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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

Howling John Shade Posted: May 07, 2014 at 03:40 AM | 1176 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   301. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 10:42 PM (#4706250)
What good is a flip, without a flop ...

=)
   302. AuntBea Posted: May 13, 2014 at 11:13 PM (#4706274)
transfermarkt.co.uk has complete stats on red and yellow cards for a host of countries.


Hmm If I have time next week (like I hope/expect) I might crack open a 6-pack and do a little research to see if I can put a team together. Obviously you want a team players that will go far in the tournament... and a perusal of the rules would seem to favor defenders. That already limits team construction significantly.
   303. puck Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:29 AM (#4706316)
Is Spain really so short of strikers that Torres deserves to be there, or he is there based on long lost skills and reputation?


Seems like there's some other guys kicking around...all of Athletic Bilbao's guys seem pretty good, though I didn't know until just now that Aduriz is 33. And I guess maybe Muniain and Susaeta are more wingers than strikers. (I assume since those guys have a cap or two for Spain that they can play for Spain...there's no Basque team, right?)

Anyway, maybe there's a confidence that Torres will work well with everyone? There's already a number of other forwards on the squad.

Is does seem odd that Nasri didn't make it. Is he a pain in the ass or was he part of the mutiny?
   304. puck Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:32 AM (#4706325)
Looking at lists like Germany's, Spain's, even Belgium with Nainggolan an alternate: damn some countries are silly with midfielders. Is that just due to the way the game is played these days?
   305. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:58 AM (#4706349)
Sosa -

Glad I'm not the only one who's a bit uncomfortable paying that much for a 26 year old. Then again, with the new TV deal (*) kicking in this past season, maybe we need to make a bit of a mental adjustment about prices, as with baseball free agency.

Putting price to the side for a second, I'm curious to know what you think about Lallana. I have to confess that outside of Liverpool, I try to devote my soccer watching to Serie A and MLS. As such, my knowledge of some of these guys they're being linked with is woefully inadequate.

(*) Liverpool and FSG are apparently going to walk away with just short of 100mm GBP from this year's TV deal alone.
   306. Swedish Chef Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:40 AM (#4706375)
I really hate Nasri, but the fact that he can't even make the roster is ridiculous.

I don't think bringing Nasri as roster-filler would be very smart, play him or leave him. Bringing a malcontent to sit on the sidelines is the worst of both worlds.

He's in good company though, look at the France careers of Cantona and Ginola.
   307. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 14, 2014 at 07:35 AM (#4706387)
Evidently everyone on the France team hates Nasri including the manager. After the fiasco in South Africa I think they want to keep the dicks at home.
   308. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 14, 2014 at 07:45 AM (#4706390)
Neil Warnock on Pochettino:

But former QPR manager, Warnock, is unsure whether the Argentine has the right credentials to take the north London club forward.

"I don’t think Pochettino is the answer because he’s inexperienced," he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show. "To go to a club like Southampton, and I’m not being disrespectful to Southampton, there’s no expectation.

"They’ve got young lads and they’re going to sell one here or there whereas at Spurs there’s so much expectation. Harry [Redknapp] got them fourth and they’ve been trying to get fourth ever since and they've been thinking they were doing the right thing sacking all these managers.

"I don’t think Pochettino's got enough about him. It’s too big a club for him to warrant getting that job. It’s a massive gamble if [Daniel] Levy does it but he might be the only one available."


I'm just surprised he would say that about another manager.
   309. Swedish Chef Posted: May 14, 2014 at 08:02 AM (#4706394)
Warnock just thinks they need someone a little bit more like Neil Warnock.
   310. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 14, 2014 at 08:08 AM (#4706397)
The funny thing about the quote is that Southampton fans think Tottenham is too small a club for Pochettino. Whether Tottenham are a big club or a small club seems to be one of those unanswerable questions like when does a hill become a mountain or why does Vanna White have to pretend to show the letters on Wheel of Fortune when its obviously digitally controlled.
   311. J. Sosa Posted: May 14, 2014 at 08:24 AM (#4706405)
Thanks FPH!

Keith, my personal opinion is that the move is too much of a risk at that price. I think you are correct that prices will be inflated this transfer season, but 25 MP is still way too steep for my liking. They are not similar players, but look at what they paid for Joe Allen two seasons ago. From a talent standpoint I rate the two about the same, but Allen is only 24 even now. If they are going to spend that kind of money on a 26 year old midfielder it needs to be someone a lot more talented (like Rakitic). I think Rakitic will end up at one of the mega clubs, but for that kind of money I would rather have someone like that at age 26.

Age is an even bigger deal to me in soccer than it is in baseball. Take a guy like Carroll, they paid an insane price for him, but because he's English and was young they were able to get around 17 MP for him despite Andy being perma crocked and not doing much. If Lallana flops the next couple of seasons that investment is gone.

We'll see, I have no idea how much FSG is going to invest this off season. I've seen people estimate anywhere from 20 to 60 before sales. It is hard to tell as some people say some of the new money will go towards FFP compliance now that they are in Europe. Personally I think I would split the difference and estimate around 40. If 25 of that is for Lallana, that's not going to get it done.
   312. I am going to be Frank Posted: May 14, 2014 at 08:53 AM (#4706414)
There is a quote out there that basically says Nasri is manageable if he starts and plays but if he doesn't he's a huge, squad destroying malcontent. He's not going to start for France, so Deschamps left him. Out of the Ben Arfa, Nasri and Benzema "enfant terrible" group, only Benzema seems to have grown out of it - also it helps that he's France's best option at striker.

The only way you're getting cheap players nowadays is to take a huge risk or take a chance or a fallen (or out of favor) star. Basically any team fighting for a title in Champions League is not going to get a guy that starts 30+ league games for less than 20M pounds, unless you get really lucky or a young guy takes an enormous leap.

Edit: Also with the amount of money flowing into the league, clubs don't have to sell as long as they maintain some sort of financial discipline.
   313. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 14, 2014 at 09:01 AM (#4706416)
By the way, who are we going for in the Derby v QPR game? I've got a soft spot for all the former Spurs at QPR but it would be nice to see Derby in the PL and I'm a sucker for a good redemption story (Steve McClaren).
   314. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 14, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4706419)
Just watching games on TV it seems that Loftus Road is one of the truly great atmospheres in England so seeing them come back would be terrific. But I'm pulling for Derby. I'd like to see them get a chance to get the taste of that horrible 2007-2008 season out of their mouths. Plus as a soccer newbie the idea that Derby had a run at the top of the league makes me feel the way a new baseball fan might feel learning that the Royals were once the creme de la creme of the AL West.
   315. J. Sosa Posted: May 14, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4706423)
I'm also pulling for Derby.

I don't disagree Frank, but I don't think getting a guy that age is the answer. Shaw is probably going to go for around 35. With something like that barring injury there are many years of production and I don't have a problem with it. With Lallana, even if it goes well he doesn't have many years left at a high level. With those kind of numbers a team might as well pay up a little more for a younger player. *

*That's not to imply Liverpool are in the running for Shaw, they aren't, I'm just using him as an example.
   316. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4706449)
Derby vs. QPR is pretty stark in terms of team-building, too. Derby County earned 3rd place by breaking in some really impressive young talent and playing legitimately exciting, counter-attacking football. QPR slogged into 5th with a team of over-the-hill former stars who rarely could be bothered to play the football they're capable of. Derby all the way for me.
   317. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4706468)
What do you think of Pochettino, MCofA? I think it's probably a 75% chance he's the guy. Like any hire, I think he's a gamble, but he seems very much a no bullshit guy which is exactly what we need. Everything I've read about him makes him sound like a bulldog of a human being but fairly open minded as well. A Bielsa disciple but in no way a slavish one. He seems ok tactically though I wonder if he has a Plan B in him when things start to go pear-shaped. The irony of Pochettino getting the job after Sherwood did the double on Southampton is also not lost on me.
   318. jmurph Posted: May 14, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4706494)
Count me in for Derby, too. Their disastrous last season in the Premier League was my first following the league (or maybe 2nd, I forget), which prompted me to take a look at all of the teams that featured that year that are no longer in the top flight:

Blackburn
Portsmouth
Middlesbrough
Wigan
Bolton
Reading
Birmingham
Derby

   319. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4706523)
Re: #308 and #309, it was just 16 months ago that Warnock refused to play Ross Barkley while he was on loan at Leeds. Colin remains the worst.
   320. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4706526)
What do you think of Pochettino, MCofA? I think it's probably a 75% chance he's the guy. Like any hire, I think he's a gamble, but he seems very much a no bullshit guy which is exactly what we need. Everything I've read about him makes him sound like a bulldog of a human being but fairly open minded as well. A Bielsa disciple but in no way a slavish one. He seems ok tactically though I wonder if he has a Plan B in him when things start to go pear-shaped. The irony of Pochettino getting the job after Sherwood did the double on Southampton is also not lost on me.


I'm in the midst of collecting La Liga data to do a fuller profile of Pochettino, but I generally like him. He seems to really focus on giving players clear roles in attack and defense, which is something that Spurs never seemed to properly get with AVB, for all his supposed fastidiousness. And of course under Sherwood he didn't even understand the concept. One thing I like about Pochettino is that as a Bielsa disciple, he's very much a high-pressing manager, and Baldini built a roster for AVB precisely to do that. The match between his tactics and the players should be good.

I think "Plan B" is overrated. You shouldn't change your whole setup when you're chasing a goal, you just need to have a wide enough array of options within your attack that you don't run through them in 50 minutes. Southampton could come at you in a number of ways, with Lambert playing as a creative false nine and guys like Lallana and Davis pushing up from midfield, or pushing Lambert or Rodriguez forward to give Lallana space in behind, or working off dead balls with James Ward-Prowse, or with overlapping fullback runs from Shaw or Clyne, and so on. It might not be enough (and even Liverpool and City had some dispiriting draws, sometimes you don't get the goal), but I don't think it's a huge worry right now for me.

I'm more worried about whether another relatively authoritarian manager is going to be able to fix the dressing room issues. Maybe that was all just a function of Sherwood's awfulness, but it worries me. Pochettino is "The Sheriff" and he'll expect everyone to buy in. I hope they do, or that he and Levy/Baldini can identify the guys who won't and move them along.

And I'm worried about Jan Vertonghen. Spurs already need two more good defenders, a left back and a starting CB, but at least we're building around an elite ball-playing CB that would fit in perfectly to Pochettino's system. (He was a ball-playing CB for Bielsa.) If Vertonghen demands out, suddenly the job of building a good defensive line becomes much, much harder. Buying 3/4 of a starting back four in one summer would be quite the task. If Vertonghen is more likely to stay if de Boer comes, that's definitely a positive mark for de Boer.
   321. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4706545)
Shaw is probably going to go for around 35. With something like that barring injury there are many years of production and I don't have a problem with it. With Lallana, even if it goes well he doesn't have many years left at a high level. With those kind of numbers a team might as well pay up a little more for a younger player. *
Maybe I need to adjust to the new prices, but rumored Shaw deal makes zero sense to me.

He's currently no more than an above-averageish EPL left back. He's 18, so that's amazing, but he's not likely to be Champions League quality player for another couple years. And really, almost no 18-year-old is that likely to be a Champions League quality player. You're paying the money for him in the hopes that he develops, but you don't get any of the financial benefit because you're already paying him big wages and you dumped a huge transfer fee. The upside compared to someone like Ricardo Rodriguez strikes me as vanishingly small.
   322. DA Baracus Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4706551)
Whether Tottenham are a big club or a small club seems to be one of those unanswerable questions like when does a hill become a mountain or why does Vanna White have to pretend to show the letters on Wheel of Fortune when its obviously digitally controlled.


Ken: [looking at a surreal Bosch painting] It's Judgment Day, you know?
Ray: No. What's that then?
Ken: Well, it's, you know, the final day on Earth, when mankind will be judged for the crimes they've committed and that.
Ray: Oh. And see who gets into heaven and who gets into hell and all that.
Ken: Yeah. And what's the other place?
Ray: Purgatory.
Ken: Purgatory... what's that?
Ray: Purgatory's kind of like the in-betweeny one. You weren't really ####, but you weren't all that great either. Like Tottenham.
[pause]
Ray: Do you believe in all that stuff, Ken?
Ken: About Tottenham?
   323. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4706567)
If Vertonghen is more likely to stay if de Boer comes, that's definitely a positive mark for de Boer.

I think it would be a real mistake to hire a manager to make a player happy. If Vertonghen is that desperate to leave the club will make a decent enough profit on him to bring someone else in. If Pochettino can get Lovren playing well, I think he can find someone to replace Verts. I wouldn't mind Spurs trying to steal Jedinak away from Palace but I'm pretty sure I'm the only one in the world with any kind friendly feelings toward THFC who thinks so. He's my official Shooty's Most Underrated Player in the Prem award winner for this past season.
   324. DA Baracus Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4706581)
Sylvian Distin makes a funny:

I m retiring from France team. It was a wonderful experience and after a record of #0 cap it's time to say goodbye and focus on my club
   325. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4706598)
I'm surprised he never got a cap. I guess he doesn't have the requisite backpfeifengesicht for the French team.
   326. Swedish Chef Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4706602)
He's my official Shooty's Most Underrated Player in the Prem award winner for this past season.

I would have gone with Edin Dzeko, until Mourinho started to blather about him being the best player in the league.
   327. J. Sosa Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4706646)
I disagree about Shaw. A homegrown player that is actually good enough to play for a top four club and has the potential to be world class is worth their weight in gold. Look at the money City shelled out for people like Rodwell, Sinclair, and Hargreaves for them to not even play to meet the homegrown requirements. In retrospect, how much would Ashley Cole been worth back in the day to a club in City's position now?

In those circumstances, I think 35 is reasonable for that type of club. It is similar to a club like the Yankees spending over the odds for what a win is "worth". Rodriguez is better value for money (which is probably why along with Moreno there have been vague links to Liverpool), but he isn't English and that does matter for a top 4 club in the PL. Homegrown players at that end of the market are worth a ton.

All that said, I do get sticker shock thinking of 35 million for a teenage full back. It boggles the mind. But I think Keith is right in saying the market is going to explode. Liverpool may have a small edge going forward in that so many of their core players are English and they can afford to add bargains on the market to that base. One can hope anyway.

As for Verts, he really did look like a man who had made up his mind to move elsewhere. Maybe not, but I would think he and Lloris are going to be very hard to hold on to.
   328. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4706651)
Maybe not, but I would think he and Lloris are going to be very hard to hold on to.

I'll be shocked if Verts stays but I'm more optimistic about Lloris. I can only see him moving to PSG and if that's his destination, they'll have to come with a dumptruck full of money. Anyway, there are rumors Hugo is going to sign a new deal this summer.
   329. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 14, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4706767)
Are Benfica going to break the curse of Guttmann today?
   330. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 14, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4706813)
Depending on your perspective this could be good or bad news...Alan Pardew is coming back!
   331. puck Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4706842)
Depending on your perspective this could be good or bad news...Alan Pardew is coming back!


Geez. Doesn't Newcastle seem like a huge underachiever?
   332. Sean Forman Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4706849)
Just got a ticket for Liverpool v. Roma at Fenway. It's good to know Red Sox season ticket holders. :)
   333. DA Baracus Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4706852)
Depending on your perspective this could be good or bad news...Alan Pardew is coming back!


Both. For non-Newcastle fans, it's good news. For Newcastle fans, it's good news for people who love bad news.

Geez. Doesn't Newcastle seem like a huge underachiever?


What respectable manager is going to work for Mike Ashley?
   334. jmurph Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4706866)
I definitely lean towards MCoA on the "is Luke Shaw worth 30+ million?" question. I know that United have nearly limitless resources, but surely that's a good chunk of what they'll have available to spend in the offseason, and they still need 1-2 CBs, several midfielders, and probably another striker. 30 million is "very good player in his prime" kind of money, not "he might one day be world class." That's going to be one expensive summer.
   335. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4706877)
Pardew got a new 8-year contract starting September 2012. Why would Ashley get rid of him, barring relegation?
   336. Spivey Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4706893)
Luke Shaw seemed really good to me when I've seen him play. Not just "will one day be really good", but a guy who's already damn good. My issue is he's a fullback. How much is the best fullback in the world worth? I'm not sure it's more than 30million pounds.
   337. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4706895)
Transfermarkt has Lallana under contract until after the 2017/2018 season. I can see why Southampton would sell when he's at the height of his value given the finances of a midtable Premier League team, but I've never understood how a player could "force" an exit if the team really didn't want to sell him and there wasn't a clause in his contract that would enable them to do so.
   338. I am going to be Frank Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4706896)
Depending on the reports there may be 150M or more pounds available to Van Gaal (who still hasn't been officially confirmed yet). Whether or not Shaw is "worth it" is another issue. Couple of things - Shaw is English and a left back. I didn't watch a ton of Southampton but apparently he was a good performer, and they finished just behind United. A good performer at a position historically difficult to fill who is English and 18. 30M is a lot but its justifiable (if maybe unwise). I think asking Madrid about Coentrao should be the play.

I seem to recall that when Pardew got the contract the rumor was for payment of some gambling debts that Ashley had.

   339. Swedish Chef Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4706898)
I definitely lean towards MCoA on the "is Luke Shaw worth 30+ million?" question. I know that United have nearly limitless resources, but surely that's a good chunk of what they'll have available to spend in the offseason, and they still need 1-2 CBs, several midfielders, and probably another striker. 30 million is "very good player in his prime" kind of money, not "he might one day be world class."

If they believe Shaw to be an outstanding talent of the Ronaldo, Bale or Rooney calibre, they should acquire him regardless of their immediate needs. It is all written down over the contract anyway. It doesn't matter much if they bought for a little bit more in 2014, and less in later transfer windows. Top players are too rare to pass up just because you have gaps to fill in other places.
   340. Swedish Chef Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4706899)
I seem to recall that when Pardew got the contract the rumor was for payment of some gambling debts that Ashley had.

I'd believe that for the hiring of Dennis Wise.
   341. ursus arctos Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4706903)
Late to Derby/QPR discussion, but surely members of BTF without a prior allegiance to QPR have to be favorably disposed to the club that played at the Baseball Ground for 102 years and was affiliated with the very first champion of the National Baseball League of Great Britain and Ireland.

Up the Rams
   342. Swedish Chef Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4706906)
but I've never understood how a player could "force" an exit if the team really didn't want to sell him and there wasn't a clause in his contract that would enable them to do so.

Clocks are always ticking on football contracts. Lallana could buy himself out as a Webster case in 2016, things like that doesn't happen much and never for high-profile players, but they're always an implicit threat.

   343. Swedish Chef Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4706912)
There has allegedly been a football match going on this evening, but the evidence is scant.
   344. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4706917)
Geez. Doesn't Newcastle seem like a huge underachiever?

Do you mean this in relation to Pardew? I don't quite know how to evaluate Pardew, but I think I lean towards folks being a little to harsh on him. He's had three full seasons with Newcastle -- one year they were pushing for a Champions League spot(*), one year they were fighting relegation and this year they were solidly mid-table. Newcastle's wage bill for 2012-2013 ranked mid-table, and that's about where Pardew has them. I realize that's not an inspiring defense, but Pardew's tenure at Newcastle seems perfectly average to me.

(*)Admittedly their goal difference wasn't that of a Champions League contender.
   345. Swedish Chef Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4706920)
And it goes to penalties...
   346. andrewberg Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4706924)
I am pulling for QPR. My dad was stationed near Loftus Road in the Air Force 40 years ago and has followed the club ever since. They were my introduction to European football and I started really following the PL when they got promoted 4 (?) years ago. So if you want to root against the bond between a father and son, go ahead and root for Derby. Great kit, too.

   347. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4706925)
Lallana could buy himself out as a Webster case in 2016, things like that doesn't happen much and never for high-profile players, but they're always an implicit threat.


Ah. And I guess it could always have an effect on getting other players to come to your team if you have a reputation of holding people to their contract. Though being dicks about that stuff hasn't affected the Marlins yet.
   348. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: May 14, 2014 at 07:10 PM (#4706978)
Ah. And I guess it could always have an effect on getting other players to come to your team if you have a reputation of holding people to their contract. Though being dicks about that stuff hasn't affected the Marlins yet.
There's an entirely different attitude towards contracts compared to baseball. It's just kinda accepted that if a player under contract gets offered higher wages* and/or an opportunity to play at a higher level and wants to leave, the club should acquiesce and negotiate a fee (*the level of tampering is ridiculous). Liverpool and ManU were reported as taking a stand on contracted players last summer, but in general the players and the agents have a lot more power.
   349. J. Sosa Posted: May 14, 2014 at 08:03 PM (#4706999)
Pardew has some, to put it politely, alleged issues in his past, but he's done a pretty good job at Newcastle. It isn't his fault they brought in Joe Kinnear and sold Yohan Kabab. They could do a lot worse, but his position with the fans may be untenable in the long run. I think the supporters know they can't get rid of Ashley so they are venting at Pardew, which is unfortunate. I'm not sure who they would get that's better.
   350. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 08:50 PM (#4707024)
I kind of want to see a match that introduces, like, Zenit to these Japanese racists ultras. I can't tell whether they'd try to murk each other or get along like a house on fire.
   351. puck Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:21 AM (#4707126)
I kind of want to see a match that introduces, like, Zenit to these Japanese racists ultras. I can't tell whether they'd try to murk each other or get along like a house on fire.

That's disappointing. Do these characters show up for baseball games, too, or are they copying ultras from other countries?
   352. puck Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:25 AM (#4707129)
RE: Pardew: Maybe I have the wrong impression about the squad. Despite their striker problems (losing Ba and Cisse turning back into a pumpkin), the last couple season it seems like they've had a deep and interesting squad, and that they should do better. They finished 10th, but it seems like they should be in the muck with Spurs, Everton and such.
   353. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 15, 2014 at 08:20 AM (#4707181)
Take it for what it's worth, but the ITK jokers on the Tottenham and Southampton side have Pochettino announced as Spurs new manager either today or tomorrow. Just working out what kind of compensation Soton will receive. I hope this doesn't mean Levy will feel he has to buy Lallana. Let Liverpool have him!
   354. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 15, 2014 at 08:37 AM (#4707189)
In other rumors of the day...Del Piero and Joe Cole may try to move to MLS. I wonder at what point MLS starts saying thank but no thanks to past it stars looking for one last payday? I can see Joe Cole being put on interminable hold when he calls MLS offices for a chat. Having said that, if he's willing to play for peanuts, it would be fun to have Cole in the league.

Samir Nasri might retire from international soccer. What's French for "oh noes, please don't go Samir!"
   355. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 15, 2014 at 08:41 AM (#4707192)
If they believe Shaw to be an outstanding talent of the Ronaldo, Bale or Rooney calibre, they should acquire him regardless of their immediate needs. It is all written down over the contract anyway. It doesn't matter much if they bought for a little bit more in 2014, and less in later transfer windows. Top players are too rare to pass up just because you have gaps to fill in other places.
To be clear, I totally agree with this. I just don't see Shaw as that level of star, and my understanding of the general evaluations of Shaw is that very few people see him that way. He looks more like someone who might turn into Ashley Cole than the next Southampton left back to develop into a superstar attacking force. If there's a real evaluation of Shaw as a world superstar in the making, then hell, go get him at whatever price. But to me Shaw's reasonable upside is "excellent left back" and he is at least a couple years from realizing that upside with all the risk a youth players entails. That's not worth this kind of money, especially if you assume United wouldn't get much of a break on wages either.
   356. Swedish Chef Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4707436)
Just working out what kind of compensation Soton will receive.

That's a mighty big just.

And surely they will wait until the United van Gaal extravaganza is over and done with.
   357. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4707463)
And surely they will wait until the United van Gaal extravaganza is over and done with.

It's over. It's been over. He even had Ryan Giggs go to Holland to plead for a place in the new king's court. They're going to announce it officially after Holland's friendly with Ecuador. It'll cost Spurs about 4 million in comp to allow Pochettino and his staff to get out of their contracts. That's not an insurmountable roadblock. Levy is probably trying to get Soton to throw in some kebabs, though.
   358. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4707538)
, or are they copying ultras from other countries?


One of the quoted supporters expressed idolizing the 1980s English hooliganism, so copycats. Even their songs are half in English according to the article.
   359. sardonic Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4707651)
I'm a little sad that the Baseball Primer wiki is down now. I've always had a soft spot for QPR and play them in FIFA thanks to Vincent. Up the R's! Unfortunately I wasn't able to find the whole quote in a few minutes of Googling, but QPR always brings a smile to my face because of that.
   360. sardonic Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4707654)
Ah, here we go:

It'll be good to avoid some of the dross, but could we hold off on quality-post ratio (QPR)? I'm actually a season ticket holder at Queens Park Rangers (Loftus Road, London W12) who also subscibes to their mailing list and I doubt I'd be able to keep it all straight.

Luton Town home this Saturday - Up the R's!!

(oops, it's Baseball Primer...)

Thanks for the hard work. The site is a treat.
   361. ursus arctos Posted: May 15, 2014 at 06:41 PM (#4707801)
HSV only draw 0-0 at home to Fuerth in the first leg of the Aufsteigspiel.

Somewhere, Henry Kissinger is hoisting a few frosty cold ones to his boys.
   362. madvillain Posted: May 15, 2014 at 07:26 PM (#4707825)
They finished 10th, but it seems like they should be in the muck with Spurs, Everton and such.


Not huge into soccer metrics but their GD was awful, more befitting of a bottom feeder than a top 8 outfit, is GD something people use in soccer metrics to judge "luck"?
   363. I am going to be Frank Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:53 PM (#4707877)
Newcastle were comfortable in January and then Ashley decided to sell Kebab and the season went to hell. Everyone stopped caring. Their revenue is pretty close to Everton, West Ham with a decent gap behind Spurs. So if managed decently they should be around 7th or 8th. Of course if QPR comes up and Leicester's owners really do open up the bank... who knows?

The new TV deals are really a bonanza. Cardiff, who finished last, made more money from the Premier League deal this season than the Champions (United) last season - 62M pounds!
   364. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:43 AM (#4707948)
So what happened with George John's career? He was a prospect for the US team a while, signed a deal with West Ham that never worked out. I see that he still place for Dallas but he hasn't been discussed as a call up to the US team.
   365. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 16, 2014 at 09:20 AM (#4708001)
Not huge into soccer metrics but their GD was awful, more befitting of a bottom feeder than a top 8 outfit, is GD something people use in soccer metrics to judge "luck"?
Their expected goals ratio was actually pretty good, though. I've found that for projecting soccer matchers, xGR is better than GR which is better than points.

Newcastle went through an absolutely abject spell of finishing this year down the stretch. I don't think they were actually that bad. You can see the underlying EPL stats here.
   366. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4708083)
Tottenham Hotspur Think Factory!

This is just minutes of the annual meeting the the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust with Levy and the board. Some interesting stuff about the stadium, allowing giant banners like they have in other countries, safe standing and what the hell happened to Erik Lamela. Levy points out that Spurs' record with managers is pretty similar to the PL average and to clubs on the continent.
   367. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4708159)
   368. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4708168)
This is old but I just ran across it.

Imagine if the South Africa FA or the Brazilian one had decided to cut the number of venues by a third.
   369. DA Baracus Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4708170)
   370. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4708178)
Stop. Talking.

He's going to try to crush Platini with the Qatar WC so expect much more yappery from the Swiss Svengali. Though, notice that it's the heat that's the problem, not the slave labor, the hundreds of workers deaths or the rampant bribery...
   371. ursus arctos Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4708182)
   372. DA Baracus Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4708183)
Look you can't expect a busy man like Sepp to be able to stay on top of current events.
   373. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4708190)
Interesting ursus. You think Bayern might have their eye on Tuchel as a replacement? Pep just doesn't seem happy managing the last couple of years and I wonder if he's too much of a perfectionist to enjoy the not insubstantial absurdity of professional sports. Mourinho, Klopp, Ferguson, Ancelotti...those guys all seem to have a sense of humor about what they do that I think must carry them through the pressure. (Wenger is the exception here as he seems to have discovered the power of the whinge is equal to the power of the larf.)
   374. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4708193)
Oh yeah, and question of the day...what will be the higher rated sporting event in England tomorrow: Arsenal v Hull or Barca v Atleti? They are both on at the same time! I think I'm going to go to Kinsale's to watch the Barca v Atleti match but I'm sure the FA Cup will be on, too. If I had to choose? It's not even a choice.
   375. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4708197)
This is old but I just ran across it.

Imagine if the South Africa FA or the Brazilian one had decided to cut the number of venues by a third.


Look, you gotta have some sympathy. They have to pay out the bribes, then all the liberals are whining and making them pay their workers, they gotta cut costs somewhere. Next thing they'll have to use actual cement rather than just stuffing the walls with the bones of guys killed while working on the structures.
   376. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4708198)
Imagine if the South Africa FA or the Brazilian one had decided to cut the number of venues by a third.

Tim Vickery is always bemoaning how Brazil expanded the number of venues from 8 to 12, so that sounds like a good idea. South Africa has plenty of white elephants too.
   377. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4708199)
Oh yeah, and question of the day...what will be the higher rated sporting event in England tomorrow: Arsenal v Hull or Barca v Atleti? They are both on at the same time! I think I'm going to go to Kinsale's to watch the Barca v Atleti match but I'm sure the FA Cup will be on, too. If I had to choose? It's not even a choice.


It's a remote control day if there ever was one. I'm a Cup junkie so I'll probably start with Arsenal/Hull but if the atmosphere at Nou Camp is right (and I suspect it will be raucous) then I'll probably wind up there.

Of course there may also be the Gus Johnson factor at work. That alone could push me to Barca/Atleti.
   378. DA Baracus Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4708200)
Oh yeah, and question of the day...what will be the higher rated sporting event in England tomorrow: Arsenal v Hull or Barca v Atleti?


What are the TV options?
   379. ursus arctos Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4708205)
Shooty, Tuchel is probably in the mix if Pep decides to leave, but I don't think he will be pushed at all this summer. I also think Bayern will with the Pokal.

I asked the same question about tv ratings elsewhere, and was told that the key factor is that la Liga is only on Sky in the UK, whereas the Cup Final is free to air.

The Nou Camp is virtually never raucous, but this is likely to be the closest it will get. Expect Puyol to get things going pre-match.
   380. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4708206)
Tim Vickery is always bemoaning how Brazil expanded the number of venues from 8 to 12, so that sounds like a good idea. South Africa has plenty of white elephants too.

Sure, and I'd agree that having 12 WC stadiums in a tiny country of 2 million people is ridiculous. The problem is, they promised 12 venues in their bid and all the other countries bidding had to promise 12 as well. Brazil had Valcke complaining about democracy (democracy!) because they were delayed on their new stadiums so imagine what Valcke and the Swiss one would have said to them if they'd said, "You know what, this is getting expensive so 8 stadiums is fine."
   381. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4708208)
I asked the same question about tv ratings elsewhere, and was told that the key factor is that la Liga is only on Sky in the UK, whereas the Cup Final is free to air.

I imagine the pubs will be crowded tomorrow evening!
   382. I am going to be Frank Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4708232)
I may have to go to a bar - although I find it impossible to watch two games at the same time.

Hull-Arsenal is on Fox (broadcast television!) and Barca-Atletico is on Bein Sports.
   383. Baldrick Posted: May 16, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4708248)
It's a remote control day if there ever was one. I'm a Cup junkie so I'll probably start with Arsenal/Hull but if the atmosphere at Nou Camp is right (and I suspect it will be raucous) then I'll probably wind up there.

But the Spanish game is basically the equivalent of a Cup Final. Like, for actual, as opposed to when people always say that things are cup finals. And it's a Cup that's way more important.

Also, it doesn't involve watching Arsenal and Hull.
   384. Mefisto Posted: May 16, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4708249)
Gulati has appointed Jill Ellis as the new WNT coach. Let me be the first to say (here, at least) that this is a bad appointment.
   385. DA Baracus Posted: May 16, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4708252)
Let me be the first to say (here, at least) that this is a bad appointment.


It's like he fired the previous coach on whim or something.
   386. madvillain Posted: May 16, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4708253)
Thanks MCOA.
   387. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 16, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4708262)

But the Spanish game is basically the equivalent of a Cup Final. Like, for actual, as opposed to when people always say that things are cup finals. And it's a Cup that's way more important.

Also, it doesn't involve watching Arsenal and Hull.


All true. But there's something about "The FA Cup" that gets my pulse going. I expect I will probably wind up on the Barca/Atleti game eventually as that could be a genuinely terrific game. I suspect the FA Cup is either going to be a low scoring slog because Hull grind it down or it's going to be a rout in Arsenal's favorite. Barca/Atleti is a game that even at 0-0 or 1-1 could be pretty exciting.
   388. ursus arctos Posted: May 16, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4708308)
Man City caves on FFP.

Squad reduction for European competitions, "calculated limit" on transfer spending, "employee benefit expenses" not to increase.
   389. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 16, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4708322)
Good news for Jack Rodwell!
   390. Howling John Shade Posted: May 16, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4708324)
From Shooty's link in 367:

In a press conference on Friday, Deschamps fielded questions about his squad's behaviour. However when it was pointed out that there was a brothel 500m from the squad's Brazilian base in Ribeirao Preto, the former France captain reacted angrily.

"Apparently, you're better informed than me," Deschamps said. "It's bizarre, because you must frequent the same places as the players. When we went to play in Ukraine, I also know the media's evenings were quite animated.

"Curiously, you go to the same places, but that is less well-known. Often, I find out about it all the same. Just in case. Because you might have files on the players but I also have them on you. It's good to know what's going on. After that, each person does what they want."

Our national team is so boring. Bring back John Harkes and Eric Wynalda!
   391. ursus arctos Posted: May 16, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4708342)
The third round of the US Open Cup will see New York Cosmos playing Brooklyn Italians, with the winner advancing to play Red Bull New York.

More recent fans may find it interesting that Brooklyn Italians are the only one of the three to have won the trophy before.
   392. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4708378)
"Curiously, you go to the same places, but that is less well-known. Often, I find out about it all the same. Just in case. Because you might have files on the players but I also have them on you. It's good to know what's going on. After that, each person does what they want."


I love the French national team and French media. Did the reporters exchange reviews of teen prostitutes with Franck Ribery? Or is that reserved for Silvio Berlusconi's email blasts.
   393. DA Baracus Posted: May 16, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4708390)
We get stupid mind games about players in the middle of their season being "behind" teams full of players at the end of their seasons, the French get whore houses. We live in a world where France has it better than us.
   394. Howling John Shade Posted: May 16, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4708418)
Also, it's kind of crazy that Deschamps is suing Nasri's girlfriend for posting "Fuck france and fuck deschamps!" on twitter and then in a news conference on the same day is casually throwing out accusations that all the reporters frequent whore houses.
   395. puck Posted: May 16, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4708426)
So what happened with George John's career? He was a prospect for the US team a while, signed a deal with West Ham that never worked out. I see that he still place for Dallas but he hasn't been discussed as a call up to the US team.


A lot of injuries. Plus Klinsmann never seemed that interested in him, so his career didn't get any boost from getting caps.
   396. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:31 PM (#4708579)
Got my tickets to the Liverpool/Roma match! Sadly, not with the Liverpool supporters.
   397. Baldrick Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:20 AM (#4708605)
Got tickets for Madrid/Inter. Which happens less than two weeks after the end of the World Cup. So I'm sure all the big names will play and be super fresh and excited. But whatever. Madrid/Inter!

Though, my girlfriend keeps asking who we're rooting for. And I just don't have a good answer.
   398. Swedish Chef Posted: May 17, 2014 at 05:39 AM (#4708629)
No other clubs were as hard hit as PSG and City, but UEFA managed to squeeze in a kick on Anzi before it's moot.
   399. JuanGone..except1game Posted: May 17, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4708660)
Got my tickets to the Liverpool/Roma match! Sadly, not with the Liverpool supporters.

One of the benefits to me moving to Philly was joining the local Chelsea club, where I'm able to get prime US tour tickets. Always good to have a home pub, but a good benefit is group tickets to friendlies and the like. Unless you don't live in a city, I have to believe that there is a local club that will help you out next time.
   400. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 17, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4708675)
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