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Tuesday, November 03, 2020

OT - Soccer Thread - Winter Is Here

Not sure why the other thread no longer allows comments but…new thread!

Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: November 03, 2020 at 11:16 AM | 226 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   1. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: November 03, 2020 at 11:25 AM (#5987136)
Champions League starting to get serious already. I don't love why this has all happened but I love the three weeks three games thing. The compressed schedule is fun. Anyway;

Group A

Bayern and Atletico should take big steps to the knockouts with wins over Lokomotiv Moscow and Red Bull Salzburg today.

Group B

The shocker group has Shakhtar and Gladbach facing off for control of the group. A win by Shakhtar will have them on 7 points already. Inter and Real are playing a huge game, particularly if Shakhtar gets the win. If that happens the loser of the Real/Inter match will be on 2 points with three matches left.

Group C

ManCity should take care of Olympiacos and if they do a Marseilles win over Porto would leave those last three clubs tied on 3 points each. A Porto win puts them in the catbird seat for that second spot. City have the big game in the league with Liverpool so could be looking ahead.

Group D

Ajax and Midtjylland battle for the "well we still have hope" spot today. The game I want to see is Liverpool-Atalanta. Both sides presumably would be happy with a draw but neither side is likely to play that way. Liverpool may look ahead as well but the benefit for us neutrals is that the City-Liverpool match is on Sunday so both sides can put out full strength teams if they choose to.
   2. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 03, 2020 at 11:43 AM (#5987139)
Thanks for the revival Jose.
betting odds to advance
                   current  after R1  original  delta (v original)
Group A                                        
Bayern                97       95       89       +8         
Atlético              86       75       72      +14
Salzburg              12       23       30      -18        
Lokomotiv Moskva       5        7        9       -4    

Group B
Real Madrid           58       60       82      -24 
Internazionale        56       58       64       -8
Mönchengladbach       44       40       35       +9
Shakhtar Donetsk      42       42       19      +23      

Group C
Manchester City       98       96       93       +5
Porto                 63       45       51      +12
Olympiacos            23       36       20       +3
Marseille             16       23       36      -20 

Group D
Liverpool             95       93       89       +6
Atalanta              71       76       59      +12
Ajax                  32       27       45      -13
Midtjylland            2        4        7       -5

Group E
Chelsea               88       78       75      +13 (could this group be any more boring?)
Sevilla               85       76       69      +16
Rennes                17       29       38      -21
Krasnodar             10       19       18       -8

Group F
Dortmund              83       69       79       +4 
Lazio                 78       79       62      +16
Club Brugge           28       30       15      +13
Zenit                 11       22       44      -33

Group G
Barcelona             98       94       89       +9
Juventus              94       94       89       +5 
Dynamo Kyiv            5       9        15      -10
Ferencváros            3       3         7       -4

Group H
Manchester United     88       78       66      +22
PSG                   78       68       81       -3
Leipzig               32       49       43      -11
Basaksehir             2        5       10       -8

As shown by the above, the favorites to advance are almost all doing ok. Only real exceptions are Real Madrid and Inter.
   3. jmurph Posted: November 03, 2020 at 01:05 PM (#5987146)
Whew thank god, I was worried you guys were being deprived of me constantly complaining about the current state of streaming soccer rights.

Finally caved and sprung for CBS All Access, and last week's Manchester City Champions League match was coming to me in... 540p. Which I didn't even know was a thing? It was not my tv or my internet (I have fiber, 1 gb up and down), other apps and streaming services were working normally and my tv is plugged directly into the modem, not wifi. What a magical experience it was.

Anyway, everyone continues to do a great job, we've really improved things for the viewer.
   4. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 03, 2020 at 01:19 PM (#5987148)
Pretty annoyed at the announcers' consternation about when the linesman raises the flag on an offside. They are only supposed to raise if they are sure the player is offside. The linesman's view on any play is very different from the announcer's view. On some plays it's much harder for the linesman than others, so "how far offside the player is" is not the main consideration for the linesman.

Two examples to show this: on a play yesterday the offensive player was almost two yards offside. No flag was raised and the announcer expressed much consternation. On replay though you could see it was a fast break where the linesman was trying but failing to keep up with the furthest most defensive player running downfield while simultaneously looking directly back over his shoulder at the ballplayer who was near the sideline directly behind him. After seeing the ball played he immediately turned his head to the player receiving the ball, 135 degrees the other way, where the defensive player had just stepped up. Due to the natural response delay, the linesman couldn't be absolutely sure the defensive player hadn't stepped up too late, so he correctly let the play go, raising his flag only when the move was over.

In the game today, the linesman was looking across field at the ballplayer and furthest most defender, less than 15 degrees apart by his viewpoint, and neither of them moving very fast. It was an easy call for the linesman and he clearly saw that the offensive player offside by half a yard, so raised his flag. Announcer seemed surprised the linesman didn't let the play go because it seemed close.
   5. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 03, 2020 at 02:59 PM (#5987152)
Not a good game to draw for Atleti. Now there's a good chance they will need a result (at least a draw) in the last group game at Salzburg to advance.
   6. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: November 03, 2020 at 03:17 PM (#5987156)
At the risk of stepping on jmurph's territory I've got the game on my iPad but I'm streaming the volume to my Bose speaker on my desk. Which means I have "Now playing on Airplay" in the middle of my screen. No other apps do this for me.

Nice goal Diego.
   7. I am going to be Frank Posted: November 03, 2020 at 03:56 PM (#5987164)
Where is Sergio Ramos on a list of all-time great CB? He's been playing at the highest level for over 15 years now and has won all the team trophies at the club and international level.
   8. Astroenteritis Posted: November 03, 2020 at 04:19 PM (#5987170)
Umm...Jota is looking like a good acquisition.
   9. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: November 03, 2020 at 04:29 PM (#5987173)
Oops.
   10. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: November 03, 2020 at 04:32 PM (#5987174)
OK, now that I'm reading the scores right...Gladbach are in good shape. Not just the win over Shakhtar but the goal difference and goals scored has to help.
   11. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: November 03, 2020 at 04:41 PM (#5987176)
Inter-Real has been fun.
   12. Mefisto Posted: November 03, 2020 at 06:09 PM (#5987181)
Thanks for this thread Jose. I couldn't figure out why the other one closed.
   13. Mefisto Posted: November 04, 2020 at 06:10 PM (#5987309)
United alternating between the sublime and the ridiculous so fast it makes your head spin.
   14. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 04, 2020 at 09:04 PM (#5987324)
                  current  after R2  after R1  original  delta (v original)
Group A                                        
Bayern                99       97       95       89      +10         
Atlético              82       86       75       72      +10
Salzburg              17       12       23       30      -13        
Lokomotiv Moskva       2        5        7        9       -7    

Group B
Real Madrid           75       58       60       82       -7
Mönchengladbach       61       44       40       35      +26
Internazionale        43       56       58       64      -21
Shakhtar Donetsk      21       42       42       19       +2      

Group C
Manchester City       99       98       96       93       +6
Porto                 85       63       45       51      +34
Olympiacos            13       23       36       20       -7
Marseille              3       16       23       36      -33 

Group D
Liverpool             99       95       93       89      +10
Atalanta              55       71       76       59       -4
Ajax                  47       32       27       45       +2
Midtjylland            1        2        4        7       -6

Group E
Chelsea               98       88       78       75      +23 (could this group be any more boring?)
Sevilla               97       85       76       69      +28
Rennes                 3       17       29       38      -35
Krasnodar              2       10       19       18      -16

Group F
Dortmund              93       83       69       79      +14 
Lazio                 81       78       79       62      +19
Club Brugge           18       28       30       15       +3
Zenit                  8       11       22       44      -36

Group G
Barcelona             99       98       94       89      +10
Juventus              97       94       94       89       +8 
Dynamo Kyiv            3        5       9        15      -12
Ferencváros            1        3       3         7       -6

Group H
Manchester United     80       88       78       66      +14
PSG                   65       78       68       81      -16
Leipzig               49       32       49       43       +6
Basaksehir             6        2        5       10       -4


Groups B, D and F still seem interesting. Inter is currently the only team slated to advance at group stage onset that is no longer in position to advance. PSG and Atalanta also are down a bit but still in ok shape. We should get at least one of Leipzig, Gladbach, or Ajax in the KOs. I wouldn't count on anyone else.

The gulf between the haves and the have nots is quite large. No coincidence that two of those "upset" teams are from a Top 4 league, and the other is probably the best team outside of Top 4 + PSG (Ajax, with apologies to Salzburg).
   15. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: November 05, 2020 at 08:07 AM (#5987336)
Where is Sergio Ramos on a list of all-time great CB? He's been playing at the highest level for over 15 years now and has won all the team trophies at the club and international level.

Depends if you count the old Libero / Sweeper role as a CB or not.
   16. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 05, 2020 at 09:00 AM (#5987341)
AVB says his team (Marseille) have been \"####\" in the CL.

Overall, French teams have been poor in Europe this year. With 6.5 out of their 8.5 Uefa point lead on Portugal coming off the books after this year, Portugal only needs to make up another 2 points to sneak into the 5th spot in the UEFA ranking, which would be kind of wild. Not impossible this year, especially since the last 3 Portuguese teams in excellent shape currently, and most of the French teams struggling.
   17. spivey Posted: November 05, 2020 at 09:07 AM (#5987342)
Ramos also had a lot of years where he was, imo, the best RB in the world. Though I think he's generally regarded as a better defensive CB than he was a RB.

Anyways, Ramos is the best CB of this generation to me. Real the last few years often seem very lost defensively when he's off the field. All of his teammates talk about his leadership. Tons of important goals. Great on the ball for a CB, while also being very good at the defensive aspects of the game.

I put him above Ferdinand, Terry, Vidic, Puyol, and Pique. I'm a bit less familiar with some of the Italian greats from the previous generation (Maldini, Cannavaro, Nesta). I think Van Dijk's best (2 years ago) may be as good or even slightly above Ramos' peak, but Ramos has been doing the damn thing for a decade.
   18. jmurph Posted: November 05, 2020 at 09:41 AM (#5987349)
Agree with all of that spivey, Ramos is incredible. I think he's possibly underrated a bit just because he's such an ####### on the field? But there are times when it seems like he is literally the only outfield player on Madrid responsible for defending, and he still gets it done.
   19. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: November 05, 2020 at 10:10 AM (#5987355)
Yeah that's a pretty good take Spivey.
   20. I am going to be Frank Posted: November 05, 2020 at 05:25 PM (#5987423)
Ok, I sort of had similar thoughts when I posted the question, but wanted some validation.

BTW I know no one cares about Europa League but wow the production value is bad. I think men's college soccer gets better production in some places.
   21. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 05, 2020 at 07:12 PM (#5987455)
Spurs have just a ludicrous amount of attacking talent right now. Which is good, because the defense is suspect. What an important signing Hojbjerg has been on that front.
   22. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: November 06, 2020 at 05:02 AM (#5987504)
I put him above Ferdinand, Terry, Vidic, Puyol, and Pique. I'm a bit less familiar with some of the Italian greats from the previous generation (Maldini, Cannavaro, Nesta). I think Van Dijk's best (2 years ago) may be as good or even slightly above Ramos' peak, but Ramos has been doing the damn thing for a decade.

Players I would definitely put ahead of him: Beckenbauer, Baresi, Cannavaro.

Could go either way: Nesta, Bobby Moore, Koeman. Santamaria was supposedly really damn good, but is too much before my time for me to even guess.
   23. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 07, 2020 at 08:08 AM (#5987653)
about Rashford: "He's not going to miss from that range". Replay shows Rashford whiffed completely.

Has to be one of the most overused phrases. Another one is the "gave [Goalkeeper] absolutely no chance".
   24. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 07, 2020 at 10:13 AM (#5987657)
After the international break, EPL teams in Europe will be playing twice a week every week for 6.5 weeks (43 days).

13 games: 9 league games, 3 group games, and 1 league cup game.
   25. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 07, 2020 at 11:17 AM (#5987661)
Helder Costa with one of the weirder own goals you'll ever see.
   26. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 07, 2020 at 02:16 PM (#5987684)
Flick as Bayern manager: 45 wins in 49 games.

oops. Probably so, but 2-3 now. Sublime by Haaland.
   27. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 08, 2020 at 07:30 AM (#5987818)
Hard to understand how Spurs can get completely outplayed by this crappy West Brom team for 30 minutes.
   28. foop Posted: November 08, 2020 at 07:39 AM (#5987819)
Similar symptoms we've seen, albeit not all once: Ndombele can't pass, Son is lost, Doherty looks completely outclassed
   29. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 08, 2020 at 07:49 AM (#5987820)
Spurs had just the one shot, should have been a big chance but Son uncharacteristically squandered it. There was a 20-minute stretch where West Brom were clearly superior, especially in midfield, and in the rest of the game Spurs couldn't get it together for a shot.
   30. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 08, 2020 at 09:30 AM (#5987824)
There was one moment in the game that I felt summed up Ndombele - he used some absurd close control to wriggle past several defenders, then misplaced a simple pass.

538's xG had this game heavily in Spurs favor, that was certainly not the subjective impression I got.
   31. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 08, 2020 at 09:40 AM (#5987825)
Spurs dominated the second half. It's one thing to play a cagey first half against a strong opponent. It's another thing to sleepwalk through the first half against the worst team in the league.

The first might give you a slight edge in a 50/50 battle. The second turns what should an 80% chance of victory into a 50/50 proposition.
   32. spivey Posted: November 08, 2020 at 10:07 AM (#5987827)
Bayern/Dortmund match wasn’t discussed, but it was a great game. Dortmund won xG fairly convincingly, they just didn’t convert all their chances and Lewandowski finished a tough header. Bayern had a stretch where it looked like they could run away, and then Favre put Jude Bellingham on for Delaney and it changed the game. Witsel and Delaney are not up to snuff IMO. They aren’t dynamic enough and it means that Dortmund can lose the midfield battle pretty often. I think only one of them should be playing at a time, at least in big matches.

On the flip side, this City/Liverpool match is still I think the biggest of the season, and I see it’s on peacock. Bah.
   33. Mefisto Posted: November 08, 2020 at 10:36 AM (#5987829)
I'm pretty disgusted with NBC. They've been putting all the bigger matches on Peacock, and I can't watch them. I assume they're trying to goose subscriptions, which makes it even more annoying.
   34. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 08, 2020 at 10:58 AM (#5987830)
Udinese at the moment leads Seriea A in xPoints (understat) despite taking just 4 points from 7 games, and being in 18th place in the table. They haven't played most of the top teams yet though.

Still, a pretty amazing achievement.
   35. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 08, 2020 at 12:21 PM (#5987836)
40 penalties in 76+ games (1/5 the season). That's 199 in a full season, or close to twice the record rate.
   36. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: November 08, 2020 at 12:35 PM (#5987837)
Yeah it’s a blatant money grab to put this game on the ‘cock. This should be an NBC game,
   37. I am going to be Frank Posted: November 08, 2020 at 01:04 PM (#5987839)
I've come to the realization that I'm just going to have to pay extra for entertainment. It is what it is. $5/month isn't a ton of money - that's one or two coffees or a beer at a bar. My cable + internet isn't cheap but it isn't exorbitant like what my parent's bill is. It's more annoying to switch inputs if I go from 'regular' cable to my XBox, then having to switch to different apps if I want to go to the Bundesliga or Serie A from the Premier League. Streaming is also just not as reliable as regular old cable.

All those damn cord-cutters really just made everything worse for everyone.

I can't believe Klopp started Jota, Mane, Firmino and Salah. That's really brave and seems to have worked so far. City though has gotten a bunch of really good chances as you would expect.
   38. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 08, 2020 at 01:14 PM (#5987840)
Liverpool has been playing for the draw since the 60 minute mark.
   39. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 08, 2020 at 01:25 PM (#5987841)
Did the teams combine for a single shot after 60 minutes? I guess we'll find out soon.
   40. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 08, 2020 at 01:51 PM (#5987843)
xG after the 60-minnute mark: 0.02-0.00.
   41. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 08, 2020 at 02:26 PM (#5987845)
So let me get this straight. An offensive player half in the line of sight, of the goalkeeper, making no attempt to be a part of the play, on a short that was impossible to stop = offside. An offensive player, making an attempt to be a part of the play, in a position to receive the ball, forcing the defender to cut the ball out short, resulting in an own goal = no offside.

This rule is stupid.

edit: since this a subjective rule, my interpretation of the rule (for an offensive player that doesn't touch the ball) would be if an offensive player was in an offside position and his presence reasonably affected a defensive player's actions in a manner that could have changed the result of the play, then offside. As such, the two above would be reversed.

I'd also give any benefit of the doubt to the defense. It should be the offensive player's responsibility to try to stay in an onside position. Even with all that, the goal in this Villa game would have stood.
   42. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 08, 2020 at 04:09 PM (#5987848)
EPL Weeks 1-4: 144 in 38 games (3.79 per game)
EPL Weeks 5-8: 101 in 40 games (2.53 per game)
   43. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 08, 2020 at 04:17 PM (#5987850)
International break about 1/5 of the way through the season.
Change in team rating by 538 since the start of the season
Aston Villa              +6.7

Tottenham                +3.8*
Brighton                 +3.8
West Ham                 +3.5

Arsenal                  +2.3*
Leeds United             +2.2*
Leicester                +1.9
Southampton              +1.6

Chelsea                  +0.7
Newcastle                +0.6
Everton                  +0.5
Crystal Palace           -0.6

Manchester City          -1.3
Wolves                   -1.8
Liverpool                -2.1**
Fulham                   -2.2
Burnley                  -2.3
Sheffield United         -2.8
West Brom                -2.8
Manchester United        -3.0


*3 of the 4 teams most underrated by 538 (according to betting odds), are Arsenal, Tottenham, and Leeds. The most underrated of all was Leeds, who have not performed better than expected by betting odds this year, and maybe a little worse. Arsenal maybe has performed about as betting odds would expect and Tottenham have performed better than expected taking this into account, just not as much as indicated above.

**Unlike the other 3 teams rated significantly higher by betting odds, Liverpool has underperformed their 538 expectation thus far. It's entirely the result of the bad Villa game. Otherwise Liverpool has been about even in the 538 ratings.
   44. strong silence Posted: November 08, 2020 at 08:17 PM (#5987866)
The confusion expressed in 41 is shared by me.

The EPL refocracy is why I have lost interest in the EPL this season.

Don't let ARs call offsides. The computer can decide. Then the decision can be announced within seconds on the stadium screen. The players will be happier.
   45. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: November 09, 2020 at 09:20 PM (#5988007)
I paids my monies and watched the football weekly live event today. It was actually pretty entertaining. There is a genuine sense that the guys get along really well.
   46. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: November 11, 2020 at 09:19 AM (#5988253)
So the UEFA CL is now on the (soon to be renamed) CBS All Access channel, thus ensuring that absolutely no one in this country will watch. Nice job, guys. (Why don't you move all the message boards to Compuserve while you're at it...?)
   47. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 11, 2020 at 10:05 PM (#5988411)
Adding ELO delta to the chart above. The entire league ELO went up +28, so I also adjusted for that. English teams overall look quite good in Europe this year, and that is reflected in the ELO league bump. As noted in these threads earlier, 538 is terrible at midseason league adjustments (basically doesn't do them) and this results in lots of distortion that only gets corrected in the offseason.

                  
                      538 delta      ELO delta   ELO delta relative to league
Aston Villa              +6.7          +89         +61

Tottenham                +3.8*         +50         +22
Brighton                 +3.8          +19          -9
West Ham                 +3.5          +59         +31

Arsenal                  +2.3*         +19          -9
Leeds United             +2.2*         +37          +9 
Leicester                +1.9          +73         +45
Southampton              +1.6          +50         +22

Chelsea                  +0.7          +52         +24
Newcastle                +0.6          +30          +2
Everton                  +0.5          +34          +6
Crystal Palace           -0.6          +42         +14

Manchester City          -1.3          +12         -16
Wolves                   -1.8          +12         -16
Liverpool                -2.1**        +18         -10
Fulham                   -2.2            0         -28
Burnley                  -2.3          -22         -50
Sheffield United         -2.8          -22         -50
West Brom                -2.8            0         -28
Manchester United        -3.0           +7         -21
   48. spivey Posted: November 12, 2020 at 04:06 PM (#5988493)
I realize that England's not running out their best XI right now, but the idea of Winks starting for England is just god damn insane to me. I'd love Tottenham to sell him while there's still some value there. If Winks starts, you're pretty much gonna lose the midfield battle 9 times out of 10.
   49. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 14, 2020 at 11:39 PM (#5988795)
Nations league is a but less compelling now, since it's the second time around. It's also in the middle of a pandemic, where all the teams and players getting shuffled around is contributing to global spread.

Still, the games today set up some interesting final round matchups in Wednesday. The main one is Spain hosting Germany, with Spain needing a win to take top spot. France clinched a win in their group by beating Portugal. The other ones are at the bottom of Europe, where neither the Faroes or Gibraltar could get it done today. Now a loss for either would allow their Wednesday opponents, Malta and Liechtenstein, respectively, to take top spot instead.
   50. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 15, 2020 at 12:13 AM (#5988798)
Just saw the Spain highlights. Those handballs where a player jumps to head the cross but misses, and then before he lands the ball is played into his arm from behind by the opposition, seem quite ridiculous. Happy to see Ramos miss that penalty. The other one was a stone cold call all day.

Ramos on the runups tried to get the keeper to jump first, but in both cases, and especially the second penalty, it was the keeper's fake dives/movements that seemed to induce Ramos into a weak kick. With penalty takers known for trying to make the keeper go first, I'm surprised keepers don't make fake movements more often. It reduces their coverage of the corners of the goal for sure, but it greatly increases their chances of inducing a weak shot from a player waiting for the keeper to make the first move.
   51. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: November 15, 2020 at 12:30 AM (#5988800)
Yeah, the nations league hasn’t been quite as fun but it’s still better than either traditional euro qualifying or friendlies. It’s just so much more interesting to see teams playing comparable competition rather than England v San Marino or some bullshit.
   52. MY PAIN IS NOT A HOLIDAY (CoB). Posted: November 15, 2020 at 09:18 AM (#5988810)
Let's see ... Salah tested positive for COVID hours after attending a family wedding.
This from this morning:
Rightback Kim Moon-hwan and forward Na Sang-ho have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the KFA. The two players and five who tested positive yesterday are in quarantine, but the remaining 18 players for Korea are available for Mexico. The game will proceed. It’s official.


International Football Fever ... catch it!
(and then spread it to loved ones and teammates!)

   53. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 15, 2020 at 04:07 PM (#5988851)
England is outplaying Belgium in every way except for on the scoreboard.

Looks likely that an incredible 9 out of the 14 groups will be decided by a head-to-head matchup on the final matchday. The only team that has wrapped up their group is France.

Spain hosts Germany, with Spain needing the win.
Belgium hosts Denmark, with Denmark needing the win.
Wales hosts Finland, with Finland needing the win.
Austria hosts Norway. (Which team needs a win still TBD.)
Greece hosts Slovenia. (Which team needs a win still TBD.)
Albania hosts Belarus, with Albania needing the win.
Armenia hosts North Macedonia, with Armenia needing the win.
Malta hosts the Faroes, with Malta needing the win.
Gibraltar hosts Liechtenstein, with Liechtenstein needing the win.



   54. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 15, 2020 at 04:44 PM (#5988861)
Greece and Norway will need the wins, in their head-to-heads, to advance.

I wonder if they will actually play that cancelled Romania/Norway game. By a quirk of the results, I think it's almost completely meaningless in terms of who finishes top of the group. (Norway would have to lose to Romania, then beat Austria by exactly 0-1, or lose to Romania by at least 4 goals, and then beat Austria by exactly 1-2.) Then again, it could be meaningful for determining who gets the last WC 2022 playoff spot, so they'll probably have to play it.

edit: Maybe they'll only play the Romania game if Norway beats Austria by any score, both to determine the group winner (if the scoreline is 0-1 or 1-2) and to determine how many points Norway finishes the group with, which could matter for WC qualifying if Norway wins the group.
   55. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 15, 2020 at 10:50 PM (#5988890)
The Norway/Romania game also might be necessary to determine whether Romania or Northern Ireland gets relegated.
   56. jmurph Posted: November 19, 2020 at 12:51 PM (#5989938)
Pep signed a two year extension, giving me a rare win in my prediction that both he and Klopp would end up staying for a while. A couple years ago it was accepted as fact that they would both burn out and move on, but they've seemingly both correctly determined that all the other big jobs are worse.
   57. spivey Posted: November 19, 2020 at 01:14 PM (#5989946)
The amount of COVID positives in world soccer right now is ridiculous.
   58. jmurph Posted: November 19, 2020 at 02:09 PM (#5989970)
The amount of COVID positives in world soccer right now is ridiculous.

It's both terrible but also extremely believable that all of these completely meaningless international matches are still taking place.
   59. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 21, 2020 at 12:08 PM (#5990451)
Penalty called back on VARin the Villa game. I like the decision--there was contact on the man, but there was first contact on the ball disrupting the play somewhat. The contact on the man was light and the offensive player threw himself to the ground.

I would have given the penalty had there been no meaningful contact on the ball. Why? In my opinion, the defender should get the benefit of relatively minor contact if they have disrupted the play by getting the ball first. If the defender does nothing to the ball and at the sae time creates fairly minor contact with the man, it's a much harder call.

There should be more penalties if the offensive player is taken out roughly, even if there is contact with the ball. That's not what happened here.

The play in the game today was a bit reminiscent of one of the first penalty calls by VAR ever, when Griezman got knicked on the back leg on the follow through after the defender slid in, contacted the ball, and by doing so likely made the defensive play. This was ruled a penalty by VAR after no call on the field, and I disagreed with it vehemently.

Clear and obvious error in the Villa game? I forget the rules on this, or if that is still even relevant. Whether or not it was a penalty, all things considered, might be in the grey area, so giving one would not have been a clear and obvious error. However, the ref didn't see the contact on the ball live, so missing that was a clear and obvious error. With full information he changed his call.

   60. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 21, 2020 at 12:45 PM (#5990466)
De Bruyne fired a shot from close range, high xG, but it was saved y his own player, who had fallen down in an offside position.

Should it count as a shot? I think so, because if Jesus hadn't been there it would have counted as a shot, and Jesus's presence was only detrimental to City, not Spurs. Probably doesn't though.
   61. spivey Posted: November 21, 2020 at 12:47 PM (#5990468)
The offside flag was raised there, so I doubt it counts. There's gonna be a lot of opportunities for City in this game, I think. Tottenham looks like they should have a few to several very high xG chances. They almost walked the ball in but Kane strayed offside.
   62. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 21, 2020 at 01:11 PM (#5990481)
That Villa game featured the most overprforming team (Villa) versus the most underperforming (Brighton), at least by understat xPoints.

Villa had the better of the xG on the day and lost.
   63. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 21, 2020 at 01:19 PM (#5990483)
Infogol doesn't have the DeBruyne play as a shot.

First half xG was 1.04 - 0.17 for City (Infogol). Spurs had just the one official shot.
   64. spivey Posted: November 21, 2020 at 01:20 PM (#5990484)
Josh Sargent had a nice assist today against Bayern, but also left a few chances begging and Werder Bremen drew Bayern, at the Allianz, in a very even match (understat has it 1.67-1.63). Bayern is so vulnerable to counters right now. They kind of went into insane pressing and allowed that, but with Davies hurt and struggling a bit since the restart, and Alaba struggling a bit since the restart, they're very vulnerable when you break the first line.

In fact, they kind of remind me like City of 2-3 years ago.
   65. spivey Posted: November 21, 2020 at 01:22 PM (#5990485)
Yeah, Spurs had a couple of high non-shot xG chances. Son could have probably taken another shot around 0.2 xG, but passed to Kane who was not disciplined and drifted offside, and Bergwijn took one too many touches and could have had a decent shoht.

Much of City's xG came early. The last 15 minutes or so City seemed to be getting frustrated with the parked bus.
   66. spivey Posted: November 21, 2020 at 01:38 PM (#5990496)
The announcers are acting like Tottenham are bus parking like prime Atletico Madrid, but it's clear that they are making the back line uncomfortable. Reguilon is having a lot of trouble with Mahrez. There have been some other situations where they've been very close to playing someone in.
   67. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 21, 2020 at 02:30 PM (#5990526)
That was the best I've seen Spurs defend in a long time.
   68. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 21, 2020 at 03:44 PM (#5990546)
2.3 xG against, with City's two biggest xG chances called back, one on a freak play where Jesus was lying in the way of what looked likely to be a goal (I'd have to watch it again), and the other on a handball.

It is City of course, but I'm not really buying it.

edit: understat had it as 1.66 xG against, and infogol at 2.10, MCoA had it as 1.8. Something like 16 shots from inside the penalty area.
   69. spivey Posted: November 21, 2020 at 03:56 PM (#5990550)
Almost all those shots were blocked or were headers, or seemed blocked though. It’s hard. There was a lot of last ditch defending but it was mostly working. I think understat and MCoA have the best representation of the game, as I saw it.

Both Spurs goals were saveable. Every keeper will allow some goals through their legs but Ederson seems to really make a habit of it, against Spurs anyways. I don’t think he’s a world class keeper. He’s in the next tier, for me.
   70. spivey Posted: November 21, 2020 at 04:00 PM (#5990552)
Per understat, City had about 0.7 xG in the first 20 minutes, 0.4 in the next 70, and a big chance and a couple small chances in the last 4 minutes. That about sums up what I saw.
   71. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 21, 2020 at 04:09 PM (#5990554)
Looked like a penalty this time. If anything, Bruno's leg made contact with the leg ahead of, or at the same time, as the ball.

For me, the difference in the two plays (here v Villa game) is that in the Villa game the defender hit the ball first, probably more effectively as well, and then seemed to pull out more from the contact.

Eye of the beholder and all, but I'm surprised this one was called back.

edit: how many chances are they going to give United....

   72. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 21, 2020 at 04:15 PM (#5990556)
I'm sorry, but the "best defensive game" in a long time doesn't allow that many shots from inside the box, including the one saved by Jesus. Spurs were average defensively at best.

By 538 it was the best offensive performance by City on the entire year (xG and non-shot xG). By understat it was basically tied for the best. (Yes, they have really struggled offensively this year in the EPL.)
   73. I am going to be Frank Posted: November 21, 2020 at 04:20 PM (#5990558)
West Brom gets a PK overturned by VAR and United almost immediately gets one in their favor. Bruno misses the first take, but gets to retake because the keeper came off the line early. United really are so charmed with PK.

Also, that was typical Jose tactics against a superior team. They countered well. City really couldn't get into rhythm. They did a lot of crossing into the box. They have players who can put in a great cross, but not the players to capitalize. Also I believe they said that it's one year in charge for Mourinho at Tottenham. So now it's officially 2nd year of Mourinho. We'll see if the trend continues.
   74. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 21, 2020 at 04:52 PM (#5990563)
What an uninspiring performance by United. Sure they were the better team, probably far better at the end of the day, but West Brom is ####### terrible and United needed the help of the refs to have the edge.
   75. spivey Posted: November 21, 2020 at 05:10 PM (#5990569)
So, you're responding to multiple people, I didn't say that. I will say it's the best defensive performance by Aurier probably in his Tottenham career, and one of the best performances by Dier since the vintage Poch days.

I will also say, in open play, City were not playing great and Spurs' tactics and play deserve some credit. 2 of City's 3 best xG chances were on set piece headers. That is 0.57 xG of the 1.66 xG per understat. I'm not saying you wipe that away, certainly - it's real xG, but set piece defense is kind of it's own thing, in some respects.

City's offense is built off of overloads in the wide in between spaces, which they were unable to do at all. Similarly, off those 2v1s or 1v1s in the wide areas, they try to get to the byline and do a lot of cutback crosses, which wasn't happening at all. Mahrez was able to do it a couple of times, but it didn't lead to much.

Regarding how City performed vs. previous matches - I think it's also worth noting the state of City's roster. This is only the 3rd match that Jesus has played - they've been playing without a striker for most of the season, which is going to have a very large affect on that. They also just generally had a much more full strength squad today - Aguero is still out, but Laporte has missed a bunch of time.
   76. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 22, 2020 at 08:00 AM (#5990622)
Yeah, as Spivey said a couple of the big xG chances came off set pieces, which count but it's not really what you think of against City. Also I could be wrong but I recall some chances that probably would have been called back for offside if they had been scored. That's not really something xG can account for.
   77. spivey Posted: November 22, 2020 at 10:30 AM (#5990629)
This Inter/Torino match is wild. Inter was sleep walking through the match, Torino was controlling it. Then Torino gets their second goal to go up 2-0, and Inter starts pressing the #### out of them and have absolutely dominated the last several minutes, creating tons of dangerous chances, and evened it up at 2-2 within like 4 minutes. The ref is also letting it get very feisty in the middle of the pitch, which I think is going to lead to more goals.
   78. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 22, 2020 at 11:57 AM (#5990648)
Sheffield United were more or less league average in xGD last year after 9 games. This year they are second worst only to hapless West Brom.

Sure they could have won today, with luck, but they didn't play well and were clearly second best, both on the scoreline, by xG, and by every other measure. West Ham seems to be a good team this year, so being outplayed in one game is not a big deal. The problem is they've been second best in every game this year save maybe against Fulham and Leeds, where they were at best equal.

edit: to be sure, Sheffield United have also underperformed their xGD this year, but the biggest difference is not the underperformance of xGD versus overperformance last year, it's that xGD is less this year by about 0.65-0.70 per game. That's a huge difference. Past of that is that Sheffield United have played a fairly hard schedule to date.
   79. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 22, 2020 at 12:17 PM (#5990655)
By understat, biggest changes in npxGD per game so far versus last year full year.

Positive:

Villa: +1.20
West Ham: +0.90
Tottenham: +0.80
Brighton: +0.75

negative:
Palace: -0.70
Sheffield United: -0.75
City: -1.05
   80. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 22, 2020 at 12:33 PM (#5990660)
oops Palace above was supposed to be Wolves.
   81. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 22, 2020 at 02:33 PM (#5990686)
Leicester has 8 penalties for and 0 against. In 8n games. Manchester United set the EPL record last year with 14 for, and 3 against.

Leicester's non-pen xGD so far this year has been negative.
   82. spivey Posted: November 22, 2020 at 03:59 PM (#5990701)
Man, Liverpool is absolutely clowning Leicester right now. Without their 2 best players and without a couple of other starters too.

I think Klopp has passed Pep as best manager in the world for me, now. Leicester got embarrassed by Liverpool last year, and I'd argue this is even worse given the circumstances.
   83. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 22, 2020 at 04:08 PM (#5990703)
After today Leicester will pass Sheffield United on the list above, at around -0.80 non-pen XGD versus last year.

Winning penalties is definitely a skill, but there's a lot of variance in it. If you give half credit per penalties Leicester's still been below 0 this year on xGD, and they've played a fairly average schedule.
   84. Richard Posted: November 22, 2020 at 11:38 PM (#5990783)
Sure they could have won today, with luck, but they didn't play well and were clearly second best, both on the scoreline, by xG, and by every other measure. West Ham seems to be a good team this year, so being outplayed in one game is not a big deal. The problem is they've been second best in every game this year save maybe against Fulham and Leeds, where they were at best equal.


Sheffield United are going to challenge Derby County 2008 for the worst ever PL record.
   85. jmurph Posted: November 23, 2020 at 08:39 AM (#5990799)
Watching the extremely obvious handball penalty not awarded to Arsenal yesterday had me wondering how many people in this thread would defend it. Any takers?


That City-Spurs first half was literally every game they've lost in the last two years. Dominate possession, don't create any particularly threatening chances, give up a goal on the counter with basically the other team's first kick of the ball. Could have been Leicester on the other side if I wasn't paying close enough attention.

I didn't even watch the second half because I'm a sore loser. How they can play as well as they did against Liverpool and then serve that mess up is beyond me.
   86. Mefisto Posted: November 23, 2020 at 08:58 AM (#5990801)
Beyond Pep too, apparently.

I feel bad for Richard. Quite the whiplash year over year.
   87. spivey Posted: November 23, 2020 at 09:42 AM (#5990806)
Sheffield always was going to have a tough time scoring, though it looks from understat like Mousset was probably their best attacking player, with a very impressive 0.72 xG+A/90, and hasn't played at all this year.

But biggest, they went from having an above average defense and one of the top shot-stopping keepers to being a sieve.
   88. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 23, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5990826)
Watching the extremely obvious handball penalty not awarded to Arsenal yesterday had me wondering how many people in this thread would defend it. Any takers?
Isn't there a rule about deflections first off another non-handsy part of the defender? (Not that the rule necessarily makes sense, just that it exists.)
   89. jmurph Posted: November 23, 2020 at 11:48 AM (#5990827)
Isn't there a rule about deflections first off another non-handsy part of the defender? (Not that the rule necessarily makes sense, just that it exists.)

Looks to me like it goes directly into his arm.
   90. spivey Posted: November 23, 2020 at 12:00 PM (#5990829)
Danny Rose gave up a penalty for something very similar to that to City in the CL, and Tottenham has given up other penalties like that. When I saw it in real-time, I was surprised how quickly it was brushed off. I guess Bruno Fernandes needed to kick it?

I think we've genuinely entered the NFL-what-is-a-catch phase where I have almost no confidence what will or will not be considered a handball.
   91. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 23, 2020 at 12:02 PM (#5990830)
The announcers were saying it came off his foot (heel), and that must be what the refs thought as well.
   92. jmurph Posted: November 23, 2020 at 12:06 PM (#5990831)
Yeah I heard the tv guy say that too but there's no evidence of it in the replay. It's one thing to assume as much in real time, but I can't imagine reviewing it and NOT giving it.
   93. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 23, 2020 at 12:24 PM (#5990832)
To understand the convolutedness of the rule, you have to go back multiple years. 2019 is responding to the rule from prior years, and gives "extra leeway" for deflections,

2019

Deflections
Premier League players will be allowed extra leeway when it comes to ricocheted handballs.

It is often impossible to avoid contact with the ball if it has deflected off the body of an opponent, team-mate, or even another part of the own player.

So a handball will not be awarded if the ball touches a player’s hand/arm directly from their own head/body/foot or the head/body/foot of another player who is close/nearby.


2020 then says that extra leeway shouldn't be allowed if the arm is away from the body and the deflection "makes no difference".

2020

What is the new law?
It's not technically "new" as it has been in force across Europe last season, but the Premier League is now taking a more strict approach. So that means a player will be penalised for handball if:

The hand/arm is clearly away from the body and outside the "body line".
The player clearly leans into the path of the ball.
The ball travels some distance.
The ball touches a hand/arm that is clearly raised above the shoulder.
The player falls and the hand/arm is extended laterally or vertically away from the body.
A deflection clearly makes no difference to the ball touching a hand/arm that is clearly extended away from the body and/or above the shoulder.

Immediately after touching the ball with the arm, even accidentally, the player scores a goal or creates a goal-scoring opportunity.


Personally I thought the ball touched the heel, but even if it did it would seem to fall into the bolded rules above, for which there is still supposed to be a penalty.

edit: watch the spin on the ball. Clearly comes off the heel, creating topspin rotation. Question then becomes whether the ball would have gone under the arm without the contact. I think it probably would have, so no penalty is defensible, based on this rule. If you think the ball hit the heel (and I do) and you think the deflection could have made a difference (and I do, though I'm not very sure if it did or not), then the deflection rule from 2019 arguably still controls. Another argument is that the other bolded exception applies despite the deflection, and that the player falling with arm extended laterally means a penalty after all.

The whole thing is stupid though. That much I agree with.
   94. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: November 23, 2020 at 12:27 PM (#5990834)
See, I don't think that should be a handball. I agree that according to the new rules it probably should be one. But given that it's a stupid-ass rule, I have elected to ignore it.
   95. jmurph Posted: November 23, 2020 at 12:29 PM (#5990835)
See, I don't think that should be a handball.

You don't think a player's outstretched arm completely blocking the flight of the ball should be a handball?
   96. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 23, 2020 at 12:35 PM (#5990839)
I think we covered everything now... there are so many rules and exceptions thereto, and no clear priority, that it could easily be handball or not under the rules now.
   97. jmurph Posted: November 23, 2020 at 12:37 PM (#5990841)
My no-interpretations-required proposal is it should be a handball when the ball touches the arm and the arm is away from the body. Why we continuously strain logic to allow this or that specific handball is something I've never understood.

   98. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 23, 2020 at 12:54 PM (#5990846)
Prior to VAR, the rules as written had almost no connection to how a penalty handball was called on the field by the refs, so it didn;t matter that the rule was vague or incomplete.

Now the VAR refs supposedly have to follow the letter of the rule, so the rules themselves have to get more and more complicated and we end up where we are now.
   99. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: November 23, 2020 at 01:05 PM (#5990849)
You don't think a player's outstretched arm completely blocking the flight of the ball should be a handball?

If the hand is outstretched because the player is going to the ground to make a legitimate tackle, and gets hit from point blank range? Absolutely. 100%. There was no intent to play the ball with his hand, so it isn't a handball.
   100. jmurph Posted: November 23, 2020 at 01:26 PM (#5990852)
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