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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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   101. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 03, 2011 at 01:27 PM (#4005659)
Juan Mata is quite the soccerball player.
   102. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 03, 2011 at 01:49 PM (#4005662)
Juan Mata is quite the soccerball player.


He's pretty good. Of course, the fact that Newcastle has NFLball players masquerading as full backs, kind of helps. Seriously, I have no idea why Santos isn't in this game...
   103. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 03, 2011 at 01:53 PM (#4005664)
Chelsea has looked frail defensively again so there could be more goals coming. Come on Newcastle!
   104. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 03, 2011 at 02:04 PM (#4005666)
Krul is having a hell of a game.
   105. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 03, 2011 at 02:07 PM (#4005667)
Conversely for Newcastle, Taylor is having a crap game.
   106. DA Baracus Posted: December 03, 2011 at 02:10 PM (#4005669)
Tim Krul's body language suggests that he's scared out of his mind to be handling the ball in any circumstance.
   107. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 03, 2011 at 02:14 PM (#4005670)
Ashley Cole just got whacked! Ouch!
   108. DA Baracus Posted: December 03, 2011 at 02:15 PM (#4005671)
Keep going to shots of Torres on the bench. His hair is perfect.
   109. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 03, 2011 at 02:28 PM (#4005673)
Chelsea look like Wolves desperately trying to hold onto a lead here.
   110. DA Baracus Posted: December 03, 2011 at 02:31 PM (#4005676)
Hey, let's keep shooting from the top of the box so it gets blocked and we give away possession and a counter attack, where we are holding on for dear life!
   111. Baldrick Posted: December 03, 2011 at 04:15 PM (#4005687)
It's interesting to read comments like this after waking up to see a 0-3 away win from Chelsea. Was it really as desperate as this makes it sound?
   112. frannyzoo Posted: December 03, 2011 at 04:20 PM (#4005689)
Crisis or no crisis, comparing Chelsea to Wolves right now is like comparing the Red Sox to the Pirates. Speaking of sinking ships...when Werder Bremen goes bad, they go really, really bad, really, really fast. BVB looked great around the hour mark today, but things have changed quite a bit since vis-a-vis the Evil Empire.
   113. Textbook Editor Posted: December 03, 2011 at 04:27 PM (#4005690)
Well, the GD is being helped today for Spurs. I do think the 3/4/5 spots could well come down to GD, so improving on last year's GD is a good thing.
   114. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 03, 2011 at 04:44 PM (#4005701)
It's interesting to read comments like this after waking up to see a 0-3 away win from Chelsea. Was it really as desperate as this makes it sound?


Chelsea deserved to win, although Luiz should have been off after about 5 mins, which would have made things more interesting. The 3-0 was definitely flattering though.
But as I said before the season, Newcastle are one good defender away from being any real threat to the top teams, and I think that's been borne out. 3-0 to Chelsea, 3-1 at City, scraped a 1-1 at OT, that they had no business of getting. Their best 4 aren't terrible, but only Coloccini is actually good. As a unit they won't embarrass you, but they can't stand up to the better teams. And they have absolutely no depth, so as soon as one player goes down, the whole house of cards comes down. When you are relying on James Perch to come in and save the day, well...
   115. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 03, 2011 at 04:47 PM (#4005702)
BVB looked great


They do that a lot. But they consistently fail to put teams away, and it comes back to bite them.
   116. frannyzoo Posted: December 03, 2011 at 05:45 PM (#4005737)
That doesn't look good for Chicharito and United. But let's see what Valencia can do here.
   117. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 03, 2011 at 05:45 PM (#4005738)
When I turned off the Newcastle-Chelsea game, Chelsea were definitely being pushed by Newcastle and I thought for sure Newcastle had the equalizer in them. Ah well. The Spurs win today was so easy it was kind of boring. It was weird.
   118. CWS Keith plans to [omitted] at [omitted] Posted: December 03, 2011 at 06:34 PM (#4005789)
Rumour: Kombaure about to get le sack at PSG.

You could kind of see it coming after the Marseille game. Kombaure took off both Pastore and Gamiero before the hour mark with PSG already down 1 or 2 goals. In Kombaure's defense, both were in the midst of pretty wretched performances (Pastore was especially awful, and hasn't been all that great since the early part of the season). Still, the new PSG's owners were never going to side with Kombaure.

Any idea who their looking at as a replacement? I know Ancelotti has been mentioned, but doesn't he want to go back to England? And if they went with Makelele, would that actually be a long-term solution?
   119. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 03, 2011 at 06:50 PM (#4005803)
I know Ancelotti has been mentioned, but doesn't he want to go back to England? And if they went with Makelele, would that actually be a long-term solution?

I think Ancelotti is holding out for Spurs or Arsenal as he doesn't want to leave London. Another conspiracy theory is Makelele will be a placeholder until they can hire Wenger for a boatload of money in the summer. That actually makes a lot of sense. What more does Wenger need to accomplish at Arsenal? The only thing left is a CL title and he has as much chance as doing that with PSG's deep pockets as at Arsenal.
   120. BFFB Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:01 PM (#4005813)
Wenger would probably also love the opportunity to get some revenge on Marseille.

Also Hernandez = Ligament damage and Rooney just did a fully "Stevie G" starfish impression, which was quite funny.

Jenas has also just injured himself, which is the only noticeable thing he's done in the entire match.
   121. Baldrick Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:51 PM (#4005851)
When things are going right for Barca (which is often), it looks like they should score half a dozen goals every game.
   122. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 03, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#4005867)
When things are going right for Barca (which is often), it looks like they should score half a dozen goals every game.


They should score a half dozen goals every game. They are underachievers.
   123. Swedish Chef Posted: December 03, 2011 at 09:34 PM (#4005941)
Barcelona has an awesome team, but they seem to have hired some lookalikes to play their away games for them this season.
   124. ian Posted: December 04, 2011 at 02:23 AM (#4006184)
Are there similar rules for Italy, Germany and Spain?


Going from memory.. I believe Italy allows each team one new non-EU signing per season. It does not count against the cap if a non-EU player transfers within Serie A. Germany does not have restrictions. Spain allows 4 non-EU registrations at a time but its also worth mentioning that Brazilians, and citizens of native-Spanish speaking countries, are eligible for Spanish citizenship after 2 years iirc.
   125. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 04, 2011 at 01:07 PM (#4006440)
Steven Taylor out for the rest of the season. Newcastle's defence is officially fucked.
   126. BFFB Posted: December 04, 2011 at 01:27 PM (#4006444)
Time for the James Perch experience... oh dear. Really need Ashley to open his wallet in January for a centerback now.
   127. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 04, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#4006461)
Man City v Man U in the FA Cup. Ha! The karma boomerang is coming back to #### with Sir Alex, it would appear.
   128. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 04, 2011 at 02:47 PM (#4006463)
Spurs get Cheltenham Town at home. No, I know nothing about them, but the great thing about the FA Cup is I will get to know them. West Ham travel to Sheffield Wednesday.
   129. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 04, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#4006470)
Spurs get Cheltenham Town at home. No, I know nothing about them, but the great thing about the FA Cup is I will get to know them. West Ham travel to Sheffield Wednesday.


They have Luke Garbutt on loan from Everton, he's a semi-decent prospect. That's about my total knowledge of them...
   130. Textbook Editor Posted: December 04, 2011 at 03:14 PM (#4006472)
Spurs get Cheltenham Town at home. No, I know nothing about them, but the great thing about the FA Cup is I will get to know them. West Ham travel to Sheffield Wednesday.


Apparently they're sitting 3rd in League Two at the moment. That's my full knowledge about them.
   131. DA Baracus Posted: December 04, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#4006496)
Le Sulk is coming to Canada?
   132. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 04, 2011 at 04:12 PM (#4006505)
God, you people clearly don't follow football that well. I mean, everyone knows Cheltenham Town are currently sitting 3rd in League Two and have Luke Garcbutt--a semi-decent prospect--on loan from Everton. How could you not?
   133. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 04, 2011 at 04:21 PM (#4006511)
Le Sulk is coming to Canada?

Is there any affection for the French national team in Quebec?
   134. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: December 04, 2011 at 04:41 PM (#4006523)
I'm from Cheltenham. They suck.
   135. DA Baracus Posted: December 04, 2011 at 04:56 PM (#4006531)
Is there any affection for the French national team in Quebec?


That's not the relevant question. The relevant question is would the Franophones want Anelka? He's certainly an excellent player but nobody actually roots for him. There's a reason why he's a former French international.
   136. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 04, 2011 at 05:04 PM (#4006537)
There's a reason why he's a former French international.


He's 32, and at his peak was good but not great. If he were still capable to make the French squad on merit, he'd be in, whatever his attitude.
   137. Swedish Chef Posted: December 04, 2011 at 05:09 PM (#4006540)
If he were still capable to make the French squad on merit, he'd be in, whatever his attitude.

I'm not so sure about that, they have a history of shunning high-maintenance players like Cantona and Ginola.
   138. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: December 04, 2011 at 05:33 PM (#4006561)
Amazing sequence in the Wolves-Sunderland game. Sunderland penalty saved by Hennessey and Wolves come down and 26 seconds after the save score an equalizer.
   139. Mattbert Posted: December 04, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#4006573)
Wolves have now taken the lead. Franny must be delighted with that turnaround.
   140. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 04, 2011 at 05:56 PM (#4006580)
O'Neill out!
   141. Mattbert Posted: December 04, 2011 at 06:24 PM (#4006605)
"You fat Geordie skinny Irish b*stard, get out of our club!"
   142. Mattbert Posted: December 04, 2011 at 09:23 PM (#4006704)
There's a trickle of rumors that Rafa Benitez is on the verge of taking over at PSG.

Apropos of this, someone posted this clip of Rafa's magical abilities on the Twitter.
   143. Mattbert Posted: December 04, 2011 at 09:27 PM (#4006707)
Does anyone know what exactly constitutes a "key pass" according to Opta?
   144. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 05, 2011 at 08:00 PM (#4007366)
Are we ready for some soccerball? We have Europe's 23rd best team facing Europe's 37th best team (according to whoscored.com ratings. yes, they have Fulham as the 6th best team in the Prem right now, ahead of Newcastle.) The players to watch for are Luis Suarez (74th best player in Europe and highest rated Liverpool outfield player) and Clint Dempsey (#155). And yes, I'm enjoying screwing around with the opta stats at whoscored.com even if they don't mean much. Whi is the 78th best player in Europe? If you guessed Yakubu, you are ####### scary. To get an idea of how highly regarded that makes Yakubu, he is sandwiched in the rankings by Scott Parker and Andres Iniesta. You could say Yakubu is as good as TWO players put together!
   145. DA Baracus Posted: December 05, 2011 at 08:29 PM (#4007401)
I can't tell if this game is sloppy or good.
   146. Swedish Chef Posted: December 05, 2011 at 08:34 PM (#4007410)
he is sandwiched in the rankings by Scott Parker and Andres Iniesta.

That does not compute.
   147. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 05, 2011 at 08:41 PM (#4007424)
I can't tell if this game is sloppy or good.

After suffering through Aston Vill-Man U and Everton-Stoke over the weekend, this game is pure class.
   148. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 05, 2011 at 08:55 PM (#4007439)
Anyone else wish Ian Darke would stop obsessing over how much players cost? Anyway, Henderson and Carroll look ok. Not great, but Carroll is getting into good and Henderson nearly scored. The tempo of this game seems kind of slow, no? Lots of back and forth but the breaks are so slow the defenses have plenty of time to get behind the ball.
   149. DA Baracus Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:01 PM (#4007449)
I hadn't really noticed, but yeah, I don't care what the team paid for the player. It's not my money.

The tempo of this game seems kind of slow, no?


Agreed. There's been a lot of counter attacks that have taken place in a pool of molasses.

Fulham is doing a nice job of shooting directly at defender's legs and conceding possession, and Liverpool's passing to Fulham players with no one within 5 yards of them is unmatched.
   150. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:09 PM (#4007457)
I'm sorry, but Craig Bellamy is one weirdly shaped guy. If he were fat, he'd be a weeble wobble. Not sure why Dempsey was so peeved there, though.
   151. DA Baracus Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:14 PM (#4007460)
Hilarious dive by Suarez.
   152. DA Baracus Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:31 PM (#4007477)
Spearing set off for, well, spearing, but it was a bad call.
   153. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:31 PM (#4007479)
A little harsh, but he used both legs and studs were up. Can't blame the ref for that.
   154. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:32 PM (#4007482)
Who plays DM for Liverpool now?
   155. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:37 PM (#4007490)
Yeah, wasn't really a red, but I can see how it looked that way in real time ...
   156. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:37 PM (#4007492)
I feel like the officiating has kind of screwed Liverpool this game. That foul that got marked just outside the box looked like a penalty to me, Suarez didn't look offsides for the goal that got waved off, and the red should have been a yellow (although I agree that you can't blame the ref for that).
   157. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:39 PM (#4007496)
Oh, oh, oh. Dempsey deserved a goal on that one.
   158. DA Baracus Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:40 PM (#4007498)
Dempsey just inches away from a beautiful goal.
   159. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:41 PM (#4007499)
Yeah, Suarez looked onside on that "goal" to me as well (and what a pretty piece of play it was as well).
   160. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:43 PM (#4007503)
Now this match is cooking!
   161. DA Baracus Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:43 PM (#4007504)
DEUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE.
   162. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:44 PM (#4007505)
Double breakdown by the Liverpool defense on that goal.
   163. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:56 PM (#4007526)
I guess a draw would have been fair. Both sides looked really slow until the sending off when they woke up. Liverpool looked more dangerous down a man for some reason. Pretty entertaining game. If Dembele ever starts finishing he's going to be a hell of a player.
   164. DA Baracus Posted: December 05, 2011 at 10:01 PM (#4007533)
The sending off and Andy Johnson coming on, Zamora was invisible. Deserved to be a draw but Clint Dempsey cares not for what should be.

Man, Suarez is so good, and such a #####.
   165. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 05, 2011 at 10:01 PM (#4007534)
Yeah, wasn't really a red, but I can see how it looked that way in real time ...


Sure it is. If you go in with two feet off the ground, you're taking a shower every time, whether you get the ball or not. Whether you get the man or not. Every player knows that.
   166. Baldrick Posted: December 05, 2011 at 10:50 PM (#4007620)
What FPH said.

You constantly hear "but he got the ball" as a defense. Which is just irrelevant. Is there anything in the rule book that suggests the referee should focus on this at all?
   167. Swedish Chef Posted: December 05, 2011 at 11:01 PM (#4007628)
You constantly hear "but he got the ball" as a defense. Which is just irrelevant. Is there anything in the rule book that suggests the referee should focus on this at all?

Yes, there is a difference for a normal tackle, you can take out the other guy as a side effect of getting the ball, but you can't take out the guy when the ball is out of your reach.

Two-footed, studs up, not the same thing.
   168. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: December 05, 2011 at 11:31 PM (#4007661)
Huh, I didn't know, since with all the blathering they did, neither Darke nor Macca bothered to relay the fact, but that goal was Dempsey's 37th in the Premiership, a new record for an American player (breaking Brian McBride's record).

Good on ya, Clint!

Five tidbits of information from ESPN:


• Dempsey needed 161 games to score his 37 league goals. That's 14 more matches than McBride played en route to scoring 36. The only other American with double-digit Premier League goals is Roy Wegerle, who tallied 13 times with Blackburn and Coventry City between 1992 and 1994.

• McBride and Dempsey were teammates at Fulham for two seasons, before McBride returned home to finish his career with Chicago. Carlos Bocanegra also scored eight goals with Fulham, meaning 77 of the 128 EPL goals scored by American internationals have been struck for Fulham. Everton is next on the list with 15 goals, led by Joe-Max Moore with eight.

• Dempsey's goal was his third league goal against Liverpool. He is the only American to score a Premier League goal against Liverpool, and all three goals have come at Craven Cottage. He has struck against 18 different Premier League teams, and his six goals against Wigan are his most against any club.

• Dempsey has six career multigoal games in Premier League play. McBride, with five, is the only other American with more than one. Claudio Reyna, Moore and Wegerle each posted a single Premier League brace.

• Dempsey scored 12 Premier League goals last season. He led Fulham in scoring for the third time and became the first American to score double-digit goals in a single Premier League season, topping McBride's twice-accomplished mark of nine, in both the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons with Fulham.

   169. Richard Posted: December 06, 2011 at 12:30 AM (#4007704)
Dempsey needed 161 games to score his 37 league goals. That's 14 more matches than McBride played en route to scoring 36. The only other American with double-digit Premier League goals is Roy Wegerle, who tallied 13 times with Blackburn and Coventry City between 1992 and 1994.

And if you acknowledge the fact that football began before 1992, Wegerle scored 52 top flight goals in total, which is presumably the record for an American player and Dempsey's next target.
   170. DA Baracus Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:16 AM (#4007727)
Huh, I didn't know, since with all the blathering they did, neither Darke nor Macca bothered to relay the fact, but that goal was Dempsey's 37th in the Premiership, a new record for an American player (breaking Brian McBride's record).


They did mention that it was the Fulham record for EPL goals.

Dempsey needed 161 games to score his 37 league goals. That's 14 more matches than McBride played en route to scoring 36.


That's not really a fair comparison though, as McBride was a striker and Dempsey has spent a lot of time as a midfielder.
   171. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 06, 2011 at 12:37 PM (#4007913)
Luis Suarez' Johnny Cash moment

If I could, I'd print up a 1000 t-shirts with this picture on it and make a killing. The latest stupid PL controversy.

I'm reading Brad Friedel's book now. I don't often read these books by players and this one isn't changing my mind. I think the problem with these books is Brad Friedel assumes the reader really cares a lot about Brad Friedel. I'm more interested in the stories he can tell after 20 years in the game and any insights he has in the position he plays. There is some of the former, though not enough, and so far, none of the latter. He does tell a great story about Graeme Souness planting the Galatsaray flag in the middle of hte pitch after a cup win at Fenerbahce and causing a riot. He was at Liverpool during the co-managership of Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier which just sounds like it must have been bizarre.
   172. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:19 PM (#4007929)
Luis Suarez' Johnny Cash moment


Careful there, you are loosing your footy cred. In this sport, we call that an Effenberg moment.
   173. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:22 PM (#4007930)
Careful there, you are loosing your footy cred. In this sport, we call that an Effenberg moment.

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   174. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:32 PM (#4007936)
So's your mom.
   175. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:34 PM (#4007940)
So's your mom.

Naw. As I always tell Mom, she's # 11...
   176. frannyzoo Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:40 PM (#4007944)
...Wenger insists Arsenal have not travelled to Greece just to make up the numbers.


Right, Arsene, right...
   177. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:45 PM (#4007949)
Can anyone explain how this isn't a red?

I don't mean it to be snarky, either. I'm still a novice and the Liverpool blogosphere is unanimous that this is barely a yellow. I thought it was a pretty straightforward red at the time. Am I misunderstanding the rules? The Suarez offside and the Senderos foul seemed more controversial to me, also Dempsey may have deserved a sending off, too (Younes Kaboul got sent off against Newcastle last year for sticking his head into Tiote the way Dempsey did to Bellamy).
   178. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:59 PM (#4007961)
I'm reading Brad Friedel's book now. I don't often read these books by players and this one isn't changing my mind. I think the problem with these books is Brad Friedel assumes the reader really cares a lot about Brad Friedel.
But the thing is, I suspect most people (or at least a majority of people) who read Brad Friedel's book do care a lot about Brad Friedel. You're not wrong that the best sports memoirs are less about the person and more about the game but that's a lot harder to do and risks losing your audience, so I think Friedel(/his ghost) probably wrote what they wanted.
   179. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:15 PM (#4007969)
But the thing is, I suspect most people (or at least a majority of people) who read Brad Friedel's book do care a lot about Brad Friedel. You're not wrong that the best sports memoirs are less about the person and more about the game but that's a lot harder to do and risks losing your audience, so I think Friedel(/his ghost) probably wrote what they wanted.

But that's the rub...if Friedel told better stories and gave insight into his craft, I'd be much more interested in him! The other thing that cracks me up about his book is he keeps using the word "frippery". Dude has been in England a long, long time or his ghost writer is ####### with him.
   180. Mattbert Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:24 PM (#4007974)
Harry talks...tactics! And why he wants the English clubs to drop out of the Champions League.

What would the effect on England's UEFA coefficient be if this happened? Would the Premier League be in danger of losing that coveted fourth Champions League berth and/or suffering from worse seeding in the tournament?
   181. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:27 PM (#4007977)
Zonal Marking book recommendations

Exactly the kind of list I've been looking for.
   182. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:29 PM (#4007978)
But that's the rub...if Friedel told better stories and gave insight into his craft, I'd be much more interested in him! The other thing that cracks me up about his book is he keeps using the word "frippery".

I live in England, and I don't think I have ever heard that word.

I don't mean it to be snarky, either. I'm still a novice and the Liverpool blogosphere is unanimous that this is barely a yellow. I thought it was a pretty straightforward red at the time.

And if it had been a Fulham player, those same people would be screaming bloody murder. According to the rules, this is "serious foul play", containing the use of "excessive force". For which the referee must send off the player. It's a pretty clear case, and Spearing gave the Ref no other choice.
   183. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:33 PM (#4007979)
Harry talks...tactics! And why he wants the English clubs to drop out of the Champions League.

I'm enjoying his use of inverted wingers this year. With the pace BAE and Walker offer, the team can keep width even with Lennon and Bale cutting inside.
   184. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:33 PM (#4007980)
What would the effect on England's UEFA coefficient be if this happened? Would the Premier League be in danger of losing that coveted fourth Champions League berth and/or suffering from worse seeding in the tournament?


Last I checked, England's UEFA coefficient was pretty secure. I can't imagine 1 year would cause it to drop to the point where they'd loose any spots.

Seeding is based on the individual clubs coefficient, not the country rankings, so case by case.
   185. Mattbert Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:35 PM (#4007983)
Thanks, FPH.

Because I am an unabashedly provincial football fan, the last time I really gave a crap about any of that was about 18 months ago when Spurs were involved of course. I had largely forgotten how it all works.
   186. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#4007985)
I don't mean it to be snarky, either. I'm still a novice and the Liverpool blogosphere is unanimous that this is barely a yellow. I thought it was a pretty straightforward red at the time.


I'm wary of using still photos to make any sort of determiniation. Certainly looking at that picture it's a red but I wouldn't want to say. (aren't you glad I chimed in with "I don't know")

Question about Clint Dempsey. One of the things that interests me is that Landon Donovan is generally considered the greatest American player even though he has played (basically) his whole career in MLS. Dempsey has succeeded at a high level in the EPL which is if not the best league in the world on a very short list. It seems like rating a AAA hitter who hits .320 as better than a .300 hitting MLB player.

I am not saying Donovan couldn't succeed in the EPL but it seems like it should be a point against him that while Dempsey was playing at the top level as a 24 year old Donovan was failing at similar levels (failing may be too harsh).
   187. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:42 PM (#4007989)
Zonal Marking book recommendations


As the cover suggests, this isn’t a book about football, it’s a book about baseball. But the idea translates to any sport – it’s a book about statistics, analysis of a particular game, and how to gain an advantage by thinking and acting in a revolutionary way.

You know what would be awesome? If an actual baseball writer could capture "Moneyball" this well in two sentences.
   188. Mattbert Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:42 PM (#4007990)
I'm enjoying his use of inverted wingers this year. With the pace BAE and Walker offer, the team can keep width even with Lennon and Bale cutting inside.

Indeed. I think this is also helping Spurs win the ball back higher up the pitch when they choose to press aggressively. With the two wingers playing a lot narrower a lot more often this season, there are more bodies in the middle of the pitch to break up counterattacks if the opponents try to play out from the back after Spurs lose the ball in the final third.

The danger is if the other team can quickly move the ball wide and get down the flank. Tottenham's conceded a higher percentage of their goals from crosses than, I think, any other team in the league this season and the new look wing play could be a part of that.
   189. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#4007993)
But that's the rub...if Friedel told better stories and gave insight into his craft, I'd be much more interested in him!
I would also point out, cynically, that you've already bought his book so once that happens, you're as interested as Brad Friedel cares about you being.

Like I said, you're not wrong. That's why Ball Four is much-loved and much-remembered but the million generic ghost-written books aren't. But it's a lot easier to do the ghost-written bio, so those will continue to be more popular, at least in a numbers sense.
   190. Mattbert Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:48 PM (#4007997)
Question about Clint Dempsey. One of the things that interests me is that Landon Donovan is generally considered the greatest American player even though he has played (basically) his whole career in MLS. Dempsey has succeeded at a high level in the EPL which is if not the best league in the world on a very short list.

I think the bulk of Donovan's reputation as the USA's best player has been built on the back of his performances for the national team.
   191. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#4007999)
Because I am an unabashedly provincial football fan, the last time I really gave a crap about any of that was about 18 months ago when Spurs were involved of course. I had largely forgotten how it all works.

Just checked the Country rankings. The current leader for the 2011/12 season (not the 5 year rankings) is... England. There in very little danger of even loosing the top spot overall.

United and Chelsea aren't dropping out of the top 8. Although United will probably lose the top spot to Barca. I think Arsenal could drop out of the top 8, but they are already trough. And City is of course only ranked 33rd. They might want to pull their socks up.
   192. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:51 PM (#4008002)
Tottenham's conceded a higher percentage of their goals from crosses than, I think, any other team in the league this season and the new look wing play could be a part of that.

Yeah, but during their unbeaten run they've only allowed 8 goals so that may be a sample size issue. Those first 2 games are skewing their stats but I'm pretending now they didn't happen. Spurs have been a different team since the transfer window closed. Yes, I know this makes me the worst kind of fanboy...
   193. Padgett Posted: December 06, 2011 at 03:48 PM (#4008042)
Just checked the Country rankings. The current leader for the 2011/12 season (not the 5 year rankings) is... England. There in very little danger of even loosing the top spot overall.
Wikipedia's usually pretty good for this sort of thing. The league coefficient rankings are here. The Premier League is miles away from dropping the fourth Champions League spot, mainly due to the gap following the top three. The Bundesliga is closer to the top spot than to Serie A in fourth place.
   194. Randy Jones Posted: December 06, 2011 at 04:04 PM (#4008060)
Question about Clint Dempsey. One of the things that interests me is that Landon Donovan is generally considered the greatest American player even though he has played (basically) his whole career in MLS. Dempsey has succeeded at a high level in the EPL which is if not the best league in the world on a very short list. It seems like rating a AAA hitter who hits .320 as better than a .300 hitting MLB player.


Donovan gets more press here, but I think Dempsey is the better player. Dempsey seems more interesting as a player and as a person, so I have no clue why he doesn't get more attention. It could just simply be that he plays in England.
   195. DA Baracus Posted: December 06, 2011 at 04:37 PM (#4008113)
I think Tim Howard is better than Dempsey or Donovan.

Donovan's "failures" in Germany really hurt his chances of getting back to top flight Europeean football. But he was a teenager in his first stint and barely there in his second stint. After his short but successful stint in Everton, he knows he can play in Europe and play there well. He loves playing in LA, loves being the face of MLS and MLS and LA have made it clear that it will take a very serious offer to sell him Europe. They want the best, most popular American player playing in America.
   196. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: December 06, 2011 at 04:38 PM (#4008114)
An attempt to rank EPL keepers

I don't know, it seems kind of random. Lies and damn lies, I guess.
   197. Randy Jones Posted: December 06, 2011 at 04:47 PM (#4008128)
I think Tim Howard is better than Dempsey or Donovan.

Agreed

They want the best, most popular American player playing in America.

And yet, Howard and Dempsey are both playing in England.

An attempt to rank EPL keepers

I don't know, it seems kind of random. Lies and damn lies, I guess.

Yeah, that does seem random. I will say that in games I have seen this year, Friedel and Krul have both been absolutely great.
   198. Mefisto Posted: December 06, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#4008130)
Howard and Friedel are the two best players the US has ever produced IMO. But it's hard to compare keepers to field players, so condidering just the latter I'd say it's Donovan pretty easily.
   199. PepTech Posted: December 06, 2011 at 05:05 PM (#4008151)
I never saw Keller play in Europe - how would you old timers who were following the sport back then say Keller's prime compares with Friedel?
   200. puck Posted: December 06, 2011 at 05:17 PM (#4008162)
I think the bulk of Donovan's reputation as the USA's best player has been built on the back of his performances for the national team.


Definitely, and Donovan has been doing it since he was a teenager. Dempsey might be aging better, though. Donovan seems to have been nicked up a lot in the last year...hopefully that doesn't repeat in the coming year. I think he needs to get his rest now...no more MLS season, then loan to Europe, then MLS, then national team tournament...
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