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Thursday, December 01, 2011

OT: The Soccer Thread: December 2011

What I Want for Christmas:

Carlos Tevez: A ticket out of Manchester
Wayne Rooney: To be known from here on out as “Tintin” instead of “Shrek”
Harry Redknapp: An acquittal
Andre Villas-Boas To still be employed come Christmas
Portsmouth Fans: For their club to still exist come Christmas
Me: West Ham United, Championship leaders come Christmas
Shooty: Any Spurs gear from the years 1964-1982

 

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 01, 2011 at 11:26 PM | 990 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: special topics

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   1. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 02, 2011 at 12:35 AM (#4004796)
Hey Shooty, I have a George Gervin game-used basketball, gently finger-rolled, never passed!
   2. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 02:03 PM (#4005025)
Hey Shooty, I have a George Gervin game-used basketball, gently finger-rolled, never passed!

I don't get excited about these things. You could say I'm as cool as...ICE.

edit: One nice thing about following soccer is the vintage trading cards are much cheaper. When I was in London I picked up some old cards from the 1920's for 50 pence a piece. The corresponding cards in baseball would have cost hundreds of dollars. Also, 8 days until I'm unwrapping my Partick Thistle and Torino shirts!
   3. CWS Keith plans to [omitted] at [omitted] Posted: December 02, 2011 at 02:36 PM (#4005038)
Bringing the O'Neill discussion to this thread...

Shooty: I'd have to see specifics, but losing money in and of itself doesn't seem too egregious to me, particularly in a league where 75% or more of teams are in the red. Perhaps it was a matter of degree? In any case, I wouldn't think that MON's Villa teams had wage bills higher than any of the teams that finished higher in the table (with a few exceptions).
   4. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 02:38 PM (#4005040)
I'm excited for the Euro 2012 draw, but if Ireland gets thrown into a group with Spain I suspect Trappatoni will unleash a 10-0-1 formation in an attempt to nick a point.
   5. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 02:49 PM (#4005043)
Perhaps it was a matter of degree?

Well, they had an 80 million pound wage bill vs. a 90 million pound turnover which put them behind only Man City and Chelsea for wages vs. turnover ratio. For me it's the way he left the team in the lurch as if Villa hadn't shown the ambition he was promised when I honestly don't see how much more Villa could have spent. Lerner isn't Sheik Mansour. I think he's a good manager, but it looks to me like he dumped Villa just when things were getting tough. The irony is he probably will never have that much money to work with again. I can see him doing a fine job at Sunderland (or even better than fine), but Ellis Short should be careful not to give him a blank check unless he doesn't mind bleeding cash. The danger for Sunderland is Short gets fed up with losing all this money and ##### off back to Texas. The last thing they need is to lose a wealthy, committed chairman like Short.
   6. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#4005044)
I'm excited for the Euro 2012 draw, but if Ireland gets thrown into a group with Spain I suspect Trappatoni will unleash a 10-0-1 formation in an attempt to nick a point.

You know, I would pay to see this. The tension would just ratchet and ratchet up the longer Ireland held on to the draw.
   7. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 02, 2011 at 03:35 PM (#4005074)
What, no Herbstmeisterschaft for me in the wish-list?! Fine! I know when I'm not wanted! *storms out*
   8. Dale Sams Posted: December 02, 2011 at 03:40 PM (#4005079)
I once got Partick to CL qualifiers in CM.
   9. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 02, 2011 at 03:48 PM (#4005088)
What, no Herbstmeisterschaft for me in the wish-list?! Fine! I know when I'm not wanted! *storms out*
Well, now that I know what Herbstmeisterschaft is, maybe you can have it next year.
   10. DA Baracus Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:02 PM (#4005099)
You know, I would pay to see this. The tension would just ratchet and ratchet up the longer Ireland held on to the draw.


At some point the Spanish players would get frustrated and just start flopping in the box.
   11. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:07 PM (#4005107)
At some point the Spanish players would get frustrated and just start flopping in the box.

Wait, they need to be frustrated to flop in the box?
   12. DA Baracus Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:10 PM (#4005109)
Wait, they need to be frustrated to flop in the box?


Ha. I was trying to be nice.
   13. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:10 PM (#4005111)
Would Ireland drawing present-day Spain 0-0 in Euro 2012 be a greater result that the 1-0 over Italy in the WC in 1994? My gut tells me yes, and such a result would be the most celebrated draw in Irish soccer history...

To be honest, I don't hold much hope of Ireland getting out of the group stage, regardless of the draw, so in a way I'm almost hoping they get a "Group of Death," just because it would be fun to see them play really top teams.
   14. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:11 PM (#4005112)
Michel Platini is angering me

DO NOT WANT A WINTER WORLD CUP GODDAMMIT. Qatar's bid was for a summer WC. FIFA ####### voted for it and now they're going to have to ####### live with it.
   15. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:14 PM (#4005117)
Oh, is it time to figure out what patsy group Germany gets drawn into? I almost forgot...
   16. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:14 PM (#4005118)
To be honest, I don't hold much hope of Ireland getting out of the group stage, regardless of the draw, so in a way I'm almost hoping they get a "Group of Death," just because it would be fun to see them play really top teams.

Well, TE, here's some hope for you. It's been 24 years since Ireland were in the Euros. The last two teams to reappear after a 24 year absence were France in 1984 and Greece in 2004. Guess what both of those teams did!
   17. DA Baracus Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:16 PM (#4005120)
I'm almost hoping they get a "Group of Death," just because it would be fun to see them play really top teams.


It would also reduce the chances of seeing Robbie Keane's goal celebration, which looks like a lot of fun to actually do but he's such an ####### when he ignores his teammates in order to do it that makes me loathe him.
   18. Mattbert Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:34 PM (#4005137)
Barney Ronay has some amusing stuff on managerial sackings in the Guardian.
The last really good managerial sacking was probably Roy Hodgson at Liverpool, a sacking that throbbed with gripping retro-power, a sense of something seismic and personality-driven. Albeit much of this was derived from the supercharged silhouette of Kenny Dalglish – not to mention Hodgson's own habit of rubbing his face really hard with his hands and staring straight ahead, gape-eyed, like a man in a lift with a really bad hangover on his way to a meeting who doesn't realise the doors have just opened behind him while he's busy gurning into the mirror.
   19. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:34 PM (#4005138)
"How can people go to Qatar in 60 degrees in June? If people can't come to enjoy it, it's not good," Platini said


Too bad no one was aware that it got hot during the summer in Qatar before they ####### voted.

Platini also said ..."But I voted for Qatar"
   20. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:37 PM (#4005141)
Well, TE, here's some hope for you. It's been 24 years since Ireland were in the Euros. The last two teams to reappear after a 24 year absence were France in 1984 and Greece in 2004. Guess what both of those teams did!


Where can I place a fiver on Ireland to win?

Somewhere I saw 60-1 odds for Ireland ahead of the draw. That still seems wildly optimistic.
   21. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:45 PM (#4005144)
Somewhere I saw 60-1 odds for Ireland ahead of the draw. That still seems wildly optimistic.

Clearly drunken Irish punters are driving down the odds.
   22. DA Baracus Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:50 PM (#4005147)
Too bad no one was aware that it got hot during the summer in Qatar before they ####### voted.


Now now, they said they would have air conditioned stadiums.

Oh wait, they are scrapping that.
   23. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:53 PM (#4005151)
Now now, they said they would have air conditioned stadiums.

Oh wait, they are scrapping that.


Solution 1 - Change the way the World Cup has been run for 80 years and interrupt an ongoing club season to host the thing.

Solution 2 - Call the US or England or Japan or some other country that might be interested and has the infrastructure in place and say "yo, y'all want the biggest sporting event on the planet?"

Yeah, solutino 1 is going to be the smoother move.
   24. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:53 PM (#4005152)
I'm getting the feeling FIFA always planned on a winter WC for Qatar. They really want the clubs to revolt, I guess.
   25. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:54 PM (#4005154)
Spain 13/5
Germany 3
Holland 7
England 14
Italy 14
France 15
Portugal 20
Russia 28
Croatia 45
Ukraine 50
Denmark 66
Czech 66
Ireland 66
Poland 85
Sweden 94
Greece 99
   26. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 04:58 PM (#4005156)
FWIW, an author I work with travels frequently to Qatar (he's a consultant or something there), and while he's not really a soccer fan, he told me flat-out that most folks he's talked to in Qatar think the WC will never be in the summer--that's it would be suicidal to do so for the players.

The Qatar WC really does loom like the breaking point for international football. Any way you do it, a winter WC would force two seasons of club football to be smushed closer together, right? with very little downtime, etc. I just can't see the clubs rolling over on this one and releasing players, etc.
   27. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:00 PM (#4005160)
Thanks, FPH. I still think 66-1 is wildly optimistic.
   28. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:01 PM (#4005162)
Any way you do it, a winter WC would force two seasons of club football to be smushed closer together, right? with very little downtime, etc. I just can't see the clubs rolling over on this one and releasing players, etc.

Exactly. I think you'll see clubs resist releasing players for a Winter WC. I know I would be 100% behind Tottenham if they refused, even if they had an American that would be playing in it.
   29. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:07 PM (#4005168)
#28--to say nothing of the fact that, you know, there are other places that get quite hot in June-August, and there likely aren't teams that want full slates of club games in that time period.

Only can seem to get an ESPN Desportes feed for the draw via ESPN's own site. This'll be fun.
   30. DA Baracus Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:08 PM (#4005169)
Solution 2 - Call the US or England or Japan or some other country that might be interested and has the infrastructure in place and say "yo, y'all want the biggest sporting event on the planet?"


The US and Australia were the runners up. Give it to one of them.

Seriously, the US can be given the WC 2 years out, maybe even less, and have it go off smoothly. We've got more than enough stadiums and all the infrastructure that is needed.
   31. Swedish Chef Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:09 PM (#4005172)
Exactly. I think you'll see clubs resist releasing players for a Winter WC. I know I would be 100% behind Tottenham if they refused, even if they had an American that would be playing in it.

As clubs don't have players chained up in the basement of the stadium, they don't get to "release" them.

And a Winter WC would just mean a winter break, it is far better for the clubs than the African Nations Cup that they are completely powerless to do anything about now.
   32. Randy Jones Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:09 PM (#4005173)
Only can seem to get an ESPN Desportes feed for the draw via ESPN's own site. This'll be fun.


If you mean on ESPN3, click on the link for the Spanish version. It will pop up a new window with the video in it, at the bottom of that window there are links for other events that will include the English feed.
   33. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:10 PM (#4005175)
   34. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:29 PM (#4005192)
And a Winter WC would just mean a winter break

It would mean a 6 week or so winter break. This isn't taking off 2 weeks like in Serie A. it would also punish teams that employ a lot of internationals as those guys are going to be beat when the "break" is finished. It would also mean the summer break would have to be shortened making any tournaments scheduled for those months more problematic and cutting the rest period for the players in half before the next club season begins. But more than that, it makes the bidding process completely unfair. If Qatar needs to stage the Cup in winter that should have been part of their bid.
   35. Mark Edward Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:31 PM (#4005194)
Are ESPN's Soccer Power Index more or less legitimate than Fifa's rankings? I couldn't find too many discrepancies, but ESPN's got Poland at 41 & in Fifa they're 67.

Also, here's a photo of the retractable roof at the National Stadium in Warsaw. I wonder if they could do something like this at an MLB park?
   36. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:36 PM (#4005197)
Bob Ley on the Germans...

“Nobody adapts like the Germans. They figure it out, and then they attack and attack”
   37. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:40 PM (#4005202)
Are ESPN's Soccer Power Index more or less legitimate than Fifa's rankings?


Trick question. They are both completely useless.

Although technically, one of them is "legitimate".
   38. Swedish Chef Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:41 PM (#4005203)
But more than that, it makes the bidding process completely unfair.

This is just a little niggle compared to Qatar being awarded a WC in the first place.

it would also punish teams that employ a lot of internationals as those guys are going to be beat when the "break" is finished.

It's not too bad, worst case is seven competitive games, and only four teams do that. It's positively leisurely, the teams without internationals are probably worse off.
   39. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:44 PM (#4005204)
50/50 shot for ireland to draw ukraine's group...
   40. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:45 PM (#4005206)
Well, poop.

Can't wait for the 10-0-1
   41. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:45 PM (#4005207)
Sorry TE.
   42. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:45 PM (#4005208)
France gets a break again. Argh.
   43. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:47 PM (#4005209)
France gets a break again. Argh.

Clearly they hate the color green and leprechauns.
   44. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:47 PM (#4005210)
Now Greece gets a massive break. Argh.
   45. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:48 PM (#4005211)
Now Greece gets a massive break. Argh.

No complaints after that Estonia draw!
   46. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#4005213)
Thanks, Shooty.

Croatia's not a bad 3rd team to have, although they are quite good.
   47. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#4005215)
I'm calling Germany to group A.
   48. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#4005216)
But seriously, France has been given an absolute gift with this draw.
   49. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:51 PM (#4005218)
France with an easy, easy draw so far.
   50. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:52 PM (#4005219)
Russia given a gift too.
   51. Mark Edward Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:52 PM (#4005220)
Russia, Czech Republic, & Greece- basically the best possible draw for Poland. yay
   52. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:52 PM (#4005221)
Group A is ridiculous. Putin fixed it!
   53. Swedish Chef Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:53 PM (#4005223)
Now that's a group of death!
   54. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:54 PM (#4005225)
Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Denmark. Rough, rough group.
   55. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:54 PM (#4005226)
We have our group of death.

edit: Stop typing faster than me, jerks!
   56. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:54 PM (#4005227)
Ha! My powers of reverse jinxing know no bounds!
   57. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:55 PM (#4005228)
England can't really complain about that draw.
   58. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:55 PM (#4005230)
Sorry again, TE. That's a rough ####### group.
   59. Mattbert Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:56 PM (#4005231)
Stone me, what a completely ###### up lopsided draw. Lollerskates.
   60. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:57 PM (#4005232)
Yeah, that's a group England should be able to get through. But, England being England...
   61. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 02, 2011 at 05:59 PM (#4005234)
Yeah pretty harsh for Ireland. Though I'd take Italy over Germany/England. They aren't very good right now.

OTOH, this habit of seeding two patsy home nations has to stop. It's a complete game-changer , and totally unfair. Not that I complain when it's Germany that gets the #### end of the stick.
   62. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:00 PM (#4005236)
Well, Ireland gets to play Italy, Croatia, and Spain. I may be wildly optimistic, but I can see them maybe getting 4 points from those 3 games. Not sure that will be enough to get through, though. Spain looks good for at least 5 points at worst.

Ideally, we'd need something like a loss to Spain + victory over Italy + a draw against Croatia, in addition to Italy also losing to Spain and drawing Croatia, while Croatia also loses to Spain in order for us to get through... There certainly isn't 6 points there for Ireland to get in that group.

Oh, and England gets a gift draw too.
   63. Padgett Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:01 PM (#4005237)
From the Guardian liveblog:
5.58pm: Having chosen their base in Poland, England will play all of their matches in Ukraine.
Heh.

Seems like they have to bring Rooney now.
   64. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:01 PM (#4005238)
OTOH, this habit of seeding two patsy home nations has to stop.

Yeah, I don't get the logic of it. The advantage for Ukraine and Poland is they get to be IN the damn tournament when, most likely, they wouldn't have qualified.
   65. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:05 PM (#4005244)
Well, Poland did qualify on their own for Euro 2008, and Ukraine made it to the playoffs for World Cup qualification in 2010. Maybe not the best sides in Europe, but they probably would have had a decent chance of qualification.
   66. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:07 PM (#4005246)
Holy cow, Group B is brutal. Say what you will about the FIFA Rankings--and you'd be right--but those teams are #2, 3, 7 and 11. Wow.
   67. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:08 PM (#4005247)
Well, Poland did qualify on their own for Euro 2008, and Ukraine made it to the playoffs for World Cup qualification in 2010. Maybe not the best sides in Europe, but they probably would have had a decent chance of qualification.

Yeah, you're right. Poland is a pretty decent team, really. England has a pretty easy draw, but playing the Ukraine in Ukraine could be trickier than it looks on paper.
   68. DA Baracus Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:09 PM (#4005249)
Yeah, I don't get the logic of it. The advantage for Ukraine and Poland is they get to be IN the damn tournament when, most likely, they wouldn't have qualified.


Are you saying Ukraine is weak?
   69. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:11 PM (#4005253)
To follow-up on #62, I guess Ireland mainly needs Spain to get all 9 points in winning the group, and then hope to get 4 points off of Italy/Croatia, while the team that Ireland beats draws/loses to the team Ireland draws with. If we do that, then we can go through with just 4 points.

I guess it also depends on the order of the games, which I think will be out shortly... If they get to play Spain 1st, I really would park the bus and play a 10-0-1 and pray for a draw, as those would be points you wouldn't think you'd get. Then play Croatia/Italy with the idea you need a win and a draw.

On the whole, actually, as long as Spain gets all 9 points it could be a group Ireland could get through.
   70. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:12 PM (#4005254)
Are you saying Ukraine is weak?

Comrade, I would never say such a thing. Ignore all those armies in the Urals...
   71. Mattbert Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:14 PM (#4005258)
Holy cow, Group B is brutal. Say what you will about the FIFA Rankings--and you'd be right--but those teams are #2, 3, 7 and 11. Wow.

I think the FIFA rankings are about right for three of those four. Denmark is a touch high, but Germany and Netherlands are definitely top five and Portugal is definitely top ten.

England have two games in Donetsk bookending a trip to Kyiv. Ouch.

EDIT: In case you didn't know, the England team elected to set up camp in Krakow, almost 1,000 miles from Donetsk.
   72. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:16 PM (#4005263)
Netherlands were in the "group of death" last time around too, and then they hammered France and Italy by 3 goals apiece. Of course, then they lost to Russia in the quarterfinals.
   73. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:18 PM (#4005265)
   74. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:19 PM (#4005267)
EDIT: In case you didn't know, the England team elected to set up camp in Krakow, almost 1,000 miles from Donetsk.

Any reason why they chose a venue before the draw? Just typical FA brilliance?
   75. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:19 PM (#4005268)
Well, Poland did qualify on their own for Euro 2008, and Ukraine made it to the playoffs for World Cup qualification in 2010. Maybe not the best sides in Europe, but they probably would have had a decent chance of qualification.


Qualify yes, but certainly not as Pot 1 teams. The issue from what I can see is that you've got two teams that are blatantly ill-equipped to be Pot 1 teams and that drastically tilts the competitive nature of the tournament.

On the flip side as a fan there is somethign compelling about it. The set up artificially creates a scenario where lesser teams have a legitimate shot at the knockout stage.

On that note quick meaningless predictions;

Group A - Russia, Czech Republic
Group B - Netherlands, Germany
Group C - Spain, Italy
Group D - England, Ukraine
   76. Mattbert Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:20 PM (#4005269)
Harry Redknapp has this friend, see...

Let me just go on the record in saying that whatever Harry's merits as a club manager, I think he would be an absolute disaster at international level.
   77. Textbook Editor Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:24 PM (#4005275)
So... Croatia first, then Spain, then Italy.

Ideally, Ireland would win the first game and then park the bus for two games and hope to escape with 4 points. Lose the first game and I don't see any way they get through.

I really would have preferred to play Spain first, where even a loss might provide confidence for the last two.
   78. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:31 PM (#4005277)


I really would have preferred to play Spain first, where even a loss might provide confidence for the last two.


I would have wanted Spain last. There's a real chance they won't need anything out of that game, and just rest up for the next round. Would seem like the best chance to nick some points...
   79. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:33 PM (#4005278)
Alright, so now that the draw is done, I'm open to suggestions for when to go to England and play Scotsman at the pub. If fly in the 13th and out the 20th, that would let me see the England games on the 15th and 19th, plus the final games of Group B on the 17th (POR vs. NED, GER vs. DEN) and two matchdays of Group C. Flight + Hotel* for $2919. Sounds like a plan.

*I have a particular hotel in mind
   80. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:34 PM (#4005280)
On the flip side as a fan there is somethign compelling about it. The set up artificially creates a scenario where lesser teams have a legitimate shot at the knockout stage.

I like the current system. I'd much rather have groups where I can't predict beforehand who goes through (and can get matches like Germany-Netherlands-Portugal in the group stages) than the alternative.
   81. Swedish Chef Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:44 PM (#4005289)
Flight + Hotel* for $2919.

Far too expensive for a Scotsman. You should go down to the docks and see if you can rustle up cheap passage there.
   82. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:50 PM (#4005296)
Far too expensive for a Scotsman. You should go down to the docks and see if you can rustle up cheap passage there.

Ha! Also, RB, it's very important you don't volunteer to stand a round.
   83. Swedish Chef Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:51 PM (#4005297)
I can see the point of seeding the qualification groups to avoid clustering of midget nations and the resulting freakshow. But I don't like seeding the finals, the worst possible group isn't all that bad.
   84. Mattbert Posted: December 02, 2011 at 06:54 PM (#4005302)
Far too expensive for a Scotsman. You should go down to the docks and see if you can rustle up cheap passage there.

A real Scotsman would row.
   85. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 02, 2011 at 07:06 PM (#4005309)
A real Scotsman would row.
First he'd try to walk.

EDIT: Well, I suppose first he'd have sex with a sheep. Then he'd try to walk.
   86. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 02, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#4005317)
Ach, racists the lot of ye!

edit: I recently watched this movie called NEDS about Glasgow in the 1970's and, though they were ostensibly speaking English, the movie was subtitled.
   87. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 02, 2011 at 07:50 PM (#4005342)
Well, I suppose first he'd have sex with a sheep. Then he'd try to walk.


Whoa there, that's the Welsh!
   88. Mattbert Posted: December 02, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#4005353)
I thought the Kiwis were the sheepfuckers.
   89. Baldrick Posted: December 02, 2011 at 08:22 PM (#4005359)
This Qatar thing is the gift that just keeps on giving. Ugh.
   90. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 02, 2011 at 08:40 PM (#4005370)
Whoa there, that's the Welsh!
You're right, I take that back. The Scots let the Welshman have sex with the sheep, then they eat the most disguting parts of a sheep, stuffed into another disgusting part.
   91. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 02, 2011 at 08:50 PM (#4005380)
You're right, I take that back. The Scots let the Welshman have sex with the sheep, then they eat the most disguting parts of a sheep, stuffed into another disgusting part.


Deep fried Mars bar for afters anyone?
   92. Dale Sams Posted: December 02, 2011 at 09:42 PM (#4005421)
“Nobody adapts like the Germans. They figure it out, and then they attack and attack”


Did they ever actually go on a war footing?
   93. Juan V Posted: December 02, 2011 at 11:04 PM (#4005496)
I wanted the Group of Debt :(
   94. puck Posted: December 03, 2011 at 05:05 AM (#4005627)
What's the reason for the FA making it so hard for imported players* to get a work permit (it's the FA's rule, right?), is it due to pressure to keep slots for local players?

Are there similar rules for Italy, Germany and Spain?

Mexican clubs seem to have a lot of decent attacking talent from South America...I wonder if some of those guys would end up in the better Euro leagues if not for visa or roster restrictions.

(*Edit: I guess I mean players w/o EU passports?)
   95. puck Posted: December 03, 2011 at 05:05 AM (#4005628)
Seriously, the US can be given the WC 2 years out, maybe even less, and have it go off smoothly. We've got more than enough stadiums and all the infrastructure that is needed.


Is that enough time to focus-group and develop a mascot? I guess the Phillie Phanatic, San Diego Chicken or the Phoenix Gorilla could fill in.
   96. Swedish Chef Posted: December 03, 2011 at 10:12 AM (#4005646)
What's the reason for the FA making it so hard for imported players* to get a work permit (it's the FA's rule, right?), is it due to pressure to keep slots for local players?

It's not the FA, it's the government. They only give a work permit if the player has enough skill that is not easily obtained domestically, going by some pretty silly guidelines.
   97. Juan V Posted: December 03, 2011 at 10:35 AM (#4005648)
Rumour: Kombaure about to get le sack at PSG.
   98. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 03, 2011 at 11:26 AM (#4005651)
Rumour: Kombaure about to get le sack at PSG.

Ooh la la.
   99. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 03, 2011 at 01:16 PM (#4005654)
It's not the FA, it's the government. They only give a work permit if the player has enough skill that is not easily obtained domestically, going by some pretty silly guidelines.
I think it's wildly stupid, although someone--ursus, maybe--has made the point that it does help cut down on the activities on unscrupulous agents.
   100. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 03, 2011 at 01:25 PM (#4005658)
If Chelsea can't break down Newcastle's defence with Colo out now, AVB might deserve le sack as well. Especially since Ryan Taylor has apparently turned back into a pumpkin...
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