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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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   801. Mattbert Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4349751)
Regarding the Sneijder and Liverpool rumors, it's tough to evaluate how he'd fit in there because, as Michael Cox notes in his review of the Brendan Rodgers Era, it's becoming less and less clear what Brendan Rodgers is trying to do with Liverpool's style of play.
Rodgers doesn't cast himself as a reactive manager. He demands his side sets the tempo, is in control and imposes their short passing on the game, regardless of the opposition tactics. His influences are Spain and Holland -- proactive, positive footballing philosophies -- and he concentrates firmly upon possession.

Certainly, a coach can simultaneously be a fine tactician and encourage possession football, but Rodgers' Liverpool currently excel at things Rodgers doesn't necessarily want. A few games into the season, it became obvious that Liverpool were more dangerous when attacking with pace and determination, rather than following interminable passing buildups. Now, it seems they're best when Rodgers reacts to opposition tactics, rather than concentrating on their own style.

Whether this should prompt a shift in Rodgers' thinking or is merely a reflection of a squad not fully in tune with their manager's philosophy is up for debate.
   802. Mattbert Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:43 AM (#4349754)
Victor Valdes will not be returning to Barca next year, which seems surprising to me.

Honestly, I've long thought Barca could do a lot better. Valdes always looks to me like an outfield player who's been forced to put on the gloves in an emergency because of an injury or a sending off. Other than being excellent with the ball at his feet, he just doesn't seem to be any better than average at any other aspect of goalkeeping.
   803. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4349757)
Sid Lowe on Southampton's new manager

He says nice things about him. I don't doubt he's a fine manager but I could write the same article about Nigel Adkins. English players are overrated and English managers are underrated, I guess.

Honestly, I've long thought Barca could do a lot better. Valdes always looks to me like an outfield player who's been forced to put on the gloves in an emergency because of an injury or a sending off. Other than being excellent with the ball at his feet, he just doesn't seem to be any better than average at any other aspect of goalkeeping.

What surprises me is Valdes is rejecting Barca's offer and insisting on leaving. That seems like a good gig for him.

edit: And, you know who would be perfect for Barca? Hugo Lloris would be perfect for them. Let me reiterate again how happy I am Spurs swooped for him a window before keeper madness has started at Barca and Madrid.
   804. Mattbert Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4349762)
Michael Cox again, this time on a Sandro-less Tottenham midfield.
Now, Villas-Boas has a problem. Sandro's knee injury against QPR last weekend was more serious than first believed, and after surgery this week, he's expected to be out for the remainder of the season, a significant blow. He was Tottenham's key midfielder, an ever-present player in the centre of the pitch. "He does so much for the team, he works so hard. He's a real fighter," Defoe told the media.

At least Scott Parker has returned from injury to deputise, although he is a more all-action player, less calm and disciplined than Sandro. The Brazilian is a tough competitor, but also intelligent with his positioning and composed with his ball-winning. Parker is classically English, harrying around the pitch and getting stuck in.

With Parker alongside Dembele, Tottenham might concede too much space between the lines for opposition attacking midfielders. The alternative option, Tom Huddlestone, lacks mobility -- and although his long diagonal passes can be outrageously accurate, such moments are too infrequent for Villas-Boas to justify handing him a regular place.

A venture into the transfer market is not unreasonable, although Villas-Boas will surely look to purchase a midfield who can play alongside Sandro when the Brazilian returns, rather than recruiting a direct replacement. A second stab at luring Moutinho is a possibility, and the more adventurous Lewis Holtby will join in the summer.

Until then, it remains to be seen how Parker and Dembele cope against Manchester United this weekend. Having cleverly replaced Tottenham's previous midfield combination with a system that exuded his love of verticality and rotation, Villas-Boas must now construct another partnership from scratch – the problem is, this duo might be too mobile.
   805. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4349768)
Parker is classically English

Scott Parker is the platonic ideal of English. The man pisses tea and craps biscuits.
   806. Mattbert Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4349785)
And, you know who would be perfect for Barca? Hugo Lloris would be perfect for them. Let me reiterate again how happy I am Spurs swooped for him a window before keeper madness has started at Barca and Madrid.

Same here. I was on-board with getting a replacement for Friedel, but I wanted ter Stegen from Gladbach. I wasn't sold on Lloris in England, so I was hoping Spurs would try to squeeze one more year out of Friedel before going after ter Stegen in the summer.

Friedel proved to be a bad fit with AVB's defensive setup, and Lloris has shown himself to be much tougher than I'd previously thought. Couldn't be happier with how that turned out.
   807. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4349794)
   808. jmurph Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4349801)
Scott Parker is the platonic ideal of English. The man pisses tea and craps biscuits.


But in a strange twist of fate, he looks exactly like an American politician. Not quite John Edwards, but also not not John Edwards.
   809. Ron J2 Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:38 AM (#4349831)
Joe Cole (although he was never world-class


I'd argue that he was briefly. The early days with The Special One.
   810. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 18, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4349834)
But in a strange twist of fate, he looks exactly like an American politician. Not quite John Edwards, but also not not John Edwards.

I think John Edwards is an exception to the rule. The senate is made up largely of men for whom power is their only aphrodisiac...
   811. SuperGrover Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4349976)
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.


Exactly. Relegation would be extremely costly for Southampton. Adkins had them playing very well and I honestly saw them pushing fairly clear of the relegation zone as the fixtures ease in late Feb. Strange, strange move.
   812. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4349990)
Theo Walcott re-signs with Arsenal for three-and-a-half years, wages £100k per week, plus 3M signing bonus.

Thing in the story I don't understand:
The club had tabled a five-year contract worth a reported £90,000 a week, while Walcott favoured the three-and-a-half-year deal on a salary above £100,000.

But a consensus was reached and the legal formalities - including an agreement on the complex area of image rights - were completed on Friday morning.
So, £100k/week ~= £5M per year, £90k/week ~= £4.7M per year. The total value of three and a half years at 100k/week is 18.2M, total value of 90k/week for five years is 23.4M. So Walcott needs to make 67k/week for the remaining season and a half to even it out. Eh, I guess that's not bad, and he'll only be 27 when his contract expires. So I guess I understand it from Walcott's perspective.

That just leaves Arsenal's perspective. Those seem like terribly high wages for a good not great player, no?
   813. Mattbert Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4350021)
Holtby on the team sheet to start for Schalke against Hannover in the Bundesliga's first fixture after the winter break.
   814. Swedish Chef Posted: January 18, 2013 at 02:45 PM (#4350026)
So Walcott needs to make 67k/week for the remaining season and a half to even it out. Eh, I guess that's not bad, and he'll only be 27 when his contract expires. So I guess I understand it from Walcott's perspective.

With the shorter contract, the club needs to restart the process to retain or move him next summer (because clubs are in a bad position to resist poaching when contracts have only one year left). This will without doubt be highly lucrative for him and his agent (especially his agent), whether he stays or goes to a moneybags club.
   815. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 18, 2013 at 03:44 PM (#4350080)
Hello Schalke. I would appreciate it if you'd play Holtby a little deeper so I can scout how good he may be as a Sandro replacement. Danke!

Cherundolo isn't fit for this game. I wonder if he's going to miss the Honduras game?
   816. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 18, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4350136)
Ah Schalke. After taking a 2-0 lead they give up two quick goals to Hannover. Holtby looks pretty good, though. The guy he reminds me of is actually Jack Wilshere.
   817. Mattbert Posted: January 18, 2013 at 04:53 PM (#4350139)
Nice assist from Hauptmann Holtby with the outside of the boot.
   818. Mattbert Posted: January 18, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4350141)
Good grief, this game is wide open. Another assist for Der Hauptmann.
   819. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 18, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4350142)
And Schalke come right back with two goals. 4-2 now. Nutty game! Djourou is as bad for Schalke as he was for Arsenal. He is just terrible.

edit: I meant he's as bad for Hannover, not Schalke, obviously.
   820. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 18, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4350143)
4-3!
   821. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 18, 2013 at 05:08 PM (#4350151)
Holtby's passing in the final third is, yeah, Spurs could use that.
   822. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 18, 2013 at 05:18 PM (#4350161)
Holtby with a goal to finish off his fine day. 5-3 and that's that. That's not good for Freiburg, dammit.
   823. Mattbert Posted: January 18, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4350165)
5-4. Bloody hell.
   824. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 18, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4350166)
Diouf with the bicycle kick he'd been practicing. Now that was a game.
   825. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 18, 2013 at 05:28 PM (#4350176)
I miss being able to watch the Bundesliga on ESPN3.
   826. Mattbert Posted: January 18, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4350188)
No kidding. I'm hoping GolTV will have that game on replay at some point later on.
   827. JuanGone..except1game Posted: January 18, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4350189)
Joe Cole (although he was never world-class


Now your just trying to hurt my feelings.

Can't wait for Chelsea/Arsenal. With the way both squads are playing, that match should be wide open.
   828. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 18, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4350191)
Taylor Twellman reports Brek Shea to Stoke City for ~$3.5M fee, pending physical. Pulis buys American, once again.
   829. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: January 18, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4350231)
The senate is made up largely of men for whom power is their only aphrodisiac...


Seriously, John Thune is considered to be crazy handsome.
   830. DA Baracus Posted: January 18, 2013 at 06:27 PM (#4350274)
Shea is inconsistent but better than Edu, so he should see more than 10 minutes of playing time.
   831. zack Posted: January 18, 2013 at 07:19 PM (#4350315)
Taylor Twellman reports Brek Shea to Stoke City for ~$3.5M fee, pending physical. Pulis buys American, once again.

We make 'em big, how Tony like 'em.
   832. puck Posted: January 18, 2013 at 08:09 PM (#4350338)
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.

It's too bad he won't come until June. They have early March games against a Costa Rican team, and if they manage to survive that, will likely face Monterrey.
   833. puck Posted: January 18, 2013 at 08:10 PM (#4350340)
Anyone notice US Soccer finally came up with a location for the 1st home qualifer? 3/22 in Denver (well, Commerce City, where the Rapids' stadium is located). I'm hoping to get tickets, that should be quite a show.
   834. Mattbert Posted: January 18, 2013 at 09:04 PM (#4350366)
Are ya'll New Yawkas up for another Kinsale's date on March 3rd? I'll be in the city that weekend and could probably arrange to stick around long enough to catch the NLD on that Sunday. That fixture's just been moved to an 11am EST kickoff on the 3rd.
   835. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 19, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4350545)
Luis Suarez might just be the dictionary illustration of backpfeiffengesicht but that slack-jawed-mouth breather can play.
   836. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 19, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4350559)
Pique has just been sent off with Barca only leading Sociedad by a goal.

Aston Villa look like Man U right now. I credit it all to Lichaj finally getting a start. Guzan have another stellar game, too.

I hate being right about LFC's quality. Back to mid-table with you! Back!
   837. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 19, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4350562)
Sociedad has equalized! Game on!
   838. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 19, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4350574)
[837]

Argh.

Equalizer spoiled!

That's what I get for starting the match late on the DVR.

Just wanted to say though, that whoever that Scots git that beIN sports has announcing, is the biggest damn knob-gobbling homer announcer I think I've ever heard.

Strewth.
   839. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 19, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4350575)
Are ya'll New Yawkas up for another Kinsale's date on March 3rd? I'll be in the city that weekend and could probably arrange to stick around long enough to catch the NLD on that Sunday. That fixture's just been moved to an 11am EST kickoff on the 3rd.
I can do that. Just be warned, you can't drink until noon.
   840. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 19, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4350584)
You can't drink in a NYC bar until noon?

The HELL is the world coming to?
   841. Baldrick Posted: January 19, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4350589)
Reading with another win! We just might make a run of this after all. For a brief moment we were even outside of the relegation zone.
   842. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 19, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4350590)
Well well well. Hope for Real Madrid!

I can do that. Just be warned, you can't drink until noon.

We may want to consider an alternative venue. Sometimes on Sunday they don't open as early as when the games start.
   843. SuperGrover Posted: January 19, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4350641)
Aston Villa look like Man U right now. I credit it all to Lichaj finally getting a start. Guzan have another stellar game, too.


Too bad the bastages couldn't hang on. Took them for the win at +385 trying to leverage Brom's recent shite form. Really wish Lichaj could have put it away with that first half chance.

Betting on soccer isn't really very much fun.
   844. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 19, 2013 at 05:25 PM (#4350661)
In unrelated news, Werder's defense gives swiss cheese a bad name.
   845. Mattbert Posted: January 19, 2013 at 05:30 PM (#4350662)
We may want to consider an alternative venue. Sometimes on Sunday they don't open as early as when the games start.

Well, that's just BS. I wanted to taste David Hirshey's sweet, sweet tears if Spurs happen to give Arsenal a good hiding.

In any event, as long as I can get to La Guardia by about 3pm on that Sunday I'm happy to meet up wherever.
   846. fra paolo Posted: January 19, 2013 at 10:51 PM (#4350762)
Why on Earth are Fiorentina playing Napoli at 6.30 am EST? I'm not sure I'll be up for that one.
   847. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 19, 2013 at 11:44 PM (#4350782)
How does the EPL handle merchandising?

Is it up to each club?

I just find it disappointing I can't buy a Swansea City shirt on their *official* website. I wanted a Michu #9, but as far as I can tell, not just his, but *every* ####### shirt, home and away, in *every* ####### size, is sold out, which seems a load of bollocks and a terrible bit of business.
   848. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 20, 2013 at 05:03 AM (#4350837)
Why on Earth are Fiorentina playing Napoli at 6.30 am EST? I'm not sure I'll be up for that one.

Cause it will be 12:30 in Italy?
   849. Flynn Posted: January 20, 2013 at 05:55 AM (#4350838)
Clubs handle merchandising. I don't know why you seem so adamant that Swansea City have a secret stash of shirts. Their shirts aren't sold on a lot of websites like World Soccer Shop or Kitbag, every Tom, Dick and Harry in South Wales and beyond wants a Michu shirt and Christmas was three weeks ago. If you said you wanted an Arsenal player I'd agree with you, but Swansea City's website seems to be the only place you can find their shirt, which is going to be a big seller right now.

If you're still not convinced then call the club shop.
   850. fra paolo Posted: January 20, 2013 at 08:28 AM (#4350842)
Cause it will be 12:30 in Italy?

Yes, but... This is a new thing. Sunday matches always started at 3 pm Italian time. When did they start having an early Sunday match?

Anyway, I am indeed up for it, but on the basis of the first half's play, I fear the Viola are going to disappoint me with their fourth loss in a row. They look completely outclassed up front, unable to break into the box with any incisiveness.
   851. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 09:51 AM (#4350847)
Looks like it's going to be a long, miserable, cold day for Arsenal. Roman must have threatened to take Chelsea on a yacht ride to...SIBERIA!

Transfer news!

Ashley Cole signed a 200K a week extension with Chelsea.
Newcastle have signed Massadio Haidara.
Supposedly Pep wants Luis Suarez...
Schalke turned down Spurs' bid for Holtby.
Every decent keeper in Europe is being linked to Barca.
Galaxy are pushing hard for Fat Frank.
   852. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 20, 2013 at 09:59 AM (#4350849)
I have to say that I'm very much enjoying this weekend of snowy and miserable weather for all the Premier League games.

Snowy and miserable looks GREAT in HD.
   853. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 20, 2013 at 10:01 AM (#4350850)
Yes, but... This is a new thing.

Nope. They have an early game practically every week. Pretty sure the only time they don't is when there are Monday evening games.
   854. fra paolo Posted: January 20, 2013 at 10:18 AM (#4350853)
They have an early game practically every week.

I'm don't remember 12.30 starts in 2009/10, which was when I last followed Serie A week-by-week. And going back to my Quelli che... il calcio and 90 minuto days in the early years of this century, I'm certain there weren't any.

EDIT: Crikey, I'm older than Paola Ferrari! I thought she had a year or two on me.
   855. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 10:31 AM (#4350854)
Let them play! Let them play!
   856. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 20, 2013 at 10:41 AM (#4350857)
I'm don't remember 12.30 starts in 2009/10

Well, when you said 'this is new', I didn't expect you meant 'this is 3 years old'...
   857. fra paolo Posted: January 20, 2013 at 10:44 AM (#4350859)
Well, when you said 'this is new'...

As far as soccer goes, I am a bit of a Rip Van Winkle this season.
   858. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4350860)
Torino really taking it to Pescara. They're putting together one great move after another.

And game on at Stamford Bridge!
   859. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 11:01 AM (#4350865)
Game on at WHL, too. Yellow balls today, I'd guess.
   860. Swedish Chef Posted: January 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4350866)
Al Nasr in UAE gets in on a good thing and claims that Svennis is their new technical director.
   861. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4350869)
Al Nasr in UAE gets in on a good thing and claims that Svennis is their new technical director.

Svennis can finally get his harem!
   862. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4350870)
Good professional foul by Cole there.
   863. Mattbert Posted: January 20, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4350871)
THFC: Lloris, Walker, Caulker, Dawson, Naughton, Lennon, Parker, Dembele, Bale, Dempsey, Defoe
subs: Friedel, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Livermore, Huddlestone, Townsend, Sigurdsson

MUFC: De Gea, Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Jones, Cleverley, Kagawa, van Persie, Welbeck
subs: Lindegaard, Valencia, Anderson, Rooney, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez
   864. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 11:23 AM (#4350876)
Why the hell is Vertonghen on the bench?
   865. Mattbert Posted: January 20, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4350877)
Why the hell is Vertonghen on the bench?

Some saying he's ill. Some saying it might have something to do with this.
   866. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 20, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4350879)
Supposedly Pep wants Luis Suarez...

Well if you are going to embrace the Dark Side, you may as well go all the way.
   867. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4350885)
Wladimir Weiss has been sent off for being booked twice for simulation. He's on Pescara these days, BTW.
   868. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4350892)
Well, no Vertonghen, no Sandro and no real striker on the bench in case one is needed doesn't fill me with optimism, but let's do this. COYS!

Last year the 49ers lost the NFC Championship game and Spurs lost to Arsenal the same day. DO NOT WANT A REPEAT.
   869. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4350897)
Last year the 49ers lost the NFC Championship game and Spurs lost to Arsenal the same day. DO NOT WANT A REPEAT.

Well fortunately, today you will get a 49ers loss in the NFC Championship game, and a Spurs loss to United. Totally different.
   870. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:25 PM (#4350905)
That was just so simple for United. Cleverley left wide open to put in the cross, Van Persie left wide open to easily head in.
   871. Mattbert Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4350906)
Foy misses the most obvious booking in the history of obviousness.
   872. Mattbert Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4350908)
Spurs must, must get Benny on at halftime. Naughton has been poor on both sides of the ball.
   873. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4350914)
One mistake and De Gea gets lucky to save that Bale strike. This is bog standard stuff for Spurs against United.

Foy misses the most obvious booking in the history of obviousness.

Has there been some memo that shirt pulls don't count against Dembele?
   874. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4350915)
One mistake and De Gea gets lucky to save that Bale strike.

I think it would have been lucky if it went in. De Gea had the original kick covered but the deflection is what the lucky save was on.
   875. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4350916)
Is there a point to getting takeout from Hooters? Does takeout come with a copy of Jugs?
   876. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4350918)
No one has taken 3 points yet at AFCON.
   877. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 20, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4350926)
Oh, Clint, just a wee bit wider.
   878. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 20, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4350938)
Bah, you would have put money on Defoe putting that chance away.
   879. Mattbert Posted: January 20, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4350939)
Bah, you would have put money on Defoe putting that chance away.

I am about ready to murder that guy right now.
   880. Mattbert Posted: January 20, 2013 at 01:42 PM (#4350940)
This is like the reciprocal of the reverse fixture. Visitors lead through sucker punch in first half. Home team dominant in the second but aren't converting glorious chances.
   881. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 20, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4350944)
See Clint? Just a wee bit wider!!!
   882. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4350945)
Fergie time!
   883. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 20, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4350946)
This is like the reciprocal of the reverse fixture. Visitors lead through sucker punch in first half. Home team dominant in the second but aren't converting glorious chances.

I also thought this ref was pretty bad, while freely admitting my bias.
   884. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4350948)
Aaron Lennon was a god today. I think getting a result was very fair for Spurs. USA! USA! USA! (Speaking of which, Altidore had a hat trick yesterday.)
   885. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 20, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4350956)
Lennon was very good today. Of course Evra is indifferent to defending (although he has gotten better at scoring goals).
   886. Mattbert Posted: January 20, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4350964)
Spurs created enough excellent chances to win by a goal or two, at least. I'm pumped up by the dramatic finish, but in the cold analytical light of Monday morning I think I will look at that as two points dropped. 25(8) to 5(2) advantage for Spurs in shots(SoT). Defoe and Dempsey should have buried earlier opportunities.

And, yeah, Lennon was outstanding. If only the team had been quicker to realize Evra had no chance against him and had gotten him involved earlier and more often. Made it too easy for United to hang on for so long; they were so narrow without the ball but Bale was the default outlet. He was drifting in and Naughton is useless on the left, so Rafael wasn't even getting attacked 1v1 let alone 2v1.
   887. zack Posted: January 20, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4350967)
I thought Carrick had an outstanding game. And Parker was good but I thought he took Dembele out of the first half. Much less so in the second, I wonder if someone talked to him.

Speaking of Parker, I can not tell Spurs defenders apart. Is every defensive player on the team a clean-cut white guy of the exact same build?

Good game to start the day. Girlfriend is out of town, so I've got united at spurs at 10:30, flyers at sabres at 12:30, 49ers at Falcons at 3, Penguins at Rangers at 7, and Blackhawks at Coyotes at 10.
   888. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4350971)
Speaking of Parker, I can not tell Spurs defenders apart. Is every defensive player on the team a clean-cut white guy of the exact same build?

3 of the 4 Spurs defenders were black!

Also, you can tell Parker by his legs being half the length of his torso...
   889. Mattbert Posted: January 20, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4350977)
3 of the 4 Spurs defenders were black!

That was definitely a different twist on "they all look alike to me".
   890. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 20, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4351011)
3 of the 4 Spurs defenders were black!

That was definitely a different twist on "they all look alike to me".

I can't tell for sure if they are black or not, until Torii Hunter confirms it for me.
   891. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4351026)
   892. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4351027)
   893. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 20, 2013 at 05:04 PM (#4351029)
I'm really coming around on this twitter thing.

Looks like AVB is taking on that bid bag of invisible dicks all at once.
   894. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 20, 2013 at 05:18 PM (#4351038)
I was hoping the Gary Neville link was an audio one... almost as good.
   895. SuperGrover Posted: January 20, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4351060)
I assume most have seen this already but damn.
   896. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 20, 2013 at 06:11 PM (#4351110)
Sneijder is off to Galatasaray.
   897. Mattbert Posted: January 20, 2013 at 06:58 PM (#4351226)
Somebody needs to doctor up that AVB/Fergie image with a 'U MAD BRO?' at the bottom.
   898. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 20, 2013 at 07:22 PM (#4351285)
Offical AVB celebrationification gif. (Mattbert, the CFC postgame thread already has your U MAD image.)

Due to a series of unfortunate events, I ended up watching the game on my phone through a streaming site. So any observations I have should be taken with skepticism, but it seemed like the second half was really weird. United sat back in defense with a one-goal lead, despite having all the attackers in England on their squad. Parker and Dembele did well in midfield, but the battle in the game happened mostly in front of them. I didn't get SAF's tactics.
   899. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 20, 2013 at 07:45 PM (#4351321)
Oh, and even with the tiny screen, I also grew annoyed at the apparent new Premier League rule that fouls are not fouls when they are committed on Moussa Dembele. (Not that the game was poorly officiated, overall, just for Dembele.) Although that really looked like Rooney should have had a penalty, right?
   900. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 20, 2013 at 08:41 PM (#4351375)
Michael Cox answers my question from 898:
To understand Manchester United's cautious strategy at White Hart Lane, think back to their 3-2 defeat by Tottenham at Old Trafford in September. Then Spurs had terrorised the United back four with powerful dribbles from deep positions – Mousa Dembélé provided bursts from central midfield, Jan Vertonghen motored forward to open the scoring but Gareth Bale was inevitably the principal threat with surging runs on the ball. Therefore United's entire approach was intended to prevent André Villas-Boas's side attacking quickly into space.

Whereas Sir Alex Ferguson ordered high pressing against Liverpool last weekend, here they stood off, defending deep and ensuring there was little space in behind their back four. There was little space in front of it either, at least towards Bale's flank. His dribbling ability was the reason for Phil Jones's surprise involvementJones sat patiently in front of the defence, right-of-centre, always in a position to help Rafael da Silva deal with Bale.
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