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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
  Tags: off-topic

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   601. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 23, 2013 at 04:29 PM (#4423669)
Ah, Robben probably had that coming.
   602. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 23, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4423684)
Is there something for the argument that Barca aren't gritty enough? I don't mean that in an intangibles kind of way but it's the same thing we've seen from Arsenal in recent years. If Plan A doesn't work they just have no alternative. I mean, the pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-SHOOT thing is great but if they could do some kind of kick it in the middle and hope for something ugly once in awhile that might help.

They are talented enough that against most teams it's still fine but the better teams know that if they can maintain defensive discipline Barca are just going to kick it around for 90 minutes and not threaten too much.
   603. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 23, 2013 at 04:56 PM (#4423701)
#### Bayern.
   604. AuntBea Posted: April 23, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4423709)
pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-SHOOT


Actually, from watching Spain the last few years, I have come to the "conclusion" that this is an excellent conservative strategy for a team that is clearly the best in the world. They were always able to outlast their opponents, and had so much quality possession for so long that rarely did opponents have many good chances to score against them. For a long time it seemed like it was virtually impossible to score more than 1 goal against Spain in a seriously contested competitive game. Serious problems arise when the distinction of being the best is no longer so clear. Right now Barca's defense looks very fragile to me, and further Bayern was able, with incisive defending from the top of their box to 15-20 yards further up the pitch, to really break up some of Barca's flow and create multiple quick threatening chances.

   605. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 23, 2013 at 05:03 PM (#4423711)
Zlatan was supposed to be Plan B. Barcelona wanted nothing to do with that. Its Messi or nothing.
   606. AuntBea Posted: April 23, 2013 at 05:59 PM (#4423780)
Robben really had a fine game. He beat Barca both on the field and in their heads (with his obnoxiousness).
   607. Mefisto Posted: April 23, 2013 at 06:27 PM (#4423799)
I'm really dreading the potential for Bayern v Real. Go Dortmund!!!
   608. ursus arctos Posted: April 23, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4423806)
The universe survived a Madrid-Juventus final, so I'm confident that we would make it through even that.

It would, however, be fascinating for Goetze to play his last match for BVB at Wembley against his future employers.
   609. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 23, 2013 at 07:09 PM (#4423824)
It would, however, be fascinating for Goetze to play his last match for BVB at Wembley against his future employers.

Now way could they play him, could they? I sure wouldn't.
   610. frannyzoo Posted: April 23, 2013 at 08:33 PM (#4423907)
For me, today's result was reminiscent of Emmitt Till's mother at the trial in Mississippi. "This is one verdict you don't want to be present for." There. I compared the outcome of some silly football match with that of a horrific courtroom in the 1950s Deep South. Context achieved. We move on. As for tomorrow, I'm hoping against hope for a Dortmund upset in that tie, with Gotze being "unintentionally" injured by his own teammates in the Final. Justice and all that. Honestly, I'd rather the "traitor" score a hat-trick and deprive Bayern of the trophy two years in a row, but I don't see that happening.
   611. Textbook Editor Posted: April 23, 2013 at 09:45 PM (#4423994)
Honest questions I don't know the answer to:

I get that Puyol was hurt and Bartra is not someone you'd pick over him to play central defender, but would Puyol have made the result all that different?

Should Barca's play this summer be to get hulking, tall central defenders who can pass a little, so that they can rotate more at the back and keep guys fresh? Or to scrap a guy like Alves for someone who can defend a little more?

   612. Spivey Posted: April 23, 2013 at 10:06 PM (#4424043)
Mario Gomez is 27 years old. The Spurs should be all over him if they can get a deal. In fact, I think he's going to be one of the "bargain" signings this year. I still view him as one of the best strikers and goal scorers in the world. I don't know that a team as rich as Bayern really should be selling him for a bargain price either. They have a bunch of great offensive minded players but he's one of only a couple true strikers the team has.

The Gotze thing is really unfortunate.

Barca has been vulnerable this year, and their struggles with Milan, PSG, and others suggested something like this was possible. That said, they've gotten big time results at home in the CL when they needed them. I feel like Bayern is starting to be in the discussion for having an alltime team too, at least for Bundesliga teams. From that perspective, you could argue that Barca's run could be closing because other teams seem to be entering the same sort of rarified air. I think Man City if they had a coach like Mourinho could be in this discussion too.

The significant majority of Barcelona's best players are in their prime, and a lot of them should have several prime years left. They will have to replace Xavi in a couple of years, but should have guys well suited to do that. They need another CB.

Bayern look to be the best team in the world though, as things sit.

I do wonder if we're getting to the point, with the globalization of the game, where there are more super teams and there are usually a couple of all-time great teams going any year now because the top, top talent is so concentrated on just a handful of teams.
   613. Spivey Posted: April 23, 2013 at 10:09 PM (#4424046)
Should Barca's play this summer be to get hulking, tall central defenders who can pass a little, so that they can rotate more at the back and keep guys fresh? Or to scrap a guy like Alves for someone who can defend a little more?

Puyol and Pique I think were a perfect match for Barcelona, because they and Busquets provide the spine of defense up the middle and let everyone else run rampant.

I think they need another guy like Pique. I've seen Pique get some grief here but when I've ever watched him he seems to very rarely make a mistake, and I rate him as one of the best few central defenders in the world. I'm not sure which world class CBs are available though. If Dortmund is going to get gutted, maybe they go after Hummels?
   614. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 23, 2013 at 10:18 PM (#4424055)
I'm not sure if Puyol changes that much. No CB is going to overcome the general lack of height throughout the squad. I'm sure that's the most amount of corners Barca has given up in a long time. Bayern has an excellent team this year and matched up well (especially with Messi at less than 100%). They're big, strong and fast with a lot of skill.

Alves is vital to Barca because he provides width and seemingly unlimited stamina. I think a bigger striker that they can put in front of Messi is the way to go. Someone with a little more work rate than Zlatan.
   615. Mefisto Posted: April 23, 2013 at 10:40 PM (#4424078)
Bayern is really good, but I think they need to show a bit more than one dominant performance against Barca before we label them an all-time team, especially since the score was a bit fortunate. If the game had ended 2-0 we'd all be discussing whether Barca could come back in the home leg, and they just might with a fit Messi.

Edit to add that they could use another central defender for depth if nothing else, and another scorer to take some of the dependence off Messi.
   616. J. Sosa Posted: April 24, 2013 at 12:48 AM (#4424142)
Barca's arrogance caught up to them (again). They got away with Masch at the back the first season and then got crazy. As Matt says they constructed the roster poorly. Much like the Spanish national team, they have this strange obsession with playing 11 midfielders at one time. It hasn't hurt the national team (yet) but that's largely due to picking up Ramos on the national team. There is no excuse for expecting players like Masch and Song to play CB. None. The arrogance is staggering. They have a very obvious weakness against set plays and crosses. I don't care how much they disdain that type of football. They should have prepared the roster. It is similar to when they complain about the quality of an opponent's pitch. The appropriate response to that kind of crap is bleep you from a club like Milan or anyone else. The same when they start blathering about tiki taka and the proper way to play football. Bleep you Barca. I hate Bayern, but I couldn't help but enjoy the scoreline.

Its not like they even need great defenders, but what is crazy is how much money they spent on vanity purchases when they could have bought good defenders for less money. I will never understand why they didn't go get someone like Vertonghen. He's perfect for them. Or Agger. There are plenty of ball playing CB's that would love to play for them that are good enough and affordable.

As for SAF, I don't think he's going to change at this point. I've posted enough screeds on that subject, but I do really think being stubborn on the issue has hurt them against some of the better teams in Europe. It didn't have to be that way. I still don't understand how Pogba got away.
   617. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 07:39 AM (#4424181)
A silly season rumor that has me terrified: Real want AVB as their next manager and Rafa is angling for the job at Spurs. NOOOOOOOO!

If you were a manager, would you leave Spurs where you have the support of the board and chairman and a long term plan to remake the squad according to your philosophy but winning silverware is going to be very hard if not impossible or would you go to Real where you'd have 3 years in the meat grinder but come away with a lot of cash and at least a few trophies but would probably spend the rest of your career as a peripatetic manager for hire? Logic tells me AVB would probably go if Real came calling but I think there's a non-significant chance the long-term challenge at Spurs is something he savors. In any event, no Rafa please.
   618. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 09:42 AM (#4424256)
   619. J. Sosa Posted: April 24, 2013 at 09:43 AM (#4424257)
I don't understand managers. Personally I think AVB is in the perfect place for him and would have to be crazy to go to Madrid. AVB couldn't even handle the stress of Chelsea. People think with their wallet too often. AVB's got money, a smart chairman, and a fairly big club. If they spend the Bale money wisely I actually don't think they are too far from a title challenge if they got some breaks.

As for Rafa, if he went to Spurs I would enjoy that a great deal. It makes me chuckle just thinking about it.
   620. Richard Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:06 AM (#4424277)
10 game ban for Suarez.
   621. frannyzoo Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4424279)
A night's sleep and the Barcapolypse is all forgotten. And to make it all better, Dortmund wins today and Nuri Sahin scores a hat-trick. A little indirect LFC schadenfreude washes all horrible memories clean.

Not to mention Real schadenfreude...
   622. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:20 AM (#4424288)
As for Rafa, if he went to Spurs I would enjoy that a great deal. It makes me chuckle just thinking about it.

Tell, what'd I say?

10 game ban for Suarez.

More than I thought it would be by a couple of games. Cue up the "But Defoe only got a yellow!" cries from the Northeast.

   623. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:21 AM (#4424290)
“Both the club and player are shocked and disappointed at the severity of today’s Independent Regulatory Commission decision.”

Ian Ayre's response. The Holy War begins!
   624. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4424295)
BTW, on AVB. He's only 35, too. He can spend 10 years at Spurs to try to build something, and then head out on a manager-for-hire career and STILL be a young manager!
   625. Swedish Chef Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4424328)
BTW, on AVB. He's only 35, too. He can spend 10 years at Spurs to try to build something, and then head out on a manager-for-hire career and STILL be a young manager!

But he will be only 37 when he is fired by Real, and has probably picked up some trophies, too.

Of course the only reason that these rumors are circulating is to torment Shooty. I'd be amazed if it happened.
   626. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4424332)
More than I thought it would be by a couple of games. Cue up the "But Defoe only got a yellow!" cries from the Northeast.

Northeast? Am I missing something?
   627. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4424333)
Northeast? Am I missing something?

That I have no sense of direction?
   628. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:56 AM (#4424338)
But he will be only 37 when he is fired by Real, and has probably picked up some trophies, too.

True. It just seems managers are looked at differently once you've managed Real. When clubs hire a ex-Real manager, they expect the world on a plate so it seems like they never stay in one place that long. I could have a massive blind spot here, though. Pellegrini could have forged a legacy at Malaga if not for the financial flow and then massive ebb. I also think it's just talk, but there's enough of a possibility about it that it makes me a little nervous. I really want to see how Villas-Boas builds the team and I'd hate to see it short-circuited so quickly.
   629. Swedish Chef Posted: April 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4424341)
I don't think the Suarez ban is too severe or a bad precedent. Unlike a bad tackle this is not something that happens in the course of normal play, where the line between the legal and dirty can be fine, and split-second decisions can go awry. That is, this it not something any normal player runs the slightest risk of running afoul of by a bad break. For all I care they could have banned him for a season.
   630. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4424356)
I don't think the Suarez ban is too severe or a bad precedent. Unlike a bad tackle this is not something that happens in the course of normal play, where the line between the legal and dirty can be fine, and split-second decisions can go awry.

Do you think that it was unprovoked had anything to do with the severity as well?
   631. J. Sosa Posted: April 24, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4424408)
Shooty: Rafa at Spurs made me think of Valdano's #### on a stick rant. Somehow I don't think that style of play would go over well with the fine people of White Heart Lane.

As for Suarez. *sigh*. I figured it would be 10. He got 7 last time. Plus Evra plus the FA liking round shiny numbers and you get 10. They weren't going to use Defoe as the precedent for a lot of reasons. At the risk of sounding like a Rawkite, Defoe is English for starters. If someone can explain to me why Suarez's actions with Evra were twice as bad as Terry's with Ferdinand I would like to hear it. Terry even added some casual misogyny to his abuse and didn't have the (lame) excuse of cultural differences.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think 10 is unfair. It was 7 last time and 3 additional games is a fair penalty for being stupid enough to do it twice. I would just quibble with the FA's thought process or lack thereof.
   632. Mattbert Posted: April 24, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4424437)
There seems to be a significant strain of thought, mostly in the reaction among English pundits and fans, that it's totally backwards to cop a longer ban for biting than for racism.

This position is, to me, utterly bonkers. As a white guy maybe I just can't understand, but I'd much rather be assaulted by colorful language than by A GROWN MAN'S TEETH.
   633. J. Sosa Posted: April 24, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4424480)
That's a tough one Mattbert. I'll just say as a fan that the Evra thing bothered me a lot more than the bite. The bite to be honest doesn't bother me all that much. As for being on the receiving end, I don't know. I've been in fights and was once abused at a hearing verbally for over a half hour. On the whole I think I would rather have been bitten so long as the biter was current with their shots. But that is just me. I've read many people that feel differently.
   634. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4424507)
It may be a product of some of my recent reading of Thinking Fast and Slow, but I think the 10 games is really a function of the anchoring effect of Suarez' 7 game ban in Holland. That may or may not be fair, but the people making this decision are human, and anchoring is a bog standard effect on decision making. The fun thing about anchoring is you can tell someone you're going to give them a random number to enact an anchoring effect so that they are 100% conscious of what you're doing, and that random number will STILL have an effect on decision making. The human mind is like a really dumb computer!

As for the Terry-Suarez thing, I don't pretend to comprehend the different bans in that case. They each should have had 10 games minimum for their reprehensible backpfeifengesichts (I don't know the plural of that one in German. Sorry!)

   635. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 24, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4424515)
BTW, on AVB. He's only 35, too. He can spend 10 years at Spurs to try to build something, and then head out on a manager-for-hire career and STILL be a young manager!


As a practical matter why would AVB expect to be at Tottenham for ten years? Serious question, how many managers out there have been with their club for an extended period of time? I think AVB would say to himself "hey, I can go to Madrid and with all the resources I can be the next SAF or I can fail and still win a few trophies and write my ticket for awhile."

Conversely he may view staying at Tottenham as a potential road to David Moyes-ville. There are worse things than being Moyes, it's a good gig, he's well compensated and well respected, but he also has no trophies (except for the prestigious Wenger Award for finishing 4th a few years ago) and his chance to run a mega-club has probably gone by the boards. Frankly I'd love to be Moyes for the same reasons I'd love to be a LOOGY, you get pretty good money and an awesome job without having to completely change your life but I think most of these guys aspire to be Fergie.
   636. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4424561)
As a practical matter why would AVB expect to be at Tottenham for ten years? Serious question, how many managers out there have been with their club for an extended period of time? I think AVB would say to himself "hey, I can go to Madrid and with all the resources I can be the next SAF or I can fail and still win a few trophies and write my ticket for awhile."

Levy's plan has always been to get a Wenger/Fergie/Moyes kind of manager for the club. It was supposed to be Juande Ramos but, well, best laid plans and all that. The impression I get is that it was Spurs' long term vision that sold AVB on the job. New training center, new stadium, renewed dedication to the academy (U-21 champs!) etc. That those things appealed to AVB makes me think that he wants to be a Wenger-like figure at the club. But, he's only human and if Real Madrid or someone pull up with a truckload of money... There is a danger he becomes David Moyes but I think Spurs are stronger financially than Everton (without being as strong as the elite clubs, of course) and there is the possibility they can get on a par with Arsenal if the stadium comes through. I think Everton are kind of stuck where they are unless a benefactor-ownership with deep pockets buys the club. This is all just guess-work on my part, of course.
   637. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4424606)
I will profess an ignorance...What is this Guard of Honour everyone is yapping about that Arsenal has to do for United this weekend? Is it as humiliating as it sounds? Does Wenger have to kiss Van Persie on the cheeks?
   638. Swedish Chef Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4424607)
Levy's plan has always been to get a Wenger/Fergie/Moyes kind of manager for the club.

To get that he would have to let the manager have a much bigger say in player transfers than the setup Spurs have had up to now.
   639. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4424610)
   640. Swedish Chef Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4424614)
What is this Guard of Honour everyone is yapping about that Arsenal has to do for United this weekend? Is it as humiliating as it sounds?

The Arsenal players have to line up and applaud the champions, so yes, to Wenger it is that humiliating. Or at least it would have been to old Wenger, maybe he doesn't care anymore, he even seem to have warmed to Sir Alex lately.
   641. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4424626)
To get that he would have to let the manager have a much bigger say in player transfers than the setup Spurs have had up to now.

This will be interesting to follow. They tried their damnedest to get Moutinho for him and that was an out of character transfer for the club. This summer will be interesting as it will be his first full summer for team building. Michael Cox still thinks he wants to build a 4-3-3 so it'll be fun to follow along, but not too closely. I swear to all that is holy I'm going to avoid ITK's and all that BS this summer. Life is too short. Besides, its Spurs, I'll just watch Sky on deadline day when all the business is done.
   642. Mattbert Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4424643)
I swear to all that is holy I'm going to avoid ITK's and all that BS this summer. Life is too short.

Ha ha ha! The first time the A's have a bad losing streak in June or July, you'll be all over the gossip columns like white on rice.
   643. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4424653)
Ha ha ha! The first time the A's have a bad losing streak in June or July, you'll be all over the gossip columns like white on rice.

NOOOOO!!!! I will need the support of the community to help me kick the unhealthy addiction that is transfer gossip.
   644. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4424659)
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels,
Schmelzer, Bender, Gundogan, Blaszczykowski, Gotze, Reus,
Lewandowski.

Subs: Langerak, Kehl, Leitner, Sahin, Grosskreutz, Schieber, Felipe Santana.

Real Madrid: Diego Lopez, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Pepe, Fabio Coentrao, Khedira, Alonso, Ozil, Modric, Ronaldo, Higuain.
Subs: Casillas, Kaka, Benzema, Albiol, Callejon, Di Maria,
Nacho.

Goetze plays and Modric with a start.
   645. Mattbert Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4424660)
Michael Cox still thinks he wants to build a 4-3-3 so it'll be fun to follow along, but not too closely.

Okay, now that the mocking is out of the way...I think Cox is probably right, especially if Spurs finish in the top four and/or manage to keep Bale. (I predict they will do at least one of those things.) AVB had too much success with his Porto template to totally abandon the thought of ever going back to it. On the other hand, it's likely that being more or less forced to play a different style with the personnel he has at Tottenham has opened his mind to alternatives.

The squad is not all that far off being able to play an equally effective 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 depending on matchups. Spurs don't need a total overhaul to be able to do a convincing impression of AVB's Porto, just the handful of high-quality tweaks that most top(ish) teams try to make every summer.
   646. Mattbert Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4424662)
Interesting lineup from Real. 4-3-1-2?
   647. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4424707)
I love that "Wir sind die Fans" banner. Can't argue with that!
   648. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 24, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4424728)
Wow - Dortmund is off to a fast start! Lewandowski!
   649. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4424735)
Dortmund look great but they need to remember they're facing the best counterattacking team in the world. Don't get cocky!
   650. Swedish Chef Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4424779)
   651. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4424782)
Dortmund should have gotten a PK and Madrid scores instead.
   652. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4424783)
That was a stone cold penalty. Ramos has some balls saying he dove.

And jeez, the equalizer. Boo!
   653. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:28 PM (#4424785)
Frakking typical.
   654. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4424788)
What does it matter if Varane meant it, Neville? Goddammit!
   655. AuntBea Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4424791)
Dortmund needs halftime. They are losing composure.
   656. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:31 PM (#4424792)
Seriously, what is Neville talking about? How the hell was that not a penalty?
   657. AuntBea Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4424798)
I am watching on a low-quality stream. It looked like the defender caught his leg a bit, but did any of you see it very clearly? What happened exactly?
   658. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4424809)
I am watching on a low-quality stream. It looked like the defender caught his leg a bit, but did any of you see it very clearly? What happened exactly?

He was clearly tripped. No doubt in my mind.
   659. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4424813)
I am watching on a low-quality stream. It looked like the defender caught his leg a bit, but did any of you see it very clearly? What happened exactly?

He clearly clipped him on the ankle. Went down easily, but that was still a definite foul.
   660. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:44 PM (#4424829)
Barry Glendenning thinks Reus INITIATED the contact looking for the penalty. I feel like I'm in Crazy Town. Reus was going for ####### goal.
   661. AuntBea Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4424831)
oh yeah. You can see it clearly on the highlight. I really think that has to be a penalty.
   662. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:53 PM (#4424857)
There's a make up call. I think. Need to see the replay to see if he was played on side.
   663. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4424866)
Actually, tough to tell on the replay, but he looked to be onside.
   664. AuntBea Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4424867)
Dortmund have looked very dangerous since their 2nd goal.
   665. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4424871)
Play the advantage! I'm not liking this ref.
   666. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4424874)
Holy Toledo!
   667. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4424875)
Lewandowski with a hat trick. Of course he might be going to Bayern too.
   668. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4424878)
Pfft. Iker Casillas would have saved all these goals...
   669. AuntBea Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4424881)
The second goal looked clearly onside in the replays I saw.
   670. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4424890)
Nice ball from Modric in to Ronaldo. Sigh. I miss those passes.
   671. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4424901)
Does Mourinho bring in the cavalry, or do you just contain the damage and get back to Madrid down 2 plus the away goal in your pocket?
   672. ursus arctos Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:08 PM (#4424903)
Spurs "legend" Steve Archibald muses on what might have been via Twitter:

Just a note of interest for Spurs fans, I offered Robert Lewandowski to Spurs when he was stll playing in Poland, for less than 5m, pity !
   673. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4424904)
That's just cruel ursus.
   674. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4424907)
Real: Capitulation.
   675. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4424911)
That's a fucking penalty. Hope Adebayor is watching and taking notes.
   676. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:11 PM (#4424914)
This game SHOULD be 5-0!
   677. Moe Greene Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:13 PM (#4424920)
Well, these are going to be awfully anticlimactic 2nd legs.
   678. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4424921)
Ramos is such a piece of crap.
   679. AuntBea Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4424922)
That's a foul on Levandowski, but a very harsh yellow.
   680. Moe Greene Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4424925)
I see your Ramos and raise you a Busquets.
   681. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4424927)
Another Madrid goal certainly makes it doable, but Dortmund looks too good.
   682. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4424929)
Another Madrid goal certainly makes it doable, but Dortmund looks too good.

I'll admit I'm shocked by how much better Dortmund and Bayern have been to their Spanish counterparts these two games. I'm not surprised they're winning, but the dominance...sheesh!
   683. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4424935)
Two goals is a brace.

Three goals is a hat trick.

Four goals is ???
   684. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:27 PM (#4424940)
I wonder if Mourinho will mock Guardiola for going to Germany to manage now?
   685. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4424942)
Three goals is a hat trick.

Four goals is ???

double brace
   686. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4424951)
Lloris shout out!
   687. AuntBea Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4424954)
nice save. I'd heard a lot about Dortmund but had not seen much of them until the last couple of months. They looked sluggish and mostly unimpressive against Malaga, but their wide-open style is truly a pleasure today.
   688. ursus arctos Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4424961)
In Italian and Spanish (and sometimes French), four goals is a "poker" (from four of a kind).
   689. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4424964)
Wow. What a result. Poor Sid Lowe has another 1000 word eulogy to write.
   690. frannyzoo Posted: April 24, 2013 at 05:34 PM (#4425024)
Did I say Nuri Sahin and a hat-trick? I meant Lewandowski and a "double brace." Shocking. Happily shocking.
   691. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 24, 2013 at 06:19 PM (#4425082)
Ha!

Come on, it's funny!
   692. Spivey Posted: April 24, 2013 at 08:28 PM (#4425170)
I didn't get to see the game but I'm extremely impressed with what Dortmund were able to do. I think that they do need to be a bit careful in return leg. I can't fathom Bayern losing 4-0 to anyone, but I could see a wide open team like Dortmund losing 3-0 on the road against a team like Real.

I'm actually really looking forward to a Bayern/Dortmund final. It's been a really interesting rivalry over the last couple of years. Dortmund are really intelligently built so I think they will be fine, but if they lose Gotz and Lewandowski they'll probably need a year or two of rebuilding until they can be in the conversation for one of the best couple of teams in the world. This may be this group's last hurrah.

I'm not sure what I would do with Gotze. I guess I'd likely sit him, but their coach has a much better read on this situation than any of us do.
   693. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 24, 2013 at 08:59 PM (#4425204)
Just watched the game on tape. That was tremendously fun.

Analytically, the thing I was thinking about during the game was Jonathan Wilson's November piece on the shortcomings of Cristiano Ronaldo. Madrid had Higuain playing a traditional #9 role (at best passably) Ronaldo doing his usual blase tracking back, and Özil wasn't helping much at all - isn't he usually a bit less lazy than he seemed tonight? By contrast, Reus and Götze and Blaszczykowski were working their asses off up and down the pitch, and Gündogan was just ridiculous in central midfield. It seemed to me that if there was one key to the game, it was just workrate. Dortmund had it, Madrid didn't. Well, workrate and true clinical brilliance from Lewandowski.
   694. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 24, 2013 at 09:02 PM (#4425206)
Spurs don't need a total overhaul to be able to do a convincing impression of AVB's Porto, just the handful of high-quality tweaks that most top(ish) teams try to make every summer.
I think this is basically right, but I'd argue the conventional wisdom remains correct about Spurs. They need a top-quality striker. That's a bit more than a high-quality tweak. (This is all dependent on Spurs keeping Bale for at least another season. They're going to hang on to him, right guys? Right?)
   695. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:03 PM (#4425254)
Lewandowski's third goal was just... obnoxious. The two touches, the finish, probably the best Lewandowski goal I've seen.

Gundogan with another fantastic game. I love his passing and ability to control the midfield. Bender with another really strong game too. Love that pairing.

Love how Klopp didn't even watch the penalty kick, just waited for the crowd's reaction. I wasn't too surprised Lewandowski took that penalty, but Kuba usually takes the PK's.

Might have to take off early from work on Tuesday, I'm going to be completely useless if I'm not watching that game.
   696. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:22 PM (#4425275)
To add, Klopp's post-game interview is tremendous, with references to Robin Hood and everything.

Finally, Dortmund was able to maintain their composure after RM's goal. In the past, they would've come completely undone and let in 2 or 3 more after Ronaldo's goal. It was probably a good thing the goal came toward the end of the half too.
   697. AuntBea Posted: April 24, 2013 at 11:47 PM (#4425327)
Dortmund was able to maintain their composure after RM's goal


Possibly they were settling down with about 30 seconds before the whistle for half time came, but from the moment that they were denied the penalty until then, they were anything but composed. They clearly outplayed Madrid for virtually the entire game, but they were dangerously close to blowing it right there.
   698. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 24, 2013 at 11:54 PM (#4425331)
Possibly they were settling down with about 30 seconds before the whistle for half time came, but from the moment that they were denied the penalty until then, they were anything but composed. They clearly outplayed Madrid for virtually the entire game, but they were dangerously close to blowing it right there.


You're right, I should've been more clear. I was referring to the second half; they looked completely out of sorts for the rest of that first half. I'm glad they were able to settle down during halftime.
   699. Mattbert Posted: April 25, 2013 at 12:11 AM (#4425339)
I think this is basically right, but I'd argue the conventional wisdom remains correct about Spurs. They need a top-quality striker. That's a bit more than a high-quality tweak. (This is all dependent on Spurs keeping Bale for at least another season. They're going to hang on to him, right guys? Right?)

Easy (rhetorical) question first: If Spurs finish top four, I think Bale definitely stays. If they don't, I think it's 50/50.

As for the conventional wisdom, I don't know. Spurs have a top-quality striker: Adebayor. They just need to figure out how to get him playing like one. He's better suited to the 4-2-3-1 even when he's in form, though. If AVB wants to build an homage to his Porto side, Spurs will have to be creative because they aren't going to go out and sign the next Falcao as a finished article this summer. That type of player just doesn't exist in Tottenham's price range unless they develop him themselves.

I have some ideas about who I'd like to see Spurs go after this summer, but I'm going to sit on that until, you know, the summer. I want to focus on enjoying what's left of this great season.
   700. puck Posted: April 25, 2013 at 12:21 AM (#4425342)
Man City supposedly in the lead to buy MLS expansion team in NYC.

Bayern-Barca and Dortmund-Madrid seemed like great semi-final matchups. I'm also surprised by the blowouts.
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