it should have been far from over at that point. Best to stay and look for clues — who is still up the fight? Who’s walking and has given up? Who’s providing the “keep going to end final whistle” leadership?

  18. Well, all of Chuck’s children are out there playing his licks.
    So I’d you need some kicks
    Come back baby, rock and roll never forgets

    – Bob Seeger

    RIP Chuck Berry. Me, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen and virtually anyone else who picked up an electric guitar to play western popular music is STILL playing Chuck’s licks.

  19. Roll Over Beethoven, and RIP Chuck Berry. He, truly changed the world and made it more interesting, dangerous and fun.

  20. Anyone who believes this was an overly physical PL game and tthese only happen against Arsenal, should watch Chelsea v WBroA at the Bridge from December.

    Leicester proved it last season that you can win the PL with a core of hard nosed journeymen with a few flair players sprinkled in between , while Arsenal have been proving the opposite for 12 seasons now.

    People gave stick to Leicester for playing two non footballers for Center Backs in Huth and Morgan but these are the type of players you absolutely need to succeed in the PL.
    Maybe my memory fails me but I don’t remember Keown and Adams being particularly good with ball at their feet.

    Liverpool have the best record against other top six which all happen to be ball playing sides, but they are terrible against the lower table clubs which are by enlarge very physical and overwhelming in size.

    The reason Chelsea are running away with the league is because they have struck a balance between creativity and finesse , and industry backed by physicality.
    And some of their players represent both.

    1. Point taken in general, but Keown and Adams were lightyears ahead of Huth and Morgan with the ball at their feet.

    2. *This

      Seems like an argument for a European Super League of actual skill players and attacking football.

      If anyone misses the Orcs we can still participate in the FA Cup. No doubt absence would make it even more magical for everyone.

      To keep the Super League ‘super’ relegation should be based on goal differential instead of points. Winning would still be points based, but boring sides go home.

      1. But haven’t you heard, watching football is about barefaced, testosterone-fueled tribalism, not being entertained?

    3. This is very true, and underreported. By playing with 3CBs, plus Matic, Costa and Alonso, who are tall, they are infinitely more able to deal with set pieces, and defense in general.

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