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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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   401. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 17, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4708677)
Xavi and neymar start on the bench. Costa starts.
   402. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4708691)
Game on at Wembley!
   403. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:06 PM (#4708692)
If not the players that has to be in the fans heads. Nine years without a trophy and you're down 1-0 right away.
   404. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4708694)
HOLY CRAP!,
   405. Swedish Chef Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4708695)
Wenger out!
   406. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4708697)
Even before the goals Hull looked very composed. They are playing relaxed and easy.
   407. Baldrick Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4708698)
Oh Arsenal. Lolz
   408. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4708700)
Arsenal HAVE seen corner kicks before right?
   409. I am going to be Frank Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4708701)
Another set piece almost another goal. Sheesh
   410. zack Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4708703)
Arsenal HAVE seen corner kicks before right?

Kor-nor...keeks?
   411. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:15 PM (#4708704)
Hull are quicker to every ball, winning every challenge. This has played like a superior team against an inferior team but completely opposite to the way you'd expect.
   412. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4708705)
Wow that's a beauty!
   413. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4708706)
Keeper should have done better. He seemed flat footed.
   414. I am going to be Frank Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4708707)
Costa just came off with some sort of injury.
   415. I am going to be Frank Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4708708)
Yup Keeper was a jumbled mess on that arsenal goal
   416. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4708712)
Turan off with an injury for Atletico now. Unreal.
   417. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4708713)
Hull got a little ragged after the Arsenal goal but they've settled down and played very well the last ten minutes.
   418. Baldrick Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4708714)
Wow, what a crazy goal. There was like two inches of space there. How did that go in?
   419. sardonic Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4708715)
That was a hell of a shot. I'm rooting for Atleti, but damn if that is not a goal worthy of a title.
   420. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4708716)
First blood to Barca. Alexis Sanchez from a tight angle and Ray with a typically understated reaction to the goal.
   421. Baldrick Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4708717)
Also, is there any way I could convince Ray Hudson to never speak again?
   422. frannyzoo Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4708729)
Re: Atleti. Looks like I picked the wrong mid-morning to stop drinking Bushmill's. Bottom's up, 2nd half.
   423. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4708732)
Oh my, Atleti off the post! Looked like Barca fell asleep a bit there!
   424. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4708734)
ATLETICO!!!
   425. Baldrick Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4708735)
And the title shifts back to Atleti. Nice header.
   426. sardonic Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4708736)
TWIST!
   427. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4708737)
Bush mills for everyone Franny!
   428. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4708739)
We ##### about him but Gus has been much better today. I wouldn't say he's been good but improved.

Wynalda has been laughably obvious in his rooting for Hull.
   429. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4708742)
Arsenal feel like they are settling in.

Oh wow, that should have been a PK in my opinion.
   430. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4708743)
I like this change by Arsenal. Sangho could be a physical handful for Hull.
   431. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4708745)
Boy, Arsenal have had three legit penalty shouts.
   432. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4708747)
Hull seem to be committing a lot of penalties and extremely late violent tackles and handballs in the box and whatnot.
   433. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4708749)
Dammit. That's justice but dammit.
   434. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4708750)
Koscielny! Scores while getting a concussion!
   435. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4708752)
Don't see the sub for a sub too often but Atletico make their last Chang.
   436. frannyzoo Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4708753)
I'm halfway through my morning double Bushmills'. I about halfway through my toenails as well (the fingernails were gone long ago).
   437. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4708755)
Oh my, how did Gibbs miss that?
   438. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4708756)
Point blank range, open net, a second to settle the ball ... Gibbs BLASTS it over the bar!
   439. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4708757)
Can these announcers stop bemoaning how Arsenal players should stop acting like they've been fouled after they get fouled, because the referee would be more sympathetic if they...did what? Collapsed in a heap, motionless?
   440. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4708759)
Wynalda has been ridiculously biased but I think he's right. I think some of the histrionics have worked against Arsenal.
   441. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4708761)
Everything including the kitchen sink time for Barca.
   442. sardonic Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4708762)
How is the end of this game like Russian Roulette? That one makes less sense than normal.
   443. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4708766)
ATLETICO!!!
   444. sardonic Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4708767)
Classy by the Barca fans.
   445. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4708768)
Not sure what the CL final will bring but these two games today have been tremendous.
   446. sardonic Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4708769)
Is the FA cup on TV here anywhere?
   447. frannyzoo Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4708770)
My Gaelic is non-existent, but:

Is gairid ár gcairt ar an saol seo.

But "we" have this. Atleti go bragh.
   448. JJ1986 Posted: May 17, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4708772)
Is the FA cup on TV here anywhere?


It's on FOX.
   449. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4708773)
Gotta think Hull would gladly take penalties at this point.
   450. sardonic Posted: May 17, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4708775)
Hmm, here they're showing Sports Stars of Tomorrow on Fox...
   451. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4708777)
Fox regular, not FS1
   452. sardonic Posted: May 17, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4708778)
Yup, that's what they're showing on Fox here on Comcast in the Bay Area. FS1 is showing Nascar and FX is showing the Green Hornet.
   453. I am going to be Frank Posted: May 17, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4708779)
Yea real fox - where they show the Simpsons.
   454. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4708781)
That's odd.
   455. Howling John Shade Posted: May 17, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4708783)
I have it on channel 6 (KICU) on comcast in the Bay Area.
   456. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 17, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4708788)
That's a shame but Arsenal deserved that goal.
   457. AuntBea Posted: May 17, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4708790)
wtf was that?
   458. AuntBea Posted: May 17, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4708793)
Happy for Arsenal. I think they take a bit too much grief these days. After taking finances into account, its difficult for me to believe that Arsenal "should" win the EPL more than once every seven or eight years, if that often. And the Champions League once in 15-20 years. A top 4 finish is a good year for them, and frankly unless things change I don't think fans of the team should expect even that year in and year out.
   459. I am going to be Frank Posted: May 17, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4708799)
Congrats to atletico and arsenal (and their fans).
   460. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: May 17, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4708860)
Tough gig ...

Barcelona boss Gerardo 'Tata' Martino has announced that he will leave his post after failing to guide the club to the Primera Division title.
   461. frannyzoo Posted: May 17, 2014 at 08:32 PM (#4708936)
Okay, hours have passed. Gloating over Barca is now officially over. Welcome back all Barca fans who suffered revulsion from the oppressive Atleti bandwagon talk above.

As for Real fans...
   462. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: May 17, 2014 at 10:54 PM (#4708979)
With Dortmund's season ending today, I kinda reflected on how my soccer fandom has come full circle. At the end of the 2010 World Cup, I couldn't wait for 2014 to get here. And while I'm sorta looking forward to the World Cup, I'm a more excited about seeing what Dortmund will do during the off-season and the Super Cup on August 9th.
   463. puck Posted: May 18, 2014 at 02:08 AM (#4709014)
First blood to Barca. Alexis Sanchez from a tight angle and Ray with a typically understated reaction to the goal.


That goal was so amazing it actually deserved the reaction.
   464. ursus arctos Posted: May 18, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4709201)
Shooty, my deepest condolences.

Cerci misses a penalty with the last kick of the match against his former team that would have put Torino into Europe for the first time in about 20 years. Parma get the spot instead.

And HSV survive on away goals by drawing in Kissinger's home town.

Not a great day overall.
   465. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 18, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4709263)
With Dortmund's season ending today, I kinda reflected on how my soccer fandom has come full circle. At the end of the 2010 World Cup, I couldn't wait for 2014 to get here. And while I'm sorta looking forward to the World Cup, I'm a more excited about seeing what Dortmund will do during the off-season and the Super Cup on August 9th.


I'm geared up for the World Cup. While I love watching soccer my only true allegiance is with the USMNT and the New England Revolution in MLS. While I watch the EPL religiously I have never really latched onto a team. I root for teams within "groups" if you will; Liverpool for the megaclubs, Everton in the mid table, but haven't really "picked" a team.

It's fun for me that way. I really enjoy being able to watch a sport with no rooting interest. It allows me to enjoy the game and not get pissed off. For example I have no real passion for Atletico Madrid but because of circumstances I was biting my nails the last quarter hour yesterday pulling for them to win and I'll be rooting hard next weekend for them also. It's a strange but enjoyable way to be a sports fan.
   466. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 19, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4709402)
Here's some stuff about PL viewership on NBC I copied and pasted from si.com. Looks like another bidding war is brewing. If that's the case, let's hope NBC wins again.

3. NBC's debut season covering the Premier League produced some significant viewership numbers. The highlights:

• NBC and NBCSN combined to average 438,000 viewers for EPL games-- up 99 percent from last season's combined average on ESPN, ESPN2 and FOX Soccer (220,000 viewers). Eliminating the 10 games on NBC, the coverage on cable averaged 395,000 viewers, an 80 percent increase over the ESPN, ESPN2 and FOX Soccer average last year.

•NBC said 31.5 million viewers tuned into at least one minute of EPL coverage during the season-- more than doubling the 13.3 million who watched last season on ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox Soccer.

•This year marked the first time anywhere in the world that all 380 matches were presented live on television (196 games on the networks of NBCUniversal and 184 games on the Premier League Extra Time bonus TV package).

•NBC drew 4.9 million viewers on the final day of season when it aired 10 games across the networks of NBCUniversal,

•Chelsea's 2-0 win over Liverpool on April 27 averaged 940,000 viewers, the most-watched early (pre-10 a.m. ET kickoff) Premier League match ever in the U.S.

•The three most watched EPL games:

1. Cardiff-Swansea City (2/8/14): 1.24 million on NBC

2. Swansea City-Manchester United (1/11/14): 1.10 million on NBC

3. Man United-Crystal Palace (2/22/14): 1.06 million on NBC

•The highest-rated EPL TV markets this season: 1. Washington, D.C.; 2. New York; 3. Baltimore; 4. Boston; 5. Seattle; 6. Richmond; 7. San Francisco-Oakland; Norfolk; 9. Providence, and 10. Philadelphia.


4. ESPN president John Skipper said last week that ESPN would be interested in the English Premier League when the contract comes up to market again in two years. NBC just completed the first of its three-year, $250 million deal.

Skipper said he expected EPL negotiations to begin next year. In order for ESPN to acquire the rights, it would have to partner with another network because it does not have the bandwidth to broadcast every game on fall Saturdays given its college football commitments. "We'll be interested," Skipper said. "We love the English Premier league. NBC has done a great job...But what they do on Saturday, we don't have the windows for. We could not do all those games."

Shanks said Fox would also have interest given how many soccer offerings Fox has across its platforms. "Any time a premier rights package, and I know this is a play on words, comes up, of course you are interested," Shanks said. "I think everybody that will be looking at that tender when it comes out will also be pushing hard for a longer deal. I think these three-year rights deals are not ideal. It is far and away the shortest rights package any of us do."


   467. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 19, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4709421)
Van Gaal is officially Man U's new manager and Ryan Giggs retires from playing to become his assistant. I think Van Gaal is just what they need but Rooney ain't going to like the new environment, I think.
   468. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 19, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4709436)

1. Cardiff-Swansea City (2/8/14): 1.24 million on NBC


Serious question, was there a blizzard that weekend? I would not have ever in a billion years guessed that.

On a more macro level comparing the big three networks (Fox, ESPN, NBC) on sports coverage NBC laps the field in an embarrassing fashion. I basically follow three sports; baseball, soccer and hockey and NBC kills it on both soccer and hockey. I think they do a great job of blending the appeal to the casual fan and the knowledgeable fan with both hockey and soccer (I would call myself more casual than knowledgeable in soccer). Fox is insulting to the knowledgable fans and ESPN is insulting to everyone.

tl;dr Shooty is right, let's hope NBC keeps the deal.
   469. Randy Jones Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4709444)
So, given the numbers in 466, seems safe to assume that the next deal for PL TV rights will be somewhat larger than the current one. At what point does the extra TV money from the US deal start to give the PL teams a significant advantage over the other leagues? Aren't they all basically getting chump change from BeIn? Any idea how long they are locked into those deals?

Also, agree with Jose that NBC has done a much better job with the PL than Fox or ESPN did.
   470. Jeffo has an El Camino full of Rampage Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4709447)
For the Cardiff-Swansea game, I think that got a decent bump by being in between two windows of Olympics coverage on NBC. Obviously none of their other matches would have a sports-related lead in on NBC itself, but I agree that was still a surpise to see that match as the top rated game.

I am interested to see post-World Cup and heading into Year 2 of NBC's coverage how the ratings look this fall versus last fall.

   471. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4709449)
At what point does the extra TV money from the US deal start to give the PL teams a significant advantage over the other leagues? Aren't they all basically getting chump change from BeIn?

The money from BeIn is decent but it hasn't helped to raise their profile here at all while PL's partnering with Fox and now NBC is working out spectacularly. Long term, the other leagues are going to be lapped and lapped again by the PL. Except...maybe not the Bundesliga who will be broadcast by Fox starting the season after next. Really, though, La Liga and Serie A failed massively by taking the short money with BeIn rather than making the long play and going to Fox once they lost PL games. Eventually Qatar is going to get sick of losing money on soccer and they are going to leave a trail of destruction when they finally pull the plug. England and Germany will be their to poach all the players, I'm sure.
   472. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4709450)
Hey, there are a fair number of people with Welsh ancestry in America. Obviously every single one of us watched that game!
   473. I am going to be Frank Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4709459)
While the us money is good and looking to get better, the premier league laps every other league when it comes to overseas rights. I think the premier league gets similar amounts of money from Singapore and Malaysia as they do from the us. La liga gets decent money from Latin America but the premier league is in a whole other zip code. NBC is great because their inventory isn't good. College football and basketball have so many games to show that fox and espn have to show those. I really hope NBC will spend to money to keep it.
   474. ursus arctos Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4709460)
Indeed, I'm sure it did huge numbers in Bala Cynwyd and Bryn Mawr.

What it shows is that there is still a very meaningful advantage to being on the main network that is independent of the popularity of the game being shown amongst soccer fans.
   475. Swedish Chef Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4709463)
Don't be so parochial, PL already has a massive advantage in foreign rights. America would be just another conquest, not a game changer.
   476. Flynn Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4709467)
Well America is already the highest paying country that's not the UK, and I wouldn't be surprised if the rights double when they're next tendered.

It's still a droplet compared to the UK - £1 billion a year.

NBC really does a great job - I think most people would feel they do the best NFL broadcast as well. It's a shame that the fossil Ebersol is not interested in baseball....it's not like they have anything else worth watching in the way he complained about how MLB ate up Must See TV time.
   477. ursus arctos Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4709468)
I was going to make a similar point.

The BeIn tie-up would be more advantageous if it gave their leagues a solid position in other regions (particularly Asia), but I'm not sure that is the case. Outside of the Middle East, I don't believe that Al Jazeera is in a better position than either ESPN or the Murdoch-related broadcasters. The Premier League looks to be trying to maximize its reach into each of the major markets, while recognizing that that that can mean "Balkanizing" the rights.
   478. Swedish Chef Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4709488)
Well America is already the highest paying country that's not the UK, and I wouldn't be surprised if the rights double when they're next tendered.

Thailand and Singapore have bigger deals, and France and Scandinavia is neck in neck.

Source

In other words, it wouldn't be a game changer, just some nice extra money.
   479. JuanGone..except1game Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4709490)
Indeed, I'm sure it did huge numbers in Bala Cynwyd and Bryn Mawr.

I live in KOP, but this must be some Welsh humor that's clearly gone over my head.

Count me as a huge fan of NBC's coverage. Rarely do you see a network take TV coversage so seriously and ensure that they have the best people working instead of trying to fit other agendas. ESPN is so reliant on finding personalities, while FOX is just generally clueless. NBC looked (and found)a great anchor for its studio coverage, decided that they would sell the product instead of cheap gimmicks and decided that they didn't need to overtly "Americanize" everything. I'm not sure how Sports Emmmys work but they should be up for more than a few.
   480. J. Sosa Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4709509)
Figured I would chime in with the choir.

NBC PL coverage turned out to be one of those rare things I had high hopes for and still had my expectations exceeded. They did a wonderful job. I would be very dissapointed if they lost the rights. I can barely stand to watch the CL on Fox because of the stark difference between the two networks covering the sport.

It has always been one of my main quibbles about baseball, why does Fox so often cover the sport with people who plainly can't stand it? Why treat one of your flagship properties like an afterthought?

La Liga is comically mismanaged in the US. They could have made real inroads in the States, now they stand to lose ground to the Bundesliga in addition to the PL. Like I've said before, the arguments made in the papers about the different leagues and their relative strength is fairly pointless. It isn't going to matter how good La Liga teams are if the average PL team is the NYY revenue wise when compared to the Sevillas and Valencias of the world.
   481. Sean Forman Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4709511)
I'm in Mt. Airy. Sounds like we should have met for some games.
   482. Swedish Chef Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4709513)
La Liga is comically mismanaged in the US.

It's OK, it's comically mismanaged in Spain too.
   483. ursus arctos Posted: May 19, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4709515)
JuanGone, much of the Main Line was settled by Welsh immigrants, and the names of those two towns are very Welsh (Bala and Cynwyd are actually two different places in Wales, and Bryn Mawr means "big hill".

The one bright spot for La Liga in the US is that the coverage in the Spanish language media is considerably deeper and better than it is in English, but the BeIn access problem exists en Espanol as well.
   484. ursus arctos Posted: May 19, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4709545)
On mismanagement of La Liga domestically, note that Atleti still don't have the championship trophy, as the President has been traveling, and no one is willing to award the trophy in his absence.
   485. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4709591)
Yikes. The Champions League groupings are starting to trickle out. For the few LFC fans here, probably best to brace yourself for a group of death next year. I'm not too concerned about it -- an opportunity to win in Turin or Madrid would trump a victory over, say, Lille -- but obviously it puts a significant dent in any hopes for an extended CL run.
   486. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4709593)
On mismanagement of La Liga domestically, note that Atleti still don't have the championship trophy, as the President has been traveling, and no one is willing to award the trophy in his absence.


Yeah what was that all about? That was one of the most bizarre things I've ever heard. How does the league president travel during the final round of fixtures? How we got there was a bit odd but people had been pointing to that game for months as a potential/likely title decider for at least one of the two teams involved. Was it his turn to deliver bribe money to Neymar's parents or something?
   487. J. Sosa Posted: May 19, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4709607)
Yeah Keith some of the bean counters at RAWK have been saying that for awhile. I'm just happy to be in the group stage and that they don't have to qualify against Napoli or something like that.

As for the Spanish trophy, that struck me as something you wouldn't expect even in a youth rec league.
   488. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 19, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4709644)
I want to also give kudos to the NBC coverage of the EPL. It was really good, and their online streaming presence was great.

also, the Liverpool group is going to be Real Madrid, PSG, Liverpool, and Roma. No one gets out alive!
   489. Swedish Chef Posted: May 19, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4709689)
Luis Enrique takes over Barcelona, guess he was the best insider there was to get. But his manager CV is awfully thin. I'm sure Barca B experience is weighed quite highly in that organization.
   490. ursus arctos Posted: May 19, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4709734)
Indeed, he was really the only plausible candidate given the Board's insistence on keeping it in the family. And beating Real Madrid with Celta certainly didn't hurt.

Also officially announced today were Ter Stegen's signing and the return of Deulofeu and Rafinha from their loans.

I'm sure that Everton would have liked to have Deulofeu for one more season.
   491. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 20, 2014 at 08:11 AM (#4709984)
   492. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 20, 2014 at 08:16 AM (#4709985)
So why are Toure and Milner making noise about leaving City? Just trying to gain leverage for contracts? Spurs have signed the "next Iniesta" the Nigerian Musa Yahaya. I don't know anything about him but Arsenal and Barca were chasing him, too, which seems a good sign. Still looks like Pochettino will move to Norf London. Man U are going to give Van Gaal 150 million pounds sterling to spend this summer.
   493. ursus arctos Posted: May 20, 2014 at 08:33 AM (#4709992)
Toure's agent does this every off season, and the fact that his predicate this time around is that no one from the club wished him a Happy Birthday indicate dips to me that he is very close to the bottom of the barrel.

Milner counts as home grown, doesn't he? If so, this looks like an attempt to exercise the additional leverage that the FFP ruling gives such players at City.
   494. jmurph Posted: May 20, 2014 at 08:47 AM (#4709998)
I understand Milner wanting to play more, that's fair enough. He's been a valuable sub/utility guy in his time at City, so I'd hate to see him leave. Plus the homegrown issue that Ursus mentioned will be important next year.

And ditto Ursus on Yaya- this is just his agent embarrassing himself. He just signed a 4 year deal last year that likely made him the highest paid, or among the highest paid, players in England. He'll be fine.
   495. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 20, 2014 at 08:52 AM (#4710002)
Is it possible for an agent to embarrass himself? This does not seem like a profession where humility and self-awareness are really in long supply.
   496. J. Sosa Posted: May 20, 2014 at 08:53 AM (#4710003)
I would be surprised if Milner leaves. He has City over a barrel in the homegrown requirements and knows it. The Yaya thing is just embarrassing even by agent standards.

Is it true Milner has the PFA do his negotiations?
   497. J. Sosa Posted: May 20, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4710009)
To clarify, it is an agent's job to be shameless. But sometimes I don't get what is going on in a player's head to allow it.

Birthday wishes? Is that really better than just bald facedly saying "hey, I have a limited amount of time to make money as a player. I want more, pay me or I will be difficult."

edit to add: Although I suppose I shouldn't reject out of hand the notion that Yaya really was offended. IIRC Ashley Cole did write in his bio about trembling with anger at an offer to pay him a large sum of money while driving his luxury sports car. Self awareness isn't really a virtue it seems for pro footballers as Jose says. I've been shocked and a little horrified at how early this comes out on academy teams. There does seem to be a link between absurd self confidence and success even with the youth players.
   498. JuanGone..except1game Posted: May 20, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4710031)
I'm in Mt. Airy. Sounds like we should have met for some games.

Philly BBTF Soccer MEETUP!!

Came over this morning to see if anyone had posted Yaya's agents quotes. I'm always surprised by how insecure top athletes are at times. I wouldn't be shocked if there isn't something real to that story, though its obviously more about the money.
   499. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 20, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4710037)
I'm always surprised by how insecure top athletes are at times


When you spend your whole life being better than virtually everyone in your chosen field and reminded of that regularly I think the ability to deal with even minor criticism is not something you learn.
   500. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 20, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4710039)
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