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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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   1101. jmurph Posted: October 17, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5555724)
even though I still hate Luca Toni with the heat of one thousand suns. I don't even remember why, it's just so.

Probably that weird hand-twisting-over-his-ear goal celebration thing he did during the World Cup run in 2006. I still don't know what that meant.
   1102. jmurph Posted: October 17, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5555726)
*Insert good Shakespeare jokes from someone smarter than me.*

Leicester has fired yet another manager.

(reposted for the flip)
   1103. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 17, 2017 at 11:34 AM (#5555740)
What do you expect from a club that clearly sold their eternal soul to the devil?
   1104. PepTech Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:21 PM (#5555807)
Probably that weird hand-twisting-over-his-ear goal celebration thing he did during the World Cup run in 2006. I still don't know what that meant.
Could be. I think flopping was involved, too. And I always thought it was odd that someone with his abilities couldn't stay with one team longer than two years. I wonder if he holds some kind of world record for Most Clubs by a National Team Mainstay.
   1105. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:21 PM (#5555808)
You know what was neat? Back when Columbus had an MLS team.

That was neat.
   1106. PepTech Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:24 PM (#5555811)
What do you expect from a club that clearly sold their eternal soul to the devil?
Would you accept five or ten years of mediocrity, and/or even brief relegation, in exchange for a championship?

In the EPL, most teams are mediocre anyway (relative to the top echelon), so it seems like a good deal for me. I doubt the fans care - they got to celebrate some hardware. Maybe we should ask Marlins fans.
   1107. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:26 PM (#5555816)
Would you accept five or ten years of mediocrity, and/or even brief relegation, in exchange for a championship?

Yes. But only Leicester was willing to sell its eternal soul!

edit: Are we really going to have a serious conversation about soul selling? Because I'm pretty sure only these guys have souls.
   1108. PepTech Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:34 PM (#5555827)
You know what was neat? Back when Columbus had an MLS team.

That was neat.
Hey, Atlanta's up against Toronto, and you can take down NYCFC yourself - all you need is a minimum of resistance from Houston (fighting for first-round home game) and you're the #2 seed. Quitcher whining.

Wow, the East has crushed it this year - #5E would host any West team in the Cup as it stands now. Anyone have the record on intra-conference this year? Quite the reversal from seasons past.
   1109. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:43 PM (#5555838)
No, literally, Columbus is about to no longer have an MLS team.
   1110. PepTech Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:47 PM (#5555842)
No, literally, Columbus is about to no longer have an MLS team.
Holy cow, had not seen that. That truly sucks (still lamenting the Sonics here). Maybe a playoff run can revitalize some support. I have a new favorite rooting interest in the East...
   1111. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:47 PM (#5555843)
You know soccer has made it in the US when MLS owners get in on the stadium extortion gravy train.
   1112. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 12:50 PM (#5555848)
Conventional wisdom here in Columbus is that it's a done deal and the team is gone. Allegedly, when Anthony Precourt bought the team he guaranteed he wouldn't relocate it for at least ten years - but had a clause allowing him to move to Austin, Texas.

Which is oddly specific if that hadn't been the plan all along.
Maybe a playoff run can revitalize some support.
Honestly, I think the much more likely scenario is that they play in a nearly empty stadium until they relocate. People here are PISSED OFF, and rightfully so, if the report is true that a consortium of local zillionaires was completely shot down when they approached Precourt and attempted to buy the team and keep it in place.

I've met Alex Fischer, the head of the alleged local ownership group, a number of times via my job (He's on the board of the not-for-profit business I work for) and he's never struck me as a guy who screws around. He's a serious dude - if he says his group made an offer, his group made an offer, despite what Precourt may be claiming.
   1113. PepTech Posted: October 17, 2017 at 01:13 PM (#5555874)
Dan, sounds eerily similar to the Sonics-to-OKC fiasco; public promises from an owner who clearly planned to relocate all along. It's not like there weren't dotcom dollars around Seattle to keep it here. Spectacularly poor decision by Howard Schultz, and the area is still in recovery. Not that it's a true tragedy or anything, but there's now an entire generation that cares nothing for basketball. Maybe it's no loss, the way the NBA is these days :)
   1114. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:00 PM (#5555938)
Big Sam would pick up the phone if the USSF called.
   1115. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:06 PM (#5555955)
Real Madrid: Navas, Hakimi, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Kroos, Casemiro, Modric, Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo.

Subs: Casilla, Nacho, Hernandez, Lucas, Llorente, Asensio, Ceballos.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen,
Sanchez, Dier, Winks, Sissoko, Llorente, Eriksen, Kane.

Subs: Vorm, Trippier, Rose, Son, Foyth, Walker-Peters, Georgiou.

Spurs are going to get killed. Just missing too many pieces for this game. Looks like a 4-4-2 with Vertonghen at LB? Ugh.
   1116. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:08 PM (#5555959)
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen,
Sanchez, Dier, Winks, Sissoko, Llorente, Eriksen, Kane.


They're saying it's a 4-1-2-1-2 Diamond.

Guess it's Vertonghen at LB.

This ought to be ... something.
   1117. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:12 PM (#5555964)
I guess that's the best we can do with so many injuries. Park the bus and hope to hit him on the counter.
   1118. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:13 PM (#5555965)
Big Sam would pick up the phone if the USSF called.


That's former Tampa Bay Rowdie Big Sam Allardyce to you!
   1119. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:17 PM (#5555970)
Wish Llorente hadn't looked so cooked so far this year ...
   1120. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5555985)
Screw it, this one's house money ... if we pick up point in these two games and win against APOEL, I think we advance.

   1121. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5555986)
Wish Llorente hadn't looked so cooked so far this year ...

He's hardly played!
   1122. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:31 PM (#5555997)
I get the same vibe, PepTech. The transcript of Precourt's conference call reads like someone who is attempting to not just burn every bridge in Columbus, but salt the earth in its wake.

He's done everything to insult the people of Columbus that he can do, short of kicking Urban Meyer in the nuts*. He gutted the club's marketing efforts, and is now pinning 100% of the attendance issues on the city and fans.

(* - I would actually give him $10 to kick Urban Meyer in the nuts.)
   1123. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:37 PM (#5556012)
He's hardly played!


True dat ... and he hasn't had much of a pre-season at all ... but all the same, he's looked ... not so hot.

Still, today is a new day ...
   1124. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:42 PM (#5556020)
Fox can't stop blathering about Kane to Madrid. Jesus crimony.
   1125. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:46 PM (#5556027)
Hmmm ... the lineups keep showing Sanchez on the outside as a LB.

Interesting.
   1126. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:52 PM (#5556040)
Uh ... that was a bit of a let off ...
   1127. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 02:52 PM (#5556043)
That's a fast start for Liverpool. Firmino in the 3rd minute.
   1128. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 03:02 PM (#5556059)
And now Coutinho at 15 minutes. I fully expect Liverpool to give up one obnoxiously easy goal, though, so this definitely isn't over.
   1129. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 03:04 PM (#5556063)
I see Man City is abusing Napoli, also up 2-0 after 15 minutes.
   1130. Textbook Editor Posted: October 17, 2017 at 03:07 PM (#5556066)
Huzzah for the Republic of Ireland... Of course I say that and now they'll get thumped by Denmark...

BUT-if they can nick an away goal in the first leg, even in a 1-1 draw or a 2-1 loss, I'd fancy they have a chance. A 0-0 1st leg makes things a bit more difficult; a 1-0 win would mean some really ugly, bus-parking soccer in Dublin for the 2nd leg.

Good god--you look at the Spurs lineup, and then the sub list, and... if they escape with a 0-0, they'd be insanely lucky. Son's probably the only sub worth playing who could potentially change the game, although I suppose if Rose could go for 20 minutes he could help late on.
   1131. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 17, 2017 at 03:10 PM (#5556069)
Moving teams suck, but I'd much rather go to Austin than Columbus. I am recording Madrid/Spurs but I probably won't watch it. I just find it near impossible to watch non-HD.
   1132. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 03:14 PM (#5556073)
THIS IS THE STORY OF THE HURRI-KANE!

[edit] Ooops ... OG!
   1133. jmurph Posted: October 17, 2017 at 03:15 PM (#5556074)
Wow, I was worried about this one as a City fan. Did not see that start coming.
   1134. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 17, 2017 at 03:21 PM (#5556083)
I'm ok with Verts practicing his dark arts against Real. Fuck them.
   1135. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 03:27 PM (#5556089)
Benzema should stick to what he's good at, blackmailing his fellow national team players.
   1136. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 17, 2017 at 03:29 PM (#5556093)
TBF, he was pretty crap at that, too.
   1137. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 17, 2017 at 03:29 PM (#5556094)
#### me.
   1138. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 17, 2017 at 03:30 PM (#5556095)
Aurier is as brainless as advertised.
   1139. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 17, 2017 at 04:18 PM (#5556147)
We could be losing, but damn, we could be winning easily, too.
   1140. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 04:33 PM (#5556172)
I don't think Liverpool will have to worry about goal differential.
   1141. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 04:38 PM (#5556181)
It's a pretty good day for Old Blighty when the worst result out of three Champions League matches is a draw with Real Madrid.
   1142. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 17, 2017 at 04:39 PM (#5556182)
Still top of the group. Hold on APOEL!
   1143. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 17, 2017 at 04:41 PM (#5556187)
Full time in Cyprus. Tottenham still 6 points clear of Dortmund. A much more enjoyable experience than the last trip to Madrid. With a Harry Winks - Sissoko midfield!
   1144. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 17, 2017 at 04:42 PM (#5556189)
Spurs and Real are pretty much through already. Assume Spurs beat APOEL then Dortmund are going to need to make up at least 9 goals in two games against Real and Spurs.
   1145. Baldrick Posted: October 17, 2017 at 05:16 PM (#5556233)
Spurs and Real are pretty much through already. Assume Spurs beat APOEL then Dortmund are going to need to make up at least 9 goals in two games against Real and Spurs.

They should probably also spend some time campaigning in Wisconsin just to be safe.
   1146. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 17, 2017 at 05:40 PM (#5556254)
Exactly

This is Spurs we're talking about, after all ...
   1147. Textbook Editor Posted: October 18, 2017 at 08:23 AM (#5556790)
Winning the group is decidedly better than finishing second... they should go all in trying to beat RM at home...

Still, an excellent day of results for Spurs.
   1148. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 18, 2017 at 08:39 AM (#5556794)
You know what - screw you Spurs fans. I want Pulisic the opportunity to play in the knockout stages of Champions League. On the other hand I guess I could root for Madrid to finish third, but that seems unlikely and short sighted, because if they somehow manage to fall to third, they'll be buying anyone and everyone. Plus that's not going to happen.
   1149. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 18, 2017 at 09:31 AM (#5556812)
Frank - I'd love to see Dortmund go through but at this point that possibility is really remote.
   1150. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:18 AM (#5556836)
Yea I know - I just wanted to throw a stink bomb into the Spurs' fans euphoria.
   1151. Textbook Editor Posted: October 18, 2017 at 10:43 AM (#5556871)
Dortmund needs something like the following to go through (I think):

Madrid:
Lose to Spurs
Draw/Lose to APOEL
Draw/Lose to Dortmund

Dortmund:
Win out

This would leave Madrid on 8 or 9 points (depending on the results) and Dortmund with 10. (Spurs, assuming the RM win, would be no worse than 10 points, regardless of their own APOEL result).

To be sure, the APOEL end of that looks... unlikely, but it's a path. If APOEL can get any results from their remaining RM/Spurs games, it helps Dortmund's path to getting through... And should Spurs lose to RM & to Dortmund (which is still very much possible), then that APOEL game might become a must-win to advance, and the pressure would be on...

I mean, I'd rather be where Spurs are than Dortmund, but it's not over yet, by a long shot.
   1152. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:41 AM (#5556956)
I mean, I'd rather be where Spurs are than Dortmund, but it's not over yet, by a long shot.

Really, it seems pretty long to me. Seems it like if Spurs beat APOEL they're through, and even if they drop points there it will very likely require Dortmund getting points at Real and probably spanking Tottenham. I mean, it's not 1% chance, but it feels like it's about 10% chance to go through.
   1153. PepTech Posted: October 18, 2017 at 01:43 PM (#5557070)
Madrid: Draw/Lose to APOEL
Ha. Heh. Hahahahahahhee (snort) heehoobwaaaaahaaa.

(Snicker). That was funny.
   1154. Textbook Editor Posted: October 18, 2017 at 03:08 PM (#5557119)
#1153--well, look at it this way... If APOEL manages to beat Dortmund in the next game, then all of a sudden they may (depending on the Spurs-RM result) have a path to finishing second: beat Dortmund and Spurs, draw against Madrid, and they get to 8 points. If Dortmund lose to RM but beat Spurs while RM beat Spurs... APOEL finishes 2nd:

Real Madrid - 14
APOEL - 8
Spurs - 7
Dortmund - 4

I'm not saying it'll happen, but APOEL *could* beat Dortmund, and then there's every incentive to park the bus and put 10 men behind the ball against RM. Scrape a 0-0 there and suddenly a win against Spurs could mean getting to the knockout stage.

It's Spurs, so it's natural to figure out ways they could screw this up...
   1155. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: October 18, 2017 at 03:21 PM (#5557125)
I agree with #1154. If APOEL get 3 extremely unlikely results, then we could see them advance.
   1156. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: October 18, 2017 at 03:32 PM (#5557133)
The EPL is doing really, really well this Champion's League so far. And Dortmund and Atletico are looking very likely not to advance. Atletico couldn't get a result against Qarabag, which really shouldn't be happening.
   1157. PepTech Posted: October 18, 2017 at 03:35 PM (#5557135)
If APOEL get 3 extremely unlikely results, then we could see them advance.
You guys are killing me. Look, I'd like nothing better than to see APOEL go on a run. Put 'em in the final against Qarabag, even. That would be awesome.

Not going to happen. The final eight are going to be from these ten clubs:

MUFC
PSG
Bayern
Chelsea
Atletico
Barca
Juventus
City
Napoli
Real
Spurs (!)

You know it, I know it, probably the same 10 for next year. It sucks, but it's the way it is. Longshots are not possible. Could a Maribor make the knockouts? I suppose, but they'd get blasted in the round of 16. And with the first three results in, there is no f'n way it's not going to be Spurs and Real out of Group H.

ETA: I guess we can take Atletico out :) I doubt Roma can make the quarters, though, so I'll stick with my nine remaining... Not trying to be harsh, just realistic. APOEL has their point, that's the only one they're going to get.
   1158. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: October 18, 2017 at 03:50 PM (#5557146)
You guys are killing me.

I thought it was obvious my post was a joke.
   1159. PepTech Posted: October 18, 2017 at 03:53 PM (#5557153)
Sorry, Spicey, I've been spending too much time in OT:P :)
   1160. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 18, 2017 at 04:35 PM (#5557213)
So that United goal was something...
   1161. aberg Posted: October 18, 2017 at 05:02 PM (#5557240)
I'm going to be in Barcelona this weekend. Have tickets to see Barca-Malaga. Looks like Messi played 90 in his CL game today. Anybody have any idea if he's likely to rest this weekend? It would be a pretty big letdown if he didn't play.
   1162. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 06:43 PM (#5557350)
   1163. Mefisto Posted: October 18, 2017 at 06:43 PM (#5557351)
So that United goal was something...


Yeah, you don't see that very often in a pro game. Youth soccer, of course.
   1164. Baldrick Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:33 PM (#5557723)
I'm going to be in Barcelona this weekend. Have tickets to see Barca-Malaga. Looks like Messi played 90 in his CL game today. Anybody have any idea if he's likely to rest this weekend? It would be a pretty big letdown if he didn't play.

Messi very rarely takes days off. Chances are pretty good that he'll be playing.
   1165. Dale Sams Posted: October 19, 2017 at 02:11 AM (#5557893)
So that United goal was something...


Yup. Played exactly as a raw 18 year GK would. Cheats a lot on cutting down angles. Tries maybe a bit too hard to sweeper-keep. I only saw the highlights and could just tell ManU's goal would end up being something unusual.

But he had some nice saves, and you know something...sometimes you need to play a bold game in goal. Just don't give up too many *unique* goals like that or you'll find yourself out of a job.
   1166. Sean Forman Posted: October 19, 2017 at 10:32 AM (#5557975)
There was a nice scene after the game where Lukaku gave his countryman a pep talk.
   1167. The Marksist Posted: October 19, 2017 at 03:22 PM (#5558212)
Random commentary thing that always throws me: "And that's a foul on Soandso," meaning Soandso committed the foul. My brain is set to think of that phrasing as meaning Soandso was the one fouled. Just me?
   1168. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 19, 2017 at 04:04 PM (#5558269)
I think that's a British/European thing.
   1169. KronicFatigue Posted: October 19, 2017 at 06:23 PM (#5558371)
Random commentary thing that always throws me: "And that's a foul on Soandso," meaning Soandso committed the foul. My brain is set to think of that phrasing as meaning Soandso was the one fouled. Just me?


Different sport, but sometimes I'll follow an NBA game on the app "theScore" and I'm always confused by the statement "defensive foul on steph curry". I've gotten it backwards so many times that I'm past the point of ever being able to get it right. It's like my brain is playing game theory saying "no, that's how you USED to think it meant".
   1170. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 19, 2017 at 06:29 PM (#5558378)
So ... Koeman's got to be moving up the "sack race" lists, right?

Ronald Koeman believes he still retains the confidence of the Everton board as he tries to turn round a disappointing start to the season, but admits he needs a win at home in the Europa League against Lyon.


Oops.
   1171. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 20, 2017 at 08:37 AM (#5558777)
I was about to say, Everton's best case scenario is getting into the knockout stages of the Europa Cup, maybe a domestic cup run and fighting for a Europa League spot in the league. Even if Koeman misses all of those targets, he should be safe. You can't just fire him if you truly have long term plans.

However this is all moot if you're in danger of being relegated. I didn't realize Everton was 16th. He should be moving up the sack race odds for sure.
   1172. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 20, 2017 at 08:51 AM (#5558787)
I don't think Everton are in any danger of being relegated despite current league position but I can't imagine Koeman staying much longer. After this weekend they play a League Cup game against Chelsea. A loss there, particularly if they don't show much over the weekend might be it.
   1173. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 20, 2017 at 08:52 AM (#5558789)
Random commentary thing that always throws me: "And that's a foul on Soandso," meaning Soandso committed the foul. My brain is set to think of that phrasing as meaning Soandso was the one fouled. Just me?


To me it sounds right. "That's a foul on Soandso" immediately tells me that the foul is being called on Soandso.*

* - It took me longer than I care to admit to understand who "Soandso" was.
   1174. The Marksist Posted: October 20, 2017 at 09:20 AM (#5558809)

Different sport, but sometimes I'll follow an NBA game on the app "theScore" and I'm always confused by the statement "defensive foul on steph curry".


I think this is it exactly for me, too. That phrasing omits the word "called" between foul and on, and maybe it's only in wide usage that way in basketball? Anyway, I learned it that way young and still get thrown by the (probably more logical) way the Brits do it.
   1175. stevegamer Posted: October 20, 2017 at 10:04 AM (#5558842)
Different sport, but sometimes I'll follow an NBA game on the app "theScore" and I'm always confused by the statement "defensive foul on steph curry". I've gotten it backwards so many times that I'm past the point of ever being able to get it right. It's like my brain is playing game theory saying "no, that's how you USED to think it meant".


Don't forget that theScore is Canadian, so there may be some different usage issues there.
   1176. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 20, 2017 at 10:54 AM (#5558903)
Honestly I'm shocked at this. The idea that "foul on Soandso" would ever be heard as Soandso being the player fouled rather than the player committing the foul is completely foreign and contradictory to me.
   1177. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 20, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5558909)
Everton's best case scenario is getting into the knockout stages of the Europa Cup,


Right now, after 3 games, they're dead last in Group E with 1 point and a -4 GD.
   1178. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 20, 2017 at 03:59 PM (#5559180)
He should be moving up the sack race odds for sure.


At this point, Koeman and Bilic have to be breaking away from the rest of the pack ... West Ham are down 2-0 to Brighton at home at half.
   1179. Baldrick Posted: October 20, 2017 at 05:08 PM (#5559233)
My rundown of the NWSL final, and my case for calling up Shea Groom, for anyone interested.
   1180. Mefisto Posted: October 20, 2017 at 05:17 PM (#5559236)
I'm not sure those 2 articles are entirely consistent, Baldrick. :)
   1181. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 20, 2017 at 05:32 PM (#5559240)
West Ham are down 2-0 to Brighton at home at half.


Make that trounced 3-0 by Brighton at home.

Now, if Bilic can survive the weekend, he might get some respite next week since the next match will be against Spurs in the ... well, whatever the hell they're calling the League Cup these days.

Spurs are in a stretch of matches where they play Liverpool, West Ham, United and Real within a 10 day span, Poch is going to run out odds, sods, half-wits, dim-wits, has-beens and never wills against the Hammers in mid-week.

Win that and Palace follows and maybe Bilic moves down the list a little, but since West Ham are playing like a bunch of guys randomly assembled off the street who just met 15 minutes before kick-off, it probably won't last very long ...
   1182. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 20, 2017 at 05:40 PM (#5559245)
Lol at 1180!

I don't mind the idea of calling Shea Groom up, but what is truly baffling to me is the lack of national team attention for Emily Menges. She ought to be the heir apparent to Sauerbrunn, who is still excellent but lost a small step this year, but hasn't gotten any attention at all from Jill Ellis. What more can she do to earn a call up?
   1183. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 20, 2017 at 06:21 PM (#5559253)
Also, to be a bit of a Thorns homer about the NWSL final, I thought it was rich to hear Riley and Zerboni complaining about the Thorns rough play after the match. Not that they were wrong, but the Courage gave as good as they got in that game, and the approach from the Thorns seemed like it was directly inspired by how much the Courage (as the Flash) thugged it up against the whole team and in particular Tobin Heath in last year's semifinal.

It was ugly soccer and terribly reffed, but neither Paul Riley nor McCall Zerboni had a leg to stand on talking about how that stuff shouldn't happen.
   1184. Mefisto Posted: October 20, 2017 at 06:27 PM (#5559254)
I didn't like the way Portland played in the final, though a lot of that was the ref's fault, as Baldrick rightly says. It is true, though, that Carolina have less standing to complain than any other team in the league. And Zerboni sure isn't the one I'd choose to make that complaint. Well, better her than Shea Groom. :)
   1185. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 20, 2017 at 06:48 PM (#5559258)
I completely agree with all of that; I guess my point here is that this final was a reprise of last year's semifinal, where Portland played technical soccer and was unable to overcome a Flash team that mugged them all game with little notice from the ref. The Thorns clearly learned their lesson, and until the league is better reffed I don't know why a team would play otherwise in a winner-take-all game, sadly.
   1186. Baldrick Posted: October 20, 2017 at 07:06 PM (#5559263)
I'm not sure those 2 articles are entirely consistent, Baldrick. :)

Hey, Portland won by escalating. I think they're perfectly consistent!

More seriously, Groom is a very skillful player, who is also a massive PITA. You want to keep your options open :)
Also, to be a bit of a Thorns homer about the NWSL final, I thought it was rich to hear Riley and Zerboni complaining about the Thorns rough play after the match. Not that they were wrong, but the Courage gave as good as they got in that game, and the approach from the Thorns seemed like it was directly inspired by how much the Courage (as the Flash) thugged it up against the whole team and in particular Tobin Heath in last year's semifinal.

They were pretty measured in their comments, TBH. I was surprised at how restrained they were (and other NC players in the mix zone). They mostly seemed to regard it as 'it's legal if you don't get caught' and to respect Portland for playing tough. I would have been livid if I were them, since I think there's a difference between playing rough and playing dangerously, and Portland were on the wrong side of that line in a way that NC wasn't.

Edit: To be clear, I'm not saying that there was a huge difference in the sides, or that Portland committed some grave sin or anything. I put responsibility about 90% on the referee, who could easily have stepped in early to put a lid on things. Portland made a perfectly reasonable decision this year to become a more physical and aggressive team, and it absolutely paid off.
   1187. Fourth True Outcome Posted: October 20, 2017 at 07:57 PM (#5559274)
Yeah, I agree that Portland was the aggressor (and that the ref let things get out of hand), though I agree about the dangerously part; I think the two genuinely dangerous challenges of the game were Raso's body slam on Doniak and Doniak's takeout of Heath's plant foot (that wasn't even called a foul somehow!). Smith's injury seemed to be an unlucky landing from a yellow card-deserving foul, and Hamilton's injury, on replay, seemed to be her planting awkwardly and not a foul at all on Heath.

Anyway, I don't mean to let the Thorns off the hook, because we both agree they were the aggressors and the game was worse for it. I guess the broader point I'm trying to make is that Paul Riley, when he was the Portland coach, talked up the beautiful, high-scoring tactical side he was building, but they never quite came to be, to me in large part because the NWSL refs allow too much physicality. Riley adjusted when he went to WNY, to great success. His WNY team used the same playbook in last year's semifinal that the Thorns did in this year's final, I think because Mark Parsons learned the same lesson from Riley. But that loss, and they way the Thorns loss, clearly was a the specific motivating factor for this year's Thorns team, and I think pretty clearly is why they played the physical game they did. That's what I think is rich about their (admittedly fairly tempered) indignation about Portland's play: I really don't think Portland would have played like that if they hadn't been the victim of it from WNY to end ther season last year. That seemed to me directly like a revenge game in tactics and result. (I'm harping on this because I haven't seen it mentioned in any coverage, and I don't know why. except that everyone outside Portland saw the 4-3 semifinal as a poorly reffed thriller, while the Thorns [and their fans like me] saw it as a mugging.)
   1188. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 21, 2017 at 02:23 PM (#5559552)
   1189. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 21, 2017 at 02:43 PM (#5559558)
US out 3-1 to the England team in the U-17 WC.
   1190. ursus arctos Posted: October 23, 2017 at 08:38 AM (#5560257)
Koeman gone
   1191. The Marksist Posted: October 23, 2017 at 12:52 PM (#5560392)
First: great game, Spurs. Deconstructed Liverpool; well done.

Second, there are so many things going wrong at Liverpool right now that it's hard to know where to start. There are four categories of problem, IMO: personnel/recruitment, individual errors, collective errors, and tactics. Maybe the can't be separated cleanly, but that's where my brain is at. It's clear that the summer was a bigger miss than I thought. Not getting a competent center back looks really bad now. The lack of a midfielder I can mostly overlook (more on this later), and the attacking corps looks fine to me. Bottom line is that there are several starters who aren't good enough, mostly because the top of the Premier League is so damn competitive.

Then we have those players making mistakes, which, if they're not good enough seems natural. Only so much of this is on the players. Klopp is not putting them in position to succeed. I feel similarly about the collective errors, so let's consider them results of same root issue: players out of their depth. Which, there's a direct line back to recruitment here as well. So.

Finally, there are small but important tactical differences from last year, too. It's obvious from some of the numbers that the press is neither as high nor as hard this year. And if Klopp doesn't have his team pressing high and hard, what's the point of Klopp? I can forgive some of it because I'm sure he had visions of competing on three fronts, so taking your foot off the gas a little to save legs is a defensible idea. But it appears that fraction of a difference is enough to send the whole setup into a tailspin. Either that, or we were more lucky than good last year and now the chickens are coming home to roost.

On a completely unrelated note, can someone give me something to feel cheerful about? Thanks in advance.
   1192. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 23, 2017 at 02:12 PM (#5560455)
A new thread is up.
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