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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 | 2146 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   901. The Marksist Posted: March 07, 2018 at 08:59 AM (#5634794)
flamp
   902. jmurph Posted: March 07, 2018 at 10:25 AM (#5634817)
And in the Brighton game, woof. Schlelotto got his head taken off and it wasn't even a foul! Holy cow. Watching it live I thought it warranted a straight red, or at the very least a yellow.

Has this one been retroactively punished yet? That was as clear a straight red as you're going to see most weeks, I can't believe he'll get away with it since it was uncalled in the game.
   903. jmurph Posted: March 07, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5634819)
I should have known better than to hope for anything from Hodgson.

I just kept thinking, what is Hodgson for if not to protect a slight lead against a top team? That seems like his entire deal. In fairness the winner was just one of those goals you shake your head, not much to be done.
   904. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 07, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5634829)
I'm a bit nervous about the Tottenham/Juventus game. God I hope Son starts and Aurier doesn't. Would like to see Toby play too, but that may be asking too much.

What do people think of PSG? I'm kind of the opinion they just run it back with this crew. They're still a very young and not quite battle tested team. They could probably stand to get an athletic, holding midfielder to take over for Motta, right?

There's not much to be done about it, but being in such a weak league does I think hurt them a bit in matches like this.
   905. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5634847)
Aurier is suspended for this one, so fear not. Of course, that leaves Trippier to fend off Douglas Costa...

Toby is definitely not playing.
   906. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: March 07, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5634852)
I'm a bit nervous about the Tottenham/Juventus game. God I hope Son starts and Aurier doesn't. Would like to see Toby play too, but that may be asking too much.


I'd go with Son and Moura and hit them on the break, but I'm pretty sure we'll see Alli - Eriksen - Son today.

Toby isn't going to play, but I think the Jan Sanchez back-line will be fine.

By rotation, Trippier will start, but though Aurier is King of Derps, his athleticism might be best for this game ...

[edit] forgot about the suspension. Trippier v Costa ... eek!
   907. jmurph Posted: March 07, 2018 at 11:14 AM (#5634864)
I know it's in the team's DNA and everything to be like this, but Spurs are probably the better team? Or at worst they're roughly equal, and they're in London, and they have the away goal edge from the first game. They're the obvious favorites to advance.
   908. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 11:25 AM (#5634871)
Yeah, I think slight favorites. We're not in a strong enough position not to be nervous. Juventus are a seasoned team and this is undiscovered territory for most of the Spurs squad. I'd be more confident if Toby were fit and we could play 3 at the back. Should be a hell of an atmosphere at Wembley today.
   909. J. Sosa Posted: March 07, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5634902)
I like Spurs best 11 a lot. It is a balanced, well constructed unit, but they will not be at full strength today. I still like their chances to go through, I think they are better than Juventus, but Juventus makes a habit of nicking games they shouldn't. I watched that Lazio match which was ridiculous. I've actually watched more Serie A than I ever have this year, mainly because so many of Liverpool's purported transfer targets play there. This would be an ideal year for a smaller club to win it all. Most of the big boys are in transition or will be soon. Obviously I'm hoping that Liverpool does well, but if they don't I'd like to see a club win it that hasn't before and isn't a traditional power.

re: Asensio

I like him. I like him a lot. Good call on a keeper league player draft, I think he'd have to be up towards the top, maybe the top. Surely, surely, surely, Madrid isn't going to screw it up and bring somebody like Hazard in instead? Madrid appeared to get away from that for a time, but they did ultimately get rid of Morata and Rodriguez in favor of sticking with the old guns, so... Hard to say. I'm hoping he leaves.

re: PSG

I think they'll go for Fabinho and a keeper. Hopefully not Alisson. I expect there to be a lot of movement from the top keepers this summer. PSG's problem is always going to be the league they play in, but the same could be said of Juventus and Bayern. The Bundesliga has become a joke. I want to like the Bundesliga, but I might as well be watching the SPL.

re: Matic

A wonderful goal, but maybe instead of conceding acres of space and turning away from the shot, a Crystal Palace midfielder should actually, you know, do something to prevent a ball being played into the box at all. Or at least be in a position to challenge for the ball. It is perhaps my pet peeve in all of soccer, conceding space anywhere near the box. Bad things happen, it drives me crazy. Don't let them breathe. Further out, sure, sag all you want, but conceding space in critical areas annoys me to no end. Palace was doing that for much of the second half. I understand constricting space, but you still need a player or two to challenge for balls outside the box. That and their striker kept dropping deep, which is another pet peeve of mine. A striker can essentially take one or two players out of the game just by hanging out around the half line. Dropping deep isn't doing your team any favors in a siege situation.

re: Schelotto

Yeah, Jmurph, when I saw the play it was incredible that they just let it go. That would have been targeting in college football and a sending off, much less soccer. Wow.
   910. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 07, 2018 at 12:21 PM (#5634922)
They're the obvious favorites to advance.

They are favorites but Juventus is very good, and have dropped better teams than Tottenham out of the competition a few years running now.

Tottenham dominated possession and created a lot of chances, but Juventus really created a lot of chances too. It was an even game and I expect this one to be pretty even as well.
   911. jmurph Posted: March 07, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5634925)
Right, to the point in the last three points, I'm not suggesting it's a done deal, or Spurs fans shouldn't be nervous, by any means, that's the nature of the sport of course. But I was seeing takes on twitter yesterday making it seem like it would be some kind of upset for Tottenham to advance, which I think is not the case.
   912. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5634930)
Yogi Love is the leaked favorite to take over Arsenal. I don't know, I don't think international management is a good proxy for club management. That would seem a risky appointment, not to mention Low has to coach the WC this summer and would have to delay his preparation.
   913. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5634932)
But I was seeing takes on twitter

I think we found the problem...
   914. jmurph Posted: March 07, 2018 at 12:29 PM (#5634934)
THIS IS FAIR.
   915. J. Sosa Posted: March 07, 2018 at 12:52 PM (#5634953)
Lowe would be a mistake I think. But I think Arsenal’s problems run deeper than the manager. Until that is fixed I don’t see it getting better.
   916. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:22 PM (#5634982)
Lowe would be a mistake I think.

On the other hand, nose picking gifs > jacket zipping gifs
   917. I am going to be Frank Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5634992)
Well, due to the snow, it looks like I will be able to watch CL on a TV provided it doesn't take me an hour to get home. I still can't believe my office didn't close.
   918. J. Sosa Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5634996)
Hah! You must be a mind reader Shooty. I was going to make some crack about sustaining the Arsenal meme economy but wasn’t clever enough. The Lowe smelling meme is something to behold.
   919. Mefisto Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5634998)
It is perhaps my pet peeve in all of soccer, conceding space anywhere near the box. Bad things happen, it drives me crazy. Don't let them breathe.


In fairness to Palace, it'd be hard to pick a player less likely to score than Matic. On the probabilities, it makes sense to defend everyone else and let him take shots like that. But of course the probabilities will #### you sometimes.
   920. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5635000)
Tottenham: Lloris; Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Dembele; Eriksen, Alli, Son; Kane
Tottenham bench: Gazzaniga, Rose, Lamela, Wanyama, Sissoko, Llorente, Lucas

Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Benatia, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Douglas Costa, Dybala; Higuain
Juventus bench: Szczesny, Marchisio, Asamoah, Rugani, Lichtsteiner, Sturaro, Bentancur

No surprises for Spurs. That's probably the best 11 at the moment. No surprises from Juve, either.
   921. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 01:53 PM (#5635001)
The Lowe smelling meme is something to behold.

It's an unfortunate but hilarious habit for a man in his position to have.
   922. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 02:20 PM (#5635015)
Jude Law is a Yid! That will make Mrs. Shooty happy. Pretty sure he's one of the 3 people in the world she'd dump me for along with Thom Yorke and Ewan McGregor.
   923. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 07, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5635024)
I know it's in the team's DNA and everything to be like this, but Spurs are probably the better team? Or at worst they're roughly equal, and they're in London, and they have the away goal edge from the first game. They're the obvious favorites to advance.
This is pretty much it exactly. Spurs were like 65-70% chance to advance a week ago. Haven't checked recently.
   924. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:03 PM (#5635026)
Thought we got lucky there. But nope, that was a dive.
   925. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:06 PM (#5635027)
Despite the near pen, Tottenham are bossing so far.
   926. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5635028)
But nope, that was a dive.
Embellishment, yes. Dive? Not according to most people's definition, since there was real contact.

Regardless, I wish they never called penalties on plays like that. In reality, however, those get called more often than not. The player was in a terrible position (this one was much worse than the Lovren one a few months back that caused so much consternation).
   927. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5635029)
Yeah, probably not a dive. I'm biased right now!
   928. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5635030)
Juve can't handle Son.
   929. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:12 PM (#5635031)
Looking at the replay again, yeah, we got lucky. Not sure why Verts is diving in there.
   930. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:21 PM (#5635035)
Nice. So the Juve player, upon accidentally stepping on Son, likes the feel of it so much he goes back (intentionally) for seconds and thirds.
   931. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5635037)
Lost power for a second there. Almost panic time!
   932. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:23 PM (#5635038)
Mooose!
   933. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5635039)
We really should have a goal by now. Damn it.
   934. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5635040)
Nvermind!
   935. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5635041)
Keep your heads, lads.
   936. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5635042)
Hehe, Son missed it completely and it ricocheted off his standing leg into the goal. Still, Spurs overall deserve the lead.
   937. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:29 PM (#5635043)
Yeah, that wasn't a beautiful strike...The move was, though!
   938. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5635044)
What a player Costa is. He's terrifying me today.
   939. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5635046)
I guess Juve will feel hard done by but they are getting played off the pitch. Again.
   940. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:51 PM (#5635050)
At this point, Juve needs at least 2 goals, and 1 more goal by Spurs doesn't change that. So Juve should really be going all out in attack.
   941. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5635051)
Alli has drawn 3 yellow cards this half!
   942. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 03:59 PM (#5635053)
Make that 4! This one for himself.
   943. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5635055)
Barzagli can't handle Son so he's just kicking the shit out of him.
   944. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 07, 2018 at 04:03 PM (#5635056)
Alli doing his thing. Maybe that's part of why the Juve players were eager to foul him. Someday he'll grow up. Or not.
   945. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 04:04 PM (#5635058)
I hope he doesn't. I love Alli just the way he is. I could do without the diving, I guess, but I love the rest of it.
   946. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 04:07 PM (#5635059)
Shit. Time to suffer again.
   947. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 04:10 PM (#5635061)
I am very sad and not happy.
   948. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 07, 2018 at 04:11 PM (#5635062)
What the hell kind of defending was that. That's Arsenal stuff.
   949. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: March 07, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5635063)
Oh, Spurs ...
   950. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: March 07, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5635064)
Well, if we won't do it the easy way ...
   951. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5635065)
Shoveling my drive has just gone from a fun adventure to a horrible slog. Boo.
   952. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 07, 2018 at 04:37 PM (#5635070)
This one is going to hurt for a while. They just lost their heads for 5 minutes and that's all it took. You just can't switch off at this level. I guess my hope is these guys can learn that lesson and really start challenging for honors soon.
   953. KronicFatigue Posted: March 07, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5635071)
I was only able to watch about 5 minutes of the match today. But it was THAT 5 minutes. I feel like I owe Shooty a personal apology.
   954. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: March 07, 2018 at 04:56 PM (#5635077)
I feel like we say this a lot, but those refs were absolute garbage, for both sides. Clear penalty against Vertonghen not given. Clear red against Barzagli not given. Juve endlessly going to ground after dribbling into trouble and getting the call. Kane not flagged for offside at the end there.

As usual I have huge issues with Poch's subs. How did Lucas Moura not get on after Spurs needed a goal? How did Davies play the whole game when he's clearly gassed and we have Danny Rose on the bench?
   955. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: March 07, 2018 at 04:59 PM (#5635078)
And also, before seeing MCofA's xG chart, I'm willing to bet Spurs get better xG for this game. They may not have been huge chances, but Kane and Son both had multiple times where they really could/should have scored. Whereas Juve scored with their only 2 chances.
   956. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 07, 2018 at 09:15 PM (#5635160)
You win as a team and you lose as a team, but can we talk about the ####### fullbacks for Tottenham. If Danny Rose and Kyle Walker are out there, Tottenham breezes in this tie.

Aurier, Davies, and Trippier are almost exclusively the reason Tottenham lost. Holy #### those guys have no business being on a top 10 team in the world. ####### send these chucklefucks to toil in the salt mines of Hull.
   957. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 07, 2018 at 09:20 PM (#5635164)
Tottenham had a ton of half chances in this game. I felt they had more full chances in the first game though. But yeah, they for sure should have had more than 3 goals in the tie.

Fair play to Juventus though, I don't think they're the better team, but it's pretty close and tbf they played the first leg without a few of their best players. The Spurs had no answer for Costa in either game. The fact that Bayern loaned/sold him makes no sense to me. Bayern is in a rut right now. You can't tell me that Costa wouldn't be a top 5 player for them.
   958. Textbook Editor Posted: March 07, 2018 at 10:25 PM (#5635184)
Davies basically fell asleep and played the winning goal onside.

Yeah, throwing Llorente on seemed... Well, if he's your plan B you better have a plan C.

Rose and Moura were both needed in that game.

Well, on the plus side: no fixture congestion to worry about now!

[throws chair]
   959. J. Sosa Posted: March 08, 2018 at 08:33 AM (#5635258)
Well that sucked. That was some Rumble in the Jungle level stuff. Juve just ate all the punches, and then Allegri brings in Asamoah and Lichtsteiner, went after the fullbacks in ruthless fashion, and before Poch knew what hit them the match was over in a matter of minutes. Just brutal. Respect to Juve though, Buffon and Chiellini were up for it, they know this might be the last run.

re: Spicey

You might be surprised at the fullbacks you find digging in the salt mines of Hull... Not that I disagree. I wanted to cover my eyes, it was the functional equivalent of iso'ing some poor sap in basketball. I would be interested to know if that was Allegri's plan all along, or if he did it on the fly. If I had to guess, it was the plan all along to bring in Asamoah and Lichensteiner, he changes shape often during matches. Allegri might be the best tactical manager going at the moment.

re: Moura

I couldn't really fault Poch for not using Moura. Poch is a very good manager, he's not stupid. He knew the fullbacks were a problem, and probably figured he just could not afford to risk playing Moura. I didn't have an issue with the Lamela sub. The Llorente one was maybe a little odd, but he probably figured it was worth a shot at a set piece if one arose. I just think he was afraid of Moura getting targeted. It could be argued he should have been brought on late, but I didn't have a problem with him not playing, I think it was the right call.

re: Arsenal/Milan

Really looking forward to this match. I have no idea what to expect. I have watched quite a bit of Serie A this year and it is kind of amazing how different the style of play is between the two leagues. Be interesting to see what happens.
   960. I am going to be Frank Posted: March 08, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5635529)
These European ties have me so confused. I couldn't figure out if this was the first or second leg, when all the Champions League games on Tue/Wed were all on their second legs.

i like all the Spurs contingent here but it would be hilarious if Arsenal were able to win Europa League and Spurs slid down to fifth. Arsenal look dangerous going forward, but I guess they usually do.
   961. I am going to be Frank Posted: March 08, 2018 at 02:43 PM (#5635559)
Milan is apparently the place for Liverpool rejects - Suso and Borini are there!
   962. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: March 08, 2018 at 03:02 PM (#5635577)
Oh, look, right on cue:


PARIS -- Tottenham Hotspur coach Mauricio Pochettino and Chelsea's Antonio Conte are the two highest names on Paris Saint-Germain's shortlist to replace manager Unai Emery, sources close to the French club have told ESPN FC.

Emery's contract expires in the summer and he missed the chance to extend that deal when PSG were comfortably beaten by Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday.

Sources said the thought at PSG for some time has been that Emery will be replaced by Pochettino, with the only question being when a move will be made.
   963. Baldrick Posted: March 08, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5635594)
My take on the lackluster USWNT performance, which somehow managed to win them a tournament:
For all that quality she showed over these three games, do we really feel confident counting on Tierna Davidson to hold Sam Kerr or Jessie Fleming goalless? Ertz has been superb in the holding role, but are we really certain that she’ll be able to shut down Dzsenifer Marozsan or Jackie Groenen? Conversely, given the ridiculous wealth of attacking talent available to the US, should we really be satisfied with their sparse goal-scoring record?

At the end of the day, the US may very well be able to grind out a series of narrow victories and take home another World Cup title. But it’s worth asking why that now seems to be the limit of possibility. 18 months from now, we may look back on this period and wonder why they settled for scraping by, rather than doing something to address the underlying problems.
   964. Mefisto Posted: March 08, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5635649)
Yeah, the midfield remains a huge problem. Ertz is a destroyer, but she doesn't distribute well. That leaves the midfield outnumbered most of the time when we have possession. I like the idea of Brian, Lavelle and Sullivan/Heath as a midfield, but injuries have precluded that, which makes it just an idea. I also think we need someone else at forward to go with Pugh and Morgan. Pinoe has been good, but she's getting old.

Then there are the fullbacks. Part of the pressure on the midfield comes from Ellis' insistence on playing the fullbacks so high. Neither Smith nor O'Hara does that particularly well, and Smith gives away possession a *lot*, putting still more pressure on the midfield and back line. Holding at least one of them back would free up the midfield and bolster the defense. Add another attacker, preferably with speed, and the team could look very solid.

With a different coach.
   965. Baldrick Posted: March 08, 2018 at 05:37 PM (#5635660)
Holding at least one of them back would free up the midfield and bolster the defense. Add another attacker, preferably with speed, and the team could look very solid.

This is why I was so frustrated at how badly she botched the back three experiment. A coherent version of that setup would have done exactly this.
   966. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: March 08, 2018 at 07:50 PM (#5635685)
What do people think of PSG? I'm kind of the opinion they just run it back with this crew. They're still a very young and not quite battle tested team. They could probably stand to get an athletic, holding midfielder to take over for Motta, right?


A bit behind but I want to weigh in on this. I think they are held back by Ligue 1. I think the competition is just too weak to pressure them. So when they are facing equivalent or near equivalent competition they aren’t ready for it. I think that is in part what happened last year against Barcelona. Other teams dominate their leagues but I th8nk the competition within those leagues (e.g. Bayern/Bundesliga) is still better. I don’t follow Ligue 1 much but it seems like they have too many easy games to be properly prepared. Other than The CL they play very few games against genuinely good teams.
   967. Textbook Editor Posted: March 09, 2018 at 01:20 AM (#5635820)
Piggy-backing off of #966 above... the real problem for PSG is that they need to help lift all the boats in Ligue 1, but aiding that runs counter to everything teams normally do. If they had more pressing competition, they'd no doubt perform better in the CL.

But there's a downside to rising the tide/lifting all boats... PSG probably would never want Ligue 1 to be anywhere near as competitive as the PL is, because having half your league schedule be really competitive is probably just as bad as having only 2-4 games be competitive (players get tired/beat up, you have to force squad rotation, have hard games backing up to CL fixtures, etc.).

I'm not sure what the sweat spot would be--La Liga is probably a good sweat spot league--generally Barcelona has only maybe 10 really competitive league fixtures it needs to worry about per year, and so can really focus on CL games. I also vaguely recall reading that when La Liga comes up with the fixture list, they deliberately "protect" their CL participants by giving them what should be--on paper--"easy" fixtures before/after CL game windows... The PL should really start considering doing that, to be honest, although I suppose that would be seen as favoritism (instead of the league trying to promote PL teams winning CL titles)...
   968. Richard Posted: March 09, 2018 at 04:29 AM (#5635824)

I'm not sure what the sweat spot would be--La Liga is probably a good sweat spot league--generally Barcelona has only maybe 10 really competitive league fixtures it needs to worry about per year, and so can really focus on CL games. I also vaguely recall reading that when La Liga comes up with the fixture list, they deliberately "protect" their CL participants by giving them what should be--on paper--"easy" fixtures before/after CL game windows... The PL should really start considering doing that, to be honest, although I suppose that would be seen as favoritism (instead of the league trying to promote PL teams winning CL titles)...


Why should the PL do that?

Don't the Manchester Cities and Chelseas of this world have enough advantages already?

What should be happening is that the rest of La Liga should be standing up more to the Gruesome Twosome.
   969. jmurph Posted: March 09, 2018 at 09:33 AM (#5635875)
PARIS -- Tottenham Hotspur coach Mauricio Pochettino and Chelsea's Antonio Conte are the two highest names on Paris Saint-Germain's shortlist to replace manager Unai Emery, sources close to the French club have told ESPN FC.

This wouldn't make sense for Pochettino at all, he just doesn't seem like he's at the place in his career to jump just for a payday. Madrid could be open this year, United could be open this year or next, etc. PSG would be an odd move for him.

(Also sorry for jinxing Spurs the other day.)
   970. KronicFatigue Posted: March 09, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5636054)
Fixtures should be set up objectively and consistently, year in and year out. The final matchups of season N+1 should be #1N vs #2N, #3N vs #4N all the way down to the last two teams promoted. This would increase the odds of the final matches meaning something. Likewise, CL teams should be protected with soft matchups before and after. Rest assured all of EPL benefits with the top dogs doing well on the world stage.

Off topic, is Piazza completely in the right with this stadium thing? his rant was so epic that I want to adopt them as my crappy team.
   971. Sean Forman Posted: March 09, 2018 at 09:19 PM (#5636324)
The Spurs had no answer for Costa in either game. The fact that Bayern loaned/sold him makes no sense to me.


I love Costa. I can't quite put my finger on it, but he almost strikes me as the Yasiel Puig of baseball. So raw, so aggressive, so talented. When he's driving at a defense, it just looks terrifying to me every single time.
   972. Baldrick Posted: March 10, 2018 at 12:59 AM (#5636371)
Christen Press will not be playing for the Dash, because LOL Dash.

What's the best analogue for this from the men's game: a player traded/sold who simply refuses to play for the new team?
   973. I am going to be Frank Posted: March 10, 2018 at 07:28 AM (#5636384)
I do not like United's lineup. Mata, Rashford and Alexis behind Lukaku. Mctominay and Matic by themselves in midfield.
   974. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: March 10, 2018 at 07:45 AM (#5636387)
Ugh.
   975. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: March 10, 2018 at 07:55 AM (#5636388)
Ugh AND Sigh ...
   976. I am going to be Frank Posted: March 10, 2018 at 07:57 AM (#5636389)
So normally I would eat my words, but the fact that Liverpool has given up two goals to route 1 football, I'm going to blame Klopp's system.
   977. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 10, 2018 at 11:47 AM (#5636418)
West Ham fans have lost it.
   978. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: March 10, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5636423)
I have to say, the bottom of the PL table is just ... madness.

There's a very good chance that all three teams going down will be teams that could have been honestly predicted for mid-table at the start of the season.

Based on form and points, it could easily be Southampton, West Brom and West Ham going down ... I wonder what kind of odds you could have gotten before the season on that trio being relegated???
   979. Sean Forman Posted: March 11, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5636607)
Based on form and points, it could easily be Southampton, West Brom and West Ham going down ... I wonder what kind of odds you could have gotten before the season on that trio being relegated???


Or stoke
   980. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 12, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5636808)
I spent a bit of time reading about the West Ham situation and, of course, it's a lot more complicated than, say, Robbie Earle at NBC is making it out to be. I'm very happy Spurs ended up far, far away from the Olympic Stadium mess but I can't help but think Tottenham's proposal was probably the one the Olympic Stadium folks should have taken. Thankfully the Dildo Bros and Baroness Brady had enough pull with the Tories in charge of the process to swing it to West Ham. West Ham were able to use the move to the new stadium to sell the old ground to property developers to help speed the gentrification of East London which, of course, for better or worse leads to displacement of long time residents. Throw in that East London is mostly Labour and the club is owned not just by Tories but pretty obnoxious Tories and you have a pretty toxic stew. It also didn't help that the West Ham board bribed the most thuggish of West Ham's supporter groups into threatening other supporter groups who had planned a protest march for Saturday. I have a natural revulsion for mobs but I feel kind of sorry for West Ham fans. It must be a helpless feeling when the only option is to no longer care. Even then, you get the feeling West Ham's board would be happy to lose the old school West Ham fans and market to more well-heeled and suburban customers going forward.
   981. Fourth True Outcome Posted: March 12, 2018 at 07:15 PM (#5637117)
Reports are that Press never agreed to play for Houston, and that Houston never contacted her before trading, with rumors that Chicago may have mislead Houston to some degree about her willingness to play there. The woman seems a bit snakebit, never quite landing in a situation that truly fits her talent (at least in the States), club-wise or USWNT.
   982. Baldrick Posted: March 13, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5637304)
Caitlin Murray seems to have the scoop. Houston was under the impression that the league's theoretical rules on tapping up prevented them from talking directly to Press. But they could have actually just asked for permission and gotten it.

Basically, Houston is incompetent, and Press not having an agent meant there was no one official they could talk to for assurances.

What a ridiculous situation.
   983. Baldrick Posted: March 13, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5637305)
Meanwhile, Steffi Jones was sacked by Germany. They 1) underperformed in a major tournament and then 2) played like poop in ShibaLeaves. Which is identical to what the US did the previous year. Difference: Jones was fired and Ellis just rolled merrily along.
   984. Fourth True Outcome Posted: March 13, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5637344)
I continue to think Jill Ellis is the single largest impediment to USWNT future success, but sadly USSF does not consult me in its decision-making.
   985. Mefisto Posted: March 13, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5637361)
Until Gulati is gone they won't make any changes on men's or women's side. I'm keeping my fingers crossed until then.
   986. Fourth True Outcome Posted: March 13, 2018 at 02:35 PM (#5637417)
Well Cordeiro is president now, right? He was Gulati's second-in-command, however, so I'm not holding my breath for a shakeup.
   987. Baldrick Posted: March 13, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5637433)
At this point, it's hard to see anything other than a failure to qualify for the WC that causes Ellis to get fired before next summer. There just aren't enough games left for disaster to rise to the level that will force a move.
   988. I am going to be Frank Posted: March 13, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5637467)
United have paired Matic with Fellaini and Lingard in the middle. They don't look very good, but Sevilla is mostly taking long shots from outside the box. Alexis really has been bad. He tries and works hard but he gives the ball away way too easily and often.
   989. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 13, 2018 at 04:43 PM (#5637475)
It's early but very much feels like Man U paid for who Alexis was rather than who he'll be going forward.
   990. manchestermets Posted: March 13, 2018 at 04:57 PM (#5637482)
United's players have obviously been told to just boot it to Fellaini, and they equally obviously don't really want to, because he's terrible. United's best moments have come when an attacker has dropped deep to get the ball from the defence. Pogba has to come on for Fellaini, surely?
   991. I am going to be Frank Posted: March 13, 2018 at 05:02 PM (#5637488)
Fellaini is what he is, but he's a worker. Sevilla apparently don't have anyone like Lovren that United can obviously attack.

Pogba has been uninterested so we'll see if he can influence the game now that's he's on.

Edit: Hopefully they'll put Martial on soon. I would hope for Alexis, but it'll be for Rashford probably.
   992. I am going to be Frank Posted: March 13, 2018 at 05:17 PM (#5637494)
Well that's suboptimal for United fans.
   993. I am going to be Frank Posted: March 13, 2018 at 05:21 PM (#5637496)
United defenders should be ashamed of themselves.
   994. PepTech Posted: March 13, 2018 at 05:26 PM (#5637499)
Well, this should free up the schedule for holding off Chelsea for fourth. #AlwaysABrightSide!

But seriously, if you're just going to bomb out in the round of 16, wouldn't it be better to bomb out in group and stomp on Europa again?
   995. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 13, 2018 at 07:37 PM (#5637548)
Sevilla don't even have a positive GD in Spain, don't let them being good last year and their place in the table fool you, this is like losing a UCL tie to mid-table English fodder.

Makes me happy, though Sevilla will likely play and get routed by some good team next round, I really didn't want to see Man U/Mourinho get rewarded. I don't understand what they did or were thinking this tie. They are loads better than Sevilla.
   996. frannyzoo Posted: March 13, 2018 at 08:18 PM (#5637557)
Sevilla don't even have a positive GD in Spain


Not to pick a fight, but what if La Liga is better than EPL, and the results of the draw are representative of the relative strengths of the leagues? Having seen Sevilla's debacle hosting Valencia, I held little hope today, but there's the counterpoint question of where Valencia would end up in EPL. It's hard not to think Sevilla, obvious problems noted, would be at least above Arsenal.

I sense that sentiment here is somewhat heresy, and accept that. But to use poor La Liga as evidence of obvious deficiency relative to EPL has flaws, imho.
   997. The Marksist Posted: March 13, 2018 at 08:19 PM (#5637558)
(to self: schadenfreude is bad for you schadenfreude is bad for you schadenfreude is bad for you schadenfreude is bad for you)

(also to self: Liverpool contrived to ship three goals in the second half against the same team)

(also to self: ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahagasp...hahahahahahahahahahaha)
   998. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: March 13, 2018 at 08:26 PM (#5637560)
Not to pick a fight, but what if La Liga is better than EPL, and the results of the draw are representative of the relative strengths of the leagues? Having seen Sevilla's debacle hosting Valencia, I held little hope today, but there's the counterpoint question of where Valencia would end up in EPL. It's hard not to think Sevilla, obvious problems noted, would be at least above Arsenal.

I think the EPL is better than Spain but I think it's close and I think there was some sort of ELO (which isn't perfect but is valuable) that showed those two leagues were pretty clearly above all others and also pretty even.

I don't think for a second that a -6 GD team in Spain is better than a team with a +30 GD in England, I think it's pretty close to a -6 GD team in England (which makes them about, oh, say Burnley - which is not a slouch by any means, just not a team that Man U should be parking the bus in a tie on). I also am talking specifically about players and talent here, and I think if you went player for player there really are only a few players on Sevilla that would even be on the squad on a top 5 team in England.

I think the other point is besides Man U's win over Liverpool, which I think generally caused a lot of people to forget how shitty Man U have been the last few months, that outside of Man U's amazing start (when Pogba was healthy and playing great, and their defense was strong) they've really not been picking up points well. In fact this seems a bit like a Mourinho tactic/residue where the team basically coasts on points they build up early in the year.
   999. frannyzoo Posted: March 13, 2018 at 08:56 PM (#5637567)
First: The Marksist pretty much nails it all, from Mou schadenfreude to 'Pool reality. Thanks #997

Yes, how Chelsea does tomorrow would seem to be something of a "state of the relative unions," and while I think most folks would be surprised if Chelsea stayed within a goal of Barca at Camp Nou, anything can happen, and that's what makes the sports jukebox play. Overall, however, and while I REALLY wish there's a joint La Liga/EPL "superleague," myriad viewings of both leagues tells me ultimately, perhaps/definitely with bias, that Burnley v. Eibar would be a ******* fantastic contest at either location.

Girona/Leicester would rock. Villarreal v. Spurs would be far more competitive than any casual EPL viewers would care to admit/feel comfortable.

City against the big La Liga conglomerates...we'll perhaps see, depending on draw.

Meanwhile/Lastly: Tonight is really about Sevilla and Vincenzo Montella. It's as much about Serie A as La Liga/EPL. Good on Montella. Having watched him on the pitch and sidelines in Milan (Roma, obviously), etc., I'm happiest for him. He deserves it.

   1000. Baldrick Posted: March 14, 2018 at 02:44 AM (#5637682)
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