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Monday, June 05, 2017

OT: Summer Soccer Thread 2017

‘Tis summer, and the silly season did blather and bamboozle the internets.

With the Champion’s League all wrapped up in a Ronaldo shaped box, it’s time to move on to more important things. Like whether Antoine Griezmann leave Athleti, whither Alaxandre Lacazette, and why doesn’t Liverpool just hire Southampton’s recruitment staff and cut out the middle man. Also of interest: Sanchez, Ozil, Mahrez, Hazard, and anyone else with a z in his name apparently. Plus oh so much more! Get it all here in your summer soccer thread!

The Marksist Posted: June 05, 2017 at 01:44 PM | 187 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   101. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: June 28, 2017 at 09:15 PM (#5485001)
Is it a straight $50 for all NBC PL games,


Cable/NBC + $50

At least 3 games for all teams will be on the streaming service, but most of the big six matches and all the important matches and derbys will be on cable/nbc.

It will suck for fans of teams outside the big six.
   102. Textbook Editor Posted: June 28, 2017 at 10:20 PM (#5485016)
Nani's PK today was like a textbook example of what not to do for a PK. (It's also possible Bravo got in his head a little as he ran up to take it.) It was very, very bad.

As I tell my players for PKs:

(1) Don't get cute with your run up to the ball.
(2) Pick a side you're going to kick it to and stick with it--don't change your mind as you're running up to kick the ball.
(3) Hit it hard as you can.

Do those things and I won't have any problem with any miss or a save by the keeper--that'll happen. When you out-think yourself, try to get cute, do something you saw a professional player do once on YouTube, etc... that's when you run into trouble.

   103. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: June 29, 2017 at 08:49 AM (#5485102)
Watching those PKs it was obvious before he got to the box that Nani was going to do something idiotic like that. All I could think as I watched him is "if Bravo just stays at home and doesn't over-commit this is over." If a nobody like me can figure that out then sure as shootin' Claudio Bravo is going to figure it out.
   104. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: June 29, 2017 at 10:32 AM (#5485153)
As I tell my players for PKs:

(1) Don't get cute with your run up to the ball.
(2) Pick a side you're going to kick it to and stick with it--don't change your mind as you're running up to kick the ball.
(3) Hit it hard as you can.
I'm sure this is sound advice for almost all low level players and probably most professionals as well (except I might argue that kicking it 90% hard will prevent some wild misses while getting almost all the benefits), but the very best PK takers don't necessarily do this. For example, the famous Matt Le Tissier was able to kick it hard near the low corner on his favored side, but during his run up if he saw the keeper cheating that way he could roll it into the other side.
   105. Mefisto Posted: June 29, 2017 at 10:50 AM (#5485164)
I think TE is right for younger players (and probably up through about 15). I even go one step further: I have my players tell me which direction they're going and tell them not to change it. But obviously professionals can do stuff differently, just like Picasso could paint "standard" paintings but also use very different techniques.

Interesting factoid from MCOA's twitter feed: Man United-developed players accounted for almost 6% of all PL playing time last season. That sounds impressive to me, but I don't have any basis for comparison.
   106. Mefisto Posted: June 29, 2017 at 11:02 AM (#5485180)
Also, MCOA has an article on soccer aging curves here.
   107. Textbook Editor Posted: June 29, 2017 at 11:54 PM (#5485801)
I should clarify this:

(3) Hit it hard as you can.


Mainly (because the kids I coach are 11-12), the problem I have with my players taking PKs is that they're worried so much about getting the placement of the ball just so that they wind up hitting the ball way softer than they normally would. At this age, a well-struck ball will usually (though not always) beat a keeper, even if he guesses right, simply because reaction times aren't great, keeper tend not to "cheat" by jumping out early to cut off the angle, and their strength even if they get one hand on a ball is not the best.

Our team had a stretch there where we missed every single PK taken over a 3-year period. We made our one and only one last year, and this past year only had one, but it was in futsal (which we play more for fitness than for competitive reasons over the winter) and I let a kid take it who hadn't scored all season take it... and he promptly hit it straight at the keeper. Ah well.

Picking the side and sticking to it is important at this age only because (a) they really do not possess the skill to juke the keeper like outlined in #104 (at least not at the level we're at), and (b) the absolute worst thing they can do is hit it anywhere in the middle. Keepers more often than not (I've found, at this level/age) freeze when facing a PK, and thus basically "stay home" and don't dive at all... Hit it down the middle and it likely won't be past a diving keeper... it'll be straight into a keeper's grateful arms.

Germany-Chile should be a fun game on Sunday. Mexico-Portugal for 3rd place also seems a bit tasty...

   108. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 01, 2017 at 05:25 PM (#5486709)
Today's USMNT lineup is a veritable who's-who of who-the-hell-is-that?

Comically bad job by Dwyer when 1x1 with the goalie there.
   109. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 01, 2017 at 05:28 PM (#5486710)
Well, he took the hell out of that chance!

Great volley!
   110. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 01, 2017 at 05:57 PM (#5486715)
The parade of pathetic penalties continues!
   111. Dale Sams Posted: July 01, 2017 at 07:57 PM (#5486761)
I once played against a guy on a rival team. He got a PK on me, he'd look one way and shoot the other. It worked against me once...ONCE.
   112. Swedish Chef Posted: July 03, 2017 at 07:38 AM (#5487074)
John Terry to Aston Villa, I have mixed feelings about this. He can probably be a useful Championship player. But putting a Premiership sized ego down there is a recipe for disaster.
   113. Sean Forman Posted: July 03, 2017 at 02:10 PM (#5487230)
Just going to say that Chile-Germany was a phenomenal match and it's too bad it turned on a howler of an error. I'm just shocked it wasn't Bravo committing it.
   114. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 03, 2017 at 02:18 PM (#5487233)
The referee was abysmal. Funnily enough I think that made it more entertaining. Had he given the red card to Jara as he should have the last thirty minutes would've been a snooze. Then on top of that how do German subs run onto the pitch on two separate occasions to interfere in a scuffle and not get sent to the stands? One of those times Loew came onto the pitch too!

It was a fun game though. Germany rightly get the plaudits but Chile are a good ####### team. They should have an excellent chance to go deep next year.
   115. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 08, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5489754)
Having to pay AND play Rooney seems a special kind of double disaster for Everton here, regardless of whatever nutty fee they got from United ...


Manchester United have announced that a fee has been agreed with Everton for the transfer of striker Romelu Lukaku, subject to a medical and personal terms.

...

The deal will be worth an initial £75m plus a further £15m of easily attainable add-ons linked to achievements and appearances. Rooney, who is notionally valued at around £10m, would also return to Merseyside after a glittering 13-year career at United, swelling the whole value of the deal on the table to nine figures. Chelsea had tabled their own offer for Lukaku’s services, seeking to re-sign a player they had sold for £28m in 2014.


Graun

Heh.

"Notionally".
   116. Mefisto Posted: July 08, 2017 at 11:59 AM (#5489765)
United's transfer moves have been weird. The Matic deal, while widely reported, still hasn't gone through. It sounds to me like Lukaku isn't really a done deal either.
   117. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 08, 2017 at 12:24 PM (#5489773)
The Matic deal, while widely reported, still hasn't gone through.


Matic is almost certainly off.

Supposedly United are now hot for Dier.

Regardless of the money (at least in the talked about range), that's a terrible deal for Spurs, so we'll see about that ...
   118. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 08, 2017 at 12:40 PM (#5489776)
And ... this just in.


Tottenham will not entertain any bids for Eric Dier this summer, sources close to the club have told ESPN FC.

Reports in the U.K. media claimed Manchester United have already had one bid rejected for the 23-year-old and that Spurs would consider an improved offer of £50 million for Dier.

The Old Trafford club have reportedly turned to Dier after Chelsea cooled their interest in selling Nemanja Matic to the Reds.

But the sources said Spurs have always been clear that they will not sell the England midfielder, who signed a new contract until 2021 last season.
   119. Mefisto Posted: July 08, 2017 at 12:44 PM (#5489778)
Wasting time on Dier is the perfect example of United's ineptitude in the transfer market over the last few years.
   120. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 08, 2017 at 12:46 PM (#5489779)
It sounds to me like Lukaku isn't really a done deal either.


Lukaku sounds done and dusted to me ... all reports are that Everton have agreed to the terms and Lukaku is on video laughing and celebrating with Paul Pogba after telling him the news of the transfer.

Video

That looks like a fellow certain he's going to United ...
   121. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 08, 2017 at 04:45 PM (#5489875)
United States

XI: Guzan, Morrow, Besler, González, Villafaña, Corona, Rowe, Bedoya, McCarty, Zusi, Dwyer

Subs: Hamid, Johnson, Miazga, Lichaj, Hedges, Roldan, Acosta, Pontius, Agudelo, Arriola, Morris, Zardes
   122. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 08, 2017 at 06:05 PM (#5489900)
Wow. Panama should be level.

US is struggling here, even up 1-0.
   123. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 08, 2017 at 06:09 PM (#5489902)
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand ... there it is.

Coming ... and deserved.
   124. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 08, 2017 at 06:15 PM (#5489904)
We have been dreadful since we went up. I'm pleased to see Rowe playing so well, bit of a mistake on the goal but he's not a defender.
   125. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 08, 2017 at 06:19 PM (#5489906)
Alright ... Simon Phoenix is on!
   126. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 08, 2017 at 08:45 PM (#5489953)
I'll take the draw. Obviously the win would've been better but with an inexperienced squad it works. I think the big hint is guys like Dwyer solidifying themselves as potential options. I was happy with Rowe as well but that was a bad play on the goal and Guzan looked sharp.
   127. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 09, 2017 at 09:20 AM (#5490041)
Done deal.

Lukaku to United, Rooney returns to Everton.

Good luck with that, Toffees ...
   128. Mefisto Posted: July 09, 2017 at 09:36 AM (#5490042)
I'm not Lukaku's biggest fan, but I hope Everton spend the money wisely and get themselves someone much better than Rooney.
   129. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 09, 2017 at 09:41 AM (#5490044)
Of course, if this helps grease the skids and leads to Spurs buying Barkley, the last laugh will be on Tottenham ...
   130. Mefisto Posted: July 09, 2017 at 10:10 AM (#5490047)
Heh. You got that right.
   131. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 12, 2017 at 12:42 AM (#5491912)
Wasting time on Dier is the perfect example of United's ineptitude in the transfer market over the last few years.


Someone forgot to tell them that ...


Eric Dier is open to the prospect of a move to Manchester United and the club are pushing hard to make it happen, despite the Tottenham Hotspur chairman, Daniel Levy, having categorically ruled it out.

...

It is understood Woodward made a bid for the England player – on the instructions of José Mourinho – but Levy knocked it back. Furthermore, Levy made it plain he was not interested in selling Dier and United ought to take this as his final word on the matter.

...

Dier, who admitted in 2010 while at Sporting Lisbon that it would be difficult to turn down United if the chance came to join the club he supported as a boy, has been Mourinho’s No1 midfield target this summer and Levy may face a dilemma when United’s offer is broken down. They are considering making a second offer of £50m for the 23-year-old and would more than double his £70,000 weekly wage, taking it beyond Tottenham’s £100,000 ceiling.

If Levy were to block Dier’s transfer, what would he do about his salary? It would be impossible to come close to matching United’s offer without breaking Spurs’ wage structure and Levy will not do this for fear of encouraging other players to ask for large rises.


The Graun

It will be interesting to see this one play out, but my money's on Levy making this an experience that United will not look back on fondly ...
   132. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 12, 2017 at 08:39 PM (#5492570)
United States

XI: Guzan, Hedges, González, Lichaj, Morrow, Acosta, Roldan, Arriola, Morris, Zardes, Agudelo

Subs: Hamid, Johnson, Miazga, Besler, Villafaña, McCarty, Bedoya, Rowe, Corona, Pontius, Zusi, Dwyer
   133. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 12, 2017 at 10:24 PM (#5492613)
US may be up 1-0, but this has been a pathetic display.
   134. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 12, 2017 at 10:39 PM (#5492620)
Now up 3-2, beyond that please see post 133.

Morris, Lichaj and Guzan have been the only guys who were worth a damn.
   135. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 12, 2017 at 11:16 PM (#5492633)
That was awful, though at least entertaining in a perverse way ...
   136. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 13, 2017 at 12:02 AM (#5492647)
NEW YORK (AP) — Chuck Blazer, the disgraced American soccer executive whose admissions of corruption set off a global scandal that ultimately toppled FIFA President Sepp Blatter, has died. He was 72.


Somewhere, a lonely Trump Tower apartment filled only with cats yowls in despair ...
   137. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 13, 2017 at 08:36 AM (#5492690)
Thoughts on Zardes last night? He seemed to be on the ball a lot but he really didn't make much happen (save the winning goal which is no small matter). I'm not enough of a sophisticated fan to opine but it seemed to me that for all his possession and involvement he really wasn't very good. He'd get the ball, make some nifty moves then make a bad cross or give the ball away. For a player of his ability I expected better but I may be judging him on too harsh a scale.
   138. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 13, 2017 at 08:44 AM (#5492693)
Although I'm not looking to go back to those days, but there is a certain nostalgia about the 90s/early 00s where the US was getting serious about soccer but were still an underdog. Now we're not really any good but since there are so many more fans now countries are annoyed by us and schedule preseason tours to make money.

But hey, at least we can still beat the likes of Martinique.

"Martinique (French pronunciation: ​[maʁtinik]) is an insular region of France located in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of 1,128 square kilometres (436 sq mi) and a population of 385,551 inhabitants as of January 2013.[2] Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. One of the Windward Islands, it is directly north of Saint Lucia, southeast of Puerto Rico, northwest of Barbados, and south of Dominica."

United's transfer dealings have suffered by lack of continuity and, to a certain extent, a seemingly endless supply of money. The manager (whether it be Moyes, ,Van Gaal or Mourinho) wants someone and United go after him. Even if the selling team says no, United just add more money. Madrid thought that would work for Morata, but I guess Jose said "ok" to Lukaku. This defensive midfield position has gone from Matic and now to Dier, but Fabinho from Monaco supposedly wants to join United but Jose doesn't seem interested, so another noodle and tractor sponsorship gets tapped.
   139. jmurph Posted: July 13, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5492781)
My god, City paying 50 ####### million for Kyle Walker. He's good, but that's stupid.
   140. Mefisto Posted: July 13, 2017 at 10:51 AM (#5492787)
Spurs can turn around and use that money to buy Barkley. :)

City now seem to be in the category of teams where sellers think "you have to overpay us just because you have the money".
   141. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 13, 2017 at 10:56 AM (#5492789)
My god, City paying 50 ####### million for Kyle Walker. He's good, but that's stupid.


In a world where Swansea turned down 40 million for Sigurdsson and Everton are simply coming back again with another bid, I'm thinking Levy should have held out for more ...

[edit] I'm mostly joking, but with the amount of TV money sloshing around the PL, the absurd has become the merely stupid and the stupid is about to become routine ...
   142. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: July 13, 2017 at 10:59 AM (#5492793)
Am I just imagining it, or does it seem like there's more chatter than normal for top players to be moving teams?
   143. jmurph Posted: July 13, 2017 at 11:22 AM (#5492823)
[edit] I'm mostly joking, but with the amount of TV money sloshing around the PL, the absurd has become the merely stupid and the stupid is about to become routine ...

Oh yeah I agree. Also they have infinite wealth and FFP isn't really a thing and etc. It's just a little boring, and I say that as a fan of the team.
   144. Textbook Editor Posted: July 15, 2017 at 12:36 PM (#5494017)
FWIW, the U-19 Euros Final (Portugal v England is streaming on YouTube right now.
   145. Textbook Editor Posted: July 15, 2017 at 12:47 PM (#5494022)
My god, City paying 50 ####### million for Kyle Walker. He's good, but that's stupid.


My theory on this whole move from Spurs POV, FWIW... Seem to recall reading that Trippier's "cross completion rate" (or something like that) was like 50% last season when he played, and miles better than Walker's (this is one area where the data would seem to back up something I've thought about Walker for years--he doesn't cross very well).

I think that one thing Poch really values is the ability to be able to toggle between 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-2-1, depending on the opposition, and to have players comfortable in both systems. Walker, of course, is above Tripper if you're going 4-2-3-1... and yet his final ball from out wide is not good while Trippier's is. So maybe you say Tripper is 65% Walker in a 4-2-3-1 (I'd rate him a bit higher--maybe 75% of Walker, but I'm going for the most pessimistic version here). All that said, in a 3-4-2-1, I think Walker doesn't fit at all as a straight-up wing back, because while he has pace his crosses can be woeful. Trippier is the much better fit in a 3-4-2-1 (assuming you aren't doing something like starting Son out as a wingback ;); say Walker is maybe 50% of Trippier in a 3-4-2-1 scenario.

On balance, then, if you want maximum flexibility to out of your right back/right wing back, Trippier would be your first choice to be able to play both formations, Walker #2. Now--I know--why not keep both and play each depending on formation game (i.e., like what they sort of did when both were healthy last season). Well, sure, in a world where Walker doesn't net you 50+ million pounds you probably do that. But here, where he sort of is expendable given Poch's seeming preference out of that position, you take that money and run every day.

I'll be curious to see who they enlist as the backup to Trippier. Haven't seen a whole lot about that...
   146. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 15, 2017 at 01:57 PM (#5494040)
I'll be curious to see who they enlist as the backup to Trippier. Haven't seen a whole lot about that...


Ricardo Pereira

Supposedly though, Juventus are now interested as well now, which would likely muck up the deal if they're serious.

As much as I love Levy when he's selling ... he drives me crazy when Spurs are buying.

It takes time to get acclimated to Poch's system and physical demands and getting guys into camp sooner rather than later is a big deal ... and yet here Spurs are, the only club in the PL that hasn't made an acquisition so far this transfer season.

Grrrr ....
   147. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 15, 2017 at 02:57 PM (#5494049)
Am I wrong, or is the US v Nicaragua match not on TV ... at all?
   148. Manny Coon Posted: July 15, 2017 at 03:09 PM (#5494053)
From what I've seen listed, it's going to be on FXX and Univision.
   149. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 15, 2017 at 03:48 PM (#5494055)
Ah, thanks ... didn't even know I *had* FXX ...
   150. madvillain Posted: July 15, 2017 at 05:36 PM (#5494077)
Pulisic started today in a preseason tour friendly for Dortmund. Went 45 and looked dangerous. He's going to play a lot this year. Probably a surefire starter until Reus is healthy, and even past that depending on form. Looking forward to seeing how much havoc Dembele, Auba and Pulisic can cause this season. Pulisic looks a bit stronger he's clearly been working hard.
   151. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 15, 2017 at 08:52 PM (#5494150)
Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooal!

[edit] Phew.
   152. Baldrick Posted: July 16, 2017 at 12:22 PM (#5494307)
Women's Euro kicks off today with Netherlands-Norway. Bright start so far.

I probably won't be able to catch too much of the tournament, but I'm definitely going to do my best to watch the France games. Boy that is an interesting team to watch right now. Really curious to see if they can round the corner and win a real tournament.

To my eyes, there are three teams that are clearly a cut above the rest (France, Germany, and England), but I'd say Norway, Sweden, Spain, and maybe a couple others have realistic chances of winning.
   153. ursus arctos Posted: July 16, 2017 at 10:37 PM (#5494494)
Holland outplayed Norway and their winner was beautiful.

They can cause trouble here.
   154. Baldrick Posted: July 17, 2017 at 01:26 AM (#5494518)
I haven't been particularly impressed with the Dutch when I've watched them in the past year, but they have a solid enough roster to hang with anyone on their day. I have a really hard time seeing them stringing together three consecutive great performances, and getting enough luck, to actually win it. But they looked good today, even acknowledging that they still are lacking in a number of key areas. And hey, Greece in 2004 happened so anything is possible!
   155. Sean Forman Posted: July 18, 2017 at 09:03 AM (#5495122)
Pulisic started for Dortmund vs AC Milan in China this morning. 2 assists and a penalty drawn in 72 minutes. Eden Hazard might be his floor at this point. :P
   156. Mefisto Posted: July 18, 2017 at 10:26 AM (#5495175)
From your lips to God's ears, Sean.
   157. madvillain Posted: July 18, 2017 at 12:31 PM (#5495295)
Puligod putting in work.

I especially like his run and turn on the penalty, which was a clear penalty on replay, defender didn't even touch the ball just swiped wildly at his leg and took him down.
   158. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 18, 2017 at 01:24 PM (#5495360)

A report in Brazil on Tuesday added to uncertainty over Neymar's future at Barcelona, after Esporte Interativo claimed he has accepted an offer from Paris Saint-Germain and will move for a world-record transfer fee of €222 million.


That would be ... something.
   159. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: July 18, 2017 at 11:33 PM (#5495852)
If Ross Barkley costs 50 million pounds and higher wages than Kane then Tottenham has officially lost their ####### mind. Dude shouldn't even be a starter for them. Maybe first guy off the bench, maybe. Everton seems like the perfect team for him, they reflect his talent. Good, but ultimately meaningless.
   160. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 19, 2017 at 12:05 AM (#5495870)
If Ross Barkley costs 50 million pounds and higher wages than Kane then Tottenham has officially lost their ####### mind. Dude shouldn't even be a starter for them. Maybe first guy off the bench, maybe. Everton seems like the perfect team for him, they reflect his talent. Good, but ultimately meaningless.


All I can say, if the report is true, is ... THANK YOU ROSS BARKLEY!!!

Because there's about a ZERO percent chance that Daniel Levy is going to blow up Tottenham's wage scale for Ross ####### Barkley, even if he cost 5 million, instead of 50.
   161. Textbook Editor Posted: July 19, 2017 at 12:53 AM (#5495900)
So what's the play here for Barkley? If he doesn't sign on a new contract and leaves on a free, would a team give him higher wages simply because he came on a free instead of with a high transfer fee? Because asking for wages like that would, yeah, make it seem like a non-starter for Spurs...
   162. jmurph Posted: July 19, 2017 at 10:12 AM (#5495983)
Another important point about Barkley: he's not very good?
   163. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 19, 2017 at 11:07 AM (#5496032)
Barkley to me is a guy who is a bit like Trot Nixon in his Red Sox days. Once you get passed some of the partisan nonsense and outsized expectations he's a perfectly solid player. He's not a 150 million pound player or anything like that but he's a good player. Spicey is right, as an Everton fan I'm happy with Barkley in the middle of things but he's squad depth for a team with the ambition that Spurs have.
   164. jmurph Posted: July 19, 2017 at 11:11 AM (#5496037)
City are apparently going to buy Danilo from Madrid. Anytime you can spend 80 million on two right backs in a week, you've gotta do it.
   165. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 19, 2017 at 11:19 PM (#5496663)
Ross Barkley will be out for a month after undergoing groin surgery.
   166. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 19, 2017 at 11:57 PM (#5496668)
Not exactly a virtuoso performance from the US but onto the semis! Can't play like that next round though, way too many chances for El Salvador.
   167. jmurph Posted: July 20, 2017 at 09:41 AM (#5496706)
Not exactly a virtuoso performance from the US but onto the semis! Can't play like that next round though, way too many chances for El Salvador.

This should maybe be the official tag line of the US Men's National Team: we're not very good, but the results are surprisingly okay!
   168. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 21, 2017 at 12:59 PM (#5497556)

Neymar's move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain is all but a done deal, according to Le Parisien.

The Brazil international is with Barca on their preseason tour of the U.S. and has supposedly told selected teammates he wants to leave for PSG, a move that is seen as "decisive" in making this happen.

What's more, the report adds that members of Barcelona's hierarchy are resigned to the transfer, which is likely to be the most expensive ever, taking place.

This follows news on Thursday night that Barcelona have grown tired of the ongoing Neymar speculation and will leave a decision on the player's future up to him and his father.
   169. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: July 21, 2017 at 01:25 PM (#5497579)
The Neymar move seems crazy to me.

Granted, Barca aren't a selling club but they should really be able to rejuvenate their club with this money.

####, they should bring back Alexis. Actually, they seriously should do that. Maybe Mbappe now? Or back up a dump truck of money for Hazard or Debruyne? I feel like they need to get younger and more athletic in the center of the pitch, but I've felt that way for a while.
   170. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 21, 2017 at 01:29 PM (#5497583)
Why on earth does Neymar want to go to PSG? That feels like a step down in pretty much every regard; notoriety, money, on field achievement. If he wanted to leave Barca and go some place to be the star I gotta think he would have had better options than PSG though maybe not at those prices.
   171. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: July 21, 2017 at 01:33 PM (#5497593)
This is about to sound really crazy, I realize, but I think Neymar is overrated. I think Suarez, Messi, and Ronaldo are all clearly better (though in a couple of their cases, maybe not for long). I also think I'd probably take Alexis over him, and maybe even DeBruyne when he's healthy.
   172. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 21, 2017 at 01:53 PM (#5497620)
I would say your second and third sentences are 100% correct but I'm not sure I'd agree with the first. I think most people would agree that Suarez, Messi and Ronaldo are better and that he belongs in that second group.

Just answering my own question that may be why he wants to move, that desire to be his own star and not Messi's teammate.
   173. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 21, 2017 at 02:09 PM (#5497637)
####, they should bring back Alexis. Actually, they seriously should do that. Maybe Mbappe now?


Supposedly they're after Mbappe and Veratti.

   174. jmurph Posted: July 21, 2017 at 02:10 PM (#5497638)
I have Neymar as clearly better than Alexis, and obviously younger. I still think Alexis is great, but Neymar to me is in that small tier of players just behind Messi and Ronaldo, while Alexis is in a much larger tier of players below that.

I mean to say Alexis is better than Neymar is to suggest Alexis is the best player in the Premier League, right? And I don't think that's the case.
   175. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: July 21, 2017 at 02:49 PM (#5497670)
I have Neymar as clearly better than Alexis, and obviously younger. I still think Alexis is great, but Neymar to me is in that small tier of players just behind Messi and Ronaldo, while Alexis is in a much larger tier of players below that.

I mean to say Alexis is better than Neymar is to suggest Alexis is the best player in the Premier League, right? And I don't think that's the case.


I think the best (offensive) player in England is either Alexis or DeBruyne. A motivated Hazard I'd probably put in that group as well, but that off year drops him down a tier for me. I'd probably go Alexis. He's super fit, a great presser, and can score a striker's number of goals from a non-striker position. I think that is the single most valuable thing a team can have in soccer. Of course, Neymar can do that too. I take Alexis just barely because I like his toughness and willingness to play defense.
   176. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 21, 2017 at 06:32 PM (#5497925)
####, they should bring back Alexis. Actually, they seriously should do that.


They'll have to get in line behind ... PSG.

Seriously.
   177. OPS+ Posted: July 21, 2017 at 07:12 PM (#5497941)
I think the best (offensive) player in England is either Alexis or DeBruyne.


Cough..Harry Kane...Cough
   178. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: July 21, 2017 at 10:53 PM (#5498023)
Cough..Harry Kane...Cough

Hey, I'm a Tottenham fan and I like him. But I think, especially among the toppest of the top teams, there is more strikers like Kane than guys that can play withdrawn or on the wing like Alexis. I think Kane is probably the best striker, but when you look at a lot of the top strikers at the top teams - Lukaku, Aguero, Costa, Benzema, Mbappe, Lewa, Aubemeyang, Higuain. I mean, he can hang in that group, but I don't think he stands out.
   179. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 23, 2017 at 02:13 AM (#5498384)
A bid of £25m?

He's lucky Levy didn't have him whacked ... Too funny, if true.


Manchester United are confident of closing a deal for Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic after hitting a wall in their efforts to take Eric Dier from Tottenham Hotspur. José Mourinho identified Dier as his No1 defensive midfield target at the start of the close season and he has seen three bids for him turned down by Tottenham. The third bid was understood to be close to £40m.

Tottenham’s position on Dier has been resolute all summer. When Ed Woodward, the United executive vice-chairman, made his first approach to Daniel Levy, the Tottenham chairman – and made a preliminary offer of £25m – he was told in no uncertain terms that Dier was not for sale.

United have continued to chip away, bidding £30m and then almost £40m but, in the context of an inflated market, the offers have served only to irritate Levy.


The Graun
   180. jmurph Posted: July 24, 2017 at 11:14 AM (#5498751)
This is amazing:
City Watch‏ @City_Watch
(Manchester) City's spending on full-backs:

2011: £7m
2012: £3m
2013: £0
2014: £0
2015: £0
2016: £0
2017: £120m


EDIT: I'm not 100% sure this is accurate, but the general point stands. They sat on it for a while, but for the occasional old guy on a free (Sagna).
   181. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 24, 2017 at 01:18 PM (#5498908)
You may not have noticed (and based on the comments here you haven't) but the US is in the Gold Cup final against Jamaica. We owe them one from two years ago so that would be nice to get and it would be good to have at least a shot at the Confed Cup next time 'round. I suspect there will be some benefit from being able to participate in Qatar in 2021 to get accustomed to the weather there and learn how the players will respond to the heat.
   182. jmurph Posted: July 24, 2017 at 01:26 PM (#5498916)
You may not have noticed (and based on the comments here you haven't) but the US is in the Gold Cup final against Jamaica.

I've seen bits and pieces, it's been better than I anticipated. Or I should say more entertaining. Jamaica looked solid last night, certainly good enough to beat the US on Wednesday.

I've appreciated the later start times of most games, too, easier for me to see.
   183. Sean Forman Posted: July 24, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5498917)
Jmurph,

That looks right to me. I can't think of anyone they would have signed there, so I'm not too broken up about the Walker and Mendy signings.

I saw somewhere else that Pep has spent 220m on defenders/gk, but they also typically don't mention they've sold 100m worth in that time.
   184. Baldrick Posted: July 24, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5498927)
Tournament of Nations coming up this week. I'm in Seattle where I'll be covering the USWNT game against Australia. Anyone here have any questions they wish they could ask NT players or coaches?

I also was there for the absolutely bonkers Reign-Sky Blue game this weekend. Reign went up 4-0 on three goals in fifteen minutes to start the second half. Sky Blue pulled it back to 4-4 on four goals in less than fifteen minutes. Seattle won it at the end with a thraker of a goal from Rapinoe.
   185. jmurph Posted: July 24, 2017 at 01:50 PM (#5498934)
That looks right to me. I can't think of anyone they would have signed there, so I'm not too broken up about the Walker and Mendy signings.

Yeah I don't love Walker but I defended it a bit earlier in the thread (it's only money, of which they have vast quantities), and I'm definitely excited about Mendy.

Also I think the lack of investment in full backs thing was slightly overblown as a criticism- Zabaleta was really good for a long time! They definitely should have moved for a left back a year ago, but I'm more or less okay with their moves there (or lack of moves, I guess) the last few years.
   186. ursus arctos Posted: July 24, 2017 at 06:39 PM (#5499132)
I've been away, but Neymar's move to PSG (which now appears to be dead) was precisely "about" what was noted above.

His father was convinced that his son's income, marketing potential and Ballon d'Or chances would always be hampered by his not being the 'face of the franchise" at Barcelona, and was not inclined to wait for Messi to retire, especially once the Qataris showed him the 220 million euro for the recession clause (and equally Pharonic wages, tax equalization payments and commissions for none other than Neymar Sr).

If the current story holds, it will be because Neymar Jr finally came to the view that his teammates (especially Pique) had a better grasp of what really matters to world class footballers than his dad did.
   187. He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB) Posted: July 25, 2017 at 09:58 PM (#5499847)
After watching Spurs v Roma, if that's what MLS referees have to offer, they should be fired into the Sun, en masse ...

What a joke.
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