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Monday, April 02, 2012

OT: The Soccer Thread: April 2012

Title Run-In’s across the Continent, Champions League Semi-Finals, FA Cup Semi-Finals, and the two month-mark to the start of Euro 2012.

All this—and more—in April!

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 02, 2012 at 12:30 PM | 1045 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   1. Swedish Chef Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4094764)
There will also be stupid rumors, sacked managers and at least one scandal involving a drunken England player. And Harry Redknapp will take the England job short term over the Euros.
   2. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4094770)
Weren't we supposed to be able to hide these threads? Whatever happened with that?
   3. DA Baracus Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4094771)
   4. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4094773)
Hmm. I wonder if Ronaldo is also into centaurs.
   5. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4094778)
Weren't we supposed to be able to hide these threads? Whatever happened with that?
I just make the threads. Anything more complicated than that, you'll have to talk to Jim.
   6. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4094780)
Great goal, terrible celebration.
While not arguing with that point, if my leg looked that, I'd be lifting up my shorts all the damn time too.
   7. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4094781)
Why would anyone want to hide this thread? This thread is like a combination of Jesus and monster trucks and Pop Rocks.
   8. DA Baracus Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4094786)
Weren't we supposed to be able to hide these threads? Whatever happened with that?


When the changeover happens, which hasn't happened yet.

While not arguing with that point, if my leg looked that, I'd be lifting up my shorts all the damn time too.


I have to agree.
   9. Mattbert Posted: April 02, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4094816)
Great goal, terrible celebration.

Great hit, but I am not sure how the keeper missed that. It looked like he had it covered.
   10. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4094823)
EPL Predictions;

Champ - Manchester United (City have really blown it, this should have been their year).
2,3 - City, Tottenham
4 - Arsenal
5 - Newcastle

Relegated - Wolves, Wigan, Bolton
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4094825)
Great goal, terrible celebration.


Angelina Jolie did it better.
   12. BobT Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4094829)
I hate Alex Ferguson. And I will never use his honorific.

That is all.
   13. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4094845)
Not a single mention of Financial Fair Play

The list of players is hilarious...Torres, Lampard, Drogba. Is Abramovich secretly going to use Anzhi to take his dross for inflated prices as a way to rescue Chelsea from FFP? Crazy conspiracy theory alert! Seriously, though, why is there never any mention about FFP in these articles about Anzhi throwing around crazy money?

   14. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4094846)
   15. DA Baracus Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4094850)
Seriously, though, why is there never any mention about FFP in these articles about Anzhi throwing around crazy money?


Because they are never going to actually sign all those guys, so it doesn't matter.
   16. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4094854)
Because they are never going to actually sign all those guys, so it doesn't matter.

I don't know. They've got Eto'o and Samba plus Hiddink to coach. They seem serious.
   17. DA Baracus Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4094860)
I don't doubt their intentions. But I can't see that many players choosing to go there at once. One of them, sure. But Drogba, Torres, Lampard and Tevez? Only in video games.
   18. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4094861)
As bad as de Gea looked at times at the start of the season, he's looked really good as of late, even when the rest of the squad was terrible (i.e. vs. Bilbao).
   19. Swedish Chef Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4094862)
I doubt Anzhi has enough legit revenue to pay for a tenth of one of those guys.
   20. ursus arctos Posted: April 02, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4094865)
They haven't been using legit revenue to pay the guys they already have.
   21. JRVJ Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4094878)
Barca.
   22. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4094904)
Why would anyone want to hide this thread?


I'm just not into soccer. Sorry.
   23. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4094922)
I'm just not into soccer. Sorry.

Then ### off. Seriously.
   24. DA Baracus Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4094926)
Quite a goal by Valencia. Tough break for Blackburn, they had been playing great.
   25. Swedish Chef Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4094939)
Then ### off. Seriously.

We should be nice to our unfortunate friends who have never experienced the joys of soccer, offer a hug instead.
   26. Spivey Posted: April 02, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4094956)
That Ronaldo goal was a very nice strike, but that was garbage goalkeeping. I mean really, really dreadful.
   27. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 02, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4095012)
Then ### off. Seriously.

I believe the complaint is that we can't delete threads from our "Hot Topics" sidebar, which we were told we'd be able to do someday. I'm sympathetic as well. For all of us there are threads that last weeks and weeks which we don't care about in the least.
   28. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 02, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4095021)
They haven't been using legit revenue to pay the guys they already have.

Are you saying Yegor's Khlav Kalash didn't really pay $900 billion to run the stadium concession stands and get an ad on the back cover of the program?
   29. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 02, 2012 at 06:12 PM (#4095025)
I believe the complaint is that we can't delete threads from our "Hot Topics" sidebar, which we were told we'd be able to do someday. I'm sympathetic as well. For all of us there are threads that last weeks and weeks which we don't care about in the least.

I know what the "complaint" is. But none of the people here have anything to do with it. The thread is rather obviously named, if you don't want to talk about the topic, stay the fuck out, and leave those that do in peace. Coming in here just to piss on the thread is a complete #### move.
   30. Swedish Chef Posted: April 02, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4095026)
I believe the complaint is that we can't delete threads from our "Hot Topics" sidebar, which we were told we'd be able to do someday. I'm sympathetic as well. For all of us there are threads that last weeks and weeks which we don't care about in the least.

This isn't the place to complain about that, this is a thread about soccer, not site administration.

But you can have a hug if you want.
   31. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 02, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4095066)
In actual football related news: In a shocking turn of events, Carlos Zambrano lost it, earning himself a red card against Düsseldorf, after which he spat at a Fortuna player...
   32. madvillain Posted: April 02, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4095068)
Sorry to keep the meta thing going, but the NBA thread and the Soccer threads (I lurk in this one) are 90% of why I come to BTFF. If anybody doesn't like those threads, they should just ignore them. It's that simple.

Also, the new Fifa Street looks awesome.
   33. frannyzoo Posted: April 02, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4095091)
Allegri on tomorrow's 2nd leg at Camp Nou...

“Whoever wins this game will probably go on to reach the final.”


That's one way to put it.
   34. Mohammed Chang Posted: April 02, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4095097)
EPL Predictions;

Champ - Manchester United (City have really blown it, this should have been their year).
2,3 - City, Tottenham
4 - Arsenal
5 - Newcastle

Relegated - Wolves, Wigan, Bolton


Spurs have a relatively easy run-in to finish the season, I think they'll finish third as well. Sunderland away, Norwich at home, QPR away, Blackburn at home, Bolton away, Aston Villa away, Fulham at home. Sunderland, presently ninth, are the team with the highest table position among those seven.

Arsenal still have City and Chelsea at home, Chelsea have Arsenal and Liverpool away plus Newcastle at home, and Newcastle have Chelsea and Everton away plus City at home.
   35. frannyzoo Posted: April 02, 2012 at 09:11 PM (#4095107)
The Masiello own-goal v. Lecce (at :50). Edit: Didn't work with the embed...

http://www.nesn.com/2012/04/andrea-masiello-must-account-for-own-goal-italian-soccer-player-arrested-for-match-fixing-video.html


That's bad. Really bad. The aforementioned The Miracle of Castel di Sangro really is great, btw. Both in spite and because of these latest game-fixing developments.
   36. Mattbert Posted: April 02, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4095147)
Spurs have a relatively easy run-in to finish the season, I think they'll finish third as well. Sunderland away, Norwich at home, QPR away, Blackburn at home, Bolton away, Aston Villa away, Fulham at home. Sunderland, presently ninth, are the team with the highest table position among those seven.

I am cautiously optimistic, but I think the Norwich and Fulham games will be tricky. Papa Bear back at the Lane will be an awesome way to end the season, though. Just awesome. Especially if Spurs can knuckle down and have at least a top four place wrapped up by then. If they can keep most everyone healthy, they have every chance of running the table from here on out. I'm thinking something like 15 points is a lot more likely than 21, but it's possible.

The key to me is having Lennon back fit for the remainder. Spurs are so much more dangerous when they can get both him and Bale in the team to really stretch play and counter swiftly.
   37. zack Posted: April 02, 2012 at 11:38 PM (#4095161)
ck at the Lane will be an awesome way to end the season, though. Just awesome. Especially if Spurs can knuckle down and have at least a top four place wrapped up by then. If they can keep most everyone healthy, they have every chance of running the table from here on out. I'm thinking something like 15 points is a lot more likely than 21, but it's possible.


What I want to know is, when the #### is the Aussie Rules thread going to open? It's nearly week 2!
   38. Juan V Posted: April 03, 2012 at 01:16 AM (#4095193)
What I want to know is, when the #### is the Aussie Rules thread going to open? It's nearly week 2!


Last year's Grand Finalists losing in Round 1. That doesn't happen very often...
   39. Ron J Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:31 AM (#4095204)
Whenever the 'manager X must go' bandwagon get rolling, I always find myself asking: who is the replacement.


I believe it's true of any sport. Stupid management teams fire the coach and then start looking for the replacement.

And yes, I understand that sometimes it's ownership making the call. It's still stupid.
   40. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4095307)
If anybody doesn't like those threads, they should just ignore them. It's that simple.


And when I asked whether the technical capability to do so had been added yet, I got told to #### off.

I have no problem with people talking about soccer, if that's what they're into. I just wanted to know how to make this thread disappear.
   41. Swedish Chef Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4095325)
And when I asked whether the technical capability to do so had been added yet, I got told to #### off.

I have no problem with people talking about soccer, if that's what they're into. I just wanted to know how to make this thread disappear.


Please understand that nobody in this thread has any privileged information about that, there is simply no point in bringing that up here. We would be delighted to help you with anything that has to do with soccer.
   42. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4095335)
Brazil suffering the winner's curse

Speaking of World Cup's and FIFA...in South Africa all the sporting goods stores have tons of FIFA t-shirts I'm assuming FIFA blackmailed them into trying to sell as there is nothing more hip than wearing the acronym of a giant and corrupt world bureacracy on your chest. Oddly enough they were on all the discount rack with the England national rugby team shirts. On the plus side, they also had a bunch of random, cool t-shirts, too. We need another Kinsale's outing so I can show off my 1990 West Germany commemorative v-neck. Es ist auzgezeichnet!
   43. JuanGone..except1game Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4095341)
What I want to know is, when the #### is the Aussie Rules thread going to open? It's nearly week 2!
Last year's Grand Finalists losing in Round 1. That doesn't happen very often...


Yes, but it was those Collingwood arseholes so what can you expect. I thoroughly enjoyed their flogging by my Hawks (and the Buddy/Cyril show) and I'm hoping to see them again in the playoffs. I'm fairly new to Aussie Rules, being only in Melbourne for the last 9 months, but it's a great game with a fantastic atmosphere.
   44. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4095366)
I was fascinated by Aussie rules football as a kid when ESPN was new and just showed whatever random sports they could get the rights to instead of gossip mongering all day long. Aussie Rules football, and the occasional Ajax or PSG game for some reason and, unless I dreamed it, collegiate wrestling, too. It was like a 24 hours long Wide World of Sports show. In a way, the success of Sportscenter ruined ESPN, I think.
   45. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4095375)
We need another Kinsale's outing so I can show off my 1990 West Germany commemorative v-neck. Es ist auzgezeichnet!
Mein Gott! Shooty ist ein riesig Wichtigtuer!
   46. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4095385)
Game of Thrones to EPL Converter


MANCHESTER UNITED: HOUSE BOLTON OF THE DREADFORT
The most powerful house in the North. Sinister, ruthless, and brutal, their motto is “Our Blades Are Sharp,” and they will do whatever it takes to win. Sir Alex Ferguson is the cold, calculating Roose Bolton, a leech lover, known to flay those who dare confront him. Wayne Rooney is the ugly Ramsay Bolton, his legitimated bastard son, a creature who delights in violently torturing those around him.

...

LIVERPOOL: HOUSE STARK
An ancient and glorious Northern house led by a proud and stubborn king. Kenny Dalglish is 100 percent Ned Stark — a leader comfortable as a warrior, but not a politician. He may well lose his head because of it. Luis Suarez is Theon Greyjoy, a simmering hostage with a cocky smile and arrogant attitude. Andy Carroll is Hodor, a large simpleton, slow of wits, but good at carrying stuff. Anfield is Winterfell, a crumbling seat of power home to legions of loyal denizens and legendary symbols.
   47. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4095457)
I was fascinated by Aussie rules football as a kid when ESPN was new and just showed whatever random sports they could get the rights to instead of gossip mongering all day long.


As an Australian by birth who grew up in the US, I always loved getting up early on Saturday mornings to watch the AFL with my dad. In those pre-internet days, it was one of the few touchstones I had with Australian culture.

I was a Fitzroy supporter, though, and it kind of broke my heart when they got folded into Brisbane.
   48. zack Posted: April 03, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4095555)
being only in Melbourne for the last 9 months

Yes, but it was those Collingwood arseholes so what can you expect.


I hold this truth to be self-evident.
   49. DA Baracus Posted: April 03, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4095652)
From Oliver Kay:

UEFA disciplinary fines:

Racist chanting (Porto): €20k fine
Criticizing ref (Wenger): €40k fine, 3 game touchline ban
Use of flares (Barca): €95k fine


I want to see someone go for the trifecta: racially abusing a ref with flares as a visual aid.
   50. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 03, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4095675)
I guess Wenger should have just called the ref something racist.
   51. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 03, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4095739)
Get ready!

Teams:
Barça: Valdes; Dani Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Puyol; Xavi , Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Fabregas, Cuenca
Subs: Pinto, Sanchez, Keita, Alcantara, Pedro, Adriano, Tello

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Mexes, Antonini; Nocerine, Ambrosini, Boateng, Seedorf; Robinho, Zlatan
Subs: Amelia, Pato, Aquilani, Lopez, Bonera, Emmanuelson, Yepes
   52. Swedish Chef Posted: April 03, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4095760)
I want to see someone go for the trifecta: racially abusing a ref with flares as a visual aid.

Sounds like a job for Lazio's fans*.

*) Paolo di Canio greeting them in their familiar way
   53. Mattbert Posted: April 03, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4095782)
So what's the deal with Pedro? He seems to have fallen out of favor with the Pepster.
   54. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 03, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4095789)
Don't see Messi miss those too often...
   55. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 03, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4095791)
Barca look good.
   56. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4095797)
Barca look good.

Sun rises in east.
   57. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4095825)
Ooh. Now it's interesting.
   58. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4095828)
I'll assume Milan will now shift to the Italian preferred 9-1-0 formation.
   59. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4095831)
Ooh. Now it's interesting.

That seems to have revitalized Milan a bit. They looked dead and buried before the goal.

Good thing it's the only game on tonight, so I can focus all my attention on it.
   60. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4095836)
What a dumb penalty to concede.
   61. PepTech Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4095845)
All we have here is the Marseille match. Sigh.
   62. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4095847)
Were both penalties legit calls?
   63. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4095852)
Were both penalties legit calls?

The first one, definitely without a doubt. The second one was technically, but Stoke pulls that crap on every single set piece and it never gets called. I'd call that one a bit soft.
   64. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4095856)
Were both penalties legit calls?

First one was definitely legit. Just an awful tackle. The second was shirt pulling on a corner. They happen on every other corner, and are hardly ever given. Now I am on record that they should start calling thos more, so that defenders cut it out... but this might not be the best stage to start on.

Coke to the Shooty.
   65. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4095864)
Marseille...not going to pull the upset.
   66. Flynn Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4095866)
The second foul to me was the soccer equivalent of not calling a shortstop for tagging the base...in Game 7 of a playoff series.
   67. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 03, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4095872)
The second foul to me was the soccer equivalent of not calling a shortstop for tagging the base...in Game 7 of a playoff series.

It definitely wasn't a penalty at the San Siro.
   68. ursus arctos Posted: April 03, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4095984)
C'mon Flynn, Game 5 of a Division Series. And he missed the base by a foot.

It would be interesting to see what the impact on the game would be if that foul was called consistently.
   69. Juan V Posted: April 03, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4096001)
AFL hijack! I'm also relatively new, having started following it in the middle of last season, but I really, really like it so far. Haven't picked a favourite team so far (and I'm still free to choose, according to Bill Simmons' sports fandom rules); I would have to pick between the Swans and Hawthorn. For a while I thought Collingwood might add to my collection of evil empire supporting interests, but they just don't make a good match.

And yes, the Cyril/Buddy show last Friday was awesome.

Back to association football for a bit, I hope Chelsea go through on away goals after Lampard scores a long range strike in injury time of the second leg, all after Barça get a bunch of penalty appeals rejected.
   70. frannyzoo Posted: April 03, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4096004)
I don't which league is worst on the corner fondling, disrobing and near-buggery, but Serie A has got to be up there. Obviously something has to be done. Not knowing enough football history, has thought ever been given to awarding free kicks outside the area on "first offense" or something not quite as dire as a PK?

   71. ursus arctos Posted: April 03, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4096030)
Serie A is indeed terrible in this regard, and Vialli evidently said on Sky Italia tonight that they would have to clean up their act domestically if refs were going to start calling penalties for it in Europe.

I've always thought that the severity and binary nature of the penalty sanction makes it very difficult to police foul play in the box, but it isn't something that gets a lot of attention, in part because there is a strong tendency within the game to try to minimize "judgement calls".
   72. zack Posted: April 03, 2012 at 06:12 PM (#4096060)
Haven't picked a favourite team so far (and I'm still free to choose, according to Bill Simmons' sports fandom rules); I would have to pick between the Swans and Hawthorn.


Can there really be fandom rules for a league with half the teams residing in a 5 mile radius?

I've always thought that the severity and binary nature of the penalty sanction makes it very difficult to police foul play in the box, but it isn't something that gets a lot of attention, in part because there is a strong tendency within the game to try to minimize "judgement calls".


Agreed, but I'm not sure what else you could do in a sport with no free substitution. 2vs2 PKs?
   73. ursus arctos Posted: April 03, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4096072)
Some possibilities off the top of my head:

1) use the indirect free kick within the box as a real sanction instead instead of a novelty act;

2) introduce direct free kicks from the edge of the area (as suggested by frannyzoo in 70);

3) adopt a version of the penalty box/sin bin concept from ice hockey/rugby.

The problem has tended to be an unwillingness to change the status quo, rather than a dearth of possible alternatives.
   74. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 03, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4096105)
Can there really be fandom rules for a league with half the teams residing in a 5 mile radius?


Yes, absolutely.
   75. Juan V Posted: April 03, 2012 at 08:06 PM (#4096126)
I guess that if you're born and raised in Melbourne you just end up supporting whoever your family supports...
   76. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 03, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4096137)
Some possibilities off the top of my head:


My dad came up with the best solution I have heard so far regarding shirt pulling (in general, not specifically in the penalty box). According to him, teams should start making their match day kits out of incredibly cheap material, so that they tear upon the slightest of pulls. Because it's really difficult to argue that you didn't foul somebody, while you are hilding the tattered remains of his shirt in your hand...
   77. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 03, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4096163)
What bothers me more than the lack of fouls called on the defense is the frequency of fouls called on the attacking side in the box. I'm fine with a laissez faire attitude towards plays in the box, but let it go both ways.

Failing that I'm joining the bear in agreement with franny's #70. The direct free kicks from the edge of the area seems to be a very good "compromise" punishment.
   78. Juan V Posted: April 03, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4096212)
My dad came up with the best solution I have heard so far regarding shirt pulling (in general, not specifically in the penalty box). According to him, teams should start making their match day kits out of incredibly cheap material, so that they tear upon the slightest of pulls. Because it's really difficult to argue that you didn't foul somebody, while you are hilding the tattered remains of his shirt in your hand...


Sepp would lobby for this idea to be applied in women's football.
   79. Baldrick Posted: April 04, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4096230)
Failing that I'm joining the bear in agreement with franny's #70. The direct free kicks from the edge of the area seems to be a very good "compromise" punishment.

I'd actually prefer it to be a direct free kick from ANYWHERE outside the box that they like. It always seems like right at the edge of the box is a little bit too close to get the angles to work.
   80. frannyzoo Posted: April 04, 2012 at 07:54 AM (#4096293)
Agreed. Let's call it "ball-in-hand" ala Nine Ball in pool. I'll talk to "Legal" today and we'll have the paperwork to FIFA and all the FAs by tomorrow. Should be ready to roll by this weekend's games worldwide.

Outside of the APOEL story, this hasn't been much of a CL to me. And that story is ending today. I never thought I'd think/say this, but the Europa League is actually a worthwhile tourney and is largely more interesting. At least this year.
   81. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 04, 2012 at 08:00 AM (#4096295)
Outside of the APOEL story, this hasn't been much of a CL to me. And that story is ending today. I never thought I'd think/say this, but the Europa League is actually a worthwhile tourney and is largely more interesting. At least this year.

I just wish it was easier to watch as I'd love to have followed Bilbao through the tourney. They are rapidly becoming the La Liga team I feel drawn to.
   82. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2012 at 08:18 AM (#4096299)
Outside of the APOEL story, this hasn't been much of a CL to me. And that story is ending today. I never thought I'd think/say this, but the Europa League is actually a worthwhile tourney and is largely more interesting. At least this year.
I'm really hopeful about the final four, though. It's become abundantly clear that Real and Barca are the best teams in the world. Bayern has as good a case as anyone to be #3, and they'll be playing home games. The quality of play should be just outstanding, and the possibility of a neutral field Real-Barca final is pretty exciting.

The narrative is pretty tired - no one likes Bayern and everyone's sick of the Spanish twosome - but the football could be some of the best we'll ever see.
   83. frannyzoo Posted: April 04, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4096312)
Matt: Agreed, to an extent. I do feel Barca's apex has passed, especially along the backline (having Villa would be nice, too). And I wish I could stand to watch Real and Bayern. At all. I'm trying to appreciate the good things they bring, trying real hard. But I'm still not quite the shepherd, to paraphrase "Pulp Fiction." I still just wanna put a cap in both their asses.

Edit: And I don't think Barca 2011-2012 is quite up to being "the tyranny of evil men," to complete the analogy.
   84. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 04, 2012 at 08:59 AM (#4096316)
It always seems like right at the edge of the box is a little bit too close to get the angles to work.


I've always wondered why teams don't have someone pass the ball about 10 yards back (which seems the spot most dangerous) in that situation. Even a relatively soft pass should be struck harder than the wall can run and the wall is in fact going to breakdown in the process. I guess you lose a little something having to kick a rolling ball rather than a stationary one but the way the fields are manicured nowadays it's not going to be bouncing all over the place.

Speaking of the fields, I was watching a game from about 2000 or so the other day on Fox Soccer. I just watched for a few minutes but it was amazing how much worse the ground was at Stamford Bridge compared with what you see today. That seems like an area that the top levels of soccer have really improved in recent years.
   85. zack Posted: April 04, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4096385)
#73 Some possibilities off the top of my head:


I thought of those, and they should be tried. For #3, that's what I meant about "in a game with no free substitution". Seems antithetical to a game where players don't change to have someone go off and them come back on (although I realized they do that for minor injuries). As for the kicks from inside or edge of the box, I figured those are worthless (as per #79) because you can just stack 10 players between the spot and the goal, but maybe I'm wrong on that.

So the 2v2 penalty idea was a random idea between 1v1 and 1v10. Maybe better would be to limit the number of people who can be in the box at the whistle on a direct or indirect kick.

   86. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 04, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4096398)
Speaking of the fields, I was watching a game from about 2000 or so the other day on Fox Soccer. I just watched for a few minutes but it was amazing how much worse the ground was at Stamford Bridge compared with what you see today. That seems like an area that the top levels of soccer have really improved in recent years.

Yeah, FSC sometimes shows games from the 90's and the fields are just horrible. The most striking thing about my visit to White Hart Lane last year, though, was the grass. It was the most immaculate sports field I've ever seen.
   87. ursus arctos Posted: April 04, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4096435)
It's also yet another area in which England is ahead of the continent when it comes to stadia.

As the Milan/Barca first leg brought to more prominence, many of Serie A's grounds are diabolical. The Bentegodi in Verona is particularly awful.
   88. Swedish Chef Posted: April 04, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4096448)
It's also yet another area in which England is ahead of the continent when it comes to stadia.

The pitches are good in England, but the enterprising coach can still play around, remember when Mourinho had truckloads of sand dumped on the Stamford Bridge pitch before they hosted Barcelona.
   89. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 04, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4096450)
Every week (every other week I guess) on the Premier League highlights show, the Norwich field stands out as the only one that ever has brown patches (all in the penalty area). I perceive this as a window into the world of the lower leagues where that would be the highest-quality field.
   90. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 04, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4096456)
   91. zack Posted: April 04, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4096465)
All the premier league home grounds are essentially single-use during the season, right?
   92. ursus arctos Posted: April 04, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4096517)
Yes, they are (apart from the occasional friendly or concert), but that isn't enough on its own to explain the difference and improvement. They were equally single-use when they looked like potato fields.
   93. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 04, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4096527)
There was a La Liga game this weekend -- Osasuna vs Madrid, I want to say? -- that featured a particularly strange pitch. Half the pitch seemed normal and not-out-of-the-ordinary, but the other half had patches of bright yellow every couple feet. What was strange was that the split between normal-looking pitch and the patchy stuff was length-wise. Did they only put a tarp over, or forget to water, half the pitch?

The Miracle of Castel di Sangro also has an amusing anecdote about their club president ####### up big time with installation of the pitch for their new ground. The author describes the surface as sponge-like. The only comparison I can think of is that CCL game a year or so back when Real Salt Lake played down in Mexico on a water-logged pitch.
   94. Swedish Chef Posted: April 04, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4096537)
Old Trafford was the first arena I noticed for always having a great pitch, back when they had their great crop of exciting young players.
   95. Flynn Posted: April 04, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4096539)
The San Siro's pitch has always stank, though. Ever since they built the extension and the roof for the 1990 World Cup the pitch has been bad. I've heard endless bleating about it recently, but I watched some Serie A from the early 90s and the pitch was a potato field then too. It just doesn't get enough sunlight.
   96. zack Posted: April 04, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4096546)
Yes, they are (apart from the occasional friendly or concert), but that isn't enough on its own to explain the difference and improvement. They were equally single-use when they looked like potato fields.


If that's the case, then there's essentially no excuse for an organization with the resources of even the most meagre PL team to have an uneven pitch*. Do the work in the off-season to have good drainage, and with enough chemistry you can have grass in a day or two. I worked as a greenskeeper in college, and with the amount of crap they pumped in to the grass, the way it rebounded from being trampled was unholy.

*Unless you build your park below-grade in the middle of a river, like the Harrisburg Sens.
   97. Swedish Chef Posted: April 04, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4096552)
If that's the case, then there's essentially no excuse for an organization with the resources of even the most meagre PL team to have an uneven pitch*

And miss Wenger moaning about it every season? That's too high a price to pay!

If you play route one, it makes little sense to make it a putting green.
   98. zack Posted: April 04, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4096556)
Heh. Should have said no excuse to do so un-deliberately.

Nothing wrong with hosing down the basepaths.
   99. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 04, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4096572)
Old Trafford was the first arena I noticed for always having a great pitch, back when they had their great crop of exciting young players.
The 1950s?
   100. frannyzoo Posted: April 04, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4096706)
Soccernet appears to have blowed up. Was Lampard benched for today's game?
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