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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

OT: Soccer Thread (2018-19 season begins!)

Let’s get it on!

August 3 - English Championship (Reading v Derby)
August 4 - Scottish Premier League, League One (ENG), League Two (ENG)
August 10 - English Premier League (Manchester United v Leicester City), Eredivisie, Primeira Liga
August 11 - Ligue 1
August 17 - La Liga
August 18 - Serie A
August 24 - Bundesliga (Bayern v Hoffenheim)
August 28 - UEFA Champions League Playoff Round
September 6 - UEFA Nations League

TV Rights:
UEFA Nations League - ESPN
UEFA Champions League - Turner Sports
EPL - NBC
EFL - ESPN+
La Liga - BeIN
Bundesliga - Fox
Ligue 1 - BeIN

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 31, 2018 at 01:10 PM | 1213 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   301. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 17, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5728855)
flop
   302. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 17, 2018 at 02:43 PM (#5728885)
The Problem for Real is they aren't the only shopper for Galacticos anymore.
   303. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 17, 2018 at 02:44 PM (#5728888)
538 is very high on La Liga overall this year, despite the recent EPL success. The worst rated team in La Liga is ranked better than all EPL teams except the top 6 plus Leicester and Crystal Palace. Yes, their predictions say Everton would likely be relegated if they had to play in La Liga.

Pure ELO tells a vastly different story--it has the EPL as slightly worse, and the worst team in La Liga only better than the bottom 3 teams in the EPL.
   304. J. Sosa Posted: August 17, 2018 at 03:10 PM (#5728901)
Re: 302

Old money salt is the best salt.

Rummenigge:

“City, PSG – they’ve always been the global inflaters. Not Real, who have spent next to nothing in the past years, which is proof you don’t have to join the madness to win the Champions League.”

Gag me with a spoon. I laughed and laughed and laughed when Barca was up to the usual shenanigans tapping up a PSG player last season and Al-Khelaifi’s response was to send several briefcases full of euros to buy out Neymar’s contract.
   305. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 17, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5728904)
Why Maurizio Sarri Makes Chelsea Must-See TV

Sarri still has plenty of choices to make, though. After reinventing himself from a fringe winger to a starting wingback, will Victor Moses get any minutes as a right back, with Davide Zappacosta also in the running for a slot there, or will he need to reinvent himself again as a winger? Can aging center back Gary Cahill get pitch time with Luiz, Rüdiger, and Andreas Christensen all ahead of him in the pecking order? Is Emerson, so promising at Roma a year or so back, or Alonso the better choice at left back? How on earth can Danny Drinkwater get anywhere near a midfield three when Jorginho, N’Golo Kanté, Mateo Kovacic probably start and Ross Barkley and Cesc Fàbregas, and probably even Ruben Loftus-Cheek, rotate in ahead of him?

That midfield seems like where Chelsea’s season will rise or fall. The Huddersfield game confirmed two things: that 4-3-3 is the formation, and that Jorginho will play in the center of the midfield three. Maybe that was no surprise, given it was the same role he inhabited for the same manager at Napoli, but it does pose an interesting question around Kanté. While Kanté’s widely regarded as the foremost defense-oriented defensive midfielder in the game, this team doesn’t really have that role anymore, with Sarri opting for a passer in that position instead. Against Huddersfield, Kanté played significantly higher up the field than usual and to the right of Jorginho. He showed great willingness to push up, but that’s not really his game; he’s best when he’s covering sideline to sideline, stopping attacks in front of the back line. Now, Kanté has the natural engine to fulfill a box-to-box role, but we have no idea if his passing can hold up under the pressure he’ll face higher up the field. When Chelsea have such options as the talented Kovacic, a natural ball carrier in Barkley, or an elite attacking passer such as Fàbregas, it raises even more questions about employing Kanté in an advanced role. Getting the midfield balance right could be Sarri’s biggest challenge.


Generally, I'm liking The Ringer's footie coverage, just wish there was about 50% more of it (and 50% less on the NBA), but I suppose it can't be helped with Simmons running the show ...
   306. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 17, 2018 at 03:19 PM (#5728905)
Apparently they've going to tray to play Asensio through the middle
   307. J. Sosa Posted: August 17, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5728908)
More from the heart of stone not to laugh category:

Javier Tebas, La Liga President:

“La Liga are losing their stars, there are things that should not happen. I am talking about Psg and Juventus that signed Cristiano Ronaldo. And what about Inter? They have no money to sign Modric but, somehow, they had a chance to spend lot of money to sign him.

I have no certainties about Juventus, let’s see how the deal will be explained. I’m sure however that Inter wanted to do some kind of tricks to sign Modric. The same happened with Psg and Neymar. Clubs like Psg and Man City destabilize the transfers and Spanish fans must be aware of it.”
   308. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 17, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5728911)
Evidently the deal with Inter is they will add very lucrative years at the end of the Inter deal for Modric to play in China. I think that qualifies as a trick, but La Liga are going to be waiting a long time for any tears to be shed.
   309. J. Sosa Posted: August 17, 2018 at 03:54 PM (#5728912)
I am appalled that Inter would do such a thing!

Now, say Italy as a nation waived taxes on Inter for decades and purchased a training ground for 600 million euros, that would have been legitimate.
   310. Palm Beach Pollworker Posted: August 18, 2018 at 12:34 PM (#5729219)
West Ham United 1:2 AFC Bournemouth

Cherries' fans would have probably been happy with a point, and collecting all three is like Christmas in August. West Ham is one of the teams that could keep Bournemouth out of mid-table respectability, and getting the full-haul away gives some confidence to a side that about half the commentators have assigned to a relegation spot.

The beginning of the game gave no indication that this was on the cards. During the first half Bournemouth was outplayed to a remarkable extent. The best chance came in the 27th minute, with Wilson clear on goal but a decent, not remarkable, save by Fabianski killed it off. Then, in the 31st minute, Aké's trailing leg caught Chicharito in the area, and although Bergovic guessed right, Arnautovic just had too much behind it. West Ham took the lead. West Ham's coming defensive frailties were highlighted in the 42nd minute when Brooks found himself wide open for a header but pushed it to his left instead of his right. At half time the stats clearly showed West Ham dominance, with 70 per cent of possession, Bournemouth passing poorly with only 71 per cent complete and also a -7 differential in tackles. Neither did the Cherries have any take-ons to speak of (Brooks with one), and holding their own in aerial wins with 7 to the Hammers' 10.

Bournemouth started the second half a bit more sprightly but the tide began to turn in the 52nd minute when no West Ham players were far enough forward to take advantage of a beautiful ball across the Bournemouth goal mouth during a corner. Two minutes later the Wee Man (Ryan Fraser) was bundled over in the area by some desperate Hammers' defending, which I thought deserved at least a review. In the 60th minute a pass from the deep inside the Bournemouth half found Wilson just inside West Ham's half at the circle. He then made a classic counterattacking run, riding Noble's tackle on the edge of the area and slotting the ball behind Fabianski to level the scores. Nine minutes later, Ogbonna roughly challenged Brooks on the near-side of the area, almost to the touchline, making a Vinnie-Jones style grab for Brooks' goolies in the process. Cook scored off the resultant free kick, breaking from a slightly deeper position into the line unmarked for the header. A minute later Bournemouth's dominance was apparent when an Aké clearance from a Hammers' corner quickly turned into a major threat with Wilson holding the ball up well in the West Ham area, only to see the pass back to Francis wasted on a poor shot. Definitely a missed chance for a two-goal advantage. West Ham now turned cynical, with a savage foul by Snodgrass on the Wee Man just as he was about to be substituted (his replacement waiting on the touchline for the referee to let him on), resulting in a free yellow. Bournemouth hunkered down at this point, with another lucky break after another beautiful cross along the grass went unclaimed by any Hammer. Cook was the star of this phase, and in the 91st minute his positioning and anticipation cleared another West Ham threat, which could have usefully gone on except that Zabaleta fouled the poor Wee Man, and the ref and Begovic together were able to waste a few more precious seconds as a yellow was awarded and the free kick was organised. West Ham was quite chippy at this point, with Yaramenko seeming to get a yellow for chatting back, and soon it was all over. Bournemouth had improved on its first half totals almost across the board, with possession rising to 39 per cent, passing improving to 77 per cent, adding 14(!!) successful take-ons to the Hammers' 7. Only in tackles did they get worse, with West Ham's advantage rising to +10.

The Hammers look better going forward than defending, and seem liable to be caught on the break. I thought they played a decent midfield game, and made some useful chances that they just were unable to co-ordinate well. But the defence looks a bit porous, with a distinct lack of organisation in the back-line. There was just too much desperate defending during Bournemouth's moments of advantage. By contrast, the Cherries continue to look in 2017/18 form, not giving up when down a goal and playing badly. Their central pairing of Cook and Aké is definitely better than West Ham's, even though Aké actually had a rather poor game. I wouldn't be surprised if new signings Rico and Lerma take the fullback positions, which seem to be the weaker areas of Bournemouth's defence, although Daniels seems to have had a good match, leading the Cherries in tackles.
   311. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 18, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5729223)
The Arsenal era of terrible defending is still alive and well. Emery seemingly has a lot of work to do.
   312. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 18, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5729224)
The Big 6 is dead. Long live the Furious Five...
   313. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 18, 2018 at 01:02 PM (#5729227)
Oh Arsenal ... that's two sitters they've skied ...

[edit] I guess all they needed was a harder chance ... MICKEY KITTENS!
   314. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 18, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5729228)
On the other end. Arsenal has now worked the ball in twice for wide open pullbacks right in front of goal. Two chances skied over the bar, one by Aubameyang and one by Mkhitarian.
   315. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 18, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5729229)
Morata mad both Cech and the defender (Mustafi?) look bad without much of a move.

Mkhitaryan is capable of brilliance but he is awful seemingly every other time.

Kante looks Like he can play the more advanced position, but he is totally lost when he gets the ball in that position.
   316. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 18, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5729232)
Wow that was a great shot but the keeper needs to push that around the post
   317. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 18, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5729236)
Well, this one is a fun one ...
   318. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 18, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5729237)
Arsenal a third pull back for a wide-open look. Iwobi took care of that one. Chelseam may have some work to do on their defensive end as well...
   319. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 18, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5729238)
The xg this match is going to be very high.
   320. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 18, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5729241)
Obviously, the way to defend the goal against Arsenal is to allow them open cut backs in front of it ...
   321. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 18, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5729242)
Arsenal would have folded under Wenger. Also - David Luiz is not a good defender
   322. Palm Beach Pollworker Posted: August 18, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5729262)
I'm really not at all impressed with Lacazette, but he comes with the imprimatur of some people whose views I respect.
   323. Palm Beach Pollworker Posted: August 18, 2018 at 02:19 PM (#5729264)
My fantasy manager was willing that Ramsey shot into the net.
   324. Chicago Joe Posted: August 18, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5729278)
Bostock needs a patreon.
   325. Palm Beach Pollworker Posted: August 18, 2018 at 03:11 PM (#5729309)
Chievo gave Juve a bit of a fright, but the inevitable Juve championship is still inevitable.
   326. Mefisto Posted: August 18, 2018 at 03:53 PM (#5729345)
I really don't understand Chelsea's lineup decisions. Moving Kante -- for my money, the best defender in the world -- off his usual position seems to me like a net loss both ways. Replacing Barkley and Willian seemed strange also. I thought Pedro and Jorghino were the obvious choices for the sub.
   327. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5729632)
United's defense is crap. Mata offers nothing defensively so Young is overloaded. Lindelof and Shaw have no awareness.

Plus Mourinho buys all these tall players and they suck at set pieces. Third-year Mourinho is in full effect.
   328. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5729633)
2-0 up for BHA ... I believe there's a German word for what I'm feeling right now (though there is a LONG way to go) ...

[edit] Who had *this* one for 3 goals in a little over 30 minutes???
   329. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:38 AM (#5729636)
On that United goal, shouldn't the men guarding the post have come off the line faster, since the ball went out near the edge of the penalty box? Maybe it's too much to ask because it happened pretty fast, but if the Brighton players had been more aware maybe they can push up and not allow Lukaku his excellent position right in front of goal to be onside.

We were always taught, playing defense, to push upfield immediately in situations like that.
   330. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 19, 2018 at 11:46 AM (#5729638)
Wow ... what a comedy of crap (on both sides)((except for the through ball)) that led to that BHA penalty.
   331. strong silence Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5729665)
A man holds his established position then ducks his head to avoid a crunching tackle from the defender coming at him at speed from behind. The Modern Ref calls this a foul.
   332. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 19, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5729681)
No contact but I’d have had no problem with Fred seeing red there. He just missed Murray and could easily have injured Murray.
   333. KronicFatigue Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5729696)
I really don't understand Chelsea's lineup decisions. Moving Kante -- for my money, the best defender in the world -- off his usual position seems to me like a net loss both ways. Replacing Barkley and Willian seemed strange also. I thought Pedro and Jorghino were the obvious choices for the sub.


Yes, I definitely need someone to explain the Kante thing to me, because it doesn't make sense. Kante as a defender-only seems like such an amazing value that I can't even understand the concept of trying to make him box to box. He'd have to be pretty impressively offensively to justify the loss in defense. Seems to me the simpler move is to play Barkley higher or give Willian/Pedro more offensive freedom.

Maybe Kante will sit back more once Hazzard starts playing more?


Also seems like Pedro should always be subbed off instead of Willian. Again, I should preface all my posts with "I have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to soccer" but it seems like they play similar roles, but Willian has more stamina and more versatility.

   334. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:26 PM (#5729704)
I don't understand the Kante thing either, but since I don't like Chelsea, that part doesn't bother me. What does bother me is that as a fan of the beautiful game I'm deprived of seeing Kante at his magnificent best.
   335. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 19, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5729708)
After the first two games, who do you have for likely relegation now? Cardiff and Huddersfield are still givens (for most people at least). The third is a bit trickier. My pick of Watford isn't looking so great. Brighton had a big win today obviously.

Betting odds have it as.... Fulham! But Brighton, Burnley and Newcastle are not far behind.
   336. Baldrick Posted: August 19, 2018 at 03:19 PM (#5729778)
Yes, I definitely need someone to explain the Kante thing to me, because it doesn't make sense. Kante as a defender-only seems like such an amazing value that I can't even understand the concept of trying to make him box to box. He'd have to be pretty impressively offensively to justify the loss in defense. Seems to me the simpler move is to play Barkley higher or give Willian/Pedro more offensive freedom.

Playing a ball-winner with an incredible engine higher up the pitch can be really successful. Allows you to gain possession in far more dangerous spaces and harass your opponent. It makes the whole game a lot more helter skelter, so I wouldn't want to bank too heavily on that approach but in the right circumstance it can be really useful.
   337. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 19, 2018 at 04:31 PM (#5729825)
Oh, Ray Hudson ... how I haven't missed you.
   338. Mefisto Posted: August 19, 2018 at 04:43 PM (#5729839)
Granted that Baldrick's suggestion is perfectly reasonable, (1) I haven't seen evidence that it's working so far; and (2) I'm still skeptical that the best way to implement that tactic is to take the best player in the world at his position and ask him to do something different.
   339. Palm Beach Pollworker Posted: August 19, 2018 at 05:09 PM (#5729864)
After the first two games, who do you have for likely relegation now? Cardiff and Huddersfield are still givens...Betting odds have [the third team for relegation] as.... Fulham! But Brighton, Burnley and Newcastle are not far behind.

It's hard to say without having seen all the teams, but...

Cardiff: I just don't see how they can avoid the drop. Where are the goals going to come from?

Huddersfield: They are favoured to go down and there is clearly a huge gap between them and the Top Six, but I'm not so sure there's such a huge gap between them and the rest of the division. I won't be surprised if they finish 17th.

Watford: It's early days, but they are looking a good bet for safety. They seem to have a solid defence, given that Brighton scored three against ManU.

Fulham: I see why they are rising in the betting odds, but their acquisitions were too good to write them off yet.

Brighton: They are too good at home to go down.

Burnley: It would never have occurred to me to pick them before the season started, but now I wonder. They might be spreading themselves too thin, what with the Europa League.

Newcastle: This is a good candidate, and probably my top choice from the ones listed by AuntBea/Sky Panther. Experts seem to rate Rafa Benitez as being somehow capable of saving them through sheer coaching willpower alone, but there's just too much trouble at the club to be confident in that, IMO.

Now, moving on to a couple of my own contributions.

Southampton: I like this one. I'm not clear on what they've done to improve a side that barely stayed in the top flight last season, and I'm not a big fan of Mark Hughes as a coach.

West Ham: They just didn't look good at all yesterday, and have had two bad results successively. Unlike Newcastle, though, they have both a capable coach and an absence of turmoil on the team. So I prefer Newcastle.

So my picks based on the season so far would be:
Cardiff, Southampton and either Huddersfield or Newcastle. If you force me to limit myself to three, I'll save Huddersfield and send the Toon Army down.
   340. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 20, 2018 at 08:35 AM (#5730071)
Looks like Zidane is going to try to do to Mourinho what Mourinho did to van Gaal. The cycle of life, innit?

Very early days but I think Huddersfield, Cardiff and Soton look the best bets for going down. I think Fulham will be ok and my relegation dark horse is West Ham.

Tottenham looked much better Saturday. Eriksen is still out of form but Kane looked better and the 3 at the back with Alderweireld in the team looked more cohesive. It was also good to see Lamela looking spry. That run he made to set up Kane's goal was as quick as I can remember him looking since he's been at Spurs. Still a ways to go but much more hopeful looking than after the Newcastle performance.
   341. spivey Posted: August 20, 2018 at 09:26 AM (#5730082)
Re: #340

- Tottenham - I only saw the last 30 minutes because I was busy running a half marathon (nbd), but the announcers made it sound like Tottenham was getting bossed a bit the first 15 minutes of the second half in midfield. When they went to 4 at the back and added Dembele and Lamela which is right around when I watched, they really took over the game and could have scored several goals. Kane missed a couple of sitters. I agree Lamela's run was outstanding, and having the depth of Lamela and Moura/Son in the front 4 is going to be needed. Winks playing was encouraging as well. There will be games where we need 90 minutes in the middle of the park from someone other than Dier, and Dembele may just not be able to do that anymore.

Other than that, Davies continues to be the weak link on the team (along with Sissoko, of course). Trippier has really, really improved. I remember during the WC I thought it was weird he was doing free kicks for England. I don't think that anymore. His defense is also seemed to significantly improve from last year, at least from what I can recall. He's not as good as Kyle Walker, but he's pretty darn good and I think he can hold down that position for some time.

3 at the back. I don't mind if they do it some since they have 3 good center backs, but I'd like them to be willing to sit one of them on occasion as well, especially in matches where they're going to be trying to dominate possession. Having an extra good center back is pretty important... which I guess is a good segue to - it was nice to see Toby out there. I hope that was a real thing and not just a trial run for potential continental teams bidding.

- 3 teams going down. I'll go Huddersfield, Cardiff, and Burnely. I haven't seen Cardiff but based on what everyone says, I'll assume that's right. With Huddersfield I don't understand how they stayed up last year. And then with the last pick, I'll take Burnley. No particular reason, but I guess it's kind of a philosophical pick. They don't have a big time goal scorer and I think the variance and razor thin margins at the bottom of the table are immense. There's not a lot separating a lot of those teams, unless they have a big time scorer. I view them more as a team in the relegation battle than a team like Leicester that should have relative ease staying mid-table.

I'm still reasonably high on Wolves. They've hit the post a few times and when I watched their first game they have pretty good attacking players. They should be able to score goals.
   342. jmurph Posted: August 20, 2018 at 09:41 AM (#5730087)
Feels funny to make this case with them on 0 points through the first two weeks, but I think Arsenal have looked pretty good so far, especially given their opponents. They haven't had an actual attacking plan like this in years.

City/Liverpool/Spurs are locked in for the top 3 in my mind, but I think Arsenal will be right there with Chelsea and United for 4th.
   343. jmurph Posted: August 20, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5730088)
Watched Parma-Udinese yesterday in an attempt to build an allegiance to Parma. It looked good for a bit, with Parma up 2-0 (both mainly due to Udinese mistakes), but then Udinese pulled it back for the draw. Not a lot of exciting play from either team, though, to be honest.

Oh and Udinese has a guy named Lasagna. Come on, that's just bad writing, be a little more creative Serie A.

EDIT: Torino-Roma, on the other hand, was pretty entertaining, ending with a great goal from Dzeko. I like that he's found a home there after his time at City.
   344. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 20, 2018 at 09:49 AM (#5730091)
- Tottenham - I only saw the last 30 minutes because I was busy running a half marathon (nbd), but the announcers made it sound like Tottenham was getting bossed a bit the first 15 minutes of the second half in midfield.

Spurs completely dominated the first half and should have put the game to bed by half time. They switched off after half time and Fulham dominated the next 15 minutes, then Dembele and Lamela came on and Spurs just destroyed Fulham the last 30 minutes. That 15 minutes was worrisome, though.

   345. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 20, 2018 at 09:51 AM (#5730093)
EDIT: Torino-Roma, on the other hand, was pretty entertaining, ending with a great goal from Dzeko. I like that he's found a home there after his time at City.

I was, like, hey Torino is on tv! Cool! Belotti is still there! Falque is there! Mazzari is the coach! Then Dzeko happened. #### that guy.
   346. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 20, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5730146)
Playing a ball-winner with an incredible engine higher up the pitch can be really successful. Allows you to gain possession in far more dangerous spaces and harass your opponent. It makes the whole game a lot more helter skelter, so I wouldn't want to bank too heavily on that approach but in the right circumstance it can be really useful.

Coming in late, but that's a good take. Yes, love seeing DM Kante just blunt attacks but there were a few times in the 2nd half where he was pressing and you could see the potential. As a Chelsea fan, I'm definitely use to a defensive team, except the AVB year of trauma (High line + Terry = stomach issues for me) or Ancelotti but I'm willing to give this new formation a chance. If Kante shows a little more comfort on the ball while always being a good dribbler, I see an almost Super-Ramires, who was really good in his heyday, breaking up play in the opponents third, grabbing a number of hockey assists through Hazard/Kovacic and scoring 4-6 goals because of the defense being sucked in by others. Also, Kovacic's debut made me swoon like a school boy. Know it was a only 30 minutes but if he approximates that, the left side of our offense might be unplayable.
   347. jmurph Posted: August 20, 2018 at 11:55 AM (#5730163)
United's defense is crap. Mata offers nothing defensively so Young is overloaded. Lindelof and Shaw have no awareness.

Saw this sentiment expressed on twitter yesterday, but can't remember who said it: United have the personnel to succeed as an adventurous, risk-taking attacking side, but instead Mourinho does his thing. Without looking, they have something like 16 shots through their first two games.
   348. jmurph Posted: August 20, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5730167)
Aha, it was BBTF's own MCoA:
Michael Caley ‏@MC_of_A
the structure of united's squad pretty much demands a risk-taking manager who will bet on the attackers to score more than their opponent. but...

in response to this:
Mohamed @MoeSquare
This Manchester United squad is flawed:

Their FBs are bleh for the most part
Their CB rotation is ~okay

But their high end attacking talent (Lukaku/Martial/Pogba/Rashford) is awesome and that they have only 16 shots in 2 games against Leicester/Brighton is coaching malpractice
   349. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: August 20, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5730230)
I'm not sure the Chelsea-Arsenal match isn't going to end 7-10.
   350. KronicFatigue Posted: August 20, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5730243)
he Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: August 20, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5730230)
I'm not sure the Chelsea-Arsenal match isn't going to end 7-10.


Depending on what dimension you're talking about, I'm moderately confident in betting the under.
   351. Mefisto Posted: August 20, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5730251)
It's not just that Mourinho emphasizes defense, it's that he has his players so concerned about making a mistake going forward that there is little movement off the ball from the attackers, the midfielders and defenders play for safety in the first place, and they all make nervous mistakes when they do try to attack.
   352. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: August 20, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5730254)
Depending on what dimension you're talking about, I'm moderately confident in betting the under.


Don't ruin my replay Monday afternoons, man.
   353. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 20, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5730282)
I wonder if Mourinho is suffering from a generational change--so many high profile managers (Klopp, Guardiola, Pochettino, etc) play a more exciting, attacking style that I wonder if it doesn't affect the morale of Mourinho's players who are now of a different generation than the players when he started coaching. I wonder if they get envious of the freedom their peers get and start to chafe and Mourinho is completely oblivious as to what contemporary players expect. Conte seemed to have this same problem last season with Chelsea. This is just me thinking out loud, though. The beginnings of a quickly discarded theory...

Speaking of which, how poor a footballer can Usain Bolt be but still be useful to his team because he's so much goddam faster than everyone else?
   354. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 20, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5730283)
Karius is off to the PL's favorite dumping ground--Turkey. Besiktas, to be precise.
   355. CWS Keith plans to [omitted] at [omitted] Posted: August 20, 2018 at 02:41 PM (#5730291)
I'm going to complain for a minute. Whenever Liverpool play at Crystal Palace, the 3-3 game from the failed title run season is mentioned as the game Liverpool lost the title. That's not right. When that game was played, the LFC no longer held control in their own hands. IIRC, they were something like ten goals behind City's goal differential and had two games -- away to Palace, home to Newcastle, maybe? -- to overturn it (barring City dropping points). That's not to say it wasn't a fun game from a neutral's perspective, and the scenes at the end were pretty incredible, but the title was effectively lost the weekend prior against Chelsea.
   356. spivey Posted: August 20, 2018 at 03:03 PM (#5730307)
That's weird. As a neutral, I definitely view it as the Chelsea loss, and the Gerrard slip.

That said, the Crystal Palace game was one of the most absurd games I've ever seen, where a team is actually trying to win by like 10 goals to make up GD. They absolutely should have just been playing for the win and hope City dropped points. City didn't drop points, but I really thought a lot less of Rodgers analytically when they were trying to make up the massive GD.
   357. jmurph Posted: August 20, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5730318)
That said, the Crystal Palace game was one of the most absurd games I've ever seen, where a team is actually trying to win by like 10 goals to make up GD. They absolutely should have just been playing for the win and hope City dropped points. City didn't drop points, but I really thought a lot less of Rodgers analytically when they were trying to make up the massive GD.

That's how I remember it, too. The GD was essentially out of reach, they just needed to keep winning to keep the pressure on/take advantage if City slipped up. Instead they (seemingly) tried to get all the GD back in one game and blew the lead.
   358. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 20, 2018 at 03:28 PM (#5730327)
Liverpool are clearly better but Palace getting into dangerous positions when they do have the ball. If Palace had a more mobile #9 they'd have a really dangerous attack.
   359. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 20, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5730338)
This Wan-Bissaka is a player.
   360. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 20, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5730341)
Oh right, that's why Sakho isn't at LFC anymore...
   361. Mefisto Posted: August 20, 2018 at 04:51 PM (#5730384)
Speaking of which, how poor a footballer can Usain Bolt be but still be useful to his team because he's so much goddam faster than everyone else?


Strangely, I feel as if I have actual insight into this. My daughter played for years, including all 4 years of high school, with a girl who is almost certainly the fastest girl ever to play soccer. How can I know this? Well, in their senior year in high school this girl finished second in the high school championships here in SoCal (CIF, for those who know) in the 100m dash. That would be really good any year, but the winner that year was Alyson Felix. I figure the number of female soccer players -- for that matter, male soccer players -- who are as fast as Alyson Felix is essentially zero.

So, how was this girl in soccer? The basic answer is that she was good but not great. Coaches always wanted her because the speed was jaw-dropping, but she lacked the overall skill set you need to play at the higher levels (first touch, instincts for the game, etc.). She played on club teams that were top 10 in SoCal (and that's a high level), but she was never the one who played the full 90. More often than not, she was a sub. On the high school team, which was unusually talented in those years, in my judgment she was never better than the 4th best player on the team.

So, if a girl with literal world class speed couldn't dominate at this level, I feel confident that Usain Bolt couldn't play in the EPL unless his overall skills were at a much higher level. The ball moves faster than even he can.
   362. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: August 20, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5730392)
Was the Salah penalty as soft as the announcers made it sound while I was upstairs?
   363. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 20, 2018 at 05:24 PM (#5730402)
Luke Shaw hasn't been all that great defensively the first two matches but he's looked better going forward. Ashley Young was ok as a LB last season and should to be able to play well at least going forward on the right until Valencia comes back. It's the way Mourinho has United play when they have the ball. Defense if first and foremost so the offensive players have little freedom to do things. I forgot who mentioned last year that they practice very little offense. Everything is about being drilled defensively.

Mata seems to have more freedom than most but he can't hold onto the ball. He's slow and is too easily muscled off. When he moved to Chelsea, I thought he was just behind David Silva - both slight, left footed but you wanted to have either of them on the ball at all times. Silva has become so much better than him and it's not just the clubs/systems they've played. Silva adapted to the physicality much better and he's much more incisive and decisive with the ball.

Lukaku was pretty good last season and he showed what he can do on the international stage. Opposing teams are still terrified of Martial running at them. Rashford has shown a lot of flashes. Lingard is a very good rotational option. Alexis was unnecessary but still a very good player. Yet there is still a gaping hole on the right side and Mourinho can't put the most expensive midfielder into good positions to make game changing moments. Yes, Pogba makes mistakes and may give the ball away on occasion, but you buy and play him so that he can try ####. Mourinho's handbrake is the problem.

United's CB are good in theory but Bailly is still too rash and prone to way too many mistakes. Lindelof looks like a younger Johnny Evans - decent on the ball but has thesimilar physical limitations. Smalling peaked several seasons ago while Phil Jones is always injured and never developed any ball skills. Rojo has outlived his usefulness.

I think we talked about it last season, but CB has been on a down cycle. City spent the GDP of a small nation cycling through CBbefore finding their pair. Chelsea is still trotting out Luiz, while Liverpool is still relying on Lovren to not have a brain fart in a crucial situation. Spurs got their guys but Alderweirweld is gone after the season.

   364. Mefisto Posted: August 20, 2018 at 05:39 PM (#5730408)
And let's not forget that Bailly and Lindelöf are the guys Mourinho wanted. Management also got Alexis because Mourinho wanted him, despite the fact that he's relatively old and didn't fill their big need (which is on the right).
   365. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 20, 2018 at 05:48 PM (#5730416)
Was the Salah penalty as soft as the announcers made it sound while I was upstairs?


Didn't think the NBCSN guys made it out to be anything less than a clear penalty (which is where I stand).

I'd say: Salah made a meal of it, but Sakho supplied all the ingredients.
   366. Baldrick Posted: August 20, 2018 at 05:55 PM (#5730421)
For those interested, the NWSL season is down to the final couple weeks, and there's a ton still to play for. North Carolina wrapped up 1st place about three months ago, but the final three playoff spots are all still open, with six teams still in the mix. That includes the Houston Dash who were widely regarded (including very much by me) as the worst team in the league by a country mile before the season started.

The game to watch, if you only watch one, is Orlando-Chicago on Saturday evening. 4th and 5th place teams. A Chicago win could seal their playoff chances. A loss might mean they're out, even though they've been the second best team in the league for the last few months.

That game will also feature the world's current best player (Sam Kerr) on one side, with arguably the greatest of all-time (Marta) on the other.
   367. J. Sosa Posted: August 21, 2018 at 09:29 AM (#5730588)
Re: Kante

I am not concerned in the slightest, it is too early to determine what his primary role is yet until Sarri has had more time and until Kovavic and Hazard are fully match fit. How Kante is deployed with Barkley is a question that hopefully is not asked often from Chelsea’s perspective moving forward. In the end I suspect Kovavic, Kante, and Jorghino will be doing a lot of interchanging even though each has a pretty well defined role.

I am not worried about Kante’s decision making in the final third. Decisions get a lot easier when Hazard is playing a full 90. It is true that Kante likely won’t be Conte Kante but all action Kante is fun too.

Re: Mourinho

He doesn’t really practice offense much. He famously drills situational play. It is part of why he requires veteran players and destroys young ones. He has no patience for a guy like Martial who is necessarily going to run into dead ends at times and give away the ball. He doesn’t have the formulaic players he requires. Lukaku is good but he isn’t quite the level of cagey of Milito and Costa. Doesn’t do as much dog work. Mata is cooked and isn’t at the level of the token single creative player Mourinho deploys like Hazard or Sneijder (during his brief peak). He doesn’t have nasty veteran defenders like Ivanovic or Samuel.

And there is probably a little something to the idea that the PL has changed. Klopp, Pep, Poch, and Sarri range from attacking to insanely attacking managers. The age of Mourinho and Benitez’s seemingly annual #### on a stick clashes in the CL this is not. There is also the difference of having a juggernaut like City. Even if year two Mourinho had the players it wouldn’t have mattered.

Re: Liverpool vs Palace 3-3

I would have to agree with Keith here. It may well be because we are both Liverpool fans and overly sensitive on the topic, but I also seem to see the match often brought forth in that context, i.e. that Liverpool choked and blew the title that game. It is annoying for two reasons, one, the title was already gone. Henderson’s suspension and the slip saw to that.

Two, as Keith also notes, it was the scene of one of the more bizarre efforts by a team I have ever seen. To a man they believed they had to try to overcome the goal difference. They could have won 3-0 but tried, honest to god, tried with everything they had to score 10. I’d never see anything like it before nor have I since. Sure, I have seen teams in various contexts “try” to overcome goal difference but not with that big of a gap with that level of commitment.

It is one of the things that hurt most about the CL final. Salah was taken out of the match. Usually when Liverpool go down it is with guns blazing in spectacular fashion. I just kept thinking over and over, not like that. Not like that. How can it end like that. FWiW for that reason the CL was much more painful although watching Suarez have to be helped up sobbing on the field wasn’t super great. Yes, he is a pyschopath, but he also almost carried an incredibly flawed team to a title. Gerrard’s slip was worse than Palace, much worse.

Re: Liverpool/Alisson

The common punditry wisdom was that this was the type of match Liverpool dropped in the past. I happen to agree in this instance. Alisson made the one save look easy with his positioning and anticipation but I am not at all convinced Karius or Mignolet stops that shot. Bombarding the box is no longer as effective with VVD there. But my favorite play of that entire match was Alisson fielding a back pass in his area under pressure and chipping the outlet with his left foot. Beautiful to watch.
   368. jmurph Posted: August 21, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5730593)
I think we talked about it last season, but CB has been on a down cycle. City spent the GDP of a small nation cycling through CBbefore finding their pair.

And only arguably, at that. I mean Laporte and Stones do seem to be the top choice pair but those two aren't exactly without their doubters.
   369. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 21, 2018 at 09:49 AM (#5730602)
Are CB's getting worse or are they just more exposed with fullbacks acting as wingers and DM's drifting higher and higher up the pitch?
   370. jmurph Posted: August 21, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5730608)
I'm with that theory, Shooty. They're asked to basically be the only defenders in a lot of situations, playing comically high lines, and need to keep pace with the fastest players on the field. Oh and play with the ball at their feet as well as defensive midfielders.
   371. Mefisto Posted: August 21, 2018 at 10:00 AM (#5730611)
He doesn’t have the formulaic players he requires. Lukaku is good but he isn’t quite the level of cagey of Milito and Costa. Doesn’t do as much dog work. Mata is cooked and isn’t at the level of the token single creative player Mourinho deploys like Hazard or Sneijder (during his brief peak). He doesn’t have nasty veteran defenders like Ivanovic or Samuel.


He doesn't even seem to recognize talent any more (either that, or Ed Woodard is even worse at his job than I think he is). Look at the players Mourinho has asked for: Bailly (who's actually a decent, if somewhat erratic, player); Lindelöf (who's a squad player for now, but still young and could develop); Matic (too old for his role, really); and Sanchez (a very good, if older, player whom United didn't need).


Now look at United's weaknesses: CB, LB, DM (arguable), and right side attacker. Mourinho hasn't made any effort to acquire solutions for LB or right side attacker. His CB acquisitions are guys he's now complaining about. His DM is older and maybe still good, but it's hard to tell because the CBs/DM aren't working. During this same time, Liverpool alone has acquired Robertson (LB), VVD (CB), and Salah (right side attacker). Plus Keita at DM. United could probably have gotten any or all of those, and that's just one team in the whole world -- there is a whole world of other talent.
   372. J. Sosa Posted: August 21, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5730613)
Do you think there is any truth to the idea that he doesn’t have the pull he did at one time, that players are more reluctant to play that style?
   373. spivey Posted: August 21, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5730617)
Are CB's getting worse or are they just more exposed with fullbacks acting as wingers and DM's drifting higher and higher up the pitch?

I think they're being asked to do more things and being asked to do different things. For a lot of clubs passing out of the back is much more of what they do than defending. I'm pretty sure Otamendi led the PL in passes completed last year. So you get players with a bit different skillset, and maybe some teams sacrifice a bit of brawn for passing and ability to defend in space. I also feel like there's more zonal marking now, though I could be wrong there. It seemed in the past 4-4-2 was pretty common, at least in the EPL, which from a spacing perspective lends itself more to man marking of the forwards, which is generally a bit of an easier job.

The high line I feel like is almost a requirement if you're going to boss possession the way most top teams do now. So you're exposed more. I also think that the pitch and the offensive players have gotten way faster and better.

I'm a pretty firm believer in the quality of play keeps rising. Even in the last ~15 or so years, which is when I started getting more into the CL and such, I think the quality of play and athleticism is way up. So I am highly skeptical of any argument they're not improving. Especially as the game gets more global, and there's more money in developing and identifying players.
   374. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 21, 2018 at 10:35 AM (#5730631)
Woodward is a bag man pure and simple. He handles the money. He's listened to the football people and done what they asked. United bought Zaha and Memphis, but they were jettisoned when new managers got impatient. United seems like it doesn't want to do that any more, and they want to hire a director of football to plan long term while balancing the manager's short term needs.

Yea, I don't know if guys like Vidic, Carragher or Terry would be as good in today's game. The "no nonsense-types" are an anachronism. It's about interceptions and diagonal passes instead of tackling and winning headers.
   375. Mefisto Posted: August 21, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5730636)
Do you think there is any truth to the idea that he doesn’t have the pull he did at one time, that players are more reluctant to play that style?


I think it's a combination of that and his personality -- he's an #######. Also, I'm dubious about his park the bus type defensive style in today's game. It probably could work -- as Bill James said, any tactic will probably work if executed perfectly -- but not with the players he has and not with the (lack of) offensive movement he's paired it with.
   376. spivey Posted: August 21, 2018 at 10:50 AM (#5730637)
Doesn't that depend on the team? It seems like Juventus and Atletico still have no-nonsense defenders. Leicester won the title with 2 no-nonsense hulks. Even VVD seems like he may be a bit more from that cloth than a City-type defender.

I think the super high-possession teams like City, Bayern, Barca will always need centerbacks who can distribute. But I think Vidic would have a place at many of the top teams in the world even today. I think being able to tackle and defend in space is critical as against a top team you'll have that happen a couple of times a game, you can't really avoid it, where your CB is against one of their attackers in space and needs to not get burned. I could be mis-remembering but Vidic seemed to have the guile and quickness to be able to do that.
   377. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 21, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5730649)
I just want to say how much I appreciate the discussions about tactics and formations that often appear on these soccer threads. For someone who loves soccer, but has never played it at an organized level, it's really helped me understand the game much better, and has given me more of an idea of what to look for when I'm watching a match. Thanks to everyone who has contributed.
   378. Mefisto Posted: August 21, 2018 at 11:23 AM (#5730665)
Leicester won the title with 2 no-nonsense hulks.


It's hard to separate roles here, but I think they won it with Kante.
   379. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5730721)
The Juventus and Atletico guys are still pretty skilled with the ball. With the high press played nowadays, you're limiting one-on-one situations with a defender up against a forward because you're either recovering the ball or fouling tactically. So if your system is good enough, individual defending becomes more and more secondary.

Vidic was never fast but he was pretty mobile. He would win everything in the air and was able to muscle quicker guys as long as he could stay with them. Rio's athleticism (before he hurt his back) made them one of the great partnerships.
   380. The_Ex Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5730727)
I have believed for a while now that United's problem is recruitment. A lot of the big teams have someone (a team) responsible for recruitment. At United it seems that Mou gives Woodward a list and that's that. Where does Mou's list come from? Is there a recruitment dept at United? What do they do?
   381. Mefisto Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5730740)
United relied on SAF while he was there. That worked well. They've continued to rely on the coaches since then with … less fortunate results.
   382. J. Sosa Posted: August 21, 2018 at 01:20 PM (#5730769)
SAF was a wizard. I thought that during his tenure and time has only strengthened that opinion. The RVP purchase was the cherry on top of the sundae. I think he unequivocally knew that the noisy barbarians could only be pushed back from the gate they had crashed for so long. He beat them, just to show that he could, and got out.

Re: Vidic

Agreed that he was great, but even he was famously tortured by a guy like Torres.

Re: Centerbacks

Typically teams will employ one front foot CB and one that is more passive. But it is also a matter of defensive style. Much like there are two types of elite goalkeeper, i.e. chained to the line octopi such as Oblak and De Gea and sweeper keepers like Neur and Ter Stegen, defensive philosophy dictates the best personnel choice.

At the risk of being overly reductionist defensive theory boils down to two schools of thought. Shot mitigation and shot suppression. There is still a place for shot mitigation centerbacks. Which segues nicely into one of my very favorite unpopular opinions:

Re: Leicester City Title

I love that team for a lot of reasons. At the time the debate here centered on team Kante vs team Mahrez. I was very much on team Kante. I think Mefisto and I were in the minority. But that’s not the unpopular opinion. Here it is:

Robert Huth was the most underrated center back of his generation. He more or less rendered his teams impervious to certain sorts of attacks, was physical, nasty, ill tempered, disciplined, a huge threat on set pieces and if played in a congruent system and healthy an absolute defensive monster in his career.

As time has shown Leicester did have legitimate star quality attackers in Vardy and Mahrez. But the absolute heart of that team was Kante backed by Morgan and Huth.
   383. Mefisto Posted: August 21, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5730817)
J. Sosa has it right in my view. What Kante did was prevent the opponents from attacking Leicester down the middle, where a guy like Huth was most vulnerable. That forced them outside to dump crosses into the box. Well, if there was one thing Huth was the BEST at, it was dealing with crosses into the box. The combination worked better than either probably would have in isolation.
   384. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 21, 2018 at 02:14 PM (#5730826)
Also with Mahrez and Vardy, I believe they converted ridiculously high percentage of their limited chances. The defense won them matches and the unsustainable conversion rate won the title.

TNT is broadcasting Champions League today and tomorrow. Does anyone know if they're using the international feed, or will they force feed inferior commentating like Fox did. I'm curious how good Steve Nash will be as a talking head.
   385. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 21, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5730993)
I haven't been able to watch the whole game closely, but from what I have seen PAOK is holding their own against Benfica in the first leg in Portugal, and PAOK just got an away goal to level it 1-1. It's a pleasant surprise, as Benfica were fairly big favorites coming into the tie, and as it stands I might give PAOK the slight edge. Hopefully they will hold on to this result.
   386. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 21, 2018 at 04:55 PM (#5731012)
PAOK got caught out a few times in the last 15 minutes, playing men forward, and were a little lucky to escape with a draw.Also, they had a number of remarkably poor clearances, which didn't help.

Should be interesting next week.
   387. J. Sosa Posted: August 21, 2018 at 09:15 PM (#5731271)
PAOK!!!

That was wonderful. Now park the bus boys park the bus...

Curious as to the early reactions here to TNT for this match and the Super Cup. Mine are to wish for death and Alexi Lalas.
   388. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 21, 2018 at 09:43 PM (#5731290)
I'm going to complain for a minute. Whenever Liverpool play at Crystal Palace, the 3-3 game from the failed title run season is mentioned as the game Liverpool lost the title. That's not right. When that game was played, the LFC no longer held control in their own hands. IIRC, they were something like ten goals behind City's goal differential and had two games -- away to Palace, home to Newcastle, maybe? -- to overturn it (barring City dropping points). That's not to say it wasn't a fun game from a neutral's perspective, and the scenes at the end were pretty incredible, but the title was effectively lost the weekend prior against Chelsea.

I feel similarly about the 2-2 Tottenham-Chelsea game from the Leicester season. People act like Spurs blew the title there, but Leicester were already way ahead and would have needed to stumble. Which they didn't.
   389. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 21, 2018 at 11:34 PM (#5731368)
Mine are to wish for death and Alexi Lalas.


In that order?

I feel similarly about the 2-2 Tottenham-Chelsea game from the Leicester season. People act like Spurs blew the title there, but Leicester were already way ahead and would have needed to stumble. Which they didn't.


Absolutely true, but Spurs losing the plot in that match "confused" the narrative ...
   390. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 21, 2018 at 11:55 PM (#5731374)
Couple thoughts;

CBs - I think a big part of it is that the pairing needs to develop between a tandem. Maybe I’m wrong but I feel like a lot of teams, even at the top of the game, seem to rotate or just not give pairings a chance to develop. It seems like a role that requires trust and familiarity and that just isn’t there all too often,

Mourinho - The guy hasn’t been a particularly special manager for awhile now. He did a great job at Inter but even at Real I think he didn’t really achieve anything that most decent managers could have. It’s a bit like the 2000s Yankees, they had talent, they spent money and they won some stuff but during his tenure it didn’t feel like they did anything special.

He’s a bit of an old man for a younger guy. The minute things go wrong he lashes out and I think that leaves his players looking over their shoulder. He’s just not an elite manager anymore. The Football Weekly guys asked the other day what would be a next job for him if/when he leaves United. If you were a top tier team would you want him?
   391. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 22, 2018 at 12:35 AM (#5731391)
He’s a bit of an old man for a younger guy


At this point he's in full on Abe Simpson mode ....
   392. J. Sosa Posted: August 22, 2018 at 07:17 AM (#5731437)
CoB:

Lalas would be an improvement but I wouldn’t be around to hear it. =)
   393. spivey Posted: August 22, 2018 at 08:57 AM (#5731467)
He’s just not an elite manager anymore. The Football Weekly guys asked the other day what would be a next job for him if/when he leaves United. If you were a top tier team would you want him?

God no. In fact I'm a bit surprised he got the Man U job straight away after losing the Chelsea locker room so badly. I already thought the shine was starting to come off him then. That said, finishing 5th and winning Europa and then finishing 2nd isn't out of line with the talent they've had the last 2 years. It's maybe even overperforming a bit. But I think we've discussed the luck/De Gea-ness of their season last year.

I think if he leaves it would be to a national team. In some ways he could maybe be an ok national team, where I think organization and team commitment to defense is more important. But, I can also see him freezing out young stars for older players who are past it, really regardless of the team. The other places I could see him going is maybe Ligue 1 or Russia.
   394. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 22, 2018 at 10:08 AM (#5731528)
if/when he leaves United


Oh, it's when ... it's just a question of how soon ...
   395. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 22, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5731545)
After the inevitable flame out at United, he'd do a national team or two. Then I'd imagine Mourinho is just going to hop around from China, the Gulf, Russia and/or Turkey. Eventually, another team in England will take a stab at him (West Ham seems logical).
   396. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 22, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5731556)
it's just a question of how soon ...

The universal condition...

   397. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 22, 2018 at 10:53 AM (#5731582)
Benfica is 53% to advance over PAOK. About as close to 50/50 for Liverpool as it could get.
   398. aberg Posted: August 22, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5731655)
Thierry Henry has reportedly accepted the Bordeaux job.
   399. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 22, 2018 at 09:44 PM (#5731999)
Dimitar Berbatov describing his goals. I love his reaction to the second one being in black and white.
   400. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 22, 2018 at 10:50 PM (#5732031)
Flippity doo da.
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