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Friday, June 01, 2012

OT: The Soccer Thread: June

Euro 2012 Kicks Off!

Notable Early Round Matches:

Basically anything in Group B, which features teams currently ranked second, fourth, fifth and tenth in the FIFA rankings. That’s insane. Matchdays are June 9 (Saturday), 13 (Wednesday) and 17 (Sunday—Father’s Day). Don’t miss ‘em.

 

 

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:52 PM | 2536 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   1. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 02, 2012 at 10:24 PM (#4146593)
I work for Swedish company that features a development department that is entirely English. We've already got the go ahead for a shut down the office and watch England-Sweden match next week (15th I think).
   2. Baldrick Posted: June 02, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4146625)
No excitement over the Greece-Czech Republic match? That one promises to be a real barn-burner.
   3. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 02, 2012 at 11:45 PM (#4146643)
I'm seriously considering taking the 13th off to watch the two games that day, since I'm otherwise committed the other two.
   4. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: June 03, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4146711)
Europe: It's Euro 2012!
America: Yawn.
Europe: Peasants!
   5. Juan V Posted: June 03, 2012 at 09:35 AM (#4146717)
Moving activity here with some transfer news: Kuyt to Fenerbahce.
   6. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 03, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4146744)
I find it somewhat amusing that every replacement Hodgson picks plays for Liverpool.

I feel kinda bad for Denmark. Their team is solid but that group seems impossible for them.
   7. Flynn Posted: June 03, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4146829)
Fenerbahce, really?

Surely by that point Kuyt's better off going back to Feyenoord.
   8. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 03, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4146845)
Europe: It's Euro 2012!
America: Yawn.
Europe: Peasants!


Kind of a strange joke for this thread, no? I think the Euros are being universally anticipated in these parts.

Kuyt to Fenerbahce is strange but if they want to pay his wages, good for them. I loved Kuyt's quote that he wanted to play for a team with big ambitions in Europe. Heh. Anyway, I like Kuyt--he got the dirty work done but that role probably fit better on the Dutch national team than for Liverpool.

Even with Cahill out Rio Ferdinand isn't an option, I guess. I wonder if Terry had been the one to break his jaw if Ferdinand would have been an option?
   9. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 03, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4146848)
Surely by that point Kuyt's better off going back to Feyenoord.

He said he wanted to but he'd have to take an 80% pay cut to do it. Refreshingly honest, really.
   10. Spivey Posted: June 03, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4146877)
ESPN has a countdown of the top 40 players in Europe for the Euros.

Rankings that I really disagree with, me marking over or underrated.

#12 - Ribery (overrated)
#14 - Sneijder (overrated)
#18 - Muller (overrated)
#28 - Mario Gomez (underrated)
#38 - Sergio Ramos (underrated)

The last two seem particularly egregious to me. They're two of the best players on top-5 teams in the world. Muller had a great world cup but was a part time player for Bayern Munich this year. The top 2 are above a ton of players they have no right being above.
   11. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 03, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4146881)
I'm a big Sneijder fan. When I see him he seems to really control the game in a way few others do.
   12. Spivey Posted: June 03, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4146883)
If Sneijder is the 14th best player in the world Inter had no business finishing 6th with a GD of +3 this year.
   13. Flynn Posted: June 03, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4146885)
Gomez is to goals what Joe Carter is to RBIs.
   14. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: June 03, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4146893)
#11: I find that Sneijder either completely dominates a game or is utterly absent (like, you don't notice he's even there). Given his defensive shortcomings, not really a fan of his, but differing opinions are a good thing :)

#13: I'd love to see Gomez on a team that created a lot fewer chances for him than Bayern (he scored as many goals in six years at Stuttgart that he has in three years at Bayern, though, so that's neither here nor there). I am generally never impressed by him, but then again, I don't really like the Bundesliga, so it's entirely possible that I haven't seen enough of him (or that he struggles against tougher opposition or something).
   15. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 03, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4146894)
Balotelli might be the most overrated player on that list. Or Gerrard. Balotelli better than Pirlo or Busquets or Alonso or Gotze or Mata. Sir, I beg to differ!

Sneijder has been pretty bad the last year and a half, sadly. He's part of Inter's problems at this point.

   16. Spivey Posted: June 03, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4146898)
Gomez is to goals what Joe Carter is to RBIs.


I don't believe this. In fact, in soccer, I don't think this is possible. You cannot consistently score goals at the highest levels of competition unless you're a great goal scorer. He had a poor final, but he was money in the Champion's League. And I think he is one of Bayern's best players, rather than a player living off of others.
   17. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 03, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4146904)
   18. DA Baracus Posted: June 03, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4146911)
Damn, what a goal by Mexico. Gio Dos Santos was 6 yards off the backline just inside the 18. Basically crossed it into the goal.
   19. puck Posted: June 03, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4146912)
Playing with El Tri is like steroids for Giovanni Dos Santos. 22' Golazo Dos Santos
   20. puck Posted: June 03, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4146922)
Looks like the USMNT tired out the Brazilians, leaving them ripe for Mexico's picking. Heh.
   21. puck Posted: June 03, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4146928)
I wonder when that Leandro guy will be headed to Europe.
   22. BFFB Posted: June 03, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4146936)
Even with Cahill out Rio Ferdinand isn't an option, I guess. I wonder if Terry had been the one to break his jaw if Ferdinand would have been an option?


I'm sure of it. Also 25% of the England squad is now made up of Liverpool players. It also means a Lescott / Terry partership and they have been shakey everytime they've played together.
   23. Flynn Posted: June 03, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4146938)
You cannot consistently score goals at the highest levels of competition unless you're a great goal scorer. He had a poor final, but he was money in the Champion's League. And I think he is one of Bayern's best players, rather than a player living off of others.

He had a poor semifinal versus Real Madrid as well, where he was very, very wasteful.

I suppose you're right, but I've seen 10-11 games in which he has played and he has never played well, not once. Some of those games, like against Austria in the 2008 Euros, he was comically bad.
   24. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 03, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4146961)
I wonder when that Leandro guy will be headed to Europe.

Hopefully soon! They want a lot of money, though, if the rumors are to believed. Spurs have been chasing him for a couple of years now.

Watching Dos Santos play for Mexico makes me want Redknapp to get the axe sometimes. Can he really not find a use for him?
   25. Baldrick Posted: June 03, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4146987)
Kuyt to Fenerbahce is strange but if they want to pay his wages, good for them. I loved Kuyt's quote that he wanted to play for a team with big ambitions in Europe. Heh. Anyway, I like Kuyt--he got the dirty work done but that role probably fit better on the Dutch national team than for Liverpool.

Fenerbahce was in the quarterfinals of the Champions League not that long ago. 08, I think.

When, realistically, is Liverpool even going to be back in that competition?
   26. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: June 03, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4147025)

What's up with Junior Hoilett? He seems like a player who is definitely good enough to play for Canada yet Canada didn't call him up.
   27. JH (in DC) Posted: June 03, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4147027)
Fabian Johnson hurt himself in warmups. Edgar Castillo replaces him - time for him to show something.
   28. puck Posted: June 03, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4147029)
Fabian Johnson hurt himself in warmups. Edgar Castillo replaces him - time for him to show something.

Wonder if Big Soccer crashed due to the teeth-knashing load being exceeded.
   29. DA Baracus Posted: June 03, 2012 at 07:22 PM (#4147035)
What's up with Junior Hoilett? He seems like a player who is definitely good enough to play for Canada yet Canada didn't call him up.


He's their Timothy Chandler. Holding out for England.
   30. DA Baracus Posted: June 03, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4147041)
So rather than being attacking and have Donovan and Dempsey flanking Gomez and Torres in the middle dishing it out with Jones and Bradley him, Klinsmann has Torres and Donovan flanking Jones and Bradley and Dempsey behind Gomez. Dempsey looked lost playing behind a striker like that in Fulham, I'm not a fan of him in that spot.
   31. Randy Jones Posted: June 03, 2012 at 08:13 PM (#4147071)
ESPN has a countdown of the top 40 players in Europe for the Euros.

Rankings that I really disagree with, me marking over or underrated.

#12 - Ribery (overrated)
#14 - Sneijder (overrated)
#18 - Muller (overrated)
#28 - Mario Gomez (underrated)
#38 - Sergio Ramos (underrated)

The last two seem particularly egregious to me. They're two of the best players on top-5 teams in the world. Muller had a great world cup but was a part time player for Bayern Munich this year. The top 2 are above a ton of players they have no right being above.


I knew that list was a joke when I saw Xabi Alonso was at #34. He should be top fifteen at worst.
   32. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 03, 2012 at 08:34 PM (#4147082)
Fenerbahce was in the quarterfinals of the Champions League not that long ago. 08, I think.

Apoel could use him, too, I guess. It's pretty clear he's going to Fenerbahce for the cash and I have no problem with that. He's on big wages so his options were limited if he wants to play and still get paid and Turkey looks like a pretty great place to spend a couple of years. I actually don't think Liverpool are so far away from being a good team again and if Liverpool had Kuyt in their plans he wouldn't have been so keen on leaving. Like Spurs did with Crouch last year, I have a feeling Liverpool told him if you don't leave prepared to get familiar with the bench.

I knew that list was a joke when I saw Xabi Alonso was at #34. He should be top fifteen at worst.

They should probably just rename it the 40 most famous players at the Euros 2012.
   33. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 03, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4147092)
Castillo has looked not terrible. Has tried to play it out a little too much but as a backup not too shabby.
   34. Juan V Posted: June 03, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4147093)
Xabi really looked like he could use some rest by the end of the season.
   35. Mefisto Posted: June 03, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4147153)
Well that was ugly. No drive forward at all -- we hardly even generated any chances. I don't know whether the players were tired or the formation was wrong, but that won't do.
   36. Juan V Posted: June 04, 2012 at 05:26 AM (#4147412)
Everyone has figured this out by now but I just want to check: Rio Ferdinand is out of the England squad because John Terry is a pillock, right?
   37. Flynn Posted: June 04, 2012 at 06:44 AM (#4147417)
Not necessarily. Rio's dodgy knee is at least as responsible, since he probably can't play three times in eight days.
   38. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 04, 2012 at 08:16 AM (#4147436)
Good to see all the enthusiasm about the victory over Scotland lasted a whole ######## week.
   39. DA Baracus Posted: June 04, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4147489)
   40. Mefisto Posted: June 04, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4147531)
@36: I think that's right. Rio played regularly all year. I could be wrong, but I don't think he's carrying an injury at the moment. It could be true that 3 games in 8 days would be tough for him, but that assumes he's a starter. As a reserve, he wouldn't need to do that.

And hey, can't have too many LFC players on the team.
   41. ursus arctos Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4147546)
Ferguson expressed doubts about Rio's ability to play three games in eight days during the period leading up to selection. There's no evidence that he talked to the player before doing so, and Ferdinand is (rightly in my view) rather upset about it.

All that said, I still believe that Hodgson has decided that he can't have both Ferdinand and Terry in the squad.

Hodgson and/or the FA appear to be seriously caught up over appearances and "respect". Their failure to reach out to Carrick, Micah Richards and Ferdinand is only weakening the team.
   42. puck Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4147573)
Who else is in their centerback pool? I guess there really are a lot of foreign centerbacks in the PL. I can think of Ryan Shawcross, maybe Chris Smalling among the guys who've been capped, but I wouldn't know who the up and comers are.
   43. Randy Jones Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4147584)
I can think of Ryan Shawcross, maybe Chris Smalling among the guys who've been capped, but I wouldn't know who the up and comers are.


I'm surprised they didn't call up Smalling. Specially since he can cover at RB if needed also.
   44. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4147586)
I think considering all the injuries and the refusal to select Rio because Terry called Rio's brother very bad names (Man, England is weird!) I'd say Johnny Evans and Steven Caulker are their best bets and then Shawcross after those two. I think if Caulker wore a red kit he'd be getting a lot more shouts about a spot on the bench for England. I'm not arguing Caulker is ready for it right now, but he's as good as their other options at the moment.
   45. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4147587)
I'm surprised they didn't call up Smalling. Specially since he can cover at RB if needed also.

Wasn't he ruled out due to injury?

edit: google tells me that he is injured. As, of course, is Michael Dawson who would have slotted in nicely in Cahill's place.
   46. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4147589)
Hodgson and/or the FA appear to be seriously caught up over appearances and "respect". Their failure to reach out to Carrick, Micah Richards and Ferdinand is only weakening the team.

Not having Carrick is kind of a killer. Parker is good, but Carrick is better, I think.
   47. Randy Jones Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4147592)
I'd say Johnny Evans and Steven Caulker are their best bets and then Shawcross after those two.


Evans isn't English. He is from Northern Ireland.

EDIT:
I'm surprised they didn't call up Smalling. Specially since he can cover at RB if needed also.

Wasn't he ruled out due to injury?

edit: google tells me that he is injured.


I knew he had been injured, wasn't sure if he still was.
   48. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4147594)
Evans isn't English. He is from Northern Ireland.

Damn it. That NI flag looks too much like England's at whoscored.com. They need to throw a big green stripe on their or something. Caulker it is then!
   49. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4147595)
Evans is capped. The problem for England is that he is capped for Northern Ireland. (Coke to Randy)

I think considering all the injuries and the refusal to select Rio because Terry called Rio's brother very bad names (Man, England is weird!)


Maybe this is what you were getting at but what strikes me as weird is that it's Ferdinand, not Terry, who is being punished by being left off the team. I think there are some valid reasons (I wouldn't trust Rio for three games in eight days, I wouldn't trust him for three games in thirty days), but it's certainly odd.
   50. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4147598)
Maybe this is what you were getting at but what strikes me as weird is that it's Ferdinand, not Terry, who is being punished by being left off the team.

That's how it looks to me, which is why I think it's weird. There seems to be no situation the FA can't #### up. It's kind of hilarious. It's like they're run by a committee of 10 Bud Selig's after each of the cloned Bud Selig's has downed a bottle of scotch. Isaiah Thomas couldn't do a worse job!
   51. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4147627)
   52. Mefisto Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4147691)
They left out Sven.
   53. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4147704)
They left out Sven.
Nah, they didn't:

Jenkins, who is determined to hire a manager committed to the purist brand of football played under Rodgers.
   54. Mefisto Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4147902)
Heh.
   55. Flynn Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4147962)

Hodgson and/or the FA appear to be seriously caught up over appearances and "respect". Their failure to reach out to Carrick, Micah Richards and Ferdinand is only weakening the team.


I think Hodgson is determined to get rid of Generation Me that has infested the England team like a virus pretty much since Beckham became Spice Boy. Carrick and Richards didn't want to go unless they were guaranteed starters - so see ya. Ferdinand's reason for not getting picked is more opaque, but perhaps Hodgson genuinely believes he can't hold up, and we have no idea how he is in the dressing room. I truly loathe John Terry, but Ferdinand gets a pass from certain elements of the footballing world for his claim to care a lil' bit about the outside world. He's got his share of skeletons in the closet. It's possible John Terry is more of a team player.

It's also worth remembering that England aren't doing anything no matter what, and that Hodgson may be looking to 2014 with some of his selections. That doesn't explain Richards, who is 24, but Carrick (30) and Ferdinand (33) are very unlikely to be in the 2014 squad.
   56. Ron J Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4148000)
I just don't see Ferdinand fitting in with England. True, he lifted his game quite a bit in the second half of the season, but he played a very limited role -- almost totally defensive. He doesn't even come up on set pieces any longer, and he basically just gave the ball to Carrick whenever he got possession.

Not only that, but he looked really bad when isolated against a quick striker.

He's an asset in a cohesive, well-drilled team with a strong defensive orientation. Don't see England that way.
   57. ursus arctos Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4148015)
Flynn, are you seriously suggesting that Hodgson is leading an anti-Generation Me offensive with a team led by Terry and Gerrard?

Pull the other one.
   58. Flynn Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4148019)
I'm trying the best I can here, because I don't see what the logic is.

I see the logic for Richards and Carrick, but not for Ferdinand, really. Or Gerrard, whose tactical sense Arrigo Sacchi recently compared to an eight year old.
   59. ursus arctos Posted: June 04, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4148050)
Perhaps what they are really trying to stave off is the establishment of a Generation Me Mark II. I can see an argument that Terry and Gerrard are going to be gone after this tournament in any event, but that the FA don't want to be saddled with another lot of similarly self-absorbed players for the next five or six years.
   60. Flynn Posted: June 04, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4148073)
That might explain why Hodgson's call ups seem to be mostly bright-eyed does rather than established players. Get these guys in when they're still wowed and impressionable, and use the next couple of weeks to hammer in the team ethos and how playing for England is a privilege, not a right.

I do think he also has some sort of understanding with the FA that this tournament doesn't matter.
   61. ursus arctos Posted: June 04, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4148091)
Agreed.

I also think that has been communicated to the usual suspects, who have been much more reticent about the inherent greatness of the England team that is usual. The orgiastic explosion of nationalism occasioned by the Jubilee and Olympics appear to be offering them some cover in that respect.

All that said, I still don't understand how you pick Terry over Ferdinand if your focus is on setting a new tone for the team, unless you somehow believe that Anton stitched Terry up, but I've not see any evidence to support that view.
   62. DA Baracus Posted: June 04, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4148101)
Sounders at Cal FC will be on Fox Soccer tomorrow at 10 ET.
   63. Flynn Posted: June 04, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4148116)
That's why I wondered if John Terry is just a better 'clubhouse guy' than Rio. By all accounts, he seems to be worshiped by the players at Chelsea, and Rio's hardly a happy go lucky chap.

I also think that has been communicated to the usual suspects, who have been much more reticent about the inherent greatness of the England team that is usual. The orgiastic explosion of nationalism occasioned by the Jubilee and Olympics appear to be offering them some cover in that respect.


Oh, there is no level of expectation here. None. A couple of my friends and I (I'm no fan of England, the others are sons of Scots, so they're not England fans either) are actually wondering if it's gone too far, because it honestly feels like most people expect England to go out in the first round. England aren't that bad, and more importantly, their opponents aren't that good. France will probably be too good for them, but Sweden and Ukraine are very, very pedestrian teams, and a win and a draw could get them out of the group.

The Jubilee and Olympics are definitely taking some of the attention away, but I do think it would still be pretty crazy here if people thought England would do well.
   64. BFFB Posted: June 04, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4148274)
Not necessarily. Rio's dodgy knee is at least as responsible, since he probably can't play three times in eight days.


He's done it on five separate occasions this year. The fitness rumblings are just the usual Ferguson half-truths, spim and bluster.

That's why I wondered if John Terry is just a better 'clubhouse guy' than Rio. By all accounts, he seems to be worshiped by the players at Chelsea, and Rio's hardly a happy go lucky chap.


And loated by everybody else if you bbelieve the tittle tattle
   65. Ron J Posted: June 05, 2012 at 12:44 AM (#4148625)
#64 I have little doubt that Fergie's happy with Ferdinand and Carrick not being selected. And that he's done all he can to nudge things that way. I doubt that he cares what either player thinks, and it won't have escaped his notice that Scholes (probably) added a few years to his career by retiring early from international football.
   66. puck Posted: June 05, 2012 at 01:20 AM (#4148628)
Michael Cox's European Team of the Year, 2011-12.

I always find his lists, and the comments interesting. I watch a fair amount of soccer (I feel), and even so I don't feel I've seen enough of the teams to choose an all-EPL or all-Serie A team, much less Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, etc. It actually seems an impossible task even for someone like Cox...so many teams, and you'd really need to grade games in the film room, it's so unlike picking all-star teams for baseball.
   67. Juan V Posted: June 05, 2012 at 05:53 AM (#4148651)
It is not easy to replace a name as awesome as Eden Hazard, but Lille are giving it a good try by going after Marvin Martin.
   68. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 07:07 AM (#4148658)
It is not easy to replace a name as awesome as Eden Hazard, but Lille are giving it a good try by going after Marvin Martin.

Martin is supposedly a Spurs target in the event they lose Modric. I have to say, I'd love Marvin the Martian to be a Spur.
   69. Sean Forman Posted: June 05, 2012 at 07:10 AM (#4148659)
Real and Celtic are squaring off at Lincoln Financial Field in August and I'm thinking about going. I know nothing about Celtic other than they are the solvent half of the Old Firm, and I've seen Real on TV maybe a half dozen times in the last year. Is there a common view as to how worthwhile it is to attend these friendlies? I don't know if I want to spend $150 to watch the Real scrubs face Celtics' scrubs, so are these things fun and interesting to see?

I'm starting to get pretty hooked on Euro soccer, so I now know about 1200% more than I did last summer at this time, but still a long way to go.
   70. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 07:21 AM (#4148661)
Kagawa is headed to Man U. The summer's most inevitable transfer is now complete.

I always find his lists, and the comments interesting. I watch a fair amount of soccer (I feel), and even so I don't feel I've seen enough of the teams to choose an all-EPL or all-Serie A team, much less Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, etc. It actually seems an impossible task even for someone like Cox...so many teams, and you'd really need to grade games in the film room, it's so unlike picking all-star teams for baseball.

Yeah, following soccer is almost impossible. I'm guessing Cox probably watches as much as anyone possibly can, though. I assume you'd focus on the top 5 or so teams in the top 4 leagues with the assumption that's probably where the best talent gravitates. I'm just happy when my EPL team of the season--which is the league I see the most of--sort of coincides with the "experts" picks.
   71. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 07:27 AM (#4148664)
I don't know if I want to spend $150 to watch the Real scrubs face Celtics' scrubs, so are these things fun and interesting to see?

I've been struggling with how expensive these friendlies are, too, as there are going to be some high profile games in New York. It could be worth it but I imagine some of Real's high profile players won't be there because they'll be getting time off after the Euros. Be careful Sean, if you have any propensity for obsession soccer is a killer--dozens of leagues plus international events to follow and the club season is 9 months long--it never stops! The only thing keeping me from a Howard Hughes-like existence is I only have 1 tv in my New York apartment and I have a girlfriend who will kill me if I try to start following Brazilian or Mexican soccer, or even MLS. She's a Euro-snob so she'll put up with EPL and Serie A, but anything else and I will be a very lonely guy.
   72. J. Sosa Posted: June 05, 2012 at 07:45 AM (#4148670)
Re: Sean

I'm not sure how others feel about friendlies but for me its a treat to be able to go to them. Its part of the reason I like soccer. I'd always wondered what it would feel like to be say a Japanese baseball fan, i.e. how would I feel about going to a mlb game in Japan or what would I feel like regarding someone like Ichiro leaving for mlb. Soccer is cool that way. For me, I like friendlies and am going to the LFC v Spurs friendly. As for the Ichiro part of it I"ve discovered I really want people like Donovan to play for teams like Everton rather than stay at home as it gives a better idea of what our best players are capable of (good or bad).

Sorry if post incoherent on mobile.

Shooty my wife was mocking me after the champions league final because I was making jokes about her getting a break for a month or two. I had forgotten the Euros. She laughed and asked however was I going to survive until then.

Edit: me fail english unpossible.
   73. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 07:59 AM (#4148675)
Shooty my wife was mocking me after the champions league final because I was making jokes about her getting a break for a month or two. I had forgotten the Euros. She laughed and asked however was I going to survive until then.

I was able to parlay the gf's obsession with Downton Abbey into some extra soccer viewing this last year as a trade off. Wow, do I dislike that Downton Abbey nonsense.
   74. jmurph Posted: June 05, 2012 at 08:19 AM (#4148681)
Carrick and Richards didn't want to go unless they were guaranteed starters - so see ya.


My understanding with these guys- at least with Richards, but I thought Carrick, too- was that they didn't want to be on the stand-by list, not that they insisted on being guaranteed starters. While I still think they probably made the wrong decision, I understand it. They're both arguably among the best 11 (definitely now, with all of the injuries).
   75. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 05, 2012 at 08:32 AM (#4148684)
Sean, pre-season friendlies are kind of like NFL exhibition games before the regular season. They typically seem to take place at about half the usual pace, and few players play more than 1 half.
Generally, I would advise against going. But if it's your only opportunity to see somebody like Ronaldo live, while he's still in his prime, you may find it worth it.
   76. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 05, 2012 at 08:38 AM (#4148686)
Michael Cox's European Team of the Year, 2011-12.

I always find his lists, and the comments interesting. I watch a fair amount of soccer (I feel), and even so I don't feel I've seen enough of the teams to choose an all-EPL or all-Serie A team, much less Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, etc. It actually seems an impossible task even for someone like Cox...so many teams, and you'd really need to grade games in the film room, it's so unlike picking all-star teams for baseball.

Not a fan of that team btw. So without going into a critique of every single selection, for which I don't have the time right now: If you end up with what is essentially the top 22 players, and have none from either team in the CL final, 2 each from the consensus best two teams in the world... and 5 from Juventus...

Granted, of the top 4 leagues, Serie A is the one I watch by far the least of. So I am sure the bear will show up in a bit and tell me how wrong I am.
   77. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 09:31 AM (#4148702)
With Harry Redknapp negotiating a new contract with Spurs, it's been funny to see all these articles about Bale leaving if Harry leaves and about how much the Qataris want Harry to work with them for TONS of cash start to hit the tabloids. 'Arry works the media about as well as I've ever seen. Bobby Valentine could take lessons.
   78. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4148716)
Ronaldinho has a new team.

What is with this company Traffic? It's the same company that buys rights to CA qualifiers involving the USA and puts them on closed circuit PPV. They seem an extremely shady operation.
   79. Juan V Posted: June 05, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4148725)
Speaking of Michael Cox, he's putting on some pretty good team previews for the Euros.
   80. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4148733)
   81. Textbook Editor Posted: June 05, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4148735)
Or Gerrard, whose tactical sense Arrigo Sacchi recently compared to an eight year old.


TE, Jr. is no mini-Messi (not by a long shot), but he's got a good left foot and when his U8 coach tells him to hug the touchline and play wide, he does as he's told... He'd be thrilled to know he has more tactical sense than Gerrard.
   82. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4148740)
Here are the confirmed venues for where to watch Guatemala v USA

San Diego, St. Pete and New York. Heh.
And, rather impressively, they gave the wrong address for Nevada Smith's. Well done.
   83. ursus arctos Posted: June 05, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4148741)
Latin American futbol is effed up in many ways, and Traffic is a product of that environment.

They have very good relations with the caudillos that control the game in the region, which provides them with certain synergies when it comes to obtaining rights to competitions and players.

FPH, I don't disagree at all. Juve had a good year, but Cox (who, like me, supports Fiorentina) has seriously over-valued guys who dominated a league that continues to decline in quality. Though to be fair, you only get to 5 Juventini if you include the subs, which would get you to a total of four from Barca/Madrid.

I also heartily concur with FPH's summary of pre-season friendlies.
   84. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4148746)
They have very good relations with the caudillos that control the game in the region

Is this code for "they know who to kick back cash under the table to"?
   85. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4148751)
Team Amerika!

Move over Fulham...
   86. DA Baracus Posted: June 05, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4148752)
Sean, pre-season friendlies are kind of like NFL exhibition games before the regular season. They typically seem to take place at about half the usual pace, and few players play more than 1 half.
Generally, I would advise against going. But if it's your only opportunity to see somebody like Ronaldo live, while he's still in his prime, you may find it worth it.


Agreed. I went to AC Milan-Club America when they came to town and it was a waste of money. Thankfully the luxury box I was in was catered, which I was told isn't always the case. (They should never, ever play soccer again in the Georgia Dome, there is no room out of bounds.)

Although it was hilarious. So many people had no idea who Club America was (I did) so it was interesting seeing people's reactions. Some people on the train thought it was an all star team. There was a group of teenage girls in our suite who thought it was a team of Americans and came decked out in red white and blue. We felt sorry for them, although we tried to get them to cheer for Oguchi Oneywu when he came on in the 2nd half.
   87. puck Posted: June 05, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4148767)
I'm just happy when my EPL team of the season--which is the league I see the most of--sort of coincides with the "experts" picks.


These guys should do a "players you should see" list, esp. when they're not on the usual contending teams.
   88. puck Posted: June 05, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4148771)
Friendlies are tough. The big thing is "But if it's your only opportunity to see somebody like Ronaldo live, while he's still in his prime, you may find it worth it." Unless you make regular trips to Europe, and can hit a game while there (I suppose that's not always possible if you have the wrong traveling companion), it might be your only chance to see any of those sorts of players for a few years.

The description is about right. I watched a few on tv, but don't bother anymore unless something unusual is happening (like the Celtic-Sporting game in Fenway). The May friendlies are even worse, judging from the ones I've caught on tv. The DCU-AC Milan game from a couple years ago was like...an NBA vs. Athletes in Action charity game, with the Athletes in Action squad actually playing hard. Shambolic soccer from Milan, but Ronaldinho and Seedorf put on a decent show.
   89. puck Posted: June 05, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4148784)
Here are the confirmed venues for where to watch Guatemala v USA

San Diego, St. Pete and New York. Heh.

Do any of you work in smaller businesses and have marketing people hounding the company to "get into social networking?" I thought, hey if bars/restaurants are big into this, I'll ask about the game on some facebook pages. No responses so far. Of course it's soccer, but you'd hope someone at least answer "?". It's at least reassuring to know these other businesses have similar experiences to mine...the marketing person drags the company kicking and screaming to create a facebook page and then get employees' friends to "like" it, then no one actually monitors the damn thing.
   90. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4148792)
Do any of you work in smaller businesses and have marketing people hounding the company to "get into social networking?"

No, thank god.
   91. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 05, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4148794)
Though to be fair, you only get to 5 Juventini if you include the subs, which would get you to a total of four from Barca/Madrid.


I think you will find that I did in fact say 2 each.
   92. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4148795)
Redknapp was just on some sports network in England gabbing about his contract. He might be picking the wrong time to go on a media blitz since the chairman's mother just passed away. I'd say the odds are 50-50 he won't be back.
   93. DA Baracus Posted: June 05, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4148799)
   94. JuanGone..except1game Posted: June 05, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4148809)
Real and Celtic are squaring off at Lincoln Financial Field in August and I'm thinking about going.


Didn't know about that one. I'm going to have to go into my storage unit to find my 2001 Claudia Reyna Rangers kit to dust off for that one.

Great season for friendlies, especially if you live in the Philly area. I've already got tickets for Chelsea/MLS here and vs. PSG in NY, probably going to the Liverpool/Spurs match in Baltimore in July and I'm considering Union vs Villa. My girlfriend though the season was over as well, but oh how wrong she was.
   95. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4148812)
Mike and Mike ask Alexi Lalas how Messi will do at the Euros.

In fairness, Messi is short enough to play for Spain.
   96. ursus arctos Posted: June 05, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4148814)
FPH, so you did.

It pains me to say this, but I wouldn't put any other Barca players in the top 22 (though there is a lot of noise about Alba coming to Barca). On the other hand, I'd say that both Xabi Alonso and De Maria have a case.

As Shooty notes, the exercise is extremely difficult because of the sheer number of teams and players involved. It is sort of like picking a Class A all star team. It's a bit easier to focus on teams in a particular competition (like the Champions League), but even then it is difficult to isolate a player's performances in such competition from the rest of his season.
   97. jmurph Posted: June 05, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4148822)
I just want to share the joyous news that Comcast in DC has finally seen fit to provide us with Fox Soccer in HD. About damn time.

Regarding the Euros, are we going to boycott realtime score posting, or do I need to avoid this place like the plague during the day (in which case, what would you all have me do while I'm at work? Hmm?).

EDIT: and by "boycott" I meant "ban."
   98. Swedish Chef Posted: June 05, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4148827)
Regarding the Euros, are we going to boycott realtime score posting, or do I need to avoid this place like the plague during the day (in which case, what would you all have me do while I'm at work? Hmm?).

Not for your convenience, no. There is only one canonical time to discuss the games, and that is as it happens, we can't very well wait until the stragglers in Queensland or New South Wales have got home to their DVRs to discuss the games.

Also, this whole soccer thread thing kicked off for real two years ago with World Cup game chattering. Anything less than epic chattering would be a disappointment.
   99. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4148829)
Regarding the Euros, are we going to boycott realtime score posting,

We never have before. I would avoid this thread if you don't want spoilers as it's fun to talk about the games in real time.

I just want to share the joyous news that Comcast in DC has finally seen fit to provide us with Fox Soccer in HD. About damn time.

Now if we can just figure out what the hell Al Jazeera is up to...I don't want to have to watch Torino's return to Serie A on another crappy illegal stream. Am I the only one who thinks La Liga and Serie A may have erred taking the big short money with Al Jazeera? Say what you want about Fox, but no one can distribute a product like they can. Serie A and La Liga may have been better off partnering up with Fox or NBC and trying to get games on the home network the way Fox has started to do with EPL with a fair amount of success. It's almost like they're content to concede the American audience to England.

edit: Coke to Chef.
   100. jmurph Posted: June 05, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4148830)
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