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Monday, June 02, 2014

OT: The Soccer Thread June, 2014

It’s go time!

June 12th Brazil v Croatia

June 13th Mexico v Cameroon, Spain v Holland, Chile v Australia

June 14th Colombia v Greece, Ivory Coast v Japan, Uruguay v Costa Rica, England v Italy

June 15th Switzerland v Ecuador, France v Honduras, Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina

June 16th Iran v Nigeria, Germany v Portugal, Ghana v USA

June 17th Brazil v Mexico, Belgium v Algeria, Russia v South Korea

June 18th Cameroon v Croatia, Australia v Holland, Spain v Chile

June 19th Colombia v Ivory Coast, Japan v Greece, Uruguay v England

June 20th Italy v Costa Rica, Switzerland v France, Honduras v Ecuador

June 21st Argentina v Iran, Nigeria vs Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany v Ghana

June 22nd USA v Portugal, Belgium v Russia, South Korea v Algeria

June 23rd Cameroon v Brazil, Croatia v Mexico, Australia v Spain, Holland v Chile

June 24th Greece v Ivory Coast, Japan v Colombia, Costa Rica v England, Italy v Uruguay

June 25th Ecuador v France, Honduras v Switzerland, Bosnia-Herzegovina v Iran, Nigeria v Argentina

June 26th Portugal v Ghana, USA v Germany, Algeria v Russia, South Korea v Belgium

June 28th Group A winner v Group B runner up, Group C winner v Group D runner up

June 29th Group B winner v Group A runner up, Group D winner v Group C runner up

June 30th Group E winner v Group F runner up, Group G winner v Group H runner up

 

Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 02, 2014 at 10:03 AM | 9133 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer, u-s-a u-s-a, world cup

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   8601. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:44 AM (#4746765)
My pop-psychological theory is that the expectations heaped on the Brazil team's shoulders crushed them down to a fine mush once they allowed that second goal and they realized there was no way they were going to win the match.
   8602. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:56 AM (#4746766)
That said, barring injury and assuming a normal trajectory from here, Neuer has a definite claim to be the best of the post-back pass era, and in many ways is the epitome of a contemporary keeper.

Neuer is really really good. But right now, I wouldn't pick him to take the mantle of "best German keeper to play for Bayern in this millennium".

Way before my time, but Lev Yashin is generally held to have been pretty fucking ridiculous.
   8603. Richard Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:39 AM (#4746770)
In the conversation for Best Keeper ever:

Lev Yashin
Peter Shilton
Oliver Kahn
Gianluigi Buffon
Dino Zoff
Richardo Zamora

And maybe Petr Cech, Iker Casillas and Gordon Banks.

I've probably missed someone obvious.
   8604. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2014 at 06:00 AM (#4746772)
Peter Schmeichel was twice the keeper of most of those guys.

Peter Cech? Bah!
   8605. Richard Posted: July 09, 2014 at 06:19 AM (#4746773)
Yes, Schmeichel was a big miss.

Cech is slipping recently but his positioning was second to none prior to that.
   8606. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2014 at 08:06 AM (#4746780)
I still can't quite believe that game yesterday. That really happened, right?
   8607. ursus arctos Posted: July 09, 2014 at 08:31 AM (#4746789)
Yes, Yasin is generally thought to be the best ever, though he was playing a very different game.

I'd add Sepp Maier to Richard's list.

FPH, Neuer is still quite young for a keeper, the assumption about career trajectory is important.
   8608. J. Sosa Posted: July 09, 2014 at 08:35 AM (#4746791)
Late to the party but figured I'd chime in. I'm not stating anything other than the obvious that a lot of things have to go wrong to get that result, but here are a few that stood out in no particular order:

-- Thiago Silva is pretty good. Most of the fans and press seemed to be going crazy about the loss of Neymar, but to me it looked like the loss of Silva was crippling. He had the gravitas to reign in guys like Marcelo and Luiz. And Dante played.

-- Tactics were terrible. The recent game this match most reminded me of was when Wenger sent out a bunch of flyweights against Mourinho's panzer divisions. I was surprised at the team selection and shape Scolari chose from the outset.

-- It has been awhile since I've seen a player hurt his team as badly as Luiz did. It reminded me of the match where Gerrard slipped and then promptly starting shooting from range every time he touched the ball. Luiz so desperately wanted to make up the difference that he absolutely killed his team. He's not really a center back anyway. Benitez and Mourinho both reached the same conclusion and used him in different ways. Without Silva he was a wreck.

-- Marcelo was terrible. I couldn't tell if he was following instructions or if the loss of Silva meant he reverted to headless chicken mode.

-- Gustavo was terrible, and often just stood around watching like he was at a horror movie.

-- Maicon was toasty years ago.

-- Hulk is kind of a one trick pony and left his team exposed.

-- Fernandinho was terrible. Caught in possession often but to be fair his manager left him on an island with the tactics he chose.

-- Oscar AND Bernard played? I thought that was really strange. It seemed like every other minute the two of them were hanging around the halfway circle doing nothing as their German counterparts shredded their team.

-- Fred is bad. Really bad. Costa may not have been healthy, but short of him demanding a key to the country and his own private island I don't know what could have broken down to the point where he couldn't be convinced to play for Brazil in a World Cup in Brazil. After all, if they won he probably would have gotten a key to the country and his own private island anyway.

-- Cesar isn't very good but there wasn't much he could have done. On the one play he looked like a man that had suffered a heart attack. I felt bad for him.

-- Style of play. I don't especially care for Germany as a national team, but the style of play is very much one that I enjoy. It is my favorite style, and to see that type of play come to the fore instead of tiki taka has been pleasant. I'm the longtime chapter president of the Barcelona/tiki taka haters club at BTF, so the past season has been enjoyable on that front. At times I would read an article about Barcelona or tiki taka by a guy like Sid Lowe or Graham Hunter and think I was taking crazy pills. Tiki Taka, in essence, is a negative, cynical tactic. Like any system if you have brilliant players it can provide brilliant moments, but the tactic itself is negative. A negative tactic that has cascaded down to the academy level. All things come back around again, tiki taka's death has been greatly exaggerated, but I have enjoyed the various travails the style suffered this season.

-- USA, USA, USA!!! 0-1 loss to Germany is looking pretty good right now... Obviously the conditions and what was at stake where different, but the comments from Klinsmann and the boys about having too much respect for Germany carry a lot more context with the average fan now. Scolari perhaps could have used a little more respect with the team sheet.

edit to add: Chef that seemed to the the angle Silva and Ballack were going with. That Brazil knew at 2 nil it was over and they couldn't cope.
   8609. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2014 at 08:40 AM (#4746793)
Fred as Brazil's #9 is just weird. I don't think he'd be in the USA's 11, even. And he's BRAZIL'S #9! That is just nuts. I feel bad for him since it's not his fault he's such a limited player but that he was needed seems an epic fail for Brazil.
   8610. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 09, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4746797)
Spain was better of course, at their peak, but played a more boring match IMO.


Tiki Taka, in essence, is a negative, cynical tactic.


I think a lot of this was down to opponents rather than Spain/Barca themselves. Teams were so intimidated even before the match that they would put nine men behind the ball and not challenge Spain. Great, so you lose 1-0 instead of 5-1. I guess that's better (particularly in a short tournament group stage) but in a knockout game I think you have to take the game at those teams. When they have that kind of possession there is just no chance.
   8611. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 09, 2014 at 09:09 AM (#4746798)
I felt bad for Fred. Its not his fault Scolari thought he was Brazil's best option. I guess he works well with Neymar.
   8612. Spivey Posted: July 09, 2014 at 09:21 AM (#4746802)
Fred's not good. But let's be real here. The issue is that Luiz, Dante, Gustavo, and Fernandinho is not the defensive spine of a team that can beat Germany.
   8613. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2014 at 09:33 AM (#4746807)
The issue is that Luiz, Dante, Gustavo, and Fernandinho is not the defensive spine of a team that can beat Germany.

I don't know, those guys are certainly better than the players Algeria or the USA or Ghana had. Germany went from looking like a ho hum world cup favorite to the greatest team ever in one game. I think that says a lot about the way Brazil played. They were just nuts. Marcelo was charging forward, Luiz was charging forward and neither Gustavo or Fernandinho covered for the spaces they were leaving. I have no idea what their game plan was. It was as if Scolari said "Let's go punch these guys in the nose" but had no plan B or even a fully cooked plan A.

Looking forward for Brazil, at least guys like Moura, Silva and Neymar won't be untouchables from this game. They're still Brazil and they still have a crap load of talent but after the negativity of Dunga and now Scolari, it seems they need to reassess what kind of team they want to be.
   8614. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 09, 2014 at 10:04 AM (#4746826)
Yea Brazil was probably missing their two best players, but its not like Wales where you go from Bale and Ramsey to Sam Vokes and David Vaughan. Brazil came out and played like it was an all-star game. Playing offense and standing around on defense. That's just a poor mentality going in or Scolari's tactics.
   8615. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 09, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4746829)
I don't know, those guys are certainly better than the players Algeria or the USA or Ghana had.

Looking at Marcelo yesterday it's hard to think Fabian Johnson wouldn't be an upgrade, but I guess that was just because of Brazil's lack of a game plan. Because Marcelo plays for Real Madrid and Johnson plays for… Eintracht Frankfurt? Hoffenheim?
   8616. simon bedford Posted: July 09, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4746853)
the guy who didnt like spain since day one of this tournament is showing up now to point out that you and a few other "new to the world of football" guys kept posting the betting lines ( you in particular aunt bea) as if THAT meant something, brazil werent much in this tournament and this is the worst tournament home loss in recent memory, this squad is one of about 10 sides who will be doing a serious rethink .
   8617. puck Posted: July 09, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4746884)
They're still Brazil and they still have a crap load of talent but after the negativity of Dunga and now Scolari, it seems they need to reassess what kind of team they want to be.


I'm not totally familiar with their player pool...there seem to be Brazilians everywhere but I'm not sure who are real contenders for the national team. Lucas Moura, for sure. I, too wonder how Fred and Jo can be the best center forwards they have. (I guess Pato must be still alive somewhere, but probably injured.) They seem to have loads of two-way midfielders (who are usually good; to look that bad on D with Fernandinho and Gustavo says a lot about something). Given all those midfielders (I mean, there's more they've left at home, Sandro, Lucas Leiva), it kind of makes sense they've been playing this style.

Unless there are more attacking players like Lucas Moura who should have been on the roster. (I can see why Robinho would be borderline).
   8618. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: July 09, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4746889)
the guy who didnt like spain since day one of this tournament is showing up now to point out that you and a few other "new to the world of football"

You keep throwing that around like an insult, which just makes you look petty, elitist and petulantly childish.

And for the record, there are plenty of guys here, who have been watching and playing football their entire lives, who think you are just as full of ####.
   8619. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 09, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4746890)
They should have just put Bernard in Fred's spot the whole time. That guy is great to watch. He runs straight into people with no intention to injure or even knock over, because he knows that won't happen because he's about 5'4", 120.
   8620. Randy Jones Posted: July 09, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4746893)
I, too wonder how Fred and Jo can be the best center forwards they have.

Because Diego Costa is playing for Spain. Related to that, Brazil's central defense would look a lot better with Pepe, even if he is a giant #######.
   8621. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: July 09, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4746897)
That Brazil knew at 2 nil it was over and they couldn't cope.

This. I am a pretty big Brazil fan but the thing that really amazed me about this team was the fact that they could not really generate much offense this World Cup without Neymar. Fred, Oscar, et al were all really lacking.

They where never going to score more than a fluke goal without Neymar and their only chance to beat Germany without him was to keep it close. Once the second goal was scored, Brazil crumbled under the pressure and the knowledge that they needed a miracle to score two.

As good as Neymar is, was he as good as any of Ronaldo, Rivaldo, or Ronaldhinho, the the 3Rs of the 2012 World Cup? It's hard to say because Neymar did not have much support but the argument could certainly be made that 2014 Neymar would be the fourth best attacking player on the 2002 World Cup team.
   8622. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4746915)
Because Diego Costa is playing for Spain.

Well, yeah, but Giuseppi Rossi plays for Italy but we had a better fall back than Fred! It just feels like Brazil aren't producing as many great players as they used to do. I've never been to Brazil and I don't follow their domestic league, so I don't know why this is but it pretty clearly seems to be the case. Outside of Neymar, even their best players like Fernandinho and Oscar and Willian and Paulinho, etc. are more known for being hard working players who will tackle and run and do all the dirty work than they are known for their creativity. I mean, they look more like England every year...
   8623. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4746920)
You keep throwing that around like an insult, which just makes you look petty, elitist and petulantly childish.


Not to mention deeply stupid in an hilariously ironic way.
   8624. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4746923)
being old and with time on my hands (well, at least when i wake up every morning) i watched a fair amount of the matches

and i really do not recall a match where there was so much SPACE between the guy with the ball and the other players. it seemed in other matches that very quickly a guy who got across midfield would start to get swarmed and REALLY have to make some fancy footwork happen to continue the ball down to the goal.

yesterday it seemed like germany was playing 11 on 7 or something.

anyway, layman's 1.5 cents
   8625. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: July 09, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4746926)
What happened to Ganso and Damiao? Seems to me it wasn't that long ago that both were highly thought of. Ganso not making it is a little more understandable -- after all, Scolari left Coutinho off the roster -- but Damiao can't make with that set of number nines?
   8626. Baldrick Posted: July 09, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4746928)
One of the truly great things about conversations here is the relative lack of Calvinism. Most people acknowledge that crazy things can happen without having been predestined. Teams can get thwomped one day, and come back the next still playing at their real level.

Obviously, a World Cup is such a huge event and so relatively small that we can't help ourselves but to build narrative out of the results. But I like that for the most part people try to retain some perspective. It's particularly hard to do after a result like yesterday's, which is SO out of the ordinary that it just doesn't seem possible to reconcile with what came before. Even for all of us who have been mocking the 538 theory that Brazil was by far the best team in the world, nothing like this was expected.

So we look back, and do our best to think about the underlying qualities of the team. We ask ourselves whether it was truly wrong to have thought this game was a 50/50, and whether if things had gone differently in the opening 10 minutes, the whole outcome might have shifted. What if Lahm's tackle on Marcelo had been slightly mis-timed and Brazil had won a penalty? Would they have played as fecklessly at 1-1 as they did at 0-2? Quite possibly, but we can't really know for sure. What if Silva had been in the team? Might his presence have calmed them during their madness, imposed some discipline, reigned in Marcelo’s ludicrously exposed flank? Is it possible that playing in Brazil actually harmed them? Were they too tense, too amped up, too scared of failing to impress?

All we can say for SURE is that Brazil spent 30 minutes yesterday completely lost at sea. They were outplayed in the other 60 minutes, yes, but not by a huge margin. It's the 30 minutes in the first half where they completely lost their minds and just couldn't grasp what was happening that define this game. Just like those 40 minutes of Spain-Netherlands, when the reigning champions of everything were bewildered and pathetic.

There is no denying that it happened. But there are plenty of questions to be asked about what it meant.

I do not believe that Brazil truly are nearly as bad as the scoreline yesterday. I have repeatedly said that they were being somewhat overrated, and were flattered by their results so far. But there's also no denying that they WERE the better team in each of their previous five games. Not by as much as they might have liked. But they were worthy semifinalists. Going forward, this game will define them and those five previous games won't matter. And they certainly will need to seriously reconsider their approach to player development, to tactics, to expectations of always being the best, etc.

But this was, and remains, a very talented group of players. If things had broken differently, they absolutely could have won this tournament.
   8627. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2014 at 12:06 PM (#4746933)
But this was, and remains, a very talented group of players. If things had broken differently, they absolutely could have won this tournament.

Yes, France could have scored on that last minute Benzema fluke and then go on to win the penalties.
   8628. Baldrick Posted: July 09, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4746934)
yesterday it seemed like germany was playing 11 on 7 or something.

Very much agreed Harvey. That was the crazy thing about this game. My pop pyschological theory is that they all were freaked out about losing Neymar and felt like they had to pour all their energy into finding a way to create something to lift the team. So you had 10 guys all hoping to be the savior, which meant they simply weren't attentive to the more mundane duties of positioning and covering each other. So Marcelo would range far afield and no one would fill in behind him. And then you've got 50 yards of completely unoccupied space for the Germans to invade.

And as soon as the second goal went in, it created a positive feedback cycle. They seemed to almost give up, thinking 'there's no way back from this,' but also committed even more strongly to the idea of 'throw everything in the air and hope some magic happens' which left them EVEN MORE exposed.
   8629. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4746935)
and i really do not recall a match where there was so much SPACE between the guy with the ball and the other players. it seemed in other matches that very quickly a guy who got across midfield would start to get swarmed and REALLY have to make some fancy footwork happen to continue the ball down to the goal.

The most arresting thing was how Germany passed the ball around in Brazil's penalty area. That is a rare sight, normally defenders just don't give the time to do things like that.
   8630. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 09, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4746948)
Just thinking about Brazil's (relative) lack of depth. I think it all comes back to money. Every ambitious owner is going to have scouts, fixers or agents talking about the next hottest thing coming up in Brazil. Once that happens the internet gets going and the rumors fly. 15-20 years ago most young Brazilians probably would have ended up Portugal, the Netherlands or France. Those leagues may not be the best competition-wise, but they have resources and have the time and patience to develop players. Then they would secure their big money move at 24 or 25.

Nowadays you have third-party owners trying to maximize profits and eastern European oligarchs scooping them up. Others have their big money move at 20 or 21 and get thrown into a high-profile league where they may not be fully ready either physically or mentally. Some are ready, while most aren't. I don't know how anyone could calculate the failure rate but maybe its higher now?

Then again I'm probably talking out of my ass and its probably just a cyclical thing.
   8631. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4746950)
the 538 theory that Brazil was by far the best team in the world, nothing like this was expected.

That wasn't 538's thesis at all, by the way.
   8632. AuntBea Posted: July 09, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4746952)
Speaking of odds, it's worth noting that SPI projects Argentina, without Di Maria, as having only a 53% chance to win today, which is less than the betting odds have for Argentina (57%). It's also worth noting that Brazil's loss has knocked them down to 4th in the ratings (below Argentina and Colombia), and now Germany has jumped from 4th to a very comfortable 1st.

With all this jumping around, it seems there just wasn't enough pre-tournament error margin for team ratings.

Edit: 538's theory was that Brazil was a clear best team in the world, with an absolutely enormous home field advantage. The only thing wrong with the statement above is that "by far" is slightly exaggerated. The "nothing like this was expected" is pretty clear from the SPI posts and 538's twitter stuff. Of course, no one expects Brazil to lose by 7-1, but SPI was very confident that they would never look like the lesser team in any game in this tournament.
   8633. Baldrick Posted: July 09, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4746955)
That wasn't 538's thesis at all, by the way.

Sorry for the mild exaggeration. They projected Brazil as the best team in the world by a decent margin and gave them an enormous HF advantage. The point was that their median projection for Brazil had them winning at least five, and probably six, out of seven games.
   8634. Manny Coon Posted: July 09, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4746959)

Looking at Marcelo yesterday it's hard to think Fabian Johnson wouldn't be an upgrade, but I guess that was just because of Brazil's lack of a game plan. Because Marcelo plays for Real Madrid and Johnson plays for… Eintracht Frankfurt? Hoffenheim?


Fabian is of course best of the back 5 for the US, Beasley, Omar, Besler and Beckerman aren't nearly as impressive (Johnson played at Hoffenhiem last year and but will be moving up to Gladbach this coming season). Boye for Ghana is pretty much terrible. For Algeria Ghoulam is very good, but the others are more just solid professionals. Brazil should have better players available than those teams and by name recognition, club history and wages even more so, but they just didn't seem to fit together at all without Silva.
   8635. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4746969)
Just thinking about Brazil's (relative) lack of depth.

Brazil has 600 players abroad and a fairly high-paying league at home, there should be players playing every conceivable style and position to fill half a dozen high-quality teams, no matter what tactics they decided to use. But the reality is different. So they should give 1000 real to every nine-year-old who takes up goalkeeping. And then outlaw the name "Fred".
   8636. Flynn Posted: July 09, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4746992)
Tim Vickery has mentioned several times that Brazilian clubs really have nothing like a European-style academy, and that there's an awful lot of talent scouting that basically amounts to picking the biggest, tallest, fastest guy on the field rather than the little runt who makes the ball go wherever he wants it to go. Part of that was financial, but Brazilian clubs aren't so poor anymore - certainly a Brazilian club will have more resources than today's clubs in the former Yugoslavia that seem to crap out technically gifted players at will.

The Brazilian domestic system is also a complete joke, with way too much time spent on the pointless state championships and cups. The national FA is endlessly corrupt. Part of the reaction at least from the local experts I've heard (so Vickery and Duarte) is joy that this might finally force the CBF's hand to change things.
   8637. PreservedFish Posted: July 09, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4747022)
Nowadays you have third-party owners trying to maximize profits and eastern European oligarchs scooping them up. Others have their big money move at 20 or 21 and get thrown into a high-profile league where they may not be fully ready either physically or mentally. Some are ready, while most aren't. I don't know how anyone could calculate the failure rate but maybe its higher now?


I remember thinking it a shame when Real Madrid signed Robinho, where he was bound to get buried behind Raul and Ronaldo.
   8638. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4747026)
Baldrick

Don't know if I would use the word "invade" in any discussion involving Germany

Ha
   8639. Manny Coon Posted: July 09, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4747036)
What happened with Pato? Injuries and bad form? He's only 24, his career got off to a great start but seems to have stalled out. He got left off in 2010 too when his club form was much better.
   8640. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4747052)
What happened with Pato?

He got involved with Barbara Berlusconi. It is not good for mortal men to tangle with a clan of soul-sucking vampires.
   8641. Manny Coon Posted: July 09, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4747065)
I was looking at Brazil's results in the 2013 Confed Cup where they did really well with a lot of same players (Fred scored 5 in 5 games), and I noticed Paulinho and Alves started almost every game that tournament, Paulinho won the bronze ball, and they started in some of Brazil's better performances this cup, were any real reasons given why they were dropped for Maicon and Fernandinho, who were both pretty terrible this past game?
   8642. frannyzoo Posted: July 09, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4747069)
If I'm Thiago Silva's agent, yesterday was the greatest game Ever. EVER.
   8643. DA Baracus Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4747072)
If I'm Thiago Silva's agent, yesterday was the greatest game Ever. EVER.


What are the odds he's also David Luiz's agent? If so he had himself a hell of a day.
   8644. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4747074)
If I'm Roman and Mourinho I'm cackling a little harder that Luiz went for 50M.
   8645. DA Baracus Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4747094)
Nigeria has been suspended by FIFA “on account of government interference” which is of course hilarious.
   8646. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4747099)
´If I'm Roman and Mourinho I'm cackling a little harder that Luiz went for 50M.

They only cackle if Torres isn't around.
   8647. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4747111)
   8648. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4747120)
I can sort of see FIFA's POV when it comes to government interference but since FIFA won't police these FA's themselves and most of them are run by straight up kleptomaniacs, I don't see how governments can avoid getting involved at some point.
   8649. AuntBea Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4747164)
Apparently a parasite transmitted via cats might have an effect on worldwide footballing success. In other words, one can use cat parasites to better predict footballing success than SPI or the betting odds. Before you write this off, it is not completely a joke, there apparently might be some real correlative effects involved.

Edit: The cat parasite also might explain England's notorious inability to win via penalty kicks. Check out England's cat parasite rating.
   8650. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4747165)
I don't see how governments can avoid getting involved at some point.

Though most of those governments are run by kleptomaniacs too.
   8651. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4747179)
Nigel de Jong is back. Twatballers rejoice!
   8652. Baldrick Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4747183)
I worry for Argentina. Without Di Maria, who is going to tie the room together? The best way to beat Messi is simply to shut down the people who can give him the ball. Sure seems like this formation is susceptible to that...
   8653. AuntBea Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4747187)
Nigel de Jong is back. Twatballers rejoice!
He might deserve all that and more, but from what I saw the last time he played for the Netherlands in this WC, he was excellent. I think having him back is a big plus for them. Now, if he gets sent off for a studs up karate kick to Messi above the shoulders, I take it all back.
   8654. AuntBea Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4747197)
Is the crowd against Argentina today? Obviously the rivalry with Brazil is huge, but from what I have seen the crowds have been in favor of the South American teams all tournament (and generally against the favorite European teams when playing other confederations like CAF or CONCACAF), and even (I think) in the Argentina games so far.

Edit: lot of Blue & White in the crowd.
   8655. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4747204)
I think the big thing with the CONMEBOL crowds is they've been able to get a good number of home fans to make the trip. I would assume that it's a hell of a lot easier for an Argentinian to make the trip than a Dutch person.

EDIT: In other words I suspect the Brazilians in the crowd will root against Argentina but there will be enough Argentinian fans to offset that.
   8656. PreservedFish Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4747220)
I'm tired of looking at Robben's face.
   8657. Baldrick Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4747225)
Great tackle by Mascherano. Terrible clearance.

If Holland win this game, it's going to be because of Dirk Kuyt. You heard it here.
   8658. PreservedFish Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4747230)
Dutch not messing around with their Messi double-teaming.
   8659. Baldrick Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4747240)
Well done so far by Zabaleta. If he's going to be able to keep getting forward, they will have a much better chance here. Otherwise, it's really hard to see how they'll be able to build anything apart from 'hope Messi can run through six people.'
   8660. Randy Jones Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4747244)
'hope Messi can run through six people.'

Teams have won with worse gameplans...
   8661. madvillain Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4747246)
Why do the Dutch insist on playing a 8 man backline with zero midfield? Opposite approach of Brazil yesterday.
   8662. Baldrick Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4747256)
Cillessen looks like the villain in some low-budget space opera on the SF channel.
   8663. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4747257)
That doesn't look good for Mascherano.
   8664. AuntBea Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4747260)
Oh that's very bad luck for Argentina if he is out. And if he might have a concussion, please take a few minutes to see if he is ok. #### man it's only his life we are talking about.
   8665. The Marksist Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4747261)
Easy for us to say, but he probably should come off. Looked totally disoriented there.
   8666. AuntBea Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4747262)
I guess it really is more important than life or death. What the #### do I know.
   8667. Manny Coon Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4747266)
If Mascherano does manage to tough it out, according to Forbes study it will be because he's an injury faking sissy.
   8668. PreservedFish Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4747268)
Yes, he looked momentarily brain dead there.
   8669. AuntBea Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4747276)
Pretty cagey match so far.
   8670. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4747277)
Sweden continued to play with concussed Roland Nilsson against Belgium in Euro 2000, it cost the match.
   8671. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4747279)
I hope Vlaar brings back some of that to Villa.
   8672. Baldrick Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4747282)
This is by far the best that Lavezzi has looked. I'm not totally clear about what Perez is doing though. He mostly just seems to stand in the center circle and not touch the ball. Am I missing something?
   8673. madvillain Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4747285)
Yea, that's a yellow, come on ref
   8674. Baldrick Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4747295)
If you look in the dictionary under 'professional foul' you'll see a gif of that. It has to be a yellow.
   8675. AuntBea Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4747296)
Sneijder on again, but I think he might not start the second half. Doesn't look great for him.
   8676. AuntBea Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4747304)
There is your make up call.
   8677. Baldrick Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4747309)
It honestly seems like they're going out of their way to NOT pass the ball to Perez.
   8678. AuntBea Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4747311)
Not the most exciting half of football, but Argentina definitely had the better of it. Robben and Van Persie almost anonymous. Messi had some good runs, and given another 45 might make one of them count.
   8679. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4747315)
Argentina look very composed and savvy so far.
   8680. PreservedFish Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4747316)
I don't even know who Perez is.
   8681. Baldrick Posted: July 09, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4747324)
I don't even know who Perez is.

I vaguely know the name. Apparently he plays for Benfica. I can't remember ever watching him play before the quarterfinals. Whatever he's supposed to be doing, I think he might be a bit of a downgrade from Di Maria.
   8682. AuntBea Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4747330)
Check out MCOA's xG. Very sad for both teams. I can't remember another game with this few chances in this WC, even in the first half. Netherlands in particular have done nothing going forward.
   8683. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4747338)
It's a shame Lamela was crocked and couldn't be on the Argentine squad (it turns out he actually did have some serious injuries last year that Spurs didn't want to talk about for some reason).
   8684. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4747341)
Check out MCOA's xG. Very sad for both teams. I can't remember another game with this few chances in this WC, even in the first half. Netherlands in particular have done nothing going forward.

I don't know how illustrative those stats are for a game like this. I don't think it does justice to how compelling it is tactically. Plenty of skill on display, too.
   8685. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4747343)
Sabella reminds me of a rich guy who hires the Three Stooges to remodel his kitchen.
   8686. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4747344)
Bad time to lose a boot.
   8687. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4747346)
Cillesen is channeling Neuer in this game. The thing in the first half was almost Higuita.
   8688. Manny Coon Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4747347)
Perez was recently named LPFP Primeira Liga Player of the Year. He was taken over Banega and Tevez, so he's got potential be a controversial choice if they lose.
   8689. AuntBea Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4747348)
I don't know how illustrative those stats are for a game like this. I don't think it does justice to how compelling it is tactically. Plenty of skill on display, too
Eye of the beholder and all. Regardless, there have not been many good scoring chances.
   8690. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4747353)
So this has all the makings of another Van Gaal "genius" move swinging the game. Sooner or later, one of those moves is going to backfire, right?
   8691. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4747354)
Ron Vlaar has been the Neuer of this game.
   8692. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4747361)
Who the hell is Jordy Clasie?
   8693. AuntBea Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4747365)
At this point, either team's dream of a WC final involves Germany. No other option.
   8694. bunyon Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4747367)
Nice pass.
   8695. Swedish Chef Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4747372)
I hope no big clubs looking for central defenders are watching this game.
   8696. Eddo Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4747375)
At this point, either team's dream of a WC final involves Germany. No other option.

Am I missing a joke here?
   8697. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4747380)
Vlaar is having the game of his life.
   8698. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4747382)
Messi sucks.
   8699. bunyon Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4747383)
BBC announcer just said the foul was like an American football block. They joked about it for a moment and then he said, "First and six!"

Otherwise, he's a good announcer.
   8700. AuntBea Posted: July 09, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4747384)
British announcers: "First down and six." I think they need to watch a bit more football.

Edit: BBC guys said "Dutch dream final is facing Germany." No joke, just kind of pointless to say now.
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