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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

OT: Soccer Thread (World Cup)

We’ve gotten through Champions League and most of the relegation/promotion stuff so we may as well focus on the World Cup. And what a World Cup, Buffon playing his sixth, Pulisic making his WC debut, quality on-site reporting from Fox and two time Copa America champs Chile just part of what should make for an amazing tournament!  Plus of course the the family-friendly, inclusive atmosphere sure to be fostered by the Russians.

Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: May 29, 2018 at 09:57 AM | 3354 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   3001. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5708689)
Neymar flop
   3002. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5708690)
My understanding is yes, the goalie is above the (some of the) law.
   3003. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5708691)
Corluka! He's been around forever!
   3004. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5708692)
Is "Englandy" a word? It needs to be a word.
   3005. strong silence Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5708695)
wondering if there are specific rules enshrining a goalie's above-the-lawness or if it's just that refs tend to be more lenient with them?

No specific rules. It is leniency and it is an unwritten rule.
   3006. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5708696)
I don't know if the refereeing affected the possible outcome of this game, but it sucked.
   3007. Swoboda is freedom Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5708698)
I think the defenders were just tired and were waiting for the other guy to move.
   3008. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5708699)
he didn't touch the ball with his leading foot, the Croat kicked the ball and it bounced off some other part of Pickford's body. Then Pickford's cleat dug straight into the middle of the dude's body.
I'd have to re-watch the play, but the keeper's job is as much to stop a shot as it is to "get the ball". If he's playing his position correctly, he doesn't have to get the ball with his leading leg, he just has to spread his body out and get it with any part of his body before contacting the man.
   3009. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5708700)
There's gotta be like 8 minutes of stoppage time. Too bad Fergie Time doesn't work for England.
   3010. strong silence Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5708701)
3006. It had an effect, but it is hard to determine.
   3011. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:31 PM (#5708702)
Possible foul by Corluka. Lovren gets the last touch. Goal kick to Croatia somehow.
   3012. strong silence Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:31 PM (#5708703)
The one thing this ref has sucked at: the nudges and pushes in the back by Croatia. Those are so subtle but simple to call.
   3013. strong silence Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5708705)
Another push!
   3014. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5708706)
This ref is calling one of the loosest matches I've seen.
   3015. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5708707)
Only 4 minutes of ET? It seemed like there should be way, way more than that.
   3016. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5708708)
So, England is a man down. Should they manage an equalizer here and it goes to PK, how does them being a man down affect that?
   3017. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5708709)
This is definitely my bias showing, but I feel like the reffing was in favor of Croatia all game. I really don't understand how Lovren escaped a card for two card-worthy offenses in the first half.
   3018. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5708710)
This ref is calling one of the loosest matches I've seen.
Which is weird, because the first three minutes were tight. Then the goal happened, and the whistle was swallowed.
   3019. nick swisher hygiene Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5708711)
expect 100% of the wasted portion of these 4 to get added back on!
   3020. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5708712)
Credit to Croatia, they've made a great deal from pressing England high up the pitch.
   3021. strong silence Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:37 PM (#5708713)
I'm sorry England lost. But is it as bad as tying the US?
   3022. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:37 PM (#5708714)
LOL, what a joke of stoppage time.
   3023. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:37 PM (#5708715)
England gonna England.
   3024. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5708716)
France might be close to 70% betting odds over Croatia, after all these marathon games for Croatia, and the extra day of rest.
   3025. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5708717)
Dolazi kući.
   3026. Shredder Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5708718)
Well, I'll probably be driving back from Madison during the final, and the good thing now is that I really don't care.
   3027. nick swisher hygiene Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:39 PM (#5708719)
Yep. England looked...unsophisticated.
   3028. PreservedFish Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:39 PM (#5708720)
England's gotta feel good about this team this year. Lots of young players and they played great.
   3029. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:40 PM (#5708721)
Well, we're finally going to get that late-tournament high stakes England/Belgium game we were hoping to see. Oh wait.
   3030. strong silence Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:43 PM (#5708725)
reffing was in favor of Croatia all game

He was not in favor of Croatia. However, He showed symptoms of what I call the Howard Webb Syndrome. Instead of fairly and consistently applying the Laws of the Game, he thought his job was to produce a good game by keeping players on the field. He was afraid of giving yellow cards because he, like Howard Webb, didn't want to be perceived as ruining an important World Cup game.
   3031. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:43 PM (#5708726)
Go France.
   3032. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:45 PM (#5708729)
Currently seeing France at 68%.
   3033. Sunday silence Posted: July 11, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5708739)
By not calling fouls it did favor croatia not sure how you don't get thst
   3034. Sunday silence Posted: July 11, 2018 at 05:11 PM (#5708745)
Seemed like a disaster waiting to happen although i admit I though Eng would pull it off..why was eng favored Croatia had poss edge throughout and continued to get chances...
   3035. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 11, 2018 at 05:17 PM (#5708748)
why was eng favored Croatia had poss edge throughout and continued to get chances...
I think people were expecting England to be able to play as they did in the first half for 90 minutes.

edit: it's possible that Kane's miss didn't count towards xG because it was ruled offside, even if it wmight have been allowed on VAR review. If so, England could have had close to 1 xG in the first half.
   3036. Sunday silence Posted: July 11, 2018 at 06:19 PM (#5708774)
ENG won more corners, but their set pieces seemed to go nowhere. I did miss the first 8 or 9 min. so maybe I forget or missed it. In what aspect did ENG do well? not poss. not shots, not set pieces...


I dont know how much stock to put in xG. There are surges in off. and there are strategic considerations that affect how teams will play.

It seemed to me that after about min. 15 CRO was carrying play in the first half. I was going to say I thought they were likely to equalize but OTOH its possible that they were to over extend themselves, so whatever off. they did generate might come at a cost later. The game seemed similar in the second half but poss. might have been a bit more even.

THats why a strict xG thing might be deceiving, CRO was down so basically they had to attack. Given that, a more in depth analysis might ask how well was ENG doing at shutting them down. The game can change so quickly, its not like each team spends 90 min. trying to max out there xG. there's times they do and times they dont and its not always the same for each team.

I dont think I really thought CRO likely to win; but OTOH I never really thought ENG had control of the game. It was a pickem game at best from what I saw.

During the qualifying round everyone seemed to think that CRO was doing very well. But in the medal rounds most people seemed to pick against them. I think its very hard in a tournament like this to determine how could these teams are because we have such few data pts. and things can change tactically very quickly.

A number of people also cited the over time game against RUS as another reason to pick against CRO. I have never seen that sort of thing to make any bit of difference in any sport. I guess it happens in baseball when relievers go back to back; but that's a different thing not really body fatigue.

As I said before, I think our pre-concieved notions about that we have about teams do a lot of color are perceptions of what is going on out there. Its easy to latch onto things like an OT game to convince ourselves that ENG will win but I didnt really see any objective reason.

I thought it was a great game and sad way to end....
   3037. Howie Menckel Posted: July 11, 2018 at 06:36 PM (#5708784)
well, my 16 to 1 bet on England won't bring me 85 smackers after all.

the Croatians are thugs, but I can't honestly say they deserved to lose or that England deserved to win.
   3038. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 11, 2018 at 07:14 PM (#5708801)
It sure looked to me like England dominated the first half from start to finish. Croatia had basically nothing going forward, and it looked like they could play 900 minutes and never score. Obviously that's not how it ended up.
   3039. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 11, 2018 at 07:30 PM (#5708810)
How much of this is on Southgate? When things stop going a team's way, the manager should be able to make adjustments to minimize the bleeding. Croatia shouldn't have been able to outplay England to the degree they apparently did in the second half.
   3040. Sunday silence Posted: July 11, 2018 at 08:22 PM (#5708846)
It sure looked to me like England dominated the first half from start to finish.


actually I was listening on radio, so you may be right. I wasnt able to concentrate on it till the second half.
   3041. spivey Posted: July 11, 2018 at 10:40 PM (#5708916)
I'd forgotten about this because they didn't have to face real-Belgium or real-Colombia, but I was really wondering how England's formation would work against a real team that had a good midfield and good wingers. And I thought it really hurt them. I can't say for sure if it's the reason they lost - I feel like the individual performances they got from players were mostly poor across the board. And the formation didn't seem to hurt them in the first half.

But the thing with the 3-5-2 or 5-4-1 or 3-2-1-5 or whatever you want to call it is I feel like they didn't have enough defensive width or enough guys in in the holding part of midfield. I'm fairly biased in that I think 4-2-3-1 is the "best" formation to play, but one of the advantages of such of a formation is if you have good defensive wingers (which England have), then you get way more 2v1 defense on the opposition's wingers, as well as a bit more defensive width from the holding midfielders since you have 2. I think Trippier and Young really had trouble with defending because they were doing a lot of it 1v1 which is extremely difficult to ask in today's game against top wingers. Similarly, I couldn't really tell what the shape/gameplan of the Dele/Sterling/Lingard/Rashford guys was supposed to be. I think the idea is for them to interchange, but it seemed like they were all a bit too high and central on defense which left Henderson exposed.

I don't think it's all down to tactics as England clearly lack ball retention guys, especially in the deep lying playmaker role. And they lack guys up front that can score goals (besides Kane) or even make the final pass. They badly need a guy like Modric or Rakitic or a winger that can give you a near-striker's level number of goals, which most of the best teams have.

But their back 3 were terrible today, I think. None of them had a good game, and I think Walker in particular was terrible. Maybe not the most terrible of all 3, but when you factor in he's maybe the best right back in the world, him sucking at center back is way worse than you want from his contribution. Of course Trippier did have a very nice goal, so it's hard to criticize him being in the team. Also why do they have such shitty free kick takers? Almost certainly related to the other weaknesses of many of their wingers/attacking mids. I also didn't understand the subbing of Sterling as he is probably the most dangerous player they have but also probably the best in terms of bringing the ball and holding onto it in tight spaces. I also don't think that Dier should have come on for Henderson, but rather in addition.

I do think the physical level of the game (which went both ways) favored Croatia as they were playing more physical on their press and they also have with Modric and Rakitic better guys to handle physical pressure. There were some embarrassingly bad non-out-of-bounds calls by the refs too on 2-3 plays for England. Soccer is a funny game because Croatia looked physically gassed against Russia late in that game. That game genuinely felt to me like if it went 15 or 30 more minutes of field time, Russia was going to win. But then Croatia looked the more fit, team in the last 60 minutes or so here.
   3042. spivey Posted: July 11, 2018 at 10:49 PM (#5708921)
It's extremely few miles to "run" 18 miles in 10 days. I have run close to 10 times that much in 10 days (ok maybe 7 or 8 times that amount). The problem for the players is that it's not the miles--it's the sprinting and acceleration that is exhausting and what really wears them out. Focus on miles very much misses the point.

I mean I agree with the first point, but you run 100+ mile weeks? As someone who is also a runner, that is extremely, extremely high and a near-professional level of running.
   3043. OCF Posted: July 11, 2018 at 10:52 PM (#5708922)
I saw the game from early in the first half (but after the England goal) until 90 minutes, but then I had to go and was very busy elsewhere for the next several hours, only hearing the result much later. And I don't know much about the sport - but I will say based on the 75 or 80 minutes I did see that Croatia looked like the better team and the team that deserved to win.
   3044. Howie Menckel Posted: July 11, 2018 at 11:11 PM (#5708933)
casual NHL fans who finally attend a game are amazed to see so many players going off the ice after only 30-45 seconds - and the manic shifts that aren't always noticed on TV.

the sprints by hockey players are just brutal - and impossible to keep duplicating. plus the nature of soccer is that you get a chance to catch your breath with a long ball. hockey is exponentially faster, on a much smaller "pitch."

but both are daunting, and if it wasn't so hard to do, some team would gain the edge. but it's so hard to do. these athletes are leaving it all on the ice - er, pitch.
   3045. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 11, 2018 at 11:25 PM (#5708939)
I mean I agree with the first point, but you run 100+ mile weeks? As someone who is also a runner, that is extremely, extremely high and a near-professional level of running.
No, but I have at one point run 135 miles or so in one 10-day period. Several years ago now.

edit: and note that soccer players don't average a fast speed: about 7 miles over 90+ minutes is really only the speed of a very fast walk or very slow jog. My point is only that the distance traveled actually is not very far. A player could lie supine on the field for 80+ minutes and sprint absolutely all out for just 10 minutes (say, for 30 seconds every 5 minutes) and be completely and utterly exhausted.
   3046. J. Sosa Posted: July 11, 2018 at 11:45 PM (#5708950)
Re: distance covered in matches

Often matches now show distance covered but IIRC there are some (proprietary?) metrics that track bursty type runs. IIRC it isn’t purely closeouts it tracks actions. But don’t quote me I may be misremembering.

Re: Southgate

I had talked a few pages ago about waffling over Southgate’s options. After watching them over a few more matches I decided he got it right. He was limited by personnel. The dearth of free kick talent was noted in this thread. He had to find a way to get Young and Trippier on the field, and not only that, maybe free them up to provide some service for Kane in open play if they got lucky. Both of them ultimately helped do a lot of what damage England managed on offense and setpieces. They had zero creative mids. Not much in the way of any kind of decent true mids.

Wingers, attacking mids yes, true central mids no. He basically rode the back three and asked Henderson to shield and hoped the rest of them could do enough. Ultimately, I think I am going to go against the tide here and say he did amazingly well with the pieces they had. Croatia has four (!) high quality central mids to rotate. It was an enormous mismatch. To ask his players to play a 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 against those players would have been suicidal. I don’t blame him for not changing tactics sooner. To what, they had a late lead? Henderson was gassed. And the team had practiced and played the way they played. I have tremendous respect for what Southgate accomplished. Yeah, they got some breaks. But this was a flawed team he squeezed the max out of.

Re: Kane

Dude put in an insane amount of donkey work this tournament. I had some laughs at his expense over the claimed goals thing at the time, but any pundit giving him stick over scoring pens at the WC is a moron. He had zero service. He was asked to drop deep, hold the ball, and create gravity wells for Sterling, Alli, and Lingard. He worked for the team and deserves the Golden Boot if he gets it. He took a beating this year and after all that to then spend a month holding up the ball for your team and getting bludgeoned to death he deserves respect.
   3047. Howie Menckel Posted: July 11, 2018 at 11:59 PM (#5708953)
thanks to all of those who are so more knowledgeable about the sport than I am (which is probably most posters).

my favorite mantra is "know what you know - and know what you don't know."

I have learned a lot - and in an ideal world, maybe I have contributed on other threads where I do know.

best of luck to France and Croatia on Sunday.
   3048. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 12, 2018 at 10:20 AM (#5709008)
Southgate sort of limited himself, right? Dier was the only defensive midfielder on the squad (Henderson can and did the job, but he is not a defensive midfielder). Delph has played more LB than central midfield in the past two seasons. Not sure why he brought Welbeck and while Alexander-Arnold was great for Liverpool, they didn't need him. Trippier, Walker and Ashley Young can all play RWB. Wilshire was a somewhat obvious omission, but wholly justifiable.

All of this is minor quibbling. I agree with Sosa. He got them to the semi-final, and I think that most people thought that would be a good result going into the World Cup. Obviously a winnable game against Croatia, but they also got a little lucky with big teams going out early.
   3049. Palm Beach Pollworker Posted: July 12, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5709020)
I suppose one ought to say I'm gutted over England's loss yesterday, but I'd actually kept my optimism in severe check until the semi-final. Nonetheless, it hit me hard. I agree with Bazza on the Guardian Football Weekly podcast though -- this was a lost opportunity. England may never again have a better chance to reach the Final.

But their back 3 were terrible today, I think. None of them had a good game, and I think Walker in particular was terrible.

FWIW, the 'soccer sabermetrics' sites like whoscored.com and squawka.com sharply dispute this assessment. whoscored rates the back 3 as the 3rd, 4th and 7th best players for England, and squawka reaches similar conclusions for Stones and Maguire, although they didn't like Walker much either. (I don't 'trust' these metrics any more than I 'trust' most baseball fielding metrics, but they do have some weight, in my mind, squawka a bit more than whoscored.)

Southgate sort of limited himself, right?

Some of his first choices for midfield are injured, aren't they? I felt if he limited himself it was in staying loyal to the talismanic Kane, and in delaying substitutions too long. I would have rather seen Kane come off instead of Sterling, and said so to my companions. Sterling and Rashford are more complimentary players than Kane and Rashford. Meanwhile, Kane was withdrawn into the midfield, because there wasn't a better option.

England have a long history of midfield weakness, and this was yet another chapter in that volume.
   3050. Palm Beach Pollworker Posted: July 12, 2018 at 12:54 PM (#5709073)
Some trivia:

It's worth noting that England (and Croatia) has joined a select group of countries that, since the introduction of a semi-final round in 1982, have multiple appearances as semi-finalists:

7: West Germany/Germany
4: Brazil, France, Italy
3: Argentina, Netherlands
2: Belgium, Croatia, England

The singletons are Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Uruguay

UEFA Champions' League:

In yesterday's action, Ludogorets Razgad of Bulgaria put 7 past Northern Ireland's Crusaders, while keeping a clean sheet. That was the highest total in this week's round of Champions' League matches.

Latvia's Spartak, at home, held former Balkan top club Red Star Belgrade to a 0:0. A 1:1 in Belgrade would see Spartak go through.

Last season's minnow-to-the-group-stage Qarabag of Azerbaijan beat Slovenia's Olympia club 1:0 in Ljubljana.

Iceland's Valur 1:0 Rosenborg (Norway), in a match I watched some of to distract me from England's loss. I'm sure I saw people in the crowd wearing woolly hats and thick coats, in the middle of July no less!
   3051. Palm Beach Pollworker Posted: July 12, 2018 at 01:42 PM (#5709095)
Sky News is reporting Conte finally out at Chelsea.

Barcelona is supposed to have upped its offer for Willian, but it could be 'fake news' based on changing the currency sign.
   3052. Textbook Editor Posted: July 12, 2018 at 03:04 PM (#5709151)
They had zero creative mids. Not much in the way of any kind of decent true mids.


This. This was the main problem (and was always going to be the main problem). Wilshire couldn't be trusted to go 90 (let alone go 3 games in a week at 90+ min in the knockouts), and you can't bring a guy for that role (and start him!) knowing you will always have to sub him off--it would have thrown everything off. But in the absence of that, England was really hamstrung. Combine that problem with the fact that you don't have any kind of "traditional" CB eligible for England who you trust in that role and you inevitably lead to the sort of construction Southgate arrived at. It was pragmatic given the roster and worked, I think, better and for longer than it had any right to.

If there's a flaw to Southgate, I think he's way too slow on the trigger with subs. Lingard in particular was gassed 60 minutes in and labored for another hour. I get he's a scoring threat, but Loftus-Cheek or someone else would have at least helped with the flagging energy. England looked a different team, energy-wise, once Rashford came on (and this is no dig at Sterling--he ran is ass off), and that seemed to me because Rashford played back just a little into midfield and had the energy there that Lingard and Alli did not at that point in the game.

Every international team has flaws because you can't go and acquire what you need tactically; the team with the least flaws (or the one able to exploit most what they are good at while limiting exposure to what they're bad at) is usually the team that wins.

Final thought: Lovren's got some quotes out today where he's saying he's one of the best CBs in the world. What. A. #######. Joke. He should have had 3 yellow cards 30 minutes in. I hope Mbappe torches his ass on Sunday for a hat trick.
   3053. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 12, 2018 at 03:12 PM (#5709154)
RE Lovren and #3052:


“This feels incredible, especially after everything that was said about us before the game,” said Lovren. “We showed our character. We showed that we deserved to be in the final and people should respect us. Sometimes, the criticism is unfair and people should respect me also. Without being arrogant I think I have [been proved to be one of the best defenders in the world]. Definitely.

“But this criticism is what gets me more motivated to work harder and prove everyone wrong. Everyone. From today, everyone in Croatia and around the world saw we managed to make history. In 20 years’ time, people will remember us, and not just the team from 1998. That is why I am proud, and now we have one game to make people remember us forever.

“It is special history when you look back and see we had to play 120 minutes three times and we still had fresher legs than that England team. The difference was mental because we knew we could write history and we did it.

“We went through a lot of ####: war, all these things, and even now the situation is not the best. But it is unbelievable how many talents we have in sport. At basketball, at handball, at water polo, at tennis especially. We have good mothers and fathers, making good love.”


Link
   3054. spivey Posted: July 12, 2018 at 06:32 PM (#5709246)
Lovren will be plying his trade in Zagreb within 2 seasons.
   3055. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 13, 2018 at 05:28 PM (#5709661)
Shaqiri to Liverpool is official, Real are preparing a £150 million move for Eden Hazard and Barcelona want to buy/swap Chelsea's N'golo Kante with Andres Gomes, which in turn means that Chelsea are supposedly set to gazzumph Spurs to Wilmar Barrios, but loan him back until January 2019.

Meanwhile, Spurs have only made the one signing this offseason ... the renowned international: Phuque Awl.

Peak silly season is almost upon us, especially with the shortened PL transfer window!

   3056. J. Sosa Posted: July 13, 2018 at 06:29 PM (#5709677)
Re: Lovren

Sigh. The man loves saying things to the press. Here’s the thing though, he has driven me insane for years, but at this point it is what is (or isn’t) between his ears that is the problem. He has gotten to the point where he is capable of playing at a high level for extended periods of time. But... When he does #### up, and boy howdy does he, it is obvious and glaring. Klopp has talked about it. He loses concentration. It happens.

Playing center back at that level requires an insane amount of concentration and discipline. Take a touch too many as an attacker in the final third, yes, that sucks. Misjudge a header in a CL semi as a CB, and well, that #### goes on the scoreboard. It happens. Stones shuts off for a split second in overtime in a grueling match and that’s it, WC over.

FWiW I have warmed to Lovren somewhat. He played very well in the CL final. He has a lot of experience playing both CB spots. Ideally he would be third choice for Liverpool, but in his defense, and in his place I would probably feel the same as him in the heady aftermath of being a starter on a WC final team and a CL finalist in a matter of a couple of months. I also don’t blame him for the shithousery against England. A masked Howard Webb was out there reffing with a steel chair, he had scouted correctly.

Re: Shaqiri

I may be too rosy about it, but keep in mind two starters on a CL finalist for Liverpool had been purchased off relegated clubs. Klopp has an eye for it.
   3057. Palm Beach Pollworker Posted: July 13, 2018 at 07:41 PM (#5709703)
Rumours and Realities Ripped from the Headlines:

-Jorginho in London, after offer from Chelsea (Also Sarni as manager is a done deal.)

-Jahanbaksh to Leicester City

-Real Madrid to offer £150m for Eden Hazard

-Daley Blind from Man U to Ajax for £16m-£21m

-Man U after Perisic

-Juventus put up 'for sale' sign on Higuain, want €54m

   3058. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 13, 2018 at 09:21 PM (#5709734)
-Juventus put up 'for sale' sign on Higuain, want €54m

I'll give you three crayons and my milk.
   3059. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 13, 2018 at 10:09 PM (#5709744)
I’ve been traveling so apologies if it’s been discussed but is Modric in the balon d’or discussion? Playing as a #10on a champions league winner now doing what he’s done in the World Cup, am I crazy for thinking this? It’s crazy how well he’s been able to play after playing as much football as he has this year.
   3060. Mefisto Posted: July 14, 2018 at 08:55 AM (#5709821)
Heh. Jorginho went to Chelsea, not City.
   3061. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 14, 2018 at 09:23 AM (#5709826)
Everyone ready for the second meaningless England-Belgium game?
   3062. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 14, 2018 at 09:25 AM (#5709828)
Although I made that last post, both teams have (mostly) not rotated, and Kane/Lukaku are both playing, so this could at least be a race to the Golden Boot.
   3063. Sean Forman Posted: July 14, 2018 at 09:27 AM (#5709829)

If there's a flaw to Southgate, I think he's way too slow on the trigger with subs. Lingard in particular was gassed 60 minutes in and labored for another hour. I get he's a scoring threat, but Loftus-Cheek or someone else would have at least helped with the flagging energy. England looked a different team, energy-wise, once Rashford came on (and this is no dig at Sterling--he ran is ass off), and that seemed to me because Rashford played back just a little into midfield and had the energy there that Lingard and Alli did not at that point in the game.


They also had no outball and the offense was terrible after Sterling went off. England last of creative mids finally did them in, imo. To quote the pods I listen to their offensive progression was about 85% Sterling out balls and Rashford just doesn't have the same skill with those.

I think the creative mids issue will likely take care of itself. England won the U17 and u20 WC's and has scads of good young players coming up. A 22yo Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, etc, etc are likely be able to play at the level England would need in 2022.

   3064. Sean Forman Posted: July 14, 2018 at 09:29 AM (#5709831)
I can't believe that Trippier is playing in this game.
   3065. Sean Forman Posted: July 14, 2018 at 09:30 AM (#5709832)
Heh. Jorginho went to Chelsea, not City.


This could be a major issue for City. They really need another defensive mid. I'd go after Kante. :)
   3066. Palm Beach Pollworker Posted: July 14, 2018 at 10:01 AM (#5709836)
Rumours and Realities Ripped from the Headlines:

- Balbuena (defender from Paraguay) to West Ham

- Brighton considering paying £10m for Newcastle's Isaac Hayden, who demands a transfer

- Fulham chasing Benfica's Andre Carillo

- Man U after Milan's Bonucci for £32m (so is PSG)

- Pogba to Barcelona?

   3067. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 14, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5709844)
This has been entertaining, both teams seem to be playing it and the crowd is pretty good.
   3068. Sean Forman Posted: July 14, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5709847)
England is taking off the wrong forward. Kane just doesn't look right physically.
   3069. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 14, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5709852)
I think Kane is probably just cooked. Dude plays a lot and he takes a pretty good beating.

That play on Rashford is a great example of the need for a non-PK for a foul in the box. He got drilled but he also had no chance at the ball.
   3070. puck Posted: July 14, 2018 at 02:37 PM (#5709883)
Not so much for the 3rd pl game, but tourney in general--should Vardy have gotten a runout with Kane in place of Sterling?

On transfers, I'm surprised more teams aren't going for the various Spurs (esp. Alli and Kane).

When will someone go after Pickford? Aren't teams required to have a certain # of England-eligibles? Seems like GK would be a good place to fit one in, though since he was expensive for Everton he'd be expensive for the new team. Seems worth it though.
   3071. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 14, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5709893)
On transfers, I'm surprised more teams aren't going for the various Spurs (esp. Alli and Kane).


I'm not.

Kane just signed a new contract and Alli's going to be right behind him (along with several others).

Plus the new stadium opens this season, Poch is still the manager and, of course, Daniel Levy is still an Evil Transfer Wizard.

Also, a player needs to want to leave.
   3072. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 14, 2018 at 04:07 PM (#5709905)
Speaking of wanting to leave, Eden Hazard, batting his eyes with a come hither stare, after today's match:


Yet, despite Maurizio Sarri having replaced Antonio Conte at the helm and the signing of Jorginho from Napoli for around £50m, the Belgian addressed his future in the immediate aftermath of his side’s victory over England. “Honestly, I will go on holiday and ask myself the right questions,” said Hazard, who has claimed two Premier League titles, a Europa League, a League Cup and an FA Cup over his time at the club. “After six wonderful years at Chelsea it might be time to discover something different. I can decide if I want to stay or go, but Chelsea will make the final decision if they want to let me go.

“For my career, certainly after this World Cup, I’m at a moment where I might change. We all know that I’ve always felt well at Chelsea, so..... I’ve been linked to all the big clubs. Next week it will be Bayern. No I’m joking. You all know my preferred destination.”


Graun
   3073. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 14, 2018 at 06:02 PM (#5709940)
Sometimes, the internet delivers answers to questions through serendipity, I have asked myself this very question and just stumbled across this article: how did a White Stripes song became the biggest soccer anthem of all time?


It all began with Belgians in Italy

In Italy, the chant is not referred to as Seven Nation Army, but rather as "the Po po po po po po song" — and the southern European nation is also where the track reportedly transformed into a soccer anthem.

Legend has it that it all started in a Milan bar in 2003 when visiting Club Brugge fans, in town for a matchup against A.C. Milan, started chanting along to the song; then at home, the Belgian team began playing the song every time they scored. When Brugge later hosted a UEFA Cup match against A.S. Roma in 2006, the Italian team won, and their fans began singing the song to taunt their Belgian rivals — in the process bringing the song back to Italy.

"I had never heard the song before we stepped on the field in Bruges," said Roma captain Francesco Totti in an interview. "Since then, I can't get the 'Po po po po po poo pooo' out of my head. It sounded fantastic and the crowd was immediately totally into it. I quickly went out and bought one of the band's albums."

The song became the unofficial anthem of Italy's World Cup win in 2006, and was used in Euro 2008 when teams walked onto the field.


   3074. Sunday silence Posted: July 14, 2018 at 06:57 PM (#5709957)
I will pick Croatia to stun the world...
   3075. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 14, 2018 at 07:37 PM (#5709965)
It’s been an ongoing thing for Croatia but the fact that they’ve played an extra game worth of soccer during the knockout stage has to catch up with them. Plus they have one less day of recovery time than the French. I don’t know if that’s ever been looked at but feels like a big advantage.

But hey, one game and all that. Anything can happen. The French have been very good and seem to have just been very quiet about it. They are really good and even if everything was even they have a midfield than can play with the Croatians. I’m pulling for Croatia but I think the French are going to take it and I think it’s more likely that they do so fairly easily than Croatia is to win.

Given my predictions throughout, bet the house on Croatia.
   3076. Textbook Editor Posted: July 14, 2018 at 08:45 PM (#5709982)
Also, a player needs to want to leave.


I know it's been the WC and all but... I'm a bit surprised we haven't heard more about Toby getting sold before the EPL window closes. Unless the plan is to sell him in January (which would be awfully strange as he'd be cup-tied for the CL)... Or maybe the plan is to just sign him to a new deal with a bucket of cash? Letting him play out his contract seems unlikely, and if you extend him you trigger the very reason ~25 million pound release clause.

It would seem something will happen on this front within the next 3 weeks, but it's been awfully quiet on this front.
   3077. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 14, 2018 at 08:53 PM (#5709988)
It would seem something will happen on this front within the next 3 weeks, but it's been awfully quiet on this front.


Well, United want him, but so far Levy has been holding out for a Martial swap of some sort (which United are adamant they won't do) or about 25 million pounds than what United are offering.

I think Toby played well this WC, so we'll see what happens. Obviously, I'd rather not sell to a direct rival (C'mon down, PSG!).
   3078. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 14, 2018 at 09:05 PM (#5709993)
France is at just under 68% to win. I'd take them at those odds.

I really don't think Croatia is very good, but anything can happen, so you never know.
   3079. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 14, 2018 at 09:24 PM (#5709999)
Feeling bored? Why not check out one of these (well, if you can): around the world in 51 soccer movies!

I've only seen a couple, but many of them sound pretty awesome ...
   3080. strong silence Posted: July 14, 2018 at 10:50 PM (#5710029)
Belgium will win the World Cup before England does (again).

The U.S. will will the World Cup before Belgium does.

China will win the World Cup before the U.S. does.

Reasoning:
Europe is past its peak.

The U.S. has felt the shame and hit bottom and will get its act together.

China has a plan, and numbers.

Full disclosure:
I've been drinking
   3081. Howie Menckel Posted: July 14, 2018 at 10:51 PM (#5710030)
clash of titans as the Meadowlands Racetrack debuted sports betting this morning.

ex-NJ State Senator Ray Lesniak, who is the Founding Father of killing the NV sports monopoly going back a decade of federal court battles, doubled down on his France futures bet made at Monmouth Park last month.

ex-NJ Governor Dick Codey, a big horse racing supporter, said something vague about France and then placed his wager on Croatia. I didn't catch the exact lines.

it is still weird to see legal sports betting anywhere outside of Vegas/Reno - which have that Wild Wild West feel, so it seems to fit. now in DE, too, and coming to MS and WV next month, and unless you live in UT or HI, to your state eventually. God help us all.
   3082. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5710164)
Golden Boot for OG!
   3083. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5710165)
Blegh off a total dive. If VAR wants my approval they need to take free kicks like that away, and give a yellow to Griesmann.
   3084. zack Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5710166)
OG on a set piece off a dive against the run of play. Friggin' sports.
   3085. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5710167)
Waaaaaa!
   3086. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5710168)
Terrific.
   3087. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5710169)
3083. +1

The goal makes my stomach sick. I don't care who the winner is but I want a legitimate one.
   3088. zack Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5710170)
Friggin' sports!
   3089. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5710171)
That was a heck of a goal.
   3090. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5710172)
Could've been a boring match, but the Croats are going for it.
   3091. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5710173)
That was lovely!

Game on!
   3092. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5710174)
That was an excellent goal. Croatia just don't quit. I missed the first 20 minutes because I figured it wouldn't start until 2pm!
   3093. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5710175)
I like France, they are the best team, but Croatia won't give up. That may be enough.
   3094. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5710176)
That's a handball, should be a penalty.

His hands were out from the body and deflected the ball.
   3095. strong silence Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5710177)

It was a penalty because there was an advantage gained.
   3096. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:36 AM (#5710178)
That should never be a penalty.
   3097. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:36 AM (#5710179)
I think that's a penalty.
   3098. perros Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:36 AM (#5710180)
Good call.
   3099. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:36 AM (#5710181)
Doesn't that have to be a penalty kick? Never hit the French attacker first.
   3100. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 15, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5710182)
That should never be a penalty.


Howso? I don't think it was an intentional handball, but his hands were way out in open space and advantage was gained by it.
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