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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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   501. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 10, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4344374)
Sid Lowe on the ballon d'or voting

It is what it is, but I find it illustrative the difference between how Messi and Ronaldo each handle their vote. Messi votes for his teammates (Iniexta, Xavi and Aguero) and Ronaldo finds an excuse not to vote so a teammate can vote for him. (They're both captains and so each entitled to vote but you're not allowed to vote for yourself.) Bocanegra voted Messi/Ronaldo/Falcao and Klinsmann voted for Messi/Pirlo/Ronaldo. Steven Gerrard tossed a third place vote to his old buddy Xabi Alonso.
   502. ursus arctos Posted: January 10, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4344376)
You couldn't understand "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles"?

Really?
   503. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 10, 2013 at 04:11 PM (#4344377)
I couldn't understand a single chant/song the crowd had going even though it was English (it was Upton Park).

I'm surprised by that. Obviously nobody can understand any of that over the TV, but I'd think live you could at least pick out one voice from the crowd and figure out what they're saying.
   504. DA Baracus Posted: January 10, 2013 at 04:27 PM (#4344396)
You couldn't understand "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles"?


Charlie Hunnam beating the #### out of people then signing that could have been great black comedy. Missed opportunity.
   505. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 10, 2013 at 04:54 PM (#4344433)
English soccer is going to get even wealthier.

Interesting note: ESPN may be abandoning the England market.
   506. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: January 10, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4344448)
DA - thanks for the MLS salary cap response on the prior page. The ~5% increase isn't all that encouraging.
   507. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 10, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4344457)
I'm surprised by that. Obviously nobody can understand any of that over the TV, but I'd think live you could at least pick out one voice from the crowd and figure out what they're saying.


In my experience it can be tricky to figure out what a crowd is saying. I don't know how repetitive the songs are but I would think it's more difficult to figure out lyrics as they are going along. It's not like there is a lot of the rhythmic type chanting (e.g. "let's go Red Sox let's go" or "Bobby...Bobby...Bobby") that is pretty easy to follow.

And I would not know "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" (or "I'm forever blowing ballgames")
   508. DA Baracus Posted: January 10, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4344481)
DA - thanks for the MLS salary cap response on the prior page. The ~5% increase isn't all that encouraging.


I'm guessing they are being proactive to the expected revenue losses of not having the traveling Beckham (and possibly Donovan) show. They Galaxy were still a huge draw on the road last year.
   509. PepTech Posted: January 10, 2013 at 06:30 PM (#4344529)
You couldn't understand "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles"?

There's a Michael Jackson joke around here somewhere...
   510. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 10, 2013 at 07:09 PM (#4344555)
Maybe that's what it was - my brain couldn't comprehend that a bunch of drunk English men would be singing that.
   511. ursus arctos Posted: January 10, 2013 at 08:42 PM (#4344622)
This is the case with more than a few traditional club "anthems".

You'll Never Walk Alone is of course from Carousel, while Bristol Rovers fans sing Goodnight Irene.
   512. SuperGrover Posted: January 10, 2013 at 09:25 PM (#4344643)
475 seems well-stated to me. Part of the debate may be that some players simply don't hit the target very often. That might not get picked up in the stats MCOA is talking about.


Agreed. Very well stated and much better than I did last night with a six pack in me.

Grover: I was asking you and MCoA, so thanks for the reply. What I was trying to get at regarding SoS adjustment was, for example, whether you would weight playing Manchester United away differently than playing Manchester United at home. Actually, United might be a bad example since they're awfully good everywhere. Better would be clubs like Stoke and Fulham that have an established pattern of huge home/away splits that goes back several seasons.


I am in the same boat as MCoA. I use a generic home field factor. I analyzed team-by-team home pitch advantages over the past ten seasons and didn't see any evidence that would suggest major differences across teams. Again, it's possible some does exist but it certainly isn't clearly evident in the goals scored data.

What I would really like to understand is how teams style differ based upon opponent and venue. That will have to wait a few years given that we have only 1.5 seasons of Optadata to play with.
   513. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 10, 2013 at 10:44 PM (#4344682)
There's a Michael Jackson joke around here somewhere...
He wasn't at Fulham!
   514. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 11, 2013 at 08:24 AM (#4344821)
   515. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 11, 2013 at 09:21 AM (#4344837)
Morning news!

Coloccini is trying to force his way out of Newcastle and back to Argentina.
Sergio Ramos suspended 5 games for being Sergio Ramos, basically
Adebayor may back out of playing for Togo now for which he'll face some kind of sanction from FIFA as FIFA doesn't like it when players back out of playing for free at FIFA sanctioned events. He's made a hash of this ACN thing but I actually feel like he's in a tough spot. The Togo FA is clownshoes and he clearly doesn't want to play, but the president of the country got involved and now the whole thing is a mess. My guess is he'll still go play but I don't think Togo should expect a happy, motivated player. I kind of hope he's on the bench tomorrow for Spurs as I don't think his head is right at the moment.

Bild reports Spurs are bidding for Hamburglar striker Heung-Min Son.

Rape their women, enslave their children, salt their fields so nary a blade of grass will grow!
   516. frannyzoo Posted: January 11, 2013 at 09:43 AM (#4344856)
Today is the day to which all Wolves fans will later point to and say: "That was the day it all changed and the steady flow of European championships began."

Or maybe not. Having Wolves showcased as they are today is a bit like that Lindsay Lohan feature in yesterday's NYT. Too much light and focus all around.
   517. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 11, 2013 at 10:06 AM (#4344869)
Hmm. The British media has Spurs close to signing Alvaro Negredo but none of the Spurs ITK will confirm it. I think that may just be lazy journalism. If he does sign, Luis Suarez should just call him Alvaro when Spurs go to Anfield...

FWIW, the ITK from Spurs from sources that have seemed reliable the last few years has the club still working for Llorente, Damiao, Moutinho and possibly Will Hughes and Adam Maher with none of them considered likely.
   518. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 11, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4344873)
How popular is your team?

I don't know enough about English postal codes to make much sense of this.
   519. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4344875)
TRANSFER NEWS!

Borussia Dortmund have called a press conference to announce the return of Nuri Sahin. Hmmm. Maybe there's hope Luka will come back home and kiss chicken badge...
   520. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 11, 2013 at 10:42 AM (#4344883)
I don't know enough about English postal codes to make much sense of this.
I suspect most of that is population weirdness, but I do like seeing the strange pockets of West Ham support. Of course the Hammers are the most popular team in the south of Scotland, the distant Glasgow suburbs and a surprisingly large geographic chunk of Nothern Ireland. That makes perfect sense.

Also, West Ham is the second most supported club in "my" postcode from when I lived in London. (Behind Spurs, those bastards.) That's nice to see.
   521. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 11, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4344887)
TRANSFER NEWS!

Chelsea target Taison has gone to Shaktar Donetsk. Fire up the Willian to everyone in England rumors.
   522. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 11, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4344943)
I don't know enough about English postal codes to make much sense of this.

Why would you need to know anything about UK postal codes. There's a friggin map...
   523. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4344954)
Looks like Juan Agudelo could be heading to Celtic.

Why would you need to know anything about UK postal codes. There's a friggin map...

I don't have a detailed enough knowledge of Britain's geography to, say, pick out districts in London by sight on that map, etc. It's not a very detailed map.
   524. ursus arctos Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4344961)
Try this.

N17 will forever be true (navy) blue.
   525. DA Baracus Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4344962)
Looks like Juan Agudelo could be heading to Celtic.


Good move for him if only to get out of the clownshow that is Chivas USA.
   526. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:42 PM (#4344982)
Good move for him if only to get out of the clownshow that is Chivas USA.

I think so, too, and if he does well there he'll get noticed in England. Hopefully he'll actually play, though.
   527. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 11, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4345009)
In Canadians Abroad news, Canadian international RB André Hainault is moving from Houston Dynamo to the British equivalent of Cape Breton, Ross County FC.
   528. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 11, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4345042)
In Canadians Abroad news, Canadian international RB André Hainault is moving from Houston Dynamo to the British equivalent of Cape Breton, Ross County FC.

No work permit problems, at least. Nuri Sahin's deal is a loan with an option to buy so I assume that means Real Madrid were involved in that deal, too. In other Liverpool news, it looks like they are also going to dump Assaidi almost as quickly as they signed him.
   529. Mattbert Posted: January 11, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4345053)
Nuri Sahin's deal is a loan with an option to buy so I assume that means Real Madrid were involved in that deal, too.

Can't help but feel Villas-Boas would have made much better use of Sahin than Rodgers did. It seems like Rodgers never really rated him and never gave him much of a chance to prove otherwise. I wonder if Sahin was actually a player he wanted to roll the dice on and it just didn't work out or if that loan was an opportunity for positive arbitrage pushed down from the higher-ups.

I don't recall if there was any legit interest in Sahin from Tottenham over the summer or whether that was just paper talk and Mourinho running his mouth a bit. I suppose Spurs may just not have been interested, now or in the summer, but I think Sahin would have been a nice fit - especially when Dembele went down. I certainly would have been happy if Spurs had added him on an 18-month loan.
   530. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 11, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4345082)
Wow, either I never heard the news that Nuri Sahin was at Liverpool, or I forgot about it three months ago.

Wasn't he, like, the Bundesliga player of the year, like, two years ago?
   531. DA Baracus Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4345114)
Wow, either I never heard the news that Nuri Sahin was at Liverpool, or I forgot about it three months ago.


Would a "I didn't know/forgot X was on (or still on) Y" team be cheaper and better than QPR?
   532. Grunthos Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4345117)
Well, the popularity map is quite misleading, since it is measuring how often a team is talked about, which is emphatically not the same thing as how much it is supported. Looking at my preferred team, Aston Villa superficially appears to have two bases of support: Birmingham... and Norwich. Naturally, the latter concentration is Norwich City fans still talking about Paul Lambert, not Villa fans who have relocated en masse to Norfolk.
   533. ursus arctos Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4345123)
Tottenham wouldn't register at all if supporters didn't get equal "credit" for kvetching.
   534. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4345125)
I don't recall if there was any legit interest in Sahin from Tottenham over the summer or whether that was just paper talk and Mourinho running his mouth a bit. I suppose Spurs may just not have been interested, now or in the summer, but I think Sahin would have been a nice fit - especially when Dembele went down. I certainly would have been happy if Spurs had added him on an 18-month loan.

The Spurs blogs tend to think AVB didn't rate him. I like him and he could have really helped Arsenal who were definitely in for him. Ah well. I'm watching St. Etienne and Toulose now to see what the big deal about Moussa Sissoko is. He's a big guy and plays higher up the pitch than I imagined. He's employed a very similarly to the way Everton use Fellaini this year. He definitely looks like a PL player...

edit: Oh yeah, and the soon to be in-laws bought me soccer cards for Christmas. I hope I get a Nicklas Bendtner card! Gonna open those suckers up tomorrow during QPR-Spurs.
   535. DA Baracus Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4345130)
Well, the popularity map is quite misleading, since it is measuring how often a team is talked about, which is emphatically not the same thing as how much it is supported.


It reminds me of Nate Silver's college football popularity map, which had an awful methodology that he should be embarrassed for. Both are pretty much worthless. Fans of say, Wigan, tweeting their enjoyment of Chelsea being bounced out of Champions League proves nothing.
   536. Mattbert Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:18 PM (#4345132)
Wow, either I never heard the news that Nuri Sahin was at Liverpool, or I forgot about it three months ago.

How could you miss him? Seven appearances for Liverpool in the league, none since early November. Subbed off in all of them.

Seems like Gerrard's renaissance and Rodgers' obvious preference for the familiar (and expensive) Joe Allen simply doomed Sahin from day one. On the other hand, if you can't displace Jordan Henderson from the starting eleven it does raise some questions.
   537. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4345133)
More Rangers crazinness

Green also insisted that if Rangers were denied entry south of the border, PremierLeague side Swansea and Championship side Cardiff should then be booted out of England. He said: "People say you are not allowed in the English league – well let's then kick Cardiff and Swansea out, because they are playing in a different country.

"People are saying Wales is fine but Scotland is not. We cannot have a situation where one of the Union is annexed by the football bodies but Wales can join. It's rubbish."


I think it's hilarious that after 90 years, people still complain about Welsh teams in the English football pyramid.

(This Toulose-St. Etienne game is entertaining, BTW)
   538. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4345146)
The more I watch this game the more Sissoko reminds me of a cross between Yaya Toure and Sandro. Not as good on the tackle as Sandro but better at bombing forward like Toure. Looks like he'd be a great replacement for Alex Song at Arsenal. Spurs could easily slot him in beside Sandro and push Dembele higher.
   539. ursus arctos Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4345161)
Luciano Moggi is running for Parliament on the "Italian Reformist" ticket.

Which speaks volumes about Italian politics.
   540. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4345162)
   541. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 11, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4345166)
Portland are going to be really, really good.

Heath, Morgan and Sinclair on the same team? Sheesh. Maybe US Soccer just wanted to make sure Sinclair didn't injure Morgan and Heath.
   542. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 11, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4345169)
Luciano Moggi is running for Parliament on the "Italian Reformist" ticket.

Anarchy is a kind of reform...I just keep thinking Berlusconi is about to go to jail and then the next day I see he's still a major player in Italian politics. He is a ####### magician.
   543. puck Posted: January 11, 2013 at 04:29 PM (#4345191)
To be fair, if there were only eight home Bundesliga or EPL games per season, they'd be paying a lot more than £62 or €15 or whatever.

Non-nosebleed NHL and NBA tickets are very expensive as well.

€15 is incredibly cheap. That's minor league sports, community theater shows here. Are all sorts of entertainment tickets cheap in Germany, or just the Bundesliga tickets? Edit: or are those just the supporters' tickets?
   544. puck Posted: January 11, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4345194)
DA - thanks for the MLS salary cap response on the prior page. The ~5% increase isn't all that encouraging.

That's in the CBA, 5% each year.
   545. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 11, 2013 at 04:53 PM (#4345213)
Scott Sinclair is going to Portland? He isn't playing for whatever team bought him to fulfil their "homegrown player" requirements, so that sounds like a good move.
   546. zack Posted: January 11, 2013 at 05:13 PM (#4345230)
If the federations are paying for their national team players, how will they redistribute them as the national teams change? Is there going to be a re-allocation every year?
   547. DA Baracus Posted: January 11, 2013 at 05:18 PM (#4345237)
That's in the CBA, 5% each year.


Well there you go.

Scott Sinclair is going to Portland?


Where are you seeing that?
   548. Mefisto Posted: January 11, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4345239)
Where are you seeing that?


It's a joke based on the women's allocation.

They said they planned to balance the women's teams. I don't know enough about the Mexican players to be sure if they did that or not. But Portland's defense would have to be pretty crappy to give back as many goals as they're likely to score.
   549. DA Baracus Posted: January 11, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4345241)
It's a joke based on the women's allocation.


*Turns around, sees joke that whooshed by him*
   550. ursus arctos Posted: January 11, 2013 at 05:38 PM (#4345260)
€15 is incredibly cheap. That's minor league sports, community theater shows here. Are all sorts of entertainment tickets cheap in Germany, or just the Bundesliga tickets? Edit: or are those just the supporters' tickets?


It's the supporters' tickets, but there are a lot of them. Even the top ticket for a club like Frankfurt would be less than 60 euro for all but "gala" matches against Bayern or Dortmund (cheaper on a season ticket basis).

For what it is worth, opera tickets in Frankfurt are only marginally more expensive. And there are more Bundesliga teams which are better than Eintracht than there are operas that are better than Frankfurt.
   551. puck Posted: January 11, 2013 at 05:56 PM (#4345271)
We're getting screwed!! I'm amazed at how expensive sports, concert, theater tickets are now compared to what I remember them to be 20 years ago, but I keep paying.

Though FWIW in Colorado the supporters' tickets are the cheapest tickets. I think they're $13/game if you have a season ticket. There's just a lot fewer supporters here than in places like Seattle and Toronto. I sit in the midfield seats which face are $45, I think in a season ticket package they're $37/game. There are discount midfield seats for supporters on the other side of the stadium, but those seats get the direct sun/sun in their eyes at sunset.
   552. DA Baracus Posted: January 11, 2013 at 06:11 PM (#4345283)
A SSS next to Turner Field? Yes please.
   553. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 12, 2013 at 09:10 AM (#4345529)
Sandro off.

That's not good news.
   554. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 12, 2013 at 09:20 AM (#4345530)
QPR are looking like a different team than when I saw them a couple of weeks ago. Not much going on in the box but they look comfortable on the ball and seem to be counter attacking well.
   555. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 12, 2013 at 09:33 AM (#4345532)
The two Philllips chances are better than anything Spurs have done. Spurs have the possession advantage but they've really done very little in the way of attacking goal.
   556. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 12, 2013 at 10:12 AM (#4345539)
The Defoe shot / Ade rebound in the 5th minute or so was probably the best chance of the game. But nothing since that.
   557. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 12, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4345544)
Yeah, JCC stood on his head for those 2 shots. Wish there'd been more than just that.

Meh.
   558. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 12, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4345549)
You would think Spurs would find something on the overlap, but I don't recall anything on the wings. 'Arry has definitely fixed the defensive mentality of the team.
   559. Mattbert Posted: January 12, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4345568)
You would think Spurs would find something on the overlap, but I don't recall anything on the wings.

Naughton offers zilch on the overlap and in the final third in general. Walker was too busy letting SWP run in behind him every ten minutes, I guess. Okay, Walker did get forward reasonably well but it was mostly inside. He just barely missed on his free kick, too. That was a great hit.

Both fullbacks for Spurs were pretty poor defensively today.
   560. Mattbert Posted: January 12, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4345569)
Sandro off. That's not good news.
@sandroraniere: Hi guys, I'm in some pain at the moment! On my way to the hospital for a scan now so fingers crossed it's good news...thanks for all support
Boy, wouldn't that be the icing on the turd cake for today.
   561. DA Baracus Posted: January 12, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4345571)
Everton-Swansea is a snooze fest. The rest of the games don't appear to be much better.
   562. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 12, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4345576)
I really miss Modric and Van der Vaart in games like today's. Spurs just don't have a one touch passing game right now and Adebayor's form remains terrible. This would have been a good game to have Dempsey start but I imagine AVB doesn't want to destroy what's left of Adebayor's confidence. After a run and some breakfast I'm feeling pretty good again. Let's open a pack of soccer cards!

Pack 1:

Stiliyan Petrov
Denis Straqlwhatever
Niko Kranjcar
Karim Frei
Rafael

Argh. That's worse than Spurs - QPR!
   563. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 12, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4345578)
Pack 4:

Tim Howard and Ledley King. Pack of the day. That's it. Done.
   564. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 12, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4345580)
How many packs did you buy, dare I ask?
   565. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 12, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4345582)
163 minutes of soccer so far today on my tv and I'm yet to see a goal.
   566. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 12, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4345584)
How many packs did you buy, dare I ask?

Ah, it was a gift. Looks like about 24 packs. 12 Premier League and 12 Euro 2012 packs. I got the coveted Marouane Chamakh! Fantastic.
   567. fra paolo Posted: January 12, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4345598)
Southampton with the points in a relegation six-pointer. I only saw about half an hour of that on a very erratic stream. I also saw most of QPR vs Spurs on TSN. So that's three football matches so far this year.
   568. Baldrick Posted: January 12, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4345623)
163 minutes of soccer so far today on my tv and I'm yet to see a goal.

You should have been watching Reading - West Brom.

3 goals in the last 10 minutes to win the game. This is the most optimistic I've been about the team all year!
   569. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 12, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4345648)
Twitter is on fire with commentary about Jonathan Walters's 2 own goals and 1 missed penalty against Chelsea. New Wikipedia page
   570. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4346113)
Koscielny suddenly thought he was playing American football and tackled Dzeko in the box.
   571. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 13, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4346159)
Really dumb from Kompany there. Lucky for him Man City's next 3 games are fairly soft.
   572. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: January 13, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4346222)
Another EPL look at expected versus actual performance, similar to the work done by MCoA and SG. One thing I'd like some clarification on, from the link:

Also, Liverpool and Tottenham rank low in terms of PDO, which means an improvement in terms of points-per-game is just around the corner.

I'm assuming the implication here is that some combination of LFC's and THFC's save and shooting percentage is below expectation -- is that right?

One of the metrics he uses, RSR, seems to adjust for strength of the opposition. I wonder if it also adjusts for situation/scoreline. It's something he's discussed in the past -- a team down a goal, all else being equal, is going to see more of the ball and have more shots vis-a-vis a game that's tied -- but I don't know if it's included here. Anecdotally, I think that adjustment would make Liverpool look worse in the rankings -- today's game as well as the thrashing at the hands of Villa are good examples of Liverpool piling on shots after being down a goal or two.
   573. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 13, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4346243)
Interesting, CWS. If I'm reading it right, the blogger is using raw shots rather than shots on target. My playing around with the data has found shots on target to be a better predictor of goals (looking at seasons divided into odd/even weeks) than shots alone. I don't think all shots on target are equal, of course, but I think they're good bit equal-er than shots are.

I doubt anyone is adjusting for situation/scoreline, unless they are independently wealthy. As far as I can tell, within-game splits for advanced stats are not available from any sources but the full Opta database.

On the continuing subject of Liverpool, I'm really talking myself into their being a legitimately good club. (As a caveat, I should admit that I'm a three-time fantasy owner of Ricky Nolasco, so as much as I try not to oversell the utility of counter-intuitive advanced stat results, I usually talk myself into them eventually.) First, Liverpool's +7 GD is hardly much removed from those of the 4th place contenders. Second, Liverpool's struggles to convert chances into goals are actually not their biggest problem statistically - they're more prone to allowing more goals than you'd expect based on opportunities than they are prone to failing to convert opportunities. And I think we all agree that the Liverpool back line and central midfield are strong. Reina hasn't been the best, but he's not some huge liability. I think they're going to solidify the defense in the second half, and even if the attack never gets any closer to matching their underlying data, defensive improvement alone would bring them up toward the Tottenham/Everton/Arsenal/(Chelsea?) line.

Third, am I the only one who thought they looked really good with Daniel Sturridge up top? Suarez in a free agent position behind a central striker was so dangerous that Ferguson had to substitute a defender into central midfield purely to mark him. The value of Sturridge to Liverpool isn't so much that he's the greatest player ever as that he's effectively taking minutes from replacement-level youth team attackers like Sterling and Shelvey while pushing Suarez into a more natural position for him. Further, there should be knock-on effects where Suarez dropping deeper allows for much improved linkage between defense and attack.

Also, as I suffer through a total #### week in fantasy (screw your faster than expected healing, Petr Cech's groin), I'm playing around with a punt for Sturridge. Just a league average striker should rack up big numbers with all the chances Suarez creates.
   574. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 13, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4346275)
Porto and Benfica are 2-2 after 18 minutes! Malaga are playing really well against Barca but one lazy backpass allowed Messi to score.
   575. jmurph Posted: January 13, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4346316)
I think MCoA is right on the merits of the Sturridge/Suarez partnership, but they have so little talent elsewhere on the field. None of the rest of the team would be out of place on a handful of mid-table teams.
   576. fra paolo Posted: January 13, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4346325)
My fourth football match of the year involved Fiorentina (the team I used to watch every weekend a couple of years ago, and have followed off and on for almost twenty years now) and Udinese. It did not end well.

Stevan Jovetic, whom I remember as a promising youngster who needed to work harder at getting past defenders, is no longer a youngster, and therefore no longer promising, and still can't get past defenders.

I'm honestly not sure I like this team as much as the 2008-10 version whose ups and downs would set the tone for my week. We'll see.
   577. ursus arctos Posted: January 13, 2013 at 07:14 PM (#4346407)
Jovetic is still getting back into match shape after being out for quite a while. You shouldn't take today's performance as a measure of his current level.
   578. SuperGrover Posted: January 13, 2013 at 07:25 PM (#4346416)
No situation adjusted analysis yet; it remains a goal of mine, but something I probably won't tackle for a couple months.

Also agree on MCoA's note about shots versus shots on target. I go a bit further than SOT alone, but they certainly represent a solid framework by themselves with a correlation of .81 this season and .87 last year. That's about a full tenth better than plain shots.

Re: Liverpool

I think they are pretty clearly a solid team and capable of challenging for 4th this season. They really had some bad breaks early, losing to United and drawing City and Everton in games that could have been wins. Statistically they have been near elite almost every game. My viewings agree with the statistical sentiments although I do feel they lapse too much defensively occasionally. Sturridge, while flawed, should be a major upgrade over players like Shelvey and Suso and allow for Sterling to be rotated and rested against specific matchups.

Of course, it all depends upon Suarez. He has been elite this season, much improved over his performance last year. If this continues, they will be a handful for any of the non-Manchester teams to deal with.

Re: I think MCoA is right on the merits of the Sturridge/Suarez partnership, but they have so little talent elsewhere on the field. None of the rest of the team would be out of place on a handful of mid-table teams.

Gerrard can still play and Sterling has skills although probably shouldn't be relied upon weekly. Lucas is solid and Agger and Johnson can defend. They aren't overflowing with skills, but they aren't atrocious either. And again, if Suarez plays like this he can make up for a lot of deficiencies elsewhere.
   579. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 13, 2013 at 07:49 PM (#4346423)
No situation adjusted analysis yet; it remains a goal of mine, but something I probably won't tackle for a couple months.
What's your data source?
   580. SuperGrover Posted: January 13, 2013 at 07:57 PM (#4346425)
Don't have one yet. Will try and figure it out.
   581. Baldrick Posted: January 13, 2013 at 08:17 PM (#4346434)
Real Madrid are 18 points behind Barca, and only 21 points above relegation.
   582. Mefisto Posted: January 13, 2013 at 08:35 PM (#4346441)
I haven't seen Liverpool play much, but they were terrible in the first half today. I saw it as a contest: who would be worse, Ashley Young by himself or LFC as a team.

Obviously LFC improved a lot in the second half. Part of that was Sturridge. Part was the change in formation consequent to Sturridge coming on. Part of it was Utd sitting back a bit too much. But I'm inclined to agree that the talent level isn't top of the table. Maybe it's just a case of failing to get the right line-up, but I'd be leery of betting on them going forward.
   583. ursus arctos Posted: January 13, 2013 at 08:41 PM (#4346450)
Also only three points above having to play a Champions League qualifier and six points ahead of being out of Europe entirely.

At this point in the season last time around, they were five points clear of Barcelona and also ahead on goal difference.

This season their goal difference is 19 goals short of Barca's (though it is still better than Atleti's or anyone else's).

Barcelona have completed the first half of the league program with 18 wins and a draw.
   584. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 13, 2013 at 09:00 PM (#4346476)
Barcelona have completed the first half of the league program with 18 wins and a draw.

Clearly Pep was holding them back.
   585. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 13, 2013 at 09:50 PM (#4346488)
-Juve drew at Parma after losing home to Sampdoria last week, which puts the scudetto back in play a little - Lazio now only three points off the top, Napoli five, Inter seven.

-It's interesting how much Barca are dominating The League, since they seemed a little short of past Barca sides in the games I saw in the Champions League. I guess they were really short in defense for those games, and they've got most of the first-choice back line fit again.

-I'm assuming that it's a horrible cliche for someone who is only beginning to sort of follow Serie A or The League to be rooting for Atletico and Napoli, but the Madrid chase for 2nd and the re-opening of the scudetto chase have me rooting for both those sides. If only I could watch the games on tv.
   586. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 14, 2013 at 08:46 AM (#4346610)
-I'm assuming that it's a horrible cliche for someone who is only beginning to sort of follow Serie A or The League to be rooting for Atletico and Napoli, but the Madrid chase for 2nd and the re-opening of the scudetto chase have me rooting for both those sides. If only I could watch the games on tv.

I think all good and decent people are rooting for Napoli and Atletico. Having to choose between Juve and Lazio? Yikes!
   587. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 14, 2013 at 08:50 AM (#4346612)
Transfer news!

Not really, but if Newcastle pull off signing Remy and Sissoko their relegation problems will be over with. Also, who goes back to England first, Modric or Song?
   588. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 14, 2013 at 09:33 AM (#4346616)
Liverpool strike me as a bit of a bully team. Not in the sense that they are physically rough but just that when they play a team that isn't very good they play very well and when they play a good team they get a little lost out there. The announcers mentioned on the broadcast that they hadn't beaten a team in the top half this year and that makes sense to me.

It's interesting how much Barca are dominating The League, since they seemed a little short of past Barca sides in the games I saw in the Champions League.


I agree with this. I wonder if it's just a function of a lack of motivation. Winning La Liga obviously is meaningful Barca knew from day one they were getting through the group stage so I don't think there was a lot of need for them to have the motor cranked all the way up. The one game where there was any potential urgency was probably that second matchday game against Benfica which they won 2-0. Once they had those 3 points in the bag there was no real moment where they were in any danger. I think we'll have a good handle on them when they play Milan. I won't be at all surprised if they really step on Milan's collective throat and have a 2-0 lead after 30 minutes.
   589. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 14, 2013 at 09:33 AM (#4346617)
Also, who goes back to England first, Modric or Song?


Mourinho
   590. frannyzoo Posted: January 14, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4346618)
My lack of goodness and decency has never been in question, but I'm guess I'm adding/subtracting to it. I can't root for Napoli. And between Juve and Lazio, it's easy to root for Juve. Easy. Atletico is where it gets really hard for some reason, especially with Betis so easy to root for. As mentioned above, RM could have to experience some embarrassing European qualification round, and Betis is essential to that, very laudable, circumstance.
   591. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 14, 2013 at 09:41 AM (#4346622)
It's interesting how much Barca are dominating The League, since they seemed a little short of past Barca sides in the games I saw in the Champions League.

Hey, you can only play as good as your opponent lets you. Celtic is just that good. /trying really hard to keep a straight face
   592. fra paolo Posted: January 14, 2013 at 09:46 AM (#4346624)
A friend of mine, and Spurs fan, has a moan about Premiership away-ticket prices on his blog.
   593. zack Posted: January 14, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4346627)

I doubt anyone is adjusting for situation/scoreline, unless they are independently wealthy. As far as I can tell, within-game splits for advanced stats are not available from any sources but the full Opta database.


The PDO* reference means this person is familiar with hockey metrics, and you could do for soccer the same way they do for all the hockey stats, scraping all the game logs and calculating them from the PBP. In hockey the fashion is to ignore everything when the game is tied in order to correct for the possession change, but I hate that. The hockey background might also be the source of using just shots rather than shots-on-goal, since that is a better predictor of possession and the more useful for hockey.

*Which is shooting percentage + save percentage and is supposed to trend to 1000 in hockey. I'm very surprised that it's apparently about the same in soccer.
   594. zack Posted: January 14, 2013 at 09:55 AM (#4346628)
I've always hated juve like any decent person, but I'm gay for Pirlo.
   595. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM (#4346631)
and Spurs fan

I think he's THE Spurs fan!

Speaking of fandom and such in the UK, I like how fans there say "I'm Wolves" or whatever if you ask them what club they support. It's a nice little linguistic touch, I think.
   596. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 14, 2013 at 10:03 AM (#4346632)
A dive, or did he just anticipate contact and lose his balance?

Either way it was a terrible call and a bad break for Villa.
   597. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 14, 2013 at 10:09 AM (#4346635)
It's a nice little linguistic touch, I think.


One of the linguistic things the Europeans I work with do that I like is they say they are "married with" rather than "married to" a person.
   598. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 14, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4346688)
A dive, or did he just anticipate contact and lose his balance?


I wish the replay had rolled through a bit. The reaction of the player can often give you some good insight. If he immediately looks to the ref then he was diving, if he hops up then it's just a slip and fall and he knows it. The brief bit we saw he was looking at the ball, not the ref which makes me think it was just an accidental tumble that the ref blew.
   599. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 14, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4346700)
The brief bit we saw he was looking at the ball, not the ref which makes me think it was just an accidental tumble that the ref blew.

I thought so, too. The Villa defender sticks his leg out and Rodriguez looks like he wants to avoid it and then falls down clumsily in the process. A bad break for Aston Villa.
   600. Mattbert Posted: January 14, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4346709)
A dive, or did he just anticipate contact and lose his balance?

I take Jose's point in #598, but on the evidence of the highlight Shooty linked it seems highly unlikely that it was anything but a dive.
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