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Thursday, December 22, 2022

OT Soccer Thread - Hi Ho Hi Ho it’s Back to Club Football We Go

Premier League - Boxing Day December 26
Serie A - January 4
La Liga - December 29
Bundesliga - January 20
FA Cup - January 6
Champions League - February 14 (Knockout Stage)
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Transfer Window - January 1 to January 31 (some differences within individual nations)

Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: December 22, 2022 at 09:54 PM | 349 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   1. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: December 22, 2022 at 10:29 PM (#6110635)
Crossposting for Voxter because I thought it was an interesting post to lead this one off.

774. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 22, 2022 at 05:51 PM (#6110593)
Well, the real football starts again the day after Xmas.

This piece from The Athletic tallies up the WC minutes that various EPL players & teams saw. Not surprisingly, City had the most minutes, but Spurs had Lloris play every minute of the tournament and Harry Kane played every minute of England's run.

Arsenal's players didn't see that many minutes, but they did have something I dreaded happen -- Gabriel Jesus got hurt, and is out at least until February. So instead of adding depth for a title run, they're trying to replace a starter on a team that was already thin.
   2. frannyzoo Posted: December 22, 2022 at 10:37 PM (#6110636)
As we all know, the English Championship is the most important league, with Serie A second. That agreed, there's been a few Championship games already (to help Coventry City overcome their inability to maintain a pitch earlier, in part) and it really looks like Vincent Kompany's (Burnley) to lose in terms of promotion to the roller coaster. That second, or first as it might turn out team is harder to pick, but Blades would be my choice based on current form (it's a long, long season) and personal preference (firing Chris Wilder aside, that was a #### move, Blades).

As for Serie A, we can all hope Juve is again relegated for impropriety and that, if it occurs, surpasses all on the pitch action. For me, I'm holding out hope Atalanta can stick around for continental football next year. It's gonna be hard. Still, any season with an endangered Juve and a Napoli Scudetto is a good one.

   3. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 23, 2022 at 10:32 AM (#6110678)
Here’s the piece referenced above: https://theathletic.com/4007894/2022/12/20/premier-league-injuries-world-cup/?source=user_shared_article

(Sorry no hyperlink, I’m on my phone)
   4. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: December 23, 2022 at 07:32 PM (#6110756)
Question: Has there been any discussion about the semi-automated VAR they used at the World Cup? I didn’t notice any difference in the way offsides was called or the speed of reviews.
   5. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 23, 2022 at 09:59 PM (#6110770)
I was actually pretty impressed by how quick the VAR was in Qatar. Given how effing slow it is in baseball and American football, I had been kind of worried it was going to really screw things up in a high-tempo sport like soccer.

Also, I thought the long injury time was not bad, either. I've watched many a match over the years in which the teams clearly didn't actually play 90 minutes. Nice to see them trying to get that right on a big stage.

EDIT: Though VAR in tennis has long been fast & accurate (and, I suspect, computer-assisted). You never know how it's going to go.
   6. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 24, 2022 at 10:29 AM (#6110801)
Here is another piece from The Athletic, this one about how technology has enabled worldwide fandom and how people came to support the club they did.

For me, I got really into the 1998 World Cup, and decided to follow the EPL as best I could (not so easy back then). I had just read Nick Hornby's "Fever Pitch," which is largely about his intense Arsenal fandom, so I picked Arsenal. It was really fun to be an Arsenal fan back then. Then it really sucked for a while. It's fun again.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: December 24, 2022 at 12:05 PM (#6110817)
Also, I thought the long injury time was not bad, either.


I think the long injury time is a much-needed development. If implemented, it should seriously discourage time wasting.
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: December 24, 2022 at 12:09 PM (#6110818)
this one about how technology has enabled worldwide fandom and how people came to support the club they did.


I can't read it, but it really is remarkable how I'm able to watch every game of my favorite EPL team (and one that wasn't even good until this year) with our existing TV options in a way I've never been able to do with any of my favorite NA teams (largely my own fault, since I've never been one to choose the local team).

   9. Richard Posted: December 24, 2022 at 12:12 PM (#6110822)
@frannyzoo, Chris Wilder was not fired. It was a mutual consent thing after Wilder had been talked out of resigning at least twice. Believe me, it was time for him to go. I expect him to pop up somewhere in the Championship again at some point. He's doing punditry currently.

Sheffield United have done really well to be second at the halfway point given crippling injuries. They have really benefitted from the World Cup break, with a number of key players returning. They demolished Burnley when the two teams met, and Burnley's XG is well out of line with goals scored, although they are winning games by more than one goal as a rule. This could well be the top 2 in what looks a weak league. Watford and, if they fire Dean Smith, Norwich will challenge though.

Blackburn are having an odd season. They have won 13, drawn zero and lost 10 of their games. All 23 games have been won by the team scoring first, and the team scoring first has always led from that point: there have been no equalising goals. No one can decide quite how good they are.

Streaming and Cable TV has enabled me to watch 90 per cent of Sheffield United games for the last 5 years despite being on another continent. It's been great. I inherited supporting them. There are now 4 generations of us.
   10. Astroenteritis Posted: December 24, 2022 at 05:24 PM (#6110845)
how technology has enabled worldwide fandom and how people came to support the club they did.


I became a Sunderland fan (yes, we exist in the U.S.) because when I was first able to see some EPL games Kevin Phillips was on a tear, and I really liked him. This was probably around the time he led the league in goals. Have survived the four years in League One and am happy that Sunderland seems to be mid-table-ish so far in the Championship, which is a very enjoyable league to follow. Pretty much started rooting for Celtic at about the same time, and also support Rennes and Celta de Vigo, for reasons you can surmise. Can't remember why I started liking Fiorentina (probably because they wear purple, my favorite color), but became a Kaiserslautern fan when Miroslav Klose was playing for them. Now, none of my teams ever win anything much (though Austin FC had a nice year), but it's amazing that I can occasionally, at least, see all of them on TV.
   11. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 24, 2022 at 08:23 PM (#6110854)
Sunderland fan


All I know for sure about Sunderland is that they were the team of Alf Wight, aka James Herriot, author of the All Creatures Great & Small books. Inasmuch as I see them play, I root for them for this reason.
   12. Baldrick Posted: December 25, 2022 at 05:16 AM (#6110863)
I'm sure I've mentioned it here before, but I became a Reading fan because I started closely following in 2006 and 2007 when they had their incredible promotion season followed by a really good first ever top-flight season. When I finally got to a match in person in the winter of 2018 we stopped to get lunch before the game and the person getting our food wondered why some Americans were in Reading. I said it was my first chance to see them after being a fan for a decade and expected some kind of 'oh that's cool' response. But instead he just said 'oh wow, why on earth did you pick us?'
   13. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 25, 2022 at 08:46 AM (#6110867)
I've followed the World Cup since USA 1994 but it was in the few months before the 2010 World Cup that I decided to start following the English Premier League. I ended up picking Tottenham because I really liked watching Gareth Bale play. Hoping to get out to London in fall 2023 and finally catch a game live.
   14. Mefisto Posted: December 25, 2022 at 08:58 AM (#6110868)
I started watching the EPL in the late 90s when the only real option was Spanish language TV. I became a United fan because they were just so much fun to watch back then. I reserve a soft spot in my heart for teams which stockpile US players (Fulhamerica, Everton, currently Leeds).
   15. frannyzoo Posted: December 25, 2022 at 07:08 PM (#6110901)
Richard: I appreciate you following up in #9 on my earlier post about Chris Wilder. I admit a bias against firing folks who got a team up on the yo-yo, but do still feel a bit differently about how sanguine Mr. Wilder was about eventually leaving. That's okay; it's what make the jukebox play, as they say. If Blades were to go up again, I'd be as happy anybody on that side of Sheffield.

Then there's QPR, which has the most lovely, tight pitch and a history that goes back to the FA Cup games v. Hoddle and Spurs that made me follow this stupid sport in the first place back way back. In my personal EPL, QPR is ALWAYS there, Fulham maybe/maybe not, and Stoke, because you've got to have Cristiano (or equivalent) play at Stoke on a Tuesday/Wednesday in mid-Winter. Because.
   16. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 26, 2022 at 07:56 PM (#6110930)
Gunners looked brilliant today against a mid-table opponent. The penalty was exceptionally weak -- nonexistent to my eye, but hey, I'm an amateur -- and everything else was beautiful for Arsenal. Saka looked great, Martinelli looked great, Odegaard looked great. I don't know if Nketiah is meant to be the long-term replacement for Gabriel Jesus, but he had an excellent goal and played well overall.

January will really tell us how good Arsenal is, I think, with Jesus out and matches against Brighton (New Year's Eve, technically) and Spurs, and on the road to Newcastle and United. I'd be pleased if they came out of those matches with more than 7 points.
   17. spivey Posted: December 26, 2022 at 10:16 PM (#6110934)
I was originally a Fulham fan (because Fulhamerica). Combination of them taking Fulham's 2 best players (Dembele and Dempsey) and early Poch ball led to me switching teams. I wanted to root for a team that could at least in theory win trophies and play with the best teams. I briefly tried Arsenal as well.
   18. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 28, 2022 at 11:03 AM (#6111039)
Top 4 odds
city       98
arsenal    90

liverpool  62
newcastle  45
united     44
tottenham  35
chelsea    19

brighton    6

field       1
   19. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: December 28, 2022 at 12:02 PM (#6111047)
I'm a relatively new fan to soccer in general. I hated it for a long time, but got into it when my two younger sons began playing as kids. I recognized that, while some matches could be incredibly boring (which is no different than any sport), there was a lot more nuance and strategy than I gave it credit for. I began to appreciate the passing and movement. It's certainly not my favorite sport to watch, but I can enjoy a competitive match.

I only started following the Premier League because my youngest son loves following pro/college sports and, when he started playing soccer five years ago, wanted to begin watching it at the highest level. His nickname is "Wolf" so when he looked at the list of EPL teams, he noticed the Wolves had just been promoted and it was a done deal. My son (now age 12) has followed Wolverhampton ever since, and I've kept up with them as well. So I'm a Wolves fan. This season has been rather frustrating, but hopefully the coaching change will lead to good things.
   20. Dan Evensen Posted: December 28, 2022 at 12:22 PM (#6111053)
I'm excited to watch Haaland continue to dismantle the rest of the Premier League.

Meanwhile, I'm stuck in my own FM21 save – you follow see my (slow) progress here. Football is always fun to watch, but there's really nothing quite like a good, deep Football Manager save. Not only do you develop a much deeper appreciation for the intricacies of the beautiful game, but with add-ons like DarthFurion's World Super League you'll find that there really is never a dull match.

I also remain confused at those of you who still pay for television service. I was able to stream the entire World Cup for free, and routinely torrent games that are played at inconvenient times for future watching. The whole concept of sitting down at a certain time to watch a game with commercials on a certain screen seems like a relic from some bygone era.
   21. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 28, 2022 at 03:55 PM (#6111072)
That was pretty much the most one-sided half of soccer you will ever see.
   22. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 28, 2022 at 05:52 PM (#6111087)
EPL winner odds
city          68
arsenal       25.75

Newcastle      2.5
liverpool      2
united         1
tottenham      0.5
chelsea        0.25
   23. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 28, 2022 at 06:13 PM (#6111091)
Relegation odds

bournemouth    60
forest         60

southampton    44
everton        40
wolves         35

leeds          20
leicester      10
west ham        9
palace          6
brentford       5.5
villa           5.5
fulham          5

   24. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 28, 2022 at 06:31 PM (#6111092)
Newcastle 2.5


I have a question about this: is this just oddsmakers being cautious about a club that they didn't think much of at the beginning of the season? I get that they're 7 points back of Arsenal, but 7 points isn't all that much. I've made a point of going back and watching a couple of Newcastle matches, and as far as I can tell they're the real deal. (Tony Blair must be ecstatic.) Or is it just that they're so confident in City that it's all but impossible for anybody else to get a foothold in those odds?

(NB that 538 doesn't buy Newcastle, either -- has them at a very similar 3% to win the league and only 50-50 to finish top 4, behind Liverpool and barely ahead of United.)
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: December 28, 2022 at 06:37 PM (#6111094)
I have a question about this: is this just oddsmakers being cautious about a club that they didn't think much of at the beginning of the season? I get that they're 7 points back of Arsenal, but 7 points isn't all that much. I've made a point of going back and watching a couple of Newcastle matches, and as far as I can tell they're the real deal. (Tony Blair must be ecstatic.) Or is it just that they're so confident in City that it's all but impossible for anybody else to get a foothold in those odds?


As a fan of the club, I'd say it's a little of both. 538 took forever to get onboard (before the season, the site had them finishing with fewer points than last year, which I thought was ridiculous), and I imagine if it were Chelsea or United with their points total and goal differential they might be seen with a little better odds. But I think City is rightfully seen as significantly better than everyone, and Arsenal's existing points edge is enough to make them the the only meaningful threat.
   26. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 28, 2022 at 06:37 PM (#6111095)
City and Arsenal, and Liverpool too, are rated much higher than Newcastle by everybody. Including 538. All three also have a game in hand.
   27. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 28, 2022 at 07:44 PM (#6111103)
(NB that 538 doesn't buy Newcastle, either -- has them at a very similar 3% to win the league and only 50-50 to finish top 4, behind Liverpool and barely ahead of United.)

I don't say this as a criticism, but this is likely a function of the way 538's ratings work. Their model starts the season with 2/3 weighting towards the end of last season's rating (Newcastle wouldn't have been particularly high) and 1/3 weighting towards Transfermarkt values (again, most Newcastle players wouldn't rate that highly based on this metric). Then each game adjusts the rating based on result.

So Newcastle may have suddenly become the best team in the world, but since they're starting from a lower base there's ground to make up.
   28. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 28, 2022 at 08:01 PM (#6111104)
Performance in 16 games isn't enough to completely overcome expectations based on roster and performance prior to that. If it were, Chelsea would be a midtable team and Arsenal would be favored over City.

On top of that, Arsenal and City have both performed much better than Newcastle so far this year anyway.
   29. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 28, 2022 at 08:19 PM (#6111105)
City is expected to get 54 points in 23 games. Still to play Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Everton.
Liverpool is expected to get 47.5 in 23 games. Still to play Chelsea, Leicester, Brentford, Wolves.
Arsenal is expected to get 42 points in 23 games. Still to play City, Newcastle, Brighton, Everton
Chelsea is expected to get 40.5 in 23 games. Still to play City, Liverpool, Fulham, Forest.
Tottenham is expected to get 37.5 in 22 games. Still to play City, Villa, Palace.
United is expected to get 39.5 points in 23 games. Still to play Palace, Leeds, Wolves, Bournemouth.
Newcastle is expected to get 36 points in 22 games. Still to play Arsenal, West Ham, Leeds.
Brighton is expected to get 32.5 in 22 games. Still to play Arsenal, Palace, Everton, Bournemouth.

Looking at the above, United and Newcastle are basically tied for 6th best in expectation now, especially since United's extra game is a home game. Behind City and Liverpool, obviously, but also a little behind Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham. They aren't far behind those last 3 though. Probably a bigger surprise is Chelsea still appears to be holding on for 4th in expectation, and they are very close to Arsenal.
   30. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: December 28, 2022 at 08:37 PM (#6111108)
I also remain confused at those of you who still pay for television service. I was able to stream the entire World Cup for free, and routinely torrent games that are played at inconvenient times for future watching. The whole concept of sitting down at a certain time to watch a game with commercials on a certain screen seems like a relic from some bygone era.


I can’t imagine watching a game that has already happened with the same enthusiasm as a live event. Part of it is the social aspect of posting places like here or texting friends. Not to mention I read words like “torrent” and I know of it but wouldn’t possibly know how to use it (and I’m not asking for a tutorial). You do you of course, but for me watching a sporting event live is part of the experience.
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: December 28, 2022 at 09:02 PM (#6111110)
Performance in 16 games isn't enough to completely overcome expectations based on roster and performance prior to that.


And this was my objection from the start, back when 538 was projecting the club to finish with fewer points than last year. Newcastle's expectations were too low. They played horribly before the takeover under a terrible coach. Under Howe, and with the acquisitions in the January window last year, they were simply a much better team in the back half of 2021-22 (something like fifth in points after the start of the new year. I think they've played better than anyone expected going into the year, but they also legitimately played better than everyone except the two teams ahead of them. Their results to date are entirely consistent with their play.
   32. spivey Posted: December 28, 2022 at 09:35 PM (#6111120)
On top of regression, Newcastle is incredibly thin compared to the Top 6. That matters, and is why City are the best team in the world. They can win the ####### league with 98 points in a season where their best player (KDB) plays 975 minutes.
   33. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 28, 2022 at 10:33 PM (#6111130)
It's absolutely true that 538 way undervalued Newcastle, but that was just a predictable result of their methodology, which is by design much too simple to take into account changes like what happened at Newcastle. I do my fair share of picking on 538, but I don't know that you can fault them too much for this.

Newcastle was projected by betting odds as the 7th best team coming into the season (1.47 ppg, distantly behind the top 6), and now they are projected as tied for 7th (and 6th) with United going forward (1.64 ppg). That's a very big improvement over expectations, but all it has done is close a lot of the large gap with the 3-6th teams.

Of these four, all are projecting a bit worse now except Arsenal.
Arsenal was 1.76, now is 1.82 (with harder remaining schedule than original)
Chelsea was 1.84, now is 1.76
Tottenham was 1.89, now is 1.70
United was 1.74, now is 1.72 (with easier remaining schedule than original).

If you don't count penalty calls, Brighton and Newcastle are right there on xGD with Newcastle. Personally I would do something like regress penalties 50%, which would still leave Newcastle ahead. Also I like what 538 does using both GD and xGD in some ratio, so Newcastle ends up a little ahead there as well, putting them ahead on performance to this date.

Even with all that, Newcastle is still outperforming xGD in a way that is typically not sustainable for a full season (as are a number of other teams, including all of Arsenal, Chelsea, United, and Tottenham). They have been playing more like a 68 point team rather than a 78 point team (which is where they would be if you pro-rated), and going forward are expected to play like a 62 point team.

Teams buck the odds by a little bit all the time, and by a lot some of the time. Newcastle playing like a team with 62 or so points going forward doesn't seem unreasonable to me. That's basically a 7th placed team, maybe 6th some years.





   34. SoSH U at work Posted: December 28, 2022 at 10:55 PM (#6111135)
On top of regression, Newcastle is incredibly thin compared to the Top 6.


That's true, though they haven't been blessed with great health thus far, and perhaps more important, they don't have any European football to play that the other teams at the top do.

   35. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: December 29, 2022 at 01:44 AM (#6111142)
I also remain confused at those of you who still pay for television service. I was able to stream the entire World Cup for free, and routinely torrent games that are played at inconvenient times for future watching. The whole concept of sitting down at a certain time to watch a game with commercials on a certain screen seems like a relic from some bygone era.


I can’t imagine watching a game that has already happened with the same enthusiasm as a live event. Part of it is the social aspect of posting places like here or texting friends. Not to mention I read words like “torrent” and I know of it but wouldn’t possibly know how to use it (and I’m not asking for a tutorial). You do you of course, but for me watching a sporting event live is part of the experience.


I live in both worlds. On the one hand, as someone living on the west coast who works a normal shift and coaches a lot right after work, being able to watch replays of games later that night is wonderful. I have a few subscriptions and mooch off of friends for others, so I am paying a bit, but most subscription services have replays available after the event ends, which is great. I don't do social media/Twitter at all, and have cultivated the impression that texts about game results are not appreciated, so things rarely get spoiled for me. And as long as I don't know what happened, watching on delay is just about as good as watching live.

On the other hand, I still really enjoy watching games live with people who love sports. Watching Oregon in the Holiday Bowl with my family tonight was a ton of fun. And to bring it back to soccer, a good friend came over to watch the 7 am games with me and my son during the World Cup, which was a blast. Live sports maintain their appeal if I'm in a group setting.
   36. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: December 29, 2022 at 02:02 PM (#6111191)
RIP Pele
   37. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 29, 2022 at 06:16 PM (#6111228)
Blackburn is currently third in the Championship, but they are bad and are being given essentially no chance of being promoted. 538 has them at just 3% total (and only 14% to even make the playoff) and betting odds isn't much better, at 7%. By xGD and by 538's ratings they are one of the worst teams in the Championship and should be in a relegation battle.

No team after the top 2 have any great chance, but someone has to get it. Currently odds are in favor of the usual suspects: Watford, Norwich, and West Brom, with Middlesbrough there too. That's where we were at the start of the season except that Burnley and Sheffield United have pulled away. Next best chances currently go to Milwall and Luton.
   38. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: December 29, 2022 at 07:28 PM (#6111241)
Newcastle are right there on xGD with Newcastle.

Well, I would hope so.
Personally I would do something like regress penalties 50%

Nah, don't do that. Newcastle have received, and will continue to receive, the worst whistle of all clubs in the top half of the league.
   39. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: December 29, 2022 at 07:30 PM (#6111243)
On the other hand, I still really enjoy watching games live with people who love sports.

Watching European football live is one thing. But once you have downloaded any US game, trying to go back to suffering through all the ad breaks is pure torture.
   40. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 29, 2022 at 07:51 PM (#6111248)
"worst whistle" as in their favor?

That was supposed to be Liverpool above.
   41. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: December 29, 2022 at 11:27 PM (#6111268)
"Worst" as in "wrong decisions benefitting the other team."
   42. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 30, 2022 at 07:14 AM (#6111278)
This doesn't seem accurate. They are +2 in penalties, and a whopping +5 on VAR decisions in their favor.

Every team has multiple bad calls go against them every year. The missed call with Willock was very bad, but not even the worst of the season, and most teams have had something like it go against them.
   43. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: December 30, 2022 at 08:58 AM (#6111287)
Being +2 in penalties midway through the season for a team 3rd in GD is not really notable. Better teams get more penalties than they concede.

VAR fixes most of the most egregious mistakes. But for every corrected call, there are instances where VAR did not, or could not. The fact that VAR had to step in a lot is actually not compelling evidence that referees are not biased against a team. Rather the opposite.
   44. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 30, 2022 at 09:54 AM (#6111305)
It sure isn't compelling evidence of the worst whistle either.

The top 6 teams are averaging 0 net penalties: -2, +1, +2, 0, -3, +2. True, that's lower than normal but Newcastle is not suffering in this regard anyway. Brighton is also -2.

Fans complaining about a bias against their team is a tale nearly as old as time.
   45. spivey Posted: December 30, 2022 at 11:39 AM (#6111319)
I'll admit a bit of bias against Newcastle because Saudi Arabia, but also, in the Tottenham match, when they went up early, they engaged in a level of anti-football and time wasting that is something you'd expect from Millwall, not a European-level side. Refs pretty much never send players off for this or add near the requisite time (though I'm hoping what happened in the WC with stoppage time continues), but they definitely got away with it.
   46. SoSH U at work Posted: December 30, 2022 at 11:46 AM (#6111322)
I'll admit a bit of bias against Newcastle because Saudi Arabia, but also, in the Tottenham match, when they went up early, they engaged in a level of anti-football and time wasting that is something you'd expect from Millwall, not a European-level side.


Yes, Pope is particularly egregious about it. And while in general not enough time is added when it happens, it surely cost them a point against Liverpool.
   47. spivey Posted: December 30, 2022 at 02:27 PM (#6111347)
Absolutely wild Ronaldo had enough leverage to get this kind of deal to play in Saudi Arabia. I guess his only leverage was a bidding war between gulf state leagues/teams?
   48. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 30, 2022 at 04:30 PM (#6111374)
The first Wout Faes own goal is just incredible. Great finish.
   49. Miserable, Non-Binary Candy is all we deserve CoB Posted: December 30, 2022 at 09:31 PM (#6111412)
Seems a note perfect final resting spot for him ...
Cristiano Ronaldo has joined the Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr following his acrimonious departure from Manchester United.

“The world’s greatest athlete, officially signed for Al Nassr,” read a tweet from the club’s official account, which included a picture of Ronaldo holding up a named No 7 shirt.

“History in the making,” added a tweet on the Riyadh club’s English account. “This is a signing that will not only inspire our club to achieve even greater success but inspire our league, our nation and future generations, boys and girls to be the best version of themselves. Welcome @Cristiano to your new home.” The picture and statement were also posted on Ronaldo’s Instagram account.

Ronaldo’s contract will run for two-and-a-half years until June 2025, with a total salary of €200m (£177m) per year once commercial agreements are included. It is thought to be the highest salary ever paid to a professional footballer.
   50. Swedish Chef Posted: December 31, 2022 at 09:58 AM (#6111440)
Absolutely wild Ronaldo had enough leverage to get this kind of deal to play in Saudi Arabia. I guess his only leverage was a bidding war between gulf state leagues/teams?

He also has the leverage that he's Cristiano ####### Ronaldo and already rich and vain enough that it would take a massive amount of cash for him to deign to appear in a lesser league.
   51. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: December 31, 2022 at 10:31 AM (#6111441)
Was Beckham to the US seen by the rest of the soccer world the same way we are seeing the Ronaldo to Saudi?
   52. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: December 31, 2022 at 10:40 AM (#6111442)
I would not have expected Newcastle/Leeds to be the only scoreless game at this point.
   53. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: December 31, 2022 at 10:59 AM (#6111445)
Well, Newcastle should have had a penalty, but... you know.

(Just going by MBM, haven't actually seen it:
Now Newcastle are appealing for a penalty after an apparent Tyler Adams trip on Fabian Schar. The referee doesn’t award a spot-kick and his decision isn’t overturned by VAR but it should probably have been given.
)
   54. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: December 31, 2022 at 11:03 AM (#6111447)
Was Beckham to the US seen by the rest of the soccer world the same way we are seeing the Ronaldo to Saudi?

I mean, the US didn't have quite the same negative baggage as SA does. But it was definitely viewed as taking a paycheque while being put out to pasture, if that is what you mean.
   55. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 31, 2022 at 11:15 AM (#6111448)
Now that Ronaldo is in Saudi Arabia and a drag on the Portugal team, please let's never speak of him ever again.

Newcastle could have had a penalty, but a play like that happens to multiple teams every week and is given as a penalty probably less than half the time. And almost never on VAR (if not already given on the field). Leeds is barely hanging on anyway, so I would expect Newcastle to win this one.
   56. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 31, 2022 at 12:07 PM (#6111449)
Both City and Newcastle were utterly dominant at home against weak teams, and both only managed a draw. Those are some very harsh results.
   57. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 31, 2022 at 01:10 PM (#6111460)
Lots of complaints today about Pep, sitting on the 1-0 lead at home against Everton for the entire 43 minutes until Everton scored. City had just two shots during that period. When a team has so much of an advantage over their opponent like City does at home against Everton it makes sense to keep pushing until late in the game or at least until there is a 2-goal lead. Sitting on a lead like that creates variance so has negative win probability.

There may be other reasons to do it though... like keeping players healthy and not exhausting them. Still hard to believe it's worth it.
   58. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 31, 2022 at 01:18 PM (#6111461)
Arsenal have looked very strong today, away to this quality Brighton side. If they hold on to win 538 will have them as the favorite to lift the trophy. Betting odds will still have City ahead, but it will have gotten very interesting.
   59. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 31, 2022 at 02:06 PM (#6111464)
Arsenal have played a lot of very good games this year, but this is definitely up there with the very best of them.

edit: maybe spoke a tad too soon... if they are going to lose focus best to do it up three late in a game, but it does tarnish the overall performance.

edit2: ok a lot of shine has (would have....) come off now. Heh. lucky there.
   60. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 01, 2023 at 10:11 AM (#6111518)
Oh good, Lloris is back to making mistakes for Spurs after a great World Cup for France.
   61. Miserable, Non-Binary Candy is all we deserve CoB Posted: January 01, 2023 at 11:07 AM (#6111521)
The conclusion of the CFC match write-up:
This isn’t working. None of it is. Conte’s tactics, the players at his disposal, the bench, the recruitment. None of it is working and I’m not sure what can be done. But watching this team today I’m starting to think I might be ready to blow it up this summer, even if it means a year or so in the wilderness.
   62. Mefisto Posted: January 01, 2023 at 11:25 AM (#6111523)
I only watched the second half but Villa were surprisingly fun to watch and Spurs ... were not.
   63. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 01, 2023 at 11:44 AM (#6111526)
The first half was extremely cagey until late. Villa was not very adventurous but really stifled Tottenham until the last 10-15 minutes, when it looked like maybe Tottenham would finally get the breakthrough. Even still there weren't a ton of chances. I wouldn't say either side was fun to watch in the first half.
   64. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 01, 2023 at 01:07 PM (#6111530)
This second half Chelsea performance is hard to understand.
   65. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 01, 2023 at 01:19 PM (#6111532)
Only a single penalty call was made this week in 10 games. It was missed by Fulham in their win over Southampton.
   66. Mefisto Posted: January 01, 2023 at 01:53 PM (#6111533)
That's an incredibly disappointing result for Chelsea.
   67. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 01, 2023 at 04:37 PM (#6111548)
It's not just the result that was bad. Chelsea were actually terrible for much of the game as well.

EPL odds:
WINNER
city          53
arsenal       40.5

liverpool      2.5
newcastle      2
united         1.5
tottenham      0.3
chelsea        0.2


TOP 4
city       98
arsenal    93

liverpool  64
united     55
newcastle  45

tottenham  23
chelsea    17

brighton    4

field       1


RELEGATION
bournemouth    66
forest         59
southampton    53

everton        35.5
wolves         34.5

leeds          17.5
west ham       12
leicester       9.5

palace          3.5
brentford       3.5
fulham          3
villa           2.75
brighton        0.25
   68. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 01, 2023 at 07:26 PM (#6111555)
If things keep going as they are, those two City-Arsenal matches in the spring are going to be insane.
   69. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 01, 2023 at 07:27 PM (#6111556)
Anyway. My whole family got covid for the holidays. The only good part for me was that I felt okay on Monday morning and was able to appreciate the Brighton match. But I'm mostly better, less than a week later, so mercifully mild for me.
   70. Mefisto Posted: January 02, 2023 at 12:52 PM (#6111582)
Liverpool had that coming after last game.
   71. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 02, 2023 at 01:16 PM (#6111584)
To be fair, Liverpool were far better than their opposition last week and should have won without even getting any own goals.

They've been poor today though, and there could have been two more goals except for some offsides calls.

They can't defend a corner, and are leaving guys wide open to receive crosses right at the 6-yard box with no one near them. You can't win playing defense like that.
   72. spivey Posted: January 02, 2023 at 01:28 PM (#6111586)
Harvey Elliott with one of the biggest wtf decisions you'll see to lead to that second goal.
   73. Mefisto Posted: January 02, 2023 at 01:42 PM (#6111589)
Three goals pulled back for offside, so naturally O-C scores on a header.
   74. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 02, 2023 at 01:51 PM (#6111590)
I guess Klopp agreed... straight swap of wto defenders at halfime must be very rare. VVD and Tsimikas both came off for Matip and Robertson.

(Elliot off at the half as well for Keita. So Kopp was very much not happy with the defensive efforts...)
   75. Mefisto Posted: January 02, 2023 at 03:20 PM (#6111605)
I was impressed with Elliot before his injury last year, but now I'm thinking he might be another Winks.
   76. The Marksist Posted: January 03, 2023 at 09:59 AM (#6111657)
Harvey Elliot is horribly miscast as a midfielder in this system. He's not athletic enough to cover the ground, he's not a good tackler, and he's prone to bad giveaways despite his excellent vision and generally good passing. So he gets bypassed too easily, gets caught up field, and can't cover for Trent at all. This is exacerbated by the fact that both Henderson and Fabinho have both lost at least a step.

I always feel like an idiot acting like I know more than Klopp, but I don't get his insistence on playing the kid in this role.
   77. spivey Posted: January 03, 2023 at 10:54 AM (#6111663)
There are 2 Ts in Harvey Elliott.
   78. Mefisto Posted: January 03, 2023 at 11:18 AM (#6111666)
Good. It bugged me to think it was only 1.
   79. The Marksist Posted: January 03, 2023 at 12:05 PM (#6111674)
Thanks, spivey. I usually look that stuff up, but got lazy.
   80. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 03, 2023 at 03:36 PM (#6111697)
A draw for Newcastle is only the slightest bit better than a neutral event for them. They are expected to average about a point today, and hitting their average for the rest of their games puts them on the bubble for top 4.

Denying Arsenal points by limiting them to a draw (i.e., well below their mean result for this home game) would normally have been pretty useful as well, but Arsenal is probably too far ahead of Newcastle now for this to matter much at all.

I'm fairly certain Newcastle is not playing for a draw this early in the game, and unless they are struggling late I doubt they will be looking for a draw late in the game either. That last 5 minutes they were all over Arsenal.
   81. SoSH U at work Posted: January 03, 2023 at 03:48 PM (#6111700)

There are 2 Ts in Harvey Elliott.


Perhaps this is the way the thread ends.
   82. The Marksist Posted: January 03, 2023 at 04:13 PM (#6111704)
I'm fairly certain Newcastle is not playing for a draw this early in the game


It's a while ago now, but they did exactly that against Liverpool early in the season. It was horrendous and it nearly worked.
   83. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 03, 2023 at 04:18 PM (#6111705)
I'm guessing they have higher aspirations now.
   84. The Marksist Posted: January 03, 2023 at 04:22 PM (#6111707)
Even at the time it seemed weird.
   85. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 03, 2023 at 04:25 PM (#6111708)
This game is unusual in its own way, as virtually all of Newcastle's shots have come in a 10-minute period that spanned both sides of the break.
   86. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 03, 2023 at 04:38 PM (#6111710)
Fulham's dream season continues... they are not anything close to a good team but now are 7th in the table somehow.
   87. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 03, 2023 at 04:41 PM (#6111711)
That should be a penalty I think. That was a cross right into the middle where the ball hit the arm that was away from the body. Definitely not always given but seemingly given these days at least half the time.
   88. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 03, 2023 at 05:07 PM (#6111716)
Don't think that was a penalty but there should have been a penalty when Burn clearly grabbed Gabriel's shirt and pulled him down on a free kick.
   89. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 03, 2023 at 05:18 PM (#6111717)
Two different kinds of "should". One based on what usually does and does not get called. Another based on what the rules would be in an ideal world. I don't think the Burn play gets called a penalty that often.
   90. Mefisto Posted: January 03, 2023 at 05:50 PM (#6111721)
I can't believe Lampard survives at Everton after today. The question is, can they get a real coach after all that's happened recently?
   91. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 03, 2023 at 06:41 PM (#6111724)
Currently United and Newcastle are considered close to dead even in expected performance over the second half of the season. United has a home game in hand effectively against a Leeds-quality team, and that's worth a little over 2 points to them. Chelsea is projected at right around the same too. I think Tottenham is now projected at slightly worse going forward but we'll see after this week's games.
   92. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 03, 2023 at 07:03 PM (#6111727)
Poor officiating aside -- and it was very poor, in many respects -- that was the game I as worried Arsenal would get drawn into. Newcastle is like a giant, wet blanket that drapes itself over offenses and then just suffocates them. Gunners spent much of the match stuck under it.

It also demonstrates something I've been saying all year: when Saka is out of the action -- either by injury or by being relentlessly swarmed by the game's best defense, as today -- Arsenal can look very pedestrian. I get that Odegaard is the captain and the star, but Saka is the man that makes that offense hum. Way too much time was spent playing kickaround between Partey, Zichenko, and Martinelli on the left, at least for the middle 70 minutes of the game. Partey demonstrated a spectacular lack of creativity for that entire period, which was a real problem, as Newcastle succeeded in trapping the Gunners into playing nearly every possession through him. White was also nowhere to be seen; Tomiyatsu, who played like #### against BHA, really opened up the offense and took pressure off Partey by playing aggressively in that last 20 minutes -- I don't think it's a coincidence that suddenly Arsenal was putting on a fireworks display after he hit the pitch.

I said I'd be happy with eight points out of these four matches from Brighton to United, so I guess I shouldn't be too disappointed in this result, even at home. Still, it was an annoying game to watch, and it was frustrating to see neither Arteta nor his players doing anything to adapt until it was too late.
   93. jmurph Posted: January 04, 2023 at 02:09 PM (#6111805)
This Berhalter/Reyna stuff is BONKERS.
   94. spivey Posted: January 04, 2023 at 02:29 PM (#6111809)
Berhalter should be gone, and I think you have to consider just never calling Reyna up again.
   95. Mefisto Posted: January 04, 2023 at 02:39 PM (#6111811)
I'm not sure you should punish Gio for #### his parents pulled. Depends on the facts, I guess.
   96. jmurph Posted: January 04, 2023 at 02:55 PM (#6111814)
Danielle Reyna is actually saying she released this very private information about her decades long friend Rosalind Berhalter because the coach was mean to her son. Insane behavior.
   97. SoSH U at work Posted: January 04, 2023 at 02:58 PM (#6111816)
I'm not sure you should punish Gio for #### his parents pulled.


Well, they'll still be his parents, and the next coach may not want to deal with whatever Danielle and Claudio have cooked up next.
   98. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 04, 2023 at 03:44 PM (#6111829)
After a decent first 15 minutes Tottenham has looked very bad and have been beaten to every ball in midfield. They can't keep Palace's sustained pressure off their goal box and have had no chances at all on the break.

Southampton is losing at home to Forest in the second half. Only 3 shots so far. That's a game they absolutely cannot afford to lose if they want to stay away from the relegation fight. Looks rough for them.
   99. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: January 04, 2023 at 05:05 PM (#6111842)
I'm not sure you should punish Gio for #### his parents pulled. Depends on the facts, I guess.


I don't disagree, but in my opinion Gio was already going to have to show an incredible increase in his maturity level to play for the USMNT again anyway. To pout and sulk at the World Cup because you're not in the lineup is ridiculous, even if he did apologize at the time. So he already had that to overcome, but this might permanently poison the well.

It's clear now where the sense of entitlement originated. The apple does not fall far from the tree with the Reynas. Wow.
   100. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 04, 2023 at 06:41 PM (#6111871)
flop
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