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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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   101. jmurph Posted: June 05, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4148834)
Thanks for the heads up on the scores. I am officially jealous of those of you able to watch in real time.

I whine about Fox a lot, but their handling of the final day of the Premier League was great (the matches, at least, not necessarily the commentary). Nice to see so many games across their networks.
   102. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 05, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4148837)
It pains me to say this, but I wouldn't put any other Barca players in the top 22

I can't intrest you in a barely used Iniesta? Xavi? Not even my man Busquets? Tough crowd. You know, this whole world team selection thing would be much easier, if we could all just figure out a 3-6-1 already.

Anyway, the main point was really the hilarity of Juventus having more top-22 players than Barca and Real combined.
   103. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 05, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4148840)
Now if we can just figure out what the hell Al Jazeera is up to...

Terrorism, obviously.
   104. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4148854)
Terrorism, obviously.

Stop that!

I catch a bit of their news channel sometimes--it's on Time-Warner here in New York--and it seems kind of redundant. They have an American in Doha reading the news and it's just as pointless as CNN though, to their credit, it's not as loud and it's more even-keeled about international news. Still, it's cable news so blah. More importantly, my hope is that that channel becomes their de facto soccer channel for the upcoming season since it's already set up and running. Screw the rest of the country, only New York matters!
   105. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4148871)
The CONCACAF draw.

Group 1
Santos Laguna (MEX)
Toronto FC (CAN)
Aguila (SLV)

Group 2
Herediano (CRC)
Real Salt Lake (USA)
Tauro FC (PAN)

Group 3
Olimpia (HON)
Houston Dynamo (USA)
FAS (SLV)

Group 4
Seattle Sounders FC (USA)
Marathon (HON)
Caribbean Qualifier 1

Group 5
LA Galaxy (USA)
Metapan (SLV)
Caribbean Qualifier 3

Group 6
Tigres UANL (MEX)
Alajuelense (CRC)
Real Esteli (NIC)

Group 7
Chorillo (PAN)
Monterrey (MEX)
Municipal (GUA)

Group 8
Xelaju (GUA)
Chivas de Guadalajara (MEX)
Caribbean Qualifier 2
   106. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 05, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4148898)
Terrorism, obviously.

Stop that!

The price of freedom is eternal belligerence.
   107. puck Posted: June 05, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4148992)
The CONCACAF draw.


What's key is that they will not have a "draw" for the knockouts. I was afraid CONCACAF was again going to have a "draw" where all the Mexican clubs ended up on one side of the bracket so an MLS team could not encounter one until the final*. Instead, they will seed the knockouts depending on the group stage performance. Now, that's fairly stupid in that who knows how strong your group is, but as long as CONCACAF defines all the tie breakers, at least it's a fairly transparent process.

(*I want a MLS club to win someday, but think winning in such a fashion would take most of the accomplishment out of it. Monterrey this season beat the other 3 Mexican clubs in the knockout rounds to win.)

The new format reduced the group stage games by 2, which should help MLS clubs. The previous Group stage schedule was pretty tough on them with a stretch of 3 straight weeks of CCL games sandwiched among their weekend MLS games.
   108. DA Baracus Posted: June 05, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4149046)
I thought Seattle was on the road against Cal FC, but they are at home. There goes half the fun.

I want a MLS club to win someday, but think winning in such a fashion would take most of the accomplishment out of it. Monterrey this season beat the other 3 Mexican clubs in the knockout rounds to win.


It would also help if MLS was more forgiving or fair with their schedules. This year LA opened up with a CL and MLS game in the same week and Seattle didn't.
   109. ursus arctos Posted: June 05, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4149052)
FPH, Xavi was already on Cox's bench. Iniesta's admitted that he had an off year.
   110. DA Baracus Posted: June 05, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4149095)
   111. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4149126)
   112. ursus arctos Posted: June 05, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4149137)
BTW, some of you degenerates may be interested in joining me in this year's Euro 2012 Twatball competition.

Here are De Jong Assassins:

Eduardo

Sergio Ramos
Pepe
Terry
Boulahrouz

De Rossi
De Jong
Van Bommel
Busquets
Ribery

Balotelli

If there's any interest, we can have a BTF league. Teams have to be picked by Friday.
   113. ursus arctos Posted: June 05, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4149138)
The nanny isn't good at Britishisms, is she?
   114. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 05, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4149146)
If there's any interest, we can have a BTF league. Teams have to be picked by Friday.

How could we not want to do this? Will anyone NOT choose Terry?
   115. ursus arctos Posted: June 05, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4149158)
   116. DA Baracus Posted: June 05, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4149186)
I hope Twatball does a competition I can pick Jermaine Jones in.

How can I make sure I get into the BTF league? Will it ask me when I sign up?
   117. Swedish Chef Posted: June 05, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4149188)
I'm in with FC Rampage!

I tried to resist taking John Terry, but I couldn't spare his superior twattiness.

This team plays 4-4-2 like a real men's team, not some sissy continental style.

GK
Gianluigi Buffon

DEF
Richard Dunne
John Terry
Patrice Evra
Adil Rami

MID
Kostas Katsouranis
Mark van Bommel
Nigel de Jong
Pontus Wernbloom

FWD
Nicklas Bendtner
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
   118. Swedish Chef Posted: June 05, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4149189)
How can I make sure I get into the BTF league? Will it ask me when I sign up?

You can go to the list of all leagues and click on it after you have signed up.
   119. DA Baracus Posted: June 05, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4149192)
You can go to the list of all leagues and click on it after you have signed up.


Awesome. I will do this tonight.

The scoring needs adjusting. These should be at least 20 points:

Sent on as a substitute and then subbed off again: 10 points

Clearly vomiting, urinating, or defecating on the pitch or immediate surrounds: 6 points

Player announces immediate retirement from international football while team is still in tournament: 5 points

   120. ursus arctos Posted: June 05, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4149196)
World Cup 2014 Twatball is a near certainty, so DA's dream has a decent shot of becoming reality.

The Van Bommel/De Jong midfield pairing is getting a huge amount of play.
   121. Tike Redman's Shattered Dreams Posted: June 05, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4149200)
The Van Bommel/De Jong midfield pairing is getting a huge amount of play.

Yeah, I'm trying really hard to be creative, but guys like Pepe, van Bommel, and de Jong are unavoidable.
   122. Swedish Chef Posted: June 05, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4149205)
The Van Bommel/De Jong midfield pairing is getting a huge amount of play.

The risk is that De Jong becomes a bit part player. But I think he can be a bigger #### from the bench than the rest can be as starters.
   123. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: June 05, 2012 at 07:42 PM (#4149233)
I was thinking of a more traditional BTF Euro league. I'd be willing to throw a six-pack of Spotted Cow(*) the way of the winner. Or, if twatball gets enough folks from here, we can just go with that one, too.

(*)I'm not a huge beer guy, but most folks I know seem to like it.
   124. DA Baracus Posted: June 05, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4149248)
World Cup 2014 Twatball is a near certainty, so DA's dream has a decent shot of becoming reality.


As long as they have a WC Twatball I'll be good. Jones is certain to start a few games.
   125. Textbook Editor Posted: June 05, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4149289)
Apparently I've been living under a rock the last few months... I only just realized that if France win their group and Ireland finishes 2nd in their group, they'd face each other in the quarterfinals... I can't imagine there'd be any hype for that matchup...

I also just realized I have to time-shift my watching of the Ireland-Croatia game on Sunday, which means I need to stay far away from here until I watch it 2 hours after everyone else, which is a bummer.
   126. DA Baracus Posted: June 05, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4149299)
I don't think Christen Poulsen will play enough to warrant selection on the #### team. It might be worth it though.
   127. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 10:39 PM (#4149368)
This team plays 4-4-2 like a real men's team, not some sissy continental style.
My team will be playing an unconventional 3-6-1, although maybe we can call them some kind of 3-4-2-1 diamond.
   128. Textbook Editor Posted: June 05, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4149381)
Cal FC looks a bit shaky to me (as you'd expect, I guess). I saw the highlights from the Portland game and man there was some leaky defense on display--Portland easily could've scored several.

All that said, I hope Cal FC wins--way more fun story if they do.
   129. DA Baracus Posted: June 05, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4149451)
2-0 Seattle. I don't think a comeback is in the books. Still, a hell of a run by a team that didn't exist a few months ago and has played more games than they've had practices. One of the center backs said "I work two jobs. As a server."
   130. Textbook Editor Posted: June 05, 2012 at 11:39 PM (#4149466)
And the dream, it goes ker-plunk.

Still, good on Cal FC for getting this far.
   131. Juan V Posted: June 06, 2012 at 12:54 AM (#4149494)
Just signed up, but I screwed up the real name/user name distinction. My team's name is Utopia Danger.
   132. Flynn Posted: June 06, 2012 at 04:31 AM (#4149526)
My team will be playing an unconventional 3-6-1, although maybe we can call them some kind of 3-4-2-1 diamond.


Steve Sampson, is that you?
   133. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 06, 2012 at 07:22 AM (#4149554)
Niko Kranjcar off to Dynamo Kyiv.

Too bad about Cal FC losing, but I have to say, I have a new found respect for Eric Wynalda.
   134. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 06, 2012 at 07:40 AM (#4149557)
We may need to help Cardiff City supporters

pull out that giant knife that is currently sticking from their back.
   135. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 06, 2012 at 07:53 AM (#4149560)
The thing about the Cardiff "rebranding" that's so baffling is that I can't imagine it will have any effect at all on their international marketing unless they think they might get a few extra sales from people who mistake their new kits for Liverpool or Man U. This just seems like a complete ego trip by ownership. What a bizarre situation. The best thing may be for Cardiff City to go under and become reborn as an AFC. From my perspective, as an outsider, I see a lot of similarities between big time college athletics and English football in that the identity of the community around the club is what fires the passion for it. It's a tenuous relationship, though, and if foreign investment continues to care more about what Kuala Lumpur or Chicago thinks about their club they may find all their local support will just start watching Man U or Arsenal on television and they'll be a lot of empty stadiums across England, similar to how the Major Leagues co-opting of the minor leagues killed community sponsored baseball all over the US.
   136. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 06, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4149616)
Steve Sampson, is that you?
Wikipedia is quiet on what Steve is up to these days, so you never know.
   137. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 06, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4149645)
Chris Hughton may be headed to Norwich, which seems like a good fit. So far the managerial appointments in the PL have made a lot of sense, with West Brom, Swansea and Chelsea on the clock.
   138. Ron J Posted: June 06, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4149692)
#127 3-6-1 is a decent formation if you're expecting a midfielder to be sent off.
   139. ursus arctos Posted: June 06, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4149727)
I personally know four Cardiff City season tickets who will never again set foot in the ground until this travesty is overturned.
   140. Mattbert Posted: June 06, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4149730)
The Axel Witsel All-Stars have been registered. We're rolling 4-5-1.

Wojciech Szczesny
Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Richard Dunne, John Terry
Darijo Srna, Scott Parker, Mark van Bommel, Nigel de Jong, Sergio Busquets
Mario Balotelli
   141. zack Posted: June 06, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4149736)
I'm flabbergasted that these animated histories of some of the Euro teams haven't been posted (less flabbergasted that I missed them if they have). Probably nothing new to most everyone here, but they're really well done. Ireland is my favorite so far.
   142. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 06, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4149752)
I personally know four Cardiff City season tickets who will never again set foot in the ground until this travesty is overturned.

And in real basic terms, this 100MM investment is complete BS. If Malaysians wanted to invest that much in a team, they could buy an established PL team outright. Fernandes bought 2/3 of QPR for 35 million. This is not going to end well even setting aside the vulgarity of forcing this marketing gimmick on the supporters.
   143. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 06, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4149753)
I thought this was amusing:


NICKLAS BENDTNER (Denmark)

The only man to make this list for his words rather than his on-field actions, Bendtner is neither an overly dirty player nor a particularly talented one. Reviled by Arsenal fans for his clumsy first touch, the Dane has become an object of scorn because of an apparent inability to filter his thoughts and comments. Few players have combined such precipitous levels of arrogance and stupidity to such detrimental effect.

Bendtner has spent much of the past season making public apologies. He alienated many at his loan club, Sunderland, after he was accused of going on a rampage of violence against parked cars (the charges were later dropped by the prosecution). He then tested the affections of loyal Danish fans, first by ditching his baroness fiancée seven weeks after she gave birth to their baby, then reportedly demanding free late-night pizzas at a Copenhagen Pizza Hut (“Don’t you know who I am?” he was reported to have exclaimed. “I can buy the whole pizzeria.”)

Bendtner’s problems are mental. Quite literally. The Arsenal team was once tested by sports psychologists, who applied a battery of psychometric tests to determine whether their intelligence matched their football ability. The administering psychologist confessed to Swedish magazine Offside: “One of the categories is called ‘self-perceived competence,’ i.e., how good the player himself thinks he is. On a scale up to 9, Bendtner got 10. When Bendtner misses a chance, he is always genuinely convinced that it wasn’t his fault. You might say that’s a problem, and to a certain degree it can be.”


Euro's Most Infamous Rogues
   144. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 06, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4149775)
I liked Redknapp's line about Bendtner as the World Cup when Denmark played Japan: "How can he be the best striker in the world when he's not even the best striker on the pitch?"
   145. jmurph Posted: June 06, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4149780)
The most offensive part in there is that he referred to a Pizza Hut as a "pizzeria."
   146. DA Baracus Posted: June 06, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4149784)
And in real basic terms, this 100MM investment is complete BS. If Malaysians wanted to invest that much in a team, they could buy an established PL team outright. Fernandes bought 2/3 of QPR for 35 million. This is not going to end well even setting aside the vulgarity of forcing this marketing gimmick on the supporters.


Which is why, as we talked about before, it's probably actually a loan. If I were a fan I'd leave too.
   147. Swedish Chef Posted: June 06, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4149789)
Well, there's a reason I put Bendtner in my all-####-stars.
   148. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 06, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4149793)
Which is why, as we talked about before, it's probably actually a loan. If I were a fan I'd leave too.

I'm starting to think the money is just a fantasy, loan or not. Would you loan a hundred million pounds to a club worth only a fraction of that? Even in a liquidation you'd get screwed. Meanwhile Swansea just keep plugging along with their local ownership and Supporters Trust...
   149. Swedish Chef Posted: June 06, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4149795)
Which is why, as we talked about before, it's probably actually a loan.

The club probably just has a piece of paper that say says "IOU 100M£ KTX BYE THE OWNERS".

Good for PR and they control the club anyway and can throw that scrap away* if it becomes inconvenient.

*) EDIT: Metaphorically, that is. Please don't try at home, your accountant will be very angry.
   150. PepTech Posted: June 06, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4149881)
The Sounders better rest up during the Euros, because the three weeks after will be killer:

6/16 @ Montreal
6/20 v KC
6/24 @ Portland
6/26 @ San Jose (US Open Cup)
6/30 @ NE
7/4 @ RSL
7/7 v Colorado

If the 6/24 game were against anyone but Portland, they'd probably work something out to move it to a mutually acceptable time, but the chances of the Timbers cutting the Sounders a break are essentially zero. The Sounders have the $$ to break out a charter jet for some of these, but I think the league restricts how often teams are allowed to do that. Travel fatigue is a different animal in the US compared to Europe, particularly for those teams on the corners of a map.
   151. DA Baracus Posted: June 06, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4149918)
I'm starting to think the money is just a fantasy, loan or not. Would you loan a hundred million pounds to a club worth only a fraction of that?


Agreed. I bet that if there is a 100M "loan", a lot of it is some kind of marketing agreement, one where Cardiff doesn't get any money until the "investors" see a certain amount first, so it's "up to 100M."
   152. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 06, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4149920)
Anyone know when the EPL schedule comes out? Looks like I'm heading to London in October and need to see if I'll be able to catch a game.
   153. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 06, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4149934)
Looks like it was mid-June last year so I would guess something similar. In other words yes you can wait a couple of weeks to book your trip.
   154. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 06, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4149948)
Looks like it was mid-June last year so I would guess something similar. In other words yes you can wait a couple of weeks to book your trip.

The trip's date is set in stone, I'm just keeping my fingers crossed Spurs are in town. Or if not, I'd check out West Ham or QPR if possible. Last time I let Citibank take me to a game but this time I want to go on my own so I also need to figure out how to get tickets, which may take a while. Spurs tickets are hard to get. The Citibank people told me they are the toughest football ticket in England for them to get for clients because of the size of the stadium coupled with the high demand. They tried to talk me into Man U tickets instead. Heh!
   155. DA Baracus Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4150003)
I'm sure there will be a game of some kind in London, although you may have to settle for Charlton Athletic.
   156. Swedish Chef Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4150014)
I'm sure there will be a game of some kind in London, although you may have to settle for Charlton Athletic.

Or he can go to Millwall and gawk at authentic yobs.
   157. DA Baracus Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4150020)
Or he can go to Millwall and gawk at authentic yobs.


"It was in an FA Cup match my first season. It's just after halftime, and in the corner of my eye I see people fighting on the pitch, and the police, and I'm kind of looking around going, 'Uh, we're still playing here.' I see a fight just to my left, on the sideline, and this guy suddenly comes running right across my 18 [yard line], looks at me, says, 'Oh, hi, Kasey,' then keeps running and punches a cop in the back of the head. And I'm thinking, What is going on here?"

-Kasey Keller
   158. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4150025)
Or he can go to Millwall and gawk at authentic yobs.

I think AFC Wimbledon and possibly Leyton Orient would be on the list ahead of Millwall.
   159. puck Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4150026)
Travel fatigue is a different animal in the US compared to Europe, particularly for those teams on the corners of a map.

They're probably the best in MLS at rotating their roster and having scrubs come through for them. But it's still tough when your subs are mostly sub $80,000 guys.
   160. Swedish Chef Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4150035)
I think AFC Wimbledon and possibly Leyton Orient would be on the list ahead of Millwall.

Hey, Millwall is the local team for the City of London (well, geographically, I may have to concede that Emirates is slightly more popular among bankers).

What about Fulham?
   161. PepTech Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4150056)
What's interesting about Jose's link in 153 is that there were no Sundays scheduled at all (initially). I know I've asked this before, but for some reason I'm still curious about the moving-around policy. It seemed like by December we knew that MUFC would never play another Saturday EPL match again**; does it happen all at once, before the season starts, or do they move them here and there after the first couple months of the season?


(** only slight hyperbole, I believe they did play twice on Saturdays in 2012)
   162. DA Baracus Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4150058)
Twatball: The rare 5-3-2

Balotelli-Gekas
Alonso-de Jong-van Bommel
Pepe-Terry-Khacheridi-Ramos-Šimunic
Andersen
   163. Flynn Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4150062)
Hey, Millwall is the local team for the City of London (well, geographically, I may have to concede that Emirates is slightly more popular among bankers).


Ah, you've been reading John Berylson's rubbish too, about how Millwall could become "the club of the City". He's American, unsurprisingly.

Charlton's ground is really nice, and worth a visit. Much nicer than Orient's ground, and definitely less smelly than Kingsmeadow, which is down the road from a sewage plant.
   164. Swedish Chef Posted: June 06, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4150081)
Ah, you've been reading John Berylson's rubbish too, about how Millwall could become "the club of the City". He's American, unsurprisingly.

No, I'm quite aware that no one from the City has ventured south of the Thames since the Globe Theatre was shut down by the puritans. I'm just trying to get Shooty to load up on Millwall souvenirs.
   165. Swedish Chef Posted: June 06, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4150093)
BREAKING NEWS: Lambert: Aston Villa will not play football the wrong way

It's almost beautiful to completely saturate the press conference with empty clichés:

I will give it everything I've got to be successful. I can't wait to get going, truth be told, so I'm excited by it. It is a huge, huge club and it is something I will need to embrace more than anybody.
   166. ursus arctos Posted: June 06, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4150161)
Shooty, if you want to go to Wimbledon or Orient, I know people who can help you have a a "true fan experience".

I'm quite sure that there isn't even that much substance to the Cardiff "investment" as the Chef suggests.

The supporters are being played for chumps, and a really distressing number are doubling down.

161, my sense is that they are moved during the season, but with more advance notice than you get (for instance) in La Liga. The published fixture list in every country always show "unadjusted" fixtures. Fulham is a very nice day out, and Brentford has pubs in all four corners of the ground.
   167. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 06, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4150174)
I bought West Ham tickets outside the stadium from a scalper (tout) at less than face value. I know there were plenty of tickets available at the office. Granted this was when they were in the Championship.

I guess Arsenal isn't in the cards if you're a Spurs fan but last September up to a week in advance tickets were still available online at the Emirates. I would imagine Chelsea, Fulham and Spurs would be more difficult because of the small stadiums.
   168. ursus arctos Posted: June 06, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4150182)
Fulham isn't difficult unless the opponent is "big". For a "basic" match, Spurs is the toughest, Arsenal probably second, then Chelsea.
   169. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 06, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4150204)
One to bookmark for the future.

Lambs to the slaughter...Thank god for Swansea and Dylan Thomas!

Luckily London has lots of options if I can't get Spurs. It'd be nice to catch a game in addition to Spurs but I'm not sure I should push my luck as this is the gf's birthday trip. What would a real fan experience at Orient or Wimbledon be? I'm assuming it involves beer and pies? I am intrigued.

I guess Arsenal isn't in the cards if you're a Spurs fan but last September up to a week in advance tickets were still available online at the Emirates. I would imagine Chelsea, Fulham and Spurs would be more difficult because of the small stadiums.

I don't hate Arsenal, but I'd just as soon avoid Chelsea or Arsenal. A lower division game seems much more interesting to me. Maybe Fulham. I get no sense of what Fulham-ness is, though, if that makes any sense.
   170. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 06, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4150237)
March 23rd 2012 Harry Redknapp responds to suggestions that his name being touted for the England job has had an effect on results. 'Absolute nonsense. That's the biggest load of nonsense I've ever heard in my life. They don't care whether I'm manager next year. They wouldn't lose any sleep over that.' 'Footballers play the game, they come in every day and train. Someone else walks in here tomorrow-the king is dead, long live the king. They don't worry. They don't think 'Harry is going to England' or 'he is going to go somewhere else''.

June 5th 2012 Harry Redknapp responds to lack of clarity over his contract. 'The simple situation is, I've got a year left on my contract. It's up to Tottenham whether they want to extend that contract or not. If they don't extend it and I go into my last year, it's not an easy one when players know you've only got a year left. 'It's not a case of me looking for security. What it's about is players knowing you've got a year left on your contract, and knowing that it doesn't work, basically. I think it's a situation of 'well he might not be here next year.'


Hee!
   171. Richard Posted: June 06, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4150306)
Shooty: there are decent pubs where visiting fans and neutrals will get a good welcome close to Charlton, Brentford (as ursus says, there's a pub on each corner of the ground, which is unique) and Arsenal.

I've never drunk around QPR or Chelsea as they are close enough to the centre of London not to have to bother. I like Loftus Road as the stands are close to the pitch and there's a good atmosphere.

There's nothing to do around Millwall and it has to be in the bleakest location of any London ground, sandwiched between a railway line, a gypsy camp and an incinerator/power station (I forget which). The area around Tottenham and West Ham is nothing to write home about, either. Leyton Orient is not the greatest either but I have always found the fans very friendly there.

Crystal Palace fans are a bunch of endearing cynics but the area around the stadium is a bit nondescript and the journey there is a pain.

Haven't been to Barnet, AFC Wimbledon, Dagenham and Redbridge or Fulham, though Craven Cottage is probably the most interesting stadium in London and I think it still has its unique "neutrals" section.

If you can't get Spurs tickets and you want to stay away from Arsenal or Chelsea I would go for Fulham: if you want a lower division experience I would go for Charlton or Brentford, with the former easier to reach.

As for Cardiff, changing the kit is an insenstive thing to do, but I suspect that if the team does well it will become less of a problem. I don't know what form the owners' investment takes but they are certainly extremely wealthy people. The other thing to remember is that if the Malaysians were not there, Cardiff would probably have gone into administration (at best) by now.
   172. Mattbert Posted: June 06, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4150320)
Lambert: Aston Villa will not play football the wrong way

"Pass it towards the goal, lads! Towards the goal! No! No, the other goal!"

I don't hate Arsenal, but I'd just as soon avoid Chelsea or Arsenal. A lower division game seems much more interesting to me. Maybe Fulham. I get no sense of what Fulham-ness is, though, if that makes any sense.

The Emirates is a nice facility. It is very comfortable, modern, and well laid out and has respectable pies. I have been to one match there (CL qualifier vs Twente) and done the tour with my brother. As stadium tours go, Arsenal's is the best I've ever been on. In any sport. The drawbacks to the matchday experience there are mainly associated with the crushing foot traffic around the transport links and (for Spurs fans anyway) the fact that said foot traffic is principally comprised of degenerate Gooners and their smuggy smugness. It's also a little depressing to walk past the half-cannibalized corpse of Highbury. That looks like it must have been a gem of a ground.

Craven Cottage is charming in much the same way old Fenway Park was charming before all the renovations. It is tiny. Amenities are, shall we say, spartan. Some of the seats have an obstructed view due to the support columns and low roof (although the away/neutrals end is actually free and clear for the most part). The tea and pies are horrid.

But it's a fabulous spot to see a game, especially when the weather is still as pleasant as London can produce (not entirely a sucker's bet in October). It's in a beautiful residential area of the city, right on the Thames and adjacent to a lovely little park. You'll often see kids and families having a kickabout on the open fields next to the ground before a match. Occasional obstructed views notwithstanding, there's scarcely a truly bad seat in the place because everything is so close to the pitch. Contrast that to the Emirates, where you might want binoculars in the good seats on the second deck and the bloody Hubble in the nosebleeds on the third. The Fulham fans are generally an affable bunch, knowledgeable and clever in their support/abuse rather than outright vulgar.

In my mind, the best feature of the Cottage is the aforementioned neutrals section. Reasonably-priced tickets (around 30-40 quid) can still be had within a few weeks of a game, unless it's a big London derby or one of the Manchester clubs. Liverpool used to be a tricky score as well, but I don't know how their travelling support has held up. Probably just fine. Liverpool's in their top pricing tier regardless, so it'll be more like 50-55 quid in that case anyway. I digress. The point is, the neutrals section is great, affordable, accessible, and affords one of the better viewpoints in the whole ground.
   173. I am going to be Frank Posted: June 06, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4150451)
Craven Cottage was definitely cool. I didn't get to go in (Fulham were away that weekend) but you're in this nice little residential area, then all of sudden the stadium was right there along the river and the park. Also don't forget the Michael Jackson statue!
   174. Richard Posted: June 07, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4150511)
What's interesting about Jose's link in 153 is that there were no Sundays scheduled at all (initially). I know I've asked this before, but for some reason I'm still curious about the moving-around policy. It seemed like by December we knew that MUFC would never play another Saturday EPL match again**; does it happen all at once, before the season starts, or do they move them here and there after the first couple months of the season?

The live TV (and hence non Saturday) games for the first few months appear in the fixtures when they are released: then the games for later dates start being chosen as the season goes on, with notice varying between a couple of months and a few weeks.
   175. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 07, 2012 at 07:36 AM (#4150536)
Villareal is cursed!

Wow.

You guys are selling me on Fulham as well as Brentford and Charlton. My #1 choice would still be Spurs, obviously.

   176. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 07, 2012 at 07:44 AM (#4150541)
No Battersea stadium for Chelsea

Too bad, as it was a very cool idea. Abramovich will just have to use that money on a scheme to take over the moon or cover Ireland in a thin veneer of gold so it will look good as a backdrop for his yacht.
   177. Grunthos Posted: June 07, 2012 at 09:25 AM (#4150572)
"Pass it towards the goal, lads! Towards the goal! No! No, the other goal!"

If only this were a joke.
   178. Mattbert Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4150595)
Villareal is cursed!

Holy smokes, that's awful.

Tributes quickly appeared in local media, one of the first coming from the Spanish national team coach Vicente del Bosque in Poland, where the team are preparing to start the defence of their European championship title.

"He was a man of football who represented the best values of his profession," Del Bosque told Marca Radio. "He was a fighter who leaves a large gap in this world," he added of a man who had lost his wife to cancer and a son in a road accident.

Villareal may be cursed, but it sounds like Preciado himself was too. Hayzeus.
   179. Mattbert Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4150598)
No Battersea stadium for Chelsea

What odds the Malaysian group ends up flipping it to Abramovich for a small profit?
   180. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4150604)
What odds the Malaysian group ends up flipping it to Abramovich for a small profit?

I'd say the odds are better that they flip it to him for a song in a desperate attempt to cut their losses.
   181. Mattbert Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4150615)
So cynical, Shooty!
   182. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4150627)
So cynical, Shooty!

I am a value investor, sir! If I were cynical I'd expect a bizarre, glowing swamp creature to suddenly start haunting the Battersea project and driving the workmen away. Luka Modric, Younes Kaboul, Sylvie Van Der Vaart and a giant dog to investigate!
   183. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4150636)
The twitter rumors have Botafogo and Montreal battling it out for Clarence Seedorf. Come on Montreal! At least this means Montreal aren't going to blow their loonies on a broken down Michael Ballack.
   184. zack Posted: June 07, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4150685)
#### the Impact. Your name is an abstract noun! And a verb! Go back to the A-league where you had no fans and you wore these!
   185. Flynn Posted: June 07, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4150724)
I am a value investor, sir! If I were cynical I'd expect a bizarre, glowing swamp creature to suddenly start haunting the Battersea project and driving the workmen away


Considering the number of hands that site has changed through, that's not an unlikely thing to happen. It's the great white whale of London real estate.
   186. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 07, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4150731)
Chris Hughton is officially the Norwich City manager. He actually reminds me a lot of Lambert--kind of quiet and calm, not much of a self-promoter, pretty tactically flexible. It's good to see him back in the PL and free from the time bomb that is Birmingham City.
   187. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 07, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4150850)
Luka Modric, Younes Kaboul, Sylvie Van Der Vaart and a giant dog to investigate!

You want to bring back Crouchie?
   188. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 07, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4150870)
You want to bring back Crouchie?

I said dog, not donkey!

Any interest in Kinsale's for some Euros action this weekend, soccer dorks?
   189. Mattbert Posted: June 07, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4150885)
Niko Kranjcar off to Dynamo Kyiv.

It's official and stuff. If Niko had any footspeed whatsoever he'd be a hell of a player. I still really enjoyed his play, though. He did a terrific job filling in for Modric when he first arrived from the ruins of Pompey.

I'll never forget one pass of his. I think it was in the 9-1 demolition of Wigan a few years ago. Break was on for Spurs, and the ball came out to Niko on the left wing a few yards shy of the halfway line. Defoe (I think) was busting it through the middle. Niko looked up and curled an absolute peach of a ball about 35 yards with the outside of his right foot, hitting Defoe exactly in stride as he burst past the defender. If JD had finished off the chance, it would have been one of the greatest assists I've ever seen, but it doesn't even make the highlight reel from that game because of all the goals that *were* scored.
   190. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4150892)
Speaking of Jermain Defoe he has gone home due to the death of his father. The expectation is that he will return at some point but his availability for Monday's match is in doubt.

Carroll and Welbeck it is I suppose.
   191. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4150911)
I said dog, not donkey!

Can I intrest you in a barely used John Terry then?
   192. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4150927)
It's official and stuff. If Niko had any footspeed whatsoever he'd be a hell of a player. I still really enjoyed his play, though. He did a terrific job filling in for Modric when he first arrived from the ruins of Pompey.

I always thought he did a job for Spurs. Harry tried to play him as a deep lying midfielder when Modric was having his temper tantrum in August and it went is bad as could be expected and he was kind of buried after that. He's a nifty player, though. Redknapp burying players like Niko is my #1 complaint with him.
   193. Mattbert Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4150930)
Speaking of Jermain Defoe he has gone home due to the death of his father.

Yeah, the Defoe family is about as snakebit as the Preciado family it seems. His brother was beaten to death in the street about three years ago.
   194. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4150938)
Yeah, the Defoe family is about as snakebit as the Preciado family it seems. His brother was beaten to death in the street about three years ago.

I think his grandmother died last year when he was on 99 goals, too, no?
   195. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4150960)
   196. PepTech Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4150964)
Doing my Shooty impression:

Buyer Beware!

Euro 2012 Kit-palooza. It's a good thing Denmark didn't replace Greece in Group A.
   197. Mattbert Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4150965)
I think his grandmother died last year when he was on 99 goals, too, no?

That was earlier. She collapsed and died at his brother's funeral.
   198. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4150968)
That was earlier. She collapsed and died at his brother's funeral.

Jeez. That's awful.
   199. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4150974)
In the spirit of guys with funny names being transferred this summer, Spure are being linked with Udinese's keeper Handanovich. That might make up for missing out on Hazard, Hulk and Marvin the Martian.

Buyer Beware!

Death before stank, clearly.
   200. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 07, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4150986)
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