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Old 12-22-2005, 02:06 PM
DrunkenGoon DrunkenGoon is offline
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Default Goonies Awards

Another year has passed, time for another rendition of the Goonies Awards. Over the next 11 days we will go position by position to reveal the best of the bunch (personal bias included of course). The requirements are simple: you have to be good, you have to have style, you have to be tough and you have to love the game.

We start in net with the best of the best, although he doesn't really get the recognition.




Gregory Coupet(Lyon) is the captain of the best team in France and he earns his pay. This year he has solidified his position as the #1 goalie for France (the haters would say because of Barthez's suspension). He has the instincts to position well and his reflexes are top notch. He exudes confidence and sometimes carries a team that should never have to be carried on his shoulders.

Other Top 5 Goalies
Shay Given (AKA the Highlight Reel) has been performing at top notch level for Newcastle for many years but he doesn't seem to get the recognition he deserves because the team as a whole has been crap pretty much since the turn of the millenium. The guy is fealess diving at the feet of opponents, diving into incoming traffic for crosses and has great instincts.

Peter Cech - Although he doesn't get to show it much, the Czech giant has earned his pay at Chelsea backstopping them to their first title in ages and keeping them on course for a repeat in the first half this season. He has performed well in Europe and I look for great things from him with the Czech national side in 2006.

Carlos Idriss Kameni - The Espanyol backstopper played in all 38 league games in the 04-05 season and the first 16 games this season, finally getting his first league rest of the year yesterday. At 21, the Cameroonian backstopper has got a gold medal in the Olympics (2000) and is earning an excellent reputation in La Liga. He's a joy to watch for his flamboyant style and the exotic saves he pulls off.

Rogerio Ceni - The Sao Paolo goalkeeper had a hand and a foot in his team winning the Copa Libertadores and the World Club Championship. You have to love a goalie that leads his team in scoring. The guy is built in the mold of Higuita and Chilavert. He sometimes starts games at forward for the club but we shouldn't let that reduce his qualities as a backstopper. His reflexes are excellent and he could once again make the brazilian roster for the WC. Too bad we won't get to see him play as he's 3rd in the pecking order.

Performance of the Year - Jerzy Dudek for the Champions League final. Forget the pk's he stopped clowning around, the added time double save on Shevchenko has got to be up there as the pressure moment save of the season.

Others that would have made the list if not injured: Gianluigi Buffon, Andreas Isaksson.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's look at right backs.
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Old 12-23-2005, 03:46 PM
DrunkenGoon DrunkenGoon is offline
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Default RE:Goonies Awards

Day 2 of 11, it's now time to look at the right backs. This position has your elephants and a few young ones, but there isn't as much talent available as in previous years. You have your aging superstars in Cafu, Ayala and Panucci, you have your consistent performers in Sagnol, Trabelsi, Paolo Ferreira and Salgado and the up and comers like Cichino and Maicon. The position is a tough one to play as managers demand defensive perfection as well as an attacking presence from their wing backs. Funny thing, as all the contenders have the flair to do both, and it definitelly comes naturally if you are brazilian. With that in mind, let's make the tough decission and name someone the right back of the year.



I will step out and make Cicinho the Goonie right back. He's got the hardware with the Libertadores Cup and the World Club Championship and he's made the most progress of all the players in the bunch. A virtually unknown at the start of the season, Cicinho has literarily arrived, as he's on the brink of moving to Real Madrid. Playing with the Galacticos in the second half of the season will give him the exposure he deserves and next year everyone will be talking about this exciting 25 years old. I like to stay ahead of the curve and will give him his props this year. His slalom dribbles leave opponents in a no-win situation: when they show him inside he is able to unleash thunderbolt shots on goal and when they force him outside, he utilises his ability to whip a ball into the box with startling accuracy. He will battle Cafu for the right back possition on Brazil's world cup lineup and don't be shocked if he gets it.

Other Top 5 Right Backs
Cafu - Still the quitensential right back, the brazilian captain is getting a bit old in the tooth and that was exposed during the Champions League final. He's a lot better going forward than defending and gets a lot of support from Gatuso's work in midfield at Milan, which allows him to roam freely. Deadly pinpoint accuracy crossing the ball in the box and the ability to get involved by intechanging positions make this guy a force to be reckon with. His best years are behind him but don't overlook him or he will embarass you.

Paolo Ferreira - Despite being the best right back in Europe while playing with Porto, he was a virtually unknown until he came to Chelsea. He proven his worth solidifying the Blues defense in their way to an EPL title. A player with a mean streak, does not venture forward much, but can come up spades on set plays in the aerial game. At his best when he isolates with a forward and takes his opponent out of the game by denying ball reception through any means necessary.

Willy Sagnol - The Bayern right back frenchman has grown up a lot. He is now a fixture in the lineup for both club and country. Not flashy, he gets the job done and that's a great compliment as he plays on superstar loaded teams. More elegant than physical, he is a player worth watching on all fronts. Champions League success will help him elevate to the next level.

Hatem Trabelsi - One of the most sought after defenders in Europe, the Ajax right back is a physical specimen. After 5 solid years at Ajax, he's looking for a move to English or Italian football and the Tunisian captain can improve his stock with another solid showing at the World Cup. Liverpool and Arsenal are both salivating at improving their defenses with the presence of a physical defenseman that is rarely beaten in the air. His no nonsense approach to the game is card prone, but the risks he takes are well worth the rewards of his actions.
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Old 12-24-2005, 08:11 AM
Conrad Conrad is offline
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Default RE:Goonies Awards

Quote:
Originally posted by: DrunkenGoon
Performance of the Year - Jerzy Dudek for the Champions League final. Forget the pk's he stopped clowning around, the added time double save on Shevchenko has got to be up there as the pressure moment save of the season.
Yeah, he stole everyone's hearts with that performance. He made some fantastic PK saves, stopping even Sheva from scoring (now how often does that happen?), but the ET doule-save from the same culprit... probably goes down as the best save I have ever seen in the history of the sport. I mean that ball was IN the net, a banker. TWICE.

Do keep in mind though that Dudek might not be making the World Cup. He's warming the bench right now and ought to leave Liverpool before he gets dumped out of the squad. Especially since there's a better keeper around, Andy Boruc, who's Celtic's main goalie. He is much better, and although he's a relatively new signing, he's already ousted Scotland's first choice goalie and saved 3/4 PKs. Guy is a talent.
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Old 12-24-2005, 02:57 PM
DrunkenGoon DrunkenGoon is offline
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Default RE: Goonies Awards

As good as Dudek was in the PK's, it's miles behind Dukadam for Steaua against Barca in the 85-86 CL final. The guy stopped 4 out of 4 pk's to win the cup on hostile ground in Sevilla.

Best save in recent memory, Casillas against Leverkusen in the CL final a couple of years back in the dying minutes off the corner, back to back stops. Dudek's was more fluke than goaltending. And speaking of Real, they were robbed by Racing's keeper in midweek by another beauty.

Long term, the 82 WC stands out for me, with N'Kono and Zoff as the two best performers. Dassaev at the 88 EC was unforgettable as well.
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Old 12-26-2005, 09:07 AM
Conrad Conrad is offline
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Default RE: Goonies Awards

Don't recall that match at all, but if you have a link to a mpeg file of the shoot-out then I'd like to give it a look.

Schmeichel made some awesome saves in his career. But I wouldn't go blaming things on "fluke rather than goaltending" because it's all about being in the right place, at the right time. When Sheva had that ball it was in the net, guaranteed. How that didn't go in is beyond me. I guess it was to be Liverpool's night, and to come back from 0-3 down at HT in the final... against an Italian team... wow. Who'da think it?
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Old 12-26-2005, 04:18 PM
DrunkenGoon DrunkenGoon is offline
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Default RE: Goonies Awards

you can find it at uefa under their Golden Moments section
http://www.uefa.com/video/index.html

They rotate those through, so you might have to ask one of the editors for a direct link, I don't have it handy.
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Old 12-26-2005, 07:05 PM
Conrad Conrad is offline
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Default RE: Goonies Awards

Will give it a look.

Goon, looking at the Chelsea squad, and taking into account the notions that "money is no object" and "Ronaldinho is simply not for sale," who would you be adding to Mourinho's army? I like the goalie (shit, who doesn't?), I love the defence, I think the midfield is very tight, but up front... I'd bring in an extra sharp-shooter. Shevchenko. Sure, Crespo and the gang are packed with talent, but if you really want to go for the best there is... then there's no better man than Andriej himself. The guy makes Ruud van Nistelrooy look like a Division 2 player...
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