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Sunday, September 02, 2012

OT: The Soccer Thread: September

Back in form and late with the new thread. No wit this time, have at it!

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 02, 2012 at 07:13 PM | 795 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. puck Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4225539)
After the season start and the Europa/Champions League qualifiers, it's going to seem real quiet compared to previous weeks. Especially since it seems the channels I get (no BeIN) aren't showing many of the World Cup Qualifiers.

Does anyone remember Hendry Thomas from Wigan? He's a Honduran holding/D-mid. Looks like he got a number of starts there then fell out of favor or was hurt. The Colorado Rapids just signed him as life without Pablo Mastroeni has been a bit rough. (Mastroeni has been suffering from concussion symptoms for nearly the entire season and it looks like he'll have to retire.)
   2. I am going to be Frank Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4225544)
I seem to remember him being a fouling machine.
   3. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4225548)
repost from the end of last thread:

A whinge about money in English football from the LRB.

"Many deride what has happened at Manchester City, and with good reason, yet even critics have been surprised by how professionally the club has been run since the Mansour takeover. And putting millions into a club is surely less of an offence than owners buying clubs to take fortunes out."
   4. Mattbert Posted: September 03, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4225554)
So it seems Mr Levy missed a trick by petitioning the league for a mere extra hour instead of a whole month to replace Luka Modric.
The Spanish League (LFP) has granted Athletic Bilbao special dispensation of one month to sign a replacement for Javi Martinez.

Martinez joined Bayern Munich before the end of the transfer deadline and Los Leones argued they had not been given sufficient time to find a suitable alternative to the Spanish international.

According to El Corrreo, sources have confirmed that the 12 members of the LFP’s Executive Committee have sided with the Basques and they will now have four weeks to bring somebody in.

The period of grace expires on September 29 and Bilbao will only be able to sign players from La Liga, provided the rescission clause in the footballer’s contract is met.
   5. Swedish Chef Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4225563)
If you want to read about Svennis latest adventures, you have to go to the old thread.

So Bilbao got something for their obstruction. Seems to me that keeping a player when he wants away and the bid triggers the clause is a rather hopeless project. They would have had time to bring in a replacement if they hadn't played those games. Of course they are rich now, so I guess all the chairmen of La Liga are salivating at the prospect of unloading a player to them. Which would explain the part about the players being no stinking foreign imports.
   6. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4225571)
Athletic Bilbao limit themselves to players with Basque ancestry, right?
   7. puck Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4225579)
repost from the end of last thread:

A whinge about money in English football from the LRB.


It's David Conn, and reads like a shorter "The Beautiful Game" + "Revised with New Chapter covering the 2012-13 Premier League Season!" Though I see he's written a new book about City, so maybe that's the new book.
   8. nick swisher hygiene Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4225582)
4--why is that article a "whinge"? (I mean, besides your presumably being British?) I mean, call it unrealistic, nostalgic, weird in its assumption that the English national team is the point of league football's existence--but where's the whining?
   9. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: September 03, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4225586)
That's ridiculous. I have known Martinez was going to Bayern for about 2 months. And Bilbao is just shocked, shocked to find out he's leaving...

They had plenty of time to find a replacement, before he left. As far as deadline day deals go, his was completely predictable. And with all the last minute deals going down, if clubs got an extra 4 weeks every time it happened, there would be no point in having a deadline in the first place...
   10. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 03, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4225589)
David Conn is kind of full of crap. I mean, think he means well but his understanding if the sports finances is embarrassing for someone who presents himself as an expert. His City fandom just makes his articles about Chelsea, Liverpool, Man U etc come off as starkly two-faced. I guess what he wants is for every team to have a sugar daddy because he doesn't seem to understand the economic pressure of some teams have sugar daddies and other teams not having them creates, though I suspect if Man City were still a normal club he would find the understanding very quickly.
   11. Mattbert Posted: September 03, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4225594)
Porto have accepted a bid from Gazprom FC for Hulk. Rumored to be around €50M.
   12. Swedish Chef Posted: September 03, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4225596)
Hulk goes to Zenit.
   13. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 03, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4225600)
Porto have accepted a bid from Gazprom FC for Hulk. Rumored to be around €50M.

Holy crap! When was the last time a player the caliber Hulk spent an entire career outside one of the big 4 leagues?
   14. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 03, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4225601)
   15. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: September 03, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4225602)
I meant whining in terms of the nostalgia. I could be overstating.

(I'm American, I just love the term whinge > whine)
   16. JH (in DC) Posted: September 03, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4225613)
Hulk goes to Zenit.


Looks like Zenit's rumored to get Axel Witsel as well.
   17. ursus arctos Posted: September 03, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4225635)
Both now confirmed.

60 million for Hulk, 40 million for Witsel.
   18. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 03, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4225643)
It'll be interesting what happens with FFP. Some clubs are making a big noise about getting getting in compliance and others seem to be openly mocking it.
   19. JuanGone..except1game Posted: September 03, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4225680)
Meireles to Fenerbance (Turkish league) for 10million euros. I'm going to miss him, his psuedo-Lampard strikes from 40 yards and his awful hair.
   20. Mattbert Posted: September 03, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4225747)
I feel like Meireles should have had more of a career in England. He's one of those guys who does everything pretty well, but he's not outstanding at any one thing. Consequently, he's underappreciated. I thought he was on the verge of cementing a place at Liverpool, and then he was gone. To Chelsea, where he was always sort of on the fringe of things.
   21. Spivey Posted: September 03, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4225817)
I feel like Meireles should have had more of a career in England. He's one of those guys who does everything pretty well, but he's not outstanding at any one thing. Consequently, he's underappreciated. I thought he was on the verge of cementing a place at Liverpool, and then he was gone. To Chelsea, where he was always sort of on the fringe of things.


I think he rose too fast, or too far beyond his skill level. As you say, he's a good, not great player. It's tough for a player of that caliber to have a strong spot with a team like Chelsea. Which means you'll be considered expendable. I think that he would have had a regular job at Liverpool, but I don't see many players pass the opportunity to move on to a better club.

Someone want to tell me what I should know about Witsel? Is he better than Dembele? These Portugal clubs make an absolute killing on the transfer market. I don't understand it.
   22. Gaelan Posted: September 03, 2012 at 10:19 PM (#4225839)
I don't understand too much the complaints about big spending by Man City et al. Sure it puts the other teams at a competitive disadvantage but on the other hand it funnels money into the sport, kind of like a pyramid scheme. If you are a middle sized team, anything that increases demand for your players, increases the transfer fees you get for them. Every new big spender is a good thing for these teams. So long as there is a more or less free movement of labour the big teams are going to get the best players no matter what. The transfer market is a direct transfer of wealth from big teams to smaller teams. Why should smaller teams be unhappy about it?

   23. puck Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4225909)
I seem to remember [Thomas] being a fouling machine.


Sounds like he might be a good replacement for Mastroeni, short-term at least. Pity he's not going to have a chance to set the all-time MLS record for fouls.
   24. Swedish Chef Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4225922)
The transfer market is a direct transfer of wealth from big teams to smaller teams. Why should smaller teams be unhappy about it?

Because they can't compete for anything ever? Because they are shut out from lucrative play in the Champions League? Because they can't get high-value sponsorship deals because of the lack of visibility? Because their fanbase is turning apathetic and reluctant to spend? The off-chance of a big transfer deal is poor compensation for all of that.
   25. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:48 AM (#4225928)
I don't understand too much the complaints about big spending by Man City et al. Sure it puts the other teams at a competitive disadvantage but on the other hand it funnels money into the sport, kind of like a pyramid scheme. If you are a middle sized team, anything that increases demand for your players, increases the transfer fees you get for them. Every new big spender is a good thing for these teams. So long as there is a more or less free movement of labour the big teams are going to get the best players no matter what. The transfer market is a direct transfer of wealth from big teams to smaller teams. Why should smaller teams be unhappy about it?

Take your trickle-down economic theories to the politics thread!

Because they can't compete for anything ever? Because they are shut out from lucrative play in the Champions League? Because they can't get high-value sponsorship deals because of the lack of visibility? Because their fanbase is turning apathetic and reluctant to spend?

Meh, all of this applied before Chelsea, City, PSG and Gazprom broke the bank. At least now fans of small teams can hope that one day their team will be the one with a sugar daddy.
   26. puck Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:02 AM (#4225956)
I missed the Champions League draw discussion, so sorry if this has already been posted, but I found parts of this Dirty Tackle post Jose Mourinho's expert analysis of the Champions League Draw to be amusing:

Group C

Milan
Zenit St. Petersburg
Anderlecht
Malaga

Jose says: Milan sold their best players, Malaga are in financial trouble, Zenit think Andrei Arshavin is still good and Anderlecht I do not care about.

Verdict: This is the group of sadness.


Group D

...Jose says: The champions of Spain, the champions of England, the champions of the Netherlands and the champions of Germany. Can Steve McManaman be that bad at picking balls out of a pot? Yes.

...And Ajax will cry. Why do they keep getting used as pawn in UEFA's schemes? They are like poor goat in Jurassic Park.
   27. Richard Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:45 AM (#4225962)
Because they can't compete for anything ever? Because they are shut out from lucrative play in the Champions League? Because they can't get high-value sponsorship deals because of the lack of visibility? Because their fanbase is turning apathetic and reluctant to spend? The off-chance of a big transfer deal is poor compensation for all of that.

The amount of money sloshing around in football has been a disaster for many smaller clubs. It has resulted in:

- large clubs signing good players from smaller teams that they don't need for the first XI and "stockpiling" them or loaning them out to other smaller clubs. This is distorting competition (and the EPL have just bullied the football league into a new academy system that will ensure that the football league clubs will miss out on many such transfer fees in future anyway)

- most of the money goes not on transfer fees, which only the bigger teams pay, but on wages, which everyone pays. The only "trickle down effect" is that there are mediocre players all over the lower divisions on unsustainable wages

- sensible financial fair play rules in some lower level leagues (eg English tiers three and four) but as the higher leagues have yet to adopt them there is an argument that they merely perpetuate the inequalities.

- financial trouble, or extinction, for teams who lose the wealthy backer or who loses interest (Rangers, Darlington, Portsmouth, Gretna etc).

This may not matter to fans from the US or Asia who are perhaps only interested in a limited number of teams whom they can see on TV and are not used to the concept of leagues of independant teams below a top tier, but these problems are very real.

I accept a salary cap is difficult to enforce given the vested interests, European law and trans-national issues, but there are changes that could be made to level the playing field. Limiting loan signings or squad sizes in some way would be good places to start, IMHO.
   28. BFFB Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:10 AM (#4225967)
Because their fanbase is turning apathetic and reluctant to spend?


*raises hand*

Pretty much completely apathetic. Over the last couple years I've gone from watching fairly regularly to only watching the odd league game if I have nothing better to do and not watching any Champions League game.
   29. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:33 AM (#4225970)
- financial trouble, or extinction, for teams who lose the wealthy backer or who loses interest (Rangers, Darlington, Portsmouth, Gretna etc).

That's not what got Rangers into financial trouble. Illegally evading taxes for about a decade, and then getting caught did.
   30. Richard Posted: September 04, 2012 at 06:02 AM (#4225971)
Rangers went down because of non payment of taxes, due to a lack of funds, after the new owner was shown to be a man of straw. The illegal avoidance is something extra on top.
   31. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: September 04, 2012 at 06:46 AM (#4225973)
The illegal avoidance is something extra on top.

No it's really not. The debt they racked up due to the illegal avoidance alone, was worth more than the value of Rangers FC. It took a completely manageable debt situation, and turned it into a massive train wreck. Rangers were doomed, the second they got caught.
   32. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 04, 2012 at 08:42 AM (#4226003)
   33. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 04, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4226088)
Anyone with any insight into whether Zenit's fans are really as racist as they're made out to be? Is signing Hulk and Witsel their Jackie Robinson moment, or no big deal? Supposedly M'Vila received death threats when rumors about him going to Zenit started but I never know how seriously to accept news about European club supporters.
   34. Swedish Chef Posted: September 04, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4226113)
Anyone with any insight into whether Zenit's fans are really as racist as they're made out to be?

Fans? They have a board who have tried their utmost to enforce a white Zenit policy until now.

Vlastimil Petrzela and Dick Advocaat have spoken about how they tried to sign black players and were blocked.
   35. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 04, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4226127)
Fans? They have a board who have tried their utmost to enforce a white Zenit policy until now.

Hulk and Witsel are in for some interesting times, I guess.

Tom Huddlestone had his red card ban overturned. I thought that call was a bit harsh on the big fella.

Supposedly Del Piero's move to Sydney is not finalized and he could still end up in Southampton.
   36. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 04, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4226139)
Interesting last paragraph in The Guardian's story about Zenit

They may not be building as frantically as PSG and City, but there is no doubt that Zenit's owners – Gazprom, the largest extractor of natural gas in the world – aspire to making their club European champions. Indeed, Gazprom is itself a growing influence in European football: in July the company to whom Roman Abramovich sold Sibneft for £8.4bn in 2005 agreed a three-year sponsorship deal with Chelsea for an undisclosed amount that will likely help the London club's attempts to comply with financial fair play regulations and possibly helped smooth through the purchases of Eden Hazard, Oscar et al. What is more, in the same month Gazprom was unveiled as the sixth "official partner" of the Champions League, alongside Sony, Heineken, Visa and so on. So in a sense they already have their name on the trophy.

The emphases are mine.

Seriously, what the hell does Sibneft have to gain by sponsoring Chelsea? It's a joke.
   37. ursus arctos Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4226158)
Gazprom are sponsoring Chelsea, not Sibneft.

And their business reasons for doing so are at least as valid as AON's for sponsoring Manchester United (though perhaps not as valid as Gazprom's reasons for sponsoring Schalke).
   38. BFFB Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4226162)
European Football really is the "New" F1. Are you from a totalitarian country with an awful human rights record with lots of natural resources? Buy into football! Buy legitimacy and improve your PR!
   39. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4226166)
Gazprom are sponsoring Chelsea, not Sibneft.

Right, those are two different things I'm highlighting. The first is that Gazprom is throwing money at UEFA--not a bad way to get in good with the body regulating FFP--and Chelsea are having money thrown at them by Sibneft for no other discernible reasons than Abramovich needs a way to skirt FFP.
   40. Swedish Chef Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4226173)
and Chelsea are having money thrown at them by Sibneft for no other discernible reasons than Abramovich needs a way to skirt FFP.

It's Gazprom (the company that acquired Sibneft from Roman) that are doing the money throwing though, very possibly a quid pro quo of some sort, but Gazprom is doing a lot of business in Western Europe.
   41. Swedish Chef Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4226177)
Apparently Michael Owen has signed at Stoke, so no dream move to Anfield there.
   42. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 04, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4226191)
Apparently Michael Owen has signed at Stoke, so no dream move to Anfield there.

Ha!

I find that I can't quite formulate my thoughts about why I find the petroleum industry's co-opting of world soccer so distasteful. That's usually a sign that I'm being emotional and irrational. I know things are going wrong in my head when I start moving Real Madrid and Bayern over to the "good club" designation in my brain. At least Real and Bayern are football clubs first and evil second.
   43. puck Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4226335)
Apparently Michael Owen has signed at Stoke, so no dream move to Anfield there.

What happened to Kenwyne Jones? Has he been hit with injuries or something? Looks like he did nothing last year, and doesn't play anymore.
   44. ursus arctos Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4226342)
Pulis found Crouch to be better suited to Stoke's style of play.
   45. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: September 04, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4226345)
What happened to Kenwyne Jones? Has he been hit with injuries or something?

Yeah he tripped over his first name.

At least Real and Bayern are football clubs first and evil second.

You're lucky I am too busy playing Bloons TD, or I would show you the wickedness of your ways!
   46. Swedish Chef Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4226391)
Pulis found Crouch to be better suited to Stoke's style of play.

That sentence really begs for quotation marks around style.
   47. Mattbert Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4226428)
Apparently Michael Owen has signed at Stoke, so no dream move to Anfield there.

Crouchinho must be delighted at the prospect of reigniting a big man-little man partnership like he had at Pompey and Spurs. It'll be like having the pace and strength of van der Vaart and the creativity and passing guile of Defoe all in one little package.
   48. Swedish Chef Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4226437)
Del Piero will snub Liverpool, says Sydney FC CEO

"Offers from England? Liverpool is a great club, but Australia is a big country."
   49. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4226482)
"Offers from England? Liverpool is a great club, but Australia is a big country."

But not a great country? I mean they should just better hope that no clubs from Russia come knocking. Now that is a big country...
   50. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4226547)
My case in point about David Conn.

There is nothing of substance about Liverpool's finances here at all. Alas, if only they could be as purely sporting as a club near to his heart...

I'll vouch for Australia. It certainly is a big country. Even bigger than Greenland, which isn't a country, but if it was!
   51. PepTech Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4226565)
The Russian top league doesn't have any Asian teams at the moment, but squads from Novosibirsk and Vladivostok have dipped their toes into the top level. Vladivostok is a LONG way from Zenit.
   52. puck Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4226576)
More from that Del Piero article:

According to reports in major newspaper The Australian, Del Piero will sign a deal worth $2m per season which will be a record for the domestic game with an official announcement expected on Wednesday.


Del Piero seems too old to be the guy you sign to a record salary.
   53. ursus arctos Posted: September 04, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4226596)
It's the A League's hommage au NASL.
   54. I am going to be Frank Posted: September 04, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4226613)
I wonder what kind of money MLS was offering (if they were even in the running)?
   55. puck Posted: September 04, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4226624)
I don't know. Di Vaio ended up with just under $2 million, but I don't know if Montreal (or NY) was ever negotiating with Del Piero.
   56. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: September 04, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4226627)
There's only 6 MLSers who make $2M+. MLS isn't going to pay a 37 year old non-superstar (in America) that kind of money, they've been burned too many times by retirement guys. That Del Piero took $2M to play in Australia indicates to me that he's just looking for the biggest paycheck to close out his career. Which is totally fine, but if MLS I pass on him.

That said, I thought Marco Di Vaio would be another retirement farm player, instead he's been very good helping Montreal make a late playoff push (which will come up short).
   57. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 04, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4226628)
puck, correct me if I'm wrong, but Nesta signed with Montreal without even a being a DP, no?

If Del Piero pulls a shocker and goes to Liverpool, would he be the first Juventus player to move to Liverpool?
   58. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: September 04, 2012 at 07:20 PM (#4226631)
Correct, Nesta is not a DP, he makes only $225k. Marvelle Wynne makes more. Ouch.
   59. Mattbert Posted: September 04, 2012 at 08:04 PM (#4226643)
The Russian top league doesn't have any Asian teams at the moment, but squads from Novosibirsk and Vladivostok have dipped their toes into the top level. Vladivostok is a LONG way from Zenit.

Even farther from Zenit: just plain Vostok.
   60. Richard Posted: September 04, 2012 at 08:30 PM (#4226658)
If Del Piero pulls a shocker and goes to Liverpool, would he be the first Juventus player to move to Liverpool?

No. Ian Rush moved from Juventus to Liverpool in 1988, having been sold to Juventus the year before.
   61. Swedish Chef Posted: September 05, 2012 at 01:32 AM (#4226818)
Del Piero seems too old to be the guy you sign to a record salary.

Why would that matter? It's not a long term deal and he is certainly better than all the other players in the league.
   62. Flynn Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:40 AM (#4226833)
Alex would be certainly be a star in Montreal, New England (ha! like they'll spend), or NYC. Maybe Philly too. Basically any place with a decent-sized Italian community would be overjoyed by his arrival.

And he can still play. More than a few people scratched heads when Juve decided to get rid of him. MLS has taken players more over the hill than him - I think Henry's time at a top European club was done - and had success.
   63. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 05, 2012 at 07:38 AM (#4226852)
No. Ian Rush moved from Juventus to Liverpool in 1988, having been sold to Juventus the year before.

That must have been weird for everyone.
   64. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 05, 2012 at 08:13 AM (#4226867)
Eidur Gudjohnsen is on trial with the Sounders. If he has any spring left in those legs, that could be a nice pick up for them. He was pretty good for Spurs in their run to a CL spot a couple of years ago but hasn't seemed to be able to find a home since.
   65. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 05, 2012 at 08:19 AM (#4226869)
Holy crap these things are expensive

I honestly had no idea they were that much. You can get a suit on 34th street for 180 bucks! I guess there was probably little chance he wouldn't have picked #2...
   66. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: September 05, 2012 at 08:38 AM (#4226878)
Alex would be certainly be a star in Montreal, New England (ha! like they'll spend), or NYC. Maybe Philly too. Basically any place with a decent-sized Italian community would be overjoyed by his arrival.


This was the rationale behind teams in cities with large Hispanic populations signing Mexican players to generate interest and ticket sales, and it didn't work. There just aren't enough first or second generation Italians in those cities to move the needle by signing Del Piero because he's Italian.

And he can still play. More than a few people scratched heads when Juve decided to get rid of him. MLS has taken players more over the hill than him - I think Henry's time at a top European club was done - and had success.


The question isn't if he can play, the question is does he really want to play. And as I said before, by taking $2M to play in Australia, it seems to me he is more interested in taking a paycheck than anything else. Again, that's fine, but MLS isn't interested in those players.
   67. ursus arctos Posted: September 05, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4226886)
Del Piero is qualitatively different than the typical Mexican or Italian MLS signing. He's the icon for the most popular team in Italy, and a club that is even more popular among the diaspora (including fourth and fifth generation supporters) than it is domestically. His status among Juventini is not dissimilar to Jeter's among Yankee fans.
   68. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: September 05, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4226910)
Del Piero is qualitatively different than the typical Mexican or Italian MLS signing. He's the icon for the most popular team in Italy, and a club that is even more popular among the diaspora (including fourth and fifth generation supporters) than it is domestically. His status among Juventini is not dissimilar to Jeter's among Yankee fans.


Similar things were said about Cuahtemoc Blanco, and he didn't move the needle. Chicago didn't see a spike in attendance because they signed the Mexican icon and Rafa Marquez hasn't helped one bit in New York, so I have a hard time seeing 5th generation Italians showing up in droves.
   69. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4226911)
I honestly had no idea they were that much. You can get a suit on 34th street for 180 bucks! I guess there was probably little chance he wouldn't have picked #2...
I'm sure he was a big Jeter fan growing up.

Lucky for you, you can get a brand new Andy Carroll Hammers shirt for just $125

EDIT: Or, for the truly bizarre, an OBAMA or ROMNEY National Team shirt (#12, of course) for just $110.
   70. Mattbert Posted: September 05, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4226933)
Think Football - The Thinking Person's Football Website

Is this The Jim's stalking horse for a little BTF franchising offshoot? I have quickly read through the first two articles on the front page that cover AVB's Tottenham tactics, and while I don't agree 100% the quality of the writing and analysis is pretty high. I am looking forward to digging in to more of their content.
   71. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: September 05, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4226941)
Because why not, the NASL is changing the 2013 season to a opening/closing season format. Interesting.

Think Football - The Thinking Person's Football Website


They even have the same page format as Zonal Marking.
   72. Swedish Chef Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4226962)
Again, that's fine, but MLS isn't interested in those players.

The Australian league is a serious league and I doubt it's inferior to MLS in quality.
   73. Swedish Chef Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4226973)
   74. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4226975)
Anyone else think the Secret Footballer may be more than one person?
   75. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4226984)
I really wish I'd gotten a 2010 USMNT jersey. That was a sharp outfit. The current one isn't bad, but not my style.
   76. Mattbert Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4227059)
Am I missing something or does the transfer deadline apparently not apply to Manchester United? There must have been some sort of agreement in place before today, I suppose.
   77. Randy Jones Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4227064)
The Angelo Henriquez signing was done like two weeks ago. I think it just wasn't announced until today.
   78. Swedish Chef Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4227108)
Maybe his work permit came through now, because I remember they snapped him up earlier.

Is he in the squad at all? If not the deadline is irrelevant. I doubt he's going to play in the prem this season.
   79. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4227134)
Swiss Ramble just put up another installment on FFP. Will hopefully make for some nice, if dense, lunchtime reading.
   80. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4227171)
The Australian league is a serious league and I doubt it's inferior to MLS in quality.


It is a serious league, but it's inferior to MLS. MLS has more money, better top end talent, deeper rosters, more international players and a larger and more skilled domestic talent pool to draw from.
   81. JuanGone..except1game Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4227177)
The Australian league is a serious league and I doubt it's inferior to MLS in quality.


Went to a few Melbourne Victory games last year and while I do think that its inferior to MLS, its not by much.

Haven't posted since last week, but god Falcao is f'ing good. Anyone who hasn't seen his 3 goals in the SuperCup should search youtube because of the technical skill involved in all. Just completely dismantled Chelsea, though I don't think the best of efforts were given for that match. I think that Roman might have found his next white whale.
   82. Mattbert Posted: September 05, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4227208)
Is he in the squad at all? If not the deadline is irrelevant.

Henriquez is U-21, so I don't think he has to be named in the 25-man squad regardless. But that shouldn't have any bearing on his transfer and registration, right? For example, Eden Hazard is also U-21. Could Chelsea have waited until after the deadline for him to agree personal terms? The reporting on Henriquez's transfer is a bit muddled, but that sounds like what happened with him. Universidad and Man United agreed to the transfer a couple weeks ago, but the player hadn't agreed personal terms until today. I don't know; it's not exactly clear.
   83. Swedish Chef Posted: September 05, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4227232)
Universidad and Man United agreed to the transfer a couple weeks ago, but the player hadn't agreed personal terms until today. I don't know; it's not exactly clear.

It seems they had to wait for the work permit.
   84. puck Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4227361)
Why would that matter? It's not a long term deal and he is certainly better than all the other players in the league

I was assuming he was "done" old. I may have been misinformed, he hardly played last year. But I would not have assumed he was "certainly better than all the other players in the league." And then even Henry is pretty much better than all the other players in the league, but has trouble staying on the field.
   85. puck Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4227365)
Also, wasn't Montreal taking to Del Piero? Hard to remember if it was all just rumors. I thought they were, and then went with Di Vaio instead, but maybe they were never having talks, or Del Piero didn't want to go there.
   86. ursus arctos Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4227398)
He played in about 2/3rds of Juve's league matches last year (admittedly, often as a substitute), so I wouldn't say that he's completely done.

And yes, there was reported interest from Montreal, but ADP didn't seem enthused about the city.
   87. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4227408)
And yes, there was reported interest from Montreal, but ADP didn't seem enthused about the city.

Weird. Montreal is pretty great. Choosing between Montreal and Sydney as a place to live would be pretty tough unless you just really hated cold winters or loved the beach. Hmm, I think I just sold myself on Sydney, too.
   88. ursus arctos Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4227413)
The language thing seemed to be important, as he wants his kids to have an English immersion experience. And I could see how Sydney's weather would appeal after twenty years in Turin.
   89. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4227473)
The language thing seemed to be important, as he wants his kids to have an English immersion experience. And I could see how Sydney's weather would appeal after twenty years in Turin.
This is a shame, as I'd kind of love to hear the accent that emerges when Italian speakers try to do English immersion in a French-Canadian speaking place.
   90. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4227491)
The language thing seemed to be important, as he wants his kids to have an English immersion experience.

Well, that rules out Liverpool.
   91. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4227497)
but ADP didn't seem enthused about the city.

That damn anarchopanda must've scared him off.
   92. ursus arctos Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4227514)
The Swiss Ramble piece is (unsurprisingly) the best thing of FPP that I've seen.

I do wonder if Del Piero hesitated when he realized that his kids' English is likely to sound like Christian Vieri's.
   93. puck Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4227521)
Swiss Ramble just put up another installment on FFP. Will hopefully make for some nice, if dense, lunchtime reading.

I've read teams make very little from the Europa League, but it's a little shocking to see just how different it is from the CL...the article says Stoke received the most of the English teams, 3.5 million euros. Does the figure go up much for teams making deep runs in the knockouts?
   94. Swedish Chef Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4227522)
Scunthorpe manager Alan Knill 'could have been killed' by squirrel

The squirrel was reportedly very upset by Scunthorphe's tactical ineptness and poor team selection during their poor start to the season.
   95. Swedish Chef Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4227532)
I've read teams make very little from the Europa League, but it's a little shocking to see just how different it is from the CL

It's very much a second tier competition, the gap will only widen.

I kind of miss the Cup Winners Cup, it at least had a hook. But of course it couldn't work well with the expanded CL.

Does the figure go up much for teams making deep runs in the knockouts?

Only if you make the final.
   96. ursus arctos Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4227534)
93, it goes up, but rarely exceeds EUR 10 million (link is to last year's figures). The influence of the size of a club's home market is also more significant, as can be seen by looking at the German teams on the list.
   97. puck Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4227538)
I saw the Colin Firth Fever Pitch...it was interesting to see all the shots of Highbury. So, basically they had to keep the East and West stand, and converted them (along with two new structures replacing the north and south stands) into apartment complexes, then re-did the pitch as a central courtyard/garden area?
   98. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4227541)
Puck, there's a wonderful chart in the Swiss Ramble piece that will answer your question. The short answer is, no, an extended run isn't a particularly big financial boon. Going by his chart, actually, last year's finalists from Spain weren't even amongst the biggest Europa League earners. Schalke earned the most, followed by Hannover and Besiktas. I'm assuming this is because the non-UEFA TV payouts are different from country-to-country, i.e. a team in England getting knocked out in the group stages is still a good bet to make more than a team from, say, the Eredivisie that makes a deep run.

EDIT: Beaten to the punch, coke for ursus.
   99. ursus arctos Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4227548)
I'm not at all Arsenal-minded, but Highbury was special.

There are a lot more pictures on the development website.
   100. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4227600)
flip.
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