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Wednesday, June 01, 2016

OT: 2016 Summer Soccer Thread

Special Randy Jones Summer Soccer Thread!

Upcoming Dates of Note
June 3 - Copa America begins (US v. Colombia) All games on Fox family.
June 10 - Euro 2016 begins (France v. Romania) All games on ESPN family.
June 28-29 - Champions League first round qualifiers.
June 30 - Europa League first round qualifiers.
August 3- Women’s Olympic soccer beings (many games including USA v. New Zealand) All games on NBC family.
August 4 - Men’s Olympic soccer begins (many games including Mexico v. Germany) All games on NBC family.
August 7 - Community Shield (England).  Leicester City vs. Manchester United.
August 13 - English Premier League Begins.
August 20 - Serie A begins.
August 21 - La Liga begins.
August 25 - Champions League Group Stage Draw.
August 26 - Bundesliga begins.

Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: June 01, 2016 at 02:36 PM | 1532 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: football, off topic, soccer

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Page 14 of 16 pages ‹ First  < 12 13 14 15 16 > 
   1301. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:02 PM (#5257342)
Muller's reaction was great. "Yea I fouled you, but stop whining!"
   1302. spivey Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:12 PM (#5257347)
I don't think Germany can complain about the scoreline too much. They had the better of the game, but they really didn't create all that much in the way of chances.

Save the penalty you can. You can't take the penalty away of course but it was one players stupidity in a non threatening chance.

Also Khedira is one of the best players on Germany and missed most the game.

Plus, Germany is better. And Germany/France would be way more fun than Italy/France. Imo. But yes, it's hard to beat Italy. They are really good. But also are very physical defensively. And you get away with way more defensive physicality than offensive.

Also, can we all agree that Buffon cheated and that's why Italy won the WC in 2006? I love Buffon, but let's be real.
   1303. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:15 PM (#5257351)
Are the Germans drinking mcflurries?

Who has the advantage in penalties? Bonucci took that penalty for them. That doesn't seem to bode well for Italy. I wouldn't let Ozil take one.
   1304. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:19 PM (#5257353)
Neither team has run that hard this game.
   1305. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:20 PM (#5257355)
Great run from Draxler, and then...that pass.
   1306. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:21 PM (#5257356)
That goes down as a 0 xG, but was in reality much much higher.

edit: one problem with the stat is it measure expected goals on shots, rather than chances. If a lucky rebound on a low percentage shot comes to a player for a sitter in front of the goal, xG can measure it as high as 0.9, when in reality the overall chance was much lower. Similarly, if no shot is taken, xG gives 0 regardless of how good a chance it was.
   1307. spivey Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:23 PM (#5257357)
Draxler had two great chances. This announcer has been way too quick to #### on Germany. Italy is really difficult to break down.
   1308. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:27 PM (#5257359)
Save the penalty you can. You can't take the penalty away of course but it was one players stupidity in a non threatening chance.

Well if we are doing that game, you can also say Germany's goal came on one player's stupidity in a non-threatning chance. He had a chance to clear the ball in the build up, but instead headed it nicely in stride to Germany. Then it took a lucky deflection straight to Ozil's foot. So who really deserved their goal more?

Plus, Germany is better.

Of course they are better. I am just saying they haven't created nearly enough good chances to be upset that they aren't winning.
   1309. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:34 PM (#5257363)
Agree with FPH. Italy slowed the game down enough to get it to penalties a large percentage of the time. That's not a very good day for Germany.

edit: Germany did their fair share of slowing the game down too, so it's not just Italy.
   1310. spivey Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:35 PM (#5257364)

Well if we are doing that game, you can also say Germany's goal came on one player's stupidity in a non-threatning chance. He had a chance to clear the ball in the build up, but instead headed it nicely in stride to Germany. Then it took a lucky deflection straight to Ozil's foot. So who really deserved their goal more?



I guess we have different opinions on Germany's goal. That is fine. I stand by my opinion, and if you do too, then ok.
   1311. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:39 PM (#5257365)
What the #### was that?
   1312. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:40 PM (#5257366)
So Zaza was the player brought on specifically to take a penalty, eh?
   1313. spivey Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:41 PM (#5257367)
Of course they are better. I am just saying they haven't created nearly enough good chances to be upset that they aren't winning.

I feel they were about half a goal better, roughly. Yeah that leads to PKs a lot but you can't just expect to blow a team like Italy out. At least when they aren't trying to go toe to toe with tiki taka.

Muller always does the same thing at PKs.
   1314. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:41 PM (#5257368)
And Ozil again.
   1315. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:42 PM (#5257369)
I wouldn't let Ozil take one.

Got that one right.
   1316. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:42 PM (#5257370)
Wow these are some England-level penalties.

I broken clocked it!
   1317. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:42 PM (#5257371)
Are you kidding me?!?
   1318. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:42 PM (#5257372)
These penalties are a slapstick farce, especially for two countries with the reputations they have.
   1319. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:44 PM (#5257373)
Sorry, been on a bike ride. As for signing Nolito, my gripe is not with those who feel it might not be a good signing (he's 30, etc.) but with the arrogance of EPL/English fans. You'd think with the product on display this year, and with the state of English football for years and years, that reality would have set in, at least a little. But no.

What product on display? The English national team is not that good. Simultaneously, the EPL is the most competitive league and the players who play for EPL teams are more worn out than other players when it comes time for summer tournaments (or for the late stages of the Champions League / Europa League). Why shouldn't I believe both these things?
   1320. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:44 PM (#5257374)
What the #### was that Schweinsteiger?!?!?!
   1321. spivey Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:44 PM (#5257376)
This is awful.
   1322. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:44 PM (#5257377)
These penalties are a slapstick farce

Got that one right. Jeeesus.
   1323. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:46 PM (#5257378)
I really want this to come down to Neuer vs Buffon.
   1324. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:47 PM (#5257379)
De Sciglio very lucky.
   1325. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:48 PM (#5257380)
Hey everybody finally decided to make a few.
   1326. spivey Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:49 PM (#5257382)
Wow. That was heart racing. Buffon normally stops that Hector shot.
   1327. Tree Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:50 PM (#5257383)
Neither Italy nor Germany deserved to win either the game or the shootout.
   1328. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:51 PM (#5257384)
Buffon v Neuer may have been the difference after all.
   1329. Mefisto Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:51 PM (#5257385)
There is a Gott.
   1330. spivey Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:53 PM (#5257387)
I'm kinda surprised Itsly didn't just keep going high up the middle/
   1331. spivey Posted: July 02, 2016 at 05:54 PM (#5257388)
For that match to be the ####### QUARTERS!
   1332. Textbook Editor Posted: July 02, 2016 at 07:56 PM (#5257435)
A Germany-France semifinal vs. a Portugal-Wales one would feel very much like the 1983 Final Four that had Houston-Louisville in one game (that everyone assumed would be "the real final") and NC State-Georgia in the other game...

I'm really hoping Iceland win tomorrow, but I'd be really hard-pressed to think how Iceland would beat Germany.
   1333. Mefisto Posted: July 02, 2016 at 08:16 PM (#5257443)
Iceland/Wales. That's the final everyone should root for.
   1334. Baldrick Posted: July 02, 2016 at 09:02 PM (#5257484)
Washington beats FCKC in a game that was very close until Washington moved into a higher gear for a 20 minute stretch toward the end. Tori Huster is really very good - always been excellent as a holding player but took on a bit more of a creative role in this game (and scored a goal). Really impressed with her. And I continue to be amazed with the Washington central defense. Oyster, in particular, has just been a rock this year.

On the KC side, they looked pretty solid, actually. But holy cow are they missing another striker. Groom is very good, but just doesn't have the strength to hold up the ball. She desperately needs someone else making good attacking runs to clear out a little space for her. She hit the bar (again) and gave a good shift. And at times, both Laddish and Tymrak looked like they were going to do something magical, but neither could quite stitch it all together. Elsewhere, Katie Bowen was excellent at left back, and Reed was good on the right. Really nice drafting by them.
   1335. Textbook Editor Posted: July 02, 2016 at 09:21 PM (#5257490)
Iceland/Wales. That's the final everyone should root for.


Oh, I'm totally rooting for that. And while France is goofy enough at the back that I can see Iceland finding a way to win against them, against Germany... That seems less likely.

   1336. Mefisto Posted: July 02, 2016 at 11:01 PM (#5257572)
The only realistic chance for Iceland is divine intervention. So I'm rooting for that.
   1337. stevegamer Posted: July 03, 2016 at 01:28 AM (#5257622)
The only realistic chance for Iceland is divine intervention. So I'm rooting for that.


Is Odin needed, or can they get by with some lesser deities first? I would think Loki tricking the French & referees would be a solid start, and you've got some other options in there as needed. Plus it's payback for the irregularities int he World Cup they hosted.

Save Thor for the Germans, if possible. It has all sorts of juicy national & ethnic identity stuff in there.
   1338. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: July 03, 2016 at 02:52 AM (#5257634)
Anyone know a good place to watch the match in downtown-ish Sacremento?
   1339. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 03, 2016 at 08:31 AM (#5257647)
   1340. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: July 03, 2016 at 03:16 PM (#5257778)
Do we know why Germany picked that end?

And Giroud, dammit.
   1341. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: July 03, 2016 at 03:17 PM (#5257779)
There have been more good chances in 15 minutes of this game, than 120 yesterday.
   1342. frannyzoo Posted: July 03, 2016 at 03:20 PM (#5257782)
If I suddenly come into some Etihad/Gazprom level of fossil fuel profits, I'm signing Matuidi first at Charlton Athletic, or whatever club I choose to take from obscurity to Man City/PSG levels of obscenity. He's damn good.
   1343. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 03, 2016 at 03:28 PM (#5257787)
Carbon copy of the goal against England, but the French defense (Matuidi I think) wasn't caught standing around on the second ball, and was able to clear, barely.
   1344. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: July 03, 2016 at 03:45 PM (#5257797)
Well, now what do I do with the rest of the evening?
   1345. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 03, 2016 at 03:56 PM (#5257805)
It's amazing how much more creative France were in that first half than England were all game.

I'm really looking forward to France/Germany.

edit: current odds - Germany 36%, France 33%, Portugal 20%, Wales 11%.
   1346. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 03, 2016 at 04:16 PM (#5257816)
Very nice goal by Iceland.
   1347. frannyzoo Posted: July 03, 2016 at 04:20 PM (#5257819)
I know he wasn't quite as consistently fabulous for West Ham as the season dragged on, but Dmitri Payet was, earlier, the singularly best EPL offensive player I saw last season, and I loves me some Coutinho, Ozil and Sanchez. Kante was the only one close to him for large stretches in terms of overall quality. Oh yeah, Kante plays for France, too, sometimes.
   1348. spivey Posted: July 03, 2016 at 04:49 PM (#5257831)
France didn't play well that second half. Not a big deal, but I think they absolutely should have been able to get a couple more goals.

Any reason to think France won't just park the bus against Germany a la 2014 WC?

Khedira and Gomez' health is a factor, though.
   1349. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: July 03, 2016 at 04:51 PM (#5257835)
Iceland were worth the entry fee in this tournament. I'm really happy that they could finish solidly after an ugly first half.
   1350. spivey Posted: July 03, 2016 at 05:09 PM (#5257847)
Wow, looks like Gomez and Khedira are both out. Schweinsteiger also questionable. Hummels out on yellows. I presume that Howedes will slot in there ok. But I didn't like their offense this tournament without Gomez. I don't know what their midfield plan is without Khedira or Schweinsteiger. They may need to start Weigl or Can.
   1351. spivey Posted: July 03, 2016 at 05:22 PM (#5257851)
I'd consider playing Podolski, seriously. He can fake striker. Him or Schurrle. Muller, Draxler, and Ozil all want to play off a striker.

Howedes straight for Hummels. I haven't seen enough of Weigl or Can to decide between them but I'd start one of them. I don't like asking someone like Gotze or the like to try to handle midfield defensive assignments against an athletic and technically gifted side like France.
   1352. Mefisto Posted: July 03, 2016 at 09:35 PM (#5257941)
I was really hoping Joe Hardy would catch that last drive, but I guess it wasn't to be.
   1353. Swedish Chef Posted: July 04, 2016 at 04:49 AM (#5258008)
Svennis has said that he'd love to be England manager again.
   1354. Textbook Editor Posted: July 05, 2016 at 01:07 AM (#5258391)
I am genuinely intrigued by all the 3-at-the-back being played at the Euros, and wonder what affect it may have on the upcoming season...
   1355. Swedish Chef Posted: July 06, 2016 at 06:57 AM (#5259226)
Messi sentenced to 21 months in jail, doesn't get locked up though.
   1356. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: July 06, 2016 at 08:03 AM (#5259242)
Messi sentenced to 21 months in jail, doesn't get locked up though.


As said on the twitterz, he just missed another penalty.
   1357. Swedish Chef Posted: July 06, 2016 at 08:17 AM (#5259246)
Now that he doesn't have the good guy image anymore, he can really get partying.
   1358. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: July 06, 2016 at 08:23 AM (#5259250)
I don't think tax fraud really changes the good guy image.
   1359. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: July 06, 2016 at 08:31 AM (#5259252)
I am genuinely intrigued by all the 3-at-the-back being played at the Euros, and wonder what affect it may have on the upcoming season...


What is the track record of 3-5-2 and similar formations? It seems to me that it can be good in part because it is slightly unusual but it also requires a lot of running from your wingbacks and over 36-38 games plus domestic cups can be really draining. It also seems like a formation that lends itself to some real breakdowns if the players at the back are not very disciplined and working well together. One of the reasons it works really well for Italy is that they are using the same back three that Juve used and those three players ARE very good and very disciplined.
   1360. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 06, 2016 at 09:20 AM (#5259272)
Out of the "big" club teams, I think only Juve uses it consistently (Rodgers played it a bit at Liverpool - something something Liverpool <> big). Bayern would play it a bit under Pep but his formations were always fluid. There is a seemingly dearth of good center backs. That may play a big part in a lot of team's decision making. I think you should see it more as more and more teams stop using "true" wingers. It helps clog up the middle even more
   1361. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: July 06, 2016 at 09:24 AM (#5259275)
What is the track record of 3-5-2 and similar formations?

Depends on how the opposing team sets up. Three-backs were particularly popular historically (through most of the mid and late 80s) when against two center forwards, because it allows you to have a free centreback (which is where you want a free man in order to prevent your central defenders from both being pressed continuously). It fell out of fashion in the late 90s as teams migrated to playing more players in the middle and only one man forward: playing a three-back then meant that one would be overrun on either the middle or the wings, because one would have three men marking only one player centrally. It has actually become a little more popular in recent years as a response to teams emulating Guardiola's Barcelona, since, if you are only going to hold the ball a small percentage of the time, you're not intending to match in the midfield and, consequently, having another central defender is far more valuable.*

Jonathan Wilson actually discussed this yesterday (and more eloquently stated my above paragraph). He made the point that:

But beyond the theory, there is a sense that Wales and Italy used a back three because it was best for the players they have available. Antonio Conte likes his teams to press high up the pitch. At Bari, Atalanta and Siena he did that with a back four but at Juventus he found Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. Conte adapted to get all three in the team. That has then formed the bedrock of his Italy side.

Chris Coleman used a back three only once in his entire club managerial career, on the final day of the 2005-06 season when his Fulham side beat Middlesbrough 1-0. He adopted the formation early in the Euro 2016 qualification campaign, seemingly as a way of getting Joe Ledley, Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey together in the same midfield while still giving Gareth Bale freedom to roam.

In both cases the choice of shape was a practical response to the available options. It was never an issue of ideology. But those decisions have fitted the pattern of this tournament, in which teams seem very quickly to have taken on an attacking or a defensive role. There has been little cut and thrust, few examples of two teams going at each other. Most games have ended up as attack against defence. Italy and Wales have both produced their best performances against sides that attacked them, while struggling to break down more reactive teams.


I agree with him: I think it is more a reflection on players at hand than a general tactical trend as compared to the last few years (i.e. we saw NT sides successfully and unsuccessfully experiment with the exact same formation in the 2010 and 2014 WCs, for example, and the exact same pieces written then). A number of managers have tried variations at the club level (Van Gaal, Martinez, and Rodgers in the last couple of years in the Prem alone as primary formations, and a number of additional managers [anyone from Lambert to Koeman] as secondary ones) and it has had as much broad success or lack of success as any other formation.

*Wilson also argues that two-striker formations have come back into fashion (e.g. the Leicester of last year or Simeone's Atleti). I don't find this point compelling, as most of those teams played on the counter (and thus played two center forwards to be able to break better/both drop into the midfield so that it isn't just two banks of four) and possession-oriented sides tend to drop their DMC into the back to form a back three, not play with three central players from the start (NB: Juve is a weird exception and whatever Guardiola did at Bayern is arguably as well, though the latter is more cramming attacking players [Javi Martinez, David Alaba, Xabi Alonso at times] into the back, not playing more CBs).
   1362. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: July 06, 2016 at 09:29 AM (#5259278)
Arjun that's really helpful and you explain something that has always confounded me. So when announcers talk about having the "extra" man they are referring to the center backs only, not the entire backline? It never made sense to me why 3 at the back worked against 2 attackers but switching to 4 at the back against 1 was the way to go. Understanding that it's the center backs only (and typically the 3 man back is all centerbacks) explains that.

So is it a reasonable assumption that the same concepts that work with 3 at the back would also be true of 5 at the back with the understanding that you are really ceding the midfield at that point?
   1363. Swedish Chef Posted: July 06, 2016 at 09:40 AM (#5259284)
So is it a reasonable assumption that the same concepts that work with 3 at the back would also be true of 5 at the back with the understanding that you are really ceding the midfield at that point?

Five and three at the back are really the same thing, as the wingers are end-to-end players in both cases.
   1364. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: July 06, 2016 at 09:43 AM (#5259290)
Arjun that's really helpful and you explain something that has always confounded me. So when announcers talk about having the "extra" man they are referring to the center backs only, not the entire backline? It never made sense to me why 3 at the back worked against 2 attackers but switching to 4 at the back against 1 was the way to go. Understanding that it's the center backs only (and typically the 3 man back is all centerbacks) explains that.

Yeah, exactly (btw, this is why I use the terms "three back" and "two back" instead of the alternative; I find them more accurate). Consider how outside backs (and I was one in college, so I had to think about this a lot :p) are now an essential part of the attack in the modern game (look at how high Taylor and Gunter played against Belgium!). They're not marking forwards (and, in a traditional 4-4-2 v 4-4-2, they're actually marking the wingers).
So is it a reasonable assumption that the same concepts that work with 3 at the back would also be true of 5 at the back with the understanding that you are really ceding the midfield at that point?

Sort of. The difficulty we run into here is that "3 at the back" and "5 at the back" aren't exactly different concepts: in reality, the "formations" we're describing are short-hand versions of more complex player positioning. I like to think of teams actually playing two formations in a match: one while attacking and one while defending (Mourinho is one who argues that this is a more accurate way of describing it). A "five-back" is really a three-back with the wingbacks tucked deep; i.e., it is a defensive play on a three-back that a team will use when under pressure.* A "three-back" will often collapse into a five-back when without the ball: it is as much a question of game state as it is of general formation.

(EDIT: this was the long way of what Swedish Chef much more cleanly put in #1363)

One other note: a three-back can even be a more possession-oriented formation if necessary (this is how Juve play it). If you have the ball and spread the two outside center backs wide, it becomes the equivalent of a two-back plus the two outside backs, with only three defenders (that is, you have one man in the middle and the other two centrebacks are cut much wider). This lets you get another man in the midfield (or, more likely, another forward on the field). Now why don't more teams do this? Because instead of your free man being the center midfielder who drops back into the back three (e.g. Cesc or Xabi Alonso), it is one of your three center backs. Bonucci, Chiellini, and Barzagli (particularly the former) are all great passers; most other centrebacks are Julie Johnston.** It really depends on players at the highest level.

Fundamentally, I find soccer (and basketball, though I know far less about that) to be about space, utilization of space, and geometry (I think I'm cribbing from Jose again with those three), and I find that absolutely fascinating as a concept. It is probably the biggest reason I love this game so much.

*this isn't exactly true: a lot of teams like to play the wingbacks further up the pitch. A basic component of modern defending (and one I discuss a lot) is the notion of "condensing" - when under heavy pressure, a team (in a two back) will pull their outside defenders much closer in and concede the wide areas. With a three-back, teams will often not do this and defend the wide areas higher with their wingbacks, because then you have five in the middle and you're conceding areas you can contest. It varies and is more specific: I'm a big fan of watching how a backline work together.

**to be fair to her, she's actually a much better passer at club level, but that might just seem so because I'm really, really biased.
   1365. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: July 06, 2016 at 03:09 PM (#5259676)
That's two bad giveaways from Allen. Wales really missing Ramsey as an outlet in the center of midfield. Andy King is a fine, functional midfielder, but he's not going to give you much going forward (I'm a bit surprised Allen is starting so deep. I might be tempted to play King or Ledley at the base and give Allen his old more-attacking Swansea role).

EDIT: as I say that, the midfielders vertically invert on the next possession and Allen is the highest. Maybe just a temporary switch?
   1366. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: July 06, 2016 at 03:23 PM (#5259693)
So they just said that the winner of the Portugal/Wales semi qualifies for the Confederation Cup next year "because Germany are already in as world champions." So it makes sense to me that Germany can't have two spots for themselves (World Cup and Euro) but why would the winner of this game automatically usurp France in the pecking order? Wouldn't it be the winner of this game qualifies only if Germany beat France? Has France withdrawn from consideration for the Confed Cup for some reason?
   1367. Mefisto Posted: July 06, 2016 at 03:48 PM (#5259724)
I thought they said that the winner here qualifies IF Germany beat France.
   1368. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 06, 2016 at 03:52 PM (#5259729)
Definitely a big IF, considering that France has recently become the favorite in that game (by a very small margin).
   1369. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: July 06, 2016 at 04:01 PM (#5259742)
Ah thanks guys, I missed that part of the conversation. That makes a lot more sense.
   1370. nick swisher hygiene Posted: July 06, 2016 at 04:14 PM (#5259762)
Of all the small nations that punch above their weight, has there ever been a less likable one than Portugal?
   1371. jmurph Posted: July 06, 2016 at 04:33 PM (#5259793)
Of all the small nations that punch above their weight, has there ever been a less likable one than Portugal?


Someone is going to say 2010 Netherlands and then Nigel DeJong is going to karate kick them in their got damn chests.
   1372. Swedish Chef Posted: July 06, 2016 at 04:35 PM (#5259796)
Of all the small nations that punch above their weight, has there ever been a less likable one than Portugal?

Holland
   1373. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 06, 2016 at 04:37 PM (#5259799)
Bale is in "shoot at all opportunities" mode.
   1374. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 06, 2016 at 04:47 PM (#5259814)
Unfortunately could not watch closely today, but coming in I thought the loss of Ramsey would be huge for Wales. He's so much more important to their side than he is for Arsenal. Not only is he among the best players for Wales (and probably not for Arsenal), but he is able to play a much more free and creative role, which seems to play to his strengths.
   1375. PepTech Posted: July 06, 2016 at 04:55 PM (#5259826)
Ironic that Portugal/Ronaldo owe about 99% of their advance to the final to that goal Iceland scored at the death to end the group. Ronaldo better be damn grateful that "small mentality" kicked his ass into third.
   1376. PepTech Posted: July 06, 2016 at 06:11 PM (#5259945)
Of all the small nations that punch above their weight, has there ever been a less likable one than Portugal?
I think a lot of that is that Portugal seems like less than the sum of its parts, unlike Wales, which seems like more. Bale seems to make people around him better (at least when playing for Wales) where Ronaldo, not so much.
   1377. PepTech Posted: July 06, 2016 at 06:13 PM (#5259946)
In other news, the Red Imps of Gibraltar advance(!) in CL play! Next up, Celtic.
   1378. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 06, 2016 at 07:49 PM (#5260007)
So Biesla is going to manage Lazio.

Boro are in talks with Victor Valdes and Robin van Persie!

Also supposedly United have agreed to personal terms with Pogba, but not on a fee to Juventus. 120M Euros is the current number that is being thrown out.
   1379. Mefisto Posted: July 06, 2016 at 07:55 PM (#5260011)
Great bit of business, that with Pogba. United had him on the books, he left on a free, and now (apparently) they intend to buy him back for a fortune. Well, it's not my money.
   1380. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 06, 2016 at 08:07 PM (#5260021)
Actually I think since Pogba was under a certain age, Juve had to pay United a fee - which I think was 800,000.

That's all on Ferguson. I guess all those titles gave the Glazers all this money.
   1381. Richard Posted: July 07, 2016 at 12:48 AM (#5260176)
My Father saw Pogba play for the Man Utd youth team in both legs of the 2011 Youth Cup final. He told me at the time that Pogba, who was 18, was head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch in terms of quality. As a result, we were really surprised when Man Utd gave up on him at the end of the following season without really seeing what he could do. Expensive mistake...
   1382. Randy Jones Posted: July 07, 2016 at 08:30 AM (#5260210)
United didn't give up on Pogba. It was a personality clash with Ferguson. It happened with other players with Ferguson as well. He would rather let a player go than give in. It was maybe the one negative you could say about him as a manager(though some people consider it a positive). Pogba is probably the mostly costly of those decisions.
   1383. spivey Posted: July 07, 2016 at 01:30 PM (#5260490)
Looks like Schweinsteiger is going to start.

Will be interesting to see if France tries to go toe to toe with Germany. At home, with Khedira, Hummels, and Gomez out if they play defense first like they did at the 2014 WC I'm going to be really ####### disappointed. They should come out swinging.
   1384. spivey Posted: July 07, 2016 at 01:31 PM (#5260492)
Pogba is worth nowhere near 120m.
   1385. nick swisher hygiene Posted: July 07, 2016 at 01:54 PM (#5260518)
So Juve is something like the 10th biggest club in the world, right? and we're all assuming that they simply have to sell. Correctly, right?

What clubs in the world are immune to having their best players bought?

Would it be fair to say Man U, Barca, Bayern, Real and Man City could all hypothetically retain a player, should they chose to do so, against the solicitations for the other four?

Or is the top even smaller than that?

   1386. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 07, 2016 at 01:54 PM (#5260520)
If you think he's a top 10 player in the world then Pogba is worth a lot (60M-80M). Juve don't need to sell and Pogba is pretty young so that's going to inflate the fee. I agree it's a crazy amount (if true) but again it's United and money only matters if it prevents another move.

So far this summer (according to Transfermarkt all in Euros):

These are top 4 transfers:
1) Hulk: 55.8M
2) Xhaka: 45M
3) Mkhitaryan: 42M
4) Mane: 41.2M
5) Batshuayi: 39M

So far this summer 11 players have moved for at least 30M. Andros Townsend went for 15.6M! There are still two more Euro matches and the World Cup to be played.
   1387. spivey Posted: July 07, 2016 at 02:08 PM (#5260533)
Would it be fair to say Man U, Barca, Bayern, Real and Man City could all hypothetically retain a player, should they chose to do so, against the solicitations for the other four?

Or is the top even smaller than that?


Bayern lost Kroos to Real. Ronaldo went to Real.

I think Barca and Real are alone at the top. Now, not every player would go from one of those other top teams to another. So for example, Neuer isn't going to Real or Barca (probably) despite being far better than their goal keepers.

But I think a lot of South American, Spanish, and generally non-England players would prefer Real or Barca over the EPL.

I'd go roughly like:

Real/Barca
Man U/Man City/Chelsea/Bayern
Arsenal/Juventus/Atleti/PSG
Tottenham/Liverpool/Dortmund
random CL teams.

I think the top 2 groups are pretty firm, at least for now. The next couple groups can change wildly from season to season
   1388. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 07, 2016 at 03:10 PM (#5260608)
Don't see how City and PSG have any distinction. Both will pay insane wages and have won recent league titles, but they aren't "big" names at least when it comes to tradition, although they are closer to getting there. Plus PSG is in Paris - I think that evens out a lot of the perceived difference in leagues. Arsenal is going to be higher than City on most player lists, but players also know that Arsenal probably isn't going to pay as well.

Man U is in a bit of a weird spot. Going in and out of Champions League isn't helping so they've been forced to spend like a lotto winner season after season. Selling teams know they can hold out because United's list of potential signings have always been short, and (at least in this season) they don't offer Champions League. Players take advantage of this because they can just ask for higher and higher wages. It's a bit dangerous, but it's really all about Champions League.

I wonder what Chelsea is going to be like if they miss Champions League again. Every time I think Roman's checkbook is closed it stays open. They have London and don't have the reputation of frugality like Arsenal. The players mutinied under Mourinho and Conte seems to be a crazy lunatic.
   1389. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: July 07, 2016 at 03:13 PM (#5260612)
Conte seems to be a crazy lunatic.

I am so frickin' excited
   1390. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: July 07, 2016 at 03:20 PM (#5260622)
This has been a great opening twenty from Kimmich.
   1391. spivey Posted: July 07, 2016 at 03:40 PM (#5260641)
This is why Germany is the best team in the world. Regardless of if they win. The fact they can dominate a game like this on the road without a couple of their most important players.

Ozil has been really good. Can too. Schweinsteiger too.

But France look dangerous the rare times they have the ball. Man, Muller is out of form. Gomez on straight for him would be better.

It's awesome to see a game of teams like this that both have great keepers.
   1392. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: July 07, 2016 at 03:42 PM (#5260642)
This is good Ozil today. I like good Ozil. Fun to watch.

I have no earthly idea why Sissoko is starting nor what he is supposed to be doing, but I'm pretty sure he isn't doing it. Why isn't Kante starting? There's no structure to the midfield at the moment (at least not with consistency or w.r.t. marking).
Gomez on straight for him would be better.

He's hurt, no?
   1393. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: July 07, 2016 at 03:48 PM (#5260646)
Well then. Game on.
   1394. spivey Posted: July 07, 2016 at 03:49 PM (#5260647)
Boateng is so good but good for like 1 stupid play a game. A rich man's David Luis.

Giroud displayed his greatness and flaws right there.

Also this half is why Pogba isn't a top 10 player. He's a really good midfielder. But they are getting bossed in midfield and he's been mostly irrelevant.

   1395. spivey Posted: July 07, 2016 at 03:51 PM (#5260650)

He's hurt, no?


Yeah, I just meant they miss him.

I don't know that I like that call on the penalty. But I guess.
   1396. spivey Posted: July 07, 2016 at 03:56 PM (#5260652)
France's front 7 players don't know how to play defense. Bring Kante on.
   1397. spivey Posted: July 07, 2016 at 04:01 PM (#5260660)
Schweinsteiger has lost a step. Obviously. But that's why that happened. I don't know why Ballack isn't mentioning it. This isn't inexplicable. It's one of those natural moments where when you jump you kinda put your arms up to feel the player and brace for the challenge and not clash heads. But Schweinsteiger was a step late to the play which threw all his actions a bit off.
   1398. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: July 07, 2016 at 04:19 PM (#5260680)
Mustafi time!

#freejonathantah
   1399. Mefisto Posted: July 07, 2016 at 04:20 PM (#5260682)
Big loss for Germany here. Boateng's diagonal balls have been terrific.
   1400. spivey Posted: July 07, 2016 at 04:23 PM (#5260691)
Kroos has not impressed me today.
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