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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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   801. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: August 18, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4211392)
Glorious goal by Ba
   802. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 18, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4211393)
Well, nothing you can do about that.
   803. DA Baracus Posted: August 18, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4211401)
Heading the ball along the ground. Amazing.
   804. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 18, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4211405)
Van Der Vaart came on for Gylfi, but he's playing a very different position. He's playing much deeper and distributing, much like in the same position that Modric played. I think - probably I'm getting this wrong, but let me try - I think it's something like a 4-3-3 with a midfield triangle and the wingers coming up further, I think.
   805. DA Baracus Posted: August 18, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4211407)
Friedel bit on that one.
   806. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 18, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4211415)
Kane apparently shares a barber with Scotty Parker. You could set your watch to that part.
   807. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 18, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4211426)
Well, not a good result, obviously, but there's a lot to like in the way Spurs played. Great individual efforts from Ba and Ben Arfa for Newcastle to win it. I thought Spurs got heavy legs, too, which is going to happen when they press so much early. A work in progress but they're farther along than I'd thought they'd be. Livermore is a fine squad player but I think Spurs will be better off pairing a more creative player with Sandro. Livermore is best as Sandro's backup and a guy you put on to help close a game out.
   808. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 18, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4211427)
I guess you can't complain too much about a one-goal loss away to Newcastle, but what bothered me was that the problems with this Spurs roster are the same ones that anyone could have identified two months ago. They needastriker, and there's a lack of creativity in midfield. Until VDV came on, all of the attacks were coming from either connections between the fullbacks and wings, or from turnovers off the press. Sandro and Livermore just aren't that good at distributing. And when the attack got into dangerous areas, they don't have a true elite finisher. Spurs had a pile of attempts on goal, and poached just one.

Everyone knows they need a Modric replacement and a striker, but here we are a game into the season and nothing has changed. They could easily have stolen points here with a complete roster.
   809. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 18, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4211429)
Everyone knows they need a Modric replacement and a striker, but here we are a game into the season and nothing has changed. They could easily have stolen points here with a complete roster.

Yep, but this is what we've got until the 31st. I was encouraged by Defoe's play overall. He has a part to play this year. It is definitely time for the suits to take care of business now, though. A striker and a deep lying playmaker and this team is pretty much set. Anything outside of that is just gravy.
   810. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 18, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4211433)
I was encouraged by Defoe's play overall. He has a part to play this year.
I thought he had a good game, too. But imagine if Spurs had Defoe to come off the bench in the 80th minute instead of Harry Kane. Is anyone sure that Kane actually did come off the bench, or did he return and take his seat again after tripping Tiote?
   811. Swedish Chef Posted: August 18, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4211448)
   812. frannyzoo Posted: August 18, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4211457)
I've only seen a few matches today, but as of now the award for ugliest kit logo goes to Sevilla. Not WBA 2010-2011 ugly, but getting there.
   813. frannyzoo Posted: August 18, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4211479)
A striker and a deep lying playmaker and this team is pretty much set. Anything outside of that is just gravy.


The problem, of course, is that finding players for these particular positions that fit well (style, financial, available, etc.) is very tough. Today, Spurs seemed most dangerous with Bale as de facto striker. Regardless of who they get, having him play a bit more of that role (both in long, Messi-esque runs and true finisher) might be a good idea. At least until he is injured or explodes from overuse.

One more thing: Robert Green with a juicy 4.4 rating on Whoscored.com today for QPR. Ouch.
   814. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 18, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4211484)
My only substantive comment on today's game is that FSC identified the Villa kit as "lime green." I don't think they grow limes that color anywhere, except maybe Chernobyl.
   815. frannyzoo Posted: August 18, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4211520)
Very cool for La Liga to have the Mallorca/Espanyol game start at 23:00 local time, but there seem to around 43 people in the stands. Maybe there's free pancakes at halftime or something. Or shooters and free pancakes.
   816. Mefisto Posted: August 18, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4211561)
After today's result, LFC should pay Clint whatever he wants.
   817. Spivey Posted: August 18, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4211601)
Fulham wins 5-0!!!! Nevermind that it's against a very poor side at home, 5-0 is 5-0!
   818. Spivey Posted: August 18, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4211603)
My Fulham fandom has developed enough to where even though Dempsey was one of the two reasons I started rooting for them (McBride the other), I'll still root for them without Dempsey. I really like their team, and if they can find some goal scorers this year they could be good. They are deep and I really like their backline with Hangeland, Hughes, and Riise.
   819. Spivey Posted: August 18, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4211608)
Dempsey is one of the 10 best goal scorers in the EPL. Is age really such a big deal to where a team shouldn't give like 12-15 million pounds for the transfer? It seems like he would start for every team in the EPL besides maybe Man City and Man U.
   820. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 18, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4211635)
Is age really such a big deal to where a team shouldn't give like 12-15 million pounds for the transfer?

Yes, next question.
   821. Mefisto Posted: August 18, 2012 at 08:37 PM (#4211641)
United paid 24 million for van Persie, so the question is whether Clint is worth half that. I think they're the same age and van Persie has a much worse injury history.
   822. Spivey Posted: August 18, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4211661)
Yes, next question.


Next question is how much you think he's worth?
   823. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 18, 2012 at 09:33 PM (#4211673)
United paid 24 million for van Persie, so the question is whether Clint is worth half that. I think they're the same age and van Persie has a much worse injury history.


24m to Man U is not the same as 24m to another team. Changes the calculus. But even ignoring that, yes I would be happy to pay more than twice for RVP than I would for Dempsey. You can get a Dempseyish player, or a Dempsey-lite player comparatively easy. RBP is on the shortlist for 3rd best player in the world right now. There are no Van Persie-lite players, and you pay premium for that scarcity, since they are the type of guys you need to build a world-beater.

Next question is how much you think he's worth?


Depends who I am, what my budget is, what my alternatives are, what other holes are in the squad that need to be filled... But probably about 8-10m.
   824. Spivey Posted: August 18, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4211677)
Depends who I am, what my budget is, what my alternatives are, what other holes are in the squad that need to be filled... But probably about 8-10m.


As far as I can tell, most of the high level teams with the big budgets need goal scorers. To me, it just doesn't make sense that Dempsey is worth 8-10m when there are so many guys that will never be as good as Dempsey is going for much more.

I agree on RVP fwiw, that a guy who's a lock for one of the 10 best players in the world going for 24m pounds makes a lot of sense.
   825. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4211695)
As far as I can tell, most of the high level teams with the big budgets need goal scorers. To me, it just doesn't make sense that Dempsey is worth 8-10m when there are so many guys that will never be as good as Dempsey is going for much more.

And how many of those guys are 29 years old?

Football transfers don't work like baseball signings. If you expect a baseball player is worth 12 WAR over the next 4 years, you pay him for those 12 wins, regardless of whether he is 25 or 35. But in football you have to take account of the resale value, it's simply not negligible.

Let's say you have 2 players, one of them is 25, the other 29, who are otherwise identical. Let's call them Dempsey25 and Dempsey29. 4 years from now, you can sell Dempsey25 for what you can Dempsey29 now. Dempsey33 is going to be practically worthless however. (I am obviously simplifying and ignoring ageing otherwise)
If you pick up Dempsey25 for 20m, then flip him for 10m 4 years down the line, you have actually paid the same for both versions. If you think Dempsey29 is worth 15m, then you have to think Dempsey25 is worth at least 30m (in reality comfortably more than that once you factor in ageing). That seems like a massive stretch.
   826. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 18, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4211703)
ESPNUK Tweets: AVB: We're searching for one more striker. We're confident we can get it closed in next couple of days

Of course, why not wait until after the first game, Alex?
   827. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 19, 2012 at 07:36 AM (#4211755)
Of course, why not wait until after the first game, Alex?

It's not like picking up a six pack at the corner deli. A striker is going to come in so I'm not worried about it.
   828. Swedish Chef Posted: August 19, 2012 at 07:53 AM (#4211759)
It's not like picking up a six pack at the corner deli.

It is pretty obvious that a striker will come in about ten minutes after the Modric business is concluded. So 23:45 on August 31th or thereabouts.

A striker is going to come in so I'm not worried about it.

You can worry about which striker it is though.
   829. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 19, 2012 at 07:55 AM (#4211760)
Hope you are all ready for the big one! OWL derby in the DFB Pokal!
   830. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 19, 2012 at 08:07 AM (#4211761)
You can worry about which striker it is though.

Andy Carroll is available...
   831. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 19, 2012 at 08:23 AM (#4211763)
You can worry about which striker it is though.

It's going to be Adebayor. I will bet a bb reference sponsorship on it and I am confident he comes in well before the deadline. Modric...I have no idea what's going to happen there. Modric still hasn't put in a transfer request and I have a feeling that's holding things up. From what I understand Spurs have to pay Zagreb a % of the sell if Modric is sold without putting in a transfer request , not to mention the cash Modric would get as a result of the fee, too. This transfer seems like it has become a Mexican standoff and explains why the chairman at Zagreb can't keep his mouth shut about it. Still, the Modric saga won't affect Adebayor coming in.
   832. Swedish Chef Posted: August 19, 2012 at 08:34 AM (#4211767)
Still, the Modric saga won't affect Adebayor coming in.

I don't think there's any chance they sign Adebayor before Modric's transfer fee is in the bag.
   833. Mattbert Posted: August 19, 2012 at 08:43 AM (#4211769)
Just clicked the 'Premier League scores' link on BBC mobile: it directs to the team lists and match stats page for Chelsea's victory over Bayern in the Champions League final.

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck youuuuuuuuuu.
   834. Swedish Chef Posted: August 19, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4211770)
it directs to the team lists and match stats page for Chelsea's victory over Bayern in the Champions League final.

It's not like the score in the current game would make you any happier.
   835. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 19, 2012 at 08:46 AM (#4211771)
I don't think there's any chance they sign Adebayor before Modric's transfer fee is in the bag.

I strongly disagree. The fee for Adebayor is going to be a relative pittance. The Modric fee is holding up a move for a second striker, a possible new GK and, of course, a new midfielder.
   836. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 19, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4211772)
Wigan getting their traditional early season thrashing by Chelsea underway in good form.
   837. Swedish Chef Posted: August 19, 2012 at 08:48 AM (#4211775)
The fee for Adebayor is going to be a relative pittance.

The fee will be a pittance for a club like City but real money for Tottenham, and his wages will be unprecedented for the Spurs.
   838. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 19, 2012 at 08:48 AM (#4211776)
Jozy with a goal today for AZ!
   839. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 19, 2012 at 08:52 AM (#4211778)
The fee will be a pittance for a club like City but real money for Tottenham, and his wages will be unprecedented for the Spurs.

Spurs can afford the 6 to 8 million pound fee. The wages will be offset by Man City giving most of that fee to Adebayor as a payoff. Adebayor has all the leverage with City and Spurs are the only club in for him that he wants to play for. Even after that fee Spurs won't be into net spend territory because of the cash from the Pav, Niko, Corluka and Pienaar sales.
   840. Swedish Chef Posted: August 19, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4211779)
If it's so easy why haven't he signed yet? The season has started and all...
   841. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 19, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4211781)
If it's so easy why haven't he signed yet? The season has started and all...

Who says it's been easy? They started negotiating this probably last January!
   842. Swedish Chef Posted: August 19, 2012 at 08:58 AM (#4211783)
Who says it's been easy? They started negotiating this probably last January!

You did:

Adebayor has all the leverage with City and Spurs are the only club in for him that he wants to play for.

So why haven't that lazyass Levy got it done already?
   843. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 19, 2012 at 08:59 AM (#4211786)
If it's so easy why haven't he signed yet? The season has started and all...
Because it's a bad deal for City, and they have no reason not to drag it out. If a better deal comes from elsewhere, or if Spurs panic, City gets more money. In the end, they have to sell Adebayor, but they don't have any reason to sell him until right smack at the deadline. It's not like City's fans are sitting around worrying how they can replace their seventeenth rated striker.
   844. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 19, 2012 at 09:03 AM (#4211790)
So why haven't that lazyass Levy got it done already?

Because Levy sucks and doesn't know what he's doing. He's secretly an Arsenal fan and wants to destroy Spurs from within. Really, I don't know why you think I'm so full of #### about this. City has no incentive to rush the deal. They know Spurs want him and I'm sure they are fairly relaxed with Spurs dropping points while shuffling their feet with the paperwork.
   845. Swedish Chef Posted: August 19, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4211796)
Really, I don't know why you think I'm so full of #### about this. City has no incentive to rush the deal.

I just find it hard to square your confidence in the deal and all the hang-ups that apparently exist before it can happen. I wish for your sake my theory is actually correct, and all it takes is for Adebayor coming is Modric signing for Real.
   846. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 19, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4211800)
I think Lassus' case is that it doesn't even take Modric signing. It just takes City accepting that this is the best offer they'll get. They don't have any incentive to end this before the deadline.

I'm not as 100% confident as Lassus. Lots of folks need strikers, and Adebayor is good at the job. City aren't irrational to hope they'll get a better deal.
   847. Swedish Chef Posted: August 19, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4211804)
Perils of being a rich club:

Cook said: 'He (an executive) made a comment like ‘it’s all getting messy.’

'Via the telephones and other communication lines, this somehow translated into "get Messi."

'An offer was made for Lionel Messi of about £30million. Needless to say, it was rejected.'

From here.
   848. Swedish Chef Posted: August 19, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4211827)
   849. Randy Jones Posted: August 19, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4211831)
I think Lassus' case is that it doesn't even take Modric signing. It just takes City accepting that this is the best offer they'll get. They don't have any incentive to end this before the deadline.

I'm not as 100% confident as Lassus. Lots of folks need strikers, and Adebayor is good at the job. City aren't irrational to hope they'll get a better deal.


I thought the holdup wasn't City wanting more money, but Adebayor not wanting to take a huge pay cut?
   850. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 19, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4211833)
I thought the holdup wasn't City wanting more money, but Adebayor not wanting to take a huge pay cut?
Adebayor, by a variety of accounts, is absolutely not taking a pay cut. (Funds orphanages in Togo with his salary, etc, etc.) Spurs won't cover his salary, which means in turn that City would have to subsidize it with the transfer fee, which means it's about City wanting more money.
   851. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 19, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4211842)
Rodwell starts first game in.
   852. DA Baracus Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4211850)
2 goals for Jozy. Again.
   853. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4211852)
Second time in two days I've seen a player sent off to get the wrong colored tape covered up. Does EPL do points of emphasis like we see in American sports?
   854. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4211859)
Let's see if City convert this penalty and pretty much take all the drama out of this game.

EDIT: New drama, will anyone have a less impressive penalty than that one?
   855. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4211860)
That was inevitable. This really has the feel of a homecoming football game where some team with five wins in three years is brought in as the opponent/sacrificial lamb.

And as I finish typing Silva hits an awful PK
   856. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4211865)
Kun went down from a fair but brutal challenge. Wouldn't be suprised to see bad news coming City's way in terms of a knee injury.

For Chelsea, Hazard was tremendous. Obviously early but that's a signing that might be a bargain despite the high price tag. His pace and creativity come as advertised and the linkage play between him and Mata is going to be fun to watch.
   857. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4211869)
I was about to say Southampton have looked decent then they called the penalty. Tevez looks thinner. wonder how bad the Aguerro injury is.
   858. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4211870)
I don't know much about Southampton, but their goalkeeper is in running for least fit player in the Prem. At first blush, I thought he was the ref (who is definitely fitter by the way).
   859. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4211874)
That was some dreadful defense by Southampton just then. My goodness, just boot the ball down the pitch and get it out of your area. Don't kick it around like that.
   860. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4211883)
There we go.
   861. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4211884)
Did anyone catch what Tevez had on his shirt?
   862. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4211890)
Lugano 1-2 I think. No clue what it meant
   863. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4211894)
PSG player Diego Lugano seems to have defended Luis Suarez' actions last year. Something to that?
   864. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4211896)
Judging from Twitter, no one seems to know what it means
   865. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4211897)
Second time in two days I've seen a player sent off to get the wrong colored tape covered up. Does EPL do points of emphasis like we see in American sports?


I know the referees make absolutely sure that they can tell which players are on which team by their socks, so they can accurately judge throw-ins and corner kicks and the like. The shoes don't matter, but the socks need to be uniform.
   866. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 19, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4211899)
Don't the refs check the players kits and cleats before they walk out? I know the fourth official always gives an incoming sub the once over and assumed that such a thing was done in the tunnel prior to the game.
   867. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 19, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4211914)
So if we could forget my comment about this being a homecoming game that'd be great.
   868. Swedish Chef Posted: August 19, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4211915)
Marseille-Sochaux is dire stuff.
   869. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 19, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4211916)
As I said at the start, you can't predict the premier league, anything can happen and Southhampton could win this.
   870. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 19, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4211917)
Ok, I liked the older guy in the background giving the finger to City.
   871. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 19, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4211918)
Rodwell quickly justifying his transfer fee!
   872. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: August 19, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4211919)
Wow, what just happened.

*edit* Dzeko restores some normalcy when Southampton can't clear.
   873. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 19, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4211921)
And the massively fat guy in the front row with his shirt off also did himself proud.
   874. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 19, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4211923)
How did Balotelli miss that?
   875. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: August 19, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4211927)
Another weak clearance and City back in front. Actually, 'weak' doesn't describe it well enough, it was the kind of header you'd expect from a City player trying to set Nasri up.
   876. ursus arctos Posted: August 19, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4212003)
We are all tremendously fortunate to be alive during Leo Messi's prime.

Assuming that he's reached it, of course.
   877. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: August 19, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4212145)
We are all tremendously fortunate to be alive during Leo Messi's prime.

Meh. RSD scored the best goal of the game. ;)
   878. Mattbert Posted: August 19, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4212177)
Michael Cox files a compare and contrast piece on two boys from Belgium:
Friends from both Ajax and the Belgian national team, Vermaelen bought Vertonghen dinner in his first week in London. Words of advice will have been passed on, despite their new rivalry, but it’s unlikely Tottenham’s new centre-back will enjoy such an impressive start to Premier League life – Vermaelen begun his Arsenal spell with four goals in eight games.

Both are products of the Ajax academy, and both even had loan spells at the same club (RKC Waalwijk) before nailing down a regular starting place in Amsterdam. Ajax coach Ronald de Boer is typically honest in his assessment of the two players: he thinks Vertonghen is the better player.

[...]

Whereas Vermaelen’s standout quality is his strength and aggression, Vertonghen is a more composed, analytical player and is more sensible with passing. Look at the difference in his distribution in two Ajax games last season – when Ajax are comfortably winning, Vertonghen focuses upon keeping the ball with short sideways passes. When they’re at 0-0 and desperate for a goal, his passes are much more ambitious and always into the opposition half. There’s also a few long diagonals from left to right – in the same way Vermaelen often looks to hit the ball out to Theo Walcott for a quick attack, Vertonghen might do the same for Aaron Lennon.
As noted in the byline, FourFourTwo's StatsZone app for iPhone is now free. The data for 2012/13...not so free, but 2010/11 and 2011/12 are in there (Premier League and Champions League only). Given the price, can't complain.
   879. Mattbert Posted: August 19, 2012 at 09:12 PM (#4212184)
Apparently you can't create your own chalkboards on The Guardian any longer. Boooooo-urns. I haz a sad.

On a related note, I learned today that Afrikaans speakers have their own term for 'Backpfeifengesicht'. It is the unsurprisingly similar 'Moer-my-gesig'. In English, of course, it's 'Piersmorgan'.
   880. Adward Posted: August 19, 2012 at 10:04 PM (#4212215)
#831 Dirty pool, mate. Minor items like contracts, transfers, and the space-time continuum won't, nay, haven't, prevented Adebayor from already appearing for Tottenham this season. Oh, he's white now, plays fairly deep too, eh?

Link
   881. puck Posted: August 19, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4212232)
Do the people who do the formation graphics for Fox actually watch soccer?

They had Shawcross at winger this weekend.
   882. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 19, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4212236)
First place in the fantasy league! Quick, everyone stop playing now
   883. Mattbert Posted: August 19, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4212251)
I got my team in too late for Gameweek 1, and Aguero was my big splurge. So, yeah, I doubt I'll be paying much attention to it.
   884. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 20, 2012 at 06:55 AM (#4212313)
I was hobnobbing with the unwashed masses at Coney Island yesterday...Southampton put up a good fight, then? Seems like the promoted sides had a good weekend.
   885. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 20, 2012 at 07:59 AM (#4212324)
Obviously no one looks that good defending against City, but Southampton was a total mess at the back, as Jose noted the deciding goal came on a defensive header that would have been a perfectly executed assist if a City player had done it. The Saints were dangerous on the counter-attack, and Lambert looked legitimately good, but their defense needs to be about four times better. City probably should have won about 5-2, but they wasted some easy opportunities - most importantly, David Silva missed a gimme from about the penalty spot as well as an actual penalty.

The main thing I learned this week is that I've developed my first organic sports hate in the Premier League. I really cannot stand Chelsea and I want them to lose every game in embarrassing fashion. I didn't even realize it had happened, and then there I was watching the early game, and ####!!! ####### Chelsea scores in the third minute?? and I realized I'd said that out loud.

I know I'm supposed to hate Arsenal, but I can't really bring myself to do it. Wenger's too
   886. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 20, 2012 at 08:02 AM (#4212326)
First place in the fantasy league! Quick, everyone stop playing now
I spent too much time this morning futzing around on the site. It looks like Gaelan is probably going to pass you before the week is out - he has like seven top players with games remaining. Gaelan won the league last year, right? I think he might be really good at this.

Beat Gaelan, RB! You can do it! You are the plucky American underdog defending our rightful control of English sport from the Canadian menace.

Also, props to RB for selecting a Hammer as his team captain, and then having that pay off. That's the universe respecting game.
   887. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 20, 2012 at 08:15 AM (#4212330)
Wenger's too

Couldn't agree more.

What's up with the Chelsea-Reading midweek game. That seems odd scheduling.
   888. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 20, 2012 at 08:20 AM (#4212334)
That would have been artful if it hadn't been my own failure of editing. It actually expresses my feelings much better than a completed sentence would have.
   889. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 20, 2012 at 08:27 AM (#4212338)
That would have been artful if it hadn't been my own failure of editing. It actually expresses my feelings much better than a completed sentence would have.

It's very post-Modern of you to explore the empty spaces.

Man, I am so bored. I may watch the WBA-Liverpool game to see what all the teeth gnashing is about. It's only one game!

Also, checked out the highlights on Altidore's goals. He is really on fire right now.
   890. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 20, 2012 at 09:05 AM (#4212359)
I'm a half hour into the Liverpool game and they don't look too bad. Suarez has been menacing the whole time. They might be giving WBA too much time on the ball, is all. I'm guessing it's close to going all downhill?

   891. Flynn Posted: August 20, 2012 at 09:33 AM (#4212381)
Rumors alive from some fairly reliable sources that Sahin's going to be an Arsenal player by the close of play.

I was always mystified why he would ever choose a non-CL club over a CL club, but the poop show that was Liverpool on Saturday definitely had him running for the hills.
   892. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 20, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4212383)
I was always mystified why he would ever choose a non-CL club over a CL club, but the poop show that was Liverpool on Saturday definitely had him running for the hills.

I'm at 60 minutes now--Agger just got sent off--but it wasn't as dire a performance as it's been made out. Liverpool had 3 problems: 1. Downing is terrible. 2. Gerrard was really sloppy. 3. Lucas was rusty. Makes sense Sahin would rather play CL, though. I wonder if there will be an option to buy for Arsenal?
   893. Mattbert Posted: August 20, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4212388)
The ZM Curse strikes again! (Spurs always seem to lose when Michael Cox decides to analyze a Tottenham match.) I think he got this one pretty spot on, as usual.

The only thing I’d add is that I thought the defining area where Spurs fell short was in the connection between defense and attack. The front four played quite well as a unit, as did the back six. The transitions between them, though, not so hot. For me, this confirmed that the need for a Modric replacement is at least as critical as the need for another center forward. The link-up play just wasn’t there.
   894. Mefisto Posted: August 20, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4212392)
Of course Downing is terrible. And water is wet. I'm mystified that Brendan Rogers doesn't know this.
   895. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 20, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4212394)
The only thing I’d add is that I thought the defining area where Spurs fell short was in the connection between defense and attack. The front four played quite well as a unit, as did the back six. The transitions between them, though, not so hot. For me, this confirmed that the need for a Modric replacement is at least as critical as the need for another center forward. The link-up play just wasn’t there.

I'd agree with this. Livermore and Sandro are just too similar to play together, I think, and I have no idea what they'll end up doing about this. I'm not even sure anymore that Modric is leaving. PANIC TIME!

Naw, not yet. Too bad Huddlestone isn't fit, though.
   896. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 20, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4212399)
I'm mystified that Brendan Rogers doesn't know this.

What are his options? Joe Cole?
   897. Flynn Posted: August 20, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4212405)
Well, yeah.

People act like Joe Cole played in the conference last year. He played in Ligue 1, and did fine. He might not be Joe Cole, all-star, anymore but Downing is sub-replacement level, in baseball terms.
   898. Gaelan Posted: August 20, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4212407)
I spent too much time this morning futzing around on the site. It looks like Gaelan is probably going to pass you before the week is out - he has like seven top players with games remaining. Gaelan won the league last year, right? I think he might be really good at this.

Beat Gaelan, RB! You can do it! You are the plucky American underdog defending our rightful control of English sport from the Canadian menace.

Also, props to RB for selecting a Hammer as his team captain, and then having that pay off. That's the universe respecting game.


It will be harder to win this year. Last year was almost all new players (me included), and there weren't that many teams, so there was a lot of room for error. I took a quick glance at the rosters and most of them are quite solid. If I'm in first after this week it will only be because of the two Chelsea games. I'll then have to divest myself of one or two of those guys by their bye week or that advantage will disappear quickly.

The single most important thing for fantasy success for me last year was knowing when prices would change. For that information go to fiso.co.uk and find the crack the code link.

I got my team in too late for Gameweek 1, and Aguero was my big splurge. So, yeah, I doubt I'll be paying much attention to it.


Lots of time.


   899. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 20, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4212412)
People act like Joe Cole played in the conference last year. He played in Ligue 1, and did fine. He might not be Joe Cole, all-star, but Downing is sub-replacement level, in baseball terms.

Cole doesn't really supply any width, though, and he was gimpy 5 minutes after coming on against West Brom. I'm not sure how viable an option he is for Rodgers. They could really use Adam Johnson if they have the cash for him. The ESPN on-the-move blog reported Sunderland are willing to "meet any terms of City's or Adam Johnson's" to sign him which cracked me up. I wouldn't put it past Martin O'Neill to do just that.
   900. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 20, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4212440)
flip.
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