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Sunday, December 02, 2012

OT: The Soccer Thread: December 2012

Is it December already? Well, it must be a few days in, because I’m posting the thread!

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 02, 2012 at 08:22 PM | 727 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   401. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 18, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4327927)
Shooty, I've seen 1.FC Saarbrucken play at home.

Of course you have! I didn't realize Saarland had its own FA at one point. Too bad they never made a WC as that would be a hell of a trivia question.

No comments on Napoli being docked two points and losing Cannavaro and Grava for six months over the match-fixing foofaraw?

I'm too caught up with Bradford City. The triple is still on!
   402. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 18, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4327931)

Of course you have! I didn't realize Saarland had its own FA at one point. Too bad they never made a WC as that would be a hell of a trivia question.


I assume you saw some The Guardian's cartoons about the Euro teams. The German entry mentions Saarland.
   403. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 18, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4327936)
I assume you saw some The Guardian's cartoons about the Euro teams. The German entry mentions Saarland.

Sir, I did not. I am MUCH too serious to watch cartoons.
   404. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 18, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4327940)
Sir, I did not. I am MUCH too serious to watch cartoons.


Well if you know anyone who enjoys soccer and dry British humor in cartoon format I would encourage you to have that person seek out these little 3-4 minute things. They're on youtube and frankly they were a hoot. A serious fellow like you may not know any such person though.
   405. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 18, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4327946)
Well if you know anyone who enjoys soccer and dry British humor in cartoon format I would encourage you to have that person seek out these little 3-4 minute things. They're on youtube and frankly they were a hoot. A serious fellow like you may not know any such person though.

A few of the more raffish servants at the club may have a slight appreciation. I may tip them off as they may enjoy it on their hour of leisure.
   406. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 18, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4327948)
A few of the more raffish servants at the club may have a slight appreciation. I may tip them off as they may enjoy it on their hour of leisure.


An entire hour? I'm shocked you let them have that sort of time. I hope they use part of that time to detail your car or dispose of rif-raf.
   407. ursus arctos Posted: December 18, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4327977)
Onyewu with a very late equalizer for Malaga in the Copa del Rey against Eibar (not Manny).
   408. puck Posted: December 18, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4327978)
I was wondering if that was the right Juninho. There's like 10 of them, plus one that already plays for the Galaxy.

He's just a 37YO free kick specialist at this point, right? I assume he's a DP?

I think this was all in 2012: 7 goals and 8 assists in 29 league games, 4 goals and 2 assists in 13 of that regional Brazilian league the team was in, 2 goals in 7 games in the Libertadores.

That seems reasonably productive.
   409. ursus arctos Posted: December 18, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4328008)
Too bad they never made a WC as that would be a hell of a trivia question.


The best one can do currently is the Dutch East Indies in 1938.
   410. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: December 18, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4328035)
BTW, the Inter - Hellas Verona cup tie has been suspended for a few minutes to allow tear gas (used outside the ground by the lovely Italian police) to dissipate.


Keeping in mind that I know nothing of what went happened today for the police to use tear gas, but I am about halfway through Tim Parks' "A Season with Verona" and many of the Hellas Verona fans do not seem to be the most pleasant of people.
   411. ursus arctos Posted: December 18, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4328046)
Having been to several games at the Bentegodi over a number of years, I can assure you that a number of them aren't.

Also reports of monkey noises from the Hellas curva directed at a Ghanaian playing for Inter tonight.
   412. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 18, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4328048)
It's hard to explain why, but I made a twitter account that basically just follows Bolton youth and reserve players and retweets selected of their observations. Anyway, follow it. And tell your friends to follow it as well. If a seemingly random group of mostly American non-Bolton fans has these occasionally showing up in their feeds, it will add to the effect.

This was inspired by my discovery that almost nobody who plays for the team seems to have an active twitter account, and those that do are full of promotional charity things and responses to fans desperate for attention. BO-RING. Whereas the reserve players actually say stuff, since they are basically random teenagers.
   413. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 18, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4328105)
No comments on Napoli being docked two points and losing Cannavaro and Grava for six months over the match-fixing foofaraw?
Italian team penalized for match fixing, sun rises in east, water is wet, etc. etc.
   414. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 18, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4328123)
Daniel Sturridge taking his talents to Liverpool for 12 million.

edit: Supposedly he turned down Spurs to go to Liverpool. If true...bullet dodged! He's good, but I don't think he's what Spurs need and he's kind of irritating. I don't think Spurs actually need to spend in January. They just need to get healthy. I mean, if Willian or Damiao or Llorente or someone of that caliber falls into their laps, I'm fine with it, but otherwise I'm ok with what we have.
   415. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 18, 2012 at 09:36 PM (#4328175)
Also Liverpool are possibly buying back Tom Ince and, of course, Chelsea will now have the space to go after Falcao. Ho hum. Roman's gotta have the shiniest toy in the toy shop.
   416. JH (in DC) Posted: December 18, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4328177)
   417. SuperGrover Posted: December 18, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4328179)
I think it's a big part of it. You see this in all contact sports. The officials can set the tone for a game and if they allow Stoke to do some shoving and smacking then they are likely to allow the opponents to respond in kind. When you get a guy like Fellaini who isn't afraid to mix it up you are going to get these kinds of incidents. It's pretty hypocritical for Stoke to complain. I'm with Shooty in that I enjoy their game but when you play a physical brand of soccer teams are going to hit back.


Could not agree more. Doesn't happen as much in football, mainly because physical contact is a big part of the game to begin with. But basketball and soccer are sports in which the officiating has huge impacts on the way the game is played.

Fellaini should have just dove every set piece until something happened. The head butt was reckless and cost his team dearly, but it was clearly an act of frustration.

Anyway, it's a shame on both sides. I do wish Pulis would shut the hell up though.
   418. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 18, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4328181)
I enjoy that Liverpool get a percentage of the fee for Ince returned to them, as per the terms of the first time when they sold him to Blackpool.

Ince leads all Championship midfielders in goals (13) and he's second in assists (9). I haven't seen him play, but the reports I've read are that athletically, he's a man among boys. The best comparison from last season of a midfielder with those kinds of numbers moving up to the premiership is Robert Snodgrass, whose numbers with Leeds weren't quite as good, and who's been very good for Norwich. And Ince of course is just 20 (about to turn 21).

Are Atletico really going to sell Falcao in midseason when they have a chance to finish above Real in the league table? And before they've locked in a Champions League place? I've figured Falcao to Chelsea in the summer was probably inevitable, but it seems foolish for Atletico to make that move in the winter.
   419. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 18, 2012 at 09:53 PM (#4328183)
Are Atletico really going to sell Falcao in midseason when they have a chance to finish above Real in the league table?

They are more broke than Greece. They haven't even paid Porto for Falcao yet! So...if they get a big offer, I think they'll sell him. I believe their chairman has said as much.
   420. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 18, 2012 at 09:56 PM (#4328186)
I mean, I could look it up. But unless they actually have large men in suits threatening to break their kneecaps if they don't pay up, isn't a Champions League place worth way more than a six month delay in their inevitable Falcao payday?

EDIT: Cursory googling turned up a week-old goal.com report including a quote from Atletico's president saying their finances are stable. (He also denies that Real's president offered a bid for Falcao on a paper napkin at some sort of fancy dinner event. He notes that the napkins at the event were cloth. I love it.)
   421. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 18, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4328192)
I mean, I could look it up. But unless they actually have large men in suits threatening to break their kneecaps if they don't pay up, isn't a Champions League place worth way more than a six month delay in their inevitable Falcao payday?

I don't know what the implications of them not paying their bills are. That's a bit beyond my scope--I don't know if they're risking administration or UEFA penalties for not paying Porto or what. He's also got a release clause so Atletico's wishes may not mean anything if Chelsea match it and Falcao wants to leave.
   422. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 18, 2012 at 10:10 PM (#4328197)
I dig this Rafa Benitez - Neil Warnock feud. What a delightfully pointless enmity!
   423. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 18, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4328203)
A couple of things before I hit the sack...

Why does Spalletti stay at Zenit? Are they paying him that much?

Also, if PSG sign Ronaldo and Mourinho I can't wait for Platini's gymnastics to squeeze PSG through FFP. I have no doubt he will, but I can't wait to see how.
   424. puck Posted: December 18, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4328234)
He's also got a release clause so Atletico's wishes may not mean anything if Chelsea match it and Falcao wants to leave.

Ugh, that would just be wrong. Their punishment for losing to Corinthians should be to finish the year with Torres.
   425. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 18, 2012 at 11:54 PM (#4328251)
Former France coach Raymond Domenech wants to manage the USA, thinks job is incredibly easy.

Believing that might be why he screwed up the France job so much. Well that, or using astrology to pick the squad. But almost certainly the former.
   426. puck Posted: December 19, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4328267)
BTW, the Inter - Hellas Verona cup tie has been suspended for a few minutes to allow tear gas (used outside the ground by the lovely Italian police) to dissipate


Inter played the last 15 minutes or so down a man and with 5'9" striker Rodrigo Palacio in goal after their keeper went down after all 3 subs had been used. Palacio made 2 saves.
   427. ursus arctos Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:03 AM (#4328327)
As far as I can tell, Spalletti is in it for the money. He doesn't seem to particularly fond of St. Petersburg or Russia.

Atleti risk a transfer ban if they don't pay their football debts, though I haven't heard word of any such sanctions being imminent.

Falcao's release clause is reported to be 60 million euro. For me, that is the most likely reason that he could leave in the January window.

I don't share Shooty's cynicism on the subject of UEFA and PSG, though I know where he is coming from.

Reports in Catalunya that Tito Villanova has suffered a relapse of the cancer that he was treated for last year. Just one day after Eric Abidal's was cleared by his doctors for a return to full training.

   428. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:23 AM (#4328329)
I don't share Shooty's cynicism on the subject of UEFA and PSG, though I know where he is coming from.

I'm open to changing my mind about it depending on what happens. PSG sure don't act like a club worried about FFP, though. I worry they are going to make a joke out of Ligue 1 which, relative to other leagues, has been entertainingly competitive the last few years. Lille? Montpellier? That was some fun stuff.

Reports in Catalunya that Tito Villanova has suffered a relapse of the cancer that he was treated for last year.

This is a real shame. Good luck to him.

   429. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:28 AM (#4328332)
Tito Vilanova has stepped down as manager of Barcelona. That is a ####### cruel twist of fate for a man who had just got his dream job and was knocking it out of the park. Fuck cancer.
   430. Mattbert Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:41 AM (#4328333)
Ince leads all Championship midfielders in goals (13) and he's second in assists (9). I haven't seen him play, but the reports I've read are that athletically, he's a man among boys. The best comparison from last season of a midfielder with those kinds of numbers moving up to the premiership is Robert Snodgrass, whose numbers with Leeds weren't quite as good, and who's been very good for Norwich. And Ince of course is just 20 (about to turn 21).

I've seen Ince play a couple times for Blackpool and quite a few times for the England U-21s. If you think Andros Townsend, you won't be far off. Their physiques and styles of play are very similar. And they're both black! How convenient!

Both guys bulked up a bit starting about two years ago and are still very, very quick despite the added strength. Both are comfortable playing on either wing, although I think Townsend is better at playing the traditional left wing who stays wide and crosses the ball a lot (not sure this is his best position, but he's better at it than Ince). Ince has more of a right foot than Townsend and so is somewhat less predictable when he plays on the right, which is where he's spent most of his time lately.
   431. Mattbert Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:42 AM (#4328335)
Tito Vilanova has stepped down as manager of Barcelona. That is a ####### cruel twist of fate for a man who had just got his dream job and was knocking it out of the park. #### cancer.

That really truly sucks the big knobby donkey dick.
   432. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:51 AM (#4328338)
In ironic news that is thankfully hilarious and has nothing to do with cancer, Sol Campbell hopes Theo Walcott will stay loyal to Arsenal. Heh!
   433. ursus arctos Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:56 AM (#4328341)
Anglo press is getting ahead of itself as usual. This is more likely to be a break for treatment than a resignation.
   434. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:59 AM (#4328344)
Jonathan Wilson attempts a nuanced take on the Zenit controversy.

I see where he's going but I'm note entirely convinced.
   435. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:00 AM (#4328345)
Anglo press is getting ahead of itself as usual. This is more likely to be a break for treatment than a resignation.

I really need to learn Spanish or Italian or French. Or maybe I should finally start nailing down my German so I don't have to read the England papers.
   436. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:17 AM (#4328352)
In ironic news that is thankfully hilarious and has nothing to do with cancer, Sol Campbell hopes Theo Walcott will stay loyal to Arsenal. Heh!

Shooty, you're not supposed to post random mails your FM game spits out.

Or maybe I should finally start nailing down my German so I don't have to read the England papers.

Not like they're much better. Bild can hit rock bottom with the best of them. Although Kicker is better than any English pure football publication, so there is that.
   437. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:25 AM (#4328354)
Shooty, you're not supposed to post random mails your FM game spits out.

I'm ashamed to admit I don't play Football Manager. The gf bought it for me a couple of years ago but I just didn't take to it--it was so much work! And I really need to work on my German to make it easier to follow Freiburg. As the only American Freiburg fan in the world I don't think anyone is going to start an English language blog to help me out.
   438. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:27 AM (#4328355)
   439. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 09:03 AM (#4328379)
The Arsenal-West Ham game on Boxing Day has been postponed due to the planned transit strike. That will make my goal of watching all the PL games that day 10% easier. Whew!
   440. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4328406)
The Arsenal-West Ham game on Boxing Day has been postponed due to the planned transit strike. That will make my goal of watching all the PL games that day 10% easier. Whew!
I wonder how my current companion would feel if I abandoned our previously discussed plans to go see Les Misérables and instead joined Shooty in his quest.
   441. Mattbert Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4328430)
Assuming you watch at least one of the games live, you're looking at over 14 hours of soccer in a single day. That's also assuming you engage in some serious DVR wizardry to skip adverts and half-time prattle.

You're an animal, man.

I'm just happy there will be four Spurs games for me to watch while I'm on vacation. Anything beyond that is gravy.
   442. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4328438)
Assuming you watch at least one of the games live, you're looking at over 14 hours of soccer in a single day. That's also assuming you engage in some serious DVR wizardry to skip adverts and half-time prattle.

Yeah, it'll take some finagling, and I have to work that day but I'll be solo in the office. The plan:

Watch the morning game, watch two games at a time at 10 am, watch the afternoon game, then, while skipping pre-game and halftime nonsense, watch the final 5 games back to back until deep into the night. I'll probably sound like Brad Friedel by 11 pm.

   443. I am going to be Frank Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4328461)
Another American in the Bundesliga. From that one Champions League game I saw he didn't look good. Not knowing much about German teams, will he play? Augsburg is in the drop zone, 10 points from safety, although three points off the relegation/promotion playoff.
   444. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4328465)
Another American in the Bundesliga. From that one Champions League game I saw he didn't look good. Not knowing much about German teams, will he play? Augsburg is in the drop zone, 10 points from safety, although three points off the relegation/promotion playoff.

I read an interview with him the other day that made it seem like he was holding out for something better, but I guess it never came. One thing he mentioned was that he preferred not to go to Spain because of worries he wouldn't get paid. La Liga has problems.
   445. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4328483)
   446. ursus arctos Posted: December 19, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4328499)
Augsburg are pretty psyched about getting Parkhurst, trumpeting his Champions League experience, but they are going to need help to stay up. A number of the clubs immediately above them (Hoffenheim, Wolfsburg, Nuremberg) have significantly greater resources, and the 2.Liga is full of "big" clubs who will make a playoff difficult.
   447. Swedish Chef Posted: December 19, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4328572)
North Korea are still champions of the world.

Sweden may get a shot at them at the Kings' Cup in Thailand in January. Though a Sweden with only domestic players is not very scary. Especially not for a team inspired by Kim Il Sung-thought.
   448. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4328618)
I think I need an intervention: Should I or should I not buy a box of EPL trading cards to open up while I'm having my Boxing Day marathon? It turns out I'm going to work from home that day so I have been dangerously unshackled.
   449. ursus arctos Posted: December 19, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4328619)
OK, the actual story on Villanova.

Operation before Christmas; followed by about a month of radiation and chemotherapy. Decision to be made on his return to the bench after that treatment.
   450. Ron J2 Posted: December 19, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4328624)
I don't think it's even arguable that they get away with excessive physical play on set pieces.


This was Fred Shero's game plan with the less talented Flyer players. (beyond the physical intimidation that is). In soccer terms, foul constantly. You'll get away with it a certain percentage of the time and gain a huge advantage when you do.
   451. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4328626)
Operation before Christmas; followed by about a month of radiation and chemotherapy. Decision to be made on his return to the bench after that treatment.

Sounds like he should just take the rest of the season off. They've already won the title, anyway. Any chance they'll just make Xavi player-manager in the interim? (90% joking, 10% wish they would...)
   452. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4328633)
Are the BBTF Liverpool fans not excited by Daniel Sturridge? That's a pretty big signing, no?
   453. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 19, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4328645)
I think I need an intervention: Should I or should I not buy a box of EPL trading cards to open up while I'm having my Boxing Day marathon?


Shooty - This is a safe place and we all care about you. Your intentions are good but you are hurting the people you love. Step away from the box of trading cards; read a book, talk to the girlfriend, taunt the cat, it's OK.
   454. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4328651)
But, but, but...OK. No cards, just scotch.

   455. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 19, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4328656)
Well this will clear things up.

The not racist at all people of the Zenit St. Pete supporters group explain their earlier comments using that time honored tradition of blaming the media;

"Unfortunately, it has become clear to us why many players refuse to speak to journalists. There have been numerous out-of-context headlines, distorted quotes and labels applied that go beyond reasonable limits.



"We, as the most northerly club of all the major European cities, have no mental association with Africa, just as we have no association with South America or Austalia or Oceania. We have absolutely nothing against the people of these or any other continents, but we want a Zenit team primarily made of players who share our spirit and mentality."
   456. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4328663)
Zenit: Not racist, but #1 with racists!
   457. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4328672)
The not racist at all people of the Zenit St. Pete supporters group explain their earlier comments using that time honored tradition of blaming the media;

I linked to a long Jonathan Wilson quasi-defense of Zenit this morning. He tries hard to explain their thinking and puts it in context, the context being the fact they even feel the need to justify themselves is a big improvement for them. Baby steps!
   458. Topher Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4328764)
There is a fine line between tribalism and racism, but it seems quite clear that the Zenit supporters have jumped over the line. The fact that it is ok to have players throughout the continent on the roster but only now is an issue because Witsel and Hulk recently joined is a bit much.
   459. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4328773)
We, as the most northerly club of all the major European cities, have no mental association with Africa, just as we have no association with South America or Austalia or Oceania.

To be fair to this quaint attitude, it didn't work out too well when the most northerly club of all the major Finnish cities decided to go all in on players from Zambia.
   460. I am going to be Frank Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4328774)
I don't think Zenit fans/ultras would have a problem if Messi somehow appeared at the team.
   461. zack Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4328776)
Isn't the only black player on Zenit European? Depending on usage of black.

And as a fan of mighty Kaiserslautern (who have an English-language website, unlike pathetic Freiburg), #### Augsburg.

And because this post is already rambling, I thought football cards were stickers? Or is that just terminology?
   462. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4328780)
Messi is from Argentina, that's basically in the Antarctic Circle. The real problem is people from between the Horse Latitudes. If you grew up without the changing of the seasons, or your ancestors did, you cannot understand Leningrad.
   463. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4328789)
And because this post is already rambling, I thought football cards were stickers? Or is that just terminology?

Panini makes stickers and cards but Topps makes cards for the EPL and, bizarrely, the SPL. I love opening packs of baseball cards and I have to admit to feel a real pack attack coming on about getting a box of soccer cards. What could be more exciting than pulling a Liam Ridgewell refractor card while watching Tottenham battle Sunderland to a scoreless draw?
   464. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4328813)
Leeds and Chelsea is a testy one. Institutional memory, I guess.

   465. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4328830)
LEEDS! 1-0 to the "good" guys!
   466. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4328833)
I feel like I should feel sorry for Benitez but...naw.
   467. Topher Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4328839)
I feel like I should feel sorry for Benitez


Why? If you take the Chelsea job you have to be pretty eyes wide open to the situation at this point.
   468. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4328840)
I love opening packs of baseball cards and I have to admit to feel a real pack attack coming on about getting a box of soccer cards. What could be more exciting than pulling a Liam Ridgewell refractor card while watching Tottenham battle Sunderland to a scoreless draw?


Fight it! Fight it! You can do this Shooty! We believe in you!!!

I feel for Benitez. He doesn't seem like a bad guy and he's been put into an impossible situation. He was absolutely the worst possible choice.
   469. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4328841)
Why? If you take the Chelsea job you have to be pretty eyes wide open to the situation at this point.

Just in a general, you-shouldn't-want-another-human-to-suffer way. But...naw.
   470. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4328843)
Does Ken Bates still own Leeds or has he pawned them off now? I'm going to feel gross rooting for Leeds if Bates still owns the club.
   471. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4328846)
Fight it! Fight it! You can do this Shooty! We believe in you!!!

If they sold soccer cards at a store in Manhattan, I'd be doomed. I think the fact I'd have to order them online will save me. But just barely.
   472. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4328868)
Well that was easy. No more feeling sorry for Benitez, though Leeds' keeper should have stopped that. 1-1 now.
   473. JuanGone..except1game Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4328871)
Well that was easy. No more feeling sorry for Benitez, though Leeds' keeper should have stopped that. 1-1 now.


Chelsea looking much better this half (should have just gotten a penalty). It's hard for me to dislike Rafa anymore than I do, but I will find a way if he loses this match.
   474. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4328883)
Are the BBTF Liverpool fans not excited by Daniel Sturridge? That's a pretty big signing, no?


There's more than one of us? (J Sosa, I suppose, although IIRC he's partial to a few different EPL clubs.)

I haven't seen Sturridge nearly enough to form an opinion. The few times I have seen him, I was annoyed (err, well, pleased, given he was playing for Chelsea) that he seemed to put his head down, dribble at defenders and generally not pass the ball, but that's a rather small sample size. His profile seems broadly similar to Borini, so the price doesn't look too egregious. That's a step in the right direction.

EDIT: One more thing - statistically, one of the LFC stat guys tweeted that he's quite good at winning possession back in his side's final third (a good forechecker, if you will). Seems to me the team needs to be more consistent in that area, so bringing Sturridge aboard (as well as getting Borini fit) should help.
   475. JuanGone..except1game Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4328891)
I haven't seen Sturridge nearly enough to form an opinion. The few times I have seen him, I was annoyed (err, well, pleased, given he was playing for Chelsea) that he seemed to put his head down, dribble at defenders and generally not pass the ball, but that's a rather small sample size. His profile seems broadly similar to Borini, so the price doesn't look too egregious. That's a step in the right direction.


I would definitely rate him better than Borini who comes across as too passive for my liking. Daniel really has a lot of talent and will score goals, but his biggest weakness is just poor instinct. It isn't that he won't pass, its that he will pass when he should shoot. Or take on 3 defenders when he should pass. Or track back to far and take a bad penalty. He is a very good dribbler and makes aggressive runs that will be rewarded with Suarez there. I think that you will be happy with him, but frustrated at times.
   476. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4328893)
Daniel really has a lot of talent and will score goals, but his biggest weakness is just poor instinct. It isn't that he won't pass, its that he will pass when he should shoot. Or take on 3 defenders when he should pass. Or track back to far and take a bad penalty. He is a very good dribbler and makes aggressive runs that will be rewarded with Suarez there. I think that you will be happy with him, but frustrated at times.


He's only 23 though and those seem like things that age and experience will cure. I'm sure it's not an especially new theory but it seems to me that "spine" of a team is where players can age. The intellectual tools are as important as the physical tools while players on the outside are more beholden to the physical tools. It doesn't take much wisdom to run real fast then cross the ball in but there are all these little intricacies that comes with being a center half or a striker that offset maybe a loss of a step here and there.
   477. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4328900)
The few times I have seen him, I was annoyed (err, well, pleased, given he was playing for Chelsea) that he seemed to put his head down, dribble at defenders and generally not pass the ball, but that's a rather small sample size.

He does this all the time and it's horribly frustrating. He's got loads of pure talent (he's strong, quick, and a really good dribbler) and he goes through stretches where he seems to score a lot, but he's also a pretty awful passer, doesn't seem to work well with anyone, and really, really enjoys going at an entire defence all on his own (you know, he'll get past a couple of players, you'll cheer and urge him to pass it to an onrushing compatriot, and instead he puts the ball on his left foot and lasers it over the bar). He's undoubtedly talented, but frankly, I'm very glad he's no longer a Chelsea player. I hate players like this.
   478. SuperGrover Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4328914)
Falcao's release clause is reported to be 60 million euro. For me, that is the most likely reason that he could leave in the January window.


Where have you seen 60? Everything I've seen is either 46 or 48. Still pricey, but a bit more realistic.
   479. SuperGrover Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4328920)
I'm ashamed to admit I don't play Football Manager. The gf bought it for me a couple of years ago but I just didn't take to it--it was so much work! And I really need to work on my German to make it easier to follow Freiburg. As the only American Freiburg fan in the world I don't think anyone is going to start an English language blog to help me out.


Try mobile FM. It's not nearly as in depth or difficult, but can be quite the time waster. I've gotten quite a bit of enjoyment taking AFC Wimbledon to octuple glory (EPL, UCL, Community Shield, League Cup, FA Cup, Club World Cup, Super Cup). Took me about 35 seasons and it happened only once. Good times.
   480. Swedish Chef Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4328924)
Where have you seen 60? Everything I've seen is either 46 or 48. Still pricey, but a bit more realistic.

I've seen 60 for the release clause too, and it's not priced to be realistic, it is just present because of Spanish law. The buyer will presumably pay less, unless it is Real, in which case the only way in hell Atletico will sell him is because they have to.
   481. Swedish Chef Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4328928)
Does Ken Bates still own Leeds or has he pawned them off now? I'm going to feel gross rooting for Leeds if Bates still owns the club.

The club is sold to some mysterious entity from the Gulf, but Bates will remain in control for the rest of the season. So you should feel gross.
   482. JuanGone..except1game Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4328932)
Where have you seen 60? Everything I've seen is either 46 or 48. Still pricey, but a bit more realistic.


All reports are that its 60 euro or 48 pounds which might be why you have that number in your head. I'm still so torn on how I feel about Chelesa's options. Obviously, a world class striker papers over tons of holes (see RVP), but Chelsea's midfield play is so deplorable that my mind keeps telling me that a Fellaini/Lukaku move would be the better decision making. But we have a crazy owner, so I wouldn't be suprised to see anything at this point.

Can't believe that I have to sweat out a win against Leeds. Luckily, we still know how to rip Leeds heart out when necessary. Oscar was great playing in deeper midfield. With our problems, he might have to play that role for the rest of the season and let Moses start on the right.
   483. ursus arctos Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4328934)
Falcao's release clause has been estimated at 46 or 48 million pounds.

The Spanish language sources are quite consistent in citing 60 million euro.
   484. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4328969)
Jeez, I get on a train and all hell breaks loose. At least Ken Bates doesn't get to celebrate.
   485. J. Sosa Posted: December 19, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4329067)
re: Sturridge

The conventional wisdom amongst LFC's braintrust seems to be that the primary need is a wide forward. I'd disagree with that, I think a lot of the problems they have (other than a shallow squad and youth) are caused by the lack of a player to pull the strings. Which isn't to say they don't need a wide forward. They do, but what they really need is a midfielder at the top of the triangle capable of making the killer pass and driving the ball forward. Sturridge, if he was actually willing to play as a wide forward would help, but I don't like the money that's been bandied about. I'd actually rather have Gameiro assuming he's cheaper. Ideally BR would have the forwards interchanging so maybe that's what he's trying to sell Sturridge on. I'm not all that bothered by his tendency to bull his way through the defense. LFC could actually use some aggression. I detest possession without purpose and LFC has been all about that. They have way too many players that are unwilling/unable to drive a pass or take a man on. If he stays healthy Sturridge would help, but I don't like him at that price. And that's assuming he's willing to play wide. Suarez tends to be hard on his wingmen, it will be interesting the first time Sturridge ignores him to take a speculative shot.

I'm more excited about Ince. LFC is catching some flack about buying him back but I think its a little over done. He would not have developed at the pace he has at LFC and they have a fairly substantial sell on clause that helps. He'll make a nice bookend with Sterling.

re: Keith

You are correct, I follow LFC the closest, I would consider myself a fan of the club. The other clubs I follow to some degree or another are Newcastle, Stoke, Swansea, and Leeds. Each of them are interesting in different ways.

LFC is such a frustrating team to watch. The stats on the team are wacky, but I don't think its a fluke. Suarez had a rep of being wasteful amongst Ajax supporters and if you watch Sterling for any length of time you realize how far Walcott has come despite the criticism of being one dimensional. Sterling's young, but at this point he can always be counted on to blow a one on one or make the wrong decision. Borini got hurt, but from what I've seen he's a grafter. A solid team player that helps, but he's not a goal scorer. Allen is a cycler (and he's exhausted BR has run him into the ground). Lucas is a destroyer and a cycler. Gerrard is old. Sahin has been a massive disappointment. I don't know if he's not fit, or hasn't adjusted, but he is not the player he was at Dortmund.

They are basically the exact opposite of Man U who are clinical to the point of absurdity.
   486. SuperGrover Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4329098)
All reports are that its 60 euro or 48 pounds which might be why you have that number in your head.


Yep. That's it. Everything I've read has been British and quoted in pounds. Damn exchange rates!
   487. SuperGrover Posted: December 19, 2012 at 11:59 PM (#4329138)
LFC is such a frustrating team to watch. The stats on the team are wacky, but I don't think its a fluke. Suarez had a rep of being wasteful amongst Ajax supporters and if you watch Sterling for any length of time you realize how far Walcott has come despite the criticism of being one dimensional. Sterling's young, but at this point he can always be counted on to blow a one on one or make the wrong decision. Borini got hurt, but from what I've seen he's a grafter. A solid team player that helps, but he's not a goal scorer. Allen is a cycler (and he's exhausted BR has run him into the ground). Lucas is a destroyer and a cycler. Gerrard is old. Sahin has been a massive disappointment. I don't know if he's not fit, or hasn't adjusted, but he is not the player he was at Dortmund.


Great writeup. I would like to see Suarez with a true #9. I think he could be great playing in the hole as a creator and scorer, more aligned to what Rooney is doing now. He isn't a precise scorer, but he creates a butt load of chances that his mates simply can't convert. Put him with a striker like Ba and I think he could be something fierce.

Speaking of, why not go after Ba if it's only for 7.5 million pounds? He has been clinical in his time in the EPL. I don't know much about his history, but he has shown me he can score if given the opportunity.
   488. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 20, 2012 at 07:11 AM (#4329197)
England teams are doomed:

Real Madrid v Manchester United

Arsenal v Bayern Munich

Celtic v Juventus

Milan v Barcelona

Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund

Valencia v Paris St-Germain

Galatasaray v Schalke

Porto v Málaga
   489. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 20, 2012 at 07:14 AM (#4329198)
Speaking of, why not go after Ba if it's only for 7.5 million pounds? He has been clinical in his time in the EPL. I don't know much about his history, but he has shown me he can score if given the opportunity.

Just from crap I've read that has an 80% chance of being untrue, the hesitation for a lot of clubs is a combination of health, wage demands and agent fees.
   490. frannyzoo Posted: December 20, 2012 at 07:38 AM (#4329201)
I'm usually always griping about these CL draws, but this one is pretty much perfect. Good matchups all-around. Dortmund does get the toughest combination of quality team that isn't feared as much as it should be by European Joe Six-Pack.
   491. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:03 AM (#4329206)
A little sad about Dortmund-Shakhtar. Should be a great matchup, but I liked both of those sides as underdogs playing wonderful football with a shot at making a real run.

The whole draw is pretty great, though. This seems like a peculiarly deep CL.
   492. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:17 AM (#4329214)
Shhhhh! Time for the Europa draw...
   493. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:20 AM (#4329217)
The Europa League: "We promised you excitement, and you are having it."

Zenit-LFC. It will be fun to root without reservation for Liverpool.
   494. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:23 AM (#4329219)
BATE Borisov vs Fenerbahce
Inter vs Cluj
Levante vs Olympiacos
Liverpool vs. Zenit (ouch!)

so far...

   495. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:25 AM (#4329220)
BATE Borisov vs Fenerbahce
Inter vs Cluj
Levante vs Olympiacos
Liverpool vs. Zenit (ouch!)
Dynamo Kyiv vs Bordeaux
Leverkusen vs Benfica (good matchups so far)
   496. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:30 AM (#4329225)
The whole draw is pretty great, though. This seems like a peculiarly deep CL.


That was my thought too. There really isn't a matchup that won't be interesting for one reason or another. I kind of like the Shakhtar/Dortmund matchup because it ensures that one of them WILL advance.

My biggest conflict is Celtic-Juve. I really want to see Celtic move on but a good friend at work is a diehard Juve fan (like he makes me seem like a casual Red Sox fan, it's a bit scary really).
   497. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:31 AM (#4329226)
BATE Borisov vs Fenerbahce
Inter vs Cluj
Levante vs Olympiacos
Liverpool vs. Zenit (ouch!)
Dynamo Kyiv vs Bordeaux
Leverkusen vs Benfica (good matchups so far)
Newcastle vs Metalist Kharkiv
Atletico Madrid vs Rubin Kazan
Ajax vs Steuau Bucharest
Basel vs Dnipro (they weren't all going to be glamor ties...)
Anzhi vs Hannover

still no Spurs...
   498. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:33 AM (#4329229)
BATE Borisov vs Fenerbahce
Inter vs Cluj
Levante vs Olympiacos
Liverpool vs. Zenit (ouch!)
Dynamo Kyiv vs Bordeaux
Leverkusen vs Benfica (good matchups so far)
Newcastle vs Metalist Kharkiv
Atletico Madrid vs Rubin Kazan
Ajax vs Steuau Bucharest
Basel vs Dnipro (they weren't all going to be glamor ties...)
Anzhi vs Hannover
Sparta Prague vs Chelsea (lucky Chelsea fans)
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Lazio (go Gladbach!)

still no Spurs...
   499. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:34 AM (#4329231)
flip
   500. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:35 AM (#4329232)
BATE Borisov vs Fenerbahce
Inter vs Cluj
Levante vs Olympiacos
Liverpool vs. Zenit (ouch!)
Dynamo Kyiv vs Bordeaux
Leverkusen vs Benfica (good matchups so far)
Newcastle vs Metalist Kharkiv
Atletico Madrid vs Rubin Kazan
Ajax vs Steuau Bucharest
Basel vs Dnipro (they weren't all going to be glamor ties...)
Anzhi vs Hannover
Sparta Prague vs Chelsea (lucky Chelsea fans)
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Lazio (go Gladbach!)
Tottenham vs Lyon (I swear these things are fixed by UEFA. Lloris gets to go home)

oops. Mis-timed the flip
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