Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

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

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 2 of 11 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >  Last ›
   101. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4096733)
Lampard is starting.

Teams:
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Lampard, Mikel, Mata; Torres, Kalou
Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Cahill, Essien, Meireles, Drogba, Sturridge.

Benfica: Artur, Emerson, Pereira, Capdevila, García, César, Aimar, Gaitán, Mati?, Witsel, Cardozo
Subs: Eduardo, Almeida, Nolito, Djaló, Oliveira, Rodrigo, Saviola.
   102. frannyzoo Posted: April 04, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4096759)
I was joking, poorly. The amount of Big Four EPL verklemptitude exhibited on Soccernet is laughable. Well, to me at least.
   103. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4096777)
I stopped reading the comments to articles a few weeks ago and stopped frequenting soccer blogs except for this one. I'm enjoying things a lot more now.
   104. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4096786)
I think all humans should be required to have Aimar's hair and styling.
   105. DA Baracus Posted: April 04, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4096800)
The amount of Big Four EPL verklemptitude exhibited on Soccernet is laughable. Well, to me at least.


As well they should. ESPN has the rights for EPL, so of course they're going to promote the crap out of it, and the Big Four is where the money is in viewership and page clicks. Look at Fox Soccer's website, they have much more content of other leagues, because they carry them. It's the same reason why they only give you 30 seconds of hockey highlights a week on Sports Center: it doesn't help out the rest of their content.
   106. ursus arctos Posted: April 04, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4096950)
MLS considering Pier 40 Stadium.

As awesome as it would be for me to have a top flight football ground that I could see from my office window, this makes no sense to me.
   107. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 04, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4096965)
As awesome as it would be for me to have a top flight football ground that I could see from my office window, this makes no sense to me.
I can't imagine this will ever get past the "Well, what if we..." stage for about 50 excellent reasons.
   108. DA Baracus Posted: April 04, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4096985)
I can't imagine this will ever get past the "Well, what if we..." stage for about 50 excellent reasons.


Agreed, plus MLS previously wanted the 20th team to be in NY but they've since expanded their horizons. Unfortunately the Cosmos can't get off the ground.
   109. frannyzoo Posted: April 04, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4097036)
Shooty made the comment about 50 posts ago that he'd like Europa League more if he could see the games. (Cough) Front Row Sports (Cough) (clears throat) even better than Wiziwig (makes hacking sound).
   110. DA Baracus Posted: April 04, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4097038)
Anyone seen any of the Copa Libertadores games this week? The stadiums are half empty. Too bad, because the action's pretty good.
   111. ursus arctos Posted: April 04, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4097261)
TFC are the APOEL of North America.

Evidently the Libertadores prices are too high.
   112. frannyzoo Posted: April 04, 2012 at 10:21 PM (#4097382)
In celebration of a Barcelona-Chelsea Semi-Final, here's the most important goal of the past five years, perhaps of our lifetime.

Allah, Allah, Allah, fo' suh' everybody.

Oh, there's another Iniesta goal that might be fairly important...but it wasn't against Chelsea....
   113. Juan V Posted: April 04, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4097425)
In celebration of a Barcelona-Chelsea Semi-Final, here's the most important goal of the past five years, perhaps of our lifetime.


That makes Tom Henning Ovrebo the most important football figure of our lifetimes, I guess.
   114. frannyzoo Posted: April 04, 2012 at 11:08 PM (#4097441)
Do I sense Scandinavian envy, Juan? More seriously, perhaps a new narrative will be developed in the coming CL weeks, but that goal is the paradigm/narrative we've been subject to since 2009. Well, that and a certain Norwegian.
   115. Mefisto Posted: April 04, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4097480)
I jumped off my couch when Iniesta scored that goal.
   116. Juan V Posted: April 05, 2012 at 12:28 AM (#4097522)
Whatever. Chelsea clearly have karma on their side in the semis. Shame Barcelona have talent on their side.
   117. Mefisto Posted: April 05, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4097701)
Talk to Ramirez about karma -- that was a miss for the ages.
   118. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 05, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4097816)
In an effort to reduce my shame to more human levels I went to The Strand yesterday to see if they had a copy of The Miracle of Castel di Sangro by chance and a hardcover first edition in mint condition was waiting for me for 10 bucks. They also had this cool looking cultural history of Spartak Moscow which I'm going to give a read. Not bad considering The Strand usually doesn't carry too many soccer books.

Anyone see Chelsea with any chance against Barca? I actually can imagine Drogba's strength and Sturridge's pace causing them trouble, but I don't see how the Chelsea's back 4 are going to be anything but Keystone Cops when defending the tiki-taka. I'm going to guess something like a 6-2 aggregate for Barca. Real against Bayern will be fascinating.
   119. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 05, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4097835)
Anyone see Chelsea with any chance against Barca? I actually can imagine Drogba's strength and Sturridge's pace causing them trouble, but I don't see how the Chelsea's back 4 are going to be anything but Keystone Cops when defending the tiki-taka. I'm going to guess something like a 6-2 aggregate for Barca. Real against Bayern will be fascinating.


I can see it. Cech is certainly capable of the great performance and if Terry can keep the back four disciplined and stay at home they could keep Barca from slicing through. Chelsea also have the ability to finish on the counter so if they can get a few counterattacks the ball should be in the back of the net. Basically it's the formula Inter used two years ago in the semis and I think Chelsea have the personnel to pull it off. They have to be willing to stay back and let Barca have the ball and just move it around.
   120. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 05, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4097843)
I've decided I am a supporter of Toronto FC.

That is all. You may return to your duties.
   121. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 05, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4097850)
They have to be willing to stay back and let Barca have the ball and just move it around.

They should absolutely use Milan's goal on Tuesday as a template.
   122. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 05, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4097865)
I've decided I am a supporter of Toronto FC.


Shouldn't that be "Sam Hutcheson has decided Sam Hutcheson is a supporter of..."
   123. frannyzoo Posted: April 05, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4097882)
Today in Spain versus the World (especially Germany), I think the Hannover fixture could be interesting. Down only 2-1 at home, maybe they can do it against Atletico. And I don't like Schalke but it should be fun to see them go with like seven strikers in Bilbao. That could end up being 9-6 or something.
   124. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 05, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4097916)
Michael Cox on the Europa League

I agree 100% with his recommended changes.
   125. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 05, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4097925)
Shouldn't that be "Sam Hutcheson has decided Sam Hutcheson is a supporter of..."


Sam Hutcheson is strongly considering referring to Sam Hutcheson as The Ricky-Sam from now on.
   126. Mefisto Posted: April 05, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4098000)
They should absolutely use Milan's goal on Tuesday as a template.


Considering that Milan only took 2 shots in the entire game, despite needing to score in order to avoid a shootout or an outright defeat, I'm not sure Chelsea want to consider that particular template. They must believe they can do better on the counter than 2 shots, though with Kalou and Ramires on the field their opportunities might need to approach infinity for actual goals to result.

I think your prediction in 118 looks pretty good.
   127. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 05, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4098034)
In an effort to reduce my shame to more human levels I went to The Strand yesterday to see if they had a copy of The Miracle of Castel di Sangro by chance and a hardcover first edition in mint condition was waiting for me for 10 bucks. They also had this cool looking cultural history of Spartak Moscow which I'm going to give a read. Not bad considering The Strand usually doesn't carry too many soccer books.


When we visited New York we stopped at The Strand and I made a beeline for their sports section. I was definitely disappointed in the lack of soccer books. They had a decent selection of baseball books, but I think I counted like six or seven soccer books at most (almost enough to fill up a whole shelf!).

Herc Gomez scored two more goals yesterday. I think he's clearly passed Wondo & Buddle as the slightly overage striker who deserves a call up once the US begins World Cup qualifying.
   128. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 05, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4098210)
I don't think Milan/Allegri necessarily got it wrong(*). They had chances to take the game at San Siro (Robinho and Zlatan spurning real good opportunities in the first half of the first leg). Even in the second leg, the goals were moreso a combination of poor play from Milan (Mexes back-pass leading to Messi penalty) and good fortune than great play from Barca. This isn't to say Milan outplayed Barca, but rather, given what they had at their disposal (mainly referring to Milan's long injury list), I thought Milan acquitted themselves well.

As for Chelsea's strategy -- I unfortunately have seen very few Barca games this year, but I seem to recall a few folks on twitter saying some La Liga teams have given Barca trouble by pressing them high up the pitch. Given how 'well' that went with AVB in charge, I can't see Chelsea sustaining that for any stretch without being carved up at the back. So I'd think their best strategy is the one Milan employed -- sit back, stay tight at the back and hope you convert on the 3-5 chances you'll get over the two legs.

(*)Not that anyone here said he did.
   129. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 05, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4098304)
By the way, a soccer stadium at Pier 40 sounds as great as it is impossible.
   130. frannyzoo Posted: April 05, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4098725)
*Espana Uber Alles, or whatever that would be all in Spanish (and with tildes and stuff).

*With apologies to the Basque people
   131. Juan V Posted: April 05, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4098908)

Michael Cox on the Europa League

I agree 100% with his recommended changes.


I'm not so sure about giving all 4 semifinalists a spot in the Champions League, but giving them at least qualifying spots would be nice. Teriffic article otherwise.
   132. Juan V Posted: April 05, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4098913)
And at this point you might as well rename it to the Iberia League, wouldn't you?
   133. Flynn Posted: April 05, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4098924)
I love the Europa League, once you get to the knockout stages it's more entertaining than the Champions League. The teams usually aren't good enough to try and shut up shop but they have enough quality to make the football classy rather than shambolic.

I agree four guaranteed Champions League places is overly generous, but qualifying places for the semi finalists, a place for the finalists and a seeded place for the winners might be fairer. That the winner should get a place is so obvious that only the suits could be so dumb to miss it, but a seeded place is perfectly logical too. After all, the winning club has won a European competition. There are clubs like my Arsenal who never really do anything in the Champions League but are seeded since they reliably get to the knockout stages. Taking away a seed from the never-was and giving it to the UEFA Cup winner would be fair and help make what was a real connisseur's competition that was often regarded as more difficult to win than the European Cup a stronger competition.
   134. DA Baracus Posted: April 05, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4098928)
I'm not so sure about giving all 4 semifinalists a spot in the Champions League, but giving them at least qualifying spots would be nice. Teriffic article otherwise.


He never did say where exactly to put them, just that they should get a spot. Put the winner in the group stage, the loser in the playoff round and the semi-finalists in the final qualifying round.
   135. Juan V Posted: April 05, 2012 at 06:55 PM (#4098934)
As for Chelsea's strategy -- I unfortunately have seen very few Barca games this year, but I seem to recall a few folks on twitter saying some La Liga teams have given Barca trouble by pressing them high up the pitch. Given how 'well' that went with AVB in charge, I can't see Chelsea sustaining that for any stretch without being carved up at the back. So I'd think their best strategy is the one Milan employed -- sit back, stay tight at the back and hope you convert on the 3-5 chances you'll get over the two legs.


The big problem with pressing Barça high up is that if you get tired before they do, the last 20 minutes turn into a massacre. Ask Valencia. I agree that the best shot for Chelsea is to try to replicate Inter from a couple of years ago.
   136. frannyzoo Posted: April 05, 2012 at 09:08 PM (#4099063)
I'm far from a "Zonal Marking" guru, but, having watched Barca in almost every game the past three years, here's what I see. Everyone talks about the attacking, but the key is that they press so hard defensively in the opponent's half. Nobody presses harder at the beginning of a "possession." They press so hard that at least half of the incipient possessions are destroyed and: A. turn into offensive counter already deep into the opponent's half; B. result in Barca being Barca as they take control while the opponent settles back for another 20-30 pass tiki-taka.

If I were to be conspiratorial about refs/UEFA being overly fond of Barca, it's that first tackle as they press. They go at it pretty hard, but the upshot is that a brutal challenge in their offensive half will almost never result in a yellow card, seems to result in a foul less than one might think, and could result in a very sudden 3-on-2 or such. Folks wonder why more teams don't keep a higher line against the Blaugrana, but I wonder why more teams don't emulate this early point of offensive possession approach. It's proven to be overwhelmingly successful for almost four years now.
   137. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 05, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4099106)
I wonder why more teams don't emulate this early point of offensive possession approach. It's proven to be overwhelmingly successful for almost four years now.


Because most teams can't control the ball like Barca. The problem with that sort of approach is that you are vulnerable to the counterattack in a big way and while Barcelona can be comfortable that once they've won possession they are going to retain it few other teams, even among the elite, can feel that sort of confidence.
   138. Juan V Posted: April 05, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4099140)
I think that, by pressing so hard, you don't need to control the ball that well in order to create a few good chances, if you can break quickly. On top of everything else, Barcelona is generally a very fit team, which is another factor with which they make a difference.
   139. Juan V Posted: April 05, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4099144)
As for playing against them, I think having centre-backs and/or DMCs who can hit long-range passes with reasonable accuracy helps a lot. Obviously, a lot easier said than done.
   140. frannyzoo Posted: April 06, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4099313)
Big goal for Reading starts my morning of glorious agnostic (athiestic, really) viewing of "minor" leagues. Serie B coming up shortly. It's a Good Friday.
   141. Baldrick Posted: April 06, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4099381)
Reading moves into the top spot in the Championship. It's been an amazing run over the past few months. Even three or four weeks ago I was still very nervous about the chances for promotion, but they just keep on winning. Seven points clear of West Ham now, with a game in hand.
   142. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 06, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4099424)
Big goal for Reading starts my morning of glorious agnostic (athiestic, really) viewing of "minor" leagues.

You don't believe those leagues exist?
   143. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 06, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4099431)
Swansea absolutely destroyed Newcastle in the first half... they are down 0:1.
   144. Flynn Posted: April 06, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4099476)
So the Strand's baseball section is crappy? If so then no reason for me to go. The entire reason I've ever wanted to go there was to thumb through aisles of baseball books.
   145. DA Baracus Posted: April 06, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4099518)
Papiss Cisse: 9 goals in 8 games. Andy Carroll: 8 goals in 47 games.
   146. BFFB Posted: April 06, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4099527)
There was a very good article I read a while back on Barcelona, damn if I can remember the link though.

Guardiola sets them all kinds of instructions about when and who to press that aren't just "press the guy on the ball". A few that I remember:-

1. Immediately press the player who has just won a tackle because he won't have a good idea where players are
2. Immediately press a player as soon as they turn towards there own goal because they've limited there passing options
3. Immediately press a player as soon as they make even a minor mistake in controlling the ball
4. If you win a tackle immediately pass it to the closest available team mate, he will have a better view of the game than you
5. Never press one on one, it should always be at least two on one.
6. If you don't win the ball back within X seconds (it was something very short like ten) then immediately retreat and get into defensive positions to control the space
   147. frannyzoo Posted: April 06, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4099542)
Just a wee spot of water on the pitch at Torino.
   148. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 06, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4099808)
So the Strand's baseball section is crappy? If so then no reason for me to go. The entire reason I've ever wanted to go there was to thumb through aisles of baseball books.


Well, they've got more baseball books that any other sport combined (IIRC), but I didn't really find any hidden gems or anything you can't find in a Borders or Barnes & Noble.
   149. BeePeeaRe Posted: April 07, 2012 at 06:54 AM (#4099849)
I am about to enter into a living arrangement that will not permit me to purchase the expanded four hundred channel, FSC and GOLtv includd, cable package I currently enjoy. So, I'm thinking about purchasing Fox Soccer 2Go. Anyone have any experience with this? All I heard last year was that it was garbage, but hoping they've improved things since then. Otherwise, I will be trying to stay one streaming site ahead of the Feds.
   150. BFFB Posted: April 07, 2012 at 08:28 AM (#4099855)
wiziwig
   151. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 07, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4099856)
I've really liked Fox Soccer tv - the quality reminds me on MLBtv maybe two years ago, which is perfectly good for watching sports. The problem is, though, that they only stream games not on FSC.
   152. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 07, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4099857)
I could have easily seen a straight red for that Sandro challenge. That was reckless.
   153. Textbook Editor Posted: April 07, 2012 at 09:16 AM (#4099860)
That list in #146 is great.
   154. frannyzoo Posted: April 07, 2012 at 09:33 AM (#4099862)
Bayern waits a solid 25 seconds before scoring v. Augsburg. Ugh.
   155. Mattbert Posted: April 07, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4099867)
Hoo boy. That Sunderland-Spurs match was just like the first half of Chelsea-Spurs, except for the full 90 minutes. The word dire comes to mind.
   156. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 07, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4099871)
Was there ever a time in the second half when Spurs or Sunderland had three consecutive passes successful?

Chelsea Wigan more interesting than I anticipated. Not exactly fun, it's Wigan after all, but it's not 3-0 yet.
   157. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: April 07, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4099876)
Two more goals for Dempsey, what a year he's having.
   158. frannyzoo Posted: April 07, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4099877)
Amauri, a last ten minute sub, scores against Milan to help Juve win a Scudetto. Might be the single funniest thing to happen in all of football this year.
   159. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 07, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4099882)
Ugh, Ivanovic was approximately a furlong offside.
   160. frannyzoo Posted: April 07, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4099890)
Who says Wigan is boring?
   161. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 07, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4099891)
That was a great shot on the goal Wigan just scored--I turned it on about 20 seconds before and missed who it was--but where was the defense? They didn't shut him down at all.
   162. Baldrick Posted: April 07, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4099893)
Ugh, Ivanovic was approximately a furlong offside.

But it would completely break football if the 4th official had access to a TV and was able to see what literally millions of people at home can see.

So I guess there's nothing we can do about it.
   163. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 07, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4099896)
Nothing like the phrase "at least a yard offside" to make you feel foolish for watching.
   164. Swedish Chef Posted: April 08, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4100214)
Lucky United.

   165. Swedish Chef Posted: April 08, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4100242)
United get a legit goal, Scholes is a fantastic player.

City has to win to preserve some nerve.
   166. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 08, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4100245)
City has to win to preserve some nerve.
Yeah, Mancini bit about United dropping points is not looking especially prescient right now.
   167. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 08, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4100254)
I don't think I've ever seen an offensive player unwittingly deflect a ball out of goal like that before.
   168. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 08, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4100259)
If the ball had glanced into the net would he have been flagged for off sides? I don't think City were still on the line.

If I didn't know better I'd never guess that City were in second place fighting for the title. This has been all Arsenal so far, the ball has barely been over the halfway line. And Balotelli should have been sent off.
   169. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 08, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4100265)
Balotelli deserves a couple of cards but Arsenal really do make a production of every foul.
   170. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 08, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4100276)
Slagging Balotelli, slagging Aquilani... *announcers* getting a little obnoxious.
   171. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 08, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4100287)
United much obliged for that goal.

EDIT: Balotelli's year would end that way.
   172. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 08, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4100303)
It was silly of me to expect City to help out Spurs a bit, I suppose.
   173. sardonic Posted: April 08, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4100363)
Am I the only one who's kind of surprised to find United on the brink of the title? Carrick, Jones and Scholes in the engine room, with cameos from Anderson and Cleverly... Vidic gone about half the season, Ferdinand having lost a yard of pace, meaning that you're getting a lot of burn from Johnny Evans... Evra starting to decline on the left, a rotating cast of Jones, Rafael and others at RB... Javier Hernandez seeing spotty duty at most, an inconsistent performance from Welbeck... Rooney has been in form, and otherwise their best players have been De Gea and Valencia... Valencia may be somewhat underrated, but is he really a "second best guy on a title team" kind of guy?

Maybe I'm just concluding that SAF is really damn good.
   174. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 08, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4100385)
I think United winning the title is a testament to blowing it less than the others. They've avoided the extended stretch of disappointing football that the other top four-five teams have had.
   175. Flynn Posted: April 08, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4100445)
Arsenal fans doing the Poznan was the highlight of the season. Hahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha City.
   176. Padgett Posted: April 08, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4100465)
It's an interesting question, because United don't seem like they have the best talent. But, for whatever reason, they just don't make many errors -- and, when they do, the errors are clustered together. This plays out in a few different ways:

(1) There have been very few poor showings other than in the three losses (City, Blackburn, Newcastle).

(2) United score late goals to secure points (West Brom, Liverpool, Arsenal, Norwich, Blackburn), but don't concede late to drop points.

(3) In fact, I count only twice (Stoke, Newcastle) when United have dropped points from a winning position.

(4) There have been spells of explosive offense, both in several blowouts and to rescue points (Chelsea).

(5) And when the attackers have been less prolific, United still manage to score early and then defend leads to the end (Everton, Swansea, Aston Villa).
   177. Flynn Posted: April 08, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4100566)
United are well drilled and don't ever give up. Their mental resiliency is brilliant.

Ferguson could probably take a pub team to the title.
   178. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: April 08, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4100604)
Balotelli apparently done at City (although we've heard this about Tevez as well). Wonder who would/will take the gamble on him.
   179. BFFB Posted: April 08, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4100605)
^^ That

They've also been playing together for years and whether by design or because of injury Ferguson has also rotated much better than Mancini so hasn't fatigued any of his players (like Mancini has with Silva and Aguero).

Man City *should* have won the title but have perpetrated just as big a bottle job as Newcastle did two decades ago. Mostly because Mancini is pretty much another Claudio Renairi. Give him comfortably the best team in the league without any serious challengers and he probably wont #### it up but that's pretty much it.

Balotelli apparently done at City (although we've heard this about Tevez as well). Wonder who would/will take the gamble on him.


Anyone gambling on Balotelli can safely be called an idiot at worst and guilty of supremely wishful thinking at best. He's been the same player since he broke in with Inter and still just as much of an immature tosspot who only plays when he feels like it (and often looks like he has mental health problems, a more "bipolar" player in their behavior on the pitch I have not seen).
   180. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 08, 2012 at 07:20 PM (#4100615)
Man City *should* have won the title but have perpetrated just as big a bottle job as Newcastle did two decades ago.

Great. Now I feel old.
   181. Juan V Posted: April 08, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4100620)
Oh, fiddlesticks.
   182. Textbook Editor Posted: April 08, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4100689)
RM still has the advantage of GD as well as being 4 points up. As long as they win out, they can still lose the FCB game and win the title. It's still a pretty big hill to climb.

I only caught the last 30 minutes of the game (since when did ESPN2 start having La Liga games on?), but man those 30 minutes were like an onslaught. It's amazing the game ended 0-0.
   183. Juan V Posted: April 08, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4100703)
I'm thinkg RM's gonna have to at least take a draw from the Nou Camp.
   184. Spivey Posted: April 08, 2012 at 10:38 PM (#4100710)
Man City falling apart is absolutely ridiculous. Their second half has been a travesty. I think Tottenham has more talent than Man U as well, and I think a lot of the teams up top are on pretty level footing. Man U has had a lot of breaks. Their place in the table, and Arsenal's, is a testament to how important an in-form world class goal scorer is.
   185. Mefisto Posted: April 08, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4100712)
Speaking of Barca, did anyone else see Messi beat 4 defenders on 1 move yesterday? And then Pedro screwed up the through ball Messi gave him.
   186. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 08, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4100716)
Anyone gambling on Balotelli can safely be called an idiot at worst and guilty of supremely wishful thinking at best. He's been the same player since he broke in with Inter and still just as much of an immature tosspot who only plays when he feels like it (and often looks like he has mental health problems, a more "bipolar" player in their behavior on the pitch I have not seen).

Whenever I see Balotelli make any facial expression I have an overwhelming revulsion and can't help but spend the entire game hoping that he gets his comeuppance and never has anything to celebrate. I don't think I've ever reacted to an athlete with such an intense longing for him to fail at everything he does. The only people who come close are certain NFL players, but for them I can excuse their ridiculous douche-baggery by saying they need to psyche themselves up for the game (Terrell Owens, Jeremy Shockey) and/or are suffering from peer pressure-induced roid rage (Dan Romanowski). Whenever Balotelli does something good I always have a hope that it was actually Micah Richards (they look similar on TV).
   187. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 08, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4100749)
I don't think I've ever reacted to an athlete with such an intense longing for him to fail at everything he does.

Sounds like somebody needs a crash course on the original "Super Mario".
   188. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 09, 2012 at 12:08 AM (#4100759)
Mendoza?
   189. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 09, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4100766)
Basler.
   190. Ron J Posted: April 09, 2012 at 01:46 AM (#4100791)
#176 I agree that the perception is that they're not the most talented of teams, but it's surely worth noting that the current team is poised to be one of the highest scoring SAF teams. I'm pretty sure the only MU team from the premiership era they're not likely to out-score is the 1999-2000 edition. (91 points on 97 GF, 47 GA. Yorke/Cole/Solskjær combining for 51 of the goals.)

They've got an awful lot of really good attacking options, but they can be made to look ordinary when pressed.
   191. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 09, 2012 at 07:22 AM (#4100827)
Well, an interesting weekend. Man City's collapse, considering how dominant they were the first half, is fairly shocking. They don't even have any Cup distractions to blame. It would also appear Mancini didn't learn his lesson about proclaiming expensive players are finished at Man City. I only caught the second half of Real and Valencia, but I think you could say either team could have won 2-0 or something. I can't believe how many chances both teams blew. Not a disaster for Spurs drawing at Sunderland though I'm a little worried about how poor Scott Parker was. Hopefully Lennon is fit enough to start the rest of the season as he's playing as well as he ever has when he's actually on the pitch.

Any theories about Man City's collapse? Is it just down to Mancini is a poor jockey?
   192. jmurph Posted: April 09, 2012 at 08:33 AM (#4100847)
Any theories about Man City's collapse? Is it just down to Mancini is a poor jockey?


I'm a City fan, and it's hard to pinpoint anything without getting too deep into the weeds about chemistry and "bottle" etc. So, setting all that aside and trying to focus on the actual play on the field, I would point to the lack of a consistent dominating striker, and the lack of creativity in the attack outside of Silva. Yes, I'm perfectly aware how ridiculous that sounds considering the amount of money they've spent on strikers and the fact that they're second in the league in scoring, but they've been awful at times on the road, scoring well under 2 goals a game vs nearly 3 per game at home. Aside from a few brilliant spells from each, Aguero and (particularly) Dzeko have mostly been poachers this year rather than creators, with Silva and sometimes Yaya doing all of the hard work to set them up. When, like yesterday, Silva and Yaya are off the field, Milner and Nasri aren't getting the job done.*

Does that all go back to Mancini? Yeah, I think that's probably fair.

But back to the beginning (chemistry, bottle), this is not a team that has been strategically assembled with a plan in mind, and I think it shows.

*Again, fully aware that many other teams would kill for any or all of these guys. I get it.
   193. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 09, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4100853)
You think they'll stick with Mancini? Even with FFP, selling Tevez and Balotelli and getting their wages off the books will give them a fair amount of money to play with in the transfer market. It will be interesting to see what they do with Nasri, too. He seems an awkward fit for the role they want him to play. It's just almost surreal for them to have lost the title with 6 games to go after the early rampaging. Every year I forget just how LONG these seasons are.
   194. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 09, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4100868)
The creepy guy from Crawley Town has a new job.

Kind of a strange move as Crawley has a real good chance of promotion. Weird timing, too. I don't follow the nether reaches of the League much, but I get the feeling lots of wacky stuff goes on at the bottom of the pyramid.
   195. jmurph Posted: April 09, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4100881)
You think they'll stick with Mancini? Even with FFP, selling Tevez and Balotelli and getting their wages off the books will give them a fair amount of money to play with in the transfer market. It will be interesting to see what they do with Nasri, too. He seems an awkward fit for the role they want him to play. It's just almost surreal for them to have lost the title with 6 games to go after the early rampaging. Every year I forget just how LONG these seasons are.


I guess it's hard to predict, but the owners seem fairly steady to me; it's not like they've been churning through managers like Milan or Inter. I suppose they (or anyone else in England outside of United and Arsenal) would jump if Mourinho was actually interested, but who else would they go after?

Nasri was so good in the Chelsea win a few weeks ago but has been relatively anonmymous for long stretches of the season. I expected a lot more out of him, that's for sure.

Also, I should apologize in advance to Arsenal and Napoli fans on behalf of all Manchester City fans for the inevitable ridiculous bids on Van Persie and Cavani that we'll surely see this summer. I don't expect either of them to end up there, but I gotta think the bids are coming.
   196. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 09, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4100885)
Michael Bradley scored his first for Chievo this weekend. Relatively easy trivia question -- the last American to score a goal in Serie A was...?
   197. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 09, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4100887)
Michael Bradley scored his first for Chievo this weekend. Relatively easy trivia question -- the last American to score a goal in Serie A was...?

Giuseppe Rossi!
   198. Juan V Posted: April 09, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4100889)
Lalas? I somehow feel I'm missing someone obvious.
   199. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 09, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4100892)
Also, I should apologize in advance to Arsenal and Napoli fans on behalf of all Manchester City fans for the inevitable ridiculous bids on Van Persie and Cavani that we'll surely see this summer. I don't expect either of them to end up there, but I gotta think the bids are coming.

I know this will sound crazy, but this may be the perfect time for Arsenal to sell Van Persie. His value will never be greater and he's just about to turn 30. I think they'd be a little nuts to do it, but at his age and with his health history, and with his contract having only a year left, it's now or never if they want to sell him for big money. They might need to invest in some extra security for the board members if they do it, though.
   200. jmurph Posted: April 09, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4100904)
I know this will sound crazy, but this may be the perfect time for Arsenal to sell Van Persie.


I actually agree with that. He's also been remarkably healthy this year, which seems to go against the trend of recent years.
Page 2 of 11 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >  Last ›

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
James Kannengieser
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogRed Sox trade rumors: 'Very good chance' John Lackey and Jon Lester are traded - Over the Monster
(40 - 5:31pm, Jul 30)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogPosnanski: Four theories about Hall of Fame voting changes
(22 - 5:30pm, Jul 30)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogEric Chavez Retires
(16 - 5:29pm, Jul 30)
Last: theboyqueen

NewsblogThe Untold and Insanely Weird Story of A-Rod’s Doping Habits (and why MLB quietly banned EPO, cycling’s drug of choice)
(10 - 5:27pm, Jul 30)
Last: Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige

NewsblogCubs Acquire Felix Doubront
(27 - 5:24pm, Jul 30)
Last: I am Ted F'ing Williams

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(3760 - 5:23pm, Jul 30)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogSOE: Minor League Manhood - A first-hand account of masculine sports culture run amok.
(109 - 5:22pm, Jul 30)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogCardinals To Acquire Justin Masterson
(11 - 5:16pm, Jul 30)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(519 - 5:02pm, Jul 30)
Last: Swedish Chef

NewsblogPosnanski: Hey, Rube: Phillies pay dearly for Amaro’s misguided loyalty
(6 - 4:59pm, Jul 30)
Last: Textbook Editor

NewsblogMASN TV Contract Pits Selig vs Nationals vs Orioles
(39 - 4:44pm, Jul 30)
Last: Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio

NewsblogESPN: Twins Sign "Out Of Nowhere" Prospect
(75 - 4:44pm, Jul 30)
Last: Jeltzandini

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(1019 - 4:43pm, Jul 30)
Last: MikeOberly

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-30-2014
(20 - 4:35pm, Jul 30)
Last: Perry

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-30-2014
(11 - 4:07pm, Jul 30)
Last: The Chronicles of Reddick

Page rendered in 0.7437 seconds
54 querie(s) executed