Mecca of Banter

Is Haaland Boring???

February 20, 2024 Ryan Butchart, Nick Hoeflinger, Andy Hoover, Conner Sendobry, Lucas Winkelmann and Henry Wynd Season 3 Episode 28
Is Haaland Boring???
Mecca of Banter
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Mecca of Banter
Is Haaland Boring???
Feb 20, 2024 Season 3 Episode 28
Ryan Butchart, Nick Hoeflinger, Andy Hoover, Conner Sendobry, Lucas Winkelmann and Henry Wynd

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In this episode, the boys discuss the weekend's Premier League matches and the performances of Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City, and Chelsea. They analyze Liverpool's form and their chances in the title race. They also talk about Arsenal's recent success and the importance of spreading goals across the team. The hosts discuss Tottenham's loss to Wolves and the challenges they face. Finally, they review the match between Manchester City and Chelsea and highlight the standout performances. The conversation covers the Manchester City vs. Chelsea game, the Manchester United vs. Luton game, the discussion on Haaland's wastefulness, the Champions League preview, the MLS Home Opener, and the MLS Open Cup controversy. The conversation covers various issues and frustrations with Major League Soccer (MLS), including the use of replacement referees, high kit prices, and the lack of promotion and relegation. The hosts express their disappointment with the direction of the league and their desire for change.


  • Liverpool's form and depth make them strong contenders in the title race.
  • Arsenal's recent success is due to their ability to score goals from various players.
  • Tottenham needs to address their defensive issues and find consistency.
  • Manchester City and Chelsea had a closely contested match with impressive performances from individual players. MLS is starting the season with replacement referees, which has raised concerns about the quality of officiating.
  • The high prices of MLS kits and the perceived lack of value for money are a source of frustration for fans.
  • There is a growing dissatisfaction with the direction of MLS, with calls for protests and signs expressing discontent with the league's management.
  • The hosts believe that MLS is not focused on growing the game and lacks the excitement and history found in European leagues.


Introduction and Weekend Recap

Liverpool's Form and Title Race

Arsenal's Recent Success

Tottenham's Loss to Wolves

Manchester City vs. Chelsea

Manchester City vs. Chelsea

Manchester United vs. Luton

Discussion on Holland's wastefulness

Champions League Preview

MLS Home Opener

MLS Open Cup Controversy

Issues with MLS a

Support the Show.


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Show Notes Transcript

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In this episode, the boys discuss the weekend's Premier League matches and the performances of Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City, and Chelsea. They analyze Liverpool's form and their chances in the title race. They also talk about Arsenal's recent success and the importance of spreading goals across the team. The hosts discuss Tottenham's loss to Wolves and the challenges they face. Finally, they review the match between Manchester City and Chelsea and highlight the standout performances. The conversation covers the Manchester City vs. Chelsea game, the Manchester United vs. Luton game, the discussion on Haaland's wastefulness, the Champions League preview, the MLS Home Opener, and the MLS Open Cup controversy. The conversation covers various issues and frustrations with Major League Soccer (MLS), including the use of replacement referees, high kit prices, and the lack of promotion and relegation. The hosts express their disappointment with the direction of the league and their desire for change.


  • Liverpool's form and depth make them strong contenders in the title race.
  • Arsenal's recent success is due to their ability to score goals from various players.
  • Tottenham needs to address their defensive issues and find consistency.
  • Manchester City and Chelsea had a closely contested match with impressive performances from individual players. MLS is starting the season with replacement referees, which has raised concerns about the quality of officiating.
  • The high prices of MLS kits and the perceived lack of value for money are a source of frustration for fans.
  • There is a growing dissatisfaction with the direction of MLS, with calls for protests and signs expressing discontent with the league's management.
  • The hosts believe that MLS is not focused on growing the game and lacks the excitement and history found in European leagues.


Introduction and Weekend Recap

Liverpool's Form and Title Race

Arsenal's Recent Success

Tottenham's Loss to Wolves

Manchester City vs. Chelsea

Manchester City vs. Chelsea

Manchester United vs. Luton

Discussion on Holland's wastefulness

Champions League Preview

MLS Home Opener

MLS Open Cup Controversy

Issues with MLS a

Support the Show.


Apple Podcasts ▶
Spotify ▶
Google Podcasts ▶
Amazon Music ▶
Pandora ▶
Buzzsprout ▶
Stitcher ▶
iHeartRadio ▶
TuneIn ▶
Overcast ▶
Pocket Casts ▶
Podfriend ▶
Castro ▶
Castbox ▶
Podchaser ▶
Listen Notes ▶
Podcast Addict ▶
Deezer ▶
Player FM ▶
Podcast Index ▶

Instagram ▶
Twitter ▶
Facebook ▶
YouTube ▶

Email ▶

Hen (00:00.91)
And we are live. Gentlemen, welcome back to another episode of the Mecca of Bantor podcast. I am this week's host, Henry Wynde. You can find me on Twitter at Henry Wynde. And let me tell you, fellas, it is a great week to be a Manchester United fan. I'll tell you that much. A win away at Luton. And as we all know, it's a tough place to play. Tough place to play out here. We have a lot to dig into.

Dobes (00:24.613)
Place to play.

Hen (00:28.31)
It is match week for Saint Louis City. Shout out to the city boys, but let's get a quick check in with the fellas. Lucas Winkleman, how you doing today?

Winks (00:36.592)
What's up, baby? I'm good. Good to see you guys. Stoked for this episode. Is this two weeks in a row that all of our clubs won their games? Oh, wait, who? Spurs and Chelsea. Damn crazy. No, I'm on top of the world after the last, like, five games. Really excited to dive into that. Sorry that I missed the mecha moments talk about city, huh? Maybe it's a it's a close race, my boy. Just give it time.

Hen (00:46.151)
Oh no, because Chelsea, no, ah!

Hoov (00:49.12)
Ha ha

Hen (01:04.033)

Winks (01:06.972)
You'll get there too in a couple seasons, but good to see you guys.

Hen (01:10.93)
Well, Lucas, thanks for being here, brother. 11 goals in the last two games for you. And to a man who hasn't scored 11 goals all year, Nick Haeflinger, how are we doing?

Winks (01:21.032)
Mm-hmm. Ha ha ha!

Hoov (01:23.754)
Oh man.

Dobes (01:30.664)
Thanks for watching!

Winks (01:41.335)
You're doing the Lord's work.

Hen (01:43.326)

Hen (01:57.446)
Memories to last a lifetime, bro. I hope that you cherish every bit of that. Take a lot of photos, can't wait to see. Andy Hoover, how we doing, brother?

Hoov (02:05.952)
Never better, man. Yeah, we're doing good. I think Dope said it last year where, you know, when United was doing their thing, that I'm purely a St. Louis City fan this year. I support no other club. I never have, never will. You guys. Just kidding, we're great. No, trust in Ange. Ange is the future, Ange is the way.

Dobes (02:08.188)

Dobes (02:22.823)
Don't take my shtick man, don't take my shtick.

Hen (02:26.962)
Some podcasts may steal ideas from other podcasts, but not here, but not here.

Hoov (02:35.832)
and the discourse around that's insane. So uh—oh yeah, we're doing good though outside of that.

Hen (02:40.094)
Good brother, good to see you. And finally, my United brother, the second half of the United Corner, my guy, Connorson Dobry. Check in, bro.

Dobes (02:48.04)
What's going on, fellas? Happy to be here. You know, one of the most informed teams in the world in 2024. Um, there's just no arguing that. And also city's getting ready to start, you know, some have two teams that I'm diehard for all the way through here. Um, it was Bielefeld, you know, you guys are waiting for it. They dropped points again this weekend. So we're kind of still in the relegation battle in Boondas Liga three, but we're looking to stay up, um, but it's good to see you fellas.

Happy for Sid to be back, happy to be on the same side for at least half of the episode moving forward. I guess half of the episodes moving forward, but good to be here. Let's get rolling.

Hen (03:21.234)
Well fellas, now that we're all uh...

No, it's here. It's here to stay.

Hoov (03:25.644)
No, they're soaking it up, dude.

Dobes (03:28.297)
Oh, yeah, the moment he said it, I was like, yeah, I'm going to get a sign in the back here that just says United Corner.

Hoov (03:33.432)
You're the best.

Hen (03:35.639)
Today we have a great episode. We got our weekend recap. We have some St. Louis City preview as well as looking at the Champions League games that happened last week and coming up this week. But fellas, today is a big episode because today it's our first sponsored episode that we've ever had as a podcast. So shout out to Manscaped for being our first sponsor. So 2024 is here and in full swing. And that means it's time for a New Year's resolution check-in.

Hoov (03:54.643)

Hen (04:02.79)
with our friends at Manscaped. And news flash, it's never too late to level up your grooming game and keep your bush tamed. Manscaped's new Lawn Mower 5.0 Ultra is every man's cheat code to look good, feel good, and turn the page on confidence this year. Whether you're going for the trim or that clean shaven look, this trimmer has you covered. Trusted by over 10 million men worldwide, now is your time to get a grip on your grooming with our exclusive offer. Go to and use code MEKATW20 for 20% off and free shipping.

Again, that's Mecca 20 for 20% off and free shipping. The ball has dropped for the new year, but don't drop the ball on your balls. Fellas, thrice, I practice it thrice. Thank you, fellas. But hey, Manscaped sent us some stuff and I know that you all got the chance to test it out the last week. Give us some initial thoughts on this.

Dobes (04:42.673)
Did you practice that? Ha ha ha!

Hoov (04:45.146)
Well done!

Winks (04:56.648)

Winks (05:01.985)

Hen (05:02.474)
I'm gonna go to bed.

Dobes (05:03.639)

Dobes (05:07.277)
They call it the crop the crop preserver.

Winks (05:09.672)

Yeah, dude, I and like when you look at it on the outside, I thought that it was just some sort of lotion. And, you know, whenever I put lotion anywhere else on my body, never put it in that spot before. But it feels like it feels greasy sometimes. And and ever since I've gotten relaxed, Jesus Christ. It took me a second, but I have been using this stuff twice a day now. And it is it is the best. Like, I never thought never thought to put that stuff.

Hen (05:12.778)

Dobes (05:26.555)
Sure, sure.

Dobes (05:30.879)

Hoov (05:31.076)
I'm sorry.

Dobes (05:35.567)

Winks (05:42.688)
on me in that spot, you know, and A1.

Hoov (05:47.696)
that a personal user of the 5.0 for sure. And I have cut myself in the past with previous just general old beard trimmers and that's not the case these days brother. Yes it was a dangerous task for a while there bro. I had my old beard trimmer from college and like that thing wasn't safe to put on my face much less.

Hen (05:48.113)
We're here for it.

Dobes (05:50.118)
That's it.

Hen (06:07.762)

Winks (06:14.76)

Hen (06:14.878)

Hoov (06:15.904)
anywhere else. So the trust I have in the product is wholehearted and true.

Dobes (06:23.616)
I've been a Manscaped truth-er since they came out, since it started. So even before Manscaped came, I've been using the products. I will continue to buy the products. Even if you want to keep sending more, I'll take that, but I'll still keep buying it because truthfully, it's just a game changer. Like you guys said, everybody likes a little ball during a round out. Everybody likes those flowers to smell good. You know, like...

Hen (06:44.67)
Ain't no thing, ain't no thing.

Hen (06:49.85)
Yeah, yeah, shout out Luis, but get 20% off and free shipping with code MECA20. Again, that's meca20 at Embrace a new you and definitely embrace a new trimmer courtesy of Manscaped. With that being said, gentlemen, I think your balls will thank you.

Dobes (07:05.572)
Your balls will thank you. Your balls will thank you.

Hoov (07:07.3)
Dude, man, if you didn't think we were gonna sell out so fast, you guys were so wrong. Because like, we were taking that opportunity, so here's everyone's shout out that, you know, come to the Mecha Boys, come shop and see what's up. Store is open.

Hen (07:12.24)

Winks (07:12.267)

Dobes (07:20.884)
Ha ha

Hen (07:21.435)
And for what it's worth, you know.

Winks (07:22.361)
And gentlemen, I promise you it won't just be your balls that are thanking you either. Happy Valentine's Day.

Hen (07:28.126)
Happy Valentine's Day, Lucas. Congratulations, brother. Yeah, that's great. Also, speaking to the sellout, Manscaped also hooked it up. They sent us some shirts, sent us some boxers, sent us some toiletry kits. Three of us are wearing the shirts right now, and I think four of us, maybe more, are wearing the boxers right now. So we believe in it, and thanks for being here, Manscaped. So fellas, let's talk some footy. We already talked some ball, but let's talk some footy. So...

Dobes (07:29.5)

Hoov (07:30.24)

Hoov (07:42.309)

Hen (07:55.354)
The weekend recap we're gonna kick it off. We're not gonna touch on it too quick or too much because Butchi isn't here but Dobs you got a good look at this Brentford Liverpool game finishing 4-1 in Liverpool's favor. That's not only a big result for Liverpool but that's a big result for the title race. So give us your thoughts on the game and what can we expect going forward.

Dobes (08:13.928)
I think the thing with Liverpool and obviously it was sort of my united bias going into the season like picking them to sort of finish like farther down the table. But this team, it's like we talked about Klopp inspiring them. It's just, it's so apparent, like even without Salah, yes, I think the biggest takeaway from this game is the injuries and can they cope because they still are very much in four competitions. But this team's a wagon. Like I've been, I've been sitting there saying that City's getting ready to go on this run of consistently not losing games.

and Arsenal and Liverpool are going to have to keep up. But at the same time, Liverpool has been doing this exact same thing. And Brentford's a decent side. And just the way that it can be anybody from Liverpool, like we see the amount of people that are scoring goals from that, it can come from anybody on the field at any moment. And they're just a dangerous team. It's like you look at Endo and that midfield of guys that we didn't really necessarily, at least in my opinion, didn't think were going to be a midfield to potentially be leading the Premier League.

And you look at McAllister, you look at Endo, and you look at sort of the jobs. And you got to mention him again, Connor Bradley, who I know that Trent was out, Connor Bradley was bald, bald again. But this Liverpool team's rolling. Yeah. This Liverpool team's rolling it and whether it be feeding off clap leaving or whether it just be, um, you know, the quality they have, regardless of who's in the lineup, like they're rolling as much as they pain to say it. I don't know if they're a favorite still. I still like City, but it's going to be tough to get them off the top spot.

Hoov (10:10.648)
My concern on Liverpool is that the incorrect spurs goal that was given to them in the previous parts of the year has since turned around and been flipped on its head and that they are getting calls. Things that should be penalties that aren't or vice versa. And I don't think that, you know, like a football tackle on Ivan Tony. And I don't think it's as extreme that, I'm not.

Hen (10:30.482)
Like a football tackle?

Hoov (10:38.832)
I'm just crediting their success to that because I agree with everyone. They're a great team. And in a 4-1 game, you know, obviously they were the better side. But also it was 3-1 at the time and it should have been 3-2 and that changes the swing of things for sure. But I'm nervous about that. I'm nervous that Klopp isn't in on it, good lord. But everyone loves Klopp apparently. So it's just, there's weird things that I don't like to see. Although...

they're still absolutely talking teams at the end of the day. So it really doesn't matter.

Dobes (11:10.924)
Liverpool is going to have an issue. And yes, I know that the Carabao Cup finals is Sunday, but they're still in three competitions. And I think that they can't let that hurt them in the prem if they want to go on and win it because they're still in the Europa league. They're still in the FA cup and they're going to play a ton of games. And when you're missing, you know, Curtis Jones is out. Joe is out. We don't know. I mean, Allison picked up another injury. Um, Tiago is still, Tiago is still injured when you're playing in this many competitions. It's like.

I'm already seeing the clap excuses two weeks from now when somebody gets hurt this weekend and it's going to go fixture congestion, fixture congestion. You know how he fucking does it. It's like clockwork. But if I'm a Liverpool fan, I think that it's an exciting time at the same time for the prem, it's a little bit concerning.

Hen (11:52.938)
It's like clockwork. Ah, come on now. Come on now, fellas. We're here for it. We'll see. We'll see how it goes. Lucas, you have a lot to celebrate this weekend yet again. And by a lot, I mean five goals against Burnley. Are you all just coming into form? You have a couple of good games or like, where's the, what's going on with Arsenal right now?

Dobes (11:54.672)

Hoov (11:56.921)
Thanks for watching!

Winks (12:13.708)
No, yeah, I've got a lot of thoughts on this, but I'll try and be concise. I want to start with the fact that yes, I know it was a game against an inevitably relegated Burnley squad, but on the road in general this year, we've been fantastic from the beginning. And we saw that, you know, I don't know if you guys watch the game or not, but Odegaard's beautiful half-valley in the first minute was disgusting.

Dobes (12:39.216)
That was disgusting. The ball too, like the ball across was sick too. Yeah.

Winks (12:44.336)
Yeah. And honestly, I'm not even going to talk a ton about this game specifically, because although, you know, I may not have predicted us putting five in granted our recent form I may have, but, um, you know, we we've scored, I've got a lot of stats for this, but we've scored first in 14 of our 18 away games this year, and in seven of our last eight prem fixtures all together.

So I think that key for us is continuing to start hot. And I know that in the past, towards the beginning of the season, when we were in our slump and then here and there last year, we weren't doing that or we were trying to, but then we'd get like caught off and there'd be a bad mistake. And then another team would score early and it would take a lot for us to catch up. We'd get spread out, trying to do so, get scored on again, so on and so forth. So nonetheless, we held them to eight shot attempts, zero on target.

against West Ham, one shot on target. One shot on target to Liverpool and three to Forest. So in our last four games, we've allowed five total shots on goals. And then we scored 16 goals in those same amount of games. And that's not even including the five we scored against Crystal Palace the game before. So 21 goals in the last five games is insane. So while I'd love to talk about that game more, half the fucking team scored on them. Again, you know.

Hen (13:48.842)
That's crazy.

Winks (14:06.824)
We knew it wouldn't be close, so I'll just leave it at that. But I do want to talk about what the fuck Arteta has been cooking up since our midseason slump. I think there's a lot of recency bias all around the game, obviously. But I haven't heard a peep about us signing a striker in the summer since before the Palace game a month ago, since January. So with us firing on all cylinders right now, you know, getting goals from

like nine or 10 different players in the last five games. I think for me, it comes down to four things. Time off, set pieces, our ability to rotate players and not suffer from the injury bug, thankfully, knock on wood everybody, please. And then our wingers and captain, and then our wingers and captain finding great form. So time off.

Dobes (14:54.724)

Hen (14:55.947)
No, no shot. Yeah.

Hoov (14:57.092)

Winks (15:02.888)
That time in Dubai was exactly what we needed. And I know we've talked about it before, but just the disconnect, reset and refocus was it. I do think it gave us, gave Arteta time to kind of fine tune and tweak our game plan into what we've seen them do recently. I think it's sometimes tough across all of our teams when you have to play at the weekend and then a midweek game as well to find enough time to adjust a game plan in a big enough way while also fitting in a couple of recovery days.

Um, so I think that week allowed us to do that set pieces. We typically pack the box five, six, seven guys. And I think a big piece of that is having the majority of them being six foot or six, one and taller Gabriel. It does. Yeah. I mean, you got to know your role, but Gabriel, Saliba rice, Kai and Benny Blanco are all over six foot or over six one. Um.

Hen (15:43.718)
And when you got guys setting picks, it certainly helps too. Yeah.

Hoov (15:46.896)

Winks (15:59.132)
We've scored 24 goals from set pieces this season and only recently have done it consistently. And obviously that shows. Rotating players, while we don't have that 30 goal striker right now, it's been clear in the last five games that we don't necessarily need it because we're getting goals from guys all over the pitch. And although...

Hen (16:17.978)
to clip that up though, because like the thing is, is that, like, it's great that you all are in form. And I know that you did preface it by saying that it might be recency bias that you're saying this, but like, isn't this the exact same thing of like earlier in the season last year, you all like had this great forum and soccer was scoring all these goals and Martinelli was scoring all these goals. But then you got to the business end of the season. And it's like the main thing was that you don't have a striker. And that's where a lot of the blame went. So isn't it like

Winks (16:44.634)
Yeah, so...

Hen (16:44.774)
a little premature to be like celebrating this right now when this you know that it's still such an issue.

Winks (16:51.588)
Um, no, because I'm going to, I'm going to celebrate when they do well, but if you, you know, to, to finish my thought there, although we didn't win the title last year, it did work for most of last season with our wingers and Odegaard getting 15, 15 and 14 respectively. So, you know, depending on the team's style of play, I don't think it's always fully necessary to have that one guy that you have to rely on when you can rely on, you know, three to four guys that can get you.

10 or more goals in the season. And that obviously adds up to, in this case, last season to more than that 30 goal striker. So I think that for me right now, we still need to be looking at a striker in the summer, but we've got a lot of guys wanting to score and are, you know, as of the last five games are converting. And so that, you know, gives me a lot of confidence in the squad that like they, you know, they all want to attack and don't just want to feed the one guy at the top. So.

Hoov (17:46.488)
Your manager's been talking about killing a Bop A more than assigning a striker recently, so...

Winks (17:51.416)
I would hate that. Ugh. That would suck.

Hoov (17:53.692)
It's just kind of wank material to me for a guy to just be talking about another team's player Especially when he knows where he's going, but you know personal opinion

Hen (17:53.998)

Winks (18:02.331)
We'll see. A guy can dream.

Dobes (18:02.475)
I think the thing winks is I agree with what you're saying in terms of like spreading, spreading the goals out in. I don't necessarily think it's like the emergence of soccer. You can't let he be remiss not to talk about how good he's been just specifically over the last like month, month and a half. Like, yeah, I mean, I was, I was going to say that I think the biggest thing comes with it's a lot easier to be the fourth, fifth or sixth goal.

Winks (18:16.536)
I mean, him and him and Hoyland are the top goal scorers on the Prem in 2024.

Dobes (18:28.16)
in a game like that to where you need Saka to be that guy in late March when you are, it's going to happen. It's not even City or it's going to be 1-1. Remember the Bournemouth game last year that was so important to the run. It's 1-1 against Bournemouth late in the game. That's where you need, it doesn't have to be a nine, obviously you want a nine, but that's where I think you need. It looks like it's going to be Saka in terms of just it looks like he's willing to take that burden on his shoulders this year.

Winks (18:35.752)
We're playing City and it's 0-0 or 1-1.

Winks (18:57.16)
I mean, could be Tresard too. Like, you know, we played him at Stryker the last couple of games, but he has to be in the lineup.

Dobes (18:57.456)
But I think, I think he has to be, yeah, he has to be the nine moving forward. Like he has to be. Um, but I think that's, I think that's what we're really seeing. It's like, obviously 11 goals in the last two games with none conceded is incredible. Um, and it's kind of making a statement, but I also think it's like, we're going to learn a lot more about this arsenal team when it does come to two, one, zero, zero crunch time, those are, those are where titles are won.

Winks (19:20.852)
crunch time.

Dobes (19:25.212)
But you obviously have to be over the moon with current results.

Winks (19:25.488)
Yeah, I'm so excited. Yeah. And, you know, that's not to say that we won't get goals scored on us the rest of the season because we will, but, you know, Raya also hasn't played a wrong foot since this run either, and, you know, prior to this run, we've seen him make, you know, a couple howlers or have a couple howlers here and there. So I think that, you know, Arsenal Twitter has been talking a lot about

You know, now that we're playing really well getting Ramsdale in there. And while I was pushing for that, you know, the first half of the season, I think that you can't mess with the mojo right now, you know, you just kind of have to ride it until something happens, whether that's, you know, a team scoring a couple on us or us, uh, you know, dropping a couple points and tying somebody, whatever the case might be. But I think in terms of, you know, keeper as well, you kind of got to, got to ride that, but no, it's.

Dobes (20:21.312)
I saw something funny the other day that was talking about it because Arseneau scored so many set pieces, but it was a United account that was of course like, we took Citi's, chief football officer, we're taking Newcastle's sporting director. We might as well take Arteta to be a 10-hag set piece coach. Just bring them in.

Winks (20:40.924)
Ha ha ha!

Hoov (20:41.085)

Hen (20:41.554)
Might as well, you know, whatever. Yeah.

Winks (20:45.488)
Wild. But uh...

Dobes (21:00.53)
What is a pen now?

Hen (21:01.99)
No one knows anymore. That's the fucking problem, bro.

Winks (21:04.265)
Pretty sure we have an episode title called that.

Dobes (21:06.495)

Hoov (21:07.72)
Yeah, we didn't come to a solution at the end of it either.

Hen (21:07.792)

Dobes (21:10.704)

Hen (21:11.099)
Yeah, go back and listen. Yeah, well three points is three points is three points and you know, you said at the beginning but

Winks (21:12.808)
That's why we're not in charge, but it's three points.

Hen (21:20.806)
You know, it may not be as impressive with going up against a team that might be going down next season, but at the same time, you can't help who you play. You can only determine what, what's the performance you're going to put out. And, you know, we'll talk about United in a second, but we also played a team that is, is towards the bottom half. And, um, you know, we didn't play super well, so you all did and give credit there. Um, who've Tottenham.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but those sneaky, sneaky wolves do it again. Two to one victory over Tottenham Hotspur. Get after it, my boy.

Hoov (21:59.024)
I hate wolves dude. They do this every year. They do this every year. They blow it against every other team but the big six and then they show up to play against the big boys. So that's annoying and it happened again. But yeah, you know, stick with some set pieces. We can stick with some set pieces. We've been terrible on them. Terrible on set pieces. And it's not, not necessarily, we've scored a couple.

Hen (22:01.382)
same bro. Same

Dobes (22:02.149)
So do I, dude. So do I.

Hoov (22:27.688)
The set piece defense was a miserable was the downfall but truthfully, bro, Wolves could have had like four. Hwang Lee missed, Hwang Lee Chan missed one early. As Pep would say, the Korean guy, the other Korean guy, I think is what he said word for word. But yeah, I mean, Pedro Neto, dude, dogged us. And to be fair,

Hen (22:43.115)

Hoov (22:52.388)
He's been dogging everyone. Like even when they played Chelsea last week, I texted in the group, I was like, he's an absolute dog. He's an absolute dog. So, I mean, that's crazy. I heard Spurs already put a bit in. It's not. No, but for real, like, they could have had a bunch. Obviously Spurs are gonna be open at the back on the counters, but they were just so clinical on him.

Hen (23:03.538)
He's gonna look so good in a United shirt next year.

Hoov (23:22.212)
Or I truthfully only on one but they looked like they could score every time Not having destiny and Pedro Poro sucked you could Yeah, but like You know they they're not as the Davie. Yeah, Ben Davies and Emerson Morial are not as good There's just that's just truth. Everyone can accept that it I just

Hen (23:32.718)
I think that was the story of the game, to be honest with you.

Hoov (23:48.308)
It shouldn't come down to them. And I guess that maybe makes me realize how much, how good Destiny and Pedro Poirot have been, because I think, you know, Ben Davies had two chances that he probably should have tucked. Emerson Royale couldn't find a pass out of that inverted position. So like, you know, that wasn't great. I'm not ready to like throw the loss out because of that. Lack of creativity for sure wasn't matters today.

He's not really been the same since he came back from injury. I mean he's been you can still see everything going through him, but Just a little bit less dynamic maybe Yeah, it was it was a tough watch and I'm gonna blame Hen for the for the second goal because He sent in a group chat was like who if I think it's coming to one you guys are you guys are dogging It's a matter of time and then literally I pulled open my phone to text back. I was like stop

Hen (24:39.046)
and then right away.

Hoov (24:43.556)
they go on a counter and bag one on a Pedro Nacho assist. Joe Gomez, you guys know who this cat is? You ever heard of Joe Gomez? Yeah, so it was a bummer. The discourse online has been about Ange. I think that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Just people questioning him. General, general, you know, it's probably the first time that he's been kind of questioned, but like,

Hen (24:50.758)
He's a baller.

Winks (25:03.28)
And out.

Hen (25:03.408)
this end.

Dobes (25:12.479)
It's right on schedule.

Hoov (25:13.752)
It there they can't be it can't be a schedule bro. It can't be a schedule Like this is the most attractive football we played in years. They're in fourth or they're in fifth now like brother Let's let's go back and look at what happened last year and how we how we fell apart completely Just stick with somebody we're gonna be fine. Everything's gonna be fine You know needing your play needing your top players to have games is gonna be crucial but I you know

It's not the end of the world. No one got relegated. We're not gonna get relegated. Anything but an eighth is an improvement. Give the guy some time. You can see that there's actually funds being put into the squad now, which is like the first time that I've ever seen that. So it feels like there's a project. He said the exact same thing Conte said like, what was it, 18 months ago. He's like, I'm a manager, not a magician. So didn't love that comment, frankly. But he's right.

Hen (25:54.483)

Hoov (26:10.308)
this job's always felt like you need a damn magician bro so you know why does that change um but uh yeah you know you move they don't play this weekend can't ruin my can't ruin my weekend now it's up to st louis city to determine my mood on saturday um and yeah i you know no quarrels don't worry be happy

Hen (26:14.058)

Hoov (26:35.58)
I don't know. And when he subbed in, I thought this was interesting, he subbed him in at striker, he subbed him in through the middle. Which I didn't love. I, you know, I think I follow this invertthewing account, who for a really long time I kind of was like, oh this guy might be legitimate, he's got a Class B coaching license and whatever, but now I think he's just a troll. But he does make a good point in the sense that a lot of times Richie's scoring goals, yes, but he's scoring goals on

One time across the box or headers or things of that nature, I do think we score more goals with Sonny in the middle just because of his ability to link play. Richie doesn't have that, but you know, it's no slide on Richie, it's just, if we're gonna use him as a piece to build around on the wings, you know, he's gotta be able to turn and find a pass.

Hoov (27:29.396)
Yeah, and you know, it was a weird one because, you know, Kulasevsky was ghosting, but then he had a great finish. He's one of those guys you can never count out, but like, there were so many lackluster. It felt like no one could put it all together at the same time. So I do feel we'll probably see Brendan Johnson again. It's just...

Hen (27:49.736)

Hoov (27:58.064)
They're different players. You've got Brendan Johnson, who's a vertical threat, and fast, and pacey, and can find himself in the right place at the right time. And Deki's not as fast. He's a great dribbler. But when you can't create, and there were so many opportunities for him to put in a good cross or find a final third pass that he just didn't do. Yeah, it just felt unorganized. It wasn't working. It didn't work together. But, you know.

This is the first time we've really had some guys healthy too at the same time. So now you're kind of back to square one a little bit to where he's got to figure out the best formation. He's got to figure out the best guys. The personnel is pretty much locked up until, you know, that top half. And that's where it gets interesting. So I don't know. I don't know where you go.

Hen (28:45.166)
Yeah, I mean, the thing is, is you all are not a Premier League winning side. So to expect the consistency at the top level from every single game, it's just not going to be there right now. And so I think like, I don't know why you're laughing. I'm saying that like, it's not an overreaction at all from what Hoover's saying, which is good to hear, because I think like some of the other spurs Twitter from what you're saying is people are calling for and it's like, no, not at all. It's just, yeah.

Hoov (29:11.044)
Brother, we've never been a Premier League winning side. That is no banter. That is just the truth.

Hen (29:13.562)
Yeah, no, but I'm saying like, you know, if there if there's a dip in form in a two one loss to wolves, like it is not the end of the world and just like you said, like, and we'll have to figure that out if he wants to get to that point of title, you know, title contenders or solidified top four every single season, you have to win those games that even when it's hard. So like, as someone who's not

Winks (29:14.648)

Hen (29:41.702)
you know, as a fan of Spurs, like I feel like Andres in one of the most secure spots as a manager in the prem, like there's not many more coaches I'd put above him in the security standpoint. So fuck off, the Spurs fans, if you're like calling for it.

Hoov (29:47.288)

Hoov (29:55.532)
Yeah, that's stupid. I know. And there's so many weird things just kind of bouncing around, like just thoughts on Twitter. And it's like the Brexit boys are complaining about all the tourist fans. We do now have a stadium where you're not going to just bring in locals every single week, right? And we've got Hyunmin's son, who's an international icon, and we're bringing Eastern Asia out.

to these games all the time and like people are complaining about things about those like they couldn't get the fans engaged. Ninety percent of that gets taken care of when you when you put on a really good product. So it was frustrating. You could the whole game was frustrating. Decky's goal came out of nowhere. Like there was nothing for them to build on and there were so many aspects of it that just it just sucked. It burned. You want to beat Wolves at home that you know you see that one on the calendar and like you are.

Hen (30:34.537)

Hoov (30:53.036)
You should come away with three points. But as we've seen, this is kind of just what wolves have been doing too. Um, I don't, I don't think it was a lack of respecting your opponent thing either. It just didn't, it just wasn't the day. Didn't it didn't work. Um, and you live and you learn, you move on.

Hen (31:04.658)
Didn't work. Yeah, didn't work.

Yeah, Dobz always says like whenever we play Wolves that it's always our bogey team. And I was kind of hoping that after Ruben Neves left a Saudi that like that wasn't gonna be a thing anymore. And they just are, they just figure it out.

Hoov (31:17.168)

Dobes (31:19.888)
Bro, that Portuguese core still gives me nightmares, dude.

Hen (31:23.622)
It's insane. Yeah. And Pedro Neto is going to get swooped up this summer. I thought he was going to go last summer, but had the huge injury. He, yeah, it was the injury thing, you know, last season, maybe even the season before, but, but yeah, still young, you know, that that's a thing when, when you look at it, it's like, you can kind of figure that stuff out in completely separate point, but geo Raina the same way super injury prone, but when you're still 21, 22, like,

Hoov (31:25.502)
Yeah. Everyone's bogey team. Yeah.

Dobes (31:35.572)
very injury prone, even still.

Hoov (31:37.172)

Hen (31:50.334)
you still time to figure that out. So, um, onto Man City, Chelsea, um, also fellas, I don't know if you all watched, I made it tick tock before, you know, before the games this weekend. And I predicted all the match fixtures. And with the exception of this city result and the Tottenham result, I got all of them spot on. And I even guessed the majority of the scorelines correctly, which is crazy. Um, but I did not.

Winks (32:14.74)
Shoulda hit a parlay.

Hen (32:16.314)
I would have been nuts, would have lost because I obviously didn't hit these two. But, um, the city Chelsea game, I, I thought it was going to be like a two nil victory for city and it came away one, I have some thoughts on this one, but Nikki, I'm going to give you your microphone first. Um, the big thing that I'll call out though, is that city is now four points off of the top spot with the game at hand, but, um, four points off the top spot.

Winks (32:40.04)
Have your flowers, Nikki.

Hen (32:45.766)
What a trophy hanging in the rafters!

Hoov (32:47.745)

Hoov (33:31.372)
First time.

Hen (33:39.866)
It's insane, bro. It's so crazy.

Dobes (34:23.752)
Thank you.

Dobes (34:39.465)
This is best game in a Chelsea Jersey, bro. Yeah. This is best game in a Chelsea Jersey.

Hen (34:41.65)
by a long shot. His best game in a Chelsea shirt.

Hen (34:49.778)

Dobes (35:27.921)
He's a dog dude, he's a dog

Hoov (35:29.601)
Yeah, you played well.

Hen (36:17.671)

Hoov (36:51.799)
He's one of the best players in the world, dude.

Hen (36:53.562)
He... That was a missile.

Hen (37:03.294)
The shot was a cannon and like it took a huge deflection, but that shot was going in regardless of the deflection. It was a rocket. It was insane.

Hoov (37:14.424)
Dude, the intangibles that he does, like, from a purely footballing perspective, if you just watch him, the things he does are insane. And they always happen four to five passes before a dangerous chance or before a big moment. It's subtle. It's so subtle. His shiftiness, his ability to find a pass through defenders, and they're short. Sometimes they're really short, quick ones, but like...

His ability to shake a guy, find a quick pass, and spring the attack is second to none.

Hen (37:53.562)

Hoov (37:54.508)
Yeah, for sure.

Dobes (37:58.108)
Bro, he's undefeated. He's undefeated for a year. He hasn't lost a game that he started in over a year.

Hoov (38:06.84)
It's insane.

Hoov (38:15.009)

Hen (38:16.17)
You're like, damn.

Hoov (38:17.711)

Dobes (38:18.712)
I think this game to me, it's, it's harsh on poach to say that like, that like he, he's the reason that, you know, I'm not the reason I guess that's even harsher that like city got a point because it's just what they do. But then again, like bringing on a defender with like 25 minutes left, the best team in the world at breaking down a low block that like, there's, they're used to it. They've done it for, for a decade now. They've, that's all they've done for a decade is break down low blocks.

Hen (38:47.582)
That's what I was surprised about, yeah, who it was.

Dobes (38:48.189)

Hoov (38:48.788)
Yeah, that was weird.

Dobes (38:53.754)
Yeah, I don't know. I don't know this name. I'm looking at it right now. Cesare Casade? I don't know, dude.

Hen (38:59.474)
But fellas, I gotta ask a big question here because I want to give a shout out to LJ. LJ has been on this kick for eight months now, nine months now. Holland is wasteful in front of net. He scores more goals than anyone. There's no doubting that.

Hoov (38:59.646)

Hen (39:18.182)
But that man misses so many chances. And this season, obviously he was injured for a big part of it, we know that, but still leading the Premier League fine. But this game was another situation where he could have bagged a couple and just wasted the chances. And I'm getting to the point where I don't really know what to think about it, because obviously he puts up all those numbers, but it has to be a conversation of how wasteful the guy is.

Hoov (39:47.984)
chances in general.

Winks (39:51.788)
Thank you.

Hen (40:02.578)
Yep, picking it up at the halfway line.

Hoov (40:04.441)

Hen (40:16.998)
Yeah, of course. I mean, you're not going to say that he's a bad player, but like, he's also still so young. He has a lot of room to grow. But it's weird to say that he is as wasteful as he is when he scores as many as he does. Like, it's just an odd, it's an odd thing.

Dobes (40:33.24)
Well, for a while, like sort of like the blueprint and there's not really a blueprint to like beat city, but sort of the blueprint to frustrate them is always forced them into the wide areas and try to make them cross the ball versus let them play intricate football through the middle. And that works up to a certain point. Like I guess you could say because they did get the sitters, but it's also one of the reasons I think that they didn't score.

Because so late in the game, how many times did we like literally how many times did we see doku try to go one on one versus gusto lose the ball? And all of a sudden Chelsea was out. Yes, they would keep coming, but towards the end of the game, they almost sort of like Chelsea was forcing them wide. It exactly, but then they're, they're whipping these balls in. And of course it comes from a moment of magic from, from Roger to tie the game. I'm going to say this, you guys can disagree 100%. If that's not a handball, I don't know what a handball is because if, if

Hen (41:10.598)
Yeah, yeah, try again.

Hen (41:23.432)

Hoov (41:23.669)
I thought that was a handball.

Dobes (41:25.004)
If your arms extended and that if your arms extended in the trajectory of the book, if that's what they do on penalties, if your arms, if your arms extended, if it doesn't matter, it has never mattered. If your arms extended from your body, if your arms extended from your body and the ball changes, changes trajectory, that's a pet. Like I think if that, I think if that's in the 60th minute.

Hoov (41:33.444)
That's the whole, yeah.

Hen (41:34.577)
It's bar brother

Hoov (41:40.214)

Dobes (41:51.568)
I think they're giving that. I think because it's late in the game like that, I think they're like, oh, we can't have him win on the very last kick of the game.

Hoov (41:57.7)
The other factor to me, he had a whole fist full of jersey. I thought that meant even more. He had a full fist and then pushed it out of the way. I think if he wasn't holding his jersey, I always side with the defender, and you know this. If he wasn't holding his jersey and he made a natural turn with his chest and the ball hit his hand and rolled, I would say that that's harsh. If it came in directly off that corner and he's defending, I think that's harsh. The only reason he pushes it

Dobes (42:06.088)
I have

Dobes (42:25.921)
also hammered CityLive so...

Hoov (42:28.26)
The only reason he pushed it... The only reason he pushed it was because his hand was grabbing a fist full of jersey. It was extended already and then he turned with the jersey and moved the ball. Those are two totally different things.

Hen (42:28.384)
Are you?

Dobes (42:37.857)

Hen (42:41.556)

Dobes (42:44.712)
I'm okay with a no call, but the notion that people are saying that it's like a clear, blatant no pen is insane to me.

Hoov (42:46.736)
I'm okay with a no call, but I thought it was.

Hoov (42:54.224)
If it gets called, it doesn't get reversed.

Hen (42:56.061)
Yeah, he said BOOOOOO!

Dobes (42:56.366)

Dobes (43:02.544)
We've seen 10 times less called for pens.

But that's not, yeah, that's just not the standard that of the refereeing. Like.

Hen (43:13.597)

Hoov (43:13.804)
I think that's a stonewall, but.

Hen (43:16.402)
I do too. I'm in that camp.

Dobes (43:17.372)
The fact that the fact that people in the group message were like, there's no way. LOL. There's no like literally you were looking at. That was the phrase that you went to Tim Howard. He's like, yeah, that's pen for me. Everybody's like, there's no way clear cut, clear cut, clear cut. Not bad.

Hoov (43:21.744)
This is the first thing they said on the broadcast after.

Hoov (43:27.404)
He's a keeper!

Hen (43:31.773)
Yeah. It was unbelievable. Dobbs, you have a lot to celebrate, my friend. Three points is three points. United comes away with a two one win over Luton, at Luton. Tough place to play. In front of Harry Styles himself, Sir Harrison Styles in the stands watching his Manchester United boys. Thoughts on the game, my boy.

Dobes (43:43.228)
Tough place to play, tough place to play, tough place to play.

Dobes (43:56.552)
I mean, I mean, going into the game, we knew this was going to be difficult. Like we saw, we saw Arsenal took a 97th minute winner to get a win. We saw Liverpool, I think it was like 92 or 93 to get a draw. And like we saw like two weeks ago with like, um, Luton against Newcastle where they were down and they come back in the game. So Newcastle is a good side and you have to give absolute ton of credit just for the effort that they showed yesterday from an overall performance standpoint from United, of course it's. You know,

You can't be happy with Luton sort of dominating possession of the ball. But I also think you have to look at a few moments within this game. Like obviously you look at the first goal, you can say, you can say, of course, it's a terrible bad back pass from a Cassie Clarence, it's a bad back pass. But like, what doesn't show is the fact that the moment that ball goes deep, Hoylund sprinting 40 yards straight downfield to put that press in. It's like you have to credit the work great. And then the finishes is unbelievable as well. We saw Bruno miss one. We saw a Garnacho miss the same exact chances.

and Hoylan that made that look easy. Then you go to the next one, Garnacho shin ball that goes directly at Hoylan and his ability to direct, to chest that ball into the back of the net is like he 100% meant to do that. I will not take that from anybody else that he didn't mean to do that. He said he meant to do that. Kids on fire, seven goals in his last six games. The youngest player ever to go and score in six straight Premier League games. I think our win rate with,

Rashford, Garnacho, and Hoyland up front is like 82% compared to, and we're averaging like 2.7 points a game versus I think we're somewhere like 40% when that front three is not starting. So the front three for me is a positive and we should have won this game by four or five more goals. I think the main concern coming from United game is sort of the same thing that we've had all season. It's we can create these dangerous changes and yes, we may not score, but it's our inability to dictate a game.

What Ten Hag wants to do is, it's no secret that Man United right now is we're a counter-attacking team. It's just, it's who we are. It's what our identity has been this year. And we sort of own that. But I think what kills me is that you see how quickly that Luton can break the press. And what we saw earlier in the year with United is we try to sit in a four, two, three, one and press. But what teams would do is they'd toss in that wing back or a center back, whatever it may be, into the center midfield to sort of give that double pivot and make it easier to break the press.

Dobes (46:20.196)
And what we did with Cassie back, cause we've sort of switched to this four, one, four, one, where you have Cassie sitting as alone six, you have Mano and Bruno who are supposed to press the two sixes, but what's happening is the moment that pass gets beat, it's Cassie versus two guys. And he doesn't necessarily have the legs or the ability to make those intercepting, those intercepting tackles. Yes, he's good at it, but he also, I think he's like 2.9 times he's being dribbled around the game.

Like his legs are sort of getting up to where he can't make those tackles. And you're seeing it to where he's having to make those last ditch challenges. And that's always been part of his game. But now even more than ever, it's being exposed just because of how quickly we're being played through the press. And then once we get played through the press, I can't think of a single time yesterday where I was nervous that Luton was going to score, give credit to the way they do score. I personally think that Ornana should have done better, but I can't think of a single clear cut chance that they had the entire game that made me nervous.

What is so frustrating is the fact that the moment that we do get the ball, it's like, because we're so good on the counter, it's all we do. We rely on all right, two touch, boom, let's find somebody deep. Let's find somebody. We're losing the ball. I think Bruno lost the ball 17 times, which is insane. Um, but by the way, Kevin and Brian lost the ball 32 times against Chelsea. So he lost the ball. He, he, he lost the ball 17 times, but his ability to.

Hoov (47:36.62)
Yeah, with 70% possession and 40 other line breaking passes.

Dobes (47:45.768)
get on the ball and not be able to just stop, turn, play triangles, keep the ball, keep a little bit of possession, dictate the game. When Manchester United goes up to nothing against anybody and you can't put your foot on the ball and dictate the game. And I mean, for five minutes, like five minutes, you know, that it's a fucking problem. And when you're relying on an 18 year old to be your best midfielder who like Cassie needs to take pages out of Maynard's book.

Hen (48:04.642)
It's true.

Dobes (48:16.048)
because he was the only player that had any sort of balls to, you know, sit there and put his foot on the ball and pass the ball a little bit. But I mean, yeah, it's overall, you're happy with the results, tough place to play. Like I said before, I'm not necessarily gonna be over the moon until I get a full performance. The difference is, is that Ted Hag didn't make, or he made the reactionary changes he needed to make the moment that Johnny Evans came on. Johnny Evans was fucking mint. The moment Scott McTominay came on, he wasn't necessarily great.

Hoov (48:40.941)
Ha ha!

Dobes (48:43.056)
But the whole game changed. And so we made that reaction to not get Cassie and McGuire sent off, and we take the three points and we move.

Hoov (48:48.38)
Oh my god, Cassey should have been gone in the 60th, bro.

Hen (48:51.347)

Dobes (48:51.368)
I... that's insane. That's insane. That you guys are insane. You guys are... you guys... The... the... Woodrow... Woodrow on a yellow card in like the seventh minute does the same thing to McGuire right after that. Not... not every... not every single foul is a yellow card. What... it's not frustrating... what's frustrating to me is his second foul, Cassie's second foul, is a yellow. His first foul is nowhere near a yellow.

Hoov (48:55.716)
What do you mean? The second yellow?

Hen (49:11.622)
Yeah, 100%.

Dobes (49:21.124)
And that's the frustration. It's a half toe where he barely catches the guy and he gets a yellow because he can't, because can't, big.

Hen (49:24.904)

Hoov (49:26.228)
On a break! On a break! They were driving through the middle of the field, he was the last guy before the back line! That's a yellow every time!

Dobes (49:33.756)
Two minutes later, they didn't give a call to Luton because the Casamero is not on the back of the jersey. Like I'm in complete agreeance that the second one could have been a yellow, but at the same time, not every foul on the field is a yellow. Like the referee lost that control of that game way before that happened. Maynard's foul was worse than anything.

Hen (49:47.635)
Yeah, Maynard's yellow card was, yeah, Maynard's card was the perfect slide tackle. It was the perfect slide tackle.

Winks (49:51.316)
Dude, dirty player.

Hoov (49:53.368)
That one was insane. Yeah. They're individual moments.

Hen (50:03.895)

Dobes (50:04.428)
That's it. I could go on for 20 minutes about that.

Hen (50:09.36)
Do it!

Dobes (50:16.976)
Yeah, but the difference is you're not pressing when Rashford's sitting 20 yards from his own box. And if you watch the play, it's the 91st minute after he just sprinted to the corner and the moment that Ross Barkley dribbles around him, he dribbles into three defenders and then passes a sideways-backward pass.

Hoov (50:42.112)
It's... the only... the only reason... the only reason that it's even brought up is because it's not the first time. If that was the first time that we'd ever seen Rashi not press hard, or at least just look like he's giving a shit, then it wouldn't have even been a conversation. But that's the only reason it came back up.

Hen (50:42.762)
Garnacho's been great on the press. That's harsh.

Dobes (50:58.488)
Rashford was very solid yesterday too in all aspects of the game defensively before that. But it's like I could pull a one second clip of Sokka and the 80th minute when a guy is sitting there and he's just like kind of moving side to side. It's like Rashford has historically not been great at defending. It's just not what he does. But like the pulling a one second clip to be like, get rid of your star boy. He's got to go. He's just fucking insane to me.

Hoov (51:02.332)
Oh yeah, I'm not arguing that either.

Hen (51:26.51)
Yeah, it's lazy. But I think the big things for me of not finishing the chances from Garnacho and Bruno was screaming at the TV at Amsterdam. Shout out at Amsterdam one time, but I was screaming at the TV about that. And then Bruno in general, bro, I think Bruno's really sliding off. It's really frustrating. I think he looks fatigued. I think he looks tired. But

Dobes (51:46.204)

Hen (51:52.102)
You know, I was, I was with Russo. We brought him up earlier, but I was with Russo. And one of the things that he brought that was interesting is he asked me the question of if I think that Bruno has the locker room, like, do we think that he's the guy who is the leader? And what I told him is I think for the first time in recent years, at least, I'm not going to say, you know, since Fergie left, because I don't know, but, um, in recent years, it looks like we have actual leaders, plural.

in the dressing room and it looks like there are some guys who are stepping into their leadership. Like obviously we know of Leachia, we know of Cassie, but it looks like Hoyland is commanding more respect in that locker room. It looks like Maynou is commanding more respect on the field. There is a moment early in the game where Bruno did some shit defensively and Maynou pulled him aside and you could hear, you could see him in Bruno's ear saying stuff about, you know, that's not what we're doing there. So I think that we're finally seeing some, uh,

like the leadership responsibilities being dispersed rather than everything being on Bruno's shoulders or McGuire's shoulders over the last couple of years. And I think that that's gonna bode well, at least for the rest of the season. We'll see what happens next season. You know, the...

United Twitter is never a dull place ever. This week was talking about it's time to cash in on Bruno and send them off to some other team. And I think that's a little reactionary, but you know, it'd be worth the conversation for me. If a team comes in for 60, 70 million for Bruno and the, in the summer, I'd be willing to talk about it. So it is interesting, kind of like with the Burnley conversation, you can only beat the team that's in front of you. We fortunately beat ours, albeit not at

Dobes (53:25.596)
Four months ago, we lose or tie that game. Like 100%, four months ago, we lose or tie that game.

Hen (53:28.106)

Hoov (53:28.92)
I was shocked you guys made it out, to be honest. Like, Luton were really fun to watch. I thought they were great. And I agree, they didn't have like, yeah, they didn't have super clear-cut chances, but like, they weren't not knocking. You know, like, they were definitely in and around your box a lot, and their buildup was flawless, in my opinion. They didn't have those guys to finish those chances and really create the danger, but like, huffing it up, hoofing it up to the big guy.

Hen (53:36.596)

Dobes (53:38.186)
in possession, they didn't really test us.

Hen (53:52.008)

Hoov (53:58.936)
Big Man number nine brings it down, finds a pass out, wins the second ball every time, and then they're on. Like, it was, it worked to a tee, I was really impressed, and I think that's just more credit to them, you know, on a newly promoted side. There is an aspect of needing to sit in, but they don't want to. Like, sometimes you do it too much, you know, sometimes you don't do it enough, and I do think they should have had another one or two, you know, hung up on them too. But um.

Hen (54:16.494)
Mm-hmm. No.

Hoov (54:27.584)
I was so impressed by it. I was so impressed and I thought that a couple extra pieces in and around that box They they get one at least I thought they looked great

Dobes (54:36.708)
I think, I think that's the, and you never want to say this about your own team, but the fact that what Luton struggled to do is break down the low block that we sat in because they had great, they would break the press and then they would try to break down a low block. And that's where it was kind of like, we had Johnny Evans, I think he ended up with 13 clearances just in the second half. It was like they were, they were sitting there whipping crosses in and like, we were happy to deal with it and that's never the way that we want to play, but it was effective, you know.

Hoov (54:55.052)
and a half, yeah.

Hen (54:56.106)
Ain't no thing.

Hen (55:03.542)
I have a quick factor cap for you fellas before we move on. Factor cap, Ross Barkley is on the plane to the Euros this summer.

Hoov (55:13.584)
cap because it's well I don't okay let's

Hen (55:14.922)
Yeah, really.

Winks (55:18.779)
cap they have so many players

Hen (55:22.29)
Brother, I think that it's a fact. I think that he's nailed on to play the eight. And I don't think he's gonna start. I think that they're gonna find a way to play Bellingham, Rice, and Foden. I think that that's how they're gonna go. But I think that that.

Hoov (55:35.896)
I think the only reason you may have credit here is because we're talking about Gareth Southgate. I don't think any other manager in their right mind is making that decision. And we even said it, and Ian Wright said it, Kobe Mayno deserves it. He was exceptional and he's been exceptional and I'll give you that 100%. So to compare those two guys, if we're talking about a similar position...

Hen (55:40.209)

Hen (55:49.306)
Yeah, I think he deserves it too.

Hoov (56:02.916)
They were the two best players on the field, but one of them's a hag, an old man.

Hen (56:07.85)
Thanks for watching!

Dobes (56:08.092)
I'm saying cap. I listened to Rio's podcast today where they're reacting and literally talking about this exactly. And his point was he can see Calvin Phillips not necessarily going because now there's not really an excuse. His form has been terrible before it was he's performed well in an England shirt. So Southgate's going to bring him. Rio's point was that you still have to bring Henderson because when you look at a player like Henderson, he's a...

Hen (56:32.766)
That would fucking kill me, bro.

Dobes (56:34.288)
But, but just, but just listen to his point. His point was you have to have a captain and he's not going to be the captain of course, but people in the locker room who have been there and won things like that's an important aspect to do it's like, we all love Harry Kane, we think Harry Kane's a world-class striker, Harry Kane's not a captain that's ever led a team to a trophy. And I do think from a locker room perspective, like that's why he's saying that he thinks Henderson would go. And I could seriously see him taking Kobe Meno because he thinks he's the future versus just.

Ross Barkley, who probably does deserve it, but at the same time sort of building for the future and being like, I'm going to bring Kobe or James war. Prouse pride deserves it as well. Like there's a ton of guys that also deserve that spot. Yeah. But I do think Henderson is going to be like, we're talking about Southgate. Like.

Hoov (57:12.26)

Hen (57:18.982)
I know bro, I know he's gonna bring his boys. But Henderson brings up a good transition. Care About Cup Final, which is a prestigious trophy. I don't want anyone to talk any.

Hoov (57:19.299)

Hoov (57:31.222)

Dobes (57:31.416)
Up the chow's baby, up the chow's, up the chow's.

Hen (57:34.094)
Yeah, we have a showdown this weekend between Liverpool and Chelsea. This is, you know, first attempt at silverware this season for Chelsea. And I'll go out and say it, if Chelsea goes on to win this game, the season is not for nothing. It's going to be it's going to be a bad league finish for sure. But if they pull away with this trophy, I think Nick is going to fucking.

Dobes (57:50.024)

Hen (57:59.95)
Uh show up for this podcast the rest of this season shoulders at a thousand. He's gonna be pumped It is you can't downplay it Yeah, what are you saying? So so nicky what are the thoughts ahead of this game? Do you stand a chance? Um, and how are you feeling going into it?

Dobes (58:08.103)
It's a prestigious trophy.

Hen (58:28.358)
You said, we'll see.

Dobes (59:29.564)
Chelsea plus 390, Chelsea plus 390 fellas.

Hen (59:29.715)
set the agenda.

Hoov (59:29.865)
I selfishly...

I selfishly would be so annoyed if Chelsea won a trophy this year bro. I would be so annoyed.

Hen (59:33.435)
said, yeah.

Winks (59:34.516)
Worth a sprinkle.

Winks (59:38.42)
I would too.

Hen (59:38.864)

Dobes (59:41.292)
Who who give Nick some give. I was going to say, I say, give him some insight on poaching finals, man.

Hen (59:48.061)

Hoov (59:49.457)
Um, as long as you don't have Musa Sasoko getting in a handball in the first minute that shouldn't have been called a handball, you might be okay, because that's my memory of it, but...

Dobes (59:59.262)

Hen (01:00:00.591)
Yeah, I will I will die seeing moodrick hold holding up a fucking trophy and posting it on Instagram, bro. That'll be nuts.

Hoov (01:00:07.197)

Dobes (01:00:10.008)
I will say that the game against City, like just has to, that's the best team in the world to most people. Like taking points is confidence for a squad, for sure going into a final.

Hen (01:00:20.646)
Yeah, it'll be a big one.

Hen (01:00:25.15)
People forget.

Winks (01:00:25.983)
and expensive.

Hen (01:00:28.038)
Yeah, young and expensive.

Hoov (01:00:28.12)
People are not forgetting about how expensive they are.

Dobes (01:00:34.06)
Who would you start as a knot? Would you start Jackson? And Kuko's been very like lackluster, but.

Hen (01:00:47.398)
I think it has to be Jackson just because he has more size. I think he...

Hen (01:00:57.03)
It's gonna be Sterling on the left.

Dobes (01:00:58.538)
It's going to be sterling.

Hen (01:01:02.927)
It's ridiculous.

Winks (01:01:04.441)
I think with a lot of this team, you can just put them in one of those randomizer websites and just click randomize.

Dobes (01:01:08.476)

Hen (01:01:10.146)
Any of them any 11? Yeah, well best of luck to you Nikki. I think we can speak on behalf of all of us that we are cheering for no one in this game. So we yeah injuries just as many of them as possible. Yeah, boo.

Dobes (01:01:21.609)

Winks (01:01:25.517)
Ugh, that's bad karma, boys. That's bad karma.

Hoov (01:01:27.011)

Hen (01:01:29.31)
Well, fellas, midweek we have two Champions League games and the Champions League last week did not disappoint, but the two that we're looking ahead to is we have Inter Milan taking on Atletico Madrid and PSV facing Dortmund. On the surface, it looks like that Atletico Inter Milan game is probably the headliner of the midweek games, but how are we feeling about these two? Do either one of these stand out to you or is it just kind of like a we'll see what happens in this round?

Dobes (01:01:58.172)
The champions has lost. I mean, I get the United's not in it, but it's lost a little bit. The away goals is like, kind of like I watched one of the games last week, last week, just because we, how Madrid was playing, but like, I'm excited for these, I honestly am more excited for the games on Wednesday than I like. I'll watch them because footies on, but I'm not over the moon. I don't know if it's the draw. I don't know if it's, you know, I just, I'm not.

Hoov (01:02:19.168)
Yeah, wasn't great draws, wasn't a lot of notable teams to make it out of the group even for real. I'm just looking at the game on paper now and like, Inner's really good. I think they're not credited as being as good as they are.

Dobes (01:02:32.888)
That's the best game.

Hoov (01:02:36.908)
Yeah. And it's fun to watch. PSV's the American, the American sensations though, which is nice. Yeah.

Hen (01:02:39.507)

That's what I'm looking forward to. Yeah, like, let's get the Americans out there and let's see what's happening. But with that being said, let's go to Wednesday then. So we have Napoli, Barcelona and Porto Arsenal. Obviously with the Arsenal affiliate in this chat.

We have to be stoked for that game. But the Napoli Barcelona one will be quite interesting. There's a lot of buzz going around Barcelona at the moment, obviously with Xavi leaving. Some people are even saying that if he fails to make it past this round, that he could not even see the end of the season, that he might get sacked after this round. But then again, you have Napoli, who's not exactly firing on all cylinders either.

Dobes (01:03:16.488)
Who would they bring in? Yeah, they did.

Hoov (01:03:16.964)
They just fired their coach. Napoli just fired their coach, I think today.

Hen (01:03:19.958)
Yeah, so you just have this turmoil of a game.

Dobes (01:03:24.028)
Battle of the shit show.

Hen (01:03:25.526)
Yeah, it really is. But but both teams have guys in that squad who can change the game, you know, on a dime. So that'll be an interesting one. But Lucas, how are we feeling against Porto? I know that Portuguese teams are sometimes Arsenal's kryptonite. So especially in European competition.

Hoov (01:03:25.889)
Yeah, for real.

Dobes (01:03:43.742)
Where's this one at, Winx?

Hoov (01:03:45.389)
It's in Porto.

Winks (01:03:45.976)
This is there, it's away the first game. Yeah, but honestly, I haven't watched a lot of Porto this year outside of the group stage, but exactly. I can't say I've watched a Primera Liga game this season, but I was looking at it over the weekend, and I think they're like in third in their league right now, which isn't saying a ton, but I think it goes back to the way that we've been playing.

Hoov (01:03:53.688)
Why would you? Yeah.

Winks (01:04:14.436)
recently and assuming that Um, arteta doesn't mix the lineup too up too much, which I doubt he will There's rumors that party Is will be fully fit for this game so I could see him. Yeah

Hoov (01:04:29.076)
Is he allowed in that country? Yeah.

Hen (01:04:29.114)
Is he able to travel out of the country? Yeah, bro. Literally all of us. Same thing. Classic.

Dobes (01:04:29.424)
Can you leave? I was gonna say, all three of us at the same time. Ha ha ha. Ah ha ha.

Winks (01:04:38.332)
Good God. No, but there are rumors going around that he's gonna be in the squad. I don't know about, I doubt starting, obviously, I doubt his first game back is starting in a Champions League game, but if that rumor is true, could see him coming on sometime in the second half.

Hen (01:04:58.554)
Arsenal's not really great at confirming rumors, so, you know.

Winks (01:05:02.072)
Yeah, but no, I'm excited for it. I it's obviously been a while since we've gotten to watch Champions League football minus last week. So I'm just excited to watch them, you know, twice in one week coming up. But yeah, I don't see it happen, but.

Hoov (01:05:16.617)
I have a hard time seeing you guys dropping anything here.

Dobes (01:05:20.04)
I think, I think Arsenal's probably right behind City in my opinion, as crazy as that sounds in terms of like, maybe, maybe Real, I think is like another one you could toss in there is like top three.

Winks (01:05:27.344)
No, man, and I think also, yeah.

Hoov (01:05:30.788)
Real, dude, I'm not ruling out enter yet either. I think they're gonna make a run. Byron could bottom out themselves, bro. Ha ha ha.

Hen (01:05:41.245)
Pfft! Yeah!

Dobes (01:05:41.268)
That's what I'm saying, bro. Byron is, yeah, Byron is gonna go out. I mean...

Winks (01:05:42.449)
Yeah, we're all against it.

Hen (01:05:45.31)
dropping points to Bochum this weekend. People at Amsterdam, there's a whole like Bayern supporter section at Amsterdam losing their goddamn mind. At Amsterdam, yeah, it was awesome.

Hoov (01:05:47.711)

Winks (01:05:47.849)

Dobes (01:05:55.013)
I love it. I love it.

Winks (01:05:57.4)
But no, nonetheless, if I could have picked around a 16 opponent, Porto would have been on the shortlist. So just more than anything, thankful that we got that. And similar to a couple of our last prem games, as long as we take advantage of the games that we should win, I think we'll be in a good spot. But again, hope Arteta doesn't switch up the lineup too much. You don't, but...

Hen (01:06:19.079)
Yeah, you just never know.

It's the Champions Fellows Champions League. Last but not least, fellas, MLS Home Opener this weekend with St. Louis City. We are, uh, we're recording this Monday night. So it is February 19th and tomorrow when this goes live on Tuesday.

Winks (01:06:29.328)
Let's go.

Hoov (01:06:30.308)
Get in.

Hen (01:06:40.19)
Uh, it's the day of the conch and calf champions league. So we'll, we'll get the opportunity to see two games this week. Next week's episode, we'll have two weeks of recaps to come, but we kick off against real salt Lake this weekend. And last year, just to remind you, we went one in one with them in the series. We tied the series. Um, we had a kind of an interesting run. We had a three, one loss at home, uh, in June. And if you remember, uh, what's that kid's name? Diego Luna.

Hoov (01:07:05.316)
Diego Luna, bro, I hated that game. He was a dog. Yeah.

Winks (01:07:07.943)

Hen (01:07:08.622)
He was everywhere. He was the best player on the field by a mile. But then we went to their spot in March and thrashed them for nothing. So we did our season preview of the St. Louis City team that's up on our Spotify, up on our YouTube now. Go and check it out. But Real Salt Lake has four incoming signings this season, all on the left side of the field, seemingly. Left back, left winger, striker.

Do you have any preseason thoughts on this game or is it something that we'll just have to wait and see how we go game one?

Hoov (01:07:43.364)
I think it's hard to predict much outside of game to game with these guys. Whatever we see tomorrow could be completely different. And I do think since we've had some of those signings come in, I do truthfully think it'll be rotated. We won't, you know, so early in the season, we talked about it a ton on the preview, but it's about longevity and it's about closing the season well. So I think with the learning curve,

Winks (01:07:47.269)
Yeah, I was gonna...

Hoov (01:08:12.908)
we will see some early rotation. And I'm cool with that, to be fair. Obviously you wanna win your games at home no matter what, you win your games at home, you set yourself up really well for the rest of the season. But they're gonna be tough. I remember that game losing and how angry I was in the stands. And that's the last thing that you wanna give to your fans in the second match in the stadium. So who knows?

Hen (01:08:31.942)
Yep, me too.

Hen (01:08:39.271)
Yeah, not sure.

Dobes (01:08:40.576)
I will say that I think this is a good time just to say that I hate Don Garber. I don't really have much to say about the game because just because I do think that we it's very reactionary, it's very tough to predict the game when there's a there's a game in between it. I'm going to say we're going to win because we're going to win a lot. But I also want to say that Don Garber is an idiot. Like just with all the discourse that's come, are they even serious? Are they legit going to play? Like, cause there was like, there was the rumors that the season was in doubt because the referees.

Hoov (01:08:45.818)
Oh, no.

Hen (01:09:04.166)
Well, for the fans that don't know what you're talking about, give some context to why damn Garber is a piece of shit.

Dobes (01:09:13.924)
Well, I think the biggest, the whole, the whole deal, we talked about this in a previous podcast, the whole thing where currently MLS players are not allowed, or MLS clubs are not allowed to play their top team within the U S open cup. It's essentially the goal is to make the leagues cup, um, sort of the main focus is that, or that, I guess that third competition, so to speak for, um, for MLS teams, most MLS fans are most, I guess, U S soccer fans see the open cup as a way for kind of like the FA cup, kind of like the, um, FA cup is in England.

where it gives the opportunity for these lower level teams to play top MLS teams, to go to big stadiums, to really make a name for themselves. Not only that, obviously St. Louis has a ton of history just in the open cup with how many times they've won it. But essentially what's kind of going on right now is I did see that, and I can't remember the guy's exact title, but it was today that, do you remember his title as a CEO, whatever it was?

Hoov (01:10:03.716)
the of the US Yeah, yeah, I was chairman I think

Dobes (01:10:05.716)
Yes, I can't know what it was. It was like chairman. I think it was chairman. They essentially asked the MLS asked the chairman of, um, the, the U S open cup to, to step down. And he stepped down essentially with the goal. MLS is sort of focusing on. You know, the commercial side of we're going to focus on the leagues cup. Messy won the leagues cup last year. Let's make the, the leagues cup a big deal. A lot of fans are extremely mad about it. Everybody sort of sees right through it. See it sees it as a money grab.

Hoov (01:10:31.278)

Dobes (01:10:33.7)
sees it as the ability for them to make extra cast, put it on Apple TV versus YouTube, show some Beats by Dre commercials with MLS logos on them. And it's essentially just commercializing the sport versus what takes away from that grassroots approach of, we wanna see these teams get an opportunity to play at City Park. We wanna see players have an opportunity to make a name for themselves.

Hoov (01:10:42.96)
So lame.

Hoov (01:10:54.436)
Dude, and that's one of the things that I feel like we have to abone to pick with him on is like, we're starting the season with replacement referees, for those that don't know. Essentially, the CBA that they gave to the pro refs was not good enough. The pay is too low. I guess the refs don't even have benefits. There's so many things that are pointing basically back towards Garber to being like, this guy's a total POS. So that's another.

The fact that we're starting with God knows what refs. And I'm the pro, we thought the refs were bad anyway. Yeah, I have no idea what we're gonna see because I know for a fact, Butchie would confirm, Dobbs you can too, those high school refs suck. So if we have any, if we've got lower quality refs, there's just no way it's gonna go well. I know for a fact, I would be a better ref on the pitch sometimes than some of these other cats. So that's one.

Hen (01:11:27.826)
We thought the refs last season were bad and now yeah.

Dobes (01:11:39.105)

Hen (01:11:42.43)
Let's get the Mecha of Banter to referee a game. Let's go.

Hen (01:11:50.056)
Let's go.

Hoov (01:11:52.548)
We're charging 200 bucks, 150 to 200 bucks for these new kits that they've rolled out all week. You know, there's a laundry list of issues with the MLS right now, and I think I know that we're gonna see protests from the Luligans on the League's Cup. I'm personally not going to the League's Cup. I have no interest in paying money to go watch that cash grab. And I think we're gonna see that kind of trickle down, and honestly, I do hope we see something from the Luligans soon. I would love to just see.

couple Garber Out signs maybe or an ML Dollar sign with a little slash there in the middle in the supporter sections. I think those types of things should stick around all year because they're pulling away the fabric that we fell in love with the European game for. Like the concept of being local and of being, having this jeopardy on you every single season. We're not gonna get promotion relegation in the next 25 years, but the way they're moving now is we're never gonna get it.

Hen (01:12:25.84)

Hoov (01:12:49.86)
There's not going to be that level of history for these low clubs to make these jumps. There's not going to be that, you know, excitement around your local that, that you can build on. So we're not growing the game anymore. Their concept was, was we're growing the game. We're growing the game. Everything we're doing for growing the game. No, they're going to league. Um, and then they're going to play by their own rules in a little bubble. So, um, those are that, those are the, my frustrations. It's insane to watch them use this messy stuff.

And make all their money right now off of him. It's overdone I'm kind of tired of seeing the guy's face in our in our capacity love him to death best player ever no question Unbelievable, but I'm tired of seeing it You know their Saudi Arabian world tour everything that they were doing has turned out horribly for them They've got major injuries in the squad And no one knows how their roster rules work. They're getting all these cats It they've not used that to the best

Hen (01:13:34.942)
That sucked. Yeah.

Hoov (01:13:46.868)
of their abilities in my opinion and I'm you know, I want to see change. I want to see RC cars out on the field with smoke bombs delaying the games like Boondesliga 2 so that we can you know really let him know like it's just frustrating We're not looking good right now as a league, but you know, love the club hate the league. That's how it's gonna be

Hen (01:13:57.514)
Ha ha.

Dobes (01:14:08.392)
That's how it always is.

Hoov (01:14:09.505)
Yup, that's how it should be.

Hen (01:14:10.038)
always is. Well, fellas, that wraps up this week's episode of the Mecha Banchor podcast. I want to give a shout out to Manscaped. Thank you for sponsoring tonight's episode. As a reminder, get 20% off and free shipping with the code MECHA20. Again, that is mecha, M-E-C-C-A-20-2-0 at Embrace a new you and definitely embrace a new trimmer courtesy of Manscaped. Gentlemen, good work tonight.

Here we are, St. Louis. Let's go get after some games. Cheers, fellas. Good work.

Hoov (01:14:42.896)
Come on, Sidney. Yeah, lads. You!

Winks (01:14:44.444)
Come on.

Dobes (01:14:44.648)
This time tomorrow, we're in the stadium, fellas.

Winks (01:14:47.388)
Let's go.

Hen (01:14:47.518)
Let's go.