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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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Page 8 of 26 pages ‹ First  < 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 >  Last ›
   701. Swedish Chef Posted: June 11, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4153676)
What these ceremonies really lack are some fair-play kids dressed as mini-refs.
   702. ursus arctos Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4153682)
Tyldesley: "Agincourt, Waterloo, and now Donetsk".
   703. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4153688)
Awfully quit in here...
   704. RobertMachemer Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4153689)
Everyone's watching from the pub?
   705. DA Baracus Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4153690)
LOL MILNER
   706. Randy Jones Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4153691)
Awful miss by Milner there.
   707. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4153692)
Oboy. That was Torres-esque.
   708. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4153693)
Fernandoesque!
   709. Richard Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4153694)
Milner should have buried that.
   710. Swedish Chef Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4153696)
Falling/diving is probably the better alternative if you have the finishing skills of James Milner.
   711. RobertMachemer Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4153697)
Argh.
   712. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4153698)
That miss could really come back to haunt England...
   713. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4153700)
France's defense looks porous.
   714. DA Baracus Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4153702)
France's defense looks porous.


It's okay though, they're playing England.
   715. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4153703)
France's defense looks porous.

Unlike every other team so far at this tournament...
   716. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4153707)
France look shaky at the back. England don't precisely have the personnel to counter attack, but they do have the defense to keep this tight and keep trying to free their wingers in transition.
   717. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4153708)
France look shaky at the back. England don't precisely have the personnel to counter attack, but they do have the defense to keep this tight and keep trying to free their wingers in transition.

Yeah, England seem pretty well-positioned in this game.
   718. DA Baracus Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4153714)
Mothers everywhere are putting crying babies to sleep with this game.
   719. Baldrick Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4153715)
This game feels like the mediocre younger brother of Spain-Italy. It's good, but suffers a bit in comparison to the skill displayed yesterday.

And England scores!
   720. Swedish Chef Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4153716)
I say, I say.
   721. Richard Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4153717)
Get in!
   722. Baldrick Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4153718)
Smash and grab...
   723. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4153719)
YES!
   724. Baldrick Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4153720)
Lol at that marking, or lack thereof.
   725. DA Baracus Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4153721)
Outstanding. This game needed a goal to open things up.
   726. RobertMachemer Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4153722)
Goalie let the guy head that from inside the six?
   727. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4153726)
Yeah, my reaction was that Lloris should have done better on that set piece.
   728. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4153728)
Great save from Hart. Whoa.
   729. Baldrick Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4153729)
Now THAT is how you save a header.
   730. Richard Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4153730)
Wow, good save and worse miss following up.
   731. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4153731)
Good save by Hart, but Diarra should have scored on the second effort.

ESPN is doing a terrible job of finding attractive French girls in the stands.
   732. RobertMachemer Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4153732)
Terrific save that.
   733. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4153733)
ESPN is doing a terrible job of finding attractive French girls in the stands.

I doubt ESPN is controlling the crowd shots. Or any of the shots.
   734. Richard Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4153734)
ESPN is doing a terrible job of finding attractive French girls in the stands.

They've all gone out to have a smoke.

Oh, damnation.
   735. DA Baracus Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4153736)
Nice goal. I love goals from outside the box.
   736. Randy Jones Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4153737)
Nice goal by Nasri, but Hart should've had that.
   737. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4153738)
My ESPN3 feed died at the instant as the ball was going towards Nasri's foot. Naturally he scored on that touch!
   738. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4153739)
English defense has to react faster to Nasri there, no?

Still, happy for the French goal since it'll keep England from parking the bus (I hope)
   739. Richard Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4153740)
I think Hart was unsighted, to be fair.
   740. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4153741)
Great shot. Terrible closing down from England though. 3 Guys 20 feet deeper than the deepest French player, just ball-watching...
   741. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4153742)
Gave Nasri way too much time. That's a good adjustment by France to England's deep retreat into the box on defense.
   742. RobertMachemer Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4153744)
Hart had to have been screened.
   743. DA Baracus Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4153745)
I think Hart was unsighted, to be fair.


Agreed, there were 3 or 4 players that could have been screening him.
   744. RobertMachemer Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4153750)
Incidentally, is the slap on the back and the side-of-the-foot kick here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeZg2KwsWGw&) what earned Rooney the 3-game suspension? Is there anything more to the suspension than that or was it just that play? Is that an unusually harsh suspension for the action or is it in line with precedent?
   745. RobertMachemer Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4153753)
   746. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4153756)
My reaction to this game is interesting. I really thought that I was being very calm and realistic going in. I know what the situation is. England's expectations for this tournament are lower than I can ever remember. No-one expects them to do that well. With a new coach, boatloads of injuries, discontent among the players, and Wayne Rooney suspended for the first two matches, I'm being realistic about their chances. And yet, when the whistle blew, all of that went out the window. I'm rooting as hard as I ever have for them to win. It means as just much to me. My head tells me one thing, but my heart tells me quite another...
   747. DA Baracus Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4153767)
That's a red card, I don't see what the issue is.
   748. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4153771)
Mexes's hair is...something.
   749. DA Baracus Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4153772)
I can't decide if Mexes is the least or most French looking player.
   750. Baldrick Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4153774)
Gerrard dive, foul, or both? I'm going with both.
   751. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4153777)
Gerrard dive, foul, or both? I'm going with both.

Just saw the replay. The French got away with one there I think. He clattered into Gerrard with no attempt at playing the ball. That's a foul.
   752. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4153778)
Didn't look like much of a foul to me, to be fair.
   753. RobertMachemer Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4153780)
Perhaps a foul, but not so much of one that I can blame the ref for not calling it given the dive that went with it.
   754. DA Baracus Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4153782)
From a visual standpoint this is a good an example of two banks of four and eight behind the ball as you'll see.
   755. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4153791)
England's midfield 4 now defending on their own penalty area...
   756. Baldrick Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4153793)
England have intercepted about 7 passes in the last couple minutes, but haven't kept the ball from any of them.
   757. Mattbert Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4153797)
ESPN's live text is really raking the ref over the coals, but the Guardian hasn't made much mention of his performance.
   758. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4153799)
This has been a tough game to get into without a rooting interest. Hopefully it picks up now.
   759. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4153800)
ESPN's live text is really raking the ref over the coals, but the Guardian hasn't made much mention of his performance.

I haven't seen anything much to complain about. This is no Greece and Poland fiasco.
   760. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4153804)
I'm with Shooty and the Guardian. I could see England having an extra free kick or two, but they've been making the most of some marginal contact.
   761. Baldrick Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4153805)
There have been 6 or 7 occasions where decisions have gone against England that could have gone otherwise. i don't think any were clear mistakes though. Well, there was one clear offside mis-call. It's the accumulation of the appearance that all the close calls are going one way. But really, I don't think there's anything to it.
   762. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4153807)
Oh come Ribery. Jeez.
   763. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4153808)
Ribery is a ####.
   764. Textbook Editor Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4153809)
Defoe over Carroll. Interesting.
   765. Baldrick Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4153810)
I also roll around like a baby when someone touches me with their hand.
   766. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4153811)
Defoe over Carroll. Interesting.

Defoe is better! Come on little man!
   767. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4153814)
There have been 6 or 7 occasions where decisions have gone against England that could have gone otherwise. i don't think any were clear mistakes though. Well, there was one clear offside mis-call. It's the accumulation of the appearance that all the close calls are going one way. But really, I don't think there's anything to it.

Yeah, I agree. Nothing egregious. But it does seem like every borderline foul against England is given, and against France is play on. Every borderline yellow is brandished against England, and the French stay out of the book...

And I say that as a Scot who has money on France...
   768. Baldrick Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4153816)
England just look TERRIBLE when they are attacking right now. WTF are they doing?

Edit: Well, I guess what they're doing is demonstrating that they aren't really all that good.
   769. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4153818)
French look like they're going for the win with those subs. Did they wait too long though?
   770. RobertMachemer Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4153822)
English score here to win against the run of pay?
   771. RobertMachemer Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4153824)
English string three passes together against the run of play?
   772. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4153826)
Not inspiring, but a decent result. Can't be disappointed with that...
   773. ursus arctos Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4153829)
Mediocre teams in mediocre match shock.
   774. Baldrick Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4153832)
"Is this the way to play football in the future?" - Michael Ballack, futureologist.
   775. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4153835)
Mediocre teams in mediocre match shock.

I can't believe I'm saying this but...this game needed some Wayne Rooney.
   776. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4153838)
I think a draw suits both teams well enough. Both should be considered favorites in their other two group matches and six points there will do the trick. Both teams looked vulnerable enough that Sweden should feel good about their chances if Zlatan is on his game.

Not that it was shocking to see England play such a defensive style but it was still disappointing. At least pretending they wanted to score would have been exciting.
   777. RobertMachemer Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4153843)
Was Lalas deliberately trying to wind Ballack up? A good pragmatic approach for England, maybe, but "pretty" should drive anyone who actually likes offense nuts.
   778. DA Baracus Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4153846)
Judging by Lalas on Twitter, he and Ballack have no ill will, so I think he was just trying to get Ballack to actually say something interesting.
   779. Baldrick Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4153851)
Was Lalas deliberately trying to wind Ballack up? A good pragmatic approach for England, maybe, but "pretty" should drive anyone who actually likes offense nuts.

Perhaps, but it got some actual energy out of Ballack, which is a breath of fresh air from his usual commentary.
   780. RobertMachemer Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4153852)
Ballack got better yesterday and was decent enough today (even before Lalas baited him). He certainly was horrible the first day and on Saturday, but he's been okay since.
   781. Mattbert Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4153862)
I object to the Twatball scoring decision to give Shay Given an own goal in the Ireland-Croatia match yesterday. Objection!
   782. DA Baracus Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4153866)
I think that ball was going out before it hit Given in the head, so it's a good decision.
   783. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4153873)
Terrence Boyd--an officially US-tied player now after his cap on Friday--is transferring to Rapid Vienna. On a permanent, not a loan.
   784. Mattbert Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4153886)
I think that ball was going out before it hit Given in the head, so it's a good decision.

It sure looked to me like it was already over the line when Given conked it.
   785. DA Baracus Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4153893)
That's a good move for Boyd. Austria will provide tougher competition than the Bundesliga III, and Rapid plays in the Europa League so there are opportunities for playing time.
   786. Swedish Chef Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4153894)
Both teams looked vulnerable enough that Sweden should feel good about their chances if Zlatan is on his game.

There isn't going to be a Zlatan show, Sweden has been far harder to play against without Zlatan on the pitch. If you only have one player worth worrying about it's easy to cut him off and isolate him up front. They are going to play with Zlatan trailing because of that.

Sweden isn't much of a team nowadays and they tended to get draws at best against countries like England and France when they were at their peak. Ukraine is the key game.
   787. DA Baracus Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4153901)
Chef, do you agree with the decision to coax him out of retirement? A few things I have read echo your comment that they actually play better without him, for the reasons you cited.
   788. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4153915)
Sweden isn't much of a team nowadays and they tended to get draws at best against countries like England and France when they were at their peak. Ukraine is the key game.

Well, on the bright side, you're not Scotland...
   789. Howling John Shade Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4153919)
That's a cheery name for an anthem...
   790. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4153922)
That's a good move for Boyd. Austria will provide tougher competition than the Bundesliga III, and Rapid plays in the Europa League so there are opportunities for playing time.

Right, but it's also in indicator Dortmund don't rate him. I like what I've seen from him so here's hoping he works his way back to Germany. Hoffenheim needs more Americans.
   791. Swedish Chef Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4153928)
Chef, do you agree with the decision to coax him out of retirement? A few things I have read echo your comment that they actually play better without him, for the reasons you cited.

He was never retired, he just took a break from internationals when there was nothing to play for, if you're a huge star in a small country you can pretty much do as you please.

He should by all rights be a huge asset for Sweden, and he does shine every now and then. During this round of qualifiers he scored five goals. It sounds good, but it was in two games. Two against San Marino, absolutely worthless as a measure of anything, and a great game against Finland where he scored a hattrick. It all pales compared with their win against Holland when Zlatan was suspended.

Maybe having him trail will make it all work, who knows?
   792. DA Baracus Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4153935)
Right, but it's also in indicator Dortmund don't rate him.


That it's a transfer and not a loan, yeah, it's not the greatest sign. But my expectations are low. I don't quite get the hype over him* and I don't buy into it, I'm just hoping he turns out to be a good player for us. He needs playing time on a first team for that to happen.

*You can probably count on one hand the number of fanboys that have actually seen him play in Germany. But that doesn't stop them from putting lofty expectations on him.
   793. Mattbert Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4153936)
Whoa, an Andriy Voronin sighting! And Olof Mellburg!

What year is it, Mr. Peabody?
   794. DA Baracus Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4153940)
He was never retired, he just took a break from internationals when there was nothing to play for, if you're a huge star in a small country you can pretty much do as you please.


Ah, I thought he was retired internationally.
   795. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 11, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4153953)
I keep thinking Sweden is in yellow. This is confusing...
   796. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 11, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4153963)
The finishing in this tournament hasn't been great.
   797. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 11, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4153980)
I meant to comment on this earlier, but they can give yellow cards for epic flopping, right? Because someone needs to just start piling them on Ribery until he quits overacting like he's a community theater version of Brian Blessed.
   798. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 11, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4153983)
Have I mentioned the finishing in this tournament has been poor?
   799. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: June 11, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4153985)
Poor finishing but at least this match is entertaining
   800. Baldrick Posted: June 11, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4153987)
Zlatan really is very good. He has seemed the most threatening in his link-up play. He can win the ball in the middle, hold onto it, and then distribute. Doesn't seem like he WANTS to play that role, though. He's not one of the best in the world as people were saying (and I was sort of believing) a few years ago. But he is an excellent player.

And as I write this, he almost scores.
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