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Wednesday, May 07, 2014

OT: The Soccer Thread May, 2014

Real and Atletico go two rounds. Can Liverpool come back? Will Arsenal finally win a trophy?

May 7: Man City v. Aston Villa, Valladolid v. Real Madrid, Copa Liberatadores Quarterfinals (1st legs)
May 8: Copa Liberatadores Quarterfinals (1st legs)
May 10: Inter v. Lazio
May 11: Liverpool v. Newcastle, Man City v. West Ham, Atletico v. Malaga, Celta de Vigo v. Real Madrid, Roma v. Juventus
May 13: Germany v. Poland
May 14: Sevilla v. Benfica, Copa Liberatadores Quarterfinals (2nd legs)
May 15: Copa Liberatadores Quarterfinals (2nd legs)
May 16: Barcelona v. Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid v. Espanyol
May 17: FA Cup Final (Arsenal v. Hull City), DFB Pokal (Dortmund v. Bayern)
May 24: Champions League Final (Real Madrid v. Atletico Madrid)
May 27: USA v. Azerbaijan, Scotland v. Nigeria
May 28: Denmark v. Sweden, Mexico v. Israel, Cameroon v. Paraguay, Honduras v. Turkey
May 29: Chile v. Egypt, Spain v. Bolivia
May 30: England v. Peru, Portugal v. Greece, Netherlands v. Ghana
May 31: Mexico v. Ecuador, France v. Paraguay

Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: May 07, 2014 at 03:40 AM | 1176 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   201. jmurph Posted: May 12, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4705048)
I don't see how anyone can equate Spurs with Liverpool as Liverpool has almost 50% more turnover than Spurs and, with CL now, will have almost double. Liverpool FC just like to pretend to slum like the trust fund wankers who have invaded Brooklyn.


But I'm not sure that's the same conversation. City's turnover is lower than United's, for instance, but they're obviously spending more money on players than United is. Am I wrong in thinking that Tottenham's current squad is roughly as expensive, if not more so, than Liverpool and Arsenal?

(Speaking of which, someone needs to make all this stuff much more accessible. The Transfer League is a pretty good site, but still lacking.)
   202. Topher Posted: May 12, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4705056)
Arsenal also have a much, much less annoying fan base than Liverpool(no offense to our resident Liverpool fans, they aren't part of the problem).


Ahem.
   203. DA Baracus Posted: May 12, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4705058)
Ahem.


Obligatory.
   204. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4705067)
Am I wrong in thinking that Tottenham's current squad is roughly as expensive, if not more so, than Liverpool and Arsenal?


I don't think there are figures yet available for 2013-'14, but at least as of the previous season, Arsenal had the highest wage bill of the three, followed by Liverpool, followed by Spurs. I think the respective breakdown in wages was roughly 150mm, 120mm and 90mm, although I can't find a link to verify.
   205. Swedish Chef Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4705069)
(Speaking of which, someone needs to make all this stuff much more accessible. The Transfer League is a pretty good site, but still lacking.)

Last season's figures was posted in the previous thread:

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/may/01/premier-league-accounts-club-by-club-david-conn
   206. jmurph Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4705074)
Thanks guys. Bigger wage gap than I thought. What about transfer fees?
   207. jmurph Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4705077)
Found this, and it confirms my thinking (though I concede the wage thing is obviously a big deal, too).
   208. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4705085)
Ownership: Shares in the Everton Football Club Company Limited are owned by: Bill Kenwright 25%; Jon Woods 19%; Robert Earl (resident of Florida) 23%

How does Robbie Mustoe feel about this?!?
   209. Ron J2 Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4705086)
#165 I really like Carroll as a mismatch. Some international sides simply don't have a guy who can deal with what Carroll brings to the table and you don't have to use him against teams that can match up against him.

Of course there's the whole, "high balls into the box are for peasants" thing that was working against him last year. He's very much a one trick pony, but it's a potentially useful tick if the team is willing to use it.
   210. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4705098)
   211. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4705099)
Looking ahead to the World Cup someone tell me what I'm evaluating wrong. I view England and the US as very similar teams. Neither is going to win the World Cup but in a one game situation both have a reasonable chance to beat any team in the world. I don't think either team deserves to be an overwhelming underdog in any game.

Just thinking out loud a bit.
   212. Topher Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4705100)
jmurph - I'm not sure that .pdf tells you much of anything. Spurs may have spent more on transfer fees than Arsenal or Liverpool. But they have also received more in transfer fees. On balance, Spurs are spending less on transfers than the other squads.

Spurs
Gunners
Reds

And for giggles, City.
   213. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4705110)
Found this, and it confirms my thinking (though I concede the wage thing is obviously a big deal, too).

The transfer fees don't tell the whole story, though. Spurs finished in the black last summer despite the transfer fees because of all of the sales. The ability to pay big wages and attract the best players is what separates the men from the boys. It's how you get Toure and Nasri and Silva to become suddenly infatuated with a "project". There's always this push from LFC fans, Arsenal fans, and a good chunk of the media to group Arsenal, Spurs and LFC together in a group and then make fun of Spurs for being the kid brother of the group and it's complete BS. Maybe that changes in the future if the new stadium actually gets built or Joe Lewis goes senile and give Levy power of attorney over his finances. Until then, Spurs are rolling a giant boulder uphill and Everton are rolling an even bigger one. I'm not actually complaining about this as the difficulty of the situation is one of the things that attracted me to Spurs--if they ever put it together and make a run like Atleti is this year, it will be a hell of a thing. It just irks me when the club don't get credit for punching above their weight.

(As a side note, the financial handicap Spurs face trying to crack the PL hegemony explains the chaotic nature of their manager firings and hirings as Levy knows he can't have just a solid manager to breakthrough but a Klopp-like visionary so he takes chances on guys like Ramos and AVB in the hopes he can strike gold before the mega bastards come in for them. Evidently, striking gold is hard!)
   214. Spivey Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4705117)
Looking ahead to the World Cup someone tell me what I'm evaluating wrong. I view England and the US as very similar teams. Neither is going to win the World Cup but in a one game situation both have a reasonable chance to beat any team in the world. I don't think either team deserves to be an overwhelming underdog in any game.

Just thinking out loud a bit.


I think that has more to do with the nature of soccer and diminishing returns than a pure talent comparison between the rosters. Every outfield player on England's 23 would start for the US, and that's probably true of a couple of dozen guys that didn't even make the trip. Bradley and Howard are the only guys I'd think would make the 23 for England.
   215. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4705122)
Topher, I like this one.

Mark Hughes...manager of the year?
   216. jmurph Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4705128)
Topher/Shooty: I'm using transfer fees and wages as shorthand for the relative strength of the actual playing squads. This is totally imperfect, I acknowledge. My hunch was that the 3 squads were roughly as expensive as one another, and I think that's clearly true regarding transfer fees, and clearly untrue regarding wages.

Your links, and Shooty's mention of turnover, I think are not quite relevant to the narrow point I am trying to make. Tottenham's roster is dramatically more expensive than Everton's. That Spurs are able to field that roster while still making a profit in the transfer market is impressive, perhaps even admirable, but it doesn't negate the point that the 11 players they field on a regular basis are dramatically more expensive than the 11 players Everton fields.
   217. Topher Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4705133)
@211

I think it is difficult to argue too much with your statement:

Neither is going to win the World Cup but in a one game situation both have a reasonable chance to beat any team in the world. I don't think either team deserves to be an overwhelming underdog in any game.


Because soccer is so low scoring and because each team is cromulent, each is capable of producing the upset and neither is likely to embarrass itself. (Ignoring the unrealistic expectations of the English press.)

But GK aside, there probably isn't a single US player that cracks the English starting 11. Perhaps Bradley does simply because the English side seems to be lacking a good holding midfielder but as an overall talent he wouldn't be in the top 11.

If you wanted to place a bet on the US to win against Ghana, you can do so for approximate odds of 7/4. I'm guessing that if you wanted to place the same bet for England, you'd need to (at least) subtract one from the numerator and add one to the denominator. 7/4 odds compared to 6/5 is not a massive difference, but over time is enough that you would notice differences.

I do think the one thing the US has going for it is that it plays many more matches than England. It has allowed for Klinsmann to do a much better job of getting the team to play in his style compared to what Hodgson has been able to do.
   218. I am going to be Frank Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4705134)
There have been studies done where money spent on salaries correlates better to league position than what is spent on the actual acquisitions.

You'll never get an accurate account of transfer fees. Signing bonuses, agent fees, payments to third parties and image rights muddle everything up. Although I guess all the publicly traded teams should have (more) accurate numbers. When did United go public? My guess after the Bebe deal.
   219. Swedish Chef Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4705139)
It just irks me when the club don't get credit for punching above their weight.

Sorry, you can't blow 100 million on players and get kudos for finishing sixth.
   220. Topher Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4705143)
@216

For a comparison of Tottenham to Everton, without a doubt Everton is playing with a hand tied behind the back with regards to tranfer fees / wages. I think if you squint hard enough you could link Spurs with Arsenal and Liverpool -- but I wouldn't and that was why I posted. But I fully agree that Everton has limitations that Tottenham does not and there is no amount of squinting that could link Everton with the big boys.
   221. J. Sosa Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4705148)
Speaking of Bebe, Frank and Mefisto that was an agent payoff right? There were pundits at the time that mocked SAF and United for Bebe, but IIRC I thought it was a not so subtle agent bribe.
   222. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4705150)
Your links, and Shooty's mention of turnover, I think are not quite relevant to the narrow point I am trying to make. Tottenham's roster is dramatically more expensive than Everton's. That Spurs are able to field that roster while still making a profit in the transfer market is impressive, perhaps even admirable, but it doesn't negate the point that the 11 players they field on a regular basis are dramatically more expensive than the 11 players Everton fields.

That's not the point I'm making, though. Tottenham have an expensive roster because they've been able to find a Berbatov and a Modric and a Bale to sell on. They don't have an expensive roster because they can go into the market and just buy those guys like Arsenal, Man City, Man U etc. can. The discussion we're having is if Tottenham is a big club like LFC and Arsenal and, if they are, then they've underachieved. My argument is that even assembling a roster that can be compared to Arsenal and LFC is a massive overachievement by THFC and, despite this, they can't pay the kind of wages to keep their very best players. Lack of revenue is a massive handicap in this regard and it's why it's the most important indicator of a team's place in the table. There are exceptions like Chelsea, Man City, PSG and Monaco who are happy to run massive deficits but, functionally, those deficits are the same as revenue they just don't come from a commercial source. So, it could be we're just arguing different things. Spurs, with the roster they had this year, definitely underachieved, but, in the larger scheme, they've been on a 6 year run of overachieving and it's possible with the right manager they will be right back in the thick of it next season.
   223. Topher Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4705152)
That list Stoke transfers resembles my first forage into Football Manager. I had dozens (dozens!) of "bargain" signings. None of which on an individual level was really able to stand out. And then when it came time to sell the players, none of the bigger teams wanted such mediocre players and none of the smaller fish could afford them. Which quickly led to the team becoming financially insolvent and me getting the axe.
   224. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4705153)
Sorry, you can't blow 100 million on players and get kudos for finishing sixth.

I'm not talking about this year. This year has sucked despite the decent points total.
   225. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4705154)
MLS and US Soccer sign 8 year deal with ESPN

The number I thought I saw on twitter was $90mm per season. According to wikipedia, NBC currently pays them $27mm per season, so this is a pretty sizeable increase. MLS is also getting a good chunk of money in franchise fees. Their CBA ends at the end of this season, so it will be interesting to see what new salary rules are in store.
   226. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4705156)
Speaking of Bebe, Frank and Mefisto that was an agent payoff right?

Either a bribe or an extortion payoff.
   227. Topher Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4705157)
Speaking of Bebe, Frank and Mefisto that was an agent payoff right? There were pundits at the time that mocked SAF and United for Bebe, but IIRC I thought it was a not so subtle agent bribe.


Acknowledging it isn't really World Cup related, I'm extremely disappointed that there wasn't a 30/30 on ESPN that told the true story behind the transfer.
   228. jmurph Posted: May 12, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4705158)
That's not the point I'm making, though. Tottenham have an expensive roster because they've been able to find a Berbatov and a Modric and a Bale to sell on. They don't have an expensive roster because they can go into the market and just buy those guys like Arsenal, Man City, Man U etc. can.


Yeah I think we're all making slightly different though slightly related points, but I do want to quibble with the Arsenal thing. That they have the revenues is great for their owners, but if Wenger is either unable or unwilling to spend them on the players on the field, the advantage is lessened.
   229. J. Sosa Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4705164)
As for Spurs, I generally tend to take the view that Spurs fans have an overly dour outlook on their prospects while granting that they are in no way comparable resource wise to City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Man U. I don't know that I would go so far as to say they have been punching above their weight, I would say they are probably about where you would expect. If Lamela doesn't come good though the twin purchases of he and Soldado are going to make Carroll look like a wise investment.

As for the USMNT, eh... I'm all fired up for the World Cup, and I think the team has made progress, but we are nowhere near England. Phil Jones would be a god among men if he played on the USMNT.
   230. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4705169)
That they have the revenues is great for their owners, but if Wenger is either unable or unwilling to spend them on the players on the field, the advantage is lessened.

Wenger is a weird one--he's willing to pay good wages (and Arsenal have a sizable wage bill) but he doesn't seem to want to pay his very best players what the other mega bastards will pay them. He'd rather have 10 guys making a million each than 5 guys making 1.5M and the rest of the guys on peanuts. His teams are always very good so it's tough to throw stones so I'll let Piers Morgan do it.
   231. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4705174)
but we are nowhere near England. Phil Jones would be a god among men if he played on the USMNT.

It's depressing how true that is, though I thought Geoff Cameron really came on this season for Stoke. I'm near the point where I can say to myself Geoff Cameron is as good or better than Jones and Smalling and not wince very much.
   232. Mefisto Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4705176)
Speaking of Bebe, Frank and Mefisto that was an agent payoff right?


Nobody's ever said that officially, but it's what everyone believes.
   233. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4705192)
So, Antonio Conte might be leaving Juve. That would make the managerial merry go round a little nutty this summer, I'd think.
   234. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4705199)
On the USMNT, I think they're miles behind the English. The only American players who might crack the squad for England are Michael Bradley and Tim Howard. England could field a dozen strikers before they took Altidore. It's just not close at all. England should make the quarters or maybe the semis if they get a good draw. Less than the quarters would be a disappointment. The quarterfinals would be a fantastic WC for the Americans, and I think just getting out of the group would be an impressive accomplishment with this side.

I'm working on my world cup ratings. These are first run (I'll be working in a timeline, game weighting, att/def ratings and expected goals), but I think they're a pretty good first run. It's just a least-squares fit by goal difference on all international matches since WC 2010:

Rating Country
3.37 Brazil
2.91 Spain
2.78 Germany
2.77 Argentina
2.52 Netherlands
2.51 England
2.42 France
2.34 Colombia
2.30 Uruguay
2.30 Chile
2.20 Portugal
2.09 Ecuador
2.00 Mexico
1.98 Belgium
1.90 Ukraine
1.89 Russia
1.86 Italy
1.85 Nigeria
1.84 Bosnia-Herzegovina
1.79 Cameroon
1.74 Sweden
1.72 United States
1.66 Croatia
1.66 Ivory Coast

Uruguay and Mexico should drop back once I work out the proper timeline. Italy has some really ugly friendly results, I think they'll probably move up with game weighting and expected goals. I'm really interested to see what changes when I get the xG data. (So get scraping! Yeah, yeah.)
   235. Swedish Chef Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4705203)
Despite those numbers, I'm pretty sure that USA will outperform Sweden.
   236. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4705207)
I don't like any system that has us behind Mexico! Where's Ghana?
   237. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4705216)
I can continue down the list, then. Leaving off at Cote d'Ivoire...

1.64 Switzerland
1.64 Peru
1.61 Japan
1.60 Egypt
1.55 Paraguay
1.50 Denmark
1.49 Czech Republic
1.46 Ghana
1.45 Greece
1.42 Republic of Ireland
1.36 Turkey
1.34 Poland
1.32 Austria
1.32 Iran
1.31 Serbia
1.29 Romania
1.28 South Korea
1.27 Australia
1.24 Hungary
1.23 Venezuela

This system is really unimpressed with the Asian and African teams, even more than the CONCACAF sides. I'll want to take a closer look at that, but again, I first need to get lots more data. This was mostly me being happy that the least-squares method produced non-crazy results.
   238. I am going to be Frank Posted: May 12, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4705233)
Bebe was some sort of payoff/bribe to Jorge Mendes (a Portuguese super agent of Ronaldo and Nani among others) and Carlos Quieroz (former Ferguson assistant) either for past services rendered, future considerations, to keep things quiet, or a combination of it all.

   239. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4705234)
Wigan take the early lead. If QPR loses here I wonder if Fernandes and his backers cut their losses.
   240. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4705252)
That list Stoke transfers resembles my first forage into Football Manager. I had dozens (dozens!) of "bargain" signings. None of which on an individual level was really able to stand out. And then when it came time to sell the players, none of the bigger teams wanted such mediocre players and none of the smaller fish could afford them. Which quickly led to the team becoming financially insolvent and me getting the axe.

Are you the one who's been making all the decisions for Bolton over the past decade? Every time a player leaves it's on a free transfer after his playing time has gradually dwindled to nothing. I think 4 million pounds for Kevin Nolan, 4 million for Ali Al-Habsi and 7 million for Gary Cahill represents 99% of their income from transfers since the Anelka deal.

And they did their best to get 0 million for Cahill, after refusing various larger offers in the summer and then watching him play like crap for four months while trying not to get injured.
   241. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4705253)
US prelim roster here.

Just glancing at it... happy to see Chandler in the mix.
   242. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4705255)
Wigan take the early lead. If QPR loses here I wonder if Fernandes and his backers cut their losses.
QPR deserve to stay down for playing their most important game of the season and leaving the English Xavi out of the squad entirely.
   243. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4705261)
Some of the bigger names missing from the US roster include Eddie Johnson, Edgar Castillo, Juan Agudelo, Onyewu, Brek Shea.
   244. DA Baracus Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4705263)
Hey let's take a completely unproven and new to the team player (Julian Green) because that always works!
   245. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4705271)
I wonder to what degree "you're on the plane" was part of the pitch to Green to get him to declare for the US.
   246. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4705272)
Hey let's take a completely unproven and new to the team player (Julian Green) because that always works!


I'm not too concerned; he's basically taking Brek Shea's roster spot.

If this was some sort of under-the-table deal to get him to play for the US, I'm fine with that.
   247. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 12, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4705276)
Evidently Snoop Dogg sells insurance in the UK. Heh.

Hey let's take a completely unproven and new to the team player (Julian Green) because that always works!

You might be very happy to have him in 2018.
   248. DA Baracus Posted: May 12, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4705296)
You might be very happy to have him in 2018.


Might. But taking a guy in 2014 in 2018 is rarely worth it. It's punting a roster spot, and banking on Green being that good four years from now.
   249. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: May 12, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4705305)
Again, he's taking Brek Shea's spot on the team. I don't consider that a grave injustice.

I don't see Green being on the team as taking a significant player's spot. And I'd rather see the 23rd roster spot given to a youngster rather than a retread like Findley or Buddle in 2010.
   250. Mefisto Posted: May 12, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4705308)
I'm happy to see Yedlin and Chandler on the roster. Our right back is a real weak spot; one of them has at least a chance to be competent. Plus, it frees up Cameron for central defense or holding mid.
   251. ursus arctos Posted: May 12, 2014 at 04:32 PM (#4705309)
Reports that Diego Costa is on his way to Chelsea for 32 million pounds.

Victor Valdes has said adios to his Barcelona teammates, won't be around for the final match of the season (he's going to Germany for further treatment), and is ultimately on his way to Monaco after all.

Rio Ferdinand was not offered a new contract by Manchester United. Destination unknown. Man Utd have also reportedly bid 27 million pounds for Luke Shaw.

Finally, Lerner has put Villa up for sale.
   252. DA Baracus Posted: May 12, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4705319)
Findley was a waste, he wasn't even starting that season for Salt Lake, but Buddle was having a really nice season.

Again, he's taking Brek Shea's spot on the team.


There's a half a dozen players that he could be taking the spot from, who are actually playing and playing well.
   253. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: May 12, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4705327)
There's a half a dozen players that he could be taking the spot from, who are actually playing and playing well.


A half-dozen attacking midfielders? Eddie Johnson might have a gripe, but from what I understand he's been in poor form this year.
   254. JuanGone..except1game Posted: May 12, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4705341)
Hopefully Lerner does better by Villa than he did my Browns. He sold to a man who is both under a serious Federal investigation and takes his draft advice from homeless people.

I'm fine with Green as well. The US has to make it as attractive as possible for expats/kids of expats to want to play for us. One roster spot isn't going to kill your team.
   255. Swedish Chef Posted: May 12, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4705387)
Hopefully Lerner does better by Villa than he did my Browns. He sold to a man who is both under a serious Federal investigation and takes his draft advice from homeless people.

"serious federal investigation", true, you don't want weak owners like that, you want an owner who owns the justice system in his home country.
   256. I am going to be Frank Posted: May 12, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4705397)
QPR wins.

Rio is officially done with United - does he come to MLS? Reus is staying at Dortmund and Southampton rejected the Shaw bid.
   257. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 12, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4705411)
I want no part of Rio Ferdinand in MLS. If ever a player would be convinced by his gigantic ego that he's too good for the league, and show up overweight and get outrun by everyone, and somehow have that make the league's reputation WORSE as a supposed haven for washed-up has-beens ... Rio Ferdinand is that player.
   258. J. Sosa Posted: May 12, 2014 at 07:13 PM (#4705416)
re: Green

We had a party at my house when Green signed on for the US. I guess that puts me in the "pro" party. Let's face it, we ain't doing jack in this World Cup*. The Dempsey Donovan cycle is over, and all things considered, it was a pretty good run. It was worth a roster spot. I know it wasn't in the cards, but I would have been on board for something like that with a guy like Rossi. I don't recall if Arena (or whatever person was in charge at the time) attempted it or not.

re: Rio

I don't think I've ever seen a term used for an athlete I liked as much as something I saw one time describing Rio as "gormless". Ever since then that word pops into my head every time I see him on tv or in print. The "gormless Rio Ferdinand".

re: Costa

Perfect for Chelsea if it comes off. I underestimated how wary Chelsea would be of FFP. It surprised me, they were somewhat cautious although I will never really understand why they signed Willian. Was it really just to annoy Spurs and Liverpool? If so that proved rather costly.

* Jinx.

edit to add: Trucking magnates don't even get invited to bunga bunga. Amateurs, the lot of them.
   259. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 13, 2014 at 07:31 AM (#4705638)
The Tim Sherwood era is officially over.
   260. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 13, 2014 at 07:38 AM (#4705640)
   261. Randy Jones Posted: May 13, 2014 at 07:49 AM (#4705641)
The Thai owners of newly promoted Leicester City are willing to spend $300m (£180m) to achieve their goal of finishing in the top five of the English Premier League within the next three seasons.

Yeah, right. Try maybe five times that number and give it 5 years and it could be possible. Unless they mean spending that much each year, and only on transfers, not counting wages.
   262. Swedish Chef Posted: May 13, 2014 at 07:54 AM (#4705642)
In a hugely surprising move Tottenham have decided to let Tim Sherwood go. The football world is stunned by this sudden development.
   263. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:31 AM (#4705656)
Looks like it's going to be Pochettino to Spurs. Can he erase the memory of the last Argentine Spurs manager? I say yes! I hope this doesn't mean Spurs will feel obligated to pay over the odds to bring a Southampton player like Rodriguez or Lallana with him. The squad is fine, it just needs someone who knows what to do with it. Luke Shaw would be welcome, though.
   264. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:36 AM (#4705658)
Here come the Premier League's latest suckers.


2016 Headline: "Leicester City Relegated for Second Consecutive Season"
   265. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 13, 2014 at 08:58 AM (#4705666)
A quick perusing of the Southampton blogosphere was a real lesson in the denial stage of grief. They'll do fine without him, I think. Rossler or Tuchel is a good shout for them. In fact, I think it makes a lot of sense for Tuchel to take the job as a launching point for a mega bastard club job in a couple of years.
   266. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:01 AM (#4705669)
Spain's squad features Real Madrid's #2 but not their #1.

Goalkeepers Iker Casillas, David de Gea, Pepe Reina

Defenders Sergio Ramos, Gerard Piqué, Raúl Albiol, Juanfran, Jordi Alba, César Azpilicueta, Daniel Carvajal, Alberto Moreno

Midfielders Xavi, Javi Martínez, Xabi Alonso, Andrés Iniesta, Koke, Sergio Busquets, Santi Cazorla, Ander Iturraspe, Cesc Fábregas, Thiago Alcântara, Juan Mata, David Silva, Pedro, Jesús Navas

Forwards Diego Costa, David Villa, Fernando Torres, Álvaro Negredo, Fernando Llorente
   267. jmurph Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:13 AM (#4705673)
First half of the season Negredo would be killer for them; 2nd half Negredo probably shouldn't even be allowed into Brazil, lest he accidentally find his way on the field.

Also, we're all officially sick of Spain winning everything, right? Just checking.
   268. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:19 AM (#4705677)
Also, we're all officially sick of Spain winning everything, right? Just checking.

I'd like to see Brazil or Argentina win or one of the dark horses like Belgium or Colombia.
   269. I am going to be Frank Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4705681)
I had never heard of Moreno or Iturraspe. Neither plays for the Madrid teams or Barca. I'd imagine Premier League teams would be sniffing around soon.
   270. Randy Jones Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:33 AM (#4705687)
Is Spain really so short of strikers that Torres deserves to be there, or he is there based on long lost skills and reputation?
   271. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:33 AM (#4705689)
Also, we're all officially sick of Spain winning everything, right? Just checking.


I don't mind Spain. It's kind of nice to see a "Golden generation" actually accomplishing something. My biggest issue with Spain isn't so much Spain as it is the teams that play them just going into a shell. The endless slog of 1-0 games where Spain has 75% of possession and just stays patient, stays patient, stays patient, stays patient, GOAL, stays patient, stays patient, stays patient, FINAL WHISTLE is not very exciting.

I think Spain as a group got a bit pissed off at some of that in the 2012 Euros because that demolition of Italy in the final was something to behold. I've never seen a team move the ball like that. To do it against a talented team traditionally known as a defensive power was just enthralling.
   272. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4705695)
Belgium squad. That is some kind of talent.

Goalkeepers: Courtois, Mignolet, Casteels, Proto

Defenders: Alderweireld, Vanden Borre, Ciman, Kompany, Van Buyten, Vermaelen, Lombaerts, Vertonghen

Midfielders: Witsel, Defour, Fellaini, Dembele, Chadli, De Bruyne, Januzaj

Attackers: Lukaku, Origi, Hazard, Mertins, Mirallas
   273. DA Baracus Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4705721)
A half-dozen attacking midfielders?


He's the 22nd man on the roster, what difference does his position make? Klinsmann has preached he wants in form players who are playing at higher level leagues, then he gives Green, who hasn't played in over a month and has played only 2 minutes above the fourth tier in Germany a spot, which is hypocritical.

The Tim Sherwood era is officially over.


Damn, he was so much fun to watch.
   274. zack Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4705770)
I'd like to see Brazil or Argentina win or one of the dark horses like Belgium or Colombia.

What are the odds on the field over Brazil in Brazil? 50/50?
   275. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4705777)
Damn, he was so much fun to watch.

He might end up at West Brom, so fear not!

What are the odds on the field over Brazil in Brazil? 50/50?

I'd say a little better than that, maybe 75/25 since Spain are so good and, except for the Confed Cup, Brazil haven't looked very good by their standards the last 4 years.
   276. DA Baracus Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4705781)
He might end up at West Brom, so fear not!


Without a talented team with expectations, it just won't be the same. Though watching him fight off relegation is a good alternative.
   277. ursus arctos Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4705799)
Moreno is Sevilla's left back, but he's only 21, and has only one full cap. He was one of the standouts in the Spain U-21 team that won its European championship in 2013.

Iturraspe is a more developed player. He's 25, but has yet to get a full cap. He's a defensive midfielder for Athletic Bilbao.

I wouldn't be surprised if they are both among the final 6 cuts.

On paper, that is clearly the strongest squad that Belgium has ever produced (including the team that lost in the finals of Euro '80).

On Julian Green, has there been some statement that he is definitely in the 23? All of this talk about him taking a roster spot seems premature for the list of 30.
   278. J. Sosa Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4705845)
Liverpool scouts have been to Sevilla matches this season. Usually journos find out about it and then churn out transfer speculation based on their best guess on who they were there to see. The guesses in this case focused on Rakitic and Moreno. Moreno is more likely. He does seem to meet the profile of someone they would be looking at, but I haven't seen anything credible yet.

Regarding Green, I think people are just assuming a promise was made. It would be premature on Green's part to commit if a promise wasn't made.
   279. ursus arctos Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4705879)
Moreno recently signed a new contract, so the question is going to be what his buyout clause is.

Reports appear to be that is 30 million euros, which is a lot for a player with that record.
   280. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: May 13, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4705880)
I haven't seen nearly enough of Rakitic to comment, but his profile as a versatile midfielder who's comfortable playing deep or advanced is exactly the sort of player I want LFC to land this summer. Basically, I want a second Jordan Henderson, as I think he's largely irreplaceable within the current squad. Oh to have a do-over on that late lunge at Silva (Nasri?). Oh well.
   281. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 13, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4705890)
Grantland ranks the most important 23 players on the USMNT roster with some interesting comments. Bradley, Gonzalez and Howard are the not real surprising top 3. Brad Evans (5) has an interesting write up and Donovan comes in at #11.
   282. Mefisto Posted: May 13, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4705938)
Omar Gonzalez is one of the top 3? They don't watch the same games I do.
   283. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: May 13, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4705973)
Omar Gonzalez is one of the top 3? They don't watch the same games I do.
It's not a ranking of the best players. They're just saying that Gonzalez's play in the World Cup will go a long way toward determining how the US does. From the article:
The prospect of the Los Angeles Galaxy center back starting in Brazil terrifies me, especially after his less than stellar performance against Mexico, but I still think it’s going to happen.
   284. Mefisto Posted: May 13, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4705990)
My bad for not reading the link. The prospect of Gonzalez starting terrifies me too.
   285. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 13, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4705993)
I think Klinsmann is crazy for not making Cameron an automatic starter at CB. Yeah, Cameron is versatile but we are so, so awful at CB.
   286. I am going to be Frank Posted: May 13, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4705998)
France:

Goalkeepers: Lloris, Landreau, Mandanda.
Defenders: Debuchy, Sagna, Koscielny, Sakho, Varane, Mangala, Digne, Evra.
Midfielders: Cabaye, Grenier, Matuidi, Mavuba, Pogba, M. Sissoko, Valbuena
Forwards: Benzema, Giroud, Griezmann, Rémy, Ribéry
Alternates: Schneiderlin, Remy Cabella, Gonalons, Lacazette, Perrin, Ruffier and Tremoulinas

France has no use for City's French players (Clichy and Nasri). As usual pretty talented but we'll see if there is a self-implosion.

Italy:
Goalkeepers: Buffon (Juventus), Perin (Genoa), Sirigu (Paris Saint Germain), *Mirante (Parma)
Defenders: Abate (Milan), Barzagli (Juventus), Bonucci (Juventus), Chiellini (Juventus), Darmian (Torino), De Sciglio (Milan), Maggio (Napoli), Paletta (Parma), Pasqual (Fiorentina), Ranocchia (Inter)
Midfielders: Aquilani (Fiorentina), Candreva (Lazio), De Rossi (Roma), Marchisio (Juventus), Montolivo (Milan), Motta (Paris Saint Germain), Parolo (Parma), Pirlo (Juventus), Romulo (Verona), Verratti (Paris Saint Germain)
Forwards: Balotelli (Milan), Cassano (Parma), Cerci (Torino), Destro (Roma), Immobile (Torino), Insigne (Napoli), Rossi (Fiorentina).

I don't know what to make of Italy. Still kind of old but there are some players there.
   287. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 13, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4706005)
Interesting cross-section of Serie A there. The top 10 teams are represented, plus Genoa's 21-year-old goalkeeper who has no senior experience.

4 players from Parma? Good for them.

6 Juventus
4 Parma
4 Milan
3 Torino
3 Fiorentina
2 Napoli
2 Roma
1 Genoa
1 Inter
1 Lazio
1 Verona
--
3 PSG
   288. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: May 13, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4706036)
Only anecdotal, but England has been a nightmare for recent Italians on the periphery of the national squad. Aquilani came over and couldn't stay healthy; Borini, despite a reasonably decent year, is out of the squad after making the Euro 2012 roster; and Giaccherrini went from useful squad player for both Conte and Prandelli to barely making Sunderland's match-day sheet. I'd mention Nocerino, too, but I think he was out of Italy's squad well before his move to London.
   289. ursus arctos Posted: May 13, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4706038)
The final 23 is likely not to be as well distributed. Cassano may very well be the only Parma player making the cut.
   290. ursus arctos Posted: May 13, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4706134)
World Cup Twatball is Back!

Competition starts June 2d, once final squads have been announced.
   291. frannyzoo Posted: May 13, 2014 at 07:08 PM (#4706144)
Ursus: I eagerly await formal sign-ups. I feel uncomfortable typing the name of the competition, but that won't stop me.
   292. Spivey Posted: May 13, 2014 at 07:08 PM (#4706145)
I really hate Nasri, but the fact that he can't even make the roster is ridiculous.
   293. AuntBea Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:06 PM (#4706185)
Are there twatball results available for a recent major tournament? Hopefully broken down by player?
   294. ursus arctos Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:26 PM (#4706197)
There have been earlier iterations (going back at least to 2008), but I don't think the results have been archived.

Player turnover is such that historical results are of limited use, any way.
   295. AuntBea Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:30 PM (#4706198)
I would guess you could put players into categories, at lest by reputation or position if nothing else. I would be interested in playing, but less so if I'm going in totally blind. Less fun that way.
   296. J. Sosa Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:16 PM (#4706231)
Yeah Keith, I should be thrilled with the season LFC had but the red card and Gerrard slipping has put a damper on it. I'm sure I'll be ramped back up in a couple months, but for right now it was kind of a downer.

I think the Lallana thing might get done. I mentioned in the last thread that there was a Liverpool podder that heavily implied that Lallana was going to get done for 25 MP. I had hoped that those numbers weren't true, but that's also the number Hunter is going with in the Guardian.

For that kind of coin, I want no part of it for a player at that age. But Rodgers is probably swinging a big stick right now after the season they had and after the last couple of windows I guess he's owed a trinket.
   297. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:25 PM (#4706238)
Step up and lay your money down!


Odds (from Sky)

Mauricio Pochettino - 11/10
Frank de Boer - 2/1
Rafa Benitez - 5/1
David Moyes - 9/1
Thomas Tuchel - 10/1
Michael Laudrup - 25/1
Roberto Martinez - 28/1
Luciano Spalletti - 28/1
Jurgen Klinsmann - 33/1
Roberto Mancini - 33/1
Carlo Ancelotti - 33/1
Max Allegri - 33/1
Gus Poyet - 33/1

   298. ursus arctos Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:27 PM (#4706240)
Aunt Bea, transfermarkt.co.uk has complete stats on red and yellow cards for a host of countries.

Reputation is important, but can often be misleading. After the 2010 World Cup, Nigel De Jong was the first pick of many for Euro 2012, but he had a rather tame tournament, and Holland went home early.
   299. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:36 PM (#4706246)
All this talk about twats reminds me:

Congrats to Mr J Sosa for winning the BTF PL fantasy league in a walk.

Don't think anybody had mentioned that yet anyway.
   300. ursus arctos Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:38 PM (#4706248)
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