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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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   301. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4341102)
Some bad news for QPR--Ryan Nelsen leaving to become head coach of Toronto.
   302. ursus arctos Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:54 PM (#4341111)
Weird appointment. He has absolutely zero managerial or coaching experience, and hasn't played here for seven years.

But then TFC tends to specialize in weird.
   303. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4341115)
Weird appointment. He has absolutely zero managerial or coaching experience, and hasn't played here for seven years.
Apparently he'll be a Player/Coach, so maybe it's more about the former than the latter.
   304. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 07, 2013 at 05:01 PM (#4341127)
At least he knows the league. Was he one of those high-wage earners at QPR? I find it hard to believe that the defense could get worse, but I guess it could.

I had no idea Houllier was running the Red Bulls.
   305. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 07, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4341131)
"He has been offered a job in America and there is every chance that he might want to go," manager Harry Redknapp told reporters

"like I did in 1976", he did not add.
   306. ursus arctos Posted: January 07, 2013 at 05:13 PM (#4341143)
Though when Nelsen was playing in MLS, Toronto weren't in the league.

Houiller has some fancy title that covers all of the "Red Bull" football clubs, not just RBNY, but also Salzburg, Leipzig and the "academies" in Brazil and Ghana. It's very unclear just how much work he actually does.
   307. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4341150)
I wonder if Messi has to return that suit to Craig Sager after the ceremony, or if Craig just gave it to him.
   308. Ron J2 Posted: January 07, 2013 at 06:25 PM (#4341203)
Looking at the EPL table right now is fascinating. When is the last time a team 11th in goals allowed topped the table -- by a moderately comfortable margin at that.



   309. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 07, 2013 at 07:14 PM (#4341246)
Hard to believe but 3 years ago Swansea were 7th in the Championship while being last in goals scored.

Combined goals for and goals against: 77. Second lowest was Crystal Palace with 103. Not sure how that went along with being the free-flowing Swanselona we would soon know and love.
   310. Padgett Posted: January 07, 2013 at 08:02 PM (#4341273)
It helps that United are just ruthlessly efficient when attacking compared to the rest of the field. They’re fifth in shots per game, and third in shots on target per game, yet their rate of scoring once for every 2.3 shots on target is tops by a fair bit. Only Fulham hit the target with greater frequency, but United more than make up for that by having taken 57 more shots overall. United are also way out in front in total goals from set pieces.

Taking it from another angle, United and Everton have put just about the same number of shots on target (126 vs. 124). Everton’s conversion rate, however, is 3.5 shots on target per goal, which is below average. I’ll anecdotally chalk that up to United taking advantage of well-placed lasers from Van Persie while Everton having to live with Jelavic’s soft headers, but the consequence is that United have a 19-goal advantage on the same number of chances created.
   311. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 08:11 PM (#4341284)
Waiiiit, the World XI all hail from 3 teams in 2 cities? I mean. What?

eta: Not so much doubting it as impressed by the level of talent agglomeration between Madrid and Barcelona.
   312. Mattbert Posted: January 07, 2013 at 10:30 PM (#4341476)
Waiiiit, the World XI all hail from 3 teams in 2 cities? I mean. What?

That team is at least 50% name recognition and who you play for. Alves, Marcelo, and Pique are the most obvious picks who are coasting into that team in large part on reputation.

One man's alternative World XI.

Iraizoz
Ramos--Chiellini--Vertonghen
Iniesta--Pirlo--Yaya--Ribery
Messi--Falcao--Ronaldo

Still dominated by La Liga players, but I think a little less ridiculous than FIFA's team.
   313. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:01 PM (#4341550)
I don't even know who Marcelo is. I don't have any way of watching any Spanish games though.
   314. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:04 PM (#4341553)
Here's the ever-popular PDF tabulating who voted for whom. One journalist, coach and captain voted for each country. The US journalist is someone named Paul Kennedy, presumably the legendary historian.
   315. Mattbert Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:46 PM (#4341626)
I don't even know who Marcelo is.

Brazilian left back. Plays for Real Madrid.

who voted for whom. One journalist, coach and captain voted for each country.

Those are always good for a laugh at the shameless homer/teammate votes.
   316. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4341644)
I would rather see the votes for Once Ideal. Did Leighton Baines get any?!!!!

If this "Marcelo" got the nod at LB, the spot is up for grabs.
   317. J. Sosa Posted: January 08, 2013 at 07:28 AM (#4341773)
Howard Webb at Old Trafford. Oh joy.
   318. ursus arctos Posted: January 08, 2013 at 08:35 AM (#4341784)
Unlike the Ballon d'Or, the votes who're the FiFPRO team of the year aren't made public.

You can, however, see the short list that FIFPRO gave its members here.
   319. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 08:43 AM (#4341785)
You can, however, see the short list that FIFPRO gave its members here.

Gareth Bale is listed as a defender. Good stuff.
   320. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 09:12 AM (#4341794)
Your daily Leandro Damiao to Spurs update

goal.com is crap but Greg Stobart covers Spurs specifically and usually has good information about the club. I think it's now or never for this transfer. I hope it is, because I'm kind of sick of the whole thing.

Howard Webb at Old Trafford. Oh joy.

Fun for the neutral, though!
   321. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 08, 2013 at 10:20 AM (#4341838)
Here's the ever-popular PDF tabulating who voted for whom. One journalist, coach and captain voted for each country. The US journalist is someone named Paul Kennedy, presumably the legendary historian.
Since I usually do nothing but give them ####, I will say I respect the hell out of FIFA for publishing that list. That's pretty good.

Paul Kennedy, according to a little Google-hunting, is "the Editor in Chief & General Manager of Soccer America Magazine." I have never heard of Soccer American heretofore, but that doesn't mean Kennedy is a bad choice.

EDIT: To add, the headline on the BBC "Villa not moving, say Barcelona" confused the hell out of me because I was thinking, of course, of Aston Villa, rather than David Villa and I could not for the life of me figure (a) where Aston Villa would be moving in the first place (b) why Barcelona would have any say in that.
   322. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4341849)
I read a great factoid just now that I will turn into a trivia question:

Name the last player to score a Premier League goal for Manchester City at the Emirates.
   323. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: January 08, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4341852)
Damnit Mattbert, I was just coming on here to post Cox's tweet. That's a really great piece of trivia for this thread.

EDIT: Unrelated, but this brilliant line from The Independent's James Lawton simply needs to be posted (regarding Suarez' handball):

He looked sheepish enough not to repeat the claim of his fellow South American Diego Maradona that it was the work of God but you didn't have to be a supporter of Mansfield to believe that he had come off the bench with diabolical intent.

Link.
   324. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 08, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4341857)
EDIT: To add, the headline on the BBC "Villa not moving, say Barcelona" confused the hell out of me because I was thinking, of course, of Aston Villa, rather than David Villa and I could not for the life of me figure (a) where Aston Villa would be moving in the first place (b) why Barcelona would have any say in that.

No, no, Barcelona are not moved by Aston Villa's plight. It lacks true pathos.
   325. ursus arctos Posted: January 08, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4341858)
Soccer America goes back to the heyday of the original NASL (once a weekly, I think it is now a digital quarterly), and Paul Kennedy has been writing episodic North American copy for France Football for 20+ years.

He had the North American vote for the Ballon d'Or under the old system as well.
   326. Sean Forman Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4341866)
On the short list I count the following:
Spain - 11
England - 7
Germany - 6
Brazil - 5
Italy - 4
France - 3
Argentina - 3
Portugal - 2
Ivory Coast - 2
Belgium - 2
Uruguay - 2
Ibramovich - 1
van Persie - 1
Bale - 1
Eto'o - 1
Cech - 1
Falcao - 1
Ivanovich - 1
Modric - 1


By Club
Barcelona - 10
Real - 9
Chelsea - 7
Man City - 6
Bayern - 5
Man Untd - 4
Juve - 3
PSG - 2
Liverpool - 2
Dortmund/Hummels - 1
Falcao - 1
Drogba - 1
Eto'o -1
Cavani - 1
Neymar - 1
Bale - 1

By League
La Liga - 20
EPL - 20
Bundesliga - 6
Serie A - 4
Ligue 1 - 2
Neymar - 1
Eto'o - 1
Drogba - 1

I assume these lists have more to do with who was on the list last year rather than this year's performance. Just like in the NFL the non-skill position all-pros tend to be the guys who won last year.
   327. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4341867)
In the replay of the Suarez handball goal, it sure looked to be reflexive rather than premeditated. Tough to say when it happens so fast. The way he sort of disgustedly kicked the ball into the net a second time, it appeared to me that he fully expected it to be chalked off.
   328. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4341872)
Name the last player to score a Premier League goal for Manchester City at the Emirates.

Adebayor?
   329. zack Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4341876)
I was extremely confused by that question because I confused emirates and ethiad. And I was still wrong (I guessed Dzeko).
   330. jmurph Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4341877)
Name the last player to score a Premier League goal for Manchester City at the Emirates.


This is probably wrong, but based on the clues I'll say Adebayor. I just can't remember the scores of the games at Arsenal the last 2 years... I think one was 1-0, but I forget the second.
   331. jmurph Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4341878)
Damn you Shooty!
   332. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4341881)
Was it Adebayor?
   333. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4341883)
Not Adebayor.
   334. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4341886)
Sturridge?

edit: Found the answer. Would not have guessed it in a million billion trillion years.
   335. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4341887)
I was extremely confused by that question because I confused emirates and ethiad. And I was still wrong (I guessed Dzeko).
It pleases me that I'm not the only person who was confused by this. So for the record, thus far today I've confused two Middle Eastern airlines with stadiums named after them, plus a striker and an entire football club. Off to a good start!
   336. J. Sosa Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4341888)
Re: Suarez

Suarez has a number of tics on the pitch. Whenever he misses a chance he typically takes an exasperated kick in the air. Mattbert is right anyone that has watched Suarez for a length of time knows Suarez was initially angry because he blew the chance. After seeing (incredibly) that the goal stood he went into his typical salute he does for his wife and daughter. I felt bad for Mansfield but Radford has said a lot of ignorant stuff about Suarez. Maybe Radford should spend as much time researching his accusations as he does escort services. *

* Was that unkind? I feel like that may have been unkind.
   337. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4341889)
Adam Johnson?
   338. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4341892)
plus a striker and an entire football club


In fairness if Barcelona were to trade Villa to Villa for the entire Villa roster I think Barcelona would come out behind in the trade. In fact whoever made such a deal would be widely considered a villain.
   339. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4341893)
Not Adam Johnson, but in a way that's closer to the answer than Adebayor.

Think Johnson's position and Adebayor's skin color...
   340. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:23 AM (#4341895)
edit: Found the answer. Would not have guessed it in a million billion trillion years.


Just did the same thing and I don't think I'd have guessed it as quickly as Shooty would have. I think Kasper Schmeichel would have been a less surprising answer.
   341. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:23 AM (#4341896)

Think Johnson's position and Adebayor's skin color...

This isn't going to help anyone.
   342. J. Sosa Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4341899)
SWP? Surely not....
   343. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4341900)
SWP? Surely not....

Closer, but not an Englishman.
   344. J. Sosa Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4341904)
Wow, just found the answer. I would have sooner said SAF.
   345. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4341905)
I just pulled up the match report for the game in question.

Number of current Manchester City players in the City squad that day: 0
Number of current Manchester City players in the Arsenal squad that day: 2 (and another who became a City player but isn't any more)
Number of current Arsenal players in the Arsenal squad that day: 4 (two of whom probably won't be for much longer)
   346. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:38 AM (#4341912)
Okay, I think most everyone who saw the question has either found the answer or guessed. Here's the City squad...

MANCHESTER CITY
Andreas Isaksson 1
Michael Ball 3
Sylvain Distin 15
Nedum Onuoha 16
Sun Jihai 17
Richard Dunne 22
Michael Johnson 33
Joey Barton 8
Dietmar Hamann 21
DaMarcus Beasley 24
Darius Vassell 11

Nicky Weaver 12
Hatem Trabelsi 27
Stephen Ireland 7
Georgios Samaras 20
Bernardo Corradi 30
   347. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4341914)
That Man City roster has become quite the diaspora.
   348. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4341918)
Arsenal's too!

1 Jens Lehmann
5 Kolo Touré
10 William Gallas
22 Gaël Clichy
27 Emmanuel Eboué
2 Abou Diaby
4 Cesc Fábregas
7 Tomas Rosicky
13 Alexsandr Hleb
19 Gilberto Silva
25 Emmanuel Adebayor

24 Manuel Almunia
6 Philippe Senderos
20 Johan Djourou
9 Júlio Baptista
15 Denilson

Fabregas was still a teenager!

Some things never change, though. Diaby went off injured after about half an hour.
   349. DA Baracus Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4341924)
Ryan Nelsen is going to coach Toronto FC and play for QPR.
   350. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4341928)
I'm almost done with Jonathan Wilson's bio of Clough and, despite it only being a little over 30 years ago, it's amazing how much has changed in the sport. It's impossible to even imagine a promoted team winning not only the league, but Europe as well now. It's impossible. Also, doing things like buying a successful center forward and making them a CB and stuff like that would get a manager hounded from a job after a week. The weirdest thing, though, is a manager taking a vacation in the middle of the season. Imagine Fergie taking a two week trip to Spain to relax while his team was facing Arsenal or something. As someone who has come to the sport late, it reads almost like science fiction.
   351. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4341930)
Ryan Nelsen is going to coach Toronto FC and play for QPR.

Well, hell, why not? That's a very TFC thing to have happen. It's probably just for the Spurs game, no? Help 'Arry get his revenge...
   352. jmurph Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4341932)
MANCHESTER CITY
Andreas Isaksson 1
Michael Ball 3
Sylvain Distin 15
Nedum Onuoha 16
Sun Jihai 17
Richard Dunne 22
Michael Johnson 33
Joey Barton 8
Dietmar Hamann 21
DaMarcus Beasley 24
Darius Vassell 11

Nicky Weaver 12
Hatem Trabelsi 27
Stephen Ireland 7
Georgios Samaras 20
Bernardo Corradi 30


This is why I have very little fan-guilt over them being crazy spenders. That is an absolute crap collection of talent.

On a positive note, most of that roster was on the first edition of FM that I owned, so I have lots of affection for Samaras and Vassell and Isakkson.
   353. ursus arctos Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4341938)
Nelsen is under contract with QPR through the end of June.
   354. DA Baracus Posted: January 08, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4341940)
It's probably just for the Spurs game, no? Help 'Arry get his revenge...


No specifics were given. It's equally fair to assume he could just be there until the end of the month until they get a replacement as it is to assume he will finish the season and still be active for New Zealand.

We shall see how long this lasts. I am guessing that MLS is doing all they can behind the scenes to limit this. Image wise it isn't good for the league.
   355. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 08, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4341948)
I had no idea Joey Barton, DaMarcus Beasley or Georgios Samaras played for Man City.
   356. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4341953)
One of those three is the answer to the trivia question.
   357. DA Baracus Posted: January 08, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4341965)
Barton and Beasley (who I infer is the answer to the trivia) I knew. Did not know Samaras or Distin did.
   358. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 08, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4341966)
The fact that the answer is a player who was on loan to Man City from PSV Eindhoven is interesting enough, without it also being DaMarcus Beasley.

That's like if the answer to some Diamondbacks trivia question was "Adam Dunn".
   359. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4341968)
Some details on Nelsen to Toronto

Evidently, he will stay at QPR until they know their fate.
   360. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4341970)
DaMarcus Beasley is indeed the answer. I really hope Mancini plays for the traditional 0-0 again this weekend, because that is too good a trivia question to ruin with a goal from Gareth Barry or some other stiff.
   361. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4341971)
Mancini's complete cowardice when playing at the Emirates is a weird one, no?
   362. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4341977)
Evidently, he will stay at QPR until they know their fate.

That is...that's...I don't know what that is. Doesn't the MLS season start in early March?
   363. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4341981)
Leave it to Berlusconi...

To tie his image all up with Pep's.

That is...that's...I don't know what that is. Doesn't the MLS season start in early March?

Yep. Seems TFC are prepared to start the season without their gaffer.
   364. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 08, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4341984)
That would be an improvement over starting the season with Aron Winter.
   365. ursus arctos Posted: January 08, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4341985)
Yes.

TFC's first scheduled friendly is on 9 February (they may have games before then).

The draft is 17 January, the player combine is this weekend, and the transfer window runs from late January through April.
   366. DA Baracus Posted: January 08, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4341990)
TFC's interim coach is a former DIII coach. This is an interesting experiment.

Beasley was once Eindhoven's top goal scorer in Champions League.
   367. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 02:03 PM (#4342056)
   368. Jeffo has an El Camino full of Rampage Posted: January 08, 2013 at 02:13 PM (#4342063)
I came here to post 367, but should have known it would already be here. Well done sir!

I look forward to more of these types of articles as the World Cup approaches next year.
   369. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4342070)
Well done sir!

I am to pleez, meester.
   370. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4342071)
What in the entire hell? Rangers apparently not content to let Hearts monopolize the crazy up in Scotland.
   371. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4342077)
What in the entire hell? Rangers apparently not content to let Hearts monopolize the crazy up in Scotland.

I find your link incomprehensible, sir. Please paraphrase.
   372. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4342083)
Huh. I had to refresh it a couple times to get it to work. It may be getting a lot of traffic. Here's a c&p:
THE shape of things to come, three divisions of 12-12-18, has been agreed in principle.

This abomination will now be pulled and stretched by selected members of the SPL and SFL in a desperate attempt to make it more presentable.

Good luck with that.

It would be easier trying to iron out the lines on the face of the old broad, Madge, in Benidorm.

12-12-18. It’s ridiculous, especially when you remember the two 12s will fragment into three eights.

Yet this time supporters will just have to buy into it. Whatever happened to that new and bold notion that fans were all important?

It isn’t that long ago clubs, particularly those in the top flight, were solemnly insisting that ignoring the views of fans would be akin to financial suicide.

Remember? It was when the game was wrestling with the problem of what to do with Rangers.

All the clubs were squealing that the wishes of fans had to be granted. If you swallowed any of that bilge you probably also believed in sporting integrity.

Of course it was all nonsense. Sporting Integrity was a cloak of convenience, albeit a rather thin, practically transparent one, behind which club leaders huddled together to come up with sanctions.

Rangers had to be punished, they deserved to be punished but it seemed as if additional penalties were being randomly introduced depending on who was in which meeting.

Many Rangers fans like to think the frenzy to cause the club as much additional pain as possible was driven by one club but that wasn’t strictly the case. Many fans of many clubs waded in but this is not to say Celtic fans or their club didn’t attempt to influence the outcome of debates on Rangers and possible sanctions.

Of course they did. And they are still at it on social media sites and on blogs clattered out by individuals who are no better than semi-literate.

The sheer hypocrisy of what is happening within Hampden’s corridors of power right now will be lost on them but let’s not pretend sporting integrity or the wishes of supporters really are important to all those clubs pushing for this change.

If they were listening to fans they wouldn’t be sticking with a top division of 12 , and if there was any integrity there would be no rush to bring in changes for the start of next season.

If, as seems likely, the structure is altered for 2013-14 supporters won’t get what they’ve already paid for, especially those following teams striving for promotion. Actually this entire season will be rendered meaningless.

Sporting integrity won’t merely be compromised, it’ll be crushed but this is what happens when desperation slips in and throttles reason.

This belief won’t sit well with the few who are more or less running the SPL and influencing thinking within that desperate organisation but they can’t complain. After all, they’ve dismissed Rangers’ views completely.

This club, the biggest one in the country, were not invited to take part in talks which will shape the game’s future.

We are then entitled to conclude that this club are not important, which is strange indeed when so many fans of other clubs continue to be obsessed by Rangers, who are simply getting on with their own affairs asking no favour from anyone.

We do, however, expect commonsense to be applied, along with fair play.

Look, Rangers will return to the top flight, which will of course have to be rebranded. Rangers will take a seat at the head of the table where, despite the latest insult of being shut out of reconstruction talks, we will act with the good of Scottish football in mind.

We’ll work through the divisions and we will return stronger and better than ever before.

This club accepted their sanctions and moved on but too many others have been unable to do the same. They continue their assaults and while the deranged, who are using social media sites as conduits for their twisted agendas, should be ignored there are more than a few in the mainstream still maligning the club at every opportunity.

In a BBC radio debate last Saturday night one pundit, in a matter-of-fact manner, said Charles Green speaks with ‘forked tongue.’ No attempt to explain or justify the statement, just as no explanation was offered when another radio voice claimed there was a dishonesty about Walter Smith when he went public with a late bid for the club.

Word of advice gentlemen. From now on be very careful when talking or writing about this club.

To paraphrase something said about another club, Rangers will not be treated less than others. And although there is no desire to pick fights, be assured that no one will attack Rangers with impunity.

Better, however, to quote Bill Struth: ‘Never fear, inevitably we shall have our years of failure and when they arrive, we must reveal tolerance and sanity. You do that, you will emerge stronger than before.’

Tolerance and sanity. That’s what Rangers will demonstrate and maintain, especially when back at the summit.

After all, someone has to. 12-12-18. Dear God.
   373. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 08, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4342087)
A Chinese and American player in the starting lineup for City. I'm guessing its going to be a while before we see that again the Premier League.

Is Michael Johnson still hurt? Didn't he show a lot of promise? Is it the same Michael Johnson I'm thinking of?
   374. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 02:35 PM (#4342088)
That is an official club statement from Glasgow Rangers FC about the new league structure:
The new set-up would see a Premier League of 12 teams, a Championship of 12 teams and a National League of 18.

After teams had met home and away, the top two divisions would then split and the top eight clubs in those leagues would meet a further twice home and away.

The bottom four clubs of the Premier League would play against the top four from the Championship.

These eight clubs would have their points re-set to zero then meet twice, home and away, with the bottom four clubs being relegated at the end of the season.
   375. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4342090)
FPH, someone who knows anything about Scottish football want to explain why this is an abomination? I get that this year is basically ######, but is this a horrible idea going forward? A 44 game season and 4 games against every team seems like a lot. I can see Rangers get screwed but they would still be in the third flight next year no matter what so it doesn't seem like they are any farther away from the top flight than before. Also, is there any political aspect of this as in "How can they be their own country if they can't even run their footie?" kind of stuff?
   376. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 02:45 PM (#4342105)
I get a 36-game season, Shooty.

22 fixtures during the regular season (11 opponents, home and away)
14 fixtures during the "split" season (7 opponents, home and away)
   377. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4342113)
22 fixtures during the regular season (11 opponents, home and away)
14 fixtures during the "split" season (7 opponents, home and away)


Meh. Too confusing for the likes of me. Whatever gets Partick into the top flight, I guess.
   378. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4342118)
   379. Swedish Chef Posted: January 08, 2013 at 02:55 PM (#4342119)
I don't know why Scottish football persists in trying out every single inane league structure there is. I remember when Swedish football bosses thought that hockey was the popular sport because of its weird league system and introduced a variant full of mid-season splits and qualifiers and general strangeness in 1990. They played that one for two seasons, when it didn't do anything to attract spectators it was all dynamited and they went to a flat 14-team league with no playoffs (they had had those for ten years or so at that point). That became the start of a renaissance for football. Maybe the lesson is to find the suckiest league system ever, and then spark interest by abandoning it for something plain that works.
   380. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 08, 2013 at 03:00 PM (#4342125)
Is Michael Johnson still hurt? Didn't he show a lot of promise? Is it the same Michael Johnson I'm thinking of?
The guy who ran the 200M in the Gold Shoes? I think he's retired.

The new set-up would see a Premier League of 12 teams, a Championship of 12 teams and a National League of 18.

After teams had met home and away, the top two divisions would then split and the top eight clubs in those leagues would meet a further twice home and away.

The bottom four clubs of the Premier League would play against the top four from the Championship.

These eight clubs would have their points re-set to zero then meet twice, home and away, with the bottom four clubs being relegated at the end of the season.
Dan Patrick: With the first nine months of the Baseketball postseason out of the way, the playoff picture is starting to emerge.
Kenny Mayne: So, with last night's victory over Boston, next week the Milwaukee Beers must beat Indianapolis in order to advance to Charlotte. That's in an effort to reduce their magic number to three.
Dan Patrick: Right, and then the Beers can advance to the National Eastern Division North to play Tampa.
Kenny Mayne: So, if the Beers beat Detroit and Denver beats Atlanta in the American Southwestern Division East Northern, then Milwaukee goes to the Denslow Cup, unless Baltimore can upset Buffalo and Charlotte ties Toronto, then Oakland would play LA and Pittsburgh in a blind choice round robin. And if no clear winner emerges from all of this, a two-man sack race will be held on consecutive Sundays until a champion can be crowned.
   381. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4342133)
Dan Patrick: With the first nine months of the Baseketball postseason out of the way, the playoff picture is starting to emerge.
Kenny Mayne: So, with last night's victory over Boston, next week the Milwaukee Beers must beat Indianapolis in order to advance to Charlotte. That's in an effort to reduce their magic number to three.
Dan Patrick: Right, and then the Beers can advance to the National Eastern Division North to play Tampa.
Kenny Mayne: So, if the Beers beat Detroit and Denver beats Atlanta in the American Southwestern Division East Northern, then Milwaukee goes to the Denslow Cup, unless Baltimore can upset Buffalo and Charlotte ties Toronto, then Oakland would play LA and Pittsburgh in a blind choice round robin. And if no clear winner emerges from all of this, a two-man sack race will be held on consecutive Sundays until a champion can be crowned.


Scottish football: Bringing Calvin Ball to life!
   382. SuperGrover Posted: January 08, 2013 at 03:11 PM (#4342145)
For fantasy geeks, here is the Stoke City mini-league:

http://fantasy.premierleague.com/my-leagues/264748/standings/

Funny that Crouch trasnferred himself out after he broke his teeth...and Jones took the opportunity to transfer himself back in!

Pulis is joining next week it seems.
   383. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4342163)
Jermaine Pennant's team is "loves p*ssy united".

Thanks for clearing that up, Jermaine.
   384. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4342180)
Jermaine Pennant's team is "loves p*ssy united".

Thanks for clearing that up, Jermaine.


Methinks he doth protest too much.
   385. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 04:08 PM (#4342218)
Bradford 1, the club formerly known as Aston Villa 0.
   386. Grunthos Posted: January 08, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4342232)
Lambert made some good moves when he took over, but when he signed Karim El-Ahmadi to stabilize the midfield, he made an error that may destroy his tenure. El-Ahmadi has been overwhelmed by the physicality of the English style, and with his failure, the entire center midfield has utterly collapsed. Villa resemble nothing so much as a poorly baked souffle at this point.
   387. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4342252)
Guardian's MBM rubbing it in...Villa's reserve team losing to Peterborough's reserves 4-0 at the half. D'oh.

Still 1-0 in the Cup, Bradford ahead.
   388. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 08, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4342253)
Bradford 1, the club formerly known as Aston Villa 0.
Barcelona remains unmoved
   389. ursus arctos Posted: January 08, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4342269)
What Villa need is Paul Lambert the player.
   390. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 08, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4342277)
The guy who ran the 200M in the Gold Shoes? I think he's retired.


Looks like I was thinking of the same Michael Johnson. He must have been pretty promising - seven first team appearances in the league at 18 (granted City wasn't that good back then). He seems to be more fragile then Michael Owen.
   391. ursus arctos Posted: January 08, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4342307)
2-0 Bantams
   392. ursus arctos Posted: January 08, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4342310)
And now they hit the bar.
   393. ursus arctos Posted: January 08, 2013 at 05:27 PM (#4342314)
Villa get one back. Could be crucial.
   394. Mattbert Posted: January 08, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4342318)
Or not.

EDIT: I guess I shouldn't completely dismiss the prospect of Villa overturning a 2-goal deficit on their own patch, but jeez...
   395. ursus arctos Posted: January 08, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4342319)
3-1 Bradford City
   396. Grunthos Posted: January 08, 2013 at 05:34 PM (#4342320)
3-1 Bradford. Sad. So very, very sad.
   397. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:24 PM (#4342379)
effin Bradford! I'd say there's a better than even chance they'll be in Europe next year, no?
   398. ursus arctos Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:58 PM (#4342406)
Don't jinx them.
   399. puck Posted: January 08, 2013 at 10:27 PM (#4342523)
That "TFC hires coach for June" story is bizarre. What a clownshoes organization. Or I guess MLS&E provides the shoes, plenty left over after the Leafs and Rapids.
   400. puck Posted: January 08, 2013 at 10:47 PM (#4342532)
Man City's owners may be sheiks, but their supporters are not...

Is that £62 ticket in the typical supporters' spot, in a corner or behind a goal? That does seem a little pricey. But I guess that's close to what a lower bowl corner seat costs at a NHL or NBA game, right? What are they for the NFL?
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