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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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   701. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4348166)
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?

Assuming he's out most of the rest of the season, what are the options? A rotation is Thudd/Dembele/Parker/Livermore is what we have now and with Dembele's hip and Parker just coming back to fitness, that kind of scares me. Do they try to bring in Holtby now even though he's not really a deep lying CM? Do you go hard after Sissoko? How about this for a cheeky move...try to get Alex Song on loan from Barca as they seem to have no use for him? The last one would help the club and give me a good chuckle so I'm in favor of it. (Song has only 7 appearances this year for Barca. Ouch.)
   702. Mattbert Posted: January 16, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4348167)
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?

They are just letting Shooty down as gently as possible. What makes it more discouraging for me is that it feeds my worry that Sandro may be an injury-prone player. He had problems before, but his starting every league game this season had me hopeful that he'd put that behind him. Now he goes down without being touched and requires surgery. So that sucks because of broader implications as well as the short-term loss of a candidate for Spurs' player of the season.
@sandroraniere: Sorry guys, but this one really got me, the beast is hurt...
   703. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 16, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4348178)
And it is run by clowns who have been great at negating the massive advantage they have in domestic competitions.

the type of clowns that build Death Stars with exposed exhaust vents, and gaps in their defensive coverage.
   704. Mattbert Posted: January 16, 2013 at 01:02 PM (#4348179)
This is for Shooty. Both saddening and hilarious.
   705. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4348180)
Instagram has gone too far! TOO FAR!
   706. J. Sosa Posted: January 16, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4348205)
re: Pep to Bayern.

Ugh. I really don't see why he'd go there. I don't like Pep, he was part of my disliking Barca, but Oktoberfest and an old grouchy German club power structure over Lake Como and bunga bunga? Really?

re: Sneijder to Liverpool.

Will never happen. Ever. That has to be Sneijders agent. Its all over the place so it has to be getting leaked from somebody. His wages are astronomical. Even if they used what Sahin was making on loan it would (at my best guess) only be about half what Sneijder is making. Even if it was a loan deal. Besides, I don't think the missus is a Wirrall kind of gal...

re: Arsenal

I actually tend to disagree with the good everywhere thinking, or at least the thinking that it would require a lot of money. I don't think it would require a ton of money to upgrade at centre back. I think they could use a hardy midfielder which wouldn't cost too much. They could use a striker, but that's usually expensive. Hardly anybody is good at fullback, so I would probably also agree there. There just aren't that many good fullbacks, to upgrade there in any meaningful fashion would probably be costly. Johnson for Liverpool is one of the better ones in the PL and he aggravates me almost every match. Which reminds me:

MCoA I don't think I ever responded back to your thoughts about the talent level of LFC. You mentioned Lucas and Johnson, both are among those I was thinking of when I said good players but not (in my opinion) top of the table calibre. I'm as big a Lucas fanboy as there is, but he has not been the same since the injuries. Johnson showed why I don't rate him as a top of the table player this past weekend. His marking is frequently atrocious and bites the club repeatedly. *

* Also I am growing to dislike BR more and more. He gets his tactics wrong so often its maddening. He usually has the sense to fix things in the second half, but he shouldn't be getting them wrong to start with. I think we might have gotten a snake oil salesman, I hope not. He's gone with youth which I initially took as a good sign but it might have been because he had no choice. I thought he was going to clean house but the coddling of Carra and a few of his other actions have been troubling. I also can't get over that Centaur style painting in being Liverpool. I don't think I've ever mentioned that on here, and I know its just a tv show, and the portrait has become a cliche, but that was a Centaur moment for me. Every time I see a shot of BR on the sidelines I think of that portrait. He just seems like he's in over his head and the transfers he's made have strengthened that feeling.

** edit to say: I'm not saying that top of the table teams don't have weak points, but when you have four excellent strikers like Man U you can paper over certain areas. If you are LFC and guys like Lucas and Johnson are close to the best you have, its not good enough.
   707. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4348210)
Why would Swansea want to swap out Danny Graham for Kenwyne Jones? Is there a point to that?
   708. ursus arctos Posted: January 16, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4348217)
And it is run by clowns who have been great at negating the massive advantage they have in domestic competitions.


You could say the same about the FC Barcelona that Guardiola grew up with.
   709. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 16, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4348224)
Laudrup seems to hate Graham, but Swansea needs someone to fill his position.

Neither Jones nor Graham seems like the right kind of player for Swansea, who I'd think would want a pure goal-scorer, a 20-minute Chicharrito type to come on and push Michu deeper when Swansea needs a goal, rather than a big, athletic hold-up guy with moderate skills.
   710. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4348230)
Neither Jones nor Graham seems like the right kind of player for Swansea, who I'd think would want a pure goal-scorer, a 20-minute Chicharrito type to come on and push Michu deeper when Swansea needs a goal, rather than a big, athletic hold-up guy with moderate skills.

They also signed a striker from Spain for half a Michu. I know nothing about him, though. Roland Lamah from Ossasuna.
   711. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 16, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4348235)
Why would Swansea want to swap out Danny Graham for Kenwyne Jones? Is there a point to that?

And why would Kenwyne Jones want to play for a team that doesn't wear red and white stripes?
   712. Mattbert Posted: January 16, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4348249)
I think Graham is an underrated player. He's basically Emile Heskey but with the ability to score. That kind of player is pretty darn useful, and Swansea has had some fine performances with Graham starting up top and Michu in his more natural withdrawn position. I don't understand why Laudrup seems so keen to get rid of him.
   713. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 16, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4348250)
Bayern is a rich club in a rich country, although I guess there is a fair amount of politics involved. I think Pep is waiting for Ferguson or Wegner to retire to go to England.
   714. SuperGrover Posted: January 16, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4348313)
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.


Agreed with the entire post. Defensive mid and central defense are clearly their biggest problems to me. Not sure if Arteta and Wilshere can compete physically with bigger attackers and, as you mentioned, Kosc/Merte is pretty average. Of course, given the quality of central defense in the EPL maybe there isn't much available to upgrade to?

I think Giroud is just fine and he and Walcott are sufficient adequate up top. Not great, but good enough.

   715. SuperGrover Posted: January 16, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4348323)
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?


This reminds me of a question I have for those with more history with European soccer than I. Why is it so difficult to get legitimate injury reports anywhere? Given the influence of gambling/casino sponsorship at least in England, one would think there would be a requirement to divulge injury information in some manner as the NFL. Maybe not to that extent, but it's virtually impossible to find out with any accuracy how long players will be out.
   716. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4348326)
I think Giroud is just fine and he and Walcott are sufficient adequate up top. Not great, but good enough.

Sure, they're fine, but only if you're competing with the Tottenham's of the world, not with the Man U's and Man City's. It's just a matter of expectation. Is Arsenal, as a club, happy with St. Totteringham's Day being their trophy every year or do they they want to sit at the big boys' table again?
   717. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4348333)
   718. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 16, 2013 at 03:08 PM (#4348334)
Is Arsenal, as a club, happy with St. Totteringham's Day being their trophy every year or do they they want to sit at the big boys' table again?
I get what you're saying, but hasn't that already been established over the past two years? If Arsenal wanted to "sit at the big boys table", at least one of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, or Robin Van Persie would still be a gunner.
   719. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 16, 2013 at 03:09 PM (#4348336)
I think Arsenal is hoping FFP will have some bite (I don't think it ever will). That way at least Man City and Chelsea are on a more level playing field. Then it allows them to keep their younger players a little bit longer. It doesn't really address United, but I don't think any team in England can really keep up with their ability to print money. Arsenal did finally get a new kit sponsor deal and a lot of their long term, lower paying deals are coming up for bid. However, that still doesn't address the issue that Wegner doesn't like to spend big money on transfers.

Diaby did come back last game. Granted hoping he will stay healthy is a pipe dream. Even though he isn't a defensive midfielder he does give them a physical presence - wasn't there a Diame rumor floating around?
   720. SuperGrover Posted: January 16, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4348337)
Sure, they're fine, but only if you're competing with the Tottenham's of the world, not with the Man U's and Man City's. It's just a matter of expectation. Is Arsenal, as a club, happy with St. Totteringham's Day being their trophy every year or do they they want to sit at the big boys' table again?


Certainly. Hope I didn't give the impression that those guys could take them to the top of the table. More so implicitly agreeing with others who mentioned an upgrade at striker would be very expensive. They certainly don't have the strikers City or United do, but probably as good as anyone else.
   721. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4348347)
Diaby did come back last game. Granted hoping he will stay healthy is a pipe dream. Even though he isn't a defensive midfielder he does give them a physical presence - wasn't there a Diame rumor floating around?

Diame has a 3.5 million pound buyout clause, I believe, which is why he's being linked with Arsenal. With Sandro out, Spurs might think about jumping on that.

Certainly. Hope I didn't give the impression that those guys could take them to the top of the table. More so implicitly agreeing with others who mentioned an upgrade at striker would be very expensive. They certainly don't have the strikers City or United do, but probably as good as anyone else.

I guess I harp on this as I, like Gooner fans probably do, still see Arsenal as one of the mega bastard clubs of Europe but they sure don't act like it in the transfer market.
   722. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 03:31 PM (#4348349)
No Michu for Swansea? Damn it!
   723. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 16, 2013 at 03:36 PM (#4348350)
Diame has a 3.5 million pound buyout clause, I believe, which is why he's being linked with Arsenal. With Sandro out, Spurs might think about jumping on that.
Diame completely pwned Chelsea's midfield a month and a half ago. I haven't seen that much of him, but a guy who can take over a game like that against a big club, I'm in.
   724. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4348352)
Wenger struggling with the zipper already...
   725. SuperGrover Posted: January 16, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4348357)
No Michu for Swansea? Damn it!


Or Pablo. Seems like Ladrup is throwing in the towel. Wenger going all in on his side with the full first team squad for the most part. Interesting considering the Gunners have the Boxing Day postponement coming up next week. Will be 4 games in 12 days.
   726. Mattbert Posted: January 16, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4348358)
I think Arsenal is hoping FFP will have some bite (I don't think it ever will). That way at least Man City and Chelsea are on a more level playing field. Then it allows them to keep their younger players a little bit longer.

Increasingly, it seems that the only way FFP will have some bite in England is if the Premier League itself implements an identical or similar policy at the domestic level. I reckon that depends on the likes of "prudent" big clubs such as Man United, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham (and arguably Everton, Newcastle, and Villa as well) outmuscling City and Chelsea to bend Scudamore's ear on the matter. Will enough owners and chairman want to risk upsetting the apple cart over this? I have no idea.

Diaby did come back last game. Granted hoping he will stay healthy is a pipe dream. Even though he isn't a defensive midfielder he does give them a physical presence - wasn't there a Diame rumor floating around?

It's odd. Wenger has at least tried to fill in the attacking holes left by Adebayor, Nasri, Fabregas, and van Persie. Ditto the defensive holes left by Toure, Gallas, and Clichy. Whether he's been successful at it or not is debatable, but at least he's tried. By contrast, he seems utterly uninterested in replacing the combativeness and stout defensive presence in midfield that Flamini, or heck even Gilberto Silva, used to give them.

That sort of player should be relatively easy to come by for a reasonable price, too. I know Arsenal were supposedly keen on M'Vila but backed off after deciding he's a bit of a jerk. (And if any English club is in a position to differentiate between someone being a genuine jerk and just being a Frenchman, it's Arsenal. So fair enough. On the other hand, Samir Nasri.) Setting M'Vila aside, though, I think every club in Ligue 1 has at least one francophone African in the squad who plays a robust defensive midfield and can pass it a bit. How hard can it be to pick one up?

Milan Badelj of the mighty Hamburg would absolutely not suit them perfectly, not under any circumstances. Stay away, Arsene! He is poison!
   727. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4348369)
Swansea hit the woodwork!
   728. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 16, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4348376)
SAF is doing a fair bit of rotation. Rooney is back - Nani gets a start!

By contrast, he seems utterly uninterested in replacing the combativeness and stout defensive presence in midfield that Flamini, or heck even Gilberto Silva, used to give them.


Man United has needed that type of player for a while too.
   729. SuperGrover Posted: January 16, 2013 at 04:13 PM (#4348379)
Ba scores a volley from a deflected cross that Torres would have tried to sit first and then had his shot blocked should he even been in position to do so. A goal from Chelsea's first real opportunity.
   730. SuperGrover Posted: January 16, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4348380)
And Rooney scores. Not surprising.
   731. Mattbert Posted: January 16, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4348382)
Some conceptual drawings of the proposed Cosmos ground bring the sexytimes for Shooty. Just try to resist!
   732. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4348384)
Some conceptual drawings of the proposed Cosmos ground bring the sexytimes for Shooty. Just try to resist!

That is one fancy NASL stadium!
   733. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 16, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4348385)
SAF is doing a fair bit of rotation. Rooney is back - Nani gets a start!
It says something about the wealth of attacking options at Man U that Ferguson is rotating heavily and the most advanced three in the formation are Nani, Chicharito, and Rooney. The United attack is a great combination of deep and flexible - they can fit the guys they have available into a dangerous formation every time.
   734. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 16, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4348393)
By contrast, he seems utterly uninterested in replacing the combativeness and stout defensive presence in midfield that Flamini, or heck even Gilberto Silva, used to give them.

It's baffling, considering how much silverware he won with Patrick Fuckface Vieira, and how little he has won without...
   735. ursus arctos Posted: January 16, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4348400)
Why is it so difficult to get legitimate injury reports anywhere? Given the influence of gambling/casino sponsorship at least in England, one would think there would be a requirement to divulge injury information in some manner as the NFL.


Interesting question. One answer is that the European soccer authorities have never considered themselves the handmaidens of the bookies in the way that the NFL does. Part of the explanation of that is historical: betting on soccer is popular in Europe because soccer is popular. To a significant extent, the relationship between American football and gambling is the opposite (at least historically). Professional football became more popular as it came to be seen as the perfect vehicle for betting.

Another factor is the type of betting involved. What North Americans would consider to be standard forms of betting on sports are still relatively new in many European countries. The form of betting that dominated Europe until the relaxation of state monopolies in the 90s and 00s was that of "pools" (quinella in Spain, Totocalcio in Italy) where one needed to successfully predict the results of a schedule of matches in order to win. There were no set odds for individual matches, and individual margins of victory were meaningless. The English version of the pools was especially lottery-like, as what one needed to do was to predict as many score draws (i.e., non 0-0 ties) as possible. While injury data is still of some value in such a system, it isn't anywhere near as valuable as it is in one where you are betting against a spread or on an over/under.

"North American style" betting is becoming increasingly popular in Europe (though the large majority of results-based betting is on a fixed odds, as opposed to point spread, basis), and it will be interesting to see if that drives any moves for better injury reporting (my guess is that it will take a long time, if it ever happens).
   736. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 16, 2013 at 05:01 PM (#4348408)
ursus - am I remembering correctly that the "pools" / "totocalcio" betting system developed in part to prevent game fixing? ie, the complex system meant that fixing a single game wouldn't mean anything?

It seems like, now that there's so much money in top-level football, "North American style" gambling wouldn't be as much of a problem. But once you get down to the lower levels, or even the lower half of the table in a lot of leagues, would that hold true?

-Arsenal have missed, what, a half-dozen wide open chances at goal? This game seems obviously headed for an 85th minute fluke Swansea goal and an undeserved win.
   737. SuperGrover Posted: January 16, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4348409)
Lambert scores off the bench on the road at Chelsea. Second time he's come on and scored almost immediately at an elite foe when Adkins inexplicably left him off the starting XI.
   738. ursus arctos Posted: January 16, 2013 at 05:08 PM (#4348415)
Anti-fixing was part of it, but I'd say that the bigger reason was that they were looking for as broad participation as possible, and thus wanted something that didn't seem to require specialized knowledge (and didn't look like betting in the way wagering on horses or dogs did).

Your second point is well founded. Recent events have repeatedly proven that match fixing becomes a serious problem when there is suddenly a betting market for games that normally attract three men and a dog. I know people that are being paid to provide goal alert updates to betting websites for Finnish Fourth Division matches, and it's easy to see how even a relatively small amount of money could turn the head of someone who is playing for virtually nothing.
   739. Swedish Chef Posted: January 16, 2013 at 05:16 PM (#4348426)
ursus - am I remembering correctly that the "pools" / "totocalcio" betting system developed in part to prevent game fixing? ie, the complex system meant that fixing a single game wouldn't mean anything?

No, the pool betting was there from the beginning, not introduced to fix a problem. It always was the betting form that had the most popular appeal, because you can win big with a small stake. Also, betting on single games made very little sense for the continental monopolies, because after their take of 30-40%, the odds would have been very unattractive.
   740. SuperGrover Posted: January 16, 2013 at 05:18 PM (#4348427)
Southampton levels! What a run from Luke Shaw! Announcers compared him to a young Bale earlier in the game and he looks just like him on this run. Great comeback.
   741. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 16, 2013 at 05:27 PM (#4348434)
No, the pool betting was there from the beginning, not introduced to fix a problem.
Ah, you're right. Went back to Goldblatt to check - the pools system was created in England to exploit a loophole in an anti-gambling law aimed at preventing the working classes from gambling on football. He doesn't have a history of its transport to the continent, but I'm guessing that was just a case of osmosis?

The pools system just happened to be tough to rig. Somehow I'd confused the two ideas.
   742. Ron J2 Posted: January 16, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4348436)
#734 I think it's as simple as the fact that Patrick Viera type players are pretty damned rare. And a lesser version may not cut it. I have little doubt that SAF or Wenger would love to have a ball winning defensive central midfielder that he could pair with one of the playmakers. Just haven't found the guy.
   743. ursus arctos Posted: January 16, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4348438)
I'm not sure it was osmosis, because the most common continental version required you to pick correct results (win, loss or draw) from a fixed schedule of 13 or 14 games, whereas in the UK you needed to pick a given number of score draws from the entire English and Scottish league schedule. That's why you had a "pools panel" in the UK which would deliberate and announce fictitious results for matches that would be called off due to weather, etc. You also didn't have a state monopoly in the UK.
   744. SuperGrover Posted: January 16, 2013 at 05:43 PM (#4348444)
Southampton holds on for a well deserved point. Chelsea had the better of it the majority of the night but never really opened up the Saints defense as one might have guessed they would. Southampton took advantage of two of the three chances they had. Fun second half to watch.

And Rooney misses a penalty by about 5 feet. He has now missed 5 of his last 9 penalties. Lordy.
   745. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 16, 2013 at 07:30 PM (#4348498)
I'm officially nominating February 2 for a Kinsale's meet-up. Thoughts?
   746. frannyzoo Posted: January 16, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4348501)
I like Pep. Well, at least I did. I'm never gonna like Bayern. This requires a little fandom heart-to-heart with myself.
   747. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 16, 2013 at 07:52 PM (#4348512)
Stuart Holden seems happy. Sounds less American than he used to, both in accent and of course in use of "footballer" and "training pitch". If he has to come back to the MLS he won't fit in!

The injured-player situation is pretty frustrating in soccer. Is there really no such thing as a disabled list? For most injured players the fans seem to have a nagging feeling that he might have gotten over his injury, or not been injured to begin with, and now is not playing for some other reason, whether it's the manager being stupid or the player not being good anymore or some sort of contractual thing.
   748. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 08:48 PM (#4348555)
Sounds less American than he used to, both in accent and of course in use of "footballer" and "training pitch".

He did spend many of his formative years in the UK. He's regressing!

That run by Luke Shaw to set up the equalizer reminded me of a certain Welshman. Wow.
   749. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 16, 2013 at 08:56 PM (#4348564)
I'm officially nominating February 2 for a Kinsale's meet-up. Thoughts?

Good for me. Lots of PL action, the AFCON will be on and Torino is the featured Serie A game!
   750. Mattbert Posted: January 16, 2013 at 10:49 PM (#4348650)
Pique just became a little more likable for me.

He and Shakira shot a short video to ask for baby shower gifts for their child-to-be: donations to Unicef.
   751. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 17, 2013 at 09:27 AM (#4348859)
Transfer news! Well, there isn't any! The big news has been Wenger explicitly bringing up Cavani as a player he wants to sign. To use a hackneyed internet meme...and Wenger also wants a pony.
   752. Flynn Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4348889)
In a bit late here...the football pools in England were basically the only type of lottery-esque game possible until 1994, and it only took a very cursory football knowledge to do it. Not to stereotype, but if you look at some of the people that have won the jackpot from the pools, there's several demure 60s housewives who won it. My wife's entire family played it, even though only a couple of the men have more than a casual interest in football. In fact, a man used to come around and pick up the sheets and the shilling to play - it was that big.

Sadly it's much smaller now since the advent of the National Lottery, although you can still find pools sheets in most newsagents without much effort.
   753. DA Baracus Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4348896)
Transfer news! Well, there isn't any!


Oh yes there is! Maurice Edu is going to Bursaspor on loan!
   754. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4348951)
I wish Being Liverpool had never stopped

Hilarious. I wonder what "dealing with it internally" means. LFC without Suarez right now would not be such a good team so I don't think there's much Rodgers can say to him or threaten him with.
   755. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4349021)
Transfer news! Louis Saha moving from Sunderland to South African club Wits University.
   756. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4349052)
Hilarious. I wonder what "dealing with it internally" means. LFC without Suarez right now would not be such a good team so I don't think there's much Rodgers can say to him or threaten him with.
That's a bad move by Suarez, because short of being actually hacked to death in the box, I don't see him getting many calls in the future.

February 2nd it is. And if we end up with some kind of "Groundhog Day," situation, at least it will be in a bar!
   757. Swedish Chef Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4349074)
I don't think there's much Rodgers can say to him or threaten him with

"Behave, or we'll sell you to United."
   758. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4349075)
February 2nd it is. And if we end up with some kind of "Groundhog Day," situation, at least it will be in a bar!

Just gotta figure out which poseur shirt to way...1976 Torino? 1967 Partick Thistle? 1961 Spurs? Cosmos? So many hipster douche choices!
   759. J. Sosa Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4349076)
Yeah Rodgers, because a player like Gerrard would never dive to gain advantage...

This is the kind of thing that annoys me. He took a dive, it was obvious he took a dive, BR denied the obvious dive, Suarez admits the obvious dive, BR says he'll be punished for the obvious dive he said was not a dive, on and on and on. Maybe BR will punish Suarez by moving him from the position he's been leading the league in scoring from in favor of a guy that had a purple patch for Bolton a couple of seasons ago.

Oh wait...

edit: for clarity
   760. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4349081)
"Behave, or we'll sell you to United."

What is Spanish for, "Enjoy coaching Scunthorpe Senor Brendan"?
   761. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4349085)
I'll be wearing my "vintage" 2009-10 West Ham shirt. Vintage!

Actually, if the weather doesn't get any warmer, I'll be wearing about two dozen sweaters.
   762. Swedish Chef Posted: January 17, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4349100)
Yeah Rodgers, because a player like Gerrard would never dive to gain advantage...

I just happened to have a quote on that subject stashed away:

9 min: Another long ball up the centre from the England defence. Over on the left wing, Steven Gerrard gets upended by Ricardo Clark from the Houston Dynamos and wins a free-kick. Replays show the Liverpool midfielder to have dived ... in a friendly. That's fairly pathetic, even by his low standards.

Source

EDIT: And no, I don't actually have an extensive library of snarky quotes about players. I have no clue why I found the above noteworthy at the time. Probably I wanted to torment some Liverpool fan, one of life's small pleasures.
   763. Ron J2 Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4349134)
#756 That's basically what happened to Bill Barber in the NHL. The refs didn't like being shown up and there was a period of time when defenders could do anything they pleased to Barber without fear of a visit to the penalty box.
   764. Ron J2 Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4349135)
And to your EDIT in 762. Pity: Swedish Chef's snarky quote DB would be a popular resource. snarkopedia perhaps?

EDIT: No reason why we couldn't build one.
   765. Mattbert Posted: January 17, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4349176)
Highlights from a lunchtime spin through the twutters:

Disco Benny has some new disco boots.

Sandro slowly transforming into BA Baracus?
   766. Mattbert Posted: January 17, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4349179)
Also, apparently Napoli are getting those two points back from the match-fixing allegations involving Cannavaro and Grava. That would move them into second place, level on points with Lazio but ahead on goal difference, and three points behind Juve for the top spot.
   767. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 17, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4349190)
And to your EDIT in 762. Pity: Swedish Chef's snarky quote DB would be a popular resource. snarkopedia perhaps?

EDIT: No reason why we couldn't build one.

Yeah, that sounds useful.
   768. SuperGrover Posted: January 17, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4349210)
I wish Being Liverpool had never stopped

Hilarious. I wonder what "dealing with it internally" means. LFC without Suarez right now would not be such a good team so I don't think there's much Rodgers can say to him or threaten him with.


I am confused. Did Suarez confirm anything that the entire non-visually impaired world didn't already know? Does Rodgers not watch film?
   769. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 17, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4349215)
I am confused. Did Suarez confirm anything that the entire non-visually impaired world didn't already know? Does Rodgers not watch film?

The point is he's made LFC and Rodgers look foolish as they've been aggressive saying the diving tag is unfair. All that work they've done putting pressure on the refs to give him a break has been crapped on.
   770. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 17, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4349259)
Perhaps not shocking, but still sad - Darren Fletcher out for the season following surgery to treat his ulcerative colitis.
   771. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 17, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4349273)
Perhaps not shocking, but still sad - Darren Fletcher out for the season following surgery to treat his ulcerative colitis.
My favorite line from that story: United say the surgery was planned. I mean, I'd hope so. The thought that poor Darren Fletcher was just walking down the street when suddenly a surgical team assulted him in order to fix his ulcerative colitis is, at best, troubling.
   772. Ron J2 Posted: January 17, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4349275)
#770 Ouch. Hope it works for him.
   773. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 17, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4349280)
If they've given up on drugs and going the surgery route, it probably means they are removing most if not all of his large intestines. Not pleasant.
   774. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 17, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4349321)
Sandro is done for this season. Looks like the plan might be to bring in Holtby now instead of the summer and also keep Thudd and Livermore. I think a top 4 finish might be slipping away.
   775. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 17, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4349347)
I haven't seen Sandro's injury officially confirmed anywhere as serious ligament damage (or some other season ender), but that's really the only explanation that makes sense. The incentives around the transfer window are all aligned for releasing good news and not releasing bad news.

I wouldn't say a top four finish is "slipping away" - they'll clearly have to add another good central midfielder for depth, and the downgrade from Sandro to Parker shouldn't cripple the club. But we'll see. This weekend's game will be a good test. Barring new injury news, I'm assuming we'll see a 4-2-3-1 with pretty much all first choice starters, just Parker subbed in for Sandro, at home against the best club in the league. If Spurs can hang with United, I'll be reasonably confident they're good enough to play for 3rd/4th.
   776. ursus arctos Posted: January 17, 2013 at 06:37 PM (#4349442)
Interesting Guardian survey of ticket prices in Europe's 4 big leagues.

As they note, the averages are thrown off by a few clubs (particularly in Italy) that include ridiculously expensive VIP ticket packages in their data. Milan win this with a 5000 euro ticket that the Yankees are jealous of (when we lived there, these were "only" 3000 euros, and widely thought never to be sold for that price).

One weakness of the survey is that it doesn't account for differential single game pricing depending on the opponent, which is becoming ubiquitous in the leagues surveyed.
   777. Swedish Chef Posted: January 17, 2013 at 06:49 PM (#4349455)
Getafe and Celta Vigo as co-leaders in most expensive cheapest ticket? Think we may have a GIGO problem here.
   778. ursus arctos Posted: January 17, 2013 at 07:13 PM (#4349472)
Getafe is known for price gouging (particularly when Madrid and Barcelona come to town). It wouldn't shock me if they price all single game tickets high in order to soak "tourists", and count on their "real fans" buying season tickets.

Seems a bit less likely that Vigo could get away with that (given their relatively remote location), but then if they surveyed prices for a match against one of the Big Two (or Depor), anything is possible.
   779. SuperGrover Posted: January 17, 2013 at 07:44 PM (#4349486)
The point is he's made LFC and Rodgers look foolish as they've been aggressive saying the diving tag is unfair. All that work they've done putting pressure on the refs to give him a break has been crapped on.


I see what you are getting at, but as noted above LFC and Rodgers looked foolish for defending that nonsense in the first place. I think they would have been much better off admitting the Stoke play was ridiculous and wouldn't be tolerated and then note the changed behavior as a result (and it has changed, no doubt).

Whatever the case, there is nothing Rodgers is going to do. Suarez is their best player by a wide margin and can basically write his ticket out of there should he choose.
   780. SuperGrover Posted: January 17, 2013 at 07:49 PM (#4349489)
I think a top 4 finish might be slipping away.


The 4th spot is an interesting one. I personally thought the Spurs were looking very strong, but obviously Sandro's injury changes things. Still though, Arsenal is flawed and pretty mediocre honestly (they are averaging just one GPG if you take out the ridiculousness of Newcastle, Reading, Southampton and the Adebayor-misdemeanor driven Spurs game). Everton is good but extremely thin and dealing with a Croatian Fernando Torres (Jelavic has been awful this season). Liverpool has a shot I guess but 9 points is a good amount of points to make up in 16 games.

Should be interesting for certain.
   781. SuperGrover Posted: January 17, 2013 at 07:51 PM (#4349492)
This weekend's game will be a good test. Barring new injury news, I'm assuming we'll see a 4-2-3-1 with pretty much all first choice starters, just Parker subbed in for Sandro, at home against the best club in the league.


Does Adebayor stay on or is Dempsey/Sig an option?
   782. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 17, 2013 at 07:52 PM (#4349496)
Adebayor's gone off to ACON. It'll most likely be Dempsey in the CAM position.
   783. J. Sosa Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:31 PM (#4349571)
After reading some credible LFC journos it appears LFC has actually talked to Sneidjer. We're in like Lloyd Christmas.
   784. Mattbert Posted: January 17, 2013 at 10:53 PM (#4349582)
Well, that's one battle to sign an attacking midfielder that I hope Tottenham loses to Liverpool.
   785. DA Baracus Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:19 PM (#4349599)
   786. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 17, 2013 at 11:29 PM (#4349606)
Does Liverpool have a plan? Sneidjer can be a very good player but where does he fit in short term, much less long term?
   787. Mefisto Posted: January 18, 2013 at 12:22 AM (#4349620)
The Lampard to Galaxy rumors have been around for a while.
   788. DA Baracus Posted: January 18, 2013 at 12:24 AM (#4349623)
The Lampard to Galaxy rumors have been around for a while.


Yeah but I haven't seen them with the words "done deal." The timing is good for both teams, which adds to believably. Of course that cuts both ways.
   789. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: January 18, 2013 at 12:25 AM (#4349625)
Heh, Getafe. I can't help but link to their zombie porn, "make more babies!" ad. (definitely NSFW).

Sneidjer can be a very good player but where does he fit in short term, much less long term?

I could be wrong, but the simplistic reading of the Sneijder situation is that Liverpool will take him, but only on their terms. More explicitly, Sneijder is going to have to take a rather large wage cut if he wants to come to Liverpool. Given that it seems Sneijder isn't too keen on his other options -- play in Turkey, collect a paycheck at Inter under Stramaccioni, who doesn't appear to rate him -- maybe there actually is a decent shot of this happening. As far as where he fits -- Liverpool aren't exactly brimming with offensive talent. At least in games where Liverpool can be expected to dominate the ball, he slots in as the #10 behind Suarez/Sturridge/Borini in a 4-2-3-1.

(This shouldn't be taken as a commentary on whether I actually want them to go after Sneijder. I can see the case for trying to grab a player who was world-class not all that long ago at a cut-rate price, but I wouldn't be crazy about having an injury-prone 28yo on big wages.)
   790. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 18, 2013 at 12:54 AM (#4349636)
I agree that Liverpool are short on top-tier talent, but Rodgers wants to play a short-passing, possession game. He also wants all his players to press when they don't have possession. Sneijder at his best was the guy you wanted to start the counter. He likes the Hollywood ball about as much as Gerrard and who knows if he'd be a willing presser now. Rodgers banished Carroll without getting a replacement because he didn't see him fitting his style.

(This shouldn't be taken as a commentary on whether I actually want them to go after Sneijder. I can see the case for trying to grab a player who was world-class not all that long ago at a cut-rate price, but I wouldn't be crazy about having an injury-prone 28yo on big wages.)


This statement could have been said about Joe Cole (although he was never world-class).
   791. SuperGrover Posted: January 18, 2013 at 12:59 AM (#4349638)
Adebayor's gone off to ACON. It'll most likely be Dempsey in the CAM position.


I thought the on, off, on again, off again saga ended up off. Can't say I paid much attention though.

Is the backline settled? I presume Assou-Ekotto returns at LB at some point.
   792. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 18, 2013 at 07:59 AM (#4349680)
Southampton have sacked Nigel Adkins. What the freakin hell?
   793. J. Sosa Posted: January 18, 2013 at 08:10 AM (#4349684)
Klopp has pretty much said Rodgers is an idiot. That he deployed Sahin as a 10 instead of in his normal role. I cant say that I disagree on the Rodgers is an idiot slant at the moment but if a defense is to be made I would say that Sahin was sluggish and some of his comments were not encouraging as to his adaptation to the PL. Sahin did everything but cry for his mother after Stoke and turned out to be a player that could not in fact do it on a cold wet night.

As for Sneijder, meh. Its encouraging that BR knows a 10ish type is a critical need but Sneijder really only had a brief period of true brilliance. But I'd much rather watch him in an attacking role than all the guys that rotated there this season. He might help Suarez and thats the main thing. I'm assuming its only for a loan. If its not I wouldn't go near him.
   794. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 18, 2013 at 08:11 AM (#4349685)
The rumor I'm seeing is that they're replacing Adkins with former espanyol manager Mauricio Pochettino. Is he such a talent that you have to sack a reasonably successful coach in the midst of a nice run?

SG - I'm expecting Benny back in for Naughton this week. He was fit for the FA cup, so a return to starting this week would be a reasonable timetable. It seems like Dawson might be nailed on next to Vertonghen, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Caulker either.
   795. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 18, 2013 at 08:21 AM (#4349686)
The rumor I'm seeing is that they're replacing Adkins with former espanyol manager Mauricio Pochettino.

That's official. I find this one perplexing as Southampton had finally found their legs in the PL. I guess maybe they'd been working on this awhile and it's "poor luck" for the chairman Soton had been playing well when they finally got their man. They outplayed Arsenal at home and then drew at Chelsea. I can only hope Tottenham do as well!
   796. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 18, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4349704)
The official word on Sandro

As expected, out for the season. No mention of a timetable for a return or how serious the injury is. I will just cross my fingers he's good to go by August.
   797. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4349725)
Transfer news!

Fernando Llorente is heading to Juventus. Kaka looks close to heading back to Milan. Gianfranco Zola's name is coming up in the Chelsea manager rumor mill. Victor Valdes will not be returning to Barca next year, which seems surprising to me. He won't be going to Bayern if that's what he's thinking. According to Spurs ITK, Spurs are interested in M'Villa but QPR are offering him crazy wages. I suspect he ends up at Loftus Road.
   798. Mattbert Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4349730)
Southampton have sacked Nigel Adkins. What the freakin hell?

Weird timing. This feels like a combination of Blackburn sacking Big Sam and Tottenham sacking Big Martin Jol so they could land Juande Ramos. For Soton's sake, I hope Pochettino is more successful than Kean and Ramos.

Adkins should definitely start going by 'Big Nige' now, though.
   799. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:29 AM (#4349736)
The funny thing for me is, if you put Nigelo Adkinsmirez in Spain and he takes a 3rd division team to safety in La Liga in two years, he'd be one of the hottest coaching properties in Europe.
   800. Swedish Chef Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:32 AM (#4349740)
This doesn't make much sense at all. They are spinning it as a long-term move. I guess the most charitable interpretation is that they had an opportunity to get a coach they fancy who was unlikely to be available in the summer. In my opinion not worth the risk they are taking in having a change-over now, never mind what a ####### despicable move it is to anyone who cares about fairness, but that excludes every single football executive and owner.
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