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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 | 1092 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   701. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 17, 2017 at 05:11 PM (#5533470)
I think Everton will be fine. The Football Weekly guys have joked about it but they spent a zillion dollars...just to finish seventh again. Arlo White mentioned it today, their schedule has been brutal so far. Realistically they haven't dropped points in a game yet where you think "wow, I thought that was going to be a win."

Now that's a bit reductive to be sure. They should have beaten ManCity but didn't take advantage of the red, they should've at least competed with Spurs last weekend and they've been SO bad the last few games it's disheartening as an Everton fan. Still, the schedule has been such that they are going to have some easy runs. Their next three league games are Bournemouth, Burnley and Brighton before they face Arsenal. Add in a League Cup match with Sunderland and I won't be surprised if we are talking about a "resurgent Everton" when the Arsenal game comes around.

Of course if those games don't go the way I hope/expect we will be talking about "the new Everton manager" when the Arsenal game comes around.
   702. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: September 17, 2017 at 06:38 PM (#5533516)
Where do the goals come from for Everton? They had Lukaku who scores goals by the fistful, and that really helped them against both strong teams and weak in terms of getting results.
   703. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 17, 2017 at 06:53 PM (#5533520)
That's the big question. I don't understand why Calvert-Lewis isn't getting starts. He was great in the Euros, started the first two games and scored in both while Everton got a win and a draw. He has been coming off the bench ever since and they've lost three in a row. In fairness he started the game against Atalanta but I would still have him out there. He adds some pace that can help Rooney who ain't exactly the quickest dude in the world these days.

I don't think he is the answer by himself but I think Everton have the goals in them with him and Rooney plus Klaassen and Siggy getting settled in. I also think the defense will get better as the year goes on as Keane settles in.
   704. Richard Posted: September 17, 2017 at 09:23 PM (#5533561)
That's the big question. I don't understand why Calvert-Lewis isn't getting starts. He was great in the Euros, started the first two games and scored in both while Everton got a win and a draw. He has been coming off the bench ever since and they've lost three in a row. In fairness he started the game against Atalanta but I would still have him out there. He adds some pace that can help Rooney who ain't exactly the quickest dude in the world these days.


In goalscoring terms, he's not good enough, certainly at the moment, and possibly won't ever be. There's not enough end product.

Sheffield United fans (and from what I read a number of Everton fans) remain amazed that Koeman stuck him in the team so quickly when there's no evidence he has goals in him.

   705. I am going to be Frank Posted: September 18, 2017 at 09:21 AM (#5533618)
There are rumors that Pogba will be out 12 weeks. Ugh.

So Arsenal was definitely better defensively, only because they usually play like crap against Chelsea. I don't know how much of it was playing Bellerin at RB and Kolasanic at LB and not playing Ozil and Sanchez (ozil can be lazy on defense and while Sanchez is a willing presser, his roaming is bad for formations) or Chelsea being terrible on offense. They basically looked like old Mourinho Chelsea. Granted Hazard was just coming back, but they can't be that reliant on one player. Morata was invisible.
   706. Mefisto Posted: September 18, 2017 at 10:41 AM (#5533647)
To tie 705 to the previous discussion, I think Chelsea are the EPL team that could most use someone like Pulisic.
   707. ckash Posted: September 18, 2017 at 11:03 AM (#5533661)
Kid Soccer Update:

2 games, 2 wins. 8-0 thumping of a team that beat us last year, and a come from behind 5-4 win over another Louisville club. In the first game our girls were so dominant he pulled 2 starting forwards and our best midfielder 10 minutes in up 2-0, and proceeded to rotate the forwards back in as defenders and the scrubs played the forward positions, so it was not a matter of running up the score. The other teams keeper actually wasn't bad - she made several great stops and saved anything that she could reasonably save. We did not have any size or speed advantage; everything that could go right just did. The 2nd game was against a club that when we played them last year featured several loud, obnoxious and sometimes profanity-spewing parents. It got so bad that our coach's wife nearly got in a fight. I sat well away from the club's parents this time. Our girls gave up a PK on handball in the box and 2 terrible clearances in our end to fall behind 3-2 at half. Second half featured our own PK conversion, a nifty free kick and a 4 on 1 goal from our Striker to pull out the win. After the match our coach held a brief parent's meeting to review things and explain his philosophy better - the girls learning to create space, passing to space and first touch passing seem to be his main focus. Our 4-3-3 is becoming a 4-4-1-1/4-4-2 since the coach decided to "hide" some of the weaker players as a wide MF/Winger when rotating , usually leaving my daughter to play behind the lone forward as an advanced MF or a deeper lying forward pushed out towards a wing. Most importantly the girls are happy - they decided the parents were taking them out for ice cream after the 8-0 win and it was cool to see them socialize outside the pitch and barely any soccer talk was heard, just normal pre-teen girls stuff.
   708. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: September 19, 2017 at 01:19 PM (#5534451)
Too funny, if true:


Neymar is demanding that Paris Saint-Germain sell his strike partner Edinson Cavani, according to Spanish newspaper Sport.

The explosive claim comes after Cavani and Neymar argued on the pitch over who would take a free kick and a penalty in Sunday's win over Caen.

Boss Unai Emery told them to "sort it out" themselves, but Sport report that "Neymar has already communicated to [CEO] Nasser Al-Khelaifi that his coexistence with Cavani is totally impossible."

This follows a cover story from French daily L'Equipe on Tuesday that said Cavani and Neymar nearly came to blows in the dressing room and had to be separated by teammates.


Link
   709. Textbook Editor Posted: September 19, 2017 at 02:17 PM (#5534512)
ckash, thanks for the update. Thumpings are tough to navigate as a coach if you're on the thumping side--especially if it is completely unexpected. (There are games where I knew we'd be thumping a team and came out of the gate using kids in different positions, a more defensive approach, etc., but that doesn't happen a lot.) It's a difficult situation on both sides (I've been on both sides, as I'm sure most coaches have).

The focus on first touch passing in interesting... One of my thoughts for the next few weeks was to emphasize this in my practices--in our games so far there's just far too much dithering on the ball, trying to dribble past people, etc. But this--I see now--is because they only think about what to do with the ball AFTER they gain possession of it... there's no "thinking ahead" and planning the move they're going to make BEFORE they get the ball. That's the big difference I've seen so far with some of the more advanced players we've played against--they have a plan before the ball even gets to their feet, and try to execute as quickly as possible.

Youth Update on this end: we won our first game 3-1. We moved to a 4-2-3-1 system and this seemed to help (being on a smaller, 100 x 60 away pitch also helped). We're definitely a counter-attacking team, and often the soccer is pretty ugly, but the boys put in a shift on defense and we had some nice counters to get 2 of the 3 goals. We play a rival this Sunday who beat us 3 times last season--a pretty hyper-aggressive team I think we can get in behind and counter on if we keep our heads on defense and don't make mistakes, but we'll see...
   710. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: September 19, 2017 at 02:33 PM (#5534523)
The Cavani thing is funny. I wonder if Neymar is going to go full diva (in a situation like this there's probably blame on both sides, of course).

I don't see this as that big of a loss for PSG. I mean, Cavani is good but he had a really bounce back season last year so they can probably get good money for him. Draxler is riding the bench for them and I'm a pretty big fan of his. I think they can probably just replace Cavani with Draxler without really losing anything.

It'll be interesting to see what happens the next few months, though.
   711. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: September 19, 2017 at 04:10 PM (#5534618)
Spurs really don't know what to do with sides that park the bus.

14 shots taken, 0 on target.
   712. The Marksist Posted: September 19, 2017 at 04:29 PM (#5534633)
Liverpool, meanwhile, fail to capitalize on first half dominance and now trail 2-0. Plus ça change...
   713. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 19, 2017 at 04:57 PM (#5534658)
CRYSTAL PALACE HAVE SCORED A GOAL!!!
   714. Sean Forman Posted: September 19, 2017 at 08:29 PM (#5534749)
I wonder if Neymar is going to go full diva


Oh my, can't imagine what this would look like if we aren't there yet.

Weston McKennie (19yo from Dallas) started for Schalke today in a lg match vs Bayern. Played 56 minutes. To my eye he was either a defensive midfielder or box to box midfielder. Mostly just chasing around James all game.

   715. ckash Posted: September 20, 2017 at 12:26 AM (#5534890)
Took my soccer girl to the USWNT game in Cincinnati tonight. With it being a homecoming for Rose LaVelle the atmosphere was electric. My daughter's favorite player is Alex Morgan and her scoring 2 goals was like heaven for her. Mallory Pugh in person is amazingly fast. Can't really say I analyzed too much, just tried to enjoy the moment. Given the turnout and the result here's hoping Cinci becomes a semi-regular destination for more matches.
   716. I am going to be Frank Posted: September 20, 2017 at 10:44 AM (#5534980)
Human interest story about Gundogan and his recovery from his torn ACL.

Wow a midfielder that played for a decent Bundesliga team! I knew there were a handful of guys coming through. Hopefully, he gets more time and improves.
   717. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: September 20, 2017 at 12:18 PM (#5535066)

Werder Bremen will sign U.S. under-20 international attacker Josh Sargent when he turns 18 in February.

Sargent, 17, featured for United States at the under-20 World Cup in South Korea, where he scored four goals.

He has already trained with several European clubs including PSV Eindhoven and Schalke but has made the decision to join Bremen.

"We've tracked Joshua for a long time, and therefore it wasn't a big surprise to us that he made himself known internationally through remarkable performances," Bremen squad manager Tim Steidten said of the Scott Gallagher Missouri player.

"He's among the most promising players of his age group worldwide."

Sargent will join the U.S. U17 team at the World Cup in India in October, and is expected to arrive at Bremen ahead of his 18th birthday on Feb. 20.

"Josh can get to know the club and the city. He will train with our U23 team, and play matches from the summer on," Steidten said.
   718. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: September 21, 2017 at 01:18 PM (#5535962)
The long nightmare of Diego Costa is over ... somehow Chelsea convinced Athletico to pay up to £57m for him.

That seems ... a lot, but maybe I'm just still misjudging the inflation in the market.
   719. JuanGone..except1game Posted: September 21, 2017 at 05:32 PM (#5536191)
The long nightmare of Diego Costa is over ... somehow Chelsea convinced Athletico to pay up to £57m for him.

Farewell you sweet crazy bastard! I'm really going to miss him, despite his wanting to leave every six months. Just a top class striker who played with a constant edge to drive CBs insane and provided some just unbelievable moments (Bullying Otamendi at City being a personal favorite) in 2 PL titles. Also, great business by the Board, can't believe that we sold a 30 year old striker who refused to play for us for 95% of a Morata.
   720. Baldrick Posted: September 21, 2017 at 07:09 PM (#5536228)
Meanwhile, the English FA has fired Mark Sampson as coach of the women's team, based on evidence that they've had on hand for two years but just...forgot about? Or something? But NOT, they hasten to add, because of his racially discriminatory actions. That, they were fine with.
   721. Mefisto Posted: September 21, 2017 at 08:50 PM (#5536267)
Hey, at least he wasn't sleeping with his black players. Maybe.
   722. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 21, 2017 at 10:34 PM (#5536373)
The Football Weekly podcast was saying that the head of the FA was pinning it all on stuff that came out BEFORE he took over and that information was never given to him.

They were appropriately skeptical of those claims.
   723. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: September 22, 2017 at 05:27 AM (#5536579)
If you are in need of a smile this morning, United fans have been under scrutiny for an allegedly racially insensitive chant. Anti-racism groups have criticized the apparent racial stereotype involved, and deemed it offensive and discriminatory.

The offending stereotypical chant was:
"Romelu Lukaku,
He's our Belgian scoring genius,
He's got a 24 inch pen*s"
   724. I am going to be Frank Posted: September 22, 2017 at 10:41 AM (#5536699)
So I think I'm going to break down and pay NBC for their streaming service. $50 really isn't a lot of money for 9 months for the convenience to watch any game that NBC decides isn't worthy of 2 hours on one of their channels.

Looking at the website, NBC offers Premier League for $50, rugby for $60, cycling for $30 and track and field for $70.
   725. jmurph Posted: September 22, 2017 at 10:57 AM (#5536714)
$50 really isn't a lot of money for 9 months for the convenience to watch any game that NBC decides isn't worthy of 2 hours on one of their channels.

I second this view, but I have to admit that I'm not sure I've even used it yet- I think City have either been on the main channels every week, or maybe they were on Gold once but I was busy that day anyway.
   726. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 22, 2017 at 11:02 AM (#5536716)
I second this view, but I have to admit that I'm not sure I've even used it yet- I think City have either been on the main channels every week, or maybe they were on Gold once but I was busy that day anyway.


So far the games I've wanted or been able to see have been on free TV. When the baseball regular season ends next weekend I'll probably be more inclined to look into it.
   727. I am going to be Frank Posted: September 22, 2017 at 11:17 AM (#5536736)
Yea, United are on NBC Money Grab this week. According to the website, every club will have at least three matches on NBC Money Grab.
   728. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: September 22, 2017 at 11:29 AM (#5536745)
Cartilage Free Captain's EPL Matchday 6 Preview.

Which is interesting primarily because it breaks out Attacking and Defensive xG quality, based on MCoA's xG data (which I'm sure I can find somewhere else, but it's nicely summarized).
   729. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: September 23, 2017 at 09:25 AM (#5537274)
Spurs did their best to Spurs that match up ...
   730. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 23, 2017 at 09:29 AM (#5537277)
I saw the second yellow coming for Aurier the moment he lost the ball there.
   731. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: September 23, 2017 at 09:38 AM (#5537279)
He's obviously better than Trippier, but Poch definitely has some "fullback whispering" to do with dear Serge ...
   732. Sean Forman Posted: September 25, 2017 at 09:13 AM (#5537954)
Sorry just had to share this dribble by Pulisic this weekend.

https://twitter.com/GolazoJuice/status/911648421265645568
   733. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: September 26, 2017 at 04:13 PM (#5539448)
Ummm ... Harry Kane.

That is all.
   734. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: September 26, 2017 at 04:33 PM (#5539464)
That was a perfect hat trick from Kane--left foot, right foot and header. Maybe not as spectacular as Bale ordering a taxi for Maicon but very good and very much needed with how poorly this Frankenstein lineup looked today.
   735. The Marksist Posted: September 26, 2017 at 04:46 PM (#5539470)
The Liverpool Experience! Catch the fever!





FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU...
   736. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: September 26, 2017 at 05:14 PM (#5539485)
A point away to a Russian team isn't a bad result. Those trips are tough. Klopp needs to decide on a keeper, though.
   737. OPS+ Posted: September 26, 2017 at 08:06 PM (#5539561)
Kane is really really good. I think he's still underrated too.
   738. jmurph Posted: September 27, 2017 at 10:29 AM (#5539949)
Ugh, reports that City fear Mendy has torn his ACL. Danilo can fake it over there but Mendy has been great for them.
   739. Textbook Editor Posted: September 27, 2017 at 10:53 AM (#5539971)
3 points from the 2 RM fixtures would be fantastic; I'm hoping for 1, 3 from the home Apoel fixture, and then 1 from away to Dortmund. That would get us to 11 points, and the best that Dortmund can do is 12 if they win out from here on in (and if the above happens for Spurs, Dortmund can only get to 10).

Naturally, topping the group would be fantastic, but I'm not that big a dreamer...
   740. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 27, 2017 at 11:34 AM (#5540014)
I think the big thing for Spurs/Dortmund right now is goal difference. Assume both teams lose their Real matches and both teams win the home head to heads. The tie breakers are;

1 - Head to head
2 - Goal difference in head to head
3 - Goals scored head to head

So that 3-1 win at Wembley looms pretty large. If all other results are identical they can go into that game at Dortmund and play pretty conservatively. The one drawback for Spurs is that it's MD5 and MD6 is the Real-Dortmund game. If Dortmund were ever looking to get something at Real the last match day when Real have likely secured advancement would be it.
   741. Textbook Editor Posted: September 27, 2017 at 01:06 PM (#5540169)
Jose--that's why getting anything--even 1 point--from the two RM games is to me pretty crucial; I don't want to rely on RM winning a dead rubber... The good news is we have 2 bites at the RM apple now while Dortmund now has only one. I think it's not likely they'll get a point from RM, but it's at least feasible.

I'm also a bit concerned that is Spurs set out to be conservative at Dortmund they'll fall on their face... It's just not a style they usually play in (though, admittedly, you can argue they did play that way in the 1st Dortmund game and were rewarded)...
   742. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: September 27, 2017 at 01:12 PM (#5540182)
I don't think it's impossible for Spurs to take a game from Real. Hey, Spurs won their group the last time they were thrown in with the defending European champions. We need to get everyone fit, though and get Aurier up to speed. I love Harry Winks and Sissoko has improved this year, but I don't want them starting against Real.
   743. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: September 27, 2017 at 01:59 PM (#5540240)
I'm also a bit concerned that is Spurs set out to be conservative at Dortmund they'll fall on their face... It's just not a style they usually play in (though, admittedly, you can argue they did play that way in the 1st Dortmund game and were rewarded)...

It's not a style they usually play, but it seems so clearly to be the right style against Dortmund. They are so susceptible to getting counterattacked or otherwise torched due to their high line and sometimes being imprecise with possession in the middle of the pitch.
   744. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: September 27, 2017 at 02:41 PM (#5540289)
Did everyone see this?

I get the feeling this is one of those things everyone will mock only to find out later Werner has some weird condition and everyone will feel bad about mocking him.
   745. OPS+ Posted: September 27, 2017 at 03:00 PM (#5540307)
I get the feeling this is one of those things everyone will mock only to find out later Werner has some weird condition and everyone will feel bad about mocking him.


Exactly. He must get migraines or something. It seems odd that a player from the Bundesliga would be that affected by a loud crowd.
   746. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 27, 2017 at 03:14 PM (#5540314)
This United game is every bit as exciting as I expected. Goal number three might be the worst defending in soccer history.
   747. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: September 27, 2017 at 03:49 PM (#5540337)
Sporting are making life tough for Barcelona so far.
   748. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: September 27, 2017 at 03:55 PM (#5540339)
Sorry, Sporting. Totally my fault.
   749. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 27, 2017 at 04:37 PM (#5540357)
Wow, Chelsea win on literally the last kick of the match. Not even time for the kickoff.
   750. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: September 28, 2017 at 10:08 AM (#5540816)
Carlo Ancelotti--sacked! Any guesses for his first rumored landing spot? I say West Ham because it's something I can see the Davids leaking to the media to big themselves up. The first legit rumor I will guess will be Everton.
   751. jmurph Posted: September 28, 2017 at 10:14 AM (#5540822)
Yeah that's wild. He needs to wait out Arsenal, right? He'd be perfect for them.

EDIT: Or I guess Chelsea would be pretty obvious, too, when that one sours.
   752. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: September 28, 2017 at 10:26 AM (#5540837)
Yeah that's wild. He needs to wait out Arsenal, right?

Kind of gruesome, isn't it, waiting for an old man to die?
   753. jmurph Posted: September 28, 2017 at 10:29 AM (#5540841)
Ha. Is Wenger technically still alive, really?
   754. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: September 28, 2017 at 10:41 AM (#5540855)
Ha. Is Wenger technically still alive, really?

My favorite soccer quote this year is Wenger's unironic opining that the Champions League has lost some of its luster. So...no, he's alive and may he live forever.
   755. The Marksist Posted: September 28, 2017 at 11:59 AM (#5540948)
A point away to a Russian team isn't a bad result. Those trips are tough. Klopp needs to decide on a keeper, though.


I'm actually fine with the point in theory, it's just the manner in which it was obtained. At some point those chances start going in for Liverpool, right? RIGHT?!?
   756. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: September 28, 2017 at 12:22 PM (#5540978)

I'm actually fine with the point in theory, it's just the manner in which it was obtained. At some point those chances start going in for Liverpool, right? RIGHT?!?


Andre Villas Boas says no.
   757. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: September 28, 2017 at 06:56 PM (#5541323)
I think Everton will be fine.


Not as bad as Athletico losing on literally the last kick of the game, but that was a brutal draw for the Toffees, worse than Liverpool's I think given it was at home, the quality of the opponent, their previous Europa League performance and the overall level of play they exhibited today.

   758. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 29, 2017 at 01:15 AM (#5541436)
Yeah, that’s a pretty good kick in the teeth. I was actually thinking that for all the truly terrible results so far today was the worst one. Yeah it’s a draw but a lead with five minutes to go and up a man.

It’s the second time they’ve dropped points with a man advantage, they did it at City too. At least there you can justify it with the oooinent being Manchester City but this one had to go in the win column,
   759. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: September 29, 2017 at 07:20 AM (#5541449)
I'm giving myself a coke:

Having been shown the door at Bayern Munich, Carlo Ancelotti is already being linked with Slaven Bilic’s job at West Ham United. The mere availability of the Italian seems to be the key factor, given the apparent determination of Davids Sullivan and Gold, West Ham’s owners, to replace the Croatian, who has long been considered a dead man walking and the axe may fall if his team lose against Swansea City at the London Stadium on Saturday.
   760. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: September 29, 2017 at 08:49 AM (#5541467)
Not a good week for City, Aguero now out with fractured rib after car accident.
   761. jmurph Posted: September 29, 2017 at 09:46 AM (#5541485)
Not a good week for City, Aguero now out with fractured rib after car accident.

This is such a bummer. That said, Aguero is a god among humans and I hate to see him out, but I think his production is easier to replace than Mendy. Sane has been great lately, for instance, and then Jesus, etc.

Mendy worries me a lot, though, and that's presumably the whole season for him. Seems like the clear key to their improvement this year is having cromulent fullbacks. Like I said the other day Danilo can be fine on the left, but they now have no depth.
   762. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: September 29, 2017 at 10:22 AM (#5541516)
Bayern's fall off is pretty impressive. They are still awesome, but as recently as last year I thought they were just as good as Real. They don't seem very comfortable with the changing landscape of silly money being splashed around.
   763. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: September 29, 2017 at 10:41 AM (#5541534)
Well, I've decided. I think I prefer the Guardian Weekly to Totally Football. I don't have the Max Rushden hate that seems fashionable on the intertubes and I prefer the stable of voices the Guardian has. Hopefully they'll have Ted Knutson on regularly now, too. I just wish they would stop obsessing over what gets said in the comments section of their podcast. Who cares what all those weirdos think?
   764. Textbook Editor Posted: September 29, 2017 at 11:14 AM (#5541559)
Shooty--I confess I haven't listened to Totally Football. That said, while I liked Richardson generally, I... well, it's a lot of schtick. And the schtick in context of the good commentating by the Guardian writers was fine (because I enjoy the stable of writers)... But I didn't come to Football Weekly to get a dose of Richardson, so him gone I don't really miss and Rushden seems fine to me--I even kind of find his "I know I'm a replacement here"-kind of approach a bit endearing (YMMV).

At some point I'll listen to Totally Football but I'm not sure when that'll be.
   765. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: September 29, 2017 at 11:28 AM (#5541578)
At some point I'll listen to Totally Football but I'm not sure when that'll be.

It's basically the same as what Football Weekly was. Seriously, almost exactly the same. I'm usually desperate for podcast content so I listen to it whenever Spurs do something good but I find myself sticking with Football Weekly all things being equal. I honestly don't get why there is so much vitriol for Max Rushden as a presenter. I feel like there must be some larger body of work of his the English despise. I know he does stuff for Talksport so maybe that's where it comes from. Also, I think I've caught on that there is a lot of sentimental attachment to James Richardson in England because of the Football Italia show which seems to have the same kind of nostalgic effect in England that the classic Monday Night Football announcers--Cosell, Gifford and Meredith--have for people my age here in the States. Rushden can't compete with that. (Though I couldn't stand the Cosell, Gifford Meredith crew when I was a kid. I much preferred Madden and Summerall, especially before Madden veered towards kitsch).
   766. jmurph Posted: September 29, 2017 at 11:34 AM (#5541589)
It's basically the same as what Football Weekly was. Seriously, almost exactly the same.

Yeah he's even had Honigstein and Phillipe Auclair, so it's literally the same group of people some of the times.

When my team wins I listen to all of them, when they don't I pick and choose or skip them altogether.
   767. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 29, 2017 at 11:43 AM (#5541605)
So far the big issue with Totally Football for me is that the panelists are not especially strong. Kelly Cates has been pretty good when she's been on but they are a bit dry. I like Rafael Honigstein but he's not exactly the funniest guy going. Beyond that the combination of a new show with a more rotating cast means the chemistry isn't there yet.

By contrast Rushden and Glendenning are a riot together. Max telling him to #### off in the first or second episode of the season was great and they are clearly comfortable together.
   768. The_Ex Posted: September 29, 2017 at 02:03 PM (#5541692)
I think Totally FB is still trying to find its feet as is football weekly with a changed cast. One one hand the schism has weakened both short term but it is good that some new blood is getting a chance like David Preece, Kelly Cates (agree she was good) and Ted Knutson.
   769. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 29, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5541703)
Just heard the Knutson bit on FW and he was really good.
   770. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: September 30, 2017 at 08:05 AM (#5541962)
30 minutes in and Sir Harry already has 2 against 'uddersfield.
   771. The Marksist Posted: September 30, 2017 at 09:47 AM (#5541970)
I'm with the majority here: FW is better than the Totally Football Show. Less schtick, more comfortable, etc. I do like some of the guests on TFS, but there always seems to be one that drags things down.

Also really enjoyed Knutson and hope he's back on soon.
   772. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: September 30, 2017 at 10:06 AM (#5541973)
Palace are SCREWED.

They're not as bad as they have been, at least by xG, but their bad start ... has several more games likely to go.

Oof.
   773. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: September 30, 2017 at 11:39 AM (#5542013)
Watching teams like the Manchesters you really appreciate how week the Tottenham bench is. Herrera, Martial, and even Lindgaard off the bench. Very impressive.
   774. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: September 30, 2017 at 02:16 PM (#5542088)
De Bruyne really could be this generation's Xavi. His distribution in his new role as a deep midfielder is just ####### sublime.
   775. Mefisto Posted: September 30, 2017 at 07:12 PM (#5542224)
That was a great strike by De Bruyne, but Chelsea didn't really look competitive after Morata went down. Willian was ... not a good choice to bring on in Morata's place.
   776. strong silence Posted: September 30, 2017 at 07:22 PM (#5542228)
I'm seeking your advice.
I have a choice to travel to Aberdeen, UK or Pisa, Italy in Summer 2018 with my wife, who is not a soccer fan, but she's a good sport and would go with me.
Aberdeen has a fine club but Fiorentina, near Pisa, is a good club to watch too.
I've never been to Italy or Scotland.
Which is your preference?
   777. strong silence Posted: September 30, 2017 at 07:42 PM (#5542239)
A priority for me is the ability to get a great seat at a reasonable price. (I'm finally at a point in life where I can afford seats in the $80 - $130 range). So researching the stadia to see which football viewing experience would provide closer views of the action:
The Pittodrie in Aberdeen. Built around 1900 so the history/aura would be special, seats around 22K so I think most of those seats would be closer to the pitch, tickets are 22GBP which is around $25 - unbelievable.
The Stadio Artemio in Florence was built in 1930 but seats around 43K*, scenic views, further away from the action because there was once a track surrounding the pitch, ticket prices seem to be in the range of $45 to $125

hmmm

I think Aberdeen might be best for my football viewing pleasure. However I wonder if it sells out quickly.

*The wikipedia said the attendance record is 58K. Damn! So there were 15K of standing fans!?!
   778. strong silence Posted: September 30, 2017 at 08:18 PM (#5542250)
I see that there is no football in June. I'm certain I can get to Europe in August or September so that makes it better.
   779. Mefisto Posted: September 30, 2017 at 08:18 PM (#5542251)
Are you just asking about the soccer? Because overall, Pisa would be a much better choice than Aberdeen as a destination.
   780. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 30, 2017 at 09:38 PM (#5542268)
Any talk about the incident in France today? Apparently about two dozen Lille fans were injured when some fencing collapsed in Ariens. The Ariens President said there were 200 ultras from Lille that were slamming into the fence. That’s certainly possible but also has a ring of blame the victim that we saw with Heysel and Hillsborough.

Apparently while there were some injuries none are life threatening.
   781. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: October 01, 2017 at 03:20 AM (#5542307)
Are you just asking about the soccer? Because overall, Pisa would be a much better choice than Aberdeen as a destination.

While obviously true, it's only because nobody would ever voluntarily go to Aberdeen... Pisa is thoroughly underwhelming. All hype. There are nice places to go in Scotland, especially if you like nature. Aberdeen is not one of them. Weather depends on when you are going, and what your preferences are. Scotland in the Summer is typically pleasant enough. Warm but not scorching. Tuscany in the Summer can get up there though, and if you are spending lots of time walking around in the sun, it could get a bit unbearable. So depending on whether you see that as a plus or a minus...

Pisa is really the definition of a tourist trap. There is nothing to do and nothing to see there, except for the tower, which is just meh. Like it's fine to spend an hour or two there, but what are you doing with the rest of your holiday? A poorly designed and constructed tower, which would have fallen over ages ago, if people weren't invested in spending tons to keep it upright, because it is iconic. But it's only iconic because it's squint. Meh.

Florence on the other hand, is majestic and beautiful. One of my favourite places I have ever been.
   782. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: October 01, 2017 at 03:29 AM (#5542309)
The Stadio Artemio in Florence was built in 1930 but seats around 43K*, scenic views, further away from the action because there was once a track surrounding the pitch, ticket prices seem to be in the range of $45 to $125

hmmm

I think Aberdeen might be best for my football viewing pleasure. However I wonder if it sells out quickly.

*The wikipedia said the attendance record is 58K. Damn! So there were 15K of standing fans!?!

A lot of very old stadia had limited to no seating originally. Seats would have been added later to many areas. Obviously having standing room only does increase the capacity by quite a bit. So seeing record attendances that far exceed the current capacity of a stadium is not uncommon.

For example old wembley stadium had an official capacity of 82000 when it was demolished, I think. The record attendance is officially around 126000. But many estimates believe that the actual crowd size for the biggest FA cup final there was around 200k.
   783. Mefisto Posted: October 01, 2017 at 09:24 AM (#5542323)
I completely agree with 781.
   784. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 01, 2017 at 09:33 AM (#5542328)
The next Barca -Real game is going to be insane. Spain looks like it's falling apart.
   785. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 01, 2017 at 09:40 AM (#5542329)
Barca's game against Las Palmas is cancelled.
   786. Baldrick Posted: October 01, 2017 at 09:50 AM (#5542330)
Florence on the other hand, is majestic and beautiful. One of my favourite places I have ever been.

Co-sign. I also strongly strongly recommend Siena, which is just incredible. And Lucca, which is lovely.
   787. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 01, 2017 at 10:18 AM (#5542339)
Game is back on but behind closed doors.
   788. strong silence Posted: October 01, 2017 at 01:00 PM (#5542358)
Thanks for contributing your opinions. Whether it's Scotland or Italy, I'll try to get the best seat.

Yedlin. From what I've seen he isn't asked to do much but doesn't show me much either. Is he making progress? I don't watch Newcastle enough to know whether his game shows improvement.

Liverpool @ 70 minutes. - typical game thus far: some brilliance, a bad defensive mistake that cost them, but ultimately disappointment?
   789. strong silence Posted: October 01, 2017 at 01:06 PM (#5542361)
It's not the player without the ball that is the most dangerous, it's the player who just passed the ball. Messi demonstrates this perfectly.
   790. Textbook Editor Posted: October 01, 2017 at 03:01 PM (#5542384)
It's not the player without the ball that is the most dangerous, it's the player who just passed the ball. Messi demonstrates this perfectly.


Yes! Now if I could just get my U13 players to understand this...
   791. ursus arctos Posted: October 01, 2017 at 06:09 PM (#5542451)
I’ve been to the Franchi in Florence many times and to Pittodrie in Aberdeen twice.

They are both good football watching experiences and passionate fan bases, so you will have a good time wherever you go.

Tuscany and the Scottish Highlands are both also outstanding, so you will find it hard to go wrong.

Though if you or your wife are obsessed with art, wine or ice cream, you will be better off in Florence.
   792. strong silence Posted: October 01, 2017 at 06:52 PM (#5542469)
Thank you ursus arctos.

Do you live in Europe?
   793. ckash Posted: October 01, 2017 at 07:07 PM (#5542474)
Kid soccer update:

Big tournament north of Cincinnati this weekend. First time my daughter and most of her teammates had played out of state. Went in knowing we'd be 2 players short due to family vacations (Fall Break began this weekend in Central KY) then one girl quit after practice Thursday night. We picked up 2 guest players - both 10 years old - and went in with a roster of 13 players for 3 games in a 27 hour span. First game Saturday morning the team was beaten 5-0 by a team from Toledo. Saturday afternoon was a 2-0 victory over a team from Indianapolis (30 times the population of our town) and this morning a 1-0 win over a club from Northern Ky. Finished 2nd in the bracket - the Toledo team ended up winning the u13 championship. Because of the short roster, and the coach having to hide the lesser players on the wings in a 4-4-2, my daughter played Left Back the majority of the time. She hates defense but did a pretty good job and never complained. She kept it simple, stayed back and cleared out just about everything that came her way and launched some counter attacks with her passes. Because of the circumstances our coach was very pragmatic with tactics and formations, leaning on counter-attacking and set pieces for the goals. After it was evident the 4-3-3 would not work they stayed in a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1 depending on personnel. My kid had fun, the girls all stayed in the same hotel and bonded together in the pool both nights and that carried over onto the field. She's sore and exhausted and I'm happy there is no school (and no soccer practice) this week.
   794. ursus arctos Posted: October 01, 2017 at 07:42 PM (#5542483)
I’m back in New York now, but lived in Europe for about 12 years all told, and have supported Fiorentina for decades (I was born when there were eight teams in each major league).

I’d be happpy to answer other questions you might have.

BTW, I should have noted that if you or your wife are obsessed with either granite or the offshore oil industry, you should definitely go to Aberdeen. I’d also note that in both cases, the ease of acquiring tickets will depend on the opposition. Fiorentina-Juventus always sells out, as do Aberdeen’s games with Celtic and Rangers. Those matches will also have significantly enhanced police presence and other aspects that might not appeal to a first time visitor.
   795. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 01, 2017 at 09:14 PM (#5542510)
Ckash - Sounds like a great weekend! As a youth coach (baseball) I can tel you that the coach is probably greatly appreciative of your daughter’s willingness to play a position she doesn’t like and give it her all without complaint. I always preach to my guys the importance of being a good teammate and that’s the kind of thing I would hold up as an example.
   796. Textbook Editor Posted: October 01, 2017 at 09:17 PM (#5542511)
Thanks, ckash, for the update. I've always been a little leery of going out of state (mainly because there's just the added paperwork to do it, and given the tremendous paperwork hassle that's needed in July/August to get the team set up/carded, I'm loathe to do any more than I have to). But it sounds like a fun time. At some point I should probably just bite the bullet and try one...

An update on this end: last week we played a pretty heated rival (lost 3 times to them last year). Not a fan of the coaches. They've sandbagged their flight a few times the last 1-2 years to ensure they were (by far) the best team in the flight, and took lots of joy in winning games 6-0. It happens, but, in my experience, I've only come across 2 coaches like this in the 3 years I've been coaching. In any case, we lost 4-1. Had them at 1-1 and right before the break earned a pen on a breakaway where my striker was brought down by the last man from behind (to me it was a borderline red, but he was yellow-carded)... but my guy dragged it to far wide right and it went off the post. After the break, we had 3 of the 4 subs we had taken up by injured players and the rest of the team wilted in 90 degree heat. We play them one more time... They have a really, really good kid and I'm considering man-marking him next game--not to stop him, exactly, but to annoy him, pester him, give the other guys who are passing to him second thoughts because he's "covered"... The other team basically has him wander all over the pitch and their players always look to pass to him. I have 2 faster kids with no fear of yellow cards or banging bodies... it could work. We'll see.

Today we won 2-1 in a very tough game at home; went down 1-0 with about 20 minutes left and the other team made (I think) a pretty fatal mistake--they tried to hunker down and protect the lead. The problem with that is all of a sudden we had room to operate, and the 50/50s started to go our way too. We equalized with 10 minutes left and then scored with a great individual effort along the goal line ending with a shot at a tight angle that went in. The boys were as ecstatic as I've ever seen them. I think it's probably the latest we've ever scored a winner.

The 4-2-3-1 is working a lot better than I thought it would (we're not giving up a lot of what I would call high-quality shots, and I think the 4 at the back + the 2 DMs are a big reason for this). What has seemed really kind of strange to me is that this is now the 3rd game in a row we've faced a 3-5-2, when I was dead certain before the season started we would face nothing but 4-3-3 or 4-4-2. The 3-5-2 seems (to me) a pretty risky formation if you don't have 3 really mobile, really good CBs. I have 3 of them, and I still play 4 at the back because otherwise they'd run so much they'd never make it through a full game (and I need at least 2 of the 3--if not all 3--to play the majority of the game to compete at the level we're at.

The team today did not try as crazy a high line out of the 3-5-2 as the last two teams did, but we still were able to get in behind them a number of times. The other problem with the high line/3 at the back is that if it breaks down and the counter-attack is on, ALL your midfielders feel compelled to track back 40-50 years in one burst to help on defense, and a lot of guys won't commit to it after the 10 time it happens. Our 4-2-3-1 shortens up the running the midfield 3 have to do, and I think it helps keep them fresh. There's still 3 teams we haven't played yet; I'm going to be really curious to see how they line up. This 3-5-2 thing makes me wonder if there's some popular youth coaching website touting it that I've missed (US Youth Soccer pretty much advocates/encourages a 4-4-2/4-3-3)... The only other thing I can think of is that--because most 9v9 teams we faced played a 3-3-2--teams have approached the "extra" 2 players issue by just throwing them into the midfield and letting them run around a bit (like 'arry used to do...), figuring guys were used to playing in a back 3 and a striker pairing. Well... a back 3 works great on a 75 x 47 field. It's a different beast on a 120 x 75 field (as our home field is).

All that said... Man we're not a pretty team. We're a whole lot more like a Mourinho team than I'd like, but... you gotta formulate a strategy around the guys you have, and we are a defend-first, counter-attacking team that wins pretty ugly--but the boys have fun and that's the most important thing.

   797. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 01, 2017 at 09:35 PM (#5542514)
3-5-2 at that age seems incredibly difficult. The amount of running needed by the midfielders to make that a five man back line in defense can be brutal.

I like the idea of the man marking of the star. That will not only likely frustrate him but it will frustrate his teammates who won’t have that bailout option that they are used to. What I would watch for is if they are turning the ball over is for them to start lumping the ball up field. You might need one of your strong center backs ready to fight one on one with a forward to win the ball back.
   798. Baldrick Posted: October 01, 2017 at 09:38 PM (#5542515)
Thanks for the updates on your teams, but I'm going to need some xG maps to really clarify some of these details.
   799. Textbook Editor Posted: October 01, 2017 at 10:55 PM (#5542536)
3-5-2 at that age seems incredibly difficult. The amount of running needed by the midfielders to make that a five man back line in defense can be brutal.


Agreed... but what's weird is none of the 3 teams seemed particularly keen on having *actual* wingbacks track back to create a back 5. I mean... they have wide midfielders, it's just that... they don't really get back unless there's *sustained* possession by us in their own defensive third. Again, I think/suspect they're playing a back 3 because *last year* they all played a back 3 and so it is familiar, but in that scheme on a more narrow field 3 reasonably mobile defenders could cover east-west in a way that's impossible on a 75-yard-wide pitch.

I like the idea of the man marking of the star. That will not only likely frustrate him but it will frustrate his teammates who won’t have that bailout option that they are used to. What I would watch for is if they are turning the ball over is for them to start lumping the ball up field. You might need one of your strong center backs ready to fight one on one with a forward to win the ball back.


Thanks, Jose, for the tip. We sit pretty deep generally--not at our own 18, but maybe 30 yards out--so it's hard to get a ball in behind us. And I'm lucky to have 2 keepers who'll come off their line and clean up. I'm guessing because of the small-sided play up until now that no team has man-marked him, so it could be a totally new thing (and confusing) for him to deal with. But it'll mean I'll really need the other DM and the CBs to up their game a notch that day. But--after 4 defeats in a row, I'm willing to roll the dice on something different. After all, madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result :)
   800. There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty Posted: October 02, 2017 at 09:28 AM (#5542605)
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