We count down to the highly anticipated Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter Milan. We share our thoughts on City’s incredible journey to this moment and the palpable tension felt by both teams and their fans. Listen in as we explore the starting 11 for City and consider Pep Guardiola’s tactics to hurt Inter. On the Inter side, we weigh the decision of whether Lukaku should start over Dzeko, and discuss their older midfield and the greatness of Onana in goal.
In this episode, we also reflect on the significance of West Ham‘s Europa Conference League win, marking their first major European trophy in over 60 years. We discuss the importance of these trophies to players and supporters, and how they can provide a fresh start for a club. Don’t miss our thoughts on the primal ceremony of winning and how it can be a group catharsis for a team and its fans.
Finally, we touch on some surprising soccer transfers, such as Alexis McAllister’s move to Liverpool for £35 million and Lionel Messi‘s move to Inter Miami. We discuss the implications of these transfers and the impact of the Saudi league’s influx of money on football. Tune in for an episode packed with excitement, anticipation, and in-depth analysis of the beautiful game.
0:00:00 – Champions League Final
0:04:32 – Predicting Manchester City’s Wingers
0:12:39 – Winning Trophies in Football
0:13:14 – The Importance of the Europa Conference League Trophy
0:17:58 – MLS and the Importance of Youth at Liverpool
0:22:28 – The Rise of the Saudi League and Football Transfers
0:24:32 – Empowering Allies and the Consequences
#ChampionsLeague #ManchesterCity #InterMilan #Starting11 #PepGuardiola #Lukaku #Dzeko #Onana #WestHam #EuropaConferenceLeague #SoccerTransfers #AlexisMcAllister #Liverpool #LionelMessi #InterMiami #SaudiLeague #US #West #LaurentCortines #SqueakyBumTimePodcast
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0:00:01 - Speaker 1
Hello and welcome to the squeaky bum time podcast with another, exclusively on the Chopped Sports channel of the premier streaming network. We are recording this on Thursday, june 8th. I am your host, laurent Cortines. In this episode, west Ham win Mexi to MLS and Liverpool make their first big signing. But first we are diving into the Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter Milan. With just 48 hours to go. The tension is palatable, so let's get right into it. Please, like share subscribe. Like share subscribe. We need you, we love you, you're part of the show. Please, it means everything and we need as many people as possible to get into this. Okay, let's get into City vs Inter.
Okay, it has been an incredible journey for Manchester City, starting in the group stage, triumphant over such massive opponents along the way Dortmund, sevilla, copenhagen, leipzig, bayern Munich and then finally, real Madrid, in what was probably City's best game. They're all gone and City have earned our place into the final, with everything building, city fans singing. We're on our way to Istanbul and this is a moment for City. We are nervous, we are petrified. We're still Manchester City. We still blow these things. City are favorites. There's no room for complacency, not an inch. You cannot think you're gonna win. Inter Berlin is strong and the gap between winning and losing in such a high-stake game is freaking massive. The players, the clubs, the fans we're all behind the team to win the Champions League. It's the final piece of the puzzle for Guardiola at Manchester City and it means everything. It means everything.
But let us take a moment. Acknowledge that if City lose this, it would still be a successful season. Winning the title three times in a row, winning the FA Cup against the rags of Manchester United, but winning the Champions League for the first time, to win a treble, to knock United off its porch Perch, would be massive. But I cannot lie, i cannot hide it. I am petrified. If you're a city fan, you are petrified. It's natural. This is who we are. But this city team is different. Seven years, some of them unpaid, seven years of hurt. We don't play with a false nine and no striker. We have a true robotic monster of destruction in early Holland And the defense that used to blow games has long been short up with Diaz and hockey. And John Stones, kyle Walker, milo Alacangy They're all there, they're all ready for the fight, and that does not discount Mr La Porte. The confidence should be going through all city supporters, but still I'm scared. The club was built to win this trophy, but wasn't it built to win this trophy the whole time, i don't know.
Anyway, let us look into the starting 11. We know that Edison will be there, we know it will be Diaz, we know it will be Rodry, we know it will be Ilkai, gundogan, de Bruyne and Holland. Those are the certainty. That's seven out of the 11. We know we'll be there. The other spots, okay. Walker, alacangy two out of those three. Walker picked up a knock.
You know, and I'm not sure, who's going to play at left back. It could be Akonji Walker. Akonji could be on the right side with Akai. Who knows what there's going to be done? And then, when it comes to the wingers, is it going to be Grealish, is it going to be Bernardo Silva? Is it going to be Foden? Is it going to be Riyad Mahrez? I think the most likely is Bernardo Silva will be there. Grealish has not played well lately, but you never know.
What is Pep seeing out of this inter team? What is Pep feeling will be the best way to hurt inter? And we'll have to figure that out. I think we can feel really confident that Bernardo Silva will be there, and then Foden, who's had a tough season, will probably be the change of pace off the bench, coming in earlier if they need to or not. I think ultimately it'll be Grealish and Bernardo, but I cannot see. I wouldn't be surprised if any of them. But you never know, with Pep, he could do whatever he wants to do in this thing. But whatever Pep decides on, as a city fan I'm still petrified. This is a 48 hour countdown to history. The journey to the Champions League final has been years in the making And we are on the precipice of glory city, ready to take over Europe For the first time, and I for one, and petrified That's. That's the view from the city side. But let's get into where things are for inter Milan and what they look like. So the interestee they won the league a little bit ago. A couple years ago, i did not write a full thing for inter, sorry, inter fans. I did write something for the great and powerful Manchester United, who I love and adore and wanted to put the time in to make sure that we all knew what I was feeling about inter.
For inter, they have an older midfield. Their big decision will be whether Lukaku starts over Jecco. Jecco is the one who got them there. Lukaku's record in big games Historically has been bad. We saw him in the World Cup with Belgium, come on, even though he was injured. It was a mess.
But there are some older, older players chug a nougle is in there. And then there's Darmy on late of Manchester United. There's their likely lineup is on Nana and goal The best goalkeeper in Europe. That's not a joke. Onana is fantastic. And then there's Mane, eserbi and Darmion as a back three with Dumfries who's there? outstanding wing back, and DeMarco with the midfield of Borella, chug a nougle and Brozovic. That's their best defensive group, along with Martinez and Jecco up front. They're going to sit deep. And then there's a lot of players will have to drop in. It may be a five for one. I can't imagine Jecco is going to be doing too much running in behind.
But I think the big thing for inter is that they have a good mentality. They're going to be inside winning 12 of the last 13. And they are ready for the big attack. For them, they are missing Henrik McIntyrean, who played in their semi final before they got in. He did get hurt, but I I don't think that I think that they're too worried about that. also, scrinjar Milan scrinjar is also missing from this game. For them, those are important players that they've used all season, but I don't I wouldn't imagine that they are looking to be on the attack in this one. You know, i just wonder where they are mentally in this game.
They are the historical favorite, right? We know that Inter Milan famously under Mourinho winning a treble in 2010, defeating Guardiola's Barça. I think this was a different time then. I don't know that that kind of effort against this city will work. But I think you know the betting odds are all in city's favor. There's not much in the head to head. We can go through history. We can see here. They've played once in 2010,. Inter won 3-0, and then once in 2011, with City beating Inter 3-0. So home and home. There's not much history between them. The betting odds have Inter, have City as the favorite. I think it's plus 200, something along those lines, not really a close one there. The most common scoreline is City win 3-0 or 3-1 at 40% of all correct score guesses. So City are heavy favorites in this one.
But you've got to do it on the pitch. The Ultras for Inter will be in Istanbul. Istanbul, we know from Liverpool fans, has a history of throwing up crazy results And if Inter pulled this off, this would be as historic a win for Inter as it was for Liverpool. We know that Inter will come with their history and their Ultras and it will be a tough game. Like I said, inter winning this would be as big as Liverpool beating AC Milan in 2005. And I, frankly, i'm afraid, like I said at the top, like I went through all those things, it will be a big, massive event and a massive game to deal with for Manchester City and Manchester City fans, who are just going to be happy to be here. We don't know how to behave. We don't know what to do.
Okay, now let us go to the Europa Conference League, where West Ham are champions of the Europa Conference League. They win a slot to the Europa League, joining Liverpool and Brighton. It was all joy for West Ham. They spent the first half hour petrified that they were going to lose this game because Fiorentina a high possession game were getting great coaching out of Italy. Italiano really turned around the Violetta and had them playing really well, but they really didn't threaten the West Ham goal. And secondly, ariella was in goal and not Fabianski. That was a decision that Moise made, that Ariella had been the goalkeeper for the Europa, for the Europa Conference League, and he just thought well, i'm in the final, i might as well ride with the horses that got here. To be fair to West Ham in this game. They were undefeated, 12 and one, with no losses in this competition, and they sent out their regular horses.
The big change for them was Naif Aguierre, along with Zuma, although Zuma had to come off. He'd been injured all season, and then he ended up winning Cufal at fullback for the great and powerful Fresswell, who was unable to make it, the Scouse, bastard Rice and Succek. It ended up being Declan Rice's last game, which was interesting. Bowen, ben-rama, paquetta, antonio Antonio doing the grafting up there on his own, taking the balls down, and it ended up being Lucas Paquetta in the number 10 role, an unusual role you just don't see anymore until you see it in which case the goal that ends up winning the game. In the 90th minute, paquetta fighting in the midfield, ball drops to him in a quick little turnover and he fires the ball in a great run by Bowen Bowen's in on goal. The whole place is going wild. Moyes is running down the touch line, the shot comes in, bowen scores, and the scenes and my word, did they celebrate for West Ham?
The first goal was a penalty taken by Said Ben-Rama on a handball. Very straightforward. A little bit of a longer VAR view than I would have liked. I don't like VAR, but this one was clear and I guess you should be glad it was there. Whatever, buena Ventura, the ageless wonder of Fiora and Tina, did bring them back level five minutes after. So second half saw all the goals. First half not much to write home about. this was KG. This is what David Moyes was always going to do. Fiora and Tina did have 70% of possession. Now, that's the nuts and bolts.
The feeling, though, that I'd like to talk about is How these newer competitions you know you can make fun of the Europa Conference League, all you want. It's the third trophy involving the 65th ranked teams, and you know the sixth team in the UK and the fourth team, the sixth team from Italy and the 10th team from that, and blah, blah, blah. We talked about this with Sevilla and the Europa League, but this mattered for West Ham. West Ham hadn't won a major European trophy since 1958 with Bobby Moore. They had won a trophy earlier, but I'm not a league cup, maybe I'd have to look it up, but the way the players reacted what it meant to David Moyes really does hammer home what these trophies mean to supporters and players.
We can talk about it not mattering, you know, in the greater scheme of a team's economics, but for players and supporters, again, that forth, those four, those pillars of football, right in in American sports, we have owners, we have players and maybe the third estate is the journalism, the journalists and television, the media. In European football we have a fourth constituency, which is the supporter, and in this case the team, the players and the half, the Half, the group, the players and the, and the supporters love a trophy, the finality of it, the ceremony I was listening a lot to Russell Brand, who's a famous West Ham supporter, and he did use those right words. He use a lot of religious imagery around it and it's the trophy lift is ultimately a ceremony culminating in a journey, a journey of work and religions have this and football does have religious aspect about our singing together, our chanting together, our watching together, our feelings together. It lets you have feelings that you wouldn't normally have, and so these trophies being lifted have more meaning. And so let's call into question some clubs that are aspirational you think about the vanger arsenal years when they weren't winning trophies and fourth places a trophy and and spurs sort of, for going under Pachettino, trying to win the FA Cup and being focused on the Europa League, on the spot for and saving your bullets for another day And while financially it was important for the clubs to have that, your, your Champions League money and the exposure and that stuff matters, and building brands and whatever.
I understand it, no one goes back through time and remembers the fourth place season that you didn't win anything. The first fans remember is the Champions League final, is the semi final against I X and that that season you finished fifth arsenal. Fans remember winning that FA Cup and 14 against hall as a new beginning, as a new dawn, not the 10 years prior of or six years after finishing the top four. The league sort of blend into each other. You know you finished well, you had a good season in the overall, but you don't have that exclamation point, that ceremony of lifting a trophy at that collective group catharsis of winning and being the last person standing as though you've gone through the, the ritual of going into the forest, of the maturity ritual, of going through the forest, killing animal and bringing it back to your family and getting that mark of blood across your, your cheeks, or cutting your skin or whatever the, those primal ceremonies are. Winning of a trophy has that primal ceremony and West Ham will have that. The scenes out of it were incredible, and so he's always with his, you know, with his teammates, the young boys 10 years old, crying about West Ham being the greatest club in the whole world and this being the most important day of his life, because for a 10 year old, winning a trophy is the most important day of his life. And so, as much as many makes fun of me for my philosophical moments, these are what's happening and this is sort of segues back into, you know, city trying to win this trophy in the Champions League, what it means, what it'll feel like, how it will lift me, how I might cry, how I might roll around the ground and giggle and all the feelings that football gives you. And so I praise to the great and powerful West Ham for winning their trophy.
Next we've got to cover our friend Alexis McAllister finally signing for Liverpool in a not really secret move. But I think the thing that's so shocking about this move is that it was only £635 million, which was a huge discount from what we were reporting earlier, which is around 60 million. He is 24 years old, he is coming off a World Cup victory with Argentina, along with Enzo Fernandez at Chelsea, along with Alvarez, so there's a big Argentinian contingent in the Premier League and McAllister will definitely help Liverpool in their Europa League. He is the first of probably many players that need to come in. He gives depth, will probably see your Jordan Henderson's, your Fabinho's, your Thiago Mota's Thiago, excuse me, will sort of edge out and will start to see more and more of those players. He really does replace the failed experiment of Oxlade, chamberlain and Kata. Hopefully he has a better experience than those two, but he should be able to give a lot to the team. He's a great player, scored many, many goals for Brighton and anyone who watched Brighton knows how good McAllister is. But there's always a risk when bringing a player from a smaller club into a bigger club. He did look weird in red. I didn't like it because I loved him in his blue stripes. But McAllister will definitely help Liverpool And they probably have at least one more player to come into the midfield, but they do have good youth.
I think the youth at Liverpool is underrated. I think that when you think about Basatic, who had that run in the middle of the season and got hurt, we saw Curtis Jones make a big difference in the late in the season. I think the players are there And I think that Liverpool will try and not penny pinch but sort of lift up their younger players to sort of take spots within those areas. I thought Harvey Elliott could come back in. He's more of an attacking player, but between Basatic, jones and McAllister you have the start of something that's not nothing. I think it'll be interesting. We'll see what happens there.
And then, of course, i made a little video of my shorts about this so you can review any of my YouTube shorts on LaurentCourtnes On YouTube, just search for LaurentCourtnes And I made a video about the great and powerful Lionel Messi coming to MLS. It's all that the world can talk about. I saw a tweet that said he has more Instagram followers than LeBron KD and five other famous NBA players combined. He already added five million followers on Instagram to InterMiami. This is a big deal. I don't think Americans have a real sense of how big Lionel Messi is. He's bigger than you can imagine. He's the biggest football player in the world, the most famous football player in the world. He doesn't have the personality of Zlatan because God forbid he did He would have exploded the world. I don't think anyone could handle a player at the quality of Messi and the personality of Zlatan. Zlatan was the personality Messi and Messi was the Messi Messi.
But He'll go to into Miami and completely change MLS. It will be a stake in the ground. It will be a complete change to what we see in the coverage of MLS And we'll actually save the Apple deal that was faltering. Frankly, i think in US sport when you're not on ESPN you're kind of gone, unless you're on NBC or one of the major networks. The structure of the deal is incredible. He has options to be an owner of Inter Miami or another club. He gets points on the subscriptions of Apple TV, which are international Apple's no dummies, they know what they're doing. So he will get some of what he brings in. And he also got some connection where there was some fees from Adidas that connected to him. My guess is, any shirts that are sold on MLS, he probably gets some of the shirt money. It's a unique deal, it's a different deal. It's a deal that MLS is actually making where the player is the partner. The player is part of the league, because Messi is bigger than the MLS by a lot. He simply is, and that's another one.
The other thing that's going on within world football is the rise of the Saudi league. More players are moving on. We've got Angola Cante, we've got Benzema joining Ronaldo in that league And we may have one of these moments that coming on periodically. We saw with the Chinese Super League, probably 10 years ago, players moving there for big wages, hulk, oscar, but nothing like Benzema and Ronaldo. So we should keep an eye on that. It looks like the Saudis are finally flexing the money that they've had all these years. We saw this happening with the live golf moment, where they simply got a merger, and we see it in the ownership of Newcastle United, and I think we're entering another era of sport that sport goes on. Sport reflects culture, football is sport and it has to weather this storm of a new barbarian at the gate. I'm not saying Saudis are barbarians, but just something new happening. Sport is traditionally the most conservative of our human and Western institutions usually slow to adopt any change, and this is a new change coming in with this. Massive amounts of money.
Karim Benzema got like a $200 million contract for two years. Messi was gonna get a billion dollars before he chose MLS. So we know that Messi is a man of his word. I think he wanted a smaller profile. I think in MLS, messi will get a smaller profile. I'm curious as to what his English is like. I gotta imagine he doesn't speak English at all. He's never had to. He doesn't strike me as somebody who would have learned it. He just doesn't seem to care. So we'll see what happens there with Messi.
But there is a new sheriff in town and the Saudis are waving the guns. I'm not gonna make moral judgments. We know what's going on with the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia. They are the sponsor of most world terrorism. That's a fact. So there's that. It is not a democracy, it is a royal family. So there's that.
But the US and West has chosen them to be their allies for the last 60 years, and so when you empower someone like this and then you get upset when the power you gave them enables them to overtake you, maybe shut the fuck up. So that's all I'm saying. Okay, you know that's how I roll when I deal with that. Okay, that was the Squeaky Bum Time podcast with Laurent Cortines. We are the football wing of the Chop Sports Channel and presented exclusively on the premier streaming network. We record on Mondays and Thursdays, so be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcast So you never miss an episode. And if you're listening on Apple, please rate and review the show, because it means everything. Come on, city, come on. I don't know if I'll do the Monday show, we'll see. That's probably the last show of the season.