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Old
07-11-2010, 04:42 PM
  #76
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Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
I did watch la Ligue 1 de France on TV5 a few times last year and didn't particularly liked it as far as the caliber of the play. Again though, don't ask me who it was, possible that I caught a game between 2 bottom feeders....What stuck me the most was how little impartial the commentators were. I mean if Houde and Brunet would have been like they were, they'd be laughed at so hard.

As far as caliber and all, how's France compared to others? If you have to do a ranking of the most important leagues, what would it be? Not putting you on the spot here, don't know if you follow every leagues out there, but if anybody can answer, would be great.
1 Spain
2 England
3 Italy
4 Germany
5 France probably slightly above Portugal and Netherlands.

Our french L1 is not very spectacular, but it's a tough, tactically sound league.

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07-11-2010, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
I did watch la Ligue 1 de France on TV5 a few times last year and didn't particularly liked it as far as the caliber of the play. Again though, don't ask me who it was, possible that I caught a game between 2 bottom feeders....What stuck me the most was how little impartial the commentators were. I mean if Houde and Brunet would have been like they were, they'd be laughed at so hard.

As far as caliber and all, how's France compared to others? If you have to do a ranking of the most important leagues, what would it be? Not putting you on the spot here, don't know if you follow every leagues out there, but if anybody can answer, would be great.
Just my opinion:

1) English Premier League - Look at the top 4 finishes of the Champions League the past 5 years and you'll see how dominant the top 4-5 teams in the EPL are. Top to bottom the quality of the league is outstanding. I am very confident a mid table team in the EPL could finish top 5 in The Spanish League for example.

2) La Liga - Barcelona has dominated the league the past 2 years and when you realize 7 of the starting 11 for Spain today were from Barcelona, you realize why. Real Madrid is extremely popular and loaded with stars (Kaka, Ronaldo, etc..) but they did nothing this year. My problem with La Liga is that a mid table team in La Liga is already pretty bare of talent really. The last 25-30 years, I think only 3 times a team other than Real Madrid or Barcelona has won.

3) Italian Serie A - Very defensive league, not sure if it is the type of game you would enjoy watching. For example Inter, who won the league last year, scored 30+ less goals than the La Liga Champion or the EPL champion and had 10 draws out of 38 games.

4) Bundersliga. I actually enjoy watching the German league, very tough competition filled with tough players.

5) French League. Sadly, more of a developmental league for the other European leagues than anything. Star players rarely stay there past their early 20s and they constantly loan players from the top clubs of Europe.

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07-11-2010, 04:54 PM
  #78
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Forlan won the golden ball. He definitely deserves it. I think Muller won the golden boot because he has more assists..

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07-11-2010, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by HomaridII View Post
Just my opinion:

1) English Premier League - Look at the top 4 finishes of the Champions League the past 5 years and you'll see how dominant the top 4-5 teams in the EPL are. Top to bottom the quality of the league is outstanding. I am very confident a mid table team in the EPL could finish top 5 in The Spanish League for example.
Which begs the question: Why does the English national side perform so poorly? How good would the EPL be with no imports?

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EPL is the toughest league in the world. A lot of world class players like Forlan have tried and miserably failed in the EPL. It is a fast paced game where the refs don't call every little foul. The other leagues might have better teams at the top now (Barcelona - Real Madrid - Inter Milan - Bayer Munich, etc..) but top to bottom, I would take the EPL over the other leagues.
That appears to be a problem when international play comes a knockin'.

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07-11-2010, 04:57 PM
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I strongly disagree with you, EPL has got a really strong top 4-5, but the bottom teams are plain awful. They do have better players overall than the other top 5 leagues, but their tactical level is dreadful.

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07-11-2010, 05:04 PM
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I strongly disagree with you, EPL has got a really strong top 4-5, but the bottom teams are plain awful. They do have better players overall than the other top 5 leagues, but their tactical level is dreadful.
Let me ask you a question ..

Do you think a league where the 3rd place team (Valencia) is already 30 pts behind the 1st place team is better than a league where to find a team 30 pts behind you have to go down to 9th.

The EPL is MUCH more competitive, MUCH more. Week in and Week out it has much more competitive games. Where do you think a team like 7th place Liverpool would have finished in La Liga? I bet you top 4 easily.

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07-11-2010, 05:07 PM
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Let me ask you a question ..

Do you think a league where the 3rd place team (Valencia) is already 30 pts behind the 1st place team is better than a league where to find a team 30 pts behind you have to go down to 9th.

The EPL is MUCH more competitive, MUCH more. Week in and Week out it has much more competitive games. Where do you think a team like 7th place Liverpool would have finished in La Liga? I bet you top 4 easily.
Can't be that competitive if only 4 teams have ever won.

"A total of 44 clubs have competed in the Premier League, but only four have won the title: Arsenal (3 titles), Blackburn Rovers (1), Chelsea (3), and Manchester United (11 trophies). The current champions are Chelsea, who won the 200910 season."

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07-11-2010, 05:10 PM
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Can't be that competitive if only 4 teams have ever won.

"A total of 44 clubs have competed in the Premier League, but only four have won the title: Arsenal (3 titles), Blackburn Rovers (1), Chelsea (3), and Manchester United (11 trophies). The current champions are Chelsea, who won the 200910 season."
Well .. the EPL as it is now has only existed since the early 90s I believe and since then Manchester United have utterly dominated, BUT you can say the same about La Liga.

As I said earlier if memory doesn't fail me, the last 30 years Barcelona or Real Madrid have won every year in La Liga except 3-4 times (I can only remember Valencia twice and Deportivo once) ..

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07-11-2010, 05:13 PM
  #84
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It's a particularly unbalanced year in Spain.
This year's Liverpool may very well have finished top 4 in Spain, I have no problem with that. But the overall level of the football played in Spain is way better technically and tactically. I watch both leagues on a regular basis, and aside from the top 6-7, EPL teams are strong and play a fast paced game. But their D is terrible, and their team creativity is poor. EPL is a damn good league, with an awesome top 4-5 (MU, City, Lvpl, Chelsea and Arsenal), but the football played by the other teams is not as good as in Spain.

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07-11-2010, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by loudi94 View Post
Can't be that competitive if only 4 teams have ever won.

"A total of 44 clubs have competed in the Premier League, but only four have won the title: Arsenal (3 titles), Blackburn Rovers (1), Chelsea (3), and Manchester United (11 trophies). The current champions are Chelsea, who won the 200910 season."
No major European league is competitive by that measure, especially in modern times. The big clubs prosper, and are heaps above the rest the majority of the time. This paradigm is so much stronger nowadays, where the big clubs get big TV deals, and attract the top players from their own country and abroad.

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07-11-2010, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by loudi94 View Post
Can't be that competitive if only 4 teams have ever won.

"A total of 44 clubs have competed in the Premier League, but only four have won the title: Arsenal (3 titles), Blackburn Rovers (1), Chelsea (3), and Manchester United (11 trophies). The current champions are Chelsea, who won the 2009–10 season."
Although they haven't won since the 80s, Liverpool is among the best in the world, proven by their success in the Champions League.

Add competitive teams like Manchester City, Aston Villa and even Everton, it's a better league than the Spanish one.

Heck I would even go so far as to say that Serie A is better than La Liga (at least all-time).

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07-11-2010, 05:15 PM
  #87
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Originally Posted by HomaridII View Post
Well .. the EPL as it is now has only existed since the early 90s I believe and since then Manchester United have utterly dominated, BUT you can say the same about La Liga.

As I said earlier if memory doesn't fail me, the last 30 years Barcelona or Real Madrid have won every year in La Liga except 3-4 times (I can only remember Valencia twice and Deportivo once) ..
Atletico won it a few times, Athletic was a force in the 80's. But it's indeed a two team league, no question.

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07-11-2010, 05:16 PM
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La Liga is the best European league. EPL had its days but it isn't all that not right now.

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07-11-2010, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by HomaridII View Post
Let me ask you a question ..

Do you think a league where the 3rd place team (Valencia) is already 30 pts behind the 1st place team is better than a league where to find a team 30 pts behind you have to go down to 9th.

The EPL is MUCH more competitive, MUCH more. Week in and Week out it has much more competitive games. Where do you think a team like 7th place Liverpool would have finished in La Liga? I bet you top 4 easily.
Haven't been on in awhile because I was out of the country so excuse if I'm out of the loop in terms of the conversation here. I agree with your post 100%.

Serie A and La Liga each have at most 3 to 4 competitive teams that battle for the 1st and 2nd spot. In La Liga A, it's usually Real Madrid and Barcelona. In Serie A, it's usually Inter Milan, AC Milan, Juventus with Roma and those teams not far behind. Serie A is the typical defensive style of football you would expect from Italians. Very boring unless you truly appreciate football tactics. In terms of La Liga, sure, there are many extremely high end word class talents. (Kaka, Ronaldo (crybaby one), Villa and many others now as well as Zidaine, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Figo, Ronaldinho in the past). However, can you seriously watch a league where its only really a race between two clubs?

When I watch and think about the EPL, two words come to mind distinctively. Balance and depth. They might now have the best talents ( still have great players like Rooney, Torres, Drogba and the like) but there is always a great battle for the top 4 spots, especially now that Manchester City is competitive again. And last year, there were surprises from teams like Tottenham and Liverpool (in the bad way) so it's a much more competitive league. Much deeper rosters.

I also encourage many posters here to watch club football before commenting on the game as a collection of divers. Most posters here watch football once every 4 years. This is NOT indicative of what actual football is like. Sure, you will find divers everywhere but in the EPL, it's much less prevalent and you will find it actually penalized. So to the posters that say, I don't understand why soccer is the most popular game, well it's because what you watch now is not what happens 95% of times. Also, it is interesting to note that fundamentally, there might be a huge cultural discrepancy between what North Americans find interesting versus what Europeans find interesting. Maybe Europeans find diving and deception part of the game? Whereas North Americans prefer grit in their matches. I don't watch the MLS but if someone can make a comparison between the style of play rather than quality of play in the MLS vs EPL, that would perhaps explain some of the discrepancies?

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07-11-2010, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by loudi94 View Post
Which begs the question: Why does the English national side perform so poorly? How good would the EPL be with no imports?

That appears to be a problem when international play comes a knockin'.
Goaltending is their achilles' heel, and they play a slightly different style, since they're used to less ref involvment. They don't dive nearly as much.

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I strongly disagree with you, EPL has got a really strong top 4-5, but the bottom teams are plain awful. They do have better players overall than the other top 5 leagues, but their tactical level is dreadful.
Nah, their middle table is always shifting because the teams always have a few stud players. Teams in the EPL can rise fairly quickly and fall the same depending on who they bring in and who they lose. Man City was a middle table team a few years ago. Shea Given, Robinho, etc. later, they're a top team.

Much like Newcastle went from a middle table team to a CCChampionship team this year, now are back in the EPL.

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07-11-2010, 05:19 PM
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Serie A is the typical defensive style of football you would expect from Italians. Very boring unless you truly appreciate football tactics.
That's a common misconception. It's not true anymore, and has'nt been for years. There's been more goals scored in Italy than in England those last few years.

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07-11-2010, 05:20 PM
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It's a particularly unbalanced year in Spain.
This year's Liverpool may very well have finished top 4 in Spain, I have no problem with that. But the overall level of the football played in Spain is way better technically and tactically. I watch both leagues on a regular basis, and aside from the top 6-7, EPL teams are strong and play a fast paced game. But their D is terrible, and their team creativity is poor. EPL is a damn good league, with an awesome top 4-5 (MU, City, Lvpl, Chelsea and Arsenal), but the football played by the other teams is not as good as in Spain.
This year's Liverpool would have finished out of the Champions League spot in any country they would have competed in. They were dreadful from start to finish.

As for the differences between leagues, yes of course, Spanish football is the best technical football. Quick, one touch passing is what attracts the purists the most. However, as this is a hockey forum, I think most hockey fans who are trying to get into club football would prefer the Premier League. It's a more direct game, it's more physical and the pace is quite good when watching the elite teams (which now includes Spurs). Furthermore, you do tend to see less theatrics, and you have hard men that really take exception to that type of behaviour (I think most of Martin Keown, or Roy Keane is the past). Those "hard" players would definitely appeal to the general hockey fan IMO.

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07-11-2010, 05:22 PM
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Goaltending is their achilles' heel, and they play a slightly different style, since they're used to less ref involvment. They don't dive nearly as much.



Nah, their middle table is always shifting because the teams always have a few stud players. Teams in the EPL can rise fairly quickly and fall the same depending on who they bring in and who they lose. Man City was a middle table team a few years ago. Shea Given, Robinho, etc. later, they're a top team.
I wouldn't use Man City as a good example. Moneybags owners providing massive investment is why they are an upper-tier team now, and Robinho wasn't really a part of the side last season and won't be this season.

I tend to watch the Premier League and Spain, but the German league is enjoyable to watch. The past few years have seen a tight race at the top of the table, there's a fair bit of scoring, and excellent crowd support means the atmosphere is very good.

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07-11-2010, 05:24 PM
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That's a common misconception. It's not true anymore, and has'nt been for years. There's been more goals scored in Italy than in England those last few years.
No doubt, there has been many more goals in recent years but I still notice a defence first mentality whenever I watch their games. Regardless, I don't watch Serie A regularly so I wouldn't be the best person to comment. It's just my opinion from the matches I have seen, always defence first.

And I can't comment on anything beyond last year because I haven't looked at the numbers but that statement is certainly not true for last year. EPL had 1053 goals scored and Serie A had 992 goals. Is that extremely significant? Probably not, but it still doesn't make your statement true at least for the last year. Again, beyond last year, I will take your word for it.

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07-11-2010, 05:24 PM
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This year's Liverpool would have finished out of the Champions League spot in any country they would have competed in. They were dreadful from start to finish.

As for the differences between leagues, yes of course, Spanish football is the best technical football. Quick, one touch passing is what attracts the purists the most. However, as this is a hockey forum, I think most hockey fans who are trying to get into club football would prefer the Premier League. It's a more direct game, it's more physical and the pace is quite good when watching the elite teams (which now includes Spurs). Furthermore, you do tend to see less theatrics, and you have hard men that really take exception to that type of behaviour (I think most of Martin Keown, or Roy Keane is the past). Those "hard" players would definitely appeal to the general hockey fan IMO.
Roy Keane is the only player of whom I've owned an Original Shirt. I prayed every saturday/sunday to Roy ... hehehehe

That game in the semifinals of the Champions League 99 vs Juventus in Turin is still the single most amazing performance in club football that I've seen live or on TV.

Here is what Ferguson said about that performance:

"I did not think I could have a higher opinion of any footballer than I already had of the Irishman but he rose even further in my estimation at the Stadio Delle Alpi. The minute he was booked and out of the final, he seemed to redouble his efforts to get the team there. It was the most emphatic display of selflessness I have seen on a football field. Pounding over every blade of grass, competing as if he would rather die of exhaustion than lose, he inspired all around him. I felt it was an honour to be associated with such a player."

I am 100000% sure WhiteSnake would have loved him .. lol

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07-11-2010, 05:26 PM
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I wouldn't use Man City as a good example. Moneybags owners providing massive investment is why they are an upper-tier team now, and Robinho wasn't really a part of the side last season and won't be this season.

I tend to watch the Premier League and Spain, but the German league is enjoyable to watch. The past few years have seen a tight race at the top of the table, there's a fair bit of scoring, and excellent crowd support means the atmosphere is very good.
Well, a lot of EPL teams have deep pockets.

Newcastle is (was?) top 20 amongst the world's richest clubs and was playing championship soccer this year. They have been an average to below-average team since Shearer retired.

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07-11-2010, 05:28 PM
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07-11-2010, 05:28 PM
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No doubt, there has been many more goals in recent years but I still notice a defence first mentality whenever I watch their games. Regardless, I don't watch Serie A regularly so I wouldn't be the best person to comment. It's just my opinion from the matches I have seen, always defence first.
I wouldn't say defence first, but balance and positionning first. It's a very tactical league indeed, but there's now a real offense mentality in the italian coaching style, brought by teams like Udinese or Fiorentina. Coaches like Spalletti, Zacheroni, Malesani are real offensive minded and brought a new spirit in this league.

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07-11-2010, 05:31 PM
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Hey guys i must say that i find this discussion - the comparison between the leagues very interesting... Thanks a lot. I'll try watching more epl when it starts again...

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07-11-2010, 05:32 PM
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Roy Keane is the only player of whom I've owned an Original Shirt. I prayed every saturday/sunday to Roy ... hehehehe

That game in the semifinals of the Champions League 99 vs Juventus in Turin is still the single most amazing performance in club football that I've seen live or on TV.

I am 100000% sure WhiteSnake would have loved him .. lol
I've had several "heights" watching club football over the years, and they were moments that honestly moved me as the much as the Canadiens' memories move me. Probably the finest performance I saw was Pavel Nedved against Real Madrid in the Champions League Semi-Finals in 2003. Juventus, while a great team themselves, were heavy underdogs against that Madrid side, but Nedved just willed Juventus onto victory. It was absolutely incredible. The sad part was that he got booked towards the end of the match, missed the final, and Juventus lost the Champions League on penalties to Milan.


I follow Spurs and Juventus, and once you find a club to support and make an effort to follow them, all this talk about theatrics, about referees, about boring matches don't matter anymore. You just live and die by the club, you stick with them through and through, and you learn to put up with lousy days. However, what gets you through, what motivates you to keep watching week in and week out are moments like I described above. Football is such a brilliant sport, but for North Americans who have a tough time following from afar, you just need to find the moments that grab you and suck you in.

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