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Page 2 of 15 pages
So "torrid" in soccer terms means the same thing as "stagnant", a word that literally means the exact opposite.
Liverpool are exactly as far back of a Champions League place as Man City are of a league title. Which road is harder? United are a lot less likely to drop points than Chelsea/Spurs/Everton/Arsenal, but there's only one United and there are a couple clubs between Liverpool at a top four position.
Liverpool's recent form suggests something of a triumph for the advanced metrics. They are playing like the top club that their underlying stats suggested they were a month or two ago.
What has happened with Skrtel? He was on both the Shooty and the Zonal Marking All PL 11 last year and now he's benched for Carragher? What's the inside story there?
At a news conference in The Hague, Netherlands, Europol claimed:
-The fixed Champions League tie in England took place in "last three or four years";
-The identity of that match cannot be revealed due to "ongoing judicial proceedings";
-Other "corrupt" matches included World Cup and European Championship qualifiers and "several top football matches in European leagues";
-In Germany-based matches alone, criminals wagered £13.8m (16m euros) on rigged matches and made £6.9m in profits
-Officials fear this is as the "tip of the iceberg".
The fixed tie was clearly the final. You only had to watch ten minutes to see that. They just paid Robben to make the inside cut every time he had the ball to make sure BM scored on practically none of their attempts.
If so, you will have to a long way back to find a Bayern game he played in that wasn't fixed.
-Officials fear this is as the "tip of the iceberg".
What do we think of Donovan? My feeling is that if his heart isn't in it, we should just make do without him.
Bocanegra is generally the skipper, I believe.
I think everybody assumes Dempsey or Donovan captain the team. I only remember because I've also forgotten a bunch of times, too.
I just watched the video about match fixing. They found evidence of match fixing in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and then...he specifically mentions Central America instead of North America. Hopefully that means they haven't got their claws into MLS yet.
I have tended to be a skeptic regarding the metrics and LFC because of the way the team was constructed. What I underestimated was exactly how much of a difference having a competent striker play with Suarez has helped as SG notes. The difference is astounding. Sturridge and Suarez are pretty lethal as a tandem.
Far more practical to arrange stuff like "so-and-so will get booked in the second half" or something.
Much of the press speculation in the UK revolved around the fact a Champions League game based in England, over the last 3 to 4 years, was one of the fixed matches and Ekstra Bladet seem certain that it was Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Debrecen in 2009.
They suggest that Debrecen goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic was bribed to ensure that there were over 2.5 goals in the match.
However, Liverpool had a poor night in front of goal and Poleksic only conceded one, where he punched out a shot from Fernando Torres into the path of Dirk Kuyt to claim the winner – see video below.
Later on in the Champions League group stage of 2009, Poleksic was once again bribed for the match against Fiorentina which the Italians won 4-3.
Poleksic has since subsequently been banned from all football activities for failing to report match fixing activities.
Freund is the best part, of course. Not least because he's already got his serious face back on *before* he even lands. It's so German. "I AM ELATED! COMMENCE CELEBRATIFICATION JUM...and I am done. Back to work now. Where is my clipboard?" But there are so many layers of fantastic that reveal themselves with each viewing.
I think that it is misguided to think of this latest scandal (or "match fixing" scandals in general) as involving manipulated results.
So - what do people think the starting 11 will be? I think Howard; Johnson-Bocanegra-Cameron-Chandler are pretty much given - Dempsey, Altidore and Bradley as well - can we maybe be spared Jones (I just don't like him)? I'd rather Edu as the holding mid, Williams on the right isn't too bad, maybe Torres on the left wing? Bradley ranging wherever, Dempsey slotted just behind Altidore?
Did he hilariously misread the initial ball, or did it take some kind of insane bounce?
I really don't want to see Edu, Jones and Bradley playing together again. It's just ####### torture.
Very strange to have the USMNT on beIN Wednesday, but whatever.
I wonder if Klinsmann might take a page from Stoke's playbook and put Cameron at left back.
What happened there?
They might actually be pretty ok at playing like a Stoke City, with the relatively weak central defense being protected by solid midfield holders and good fullbacks, but it's hard to see this roster being more than that.
Well, since I don't get BeIn and the game starts at an odd time, I'm thinking about cutting out work a little early and taking in the game at a bar in lower Manhattan. Anyone interested in meeting up?
But here is the problem for players such as Henderson, and Walcott before him: English clubs aren't very clever at developing players in their situation. Their first-team chances come quickly, and they're expected to adapt immediately.
Other countries do it differently. Spain's top clubs have established reserve teams that compete within the main footballing pyramid -- Real Madrid and Barcelona's B teams both compete in the second tier. Barcelona have played this system superbly: Sergio Busquets and Pedro Rodriguez made their first-team debuts at 20 and 21 -- relatively late, compared with Walcott (16) and Henderson (17) -- but had developed in quieter, calmer surroundings and weren't forced to 'grow up' in the first team. When they got there, they were immediately ready for league success, Champions League success and World Cup success.
Germany have a more co-operative, intelligent loan system. Look at the example of Toni Kroos, who might have been a valuable backup for Bayern Munich a couple of seasons ago but was instead loaned out to Leverkusen (a title challenger, no less) to develop for 18 months. He returned and was immediately a key first-team player, a similar experience to Philipp Lahm, who was loaned out to Stuttgart. Young English players only seem to join bottom-half clubs on loan.
Italy, meanwhile, has the complex but useful world of co-ownership, where big clubs can attempt to buy a 'stake' in a player without necessarily forcing him away from his current club.
I've watched Gonzalez a lot because I live in LA. I think he's going to disappoint a lot of people. He has zero ability to distribute the ball, and he's not quick enough to play a high line. If you pair him with Boca, look forward to Stoke-style games.
Michael Cox uses Jordan Henderson and Theo Walcott as touchstones for a discussion of the different approaches to developing young players in England and the continent:
Gus Johnson is the new Voice of Soccer in the US (at least on Fox).
Came here to post that. In all seriousness I think this might be even worse than ESPN trying to make Dave O'Brien a soccer announcer.
My first thought was the over-the-top Gus Johnson that does basketball and football going absolutely ballistic after a team earned a corner kick. I'm ok if he tries to be that guy on goals (more power to him if he wants to try to top Ray Hudson), but I was fearing he'd be that way on things that are rather pedestrian.
Spiegel reporting that Lewandowski has agreed terms with Bayern over a move this summer.
The Spiegel report says that Bayern will now open negotiations with Dortmund, having agreed terms with the player.
Didn't realize US game was at four. Is Honduras trying to take advantage of the heat and humidity?
Is Honduras trying to take advantage of the heat and humidity?
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