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Monday, August 04, 2014

OT: The Soccer Thread August, 2014

Link to July Thread.

Fantasy Premier League. Code for BTF League is 585849-148849.


Aug. 4: Man U vs Liverpool (ICC Final), MLS Homegrown Team vs Timbers U23

Aug. 5: Champ. League Qualifiers, CONCACAF Champ. League (inc. Montral Impact vs FAS)

Aug. 6: UEFA Champ. League Qual., Nacional vs San Lorenzo (Lib. Final 1st Leg), MLS All Stars vs Bayern, Napoli vs Barcelona

Aug. 7: Europa League Qual., CONC. Champ. League

Aug, 8: LA Galaxy vs SJ Earthquakes, Reims vs PSG (Ligue 1 opener)

Aug. 9: Tottenham vs Schalke, RSL vs DC United, Col. Crew vs Toronto FC

Aug. 10: Man City vs Arsenal (Comm. Shield), Liverpool vs Dortmund (Friendly), Sounders vs Dynamo

Aug. 11: Carlisle United vs Derby (Cap. One Cup), Napoli vs PSG (Friendly)

Aug. 12: Real Madrid vs Sevilla (UEFA Super Cup), Man U vs Valencia (Friendly), Capital One Cup Round 1

Aug. 13: Dortmund vs Bayern (DFL Supercup), San Lorenzo vs Nacional (Liber. Final 2nd Leg), Capital One Cup Round 1

Aug. 15: Dynamo vs Union, Tijuana vs Chiapas, Queretaro vs Veracruz, Barcelona vs Leon (Friendly)

Aug. 16: PL Starts! Man U vs Swansea, Tottenham vs West Ham, Arsenal vs Crystal Palace, RSL vs Sounders

Aug. 17: Liverpool vs Southampton, Newcastle vs Man City, Bordeaux vs Monaco

Aug. 18: Burnley vs Chelsea

Aug. 19: Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid (Supercopa Leg 1), CONCACAF Champ. League, Copasudamericana

Aug. 20: Rapids vs Galaxy, Sounders vs Earthquakes, CONCACAF Champ. League, Copasudamericana

Aug. 21: CONCACAF Champ. League, Copasudamericana

Aug. 22: Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid (Supercopa Leg 2), Bayern vs Wolfsburg (Bund. Opener), Dallas vs RSL

Aug. 23: Everton vs Arsenal, Chelsea vs Leicester City, Dortmund vs Leverkusen, Sevilla vs Valencia (La Liga Opener)

Aug. 24: Tottenham vs QPR, Sunderland vs Man U, Timbers vs Sounders

Aug. 25: Man City vs Liverpool, Real Madrid vs Cordoba, Rayo Vallecano vs Atletico Madrid

Aug. 26: CONCACAF Champ. League, Copasudamericana

Aug. 27: LA Galaxy vs DC United, CONCACAF Champ. League, Copasudamericana

Aug. 28: Monaco vs Lille, CONCACAF Champ. League, Copasudamericana

Aug. 29: Augsburg vs Dortmund, Sporting KC vs H. Dynamo, Valencia vs Malaga, Tijuana vs Guadalajara

Aug. 30: Everton vs Chelsea, Schalke vs Bayern, Chievo vs Juventus (Serie A Opens), Roma vs Fiorentina

Aug. 31: Tottenham vs Liverpool, Leicester City vs Arsenal, Villareal vs Barcelona, Milan vs Lazio

” cols=“100” rows=“20”>

Link to July Thread.

Fantasy Premier League. Code for BTF League is 585849-148849.


Aug. 4: Man U vs Liverpool (ICC Final), MLS Homegrown Team vs Timbers U23

Aug. 5: Champ. League Qualifiers, CONCACAF Champ. League (inc. Montral Impact vs FAS)

Aug. 6: UEFA Champ. League Qual., Nacional vs San Lorenzo (Lib. Final 1st Leg), MLS All Stars vs Bayern, Napoli vs Barcelona

Aug. 7: Europa League Qual., CONC. Champ. League

Aug, 8: LA Galaxy vs SJ Earthquakes, Reims vs PSG (Ligue 1 opener)

Aug. 9: Tottenham vs Schalke, RSL vs DC United, Col. Crew vs Toronto FC

Aug. 10: Man City vs Arsenal (Comm. Shield), Liverpool vs Dortmund (Friendly), Sounders vs Dynamo

Aug. 11: Carlisle United vs Derby (Cap. One Cup), Napoli vs PSG (Friendly)

Aug. 12: Real Madrid vs Sevilla (UEFA Super Cup), Man U vs Valencia (Friendly), Capital One Cup Round 1

Aug. 13: Dortmund vs Bayern (DFL Supercup), San Lorenzo vs Nacional (Liber. Final 2nd Leg), Capital One Cup Round 1

Aug. 15: Dynamo vs Union, Tijuana vs Chiapas, Queretaro vs Veracruz, Barcelona vs Leon (Friendly)

Aug. 16: PL Starts! Man U vs Swansea, Tottenham vs West Ham, Arsenal vs Crystal Palace, RSL vs Sounders

Aug. 17: Liverpool vs Southampton, Newcastle vs Man City, Bordeaux vs Monaco

Aug. 18: Burnley vs Chelsea

Aug. 19: Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid (Supercopa Leg 1), CONCACAF Champ. League, Copasudamericana

Aug. 20: Rapids vs Galaxy, Sounders vs Earthquakes, CONCACAF Champ. League, Copasudamericana

Aug. 21: CONCACAF Champ. League, Copasudamericana

Aug. 22: Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid (Supercopa Leg 2), Bayern vs Wolfsburg (Bund. Opener), Dallas vs RSL

Aug. 23: Everton vs Arsenal, Chelsea vs Leicester City, Dortmund vs Leverkusen, Sevilla vs Valencia (La Liga Opener)

Aug. 24: Tottenham vs QPR, Sunderland vs Man U, Timbers vs Sounders

Aug. 25: Man City vs Liverpool, Real Madrid vs Cordoba, Rayo Vallecano vs Atletico Madrid

Aug. 26: CONCACAF Champ. League, Copasudamericana

Aug. 27: LA Galaxy vs DC United, CONCACAF Champ. League, Copasudamericana

Aug. 28: Monaco vs Lille, CONCACAF Champ. League, Copasudamericana

Aug. 29: Augsburg vs Dortmund, Sporting KC vs H. Dynamo, Valencia vs Malaga, Tijuana vs Guadalajara

Aug. 30: Everton vs Chelsea, Schalke vs Bayern, Chievo vs Juventus (Serie A Opens), Roma vs Fiorentina

Aug. 31: Tottenham vs Liverpool, Leicester City vs Arsenal, Villareal vs Barcelona, Milan vs Lazio

Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: August 04, 2014 at 04:18 PM | 1041 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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Page 7 of 11 pages ‹ First  < 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 > 
   601. Swedish Chef Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4779405)
Dawson to Hull is official.
   602. Swedish Chef Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4779412)
Manchester United have finally harpooned their white whale.
   603. J. Sosa Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4779420)
Personally I have a high opinion of Di Maria. He is a Pippenesque player which is why Ancelotti fought so hard to keep him. Personally I think it is ludicrous that Madrid dumped him. He is the reason they were able to field Bezema, Ronaldo, and Bale. He does a lot of different things at a high level and does them willingly.

That said I do think the money could have been spent in a wiser fashion. I'm not really sure what is going on with the back line. If Man U was going around making Godfather offers to various players, I would think it would be cheaper and more effective to make them to elite defenders and a sturdy midfielder. Maybe they still bring in players like that, but it is getting late in the window. They have spent a lot of money and have yet to fix their primary problems IMO.

We will see, but barring two or three more big purchases I don't think they have improved enough to get in the top 4.
   604. Spivey Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4779421)
That gif in 600 is pretty great. Hulk definitely deserves *some* credit, though. He had a pretty nifty move in there.
   605. ursus arctos Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4779422)
And a fine finish.

But if that happened in an end of season Serie B game, the "fix is in" crowd would be screaming their heads off.
   606. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4779423)
I think it's hard to evaluate the Di Maria signing until we see what United do with the rest of the window. He's an extremely good player who they're paying a lot of money for. If they sign a good center back and maybe another central midfielder than I think their transfer window is a success. If they blew most of their wad on Di Maria, then I think it's a mistake.
   607. Randy Jones Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4779428)
It's a lot of money for Di Maria but I think you have to look at it like the Yankees FA spending. It's not going to stop United from buying other players and Di Maria is really, really good. I do agree with others who have said that United still need to buy at least one CB and one DM this window if they expect to compete for the top 4. Related to that, Sky claims that Edwin van der Sar, who is a director of some sort with Ajax now, is at United's training ground to discuss Daley Blind.
   608. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4779440)
to discuss Daley Blind.
Would they play him as a DM? Or is van Gaal really that upset with Shaw?
   609. Swedish Chef Posted: August 26, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4779446)
Despite the Di Maria transfer being protracted and silly in many ways, it's not even close to the Bale sale in silliness. Especially the part where another Real legend was trotted out every day to gush over Bale.
   610. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 26, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4779450)
Yea, the Di Maria was just a haggling over large amounts of money.
   611. Sean Forman Posted: August 26, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4779466)
Might want to turn on Bein and watch the capital one cup match.
   612. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: August 26, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4779476)
So I see MK Dons' stadium is Bari-like in its capacity far exceeding average attendance. Given their (lack of) history, if MK Dons were to make a run up the ladder and end up in the Prem, would they be closer to 20-25k in average attendance? 30k seems optimistic enough -- the fact that the stadium can be extended by 15K more seems nuts, unless they host enough non-football events.
   613. Swedish Chef Posted: August 26, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4779485)
Eto'o signs with Everton.
   614. ursus arctos Posted: August 26, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4779489)
Keith, I think it would take at least another decade of forgetfulness before MK could get decent crowds, even in the Premier League. Too many traditional fans still boycott them entirely, and they haven't really been successful in converting the locals away from the clubs they supported before MK arrived.
   615. Sean Forman Posted: August 26, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4779505)
OK, now you really might want to turn on the Capital One Cup
   616. PepTech Posted: August 26, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4779509)
holy cow.
   617. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: August 26, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4779510)
I guess United really will be able to focus on the league this season.
   618. Sean Forman Posted: August 26, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4779511)
this wouldn't be happening if Sir Alex Ferguson were still alive.
   619. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 26, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4779515)
Moyes out!
   620. Swedish Chef Posted: August 26, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4779520)
In other big-clubs-in-decline News, Celtic lost to Maribor and can look forward to exciting Europa League.
   621. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 26, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4779526)
Juventus just made another 10 million quid...
   622. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: August 26, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4779527)
Jesus. I mean it's mostly reserve players, but still...
   623. Textbook Editor Posted: August 26, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4779529)
This is all a ploy to get ManU to spend more money in the next week, right? I mean, you don't lose 4-0 to MK Dons unless you plan it that way, right?
   624. Baldrick Posted: August 26, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4779532)
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
   625. frannyzoo Posted: August 26, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4779534)
I hope Celtic get Legia in their Europa Group. That would be fun.
   626. PepTech Posted: August 26, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4779540)
I repeat: Holy Cow.
   627. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 26, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4779545)
I still think we should get our laughs in now as I wouldn't bet against Van Gaal + United's Money over the long haul. It's still funny, though. Beating United is the only way anyone will ever have semi-happy thoughts about MK Dons.
   628. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 26, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4779546)
Also, vaya con dios to Michael Dawson who had some great moments for Spurs including stuffing AC Milan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic over two legs. YOU NEVER SCORED ON DAWS ZLATAN. SUCK ON THAT! The only player left from the Martin Jol era is Aaron Lennon.
   629. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 26, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4779560)
Well, United probably lost this one on purpose so that they could be free to concentrate on their European commitments. Oh, wait...
   630. ursus arctos Posted: August 26, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4779564)
Landycakes Farewell match October 10 against Ecuador in Hartford.
   631. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 26, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4779571)
Sheffield United beat West Ham! Where's your Tevez now?
   632. jmurph Posted: August 26, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4779575)
Outstanding result in the Capital One Cup, and outstanding posts from you guys on United losing. Particularly "Moyes out!" Well done CoB.

   633. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: August 26, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4779578)
Bring back Ryan Giggs as manager!

This is an admittedly impressive goal.
   634. PepTech Posted: August 26, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4779588)
There's still the FA Cup. Or can they be tossed out based on their current coefficient? Because I would laugh.

I could google, but I'm lazy. Is it the Capital One Cup that is the same as the Carling Cup which for some reason is stuck in my head as the Milk Cup? Are those all the same? And the FA Cup is the one open to all levels that has somehow avoided sponsorship?
   635. ursus arctos Posted: August 26, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4779593)
Yes, and they are all the same.

It is the League Cup, restricted to teams in what used to be the Football League (the "92).

It has been sponsored by the Milk Marketing Board, Littlewoods, Rumbleows, Coca-Cola, Worthington, Carling and now Capital One.

The FA Cup is currently "The FA Cup with Budweiser"
   636. PepTech Posted: August 26, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4779628)
Thanks UA. I'm assuming the Milk sponsorship dates to the 80s when I first started losing brain cells in college.

Budweiser - that seems wrong. FA Cup should either be sponsorless, or British, and particularly not a crappy American beer with an EU name. Or, maybe that's fitting, for Manchester United presented by Chevrolet.
   637. ursus arctos Posted: August 26, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4779630)
The first FA Cup "presenter" was Littlewwods, the football polls company. The companies that have followed have all been foreign firms with significirnt English operations: AXA, E.on and now Bud.

And yes, the League Cup was the Milk Cup from 1982 through 1986.
   638. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: August 26, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4779637)
You'd think losing Giroud until 2015 would mean that Arsenal signs another proven striker. Except that it's Arsenal, so we'll see...
   639. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 26, 2014 at 08:13 PM (#4779641)
Wow is ManU a shambles right now. I get that it wasn't the first team but 4-0? Morale in that dressing room has to be on the floor. Does England have sports radio as we know it? If they do United have to be getting demolished right about now.
   640. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 26, 2014 at 08:44 PM (#4779652)
You'd think losing Giroud until 2015


Is there any confirmation on this? Everything I see is that he might be out up to 3 months, but that nothing is know for certain at this point ...
   641. Textbook Editor Posted: August 26, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4779655)
Does England have sports radio as we know it?


BBC has a podcast you can get called "5 live football daily" (or something like that) that often features amusing phone calls in from angry fans leaving grounds after losses. I'm looking forward to listening tonight. The downside is the "pundits" on it are generally pretty much in the "Around the Horn" vein--I don't listen for insight into tactics or... insight into anything regarding soccer, really.
   642. frannyzoo Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:08 PM (#4779664)
Took at look at many BTFers EPL predictions on Page Two (not, not that Page Two) of this month's thread. Uh, anybody wanna, I dunno, change their picks in any way whatsoever? Btw, Clarence/Scott has a possibly quite perspicacious prognostication amid the perhaps misguided MUFC sentiment there.

Me, I'm holding out until Transfer Day. I cheat like that.
   643. Richard Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:09 PM (#4779665)
Sheffield United beat West Ham! Where's your Tevez now?


Tee hee. This is a popular result amongst Blades fans, as you might expect.

And the only sad thing about the Man Utd result is that it was MK Dons that did it. And Celtic got what they deserved - a good night.

Does England have sports radio as we know it?


Talksport, a national station, is not dissimilar to US sports radio in some respects. There are also some football phone in shows on local commercial and BBC radio. Plenty of places for Man Utd fans to vent.
   644. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4779679)
Is there any confirmation on this? Everything I see is that he might be out up to 3 months, but that nothing is know for certain at this point ...
The injury has been confirmed as a fracture; the 2015 timeline appears to be an inference by Arseblog, but they're usually pretty reliable.
   645. Select Storage Device Posted: August 26, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4779700)
Had my first American soccer hipster moment today. Saw the Man U result and the first thing that popped into my head was expansion and Wimbledon, and how those fans wouldn't put up for it but totally in the end they did.

My Facebook feed was full of "lolz dafudge an MK DON?!" And I folded my arms because I knew the truth.

And then I remembered it was like that time 15 years ago I scoffed at the Linkin Park stickers at Hot Topic in 1999 because I was on Napster and I knew. Then I realized what an effin' stupid memory that is and moved on.

I only have room for one thing to be irrational about.
   646. Swedish Chef Posted: August 27, 2014 at 07:28 AM (#4779786)
Neil Warnock is rumored to take over Palace. Poor fans. That spring followed by this month. Maybe it's their way to take that ice bucket challenge.

Budweiser - that seems wrong. FA Cup should either be sponsorless, or British, and particularly not a crappy American beer with an EU name. Or, maybe that's fitting, for Manchester United presented by Chevrolet.

Budweiser is authentic British working-class culture in the 21th century. Gotta find some cultural markers where the hipsters don't dare follow, Budweiser is perfect for that.

   647. frannyzoo Posted: August 27, 2014 at 07:51 AM (#4779787)
This morning in ESPN Soccernet humor:

11.22 BST Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong believes that he could be the missing piece in the Manchester United jigsaw following their humiliating 4-0 Capital One Cup defeat to lower league MK Dons on Tuesday.


Okay, that's funny, granted. Sad, too.
   648. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 27, 2014 at 08:18 AM (#4779789)
Neil Warnock! HAHAHAHAHAHA!
   649. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 27, 2014 at 08:25 AM (#4779794)
   650. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 27, 2014 at 08:37 AM (#4779797)
By the way, the over the top reaction to Man U's loss has been hilarious. People will barely remember this game in a month but I guess they'll take the first turn as the "club in crisis".
   651. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 27, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4779835)
So the only real worry about my predictions from page 2 is that I have Palace around 13 - no way they stay up this season. Of course, I still have United in fourth which after Burnley this weekend, may be an overshot of five or six places.
   652. frannyzoo Posted: August 27, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4779838)
Sure wouldn't mind Atletico getting into the Rabiot sweepstakes, but methinks he's "bigger" club material (esp. in his mind). Too bad Atletico is still a "small" club, despite winning La Liga last year.
   653. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 27, 2014 at 10:05 AM (#4779848)
Just a quick question about the various "Cups" in English football.

The "FA Cup" is the one that involves over 750 teams, right? From the EPL champs ManCity all the way down to the 20th place team in the West Midlands (Regional) Premier league (Willenhall Town FC).
The "Capital One Cup" is the one that only involves about 90 teams? EPL, Championship, League One, League Two?

What is the furthest that a bottom-rung team has advanced in the FA Cup?
Or, which team has played further into the tournament than any other, given their league level?
   654. Spivey Posted: August 27, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4779860)
I'm probably cynical but I really think Ferguson knew Man U had systemic problems and were going to struggle these years, and that's a big reason of why he left.
   655. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 27, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4779869)
The FA Cup also has amateur teams, so there really isn't "bottom-rung" (although I guess an amateur team would be considered that).
   656. Mefisto Posted: August 27, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4779904)
@654: United fans were very nervous about the team for the last few years that SAF managed. There were constant complaints about the age of the players, the lack of good central mids, etc. SAF still won. Exactly how he did it is a mystery.
   657. Ron J2 Posted: August 27, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4779923)
#656 I think the key is that SAF took some fairly limited players and asked them to do what they did well and did his best to hide the things they didn't.

Didn't work to think about specific players in isolation.

The problem Moyes ran into is that he took a lot of those limited players out of their comfort zone. Plus of course a number of players were a critical year older. Rio went from limited but manageable to open wound in fairly short order (as is fairly common, there's a fine line at the very top)

Until the very end of his tenure SAF had been pretty ruthless in following Branch Rickey's rule abut it being better to move a player a year too early than a year too late. I can't think of a player from SAF's run who slipped so much due to age.

   658. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 27, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4779930)
Michael Cox on all things Man U

He makes a lot of sense, as usual, and is why I think Man U will be fine once they have all their players fit and Van Gaal can abandon the three at the back experiment.
   659. Baldrick Posted: August 27, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4779944)
Agreed. I fully expect Man U to be perfectly fine for the year. I think they're more likely than not to make the top 4 (maybe 60/40), and it wouldn't surprise me at all if they did so pretty comfortably.

Which is part of why I'm really taking the chance to revel in their miseries right now.
   660. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 27, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4779957)
   661. Mefisto Posted: August 27, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4779958)
I think the key is that SAF took some fairly limited players and asked them to do what they did well and did his best to hide the things they didn't.


This is a very succinct way to describe what good managers do. It's what Bill James said about Earl Weaver 30 years ago, but he used more words.
   662. Spivey Posted: August 27, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4779967)
SAF also got bailed out his last season or two by some world class striking from RVP and the like. I did feel like there was an element of their success at the end of his tenure that wasn't sustainable.
   663. J. Sosa Posted: August 27, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4779983)
I will take this opportunity to promote my RVP spackle theory again. That purchase seemed a little out of character at the time. I absolutely think that SAF knew the ship would sink soon, and made that purchase to put him over the top one more time.

Despite being a Liverpool fan I have a very high opinion of SAF. I think the comparison to various baseball managers is apt as SAF essentially used platoons for years. Look at the way he used a guy like Park for specific matches.

Anyway, the MK Dons match. I'm shocked, there is no other way to put it. A result like that suggests a lot of guys have checked out. We will see, but without a couple more new players I don't see Man U in the top four. Their best guys all do the same thing and they still haven't fixed the midfield or the back.
   664. Ron J2 Posted: August 27, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4780026)
#663 It's tough when players as good as Vidic and Rio get old on you. At roughly the same time too.

But it was kind of uncharacteristic that at least one replacement was not in the pipeline.
   665. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 27, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4780069)
Jones and Smalling should have been those replacements and Evans is a Premier League-caliber central defender. However, all three are injury prone and Smalling and Jones haven't developed. Some of it has to do with being played out of position, but there are other issues. I hate to get all Football Managery, but a club with United's resources should be buying two kinds of players - ones that are among the best players in the world at their position and players that have potential to be among the best players in the world. Evans isn't going to be at the level of peak-Rio or peak-Vidic, so United should have went and look for players that will be. Smalling's window is closing - he's young for a central defender but I don't think he's shown enough flashes to get beyond "good PL CB."

In addition to Smalling and Jones, Cleverly, Anderson and Nani never got better or got worse. Welbeck does well in spurts but is being blocked by Rooney and RVP. Rafael is really the only young player that has come on (who really only had one good season in Ferguson's last year) and Van Gaal wants to get rid of him.

   666. frannyzoo Posted: August 27, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4780116)
Napoli/Athletic Round II. Interesting tie on so many levels, including the fact both feature amazing home environments. I'd be very surprised if Bilbao didn't win today.
   667. ursus arctos Posted: August 27, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4780144)
Spanish sources reporting Xabi Alonso to Bayern, which is a bit of a surprise.
   668. ursus arctos Posted: August 27, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4780164)
Geoff Cameron leaves Stoke's League Cup match in the first half with an apparent injury.
   669. What Zupcic? Posted: August 27, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4780165)
Evans is a Premier League-caliber central defender


I'd be interested to hear what other people think of that statement. In my mind I suppose it's accurate in that he would be right at home on a team like Sunderland but Jonny Evans is one of the first names that jumps into my mind when I'm mulling over the numerous United players that don't seem like they should be on a top-4, Champions League echelon club like ManUnited should be.
   670. Ron J2 Posted: August 27, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4780171)
#665/669 I think Evans is a fine choice as a depth player on a Champions League level team.
   671. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: August 27, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4780174)
Arsenal really lucky to be a goal up at the half. Gotta think one of those penalty calls would have been given if the game was in Instanbul.
   672. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 27, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4780182)
#669/670: That's what I meant - he could be a regular central defender on Stoke, Newcastle, even possibly Everton, but on a team playing for Champions League and Premier League titles he would be a guy for depth - a third or fourth choice CB.
   673. AuntBea Posted: August 27, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4780184)
Live they both looked like they could be penalties. Then on initial replay it looked like both calls might be right (no penalties). But I just watched them both closely at half time again, and it's very possible that in reality two penalties should have been given against Arsenal. Certainly they were very lucky.
   674. ursus arctos Posted: August 27, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4780187)
I'm really bummed that either Athletic or Napoli are going out.
   675. frannyzoo Posted: August 27, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4780190)
As I said, Napoli's got this in the bag.
   676. ursus arctos Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4780199)
The defending on Hamsik's goal was shambolic.
   677. ursus arctos Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4780201)
And Napoli return the favor.
   678. What Zupcic? Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4780203)
re Evans: fair enough! I don't think I'm quite as positive on him as you are (I think he'd be a pretty disappointing choice for Everton) but we're close enough to not warrant an argument over any real distinction.
   679. ursus arctos Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4780211)
Franny, you had this one all along.
   680. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4780212)
Napoli really screwed he pooch on that one.
   681. frannyzoo Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4780213)
Whew! I knew I'd have to post that "Napoli's got it in the bag" comment to reverse the karmic situation of my hubris-filled earlier comment. This controlling the universe thing is complicated.
   682. ursus arctos Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4780217)
Shooty's comment could apply equally well to any of the three Athletic goals so far.
   683. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4780218)
Rafa needs another Istanbul now.
   684. ursus arctos Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4780231)
Malmo are about to put Red Bull Salzburg out, which is wonderful for everyone other than Chef.
   685. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4780235)
Arsenal down to 10 men again but Besiktas seem to lack the quality to take advantage.
   686. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4780238)
Villa lost to Leyton Orient and QPR lost to Burton Albion in the League Cup. Neither lost by 4 goals, though...
   687. Swedish Chef Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4780242)
Villa lost at home, that has to count for something!
   688. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 27, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4780254)
So Bayern and Madrid essentially swapped Kroos for Alonso and now Milan is talking about getting Nando.
   689. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 27, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4780272)
In the game for the last place in the Champions League, Ludogorets have their goalkeeper see red with penalties looming and no substitutions left.
   690. J. Sosa Posted: August 27, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4780276)
I have nothing against Arsenal, but just once I would like to see them get burned for targeting the 4th place trophy and playing 4-6-0 at home in the second leg of a CL qualifier. I'm not sure which is worse; that they field a lineup like that because their main striker is hurt, or that it might have been the plan for this season even if the striker wasn't hurt.

As for Napoli... Ouch. I like both clubs, that was a tough one. I generally have been rooting for Serie A to continue to crater in the coefficients but I regret that it came at the expense of Napoli. There have been vultures circling Napoli waiting to see the outcome of this match, I would not be surprised to see a player or two go to pay the bills.
   691. ursus arctos Posted: August 27, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4780277)
Ludogorets' keeper sent off for a professional foul.

They are now going to penalties with a defender in goal.
   692. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 27, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4780279)
They are now going to penalties with a defender in goal.

And he's taking their first penalty!

EDIT: And scores with authority!
   693. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: August 27, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4780281)
He makes a save! I mean, he's a mile off his line when the shot is taken, but hey, the refs never call that!
   694. ursus arctos Posted: August 27, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4780290)
Moti wins it with a save!

Amazing scenes!!
   695. AuntBea Posted: August 27, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4780292)
Really exciting. I switched it on to see the last few PKs.
   696. ursus arctos Posted: August 27, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4780297)
Of course, Cosmin Moti (the Ludogorets defender/keeper) is Romanian, and came up with Dinamo, Steaua's bitter rivals. He urged Dinamo supporters to come to the game in Bucharest to support Ludogorets.

There is also a real chance that Ludogorets will have to play their matches in Bucharest, as their ground isn't up to standard, and Bucharest is closer to Razagrad than Sofia.
   697. J. Sosa Posted: August 27, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4780300)
There are few things in sports I enjoy more than position players pitching or outfield players playing goalie. That was great.
   698. PepTech Posted: August 27, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4780304)
I had a soccer dad bomb in on my conversation with someone else to correct my use of the term "goalie". He said hockey has goalies, soccer has goalkeepers.

Is that a real thing? Does anyone other than that guy care?
   699. ursus arctos Posted: August 27, 2014 at 06:00 PM (#4780307)
As an ex-keeper I sort of care, but don't really mind it from North Americans.
   700. ursus arctos Posted: August 27, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4780310)
Ludogorets' moneybags owner has reportedly promised to name their new ground (under construction) after Cosmin Moti.
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