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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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   1401. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4377164)
This game is a nice reminder that Josh McEachran exists and is apparently playing on loan in the Championship now (though not in this game, obviously).
   1402. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 27, 2013 at 03:55 PM (#4377168)
Glanced over to the Chelsea game... Who is Ake? Apparently Marin can't even get in a game over Benayoun.
   1403. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4377170)
Who is Ake?

18-year-old DC/DM (primarily defensive mid), Dutch, Chelsea youth product. He's apparently pretty good - he's been really good in the first ten minutes of this game, if that's any indication (it isn't, really). Looks a lot like Ruud Gullit in his hairstyle (not in his style of play).
   1404. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 27, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4377174)
Bayern are pressing especially heavily on Dortmund's center backs, and it's leading to lots of long balls and wasted possession. That heavy pressing style is a pretty Dortmund-y way of playing, no?

Also, I like watching Javi Martinez, even when he's not on the ball. He lumbers around like some great dumb beast, and then suddenly he's exactly where he needs to be, breaking up an attack before it starts and playing a smart ball to get possession going.
   1405. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 27, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4377175)
Who would have thought that Joey Barton and David Beckham would be playing against each other in the French Cup.
   1406. SuperGrover Posted: February 27, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4377192)
My God I need Swedish Chef as my personal Excel consultant. You have no idea how many hours I have wasted trying to figure out the Inverse Poisson Distribution in Excel. Had planned on doing it in R (which I need to learn) but gave up and just started writing a crap blog instead.

SO I would assume you would need to create a Zero-inflated Poisson to account for the preponderance of NIL scores, correct? If so, how the hell do you do that in Excel? I could never figure it out although gave up fairly quickly.

@ MCoA -

Good stuff lad. I have yet to work on Monte Carlo simulations for my ratings but it's something I've wanted to try.
   1407. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: February 27, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4377194)
Half time can't come soon enough...
   1408. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 27, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4377197)
Robben special!
   1409. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: February 27, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4377199)
Well, they've earned that goal.
   1410. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: February 27, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4377202)
Crap
   1411. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 27, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4377204)
Entirely deserved goal. This has been amazingly one-sided given the quality of both sides. That defensive error looked like a function of exhaustion - no one from Dortmund immediately jumped out to get on the ball when it was free in the box.

Be interesting to see what changes Klopp makes at half time.
   1412. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 27, 2013 at 04:27 PM (#4377214)
Also, in relation that (really cool) site linked by zack on the last page - the guy who runs the site isn't entirely clear about his methodology, but based on what he says, it seems like it shouldn't work.

-He says he uses log5 for W/L and just assigns draws randomly to make up the proper percentages.
-He says he assigns goals randomly, 1-5 for the winner, fewer for the loser. (Assume something similar with draws).

But the results certainly look plausible. Nonetheless, not a fan of his method, if it's as I'm reading it.

I agree with zack that I don't understand how City rate above United if he's just using goal difference. Everything else fits a GD model as opposed to an xG model (system likes Chelsea over Tottenham, doesn't rate Everton, doesn't hate Reading), except for the City / United ratings.
   1413. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: February 27, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4377230)
Götze should probably start taking one or two of those shots he's been getting after beating three guys, instead of running into the fourth. Need more from Reus, he has been MIA.
   1414. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: February 27, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4377236)
This is a little more like it.
   1415. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4377240)
Chelsea go up 1-0 on a Ramires shot which deflects off the top of Torres' shoulder/back of head. Not sure who is going to get it (Ramires is claiming it).
   1416. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 05:18 PM (#4377257)
Really pretty little play between Oscar, Hazard (who came on for Benayoun for some reason), and Moses, who scores to double the advantage. Chelsea pretty much streaming forward now - as I type this, Oscar just misses outside the right post.

Ake update: He's been very, very solid. Most of his interceptions have been successful (he's been really good about getting the ball and completely avoiding the player, which is impressive. It's not just blundering through the man, it's targeted at the ball), he's composed on the ball and distributes quickly (and very hard; his passes have a lot of bite on them, which it sometimes seems the other players aren't quite ready for, but, imho a bit more bite/speed would be good for Chelsea's play), and, while he's made a few positional things, he seems to have more than enough speed to both make up for them and close down players further up the pitch. If this is how he plays normally (in a higher-level game), then I'm a fan.
   1417. SuperGrover Posted: February 27, 2013 at 05:22 PM (#4377261)
Chelsea go up 1-0 on a Ramires shot which deflects off the top of Torres' shoulder/back of head. Not sure who is going to get it (Ramires is claiming it).


Has to be Torres right? HE SCORES WHEN HE WANTS IN THE FA CUP!
   1418. SuperGrover Posted: February 27, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4377263)
Dup
   1419. ursus arctos Posted: February 27, 2013 at 06:36 PM (#4377299)
Benitez has reportedly gone on an epic rant in his post game presser, slamming the lack of support from the fans and management and confirming that he won't be back next season.
   1420. SuperGrover Posted: February 27, 2013 at 07:06 PM (#4377313)
   1421. Mattbert Posted: February 27, 2013 at 09:50 PM (#4377368)
I wonder if Rafa will start posting here once he gets canned. After all, he's just another football hipster with a tactics blog.
   1422. JuanGone..except1game Posted: February 27, 2013 at 10:18 PM (#4377381)
Here it is:

Don't you ever change Rafa!


WOW!! Didn't know that bath salts were a thing in London as well. I really should get on playing my violin for Sad Rafa.

Ake update: He's been very, very solid. Most of his interceptions have been successful (he's been really good about getting the ball and completely avoiding the player, which is impressive. It's not just blundering through the man, it's targeted at the ball), he's composed on the ball and distributes quickly


It's obvious that a "metronome" guy in the back of midfield is really Chelsea's greatest weakness, possibly even more than having an impotent striker. For me, getting stiff armed by those damn, dreaded Spurs for Modric is easily the biggest missed opportunity for the last two seasons. I think that you would see a completely different team with someone who could link the defense and attacking band. Ramires, Lampard and Mikel just can't play that role and Luiz is just way to inconsistent to trust. Ake played the role well today, though he's still to green to trust against bid competition. I actually commend Rafa for giving that a go, as Ake's been thought of as mostly a defender.
   1423. SuperGrover Posted: February 27, 2013 at 10:29 PM (#4377386)
I wonder if Rafa will start posting here once he gets canned. After all, he's just another football hipster with a tactics blog.


That is wonderful.
   1424. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: February 27, 2013 at 11:02 PM (#4377401)
All things considered, I don't think Dortmund played too badly today. The first half was complete garbage, but they picked things up in the second half and had a few decent chances to score. Reus had his worst game of the season, Grosskreutz has lost any talent he may have had last year, and Felipe Santana is not very good. I am hoping Hummels will be healthy by next Tuesday.
   1425. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: February 28, 2013 at 01:50 AM (#4377469)
And I don't think this has been mentioned yet, but the US qualified for the U20 World Cup yesterday. So yay for that.
   1426. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 28, 2013 at 08:18 AM (#4377486)
So, was anything Rafa said wrong, though?
   1427. jmurph Posted: February 28, 2013 at 09:04 AM (#4377496)
So, was anything Rafa said wrong, though?


Came here to say the same thing. Even though it won't change a thing, I think the fans deserved the dressing down.
   1428. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 28, 2013 at 09:14 AM (#4377503)
Jozy scored a couple of goals yesterday against Ajax to put AZ in the Dutch Cup final.
   1429. Tike Redman's Shattered Dreams (shayborg) Posted: February 28, 2013 at 11:01 AM (#4377562)
Jozy scored a couple of goals yesterday against Ajax to put AZ in the Dutch Cup final.

His second goal was a fantastic chip from about 40 yards out. He also set up another goal with a perfect through ball (right after a handball that wasn't called). Highlights are here, though you can skip to about 4:05 if you don't want to see Ajax dominating for 70 minutes and creating a ton of chances without really coming close to scoring.
   1430. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 28, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4377567)
Dan is er niks aan de hand!

I'm going to guess this means "It hit his hand!" in Dutch.
   1431. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 28, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4377596)
So...how bad is it going to be at Stamford Bridge Saturday? Surely the Chelsea supporters will be reasonable?
   1432. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 28, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4377601)
What Berbatov would be if he weren't a footballer

A philosopher? No. A perpetual grad student? No. A jazz pianist? No. A morally conflicted underworld figure? Nope, not that either.
   1433. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 28, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4377611)
So...how bad is it going to be at Stamford Bridge Saturday? Surely the Chelsea supporters will be reasonable?


They've been booing him, mocking him and singing songs extolling the virtues of his predecessor and he was already a virtual certainty to be unemployed no later than May 15th. What else are they going to do? At this point Rafa really loses nothing by making the complete heel turn (and really, he did a hell of a job with it). At this point the worst possible result is that they miss the Champions League, that's no skin off Rafa's nose he ain't managing them in August and I think he's got enough of a track record that he'll land a pretty good job if he wants it no matter what the rest of the year holds.
   1434. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 28, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4377651)
Where can Rafa go next? He does have a great-looking resume but his last few stops have been disasters and he openly feuds with owners. "Smaller" clubs might take him but he seems to want to manage only top clubs with lots of money.
   1435. Spivey Posted: February 28, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4377653)
It's so ####### obnoxious that Altidore isn't the starting forward for USMNT.
   1436. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 28, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4377654)
They've been booing him, mocking him and singing songs extolling the virtues of his predecessor and he was already a virtual certainty to be unemployed no later than May 15th. What else are they going to do?

You don't think they can dig a little deeper? If West Brom score first Cameron will have to call in the troops.

Where can Rafa go next?

I can't see him getting a job at a mega bastard club now, but I think he can get something at a level just below that or a prime international job. He's got an impressive CV. I can also see him beginning the Svennis stage of his career where he wanders from one lucrative short time gig to another until he's eventually the house pet of some sheik or prince in Saudi Arabia or Qatar.
   1437. SuperGrover Posted: February 28, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4377662)
Came here to say the same thing. Even though it won't change a thing, I think the fans deserved the dressing down.


Disagree. The underlying message of the Benitez backlash was to reject the actions of the board for firing RDM. The fans realized it was ludicrous to let the guy go after winning the UCL and then sitting top 3 in the EPL simply because of a few bad games. It didn't matter who was brought in, the fans were never going to accept the absurdity of Chelsea's management.

Rafa internalized this as something about him. It wasn't. However, he could have turned the fans by having his team clearly outperform RDM's. It didn't, so the feeling never went away.

He should have known what he was getting into and not taking it some damn personally. If he didn't, he's pretty clueless.
   1438. SuperGrover Posted: February 28, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4377666)
A philosopher? No. A perpetual grad student? No. A jazz pianist? No. A morally conflicted underworld figure? Nope, not that either.


I was thinking gigolo. Starving artist was not in my top ten.
   1439. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: February 28, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4377681)
It's so ####### obnoxious that Altidore isn't the starting forward for USMNT.


He started against Honduras, no?
   1440. Spivey Posted: February 28, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4377688)


He started against Honduras, no?


Maybe he did. My comment has been exposed as being uninformed as to the last few games. So hopefully I'm wrong and it is a thing of the past.
   1441. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: February 28, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4377693)
Oops double post.
   1442. Swedish Chef Posted: February 28, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4377696)
I think he's got enough of a track record that he'll land a pretty good job if he wants it no matter what the rest of the year holds.

I think he is firmly on the Svennis track now. Managers tend to go downhill (and downmarket) fast.
   1443. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 28, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4377704)
Disagree. The underlying message of the Benitez backlash was to reject the actions of the board for firing RDM. The fans realized it was ludicrous to let the guy go after winning the UCL and then sitting top 3 in the EPL simply because of a few bad games. It didn't matter who was brought in, the fans were never going to accept the absurdity of Chelsea's management.

Rafa internalized this as something about him. It wasn't. However, he could have turned the fans by having his team clearly outperform RDM's. It didn't, so the feeling never went away.
Agree and disagree.

The response of Chelsea fans got personal pretty quick, in my observation. Benitez's history of mocking Chelsea fans mattered, and the mockery of Benitez, the fat Spanish waiter, has had a significantly Benitez-specific quality from the beginning. It wasn't just about the board or RDM, it was about Rafa.

At the same time, Benitez didn't just say that fans were getting personal. He blamed the fans for Chelsea losing, for the atmosphere at the Bridge not being conducive to winning. To quote:
[The fans] have to take responsibility too. If they put players under pressure, they don't create a good atmosphere at Stamford Bridge, they have to realise they are making a big mistake because the rest of the fans would like to see the team in the Champions League next year.
That is some dumb-assed blame shifting, and I don't blame Chelsea fans at all for calling it such.
   1444. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 28, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4377716)
I updated the spreadsheets using the Chef's suggestions. (I didn't use the Match function, but instead a bunch of embedded If statements to save cells and memory, but the underlying concept is identical.) Goals scored now modeled by Poisson.

To SG's concern that the Poisson underpredicts nil scores, that doesn't look like a huge divergence. From 2001-2012, I count 28.7% of team-games without a goal, compared to a Poisson prediction of 26.9%. It appears to have larger divergences at higher numbers, which might be more of a concern. I'll have to take a look.

The results came out pretty similarly, but I'm happier with the underlying model. It's not nearly as fudgy anymore.
   1445. Mattbert Posted: February 28, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4377741)
Carlo Ancelotti raises the bar on Rafa's football hipster cred by blogging about tactics in Italian.

This entry is about how to press effectively when playing 4-4-2 against 5-3-2/3-5-2.
   1446. Mattbert Posted: February 28, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4377752)
Oh man, some of the Google translations on Ancelotti's site are fabulous. This is from a different entry about a certain training exercise he likes for improving possession:
The team in possession of the ball deep search through the entries from the rear gate release boobies side bands, trade, triangulation, and cuts the attackers.
   1447. SuperGrover Posted: February 28, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4377757)
The team in possession of the ball deep search through the entries from the rear gate release boobies side bands, trade, triangulation, and cuts the attackers.


Is that straight from Pochettino's Man City pregame speech?
   1448. SuperGrover Posted: February 28, 2013 at 02:56 PM (#4377760)
The response of Chelsea fans got personal pretty quick, in my observation. Benitez's history of mocking Chelsea fans mattered, and the mockery of Benitez, the fat Spanish waiter, has had a significantly Benitez-specific quality from the beginning. It wasn't just about the board or RDM, it was about Rafa.


Yeah you are probably right, but he had to KNOW this was going to happen. Chelsea fans didn't like him to begin with and were irate at the firing of RDM. How did he think they'd react?

His rant about interim was pretty ridiculous as well. I am presuming they titled him interim because the contract he signed was for an extremely short duration. Hence the term interim. Had they decided to keep him long term a new, longer duration contract would have been signed and the interim label removed.
   1449. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 28, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4377762)
Boobies!
   1450. ursus arctos Posted: February 28, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4377791)
The best part is that the concept is completely absent from the original.
   1451. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 28, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4377794)
So would someone like to take over posting the thread each month? I'm attempting to enter something of a semi-retirement from BBTF, so if someone wants to take this over, I'd be most appreciative.
   1452. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 28, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4377797)
So would someone like to take over posting the thread each month? I'm attempting to enter something of a semi-retirement from BBTF, so if someone wants to take this over, I'd be most appreciative.

What? I have not yet begun to make proper West Ham jokes. You aren't leaving until you've been properly zinged.

I nominate one of the Matt's to take over posting the thread as I will make a Rafa Benitez out of it.
   1453. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 28, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4377812)
What? I have not yet begun to make proper West Ham jokes.
Are we still planning to get together with Travelin' Matt on Sunday for the NLD? If so, I can explain more in full then.

As for West Ham jokes, I doubt you can do better than the one they put over on me by playing a game every week.
   1454. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 28, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4377820)
Are we still planning to get together with Travelin' Matt on Sunday for the NLD? If so, I can explain more in full then.

Mattbert and I were just corresponding about that! Do any other of you knuckleheads want to meet up? I don't want to lay claim to RB's swingin' bachelor pad if it's going to be more than just 3 people. (I have a colleague in from out of town--a big Hammer fan, actually--who might want to take in the game with us, too.) Seems like Matt Clement should come out for old time's sake.
   1455. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 28, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4377830)
If it's more than 3 people, the invite to RB's Swinin' Bachelor Pad is revoked, because that's about the maximum occupany. I'm in either way, just let me know if I need to prepare in some manner for guests.
   1456. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 28, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4377841)
Damn, I'd love to come, but I am going to be out of town for the NLD. I will likely be watching in the same mostly empty small town bar with no one else there who cares about the game in which I watched the Old Trafford game, so there's that. Hope y'all have a good time.

I have keys, so I'm happy to take over thread posting duties. Anyone got a snappy opening line for me?
   1457. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 28, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4377842)
If it's more than 3 people, the invite to RB's Swinin' Bachelor Pad is revoked, because that's about the maximum occupany. I'm in either way, just let me know if I need to prepare in some manner for guests.

Let's nail it down tomorrow then to give anyone else who might want to join up a chance. I'm a little nervous I may make an ass out of myself if Spurs lose, though. I'm also a little nervous I'll make an ass of myself if Spurs win.
   1458. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 28, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4377850)
I'm a little nervous I may make an ass out of myself if Spurs lose, though. I'm also a little nervous I'll make an ass of myself if Spurs win.
Well, I'm confident you can make an ass of yourself whatever the result!
   1459. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: February 28, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4377862)
I have keys, so I'm happy to take over thread posting duties. Anyone got a snappy opening line for me?

Since this is SPURS THINK FACTORY, I would have no problem with Spurs CFBPS for each following month in the intro. Assuming you ever get done renoobulating it.
   1460. user Posted: February 28, 2013 at 05:16 PM (#4377891)
To SG's concern that the Poisson underpredicts nil scores, that doesn't look like a huge divergence. From 2001-2012, I count 28.7% of team-games without a goal, compared to a Poisson prediction of 26.9%. It appears to have larger divergences at higher numbers, which might be more of a concern. I'll have to take a look.


The following might be of interest.

www.math.ku.dk/~rolf/teaching/thesis/DixonColes.pdf
   1461. ursus arctos Posted: February 28, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4377905)
If I were Shooty, I'd be more worried about Ackman than Tottenham.
   1462. SuperGrover Posted: February 28, 2013 at 05:51 PM (#4377934)
I have keys, so I'm happy to take over thread posting duties. Anyone got a snappy opening line for me?


See post #1449
   1463. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 28, 2013 at 06:23 PM (#4377968)
If I were Shooty, I'd be more worried about Ackman than Tottenham.

Sorry for going briefly off topic, but what happened today? I saw they suspended trading on HLF but I left the office before I saw why. Am I going to need to change my handle?
   1464. ursus arctos Posted: February 28, 2013 at 06:43 PM (#4377975)
Icahn's getting two directors and approval to raise his stake to 25%.

Stock was up 7 percent.
   1465. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 28, 2013 at 06:45 PM (#4377976)
Ah. Icahn is still trying to bully the little Jewish kids in the schoolyard, I see. I think I'll hang onto my handle a while yet.
   1466. ursus arctos Posted: February 28, 2013 at 06:52 PM (#4377979)
Given stunts like this, I find it hard to take sides.
   1467. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 28, 2013 at 07:09 PM (#4377986)
Given stunts like this, I find it hard to take sides.

Ha! Ackman is a bit of a douche, but Herbalife is evil and I hope he takes them down.
   1468. ursus arctos Posted: February 28, 2013 at 07:18 PM (#4377991)
Which provides the perfect segue for this bizarre clip of Messi playing cricket.
   1469. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 28, 2013 at 07:49 PM (#4378007)
His bowling action is worse than Lasith Malinga's.

The one where he kicks it, on the other hand? If this had been around in 2001, I'm sure Aamir Khan would have fit him into "Lagaan" somehow.
   1470. frannyzoo Posted: February 28, 2013 at 09:51 PM (#4378070)
Herbalife is code for Scientology, right? Or Zumba? Or both?

Messi reminds me of Manti Te'o, but with much more talent. I worry about the kid. I can only imagine how Franco would have used him at this point. He's vulnerable.

And I hope he doesn't even see the pitch v. Real this weekend. Better four v. Milan than even showing up in a meaningless "Classico."
   1471. Mattbert Posted: February 28, 2013 at 10:44 PM (#4378091)
I have keys, so I'm happy to take over thread posting duties. Anyone got a snappy opening line for me?

I don't have keys, and I am often only dimly aware of the arrival of a new month. So, glad that's sorted.

I am looking forward to RB's announcement that he's been short-listed for the papacy.
   1472. Swedish Chef Posted: March 01, 2013 at 03:39 AM (#4378155)
Rafa Benítez just another face to be airbrushed out of the picture
One of the players – his identity would be a grave disappointment to Chelsea's supporters – has been behind a lot of it.


Would anybody actually be surprised if John Terry is outed to be a high-maintenance primadonna behind the scenes? Of course, it might not actually be Terry.
   1473. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 01, 2013 at 09:12 AM (#4378180)
Gotta be Lampard, right?
   1474. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: March 01, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4378273)
I am looking forward to RB's announcement that he's been short-listed for the papacy.
I know the Catholic Church is in rough shape, but they aren't in that rough shape, I assure you.

And if I were short-listed for Pope, that would not stop me from posting here. Though my posts might have to be in Latin.
   1475. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 01, 2013 at 11:19 AM (#4378274)
Defoe will be on the bench against Arsenal.

Checking out some of the lower league standings I see Wolves are in the relegation zone in the Championship and they're playing Watford today. Of the 3 clubs that were relegated last year, I would have taken them as the favorites to bounce back up. I was wrong.
   1476. ursus arctos Posted: March 01, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4378324)
Wolves are sort of like the Pittsburgh Pirates (with Billy Wright as Honus Wagner).

Even when things seem to be looking up for them, they'll find a way to screw it up.
   1477. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: March 01, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4378331)
Gotta be Lampard, right?


Or Cech?
   1478. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 01, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4378333)
Or Cech?

Now, that would shock me. Mata would be the other one that would be shocking.
   1479. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 01, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4378335)
So...anyone else up for the NLD in New York Sunday?
   1480. Mattbert Posted: March 01, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4378340)
So...anyone else up for the NLD in New York Sunday?

You made the mistake of confirming that I'll be there. Attendance killer.
   1481. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: March 01, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4378341)
Now, that would shock me. Mata would be the other one that would be shocking.


I was thinking Mata too, but the way the sentence preceding it was worded, it led me to believe that it was someone with more tenure.
   1482. PepTech Posted: March 01, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4378344)
OK, somebody please tell me if I should be excited or worried that Martins has ditched Levante for SoundersFC. I like the idea of a true striker, but the timing strikes me as odd. How does this happen outside a window? And is he a team player?
   1483. ursus arctos Posted: March 01, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4378356)
I'd be excited about Martins. He was at Inter for a couple of the seasons that we had season tickets, and was always fun to watch. He's very much a team player, and generally has a very positive attitude; he just wasn't quite up to Champions League/Scudetto standard (whereas Crespo and Zlatan were), but did decently at Wolfsburg and Levante, and should do well at Seattle. The one concern I would have is potential injury, particularly from playing on turf.

The MLS window is open until 15 April, the fact that the Spanish window is closed isn't relevant.

FC BARCELONA THINK FACTORY

Xavi has a "slight tear" of his hamstring, and is expected to be out for two weeks, including the return leg against Milan.
   1484. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: March 01, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4378359)
OK, somebody please tell me if I should be excited or worried that Martins has ditched Levante for SoundersFC. I like the idea of a true striker, but the timing strikes me as odd. How does this happen outside a window? And is he a team player?


Transfer window applies to the league that the player is going to, and MLS still has its international transfer window open. Seattle's been hit or miss with their DPs. Rosales and Montero are/were very good, Ljungberg was good for one year, Nkufo barely played, Tiffert is MIA. I'd be cautious.
   1485. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 01, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4378374)
Have any of you stat guys read this paper?

The gist is that crossing is inefficient.
   1486. PepTech Posted: March 01, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4378376)
Transfer window applies to the league that the player is going to

Seemingly obvious in retrospect, thanks DA (and UA).

Count me among those who've been unimpressed by Tiffert to date. Rosales, when not hurt, has been aces; I too think the turf factor for international players is huge. I wonder if a few (more) injuries to high-profile DPs could start a movement back to grass, and whether MLS would (or could) consider such a thing.
   1487. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: March 01, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4378384)
The gist is that crossing is inefficient.

You needed a study to tell you that?

The primary benefit of crossing, is making the other team defend against it, opening up some space in the midle of the pitch.
   1488. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 01, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4378386)
You needed a study to tell you that?

I don't choose a flavor of Pop Tart without a study, good sir.

edit: Also, I should have been more clear on the paper's conclusion, it's not just that it's inefficient, but that it has NEGATIVE impact on scoring for the top teams.
   1489. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: March 01, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4378391)
I don't choose a flavor of Pop Tart without a study, good sir.

Duh, chocolate fudge.
   1490. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 01, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4378393)
Duh, chocolate fudge.

Well, obviously I'll need a source for this.
   1491. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: March 01, 2013 at 02:10 PM (#4378408)
Count me among those who've been unimpressed by Tiffert to date. Rosales, when not hurt, has been aces; I too think the turf factor for international players is huge. I wonder if a few (more) injuries to high-profile DPs could start a movement back to grass, and whether MLS would (or could) consider such a thing.


There are only four stadiums in MLS that are turf and three are shared with football teams: Seattle, New England and Vancouver. Only Portland is turf and not shared. While it certainly doesn't help, it doesn't really seem to be a problem either, those four teams (21% of the league) have 7 DPs combined (26% of the DPs). Until every team has a SSS turf is always going to be there, and Seattle is never going to move and New England is not going to until they're finally sold to an ownership that cares.
   1492. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: March 01, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4378413)
Duh, chocolate fudge.

Well, obviously I'll need a source for this.
In Fudge we trust, all others must have data.

Shooty & Mattbert, you guys still have my e-mail, right?
   1493. ursus arctos Posted: March 01, 2013 at 02:23 PM (#4378417)
Turf in MLS isn't the major problem it was for the NASL (when it was ubiquitous and awful), but I do have some concerns about a player who plays his home matches on it (as well as the games in Portland and Vancouver), particularly because a) Martins has a history of leg injuries (including a stress fracture), b) has quite a percussive style, and c) is of indeterminate age (few people believe he is really 28).

He's still fun enough to watch that I'm bummed that Seattle aren't coming to Harrison this season.
   1494. PepTech Posted: March 01, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4378439)
Seattle aren't coming to Harrison this season

Looking at the overhead images for that place, it sure seems like it's, ah, off the beaten track. Is that a giant warehouse? Where's the nearest pub?

Get that second team in NYC and Seattle can visit every year.

I had not realized we in the NW had the corner on turf; not sure why I assumed it was more pervasive.
   1495. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 01, 2013 at 03:07 PM (#4378445)
Looking at the overhead images for that place, it sure seems like it's, ah, off the beaten track. Is that a giant warehouse? Where's the nearest pub?

I can see it from my office window! It's a short walk to Newark's Ironbound district that has plenty of bars and restaurants. The company that owns the land has plans to build it up. I maintain that all that riverfront property in and around Newark is just going to waste and could spark a revival of the whole area, but I'm not a billionaire real estate developer.
   1496. I am going to be Frank Posted: March 01, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4378513)
The area immediately surrounding the stadium are parking lots and abandoned factories/warehouses. I'm sure there were plans to redevelop the area but the economy going to hell slowed it down. As Shooty said Ironbound has bars and Portuguese restaurants but its not right there. I could see walking through an old industrial area across an old bridge would turn off some people.

I have a friend who bought/renovated a building into condos not too far from the train station/Prudential Center. I think he sold all the units but its generally a tough sell. Its ok during the day but I would not want to be walking in the area once it gets dark. Fundamentally schools and proximity to mass transit to the city are what sell Jersey real estate and Newark has some terrible schools. Commuters should love Newark but there just aren't that many people that want to live there. Getting in out and out of Newark by car can be a pain because there isn't much within the walking area for shopping (Target, Whole Foods, malls and such). There are some cultural things around but most people come in and get out as quickly as possible. Even the bars work on that schedule I went to a Nets game before they moved to Brooklyn and after the game my friends and I went to the bar right next to the Prudential Center. They were basically shooing us out at 11:30.

Also Jersey City is much closer to Manhattan and there are a bunch of efforts to build up areas around some suburban train stations.
   1497. zack Posted: March 01, 2013 at 04:31 PM (#4378519)
Have any of you stat guys read this paper?

Obviously crossing isn't very efficient, but I don't think that paper supports it's conclusions at all. It is just a simple linear regression of the number of "good" and "bad" crosses a team takes on their goals scored. I'm with Tango of the opinion that linear regressions are almost never the correct tool for sports analysis, so that may have biased me against it. But this doesn't really prove anything, my first thought is that the shear quantity of crosses is just a proxy for the number of defenders behind you. It doesn't differentiate between crosses on the break and those against a packed box. There's also a big game theory component that is ignored, if you never crossed. It's been a looooooong time since I took econometrics so I could be misinterpreting, of course, but it's such a simple regression that I can't believe it's accurate. Need access to the data.
   1498. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: March 01, 2013 at 04:54 PM (#4378539)
I'm not a billionaire real estate developer.

Your life must be a series of disappointments to your parents.
   1499. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 01, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4378550)
New thread up. The opening bit clearly smacks of effort. I'll do better next time.
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