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 6 of 15 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 >  Last ›
   501. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4678594)
Flop.
   502. Howling John Shade Posted: April 03, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4678638)
I admit it. I brought down the site so we wouldn't have to talk about Spurs/Liverpool.
   503. J. Sosa Posted: April 03, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4678739)
It's a week late but:

Palace
   504. ursus arctos Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4678793)
On the tenth anniversary of his debut for DC United, World Soccer reports that Blackpool have decided not to offer Freddy Adu a contract.

As the article notes, it is difficult to believe that he is still only 24.
   505. Flynn Posted: April 03, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4678843)
Or is it difficult to believe still that he is only 24?
   506. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 08:45 PM (#4678904)
Damn, just read that Christian Benteke may have just torn his Achilles.

If so, really tough break for him and Belgium ...
   507. ursus arctos Posted: April 03, 2014 at 09:24 PM (#4678917)
Unfortunately true. He's out for six months.

There are a number of good players who are going to miss this World Cup.
   508. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2014 at 07:30 AM (#4679041)
I admit it. I brought down the site so we wouldn't have to talk about Spurs/Liverpool.

Heh. You'll have to take my word for it, but if the site hadn't been down I would have posted before the game that the lineup Sherwood put out there convinced me he's not ready for the job. I like him and wish him well on his journeys, but he needs to go somewhere else and gain some experience if he's not content to go back to the development role he was only doing in the front office. My wife grumped that I was going to spend all morning watching soccer I told her not to worry, I'd probably turn the tv off in disgust in a few minutes. Sure enough!

It's always nice to see Mourinho in full "it's not me, it's them" mode, by the way. That goal from Pastore was pure class. Nothing you can do about that but tip your cap to him.

If so, really tough break for him and Belgium ...

It's tough for Benteke but Belgium aren't short of options up top.
   509. J. Sosa Posted: April 04, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4679077)
I wasn't able to track down a link but apparently Rodgers gave an interview before the match discussing what Sherwood was going to do and how they were going to attack. I haven't seen the interview in question, but evidently Rodgers was pretty matter of fact about it almost like he was filling a grocery list. I think Sherwood's been given a pretty raw deal, but you can't approach matches the way he has approached them.

On a side note, the lack of pressing up top with playing a high line puzzles me. It has been an issue under both AVB and Sherwood. It is such a rudimentary aspect of playing a high line that it makes me wonder if there is more going on than AVB and Sherwood being oblivious. I find it very hard to believe that AVB didn't know that not pressing (or stopping pressing) with that high line was a bad idea. Sherwood has persisted with the same bad idea, it makes me wonder if meddling from the higher ups is an issue. I might be willing to think it was just Sherwood if it was only Sherwood that did it, but AVB fell prey to the same thing and I have a hard time thinking in retrospect he didn't know better. AVB had priors with Chelsea in playing glacial CB's in a high line, but I would need a Chelsea fan to remember whether he also failed to press up top. I find it hard to believe AVB didn't know that pressing was a requirement for that style though. Rodgers claims to have turned down the job a few years ago based on "instability" but it makes me wonder if there weren't deeper reasons he didn't take the job.

It isn't totally Sherwood's fault in any case, I had wondered what some of the concerns about Eriksen were as his transfer fee seemed a little lower than I would have expected. A lot was made of his culpability on the first goal, but his overall effort on that side of the ball is not sufficient even though it was suicide to play him on the left in that match. Coutinho and Eriksen have different skill sets, but they are both creative outlets. The difference in that game in terms of defensive effort between the two was pretty stark. Coutinho has significant limitations in stamina and strength, but always puts so much energy into pressing that he isn't a total liability. Eriksen just isn't willing or isn't able to do that.

I also don't get why Chadli keeps getting played in the middle. He's not a guy I would want as a long term starter, but every time I've seen him play out wide he's seemed like a cromulent player.

re: Mourinho

He seems to be going though the motions lately.

re: Benteke

Very unfortunate. He's had a rough year.
   510. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4679176)
It isn't totally Sherwood's fault in any case

I agree with this, but, on the other hand, he doesn't seem to be helping, either. I haven't seen enough to make me think Spurs shouldn't go after Van Gaal or Pochettino or someone. Really, the way he lined up the team at Anfield...just...grrr. I'm a soccer idiot and I knew that was all, all wrong. Ah well, Spurs' season is pretty much over now. I can enjoy the games stress-free from here on in. Torino is making a late play for a European place, Freiburg are clawing their way out of the relegation scrum and Partick Thistle are THIS close to being safe. Almost there, Thistle...
   511. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4679263)
   512. J. Sosa Posted: April 04, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4679304)
I think that is the reason I feel badly for Sherwood. He couldn't say no, but he was always going to be the fall guy. IIRC Mattbert and a number of others expressed reservations about the move and Matt has said for awhile now that the early success under Sherwood wasn't sustainable. Levy punted on the season when he hired Sherwood, which is unfortunate. Yes, I think Spurs were probably fortunate to have the points they had at the point AVB got canned, but the points were in the bag. I understand they were upset about the 5 nil, but if they didn't have a replacement lined up Levy should have just kept AVB. From the outside it just seemed like Sherwood was a company guy that was made an offer he couldn't refuse to be a patsy. I just feel bad for him, he wasn't ready.

BMG is on the trail of Leverkusen for fourth. If they can hold onto the goal difference edge maybe they can sneak in to the CL.
   513. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 04, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4679307)
From the outside it just seemed like Sherwood was a company guy that was made an offer he couldn't refuse to be a patsy.

Maybe he and Moyes should switch jobs. Then neither of them will be the guy that was doomed to fail anymore.
   514. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4679359)
He couldn't say no, but he was always going to be the fall guy.

I think you're reading this in the most negative way possible. He's been given every opportunity and he just hasn't seized it. The club didn't want him to fail--he's very highly regarded in the hierarchy and I'm sure they would have loved for him to do well. It hasn't worked out but he'll soon be a former PL winning captain who has managerial experience at Tottenham and that will get him a decent job in English football. And fairplay to him for discovering Bentaleb, even if he over-relies on him. I think it shows he has an eye for talent and the courage to trust his judgment about a player's worth rather than how much the chairman paid for him. Sherwood has some real positive qualities and he may end up being a hell of a manager. I can see why, when push came to shove, Tottenham thought he might be able to do the job. He has a commanding presence about him. I just think this job was too much too soon. If only Roberto Martinez had stayed at Wigan one more year...
   515. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 04, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4679376)
Despite Spurs having a crappy season, they still supply my favorite moment of the year.
   516. Howling John Shade Posted: April 04, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4679510)
That was great.

30 for 30 is going to air a full-length documentary on Ossie Ardiles transfer to Spurs and the Falkland's War, and another on Hillsborough.
   517. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 04, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4679619)
So that US-Mexico friendly a few days ago...

The US looked really, really good in the first half. The second half they did not look really, really good at all. On the plus side, Michael Bradley was a monster and Julian Green did not look out of place. On the negative side I am not at all confident with Omar Gonzalez at CB. Brooks and Packwood are probably not ready. Goodson and Onyewu are probably too old. Maybe move Cameron back to CB for the World Cup and play Evans at RB, I dunno.
   518. J. Sosa Posted: April 04, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4679632)
I don't think it was reasonable to expect Sherwood to succeed. He was caught out tactically from the start. Hopefully he lands on his feet.

Yeah, I am worried about the USMNT. I am not sure what the solution is. Cameron at CB is about all I can come up with too but that has its own problems.
   519. Mefisto Posted: April 04, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4679647)
The USMNT defense just isn't good. Cameron and Besler seems like a reasonable pairing, but Cameron has been playing RB and we don't really have a RB if not him. Plus, Bradley needs somehold to hold so that he can work his magic. Jones won't do that. I'm not a fan of Beckerman, though he does play that role. Cameron might work there, but....

Green looked raw. I don't see him making an impact this WC.
   520. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 04, 2014 at 09:14 PM (#4679686)
After being mocked for a while, Tim Ream has become a real popular stalwart guy for Bolton, for what that's worth.

Fans sometimes act as if the team would be in first place if they'd had Ream and David "The Chin" Wheater at center back all season.
   521. Swedish Chef Posted: April 05, 2014 at 08:21 AM (#4679821)
Hyypiä has been fired from Leverkusen, is that someone to consider for Tottenham?
   522. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 05, 2014 at 08:32 AM (#4679823)
How was Silva not called offsides?

Oh and Rooney is apparently a doubt for the return leg in Munich (he is out for the match against Newcastle today).

Edit: its all moot now in the Etihad.
   523. Rob_Wood Posted: April 05, 2014 at 08:51 AM (#4679825)

yeah, he was only offside by about 5 feet
   524. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 05, 2014 at 08:56 AM (#4679827)
On a side note, the lack of pressing up top with playing a high line puzzles me. It has been an issue under both AVB and Sherwood. It is such a rudimentary aspect of playing a high line that it makes me wonder if there is more going on than AVB and Sherwood being oblivious. I find it very hard to believe that AVB didn't know that not pressing (or stopping pressing) with that high line was a bad idea. Sherwood has persisted with the same bad idea, it makes me wonder if meddling from the higher ups is an issue. I might be willing to think it was just Sherwood if it was only Sherwood that did it, but AVB fell prey to the same thing and I have a hard time thinking in retrospect he didn't know better. AVB had priors with Chelsea in playing glacial CB's in a high line, but I would need a Chelsea fan to remember whether he also failed to press up top. I find it hard to believe AVB didn't know that pressing was a requirement for that style though. Rodgers claims to have turned down the job a few years ago based on "instability" but it makes me wonder if there weren't deeper reasons he didn't take the job.
I know I linked this before, so sorry to do it again, but I wrote a long piece on AVB and Sherwood focused heavily on those defensive issues. Spurs were really fantastic defensively under AVB for the first couple months of the season. My best guess with AVB is that he was losing the locker room and overreacting to the club's poor early goal-scoring record, and he lost the plot and couldn't get the players to take on a new system. Then Sherwood took over, and I don't think he even tried to organize the defense. He's just entirely incompetent. So AVB left in place a broken system, and Sherwood did not attempt to fix it or even realize it was broken.

The thing with Sherwood as fall guy, for me, is that he's just been a really unpleasant presence around the squad. Lots of rumors that he was the primary source of anti-AVB leaks in the press. He seems to honestly believe football games are won primarily with heart and determination, and he's already taken to ripping his players to the press within a couple months of taking over. I'll be very very happy to see the back of him. He strikes me as the caricature of a football manager that Harry Redknapp played, except that with Redknapp, it was an act.
   525. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 05, 2014 at 09:19 AM (#4679837)
Coutinho and Eriksen have different skill sets, but they are both creative outlets. The difference in that game in terms of defensive effort between the two was pretty stark. Coutinho has significant limitations in stamina and strength, but always puts so much energy into pressing that he isn't a total liability. Eriksen just isn't willing or isn't able to do that.
The problem for Spurs is that Eriksen needs to be everywhere. He's stuck on the left for no reason and has to track the opposing winger, and he's also the fulcrum of the attack and need to be tucking into advanced central positions to pick out key passes. It's a completely impossible job, and so sometimes he isn't in the right place defensively. Chalking that up to a lack of effort is entirely wrong, to me. He's put in a position where failure is nigh-inevitable, and sometimes he fails, but he's a fantastic player. He kills himself running to try to cover the jobs that Sherwood sticks on him.
   526. Rob_Wood Posted: April 05, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4679840)

goalie? defense??
   527. Swedish Chef Posted: April 05, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4679843)
Oh and Rooney is apparently a doubt for the return leg in Munich (he is out for the match against Newcastle today).

Probably just a convenient excuse to rest him. I'd bet big on him starting on Wednesday.
   528. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 05, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4679857)
So I have to admit that I'm starting to believe Liverpool will win the title. Everything will depend on the City and Chelsea results, but I'm cautiously optimistic.
   529. Swedish Chef Posted: April 05, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4679859)
An arbitrator ruled that Massimo Cellino is a great guy and should be allowed to take over Leeds.
   530. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 05, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4679868)
Icy cool from Mata there.
   531. Swedish Chef Posted: April 05, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4679875)
Grumble, grumble.
   532. Swedish Chef Posted: April 05, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4679876)
One shouldn't have to be happy about saving a point against Fulham at home...
   533. Swedish Chef Posted: April 05, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4679878)
Bayern fell to Augsburg, maybe United can skate by on perfect timing of form.
   534. Swedish Chef Posted: April 05, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4679880)
If QPR and Derby doesn't improve their results today, Leicester is in the Prem.
   535. Obo Posted: April 05, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4679882)
Tony Pulis appears to be a genius.
   536. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 05, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4679884)
That was a LOVELY sequence from United for #4.
   537. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 05, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4679886)
Norwich is in trouble if Sunderland can put it together a little. Next fixture for Norwich is Fulham away, then they have Liverpool at home, Manchester United away, Chelsea away, and Arsenal at home.
   538. Swedish Chef Posted: April 05, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4679891)
That was certainly a grumble-worthy performance.

Nice to see Leicester back, though.

Norwich is in trouble if Sunderland can put it together a little.

Sunderland's next games are Tottenham, Everton, City and Chelsea. They have to put it together a lot to get much from them.
   539. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 05, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4679895)
I've got the relegation race down to four clubs for one spot. Cardiff are gone (~100%), Sunderland and Fulham are the most likely (~80%) and Norwich could easily drop (~33%). No one else in any real danger anymore. Bar graph from twitter.)
   540. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 05, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4679897)
Tony Pulis appears to be a genius.
It's pretty impressive. Palace looked like the obvious relegation side under Holloway, and Pulis has them midtable. It's kind of funny how quickly he got them playing Pulis-ball. Under Holloway they had about 1/3 of their danger zone shots assisted by crosses, under Pulis it's well over half. Holloway let them shoot from range (60% of shots from outside the box), Pulis has reined them in (60% of shots from inside box, 45% from the danger zone). Palace have attempted only one shot assisted by a through-ball under Pulis, which is probably on the high side for a Pulis club.
   541. frannyzoo Posted: April 05, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4679921)
I missed it, but see stats and wonder if Mata fits in much better w/o Rooney. As for Norwich, their run-out is brutal, but maybe the Spurs game and other various blind pig experiences will keep them up. The Palace resurgence hasn't helped, but the Canaries are lucky the bottom has so many crappy neighbors this year.
   542. Mefisto Posted: April 05, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4679954)
It could be that Mata and Rooney are incompatible. They do tend to want to occupy the same space, as does Kagawa. Still, watching Mata, Kagawa and Janusaj today makes you wonder what they could accomplish together (offensively; they don't contribute much on defense).
   543. J. Sosa Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4679990)
Admittedly I've always had something of a Pulis fetish. I enjoy contrasting styles. Stoke stopped being interesting to me after he left, I've enjoyed the transformation of Palace. He's not an elite manager, but he's a pretty good one as long as he doesn't have the purse strings.


If you haven't seen it Keith and Scott Matt did an article on Liverpool:

LFC

The one chart is kind of amazing.

On Eriksen, I'm thinking mainly of the bit where they did start to press and he and Lennon were doing a less than stellar job of closing out the back line. It is certainly possible Eriksen was gassed, but it wasn't going to be good enough. I do give Eriksen credit for at least running back on the Red Cafu dish to Coutinho for the goal. I'm not sure what Lennon was doing on that play.
   544. J. Sosa Posted: April 05, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4680006)
Good weekend for BMG.

For those of you that follow the bundesliga are there any good english language bundesliga centric sites you would recommend?
   545. JuanGone..except1game Posted: April 05, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4680013)
That Charlie Adam is such a piece of work. How he managed not to get a yellow despite two dangerous tackles vs Chelsea just boggles the mind. Obviously the money was why Bale left the Prem, but I don't think escaping Adam was that far away in 2nd place.

I'm glad that the server was down, just so I didn't have to come here in shame. Two really bad losses over the past week for Chelsea, though I still think we have a puncher's chance against PSG. I don't know if everyone saw Pastore's sublime late goal, but he made an awful career move by going to PSG. He really needs to find a place where he will get a chance to start every match.
   546. J. Sosa Posted: April 05, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4680025)
Adam is one of the dirtier players in the league. A lot of it is that he's slow and not fit and... Yeah. He's dirty.

As for Pastore, I really dislike it when players disappear to one of the mega clubs. I understand why they do it, make hay while the sun shines and all that, but it is such a waste.

Chelsea are really a different team without Matic. The striker thing remains baffling, but maybe Mourinho's intent all along was to target year 2 of his return. His career suggests he might look at it that way, we'll see.
   547. ursus arctos Posted: April 05, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4680054)
544, the Bundesliga's own English-language site is quite good, as are Rafa Honigstein's columns on the Guardian and ESPN FC sites.
   548. Obo Posted: April 05, 2014 at 08:14 PM (#4680108)
Matt: Thanks for those numbers in post 540. It's interesting to see some of the changes in style made so clear. Can I ask where you got the information?
   549. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 06, 2014 at 07:22 AM (#4680199)
I get shot location and other data from a few different places online (ESPN game logs mostly, though I'm trying to incorporate more granular XY data). And then everything gets put together into a database, and I create the buckets for shot locations based on what I can get from the game logs. So they're sort of "my" numbers. You can see the map I use for shot locations here at my EPL advanced stats page.
   550. Swedish Chef Posted: April 06, 2014 at 09:06 AM (#4680217)
Remember when Arsenal used to be a big club?
   551. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 06, 2014 at 09:29 AM (#4680227)
Lukaku almost killed Martinez with that jump and hug.
   552. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 06, 2014 at 09:50 AM (#4680233)
This has been great stuff from Everton.
   553. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 06, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4680234)
Wow, this is a whooping. Vermaelan is having a terrible game.
   554. J. Sosa Posted: April 06, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4680241)
I am happy for Everton. I would like to see them keep Lukaku since he seems to be determined to get a move away from Chelsea. If they get 4th maybe they can afford him. Long way to go yet this season though.
   555. Obo Posted: April 06, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4680255)
Thanks Matt. Interesting stuff.
   556. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 06, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4680262)
How does the ref not call a foul on Carroll there? BS goal for West Ham.
   557. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: April 06, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4680264)
Yeah, that was a blatant foul (First the hand to the face, then to the arm to actually knock it loose). What was the ref thinking? If he didn't see it, why does he overrule the linesman?
   558. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 06, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4680267)
Holy ####, that ref is on the ####### take. Soccer has the worst referees in all of sport. Completely ####### bullshit goal for West Ham. If I were a Liverpool player I'd have to be subbed out before I tackled the ref from behind and tried to break his ####### legs.
   559. Swedish Chef Posted: April 06, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4680276)
If that play is good enough for Nat Lofthouse...
   560. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 06, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4680282)
Ok, no, the ref isn't on the take, he's just completely incompetent. #### diving as the biggest problem in soccer, it's how awful the referees are.
   561. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: April 06, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4680287)
Ok, no, the ref isn't on the take, he's just completely incompetent.
Just as true as it was 8 minutes ago.
   562. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 06, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4680289)
Just as true as it was 8 minutes ago.


Holy ####, what an omnishambles by this ref. There was no way that was a penalty.
   563. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: April 06, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4680298)
Speaking of shambles, Kolo Toure on!
   564. Spivey Posted: April 06, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4680304)
The ref has sucked, but I think the sucking has generally balanced out. Those Carroll has really been screwed most of the match, except for when he punched the goal keeper in the face that led to a goal. Which is a big caveat.

Suarez is amazing. I wish I could spend 5 minutes in his head. The way he tries to score are things that even Messi and Ronaldo don't try. He's had a couple of absolutely sublime chips this game that hit the post. Liverpool is always fun to watch. Sterling has really developed into a good player.

If I were England, I'd consider very strongly just starting all of their young players like Barkley, Shaw, Sterling, Chamberlain, etc. A ton of their guys around the age of 20 have had big seasons and the older guys aren't going to win a WC. I may still start a couple of the older guys like Rooney, but I think they basically should be overhauling their squad. They have the young talent to do it, and the previous generation was ultimately very disappointing in international soccer.
   565. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 06, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4680310)
The ref has sucked, but I think the sucking has generally balanced out.


Yeah, that should probably have been a 1-0 game, with the goal coming on the first penalty. And I agree about Suarez, he's so confident right now that he'll try anything, and he hit the post 2 or 3 times on those shots.
   566. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 06, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4680323)
Actually, I think Suarez has been far from his best for a good month or two now. You can see in his free kicks -- he's gone over the bar or wide several games running. Even so, the audacity of that chip in the second half... Spivey's right on the money in that I don't think there's another player in the world who even attempts that.

On that second penalty, what am I missing? Adrian gets some of the ball but gets a whole lot of Flannagan. I'm not even sure how much getting the ball matters -- you see this on fouls given outside the box when a player comes in with high studs and still manages to get to the ball first. To be sure, I'm not saying it's a stonewall penalty, but I didn't see it as egregious. I am, admittedly, completely biased, but still.
   567. J. Sosa Posted: April 06, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4680339)
Phew. If I were the linesman I think I would have been pretty ticked to get overruled. It took guts to raise the flag and it was the proper call. The second pen had a whiff of makeup call about it.

I dunno Keith, I think Adrian was going to be ok until he dragged his hand down Flanagan's calf on the follow through. I think he would have been fine otherwise, but that's the last thing the ref sees and it gave him grounds to call for the pen. I think it was somewhat soft, but Adrian did himself no favors. I'm not sure what he was thinking. In any event, the Carroll no call was egregious. I know all teams get bad decisions from time to time, but man it does seem like LFC have seen their fair share of whoppers.

As for Suarez, I've thought for awhile he's carrying some type of knock. I'm pretty sure he's got some kind of calf issue going on. It has been interesting to see the transformation in how he's been portrayed this year. He's gone from racist cannibal to traditional nutter genius in the mold of Cantona and Zidane to hear the commentators tell it. IIRC, one of the commentators a few weeks ago put him in that category. From Suarez's point of view, that is... Progress?

edit to add: Yes Scott, I was fuming about the Carroll no call too. Credit to Rodgers and the team for sticking with it. Is Allen hurt? The Lucas sub was kind of odd, I expected Coutinho to come off, but not for Lucas.
   568. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 06, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4680383)
Allen apparently picked up a knock before the game. Agger did the same on Friday. The latter may have been a bit of a blessing, as I think Sakho's much better suited to deal with West Ham than Agger. Will be interesting to see who Rodgers pairs with Skrtel next week.
   569. Spivey Posted: April 06, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4680447)
I generally agree with CWS on the Flanagan penalty. The goalie got the ball first, but only barely, and completely wiped out the player. I think top level soccer has been moving the last several years to where if you take out a player when you're out of control, it's a foul even if you get the ball first. And frankly, I agree with moving towards that. So I think it was a penalty too, though I can at least see arguments that it wasn't.

Regarding Suarez carrying an injury, I'm not sure. His work rate wasn't great this last game, which is normally one of his biggest strengths. But I feel it's been very good previous games, and he still had a couple of situations against West Ham where he totally turned on the burners. There was a situation in the second half where he made a poor pass to a teammate who then headed the ball into the box. Suarez was a good yard or two behind the defender and still beat him to the ball and forced the keeper to make a very panicky clearance.

I personally think he's entering a situation like Messi and Ronaldo where they've become a victim of their own success and it's considered an off-day any time you don't score.
   570. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 06, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4680472)
If that play is good enough for Nat Lofthouse…

All the misery Nat Lofthouse brought to other teams was repaid when, in the game that would keep Bolton in the PL or knock them out, Jonathan Walters scored on a ball that he had knocked out of Adam Bogdan's hands. I guess if it works for Charles Tillman it can be done in soccer.
   571. frannyzoo Posted: April 06, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4680519)
Chris Hughton out at Norwich. Not a good idea, imho. It could be Wolves and Mick McCarthy all over again. I need to get better at picking EPL teams to root for.
   572. Spivey Posted: April 06, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4680593)
Arsenal is seriously crashing and burning.

And I am really interested to see what Mourinho does with Lukaku this upcoming season. I think Everton can really have a go at another Champion's League if they can keep him. I think they should even consider paying some big bucks, like 20-25mil for him. Mourinho would probably sell him for that, right?
   573. Howling John Shade Posted: April 06, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4680598)
Spurs are supposedly in for him, but I can't quite imagine Mourinho being willing to sell to them. It really seems crazy for Chelsea not to at least give him a go next season. Although if the plan is to bring in Diego Costa or someone similar I can see Lukaku not being willing to wait another year.
   574. Spivey Posted: April 06, 2014 at 08:39 PM (#4680611)
If Chelsea had Lukaku this year, they'd be #1 in the table. Of that I have very little doubt. My main thing is, why did they loan him out this year? It'd be one thing if they had guys like RVP and Rooney. But they needed a striker and they let a guy who single handedly kept WBA mid-table go out on loan. And that just makes me wonder if Mourinho doesn't rate Lukaku. Who knows.
   575. Spivey Posted: April 06, 2014 at 08:49 PM (#4680619)
Also, it's very depressing that Michael Bradley took his talents to the MLS. I refuse to believe he couldn't start for Liverpool or Everton or Arsenal.
   576. J. Sosa Posted: April 06, 2014 at 10:32 PM (#4680660)
In a sick kind of way, I admire Chelsea's version of complying with FFP. Buy up lots of young talent, ship them out to clubs who may or may not be Hank Scorpio ciphers, keep the ones that suit, and dump the others like De Bruyne to help fund need buys like Matic. Which is a long winded way of saying that I think Lukaku might help pay the freight for someone like Costa. Mourinho doesn't rate Lukaku for whatever reason. I salute Chelsea in so much as their FFP way is more entertaining than the way City has gone about it.

As for Bradley, I respect him a great deal as a player. But he couldn't get a game at Roma. Roma's midfield is quite good, and I think they may have been willing to keep him around as depth, but Bradley needed and wanted to play in a World Cup year. I happen to think it was a mistake to go to MLS too, but if he wasn't good enough to start at Roma I don't see much chance he'd be good enough to start on a consistent basis for a top 4 PL side either.

Franny, its funny you bring up McCarthy because that's exactly what I thought of when I heard Hughton was sacked. I'm not sure who it was (it may have been you, or possibly Chef) that at the time said that the McCarthy firing was a bad idea given the circumstances and that it was most likely going to go pear shaped.

Spivey, I do often find myself getting spoiled by Suarez. After the Cardiff match a number of LFC pundits mentioned how it wasn't really all that good of a game for Suarez and he got a hat trick. In a match where he didn't play especially well. Today I thought he had a bad game by his standards, and he still drew a pen and hit the bar on a pair of ridiculous shots.

LFC may well lose to City, but I feel fairly confident. All I wanted was for that match to mean something, and it will. Pellegrini has already thrown down the gauntlet and said they are going to come out and play. If they want to get into a shootout at Anfield, all the best.
   577. Rob_Wood Posted: April 07, 2014 at 12:04 AM (#4680699)

I was going to say the same thing as above. While diving is a huge problem, and it seems like they may be getting it under control, the terrible referees are more of a problem. The Carroll penalty was clear -- even worse was a blatant off-sides yesterday not called.
   578. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 07, 2014 at 08:27 AM (#4680763)
   579. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 07, 2014 at 09:04 AM (#4680777)
I wish Bradley went to a team like West Ham, Newcastle, Swansea or Southampton. Hell, at this point he might be an improvement over pretty much anyone currently in the midfield at United.

While Lukaku seems like a big talent, if you read some of the Chelsea blogs he may not be a great fit for Mourinho. Lukaku's first touch can be hit-or-miss and his build-up play isn't great - which is kind of necessary with the way Chelsea uses their attacking midfielders. He still would be a big improvement (at least as a goal-scoring threat) over the current trio of has-beens at Chelsea. He's still very young but if Chelsea wants to bring in a Costa or Falcao, selling Lukaku recoups a big chunk of any fee.
   580. Mefisto Posted: April 07, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4680793)
@578: Yeah, I didn't see that coming at all. I follow the USWNT and this is a shocker.
   581. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 07, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4681110)
The England rags are all reporting that Sherwood's tenure at Spurs ends in the summer. Well, d'uh. Van Gaal is the overwhelming bookies favorite but I'd still Spurs paid Everton whatever it took for Martinez before Arsenal do it. Supposedly there's a new book out about Mourinho that is not very flattering. I have no details! And finally, because I've been corresponding with a Bournemouth fan...holy crap, they aren't too far from a playoff spot. How did that happen? Their game against Reading tomorrow is actually huge!
   582. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 07, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4681121)
Lukaku's first touch can be hit-or-miss and his build-up play isn't great

Yeah, for all of his obvious talents, he's not great with the ball at his feet. I know when Spurs have faced him I've always felt calm if he had to create anything for himself. I get why Mourinho doesn't rate him in isolation, but Mourinho should have compared him to his other options rather than dismissed him as not being his Platonic ideal.
   583. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 07, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4681127)
On MCoA's LFC piece (linked in 543), I think I largely agree with the general point of them being better than their points total appeared. I'd be curious to know if their 'underperformance' in relation to xGR extends to the Dalglish era -- there was a long stretch where LFC played well in games but simply couldn't finish their chances.

The only thing I can add is a more post-hoc narrative of individual improvement. The Raheem Sterling of the last five months is a different player than last season's version -- he's running around defenders with confidence and playing through-balls that Coutinho would be proud of. Henderson is now a stalwart, a must-have in the first 11. Flanagan is doing shoulder faints and making runs into the opponent's 18-yard-box. Jon Flanagan! If you watched him a year ago, you'd share my amazement. His performances have me thinking that maybe LFC don't need to go spend gobs of money on a new full-back for next season.

One question I have for Matt -- were these xGR numbers from last season not reflected in your pre-season predictions? I seem to recall you had both LFC and THFC at about 4% to win the league. That doesn't seem right, given the xGR numbers from last season, but I know you've been working and adding stuff on the fly, so it's possible you hadn't fully integrated this info yet.

   584. ursus arctos Posted: April 07, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4681183)
Altidore exiled to Sunderland's U-21 team.

What a disaster that move has turned out to be.
   585. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 07, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4681195)
Does Jozy come home now?
   586. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 07, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4681203)
I think I've said it before, but a move to one of the NY MLS teams has to be a good possibility. The new NYC team has three DP openings, and I think this is Henry's last year under contract for NYRB. I'd guess that MLS would be willing to cover most of what Sunderland paid to AZ as a transfer fee, so at that point it's just a matter of whether Jozy is willing to make the same more pay/worse competition trade-off that Dempsey and Bradley have accepted.
   587. Howling John Shade Posted: April 07, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4681207)
The England rags are all reporting that Sherwood's tenure at Spurs ends in the summer. Well, d'uh. Van Gaal is the overwhelming bookies favorite but I'd still Spurs paid Everton whatever it took for Martinez before Arsenal do it.
I'd be all sorts of excited by that, but why would Martinez go to Spurs? It's at best a marginal step up from Everton, and the downside is pretty big. If I was a young manager on the rise, I'd look long and hard at how little leeway AVB got before I signed up.

Edit: Also, lol Spurs.
   588. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 07, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4681220)
I think I've said it before, but a move to one of the NY MLS teams has to be a good possibility. The new NYC team has three DP openings, and I think this is Henry's last year under contract for NYRB. I'd guess that MLS would be willing to cover most of what Sunderland paid to AZ as a transfer fee, so at that point it's just a matter of whether Jozy is willing to make the same more pay/worse competition trade-off that Dempsey and Bradley have accepted.


I suppose there is a discussion to be had about competition levels but why not a return to the Eredivisie? He gets the European competition and obviously he has had success there.

Speaking of the Eredivisie apparently Aron Johansson got his nuts grabbed over the weekend. It did not appear to be in a way that was pleasing to the young striker.
   589. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: April 07, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4681236)
A return to the Eredivisie is unlikely for the same reason as he left in the first place -- wages. Also, I'd wager that no Eredivisie team is going to pay anything close to a ~$10mm transfer fee for him. I think that's also why moves to Germany or Italy are unlikely.
   590. Spivey Posted: April 07, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4681240)
I definitely think Altidore should go back to the Dutch league. The question is if the finances would work out.
   591. Swedish Chef Posted: April 07, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4681244)
A return to the Eredivisie is unlikely for the same reason as he left in the first place -- wages. Also, I'd wager that no Eredivisie team is going to pay anything close to a ~$10mm transfer fee for him. I think that's also why moves to Germany or Italy are unlikely.

No one would need to pay that for him, £1M maybe. He's damaged goods.
   592. Sean Forman Posted: April 07, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4681246)
see my next comment (why the hell does dropbox put spaces in their links?)
   593. Sean Forman Posted: April 07, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4681250)
   594. madvillain Posted: April 07, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4681260)
No one would need to pay that for him, £1M maybe. He's damaged goods.


In Altidore's point, Chicherini (sp) has also been rendered useless by Sunderland. Sunderland is where players go to die.

Just as I'm typing Ki completely screws up a counter-attack with slow decision making. Sunderland reminds me of myself when I'm on a bad run in Fifa, zero confidence, thinking about every single ball instead of just playing.
   595. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 07, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4681265)
Didn't Bradley and Dempsey get more salary to come back? I'm pretty sure Bradley did, but even if Dempsey came back on roughly the same salary he got a long-term deal/retirement package out of it. At this point I don't know if Championship clubs would touch Altidore.

I know I'm going to piss some Liverpool fans off but at what amount does FSG say yes to if Madrid or some other team comes sniffing around Suarez again?
   596. nick swisher hygiene Posted: April 07, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4681268)
Does Jozy come home now?


So good
He's the pride of the neighborhood
   597. madvillain Posted: April 07, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4681280)
Haha, Sunderland, good thing they had 3 CBs on the pitch otherwise they never would have stopped that cross!
   598. ursus arctos Posted: April 07, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4681354)
Bradley got multiples of what he was making at Roma, which is the primary reason he came back. As 595 notes, Dempsey's was more the additional years.

Sunderland surely aren't eager to take a complete bath on Jozy, which makes MLS the most likely destination from my point of view. His market value is arguably greater here than anywhere else.
   599. ursus arctos Posted: April 07, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4681356)
In other news, here is some helpful detail on the legal logistics of Barcelona's appeal of the transfer ban.

FC Barcelona must first lodge an appeal with FIFA’s Appeal Committee and provide written reasons for the appeal within seven days of the notification of the decision. The transfer ban is obviously the most damaging sanction that has been imposed on the club and the ban will remain in place until FIFA’s Appeal Committee confirm their decision as Article 124(2) of FIFA’s Disciplinary Code only allows for fines to be suspended pending an appeal. If, however, FIFA’s Appeal Committee rejects the appeal and FC Barcelona choose to lodge a further appeal to the CAS, the club can apply to the CAS for a stay of the sanction until the CAS appeal is determined. FC Barcelona will, therefore, want the FIFA appeal to be heard as soon as possible to enable them to urgently apply to the CAS for a stay of the decision before the summer transfer window so they can continue to sign players until the CAS appeal is heard. Chelsea were previously successful in applying for a stay of a transfer ban in 2009 in the case involving Gael Kakuta.
   600. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 07, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4681364)
I know I'm going to piss some Liverpool fans off but at what amount does FSG say yes to if Madrid or some other team comes sniffing around Suarez again?


I think $100 mil is the floor. Different sports but JWH/FSG has been plenty willing to milk guys to the end of their contracts.and I wouldn't be shocked if they let Suarez play through the end of his deal.
Page 6 of 15 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 >  Last ›

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Adam S
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(925 - 11:39am, Oct 25)
Last: I am going to be Frank

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(390 - 11:37am, Oct 25)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(3754 - 11:37am, Oct 25)
Last: Merton Muffley

NewsblogMLB - Royals' Ned Yost keeps managing to win - ESPN
(6 - 11:31am, Oct 25)
Last: Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer

NewsblogPhils' philospophy beginning to evolve | phillies.com
(5 - 11:19am, Oct 25)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogYost's managerial decisions make for extra-entertaining World Series | FOX Sports
(2 - 11:13am, Oct 25)
Last: Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond

NewsblogDave Dombrowski: Injury worse than expected, Miguel Cabrera 'is as tough as you can possibly be' | MLive.com
(8 - 11:05am, Oct 25)
Last: Mayor Blomberg

Newsblog9 reasons Hunter Pence is the most interesting man in the World (Series) | For The Win
(17 - 10:57am, Oct 25)
Last: BDC

NewsblogRoyals get four AL Gold Glove finalists, but not Lorenzo Cain | The Kansas City Star
(16 - 10:41am, Oct 25)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

Newsblog2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 3 OMNICHATTER
(517 - 10:40am, Oct 25)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogBoston Red Sox prospect Deven Marrero enjoying turnaround in Arizona Fall League | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball
(2 - 10:32am, Oct 25)
Last: Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer

NewsblogBuster Olney on Twitter: "Sources: Manager Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out clause in his contract and is leaving the Tampa Bay Rays immediately."
(82 - 9:30am, Oct 25)
Last: TerpNats

NewsblogGambling Bochy creature of habit when it comes to pitchers | CSN Bay Area
(1 - 9:25am, Oct 25)
Last: JJ1986

NewsblogCurt Schilling not hiding his scars - ESPN Boston
(23 - 7:32am, Oct 25)
Last: Merton Muffley

NewsblogJohn McGrath: The Giants have become the Yankees — obnoxious | The News Tribune
(13 - 7:15am, Oct 25)
Last: ursus arctos

Page rendered in 0.9949 seconds
53 querie(s) executed