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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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   401. zack Posted: August 10, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4205178)
I have no idea what this means, but the comparison seems very off. For starters, fans love her and she's way more outspoken.


Fans loved A-Rod the first few years as well. I mean that she is a very good player who I would otherwise really like, but she gives off some kind of alien anti-likability radiation. Watch the interview I mentioned, at one point she decided to talk about how "this is the first team i've ever played on that felt like a team" in a way that made her seem completely out of touch. I bet her centaur is prettier, though.

Edit: blech, terrible way to start a page, forget I said anything. USA! USA! USA!
   402. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4205214)
I think Hope Solo is more Barry Bonds than A-Rod in that she doesn't seem to give a #### if people like her.
   403. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4205220)
Bellamy officially joins Cardiff. I think this is a mistake for Liverpool but there ya go. At least Bellamy is used to wearing red now...
   404. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 10, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4205231)
Bellamy officially joins Cardiff. I think this is a mistake for Liverpool but there ya go. At least Bellamy is used to wearing red now...
I like that Bellamy's Wikipedia page has its own "Alleged Violence" section.
   405. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 10, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4205239)
Van der Vaart was called up for Holland's squad today which 1) means all that talk of him being dropped from the national team was a lot of crap 2) annoys me because he's just coming off an injury. I HATE these stupid August friendlies. They are pointless and can lead only to tears.
   406. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: August 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4205290)
BIG NEWS!!! Alejandro Bedoya has signed with Helsignborg of the Swedish league!

Put me down for the Manchester teams as 1 and 2 in the EPL this year too. Arsenal is improved but I don't see how Chelsea has.
   407. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 10, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4205294)
BIG NEWS!!! Alejandro Bedoya has signed with Helsignborg of the Swedish league!


For whom, on August 21, he will be playing against ... Celtic.
   408. Swedish Chef Posted: August 10, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4205308)
but I don't see how Chelsea has.

Hazard is a step up. But they will have to kick their Drogba addiction cold turkey, I think they will miss him very soon. He was the perfect plan B when things weren't working.
   409. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: August 10, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4205311)
Hazard is a step up.


Hazard is obviously an excellent addition, but is he enough to make up for the loss of Drogba and Terry, Lampard, Cole and Cech getting older? A Champions League spot, okay. But title challenge? That's a huge climb.
   410. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: August 10, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4205314)
Edu isn't staying at Rangers, is he? I'm not super bullish on him, but he's a useful part for the USMNT, and it'd be rather disappointing if he couldn't seal a move to some place that's not third division Scotland.

With Bellamy, it's probably worth noting that Bellamy was the one, at least from quotes of the involved parties, pushing for the move. I'm disappointed because he was a good player last year, but as with Maxi and Kuyt, I can understand wanting to clean up the inefficiencies of having non-first 11, squad-player veterans amongst your highest paid players. The lack of depth up front is definitely disconcerting, but LFC's group of pain-in-the-ass small guys (Borini, Suarez, Lucas and, most likely, Allen) is going to be hell to go against.
   411. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: August 10, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4205317)
The Rangers have said Edu is going to leave. Bocanegra looks like he's going to stay for some reason.
   412. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: August 10, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4205323)
I wonder if Bocanegra not coming to MLS had to do with that silly allocation rule for USMNT players. He seemed to speak pretty highly of the league a month or so back, and given his age, a move back here seemed as reasonable an option as any. But if you can't pick where you're gonna play, that's kind of a big deal.
   413. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: August 10, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4205334)
Brian McBride forced their hand with the allocation when he came back. They would make it work for the captain of the national team.
   414. Topher Posted: August 10, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4205364)
Hazard is obviously an excellent addition, but is he enough to make up for the loss of Drogba and Terry, Lampard, Cole and Cech getting older?


I think the loss of Drogba has the potential to be massive but I'm just not seeing age as a huge factor for Chelea.

Terry will be 31-32 during the season. That's getting up there, but it isn't ancient for a center back. He's not part of the future but as part of the present I think he's fine. Vidic is 10 months younger than him.

Lampard needs to learn what it is like to come off the substitutes bench. Chelsea has plenty of replacement that I doubt he will be missed much unless there isn't anybody in the starting 11 that can regularly hit penalties.

Cole is a real risk of losing it out on the left. But even if he does start to lose it, I can't see his skills diminishing so much that he hurts Chelsea in the current campaign. He's still the best left back in the Premiership, correct? Even if he slips to 85% of what he was last season, I think that will be ok.

Cech getting old seems misplaced since 30 isn't all that old for a keeper. I haven't watched nearly enough of Chelsea to make my own judgement, but I seem to recall hearing that the further he's gotten from the cracked skull, the better he's been.

To me, the only reason why Chelsea won't compete for the title is the loss of Drogba. And that in itself may do it. Personally, I see enough good things out of Torres that I think he's going to ok. And by ok I don't mean as a completely replacement, just that he's going to look much better than he has in blue. I wouldn't be surprised if Chelsea made one more run at Hulk. Even if they don't, the way I see it, the drop off from Drogba to Torres/Sturridge isn't nearly significant enough to outweigh the gains added by signing Hazard, Marin, and Oscar.
   415. Randy Jones Posted: August 10, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4205382)
So Chelsea isn't old, but United is? Just not seeing it. They have Cleverley, Kagawa, Anderson, Carrick, Scholes, and Giggs for two CM spots. Giggs and Scholes may be old, but they shouldn't need them to play nearly as much as they did last year(and they were both very good last year even with all that time on the field). Ferdinand is old yes, but Jones is fine backing him up and Smalling should be healthy at some point. Evra I guess maybe? The wingers and forwards are pretty much all young and/or in their primes.
   416. Topher Posted: August 10, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4205406)
Fair point, Randy.

I guess in my mind the difference in ages in the two squads that are both old is this:

1. Ferdinand is not only the oldest center back, but his back problems make the effect more pronounced. As I've noted, I don't trust either Jones or Smalling to be healthy to regularly be in the rotation for when Rio can't play. I can see SAF having his choice of 5 center backs (+ Vidic & Evans) one week and then needing to plug in Carrick two weeks later. I very well could be wrong on that.

2. Giggs and Scholes do a phenomenal job of letting their awareness and skills make up for their declining athleticism. But when both are on the pitch I think it causes troubles. If they don't need them to play as much, it obviously isn't a factor. I have no idea if this is accurate or not, but my gut tells me that SAF trusts both so much that he will likely play both more than he "needs". If some combo of Cleverley, Kagawa, and Anderson all start the season off well, I'm guessing things will probably work ok. If not, I think he's going to lean on both Giggs and Scholes too much.

3. Evra seems to have lost it. Cole doesn't. They are the same age so I might be giving Cole too much credit.

4. United has done a much, much better job of setting themselves up long term and I think Chelsea is going to fall off a cliff. But I don't see it happening in 12/13.


That's a very long way of saying I might be wrong. There is an awful lot of history that suggests I will be wrong as well.
   417. Randy Jones Posted: August 10, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4205425)
Remember that Scholes wasn't called out of retirement until Cleverley and Anderson had missed a whole lot of time and it was clear they weren't coming back. At the beginning of last season, Cleverley and Anderson got the bulk of the playing time, with Giggs and Carrick spelling them. I doubt SAF will go with Giggs and Scholes over the younger guys unless he is forced too. Also, apparently Fletcher is actually healthy enough to be training with Scotland since last week which is a good sign. If he actually recovers and can play this season, that would help a lot too.
   418. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 10, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4205434)
Romelu Lukaku is headed to West Brom on loan, so either Sturridge is playing as a CF this year or Chelsea isn't done buying. Might as well try to break that 100 million pound net spend this summer to keep up with PSG.
   419. zack Posted: August 10, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4205438)
#320: Kagawa, Carrick, Giggs, Scholes, Anderson, Clevery, and maybe Fletcher / #325: Giggs and/or Scholes / #342: Giggs and Scholes / #415: Scholes, and Giggs ... Giggs and Scholes / #416: Giggs and Scholes ... Giggs and Scholes / #417: Giggs and Scholes.


I think that, were I listening to the soccer threads here (and not just this one) rather than reading them, I would be convinced that United employed the world-class-but-aging Dutch midfielder Giggs Antsköols.
   420. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 10, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4205442)
I would be convinced that United employed the world-class-but-aging Dutch midfielder Giggs Antsköols.

That guy was something before electricity!
   421. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: August 10, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4205454)
To me, the only reason why Chelsea won't compete for the title is the loss of Drogba.


This is unrealistically optimistic to me. Changes don't exist in a vacuum, just because a team got better (on paper) doesn't mean they'll actually be better in the standings: other teams get better too. And of course, #### happens. Chelsea wasn't good enough last year with 64 points. So we're starting off with a core not good enough to win the league, although 2 years ago they were 2nd. Chelsea has a mountain to climb to win the title. Since 2002-03, the lowest point total to win the EPL has been 80. So best case realistic scenario is at least a 16 point improvement by Chelsea while both Man City and Man U drop at least 10 points from last year and while Arsenal and Spurs pick up no more than 9 and 10 points respectively.

Recent history is not kind to a team in Chelsea's position: (man I wish I knew how to do a table)

2011-12: Champion: Man City. Previously: 3rd. Point total improvement: 18. Defending champs: Man U. Point total improvement: 9
2010-11: Champion: Man U. Previously: 2nd. Improvement: -5. Defending champs: Chelsea: Improvement: -15
2009-10: Champion: Chelsea. Previously: 3rd. Improvement: 3. Defending champs: Man U. Improvement: -5
2008-09: Champion: Man U. Previously: 1st. Improvement: 3. Defending champs: Man U.
2007-08: Champion: Man U.Previously: 1st. Improvement: -2. Defending champs: Man U.
2006-07: Champion: Man U. Previously: 2nd. Improvement: 6. Defending champs: Chelsea. Improvement: -8
2005-06: Champion: Chelsea. Previously: 1st. Improvement: -4. Defending champs: Chelsea.
2004-05: Champion: Chelsea. Previously: 2nd. Improvement: 16. Defending champs: Arsenal. Improvement: -7
2003-04: Champion: Arsenal. Previously: 2nd. Improvement: 12. Defending champs: Man U. Improvement: -8
2002-03: Champion: Man U. Previously: 3rd. Improvement: 6. Defending champs: Arsenal Improvement: -9

(I stopped at ten years because I am neglecting my job typing this up.) 6th to 1st just doesn't happen in the EPL. 2004-05 and 2003-04 saw the kind of point total changes Chelsea would need, but with the previous year's runners up. Of course unprecendented stuff happens, but good luck trying to predict it.

Personally, I see enough good things out of Torres that I think he's going to ok. And by ok I don't mean as a completely replacement, just that he's going to look much better than he has in blue.


See them where?
   422. Topher Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4205479)
Well not to walk back too much from what I said, but compete and win are two different things. I expect City to repeat. I do believe that Chelsea is next in line if the City experiment implodes. But my original point was simply to suggest that both Arsenal and Chelsea look more likely to produce a challenge than United with them only thus far signing Kagawa.

As to Torres, he's a step lower but he still has good pace. I think the timing of his runs is still top notch and he has touch and distribution that is still good for a pure striker. He just can't finish. Granted, that's a massive problem to have. I can't see it continuing to be this bad. Essentially I think he will be able to create chances for himself and he's likely to finish a few more of them.
   423. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4205519)
I don't know if it means anything, but Hugo Lloris isn't playing this weekend due to a virus. I guess it could mean he has a virus...

I'll believe Torres is good again if he plays well. He hasn't been able to carry Yakubu's jock the last year and a half. He should be capable of regaining some form, though. It just seems surreal he could be this bad. If he were a Dominican baseball player I'd just assume he's been lying about his age.
   424. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4205524)
Joe Allen is officially a Red. The fee isn't reported but Henry himself said it was the 15 million pound release in Allen's contract.

edit: And for Spurs fans, Townsend and Kane have scored in the friendly against Southend in the first half. I have the distinct impression Townsend is making the team this year instead of going out on loan again. He looks much improved from last year and I rated him last year, too. I wonder if he has a Jake Livermore leap in quality in him.
   425. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4205552)
One of these days, Ferguson's magic isn't going to work. Other teams seems to have a hang up on United and can't get over the top. I know we don't like to talk about intangibles, but some of the United sheen has worn off. At the the end of last season I don't think anyone expected United to stumble against Wigan and Everton and they did and then City pulled off that win the last day.

My biggest worry is that while everyone hopes United rely less on Scholes and Giggs, they needed them last year to just beat mediocre teams.
   426. Topher Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4205553)
Joe Allen is officially a Red.

Not that this is breaking news or anything but does this also make it all-but-official that Dempsey is going nowhere?

With all respect to my good friends at Bleacher Report, there appears to be nothing else in the news that even hints at a Dempsey transfer anywhere right now.
   427. jmurph Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4205561)
One of these days, Ferguson's magic isn't going to work.


This is theoretically true, but I'll believe it when I see it. Something tells me he'll be smart enough to hang it up before the team implodes.

I do think his transfer magic has been a bit off the last few years- I thought De Gea and Jones were pretty wildly overpriced, not to mention Bebe (though I think Shooty's on to something with that one...). Then again, Ashley Young was reasonably cheap, so I guess his recent record remains solid.

   428. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 10, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4205567)
Not that this is breaking news or anything but does this also make it all-but-official that Dempsey is going nowhere?

With Bellamy and Maxi gone and Carroll being told he's useless, there's room at Liverpool for Dempsey, though moving to a club that finished 1 point above his own may not be what he had in mind.

(though I think Shooty's on to something with that one...)

ursus would know more, but there's some really sordid rumors about that transfer and I know there has been a police investigation into it, though I don't know if anything came of it.
   429. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: August 10, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4205665)
Looks like the Japanese women going to get an upgrade for the flight home. Apparently there was an online petition.
   430. Textbook Editor Posted: August 11, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4206051)
Forgive me if this has been answered before, but does anyone have any idea if Al Jazeera Sport is going to be on Comcast? Because I'm trying to figure out who's broadcasting the Juve v. Napoli game and it seems to be... no one that I can find.
   431. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 11, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4206056)
Anyone else trying to watch the Brazil v Mexico match on nbc.com and just getting a "coverage will resume" message???

[edit] Oh, great, now I'm getting a "this video is private" message. ####### #nbcfail.

[edit2] Ah, it appears the game is only on the nbcsimulcast ... not that there was anything, anywhere that would have told me that if I hadn't stumbled on it randomly ... #nbcfail.

Also, early gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooal for Mexico!
   432. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2012 at 10:19 AM (#4206062)
Weird, I was able to watch it on NBCSports right from the jump.

I like Mexico playing a high line and being aggressive. I wish teams would do this against Spain more often. Laying back just means they have possession 75% of the time and eventually you get picked apart. In a group or season situation where goal difference matters it makes some sense, in a knockout situation better to try and win 3-2 at the risk of losing 5-0.
   433. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4206068)
Wow, early tactical sub. Credit to Meneses to take the risk rather than stand idly by. If this game goes to extra time that might be a problem.
   434. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4206075)
It's not just because of Hulk but Brazil have been a better team since he came on. They look to be the much more likely said to get a goal.
   435. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4206081)
Rafael is having an incredibly sloppy game.
   436. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4206082)
Neumar is trying to do too much. Every time he gets the ball he takes one if not two or three too many touches.
   437. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4206083)
Ohhh Neymar. What a miss!
   438. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4206087)
I think everyone in Brazil just crapped their pants.
   439. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4206088)
Oh me, Oh my ... the crossbar of destiny???
   440. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4206089)
Any uncrapped pants in Brazil are now well crapped.
   441. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4206090)
Nice to have a U-23 team with the talent to bring a guy like Pato off the bench.
   442. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4206091)
Horrible defending.
   443. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4206092)
Wow. Completely unmarked there.
   444. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4206093)
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!
   445. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4206094)
Drawers.

Soiled.
   446. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4206095)
So who manages Brazil in the World Cup now?
   447. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4206097)
Andres Cantor slipped into English on the Univision broadcast; "my name is Oribe Peralta!"
   448. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4206098)
So who manages Brazil in the World Cup now?


Well, Sven would listen if they called.
   449. Mattbert Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4206099)
Hulk looks fat, and apparently he got caught in a gravity well on Mexico's second goal. Why is he marking Mexico's center forward there, anyway? Shouldn't that be Silva or Juan?
   450. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4206100)
Well, Sven would listen if they called.

Well, if there's any country that could afford to pay the man in bikini models...
   451. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4206103)
Is it selective memory on my part or have Hulk's corners been fairly poor?
   452. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4206104)
Brazilians do not handle losing well but I can understand why they're frustrated with Rafael. Not so good today.
   453. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4206108)
Well, a life line for,Brazil.
   454. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4206109)
I think it's too late.
   455. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4206110)
Brazil not done yet.
   456. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4206111)
I underhand going for goal but Fabian would have been better just turning to the corner flag.
   457. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4206112)
Hulk SMASH!!!
   458. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4206113)
Oh ####. Oscar! How do you miss that!
   459. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4206114)
Oh Brazil had their chance, Oscar has to finish that.
   460. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4206115)
C'mon Brazil, daddy wants free soccer!
   461. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4206116)
Exciting right until the end. ¡Felicidades El Tri!
   462. Mattbert Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4206117)
Oh my. That's a sitter.
   463. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4206118)
Oh, *that's* the Oscar miss everyone was talking about ... for some reason my feed was 45 seconds behind everyone else.

Well, that's that ... congratulations to Mexico.
   464. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4206120)
I haven't seen much of Hulk before this game, but that was a pretty brilliant offensive performance from him.
   465. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4206121)
Still, if Brazil wanted to win that match, they shouldn't have gone out of their way to have lost it ...
   466. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 11, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4206127)
Analyst on NBC; "it's simple for Brazil, they'll wake up tomorrow, fire their coach and bring in another great group of players."
   467. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 12, 2012 at 08:23 AM (#4206677)
Jack Rodwell heading to Man City for some reason.

Lots of talk linking Spurs with M'Villa, Damiao and Adebayor still. We shall see.
   468. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 12, 2012 at 08:46 AM (#4206683)
I seem to recall that Rodwell was supposed to eventually settle as a CB. United could have used him more. Can't believe its Community Shield time already. That means the season starts next week!
   469. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 12, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4206688)
Does Ivanovic's red card carry over into the season?
   470. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 12, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4206691)
Yea I think so.
   471. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 12, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4206697)
Lots of talk linking Spurs with M'Villa, Damiao and Adebayor still. We shall see.

I'm so far out of the loop on transfer rumors that I thought M'Vila was already on Arsenal.
   472. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 12, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4206699)
I'm so far out of the loop on transfer rumors that I thought M'Vila was already on Arsenal.

They've given up on him for some reason. He's not the kind of player I would have thought Spurs would be in for, but the rumors persist.
   473. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 12, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4206702)
So I've been in and out of this thread all summer, are we doing a fantasy league like we did last year?
   474. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 12, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4206710)
An absolute peach of a goal from Van der Wiel to open the season's scoring for Ajax. An utterly perfect strike from about 25 yards out on the right that made a straight line for the upper lefthand corner of the net ...
   475. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4206726)
Wayne Brady applying a slapdown to Ajax!

Go Jozy!!!
   476. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: August 12, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4206771)
   477. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 12, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4206780)
So I've been in and out of this thread all summer, are we doing a fantasy league like we did last year?
We are, there's a link to it somewhere in this thread which I am too stupid to find for some reason
   478. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 12, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4206855)
A couple of great goals for Jozy.

Do you think Jozy Altidore will have a good year in Holland? Is this good for the US Men's National team? Discuss below!
   479. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: August 12, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4206870)
The roster for Wednesday's game vs Mexico is less than inspiring. Orozco Fiscal is back. Bocanegra is not.
   480. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 12, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4206874)
The roster for Wednesday's game vs Mexico is less than inspiring. Orozco Fiscal is back. Bocanegra is not.

I'm surprised that many Euro-based guys were called up. I will repeat this forever: I hate this August friendly.
   481. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 12, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4206886)
The one good thing about this friendly, and I'm parroting something I previously read, is that it's a chance for some guys with limited experience to play in about as hostile an environment as possible in a meaningless situation.
   482. Spivey Posted: August 12, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4206928)
Jozy putting it together is probably the biggest single thing that can happen with the USMNT, that and someone emerging as a starting European defender.
   483. jmurph Posted: August 13, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4207100)
At the risk of reading too much into one meaningless game in which they only lost by one to a better team while playing an entire half with a man down... I think Chelsea is in for a very tough season if they don't bring in a world class striker. Torres scored, granted, on a decent finish from a great pass, but he was abysmal trying to hold the ball up yesterday. I'm envisioning a lot of great midfield play from the likes of Mata and Hazard resulting in Torres losing the ball to the opposition.
   484. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4207105)
At the risk of reading too much into one meaningless game in which they only lost by one to a better team while playing an entire half with a man down... I think Chelsea is in for a very tough season if they don't bring in a world class striker. Torres scored, granted, on a decent finish from a great pass, but he was abysmal trying to hold the ball up yesterday. I'm envisioning a lot of great midfield play from the likes of Mata and Hazard resulting in Torres losing the ball to the opposition.

Llorente is available, but it would require Abramovich admitting he goofed and digging into his pocket for another 20 million quid. To me, Ramires looked like Chelsea's best player, but I was only sort of paying attention. I did catch Hazard falling on his face trying a back heel, which was fun. But, yeah, it's just one game and not a "real" one at that so...just counting down the time until Saturday.
   485. Mattbert Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4207116)
Adebayor would be the ideal guy for Chelsea, really. I'm kind of amazed that they haven't been all over him.
   486. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4207118)
Adebayor would be the ideal guy for Chelsea, really. I'm kind of amazed that they haven't been all over him.

Shhhh!

   487. jmurph Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4207119)
But, yeah, it's just one game and not a "real" one at that so


Totally fair, but I think a lot of people saw striker as an issue leading into the season, and I think yesterday's effort confirmed that for me. I would imagine Abramovich expects them to be battling it out with City and United this year, but right now I'd put them behind Arsenal and possibly Tottenham- again.
   488. jmurph Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4207122)
Another thing: let me acknowledge up front that I expect no sympathy as a fan of City, but holy god do I not get this Rodwell signing. At no point in his career do I expect him to be worth 15-20 million, let alone now.
   489. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 13, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4207126)
Another thing: let me acknowledge up front that I expect no sympathy as a fan of City, but holy god do I not get this Rodwell signing. At no point in his career do I expect him to be worth 15-20 million, let alone now.

Are they having trouble with the home grown quota? Because it's the only thing I can think of and I fully expect him to get buried at City and never be heard from again.
   490. jmurph Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4207133)
Are they having trouble with the home grown quota?


I'm forgetting the rules, but they're fairly English as the rich clubs go. Barry, Hart, Lescott, and Milner see regular action, and Johnson is still on the roster.
   491. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4207137)
I'm forgetting the rules, but they're fairly English as the rich clubs go. Barry, Hart, Lescott, and Milner see regular action, and Johnson is still on the roster.

I think you need 8 home grown players on the roster.

edit: They shipped out Bridge, Taylor and Hargreaves so maybe they needed to add a guy since Johnson is rumored to be in the shop window. Wikipedia didn't have that detailed an account of their roster, so I'm just guessing. Maybe they actually rate Rodwell that highly.
   492. jmurph Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4207139)
I forgot Richards. Does a guy like Clichy count, having spent so many years in England with Arsenal? I wasn't clear on that.
   493. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4207143)
I forgot Richards. Does a guy like Clichy count, having spent so many years in England with Arsenal? I wasn't clear on that.

Clichy doesn't count, though, as an example, Gylfi Sigurdsson does count as he spent 3 years at Reading's academy.

My count:

Richards
Lescott
Johnson
Hart
Milner
Barry
Rodwell

I have no idea how many of their academy/reserve players are technically home grown or if any of them will be on the roster. I can barely keep up with Spurs when it comes to this crap!
   494. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4207144)
Adebayor would be the ideal guy for Chelsea, really. I'm kind of amazed that they haven't been all over him.


I've been pimping this on Chelsea board this summer. As I was yelling at Spurs fans before last season, Adebayor is a perfect guy for a one (maybe two if your lucky)-year stint where you just need size up front and goals. He was great for Spurs with a smaller team behind him, and he'd be fantastic for Chelsea. Then after a year you discard him and his attitude.

Another thing: let me acknowledge up front that I expect no sympathy as a fan of City, but holy god do I not get this Rodwell signing. At no point in his career do I expect him to be worth 15-20 million, let alone now.


Rodwell is way overrated. That's a waste of money. The guy on Everton that just gets no love is Fellaini. I can't understand why more teams aren't rushing to sign him. Unbelievable work rate, fantastic in the air on defense and not a bad passer to link your defense with an attacking mid. I don't get what's not to like.
   495. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4207147)
No one wants to snark on Rangers drawing their fourth division opener against mighty Peterhead?
   496. Mattbert Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4207149)
I think you need 8 home grown players on the roster.

You don't need them, per se. Those 8 slots are just reserved for home-grown players. In theory, you could name a squad with zero home-grown players; in that case, the penalty would be that your squad would have a maximum of 17 players.

Does a guy like Clichy count, having spent so many years in England with Arsenal? I wasn't clear on that.

Clichy does not count. However, the Belgian-born Dedryck Boyata does, having spent the required 3 seasons/36 months with an Association club (City) prior to turning 21.
   497. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4207151)
I can't understand why more teams aren't rushing to sign him. Unbelievable work rate, fantastic in the air on defense and not a bad passer to link your defense with an attacking mid. I don't get what's not to like.

Moyes is pretty savvy about not selling the good players!
   498. Randy Jones Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4207153)
Clichy doesn't count


Are you sure? Clichy went to Arsenal at 18, he should count as "homegrown" since he played in England for 3+ years before he was 21.

   499. Mattbert Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4207158)
Adebayor is a perfect guy for a one (maybe two if your lucky)-year stint where you just need size up front and goals. He was great for Spurs with a smaller team behind him, and he'd be fantastic for Chelsea. Then after a year you discard him and his attitude.

Not that I was a dressing room insider or anything, but Adebayor's attitude for Spurs last season seemed pretty fantastic. The published quotes about him from Tottenham teammates are overwhelmingly positive, and he appeared to be quite well-liked based on "soft" evidence such as goal celebrations, post-game hugs, photos of him clowning around with teammates in training, and the like.

The guy on Everton that just gets no love is Fellaini. I can't understand why more teams aren't rushing to sign him. Unbelievable work rate, fantastic in the air on defense and not a bad passer to link your defense with an attacking mid. I don't get what's not to like.

Dodgy disciplinary and fitness record. But yeah, like you say, a dominant player on his day.
   500. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4207161)
I think Chelsea is in for a very tough season if they don't bring in a world class striker.

Van Persie is available.
(no, doesn't have the same ring as "Soriano")
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