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Friday, August 04, 2017

OT: New Season August 2017 Soccer Thread

Are you ready for some futbol?

EFL - August 4 (that’s today!).  Note that ESPN has taken over the broadcast rights from BeIN and is going to make most games available on ESPN3 including today’s Sunderland loss to Derby County.
EPL - August 11 (Arsenal-Leicester). Also 8/20 is Spurs-Chelsea, that’s a big big game early.
La Liga - August 18
Bundesliga - August 18 (Bayern-Bayer Leverkusen)
Serie A - August 19 (Juventus-Cagliari)
Champions League Playoffs - August 15 - The best of the bunch look to be Liverpool-Hoffenheim, Nice-Napoli and CSKA Moscow-Young Boys
Europa League - August 17 - Everton get Hajduk Split but generally I won’t pretend to be knowledgeable about the teams here.
Also assorted Community Shield type things and a bunch of World Cup Qualifiers get rolling on August 31.  This is the penultimate break before the end of qualifying for most places so these are likely to be some very big games (US-Costa Rica September 1).  An

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 04, 2017 at 08:07 AM | 1192 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   1. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 04, 2017 at 08:48 AM (#5506387)
I've followed the career of Mat Ryan since he was in the A-League. I haven't followed soccer as closely as I used to, so I just noticed that he signed a couple months ago to play for Brighton & Hove Albion. He said something to the effect that he wanted to get to the EPL, but I'm guessing that the move from Valencia to Brighton & Hove is a step down in his career. Is that right - I assume that a lateral move wouldn't land him with a club that's just been promoted for the first time?
   2. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 04, 2017 at 09:01 AM (#5506392)
I'm guessing that the move from Valencia to Brighton & Hove is a step down in his career. Is that right - I assume that a lateral move wouldn't land him with a club that's just been promoted for the first time?


In theory it's a bit of a step down but he was on loan to Genk (Belgium) last year and wasn't getting much playing time for Valencia before that (10 games in three years) and he's got the number one jersey at B&HA; so presumably he's the starting keeper at least to start the season. If he wants to move forward he's got to get game time in.
   3. frannyzoo Posted: August 04, 2017 at 09:30 AM (#5506405)
Jose: Thanks for the info atop, particularly the ESPN v. BeIn switch for the "Championship." While I generally loathe ESPN, replay capability is good (as I invariably forget to DVR). Given where Valencia was last year, how much of a fight Brighton will have to stay up, and Mr. Ryan's recent past, I'd say the south coast of England is a pretty darn good place to be in terms of playing time, exposure, etc.
   4. KronicFatigue Posted: August 04, 2017 at 12:41 PM (#5506547)
That's welcome news w/r/t EFL. I've never watched, but am interested in following Aston Villa v/c of Terry.
   5. Astroenteritis Posted: August 04, 2017 at 01:18 PM (#5506571)
Note that ESPN has taken over the broadcast rights from BeIN and is going to make most games available on ESPN3 including today’s Sunderland loss to Derby County.


Having adopted Sunderland as my EPL team many years ago (don't ask why, but it's all Kevin Phillip's fault), and having watched most of their games the last 7-8 years (what fun!) I was at least expected to be spared any of their painful attempts at football this year since my cable co. doesn't carry BeIN, but now I'm sure I'll be watching this afternoon on espn3. After all, what's not to like about another dispirited, uninterested, dreadful exhibition of football?

   6. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 04, 2017 at 01:27 PM (#5506576)
That's welcome news w/r/t EFL. I've never watched, but am interested in following Aston Villa v/c of Terry.


And the Villains just signed Josh Onomah on loan from Spurs!
   7. frannyzoo Posted: August 04, 2017 at 03:30 PM (#5506651)
**Spoiler Alert**












Butterfield quite clumsy on the "arm-ball" there to bring Sunderland level.
   8. frannyzoo Posted: August 05, 2017 at 10:44 AM (#5507020)
Still a Norwich supporter and enjoying seeing them this morning on ESPN3. That said, both strikers have finished abominably so far and redefine "striker's challenge" to the point I wonder how long they'll be on the pitch.

As for ESPN3, one big advantage is the speed in loading stuff. MSNBC's "free" coverage of EPL became so bloated by last year (ads included) that watching "live access" or whatever it was called was almost pointless. Them charging the $50 this year isn't really necessary. I wasn't going to waste my time with it, anyway.
   9. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 05, 2017 at 12:31 PM (#5507065)
For a moment ... there was joy ... there was a rumour that Sissoko would be withdrawn from today's friendly squad, in front of a $25M move to Turkey.

Sigh, no ... he's starting against Juventus.
   10. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 05, 2017 at 12:46 PM (#5507071)
Hey, he even helped set up Spurs 1st goal!

That transfer just went up to $30M!!!
   11. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 05, 2017 at 01:07 PM (#5507080)
And he just hit the post ... $35M!!!
   12. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 05, 2017 at 01:45 PM (#5507101)
Mssrs. Bar and Post are Juve's best defenders so far today ...
   13. jmurph Posted: August 07, 2017 at 11:56 AM (#5507888)
I would like someone else to make their Premier League predictions first so I can copy/paste the list of teams and make my own. Which brave, helpful person will do this to help my lazy ### out?
   14. Sean Forman Posted: August 07, 2017 at 07:56 PM (#5508368)
I'll do it

Man City
Tottenham
Man United
Liverpool

Chelsea
Arsenal
Everton
Southampton
West Ham
West Brom
Stoke
Leicester

Newcastle
Bournemouth
Watford
Crystal Palace
Brighton

Swansea
Hudderfield
Burnley


BTW, I'll be at Burnley/Chelsea and Barca/Real Betis, and maybe a Wed night friendly at the Bernabeu. I am crazy fired up about this. And I walked by the Nike store on the Champs Elysees when when the Neymar shirts were released today. Not a HUGE line, but plenty long.

   15. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 07, 2017 at 08:21 PM (#5508378)
Spurs
Liverpool
City
Chelsea

United
Everton
Arsenal
West Ham
Southampton
West Brom
Stoke
Leicester
Palace
Bournemouth
Newcastle
Brighton
Swansea

Watford
Burnley
Huddersfield
   16. JH (in DC) Posted: August 07, 2017 at 10:39 PM (#5508442)
Reposting from the Summer Soccer thread:

Fantasy Premier League is back! If you've been part of the league in the past, you should be renewed once you register your team at fantasy.premierleague.com. For newbies who'd like to join, the league code is 1432654-342473. Full season, accumulating points. (Apparently, there's a head-to-head option now, but I just went ahead and renewed the classic league. This is something like the 5th season it's around.)
   17. ckash Posted: August 08, 2017 at 07:55 AM (#5508546)
Contenders for PL/Champions League

Man U
Man City
Chelsea
Tottenham

Europa League Contenders

Liverpool
Everton
Arsenal
Southampton
West Ham

Comfortably Midtable

Leicester
Stoke
Crystal Palace
Bournemouth

Relegation Battle

West Brom
Watford
Newcastle
Burnley
Swansea
Brighton
Huddersfield

   18. Mefisto Posted: August 08, 2017 at 09:18 AM (#5508598)
I don't know how to predict LFC without knowing whether Coutinho stays or goes.
   19. jmurph Posted: August 08, 2017 at 09:48 AM (#5508635)
 Sean Forman Posted: August 07, 2017 at 07:56 PM (#5508368)
I'll do it

Honestly Sean it's about time you made a contribution to the world of sports fandom.
(But seriously, thanks!)

Man City- Still worried about CB, but while they wildly overpaid for it, I love the fullback depth. As long as there is reasonable health up front they'll pile up the goals.
Man United- Not at all confident here, but doesn't Mourinho always win in his second season?
Tottenham- 3rd straight year, I think, that I'm predicting their lack of depth catches up to them? Hasn't yet.
Chelsea
Arsenal- Lacazette seems like a great fit, but they still lack depth in central midfield and CB.
Liverpool
Everton
Southampton
Leicester- Iheanacho is perfect for them, I think he'll be good. Hate that he's leaving City after I finally learned how to spell his name.
West Ham
Bournemouth
West Brom
Newcastle
Stoke
Watford
Crystal Palace
Burnley
Brighton
Swansea
Huddersfield
   20. Textbook Editor Posted: August 08, 2017 at 10:05 AM (#5508652)
The Coutinho thing has to be wrapped up by 8/15, right? Because unless they sit him for the CL playoff matches, he'd be cup-tied if he plays those 2 legs, and I imagine they wouldn't want to sit him, since they definitely want to make it into the group stage.
   21. The Marksist Posted: August 08, 2017 at 01:14 PM (#5508973)
I don't know how to predict LFC without knowing whether Coutinho stays or goes.


<screaming>

<more screaming>

<incoherent laugh/crying>

<still more screaming>
   22. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 08, 2017 at 01:20 PM (#5508980)
I'm guessing Marksist has seen the ESPN report that Coutinho to Barca is done. 90M EUR with add-ons that could take it to 120M. The transfer market remains insane.
   23. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 08, 2017 at 01:24 PM (#5508988)
Also, for all of you LFC/Dortmund hybrid fans, Barca are probably going to sign Dembele, too. He's erased all of his mentions of Dortmund from his social media accounts. So, one Neymar is going to lead to a Coutinho and a Dembele (bit not the awesomest Dembele). Barca couldn't wait to spend that cash!
   24. The Marksist Posted: August 08, 2017 at 01:50 PM (#5509022)
I'm not at all convinced that's a reliable report, but still. I do not like that it's plausible.
   25. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 08, 2017 at 02:11 PM (#5509056)
I'm on the fence about Dembele going to Barca. I'm not sure he's ready for that. Unless he just goes right back to Dortmund or somewhere like that on loan. I'd hate to see him go and just ride the bench.

Barca needs to add some more athleticism and youth in the center of the pitch.
   26. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 08, 2017 at 02:24 PM (#5509071)
I don't know enough about Jordi Blanco (I have never heard of him before, to be precise) to know how reliable he is. There seems to be a lot of smoke, though. If it's true, LFC should get on the phone to Real Madrid and see if they can tempt them to part with Isco for that Coutinho money. Let's turn this Neymar money into sports' greatest ever multi-team trade!

Neymar-->Dembele and Coutinho-->Isco-->Mbappe-->Sanchez-->etc etc etc
   27. The Marksist Posted: August 09, 2017 at 09:10 AM (#5509501)
OK. Two caveats: first, and most importantly, I know nothing; second, I think at least one major deal goes down before the transfer window closes.

1. City
2. Liverpool
3. United
4. Spurs
5. Chelsea
6. Arsenal

7. Everton
8. Southampton

9. Leicester
10. West Brom
11. West Ham
12. Newcastle
13. Stoke
14. Bournemouth
15. Swansea
16. Palace
17. Watford

18. Brighton
19. Burnley
20. Huddersfield
   28. Mefisto Posted: August 09, 2017 at 10:01 AM (#5509546)
Top 4 only, since I suck at this:

1. City
2. Chelsea
3. Spurs
4. United
   29. Baldrick Posted: August 10, 2017 at 11:40 AM (#5510448)
   30. Mefisto Posted: August 10, 2017 at 01:40 PM (#5510577)
I don't need to read the article to think she might be -- I have her rated as awful.

Ok, now I'll go read the article.

Well. I'm not sure how much credit to give Ellis for woman management. That's partly because I'm never sure how much to give any coach credit for that.

Nor am I sure that Ellis is a "tinkerer", unless that means "someone who randomly stumbles on a workable lineup every so often". It's not just that Ellis doesn't seem to understand midfield tactics, it's that she doesn't seem to understand which players fit into which systems. If she wants a ball control game, then having Lloyd in the "midfield" (it's generally unclear if Lloyd is a midfielder, but she tends to roam there) is, uh, less than optimal. Same with putting Leroux up front. Etc.

As I saw it, the US won both games at ToN by resorting to long ball tactics (mind you, some very good long passes) and speed/athleticism to overrun weaker teams. We can do this a lot; our player pool produces more such players than any other country. But it's not Ellis' professed goal and it's a dubious strategy as other teams both improve technically and attract better athletes.
   31. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 10, 2017 at 01:45 PM (#5510583)
Any Football Weekly fans out there? If so have you listened to The Totally Football Show? I've listened to the first episode of the season of both and they are both good. I think TFS will be better, at least in the short run because with Richardson, McIntosh as well as Rafael Honigstein (not on the first pod) they seem to have a stronger lineup. I like Max Rushden a lot and as long as Glendenning is with FW that's going to be good but any week he isn't there I'm not sure how good it will be.
   32. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 10, 2017 at 01:56 PM (#5510601)
1. Man City
2. Tottenham
3. Chelsea
4. Man United
5. Liverpool
6. Arsenal

Guessing beyond that, though figure the mid-table will likely be the teams others have picked. I think Everton is much closer to the lives of Southampton/West Ham/Leicester in talent than being close to the top, with the loss of Lukaku.

Edit: Also baking in the sale of Sanchez here. If he stays at Arsenal all year, I'd probably pick them #5 over a Coutinho-less Liverpool.
   33. Baldrick Posted: August 10, 2017 at 02:51 PM (#5510678)
Nor am I sure that Ellis is a "tinkerer", unless that means "someone who randomly stumbles on a workable lineup every so often". It's not just that Ellis doesn't seem to understand midfield tactics, it's that she doesn't seem to understand which players fit into which systems. If she wants a ball control game, then having Lloyd in the "midfield" (it's generally unclear if Lloyd is a midfielder, but she tends to roam there) is, uh, less than optimal. Same with putting Leroux up front. Etc.

Well, I think the point is that she doesn't actually want a ball control game. I think she wants a team that has that potential, and can dabble in that direction, but she's clearly too invested in the value of lethally-fast attacks to truly invest in that approach. I happen to disagree with her about that, and it's frustrating that she PRETENDS to share this goal, but I don't think it's disastrous for the US to play this way.

The biggest problem with Ellis is that she thinks she can have it all, and assumes that players will play to their peak ability in multiple different ways every game. But she doesn't seem to get that those peaks usually depend on a support infrastructure behind them, and that you ultimately have to make some choices and sacrifice some options.

But my impression from watching the ToN games - and trying to do a little Kremlinology - is that she's starting to realize that this is actually a problem. I don't think she'll ever abandon type or anything, but I think a bit more modesty in expectations and a bit more realistic planning could actually go a long way. And there's some modest signs of progress. Even if 'progress' here is mostly about stopping the dumb stuff she was previously doing.

And look, if she was let go this afternoon, I certainly wouldn't complain. But I'm also not ready to go to war for it, the way that I kind of expected I would be by this point.
   34. Mefisto Posted: August 10, 2017 at 03:27 PM (#5510711)
I agree with most of what you said in 33. I'd agree that a good part of my frustration is the disconnect between what she says and what she does.

I think the US can succeed, at least in the short run, by relying on long diagonals and the speed and athleticism they have in abundance. I don't care for that approach aesthetically, and I think it'll harm the overall program in the long term, but it'll work. As Bill James once said, almost any style of play will work if you have the right players. Ellis should just be honest about what she's doing.
   35. The Marksist Posted: August 10, 2017 at 04:50 PM (#5510792)
Any Football Weekly fans out there? If so have you listened to The Totally Football Show? I've listened to the first episode of the season of both and they are both good. I think TFS will be better, at least in the short run because with Richardson, McIntosh as well as Rafael Honigstein (not on the first pod) they seem to have a stronger lineup. I like Max Rushden a lot and as long as Glendenning is with FW that's going to be good but any week he isn't there I'm not sure how good it will be.


I listened to the first TFS and thought it was fine. Richardson can be a great host/presenter, but his shtick can overwhelm the whole ensemble sometimes. As for FW, I'll probably keep listening, and I like Rushden fine, but Glendenning grates on me and I'm not sure I have room in my life long-term for two podcasts so focused on "confidence" and intangibles over tactics and actual performance. I'd honestly probably prefer a show with all of FW's international correspondents (Honigstein, Sasha the Russian guy, etc.).

The clear king of soccer podcasts right now is The Double Pivot for both sentimental and content reasons.
   36. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 10, 2017 at 04:56 PM (#5510798)
I think I enjoy FW (and TFS now) for the same reason I ignore most baseball commentary. I'm just not knowledgeable enough so when they start in on passion and intangibles and whatnot it doesn't bother me. With baseball it just grinds my gears because it's so stupid and maybe it is equally stupid for soccer but I'm not sophisticated enough to be bothered.

I will say I think Glendenning and the rest seem to be in on the joke a bit. I don't know if it's a soccer thing, a European/English thing or a Jose doesn't know enough thing but I don't get the Stephen A. Smith/Skip Bayless sense from these guys. They seem to recognize that while they have firm opinions it is possible that they are wrong. That goes a long way in my book. People who are 100% certain of their position are people I generally am not interested in hearing from.
   37. Baldrick Posted: August 10, 2017 at 06:17 PM (#5510854)
I will say I think Glendenning and the rest seem to be in on the joke a bit. I don't know if it's a soccer thing, a European/English thing or a Jose doesn't know enough thing but I don't get the Stephen A. Smith/Skip Bayless sense from these guys. They seem to recognize that while they have firm opinions it is possible that they are wrong. That goes a long way in my book. People who are 100% certain of their position are people I generally am not interested in hearing from.

Exactly where I'm at. As someone who only casually follows those leagues, I enjoy a general roundup of the news delivered by smart and engaging people who certainly have opinions but don't seem to take it TOO seriously. They also generally have a nice blend of personalities, with a lot of different perspectives on the game, and without a ton of friction between them. So, you don't get Jonathan Wilson lecturing the other guys about tactics, and you don't get the Proper Football Man telling the nerds to shove it.

Failure to strike that balance is what drove me away from the Marcotti podcast many many moons ago.
   38. The Marksist Posted: August 10, 2017 at 08:11 PM (#5510931)
I couldn't take the Marcotti show for more than a few episodes, which is weird because I think he's smart and interesting. I think he was too confrontational as a host and kind of pitted himself against everyone. Not a fun dynamic.
   39. Baldrick Posted: August 10, 2017 at 08:20 PM (#5510940)
I couldn't take the Marcotti show for more than a few episodes, which is weird because I think he's smart and interesting. I think he was too confrontational as a host and kind of pitted himself against everyone. Not a fun dynamic.

In the very early days of that show (2006-2007) it was hosted by Danny Kelly and was a hell of a lot more fun. Marcotti was just a snarky guy in the mix instead of the weird aggro host.
   40. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: August 10, 2017 at 08:25 PM (#5510946)
Is there a cable package where I can stream all of Brighton & Hove Albion's matches? Because they have a stupidly awesome name.
   41. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 10, 2017 at 08:38 PM (#5510951)
If you get NBCSN, you'll probably see and/or stream a few matches, but you'd need to add NBC's new streaming service ($50) to see most of them.

You're a year too late ...
   42. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 11, 2017 at 08:48 AM (#5511119)
If you believe transfer gossip, there's all kinds of craziness going on today. PSG are going to pay 180 million euros for Mbappe. Coutinho is trying to force a move to Barca but if he fails, Barca will offer 100 MILLION POUNDS!!!! for Christian Eriksen. At this point, it's too late to get a Tottenham player as there's not enough time to replace anyone who leaves. These transfer fees are nuts. What happened to La Masia that Barca feel they have to pay a hundred million for really good but not transcendent players? Also, Isco signed a new contract with Real with a 700 million Euro release clause. Your move Qatar...
   43. Topher Posted: August 11, 2017 at 09:32 AM (#5511135)
Has the Double Pivot improved over the past few months?

I gave it a go for the first 3 or 4 months partly to help support Matt Clement of Alexandria and also because the content was different (in a good way) than other podcasts.

But I thought production quality was terrible in terms of sound quality and, somewhat related, the rhythm between MCOA and Goodman wasn't great and made it pretty obvious that they weren't in the same room but instead on a Skype call with a tiny bit of lag that made things distracting. I found it annoying enough that I unsubscribed but am willing to give it a go if things are better now.

Say what you will about Football Weekly (and I'm a fan personally) but you know you're getting a well produced podcast that is recorded in a proper studio.
   44. The Marksist Posted: August 11, 2017 at 09:40 AM (#5511138)
Has the Double Pivot improved over the past few months?


Production quality is fine, but if the fact that it's recorded over skype or whatever bugs you, that's not changed. I do think the rhythm and understanding b/w the two Mikes has improved, but neither of them are professional radio people, so it's unlikely to ever be as smooth as the big pods. That's a compromise I'm more than happy to make to get a conversation about tactics and underlying performance instead of cliches. Of course, I still listen to FW and the Football Ramble most weeks.
   45. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 11, 2017 at 12:10 PM (#5511256)
So Danny Rose mouths off to someone in the press about not getting paid enough, then "reports" emerge that a lot of his teammates support him. Today he says "sorry" and it's all good? Sure, if I'm an owner who is building a stadium, I'm going to want to adhere to a wage structure, but man the Spurs salaries are low in comparison to players on mid-table teams, much less the good teams. This seems like laying a ground work for implosion.

Supposedly Siggurdson to Everton is done for 45M Euros - it was reported in a French newspaper and I didn't feel like doing the conversion. Since rumors and confirmations are done on Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat now, it makes perfect sense a French newspaper "confirms" a transfer of an Icelandic player between two English teams.

Coutinho has handed in his transfer request. I guess they can do what they did with Suarez and just not sell him and see what happens.
   46. cmd600 Posted: August 11, 2017 at 12:31 PM (#5511272)
   47. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 11, 2017 at 02:22 PM (#5511352)
Why exactly is it that transfer rumors are so much less accurate than trade rumors in American sports? Because I can't make heads or tails of whether Coutinho is coming or going.
   48. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 11, 2017 at 02:32 PM (#5511367)
Why exactly is it that transfer rumors are so much less accurate than trade rumors in American sports? Because I can't make heads or tails of whether Coutinho is coming or going.


I don't know that they are. I mean an hour before Frazier went to the Yankees Twitter was alight with reports that he was going to Boston.

That said I assume the fact that there are so many more teams, various countries/cultures and the players seem to have a lot more impact on the decisions than in US sport would create additional challenges.
   49. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 11, 2017 at 03:26 PM (#5511455)
Who's the leader? Where's the yelling?

Ugh. I get so tired of these announcer cliches. Leicester are allowed to win this game, too. They don't get defaulted 3 points because of a perceived lack of Arsenal gumption.
   50. Topher Posted: August 11, 2017 at 03:27 PM (#5511458)
@44

Thanks - I'll give it another go. If the production quality of Double Pivot has improved (e.g. better microphones), I can deal with a recorded Skype call. I gave up on it because there were a couple of podcasts that seemed like one party was in an open living room using the laptop mic. I listen to podcasts on an outdoor, urban commute and don't use noise-cancelling headphones because I need to be aware of my surroundings. I found I was needing to hit the rewind 15 button way too frequently to understand what was being said and that caused me to unsubscribe.
   51. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 11, 2017 at 03:30 PM (#5511464)
Ugh. I get so tired of these announcer cliches. Leicester are allowed to win this game, too. They don't get defaulted 3 points because of a perceived lack of Arsenal gumption.


No but both goals were largely helped by absolute garbage work by Arsenal. An organized team shouldn't be allowing either of those goals. They defended the short corner like they thought it was against the rules to do that and then the giveaway on the second goal was a virtual own goal. There were about 4 Arsenal players standing there and the Arsenal player found Albrighton wide open. Someone needs to tell them to get their head out of their collective ass.
   52. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 11, 2017 at 04:29 PM (#5511507)
As far as I can tell Arsenal is playing a rb at lb two lb at cb and a winger/midfielder at rb.
   53. Sean Forman Posted: August 11, 2017 at 07:16 PM (#5511587)
I think the the Double Pivot audio quality has improved, FWIW.

I look forward to Football in Europe podcast each week. It's a couple of sky sports commentators who recap non PL league play from the past week, with some occasional other stuff thrown in. It's very handy for summarizing the other big 4 leagues and they also hit Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Turkey, and Belgium at least once a month.

I'm having a proper football in London trip. Hit Lillywhite's this morning (bought my daughter a City shirt and told her it was because of Carli Lloyd, just need to get her playing soccer now) and I will be at the Bridge tomorrow.

sean
   54. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 11, 2017 at 07:22 PM (#5511590)
City kit - booooo!
   55. Mefisto Posted: August 11, 2017 at 07:24 PM (#5511591)
Great start to the EPL season. Disappointing result, but an exciting game.
   56. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 11, 2017 at 09:53 PM (#5511681)
From ESPNFC:


Like London buses, you wait all summer for a Tottenham signing, and then two come along at once.

The Mirror reports that the first new arrival will be Ajax defender Davinson Sanchez in a club-record £35m deal. It is claimed Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is in Amsterdam negotiating the finer points of a deal for Sanchez, the 21-year-old Colombia international who can play centre-back or right-back.

Meanwhile, sources tell ESPN FC that Tottenham is hopeful of completing a deal for Celta Vigo midfielder Pape Cheikh Diop in the face of competition from Lyon. Diop just turned 20 on Tuesday, but he has been told he can compete for a first-team place this season.


For the love of Jebus, Levy, resist your natural urges to draw this #### out to the last penny on transfer deadline day and get these signings done.

Then, go get another ####### right back; you know, the one signing that's been completely blindingly obvious since BEFORE THE END OF LAST SEASON!?!?!?!
   57. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 12, 2017 at 05:46 AM (#5511806)
Tottenham- 3rd straight year, I think, that I'm predicting their lack of depth catches up to them? Hasn't yet.

I mean, it did last season. The main difference between Tottenham and Chelsea last year was that Tottenham had several injuries and Chelsea didn't.
   58. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 12, 2017 at 11:06 AM (#5511836)
My lord!
   59. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 12, 2017 at 11:21 AM (#5511838)
Everyone had Burnley 3-0 Chelsea in the first half, right?
   60. frannyzoo Posted: August 12, 2017 at 11:43 AM (#5511842)
But they did score a goal, Ms. Lincoln/Chelsea Fan. Stop being so negative.

Edit: Make that two. Why Luiz is on the pitch to score the second, however, is another matter. He should have about five yellow cards by this point.
   61. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 12, 2017 at 11:47 AM (#5511843)
Chelsea now down to 9 men but still dominating possession. And they've scored a second.
   62. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 12, 2017 at 11:49 AM (#5511845)
Burnley finally realize they're up 2 men and start maintaining possession.
   63. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 12, 2017 at 01:13 PM (#5511867)
Are there any trends in the seasons of clubs that get promoted to the top leagues? My guess is that they'd be more likely to make some noise during the first time through the new league, and that a lot of seasons would turn into death marches as limited depth is exhausted. Is that right?
   64. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 12, 2017 at 01:41 PM (#5511874)
David Silva looks weird with no hair.
   65. Sean Forman Posted: August 12, 2017 at 01:46 PM (#5511878)
Well that was fun. I was near endline in upper deck but great views at the Bridge. Easy in and out on tube. Pie and beer before match.

After the Cesc yellow Luiz on a yellow punted the ball into the crowd. Crowd was properly riled up about the ref.

Morata looks about as annoying as Costa. So I'll definitely learn to hate him.
   66. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 13, 2017 at 02:13 PM (#5512352)
Morata looked great, as did Lukaku.

Man U looked annoyingly good. A bunch of depth now too, I think. They can't afford Lukaku to go down but they are deep everywhere else. Herrera is great central midfield depth, and Martial/Rashford/Mhik/Mata should provide pretty good competition. I was critical of Pogba's price and now he played last year, but he was amazing today.
   67. Mefisto Posted: August 13, 2017 at 05:20 PM (#5512449)
I was really hoping to see Huddersfield top of the table this evening.
   68. OPS+ Posted: August 13, 2017 at 09:06 PM (#5512508)
Does anyone know why the transfer window ends after the leagues start? It seems ridiculous that you have players not playing because of "Transfer unrest."
   69. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 13, 2017 at 09:52 PM (#5512513)
Why not? Baseball allows in season trading.
   70. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 14, 2017 at 08:59 AM (#5512600)
I say this as somoeone who felt Paulinho was unfairly villified at Spurs--he was there at an awkward time and it seemed his fine performances were ignored and his weaker ones magnified--but 40 million Euros for him is nuts. I can't even imagine he'll play for Barcelona. What in Diego Maradonna's name are Barcelona thinking?

Davinson Sanchez will be Spurs' first signing this summer, according to reports. He's a Colombian centerback at Ajax and the internet seems to think he's pretty good. Chelsea and Real were both sniffng around him, supposedly, but I'm always skeptical about those rumors when a player ends up at Spurs. Tottenham is a massive, massive club, bruv, but if Real wants a player and it's between them and Spurs, Real is getting the player.

BTW, I think the best word to describe Dele Alli is impish. What a glorious player he is. I'm going to miss him when he ##### off to Real Madrid in the next season or two. Only saw the highlights, though. I poorly chose the wrong weekend to move and be without internet or tv for a couple of days. My favorite stat line from the weekend was the Soton-Swansea game. Soton had 29!!!! shote to only 4 for Swansea, but only 2 of the 29 were on target. I didn't see the game but were they just taking shots from the half line? Holy Toledo. Soton have now gone 545 without scoring at home. That is stinky.
   71. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 14, 2017 at 09:20 AM (#5512609)
The Paulinho thing is weird to me. It's been a while since I saw him, but I don't remember him having the technique/touch for Barcelona's style of football. Even if they are willing to get a physical box to box player in the middle of the park so they are better physically against the other top teams - which I think is pretty reasonable - Paulinho just doesn't seem at all the appropriate caliber of player for them. I'm skeptical he should even be dressing for them.
   72. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 14, 2017 at 09:43 AM (#5512628)
The Paulinho thing is weird to me. It's been a while since I saw him, but I don't remember him having the technique/touch for Barcelona's style of football. Even if they are willing to get a physical box to box player in the middle of the park so they are better physically against the other top teams - which I think is pretty reasonable - Paulinho just doesn't seem at all the appropriate caliber of player for them. I'm skeptical he should even be dressing for them.


Is there an argument to be made that this is why he is a good fit? Ignore the pricetag, those are all over the place right now and that's just mad money to Barca, but doesn't it make sense for Barcelona to have a few guys who are willing to be "Barcelona players" while not actually playing? Instead of a team of stars on the bench grousing about not getting PT you take a guy like Paulinho who is thrilled to be there and ready to work hard and give them a slightly different look on those situations where they need it.

That's why I've always thought the perfect backup striker for Barca would be Andy Carroll. He'd be delighted to be a Barcelona player and you bring him on the 10-12 times a year it's not coming together and let Messi just flip the odd chip onto his head.
   73. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 14, 2017 at 09:44 AM (#5512630)
Did anyone else watch the first leg of the pre-season Spanish Cup (I forgot what's it is called)? The cannibal did cannibal things - fell down, embellished and got a PK called as a result. Ronaldo did Ronaldo things - great goal, took off his shirt, then did a Jonjo thing and lost his mind by pushing a ref for making a terrible call. Apparently he's going to be suspended for at least 4 games.

At any rate, Barcelona needs a freshening up. They have very little athleticism. Paulinho at least gives them that. Iniesta is great but old and he's never been very physical. Rakitic is also a bit of a lightweight physically. Busquets is still the same player, but he's getting up in age and he's more about his playing with his brain than overpowering anyone. Pique looked toasty on a couple plays. Delofeu took Neymar's place - I'm sure he won't be the primary replacement when the season gets going but he should be starting Spanish Cup games and newly promoted sides, while waiting for a Chinese team or Stoke to buy him. They're still a top 10 team in the world, but Real is clearly much better than them now. However I agree Paulinho doesn't fit. Just like when they brought in Zlatan to be plan 'B'. Barca has had a system for so long and the players they have growing up and train for that.

I was going to add my (useless) Premier League predictions and incorporate lots of hot takes from the first week of matches, but I think I'll wait until the window closes. I guess that's cheating, but it won't be any more accurate.
   74. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 14, 2017 at 10:04 AM (#5512642)
Instead of a team of stars on the bench grousing about not getting PT you take a guy like Paulinho who is thrilled to be there and ready to work hard and give them a slightly different look on those situations where they need it.

I get that, but then he'll play a couple of games and get buried when they realize he's not good enough. This looks like another Alex Song signing, to me, another guy they signed to provide a physical presence and then seemed immediately embarrassed to have him. (I guess the guy they really missed the boat on is Pogba.) Ideally, Barcelona would be producing/buying talented young players to serve as understudies to the established stars. Also, going back to Pep, Barcelona don't seem to like to rotate much. It's hard to develop young players if they don't get to play. I think Real Madrid are doing better in this regard than Barcelona, lately.
   75. jmurph Posted: August 14, 2017 at 10:08 AM (#5512646)
David Silva looks weird with no hair.

Was watching with the sound off and spent a couple minutes having absolutely no idea who that was, until he did a very David Silva-y thing with the ball.
   76. jmurph Posted: August 14, 2017 at 10:11 AM (#5512649)
I'm not a Liverpool fan, to say the least, but all 3 of Watford's goals should have been called off, yes? The first and third goal had offsides guys screening the goalie, and the 2nd had a clear offside during the buildup, if I'm remembering right. Don't get me wrong, I'm delighted, they just clearly got screwed.

Also it's wild that they haven't replaced Mignolet yet, he continues to look bad. And they still haven't upgraded at CB?
   77. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 14, 2017 at 10:35 AM (#5512671)
Don't get me wrong, I'm delighted, they just clearly got screwed.

I'm sorry I missed the Klopp faces that must have resulted from this.
   78. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 14, 2017 at 11:42 AM (#5512770)
I get that, but then he'll play a couple of games and get buried when they realize he's not good enough. This looks like another Alex Song signing, to me, another guy they signed to provide a physical presence and then seemed immediately embarrassed to have him. (I guess the guy they really missed the boat on is Pogba.)

Yeah, Pogba. But if you look at some of the other top teams: Bayern (Vidal), PSG (Verratti, and others), and then in England you've got guys like Kante, Matic, Dier, even Dembele, Weigl. There's other guys out there switching teams or that Barca can probably just throw their weight around on they're not in on, and I think they should be.

It doesn't have to be huge guys, either. I think someone like Kante is physical despite being small. Hell, I think a guy like Iniesta was physical despite being small. They weren't going to muscle you off, but they were so relentless in their press and had such good endurance when those guys were all young, it was just a chore to keep the ball for more than 15 seconds.
   79. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 14, 2017 at 11:50 AM (#5512778)
Soton has been sold to Gao. The Hand arises in the Premier League!

Naw, it's just some Chinese rich guy named Gao Jisheng.
   80. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 14, 2017 at 03:16 PM (#5513008)
Also it's wild that they haven't replaced Mignolet yet, he continues to look bad. And they still haven't upgraded at CB?

This comment made me instantly recall Karius's performance against Bournemouth last year which made me feel pity for a player in a way that rarely happens except for injury.

Wow I didn't enjoy that first weekend. When you can sell Matic, even if overpriced to strengthen a rival, and then be forced to play D.Luiz or a training player in the 2nd match of the season because you don't have depth, you just have to do it.
   81. jmurph Posted: August 14, 2017 at 03:29 PM (#5513019)
Wow I didn't enjoy that first weekend. When you can sell Matic, even if overpriced to strengthen a rival, and then be forced to play D.Luiz or a training player in the 2nd match of the season because you don't have depth, you just have to do it.

There is definitely all of a sudden a weird sense that Chelsea could just fall apart, right? Not like relegation fall apart, but a repeat of two years ago during Mourinho's last season. Seems like a bizarre series of unforced errors.
   82. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 14, 2017 at 04:16 PM (#5513061)
There is definitely all of a sudden a weird sense that Chelsea could just fall apart, right? Not like relegation fall apart, but a repeat of two years ago during Mourinho's last season. Seems like a bizarre series of unforced errors.

I guess they could/should have gotten more goal scoring depth - I feel they are pretty reliant on Hazard for non-striker goals, but expecting an opening spot at Barca/Real to open up so late in the window is pretty unlikely. I feel like the Neymar thing really is pretty unusual, and has had serious ripple effects for Liverpool and Chelsea that would have been hard to foresee.
   83. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 14, 2017 at 04:35 PM (#5513077)
I'd be shocked if Chelsea fell apart, Conte doesn't seem like that type of coach. At the same time Abramovich is nuts, the Costa distraction doesn't help and their next four EPL games are @Spurs, Everton, @Leicester and Arsenal. While I don't think they'll completely go in the tank their title hopes take a big hit if they are 1-3-1 (W-L-D) at that point. They basically have no margin of error from there.
   84. SlowJoeCrow Posted: August 14, 2017 at 05:23 PM (#5513118)
Howdy! I'm a long-time lurker of the baseball discussions here, but I have some soccer questions I was hoping to get some advice on, and you seem like a friendly and knowledgeable bunch.

A friend and I are going to be in London as tourists from November 4th through 12th. We both enjoy watching the occasional World Cup or MLS match (we're in Seattle) but are not regular fans of EPL or other Euro soccer. However, it does seem like attending a Premier League game would be a cool way to experience England. Looking at the schedule, the Tottenham vs Crystal Palace match on 11/5 at Wembley seems like the best bet.

The questions:
* Is this a terrible idea? Is there another match that would be better?
* What's the best way to get tickets? Looks like we can do it via StubHub, but are there other, better options?
* Where's the best place to sit? Are there bad seats, or can we pretty much choose anything?
* My understanding is that EPL fans are very territorial. Do we need to show up in Spurs colors? Any other things we should know about having a good time at the match and not offending anyone?
* Will public transport or taxi be fine for getting there? We're both healthy and able to walk a good distance if necessary.
* Are there good places (pubs, etc) to extend the experience before or after?
* (Off the soccer topic) Any other advice for cool stuff to check out in London or environs?

I greatly appreciate any and all help. Thanks!
   85. ckash Posted: August 14, 2017 at 05:24 PM (#5513119)
Selling Matic without having a replacement lined up was foolish. After watching Bats flail away as a Target Man against Burnley another Striker is also needed. And of course there's still no cover for the Wingbacks. It's not as bad as 2 seasons ago when Falcao and Pato and a cast of unknowns were brought in, but it's pretty frustrating as a Chelsea fan watching Roman/Emenalo/"The Board" sit on their hands.
   86. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 14, 2017 at 05:39 PM (#5513126)
Hey SlowJoe, if you want to do the 5th that's probably your best bet. The only other London EPL game is ManUnited at Chelsea which is likely to be big money prices. Seeing a game at Wembley would be pretty cool. I don't think that's a bad plan at all the more I think about it.

I don't have much to offer on the other questions. I would say regarding the attire that I'd approach it like a Red Sox/Yankees or Cubs/Cardinals situation, you aren't going to get shot or anything but just try to use a little common sense. Here are the Crystal Palace kits (uniforms) for this year so maybe stay away from those colors if you can but assuming you aren't screaming "COME ON PALACE!!" and waving your arms at some 85 year old grandma Spurs fan with her 5 grandsons who are home on leave from the Royal Navy you should be OK.

Haven't been to London since I was a kid but thing I want to do at some point is the London Eye (just don't be afraid of heights).
   87. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 14, 2017 at 05:46 PM (#5513132)
Hey SlowJoe, if you want to do the 5th that's probably your best bet. The only other London EPL game is ManUnited at Chelsea which is likely to be big money prices. Seeing a game at Wembley would be pretty cool. I don't think that's a bad plan at all the more I think about it.


Spurs vs CP is also a London Derby* match, so there should be some spike to it, but it's not a NORTH London Derby, so things shouldn't be too heated.

*rivals match
   88. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 14, 2017 at 06:18 PM (#5513142)
Does anyone know why the transfer window ends after the leagues start? It seems ridiculous that you have players not playing because of "Transfer unrest."


Seems like it's your lucky day ...


14 August 2017 • 10:00pm

The transfer window will shut ­before the start of the season in sweeping new changes that are ­expected to be approved by the ­Premier League next month, ­Telegraph Sport has learned.

Representatives from the 20 ­top-flight clubs are to attend ­September’s shareholders’ meeting with the majority pushing for a new transfer deadline to be introduced, preventing managers from buying players after the season has got ­under way.

Telegraph Sport has discovered that moves are well advanced and already at “approval level”, in a ­potentially huge development for English football which is likely to be implemented next year.

It will be proposed that the ­deadline is brought forward to the week before the start of the 2018-19 Premier League season, with almost all of the 20 clubs understood to be behind the idea.

Watford are believed to be one of the few clubs to oppose it, but the League is expecting a majority vote of over two thirds to force significant changes.



Telegraph
   89. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 14, 2017 at 07:14 PM (#5513150)
SlowJoe, going to a football match is a great time. Wembley is a temporary stadium for the Spurs, so the atmosphere may be a little off (although the derby factor would be helpful). Depending on when you arrive in London ,West Ham is also home on the 4th. You can probably buy tickets directly from the team - it is a huge stadium. There are scalpers (called "touts" in Brit-speak) usually outside the stadium where you can buy tickets from also.

British Museum is a must. Tons of old stuff everwhere. Also just a FYI - pretty much everything is closed on Sunday, including a lot of restaurants. Find a doner place - they're everywhere and it's cheap and tasty. Also, even with the pretty good exchange rate, stuff is expensive.
   90. Baldrick Posted: August 14, 2017 at 07:57 PM (#5513168)
London is great. I haven't been in almost a decade, but it's definitely one of those cities where A) most of the big touristy stuff is genuinely worth doing and B) you'll find tons of neat stuff just wandering around.

I particularly loved the Tate Modern and British Museum. The parks are great, too. Stuff is really expensive, even with the currency having fallen quite a bit compared to where it used to be.
   91. Richard Posted: August 15, 2017 at 12:26 AM (#5513369)
SlowJoe - my tips from an English perspective:

* Is this a terrible idea? Is there another match that would be better?

No - that's the game you want to see. A visit to Wembley is worth doing.

* What's the best way to get tickets? Looks like we can do it via StubHub, but are there other, better options?

Spurs' website is the best place to look. It can sometimes be hard to buy on the day of the game, and as it's a new ground for them the arrangements will be new. There will also definitely be touts near the ground but you will pay over face value.

* Where's the best place to sit? Are there bad seats, or can we pretty much choose anything?
Some of the upper tier seats are a long way from the pitch but generally there are pretty good sightlines.

* My understanding is that EPL fans are very territorial. Do we need to show up in Spurs colors? Any other things we should know about having a good time at the match and not offending anyone?
You will be fine. Nobody would wear the away team's strip in the home section, but other than that wear what you want. Spurs fans are okay and are used to tourists at games. It's a London derby but the clubs are a long way apart geographically and there's not much of a rivalry, so it shouldn't be tense. One thing not to do - and this goes for all English grounds - is not cheer an away team goal in the home section. The stewards might remove you, and fans around you might not react well. Applauding or praising the away team is fine - it's the celebrations you need to avoid.

* Will public transport or taxi be fine for getting there? We're both healthy and able to walk a good distance if necessary.
The easiest way to get there is Wembley Park station on the Metropolitan Line. You can get on in Central London and change at Baker Street. It will be busy. Takes about 25 minutes to get to Wembley Park. Stadium is a short walk (up Wembley way) from the station. There are also train connections.
* Are there good places (pubs, etc) to extend the experience before or after?
the area around the stadium is not great for pubs.
* (Off the soccer topic) Any other advice for cool stuff to check out in London or environs?
British Museum, National Gallery, Tates Modern and Britain, the various parks...there's loads to do. If you enjoy walking start at Trafalgar Square (Charing Cross station) and you can get to Parliament and Buckingham Palace easily from there. the London Eye is good fun too.
   92. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 15, 2017 at 08:47 AM (#5513420)
Two London places I'd recommend are Camden Markets (lots of good divey bars and music venues) and Crystal Palace Park. If you don't mind a longish train ride, the Roman ruins at Bath are very cool to see. It's walking distance from the train station and also a nice place to walk around and have lunch. If your friend is a woman who likes to read, Bath is the home of Jane Austen and there's a museum and stuff dedicated to her there.
   93. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 15, 2017 at 09:36 AM (#5513432)
Oh, yeah, and a canal ride from Camden is worth doing once to cross London. I forget exactly where it drops you off. I want to say it's not far from Paddington Station. The Natural History Museum is also pretty great but I'm a dinosaur nerd so I would say that.
   94. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 15, 2017 at 11:46 AM (#5513554)
I've seen Jack Wilshere today linked to both Aston Villa and Juventus. Transfer season is the best.
   95. SlowJoeCrow Posted: August 15, 2017 at 12:33 PM (#5513597)
Thanks everyone for the advice! Looks like I need to wait until "Non-members" ticket sales start on September 20th then pick them up. Seems like the stadium is big enough that there will be availability even after members have had their shot.
   96. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 15, 2017 at 01:56 PM (#5513705)
Selling Matic without having a replacement lined up was foolish. After watching Bats flail away as a Target Man against Burnley another Striker is also needed. And of course there's still no cover for the Wingbacks. It's not as bad as 2 seasons ago when Falcao and Pato and a cast of unknowns were brought in, but it's pretty frustrating as a Chelsea fan watching Roman/Emenalo/"The Board" sit on their hands.

I have no idea why they choose to make the post-championship process so difficult for themselves. I do think Conte hasn't helped as his demand for Sandro which seems quixotic at this point, while other options like Mendy were out there. I still think that we'll get enough in the transfer market to mount a title challenge, but they look completely disorganized. Still think that letting Mourinho get what he wanted seems like a bad recipe, especially after causing and then benefiting from the Lukaku Escapade.

I've seen Jack Wilshere today linked to both Aston Villa and Juventus. Transfer season is the best.

Can't wait for him to be called the "New Pirlo" or the "New Milner". Whatever.
   97. ckash Posted: August 15, 2017 at 02:37 PM (#5513748)
Quick note about the ripoff that club soccer can be...

My 10 year-old moved from an u12 to a u13 team this fall and had to buy new home and away kits. Mind you we bought kits last year and were told they'd be used for 2 years but the she moved up a level. With shirt, shorts and socks each kit costs around $60. So I ordered her new u13 kits and they arrived today - exact same thing as last year's uni.
   98. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 15, 2017 at 03:56 PM (#5513802)
Trent Alexander-Arnold is going to be the next big English staaaaar.
   99. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 15, 2017 at 03:57 PM (#5513803)
Sigurdsson to Everton is done.

Deal is for up to £45m.
   100. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 15, 2017 at 04:18 PM (#5513824)
Trent Alexander-Arnold is going to be the next big English staaaaar.


Trent Alexander-Arnold is a massive disappointment! (just trying to beat the British press to the punch here).
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