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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

OT Soccer Thread, v.2019

Looks like the last thread is closed, so onto the new!

Upcoming Matches of Interest
2/3 Madrid Derby
2/4 Manchester City v. Arsenal
2/10 Manchester City v. Chelsea
2/12 Manchester United v. PSG
2/13 Tottenham v. Dortmund
2/19 Liverpool v. Bayern Munich
2/24 Manchester United v. Liverpool
2/28 Chelsea v. Tottenham
3/2 North London Derby, Merseyside Derby, & El Classico
3/5 Dortmund v. Tottenham
3/9 Arsenal v. Manchester United
3/13 Bayern Munich v. Liverpool
3/16 Manchester Derby
3/30 Liverpool v. Tottenham

The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 30, 2019 at 07:08 PM | 2068 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   2001. Mefisto Posted: June 03, 2019 at 10:36 PM (#5847999)
Flip
   2002. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 03, 2019 at 10:40 PM (#5848000)
I think both of those are on the list. There is also I think the fact that those clubs are ALWAYS going to be competing for the title in Spain and will be in he CL mic. I think there is also an appeal to those clubs for the continental and South American players that the English clubs don’t have. Just anecdotally it seems like the EPL teams appeal to the UK, it’s former colonies and Asia while continental Europe and South American kids root for Real or Barca.

That’s just limiting the discussion to those clubs but I think if you include teams like Juve or Bayern you have a similar situation vis a vis the EPL.


Thinking it out a bit i wonder if this is a bit of residual from the post-Heysel ban. With England not able to play in Europe for five years then with the time it took to ramp back up, the kids who grew up in the 90s would have been fans of non-English clubs and perhaps that lingered to the following generation which is the one we see now.

I’m spitballing obviously,
   2003. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 04, 2019 at 08:32 AM (#5848038)
Re: the handball. One of the things I have been saying for quite a while now, is that I would like to see the return of the indirect free kick. Those used to be somewhat common, but now feel like they are almost completely extinct.

I think having a rule change that introduced those back, for non-flagrant handballs, and minor fouls in the penalty area (precise wording and ruling would need to be fleshed out obviously), would I think be much fairer. E.g. if there is no clear and obvious goalscoring opportunity, or a clear attempt to control the ball with the hand, then I think that is the much juster punishment. It will still result in a genuine opportunity, but one that is now no longer overwhelming, and still leaves the team with something to do to capitalise on it.

And arguably better drama. Having a team with 11 men on the goal-line trying to block a shot from 10 yards, or a team trying to work in a cross from just inside the penalty box, is to me much more entertaining than a routine penalty.
   2004. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 04, 2019 at 09:09 AM (#5848048)
I'm back!

No regrets about making the trip. I wish Tottenham had won, not just for obvious reasons, but it would've been a hell of an experience to see all of the drunken people around me lose their shit.

I had an interesting time getting to the game. My plan was to check in at 1 pm, sleep an hour, and then head to Tottenham but there was a failure of communication with my vacation rental so they ended up booking me into a Holiday Inn Express, a process that took about 3 hours. So, instead of getting to the pub in Tottenham at 3 I didn't get there until 5:30 and by then there was a line around the block. About 45 minutes later I was still in a pretty long queue and getting worried about not getting in for kickoff when a guy from the BBC comes along looking for someone to interview in exchange for entry into the pub. At first he was going to take a couple of guy who came "all the way" from the Midlands but then a guy I had been chatting with in line said he should take me, an American who flew in from San freaking Frisco. So, yeah, the BBC asked me if I would do it and, much to the chagrin of the Midlands pair, I said hell yeah. So I got my 30 seconds of fame on the BBC and entry into the bar with about a half hour to kick off. that half hour was spent just trying to get a drink as while I was at the bar, they ran out of draft beer, bottled beer, canned beer and were even running low on this swill called Desperado. People, in desperation, were just buying ginger beers and bottles of wine. I've been to SEC tailgates, New York New Year's Eve parties, frat parties, all day BBQ's run by alcoholics, but I have never seen alcohol consumption on this scale. It was a like a huge party in the whole neighborhood, really. It was almost too bad there was a game to get in the way of the good time. The game was very tense and the early penalty was disappointing. My feeling it was a technically correct decision but not a spiritually correct one. Whatever. After the game, with a few hardcore exceptions (sell Eriksen, sell Alli, sell Kane!), people were in good spirits. Lots of singing and joking around. I think for the vast majority, it had been a "good day out" as the Brits say. There's one song I still can't get out of my head: Oh what a night, watching Tottenham on a Tuesday night, you play Thursday coz you're fucking shite, Tuesday night oh what a night. Another good one was the You'll Never Walk Alone changed to You'll Never Get A Job. That one was mean, but what the hell!
   2005. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 04, 2019 at 09:14 AM (#5848050)
Luka Jovic to Real as expected.
   2006. PreservedFish Posted: June 04, 2019 at 09:14 AM (#5848051)
I think having a rule change that introduced those back, for non-flagrant handballs, and minor fouls in the penalty area (precise wording and ruling would need to be fleshed out obviously), would I think be much fairer. E.g. if there is no clear and obvious goalscoring opportunity, or a clear attempt to control the ball with the hand, then I think that is the much juster punishment.


Would be an immediate and obvious improvement to the sport.

(Or a penalty kick from further away, where players were 30% likely to score instead of 80%, and goalie ability really made a difference)
   2007. jmurph Posted: June 04, 2019 at 09:31 AM (#5848057)
I'm sympathetic to the idea of changing the penalty rules, but I'm skeptical of introducing even more judgment calls into the matter. My preferred solution is just to significantly shrink the penalty box- either a second, smaller box for penalties, keeping the goalie's handling area in place, or just shrinking the whole thing.

My least favorite penalty is always deep in the corner of the penalty area, just totally not in a threatening position.
   2008. Mefisto Posted: June 04, 2019 at 09:42 AM (#5848064)
I think the idea that a penalty should be awarded only from scoring chances is the wrong way to look at it. What the penalty box does is create space for the offensive players to *create* chances. Shrinking the box reduces that space.

As for indirects, those are not useful at all for scoring goals. I suppose they might have some value in creating chances, but not unless teams get much more creative with them. For now, they are awarded so rarely that I don't think much thought goes into them.
   2009. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 04, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5848088)
When we start talking about rule changes for soccer we start to see how balanced the current rules really are and how difficult changes would be. It's too bad FIFA pushed MLS to conform to standard rules of the game. I think the US, since it's not as invested in "proper" football would have been an interesting experimental lab for tweaking rules and sussing out unintended consequences.
   2010. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 04, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5848092)
Two easy changes that would make the penalty rule a little better without affecting the game play much.

- Penalty box rounded, so that it doesn't have corners.
- Penalty shot is spot of the foul, with minimum distance from the goal line (could be the same as the current 12 yards, So a player fouled within 12 yards of the goal line gets the kick from a position moved back from the goal line to the 12-yard point). Thus the most dangerous position to be fouled in is the current penalty spot, and anywhere in a line between the current penalty spot and the center of the goal, as that would lead to the current penalty kick. Anywhere else would be slightly to significantly harder to score from.
   2011. J. Sosa Posted: June 04, 2019 at 11:25 AM (#5848131)
Spot kicks and/or shrinking the box encourages tactical fouling though, which I think is what Mefisto is getting at. The harshness encourages creative play, do people really want cynical City style tactical fouling in the box the way it is played on breaks with the high line? Trust me, I hated defending in the box. Bad things happen in the box. I always had two rules as a player, arms tight, never leave your feet. Makes it difficult, but encourages creative play.
   2012. Baldrick Posted: June 04, 2019 at 11:26 AM (#5848132)
- Penalty shot is spot of the foul, with minimum distance from the goal line (could be the same as the current 12 yards, So a player fouled within 12 yards of the goal line gets the kick from a position moved back from the goal line to the 12-yard point). Thus the most dangerous position to be fouled in is the current penalty spot, and anywhere in a line between the current penalty spot and the center of the goal, as that would lead to the current penalty kick. Anywhere else would be slightly to significantly harder to score from.

I think you're probably right that this would work, but I definitely don't think it's a minor change that could be implemented 'without affecting the game play much.' It would significantly increase the number of cases where conceding a penalty would be clearly preferable to letting a player get past you, and thus incentivize intentional fouls.
   2013. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 04, 2019 at 11:38 AM (#5848145)
   2014. J. Sosa Posted: June 04, 2019 at 12:05 PM (#5848181)
Exactly Baldrick. I pick on City because Pep is the most notorious for it, but basically every team that plays a high line cynically fouls to an extent. For anyone watching a City match, follow Ferandinho and take a gander at how often he fouls (called and uncalled). It is a big part of the DM’s job. Fabinho is much the same.

I played at a very low level, but for an example say I am playing as what used to be called a destroyer. My fullback gets beat on an overlap, and now I have to cover the half space on an iso against some jinky speed merchant. Maybe I get lucky and he exposes the ball or does some stupid ####, but the risk ratio is way out of whack. Best believe I am going to paste him. Not for a red, or even a yellow, but he is going to know I came over. A big part of playing as a DM is knowing how and when to foul, dangerous areas, and keeping your center backs clean. I can’t tell you how many times I took people out right before the box. The strategy changes once they cross that threshold.

If it was an indirect on a breakdown in the box? Phtt. Dude would be picking grass out of his teeth. There is a reason some people tracked touches inside the keeper area years ago. Defense doesn’t want you in there, can be a decent measure of how dangerous an attacker is. Or it least it was. Think of it as an old timey xG back in the day for those of us older than dirt.
   2015. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: June 04, 2019 at 12:18 PM (#5848189)
I played at a very low level, but for an example say I am playing as what used to be called a destroyer. My fullback gets beat on an overlap, and now I have to cover the half space on an iso against some jinky speed merchant. Maybe I get lucky and he exposes the ball or does some stupid ####, but the risk ratio is way out of whack. Best believe I am going to paste him. Not for a red, or even a yellow, but he is going to know I came over. A big part of playing as a DM is knowing how and when to foul, dangerous areas, and keeping your center backs clean. I can’t tell you how many times I took people out right before the box. The strategy changes once they cross that threshold.


I am a very very filthy casual on soccer, but what this says to me is: the refs aren't handing out yellows for persistent fouling nearly quick enough or often enough. What am I overlooking in my ignorance here? (Other than the a priori fact that God intended a soccer game to be decided 1-0, or 0-0 better yet. :))
   2016. spivey Posted: June 04, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5848193)
I think you're probably right that this would work, but I definitely don't think it's a minor change that could be implemented 'without affecting the game play much.' It would significantly increase the number of cases where conceding a penalty would be clearly preferable to letting a player get past you, and thus incentivize intentional fouls.


I agree this would change the game significantly, and I'm not very comfortable saying if I think it'd be a good change or not, because the implications could be massive. But this already happens now, as Sosa mentions. Today, a good rule as a defender if you're up against someone quicker than you is to retreat until you're on the edge of the box and if still in trouble just make your stand on the edge of the box and to get either the man or the ball, doesn't really matter which. Of course, the number of such fouls would increase dramatically.

Only semi-related, but I think refs should be quicker to card people for tactical fouling.

I still think giving refs judgement is probably the best way to handle this. At least, I don't think it can be purely be handled perfectly by a non-refs get judgment rule change. They are generally good at their jobs, they already have so much judgment they're using, and it's easier to just give the ref the right to make a judgement call than it is to try to create a penalty box or rule change that can still award harsh penalties when a winger is running at a CB on a 1v1 scenario while not awarding a harsh penalty when a fullback accidentally clips an attackers feet in the corner of the box while the defense is set and the attacker has his back to goal.
   2017. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 04, 2019 at 12:26 PM (#5848195)
It would significantly increase the number of cases where conceding a penalty would be clearly preferable to letting a player get past you, and thus incentivize intentional fouls.
I don't think this is true (for my penalty rule, not for indirect kicks in the box). There is essentially no case right now where a penalty call (not merely risky play that might result in a penalty) is less bad than if the offensive player had been completely unaffected by the defender. Further, an intentional foul could easily be a red plus penalty, so it couldn't be too intentional.

So I'm not worried about intentional fouls in the box. It might encourage riskier play by defenders in the box, which I'm totally fine with actually, as it would also result in more and a wider variety of penalty kicks.
   2018. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 04, 2019 at 01:30 PM (#5848248)
Caught some of the U20 victory over France. Quite an offensive game with the US capitalizing on more of their chances. The US probably wasn't the better team, but they had a few really good chances and converted most of them. France might need to work a few things out on their back line, as the US played at least 3 quick throughballs through the middle for great chances, and scored two of them.
   2019. jmurph Posted: June 04, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5848251)
I haven't seen enough of him but Timothy Weah is the real deal, yes?
   2020. Sean Forman Posted: June 04, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5848252)
Holy Crap!! U-20's came back from 1-2 to beat France 3-2. Gutty composed performance. Really controlled the last 30 minutes. France was the betting favorite to win the tourney. Ecuador on Saturday, Senegal/Korea in the other QF. We might be the faves to make the final. ECU was the Conmebol champ I believe.
   2021. Sean Forman Posted: June 04, 2019 at 01:38 PM (#5848255)
Weah had a great pass on the 2nd goal. US was also out Durkin and Mendez who had started all three of the group stage matches. He's been mostly quiet overall tbh. Just solid, not dominant.

   2022. Mefisto Posted: June 04, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5848269)
Thanks to 2011 and 2014 for making my point better than I did.
   2023. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 04, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5848281)
If it was an indirect on a breakdown in the box? Phtt. Dude would be picking grass out of his teeth. There is a reason some people tracked touches inside the keeper area years ago.

This is why I specifically said "minor" fouls (with the exact wording to be determined). With the express notion, that if you flagrantly take somebody out, or prevent a clear opportunity, it would still be a pen.
   2024. Sean Forman Posted: June 04, 2019 at 02:17 PM (#5848285)
xG in the u20 match was 1.5 to 1 favoring the US.
   2025. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 04, 2019 at 02:18 PM (#5848287)
I will also add, that I think going to more indirect free kicks, would somewhat disincentivise diving/embellishment/contact hunting (like dragging your foot into a tackle, and then going over).

If you get taken out blatantly, you will still get the penalty either way. But if you go over easy, chances are you only get the lesser penalty, if anything, and maybe you are better off trying to stay on your feet, and make the most of what is there.
   2026. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 04, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5848296)
xG in the u20 match was 1.5 to 1 favoring the US.
Not surprised at the US xG--they had those 3 great chances for Soto (though I'm not sure he even got a shot off on the one that didn't result in a goal), and the rebound goal probably had high xG too.

France I guess couldn't turn their good chances into high quality shots.
   2027. J. Sosa Posted: June 04, 2019 at 03:24 PM (#5848328)
I don’t see the benefits Bea or FPH. We really want more dead balls and judgement calls? Really? Define “clear opportunity”. Draw more squares in the box? Foul in this area has an xG of this percent so indirect. Foul here is this percent so direct . Foul here is this percent so pen. That isn’t an absurdum criticism. If one explicitly says that a foul near endline on the sides shouldn’t be a pen, that is essentially the argument. Probabilities. Mixed with judgement calls. One refs clear scoring chance isn’t another’s unless it is codified.

Like Spivey says ever notice how many kicks are given away at the edge of the box? And yes, many of those are takeout plays. Watch any match and you will see them. It would absolutely encourage tactical fouling in what is now the box. It would absolutely encourage cynical play. That should not be a desired outcome nor should increases in stoppage of play.

Edit to add: To me it rivals when people argue in favor getting rid of the offsides rule to encourage attacking play. The entire premise of the argument is flawed. The proposed change benefits the defense/less skilled.
   2028. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:21 PM (#5848385)
My issue with the penalties isn't so much the plays that aren't penalties but the plays that are ruled as fouls on the attacking team in the box. I completely understand why refs are hesitant to blow for penalties but if an attacker breathes on a defender wrong it's blown as a foul. I'd much prefer "hey, we're not going to give a penalty but we're also not going to cut the defender any slack either. You'd better stand your ground."
   2029. Sean Forman Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:42 PM (#5848400)
I would be intrigued by a rule that if you haven't gotten a yellow already, three fouls is an automatic yellow, or some such. That seems to me would cut down on the tactical fouls.
   2030. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 04, 2019 at 04:46 PM (#5848405)
I don’t see the benefits Bea or FPH. We really want more dead balls and judgement calls?
I think you are confusing my suggestion with FPH's. I'm not necessarily against FPH's suggestion, but (unlike my suggestion), I do agree it would be a major change.

Additional judgment, clear opportunity, additional lines, xG areas--my rule suggestion wouldn't require any of those. I really don't think tactical fouling in the box would go up if you still have a penalty kick, even though you might have a worse angle or a longer distance. If you think the angle is too strong or the distance too far so that tactical fouls become a viable option, you can set a max on distance and/or angle as well so that it's not true anymore.

The point of this would be to have the punishment more closely fit the crime, so that the ref is more likely to call contact and there is less of cliff effect on penalties. It wouldn't be perfect, but it would be a step in the right direction.
   2031. KronicFatigue Posted: June 04, 2019 at 05:12 PM (#5848418)
I would be intrigued by a rule that if you haven't gotten a yellow already, three fouls is an automatic yellow, or some such. That seems to me would cut down on the tactical fouls.


Make it a straight up point system. 5 points and you're off, with the ref having discretion on the points. The ref already has discretion, but is essentially limited to 0 (foul), 1 (Yellow), 2 (red).

I'm not even sure what the rule is currently: if a player keeps committing light fouls, can/does a ref give a Yellow eventually as an accumulation of those fouls?
   2032. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 04, 2019 at 05:27 PM (#5848423)
I'm not even sure what the rule is currently: if a player keeps committing light fouls, can/does a ref give a Yellow eventually as an accumulation of those fouls?


From the FIFA web site Laws of the Game:

Caution for Persistent Infringement

Referees should be alert at all times to players who persistently infringe the Laws. In particular, they must be aware that even if a player commits a number of different offences, he must still be cautioned for persistently infringing the Laws. It is generally advisable,though not required, to warn a player that he is nearing the threshold level before actually applying the sanction of a caution. There is no specific number of infringements which constitutes “persistence” or the presence of a pattern – this is entirely a matter of judgement and must be reached in the context of effective game management.

Referees should consider the following circumstances:

the length of time during which the fouls occur – spread out over 90 minutes of play may not be as serious as the same number committed over the space near of 15 minutes

the fouls themselves can be of various types (generally, those described in Law 12 but including as well repeated violations of Law 14)

fouls to which advantage has been applied must be included in determining “persistence”
   2033. aberg Posted: June 05, 2019 at 02:40 PM (#5848681)
Spurs have been linked to speedy wingers like Sessegnon and Bergwijn so far this summer. Does that indicate moving away from the diamond midfield? They have used fast players like Moura as a second striker, but is that the role they are seeking? Or maybe these guys would play as more CMs?
   2034. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 05, 2019 at 05:47 PM (#5848738)
Looks like the deal is done, or just waiting to be signed:

Eden Hazard is set to join Real Madrid after the Spanish club agreed a fee in the region of €100m (£88.5m) plus add-ons with Chelsea.

The 28-year-old said after Chelsea won the Europa League final against Arsenal that “I think it is a goodbye, but in football you never know”. At that point Real and Chelsea had not agreed on a fee but on Wednesday night they did with the announcement set to follow in the next few days. The two clubs are now preparing the contracts to be signed.
   2035. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 06, 2019 at 08:11 AM (#5848932)
I'm kind of fascinated by the prices teams are getting for guys in the last year of their deals. When I first started obsessing over Euro ball, the buying team could really squeeze the selling team in that situation. I wonder what changed? It could be that fees are so astronomical that 100 million Euros for Hazard IS the result of Chelsea being squeezed, I guess.

Spurs have been linked to speedy wingers like Sessegnon and Bergwijn so far this summer. Does that indicate moving away from the diamond midfield? They have used fast players like Moura as a second striker, but is that the role they are seeking? Or maybe these guys would play as more CMs?

The papers have Spurs signing 20 players at a cost of a billion Euros right now. We go through this every summer.
   2036. spivey Posted: June 06, 2019 at 08:53 AM (#5848938)
I'm kind of fascinated by the prices teams are getting for guys in the last year of their deals. When I first started obsessing over Euro ball, the buying team could really squeeze the selling team in that situation. I wonder what changed? It could be that fees are so astronomical that 100 million Euros for Hazard IS the result of Chelsea being squeezed, I guess.


I'm just speculating, but I suspect that Zidane didn't come back without assurances of a squad overhaul. I think the situation Real is in is helping to limit their leverage. They can't just go through another year like last letting some of these contracts run down.
   2037. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 06, 2019 at 09:21 AM (#5848948)
I'm just speculating, but I suspect that Zidane didn't come back without assurances of a squad overhaul. I think the situation Real is in is helping to limit their leverage. They can't just go through another year like last letting some of these contracts run down.

I meant as a broader trend, though. Clubs used to live in terror of a player only having a year left and now they seem to still be able to command large fees anyway. I think the RVP transfer to Man U may have kicked this whole thing off.
   2038. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 06, 2019 at 09:42 AM (#5848954)
I meant as a broader trend, though. Clubs used to live in terror of a player only having a year left and now they seem to still be able to command large fees anyway. I think the RVP transfer to Man U may have kicked this whole thing off.
To the extent this is true (and I have no idea), doesn't it mean that players are going to be more likely to pull a Ramsey and let their contracts run out? Why didn't Hazard do that? Sure he would be one year older and could easily be worth less, but even a fraction of $100m would go a long way to cover higher wages.
   2039. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 06, 2019 at 09:45 AM (#5848957)
Why didn't Hazard do that?

I wonder about this, too. Is there a contractual thing going on that we aren't privy to? Are players getting a bigger cut of the transfer fee than they used to? The opaqueness of Euro soccer contracts makes it hard to get a real handle on all of this. We're lucky as American sports fans to have so much transparency with this stuff.
   2040. spivey Posted: June 06, 2019 at 10:02 AM (#5848965)
I still can't believe Ramsey is getting 400k/week wages. Speaking of, I'm surprised that Juve isn't in for all of the same midfielders as Tottenham. They're in for a couple of them, but they need a pretty full overhaul in the middle of the park as well. Also interesting that they're not in for Toby. I feel like they've ridden their current crop of CBs almost as far as they are gonna take them. Though when I watched Atalanta's last game, the Sassuolo CB Demiral that they're supposed to be getting, and he looked legit.
   2041. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 06, 2019 at 10:06 AM (#5848968)
I still can't believe Ramsey is getting 400k/week wages.

If Ramsey is getting 400k, it's because Juventus didn't have to pay Arsenal a transfer fee. It's why it seems strange to me more players don't run down their contracts. Not only do they get more money, they get more freedom to choose a club! There must be some financial incentive for them not to do it (and I suspect it's that they are getting a cut of the fee but this is just a guess on my part. I have no idea, really.)
   2042. The_Ex Posted: June 06, 2019 at 10:40 AM (#5848984)
I have seen a quasi argument like this......If a team spends a big transfer fee on a player then he must play so the team can be seen as getting value for the fee. If you come on a free, there is less pressure on a team to play you.

This obviously wouldn't apply to Hazard, it applies more to the 22-24 year old who is just establishing himself.

Also..agents.
   2043. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 06, 2019 at 10:51 AM (#5848991)
Also..agents.

Yeah, those guys. I am baffled by how powerful agents are in Europe. What a gig that is, if you can get it.
   2044. spivey Posted: June 06, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5848994)
It seems like the agents get huge fees with these transfers, so they probably encourage players to not run down contracts, right? Also, your playing career at the top level is short, and many teams are in a position where if you're letting your contract run down the team may have filled that hole earlier. Like you said, it's not very transparent, and it's also pretty seedy seeming. I'm sure there have to be good reasons it doesn't happen more.
   2045. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 06, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5849009)
I'm kind of fascinated by the prices teams are getting for guys in the last year of their deals. When I first started obsessing over Euro ball, the buying team could really squeeze the selling team in that situation. I wonder what changed? It could be that fees are so astronomical that 100 million Euros for Hazard IS the result of Chelsea being squeezed, I guess.

I think the main reason is probably, that there are many more buyers now, then there were 15 years ago or so. When it was really just Real, Barca, and maybe ManU and Juve who had the money and the clout to lure the elite level talents to begin with. Most of the time, there was just no real chance at a bidding war, and it was much more likely that a player would zero in on one of those clubs.

Now you have literally infinite money with Chelsea, City, and PSG. The EPL is so flush with money that the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs could afford to go in on elite players too. Bayern seems to be less content to just poach the best players in the BL, and actually look outside of their backyard for elite players...

So even a team like Real, can't really be sure that they could just get Hazard next season. And that PSG or some other team might decide to pony up and extend him now, and Hazard might go 'Well if Real doesn't want me that bad, that doesn't sound too bad to me.'
Whereas 15 years ago, what were the options for Chelsea and Hazard? And what is the worst case for Real? There are only 4 teams really competing for elite talent, so if you don't get Hazard, you still have your pick of the rest. Now there is much more competition for the elite talent, so the urgency not to miss out is much greater, since if you lose out, there may not be another superstar you can just pick up.
   2046. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 06, 2019 at 11:21 AM (#5849012)
Also, yeah, I have never understood why more players don't just run down their contracts.
   2047. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 06, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5849015)
2045 makes a lot of sense and is probably the main driver of this. Tough to keep competing with PSG and Man City for Galacticos in this market.
   2048. jmurph Posted: June 06, 2019 at 11:42 AM (#5849019)
Without checking all the math at Transfermarkt, I think Madrid/Barcelona/PSG are in their own tier of spending.* The rich Premier League teams don't act the way they do (with maybe the exception of Pogba to United?).

*I'm thinking of the massive individual fees here, not overall transfer outlays.
   2049. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 06, 2019 at 11:46 AM (#5849024)
Real haven't really spent a lot since they bought James in 2014, though. PSG have blown them away on Neymar and Mbappe and United did on Pogba. I wonder what will happen with Griezmann. 120 million is a spicy meatball! Are clubs lining up to pay it?
   2050. jmurph Posted: June 06, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5849028)
And Barca with Coutinho and Dembele.

Man City and Chelsea just aren't in that market and haven't been for years.

   2051. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 06, 2019 at 12:30 PM (#5849055)
Man City and Chelsea just aren't in that market and haven't been for years.

Alternative facts.

Chelseas spent £72m on Kepa, the largest fee ever for a goalkeeper, by any team. Even with the exchange rate completely in the tank thanks to Brexit, that is still 81m Euros. If you want to say 80m isn't in the same market as 100m, knock yourself out.

They also spent £50m on Jorginho, which is still a lot for a defensive mid. And about £60m each on Pulisic and Morata, only to loan them both back out.

City's top 10 highest transfers are all since the start of the 15/16 season. If they haven't been in that market for years, they have never been in it. They spent almost £70m on DeBruyne 3 years ago, and over £60m for Mahrez this season.

And of course, they allegedly just bid £105m for Felix, which I assume must be fake news, since that is totally out of their market.
   2052. aberg Posted: June 06, 2019 at 12:31 PM (#5849058)
Man City and Chelsea just aren't in that market and haven't been for years.


There are 9 total transfers that have cost E90+. PSG, Barca, Real, ManU, and Juve have accounted for all of those (2 each, but one for ManU). Depending on they account for add-ons, Hazard might not count, which would mean Real haven't waded in those waters since 2013 (Bale) and 09 (Ronaldo) before that.

Chelsea have still spent a ton of money lately. E80m on Kepa last year, 57m on Jorginho, Morata the year before that for 66m. Likewise, City seems content to buy 1-2 guys in the 50-70m range every year. Mahrez and Laporte in 18, Mendy and Walker in 17, De Bruyne and Stones in 16, Sterling in 15.

Neymar for 222m is still the biggest outlier by far. Mbappe is 2nd at 135m. Even Barca saw that much money and had no choice but to sell him, and 2 of the 4 biggest purchases ever were a direct reaction to the sale (Coutinho and Dembele in the following months).

Coke to FP
   2053. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 06, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5849063)
Even Barca saw that much money and had no choice but to sell him

They didn't have any choice as that was his release clause.
   2054. jmurph Posted: June 06, 2019 at 12:36 PM (#5849069)
Guys these things are actually tracked you know. Chelsea's is the 15th highest ever, City's highest is 17th (wiki has 13th and 19th, but close enough).

I very clearly stipulated above the point about overall spending.

Making a lengthy post confirming my point while also being a jackass about it is really annoying, Fancy.
   2055. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 06, 2019 at 12:52 PM (#5849077)
Interesting about the add-on clauses being as high as they seem potentially:

15.41 BST: Eden Hazard is set to sign for Real Madrid after Chelsea accepted an offer of £88.5 million plus significant add-ons that could take the deal to the £130m mark, sources have told ESPN FC.

Though the initial fee for Hazard is significantly below Chelsea's original £130m asking price, it is understood that when realistic bonuses and additional payments are factored in, the value of Madrid's offer will reach that figure.


   2056. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 06, 2019 at 04:33 PM (#5849184)
Great Nations League semi between the Dutch and English. Dutch giveaway set up a pen for an early English lead, Dutch equalize midway through the second half and now an 82nd minute goal by Lingard is ruled out on VAR.
   2057. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 06, 2019 at 04:36 PM (#5849188)
The Dutch have generally been the better team but since the equalizer the English have been solid. Dutch are starting to reassert themselves but it’s late and extra time is looking likely,
   2058. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 06, 2019 at 04:38 PM (#5849191)
Couple of VAR reviews adds 7 extra minutes to the 90.
   2059. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 06, 2019 at 05:02 PM (#5849205)
What in the world was Stones' thinking/doing there???

O.o?
   2060. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 06, 2019 at 05:03 PM (#5849207)
I believe he was thinking "geez, I could go for some fish and chips." I mean it makes as much sense as anything else.

I like that Ian Darke just asked the same question about the flag going up late that I asked during the final. Twellman gave the same answer y'all did.
   2061. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 06, 2019 at 05:18 PM (#5849210)
Another cockup by the England back line ...
   2062. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 06, 2019 at 05:18 PM (#5849212)
England has now made at least 4 extremely bad mistakes in the back, 2 resulting in goals. The xG resulting from those 4 alone must be over 2 goals.

edit: they weren't the better team today, but there are very few games where a team will overcome that many critical errors. Seems like the first thing to fix.
   2063. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 06, 2019 at 05:25 PM (#5849215)
Announcers complaining about the 3rd place game, and maybe they don't need it. But if there were no Nations League at all, it's very likely these teams would be playing a friendly anyway. 2 games during the international break is very standard, and if only one competitive game is scheduled, the other is a friendly.

I don't think anyone will be surprised if England/Switzerland has the mood of a friendly, so I'm not sure what the problem is.
   2064. spivey Posted: June 06, 2019 at 05:29 PM (#5849216)
The highlights of goals 2 and 3 for the Netherlands are frankly some of the worst attempts to break a press I've ever seen at this level. The press in neither situation was even that strong. England is really strong along the attacking band, but, oof.
   2065. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 06, 2019 at 05:33 PM (#5849217)
The highlights of goals 2 and 3 for the Netherlands are frankly some of the worst attempts to break a press I've ever seen at this level.


Can you even call what Stones was doing for goal #2 an attempt to break the press? He got the ball plenty of distance from the goal and then just seemingly started twirling, twirling and never towards freedom. Or, as the Graun MBM put it, he decided to faff about.
   2066. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 07, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5849363)
   2067. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 07, 2019 at 12:27 PM (#5849364)
Women's world cup starts soon! I will be taking in a few games here and there, and especially during the knockout rounds.

I have to say, one thing I don't much like is how easy it is for the top 10 teams do advance from the groups. 538 gives them all over 90%, and the US (whose group has two particularly weak teams) over 99%. 538 also has England over 99% and Japan at 99%, and they are in the same group! (also with two weak teams). Part of this is because the women's field is not as deep as the men's, which is usually (but not always) the case with women's sports, but part of it is the format, where some third place teams advance. This might be the future of the men's tournament as well, if they expand to 48 while admitting much weaker teams on average and allowing a higher percentage of teams to advance (both as per the last plan that went around).

Speaking of deep women's fields, anecdotally (and I don't have the inclination to look this up right now) it seemed in tennis for a number of years the top women's seeds would almost all advance in the major tournaments, while on the men's side it was much more variable. Now we have had a more recent era where the women's side has been more variable, while the men's side has been dominated by a relatively small number of excellent players. This seems to be bit of an unusual case in women's sports though, and if anything shows how successful women's tennis has been as a sport.
   2068. It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: July 13, 2019 at 12:04 PM (#5861605)
Somebody who has the new thread post in it, I forgot to bookmark it.

But blech

Bolton Wanderers intend to field a team comprising mostly youth and development players when they play their first pre-season friendly on Sunday at York City.

The club is not yet out of administration, and though the Football Ventures consortium is close to a takeover, the uncertainty has left Bolton with seven contracted senior professionals, two of whom are goalkeepers and no defenders.

Bolton were relegated from the Championship last season, and will start the new season with a 12-point deduction because of going into administration in May. The question of a further punishment for failing to fulfil their final fixture of the season has not been resolved, though a semblance of normality returned a few days ago when the padlocks were removed from the training ground at Lostock and players were allowed in to commence pre-season work.
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