Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, March 02, 2014

OT: The Soccer Thread March, 2014

Lots of great games this month and a lot of good mid-week action. Make or break time for Arsenal, Barcelona and Napoli.

March 5th: Ukraine vs USA
March 8th: Seattle vs Sporting KC as MLS gets started, Chelsea vs Tottenham, Arsenal vs Everton in the Cup
March 9th: Man City vs Wigan in the Cup and in Italy Juventus begin have the first of their three battles in the span of two weeks and Napoli host Roma
March 10th: CONCACAF CL begins with Alajuense taking on Arabe Unido. Feel the excitement!
March 11th: Bayern v Arsenal and Atleti v Milan
March 12th: Barca v Man City and Rangers v Airdrie United
March 13th: Spurs v Benfica, Napoli v Porto and Juventus v Fiorentina in some good looking EL matchups.
March 15th: Seattle v Toronto in the battle of American stars, the battle of the Borussias in Germany, Bayern v Leverkusen
March 16th: Derby Day! Liverpool vs Man U and Spurs vs Arsenal
March 17th: Torino v Napoli
March 18th: Chelsea v Galatasaray and Crawley Town v Wolverhampton
March 19th: Borussia Dortmund vs Zenit and Man U vs Olympiacos
March 20th: Europa League return legs
March 21: Freiburng vs Werder Bremen
March 22: Chelsea v Arsenal, Monaco v Lille
March 23: Spurs v Southampton, Real Madrid v Barca, Napoli v Fiornetina
March 25: Manchester Derby, Roma v Torino
March 26: Liverpool v Sunderland, Sevilla v Real Madrid
March 27: Inter v Udinese
March 29: Arsenal v Man City
March 30: Liverpool v Spurs, Barcelona Derby, Athletic v Atletico, Napoli v Juventus

 

 

 

Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 02, 2014 at 11:12 AM | 1404 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 12 of 15 pages ‹ First  < 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 > 
   1101. frannyzoo Posted: April 26, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4694718)
I'll just chime in to help flip us over:

1. Fulham deserve all they negatively get now.
2. I'm seeing MUFC 6 - Norwich City 0 (ugly and often)
3. +1 on the 'Pool staying up...this was the best match I've seen this morning. Wigan look to be staggering about at this point.
4. I'm still pissed that Atletico has to go to Valencia tomorrow morning, then fly to London for Wednesday's game. The system is designed for a. teams with unlimited funds/invisible money; b. teams to just willingly go broke; c. teams who will never anything like the Forest doubles of old, ever, ever again.

   1102. frannyzoo Posted: April 26, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4694738)
United strategy of having three players aimlessly mill about within 10 yards of each other at the edge of the area while two "wingers" uselessly exist at the edges results in a goal because Leroy Fer has slow reflexes and Whittaker tries to yank Welbeck's arm off. An ugly first half all around, but MUFC couldn't score 6 without RVP at this point if they played until Tuesday.
   1103. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 26, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4694760)
Just finished the 2nd half of Spurs v Stoke.

What a pathetic display from Spurs after going up a man.

Just dreadful.

Stoke were hard done by the final score, they were fully the better team after the sending off.

####### awful from Spurs.

This, however was amusing, and sums up my feelings rather succinctly.
   1104. Swedish Chef Posted: April 26, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4694766)
   1105. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 26, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4694829)
The disconnect between Spurs' results under Sherwood and the quality of their play is just incredible. They've been no better than a Stoke or West Brom -- more attacking firepower, but worse defense to make up for it -- under his watch. And that's not just by the numbers, which have Spurs conceding more shots from the danger zone and more expected goals than they've produced. It's also what I'm seeing every week, a team where no one has any idea exactly where he's supposed to be, or where his teammates are going to be. Christian Eriksen and Emmanuel Adebayor are skilled and intelligent enough that Spurs still have a good attack despite the complete lack of any coaching happening, but the defense is a joke. Somehow, the opposition just keeps missing big chances (two more today, including a free header from the center of the six-yard box), and Spurs keep getting results. So glad there's still no chance Sherwood stays on.
   1106. Mefisto Posted: April 26, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4694859)
United could easily have scored 5, but I put that down to Norwich ineptitude rather than United brilliance.
   1107. J. Sosa Posted: April 26, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4694924)
re: Sherwood

I'm enjoying Sherwood's tiger blood phase. It is hard to argue with the man.

re: United

Norwich did look bad Mefisto. The Rooney goal involved some shocking defending. I do think United looked more up for it. Any chance Giggs gets the job?

re: Adward/pitch sizes

I would say that similar to what TE was saying the pitches tend to vary. It's too bad the academy doesn't have a miniature Rory Delap for some of the fields.

re: Fulham

Poor Fulham. I thought they were going to do it.
   1108. Spivey Posted: April 26, 2014 at 06:54 PM (#4694937)
Fulham doesn't deserve to stay up. Their team was #### this year, and it wasn't young trying to improve ####. It was Scott Parker starting a whole boatload of games ####.
   1109. Mefisto Posted: April 26, 2014 at 06:56 PM (#4694939)
I can't see Giggs getting the job, even if he is Ryan Giggs. I just don't think Utd would take such a chance on an untried manager after this season.
   1110. J. Sosa Posted: April 26, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4694957)
Spivey, I haven't understood Fulham's transfer policy for awhile. They kept bringing in players like Parker, Taarabt, Bent, Berbatov, etc. I'm not sure what they were trying to do, like you say.

I agree Mefisto. Not to keep harping on Rodgers, he and Giggs are the same age but Rodgers has been involved in coaching for around 20 years, which is remarkable. Giggs needs to pay his dues, but I do wonder if there will be pressure to give him the job. I do think it would be a mistake, I thought it was a mistake to make him the interim manager for that reason.

The Sherwood madness is amusing as I just know he's going to be Newcastle's manager next season. It has to happen. The thing is, if he does go to Newcastle, and Newcastle being Newcastle, I fully expect them to make a run up the table.
   1111. Mefisto Posted: April 26, 2014 at 07:42 PM (#4694963)
It's weird that fans think their favorite players would somehow be good managers with no experience. I think some of them will be happy to jump on a Giggs bandwagon, especially if the alternative is some furriner like Van Gaal. Giggs might be a good manager someday, but he needs to demonstrate that at some level short of United first. I imagine Giggs himself knows this.
   1112. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 26, 2014 at 07:52 PM (#4694971)
Any chance Giggs gets the job?


I'd say he's totally got between a 0.0 and a 0.00 chance of it!

He's there to see out the season and that's it and I think he's both aware of and on board with it; this isn't another Timmeh! situation ...
   1113. Swedish Chef Posted: April 26, 2014 at 08:40 PM (#4694997)
Not to keep harping on Rodgers, he and Giggs are the same age but Rodgers has been involved in coaching for around 20 years, which is remarkable. Giggs needs to pay his dues

I don't know about the paying dues thing, players jumping directly to management seems to work out pretty often, and there's any number of long-serving coaches failing at that step.

The hottest manager of them all right now, Diego Simeone, won his first title as manager 10 months after he hung up his boots (at his second coaching gig, because South American football).
   1114. Mefisto Posted: April 26, 2014 at 08:55 PM (#4695008)
The hottest manager of them all right now, Diego Simeone, won his first title as manager 10 months after he hung up his boots (at his second coaching gig, because South American football).


But his first job wasn't Real or any club on that level. He started lower. I think Giggs needs to do that as well.
   1115. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 26, 2014 at 09:18 PM (#4695020)
I don't think having an inexperienced coach is that big of a deal. Giggs seems to be respected in the locker room, which is probably the most important during matches. Any deficiencies in tactics and training can be covered by an experienced number two or other 1st team coach. However, Giggs has been exposed to only one way of coaching - "the Fregie way." Sure Ferguson changed here and there, but he liked his wingers and he liked two deep central midfielders.

The biggest issue is that if you're not going to trust Moyes with 100M or 150M pounds there is no way you can trust Giggs with that kind of money. He's also too close to members of the squad. Can he say no to giving Rio an extension? Sure Van Gaal is really close with Van Persie but that's still coach/player relationship.
   1116. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 26, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4695047)
Sigh.

Repeat after me, Ryan Giggs has a 0% chance of being the next Man United Head Coach.

0%.
   1117. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: April 26, 2014 at 10:57 PM (#4695086)
Portland Thorns vs FCKC has been a really entertaining, high-pace match so far. Holiday is fairly rampant on one end, but on the other, every time Niemiec gets forward, Portland look threatening, especially since McDonald keeps winning everything in the air. Portland up 1-0 at the half on a penalty (which Allie Long exaggerated, but it was definitely a foul). Both goalies on form, though, so it could have easily been the other way or much more in Portland's corner.
   1118. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 07:52 AM (#4695194)
Cardiff are done. Down 2-0 and a man at the half. Put them in a body bag. Sunderland look like they're going to pull off the great escape, they'll be on 32 points with a game in hand over the bottom three. I don't see Norwich staying up, so it all comes down to whether Fulham or Sunderland can make it.
   1119. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4695205)
1st minute and Chelsea time wasting already. If this game is going to be a classic, it's going to need a Liverpool goal that forces Mourinho to chase an equalizer.
   1120. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 27, 2014 at 09:16 AM (#4695206)
Kalas looks calm so far, but this is the match everyone expected.
   1121. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4695209)
Ugh, Chelsea goal. Not what the match needed.
   1122. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4695210)
####.
   1123. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 27, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4695219)
All these fluke goals seem to happen for Chelsea. I don't understand it.
   1124. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4695220)
All these fluke goals seem to happen for Chelsea. I don't understand it.


I'm sure Mourinho would say that luck is the residue of design.
   1125. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4695221)
Or a pact with Satan ...
   1126. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 27, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4695226)
Liverpool should just keep peppering Schwarzer with long shots. He's going to spill one sooner or later in front of a Liverpool player.
   1127. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4695229)
I hate Chelsea. Such an awful style of play. They're one of the biggest megabastards in the world, and this is what they put on the field?
   1128. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 27, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4695231)
Wow its lucky for him that Demba Ba scored that goal, because he has been absolutely awful.
   1129. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4695232)
Well, I was already hoping for Atletico to win this week, now it's going to be because I hate, hate, hate Chelsea. It's like watching Greece play in international competition.
   1130. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4695233)
It would be nice if Mourinho's "park the bus" strategy misfired at least a little on him. Failing to get an away goal in the CL could be huge on Wednesday.
   1131. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 27, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4695234)
God I ####### hate Chelsea and Mourinho. He got a ####### fluke goal and did ####### nothing else and he's going to claim he's a genius for it.
   1132. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4695236)
I'm telling y'all, pact with Satan ...
   1133. Swedish Chef Posted: April 27, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4695238)
Only one man can save them now. Liverpool's fate is in the hands of Tony Pulis, master of Route One.

Coming soon to a theater near you!
   1134. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4695242)
It would be amusing if Palace threw this one away from Chelsea and back to Liverpool with a teeth-grinding display of "19th Century football" ...
   1135. Swedish Chef Posted: April 27, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4695244)
Well, don't expect Aston Villa to stop City.
   1136. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4695248)
Is that Tim Howard?
   1137. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 27, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4695251)
Is that Tim Howard?

I'm not listening, but it could be. NBC often brings him in for commentary when Everton aren't playing on the day.
   1138. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4695254)
Yeah, it is.
   1139. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4695259)
Well, so much for a miracle today ...
   1140. J. Sosa Posted: April 27, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4695263)
Sometimes I hate my pessimistic nature being correct. That nature tended to think the Liverpool are 80 percent plus for the title or whatever the bookies had it as was utter bollocks with Henderson and Sturridge out. That was a classic Mourinho smash and grab. Gerrard on the slip and Torres on a breakway to Willian to boot.

That was Buckneresque. Maybe Everton does something against City but I'm not convinced the Palace match is going to be anything other than a draw for Liverpool.

edit to add: I could tell it was going to go badly from the start. Gerrard reverted to type and was back to playing out of control, something he hasn't done for a long time.
   1141. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 27, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4695266)
You could tell Gerrard was trying to overcompensate for that first-half mistake. He took so many shots in the second half.
   1142. Swedish Chef Posted: April 27, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4695287)
Atletico keeps up the pressure. The have Levante away and Malaga at home before they finish at Barcelona.
   1143. frannyzoo Posted: April 27, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4695303)
Gladbach completes the first third in a tough triple, beating Schalke away. Mainz at home and Wolfsburg away to close the season. CL is probably not gonna happen, but today's win makes Europa look much more possible.
   1144. JuanGone..except1game Posted: April 27, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4695346)
Great team display by Chelsea that is obviously going unappreciated in most parts. Gerrard gifted us another one, but the defense was superb and the counter-attacking could have produced a few more, such as the blatant hand ball by Flanagan. I personally think that not enough blame is going Rodgers way. He removed Lucas too early for Sturridge and you could easily see that Liverpool's shape was all wrong after that. And Aspas is one of the more useless players that I've seen in the Prem, so I'm not sure what the purpose of putting him in was.

We still aren't winning the league, but unlike the rest of you, I'll be content with my new overlords City.
   1145. jmurph Posted: April 27, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4695347)
Rodgers is embarrassing himself complaining about Chelsea parking the bus. You maybe get to do that when you draw, though I don't particularly like it then, either. But unless we're talking about Pulis-era Stoke rugby tactics, whining about the manner in which your team just got beat is pretty weak.
   1146. J. Sosa Posted: April 27, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4695362)
Rodgers is not alone in couching parking the bus in terms of morality. It is nothing of the sort, of course, but even Mourinho did that complaining about West Ham. Its an easy thing to focus blame on. "Well golly gee, we were playing the right way but these barbarians on the other side of the pitch sullied the game and are a blight upon sportsmanship."

Juan, Rodgers has no bench. He has been agitating since the summer for an attacking player he can rotate in. They missed out on a few in the summer and didn't get Konoplyanka. Liverpool aren't Liverpool!!! without Henderson and a fit Sturridge. Mourinho can send out a B team that would qualify for Europe, Rodgers doesn't have that option. What's he going to do? He's down a goal. Leave Lucas in who doesn't create anything or go for broke with what got him where he was? I don't see where he had any options. Should he have left Flanagan on in favor of Aspas? Who's he going to bring in? Agger at center forward? Kolo and lump it up the pitch? He doesn't have the luxury of fielding a platoon of internationals off the bench.

Rodgers isn't stupid, he knows what the stats look like when Lucas and Gerrard share the pitch post Lucas injury. Take a look at Henderson's game log since Southampton away last year. His loss was always going to be a crushing blow.
   1147. Mefisto Posted: April 27, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4695377)
I'm usually the first to criticize Chelsea, but I thought Mourinho's tactics were brilliant today (leaving aside the time wasting). Yes, he got a bit lucky, but that was a superb defensive effort.
   1148. Spivey Posted: April 27, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4695380)
I don't understand how someone can think taking Lucas off was a bad decision, he's clearly their worst starter of the 11 they sent out today, and there's a (good) reason he never plays when everyone is fit.

Mourinho has a massive ego and plays miserable football. But I do have to give him credit on some of the moves he's made this year - bringing in Shurrle, Willian, and Salah as winger/attacking mids has been great. They all can and do run box to box as well as press, which is crucial for Mourinho's style, and really crucial for any world class team IMO. Bringing back Matic was also smart, and Kalas looks very ready to contribute - he had an impressive game as a centerback.

Of course, he only goes to jobs where he gets oodles of money to spend, which is good work if you can get it. But he spent pretty well for Chelsea this year, and none of those guys individually broke the bank.
   1149. Spivey Posted: April 27, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4695386)
I'm usually the first to criticize Chelsea, but I thought Mourinho's tactics were brilliant today (leaving aside the time wasting). Yes, he got a bit lucky, but that was a superb defensive effort.


I credit the players more than the tactics for that, personally. It worked out, because they have an incredible defensive team - and of course he's helped build that and understand that, so that plays into tactics some. So I certainly understand what Mourinho was doing. But when you're not looking for a goal, you have to be extremely lucky to score. And they were today, but I don't think that's a long-term winning strategy.

All of which is to say, this team's attacking prowess is pretty shitty for a world class level team when Hazard isn't on the field.
   1150. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 27, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4695397)
It's really hard to break down teams that are so committed to defending like that. You can say Liverpool were bereft of ideas, but far better sides than Liverpool have struggled to break down teams who sit with eight (+) behind the ball and don't even break on seemingly obvious counter-attack situations. There's just no space to make anything happen. Liverpool faced a similar situation about a month ago against Sunderland. In that game they were very fortunate to get a free kick in a good spot late in the first half, which Gerrard subsequently buried. If you don't get that stroke of luck or that golazo from 18+ yards out, it becomes increasingly difficult.

There was a point in the second half where Arlo White commented about Mourinho gesticulating for his players to stay near the midfield despite having the ball in a prime countering position. I had to laugh, as it's exactly what Sosa pointed out midweek against Athletico.

But kudos to Chelsea. In two games against Liverpool this season, they've grabbed one goal leads and have defended it ruthlessly.

On Rodgers' substitutions, I'll echo Spivey's and Sosa's sentiments. Neither Sturridge nor Aspas were effective, but I don't know how you can criticize Rodgers for that.
   1151. Mefisto Posted: April 27, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4695402)
this team's attacking prowess is pretty shitty for a world class level team when Hazard isn't on the field.


Agreed. I have no idea how Mourinho would have played it if the game were tied late. But while it's obvious that LFC were hurting because of unavailable players, so were Chelsea. Both managers played the cards they were dealt.
   1152. Mefisto Posted: April 27, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4695407)
My agreement re Chelsea's offense may have come too quickly. I just checked the PL stats and Chelsea are 3d in GS. Their total isn't great (69), but still 3d. That's too many to call it "terrible".
   1153. jmurph Posted: April 27, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4695430)
It's really hard to break down teams that are so committed to defending like that. You can say Liverpool were bereft of ideas, but far better sides than Liverpool have struggled to break down teams who sit with eight (+) behind the ball and don't even break on seemingly obvious counter-attack situations. There's just no space to make anything happen.


I'm not trying to be antagonistic- I'm a City fan, for the record, but I completely understand your frustration. But what this amounts to is "it's really hard to win when other teams don't let us do what we want to do." Which, you know, yeah. Welcome (back) to being a target for 19 other teams.
   1154. jmurph Posted: April 27, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4695432)
Also Liverpool fans: please, let's not pretend City won't drop points at Everton next week. That's nearly a certainty.
   1155. frannyzoo Posted: April 27, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4695438)
Jmurph: Looks like you need to head to Skybet (or less Murdoch controlled bookie parlor). Currently:

Everton 14/5 Draw 11/4 Manchester City 4/5

Everton to win or draw is 10/11.
   1156. Spivey Posted: April 27, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4695448)
I'm not trying to be antagonistic- I'm a City fan, for the record, but I completely understand your frustration. But what this amounts to is "it's really hard to win when other teams don't let us do what we want to do." Which, you know, yeah. Welcome (back) to being a target for 19 other teams.


As a neutral, I think it goes beyond that. I'd much, much rather watch Liverpool/Man City than Liverpool or Man City play Chelsea.
   1157. jmurph Posted: April 27, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4695460)
As a neutral, I think it goes beyond that. I'd much, much rather watch Liverpool/Man City than Liverpool or Man City play Chelsea.


I understand. But Chelsea have played City and Liverpool 4 times this year, and they have 4 wins. It works, as frustrating as it is.
   1158. Mefisto Posted: April 27, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4695467)
I'd much, much rather watch Liverpool/Man City than Liverpool or Man City play Chelsea.


I agree. I can admire Chelsea's defense today, and I can appreciate it technically, but it wasn't all that exciting to watch.

As for LFC, I think they got one more point from the City and Chelsea games than they should have expected (as opposed to hoped for). They were fortunate to get the winner against City (+3) and very unfortunate to give up the loser today (-1 from the probable tie). They have a much easier schedule than City, so no need to be discouraged. I will say this, though: if City win on GD again, that will be pretty sucky.
   1159. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 07:05 PM (#4695487)
I like defensive play (wait, really?!? I've never mentioned that before). I'm not a neutral in this case, but I know that, in other leagues, I'd rather watch this sort of game than a 5-3 match. (that is: I genuinely feel this is much more exciting than an open, attacking game, and cannot follow the opposite perspective)

Which is to say that the normative nature of football discussion really bothers me. Can we not talk about these things like a game "needs goals" as if they are objective fact? Opinion? Certainly, but some (very few) of us prefer the delicate balance to the frantic and all the morality-based yelling* really makes me not engage with most other fans, because it doesn't feel worth it.

That's it from my brief interlude into this discussion, back to the extensive NSWL updates (btw, I very strongly, again, recommend the Portland-FCKC match from yesterday).

*not to say that here is at all unique or much worse than anywhere else. I'm speaking in generalities: the people here, for the most part, are perfectly pleasant about this kind of thing.
   1160. nick swisher hygiene Posted: April 27, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4695527)
TV coverage just doesn't let me appreciate defense....that Chelsea-AM game, where AM just passed it around the set Chelsea defense until they got bored and tried a cross, was terrible. I mean, like, NCAA basketball 52-48 final terrible. Maybe if I'd played at a higher level than bad Canadian small college soccer, but........I mean, ####, we all would like to seem exceptional sports fans of refined taste. But I'm not going to defend eventless defensive soccer just to sound hip.

Having said that, the morality thing is stupid. What I would rather emphasize is entertainment. Individual teams should not be able to ruin the game as a spectacle in order to win. The vast sums of money in the game exist because it entertains people. Strategies that make the game dull should be actively discouraged.
   1161. JuanGone..except1game Posted: April 27, 2014 at 10:31 PM (#4695533)
Suarez for POY and Hazard for YPOY. Suarez was an easy bet though his goal scoring against top sides wasn't exceptional. I'm obviously glad that Hazard won out, as I think that he had a fantastic season, but I could have seen it going to Sturridge as well.
   1162. Richard Posted: April 27, 2014 at 11:14 PM (#4695543)
No Man Utd players in the PFA EPL team of the year...that's a rare occurence. The team:

Petr Cech (Chelsea), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Vincent Kompany (Man City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Yaya Toure (Man City), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool).



   1163. Textbook Editor Posted: April 27, 2014 at 11:20 PM (#4695547)
So LFC realistically needs +11 or +12 GD over last 2 games to overtake City on GD (assuming City win their last 3 each with a +1 GD result)--I'm not sure what the 2nd tiebreaker is, but if it's Goals Scored, then currently Liverpool lead Man City by +3 (96 to 93).

Can LFC beat Crystal Palace and Newcastle by +11 or +12 GD? It would seem impossible but if they went into that last game knowing they not only needed to win, but to win by 8 or 9... Don't you imagine Rodgers goes for that scoreline? And isn't Newcastle almost the perfect side you want to face in such a situation?
   1164. Swedish Chef Posted: April 28, 2014 at 01:36 AM (#4695594)
Don't you imagine Rodgers goes for that scoreline?

It's not like there's any tactics that makes it likely to score that much (except for bribery), and all-out attack will cost in defense and is seldom effective anyway. As long as the City game is close, their best bet is to keep calm and do their part and hope City loses points. And if the City game isn't close, well, then they need to score 10+.

It's all moot anyway. City has a home game against Villa in midweek before the last round.
   1165. jmurph Posted: April 28, 2014 at 07:46 AM (#4695610)
Agree with the Chef. City either win all 3 or they don't, that's going to be the deciding factor. Even if Liverpool pour it on against Palace and Newcastle (and Palace is playing pretty well- they're not giving up 6 or 7 goals, I don't think), in a world in which City win all 3, it's pretty unlikely they'll all be 1-0.

But as I said above, I expect them to drop points at Everton next week.

Another note on City: I know every team has what-ifs at the end of a season, but they lost to Cardiff! Picked up 1 of a possible 6 points from Sunderland! They really should have the league wrapped up already.
   1166. Spivey Posted: April 28, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4695671)
Another note on City: I know every team has what-ifs at the end of a season, but they lost to Cardiff! Picked up 1 of a possible 6 points from Sunderland! They really should have the league wrapped up already.

Too lazy to check and see if Aguero was playing in those games, but they are a completely different team when he's fit and when he's not.
   1167. Sean Forman Posted: April 28, 2014 at 09:54 AM (#4695673)
Tactics question.

Is there a plan of attack that makes sense when facing a team like Chelsea just packing the box? Dump it in to Andy Carroll over and over? Practice nothing but set pieces all week?

Liverpool really only needed a draw, so perhaps they should have just passed it back and forth at midfield for 90 minutes, taken their 0-0 draw and moved on.

I've often wondered why the attacking team doesn't just stand there until the defending team comes out and plays them. I realize there is nothing forcing Chelsea to come out and play them, other than the embarrassment of it all, but I think that might actually be a more powerful impetus than is generally believed.
   1168. DA Baracus Posted: April 28, 2014 at 10:06 AM (#4695679)
And isn't Newcastle almost the perfect side you want to face in such a situation?


They'd have to win by a completely absurd 10-0 scoreline. Entering the weekend, Crystal Palace were the 7th best team in the league since Pulis took over. Under Pulis they've only conceded 3+ goals once, and that was in December. Anything better than 3-0 is a pipe dream.
   1169. zack Posted: April 28, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4695714)
I've often wondered why the attacking team doesn't just stand there until the defending team comes out and plays them. I realize there is nothing forcing Chelsea to come out and play them, other than the embarrassment of it all, but I think that might actually be a more powerful impetus than is generally believed.


Different sport, but in hockey a few years ago, the Flyers did exactly that (refused to advance) when the Lightning were playing a no-press game. And the Lightning did eventually abandon that tactic more or less out of embarrassment over it later in the season. Worth noting that the Flyers lost that game.
   1170. DA Baracus Posted: April 28, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4695720)
They stopped play because of that, which was bullshit. And the Flyers were dumb for doing that, Tampa's 1-3-1 wasn't very effective to begin with.
   1171. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: April 28, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4695755)
Is there a plan of attack that makes sense when facing a team like Chelsea just packing the box? Dump it in to Andy Carroll over and over? Practice nothing but set pieces all week?

In addition to what you mentioned (size is incredibly useful against a packed defence, which is largely why Fernando Llorente was a mainstay in the Spanish NT for so long), you try to play between the lines and spread the defence. Width is vitally important here, because playing it to the side should rotate the defensive shape (if the other side is organised), which opens paths for 1v1 on the other side. Similarly, midfield runners are also vital. The second man, who follows the first into the box and receives the cutback, is normally ignored by a packed defensive side, partially because they defend so deeply, and partially because, in order to prevent play between the lines, most defensive lines for a deep defence are very compact. You can also use width in conjunction with through balls behind the D, to keep the lines deep, and ensure your ability to play in front. The Barcelona side of the last few years were remarkable at playing against a packed side, because that was all they did, and if you watch them, the movement and rotations among the front six, particularly the drive into the centre after Messi vacated the front position, always tantalized the other side, who would follow (it's Messi!), and then be caught out by a midfield runner. Similarly, they would always get a ton of width (which is why Pedro was a mainstay on the side, despite arguably his technical quality being well below some other players) from Pedro and the fullbacks (well, not Abidal, but whatever), and move the ball around fluidly, looking for the opening. Guardiola has always understood the value of unexpected movement to confuse a packed side, and a lot of his random decisions for Bayern can be contextualised in that light.

In this case, there are two issues at hand: first, Chelsea are just really good at playing a compact defensive shape. They don't drop back too deeply (and open the the eighteen to free crosses; seriously, watch their backline and compare it to a team like Cardiff or Sunderland when they play back. It is a question of still playing players offside, while defending deeply), they are narrow without conceding the flanks, and they drop off the midfield just enough, depending on their opposition players, to be encouraging, but not helpful. That's all down to Mourinho, btw; there's an element of individual preparation (compare how they allowed Gerrard space while closing down more dangerous driving players from the midfield, like Sterling and Coutinho) and an element of drilling, which a lot of lower-level teams don't have. Second, Liverpool largely *were* playing deep, to avoid conceding (i.e. somewhat stepping off and agreeing with the draw, the "proposed" tactic). Where was the width in their attack? When did Jon Flanagan ever get forward, something that has been a major component of their attack in recent weeks? Even Johnson was muted and, in the first half, notably neither Allen nor Lucas really got forward much; so they had little width and no drive from the centre. Even in the second half, they didn't have much. Answer: they really, really missed Henderson as that runner from the back, Sturridge as their target player for movement within the defence to create confusion (his role in the interplay between him, Suarez, and Sterling tends to be the central forward who either shifts wide and runs in, or exchanges positions with Suarez), and Flanagan for width.
   1172. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4695762)
Arjun makes good points. I did not see a lot of the game but what I did see it seemed Liverpool were incredibly narrow. Rodgers has been exceptional this year with his tactics but yesterday was the first time I felt like Liverpool were ill prepared. They seemed unclear about what to do about Chelsea's approach which was an entirely predictable thing. I don't think any of us expected Chelsea to come out and play run and gun. They should have been prepared to do the things Arjun spells out a little better.
   1173. Ron J2 Posted: April 28, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4695807)
#1167 (good stuff in 1171) Nothing is guaranteed to work. The basic plan is to put the pressure on individual defenders and be opportunistic when they make a mistake. The specifics depend on team construction.

SAF built teams to take points off opponents that were playing for a draw. What's interesting is that he'd had few creative central midfielders and an awful lot of creative wide players. He's always been pretty clear that attacks based through the middle are the easiest to negate.

And he's always had strikers who are good at finishing things off. Some managers seem to take this for granted.
   1174. Rob_Wood Posted: April 28, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4695829)

I cannot remember which game it was but the US team held the ball for the last five (?) minutes of a game fairly recently. The other team was protesting something (a ref's call?) and did not move (they were all in their defensive half). So the US team did not move, one guy "held" the ball for the last minutes of the game. I cannot even remember if there was any passing back and forth by the US team. The announcers said that they had never seen a game end like that.
   1175. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: April 28, 2014 at 12:34 PM (#4695853)
SAF built teams to take points off opponents that were playing for a draw. What's interesting is that he'd had few creative central midfielders and an awful lot of creative wide players.

This is very, very true and, actually, it was only towards the last five or six years of Ferguson's tenure that I gained an appreciation for how much he (and, oddly, David Moyes, at least at the time) really understood the value of width, not merely as a goal-generating device, but also as a positional one. United would consistently have a vast number of players who could operate on the flanks, so they would be able to create a ton of 2v1s and 3v2s, forcing the defence to come out and meet them and orient the defensive shape towards the side, which opened up holes for midfield runners, runners at the back post, and pure finishers (which, as you mentioned, United always had a ton of).

This has come to fore more recently for me in the current NWSL season, where, with Wambach out (and so her "gravity," to use Zach Lowe's description of Dirk Nowitzki, is absent), this is a great opportunity to see exactly what makes the Western New York Flash tick as a side, something I've always struggled with. I think the answer is that Aaran Lines also understands the importance of width. Even in the game against Chicago, which they lost, the WNY attack spent most of the match really stretching the Red Stars defence laterally; if anything, just lacked a finisher and, well, that's what they're missing. It also provides a nice explanation for the mercurial nature of Sky Blue FC so far this season: from observation, they're much stronger when they are able to get space on the sides, most prominently via Caitlin Foord, and they struggle a lot more when they get bogged down in the midfield battle. I might be wrong, but that's what it seems to me (and it doesn't help that Foord tends to use the Wesley Sneijder trick of absolutely vanishing from games when the ball isn't near her).
   1176. DA Baracus Posted: April 28, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4695865)
I cannot remember which game it was but the US team held the ball for the last five (?) minutes of a game fairly recently.


Was a U-20 game?
   1177. ursus arctos Posted: April 28, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4695872)
Goals Scored is the tiebreaker after Goal Difference for the Premier League.
   1178. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 28, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4695880)
Similarly, midfield runners are also vital. The second man, who follows the first into the box and receives the cutback, is normally ignored by a packed defensive side, partially because they defend so deeply, and partially because, in order to prevent play between the lines, most defensive lines for a deep defence are very compact.
Yeah, I thought Henderson's absence was particularly important here. I'd also note that Steven Gerrard, after a wonderfully disciplined season as a deep-lying playmaker and occasional ball-playing CB, came unstuck and started either shooting from distance or dribbling into the heart of the defense, which are the very last things you want to do.
   1179. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4695882)
Goals Scored is the tiebreaker after Goal Difference for the Premier League.
When I did my most recent sims, there were 414 runs out of 1,000,000 where Liverpool won the title over Man City on goals scored.
   1180. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4695883)
Flannagan has been more cavalier about getting forward in recent weeks, but he's not an answer to the width "problem". When Johnson is healthy, Flannagan is playing inverted. Johnson is capable of getting to the touchline, but Chelsea's wide players were playing pretty deep, so I don't think opportunities for overloading one side were all that ample.

I know it's tricky to wade into hypotheticals, but you can just as easily say Liverpool were in a fine position prior to the Gerrard slip. They didn't exactly need the three points. It would have been interesting to see how long it took Mourinho to change tactics, if at all. Alas...
   1181. Textbook Editor Posted: April 28, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4696072)
When I did my most recent sims, there were 414 runs out of 1,000,000 where Liverpool won the title over Man City on goals scored.


So you're saying there's a chance!
   1182. Swedish Chef Posted: April 28, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4696119)
I've often wondered why the attacking team doesn't just stand there until the defending team comes out and plays them.

Then you get Sweden-Turkey in Euro 2000, the all-time pinnacle of boring football, except the existence of an attacking team in that match is purely hypothetical.
   1183. Mefisto Posted: April 28, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4696135)
After watching Newcastle today, it wouldn't shock me at all if LFC put 5 past them.
   1184. ursus arctos Posted: April 28, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4696140)
It is extremely unlikely that five would be enough.
   1185. DA Baracus Posted: April 28, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4696159)
Michael Cox:

It might sound stupid, but a Liverpool side needing to rack up a hatful of goals to claim their first Premier League title could batter this Newcastle side by 10 goals.
   1186. Mefisto Posted: April 28, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4696178)
I have to think that's hyperbole. When was the last time a top flight team scored 10 against another top flight team without allowing any?
   1187. Richard Posted: April 28, 2014 at 08:20 PM (#4696203)
The last double figure score in the English top division was in December 1963 (Fulham 10 Ipswich Town 1).
   1188. DA Baracus Posted: April 28, 2014 at 08:55 PM (#4696237)
I have to think that's hyperbole.


Yes, but he's saying it's not impossible. He notes that they were up 5-0 against Arsenal, who had something to play for. A damning of Newcastle, not a praise of Liverpool.
   1189. Mefisto Posted: April 28, 2014 at 09:02 PM (#4696244)
Well, given what I saw of Newcastle today, I'd agree it's not impossible. I just think it's unlikely. If it were to happen, I'd expect an FA investigation.
   1190. Textbook Editor Posted: April 28, 2014 at 09:27 PM (#4696262)
Beating Crystal Palace 4-0 gets you to (in theory) needing a 7-0 or 8-0 result against Newcastle to win on Goals Scored... But you're all right; it's extremely unlikely.

But you have to think that--of all the managers out there--if Rodgers needs a 7-0 or 8-0 result to win the league, he's damn well going to set up the frontal assault and try like hell to get the result. Laying back and hoping for results elsewhere when--at least in the first half--you know what the task is you need to win the league--just doesn't seem like something he'd do.

Newcastle is perhaps the one team you'd peg that would just lay down and die like that on the last day of the season.

   1191. Textbook Editor Posted: April 28, 2014 at 09:28 PM (#4696264)
And yes, I now, Palace hasn't given up 4 goals since Pulis took over (at least I thought I read that somewhere).
   1192. Swedish Chef Posted: April 29, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4696657)
Beating Crystal Palace 4-0 gets you to (in theory) needing a 7-0 or 8-0 result against Newcastle to win on Goals Scored...

No no, beating Palace 4-0 only covers them for City's inevitable 4-0 against Villa.
   1193. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 29, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4696685)
Chelsea beat Wigan 8-0 on the last day of the season four years ago.

Right after Wigan had assured themselves of not being relegated, by among other things beating Arsenal three weeks earlier.
   1194. Spivey Posted: April 29, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4696689)
I imagine there's dropped points somewhere that make all of this irrelevant.
   1195. DA Baracus Posted: April 29, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4696696)
Now that I'm at a real computer I can properly link (it's such a pain in the ass on a tablet here):

It might sound stupid, but a Liverpool side needing to rack up a hatful of goals to claim their first Premier League title could batter this Newcastle side by 10 goals.

Football sides rarely win matches by that margin, primarily because there are seldom circumstances which require it. They conserve energy and take pity on their opponents. But Newcastle are playing without courage or belief, and on the final day with nothing to play for, will almost certainly play at half-speed.

A rampant Liverpool, with Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson back in the side, could attack relentlessly in front of a vociferous home support. Liverpool were 5-0 up against Arsenal (then top of the table) within 52 minutes. What damage could they inflict on a Newcastle side that, frankly, couldn’t care less?

   1196. Swedish Chef Posted: April 29, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4696714)
primarily because there are seldom circumstances which require it. They conserve energy and take pity on their opponents.

What a stupid man.
   1197. Swedish Chef Posted: April 29, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4696716)
Yeah, Liverpool was 5-0 up, and that was very unlikely and noteworthy. So they would only have to do something very unlikely and noteworthy twice in the same game.
   1198. DA Baracus Posted: April 29, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4696723)
What a stupid man.


Damn. First time I've ever seen Michael Cox called stupid. BTW Liverpool had a game four days after that Arsenal game. Obviously not the case against Newcastle.
   1199. zack Posted: April 29, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4696741)
Is there any practical difference between finishing 2nd and 3rd?
   1200. Swedish Chef Posted: April 29, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4696756)
BTW Liverpool had a game four days after that Arsenal game. Obviously not the case against Newcastle.

So they don't have to hold back like they did that time?

Is there any practical difference between finishing 2nd and 3rd?

Prize money (part of the TV deal is performance based). Bragging rights. The risk of having to qualify to CL if Chelsea would win CL and end up 4th.
Page 12 of 15 pages ‹ First  < 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Eugene Freedman
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogMGL: Which teams are optimizing their lineups?
(13 - 1:28pm, Aug 23)
Last: JustDan

NewsblogSources:  Cubs cut grounds crew’s hours to avoid paying health benefits
(33 - 1:24pm, Aug 23)
Last: puck

NewsblogLooking past the stat line: Mark Appel
(2 - 1:19pm, Aug 23)
Last: Spahn Insane

NewsblogOT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video
(5004 - 1:18pm, Aug 23)
Last: Misirlou's been working for the drug squad

NewsblogFG: Ben Revere and the Emptiest Batting Average Ever
(35 - 1:15pm, Aug 23)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - August 2014
(299 - 1:02pm, Aug 23)
Last: Gold Star - just Gold Star

NewsblogPete Rose’s Reckless Gamble
(7 - 12:52pm, Aug 23)
Last: John Northey

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread August, 2014
(515 - 12:45pm, Aug 23)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogPosnanski: The Royals might actually know what they are doing
(106 - 12:04pm, Aug 23)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogManny Machado Likely Out For Season
(28 - 11:34am, Aug 23)
Last: Cargo Cultist

NewsblogBA (Badler): Seven Reasons Why MLB’s New International Rules Are Backward
(6 - 11:15am, Aug 23)
Last: puck

NewsblogBrisbee: Rusney Castillo reminds us how screwed amateur players can be
(29 - 10:57am, Aug 23)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogFG: Brian McCann Probably Couldn’t Be Given Away For Free
(48 - 10:49am, Aug 23)
Last: Ziggy

NewsblogDowney: Let Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame already
(91 - 10:15am, Aug 23)
Last: Bourbon Samurai in Asia

NewsblogDRays Bay: Rays to Montreal? “Smart chronicler” says yes
(37 - 8:36am, Aug 23)
Last: RMc's desperate, often sordid world

Page rendered in 1.0902 seconds
55 querie(s) executed