courts be like "why is it a problem if people get money"
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- Germany 8/8
- Brazil 7/8
- Argentina 6/8
- Costa Rica 20.3
- Brazil 19.2
- Netherlands 19.0
- Uruguay 18.5
- Colombia 18.2
- Belgium 18.0
- Algeria 17.3
- Switzerland 16.8
- Australia 16.7
- Iran 16.3
- Ivory Coast 16.3
- Ecuador 16.3
- Croatia 16.0
- Japan 15.3
- Honduras 15.3
- Portugal 15.3
- Chile 15.3
- Greece 15.3
- Ghana 14.3
- Nigeria 14.3
- Bosnia 13.7
- Italy 13.7
- Mexico 13.3
- Russia 12.7
- France 12.4
- England 12.3
- Cameroon 12.3
- USA 12.3
- Korea 12.0
- Germany 11.4
- Argentina 10.8
- Spain 9.3
|7 hours 11 min ago||You'd think...||
...that the second half of the "going all Italy/Germany" meme would have died yesterday.
|7 hours 14 min ago||Weren't those odds a little long?||
Coming into the tournament Luis Suarez had played 355 professional matches and bitten two people. Estimating from that you'd get 177:1 for a single match and roughly 60:1 for the tournament.
Of course it's not so simple for a low-frequency event like this but the quoted odds assume a lower chance of a bite at the WC than in his career as a whole, by a factor of three. You'd think a bookie writing a sucker bet like this would be careful to err in the other direction.
|10 hours 52 min ago||Und Sie sollen singen lernen...||
You might recognize that--it was the only sound audible for stretches of the second half yesterday, whenever the Brazilian fans weren't booing Fred.
|11 hours 6 min ago||I think Varejao's terrific...||
...but "young" and "stable" don't come to mind as adjectives for him. High-energy bigs are a self-endangered species and Varejao's no exception. At this point I fear he's as broken down as Wade.
|12 hours 5 sec ago||I think it goes well beyond the Bayern connection.||
The entire DFB program, from top to bottom, is structured to produce players to fit the particular style employed by the NT. They play the same way in U17, U21, they teach it to their eight-year-olds. It makes it very easy to fit the pieces together. It wasn't just the Bayern players that were on the same page--they've all been on that same page for 15 years now.
|12 hours 12 min ago||Lessons for US soccer?||
This match was perfect commentary on a couple of issues that came up on the board during the tournament:
1. This is the answer to all who wondered why the US didn't play entire matches the way they played the last ten minutes against Belgium.
2. There was some discussion of what US youth players need more--better coaching? or more street soccer? I'm sure the answer is both but this was a demonstration of why street soccer alone can't get you there. You can throw the world's finest dribbling tricksters out there and they'll get shredded if they don't have some tactical sense and cohesion. For the last 14 years, tens of thousands of German youth players have been getting weekly tactical training from professional coaches funded by the DFB. This is the result.
It goes beyond the training institutes, too--they've apparently been working hard on how the youth clubs are run, even for less-exceptional players. Here's a comment at the Guardian on how it works:
My nephews all played and I've watched a lot of 8yo soccer in the US. It doesn't look like that. Frankly, there was never even one coach on the field capable of commenting on positional football even if they'd wanted to do this sort of teaching.
|13 hours 27 min ago||Not at all.||
My impression is confirmed by the charts at zonalmarking--possession was much more heavily in Brazil's favor in the first half hour then it was in the rest of the match. At the half-hour mark Brazil had completed 129 passes to Germany's 83.
"Bunker" wouldn't be my word but Germany stood off from the beginning, inviting the Brazilian pressure and exploiting the space behind. Amazing to me that players at this level wouldn't sense that and be a bit cagy about running into the trap, but I guess that's what happens when your entire back line consists of attacking players.
|1 day 3 hours ago||By the way, for the possession-stat fans out there...||
Ball possession: Brazil 52%, Germany 48%
Shots: Brazil 18, Germany 14
Shots on goal: Brazil 13, Germany 12
Corner kicks: Brazil 7, Germany 5
|1 day 4 hours ago||That might have been why it||
That might have been why it was seven instead of two or three.
But I honestly thought Brazil lost this tactically before the match even started. You just can't send both fullbacks on full Roberto-Carlos-style walkabout against a quality counterattacking team and expect to survive. Especially when your midfield is doing the same. And you're missing your best defender.
Tactical suicide. I gather Gilberto and Ballack had figured that out five minutes into the match too.
|1 day 7 hours ago||Never mind.||
We're both wrong.
|1 day 8 hours ago||I think it plays out a lot||
I think it plays out a lot like Spain v. Netherlands. (The 2010 version.)
This is a Scolari team we're talking about here. There's no way they let the other side play tiki taka.
|3 days 8 hours ago||Perumal denies the allegations.||
Tells the Telegraph that the conversation happened after the match, not before, and gives them screen shots of the conversation that appear to confirm this.
It's the coincidence between the predicted and allegedly-fixed circumstances (the score, the red card) that makes the allegations convincing. If they weren't predictions at all, just after-the-fact speculation that such events could have been fixed, there's nothing convincing in it at all.
Of course the guy's a convicted swindler and it's certainly possible he could have doctored the screen-saves. I guess we now wait for Spiegel to come forward with their evidence.
|4 days 2 hours ago||Fully fit? Not really.||
They're able to go 90 if the game's under control, but they're still coming back from knee and ankle injuries and how fit will they be after they've been kicked around for 90 minutes?
I expect it to look like the final four years ago. Except that this time there'll be another match to play.
|4 days 2 hours ago||Not buying this.||
Like Lehmann in '06, Krul went the right way on every single penalty.
That's not luck, that's preparation. Maybe they always take it the same way. Maybe they have a couple of different strokes but there's something in the run up that tips it off. Spend enough time in the film room, you'll eventually pick it up.
|4 days 5 hours ago||No.||
But they would have worked on penalties a lot in camp, and he probably outperformed Cillessen. Also, having no duties but penalties means he's fully prepared for the penalties--he's probably been doing nothing else all week.
People talk about it being a lottery but these shootouts are mostly a matter of preparation. Remember Germany/Argentina in '06? Lehmann and the goalie coach had looked at film of every penalty taken by an Argentine player, whether for country or club, for at least the last five years. He knew exactly how each player liked to take them, and he had notes with him rolled into his sock to refresh his memory when he got out there.
There's a reason Germany's never lost a shootout. There's a reason the Dutch won this one.
|4 days 8 hours ago||Looks like Rae has changed||
Looks like Rae has changed networks and he's now doing Bundesliga in Britain. Wish we had those broadcasts here.
|4 days 8 hours ago||There's an important decision in the future of US soccer.||
After the necessary improvements in technical training take hold, people are going to have to decide what's more important: playing "positive soccer" or winning championships.
Either the US learns how to play Italian when necessary (and learns to understand when it's necessary) or the ultimate endpoint of US soccer is England.
So far my impression is that people here think it's more important to entertain, and to look good doing it, than it is to win. But that might change if winning becomes a real possibility.
|4 days 8 hours ago||How many are there...||
...in "that second tier of teams that expect to consistently go through their groups and win at least one knockout game"?
This is the eighth tournament that's used a 16-team knockout format. Here's the list of teams that have good reason to consistently expect to win a knockout game, because they've done so more often than not:
Expand to 4 out of 8 and you had five more teams: England, Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands. Those eight are probably what you're thinking of as the top tier, since you included the Dutch.
The tier below that is Belgium with 2/8 (and also Croatia/Yugoslavia if you consider Croatia the natural followers like we do with Russia and the Czechs) and a whole bunch of countries with one, including the US. That's the group just below the Netherlands and there's nobody in it that can reasonably expect to consistently make the last eight.
This is reminding me of the people that expect Midhigan to win ten games/season, every season, when it's an extremely rare team that can keep up that pace up even for a decade. It sets up unreasonable expectations.
|4 days 10 hours ago||Agreed.||
Rae's my favorite of the lot--very professional.
Anyone know if there was a reason for his seeming demotion? He used to be the featured commentator for ESPN's CL broadcasts and it wasn't his fault Tommy Smyth was Tommy Smyth. Now he's doing Scottish PL games and little else.
|5 days 3 hours ago||But are they the colors you||
But are they the colors you associate with Adidas?
|5 days 3 hours ago||That was (literally) predictable.||
1. FIFA wants to avoid having players suspended for the semifinal, instructs officials to try to keep their cards in their pockets. Carballo, ordinarily card-happy, apparently takes this to heart.
2. Hulk takes studs to the knee, no card.
3. Numerous tactical fouls by both sides go uncautioned.
4. Both sides ignore the referee's aerosol foam and encroach on free kicks, with Neymar at one point yards over the line. Forget the caution, it goes unnoticed altogether.
5. Brazil targets James Rodriguez, hacking him down repeatedly. No caution. (By game's end Brazil had committed 31 fouls without a single yellow for persistent infringement.)
6. Rodriguez, in turn, sees yellow for his very first foul of the match, a very soft foul in which he didn't even make contact (which doesn't mean it wasn't a foul).
7. One of the neutrals at the bigsoccer referee thread writes "With the game now 2-0, look for Colombia to take out their frustration near the 90th minute by wiping someone out."
8. And, sure enough, in the 88th minute Zuniga recklessly vaults off of Neymar, breaking his back with his knee.
So FIFA, in its attempt to make sure nobody misses the semifinal, creates (with the help of an abysmal but no doubt obedient referee) an environment in which one of the game's stars suffers serious injury and misses the semifinal.
|5 days 4 hours ago||Fouls in the tournament, by team||
Average per game. I don't know what it means, if anything, but I think it's interesting that the most successful teams are clustered at the very top and at the very bottom, with five quarterfinalists in the top six and two quarterfinalists in the bottom 3.
|5 days 5 hours ago||Wonder how many of those were||
Wonder how many of those were against Rodriguez?
Persistent fouling of the other team's star is tactical; referees are supposed to discourage tactical fouls by giving yellows.
And the ironic thing is that with all Carballo allowed to go on today in the interest of making sure nobody got suspended for the semi, Brazil might have lost Neymar precisely because he let things get out of hand.
|5 days 5 hours ago||I'm going to wait to see who||
I'm going to wait to see who the match official is before I make a prediction. I'd favor Germany, but not if it's another hackfest.
|5 days 6 hours ago||The accumulation of fouls..||
...with the hacking down of James at every opportunity...had reached the point that the referee had to do something.
|5 days 7 hours ago||I'm not.||
McManaman and Darke are two of the world's very worst match officials.
But, yeah. Switzerland-France is in the running and of course there's the Brazil penalty in the opener but this might be the worst officiating job of the entire tournament. I know he doesn't want anyone suspended for the semis but he's going to get someone hurt.
|5 days 7 hours ago||This is hard to watch||
Colombia's a tactical mess, the referee's lost control (complete disrespect for his spray can by both sides, Fernandinho hacking James down repeatedly with not even an admonition let alone a yellow, same for the ridiculous studs-to-Hulk's-knee). It's kind of ugly and I have a bad feeling about the second half.
|5 days 8 hours ago||That was the reward...||
...for not taking silly yellows during the group stage.
|5 days 10 hours ago||I don't think there can be any doubt...||
Winning is more fun than exciting is.
|5 days 12 hours ago||According to Bierhoff (who's||
According to Bierhoff (who's the "manager", in charge of PR so Löw can concentrate on coaching) it's because they want more pace at the back against France's forwards.