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Tuesday, October 01, 2019

OT- Soccer Thread- October 2019

Hey, when I have to submit the thread we get a bad intro, that’s just how it works.

jmurph Posted: October 01, 2019 at 01:55 PM | 957 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   401. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 09, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5899992)
Guendouzi making the "uncatchable so no DPI" signal. So why did you grab his shoulder in the box...
   402. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 09, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5899994)
With Spurs and Manchester United struggling, and Chelsea doing so well, this could be the game that goes a long way to deciding the last CL spot.
   403. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: November 09, 2019 at 12:54 PM (#5899998)
Lewandowski is having a ridiculous season.
   404. manchestermets Posted: November 09, 2019 at 01:56 PM (#5900015)
Superb goal for Leicester.
   405. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 09, 2019 at 02:00 PM (#5900018)
Announcers were saying the game was fairly close before the goal, but it seemed to me Leicester had been playing significantly better than Arsenal.
   406. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 09, 2019 at 02:05 PM (#5900019)
After just 12 games, the race for top 4 is just about over. Leicester (and Chelsea) will have a 9+ point lead over any real contenders.
   407. Baldrick Posted: November 09, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5900020)
Maybe the problem wasn't Wenger?
   408. Baldrick Posted: November 09, 2019 at 02:13 PM (#5900021)
Meanwhile, almost 80,000 at Wembley watching England drawing with Germany. Very cool to have so many people there. Shame that it's been kind of a crap game.
   409. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: November 09, 2019 at 03:32 PM (#5900059)
After just 12 games, the race for top 4 is just about over. Leicester (and Chelsea) will have a 9+ point lead over any real contenders.

The middle of the Table is super congested though. Newcastle just ran off back to back wins, and went from doomed to be relegated, to comfortable mid-table 11th, tied on points with 8-10th.

Overall just 4 points between 5th and 16th place. Brighton with a win at Old Trafford tomorrow could go 5th and make it 5 points. Villa with a win at Wolves could make it 5th to 17th.

Which overall means that any one of those clubs, with a string of bad results could find themselves right in the thick of a relegation battle. But only if one of Watford/Southampton/Norwich can pull their finger out.
   410. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 09, 2019 at 03:39 PM (#5900064)
Top 4 odds:
Chelsea: 77%
Leicester: 53%
Spurs: 20%
Arsenal: 20%
United: 14%
Everton: 2%
Wolves: 2%

Relegation odds:
Norwich: 78%
Watford: 42%
Southampton: 38%
Villa: 27%
Newcastle: 25%
Palace: 16%
Burnley: 15%
Brighton: 14%
Sheffield: 13%
West Ham: 12%
Bournemouth: 9%
Everton: 4%
Wolves: 4%

edits: despite their big lead, Leicester is only given slightly more than 50/50 to sneak into the top 4.
Newcastle is still considered to be crap (check odds v points banked).
Norwich is thought to be awful, Southampton/Watford quite a bit better than their points totals.
   411. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: November 09, 2019 at 04:00 PM (#5900074)
My takeaway from those odds, is that United at 125/1 and Spurs at 250/1 could be fun relegation longshots, heh.

But sure, the midtable is so congested, that priors on quality should still basically rule at this point in the calendar, when it comes to setting actual odds. And Newcastle are indeed crap (I have seen enough of them to say that with some confidence). Still, Newcastle were at about even odds to go down after 9 games. So going from that to a 1 in 4 chance of going down is still quite significant.
   412. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 10, 2019 at 09:33 AM (#5900156)
I'm the last person to care about who gets credit for a goal, but I thought I understood the own goal rule and maybe I don't. McTominay touched the ball toward the goal, and it would have rolled in had no one else touched it. Then the defender came in in touched it last over the line. Isn't that supposed to be a goal for McTominay? The argument can't be that his touch wasn't a shot, because I don't think that's relevant.
   413. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 10, 2019 at 10:29 AM (#5900157)
Two sitters for Rashford in two minutes. One off the crossbar and in, the other wide. Almost 0-2.

Brighton's defense has generally been good enough to stifle United's open play today, but there were two spectacular failures on back to back plays both leading to the sitters.
   414. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: November 10, 2019 at 10:44 AM (#5900162)
Granted, I have only seen a fairly crappy video of it on the internet just now, but that is an OG for me.

I am open to being proven wrong, but I am pretty confident the "would it have gone in anyway" only comes into play on actual deflections. Once the defender actually plays the ball, and adds his own impetus to it, it becomes a new shot, and the goal is his. I have never seen that not credited as an OG.

Similarly, if a player has a shot on goal that is rolling in, and another attacker comes in and smashes it the last 6 inches over the line, the new guy gets credit for the goal. Doesn't matter if it was going in or not at that point.
   415. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 10, 2019 at 10:53 AM (#5900163)
Brighton's defense was awful over the last 30 minutes.
   416. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 10, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5900165)
I am open to being proven wrong, but I am pretty confident the "would it have gone in anyway" only comes into play on actual deflections. Once the defender actually plays the ball, and adds his own impetus to it, it becomes a new shot, and the goal is his. I have never seen that not credited as an OG.
I don't think this is right. If a player rounds the keeper and tries to roll it in, and at the last second with the ball about to cross the line for a goal, a defender comes in at full speed towards the goal mouth and is only able to clear it into the net (because his angle is wrong), it's not an own goal. That's essentially what this play is.

edit: it's possible I just don't know the rule after all.
   417. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 10, 2019 at 11:09 AM (#5900167)
United really hadn't been playing well despite the 2-goal lead. xG was effectively even at 2-1, and United didn't really have good possession. Totally different game in the last 30 minutes though, with United getting chance after chance. Brighton was lucky United didn't score 3 or 4 in that time. I'm not sure what happened, but Brighton seemed to have one defensive breakdown after another, and there were tons of holes for players to run into on the back line.
   418. jmurph Posted: November 10, 2019 at 11:40 AM (#5900174)
What’s VAR for again? Just an absolutely clear as day penalty that turns into a goal the other way.

Great shot, by the way.
   419. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: November 10, 2019 at 11:41 AM (#5900175)
Dammit, jmurph beat me too it.

That shot was a thing of utter beauty.

That VAR decision on the other hand ...

[edit] both deserved to be mentioned again.

Also, STFU and play on, Aguero.

Although, maybe if they can ever mostly unfuck VAR, players will learn to do that and wait for the VAR assistant to sort it out.

Thirdly ... 2-0. Brilliant counter and superb cross in for Salah.
   420. manchestermets Posted: November 10, 2019 at 11:41 AM (#5900176)
The own goal rule is nonsense in both intent and execution. Totally agree with #416 on the second goal - the comparison is perfectly apt. The first goal IMO should be an own goal - the ball was going towards the goal before the deflection happened but almost certainly would have been stopped by a defender or the goalkeeper. To be clear, I'm saying the rule is wrong in this case, not the application of it today.

xG was effectively even at 2-1


That's not "effectively even". One of those numbers is twice as big as the other one.
   421. manchestermets Posted: November 10, 2019 at 11:43 AM (#5900177)
That VAR was bad, but the failure of the ref to give it in real time was almost as bad - he was five yards away looking straight at it.
   422. jmurph Posted: November 10, 2019 at 11:43 AM (#5900178)
Just use it for offsides. The rollout genuinely couldn’t have gone worse than it has.
   423. Panik on the streets of Flushing! (Trout! Trout!) Posted: November 10, 2019 at 11:43 AM (#5900179)
Liverpool making it look easy so far. Yikes.
   424. jmurph Posted: November 10, 2019 at 11:44 AM (#5900180)
True Manchester Mets.
   425. jmurph Posted: November 10, 2019 at 11:44 AM (#5900182)
And season.

Woooooo this is gonna be hard to take.
   426. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 10, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5900183)

That's not "effectively even". One of those numbers is twice as big as the other one.
Hehe sorry I knew I should have been clearer. At the time the game was 2-1, xG was effectively even (at about 1.1-1.1). After that of course the game was very different (2.6-0.0).

edits.
   427. manchestermets Posted: November 10, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5900184)
On the topic of VAR, I was watching an Australian game yesterday (there's no other sport to watch at 9am UK time on a Saturday, okay?) and there was an incident in which it was unclear if the ball had crossed the line for a goal. No problem, the ref's watch didn't buzz so it's not a goal, right? No - although they have VAR in the A-league, they don't have the goal line decision system, so we got the ridiculous charade of a five minute VAR delay to try and work out if it were a goal rather than the entirely uncontroversial system that exists specifically for that purpose. And I think they got it wrong.
   428. manchestermets Posted: November 10, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5900185)
Ah, with you AuntBea.
   429. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 10, 2019 at 12:24 PM (#5900192)
Seems like that handling by TAA would have been a penalty anywhere but in the EPL.
   430. Baldrick Posted: November 10, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5900201)
Yes, but also: an unbelievably clear handball wasn't called in the Man United game so once again who the heck knows what any of the rules actually are.
   431. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 10, 2019 at 01:29 PM (#5900205)
538 had the game essentially even on xG. I think that probably undersells City a bit. Looks like it may be Liverpool's year in the league.
   432. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 10, 2019 at 01:45 PM (#5900208)
With another international break here, updated 538 ratings versus pre-season (EPL/CL/EL games only are tallied by 538. 538 uses scoreline, xG, non-shot XG and quality of opponent, ranking recent games more due to ELO system):

---the excellent---
Leicester +7.4
Sheffield United +6.9
Brighton +5.7 (sailed under the radar a bit, but have been respectable this year, despite poor projections coming in to the season)

---the decent---
Burnley +2.5
Manchester United +1.7
Chelsea +1.3 (would be a little higher on this list, but 538 liked them more than a lot in pre-season)
Manchester City +1.0
Villa +1.0

---the middling---
Bournemouth +0.7
Everton +0.2
Watford +0.2
Liverpool +0.1
Wolves -0.3

---the not good---
Palace -1.5
Arsenal -2.5
Tottenham -2.7

---the terrible---
West Ham -4.3
Southampton -4.5
Newcastle -4.8
Norwich -4.9
   433. Baldrick Posted: November 10, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5900210)
That was a fun game. Would have been more entertaining if City had been able to pull back a second and make the final 10-15 feel a lot more tense. These teams are both really good, but Liverpool have already found enough breaks and seized enough of the opportunities that have come their way that it's going to be extremely hard for anyone to catch them. Even if City are better from here on out - very possible! - that's just a huge number of points to be chasing.
   434. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 10, 2019 at 02:37 PM (#5900215)
EPL winner current odds:
Liverpool: 69%
City: 27%
Chelsea: 2%
Leicester: 2%

Top 4 current odds:
Chelsea : 79%
Leicester: 59%
Spurs: 20%
Arsenal: 17%
United: 16%
Wolves: 3%
Everton: 2%

The odds difference between Spurs/Arsenal/United could be more than explained by the relative difficulty of their remaining schedules. Each has played 5 of the other top 8 teams so far, United 4 at home, Arsenal 2 at home, and Tottenham none at home. (Amazingly, Tottenham plays 7 of the other 8 best teams on the road in the first half of the season!)

Strangely this year Arsenal plays Chelsea twice over the last half of the season, though the first time is in the 20th game (Dec 28). Is that kind of thing common? I thought the first half of the season was usually a "true" half, where each team played each other exactly once.
   435. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 10, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5900216)
Spurs have also played both City and Liverpool already. Arsenal and United still have to play City twice (both have played Liverpool).
   436. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: November 10, 2019 at 06:45 PM (#5900237)
I see most of what I wanted to say has already been covered but even as someone rooting for Liverpool (go Red Sox England!) that was bullshit. Without VAR I don't mind it not being given, hey in live time maybe you don't see it, but with VAR...what's the point of VAR if not to give that one? I kind of wonder if Liverpool's attack had petered out and ended with a goal kick if it might have been given but the VAR ref didn't want to take a goal off the board.

It's really a great example of one of my pet peeves with replay. Just the possibility that it might come back took away the drama of what was probably a title defining moment. It was like "wow what an amazing strike but gee, maybe it didn't happen even though 100 million people did see it happen so I won't get excited."

And as someone above said, Aguero has to play through it. I think City as a whole were a bit off once it started coming in the other direction.

So as much as it looks like the title race is over I think it's still too early. Injuries, suspensions, loss of form. #### happens. I'd put significant money on Liverpool at this point but I don't think this is a done deal. 26 games is a lot of games.
   437. Richard Posted: November 10, 2019 at 09:19 PM (#5900257)
Strangely this year Arsenal plays Chelsea twice over the last half of the season, though the first time is in the 20th game (Dec 28). Is that kind of thing common? I thought the first half of the season was usually a "true" half, where each team played each other exactly once.


Sometimes you play a team twice in your first half of fixtures. It is relatively common. Sheffield United and Watford will play twice, for example.

One other thing they have been doing in the last few years is having teams play one particular opponent twice in a few weeks. For example, Manchester City play Sheffield United on 30 December and again on 22 January.
   438. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: November 10, 2019 at 11:47 PM (#5900272)
Elsewhere today in deja-vu all over again ...
Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian midfielder Taison was sent off in a Ukrainian league match against visitors Dynamo Kiev on Sunday for reacting to racist insults from the crowd.

A video of the incident showed Taison stick his finger up at a section occupied by Dynamo fans and then kick the ball into the stands.

Taison, 31, who has featured six times for Brazil and has played in Ukraine since 2011, reacted with disbelief and left the field in tears.

The campaign group FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) said on Twitter that Taison's teammate and follow Brazilian Dentinho reported the insults to the referee and a stadium announcement was made.

Following UEFA-recommended protocol, the referee then took the players to the dressing-room for five minutes, FARE said, before dismissing Taison and restarting the game which Shakhtar won 1-0.

The third step of the protocol would have been to abandon the match.

"Third step not activated, victim of racism sent off," said FARE, which added that Dynamo fans also mocked a club campaign by displaying posters which said "Like to racism."


Link
   439. jmurph Posted: November 11, 2019 at 09:38 AM (#5900298)
And as someone above said, Aguero has to play through it. I think City as a whole were a bit off once it started coming in the other direction.

I also want to point out that I think Liverpool were probably going to win the game anyway- no one is going to weep for them, obviously, but given the backline/Ederson injuries, City would have had to be nearly perfect elsewhere to deal with the counterattack. I would have just liked to see how things would have gone with Aguero stepping up to the penalty spot at 0-0 in the 6th minute.
   440. Mefisto Posted: November 11, 2019 at 10:31 AM (#5900307)
Yeah, it was disappointing to have the game swing so wildly on a single (wrong) call. But City were always going to be vulnerable to LFC's attack and they pretty much had to win.
   441. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: November 11, 2019 at 10:40 AM (#5900312)
Jmurph - yeah, the injuries at the back really had City up against it. The fact is that City were the better team the first half hour but were down 2-0 and it’s hard not to think the injuries weren’t part of that (while taking nothing away from Liverpool).

As you say if City are up 1-0 instead of down 1-0 there the game could have been very different.
   442. jmurph Posted: November 11, 2019 at 10:43 AM (#5900314)
What did people think of Bravo? I thought his positioning was maybe off on the 1st one but that almost no one likely gets to that, it was so well placed. I thought the 3rd looked saveable, unsure on the 2nd.

This is of course based on no qualifications whatsoever, I could be way off.
   443. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: November 11, 2019 at 11:12 AM (#5900318)
I'm not nearly soccer-literate enough to be comfortable with this analysis but I agree with you. Watching the game I felt like he could have done better on all three goals. Maybe he couldn't have changed the result (especially on the second one) but on each one I found myself wondering.

It reminds me of a few years ago when Everton had Robles in net. It wasn't that he had a bunch of howlers or anything, it just seemed like compared to Howard before him (and now Pickford after him) he just seemed out of position a lot. Like I said, I can't claim to be an expert but I felt like on each of the goals a De Gea or Allison or Courtois would have been in a better position.
   444. spivey Posted: November 11, 2019 at 11:16 AM (#5900321)
I think the third goal for Liverpool is one where a more athletic or taller goalie could have intercepted the cross. The shot itself though is hard once the goalie gets turned around there. The non-shot xG being about even surprised me. I don’t know how it’s calculated but it seemed like there were a lot of dangerous crosses that Aguero was fractions away from being on the end of.

I also agree with those who think the seasons not over. It seems like most of Pools tough games have been at home, everything that could go right has, and it’s a team that with a specific injury or two would look much different. To that point, if the ankle injury for Salah lingers, they don’t have too many goals on their bench imo.
   445. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 11, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5900350)
It's easy to say Ederson would have had a much better chance to save the goals, but except for the third goal I'm quite skeptical.

Non-shot xG from 538's explanation:

Non-shot expected goals are an estimate of how many goals a team “should” have scored based on non-shooting actions they took around the opposing team’s goal (That is, within an area slightly larger than the 18-yard box): passes, interceptions, take-ons and tackles. For example, we know that intercepting the ball at the opposing team’s penalty spot results in a goal about 9 percent of the time, and a completed pass that is received at the center of the six-yard box leads to a goal about 14 percent of the time. We add these individual actions up across an entire match to arrive at a team’s non-shot expected goals. Just as for shot-based expected goals, there is an adjustment for each action based on the success rates of the player or players taking the action (both the passer and the receiver, in the case of a pass).


It may not be super easy for non-shot xG to differentiate between the quality of crosses into the box.
   446. The Marksist Posted: November 11, 2019 at 04:55 PM (#5900404)
It may not be super easy for non-shot xG to differentiate between the quality of crosses into the box.


I think this is it. xG systems don't know where the players are if they don't touch the ball. Until someone outside the clubs has player position data, you simply can't account for things like the cross that buzzes right by someone's head or skips just over their foot.

Also, I'm a Liverpool fan so I obviously know for certain that it wasn't a handball on Trent (joking, friends! nobody knows what a handball is!). In general I think that the rules should be more forgiving of marginal handballs and less forgiving of fouls (in the box, yes, but pretty much anywhere on the field). How often does someone get clobbered just as they shoot and there's not call? Or taken out with a trailing leg where the tackler manages to barely get the ball on the way through? That seems more unjust to me than the ball randomly ricocheting off someone's arm and not getting called.

Anyway! Takes: everyone has them!
   447. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 11, 2019 at 09:18 PM (#5900462)
Marcotti, who I generally like, said the following:

It looked as if it was going to be a very tight Bundesliga season, with as many as six or seven clubs packed within a few points at the top. Now, you're not so sure. One club is pulling away (and it's not Bayern)... And with Bayern and Dortmund having their own problems, you wonder if Gladbach's main rival this season might not end up being Leipzig.


Current betting odds:

Bayern 73%
Dortmund 13%
Leipzig 10%
Gladbach 4%
Leverkusen 1%

edit: this is a bit like saying you wonder if Liverpool's main rival might not be Leicester (though not as bad, because Gladbach's underlying numbers have been excellent so far while Leicester's have merely been decent).
   448. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: November 11, 2019 at 09:24 PM (#5900464)
It’s not going to matter against Montenegro but Sterling has been dropped by England after some sort of altercation with Joe Gomez at the training camp today. All in all things seem ok, he carried over some frustration from yesterday and confronted Gomez. He subsequently apologized and Gomez accepted but the story is that the whole team was on board with Southgates decision.
   449. J. Sosa Posted: November 11, 2019 at 09:32 PM (#5900466)
re: crosses

I have suspected for some time that Liverpool has proprietary location data that isn’t fully shown by publicly available stats. The closest thing I have ever seen as confirmation is suggestions that it played a role in the signing of Wijnaldum and that it has influenced team tactics on set pieces (which are obviously a more controlled environment than open play) and crosses.

Some of the cross tactics reflect Lijnders gaining influence at the expense of Buvac, but Liverpool has been interested in cross data for a long time. I would have loved to see what Klopp could have done with a guy like Stuart Downing. The man became a punchline but Robertson is more or less an old school flying winger in the grandest of British traditions repackaged for the modern game. TAA is more of a right sided midfielder masquerading as a fullback.

That said, one of Liverpool’s analysts went on record as saying club data suggested a 25 percent chance of winning the league prior to the season. FWiW.

re: VAR

I hate it. Like I’ve always said it results in that NFLesque pause in celebration looking to see if there is a yellow hankie. Kills the moment. I have always said the only video review I support is some type of hawkeyesque offside technology similar to the goal line technology. Black and white. No, Martin Bloody Atkinson’s stencil doesn’t count.
   450. J. Sosa Posted: November 11, 2019 at 09:48 PM (#5900475)
re: Bravo

I thought he looked bad but I am not sure Ederson would have done much better. Shot stopping isn’t the best part of his game. Bravo did flap at the cross for the third goal but the one that stood out to me was the second goal. That appears to be a minority opinion based on the commentary I have seen, but watching the play I was thinking a guy like Alisson would have anticipated and cut the angle.

But overall though it was Bravo’s distribution that hurt City. Not the shot stopping. I don’t think Ederson would have done much better. Alisson, Oblak, De Gea sure. I don’t think all three go in against guys like that nearly as much.
   451. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 11, 2019 at 09:51 PM (#5900478)
I loved the idea of replay when it first came out in the NFL. After a few years I was done with it. Calls are never going to be 100% right anyway, so let's enjoy the action as it happens.

Has any sport ever gotten rid of it once instituted? The NFL sort of cut back in it's use in some of the most extreme cases, but that hardly makes a difference.

If you want to punish players for unsporting actions, even diving or intentional fouls, I'm all for lengthy review after the game and more severe penalties (suspensions or whatever).
   452. Mefisto Posted: November 11, 2019 at 09:59 PM (#5900482)
If you want to punish players for unsporting actions, even diving or intentional fouls, I'm all for lengthy review after the game and more severe penalties (suspensions or whatever).


Agreed. Heck, I'd add review to determine if a yellow should have been issued. Plus goal line tech works and offside calls are fine. If they're going to enforce the handball rule, then that would be fine too, but the non-call on Sunday makes me skeptical. Everything else should be ignored unless the ref says he couldn't see the play.

If they plan to keep the current procedures, then they need to change their standards on penalties. There've been too many "clear and obvious" penalties that have gone uncalled, and that's inequitable if they're going to reverse penalty calls on review.
   453. J. Sosa Posted: November 11, 2019 at 10:19 PM (#5900493)
Agreed, it has gotten ridiculous in a number of sports. It often replaces one type of subjectivity with another. Robertson said he didn’t even celebrate Fabinho’s goal. Both teams immediately ran to Oliver to argue their case. I thought it marred what should have been a great moment for Fabinho.

Challenging spots in football? Slo mo out of bounds plays in basketball that often uncomfortably reveal uncalled fouls that resulted in the loss of possession? TAA handballed. But only after Silva touched the ball. Now what? Silva’s was much less egregious but where is the absolutely objective line of what is or isn’t a handball? Logic would dictate any contact to the hand. Which leads to absurdity. And stoppages of play. And ref lobbying. And more subjectivity.

And, to reiterate, video review leads to Martin Atkinson redrawing lines on my television after he doesn’t get the result he wanted the first time. We’ve literally got subjective humans drawing subjective digital lines out of players’ armpits. With stoppages of play. That’s an improvement?

I think the thing that irritated me all along was the proponents in the commentariat that acted like being anti VAR was regressive. It was never going to be able to do what proponents said it was.
   454. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: November 11, 2019 at 10:51 PM (#5900500)
The problem with VAR on offsides is the timing is impossible. The ground covered by a player in the fraction of a second the ball is on the players foot means that these inches offsides calls are not as correct as they appear. They need to basically give some wiggle room so if the player is only a few inches off that it’s not overruled.
   455. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: November 11, 2019 at 10:52 PM (#5900501)
Bravo did flap at the cross for the third goal but the one that stood out to me was the second goal. That appears to be a minority opinion based on the commentary I have seen, but watching the play I was thinking a guy like Alisson would have anticipated and cut the angle.


This was my take in 443 (you articulated it better though). I’m not sure what he would have done but a better keeper would have played it better.
   456. jmurph Posted: November 12, 2019 at 09:55 AM (#5900543)
It’s not going to matter against Montenegro but Sterling has been dropped by England after some sort of altercation with Joe Gomez at the training camp today. All in all things seem ok, he carried over some frustration from yesterday and confronted Gomez. He subsequently apologized and Gomez accepted but the story is that the whole team was on board with Southgates decision.

Hmmmmm, sounds like Sterling was the bad guy but as a fan of his club team and not his national team, I like the result! Wonder if he can also convince De Bruyne and the Silva brothers to also act like sore losers and get kicked off their national teams, get a little rest before the league picks back up? Maybe Aguero, too?
   457. Mefisto Posted: November 12, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5900544)
Sterling's back on the team.
   458. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 12, 2019 at 10:06 AM (#5900546)
ELO tidbits (clubelo.com)

Liverpool hit its highest ELO ever after the City win, at a massive 2062. Their previous high was in September prior to the CL loss. They've pretty much gone straight up under Klopp, so he's about to hit a plateau (or, more likely, a minor/major tumble).

City's all-time high was 2047, also in September. They were tied with Liverpool for the top spot late last season.

Leicester just hit their highest ever, at 1822, just topping the rating reached during their title run. Currently 14th in the rankings, just behind United, Tottenham, and then Arsenal. They reached 12th in their title run.

Bournemouth has only gone up since it came out of ELO oblivion in 2013. Hit their highest rating (1715) and ranking (38th) a week ago after the win over United.

Of course, it's easier for EPL teams to set personal best records right now, since the league as a whole has dominated Europe recently so gets a league-wide boost. Atletico is at its lowest rating since 2013, Bayern since 2012, Barca since 2010, and Real Madrid since 1999!

Some non-English teams that hit the top of their game ever this year:
Leipzig hit 15th in September, with an 1823 rating.
Salzburg hit 16th in October, with an 1801 rating.
Eibar hit 28th in February, with a 1743. Crumbled since.
   459. J. Sosa Posted: November 12, 2019 at 10:13 AM (#5900549)
re: 456

Yeah that was my first reaction too. Why couldn’t all the LFC guys pick a fight and get suspended. I hate national team duty. Robertson and Salah might get to skip for hopefully not too serious ankle issues.
   460. jmurph Posted: November 12, 2019 at 10:23 AM (#5900555)
Sterling's back on the team.

Damnit! Gotta go in harder on someone, make it stick.
   461. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: November 13, 2019 at 05:47 PM (#5900971)
Haven't heard of him, but the more USMNT prospects heading abroad is better:

New York City FC defender Joe Scally is leaving Major League Soccer to join Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach, the club has announced.


ESPNFC
   462. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 13, 2019 at 08:36 PM (#5900991)
Based solely on who each team has played so far, and weighted by a combination of preseason expected points, current expected points (based on xGD including pens), and current non-pen xGD:

Schedule difficulty so far for top 9 teams:

Wolves, Leicester, and Liverpool have had harder then average schedules
Tottenham has had about an average schedule.
Arsenal and United have had easier than average schedules.
City, Chelsea, and Everton have had significantly easier than average schedules.

The above doesn't account for who teams played home/road.
   463. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 13, 2019 at 08:54 PM (#5900992)
Rest of the table:

Significantly harder than average: Southampton, Palace
Harder than average: Newcastle, Villa, Sheffield, Norwich
About average: Brighton, Watford
Easier than average: Burnley, Bournemouth
Significantly easier than average: West Ham

The top teams get to play easier schedules overall, since they don't have to play themselves (and same in reverse for the bottom team).

Palace has had a very hard schedule--have already played all top 9 except Liverpool, including the last 4 games in a row.
But Southampton's schedule has been off-the-charts hard. They have played all top 9 except Arsenal (who they play next week, and when they play 'em it will have been 7 straight against top 9 teams--they have one point from a draw against Wolves from those last 6 games, and have one more point from a draw earlier this year against United). It's way too early to give up on Southampton this year.

And how bad has West Ham been? They have a very bad xGD even having played a weak schedule.
   464. Mefisto Posted: November 13, 2019 at 09:48 PM (#5900998)
One interesting note from last weekend: they ended up giving the goal to McTominay.
   465. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 13, 2019 at 11:41 PM (#5901018)
Turns out understat already had the event as a .62 xG "saved" shot by McTominay plus an own goal, so it won't change anything from an xG perspective. Not sure what the other systems did with it.
   466. Mefisto Posted: November 14, 2019 at 09:04 AM (#5901040)
One other interesting (to me) note about xG from that United game: they counted the Dan James shot towards United's xG. However, the replay on TV showed that James was most likely offside and if he had scored it wouldn't have counted. This seems like an issue xG should resolve because it risks overstating a team's performance.
   467. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 14, 2019 at 09:46 AM (#5901056)
If a player wasn't called offside in the game (because the shot was missed) they won't change it. I don't think they should either, unless they are they going to examine the entire game over on replay and see if anyone was offside, or committed some other foul like an offensive handling that they think would have been nullified on VAR had there been a goal. Seems like a pretty unreasonable undertaking, and there's going to be significant judgment involved.

Also, bad calls have always been part of the game, and have always led to distortion in xG or any other measure in any other sport. If any particular call is so egregious and distorting, it could be subtracted by whoever is using the data. I don't think most marginal offside noncalls really fit into this category though, at least if you are trying to gauge team quality, because they are usually inches away from being an onside play anyway.
   468. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: November 14, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5901063)
I think the thing that irritated me all along was the proponents in the commentariat that acted like being anti VAR was regressive. It was never going to be able to do what proponents said it was.

Everyone loves VAR, a lovely tool that will prevent referees from making the rare mistakes that 100% of people watching at home can see with 100% clarity were wrong, but the refereee just didn't have a good enough angle to get right!

[VAR exists for 5 seconds]

We regret to inform you that VAR is taking up 10 minutes of every match, 1 minute of which is added back as extra time, and it's almost always used for judgment calls about intent or questions of whether a player was a millimeter offside
   469. Mefisto Posted: November 14, 2019 at 10:24 AM (#5901068)
@467: I guess it depends on how many such calls there are. If it's just a few times, it won't matter. If it happens a lot, though, then xG will no longer predict actual goals, though if these incidents are evenly distributed I guess that won't matter.
   470. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 14, 2019 at 10:53 AM (#5901081)
If it happens a lot, though, then xG will no longer predict actual
Kind of interesting. If, for example, there are a fairly large number of shots form offside plays that are not scored and thus not reversed on VAR, the overall xG will be higher than overall goals scored in a systematically biased way, at least versus historical data that was compiled without VAR. Probably some types of teams would be bitten by this more than others, so it won't be totally evenly distributed. Probably evenly enough that it is not worth correcting for though. Even if it is worth correcting for, probably makes sense to wait until the implementation of VAR stops evolving so rapidly and settles down a bit. James' play maybe always will be called offside with VAR, but that's certainly not necessarily the case for these millimeter calls which VAR is reversing, considering the pushback that we are already seeing.
   471. Mefisto Posted: November 14, 2019 at 11:07 AM (#5901090)
Even if it is worth correcting for, probably makes sense to wait until the implementation of VAR stops evolving so rapidly and settles down a bit. James' play maybe always will be called offside with VAR, but that's certainly not necessarily the case for these millimeter calls which VAR is reversing, considering the pushback that we are already seeing.


Fair point. Agreed.
   472. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 14, 2019 at 03:27 PM (#5901194)
Already 5-0 England. Kane with a first half hat trick.

Kosovo pretty much needs a win today at the Czech Republic to have any chance of advancing, so naturally they have 0 shots so far.
   473. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 15, 2019 at 04:42 PM (#5901538)
Switzerland tried to make it interesting home to Georgia, but got a late goal anyway to beat the minnow. Now they only have to beat Gibraltar to qualify. That sets up a massively important Ireland/Denmark game Monday. An Ireland win outs them in, a draw/loss gives it to Denmark.

Sweden got it done in Romania, to qualify with a game to spare.
   474. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 15, 2019 at 07:37 PM (#5901569)
USMNT committing a lot of fouls, only half of them called. Brooks should easily have a yellow by now, and my have gotten away with a foul in the box.

On the other hand, the USMNT looks ok going forward and just got a 2nd goal. Any win today and they are very likely to top the group. That matters mostly because it guarantees them some competitive games against more serious competition, probably Honduras and if they win then Mexico (or Costa Rica).

edit: and a third.
   475. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 15, 2019 at 07:54 PM (#5901570)
Unbelievable. Canada player makes a "deliberate trick" to play the ball to his head to then pass to the keeper, inside the 6-yard box. That's so stupid and it's in the FIFA rules. Never seen it before.

Indirect free kick to the USMNT.
edit: announcers too stupid to know you don't take indirect free kicks inside the 6-yd box.
edit2: USMNT tries a training ground play but can't get it past all the bodies.
   476. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: November 15, 2019 at 09:10 PM (#5901575)
I always wondered why guys didn’t try that.
   477. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 16, 2019 at 03:41 PM (#5901680)
Northern Ireland chipped a penalty over the bar, missing a golden chance to go ahead in their must-win at home against the Netherlands. Still scoreless at the half.

Croatia dominated the parts of the game I saw, but still went behind 0-1 at home against Sovakia. All they need is a draw to advance, but a loss is not good at all. Slovakia would finish ahead of them by just beating a minnow Tuesday, and Hungary would finish ahead of them by beating Wales, who would have just been eliminated today if Slovakia wins. I think Croatia will come back to at least level it up, but this is not the kind of excitement hey were hoping for.
   478. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 16, 2019 at 04:12 PM (#5901689)
And Slovakia implodes. Gives up 2 goals, and a player on a yellow pulls back a Croatian on a breakaway for a second yellow. No way they come back to win now. That puts Croatia in and sets up a great Wales/Hungary game Tuesday. Both teams need a win to advance--a draw and Slovakia gets it (if they beat their minnow).
   479. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 18, 2019 at 04:47 PM (#5902124)
Ireland made it fun at the end, but came up just short with a 1-1 draw. Denmark in.

Unless Wales/Slovakia finishes in a draw tomorrow (giving it to Hungary), the only surprise this year will have been Finland getting a spot over Bosnia & Herzegovina.

(Ukraine will get a pot 1 seed in the final tournament, because they finished ahead of Portugal, and France likely will be in pot 2, as not one of the top 6 group winners. I'm not sure those count though.)

   480. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 18, 2019 at 06:20 PM (#5902165)
Also, I was wrong above when figuring out who plays who in the playoff for qualifying. Technical point, but once you get past 4 teams in the playoffs in a single "league", any team that isn't auto-slotted has to be chosen by draw (rather than next highest team in the pecking order). That means Scotland won't necessarily face Bulgaria--they could face Israel, Romania, or possibly Hungary instead. Iceland would get the remaining teams in their playoff group (and possibly one of the League B teams, if Hungary qualifies automatically).

Best team in Europe not already qualified is probably Serbia, then maybe Wales. Wales could qualify tomorrow, and Serbia through the playoffs. If Wales and Serbia qualify, the top 20(!) UEFA teams by ELO will have made the finals. After that point you really aren't missing anyone of more than the slightest consequence.

Worst team to already qualify is probably Finland. Of the teams that can qualify via playoffs, the League D winner will probably be the worst (Kosovo, North Macedonia, Georgia, or Belarus), but Bulgaria and Israel, if they can pull off the playoff upset, aren't really any better.
   481. Mefisto Posted: November 18, 2019 at 07:45 PM (#5902179)
Ukraine will get a pot 1 seed in the final tournament


Who did they agree to investigate?
   482. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: November 18, 2019 at 09:11 PM (#5902191)
The Astros.
   483. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: November 18, 2019 at 09:14 PM (#5902192)
So Hungary-Wales tomorrow is the only interesting game. Winner is in, loser I think is in the olayooffs. Draw sends Hungary in.
   484. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 18, 2019 at 10:21 PM (#5902204)
Hungary-Wales winner goes in. If they draw though, it's most likely Slovakia, who would only need a win at home against lowly Azerbaijan to finish ahead of both.

Wales should really come out swinging. Hungary might try to play possum a bit at the beginning since they are pretty big underdogs, but if they go down or the score stays ties, they will open it up too.
   485. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: November 18, 2019 at 10:57 PM (#5902210)
Oh I missed that about Slovakia. So the loser of Wales Hungary is likely to be out full stop since presumably Slovakia will easily defeat Whoeveristan.
   486. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: November 18, 2019 at 10:59 PM (#5902211)
Apparently Spain have fired Moreno. Welcome back Luis Enrique.
   487. I am going to be Frank Posted: November 19, 2019 at 08:17 AM (#5902228)
Poch may be on his way out. The caveat is that I have no idea who is credible.
   488. spivey Posted: November 19, 2019 at 08:56 AM (#5902239)
I hope that if Poch is leaving, it's partially or mostly on his own accord. I sometimes question his tactics and team selection, but Tottenham I think has the 2nd longest running stretch of consecutive CL appearances in England. Deep runs in a lot of cups, though unfortunately no wins.

All done on roughly neutral spending until this last year, and with injuries many of the years. And playing exciting football most of the years too.

Poch and this group of players, even the ones who want out and/or are falling off a cliff, are legends of the club.

And god, if Poch leaves, I hope we have a good manager lined up. Going through a 2-3 manager shuffle can easily end the 'Top 6' era.
   489. spivey Posted: November 19, 2019 at 08:57 AM (#5902240)
It does strike me that only a few of the top teams across Europe are happy with their managers right now.
   490. Mefisto Posted: November 19, 2019 at 09:59 AM (#5902256)
@482: LOL
   491. spivey Posted: November 19, 2019 at 02:46 PM (#5902400)
Poch out (as reported by Tottenham, and we can trust them I think)
   492. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: November 19, 2019 at 02:50 PM (#5902404)
I cannot believe that Poch is out. wtf.
   493. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: November 19, 2019 at 02:52 PM (#5902406)
IMO Poch has been mailing it in all season and probably needed to be sacked. I'm just shocked Levy was willing to pay two managers.
   494. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: November 19, 2019 at 03:04 PM (#5902410)
I think Poch/Spurs are analogous to the Sox/Francona after 2011. It’s not an indictment of managerial quality, just time to move on. Bobby Valentine=Jose Mourinho?
   495. I am going to be Frank Posted: November 19, 2019 at 03:10 PM (#5902412)
Nagelsmann is the name making the rounds for the next Spurs man. It seems that he would be very expensive.
   496. jmurph Posted: November 19, 2019 at 03:13 PM (#5902413)
The Mourinho rumors can't possible be legit, right?
   497. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: November 19, 2019 at 03:20 PM (#5902417)
Based on the first half hour it is incomprehensible that Hungary are level with Wales. They aren’t close to the sa,e caliber from what I, seeing here.
   498. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: November 19, 2019 at 03:26 PM (#5902422)
Le sigh.

This season and summer could be catastrophic for Spurs, depending on if players were at the club specifically because of Poch.

The Mourinho rumors can't possible be legit, right?


They better not be; although, Mourinho & Levy is a match made in popcorn-eating heaven.

   499. J. Sosa Posted: November 19, 2019 at 04:00 PM (#5902431)
RassenBallsport can be difficult to deal with. I doubt it is Nagelsman. It is hard to imagine a worse fit than Mourinho. I think Howe is the logical choice if he is willing. Probably will have to have a caretaker until this summer though. Caretakers are often risky. (Sherwood, Tim, Solskjaer, Ole).

As mentioned upthread Spurs are in a dangerous spot. They need to stick the hire. Leicester is a well run club. I don’t think they are going anywhere and they are approaching the point they don’t really have to sell domestically unless it makes sense. (They had a replacement lined up a year early for Maguire, who I think is probably better than the guy they sold for bazillions).

As for Poch, presumably gardening leave and the Man U job next season. Frying pan to the fire. Levy to Woodward.

   500. manchestermets Posted: November 19, 2019 at 04:10 PM (#5902436)
As for Poch, presumably gardening leave and the Man U job next season.


Or maybe a job that's available.
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