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Monday, July 14, 2014

OT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014

Link to June Thread

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Finally we get to talk about what really matters: transfer rumors!

Oh, and there are some games too:

July 15: KR Reykjavik vs Celtic & other Champions League Qualifiers

July 16: Lanus vs Atletico Mineiro (Recopa Sudamericana Leg 1), Philadelphia Union vs NY Red Bulls, Champions League Qualifiers

July 17: Europa League Qualifiers, Hearts vs Man City (Friendly)

July 18: RB Leipzig vs PSG (Friendly), Tijuana vs Puebla, Querétaro vs Pumas UNAM

July 19: Seattle Sounders vs Tottenham Hotspur (Friendly), Sporting KC vs LA Galaxy, León vs América

July 20: DC United vs Chivas USA

July 22: Champions League Qualifiers 2nd Leg, Club Nacional vs. Defensor Sporting (Libertadores)

July 23: Liverpool vs Roma, Toronto FC vs Spurs, Sporting vs Man City, LA Galaxy v. Man U (All Friendlies)

July 24: Olympiakos v. Milan (Int. Champions Cup), Europa League Qualifiers

July 25: Sacramento Republic vs West Brom (Friendly), Santos Laguna vs Cruz Azul

July 26: Man U vs Roma (ICC), Real Madrid vs Inter (ICC), NYRB vs Arsenal (Friendly), Chicago Fire vs Spurs (Friendly)

July 27: Milan vs Man City (ICC), Liverpool vs Olympiakos (ICC)

July 28: Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy

July 29: Defensor Sporting vs Nacional (Libertadores)

July 30: Real Salt Lake vs NYRB, Bolívar vs San Lorenzo (Libertadores)

Link to June Thread

Howling John Shade Posted: July 14, 2014 at 03:02 PM | 608 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   201. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 19, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4754435)
Flop.
   202. Howling John Shade Posted: July 19, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4754436)
Hopefully we see Lamela in the second half. Not very inspiring from Spurs other than the pretty Kane-Holtby goal.
   203. Mefisto Posted: July 19, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4754473)
Man, Yedlin really embarrassed Fryers.
   204. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 19, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4754475)
Gwack-a-mol-E!
   205. ursus arctos Posted: July 20, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4754686)
L'Equipe, which usually is quite reliable, is reporting that Chelsea are about to sign Didier Drogba to a one year contract, following which he will become part of their backroom staff.
   206. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 20, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4754695)
Not to drag OTP into the thread, but I wonder at point events unfolding in Ukraine could conceivably begin mounting pressure on FIFA regarding the 2018 WC.

4 years is a long time, but I can't imagine those countries whose citizens were murdered last week are going to happy at having to play matches in Russia. I can also see a lot of pressure on the national FA's from within their own countries.

Personally, it looks like my 4 year plan to boycott the 2022 Qatar WC cycle just got doubled ...
   207. Swedish Chef Posted: July 20, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4754702)
Not to drag OTP into the thread, but I wonder at point events unfolding in Ukraine could conceivably begin mounting pressure on FIFA regarding the 2018 WC.

That would be if sanctions from either the West or Russia makes it infeasible for FIFA's corporate sponsors to be present at the cup. Russia probably won't go that way, unless they actually want to lose it.

Otherwise, hard to see anything. FIFA is used to bad publicity and isn't going to panic over some American media freakout.
   208. Swedish Chef Posted: July 20, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4754750)
Real seem to have nabbed James Rodriguez for real. Bet one can get really good odds on Atletico repeating as champions.
   209. Mefisto Posted: July 20, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4754794)
Anyone who's not watching the Portland/Boston game on ESPN2 should tune in just to watch Vero Bouquet. And if you enjoy bad defense, the score is 3-3 at halftime.
   210. Rob_Wood Posted: July 20, 2014 at 08:21 PM (#4754859)
Please don't take this the wrong way, but in addition to watching for gender reasons I watch women's soccer with my daughter since it is easier to actually see what is going on as the game is played in slow motion compared to the men's game.
   211. Mefisto Posted: July 20, 2014 at 09:09 PM (#4754878)
I wouldn't take any offense at that, and I know my daughter wouldn't. It's pretty obvious.
   212. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 20, 2014 at 09:09 PM (#4754879)
Not to drag OTP into the thread, but I wonder at point events unfolding in Ukraine could conceivably begin mounting pressure on FIFA regarding the 2018 WC.


I'm with the Chef. If the shitshow in Qatar hasn't bothered them the Ukraine sure as hell ain't a problem.
   213. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 20, 2014 at 10:32 PM (#4754923)
Oh, I wasn't thinking that FIFA would wake up one day and move the WC of their own accord, but rather, that even 4 years from now, there are going to be countries where being known as a sponsor of WC Russia 2018, isn't going to have positive marketing value at all.

And since Putin's obviously attempting to play the "I'd like to help, but a dog ate all the evidence, so who knows what happened?" card in response, there's going to be a whole lot of pissed off people in a whole lot of countries looking to find ways to stick it to him and the WC makes a nice fat target.

Talk's already begun:

King, who sits on both the Homeland Security and Intelligence Committees, said global response should also consider relieving Russia from hosting the 2018 of the World Cup.


Obviously, the US (or the US FA) isn't going to move that meter much at all by itself, but get the Dutch, English, Australian and some other European governments and FAs on board, along with the families and loved ones from those countries affected putting campaigns together to pressure potential sponsors, I could see actual, serious pressure mounting on FIFA to reconsider.

Obviously, it's still very unlikely, but I could see international ire coalescing on FIFA in a way that so far Qatar has not managed to generate (though, frankly, it should have).

   214. ursus arctos Posted: July 20, 2014 at 11:24 PM (#4754948)
I'm afraid that FIFA's primary concern in this regard at the moment is that Gazprom's checks still clear.
   215. PreservedFish Posted: July 21, 2014 at 12:50 AM (#4754967)
Is Qatar still going to build an island stadium only reachable by boat? I mean, I don't want to say that that would be worth the death of migrant workers, but, well, people also died building the Pyramids and the Great Wall of China.
   216. Swedish Chef Posted: July 21, 2014 at 05:00 AM (#4754986)
In a perfect illustration of why Bayern is so disliked, they're in a huff because the other teams won't postpone the season opener so their world cup players can get some extra rest.
   217. Swedish Chef Posted: July 21, 2014 at 08:09 AM (#4755002)
Swedish midfielder/forward Martin Mutumba is having a trial at Millwall. A good fit, he has done eight months for armed robbery earlier in his career.
   218. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 21, 2014 at 08:28 AM (#4755006)
I'm back! And Spurs still haven't signed a player, though I guess this quasi-swap thingy with Vorm and Davies heading to Spurs and Sigurdsson going the other way could be a real thing. Not sure why Vorm will settle for being #2 but he's pretty much the perfect backup for Lloris. I guess we'll see if it happens. The other hot rumors for Spurs seem to be Schneiderlin (makes sense and would complete the radical deconstruction of Soton) and Griezmann (seems like a pipe dream) though it was The Times of all places that reported Spurs' interest. I can't see Wenger letting Spurs get two French internationals in one window, anyway. Sacre bleu!

   219. Randy Jones Posted: July 21, 2014 at 09:19 AM (#4755016)
No comment on Fabio Quagliarella going to Torino?
   220. Swedish Chef Posted: July 21, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4755020)
Maybe he hasn't been informed yet. Maybe he doesn't even know about Torino's meeting with Swedish minnows Brommapojkarna in the EL qualifiers.
   221. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 21, 2014 at 09:39 AM (#4755025)
Quagliarella is a fun name, but I preferred the ironic Immobile as a moniker.

Xavi is headed to New York. Xavi, Lampard and Villa. Get the massage table ready!
   222. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4755047)
If spurs get schneiderlein, does that mean the end of sandro?
   223. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4755057)
If spurs get schneiderlein, does that mean the end of sandro?

I would say that's likely.
   224. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4755066)
Ah, Brommapojkarna, Sweden's answer to Strømsgodset.
   225. ursus arctos Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4755072)
Maybe he doesn't even know about Torino's meeting with Swedish minnows Brommapojkarna in the EL qualifiers.


Not quite Fernando Rodney's ill-advised celebration after getting the 24th out yesterday, but you're tempting the sporting gods a bit there, Chef.
   226. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4755076)
Ah, Brommapojkarna, Sweden's answer to Strømsgodset.

I am not googling any of that shit.
   227. ursus arctos Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4755083)
Evra to Juventus now official, following the brief interlude arising from Conte's resignation.
   228. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4755090)
It looks like Brazil is going to turn to Dunga (again). Retreads galore!
   229. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4755096)
Oh, in the midst of all this Kaka, Lampard, Villa and Xavi talk, how come there was no mention that Liam Ridgewell is a DP for Portland?
   230. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4755098)
It looks like Brazil is going to turn to Dunga (again). Retreads galore!

Failure is the only option, I guess. Why don't they just hire Allaryce or Pulis and get it over with? It's weird to think that anyone under the age of 25 will wonder why everyone else is so romantic about Brazilian soccer.
   231. puck Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4755100)
Question about getting tickets to an EPL game:

At some point I'll be making a trip to England (I'd write "UK" but I'm pretty sure I'm only going to England) and want to see a game or two. Since the trip will be planned in advance I'll probably try to plan around league games, although I know those dates change.

In general, if the game is not a derby, do clubs sell tickets to random people over the internet? Or does one have to buy one of those yearly memberships?

I'm sure the situation also differs if the team tends to sell out the place. What does one do in that case, does one buy through a local tour package, is there a stubhub and is that safe (will you end up with a real ticket)?

Right now I'm targeting Arsenal at the Emirates and/or Everton at Goodison. I'm also curious about AFC Wimbledon but I don't now if I can fit them into the schedule.
   232. Swedish Chef Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4755101)
I am not googling any of that ####.

Everything Swedish is SFW to Google except for "dansband kläder"
   233. ursus arctos Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4755109)
You can walk up to Wimbledon on the day and get in without any issue, rather like an independent league baseball game.

Arsenal is generally sold out for league matches, though cup games and the like often have tickets go on "General Sale" to non-members though the club website. Arsenal operates its own on-line ticket exchange, but I think that it may be limited to members. Via GoGo also operates a StubHub like exchange for genuine tickets. English ticket brokers will generally sell genuine tickets, but at exorbitant prices.

Everton should be a bit easier than Arsenal.
   234. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4755113)
In general, if the game is not a derby, do clubs sell tickets to random people over the internet? Or does one have to buy one of those yearly memberships?

Spurs have a partnership with Stubhub now so tix for them should always be available. Unless you really prefer Arsenal to Spurs (understandable, I guess), I'd recommend seeing WHL before it's torn down. The Emirates isn't going anywhere for a long while. But aside from Spurs, I imagine they aren't the only club with a stubhub affiliation so I'd start there. I imagine AFC Wimbledon would be pretty easy to get. I used a tour package to get my tix for Spurs - Chelsea 2 years ago and the price for the tix was fine, but the price they made me pay for the hotel was not. Even for London.
   235. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4755114)
Puck, you can generally buy tickets through the club website if they're available. In Arsenal's case that's pretty rare. I'm sure its similar for Everton. I don't remember exactly if you have to join the fan club, but the registration process was very annoying and I gave up. I ended up going to a West Ham game when they were in the Championship. Its much cheaper and you can usually go the day of a match and go to the box office, or you can scalp (they call them "touts" in that part of the world).

If you're in London, I would suggest going to Fulham. They're in the Championship so the tickets would be cheaper and its amazing walking through a residential neighborhood to walk up to this old stadium along the river.
   236. DA Baracus Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4755115)
I have the same questions as puck. I'm hopefully going in the spring. I don't mind going to a Championship game if EPL isn't an option.

EDIT: And those questions have already been answered. That was fast.
   237. TFTIO is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4755125)
I may be in London in November. I can afford something other than a train ride to see Mansfield Town (don't ask) so I am planning on going to see at least one game.
   238. ursus arctos Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4755126)
Championship is virtually always much easier than the Premier League.

And I'd second Frank's recommendation of Fulham. It's a very atmospheric ground and one welcoming to neutrals. Brentford is also a fine day out, in part because there is a pub in each corner of the ground. Charlton and Millwall are also fine, and Charlton offers the unusual perk of being able to take a boat to the game. I've also heard good things about Brighton's new ground.
   239. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4755137)
So what's the deal with the South American players who refuse to report to the Ukraine? What the hell will FIFA/UEFA do about that? Will they blackball them?
   240. Swedish Chef Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4755145)
So what's the deal with the South American players who refuse to report to the Ukraine? What the hell will FIFA/UEFA do about that? Will they blackball them?

They certainly can't go play anywhere else while the club holds their registration, so blackballing is in effect by default. I'm sure FIFA hopes that the problem goes away by itself and the players are sold off so they don't have to dispense some solomonic justice.
   241. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:46 AM (#4755146)
A quick perusal of Shakhtar's situation is not great. Donetsk is currently controlled by pro-Russian rebels and Shakhtar won't be able to play their games at home in the shiny stadium built for the Euros. UEFA has decreed only the cities in the west of the country can host games but the Ukrainian FA has yet to decide what to do. I can understand the players' reluctance to report but I have a feeling they will get screwed if they don't.
   242. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4755150)
They certainly can't go play anywhere else while the club holds their registration, so blackballing is in effect by default.

Kosovo!
   243. Swedish Chef Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4755151)
Kosovo!

Ukraine is the best paid war zone.
   244. ursus arctos Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4755152)
It's a serious issue for the entire Ukrainian league, because in addition to foreigners' not showing up, the current guidance from UEFA and FIFA is that only Lvov and Kiev are safe for matches.

Which leaves most of the league with no place to play, and a season that is supposed to start this weekend.
   245. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 21, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4755163)
Tom Ince on why he chose Hull over Inter:

"After the last six months I spent in the Premier League with Crystal Palace, I enjoyed the experience, but I had a bit of a here-and-there-and-everywhere summer. I ended up at Milan for a couple of days and I stood in the San Siro and I thought that it was an unbelievable feeling so I thought I was in a dream. After that I went to Portugal and had a few days away with my family and luckily enough I met Steve Bruce in Portugal and the rest is history. I had a coffee and a cheese and ham toastie with him and that was it, I was signed. I felt this time now in my career, the opportunity that I think that Hull City can give me will be fantastic - again it is another opportunity to play in the Premier League."
   246. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 21, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4755168)
So Steve Bruce and Hull City >>>> than Milan and the San Siro.
   247. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 21, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4755170)
So Steve Bruce >>>> than Milan and the San Siro.

More like Ham and Cheese toastie>>>>>>>Italian cuisine

   248. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: July 21, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4755174)
I have been thinking about driving up to Columbus to watch the Crew. Not knowing the MLS, at all, which of the following opponents would be best to go see:

Toronto FC
Los Angeles
Houston
Chivas USA
New England
Montreal
Philadelphia
   249. ursus arctos Posted: July 21, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4755179)
LA, Toronto or Houston, with special credit for Toronto if you want to see Michael Bradley or LA if you want to see Donovan.
   250. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: July 21, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4755182)
Thanks ursus
   251. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 21, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4755188)
Sky is reporting Ben Davies has flown to Toronto to meet up with Spurs. I guess that's done, then. Hull are in for Danny Rose now because of course they are. I honestly don't have a strong opinion about Davies. Watching Swansea, he never really stood out for me. That might be a good thing, though.
   252. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 21, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4755206)
dispense some solomonic justice.
Cut Dentinho in half. Putin gets the eastern half, Shakhtar gets the western half.
   253. Swedish Chef Posted: July 21, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4755216)
the current guidance from UEFA and FIFA is that only Lvov and Kiev are safe for matches.

Odessa and Dnipropetrovsk will be allowed to play their qualifiers at home.
   254. puck Posted: July 21, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4755218)
LA, Toronto or Houston, with special credit for Toronto if you want to see Michael Bradley or LA if you want to see Donovan.


Columbus also has some sort of half-baked rivalry with Toronto.

Houston is horrible this season, though on the plus side that probably means the home side will win.
   255. puck Posted: July 21, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4755224)
Thanks for the info. I will try to see specific clubs even if it costs more, as who knows when I'd ever make a second trip and this is pretty much the reason to choose England over a different country for the trip...never travel there for work, subsequent international trips will almost certainly be to other countries since we don't make many of them, etc.

So, supposing I have my heart set on seeing Arsenal and/or Everton and can't get tickets through the website, what's the best bet, some sort of tour package? As for "touts," are there reputable places to get these through?

Edit: and missed Ursos's specific info before I wrote that...thanks for the tip on GoGo.
   256. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 21, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4755225)
So Steve Bruce and Hull City >>>> than Milan and the San Siro.

Hull City play their home games in Portugal, right?
   257. puck Posted: July 21, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4755228)
I suppose the other question would be, when picking fixtures, what's the best best for picking one that won't be moved? Hard to avoid a weather-related move, so I suppose try to avoid weekends adjacent to likely FA Cup or Champions League fixture dates?

Looks like it will be easier to get tix for Everton.
   258. ursus arctos Posted: July 21, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4755243)
England is much better than other countries (cough, Spain, cough) when it comes to moving fixtures at the last minute. The television companies get their requests in early and the tv-related changes are announced well in advance (the first month or so already have been). Weather delays are rare in the top flight given undersoil heating and the like. So I wouldn't be overly concerned about dates shifting, though it is often the case that clubs will play later (Sunday or Monday night) in the weekend following a Champions League match.

Chef, thanks for the clarification. I thought the restriction I read about this morning was overly strict, but that still lives more than half the Ukrainian League with no place to play (there are three clubs in Donetsk alone).

I'd compare the StubHub/Via GoGo prices to the implicit ticket prices in tour packages and choose your poison. Touts generally operate the websites that come up if you Google something like "Arsenal tickets".
   259. puck Posted: July 21, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4755244)
Also: I see there's an "official US Arsenal supporters club" where one can get tix...I suppose things like that are options as well.
   260. Baldrick Posted: July 21, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4755265)
So what's the deal with the South American players who refuse to report to the Ukraine? What the hell will FIFA/UEFA do about that? Will they blackball them?

Not a big deal, but I try to correct this when I see it because it drives my Ukrainian friends up the wall. The name of the country is Ukraine. Not 'the Ukraine.' Russians call it 'the Ukraine' because they want to imply that it's a geographic region rather than an independent country.
   261. Swedish Chef Posted: July 21, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4755270)
At least he didn't call it weak.
   262. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 21, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4755273)
because it drives my Ukrainian friends up the wall

Hmm. Must decide if this is a bug or a feature...

At least he didn't call it weak.

Yeah, well, you know. Maybe Putin also played a lot of Risk as a kid? Mongolia better watch out.
   263. Howling John Shade Posted: July 21, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4755284)

Not a big deal, but I try to correct this when I see it because it drives my Ukrainian friends up the wall. The name of the country is Ukraine. Not 'the Ukraine.' Russians call it 'the Ukraine' because they want to imply that it's a geographic region rather than an independent country.
I had this explained to me this weekend by a Ukrainian. Makes sense I suppose.

Also puck, if you go to Wimbledon you'll get to see this majestic fellow in action.
   264. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 21, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4755292)
I had this explained to me this weekend by a Ukrainian. Makes sense I suppose.

Yeah, I'm just being a smart ass. Just "Ukraine" will always sound weird to me, though. It probably has to do with my growing up at a time when Ukraine was not a country but a region inside another country.

Anyway, here's to Tottenham or Torino not drawing any Ukraine teams in the Europa League.
   265. Baldrick Posted: July 21, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4755301)
Hmm. Must decide if this is a bug or a feature...

Small sample size, but every Ukrainian I have ever met is INCREDIBLY nice. Like, way nicer than pretty much anyone else I know. Super kind, really generous, bring thoughtful little presents, all that sort of stuff. And two of them are economists, who generally are not known for their overwhelming compassion and care for others.
   266. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 21, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4755309)
Russians call it 'the Ukraine' because they want to imply that it's a geographic region rather than an independent country.


Thanks. I'd heard many times that they prefer "Ukraine" to "the Ukraine" and never understood why it mattered. This makes a lot of sense.
   267. PreservedFish Posted: July 21, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4755310)
How many Ukrainian friends do you have?
   268. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 21, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4755312)
Small sample size, but every Ukrainian I have ever met is INCREDIBLY nice. Like, way nicer than pretty much anyone else I know. Super kind, really generous, bring thoughtful little presents, all that sort of stuff. And two of them are economists, who generally are not known for their overwhelming compassion and care for others.

When I was drinking way too much, my two favorite haunts in Manhattan were two Urkrainian bars in the East Village. Got no beef with 'em.
   269. Baldrick Posted: July 21, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4755327)
How many Ukrainian friends do you have?

Just two friends. But I've met probably a half dozen of their friends enough times to have gotten to know them a bit.

And then a couple others who regularly watched soccer at the same place as me when I lived in New Hampshire. Never even knew their names but we chatted some.
   270. ursus arctos Posted: July 21, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4755332)
I thought that 263 was going to be a photo of Haydon Womble, Wimbledon's environmentally aware mascot.

Here's a photo of Akinfenwa against Chelsea at the weekend, lest one fear that he's lost some of his presence since leaving Gillingham.
   271. puck Posted: July 21, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4755333)
I thought that 263 was going to be a photo of Haydon Womble, Wimbledon's environmentally aware mascot


I thought it would be the womble, too. Geez, I better get out there before that other guy has a heart attack.

Edit: I think I might have a new favorite player. This article, linked to his wikipedia article, is kindly euphemistic: How Port Vale will tackle the world's strongest footballer.

"He likes the ball into feet, he will tell you himself he isn't going to run the channels.

"He just wants the ball into his feet and chest so he can pin defenders and get runners off him.

"You can't get into a physical scrap with him, because you will end up fouling him or he is just going to throw you.

"...Sometimes we could be just as well letting him have the ball and see what he is going to do with it, because he is not going to run and get at you, he is going to look for runners."
   272. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 21, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4755334)
Here's a photo of Akinfenwa against Chelsea at the weekend, lest one fear that he's lost some of his presence since leaving Gillingham.

That guy is like 3 Neymars in one body!
   273. ursus arctos Posted: July 21, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4755348)
The Daily Mail is very enthusiastic about Akinfenwa (includes bonus "beast mode" gym video).

I have a friend who is a season ticket holder at Wimbledon and says that Akinfenwa definitely fits the "gentle giant" stereotype and is incredibly popular with kids.

In other news, interesting data from Sporting Intelligence on UK viewing figures for the Premier League last season.

1: Manchester United and Liverpool are the big draws. United’s average audience was 1.4m people per match and Liverpool’s was 1.31m. This is in-home TV viewing but clearly indicative of popularity. No other team averaged as many as 1.2m people per game.

2: Sky remains the main player in audience terms, although with a 20-year head start this is to be expected. Sky have somewhere north of 11 million pay-TV customers and more than 7 million of them subscribe to the sports channels. Their average PL audience last season was 1.2 million people per live game. BT Sport’s channels can now be accessed in around 5 million homes, either directly from BT on TV or via apps, or via other means, for example as a bolt-on to Sky or part of a Virgin package. BT’s average PL match audience last season was 562,000 people per match.

3: While these figures will no doubt seem extremely small to many observers, they demonstrate two things; first that pay-TV is not about ratings primarily but about getting viewers to pay for premium exclusive content they cannot get elsewhere; second that having paid for exclusive content, those viewers will want to see the ‘biggest’ and ‘best’ teams most within their subscription packages. That is why, for example, Manchester United were among the most-shown teams (25 of their 38 PL games were live on TV), as were Liverpool (28 of 38), Chelsea (25), Arsenal (25) and Manchester City (25). Less ‘attractive’ teams were shown much less often. Fulham and Cardiff were on TV just eight times each, with Norwich, Hull and West Brom just nine times each.


It would be interesting to compare this data with that from North America or other regions in which the Premier League is popular.
   274. ursus arctos Posted: July 21, 2014 at 07:04 PM (#4755414)
Marca's front page welcomes James (Rodriguez) to Real Madrid, and it is expected that he may be unveiled as early as tomorrow.

Fee reported to be in the range of 70-75 million euros.
   275. puck Posted: July 21, 2014 at 07:17 PM (#4755417)
So how long will they rest Ronaldo? With Bale and James around they should be able to. Ronaldo seemed pretty hobbled in the World Cup.
   276. ursus arctos Posted: July 21, 2014 at 08:57 PM (#4755457)
Interesting question.

The same edition of Marca suggests that he is doubtful for the European Super Cup.
   277. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 22, 2014 at 07:38 AM (#4755575)
I think it's just about done and dusted: Vorm and Davies to Spurs, Sigurdsson and somewhere around 4 million pounds to Swansea. It almost feels like an American sports trade. I think it's a winner for both sides and, though I think highly of Sigurdsson, Spurs are using some of their excess in the midfield to solve their problem at left back and get a ridiculously solid backup for Lloris. Swansea get a replacement for Michu and still have Taylor to play LB.
   278. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: July 22, 2014 at 07:57 AM (#4755580)
Ospina to Arsenal sounds like it's done, £3.5 million. Really nice transfer window for Arsenal so far.
   279. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 22, 2014 at 08:33 AM (#4755584)
In classic Tottenham fashion, they've inadvertently released pictures of Davies training with the team before announcing the transfer.
   280. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 22, 2014 at 08:36 AM (#4755586)
I'll be at the Roma/Liverpool friendly tomorrow in Boston. Anyone else going? Liverpool supporters, what should I be looking for?
   281. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: July 22, 2014 at 09:41 AM (#4755620)
Scott - I'm dubious of taking much from these friendlies, but as far as young kids, keep an eye out for Jordon Ibe -- pacey, diminutive winger who's drawing (possibly too simple) comparisons to Sterling. Markovic is apparently with the team, so if he plays, keep an eye out for his beautiful dark locks. Suso is with the team -- he's in a bit of a tough spot, with lots of guys vying for that "attacking mid" position. But he did halfway decently last year on loan at Almeria. Lastly, Joao Teixeira is another highly-touted young kid -- you may remember his brief cameo at Fulham, providing the pass that led to Sturridge being brought down in the box.
   282. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 22, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4755621)
Matt Besler thanks the people of Kansas City:
Thank you. I grew up in front of you. You drafted me out of college and brought me home. You never turned your back on me while I learned the ins and outs of the professional game. You’ve provided the most loyal fans in MLS. You’ve made Sporting Park the best stadium in the country. You supported me with the U.S. National Team like I am one of your sons. You’ve reassured me that I am right where I belong.
I suspect the feeling is mutual.
   283. Spivey Posted: July 22, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4755628)
Am I the only one that feels that James transfer is pretty damn high?
   284. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 22, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4755634)
He's the brand new shiny thing, and Madrid likes to overpay for that. He's young and has shown a lot of talent. The transfer market has been irrational for quite some time. Its high but not that high.
   285. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 22, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4755637)
Real Madrid and Barcelona have both had weird windows. Luckily for them only the husk of the Atleti team remains.
   286. Randy Jones Posted: July 22, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4755639)
From ESPN's transfer blog:
15.00 BST Where did it all go wrong for Andre Santos? Was it the moment he criminally decided to swap shirts with Robin van Persie at half-time? Or was it when he decided to stop defending?

Globo Esporte is reporting, rather alarmingly, that the former Arsenal left-back has mutually agreed to terminate his contract with Brazilian side Flamengo following a recent incident where he was attacked by the club's fans due to a string of poor performances. Left-back, anyone?
   287. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 22, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4755641)
Brazilian soccer is a mess right now. Their FA is massively corrupt, they have top clubs litigating themselves in and out of relegation and they would happily swap their top flight average attendance figures with MLS. And, yeah, their vaunted national team is laying in scraps on the side of the road and their managerial pool is so thin they're bringing back Dunga. What the hell happened?
   288. Sean Forman Posted: July 22, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4755643)
I'll be at Roma/Liverpool as well. Looking forward to it immensely.
   289. J. Sosa Posted: July 22, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4755644)
Are there third party interests floating around with James? That could be part of it too.

Scott, people have different tastes when it comes to friendlies but personally I enjoy them. I went to the one in Baltimore a couple of years ago against Spurs. It was brutally hot and ended in a pretty dire draw, but my boys and I can say we saw Gerrard and Bale run about for a bit. It was worth it.

I don't have much to add to what Keith said. The Rawk people are high on Ibe, but that doesn't mean much. They always treated Pacheco like he was going to be a superstar and to read Rawk you would think Suso is ready to displace Iniesta, but Sterling did come good. I have yet to find a site that is good for soccer prospects. You are almost as well off playing footy manager. Just about everything out there reads like Gammons on Marte when he came to the Sox.
   290. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 22, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4755646)
Just about everything out there reads like Gammons on Marte when he came to the Sox.

Yeah, I don't think there is any centralized prospect site. Spurs fans are lucky to have this one OCD guys who runs a prospect blog as he actually goes to the youth/reserve games and is pretty realistic about the players. If he stopped tomorrow then we'd basically have squat.
   291. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 22, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4755647)
I think Monaco bought out all the third parties in that combo deal with Moutinho. The Monaco owner doesn't need the money - but they did qualify for Champions League this year, so maybe they figure they could use the money for depth.
   292. J. Sosa Posted: July 22, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4755649)
Thanks Frank, I couldn't remember the particulars of the Porto deal. I'm interested to see who Madrid gets rid of. To me it is crazy town getting rid of Di Maria, I thought he was a standout for them last season. But I guess that's why they are Madrid.
   293. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 22, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4755658)
That Porto deal was still shady. Sporting had a sell-on clause for Moutinho so they made the Moutinho part of the deal "cheaper" than it probably should have been so that Sporting got less money.
   294. ursus arctos Posted: July 22, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4755701)
Also my recollection that the third parties were bought out by Monaco, but given the degree of Jorge Mendes' influence at that club, it is perfectly possible that there are undisclosed side deals.

It has been reported that Madrid have spent more on Cristiano, Bale and James than Ajax have on transfers in their entire 114 year history. I'm not sure if that is real or nominal terms, but it doesn't really matter.
   295. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 22, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4755702)
Bojan, the rich man's Freddy Adu, is headed to Stoke!
   296. ursus arctos Posted: July 22, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4755703)
The indignities of supporting Liverpool away.

The court papers allege the fans were kept on their coach for four and a half hours, the time it took to complete the 160-mile trip back from the Stadium of Light, as police blockaded sliproads and service station entrances.


I think that I've mentioned before that in my journalistic days I accompanied the Liverpool support on the official train from Liverpool to Rome for the 1984 European Cup Final. The French locked the doors to the carriages from the outside, and the Swiss didn't even allow the train into the country (which meant that we needed to take a roundabout route via Nice, Ventimiglia and Genoa).

I didn't realise that such attitudes towards travelling football supporters were still current 30 years later.
   297. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 22, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4755707)
I didn't realise that such attitudes towards travelling football supporters were still current 30 years later.

Jeez, the English can be bizarre. Don't they want to sell McDonald's to some Scousers?
   298. PreservedFish Posted: July 22, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4755708)
Did the Liverpool supporters act in such a way as to justify the fears of the French and Swiss?
   299. Swedish Chef Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4755715)
Am I the only one that feels that James transfer is pretty damn high?

For that money I'd rather have him than Suarez, he's not totally there yet, but he's still young and doesn't bite people.
   300. J. Sosa Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4755722)
That's really interesting Ursus. I think I remember you mentioning the 84 Final before but I don't remember the bit about the train.

LIke Fish says, I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts on what Liverpool fans were like then. What percent would you say were truly hooligan in nature as opposed to people just trying to watch the match?

I've posted before that I really struggle to understand the reaction of many Liverpool supporters to criticism regarding Heysel. The response is often anger, even from those who do analytics about the club. It carries more than a whiff of I shot the sheriff but I didn't shoot the deputy. But for those who were well behaved going to the Roma Final, and the Juventus Final, and to Hillsborough, I can see where people got tired of being treated like animals. But some of the support did behave like animals, or was that overblown in your experience Ursus?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts Ursus, these types of posts are the ones I enjoy the most about BTF. I remember Richard posted something about being in Sheffield during the Hillsborough tragedy which was interesting. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the stats type posts at BTF, but what I enjoy the most are things like Harveys posting what it was like watching Josh Gibson (not once, but twice!!! IIRC) and posts like 296.
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