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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 | 1649 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   401. Mefisto Posted: December 30, 2017 at 06:27 PM (#5598918)
Oh, and apparently Lukaku will be out for a while. I can easily see Mourinho self-destructing from here on in and the team in shambles at season's end.
   402. Sean Forman Posted: December 30, 2017 at 10:00 PM (#5598954)
The only thing I can see slowing City down is fatigue. Pep's teams generally wear down over the season and City probably will too. But I think their lead is big enough that it won't matter.


With a win tomorrow, city would be up 16 with 17 to play. I would wager that would be the greatest collapse in the history of collapses if they didn't win the league.

I am worrying about KDB a bit as he is playing a lot of minutes. Silva is getting some time off due to a personal matter which is probably good in the long run. They would also do well to start playing players like Foden and Diaz.

I would like to see them pick up a DM this window to spell Fernandinho for later league matches, FA cup etc. I suppose they could use Yaya for that if they wanted to.

It sounds stupid because they are playing so well, but if they could pick up some squad depth, they could probably use a CD (Kompany is cooked), CM, and a FW (they have Aguero, Jesus and nothing else).
   403. Mefisto Posted: December 30, 2017 at 10:45 PM (#5598970)
Pep has been rotating Aguero and Jesus pretty well. As you say, it's KDB he should worry about.
   404. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: December 30, 2017 at 11:17 PM (#5598983)
If KDB gets hurt things could change. Really their lead's so large they should be able to handle that in the league. Especially with guys like Gundogan and Bernardo Silva healthy, they really should have the depth even there to see out the league. The question is how they do in the CL. That's how they're going to be judged. Nobody gives a #### about the other trophies. The shame is they should probably just intentionally lose whatever the Carling Cup is called now. But their players are so good, they probably can't.

I'd recommend some rotation of players now for City while they're resting up for CL knockouts. I'm sure Pep will carefully consider my feedback.
   405. The_Ex Posted: December 31, 2017 at 09:09 AM (#5599025)
KDB hurt and now Gabriel Jesus too. Don't think it matters for the premier league or for the champions league match against Basel but they need them for mid to end February for the next round of the champions league.
   406. The_Ex Posted: December 31, 2017 at 09:37 AM (#5599029)
Looks like KDB not seriously injured. Was walking/limping on the field after the game.
   407. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 31, 2017 at 01:17 PM (#5599069)
This is not a bad time for injuries for City. Even if KDB and Jesus miss a few weeks they should be able to navigate the FA Cup and those guys will be back in time for the Champions League.
   408. The_Ex Posted: December 31, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5599073)
Mike Dean is the English Joe West. I wonder if Dean sings?
   409. I am going to be Frank Posted: December 31, 2017 at 07:22 PM (#5599148)
United is terrible. I don't understand the offensive philosophy. It seem to be just "counter quickly." Otherwise it's Rashford or Martial running at defenders and getting a cross in to Lukaku.
   410. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: December 31, 2017 at 11:04 PM (#5599178)
Does Mourinho really have an offensive philosophy? I don't remember his early years so well but for some time he's seemed to be way over compensating on defense having wingers more focused on the defensive aspects of soccer than the offensive.
   411. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 31, 2017 at 11:20 PM (#5599179)
Post match reports say that De Bruyne may only miss the Tuesday night match, but that Jesus will be out for at least a month.
   412. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 01, 2018 at 04:53 AM (#5599191)
Mike Dean is the English Joe West. I wonder if Dean sings?


I don't think so, but there's apparently an American hip-hop producer by the same name who is very tired of people thinking that he's the referee...
   413. Mefisto Posted: January 01, 2018 at 09:26 AM (#5599207)
The announcers were asking that question about Mourinho during Saturday's game. It's a good question. Other than "counter-attack with pace", I'm not sure there is one.
   414. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 01, 2018 at 10:29 AM (#5599213)
I guess we'll see how he sets up the team today. Zlatan isn't mobile enough any more to be a 90 minute starter. I would like to see a midfield three of Herrera, Matic and Pogba to free up Pogba more. A top three of Lingard, Martial and Rashford - Everton's defenders aren't the quickest.
   415. Mefisto Posted: January 01, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5599218)
I would hope he'd do something different and rotate the squad. The multiplying injuries suggest a real need for that. I don't know who's available though.
   416. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 01, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5599219)
Ruh roh, Salah out at least two weeks. But this might give Mane a chance to really get going.
   417. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: January 01, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5599221)
Ruh roh, Salah out at least two weeks. But this might give Mane a chance to really get going.


And on cue ...
   418. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 01, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5599267)
Talk about snatching victory out of the mouth of defeat after having snatched defeat from the teeth of victory.
   419. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 01, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5599341)
BOLTON THINK FACTORY

I have discovered that you can pay $7 per game to watch or listen to Championshiop, League One and League Two games, so I am getting reacquainted with Bolton Wanderers. Two wins in three days puts them at a lofty 20th position in the Championship table!

Left back Antonee Robinson just got his loan extended to a full-season loan from Everton to Bolton. He's a 20-year-old from England who could follow the Cameron Carter-Vickers route to the USMNT. He played 1 game for the U-18 USMNT. They have been raving about him on the Bolton boards for the last month at least.
   420. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 01, 2018 at 05:12 PM (#5599347)
I bought football manager 2018. I am a weak man.
   421. jmurph Posted: January 02, 2018 at 03:48 PM (#5599762)
Aguero is looking bizarrely human lately and I do not care for it.
   422. jmurph Posted: January 02, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5599765)
Also LOL/pounding fist on table at Pep starting KDB. Regardless of the severity of the injury/near-injury the other day, it's okay to go with just Silva at home against Watford, I think.
   423. JuanGone..except1game Posted: January 02, 2018 at 05:49 PM (#5599825)
I hope Selhurst is ready for an influx of babies named Roy this year. It was clear that Palace was underachieving at the beginning, but even the biggest Hodgson fans (I've always rated him) couldn't have expected this type of turnaround.
   424. Sean Forman Posted: January 02, 2018 at 08:14 PM (#5599869)
Also LOL/pounding fist on table at Pep starting KDB. Regardless of the severity of the injury/near-injury the other day, it's okay to go with just Silva at home against Watford, I think.


No kidding. I was flabbergasted to see him on the field. And then he played 75 minutes!! If KDB plays in the FA cup this weekend Pep will have lost his mind.

Good to see Stones and Delph back playing. Look like Walker tweaked his groin on the last ball of the match though.

I have not been terribly impressed with Bernardo Silva. He maintains possession well, but mostly passes backwards and doesn't make many cutting passes. Said the same thing about Leroy Sane last year too, so maybe he just needs a year. They really need another forward (or need to play Diaz) and a deeper lying CM. Probably hard to find someone at City's level who isn't CL cap-tied already.
   425. jmurph Posted: January 02, 2018 at 09:23 PM (#5599878)
They really need another forward

As soon as Jesus went down I've been assuming there will be a January bid for Alexis. If I'm understanding the convoluted cup tieing rules correctly, he could play in the Champions League since Arsenal is in the Europa League this year.

On Bernardo Silva, I've seen some flashes but yeah I agree with your general assessment.
   426. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: January 02, 2018 at 09:23 PM (#5599879)
I have not been terribly impressed with Bernardo Silva. He maintains possession well, but mostly passes backwards and doesn't make many cutting passes. Said the same thing about Leroy Sane last year too, so maybe he just needs a year. They really need another forward (or need to play Diaz) and a deeper lying CM. Probably hard to find someone at City's level who isn't CL cap-tied already.

I don't even think they should worry about the guy being CL-tied, as they could rotate such a player in the various other competitions. I think the bigger issue is to get someone of their caliber the pickings are slim. Sanchez makes a ton of sense for them, I think I'd take his 30-33 years over Aguero, probably, and he fits the Pep style a bit more with his pressing and willing to run his ass off.

They do need to start thinking about life after Fernandinho... but imo there really aren't that many great deep holding midfielders. And a few of the really good ones are best suited for a style of more defense (and are on English/Spanish teams that won't be selling them to City).
   427. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: January 02, 2018 at 09:24 PM (#5599880)
I know the City owner is rich, but does he really want to spend like $65 million on Sanchez when he'll get him for free in 6 months? I guess that's the question.
   428. Sean Forman Posted: January 02, 2018 at 10:40 PM (#5599903)

They do need to start thinking about life after Fernandinho... but imo there really aren't that many great deep holding midfielders. And a few of the really good ones are best suited for a style of more defense (and are on English/Spanish teams that won't be selling them to City).


I'm feeling concerned that he's due for a monthlong injury break right in time for the CL QF's. I don't know anything about Spain or Italy, but there have to be some mid-level young DM's who could be groomed into the position.

Re: Alexis, I don't think there is any way they would spend that much at this point. Maybe they could find someone expensive who has fallen out of favor at a big club on a loan or something.
   429. jmurph Posted: January 03, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5600228)
I also don't think City would spend that kind of money, so it would depend what it would take. I don't expect a deal to happen, but I expect an attempt.
   430. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 03, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5600278)
City's owner wants a Champions League trophy - I think Alexis is the best player they can get that gets them a little closer. If it were just the Premier League, then it makes no sense since they are going to win it easily (and they've also done it relatively recently).
   431. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: January 03, 2018 at 04:08 PM (#5600336)
I think the referees and Arsenal players are conspiring to kill Wenger. I fear for the man.
   432. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 03, 2018 at 04:19 PM (#5600347)
I think the referees and Arsenal players are conspiring to kill Wenger. I fear for the man.


He has managed to successfully zip his coat today. Perhaps that small victory will placate him.
   433. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: January 03, 2018 at 04:23 PM (#5600352)
Does anyone know what the official duties of the 4th official are? In all the years I've been watching the PL now I still don't really know what they do besides take abuse for calls they didn't make and check in substitutes. Can the match official consult them on calls?
   434. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 03, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5600358)
FIFA Laws of the Game 2015-16

The Fourth Official

Introduction

A fourth official may be appointed under the competition rules and officiates if any of the three match officials is unable to continue, unless a reserve assistant referee is appointed. He assists the referee at all times

Prior to the start of the competition, the organiser states clearly whether, if the referee is unable to continue, the fourth official takes over as the referee or whether the senior assistant referee takes over as referee with the fourth official becoming an assistant referee

The fourth official assists with any administrative duties before, during and after the match, as required by the referee

He is responsible for assisting with substitution procedures during the match

He has the authority to check the equipment of substitutes before they enter the field of play. If their equipment does not comply with the Laws of the Game, he informs the referee

He supervises the replacement balls, where required. If the match ball has to be replaced during a match, he provides another ball, on the instruction of the referee, thus keeping the delay to a minimum

He assists the referee to control the match in accordance with the Laws of the Game. The referee, however, retains the authority to decide on all points connected with play.

After the match, the fourth official must submit a report to the appropriate authorities on any misconduct or other incident that occurred out of the view of the referee and the assistant referees. The fourth official must advise the referee and his assistants of any report being made - He has the authority to inform the referee of irresponsible behaviour by any occupant of the technical area

A reserve assistant referee may also be appointed under competition rules. His only duty shall be to replace an assistant referee who is unable to continue or to replace the fourth official, as required.
   435. PepTech, Bane of Epistemological Foundations Posted: January 03, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5600364)
He assists the referee to control the match in accordance with the Laws of the Game. The referee, however, retains the authority to decide on all points connected with play.
Does that mean if the 4R sees a cardable offense he can wave the referee over and consult about it? Has this ever happened?
   436. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: January 03, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5600367)
What a crazy game. Alvaro Morata is no Harry Kane, though.
   437. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 03, 2018 at 04:40 PM (#5600370)
Does that mean if the 4R sees a cardable offense he can wave the referee over and consult about it? Has this ever happened?


Apparently, yes. From here:

POWERS OF THE FOURTH OFFICIAL
Posted on
March 10, 2010 by Jim Allen

Question:
This question is specifically regarding the powers of the 4th Official. During the recent Atletico – Valencia game, both the referee and assistant referee miss a handling of the ball within the penalty area. After a few seconds of play the referee stops play and consults the 4th official who informs the referee of the offense.

Subsequently a penalty kick was awarded and the Valencia player was sent off for DOGSO. My question is that even though the LOTG gives the 4th official the power to “assist the referee at all times,” does that include actual fouls that happen on the field within close view of the referee and assistant referees? I believe that the 4th official has this power even though it is not explicitly expressed within the LOTG, however many other officials disagree.


USSF answer (March 10, 2010):
You are correct: The fourth official has the authority to provide any and all information to the referee.
   438. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: January 03, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5600374)
Cool. I wonder how often the 4th official "whispers" in the refs ear about something. You just never hear about it.
   439. jmurph Posted: January 03, 2018 at 04:52 PM (#5600381)
Cool. I wonder how often the 4th official "whispers" in the refs ear about something. You just never hear about it.

In Arsenal's last game (Palace, maybe?) the 4th official clearly called the referee over to rat Wenger out for whining so much. It was fun.
   440. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: January 04, 2018 at 10:06 AM (#5600633)
I must say the last couple of weeks have had a lot of results that have been pretty good for Tottenham - a good # of draws between top 6 teams, and a fair number of points dropped along the way otherwise too.
   441. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 10:36 AM (#5600648)
I must say the last couple of weeks have had a lot of results that have been pretty good for Tottenham - a good # of draws between top 6 teams, and a fair number of points dropped along the way otherwise too.


Of course, that probably means they'll drop points today against West Ham ...
   442. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5601021)
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Oh, Spurs ...

Sigh.
   443. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:40 PM (#5601033)
Don't laugh to soon. What a bomb.
   444. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5601039)
Don't laugh to soon. What a bomb.


You misplaced your "o", methinks ... I would have gone with ... "Don't laugh too Son" ...
   445. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:46 PM (#5601042)
Son's goal was pretty but Obiang's was gorgeous. The last 30 minutes have been very entertaining.
   446. jmurph Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:52 PM (#5601045)
Son's goal was pretty but Obiang's was gorgeous.

Oh wow, those are both great goals. Looks like a tough draw for Spurs?
   447. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:55 PM (#5601046)
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand ... Spurs drop the points, but that's only what they deserve for starting Moussa Sissoko and not making a single substitution until 70+ minutes in (and then it was Wanyama for Dier).

Good job, enjoy playing a match in Kazakhstan next season!

   448. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: January 04, 2018 at 04:56 PM (#5601048)
Yeah Tottenham definitely dominated and could easily have won. West Ham had nothing going forward until after they were a goal up and Tottenham was forced to chase the game. After that West Ham had two more really good chances and a couple other minor looks, but not nearly as much as Spurs created all game.
   449. jmurph Posted: January 04, 2018 at 05:06 PM (#5601051)
BBTF's own MCoA has it 2.0 to 0.5 expected goals. Yikes.
   450. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 04, 2018 at 05:28 PM (#5601061)
Has anyone ever noticed that Mike Dean is the worst?
   451. Mefisto Posted: January 05, 2018 at 06:41 PM (#5601704)
Very fun game between United and Derby Co.

It's hard to believe how badly Mkhitarian has played for United. I have to think he'll be leaving soon.
   452. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 07, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5602335)
I am frustrated as heck by the Coutinho transfer. This makes it really unlikely that the Reds will make a surprising run deep into the Champions League, and also makes finishing top 4 harder. Arrrrgh.
   453. The Marksist Posted: January 07, 2018 at 11:48 AM (#5602336)
Yup. Sucks. But he obviously wanted out very badly and Klopp didn't want him around if that is the case. Unless Ox and Mane step up big, it's hard to see how this team does better than scraping 4th.
   454. Mefisto Posted: January 07, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5602344)
Mane has shown himself quite capable and dangerous in the past. Ox has......not. Adam Lallana seems like a better option there.

I'm sure United would sell Mkhitaryan to LFC for, say, half the Coutinho money. :)
   455. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: January 07, 2018 at 05:58 PM (#5602470)
Mane is awesome and will be awesome again, guys like that have their ups and downs. Salah will too.

Ox is squad depth - my good Liverpool friends assure me Ox has been adequate when playing for Liverpool this year, but you just want him for cover at a bunch of positions imo. Lallana is very creative and I've been a big fan of his, but he's not athletic and he's missed a ton of time. I've heard they're looking to turn around and spend a big chunk of this on someone like Lemar. I think they need to do that.

Losing Coutinho sucks but he likely would have left even City. It's just really hard to get the best SA/Spanish players to stay in England if Real or Barca are offering them a starting position.
   456. jmurph Posted: January 08, 2018 at 09:54 AM (#5602591)
Reports that City are willing to pay 25 million pounds for Alexis now, with Arsenal holding out for 35. Acknowledging this might be entirely made up, if that's the case I imagine it gets done.
   457. Mefisto Posted: January 08, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5602602)
Signing Alexis should put a stop to City's string of losses.
   458. The Marksist Posted: January 08, 2018 at 10:42 AM (#5602618)
Mane is awesome and will be awesome again


Yeah, I'm not really worried about him long-term, but I do wonder if something's going on. He seems really subdued, and while he's not typically super demonstrative, it's noticeable to me.

I'm not convinced that Lemar is what Liverpool need, but don't really know enough to judge. I'm also not convinced that Klopp wants to bring in a(nother) big signing right now. He's stuck to his line about believing in his squad in the past and I could see him rolling with what he's got.

I don't think Liverpool are in big trouble, exactly, but they probably dropped a couple league places on talent and were already only fringe top 4. Maybe I'm worrying too much, but that feels like a very real problem.
   459. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: January 08, 2018 at 11:08 AM (#5602636)
I would say teams have lost they damn minds with these transfer fees but it happens every window so what the hell. Mildly bummed Barkley chose Chelsea instead of Tottenham. He's a player I think Pochettino could have done something with and I think he'll get buried at Chelsea. Money talks, though, so I don't blame him.
   460. Sean Forman Posted: January 08, 2018 at 01:15 PM (#5602743)
JonGo switching to El Tri. (F$%#!!, F$%#!!, F$%#!!, F$%#!!, F$%#!!, F$%#!!, F$%#!!, F$%#!!, F$%#!!, F$%#!!, F$%#!!, F$%#!!, F$%#!!, F$%#!!, F$%#!!, F$%#!!)
   461. JuanGone..except1game Posted: January 08, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5602847)
I would say teams have lost they damn minds with these transfer fees but it happens every window so what the hell. Mildly bummed Barkley chose Chelsea instead of Tottenham. He's a player I think Pochettino could have done something with and I think he'll get buried at Chelsea. Money talks, though, so I don't blame him.

I'm surprised that more than a few Chelsea fans aren't super excited about this. It's clear that he's immensely talented and his dip in perception almost equates perfectly with Koeman's tenure. He's likely versitle enough to play in the wing of a 3-4-3 and at the tip of the midfield 3-5-2, and his ability to create chances (84 to Eden's 88 last year) suggest that he can have a massive influence on the team. It's clear that Chelsea needs a deeper bench of talent to compete with City's neo-Galactico squad and so I'm optimistic.
   462. Baldrick Posted: January 08, 2018 at 07:59 PM (#5603069)
John Herdman is leaving the Canadian women's team to coach the men's team. That's...unexpected.
   463. Sean Forman Posted: January 08, 2018 at 08:36 PM (#5603086)
This Jonathan Gonzalez switch is just so disappointing as a USMNT fan. The MNT was on the cusp of having a quartet of VERY good u-20 midfielders, who all fit together very very well.

Pulisic, 19, Attacking mid
Weston McKennie, 19, and Tyler Adams, 18, box to box types
Gonzalez, 18, defensive mid at the top club in Mexico.

Not sure about Adams, but the other three are possible Champions League knockout caliber midfielders. Having all four at the same age playing in the Olympics together, etc etc. What a lost opportunity.
   464. The Marksist Posted: January 09, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5603448)
One more thought on Coutinho and then I'm done: Rafa Honigstein on whichever podcast he's on these days said something I hadn't considered (because I'm not naturally a schemer). Namely, that Barca told Coutinho that he had to make this move happen now because they couldn't promise they'd come back with a bid in the summer. Now, that sounds a touch ridiculous to me, but Barca are more than a touch ridiculous in general, so I can't rule it out. And it would make Coutinho's actions somewhat more understandable. If he was convinced that it might be now or never, he was probably pretty freaked out and put everything he had into making it now instead of never.

In the end, I'm disappointed because I would have loved to watch him play for the rest of the season and I would have wished him a fond farewell in the summer if he left. Now I feel like my appreciation of him is tainted a bit by all the drama. Oh well. The trials of fandom, I guess.
   465. jmurph Posted: January 09, 2018 at 02:43 PM (#5603489)
In Pep we trust and everything, but playing De Bruyne against Bristol ####### City in the League Cup semi-final when they have Liverpool this weekend is tremendously stupid. Stones, recently back from an injury, is also in the team.

And while I'm posting about City, I predict they'll lose to Liverpool and/or Spurs to end the unbeaten run.
   466. jmurph Posted: January 09, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5603546)
Ahem, as I was saying, gonna take an all hands on deck approach to beat mighty Bristol City today!
   467. Sean Forman Posted: January 09, 2018 at 04:45 PM (#5603623)
Ahem, as I was saying, gonna take an all hands on deck approach to beat mighty Bristol City today!


I've been pretty annoyed by the lack of squad rotation myself. Last two matches he's taken out the only young rotation player they have in Zinchenko. I think Phil Foden might have gotten some run if he had been healthy these last few weeks.
   468. jmurph Posted: January 09, 2018 at 05:00 PM (#5603637)
Yeah I hate to criticize him too much, but they're in the midst of a historical league season, and have their best chance yet in the Champions League, it's okay if you lose in whatever the League Cup is now called! Or only beat Burnley 2-1! I'm worried it's going to cost them.
   469. The_Ex Posted: January 09, 2018 at 05:12 PM (#5603647)
I have heard somewhere, too much inputs right now, that Coutinho's move was pushed by Nike. Barcelona are one of the biggest teams in Brazil and, when Neymar left, Nike lost their biggest Brazil connection. With the world cup coming in the summer it will be a big time for apparel sales. Coutinho moving now gives Nike a push in Brazil before the world cup.
   470. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: January 11, 2018 at 05:50 PM (#5605016)
This has to take a bit of the sting out of losing Gonzalez:


Bayern Munich prospect Timothy Tillman will switch to the United States after playing for Germany youth teams, U.S. under-20 coach Tab Ramos has told Goal.

Tillman, 19, last played for Germany's under-19 team in European Championship qualifiers in October, but rather than rejoin them in March, he will join up with the U.S. under-20s instead.
   471. Sean Forman Posted: January 12, 2018 at 10:07 AM (#5605341)
Is it an official one-time switch or just that he's playing with the u-20s? I saw the latter.
   472. Sean Forman Posted: January 12, 2018 at 10:11 AM (#5605344)
reading a bit more, he'd need to file the switch to appear in a u-20 match for the US. He could still go to camp and remain German eligible.
   473. Mefisto Posted: January 12, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5605376)
And we think we have issues with national team coaches...

Rumor is that they're considering Phil Neville to coach the England women's team.
   474. Baldrick Posted: January 12, 2018 at 06:02 PM (#5605725)
Rumor is that they're considering Phil Neville to coach the England women's team.

What a weird conclusion to the whole Sampson situation, if this is really what happens. It's astonishing how many people seemed utterly uninterested in this job. One of the top squads in the world and they couldn't convince anyone with a plausible normal case to sign up. Given that, I can't say that Neville is the WORST possible way to go, but...it's not a very good look.
   475. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: January 13, 2018 at 02:15 PM (#5605946)
Chelsea really have a tough time scoring. They really need another goal scorer. I think Fabregas just doesn't have it anymore athletically. One of the reasons I love Son so much for Tottenham is when you count on a non-striker to score like 10-15 goals a year, that is just so ####### huge.

I know there've been some other changes recently for why Tottenham has played better but I really think the biggest reason is Son starting every game now over Sissoko.
   476. Mefisto Posted: January 13, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5605955)
Chelsea's problem seems to me to be as much Morata as anything else. He got off to a good start, but he's been pretty awful over the last month. If I were looking for someone else to criticize for lack of scoring, it would be Hazard.

I think Fabregas is brilliant (though not today). Yes, he lacks athleticism, and yes he can't defend. However, Chelsea are uniquely suited to accommodating those weaknesses with their other midfielders, especially Kante. If a mid-thirties Pirlo could play successfully, and if Xavi could, then I see no reason why Fabregas can't.

Also, Leicester deserve a great deal of credit today. They really took the game to Chelsea.
   477. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: January 13, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5605973)
Xavi and Pirlo played quite a bit deeper, right? I think part of the issue is Fabregas and Bakayoko are playing more advanced positions but can't really score. Fabregas gets a bit of a pass because he can pass. But Kante can't really play a through ball or score either. He's so damn good it doesn't matter, but because he's so active defensively

I think the concerns with Morata are real although I think strikers will have bad stretches and I think he's mostly still going to be fine. Hazard's interesting because he is really good but I think he's generally considered one of the top 5 or 10 attacking players in the world and if you look at his stats and trophies outside of the year he gave up, it seems pretty reasonable. However, he did give up that year and he just generally seems way too inconsistent for my liking. He can be a passenger in the game too often for my liking.

Leicester is pretty darn good when they're at their best. Mahrez had a great game, keeping possession, attacking the defense. There's been murmurs of him going to a bigger club but I'm a bit surprised they've been able to hold onto him. Especially this year since they're not in the CL anymore. I mean, Chelsea could use a guy like him. He could be a heavy rotation player at Tottenham too, among other non-English clubs.
   478. Mefisto Posted: January 13, 2018 at 03:46 PM (#5605983)
Pirlo definitely played deep. Though Fabregas drops deep plenty of times he's probably not a "deep-lying playmaker" the way Pirlo was. Xavi is harder to characterize because nobody at Barca played "deep" in any meaningful sense. Still, Xavi played in front of Busquets and just a bit deeper than Iniesta.
   479. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: January 13, 2018 at 05:33 PM (#5606036)
I don't watch La Liga much because I don't have beIN, but man, Barcelona turning into an unbeatable team while Real Madrid have fallen apart was not something I saw coming given how last season and the preseason was shaping up.

FYI, Paulinho has scored 3 more league goals than Ronaldo. Let that sink in.
   480. Mefisto Posted: January 14, 2018 at 09:10 AM (#5606192)
MCOA says that RM is doing fine by xG. For what that's worth.
   481. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: January 14, 2018 at 10:29 AM (#5606200)
Yikes. Flip on FS1 to watch Koln-Gladbach and it’s at halftime. Almost as an after thought they show scenes of riot gear suited cops herding the Monchengladbach fans back into the stands.
   482. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: January 14, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5606201)
When do we start hearing about a top 5?
   483. Mefisto Posted: January 14, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5606208)
Arsenal's starting 11 was mid-table quality. I honestly don't seem them competing without Sanchez and/or Ozil.
   484. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: January 14, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5606221)
Liverpool is so frightening on the break when Salah and Mane are on top of their game. They're such an athletic team.

This could be good for City. When Silva isn't playing, too, the Man City precision passing/control game isn't the same.

Pretty much everyone on City had a bad game except maybe Sane, and they need to start rotating players I think. City didn't play balls over the top enough. I thought they did a pretty good job of that against Tottenham's press, and with Sane and Sterling that is an option that they're capable of.
   485. jmurph Posted: January 14, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5606222)
Well I thought Liverpool would likely win today, but I wasn't expecting this. City had some opportunities early that might have changed things, but this is generally a fair result I think.

(That was 100% a foul on Firmino directly leading to Liverpool's second goal, though.)

I think Spurs could roughly duplicate this, too. They're the two teams best built to beat this team.
   486. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: January 14, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5606226)
As good as Sterling and Sane have been this year, Mane and Salah play the same style and are way better (imo). Liverpool's attack is going to be devestating as long as they can hold on to those guys, Salah in particular.

I agree the 2nd goal was a clear foul. And I think Liverpool in general got away with a lot of pretty physical play on 50/50 clashes. But, they are at home and were the more aggressive/athletic side.

Also Man City doing Man City things.
   487. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: January 14, 2018 at 12:54 PM (#5606227)
That was the best EPL game I can remember watching in the last few years.
   488. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 14, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5606340)
Even without Coutinho, Liverpool is such a joy to watch when they're firing on all cylinders
   489. Sean Forman Posted: January 14, 2018 at 10:53 PM (#5606494)
Didn't expect City to be undefeated, but still disappointed they lost. Game reminded me a bit of the shellacking last year at White Hart Lane. The referee allowed a physical game, Liverpool was in their grill all game, and City got knocked off their passing game. Passes I'm not used to seeing them miss were just not quite where they should have been and they never got into much of a flow. I think the Liverpool wingers pushed the City fullbacks back as well which kept them from overlapping and reaching the byline. I don't think it happened once all game.

Young American Josh Sargent had an assist and a goal in a Werder Bremen U23 friendly vs a Bundesliga 2 side. Sounds like he'll start getting some first team training.
   490. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: January 14, 2018 at 11:37 PM (#5606497)
T he thing about City is that their defense is fairly mediocre among the elite teams and that was on display today a bit. Stones is probably their worst regular player and while he’s not bad by any means you can beat him. It doesn’t cost them often because they have so much possession and teams don’t attack like Liverpool did (because they don’t have ‘pool’s attacking talent).

I still think City are the best team in Europe. Every team is going to have a flaw. I mean a lot went against them today and they scored three goals and had a couple of other good chances. They made a couple of uncharacteristic errors and Liverpool are more capable of finishing than most teams are going to be.
   491. Mefisto Posted: January 15, 2018 at 08:38 AM (#5606527)
The strange thing about the game was that while Liverpool dominated the game, and while City played relatively poorly even when not pressured, Liverpool got full points only because the referee failed to call a fairly blatant push.
   492. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: January 15, 2018 at 02:04 PM (#5606699)
I was surprised that the NBC announcers didn't make a bigger deal of the push. It was clearly in the back, not shoulder to shoulder, for me.
   493. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 15, 2018 at 07:45 PM (#5606957)
I had no idea Stephen Ireland was still playing, much less still in the Premier League.
   494. Mefisto Posted: January 15, 2018 at 07:52 PM (#5606963)
I was shocked to see that too.
   495. Dale Sams Posted: January 15, 2018 at 07:55 PM (#5606965)
Stoke actually had genuine chances....a lot more than Newcastle would have mustered.
   496. Dale Sams Posted: January 15, 2018 at 07:57 PM (#5606967)
Everyone here who plays FM, would have sold Coutinho for that in a heartbeat...right??
   497. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: January 15, 2018 at 08:05 PM (#5606970)
Everyone here who plays FM, would have sold Coutinho for that in a heartbeat...right??

I mean, it's a ton of money. But on the other hand, they're likely to spend like two-thirds of that on someone not as good.
   498. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 15, 2018 at 08:14 PM (#5606978)
I even knew Lee Chung-Yong was still playing in the Premier League and didn't know about Stephen Ireland.
   499. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: January 16, 2018 at 08:02 AM (#5607092)
Andy Carroll to Chelsea would be the weirdest recent transfer I can think of.
   500. Sean Forman Posted: January 16, 2018 at 08:56 AM (#5607109)
Everyone here who plays FM, would have sold Coutinho for that in a heartbeat...right??


I'll admit to being a Coutinho skeptic, so yes I would have. Takes too many shots from distance for my taste. Suarez was miles better than him from my watching of Liverpool.
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