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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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   3201. PreservedFish Posted: July 17, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5711233)
I did download Football Manager, and after stuggling mightily with previous versions, I decided to download a "cheating tactic." And now I've taken some random crap Italian team to the top of the table with a 5-2-3 with inverted wingbacks that I couldn't even begin to understand. Feels kind of lame to be honest, I want a cheating tactic that cheats a little bit less effectively. Maybe I should just make some random adjustments.
   3202. G. Bostock Posted: July 18, 2018 at 12:53 AM (#5711767)
Premier League Transfer Rumours and Realities:

- Chelsea choosing between Petr Cech, Kasper Schmeichel and Gianluigi Donnarumma should Courtois leave

- Chelsea and Juventus bosses meet today to decide how much for Rugani and Higuain

- Crystal Palace chasing Khouma Babacar (Sassuolo, ex-Fiorentina)

- Everton rejects German bids for Ademola Lookman.

- Everton wants Bordeaux winger Malcom

- Yery Mina wants to go to Everton but Barca wishes to be shown more money.

- Newcastle bid to get Salomon Rondon on loan rejected by West Brom

- Pogba hankers to go back to Juventus
   3203. G. Bostock Posted: July 18, 2018 at 01:03 AM (#5711770)
UEFA Champions League Qualifying

Preliminary qualification winners Drita, from Kosovo, were knocked-out by Malmo, 5-0 on aggregate. Fans of the plucky little Kosovar club can support Rumania's CFR Cluj to avenge the loss.

Red Star Belgrade won the second leg 2-0 after a scoreless draw in Latvia against FK Spartaks. They now get to play another Baltic representative in FK Suduva of Lithuania.

More play today.
   3204. Sean Forman Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5711914)
Chelsea choosing between Petr Cech, Kasper Schmeichel and Gianluigi Donnarumma should Courtois leave


I'd vote Cech. Definitely Cech.
   3205. PreservedFish Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5711927)
Just scouted Gianluigi Donnarumma on my FM save. Probable asking price was $150-200M.
   3206. J. Sosa Posted: July 18, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5711949)
Alisson to Liverpool done unless he flunks the medical. Which never happens. Right? Right????!!!

To say I am thrilled is an understatement. The primary concerns for me would be if he can adjust to the physicality of the PL, his sometimes insane confidence on the ball and off his line, and whether last season represents his true talent level.

But... If last season was legit he is a top five keeper in the world for me. Exceptional distribution and also measures well by many other metrics. He’s perfect. Perfect for Liverpool. As for the fee, eh. I refer to it as the Arsenal Conundrum.

We used to talk about it on here, that at a certain point a club like Arsenal reaches a plateau in player recruitment and it becomes harder and harder to improve without occasionally butting heads with mega clubs for a player at inflated fees. A club can either whinge about it or pick their spots in areas of need. I had given up hope in the spring because it looked like he was heading to Real, but fortunately they elected for a cut rate deal on Courtois. But they still had to beat out Chelsea which inflated the price.

I see it much like the VVD signing. Massive improvement in a weak area.
   3207. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 18, 2018 at 12:48 PM (#5711982)
More Champions League qualification today. Six matches starting at 1:00 PM Eastern. IMO, the most interesting match is in Trondheim, with Rosenborg hosting Valur (Iceland). Rosenborg is trailing 1-0 after the first leg.

I, for one, welcome our new Icelandic overlords.
   3208. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 18, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5711985)
Also, I'm always fascinated with FC Sheriff, which may well be the shadiest club in the world. They're down 2-1 on aggregate, coming home to Transnistria to face Torpedo Kutaisi.
   3209. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 18, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5711988)
Friendly news: ATV Irdning 0-22 Everton
   3210. PreservedFish Posted: July 18, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5711989)
I remember this article: In Sliver of Old U.S.S.R., Hot Soccer Team Is Virtual State Secret. My favorite thing about soccer might be the way in which it allows us peaks into the weirdness that is the world.
   3211. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 18, 2018 at 01:09 PM (#5711995)
I did download Football Manager, and after stuggling mightily with previous versions, I decided to download a "cheating tactic." And now I've taken some random crap Italian team to the top of the table with a 5-2-3 with inverted wingbacks that I couldn't even begin to understand. Feels kind of lame to be honest, I want a cheating tactic that cheats a little bit less effectively. Maybe I should just make some random adjustments.


The system seems to have trouble with two strikers both set to the Advance Forward, and seems to have some real trouble with inverted wingbacks (no one tends to mark them since they're way inside from where the AI is expecting them to be. So I'm guessing the exploit tactic has the AFs and IWBs cause all sort of havoc with the defensive assignments of the AI while having three centerbacks and two defensive midfielders to keep you from allowing easy goals?

My current FM game with San Marino (starting the third year, my second in Serie C/B after getting promoted from Serie D in year one) sees me using a 5-3-2 with an advanced forward and poacher as strikers and it's pretty darned effective. Of course just before kickoff of season 2 in Serie C my owner decided to sell my ultratalented 18 year old striker on the final day of the transfer window, so I haven't played much recently as I'm still smarting over that and trying to figure out if I can at least offer him to other clubs and get a season-long loanback.
   3212. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 18, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5712003)
Playing as Köln, I won the Europa League and qualified for the Champions League in my first season. I'm now about halfway through year two, sitting in eighth in the Bundesliga but only a point out of fourth and meanwhile leading my CL group that includes PSG and Real Madrid.

And I've begun to get headlines that suggest the fans are growing impatient with me. I've hit a bit of a rough patch in the Bundesliga, playing two games a week nearly every week, but I've still won more games than I've lost.

What in tarnation do you people want from me? How is this not good enough? Makes me want to start over with a club where they'll appreciate my leadership.
   3213. J. Sosa Posted: July 18, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5712008)
Ox is out for the season. That is terrible, but figured as much given the lack of updates.

As for FM, I stay as far away as possible. Knowing myself I would probably be better off on crack than playing FM.
   3214. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 18, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5712016)
Agree with 3206 on Alisson. I am wondering though, how much overall league physicality matters for a GK, or whether there is actually much (or any) difference across leagues what type of physicality is allowed when GKs are involved.

I would guess on one-on-ones it's not really different. Also, I wouldn't think it's part of any GK's game to be challenged when the ball is at his feet, at least to the extent physicality would ever become an important factor.

Perhaps on crosses into the box GKs are protected more in other leagues?
   3215. J. Sosa Posted: July 18, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5712027)
Yeah, exactly Bea. In the PL most refs allow scrums and don’t protect the keepers at all on that type of play. It can be a big adjustment.

Edit to add: It impacts play style. IIRC Alisson has something like a 90 percent catch rate challenging crosses. More contact might require more punching or change the decision to come for the cross at all.
   3216. G. Bostock Posted: July 18, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5712037)
Premiership Transfer Rumours and Realities:

- Richarlison (Watford) to Everton rumour generates widespread laughter

- Fulham offer £20m for Mitrovic

- ManC send Rodney Kongolo to FC Heerenveen

- Roma agrees to take Liverpool's £66m for Alisson

- ManC after Juventus' Pjanic

- Chelsea offer €95m for Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly

- Chelsea ask €80 million for Willian, targeted by Barca

- Everton DOESN'T want in Malcolm (see previous rumours and realities)

- Fulham make offer for Wilmar Barrios

- Arsenal wants two signings, and invite offers for Monreal, Mustafi, Welbeck, Cech, Ospina, Jenkinson and Perez

- Anton Walkes goes from Spurs to League One Portsmouth

- West Ham invite offers for Arnautovic, with ManU interested
   3217. PreservedFish Posted: July 18, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5712040)
On my cheating FM game, I won Serie A with Empoli. I was showered praise and job offers. I took the Napoli job and am just now strengthening my team. Having outrageously increased the quality of my team, if the tactics remain just as cheaty, I may go undefeated.
   3218. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 18, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5712047)
[3216] You forgot my favorite:

15.50 BST: Sky Sport Italia, via Football Italia, report that Stoke have had a €15 million bid for Vlad Chiriches knocked back by Napoli.


Come back to the PL, Vladdy Hot Dogs!
   3219. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 18, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5712062)
Cech is getting older and wasn't all that great last year. De Gea faced a lot of criticism in his first year or two regarding his lack of physicality.

I'd imagine Arsenal is going to do a pretty big clear out. United should, and Chelsea may have to.

I've only played with biggish clubs on FM, because I wanted to be able to get players I like. I always get to the point where I win everything and only lose matches on random BS. I found that 4-3-1-2 works for me. It takes a while to get the players I want. In the versions I own, it's hard to find true CM who are 4* less difficult to find for DM and AM.
   3220. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 18, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5712072)
Back in FM2014 my team got so strong I won everything while using the pyramid for half my matches (including the FA Cup final and the Champions League final). I had to retire from the club after that, simply because there were no worlds left to conquer. Really, get enough talent and you can play any way you like.
   3221. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 18, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5712081)
Come back to the PL, Vladdy Hot Dogs!

He'll have to find another club than Stoke...

   3222. PreservedFish Posted: July 18, 2018 at 02:59 PM (#5712088)
Back in FM2014 my team got so strong I won everything while using the pyramid for half my matches (including the FA Cup final and the Champions League final). I had to retire from the club after that, simply because there were no worlds left to conquer. Really, get enough talent and you can play any way you like.


I've been playing off and on for about 15 years and I've never been able to achieve anything. Oh, that's not quite true, I've taken a 3rd division team up to midtable in the first division. The talent acquisition part is easy and fun - let's not pause to wonder why Venezia or Scunthorpe is signing a 16-year old Brazilian that might as well be signing with Barcelona - and that can take a team pretty far, but my tactical ineptitude has always let me down in the end.
   3223. G. Bostock Posted: July 18, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5712124)
UEFA Champions League Qualifying

Valur (ICE) 2:3 Rosenborg (NOR)

I caught bits and pieces of the first leg after the England semi-final, when Valur poached a late goal against the run of play to go 1:0 up on aggregate.

The second leg, which I was also able to watch bits and pieces of, was marred by refereeing controversy, as the ref awarded a handball penalty against Rosenborg with about ten minutes to go. As far as I could tell from a stream on a small screen with rather basic replay, the ball had clearly come off the Rosenborg player's bonce.

About five minutes later, the ref awarded another penalty, against Valur, and again for handball. This was was slightly more plausible, but only slightly as it was just possible the ball had come off the Valur defender's forearm, but I wouldnt swear to it. This prompted outrage from Valur's manager, who through hand gestures implied the fix was in.

Nonetheless, the result was a fair one. Rosenborg were doing most of the attacking, and were up 2:0 when the penalty shenanigans began. I'd been rooting for Valur, and was at first pleased at the ref's first penalty award, until I saw the replay and felt it was rankly injust.

Rosenborg will play the winner of Celtic vs Alashkert in the next round. The second half of that one has just started.
   3224. G. Bostock Posted: July 18, 2018 at 04:58 PM (#5712173)
UEFA Champions League Qualifying

Celtic, who won the European Cup back in 1967, got past Alashkert of Armenia, 6-0 on aggregate, after winning 3-0 at home tonight. They play Rosenborg next.

Qarabag, of Azerbaijan, look to try to repeat their feat last year of making the group stage having beaten Olympia, the Slovene champions, 1-0. Qarabag play the Albanian side Kukesi next. (APOEL of Cyprus, who performed a similar feat, were knocked out.)

Ajax, winners in 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1995, join the fun this next round, playing Austria's Sturm Graz.

So there are three former winners reduced to playing in the Qualifying Rounds -- Celtic, Red Star Belgrade and Ajax. At least Ajax didn't suffer the ignominy of playing in the first round.

First leg ties are 24-25 July.
   3225. G. Bostock Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:27 AM (#5712386)
Premiership Transfer Rumours and Realities:

- Zola signs on as assistant to Sarri

- Chelsea linked to new name in keeper search, Areola


Looks like everybody but Chelsea took the night off.
   3226. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 19, 2018 at 08:11 AM (#5712421)
Oxlade-Chamberlain is out for the year.
   3227. PreservedFish Posted: July 19, 2018 at 08:14 AM (#5712422)
Celtic, who won the European Cup back in 1967, got past Alashkert of Armenia, 6-0 on aggregate, after winning 3-0 at home tonight.


How well attended do games like this tend to be?
   3228. puck Posted: July 19, 2018 at 10:25 AM (#5712489)
There are some attendances listed on the Wiki page for qualifying. I don't see the 2nd Leg of the Celtic matchup but the Celtic site said ticket were sold out. Whether the entire stadium was open, I don't know.
   3229. jmurph Posted: July 19, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5712506)
Oxlade-Chamberlain is out for the year.

God that whole generation of Arsenal players have just been ravaged by injury.
   3230. G. Bostock Posted: July 19, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5712522)
How well attended do games like this tend to be?

Lincoln Red Imps' two matches in Gibraltar during the preliminary qualifying had attendances of 840 and 468. I have no idea how that compares to their regular attendance.

Tuesday's match in Belgrade against Spartaks was attended by 23,390, which is about 42 per cent capacity of Red Star Stadium.

Drita, who won that match against Lincoln Red Imps witnessed by 468 in Gibraltar, could only just get over 50 per cent capacity for their ground for the historic tie against Malmo. 9,780 can say 'I was there.'

The highest total for this season I've seen published so far is Red Star's (I haven't seen Celtic's yet), but Astana (Kazakhstan) had about 20,000 turn up which was two-thirds' capacity.

Just checking a few others it seems 40-50 per cent of ground capacity turn up.
   3231. PreservedFish Posted: July 19, 2018 at 11:29 AM (#5712538)
Thanks. I'd love to attend quirky games like that.
   3232. Sean Forman Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5712558)
As for FM, I stay as far away as possible. Knowing myself I would probably be better off on crack than playing FM.


I lost a year of my life to FM, but the three UCL titles and five bundesliga titles I won at Hertha will stay with me forever.

In a different save I got Crewe into the Champions League.
   3233. jmurph Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:22 PM (#5712574)
I lost a year of my life to FM

I very intentionally don't like to do the math on this sort of thing. I skip quickly past that screen on the steam page when starting it up!
   3234. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:15 PM (#5712647)
Ah, just like the return of the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano, I know a new PL season is approaching when Jose Mourinho gives a presser, slags his players, or lack thereof and generally just moans:


If ever you needed a reminder that the World Cup was over and club football was back on the agenda, Jose Mourinho's typically despondent news conference at UCLA on Wednesday provided it. What a wonderful month it was away from all this gloom but here we are again, gearing up for another season of hand-wringing from football's most incomprehensibly miserable man.

In keeping with his relentlessly sullen demeanour that has defined his time at Manchester United, Mourinho was at his wallowing best, complaining about the squad he has at his disposal, making veiled comments about players and groaning that the Premier League is against him.

...

"I'm worried because I'm not training and then I go to the Premier League without lots of players, but it is what it is and we have to try and make the best out of it with the players we have here," Mourinho said.

"I'm not worried about playing Liverpool here or Real Madrid or Milan, I'm not worried if we lose badly.

"The preseason is very bad, the positive thing of the preseason is only for the young boys that have a fantastic opportunity to train with us."

At one point he even said: "Everything is really bad."


ESPNFC

Enjoy the season United fans!
   3235. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5712660)
Year 3, baby!
   3236. jmurph Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:41 PM (#5712671)
It's great for fans but completely nuts that the preseason friendlies are already underway. These guys get no break!

Has anyone seen any actual data on this kind of thing: I wonder if bottom half teams with fewer internationals do better in the beginning of the season, since their players have had actual rest.
   3237. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5712678)
It's great for fans but completely nuts that the preseason friendlies are already underway. These guys get no break!

They really don't. They must envy American athletes. Tottenham's entire starting 11 were at the World Cup (if you have Rose over Davies and Son over Lamela, as you should) and most of them went to at least the knockout stages. But that's ok because all the fresh signings will pick up the early season slack... Lucas Moura, your time is now.
   3238. Mefisto Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:54 PM (#5712686)
Even the United blogs were pissed at Mourinho for that idiotic performance.
   3239. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 19, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5712696)
It's great for fans but completely nuts that the preseason friendlies are already underway. These guys get no break!

Has anyone seen any actual data on this kind of thing: I wonder if bottom half teams with fewer internationals do better in the beginning of the season, since their players have had actual rest.


I'm absolutely terrified about the lingering effects of fatigue this season* as a Spurs fan. 9 players in the squad reached the semis. Maybe that means after a few weeks rest, they hit the ground running to start, but what about later on, when the multiple cup, PL and ECC matches start stacking up.

Poch will have to do a much better job of rotation, I think, to keep everybody fit and fresh (I'm looking at you, 'Arry Kane).

Meanwhile, Spurs have, in typical fashion, signed* #### all so far and the window closes in only a few weeks.

* Nor sold, which, if selling is a prerequisite for buying ... oy.
   3240. jmurph Posted: July 19, 2018 at 03:21 PM (#5712707)
Poch will have to do a much better job of rotation, I think, to keep everybody fit and fresh

This is like year 3 of hoping for this, right, and it hasn't really happened yet? I thought it would catch up to them last year but perhaps they're all cyborgs.
   3241. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: July 19, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5712718)
This is like year 3 of hoping for this, right, and it hasn't really happened yet? I thought it would catch up to them last year but perhaps they're all cyborgs.

I thought their team was much less physically imposing on the press and in general last year. Some of that is likely getting older and becoming more world class. But with the WC plus deeper CL run it seems like more of a real issue this year. Doesn’t Son still have the Asian Cup too? I’m worried they are being passed by Liverpool and hopes that Chelsea may just give up without Abramovich seem unlikely now. Has he been allowed into England yet?
   3242. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 19, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5712731)
Doesn’t Son still have the Asian Cup too?


Yes. He's training with the team now to stay sharp, but then leaves again. I'm not sure if he's scheduled to play on the American tour that's about to start.

I’m worried they are being passed by Liverpool


Keita and Alisson are very good signings. I think they're a clear 2nd behind City as things stand.

hopes that Chelsea may just give up without Abramovich seem unlikely now. Has he been allowed into England yet?


I think a lot hinges on whether they can keep hold of Hazard and Courtois, who they can get to replace them and how quickly whatever roster they field gels under Sarri.

Meanwhile, Spurs unveiled their new 1st/2nd kits yesterday and Rose, Toby and Moose were conspicuous in their absence among the players chosen to model them.

   3243. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 19, 2018 at 04:07 PM (#5712735)
FWIW, live Europa League action in Újpest, Hungary tonight. They're hosting Neftchi. It's in the second half now - tied 3-3 on aggregate, but Újpest has an away goal. Stream is here. It's Hungary's national broadcaster, so you shouldn't have to deal with crazy popups or viruses or anything.

Welp, now it's 4-3 Újpest and Neftchi's goalie is injured after an awkward challenge. The Magyars are in purple, the Azeris in black and white stripes. Neftchi needs two unanswered goals to stay alive. (edit: I guess one goal would tie the aggregate and away goals, so one will do.)
   3244. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 19, 2018 at 04:23 PM (#5712741)
Nigel de Jong ... eat your heart out!

Cobra Kai Dojo would be proud!
   3245. Sean Forman Posted: July 19, 2018 at 06:01 PM (#5712771)
City seems to be very serious about giving their players 4 weeks off after their last WC match and I don't think any of the WC players (of which there are 16) are on the US tour. They are bringing damn near nobody of note on the US tour. I sure hope Phil Foden has a good match when I see them in NJ. My Liverpool friend has assured me that Mané and Salah will be playing.

Supporter Shield might be the U17s and Bravo vs Chelsea
   3246. G. Bostock Posted: July 20, 2018 at 01:02 AM (#5712988)
Premiership Transfer Rumours and Realities:

- Barcelona offer Dembele to Chelsea for Hazard

- Arsenal prospect Kelechi Nwakali loaned to Porto

- Young prospect Brahim and ManC don't see eye-to-eye about loan deals

- ManU plotting move for both Lewandowski and Thiago

- Leceister City get Danny Ward from Liverpool

- Abramovich made visit to Milan to spend money (on players)

- ManU offer Timothy Fosu-Mensah on loan to Valencia

- Newcastle and West Ham after Miguel Almiron, Paraguayan midfielder

- Liverpool join ManU in pursuit of Gary Cahill

- Wolves sign Paulo Alves, formerly of Liverpool

- Lazio set sights on Chelsea's Pedro

- Burnley seek transfer of Alfie Mawson from Swansea

- Liverpool's Ryan Kent to be loaned to (Glasgow) Rangers

- Chelsea bid €30m for Caldara (Juve defender); rejected

- Leicester enter race for Bordeaux's Malcolm (also running: Roma and Everton)

- Chelsea's Pasalic to Atalanta on loan deal with buyout

- Hazard's price agreed at 'over €125m' or €190m (I suppose both could be true)

- Newcastle in pursuit of Mexican Diego Reyes
   3247. The Marksist Posted: July 20, 2018 at 09:51 AM (#5713021)
It's silly season (aka, the spring training of European football), and we're awash in cliché'd optimism. My favorite, 1) "He'll only get better given his age!"
   3248. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 20, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5713024)
"He'll only get better given his age!"
Heh. Yeah, I'm very uncomfortable with this phrase unless a player is still in his teens.
   3249. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 20, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5713030)
BOLTON UPDATE: Captain Darren Pratley, the only guy left who played with them in the Premier League in 2012, leaves on a free transfer to Charlton. Elderly heroes Aaron Wilbraham and Karl Henry leave on free transfers. Several other players you've definitely never heard of leave. Adam Le Fondre is still there.

BIG MOVES: There are no big moves. Right back Pawel Olkowski from FC Köln. And there is still no transfer budget so surely several 30-somethings signed as free agents like last year (first to be reported: striker Clayton Donaldson, born 1984) and a couple valuable players on loan like last year (first to be reported: Dutch winger Yannick Wildschut from Norwich). Fans very much want U.S. international left back Antonee Robinson to return.

Looks like another quest for 21st place!
   3250. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 20, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5713033)
#3246 Once again you omit my favorite rumour (via ESPNFC):

Player-plus-cash bids are expected from Tottenham and Everton for Wilfried Zaha despite Crystal Palace insisting on a £60m fee.

The Mirror believes Spurs will throw Moussa Sissoko into the deal ...


LOL. That's some impressive click-bait trolling by The Mirror (fwiw, footballlondon.com stated today that there's no indication that Spurs are pursuing Zaha anymore), mention dumping Sissoko and you're sure to draw the attention of Spurs fans ...
   3251. ckash Posted: July 20, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5713034)
Chelsea is going to be interesting this season. The Athletic had a good article about Sarri's style and it's clear that the team will need to be turned upside down to fit his tactics. Assuming no one leaves aside from Courtois, the best lineup right now would be

GK

Dave-Chrstenson-Rudiger-Alonso

Kante-Jorginho-RLC

Willian-Giroud-Hazard

Giroud isn't a great fit but he's better than Morata. Hopefully Bats gets a fair look and at least rotates with Giroud. Gotta move on from Morata now.

Cahill and Cesc absolutely cannot play his style. Luis probably can if healthy but has to accept being a rotation option now. Moses isn't a FB nor a F nowadays so he has no role.
Pedro might be okay as a sub. If Bakayoko is over the yips from last season he may have a role. I don't see any way Barkely fits in. I have no idea if Palmieri can play as a traditional FB.
Zouma is iffy in this setup. Drinkwater and Zappacosta are strictly depth and better off being sold.

I like RLC's potential but they need to add some more competition in MF for him.

Honestly Chelsea needs to sell (at minimum) half a dozen guys and bring in (at minimum) the same amount to make this work.

And this is without Hazard or Willian leaving.

Hoping my daughter has more morning games this season because I'm positive my blood pressure will go through the roof watching Chelsea, especially early on as they try to learn this new system and integrate all these new players they'll hopefully acquire.
   3252. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 20, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5713056)
Well, Real Madrid might fund Chelsea's offseason...for a price.

I think the Spurs link to Zaha is real but I'm not sure if Tottenham want to pay the going rates. The market changes fast as Jurgen Klopp will tell you.
   3253. jmurph Posted: July 20, 2018 at 11:16 AM (#5713062)
Aston Villa will receive “significant investment” from NSWE, a company controlled by billionaires Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, the Championship club have announced.

From the Guardian. Edens is a co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.
   3254. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 20, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5713068)
I guess Spurs won't even be getting Grealish, then. This summer isn't going well for the good guys.
   3255. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 20, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5713070)
   3256. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 20, 2018 at 11:25 AM (#5713071)
From the Guardian. Edens is a co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.


And Sawiris is the richest man in Egypt.

They're the original odd couple!
   3257. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 20, 2018 at 01:09 PM (#5713155)
They're the original odd couple!

It's actually a menage a trois because Xia is sticking around as a co-owner. What could go wrong?
   3258. J. Sosa Posted: July 20, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5713160)
Re: Levy

I suspect he is doing what he always does, waiting for the dust to settle and extracting maximum value on sales. I would be surprised if he doesn’t bring in a mid and an attacker. Zaha Dortmund Pulisic Tottenham!


Re: Klopp

He says stuff all the time that has little bearing with the truth much as I love the man. A lot of people are acting like Karius got bumped because of the CL final or laughably, Tranmere. No, they had been talking to Alisson for months before the CL final. It only cooled off because Alisson preferred Real. Klopp always bigs up his players even when he is planning on replacing them. Upper management leaks whoppers too especially since the VVD fiasco.

Just this week Danny Ward was supposedly the number one, and 72 hours later they signed Alisson and sold Ward to Leicester. Makes it hard to know exactly what is going on with Fekir. Klopp claims they are done and all the Liverpool journos of note swear they are done, but these are the same people who days ago said no chance of Allison and Danny Ward was the future. All Liverpool transfer news now comes from the other side.

Klopp’s temper also occasionally gets the best of him. He made some foolish remarks about West Brom, probably because they had so much business lined up that required CL qualification and the pressure got to him. He had a bunch of stuff lined up contigent on winning the EL final a couple years ago that fell through.

Re: Alisson

It always amazes me how many English soccer fans don’t follow other leagues at all. I mean, at all. Zero, like it is another planet. Even if one doesn’t watch Serie A and can’t be bothered to read statistical analysis, shouldn’t it maybe, possibly tell you something that Alisson played for a CL semi finalist, that two other semi finalists wanted him, and that the fourth semi finalist has Manuel Freaking Neuer?

Re: Youth soccer

Been down on it for a good while, bordering on bitterly so. Pay to play and nowhere to play for casuals. Rec leagues being driven to extinction and academies acting like fun and playing to win are a crime and that every little Johhny is going to play pro. Banning kids from playing multiple sports, so you lose the best athletes. Lack of quality coaching and options for the few truly talented players. High school coaches involved in academies and giving vastly preferential treatment to academy players. Essentially a non scholarship sport for men and college coaches aren’t drawing from and competing against the player pools from football, basketball, and baseball. They are drawing from and competing against the lacrosse pool with all that implies.
   3259. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 20, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5713165)
I was only mildly tweaking Klopp. Managers will always look like dopes when they comment on other clubs, especially when it comes to spending.
   3260. J. Sosa Posted: July 20, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5713170)
I took no offense Shooty, he does say some profoundly hypocritical things at times. He just gets away with it mostly because he isn’t an ass like Mourinho.
   3261. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 20, 2018 at 01:38 PM (#5713174)
He just gets away with it mostly because he isn’t an ass like Mourinho.

Mourinho supplies a lot of cover, for sure. Year 3! I can't wait to see what he does this season!
   3262. Sean Forman Posted: July 20, 2018 at 02:55 PM (#5713217)
Emerson Hyndman lives! Scored for Bournemouth vs Levante today. Started in their previous friendly vs Sevilla. Bournemouth had no one at the World Cup, so he's not stop gapping for now. Possible they are shopping him. He needs to get a lot of minutes somewhere this year.
   3263. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 20, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5713226)
Mourinho supplies a lot of cover, for sure. Year 3! I can't wait to see what he does this season!


Some people have angels and devils on their shoulders; somehow, I imagine Mourinho with this guy on his shoulder (probably replacing the angel)...
   3264. G. Bostock Posted: July 20, 2018 at 03:42 PM (#5713248)

- Fulham add Dedryk Boyata to wish-list

- Wolves make offer to AC Milan for Andre Silva

- Zaha wants to leave Crystal Palace (3250 beat me to this)

- Fulham want Besiktas' Fabricio (a/k/a Fabri)

- Fulham offer more money to Espanyol for David Lopez

- Arsenal after Chuba Akpom of Sint-Truiden

- ManC say no alternative plan to Joginho, so don't expect Thiago or Pjanic

- Everton miss out on Malcolm, who is Roma bound

- Everton talking to Barca about Lucas Digne

- Spurs give new contracts to Son and Lamela

- Leicester City sign Danny Ward from Liverpool

- Richarlison from Watford to Everton transfer now being taken seriously
   3265. J. Sosa Posted: July 20, 2018 at 04:26 PM (#5713275)
Re: Danny Ward

He is highly regarded by the Liverpool staff despite me making fun of LFC’s attempts at psy ops. Ward is mainly being sold (allegedly) because he is more of an anchor type keeper rather than a sweeper. Likely to fit LCFC very well. Be interesting to see where Schmeichel goes.

Edit to add: What Roma is doing is interesting. I have a long standing Monchi fetish. If they get Malcom the depth, talent, and youth they have at winger is very impressive.

Which reminds me, when I was surfing various Roma forums about Alisson I came across a few tidbits about Naingolan. It gave some insight into why he wasn’t selected. Evidently he has some legendarily bad off the field habits, not just the Wilshirian habits I had assumed. Given that and his age they robbed Inter blind.
   3266. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 21, 2018 at 04:31 PM (#5713525)
And now for my favorite rumour (so far) from the silly season: Kieran Trippier to ... REAL MADRID!

09:49 BST: Tottenham right-back Kieran Trippier's brilliant World Cup has alerted Real Madrid, who are prepared to bid £50m bid, according to The Sun.


#BatCountry

   3267. G. Bostock Posted: July 21, 2018 at 05:53 PM (#5713537)
Premiership Transfer Rumours and Realities:

- Everton's Yannick Bolasie draws interest from Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leicester and Fenerbache

- Real Madrid turn away from Hazard

- Kante has contract arranged with PSG

- Chelsea feel warmer about Pjanic, cooler about Golovin

- Brighton close in on Ali Jahanbakhsh, Nijmegen and Iran winger

- Everton to bid for Lucas Digne

- Jeremie Boga leaves Chelsea for Sassuolo

- Leipzig sporting director encourages Lookman to leave Everton

- Andre Schuerrle talking to unnamed Premiership club

- ManC after Juve's Rodrigo Betancur

- Brighton to Hull bid for Skalak and Norwood: 'Not interested.'

- Barcelona increase offer for Willian, their fourth bid

- Atletico express interest in Chelsea's Giroud

- Leicester reject Saudi bid for striker Ahmed Musa

- Kingsley Coman hints of a future at the Emirates

- Richarlison to Everton to be settled Monday

- Leicester reject Sporting offer to borrow Slimani

- Chelsea see Martial (not the Roman poet) in their future

- Lewandowski rejects ManU, wants PSG or Real Madrid

   3268. The_Ex Posted: July 21, 2018 at 07:32 PM (#5713581)
Allegedly Crystal Palace are interested in Schuerrle with Zaha going the other way. I remain unconvinced. Supposedly Palace need money for a new stadium (could be a rebuild) and don't have much money to spend.
   3269. G. Bostock Posted: July 22, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5713790)
Premiership Rumours and Realities:

- Lazio interest in Alex Iwobi (vide infra)

- Everton's price for Richarlison is inflated to avert Watford compensation claim over Silva

- Watford agrees fee to land Stefano Okaka

- Jahanbakhsh signs with Brighton for €22m

- Klopp eyes Pulisic

- Chelsea are getting annoyed with Real over Hazard talks

- Liverpool loan Ryan Kent to Rangers

- Nobody wants Leicester's Schmeichel

- Alex Iwobi to sign extension with Arsenal

- Richarlison medical at Everton imminent

- Pjanic rumours not coming from ManC

- Barcelona offer to Chelsea for Willian rises to €72m

- Watford loan Dodi Lukebakio to Fortuna Duesseldorf
   3270. G. Bostock Posted: July 22, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5713800)
Mesut Ozil retires from international football!
   3271. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 22, 2018 at 04:14 PM (#5713832)
LFC vs DOR ... hopefully this is a fun one for the neutral.

[edit] well, Karius not inspiring confidence early on ...
   3272. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 22, 2018 at 05:53 PM (#5713876)
CHRISTIAN PULIPIC!!!

2-1 PULIPIC v LIVERPOOL!

Gives the crowd what they came for!
   3273. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 23, 2018 at 09:13 AM (#5713976)
Nobody wants Leicester's Schmeichel


Huh, I thought Schmeichel had a pretty good rep?
   3274. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 23, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5714040)
Speaking of keepers, how many Champions League trophies does Keylor Navas have to win to get some respect?
   3275. Mefisto Posted: July 23, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5714052)
Deleted. Couldn't get link to work at first, but then succeeded. See below.
   3276. Mefisto Posted: July 23, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5714054)
Some thoughts on VAR and penalties here
   3277. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: July 23, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5714057)
Schmeichel: He's good but thought of as a keeper you can't play a high line with. Most of the top teams in the world do play a high line. Seems like the team he's on, or a Chelsea-type team, are the right fits.

Navas: I think he's another good-but-not-great. The standard is a bit higher than that at a team like Real to be fair, especially with De Gea is a top keeper and seems to act like he wants to play for Real. That said, he's certainly better than what I remember of the end of Casillas' stint.
   3278. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 23, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5714091)
The introduction of VAR thus exposed a gap between the law on the books and the law in action. And the effect was to rulify the adjudication of penalty kicks. Under the gaze of FIFA’s all-seeing thirty-three broadcast cameras, a nuanced standard that had developed over many years without ever being written down—a standard that prioritized the punishment of blatant fouls and denials of goal-scoring opportunities—gave way to a comparatively rigid rulebook that recognizes no distinctions among more and less “penalty-worthy” trips, pushes, or the like. Transparency left less room for subtlety. Codified law swallowed custom.


Is this a good or a bad thing? I am inclined to be negative about this aspect of VAR. (The earlier introduction of goal-line technology, in contrast, did not undermine any customs of refereeing or introduce any delays in play, and strikes me as a boon for the game.) Although penalty kicks may now be called more consistently, they will also be called more frequently and mindlessly. FIFA’s president insists that “VAR is not changing football, it is cleaning football.” Yet we know from other contexts that enforcing longstanding laws more aggressively or literalistically can be a deeply disruptive, if not subversive, act. To “cleanse” soccer of enforcement discretion is to change the sport.


The article is a decent summary of how VAR is affecting penalties. From what I can tell, most soccer fans (unlike the author and me) seem to want penalties to be called more consistently, frequently and mindlessly. (For some reason, unless it's in favor of France in the final...) These fans are mostly happy with the new system, and appear to think that defenders will adapt and penalties will return to near pre-VAR levels. As I've stated before, I mostly doubt defenders can adapt very well because the rules are so draconian and offensive players will find more and better ways to exploit the rules, now that it's more worth it for them to do so. I think, if VAR is going to be used this way, the rules will have to be changed eventually. Ultimately that may be the fairest and best result anyway.

edit: heh, I wrote that before I read the first comment to the article.
   3279. Mefisto Posted: July 23, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5714108)
Which was mine. :)
   3280. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: July 23, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5714113)
I agree with AuntBea. Not only do I think this will lead to more diving, but there's a lot of light and "gray area" contact that I suspect may be ruled as penalties when it traditionally wasn't.
   3281. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: July 23, 2018 at 02:44 PM (#5714243)
Uli Hoeness (Bayern president) unleashed a pretty scathing takedown of Mesut Ozil, slamming not just his international play, but saying every time Bayern has played Arsenal they in particular try to target playing through his area. I found it pretty out of line.

I don't know enough about Ozil's complaints to say if they have merit or not, but it seemed pretty well thought out. Simultaneously, I do find myself agreeing with some of the criticisms about Ozil's play - specifically thinking that Ozil has been pretty and up down in major tournaments since 2010-2012. I thought he was pretty good in the 2016 Euros, but seems to have lost it athletically way quicker than most and I don't think he should have been a starter this go-round, or even on the team for future tournaments.
   3282. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 23, 2018 at 03:34 PM (#5714295)
I won't wade into the Ozil situation because there's a lot of subtlety and weirdness there that I won't pretend to understand fully. I don't even know the specifics of that infamous picture. Hoeness is a dick, though, and it's too bad Ozil's time with his national team is ending in bitterness. The dude is a World Cup champion.
   3283. G. Bostock Posted: July 23, 2018 at 05:38 PM (#5714405)
Premiership Rumours and Realities:

- Wolves could land Middlesborough's Adama Traore

- Wolves will buy Moutinho, paying Monaco £5m

- Barcelona claims it has made no bid for Willian, let alone five

- Fulham bid £26m for willian Jose (Real Sociedad)

- Karius, Maguire considering moving

- Mourinho happy to wave farewell to Martial, for the right price

- Everton and Leicester miss out on Malcolm

- Harvey Barnes to leave Leicester for West Brom

- Sarri seeks to promote phenom Hudson-Odoi to first team

- Chelsea to up bid for Rugani

- Un-named English club's offer of €100m for Napoli's Koulibaly is rejected

- Nzonzi to Arsenal? Only if the price is lower.

- Fulham give Fabri medical
   3284. Sean Forman Posted: July 23, 2018 at 06:10 PM (#5714418)
Thank you Bostock. For posting these. I enjoy them.
   3285. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 24, 2018 at 07:45 AM (#5714685)
From what I can tell, most soccer fans (unlike the author and me) seem to want penalties to be called more consistently, frequently and mindlessly. (For some reason, unless it's in favor of France in the final...) These fans are mostly happy with the new system, and appear to think that defenders will adapt and penalties will return to near pre-VAR levels. As I've stated before, I mostly doubt defenders can adapt very well because the rules are so draconian and offensive players will find more and better ways to exploit the rules, now that it's more worth it for them to do so.


I don't want penalties called "consistently, frequently and mindlessly" I want fouling in the box to be reduced. I disagree with you that defenders can't adapt, they almost certainly can. I don't know if you are a hockey fan but about 15 years ago the NHL put in a "zero tolerance" for hooking and grabbing and players adapted. Oh there was definitely a short time where a LOT of penalties were being called but it was to the benefit of the game to take away a lot of the grabbing that was happening.

My biggest complaint though is that defenders get away with stuff that attacking players don't. I really don't mind physical play in the box (think Kane being tackled against Tunisia I think it was). My issue is that if an attacker even breathes on a defender wrong it's a free kick but the defenders are often given a lot of leeway. I would prefer consistency, if we are going to let defenders maul players in the box, let attackers do so similarly.
   3286. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 24, 2018 at 07:49 AM (#5714686)
I agree with AuntBea. Not only do I think this will lead to more diving, but there's a lot of light and "gray area" contact that I suspect may be ruled as penalties when it traditionally wasn't.


The big leagues absolutely positively HAVE to use VAR and postgame review to absolutely hammer divers. That needs to go hand in hand with VAR.

I do find myself agreeing with some of the criticisms about Ozil's play - specifically thinking that Ozil has been pretty and up down in major tournaments since 2010-2012. I thought he was pretty good in the 2016 Euros, but seems to have lost it athletically way quicker than most and I don't think he should have been a starter this go-round, or even on the team for future tournaments.


Yeah, the way it is being handled by the German FA and Hoeness is a load of crap but I think Ozil's time as a national team regular was at or near an end. Ozil is someone that can be exploited by a good team attacking him. He's still a genius on the ball but if you get up on him you can make him turn it over and if you force him to defend it's probably a good result for your side.
   3287. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: July 24, 2018 at 07:55 AM (#5714688)
I don't want penalties called "consistently, frequently and mindlessly" I want fouling in the box to be reduced. I disagree with you that defenders can't adapt, they almost certainly can. I don't know if you are a hockey fan but about 15 years ago the NHL put in a "zero tolerance" for hooking and grabbing and players adapted. Oh there was definitely a short time where a LOT of penalties were being called but it was to the benefit of the game to take away a lot of the grabbing that was happening.

I think it will probably end up somewhere in between. Penalty rates will go back down, but stay slightly above where they were previously. And defenders will learn to cut out a lot of the wrangling and soft fouls they know they could usually get away with beforehand. Which will lead to more open play in the box, more chances, and more goals from play as well. I think overall that is a win.
   3288. J. Sosa Posted: July 24, 2018 at 09:27 AM (#5714724)
Malcom to Roma is evidently off. Both clubs had announced the deal pending a medical and he was actually on a plane that turned around. Probably going to Barcelona now which raises even more questions. Why is a team that has Dembele going after guys like Malcom and Willian? Could just be adding depth, but Barcelona might actually be looking to loan or sell Dembele. Which I thought was crazy talk. Barcelona’s transfer policy has been all over the place.
   3289. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 24, 2018 at 09:36 AM (#5714729)
When Messi stops being Messi I think Barcelona are in for some years in the wilderness.
   3290. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: July 24, 2018 at 09:53 AM (#5714741)
Rumors of 17 year-old Canadian Alphonso Davies to Bayern?
   3291. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:15 AM (#5714759)

The big leagues absolutely positively HAVE to use VAR and postgame review to absolutely hammer divers. That needs to go hand in hand with VAR.


My issue with that is it will be really hard. There's some clear dives, of course. But I think many, many more are situations where there is a slight amount of contact, or the player is already off balance, or anticipating contacting if they can't see the defender.
   3292. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:22 AM (#5714765)
My issue is that if an attacker even breathes on a defender wrong it's a free kick but the defenders are often given a lot of leeway. I would prefer consistency, if we are going to let defenders maul players in the box, let attackers do so similarly.
This really doesn't work when the consequence to offensive and defensive players are not on the same order of magnitude, and there is a large amount of inadvertent, semi-inadvertent, and even intentional contact created by offensive players.
   3293. Mefisto Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5714774)
My issue with that is it will be really hard. There's some clear dives, of course. But I think many, many more are situations where there is a slight amount of contact, or the player is already off balance, or anticipating contacting if they can't see the defender.


Hopefully, VAR would then result in a no-call.
   3294. The_Ex Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:34 AM (#5714777)
Credit to someone on Twitter for commenting on the Malcom issue between Roma and Barcelona. "Malcom in the middle" was the tweet.

Mourinho will reportedly only sell Martial outside the premier league.

I wonder if Sarri will use any of the many young players that Chelsea have. The pressure and the money in the premier league now means that young players find it tough to break in. I would love some team to go with young players. Chelsea have lots. Phil Foden couldn't get a look in last season at City, will he this year? Man U are searching for defenders but they have Fosu-Mensah and Tuanzebe in the squad. Liverpool have Brewster and Woodburn.

Will any of these play regularly or will more of these players go to the Bundesliga to get playing time.
   3295. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:38 AM (#5714783)
Speaking of young players, the one bit of Spurs news is that Josh Onomah is sticking with the senior team this year after his loan at Villa last year. He's primarily a CM.
   3296. jmurph Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5714789)
I watched Dortmund-Liverpool last night on the DVR- I think it was played Sunday, if I'm not mistaken? Pulisic looked great, haven't watched him much with Dortmund.
   3297. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5714795)
This really doesn't work when the consequence to offensive and defensive players are not on the same order of magnitude, and there is a large amount of inadvertent, semi-inadvertent, and even intentional contact created by offensive players.


Agreed. The standards cannot be equivalent. Defenders need more leeway, if the punishment remains a penalty kick.

I still don't understand why there isn't a lesser punishment available for fouls in the box. It's just such a dumb rule. It's like giving a basketball player a free throw worth 15 points.
   3298. J. Sosa Posted: July 24, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5714829)
Re: Young players in PL

It is a tough decision for them. I think more should consider moving to other leagues. Brewster came very close to going to BMG and frankly I think Liverpool made him some promises they are not going to be able to keep in order to retain him.

Re: Pulisic

Reports on his performance from non Americans seem to be mixed, and it is pre season, and it was against City’s third (?) string left back and Liverpool’s backup left back, but neither Zivchenko nor Moreno could handle him. I thought he looked lively. I still don’t like him playing in that position though.
   3299. jmurph Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:30 PM (#5714904)
Phil Foden couldn't get a look in last season at City, will he this year?

I (obviously) have very few complaints about the Pep era but I do wish he'd make more of an effort to incorporate the young guys. He talks a good game but doesn't really follow through.
   3300. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 24, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5715110)
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