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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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   701. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4210479)
Flip.
   702. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 17, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4210494)
From [700]:


Italy's Serie A, France's Ligue 1, England's second-tier League Championship and England's League Cup also have moved to high-spending beIN Sport, which is taking over all of them from News Corp.'s Fox Soccer.

"The ratings are going to be so low that they will be almost unmeasurable," said Marc Ganis of the Chicago-based Sports Corp. Ltd., consulting firm. "Considering the push that European soccer is making in the United States, taking additional money and losing exposure becomes fools' gold. They need to have a long-term strategy, not short-term."

The new network will not be rated by Nielsen at the start, but hopes to be at some point, according to managing director Yousef Al Obaidly. It also will be available online to authenticated subscribers of DirecTV and DISH.


Seriously, who the #### is running this clown show? What's the point of buying up all the rights to ALL THAT STUFF, if NOBODY can watch your ####### channel?? Did anyone in charge think this through in the slightest???

   703. puck Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4210541)

Seriously, who the #### is running this clown show? What's the point of buying up all the rights to ALL THAT STUFF, if NOBODY can watch your ####### channel?? Did anyone in charge think this through in the slightest???

What is this, Big Soccer?

They're trying to establish a sports channel. Dish and DirecTV carry it already, though it is in a premium tier. Though no higher a tier, I believe, than GolTV and FSC are.

It's somewhat similar to the gambit Univision is running with Univision Deportes, when they moved a bunch of the Mexican clubs' games to that channel at the start of the Clausura 2012. UD is still not available on most cable carriers, I believe.
   704. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4210555)
I agree with Puck. How many Americans could watch Italy's Serie A, France's Ligue 1, England's second-tier League Championship and England's League Cup combined ten years ago? One in a thousand? Complaints about some small niche branch of entertainment being hard to access are always the most whiny complaints. And this is what TV channels always do. It's their business.
   705. Swedish Chef Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4210563)
And this is what TV channels always do. It's their business.

It's 2012, them not managing to get streams up on the net is seriously weak.
   706. Mattbert Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4210568)
Michael Cox's take on RVP to United. Its true Ferguson will let midfield players some license to go forward but they still have to put in a defensive shift and you can't leave Carrick alone by himself in front of the back four.

I think that's a sensible analysis. United has a ton of options now, and all of them are good. They can play any combination of Rooney, van Persie, Welbeck, Nani, and Young as a front three and still have room for Kagawa to feed them from midfield if he's flanked by a couple more defensively astute players like Anderson, Carrick, or (if he comes back) Fletcher. They can also let Rooney and van Persie play as a partnership up top with Kagawa behind and three midfielders behind him (e.g. Anderson, Carrick, and Scholes). They can also go back to last season's 4-4-1-1 when one of their main guys needs a break and play with more or less traditional wingers.
   707. Textbook Editor Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4210589)
I know that myself and TE, Jr. are extremely pissed at the whole Al Jazeera thing with La Liga and Serie A. I'm sure with some effort I'll be able to find pirate feeds, but it's like watching blurry watercolor paintings sometimes.

I've petitioned Comcast to carry alIn or whatever the hell they're calling the channel, but for them not to stream it in the US when basically no one without a dish will be able to view the games is insanity.

Anyone else trying to get the Man City analytics download? The site seemed really slow. I have no idea what I'll be doing with the data--I'm just excited to see what they have and do some basic sorting and searching.
   708. DA Baracus Posted: August 17, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4210592)
I have Dish. I've seen my friend's cable picture quality from Time Warner (I think it is). I prefer Dish's. It just seems.. purer. Some of that I think are the cable boxes. It may not be noticeable, and I may be biased.


Cable companies, particularly Comcast, compress the hell out of their networks to squeeze as much as possible into as small as possible bandwith. Satellite providers do it too, but not as much as cable companies do. That's why over the air HD looks so much better.
   709. Langer Monk Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4210624)
Cable companies, particularly Comcast, compress the hell out of their networks to squeeze as much as possible into as small as possible bandwith. Satellite providers do it too, but not as much as cable companies do. That's why over the air HD looks so much better.


Figured there was some explanation. Thanks.
   710. Randy Jones Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4210627)
Compression shouldn't matter as long as the cable box can process it fast enough to display it. I do believe that DirectTV streams in 1080p while the cable companies stream 720p(1080i) which is the difference.
   711. DA Baracus Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4210637)
Compression shouldn't matter as long as the cable box can process it fast enough to display it. I do believe that DirectTV streams in 1080p while the cable companies stream 720p(1080i) which is the difference.


That's not what is happening. Sure, when you take a 1080 signal and down convert it, it's going to lose some quality. But what cable companies are doing is taking, say, a 150mbps network and squeezing it to 50mbps, so it doesn't matter how good your cable box is, it's still compressed.
   712. Randy Jones Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4210641)
Explain it in more detail because I don't see how that's possible. It's a digital signal. There are only two options to reduce bandwidth, compress it, send it, expand it, display it(no loss), or downgrade the signal(quality loss).
   713. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4210646)
Italy's Serie A, France's Ligue 1, England's second-tier League Championship and England's League Cup also have moved to high-spending beIN Sport, which is taking over all of them from News Corp.'s Fox Soccer.


How do we get these guys to bid on NPB games?
   714. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4210648)
I agree with Puck. How many Americans could watch Italy's Serie A, France's Ligue 1, England's second-tier League Championship and England's League Cup combined ten years ago? One in a thousand? Complaints about some small niche branch of entertainment being hard to access are always the most whiny complaints. And this is what TV channels always do. It's their business.

Firstly, I don't think La Liga and Serie A are niche programming. We aren't talking about the J-League or the Belgian top flight here. Secondly, I can think of much whinier things to complain about. Try me.
   715. puck Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4210650)
It's 2012, them not managing to get streams up on the net is seriously weak.


I've petitioned Comcast to carry alIn or whatever the hell they're calling the channel, but for them not to stream it in the US when basically no one without a dish will be able to view the games is insanity.


I think this is due to the weird era of tv business we're in--people like Bein are ultimately selling to providers, not to us. DirecTV and DISH responded in an off-season and paid Bein to carry the channel. Why would Bein want to undercut them by providing a streaming option, while at the same taking the pressure off cable providers to buy the channel?
   716. Swedish Chef Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4210657)
It's a digital signal. There are only two options to reduce bandwidth, compress it, send it, expand it, display it(no loss),

Ah, there is the misunderstanding, they use lossy compression, either MPEG-2 or MPEG-4. Either of them is highly tweakable with degrees of compression, so quality can vary between different feeds. MPEG-2 is especially notorious for turning fast-moving objects like footballs and players into blurs.
   717. Swedish Chef Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4210660)
Why would Bein want to undercut them by providing a streaming option, while at the same taking the pressure off cable providers to buy the channel?

Oh, I bet they could price it outlandishly to everybody's satisfaction, except the soccer junkies of course.
   718. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4210664)
Turns out Gaston Ramirez counted his chickens too soon. Bologna claims there is no deal yet despite what Ramirez has said.

Chelsea supposedly in for Javier Hernandez. What happened to the Juve link?

   719. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4210667)
Oh, I bet they could price it outlandishly to everybody's satisfaction, except the soccer junkies of course.

They really should have bought out Gol TV and, I think at the end of the day, that's going to be the solution as Gol Tv is going to be as starved of content as BeIn Sports is starved of distribution. Should be a hell of a negotiation.

BeIn: Sell us you channel.
Gol TV: No, we still have Bundelsliga!
BeIn: We just bought the rights for a trillion dollars. Sell us you channel.
Gol TV: We still have Argentina!
BeIn: We just bought Buenos Aires. Sell us your channel...
   720. Randy Jones Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4210668)
Ah, there is the misunderstanding, they use lossy compression, either MPEG-2 or MPEG-4. Either of them is highly tweakable with degrees of compression, so quality can vary between different feeds. MPEG-2 is especially notorious for turning fast-moving objects like footballs and players into blurs.


Ok, so they are then in fact lying about the quality of their feeds, that makes more sense. Also, it would be more accurate to call what they are doing encoding and not compressing(although it does in this case also compress the data). I was talking about compressing the data stream, not changing the format of the video.
   721. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4210674)
There was some news that Fox/Sky bought some rights to the Dutch league. Does that mean Fox Sports is showing it now?
   722. zack Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4210687)

BTW: is the video quality on satellite better than cable? And is it noticeable to average person? (Sort of like the question about HD-DVD/Bluray, or 1080p vs 720p back before tv's had gone over 50".) One hears that a lot (that satellite quality is supposed to be better). How often does the signal go out in bad weather?


I've only bought an HDTV in the last year so I can't really speak to the picture quality (everything looks amazing to me still). I will lose the signal for 5 seconds or so in any major rain storm. A rain storm big enough to make the news will knock it out for 20 minutes. I think the longest I remember it being out in 5 years was an hour or two as Irene went past DC. I love directtv for what it's worth, although it means another bill for internet.


Compression shouldn't matter as long as the cable box can process it fast enough to display it. I do believe that DirectTV streams in 1080p while the cable companies stream 720p(1080i) which is the difference.


It's my understanding that DirectTV does broadcast a few things in 1080p, but regular TV is almost always in 1080i/720p. Most of the 1080p stuff is PPV movies. And I think it requires a special box.

So I guess I can thank Al Jazeera for making yet another reason that the bundesliga is the best soccer league?

   723. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4210691)
So we should probably be making picks and stuff, right? Keeping in mind that there is still going to be significant transfer activity (right, guys?), and on top of that, I don't know what I'm talking about, here goes.

1) Manchester City
2) Manchester United
3) Arsenal
4) Tottenham
5) Chelsea
6) Liverpool
7) Newcastle
8) Swansea
9) Everton
10) West Brom
11) Sunderland
12) Southampton
13) Aston Villa
14) Queens Park
15) Stoke City
16) Fulham
17) West Ham
18) Wigan
19) Reading
20) Norwich City

I'm probably wishcasting a bit a lot, but I'm not seeing Chelsea as quite the team people expect. Their record and GD in the league were not great, either before or after AVB. Hazard appears to be really good, but Drogba had a really good season, and that's a wash. Just about the whole side is aging, and Oscar and Marin don't initially seem like the kind of additions that should do a lot more than offset normal decline. Obviously, they've got the Champions League, and it's really hard to figure out how to weigh the two performances. If you weigh every game equally, though, this doesn't look like a side that's clearly better than the other 3-7 contenders.
   724. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 17, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4210699)
So I guess I can thank Al Jazeera for making yet another reason that the bundesliga is the best soccer league?

I can't believe I'm hoping Fox keeps the PL rights but I am. Actually, Fox, ESPN or NBC would all be fine. If BeIn wins the rights to the PL hopefully it's just for a fragment of the tortilla and not the whole enchilada.
   725. DA Baracus Posted: August 17, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4210713)
Ah, there is the misunderstanding, they use lossy compression, either MPEG-2 or MPEG-4. Either of them is highly tweakable with degrees of compression, so quality can vary between different feeds.


Also, it would be more accurate to call what they are doing encoding and not compressing(although it does in this case also compress the data).


Yes and yes. I didn't want to get too technical.

The point is, what is coming to your cable box is not the same as what's leaving the uplink facility. Satellite companies aren't as egregious, so that's why they look better.
   726. Mattbert Posted: August 17, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4210755)
1. Manchester United
2. Manchester City
3. Tottenham Hotspur
4. Liverpool
5. Chelsea
6. Arsenal
7. Everton
8. Newcastle
9. Fulham
10. Sunderland
11. Stoke
12. Aston Villa
13. West Ham
14. Queens Park Rangers
15. Swansea
16. Southampton
17. Wigan
18. Reading
19. West Brom
20. Norwich

I hate picking these now, because there's all sorts of assumptions you have to make. Such as: Spurs will sign a warm body or two to play up front. Chelsea are done buying and aren't going to pull a world class right back out of a hat. City aren't going to steal Agger from Liverpool. And on and on. I'm sure I'll revisit these picks after the window closes.

Why doesn't the window close today? It's completely idiotic that it's still open two weeks into the season!
   727. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 17, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4210759)
I hate picking these now, because there's all sorts of assumptions you have to make. Such as: Spurs will sign a warm body or two to play up front. Chelsea are done buying and aren't going to pull a world class right back out of a hat.

Yeah, I don't care if the season starts tomorrow, I'm not making my picks until the window closes. THERE ARE NO RULES HERE!

edit:

Any guesses on Spurs lineup tomorrow? I'm going

Friedel
Walker Kaboul Vertonghen BAE
Livermore Sandro
Lennon Sigurdsson Bale
Defoe

Newcastle should really win tomorrow. Spurs are in all kinds of flux and Newcastle have been remarkably stable this summer and should be ready to go.
   728. ursus arctos Posted: August 17, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4210783)
   729. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 17, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4210798)
QPR signed Jose Bosingwa. Meh.
   730. Mattbert Posted: August 17, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4210827)
Any guesses on Spurs lineup tomorrow?

I think you're probably on the right track there. The two main questions are: (1) Will Villas-Boas throw Sandro right into the mix without having had him in training all summer? (2) Is van der Vaart fit to staart, and if so, will he?

Newcastle should really win tomorrow. Spurs are in all kinds of flux and Newcastle have been remarkably stable this summer and should be ready to go.

I read the other day that Cabaye and Tiote are struggling for match fitness. If that's the case, I like Tottenham's chances.
   731. user Posted: August 17, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4210898)
1) Manchester City
2) Manchester United
3) Chelsea
4) Arsenal
5) Liverpool
6) Tottenham
7) Everton
8) Newcastle
9) Fulham
10) West Brom
11) Aston Villa
12) Sunderland
13) QPR
14) Wigan
15) Swansea
16) West Ham
17) Stoke
18) Norwich
19) Southampton
20) Reading


Drogba had a really good season
???
   732. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 17, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4210909)
I thought that meant Drogba had a good season in China. Which shocked me because I have never heard a single fact about what's happened to Drogba since moving to China. Has their season started? Has he scored 50 goals? Zero goals? Nobody cares. It's hard to even imagine him playing in a league. Drogba is in China, where people are paying him a lot. Oh, and he has to play for a team, with a bunch of Chinese people on it? Weird.
   733. ursus arctos Posted: August 17, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4210934)
Report on Drogba in China

One of the galvanising factors behind this upturn is Didier Drogba. He has become the cornerstone of a young team since arriving a month ago. In the 5-1 win over Hangzhou Greentown he was close to unstoppable, scoring twice on his home debut. A packed Hongkou Stadium gave their new hero a standing ovation at the full-time whistle.
   734. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 17, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4211021)
Why doesn't the window close today? It's completely idiotic that it's still open two weeks into the season!

It's an international deadline, not a PL deadline.

Newcastle should really win tomorrow. Spurs are in all kinds of flux and Newcastle have been remarkably stable this summer and should be ready to go.

Cut it out! No reverse jinxes!
   735. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 17, 2012 at 06:55 PM (#4211038)
728 heralds the dawn of a new paradigm. Never before have I seen a document on a computer screen, that I wanted to read, but could not read because it is not possible to print it out.
   736. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 17, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4211047)
728 heralds the dawn of a new paradigm. Never before have I seen a document on a computer screen, that I wanted to read, but could not read because it is not possible to print it out.

I haven't tried it (in part because I don't own a printer), but mine gives a printer button on mousing over the document.

BTW, looking at the map in page 9 nicely drives home Germany's lack of quality football clubs from the east.
   737. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 17, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4211058)
You have to have an account with "Issuu.com" to print it out. I don't know whether, once you create an account, you then have to pay money to be able to do anything, but I don't care about the Bundesliga quite enough to complicate my life in this way.
   738. Mattbert Posted: August 17, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4211091)
It's an international deadline, not a PL deadline.

La Liga kicks off at the same time. What about the rest of the big five in Europe?

Even so, in my view the window should shut before the first big UEFA league opens its season. Two and a half months is plenty of time to get your business done. Russia can do its own thing, as it has done for some time.
   739. ursus arctos Posted: August 17, 2012 at 08:13 PM (#4211101)
   740. frannyzoo Posted: August 17, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4211135)
Ursus: I think the English-language Bundesliga Preview works in a link further upthread.

Fancy Pants (re: Eastern Germany): We don't need a map to see the weakness in Eastern Germany. It's my #1 gripe about the country...and in more ways than football. Dresden, Leipzig, Halle and such are basically Jackson, Montgomery and Atlanta circa-1885 at this point. German dudes...there's no Lincoln to be shot here...you've just ###### up. Fix it. Football included.
   741. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 17, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4211140)
Fancy Pants (re: Eastern Germany): We don't need a map to see the weakness in Eastern Germany. It's my #1 gripe about the country...and in more ways than football. Dresden, Leipzig, Halle and such are basically Jackson, Montgomery and Atlanta circa-1885 at this point. German dudes...there's no Lincoln to be shot here...you've just ###### up. Fix it. Football included.

No need to tell me that. I just thought it was a nice visual driving the point home.
   742. frannyzoo Posted: August 17, 2012 at 09:22 PM (#4211156)
FP: Not trying to be pedantic/didactic etc. Just driving my own point, unnecessarily, home. Go Hertha. Go Dynamo Dresden...hell, just Go anybody East of Luneburg or Hamburg.
   743. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:02 PM (#4211179)
Abbreviated prediction;

Champs - Chelsea
Champions League Places - Manchester times two, Arsenal

Relgated - Southampton, QPR, Reading. Wigan should be in there but there is a plot to keep Wigan in the top flight forever thus ensuring that at least a couple of times a year I'll turn on my TV on a cold winter morning and instead of seeing a soccer team actually trying to play I'll be subjected to the EPL's equivalent of the 1998-2011 Orioles. Not bad enough to be amusing, not good enough to be interesting and with moderately less fan support than a Chick-Fil-A franchise at an LGBT convention.
   744. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 17, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4211180)
Two other notes;

1. I'm not sure if I want to see Liverpool succeed greatly or fail greatly. As a Red Sox fan I think one of those two outcomes is probably good for me but I'm not sure which one it is.

2. Kudos on the BTF League names. Fine work all around with particular applause given to "I Pity Kaboul" and "Dial a Clichy."
   745. JH (in DC) Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:12 AM (#4211191)
Predictions:

1. Man City
2. Manchester United
3. Liverpool
4. Tottenham
5. Chelsea
6. Arsenal
7. Newcastle
8. Everton
9. Sunderland
10. West Brom
11. Stoke
12. Aston Villa
13. Fulham
14. Swansea
15. West Ham
16. Norwich
17. Southampton
18. QPR
19. Reading
20. Wigan

These are either going to be shockingly right or spectacularly terrible. Honestly, I feel like you could toss a coin after about 6th and have as good a chance at predicting the bottom 14 teams.

Also, last call for the BTF Fantasy League! (if you want to get in before week 1). fantasy.premierleague.com, League code is 556627-143171.
   746. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: August 18, 2012 at 03:26 AM (#4211222)
I'm using the Red Sox fakakta as an opportunity to properly follow EPL, and I'm really trying; but this is still kinda weird. In particular, the rampant course-of-business tampering is taking some getting used to. It's how transactions happen!

Also, what the hell is up with Clint Dempsey? He refuses to play, but nobody is making an offer for him. Or is this just some standard EPL/insane tampering-based negotiating strategy with Liverpool encouraging Dempsey to make himself a must-move in order to bring down his transfer price and leave more for wages? Or something?
   747. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 18, 2012 at 08:20 AM (#4211232)
The thing I don't understand about the Dempsey story is that he said he wants Champions League football...so the only rumor so far has him moving to Liverpool?
   748. ursus arctos Posted: August 18, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4211240)
Trying to impose a framework of rationality on transfer rumours is a good way to fry your brain.
   749. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 18, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4211246)
Borini up front with Suarez for Liverpool today. Lichaj starts on the bench for Villa. Dempsey, as promised, not in the squad for Fulham. And Grant Holt will captain Norwich City with Morison coming off the bench. Can't decide which game to watch but I think I'll end up going Arsenal and Sunderland.

The thing I don't understand about the Dempsey story is that he said he wants Champions League football...so the only rumor so far has him moving to Liverpool?

He's kind of a luxury purchase for a CL club because of his age so I'm not sure he'll get the move he wants. Liverpool doesn't have the CL but they're a legendary club and he'd get paid more and, if he went there, I think they'd be strong contenders to snatch a top 4 spot.
   750. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 18, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4211249)
Cazorla gets the start for Arsenal but Giroud on the bench.
   751. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 18, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4211250)
Song to Barcelona. Arsenal is the ultimate feeder club.
   752. DA Baracus Posted: August 18, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4211251)
Pre-season production value from ESPN in the pre-game.
   753. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 18, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4211252)
Song to Barcelona. Arsenal is the ultimate feeder club.

Song is really good, but I don't get the attraction for Barcelona there. Any chance they convert him to CB?
   754. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 18, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4211253)
Are you ready for some football?!?!?!?!?
   755. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 18, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4211254)
I think Song just gives Barca a different option. It allows them to play a bit bigger if the situation calls for it. I think the absence of a Plan B last year is something they wanted to address. Song would have been a nice piece to help deal with Drogba in the CL semis.

   756. DA Baracus Posted: August 18, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4211257)
Podolski communication level: extremely low.
   757. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 18, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4211261)
And Podolski in the way again. Gervinho looks very good though.
   758. Juan V Posted: August 18, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4211271)
Song is really good, but I don't get the attraction for Barcelona there. Any chance they convert him to CB?


I guess so. Puyol's getting old and Pique's stock had droppped a bit in Pep's eyes, maybe that carried on to Tito. I guess Song shuttles between CB and defensive mid, at least to begin with.

And yeah, Arsenal is a Barcelona/Manchester City joint feeder club. How did RVP get through is a mystery.
   759. Mattbert Posted: August 18, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4211273)
Song is really good, but I don't get the attraction for Barcelona there. Any chance they convert him to CB?

I think so. Wenger always used to say that's where he saw Song playing long-term.
   760. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4211275)
Cazorla is sharp. When these guys gain an understanding with each other they're going to very tough. Sunderland have looked dangerous the few times they've gone forward, though so Arsenal better score. The Emirates is freakin quiet.
   761. Mattbert Posted: August 18, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4211276)
Cazorla has looked the business so far. Podolski is dropping really deep really often.
   762. DA Baracus Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4211277)
What Shooty said. You can see Arsenal's potential but this game can easily finish 1-0 Sunderland.

Fulham is doing alright without Dempsey.
   763. Mattbert Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4211278)
I've been impressed with Sunderland too. Sessegnon is such a good player.
   764. DA Baracus Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4211280)
Geoff Cameron has to take medical tests to prove he is Geoff Cameron in order to finalize his permit. WTF? While he waits he should probably get a haircut.

Podolski is playing a different game for Arsenal and I don't mean that as a compliment.
   765. DA Baracus Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4211284)
"At the moment, every road forward seems to be a cul-de-sac." Ian Darke is the best.
   766. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4211288)
Ian Darke is the best.

Huh, really? Must be a taste thing - I can't stand him. I'm enjoying the Sky Sports Germany commentator I'm listening to, though.

I'm not watching Liverpool-West Brom, but from the BBC football update-thing, it seems that this season is going really swimmingly for Liverpool. Also, once Walcott and Cazorla have a better understanding, Arsenal will be really, really good down that side
   767. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4211289)
Tough start for Liverpool. Down 2-0 and Agger sent off.
   768. Mattbert Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4211292)
Is it me or has this ARS-SUN game been going for like three hours already?
   769. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4211296)
I like Darke too.

Frustrating but encouraging start for Aarsenal. You can see what they will be able to do once they get a bit more comfortable, I don't think a point against Sundrrland would be an awful result.
   770. Swedish Chef Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4211298)
You can see what they will be able to do once they get a bit more comfortable

I think Portsmouth are trying to prove that that whole playing together and getting comfortable thing is bunk.
   771. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4211303)
Giroud has to finish that one.
   772. Swedish Chef Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4211305)
Oh dear, Bournemouth scores, a Portsmouth win would have been too romantic, I guess.
   773. DA Baracus Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4211306)
The guy from Maroon 5 totally should have scored there.
   774. Swedish Chef Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4211308)
Has Cazorla started to push for a move to a big club yet?
   775. Mattbert Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4211309)
Fulham and Swansea handing out the hidings today. Gracious me.
   776. Randy Jones Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4211314)
Giroud looks just like the one guy from that Psych show.

EDIT: Giroud guy from Psych
   777. Swedish Chef Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4211315)
Aston Villa leads total passes 450-203. Big Sam doesn't care.
   778. Flynn Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4211319)
That's not that disappointing a result for the Arse. The finishing wasn't there but the chances were, it's better than some of the games where we dominated possession only to dink it around the penalty area.
   779. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4211323)
Arsenal deserved the 3 points. Sunderland were disappointing in the second half, I thought. Maybe the heat got to them after chasing Arsenal around all half.

So, what, one more game today? Hmmm....
   780. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4211328)
Friedel; Walker, Kaboul, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto; Livermore, Sandro; Lennon, Sigurdsson, Bale; Defoe.

No Vertonghen, Swansea top of the table after destroying QPR!
   781. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4211335)
Really, really happy I picked up Michu for my fantasy team.

Really happy.
   782. Mattbert Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4211336)
Do the people who do the formation graphics for Fox actually watch soccer?

Livermore--Sandro--Lennon--Sigurdsson
Defoe--Bale

Um, no.
   783. Mattbert Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4211337)
Barca are confirming they've signed Alex Song.
   784. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4211339)
Giroud looks just like the one guy from that Psych show.

EDIT: Giroud guy from Psych


Bless you. I was getting so frustrated that I couldn't figure out who he reminded me of.
   785. DA Baracus Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4211340)
Giroud looks just like the one guy from that Psych show.


Even better.
   786. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4211342)
Who is Mario Melchiot?
   787. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4211347)
Stop the presses, cancel your plans. Reading-Stoke is on FSC at 4:30P ET. Two thrilling sides, those.
   788. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4211352)
Melchiot played for Wigan. Dutch guy - I assume that's the guy in the studio for Fox Soccer. I wasn't sure if that was Melchiot or Edgar Davids.
   789. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4211353)
I don't know what you're talking about, Mattbert. Football is a game where two teams defend with two banks of four, and they play long balls to two strikers. How else could a team be arranged? Even if it were possible, I wouldn't want to see the game besmirched by some fey, continental "formation".
   790. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4211358)
Really, really happy I picked up Michu for my fantasy team.

Really happy.
Seriously. On the other hand, my keeper rotation put Mignolet on the bench with Begovic in. Ugh. I guess that's probably going to happen a lot, based on my experience of playing matchups in fantasy baseball.
   791. BFFB Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4211359)
Melchiot was Chelsea's starting right back for about five years(Haissalbank/Zola era) until Roman started throwing money around and he got sold to Birmingham. He was pretty good too.

It's my understanding that DirectTV does broadcast a few things in 1080p, but regular TV is almost always in 1080i/720p. Most of the 1080p stuff is PPV movies. And I think it requires a special box.


HD is more demanding on hardware so a different box is required.
   792. DA Baracus Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4211360)
Every available piece of real estate at St. James' is an ad for Sports Direct.
   793. DA Baracus Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4211362)
I assume the Spurs contingent here just had their heart stop.
   794. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4211364)
Argh, I had Dyer on the bench! My fantasy football acumen is as bad as my fantasy baseball acumen.
   795. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 18, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4211365)
Spurs are pressing way up high in Newcastle's half. The front four have worked together really well, creating havoc and winning the ball in some dangerous areas, but I think the yellow cards to the holding mids have come because there are significant opportunities to break when Newcastle gets through that press. Haven't seen defensive (high?) line really tested yet.
   796. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 18, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4211373)
Fun news from the first round of the DFB Pokal:
Hoffenheim, who AFAIK are still in the Bundesliga, lost to fourth tier Berlin AK. 4:0!
   797. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 18, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4211375)
One post, one crossbar, I wouldn't suggest this defensive strategy for Newcastle much longer.
   798. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 18, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4211377)
One post, one crossbar, I wouldn't suggest this defensive strategy for Newcastle much longer.

It worked all of last year...
   799. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 18, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4211379)
Not bad for either team, though Newcastle have to be more composed when Spurs press. ben Arfa is a hell of a player and Guttierrez is having a solid game. I think this is anyone's game. Sigurdsson has been as good as advertised for Spurs--best player on the pitch for Tottenham. I wonder if the 0-0 holds until the 60 minute mark if AVB will bring on van der Vaart for Sandro or Livermore.
   800. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: August 18, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4211386)
Funny to read the overreactions to the Liverpool result at The Guardian.
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