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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 Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 03, 2013 at 12:49 PM | 916 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off-topic

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   501. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 21, 2013 at 01:10 PM (#4421122)
Warren Barton agrees with me, so now I'm unsure of my opinion.
I'd say this is a situation where absolutely no one is wrong, because every person in the universe agrees.

Piers Morgan made a funny joke, fergodsake.
   502. JuanGone..except1game Posted: April 21, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4421128)
That whole second half was gross. Diving, bad tackles, haranguing the ref...blech.


It was ugly, but that ref deserved all of his abuse. When was the last match where you got nearly 7 minutes of stoppage? I'm so furious right now. I don't think I've been this pissed at a match since Chelsea/Barca 2009.
   503. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 21, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4421130)
It was ugly, but that ref deserved all of his abuse. When was the last match where you got nearly 7 minutes of stoppage? I'm so furious right now. I don't think I've been this pissed at a match since Chelsea/Barca 2009.

I really don't blame you. I would be running wind sprints now to try to work out my fury if I were you.
   504. J. Sosa Posted: April 21, 2013 at 01:24 PM (#4421135)
Twenty years from now, when someone wants to know what Suarez was as a player, they can watch a copy of this match. All of it was on display today. The good, the bad, the insanity.

Liverpool got him on a cut rate in part because of the first bite. The same may well happen to LFC. If I had to say what was more likely I think he's done in England. He was already a target and its going to be worse now, not to mention however long he'll be out. I'm thinking he's going to be out 10 matches, at a minimum.

The true puzzle about Suarez is the person he is on the pitch versus off of it. Its always dangerous to read anything into someone's personality from press reports, but from everything I've ever read about Suarez he's a wonderful father, husband, and friend off the pitch. Maybe its all a lie and he's a wife abusing monster or something. But from the indications available he's a wonderful guy off the pitch. But on the pitch he loses his mind. There is no other way to describe it. Red mist doesn't even come close. I've said all year he's the dirtiest player in the PL. He's also the best, by a fairly significant margin. He can not be replaced for LFC. Even today, after giving away a goal with a stupid play and biting an opponent, he made a pass very few players in the world could make and scored the equalizer. On top of that he presses better than any other elite striker in the world and draws PKs on a regular basis. He can not be replaced. I just don't know. I don't envy what passes for LFC's brain trust.

Suarez aside, Rodgers got his tactics wrong. Again. Massive gap in the midfield. Again. Ridiculous defending on corners. Again. LFC is such a frustrating club. Suarez had claimed this week he was staying at the club next season. I had begun to have hopes as he won't be cup tied and would probably give the club until the winter transfer window to get their act together. But I don't think that's going to happen now. I think he's probably off. Maybe Juve. There have been rumblings on that front for a long time. Or Bayern. But I'd say Juve is more likely.

He can not be replaced. *

As for Warren Barton and company,they can go screw themselves. Suarez is a sociopath but he's nowhere near the level of evil a player like Muscat or someone like that was. Suarez is dirty and crazy, but he doesn't ruin careers, that's on another level for me. You can pick whatever circle of soccer Dante's hell you want to assign, but I don't think Suarez is on the lowest level. Yet. Give him time...
   505. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 21, 2013 at 01:25 PM (#4421139)
Watching goals on sunday now. Bale's assist to Dempsey and Hudd's assist to Bale were just perfect passes. Ahhhhhhh.....
   506. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 21, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4421141)
Suarez to Juventus makes all the sense in the world for a lot of reasons!
   507. J. Sosa Posted: April 21, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4421146)
Also:

Screw Chelsea and their diving yellow card drawing cheatery Juan. =)

I agree. The ref lost control of that match early and often. Missed a bunch of calls and did not control the game.
   508. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 21, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4421154)
When was the last match where you got nearly 7 minutes of stoppage?

Any match at Old Trafford where United isn't winning after 90.
   509. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 21, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4421167)
Suarez to Juventus makes all the sense in the world for a lot of reasons!
I was thinking Zenit...
   510. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 21, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4421206)
Looking like I'm wrong and Shooty's right:
Rodgers has just told us "no player is irreplaceable no matter how good they think they are."
   511. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 21, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4421230)
How much money does FSG make available to Liverpool this summer? Carragher is retiring, I think Reina is gone. Rodgers doesn't seem to like Skrtel. Allen, Borini and Shelvey don't seem good enough. Sterling probably should go out on loan. Then you have Andy Carroll and what to do with Suarez.
   512. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 21, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4421266)
RAWK is as hilarious as you'd expect right now. Can't blame them for some of the insanity, though, as a genius like Suarez will engender a lot of loyalty.

This ended up being a more eventful day of soccer than I was expecting.
   513. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 21, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4421334)
It was ugly, but that ref deserved all of his abuse. When was the last match where you got nearly 7 minutes of stoppage? I'm so furious right now. I don't think I've been this pissed at a match since Chelsea/Barca 2009.

There was some match this year with about 12 minutes of extra time, but I'll be damned if I can remember which one it was.
   514. jmurph Posted: April 21, 2013 at 04:05 PM (#4421378)
When was the last match where you got nearly 7 minutes of stoppage?

Any match at Old Trafford where United isn't winning after 90.


Yep. Last one I remember was when Michael Owen scored the winning goal against City in the 7th minute of 5 minutes of stoppage time to make it 4-3. Bastards.
   515. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 21, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4421518)
When Defoe bit Mascherano

One of the effects of PL teams always screwing with their shirts is that things that happened only a few years ago seem like from another era.

As time goes on, I think the fallout from Suarez' appetite to win won't be as grave as I originally thought. I'm guessing 8 games and a hefty fine from the club. Similar to what Barton got at the end of last year. The question now is if Suarez wants to stick around and if the club are weary enough of his antics that they won't fight to keep him if Juve, etc. come calling. I've seen the footage a million times now but I can't tell what set Suarez off. It was pretty standard defending from Ivanovic. I know Ivanovic and Suarez were chatting going into the tunnel at half time but I didn't see anything during the game that made me think this was coming the way I could tell Aguero was going to go after Luiz in the Cup semis.
   516. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 21, 2013 at 06:55 PM (#4421542)
I was thinking Zenit


This would be great! Suarez would be on the receiving end of the racism there!

Portland Thorns drew 16,500 today vs. Seattle. Fun match, really glad they had it on free livestream.
   517. puck Posted: April 21, 2013 at 08:01 PM (#4421582)
Twenty years from now, when someone wants to know what Suarez was as a player, they can watch a copy of this match. All of it was on display today. The good, the bad, the insanity.

That's what I thought after his game winner. What a game, he stuffed his oeuvre into 97 minutes.
   518. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: April 21, 2013 at 09:24 PM (#4421699)
Portland Thorns drew 16,500 today vs. Seattle. Fun match, really glad they had it on free livestream.

I unfortunately wasn't able to watch it myself (I'm going to watch the livestream anyway, I think), but this sounds like very good news!

My friends/people I know on Facebook have been spamming me with Luis Suarez for the whole day. :p
   519. Spivey Posted: April 21, 2013 at 10:23 PM (#4421783)
I don't think there's any way Liverpool can get rid of Suarez. He's the only reason their team isn't in like 13th place. He's in the discussion for one of the 10 or 20 best players in the world, even with the crazy. Merely getting back what they paid Ajax is cents on the dollar.
   520. Mattbert Posted: April 21, 2013 at 11:32 PM (#4421839)
The Europeans always write that they are "married with..." rather than "married to..." I think it's a nice differentiation because "with" is more suggestive of a partnership than "to" which is a bit more paternal.

As long as that ellipsis isn't followed by 'children', then I don't really mind either convention.
   521. Mattbert Posted: April 21, 2013 at 11:46 PM (#4421848)
That sound you hear, Shooty, that is the sound of the mighty Hamburg coming for you. They're getting hot at just the right time.
   522. J. Sosa Posted: April 21, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4421850)
I think it will be 10 games. IIRC Suarez got 7 in the Dutch league and now he is a repeat offender. Plus Evra. As for what set him off, he's always on the verge of an incident but I think it was a combination of things. It is hard to gauge but to my Red eyes Suarez is a top five player in the world playing for a club going nowhere. He has had very little help most of the season. I said before the season if he got hurt it would be mid table for LFC. He has carried the club on his back. He was also very upset at himself for the handball. He got beat on the play which led to the handball. I've also seen interviews with PL players that name Ivanovic as the hardest, most feared defender in the league. Suarez is always on the edge of madness on the pitch I think all the strain and frustration boiled over in that moment and he snapped on a guy that makes life difficult for attackers.

As for LFC's plans this offseason from what I can tell it is going to be around 25 million net spend with the new money. There have been many well sourced links to all kinds of players. Skrtel and Carroll are gone, Borini too. Allen I think stays. He played well until the shoulder injury. I dont think Johnson is leaving but I want him out. I can't stand to watch him defend set pieces any longer.
   523. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:47 AM (#4421903)
That sound you hear, Shooty, that is the sound of the mighty Hamburg coming for you. They're getting hot at just the right time.

Sounds like indigestion.
   524. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 22, 2013 at 08:48 AM (#4421955)
They're getting hot at just the right time.

Would you say they are hot as a griddle, a griddle on which you might cook round meat patties to a temperature prescribed by local health ordinances, patties which then might be put between to round bread patties and left to cool on a table, a table perhaps specifically designed for the eating of meals, but a table designed for specifically eating meals left unguarded so that, possibly, a short, paunchy possibly kleptomaniac with a food disorder could, in passing, abscond with said patties housed within round bread patties in a way in which there would be little chance of apprehension and, as the absconder would be unapprehended and so his or her legal identity would remain unknown we may, in theory, designate an alias for the police file to be filled out detailing the theft for jurisdictional records and, as a descriptive device, the said nickname could possibly be Hamburglar?

Just askin'!
   525. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:05 AM (#4421967)
ESPN with an actual level headed article on The Imp

Oh, to be Ian Ayre right now...I think he's going to stay unless Liverpool get blown away by an offer. It'll be interesting to see what the suspension is. Most people think it will be around the same as he got in Holland since it would be easy for the FA to follow precedent. I still think Liverpool are going to be pretty good next year though they'll have a lot of work to do this summer. They'll need a couple of new CB's, an outside player and a good attacking mid, no? FSG hasn't been shy about spending cash so I think they'll be able to do it. It's just a question now of how well Rodgers fills those holes. Rescuing Scott Sinclair from Man City's bench could be a good start.
   526. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:15 AM (#4421976)
Added BeIN Sport to my cable package over the weekend. This is not going to be good for my productivity on the weekends. The other thing I noticed is that their HD clarity seems to be noticeably better than that of FoxSports. I don't know if that is a function of Ligue 1 and Serie A giving better feeds or what but I thought it was obvious.
   527. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:20 AM (#4421980)
Thinking about the Suarez situation a bit I wonder if the Red Sox early season success might give us a clue to what they are going to do. The Sox of course rather famously dealt some huge deals then filled the holes with cheaper players but were able to spread it around to (so far) improve the club by improving not just the 1B/LF/SP slots but adding improvements in the bullpen, SS (in theory) and RF. If they can move Suarez for 50% of his worth could they do something similar with that money plus the salary savings?
   528. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:52 AM (#4422002)
So, on top of FIFA pushing for a winter world cup in 2022, Qatar are now trying to reduce the number of venues to 8 or 9 from the 12 they promised in their proposal. It would seem that the 65 billion they promised to spend on infrastructure is expensive even for them.
   529. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:55 AM (#4422005)
So, on top of FIFA pushing for a winter world cup in 2022, Qatar are now trying to reduce the number of venues to 8 or 9 from the 12 they promised in their proposal. It would seem that the 65 billion they promised to spend on infrastructure is expensive even for them.


How about this; "The FIFA 2022 World Cup USA - Sponsored by Qatar"

Everyone wins.
   530. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 22, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4422009)
How about this; "The FIFA 2022 World Cup USA - Sponsored by Qatar"

I actually think Australia should have won the bidding, but I, of course, would be fine with it moving here.
   531. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 22, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4422053)
Some other FIFA news...Sunil Gulati has been named to FIFA's Ex-Co replacing Chuck Blazer. Now can he tackle all that corruption from the inside!
   532. JuanGone..except1game Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4422070)
Loving this Guardian post on Worst Behaviour in sports due to the Suarez incident. A Kiwi mate of mine was telling me the Rugby story of John Hopoate last year and I didn't believe him, but just watched the Youtube clip. I'll take a Suarez bite or two over his that level of invasion (there's a pun there) any day.
   533. J. Sosa Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4422110)
Shooty the spots you mention do appear to be what they are after this summer. The games stopped meaning anything for LFC awhile ago so I've been doing some pointless transfer reading. From what I can tell quality links exist for the following defensive players:

De Vrij

Alderweirweld (who is a close friend of Suarez for whatever its worth)

Zambrano from Frankfurt.

There are a few other defensive players that have been mentioned but I think those are the three with the strongest links. Oh And Williams, from Swansea. I'm not touching that one. If they spend the numbers bandied about for Williams I'll march on Anfield myself.

As for midfielders, there has been a lot of chatter from credible people for awhile about Eriksen. He doesn't want to go to Liverpool but the kind of clubs he wants are not going to be interested in him. His representatives appear to have a more realistic take on where he is in his career.

As for wide players, anyone's guess is as good as mine. There has been a lot of talk about Tello as far back as last summer, that might have some legs.

Jose, I think soccer is probably closer to basketball than baseball in terms of the impact one player can have. Suarez can not be replaced. If you want to gaze upon something in wonderment, look at his stats this season. They are ridiculous. Just look at the assists and goals per game. Keep in mind that for much of the season the players he had flanking him were Sterling and Downing with service being provided by the likes of Jordan Henderson. Also keep in mind that he doesn't take penalty kicks versus the number of PK's he draws for the club. And he's great defensively. And he is incredibly versatile. He can play as a stand alone striker, on the right or left, or as a false 9. And he's durable. And he's young.

It's not like replacing even somebody like Trout. Its more like replacing somebody like LeBron. I wouldn't even answer the phone for an opening offer less than 35-40 mp which is about what Falcao went for. Falcao was doing what he did in Portugal and is one dimensional (although its a heck of a dimension). Suarez can not be replaced even if they got market value for him, which they won't. If I'm the club, I think I try to ride it out. Roll with Sturridge the rest of the season and start off next season and try to keep him until the winter transfer window, at which point he'll leave anyway if they aren't in the top 4. Might be able to get a better deal for him then anyway since he won't be cup tied and some club will be looking for a hired gun.
   534. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 22, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4422123)
Thanks Sosa. That's an interesting viewpoint and makes a lot of sense. I don't appreciate Suarez' defensive ability enough (I'm not a sophisticated enough fan) to consider that. The basketball/baseball comp is a helpful way to consider it.
   535. Ron J2 Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4422161)
#532 Hockey's had some really nasty incidents over the years (including biting -- but when you have people being intentionally hit in the head with sticks or being intentionally stomped with a skate ... )
   536. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4422184)
   537. J. Sosa Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4422188)
I'm no expert Jose, but for giggles sometimes watch a player like Torres when the opposition has the ball versus what Suarez does when the opposition has the ball. Torres makes a show of defending, but there is no real effort involved. Yes Torres was the last LFC player before Suarez to have a 30 goal season, but there is a reason Torres got that back breaker goal in the Champion's league last year against Barca.

That reason being a gross lack of responsibility on Torres' part defensively. It worked out, but the whole reason he got the goal was that he wasn't doing his job.

Another thing that doesn't show up in the stats for a striker is making runs for your teammates. It is a selfless team oriented task that requires a lot of stamina. Zlatan is on record as saying he doesn't do it and some other high profile strikers don't do it either. Suarez continually drags defenders away for other players. At the risk of drawing too many comparisons to other sports, Zlatan would be a player like Randy Moss who openly dogs it on routes not involved in the play. That sort of thing doesn't show up in his own stats, but it makes the team less effective than it could be.

Suarez has kind of become a mythic figure for me. He's perfect in nearly every way, but he is so incredibly volatile. Much of it is terrible, but some of the volatile stuff is funny. A friend and I were at a soccer bar in DC for the LFC game at Everton. Moyes had been making comments in the press about Suarez diving trying to influence the ref. Suarez, in typical fashion, played out of his mind that game and then after scoring ran all the way across the pitch to do a dead man's dive right in front of Moyes. I knew it was coming. It was inevitable from the moment Moyes opened his mouth that week.

I laughed my butt off. Not so much at the Evra and biting episodes.
   538. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4422191)
whoscored.com's players of the year.

Bale! Bale! Bale!

Really, though, kind of a toss up between Bale and Suarez. Cazorla, Vertonghen, RVP and Fellaini get some love, too.
   539. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 22, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4422192)
I laughed my butt off.

TBF to Moyes, he handled it well. And it's not easy for a Scotsman not to murder someone!
   540. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4422206)
I'm no soccer guy, but check out the possibly fake or hacked @SeppBlatter twitter account...
   541. Swedish Chef Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4422211)
   542. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:24 PM (#4422239)
I'm no soccer guy, but check out the possibly fake or hacked @SeppBlatter twitter account...

Nice.
   543. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4422244)
   544. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 22, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4422255)
Suarez gets the NMA treatment.

It's kind of gross.
   545. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4422309)
TBF to Moyes, he handled it well. And it's not easy for a Scotsman not to murder someone!

Nonsense! There's billions of people I have not murdered! Yet. If Bayern beats Dortmund in the CL Finals, all bets are off.
   546. DA Baracus Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4422336)
Some other FIFA news...Sunil Gulati has been named to FIFA's Ex-Co replacing Chuck Blazer.


That's FIFA for you. A guy who should be on the hot seat instead gets added responsibilities.

That reason being a gross lack of responsibility on Torres' part defensively.


Tsk tsk. Benitez says he's great at defending corners!
   547. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 22, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4422343)
It's anti-climactic, but here ya go:

Manchester: De Gea, Evans, Evra, Rafael, Jones, Valencia, Rooney, Giggs, Carrick, Van Persie, Kagawa. Subs: Ferdinand, Lindegaard, Hernandez, Nani, Welbeck, Cleverley, Buttner.

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Bennett, Westwood, Delph, N’Zogbia, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Benteke. Subs: Given, Holman, Sylla, El Ahmadi, Bent, Bowery, Clark
   548. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4422361)
Jeez. I thought I might get 20 minutes of entertainment out of this game.
   549. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:31 PM (#4422396)
   550. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4422400)
I don't see how Liverpool gets closer to the top four next year unless massive amounts of money is spent. Lucas is very good and Henderson looks like he can be. Agger is good when healthy. Gerrard is still a very good player but is getting up in age. To me Allen and Downing are squad players on an (English) Champions League team. Johnson and Enrique are fine, plus to get better players you have to get very lucky or spend massive amounts of money. Coutinho and Sterling might be very good eventually. Other than that you have some potential (Shelvey, Wisdom, Coates, Kelly, Flanagan) but for the most part not quite good enough. That's a lot of ifs to fill.

That's before you even get to any decision with Suarez. I'd keep him unless I got a very good offer. He's such a integral part of the offense (at least as important to Liverpool as Messi is to Barca).
   551. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4422410)
I don't say this often, but I CAN'T WAIT for the Guardian podcast tomorrow.


It was full of puntastic goodness, and the song at the end was excellent.
   552. ursus arctos Posted: April 22, 2013 at 03:53 PM (#4422412)
Schadenfreude exemplified.

Uli Hoeness, the president of Germany's top soccer club FC Bayern Munich, is under investigation for allegedly evading taxes on assets deposited in a Swiss bank account.
   553. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 22, 2013 at 05:08 PM (#4422498)
*happy dance*
   554. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 22, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4422559)
   555. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 22, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4422573)
Stuff you miss out on rooting from a distance

ursus, what do you think of 1882? Seems like harmless fun to me but it's becoming quite the controversy.
   556. puck Posted: April 23, 2013 at 12:59 AM (#4422980)
Seeing Van Persie dancing around after winning his first title with United reminds me of Wade Boggs on the police horse.
   557. Swedish Chef Posted: April 23, 2013 at 05:49 AM (#4423003)
So Götze goes to Mordor. Bayern is disgusting. I can't imagine why anyone would root for them. Hopefully all their executives will rot in jail before too long.
   558. J. Sosa Posted: April 23, 2013 at 07:03 AM (#4423010)
Gotze has made my most disliked list. He can go where he wants but to Bayern, before a CL semi with Bayern on the other side of the bracket? What a tool. Summer exists.

I can't believe I'm going to have to root for Barca. Ugh.

As for Van Persie, yes it was very Boggsish.
   559. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 23, 2013 at 07:34 AM (#4423016)
I can't imagine why anyone would root for them.

On a big pile of trophies with many beautiful ladies? I don't know, rooting for clubs like Bayern doesn't seem romantic to me, but not everyone has to be a romantic. It's fun to win things and watch the very best players in the world, I guess. Besides this is the year of the bastard mega club

Man U
Bayern
Juve
PSG
Barca
And in the slightly lesser leagues it's Ajax again, Celtic again and neither Benfica nor Porto have lost year in Portugal. Not a year for the under dog. As near as I can tell the biggest underdog story in the big leagues would be if either Eintracht Frankfurt or Freiburg can snatch that last German CL place, but probably Schalke will hold on.
   560. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 23, 2013 at 07:35 AM (#4423018)
Speaking of bastard mega clubs, Christian Eriksen is quoted as saying he wants a move to Man City or PSG so he can improve as a player. He's a sharp kid, that one.
   561. J. Sosa Posted: April 23, 2013 at 07:40 AM (#4423020)
Yes, he's always going on about Barca and Madrid as well. As I said earlier though I think his reps have a more realistic view of where he's at. I'd be surprised if he doesn't end up at a second tier club like LFC or Spurs. He's a good player but nowhere near the level of someone like Gotze.
   562. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 23, 2013 at 08:11 AM (#4423034)
Yes, he's always going on about Barca and Madrid as well. As I said earlier though I think his reps have a more realistic view of where he's at.

Probably, but I'm sure his reps have told him which clubs he should mention, just in case. I'm not lobbing bombs at him because business is business, after all. I just think it's funny.
   563. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 23, 2013 at 08:15 AM (#4423036)
Oh, Bayern

They made the deal with Goetze without even contacting Dortmund first. They really ARE a bastard mega club!

edit: Any chance Bayern linked this to Bild to get a certain someone off the front pages?
   564. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 23, 2013 at 09:56 AM (#4423096)
Its a shame that Goetze had to go to Bayern. Although from my perspective its better than going to City. Would Gomez be a realistic target for Spurs? I think that would be a nice solution to the striker problem. If teams were smart they should be sniffing around Shaqiri and Robben.
   565. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 23, 2013 at 10:01 AM (#4423104)
Would Gomez be a realistic target for Spurs?

Maybe. I'd prefer someone a bit more mobile or younger, though. Ach, it's too early for rosterbation!
   566. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 23, 2013 at 10:18 AM (#4423131)
That Gotze move is ####### disgusting. Kinda takes the fun out of tomorrow's festivities.
   567. Mattbert Posted: April 23, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4423153)
Hilarious
FC Bayern Munich confirms that the club has agreed terms with 20-year-old Germany international Mario Götze for the player to join FC Bayern on 1 July 2013. FC Bayern is prepared to activate the contractual release clause agreed between Borussia Dortmund and Mario Götze.

Out of consideration for the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg between Dortmund and Real Madrid on Wednesday 24 April, FC Bayern had intended to wait until after the match before communicating this to BVB.
But then we thought, wait a minute, we're dicks!
   568. JuanGone..except1game Posted: April 23, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4423182)
Out of consideration for the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg between Dortmund and Real Madrid on Wednesday 24 April, FC Bayern had intended to wait until after the match before communicating this to BVB.


First they came for your strikers...
   569. Swedish Chef Posted: April 23, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4423214)
Speaking of bastard mega clubs, Christian Eriksen is quoted as saying he wants a move to Man City or PSG so he can improve as a player.

So playing in a second-rate league with PSG or moldering on the bench at City are ways to improve, who knew? Guess he really wants to improve the size of his paycheck.

Silly Season is starting in earnest. Wackiest rumor is Zlatan to Galatasaray.
   570. Swedish Chef Posted: April 23, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4423224)
Mike Tyson doesn't think Suarez bite is all that serious because \"#### happens".
   571. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 23, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4423270)
Hey, guess what? Klopp is annoyed.

Wackiest rumor is Zlatan to Galatasaray.


How much cash would PSG have to pay both Zlatan and Galatasaray to make that happen?

My favorite silly season rumor is Alex Song to....you guessed it! Spurs!
   572. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 23, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4423284)
Everyone is annoyed today. Guess who's annoyed that Michu isn't a PFA finalist?

If you said Ricky Lambert, I'm more than a little frightened of you.
   573. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4423353)
Maybe. I'd prefer someone a bit more mobile or younger, though. Ach, it's too early for rosterbation!

With the title wrapped up I guess it would start a little early. Or does it always start around this time? I mean it all depends on where Spurs finish. I would think Gomez would be available for a relatively cheap fee, plus he would make the Spurs better. Everyone wants to get younger, but if Spurs were to make top four they need someone who can make them stay up there and get them through the group of Champions League.

I'd like to see Song on United. Would Gunners be more pissed if Song went to Spurs or United? I know the whole NLD thing, but with RvP still fresh in their minds (with upcoming guard of honor to boot!) it would be close.

According to wiki, the chairman of Galatasaray is worth $38 billion.
   574. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4423367)
Would Gunners be more pissed if Song went to Spurs or United?

Spurs. No question.
   575. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4423375)
edit: Any chance Bayern linked this to Bild to get a certain someone off the front pages?
What I don't understand is how Uli Hoeness could be arrested and released on €5M bail a month ago and it's only hitting the news today. They have a free press in Germany, right? I can imagine an ongoing case being unreported, but arrested and bailed out? Germany, what the hell?

And I mean, the Götze leak is comically transparent media management on Munich's part. Nothing else really makes sense. It's not like they should care who wins the other semi-final. Unless they're just being dicks.
   576. Swedish Chef Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4423396)
They have a free press in Germany, right? I can imagine an ongoing case being unreported, but arrested and bailed out? Germany, what the hell?

Innocent until proven guilty and all that. If you're in Sweden for example, all juicy stories will be about the "star player" or "entertainment profile"* until the person in question confirms that it is them in a tear-jerking exclusive telling their side of the story or until the trial is over. If you really want to know who the "35-year old" or the "TV star" is you have to go to some shady forum and hope that someone there is up to date.

*) And of course there is a huge inflation in those epithets to sell the story, so any soccer player in the top two leagues is a huge star. Anyone who has featured in the national team's January tour (involving only domestic players) is branded with "international".
   577. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 23, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4423414)
This one is for Frank.

Some Man U rosterbation for you. It's kind of dumb, but, there ya go. Zaha isn't a possible in, he's already signed. Lewandowski won't cost 34 million pounds as he's going into the last year of his deal. And Bale? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! When Fergie blows himself on BBC-1 he can have Bale.
   578. Swedish Chef Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4423436)
And Bale? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! When Fergie blows himself on BBC-1 he can have Bale.

Let's hope the football deities don't punish your hubris with a Götzedämmerung.
   579. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4423437)
Innocent until proven guilty and all that. If you're in Sweden for example, all juicy stories will be about the "star player" or "entertainment profile"* until the person in question confirms that it is them in a tear-jerking exclusive telling their side of the story or until the trial is over. If you really want to know who the "35-year old" or the "TV star" is you have to go to some shady forum and hope that someone there is up to date.
Fascinating!

Thanks.

(But, then, what is Süddeutsche Zeitung doing reporting the Hoeness news today? I realize Germany isn't Sweden, so they'll have different rules, but the logic suggested by the news in Germany is a lot less, um, logical than in your Swedish example. Here the media only told the story once the prosecutor's office announced the case.)
   580. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4423445)
Did Warren Barton just say "streets ahead"?
   581. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4423471)
Let's hope the football deities don't punish your hubris with a Götzedämmerung.

Are you saying Fergie WILL blow himself on BBC-1? That's much worse than what I said...
   582. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4423494)
So "streets ahead" is a real British phrase, not just a Dan Harmon twitter joke. I'm learning all kinds of stuff about the world today!
   583. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4423514)
In Germany, the Steuergeheimnis prevents officials from passing any financial or tax-related information on to third parties. The only information that becomes public in such cases is whatever is revealed during the Hauptverhandlung, which is the main trial, if it gets that far.
   584. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 23, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4423526)
That United article was awful. I assume Anderson and Nani are gone. I want to see Ashley Young go also but doubt that will happen. It all depends on what they decide to do with Rooney. I assume Lewandowski is going to follow Goetze (if an agreement hasn't already been made). Bale shouldn't go for less than 50M and United is not going to pay that.

Modric means SAF has given up on Cleverly. Still disappointed that United wasn't willing to pay for Javi Martinez. Song would be good. Not knowing the French League that well but there seems to be a fair amount of big, fast and athletic defensive midfielders. There has to one that is technical enough that Ferguson would like.

Luxury buys would be a CB and LB. Buttner has shown flashes but he's already 24 so not sure how much better he's going to get.
   585. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:08 PM (#4423550)
The pace of this game is amazing. Not sure if Munich can keep up this high tempo but they have had more possession than most against Barca.
   586. jmurph Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:09 PM (#4423553)
Regarding United and central midfielders, don't we have enough recent evidence at this point to conclude that Fergie has no interest in them? It's been a clear and obvious hole for years now, and he's done nothing about it. Considering the results, I can't blame him.
   587. jmurph Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4423577)
I know this is well-trod territory, but sweet jesus the Barcelona team-wide whining gets old, and really distracts from the game. The (basketball) Spurs went through a period like this a few years ago where their guys (Duncan, in particular) deeply believed that they never ever committed a foul or other infraction.

Which reminds me, those two organizations might have a lot in common, nearly all of it good.
   588. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4423590)
Messi doesn't look quite right. Bayern's athleticism stands out a lot against Barca.

Ferguson has said that he doesn't want a defensive midfielder. He's been able to get away with it because most teams crumble when they play United (with plenty of help). It only gets exposed against the better PL teams and in Europe. I think he's been picky and hasn't found anyone that he's willing to spend the money on.
   589. AuntBea Posted: April 23, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4423624)
Barca is getting seriously outplayed right now. The score could be much worse.
   590. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 23, 2013 at 04:01 PM (#4423627)
Ferguson has certainly been willing to play Phil Jones as a pretty pure DM when he's needed one. I think Frank's right that it's about finding the right fit with a young player.
   591. AuntBea Posted: April 23, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4423643)
Robben actually went to his right, surprising the defender, and Mueller picked the defender off with an illegal screen. Not clean, but still a very nice goal on the break.
   592. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 23, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4423645)
Second iffy goal for Bayern. They've been miles better but the score flatters them.
   593. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 23, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4423649)
I don't understand how the ref could not see the obvious pick Muller put on Alba. Hard to see Barca scoring three against Bayern now.
   594. jmurph Posted: April 23, 2013 at 04:20 PM (#4423656)
Hard to see Barca scoring three against Bayern now.


I think if they get one back today it's at least still in question. I can't see them getting 3 all at once in the home leg.
   595. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 23, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4423658)
On nights like this I am thankful for my whiskey.
   596. jmurph Posted: April 23, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4423659)
This is really incredible to watch.
   597. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: April 23, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4423663)
This tie is over. Anyone get the feeling the curtain is setting on this Barca teams as "One of the best ever"? I just hope Barca don't notice that they could really use Lloris and Vertonghen.
   598. Ron J2 Posted: April 23, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4423665)
#586 If he gets the right guy at the right price. ...

I think one of the real keys to Ferguson's continual success is that he doesn't try to slot players into a system but tries to make the most out of the talent at hand. He'd love to have a box to box midfielder but those aren't freely available.
   599. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 23, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4423667)
Anyone get the feeling the curtain is setting on this Barca teams as "One of the best ever"?
It's an interesting question. Can't they just buy some defensive cover? It seems to me more that Barca have bought poorly in building a squad (Sanchez, Cesc, Song, no CBs) than that there's something wrong with the core.
   600. AuntBea Posted: April 23, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4423668)
Anyone get the feeling the curtain is setting on this Barca teams as "One of the best ever"?


They really struggled against PSG and now this. It's clear they are nowhere near their former level.
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