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About Lizhang

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  1. We've been wondering about that as well. Also think he needed some of the entourage he had back in Leicester with him.
  2. I still feel people are overlooking the fact that this season every other team is looking in a completely different way at Leicester, compared to last year, and that it changes the dynamics for a player like Tielemans a lot. Like i said before, last year, even the lower ranked teams thought they had a fair chance to get some points against Leicester. More teams opening up, more space and time for Tielemans to move. This year, most teams will not be so eager to move forward, will be more hesitant. Since Tielemans has a key role in moving the ball up the field, he's one of the first players that needs to adjust to that.
  3. If you want to see it that way, i guess you can. You are comparing his efforts to those of last year's loan period. Last year Leicester wasn't top 3 in the league. The entire dynamic changes when you are a team at the top of the league, or a team somewhere in the middle or the bottom. When you're playing for spots 8-12 basically everybody thinks they've got a shot at winning against you, even the teams at the bottom. Which makes facing about 80% of opponents, a lot easier. You'll get more space and opportunities against opponents who believe they can beat you on their own terms. More chances for a player like Tielemans to make his mark. A team facing a top team in the league (like this year) will play more cynically and defensively. As such, it also makes it harder to make your mark individually as a player, imho. I think this is the most likely of explanations. I'm simply arguing expectations seem to be off. My comment about KDB should be seen in that light (probably triggered because someone a few pages back spoke of him vs De Bruyne in such a sense).
  4. The problem is that the on-field ref is the main ref. Imho, it would be much better to have older, more experienced refs (maybe those failing the physical tests due to age or over the age limit) as the VAR and have those guys call the shots. If they are not sure of what they are seeing, they are old, wise and experienced enough to trust the judgement of the on-field ref. In hockey, this is exactly what happens, the judgement of the VAR is trusted, the on-field ref doesn't even look at the footage, he takes the VAR's word for it. In Belgium we are sending good +/-40 year old experienced refs off into retirement, while the young guys that are failing on the pitch, are being repurposed as VAR. It doesn't get any more asinine than that. It's like the dumb leading the blind. It also doesn't help that there is this stupid rule of "clear error". What does that mean? Clear to whom? If it is clear on the replay, it should be a clear error, no? No, apparently it should have been clear to the on-field ref... basically, that means no error is clear because if it were clear to the ref, he wouldn't have screwed up now, would he? So we now have to theorize about what "might" have been clear to the ref, but where he made the wrong decision. Basically, the only way i can interpret that, is if we assume the ref is willfully making wrong decisions. If it's wrong and you can clearly see it on the footage, overturn it. But that's probably too straight forward and doesn't leave anything to chance. Maybe they don't really want it to be foolproof either?
  5. Before he signed, i told you guys he wasn't the finished article yet. That he can still be very inconsistent and that any fear of him signing for a club like Man City (because Pep hugged him) was unfounded, since he knows just as well as the Man City scouts, that he is not ready for a role in a club like that, unless as 4th in the pecking order perhaps. He isn't (and never has been) a drop in replacement for a guy like De Bruyne (who imho is currently too good for a club like Man City). Youri is still far off of that level. He knew this, and he realized playing for Leicester was the best option for him, as it was probably the best option for a club with potential and ambition on one hand, and on the other, where he could actually play instead of being on the bench. That's why for me it made too much sense for him not to sign for Leicester. In a noticeably bigger club (with more money) he would not be the main man and not be able to play all the time (which he needs to improve). He chose the best team that would start him. I think it was that simple. On the other hand, i don't think it's fair to expect him to be a worldbeater all of a sudden. Leicester (supporters) should have expected him to have lesser spells. He's 22, he didn't play for a long time at his previous club, and often athletes (not just footballers) get a drop in form months after their reappearance. He also lacks that experience, knowing his own body and how to cope mentally with a setback or looking for answers when things aren't going the way they should. He's still young and basically wasted a year of his development in France. Also, he has one of the most decisive roles on the squad, if he really were not good enough or "off form" since the start of the season, do you really think you'd be second in the league? I don't mean to be disrespectful, but maybe you need a reality check if you do. Maybe if he had been good, you would be 10 points ahead of Liverpool? I think expectations are off. He's a class player, but he's 22, is still less than a full year in the Premier League. If you wanted De Bruyne, you needed to pay a bit more than what you paid for Youri.
  6. Pep found drunk at the pub again?
  7. @Pelotas It's not an emotional matter as you are implying. Everything (both in Europe as in Belgium) is catered towards the big teams. The CL, EL, the Super League. And if they go through with it, the BeNeLeague as well. And so are the play-offs. They are designed to give the big teams better chances in Europe, which in turn makes them stronger in Belgium. On the other hand, should a small team get into the play-offs with a headstart (because they were the best in the regular competition), they would likely not survive the play-offs. They simply don't have the same squad depth, and likely not the quality to make it against the top teams in a mini competition. Even if they would prove to be the most consistent throughout the regular season. So the play-offs are bad for the smaller teams for two reasons. They are designed in a way that makes it basically impossible for them to actually win, and on the other hand they are made so the bigger teams get bigger (thanks to extra money in Europe). Had Leicester needed to play a post-season play-off competition like our POI in 2015-2016, their chances would have diminished considerably. Uefa could have done more. They started with "financial fairplay", and while the concept may be a step in the right direction, it's also too little too late. I actually think we agree on quite a few points, or issues. Just not always on how to solve them. I think the sport needs a hard reset. Some things are beyond fixing and no amount of adaptations on past mistakes is going to fix the countless deformations that have turned the sport into a monstrosity. The issues start at the top, not at the bottom. And they trickle down. No amount of play-offs or BeNeLeagues is ever going to stop that. It might slow down the gap from widening for a while, but ultimately, it is just another step in the wrong direction. If they want the sport to survive in the long run, action needs to be taken. This may seem like a silly statement now, but let's see how it goes in a few decades.
  8. I watched the game with one eye. Didn't think Praet was that bad (compared to others) so i was a bit surprised to see him taken off for a player that was actually piss poor. Praet is unlucky he can't play on his normal (best) position, so he has to shift outward where he can't play his normal game. I think in a game like today, it might have been an option to take someone from center midfield off, shift Praet inward and bring somebody off the bench for the wing. But i only watch a few Leicester matches a year, so take this post with a grain of salt in that regard. Just a quick impression.
  9. The difference being that one is a result of the competition itself, within any competition. The other being introduced as a result of what happens outside the actual competition. You are comparing apples to oranges. You are usually more adept at looking up regulations, so i'll leave it to you. But it was my understanding that there were indeed such things preventing them from ditching PO2 alltogether. In any case, it would be a farce, rules or no. That said, i don't know the specifics about Bulgerian or Danish systems. Nevertheless, it bothers me to artificially alter a regular competition, just to cater to the big teams as a result of a skewed situation in Europe. Had UEFA intervened when they should have, there would be no need for any of these artificial tours de force. Well, since you brought it up, i responded to it. Good to know why you did, but what is your actual thought on my actual post? You can beat around the bush all you like. It's an unfair advantage compared to teams from other countries. Whether you call it cheating or "being clever". Stuff like this is why i would like more regulations from Uefa regarding the design of all competitions. And just because i think this is an unfair advantage, doesn't mean i don't think other teams/countries aren't getting an unfair advantage either, in some other way. Not? lol, of course not. There are 6 spots in POI, and there are only 5 traditional big teams. So obviously, you will always have at least one non-top team, and sometimes one of the G5 teams will miss out as well. It's funny that you bring this up as an argument to prove your point, because any other way would basically prove it needs to be tossed in the bin immediately. Luckily, players and trainers are not machines and sometimes something unforeseen will happen. I'm not a fan. But i'm not a fan of the super league either. For the same reason, i'm not a fan of POI either. It's all made so the big teams get what they want. They can get bigger, the small teams get left further behind.
  10. Seems like we agree on basically most of it except for Div 1 play-off 1? It's simply that PO1 takes up most of your post Just because this is agreed by all teams before going into the season, does not make it a non-argument. It's an opinion, first and foremost. It's also no way to debate, because otherwise you could throw most of our posts in the bin, as it's all been defined the way it is already, and all teams have agreed to it. Then why bother having a conversation which is always going to be about personal preference. Call me old fashioned but i think having play-offs to determine who is the champion, is an artificial (and thus fake) way to produce entertainment, and at a cost. It is getting further and further away of the concept of an honest "sport". Not just the concept of cutting points in half, but the entire league is defined by it. As i explained earlier, the big teams will half-ass their way through the competition until january/february. Imagine you are a small team fighting relegation, and you face these teams at the beginning of the cycle, you have a good shot at getting some points against the top teams (you'll face them in august and december). But if you face these teams at the end of the cycle, this means you will again face them a second time in february/march when they might still be battling to get into PO1 or widen the gap with a rival, and you are very much fcked as a small team fighting relegation. Please remember the last time we got relegated, and out of our last 5 games, we faced 3 top teams in full swing. The fact that it is defined and agreed upon, does not change that. It's plain and simple "competitievervalsing". Too lazy to look up what that would be in proper English, sorry, lol. And if you need another stone cold argument to ditch PO1, because the rest of the league can not support it. And by support, i don't mean by votes. If PO1 can only exist by having PO2, because all teams must play the same number of games as "defined" by regulations as far as i'm aware, then that in itself is enough to pull the plug. I seriously can not remember having stated this, or even having implied it. That said, there are definitely issues with the way money can find it's way to one club very easily, while a similar club might go bankrupt, just based on geological factors, cultural factors etc. Yes i do think there needs to be put a cap on spendings, on earnings (be it a hard cap or one of severe diminishing returns, where the money flows back to the rest of the community... same story, take away the plankton, even the big fish will die). And this should start with Fifa & Uefa. If these problems had been tackled in the past, a lot of the local problems we are facing with our play-off systems etc, would never have existed in the first place. There would be no need to look for a silly solution to stay relevant in Europe, because the problem wouldn't exist in the first place. Again, my issue is with the concept of the "sport" becoming more and more diffuse. It should be a game about skill, wit, team play, tactics, endurance, training... not about finding the biggest sponsor to buy you the best players. Yet more and more that balance is completely out of whack. If they have been getting better, the only explanation is indeed as you implied, them going further into Europe, getting bigger bonuses. More cash to spend on the squad/club. And yes, to me that is a way of cheating, since you are getting an unfair advantage over many other clubs from other countries, who do not have the luxury to "half-ass" their way through their local competition, without consequence. It is also fundamentally unfair to the smaller Belgian clubs. Because the extra cash they (the bigger teams) pick up in Europe, they basically earn on the backs of the small teams. The small teams have no benefit from the play-offs (they have to play PO2), the bigger clubs have the entire league catered towards their "need" to go further in Europe, they get rewarded TWICE (getting to focus on Europe without consequence in the local competition, and getting "the spoils" of their European success, which they can only earn thanks to the small teams their sacrifice). In the meantime the gap between the big teams and the small teams, is getting exponentially bigger. Meaning for the big teams, it gets increasingly more easy to half-ass the competition, and focus on it in the last 2 to 3 months. I don't think 2 more pro clubs would be an issue. There is always one club or chairman who feels the ambition to try. Often they fail, but who thought 2 years ago Virton would be where they are now? I also don't think it's a big deal to allow a few smaller clubs into the competition. Some of these clubs just do it for fun, they have a talented squad once every 30 years and want to see how far they can go. Chances are they'll get relegated the next year, but there's no harm in that, as long as they aren't forced to spend insane amounts on improvements just to comply to pro football within the first year or two. Two years ago, it was either Lommel or Leuven, that had to be relegated. Imho, neither of those clubs deserve to be in amateur leagues. So making a hard cut at 16+8, still leaves quite a few good clubs vulnerable to dropping down to amateur status (with all of the consequences mentioned earlier). I'm also not a fan of 12+12. What kind of a season will you get then? Again, play-offs taking up half your season? Playing each club 4 times in first division (which is already almost the case with all the play-offs)? Again, this is a stopgap, not a solution to the much bigger underlying problem. PS: it is funny to see Filip Joos, fierce supporter of the play-offs, of changing our league to cater to the big clubs... now not realizing he's arguing against what is happening in Europe (Super League) while what is going on there, is essentially the exact same thing as what he is in favor of on a local level. The second part of the article is hilarious, as it is clear he doesn't realize it himself. https://sporza.be/nl/2019/12/12/filip-joos-over-de-g5-in-de-champions-league/
  11. I think play-offs are a fake way of creating entertainment. If you are the best at the end of the season, you should be the champion. Done. I know some pundits like Filip Joos think our PO1 is a good thing and that it raises the level of our football... but i personally don't believe it for one second and i thought we had long put this myth to bed. If our top clubs get better results in Europe, it has more to do with them focussing on European football first and foremost, and having the luxury to start focusing on the competition only in january/february, which will still result in them reaching the play-offs (1), where points are cut in half and everybody still has a shot at the title. At the same time throughout the season, the smaller teams that don't play European football and don't have to focus on it as a result, can put all their energy in the competition, and will for a long time be able to give the impression of being able to compete for the play-offs... until the "big boys" get kicked out of the Europa League, shift their focus towards the competition, and they leapfrog whichever small team(s) is(/are) in front of them. So you create the illusion that the competition is more tense (because the small teams appear stronger... but in reality the big teams are simply focusing on European football the first part of the season) and you create the illusion that Belgian teams are stronger in Europe (which is simply because they can get away with half-assing the competition, and focus on Europe, because they just need to reach the play-offs). It's all smoke and mirrors and it's a form of cheating if you'd compare it to other European teams from small countries that do not have the same luxury. Going for a bigger 20 team 1st division, and a normal amateur division right beneath it, is a huge risk. I'm not even going to "imho" that statement. My initial response would be "what's the difference with 10 years ago?". Back then, we had an 18 team 1st division, and an 18 team 2nd division. Some teams in 2nd div were pro (like OHL), many were not (like Zaventem, Eupen (back then), Club Liège... iirc). We would basically be going back to that, of which the consensus back then was that something had to change The only difference now is that all 2nd div teams would have to be amateur teams. Which means those teams can not have an "elite" level youth division anymore and getting relegated would be even more devastating, due to to the fact that you'd be obligated to drop your pro status (which you didn't have to 10 years ago). Had this line been drawn last year, OHL would not have made the first 20, and this would have been a disaster for the club that was trying to become more professional and which values its elite youth. All of that would have been lost. And it still might. What if we make the cut, but somehow get relegated the next few years? It will be a rude awakening, dropping down to amateur football, losing your entire elite youth, based on one bad season. Back to the stoneage. As such the 8 team 2nd division acts as a buffer, and i don't think there is anything wrong with that per se. However, there is something wrong with (again) this play-off system, based on 2 periods. As it stands, we would have to play a double final against a team that has 10 points LESS in competition, and might lose out while having been the best team all season. If you, Pelotas, see the injustice in this, then i don't understand that you can be in favor of the PO1 system in first division, which essentially boils down to the same thing. Anyway, The current (2nd div) system sucks, but it could easily be improved upon. Allow more teams to relegate out of 1st div and more teams to get promoted out of 2nd div. Getting relegated isn't dramatic as you automatically have a big shot at promotion the next year or two. And you get to keep the buffer between 1st div and amateur division. Drop the asinine 2 period/play-off final system. First 2 or 3 teams out of 8 go up. Now you get frustrated being stuck in a mini league facing the same teams over and over (4 times per year + countless extra play-off/final/play-down matches on top of that). If you drop all those extra matches, and there are 2 or 3 teams that get promoted, you get a much larger circulation. Either you as club will not be in this division in 2-3 years, or if you still are, you won't be facing the same teams every year over and over. Reshuffle the budgets. Basically EVERY time they try to reform the league, the problem is the small teams don't get what they deserve. Bigger teams throw the small teams a bone (promise to vote for a relegation system that has a safety net) and things stay the same. The real problems, of which dividing the copyrights / TV budgets is one of the biggest, are never dealt with. Because the big teams have all the power. They can even outvote the small teams, which are in fact, stronger in numbers as long as they get a few of the small clubs on their side. And there are always a few of the small clubs who either get tricked into believing it's in their best interest, or even "think" they will be a big club in a few years time... which then never happens. In fact, i think the game the bigger Belgian clubs have been playing, and how they've been terrorizing the smaller teams (and i don't mean on the pitch), is maybe the biggest problem in Belgium. If they would really want to raise the level of the Belgian league, they would allow the smaller clubs to thrive and actually challenge the bigger clubs. Everybody would benefit from that. Take the plankton out of the lake, and everything dies. Including the big fish. Personally, i'd favor a system with a bigger 1st division (18), but with more teams getting relegated (2 as an absolute minimum, but i'd say 3, or even 4) and a smaller 2nd division (of 8 to 10). Drop all the play-off nonsense. Divide the budgets correctly. Delete the winter transfer period, cut the summer transfer period short at the start of the competition. Make arrangements for more youth players to get a better shot at making the team. Obviously, all the issues i have with how things are going now, are a result of Belgian clubs and chairmen, trying to stay relevant in Europe. Which brings us to a whole other cesspool.
  12. Today, OHL issued a statement on their website, pleading to introduce VAR in our league. https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ohleuven.com%2Fnieuws%2F1525193%2Freactie-oh-leuven-op-wedstrijdverloop-in-lommel
  13. Luckily for us, Beeschot didn't win and we're still very much "in it" for the second period.
  14. For all of you who are still not convinced by VAR, you should have seen Lommel - OHL. Disgusting referee. Two penalties and a red card against us, each of them unfounded. On the other hand, we did not get a clear cut penalty, and the other side got away with one after the other foul, and should have seen 2 players sent off with a double yellow. 3-2
  15. Some of the best football we've played all season. Some very nice combinations and link-up play. Unfortunate goal at the end, that should never have been able to go in. Highlights: https://www.proximus-sports.be/nl/voetbal/proximus-league/video/26964/samenvatting-oh-leuven-ksc-lokeren
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