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Friday, October 20, 2017

OT: Winter Soccer Thread

November 4 Borussia Dortmund v. Bayern Munich
November 5 Chelsea v. ManU
November 9 & 12 - Northern Ireland v. Switzerland/Croatia v. Greece
November 10 &  13 - Sweden v. Italy
November 11 & 14 - Denmark v. Ireland
November 10 & 15 - Honduras v. Australia
November 11 & 15 - New Zealand v. Peru
November 14 - Portugal v. USA (friendly #&!^#&)
December 1 - Napoli v. Juventus
December 10 - ManU v. ManCity
December 11 - Champions League Round of 16 draw
December 20 - Real Madrid v. Barcelona (how contentious will this be given the political climate?)

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 20, 2017 at 05:27 PM | 2146 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   1501. frannyzoo Posted: April 20, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5657029)
Just saw the news, and we need a flop to the flip...
   1502. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 20, 2018 at 12:07 PM (#5657075)
It's got to be Tuchel, right? I guess PSG can pay more and guarantee lots of money for signings, but no job security. Plus I don't know if they'd give Tuchel the freedom to pick players as much as Arsenal will. However, I don't think anyone knows if Arsenal will let any new manager the freedom to pick players they gave Arsene.
   1503. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 20, 2018 at 12:11 PM (#5657084)
David Hytner is reporting it's definitely not going to be Tuchel. I'd guess Jardim, myself.
   1504. J. Sosa Posted: April 20, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5657099)
I think I guessed Ancelotti a few months ago. I will stick with that. Similar to what LVG ended up being for united.
   1505. jmurph Posted: April 20, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5657101)
Partial coke to Sosa.

I think this is the correct take:
Mike L. Goodman @TheM_L_G
Arsenal should hire Ancelotti for 18 months then fire him and then bring in whichever guy they think they want to be the guy for the next decade.

Always impossible to be the guy after the guy.

Unless of course Allegri is gettable, I guess.
   1506. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 20, 2018 at 01:43 PM (#5657119)
I don't know. If you wait the guy you want may not be available anymore. I think only Man U, Real and Barca can screw around like that with managers. And Arsenal aren't defending champs the way Man U were. Arsenal are kind of broken now and the fans are desperate for a change so I don't think the risk of instant toxicity exists at Arsenal the way it did at Man U post-Fergie. No one is expecting the new guy to win the title next season.
   1507. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 20, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5657123)
I think the fans probably do want a return to CL quickly, but I think their squad is going to need a pretty major overhaul to get there. We did the question of "Who on Arsenal would start or even be on the squad" for the other top 5 teams. The list isn't long, and it's mainly guys that are good but aren't match winners.

I think I'd rather manage PSG. They seem primed for a CL breakout if they can keep Neymar (big if), or at least if they're able to replace him with like Pogba+Martial+someone else good. Worst comes to worst, you're gonna win some silverware.
   1508. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: April 20, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5657127)
Arsenal should hire Ancelotti for 18 months then fire him and then bring in whichever guy they think they want to be the guy for the next decade.

Always impossible to be the guy after the guy.


I agree with this but I don't think it's relevant in this case. Effectively Wenger 2.0 has followed OG Wenger so the new manager is not going to be "the guy who followed the guy." I would compare it to Girardi following Torre. By the end of 2007 Yankee fans and management had lost enough faith in Torre that it wasn't like trying to follow him in say 2002 would've been. Same here. This isn't Moyes following Ferguson. Arsenal are seen as a team that has been going the wrong direction for several years so it's a different experience.
   1509. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 20, 2018 at 02:15 PM (#5657130)
It's got to be Tuchel, right? I guess PSG can pay more and guarantee lots of money for signings, but no job security. Plus I don't know if they'd give Tuchel the freedom to pick players as much as Arsenal will. However, I don't think anyone knows if Arsenal will let any new manager the freedom to pick players they gave Arsene.

If it's Tuchel they will have to get rid of superstar scouting and player recruitment director Sven Mislintat, whom they poached from Dortmund 6 months ago after 10 years of incredible scouting success because his role and prestige had been reduced under Tuchel.
   1510. KronicFatigue Posted: April 20, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5657134)
Off topic, but I'm curious about people's thoughts on Conte. On the Chelsea subreddit, one of the main complaints is his inability to adjust from the 3ATB formation, which has now been "figured out". Has it been figured out? Are there formations and tactics that can only be temporary in success? What formations are more universally sustainable, provided you have talent?

I can't remember if it was here, or on Man U's sub, but someone suggested that Jose burns out quickly because he asks too much from his wingers defensively. That ultra talented wingers don't want to track back, and eventually they're going to grow frustrated if you keep asking them to do it. Seems plausible, from my untrained eye.

But from what little I can see, I don't see how 3ATB has that issue. I'd argue that Chelsea's troubles come from A) a lack of depth, B) a lack of elite talent C) being overly lucky last season D) having a deeper schedule this season and E) other clubs getting much stronger.

   1511. frannyzoo Posted: April 20, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5657136)
English Championship games have gone from ESPN3 to the outrageously expensive "ESPN+" mid-season. Today Millwall/Fulham match, while important in terms of Fulham's fight automatic promotion, isn't worth $29.95 a month (and the "free trial" is too much hassle). Bummer.

Oh hell, I'll do the free trial and waste a tiny bit of ESPN customer service work when I cancel. Please remind me to cancel.
   1512. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 20, 2018 at 02:45 PM (#5657141)
If you just follow one team, the team websites have a variety of options for subscribing to get their games, or even paying for "match passes" one game at a time (you still have to "subscribe", i.e. register for the site). I pay £5/$7 a game for the Bolton games (have done so about 10 times this season). It's fun to hear the local radio guys doing the game.

Looks like Fulham have a better deal actually - watching the games is £5 per game but you can get a monthly pass to hear the audio commentary for £4.49.
   1513. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: April 20, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5657142)
Off topic, but I'm curious about people's thoughts on Conte. On the Chelsea subreddit, one of the main complaints is his inability to adjust from the 3ATB formation, which has now been "figured out". Has it been figured out? Are there formations and tactics that can only be temporary in success? What formations are more universally sustainable, provided you have talent?


I don't knwo how much of it is tactical and how much is just the way things go at Chelsea. This decade has been;

09/10 1st
10/11 2nd
11/12 6th
12/13 3rd
13/14 3rd
14/15 1st
15/16 10th
16/17 1st
17/18 5th (current)
and managers
09/10 Ancelotti
10/11 Ancelotti
11/12 AVB/DiMatteo
12/13 DiMatteo/Benitez
13/14 Mourinho
14/15 Mourinho
15/16 Mourinho/Holland/Hiddink
16/17 Conte
17/18 Conte

It's a bit of a chicken and the egg thing but for whatever reason Chelsea managers get basically one good (by their standards) season and then it goes belly up. It just feels like there is something behind the scenes (just Roman or is there more than him causing this I don't know) but particularly the 2015/16 and 2017/18 editions felt like teams everyone agreed had plenty of talent but didn't play up to it. I won't be at all shocked if a new manager has them in the top two next year.
   1514. frannyzoo Posted: April 20, 2018 at 02:48 PM (#5657143)
More investigation shows the ESPN "+" has levels, with $4.99 a month for something including Championship games, and the much higher price for MLB.TV package/games. It's all too irritating. I'll just root for Fulham via some text updates this afternoon.
   1515. J. Sosa Posted: April 20, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5657164)
re: Arsenal

I think Ancelotti is most likely what they will do, because that is the Arsenal thing to do. I don't think it is the wisest thing to do, but probably the safest and most risk devoid thing to do. As I've said before, if it were me, I would pay whatever it took to prise Monchi away from Roma and then hire Simeone. Those guys may or may not be willing to come, but Arsenal is staring in the face of two seasons in a row without CL revenue, if it were me I would think it would behoove them to spare no expense.

re: Khronic

I agree, I think that it is overblown to say Conte couldn't adjust. Everything old becomes new again in soccer. Not so long ago people were talking about how 4-5-1 would last forever and 4-4-2 was so very retrograde, etc. etc. Now you have a team like Barcelona more or less playing 4-4-2 and multiple English teams going with three at the back the past couple of seasons. Managers make tactical adjustments and formation changes and the like, but truthfully, it is mostly about the players and getting the best out of them. Essentially I think Chelsea's struggles primarily boil down to two issues.

One, as Jose alluded to, Chelsea has a history of this type of yo yoing and some of the players have priors when it comes to quitting on a coach and losing interest. Two, and I think this is more important, Conte fell out with Costa. Chelsea was toothless this year. I thought Kante and Costa basically were Chelsea last season. Gave them a hard nasty edge, defensively sound, but could score with Costa and Hazard chipping in.

I have seen tactical analysis that suggests that PL clubs have adjusted to some of the inside forward play Conte likes, but again, that's mainly down to Costa not being there for me. Morata was never going to hold the ball up and generally be a physical nuisance like Costa was, and those second balls and the like were just not going to be there for people like Hazard this season.

As for Mourinho, yes, he burns out players, but part of it is also that he prefers veterans that maybe only have a couple of seasons left in the tank anyway. He asks for a lot of work from the wide mids and they often don't get to contribute much offensively because they are often tasked with tucking in to cover for one creative player and avoid a numerical disadvantage in the midfield.

edit to add: All systems have different merits, but if you'll notice, the same ones tend to keep popping up because they have sound principles. It is often moot anyway, because in the modern game you will typically see teams play one formation in possession and essentially a different one when not in possession. But it is mainly about the players. Leicester was able to play they way they did because they had a center mid that allowed them to match the other team's three mids with two, which freed up Vardy and a support player. Most teams can't play that way. Liverpool almost won a title with a crap defense because they were able to cram Sturridge, Suarez, Coutinho, Sterling, and Gerrard into a diamond. Most teams can't play that way. Etc.
   1516. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 20, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5657181)
My thoughts on Conte and Chelsea are, in addition to Costa leaving really hurting, they overperformed last year.

Both on a team and individual level. They got some performances last year they just weren't going to get again. Pedro had a really good dead-cat bounce last year with 9 goals and 9 assists. Matic was good, and while letting him walk seems correct in hindsight, they didn't replace his production from last year. Gary Cahill had 6 goals last year, and their defense (including wingbacks) had 19. I looked at them coming into this year as "They have a lot of goals they need to find to finish top 4" and that's what's happened. It's kind of been that way since Mourinho's second run there. They need at least 2 more goal scorers. But rather than #### on Conte for this year, though you reasonably could based on how the team played in the middle of the year, I'm almost more apt to give him a lot of credit for last year.
   1517. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 20, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5657182)
As I've said before, if it were me, I would pay whatever it took to prise Monchi away from Roma and then hire Simeone. Those guys may or may not be willing to come, but Arsenal is staring in the face of two seasons in a row without CL revenue, if it were me I would think it would behoove them to spare no expense.

I think Mislintat is a big part of their plan and he is the German equivalent of Monchi. They are already set with regard to that half of the management responsibilities.
   1518. J. Sosa Posted: April 20, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5657201)
I am pretty negative on Mislintat as a director of football type. He may have been a good scout but as an executive he has shown a frightening tendency to get bands back together and fell out with Tuchel.
   1519. frannyzoo Posted: April 20, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5657219)
Cottagers get the points at Millwall. Cardiff has two games in hand, and not the toughest run-out, however. Unlikely to have Fulham automatically back, but it's a side EPL has missed, imho.
   1520. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 20, 2018 at 06:15 PM (#5657245)
But from what little I can see, I don't see how 3ATB has that issue. I'd argue that Chelsea's troubles come from A) a lack of depth, B) a lack of elite talent C) being overly lucky last season D) having a deeper schedule this season and E) other clubs getting much stronger.

As someone who is very much not a Chelsea fan, to me the two main issues they've had are losing Costa and extra fixture congestion. If I recall correctly, they weren't in Europe at all last season.

Also, as someone who is very much a Tottenham fan, I'm still paranoid that Chelsea will sneak past Tottenham into 4th. 5 points with 4 games to play is very doable!
   1521. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: April 20, 2018 at 06:47 PM (#5657256)
538 and simpler ELO both have Tottenham as 99% to finish top 4. Of course, computer systems aren't always the best at accounting for fat tails, so you might expect that to be slightly too high. (One reason for this is that relatively non-correlated factors can become more correlated at the extremes. See LTCM.) Betting odds has it at 98%.

Now Fullham/Cardiff could go down to the wire. Not exactly a coinflip but still wide open.

   1522. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: April 20, 2018 at 06:55 PM (#5657258)

Also, as someone who is very much a Tottenham fan, I'm still paranoid that Chelsea will sneak past Tottenham into 4th. 5 points with 4 games to play is very doable!


Can't spell Spursy without Spurs!

However, Spurs do have 3 of the 4 remaining PL matches at home and the away match is at WBA.
   1523. Mefisto Posted: April 20, 2018 at 07:26 PM (#5657271)
Might want to talk to United about that away match.
   1524. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: April 20, 2018 at 07:45 PM (#5657277)
Might want to talk to United about that away match.


Spurs can ask them tomorrow!

Speaking of which, I can't say I'm feeling overly optimistic, I don't think Kane's close to 100% and Spurs didn't look close to convincing against either City or BHA.

Hope I'm wrong, beaten Mourinho is the best Mourinho ...
   1525. Mefisto Posted: April 20, 2018 at 08:13 PM (#5657282)
I don't think United will be in the mood to share after the game.
   1526. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: April 20, 2018 at 08:30 PM (#5657287)
I don't think United will be in the mood to share after the game.


I hope you're right, a Spurs win tomorrow would be lovely ...
   1527. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: April 21, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5657470)
Hoffenheim is up 3-0 at half time at Leipzig. If Dortmund doesn't get a win today home against Leverkusen (currently 4th in Bundesliga), they might end up needing a result against Hoffenheim on the last weekend of the season.
   1528. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: April 21, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5657497)
What a ball from Eriksen and Alli never gave up on it. Great job.

Unrealated to that is the sound mix all ###### up for anyone else?
   1529. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: April 21, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5657512)
Dortmund dominating but only up 1-0. Had a second called back for offside on VAR. Tight but clear. Announcers seem befuddled for some reason. VAR is surely terrible--the only thing that would make it worse is having these blind announcers working it.

Then Reus gets a fairly weak penalty saved. Still 1-0.
   1530. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: April 21, 2018 at 01:36 PM (#5657516)
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand there it is.

Sigh.
   1531. Mefisto Posted: April 21, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5657576)
To be honest, I think United got a bit lucky. To give Mourinho credit, he got the defense right and the midfield -- that was the best game Herrera has played all season and the team has needed someone like that. Of course, the defense might not have worked so well if Kane were 100%.

MCOA has the xG identical, which seems right. The difference was that United were fortunate with Herrera's goal and Spurs were unlucky when Dier hit the post.
   1532. frannyzoo Posted: April 21, 2018 at 03:28 PM (#5657578)
BeIn Sports doesn't have the Copa del Rey Final because, well it's BeIn Sports. I don't hate it as much as many, but saving money by having rights to a tourney "except the Final" is bush league.
   1533. manchestermets Posted: April 21, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5657582)
The difference was that United were fortunate with Herrera's goal and Spurs were unlucky when Dier hit the post.


The difference was that Herrera hit the target, and Dier did not. In what sense is that luck?
   1534. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: April 21, 2018 at 03:42 PM (#5657591)
To be honest, I think United got a bit lucky. To give Mourinho credit, he got the defense right and the midfield -- that was the best game Herrera has played all season and the team has needed someone like that. Of course, the defense might not have worked so well if Kane were 100%.

MCOA has the xG identical, which seems right. The difference was that United were fortunate with Herrera's goal and Spurs were unlucky when Dier hit the post.
Agree that United wasn't anything close to a full goal better (which was the scoreline), but that's true for most soccer games that end up with a winner--if you call this one "lucky" then a large proportion of wins are lucky, and the term loses much of its meaning.
   1535. Mefisto Posted: April 21, 2018 at 03:54 PM (#5657600)
Herrera isn't much of a finisher and he had to hit the ball through the defender's legs. Dier's shot was deflected and hit off the post. I think luck is the right term, but if you don't then maybe we can agree that the game was decided by very small margins indeed.
   1536. frannyzoo Posted: April 21, 2018 at 04:14 PM (#5657610)
From the Gaurdian MBM that I'm following instead of watching on BeIn (cuz it ain't there):

GOAL! Barcelona are running away with this. Suarez dribbles towards the area, plays a one-two with Messi who dissects the defence, allowing the Uruguayan to run through and bury it form 16 yards. Superb stuff. What a joy it is to watch Barcelona in this form. Oooooof!


Thanks BeIn! I can hardly wait to dump you in my next "contract" with Comcast. Four months and counting.
   1537. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: April 21, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5657624)
Herrera isn't much of a finisher and he had to hit the ball through the defender's legs. Dier's shot was deflected and hit off the post. I think luck is the right term, but if you don't then maybe we can agree that the game was decided by very small margins indeed.
You have no idea where Dier's shot was going before it hit the defender on the ass. Maybe straight at De Gea.

Anyway, when a game is closely played and one team wins, it's seldom helpful or appropriately descriptive to call the result "luck". Tottenham is the better team, but on the day their performance (aside from scoreline) was not significantly (if any) better than ManU's. To lose under these circumstances is not considered luck in most circles, sporting or otherwise.

To take it a step further, people generally tend to hold the favorite to a higher standard. If you believe (as most here do, including me) that Tottenham is the better team right now, then if anything, Tottenham performing at a level equal on the day to ManU was a bit of a failure on their part and a bit of a success on ManU's part. As such, a win by ManU under these circumstances would probably be considered less "lucky" than a win by Tottenham.
   1538. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: April 21, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5657626)
Thanks BeIn! I can hardly wait to dump you in my next "contract" with Comcast. Four months and counting.


What an own goal that contract was by La Liga. BeIn is just awful; worse than FOX and I didn't think that was possible ...
   1539. Dale Sams Posted: April 21, 2018 at 04:41 PM (#5657633)
If ManU come in second and win the FA Cup....surely their fans consider that a success?
   1540. manchestermets Posted: April 21, 2018 at 05:08 PM (#5657657)
If ManU come in second and win the FA Cup....surely their fans consider that a success?


In a sense, yes, but I'm unhappy about the style of play. I want them to win things, but I want it to be fun to watch them just as much. That's rarely the case at the moment.
   1541. Mefisto Posted: April 21, 2018 at 05:13 PM (#5657664)
Anyway, when a game is closely played and one team wins, it's seldom helpful or appropriately descriptive to call the result "luck".


That's exactly when luck plays a role IMO. Nobody thinks a team "lucky" when it wins 8-0. It's in the close games, with small margins, where a bounce one way or the other can decide the match, that "luck" is the appropriate term. I guess YMMV.
   1542. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: April 21, 2018 at 06:13 PM (#5657688)
Of course luck plays a role--it plays a role in everything. That's a very different thing then saying a result is "lucky".

I guess YMMV
Definitely.
   1543. strong silence Posted: April 22, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5657949)
It is very irritating that the Mexican announcers call David Silvia, "el chino Silva". I'm guessing that one of his parents is Chinese.

It feels racist to me. Call me a snowflake if you must as I might be overreacting.
   1544. strong silence Posted: April 22, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5657952)
Another amazing pass by De Bruyne leads to a goal.

The title of world's best passer has passed without a doubt from Iniesta to De Bruyne.
   1545. strong silence Posted: April 22, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5657955)
Basic football principles of space, movement, and link-up play are in wonderful display today at the Etihad.

And it is these team concepts that explain the individual success of average players, like Raheem Sterling.
   1546. strong silence Posted: April 22, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5657973)
Oh Toni Kroos, why can't you be more like Kevin De Bruyne!

What a laser shot by KdB. Kroos could do that, but he defers to others, much to my frustration.
   1547. strong silence Posted: April 22, 2018 at 12:54 PM (#5657979)
I think referees have been better at spotting dives and embellishments compared to the 1980s. Then this penalty, wherein Sterling is going down well before the contact and on his own, causes me to rethink.
   1548. strong silence Posted: April 22, 2018 at 01:02 PM (#5657981)
Over half the teams in the EPL have negative goal differentials. The EPL is the capitulation league*.

*Borrowing the term from Craig Burley.
   1549. strong silence Posted: April 22, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5657984)
Toure playing center back and Kompany at 9. Swansea embarrassment is complete.
   1550. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: April 22, 2018 at 03:29 PM (#5658038)
Sooooo ... Juve is playing Napoli in one of the biggest Serie A games of the year ... and BeIn is showing Grand Prix racing???

Ugh.
   1551. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: April 22, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5658045)
Basic football principles of space, movement, and link-up play are in wonderful display today at the Etihad.

And it is these team concepts that explain the individual success of average players, like Raheem Sterling.


I haven't watched enough of Sterling to have a strong opinion about him, but I definitely agree with the thrust of the statement generally. Entirely too much is made of players with goal tallies on otherwise excellent teams that are consistently able to create space and good chances for them. Man City is a good example.
   1552. OPS+ Posted: April 22, 2018 at 04:09 PM (#5658071)
I think referees have been better at spotting dives and embellishments compared to the 1980s. Then this penalty, wherein Sterling is going down well before the contact and on his own, causes me to rethink.


I just watched the replay, and I'm ok with this type of "dive." If Sterling doesn't dive early, he is probably going to get injured. It was a bad slide and the defender deserved to be called for it.
   1553. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: April 22, 2018 at 04:45 PM (#5658108)
Juventus tried to throttle the game in the second half, and sucked most of the life out of what had been an excellent game early. Fortunately Napoli made them pay for it with a 90th minute header off a corner. Juve still has the inside track, but the league title really could go down to the last weekend now.
   1554. J. Sosa Posted: April 24, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5659105)
Most Liverpool fans are taking this match way too lightly. Roma’s midfield is more physical than Liverpool’s with Can out, and unless Roma is very stupid De Rossi is going to be launching diagonals for Dzeko to attack Lovren and TAA with all game. They can hurt Liverpool. Almost game time...
   1555. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: April 24, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5659129)
Roma are seen as the ugly stepsister left in the competition. I don't think you are wrong with anything you say but they are third place in a league that is viewed as being a clear tier below the EPL and they don't have much in the way of big names. Additionally they have effectively no European pedigree when compared with the rest of the teams in the competition. In a sport where history matters to fans that's a big deal.

I don't think you are wrong though. They just stunned the world with the way they got past Barcelona and Dzeko seems like exactly the kind of guy who can make life miserable for Liverpool. I'd bet on Liverpool but at this stage of the competition, well at the risk of sounding like Yogi Berra if you are in the Champions League semi-finals then you are a Champions League semi-finalist.
   1556. The Marksist Posted: April 24, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5659144)
I'm probably more nervous now than I was before the first leg against City. With Liverpool the clear favorites here, my instincts are screaming that something will definitely go wrong. We're in anything can happen territory, and I'm far from confident we can keep Roma out.
   1557. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: April 24, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5659147)
Livepool:


Liverpool: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Milner, Salah, Firmino, Mané. Subs: Mignolet, Clyne, Wijnaldum, Klavan, Moreno, Ings, Solanke.
   1558. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:45 PM (#5659206)
Atmosphere sounds amazing ... and they're off!
   1559. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:45 PM (#5659207)
Ok, so Roma can do it against Barcelona, but can they do it on a rainy night in Liverpool?
   1560. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:23 PM (#5659238)
How do you give Salah that much space?

Roma does not look like it belongs.
   1561. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5659239)
Mo ####### Salah.

Also, that sucks about Ox. He's been excellent for Liverpool all season.
   1562. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5659241)
Roma started well, but the last 15 minutes have been an avalanche. Roma lucky to be down only 1.
   1563. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:31 PM (#5659246)
Flippin' Salah. Great last 20 minutes.
   1564. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5659248)
Salah is ####### good. He's very ####### good. I don't think there's a player in the world who is more composed in front of goal.
   1565. The Marksist Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5659252)
Great half, but very bummed about Ox. I hate injuries and that looked bad. Non-contact knee injury, could easily be ACL.
   1566. J. Sosa Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5659253)
Wasteful most of the half but Salah holy crap. That first one the target was miniscule. The second Alisson knew he was going to chip it and was angry at himself. You could tell it was something he knew to look for.

My bp is through the roof.
   1567. J. Sosa Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:43 PM (#5659257)
Also the Ox injury sucks. He is a good dude. Down to three midfielders. Can, Lallana, Ox all most likely done for the season.
   1568. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:58 PM (#5659267)
Mane has been quite wasteful today. Looked 6 inches offside there and no reason for it.

edit: I guess I jinxed him.
   1569. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:59 PM (#5659270)
Mane didn't miss that one.
   1570. Mefisto Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:04 PM (#5659274)
I don't think there's a player in the world who is more composed in front of goal.


Maybe Messi is. But jeez, just think what it means that I have to go there.

Salah looks like he couldn't miss the net if he tried.
   1571. The Marksist Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:05 PM (#5659275)
I mean
   1572. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:06 PM (#5659278)
Roma was down 3-0 to Barca, right?
   1573. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:11 PM (#5659282)
At this point in the match, yeah. Dzeko got one at 80m and then Suarez tapped in Barca's 4th.
   1574. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5659283)
Maybe Messi is. But jeez, just think what it means that I have to go there.
Messi is still the more frightening player over all (though age may have something to say about that soon), but I don't see any gap between them for composure in front of goal. Most players seem to experience varying degrees of increased internal pressure when the goal is available, but Salah just appears to get more relaxed.

ok well 5-0 that should do it. No more Roma miracles. Just can't give up 2 goals in the last 20 minutes.
   1575. The Marksist Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5659284)
I mean
   1576. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5659286)
Well, I was watching the feed and they didn't have the score. I thought Roma was down 3-0, when they were down 4-0 at the time and now... capitulation.
   1577. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5659288)
Sweet Jesus. Roma would need some incredible magic to make a match of this.
   1578. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:15 PM (#5659292)
And Lovren almost gifts them a goal. I can't believe he may be a starting CB on the winner of Champions League.
   1579. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5659301)
Now Lovren does gift them a goal...
   1580. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:26 PM (#5659304)
Welp, Roma aren't entirely out of this.
   1581. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5659307)
Uh.

####.
   1582. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5659308)
OMG bottling is the word that comes to mind right now.
   1583. J. Sosa Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5659314)
I want Lovren out. I can’t stand to watch him anymore.
   1584. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5659316)
How many chances are Liverpool going to keep letting Roma have?
   1585. The Marksist Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5659318)
Liverpool look tiiiiiiiiiirred.
   1586. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5659329)
Well that was a sad final 20 minutes, but 5-2 should be plenty enough. I bet xG has something like a 3 goal differential as well (4-1 or so).
   1587. J. Sosa Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:41 PM (#5659331)
If Roma hadn’t botched the tactics so bad at the start that might have gone differently.
   1588. The_Ex Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:57 PM (#5659348)
We are going to hear a lot about Roma's comeback against Barcelona. But lightening rarely strikes twice.
   1589. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 24, 2018 at 05:00 PM (#5659354)
So if you're Madrid, Barcelona or PSG, wouldn't you rather have Salah than Hazard? Hazard has a longer period of playing at the top but Salah scores more goals and is younger.
   1590. KronicFatigue Posted: April 24, 2018 at 05:06 PM (#5659363)
As a Chelsea fan, I'm underwhelmed with Hazard. He seems "containable" when he's the focus of an offense (as he is with Chelsea). He can be physically dominated, or at least frustrated. I do wonder, though, if his value could skyrocket with less usage. Put him on a team where he's not asked to carry the load, and he might thrive.

All that being said, as I was watching today I thought "Oh man, I'd kill to flip Salah for Hazard".
   1591. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 24, 2018 at 06:28 PM (#5659416)
I don't think that was a penalty. Milner couldn't have done anything about that and those usually don't get called.
   1592. Sean Forman Posted: April 25, 2018 at 12:35 AM (#5659669)
Maybe I don't know anything about centerback play (which is likely), but isn't the point of playing a high line to be that you compress the field and force the attackers offsides if they try to break behind you. There seemed to be countless plays where the Liverpool attackers broke prior to the pass and the Roma defender was running alongside of them. Wouldn't it have made more sense to let them go and maintain the high line? Looking at the goals again I think only the second goal was that way.
   1593. J. Sosa Posted: April 25, 2018 at 07:56 AM (#5659715)
They did hold the trap to draw Liverpool offsides a number of times. And one of the goals came off a play where Salah started off sides, but they played the high line to midfield and Liverpool repeatedly drew the wingbacks forward and then chipped long passes over the Roma mids to generate isos for the three forwards on centerbacks. Both of Salah’s assists came off of isos and on the second Salah goal Firmino had beaten a center back off the dribble.

Liverpool’s forwards were starting their runs in an onside position (often from the midline), without pressure Liverpool could see the pass. If timed correctly there was no way Roma’s three could stay with them. Barca’s forwards did not have the pace to burn Roma that way. But asking Fazio, Jesus, and Manolas to stay with Mane, Firmino, and Salah was incredibly reckless. I just could not believe it when I saw Roma had set up that way. Klopp allegedly smiled when he found out City were playing three center backs and City has better personnel.
   1594. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: April 25, 2018 at 08:51 AM (#5659734)
We are going to hear a lot about Roma's comeback against Barcelona. But lightening rarely strikes twice.


The two goals make it worth tuning in next week but this is the issue. For all the hubbub about the Barca come back last year they went out to Juve pretty meekly in the quarters. The one big thing is that Liverpool's defense is not very good. If Roma can get one early the Olimpico will be rocking. The idea of Liverpool giving up 3 or 4 is not that hard to envision but it's hard not to see them getting at least 1 if not 2 themselves.
   1595. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: April 25, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5659766)
Agree it's really hard to keep Liverpool off the scoresheet when they're healthy, but the way yesterday played out a 4-1 win would put Roma through.

Liverpool are shaky enough at the back and in goal to where it can happen. They looked *really* wobbly in the last 15 minutes of the game yesterday and I could envision a scenario where they look like that for most of the game in Rome (save a random terrifying break from their front 3). And Karius' save against Kolarov in the first half was shambolic.
   1596. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: April 25, 2018 at 09:59 AM (#5659774)
538 and ELO have Liverpool at 94% to advance. Betting odds have about 91%.
   1597. J. Sosa Posted: April 25, 2018 at 10:24 AM (#5659795)
I feel better than I did against City even though they are in a worse position. Roma will presumably do what they should have done in the first leg, play their normal formation, win midfield and attack Lovren with aerials to Dzeko. But it will likely be an open game which is good.

As in the Cuty second leg injuries are the issue. Liverpool now have zero bench options. They might bottle it because of that, but the speed advantage is much more glaring than it was against City.
   1598. The Marksist Posted: April 25, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5659877)
Can we agree on just what the hell "bottling" means? It's unforced errors, right? Multiple unforced errors to give away a game. So if you're forced into playing a substandard lineup due to injury and lose because of that, it's not bottling. If you give up late goals but still win by three, it's not bottling. Getting a (maybe questionable?) penalty called against you is not bottling.

Sure, I'm arguing semantics, but this is an obnoxiously flexible term that Brits use constantly and it's super annoying.
   1599. nick swisher hygiene Posted: April 25, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5659888)
Isn't "bottling" just the exact equivalent of "choking"? Right down to the inherent vagueness and what sort of people rely on the word?

(I do wonder when "bottling" entered British vernacular: living in various regions of the UK in the 80s/90s I never heard or read the word....though I believe individuals were asserted to lack "bottle")
   1600. jmurph Posted: April 25, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5659890)
Bad post, kind of bottled it there Marksist, wouldn't you say?

But really, I've always understood it as choking, basically? Which is also fairly broadly used/misused.
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