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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

OT: The Soccer Thread, April 2013

THE key April game:

April 6th Hamburglar v SC FREIBURG: Grudge match of the year featuring two clubs oblivious to the grudginess of the match. Be there!

Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:49 PM | 916 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:47 AM (#4403945)
April 6th Hamburglar v SC FREIBURG: Grudge match of the year featuring two clubs oblivious to the grudginess of the match. Be there!


No free BBQ?
   2. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:35 AM (#4403961)
Ah, you missed my joke about Hamburglar giving away hamburgers and the oddity of that behavior from said Hamburglar.
   3. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:40 AM (#4403963)
Oh, Joey Barton, don't ever change.

MLS is never going to win this CONCACAF thing, I guess.
   4. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:13 AM (#4403975)
So, can anyone who follows women's soccer tell me how the Boston Breakers NWSL team looks. I live all of 5 minutes from the stadium, and I'm going to the home opener. Seems like Heather Mitts retiring is really going to hurt them, and the goalkeeper is all of 18, but the offense should be good.
   5. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:23 AM (#4403976)
If PSG really make a bid for Rooney, United will take it, won't they?

I think they've gotten Rooney's best years already so if they could get 40 million and drop him from the wage bill, I think they'd do it.

I live all of 5 minutes from the stadium, and I'm going to the home opener.

I'm actually jealous. I wish they could have put a team in New York playing on Randall's Island. I would ahve gone to a few games. I can't say I know who many of their players are, but Sydney Leroux is a coming star for the USWNT.
   6. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:40 AM (#4403988)
MCOA will not escape us so easily: EPL Projected standings

Sorry about the formatting, but it looks all pretty and stuff if you click the link. I am surprised Spurs are still projected third with Everton, Chelsea and Man City coming up.

Club W D L Pts %Title ?Title %Top 4 ?Top 4 %Rel ?Rel
Manchester United 30 3 5 92 99.5% +.5 100% 0 0% 0
Manchester City 23 10 5 79 .5% -.5 100% 0 0% 0
Tottenham Hotspur 21 7 10 69 0% 0 70% +12 0% 0
Chelsea 20 9 9 69 0% 0 65% -16 0% 0
Arsenal 19 10 9 67 0% 0 51% +1 0% 0
Everton 16 14 8 62 0% 0 9% +1 0% 0
Liverpool 17 11 10 62 0% 0 5% +1 0% 0
West Bromwich Albion 15 7 16 52 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0
Fulham 13 10 15 49 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0
Swansea City 12 12 14 48 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0
West Ham United 13 7 18 45 0% 0 0% 0 .5% -2
Southampton 11 11 16 44 0% 0 0% 0 1% -3
Stoke City 9 15 14 43 0% 0 0% 0 2% +.5
Norwich City 9 15 14 43 0% 0 0% 0 2% 0
Newcastle United 11 8 19 42 0% 0 0% 0 4% +1
Sunderland 9 11 18 38 0% 0 0% 0 24% +6
Wigan Athletic 10 8 20 38 0% 0 0% 0 32% -17
Aston Villa 9 10 19 37 0% 0 0% 0 42% +9
Queens Park Rangers 6 13 19 31 0% 0 0% 0 93% +4
Reading 6 10 22 28 0% 0 0% 0 99% +1
   7. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:41 AM (#4403989)
I'm actually jealous.


Yeah, Leroux was one of the names I recognized. I kinda hope JJ Watt shows up to the game since they're dating, but I doubt it. I also know O'Reilly and Whitehill, though Whitehill is no longer a US international. The rest I couldn't pick out of a lineup.

I'll probably go to a couple games over the course of the season, I definitely want to see the Portland Thorns when they visit.
   8. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:55 AM (#4403994)
I am surprised Spurs are still projected third with Everton, Chelsea and Man City coming up.
Chelsea's run-in is even harder, for one thing. And it's very tight - less than a point separates Chelsea's and Spurs' projections. Arsenal is right in there too despite sitting several points back and projecting as a slightly worse club overall, because their remaining schedule is so much more favorable.
   9. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:04 AM (#4404000)
Chelsea's run-in is even harder, for one thing. And it's very tight - less than a point separates Chelsea's and Spurs' projections. Arsenal is right in there too despite sitting several points back and projecting as a slightly worse club overall, because their remaining schedule is so much more favorable.

On the opposite end, I'd say Reading is nailed on to go down. I think we'll learn QPR's fate Sunday when they play Wigan. Anything less than all three points and they are doomed, but if they win, I think they may still have a chance. I do love how their player of the month for February was Andros Townsend and for March it was Jermain Jenas. Harry can't say his old club didn't help him out.
   10. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:36 AM (#4404035)
   11. Mefisto Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4404051)
Boston looks to have a solid team. I don't see them likely to finish first, but they should be very competitive.
   12. Randy Jones Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:21 AM (#4404085)
I think they've gotten Rooney's best years already so if they could get 40 million and drop him from the wage bill, I think they'd do it.


I don't think selling Rooney at this point would be the worst idea. I think they'd want, and probably get, more than £40M though. Transfer fees have gotten just ridiculous and remember that PSG paid ~£35M for Lucas Moura right when United thought they had an agreement for him. SAF will remember that when PSG makes an offer for Rooney.
   13. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:26 AM (#4404090)
Transfer fees have gotten just ridiculous and remember that PSG paid ~£35M for Lucas Moura right when United thought they had an agreement for him. SAF will remember that when PSG makes an offer for Rooney.

I hear you, but Rooney is also on 250K a week or something close to that. Also, PSG will have to pay a MASSIVE amount of tax on his salary if Hollande gets his 75% tax passed into law. I think if you just take the 40 million plus Rooney's wages plus the tax on Rooney's wages, we're talking easily north of a 100 million pound investment. That is crazytown, even for Rooney (whom I still rate highly, btw, though all of his dings and scratches are getting worrisome.)
   14. Randy Jones Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:27 AM (#4404092)
Sure, PSG might not be willing to pay more, but SAF definitely holds grudges. I think he would want more from PSG than from basically anyone else.
   15. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:32 AM (#4404098)
Philadelphia Union finally have a designated player that someone has heard of, in José Kléberson. (the rare Brazilian player whose stage name is actually his surname, so we might as well use his first name as well)

You may hear that name and think he was one of Pele's teammates, but he was on Manchester United from 2003-05, Besiktas from 2005-07, and Flamengo since then. He's here for a full year on loan, as part of the deal that sent Freddy Adu to Bahia.

Also, I read Shooty's name as "Shooty is Rooting For Oman". They did have an encouraging draw against Australia in their last WC qualifier.
   16. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:34 AM (#4404103)
Sure, PSG might not be willing to pay more, but SAF definitely holds grudges. I think he would want more from PSG than from basically anyone else.

It's fun to speculate which grudge he nurses more--Rooney threatening to sign for the noisy neighbors or PSG snaking Moura. Filming the grudges Fergie nurses in his mind would be like a cross of Evil Dead and Inception. But you're right, if he wants to stick it to PSG I think Rooney goes nowhere as I don't see Bayern or Real wanting Rooney and who else could afford him that they would sell to?

(Speaking of grudges, I wonder if Fergie is still pissed about that loss to Blackburn at home last year when he benched Rooney for being out late on the town past curfew. If they had just drawn that game...)
   17. ursus arctos Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4404104)
This own goal is just the slightest bit dodgy.

Two direct shots on their own goal by the Singaporean defense, split by a hand ball.

Lee Kwan Yew would be proud of their diligence.
   18. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4404112)
Two direct shots on their own goal by the Singaporean defense, split by a hand ball.

I don't even need to click the link. You had me at "Singaporean"...

(but, yeah, getting that in the net took some real gymnastics!)
   19. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4404114)
Also, PSG will have to pay a MASSIVE amount of tax on his salary if Hollande gets his 75% tax passed into law.

It's apparently no longer an "if". I know PSG has seen a significant revenue boost, but they're still almost certain to be the first big test for FFP, right?
   20. zack Posted: April 04, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4404133)
In those projected standings, I'm sure they sorted by fractional points of something else not shown in the table, but if Chelsea and Spurs both finish with 69 points, Chelsea would almost certainly be in the 3rd spot on goal difference. The closer it gets to the end of the season the more tiebreaks come into play, so they should be taken into account.
   21. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4404135)
In those projected standings, I'm sure they sorted by fractional points of something else not shown in the table, but if Chelsea and Spurs both finish with 69 points, Chelsea would almost certainly be in the 3rd spot on goal difference. The closer it gets to the end of the season the more tiebreaks come into play, so they should be taken into account.

Right, the difference is just rounding. I think Spurs are a little above 69 and Chelsea just a touch below it.
   22. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4404168)
Maybe United can get Lavezzi and £30M for Rooney? I liked what I've seen from Moura but PSG wouldn't part with him.

Damn - FSC has Chelsea today and I don't get Fox Soccer Plus. I find Chelsea boring to watch and would rather watch Spurs.
   23. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4404221)
The closer it gets to the end of the season the more tiebreaks come into play, so they should be taken into account.
The tie-breaks are taken into account for the Top 4% and relegation / title chances. The simulation projects goals scored for and against for each game, so I have in the end projected goal difference for each iteration of a season. There is a roughly 5% chance that Spurs will finish in a tie for fourth and miss out on Champions League play because of goal difference. I haven't run the numbers to see the chances of that for anyone else.
   24. Textbook Editor Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4404223)
Also, I read Shooty's name as "Shooty is Rooting For Oman". They did have an encouraging draw against Australia in their last WC qualifier.


TE, Jr. is the proud owner of a kid's size Oman kit, #14 Hassan Rabeeh, courtesy of a friend who was stationed in Iraq... which could possibly be this guy but the spelling is off... Eh, it's from 3 years ago, so maybe he's no longer on the team.
   25. Textbook Editor Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4404226)
There is a roughly 5% chance that Spurs will finish in a tie for fourth and miss out on Champions League play because of goal difference.


...which means this is bound to happen, right?
   26. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4404237)
...which means this is bound to happen, right?

Of course!

I think we'll know Tottenham's fate over the next 3 weekends. If we're still top 4 after the City game, I think we're golden as we have a pretty easy (on paper!) run in and Arsenal have Man U and finish with Newcastle on the road. If we're not top 4, well, we're going to need a lot of help and I won't be optimistic.
   27. Ron J2 Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4404242)
#25 It's only (precisely) million to one chances that come off 9 times in 10. (pops up several times in Terry Pratchett's books)
   28. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4404260)
I think we'll know Tottenham's fate over the next 3 weekends.
The second of those weekends is empty. The re-scheduling of the Chelsea game is already a mess, but they'll probably try to fit it in to week 36.
   29. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4404268)
The second of those weekends is empty. The re-scheduling of the Chelsea game is already a mess, but they'll probably try to fit it in to week 36.

Aw, damn. I was looking forward to that one. That's going to create some kind of fixture glut if both clubs get to the Europa semis.
   30. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4404307)
Yesterday's Dortmund game was damn frustrating to watch, plenty of good chance missed. Lewandowski tripping on a blade of grass on his way to missing an open net was quite embarrassing.

I usually don't question Klopp's lineup choices, but I would've started Sahin instead of Kehl. Gundogan-Sahin played very together against Freiburg, and while Malaga is no Freiburg (sorry Shooty), Kehl looked really slow out there, showing his age.

They still had a pretty decent game, though, and Malaga will be without Welington & Iturra next Tuesday. Plus, Kuba should be back for Dortmund.

Hey, maybe Gooch will start...
   31. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4404331)
and while Malaga is no Freiburg (sorry Shooty)

Hey now, Freiburg are only 3 points back of a Champions League spot, if you can believe it. Not that I think they will/should make it. It would be very cool if they could sneak into Europa. Also, there in the German Cup semifinals which, coincidentally, will also be a derby against Stuttgart. Is there a name for that rivalry? It seems like there should be some killer German phrase for that particular rivalry.

Also, I think Dortmund are too good for Malaga, but your boys have left them a puncher's chance and Isco is capable of real brilliance. Holy crap is he a good player.
   32. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4404352)
So my girlfriend and I may be in New York on the Saturday of the Champions League final. I imagine there could be a bar meetup that day?
   33. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4404358)
Here we go!

Tottenham: Friedel, Gallas, Naughton, Vertonghen, Assou Ekkoto, Parker, Dembele, Holtby, Lennon, Bale, Adebayor
FC Basel: Sommer, Steinhöfer, Schär, Dragovic, Voser, Elneny, Cabral, Serey Die, Salah, Stocker, Streller

Chelsea starting lineup (4-2-3-1):
Petr Cech | Ryan Bertrand, John Terry, David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta | Frank Lampard, Ramires | Victor Moses, Juan Mata, Yossi Benayoun | Fernando Torres Substitutes from: Ross Turnbull, Branislav Ivanovic, Paulo Ferreira, John Obi Mikel, Oscar, Eden Hazard, Marko Marin

Rubin Kazan starting lineup (4-2-3-1):
Sergei Ryzhikov | Cristian Ansaldi, Roman Sharonov, Cesar Navas, Vitali Kaleshin | Pablo Orbaiz, Bibras Natkho | Oleg Kuzmin, Roman Eremenko, Gokdeniz Karadeniz | Vladimir Dyadyun

Benfica: Artur | Melgarejo, Garay, Luisão, André Almeida | André Gomes, Mati?, Ola John | Gaitán, Cardozo, Rodrigo Moreno
Subs: TBD

NUFC: Krul | Simpson, Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon | Perch, Cabaye (c) | Marveaux, Sissoko, Jonas | Cisse
Subs: Elliot, Williamson, Gosling, Anita, Obertan, Shola, Campbell
   34. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4404359)
So my girlfriend and I may be in New York on the Saturday of the Champions League final. I imagine there could be a bar meetup that day?

It can be arranged, definitely.
   35. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4404380)
So, can anyone who follows women's soccer tell me how the Boston Breakers NWSL team looks. I live all of 5 minutes from the stadium, and I'm going to the home opener. Seems like Heather Mitts retiring is really going to hurt them, and the goalkeeper is all of 18, but the offense should be good.

It's a little old, but AWK's previews tend to be great. There are some super intriguing players; Kyah Simon, in particular, is a personal favourite (I also love Rhiane Wilkinson). I'm probably going to see a couple of Red Stars games (they're really far from Chicago proper, annoyingly), but were I in your position, I'd definitely go.
   36. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4404382)
Also, I think Dortmund are too good for Malaga, but your boys have left them a puncher's chance and Isco is capable of real brilliance. Holy crap is he a good player.


I think Dortmund held Isco pretty well in check, he got off that one great shot (and probably Malaga's best chance of the game) but IMO was otherwise kind of quiet. He does have some skill though, he played really well against Porto.

And honestly I haven't seen much of Freiburg this season outside of Dortmund's 5-1 win a few weeks ago. Freiburg actually controlled much of that first half until Dortmund went on a ridiculous five minute run to end the half.
   37. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4404413)
Benny is going full fro today. Basel is doomed.
   38. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4404515)
It's not the announcers fault, but I had to turn the sound off the Tottenham game. Yikes!
   39. ursus arctos Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4404517)
You may want to check that.
   40. Mattbert Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4404529)
Two away goals for Basel already? Well, at least Spurs can concentrate fully on the league now. Ugh.
   41. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4404533)
Game on, I guess. No reason Spurs can't still get a result here. A little ironic that the worst player on the pitch* gets the goal.

*Tied with Benny so far. I cursed him with my fro-ology.
   42. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4404536)
Oh Scottie Parker. That is not a goal you can miss. It just is not you well-coiffed bastard. Still, I can't quit you.
   43. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4404541)
OK. I still can't believe he missed that. Holy Toledo!

This is a fun game!
   44. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:53 PM (#4404549)
Looks like all the English teams are in barn burners

1-2 Spurs-Basel
2-1 Chelsea-Kazan
1-1 Benfica-Toon
   45. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4404649)
Not the greatest result but, while it won't be easy, Spurs are good enough to win away. Basel were really good, though. After the equalizer they just took control of the game. Fair play to them.

I really hope Bale isn't hurt. That looked really ####### bad. Now it is the worst possible result.
   46. The Voice of America Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4404651)
I think today the problem for spurs has been Friedel. Their lines are too separated so they can't pressure from the front.

I disgree that Adebayor has been bad, at least up to his goal. He was linking very well with Holtby.
   47. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:59 PM (#4404662)
He was linking very well with Holtby.

I didn't think so. I thought his passing was slow and he kept putting Holtby in places where he couldn't be creative. He's working hard but he just isn't sharp like he was last year. Anyway, it's all moot. I'm only worried about Bale's health now. Ugh.
   48. The Voice of America Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4404677)
I don't know why I'm not worried. I think it will be a minor issue.
   49. The Voice of America Posted: April 04, 2013 at 05:33 PM (#4404711)
Edit: I think it is because I have twisted my ankle like that and it just gets a bit sore for a few days. He must have a lot more flexibility than I do. As long as there is no impact from somebody else's leg the ankle should not suffer so much.
   50. ursus arctos Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4404781)
AVB hasn't lost hope.

Graphic image of the roll in that link, be prepared.
   51. Textbook Editor Posted: April 04, 2013 at 07:28 PM (#4404837)
PANIC!
   52. J. Sosa Posted: April 04, 2013 at 08:25 PM (#4404867)
Barcelona complaining about the ref not stopping the match for players on the deck is pretty rich considering they employ Sergio "I've been shot in the face" Busquets.

I really do not like that club. At least a club like Juve has a certain Vaderesque charm. Barcelona is just a collection of smug twits.
   53. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 05, 2013 at 08:11 AM (#4405029)
PANIC!

Now is time, yes. AAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

What I suspect may be the lineup Sunday (if Lennon isn't fit):

Lloris
Walker Dawson Verts Naughton (note that BAE was pulled for Dawson. I think BAE may be in the doghouse for good ahead of a summer exit so enjoy him while you can.)
***Parker Dembele***
Holtby Dempsey Sigurdsson
******Adebayor

The bench is where it gets tricky: BAE, Caulker, Friedel, Livermore, Huddlestone and they'll have to bring up either Coulthirst or Ceballos. Tom Carroll is injured, too, which is why I don't have him here. I think the lineup is good enough to beat Everton, but it will be as slow and narrow a Spurs team as we've seen in recent years. Any width will have to come from the fullbacks but Naughton struggles to get his crosses in when he has to play on the left. I like Naughton, by the way. I think he's done a better than fair job at LB this year despite the handicap of being right-footed.
   54. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 05, 2013 at 08:14 AM (#4405030)
I really do not like that club. At least a club like Juve has a certain Vaderesque charm. Barcelona is just a collection of smug twits.

I actually don't mind many of the players on Juventus--who could dislike Buffon and Pirlo?--I just loathe the institution.
   55. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 08:21 AM (#4405034)
Thanks for the link, Arjun! That site is really useful. And yeah, tickets are reasonably priced (well, not the pitchside seats, which are $90!) and I really want the league to succeed, so I'm going to try to get to as many games as possible.
   56. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 05, 2013 at 08:58 AM (#4405056)
THPANICTF:

Carroll was injured for the Basel match, but he was hopeful he'd be available for Everton. I think a three-man central midfield with Carroll is the way to go. Holtby-Dempsey-Siggy all want to play too much in the same space on the pitch, and they're not dynamic enough to make that exciting instead of frustrating.

Also, Everton played a very narrow 3-4-1-2 against Stoke, and Naughton was terrible against Basel, so I'd guess that AVB is going to play Vertonghen at fullback again, with Caulker and Dawson in central defense.
   57. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:08 AM (#4405060)
I really do not like that club. At least a club like Juve has a certain Vaderesque charm. Barcelona is just a collection of smug twits.


What gets me about that is that I don't think Messi fits in. At least when I see him play he doesn't go in for the flopping and the theatrics that his teammates do. You'd think they'd take some leadership from their best player but...
   58. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:12 AM (#4405068)
Agreed with Jose. Barca are better described as a bunch of smug twits plus one spectacular transhuman.
   59. jmurph Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:43 AM (#4405082)
No discussion of Barecelona's terribleness should go without mention of Cesc Fabregas, who is absolutely football's greatest monster.
   60. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:22 AM (#4405109)
I also can't stand Barca. However, Xavi and Puyol seem perfectly fine to me. I think Iniesta had a little of a bad reputation but again he seems perfectly ok too. Messi is awesome and I will never question his honestly, especially with the amount of times he gets kicked, bumped or impeded.
   61. The Voice of America Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4405114)
That's only the 4 most representative players of that team.
   62. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4405117)
Who is the worst on Barca? Busquets usually wins the crown, but Pedro, Alves, Sanchez, Fabregas and Pique have got to be right there. On the other hand, they have Xavi, Messi, Puyol, Alba and Villa who seem pretty great. They also have Valdes who is turning down a lot of money and trophies because, I guess, he's bored and wants a new challenge. Gotta respect that. (If that's the actual reason he's leaving. I always leave a little room for cynicism when it comes to soccer.)
   63. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4405167)
Also, there in the German Cup semifinals which, coincidentally, will also be a derby against Stuttgart. Is there a name for that rivalry? It seems like there should be some killer German phrase for that particular rivalry.

Usually it~s just called "Das Südderby", I've seen Baden-Württemberg-Derby on occasion though.
   64. J. Sosa Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4405192)
There are a lot of things I don't like about Barcelona. I didn't always dislike them. I think the onset was caused by the vortex of every media outlet deciding there was only one pure way to play the sport and the never ending montage of blaugrana kabuki theatre. Throw in the odd skosh of complaining about the pitch quality of road fixtures and its a powerful brew of sports distaste.

I accept the Shooty Barcelona challenge.

1. Busquets. He has his own category in my head. No one else comes close to the combination of punchable face, play acting, and instigation he offers.

2. Alves. He's also a master of the sniper to the face technique.

3. Fabregas. He's a diver. Punchable face. Gives a lot of quotes about the vast superiority of the Spanish game. Complained about the lack of a supporting cast at Arsenal yet was complicit in making stupid costly plays against Barcelona with the Gunners.

4. Pique. He should be a tower of strength. Instead he moans and flops like the rest of them. Goofy haircut.

5. Sanchez. Blatant diver.

6. Xavi. I don't count him amongst the good guys. A diver. Punchable face. Smug. The only reason his dives don't stand out more is that he releases the ball so quickly the defense is rarely able to get to him.

7. Alba. I've seen him dive a few times. I think the club's been a bad influence.

8. Villa. Smug, but I tend to cut him some slack because I think he kind of got a raw deal with the club.

9. Mascherano. Some of it is play on the field but mainly because he handled the exit from Liverpool badly.

I have no strong feelings about Iniesta. Maybe slight dislike. Messi is like the cool kid at school that is good to everyone but hangs out with the biggest jerks on campus. Kind of a naive ra ra kool aide drinker type. Puyol is the only player on the team I like and respect at the moment. He links back to an older Barcelona.

I think I made that list once before, but it can never be said too often how annoying the club is. I dislike them so much they made me root for Chelsea in consecutive rounds of the Champions League.

As for Valdes, there is something going on there. They must have someone in mind to bring in. "Keeper for Barcelona" has to be one of the sweeter sporting gigs on the planet. I can't imagine he'd give that up unless he was being forced out.
   65. DA Baracus Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4405195)
Don't forget those hideous orange to yellow uniforms. For maximum loathing the Barca Douche IX must wear those jerseys.
   66. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4405196)
Backpfeifengesicht is a word you need in your vocabulary for assignments like that, J!
   67. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4405198)
Don't forget those hideous orange to yellow uniforms. For maximum loathing the Barca Douche IX must wear those jerseys.


And green Red Sox caps.
   68. DA Baracus Posted: April 05, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4405202)
And green Red Sox caps.


Or the pink ones.
   69. The Voice of America Posted: April 05, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4405251)
They get more press for their diving because they are better than anybody else. But almost every footballer looks for any edge it can get. Busquets may be a diver, and the Motta incident is hard to forget. But leaving that aside, you should admire how awesome he is. There are not many, if any footballers like him.
FTR I don't support Barcelona, but I believe every football fan should try to forget about those little details and just appreciate how awesome those athletes are at what they do.
   70. zack Posted: April 05, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4405300)
Messi is like the cool kid at school that is good to everyone but hangs out with the biggest jerks on campus. Kind of a naive ra ra kool aide drinker type.

Oh no! Quick, somebody warn Messi to never jump off tree limbs with Busquets!
   71. DA Baracus Posted: April 05, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4405355)
FTR I don't support Barcelona, but I believe every football fan should try to forget about those little details and just appreciate how awesome those athletes are at what they do.


That is why the diving is so infuriating. They don't need it. With that collection of talent and cohesiveness, just ####### play.
   72. Textbook Editor Posted: April 05, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4405381)
Looks like 2 weeks for Bale

Mild PANIC! I guess. With Lennon out 2 weeks as well, the next two games will be grind-it-out affairs.

Q: If AVB really feels the Europa League trophy is important, why aren't they starting Lloris at this point (aside from the issue he may still be hurt a bit, etc.)?
   73. jmurph Posted: April 05, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4405522)
My Cesc-hatred has nothing to do with the diving, it's this: whenever there is a hard challenge on a Barcelona player, and there is the ensuing 30 seconds of everyone standing around and lobbying the ref for his side while said Barca player writhes on the ground, 100% of the time Cesc has his arm around the offender with a smug condescending look on his face explaining oh so earnestly to the offender why he is the worst person in the world for impugning the integrity of said Barca writher.

He's just the worst.
   74. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 05, 2013 at 03:55 PM (#4405523)
The Club can confirm that Gareth Bale (sprained ankle ligaments), William Gallas (calf strain) and Aaron Lennon (soft tissue contusion below the knee) all underwent scans today (Friday) after being forced off with injuries during our Europa League Quarter Final First Leg draw with Basel last night.

The results of these scans have indicated that all three players are expected to return to training within two weeks.

Bale, Gallas and Lennon have all commenced their treatment today and are responding positively.



That's Tottenham's official statement about all the injuries from yesterday. I get this picture of the three of them wrapped in white towels in a sauna going, "Ahhh, that feels nice."

NO THAT'S TOTALLY NOT HOMOEROTIC JERKS!
   75. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 05, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4405533)
Usually it~s just called "Das Südderby", I've seen Baden-Württemberg-Derby on occasion though.

Thanks. Das Südderby sounds much better. We need a word for our completely made up Hamburg-Freiburg derby. The Van der Vaartischen? The trophy can be a nice modernist table!
   76. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4405724)
I realize I'm a La Liga neophyte, but I've always viewed Barca as the lesser of two evils compared with Real Madrid. Especially having seen some of Pepe's dives. But I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong. I might also put too much emphasis on having watched so many highlight reels of Messi being hacked at and still carving through defenses.
   77. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 05, 2013 at 07:20 PM (#4405757)
That's only the 4 most representative players of that team.

The rest of the team is so loathsome it overcomes it all.

I understand the greatness of Barca and their players but I find them boring to watch and annoying with their antics. I like Madrid (although they're not my La Liga team) - Ronaldo is the main reason I like Man U. They're bullies but offensively they're super fun to watch.
   78. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 05, 2013 at 07:42 PM (#4405771)
Especially having seen some of Pepe's dives. But I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.

Pepe's dives aren't even as objectionable as his cheap shots and fouls.
   79. The Voice of America Posted: April 05, 2013 at 08:45 PM (#4405829)
The rest of the team is so loathsome it overcomes it all.


If you want to see loathsome that would be Madrid as an institution. At least compared to Barcelona. Remember last year when Madrid did not allow the Copa del Rey final to be at the Bernabeu? On the contrary this year Rosell said it would be an honor to host the final between the two Madrid teams.
   80. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 05, 2013 at 09:27 PM (#4405885)
I understand they're a bunch of bullies but I'm concerned about what happens on the field. Mourinho is a world class a-hole (and manager) and they tap up players because they think they're entitled to them. Again they're not my "team" I just enjoy watching this current incarnation (Pepe, Ramos and Marcelo can be twats).
   81. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 05, 2013 at 10:09 PM (#4405938)
Again they're not my "team" I just enjoy watching this current incarnation (Pepe, Ramos and Marcelo can be twats).


Well, yes.

And, of course, Ronaldo's one of the biggest cvnts on the planet ...
   82. Swedish Chef Posted: April 06, 2013 at 05:14 AM (#4406043)
And, of course, Ronaldo's one of the biggest cvnts on the planet ...

Compared to his detractors he is very likable.
   83. DA Baracus Posted: April 06, 2013 at 09:04 AM (#4406060)
Ref Kevin Stroud has decided Barnsley's kit is too similar to Palace's, so Barnsley will wear CPFC away kit. Absolutely brilliant.


Twitter
   84. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 06, 2013 at 09:13 AM (#4406063)
Why didn't they just make Palace wear their away kit?

Reading are doomed. I thought that was a stone cold penalty in the first half that wasn't given, but that looks like it will be their only real chance today.
   85. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 06, 2013 at 09:19 AM (#4406064)
Well, *that* was only 97.5% over the line, so ... yeah ... Reading are doomed.
   86. Textbook Editor Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4406071)
Why doesn't everyone bring 2 kits to the ground? Heck TE Jr. has to do that fit his U8 team, why not Barnsley?
   87. frannyzoo Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4406075)
As one who has been intensely watching Norwich this campaign, I can report that they are really, really bad these days. They've been quite lucky (especially the Everton win) and have pretty much zero chance of ever scoring a goal unless the opposition falls completely asleep (which is possible, as they are always terribly boring these days). It's painful to watch them. Painful.

Today Swansea's back line can attack any attempt at a Norwich counter as high as they like, knowing the Canaries are without any shot-creating ability whatsoever.

And yes, I'm hoping I've been proven wrong and that Norwich has scored while I type this.

Edit: Nope. More predictably, Swansea scored while I typed.
   88. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4406076)
Sociedad up on Malaga in a huge game. I'm guessing if Malaga don't squeeze back into the CL, Isco will definitely be sold (though probably he will be anyway.)

edit: Sociedad up 3-0 now.
   89. frannyzoo Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4406077)
Shooty: Horrible spot for Malaga going on the road to RSO in-between CL fixtures. Sociedad is definitely taking advantage (and has really impressed all year).
   90. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:39 AM (#4406078)
Today Swansea's back line can attack any attempt at a Norwich counter as high as they like, knowing the Canaries are without any shot-creating ability whatsoever.

If they survive, and I think they will, they already have van Wolfswinkle signed. I think Chris Hughton should make use of his close ties to Tottenham and try to get one of their young playmaking midfielders on loan next year. Pritchard, Mason or Ceballos could really help them.
   91. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4406079)
Shooty: Horrible spot for Malaga going on the road to RSO in-between CL fixtures. Sociedad is definitely taking advantage (and has really impressed all year).

Yeah. Malaga just doesn't have any depth anymore since they started bleeding players in the summer. Imagine if they had kept the team intact?
   92. frannyzoo Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:42 AM (#4406080)
I'm putting Snodgrass' goal in the "defense falling asleep" category, but hey, Norwich scored! I'll take it! I'll also take a draw right this second, no questions asked.
   93. DA Baracus Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4406082)
Why didn't they just make Palace wear their away kit?


Look at you, using logic.
   94. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4406083)
Why doesn't everyone bring 2 kits to the ground?

Football players are too easily confused.
   95. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:44 AM (#4406084)
I'm putting Snodgrass' goal in the "defense falling asleep" category, but hey, Norwich scored! I'll take it! I'll also take a draw right this second, no questions asked.

I like Norwich and, of course, I'm a big Chris Hughton fan, so I want them to win. That would guarantee they stay up. 38 points should do it.
   96. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4406085)
Stoke seem determined to get into this relegation fun.
   97. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 06, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4406086)
Please, Steve Clarke, I'm begging you, put Lukaku on the pitch!
   98. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 06, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4406091)
Wow, pinch him, Rootzitski must be dreaming ...
   99. frannyzoo Posted: April 06, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4406092)
The last forty minutes of Norwich/Swansea is setting up as perhaps the longest 40 minutes in human history. In other news, while Barca is listed as 1.05 to win/draw v. lowly Mallorca, Juve is 1.02 v. even more lowly Pescara. The Dolphins are as relegated toasty as toasty can get.

Edit: It's working! Saying horrible things about Norwich is working! Did I mention that they suck?
   100. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 06, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4406095)
Norwich!
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