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Sunday, January 05, 2014

OT: The Soccer Thread January, 2014

With no Champions League or international matches of note, it’s all about the clubs an cup competitions this month:

January 6th: Lazio vs Inter
January 7th: Sunderland vs Man U in the League Cup, Valencia vs Atleti in Copa del Rey
January 8th: West Ham vs Man City in the League Cup
January 10th: Leicester City vs Derby in an important promotion game, Montpelier vs Monaco in Ligue Uhn.
January 11th: Cardiff vs West Ham in a relegation 6 pointer, will Man U lose to Swansea at home again?, but the day’s HUGE game is Barcelona hosting Atletico Madrid. This could decide La Liga.
January 12th: Newcastle vs Man City
January 13th: Aston Villa vs Arsenal
January 14th: FA Cup replays featuring Fulham vs Norwich, second leg of Valencia and Atleti in the Copa del Rey
January 15th: Man City host Blackburn in an FA Cup replay, Lyon vs Marseilles in the French Cup
January 17th: St. Etienne vs Lille
January 18th: Lots of games, no real standouts
January 19th: Swansea vs Spurs, Chelsea vs Man U
January 20th: West Brom vs Everton
January 21st: West Ham vs Man City in the League Cup
January 22nd: Man U vs Sunderland in the League Cup
January 24th: Monchengladbach vs Bayern Munich, not that it really matters
January 25th: FA Cup 4th round featuring Chelsea vs Stoke, Lazio vs Juventus, Monaco vs Marseilles
January 26th: Barca vs Malaga
January 28th: Liverpool vs Everton, Southampton vs Arsenal
January 29th: Tottenahm Hotspur FC vs Man City, Stuttgart vs Bayern
January 31st: Feyenoord vs Chelsea B in Holland, Braunschweig vs Borussia Dortmund

I’d say that Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid is the game of the month and declare it the BBTF Off Topic Game of the Month! Be there!

Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 05, 2014 at 05:16 PM | 1016 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   601. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 30, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4648573)
Lolololol at Big Sam trolling Mourinho in his after match presser.
   602. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 30, 2014 at 10:28 PM (#4649086)
Yikes!


Racing Santander players boycotted their Copa del Rey quarterfinal against Real Sociedad to protest unpaid wages.

The Racing Santander-Real Sociedad Copa del Rey second-leg match was suspended on Thursday after Racing players formed a semicircle on the pitch after kick-off and refused to play in protest over alleged non-payment of salaries.

Because of Racing’s forfeiture, Real Sociedad will play Barcelona on Wednesday in Copa del Rey semifinals, after advancing 3-1 in the first leg.

The third-tier club's players released a joint statement on Monday announcing they would boycott the quarterfinal second-leg unless president Angel Lavin and his board stepped down.

That did not happen prior to kick-off. The home players turned up and completed their warm-up on Thursday. But when the first whistle blew and Sociedad kicked off, the Racing players moved in and stood arm in arm around the centre circle, with substitutes and coaching staff lining up in solidarity on the touchline.

Sociedad passed the ball between themselves in their own half for a while before kicking it out for a throw-in, at which point the referee signalled that the match was suspended.
   603. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4649238)
The Racing Santander-Real Sociedad Copa del Rey second-leg match was suspended on Thursday after Racing players formed a semicircle on the pitch after kick-off and refused to play in protest over alleged non-payment of salaries.

Wow. The sad thing for Spain is how common non-payment of wages is even in the first division. The finances of that league are a mess.

SPURS THINK FACTORY!

Lewis Holtby on loan to Fulham. Tim Sherwood decided he didn't want Berbatov back so the languid one is off to Monaco which seems perfect for Berbatov. Sherwood has said today he insisted Levy didn't bring in any new players which I'm pretty happy about. It's not lack of talent killing Spurs but lack of cohesion. The players just need more time together to get clicking at a higher level.
   604. jmurph Posted: January 31, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4649242)
Rose is apparently getting his red card rescinded. I thought it was probably a penalty, but hate that red cards are given on plays like that so I'm glad it won't cost them long term (I think there should be more leeway for determining clear goal scoring opportunity and last man back).
   605. Swedish Chef Posted: January 31, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4649282)
Aston Villa has failed to get Wes Hoolahan, who has burnt his bridges pretty well at Norwich by calling them "a ####### #### club"*.

*) Seems like you have to use your imagination to decipher his message.
   606. Swedish Chef Posted: January 31, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4649284)
Oh, and Kim Källström is on the way in at Arsenal. He's not very washed up, but that is above his level.

   607. Mefisto Posted: January 31, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4649286)
I thought it was probably a penalty, but hate that red cards are given on plays like that so I'm glad it won't cost them long term (I think there should be more leeway for determining clear goal scoring opportunity and last man back).


I thought Rose got the ball and wouldn't have given a PK, much less a red.
   608. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4649287)
It's funny that after leading Fulham to a relegation scrum, Adel Taarabt is going to Milan and Berbatov to Monaco.
   609. Swedish Chef Posted: January 31, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4649288)
Stoke are in for Lee Clattermole. I'm sure Pulis would have wanted the chance to coach him.
   610. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: January 31, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4649291)
Chelsea have signed 19 year old French central defender Kurt Zouma and immediately loaned him back to his club for the rest of the year. I've only seen him play once and am generally terrible at evaluating central defenders anyway, so I'm not sure if he is any good (he played very recently in the second division), but the last time Mourinho tried something like this, he got Raphael Varane and, well, some people seem to rate Zouma very, very highly.
   611. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4649293)
Aston Villa has failed to get Wes Hoolahan, who has burnt his bridges pretty well at Norwich by calling them "a ####### #### club"*.

The smaller the man, the bigger the temper...Norwich do seem to inspire a lot of bridge burning, though.
   612. DA Baracus Posted: January 31, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4649296)
AFC Wimbledon:

Transfer update: A car just parked outside. If it belongs to a player he is probably in our price range #DeadlineDay
   613. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: January 31, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4649313)
This one's for Shooty: Sky Sports* just mentioned Partick Thisle signing someone or doing something in one of their rundowns of all the deals from teams no one is excited about (:p).

*do I have SSN running in the background? Uh...no, why? Why would anyone ever do that?
   614. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 31, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4649320)
*do I have SSN running in the background? Uh...no, why? Why would anyone ever do that?

I was working from home one day on deadline day and Fox Soccer had an SSN feed going. It was fun! They tried so, so desperately to make big news of Maurice Edu signing for Stoke.

Also...Up the Thistle!
   615. Swedish Chef Posted: January 31, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4649346)
Violence pays, Osvaldo is off to Juve on loan.
   616. just plain joe Posted: January 31, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4649387)
I thought Rose got the ball and wouldn't have given a PK, much less a red.


That was my impression, watching the replay, as well; it appeared that Rose clearly played the ball. Good for Spurs that Rose doesn't have to sit out but I bet they would have liked to play the remaining 40 minutes of the game at even strength and not a man down. I don't know that they could beaten M City in any case but once they were down to 10 men, Spurs really had no chance.
   617. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 31, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4649393)
Stoke are in for Lee Clattermole. I'm sure Pulis would have wanted the chance to coach him.

Now when Shawcross or Huth barge into someone and cause an injury, and the manager says "He's not that type of player", he can point to Cattermole when saying "that".
   618. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: January 31, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4649479)
That was my impression, watching the replay, as well; it appeared that Rose clearly played the ball.
After seeing lots of replays, I think Rose's trailing leg made contact with Dzeko just before he got the ball. Not sure whether it was enough for a foul, but I'm actually surprised that the appeal was successful.
   619. Mefisto Posted: January 31, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4649505)
After seeing lots of replays, I think Rose's trailing leg made contact with Dzeko just before he got the ball.


That's certainly possible. I was focused on whether he got the ball or not, so I could have missed the initial contact. But in that case, you're right about the appeal. Unless, I suppose, the angle was such that there was no "goal scoring opportunity".
   620. jmurph Posted: January 31, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4649510)
They probably just realized it was Dzeko and he was likely to blaze it over the crossbar.
   621. madvillain Posted: January 31, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4649529)
Thanks to the folks that recommended Inverting the Triangle, 20 or so pages in and it's great.
   622. Mattbert Posted: January 31, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4649564)
Sherwood has said today he insisted Levy didn't bring in any new players which I'm pretty happy about.

Yeah! Spurs are in a dogfight for the fourth and final Champions League spot and are heading into the final third of the season with only two strikers in the squad. What could possibly go wrong?
   623. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 31, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4649594)
Are you suggesting Harry Kane can't do the job if needed?
   624. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: January 31, 2014 at 09:31 PM (#4649660)
Capoue isn't happy with Sherwood/Spurs/English people.

And in other French news: interesting BBC podcast on Dieudonne and the rising popularity of the far right/national front among France's immigrant population.
   625. Mefisto Posted: January 31, 2014 at 09:37 PM (#4649666)
Lineup for tonights WNT game v. Canada: Solo, Krieger, Sauerbrunn, Engen, Cox, O'Reilly, Holiday, Brian, Rapinoe, Leroux, Wambach

No Rampone on the back line, very interesting central midfield (Lloyd out due to 2 yellows in last match).
   626. Mattbert Posted: February 01, 2014 at 12:01 AM (#4649697)
Are you suggesting Harry Kane can't do the job if needed?

He's about as much of a striker as Lamela or Chadli. I actually like Kane a lot, but he's not a center forward. He'd probably be a pretty decent false nine if Spurs had the proper wing forwards to play either side of him, but they don't. C'est la vie. It feels uncomfortably reminiscent of the Damien Comolli era, when Spurs excelled at assembling a squad of exceptionally talented young players without the slightest ####### crumb of regard for how they fit into a coherent style of play.
   627. Dale Sams Posted: February 01, 2014 at 12:28 AM (#4649703)
Also...Up the Thistle!


Won the SPL five straight times with them now, second time in the first knockout round of the CL...year: 2027
   628. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 07:57 AM (#4649730)
well, some people seem to rate Zouma very, very highly.


I hope so, the Z-Man was an absolute beast for my Spurs side in FM 2013. One of the first signings I made and he was my starting RCB for the entire time I played that version, capped off in the 2022* season, where he had a 4 goal game out of nowhere: Header from corner, header from cross, rebound from corner and ... a pk that completed the hat-trick.

I'll always root against Chelsea, but I hope Zooms turns into that monster ...

*I've played 50+ FM seasons and that might have been the most memorable: 6 titles (only the CL went lacking in the Finals), stomped FCB 6-0 at Camp Nou in the CL, played Man City (they finished 2nd in the PL) 6 times in 4 competitions and went 6-0-0, beating them 23-3 (which includes our first meeting, where I pulled off a "Marine-sniper game", beating them 1-0 on my only shot in a game they absolutely dominated), had my LCB go for 21 goals in all competitions, and had, overall, 3 defensive players (LCB, RCB, BWM) go for a hat-trick or more, when I'm pretty sure I've never seen that happen with a non-attacker before, ever, in any of my previous seasons ...
   629. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4649735)
Sunderland up 2-0 over Newcastle, on an easy goal from Johnson, that was sprung by one of the best things Jozy has done all season, a lovely back heel pass to set up a run and shot/rebound that led to the goal.
   630. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 01, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4649738)
Jozy has been very very good. Easily the best I've seen him look all season. He's having the type of game he needs to have for the US in Brazil, active and doing well when he can to hold up the ball a bit. He's not letting the Newcastle defenders mark him easily.
   631. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4649740)
Easily the best I've seen him look all season.


This.

I was coming back to specifically say this.

He's switched on and working hard every time the Cats come up the field and he's making a difference.

[edit] And he wins the free kick ...
   632. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 01, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4649741)
The color guy is lighting up Newcastle for the effort they are giving and rightly so. Sunderland just seem to be out working them.
   633. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 09:34 AM (#4649742)
Newcastle booed off the field at the half by the Toon Army ... and pretty much deservedly so.
   634. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 01, 2014 at 09:42 AM (#4649743)
Newcastle is so awful - starting both Amoebae yikes.
   635. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4649752)
Ugh.

C'mon Jozy, that was ####### dreadful.
   636. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4649757)
Spurs: Our line-up - Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose; Lennon, Bentaleb, Paulinho, Eriksen; Adebayor, Soldado.
   637. Swedish Chef Posted: February 01, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4649761)
   638. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4649764)
Baines is getting acres of space down the left, until he nears the box and suddenly every Everton player is closed down. McGeady is especially useful here, because he's a bit selfish but also very creative.

EDIT: The guy who is finding absolutely no space, though, is Mirallas. Allowing Osman to drop deeper, dictate the flow a bit.

DOUBLE EDIT: Baines just called for offside in open play, which should tell you how much he's exploiting the space in front of him.
   639. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4649766)
1-0 Villa! Bacuna with a nice little finish. Man, Benteke is a *great* counterattacking striker (he's got a phenomenal ability to slow down and speed up the play exactly as needed) and Villa score on pretty much their first real threat of the game.
   640. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4649768)
Carrick misplayed that horribly. 1-0 Stoke.
   641. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 01, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4649776)
Injuries to two center backs, Rooney is playing midfield, Carrick as a CB and down a goal. Just freaking awesome.
   642. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4649781)
Needing more create-out-of-nothing players to get something against the packed Villa backline and midfield, Martinez brings on Pienaar at halftime.
   643. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4649785)
Geez, and now Cleverly takes a knee to the face.
   644. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4649789)
Ryan Bertrand has been excellent over at left back. Shut down the drives of McGeady (and sometimes Mirallas) for most of the game.
   645. jmurph Posted: February 01, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4649791)
Smalling continues to be absolutely terrible.
   646. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4649799)
1-1, two substitutes combine as Pienaar flicks it on for Naismith. Pretty goal.
   647. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4649803)
2-1! Fantastic free kick from Mirallas, and if it ends this way, it's harsh on Villa, who have defended excellently for almost the entire match. But great play from Mirallas, who won the free kick, and then buried it into the side-netting.
   648. Swedish Chef Posted: February 01, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4649808)
Bah.

Should have watched Barcelona-Valencia, a real underdog fantasy that one.
   649. Dale Sams Posted: February 01, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4649826)
What was up with so many people wearing those ugly orange clown-shoes in the Newcastle game?
   650. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 01, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4649919)
Is anyone watching the

Graham Zusi has his hair in the Zlatan topknot. With the US in the blue jersey that looks like PSG's, the resemblance is uncanny.
   651. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: February 01, 2014 at 07:15 PM (#4649926)
Can we magick Zlatan's talent into Zusi's body given their similar appearance? Someone find me a coven.
   652. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 01, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4649927)
With the sun to shadow set up the US players are virtually invisible when they are in the shadow.
   653. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 01, 2014 at 08:02 PM (#4649936)
I made a mistake on first glance. It was Omar Gonzalez who looks like Zlatan, not Zusi.

Gonzalez is much taller than Zusi, so I don't know where the latter idea came from.

Here is Gonzalez with intermediate hair length.
   654. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 02, 2014 at 12:34 PM (#4650067)
Chamakh is having a pretty good game in the attacking midfielder role behind the striker (a play on the "in the hole" role).

Also it's February! I look forward to seeing which games are on which dates for the next month :)
   655. Spivey Posted: February 02, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4650074)
Ozil is having a good game. It's been a while since I've watched Arsenal and thought that.

That play from Kolo Toure was absurdly bad to cost them 2 points.
   656. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 02, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4650076)
And, of course, Chamakh's bad marking in midfield costs Palace. Heh.
   657. Spivey Posted: February 02, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4650079)
Well, I suppose that was Chamakh's man, but those sorts of things happen when you park the bus and concede 80% of possession. If you're expecting the second most forward player to be tracking runs all game into your own box, that's a tall task.
   658. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 02, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4650083)
Chamakh is hopeless as a defensive midfielder. No wonder Arsenal got rid of him.
   659. Spivey Posted: February 02, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4650084)
Someone needs to tell Ozil he needs to occasionally just put his boot through the ball.
   660. Spivey Posted: February 02, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4650088)
Really nice goals by Chamberlain here today. Giroud is such a good striker. Very good at scoring goals and also very good at hold up play, like he was there for the second goal.
   661. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 02, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4650091)
Arsenal is so much fun to watch. Skill all over the pitch and they know how to use it. Granted Palace isn't all that great, but the current United couldn't play like this against bad teams.
   662. Spivey Posted: February 02, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4650096)
Arsenal are a really good team. They don't have the depth of City and Chelsea but their starting eleven are great. Getting a striker on the level of Giroud to back him up costs like 30 million pounds. Guys like Dzeko on the bench aren't reasonable if you don't have a billionaire that cares nothing about losing money.

Monreal is the weakest starter, and I don't view him as a champion's league player. He starts a bunch and has gotten caps for the Spanish team, so I may just be wrong in my judgement there.
   663. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 02, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4650097)
If you're expecting the second most forward player to be tracking runs all game into your own box, that's a tall task.

Well, not really. In a classic defensive 4-4-1-1 (which, let's be real, is basically what Palace were playing here), the in-the-hole midfielder would normally be either a creative type or a type prone to bursting runs (i.e. the only two skills Matias Fernandez ever offered anyone). You're totally right; that's not a player you'd expect to really play much defence, but when you're camped on the edge of your own box, that is definitely a man you expect to at least follow their marker. Penalty-box defending is entirely man-man - the backs behind you are supposed to cover when they get past you, not mark face-on, and even a Matias Fernandez type should know to hold on to Oxlade-Chamberlain there. Perhaps not really do anything, but follow him.

The thing is that Oxlade-Chamberlain's goal there was an excellent one (as you noted) - it had a really high degree of difficulty, as he had to bring the ball down in such a manner that it's placed in front of him, and then dink it over. He manages, but you need space and time to pull that off - had Chamakh followed him, that space is gone. The issue I have with Chamakh (and, for what it's worth, the Sky Sports colour guy had the same issue), is not so much that he's a bad defender, but that he just needs to follow, shoulder to shoulder, his man into the box. Given where they are defending and that he doesn't even make a pretense of communicating with whoever is behind him to pass on defensive responsibility (a situation where you could resolve him of the blame), there's no problem in holding him primarily responsible for the goal (while still acknowledging Cazorla's vision/pass and Oxlade-Chamberlain's skill there).
   664. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 02, 2014 at 11:03 PM (#4650544)
Arsenal are a really good team. They don't have the depth of City and Chelsea but their starting eleven are great. Getting a striker on the level of Giroud to back him up costs like 30 million pounds. Guys like Dzeko on the bench aren't reasonable if you don't have a billionaire that cares nothing about losing money.

Arsenal is missing Flamini, Ramsey and Wilshire along with Walcott. As you mentioned, a better backup striker would be nice along with another CB, but no one has the luxury of City when it comes to strikers - I guess United has a nice group of strikers too, as good as its done them this season. Monreal isn't bad and Gibbs is pretty good. LB is still a pretty hard position to fill.

   665. jmurph Posted: February 03, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4650640)
Arsenal are a really good team. They don't have the depth of City and Chelsea but their starting eleven are great. Getting a striker on the level of Giroud to back him up costs like 30 million pounds. Guys like Dzeko on the bench aren't reasonable if you don't have a billionaire that cares nothing about losing money.


Let's remember that, until the Ozil signing, Wenger was being (justifiably) ripped for refusing to spend any money over the past several seasons. Particularly on the back four. And for missing on Chamakh and Gervinho, among others. Yes, it is of course true that Chelsea and City can spend more than anyone else, but Arsenal aren't Fulham. Any lack of depth is on Wenger, as far as I'm concerned.
   666. jmurph Posted: February 03, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4650950)
Blurgh, City squandered some good early chances and will now be facing 11 men in the box for the next 60+ minutes. Gonna be tough.
   667. Dale Sams Posted: February 03, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4650956)
Blue and...light blue? Do Chelsea not own a third jersey?
   668. Mattbert Posted: February 03, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4650957)
Wait, are City really playing Demichelis in central midfield? I assume Fernandinho, Garcia, Milner, and Rodwell are all unavailable...
   669. jmurph Posted: February 03, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4650958)
City really missing Fernandinho. I could easily see them conceding 3 here.
   670. jmurph Posted: February 03, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4650973)
I assume Fernandinho, Garcia, Milner, and Rodwell are all unavailable...


Milner and Rodwell on the bench. Can't imagine why this seemed like a good idea. Especially with additional time to think about this at the half.
   671. JuanGone..except1game Posted: February 03, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4650999)
Wait, are City really playing Demichelis in central midfield?

Chelsea basically allowed Demichelis to have as much possession as he could want while pressuring Yaya. Pelligrini made a mistake and should have brought Milner on. That was just a classic Mourinho win and why even if we don't win anything this year, I'm so confident about the future. As much as I wish that he had waited to pawn off Mata to the summer (and non-ManU teams), he was able to balance the squad with Matic who made Yaya at least work in midfield compared to other matches recently vs City. I think your going to see much more 4-3-3 going forward from Chelsea.
   672. jmurph Posted: February 03, 2014 at 06:00 PM (#4651001)
Well that was damn frustrating. Great win for Chelsea. I'd say Pellegrini got the lineup all wrong: Dzeko/Negredo didn't work and they needed an actual midfielder alongside Yaya. That said, given Chelsea's lack of luck with the crossbar, City should still have drawn even late.
   673. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 04, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4651578)
Wow. Laudrup out at Swansea.
   674. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4652241)
Madrid takes down Atletico in the semis of the Copa del Ray. I had no idea Insua, the former Liverpool left back, is on Atletico now.
   675. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4652309)
Yeah -- lots of LFC folks I follow on twitter are still frustrated that they gave up so quickly on Insua. I don't recall him being all that good, but (a) he was quite young when he broke into LFC's first team under Rafa, so my expectations were probably much too high, and (b) I had only been watching soccer for a few years at that point, so my opinion of his play back then was (and most likely still is) quite worthless. He did score this absolute cracker against Arsenal in the Carling Cup, which is what I most remember about him.
   676. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 06, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4652512)
I've been really sick this week and out of the loop, but the progression from candidate for Real Madrid job to candidate for Spurs job to vote of confidence to sacked can happen incredibly fast, no?
   677. JuanGone..except1game Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4652741)
Shooty, I'm with you on Laudrup. I think they are making a huge mistake, but it is a precipitous fall though it seems a little strange. The varying reports show that there was a ton of division between a Jenkins/Monk camp and Laudrup. I wasn't aware that Chico and Monk got into earlier this year, but that sounds like a good proxy for what might have gone on with Laudrup. I'm sure a La Liga team will welcome him back with open arms at some point.
   678. Langer Monk Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4652773)
Chico and Monk


Sounds like a 70s action show. Also, I'm not related to Garry.
   679. Mattbert Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:01 PM (#4652982)
If even half of what that post-mortem in the Mirror the other day is true, Laudrup is lucky he lasted this long.
   680. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4652984)
Link?
   681. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 07, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4653062)
If even half of what that post-mortem in the Mirror the other day is true, Laudrup is lucky he lasted this long.

So, not the next Spurs manager?

A lot of that stuff in the Mirror article isn't so bad. Tremmel, the backup keeper, talks about half the team being drunk on the bus back from a training session when he was having his trial at the club so Laudrup didn't introduce that environment to the club. I like how the article makes it seem the players are blaming Laudrup for their drinking. I think Swansea's biggest problem this year has been injuries.
   682. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 08, 2014 at 08:58 AM (#4653582)
So ... is anyone actually able to watch the Arsenal v Liverpool match?

It's not on NBCSports, it's not on NBC, it's not on any of the extended channels. All I'm getting is some bullshit Olympics bullshit.

Is NBC actually pissing all over the HANDS DOWN most important match of the weekend?

[edit] It's playing online, but still ... #### YOU NBC.

[edit2] Skyrtle! Skrtyle!! Skittles!!!
   683. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 08, 2014 at 09:01 AM (#4653583)
Wow, this could be easily be 4-0 right now, and it's not even 15 minutes in.

STREWTH.
   684. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 08, 2014 at 09:05 AM (#4653585)
Well, now it's 3-0 on 16 minutes.

Yikes.
   685. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 08, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4653586)
Wow.

And now it's 4.

Holy ####.
   686. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 08, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4653587)
Jesu Cristu! Still 65 minutes to go.
   687. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 08, 2014 at 09:13 AM (#4653588)
Now I feel slightly (only slightly) better about all the hammerings Spurs have suffered this season.
   688. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: February 08, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4653591)
Late to the party but the match is on USA network (as well as most other BPL games during the Olympics)
   689. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 08, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4653592)
Arsenal needs to score a goal here, just to piss Liverpool off and get this game started again ...
   690. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 08, 2014 at 09:33 AM (#4653593)
Late to the party but the match is on USA network (as well as most other BPL games during the Olympics)


Thanks.

Weird, but ok.
   691. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 08, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4653594)
Well, that was one hell of a half from Liverpool.
   692. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 08, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4653596)
So I guess we are going to get some "Arsenal in crisis" stories this week.
   693. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 08, 2014 at 09:54 AM (#4653598)
Frodo looks like he's wondering what he signed up for ...
   694. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 08, 2014 at 09:58 AM (#4653599)
Pure beat down.
   695. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 08, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4653603)
Wow, what a strike from the Cannibal.

Inch ####### perfect.

Great anticipation and save from Wych ... Wochz ... #### it, you know who I mean.
   696. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: February 08, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4653604)
The comeback is on!
   697. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: February 08, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4653614)
That's going to put a dent in Arsenal's title chances, while really giving Liverpool a lift. Beating Arsenal and Everyone by a combined 9-1 is a great sign for their top 4 hopes.
   698. KronicFatigue Posted: February 08, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4653629)
Insane Suarez attempt

Also, the Fotmob app now has USA TV listings for matches. At least on Android, not sure if their Apple version has updated yet. The app is great...probably my favorite sports app.

   699. Dale Sams Posted: February 08, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4653636)
Hey, there's a bird calling lines in the Newcastle game!
   700. JuanGone..except1game Posted: February 08, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4653641)
Flip
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