The TT Football Club

As the season is near its end, got to give a very special mention to my man Dusan Tadic.

Although they suffered a heartbreaking elimination against Tottenham, Ajax have had a great season, winning a domestic double (their first Eredivisie title in five years and first KNVB cup in nine years) and reaching a CL semifinal when nobody saw it coming.

A lot of talented youngsters there that will now be chased by the richest European clubs, yet I will dare say this guy was their most valuable player this season.

Used to play for Southampton for four years, where he barely avoided relegation last season, and Ajax bought him in the summer for just over 10 million.

At 30 years of age, he finished the Dutch league as both the joint-best goalscorer (28) and joint-best assist provider (13). He wasn't any less impressive in the Champions League, where he was 3rd best with 6, alongside the greats like Ronaldo and Aguero, with only Messi and Lewandowski ahead of him. Combined with the qualifying rounds that Ajax had to play, he scored 9 and assisted 8 in this season's Champions League, while earning a very rare 10/10 rating from L'Equipe for his display in Ajax's 1-4 demolition of the defending champions at Santiago Bernabeu.

He has finished the season, playing 54 games, scoring 38 goals and delivering 24 assists. A contribution that is only inferior to the GOAT's this season (48/48/22). An incredibly smart and creative player, who played a vital role in booking our ticket to the World Cup in Russia, he has finally found the perfect environment for himself.

For me, the best transfer deal for 2018-19.

 
Feels like yesterday when Aston Villa were champions of Europe.

Yes I am a bit old. Just like the good days. :p
The most crazy thing I seen when looking back at their run was Glentoran not only being in Europe but winning their first round match 5-1 on aggregate. Lost 3-2 so CSKA Sofia in the next round. That's just amazing.
 
And on this day another super deal gets done that is almost cheaper than Fred. Oh yes.

Jovic moves to Real Madrid for £52.4m.
Apparently they want Salah too :unsure: Salah, Jovic and Hazard sounds like the plan then. Ridiculous.

Some sad news for Chelsea, Loftus-Cheek ruptured his Achilles in the friendly yesterday, he'll miss all of next season. Same for Hudson-Odoi. That's if they even make it back, the achilles is one of those injuries that automatically ended top level careers 20 years ago. The odds of getting back are slightly better these days, but they're still not great.
 
Apparently they want Salah too :unsure: Salah, Jovic and Hazard sounds like the plan then. Ridiculous.

Some sad news for Chelsea, Loftus-Cheek ruptured his Achilles in the friendly yesterday, he'll miss all of next season. Same for Hudson-Odoi. That's if they even make it back, the achilles is one of those injuries that automatically ended top level careers 20 years ago. The odds of getting back are slightly better these days, but they're still not great.
That's a sickener. The dreaded achilles. Yes, definitely one of those never the same player again injuries. :/ Neil Webb at United is the first that comes to mind, doing his in not long after he joined. I know we've come a long way with treatments and stuff but wish him the best.
 
That's a sickener. The dreaded achilles. Yes, definitely one of those never the same player again injuries. :/ Neil Webb at United is the first that comes to mind, doing his in not long after he joined. I know we've come a long way with treatments and stuff but wish him the best.
That's a good example. There was John Barnes too, never the same player after. Cazorla too. The list goes on unfortunately.

They've made great strides with knee injuries over the last 20 years, but the achilles is one nobody has an answer for unfortunately. I just hope they can both have some kind of career, it's unlikely they'll reach their potential now, but i'd hate to see them just fade away like so many others.
 
Bayern clinch Bundesliga on the last day.

What a shame for Borussia Dortmund. They looked as commanding as Liverpool were in the Premier League but just like them allowed the lead to slip. Feel sorry for Favre, Reus and Paco more than anyone else. This was a great opportunity, since you can bet on Bayern strengthening a lot in the summer. I just wonder if they found someone to take from Dortmund this time. :sneaky: Never liked them or Juventus, and they have done a good job at distancing me from watching Bundesliga and Serie A in the last few years...

So, all champions of the biggest five leagues from last season have defended their title. Barca, City, Juve, Bayern and PSG. Yet, there is a feeling that none of these clubs will be satisfied with their seasons, considering how they all went out of the Champions League...
 
Bayern clinch Bundesliga on the last day.

What a shame for Borussia Dortmund. They looked as commanding as Liverpool were in the Premier League but just like them allowed the lead to slip. Feel sorry for Favre, Reus and Paco more than anyone else. This was a great opportunity, since you can bet on Bayern strengthening a lot in the summer. I just wonder if they found someone to take from Dortmund this time. :sneaky: Never liked them or Juventus, and they have done a good job at distancing me from watching Bundesliga and Serie A in the last few years...

So, all champions of the biggest five leagues from last season have defended their title. Barca, City, Juve, Bayern and PSG. Yet, there is a feeling that none of these clubs will be satisfied with their seasons, considering how they all went out of the Champions League...
 
5-0 now.

The record win in an FA Cup final is 6-0, which was achieved by Bury in 1903.
City have around 10 minutes to try and equal, and potentially surpass, that.

Make it 6-0. Could be on now. Hat trick for Sterling.

What a way to finish off the treble. 6-0
 
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5-0 now.

The record win in an FA Cup final is 6-0, which was achieved by Bury in 1903.
City have around 10 minutes to try and equal, and potentially surpass, that.

Make it 6-0. Could be on now. Hat trick for Sterling.

What a way to finish off the treble. 6-0
I kept thinking to myself.. Wolves would of given them a much better game.

Maybe I’m biased and still a bit disappointed after the semi final where they had the game in the bag. Even so, no way Wolves would of rolled over like that. City would still of won, but it probably would of been a better game.
 
Bayern clinch Bundesliga on the last day.

What a shame for Borussia Dortmund. They looked as commanding as Liverpool were in the Premier League but just like them allowed the lead to slip. Feel sorry for Favre, Reus and Paco more than anyone else. This was a great opportunity, since you can bet on Bayern strengthening a lot in the summer. I just wonder if they found someone to take from Dortmund this time. :sneaky: Never liked them or Juventus, and they have done a good job at distancing me from watching Bundesliga and Serie A in the last few years...

So, all champions of the biggest five leagues from last season have defended their title. Barca, City, Juve, Bayern and PSG. Yet, there is a feeling that none of these clubs will be satisfied with their seasons, considering how they all went out of the Champions League...
I think City is satisfied , If it was their 4-5 PL in a row without winning the CL then it could be the case.

Mbappé 32 goals to Messi's 34 with one game left
 

DSH

Hall of Fame
Exactly how I feel about European football right now

This is why NBA system to reach parity, even with its flaws, is the ideal I want to football.
Sadly, I do not think it will happen in the short or medium term.
There are many economic interests, political, lobbies, social, that prevent this search for more competition in professional leagues.
As Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa once said in his famous novel "The Leopard", "If we want everything to continue as it is, everything needs to change", people with power in football talk about revolutionary changes so that the public, the people, those who consume that popular product in today's world, the fund remains the same, the perverse status quo remains in the elites and their permanent desire for power that carries the well-known risk of corruption and disappears that glimpse of revolution.
The Lampedusian paradox, so well known and studied in political science, is a true reflection of what happens in this sport as well.
The apple is rotten and it is better to make believe to make an appearance of change for the core of the system, remain unchanged and unalterable.
 
That's the end of 2018-19 La Liga.



Having returned to top flight last summer, Rayo Vallecano and Huesca are going down to Segunda straight away. They had a late push of some decent results, but by then it was too late.

Sadly, our Catalan neighbors Girona are the ones to join them. Actually one of the better teams on the road, their comeback win at the Bernabeu being their highlight, but their home record was abysmal, with only 3 wins and 15 points. A catastrophic ending to the season saw them eventually drop to 18th place. Their star striker Stuani continued with fine form, being the 5th best goalscorer with 19 goals but all of his teammates combined couldn't match that total.

One of the clubs that narrowly avoided relegation are Celta Vigo, who looked in a lot of trouble a couple of months ago, but their captain Iago Aspas has inspired them to a strong finish once he came back from an injury, scoring a lot of crucial goals in the last several matchdays. With 20 goals, he is the best Spanish goalscorer in La Liga for a third consecutive season, while his tally this time is 4th best overall.

The other are Villarreal, who spent majority of the season in the relegation zone, and despite also being on the receiving end of recent big comebacks from Celta and Barcelona, they recovered in time with the quality of some well known players in Cazorla, Bacca and Moreno giving them a much needed push to remain in La Liga.

Real Valladolid, who were bought by Ronaldo in the summer when they were promoted, have had their difficulties throughout the season despite a strong start. They were the worst attacking team in the entire league, but an impressive total of 10 wins, all of them being by a one goal margin, earned them safety with one game to go.

The midtable teams who never looked like pushing for European qualification or in big danger to go down are Levante, Leganes and Eibar, and this has been their state for a while now. They are capable of great performances against the best, with Leganes registering a comeback win over Barcelona while Eibar recorded a convincing win over Real Madrid, but that's where the story ends as, unfortunately for them, league values consistency more than anything else.

Shockingly, the lower middle of the table is completed by Deportivo Alaves. Managed by Abelardo, they were having a dream season, being among the best teams in the first months of this campaign while still being in the Champions League places all the way until spring. However, a lack of a star striker, as none of their players hit double digit number of goals, was always going to make the finishing more difficult for them, and an incredibly poor form in the end saw them slip to 11th place, without any European football.

Real Betis weren't as good as last year as this time they only finished in 10th and without Europe, but they have enjoyed themselves once again. For the first time in their history, they have won at both Camp Nou and Santiago Bernabeu in the same season. Quique Setien, a big lover of high pressure and total football, will go down as one of their best managers, and he couldn't have gotten a better sending off as his boys won their final home game as well as their trip at Bernabeu earlier today.

The battle for the last European spot went to the final day in a head to head decider between our city rivals Espanyol and the Basque club Real Sociedad. And I have to admit that Espanyol totally deserved that spot. Having a strong first half to the season, led by Rosales in attack, at one point being 2nd just behind us, and they recovered from their awful slumps to win their last three games, including a dominant win over Atletico and yesterday's triumph against Sociedad. Espanyol also needed Sociedad's city rivals Athletic Bilbao to lose away to Sevilla, which happened. Despite missing out on Europe, Athletic can still take positives, having been in the relegation zone during the winter break and fearing what would have been their first ever drop to lower division.

One of the remaining two Europa League places was earned by Sevilla, who punched above their weight in the beginning, being top of the table after 13 games, but going back to their usual level quickly after that. However with improving Ben Yedder as well as unselfish Sarabia and young Silva, they have good days to look forward to, as they will have Europa League goal in their minds again.

5th place went to Getafe. They had Champions League football in their hands, being in that position all season long, Molina and Mata enjoying a great partnership and delivering in equally big amounts, but winning just one of the last five games was costly. Unfortunately our victory over them at Camp Nou was the moment that ruined their chances the most, but nobody will want to remember that game as it was our first after the Champions League fiasco. Anyway, this result means that there won't be three Madrid clubs in the Champions League next season.

A well earned 4th spot and final Champions League place went to Valencia. Frustrating start, having a lot of trouble scoring, having only two wins at beginning of November and frustrating their home fans with so many draws, having earned a very high total of 16 stalemates in this whole season, their season went upwards. Rodrigo, Parejo, Gameiro and most of their other players improved themselves as season progressed, and they finished the season on a very strong note, playing Europa League semifinals and winning the last three games, earning Champions League football for a second successive season. They will have a chance to make it even better as they are playing Copa del Rey final next weekend.

For the second season in a row, the 3rd best team in La Liga are Real Madrid. A truly abysmal season for them, as they had to endure the summer departure of their best goalscorer Cristiano and manager Zidane, while not replacing them with anyone of similar quality. Los Blancos went through three managers in less than a year, sacking Lopetegui after their El Clasico humiliation, then sacking Solari one game after their European humiliation, while Zidane's surprising return did not result in a strong, respectable finish to the season. Only 63 goals, only 68 points, 12 defeats, easily the worst season in their modern history, and I will have to be honest and say it was a joy witnessing every minute of it. However, knowing them, a big reaction is expected during the upcoming transfer window.

Just like in 2017-18, although finishing 2nd again, Atletico Madrid will again take pride in being the best team in their city. Their city rivals' poor form made it easier for them, but they have shown trust in Simeone's approach again, relying on grinding out narrow wins and doing reasonably well against big sides other than Barcelona again. They have had room for improvement as Griezmann had one of his worst drought periods and generally the worst goalscoring season, but that's not their concern now, as they are going into the next season without him, Godin, Lucas and possibly some other players too. A big changing of the squad is coming, as the biggest test of Cholo's managing career is now ahead of him. They will have plenty of money to spend, it's up to them to do that wisely.

And saving the best for last. 2018-19 La Liga has been won by Barcelona, in same convincing fashion like the previous one. On top of the table on 34/38 match days and never looking back since the 14th game, Blaugrana has confirmed its superiority over the rest of Spain once again, winning 4 of the last 5, and 8 of the last 11 La Liga titles. Apart from a shaky couple of periods in autumn, it's been impressive control of our matches. El Clasico double win, double win over Sevilla, late equalizer away to Atletico, late winners at home against Atletico, best home team in the league, convincingly the best away team in the league, suffering only three defeats with one of them happening after the title was already sealed. Improved defense resulted in less conceded goals, a midfield that had enough options to always try something different if the current plan wasn't working, while having the best player in the world in attack. Leo Messi has finished this La Liga with 36 goals, 15 ahead of his nearest chasers Suarez and Benzema, while also being tied with Sarrabia for most assists with 13. By far the most influential player on the planet today, he has tied the legendary Telmo Zarra with six La Liga seasons as the best goalscorer, a 6th Ballon d'Or is in his sights, while only a last day rampage from Mbappe can prevent him from winning an incredible 3rd consecutive European Golden Shoe and 6th in total.

Congratulations to all domestic champions this season. Enjoy it, as it's a feat to always be very proud of.


8 d' 11 | CAMPIONS | 26 vegades
 
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DSH

Hall of Fame
The level of La Liga this season has been very poor, no Spanish team in the finals of European competitions, the team of Simeone despite their attempts is clearly limited, and the horrific campaign of Real Madrid, reflected in its 12 defeats, Something foreseeable after such an event, above all international, in previous years, allowed Barcelona in automatic mode, win the competition with little resistance, yes, with an exceptional Messi at the local level. (It is no longer enough for the Catalan team in foreign lands as Liverpool clearly showed in both matches)
Well-deserved champion but very predictable as in the local tournaments of Germany, France, Italy and only in the Premier League there was suspense but once again, the king of the local leagues, Pep Guardiola, knew how to prevail his constant regularity.
In spite of that, the Jurgen Klopp team deserves a very high score for making the best campaign of its history, 97 points, that except for the past years and now, would have allowed him to be champion in the other Premier League that started in the year 1992 until the date.
He can be crowned deservingly, in being the champion of the UEFA Champions League.
Should defeat the Tottenham Hotspurs if this time the logic is given in the less fair of the collective sports, football.
To expect a great resolution in one of the most remembered European tournaments of the last 20 years.
To celebrate in Madrid!
 
Good thing we here are aware of when there is a general slump going on in our domestic league. I remember certain people still calling their league the best in the world even back when their clubs were nowhere to be seen on any of the two European stages, or in other words, when it was a complete contrast to having four finalists now. At least we have never been that smug about our football, in good or bad times. :whistle::p

Forgot to mention a special feat regarding the points difference. Last season Barca achieved a record points advantage over Real Madrid as they were separated by 17 points. This time that margin was even bigger - 19 points. Could have even been 21 but Eibar held to a 2-2 draw today. In the three points for a win system, 19 is now in the history books as the biggest margin in our favor over Real.

Regarding yesterday, well done my man Pep for accomplishing the first ever English treble. Truly conquered England.
 
Vincent Kompany is joining Anderlecht as player manager. One of those how do you replace him (?) losses. I guess you don't, you remain organised going forward. City now joining the links with Maguire and co.

Can't say I pay much attention to the Belgium league but I know of some club history. Looks like a fall from grace for Anderlecht. Failing to qualify for Europe next season. First time in 56 years. The guy was saying this is the Belgian Man Utd.,
 
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Good thing we here are aware of when there is a general slump going on in our domestic league. I remember certain people still calling their league the best in the world even back when their clubs were nowhere to be seen on any of the two European stages, or in other words, when it was a complete contrast to having four finalists now. At least we have never been that smug about our football, in good or bad times. :whistle::p

Forgot to mention a special feat regarding the points difference. Last season Barca achieved a record points advantage over Real Madrid as they were separated by 17 points. This time that margin was even bigger - 19 points. Could have even been 21 but Eibar held to a 2-2 draw today. In the three points for a win system, 19 is now in the history books as the biggest margin in our favor over Real.

Regarding yesterday, well done my man Pep for accomplishing the first ever English treble. Truly conquered England.
I don’t think anyone would say the quality of the Premier League during those down years was great, especially compared to La Liga. The football has always been way more exciting though. La Liga bores me to tears, unfortunately. There have been two games I’ve actually been interested in. The one where Atletico won the title, and when Barca hammered Mourinho’s Madrid just before Christmas. The product in general just isn’t that fun.

I mean, I grew up with Serie A in the 90’s when that was the best League, quality wise. The football wasn’t “sexy” or exhilarating, but the total package was. Every English kid from the 90’s loved it, they even made a documentary last year about Serie A in the 90’s and the love we had for it here. Heck, I even prefer to watch League One over here than La Liga :oops: and I don’t think anyone could accuse our 3rd division of having better quality :p

I don’t know what it is about it, it’s just missing something. I’ll catch the goal shows and check the table from time to time, but yeah, it just feels lightweight for some reason.
 
At the age of 39, Xavi has officially retired.




The player with most appearances for FC Barcelona (767), 3rd most caps for Spain (133) and one of the best midfielders in history of the game will immediately start his coaching career, beginning in Qatar, while planning to return to Europe, most preferably Barcelona, after he gains proper experience.

When that moment comes, he will be more welcome than majority of his predecessors...
I don’t think anyone would say the quality of the Premier League during those down years was great, especially compared to La Liga. The football has always been way more exciting though. La Liga bores me to tears, unfortunately. There have been two games I’ve actually been interested in. The one where Atletico won the title, and when Barca hammered Mourinho’s Madrid just before Christmas. The product in general just isn’t that fun.

I mean, I grew up with Serie A in the 90’s when that was the best League, quality wise. The football wasn’t “sexy” or exhilarating, but the total package was. Every English kid from the 90’s loved it, they even made a documentary last year about Serie A in the 90’s and the love we had for it here. Heck, I even prefer to watch League One over here than La Liga :oops: and I don’t think anyone could accuse our 3rd division of having better quality :p

I don’t know what it is about it, it’s just missing something. I’ll catch the goal shows and check the table from time to time, but yeah, it just feels lightweight for some reason.
Everyone who witnessed 90s Serie A has only positives to say about it. :)

I can definitely see the appeal of what the English offer nowadays. But we like our football smooth, like us. :p
 
At the age of 39, Xavi has officially retired.




The player with most appearances for FC Barcelona (767), 3rd most caps for Spain (133) and one of the best midfielders in history of the game will immediately start his coaching career, beginning in Qatar, while planning to return to Europe, most preferably Barcelona, after he gains proper experience.

When that moment comes, he will be more welcome than majority of his predecessors...

Everyone who witnessed 90s Serie A has only positives to say about it. :)

I can definitely see the appeal of what the English offer nowadays. But we like our football smooth, like us. :p
I don’t seem to be able to put my finger on what’s missing :unsure: La Liga has great teams, top players, good football etc.. I’ve tried to like it!

Maybe I’m just not that smooth ;)
 
You're Pure silk in a glass, fena. It's just one of those things in life. One of those life would be weirder than it already is if we all enjoyed the same things.

Some progress on Daniel James. It says he has agreed terms. So if you have never heard of him (like me) then get learning. :cool:
 
You're Pure silk in a glass, fena. It's just one of those things in life. One of those life would be weirder than it already is if we all enjoyed the same things.

Some progress on Daniel James. It says he has agreed terms. So if you have never heard of him (like me) then get learning. :cool:
James couldn't unseat either of the trusty Nathan Dyer/Wayne Routledge duo for me on FM. Youthful speed and energy no match for my two wise old heads. When he did get a start, he showed me that he couldn't even do it on a moderately chilly February afternoon at the Liberty Stadium vs lowly Bolton.

Must be a decent player in real life if he's off to United though. Good, but still no Wayne Routledge.
 
Argentina's squad for 2019 Copa America in Brazil is confirmed. Romero, Caballero, Mercado, Mascherano, Fazio, Rojo, Ansaldi, Salvio, Biglia, Banega, Lanzini, Meza, Pavon and Higuain all miss out.



Not the favorites to win but they have been putting themselves in good opportunities in the previous two tournaments, so who knows...

Although I will have to fake support for Brazil throughout that tournament, I hope these guys pull it off in their biggest rivals' territory. :p
 
James couldn't unseat either of the trusty Nathan Dyer/Wayne Routledge duo for me on FM. Youthful speed and energy no match for my two wise old heads. When he did get a start, he showed me that he couldn't even do it on a moderately chilly February afternoon at the Liberty Stadium vs lowly Bolton.

Must be a decent player in real life if he's off to United though. Good, but still no Wayne Routledge.
1 1/2 - 3* future potential is what you're telling me. Don't know what to expect this transfer window. We're now leading the way for Rakitic. According to somebody.

I'm out of the game until next season. That mod with all the old players was great. Will treasure the one European cup I did win. Facing one of the former super powers away from home, thinking it will be easy, then you're 0-4 at half time if you're lucky. lol Rangers in European cup final etc. Goram, Gough, Gazza, Laudrup and co. Along with some excellent old timers you didn't know about.
 
You're Pure silk in a glass, fena. It's just one of those things in life. One of those life would be weirder than it already is if we all enjoyed the same things.

Some progress on Daniel James. It says he has agreed terms. So if you have never heard of him (like me) then get learning. :cool:
This is true! Very wise words. Maybe I’ll be at that level in 63 days, the countdown to the biggest day of the year is on ;)

I’ve heard of him, projecting what young players can become is more miss than hit, but he looks talented from the bits I’ve seen.

Pulisic was unveiled by Chelsea yesterday.. he was talking about hopefully being as good as Hazard one day. I have my doubts!
 
Amazing moves and paying less than what Chelsea paid for Pulisic
I think price is irrelevant these days. The “smaller” clubs always pay less. If United wanted Brandt, they would have to pay twice as much as Dortmund did, for example.

I’m sure if it was someone like Valencia wanting Pulisic, the price would be way less than what Chelsea paid. The clubs with the money always pay a massive premium.

So yeah, whoever Chelsea buy, they have to massively over pay. I agree on Pulisic though, they could probably of over spent on someone better.
 
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