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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 | 1237 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   401. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 22, 2018 at 10:52 PM (#5732035)
To Frank’s point I think Mourinho might be a really good national team manager. He can organize a team and I suspect not being around the team 24/7 would be good for him and the team.

Speaking of which. When Newcastle and Rafa finally consciously uncouple, should the US pursue him? He’s another guy I’ve always felt could be a really good national guy. He’s enough of a name to help some marketing but I wouldn’t think he’d be the divisive figure that Klinsmann was. I think he could be a really good option.
   402. Mefisto Posted: August 23, 2018 at 08:40 AM (#5732136)
I'd support Rafa for the US. I don't know what other options we have, of course. But shouldn't we be hiring somebody pretty damn soon?
   403. jmurph Posted: August 23, 2018 at 12:19 PM (#5732297)
But shouldn't we be hiring somebody pretty damn soon?

It does strike me as extremely odd that we still don't have a manager. I thought for a while they were maybe waiting for some post World Cup movement, but now I just don't get it.
   404. aberg Posted: August 23, 2018 at 12:44 PM (#5732313)
The Guardian podcast recently said they thought Moyes was going to take the USMNT job. I don't know how serious they were. Frankly, I was new enough to watching a lot of soccer when he was at Everton and Man U that I don't have a good grasp on his tactical acumen as a manager.
   405. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 23, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5732378)
Will Burnley be trying to win? They didn't seem to be trying that hard in the last two rounds, and if they win this tie they are "stuck" having to play out the group stages. On top of that, they are already 0-2 in the EPL and their priorities may have shifted a bit.
   406. aberg Posted: August 23, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5732397)
Will Burnley be trying to win? They didn't seem to be trying that hard in the last two rounds, and if they win this tie they are "stuck" having to play out the group stages. On top of that, they are already 0-2 in the EPL and their priorities may have shifted a bit.


Any idea what the marginal financial difference would be for them to make the group stage vs exiting now? Let's assume they don't get out of the group to keep it simple.
   407. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 23, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5732441)
Red card (second yellow) and penalty against Burnley. Now down 3-1 with 10 men. That probably does it for them.
   408. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 23, 2018 at 03:53 PM (#5732456)
Burnley managed to play the last 30 minutes without giving up any more goals. They even managed to bundle one over the line on the offensive end, but it was ruled offside (correctly).

Not over yet, but a big uphill climb now.
   409. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 23, 2018 at 04:07 PM (#5732465)
Sevilla got an away goal to lead their tie 1-0, but the other top(most) leagues didn't exactly dominate today (yet). Atalanta managed only a 0-0 draw at home, Leipzig and Bordeaux are currently each drawing 0-0 (thogh each on the road). Ufa (Russia) is down 1-0 to Celtic. Portugal doesn't have a team in this round. It's still currently a big tossup as to what the 8th best European league is (probaby Belgium, Ukraine or Turkey).

eidt: oops, missed Zenit, who won at home 3-1.
   410. CWS Keith plans to [omitted] at [omitted] Posted: August 23, 2018 at 06:08 PM (#5732520)
berg - if you scroll down this post to the "Distribution of European TV Money 2015/16" chart, the very bottom lists English clubs' revenues from the Europa League -- it's broken out nicely by stage. From a revenue perspective, Europa League money is small potatoes compared to the EPL's domestic contract. So if the thinking is solely that a Europa League run adversely affects Burnley's chances of survival, I get why they're punting it.
   411. aberg Posted: August 23, 2018 at 06:47 PM (#5732555)
berg - if you scroll down this post to the "Distribution of European TV Money 2015/16" chart, the very bottom lists English clubs' revenues from the Europa League -- it's broken out nicely by stage. From a revenue perspective, Europa League money is small potatoes compared to the EPL's domestic contract. So if the thinking is solely that a Europa League run adversely affects Burnley's chances of survival, I get why they're punting it.


Thanks! Very cool article.
   412. Mefisto Posted: August 24, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5732869)
So, who's the backup keeper for Spurs?
   413. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 24, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5732914)
So, who's the backup keeper for Spurs?


Man, seeing that news come up on CFC just made me feel awful.

As Dustin wrote (there):
That Hugo would consider getting behind the wheel instead of calling for a Lyft or Uber is just mind-boggling.


But to answer the question, Vorm or "Gazinga" (as he shall so forth be named).
   414. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 24, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5732944)
Would not have expected that from Hugo. Will wait for details before condemning him, though. I mean, he's French, at least a quarter of his blood is naturally wine.

Speaking of Spurs, PSG seem to be hot for Danny Rose.
   415. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 24, 2018 at 01:02 PM (#5733054)
   416. J. Sosa Posted: August 24, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5733065)
Don’t ever change Roy.

Roy and Liverpool
   417. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 24, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5733082)
That blog post is a disgrace Sosa. I would never allow my blog to inflame passions that way, that's not what the internet is about! So I think it's a disgrace.
   418. jmurph Posted: August 25, 2018 at 09:42 AM (#5733531)
Tough draw for City, they had plenty of chances to win, but it's fun to see Wolves play that well against a good team. They're easily in that 8-12 range for me based on what I've seen so far.

EDIT: I mean yes also City had a clear penalty denied and the Wolves goal was scored by an arm, but those things happen over the course of the season (well the first thing, at least- that might be the only handball goal scored all year).
   419. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 25, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5733543)
Wolves looked pretty good. All I had in my mind was the Mick McCarthy-era. City were unlucky for sure but Wolves had a fair amount of chances.

Arsenal central defenders still look like crap.
   420. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 25, 2018 at 10:53 AM (#5733545)
Hard to take Arsenal seriously with that defense.
   421. Palm Beach Pollworker Posted: August 25, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5733550)
Half-time Report: Bournemouth 0:0 Everton

A sprightly first forty minutes with both elevens having difficulty with the finishing touch.

Although Bournemouth started as the better side, by the half-hour mark Everton were looking increasingly dangerous and seemed to be on the verge of taking charge of the match.

Then Richarlison was given a straight red on a rather soft retaliatory gesture, and all the fizz went out of the match.

The 0-0 scoreline is a fair verdict so far.
   422. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 25, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5733553)
John Brooks scored a goal and then got called for a high boot to give up a penalty. McKenny is playing RB but that may be a function of Schalke being down a man.
   423. Palm Beach Pollworker Posted: August 25, 2018 at 12:13 PM (#5733560)
AFC Bournemouth 2:2 Everton

This match was a great advertisement for picking teams outside the Top Six (although Everton might be knocking on the door to make it a Top Seven). The last fifty minutes were packed with incident, and the scoreline fairly reflects the balance of the match, with both sides reduced to ten men.

I don't have much time for a lengthy report. Everton's two goals came from very different moves, although both were down the right. (This is the far side and shadowy part of Deane Court this time of year, so it was hard to see the players well.) On the first Wolcott was on the end of a long clearance from Pickford that caught the Bournemouth defenders too far forward. A top-class keeper like Pickford might have kept it out, but Bournemouth have Begovic and he mistimed his save and it went past him. On the second goal, Bournemouth were caught on a quickly taken free kick and gave far too much space to Sigurdsson down in the corner. His cross was met by Keane and there was enough behind it that Begovic's flailing dive with his feet couldn't hold it out.

Bournemouth's first goal came after Wilson was pushed over in the box by Baines, and King's penalty was expertly taken into the near corner, out of Pickford's reach despite the Everton keeper's early move in that direction. Five minutes later, a second goal came when a classic corner cross was met by Wilson's head. It came off the post and fell to the feet of Aké, who challenged the offside rule by breaking through the line with impeccably timing. He had an easy task of pushing it in.

Bournemouth had also been reduced to ten men when Adam Smith, against whom Richarlisson retaliated, fouled Wolcott when the Toffee was through on on goal but outside the area. It was another straight red. This was after the first Everton goal.

This was a cracking game, marred at the end by a clash of Everton heads that led to Keane being stretchered off. I never saw a replay of the incident, so it must have been pretty bad, because they often don't show really bad injuries. Thoughts and prayers to Keane.
   424. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 25, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5733561)
So much soccer. Ronaldo looks so weird in a Juve kit. I had no idea Lucas Leiva was still playing - he's at Lazio. Also get to see Milinkovic-Savic.
   425. J. Sosa Posted: August 25, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5733597)
Lucas actually had a huge season last year. The Lazio director said something to the effect of for the money it was the best signing he had ever made. Serie A suits him, after the injury Lucas didn’t have the pace for the PL. Made me happy to see him do well.

Savic is very good. I am shocked he hasn’t moved.
   426. Mefisto Posted: August 25, 2018 at 06:59 PM (#5733653)
Two pretty impressive performances in a row for Brighton. They couldn't pull this one out, but they gave it their all.
   427. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 26, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5733806)
That’s not one for the Deandre Yedlin highlight reel.
   428. Sean Forman Posted: August 26, 2018 at 12:59 PM (#5733814)
Logged into the BVB game about 30 minutes in and started jumping around for the highlights I missed.

In the ten minutes of game action I watched. Pulisic was fouled 3 times while dribbling and turning defenders, including one that set up a FK goal and got a hockey assist on a really nice corner. Looks like he's taking most of the corners for them. I'm just going to keep my opinion that he's right there with a young Eden Hazard.
   429. J. Sosa Posted: August 26, 2018 at 01:09 PM (#5733823)
Brighton played well I thought. I am obviously happy that City drew and Liverpool ground it out, but to me it just highlighted how unlikely it is that Liverpool will beat City to the title. City showed signs of missing KDB, Wolves had a handball goal allowed, City penalty shout denied, and a world class save from Patricio and still they almost won. Against a talented team on the road.

In the Liverpool match by contrast you have a great example of why Liverpool wanted Fekir. Against well organized static low block teams they don’t have a good answer. It drives me crazy. They just keep dropping Salah and Mane deep centrally to try to break the lines. It doesn’t work. If I had one criticism of Klopp as a coach that would be it. His teams just can’t dominate those types of teams like Pep’s do. Klopp knows it is a problem. I think Liverpool are still at least one elite player away from a true title challenge.
   430. J. Sosa Posted: August 26, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5733831)
Re: Pulisic

I have a hard time remaining objective about him, I remember last year I made some unfortunate comparisons to his level of prospective stardom compared to Dembele. Pulisic is a very good prospect but is not close to the Dembele/Mbappe class. I think he ranks towards the top of the second tier of young elite caliber prospects. The main thing that remains to be seen if his willingness to take people on starts to come with a higher sucess rate and if he can turn that into end product. It remains to be seen.

It would take a truly enormous season to match what Hazard was. I didn’t fully apreciate what Hazard was doing when I watched him at Lille at the time. He was a monster prospect. I don’t think Pulisic is at that level. Dortmund more or less named the price for him and nobody bit. This next season or two is crucial. Barring injury or burn out I think his floor is best US player ever. Whether that will also include becoming elite or merely very good remains to be seen. His handlers had better be careful. I thought he stagnated last season. I think he moves next summer.
   431. Sean Forman Posted: August 26, 2018 at 02:07 PM (#5733848)

I have a hard time remaining objective about him, I remember last year I made some unfortunate comparisons to his level of prospective stardom compared to Dembele. Pulisic is a very good prospect but is not close to the Dembele/Mbappe class. I think he ranks towards the top of the second tier of young elite caliber prospects. The main thing that remains to be seen if his willingness to take people on starts to come with a higher sucess rate and if he can turn that into end product. It remains to be seen.


No arguments here. For the record, he was fouled six times today. I was a bit shocked to see that he only averaged 1.1 fouleds/90 last year.
   432. spivey Posted: August 26, 2018 at 03:54 PM (#5733883)
I have a hard time remaining objective about him, I remember last year I made some unfortunate comparisons to his level of prospective stardom compared to Dembele. Pulisic is a very good prospect but is not close to the Dembele/Mbappe class. I think he ranks towards the top of the second tier of young elite caliber prospects. The main thing that remains to be seen if his willingness to take people on starts to come with a higher sucess rate and if he can turn that into end product. It remains to be seen.

I agree with this. I put him on the Rashford level. Which, to be fair, is a pretty damn good level, but for a non-US type team he's "just a normal good young prospect". But I think last year was pretty disappointing and should alter his projections (which of course have huge error bars).

I think a Hazard comparison is especially unfair and not really apt, as Hazard is a top 3 dribbler in the world, he can really take on an entire team dribbling. Pulisic by comparison I think had a pretty average completed dribble rate and for at least part of the year had the most unsuccessful dribbles in the top 4 leagues. I think if Pulisic reaches that level (unlikely) it will look different.

Brighton played well I thought. I am obviously happy that City drew and Liverpool ground it out, but to me it just highlighted how unlikely it is that Liverpool will beat City to the title. City showed signs of missing KDB, Wolves had a handball goal allowed, City penalty shout denied, and a world class save from Patricio and still they almost won. Against a talented team on the road.

I agree with that. Maybe things change if Aguero or Fernandinho gets hurt, but when you watch them play they are just going to score so many goals. I mean I could see someone challenging them but I think you really need all of the breaks to go your way.

It was good to see Wolves get a point. They'd had some bad luck their first two games, I thought, so this good luck helped them. I look at them in that Everton/Leicester mix below the top 6.
   433. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 26, 2018 at 07:55 PM (#5733976)
538's soccer rankings are missing Ukraine (and all their teams). Kind of astounding, considering the league is currently ranked 8th in Europe by coefficient, and has two of the (loosely defined) best teams in the world, in Dymano Kyiv and Shaktar. Otherwise 538 has the top 15 European leagues, plus Sweden and Scotland (currently 22/23).

Seems like an oversight they will have to remedy in short order to do their CL/EL group stage and forward predictions, as Shaktar is in the CL group stage, and Kyiv could still get there if they overcome their deficit against Ajax (and even if not, they'll be in Europa group stage). And Ukraine has another automatic team (Poltava) in the EL group stage, and a final one (Luhansk) facing Leipzig in the playoff for Europa group stage.

Not exactly related, but I'm very curious to see the 538 league rankings, which, unlike last year, have not been made available this year, at least not yet. As mentioned before they have La Liga well above the EPL, to the point where more than half (eleven to be exact) of the EPL teams, including Everton, are ranked below the very bottom team in La Liga (Rayo Valecano).
   434. spivey Posted: August 26, 2018 at 09:05 PM (#5734000)
I'm willing to accept that La Liga may still be better than the EPL, though I tend to agree with the normal ELO that it's really ####### close between the two. I've generally found 538 to be pretty weak at actual sports analysis.
   435. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 27, 2018 at 02:58 PM (#5734290)
Well, let's get this one on ... though I'm expecting Mourinho to suck the joy out of it, as he seems to do with everything in life these days.
   436. spivey Posted: August 27, 2018 at 03:12 PM (#5734300)
Important Tottenham news: South Korea beat Uzbekistan 4-3 on a 117' penalty kick, sending them into the semis. It sounds like Uzbekistan was considered to be the best team of true U23 players, so is potentially the toughest hurdle SK and Son will have.
   437. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 27, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5734305)
Oh, Danny ... c'mon man.

Spurs looking like they were all out drink driving last night ...
   438. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 27, 2018 at 03:44 PM (#5734326)
Took me a while to figure out what United were playing. 5-3-2 with none of the central defenders from that debacle playing. Herrera is playing RCB with Smalling and Jones. Message to Woodward?

That push from Jones should have been a PK. United look better but Spurs should be ahead. Spurs look much more threatening now. Those three "CB" are being dragged out of position.
   439. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 27, 2018 at 03:48 PM (#5734331)
Man U was not boring at least. Tottenham will need to play a lot better or get lucky.
   440. jmurph Posted: August 27, 2018 at 03:54 PM (#5734337)
Wow so out of character to see Spurs committing card-worthy challenge after card-worthy challenge against another top team. Huh.
   441. jmurph Posted: August 27, 2018 at 04:03 PM (#5734347)
Brighton played well I thought. I am obviously happy that City drew and Liverpool ground it out, but to me it just highlighted how unlikely it is that Liverpool will beat City to the title. City showed signs of missing KDB, Wolves had a handball goal allowed, City penalty shout denied, and a world class save from Patricio and still they almost won. Against a talented team on the road.

This is admittedly not a sophisticated piece of analysis from me, but another difference I see between Liverpool and City is that Liverpool seem constitutionally unable (maybe unwilling) to just kill a damn game off. They gave up multiple decent opportunities on the break in the final 2 or 3 minutes while trying to score instead of just dribbling the ball into the corner, or maintaining possession, whatever. Having just watched the Amazon episode covering the 4-3 win over City last year (after being up 4-1), it looked very familiar.
   442. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 27, 2018 at 04:09 PM (#5734355)
Kaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaane!

Lucaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas!

Tottenham will need to play a lot better or get lucky.


A bit of both will also work ...
   443. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 27, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5734370)
Granted I missed the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half when both Spurs goals were scored, but has Luke Shaw looked good today?
   444. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 27, 2018 at 04:41 PM (#5734376)
And that's that. Smalling against Moura one-on-one is an epic mismatch.
   445. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 27, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5734378)
Granted I missed the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half when both Spurs goals were scored, but has Luke Shaw looked good today?


Yeah, he's been influential and pretty dangerous.

Kaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaane!

Lucaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas!




   446. spivey Posted: August 27, 2018 at 04:43 PM (#5734380)
I don't understand why Moura didn't play more at the end of last year. Was there a reason for that, other than Poch is pretty stubborn with his starting 11 and system?

Anyways, I'm happy this guy is on Tottenham. Lucas/Alli/Eriksen/Son rotation is gonna be great.
   447. aberg Posted: August 27, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5734381)
Wow, United's defense is so bad. It seems like they are lacking both the physical ability and the technical ability.
   448. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 27, 2018 at 04:49 PM (#5734388)
I seem to recall I said Mourinho would be gone after the first three matches of the Champions League Group Stage. He needs to go now.

Any sort of lineup tinkering isn't going to work because the central defenders are so bad, but Herrera at CB definitely can't happen again, so back to four at the back. I guess Ashley Young at RM would be better than watching Mata keep failing at it.
   449. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 27, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5734393)
Why did Spurs have to make me feel sorry for Jose? I shouldn't be reveling so much in the failure of his ManU project given my overall love for the man, but his Chelsea barbs really starting getting to me last year. I was all set to enjoy him taking ManU down with him this year, but he is making me really sad watching him on the sidelines. Old managers who get passed by time and better ideas are sometimes a tough watch.
   450. spivey Posted: August 27, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5734395)
I mean, in Mourinho's defense they were 2nd last year, and there are some real weaknesses on the team at CB and Mata, who just seems toast athletically. On the other hand, Mourinho isn't the one to right this ship.
   451. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 27, 2018 at 04:58 PM (#5734398)
Yea that's the rub - you can't trust Mourinho to turn this around.

Zidane seems like a logical choice (famous, successful and available). I don't know anything about his tactical acumen, besides throw out a top 3 player at his respective position in the world and score a ton of goals. I don't think Carrick has enough experience to be the tactical guy on the bench.
   452. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 27, 2018 at 05:00 PM (#5734400)
Was there a reason for that, other than Poch is pretty stubborn with his starting 11 and system?


I think it's a system thing, especially up front with the on/off pressing that they need to do.

Anyways, I'm happy this guy is on Tottenham. Lucas/Alli/Eriksen/Son rotation is gonna be great.


Spurs might need to go shopping in the bargain bin, but they've made some good choices.

Moura and Son swapping back-and-forth on both wings will be a legit menace.
   453. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 27, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5734404)
wither Lamela?
   454. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 27, 2018 at 05:07 PM (#5734409)
I was all set to enjoy him taking ManU down with him this year, but he is making me really sad watching him on the sidelines. Old managers who get passed by time and better ideas are sometimes a tough watch.


I'd feel worse (or even bad) if he hadn't been an absolute miserable #### about it since the very time he got to United. I mean, what's the running count of United players he's slagged off in public?
   455. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 27, 2018 at 05:33 PM (#5734432)
Jose:


All our fans don’t read papers. All our fans don’t watch television. All our fans are more intelligent than that.”
   456. aberg Posted: August 27, 2018 at 07:16 PM (#5734484)
If Mourinho was trying to make a point about his squad's lack of CBs, then 1) it's kind of pointless to do it when the window is closed (except for blame shifting), and 2) playing non-CBs at CB is a roundabout way of making that point.
   457. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 27, 2018 at 07:38 PM (#5734493)
It was fun to see Mourinho go full Trump after the game. Yes, Jose, you really won the game. Way to go, champ. I thought Spurs were kind of crap the first half but, despite Man U having more shots, I thought Spurs created as many chances. Those chances Dele managed to bungle don't count as shots but they were golden opportunities. Just a really poorly played half by both teams and a spectacular miss by Lukaku. In the second half I thought Spurs just schooled them and I'm not sure how Mourinho takes any solace from that at all. He sounded like a relegation scrap manager looking for moral victories. Very enjoyable, I won't lie. For those tempted to feel sorry for him, just remember how much respect he showed someone like Wenger or Ranieri or Vilanova or Van Gaal and so on. He can dish it out, he can take it and tough shit if he can't.
   458. Textbook Editor Posted: August 27, 2018 at 09:11 PM (#5734539)
wither Lamela?


IIRC, one of the announcers said he was hurt in pregame warmups; not sure what it was though. Amos took his spot on the bench.

Lucas adds a wrinkle Spurs didn't have last year, and it almost seems like his role is to be Kane's pressing legs sometimes so Kane doesn't have to go quite so hard.

Spurs have also judged that losing Toby next summer for the fee they'd get if they picked up his option (in that weird contract thing) is OK, and presumably they feel like they have a year to convince him via winning, higher wages, etc. to tear up the contract and stay. If they win a trophy before he jets next summer, it was probably worth keeping him instead of selling him, but I half suspect this might wind up working out... In any event they're simply a different team with him on it, and while it's not fair, the CB gulf between Spurs and ManU is large.

We had a scrimmage last weekend in a downpour for 80 minutes and I had only 11 guys so to give my 3 CBs a break I rotated them out to advanced positions to stretch their legs a bit and have some fun. To do that, of course, I had to play 3 guys at CB who almost never play there (including TE Jr.). The results were predictable, but it was a scrimmage so who cares? I'm a little surprised Mourinho felt the same about a home match against Spurs with his playing of Hererra as a CB, though...
   459. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 27, 2018 at 09:21 PM (#5734547)

IIRC, one of the announcers said he was hurt in pregame warmups; not sure what it was though. Amos took his spot on the bench.


Tweaked a hammy.

Hopefully it's not too serious.
   460. spivey Posted: August 27, 2018 at 09:55 PM (#5734569)
I agree with the hopes Lamela isn’t too injured but I would be curious how he does in a bit deeper role as a box to box Herrera type. Not Center back Herrera but normal. He’s now 2 deep up top which isn’t gonna have a lot of PT. Dembele is up and down these days.
   461. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 27, 2018 at 09:58 PM (#5734570)
Dembele is up and down these days.


Dembele is also often *injured* these days ...
   462. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 28, 2018 at 07:51 AM (#5734639)
News slyly buried during the game last night--Moussa Sissokho is off to Fenerbahce.

Oh, and I meant to call Lucas Moura a rich man's Jermain Defoe last night and forgot so...Lucas Moura is a rich man's Jermain Defoe.
   463. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 28, 2018 at 07:57 AM (#5734640)
Enjoy!

I got:

Barca
Tottenham
Monaco
Brugge

Lokomotiv
Porto
Liverpool
Galatasaray

Real
Man U
PSV
Plzen

Man City
Benfica
Dynamo
Young Boys

Spurs with the toughest draw of any English side so of course this will happen.
   464. spivey Posted: August 28, 2018 at 08:32 AM (#5734650)
Caley_Graphics had the xG of the Tottenham/Man U game at 1.8-1.8, understat had it at 1.8-1.4 in favor of Tottenham. Understat had Alli's shot after rounding De Gea at .64, while Lukaku's shot after rounding Lloris at .28. Lukaku's shot was a significantly tighter angle at full speed, but also on an open goal. At best they should be about even imo.

Tottenham haven't had any bad luck yet. Team defense hasn't looked great so far this year.
   465. Mefisto Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:12 AM (#5734664)
MCOA describes it as "one of the weirdest 0-3 games ever". I thought it was United's best game of the season, and I don't think Spurs should be celebrating much except the result.
   466. The Marksist Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:36 AM (#5734678)
I like that draw for Liverpool, Shooty! I got:

Real Madrid
Shakhtar
Salzburg
Internazionale

Bayern
Tottenham
CSKA
Plzeň

Barcelona
Man United
Lyon
Galatasaray

Juventus
Porto
Schalke
Young Boys

Atlético
Roma
Dynamo
Hoffenheim

Lokomotiv
Napoli
Monaco
Valencia

Paris
Benfica
Liverpool
Club Brugge

Man City
Dortmund
PSV
AEK

Nothing particularly vicious in there, IMO. I'd take it for Liverpool as well!
   467. J. Sosa Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5734681)
I did the draw generator thingy a couple weeks ago and got something like Atleti, Dortmund, Liverpool, Inter.

So...

Go PAOK!!!
   468. J. Sosa Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:45 AM (#5734688)
Also, I would like to say that the Arsenal fans who complained about “only” qualifying for CL a gozillion years in a row were morons. Watching the team you support compete in CL is an amazing thing.
   469. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:50 AM (#5734693)
I just went to the BSC Young Boys site to see if they have a women's team and what it's called. Unfortunately it's just "YB-Frauen".
   470. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 28, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5734700)
MCOA describes it as "one of the weirdest 0-3 games ever". I thought it was United's best game of the season, and I don't think Spurs should be celebrating much except the result.

I'm celebrating the arrival of Lucas Moura, the return of Alderweireld and Jose's loss of sanity. Other than that, it was a pretty meh performance taking both halves together from Tottenham which I'm also celebrating since it means they are nowhere near peaking. I just re-watched the game and Alli and Eriksen were both pretty bad. Except for his assist to Moura, Eriksen was really off again and hasn't had a good game yet this season. I hope he gets "injured" for the next international break and gets a pass from Denmark duty. Kane still looks sluggish but his passing and hold up play are sharp again. Getting there.



   471. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 28, 2018 at 10:04 AM (#5734703)
Watching the team you support compete in CL is an amazing thing.

Yeah, it is. It's a guilty pleasure, I think, but I won't fight it. I love the draw, the games, everything. The theme song is terrible but it's a Pavlovian trigger for everything else so it's grown on me. Bale announcing him to the world by destroying Maicon's soul is still one of my favorite soccer moments. My ideal draw for Spurs would be Barcelona and then two chumps. I've seen Spurs play Inter, Real, Juventus, Milan, Dortmund and so on but not Barcelona or Bayern or Atleti yet and, of the three, I'd go with Barcelona. Pochettino being an Espanyol man just adds a little spice to that, too.
   472. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 28, 2018 at 10:07 AM (#5734704)
I just went to the BSC Young Boys site to see if they have a women's team and what it's called. Unfortunately it's just "YB-Frauen".

Young Boys can actually be a tough place to visit because they play on artificial turf. It took Spurs about an hour to get used to it when they went there and found themselves down 3 goals before rescuing the tie. Do not want to go there again.
   473. Mefisto Posted: August 28, 2018 at 10:38 AM (#5734738)
I'm celebrating the arrival of Lucas Moura, the return of Alderweireld and Jose's loss of sanity.


All good reasons to celebrate.
   474. aberg Posted: August 28, 2018 at 12:22 PM (#5734826)
I got:

Group A
Real Madrid
Tottenham
CSKA
Hoffenheim

Group B
Juventus
Dortmund
Dynamo
Galatasaray

Group C
Paris
Roma
Salzburg
Club Brugge

Group D
Man City
Benfica
PSV
Plzeň

Group E
Bayern
Porto
Monaco
Valencia

Group F
Barcelona
Napoli
Schalke
AEK

Group G
Atlético
Shakhtar
Liverpool
Internazionale
Group H

Lokomotiv
Man United
Lyon
Young Boys
   475. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 28, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5734874)
538's early projections

Look away if you're a United fan. "Which United" you ask? It doesn't matter.
   476. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 28, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5734912)
News slyly buried during the game last night--Moussa Sissokho is off to Fenerbahce.


Unfortunately, it appears not to be true.
   477. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 28, 2018 at 01:38 PM (#5734916)
Don't these mock draws need to wait until you know which group Liverpool (and to a lesser extent Valencia) will end up in?
   478. J. Sosa Posted: August 28, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5734934)
Sort of. But I find them interesting because it helps me visualize potential pot placement consequences.

In other words, I am not counting on Liverpool running hot at the draw craps table like they did last year.
   479. Mefisto Posted: August 28, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5734941)
Look away if you're a United fan.


I said before the season that I could see them finish 10th or so. 538's projections are optimistic on that scale.
   480. J. Sosa Posted: August 28, 2018 at 02:38 PM (#5734945)
It has been said better and in more detail in other places, but Man U’s defense was just as bad last season. All it takes to fall from top four is De Gea to decline from deity to superhuman performance.
   481. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 28, 2018 at 02:40 PM (#5734947)
I said before the season that I could see them finish 10th or so. 538's projections are optimistic on that scale.

I'd be kind of shocked by that. They still have DeGea and some great attacking talent and, if they were to skirt with those kind of results, they'll have a new manager. I just can't see any worse than 6th for them, or 7th if someone pulls a mini-Leicester. I do they think they need to decide if Mourinho is their guy or not. If he is, then back him and get the players he wants, value be damned. If they aren't comfortable with that, then sack him. The worst thing they can do is try some middle ground.

Don't these mock draws need to wait until you know which group Liverpool (and to a lesser extent Valencia) will end up in?

Sure. Strictly for entertainment purposes and to remind everyone that they want to draw Lokomotiv.

Unfortunately, it appears not to be true.

Ah well. I keep forgetting the window is still open for most leagues anyway.
   482. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 28, 2018 at 02:52 PM (#5734954)
It has been said better and in more detail in other places, but Man U’s defense was just as bad last season.


It might not have been any kind of bargain, but paying Levy what he wanted for Toby would have made them better and Spurs (a rival) worse (which is why I wanted no part of it as a Spurs fan, unless Martial was coming back).

I'm sure that Mourinho was reminded of that yesterday ...
   483. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: August 28, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5734956)
538's early projections
Utterly unbelievably, Sounders FC are given an 88% chance to make the playoffs and even 6% to win the Cup. Anyone who watched this team through June is flabbergasted.

Yes, yes, I know it's MLS and no one here cares.
-------

ETA: Also, just because I like to see it in print, United 0-3 Spurs. HA!
   484. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 28, 2018 at 03:00 PM (#5734957)
Heh ... WHU concedes to AFC Wimbledon @ the 2 minute mark.

[edit] But now they're a man up ... bah.
   485. spivey Posted: August 28, 2018 at 03:17 PM (#5734960)
It has been said better and in more detail in other places, but Man U’s defense was just as bad last season. All it takes to fall from top four is De Gea to decline from deity to superhuman performance.

And Chelsea keeping the band together. As near as I can tell, Hazard and the gang are all comfortable staying there, so I think you're going to have to be legitimately good to finish top 4.

MCOA describes it as "one of the weirdest 0-3 games ever". I thought it was United's best game of the season, and I don't think Spurs should be celebrating much except the result.

As a Tottenham fan I would note they were even on xG with a good to very good team on the road despite a less than stellar performance. I mean, their passing and offensive play hasn't been super sharp and really I don't think it was that sharp at the tail end of last year either. Which is a bit concerning, but they have enough pure goal scorers and I still have mostly total confidence in Eriksen, specifically, to be able to be world class at orchestrating an attack, and Son/Moura/Kane to get goals.
   486. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 28, 2018 at 03:26 PM (#5734962)
I love these early Cup games (Caribou or FA) played at the lower league venues. The look, the atmosphere are just something else ...
   487. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 28, 2018 at 03:28 PM (#5734965)
I do they think they need to decide if Mourinho is their guy or not. If he is, then back him and get the players he wants, value be damned. If they aren't comfortable with that, then sack him. The worst thing they can do is try some middle ground.


This sums it up very succinctly. I guess the Glazers and their bagman could wait until early December to make a decision since they can't do anything until the window opens in January. However, how low on the table will United be? What happens if they get knocked out of the group stages again? If they are going to with the director of football-route that guy should be in now.

I don't see how such smart (and greedy) people put themselves into this position. I guess they're making money either way but risking missing out on Champions League or spending 150M on old center backs seems like poor planning and decision-making, even if the stock price is at an all time high.
   488. Mefisto Posted: August 28, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5734970)
I'd be kind of shocked by that. They still have DeGea and some great attacking talent and, if they were to skirt with those kind of results, they'll have a new manager. I just can't see any worse than 6th for them, or 7th if someone pulls a mini-Leicester. I do they think they need to decide if Mourinho is their guy or not. If he is, then back him and get the players he wants, value be damned. If they aren't comfortable with that, then sack him. The worst thing they can do is try some middle ground.


I'm assuming the team looks like Chelsea in Mourinho's final year there. Not because of lack of talent, but because the manager is so destructive. The sooner they get rid of him the better off they're likely to be.
   489. aberg Posted: August 28, 2018 at 03:55 PM (#5734987)
Utterly unbelievably, Sounders FC are given an 88% chance to make the playoffs and even 6% to win the Cup. Anyone who watched this team through June is flabbergasted.

Yes, yes, I know it's MLS and no one here cares.


I care! I watch almost every Sounders game. Winning 7 in a row will do that for you.

Getting the international players back after the WC made a huge difference. Getting Lodeiro motivated and focused was also enormous. Ruidiaz has been great in terms of his production and in slotting the lesser attacking options back into positions that fit them better.

Also, it's late in the season, so the magic has helped too.
   490. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 28, 2018 at 03:59 PM (#5734997)
I care! I watch almost every Sounders game. Winning 7 in a row will do that for you.


When your team wins 1-0, and the only score is an own goal, there's usually not that much reason for celebration. But when it's against your arch-rival, on their field, and it vaults your team ahead of them in the standings into a playoff position...well, that's different.
   491. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 28, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5735026)
No surprises yet in the CL games today, now that Young Boys are ahead. Kyiv looks particularly poor against Ajax.
   492. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 29, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5735478)
Clint Dempsey has announced his retirement.
   493. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 29, 2018 at 12:54 PM (#5735506)
I know Dempsey scored some big goals for the Nats, but I'll remember him for his goals against Man U for Tottenham that kept Fergie from lording it over Spurs in his last season. Couldn't even beat AVB, Fergie! His goal against Juventus might have been his best, though. Was Dempsey one of the best ever at chipping goals or is that just a lost art now so he seems like he's one of the best? Van der Vaart was great at that, too, but I can't remember many even trying those the last few seasons. Seems like it's all about power and swerve now.
   494. jmurph Posted: August 29, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5735629)
Atalanta-Roma on Monday was excellent fuel for my quest to get into Serie A. Some ridiculous goals, bad defense, a (relatively) dramatic comeback, it had it all! Atalanta is fun- someone on a previous page tipped them as a good team to follow and they were right.
   495. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 29, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5735670)
I don't really follow any Italian team. Would it be wrong to pick Atalanta because it's the name of an obscure 1930s airliner that I've always liked?
   496. KronicFatigue Posted: August 29, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5735677)
If you hire Mourinho, you know what you're getting. As said above, you either have to get him the players he wants (which I imagine are players that will buy into his system) or risk pissing off players that don't like his style. Personally, I don't like the idea of players dictating style or moping around when they don't get what they want, but I'm a dinosaur, I know.

There are still players that praise Mourinho. There are players who put winning above everything and are perfectly content playing a boring style if it means over achieving. Man U can splash the cash to get a Mourinho team PLUS a few players. Not sure what their plan is.

Generally speaking, would there be any way to study whether offensive minded coaches (in soccer or otherwise) are treated better than defensive/boring coaches? In other words, are fans/management more tolerant of the same results (record wise) if those results are more aesthetically pleasing? Not sure how one could even begin to measure that, but I believe that to be the case.
   497. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 29, 2018 at 03:12 PM (#5735679)
I don't really follow any Italian team. Would it be wrong to pick Atalanta because it's the name of an obscure 1930s airliner that I've always liked?
I have a mostly irrational dislike for most of the top Italian teams (Juve, Milan, Inter, Roma, Lazio), so no, it wouldn't be wrong as far as I'm concerned. My teams are Napoli and anyone else good, by default.
   498. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 29, 2018 at 03:15 PM (#5735686)
PAOK was all over Benfica in the first 5+ minutes of the match, but couldn't seem to get a decent shot off that wasn't blocked. Still 0-0 without a shot on goal by either side.

Until just now. Intricately worked free kick results in a tap in. PAOK up 1-0.

edit: and Benfica levels it off a corner. Really the first thing they've done offensively all day and the tie is level.
edit2: and now a howler by the PAOK keeper for a penalty. 2-1 and PAOK now need at least 2 more goals to advance. It's going downhill fast.
   499. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 29, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5735698)
PAOK keeper thinks as sharply as he accessorizes. Pot 3 for Liverpool.
   500. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 29, 2018 at 04:08 PM (#5735743)
Another pen! On a hold by PAOK on a corner. It's a rout.
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