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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 | 880 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   701. spivey 2 Posted: January 25, 2021 at 08:40 AM (#6001543)
Man, I know Chelsea has a quick trigger on firing coaches, but I really thought Lampard would be given more time.

But hell, Poch was fired way too quick.

The EPL is just way too good these days, and soccer way too random, for the attitude of a string of 5-8 poor results costing you your job.
   702. spivey 2 Posted: January 25, 2021 at 09:22 AM (#6001552)
Of course, I guess Chelsea has a trophy-filled last 2 decades of "The manager doesn't matter, fire them as soon as the results stop coming in". Still don't know that I generally agree with that approach, but you can't deny their success.

Edit: And I'm always skeptical of the immediate write ups of these situations, but it sounds like Lampard may have lost the dressing room a bit. Losing the Chelsea dressing room seems way too easy, but I guess when you run a team where you let the players run the club, that happens.

I'd be surprised if Tuchel is the manager in 2 years.
   703. jmurph Posted: January 25, 2021 at 09:55 AM (#6001556)
I have conflicting thoughts about Chelsea, because on the one hand the manager churn seems totally self-defeating, but on the other, they really should almost never be at risk of finishing outside the Champions League places given the talent and money at their disposal.

   704. Mefisto Posted: January 25, 2021 at 10:17 AM (#6001563)
Chelsea's midfield is kind of a mess, which I think accounts for most of Lampard's struggles. I'm not sure what Tuchel or anyone can do about that at this point in the season, but I guess we'll see.
   705. The Marksist Posted: January 25, 2021 at 10:28 AM (#6001567)
I mean, what Tuchel is likely to do is build a complicated Rube Goldberg machine intended to get his best attackers on the field at the same time. He'll give everyone very specific instructions and it will be weird. But opposite weird to Lampard.
   706. KronicFatigue Posted: January 25, 2021 at 11:36 AM (#6001584)
The way Chelsea treats managers is the worst part of being a fan of their club. I've hated every firing...except this one. Lampard never should have been hired in the first place, as he simply doesn't have the experience necessary. If I squint, I can kind of see why he was hired last season as it was a transitional season. The transfer ban, losing Hazard, multiple holes in the lineup, etc etc made top-4 a pipe dream. And yet, he somehow pulled it off.

Chelsea was always going to be a major player in the transfer market this season, but I think the success last year made them go all-in, and combined with COVID dropping prices, the amount of talent that came in was absurd. So, now Chelsea was "CL quality" plus adding 250 million in talent. But integrating 250 million of talent into a team takes time.

The midfield has been a mess, as 704 says, but I think that's tactics. Lampard talks about effort and pressing, but there seems to be little strategy in how they do those things. I don't think a midfield that starts with Kante and Kovacic can't be fixed. Playing Werner out of position and failing to utilize his speed and countering is the biggest issue, IMO.

Lampard should spend 5-10 years honing his craft and then come back.
   707. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 25, 2021 at 11:53 AM (#6001594)
Wait... you hated the Avram Grant firing?

   708. spivey 2 Posted: January 25, 2021 at 11:53 AM (#6001596)
I don't disagree with 706.

I think the talent that Chelsea brought in did not make a lot of sense, together. Maybe Tuchel will prove me wrong, but they have a lot of guys that want to operate in that left inverted winger/CAM/second striker spot and their attacking talent is pretty much uniformly better at banging in goals vs. setting them up. Although it doesn't get their best 11 on the field, I think they would be well served to be playing a traditional striker.

Midfield, I like the pieces. Havertz, Mount for the attacking 8/10. Kovacic and Kante for the box-to-box/defensive 8. They could use a true holding midfielder. Jorginho isn't bad, but I think would be better as a rotational piece.

I think their back 4 and keeper, while improved with Silva in and Kepa being benched, still have room for improvement.

Pulisic, Werner, and Havertz being in poor form doesn't help. Maybe some of that is Lampard's fault, though Havertz apparently had a bad case of COVID, and Werner has been very wasteful when he has gotten in good positions.
   709. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 25, 2021 at 12:59 PM (#6001622)
Wait... you hated the Avram Grant firing?


Didn't Grant basically get fired because John Terry fell on his bum?
   710. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 25, 2021 at 01:00 PM (#6001623)
Was Tuchel the manager at Dortmund when Pulisic got replaced by Sancho there?
   711. ckash Posted: January 25, 2021 at 01:25 PM (#6001637)
Chelsea needs to run a 4-4-2, tell Kante to sit the hell back, use Mount as a B2B, and let some combo of Pulisic, CHO, and Zyech run the show from the wings and Chillwell and James to put in crosses for Abraham and Giroud, and use Werner and Havertz as the offensive big guns off the bench until they earn a regular spot.

Sell Kovacic or Jorginho now and Rudiger after the season (and bring Tomori back).
   712. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 25, 2021 at 04:22 PM (#6001683)
Didn't Grant basically get fired because John Terry fell on his bum?

Yes, also only finished 2nd in the league.
   713. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 26, 2021 at 02:42 AM (#6001759)
Folks are betting on Tuchel. Chelsea is now expected to get 2 more points in the second half of the season, raising them out of a tie with Manchester United, and not in the same grouping with Spurs anymore (who are just over 32, once you take out the Villa game). Maybe some of that is exuberance and recency bias.

Also, I gave West Ham two more points than was appropriate. They should be tied with Wolves.

Manchester City               46      47        (Everton)

Liverpool                     40      37     
        
Chelsea                       37      34                               
Manchester United             35      34

Tottenham                     34      33        (Villa)

Arsenal                       30      30
Leicester                     29      30

Everton                       29      27        (City, Villa) 
Aston Villa                   29      31        (Spurs, Everton)

West Ham                      25      26
Wolverhampton                 25      23                          
Southampton                   26      26        (Leeds)
Leeds United                  25      23        (Southampton)
Brighton                      23      25                            
 
Crystal Palace                20      21
Fulham                        21      21        (Burnley)  
Burnley                       20      22        (Fulham) 
    
Sheffield United              17      18
West Brom                     17      14                        
Newcastle                     16      17

Total                        544     539
   714. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 26, 2021 at 02:47 PM (#6001858)
The second half of Newcastle/Leeds has been quite exciting. Newcastle, one of the worst offensive teams in the league, seems to be able to cut through Leeds at will.
   715. jmurph Posted: January 26, 2021 at 03:42 PM (#6001876)
VAR just reviewed a clear offsides leading to a goal for Manchester City and then... reversed the call to allow it. I don't have the volume on so can't imagine the logic.
   716. Baldrick Posted: January 26, 2021 at 04:08 PM (#6001883)
VAR just reviewed a clear offsides leading to a goal for Manchester City and then... reversed the call to allow it. I don't have the volume on so can't imagine the logic.

West Brom also stopped playing once the flag went up, which made it all even more confusing. Also have sound off. Any explanation for what the heck happened here?
   717. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 26, 2021 at 05:35 PM (#6001892)
I didn't see the game, but articles say that the flag was raised but no whistle was blown. Once the play was over, on the field it was rules as offside (because the flag was raised). It was shown to be onside with VAR so the goal stood.

It wouldn't be the first time that players stopped playing because the flag was raised but no whistle was blown, and a goal was given on VAR (if that's indeed what happened). Players are supposed to play to the whistle not the flag. This was a big issue a year ago before the linesmen were taught to keep their flags down until the play was over unless it is close.

edit: Commentators and fans keep complaining that linesman wait too long to raise their flags. Well, this is why they are taught not to raise it early, and fans and commentators should accept it by now. Alternatively, the linesmen can raise their flag right away and the players and refs can completely ignore it until the whistle blows. I guess a third alternative is to have a raised flag by a linesman automatically kill the play, like a whistle, but that has never been the rule before.

edit2: Bad performance by the linesman (yes I know it was Massey, so linesperson), but even worse by West Brom. Worst performance of all by the fans who have been asking the linespersons to raise their flag early when it is "obvious" the play was offside. Some plays seem obvious from way above the field on replay, but are much harder to make for the linespeople in real time. This one looks like a good example, where Massey had to be looking in two directions simultaneously while the offensive player receiving the pass and the last defender were moving in opposite directions, and the last defender was way across the field.
   718. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 26, 2021 at 05:52 PM (#6001896)
Ok the last defender wasn't moving very fast but he was jumping back in forth (back to make the player onside, and then leaned forward immediately after the pass to make him look offside again). Not at all an easy call for the linesperson, but there are harder calls. Massey's mistake was for some reason thinking the play was over when City had it near the endline and raising the flag then.
   719. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 27, 2021 at 03:19 AM (#6002087)
After today's convincing win, 538 ranks Arsenal as better than Spurs (ok, by a tiny margin). Betting odds still has Spurs as slightly better. Both have them as 5th/6th best in the EPL.

But what about Spurs big advantage in xGD? Mostly a mirage, unless you think the past red cards each team had in their games is likely to be predictive. 11 v 11 they have very similar non-pen xGD, and Arsenal has been been better on penalty differential on top of that, so you could even make the argument that Arsenal should be slight ahead on a per game basis.

Tottenham was much better over the first quarter of the season, and Arsenal quite a bit better over the second quarter.
   720. jmurph Posted: January 27, 2021 at 08:22 AM (#6002093)
Yeah I finally saw an angle where the City player was indeed onside- in the immediate aftermath the angles they showed seemed to confirm he was off.

Either way they should have blown it dead. I know the players aren't supposed to stop and the linesperson is not supposed to flag it, but both those things happened anyway, and I think the referee should have whistled it dead prior to the shot.
   721. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 27, 2021 at 09:02 AM (#6002102)
I think the referee should have whistled it dead prior to the shot.
On what theory? By doing that, aren't you punishing the players that are, correctly, playing to the whistle? That would be my position. They all know, or should know, a raised flag doesn't end then play. The referee did the right thing here.

If you want the rule to be a flag raised means the play is dead, then there should be a rule change.
   722. Baldrick Posted: January 27, 2021 at 09:20 AM (#6002109)
This is definitely a case where watching with the sound off made things very confusing. I agree if the whistle wasn't blown, you can't stop playing.

Seems like a lot of people made minor errors and the whole thing just ended up being very dumb. And also irrelevant, since there was a 0.0% chance West Brom was getting anything from that game regardless of this goal.

But it sure didn't change my opinion that VAR is making the game much much worse.
   723. jmurph Posted: January 27, 2021 at 09:37 AM (#6002116)
On what theory? By doing that, aren't you punishing the players that are, correctly, playing to the whistle? That would be my position. They all know, or should know, a raised flag doesn't end then play. The referee did the right thing here.

If you want the rule to be a flag raised means the play is dead, then there should be a rule change.

Oh you're right, to be clear, it just felt a bit unfair. But yeah you're right, the rule is the rule.
   724. spivey 2 Posted: January 27, 2021 at 04:44 PM (#6002254)
Brighton could really use a professional goal scorer.

And I think I'm officially convinced that Aston Villa is good. They've been doing it long enough, and against good teams and bad teams alike.
   725. jmurph Posted: January 27, 2021 at 05:09 PM (#6002272)
And I think I'm officially convinced that Aston Villa is good. They've been doing it long enough, and against good teams and bad teams alike.

The spivey jinx.
   726. jmurph Posted: January 27, 2021 at 05:11 PM (#6002276)
Wow, the battle of the Uniteds did not go as expected.
   727. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 27, 2021 at 05:25 PM (#6002280)
Manchester United did not play well at all, and Sheffield United played fairly well. At least as importantly, neither is close to the best (City) or worst (West Brom) team in the league, so maybe it shouldn't have been that surprising.

538 has City with an 87% chance to win the league now. No one else above 5%. Betting odds have City at 77%, with the closest chaser, Liverpool, at under 10%.

edit: not a bad week for Arsenal either. Now they have as good a chance getting into the CL via the league (top 4) as they do via Europa.
   728. spivey 2 Posted: January 27, 2021 at 05:26 PM (#6002282)
I made my Villa comment after they lost but dominated xG.

Just one match day, but the results today were really good for Tottenham, Liverpool, and City.
   729. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 27, 2021 at 05:48 PM (#6002290)
Well, Tottenham still has to play Liverpool, and a draw helps neither team much, so one or the other will lose out.

City and Arsenal though were pure winners. And you can throw West Ham in there too, as a longshot for top 4.
   730. Richard Posted: January 27, 2021 at 09:37 PM (#6002324)
Wow, the battle of the Uniteds did not go as expected.


first win at Old Trafford since Boxing Day 1973. And well deserved.

Now onto City at the Etihad this Saturday....
   731. Mefisto Posted: January 27, 2021 at 09:44 PM (#6002326)
I was waiting for you to show up. Congratulations, Richard.
   732. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 28, 2021 at 12:40 AM (#6002362)
West Brom has been bad this year. Absolutely terrible, really. In the last 28 top 4 seasons (7 each year), you can't find a team after 20 games with less than 0.65 xPoints pre game. West Brom has 0.49. Their closest competitors are actually two teams this year, Elche (0.59) and Schalke (0.57), both of which have only played 18 games so far.

They've been so bad, it's pretty shocking to me that Newcastle (16) was pegged to achieve even fewer points than West Brom over the second half of the season, and Sheffield United (17) was given an equal number of predicted points. And that's still the case going forward, despite Sheffield United looking decent against Manchester United (16 more expected), Newcastle looking decent against Leeds (15 more expected), and West Brom looking bad against City (16 more expected).

Obviously it wouldn't surprise me that much if West Brom gets more points than the others going forward, as it just takes a few lucky breaks here and there. I sure wouldn't predict it though. This team hasn't just performed like a standard bad team. They've been absolutely terrible.

Maybe people are still betting on Big Sam to make a difference. Since he took over they've earned 0.50 xPoints per game, same as before he took over. Their opponents in the 7 games have been much harder than average though, and it takes time to get used to a new coach, so perhaps there is still hope for improvement.
   733. Richard Posted: January 28, 2021 at 01:08 AM (#6002366)
The 2 games WBA have won are the game against the Blades where we lost 1-0 and missed a hat full of chances (over 3xg) and the 3-2 win over Wolves aided by 2 penalties and a drippy second half Wolves display.

Sheffield United v WBA is next Tuesday.
   734. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 28, 2021 at 04:00 PM (#6002481)
Tottenham has just one official shot. This first half was a bit like the Manchester United first half against Liverpool in the league, but United's defense limited Liverpool quite a bit more, and obviously didn't give up a goal. United's offense against Liverpool just missed on the break a few times and had I think one or two shots only. They looked much better in the second half and could have won. Maybe Spurs will turn it on too.
   735. spivey 2 Posted: January 28, 2021 at 04:05 PM (#6002484)
Maybe. I think the half was much closer than xG, because Liverpool's goal was a mistake and their second biggest chance was offsides and would have been called back.

But, Mane is doing a good job getting in between defenders in the last line, and Tottenham has too many defenders (basically their entire back 5) who cannot pass, which limits their ability to actually do any sort of meaningful ball progression. So, if any team should be up, it's Liverpool.

Kane also is moving like his ankle's hurt.

Ugh, Tottenham are boring to watch against any sort of half-decent team.
   736. spivey 2 Posted: January 28, 2021 at 04:08 PM (#6002485)
And Tottenham came out completely flat and get their doors blown off in the first 2 minutes. Two terrible mistakes by Doherty as a part of it. One ####### up a header into Hojberg, and then lets himself get needlessly turned by diving in wrong side on a challenge. God he's been #### this year.
   737. spivey 2 Posted: January 28, 2021 at 04:28 PM (#6002493)
Tottenham's back line have been so bad today. Awful in possession, as expected, but completely unable to clear the ball even when kicked right at them. This kind of match just proves how much soccer is a weak-link game. Tottenham has way too many weak links when facing a good team. Liverpool's players are all very versatile, which I'm sure is by design.
   738. spivey 2 Posted: January 28, 2021 at 04:42 PM (#6002499)
Dier if you can't win headers against Mane and Firmino what are you even doing?

I hope Klopp or a reporter asks Mourinho if the best team lost today. Ndombele is too good for this team.
   739. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 28, 2021 at 05:01 PM (#6002502)
Tottenham only had the one shot in the second half. A great shot and goal, but a very bad offensive performance over all. xG was... not close.
   740. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 30, 2021 at 09:29 AM (#6002845)
I only saw the second half, but Newcastle was way better than Everton, and easily deserved the win. That's two good games in a row by Newcastle, and takes them out immediate danger.

Newcastle has been bad this year, no doubt about it. Everton hasn't been that good though, despite their points total. No real hope of top 4, and realistically not good enough right now even for Europa.
   741. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 30, 2021 at 02:27 PM (#6002876)
200 games played in the EPL now. Home teams have 74 wins and 78 losses, with 48 draws.
   742. spivey 2 Posted: January 30, 2021 at 02:45 PM (#6002879)
Leipzig beat Leverkusen in a battle of the not-Bayerns. They won xG by about half a goal, and from my watching in the second half a lot of the half chances were pretty much all going their way, and they hit the woodwork twice on lower xG shots. It was maybe the best match from Tyler Adams I've seen. Had a ton of tackles and interceptions. Him and McKennie will be a great pairing for years to come either in a double pivot or as the two most defensive minded midfielders in a 4-3-3.

Bayern won 4-1, despite xG being even. They are living a charmed, charmed life. And it's not just them having insane finishers. Their xG and actual goals has been pretty even the last few years.

Still probably the second best team in the world right now, imo. Will also be interesting on if they flip the switch on pressing intensity in the CL knockouts. Though I haven't seen them turn up their performances when they've played top teams in the league so far this year, so my guess is no.
   743. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 30, 2021 at 04:39 PM (#6002900)
If Southapton loses despite dominating, it definitely will be against trend. This year Southampton has been charmed while Villa has not been.
   744. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 30, 2021 at 04:54 PM (#6002905)
Real Sociedad got a late goal for a draw, this time to their nearest rival for top 4. That's one win in eleven, though they've had hard luck during this streak. Their rating on 538 has not dropped much over that period.
   745. spivey 2 Posted: January 30, 2021 at 05:15 PM (#6002912)
I don't like that the sleeve on the outside of your arm is now the offside line. I guess it is the logical extension of that being considered a legal goal scoring part of the body, but fact is I'm skeptical they're guaranteed to give that as a goal anyways, it is *so* rarely a goal scoring part of the body, and it will never score a goal on 95% of these scenarios where the guy is 15 yards out. He's not going to one-time it with his tricep.

I don't know if there's a great, logical way to handle it. I don't know that I hate just using feet for both parties. But I'd have to think about it a bit more.
   746. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 30, 2021 at 06:42 PM (#6002926)
Feet is probably bad, because two people running side by side can be in different parts of their stride, leading to offside or not switching multiple times a second even though the players are not changing position relative to each other.

I would probably do all torsos, or maybe head only (though using heads is a bit weird too, it's probably easy to call with VAR at least). How to measure a torso? Pick a way and stick with it. I'd use top/outside of the shoulder probably, no arms, and bottom of the waist on each side.

The whole thing is kind of a farce for me now, as it highlights the arbitrariness of what is and is not a goal. This was always true, but now it's in your face every game.
   747. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 31, 2021 at 04:12 PM (#6003028)
This is not exactly news, but Spurs are bad.
   748. spivey 2 Posted: January 31, 2021 at 05:29 PM (#6003041)
Mourinho is done. Playing a back 5 two matches in a row when your fullbacks (I'm not calling Ben ####### Davies a wing back) can't pass or do anything offensively is just allowing yourself to get overrun in midfield, for no benefit. But I absolutely think this squad needs a serious overhaul.

I'd seriously consider selling Kane and Son, to be completely honest. Kane keeps getting injured, Tottenham is at least a couple of years from serious trophies, so really his value is only going to go down. Son is huge marketability wise, and I love him, so I'm ok if we keep him. But he doesn't seem to take fullbacks on at all anymore. His goal scoring prowess is enough to still make him very valuable, but I think he was better 2-3 years ago when he was also a really good dribbler. Maybe some of that is on Mourinho, though.

The team needs young, hungry players. And players who can pass or progress the ball through dribbling a bit, please. #### me.
   749. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 31, 2021 at 06:10 PM (#6003048)
EPL winner odds:

<pre>
City 76
Liverpool 17
United 4.5
Leicester 1.5
Field 1
<pre>
That is not particularly compelling, but don't count Liverpool totally out yet.
   750. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 31, 2021 at 06:45 PM (#6003053)
And players who can pass or progress the ball through dribbling a bit, please.

Ndombele seems to be the only one, and he took a couple of knocks in the first half and was clearly hobbled the rest of the way.
   751. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 31, 2021 at 08:38 PM (#6003066)
EPL winner odds (538 in parens):
City           76       (84)
Liverpool      17       (11)
United          4.5      (4)
Leicester       1.5
Field           1        (1)


EPL Top 4 odds (538 in parens)
City           99       (99)
Liverpool      87       (90)
United         76       (75)

Leicester      39       (37)
Chelsea        35.5     (29)
Tottenham      30       (21)

Villa           8.5     (19)
Arsenal         8.5     (10)
Everton         7.5      (6)
West Ham        6       (10)

Southampton     1.5      (2)
Leeds           1        (1)
Field           0.5      (1)

   752. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 31, 2021 at 09:14 PM (#6003068)
Relegation odds (538 in parens):
Sheffield Utd    90       (88)
West Brom        88       (96)
Fulham           63       (65)

Newcastle        24       (23)
Burnley          13.5     (12)
Brighton         10        (5)

Palace            6        (5)
Wolves            4        (5)
Leeds             1    
Field             0.5      (1)




   753. Mefisto Posted: February 01, 2021 at 09:32 AM (#6003097)
This seems likely to be the most boring January transfer window in my memory.
   754. KronicFatigue Posted: February 01, 2021 at 09:43 AM (#6003098)
I would probably do all torsos, or maybe head only (though using heads is a bit weird too, it's probably easy to call with VAR at least). How to measure a torso? Pick a way and stick with it. I'd use top/outside of the shoulder probably, no arms, and bottom of the waist on each side.


All players should wear a "belt" that computers can register. Then just decide on a rule. The center of the offensive player has to be inside the circle of the defender's waist, or 100% of the offensive waist has to be behind the defender's waist.

I don't necessarily see a downside to an offensive player being able to stick out his foot beyond his waist, but if that's the case, then just add some tech in the shoes too.
   755. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 01, 2021 at 04:11 PM (#6003174)
And well deserved.
Maybe not so much, on this day at least.
Solskjaer said an independent report issued as part of the match assessment by refereeing body PGMOL stated that Kean Bryan's opener for Sheffield United should have been chalked off for a foul on goalkeeper David De Gea while Anthony Martial's goal was wrongly disallowed at the other end.

Manchester United has gotten more than their fair share of calls over the years, and are way up on xPoints this year so also haven't been the least but unlucky. Sheffield United has been snake bit all year and it's about time they got some breaks. Still, if you were to counterfactually compute xG by reversing those calls, it would have been close to 2.0 to 0.5.

Two balls were challenged by offensive payers on keepers. Neither were absolutely clear cut, but the one that looked a lot more like a foul was ruled not, and the other one was ruled s foul. Neither were revered on VAR but both were deemed to be errors after the fact. (Maguire's could not be reversed since the whistle had gone.)
   756. jmurph Posted: February 02, 2021 at 01:58 PM (#6003322)
Anyone watching Arsenal-Wolves? Can't decide how I feel about the Luiz red. Definite penalty for me, but I think the red may have been too much.
   757. jmurph Posted: February 02, 2021 at 02:08 PM (#6003328)
I guess I'm unclear on the rule interpretation. I know DOGSO isn't an automatic red anymore, but it seems an attempt has to be made on the ball for it NOT to be a red. So maybe if the ref interpreted it as an intentional trip, it HAD to be a red? But a "careless" trip would still be a penalty, as a I understand it, but does it have to be a red?
   758. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: February 02, 2021 at 02:40 PM (#6003337)
My understanding, which may be wrong, is that the ref has some wiggle room largely based as you say on intent. I'm with you, it's definitely a penalty but for me it comes down to what the rule is. If the rule requires an attempt on the ball then yeah, it's a red. If the rule is that the foul has to be intentional I'd have gone with yellow.
   759. jmurph Posted: February 02, 2021 at 02:46 PM (#6003341)
Yeah I can't find anything that isn't a hole in the rules honestly. A careless act can be a foul anywhere on the field, and I would call the Luiz foul that. But it seems like to not be a DOGSO red there has to be a play on the ball. Seems like a hole in the rules that I'm guessing is clarified somewhere but I can't find it.

EDIT: Obviously the alternative explanation is the ref (and VAR) thought it was an intentional trip which seems to be a clear red by the rules.
   760. spivey 2 Posted: February 02, 2021 at 02:47 PM (#6003342)
A penalty and a red is an extremely difficult situation to overcome, and can be a game ender early in a game. I think the combo should be reserved for extremely unsporting situations or given out more freely later in games. Especially since reds have you miss future games.

I don't think that was intentional and think a penalty is an appropriate "reward".
   761. jmurph Posted: February 02, 2021 at 02:53 PM (#6003347)
I agree spivey. I'm generally in favor of calling everything but that's an area of the rules I feel could be improved a bit.
   762. jmurph Posted: February 02, 2021 at 03:19 PM (#6003356)
Well! Big day for red cards.
   763. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 02, 2021 at 05:21 PM (#6003383)
Had to work through the games so missed all the excitement. I do think when discussing team quality and/or past performance, xGD amassed 11 v 10 (or, ahem, 11 v 9) should be discounted a bit. No reason why 538 should boost United's ranking, and drop Southampton's, by some ridiculous amount based on this game.

Was the second minute red card deserved at least? Sucks to hear about Luiz too, as it sounds like he was overpunished.

I'm all for reds and ejections if deserved, and I might even be more willing to see more red cards in games for things like intentional fouls, but the system we have is pretty arbitrary
   764. manchestermets Posted: February 02, 2021 at 05:28 PM (#6003385)
Was the second minute red card deserved at least?


Yeah, terrible tackle. When McTominay was being treated you could see the stud marks on his thigh.
   765. The_Ex Posted: February 02, 2021 at 07:58 PM (#6003413)
With the transfer window closing yesterday I started thinking about next summer.

With COVID, all teams have lost money, many up to $100M. In Spain, Barcelona and Real Madrid are hurting more than others as they rely on gate receipts for a lot of their revenue. Also, France lost their broadcast partner and it could seriously impact many teams there. Even before COVID most teams in all leagues were losing money or at least cash flow negative.

How will teams react to losing buckets of money in 2020 and 2021? Some have already borrowed to cover their cash shortfalls, others will before crowds come back. Will teams just let their losses go, or will they try and make money to offset their losses?

Teams like Liverpool have already tightened the purse strings. You can see Tottenham and Arsenal also not spending much, Daniel Levy and Stan Kroenke are both focused on the bottom line. On the other hand Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea can spend because their owners have deep pockets (City/Chelsea) or just generally have bags of money (Utd).

So what do Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs do? If they don't spend they could be left fighting over fourth place. Can they afford to spend? Can they afford not to?

Could a team like Everton, whose owner doesn't care how much he spends, make it into the top four?

What do Barcelona do with Messi? They really need to let him go to save themselves from bankruptcy, unless Messi agrees to a major pay cut. Assuming he doesn't where does Messi sign? It seems like PSG are tapped out with Neymar and Mbappe. So is it Man City for Messi by default? Or Mbappe could go to City and let Messi go to PSG.

Will pay for players go down, especially for those below superstar level. In other words, will soccer turn into baseball?

Will players who want to move such as Paul Pogba, and maybe Mohamed Salah, find that no-one can afford them?

The summer transfer window could be like the winter window, much quieter than normal with few big moves.

   766. jmurph Posted: February 03, 2021 at 07:52 AM (#6003472)
Yeah, terrible tackle. When McTominay was being treated you could see the stud marks on his thigh.

Yeah this one couldn't have been more obvious, and even the Southampton manager knew it straight away.

Unfortunate (for not United fans, of course), as that could have been an interesting game. Although I guess 9-0 does indeed count as interesting!
   767. jmurph Posted: February 03, 2021 at 07:59 AM (#6003475)
765: The teams paying the gargantuan, 9 figure fees are PSG, Barcelona, and Madrid. Juventus and Manchester United are sort of on the fringes of that list, I guess. I can't imagine an English team being willing to pay what it would presumably take to get Mbappe. Messi to PSG is the only thing that makes sense, to me.
   768. spivey 2 Posted: February 03, 2021 at 08:43 AM (#6003479)
So what do Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs do? If they don't spend they could be left fighting over fourth place. Can they afford to spend? Can they afford not to?


I absolutely think Spurs is in this moment. I think there's this attitude of the finances are too hurt to spend, but I'd argue the situation is too precarious to not spend.

I agree Liverpool should be in this bucket, but they're good enough with their current crop of players to be fine. In 2-3 years they could face this though if FSG is tight with the budget.

In general, I do think prices will go down some. I think eventually, as more analytics gets into the game, these huge transfer fees for guys on the wrong side of their peak are going to slow down. I also feel like more players *should* be leaving on a free, but it'll be interesting to see if that actually happens. There's still going to be billionaires that want to shortcut the process, and the top teams have huge brands and fanbases that aren't happy unless they're consistently contending for both the league and the CL. I don't know that Real Madrid, for example, can just give their young talent few more years to bake in and accept they won't win a CL during that time - at least, not without upset fans and some potential damage to their brand.

I don't think baseball is a good example because I think there's probably collusion, and with the early cost-controlled contracts for the core of many guys, it's more realistic to not spend on FAs there. The crapshoot of the playoffs also allows that. There's a lot less of that for big trophies in Europe.

Messi is going to City or PSG. PSG only if Mbappe tells them he won't resign, so they sell him for 50 cents on the dollar to Madrid.
   769. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 03, 2021 at 01:37 PM (#6003537)
The most frightening thing to me would be Haaland to City. He already has great movement and speed, plus he has the height and jumping ability to get onto all those great crosses City peppers in.
   770. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 05, 2021 at 04:07 PM (#6003970)
Home teams are now 79-48-88 in the EPL. Might get worse this weekend too, with most of the matchups featuring superior road teams. Teams have also scored more on the road than at home (296 v 289) .

There's probably still a home field advantage in the EPL, but it appears to be very small and might be at its lowest point ever. By understat xG, home teams have underperformed, and "should" have 308 points rather than just 285. That would translate to another 8 wins or so, basically inverting the current record.

Betting odds seem to have caught on as well for individual games, with all the superior road teams favored this weekend. 538 still seems to have a bit too much of home field advantage in their system, with Villa favored over Arsenal and Newcastle over Southampton.
   771. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 05, 2021 at 04:32 PM (#6003986)
Speaking of Villa, some of the shine has come off them in recent games. Their only good games since November have been against the worst teams in the league. 538 now has them ranked 10th in the league, behind Brighton and West Ham. Betting odds still likes them about 8th or 9th best, ahead of those two teams but maybe behind Everton.
   772. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 06, 2021 at 11:29 AM (#6004096)
Villa looked decent against Arsenal. 538 actually had it as a neutral event though, due to home field advantage and non-shot xG.

Dortmund lost yet again despite being the superior team again, and now with some decent competition in the Bundesliga this year in Leverkusen, Gladbach, Wolfsburg, and Eintracht, are in real danger of missing out on the CL next year. Would be a shame, because they seem to be clearly one of the best 3 teams in the Bundesliga, and arguably not any worse than the top two this year. Still plenty of time to turn it around, but it's no longer a sure thing.

   773. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 06, 2021 at 11:35 AM (#6004097)
Per understat: Atalanta v Torino

First 35 minutes: 3-0, xG 1.42 - 0.16
rest of game: 0-3, xG 0.64 - 2.64.

Atalanta could also miss out on the CL next year.
   774. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 06, 2021 at 02:44 PM (#6004111)
After some really strong showings, Brighton and West Ham both looked poor today against bottom of the table sides. Of course, both ended up getting the draw, so go figure. Brighton will take that as they are almost completely out of relegation trouble anyway, but West Ham's draw is almost as bad as a loss for their european hopes. And now Soucek gets a red and will miss a few games. (Seemed incredibly unfair, but at least it was the last minute of the game.)
   775. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 06, 2021 at 03:38 PM (#6004120)
That was Burnely's best offensive performance of the year, and it came against Brighton who's been excellent on defense this year. A pretty huge surprise really, except for the part where Burnley only managed the one goal. If you like traditional stats, it's the most shots Burnley had in a game (20) since they faced Villa's bad defense last season. What happened?
   776. Baldrick Posted: February 07, 2021 at 11:49 AM (#6004181)
Wild weekend in the WSL. The top four basically never lose to anyone except each other, with just three total draws for the bottom eight all season coming into today. Well, Reading beat Man United and then Brighton beat Chelsea in the space of 90 minutes. Then Man City pulled out a 2-1 win over Arsenal, putting themselves right back into the title race.

The top four all play each other this week. Chelsea-Arsenal on Wednesday afternoon and the Manchester derby on Friday. Chelsea still favorites to win the league, but either Manchester team could make a real case for themselves with a win this week.
   777. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: February 07, 2021 at 12:09 PM (#6004184)
I declare that penalty “not well taken.”
   778. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: February 07, 2021 at 12:52 PM (#6004191)
I declare that penalty “well taken.”
   779. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: February 07, 2021 at 01:05 PM (#6004195)
Alisson’s passing in the second half is spot on. He’s been finding ManCity players open in dangerous positions regularly.
   780. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 07, 2021 at 01:10 PM (#6004197)
The results this weekend will leave City with an approximate 110% chance to win the league.
   781. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 07, 2021 at 01:14 PM (#6004198)
I didn't get to see most of the game, and Alisson's mistakes are likely to get top billing, but statistically Liverpool created nothing except for the penalty. Liverpool seems to have had very little chance of winning this game no matter what else happened, and they needed a win to make the race even marginally interesting.

In other words, this was never really a contest.
   782. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 07, 2021 at 01:28 PM (#6004201)
EPL winner odds (538 in parens):
ManchesterCity      92.5     (95)
ManchesterUnited     3        (3)
Liverpool            2.5 
Leicester            1
Chelsea              0.5
Field                0.5      (2)
   783. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 07, 2021 at 06:50 PM (#6004224)
Top 4 odds (538 in parens):
ManchesterUnited     81      (85)
Liverpool            72      (76)

Chelsea              49      (48)
Leicester            46      (40)

Tottenham            21      (13)
Everton              10       (9)
Villa                 9      (13)
West Ham              7.5    (12)

Arsenal               3.5     (3)
Leeds                 0.5
Field                 0.5     (1)
   784. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 07, 2021 at 07:04 PM (#6004225)
Relegation odds (538 in parens):
West Brom            93      (98)
SheffleldUnited      90      (90)
Fulham               73      (73)

Newcastle            22      (20)
Burnley              15      (10)

Brighton              3       (2)
CrysatalPalace        2       (2)
Wolverhampton         2       (2)
Leeds                 1 
   785. spivey 2 Posted: February 07, 2021 at 08:41 PM (#6004229)
Disagree with AuntBea's take in 781. At 70 minutes in, the match was 1-1, even, and it looked like the game probably had another goal in it but it wasn't obvious who it'd be for. Actually thought at that point beyond the penalties, the Mane header mid-first half was the best chances, and I liked Liverpool's half chances in the first half more than City's.

It was a typical City/Liverpool match (after the ones from 17-18 where Liverpool blew the doors off City on the counter), where it was delicately poised. City had most of the ball, and Sterling and Foden were causing problems for the back line, but Liverpool was (and always will be) dangerous on the break. And Liverpool's just got better goal scorers than this sort of City line up. Liverpool won non-shot xG - I try to think what's broken for them. They've always relied heavily on the press, fullbacks, and individual brilliance of the front 3 to score goals. I think the press is down and the half chances just aren't coming this year.

Of course, Alisson makes the mistakes. But Alisson is a top keeper, and one of the best keepers in the world with his feet. That's the thing with City, especially when they play these lineups that are pretty midfield heavy. They just force you to be so god damn precise with your decision making and passing in the back line, and some of those decisions and passes you're making a bit blind. Similar to Varane's ####-ups against City in the CL last year. These aren't unforced errors, or bad players making them. The best presses in the world force you to be so dialed.

City's just so deep, the way they can fade these injuries to Aguero, DeBruyne. Sterling or Silva has a half-season long bout of bad form? No worries, just bench them. I was impressed they were able to look so good without Walker, too. I always feel like he's one of their few most important players in these matches, because his ability to play free safety is such a trump card.

Rodri looked really good today imo, and looks pretty good in their current system.

Foden, Grealish, Rashford, Sterling, and Kane. That's a pretty good attacking band for England.
   786. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: February 07, 2021 at 09:19 PM (#6004230)
I had the same reaction as Spivey. City were the better team but it was 1-1 late until two major gaffes.
   787. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 07, 2021 at 09:28 PM (#6004231)
To be fair, I missed most of the first 70 minutes, and was only relying on the stats (I slept through most of the first half, and then my internet went out.) In a game they needed to win, Liverpool only generated 0.4 xG to that point outside of the penalty. They only had 7 shots all game except for the penalty.

It seems to have been a fine performance if all they needed was a draw, but they needed a win.

Of course the last 20 minutes, which was basically the only part I saw, they were terrible. Before that though City seems to have been doing enough such that a win by Liverpool was always going to be unlikely.
   788. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: February 08, 2021 at 12:09 AM (#6004241)
City were the far superior team, no doubt. But it was a tight game until late. If Alison doesn’t make the errors it wouldn’t shock me ifmLiverpool got out of there with the point if not a smash and grab three.

I think Dias could have been red carded for his foul on Salah. He certainly wasn’t playing the ball. I am happy not to have it have been red but it was more of a red in my opinion than Luis last week. In this case he was clearly trying to pul Salah back.
   789. jmurph Posted: February 08, 2021 at 08:06 AM (#6004243)
I thought City were the much better team for the first 20-30 minutes or so, then it settled in and I found Liverpool a bit more dangerous running on the break, particularly early in the 2nd half. That said, as the numbers show, they created almost nothing other than the decent chance to Mane in the first half.

But yeah, I'll say as someone cheering for City, I was definitely still nervous at 1-1.

The Alisson stuff: brutal stuff, but those are team mistakes to me. Obviously playing it out from the back is the right move in general, but there are times when everyone just needs to clear the damn ball.

   790. spivey 2 Posted: February 08, 2021 at 09:09 AM (#6004244)
I think Dias could have been red carded for his foul on Salah. He certainly wasn’t playing the ball. I am happy not to have it have been red but it was more of a red in my opinion than Luis last week. In this case he was clearly trying to pul Salah back.


Those are tough because they're reffed so inconsistently. Defenders always - wrongly, imo - get allowed to do a little arm jousting with the offensive player, which often slows him down or puts him off his optimal path. I think Dias would have been allowed to do that here, too, if he didn't go for the one last grab/joust. I don't think it was a red, though. I think there's a reasonable chance Stones could have covered. And I think stuff like what Dias did is allowed by defenders on each team weekly.
   791. Mefisto Posted: February 08, 2021 at 09:30 AM (#6004245)
Yeah, Stone had that covered, so it wasn't a DOGSO. Yellow was appropriate.
   792. jmurph Posted: February 08, 2021 at 09:32 AM (#6004246)
I can't imagine I've ever seen a red for that.
   793. Mefisto Posted: February 08, 2021 at 10:12 AM (#6004249)
Of course, Alisson makes the mistakes. But Alisson is a top keeper, and one of the best keepers in the world with his feet.


The big mistakes in that game were made by Alisson and Dias, two of the best players out there. Plus Gundogan missed his PK badly. Soccer's a tough game.
   794. jmurph Posted: February 08, 2021 at 11:25 AM (#6004256)
The big mistakes in that game were made by Alisson and Dias, two of the best players out there. Plus Gundogan missed his PK badly. Soccer's a tough game.

Yeah I thought it was a really, really well played game from both teams probably until it was 2-1, at which point Liverpool fell apart a bit. There was little margin for error in either direction- Ederson and the defenders certainly had me nervous a few times with some passing out of the back.
   795. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 08, 2021 at 05:32 PM (#6004306)
A very poor game by Palace, and now they, along with Newcastle, by 538 are the worst two teams in the league aside from West Brom.

Both will very likely survive yet again, but one of these years they won't.
   796. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 08, 2021 at 05:42 PM (#6004310)
People have been saying that it would take a miracle for someone other than Atleti to win La Liga this year. Betting odds doesn't quite agree, putting Atleti at about 76% right now, so plenty of chance for Barca or RM to still take it. While that's notable, what's more interesting is that 538 thinks Atleti winning the league is only a 50/50 proposition.

edit: in a bizarre scheduling quirk, Atleti plays their make-up league game against Levante the same week as their other regular scheduled game, for the exceedingly rare "league home and away".
   797. manchestermets Posted: February 09, 2021 at 04:26 AM (#6004367)
Of course, Alisson makes the mistakes. But Alisson is a top keeper, and one of the best keepers in the world with his feet. That's the thing with City, especially when they play these lineups that are pretty midfield heavy. They just force you to be so god damn precise with your decision making and passing in the back line, and some of those decisions and passes you're making a bit blind. Similar to Varane's ####-ups against City in the CL last year. These aren't unforced errors, or bad players making them. The best presses in the world force you to be so dialed.


I disagree that it's a forced error for a goalkeeper to play a blind pass when he's in his own penalty area. He always has the option of clearing the ball as far as possible - in doing so, the team is as likely to retain possession as if he played the blind pass, and if they don't then it's in a much less dangerous position.
   798. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 09, 2021 at 02:53 PM (#6004469)
Leaving aside the first 3 games of the year, City's defense has been off the charts good--better than any of their recent great years. Only twice have they given up more than 1 xG in a game since then, both times against Liverpool and both only due to giving up a penalty. In 19 games--half a season, they've given up 8 non-pen xG plus two penalties. And only 7 actual goals. That's stupendously good. They've even faced Liverpool twice during that span.

City's defensive struggles seem to have been way overblown in retrospect. They did sacrifice some offense this year to become the defensive team they have, but they've been superb since the beginning of October. If you throw out penalties completely, they've had exactly one bad defensive game all year, the one against Leeds.

Yes, they gave up a couple goals to Tottenham but they really didn't play defense badly except for one mistake. You have to expect slipups and excellent finishes both, every once in a while. The record of 7 goals and 8 non-pen xGA in 19 games shows those were aberrations not a pattern.

I wish City had competition at the top of the table but they really don't right now. Liverpool is much closer to Chelsea and United at the moment than they are to City.
   799. spivey 2 Posted: February 09, 2021 at 08:34 PM (#6004505)
To be fair, I think Pep did change up their tactics a lot after their early shenanigans. Moving to where they pretty consistently have a last line of 3, with 2 holders (instead of just Rodri, which wasn't working), has made them very counter-proof. They aren't as dangerous on offense as they've been previous years because they've been (or were) doing more of their attacks with 5 players, but they are still dangerous enough.

Dias helped a lot too.

I'd like to see them against Bayern.
   800. The Marksist Posted: February 10, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#6004574)
Floop.

City are clearly the best team in the PL, and probably the world right now. Don't see anyone in England challenging them absent some serious injuries or bad luck. And think this might be their year in the CL, too. But that's much more of a crap shoot, so who knows!
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