2012/13 Soccer Thread

Italy's injuries notwithstanding, a really impressive performance from Spain. Honestly after their showing against Portugal, while I still thought they had enough in them for a fair shot at winning, I didn't think they had the ability to "turn it on" like that and figured they would grind out a 1 goal win or take it on penalties (well, aside from the whole Italy going down to 10 men thing). Their closing down of Pirlo is something that it's easy to say that any team facing Italy this Euro should have done, but that no one else seemed to be able to properly execute on.


The BBC's commentary team was almost universally poor throughout the tournament. Watching Shearer and Hansen belittling Mario before the kickoff of the semifinal (eg Shearer "What's Mario achieved in his career" - answer : he's 21 and already got 4 times the number of medals you did, you sad sack) and then have to grovel at half time. Mark Lawrenson was even worse, sounding like the saddest little Englander as he belittled any attempt by his co-commentator to impart any information, or to clarify that Pirlo hadn't actually materialised out of thin air just before the tournament. He did, of course, manage to get in some completely irrelevant Liverpool references (did you know that both Del Bosque and Pirandelli played against Liverpool in their playing careers ? Now that you do, has your enjoyment or understanding been enhanced at all ?). Still, it was a sign of the times - nothing tells you that the season is soon to start than the first sighting of that miserable creature - The Deluded Scouser.

Time for these buffoons to be retired - there are few things worse than listening to ex-players drone on about things they don't understand.

And I'm STILL waiting for these stickers.

I think the national team is the only profitable thing to come out of Spain in recent months.

Prederick wrote:

I think the national team is the only profitable thing to come out of Spain in recent months.

Oh, I dunno....


Sure, but that's really Argentinian by way of Spain, and if Atleti aren't a kind of hilarious metaphor for the Spanish economy, what else could be?

Real Betis ?

Valencia and their mysteriously never reducing €500m debt ?

Real Madrid and their magic training ground, sold to the local authority for €500m for apartments despite being in the flight path of Madrid airport which has a 3 floor maximum build limit ?

Bar$elona and their staggering hypocrisy, ranging from the 'we've got no debts because we do things the right way', which actually meant 'because Joan Laporta had us cooking the books and we need to borrow €140m to pay player wages over summer' all the way to 'we only have charitable causes on our shirts' . Oddly enough, no one has ever found out what the objectives of the Qatar Foundation are, now that the appropriate bribes have secured the World Cup, but it's a bit of a step down from UNICEF. Oh, and during all their 'no logo' days, they were paid a larger contract by Nike than anyone else because the Nike logo was double the size on their shirt as on any of Nike's other clients.

I have to admit though, Athletico and that greasy lump of human foulness Jesus Gil go way beyond any of those. From murdering 58 of the unfortunate tenants of his shoddily-built apartment blocks, to the never ending legal cases, the fraudulent use of monies from the civic treasury of Marbella to sponsor Athletico, the only good thing you could say about him was at least he died - I'd like to think at least as painfully as the 58, but I suspect not.

Welp atleast Spain finally gave us something not to complain about.

Had to turn it off when they started engraving the trophy. Started having a gag reflex as I realized how close Portugal came. One to many bowls of spaghetti for the Italians as it seemed they were 2 steps to slow all day. Not sure if that came after the sucker punches of 2 injuries + 2 goals. They were going to need a bit of luck but it all piled against them instead.

and award for biggest twat goes to Torres. Love how he comes on as a sub to pretty much rub the salt into the wounds. I think he was on the pitch for a whole minute before he was mouthing off to the refs and Italian players.

so 2014 Brazil? Will have to start saving for Brazil as thats the last WC I would actually consider attending before I'm into my 40's.

Off to the transfer market! First round of RvP rumors is 8m pounds from Juve rejected. *puke* and Moutinho rumored to United *puke*

Just loved that €8m bid. And the Moutinho rumour was in the Sun, where reality is not allowed to get in the way of the 'journalism'.

Oh, and AVB is now manager at Spurs. I'm betting he's going to last longer than di Matteo.

RvP wont extend.

now it will be seen if Arsenal keep him and let him walk next year or 'cash in'. Quotations being used as I'm not sure they have any leverage this time around to get 20m+ for him.


We don't need him, and I don't want him.

Not that my wishes have much impact on Berto's transfer policy

There again, Arsenal have already spent £40m or so on players to replace him (Gervinho, Chamakh, Podolski, Giraud)

Not cool.

From a brief (and amusing) trawl on the Arsenal fan sites, the issue seems to be not necessarily that he won't renew, but that he chose to announce it just after Arsene and the club announced the importance of retaining him. I can't blame them for being annoyed really. In fact I am more surprised that Arsene has ruled himself out of the France job, which is open after Laurent Blanc left.

In other news, the Glazers are trying to rob Peter to pay Paul again by raising money on the NYSE. Only £100m this time, but I also understand they are going to register a new holding company in the Caymans, obviously the most undemanding corporate disclosure regime in America (Delaware) was still a bit too open. I also understand that the oft-vaunted 5 year waiting list for season tickets has now evaporated - an old colleague of mine who used to have one has had three emails from the club in the last month...

Well time to start talking myself into it. Here we go.

Considering his injury proneness this might be a blessing in disguise. The way his statement was worded though pretty much means sell now and dont bother trying to hold onto him this year in faint hope he resigns.

Soooo.... with only Juve and City supposedly interested they will need to drum up some other legitimate interest to get a decent price. You would imagine that Barca could be interested and by default maybe Real just cause.

20m+ pounds and it getting sorted quickly so some of that can be reinvested and guys like Chamakh and Bendtner going out the door the same time and I'll take it.]


edit: for a new Captain I'll take Vermaelen cause I love him and he looks like he is a serial killer.

Everton signs Steven Naismith from the Rangers, meaning we may finally have a bit of a front line.

That'll be a nice change of pace from relying on Saha, who couldn't find the back of the net even with a tour guide.


I'd like to pre-empt the pile-on about comparing offensive talent by reminding folks that as a fan of a mid-table team, you take hope where you can find it. :P

Neverton better hope that Rangers don't set the lawyers on them - my understanding of TUPE is that the employees don't have to accept any offer of transfer to the new entity, but whether that is the judge's understanding is a different matter.

davet010 wrote:



No, I've lived with it all my life.

I was going to dignify the rest of it with an answer, but I shall merely refer you to the 2011/12 thread's 'Why I Hate Everton' post from me, rather than repeating it.

In other news, Swindon boss Paulo 'I'm a fascist, not a racist' di Canio has been criticising sweet, gentle Mario for his 'selfishness' at Euro 2012. Apparently 'Balotelli just plays for himself, not the team'.

Notwithstanding the fact that even the BBC's commentators felt the need to comment on how hard Mario was working during both the semi and the final to create space, I'm not sure that I would be taking behaviour criticism seriously from someone who has a tattoo celebrating Mussolini and considers this to be an appropriate gesture during a game.


In other other news - FIFA have now given the go-ahead for goal line technology.


Up yours, Platini.

And in other other other news...

The 2012/13 season started today, with the 1st Preliminary Leg of the Europa League

Goal-line technology finally approved by FIFA with two systems (Hawk-Eye or GoalRef). Hawk-Eye was pretty much ready to go dating back to the World Cup according to one of the Hawk-Eye people interviewed on the Soccernet podcast after the disallowed non-goal.

About time. That Al Jazeera report says the Premier League won't have it until mid-season though.

I'm hoping UEFA keeps up with the fourth & fifth officials*and the top leagues add them too. Another pair of eyes to spot fouls and assorted nonsense can't hurt.

*Assuming Platini doesn't act like a Luddite and doesn't allow it to be used in UEFA's competitions.

Edit: This has to be one of the largest tannhausers in history. The worst part is I read dave's post a couple of hours ago and forgot about the technology part of it.

Quick question Roke - why do you hope Platini's nonsensical extra officials idea remains ? Euro 2012 was just the latest in a long list of instances where these officials missed obvious fouls, and in the case of Terry's goalline clearance against Ukraine, missed the ball crossing the goal line from a side on view less than 10 yards from the net.

The problem seems to be that no one knows what these officials are meant to be looking out for. Just goal line incidents ? That seems a bit wasteful. Fouls in the box ? The referee and linesman should be spotting them. It might almost be better to move them from their current position to linesman, so that effectively you have a linesman on both sides in both halves.

Well the extra official did spot that lovely foul by Terry in the Champions League Semifinal, so they can't be all bad. However I agree that their role needs to be clearly defined. I found it interesting that they agreed to keep the extra official as well as allowing both system to be used, and added the headscarf for women, that seems like quite a few changes.

You might be right with regard to the officials role needing clarification, but I do worry that if they stay in the position on the pitch that they currently are, but are tasked with identifying infractions in the box, then does that undermine the linesman ?

Didn't see the headscarf one, but it is nice to see that FIFA appear to have moved on from Blatter's suggestion that women footballers should wear skimpier gear.

Hey, I just realised that I was supposed to write about racism issue. Sorry, totally forgot, my Euro was one long haze of beer and football.
But my forgetting it's a good sign. It means that I hardly had a reason to revisit the subject. Thinking on it now, seems like there were three incidents during the games themselves, all relating to visiting fans (Russians, Croatians, Spaniards). One incident in Krakow which implicated local fans turned out to be... well, dunno, I can't hear anything on this or other footage that I've seen.
That's not to say that racism (or general intolerance, brutality, white supremacism and hooliganism surrounding a lot of football clubs) isn't a problem here. But hey, that sentence could apply to majority of European countries, I'm afraid.

But all in all, nobody got home in a coffin. (Which was Sol Campbell's prediction for Euros, in case you've missed it.) Well, except fot that one poor Irish lad who got drunk and drowned. But having seen Irishmen drink, I consider one fatality for whole tournament a miracle.

Feedback from both Poland and Ukraine seems to be that problems were few and far between, England fans actually parading a coffin to make fun of Campbell's publicity-desperate proclamations. The nations mentioned by UCRC are, unfortunately, serial offenders, and only Slaven Bilic seemed to take it seriously. The constant appearance of Russia and their boorish following does not bode well for 2018 unless addressed by the authorities. Hmmm.

In other news, Glasgow Rangers are actually asking to go into Scottish League Division 3. Get ready for carnage in the small towns of Scotland.

Also an outbreak of gratuitous staggering optimism in Middlesbrough - they've given Johnathan Woodgate a 3 yr deal. Anyone want to start the under and over at 20 games ?

It wasn't so much the giving Kieron Dyer a contract and yet releasing loads of other players that shocked me, but this...

"Chairman Tony Fernandes, who replaced Neil Warnock with Hughes in January, has his sights firmly set on a prolonged stay back among England's elite clubs.

He said on London24.com: "I feel confident that Mark is potentially the man who could take QPR into another era, a stable era, where we become an established Premier League club.

"Mark is immensely impressive. He has got a great personality, is very ambitious, down to earth, has his ego in check and he knows his stuff.

"He was a player in the Premier League for a long time so he has competed at the highest levels. Every club he has been to he has excelled at."

Hughes did not excel at Blackburn, nor at Fulham, and he sure as sh*t didn't do so at City. Rather than 'knowing his stuff' he came across as a clueless buffoon, too often content to buy 'average/good' players (Toure, Adebayor, Bellamy, Bridge, Crocky just for starters), had no idea how to deal with potential great ones (Robinho and Elano, for instance) and lucked into the great players (he had no idea who Kompany was when we bought him, and spent the first season or so playing him as a DM). He was happy for that odious toad Joorabchian to hang around the club spreading dissent...and why wouldn't he - the toad is his agent too. I'd love to know how many of QPR's 15+ deals since he took over have that guy's prints on them.

Mark Hughes is exactly as he comes across in the media - a bitter, small time arsehole. I would say that QPR is about right for him, but a mate of mine is a QPR season ticket holder, so I'll just say that luck and Bolton's profligacy kept him in the PL last season...lightning won't strike twice.

And now, apparently, they are buying Park Ji-Sung from Man U for £5m. The man of whom one United fan said to me "when I saw him on the pitch in the Derby at your place, I knew we'd lost."

M'Lud, the prosecution rests.

Lucky old Fergie, never short of one of his ex-players or cronies to take his clapped out demics off his hands (see also Bruce S, Keane R, Moyes D). Oddly enough, they never seem to win anything...wonder if there is a correlation between paying money for Wes Brown, Darren Gibson and Kieron Richardson and winning jack sh*t ?

davet010 wrote:

Quick question Roke - why do you hope Platini's nonsensical extra officials idea remains ? Euro 2012 was just the latest in a long list of instances where these officials missed obvious fouls, and in the case of Terry's goalline clearance against Ukraine, missed the ball crossing the goal line from a side on view less than 10 yards from the net.

The problem seems to be that no one knows what these officials are meant to be looking out for. Just goal line incidents ? That seems a bit wasteful. Fouls in the box ? The referee and linesman should be spotting them. It might almost be better to move them from their current position to linesman, so that effectively you have a linesman on both sides in both halves.

Jonathan Wilson wrote a piece about the number of headed goals and linked to this blog post which cemented the extra officials being a good idea in my mind. Asking them to make goal-line decisions wasn't fair with the goalposts and potentially players obstructing their view (not to mention the speed) but I think there's a role to be played to have them spot fouls that may otherwise go unnoticed.

If the extra officials allow a greater portion of the field to be watched for fouls I think it's worth it. It may also cut down on the foul-burden for the linesmen allowing them to concentrate more on offside calls (though that thinking can easily be false).

QPR with another (likely) big-wages signing for a declining player, shocking. I liked Park Ji-Sung a lot but his play seems to have dropped off in the past year or two and he's getting up there in age. If QPR don't stay up things could be interesting.

I'm not sure we want to have officials watching out for specific offenses - they are either there to uphold the laws of the game or they are not. I had a look at the blog post you linked, but couldn't quite grasp what point he was arguing. I don't see that Diagram B is a better setup than A myself. In my opinion, the less the two fields (of the AR and AAR) overlap, the better. And regardless of what field there is, it is the responsibilities of the two that need to be clarified.

Not that most of you will care but Charlie Davies just signed with Randers FC, so hopefully I'll be able to watch him a few times this year. It is interesting to see that he decided to stay in Europe even though the caliber of player in the danish league is about the same as MLS, and perhaps even a bit lower at this point (can't really tell as I haven't been able to watch an MLS match in a while).