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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 | 765 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   301. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:19 AM (#5817316)
As for MLS I have never been able to decide which is worse, the hipsterish cringy type names mimicking big european clubs or the ones that sound like something out of rec softball.

See the thing is, every name falls into those two categories. Those are the two types of names a team can have.
   302. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:21 AM (#5817317)
I like Whitecaps the best.
   303. J. Sosa Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5817320)
True Crispix, but the best ones have some sort of local call back/flavor. Whitecaps, Timbers, Sounders. I dig it. Crew?
   304. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5817322)
Unfortunately most cities either don't have a NASL legacy or their NASL team also had a stupid name.

Minnesota Kicks? bad
Dallas Tornado? Better than the original MLS name, Dallas Burn, but not great
Philadelphia Fury? bad
Montreal Manic? appallingly bad
Washington Diplomats - OK but nothing special
Atlanta Chiefs - OK but nothing special
   305. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:31 AM (#5817323)
If you imagine that the people of Utah are pledging their allegiance to the King of Spain, then Real Salt Lake is a lot of fun.

I think that Miami is the one American city that can most get away with calling itself "Club Internacional de Fútbol". Miami has positioned itself as the capital of the Caribbean, is the center of a lot of exchange (of all types) between the US a Central & South America, and serves as a neutral ground for Latin American companies and countries and people to deal amongst themselves. It's an international city in ways that even New York isn't. I approve of the name.
   306. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:44 AM (#5817332)
Washington Diplomats - OK but nothing special

I think that's a great one, but seems fake, like something a video game with no league naming rights would come up with.
   307. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 22, 2019 at 10:57 AM (#5817334)
More NASL names

Bad:
Toronto Blizzard
New England Tea Men (this was during the bicentennial craze)
San Diego Sockers
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Chicago Sting

Generic but there are no other major teams with these names, so OK:
Baltimore Comets
Miami Toros
Toronto Metros

Good:
Edmonton Drillers
Rochester Lancers
Tulsa Roughnecks
Tampa Bay Rowdies

MLS needs to expand to those last 4 places.
   308. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: February 22, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5817341)
The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USL have a reasonably large footprint in St Pete, wear ugly-in-a-good-way uniforms, and play in a fun little dump of a stadium.

The old Tampa Bay Mutiny was another MLS team with a stupid name, and a nonsensical cyber death bat logo to go along with it.
   309. aberg Posted: February 22, 2019 at 05:54 PM (#5817478)
True Crispix, but the best ones have some sort of local call back/flavor. Whitecaps, Timbers, Sounders. I dig it. Crew?


The Cascadia Cup teams have the best names, fans, uniforms, and great history (at least until Atlanta showed up). It's the heart of MLS.
   310. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: February 22, 2019 at 06:47 PM (#5817489)
It's Real Salt Lake. You cannot top that.

Real Salt Lake is probably the worst name.

But it terms of poseur names, I would pick any "United" that is not actually the direct result of the union of two or more clubs. That somehow feels like worse of an appropriation to me.
   311. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 22, 2019 at 08:41 PM (#5817506)
Ranking the styles;

US styles - New England Revolution - Different quality of names but generally like them. They’ve done well I think.
FCs - NYCFC - Maybe not a traditional football club but it IS a football club so I’m fine with it. I’d put Sporting KC here too.
Uniteds - Atlanta United - I don’t hate it, I like the pardon the phrase unifying descriptor but I could do without it.
Sponsored/Singular names - NY Red Bulls/Philadelphia Union - I just don’t like the pure advertising and a name like “Union” I don’t like in other sports (e.g. Miami Heat) either.
Real Salt Lake
   312. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 23, 2019 at 08:45 AM (#5817544)
Burnley goal off an incorrectly given corner. Fun!
   313. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 23, 2019 at 09:48 AM (#5817547)
There's now actually a chance that Tottenham goes drawless for the season: about 6-7%
   314. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 23, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5817559)
I realize he’s not a great EPL player or really even a good one but the fact that a 25 year old USMNT player has been a first choice fullback for an EPL team for three years is a really impressive thing.
   315. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 23, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5817596)
Leicester's about to lose yet another game which they mostly dominated.
   316. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 23, 2019 at 02:37 PM (#5817600)
While Leicester dominated most of the game and had a ton of shots, they really didn't generate much xG. Leicester had a penalty and other good chances in the last 30 minutes, to end up winning the xG (penalties included) handily.

With that win, 538 puts Palace at under 1% chance of relegation. Effectively now officially a midtable team. 538 also has Palace (again) as the 7th best team in the EPL, with Leicester and Wolves close behind. Of course, of those three only Wolves can actually finish 7th at this point, since the other two are probably too far behind in the table.

edit: For those concerned about a Europa spot (anyone?), Watford, Wolves or Palace could still win the FA Cup, assuming somehow Man City loses focus.
   317. Mefisto Posted: February 23, 2019 at 04:25 PM (#5817611)
Leicester look very good everywhere except when shooting. Too many shots from outside the area (17 today). Still, 27 shots, 10 of them in the area, and they lost 1-4.

The opposite of Leicester would be Messi. Barca had 1.8 xG today, but Messi scored a hat trick and assisted Suarez with another.
   318. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 24, 2019 at 09:03 AM (#5817666)
Puel is out.

By xG, Leicester have played quite decently over the second half of the season so far--the only teams better have been Msn. City, Liverpool, Man. United and Burnley, with Arsenal and Tottenham doing about as well. By results though, they only have 4 points, second worst to Huddersfield.
   319. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 24, 2019 at 09:50 AM (#5817668)
All 3 ManU subs used in the first half, all through injury. Rashford (still on) was limping too, not sure how well he is doing.
   320. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 24, 2019 at 09:53 AM (#5817670)
Lukakau just squashed Robertson. Hopefully he can continue. I don't think any of the injuries have came on dirty plays
   321. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 24, 2019 at 10:38 AM (#5817674)
McTominay right on the edge of a penalty defending two consecutive corners. With VAR not sure he gets away with that.
   322. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 24, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5817677)
Considering the attacking talent on display, a 0-0 draw was not exactly predicted. Almost no good chances by either team all day though.

A draw isn't great for either team, but relative to expectations it's probably a neutral result for ManU in their run at a CL spot, and a slightly negative one for Liverpool in their title chase. That's what happens when you only give out 2 points rather than 3.
   323. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 24, 2019 at 11:46 AM (#5817680)
What the #### was that from Jorginho? He threw an elbow at Aguero right off the opening kickoff. He didn’t seem to get Aguero with it so no harm no foul but man, that could’ve been straight red right out of the chute.
   324. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 24, 2019 at 12:45 PM (#5817686)
Wow, such a close call on the called back goal. Not clear if Aguero's butt was over his foot... maybe if it's that unclear you go with the call on the field?
   325. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 24, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5817692)
Hazard just might have been onside there as well. We'll never know now. Linesman didn't wait for VAR...
   326. spivey Posted: February 24, 2019 at 01:26 PM (#5817693)
Final has been pretty fun. Chelsea actually outplayed City in the second half there for me. Chelsea is so absurd for me. They can really play like one of the best teams in the world - they played really good early in the year against Liverpool, they beat City, they outplayed Tottenham in the tie. They can also lose 4-0 to Bournemouth. They are probably the most inconsistent team I can ever remember seeing.
   327. spivey Posted: February 24, 2019 at 02:03 PM (#5817695)
Wow, Kepa refused come off after a couple of injuries and Sarri backed down. What in the #### is in the water at Chelsea.
   328. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 24, 2019 at 02:04 PM (#5817696)
That was crazy. That pretty much undoes 120 minutes of passion and effort, Sarri needs to go tomorrow.
   329. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 24, 2019 at 02:05 PM (#5817697)
Crazy. On the other hand, Kepa should have some idea how hurt he is, and probably the physios. Probably not Sarri... he has to go by what people are telling him.
   330. spivey Posted: February 24, 2019 at 02:07 PM (#5817698)
I mean, Kepa had just needed an injury break to make a pretty routine save after picking up an injury on the last time he had to do any action.

Edit: So, I don't think there's anyway Kepa can be trusted here.
   331. spivey Posted: February 24, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5817699)
If I'm Sarri, I bench Kepa for the rest of the year, probably.
   332. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 24, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5817700)
Dortmund did not look convincing, but held on for a narrow win against Leverkusen at home. That was critical for their title chase. For all the talk of Favre outperforming xG, Dortmund hasn't done that since early in the season, and they haven't done it at all on the defensive end, which was supposed to be where Favre had an edge on xG.
   333. spivey Posted: February 24, 2019 at 02:14 PM (#5817701)
That's some good Kepa!
   334. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 24, 2019 at 02:14 PM (#5817702)
oh my.
   335. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 24, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5817703)
well that was a good save. After Ederson couldn't do the same on a similarly good kick.
   336. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 24, 2019 at 02:19 PM (#5817705)
Does Sarri even make it to the bus before getting the axe?
   337. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 24, 2019 at 02:20 PM (#5817706)
So if Kepa had just saved the one that went right through him, but missed the other that he did save...

As it is, there may be some fallout from this.

Congrats to City. And, really, to Chelsea for giving them a very good game.
   338. spivey Posted: February 24, 2019 at 02:22 PM (#5817707)
Emerson's kick was significantly better than Sane's IMO - more power and more curl towards the corner. But, yeah, solid save. That Aguero non-save is really bad though.

But yeah, Kepa saved well enough there to where I suspect his injury probably didn't affect his performance. Still his refusal to come off is quite bad, and this is maybe also a good time to reflect on how good of a keeper he is. He's solid, but I've not seen anything that suggests he's a game changer. Curious others' thoughts.
   339. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: February 24, 2019 at 02:35 PM (#5817710)
Today's match was, uh, not a good look for Chelsea. But in the big picture... is losing to City really grounds for sacking your manager?
   340. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 25, 2019 at 12:02 AM (#5817785)
339 - for me the loss is no biggie, what happened at the end was ridiculous though. I think it makes both Sarri and Kepa look terrible and personally I’d want to get rid of both.

On Sarri it’s not so much Kepa’s refusal to come off as Kepa just caving in. I’d tell Caballero to go on and tell the ref to red card Kepa if he had too. It’s fine that Kepa put up a fight but the manager makes that decision.

For Kepa I think it’s insulting to Caballero and simply putting self over team in a Cup Final. As noted above he didn’t look right and if the manager says you gotta go, then you go off.

It’s a shame really because Chelsea were very good, probably the better team for 120 minutes in my estimation. This should be a day to talk about Chelsea banding together but instead they just look completely rudderless. Chelsea are a shitshow, frankly have been for awhile. It’s basically been Romans’ money covering up a club that is too volatile. It’s not unlike the 70s/80s Yankees, they throw money at everything with no larger plan. It’s worked sometimes, hasn’t others but now with Roman persona non grata in the UK I just don’t know who is in charge and I wonder if the spending will continue at the same levels or if they are going to be more like Arsenal, spending enough to linger around the top four but achieve little.
   341. ckash Posted: February 25, 2019 at 06:33 AM (#5817790)
I am not a Sarri fan at all, and if he had continued to walk out of the stadium and flew back to Italy I would have been delighted.

That said, it's apparent the inmates run the asylum that is Stanford Bridge and that's not conducive to team success.

Aside from Jorginho and Higuain it's questionable if anyone on that squad respects Sarri. Kante seems happy so I guess he likes him, or at least tolerates him.

So do you replace 90% of the squad? Take a huge loss on Kepa? I'm okay with gutting the squad if it means giving the kids a fair shot to see what they can do. The transfer ban probably won't be in effect until the next winter window after the appeals process runs it's course so I expect some major activity this summer but having to replace 7 starters (Rudiger can stay) is a tall order.
   342. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 25, 2019 at 08:48 AM (#5817801)
It was a rough weekend for Tottenham and Golden State fans. I was weirdly not upset by the Spurs loss which makes me wonder if I'm finally growing up or what. God, I hope not. I missed the big games on Sunday because I had a crap ton of work to do around the house and narrowly avoided adopting another dog.

Anyway, for Spurs I'm just hoping they hold on to top 4. They still have 4 tough games to go and if they were to say, only pick up 2 or 3 points from those games, things could get tight.
   343. spivey Posted: February 25, 2019 at 09:12 AM (#5817809)
Regarding the roster turnover... I think you do it, if you're Chelsea. I think they probably have a pretty good squad there. Let's say they sell Hazard for like 100 million pounds. I think it'll be hard to get more than that with one year, one team bidding, and he's 28. In fact I'm not even sure Real should spend that for him.

But if you re-invested that into a top striker (let's say Jovic) and a solid winger, you could have a lineup of:

Jovic
Pulisic-Loftus-CHO
Jorginho-Kante
Emerson-Rudiger-Christensen-Azpilcueta

That's pretty good, if unproven up top. I feel like that gets rid of the folks that from the outside seem to be most involved with the locker room dysfunction. You probably want another guy in that front rotation, so maybe you keep Pedro and sign another guy with Hazard money.

You could maybe hold on to Kepa if you bench him for a while. But the Willian/Luiz/Hazard part of the old guard? Yeah, I'd cut them loose.

Speaking of Luiz... just around 3 years ago he refused to come off while he was at PSG, in a similar situation - manager thought he was hurt and couldn't continue. They ended up subbing on the extra defender for Matuidi since Luiz wouldn't come off. When I saw that on the r/soccer subreddit, I vaguely remembered it. Anyways, quite interesting.

Edit: I guess the one counter point for gutting the roster is that they have won trophies, somehow, since the locker room has been a mess. The roster has aged a lot in the final third, and the two league titles were with Costa who was probably a top 5 striker in the world at that point.
   344. jmurph Posted: February 26, 2019 at 10:47 AM (#5818258)
So who is ready for the return of Brendan Rodgers? Can't wait to see his tiny notebook again!
   345. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 26, 2019 at 11:15 AM (#5818278)
So who is ready for the return of Brendan Rodgers? Can't wait to see his tiny notebook again!

I can't wait to discover whose name is in the envelope. It's Schmeichel, right? I bet it's Schmeichel. And best of all...Neil Lennon is headed back to Celtic! He can re-start his Neil Lennon line of clothing! (I'm not even joking about this. It was an actual thing when he was at Celtic the last time.)

I'm really sorry I missed the Kepa craziness Sunday. Was it as weird in real time as it is to read about it?
   346. jmurph Posted: February 26, 2019 at 11:16 AM (#5818280)
Was it as weird in real time as it is to read about it?

Weirder! Never seen anything like it.
   347. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 26, 2019 at 11:23 AM (#5818290)
Really bummed I missed it.
   348. manchestermets Posted: February 26, 2019 at 11:30 AM (#5818293)
Kepa, of course, wasn't the first goalkeeper to refuse to come off during a League Cup final. Although he's probably less likely than Sealey to become a cult hero to his team's supporters.
   349. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 26, 2019 at 11:38 AM (#5818295)
Kepa, of course, wasn't the first goalkeeper to refuse to come off during a League Cup final. Although he's probably less likely than Sealey to become a cult hero to his team's supporters.

I did not know that story. Thanks for the link.
   350. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 26, 2019 at 12:25 PM (#5818321)
Have you guys noticed that The Guardian keeps using "tiredness" instead of "fatigue"? Is there some kind of British usage thing going on here that I'm not picking up on? Does "tiredness" in the UK mean something different than "fatigue"? Because if not, tiredness is a thousand times clunkier than fatigue so I don't get it.
   351. J. Sosa Posted: February 26, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5818354)
Lot of players look exhausted, WC starting to bite in England. Not enough rest.

Costly Caribou Cup win for City. Laporte and Fernandinho out until maybe after the international break. Given the fixture list they should be ok, but they were vulnerable when Fernandinho missed time earlier so who knows. Firmino is probably out for Liverpool so Watford may be dicey and Everton will have the hatchets out this weekend. I am more pessimistic about the title chances than the forecast systems.

As for Chelsea, nah, truly, it is all good. Pulisic could not possibly be walking into a better situation for a young player with untapped potential. It will be great. Sarri will totally stay, Chelsea will totally not appeal the transfer ban and go nuts in the summer window, and Hudson Odoi and Pulisic will lead Chelsea into a bright future hand in hand after youth and hope have been given a chance.
   352. spivey Posted: February 26, 2019 at 01:21 PM (#5818361)
The Chelsea and Arsenal matches are huge for Tottenham. I'm not very confident in either match without Alli.
   353. Mefisto Posted: February 26, 2019 at 03:32 PM (#5818441)
Ok Sosa, I concede: your view is looking a lot better than mine at this point.
   354. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 26, 2019 at 04:32 PM (#5818468)
In 1956, before substitutions were permitted, Bert Trautmann played the last 15 minutes of the FA Cup Final in goal for Manchester City with a broken neck.
   355. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 26, 2019 at 04:38 PM (#5818475)
Huddersfield has looked a match for Wolves all game, and just got the injury time (probable) winner.
   356. J. Sosa Posted: February 26, 2019 at 10:41 PM (#5818549)
Mefisto: ; )

Re: Wolves

That had to feel good for Huddersfield. They have done about as well as I expected. Cardiff better. I was very, very wrong about Fulham. I was suckered back in the day for similar reasons by QPR. Pieces don’t fit. Individually they have more talent than several teams but it doesn’t work.

Re: Rodgers

Really interested to see how it goes. Seems an odd choice after Puel. He will be great for Maddison if he sticks around. Might get something out of Iheanacho. For him I think it is a good move. Leicester should be in the drivers seat for top dog outside the big six along with Wolves next year. Arsenal was the job he wanted but he was always going to have to take a smaller job I think. At one time people were talking about clubs like Villa, he did well to go to Celtic. Leicester is a good job.
   357. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 26, 2019 at 10:55 PM (#5818552)
Coming into the game, Huddersfield had one point from their previous 14 games, a dire scoreless draw at Cardiff. This was also Huddersfield's best performance by xG on the entire year. It's pretty hard to explain...

Games like that bring 7th place in the league very much back in play for teams like Leicester, West Ham, Everton and Bournemouth. Wolves are still probably favored for 7th, but it's basically neck and neck with Watford now.

edit: Huddersfield's last win was also against Wolves. They only have 3 wins on the year--their other win was home to Fulham.

edit2: Huddersfield has only 5 clean sheets on the year. 2 against Cardiff (both 0-0 draws), the win against Fulham (1-0), and the 2 against Wolves. Huddersfield only scored 2 goals once all year, in their other win against Wolves.
   358. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:11 AM (#5818624)
Did anyone watch the Inter-Fiorentina game? There must have been 20 minutes of game time standing around waiting for replay decisions.

Then in the final minute, they called a handball and penalty against Inter. The referees had earlier used replay to overturn two calls, going against Fiorentina (the home team) both times to give Inter a penalty and take a goal away from Fiorentina. So in the last minute, they spent 5 minutes joining the viewers at home in looking at replays of what was clearly not a handball, and confirmed it as a handball so that Fiorentina could kick a penalty and tie the game, because they were afraid the fans would riot.
   359. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:22 AM (#5818633)
The referees
It was called a penalty live by the on-field ref, and the VAR crew most likely disagreed, notifying the ref. Apparently it was the on-field ref's decision alone to stick with the original call.

If VAR is going to work well, there really should be clear guidelines for how it is used. I'd be in favor of the VAR crew overruling the on-field ref completely. It would be faster and there's no reason (or not much of one) to believe the on-field ref is in a better position to be making a call via video.

edit: apparently the worst thing about that call is that even if it hit the defender's arm after hitting his chest, it probably shouldn't have been a handball, so there was really nothing to debate. That's the way apparently everyone agrees the guidelines are written and the game is supposed to be called, absent something unusual. We actually saw this in the world cup writ large on two similar plays, one called a penalty (correctly) and the other not (also correctly), where a defender jumped up in the box with his arm out, and the arm contacted the ball fairly squarely. The difference between the two plays was that on one of them (the non-penalty), the ball came off the defender's own head first.
   360. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5818684)
   361. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:37 PM (#5818690)
Tottenham Paninin knockoffs

Berbatov's is awesome. And even these guys couldn't destroy the Handsome Man-ness of Ginola.
   362. The_Ex Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:10 PM (#5818742)
Kepa dropped.
   363. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5818747)
Can't say it's a surprise.
   364. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: February 27, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5818757)
Shenanigans? In Italian soccer? Why I never!
   365. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 27, 2019 at 03:00 PM (#5818765)
Kepa dropped.


Really, Sarri had to, didn't he?
   366. jmurph Posted: February 27, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5818769)
So officially not getting any help from Watford today, it seems.
   367. aberg Posted: February 27, 2019 at 03:49 PM (#5818779)
First half of the Copa Clasico is 0-0, which favors Madrid with the away goal. Game has been absolutely electric so far. Vinicius set up a couple of outstanding chances, one of which almost certainly should have been a goal on a long ball from Casemiro. Dembele has been good on the left for Barca, but he even though he is creating some separation, he hasn't turned it into great chances.
   368. aberg Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:11 PM (#5818784)
And Dembele finally made the most of one. Alba brought the ball up the sideline, played it in front of Dembele to allow him to outrun the defense, and Dembele played a low cross to Suarez who banged it near post past Navas. 2-1 on aggregate for Barca now.
   369. aberg Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:11 PM (#5818785)
Ozil and Mkhi both getting rare starts, both have a goal and an assist.
   370. aberg Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:28 PM (#5818796)
Ter Stegen has had to make some incredible saves since that first Barca goal. Vinicius just made a goregous pull-back that would've been a goal if Semedo's foot didn't get a slight touch on it. He put Pique on his ass with the cut-back.

edit- Moments later, Semedo found Dembele streaking down the right side this time. Again, great low cross in front of the net for Suarez. Not clear whether it went off of Suarez or Varane, but 2-0 Barca, 3-1 on aggregate with 20 minutes to play.

edit2- Then, Casemiro stomped on Suarez's foot during a 1v1 for a PK. Suarez chipped it in for 3-0. I think Messi had taken every PK in the league, so that was a change of pace.
   371. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:42 PM (#5818804)
What

The

####

was Trippier doing there? I can't figure out what he was trying to do.
   372. spivey Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:48 PM (#5818808)
Welp, better beat Arsenal now.
   373. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:49 PM (#5818809)
Only game of the day with a goal margin less than 2 is the Man. City game. That was unexpected.
   374. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 05:02 PM (#5818824)
Well, that was nicely Spurs'd up.

No pressure for the NLD, that's for sure ...
   375. J. Sosa Posted: February 27, 2019 at 05:03 PM (#5818825)
Trippier made a dumb play, he expected Lloris to come out, he didn’t, then tried to backpass. Even if Llloris had stayed on his line that is a bad play. Part of the fault was on Lloris though. Mental breakdown, he should have come out sooner. Could be my imagination but it seems like he has been a lot more reluctant/unable to sweep the last season or two.

Re: West Ham

Boo!!!! A draw would have been nice there.

Re: Liverpool

Interesting tactics. Played Mane through the middle and Origi on the left. Origi was rusty but I thought he did a nice job, worked hard. Gini and VVD look recovered. Alisson was brilliant. Makes a huge difference having Fabinho back at DM instead of CB. Midfield looks a lot better. He destroyed Watford’s midfield with Milner and Wij.
   376. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2019 at 05:54 PM (#5818847)
Re: West Ham

Boo!!!! A draw would have been nice there.
Agree! Unfortunately, xG thought it was a slaughter, and that City should have won by 3 (or more) goals. West Ham had no business even sniffing a draw.
   377. manchestermets Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:26 PM (#5818883)
You must protect THE BRAND!


I don't know if it's the same in America, but under UK IP law you literally do - if you don't enforce a trademark infringement, you can lose the trademark. I don't know if this case has merit, but there's a clear motivation in law to err towards being overzealous.
   378. spivey Posted: February 27, 2019 at 08:13 PM (#5818891)
Tottenham/Chelsea was even on xG besides the OG. Man U actually lost the xG to Palace. It’s late so maybe it won’t catch up to them but I think a lot of pundits and maybe Man U have a reality check ahead.
   379. Mefisto Posted: February 27, 2019 at 09:30 PM (#5818920)
United have been getting lots of results better than their performance since Solskjaer took over. An obvious example was Tottenham, but Arsenal too. That happens (just ask Tottenham over the first half of the season). Still, as was true with Spurs, those points are bagged. And while United may look like they have some struggles ahead, getting their injured players back may counteract that.
   380. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2019 at 09:59 PM (#5818925)
United hasn't been any "luckier" (results compared to xG) then Arsenal, Tottenham, or Liverpool. In some ways less. Leaving injuries aside (a big caveat), United is also playing better than they were at the beginning of the season, so there's no good reason to think they'd drop off more than the other teams in the hunt for the last top 4 spots.

Of course, no one should expect them to win 9 out of their next 10 or anything. A realistic number of points is in the low 70s, which would only take winning 5 or 6 of their last 10.
   381. jmurph Posted: February 28, 2019 at 12:05 PM (#5819070)
Poor Ranieri.
   382. spivey Posted: February 28, 2019 at 01:08 PM (#5819123)
United hasn't been any "luckier" (results compared to xG) then Arsenal, Tottenham, or Liverpool. In some ways less. Leaving injuries aside (a big caveat), United is also playing better than they were at the beginning of the season, so there's no good reason to think they'd drop off more than the other teams in the hunt for the last top 4 spots.


They are playing better, and since the Mourinho firing their xPoints is 3rd in the league. Though the injury point is a big caveat that I wouldn't ignore.

I feel like OGS is likely to get the job and there are a lot of pundits acting like this is a team that could have competed for the title if Mourinho wasn't blame and/or are a clear step above Chelsea/Arsenal. They're still a team with a lot of holes, and almost all of the overperformance they've had as a team has been with OGS at the helm. I do think the expectations may become unrealistic. Maybe that's just my own perception.

Regarding the other points, I think a healthy Tottenham and Chelsea are just better than them.
   383. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 28, 2019 at 01:57 PM (#5819149)
there are a lot of pundits acting like this is a team that could have competed for the title if Mourinho wasn't blame
Yeah, this is dumb. Even with a favorable schedule since OGS, and even though it's a limited number of games, they haven't been anywhere near as good Man. City, and shouldn't be in the same conversation.

and/or are a clear step above Chelsea/Arsenal
Definitely not a clear step, but (absent injury worries) there's a pretty good argument that they are better than Arsenal right now, and maybe Chelsea's equal.

Even if you go back a full half season (well into Mourinho's tenure), United has an xPoints as good or better than Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal. They're nowhere near City and Liverpool of course.
   384. J. Sosa Posted: February 28, 2019 at 02:38 PM (#5819162)
United have most of the hard pieces to acquire in the fold. Ole may or may not be a good manager, but if he gets the job I am happy about that as a fan of a rival club. Poch with Man U’s resources would be a terrifying prospect. There is still a good chance Woodward screws up this summer even though a 12 year old on footy manager can see what they need.

Re: Fulham

The fire sale should be interesting this summer.
   385. spivey Posted: February 28, 2019 at 02:49 PM (#5819168)
United have most of the hard pieces to acquire in the fold.

Do they? It seems like they have the easy parts (but perhaps most important parts) - goalie, a good front line, and a CAM.

I was thinking/debating on something similar to this with a Liverpool fan last weekend. He rates their midfield as acceptably good, but not elite. But look at a lot of the top teams. Juve's weakness is there. Bayern got dominated in midfield vs Liverpool. Tottenham is weak in this area, as is Man U. Chelsea is still struggling to find their best midfield trio.

Real and Barca both look like they're going to be turning over their central mids here in the next year or so.

It seems like every great team wants/needs good central midfielders right now, meanwhile all/most of these teams have plenty of offensive options, especially on the wing.
   386. jmurph Posted: February 28, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5819173)
It seems like every great team wants/needs good central midfielders right now

Is this just a particularly demanding time for that role? Thinking of Pep's City, for instance.
   387. spivey Posted: February 28, 2019 at 03:26 PM (#5819201)
Is this just a particularly demanding time for that role? Thinking of Pep's City, for instance.


I'm not sure. Spitballing here:

- Soccer is built to favor attackers more now than ever before
- It is a demanding time for the role, they need to be so well rounded and in particular they need to be your guys that are the most press resistant given how many/most of the top sides are pressing sides and that's a really difficult skill. To put it simply, the biggest difference between one of the best teams in the world Tottenham and this year's version is no Dembele
- There are more "big" teams than before. This may not be quite right, but Atletico/Tottenham seem capable of attracting and keeping world class talent they wouldn't have been expected to 8 years ago
   388. spivey Posted: February 28, 2019 at 03:44 PM (#5819219)
Also of note - Sergio Ramos is suspended both for the next leg of Ajax (which he was going to miss anyways) and the first leg of the quarterfinal tie if Real advances for purposely picking up a yellow card at the end of the Ajax game.
   389. J. Sosa Posted: February 28, 2019 at 07:07 PM (#5819328)
How much is an elite domestic striker like Rashford worth? An elite attacking mid? Top 5 keeper will set you back about 70 million euros. Fabinho, an elite defensive mid cost about 50. VVD cost 80 plus but that was mainly a consequence of tapping up. Laporte cost about 66. Point being, defenders and water carriers are cheaper. Not many teams can boast of players like Martial, Pogba, and Rashford given ages and talent which is part of what made Mourinho’s actions criminal.

Mids are in demand because rotation is important for clubs to challenge in Europe. That adds up. If every top team needs five or six high quality mids, there you go. The big ticket items are attacking players that can create at an elite level.

Keita has had injuries and trouble adjusting to the physicality of the PL, but there is just no comparison between this year’s midfield and last. Fabinho is an elite DM. Laurens had him as the signing of the summer for a reason. Liverpool plays Fabinho, Wij, Milner, Henderson, and Keita on a regular basis. How often does the front three sit? The CM role is just too demanding in the modern game. But even so Fabinho and Keita went for a combined 110, and they were elite level mids. Lukaku went for around 88 on his own. And Lukaku is, well, Lukaku.

We can’t all be Bayern and tell a club like Red Bull that they will pay a nominal fee for a guy like Werner or just wait for his contract to run down. Weep not for Bayern, they are also probably getting Brandt to play as an 8 for a ludicrously low release clause.

   390. Mefisto Posted: March 01, 2019 at 11:10 AM (#5819470)
Statsbomb on the race for 4th (and maybe 3d) here.
   391. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 01, 2019 at 11:35 AM (#5819479)
The problem with statsbomb's xG analysis is that these articles have been generally treating past xG as an accurate (if imprecise) measure of team ability, when in reality xG to this point in a season is just a slice of one measurement of past performance. That's the main reason statsbomb was so wide of the mark on Manchester United earlier this year.

I admittedly thought United was dead and buried for a top 4 spot earlier this year, but I fully expected them to pull away for a top 6 spot easily, as did all betting odds and most projections systems. So again, projecting the top 6 almost entirely from xG to this point in the year is not likely to give the most accurate results.

Current betting odds for top 4 (538 in parens):
Tottenham: 74% (82%)
Chelsea: 46% (47%)
Manchester United: 45% (30%)
Arsenal: 35% (40%)
   392. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 01, 2019 at 04:33 PM (#5819569)
Dortmund lost to lowly Augsburg for only their second league loss of the year. Now significant underdogs in the Bundesliga. Though they have been reeling of late, this was a game they actually dominated but weren't able to convert their chances in.

   393. The_Ex Posted: March 01, 2019 at 04:34 PM (#5819570)
Dortmund lose to Augsburg!!! Dortmund had the better chances but couldn't score enough. Inter Milan also lost to Cagliari.
   394. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 02, 2019 at 09:42 AM (#5819690)
Arsenal more or less jobbed at Wembley. They ended up dominating xG 3.2 to 1.6, but if you remove all the ref mistakes, it would have been something like 1.6 to 0.9. Still, both penalty calls were bad, and so was the red card that came so late it didn't matter.

It was basically an even game except for the Ramsey breakaway goal, but that should have been the margin of victory.

With that draw, Tottenham become comfortably the largest overperformer on the year v xG, if you include penalties (it was a big plus for Tottenham and minus for Arsenal in this regard).
   395. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: March 02, 2019 at 10:01 AM (#5819693)
I was in and out of the game as I slowly woke up and watched from my bed but I did see the red card and for me that’s a no brainer red. Studs up, over the ball*, that’s a red every time.

* - to clarify by “over the ball” I’m referring to the height of the foot as the ball was already away.
   396. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: March 02, 2019 at 10:04 AM (#5819695)
For xG purposes why would the penalty be a big plus for Spurs and a minus for Arsenal? Seems like in xG a penalty would be a penalty and worth, I’m guessing, about .75 of a goal.
   397. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 02, 2019 at 10:12 AM (#5819696)
I was in and out of the game as I slowly woke up and watched from my bed but I did see the red card and for me that’s a no brainer red. Studs up, over the ball*, that’s a red every time.
I don't really think so, but I guess it's debatable. His foot got the ball, seemed to be on position way before the Tottenham player's leg swung around (so wasn't originally aimed in the Tottenhan player's direction), and he seemed to pull back on it. I think a yellow was more appropriate.

The challenge by Rose on the GK to me was technically worse, but in that case of course is the huge mitigating factor that Rose was right in front of goal which changes the stakes, and so I think a yellow there was also appropriate.

No comment on the Xhaka one, since I didn't watch it carefully.
   398. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 02, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5819699)
For xG purposes why would the penalty be a big plus for Spurs and a minus for Arsenal? Seems like in xG a penalty would be a penalty and worth, I’m guessing, about .75 of a goal.
I'm not sure what this means?

In this game, you could argue that, for xG purposes, the penalties benefited Arsenal more, because they also got a second big xG boost from the play on the rebound off the penalty, which was counted separately (actually, I'm not sure why that is, but it was in this case). If you take away both penalties and that rebound the game was about 0.9 to 1.6.

On the season, I'm not sure who would be most overperforming v xG without penalties. Probably also Spurs but it might be closer.

edit: absent penalties, Arsenal and Tottenham are very close as top overperformers versus xG, with Newcastle not far behind.
   399. I am going to be Frank Posted: March 02, 2019 at 10:24 AM (#5819701)
So question about xG. How does the Eriksen chance and the missed follow count in the math? If Eriksen scores there, then the follow up shot doesn't happen. Does xG just take each shot as an independent event? I guess the Aubemeyang PK and follow-up would be the same thing?

Wow what was quite a shot by the Southampton player.
   400. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: March 02, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5819702)
You said; “With that draw, Tottenham become comfortably the largest overperformer on the year v xG, if you include penalties (it was a big plus for Tottenham and minus for Arsenal in this regard).”

That lead to my question; “For xG purposes why would the penalty be a big plus for Spurs and a minus for Arsenal? Seems like in xG a penalty would be a penalty and worth, I’m guessing, about .75 of a goal.”

Is the “it” in your parenthetical referring to the game or the penalties? WhenI read it initially I thought you were referring to the penalties and I didn’t understand how a penalty would be a minus for xG purposes. Reading it again I’m thinking maybe you were referring to the match as a whole.
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