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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 Doubles Machine Posted: October 20, 2017 at 05:27 PM | 313 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   201. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: November 20, 2017 at 01:59 PM (#5578855)
flop ... just for Spurs!
   202. jmurph Posted: November 20, 2017 at 02:08 PM (#5578865)
To my eye Lloris has looked a lot more human for about a year now, but I'm never sure where to look for meaningful goalie stats. Are Spurs fans worried about him?
   203. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: November 20, 2017 at 06:37 PM (#5579069)
Not this one.

He wasn't great on Saturday, but then nobody on Spurs was.

He's saved Spurs' asses again and again this year.

From The Guardian's pre-derby write-up of a combined best-11:

Hugo Lloris is far quicker and more decisive when sprinting off his line, excellent in one-on-ones and among the best sweeper-keepers around. The wiry Frenchman is also particularly agile and regularly makes spectacular point-gaining saves, such as against Real Madrid in this season’s Champions League.
   204. Textbook Editor Posted: November 20, 2017 at 09:51 PM (#5579158)
Yeah, I'd rather have Lloris than pretty much any other GK.
   205. Richard Posted: November 21, 2017 at 01:27 AM (#5579226)
CCV is playing A LOT and Sheffield United is 2nd in the table. Had an assist last weekend


He did indeed have an assist, which was a cross from the touchline for the first of Leon Clarke's 4 goals against Hull. The impressive thing about this is it was in open play, and CCV is playing in a back 3. The overlapping centre backs approach United have adopted is paying some dividends, and CCV is fit enough and skilful enough to be part of the programme.

He still has a tendency to make the odd unforced error, but he has won United fans over with a series of good displays. It's a point in his favour that he's keeping another centre back signed pre season out of the team - he's played 10 games in a row since his surprise introduction. He's looking like a good prospect.
   206. PepTech Posted: November 21, 2017 at 02:12 PM (#5579552)
Doesn't someone whine like this every year?
Liverpool will enjoy an extra day's rest after taking on Sevilla in Spain on Tuesday, and Conte -- who was similarly frustrated when Chelsea were required to take on Atletico Madrid and Manchester City in the space of three days at the end of September -- believes his team are at a disadvantage again.
The obvious response: Don't get drawn against Qarabag. That being said, someone made the decision to move Southampton-Everton to Sunday, and leave Chelsea on Saturday. I like that person.
   207. jmurph Posted: November 21, 2017 at 04:52 PM (#5579738)
Sounds like that Liverpool match was something.
   208. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: November 21, 2017 at 05:07 PM (#5579759)
Wow, Spurs win Group H with a game to spare.
   209. Rennie's Tenet Posted: November 21, 2017 at 09:40 PM (#5579886)
I'm loosely following Brighton. Is there any rule of thumb for when a newly promoted (or any team) is safe from relegation - top half at Christmas or some such? It looks like the bookies have them at about 4-1 against relegation, is that about the best early guess possible?
   210. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: November 21, 2017 at 11:59 PM (#5579935)
I'm loosely following Brighton. Is there any rule of thumb for when a newly promoted (or any team) is safe from relegation

When they get to 40 points.
   211. Richard Posted: November 22, 2017 at 12:25 AM (#5579953)
And having praised Cameron Carter Vickers yesterday, he of course had an absolute nightmare of a game in Sheffield United's 5-4 defeat at home to Fulham last night.
   212. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: November 22, 2017 at 09:34 AM (#5580008)
There don't look to be too many exciting games today.

Atletico and Sporting just look like they're in too big of a whole given the remaining games, for those groups to really be compelling.

Basel/Man U looks maybe the most interesting to me, or it's fellow group match (CSKA v Benfica).
   213. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:36 AM (#5580055)
Juve-Barca is not insignificant though as we've seen in recent years finishing first in a group is not automatically better than finishing seocnd.
   214. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 25, 2017 at 11:18 AM (#5580932)
Dortmund had a 4-0 lead after 25 minutes and that held through the first half. Schalke have scored three times in the second half, Aubemeyang has been sent off and Dortmund are clinging to a 4-3 lead in the 89th.
   215. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 25, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5580933)
4-4! 94TH MINUTE CORNER!!!!
   216. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: November 25, 2017 at 01:26 PM (#5580953)
Oh, Spurs.

What a Spursy week: Look dreadful in losing a NLD, beat Dortmund away to WIN their CL "Group of Death", look garbage again in drawing West Brom at home.

::facepalm::
   217. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 25, 2017 at 02:56 PM (#5580964)
West Brom must be infuriating to play against. They started time-wasting pretty much immediately after they scored. Which was 4 minutes into the game.
   218. OPS+ Posted: November 25, 2017 at 07:21 PM (#5580999)
West Brom must be infuriating to play against. They started time-wasting pretty much immediately after they scored. Which was 4 minutes into the game.


It certainly was infuriating to watch. Thank god I had recorded it so I could skip ahead.
   219. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: November 26, 2017 at 09:58 AM (#5581068)
Could be worse. You could be an Everton fan.
   220. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 26, 2017 at 10:09 AM (#5581071)
Today is the first time I’ve felt like relegation is a real possibility. We should have too much talent to go down but this is just a disaster right now.
   221. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: November 26, 2017 at 10:34 AM (#5581080)

Gary Naylor @garynaylor999

Everton Player Ratings: Pickford 0, Kenny 0, Jagielka 0, Keane 0, Baines 0, Gueye 0, Schneiderlin 0, Lennon 0, Sigurdsson 0, Mirallas 0, Calvert-Lewin 0. Subs: Williams 0, Vlasic 0, Lookman 0. Maybe a bit generous to Keane
   222. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 26, 2017 at 11:07 AM (#5581084)
Is that for today’s game or the whole season?
   223. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: November 26, 2017 at 02:34 PM (#5581140)
Yes
   224. jmurph Posted: November 28, 2017 at 09:37 AM (#5581888)
Burnley have scored 12 goals through 13 games, and are in 7th place. What a season.
   225. jmurph Posted: November 28, 2017 at 09:39 AM (#5581890)
Today is the first time I’ve felt like relegation is a real possibility.

I initially thought this was crazy when I read it (about Everton), but if you look at the table, there are no truly awful teams this year. Maybe Swansea? Palace is currently at the bottom but probably have enough talent that they shouldn't even be in the relegation zone. Ditto West Ham and West Brom. Everton will almost certainly be fine, but yeah, it might be a lot closer than it should be.
   226. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 28, 2017 at 10:19 AM (#5581907)

I initially thought this was crazy when I read it (about Everton), but if you look at the table, there are no truly awful teams this year. Maybe Swansea? Palace is currently at the bottom but probably have enough talent that they shouldn't even be in the relegation zone. Ditto West Ham and West Brom. Everton will almost certainly be fine, but yeah, it might be a lot closer than it should be.


They are just so poor right now and getting worse. Logic says they have too much talent to go down but what was it, about 6-7 years ago that Newcastle went down a year after being in Europe? Just a toxic situation that got on a roll. I think it was Iain McIntosh who made the point that Everton fired Koemen but seemed to completely forget that that only is useful if you then hire someone competent afterwards.
   227. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 28, 2017 at 01:03 PM (#5582019)
I think it was Iain McIntosh who made the point that Everton fired Koemen but seemed to completely forget that that only is useful if you then hire someone competent afterwards.


But just last year Leicester went from plummeting to stability after replacing Claudio Ranieri with [VOID]
   228. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: November 29, 2017 at 09:58 AM (#5582521)
But just last year Leicester went from plummeting to stability after replacing Claudio Ranieri with [VOID]

I feel like it's a bit different as it seems like the players had given up a bit on the manager there. Not sure that's true with Everton.

Also, frankly, how much talent does Everton really have? A lot of their big names seem to be on the wrong side of their careers. I feel like Leicester had a good bit more talent, and were generally more likely to turn it around.

   229. The Marksist Posted: November 29, 2017 at 04:47 PM (#5582924)
Holy hell, Mo Salah.
   230. The_Ex Posted: November 29, 2017 at 04:49 PM (#5582926)
Moyes returns to Goodison and Everton are good again.
   231. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: November 29, 2017 at 04:59 PM (#5582940)
What a finish by Sterling to rescue three points for City.
   232. PepTech Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:12 AM (#5583986)
Is the draw streaming anywhere? I'm on FIFA.com and it says it will start in 10 min but I don't know if that means there will be video...
   233. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:41 AM (#5584015)
FS1 has it.
   234. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:42 AM (#5584019)
So far;

A - Russia, Uruguay
B - Portugal, Spain
C - France, Per
   235. PepTech Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:42 AM (#5584020)
Ha! Portugal-Spain out of the box! This would be much more exciting if there were any teams in Pots 3 and 4 that could imagine challenging those two. Hmm, if I'm Japan or Sweden, do I want Group A or Group B?
   236. PepTech Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:44 AM (#5584022)
Thanks, Jose, on it. :)
   237. PepTech Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:46 AM (#5584024)
Denmark dodges Group B! And Iran gets screwed. Not that they were advancing, anyway...
   238. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5584026)
I think there is more depth to this tournament than most. Part of that is I think there are a few fairly weak Pot 1 teams (Russia, Poland, arguably Portugal with a lesser Ronaldo) and I think Denmark, Costa Rica and Sweden are not going to be pushovers from group C.

And on cue Denmark goes with France and Peru. That's tough for Peru.
   239. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:48 AM (#5584027)
If you didn't turn on soon enough; Lineker after Maradona picks Croatia for Argentina's group "Diego has always been good with his hands."
   240. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:49 AM (#5584028)
That's not a bad draw for Costa Rica. Switzerland are a team they can get past.
   241. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:50 AM (#5584030)
Does Zlatan try to force his way back onto the Sweden roster and does Sweden want him to?
   242. PepTech Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:51 AM (#5584032)
OK, so at least some drama with Germany-Mexico-Sweden, I guess. And Iceland could have done much worse than Group D, they get Croatia again...
   243. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:52 AM (#5584033)
Russia-Saudi Arabia to open the tournament. That's not exactly scintillating stuff.
   244. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:53 AM (#5584036)
C, D, E and F all look pretty competitive.
   245. PepTech Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:58 AM (#5584039)
Group A:

65 Russia
21 Uruguay
31 Egypt
63 Saudi Arabia

Group E:

2 Brazil
8 Swiss
26 Costa Rica
37 Serbia
   246. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:59 AM (#5584041)
A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

Off the cuff - Group A worked out for the hosts, they should get through with Uruguay. Group B should be Portugal and Spain without any difficulty. Groups C, D and E seem to have a second spot pretty open with C and D being particularly deep in my opinion. Group F should be Germany and Mexico but if Sweden can maintain their discipline like they did against Italy that won't be a pushover. Group G is a good draw for England and Belgium and Group H is fairly uninspiring but also very wide open.
   247. jmurph Posted: December 01, 2017 at 11:01 AM (#5584044)
Man, Group D is a huge bummer. I was planning to root for literally all 4 of these teams:
Group D: Argentina, Croatia, Iceland, Nigeria

   248. PepTech Posted: December 01, 2017 at 11:01 AM (#5584045)
I also liked "it's good to have an Italian involved in the World Cup"
   249. Mike Webber Posted: December 01, 2017 at 11:02 AM (#5584046)
Which World Cup team should I root for?

I got Peru though it said Mexico scored the same.
   250. PepTech Posted: December 01, 2017 at 11:13 AM (#5584056)
Groups reordered by current FIFA rankings:

A - 21 Uruguay, 31 Egypt, 63 Saudi Arabia, 65 Russia
B - 3 Portugal, 6 Spain, 32 Iran, 40 Morocco
C - 9 France, 11 Peru, 12 Denmark, 39 Australia
D - 4 Argentina, 17 Croatia, 22 Iceland, 50 Nigeria
E - 2 Brazil, 8 Switzerland, 26 Costa Rica, 37 Serbia
F - 1 Germany, 16 Mexico, 18 Sweden, 59 South Korea
G - 5 Belgium, 15 England, 27 Tunisia, 56 Panama
H - 7 Poland, 13 Colombia, 23 Senegal, 55 Japan

So C and maybe H are the only groups where the top seed is sweating. I don't count Russia as a true top seed :) Some interesting midlevel stuff in D and F. I'f I'm from Uruguay, I'm buying lottery tickets today...
   251. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 01, 2017 at 11:17 AM (#5584062)
I also got Peru.

Incidentally if you didn't notice that's former Primate MCoA as one of the creators.
   252. Howie Menckel Posted: December 01, 2017 at 12:05 PM (#5584127)
per 249

I got Mexico
   253. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 01, 2017 at 12:30 PM (#5584167)

Man, Group D is a huge bummer. I was planning to root for literally all 4 of these teams:


Then you're guaranteed to back a winner!
   254. PepTech Posted: December 01, 2017 at 12:45 PM (#5584189)
OK, what the hell: Bracket predictions:

Uruguay vs Portugal
Denmark vs Iceland

Spain vs Egypt
Argentina vs Peru

Brazil
vs Mexico
Belgium vs. Poland

Germany vs. Swiss
Colombia vs. England

---------
Portugal over Iceland
Argentina over Spain

Belgium over Brazil
Germany over England
---------
Germany over Argentina in the final

I probably messed up the brackets, but whatever. Ronaldo v Messi will be fun :)
   255. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: December 01, 2017 at 12:51 PM (#5584196)
Which World Cup team should I root for?
I'm now a Tunisia supporter, apparently.
   256. OPS+ Posted: December 01, 2017 at 12:59 PM (#5584203)
Which World Cup team should I root for?


I got Denmark who I will definitely be rooting for. It's up to Eriksen.
   257. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: December 01, 2017 at 03:43 PM (#5584384)
I got Uruguay. Let's go cannibal!
   258. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 01, 2017 at 08:44 PM (#5584575)
Which World Cup team should I root for?


Well, my two favorite countries made it, so I'm set. :-)
   259. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: December 02, 2017 at 11:54 AM (#5584728)
Spurs should have lost that game. That was a dire handball.

Glad to see the Reds back into the top four for now.
   260. Mefisto Posted: December 02, 2017 at 03:50 PM (#5584883)
That United/Arsenal game was wild. If that's not the game of the year, I can't wait to see the one that is.
   261. Sean Forman Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:34 PM (#5585976)
I'm getting pretty fired up for the Manchester Derby. A win puts city up 11 on everyone.

I'm hoping that Pep rests everyone in the Champions League. They've got the winning streak going, but the match is in Ukraine and is a dead rubber for city, so I'd just leave the starting 11 in Manchester and maybe most of the bench too. If I were Pep I might stay in Manchester myself.

With Pogba on a red card suspension and the match at Old Trafford, I'd like to see them go for the jugular.
   262. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:42 PM (#5585982)
City look pretty unstoppable. The thing that has been impressive is that they've done this with Aguero and Kompany missing time, that's two guys (particularly Kompany) who have been critical to their success in the last few years. The ability to overcome their loss speaks not only to the talent on the roster but also I think an understanding of what they need to do. DeBruyne and Silva are the only guys left that they haven't had to overcome the loss of but at this point I'd wager they can handle it if they have to.
   263. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:51 PM (#5585987)
FA Cup 3rd round has a Merseyside derby at Anfield.
   264. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: December 04, 2017 at 06:54 PM (#5586091)
Gulati won't seek re-election.

Didn't think he'd step down, but I think it's for the best.
   265. Mefisto Posted: December 04, 2017 at 07:42 PM (#5586107)
From the fan's perspective, the absence of Pogba means we're likely to see a boring game. Mourinho will probably decide to park the bus and bet United can do better than Huddersfield or West Ham.

Good news on Gulati.
   266. KronicFatigue Posted: December 05, 2017 at 04:50 PM (#5586762)
I'm absolutely shocked that the tiebreaker in UCL group stages is head to head points (followed by h2h GD). Why do group stage boxes even show total GD? I can't imagine it ever coming into play.

I watched (half assed, I admit) these group stages with the wrong assumptions. Doesn't total GD better represent who played best in the group? Shouldn't a team that was dominating 4-1 against other group members get a bonus over teams that squeaked by 1-0?

   267. I am going to be Frank Posted: December 05, 2017 at 05:22 PM (#5586800)
So Chelsea finish second and if Liverpool win their group they can only play Braca, PSG or Besiktas. Although finishing first doesn't exactly get a better draw. If Spurs win the group, United could potentially face off against Madrid, Bayern or Juventus.
   268. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 05, 2017 at 08:40 PM (#5586916)
266 - Why wouldn’t head to head make more sense? It seems logical to me. As an example that Spurs going 1-1-0 against Real Madrid is a lot more relevant in terms of the clubs’ respective performance than which team was able to whoop it up on APOEL the most.
   269. Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: December 05, 2017 at 09:00 PM (#5586921)
If Spurs win the group


If?
   270. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 05, 2017 at 09:13 PM (#5586925)
If any team could blow a mathematically clinched lead it’s Spurs.
   271. KronicFatigue Posted: December 06, 2017 at 06:49 AM (#5587030)
266 - Why wouldn’t head to head make more sense? It seems logical to me. As an example that Spurs going 1-1-0 against Real Madrid is a lot more relevant in terms of the clubs’ respective performance than which team was able to whoop it up on APOEL the most.


Because Spurs getting points against Real is already reflective in their total points, so having that as the first tiebreaker is double counting that win. And a single game has more chance of being random than collectively looking at the performance in all 6 games.

GD isn't perfect, especially when the 4th team in a group tends to be really bad, precisely b/c of your APOEL example. Yes, a good portion of the GD can be collected against that bad team. But I feel like that's the lessor evil compared to double counting the one win Team A had against Team B. Plus, it actually gives an importance to the games between the powerhouses (1 and 2 in the group) vs the 4th. Beating them 4-0 should be better than hanging on 2-1.

I could see the argument of using H2H for the difference between #2 (last in) vs #3 (first out). It would be awkward to have two different rules for tie breakers, but at least in that sense you could say #2 deserves to advance instead of #3 because 2 outplayed 3. But between #1 and #2, it feels like more of a "who was the best of the group". And the best of the group should be the one who played best in the group.

EDIT TO ADD: I mean, that's how the WC does it, right?
   272. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 06, 2017 at 08:55 AM (#5587057)
271 - That all makes sense. I would argue that in your scenario you are effectively double counting the wins against the fourth place team which I think is less relevant. I just think that if you are breaking a tie you have to double count something and I think it makes sense for the head to head matchups between the teams in question be the decider.

I'll say I'm not particularly bothered by either approach. Frankly as a fan it's a bit easier to follow when GD is the decider because you can capture it all on one page.

Yes this is how the WC does it and in fact I think most leagues and tournaments do it that way. For the consistency of that alone I'd be inclined to go with goal differential. It's what everyone is used to.
   273. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: December 06, 2017 at 09:44 AM (#5587097)
I agree we should be using GD. It may be a bit weird when you've got one of the scrump teams like APOEL or Maribor in the group, but really everyone plays those teams so it's not unfair. And I don't feel too bad about those teams getting blasted, as generally those teams blast their league competition the same way.

I didn't realize GD wasn't first tie breaker. That means that if Liverpool loses 1-0 there is a very good chance they don't go through despite having far and away the best GD (and talent) in their group.

Napoli have a chance to be saved today, and Leipzig and Porto have a good battle for 2nd.

A lot of good action today, I feel like more than normal.
   274. KronicFatigue Posted: December 06, 2017 at 11:01 AM (#5587191)
I'll say I'm not particularly bothered by either approach. Frankly as a fan it's a bit easier to follow when GD is the decider because you can capture it all on one page.


That's the part that killed me the most, as EVERY standings page I've come across has the standard: M, W, D, L, GF, GA, GD, Pts table. I chose the games I watched presuming GD and wrote off certain groups based on GD.

I like Chelsea, and was watching their game in Spanish, so I had no idea that a tie was as good as a loss until I read about it with 5 minutes left.
   275. Baldrick Posted: December 06, 2017 at 11:52 AM (#5587239)
I definitely prefer GD as the tiebreaker, for the aesthetic and ease-of-following reasons described here. I'm agnostic about whether GD or HTH is a more 'fair' way of doing things.
   276. PepTech Posted: December 06, 2017 at 12:15 PM (#5587266)
I think HTH is a better first tiebreaker over group GD, despite being harder to capture in the standings. Who pounds Qarabag harder is not relevant - they're playing Qarabag on different days, with different weather, with rosters that may be constructed differently due to scheduling issues or a million other things. HTH between the two top teams in a group *should* be double-counted.

Note: I have nothing but respect for Qarabag. It's just fun to type, maybe because it seems like a palindrome, because for some weird reason I confund my Qs and Gs a lot, but never when typing Qarabag.
   277. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 06, 2017 at 01:03 PM (#5587349)
I have a preference for HTH as well. I think it's especially appropriate where groups have one (or worse, two) teams that are vastly inferior in quality. GD will often be disproportionately determined by the lopsided scores in these games--where a 3-0 vs 7-1 win doesn't really tell you anything about a team's quality. It also encourages teams to pile up goals on weaker opponents.

The year that convinced me of this was when Germany was matched up against Saudi Arabia in a WC group game years ago, and won 8-0 with an eye to goal differential. After goal #2 or 3 we weren't learning anything new about relative team strength. Probably they could have put in 15 goals if they really, really tried.
   278. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: December 06, 2017 at 01:05 PM (#5587353)
FWIW, I do think pounding the weaklings into submission says *something* about squad quality. I also think it generally favors more attacking minded teams, which I consider a bonus.
   279. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 06, 2017 at 01:41 PM (#5587420)
FWIW, I do think pounding the weaklings into submission says *something* about squad quality. I also think it generally favors more attacking minded teams, which I consider a bonus.
Sure. I'd be more inclined to go with it if it collapse goal differentials. So, for example, 1 point of GD for a 1-goal win. 1.5 for a 2 goal win, 2 for a 3 goal win, 0.25 per goal thereafter.

Or better yet, we can use the golden ratio. So 1 point for a 1 goal win, an additional 0.618 for the second goal, an additional (0.618)^2 (about .382) for the third goal, and note that the second and third goals add up to exactly 1 goal, i.e. the value of the first goal. An additional 0.236 for the fourth goal (and note that the 3rd and 4th goals add up to the same as the second goal, 0.618). You get the picture.

We could call it the "goal-den" ratio.
   280. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: December 06, 2017 at 04:04 PM (#5587588)
I'm as pessimistic as anyone about Liverpool's ability to keep the other team from scoring, but I'm pretty sure they won't give up five goals in 40 minutes. So they'll win their group, and hopefully not get Real Madrid, Juve, or Bayern in the knockout round.
   281. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 09, 2017 at 01:03 PM (#5589282)
Stoke is always good for what ails Tottenham.
   282. I am going to be Frank Posted: December 09, 2017 at 01:08 PM (#5589286)
Chelsea losing was unexpected.
   283. strong silence Posted: December 09, 2017 at 04:58 PM (#5589389)
Anyone watching Toronto vs. Seattle? Based on the stats from Gamecast, Toronto is dominating the first 25 minutes.
   284. Baldrick Posted: December 09, 2017 at 06:13 PM (#5589405)
Seattle has been terrible. Toronto has been decent.

Didn't these teams just rest for like three weeks before the semifinals? They look exhausted.
   285. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 10, 2017 at 11:04 AM (#5589517)
Terrible penalty call late in the Merseyside Derby. Everton had done nothing all day but were only trailing by a goal. The Everton player went over on very minor upper body contact after a long diagonal cross into the box from way upfield. Now Liverpool might end up dropping points completely unjustly.

It's plays like this that really show why the ref needs to have a higher standard for penalties than other fouls--they can't be 100% sure they have the call right, and the consequences of being wrong on a called penalty are much greater. It's asymmetric. Without any contact on the play, the Everton player may have had a 5% chance to score on the play. A called penalty raises that to almost 90%, and a non-call drops it to 0%. So that's and 85/5 swing. That's only goal expectancy. In a game like this, the win expectancy swing is even starker. If refs regularly gave penalties in these situation, the game would devolve into endless crosses into the box with offensive players initiating contact, looking for a call. They only need one call to go their way to completely change the out come of the game.
   286. I am going to be Frank Posted: December 10, 2017 at 11:10 AM (#5589520)
That was totally a soft call, but it was called because Lovren is a terrible defender.
   287. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 10, 2017 at 11:48 AM (#5589536)
That was totally a soft call, but it was called because Lovren is a terrible defender.
Non sequitur.
   288. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 10, 2017 at 01:16 PM (#5589565)
Holy crap what a pair of saves by Ederson.
   289. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: December 11, 2017 at 11:31 AM (#5590066)
The Champion's League draw is pretty delicious. Bummer to go 2 months without any CL fixtures, though. I often end up forgetting when it starts back up in mid-February.

PSG vs. Real looks scrumptious, a good argument could be made they are the two best teams in the world right now. A challenging but interesting draw for Tottenham, and Chelsea/Barca should be good as well.
   290. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 11, 2017 at 12:34 PM (#5590143)
I haven't followed the CL format closely, but I read somewhere that there is a new formula for the group stage that went into effect recently, such that there are now more minnows in the group stages. The end result of course is that the group stage mostly becomes a formality (though Dortmund, Atletico, Napoli might disagree--each lost their spot to a very good team, yes including Shaktar who has consistently ranked in the top 20 or so teams in the world by ELO over the past few years. And no one's losing sleep over Monaco not making it.) So the group stage is now more boring than ever--let's face it, this year's group stage was mostly a dud--but the round of 16 will be the better for it.
   291. Textbook Editor Posted: December 11, 2017 at 12:53 PM (#5590163)
Re: Everton penalty...

If you don’t want to give up a pen, don’t put your hands to a guy’s back after he’s beaten you in the box.

Was it a soft penalty? Sure. But was there a soft push? I thought so.

He keeps his hands off the player and doesn’t push him there’s no penalty.

I mean, I tell my U13 kids the same thing—don’t want to have a penalty called on you? Don’t take out a guy’s leg in the box or put your hands on him as he’s moving away from you... if you do those things and the guy falls over, you’re risking a PK.

   292. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 11, 2017 at 01:11 PM (#5590183)

If you don’t want to give up a pen, don’t put your hands to a guy’s back after he’s beaten you in the box.
That's good advice for a defender. It's also good practice for a defender to not run full speed at an offensive player in the box who is not in a dangerous scoring position, because the offensive player might jump into you then fall on the ground and call for a penalty. It's basically irrelevant to what I wrote though. The top leagues, let alone all the other leagues in the world, including your kids' league, is full of defenders who are not perfect and for whatever reason will not or cannot play each cross into the box perfectly. Calling penalties on plays like this, which were, at best, 50/50 plays (and really I have watched this several times now from several angles and it's a very, very soft foul), encourages a game we wouldn't even recognize as soccer. There's a good reason why refs usually let these plays go.

Lovren made two mistakes which allowed the ref to make a terrible call. The first was he ran up at full speed on an offensive player who knew he was coming (and was not in a very dangerous offensive position) and Lovren should have known the offensive player was sure to lean into him to initiate as much body contact as he could and then fall to the ground (exactly what happened). The second mistake was even worse--he put his left hand up into the back of the offensive player, which was very easy for the ref from his position to see, making the contact look far worse than it actually was. If he had kept his hand down the offensive player would still have leaned into him and fallen over, but probably the ref doesn't call anything.

By the way, take a look at Lovren's face as the Everton falls down--he clearly wasn't expecting it to happen and immediately realizes his mistake. Yeah he should have known, but apparently in the heat of the action he forgot how to defend that kind of play and was aghast at the result.

All of this is beside the point. Lovren's actions had virtually no impact on reducing Everton's chance to score, because the Everton player was looking to go down on any contact. We shouldn't be rewarding this kind of soccer just because the defender is an oaf.
   293. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 11, 2017 at 01:59 PM (#5590223)
Listening to the Football Weekly podcast today and the consensus seemed to be that it WAS a penalty and Glendenning said the reporters in Klopp's postmatch presser were largely of the opinion it was a penalty. That shocked me. I don't have a problem with the call, at live speed I thought it was a no brainer, but even with the replays I can see it either way.
   294. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 11, 2017 at 02:11 PM (#5590242)
I've read quite a bit about this. There's a lot of blaming Lovren, which is basically irrelevant as mentioned, and there's some blatant misrepresentation of facts, for example claims of a 2-handed push to the back (definitely not what happened--only Lovren's left hand was even in a position to make a push). There's also very little acknowledgment of the asymmetry of calling versus not calling a foul in that situation, based on the motivations of the players.

Anyway an ESPN poll (whatever that is worth) had it about 50/50 recently.

Peter Walton (former EPL ref) has a very good quote that acknowledges most of these points, implicitly at least:
It looks a soft decision. I don't think there is enough contact for the forward to tumble in the manner that he did. There is an element of risk that Lovren takes in getting so tight, but the best outcome would have been to play on.


(I was lukewarmly rooting for Everton before the call, but it offended me so much I switched allegiance and very much wanted Liverpool to score at the end and take all 3 points.)
   295. Mefisto Posted: December 11, 2017 at 02:25 PM (#5590262)
MCoA's twitter feed notes to CL scheduling nightmares: Spurs play United, LFC, Arsenal, and Juventus in consecutive games starting Jan 31. Chelsea play Barca, United, and City back-to-back-to-back.
   296. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: December 11, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5590265)
It's hard to say what really happened there to me. Lovren didn't extend his arm, so while it was risky to put his hand up it didn't really end up looking like a push (though it could have to the ref based on his angle). However, it does look like he might have bodied him up pretty well, and that would have totally been from behind.

I'm not entirely sure it was a dive.

I can understand people saying it's soft, but I think it's closer than those that are saying it's super soft are giving it credit for.

There's of course the perverse incentives of diving in the box and we have to deal with that all the time. It'd be nice if the refs would do more with that. Gabriel Jesus had a pretty egregious dive vs. Man U he should have been booked for.
   297. jmurph Posted: December 11, 2017 at 02:37 PM (#5590278)
From thinking about the various issues with penalties/dives/fouls in the box over the years, the most logical thing I can come up with is they should pretty dramatically shrink the box. As annoying as dives in the box are, I'm just about as turned off by the clear foul that is correctly given for a penalty when the guy with the ball is in no position to do anything dangerous, let alone score.
   298. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: December 11, 2017 at 02:44 PM (#5590283)
It's hard to say what really happened there to me. Lovren didn't extend his arm, so while it was risky to put his hand up it didn't really end up looking like a push (though it could have to the ref based on his angle). However, it does look like he might have bodied him up pretty well, and that would have totally been from behind.
From the camera angle where the players are running towards the camera you can see that the Everton player in part initiates the contact by leaning into Lovren even before Lovren touches him. This is standard operating procedure for a forward in that spot. Refs should (and do, generally) assume that if there's contact in a situation like that there's a good chance it's not only initiated by the defender. If it was only body contact I think Lovren doesn't get called. It was the hand that was really easy for the ref to see from his spot.

I was watching in real time and would not have called a penalty. In real time I couldn't see the lean in by the Everton player or really how much body contact there was (though it didn't seem like a lot), but considering the situation, location on the field, and with very little lower body contact, I was ready to let it go. As a ref, you have to generally expect in a situation like that, that the offensive player is looking for the foul.
   299. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 11, 2017 at 02:59 PM (#5590298)
I don't think there is enough contact for the forward to tumble in the manner that he did.


This is an important thing in Walton's quote. He clearly acknowledges contact and I think it's worth pointing out that part of the reason players dive is that if they don't hit the ground a penalty will absolutely, positively, not get called.

So let's say in this situation Lovren gives Calvert-Lewin a little shove that pushes Calvert-Lewin off the ball just enough that he can't strike it well. That should be a penalty, it's a play that impacts the ability of the player to make a play on the ball. However, if Calvert-Lewin stays on his feet there is no call. Players are virtually never rewarded for fighting through a tackle.
   300. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: December 11, 2017 at 03:09 PM (#5590309)
So let's say in this situation Lovren gives Calvert-Lewin a little shove that pushes Calvert-Lewin off the ball just enough that he can't strike it well. That should be a penalty, it's a play that impacts the ability of the player to make a play on the ball. However, if Calvert-Lewin stays on his feet there is no call. Players are virtually never rewarded for fighting through a tackle.

I agree with this, which is a separate issue. Although, he wasn't even facing the goal, so he couldn't have had a shot here. Which is one of the reasons I think I agree with 298 - we should make the box smaller, especially on the sides. Or, maybe, there just needs to be some judgement to where you give a spot kick unless you think a foul prevents a clear goal scoring opportunity.
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