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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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   701. JuanGone..except1game Posted: February 08, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4653644)
That thrashing by Pool was a site to behold and why most people thought Arsenal had no chance to win the title. Watching Per chase Sturridge/Suarez/Sterling for 30 yards after every high line was just cringe worthy. Wenger's inability to be pragmatic is going to hold them back unless they have the talent advantage that they once had.

Love the look of Chelsea right now. That Matic signing is looking more brilliant every-time he plays. Central midfield hasn't been a strength since Ballack was here and it looks like that has changed. And Pelligrini shouldn't try to match Mourinho for mind games. It was a needless distraction for a team that needed to recover and focus on taking care of business.
   702. Spivey Posted: February 09, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4653804)
That was a pretty amazing goal, from quick free kick to beautiful play by Adebayor.
   703. OPS+ Posted: February 09, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4653812)
That was a pretty amazing goal, from quick free kick to beautiful play by Adebayor.[/quote

Great finish squeezing it in there. Absolutely no chance for Howard.
   704. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 09, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4653824)
That was a tight, tight game today. 2 minutes before the goal I was thinking Adebayor was having a poor game and Walker "headless chicken" version had showed up and then, boom! reality tells my brain to shut the hell up. Still, can't help but feel this game was more for a Europa League spot with the way Liverpool are pummeling teams.
   705. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 09, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4653826)
What a pass from Holtby! You're welcome Fulham.
   706. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: February 09, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4653836)
Moyes out!
   707. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4653841)
Fulham's strategy seems to be taking advantage of MUFC's tightness and nervousness by letting them have an extremely good shot at goal every 90 seconds or so, in the belief that they will miss all these shots and get even more tight and nervous. Working so far!
   708. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4653846)
I'm torn. On one hand, Man U losing to this version of Fulham would be insane and fun, but on the other hand, I hate to see a team get rewarded by packing it in this tightly. It's quite the dilemma...
   709. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4653848)
Man U with more crosses in one game in the PL this year. At the 60 minute mark!
   710. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4653851)
Man U with more crosses in one game in the PL this year. At the 60 minute mark!


And still without a goal. Maybe change things up a bit?
   711. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4653852)
How many shots is that now from within 10 yards of goal? 50 for MUFC, zero for Fulham?
   712. JuanGone..except1game Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4653853)
Great quote from McOA on twitter, that Moyes is the type of chess player who "just uses his bishops". This last sub looks in the classic "more attackers" rather than any real strategy to dominate this game.
   713. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4653855)
Finally!
   714. JJ1986 Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4653856)
And again.
   715. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4653857)
Can't say United don't deserve to win this. Fulham have offered nothing today.
   716. Spivey Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4653858)
This is weird. I actually feel happy for Man U.

Teams that park the bus should never get a result.
   717. JuanGone..except1game Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4653860)
The sad part is that Fulham's defense hasn't even looked that "stuck in" for this half. ManU is just doing a terrible job of just not going through the middle. They'll win this but if they take any solace in this, their in a worse place than I thought.
   718. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4653861)
I'm torn. On one hand, Man U losing to this version of Fulham would be insane and fun, but on the other hand, I hate to see a team get rewarded by packing it in this tightly. It's quite the dilemma...


Normally I'd agree with this but if a team is going to pack it in the last place team on the road is the team to do it.
   719. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4653866)
lol United
   720. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4653867)
Oh ManU.
   721. Spivey Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4653868)
And now I'm happy again. I guess I wasn't happy for Man U after all.
   722. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4653870)
Man U better win the Champions League now.
   723. Spivey Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4653873)
Man U was trying for goal 3 way more than they should have been, and I think that led to them being stretched. Now, I guess when you have like 8 outright attacking players defensive responsibility is never going to be the strong suit.
   724. Sean Forman Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4653876)
The most impt question for me is "Where is Rebecca Lowe?"

Edit: Yet another reason to hate the Olympics.
   725. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 09, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4653909)
Man U was trying for goal 3 way more than they should have been, and I think that led to them being stretched. Now, I guess when you have like 8 outright attacking players defensive responsibility is never going to be the strong suit.


I like that they stayed aggressive. They were dominating the game and I hate hate HATE when teams go into a defensive shell when they are controlling the game.
   726. Spivey Posted: February 09, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4653933)
I like that they stayed aggressive. They were dominating the game and I hate hate HATE when teams go into a defensive shell when they are controlling the game.


I generally agree when there's a lot of time left, but not with 5 minutes left.
   727. Mefisto Posted: February 09, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4653945)
This game was the culmination of Utd's tactics all year: get the ball wide and cross it. It's a very limited approach and it isn't working very well, but Moyes can't seem to change it.
   728. Textbook Editor Posted: February 09, 2014 at 11:46 PM (#4654022)
Still, can't help but feel this game was more for a Europa League spot with the way Liverpool are pummeling teams.


What I find highly, highly amusing is all the talk about how the Europa League could be a "distraction" next year for Man U... Um... Don't they have to finish 5th to qualify for that? They have no hope of finishing 5th.

Of course, it would be highly, highly amusing for Man U to win the CL and knock Liverpool out of CL and into Europa... Even though that might bump Spurs out of Europe completely. (I wonder, though, if Europa League champions automatically qualify for Europa League the next year... Spurs have as good a chance as any of winning it, I think.)
   729. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 10, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4654161)
It sounds like the Atleti v Almeria game was filled with questionable decisions. Sid Lowe, who is normally level-headed, made it seem as if it might be fixed. Anyone watch the game?
   730. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4654209)
After watching that abomination of a United game how do you spend that much money on Mata and again play him out of position!?!? God I sound like a broken record. Moyes needs to drop RVP or Rooney. I guess it will all sort itself out when United don't qualify for Europe and RVP decides to jump ship to Juventus.

Is it especially pessimistic that I am dreading the midweek Arsenal-United matchup? Two clubs in crisis, but at least Arsenal has a much better (relatively speaking) identity and have better talent.
   731. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4654213)
Two clubs in crisis, but at least Arsenal has a much better (relatively speaking) identity and have better talent.

Wait wait wait. How is Arsenal in crisis? But chipper up because beating Arsenal is what Man U does.
   732. puck Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4654226)
Wait wait wait. How is Arsenal in crisis?

Sometimes when London teams get smoked by Liverpool like that, they fire their manager.
   733. puck Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4654227)
United's 81 crosses were apparently the most OPTA has tracked (not sure if that's in the Prem League only, or overall).
   734. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4654228)
Sometimes when London teams get smoked by Liverpool like that, they fire their manager.

Only sometimes!
   735. puck Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4654236)
Only sometimes!

It felt like a replay. Sometimes I get frustrated when watching Mourinho's teams because they have so much attacking talent yet seem to be playing for a 1-0 win so often. Then I see Arsenal get smoked running out their high line against Liverpool and ManCity in road games and wonder if they shouldn't be more pragmatic.

Though the first two Liverpool goals were off set pieces. Whenever Arsenal gives up a set piece goal the color guy will complain about their zonal marking scheme. Were they using zonal marking on both set pieces, and is Arsenal worse on set pieces than clubs that don't use zonal marking a lot?
   736. Mefisto Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4654244)
Though the first two Liverpool goals were off set pieces.


And Skrtel was offside on the first one.

Once they fell behind 0-2, Arsenal had to push forward. It's not surprising they got burned.
   737. jmurph Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4654249)
Once they fell behind 0-2, Arsenal had to push forward. It's not surprising they got burned.


Well I'd say it was a little surprising how easy it was for Liverpool. Contrary to popular opinion, Arsenal don't give up a lot of goals, and haven't for a few years now.
   738. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4654257)
The Pellegrini-Mourinho tiff about which one of them really spends more money in transfers makes me want to put them both in a barrel and send it floating off to sea, by the way. Sheesh.
   739. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4654258)
Ok maybe not crisis, but getting a tanked 5-1 brings out plenty of criticisms, which Wegner and Arsenal have traditionally not handled well. Mertesacker may be the slowest CB in the league, but he is pretty good at handling crosses.

Question for the guys who have played more - on Fulham's first goal, was it Rooney's or Fletcher's job to track Sidwell's run? The commentators blamed Fletcher which I understand but isn't it up to Rooney to make sure Fletcher is aware of the run?
   740. Mefisto Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4654338)
Well I'd say it was a little surprising how easy it was for Liverpool. Contrary to popular opinion, Arsenal don't give up a lot of goals, and haven't for a few years now.


Agreed on all counts. It shouldn't have been that easy. But Liverpool's front 3 are very quick and very good; any team would have a problem with them.
   741. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 10, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4654388)
   742. JuanGone..except1game Posted: February 10, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4654414)
That clip was passed around to me earlier and I had to give up 2 minutes in, as its just too depressing. Andy Carroll is just about the only person on earth who might enjoy that clip.
   743. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 10, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4654470)
I think the hapless United thing is being way overplayed. They dominated that match. The Benny Hill speed on that youtube makes every chance look awful - at 22 minutes Rafael puts a cross in to Robin van Persie at the far post but he volleys over. At 49 minutes you can see a Patrice Evra cross for RVP, free in the middle of the six-yard box, that he heads wide. And 78 minutes a low Ashley Young cross runs across the box past the penalty spot and Juan Mata shoots it into a diving defender. At 87 minutes Adnan Januzaj threads a low cross in to Chicharito, and he inexplicably boots it into row Z from the 6-yard box.

Overall United took 17 shots from the danger zone (close central inside the box) and 7 from inside the six-yard box. No other club in the Premier League has taken more than four shots from the six-yard box in a single match this season. The right guys have their finishing boots on and this one ends 4-2 or 4-1. It's not like Fulham are good, and United are far to the fringe of the top four race, but if I want to be worried about United, I'd point to a dozen other matches before that one.

I wrote this up at more length in a hot stats take piece.
   744. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 10, 2014 at 06:32 PM (#4654471)
Well I'd say it was a little surprising how easy it was for Liverpool. Contrary to popular opinion, Arsenal don't give up a lot of goals, and haven't for a few years now.
Yeah, Arsenal's midfield pressing has been one of their primary strengths this season. You need your midfield to be near perfect to play a high line against Liverpool, and Arteta and Wilshere were barely even there, Ozil and Cazorla didn't support them at all. Probably Wenger should have dusted off his Dortmund tactics (more bodies in midfield, lower defensive block), but the combination of the wrong tactics and the players underperforming was really pretty awful.
   745. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4654687)
I think the hapless United thing is being way overplayed.

I agree with this. United dominated the game and Fulham were half lucky and half Stekelenberg that they weren't blown out. It was just a fun game to watch because you NEVER see that many crosses in a game. My take from all that was more that Fulham are terrible than that United are turning a corner, though.

I also agreed with your take on the Everton-Spurs game as talked about in the media. Everton were better, easily, the first 15 minutes but they didn't get a sniff of goal after that and Spurs shut them down in the second half. I don't think Sherwood got the team right but his adjustments after the break worked well. Note to Tim Sherwood: Sandro is awesome and you should play him. Bentaleb is very promising and deserves to be in the squad, but Sandro is better. Leon Osman doesn't get free cracks at goal if Sandro is on the pitch.
   746. jmurph Posted: February 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4654733)
Everton were better, easily, the first 15 minutes but they didn't get a sniff of goal after that and Spurs shut them down in the second half.


I think Everton didn't get a sniff of goal because they don't employ quality strikers and Mirallas, in particular, was a disaster.
   747. Mattbert Posted: February 11, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4654744)
Note to Tim Sherwood: Sandro is awesome and you should play him. Bentaleb is very promising and deserves to be in the squad, but Sandro is better. Leon Osman doesn't get free cracks at goal if Sandro is on the pitch.

All of this is true, but Sandro isn't match fit yet. I don't think he's due back until the end of the month.
   748. PepTech Posted: February 11, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4654835)
I think the hapless United thing is being way overplayed.
I don't. I revel in calling United hapless, whether it's true or not. Hapless! Hapless!!!

13 other clubs would LOVE to be in 7th place. They gotcher hapless right here, pal :)
   749. Ron J2 Posted: February 11, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4654955)
Apologies if this has already been linked to. heading/concussion study

Canadian researchers found the practice of heading the ball can cause repeat concussions or sub-concussive head blows which don't cause any symptoms.

In fact, one study revealed that 62-percent of varsity soccer players had concussion symptoms during their careers but only 19-percent realized it.
   750. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 11, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4654980)
So, Ron's link is much more substantive and deserves discussion.

But I did a silly little stats thing I feel like linking to. Strength of Schedule remaining in the EPL. Rated by how many points an average club would take against the remaining schedule of any individual club. Here's the numbers, scaled to 100 as average:

94 Chelsea
100 Arsenal
96 Manchester City
98 Liverpool
96 Tottenham Hotspur
98 Everton
104 Manchester United
98 Newcastle United
102 Southampton
103 Swansea City
98 Hull City
99 Aston Villa
96 Stoke City
105 Crystal Palace
106 West Ham United
104 Norwich City
109 Sunderland
96 West Bromwich Albion
99 Cardiff City
101 Fulham

This is another reason why I think WBA are in great shape to climb out of the relegation spots. Chelsea have it good, Arsenal have the toughest remaining schedule of the top competitors, unless you count United.
   751. PepTech Posted: February 11, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4654987)
So I was noticing that Swansea, in 10th, is only four points from relegation (discounting GD). I wondered if that was unusual, so I went all the way back to 2010 and found Bolton in 8th, six points from relegation, on Feb 12th. So, I guess, never mind.

   752. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 11, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4654990)
MCoA - I think your wording is the opposite of what you mean. You said "how many points an average club would take...scaled to 100" but then say that Chelsea (94) "have it good." The former suggests a higher number is an easier schedule such that Sunderland have the easiest remaining schedule and Chelsea the most difficult. However, it seems that the lower number indicates the schedule is easier.

I think I've got it and that a lower number is better, I just want to make sure I'm reading it correctly.
   753. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4654991)
   754. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 11, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4654998)
Jose - thanks, right, it's the inverse of how many points an average club would take. Felt like a higher number should be a harder schedule.
   755. PepTech Posted: February 11, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4655010)
I would have been really impressed if Chelsea got to 94 this season. :)
   756. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 11, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4655013)
It's really raining goals today.
   757. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 11, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4655027)
Cannes beat Montpelier in the French Cup. I'm going to assume that's a pretty big upset.
   758. Spivey Posted: February 11, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4655081)
West Brom!
   759. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: February 11, 2014 at 06:37 PM (#4655125)
Michael -- do your SoS calculations have some sort of home/away adjustment? I was a little surprised LFC didn't rank near the top(*) (in terms of ease) -- not that they don't have difficult fixtures left, but their hardest remaining fixtures are at Anfield. Of teams in the top half, they only travel to St Mary's and Old Trafford.

(*)Err, possibly quibbling here. LFC are tied for sixth, so it's not like your calculation has them with a difficult remaining schedule.
   760. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 11, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4655189)
Keith-

Yes. The strength of schedule is based on a Monte Carlo simulation of the remaining games. I did 20 simulations in a row, each time with a league average club plugged in for one team, and saw how many points that team took from each side's remaining fixtures. So it accounts for both opponent and home/away. Liverpool still have to play City and Chelsea, plus away matches to United and Southampton. It's not a big difference between them and Chelsea in SoS, but it's enough to make a little difference.
   761. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: February 11, 2014 at 11:24 PM (#4655248)
Thanks Michael. Neat stuff, as always.
   762. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 12, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4655338)
So, Scolari has said Julio Cesar is heading to Toronto FC on a loan deal to get games in before the WC. I can't believe how hard it's been for Brazil's #1 to get games.
   763. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 12, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4655407)
I'll be publishing weekly my basic team-level stats here:

English Premier League shot statistics.
   764. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 12, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4655662)
Spurs: Lloris; Walker, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Naughton; Dembele, Bentaleb, Capoue, Paulinho, Lennon; Adebayor.

4 central midfielders! I'm actually not sure where they'll line up. I'd guess Dembele on the left and Paulinho in the hole behind the striker, but who ####### knows. Nice to see Kaboul back in the team. If fit, I'd take a Kaboul and Vertonghen partnership over any in the PL. A big IF, I know. Also, despite playing just one up top, Sherwood elects to go with two strikers on the bench. Puzzling.
   765. jmurph Posted: February 12, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4655669)
Manchester City-Sunderland called off due to wind? Crazy.
   766. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 12, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4655680)
Manchester City-Sunderland called off due to wind? Crazy.

Aw, hell, they should play it. I'd like to see what a game played in monsoon winds would be like.
   767. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 12, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4655681)
Everton-Crystal Palace off, too.
   768. Howling John Shade Posted: February 12, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4655685)
4 central midfielders! I'm actually not sure where they'll line up. I'd guess Dembele on the left and Paulinho in the hole behind the striker, but who ####### knows. Nice to see Kaboul back in the team. If fit, I'd take a Kaboul and Vertonghen partnership over any in the PL. A big IF, I know. Also, despite playing just one up top, Sherwood elects to go with two strikers on the bench. Puzzling.
Spurs twitter claims they are playing a 4-3-3 (Ade/Dembele/Lennon being the front 3). Weird. Rose is apparently out with a concussion.
   769. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 12, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4655717)
Spurs twitter claims they are playing a 4-3-3 (Ade/Dembele/Lennon being the front 3). Weird.

It's really hard to parse any kind of consistent thinking to Sherwood's lineups. I want him to do well, obviously, but I have no idea what he's up to.
   770. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 12, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4655760)
Bentaleb just shook off Sissoko to set up Adebayor. Really impressive from Betaleb as Sissoko is no joke.
   771. Swedish Chef Posted: February 12, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4655763)
I'm sure Kinnear will soon be on the phone with Pardew, berating him for not playing Johan Kebab.
   772. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 12, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4655782)
Well, Tottenham up 1-0 but they are wide, wide open at the back. Gotta be some more goals coming in this game.
   773. PepTech Posted: February 12, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4655787)
So I didn't think Kompany's "effort" could be topped, but Toure pulled it off. What is it with Fulham?
   774. Sean Forman Posted: February 12, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4655792)
Amazing first-time pass by Gerrard to Sturridge.
   775. jmurph Posted: February 12, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4655803)
In my time (which only means 6-7 years) of watching the Premier League, I've got Richard Dunne as the king of own goals.
   776. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 12, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4655809)
For Spurs fans Jamie Carragher is the king of the OG.
   777. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 12, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4655810)
Paulinho kills off Toon!
   778. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 12, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4655812)
Here's a stat. Newcastle haven't come from behind from a halftime deficit to win a PL game in 7 years.

edited for clarity
   779. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 12, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4655814)
The NBC Sports app is so slow - damn Olympics.
   780. jmurph Posted: February 12, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4655820)
I should really be cheering for United but can't bring myself to do it. 0-0 would do the trick, I guess.
   781. Howling John Shade Posted: February 12, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4655823)
It sure is nice to have Kaboul back. Hope he can stay healthy.
   782. jmurph Posted: February 12, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4655830)
I get that Newcastle's owner is a dolt, and the Kinnear thing was embarrassing, but they've still got talent. All of these home losses can't be blamed on that.
   783. Swedish Chef Posted: February 12, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4655854)
I get that Newcastle's owner is a dolt, and the Kinnear thing was embarrassing, but they've still got talent. All of these home losses can't be blamed on that.

They haven't got that much talent, I don't think anything separates them from the teams down there. They just got a bit lucky this season. Selling their best player won't help, but they were bound to regress anyway.
   784. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 12, 2014 at 07:13 PM (#4655897)
Newcastle just aren't finishing.

In their last three matches, they've created 18 shots from the danger zone, 6 on target. They've created three shots with throughballs. And they've taken their usual pile of shots from outside. Today if Papiss Demba Cisse is a striker who isn't a complete mess, they score twice easy. Hugo Lloris also went and had his best game since the concussion.

Newcastle were second-best by only a small margin to Chelsea and Spurs, and perhaps deserved a point against Sunderland. The goals will come.

Spurs were in a ridiculous goal conversion drought early in the season, since their loss to Newcastle where the didn't score a single one of 13 danger zone shots, they've been well above league average. Today they converted 4-of-8, two tap-ins, one bouncing volley and one worldie.
   785. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 12, 2014 at 11:35 PM (#4656022)
Amazing first-time pass by Gerrard to Sturridge.


Just reached that point in the match and ... holy crap, what a gorgeous pass.

Coming up off the ground, one touch, off the outside of his right boot to pass between the CB's and bend into the path of Sturridge.

Sublime.
   786. Swedish Chef Posted: February 13, 2014 at 03:16 AM (#4656079)
Newcastle just aren't finishing.

In their last three matches, they've created 18 shots from the danger zone, 6 on target.


They allowed ten goals in those games. Gotta create a whole lot more chances to make up for such brittleness.
   787. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: February 13, 2014 at 05:47 AM (#4656084)
MCoA, the expected goals/season simulation methodology links in your week 25 projections column aren't going anywhere; is there a working link?
   788. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 13, 2014 at 11:51 PM (#4656697)
Good midweek results for Spurs. Would have been better, of course, if Liverpool dropped points against Fulham, but can't get too greedy. Of course, my pipe dream is Liverpool and Spurs both qualifying and Arsenal dropping out...
   789. Howling John Shade Posted: February 14, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4656956)
   790. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 14, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4656989)
How old would you say the guy on the right is?

Because Lazio think he's 17...
   791. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 14, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4656991)
Mourinho: Arsene Wenger is a "specialist in failure"

He trolls Wenger even when they aren't playing Arsenal. That is dedication to the craft.
   792. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4657001)
Fulham hire Felix Magath

I think. It's not being reported anywhere else but the link is to Fulham's website. A real headscratcher.
   793. ursus arctos Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4657004)
All over Twitter.

One of the more bizarre appointments in recent times.

Meulensteen seems to have been disappeared.
   794. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4657007)
I thought Magath was going to swoop in and rescue Hamburglar from relegation, not Fulham.
   795. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4657008)
Without even hiring him as Alan Curbishley's assistant first??
   796. ursus arctos Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4657009)
Magath has basically worn out his welcome in the Bundesliga.

It's really too bad that Berbatov has moved on, as his reaction to Magath's boot camp method would have been amusing.
   797. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4657010)
One other piece of biggish news today...

The EPL is going to have their own sort of minor league.
   798. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4657011)
It's really too bad that Berbatov has moved on, as his reaction to Magath's boot camp method would have been amusing.

Rafa Van der Vaart is a relieved man, at least.
   799. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4657016)
Also, it's kind of funny from a distance that Muelensteen has now had two jobs this year and neither lasted as long as 6 months.
   800. jmurph Posted: February 14, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4657017)
Mourinho: Arsene Wenger is a "specialist in failure"


Man, there's relatively good-natured sniping and then there's this. That was harsh.
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