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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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   601. Grunthos Posted: January 14, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4346710)
In all honesty, I can't tell whether Rodriguez consciously dove or just lost his balance avoiding Stevens' challenge. Since Villa only played well enough to deserve a draw when they absolutely needed to get three points at home against one of the few teams arguably inferior to them, there's a certain sense of justice to the outcome, in the sense that nobody at Aston Villa should have any complacency about anything at any point for the rest of this season.
   602. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 14, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4346712)
Oops, nevermind
   603. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 14, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4346727)
Seems like Wesley Sneijder is fairly desperate not to go to Galatasaray.
   604. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 14, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4346732)
Seems like Wesley Sneijder is fairly desperate not to go to Galatasaray.

Can't say I blame him.
   605. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 14, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4346738)
Can't say I blame him.

What's so bad about playing in Turkey?
   606. Mattbert Posted: January 14, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4346739)
Any of you who managed to stay awake during the QPR-Spurs match on Saturday, please help. I would have sworn Harry brought on Djibril Cisse about five minutes from time, but none of match reports say that happened. I am starting to think that the first 80-odd minutes of tedium either (a) drove me temporarily insane and I hallucinated QPR making an attacking change or (b) put me to sleep and I dreamed of QPR making an attacking change. Wha' happen?
   607. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 14, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4346740)
Is there something wrong with the club? Being rich in Istanbul sounds like a pretty good life to me. Great city.

Or maybe he wants to play against a higher level of competition? On the one hand, ok, the Turkish League isn't Serie A or the Premiership, on the other hand, Galatasaray is drawn into the round of 16 in the Champions League against entirely beatable Schalke.
   608. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 14, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4346742)
I would have sworn Harry brought on Djibril Cisse about five minutes from time, but none of match reports say that happened. I am starting to think that the first 80-odd minutes of tedium either (a) drove me temporarily insane and I hallucinated QPR making an attacking change or (b) put me to sleep and I dreamed of QPR making an attacking change. Wha' happen?

Sir, he did not. He warmed up and it looked like he might come on but he never did. The only memorable part of the game was Cesar's double save. That was annoyingly impressive.
   609. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 14, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4346743)
Any of you who managed to stay awake during the QPR-Spurs match on Saturday, please help. I would have sworn Harry brought on Djibril Cisse about five minutes from time, but none of match reports say that happened. I am starting to think that the first 80-odd minutes of tedium either (a) drove me temporarily insane and I hallucinated QPR making an attacking change or (b) put me to sleep and I dreamed of QPR making an attacking change. Wha' happen?


I have the same memory. What I remember even more is the announcers talking about it at great length starting even before the end of the first half so maybe that's why we think he came on.
   610. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 14, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4346745)
Any of you who managed to stay awake during the QPR-Spurs match on Saturday, please help. I would have sworn Harry brought on Djibril Cisse about five minutes from time, but none of match reports say that happened. I am starting to think that the first 80-odd minutes of tedium either (a) drove me temporarily insane and I hallucinated QPR making an attacking change or (b) put me to sleep and I dreamed of QPR making an attacking change. Wha' happen?
I have a clear memory of the announcers saying that Harry was bringing on Cisse, and talking about QPR adding a striker and going for it in the final minutes. I have no memory of an actual substitution happening. I watched for Cisse for a couple minutes, never saw him, then forgot about it. My guess is either the announcers got it wrong and never corrected themselves, or Harry changed his mind.
   611. ursus arctos Posted: January 14, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4346767)
Sneijder's position is likely informed by the fact that there has been a revolt among the more religious elements of Galatasary's support because Ms Sneijder "seduced" a good Muslim boy in a recent film, and they believe that there is no place for the consort of such a Jezebel at their beloved club.

Or it may be that they've gotten extremely comfortable in Milan (which is no doubt the case).
   612. Mattbert Posted: January 14, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4346774)
I have a clear memory of the announcers saying that Harry was bringing on Cisse, and talking about QPR adding a striker and going for it in the final minutes. I have no memory of an actual substitution happening. I watched for Cisse for a couple minutes, never saw him, then forgot about it. My guess is either the announcers got it wrong and never corrected themselves, or Harry changed his mind.

I think this must be it. Too, having no memory of Cisse actually having a touch wasn't a red flag because of the overall pattern of play.
   613. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 14, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4346778)
Don't eat the pies at Stamford Bridge

At my two trip to the Lane I had no desire to buy any food or drink as the action is so engrossing the time flies and you're only in the stadium for 2 hours. It just didn't occur to me to even bother with concessions.
   614. Mattbert Posted: January 14, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4346781)
At my two trip to the Lane I had no desire to buy any food or drink as the action is so engrossing the time flies and you're only in the stadium for 2 hours. It just didn't occur to me to even bother with concessions.

I've only ever purchased the scalding hot "cuppa" for the purpose of warming my hands at halftime. I think this may actually be the intended function of the tea sold at concessions because it certainly isn't designed for drinking.
   615. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 14, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4346784)
Is there something wrong with the club?

More the supporters, than the club. Also Milan v Istanbul is no contest imo.

Edit: Or what the bear said.
   616. Topher Posted: January 14, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4346815)
Having to choose between Juve and Lazio? Yikes!


The Old Lady or fascism? Not a tough choice at all.

Also, as somebody who got into soccer watching Baggio, Vialli, Del Pierro, Zidane, Davids, etc., I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Juventus. It's not like rooting for either of the Milan teams is any better ....
   617. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 14, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4346877)
The Old Lady or fascism? Not a tough choice at all.

My choice was completely rhetorical. The answer for which club to choose between Juve, Lazio and the Milan clubs is to ask another question!

Looks like QPR are using Tony Fernandes' cash to try to hijack the Loic Remy transfer. I'm guessing QPR is one of the clubs against a Premier League FFP. Interestingly enough, the clubs in favor of a PL FFP are Man U, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool. Well, I guess it's not that interesting since those clubs stand to gain the most from FFP.
   618. ursus arctos Posted: January 14, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4346883)
They are also among the Premier League clubs who participated in the consultations that resulted in the final UEFA version of FPP.

Unlike QPR, of course.
   619. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 14, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4346886)
FFP is a tangled web!
   620. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 14, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4346893)
No point worrying about Europe, when just staying in the PL is a longshot.
   621. DA Baracus Posted: January 14, 2013 at 04:13 PM (#4346894)
The other week I said if soccer was like American sports that players like Torres, Carroll and Snjeider would have been either cut or traded in a salary dump.

Being loaned to Galatasaray count?
   622. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 14, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4346895)
No point worrying about Europe, when just staying in the PL is a longshot.

They want to create a version of the FFP that would be in effect within the PL in addition to UEFA's FFP. Man U, Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool are skeptical UEFA will be able to enforce FFP rules so they basically want the PL to enforce their own version of it. At least, that's my understanding, and they want this to happen before the Brinks trucks of new tv money start pulling up at the club offices.
   623. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 14, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4346908)
The other week I said if soccer was like American sports that players like Torres, Carroll and Snjeider would have been either cut or traded in a salary dump.
No way on Torres. He's basically worst-case Alex Rodriguez, a practically immovable salary on a player who isn't any better than league average. The only chance the Yankees have of moving ARod's salary (if they wanted to) is to play him and hope he improves to be sale-able. Rodriguez has a lot more upside to be a very good player again than Torres, given the differing aging curves of baseball and football, and Rodriguez' significantly greater and more diverse abilities. And Rodriguez is immovable now.
   624. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 14, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4346915)
Man U, Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool are skeptical UEFA will be able to enforce FFP rules

I am shocked, shocked to find clubs think FFP is a joke.
   625. Topher Posted: January 14, 2013 at 06:08 PM (#4347009)
No way on Torres. He's basically worst-case Alex Rodriguez, a practically immovable salary on a player who isn't any better than league average.


Vernon Wells, Carl Crawford, Gilbert Arenas, Joe Johnson ...

In football you do just get cut.

Maybe Torres is the British version of Rick DiPietro???
   626. Swedish Chef Posted: January 14, 2013 at 07:50 PM (#4347066)
The other week I said if soccer was like American sports that players like Torres, Carroll and Snjeider would have been either cut or traded in a salary dump.

Carroll went from mega buy to the bargain bin faster than most anything in American sport.
   627. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 14, 2013 at 08:13 PM (#4347075)
Loic Remy is signing with QPR.
   628. DA Baracus Posted: January 14, 2013 at 08:22 PM (#4347079)
Carroll went from mega buy to the bargain bin faster than most anything in American sport.


Immediate albatross contracts/transfer fees can do that to a player.
   629. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 14, 2013 at 08:44 PM (#4347091)
Loic Remy is signing with QPR.
God, why?
   630. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 14, 2013 at 09:39 PM (#4347115)
Vernon Wells, Carl Crawford, Gilbert Arenas, Joe Johnson ...
In football you do just get cut.

Yeah, but that's because a large portion of contracts in the NFL tend to be non guaranteed. So cutting a player actually saves a team cash. When all contracts are fully guaranteed, it only really makes sense to cut somebody if they are below replacement level, and unlikely to rebound.

Carroll went from mega buy to the bargain bin faster than most anything in American sport.

IDK. Carl Crawford, Matt Cassel, RG3... what, too soon?
   631. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 14, 2013 at 09:54 PM (#4347124)
Loic Remy is signing with QPR.

God, why?
For Remy, I assume because QPR is paying kind of ridiculous wages. For QPR, I'd guess because if they don't stay up, their finances are ###### either way.
   632. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 15, 2013 at 09:19 AM (#4347327)
For Remy, I assume because QPR is paying kind of ridiculous wages. For QPR, I'd guess because if they don't stay up, their finances are ###### either way.

For Remy it's easy--big wages and if QPR do go down he's got his foot in the door in England. For QPR...pure desperation. It's a good signing, though and they're after Yann M'Villa!
   633. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 15, 2013 at 09:40 AM (#4347333)
Sunderland confirm loan signing of Kader Mangane from Dreadfort United in the WPL.
   634. Jeffo has an El Camino full of Rampage Posted: January 15, 2013 at 10:00 AM (#4347342)
Westeros Premier League? I imagine they would have quite the winter break.....
   635. Mattbert Posted: January 15, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4347351)
Jonny Wils on the 4-2-3-1 and why it's not the silver bullet it might have appeared to be a decade ago.
Juanma Lillo, the great mentor of Pep Guardiola, said that 4–2–3–1 gave him the best distribution of players over the pitch, which is understandable. The central three in midfield is flexible and playing with the wide men high up averts the immediate problem of 4-4-2 which is that the opposing full-backs have time and space in front of them (even distribution is of importance, of course, primarily for sides playing a game based on passing and pressing and there are other, equally effective and equally legitimate modes of play that have other priorities). But there is space there; the blanket is never quite big enough.

The problem is that if the wide men are advanced to pin in the opposing full-back, there is space between them and their own full-back. It is difficult space to exploit, being neither behind nor in front of a team but between two lines, but it is possible.

[...]

When 4–2–3–1 first emerged, it seemed a way of reintroducing dribblers into the game. With the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robben and Eden Hazard, it is easy to forget that by the mid-90s, it had become relatively rare to see a player run at an opponent and try to take him on primarily with skill as opposed to pace. The old-school winger may have been reinvented as a wide-forward more concerned with scoring than crossing, but in terms of close technical ability, often from a standing start, many of the attributes of the traditional winger have been reawakened over the past 15 years.

What has become increasingly apparent, though, is that having players with a licence to dribble from high up the pitch brings its own danger. Those wide men must also be prepared, as an absolute minimum, to track or close the opposing full-back and, ideally, they should have the awareness to drop off and pick up the opposing winger if he comes into that three-quarter space at the edge of the 4–2–3–1.
   636. zack Posted: January 15, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4347358)
Sort of related to the above, it reminded me that in the game on sunday, Welbeck tracked back at a full sprint for probably 3/4 the length of the field when a Liverpool player got the ball with no one between him and the far end line. It was the most backchecking effort I think I've ever seen from a forward in a league game.
   637. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 15, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4347376)
Robbie Keane training with Spurs to get ready for the MLS season. They wouldn't be thinking of signing him to sit on the bench while Adebayor is in Africa, would they? It would only be for a couple of games, but still. I'd think I'd prefer Obika getting the sitting on the bench in case of emergency duty.
   638. DA Baracus Posted: January 15, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4347392)
When all contracts are fully guaranteed, it only really makes sense to cut somebody if they are below replacement level, and unlikely to rebound.


That describes Torres.
   639. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 15, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4347448)
Svennis has found a job! Are you ready to guess? Don't bother because you would never have guessed 1860 Munich!
   640. DA Baracus Posted: January 15, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4347453)
Robbie Keane training with Spurs to get ready for the MLS season. They wouldn't be thinking of signing him to sit on the bench while Adebayor is in Africa, would they? It would only be for a couple of games, but still. I'd think I'd prefer Obika getting the sitting on the bench in case of emergency duty.


FWIW, Keane scored 3 goals in 7 games for Aston Villa last year. (One was a 3-2 win, so without that the would have been relegated.) You can do way worse than Keane for 6 weeks.
   641. Ron J2 Posted: January 15, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4347455)
#621 At least two prominent NHL players (Wade Redden and Scotty Gomez) have been sent home by their respective teams. Salary cap rules makes it more cost effective to pay them not to play than to even simply give them away.
   642. DA Baracus Posted: January 15, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4347459)
#621 At least two prominent NHL players (Wade Redden and Scotty Gomez) have been sent home by their respective teams. Salary cap rules makes it more cost effective to pay them not to play than to even simply give them away.


Those players are no longer prominent, they're just expensive.

They were sent away because the new CBA makes their cap hit still count if they were sent down so they are looking to unload them and don't want to risk injury. Previously teams just stashed them away in the AHL.
   643. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 15, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4347461)
FWIW, Keane scored 3 goals in 7 games for Aston Villa last year. (One was a 3-2 win, so without that the would have been relegated.) You can do way worse than Keane for 6 weeks.

I don't think he'd even be needed for that long since Togo isn't expected to go far at the ACN, especially as I suspect Adebayor will be sulking through the tournament. I like Keane but I'd prefer they reward Obika for tearing things up for the youth/reserve team.

There's a little bit of gossip now that Willian is trying to force a move to Spurs.
Nothing new on Sneijder.
Everton are close to signing Etienne Capoue from Toulose.
Not much else going on. Arsenal may or may not be in or Diame and etc. etc. etc...
Vincent Kompany had his red card rescinded. I thought it was a reasonable call by the ref but they've has been very quick to rescind red cards this year. My favorite dumb rumor today is that Man City were going to sign Mats Hummels if Kompany has to sit out 3 games. Just so, so dumb.
   644. ursus arctos Posted: January 15, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4347467)
Man City finally cut Michael Johnson loose.

Daniel Taylor on Johnson's fall from grace.

641, I'm quite sure you know this, but Gomez and Redden would still be with their teams if the new NHL CBA hadn't provided limited cap amnesty for contract buyouts. The details of the rules here matter a lot (as to the nature of the contracts, as the NFL example noted above makes clear).
   645. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 15, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4347476)
When all contracts are fully guaranteed, it only really makes sense to cut somebody if they are below replacement level, and unlikely to rebound.

That describes Torres.

Oh bull, you can do way worse than Torres.
   646. Swedish Chef Posted: January 15, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4347491)
When all contracts are fully guaranteed, it only really makes sense to cut somebody if they are below replacement level, and unlikely to rebound.

I don't know how replacement level would apply to soccer as there is no minimum salary, would that be the best player willing to play for free? Otherwise, one man's* replacement player is another's** expensive bosman signing.

*) Chelsea, obviously
**) Everton...
   647. Swedish Chef Posted: January 15, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4347494)
Oh bull, you can do way worse than Torres.

Is Afonso Alves still playing?
   648. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 15, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4347535)
Is Afonso Alves still playing?
Yes, but I doubt the Red Sox will be using him as a closer this season.
   649. Mattbert Posted: January 15, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4347578)
Man City finally cut Michael Johnson loose.

That "recent photo" of him is shocking. I doubt I'd have recognized him were it not for the caption; he must have gained damn near 50 pounds.
   650. Swedish Chef Posted: January 15, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4347652)

Svennis has found a job! Are you ready to guess? Don't bother because you would never have guessed 1860 Munich!


Svennis has denied that he has taken the job or even speaking with them (which means nothing in an agent-driven world).

In other has-been news Gordon Strachan will lead Scotland, leaving unsaid if it's the coach or the team that's the has-been.
   651. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 15, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4347664)
Svennis has denied that he has taken the job or even speaking with them (which means nothing in an agent-driven world).

Then this is a very Svennis story as the 1860 chairman has announced he's signed up. Ah, to be Sven for just a day...
   652. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 15, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4347679)
There's some twittering that Sandro might be out for 6 months now. I'm just going to go sit on this ledge and check the view, let my feet dangle a bit...
   653. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 15, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4347721)
Holden is on the bench today for Bolton. Watching Real v Valencia now. 2 striking points: 1. Modric really is in poor form. Maybe he's starting to feel the pressure and, unfortunately for him, he shanked a sitter. 2. Real look dangerous going forward but what's a little surprising to me is how comfortable Valencia are on the ball. Real are giving them a lot of space to play in and don't look all that intent on closing anyone down.

edit: And after typing all that Real score on a counter attack just after Valencia almost scored.
   654. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 15, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4347743)
The source for the Sandro rumor was a now-deleted tweet by Brazilian-British rap artist Aggro Santos. He wished his boy Sandro good luck with the knee surgery he's having today. The "out for six months" thing is people extrapolating that Sandro tore a ligament, which would be a six-month recovery.

I guess maybe somehow Aggro Santos had bad information - maybe, wishcasting, he's trying to seem more important to his twitter followers by claiming a friendship with a star Brazilian footballer - but all things considered I think it's a pretty believable source and tweet. So I'm more just hoping that the surgery is for something less serious than a ligament tear. Parker-Dembele in midfield against United. Eh.

-Also, watching a terribly legal stream of an Al Jazeera broadcast of Real-Valencia, and the set of their halftime show is a gibbering terror of mixed interior design and CGI.
   655. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 15, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4347762)
Terrible miss by Jonas that should have equalized for Valencia. The through-ball from Banega that set up the attacking move was basically the act of a wizard.
   656. Mattbert Posted: January 15, 2013 at 05:30 PM (#4347769)
1. Modric really is in poor form. Maybe he's starting to feel the pressure and, unfortunately for him, he shanked a sitter.

He did that when he was in top form too. I think the football gods have decreed that banging home sitters and tap-ins is beneath a man of Modric's sublime ability, so they temporarily cause all his technique and skill to vacate his body at the critical moment. Only to be returned tenfold when there's an opportunity for him to bend a pearler into the top corner or smack one in from an outrageous angle with the outside of his foot.

"Only golazos for you, Luka. Only golazos. When life hands you a gaping net, you are become Ronny Rosenthal just for this moment."
   657. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 15, 2013 at 05:34 PM (#4347773)
According to Soccer by Ives Stuart Holden got into the game in the 76th minute today. Nothing on how it went (or is going I should say).
   658. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 15, 2013 at 09:31 PM (#4347899)
So, Redknapp told the BBC (presumably interviewed through a car window), that Loic Remy's deal is done now that he has passed a physical, and Yann M'Vila should be with Rangers shortly. QPR paid £8M to Marseille and will pay Remy over £70k per week. The fee for M'Vila is expected to be ~£7M.

I don't know anything about either player beyond what I read when Spurs were linked to them over the summer. QPR has pretty much zero forward talent of any note, so Remy should be an upgrade even if various reports of his decline for Marseille are true.
   659. Mattbert Posted: January 15, 2013 at 10:11 PM (#4347909)
Yeah, Remy ought to be a significant improvement up front for QPR unless he's just completely lost it.

M'Vila is one of the better young defensive midfielders around, in my opinion. He's a beast of a guy physically and an excellent tackler and reader of the game (you'll see this in his interceptions stats). Very good in the air, especially defending set pieces. His passing is probably best described as functional, but that's not a put-down. He's not just a destroyer who dumps it short to a teammate as soon as he can; he's got a solid passing range despite not being particularly ambitious. A big part of his role in the current Rennes team is spreading the ball wide to the wings/forwards, and he's incredibly reliable at that.

I think M'Vila would be another substantial upgrade for QPR; he's got a lot more to offer technically compared to the likes of Derry, Mbia, or Diakite without losing anything on the defensive side. And because this is Spurs Think Factory, if these rumors about Sandro's knee injury are true and he's out for the season, M'Vila would be a great short-term replacement for him and a longer-term replacement for Parker.
   660. Spivey Posted: January 15, 2013 at 10:43 PM (#4347921)
Where did all of QPR's money come from. Did they get a sugar daddy?
   661. Mattbert Posted: January 15, 2013 at 11:20 PM (#4347932)
Tony Fernandes: airline mogul (AirAsia), Formula 1 dabbler, and once would-be owner of West Ham.
   662. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 15, 2013 at 11:51 PM (#4347939)
The fact that M'Vila and Remy are semi-regulars on the French National Team (non-Domenech version) seems to me that are quite the upgrade for this current QPR team.
   663. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:05 AM (#4347941)
Bolton beat Sunderland 2-0! Two goals from recent Twitter scofflaw and malcontent Marvin Sordell. Holden did well, reportedly amid chants of "Stu S.A.!" Oft-injured teen Josh Vela got into the game as well. Big FA Cup matchup with Everton comes up next.
   664. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 08:46 AM (#4347986)
Meh.

Cosmos wants to rise from the ground in Nassau County. It looks more and more likely I'll just go back to my childhood and latch on to the Quakes as my MLS team.
   665. zack Posted: January 16, 2013 at 09:41 AM (#4348003)
Because Nassau is famous for it's overwhelming support of it's major league sports teams?
   666. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4348009)
He did that when he was in top form too. I think the football gods have decreed that banging home sitters and tap-ins is beneath a man of Modric's sublime ability, so they temporarily cause all his technique and skill to vacate his body at the critical moment. Only to be returned tenfold when there's an opportunity for him to bend a pearler into the top corner or smack one in from an outrageous angle with the outside of his foot.

Missing the sitter didn't shock me, fo sho. I think Mourninho has him playing to high up the pitch. He was practically playing right behind Benzema in the first half which I think cancels out a lot of what Modric does so well--transition defense into offense in the most incisive way possible. I think he needs to receive the ball from a deeper position to get a good view of what's going on farther up the pitch. I hope it works out for him in Madrid. If he had forced his move to Chelsea last year I would not have such warm feelings for the little guy but leaving for Madrid this year seemed natural and I don't begrudge him wanting to make the move. In that vein, if Real want to ship him back home, I'd be cool with that.
   667. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4348015)
Transfer news!

Not much going on. Liverpool are after Tottenham youth player Alex Pritchard. That could happen as Tottenham recently lost one of their youth directors to LFC and Pritchard is almost out of contract. He's a good looking prospect. Speaking of LFC, it would seem they are the only PL team interested in Sneijder.

Chelsea supposedly have an agreement of first refusal to sign Isco as part of the Piazon loan arrangement. Bums me out that Isco will be going there.

Newcastle have shifted their interest from Remy to the guy probably most like Remy, Lyon's Bafetembi Gomis.

Wenger says it will be hard to sign anyone since they're so good it's hard to find upgrades to what they already have. It would be easy to snark on that, but I think he has a point. You have to spend a lot of cash to get the marginal upgrade from very good to great. Then again, if you can make that marginal upgrade, it can make all the difference. I just don't think it's in Wenger's DNA to pay the cash to upgrade from, say, Giroud to Falcao (just as an illustrative example). So, Arsenal will remain in what RB so eloquently refers to as top table obscurity unless some of the younger players like Ox or Walcott or Wilshere become world class. (I don't think I got that wording exact. Sorry RB!)
   668. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 16, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4348024)
Chelsea supposedly have an agreement of first refusal to sign Isco as part of the Piazon loan arrangement. Bums me out that Isco will be going there.
It burns, but as good as Isco is, a world-class creative #10 probably upgrades Chelsea the least of any club in the world. (Well, Barca, but still.)
Wenger says it will be hard to sign anyone since they're so good it's hard to find upgrades to what they already have. It would be easy to snark on that, but I think he has a point. You have to spend a lot of cash to get the marginal upgrade from very good to great. Then again, if you can make that marginal upgrade, it can make all the difference.
Yeah, the problem for Arsenal is that they're very good all over the pitch, which means the only way to make major upgrades is with really expensive superstar purchases. I do think that, especially with Arteta out a few weeks, a good, £10M-ish central defensive midfielder would make a significant difference for Arsenal.

I do think Olivier Giroud is pretty good, which means their depth at striker (Walcott's been fine up top, too) is not an issue. They'd need, again, a superstar to make a difference. Someone who thinks Giroud basically sucks could argue that a merely very good striker would be a valuable acquisition.

Well, maybe defense. Vermaelen has been weirdly inconsistent, which you have to think will improve, and one of Koscielny (also inconsistent) or Mertesacker (unexpectedly cromulent) should be a useful partner for him. Gibbs is very good. Sagna's had a few shockers, but should project to be good. If they could add a defender capable of playing both central defense and right back, that could help in case a bunch of the inconsistent defenders stay that way or get worse.
   669. Mattbert Posted: January 16, 2013 at 10:34 AM (#4348034)
Holden did well, reportedly amid chants of "Stu S.A.!" Oft-injured teen Josh Vela got into the game as well.

It was Vela who came off for Holden with about fifteen minutes to go, if I remember the match report correctly.

I hope it works out for him in Madrid. If he had forced his move to Chelsea last year I would not have such warm feelings for the little guy but leaving for Madrid this year seemed natural and I don't begrudge him wanting to make the move. In that vein, if Real want to ship him back home, I'd be cool with that.

I'm with you in wishing Modric success in his post-Spurs career, but I don't know if we should go back to that well if the opportunity arose. Modric has apparently had trouble staying fit enough to play more than one game per week, and I wonder if his last couple workhorse seasons for Tottenham are starting to take their toll as he ages. If I felt more confident that he could come back and replicate his Spurs form, I'd have him in a heartbeat of course. A midfield of a fit and firing Sandro, Dembele, and Modric would be something else. (Admittedly, it appears none of the three are both fit and firing at the moment.)
   670. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 16, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4348041)
A midfield of a fit and firing Sandro, Dembele, and Modric would be something else. (Admittedly, it appears none of the three are both fit and firing at the moment.)
Dembele had a bad game. Obviously it's possible that something is wrong, whether it's his hip or the partnership with Parker or something unknown, but I think the null hypothesis has to be that Moussa Dembele is a dominant central midfielder and even excellent footballers have bad games occasionally. (And Stephane Mbia played a bit out of his mind against Dembele, too.)
   671. Mattbert Posted: January 16, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4348042)
Rumblings of a Calciopoli-esque match fixing scandal in Spain? VP of the Liga de Futbol Profesional quoted as saying he knows it's happened and he's working hard to prove it? Yikes.
   672. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 10:44 AM (#4348045)
Shockingly, Kansas City has dropped Live Strong

Of course, there are plenty of reputable cancer research charities KC can latch onto but something tells me they will not...Ira Sohn Research Foundation Park won't give them the sexiness I think they were after with the Live Strong branding.
   673. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4348046)
Rumblings of a Calciopoli-esque match fixing scandal in Spain? VP of the Liga de Futbol Profesional quoted as saying he knows it's happened and he's working hard to prove it? Yikes.

My initial reaction is shock but this is a league where they often don't pay their players and many of the clubs are broke so I guess all the elements are there for a gambling syndicate to strike.
   674. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 16, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4348051)
Rumblings of a Calciopoli-esque match fixing scandal in Spain? VP of the Liga de Futbol Profesional quoted as saying he knows it's happened and he's working hard to prove it? Yikes.
I don't really doubt it, but as Dermot Corrigan points out, the man making the allegation, Javier Tebas, could have other interests at stake. He's not just a VP for La Liga, he's also somehow the representative of Barca and Real against the mid-level Primera Division clubs in their ongoing war over tv revenues. (Ah, southern European sportocrats, so much more ham-handed in your corruption than northern European and American sportocrats.) If these allegations hit the non-Barca/Real clubs, as seems most likely, you'd rather have someone who's actually even slightly disinterested making said allegations.
   675. Mattbert Posted: January 16, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4348052)
Dembele had a bad game. Obviously it's possible that something is wrong, whether it's his hip or the partnership with Parker or something unknown, but I think the null hypothesis has to be that Moussa Dembele is a dominant central midfielder and even excellent footballers have bad games occasionally. (And Stephane Mbia played a bit out of his mind against Dembele, too.)

My take was two-fold. One, I think Dembele's hip is bothering him; he wasn't moving as gracefully and as powerfully as he normally does. Two, yes Mbia did a job on him - ably assisted by Lee Probert, who allowed Mbia to maul Dembele all afternoon with impunity. There were only three fouls called on Mbia the whole game (and five on Dembele, including a ridiculous booking).
   676. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4348072)
14:59 GMT: Tayfun Pekturk has left Greuther Furth and signed with Istanbul BB until 2015. "We would like to thank Tayfun for his work. As a member of our promoting win team he will he always be part of the club history," Furth sporting director Rouven Schroder said.

14:48 GMT: Savio Nsereko has joined fourth tier team Viktoria Koln. Recently the former West Ham player had been linked with a move to Bundesliga III club Preussen Munster, with the deal falling through at last minute.


The ESPN transfer blog is getting desperate...
   677. ursus arctos Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4348097)
Bild is now reporting that Guardiola is going to Bayern.
   678. Mattbert Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4348100)
Fire up the NYC to Frankfurt flight trackers!
   679. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4348103)
So, Arsenal will remain in what RB so eloquently refers to as top table obscurity unless some of the younger players like Ox or Walcott or Wilshere become world class. (I don't think I got that wording exact. Sorry RB!)
Well, it's the thought that counts. Although I can't remember my phrasing either, so we'll go with top table obscurity.

The ESPN transfer blog is getting desperate...
I think they're just making those up. I mean, "Tayfun Pekturk," come on!

Word is that Rooney will be back for the FA Cup Replay with West Ham today, as will Nani. On the West Ham side, if you've ever wanted to play defender for a Premier League team in the FA Cup, this might be your chance, because they don't really have anyone healthy. In fact, the defense is so hit by injury that Big Sam has annouced he might "tinkle with the system." I don't know if that's a misquote, or if "tinkle" means something else over there, but it sure it is fun.
   680. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4348104)
Bild is now reporting that Guardiola is going to Bayern.

I'm having trouble believing that. I figure there is no way he doesn't go to City especially now that his buddy is DOF there and they're attempting to raid Barca's front office staff. On the other hand, I hope it's true as I'm already dreading the endless where will Pep and Jose go? rumor mill.
   681. DA Baracus Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4348107)
The "Pep to Bayern" rumors happened the other day and were squashed.
   682. ursus arctos Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4348109)
True, but Bild is much, much better connected at Bayern than Sky Italia.
   683. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4348111)
Bolton have added striker Craig Davies from Barnsley, bringing their Davies contingent to 3, not counting owner/chairman/philanthropist Eddie Davies. Martin Petrov has left for Espanyol, which should reduce the payroll. That's about it.
   684. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4348112)
True, but Bild is much, much better connected at Bayern than Sky Italia.

This would be a true upset for me despite Bayern being a huge club. I have him dead certain for the PL. Well, as dead certain as I can be since I've never met the guy though I've been wandering the streets of New York looking for him...
   685. DA Baracus Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4348113)
True, but Bild is much, much better connected at Bayern than Sky Italia.


Fair point.

And Bayern has just announced it. Mmm, crow.

Bolton have added striker Craig Davies from Barnsley, bringing their Davies contingent to 3, not counting owner/chairman/philanthropist Eddie Davies


Could you field a Starting XI of Davies?
   686. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4348117)
Bild is now reporting that Guardiola is going to Bayern.
Whoa...

I think it was a Football Weekly podcast months ago, and I think it was Rafael Honigstein explaining why Pep to Bayern made more sense than any other destination - you have a club structure in place that's much more settled and functional than any of the EPL options, mostly. I've had Bayern for Pep in my head ever since.

This seems like a really terrible time for Bayern's management to be negotiating with the most famous unemployed manager in the world. Heynckes has the club playing what must be pretty wonderful football, and they have a real chance at the big double. Can't they wait with Guardiola?
   687. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4348118)
And Bayern has just announced it. Mmm, crow.

It seems to be official. I think this deserves a holy toledo, so...HOLY TOLEDO! Good for Pep to zig when they expected him to zag.
   688. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4348121)
This seems like a really terrible time for Bayern's management to be negotiating with the most famous unemployed manager in the world. Heynckes has the club playing what must be pretty wonderful football, and they have a real chance at the big double. Can't they wait with Guardiola?

Henckes is retiring so I don't think he minds and, if you've got a chance to get Guardiola, I don't think you #### around. You sign him before the sheiks and oligarchs etc. catch wind of it.

edit: Also, please, Foxsoccer, get the rights to the Bundesliga. You've got nothing else!
   689. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4348122)
Bild is now reporting that Guardiola is going to Bayern.

I'm having trouble believing that.

Pep: I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Edit: is it to late to go with: Ich finde ihren Mangel an Glauben beklagenswert.
   690. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4348123)
Henckes is retiring so I don't think he minds
Oh. That's different. Never mind.
   691. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4348126)
Could you field a Starting XI of Davies?
If you can, I know ex-Derby and Forest manager Billy Davies is the man to lead them.
   692. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4348128)
The Guardian just changed their Pep wants to manage in England headline to Pep will manage Bayern Munich. Heh!
   693. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4348131)
Does Pep speak German or will we get more of this?

I hope the latter.

edit: Tiki Taka Teutons isn't going to stick is it?
   694. ursus arctos Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4348133)
If his primary concern is institutional stability, the choice makes a lot of sense.

A storied club, with a long commitment to youth development, by far the most popular and powerful club in the country's more economically advanced region, based in an interesting, innovative and cosmopolitan city in which he can raise his family.

None of the English options offer all of those elements.
   695. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4348138)
None of the English options offer all of those elements.

Arsenal would be the closest, I'd guess, but they've already got a manager for life. I don't know enough about Manchester to judge it's cosmopolitan-ness. I hear they have good prawn sandwiches and I'm a big New Order fan. So, that's not bad!
   696. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4348153)
I completely forgot about the Svennis and 1860 Munich rumor/news from yesterday. Poor 1860...forever upstaged.
   697. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4348155)
SandroSurgery confirmed. No news on what SandroPart was operated upon or how RecoverySandro will proceed.
   698. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4348156)
Surgery for Sandro.

Fuck everything to fucking hell.

edit: coke to matt
   699. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4348162)
The "recovery schedule will be assessed" makes me just the slightest bit hopeful it wasn't a ligament tear. Could just be a month or two, maybe?
   700. Swedish Chef Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4348163)
storied club, with a long commitment to youth development, by far the most popular and powerful club in the country's more economically advanced region,

And it is run by clowns who have been great at negating the massive advantage they have in domestic competitions.

I don't know enough about Manchester to judge it's cosmopolitan-ness.

I assume that Manchester beats Munich handily in cosmopolitan-ness if the criteria is the presence of actual foreign people. Not so much if it is about the density of international luxury brands.

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