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Wednesday, June 02, 2021

OT Soccer Thread - In Which Euro 2020 Is Played in 2021

With the club season done it’s on to what is going to be a more normal summer than last year.  Bunch of stuff that was supposed to get played last year, bunch of stuff that was supposed to be played this year moves to next year.

Euro 2020 - June 11 - July 11
Gold Cup - July 10 - August 1
Copa America 2020 - June 13 - July 10 - due to COVID issues in host Argentina the tournament has been moved to a safer location…Brazil.  Presumably the next option is an infectious disease ward of a hospital.
2020 Olympics Men - July 22 - August 7
2020 Olympics Women - July 21 - August 6
CONCACAF Nations League Semi-Final and Final - June 3 and June 6
CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying - June 12 and June 15 - Winners advance to the Octagon, the Hexagon is dead, long live the Hexagon.
2021-22 Champions League - June 22 Preliminary Round, August 26 Group Stage Draw
2021-22 Europa League - Third Qualifying Round August 5, schedule is weird, I can’t find details of the previous two rounds but presumably on a similar schedule to the Champions League
2021-22 Europa Conference - First Qualifying Round July 8
2021 Women’s Euros - Postponed to 2022 (I’ll defer to others on the women’s game as I don’t follow closely enough to know what other big tournaments there are)

Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: June 02, 2021 at 08:55 AM | 865 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   301. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 27, 2021 at 01:12 PM (#6026547)
Now De Ligt should get a red card for that handball just outside the box, right after Netherlands missed out on a one-on-one on the other end. To me that's an easy DOGSO, especially since the handball seemed to be intentional. That would be a huge blow for the Netherlands ...

... and it is.
   302. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 27, 2021 at 01:21 PM (#6026548)
Amazingly, up until the red card, the Netherlands still had just 4 shots. (Some counts had it as an official 5, but the last one before the half was clearly offside.) Their best 3-5 chances, including the one-on-one, didn't lead to shots though, so xG was pretty misleading.

This game was close enough at 11 v 11, it was always likely the Czech Republic would win after De Ligt was sent off. They've dominated since, with lots of dangerous possession and two huge chances, the latter of which they scored. Now the Netherlands are really in trouble. Unless the Netherlands can pull off the comeback, the door has swung even wider open for Denmark.
   303. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 27, 2021 at 01:40 PM (#6026551)
Easy to say now, but that De Ligt play sent the Netherlands out of the tournament. Just a terrible, terrible defensive play.
   304. Red Menace Posted: June 27, 2021 at 03:00 PM (#6026555)
Belgium have a two day rest advantage. In Portugal’s favor the match is in Seville which should be hot and muggy. I also imagine it’s an easy trip for their supporters.
   305. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 27, 2021 at 03:40 PM (#6026559)
Shirt pull on Lukaku on that break should have been foul plus caution. Terrible no call.

edit: announcers saying you "can't have it both ways" if you play the advantage, but on a play like that it's not at all true, since the pass by Lukaku was not completed so there was no advantage. Ref could have called it back immediately after for the foul. Even if you believe that though, it's an easy caution after the play is over. I didn't see one given.
   306. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 27, 2021 at 04:07 PM (#6026564)
De Bruyne out for a second time in his last two big games, each time on a hard foul.
   307. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 27, 2021 at 04:22 PM (#6026566)
Belgium really hasn't been able to get through Portugal's defense at all, even after taking the lead after Portugal has been pushing forward a little harder. Four shots from outside the box, the goal on a shot that probably should have been saved. This game certainly isn't over yet.

Five now. Same problem as we've seen earlier. A little too slow or imprecise in transition leading to a hopeful shot or no shot.
   308. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 27, 2021 at 04:37 PM (#6026571)
Pepe going in way after the whistle, elbow to the face. Really should be a red. He knew exactly what he was doing and was looking for a freebie.
   309. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 27, 2021 at 04:47 PM (#6026573)
At this point Belgium is very lucky not to be the team losing 1-0. Not exactly a quality performance, but it might be just enough.

edit: two unconvinving performances by Italy and Belgium. Have to give the nod to Italy though on balance, and doubly so if De Bruyne has injury concerns. My guess is Italy will be favored by a tad.
   310. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 27, 2021 at 04:54 PM (#6026574)
Unfuckingbelieveable how Belgium can't perform in transition over the last 15 minutes even with the entire Portugal team up.
   311. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 27, 2021 at 05:38 PM (#6026578)
Denmark is being given a 62% chance to advance over the Czech Republic. If I had to bet on that one, I'd take Denmark.

As suspected, Italy will be slightly favored over Belgium. Probably not more than 55% or so though.
   312. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 27, 2021 at 07:12 PM (#6026586)
Early odds for Italy are 58%. People were not impressed with Belgium today.
   313. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 27, 2021 at 08:58 PM (#6026592)
Belgium's pre-tournament odds of winning the whole thing: 11.5%
Belgium's current odds, now that they are in the QFs: 11%.

That's very unimpressive.
   314. bunyon Posted: June 27, 2021 at 09:00 PM (#6026593)
I don’t disagree with how they’ve looked but how many of the scenarios where they didn’t win had them going out before now? Can’t have been many.
   315. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 27, 2021 at 09:19 PM (#6026595)
Probably 95% to make it out of the group, but no better than 70% to win their first KO game (a Group F team was always a possibility. So they should have seen their odds go up fairly signficantly. All the other teams that make the final 8 will. It's a tad unfair to Belgium, since they likely will be on the side of the draw with 3 other top teams, assuming Spain and France win, but still. Italy, France, and Spain will all have significantly higher odds than they did when the tournament started (assuming Spain and France win).
   316. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: June 27, 2021 at 10:59 PM (#6026606)
I think I’d be wary of putting too much confidence in any of hte “top bracket” teams. Assuming Spain and France win then the top four teams on that side of the bracket have such a tough road with two very tough games left just to reach the final. I think any of the four can win the tournament but given the matchups I’d be hesitant to feel overly sure of any of them.
   317. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 05:25 AM (#6026617)
Right. If Spain wins today. the winner of England/Germany will be the favorite to win the whole thing.

If Spain and France both win, France will have double the odds of Belgium though. They aren't really comparable.
   318. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 08:38 AM (#6026621)
More claims recently that game state led to Portugal's dominance of Belgium by xG yesterday. That's only kinda sorta true. Portugal chasing the game increasingly brought people up and was able to generate some good chances by the end of the match while Belgium got basically no shots off, and the xG ended up being a slaughter. It should have, and would have, been much closer if Belgium hadn't been criminally pathetic when they had multiple huge break chances that didn't lead to shots. On balance what tends to happen is that teams chasing get a lot of looks, most not high xG but a few that are pretty good, while teams defending late end up with a few really good chances on the break. Over the long run these two largely even out (though I'd love to see good numbers on this), but in any individual game a team may get off a few good shots, or none, on the break, and any individual game can be pretty variable.

Portugal was better than Belgium yesterday, by a fairly significant margin, but the huge xG edge ended up being exaggerated due to Belgium's almost inexplicable failure on the break in the last 20 minutes of the game. We saw something a little but similar (but not as dramatic) in Germany/France. Often you will see the opposite--a team being clinical on the day, beyond their normal talent, in getting off good shots on the break while defending the lead.
   319. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 08:59 AM (#6026625)
Someone pointed out that Paulinha wouldn't have been able to take out De Bruyne with a nasty challenge had he been appropriately booked for trying to stop Lukaku on the break minutes earlier, when the ref played advantage (which Belgium didn't even receive...). Just a real shitty job by the ref and now De Bruyne might be out of the tournament.
   320. Mefisto Posted: June 28, 2021 at 09:15 AM (#6026628)
Yeah, that was my first thought when I saw the challenge on De Bruyne. Very unimpressed with the ref.
   321. bunyon Posted: June 28, 2021 at 09:56 AM (#6026636)
Portugal was better than Belgium yesterday, by a fairly significant margin, but the huge xG edge ended up being exaggerated due to Belgium's almost inexplicable failure on the break in the last 20 minutes of the game.

I guess this is my thinking on Belgium's odds. Down to 8, no one should be much higher than 12.5% in a single elimination tournament. Soccer seems very like baseball to me in that. It seems like in international soccer, when teams are relatively evenly matched (all top 20, say), the losing team often outplays the winner but gets a lucky break/call and wins. Sure, Belgium haven't looked great and may have lost a star. That can take you from 12.5 to 11.

It's one loss and out and draws go to OT and PKs. It's all pretty random at this point. Entertaining but random. I'd feel the same way with a single elimination baseball tournament.
   322. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 10:44 AM (#6026639)
I think France will be over 20%. Winner of England/Germany will be even higher. Denmark is at 7.5% now, and Czech Republic at 2.5%. So it's not entirely random! Belgium's odds going down since the tournament started is quite unusual and noteworthy.

edit: as noted on the last page, Czech Republic will be given only 25% or so chance, maybe less, against teams like Spain and England, and less again against France. It takes quite a run to upset 4 teams in a row. Under 1% for Czech Republic coming into the last 16, versus 18% or so for France. The teams aren't all roughly similar. Even in the last 8 you'll have teams that are considered quite significantly better than others.
   323. bunyon Posted: June 28, 2021 at 10:54 AM (#6026640)
People (I mean bettors - aren't you quoting betting odds?) don't think it's random. I think it's pretty random (for whatever that is worth, I'm no expert).

Belgium has gone down because they've not played well (and may have lost a player). That isn't surprising.

How predictive is a bad game against a good team? They won their group going away and looked bad in one game against a top five team. It certainly doesn't make me think more highly of them but how much should it damp expectations?

Being on the hard side of the bracket is certainly a reason to disfavor them. Losing de Bruyne too.
   324. spivey 2 Posted: June 28, 2021 at 10:54 AM (#6026641)
In addition to Belgium not playing well, 2 of their 3 best players - Hazard and KDB, got hurt last match. Hazard sounds like he'll be out for the tournament. KDB is unclear.

Belgium is still ranked #1 in the world, but they seem well off their best from a few years ago. Obviously, the defense has aged out. But they've gotten older all over. They could use a better holding midfielder than Witsel, who I just don't rate very highly due to his poor athleticism. Mertens who has always been crucial for the team is older, and if Eden Hazard isn't a top player in the world, they just aren't the same team.
   325. spivey 2 Posted: June 28, 2021 at 10:56 AM (#6026643)
People (I mean bettors - aren't you quoting betting odds?) don't think it's random. I think it's pretty random (for whatever that is worth, I'm no expert).

How predictive is a bad game against a good team? They won their group going away and looked bad in one game against a top five team. It certainly doesn't make me think more highly of them but how much should it damp expectations?


Belgium beat Denmark but were pretty outplayed by xG.

As for your first sentence, you should generally trust the betting odds more than yourself, unless you have inside info.
   326. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 11:14 AM (#6026647)
Agree with Spivey. Except for a brief stretch, Belgium was pretty bad against Denmark, and really did not deserve to win. Of course, KDB and I think Lukaku didn't come in until partway through the second half, which mitigates that a lot, but even after they came in Denmark had the better of the game for the most part.

It's extremely hard to beat betting odds over the long run unless you have excellent insight into the game in general and how the teams are playing specifically, currently. And even then you have to be very selective in picking your spots.

As to how much to weight a bad game (or two, in this case)... that's very hard to say. Much more weight is and should be given in international soccer where the teams play far fewer games though, especially against relevant competition, and people are not as sure what to expect.
   327. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 11:26 AM (#6026652)
Belgium was great in the world cup, though in fairness probably not better than Brazil (who they beat) or France. Since then they've had a lot of wins, but almost all against mediocre opposition. Their Euro Qualifying group was weak--Russia was the second best team, and they won all their games except the ones they played against Belgium (to give you an idea of how weak the group was). Aside from that they beat Iceland twice but split with Switzerland in the Nations League, and beat a couple very weak teams and drew with Czech Republic in Qorld Cup Qualifying. At this tournament they beat Russia again and Finland and otherwise struggled.

edit: I missed 3 of their biggest wins of the last 3 years: they split with England in the Nations League and beat Denmark twice.

Coming into the tournament they might have been viewed as the second best team in the tournament after France. England had slightly higher odds but also has a little bit of home field advantage. Now they are surely behind Italy and France, and probably Spain and England/Germany as well. Probably Portugal too if they had to face them again. That's a pretty steep fall from 2nd to maybe 7th, though admittedly 2 through 7 are tightly bunched.
   328. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: June 28, 2021 at 11:28 AM (#6026653)
In Portugal’s favor the match is in Seville which should be hot and muggy.


I know this is from a while ago, but I don't really understand this kind of reasoning. Maybe if we were still in a world in which national team players stay in their domestic leagues a lot -- but that ship sailed 40-odd years ago, really. A lot of Belgium's players play their club ball in Spain, and a kind of weirdly disproportionate number of Portugal's play specifically for Wolves in the UK. Unless you're suggesting there's something biological about Portuguese people that makes them more amenable to hot weather, I'd guess that the two teams were about evenly matched for the conditions.
   329. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 11:48 AM (#6026658)
Correction to the above. Lukaku played the full 90 against Denmark. KDB came on at the half, and Hazard at 59'.
   330. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 12:27 PM (#6026665)
Croatia didn't have a shot before the crazy own goal. Spain looks a bit shell shocked and now Croatia have two shots.
   331. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 12:45 PM (#6026666)
xG gave that 25th minute shot by Vlasic shot 0.44 xG! I don't think so... It was a very hard angle under pressure with the goal keeper in great position. 0.15 or less would have been more appropriate. A very good play by Croatia but by the time the shot was taken it was not a huge chance.
   332. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 01:17 PM (#6026671)
This game has been extremely one-sided. Croatia still has just two shots--both earned in the few minutes when Spain was still in disbelief over the won goal
   333. bunyon Posted: June 28, 2021 at 01:23 PM (#6026673)

Belgium beat Denmark but were pretty outplayed by xG.


Right. Outplaying someone in one game isn't worth much. G, not xG, win games.

As for your first sentence, you should generally trust the betting odds more than yourself, unless you have inside info.

Oh, sure. Hell, I value either of your opinions more than mine. But I'm not betting on any of these games precisely because it's one game. 52% chance, 66% chance, 75% chance. All pretty useless for one bet. Even if Belgium was in top form, at full strength, I wouldn't give them much better than 3 to 1 against anyone left.

I get losing good players is a blow. I'm just not convinced not playing well when only one game has actually mattered for them is very telling. I mean, if I should value bettors (and I do), should I value them now or before the tournament? They can't have been right both times. I'm sure you'll say I should value them now but you would have told me I should trust them before the tournament and, by your arguments, they were wrong.

I'm sounding like an ass and I don't mean to. I just think all the analysis - which I do enjoy reading but can't really contribute to - just doesn't mean much in a knockout. In the remaining 8 games, I'd guess the xG winner advances not much more than half the time. They're all pretty even and playing fairly conservatively.

   334. bunyon Posted: June 28, 2021 at 01:28 PM (#6026674)
When I say I value your opinions, I do. Before reading here, I was convinced the small sample size meant I should entirely write off the recent results (not the loss or potential loss of players).
   335. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 01:45 PM (#6026677)
Club play is a lot different than international play in terms of sample size. While one game doesn't necessarily mean that much regardless of the competition, that's true, but in club play there are so many games that "one game" usually means one game out of 20 competitive games in the last 3 months. In international play, one game is one out of maybe 3 if you're lucky. As such, with limited information, one game ends up being weighted much more in international play.

Belgium has played 7 competitive games in the last 7 months. 3 of them were roughly the equivalent of Liverpool playing against a Championship team or worse (Belarus, Finland, Russia), another against the equivalent of a relegation level team (Wales), and Belgium played poorly in the other 3 games.
   336. bunyon Posted: June 28, 2021 at 01:50 PM (#6026678)
In international play, one game is one out of maybe 3 if you're lucky. As such, with limited information, one game ends up being weighted much more in international play.

Just because you don't have a lot of data doesn't mean that the data you have is meaningful. If they've only played 3 decent opponents in the last year, and that is consistent for all top teams, I'd argue just tossing all of it. That is, the top teams are equivalent and everyone in the round of 8 gets 12.5% chance if at full strenght.


Also: Holy ####.
   337. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 01:50 PM (#6026679)
This is wild. Amazing how much better Croatia have played after going behind. It's like night and day.
   338. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: June 28, 2021 at 02:04 PM (#6026682)
This is wild. Amazing how much better Croatia have played after going behind. It's like night and day.


Yup. They are fantastic right now.
   339. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: June 28, 2021 at 02:12 PM (#6026683)
So much for that.
   340. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 02:16 PM (#6026684)
Heh. Well Croatia were beating Spain from about the 60th minute on. That was a far cry from the first 60, which probably should have been 2-0 Spain.
   341. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 02:18 PM (#6026685)
Just because you don't have a lot of data doesn't mean that the data you have is meaningful. If they've only played 3 decent opponents in the last year, and that is consistent for all top teams, I'd argue just tossing all of it. That is, the top teams are equivalent and everyone in the round of 8 gets 12.5% chance if at full strenght.
There's more than a kernel of truth here, but it's a bit overstated.

One notable point about this is how much harder it is to model (purely objectively) international soccer than club soccer. 538 famously had Brazil way too high going into the world cup, where Brazil then proceeded to lose to Germany 7-1. As a result of that one game, 538's model dropped Brazil so far they probably had Brazil way too low immediately after. Bettors ideally would, and generally do, tend to weight these results fairly well against other softer factors, though possibly there is still a bit of an overreaction to single results in big international tournaments.
   342. The Marksist Posted: June 28, 2021 at 02:51 PM (#6026691)
Me (an idiot): Welp. 3-1 Spain and Croatia looked cooked. Guess I'll turn the game off.
   343. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: June 28, 2021 at 03:06 PM (#6026694)
A co-worker did the same thing.

Me: You watching Croatia-Spain?

Marco: I watched until it was 3-1 then I had some stuff to do.

Me: So you know it's 3-3 at the end of normal time right?

Marco: AAAAAAUUUUGH.
   344. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 03:16 PM (#6026699)
Spain's current odds of winning the championship: 15%. Italy: 16.5%. Belgium's current odds: 10%.

Belgium started the tournament at 11.5%, Italy at 10.5%, Spain at 10%.

edit: Switzerland scored, so send all those odds up a tad.
   345. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:00 PM (#6026706)
Was that Emma Hayes on the game this morning? I didn't listen to this one on that channel, but I was on it for a second when the other stream died, so recognized the voice from an earlier game. If so, I thought she was terrible in the one game I saw her in, I think it was Turkey/Switzerland. I generally don't have a problem with female announcers (ok, I have a problem with most announcers, but no special problem). But she spoke very slowly, mostly in platitudes, and even often said things that made no sense (like Turkey needing to be "equally" worried about giving up another goal after they were already behind and needed to win to advance). That was the opposite of correct, as Turkey needed to press all out and not worry too much about defending at that point.
   346. bunyon Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:04 PM (#6026707)
Belgium with de Bruyne and Hazard out would be disfavored even if they'd been playing well. Really too bad.

Also, I came into Spain-Croatia late and just saw the own goal. Oh, lord.
   347. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:13 PM (#6026710)
So clear a penalty... serious contact was continuing well into the box.

Also, WTF kind of tackle was that.

edit: saved anyway. Good save too by Lloris.
   348. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:18 PM (#6026711)
What a goal by Benzema. Serious quality. And now another.
   349. The Marksist Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:20 PM (#6026714)
Me (an idiot): Well I definitely can't turn this off after what happened with Spain and Croatia!
France (probably): And now we will sit down on le football for 30 minutes.
   350. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:22 PM (#6026715)
Le ballon.
   351. bunyon Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:33 PM (#6026716)
That was a heck of a kick.
   352. Mefisto Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:34 PM (#6026717)
Oh my.
   353. The Marksist Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:38 PM (#6026718)
Le ballon.


Merci.
   354. Mefisto Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:40 PM (#6026719)
Shades of Croatia.
   355. Mefisto Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:49 PM (#6026721)
Holy ####.
   356. bunyon Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:49 PM (#6026723)
Unreal day of soccer.
   357. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:49 PM (#6026724)
Merci.

I think you mean mercy.
   358. The Marksist Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:50 PM (#6026725)
J'ai eu tort
   359. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:50 PM (#6026726)
This has been wild.
   360. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:50 PM (#6026727)
This has been like one of those early days of March Madness with a bunch of buzzer beaters.
   361. Mefisto Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:54 PM (#6026730)
Just an amazing last 35 minutes.
   362. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:54 PM (#6026731)
Both teams could have scored a winner in added time. Insane.
   363. Gch Posted: June 28, 2021 at 04:57 PM (#6026732)
Me (an idiot): Welp. 3-1 Spain and Croatia looked cooked. Guess I'll turn the game off


Me (an idiot): Well, France vs Switzerland looks like a gimme. Guess I’ll do my work deliveries then.

I got home just a few minutes ago and was stunned to see if 3-3 and headed to whatever soccer overtime is called and judging by the time of the Swiss goals, I missed quite an exciting ending.
   364. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 28, 2021 at 05:02 PM (#6026734)
I got home just a few minutes ago and was stunned to see if 3-3 and headed to whatever soccer overtime is called and judging by the time of the Swiss goals, I missed quite an exciting ending.

You missed a cracking second half, and some exquisite goals as well.
   365. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 28, 2021 at 05:03 PM (#6026735)
What a save.
   366. Mefisto Posted: June 28, 2021 at 05:34 PM (#6026737)
I don't know if the numbers back this up, but every time I see Lloris I think he's the best penalty stopper in world soccer.
   367. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 05:36 PM (#6026738)
What a nutty day of games. Both France and Spain were the clearly better teams, but they showed some serious vulnerability.
   368. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 05:40 PM (#6026739)
Pogba even takes penalties better with France.
   369. Mefisto Posted: June 28, 2021 at 05:46 PM (#6026740)
Unreal.
   370. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 05:46 PM (#6026741)
oh my lord.
   371. Mefisto Posted: June 28, 2021 at 05:47 PM (#6026742)
I'm surprised Mbappe was on the list. His confidence can't be high lately.
   372. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 05:48 PM (#6026743)
Switzerland was given the least chance of any team to advance.

5 very good games (in my opinion--not everyone agrees about the Belgium game but I thought it was very interesting). Only 1 boring one--the Wales game.
   373. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 28, 2021 at 06:06 PM (#6026745)
How much skill is present in shootouts? How closely does a team's (actual) odds of winning a shootout correlate to their odds of winning the game before play starts?
   374. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 28, 2021 at 07:09 PM (#6026751)
Lots of skill, just not at this level. Odds are much, much closer to 50/50 than when the game starts. Probably not more than 55/45 except in rare cases. Sometimes the less favored team would even be favored in a shootout.

France's odds coming in were over 80%, and I doubt their shootout odds were much better than 55%. France's odds going into extra time were probably 65% or something. Big underdogs almost always play for penalties if they are within reach.

edit: in a game like this, probably half of Switzerland's 19% pre-game chance of winning was through penalties. (Something like 9% outright win, 21% draw.)

edit2: Spain is 72% to advance against Switzerland: 17% of Switzerland's 28% comes from outright win, 11% comes from penalties, with 25% chance of pens, so 44% chance to win pens. All approximate.
   375. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: June 28, 2021 at 07:10 PM (#6026752)
How much skill is present in shootouts? How closely does a team's (actual) odds of winning a shootout correlate to their odds of winning the game before play starts?


There might be newer data on this, but the last time I looked they were basically a coin flip, at least at the international level.
   376. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 28, 2021 at 07:34 PM (#6026755)
There might be newer data on this, but the last time I looked they were basically a coin flip, at least at the international level.

Unless England or Germany are involved.
   377. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 28, 2021 at 07:38 PM (#6026756)
Lots of skill, just not at this level. Odds are much, much closer to 50/50 than when the game starts. Probably not more than 55/45 except in rare cases. Sometimes the less favored team would even be favored in a shootout.

France's odds coming in were over 80%, and I doubt their shootout odds were much better than 55%.

They should have probably been underdogs after losing the coinflip. IIRC, the team that goes first wins something like 60% of shootouts. At this level it seems to be more about nerves and pressure, than about technical skill.
   378. Mefisto Posted: June 28, 2021 at 08:52 PM (#6026772)
Heck, that might be true at almost any level. Every kid on my daughter's U15 team could hit an open net from the spot, and most of them did reasonably well even when we added a goalie. But most of them wilted under game pressure.
   379. bunyon Posted: June 29, 2021 at 11:58 AM (#6026828)
Why is this game in London? Seems unfair.
   380. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 29, 2021 at 12:14 PM (#6026831)
I would have said that the KO games were spread out over the host cities, and teams that won their group would generally be assigned a game in their home country (to the extent their home country was one of the many hosts). However, that doesn't seem to be true at all, as Netherlands and Spain didn't get to play at home this round (and Spain wouldn't have, even had they won their group), and Italy and Germany (if they win) won't get to play at home next round (and Germany would not have, had they won their group).

So I have no idea.

Semis and final are in London, so England may have some advantage if they get that far.
   381. bunyon Posted: June 29, 2021 at 12:18 PM (#6026832)
I’d seen that the finals were in London and figured you have to set them somewhere. But for earlier rounds seems possible to ensure no home teams.
   382. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 29, 2021 at 12:30 PM (#6026835)
That's not a prerogative. They generally want to ensure the opposite. Maximise the number of teams playing at home.
   383. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 29, 2021 at 12:32 PM (#6026836)
Yeah that's what I would have guessed they would do (maximize), but it doesn't seem to be the case, so it's strange that England is playing at home while no one else in the KOs is.
   384. bunyon Posted: June 29, 2021 at 01:15 PM (#6026841)
Stirling always seems to take ball too far into traffic
   385. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 29, 2021 at 01:19 PM (#6026842)
Once you account for all the home field advantage England was always likely to get if they were to win the tournament, England was probably considered no better than Portugal, Spain, Germany, and Italy coming in, and not as good as France (obviously) and Belgium. The things that have changed are Italy looks better than advertised, and Belgium much worse (especially now if their stars are out).
   386. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 29, 2021 at 01:27 PM (#6026844)
Was this really England's game plan? Slow it down so much that you get no chances on offense through 70 minutes? If so, it's generally not a winning strategy, though it seems to have paid off today.

The problem with generating zero offense is that it's virtually impossible to be leading, and you can always go behind with a tiny bit of bad luck. England didn't catch any bad luck, so it worked out (I guess...). Now Graelish is in, and maybe things will be different.
   387. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 29, 2021 at 01:29 PM (#6026845)
If this weren't England v Germany, it would be major dullsville.

I like rooting for England, but I'm 80% a neutral, and as such Southgate needs to go. All these exciting players and we end up with this.

edit: that was England's first shot in the second half, and they only had three in the first half. A goal's a goal though!
edit2: now the game maybe will finally get interesting.
   388. spivey 2 Posted: June 29, 2021 at 01:36 PM (#6026847)
Almost all NT managers are way too conservative. Of course, there are also reasons to be conservative in NT football. It's been a longstanding criticism of Southgate that he doesn't pick his best 11. I legitimately won't understand where they expected to get chance creation with their current team other than Sterling doing something magical. That's why I think Sterling gets way too much criticism. Sterling take-ons are probably the best option to initiate dangerous attacks for England. Saka imo is not good enough to be starting this match, and England lined up with a 2 man midfield consisting of 2 DMs with very limited passing range.

People used to say that England didn't have the crafty players to unlock a defense in tight spaces. They do have a couple of these players now in Foden and Grealish, but they are under-utilized.
   389. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: June 29, 2021 at 01:40 PM (#6026848)
People used to say that England didn't have the crafty players to unlock a defense in tight spaces. They do have a couple of these players now in Foden and Grealish, but they are under-utilized.

Somewhere Sancho sheds a single solitary tear.
   390. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 29, 2021 at 01:41 PM (#6026849)
England may be the better "team" if they were to have played this game less conservatively, but if they win this one it won't be because of their superior play.
   391. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 29, 2021 at 01:45 PM (#6026850)
Very nice goal on the break. Full credit to England there, with Germany chasing.
   392. spivey 2 Posted: June 29, 2021 at 01:46 PM (#6026851)
Somewhere Sancho sheds a single solitary tear.


I view him as a little more of a take on guy, but he's of course extremely under-used as well. I think he played a bit more LW this year for Dortmund, but he's still probably their best natural RW.
   393. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 29, 2021 at 01:53 PM (#6026854)
This was a game that could have gone either way. I think England could be better, and definitely more interesting to watch, without Southgate in charge. At this point you might say it doesn't matter until the final, but actually I think playing this style might be even worse against weaker teams (relative to what England could be) than it is against teams like Germany. Odds of England reaching the final are probably not much better than 50/50.
   394. The Marksist Posted: June 29, 2021 at 01:55 PM (#6026855)
That's about the best-case scenario for Southgate's tactics. Have to admit I'm still confused about not at least starting Grealish, who is a ####### wizard at getting fouled. Seems like a simple way to maximize your set-piece opportunities. I definitely think we should be careful about second-guessing managers lineups and pretending we know what would work better, but if you're going to play such a defensive setup and leave your attackers on an island, Grealish and Sancho seem like basically the perfect pair to get progression and creativity without sacrificing your plan.

Anyway! Here's to another week of the narrative!
   395. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 29, 2021 at 02:09 PM (#6026857)
No Group F teams in the QFs. What were the odds of that? Had to be close to 1%. Definitely under 5%.
   396. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: June 29, 2021 at 02:10 PM (#6026858)
The criticism of Southgate (not just here) boggles my mind. Since he's taken over they have gone to the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time in 28 years, they are now in the quarters of the Euros and assuming they beat Sweden/Ukraine (as they should) it will be their first Euro semi since 1996.

No they aren't playing particularly wide open and it seems like they should. But the goal is to win, not to entertain, and they are succeeding at that. I think it was Jonathan Wilson who made the point that the teams that win tournaments are usually not the teams playing the most wide open game but the teams that stay the most organized and to Southgate's credit England are doing that. I'm not saying he's above criticism, the lack of Sancho perplexes me frankly, but he's doing the job he's been asked to do very well.
   397. The Marksist Posted: June 29, 2021 at 02:15 PM (#6026860)
The criticism of Southgate (not just here) boggles my mind.


I think I'd be very happy with him as an USMNT manager. Seems even keeled, clearly has a plan, sticks to it, gets results. That's like the ideal international manager, right?
   398. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: June 29, 2021 at 02:40 PM (#6026862)
But the goal is to win, not to entertain, and they are succeeding at that.
Unless it's the USMNT playing against superior competition, I'd take more fun over slight better chance of success every time.

And results don't really tell the whole story. It really doesn't seem to be the case that England has maximized it's performance so far in this tournament under Southgate, but it's obviously very hard to tell. England didn't exactly set the world on fire in the World Cup either. They've been quite lucky with drawing opponents, and to a much lesser extent, a bit lucky with results. I think it's fair to criticize--it's basically one of the most enjoyable things about being a fan anyway, so there's that too.
   399. bunyon Posted: June 29, 2021 at 02:43 PM (#6026863)
Who are the bosses of NT managers? Like, seriously, who do they answer to? That is probably some of it, right? If his boss wanted him to be more wide open, he'd likely do it. (Or someone who plays that way would have been chosen instead). But I really don't know how that organization works.
   400. spivey 2 Posted: June 29, 2021 at 02:57 PM (#6026866)
England made the SF of last World Cup but got a super favorable draw and lost every match against a good team they played. Columbia, without their best player and with probably not a single player that could walk into the England 11, took them to penalties. xG was even today.

There's always luck in a tournament, of course. But point is, it's not like Southgate is like Thomas Tuchel over here, playing a boring style but with ruthless efficiency.
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