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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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   701. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 13, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5624465)
Thank you Jebus.
   702. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 13, 2018 at 03:34 PM (#5624468)
On the one hand, I'm sad we're losing. On the other hand, we're making Juventus look like Arsenal. Spurs just need to calm down and stop believing Aurier has a brain. He did the same thing in Madrid. If Poch is selecting him over Trippier for his European experience it is very ironic at this point.
   703. Baldrick Posted: February 13, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5624470)
This is a very silly game.

Juventus getting played off the park, but should really be up by two goals again.
   704. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 13, 2018 at 03:40 PM (#5624475)
The derp is strong in Aurier.

Based on this half's display, I'm thinking Rose and Trippier would have been the better call at fullback ...
   705. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 13, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5624476)
I see the City tie is over at half.
   706. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 13, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5624484)
Gotta get Aurier out of there.
   707. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 13, 2018 at 03:51 PM (#5624485)
nevermind, I'm discombobulated.
   708. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 13, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5624496)
Juventus have made some nice adjustments and are getting back some control of this. Bastards.
   709. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 13, 2018 at 04:10 PM (#5624502)
Aurier has been really disappointing today. Have no idea where his head is.
   710. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 13, 2018 at 04:14 PM (#5624511)
GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
   711. The Marksist Posted: February 13, 2018 at 04:19 PM (#5624515)
Whatever happens in the last 15, this has been a hell of a performance by Spurs.
   712. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 13, 2018 at 04:23 PM (#5624517)
Love it. Betancur completely wipes out Davies then accuses him of diving. #### you Juventus!
   713. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 13, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5624518)
Finally, Son is coming on.
   714. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: February 13, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5624523)
Juve fan I work with called it. About 12 minutes into the first half he said "too much too soon, we are going to go into a shell and let them back into it." We've had to remove his belt and shoelaces from his office.
   715. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 13, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5624524)
Costa has been Juve's best player by far.
   716. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 13, 2018 at 04:31 PM (#5624525)
A debut for Lucas Moura!
   717. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 13, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5624528)
Tottenham are favorites to advance now. Can't ask for more than that.
   718. spivey Posted: February 13, 2018 at 11:44 PM (#5624678)
Douglas Costa is so ####### good and I don't understand why Bayern sent him out on loan.

As for Spurs, it was really a tale of two groups of players for me.

Ben Davies and Aurier are not up for playing the best teams in the world. And really, that's the level Tottenham is at now. They're a top 10 team in the world and they have a style that really ##### with a lot of top teams. Both of these clowns were awful and were responsible for almost all bad things that happened. Aurier at least had a couple nice crosses, Davies sucked at every facet of the game. Christ we need Danny Rose back. And Aurier is way too unpredictable. Unpredictability is one of the worst qualities a defender can have.

On the plus side, Tottenham absolutely ####### dominated midfield. Granted this is part of where Juve's main injuries are, but Eriksen is so ####### good. Is he better than Kane? I dunno. Maybe not, but he could start for every team in the world imo right now (for example, I'd take him over Silva). And Dembele. Holy ####### #### he was amazing. He was bossing that #### all game. Great, great dribbling, ball retention, several good passes. Man, he was maybe the MOTM for Spurs for me.
   719. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 14, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5625097)
I'd say Liverpool took care of business.
   720. Sean Forman Posted: February 14, 2018 at 04:58 PM (#5625132)
I was pulling for PSG, but I'm so happy I'm not cheering for a team with Neymar on a regular basis. So much ball hogging and flopping.

Though the amount of flopping by both sides going on for both sides in PSG vs Real Madrid was spectacular. I'll also never understand how Casemiro doesn't get a yellow every match.
   721. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 15, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5625369)
The flopping was pretty egregious in that game. Real were kicking Neymar a bit but it was hard to tell how menacing it was with all of his flopping. I'm almost to the point where I don't mind the flop but I can't stand the theatrics accompanying the flop. Do your flop, look to see if the ref gave you the decision, and then get on with it. All the rolling around and grasping parts of your body that weren't even touched is getting old.

So far English teams have looked very strong in the KO's. Maybe Chelsea have more of a chance than people give them against Barca? Nothing I saw in that Real v PSG game made me fear for Spurs against either of them. Also, that result for Liverpool yesterday was kind of awesome. Teams just don't do that to Porto.
   722. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 15, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5625375)
Gross.

So what if it's a graveyard as long as the checks cash.
   723. spivey Posted: February 15, 2018 at 10:12 AM (#5625408)
I agree the flopping, especially the first 20 minutes was awful. It really affected the flow of the game and my enjoyment.

I will absolutely say that I thought the Real penalty was soft, and I also think Ronaldo got away with a foul on the PSG center back that led to the second goal.

All that said, PSG didn't look like anything approaching the best team in the world. I was quite disappointed with their play.
   724. J. Sosa Posted: February 15, 2018 at 10:28 AM (#5625421)
I was shocked watching the Liverpool match. I had been hoping for a 2-1 or something like that. Porto played poorly to be sure, and Liverpool played pretty well, but for the most part I just couldn't understand what Porto was trying to do. They seemed to want to play narrow? Mane and Salah had acres of space the whole match. I'm not complaining, it sets Liverpool up very nicely with upcoming fixtures, but it was surprising. I think I underestimate how much of a shock it can be attempting to deal with Liverpool's front three. I'm actually higher on them in Europe than I am domestically. Most clubs from here on out in Europe are going to attempt to play with Liverpool. Which is always going to give Liverpool a puncher's chance.

Rabiot's quote after the PSG match was pretty amazing. I've been following Neymar's sojourn in France a little bit, and from what I can tell he has made himself exceptionally unpopular in the locker room. But I'm pretty sure it isn't the water carrying mid that is going to win a club house struggle.

Shooty, yes, my wife and I were talking about that yesterday. The english clubs look very strong. Other than some early yips I thought Spurs were significantly stronger than Juventus. A club that has been to two of the last three Champion's League Finals! From Liverpool's perspective, it is the english clubs I fear in the quarters. Man U and Chelsea would park the bus, City is probably the most talented team, and Spurs have a better starting 11 than Liverpool at full strength. Spurs have some work to do, but I think they are going through. Chelsea is the only english club that I think won't make it, but that's mainly down to form. Barcelona is aging in some key spots.

BTW, FWiW, 538 REALLY likes Liverpool and Spurs for top four. I must confess I don't share that level of confidence, but with the FA Cup gone and five goals to play with in the second leg of the CL, Liverpool would have only themselves to blame if they blow it.
   725. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 15, 2018 at 10:44 AM (#5625434)
But I'm pretty sure it isn't the water carrying mid that is going to win a club house struggle.

If PSG want to kick Rabiot off to Spurs, I'll take him. He's quality. We tried to sign him a year and a half ago but PSG only wanted to loan him.
   726. J. Sosa Posted: February 15, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5625450)
Rabiot is awesome. But they don’t seem to value him for some reason.

Do the Kovavic rumours have any truth for Spurs?
   727. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 15, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5625476)
Do the Kovavic rumours have any truth for Spurs?

First I've heard of it. My default stance on rumors this far from summer is no, though.
   728. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 15, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5625478)
According to the 538 thingamajig, England has a 7% chance of seeing all 5 of its teams make the quarterfinals, and 42% chance of seeing four teams make it. That'll do some good things for the ol' coefficient.

By comparison, Spain has a 24% chance of getting three teams into the quarters.
   729. J. Sosa Posted: February 15, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5625496)
The PL is the deepest I can recall it being at the top since I have been watching. I didn’t follow the sport when Benitez, Mourinho, Wenger, and SAF were doing their thing a decade ago. I think it is mostly attributable to elite managers joining the PL. Money doesn’t hurt either.
   730. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 15, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5625498)
All that said, PSG didn't look like anything approaching the best team in the world. I was quite disappointed with their play.
PSG is going to continue to be a hard team to peg in terms of quality unless they make a long run deep into the CL knockout stages (so maybe we will have to wait another year). There just isn't enough of a sample size of challenging games to form an educated opinion. Even ELO-based systems like 538 and the ELO site I linked disagree strongly on how good they are (538 had them as the 2nd best team in the world while the ELO site had them at around 7 or 8, in the same vicinity as Liverpool and ManU).

Neymar is so good on the ball that he gets hacked at a lot, so sometimes you feel for him a little bit. On the other hand, he also looks to draw fouls. Early in the game against RM he left his leg out in such a way that what would have been very minor contact resulted in a clear foul. That's part of his game of course but it's not the kind of thing that garners much sympathy. And then of course the diving.

Here's hoping PSG gets eliminated early from the CL this year and every year, especially if Neymar is on the team. Though, I strongly suspect if it happens again Neymar will force his way off the club.
   731. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 15, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5625529)
Very strong team for Arsenal today. Wenger wisely not risking Wilshere on a frozen, plastic pitch.
   732. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 15, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5625557)
Very strong team for Arsenal today
I think they are off after this until next week's rematch against Ostersunds, and they are effectively (if you ask me) out of the race for top 4 anyway. Never been a better time to play a strong team.
   733. The Marksist Posted: February 15, 2018 at 01:42 PM (#5625564)
I was shocked watching the Liverpool match. I had been hoping for a 2-1 or something like that.


Me, too. And I was nervous until they scored the third of fourth. I know Porto didn't up up much ex-gee, but I thought they looked fairly dangerous on the run. Of course, the nerves are probably pathological at this point.
   734. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 15, 2018 at 02:24 PM (#5625599)
Arsenal have killed their tie already. Dortmund are losing at home to Atalanta. Athletic have killed their tie against Spartak. No one talks much about Athletic but I'd have them as one of the favorites of the tourney.
   735. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 21, 2018 at 08:31 AM (#5627864)
I wasn't impressed at all with Barca yesterday. I'd say Man City and Bayern are the favorites right now and both just happen to be managed by guys with experience winning the tournament. It was kind of shocking how weak Barca looked when they didn't have the ball. Thankfully for me they didn't realize they needed Mousa Dembele more than they needed Coutinho coz I love watching me some Dembele.
   736. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: February 21, 2018 at 08:39 AM (#5627868)
Shooty - Agreed. For all the possession I thought they looked very slow and really didn't create much. As you note they were incredibly susceptible to the counter as the two posts demonstrated. The result they got probably makes them favorites to go through but I'd make them far from favorites.

Is it me or is this a more open tournament than we've had for awhile? The final eight is likely to be;

ManCity
Spurs
Liverpool
Real Madrid
Bayern
ManUnited

plus Roma/Shaktar and Barca/Chelsea. Is there any team in there that looks unbeatable? More to the point I can see just about every team except the Roma/Shaktar winner winning this thing.
   737. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 21, 2018 at 08:55 AM (#5627875)
Is it me or is this a more open tournament than we've had for awhile?

It sure feels like it with PSG not convincing and Real and Barcelona not being of vintage quality.
   738. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 21, 2018 at 09:04 AM (#5627878)
Agree the tournament is very open, and the next round looks quite promising.

I really liked the way Chelsea played yesterday, but the reality is that Barca is much more likely to advance than ManU or Spurs, and also more likely than Real Madrid. (Odds are at least one of those last three won't make it.)



   739. spivey Posted: February 21, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5627903)
It sure feels like it with PSG not convincing and Real and Barcelona not being of vintage quality.

Atletico is out as well, and Bayern is also basically an older, worse version of the same team from like 3 years ago. They also didnt look convincing in group play and when I’ve seen them in the league they are getting results but it’s not the same level of quality imo. Their wage structure seems to keep them out of the really big transfers.

I agree that the winner Roma/Shaktar and Sevilla can’t win but everyone else can.

   740. KronicFatigue Posted: February 21, 2018 at 10:14 AM (#5627920)
Watching Chelsea vs Barcelona yesterday, I realized that I've wasted the opportunity to watch Messi in his prime. I usually only watch EPL matches or the big CL games. Is there any way for me to "catch up" on Messi's career? Do highlights do him justice or do you have to watch full matches to see his true value? Is there a good summary of his career either as a book or even article? Did his style have to change with various Barcelona coaches? I presume when he played on the Argentina club team he was just running around and scoring at will.
   741. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 21, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5627926)
Did his style have to change with various Barcelona coaches?

Naw, Messi is Messi, plus he grew up with Barcelona so he's always played the Barca style, a style which coaches going to Barca have to adapt to.

I presume when he played on the Argentina club team he was just running around and scoring at will.

He's been with Barca since boyhood so he's never played for an Argentina club team above the youth level.

Do highlights do him justice or do you have to watch full matches to see his true value?

Come on, you're never going to watch full match replays so extended highlights are fine. What you'll find striking about him, I think, is how balanced he is. He might be one of the most balanced athletes I've ever seen in a team sport along with Barry Sanders. He's still pretty good so watch him now when you can. Unfortunately La Liga is ghetto-ized with BeIn sports so it's tougher to watch. La Liga has wasted the primes of Messi and Ronaldo with terrible tv contracts here in the States.
   742. spivey Posted: February 21, 2018 at 10:22 AM (#5627928)
The money advantage the EPL has seems to be slowly showing up, though I feel like a lot of it is improve the depth of the league in the middle and lower halves.

For England doing so well in the CL, I think the managers hits a lot of it. City are truly a world class club, now. Some of that is down to KDB, but Pep deserves a lot of credit as well. Tottenham has a great manager they may not be able to keep and are in the middle of a golden generation that is also a bit outside the manager. Similarly Liverpool have one of the top managers in the world and are performing above where they've been in a long while (save that one Suarez season), and look to have a recipe to maintain that.

There were stretches of poor play from other members of the Old Firm over the last several years which I think led to some of the poor play in the CL. Chelsea are still a bit vulnerable to me and need to get at least 1 more top attacker, 2 if they lose Hazard. Man U has spent a ton of money doing it, but I think they've turned over the roster enough now to mostly be out of the post-Fergie funk.
   743. KronicFatigue Posted: February 21, 2018 at 10:42 AM (#5627954)
Thanks Shooty. I went to his wiki, b/c I was definitely confused about his early career. In the back of my mind, I knew he was a product of Barca's youth program, but I remember hearing that he wanted to end his career with his original club. Wiki helped clarify the situation.

Barry Sanders is a good comparison. When I'm watching Messi highlights I'm shocked by how he's able to stay on his feet, weave through a bunch of defenders, and come out of the scrum still with the ball. During games, the announcers talk about his ability to find open space and have a telepathic connection with his teammates, but I have a harder time seeing that.
   744. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 21, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5628098)
ESPN reporting Pogba isn't starting today. If that's true, I wonder if Mourinho is in the process of De Bruyne-ing him.
   745. The_Ex Posted: February 21, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5628131)
United have to play Chelsea on Sunday. I think Mou is getting ready to park the bus today and keep some of his ammo for Sunday.
   746. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 21, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5628143)
United have to play Chelsea on Sunday. I think Mou is getting ready to park the bus today and keep some of his ammo for Sunday.

So he's punting on getting a vital away goal?
   747. spivey Posted: February 21, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5628145)
I feel like Pogba is more of a world class talent than a world class player, but Man U pretty much had their best run of form early in the year when he was great. They're not a very good or dangerous team without a great Pogba. They should be able to recoup most/all of their money for him, but it will seem a bit like an opportunity squandered if they weren't able to make it work. Last year he wasn't very good, but I think Mou should get more of the blame this year than Pogba.

I'm torn. Man U/Sevilla has more CL implications, I think, but is more likely to be a dull game. Donetsk/Roma is more likely to be fun but has less implications.
   748. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: February 21, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5628152)
The problem is I think Mourinho wants to play him deeper than Pogba is equipped to play. He is at his best when he can be freer and more attacking but because he's big and a great passer he looks like he should be able to be more of a deeper player. I'll bring the comparison of Yaya Toure. His best performances at City seemed to come with DeJong was behind him destroying things so Yaya could always look forward.
   749. jmurph Posted: February 21, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5628180)
If Mourinho is icing out Pogba they have to fire him pretty quickly, and I'm really not being dramatic. They have 90 million pounds in him plus whatever they're paying him in wages. How much longer would Mourinho be there anyway, 1-2 more years, max?
   750. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 21, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5628203)
“McTominay is working hard every day, is feeling good and strong. He played the last match for 90 minutes. Paul meanwhile last Saturday wasn’t able to play, and this is the kind of game when a player must feel 100 percent. It is not so much tactical: Paul could fill one of the roles taken today by McTominay and Herrera. But he created some doubts by not playing last Saturday, by his own decision, he was not feeling good and created some doubts.”

Sounds like coach-speak for saying a player isn't fully committed. Pochettino did the same thing when he took over Spurs, but in that case he was dumping guys like Kaboul, Adebayor and Capoue, not a 90 million pound face of the club. Things are always interesting in Man U Land!
   751. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 21, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5628215)
Sevilla's manager looks like the platonic ideal of "Continental Manager".
   752. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 21, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5628228)
Herrera's coming off. Who is coming on?
   753. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 21, 2018 at 03:02 PM (#5628229)
Paul Pogba!
   754. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 21, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5628245)
Where would Man U be without de Gea?
   755. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: February 21, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5628254)
Where would Man U be without de Gea?


Same place they are now, Sevilla.

Of course they'd be losing like 3-0.
   756. jmurph Posted: February 21, 2018 at 03:54 PM (#5628257)
Where would Man U be without de Gea?

4th or 5th?
   757. spivey Posted: February 21, 2018 at 04:07 PM (#5628264)
Nobody can tell me Man U doesn't have significantly more talent, and they're getting their asses severely outplayed. This is a poor performance.

Man U was so great early in the year, but have been pretty meh for what seems like upwards of 2-3 months now.
   758. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 21, 2018 at 08:50 PM (#5628387)

Manchester City have been granted a meeting with the governing body of Premier League referees to discuss Pep Guardiola’s concern regarding tackles made against his players.

The meeting, requested by the club, is expected to take place next month but it is unlikely the Professional Game Match Officials Limited will consider City’s wish for panels to retrospectively review questionable challenges dealt with by the referee during the game.

City contacted the body this month following what the manager believed was a run of dangerous tackles on his players. The club believed nine of these deserved a higher sanction than that handed out during the match.

The tackle Kevin De Bruyne received from Crystal Palace’s Jason Puncheon in a goalless draw at Selhurst Park on New Year’s Eve and a challenge on Leroy Sané by Joe Bennett in the FA Cup fourth-round win at Cardiff City that caused the winger ankle ligament damage are thought to be among those about which the club are frustrated.

Both Puncheon and Bennett were booked which incensed Guardiola and City who believed the players should have been sent off. Yet it is understood the PGMOL, which is headed by Mike Riley, will not consider introducing a rule to allow yellow cards to be increased to reds by a panel.


The Graun

Until such time as VAR is fully adopted and allowed to be used in the real-time review of questionable challenges, FA's should *absolutely* be open to post-hoc review of incidents and allowing for the issuing or upgrading of cards.
   759. Mefisto Posted: February 21, 2018 at 11:33 PM (#5628441)
That Sane tackle was cringe-worthy. Definitely a red. I can't believe the FA has no method in place to deal with that.
   760. Sean Forman Posted: February 22, 2018 at 08:38 AM (#5628520)
That Sane tackle was cringe-worthy. Definitely a red. I can't believe the FA has no method in place to deal with that.


As best I can recall I think City has been given three reds and their opposition just one, but I may have missed some at one point or another.
   761. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 22, 2018 at 09:12 AM (#5628538)
As best I can recall I think City has been given three reds and their opposition just one, but I may have missed some at one point or another.

I haven't seen every City game, but I don't doubt they've had bad luck with these decisions this year, but next year things might go the other way for them. Unless you believe the refs are out to get them, this is all small sample noise.
   762. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2018 at 09:17 AM (#5628542)
Unless you believe the refs are out to get them, this is all small sample noise.

I don't think the refs are out to get them at all, I think they're just playing the Bad Boy Pistons several times a year. When the fouling is constant, I don't think the referee is likely to call them all/weigh them correctly.
   763. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 22, 2018 at 10:08 AM (#5628572)
Guess which famous person will be doing analysis for Champions League games for TNT?

If you guessed Steve "proper Yid" Nash, then you are correct.
   764. Mefisto Posted: February 22, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5628637)
City themselves commit a very large number of fouls. That's part of Pep's strategy: to prevent fast breaks because his teams play so high up the pitch. They aren't dirty fouls by any means, but they commit lots of them. That could lead to more double yellows for persistent fouling, but I don't think that happens much (I don't have the numbers). So City don't have any real standing to complain about refs generally, but I think every team should want to enforce penalties against truly brutal challenges. I don't understand the FA's position on this.
   765. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 22, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5628643)
It's the FA, no matter what they do they will #### it up. I'm often amused by how terrible the FA is at, well, everything.
   766. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5628681)
So City don't have any real standing to complain about refs generally

Which is not a thing that is happening, as far as I can tell.
   767. Mefisto Posted: February 22, 2018 at 01:07 PM (#5628814)
Agreed.
   768. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:00 PM (#5628952)
Some notable Europa League results from the early games. Zenit knock out Celtic, RB Leipzig knock out Napoli and Lyon over Villareal. It continues to annoy me that UEFA will stagger the start times of Europa League games but won't stagger the starting times of the CL games.
   769. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5628976)
FB Salzburg are in the process of knocking out Real Sociedad setting up the possibility that RB Leipzig and Salzburg could be drawn in the next round. That seems not ideal.
   770. The Marksist Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5628987)
Also: things are very much happening at the Emirates right now. Totally, definitely happening.
   771. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:34 PM (#5628993)
Also: things are very much happening at the Emirates right now. Totally, definitely happening.

Wow.
   772. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5628994)
Also: things are very much happening at the Emirates right now. Totally, definitely happening.

Holy shit!
   773. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:40 PM (#5629001)
If Arsenal blow this, would Wenger resign?
   774. manchestermets Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:40 PM (#5629003)
Which is not a thing that is happening, as far as I can tell.


Then you aren't paying attention. Guardiola's done little else but complain about how unfair it all is over the last month or so - when he's not been complaining about the crippling budgetary constraints under which he's forced to operate, that is.
   775. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 22, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5629013)
I apologize to Arsenal fans for saying this tie was dead last week.*

*I totally don't, actually.
   776. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2018 at 04:03 PM (#5629015)
Then you aren't paying attention. Guardiola's done little else but complain about how unfair it all is over the last month or so - when he's not been complaining about the crippling budgetary constraints under which he's forced to operate, that is.

As quoted/discussed above, he's complaining narrowly about what he deems red card worthy challenges that have gone unpunished. Not about the "refs generally," which was the quote I was responding to.
   777. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 23, 2018 at 07:30 AM (#5629376)
Lazio v Dynamo Kiev
RB Leipzig v Zenit St Petersburg
Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow
CSKA v Lyon
Marseille v Athletic Bilbao
Sporting Lisbon v Viktoria Plzen
Borussia Dortmund v FC Salzburg
Milan v Arsenal

Some pretty interesting ties, there.
   778. spivey Posted: February 23, 2018 at 09:26 AM (#5629402)
Arsenal/Milan is fun, as Milan almost certainly needs to win the Europa League to make CL as well.

There are some good teams in the draws but not all of those teams need Europa to make CL. The last rounds there could be pretty fun.
   779. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 23, 2018 at 05:33 PM (#5629829)
Apparently Elliot Capital, the vulture fund who broke Argentina, hold a lot of AC Milan debt and will have their knives out if Milan doesn't get that Champions League money.

Also, re Ostersunds, I hope this wasn't linked already but I found it neat: https://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/28/football/ostersunds-sweden-europa-league-daniel-kindberg-graham-potter/index.html
   780. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 24, 2018 at 12:03 PM (#5629985)
Alright, everybody who had West Brom to anchor the PL table, raise yer hands!
   781. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 24, 2018 at 12:08 PM (#5629990)
Stolen from (((JE))) in OTP: Do you ever forget you're playing football?
   782. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 24, 2018 at 06:51 PM (#5630076)
Messi was his normal absurd self again today; Messi, Suarez, Coutinho and Dembele were something to watch.
   783. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 25, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5630178)
FEEL THE CARIBOU CUP EXCITEMENT!!!!
   784. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 25, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5630185)
Aguerooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooal!
   785. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 26, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5630547)
Dynasties, as Pep Guardiola knows, can hinge on the tiniest details. What if Shkodran Mustafi had not reacted to a slight nudge in the back from Sergio Agüero with all the resolve of a flighty Victorian maiden glimpsing a mouse, throwing out his arms in horror and desperately hoping somebody, anybody – a trusted servant, a passing dragoon, Craig Pawson – might help? What if he had actually done a basic bit of defending and grappled back? What if he had not got on the wrong side in the first place? What if he had chased and put pressure on Agüero so he couldn’t measure a far from easy finish over David Ospina?


I didn't see the Cup final yesterday but after reading the above-as sarcastic as I've ever read in a Jonathan Wilson piece--I looked up the goal and, Holy Toledo!, that was awful defending. That's the kind of thing that should get you run out of a club.
   786. jmurph Posted: February 26, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5630563)
I didn't see the Cup final yesterday but after reading the above-as sarcastic as I've ever read in a Jonathan Wilson piece--I looked up the goal and, Holy Toledo!, that was awful defending. That's the kind of thing that should get you run out of a club.

It was pretty egregious, and nowhere near to being even a hint of a foul, making it even worse.

I thought the 2nd goal could have been called offside, given that another player (I'm forgetting who it was, Sane maybe) was well offside and arguably in a position to distract the goalie. But I don't think the result was particularly in doubt after the 1st goal.
   787. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 26, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5630614)
Apologies to you Man City guys, but I won't take Pep's love of freedom seriously while he's still cashing those Qatari checks.
   788. manchestermets Posted: February 26, 2018 at 02:48 PM (#5630662)
Don't forget the millions of pounds he accepts every year from the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates. Really says "I care deeply about the ordeal of political prisoners", that.

Still, he's clearly the greatest coach of all time. Who else could have achieved all that success as manager of minnows like Barcelona, Bayern Munich and his current impoverished employers?
   789. jmurph Posted: February 26, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5630669)
Do you see what you've done, Shooty? Do you see!?
   790. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 26, 2018 at 03:17 PM (#5630684)
Mustafi must be watching too much basketball. He forgot that in soccer it's usually the player with the ball who flops.
   791. J. Sosa Posted: February 26, 2018 at 03:19 PM (#5630688)
Whoa whoa whoa! I step out for a minute and somebody usurps my position as president of the Pep haters club? What the hell just happened?
   792. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 26, 2018 at 08:49 PM (#5630837)
Jordan Morris set to miss the entire MLS season with an ACL tear.

Neymar set to miss 2-3 months with a fractured metatarsal:


Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed that Brazilian forward Neymar suffered a fractured metatarsal and sprained ankle in Sunday’s win over Marseille.

Neymar, who joined PSG for a world-record transfer fee last summer, looks certain to miss the second leg of his side’s Champions League last-16 tie with Real Madrid on 6 March.

Neymar was taken off on a stretcher during the 3-0 win at Parc des Princes and the club said that a scan has revealed a “fissure of the fifth metatarsal” – a bone on the outside of the foot – and a “sprain of the right ankle”.

The French club did not say how long the forward will be out for, but the expected time for recovery and recuperation from a metatarsal injury is between two and three months. Neymar’s compatriot, Gabriel Jesus, missed 10 weeks for Manchester City last season with a fractured metatarsal.


Hmmmm ... schadenfreude?

Yeah, schadenfreude ...
   793. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: February 26, 2018 at 08:59 PM (#5630841)
The derp is strong in Aurier.


Speaking of which, congratulations on setting a PL record with THREE foul throws in Sunday's match, Serge!
   794. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 27, 2018 at 07:51 AM (#5630916)
Sorry jmurph. My feeling about Pep are complicated but, to get to its essence, I feel like he's almost a really cool guy, someone even admirable but then...Qatar. Does he really need their money? And if he's going to make himself a martyr for freedom and human rights then be a martyr for freedom and human rights. I freely admit this is a personal thing. The Qatar situation and the complete lack of any response from anyone in the football world has been very depressing and his profiteering of the situation makes me think less of him. (As for Man City and PSG, I don't really blame players and coaches for taking their filthy lucre. I think expecting those guys to have some kind of heightened conscience about where the cash is coming from and why is probably too much to ask of them or anyone. It would be great if someone did and said no to them and I'd applaud that person but so far that person seems mythical so why judge anyone for not living up to an impossibly high standard.)

Meanwhile the Guardian has been supplying me with a ton of Arsenal schadenfreude lately. I suspect Tottenham won't remain on top of this rivalry for long so I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

Barney Ronay gets to the heart of it:

Again, this anguish comes back to that strangeness, the sense of a team and a club who seem complicit in their own defeat, who are suffering above all from an inner shrinking, to have become more machine than man.

Sigmund Freud defined the basis of all horror as an uncertainty as to whether something is alive or dead. And this is surely the fascination with Arsenal, whose players look and act and occasionally even play like elite footballers, a club with a wonderful stadium and a revered manager. But which still seems strangely zombified, lacking some vital element of life, that desperation to succeed and spread joy, the obligation to be brutally in love with the idea of winning.


I'm kind of fascinated by how fascinated everyone is with Arsenal's decline. It's not like they're completely bottoming out. They've won FA Cups, they've only missed out on CL once and now twice but it's conceivable the slump ends there. Are they, and not Man U or Chelsea, secretly the most loathed team in England? If so, why? The piling on when they under perform becomes almost giddy. I almost feel sorry for them...
   795. jmurph Posted: February 27, 2018 at 09:28 AM (#5630927)
Sorry jmurph.

Oh I agree with your take on Qatar and UAE of course, I don't see how anyone could disagree. I was just joking about prompting Manchester United fan manchestermets to complain about spending, which is of course hilarious.
   796. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 27, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5630932)
City's spending is what it is. I've gone through the 5 stages of grief about that years ago. It's just another obstacle Spurs will have to overcome or not. I accepted when I became a Tottenham fan the joy would be more in process and occasional glory than silverware. No complaints, though. It's been a fun ride.
   797. manchestermets Posted: February 27, 2018 at 09:39 AM (#5630935)
City's spending is what it is.


What it is is funded by the deputy prime minister of a despotic regime. As opposed to Manchester United's spending, which is funded by money they generate though their football operations. There's no difference at all!
   798. jmurph Posted: February 27, 2018 at 09:46 AM (#5630941)
What it is is funded by the deputy prime minister of a despotic regime. As opposed to Manchester United's spending, which is funded by money they generate though their football operations. There's no difference at all!

Right, that's exactly what this comment was about:
Still, he's clearly the greatest coach of all time. Who else could have achieved all that success as manager of minnows like Barcelona, Bayern Munich and his current impoverished employers?
   799. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: February 27, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5630943)
What it is is funded by the deputy prime minister of a despotic regime. As opposed to Manchester United's spending, which is funded by money they generate though their football operations. There's no difference at all!

I'm not arguing that, what I mean is if I spend all my time gnashing my teeth about the unfairness of it all I won't be able to enjoy following Tottenham. I either accept that Manchester City exists how they exist and hope my club can overcome it or I do something gross like following the NFL again. I'll stick with Tottenham.
   800. jmurph Posted: February 27, 2018 at 09:53 AM (#5630946)
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