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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

OT: The Soccer Thread: February 2012

The Battle for Manchester continues as City and United reach for Europa League glory and battle to win the Prem!

Meanwhile, Real tries to break up Barca’s three-year stranglehold on La Liga, while I’m sure there’s some excitement going on in Italy, Germany and with all those other wacky European countries!

Meanwhile, I’m officially nominating February 26 as a morning to head to Kinsale’s for some viewing! It is the North London Derby, plus stay for exciting Stoke v. Swansea action!

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 08, 2012 at 12:47 AM | 784 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general

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   501. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4065731)
So will all the English teams making early exits from the CL hurt the PL's UEFA coefficients or are they sufficiently ahead of the rest that their CL and Europa spots are secure?

They have a sizable enough lead that it would take a few more years of crap to lose that 4th slot.

If Chelsea can steal that second goal, they're not in bad shape for the return leg.
   502. Mattbert Posted: February 21, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4065734)
So will all the English teams making early exits from the CL hurt the PL's UEFA coefficients or are they sufficiently ahead of the rest that their CL and Europa spots are secure?

It's a rolling average over several years (four or five, I think), so it takes a sustained run of mediocrity to move the needle. England will be safe for a while yet.
   503. Tike Redman's Shattered Dreams (shayborg) Posted: February 21, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4065737)
If Chelsea can steal that second goal, they're not in bad shape for the return leg.

Yeah, the commentators were wondering why Napoli took Lavezzi off, and that's obviously the answer. 3-1 is significantly better than 3-2 or 4-2.
   504. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4065738)
I wish FSC would let the American audience have a less biased announcing crew.
   505. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4065741)
Ashley Cole might have just saved AVB's job.
   506. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 21, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4065743)
So will all the English teams making early exits from the CL hurt the PL's UEFA coefficients or are they sufficiently ahead of the rest that their CL and Europa spots are secure?


Not sure how accurate this site is but it looks like the big advantage they have is that Italy and France are far enough off the pace to not be a threat yet. If Napoli/Milan/Inter could do a 3 out of 4 in the semis kind of thing like Arsenal/ManU/Chelsea did a few years ago that would probably propel them up but it seems like there is still some wiggle room.
   507. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 21, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4065756)
So who is managing Chelsea for the return leg?
   508. Swedish Chef Posted: February 21, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4065780)
West Ham got their goalkeeper sent off while leading 2-1 over Blackpool with half an hour to play, they had no substitute goalie so they put Henri Lansbury in goal. They won 4-1.
   509. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 21, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4065790)
Time to test the DA Baracus hypothesis and see if they dog it.


If that's not a handle change, I don't know what is.

FWIW, Italian touchline reporters said players largely ignored AVB late in the game. So maybe it holds water.
   510. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: February 21, 2012 at 11:53 PM (#4065896)
I wish FSC would let the American audience have a less biased announcing crew.


I was wondering about this while watching the game. Most of the non-international soccer games I've watched during my short fandom have involved almost completely unbiased announcing (for a frame of reference, I've watched almost every game on ESPN3 or FSC). Tyler & the other guy were *completely positive* that Chelsea was going to get that second goal (only a matter of time!)- I was wondering if they were watching a different game. Yes, Napoli's defense isn't that good & Chelsea controlled possession for most of the game, but they never looked very threatening & De Sanctis wasn't challenged much.

BTW, nice meeting you on Saturday. I liked Kilian's a lot, especially for the Yuengling on tap.

Also, thanks to those who provided the food recommendations in NYC. We made it out to Katz's, and it was indeed excellent.
   511. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 22, 2012 at 08:55 AM (#4065961)
It was a pleasure to meet you guys as well. I'm glad I got out of there when I did. One more pint and I would have started throwing holy water on that Juventus/Real Madrid fan.

What was really annoying about the announcing was that all the while they were ragging on how poor Napoli were, they were carving out the better chances. What should really be worrying for Chelsea is that Napoli didn't play close to their best. Chelsea looked as poor as the did against Arsenal earlier in the year. Ramires and Merireles and holding midfielders was a ####### disaster.
   512. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: February 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4065996)
Yeah, Shooty -- Saturday was fun. Thanks for entertaining and putting up with us for a few hours.

I also see I'm not the only one who thought Gary Neville (pretty sure that's who was doing color) was completely over-the-top last night. He may have topped Ray Wilkins for snobbish-ness.
   513. Mefisto Posted: February 22, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4066006)
Yes, it was Neville. He may have been overcompensating for his Utd background. He's also not very tactically aware, which doesn't surprise me. He was a fiery player and his attitude seems to be that the only important thing is "guts".
   514. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 22, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4066011)
He was a fiery player and his attitude seems to be that the only important thing is "guts".

He should be Campagnaro's biggest fan then. It was painful watching him head the ball out of the box yesterday. FSC should let the Scottish guy who does all the Serie A games by himself announce the return leg for the American feed since he might actually be able to add some insight about Napoli.
   515. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 22, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4066033)
Jonathan Wilson on 3 in the back, Italian soccer and Napoli against Chelsea.

Edit: Also, just one last though on Napoli-Chelsea, but it occurred to me yesterday Chelsea could have really used Anelka and Alex. Alex could have played CB allowing Chelsea to use Luiz as a holding midfielder and Anelka would have been the perfect sub for a blah Drogba since there was obviously no way Torres was getting off the bench.
   516. Flynn Posted: February 22, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4066075)
Do you guys get the halftime coverage of Premier League games from Sky or is it FSC/ESPN/Whatever? That's where Neville has really shined so far. He's been pretty good, much different than the Man U shill everybody thought he was going to be. I'm not all that surprised he's not too tactically aware, he is English after all. The Dutch coverage was a stark contrast... I don't understand much Dutch, but Marco van Basten and Wim van Hanegem (that's one hell of a punditry duo) were clearly spending the halftime discussing Napoli's back three and the width of Chelsea's midfield as compared to pace, power and guts and the usual English platitudes.
   517. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 22, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4066081)
We get the FSC halftime with Warren Barton. I don't usually watch it, though. Those 10 minutes are for bathroom and getting a snack. FSC mostly shows commercials during the halftime anyway.
   518. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: February 22, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4066099)
Regarding halftime coverage -- if you're watching on FoxSoccer.tv, it seems they haven't quite worked the kinks out. So yesterday, for example, during the Napoli/Chelsea halftime, there was a mismash of statistics, highlights and random crowd-shots with a voiceover of halftime analysis from whichever feed FSC was using (is it Sky?).

My favorite, though, is the Serie A games on FS.tv. It's not uncommon for them to spend a whole halftime showing crowd-shots, most of which are of either beautiful women or people smoking. Paddy Agnew mentions this in Forza Italia, and I had to laugh, because he said the purpose of these shots (well, not the ones of people smoking) is to promote a 'family atmosphere'.
   519. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 22, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4066104)
We get the FSC halftime with Warren Barton.


I'm a pretty substantial novice at a lot of this stuff but I like Barton a lot. He seems to know what he's talking about and points out a lot of things that in retrospect are simple but seem meaningful. As an example he went out of his way to applaud the effort of Oxlade-Chamberlain the other day for jumping up and sprinting 70 yards to try and defend even though it ended in an own goal. He also noted that no Arsenal player went over to pick Ox out of the net and tell him "good effort." That is the kind of insight to the culture of a soccer team that I appreciate.

Of course any time I say I like a reporter in a sport I am not especially knowledgeable about I fear I am applauding the Joe Morgan of the sport.
   520. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4066129)
I'm a pretty substantial novice at a lot of this stuff but I like Barton a lot.

I don't mind the FSC guys. Only Wynalda can be kind of pompous and the other guys seem all right. I'm just not one for pre-game/half time chatter in general so I usually use that time to do other things or catch up on other scores and games through the power of the internet.

The Guardian podcast guys mentioned that thing about Ox not getting the "good try" pat on the back from the older Arsenal players, too. I hadn't actually noticed that at the time. This is all a conspiracy to make me feel even worse when Spurs lose Sunday, I think. It's the classic build up my hopes to laugh at me even more when they get crushed ploy. I am on to you World of Soccer, and I'm not falling for it! Arsenal are the favorites! Arsenal are going to win!
   521. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 22, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4066163)
Man City scored in the 19th second against Porto.
   522. cercle Posted: February 22, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4066187)
Regarding halftime coverage -- if you're watching on FoxSoccer.tv, it seems they haven't quite worked the kinks out. So yesterday, for example, during the Napoli/Chelsea halftime, there was a mismash of statistics, highlights and random crowd-shots with a voiceover of halftime analysis from whichever feed FSC was using (is it Sky?).

At least that song they play is pretty awesome.
   523. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 22, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4066199)
Interesting. Some of the reporters I follow on Twitter were raving about Neville, so clearly YMMV. I didn't see the game so I'll reserve my own judgement.

Zonal Marking argues that Abramovich doesn't just fire managers on a whim. I'd say that considering he fires guys after they fail to win a title that he does fire them pretty quickly.
   524. Mefisto Posted: February 22, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4066229)
I didn't mean for my previous comments to suggest that I dislike Neville as a color commentator. I actually kind of like him. I just don't look for him to give me Michael Cox-type insight into the tactics. There's definitely room for the player perspective, as seen from Barton's point about the O-C.
   525. Jeffo has an El Camino full of Rampage Posted: February 22, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4066276)
[524] Don't call it that...
   526. Mefisto Posted: February 22, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4066293)
I have 2 daughters. I can't help it.
   527. user Posted: February 22, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4066318)
From the link in 523

An Englishman with such a fear of the limelight would be painted as a mild-mannered gentleman, yet Abramovich has been cast as the Bond villain.


wikipedia -re Abramovich's yacht

The specification includes at least two swimming pools, a cinema, two helicopter landing-pads, several on-board tenders and a submarine


For security, Eclipse is fitted with intruder detection systems and a German-built missile defence system.[2][8] Abramovich's master suite and the yacht's bridge are fitted with armour plating and bullet-proof windows.[8] The yacht is reportedly equipped with an anti-paparazzi shield in the form of lasers that sweep the surroundings, ..


more substantially

For a start, Hiddink and Grant were always intended as short-term options


A 4 year contract implies short term?

   528. Spivey Posted: February 22, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4066347)
This Bayern/Basel game is off the ####### hook so far.
   529. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 22, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4066351)
A 4 year contract implies short term?


Apparently. Grant was a reactionary firing. Had Anelka or Terry converted their PK, he stays. Which is stupid, because Grant's performance was exactly the same regardless of the outcome of the PK.
   530. Mattbert Posted: February 22, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4066451)
Basel!
   531. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 22, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4066466)
OM ... G!!!
   532. Mattbert Posted: February 22, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4066553)
Late winners all around!
   533. frannyzoo Posted: February 22, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4066575)
I eagerly volunteer to form part of the human wall directly in front of the Basel and OM goals on the return fixtures. As for which wall I'd rather help...that's a toughie. Stop Smallpox or Plague?
   534. Juan V Posted: February 22, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4066648)
I'd say Basel. Inter are quite capable of knocking themselves out without any help.

To think I once put Bayern in the list of clubs that could reasonably hope to knock out one of the Spanish Old Firm. That list is pretty much down to just Milan.
   535. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 22, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4066651)
Ach! Das ist poopen in mein Lederhosen!

(No, that's not proper German. Not even close.) I guess FPH has stuck to the terms of his suicide pledge if Bayern didn't beat Freiburg or Basel. We'll miss him!
   536. Mefisto Posted: February 22, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4066658)
I wouldn't write Bayern off just yet, but I am rubbing my hands in glee.
   537. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: February 22, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4066678)
I guess FPH has stuck to the terms of his suicide pledge if Bayern didn't beat Freiburg or Basel. We'll miss him!

Wait what? I don't recall this! How drunk was I!
   538. frannyzoo Posted: February 23, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4066843)
Greece is one place I've yet to visit, although I've always wanted to go. I'm not sure Udinese is looking forward to it today, however. The rest of their season looks more Manchester in Winter than Greek Isles in Summer.

And I'll take a three-team combo today (to advance) with Valencia, Hannover and Wisla Krakow (just because I'm going there this Summer). I'll also take Lazio to lose by more than three goals. When they stink this year...they do it right.
   539. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 23, 2012 at 09:35 AM (#4066844)
San Jose is getting their stadium.

Look forward to checking it out on one of my visits home. It looks like Orlando may be the fallback if MLS can't get a stadium built in New York. As I read more and more about the history of soccer in the US, I wonder why MLS isn't in St. Louis. Is there no longer an appetite there?

Wait what? I don't recall this! How drunk was I!

So drunk you don't even know your dead. Stop haunting us with your ghostly presence! Bayern lost--there is nothing left for your mortal coil to achieve on this plane.
   540. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 23, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4066846)
I wonder why MLS isn't in St. Louis. Is there no longer an appetite there?


Albert Pujols was part of a group trying to bring the MLS to St. Louis at one time. St. Louis seems like a pretty solid sports town that would support a soccer team but what the hell do I know?
   541. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 23, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4066863)
Albert Pujols was part of a group trying to bring the MLS to St. Louis at one time. St. Louis seems like a pretty solid sports town that would support a soccer team but what the hell do I know?

St. Louis used to be the center of US soccer at one time, too. They had leagues formed nearly as early as they did in England but demographics and such change over time so maybe it's not the hotbed it used to be. As an uneducated semi MLS-follower San Diego and St. Louis are the 2 markets I wonder there isn't an MLS team in though I'm sure there are reasons for it.
   542. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 23, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4066878)
My guess on San Diego is that the demographic that follows soccer there follows the Mexican Primera Division and probably is able to follow it easily enough that MLS would be competing, not augmenting that. With the European leagues the timing of the season and the games is such that watching Tottenham/Arsenal serves to whet the appetite for Galaxy-Rapids.
   543. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 23, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4066886)
San Diego's pro soccer team.

I googled this just on a whim. Warren Barton is the coach? Holy crap!
   544. Mattbert Posted: February 23, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4066900)
So are Wolves just going to give up and re-hire Mick McCarthy soon, or what?

Bruce? No.
Curbishley? No.
McDermott? No thanks.
Poyet? Not available.
Smith? Pass.
Bruce, final answer?...
   545. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 23, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4066920)
   546. Grunthos Posted: February 23, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4066958)
St. Louis has always been considered an attractive target for MLS expansion, but IIRC there simply haven't been any investment groups with the resources to make it happen.
   547. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 23, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4066968)
It looks like Orlando may be the fallback if MLS can't get a stadium built in New York.


Ugh. There are better markets for expansion.

Sasha Kljestan not called up for Italy friendly, but they're taking 3 keepers. The latter makes no sense.
   548. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: February 23, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4066970)
Sasha Kljestan not called up for Italy friendly, but they're taking 3 keepers. The latter makes no sense.

Just gave the squad a quick look, but that looks more or less like an 'A' squad. Is this the first time Klinsmann has called in (just about) all of the best players? Nice to see Cameron, Parkhurst* and Boyd all get calls.

*Okay, so I don't have the slightest clue as to whether Michael Parkhurst is actually any good, but it's better to see his name than regurgitating MOF again.
   549. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 23, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4067004)
Just gave the squad a quick look, but that looks more or less like an 'A' squad. Is this the first time Klinsmann has called in (just about) all of the best players? Nice to see Cameron, Parkhurst* and Boyd all get calls.


It is. He hasn't had Dempsey and Donovan in the lineup together for reasons out of his control. This is pretty much the best possible roster he could have. I've been underwhelmed with Klinsmann so far (and I had major reservations of him before he got hired) but I've been willing to hold judgement on him until the friendlies this year. It was clear that he was giving all sorts of players try outs on the national level in an attempt to unearth any gems he could, and I like that. But his reliance on Orozco Fiscal and Beckerman and apparent shunning of Bradley were not good signs. The 2011 friendlies were for kicking tires, the 2012 are for gearing up and I'm glad to see this roster, which doesn't have Orozco-Fiscal or Beckerman. I could do without Parkhurst but Onyewu is hurt and we've already seen what Goodson and Orosco Fiscal can and more importantly can't do, so the options were limited. I would have liked to seen Kljestan in the team, he's had a very good year, but since he would have been on the bench anyways it doesn't matter too much.

Might be going to the Scotland friendly in Jacksonville. Tickets on sale in a week.
   550. zack Posted: February 23, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4067017)
Is there any money in St. Louis other than Bud? Kroenke already owns 4,000 other teams. The Blues were for sale for a surprisingly long time (previously owned by the guy who owns Real Salt Lake), and finally sold to a Chicagoan.

   551. J. Sosa Posted: February 23, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4067038)
Late to the party on the FSC half time people, but wanted to add that I also like Barton. Also have to agree that I don't like Wynalda. I enjoy the sunday show and the half time shows more when he isn't there.

The Ox comment Barton made really stood out to me as well. I didn't notice it live, but it does stand out when you think about it. Kid busted a gut trying to stop the break and no one had any encouragement for him (perhaps because they weren't close enough to as they themselves had not made any effort to stop the break).

As for Martin Tyler's New Monkey, he sometimes says something amusing. Other than that I would actually prefer the Old Sexist Monkey.
   552. Mefisto Posted: February 23, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4067066)
Ok, so what lineup do we expect from this roster? And what lineup would we like to see?
   553. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: February 23, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4067076)
Kljestan probably deserves a spot on the team, considering his frequent playing time at Anderlecht, but Dempsey & Fabian Johnson already play his position. Midfield seems set for the USMNT, so I'd rather see Klinsmann give a roster spot to another defender.

Speaking of defenders, from what I understand Jonathan Spector has been playing a midfield position for Birmingham throughout this season. How difficult would it be for him to convert to a defender role for the national team? Or is this a normal thing that happens with a national team/club player?

Here's the lineup I'd like to see:
LanDo - Jozy
Dempsey
Williams - Bradley - Johnson
Chandler - Bocanegra - Goodson - Cherundolo
Howard

I wouldn't mind seeing Boyd up top with Jozy, but I'm not really sure of Boyd's talent level at this point. I think it'd be a mistake to try to play Jozy as a lone striker.
   554. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 23, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4067107)
We'll see the 4-3-3/4-5-1 that Klinsmann's been running since he took over. I think we might see:

Dempsey-Altidore-Donovan
Jones?-Torres-Bradley
Chandler-Bocanegra-Cameron?-Cherundolo

This is the preferred formation of Klinsmann, but it doesn't best fit this team, I think Bob Bradley's 4-2-2-2 does but you can't unring that bell. This is one of my concerns with Klinsmann, he has tried to fit a square peg into a round hole too many times in past matches. Altidore can not play solo (ditto Buddle), so when attacking Dempsey and Donovan have to get forward to make it a 4-3-3 or even 4-4-2 depending on the run of play. But defensively it would be a 4-5-1 as they're both midfielders by trade and have been playing lights out this year as midfielders. The flexibility of formation without making any substitutes can be a huge advantage.

Bradley should be a lock to start. I'd rather have Jones than Edu but who knows. Johnson could be in that spot too. If only Holden wasn't hurt, they need someone in the center to attack with and pickings are slim. Klinsmann's used Johnson in that role once and it wasn't bad, but Torres is your starter given the limited options available. Klinsmann really likes him and he's really good at free kicks.

The back line speaks for itself. Bocanegra is chiseled in stone. Chandler's entrenched at LB as long Cherundolo (who is criminally underrated IMO) is in the lineup. The only question is who takes Oneywu's spot. Personally I would go with Cameron to give him a chance but I could see Goodson or Parkhurst there.
   555. Mefisto Posted: February 23, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4067118)
A 4-3-1-2 would mirror the likely Italian lineup. It's likely to be a very defensive game if that happens.

I'd kind of like to see a 4-3-3, same 3 up top, but Torres as a link player instead of Johnson.

Edit to add that I basically agree with DA.
   556. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 23, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4067120)
Or is this a normal thing that happens with a national team/club player?


Many national teams have players who play one position for them and another for their club.

I wouldn't mind seeing Boyd up top with Jozy, but I'm not really sure of Boyd's talent level at this point. I think it'd be a mistake to try to play Jozy as a lone striker.


Boyd is 21 and has spent all year on the reserve team for Dortmund with the occasional call up to sit on the bench for the first team. I doubt we'll see him. I think Klinsmann called him in just so that he could get a close look at him.
   557. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 23, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4067129)
One more thing: Dempsey and Donovan are listed as forwards. Could be semantics, but that indicates to me that 4-3-3 is the likely formation. In the past they were listed as midfielders.
   558. Mattbert Posted: February 23, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4067184)
When even the likes of Stoke are punting Europa League ties...I don't know.
   559. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 23, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4067198)
When even the likes of Stoke are punting Europa League ties...I don't know.

Makes you wonder why they even bother fighting for a place in Europe. I can see punting group stage games or even the second leg of a tie after a blowout in the first leg, but Stoke only needed an away goal to take this into extra time. Sheesh. An away trip to Valencia with a chance to advance is as sexy as it's going to get for Stoke. They should go for it.
   560. Mattbert Posted: February 24, 2012 at 09:21 AM (#4067730)
So are Wolves just going to give up and re-hire Mick McCarthy soon, or what?

It would appear the answer is basically, yes.
   561. frannyzoo Posted: February 24, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4067740)
"It would appear the answer is basically, yes."

Given enough texting and training ground webcams, maybe we can just call it a season-long touchline ban. Because if we don't, this is damn embarrassing.
   562. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 24, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4067744)
Given enough texting and training ground webcams, maybe we can just call it a season-long touchline ban. Because if we don't, this is damn embarrassing.

Yeah, but Wolves, overall, are a really well run club and the team did quit on McCarthy against West Brom. I think it might have been worse to keep Mick dangling from the hook while they worked the phones for his replacement than to just sack him when they decided he needed the sack. This does make them appear resigned to going down, though, which is too bad.
   563. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4067778)
Some of those quotes from the Wolves Chairman are just embarrassing:

Since we made the difficult decision to part company with Mick, we have been through a diligent process of assessing potential candidates. Having spoken to a number of people we have drawn that process to a close and myself and the board are unanimous that Terry is the right man to lead the club for the remainder of the season.

I mean, that isn't even remotely true and everyone knows it. Connor was basically their...5th choice? That's really awful.
   564. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4067782)
Megson in!
   565. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4067857)
So are Wolves just going to give up and re-hire Mick McCarthy soon, or what?


"Hey Mick, we want you back."

"Oh really?!"
   566. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 24, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4067902)
Looks like Arshavin is heading to Zenit. I don't really get that from Arsenal's POV. He may not be the player they want him to be, but he's useful.
   567. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: February 24, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4068147)
Looks like Arshavin is heading to Zenit. I don't really get that from Arsenal's POV. He may not be the player they want him to be, but he's useful.


I'd consider his time with Arsenal a success, if only for this.

I'm trying to pick out two Saturday games to watch (from those that are available on ESPN3 or FoxSoccer.tv). I think I've decided on AC Milan-Juve & Lyon-PSG.
   568. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 24, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4068176)
In other transfer news, Kris Samba is headed to Anzhi. Did not see that one coming.
   569. puck Posted: February 25, 2012 at 01:32 AM (#4068376)
St. Louis has always been considered an attractive target for MLS expansion, but IIRC there simply haven't been any investment groups with the resources to make it happen.


Yes, everything I've read since following the league is that the ownership group is every bit as important as the market. No one's stepped forward in St Louis and San Diego. Not that I blame them...at this point it's pretty expensive ($40 million expansion fee, a commitment of some sort to getting a stadium built).


San Diego's pro soccer team.

I googled this just on a whim.


No, this is San Diego's pro soccer team.
   570. Ron J Posted: February 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4068474)
#566 That would seem to suggest that Wenger is having his hands tied on the financial front. He made it pretty clear he wanted to keep Arshavin.

As for Samba, wasn't he involved in some stupid feud with the manager?
   571. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4068510)
As for Samba, wasn't he involved in some stupid feud with the manager?

Not Kean so much as he just really wanted out of Blackburn.

#566 That would seem to suggest that Wenger is having his hands tied on the financial front. He made it pretty clear he wanted to keep Arshavin.

I just can't believe they're that hard up. A million pounds at 3 months of wages can't make that much difference to them, can it?
   572. frannyzoo Posted: February 25, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4068527)
This new Diakite at QPR, on loan from Nancy, just picked up seven fouls and two yellows in 33 minutes. Impressive. That Ligue 1 must be tougher than I thought.
   573. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: February 25, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4068540)
This new Diakite at QPR, on loan from Nancy, just picked up seven fouls and two yellows in 33 minutes. Impressive. That Ligue 1 must be tougher than I thought.

Peer pressure. Just trying to fit in at QPR...
   574. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 25, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4068547)
This new Diakite at QPR, on loan from Nancy, just picked up seven fouls and two yellows in 33 minutes
On the other hand, you can guarantee that all the QPR fans now know exactly who he is.
   575. frannyzoo Posted: February 25, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4068550)
Mark Hughes goes Jose on Martin Jol's head. I guess it's because of the "Fulham is bigger than QPR" line, but that reaction was silly.
   576. frannyzoo Posted: February 25, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4068659)
Game of the Serie A year about to start at the San Siro. Ibra's little b*tchslap looks pretty damn stupid about now.
   577. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 25, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4068669)
Watching soccer on an iPad is an exercise in futility. Options are almost nil.
   578. Spivey Posted: February 25, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4068672)
AC Milan just got ###### by the refs. That Muntari goal was clear.
   579. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 25, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4068675)
I don't know how they missed it. Just at live speed seeing Buffon reach back for the ball it was clear it was in.
   580. frannyzoo Posted: February 25, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4068676)
I'm all for keeping this all human and zero technology, but that...that Milan non-goal call was galling. Give me the six cameras or ball-with-sensors review immediately.
   581. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 25, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4068677)
Just by way of comparison I think this was a MUCH easier call than Lampards goal/non-goal against Germany in the world cup.
   582. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 25, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4068680)
I don't watch much Serie A but this has been entertaining so far and a great crowd. I also like that the announcers aren't the guy who over pronounces the Italian names.
   583. Spivey Posted: February 25, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4068681)
I assume this is one of like 10 sellouts for the Serie A season.
   584. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 25, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4068689)
   585. frannyzoo Posted: February 25, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4068704)
The best thing about that photo, DA, is Vidal calling for the offsides call (from behind the goal-line). Notice the sideline official is in perfect position to make a call. Sigh.
   586. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 25, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4068707)
Galliani was waiting in the tunnel for the ref.

Can you imagine if something like that happened in American sports? And this isn't even that bad compared to other things that have happened.
   587. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 25, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4068708)
The best thing about that photo, DA, is Vidal calling for the offsides call (from behind the goal-line). Notice the sideline official is in perfect position to make a call. Sigh.


I'm so f'n tired of players constantly putting their hands up at the slightest thing. STFU and play. It's become worse than diving for me because it happens all the time.
   588. frannyzoo Posted: February 25, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4068721)
That goal just decided the Scudetto.
   589. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 25, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4068727)
PSG-Lyon has been an insane match.

EDIT: and, of course, *then* Guillaume Hoarau scores the tying goal in the last minute of extra time (really good header, too). 4-4. Horrid defending, but amazingly high-paced, every attack threatening...crazy, crazy game.
   590. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 25, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4068733)
I'm so f'n tired of players constantly putting their hands up at the slightest thing. STFU and play. It's become worse than diving for me because it happens all the time.

Yeah, that's my biggest annoyance with the game too. I laugh on and on whenever a player is so busy trying to call for an offsides that they lose their man.
   591. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: February 26, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4068890)
589, you're not kidding. PSG-Lyon was a great watch with some absolute crackers for goals -- Bastos' arguably the best, but Lopez' and Gomis' weren't shabby, either. And the thing is, PSG probably should have had five or six. Best Ligue Uhhhn game I've seen this year.

Regarding the Juventus-Milan game, did Conte explain why he started with Borriello and Quagliarella up front rather than Matri and Vucinic/Pepe? Going with Borriello over Matri struck me as particularly strange. In any case, if I'm remembering correctly, Milan kind of, sort of got a call back in the second half with a Matri goal incorrectly called offsides.

Lastly -- has anyone caught Bolton's last two games? I'm pretty sure Ream has played 90 in both of them, and he even got (relative to his teammates) decent ratings on both WhoScored and The Guardian. Just curious what folks here thought about his play.
   592. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: February 26, 2012 at 12:58 AM (#4068892)
And way late on this, but a funny RT from Paolo Bandini:

Milan fans singing "Sapete solo rubare" at San Siro - "You only know how to steal".
   593. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 26, 2012 at 01:10 AM (#4068894)
The best thing about that photo, DA, is Vidal calling for the offsides call (from behind the goal-line). Notice the sideline official is in perfect position to make a call. Sigh.


I wonder if the linesman didn't see the defender standing behind the goal line and decided that Muntari was offsides but since Juve had control of the ball made the decision to play it as an advantage. I don't think linesmen are supposed to do that but it seems that some of them won't raise the flag if play is continued.

What's the status on the extra official stationed right on the goal? That seems like a simple enough solution. You'd still have blown calls but it would help. Personally I'd like to see soccer go to a hockey style officiating system with 2 referees. You get better angles and actually take the referee out of the middle of the play. This would result in one referee on the goal line in such situation where he would be less likely to miss it than either the currently position ref or the linesman who in his defense is a fair distance away.
   594. AuntBea Posted: February 26, 2012 at 01:27 AM (#4068900)
I caught the last 20 minutes of Milan/Juve. Quite exciting. Sure looked to me like the linesman disallowed what should have been a perfectly good goal for Juve 11 minutes from time... the attacker was even with the defender when the ball was played. Also, Juve clearly had the better of the action (that I saw) until they had their man sent off in extra time.
   595. Baldrick Posted: February 26, 2012 at 03:21 AM (#4068925)
What's the status on the extra official stationed right on the goal? That seems like a simple enough solution. You'd still have blown calls but it would help. Personally I'd like to see soccer go to a hockey style officiating system with 2 referees. You get better angles and actually take the referee out of the middle of the play. This would result in one referee on the goal line in such situation where he would be less likely to miss it than either the currently position ref or the linesman who in his defense is a fair distance away.

Or they could, you know, let the fourth official look at a TV.
   596. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 26, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4068945)
Always enjoy watching the disciplined central defending of Arsenal as they shut down all gaps and protect their keeper.
   597. Ron J Posted: February 26, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4068951)
#571 I don't think they're hard up either. Just really determined to keep it so.

As I said, Wenger made it clear he wanted to keep Arshavin, and ... well can you think of a case where he's changed his mind about a player in a fairly short time drame? I can't. He's incredibly stubborn.

And yet Arshavin is moving on.
   598. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 26, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4068953)
The defending from both teams is a joke.
   599. Mattbert Posted: February 26, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4068955)
I would really like to hear why Harry thinks it's a good idea for Tottenham to stand five yards off every Arsenal player in midfield and just let them pick their passes under no pressure whatsoever.
   600. Mattbert Posted: February 26, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4068958)
Sandro and van der Vaart on for Saha and Kranjcar. Decent.
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