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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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   101. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 15, 2017 at 04:19 PM (#5513826)
And flip.
   102. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 15, 2017 at 04:21 PM (#5513830)
Well, that was lucky but deserved after the last 10 minutes. Excellent result if the score holds.
   103. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 15, 2017 at 04:32 PM (#5513841)
Oh for ##### sake.
   104. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 15, 2017 at 09:06 PM (#5514103)
It's kind of mean to say this, but there was a hilarious/tragic own goal in CSKA v. Young Boys. Seek it out.
   105. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 16, 2017 at 12:12 AM (#5514258)
This needs to be seen by everyone. The great thing about it is the keeper almost saves the day leading to a near tragic miss. The ball had already crossed the line but the CSKA player who tried to nudge it across somehow hits the post and it comes back and hits his arm. This is a spectacular amount of tragicomedy.
   106. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 16, 2017 at 07:11 AM (#5514286)
The second header is the best because he has all the time in the world to peak where his keeper is. Poor Young Boys. Will they never be men?
   107. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 16, 2017 at 09:12 AM (#5514315)
In such a fixture my inclination is to root for Young Boys, but until searching out highlights after #104 I didn't realize they played on turf. And it doesn't even look like field turf, it looks like almost straight up astroturf.
   108. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 16, 2017 at 09:33 AM (#5514327)
Yeah, that turf took Spurs by surprise in the first leg of the Champions League qualifier against Young Boys a few years ago. Young Boys jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first half before Spurs gathered themselves and scored 2 goals to make it 3-2. Then Spurs crushed them at the Lane with Defoe scoring a hat trick. I believe Bassong scored the goal that settled Tottenham's nerves. Time to check my memory...Yep, it was Bassong in the 42nd minute. Super Pav scored the second. Giovani Dos Santos!!! played in that game. Robbie Keane also played and Cudicini was on the bench, completing the rare LA Galaxy trifecta.

edit: My memory isn't great after all. It was Crouch that scored the hat trick in the return leg, though Defoe scored, too.
   109. jmurph Posted: August 16, 2017 at 09:57 AM (#5514340)
Matuidi to Juve for only 18 million pounds seems like a steal.
   110. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 16, 2017 at 10:13 AM (#5514352)
Juve have become the best at getting great players at great prices, Higuaín excepted. It's annoying.
   111. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 16, 2017 at 10:38 AM (#5514374)
Levy may have out thought himself into a corner this transfer window, the pressure's on Spurs to buy (especially after the comments from Rose) and other teams know it:


Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax are continuing to work on the transfer of Davinson Sanchez to the Premier League, but while Spurs and the player have reportedly agreed to personal terms on a five year contract, the clubs are still working out the transfer fee.

...

Spurs have clearly identified Sanchez as one of their top targets in the transfer window, and most observers think a deal will get done before the end of the month. The hang-up appears to be over the size and nature of the transfer fee: De Telegraaf Sport say that Spurs have offered a €40m deal (including a lower fee with a bunch of incentives) while Ajax is holding out for a €50m fee for their star player. Negotiations are continuing.


And an interesting adjunct to that transfer story:


Premier League clubs are facing demands for ever higher transfer fees and for players’ wages to be paid in euros because of the collapse in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote.

As sterling fell this week to its lowest value since Britain emerged from the financial crash, the consequences for top-flight clubs have been laid bare by the ongoing haggling over the future of Ajax’s Davinson Sánchez.

The Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports that as negotiations between Tottenham and Ajax have dragged on over the 21-year-old defender, Ajax have been insisting on increasing their asking price to reflect the day-by-day fall in the value of the pound.

The newspaper reports: “Spurs will have to pay more by the day. Compared with the end of the previous season, the pound is 6% lower. On the sum that Ajax want (€50m), that’s already a difference of €3m. And the expectation is that the free fall will not stop.”


Graun
   112. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 16, 2017 at 10:53 AM (#5514387)
That article assumes Joe Lewis, a man who made his fortune trading currency, doesn't have Tottenham's capital hedged against currency fluctuations, especially post-Brexit. I will bet you a Dele Alli the funds are hedged. I can see Ajax dragging it out because the drop in the pound is good for them, but I don't think it matters to Tottenham.
   113. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 16, 2017 at 12:35 PM (#5514480)
The Daily Mail is reporting that Ross Barkley has a grade 3 hamstring strain and will miss six weeks, effectively ending any chance of a transfer before the window closes (if true, or more likely, given that it's the Fail, tru-ish).

   114. jmurph Posted: August 16, 2017 at 12:50 PM (#5514501)
Oh god, just saw a rumor that Man City are in talks for Jonny Evans. As a City fan who spent years making fun of United for playing an obvious mediocrity, I would truly deserve this. Next, it'll be Chris Smalling, and finally, Phil Jones.
   115. The Marksist Posted: August 16, 2017 at 01:10 PM (#5514515)
I'm with Shooty on the currency thing. I'd bet at least the top 6 PL clubs are all hedged, and probably several others.
   116. jmurph Posted: August 16, 2017 at 02:14 PM (#5514552)
I'm with Shooty on the currency thing. I'd bet at least the top 6 PL clubs are all hedged, and probably several others.

I guess I'm not really seeing how this conflicts with the article, the premise of which is that fees are rising for British clubs, and only going higher as time passes by. So you guys are saying it won't actually impact Premier League teams, which makes sense, but it still appears to be a standoff.
   117. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 16, 2017 at 02:33 PM (#5514560)
I guess I'm not really seeing how this conflicts with the article, the premise of which is that fees are rising for British clubs, and only going higher as time passes by. So you guys are saying it won't actually impact Premier League teams, which makes sense, but it still appears to be a standoff.

I think the standoff has more to do with "Hey, man, Gylfi Sigurdsson just went for 45 million pounds. This is a thing that makes us very greedy" than it does with anything about fx. The money being thrown around this summer is obscene and selling clubs are going to get while the getting is good.
   118. The Marksist Posted: August 16, 2017 at 04:05 PM (#5514621)
I'm thinking that the impact of having transactions and salaries paid in Euros will have less of an impact on top clubs than the nominal exchange rate suggests. I do think that real and nominal fees will rise faster for British clubs than others, though. Both because everyone knows they have cash and because clubs outside England will want to be paid in Euros so the exchange rate will push the reported fee higher.
   119. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 16, 2017 at 06:06 PM (#5514728)
John Brooks out for up to 3 months after tearing tendons in his thigh.
   120. frannyzoo Posted: August 16, 2017 at 06:50 PM (#5514764)
Anybody see only the score and two red cards for Nice via Flashscore, and instantly assume Balotelli had one of the reds? Nope, I find he didn't even play due to injury. As for that tie, Napoli is a brutal, brutal draw for the Côte d'Azur guys.
   121. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 16, 2017 at 07:09 PM (#5514787)
As for that tie, Napoli is a brutal, brutal draw for the Côte d'Azur guys


And, as a result, almost certainly a brutal draw for Spurs.

They needed both Sevilla and Napoli to lose to make it out of Pot 3 for the CL Group Stage draw.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that ain't going to happen ...
   122. Sean Forman Posted: August 16, 2017 at 07:17 PM (#5514801)
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.

The questions:
* What's the best way to get tickets? Looks like we can do it via StubHub, but are there other, better options?
* Will public transport or taxi be fine for getting there? We're both healthy and able to walk a good distance if necessary.
* (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!


I just went to a Chelsea match (my first in England, so that's all I can refer to). Chelsea's ticket setup made it challenging to get a ticket and I don't think I could have gotten more than one. I had to join the club (I'm a card carrying Blue now) for 25 pounds or so and then get up at 2am (7am london time) two weeks before the game to get a ticket, just one ticket. I don't think I could have gotten one otherwise. Wembley is much bigger than Stamford Bridge so maybe that won't be an issue. I was able to buy a ticket to the Camp Nou for a la liga match more easily (though 2x the cost at face value). The secondary market can be funky as I think sometimes you are actually using the season ticket holders badge/card to get in, so they drop it off at your hotel for you and you leave it for them at your hotel after the game, or you have to meet up. stubhub may be simpler in these cases.

Mass transit was so easy in the case of Chelsea and London's mass transit is very good imo. We took it all over the four days we were there and only took cabs to and from the train station.

Must see for me was Westminster Abbey. The inside is mindboggling with it's graves and memorials inside and the Ladies Chapel is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. The memorials inside are like a walk through the history of the English Language and English science and the arts and nothing like what I've seen at churches in Italy and France. Seeing the Magna Carta at the British Library was pretty cool as well and if you go to the Tower of London definitely go on a tour with the Beefeaters. Very entertaining.
   123. frannyzoo Posted: August 16, 2017 at 07:28 PM (#5514812)
Just saw the Asensio goal. His price tag just went beyond Mbappe money, but he's far more likely never going anywhere ("never" having a different meaning in football than in the dictionary).

Jeez, what a goal.
   124. Baldrick Posted: August 17, 2017 at 12:23 AM (#5515069)
Crazy day in the NWSL, with Christie Holly stepping down from SBFC after a month of atrocious results (surprising), Houston scoring 3 goals (surprising), Chicago turning a 1-0 win into a 2-1 loss in the final two minutes (surprising), and KC beating Portland - just like it were 2015 all over again (very surprising). Things were looking like they might be a bit boring, with three of the four playoff spots close to locked up, but results of the past couple days have unlocked a couple of those. Chicago and Portland are still probably safe, but a lot less safe than they should be.

Should be an exciting final six weeks.
   125. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 17, 2017 at 07:54 AM (#5515090)
So, the Jonny Evan-City thing is real. Is this just a Scott Sinclair special? (We need a warm body for the bench to meet home grown requirements)?

French media keep pushing that Aurier to Spurs is happening. He is a massive, massive douche so I hope they're wrong. If Spurs do sign him, I'll give him a chance but I'll be very skeptical.
   126. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 17, 2017 at 08:09 AM (#5515095)
Just saw the Asensio goal.


At some point I'll read this as Asensio and not as Arsenio. "These people over here, they got a $100 million transfer fee! Woo woo woo!
   127. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 17, 2017 at 09:49 AM (#5515174)
Apparently Asensio's release clause is "only" 72M pounds. Of course tomorrow Madrid could give him a new contract and make his release clause a bit more. I guess it all depends if Asensio thinks he can get enough game time at Madrid. Zidane seems to be better at rotation than most higher level managers. Madrid's position prior to the second leg was pretty good, but he still sat Bale, Casmero and Isco against Barcelona. Mourinho and Pep would have not have swapped that many players out unless they were forced too. Of course his squad is a bit better than anyone else's.

Evans is actually decent with the ball at his feet. He's a bit limited one-on-one against speedy and powerful guys, but is a good team defender. I guess that's perfect for Pep, especially considering the homegrown factor.

I heard United was in on Aurier too, but then I read somewhere he wasn't allowed in England due to some legal issues. Is the Home Secretary a Spurs fan?
   128. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 17, 2017 at 09:56 AM (#5515181)
Turner has Champions League next year? I have completely missed this news, somehow.

I heard United was in on Aurier too, but then I read somewhere he wasn't allowed in England due to some legal issues. Is the Home Secretary a Spurs fan?

I've heard many conflicting reports about his legal status. It gives me hope that the French media is full of crap about this rumor. Spurs have been linked with a RB from PSV Eindhoven so I think the Aurier link might not be as certain as L'equipe has been reporting.
   129. jmurph Posted: August 17, 2017 at 09:59 AM (#5515187)
So, the Jonny Evan-City thing is real. Is this just a Scott Sinclair special? (We need a warm body for the bench to meet home grown requirements)?

I saw a story that he'd actually compete for playing time, which is, uh, a bummer. I admittedly haven't seen much of him since he left United so maybe he's good now? But I'm very skeptical.
   130. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 17, 2017 at 10:03 AM (#5515192)
I saw a story that he'd actually compete for playing time, which is, uh, a bummer. I admittedly haven't seen much of him since he left United so maybe he's good now? But I'm very skeptical.

I think he's been really solid for Brom. I think you could argue he's their best player which, you know, is a double-edged sword.
   131. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 17, 2017 at 10:26 AM (#5515206)
I'm ready for the Real vs Bayern Champion's League final.
   132. SlowJoeCrow Posted: August 17, 2017 at 01:25 PM (#5515428)
Sean, thanks for the warnings about tickets. I've been trying to figure out the somewhat complicated ticketing for EPL and think that we'll be OK waiting for general sale in this case and not joining the supporters' club. Wembley is so big that it doesn't seem to fill up even for high-profile matches...you can still get two seats together for the Chelsea match this weekend. My plan is to wait for general sale to open up for the Palace match and see what I can get, then go to StubHub only if absolutely necessary.
   133. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 17, 2017 at 02:52 PM (#5515528)
Davinson Sanchez is happening, completing an all-Ajax central defense for Tottenham. I'm not sure if he's famous enough that Danny Rose will need to google him or not.
   134. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 18, 2017 at 01:04 PM (#5516192)
Brace yourselves...another Tottenham signing is imminent. Juan Foyth out of Estudiantes has decided to go to Spurs instead of PSG. Too many Brazilians in Paris for the Argentine, I guess. Interestingly enough, another central defender. Probably not great news if any of you were hoping CCV was breaking into the first team this year.
   135. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 18, 2017 at 01:17 PM (#5516213)
As someone who has become a Tottenham fan, I'd really like to see them get another central mid. I think Wanyama should be one spot deeper in the depth chart.

Ideally someone like Dembele. Probably not as physical, but a bit better at assisting/passing. But in a world where Paulinho is going for 40mil and Sigurdsson is going for 45, it might be hard to find even Champion's League level depth for a reasonable price. It's crazy to me that Kante only cost 32 million last year.
   136. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 18, 2017 at 01:44 PM (#5516242)
Probably not great news if any of you were hoping CCV was breaking into the first team this year.


He didn't look nearly ready to step into the first team in the pre-season matches he played. This actually might be the best news he could get, since it might allow Spurs to loan him out to get what he needs the most ... actual match time.


As someone who has become a Tottenham fan, I'd really like to see them get another central mid. I think Wanyama should be one spot deeper in the depth chart.


Behind Dier now that Sanchez can replace Dier at CB?

I'd be happy with that.


Ideally someone like Dembele. Probably not as physical, but a bit better at assisting/passing. But in a world where Paulinho is going for 40mil and Sigurdsson is going for 45, it might be hard to find even Champion's League level depth for a reasonable price. It's crazy to me that Kante only cost 32 million last year.


But Dembele and Wanyama aren't the same thing and they have different roles on Spurs.

Wanyama's a DM destroyer, who covers the back line and allows the CBs to be progressive.

Dembele is ball-winning mid, with less passing and more dribbling than would probably be ideal for that position. I wouldn't want him (nor do I think he would be nearly as useful) as the most defensive midfielder.

The problem isn't the anchor, it's the partner and really it's only a problem when Spurs are playing 4-2-3-1 since a Wanyamabele pairing simply doesn't offer enough going forward (and isn't as good as a Dierbele pairing IMHO, though it's clear that Poch doesn't see it that way).
   137. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 18, 2017 at 01:52 PM (#5516257)
Re: #136

But Dembele and Wanyama aren't the same thing and they have different roles on Spurs.


Certainly. I think with reserves, at least your best midfield and offensive reserves, as often needing to be a bit of jacks-of-all-trades to back up multiple positions. My main thinking is to back up Dembele (or potentially even push him to start) because I think Dier is better than him, and better at his role than Dembele is at his. Now, if the player is more offensive minded then maybe Wanyama would still start if Dier was hurt. Basically, though, I mainly think there should be enough cover to where Wanyama isn't starting at midfield in a CL or Premier League game against a good team unless 2 guys are hurt.

IIRC Dier and Wanyama started together last season when Dembele was serving his suspension, and that definitely shouldn't be happening unless you're maybe playing someone like Bayern on the road and going total park the bus.

What I also wonder about Wanyama and Dier is why Wanyama doesn't play CB. Granting there is a skillset to playing on the back line, he seems to have the general skills for it, and Dier's passing and offensive game is way better than Wanyama's (though that's not a hard task to accomplish).
   138. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 18, 2017 at 02:15 PM (#5516273)
What will also be interesting to see is how Harry Winks fits into the midfield equation. It's a pity he had the severe ankle injury at the end of last year, he really seemed to be developing into a credible midfield option, but he seems healthy again, so he should get a fair amount of playing time.
   139. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 18, 2017 at 02:53 PM (#5516309)
Livepool have rejected a £119 million offer (90 up front plus add ons) from Barca for Coutinho.
   140. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 18, 2017 at 03:18 PM (#5516330)
Barcelona are nuts for offering it and Liverpool are sort of nuts for turning it down. Barcelona have become a desperate mess. And no, Barca, you aren't getting Eriksen. Too late in the summer for that now.
   141. The Marksist Posted: August 18, 2017 at 03:28 PM (#5516341)
Barcelona are nuts for offering it and Liverpool are sort of nuts for turning it down.


I don't quite disagree, but Liverpool without Coutinho are probably looking at 6th place. You might argue that's where they'll be either way, but with him I think they have a legit shot to finish much higher. So from a performance perspective, keeping him is rational. If you're trying to maximize "value," then it's crazy. With the way the summer has gone, LFC are right to stick to their guns here, IMO.
   142. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 18, 2017 at 03:38 PM (#5516354)
Too late in the summer for that now.


And that's actually why Liverpool aren't really nuts for saying no (in fact they've more or less stated that's why they're saying no).
   143. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 18, 2017 at 04:20 PM (#5516389)
And that's actually why Liverpool aren't really nuts for saying no (in fact they've more or less stated that's why they're saying no).

Yeah, but Barca have been chasing Coutinho all summer so Liverpool had a chance to line up a replacement and I imagine if they thought Barca were going to lose their shit the might have. It would be too late for Spurs to start the process before the window closes. Everything depends on Coutinho's attitude now. They have to hope he's more Luka Modric and less Diego Costa. On a side note, I still can't believe Inter ever let him go. When Spurs played Inter back in the day I thought he was Inter's best player, and this was the year after they won the treble under Mourinho. No wonder Inter stink now.
   144. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 18, 2017 at 05:10 PM (#5516425)
Yeah, but Barca have been chasing Coutinho all summer so Liverpool had a chance to line up a replacement and I imagine if they thought Barca were going to lose their #### the might have.

Eh, I dunno. I mean, there were little rumors here and there but I don't think there was real smoke until when Neymar left. And then the Neymar stuff dragged out a while and it was unclear on if he was even leaving. Similarly, Coutinho's interest is probably way different now vs. before Neymar left, because I'm not sure there was room for him to start before, but I absolutely think he's a starter there now.

I don't think Liverpool is nuts. They want to make Champion's League and probably can't do that without him (since they can't get a near-like replacement). I imagine what they will/should do is tell him straight up, one more year here, and if they still want you next year we'll let you go.
   145. The Marksist Posted: August 18, 2017 at 08:23 PM (#5516568)
I think that Keita was/is seen as kind of a Coutinho replacement. Not like for like at all, obv, but as someone who could control a game from midfield and take on more of the creative burden than anyone in Liverpool's current midfield.
   146. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 18, 2017 at 11:13 PM (#5516693)
I noticed amongst the usual suspects bidding to host World Cup matches for 2026 in the US/Canada/Mexico, was 33 or so venues (Rose Bowl, JerryWorld, etc.) and then I noticed Lambeau Field in Green Bay. That was a surprising bid. Seems like a remote chance at best.
   147. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 19, 2017 at 08:45 AM (#5516789)
On one hand, I'm glad United got Matic, as it ended all the stupid Dier-to-United speculation, but I really think Chelsea are going to regret giving Mourinho exactly what he wanted.

And ... the rest of the league is going to regret that decision as well, United are going to be a giant PITA this season.
   148. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 19, 2017 at 09:09 AM (#5516792)
Also ... Lukaku.

   149. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 19, 2017 at 09:26 AM (#5516795)
Blargh ... United are back*.

Fast. Big. Strong. Talented. Technical.

Insert head-banging emoji here.

*Yes, Swansea are now a prime candidate for relegation, but this isn't about that ...
   150. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 19, 2017 at 09:54 AM (#5516800)
His name is Christian Pulisic and you are not worthy.
   151. madvillain Posted: August 19, 2017 at 03:39 PM (#5516916)
His name is Christian Pulisic and you are not worthy.


He's amazing. One of the best players in the Bundesliga, playing a starring role at a top 8 club in the world and he's a month shy of 19. He barely put a foot wrong today, in previous games we've seen him score and assist but at times make too many giveaways or wayward crosses -- not today. A complete game, a master class. Well worth waking up early for, well worth it.
   152. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 20, 2017 at 09:39 AM (#5517207)
Pulisic is really an outstanding player, but I really do want him to stay at Dortmund. They're a very big club, it's nice to have some interest in the Bundesliga as an American since the EPL is so heavily featured. He'll get to play CL, and most importantly he has a place in the squad.

I think he'd fit in quite well in the Coutinho role for Liverpool, but he really does need to keep playing. There are plenty of guys that show a ton of promise early on, don't get to play regularly, and then end up being just ok.
   153. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 20, 2017 at 11:45 AM (#5517247)
Man, I hate David Luiz. The slightest breeze makes him go tumbling to the ground.
   154. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 20, 2017 at 11:52 AM (#5517251)
In his defense the hair probably acts as a sail.
   155. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 20, 2017 at 12:12 PM (#5517255)
Ben Davies is so much worse than Danny Rose. And Tottenham's offense can look really stale when Wanyama is out there instead of Son.
   156. ckash Posted: August 20, 2017 at 01:15 PM (#5517276)
Marcos Alonso >>>>>>>>> Danny Rose.
   157. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 20, 2017 at 01:33 PM (#5517290)
That was a thrilling match. Bakayoko was overly aggressive a few too many times in tackle, but I think the pairing of him and Kante is going to be an upgrade. And your hate for Luz, Biff, is easily overtaken by mine for Vertonghen. I can't remember a Chelsea-Spurs match where he didn't have one studs up leg breaking tackle. He is the worst.
   158. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 20, 2017 at 06:48 PM (#5517563)
Wanyama was hot garbage that game. He apparently thought he could dribble like Dembele. He can't.

I can't believe Bakayoko escaped a card with the amount of fouls he was called for.
   159. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 20, 2017 at 07:00 PM (#5517565)
Agree with a few comments.

1. Wanyama was awful, and that second goal is almost entirely his fault. He lost the ball, and Alonso was his man and he didn't track him even though he was clearly involved in the play.
2. Alonso is annoyingly good. Might be the best LB in the world. In the discussion. Scores goals, plays defense, and is a physical presence that most fullbacks aren't.
3. Luiz doesn't bother me beyond his stupid shoving of people he gets away with post-whistle. Bakayoko looked good, despite being raw and probably earning a card. Tottenham isn't the kind of team that can complain too much on that.
   160. Sean Forman Posted: August 21, 2017 at 05:11 PM (#5518095)
2. Alonso is annoyingly good. Might be the best LB in the world. In the discussion. Scores goals, plays defense, and is a physical presence that most fullbacks aren't.


Is he even in the same ballpark as Marcelo?
   161. Sean Forman Posted: August 21, 2017 at 05:15 PM (#5518097)
Just re-upping this from the summer. I'm calling Eden Hazard type quality for Pulisic. In other words, Player of the Year in a top 5 league.

The higher edge of his range is maybe...Alexis Sanchez?



This is who I think of too. I think he'll get there too and might be a bit better. Top player on a big five league champion good? Eden Hazard?

He's 18, playing in the Champions League and has scored, assisted or drew the foul for the last 8 USMNT goals. This is nuts, but I don't think Eden Hazard would be all that surprising at this point.

Hazard debuted for Belgium at 17 and had 90 appearances and 15 goals for Lille (a Europa side in Ligue 1) by age 19.5. Pulisic turns 19 in sept and is at 7 goals and 53 appearances playing for Dortmund (a CL team in the Bundesliga).

Messi when he turned 19 had scored 7 goals and made 34 appearances for Barcelona. He made 6 appearances for Argentina by age 19.

In terms of performance, wouldn't you put Pulisic between Messi and Hazard? Both those players reached their top potential and Pulisic would need to grow into that, but I think something around Eden Hazard is on the table.
   162. Sean Forman Posted: August 21, 2017 at 05:25 PM (#5518105)
I'm nearing the end of my European vacation. Two games in person (Stamford Bridge and Camp Nou) and a couple on tv. City-Everton tonight. It's kind of amazing what a different feel the games have when I'm watching them in a bar at 10:00 instead of in my office at 4:00. Can't quite explain it, but it seems more real and important. Like a proper sport. I know that's just my American conditioning, but I thought it was interesting. We are headed to Madrid tomorrow for three nights and Real play a weird friendly with Fiorentina on wednesday night. Haven't decided on getting a ticket to that.
   163. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: August 21, 2017 at 06:57 PM (#5518143)
Night games have a different feel. I think that's true when I'm watching say baseball, I'm always a bit more laid back watching the Red Sox in a day game rather than a night game.
   164. ckash Posted: August 22, 2017 at 07:18 AM (#5518293)
Marcelo is better than Alonso. But I'm not sure there's another player between them. Jordi Alba has fallen off a cliff, Rose was never all that to begin with. Alaba and Guerrerrio play more central roles now.
   165. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 22, 2017 at 09:21 AM (#5518329)
I don't watch as much Real/La Liga, but Alonso strikes me as a better defender. Willing to grant that Marcelo is definitely better going forward. I like that he has some height, too.
   166. jmurph Posted: August 22, 2017 at 03:41 PM (#5518699)
538 put together a global club ranking system.
...
My TV provider of choice, Playstation Vue, dropped BeIn, so I'm unfortunately not able to see any of the Italian/Spanish/French leagues this year. I didn't watch them a ton anyway, but I'd at least check out some of the bigger matches.
   167. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 22, 2017 at 04:49 PM (#5518764)
Oh joy, Spurs are reportedly in the final stages of signing Serge Aurier, homophobe and all-around swell fellow.

If true, what a shambles this window has turned into for Spurs.
   168. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 23, 2017 at 12:38 PM (#5519425)
Barca are reportedly coming back again for Coutinho ... this time with a £138 million bid ... "with an initial payment of £101m up front - with £37m in bonuses."
   169. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 23, 2017 at 02:45 PM (#5519534)
What do you think Ronaldo would have gone for now if he was still in his prime (like when he was sold to Madrid). 400M? There was no release clause and Madrid is not owned by a country.
   170. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 23, 2017 at 03:11 PM (#5519556)
What do you think Ronaldo would have gone for now if he was still in his prime (like when he was sold to Madrid). 400M? There was no release clause and Madrid is not owned by a country.

Around Neymar.

Was he really thought of more highly than Neymar? Perhaps he was, I watched soccer less then, but I didn't think he was considered the indisputable #1 back then - more similar to Neymar of in the discussion for top few players in the world with the potential to grow into more. I think when the transfer happened Messi was clearly considered #1.

I also feel like there's some question on if Neymar is really considered worth his transfer fee. So, there may have been a bit of an overpay.
   171. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 23, 2017 at 03:18 PM (#5519566)
Hoffenheim is toast unless Liverpool takes the final 60 minutes off. 5-2 right now on aggregate, after a very strong start and a brace for Can.
   172. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 23, 2017 at 04:22 PM (#5519636)
This Liverpool "defense" is going to kill me before the end of the calendar year.
   173. madvillain Posted: August 23, 2017 at 05:14 PM (#5519695)
Just re-upping this from the summer. I'm calling Eden Hazard type quality for Pulisic. In other words, Player of the Year in a top 5 league.


Sounds about right, maybe a tick below, but certainly he's capable of turning into a world class player who could make the game day squad on any club in the world, even Real. FWIW some Real rumor mongers have claimed that Pulisic is on their radar and that he is considered a Real level prospect.
   174. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 23, 2017 at 06:42 PM (#5519753)
Pots are set for tomorrow mornings CL Group Stage draw:


Seeded: Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Benfica, Chelsea, Shakhtar Donetsk, Monaco, Spartak Moscow

Pot 2: Barcelona, Atletico, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, Man City, FC Porto, Man United

Pot 3: Napoli, Tottenham, FC Basel, Olympiakos, Anderlecht, Liverpool, Roma, Besiktas

Pot 4: Celtic, CSKA Moscow, Sporting CP, APOEL Nicosia, Feyenoord, NK Maribor, FK Qarabag, RB Leipzig


How about Benfica, Barca and Celtic for Spurs?
   175. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 24, 2017 at 08:15 AM (#5520050)
If that 138 million is real, just take it Liverpool. That is ridiculous money. Coutinho will lose 70 million in "value" as soon as the window closes. I'll say it again, Barcelona have lost their damned minds. It's amazing how quickly they seem to have fallen apart.

My feelings about Aurier is that he's very young and I'm willing to give him a chance. If someone were filming me constantly when I was 20, 21 years old, I probably would have been locked up for the things that came out of my mouth. Pochettino seems like he doesn't suffer fools gladly and I'm happy enough to trust him with Aurier even though I maintain some skepticism. As we've seen with Walker, Bentaleb and Sissoko, not to mention Adebayor, Kaboul, and Capoue, if Pochettino gets annoyed with a player, that player is pretty much done at Spurs.

   176. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 24, 2017 at 08:31 AM (#5520053)
Also, L'Equipe is reporting PSG are going to give 140 million Euros to Monaco for Mbappe. PLUS Lucas Moura, Draxler or Javier Pastore. If it's Draxler, that makes the deal more like 180 million in value. Adding in wages and taxes and you're looking at 750 to 800 million Euros this summer for two players. This has to be a big middle finger to the blockade, no? It's like the Qataris way of telling the Saudis about ashtray money, bros.
   177. The Marksist Posted: August 24, 2017 at 09:25 AM (#5520069)
If that 138 million is real, just take it Liverpool. That is ridiculous money. Coutinho will lose 70 million in "value" as soon as the window closes.


As a Liverpool fan, I'm gonna continue to disagree. I don't care about doing good business this window, I care about maximizing the chance of consolidating our position in the top 4 (slash winning something, obv). That 138 million gets us nothing except more theoretical money to spend on some theoretical future date. The squad is already super thin, we've failed to land two of our top three targets, and without Coutinho we're a lock for 5th/6th.

If Coutinho leaves next summer for $70 million but we finish 3rd this year and make a run in a cup, I'll be fine with that.
   178. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 24, 2017 at 09:50 AM (#5520078)
Zlatan is headed back to Man U.

If Coutinho leaves next summer for $70 million but we finish 3rd this year and make a run in a cup, I'll be fine with that.

Sure, but you don't have to pay the bills. We're fans, we're good at spending other people's money. I tell you though, if you could talk Dortmund into it, I would tell them I'd give them whatever cash I get for Countinho all to them for Pulisic. I don't even care about the USMNT anymore but I've seen enough of Pulisic to be convinced. I think he's the next Gareth Bale. I would bet some cash he'll be considered Dortmund's best player by the end of the season. The best part it that it has to just kill Bayern. They are so desperate to conquer the American market and their chief rival has the first great American player fall from the sky into their team (well, not really, but I like to think Bayern thinks that.)
   179. KronicFatigue Posted: August 24, 2017 at 10:38 AM (#5520122)
How do players decide who takes free kicks and penalties? I know generally there's "the" penalty taker, but sometimes they get waved off, right? I was watching Chelsea vs Tottenham last weekend and Willian & Alonso seemed to be debating who should take the kick (where Alonso scored). I would have thought the field would be divided into sections, and each section would have a guy designated to it. Like, "Willian takes all free kicks within x yards, except from this area b/c Alonso's left foot provides a better angle".

Does it go by "feel" at the time? Do players sometimes not agree and the coach has to decide?
   180. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 24, 2017 at 10:44 AM (#5520133)
Zlatan is headed back to Man U.


I thought he was still at Man U the whole time, but just recovering from surgery because he might not play again after he tore an ACL (or "did his cruciate", as they say over there) in April.
   181. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 24, 2017 at 10:48 AM (#5520136)
I thought he was still at Man U the whole time, but just recovering from surgery because he might not play again after he tore an ACL (or "did his cruciate", as they say over there) in April.

No, he was a free agent. He signed a one year deal last year.
   182. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 24, 2017 at 10:51 AM (#5520139)
Does it go by "feel" at the time? Do players sometimes not agree and the coach has to decide?

I think the players just decide in the moment (within parameters--Danny Rose is never going to gazzump Christian Eriksen to a freekick). It's one of those things that you'd think managers would codify before games, but it doesn't seem to work that way. I'm grateful for that because it leads to some entertaining pantomime arguments. Has anyone been watching Everton? Is Baines or Sigurdsson doing the bulk of the freekicks?
   183. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 24, 2017 at 10:56 AM (#5520146)
Is Baines or Sigurdsson doing the bulk of the freekicks?


Siggurdsson's only played 30 minutes, I don't even know if a free-kick opportunity has happened yet with them both on the pitch.
   184. KronicFatigue Posted: August 24, 2017 at 10:57 AM (#5520147)
2. Alonso is annoyingly good. Might be the best LB in the world. In the discussion. Scores goals, plays defense, and is a physical presence that most fullbacks aren't.


On the Chelsea subreddit, a large contingent think LB is a place that needs improvement and would prefer Alonso as depth.
   185. jmurph Posted: August 24, 2017 at 11:08 AM (#5520154)
Siggurdsson's only played 30 minutes, I don't even know if a free-kick opportunity has happened yet with them both on the pitch.

Siggurdsson took one late against City on Monday, but it was fairly far into the corner and wouldn't have made sense from that angle for Baines.

I've always wondered why managers don't determine these things, you see arguments all the time.
   186. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 24, 2017 at 11:09 AM (#5520156)
The Blaugrana have endured a dismal summer and have so far failed to respond to the embarrassing exit of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.

Lionel Messi has just one year remaining on his contract, though signing friend and Argentina colleague Di Maria could help convince him to finally put pen to paper on an extension.

PSG are in need of funds from sales to balance the books for Financial Fair Play after parting with almost £200 million to bring Neymar to the French capital, and Di Maria appears set to be the biggest casualty.

The front page also reveals that Barca will make a final push for Philippe Coutinho and that Ousmane Dembele's signing is "almost impossible."


Somehow, I imagine signing Bat Boy (if Coutinho and Dembele do not follow) is not likely to placate either Messi, or the torch-wielding mobs that are now forming around the Camp Nou ...
   187. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 24, 2017 at 11:09 AM (#5520158)
On the Chelsea subreddit, a large contingent think LB is a place that needs improvement and would prefer Alonso as depth.

Who are the names thrown out as a replacement? Ben Davies?
   188. KronicFatigue Posted: August 24, 2017 at 11:18 AM (#5520164)

Who are the names thrown out as a replacement? Ben Davies?


Sandro, but they concede it's unrealistic. Barkley was a name tossed around as well. I can't find the comment thread where they were arguing where they ranked Alonso. The opinions were pretty strong. I'm sure it's all changed after Sunday though.
   189. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 24, 2017 at 12:09 PM (#5520200)
Learn English, Totti!
   190. J. Sosa Posted: August 24, 2017 at 12:09 PM (#5520201)
re: Barcelona

There is good reason to believe that despite the Neymar money they are skint. They are not structuring deals the way a club with a couple hundred mil in the pocket should be structured in regards to Dortmund and Liverpool. It is not hard to discern who is leaking what by looking at the sources giving the various figures. The sources leaking the "offer they can't refuse" stuff have proven to be, let's shall we say, willing water carriers of nonsense in the past for the More than a Club charlatans. The Liverpool mouthpieces have provided specific details of the offers, and if what they have said is even close to true the actual value of the offers was never going to be accepted. John Henry may or may not also be in a position to know more than he otherwise would about their finances given some of the help he has provided regarding Camp Nou renovation.

I must say, watching Barca poke the PSG bear over Veratti only to watch PSG turn around and maul them has been one of the more hilarious things to watch in recent transfer windows. Couldn't happen to a more deserving club. Earned every bit of it. My favorite, absolute favorite part of Barca's behavior this summer was the whole scene surrounding the delivery of the check for Neymar. Outrage from the top of the Spanish league offices on down. Until they realized people might start looking a little more closely at some *ahem* shady player ownership practices. Oops.

re: FFP

It was always a joke. As has been discussed in this thread before, it was always about keeping small clubs down rather than the stated purpose. I do get an occasional chuckle out of the notion that a sport which gave us Qatar 2022 was going to regulate transfer shenanigans.

re: fullbacks

Really hard to get any kind of read on who is the best, they are asked to perform such different functions depending on the team. Some are auxiliary wingers and some are all the way at the other end of the scale like Ivanovic used to be for Chelsea. Hard to know.

re: Pulisic

Sigh. I desperately wanted him to come to Liverpool, and I think they would have stood a better chance to get him than most at one time, but very little reason to believe it will happen now. Liverpool can pay more wages, have Klopp, etc, but they are more or less the same tier of club as Dortmund. If he continues as he has I think he may very well skip over that stage of his career.
   191. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 24, 2017 at 12:26 PM (#5520231)
Learn English, Ramos! On second thought, don't. I don't give a #### what you have to say.
   192. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 24, 2017 at 12:29 PM (#5520234)
Please give Tottenham group G.
   193. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 24, 2017 at 12:31 PM (#5520237)
Man U draw Benfica. They can't really complain about that.
   194. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 24, 2017 at 12:31 PM (#5520238)
Heh, just thinking that about Group G.
   195. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 24, 2017 at 12:31 PM (#5520241)
Please don't give Tottenham Group B. PSG and Bayern so far. Yikes.
   196. jmurph Posted: August 24, 2017 at 12:32 PM (#5520242)
Man U draw Benfica. They can't really complain about that.

Man U: They can't really complain about that. Should be on their shirts.
   197. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 24, 2017 at 12:33 PM (#5520244)
Dortmund and Real. Another yikes.
   198. jmurph Posted: August 24, 2017 at 12:34 PM (#5520246)
I'd celebrate City getting Donetsk, but I feel like they lost against them in the group stage at some point? Might be remembering wrong. Anyway, certainly better than the other options.
   199. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: August 24, 2017 at 12:34 PM (#5520247)
Now let's take a break for another stupid award!
   200. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: August 24, 2017 at 12:34 PM (#5520248)
No H!

No B!

Oh, who am I kidding ... at this point it's only a question of "H? or B?"

[edit] Or D!
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