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Friday, February 01, 2013

OT: The Soccer Thread: February 2013

Well, it was on time last month!

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:59 AM | 1499 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off-topic

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   1101. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 08:27 AM (#4373205)
#### all these Eurotrash thugs

I've always been very anti-tattoo, but if I were drunk right now, I could see myself getting the cockerel transposed over a Star of David. Leave it to the French to do this in the most cowardly way possible. Up the Yids!
   1102. Richard Posted: February 21, 2013 at 09:18 AM (#4373213)
The top of Football League One, a refreshing alternative to the one horse races in various European leagues:

1 Swindon Town p 32 pts 58
2 Bournemouth p 33 pts 58
--------------------------------
3 Doncaster Rovers p 32 pts 58
4 Sheffield United p 32 pts 57
5 Yeovil Town p 32 pts 57
6 Tranmere Rovers p 33 pts 56
-------------------------------
7 Brentford p 31 pts 54

The top 3 have all changed managers during this season: Swindon are currently managerless. And Yeovil have won 8 games in a row. It's mayhem down there.

   1103. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 21, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4373222)
Fascists are the ####### worst.

Spurs support abroad seems to draw a particular kind of violence, from thugs who may only be tangentially involved with actual football supporter groups, due to their associations with Jewish symbolism and Jewish identity.
   1104. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 09:42 AM (#4373226)
Swindon are currently managerless.

Is DiCanio done in England? He got results, but he seems like a massive pain in the ass at the same time. Maybe he can be Lyon's next manager...

   1105. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 10:31 AM (#4373253)
Portsmouth Supporters Trust not in the clear yet

What I don't understand about Portpin's bid is that if they are successful, they'd essentially be stealing the club from the supporters which seems a very poor way to market your club and build goodwill in the community. Unless this is some kind of real estate grab by Portpin, which is beyond my knowledge of what's going on down there.
   1106. ursus arctos Posted: February 21, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4373265)
The supposition has always been the outside interest (Gaydamak, Portpin, etc) in Portsmouth has always been about the real estate and never about the club, so it isn't necessarily out of character.
   1107. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4373269)
The supposition has always been the outside interest (Gaydamak, Portpin, etc) in Portsmouth has always been about the real estate and never about the club, so it isn't necessarily out of character.

Yeah, the value of the stadium seems to be the real contention, so it makes sense that Portpin may be looking to asset strip the club.

I wonder of it was weird for Pompey fans to see Boateng and Muntari scoring goals against Barca last night. I haven't checked, but I wouldn't be surprised if 'Arry makes mention of it somehow, somewhere...
   1108. Richard Posted: February 21, 2013 at 10:54 AM (#4373270)
As I understand it, Chainrai (who owns Portpin) holds a charge over the ground and is not prepared to take the kind of haircut required to ensure the club goes to the trust. Chainrai has no interest in the club beyond that, as ursus says.

Shooty - I would not be surprised to see Di Canio surface somewhere else in England.
   1109. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4373297)
Harry Kane is off to Leicester City on loan.

Oh, and Michael Dawson is getting a new contract at Spurs. I think it says a lot about Dawson that he refused to leave in the summer so he could fight for his place and damned if he hasn't earned back his starting spot. His passing has been frustrating this year, but he's adapted well to the high line and has been excellent defensively.
   1110. zack Posted: February 21, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4373305)
Colbert did a bit on the soccer corruption scandal. Lalas was on afterwards talking about it, which was fine despite a little MLS shilling, until he implied that understanding and enjoying diving required a higher intellect. I understand he was just defending the game when he had 5 seconds for a soundbyte, but that's just dumb. Diving isn't some beautiful, nuanced thing played at a higher level. It's just a systematic failure of refereeing. The game relies on 1 ref who is tasked with running constantly along a 100m field with 22 players to watch and marshal, no review and no supplemental discipline. If any of these were improved diving would be far less prevalent.

Yes I know about assistant referees.
   1111. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 21, 2013 at 11:50 AM (#4373311)
I wonder of it was weird for Pompey fans to see Boateng and Muntari scoring goals against Barca last night. I haven't checked, but I wouldn't be surprised if 'Arry makes mention of it somehow, somewhere...
I don't know about 'Arry, but one of my English friends had this as his FB status:

Portsmouth 2 - Barca 0... Huge upset on the cards tonight!!
   1112. ursus arctos Posted: February 21, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4373332)
My Twitter timeline was full of Pompey references from the point that Muntari scored. They outnumbered the Ghana 2 - Barcelona 0 references by about ten to one, notwithstanding the fact that the Ghanian-inclined posters also had all of the Balotelli cameos to work with.
   1113. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4373362)
   1114. Randy Jones Posted: February 21, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4373366)
The Alex Gonzalez's of soccer.
   1115. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4373378)
Lyon: Vercoutre, Reveillere, Bisevac, Lovren, Umtiti, Fofana, Grenier, Gonalons, Lacazette, Gomis, Lopez.

Subs: Lopes, Kone, Ferri, Dabo, Malbranque, Briand, Ghezzal.

Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Dembele, Parker, Lennon, Holtby, Bale, Adebayor.

Subs: Lloris, Dempsey, Naughton, Dawson, Sigurdsson, Livermore, Caulker.
   1116. Mattbert Posted: February 21, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4373388)
Just one change for each side, then? Grenier for STEEEEEEEEED! and Holtby for Dempsey.
   1117. Mattbert Posted: February 21, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4373390)
I'm planning to watch Lyon-Spurs on replay tonight, so I'm debating whether or not I want to know the result beforehand. Sometimes that's nice, because I find I pick up different things while watching a match when I'm stress-free over the outcome. On the other hand, that mostly robs me of the emotional investment that is such a big part of why watching soccer is fun.
   1118. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 21, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4373420)
Forgot Europa games started early. AVB fielding a strong squad.

Is the new Dembele right-footed at least?
   1119. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4373422)
Well shoot. Almost got the equalizer just before the half time whistle. The bad news, that was the only chance on goal for Spurs. Still...I feel weirdly confident about the second half despite Lyon being the far better team in the first half.
   1120. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4373429)
Looks like Atletico are coming up short by a goal so Rubin Kazan are through. Giving up that second goal last week proves to be a killer.
   1121. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 21, 2013 at 02:59 PM (#4373432)
The bad news, that was the only chance on goal for Spurs. Still...I feel weirdly confident about the second half despite Lyon being the far better team in the first half.
Me too. My observation is that Lyon are giving up a lot of room for players to dribble at them from deep. For some reason, none of the excellent dribblers on Spurs have been taking advantage of it. I have to think that'll change in the second half.
   1122. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4373436)
Can't believe Bale missed that. Sadness, such an immense dimension of sadness.
   1123. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4373444)
Hoo boy. Friedel is not comfortable leaving his line.
   1124. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 03:44 PM (#4373461)
Doesn't look like it's going to happen for Spurs. Newcastle look to be going through, though.
   1125. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 21, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4373466)
Lefty Dembele!
   1126. zack Posted: February 21, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4373467)
Ahem.
   1127. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4373468)
DEMBELE!!!!!!!!!!! ROSBIFS FOREVER!!!!!!
   1128. Textbook Editor Posted: February 21, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4373469)
Hey now.
   1129. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4373470)
They had been given Dembele space all day but his decision making had been very poor. I'm glad he finally decided to say eff this and take them on the dribble.
   1130. Textbook Editor Posted: February 21, 2013 at 03:52 PM (#4373471)
Now if they can just go with Lloris in goal from here on out...
   1131. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4373475)
San Siro, here we come. Just like old times!
   1132. Textbook Editor Posted: February 21, 2013 at 03:55 PM (#4373476)
Do they re-draw after the round of 16? or is there already a matchup that awaits should they get past Inter?

   1133. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4373479)
Do they re-draw after the round of 16? or is there already a matchup that awaits should they get past Inter?

The quarterfinal draw is March 15th.
   1134. Textbook Editor Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4373503)
Thanks, Shooty!
   1135. ursus arctos Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4373506)
FC BARCELONA THINK FACTORY

Rosell has reportedly said in Israel (of all places) that Tito Villanova will not be back for the second leg against Milan, which really makes me worry about his prognosis.
   1136. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4373516)
Sparta Prague scores!
   1137. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4373517)
Chelsea fall asleep, fail to pay attention to runners, and concede.
   1138. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4373518)
Oh boy. Jamie Carragher just ended the tie against Zenit with some serious clownshoes defending. Switching to Levante just to say I saw Levante play a game in Europe.
   1139. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4373529)
It would be something if Plzen get past Napoli and Sparta Prague get past Chelsea. By something I mean absolutely freaking nuts.
   1140. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4373531)
Liverpool get one back. The Imp, of course.
   1141. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4373532)
The Imp, of course.

Liverpool as the Lannisters explains so much.
   1142. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4373533)
Sparta Prague are applying a fair amount of pressure on Chelsea.
   1143. ursus arctos Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4373540)
Shooty, Levante are now 4-0 up on aggregate and virtually through to round of 16 trip to Kazan.

I wouldn't bet against them making the last eight.
   1144. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4373541)
Rosell has reportedly said in Israel (of all places) that Tito Villanova will not be back for the second leg against Milan, which really makes me worry about his prognosis.

That job is snake-bitten. Literally.
   1145. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4373544)
That touch by Mata. The little man is something else.
   1146. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4373546)
I wouldn't bet against them making the last eight.

If Spurs can't win it, I'd be pretty happy if The Expendables do.
   1147. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:46 PM (#4373547)
Liverpool get one back. The Imp, of course.
But Zenit have the away goal. They need a miracle.
   1148. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4373548)
But Zenit have the away goal. They need a miracle.

Sure, but they are not without a history of miracles in Europe. Might as well go for it!
   1149. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4373552)
Liverpool get goal #2. Joe Allen. He's like an imp made of all that is good in the world.
   1150. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4373554)
FC SCHALKE 04 WHINE FACTORY

"Waah, no fair using players against us."

Apparently they think it's unfair Drogba was allowed to play. Imo, if you are going to protest a players eligibility, do it before the game you turds. It's not like it was a secret.
   1151. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 21, 2013 at 04:56 PM (#4373557)
I thought that Galatasaray never released their team sheet and basically Schalke found out Drogba was playing once they saw him in the tunnel.

Chelsea have to cut bait with Torres after the season. He's not good now and you can't bring him off the bench.
   1152. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: February 21, 2013 at 05:14 PM (#4373562)
   1153. ursus arctos Posted: February 21, 2013 at 05:17 PM (#4373564)
Mazzari brings on Cavani and Inler in desperation, only for Napoli to almost immediately concede another to Plzen that puts them 4-0 down on aggregate.
   1154. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 21, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4373566)
I thought that Galatasaray never released their team sheet and basically Schalke found out Drogba was playing once they saw him in the tunnel.


I'm sitting on my ass in Burlington, MA and the day Galastaray signed Drogba I knew he was playing in that Champions League game. The moment the ink was dry Schalke should have been contacting UEFA (or FIFA, whoever is appropriate). It's nearly a month now and with neither FIFA nor UEFA stepping in to stop him from playing I think it would be terribly unfair for this result to be overturned.
   1155. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 21, 2013 at 05:22 PM (#4373567)
Maybe the miracle will happen? Beautiful free kick by Suarez.
   1156. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 21, 2013 at 05:22 PM (#4373568)
"He is a gentleman of the highest caliber (or, if you must, calibre), and to watch him on the pitch - pacing like a lion, as weightless as an astronaut, is pure therapy. Robbie, the pleasure, the privilege is mine."


That's a nice picture of Moz and an unidentified fan.
   1157. ursus arctos Posted: February 21, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4373571)
I want Gazprom to threaten to withdraw their UEFA sponsorship if Schalke don't get want they want and Liverpool manage to overturn Zenit.

I very rarely get what I want, though.
   1158. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 21, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4373572)
I'm sitting on my ass in Burlington, MA and the day Galastaray signed Drogba I knew he was playing in that Champions League game. The moment the ink was dry Schalke should have been contacting UEFA (or FIFA, whoever is appropriate). It's nearly a month now and with neither FIFA nor UEFA stepping in to stop him from playing I think it would be terribly unfair for this result to be overturned.

Yep. He was on the team, and not cup-tied. If you don't want him to play, assume he will.
   1159. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 21, 2013 at 05:29 PM (#4373578)
Yea I don't know what Schalke is expecting. If UEFA didn't do anything once the transfer was announced, why would Schalke expect anything to change now? If Galatasaray did do something purposefully sketchy, UEFA could always punish later like they did to that Swiss team. At least now China as a retirement league is less of an option.
   1160. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 21, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4373586)
Seriously, what is wrong with Luis Suarez? 89th minute, the ball already on its way out of play, and he commits a red-card-able offense with a stomp on the back of a Zenit defender.
   1161. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 21, 2013 at 05:54 PM (#4373588)
Seriously, what is wrong with Luis Suarez?


He's a dink?

I really don't think it's complicated with Suarez. I think he's just an jackass.
   1162. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 21, 2013 at 05:57 PM (#4373589)
HAZARD!
   1163. Topher Posted: February 21, 2013 at 06:02 PM (#4373593)
That's a nice picture of Moz and an unidentified fan.


Well done.
   1164. ursus arctos Posted: February 21, 2013 at 06:07 PM (#4373596)
Round of 16:

Viktoria Plzen - Fenerbahce
Benfica - Bordeaux
Anzhi - Newcastle
Stuttgart - Lazio
Tottenham - Inter
Levante - Rubin Kazan
Basel - Zenit
Ajax/Steaua - Chelsea

team listed first has the first leg at home

Ajax and Steaua are in extra time.
   1165. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 21, 2013 at 06:08 PM (#4373597)
USWNT roster for the Algarve Cup. Several notes: Lindsey Horan is included over from PSG, Hope Solo is not included due to a wrist injury, apparently. That could be bad news for Seattle for the inaugural NSWL season.
   1166. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 21, 2013 at 06:13 PM (#4373599)

Tottenham - Inter


Bale time!
   1167. ursus arctos Posted: February 21, 2013 at 06:47 PM (#4373623)
Steaua win on penalties and will play Chelsea.
   1168. JuanGone..except1game Posted: February 21, 2013 at 07:28 PM (#4373642)
Ajax/Steaua - Chelsea


Bummed that its Steaua as I would have loved Ajax as an opponent. But loved Hazard's goal. It's taken some adjustment but I personally think that he's lived up to expectations. Were lucky that Wenger's such a cheap old bastard.

Tottenham - Inter


That's about as good as you'll see in a Europa Round of 16. Can't wait to see what the line is on that match.
   1169. Topher Posted: February 21, 2013 at 07:41 PM (#4373645)
From Arjun's link:

For the first time, fans in the United States will be able to watch the Algarve Cup matches live on television. All four U.S. matches of the Algarve Cup are being distributed in the USA by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, Avail-TVN, DIRECTV and DISH for a suggested retail price of $14.95 per match.

What's the point of even bothering to televise these? I'm not spending $60 to watch the women play in a 2nd rate tournament. (And I don't really mean "2nd rate" as a huge insult but it obviously ain't the WC or Olympics.)
   1170. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 21, 2013 at 07:57 PM (#4373648)
What's the point of even bothering to televise these? I'm not spending $60 to watch the women play in a 2nd rate tournament.

I genuinely have no idea. I'm personally hoping that this means an online stream will be available somewhere (I would actually go to Portugal to see the tournament in person [I have relatives there who I am moderately culturally obligated to see at some point soon], but I'm actually going to Lisbon the next weekend and there's no way that I can afford several trips), but, honestly, I have the same question as you.
   1171. SuperGrover Posted: February 21, 2013 at 08:17 PM (#4373661)
$14.95!?!?!?! My God man! That's absurd.
   1172. Flynn Posted: February 21, 2013 at 09:28 PM (#4373678)
Sounds to me like ISM bought the rights and thought they could flog it off to ESPN or FSC or BeIn and make a tidy profit. "So who wants the Algarve Cup? Anybody? Anybody? Oh shhhhiii..."

So the extortionate pricing is them trying to make it back.

That said, the Algarve Cup is a pretty big deal in women's soccer. Since women's soccer doesn't have much appeal beyond the elite international game, it's basically a yearly World Cup. Just like how the Olympics is basically a pukka World Cup too.
   1173. Mefisto Posted: February 21, 2013 at 11:03 PM (#4373710)
That Algarve roster has most of the top US prospects for the next WC. It'd be interesting to see them play, but I think I'll look for a stream somewhere.
   1174. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 22, 2013 at 08:19 AM (#4373775)
   1175. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 22, 2013 at 08:27 AM (#4373777)
That young pup, Brad Friedel

Thanks for the gif, Mr. Friedel, sir.
   1176. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 09:13 AM (#4373787)
I was impressed at the sticktuitiveness of the Lyon fans. They booed Friedel as heartily on random backpasses in the 75th minute as they did when he was introduced.
   1177. Spivey Posted: February 22, 2013 at 09:56 AM (#4373800)
Friedel is awesome. He will always have a soft spot in my heart for the 2002 World Cup.
   1178. Mattbert Posted: February 22, 2013 at 10:10 AM (#4373808)
The partnership of Dembele and Parker is just not working. Both of them want too many touches before playing a pass, and Dembele doesn't trust Parker's positioning. So Spurs end up with Scotty going forward and trying to be the link man, which isn't his strength, and Dembele sitting deeper and trying to be a regista, which isn't his strength.

Scott Parker attempted 107 passes (89% success) in 85 minutes against Lyon. One hundred and f**king seven. I would really like to know if this is a feature or a bug of the AVB game plan. For me, Dembele's equalizer underscored the need to give him a midfield partner whose positioning he trusts so he has the confidence to move forward and get himself into shooting positions like that more often.

I'm really impressed with Lyon and their manager. They got the tactics spot on in both games and forced Spurs to beat them with individual brilliance. Lisandro is fat and Lacazette seems wasteful, but with better contributions from their wide forwards that's a very very dangerous side. I just wish Spurs had played a little better and tested their defense more, but I think we saw enough to know Lyon are quite difficult to beat when they are up for it.
   1179. Swedish Chef Posted: February 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4373826)
General Di Canio weirdness:

Paolo Di Canio has been accused of carrying out a midnight raid on his old Swindon Town office and tearing down pictures of his time as manager. The Italian reportedly entered the County Ground stadium in the early hours of Thursday morning, using keys he had kept after resigning on Monday.

Di Canio and three members of his coaching staff were allegedly captured on CCTV entering the office and removing the mementos of his 21 months in charge.


Results forgive any amount of strangeness though. He's not in Roy Keane territory.
   1180. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 22, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4373862)
   1181. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4373901)
Spurs have sent Jonathan Obika out on loan. With Kane and Obika gone, Spurs have absolutely no strikers if something happens to Adebayor unless they want to give Shaq Coulthirst a chance. It's a little nutty.
   1182. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 22, 2013 at 12:25 PM (#4373959)
The partnership of Dembele and Parker is just not working.


Would Huddlestone and Dembele work? Huddlestone isn't the most mobile but that means he will stay back. His passing would definitely help Bale and Lennon - although I guess AVB wouldn't let a low energy guy play big games for him.
   1183. Swedish Chef Posted: February 22, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4373966)
Scott Parker attempted 107 passes (89% success) in 85 minutes against Lyon. One hundred and f**king seven.

This is the first time I've seen that a player is delivering lots of well-aimed passes is used in arguing against him. Drillo would be proud.

Spurs have absolutely no strikers if something happens to Adebayor unless they want to give Shaq Coulthirst a chance. It's a little nutty.

Wouldn't they use Bale?
   1184. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4373979)
Would Huddlestone and Dembele work? Huddlestone isn't the most mobile but that means he will stay back.
No, I don't think so. He can't defend capably with such below-average speed. And while he can thread a pass, like Dembele and Parker takes his time on the ball. He wouldn't solve the tempo problem and he'd create a huge hole in central defensive midfield.

I think the best solution is to figure out a way to get Dembele and Parker to play together more effectively. AVB has clearly been trying things out. We've seen Parker tasked with staying back and refusing to join the attack or even receive a pass, we've seen Parker given freedom to plow forward and Dembele tasked with holding his position, we've seen them in a more fluid double pivot. Nothing's worked yet. But Carroll doesn't look quite ready, Huddlestone is too slow, and Jake Livermore was so terrible this fall that even though he has the tools to be a reasonable Parker replacement, he scares me. The best solution is still for AVB, Parker and Dembele to figure out a partnership that works.

The other option is to see if Holtby can play a deep-lying playmaker kind of role alongside Dembele. His defensive workrate and toughness have been extremely impressive so far. I wouldn't try Holtby there against any of the top seven clubs, but in games against a parked bus, it might be worth a shot.
   1185. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 22, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4373980)
Wouldn't they use Bale?

No, they'd use Dempsey first, but he's limited as a CF. You could use Bale, too, but it's not the best use of him. Bale looked pretty bad trying to play as a striker in the pre-season. AVB must have a trick up his sleeve to let all the backup options leave town.
   1186. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4373989)
I think the backup option is 4-2-4-0. Lennon on the right, with Bale and Dempsey and Holtby interchanging between left and center and all trying a little bit of false nine, like they did in the Newcastle game.
   1187. Mattbert Posted: February 22, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4374003)
Spurs have sent Jonathan Obika out on loan. With Kane and Obika gone, Spurs have absolutely no strikers if something happens to Adebayor unless they want to give Shaq Coulthirst a chance. It's a little nutty.

My take is that it's more of a recognition that they're f**ked either way if Adebayor is out for long. If Spurs are reduced to playing someone other than Adebayor or Defoe up front for any length of time, it really doesn't matter who that someone else is. If anything, I feel Dempsey's a better option there than either Kane or Obika right now.

I don't think Obika is going to have much of a Premier League career; he looks like a second division player to me at best (upside: Leon Best?). Kane has more potential and is still only 19; I think he has a decent chance of making it. Probably not at Tottenham, but he might carve out a decent career for a mid- or lower-table club or two (upside: Danny Graham). It's better for them and for the club that they go out and play somewhere rather than hanging around the training ground for an emergency striker opportunity that may never come.
   1188. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 22, 2013 at 01:02 PM (#4374020)
Defoe is reportedly on schedule to return in about two weeks.
   1189. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 22, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4374165)
Big game for Freiburg going on. They're playing Eintracht Frankfurt and if they win they go top 4. So far Frankfurt are swarming them, though. This is my first time seeing Frankfurt and they look legit. They are swamping the midfield and getting forward in numbers and at pace. Hopefully their energy will ebb soon.

I think I have some kind of magic touch picking teams. Tottenham were just hoping not to lose sight of Aston Villa when I came on board, Torino was in the second division, Freiburg were a yo-yo team and Partick, well, who the hell knows what Partick was up to. Now Spurs are regular challengers for top 4, Freiburg is fighting for Europe, Torino is safely mid-table in Serie A and Partick could be in the SPL next season. I think that's enough evidence that I'm magic. Clearly a La Liga team needs to hire my services.
   1190. ursus arctos Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4374174)
Levante would seem a pretty obvious pick, but perhaps they are doing too well without your patronage.

Maybe Zaragoza? There only one spot above the relegation places. Could be a tribute to Nayim from the halfway line!
   1191. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4374176)
My choices of Schalke, Fiorentina, and Motherwell to receive my vague sympathy a few years ago have turned out to be exciting.
   1192. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:08 PM (#4374182)
Maybe Zaragoza?

Maybe. I haven't really been grabbed by a Spanish club yet. No way I latch onto the big boys, though. If Mrs. Shooty and I finally get to Spain, maybe I'll forge a connection that way like I did with Partick.

My choices of Schalke, Fiorentina, and Motherwell to receive my vague sympathy a few years ago have turned out to be exciting.

Ha! I flirted with Motherwell since I actually spent a day there but Partick's red-headed stepchild vibe won me over.
   1193. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4374184)
Could be a tribute to Nayim from the halfway line!

That is incredible, btw. And against the Arse!
   1194. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4374187)
   1195. ursus arctos Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:29 PM (#4374195)
Nayim played something like 150 games for Spurs and won a FA Cup, but if you ask most Tottenham supporters of that era what his most memorable contribution was, a large majority will tell you that it was taking that European trophy away from Arsenal in such heart-breaking (for Gooners) fashion.
   1196. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 22, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4374197)
Nayim played something like 150 games for Spurs and won a FA Cup, but if you ask most Tottenham supporters of that era what his most memorable contribution was, a large majority will tell you that it was taking that European trophy away from Arsenal in such heart-breaking (for Gooners) fashion.

Seems like I'm almost duty bound to be a Zaragoza fan. I'm not going to find out their supporters are fascists or they sacrifice live goats or any such nonsense, am I?
   1197. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 22, 2013 at 05:33 PM (#4374269)
Maybe Zaragoza? There only one spot above the relegation places. Could be a tribute to Nayim from the halfway line!

David Seaman looking like a boob on a long-distance flare. Now why does that seem familiar.
   1198. ursus arctos Posted: February 22, 2013 at 06:03 PM (#4374297)
Foreshadowing!

To the best of my knowledge Zaragoza doesn't have any particularly dodgy supporters or traditions. It also has a nice historical core.
   1199. Flynn Posted: February 22, 2013 at 07:21 PM (#4374342)
Spurs support abroad seems to draw a particular kind of violence, from thugs who may only be tangentially involved with actual football supporter groups, due to their associations with Jewish symbolism and Jewish identity.


I just listened to the Five Live special on Ajax, the Jewish club. For those who don't know, Ajax fans tend to identify themselves by Jewish symbols, using a lot of tenuous connections and Amsterdam's previously large Jewish minority to turn them into a Jewish club. It was fairly good - Jonathan Legard is the master of the leading question, which I didn't like - but I didn't particularly like how some participants tried to shuffle aside Tottenham's use of Yid as not being the same. I bet none of the people who suffered an attack in Lyon were Jewish.
   1200. zack Posted: February 22, 2013 at 07:28 PM (#4374345)
Regarding the Spurs' midfield pairing, I've barely seen them play but I posted a similar observation back in January after the MU game: "And Parker was good but I thought he took Dembele out of the first half. Much less so in the second, I wonder if someone talked to him." So Mattbert, if the support of someone who doesn't know what they're talking about helps, I agree.
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