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Thursday, August 01, 2019

OT Soccer Thread - A New Season is Upon Baldrick

Everyone enjoy the break that was about 25 minutes long?  Anyway;

August 2 - Championship begins (Luton-Middlesbrough), Eridivise begins (Zwolle-Willem II)
August 3 - Scottish Premiership, League One, League Two begin
August 4 - Community Shield (Manchester City-Liverpool)
August 6 - Carabao Cup (Portsmouth-Birmingham City), Third round qualifying Champions League first legs
August 9 - EPL begins (Liverpool-Norwich City), Ligue Une begins (Monaco-Lyon)
August 16 - Bundesliga begins (Bayern-Hertha), La Liga begins (Athletic Bilbao-Barcelona)
August 29 - Champions League group stage draw
September 5 - All manner of World Cup and Euro qualifying international break begins

BTF FANTASY SOCCER COME ONE COME ALL (the link for the post now takes you to the signup page).

League name:  BTF Soccer

Code: my8hl1

Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 01, 2019 at 06:46 PM | 833 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   501. Mr Dashwood Posted: August 18, 2019 at 09:20 PM (#5872426)
Aston Villa 1-2 AFC Bournemouth

Sorry to post this so late in the weekend. I don't get CNBC so I had to wait for my Premier League Pass or whatever it is called to enable me to watch.

First, I want to complain about the two commentators, Crocker(?) and Goodman, who were appalling, especially the play-by-play man. They spent most of the time talking about Aston Villa, and didn't seem to know much about Bournemouth.

Bournemouth were, I think, a little fortunate to come away with the full three points from this fixture. But I'll come to why a little bit further on. Right from the start, though, this was a side that were playing better than last week's effort. Eddie Howe made some key tactical changes, going to a flat back four in place of three at the back, and putting Fraser on the wing with only King in a slightly withdrawn role. King did much better at tracking back this week, and made some good runs into the area, especially in the second half. Callum Wilson, by contrast, looked poor and this time it wasn't down to the opposition. He seemed a bit slow and his timing seemed off. Brooks' absence was less noticeable with Harry Wilson playing down the wing. H Wilson was very impressive throughout his time on the pitch, always in the action. Fraser looked more himself, especially as the match went on. Fraser and King linked up much better in the second half than the first. Daniels came in for Rico, which I found disappointing, but there are rumours Rico is going back to Spain. The view from Bournemouth is that Rico is good defensively, but does not carry out the attacking role that the fullbacks need to fulfil in the Eddie Howe scheme.

The first Cherries' goal came on a penalty. I thought it was a little bit harsh, as it looked like the ball was going out even if C Wilson hadn't been brought to the ground by Villa keeper Heaton. But, it was a fair cop, and King blasted the ball in. The second goal came when Villa's Douglas-Luiz misplayed the ball to Harry Wilson, who slotted it home. (That was the third goal from a defender's error I saw this weekend, with one in Sunderland v Portsmouth and another when Ndidi was dispossessed against a Chelsea.) By the time the half ended, Aston Villa, despite opportunities, were looking unlikely to score, but a lot of that was down to the Billings-Lerma partnership, which roughly handled probing runs from Villa. Billings was on a yellow, and had been lucky not to receive a second as he was not intimidated by the risk of being sent off.

Surman came on for Billings when the second half started, and for the first twenty-five minutes, Bournemouth were still holding out, and their counter-attacks kept Aston Villa just a little bit cautious. Then, in the 70th minute Surman conceded a corner, which Ake headed away, but the ball was got to an unmarked Douglas-Luiz about 10 yards away from the half-circle, and he volleyed a beautiful strike into the top right of the net. (It looked like Bournemouth had packed the box with eleven men, and about three Villa players were standing outside the box with no-one to look after them.)

The chance of rescuing a point really got Villa's tails up, and the rest of the match was largely marked by waves of attacks on the Bournemouth goal. To be honest, a better finisher than anyone Villa had probably would have scored on one of those chances. Worse for Villa, as we neared injury time the Cherries decided the best form of defence is an attack, and capably kept the ball around the Villa penalty area for the last ten minutes or so.

I am still worried about whether Bournemouth can manage to stay up this season. The squad lacks depth, and injuries will mean the equivalent of Surman replacing Billings and the resultant decline in quality. They should really only have two points after two fixtures, not four, and they have basically suffered some difficulty some Championship-quality sides. Next week sees Man City come to visit, and I think Bournemouth will be lucky to escape only being on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline like last season. It could be more like 9-0, with hat tricks by Sterling, Aguero and... well, make your guess.
   502. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 18, 2019 at 09:52 PM (#5872434)
Two straight games where Chelsea fell apart a bit in the second half. Is that coaching?


Perhaps? Chelsea are a pretty unsettled club at the moment. They are playing a pretty different style from last year, the back line seems to be a work in progress and I think they don’t know who their best 11 are yet. I feel like last year was effectively a season of running around but not progressing toward anything meaningful. So while I think Lampard can get some of the blame for those issues I think it’s more along the lines of what should be expected at this stage. As the year goes on if he doesn’t start identifying his rotation, best starting 11, etc...then I think there are some issues.

Just as an example they made a few changes from last week (Giroud, Pulisic, I think there was a couple more) which looks like a new coach and a new team figuring it out. It’s like a baseball team the first couple weeks of April figuring out who their 7th or 8th inning guys are going to be.
   503. Mefisto Posted: August 18, 2019 at 10:07 PM (#5872436)
Sadly, Pulisic didn't play that well. OTOH, Willian was quite bad after coming on. Hopefully that means Pulisic will get more chances.
   504. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 18, 2019 at 10:22 PM (#5872441)
I only saw the first half but I thought Pulisic was pretty good. Mason was outstanding but it looked like they complimented each other pretty well. Again, only the first half for me.
   505. Mefisto Posted: August 19, 2019 at 08:54 AM (#5872480)
The second half was a different story.
   506. jmurph Posted: August 19, 2019 at 09:31 AM (#5872492)
The Italian media seems to think Alexis is headed to Inter on loan.
   507. Mefisto Posted: August 19, 2019 at 09:47 AM (#5872499)
I've seen that on United blogs also.
   508. The Marksist Posted: August 19, 2019 at 01:16 PM (#5872581)
Thanks for the long Bournmouth post, Dashwood! As a Liverpool fan, I'll be interested in your take on Harry Wilson as the season goes along. From what I've seen of him, he's an exceptional striker of the ball but is too often a passenger in pretty much all phases of the game. Admittedly, I haven't watched many full games he's been involved in, so my opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it.
   509. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 19, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5872649)
In the game at Wolves last year, Manchester United also dominated possession for the first 30 minutes but had almost no chances (and neither did Wolves during that time). Same thing happening today so far.

Wolves were the better team in the second half and won.

edit: maybe I got my games confused... what I wrote does not closely match the game description on understat.
   510. jmurph Posted: August 19, 2019 at 03:28 PM (#5872653)
That's an impressive finish from Martial.
   511. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 19, 2019 at 03:48 PM (#5872661)
Manchester United played a very good first half. They were able to maintain possession generally without much danger of losing the ball and being exposed to counterattacks. When Wolves did get a counter going, United mostly shut it down without danger. Wolves had almost no shots and no real looks at goal. The best few chances all went United's way.

The one thing United didn't do is get a shot off on a few of their best chances, including that one right at the end of the half.
   512. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 19, 2019 at 04:10 PM (#5872669)
It wasn't a catastrophic first half, but as a fan of Wolves I wasn't totally jazzed. I don't love the idea of a team that thinks of itself as a potential '20-'21 Champions League qualifier sitting back and absorbing pressure in hopes of getting a counterattack. Letting United control everything seems like a great way to come away with zero points.
   513. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: August 19, 2019 at 04:12 PM (#5872671)
NEV-YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
   514. jmurph Posted: August 19, 2019 at 04:14 PM (#5872672)
DELIGHTED at what VAR has turned into. What an improvement for the sport.
   515. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: August 19, 2019 at 04:18 PM (#5872673)
Shrug. Meh. 30 seconds to check to avoid a avoid a clear and obvious error? Fine by me.
   516. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: August 19, 2019 at 04:26 PM (#5872676)
VAR can and should be improved and there should be conversations about how that can and should happen, but it's a giant step in the right direction.
   517. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 19, 2019 at 04:26 PM (#5872677)
That Neves goal was crazy good. As was the Patricio save.
   518. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 19, 2019 at 04:27 PM (#5872678)
United seemed to have gotten more impatient this half, and Wolves were making them pay until they gave up the penalty. It could be either side's game now.
   519. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 19, 2019 at 04:54 PM (#5872684)
Close second half, but United almost certainly won the xG battle for the game, even without the penalty. They are going to be the more disappointed team today, especially after dominating the first half.
   520. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 19, 2019 at 04:55 PM (#5872685)
I don't mean to make fun - his English is better than my second language - but the guy doing the Portuguese League game on GolTV sounds like Dr. Nick Riviera. Not sure I could watch this for two hours, but I can deal with it for the final 15 minutes.
   521. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 19, 2019 at 04:59 PM (#5872687)
538 had it as 0.3-0.5 in favor of United (without penalty). That's a lot of running around for little payoff.

edit: considered by 538 to be a positive result for United (based on their expectation coming in) and negative one for Wolves. Betting odds, 538 and ELO all had United as about 40% to win and 30% to lose. I think United outplayed those odds, and 538 seems to agree.
   522. manchestermets Posted: August 19, 2019 at 05:00 PM (#5872688)
Jeez, pick a penalty taker (Rashford) and have him take all the penalties. Stop with this "whoever won it, takes it" nonsense.
   523. jmurph Posted: August 19, 2019 at 05:02 PM (#5872689)
Jeez, pick a penalty taker (Rashford) and have him take all the penalties. Stop with this "whoever won it, takes it" nonsense.

This will never stop driving me crazy. I don't know why every team doesn't have set penalty takers, it's bonkers.
   524. spivey Posted: August 19, 2019 at 05:37 PM (#5872698)
Wolves are a talented team, but they can sometimes play very tactically defensive, boring games. Leicester/Wolves was 0.5-0.5 according to understat.
   525. Mefisto Posted: August 19, 2019 at 06:13 PM (#5872710)
My biggest disappointment, after the penalty miss, was not seeing Traore up against Wan-Bissaka: best dribbler v best defender. I would've loved to see that matchup.
   526. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: August 19, 2019 at 06:39 PM (#5872714)
Jeez, pick a penalty taker (Rashford) and have him take all the penalties. Stop with this "whoever won it, takes it" nonsense.


HEY MAN, HE'S ON A HAT TRICK.
IT DOESN'T MATTER IF HE'S COMPLETE AND UTTER SHIITE FROM THE SPOT WITH THE WORST STATS ON THE PITCH.
WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME CURSE FM AND WEEP INTO MY BEER, YOU BASTARD???
   527. Sean Forman Posted: August 20, 2019 at 01:05 PM (#5872901)
Just came here to ##### that Spurs are WAY ahead on the VAR-karma front with City.

You've got the Llorente in off his arm winner in the UCL last year.
The wipe out of the go ahead goal due to offsides (not as annoyed about this)
Then the Laporte goal taken away.
Mildly annoyed at the Rodri mugging by Lamela on the corner kick.

Last year Wolves took points from City on a handball goal as well.

Anyways, play your tiny violins and cry me a river.
   528. spivey Posted: August 20, 2019 at 01:14 PM (#5872905)
Pretty much all of those are the right call, though. I can understand the annoyance in having such fine margins cost you, but sometimes you have to embrace the chaos in life.

I'm sure the trophies help.
   529. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: August 20, 2019 at 01:32 PM (#5872911)
What I hate about VAR and all other forms of replay is that it dominates like 90% of all discussion about the sport. Anytime I log on after a day away and see 35 new posts, I can confidently lay 10-to-1 that almost all of them are VAR-related. And that is sad.
   530. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 20, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5872923)
Is this a VAR thing or a rules thing? We had extensive discussions about penalties and offsides pre-VAR. I get that these discussions are not everyone's cup of tea.
   531. jmurph Posted: August 20, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5872928)
I actually take this to heart, I don't want to turn into the guy constantly making the same complaint! I'll try to refrain from whining about it too much going forward.
   532. Mr Dashwood Posted: August 21, 2019 at 07:38 AM (#5873111)
Ipswich Town 2-1 AFC Wimbledon

Although Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club (as was) are my longest love in English football, my first real Premiership attachment was to Wimbledon FC. The FA cup win over Liverpool got my attention and by happenstance I wound up living near their 'temporary' home at Selhurst Park for a few years. You could almost always get a ticket, and it was a 'small club' with a real identity. These two things are not true of a lot of other smaller clubs, like their hosts Crystal Palace for example. Unfortunately, Wimbledon FC were relegated after a bad run one season and then went the way of the Expos and I was without a Premiership interest for quite a few years, there.

While I never made the trip to see AFC Wimbledon, which actually is the legal inheritor of the entire Wimbledon FC history, I occasionally would see what they were up to. They are one of the teams on iFollow that puts up whole matches to replay, so yesterday I paid my $7 for the third time this season and sat through a cracker of a match, quite different from the first two.

Ipswich supporters are not expecting a long sojourn in League One, but on the evidence of this they should perhaps think again. The playoffs are a lottery and if they can't pip a top-two place (although pre-season faves Portsmouth are trying hard to make one available), they could be disappointed. Wimbledon, who look a tad rickety through midfield, time and again rode their luck and some excellent defending to keep the Tractor Boys out of the net for 80 minutes of the match. The Real Dons' creativity in the box, which had seemed lacking on Saturday, was on display here with Folivo setting up a beautiful goal that was scored by the inconsistent Guinness-Walker. He was partnered with Appiah, who did a fine job holding up the ball when he had to, and also tracking back to make some critical challenges in his own half.

Unfortunately, Folivo and Appiah were taken off during the second half, and during the last ten minutes Ipswich scored two. The crowd seemed to get to the referee a little, as the match wore on, with his decisions more and more seeming to favour the home side. The first goal came in off a corner that looked a 50-50 call from the limited vantage point available with iFollow. The header by Norwood, though, was a no-doubter. The second goal came in stoppage time, with Jackson seizing on a pass and smashing it convincingly in. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Dons, especially after three somewhat depressing fixtures where they looked like the relegation candidates some experts picked them to be. (They only survived last season on goal difference.) The Dons don't have a lot of money -- I think they are still owned by a Supporters' Trust, unlike Portsmouth who sold out to the ex-Disney shilling of Michael Eisner -- and they are dropping too many points in matches they should win.
   533. Mr Dashwood Posted: August 21, 2019 at 07:41 AM (#5873112)
Up to now, I have liked the Premiership implementation of VAR.

I've seen some disgraceful offside goals awarded over the years, and I am hopeful it will put a stop to that nonsense. (Also, speaking of Wimbledon, it probably would have changed the 1988 FA Cup Final as that Liverpool goal was quite legitimate.)

I still object to using slow-motion in any replay-review system. If the mistake isn't visible in real-time speed, well, that's sports.
   534. Sean Forman Posted: August 21, 2019 at 01:58 PM (#5873210)

I still object to using slow-motion in any replay-review system. If the mistake isn't visible in real-time speed, well, that's sports.


Hear hear. should take about 30 seconds to decide.
   535. Sean Forman Posted: August 21, 2019 at 02:01 PM (#5873211)
Speaking of League One. I was checking Sunderland this morning. They beat Rochdale 2-1 on the , so that's good, but Rochdale had a 63-37 possession advantage which blew my mind.

Sunderland is currently tied for 3rd through 4 matches with 8 points and a +2 goal differential. American international Lynden Gooch is their current leading scorer. Would not put money on the Black Cats to get promoted this year either.
   536. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: August 21, 2019 at 03:37 PM (#5873243)
The hits keep on coming ...


Bolton Wanderers are now without a manager after Phil Parkinson and his assistant, Steve Parkin, resigned from the beleaguered club.

Parkinson’s decision is the latest blow to Bolton, who have been in administration since May and postponed the visit of Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night due to concerns over safeguarding of younger players.

...

While the club remain hopeful that a takeover from Football Ventures will occur soon, who will take charge for the visit of Ipswich Town on Saturday is unclear.
   537. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: August 21, 2019 at 04:18 PM (#5873257)
Speaking of League One. I was checking Sunderland this morning. They beat Rochdale 2-1 on the , so that's good, but Rochdale had a 63-37 possession advantage which blew my mind.


My FM team loses about 8 games a year that way so it sounds pretty normal to me.

edit: When I see that kind of stat line I assume Sunderland scored two goals in the first twenty minutes and then parked the bus the rest of the way. But no--Rochdale actually scored first, and Sunderland didn't take the lead until the 57th minute. Shots were 10-10.
   538. manchestermets Posted: August 21, 2019 at 05:34 PM (#5873273)
Bolton have it good.

A former director of Bury FC has chained herself to a drainpipe at the club’s stadium in a bid to save the beleaguered team from impending extinction.

The club, one of the oldest in the league, is due to be expelled from the English Football League (EFL) on Friday unless it can provide financial information showing that it can pay its debts and adequately function.
   539. Mr Dashwood Posted: August 21, 2019 at 06:09 PM (#5873276)
I watched Sunderland play Portsmouth on Saturday morning, and I think the 63-37 possession ratio makes sense if they play using the same approach.

It seemed for the first half-hour Sunderland were trying to build through the back, and the result was that they kept turning the ball over in midfield. The Portsmouth forwards then ran straight at the defenders, almost knife-through-butter stuff, except in the last ditch Sunderland seemed to escape being punished.

Then, Sunderland started lofting long balls into the Portsmouth half, and came good on a couple of these forays.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth kept the build-up play so were holding onto the ball for longer. The result was Portsmouth had 58 per cent of the possession, which isn't that far off Rochdale's percentage.
   540. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 21, 2019 at 06:34 PM (#5873281)
On the subject of League One...what is going to happen with Bury? How does a team in this state be allowed to play the season? Shouldn't there have been a point well over a month ago that Bury could present to the FA or whoever is in charge proof that they could play this season? If not then something should have been done then. Bury are a ########### but it seems to me that this is a heavily on the FA for letting it get to this stage.

Also, why are there games so far postponed rather than forfeited? Seems to me that it should be a forfeit if they don't play.
   541. Richard Posted: August 21, 2019 at 07:27 PM (#5873291)
The Football League have done this because they want to give Bury every chance to prove they can carry on. Only 3 teams have left the Football League after the season commenced, the last in 1992. Plus all of those teams were in the bottom division, unlike Bury, so the situation is unusual. The League does not have a history of throwing teams out.

They will, however, be thrown out on Friday I think. The League have already said that only 3 clubs will go down from League One if this happens, and I assume that they will promote an extra team from the Conference to make up the numbers.

I suspect Bolton will go as well now. So sad. Bolton is a founder member of the League and Bury have been members since the 1890s.
   542. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 21, 2019 at 08:00 PM (#5873296)
Bolton are a shitshow but they are playing their games. I know they have issues too but it seems like they are a step ahead of Bury at the moment.
   543. The_Ex Posted: August 21, 2019 at 09:37 PM (#5873311)
Most clubs below the premier league are losing money and are only surviving with cash from the owners. Owners invest in the championship in hopes of getting promoted and getting some of that sweet EPL cash. In league one and two its usual for a local businessman to subsidize the team but it seems like the list of willing owners is running short. That leaves the door open for con-men and the like to buy teams for asset stripping or for the notoriety.

The leagues below the EPL could be in for a big restructuring over the next ten years.
   544. Baldrick Posted: August 21, 2019 at 10:02 PM (#5873313)
The Chicago Red Stars, fresh off a five game winning streak that jumped them up to the top of the table, just lost two straight games to the two worst teams in the league. The NWSL playoff race looked like it was going to be pretty boring a week ago, but it now looks almost certain to have some excitement right down to the wire.
   545. Richard Posted: August 21, 2019 at 10:30 PM (#5873326)
Bolton are a shitshow but they are playing their games. I know they have issues too but it seems like they are a step ahead of Bury at the moment.

There is more potential value at Bolton - there is at least an infrastructure, a much better stadium (with a hotel attached, which is one of the reasons for the takeover hold up) and a bigger town. And as you say the Youth team is stepping in and doing their best.

Tough times in Greater Manchester. As well as Bolton and Bury, Oldham also have financial problems and are second bottom of the Football League, Rochdale have never had any money (you could argue this is their most successful decade ever, actually) and Wigan are unlikely to trouble the Premier League any time soon.
   546. manchestermets Posted: August 22, 2019 at 04:12 AM (#5873368)
Bolton are a shitshow but they are playing their games.


Bolton in fact cancelled one of their own games this week - they were supposed to be playing Doncaster on Tuesday but unilaterally called it off because they're currently in the position that they're reliant on under 18 players to put a team out and they don't want to run them into the ground. Bury's games haven't been forfeits (apart from the League Cup game) because they didn't call them off themselves, the EFL called them off because Bury were unable (or unwilling - I'm sure the owner wants them to go under so that he can asset strip) to show the proof that they can get through the season.
   547. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 22, 2019 at 11:55 AM (#5873441)
Dudelange already in a hole against Ararat-Armenia, though we are only halfway through the first leg.

How good is Ararat? They did win the Armenian league by a single point last year, so that's not bad. On the other hand, they were only just formed two years ago, so the jury's still out. I'd have to think Dudelange was the favorite coming into the tie, though I don't know for sure.

How did Ararat get this far? By beating the Red Imps and Georgia's Saburtalo. Along with Dudelange, that's a murderer's row.
   548. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 22, 2019 at 03:34 PM (#5873542)
Linfield with the shock halftime lead home to Qarabag.
   549. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 22, 2019 at 03:41 PM (#5873544)
Wolves look to be the better team in Torino, but are having trouble getting good scoring chances. They have to play with most of the possession, which doesn't seem to favor them.
   550. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 22, 2019 at 03:47 PM (#5873547)
Espanyol somehow contrived to trail 0-1 at the break in the first leg at home against Zorya Luhansk. That's bad, but at least there's plenty of time to recover.

Set piece goal for Wolves. Now we could see some countering.

edit: I have a stream with no announcers, but it looked like a beautifully placed own goal header off of a nice cross from the set piece. Sure enough.
   551. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 22, 2019 at 04:23 PM (#5873566)
Traore's been a handful down the right, and he just set up a sitter goal for Jota with his dribbling to the goal line and pull back.

Speaking of pull backs, Torino grabs one back within a minute, so the tie's not over yet.
   552. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 22, 2019 at 04:40 PM (#5873572)
On a Wolves breakaway, Torino fouled the player without the ball. The linesman called for the foul but the ref played an advantage while the other Torino defenders more or less let Jimenez waltz through for an easy solo goal. The defenders almost seemed to stop playing. 3-1 up on the road and that's likely all Woives are going to need in this tie.

Linfield hold on for the shock 3-2 win at home. Unfortunately they gave one up in added time, so they certainly aren't favorites to advance going into the second leg on the road to Qarabag.

PSV and Celtic took care of business. Rangers has some work to do at home after settling for 0-0 on the road to Legia Warsaw.

Frankfurt struggled at Strasbourg in the parts of the game I saw, and are down 1-0. They still have the home leg coming up, so they are by no means out of it.

Espanyol has recovered to score a couple (edit. make that three). No danger of them failing to advance now.
   553. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 22, 2019 at 04:52 PM (#5873579)
Horrible defensive miscue in the box by Wolves! WTF? Ball rolling harmlessly towards the corner and the defender took a mighty swing at the ball in the box and only ended up kicking the offensive player. That's one of the worst defensive errors I have seen. Now just 3-2. Wolves still in very good shape of course, but sheesh.
   554. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: August 22, 2019 at 05:03 PM (#5873587)
Zorya Luhansk.


I'm sorry my freedom loving friends, but I must have this woman's babies.

They'll be twins and each sister will be more ruthless than the other ...

I'm not exactly sure how this works, I think it involves gestating in a box.

This will not end well.
   555. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 22, 2019 at 09:08 PM (#5873627)
Spurs have officially sold Nkoudou to Besiktas and seem to be selling Wanyama to Brugge.
   556. spivey Posted: August 23, 2019 at 08:49 AM (#5873689)
Wanyama is a sad one. When fit he's better than Dier and Sissoko for me. But he's not been fit for a long time. And if he's fit I want him on the team, but he's also not even 30, and I don't want his career to basically be over or him to flop in Brugge. So I guess I hope he'll regain his form and physically boss CL midfields for another 2-3 years, even if it's not with Tottenham.
   557. Sean Forman Posted: August 23, 2019 at 10:06 AM (#5873707)
One of my weekly rituals is figuring out what Americans overseas did and when they play. So I made a tool to do just that. It shows all Americans (not playing in the US) games played the last 7 days and fixtures for the next 7 days.

https://fbref.com/en/stathead/scout/USA

Change the USA at the end for other countries.

Also FBref is up to 40+ countries and 80 competitions. Major domestic cups are next on the list.
   558. Topher Posted: August 23, 2019 at 10:41 AM (#5873728)
Thanks Sean. Just bookmarked it.

I was on the road and missed out on soccer last weekend. Pretty cool to see that Sergino Dest got a start for Ajax; wasn't on my radar until clicking on your link.
   559. Mr Dashwood Posted: August 23, 2019 at 01:49 PM (#5873785)
   560. Mefisto Posted: August 23, 2019 at 02:05 PM (#5873789)
Good article. Thanks.
   561. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 23, 2019 at 09:10 PM (#5873954)
Thanks to Sean and Dashwood. Good stuff all around.

If Everton could finish they would have won easily today. Wolcott’s miss in particular was awful.
   562. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 24, 2019 at 10:02 AM (#5874049)
The Sheffield United manager gives me a Ray Winstone vibe.
   563. Mefisto Posted: August 24, 2019 at 10:52 AM (#5874060)
Palace adopt exactly the right strategy against United: sit deep and pressure Pogba. United lack the creativity to deal with that.
   564. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 24, 2019 at 12:02 PM (#5874072)
Maybe, but United still dominated the game and should have won. Had a missed penalty and another one really should have been given for Martial (not sure why it wasn't... something about an advantage that was very sketchy, because Martial was able to get a very off-balance shot off? I really don't understand it). The two Palace goals were off a bad defensive mistake on a goal kick, and a shot that went straight through De Gea. United also could have had a last man foul. Pretty much everything went wrong for United.

All that said, a better team than United probably would have found a way to win anyway.

All the road teams won today so far. Of course, the better teams were all on the road except United.
   565. Mefisto Posted: August 24, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5874077)
I don't understand the non-call on Martial either. And the ref made a clear mistake in booking James for "diving". United certainly had the breaks go against them, but they failed to create many good chances -- Guaita only made 2 saves. Their offensive strength is on the break.

ETA: Still, xG went United 1.6 (+pen) to Palace .9.
   566. Richard Posted: August 24, 2019 at 12:36 PM (#5874079)
I hate to say it, but Harvey Barnes’ winner for Leicester is a great strike.
   567. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 24, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5874082)
United have the most expected points in the league by a comfortable margin, per Understat. They'll very likely drop to second once City play tomorrow though. Nobody else is likely to get close to them.

You can say that the last two teams didn't challenge them in midfield and they'll struggle much more going forward, but it would be a real stretch to say they've played poorly to start the season.
   568. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 24, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5874084)
Great breakaway by Pepe with excellent speed and ball control. Terrible finish though--almost looked like he was trying to put it between Adrian's legs but he was too far from the keeper to try that.
   569. Mefisto Posted: August 24, 2019 at 03:02 PM (#5874101)
I realized that United's xG today will be overstated by the value of Martial's "chance". Because there was no penalty given, it goes down as an opportunity even though it wasn't because of what looked to me like a clear foul.
   570. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: August 24, 2019 at 03:07 PM (#5874104)
And this is why it's smarter to dive on the slightest contact in the box, class.
   571. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 24, 2019 at 03:27 PM (#5874112)
I realized that United's xG today will be overstated by the value of Martial's "chance". Because there was no penalty given, it goes down as an opportunity even though it wasn't because of what looked to me like a clear foul.


According to understat, by .11 xG. Or, if it had been a penalty and you count penalties as part of xG (which many sites including 538 and understat do), then it will be understated by the difference between a penalty opportunity (0.76) and the .11, por by 0.65.

If they had called a penalty, understat would have had it as 2.9-0.7 and 538 would have had the game as 3.1-0.7.
   572. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 24, 2019 at 03:28 PM (#5874113)
double post
   573. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 24, 2019 at 04:59 PM (#5874141)
Lots and lots and lots of drama about the new hand ball rules in the Bundesliga today. (and associated VAR drama, I should add)
   574. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 24, 2019 at 07:58 PM (#5874169)
xG went United 1.6 (+pen)


I see this whenever there is a penalty given. Help me understand; does that mean the 1.6 does NOT include the PK?

- Liverpool v. Arsenal really highlighted for me just how good Liverpool are. Arsenal are a good team and Arsenal had nothing to counter them. Liverpool were just the far superior team in the first 60 minutes (then I went to Best Buy).

- I didn’t see the goal he surrendered but how big an issue do Liverpool have an issue with Adrian? No clean sheets yet and a couple of high profile mistakes (the pen in the Super Cup or whatever it’s called) and a bad goal last weekend.

- I watched a lot of Sheffield United v. Leicester and that was a fun game. Early doors obviously but both they and Norwich have come up determined to play. Whether or not it will work is open to question but it’s fun to see teams going for it.
   575. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 24, 2019 at 08:20 PM (#5874173)
does that mean the 1.6 does NOT include the PK?
That's right, it does not. PK attempts are (or were last year) given around .76 xG. Understat and 538 include PK attempts in their xG totals, so for them 1.6 (+pen) is listed as 2.4 xG.

Personally I think penalties are somewhat "undeserved", but mostly not. If I were calculating xG I'd regress them at most 50%. There's certainly an argument for either including them or not, but at any rate not including a regressed amount. The latter could just lead to more confusion.

Adrian (or Allison for that matter) couldn't do anything about the goal today. Isn't Allison coming back before too long? I guess we don't know for sure yet. They probably don't really need him for the group stages of the CL anyway, so we are really talking about the next few (several?) EPL games.

   576. Baldrick Posted: August 24, 2019 at 09:58 PM (#5874193)
Sellout crowd (just over 19,000) for the Washington Spirit at Audi Field in DC. Obviously, it's a one-off event and you can't just extrapolate that level of support out indefinitely, but it's a strong data point. Being in the city, instead of out in the middle of nowhere in Maryland, makes a big difference.

The Spirit won 2-1 over Orlando to keep themselves in the playoff hunt. Thanks in no small part to some ridiculous goalkeeping from Aubrey Bledsoe. Meanwhile, Reign FC are literally missing a full team's worth of players to injuries, but still almost held out against North Carolina. They played a Christmas Tree 4321, which is the first time I've seen that in women's soccer in a long while.
   577. Mefisto Posted: August 25, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5874277)
Another penalty that should have been given. I don't understand what the VAR folks are doing.
   578. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 25, 2019 at 12:25 PM (#5874280)
Didn't look like penalty to me. Announcers in the game and at the half in the studio both agreed. Anyway, it was at most debatable, so probably shouldn't be one that is overturned on VAR anyway.
   579. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 25, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5874283)
Now that one looked like a penalty to me. Not as blatant as the one in the Man U game, but clear enough for me.

Unless someone official comes out and says the Martial one was an error by the crew, I'm not hopeful for VAR this year.
   580. spivey Posted: August 25, 2019 at 01:09 PM (#5874284)
Kane got wiped out on a very high xG chance. I just seriously don’t understand what made them think that wasn’t a foul.
   581. spivey Posted: August 25, 2019 at 01:28 PM (#5874286)
Sissoko needs to be benched. I imagine in time he will be, but the time needs to be now. Without Alli, GLC, Eriksen, or Ndombele out there nobody can make a key pass.
   582. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 25, 2019 at 01:33 PM (#5874287)
The craziest stat from the EPL this year is probably that outside of Watford (with 0), every team has at least 3 points after 3 games.

5 teams have 3 points, and a whopping 10 teams have 4 points. Only 4 teams have more: Leicester (5) Arsenal (6) Man City (7) Liverpool (9).
   583. Mefisto Posted: August 25, 2019 at 03:51 PM (#5874298)
Sissoko? I thought W-P was very poor today. Sissoko looked like a better option at right back.

I thought Lerma stepped on Silva's foot, so that's a penalty for me. So is Lascelles/Kane. I guess the practice is "if the ref saw the play, his call stands".
   584. spivey Posted: August 25, 2019 at 05:42 PM (#5874306)
Sissoko? I thought W-P was very poor today. Sissoko looked like a better option at right back.

I thought KWP, Sissoko, Winks, and Davinson Sanchez were all poor. Sanchez was excellent against City, so I'll give him some wiggle room, but I view him as pretty responsible for the goal and damn it, let me see some Jan.

Winks is ok, but won't break the lines with dribbling or even passing much yet. It's similar to last year where Tottenham struggled to advance the ball to attack, or pick out a clever ball.

I thought Son was pretty poor as well, but he's been out of game action for a while, and his resume speaks for itself.

I mean, there's a reason why Lo Celso and Ndombele were bought, and they didn't play much.

Alli is also probably Tottenham's second most creative passer, and they've been missing him. Really hope he's fit for next week.
   585. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 25, 2019 at 06:10 PM (#5874315)
79.8% - Tottenham had 79.8% possession in their 0-1 defeat to Newcastle; the second-highest figure for a losing side in the Premier League since 2003-04, behind only Liverpool's 80.4% against Burnley in August 2016.
(OptaJoe)

Liverpool didn't play badly in that game. It was on the road to Burnley, and they lost 2-0 despite having a 0.9-0.2 xG edge (understat). Burnley scored on two of their three shots, all taken from the very edge of the box or outside.

538 had it as even more extreme: 0.2-1.2, with non-shot xG as 0.3-2.4.
   586. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 25, 2019 at 06:22 PM (#5874319)
Now that one looked like a penalty to me. Not as blatant as the one in the Man U game, but clear enough for me.

Unless someone official comes out and says the Martial one was an error by the crew, I'm not hopeful for VAR this year.


Arlo White talked at length this weekend about the fact that VAR has a VERY high bar for an overturn. Frankly I prefer this approach, it’s how replay SHOULD be used in my opinion. It’s not perfect but replays should be overturning calls rarely IMO.
   587. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 25, 2019 at 06:25 PM (#5874320)
If that Martial play wasn't a penalty, nothing is.
   588. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 25, 2019 at 06:42 PM (#5874323)
I’ll admit I didn’t see the Martial one. The Kane one from today’s game it wasn’t clear to me how much contact there was.

I’m not saying it’s perfect. I’d be cool with not having VAR at all to be honest. I’m just saying my preference if there is any uncertainty that the call on the field remain boss. And again, I’m talking generally, not about any specific call. Fouls in soccer are not as clear as safe/out calls in baseball so I’d expect a “clear and obvious” standard to result in fewer overturns.
   589. Mefisto Posted: August 25, 2019 at 07:16 PM (#5874327)
I'm pretty sure there was contact with Kane. Even though the defender tripped himself first, he fell into Kane. As I understand it, that's a foul.

And Aunt Bea is right about the Martial play.
   590. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 25, 2019 at 07:26 PM (#5874330)
Even though the defender tripped himself first, he fell into Kane. As I understand it, that's a foul.
The defender also threw his arm out as he was going down in an attempt to prevent Kane from making a play. If he hadn't done that I'd have had more sympathy for letting the call stand.

I sort of understand if the EPL wants to set the standard for overturning a play on the field higher than the Kane play, though I don't think I agree. However, the Martial play was just ridiculous.

   591. Mefisto Posted: August 25, 2019 at 07:34 PM (#5874333)
Yeah, that arm looked intentional to me. I don't think intent is necessary for a penalty, but I guess it can be considered if there's any doubt otherwise.
   592. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 25, 2019 at 07:56 PM (#5874341)
Yeah that’s a penalty. At best they could say the foul was outside the box (the initial contact) but man that’s absolutely a foul.
   593. The_Ex Posted: August 25, 2019 at 08:29 PM (#5874345)
Here is my VAR theory.

The same referees as previous years are on the field someone else must be in the VAR booth.

Therefore more junior ref's could be in the replay booth.

The EFL have said there should be a high bar to overturn the on-field decision.

The more junior VAR officials don't want to overrule their seniors and if there are same level VAR officials, professional courtesy stops them from saying you made a mistake.

After this weekend I suspect the bar will be lowered a bit.
   594. Mefisto Posted: August 25, 2019 at 08:51 PM (#5874350)
@593: Actually they've been using EPL refs for the replay booth and less experienced ones for the 4th official. That's why, when the other day the planned ref got stuck in traffic and couldn't get there in time, his replacement was refereeing his first EPL game.
   595. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 25, 2019 at 09:37 PM (#5874358)
Didn't see most of the game because of other commitments, but it appears that Spurs were complete trash other than penalty shouts. That is........concerning.
   596. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 26, 2019 at 03:36 AM (#5874372)
I don't think that is right at all. Even without a penalty, I think Spurs generated enough good chances, that they should have won that game fairly easily. Just didn't have their shooting boots on in front of goal. And I say that as a Newcastle supporter, who really didn't do much other than the goal.
   597. spivey Posted: August 26, 2019 at 07:49 AM (#5874377)
Spurs only won xG 1.2-0.8. This doesn't count the Kane missed penalty or the Son potential penalty as well, which I think was one, but a tougher call.

I mean, that's good enough to win, but you'll draw or lose your fair share of games with that close of an xG. And I think Spurs biggest chances pretty much all came in the last 15 minutes or so.
   598. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 26, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5874423)
Understat had it as 1.26-0.51, and 538 as 1.7-0.5. So overall, probably good enough to win most days (even without the penalties). The bigger problem is that Tottenham basically didn't do much useful for the first 75+ minutes of the game, at home, against supposedly one of the very worst teams in the league (still one of the favorites for relegation even after the win yesterday).
   599. spivey Posted: August 26, 2019 at 11:03 AM (#5874448)
Yes, agree with 598. I am still hopeful that if Eriksen stays, when him, Ndombele and Lo Celso get fit and used to the scheme they will be very tough. A couple of years ago Tottenham used to be able to frequently run these sorts of teams off the pitch, and over the last year and a half that's become much, much more rare. That coincides well with the midfield turning to ####.
   600. Mefisto Posted: August 26, 2019 at 11:11 AM (#5874456)
Flip.
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