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Tuesday, January 01, 2013

OT: The Soccer Thread: January 2013

Because the first sporting event of 2013 that I watched was a soccer match.

fra paolo Posted: January 01, 2013 at 03:38 PM | 1784 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   1501. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:01 AM (#4358111)
Hoo boy. I'm glad I didn't stay up to watch the Nats last night.


Good news: you didn't miss anything. Bad news: you didn't miss anything.
   1502. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:26 AM (#4358129)
The bracket for the Next Gen knockout stage

In case anyone is interested.

Chelsea v Barca
Spurs v PSG
Arsenal v Inter
Aston Villa v Ajax
Liverpool v Sporting CP

Spurs get a really tough draw. If they beat PSG they get Barca or Chelsea.
   1503. Mattbert Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4358144)
Also...

Olympiacos v Anderlecht
Juve v Rosenborg
CSKA Moscow v PSV Eindhoven
   1504. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4358151)
   1505. JuanGone..except1game Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4358156)
Chelsea tried to sign Jack Butland even though they have a fine keeper already on loan at Atletico.


Chelsea has a tough decision on goal keepers starting this summer. Courtouis (21), who is widely thought of as the second best or some say best keeper in La Liga this year, is very likely going to be a target of Barca and other clubs. He's on contract for another 2 years, but he's definitely ready to start. Keepers age differently so I'm not worried about Cech (31), but there will need to be a decision on whether you can ride out Cech for another 5 years or start the future now.
   1506. Mefisto Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4358160)
Arjun, some people are interpreting Amy Rodriguez's pregnancy as a graceful way to step down from the WNT without getting cut. Seems plausible.

I'll be sad to see her go on one level. She is exactly my daughter's age, and they trained with the same trainer one summer. My daughter was really impressed at how strong ARod was. It was kind of nice to say that my daughter knew someone on the WNT. It's a shame she never lived up to her promise.
   1507. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4358161)
   1508. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4358168)
and Inter are dragging their feet on the Coutinho deal until they can lock down a couple of incoming players.

Not sure where exactly you're getting your "news" from, but the deal's been announced on LFC's website. The delay was likely due to LFC/Coutinho trying to secure a work permit.
   1509. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4358169)
If they do sign Jack Butland hopefully they send him out on loan nonstop instead of having him sit on the bench for five years like Turnbull. Backup goalkeeper is an oldish man's game.
   1510. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4358172)
Not sure where exactly you're getting your "news" from, but the deal's been announced on LFC's website. The delay was likely due to LFC/Coutinho trying to secure a work permit.

ESPN is stupid, that's where!
   1511. ursus arctos Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4358176)
I'm a big fan of Courtois and think that Chelsea would be making a very large mistake if they sell him to a club that would inevitably be one of their Champions League rivals.

One possible stop gap which appears to have been discussed is loaning him to a Championship club for next season, so as to give him experience of the English game (which is demonstrably different for keepers, as De Gea's experience has shown).
   1512. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4358183)
I guess that knee injury explains why Twente were willing to sell a player in the middle of a title challenge. D'oh!
   1513. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4358200)
Arjun, some people are interpreting Amy Rodriguez's pregnancy as a graceful way to step down from the WNT without getting cut. Seems plausible.

This seems very reasonable, yeah. I hadn't thought of that way, but it does make a lot of sense.
I'll be sad to see her go on one level. She is exactly my daughter's age, and they trained with the same trainer one summer. My daughter was really impressed at how strong ARod was. It was kind of nice to say that my daughter knew someone on the WNT. It's a shame she never lived up to her promise.

Yeah, it is. She has had some really great moments in the uniform, though, which I guess is all anyone can ask for.
For you fans of musicals.

You have no idea how happy this made me. So anyway, here's the equivalence, I think:
Jim White - Jean Valjean (I am not okay with this)
Marouane Fellaini - Marius (that, err, sort of makes sense?)
Darren Bent - Eponine (well, I guess he is, at Villa, at least)
nobody - Cosette (well, technically Fellaini sings all of her lines, but still, that's the peril in having no individual lines in the song)
Roman Abramovich - Enjolras (*I'm* okay with that^, but I guess you all would find Javert more appropriate for him)
Arsene Wenger - Javert (forget it, this one is actually sort of perfect)
Harry Redknapp - the Thenardiers (this one is also perfect)

^ in the interest of full confession, like a seeming majority of Americans, I was in a production of Les Mis in high school and this was my role, so I actually really like this one, but that's my fandom showing.
   1514. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4358210)
Arsene Wenger - Javert (forget it, this one is actually sort of perfect)
Harry Redknapp - the Thenardiers (this one is also perfect)
Yeah, those are just so good they make the song. It's perfect that their lines don't appear until two minutes in - it gives the comedy a build to go with the melodrama of the song.

"Here a little wheel, there a little deal / What a t'riffic player, he's a bloody steal"
nobody - Cosette (well, technically Fellaini sings all of her lines, but still, that's the peril in having no individual lines in the song)
Also the peril of having one guy sing - he's already well beyond his range singing Bentonine's alto part.
   1515. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4358218)
Kei Kamara loaned to Norwich City, I say this only as an excuse to post Kamara's infamous miss.
   1516. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4358222)
Stop nerding out the youtube clip!
   1517. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4358228)
I love reading Spurs ITK blogs at the end of the window! Damiao! Willian! Diame! Bentley! Jenas! Negredo! Huddlestone! Son! Hooper! You'd think Daniel Levy were setting up a stall at Portobello Market.

edit: fixed some kind of freudian slip spelling error.
   1518. J. Sosa Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4358248)
The Defoe thing sounds like a really bad idea. From an LFC perspective, I'm very pleased that Spurs haven't pushed the boat out yet for a striker but I don't get it. I still think Spurs will hold on to fourth over Arsenal, Everton, and LFC, but one of those clubs might give them a run. I would think the prospect of Champions League would be enough to invest a little.

As I said regarding the handling of Lucas' comeback, I will never understand how PL teams handle players coming back from injury. I agree that the Defoe thing sounds sketchy. It never ceases to amaze me how every so often the Guardian or some other paper comes out with an article about how PEDs are unlikely to be used in football. Given the nature of the sport (soccer is pretty much all about stamina and recovery) I've always found that perspective naive. What exactly do they think the Milan Lab has been up to all these years?
   1519. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4358250)
I'm very pleased that Spurs haven't pushed the boat out yet for a striker but I don't get it.

No one does. I guess we'll see what happens tomorrow. There have been so many rumors but Harry Kane coming back from his loan at Norwich seems the most likely solution. Callejon on loan from Real Madrid is another semi-realistic possibility as I don't think Spurs are going to buy anyone else this window.
   1520. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4358256)
As a Red Sox fan, I am not in favor of rushing players back from injury.
   1521. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4358257)
One possible stop gap which appears to have been discussed is loaning him to a Championship club for next season, so as to give him experience of the English game (which is demonstrably different for keepers, as De Gea's experience has shown).


Why not loan him to a Premier League team? Loan him to a team like Reading or Southampton (or their equivalent next year) would give him top-level experience and a lot of shot-stopping opportunities, although the risk of loss of confidence would probably be something to worry about. I can't imagine Courtois wanting to stay at Chelsea if Barcelona bids and tells him he'll be their first choice keeper. Obviously Chelsea can say no, but Cech has got at least three of four more peak years.
   1522. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4358316)
Adebayor has been fouled twice now in the box with no call.
   1523. Mattbert Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4358318)
Jonathan Wilson is seriously, SERIOUSLY up in arms.
   1524. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4358320)
Jonathan Wilson is seriously, SERIOUSLY up in arms.

TBF, the ref has been terrible.
   1525. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4358322)
Oh my freaking god. This ref better not ever travel to Togo.

edit: On replay, maybe that was an ok call, but in the context of all the no-calls, it's really terrible.
   1526. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4358326)
Justice! Tunisia miss the pen!
   1527. SuperGrover Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4358327)
It never ceases to amaze me how every so often the Guardian or some other paper comes out with an article about how PEDs are unlikely to be used in football. Given the nature of the sport (soccer is pretty much all about stamina and recovery) I've always found that perspective naive. What exactly do they think the Milan Lab has been up to all these years?


Yep, seems like the perfect use case for recovery PEDs.
   1528. Mattbert Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4358329)
Dammit, I was kind of hoping for this incompetent/crooked ref to ensure that Adebayor returns to Spurs as soon as possible.
   1529. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4358339)
Jonathan Wilson ?@jonawils

Seriously, if he had any honour, Bennett would feign injury and let the fourth official take over.


Bwahahaha!
   1530. Mattbert Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4358342)
For a second I thought they'd coaxed Steve Bennett out of retirement for this tournament, but then a quick bit of googling revealed a far less entertaining explanation.

EDIT: The googling also revealed the requisite Wikipedia vandalization of referee Daniel Bennett's page. "Bennett mysteriously won the Tunisian lottery on January 30th, 2013."
   1531. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4358352)
More plasma voodoo for Jermain Defoe...Togo are through. North Africa is shut out of the knockout stage.
   1532. SuperGrover Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4358353)
Jelavic benched for Everton. Fellaini playing up front with Anichebe with Mirallas and Pienaar flanking. Best up front lineup in my opinion.
   1533. frannyzoo Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:56 PM (#4358355)
Jelavic to Juve in 3....2....1....
   1534. SuperGrover Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:16 PM (#4358366)
And Torres starts over Ba? Interesting...

EDIT: Interesting in that this is back-to-back starts for Torres. Was expecting game-by-game rotation or Ba to grab 3 out of 5.
   1535. Mattbert Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4358370)
Eagerly awaiting the appearance of doesrafabenitezgiveafuck.com on the internets soon.
   1536. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4358374)
I completely forgot Real and Barca play today. A ridiculous amount of soccer on this afternoon. I think I'll go Norwich-Spurs on screen 1 and Real-Barca on screen 2.
   1537. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4358383)
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Wisdom, Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson, Downing, Suarez, Sturridge. Subs: Jones, Jose Enrique, Allen, Borini, Sterling, Shelvey, Skrtel.

Interesting lineup for Liverpool. Carragher starting against Arsenal seems...questionable.
   1538. SuperGrover Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4358388)
Carragher starting against Arsenal seems...questionable.


Skrtel seems to be in the dog house at the moment. He hasn't been good recently, but seems a much better option than Carragher.

Wondering if Walcott up front might not be a better option than Giroud. Not sure Liverpool can handle his pace in the middle. Of course, Arsene knows best and Walcott is on the right again.
   1539. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4358394)
Wondering if Walcott up front might not be a better option than Giroud. Not sure Liverpool can handle his pace in the middle. Of course, Arsene knows best and Walcott is on the right again.

I think the problem is that even if Walcott is better than Giroud in the middle, Giroud is useless if he's not in the middle whereas Walcott and Podolski are still good out wide. So if you put Walcott central you waste Giroud on the bench.
   1540. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4358412)
Comical defending by Arsenal yields a Liverpool goal.
   1541. SuperGrover Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4358418)
BTW, Fellaini is NOT actually playing up front. From what I can tell from this crappy stream, Osman is playing up front rather than Fellaini, although there does seem to be some interchange.
   1542. Topher Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4358424)
It never ceases to amaze me how every so often the Guardian or some other paper comes out with an article about how PEDs are unlikely to be used in football.


I'm pretty sure that Sepp has declared that there are no PEDs in football. And if he hasn't declared it, that is only because it needn't be said.
   1543. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4358430)
Norwich are dominating Spurs right now.
   1544. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:11 PM (#4358432)
ManU 1-1 Southampton after 8 minutes.
   1545. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4358438)
Spurs are just awful and Norwich finally get their goal. I think Dempsey is sleepwalking.
   1546. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:20 PM (#4358440)
Maybe Dempsey stayed up late last night and watched that US match and still hasn't recovered.
   1547. ursus arctos Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4358444)
On PEDs, the Spanish gynecologist at the heart of the Operacion Puerto blood doping scandal in Spain has repeatedly said that he has treated footballers (and cyclists he treated have said that they saw footballers and other athletes in his waiting room). Unfortunately for those who would like to know more, the court in his trial (which just started) has restricted the area of inquiry to cycling.

And that's before one gets into the tangled web of what Juventus were or weren't doing in the first half of the aughts.
   1548. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4358454)
This is just putrid from Spurs. They can't put 3 passes together.
   1549. SuperGrover Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4358458)
Suarez is playing exceptionally. He is tracking extremely well on Sagna and Walcott, yet still manages to orchestrate offensive play. His work rate and endurance are very impressive.
   1550. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4358460)
Claudio Yacob comes on for West Brom and 2 minutes later concedes a penalty. Arsenal should sign him.
   1551. Mattbert Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4358461)
For an utter ####### turd of a game, that first half at Carrow Road really flew by. Skull-crushingly dreadful.
   1552. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4358469)
Spurs were just awful there. The midfield got dominated, the wingers barely touched the ball, and Dawson seems to think that Spurs attack consists of him feeding balls directly to Defoe. Oh, and Dempsey was terrible. Blah.
   1553. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:08 PM (#4358492)
Spurs need some of that Juventus juice.
   1554. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:14 PM (#4358503)
I'm glad West Ham managed to be level for, oh jeeze, 45 seconds, maybe?
   1555. SuperGrover Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:22 PM (#4358510)
That Bale guy is pretty good.
   1556. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4358512)
That was as classic a Gareth Bale goal as you will ever see. Almost exactly the same as the one he scored last year at Norwich. Holtby's energy and one touch passing have made a huge difference.
   1557. SuperGrover Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4358518)
And now I think Liverpool is paying for the first half insistence of Suarez to track back. He has nothing. Rodgers should have subbed him off instead of Sturridge.
   1558. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4358523)
Very frustrating game for Spurs but you can't expect to win when you don't show up for the first 60 minutes. Those 10 seconds from Bale made up for a lot, though.
   1559. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:42 PM (#4358527)
Yeah, I'll take a point from that. Holtby looked class, though pretty much anyone would have in comparison to Dempsey today.
   1560. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:51 PM (#4358535)
United holds on. Southampton outplayed United badly in the second half. Maybe the new coach was worth it.
   1561. SuperGrover Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:57 PM (#4358542)
United holds on. Southampton outplayed United badly in the second half. Maybe the new coach was worth it.


To be fair, Southampton outplayed United the first game as well.
   1562. SuperGrover Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4358546)
Oh and Adam Le Fondre is the bets player in the league in stoppage time.
   1563. J. Sosa Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:22 PM (#4358605)
Ursus,yeah Juventus was who I had in mind. I suspect the Milan Lab was a direct reaction to the Juventus tangled web. Given the timeline I don't think its a theory that requires much of a tin foil hat. Everyone tends to think of Juventian roid monsters when it comes to PEDs in football but I think its likely the Milan Lab found better uses for PEDs.
   1564. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:34 PM (#4358613)
I know this isn't an original point, but ManU are really uninspiring for a team that's running away with the league.
   1565. ursus arctos Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:54 PM (#4358634)
1563, I'm not sure that it really was a direct reaction as much as part of a more general trend.

Marseille were widely thought to be doping during the Tapie years (86 -94), in part because Tapie's first foray into sports was in cycling. MilanLab was founded in 2002, right around the time that Juve were building the inventory at their pharmacy and Parma were giving all of their players IV treatments before big matches. There was a general interest among Italian clubs in better living through chemistry that we are unlikely ever to know the full details of, and plenty of players who submitted to injections without any idea of what was in the syringe. And for what it's worth, the rules at the time were even vaguer than MLB's.
   1566. Mattbert Posted: January 30, 2013 at 10:47 PM (#4358714)
That was some goal by Bale. He really is a special player. Based on a quick survey of the blogosphere, the "he plays on the left" brigade is strangely silent just now. Good work by Hauptmann Holtby to start that counterattack, incidentally. He looks like a nice pickup. I think Adebayor and Sigurdsson will really enjoy playing with Holtby if they get the chance. It's so nice to have another player in that part of the pitch who is clever and has the technique to play one touch stuff in traffic. Watching a left-footed trequartista stroke it around while wearing the number 23 shirt made me think of van der Vaart, though. So I had a little cry.

Speaking of the Siggunator, sometime soon he is going to have a game where he comes on and scores a hat trick in about ten minutes and assists another two. His appearances the last two or three months have consistently been quiet but also quietly good. He works hard, he makes really smart runs to get into great positions (that Defoe and Dempsey pretty much never pick up on), and he's been beaten by the woodwork and some incredible goalkeeping on four or five occasions.

Back to Holtby, what impressed me the most besides his obvious skill was that he wasn't afraid to jump right into a tetchy, combative game and demand the ball straight away, all the time. That sort of energy and assertiveness is a good way to endear yourself to English fans right out of the gate. When that all goes wrong, though, you get...

Scott Parker, who looked like a kitten chasing a laser pointer out there. He should be slowly improving at this point, but in my view he's gotten steadily worse since coming back. Spurs really can't afford to be carrying a passenger in that area of the pitch while Scotty tries to play himself back into shape. He's a yard off the pace, his passing (never a strength to begin with) stinks, and he's surprisingly even lacking positional discipline as he tries to do too much too soon.

Spurs have already got holes elsewhere; they need that midfield to be solid if they're going to remain a team that's difficult to beat. A side with better attacking ability than Norwich (i.e. any attacking ability) would have scored a lot more than the one goal in that first half. Parker gets a free pass from way too many Spurs fans because he's tenacious and stuff. Tonight he was tenaciously terrible. I don't know if this means Livermore will get a shot or if this forces Levy's hand to meet Diame's release clause or try to swing some other stopgap deal.
   1567. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:46 PM (#4358743)
Missed the second half of today's game, so I missed all the good Holtby stuff. I wonder to what degree AVB's system requires a creative player in CAM, and Dempsey and Siggy are goal-scorers, not trequartistas. Dempsey was really terrible in the first half, though, so the problem could also be him.

News on the dawn of deadline day - thinly sourced reports of Everton turning their Fer money into Negredo, which would be a brilliant purchase. Just a pretty good striker would make a big difference for the toffees, who have been held back a lot by Jelavic's terribleness. And on the other side of things, reports of Sunderland buying Danny Graham from Swansea, which seems like a badly flawed team purchasing a good player and still not actually fixing any of their flaws. He's classic #9, and Fletcher's already the best player on that club.

Oh, and Damiao to Spurs. It was reported in a place. It's totally happening of course.
   1568. SuperGrover Posted: January 31, 2013 at 02:15 AM (#4358781)
Speaking of crazy ass Spurs transfers, FSC just said the Spurs are in the process of negotiating a Villa-Bale player transfer with money coming to Tottenham from Barca. Color me as skeptical, but thought I would mention it here at Spurs Think Factory.
   1569. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 31, 2013 at 07:57 AM (#4358806)
Beckham to PSG is being reported in real newspapers. That's nuts. Are they really going to sign Beckham for publicity and for a few lower-level league and cup games? Because there's no way a 37-year-old Beckham is going to help them win important games, right? He can place a pass, but he's not Pirlo. (Who in my head is 35, but it turns out is actually 33, so he's not a comp at all. In my defense, he has the face of a man not a day over 52.)
   1570. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 07:57 AM (#4358807)
Deadline day! Or, as I like to call it, Leandro Damiao rumor day!

Obviously Spurs are the weird rumor team today. From what I've gleaned at the various Spurs blogs is Spurs have about 20 million quid to spend on a player and it seems like first come first serve for Willian, David Villa or Leandro Damiao. Honestly, I think it's too late in the day for a transfer like this so I'm expecting nothing. David Bentley does seem set for a move to QPR which, since he's in the last 6 months of his contract, would effectively end his time as a Spurs player. I'm enjoying the comedy of Harry relying on Taarabt and bringing in Bentley more than I should. Too bad he couldn't get any kind of performance out of Taarabt when he was in the lilywhite. The David Villa-Bale swap doesn't pass the smell test, of course. Villa's wife just had a baby so I don't think he'll be moving anywhere this window. I don't know why Spurs are even trying.

Negredo to Everton would be a nice piece of business for them.

Oh, and some tosser named Beckham is signing for PSG. What a great football move that is...

edit: coke to Matt on the Beckham news.
   1571. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:14 AM (#4358810)
Paul Scharner and Aiden McGeady to Wigan. Becchio moves from Leeds to Norwich City.

edit: Jermain Jenas and Kris Samba to QPR, as well. Jenas and Bentley! Triffic!
   1572. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:16 AM (#4358813)
Chris Samba to QPR is for real. He's a huge upgrade over Derry/Nelsen at the back. He's also coming due to QPR paying his £12M release clause and his £100k per week wages. Let's just say I'm not sure how QPR's business model works. How much money do they project to make from the new TV contracts if they stay up?
   1573. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:18 AM (#4358814)
Solid burn from the Guardian transfer deadline day MBM:
SKY EXCLUSIVE: "Ok, strap yourselves in, it's 12 o'clock, it's lunchtime, we're into the afternoon." Sky now understand the very concept of time.
   1574. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:24 AM (#4358815)
Chris Samba to QPR is for real. He's a huge upgrade over Derry/Nelsen at the back. He's also coming due to QPR paying his £12M release clause and his £100k per week wages. Let's just say I'm not sure how QPR's business model works. How much money do they project to make from the new TV contracts if they stay up?

I don't think Fernandes cares about the money. It's all ego now.
   1575. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:28 AM (#4358818)
   1576. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:34 AM (#4358820)
Freiburg news! They're are signing Hendrick Zuck from Kaiserlautern. I have no idea who he is but I'm happy for some Freiburg news! This has been your Freiburg news moment.

edit: Some weirdness with Andros Townsend today. He was all set for his medical at QPR and then someone called him at the last minute and told him to head back to North London. Strange.
   1577. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:50 AM (#4358825)
Aston Villa have signed Yacouba Sylla from Ligue 2 side Clermont. No word if they're trying to get some guy named Charybdis from PAOK.
   1578. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:51 AM (#4358826)
Apparently Danny Graham to Sunderland has happened. So they'll be playing 4-4-2 now? That's one way to breathe life into a moribund attack, I guess. (Getting that report from a certain Captain Fishpaste, via the Guardian, who posted a twitter picture of Graham in training in a Sunderland shirt.)

Sylla is a defensive midfielder, so he's at least theoretically shoring up one of Villa's big weaknesses.
   1579. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:56 AM (#4358827)
Huh. Spurs are shipping Gomes off to Hoffenheim.
   1580. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:06 AM (#4358831)
Stekelenberg moving from Roma to Fulham on loan.
   1581. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:08 AM (#4358832)
   1582. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:25 AM (#4358837)
Quotes attributed to Internacional Sporting Director Luis Cesar Souto de Moura: "Leandro Damiao will only leave if there is a very quick negotiation, but no official offer has been made. The news involving interest for Leandro Damiao, especially from Tottenham, will always happen, they come and go. Damiao has a lot of quality, is a goalscorer, was the top scorer in the Olympics and he is a very important player. Internacional understand that it's extremely difficult, very difficult, for Leandro Damiao to leave now."


That doesn't sound like a Damiao move to Tottenham is imminent. Same ol' sam ol'. I look forward to 3 months of Damiao rumors in the summer. There is some talk of Lisandro Lopez as an alternative, though. Lyon are cleaning house for some reason.
   1583. jmurph Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:32 AM (#4358839)
That was some goal by Bale. He really is a special player. Based on a quick survey of the blogosphere, the "he plays on the left" brigade is strangely silent just now.


Eh. Here are some crude numbers (which I didn't actually pull myself, so I hope to god they're actually accurate):

Two players, numbers for all competitions this year. Guess who they are:

Player 1: 19 GS, 18 sub appearances, 18 goals, 12 assists, 69 shots.
Player 2: 33 GS, 0 sub appearances, 14 goals, 7 assists, 117 shots.
   1584. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:33 AM (#4358842)
Player 1: 19 GS, 18 sub appearances, 18 goals, 12 assists, 69 shots.
Player 2: 33 GS, 0 sub appearances, 14 goals, 7 assists, 117 shots.


Are they both wingers?
   1585. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:36 AM (#4358844)
It's Walcott, right? He's scored a bunch of those goals as lone striker, but yes, Walcott is also having an excellent season.
   1586. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:37 AM (#4358845)
Hell, maybe Spurs should just put Bale up top, too, and end this striker madness.
   1587. jmurph Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:40 AM (#4358848)
He's scored a bunch of those goals as lone striker, but yes


Fair point (and yes, it's Walcott). I actually didn't mean to be an arse there, I was just having the exact same conversation over email with a friend about Bale.
   1588. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:40 AM (#4358849)
Fair point (and yes, it's Walcott). I actually didn't mean to be an arse there, I was just having the exact same conversation over email with a friend about Bale.

Would you swap Bale for Walcott? I would not.
   1589. jmurph Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:42 AM (#4358850)
So Samba is obviously a good player, much better than QPR's other options at CB. And sure, that's a lot of money, but staying up is absolutely worth it, right?
   1590. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:45 AM (#4358853)
So Samba is obviously a good player, much better than QPR's other options at CB. And sure, that's a lot of money, but staying up is absolutely worth it, right?

I think so, but I think QPR will be in the red even if they stay up. They're paying big wages to Hoilet, Bosingwa, Park, etc. The relegation scrum is going to be nutty with Reading and Soton playing well and QPR and Newcastle getting stronger and even Wigan is bringing in some players. I think Villa are done but the other two clubs...who knows?
   1591. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:47 AM (#4358854)
And sure, that's a lot of money, but staying up is absolutely worth it, right?
Well, I'd distinguish two kinds of "worth it". Can QPR actually have a functioning business model under which they project to make money, given their escalating wage bill and transfer costs? No, I don't think so. But, would QPR be at a very significant risk of blipping out of existence if they got relegated? Perhaps. So more big signings are "worth it" in that if QPR can survive, they kick the can down the road and don't utterly implode.
   1592. jmurph Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:47 AM (#4358855)
Would you swap Bale for Walcott? I would not.


I don't think that's a transparently crazy proposal, which is how I would expect most people to treat it. Walcott seems like he's been a disappointment, presumably based on his unmerited place on the World Cup squad when he was a kid, but he's been very good, and I think he's probably better than Bale right now. But Bale's left-footedness likely makes him the more valuable player. He's also clearly the better dribbler, by a lot.
   1593. Mattbert Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:49 AM (#4358857)
Walcott seems like he's been a disappointment, presumably based on his unmerited place on the World Cup squad when he was a kid, but he's been very good, and I think he's probably better than Bale right now.

Hahaha. Wake me up when Walcott gets double and triple marked as a matter of course.
   1594. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:00 AM (#4358862)
Well, I'd distinguish two kinds of "worth it". Can QPR actually have a functioning business model under which they project to make money, given their escalating wage bill and transfer costs? No, I don't think so. But, would QPR be at a very significant risk of blipping out of existence if they got relegated? Perhaps. So more big signings are "worth it" in that if QPR can survive, they kick the can down the road and don't utterly implode.


Yeah, if QPR go down they are probably going to follow the Portsmouth path.

They are playing better but I think it's still a tall order. They are 4 points back of everyone which isn't huge but even with the improved form lately they have all of 2 wins on the season in 24 games. Since the advent of the 38 game schedule the fewest wins to stay up are 6 by West Brom in 2005 which is probably a pretty good comp for the way this year's fight is shaping up. Aston Villa stayed up with 7 wins last year and other than those to it's been a minimum of 8 wins needed. I'm not sold that QPR can get 4-6 wins in 14 games.

Part of that is that there is a LOT to play for out there right now. The relegation fight is shaping up to be brutal with 5 teams probably feeling threatened and the European spots also pretty open. There really isn't going to be a lot of games where teams don't have something to play for and that doesn't help.
   1595. jmurph Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:01 AM (#4358864)
Whether or not he merits a roster spot on a Champions League team, I commend Beckham for his career decisions. Spending your last several years in Madrid, LA, some time in Milan, and then finishing in Paris seems like a much better way to live than kicking around Stoke or Bolton for a few years.
   1596. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:03 AM (#4358865)
Not to keep talking about Spurs...but...I've been watching a lot of Torino along with Spurs lately and one thing that's been striking to me is how much more comfortable Torino is playing one touch football. They basically have the same team they had last year in Serie B but they are really adept at creating moves from the center line with multiple players touching the ball one time. Spurs rely a LOT more on dribbling and the individual speed of players to try to break down a defense but the downside of this is they are kind of lost when defenses bunker down and there's not enough space to get a full run going. I'd say this was the difference between English and Italian soccer but I think the other top teams in England and Swansea are all better and one touch passing than Spurs especially with Modric and Van der Vaart gone. I don't even know where I'm going with this, just that I thought the difference in the two teams is striking and I'm starting to believe Spurs are too reliant on power and not enough on finesse.
   1597. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:10 AM (#4358868)
Multiple reporters (real reporters, not Mail/Mirrors) are confirming that Spurs are going to try to get Damiao today. Ok.
   1598. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:12 AM (#4358869)
Multiple reporters (real reporters, not Mail/Mirrors) are confirming that Spurs are going to try to get Damiao today. Ok.

--Puts fingers in ear, sings LALALALALALALALALA very loudly--
   1599. Mattbert Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4358870)
Hell, maybe Spurs should just put Bale up top, too, and end this striker madness.

Barring some unexpected additions today, I think that’s AVB's best option for this weekend’s game at West Brom. Defoe is either injured or so out of sorts he might as well be injured. Dempsey’s been okay, but Spurs need someone with pace who will force the opposition’s center backs to play deeper and give the attacking mids some room to operate in the danger area.

Lloris
Walker–Caulker–Vertonghen–Benny
Dembele–Livermore
Lennon–Holtby–Sigurdsson
Bale

Something like that, with the band of three being very fluid, like they were after Holtby came on against Norwich last night - that was a joy to watch at times.

I don't even know where I'm going with this, just that I thought the difference in the two teams is striking and I'm starting to believe Spurs are too reliant on power and not enough on finesse.

The ball movement from Spurs last night, especially in the first 60 minutes or so, was just shockingly ponderous. I am starting to think that Sandro's athleticism, which allowed him to win the ball relatively high up the pitch quite a bit, and his quick and accurate distribution to prompt counterattacks in dangerous positions rather than in Spurs' own half was papering over a lot more cracks than I'd realized.
   1600. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:20 AM (#4358876)
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