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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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   701. Textbook Editor Posted: June 21, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5697237)
I think my copout answer is "in the world we live in Xavi was the superior player but in a world where both guys suit up for mid-table level teams Modric would have been able to adapt and influence games better."


I think this is a good take. Modric made some really crap Spurs teams much, much better than they had any right to be. Losing Bale was hard, but you could argue when they lost Modric the year or two before that, that's when the wheels started to come off that version of the team (papered over by Bale's knack for the brilliant late goal/performance).
   702. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 21, 2018 at 06:13 PM (#5697282)
Like I said, we'll know more tomorrow but Nigeria aren't a weak side I don't think. At the very least they have some attacking talent that I don't think can be dismissed.
Betting odds basically have Nigeria as 50/50 against Iceland tomorrow. Pre-tournament odds only had them as very slightly better than Iceland. Nigeria had about the best odds among the bottom third of teams in the tournament, which I would call fairly weak). ELO and 538 rank Nigeria as fairly weak.

Anyway, the point is only that Croatia didn't look that good against them (xG backs this up), so it's really one good game, same as Mexico.
   703. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: June 21, 2018 at 06:27 PM (#5697292)
so it's really one good game, same as Mexico.


And of course, Mexico's next game is against South Korea (3rd worst SPI), so even if they impress, it's not quite clear how much that means ...
   704. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: June 21, 2018 at 06:41 PM (#5697302)
Either Croatia is great or maybe Arg isn’t as strong as we think.


I'm going to go with ... both?

Say, 35-65?

Don't forget, it took Argentina until the final match day of qualifying for them to squeak into the WC ...

They seem like a collection of parts that don't add up to anything special as a whole.
   705. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 21, 2018 at 07:57 PM (#5697347)
I've watched the first 60 minutes so far and wow. Croatia just erased Messi from the game. You would think the talent Argentina has, could get free with so much emphasis on Messi - yet they could not exploit Lovren and whoever the ponytail guy was is really embarrassing.
   706. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 21, 2018 at 08:12 PM (#5697368)
Betting odds seem to have the odds of a first time world cup winner at 1 in 3. 538 is very similar.
   707. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: June 22, 2018 at 08:02 AM (#5697651)
I see Brazil have the blues.
   708. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 08:14 AM (#5697652)
Costa Rica has had the best chance so far. I don't expect that to last.
   709. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 22, 2018 at 08:20 AM (#5697655)
I think my copout answer is "in the world we live in Xavi was the superior player but in a world where both guys suit up for mid-table level teams Modric would have been able to adapt and influence games better."


I think this is a good take. Modric made some really crap Spurs teams much, much better than they had any right to be. Losing Bale was hard, but you could argue when they lost Modric the year or two before that, that's when the wheels started to come off that version of the team (papered over by Bale's knack for the brilliant late goal/performance).


Somewhat topically this was also roughly the discussion about Ronaldo and Messi they were having on Football Weekly today. Someone (Paul Doyle?) referred to Messi as a "test tube footballer" who struggled when conditions weren't perfect.
   710. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:13 AM (#5697664)
Keylor Navas kinda doing the Tim Howard thing here.
   711. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:15 AM (#5697665)
Brazil finally came to life in the second half.
   712. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:36 AM (#5697674)
This is one of those plays where I think it's a penalty but also Neymar should get booked for embellishment. He definitely was held and that denied a goal scoring chance but he definitely flopped.
   713. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:36 AM (#5697675)
Live I thought that was an easy call, but that was far more dive than anything else.

That hold was so small and had virtually no effect on Neymar doing anything. It's actually the kind of play that I think would seldom be called a foul outside the box either, if seen on replay.

edit: Neymar was emphatically NOT denied a scoring chance by that touch of the hand.
   714. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:38 AM (#5697678)
Oh DISAGREE. Look if you want to get rid of flopping that HAS to be a PK. Neymar got grabbed as he set himself for a shot. Did he flop? Yes he did. But if he doesn't flop the ref doesn't call it and now because of VAR the flop overrules the grab.
   715. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5697681)
Not every touch is a foul.
   716. Scott Lange Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5697682)
That's certainly a solid data point against the "VAR leads inevitably to a surge of cheap penalties" argument. I think the jury is still out, but VAR has had a strong tournament so far.
   717. strong silence Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5697683)
The ref called it right.

712 describes the play correctly.
   718. bunyon Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:41 AM (#5697684)
How was that not a backpass on Costa Rica?

How was the kick at the top of the box not a foul?

Neymar dove but Costa Rica is getting away with a lot. I don't blame Brazil for being frustrated.
   719. strong silence Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5697686)
Costa Rica's skill level looks poor.

Poor sportsmanship by CR too.
   720. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5697687)
Backpasses have to be intentional.

Agree Costa Rica is fouling a lot, and should have at least a couple yellows.
   721. bunyon Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5697690)
Backpasses have to be intentional? So, if you whiff, you can backpass? Seems a big loophole.

Ref should add about 20 minutes.
   722. strong silence Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:46 AM (#5697693)
Yes. A feather did graze his face but it was a heavy feather.
   723. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:46 AM (#5697694)
If you want call every technically illegal touch on any part of the field is a foul, then I guess a penalty call is not wrong. The game has never been called that way though.

You can't tell me Neymar was denied a scoring chance by that touch.
   724. Scott Lange Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:48 AM (#5697697)
That was a lot more satisfying than a super soft penalty deciding it, wasn't it?
   725. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:48 AM (#5697698)
Backpasses have to be intentional? So, if you whiff, you can backpass? Seems a big loophole.
Yes, it usually happens at least once a game on a whiff, deflection, slice, or whatnot. Also, you can play an intentional backpass with any part of your body other than your leg, but can't do an "intentional" trick to lift the ball off the ground to bring it to another body part.
   726. strong silence Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:48 AM (#5697701)
Firmino to Jesus to Coutinho!
   727. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:48 AM (#5697702)
Brazil deserves to win this, but not a Neymar dive.
   728. bunyon Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5697706)
I get that a backpass or deflection doesn't count as a backpass but a kick? That seems to me it should count. YMMV

This is the right result but I feel bad for Navas. He's been amazing and to have a ball go through your legs after that effort must suck. (Not saying he should have stopped it at all. Just that it would suck)
   729. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:55 AM (#5697708)
If you want call every technically illegal touch on any part of the field is a foul, then I guess a penalty call is not wrong. The game has never been called that way though.


I agree it's never been called that way but in my opinion that's the cause of the diving that most people want to stamp out. Players feel if they don't go down they won't get the call. The NHL went through this about a decade and change ago and there was a year for the first few months of the season there were a LOT of power plays. Players adapted and it made for a better game.
   730. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5697712)
That goal could end up mattering for GD in this group, especially, if Switzerland can beat Costa Rica.
   731. strong silence Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:59 AM (#5697713)
Brazil will be heavy favorites once their attackers find a way to be clinical. It will happen
   732. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5697732)
xG had this game a total slaughter for Brazil, 2.4 to 0.1. That's actually about what I would have expected, except that it's hard to believe the best chance of the first half (Costa Rica's only real chance) was worth just 0.1 xG. I would definitely have had it as over 0.2
   733. PreservedFish Posted: June 22, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5697763)
I think the no-call on the Neymar foul/flop was absolutely the right one to make. A little shirt tug on a ball that Neymar had a <25% chance of converting into a goal should not be penalized with an 80% chance of scoring. Soccer needs to recognize that the punishment dramatically outweighs the crime, and not call ticky-tack fouls in the box. Good job by the officials on this one.

in my opinion that's the cause of the diving that most people want to stamp out. Players feel if they don't go down they won't get the call.


This doesn't compute. If they started calling cheap fouls with consistency, there'd be even more diving.
   734. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: June 22, 2018 at 10:50 AM (#5697767)
Ok, having resolved the Great Language Question, seeing the blues this morning made me wonder, and I found this:
Now it has been revealed that FIFA has yet again made a quite odd decision as both Brazil and Costa Rica will use their away kits in [their] 2018 World Cup match.
What I couldn't find, yet anyway, is *why* FIFA has decided that bright yellow and bright red clash.

It also seems to me it would have been sufficient to make just one team wear "away" kits. Why both? Under "normal" circumstances, does one team pick whatever they want, and the other can't clash, or does FIFA always decide on behalf of both teams? When would just one team wear "away"?

This is critical stuff, people. Someone figure this out before my next meeting is over.
   735. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: June 22, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5697775)
It's nice when you have Douglas Costa coming off the bench. I tend to agree that Neymar is extremely good and while he may be a bit rusty I expect him to start finishing. I think Firmino fits better as a starter than Jesus for a team that has someone like Neymar coming in off the wing, but yeah their bench is really good.
   736. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 22, 2018 at 11:17 AM (#5697790)
So here is a little something on kitgate. It's kind of tucked in there but follow the money;

"It also takes into account the need to keep a certain balance by allowing the teams to use their home and away kits. In general, FIFA endeavour to ensure that each team wears its official team kit at least once during the group stage," they said.


I read that as "we can sell more kits if we show them both off. Presumably Brazil want to wear yellow for their first match and so this match gets the away kit. I won't be surprised if they are back to yellow against Serbian red in the third match.

Not related to this game but in the link I shared was this interesting tidbit;

Australia wore their dark green away kit in Thursday's 1-1 draw with Denmark in Group C. However, according to the Totally Football Show podcast, that decision was to help the colour-blind Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney, who would have otherwise struggled to differentiate between canary yellow and white
   737. Eddo Posted: June 22, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5697804)
Australia wore their dark green away kit in Thursday's 1-1 draw with Denmark in Group C. However, according to the Totally Football Show podcast, that decision was to help the colour-blind Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney, who would have otherwise struggled to differentiate between canary yellow and white

As someone who is colorblind... huh? Very little can be confused with white.
   738. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5697809)
Nigeria has 0 shots so far, I think I saw in the graphic. I have been working so can't watch closely, but I haven't seen them do much yet.
   739. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: June 22, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5697812)
I know red-green colorblind is a thing, but I'd never heard of white causing confusion. I suppose if there were anything to confuse it with, it could be yellow.

I do get that most decisions go back to the almighty dollar, so it makes sense that each team wear each kit at least once. Dual away kits just seemed weird, and the official explanation (red most definitely does not clash with yellow, except perhaps aesthetically) was wonky.
   740. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 11:38 AM (#5697813)
So, being on the West Coast, I haven't had a chance to watch the Brazil match, but is this match report an accurate depiction of the proceedings (not so much the penalty, but about Neymar's behavior in general)?


It was an eventful day for the world’s costliest player, who was a source of constant friction, who grumbled and moaned and threw himself to the floor constantly and might have been sent off for a combination of dissent and cheating. Neymar wept dramatically on the pitch at the final whistle, shoulders shuddering, hands shielding his visage from the world. Indeed.

...

A turning point seemed to have arrived around the hour, as the Dutch referee Björn Kuipers finally snapped. For the preceding 60 minutes Neymar had been chirping, chattering, groaning, writhing, winging in his ear, enraged at some perceived rough treatment from a gnarled Costa Rica defence.

As Brazil defended a corner Kuipers could be seen telling Brazil’s captain to be quiet in the way an exasperated father might speak to a sullen and spoiled teenager.

...

Seventeen minutes later Kuipers was finally, and briefly, beaten into submission. No doubt it just wears you down. As Giancarlo González touched, briefly, the Neymar abdomen Brazil’s captain toppled backwards in a ludicrous pantomime of a dying sapling. Kuipers gave the penalty. Neymar lay on the floor being cosseted and nursed by his teammates, preposterous spectacle, as though finally victorious in his battle with injustice.

Out of his sight Kuipers trotted off, looked at the VAR screen, and reversed the decision. He should also have booked Neymar. Well played Mr Kuipers, and well played VAR. A penalty would have been a reward for superstar strops, diva-pouts, and utterly graceless behaviour from a man who carries his nation’s name and its sporting reputation.


Graun
   741. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5697822)
67% possession and 0 shots by Nigeria. That's actually kind of hard to fathom.
   742. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: June 22, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5697823)
Didn't see any of it either, but it *sounds* like Neymar, alright. He's battling Ronaldo for the Chalice containing the Tears of Luca Toni.
   743. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5697824)
It's almost like Nigeria is playing for the draw. Maybe they think Croatia will handle Iceland for them, and they can run up the score on minnows Argentina.
   744. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 22, 2018 at 11:54 AM (#5697826)
I know red-green colorblind is a thing, but I'd never heard of white causing confusion. I suppose if there were anything to confuse it with, it could be yellow.
There's a condition called trinatopia in which yellow can seem like white, but it's exceptionally rare. This tweet says that he's red-green color blind, and that he had difficulties during a friendly against Mexico. Which makes sense.
   745. bunyon Posted: June 22, 2018 at 11:58 AM (#5697829)
Neymar and Brazil whined and griped and groused. They also got fouled a lot that wasn't called.

The Neymar flop in the area was made right* by VAR but outside the area, I thought Costa Rica got away with too much. Which is the right play for them, a very outmanned team. Play rough and make the ref blow the whistle. I'm sure, subconsciously, the whinging by Brazil made him less likely to do so.


* If it had resulted in a free kick from 40 yards or more, it would have been a fine call. Definitely contact, perhaps a foul, but a PK would have been way too much.
   746. tshipman Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5697835)
So, being on the West Coast, I haven't had a chance to watch the Brazil match, but is this match report an accurate depiction of the proceedings (not so much the penalty, but about Neymar's behavior in general)?


I mean, except Neymar really is getting fouled mercilessly so far. The Swiss and the Ticos are both deliberately fouling him over and over again.

The refs are supposed to protect the players from that.
   747. Eddo Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5697836)
There's a condition called trinatopia in which yellow can seem like white, but it's exceptionally rare. This tweet says that he's red-green color blind, and that he had difficulties during a friendly against Mexico. Which makes sense.

I didn't realize trinatopia (by far the rarest of the three types of colorblindness) could result in yellow looking like white (I have one of the two types of red-green colorblindness). Thanks for the info.
   748. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:08 PM (#5697839)
The Swiss and the Ticos are both deliberately fouling him over and over again.
Luckily those gentlemanly Serbians would never stoop so low.
   749. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:12 PM (#5697842)
That was gorgeous from Musa.
   750. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5697850)
That looked like it hurt. Can you imagine if Neymar took one of those to the head? Of course, he wouldn't be playing defense, so it's not possible. Just saying...
   751. PreservedFish Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5697853)
So, being on the West Coast, I haven't had a chance to watch the Brazil match, but is this match report an accurate depiction of the proceedings (not so much the penalty, but about Neymar's behavior in general)?


It didn't seem like a particularly awful performance for him, nothing unusual by the standards of the game and tournament.
   752. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:21 PM (#5697856)
Thanks all, I guess I'll see for myself when I have a chance to watch it later.

C'mon you Vikings!

(They have the HOOOOO! chant going now!)
   753. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5697862)
Nigereia has been so much better this half.
   754. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5697870)
Sad for Iceland, but now that Argentina/Nigeria game will likely decide the group. Should be interesting.
   755. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5697876)
Wondering aloud: Would Iceland have been better off if one of the defenders had just caught the ball on the goal line during Nigeria's second goal? Yeah, he's sent off and Nigeria gets a penalty kick, but if they miss it, you've got a fighting chance to steal a point.

Although, now that Iceland may be about to get a PK of their own...
   756. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:40 PM (#5697880)
That's a foul in the box. No way it should be a penalty IMHO, but those who want fouls in the box to be penalties should be all over this one.
   757. bunyon Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:44 PM (#5697887)
756: I desperately wish there was something in between so that fouls in the box didn't have to be a PK but, right now, fouls in the box are PKs...so, not sure how you get away from it.

755: that's the Suarez play. IMO, it only pays off if it's really late and you're an expendable guy (you can't play the next game). So, Suarez himself is the worst guy to do it. But he did it at the right time. That would be way too early go down a man.
   758. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:48 PM (#5697892)
Argentina is currently being given 63% to win the last game against Nigeria (so, basically 63% chance to advance). But, that may not fully account for Nigeria's better showing in the second half, and much more importantly, may not account for the fact that now Nigeria will be sure to be playing hard for at least a draw in the final group, which wasn't known prior to the game today.

edit: Actually, bettors really aren't expecting much out of Croatia in the game next week. Iceland is being given over 30% chance to win, which means GD could matter.

edit2: put together, that means Argentina's probably about a 50/50 shot to advance.
   759. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5697905)
758: It also doesn't account for the psychological meltdown happening in the Argentina camp, with players demanding Sampaoli be fired immediately, Kun Aguero blasting the coach in public, and everything basically being higgledy-piggledy.
   760. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 22, 2018 at 01:06 PM (#5697917)
Argentina have to feel very lucky to be in the position they are in. Realistically if they beat Nigeria they go through and that's very very lucky indeed because they've been awful. As Dan Lee notes they have more than a whiff of France at Euro 2012 (I think that was it) where they were for all intents and purposes done before the tournament started. Ghana at the last world cup were the same.
   761. tshipman Posted: June 22, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5697951)
This match looks to be a showcase of the beautiful game.

Watching 22 guys kick each other repeatedly, without trying to advance the ball, what could be better?
   762. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5697953)
This match looks to be a showcase of the beautiful game.


Just wait until the WC expands to 48 teams in 2026!
   763. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5697958)
Just wait until the WC expands to 48 teams in 2026!
Is the format set? I hear it is 16 groups of 3, the first round (2 games for each team) eliminates 1 team only. Then it becomes a single-elimination tournament.

Viewed from the perspective of any halfway decent team, it's two glorified friendlies followed by A 32 team single-elimination tournament. It's going to be slightly harder for the favorites overall to win, and much more annoying. The group games are going to be very low leverage. The expanded teams will mostly be low-ranked teams from Asia, Africa, and North America, most of whom will be eliminated in the group stage, and certainly almost none of whom will give any of the favorites a problem. These teams will be about on par with Saudi Arabia and Panama. There will also be 3-4 decent teams coming in from Europe and South America, but that's not worth this headache.
   764. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 02:14 PM (#5697966)
Looks like Mitrovic is going to be a giant headache for the Swiss CBs ...
   765. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:10 PM (#5698023)
I thought that shot for the Swiss goal was WAY too far away to be dangerous, but he DRILLED it perfectly.
   766. bunyon Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:12 PM (#5698026)
I hear it is 16 groups of 3, the first round (2 games for each team) eliminates 1 team only.

This would suck. EDIT: Never mind.

Could do 12 groups of 4 and add "half an extra round". Top 8 from group play go to round of 16, next 8 play a round to advance.

How is the appetite for more games in the rest of the world? You could expand March Madness by a couple of rounds and still get a huge ratings boost. Could that happen for World Cup? 8 groups of 6, add two more game per group? Or is that just way too much?
   767. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:19 PM (#5698034)
They actually are very wary of adding more games per team, and adding to the overall length of the tournament. I don't know if they are particularly concerned about diluting the audience enthusiasm.
   768. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5698038)
He got Harry Kane'd.
   769. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5698047)
I don't think diluting enthusiasm needs to be a concern. You give 16 countries an additional motivation to watch. It's hard to imagine a way that isn't a net plus even if there is some enthusiasm loss. Meanwhile you still have the every four years aspect of it and the round of 16 and beyond is not likely to look much different.

So yeah, that first round match between China and Brazil is not going to be very good but Brazil will watch like they would watch anyway and now you've got China watching in greater numbers. Admittedly you are also going to have Tahiti and places like that but more is better than less and of course the likelihood of Italy, the US, the Netherlands, missing out is even less.
   770. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:47 PM (#5698060)
That 97th minute Brazil goal is looking very big at the moment.
   771. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5698067)
Shaqiri nice run and goal. Defender big #### up. I spoke too soon above. Where will Shaqiri be next year?
   772. jmurph Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:54 PM (#5698072)
Final round of games in this group will be interesting, at least.
   773. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:55 PM (#5698073)
Where did all the extra minutes come from in this game, after extra time had already started? Not that it matters, but it's weird
   774. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5698075)
Where did all the extra minutes come from in this game, after extra time had already started? Not that it matters, but it's weird


I was wondering the same thing. They said +4, but the game didn't end until 95:45
   775. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5698076)
tshipman won't be happy... Switzerland only needs a draw. Against CR. They might actually live up to his stereotype in that game. Serbia has to beat Brazil, which means they have little chance to advance.
   776. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:19 PM (#5698096)
OK, think I got these right;

Group A: Uruguay plays Russia. Winner is first, loser is second, draw and Russia are first.

Group B: Spain v Morocco, Portugal v Iran

Spain and Portugal win; team with better GD is first
Spain and Portugal both draw; team with more goals is first, same number of goals and its fair play or drawing of lots
Spain or Portugal win, other team draws - team that wins is first, team that draws is second
Spain wins; Portugal loses: Spain first, Iran second
Spain draw; Portugal loses: Iran first, Spain second
Portugal wins; Spain loses: Portugal first, Spain second
Portugal draw, Spain loses: Portugal first, Spain second
EDIT: Spain and Portugal both lose; Iran first, Portugal and Spain go to goals for, then fair play then drawing of lots tie breakers.

Group C: France v Denmark, Peru v Australia

Denmark wins, Denmark first, France second
France win or draw, they finish first
France win or draw, Peru win or draw, France First, Denmark second
France win or draw, Australia win, goals for will be first tie breaker, then fair play and drawing of lots

Group D: Nigeria v Argentina, Croatia v Iceland

Croatia win or draw, Nigeria win or draw (any combination); Croatia first, Nigeria second
Croatia lose, Nigeria win ; Croatia first, Nigeria second unless Nigeria make up 5 goals in GD
Croatia lose, Nigeria draw; Croatia first, Iceland need to make up 3 goals in GD to finish ahead of Nigeria. If GD even between Iceland and Nigeria, Nigeria finish second
Croatia lose, Argentina win; Croatia first, Argentina need to make up 1 goal in GD to force goals scored, then fair play then drawing of lots tiebreakers

Group E: Serbia v Brazil, Costa Rica v Switzerland

Brazil and Switzerland both win; Swiss need to make up one goal of GD to force goals scored, then fair play then drawing of lots tiebreakers
Brazil and Swiss both draw; Brazil first, Swiss second
Brazil win, Costa Rica win; Brazil first, Swiss second
Brazil, Costa Rica win; Brazil first, Serbia need to make up one goal of GD to force goals scored, then fair play then drawing of lots tiebreakers
Brazil lose, Costa Rica win; Serbia first, Brazil second unless Swiss make up one goal of GD to force goals scored, then fair play then drawing of lots tiebreakers
Brazil lose, Costa Rica/Swiss Draw; Serbia first, Swiss second
   777. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5698097)
GD is again interesting here. It's not at all clear winning group E is better off than the runner up in the elimination rounds, but Brazil now has the extra goal. If both Brazil and Switzerland draw, Brazil finishes top. If both win by the same margin, Brazil is top.

If Brazil comes out to play and beats Serbia, Switzerland still could advance with a loss, but it would come down to GD.
   778. tshipman Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:23 PM (#5698100)
tshipman won't be happy... Switzerland only needs a draw. Against CR. They might actually live up to his stereotype in that game. Serbia has to beat Brazil, which means they have little chance to advance.


Just imagine how many times they'll be able to foul in the box without getting called in the knockout rounds! Truly, something all fans of the game can look forward to ...
   779. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5698101)
Yeah, that was my:

'e got 'arry kane'd, ref!
   780. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:26 PM (#5698103)
You know, there were 3 expected goals scored in that game, according to XG charting (2.2 for the Swiss), and if I recall correctly (I do), both Swiss goals were scored form open play.

That 3 xG is among the highest of the tournament, and that 2.2 xG is among the highest for a single team in the tournament for one game. Switaerland took 20 shots, a very high number for this tournament, and only had 13 (called) fouls, which is well below average.
   781. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:26 PM (#5698104)
Group E certainly looks like the crazy group at the moment. Despite the wide open nature of things at the moment in Group B I don't think anyone is expecting a result other than "Spain and Portugal advance."
   782. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:26 PM (#5698105)
Still no 0-0 draws.
   783. tshipman Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5698107)
You know, there were 3 expected goals scored in that game, according to XG charting (2.2 for the Swiss),


Right, if you're allowed to just foul the other team in the box, it turns out it depresses xG. Gosh, guess that means the Swiss are a great team.
   784. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5698114)
Only in two other games in this tournament did a single team have a higher xG.Brazil against CR and England against Tunisia. In both cases their opponents had nothing. Only one game had a higher xG total, the Croatia-Argentina game, and that by a very small margin.

It's true that xG misses a lot of the story of the game, but there's just no way to fairly describe the game that was just played as two teams trying to kick each other and not even trying to score. If that's how you feel maybe socver isn't the sport for you.
   785. tshipman Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:50 PM (#5698124)
It's true that xG misses a lot of the story of the game, but there's just no way to fairly describe the game that was just played as two teams trying to kick each other and not even trying to score. If that's how you feel maybe socver isn't the sport for you.


From some of your comments, it sounds like Greco-Roman wrestling is more of your type of game.
   786. Eddo Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:51 PM (#5698126)
Right, if you're allowed to just foul the other team in the box, it turns out it depresses xG. Gosh, guess that means the Swiss are a great team.

Your first bit is right, xG isn't the tool to use to prove a team is using rules or poor officiating to their advantage.

That said, your second sentence is kind of pointless. Were the Rockets not a great team because James Harden leans into fouls? Were the Laimbeer-era Pistons not a great team because they played as physical as the referees would allow?
   787. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5698130)
It's true that xG misses a lot of the story of the game, but there's just no way to fairly describe the game that was just played as two teams trying to kick each other and not even trying to score. If that's how you feel maybe socver isn't the sport for you.

Even those complaining about it should recognize that what they are complaining about in these games is not two teams trying to kick each other, it is one team trying to kick Neymar. And we have to realize that

A) If all the fouls are against one of Brazil's players Brazil should get the ball to a different player. They have lots of good players.
B) Fouling Neymar is not just the foolproof strategy that teams can easily use to neutralize a star player, thus providing evidence that soccer is bad. Fouling Neymar in particular is effective because he has a childish attitude and bad habits and gets upset easily and when he is upset he starts making horrible decisions.
   788. Eddo Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:55 PM (#5698133)
I don't like Switzerland's style of play - just like I don't like the Rockets' or the Pistons' - but the fact is there style DID lead to a pretty dominant outcome going by xG.
   789. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:57 PM (#5698136)
That the Swiss team had a 2.2xG and two goals from open play, along with 20 shots, is quite a bit of evidence against the complaint that the Swiss team doesn't try to do anything positive.
   790. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 05:06 PM (#5698146)
From some of your comments, it sounds like Greco-Roman wrestling is more of your type of game.


That should have been a penalty, but it doesn't change the fact that a) that was a pretty open game throughout and b) the blame for the missed penalty call is with the ref, the VAR official and FIFA.
   791. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 05:06 PM (#5698148)
It's probably intentional, but has anyone else noticed that the expected least competitive games in most cases have gotten the early slot of the day?
   792. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 06:22 PM (#5698181)
Argentina is being given a 55% chance (betting odds) to advance. That means, aside from Group H, all the pre-tournament favorites in all the groups are still favored to advance. (Switzerland was a very small favorite over Serbia, and Mexico was a small favorite over Sweden.)

Group H is almost upside down, with Senegal now most favored with Japan second.
   793. J. Sosa Posted: June 22, 2018 at 06:30 PM (#5698184)
Re: Serbia

What were they thinking? The coach had to have told them it was a must win right? They played like they were down rather than tied. I guess that is defensible given the third round of matchups, but I don’t know.

Re: Switzerland style of play

I have agreed with you at other times on other topics shipman, evan on things that were an overwhelmingly minority viewpoint. But it is just dead wrong to call that a kicking match. It was one of the more open matches of the tournament. If you want to see a team kicking the opponent, go watch what the Dutch did to Spain in the 2010 final and look at photos of what Iniesta’s legs looked like afterwards. The Swiss played gorgeous counterattacking soccer.

Re: Shaqiri

He has a low release/relegation clause. Liverpool has been verified to be interested. Some aspects of the statistical profile are surprisingly promising. There is a subset of Liverpool fandom that seem to think FSG should be able to pull in a young world class winger for a couple of bob who is on a low wage and oh is happy to be a squad player and sneer at the idea of Shaqiri. Me personally, I think he’d be great cover. The interest is there, but it remains to be seen if Shaqiri would be happy with a role like that.
   794. tshipman Posted: June 22, 2018 at 07:52 PM (#5698214)
I have agreed with you at other times on other topics shipman, evan on things that were an overwhelmingly minority viewpoint. But it is just dead wrong to call that a kicking match. It was one of the more open matches of the tournament. If you want to see a team kicking the opponent, go watch what the Dutch did to Spain in the 2010 final and look at photos of what Iniesta’s legs looked like afterwards. The Swiss played gorgeous counterattacking soccer.


Like, to be clear, I said that before the match. It was considerably more open than I thought, although the Swiss did again foul the crap out of their opponents (despite it not being called by the ref consistently).
   795. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 22, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5698217)
It's probably intentional, but has anyone else noticed that the expected least competitive games in most cases have gotten the early slot of the day?


I actually noticed that today and was wondering if it was intentional or not.
   796. J. Sosa Posted: June 22, 2018 at 09:25 PM (#5698258)
Re: 794

My bad, yes, that was before the match. But I don’t blame teams for adjusting to the refs. Some refs allow a lot more contact and some of them are evidently not super excited about VAR. The no call on the hold was pretty egregious though.

But that is the good doctor’s rep. Roma and City weren’t super pleased about how much contact he allowed the gegenpress in the CL either.
   797. Textbook Editor Posted: June 22, 2018 at 10:25 PM (#5698279)
Jose, thanks for #776.

I don't think Brazil is out of the woods yet. Neymar's gonna get kicked for another 90 minutes by Serbia, and Serbia will be (I think) a bit better defensively than CR was. A win is a stretch, and them needing to win will probably make it open enough that Brazil will proceed easily, but I think CR showed the way forward against them--kick the crap out of them; if you can hold them off long enough while kicking Neymar up and down for 90 minutes, they're going to get pissed off enough that you might be able to bait Marcello into a red card.

There's going to be some nutso last group games.

   798. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 10:58 PM (#5698288)
although the Swiss did again foul the crap out of their opponents (despite it not being called by the ref consistently
I just re-watched about 3/4 of the game, and the Swiss really didn't foul more than a normal team, and probably less than Serbia in the same game (debatable anyway). The one tackle in the box should definitely have been a penalty, but it's hardly the only time that's happened this tournament without a call.

I don't even particularly like the Swiss team, but it's kind if ridiculous to keep picking on them at this point. There are other teams that are much better examples of the style of play you say you don't like, one notorious example in the same group: Costa Rica. Their games last WC were virtually unwatchable and they haven't exactly covered themselves in glory this year.
   799. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 22, 2018 at 11:04 PM (#5698289)
I don't think Brazil is out of the woods yet. Neymar's gonna get kicked for another 90 minutes by Serbia, and Serbia will be (I think) a bit better defensively than CR was. A win is a stretch, and them needing to win will probably make it open enough that Brazil will proceed easily, but I think CR showed the way forward against them--kick the crap out of them; if you can hold them off long enough while kicking Neymar up and down for 90 minutes, they're going to get pissed off enough that you might be able to bait Marcello into a red card.
All this is true, but the betting odds for Brazil advancing are just slightly lower than they were entering the tournament, and still over 90%. They'll most likely be fine.
   800. tshipman Posted: June 22, 2018 at 11:05 PM (#5698290)
I don't even particularly like the Swiss team, but it's kind if ridiculous to keep picking on them at this point. There are other teams that are much better examples of the style of play you say you don't like, one notorious example in the same group: Costa Rica. Their games last WC were virtually unwatchable and they haven't exactly covered themselves in glory this year.


Costa Rica doesn't get bailed out by FIFA tho.
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