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Monday, October 01, 2012

OT: The Soccer Thread: October

Kinsale’s: October 27!

Arsenal v. QPR
Wigan v. West Ham

And other exciting action*

Be there!

*But not United-Chelsea or the Spurs game, both of which were moved. Boo!

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 04:22 AM | 654 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   101. puck Posted: October 07, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4257782)
Landon Donovan left last night's game (limped off the field at least) with some sort of knee injury:

All of that pales next to Donovan's situation. He went down under a challenge from RSL defender Jámison Olave in the 81st minute, landed hard on his left knee and required medical attention before limping off the field and to LA's bench.

“We have no idea [how serious it is],” he said in the locker room afterward. “We have to get it worked out.”

Does it seem serious? Does he have a feel for how bad it might be?

“It didn't feel good," Donovan said.

The tests, expected to be done Sunday or Monday, will determine the extent of the injury...
   102. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 07, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4257891)
Ronaldo! Nothing like watching a German stream of a Spanish League match.
   103. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 07, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4257900)
Can't believe Benzema didn't just make it 2-0.
   104. Moe Greene Posted: October 07, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4257975)
There's too many major sporting events going on at once. I can't take it.

I'm devoting most of my attention to the Clasico, though.
   105. Moe Greene Posted: October 07, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4257978)
And yes, Benzema and Di Maria botched that opportunity big time.
   106. Moe Greene Posted: October 07, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4258057)
Well, Messi is doing his part.
   107. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 07, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4258059)
Messi. Now Real Madrid need a free kick in a dangerous position to see if Ronaldo can match.
   108. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: October 07, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4258069)
This is awesome. Really wish Comcast Chicago would add the English version of bein, though. I imagine Ray Hudson must have lost it on that Messi FK, yeah?
   109. Moe Greene Posted: October 07, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4258110)
Wow! That was close -- off the crossbar!
   110. Moe Greene Posted: October 07, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4258122)
What's happened to Pedro's ability to finish? He would've buried that two years ago.
   111. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 07, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4258347)
Gareth Bale thinks he's already been transferred to Spain.
   112. JuanGone..except1game Posted: October 07, 2012 at 06:32 PM (#4258425)
Gareth Bale thinks he's already been transferred to Spain.


I see your Bale and raise you a Suarez
   113. Mattbert Posted: October 07, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4258493)
Both dives among the worst you'll ever see. At least Suarez was trying to win a pen.

Villas-Boas needs to bring Joe Jordan back as a consultant to, on an occasional basis, scream at Bale to knock that s**t off. Embarrassing.
   114. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: October 07, 2012 at 07:08 PM (#4258510)
As an aside, I find it hilarious how far Bale slides on the grass after tumbling over.

No this point does not really have a point.
   115. Textbook Editor Posted: October 07, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4258555)
What's funny about the Suarez dive is it really, truly is a big 'ol belly flop. Hysterical.

Bale's was also awful.
   116. Mattbert Posted: October 08, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4258982)
Since we're in a giffy sort of mood...

Sandro takes the Scotty Parker 360 move TO THE MAXX! (Yes, I had to look up what "tekkers" means.)
   117. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 08, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4258993)
I like Suarez' move, because he basically does it in two parts, like he's worried the first half of the dive isn't enough. Sell it, Luis!
   118. DA Baracus Posted: October 08, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4258995)
You've got to be kidding me:

Hearing Jozy Altidore has not been called into US camp despite co-leading Dutch league in goals.
   119. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 08, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4259005)
Hearing Jozy Altidore has not been called into US camp despite co-leading Dutch league in goals.


WTF? Klinsmann really has a blind spot when it comes to Altidore. Even if you just have him on the bench to start having an in form goal scorer available as a just in case is a pretty useful thing. If we're 1-1 or God forbid 0-1 at A&B on Friday night and our big move is to bring on Brek Shea I'm not going to be particularly delighted.

Goal scorers are a different breed. And I know Altidore isn't Van Persie or Messi but he's the best pure striker the US has. Like I said, I don't need him starting but I don't know why you wouldn't want him available. Does this mean Wondolowski (who had a hat trick over the weekend) gets called up? I'll take Altidore over Wondo.
   120. Mattbert Posted: October 08, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4259006)
My friends who support Liverpool are saying that, while amateurish, Suarez's floppy fish routine was likely in response to this cheap shot by Robert Huth.
   121. DA Baracus Posted: October 08, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4259027)
WTF? Klinsmann really has a blind spot when it comes to Altidore. Even if you just have him on the bench to start having an in form goal scorer available as a just in case is a pretty useful thing. If we're 1-1 or God forbid 0-1 at A&B on Friday night and our big move is to bring on Brek Shea I'm not going to be particularly delighted.


Agreed. The starters should be Altidore and Boyd, or if you want to put Dempsey or Donovan (generally speaking, Donovan probably won't be fit for the game) up top instead of Boyd, fine. Gomez should be on the bench as a super sub, which he's made a career out of. No other forwards should be on the team for a qualifier. Instead we've seen Alan freaking Gordon get called up. It appears that Eddie Johnson will be called up for this month. He's had a hell of a season but instead of Jozy? No way. If Chris Wondolowski, who is the American version of Andrew Cole, is the starter for a WCQ, that's even worse. Klinsmann makes being in form such a big deal and Jozy is in as good a form as anyone. Ridiculous if true, and it appears to be.
   122. JuanGone..except1game Posted: October 08, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4259185)
Suarez's floppy fish routine


God, I want to steal that for my new screen name.
   123. Mattbert Posted: October 08, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4259202)
Well, don't let me stop you.
   124. ursus arctos Posted: October 08, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4259217)
Horrible news from NYRB.

This murder has been getting a significant amount of attention here because of its locus (on a well- traveled street in a "good" Manhattan neighborhood) and the sheer violence of the fatal attack (a number of passers by reportedly thought it was some kind of early Halloween prank).

The victim has now been identified as a Liverpool native who was a coach in Red Bulls' youth system.

More here.
   125. Mattbert Posted: October 08, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4259260)
That is, as advertised, horrible.
   126. DA Baracus Posted: October 08, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4259268)
Altidore and Boyd are not on the team. But Alan Gordon is. What a joke. Sacha Klejstan is in though, and Jose Torres is not, so that's good.

   127. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4259280)
Did Altidore sleep with Klinsmann's daughter or something? What the hell does the guy have to do to get in the squad?

All this kerfuffle aside 4 points gets us through pretty much. I know "no road game in CONCACAF" etc....but if we can't get something at Antigua & Barbuda we probably don't deserve to go to Brazil.


. If Chris Wondolowski, who is the American version of Andrew Cole, is the starter for a WCQ, that's even worse.


What's the negative about Andrew Cole? I don't really know much about him but he seems to pop up anytime someone talks about the history of the EPL as having been quite the goal scorer. I know he was with ManU for awhile, was he sort of a "lucky to be here" kind of guy who just got set up by superior teammates?
   128. DA Baracus Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4259287)
What's the negative about Andrew Cole?


187 EPL goals, 2nd all time. 15 caps. Or, if you prefer, Darrent Bent and his 122 EPL goals and 13 caps. Wondo's a great MLS goal scorer but he's not an international caliber player. Nothing to be ashamed of, but he doesn't deserve a spot over Altidore. But it's okay, Alan Gordon got one instead.
   129. Mattbert Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4259289)
What's the negative about Andrew Cole? I don't really know much about him but he seems to pop up anytime someone talks about the history of the EPL as having been quite the goal scorer. I know he was with ManU for awhile, was he sort of a "lucky to be here" kind of guy who just got set up by superior teammates?

It's not really explicitly a negative, but Cole is, fairly or not, often cited as an archetype of the "Any schmuck can score a shedload if you make him the focal point of the attack and put it on a plate for him fifteen times a game" sort of striker. For a more contemporary example, cf. Darren Bent at Charlton and, so far this season, Fernando Torres at Chelsea.

EDIT: Coke to the District Attorney for the Bent comparison.
   130. DA Baracus Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4259292)
Another thing: the youngest forward on the team is Eddie Johnson, at 28.
   131. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4259304)
Thanks. I love that you both used Bent as I'm familiar with him and it's really funny that of the 8 gazillion soccer players in the world you both picked the same guy.
   132. ursus arctos Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4259308)
The only rationale that I can see is that Klinsi doesn't think that it makes sense to include Altidore in the squad if he isn't going to start.

Klejstan's inclusion is also surprising. He's been playing only sporadically for Anderlecht and didn't get off the bench in their loss to Standard yesterday.
   133. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4259314)
I have a feeling that it's been JK's plan to turn the USMNT into a 4-6-0 formation squad all along.
Howard
Johnson - Boca - Cameron - Dolo
Shea - Dempsey - Bradley - Jones - Williams - Kljestan

It's like what I've always wanted to do with a Football Manager except I like to try a 3-1-6.
   134. ursus arctos Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4259318)
Hmmmm. Now Klinsi is expressing disappointment with Altidore's performance during previous call ups.
   135. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4259320)
I have a feeling that it's been JK's plan to turn the USMNT into a 4-6-0 formation squad all along.


Barcamerica?
   136. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4259325)
Jozy apparently tweeted something like "don't blame others for your own shortcomings/mistakes" in response to Klinsmann's interview with ESPN, which may be part of it.

Overall, I know he hasn't scored a lot of goals recently for the US but, in my opinion, that's largely due to (1) sporadic playing time, including being used off the bench and(2) terrible midfield play/offensive play in general. Having watched some AZ matches this year, I think Altidore is somewhat of a square peg trying to fit into the USMNT's round hole.
   137. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 08, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4259327)
Hmmmm. Now Klinsi is expressing disappointment with Altidore's performance during previous call ups.


I don't think it can be disputed that Altidore has been a bit disappointing in call ups for Klinsmann but he is so obviously the most talented player up front for us that I think you need him even as an "oh ####\" option. It's like making that 25th man on a playoff roster Billy Hamilton instead of Jayson Nix (someone got traded somewhere). Yeah, Nix can do some things but Hamilton can massively impact a game in a single moment.

If we're in a situation where we are desperately trying to get a late goal Altidore doesn't need to be part of any kind of concerted attack, you just hope his pure physical tools allow him to make an individual effort to change the game. The other guys up front aren't capable of that. Altidore doesn't need to play 90 minutes but if we're in dire straits late in the game he could be our sultan of swing (see what I did there? #oldguyreference).
   138. DA Baracus Posted: October 08, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4259339)
Hmmmm. Now Klinsi is expressing disappointment with Altidore's performance during previous call ups.


He said in an interview a few weeks ago that Jozy gets space in Holland that he doesn't get on the international level. And today he said "Jozy can do much, much better. The reason why he's not coming in is mainly about his performances at Jamaica and at home [last month], also in training. Also certain things that went on through the May-June camp." (link) Hey Jurgen, that's because the lineups you put out there can't get him the ball.

And of course Kyle Beckermann is on the roster.
   139. Randy Jones Posted: October 08, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4259434)
Football Manager 2013 for $26. I know some people here play it.
   140. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 08, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4259498)
Football Manager 2013 for $26. I know some people here play it.

Thanks for the link, although it doesn't seem sufficiently different enough from FM12 for me to want to buy it.
   141. DA Baracus Posted: October 08, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4259535)
That's a good deal. Like Biff if I didn't have 2012 (which, because I'm an addict, I am playing as I type) I'd scoop that up.

More Klinsmann facepalming, on Jozy Altidore:

"I have more trust for these upcoming games in Eddie Johnson and Alan Gordon"

Two guys who have never played for JK. But he's got faith. WTF.
   142. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 08, 2012 at 06:55 PM (#4259623)
Charlie Davies, if you remember him, has started 10 of 12 games for Randers this year, although he hasn't scored.
   143. madvillain Posted: October 08, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4259641)

Two guys who have never played for JK. But he's got faith. WTF.


JK talks and acts like a guy that has a world-class reputation behind him as a coach, when in fact he has been unable to stick at any head coaching gig. Yea he had a good run with Germany in '06, but his time with Bayern was not successful and he has done nothing his time with the USMNT to convince me he's the right man for the job.

His obsession with Beckerman and Jones is puzzling at best, and his beef with Altidore is petty. Yea, if I was leading the 5th or 6th best league in Europe in goals and my coach kept calling in guys like E. Johnson and Gomez and OMG Alan Freaking Gordon ahead of me, I'd probably go on twitter too and defend myself.

The US is struggling to score goals and he leaves off the most talented (albeit a head case at times) striker we've ever produced to send a message. Great time to send a message, when we are struggling mightily even to get to the hex.

   144. SuperGrover Posted: October 08, 2012 at 07:49 PM (#4259685)
Liverpool have only won twice at Anfield in 2012 in the League. That's really remarkable. I know they're down but watching them play a lot, they just feel a lot better than their results. It's weird.


The underlying shot numbers indicate that they are dominating the flow of play but are woefully incapable of putting the ball on target. They have the worst accuracy (SOT/Shot Tot) of any team in the league, even though they are about average in percentage of shots in the box.

They seem to be unable to figure out the last piece of the attack.
   145. DA Baracus Posted: October 08, 2012 at 07:56 PM (#4259706)
JK talks and acts like a guy that has a world-class reputation behind him as a coach, when in fact he has been unable to stick at any head coaching gig. Yea he had a good run with Germany in '06, but his time with Bayern was not successful and he has done nothing his time with the USMNT to convince me he's the right man for the job.


Preaching to the choir, but that's how you get them to sing. His time with Germany wasn't as impressive as it seems: as the host nation he never had to go through qualification and they got an easy draw in group play. In the knockout stages they did about what you'd expect. And then of course at Bayern he lasted about as long as Villas-Boas did at Chelsea. His resume is at best "okay" and Sunil Gulati (owner of an even more unimpressive resume) chased him for years. When Kilnsmann eventually goes, Gulati has to as well.
   146. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:18 AM (#4260210)
After finally seeing the highlights, I don't think Huth stamped on Suarez on purpose. Huth couldn't have seen that Suarez was going to roll right under his foot. Huth is a tough player, but I've never gotten a vibe that he's a dirty one. I think he's being unfairly branded as a thug right now as Liverpool try to cover for Suarez' flop-a-lympics.

Bale's dive was pathetic in a different way--I thought he was afraid of making contact with Guzan so he "bailed" way too early on the play and made himself look ridiculous. He didn't do any of that grasping his shin as if he'd broke it routine he does when he commits to a dive. Speaking of Guzan...he looked solid for Villa. Looks like we'll be all right after the WC when Howard, inevitably, retires from international soccer.

I also have no idea what Klinsmann is up to with the team selection. The idea that Jozy is good enough to be the best striker in Holland but isn't good enough to play against the behemoths of CONCACAF becuause it's INTERNATIONAL SOCCER is just too ridiculous.
   147. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:27 AM (#4260218)
Also, Blackburn should be all over Owen Coyle right now, though it looks like they want Alan Shearer.
   148. Topher Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:43 AM (#4260229)
Really wish Comcast Chicago would add the English version of bein, though.


Check your language settings. I have Comcast (not Chicago) and only get the "Spanish" version of beIN, but I can get the English audio if I change the setting from "default" to English. I might have the word default wrong, but if you go into your audio settings, you'll see it. Comcast has beIN with Spanish being the primary language. Change that and you're probably going to be ok. It was for El Clasico. Most of beIN's programming has had English audio as an option, although there have been a couple of times while flipping that Spanish seemed to be the only option.

Or if you have a SAP button on your remote (which I don't think Comcast has) try that.
   149. Mattbert Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4260232)
Hmmm, where will Venky's come down on the competence vs name recognition issue? One of life's great mysteries...

   150. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 09, 2012 at 08:51 AM (#4260236)
Hmmm, where will Venky's come down on the competence vs name recognition issue? One of life's great mysteries...

But David Conn says they're competent now!
   151. zack Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:01 AM (#4260245)
After finally seeing the highlights, I don't think Huth stamped on Suarez on purpose. Huth couldn't have seen that Suarez was going to roll right under his foot. Huth is a tough player, but I've never gotten a vibe that he's a dirty one. I think he's being unfairly branded as a thug right now as Liverpool try to cover for Suarez' flop-a-lympics.


Maybe it's the slowmo, but it doesn't look especially stompy to me. He neither retracts the leg before lowering it or transfers the weight from his other leg (since he is hopping), so I don't see much force behind it. I'm sure it still hurt Suarez just from the studs, but Suarez's reaction doesn't look genuine either. Who reacts to pain by clutching their chest and waving their hand in the air other than a woman from Victorian England on the fainting couch?
   152. Spivey Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4260249)
Just consider this my +1 that Altidore is getting absolutely short changed. Not only is he one of our better players right now, he's one of only a few guys that seems to have a chance of being the 2018 team's Dempsey/Donovan level of player. I just haven't been impressed with the US's run since Klinsmann has been in charge, and I think he's got a lot more talent to work with than Bradley did for most of his campaign.
   153. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4260251)
It looks to me like a clear stomp by Huth. The way he puts his hands up and skips on his other foot is the classic "I'm not doing anything" look-away of the dirty player. His foot lands right on Suarez's chest at a completely unnatural time if he were just taking a step.

Suarez sells it like a professional wrestler, of course, but that's what every single footballer in the world would do after being stomped in the chest. I don't think it's fair to complain about making a meal of a completely dirty play.
   154. zack Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4260254)
And now I'm going to have this jingle stuck in my head all day.

I thought the "what, lil' ole me?" routine from Huth was from the tie-up with Suarez before the stomp. His arms are in the air and he's looking at the ref before he stands on Suarez, in fact it might be why he stomps on Suarez (if it were an accident), because he's already given up on the play and not paying attention when Suarez goes down.

That or it was pre-mediated enough that he was already trying to play it off before he did it.
   155. Mattbert Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4260262)
I think you've got to have drunk some serious Suarez haterade to declare that stamp unintentional. Huth doesn't really hammer him as hard as he could have, but he definitely gave him a little pop.

And let's not kid ourselves; Huth absolutely is a dirty player. He is one of the serial perps of Stoke's special brand of goalkeeper mugging on corners and other dead ball deliveries into the box. Huth comes off as a very intelligent and congenial guy off the pitch, but in no way, shape, or form is he not a dirty player on the pitch.
   156. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:33 AM (#4260267)
I guess this is just one of those Rashomon things--I just don't see a purposeful stamping. In fact, I think it was half Suarez' fault it even happened as he rolled into the path of Huth in the process of doing his flop around and wave my arms as if I've been shot act. Really, I think they just got tangled up after some physical play.
   157. puck Posted: October 09, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4260277)
Check your language settings. I have Comcast (not Chicago) and only get the "Spanish" version of beIN, but I can get the English audio if I change the setting from "default" to English.

I do this, too (out in Colorado).

However, it would be good if Comcast would add the English language channel, they show slightly different programming. The Spanish-language version is not showing Friday's Antigua-USMNT WCQ live, for example. (Replay is in the middle of the night, Bolivia-Peru and Argentina-Uruguay are showing live while the US game is going on.)
   158. zack Posted: October 09, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4260365)
I don't think it was unintentional; if the role of 'Luis Suarez' had been played by Frau Huth, I think he would have miraculously avoided stepping on him. I just don't think it rises to the level of a stomp stomp stomp, which to me requires an intent to injure that I don't see.

But since this whole discussion is a thinly-veiled anti-Stokeite slur to distract Spurs Think Factory from Bale's shameful dive, I'll move on.
   159. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 09, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4260381)
Finally watched it and at the very least I think it's obvious that Huth made absolutely no effort to avoid stepping on Suarez. I would compare it to the Shelvey red card versus ManU a couple weeks ago, the player has an obligation to try to avoid injuring a competitor and Huth certainly made no such effort.

I like Stoke a lot but I have to agree with Mattbert on Huth in general, he's a pretty dirty player. As a rule the Stoke boys seem pretty willing to get physical.

Suarez acting like he got shot does him no favors though.
   160. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 09, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4260389)
I haven't seen a replay of the Huth "stomp" so I can't add my opinion one way or the other, but I can say that everytime I watch a Stoke match and see Huth, he reminds me of the main antagonist from the movie Black Sheep and, since that's the world's finest mutant zombie-sheep movie, he's got that going for him ...
   161. Mattbert Posted: October 09, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4260398)
CoB: See the GIF linked in #120. It's not the best quality, but it's something.
   162. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: October 09, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4260422)
Thanks for the tip, Topher. I'll give that a shot next time I'm home.

I have to agree with 158 and 159 -- not a stomp per se (parsing words, perhaps), but Huth easily could have lunged a bit further to avoid stepping on him. How he got away with that as well as this subsequent challenge without a yellow is a joke.

Admittedly cheap humor, but I LOL'd.
   163. Mattbert Posted: October 09, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4260427)
Admittedly cheap humor, but I LOL'd.

It went from pretty good to great at the scene where he's watching Bambi slip on the ice.
   164. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 09, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4260437)
How he got away with that as well as this subsequent challenge without a yellow is a joke.

The subsequent challenge, for me, was worse than the stomp. I think Stoke uses the mass quantity of hard challenges and grabs to get away with their physical play. They challenge the referee to start sending players off which the refs are reluctant to do. It's how Stoke beat Spurs last year, too, when they basically mugged Spurs on every set piece. I think, at this point, it's up to the refs to call the game more tightly. From Stoke's perspective, if they continually get away with something then how can it be against the rules? The first time they're down to 9 men for a half they'll rethink their strategy.
   165. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 09, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4260438)
I like how Asian Tony Pulis looks.
   166. jmurph Posted: October 09, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4260473)
I think Stoke uses the mass quantity of hard challenges and grabs to get away with their physical play. They challenge the referee to start sending players off which the refs are reluctant to do.


That's how the Bad Boy era Detroit Pistons operated. Foul on every play, they can't call them all.
   167. Spivey Posted: October 09, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4260520)
I don't watch Stoke much, but I watched most of the Stoke/Chelsea game and if that was a typical Stoke game I don't think they were anywhere near as bad at cynical fouling as I expected.
   168. ursus arctos Posted: October 09, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4260528)
Pullis' obsession with "diving" is part and parcel of his "full blooded" tactical plan. He'd be much more comfortable if the refs called his matches using a Chopper Harris style standard from the 60s.
   169. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 09, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4260659)
Oh, that's a comma, not a period...

At first I thought they meant 4.124% but were using the continental custom of a comma instead of a period and so I couldn't understand the angst. But, no, that's really 4,124%! (Obviously that's an extreme case but these short term loan outfits have always been loansharkish. Rent-to-own is another scam but that's for another day...)
   170. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: October 09, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4260677)
Pullis' obsession with "diving" is part and parcel of his "full blooded" tactical plan. He'd be much more comfortable if the refs called his matches using a Chopper Harris style standard from the 60s.

Obviously Pullis is making self serving statements, every manager does. But I have always been fully on board with post-match penalties for egregious dives or fouls missed by the ref. I mean is there anybody who doesn't want less diving in the game?

The thing is diving is incredibly hard to judge at real speed in game conditions for referees, but really easy to spot with help of cameras. 3 games is probably too much though. But a guaranteed yellow card every time, maybe increased penalties for repeat offenders, and players will stop doing it.
   171. Mattbert Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4260684)
Yes, if only Newcastle had attracted the support of a fine, upstanding financial institution such as AIG or Standard Chartered.

Wait, what's that you say? Northern Rock? Oh, piffle. Wonga is far more predatory and unethical than that!
   172. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4260687)
Yes, if only Newcastle had attracted the support of a fine, upstanding financial institution such as AIG or Standard Chartered.

Wait, what's that you say? Northern Rock? Oh, piffle. Wonga is far more predatory and unethical than that!


Or...Barclays!, those fine Iran-money laundering and LIBOR manipulating rascals or Standard Chartered, etc. I thought of that and all the gambling outfits, too, which aren't exactly in the habit of donating money to the poor and stupid. Wonga sounds predatory but between the kind of people who buy English soccer teams and the outfits that sponsor them...I mean, blech.
   173. ursus arctos Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4260688)
FPH, I agree with you (and note that Italy has applied post hoc suspensions based on video evidence).

I find Pulis to be particularly hypocritical, given his embrace of other forms of gamesmenship (Crouch's hand ball being the best recent example).
   174. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4260703)
I find Pulis to be particularly hypocritical, given his embrace of other forms of gamesmenship (Crouch's hand ball being the best recent example).

There is no doubt Pulis is full of crap. But don't ask me to take sides in a Stoke vs Luis Suarez fight. Just don't do it, man. Suarez' problem is that with the biting, race-baiting, Scott Parker cheap-shotting, Jack Rodwell sending offing, world cup handballing and so on, no one wants to give him the benefit of the doubt anymore. I think all that stuff are part of what make him as great a player as he is--he's just one of those guys who needs to be on that edge to be brilliant--but he and LFC can't have it both ways. He can't be an asshat and play the victim card. They may as well just embrace Suarez for who he is. He's going to dive, he's going to get under the skin of the opposition and occasionally he's going to suffer payback for it. From the standpoint of entertainment, it's not really such a bad thing to have a mischief maker like Suarez around. I find him a guilty pleasure when he's not playing against Spurs. When he's playing against Spurs he is, of course, a giant turd.
   175. Topher Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4260717)
But, no, that's really 4,124%!


4,124% is a bargain!

I'm joking, I'm joking. Not trying to OT the OT thread.
   176. ursus arctos Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4260724)
Shooty, just wait until they play Tottenham and Pulis whines about Bale's diving.
   177. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 09, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4260732)
Shooty, just wait until they play Tottenham and Pulis whines about Bale's diving.

After last year Stoke and Pulis can smell deeply of my dirty ass. Against Stoke, I hope Bale has his diving goggles on, but other than that game Bale needs to knock it off. I think a lot of Spurs fans are starting to get frustrated with it. He can save that crap for when he gets to Madrid.
   178. Mattbert Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4260760)
   179. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 10, 2012 at 07:42 AM (#4261453)
Eric Wynalda: Troublemaker.

Eric Wynalda ?@Wynalda11

Who else thinks villas boas and friedel story isn't over? Where does friedel go? There is no way he can stay there now? Who wants him? Go!
   180. ursus arctos Posted: October 10, 2012 at 07:52 AM (#4261458)
Friedel was never going to renew his contract, and barring an injury emergency, I can't see hy a club would pay Spurs a fee in the winter window when they can wait five months and get him on a free.
   181. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 10, 2012 at 08:12 AM (#4261467)
Friedel was never going to renew his contract, and barring an injury emergency, I can't see hy a club would pay Spurs a fee in the winter window when they can wait five months and get him on a free.

I don't know why Friedel would leave anyway. I just think Wynalda is full of crap and has been on Villas-Boas' back since he got hired. He and Warren Barton, both. Watching them post-game after the win at Old Trafford was a lot of fun.
   182. Mattbert Posted: October 10, 2012 at 08:46 AM (#4261484)
Yeah, I really don't get the hardon the Fox Soccer guys have for AVB.
We'll welcome any good addition to the squad. When I first signed here there was no secret that at some stage Tottenham Hotspur would need a long term number one goal keeper. I'm 41 years old. This could be my final season. I'm here and I'm contracted to the football club and I'll do whatever is asked of me. Whether that's a number 1, a number 2, a number 3...I'll do it to the best of my ability. It's easier as you get older to realize it, but this is a team sport and the egos have to take a back seat if you want to be successful.
Guess who, in preseason.

The story isn't over? When did it start? The only story is the one you and your jackanape buddies in the press have invented in your own heads. Find something else to talk about, you lazy knobs.
   183. zack Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4261551)
They may as well just embrace Suarez for who he is. He's going to dive, he's going to get under the skin of the opposition and occasionally he's going to suffer payback for it. From the standpoint of entertainment, it's not really such a bad thing to have a mischief maker like Suarez around.


I don't see why not, it works for hockey. It is basically a required roster position these days. Have some skill, but not enough to be a top-line player? And have some size and grit but not enough to be a banger? Congratulations, you're a Pest™! Which is basically the same role Suarez plays, racism optional.
   184. ursus arctos Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4261697)
Excellent idea.

FSG could market Luis to the Chowdaheads as the Uruguyan Brad Marchand.
   185. Swedish Chef Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4261709)
   186. SuperGrover Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4261751)
Who reacts to pain by clutching their chest and waving their hand in the air other than a woman from Victorian England on the fainting couch?


While I love the game, I would say pretty much 95% of top flight footballers in the world. Slow-mo replays are hysterical for basically any play due to the histrionics.

With that said Suarez is a pretty unlikable lad.
   187. SuperGrover Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4261755)
That's how the Bad Boy era Detroit Pistons operated. Foul on every play, they can't call them all.


That's the MO for more than a handful of college basketball teams as well, with Duke being the primary example. The plan is to get some physical players who make lack a bit of quickness and knock the hell out of the opposition knowing the chances of an official calling even 50% of the actual fouls is pretty slim.
   188. Topher Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4261802)
There is no racism in Spanish football, say Spanish FA president.


Apparently Angel Villa Llona isn't paying attention during the FIFA executive committee meetings. You don't deny the existence of racist acts. You simply state that there is nothing systematic and whatever acts may have taken place cannot reflect poorly on the president himself.
   189. Topher Posted: October 10, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4261881)
So with Donovan and Shea out, who does Klinsmann run out in the must win games?

I'm not sure who gets the nod between Bocanegra, Cameron, and Goodson, but I'm guessing the lineup might look something like this:

-------------------- Gomez 
Dempsey  
------------------- Bradley ---------- Zusi 
-------------- Jones --- Williams 
Johnson 
--- Bocanegra --- Cameron --- Cherundolo 



For a team that really has to get 3 points against Antigua & Barbuda, I'm not loving the looks of that lineup.

I'd like to see Klinsmann take out either Jermaine Jones or Danny Williams and put Alan Gordon or Eddie Johnson up top but I can't see him benching either. Frankly I'm worried that he'll put Danny Williams in Zusi's spot and still inexplicably find a way to keep Beckerman in the starting XI.

[edit] To be clear, I'm not in love with Zusi or either of the Gordon/Johnson possibilities but I'm guessing they are the most likely to make it into the starting lineup and be able to contribute to a goal on the road.
   190. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 10, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4261906)
[edit] To be clear, I'm not in love with Zusi or either of the Gordon/Johnson possibilities but I'm guessing they are the most likely to make it into the starting lineup and be able to contribute to a goal on the road.

I think Fabian Johnson could play higher up as a winger. I really hope we don't see Bradley/Jones/Williams or Beckerman all together. That is just too negative.
   191. Swedish Chef Posted: October 10, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4261926)
Pardew: Wonga can get Newcastle into the top four

Dammit Pardew, financing a transfer spree with payday loans is not the solution to Newcastles's problem. Read the fine print!
   192. DA Baracus Posted: October 10, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4261979)
I think Fabian Johnson could play higher up as a winger.


He could, but Edgar Castillo just got hurt so Johnson has to start at LB.

I'd like to see Klinsmann take out either Jermaine Jones or Danny Williams and put Alan Gordon or Eddie Johnson up top but I can't see him benching either.


I would like it if all three didn't start. I'd go with a 4-1-4-1:

----------------Gomez---------------
--Dempsey--Bradley--Kljestan--Zusi--
----------------Williams------------
Johnson-Bocanegra-Cameron-Cherundolo

Williams is best as a DM. Bradley and Klestan are the best central distributors on the roster. Put them where they can best excel.
   193. Topher Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4261981)
I think Fabian Johnson could play higher up as a winger.


Agreed. But I'd assume Castillo would replace him at left back and don't think Klinsmann is considering that to be an option.

And agreed on the "too negative" but that seems to be par for the course these days.

[edit] Just saw DA's post. Didn't realize Castillo was hurt.
   194. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4261983)

For a team that really has to get 3 points against Antigua & Barbuda, I'm not loving the looks of that lineup.


I don't think three points against A&B is an absolute must though it makes life a hell of a lot easier. If Jamaica beats Guatemala then a draw at A&B allows the US to go through with a draw against Guatemala. If Guatemala beats Jamaica or Jamaica and Guatemala draw then we are looking at a must win against Guatemala.

If we DRAW at A&B and;

Jamaica beat Guatemala THEN US win over Guatemala and we're through (Jamaica 13, US 11, Guatemala 7 - all assuming Jamaica beats A&B)
Jamaica beat Guatemala THEN US draw with Guatemala and we're through (Jamaica 13, US 9, Guatemala 8)
Guatemala beat Jamaica THEN US win over Guatemala and we're through (US 11, Guatemala 10, Jamaica 10)
Guatemala beat Jamaica THEN US draw with Guatemala and we're OUT (Guatemala 11, Jamaica 10, US 9)
Guatemala draw Jamaica THEN US win over Guatemala and we're through (US 11, Jamaica 11, Guatemala 8)
Guatemala draw Jamaica THEN US draw with Guatemala and it's tiebreakers (Jamaica 11, Guatemala 8, US 8) (tiebreakers will be clearer with final scores Friday night)

LOSE at A&B and it gets a bit more exciting but tiebreakers become the issue then;

Jamaica beat Guatemala THEN US win over Guatemala and we're through (Jamaica 13, US 10, Guatemala 7)
Jamaica beat Guatemala THEN US draw with Guatemala and it's tiebreakers (Jamaica 13, US 8, Guatemala 8)
Guatemala beat Jamaica THEN US win over Guatemala and it's tiebreakers (US 10, Guatemala 10, Jamaica 10)
Guatemala beat Jamaica THEN US draw with Guatemala and we're OUT (Guatemala 11, Jamaica 10, US 8)
Guatemala draw Jamaica THEN US win over Guatemala and we're through (US 10, Jamaica 11, Guatemala 8)
Guatemala draw Jamaica THEN US draw with Guatemala and we're OUT (Jamaica 11, Guatemala 8, US 7)

I think I've got that all right. A win at A&B puts us in a situation where the worst case is a tiebreaker scenario with a loss so that's ideal but if I got my options right 6 of the 12 possible result combos put us through and 3 of the other 6 combos get us to tiebreakers. A loss to Guatemala is the disaster scenario. My fear with a win or a draw is we try to park the bus against Guatemala or they simply are hungrier than us and put us up against it.
   195. Topher Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4261986)
And I like your lineup a lot more than mine, DA. I just don't think Klinsmann will bench Jones. Heck, at this point, all I'm hoping for is that Beckerman doesn't leave the bench.
   196. Topher Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4262008)
Thanks for the breakdown Jose. And I did know I was using a bit of hyperbole to say the US has to get 3 points. But if they don't, I really don't like going into the last game with so much uncertainty even if it still does favor the US if it is just a draw. Especially because I could see the US choking against Guatemala. This would be the most pressure the team has faced in qualifying since Trinidad and Tobago in 1989, no?

And I'm kicking myself. I'm not there now, but I'm from Kansas City and chose not to go to the Guatemala game because I figured it would be too much of a pain to get out of enough work to go to a Tuesday night game. I figured it wasn't worth taking that much vacation time for what was going to be a meaningless game. Oops.
   197. DA Baracus Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4262016)
Castillo got hurt today. Pretty fresh news.

I agree that Klinsmann probably won't bench Jones. I doubt he'll play Kljestan. And he certainly won't play a 4-1-4-1. But a boy can dream.

I don't think three points against A&B is an absolute must though it makes life a hell of a lot easier.


Technical must, no, but if they don't win Klinsmann's got some explaining to do. I'm sure he'd say something about how tough CONCACAF is. They've got to get 4 points this week. Anything less is unacceptable. This isn't Canada or Costa Rica. Not advancing is not an option.
   198. DA Baracus Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4262045)
And now a report in Germany says Fabian Johnson will miss the A&B game with the flu.

Call in Jose Torres to play left back again!
   199. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4262062)
Technical must, no, but if they don't win Klinsmann's got some explaining to do. I'm sure he'd say something about how tough CONCACAF is. They've got to get 4 points this week. Anything less is unacceptable. This isn't Canada or Costa Rica. Not advancing is not an option.


I agree but I think 4 points is quite doable even with a draw at A&B. I think we should expect to win at home against Guatemala. While we don't dominate the region I think we should expect to get three points in every non-Mexico home game. At the same time if we win at A&B but then lose against Guatemala we're probably in a dicey situation. That's why I'm not too worried about the A&B game.
   200. DA Baracus Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4262072)
4 points is absolutely doable. That's why I expect it. They should get 6 points, but I can live with 4.
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