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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

OT: The Soccer Thread: August 2012

Welcome to August! Notable Events:

Olympic Women’s Gold Medal Game: August 9
Olympic Men’s Gold Medal Game: August 11

(Both will be aired by NBC on or about August 15)

EPL Kick-Off: August 18
La Liga Kick-Off: August 19
Seria A Kick-Off: August 25

Let the excitement begin!

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 31, 2012 at 10:35 AM | 1942 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business

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   1001. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 21, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4213514)
The main shopping street looks nice!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Boothferry_Road,_Goole.jpg
Jesus! I know getting a photo of a sunny day in England can be something of a challenge but almost looks like someone edited it being as depressing as possible. If they ever decide to shoot a Simpsons movie in England for some reason, I see the Springfield set.
   1002. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4213527)
The Telegraph is reporting Modric was at the Croatian embassy in Madrid today. I assume he's seeking political asylum from Spurs now...You vill kees chicken badge, Luka. You vill kees it or never see Mutti again!
   1003. BFFB Posted: August 21, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4213538)
I actually want to check Goole out now. Does it actually exist, though? Google insists I mean to type "google" instead of "Goole".


It's seriously Grim and crammed between a largish port and a gigantic coal fired power station. The high street is also mostly charity shops and thrift stores.
   1004. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 21, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4213540)
There is no place, in the entire UK, as bad as Cleveland.


What about Cleveland?
   1005. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4213545)
   1006. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 21, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4213547)
Champions League qualifying question from ignorance:

I had no idea how it was structured, so I went to the helpful wiki, and there's just one thing that I can't figure. Why is qualification separated between a "champions" set of playoffs and a "non-champions" set of playoffs. It doesn't seem like an easier road for the "champions", so why are the two groups separated?

Also, I go to wiki just looking for knowledge, and the wiki does this to me:
Playoff Round, Non-Champions:
1 runner-up from association 7
3 third-placed teams from associations 4–6
2 fourth-placed teams from associations 1–3
(minus the spot vacated by Tottenham Hotspur)
Screw you, wiki.
   1007. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 21, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4213550)
I think it's because the "Champions" are the champions of weak leagues, and the "Non-champions" are from Germany, Italy, France, Spain, etc. and are probably better than the "Champions".

Just another way that the "Champions League" is more like a "Wealthy Teams League". Or you could say the opposite, that this makes sure that some of the champions from Cyprus, Romania, Croatia, etc. actually end up in the group stage instead of it being ENTIRELY the Wealthy Teams League.
   1008. DA Baracus Posted: August 21, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4213553)
Rejoice nerds! Statistics!


Something seems wrong with their page, it only has a handful of players. I wanted to see who had the worst pass completion rate, but no matter what I set the parameters to it only shows the same 11 players.
   1009. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4213559)
Something seems wrong with their page, it only has a handful of players. I wanted to see who had the worst pass completion rate, but no matter what I set the parameters to it only shows the same 11 players.

You have to click the link and go to the Man City page for all the stats.
   1010. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4213563)
Transfers!

Kevin Mirallas to Everton, Alexander Buttner to Man U and Douglas to Fulham.
   1011. DA Baracus Posted: August 21, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4213565)
You have to click the link and go to the Man City page for all the stats.


Thanks. And of course, you have to register there.
   1012. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 21, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4213566)
Or you could say the opposite, that this makes sure that some of the champions from Cyprus, Romania, Croatia, etc. actually end up in the group stage instead of it being ENTIRELY the Wealthy Teams League.
Yeah, that's gotta be it. Thanks. I assume this is one of those things where all the wee countries have equal voting rights in UEFA and they were able to band together to structure things this way. For confirmation, these are the matchups by home league for the current play-in stage:

Champions:
Switzerland vs Romania
Sweden vs Scotland
Belarus vs Israel
Cyprus vs Belgium
Croatia vs Slovenia

Non-Champions:
Portugal vs Italy
Russia vs Turkey
Spain vs Greece
Germany vs Ukraine
Denmark vs France
   1013. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 21, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4213567)
Transfers!

Kevin Mirallas to Everton
Does this mean he won't be hosting Intentional Talk anymore?
   1014. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4213570)
Thanks. And of course, you have to register there.

And then two well dressed Man City employees show up at your door with a copy of the Blue Moon Tower and a list of reasons why you support City.
   1015. DA Baracus Posted: August 21, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4213580)
And then two well dressed Man City employees show up at your door with a copy of the Blue Moon Tower and a list of reasons why you support City.


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
   1016. Juan V Posted: August 21, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4213581)
Yeah, that's gotta be it. Thanks. I assume this is one of those things where all the wee countries have equal voting rights in UEFA and they were able to band together to structure things this way. For confirmation, these are the matchups by home league for the current play-in stage:


Yep. Remember, those little countries voted Platini in.
   1017. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 21, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4213593)
Yep. Remember, those little countries voted Platini in.
I'm partway halfway through The Ball is Round, and I've just gotten to the Havelange chapters. I learned this is how he took over FIFA. (Well, this and massive corruption.)
   1018. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 21, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4213602)
(Well, this and massive corruption.)

Well that part goes without saying.
   1019. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4213624)
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

One of us! One of us!
   1020. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4213638)
Now that the window is getting near the end some of the more reliable sources are starting to pipe up about Spurs. BBC (David Ornstein) is reporting the Adebayor deal is done. Greg Stobart has Stoke coming in for Dawson and Huddlestone (which would be a coup for them, I think), Roger Morgan has Spurs in for Willian and a Brazilian reporter (don't have any idea about this guy, to be honest) has Spurs representatives in Porto Allegre making a final push for Leandro. Except for the Leandro link, those sources are fairly reliable. All I want is a striker and a link up midfielder as Spurs get linked with everyone the last week of the window.

In more tnagible news, De Rossi had a press conference today to announce he's staying at Roma. A press conference for that! No wonder these guys are egomaniacs.
   1021. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4213652)
Rejoice nerds! Statistics!


Just took a look and I'm definitely going to have some fun with this.

Already, the stats have backed up my distaste for Suarez. His states show him to be a much more ineffecient player than I even realized. We all know that he misses tons of chances, but he also a pretty ineffecient passer and gets caught offsides at a really high rate (even higher than RvP the player that I'd expect to be highest). Liverpool is in worse trouble than I thought.
   1022. puck Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4213655)
City doesn't seem like a good place for Sinclair, does it? At £5million you'd think there were other options for him.
   1023. ursus arctos Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4213656)
If you want to beat up on Suarez some more, check out the quality of the opposition he tends to score against. This "works" for Uruguay as well.
   1024. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4213661)
City doesn't seem like a good place for Sinclair, does it? At £5million you'd think there were other options for him.

Wages wages wages. I really hope he doesn't get buried at City as he's a fun player.

edit: Working from home today and Deportes has Spartak v Fenerbahce on just in time for lunch. Nice!
   1025. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4213676)
If you want to beat up on Suarez some more, check out the quality of the opposition he tends to score against. This "works" for Uruguay as well.


I may waffle in my love/hate for John Obi Mikel or Malouda, but I never waver on wanting to beat up on Suarez.
   1026. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4213677)
Wages wages wages. I really hope he doesn't get buried at City as he's a fun player.
Natural attacking wingers have gotten buried by Mancini pretty consistently, no?

The fact that they're only spending £5M suggests to me they want Sinclair to fill Johnson's shoes as an occasional Plan C sub when things aren't going well.
   1027. Mattbert Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4213678)
What the? Site just ate my post on Bassong.

EDIT: Alright, try try again.
   1028. Mattbert Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4213682)
Super Seb Bassong, a Spur no longer. I'll never forget your taking vengeance on Dax McCarty, big guy!

Good pickup for Norwich. The partnership of him and Michael Turner at the back might give the Canaries half a chance at staying up if they can keep both guys fit this season.
   1029. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4213687)
The interpretation of these statistics is going to be rather interesting. Take the offsides stat. Certainly I'd like for that number to be lower. On the other hand, it also (probably) indicates he's making quite a few dangerous runs and, on the occasions where he's able to beat the trap, it's likely to result in a high quality chance for Liverpool.

And, even if Suarez is only good against lower quality opponents -- I'm skeptical of that -- that's not necessarily a huge issue. I seem to remember hearing/reading that Liverpool took just 30 points of the available 60 points against the bottom half of the table last year. If they could just beat the teams they're "supposed to beat", they'd be in much better shape.

Basically, the Suarez criticism is reminiscent of the Frank Thomas, blame-the-best-player bashing in the 90s by certain members of the Chicago media. Suarez is far from perfect, but he's about 25th on the list of what's wrong with Liverpool.
   1030. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4213690)
Logically you'd think Sinclair could go to Manchester City for the sake of his ego and then instantly be loaned back to the team he came from and play there for two or three years. That's what happens in Spain. Then if the eight or nine people ahead of him on the depth chart all break their legs, he can play for Man City.
   1031. Swedish Chef Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4213698)
Suarez is far from perfect, but he's about 25th on the list of what's wrong with Liverpool

He's certainly not good enough to ditch a principled stand against racism for.
   1032. DA Baracus Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4213709)
Basically, the Suarez criticism is reminiscent of the Frank Thomas, blame-the-best-player bashing in the 90s by certain members of the Chicago media. Suarez is far from perfect, but he's about 25th on the list of what's wrong with Liverpool.


Except Frank Thomas was a class act and Luis Suarez is a piece of ####.
   1033. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4213718)
Yeah, if Frank Thomas were a little racist prick - basically, if he were the exact opposite of Frank Thomas, then the analogy might better hold.
   1034. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4213725)
He's certainly not good enough to ditch a principled stand against racism for.

Ehh, I'll leave the proclamations to you guys. Just as I don't think the White Sox' trading for Brett Myers is an endorsement of domestic violence, I don't think Liverpool's reluctance to ditch Luis Suarez is an endorsement of racism.

Yeah, if Frank Thomas were a little racist prick - basically, if he were the exact opposite of Frank Thomas, then the analogy might better hold.

The criticisms I was addressing had nothing to do with the racism charge, so the analogy seems fine.
   1035. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4213726)
It'll be interesting to look at the stats. My eyes tell me Suarez is a quality player who breaks down defenses and causes chaos--he certainly did several times against WBA Saturday. As for the racism stuff, I tend to think he's more a wind up merchant than a racist. I do think he's a bit of a dirty player, though, and I know Scott Parker would agree with me. The funny thing is watching their game for Saturday was just how much Shane Long and Suarez are alike--their game, not their personalities. It was entertaining watching the two working on opposite ends of the pitch in almost the exact same way.
   1036. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4213729)
Also, Thomas was clearly a Hall of Fame great, and one of the five greatest hitters of all time. Suarez is, at best, a good striker but nothing that we haven't seen many times before. And the question of exactly how good (or perhaps not so good) Suarez is remains open, whereas with Thomas and baseball stats the answer is relatively certain.
   1037. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4213731)
Tottenham Hotspur ?@SpursOfficial
We are delighted to announce that we have completed the transfer of Emmanuel Adebayor from Manchester City. More to come soon!


My relief, it is palpable! Woot! The only player last year in double digits in goals AND assists.
   1038. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4213735)
The Sahin to Arsenal deal seems to be hung up on Arsenal wanting an option to buy. That makes sense--it's bade enough Arsenal is a feeder for bigger clubs but they shouldn't be a finishing school, too...

I kid! It does make sense for Arsenal to get that option, though.
   1039. Swedish Chef Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4213739)
I don't think Liverpool's reluctance to ditch Luis Suarez is an endorsement of racism.

No, their hounding of Evra and total backing of Suarez in an unapologetic stance serves as the endorsement, rambling press releases and T-shirts included. I certainly hope Liverpool lose every single ####### game as long as Suarez and his enablers remain at the club.
   1040. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4213743)
Also, Thomas was clearly a Hall of Fame great, and one of the five greatest hitters of all time. Suarez is, at best, a good striker but nothing that we haven't seen many times before. And the question of exactly how good Suarez is remains open, whereas with Thomas and baseball stats the answer is relatively certain.

Not sure what the relevance of bringing up non-teammates (i.e. the HoF-great versus just a good player) is. I did say "blame-the-best-player", which in the context of the paragraph seems to mean relative to team, but perhaps I should have been clearer. If you want to go ahead, though, and make the case that Liverpool would be better off without him, by all means...
   1041. Swedish Chef Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4213745)
It does make sense for Arsenal to get that option, though.

It doesn't make an iota of sense for Real, though. Loaning with an option is what you do when you can't get rid of an player, and is nothing like a loan for development. If you want to get rid of him anybody would rather sell him straight up.
   1042. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4213751)
It doesn't make an iota of sense for Real, though. Loaning with an option is what you do when you can't get rid of an player, and is nothing like a loan for development. If you want to get rid of him anybody would rather sell him straight up.

I agree with you and it's probably why the deal isn't done yet. Arsenal have the cash, CL football and everyone wants to play for Wenger, so I don't see why they don't just buy a player outright. Their screwing around with this loan business strikes me as odd.
   1043. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4213754)
No, their hounding of Evra and total backing of Suarez in an unapologetic stance serves as the endorsement, rambling press releases and T-shirts included. I certainly hope Liverpool lose every single ####### game as long as Suarez and his enablers remain at the club.

Right. Their reaction to the whole episode was rather embarrassing, particularly the "Look, we have black friends!" post on the official website. The club could definitely use a Bluth-like PR makeover.
   1044. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4213764)
No details on Adebayor yet. The fee is rumored to be around 5 million but no idea on wages or length of contract. I imagine he'll be on the bench against WBA Saturday.
   1045. Swedish Chef Posted: August 21, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4213770)
I saw a breakdown of Adebayor's new salary somewhere. Wages were said to be £6.5M a year, a cool 100K a week plus a signing bonus of 4M for a three year contract.
   1046. Mattbert Posted: August 21, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4213778)
Lots of outlets carrying the story that Michael Dawson is on his way to QPR for a fee of £10M or so. I admit I'll miss the guy.
   1047. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4213785)
I saw a breakdown of Adebayor's new salary somewhere. Wages were said to be £6.5M a year, a cool 100K a week plus a signing bonus of 4M for a three year contract.

Not bad for Spurs as I imagine some of that bonus is coming from City.

Lots of outlets carrying the story that Michael Dawson is on his way to QPR for a fee of £10M or so. I admit I'll miss the guy.

Me, too. As the pundits say, he's been a good servant for the club but he deserves to play and he just won't see much time with this team. Hopefully he stays fit and gets hmself into the picture for Brazil '14.
   1048. Mattbert Posted: August 21, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4213808)
Arsenal have the cash, CL football and everyone wants to play for Wenger, so I don't see why they don't just buy a player outright. Their screwing around with this loan business strikes me as odd.

I think Sahin may have had some nagging injury problems last season, which would have contributed to his lack of playing time. If we suppose that Arsenal isn't 100% convinced about Sahin's fitness, then it makes sense that they would want to protect themselves in this way if Real will go for it. This would also explain why Real doesn't want to go for it, in addition to the reasons previously discussed.
   1049. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4213818)
Dirk Kuyt with a goal for Fenerbahce to equalize with Spartak!
   1050. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 21, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4213823)
Dirk Kuyt with a goal for Fenerbahce to equalize with Spartak!

There was some pretty shocking goalkeeping for that goal.
   1051. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 21, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4213833)
Yeah. The lob header for the assist was really cool, but you can't do that unless the keeper has foolishly come way off his line.
   1052. DA Baracus Posted: August 21, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4213847)
This is an urgent appeal: if any readers are in possession of a spare sense of humour, please send it to Glasgow, because it appears numerous Rangers supporters have lost theirs. There is no time to waste. The situation is critical. It is a code red.

This refers, of course, to the news that Falkirk have been moved to apologise to Rangers and suspend their PA announcer after he had a mild dig at the Glasgow club's current bedraggled state and called them "Sevco Franchise" when reading out the football scores over the Tannoy, Sevco being the name of a company used in the purchase of the business and assets of Rangers in the summer after the club was consigned to liquidation.


LOL. I do love that the article calls it "the Tannoy" though.
   1053. Mattbert Posted: August 21, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4213880)
A lot of twitter smoke that Spurs want Pjanic to replace Modric, which makes sense because he's the same guy they wanted last year, too. I think he's a tidy player with a real fearless streak and, unlike Moutinho and Porto, I think they could actually strike a deal with Roma for him.

They'd also only have to replace four letters on all their unsold #14 shirts. Bonus!

It would be awesome if you could order a ModrPjanic shirt, too.
   1054. jmurph Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4213895)
Presumably there would be lots of Pjanic on the Streets of London jokes?
   1055. Mattbert Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4213903)
I am sure those tabloid headline gurus already have a whole spreadsheet of witty zingers prepared.
   1056. user Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4213906)
   1057. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4213922)
Presumably there would be lots of Pjanic on the Streets of London jokes?

Not to mention Dublin, Dundee and Humberside.
   1058. ursus arctos Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4213926)
Pjanic is a talented player, but it would be terribly unfair to expect him to be Luka Mark II straight off the bat.
   1059. Swedish Chef Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4213936)
   1060. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4213937)
Yay!

Obviously the situation with Ade was complicated, but looked at as a pure transaction, this is a fabulous bargain, right? £5M transfer fee, 3-year contract on £100k per week wages to an excellent, sub-elite striker. Transfermarkt.co, just to grab one random example, rated Adebayor at £22M. That seems a little high, but still, this is a great deal for Spurs.
   1061. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4213939)
On my twitter feed, I saw someone mention that one of the big Italian papers had Pjanic's move to Spurs all but complete, but an hour or so ago, Football Italia released a piece with relevant quotes saying that Pjanic isn't going anywhere.

####### transfer season. I did really well not getting my hopes up over the various names being linked to Liverpool, but allowed myself to get super giddy for the prospect of Sahin. Predictably, I've now been let down, although perhaps there's still a chance if Liverpool can get over not having the option to purchase. All the rumors did, however, make the Addaidi signing pretty funny -- links to Walcott, Johnson, Tello, etc. and they go off and grab a relatively inexpensive winger from the Eredivisie.
   1062. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4213940)
Pjanic is a talented player, but it would be terribly unfair to expect him to be Luka Mark II straight off the bat.

I don't think anyone expects any player out there to really replace Modric, even the nuttier contingent of Spurs fans. When I say he's a Modric replacement, I mean he would take his spot in the first XI. No one's is replacing Modric's quality but hopefully AVB can make up for it tactically and with depth. Pjanic's agent insists he won't leave Roma, anyway. Rome is a lot closer to home for him than London, I guess.

It feels weird that Modric is technically a Tottenham player still. I feel like everyone has completely moved on, already.
   1063. ursus arctos Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4213943)
1061, the Italian papers (particularly Tuttosport and Corriere dello Sport) can be as accurate on transfer stories as goal.com, particularly if one of their favored clubs (Juve for TS, the Rome clubs for CdS) is involved.
   1064. DA Baracus Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4213946)
Looks like Maurice Edu is heading to Stoke. Now we just need to get Bocanegra out of there.
   1065. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4213947)
Bad timing for some rumormonger who wants to place Carroll with Spurs:

I am as confident Carroll won't be going to Spurs as I was Adebayor would be.

That seems a little high, but still, this is a great deal for Spurs.

Hell yeah, it is.

####### transfer season. I did really well not getting my hopes up over the various names being linked to Liverpool, but allowed myself to get super giddy for the prospect of Sahin. Predictably, I've now been let down, although perhaps there's still a chance if Liverpool can get over not having the option to purchase.

I feel your pain! One of these windows I'm going to keep a spreadsheet of all the players "rumored" to go to Spurs that I, against all rational judgement, let myself get a smidgen excited about--Llorente, Falcao, Higuain, Lewandoski, Hazard, etc. etc. etc...
   1066. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4213952)
One of these windows I'm going to keep a spreadsheet of all the players "rumored" to go to Spurs that I, against all rational judgement, let myself get a smidgen excited about--Llorente, Falcao, Higuain, Lewandoski, Hazard, etc. etc. etc...
For me it was Damaio (clearly was never happening) and Moutinho (come on, it could happen, right?). ####### transfer season.
   1067. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4213953)
Hatem Ben Arfa has picked up a 3 game Europa league ban for an infraction he committed in 2010 for Marseille. UEFA never forgets!
   1068. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4213958)
For me it was Damaio (clearly was never happening) and Moutinho (come on, it could happen, right?). ####### transfer season.

A ton of smoke about Damiao today. That's all I'm saying. Brazil's big sports paper has been reporting Spurs are in Brazil making their final push and that, supposedly, talks were going on all through the Olympics. I think it's now or never as surely Spurs will have to move on if they can't strike a deal now.
   1069. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4213961)
Celtic with a quick road goal against Helsingborg.
   1070. Swedish Chef Posted: August 21, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4213968)
Celtic with a quick road goal against Helsingborg.

I hate that most anglophonic media correctly discards Swedish genitive suffixes from club names these days. It feels odd when they did it wrong for so long.
   1071. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 21, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4213980)
There's only ONE Djurgarden now?
   1072. Swedish Chef Posted: August 21, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4213996)
There's only ONE Djurgarden now?

Only one Djurgården, only one Helsingborg. It looks weird.

In happier news, the little team that could, Portsmouth, is leading Colchester away. Not surprising, now that the team has had two days of training together. Their veterans have been there two weeks or so.
   1073. Swedish Chef Posted: August 21, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4214014)
Oh no, Colchester equalizes in the first half injury time.
   1074. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 21, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4214116)
Sky: Michael Dawson to QPR for £9M. That's just about the same price paid for Vertonghen. Daniel Levy's having himself a day. (Obviously he's got to spend the money he's made, but it's a good position to be in.)
   1075. Swedish Chef Posted: August 21, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4214126)
   1076. Topher Posted: August 21, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4214127)
Any thoughts about what Malaga does tomorrow?

It would seem that they desperately need a win for the financial solvency of the team.

It would seem that they desperately need to avoid having players cup-tied in case they lose and need to sell the likes of Nacho, Toulalan, Isco, and the like.


The risk of the club imploding seems quite real and you'd hate to devalue the assets that might keep you solvent. If I were a fan of the team, I have no idea what I'd want to have happen. (Well other than unspeakable acts to Abdullah bin Nasser bin Abdullah Al Ahmed Al Thani.)
   1077. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4214147)
Real Madrid: Jumping the gun

edit: they took it down, but here's a screnshot: http://img844.imageshack.us/img844/8766/realmadridluka.png
   1078. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 21, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4214152)
Any thoughts about what Malaga does tomorrow?

None, but Pellegrini is still there so I'm guessing he plays his best team.
   1079. ursus arctos Posted: August 21, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4214167)
Agree with Shooty.

They also risk UEFA sanctions is they field an obviously weakened team

CFR Cluj won in Basel. Ioan Andone to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson?
   1080. Mattbert Posted: August 21, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4214320)
If I were a fan of the team, I have no idea what I'd want to have happen. (Well other than unspeakable acts to Abdullah bin Nasser bin Abdullah Al Ahmed Al Thani.)

You can say that again.
   1081. Mefisto Posted: August 21, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4214350)
Per our discussion about women's professional soccer, here's an interesting article.
   1082. Juan V Posted: August 21, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4214367)
Gladbach lost :(
   1083. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 22, 2012 at 07:10 AM (#4214507)
This should make the Chef happy.

According to the BBC, Celtic did in fact defeat many distinct Helsingborgs.
   1084. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:17 AM (#4214518)
More stats!

My first take...Real Madrid better pony the #### up for Modric. My second take...I hope Sigurdsson is just 3/4 as good as the data make him out to be. Holy Toledo! Also, Liverpool should pony up for Clint Dempsey. He is good at soccerball. The latest Dempsey rumor I saw has Sunderland hot for him, which is kind of hilarious.

Also, QPR not reacting well to their ass kicking. They want to buy EVERYONE.
   1085. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:26 AM (#4214522)
Oh yeah, and Huddlestone is off to Stoke on a season long loan. With Thudd, Palacios, Crouch, Edu and Cameron, I may have to start wishing Stoke well, those bastards!
   1086. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:37 AM (#4214528)
Those numbers are really interesting. The coolest result, I thought, was that van Persie's finishing wasn't merely the best in the league, he was better than the next finishers (Balotelli and Rooney) by the same margin that Balotelli was better than the 100th or so finisher (Pienaar / Giggs). No, no, better, van Persie was better than Balotelli and Rooney by a slightly larger margin than Balotelli and Rooney were better than Fernando Torres.

The defenders results, though, are so profoundly non-intuitive that I have to think something's screwed up. Top ten defenders in the premier league by the Guardian's numbers:

Ward, Norwich City
Shawcross, Stoke City
Gabbidon, QPR
Ferdinand, QPR
Knight, Bolton
Cahill, Bolton
Samba, Blackburn
Kaboul, Tottenham
Whitbread, Norwich City
Upson, Stoke City
   1087. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:44 AM (#4214530)
The defenders results, though, are so profoundly non-intuitive that I have to think something's screwed up. Top ten defenders in the premier league by the Guardian's numbers:

That's just for headers. Sadly, they don't seem to give an all around ranking.

edit: Though the funny thing about the list you pasted is that by this weekend only Kaboul and Cahill will be first team regulars in the league. So much for the importance of heading...
   1088. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4214531)
The on-the-ball numbers are some of my favorites, because they seem to have a really nice combination of totally intuitive (top three Modric, Silva, Mata, highest rater defender is Baines) and interesting but believable (Sigurdsson 4th, Suarez 13th, Arteta 14th) and wtf (Zamora and Taaraabt 9th-10th). Charlie Adam makes the top 20, too.

It could of course just be a case of something like batting average, a stat that misses tons of data and massively overrates certain skills, that can still produce some amount of recognizable results and correlation to quality. The correlation seems good enough, given that top three, that it must mean something, right?
That's just for headers. Sadly, they don't seem to give an all around ranking.
Oh, that's different. (And stupid.) I'm guessing one of the main things it's measuring is set-pieces allowed, that would explain the strong correlation between defensive header quality and team goals allowed.
   1089. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4214532)
The defenders results, though, are so profoundly non-intuitive that I have to think something's screwed up. Top ten defenders in the premier league by the Guardian's numbers:


Without looking at the data that list looks like it is giving too much credit for "chances" rather than "quality." Of the ten players on the list, nine are for teams in the bottom half of the table. It seems to be equivalent to saying a #9 hitter is better than #1 hitter because he made fewer outs while ignoring the rate at which the outs are made.
   1090. Mattbert Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:46 AM (#4214533)
Oh yeah, and Huddlestone is off to Stoke on a season long loan. With Thudd, Palacios, Crouch, Edu and Cameron, I may have to start wishing Stoke well, those bastards!

Assuming Dawson and Thud join the already outbound Bassong and the inevitably outbound Modric, then by my count Spurs have at least 2 open places on the 25-man squad. And you could easily see more spots being freed up if Rose, Bentley, Naughton, Jenas, and Falque are sold or loaned out. This also assumes the club retains all three senior (and I do mean senior) keepers.

I wouldn’t expect Spurs to come out of the transfer window with anything less than the full complement of 25, plus at least two freebies in Caulker and probably one of Townsend or Carroll. So it would seem a minimum of two more signings ought to be on the cards, with a further one or two very plausible.

Somebody hold me.
   1091. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:50 AM (#4214534)
I wouldn’t expect Spurs to come out of the transfer window with anything less than the full complement of 25, plus at least two freebies in Caulker and probably one of Townsend or Carroll. So it would seem a minimum of two more signings ought to be on the cards, with a further one or two very plausible.

Somebody hold me.


I can't even keep up with all the rumors flying today. I don't think Naughton is leaving, though. QPR may offer stupid money for Defoe so it will be interesting to see if Spurs blink or not.
   1092. Mattbert Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4214535)
The defenders results, though, are so profoundly non-intuitive that I have to think something's screwed up.

The four categories they used are an odd choice: Defensive Headers, Jumping, Strength, and Tackling. The headers and jumping would seem to be at least somewhat redundant. I don't know how you measure strength; that seems a bit nebulous. (Balls shielded out of play? Fouls? Blocks? Thigh circumference?) Tackling is obvious, of course, but defending in the modern game seems to be at least as much about interceptions, pressing, and smart positional play.
   1093. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:07 AM (#4214536)
And you could easily see more spots being freed up if Rose, Bentley, Naughton, Jenas, and Falque are sold or loaned out.
There was an interesting piece by Alex Kamas on CFC about the insanely intricate squad selection rules for the Europa League. The short takeaway is that it actually makes a sort of sense to keep Danny Rose around because you can add him to the squad at no cost, but you can't replace him.

I haven't seen nearly enough of Naughton's play, but I got the sense for internets discussion and from his new contract that AVB sees him as a depth contributor this season. He can reportedly play effectively at either fullback position, which is particularly important because Spurs really lack depth at fullback. I guess they could loan Naughton and sign someone else for depth. But I'd guess that Naughton should be able to see a lot of action in Europa and cup matches, which should lessen the need to loan him out. And really, the most pressing depth issue seems to be defense, so they'd probably want another guy along with Naughton on the squad.

With Adebayor on the squad, the most important issue for Spurs is signing a regista / deep-lying playmaker to replace Modric. It seems like they've been linked mostly to keepers and strikers. Is it more important that Spurs upgrade at striker, pushing Defoe and Kane down to #3 and #4 (perhaps also Adebayor down to #2), or get a keeper better than Friedel or Gomes? Or maybe they should just do both. It ain't my money.
   1094. DA Baracus Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4214537)
The coolest result, I thought, was that van Persie's finishing wasn't merely the best in the league, he was better than the next finishers (Balotelli and Rooney) by the same margin that Balotelli was better than the 100th or so finisher (Pienaar / Giggs).


Arsenal sold high!

These stats really illustrate just how much you need context and how baseball is a unique beast when it comes to stats. (You still need context in baseball of course, just not as much.)

I don't know how you measure strength; that seems a bit nebulous. (Balls shielded out of play? Fouls? Blocks? Thigh circumference?)


It's in the methodology:

Strength is average number of "ground duels" won per appearance x successful percentage of all "ground duels" contested.
   1095. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:21 AM (#4214541)
It's in the methodology:

Strength is average number of "ground duels" won per appearance x successful percentage of all "ground duels" contested.
The numbers on tackling and strength seem reasonably well correlated, with Lucas dominating both categories, and Sandro, Cuellar, Zabaleta, Faurlin (ok, didn't recognize that one), Cattermole, Dembele, Cabaye, Parker all appearing near the top. Rafael da Silva, interestingly, rates second-best to Lucas.
   1096. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:31 AM (#4214544)
Is it more important that Spurs upgrade at striker, pushing Defoe and Kane down to #3 and #4 (perhaps also Adebayor down to #2), or get a keeper better than Friedel or Gomes?
Oh, and the other thing. Spurs have been linked to a couple guys who sound more like wide forwards (Willian being the latest), and I know AVB liked using Sturridge and Hulk in wide forward roles at Chelsea and Porto. So maybe the idea is to get a forward who doesn't push Adebayor down the hierarchy but rather one who can be paired with him or who offers a different attacking option.
   1097. Mattbert Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:35 AM (#4214547)
I can't even keep up with all the rumors flying today. I don't think Naughton is leaving, though. QPR may offer stupid money for Defoe so it will be interesting to see if Spurs blink or not.

Of the guys I listed, I think the most likely to leave are Bentley (cut-price sale or another loan), Falque (loan), and Rose (loan). I have a hunch Villas-Boas likes Jenas as a flexible squad player who won't carp about his playing time. Similarly, Naughton can cover both fullback positions and isn't likely to cause friction because he's second or third choice there.
   1098. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4214550)
Oh, and the other thing. Spurs have been linked to a couple guys who sound more like wide forwards (Willian being the latest), and I know AVB liked using Sturridge and Hulk in wide forward roles at Chelsea and Porto. So maybe the idea is to get a forward who doesn't push Adebayor down the hierarchy but rather one who can be paired with him or who offers a different attacking option.

I've been wondering this, too. I wonder if AVB sees Defoe as being able to play on the left side of a 4-3-3 so he can cut in and shoot with his right foot which, to be honest, is the one thing he's really ####### good at. I'm not saying for every game, but on occasion. The Willian thing...I just can't believe Spurs will pay 20 million for him despite all the heat coming from fairly reputable sources. He's awfully good, though.
   1099. Mattbert Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4214553)
There was an interesting piece by Alex Kamas on CFC about the insanely intricate squad selection rules for the Europa League. The short takeaway is that it actually makes a sort of sense to keep Danny Rose around because you can add him to the squad at no cost, but you can't replace him.

I've been assuming that Adam Smith and Kyle Naughton would be the fullback options for Europa cover, with Zeki Fryers also contributing if in fact that whole thing was accurate and his move is simply a matter of the compensation being settled at tribunal. I have no idea what's going on with him, though. It would seem that should have been sorted by now; the initial reports of his transfer are from like six weeks ago.
   1100. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4214557)
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