Global Football Odds & Ends

swiftaw

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I’ve been proven wrong with my stadium proximity statements in the past, but I would be pretty surprised if two rival stadiums are physically closer.
In my mind, the closest rival stadia are Dundee and Dundee United, but it might be close.
 

rguilmar

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In my mind, the closest rival stadia are Dundee and Dundee United, but it might be close.
It is in fact very close, and you are correct that the Dundee stadia are barely closer than the Argentine ones.

But the two closest are apparently are in Malmo.
 

Vinho Tinto

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I do think the quality of the Brazilian teams has really outpaced Argentina over the last several seasons, but there’s something about the fans and the stadiums in Buenos Aires that just hit me different. They’re on a different level.
Before wife and kids, I would watch whatever Argentine match that aired on Fox Sports Espanol. It seemed like one out of three matches would be abandoned due to crowds being out of control. Looks like banning away fans has worked. Would have better to see society improve, but that was likely to continue being a fruitless endeavor.

The world cup in Brazil has helped the league. Even the presentation on TV is greatly improved due to the money they dumped into the stadiums.
 

Nick Kaufman

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I would also be remiss if I didn't mention that the team i root for in Greece, AEK Athens, won their first double since 1978 after getting to play in a brand spanking new stadium that took close to 20 years to build at the site of the old one that was demolished in 2002. Pretty special year.

First time the team entered the pitch:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5vRu4JWl3A
 

Nick Kaufman

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First, congrats to @Dummy Hoy! Not sure how you fans survived that.

I was pretty shocked by the AZ ultras because I have been to many Dutch matches and considered the Netherlands to have a more subdued culture. I reached out to a Dutch friend and he relayed that AZ has a long had a reputation in Holland for hooliganism. My friend is a PSV fan; in 1996 a 16 year old PSV supporter was stabbed during a rumble with AZ ultras. But the turning point was a massive brawl between Ajax and Feynoord hooligans in 1997. This prompted a an intensive, multi-pronged effort to stamp out hooliganism. And it worked pretty well, not 100%, but if lead to thing like AZ and Feynoord ultras meeting up on a remote beach to brawl, no longer getting violent in and around matches.

But since COVID hit, things have gotten out of control again. During one match without fans due to COVID rules, some AZ fans broke into the stadium, which forced a forfeit.

The event that got the most attention in the country this year was a Feynoord fan throwing a lighter at Ajax’s Davy Klassen, which sent the player to the hospital for a concussion and stitches.

But the West Ham attempted invasion Is the #1 story right now and the government is promising to address it along with a series of violent events that have rocked the Netherlands’ self-conception as a peaceful, tolerance country.

Also in Dutch news - Feynoord won the league! And PSV finished second, which pushed Ajax down to 3rd and into the Europa League. Keep an eye on PSV’s Xavi Simons he’s a 20yo tiny (5’6”, 130lb) magician. He had 16g and 8 assists this year, really breaking out once Gakpo left.
If I am not mistaken, the Dutch fans with the worst reputation for hooliganism are the Feyenoord ones.
 

Kliq

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Royal Antwerp with two Spurs legends on the side, Tobi Alderweireld and Vincent Janssen.
 

InstaFace

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Seems super petty to me to not allow a club to have Paramount+ as a sponsor. They don't have EPL broadcast rights! You can't go to Paramount+ to get an alternative to the broadcast you're watching Chelsea on! They're only an NBC competitor in the very loosest sense of the word, and that only in the USA.
 

fletcherpost

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Does this Nations League championship have much meaning?
Kinda aye, kinda naw.

What is the sporting prize in the UEFA Nations League?
In addition to a financial prize, the team that manages to win the trophy will also receive a sporting reward: the 2022/23 Nations League champions will be given privileged status in qualifying for the 2026 World Cup. They will be drawn into a group of five teams, instead of the usual six.

Whoever comes out on top in Sunday’s final will become the Nations League’s third ever champions - Portugal were the inaugural winners in 2019 - and will be paid prize money of €10.5 million. Meanwhile, the runners-up will pocket €9 million, while the third and fourth-placed finishers will take home €8m and €7m, respectively.

https://en.as.com/soccer/what-do-the-winners-of-the-nations-league-finals-get-how-much-prize-money-n/
 

fletcherpost

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Not too much. It was created to give meaningless friendlies some juice and increase revenues. Like any other trophy, you might as well win it if you reach the semis.
I guess there's also the second chance of getting into the Euros. Scotland, who won their Nations League group will go into a short play off tournie, if they don't qualify via the usual group stages. This is how they got in last time around. (But they currently have around a 95% chance of going through via the regular group stages.)

But you're right the main reason was to clog up the schedule and create more revenues and knacker the players out.
 

Nick Kaufman

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Kinda aye, kinda naw.

What is the sporting prize in the UEFA Nations League?
In addition to a financial prize, the team that manages to win the trophy will also receive a sporting reward: the 2022/23 Nations League champions will be given privileged status in qualifying for the 2026 World Cup. They will be drawn into a group of five teams, instead of the usual six.

Whoever comes out on top in Sunday’s final will become the Nations League’s third ever champions - Portugal were the inaugural winners in 2019 - and will be paid prize money of €10.5 million. Meanwhile, the runners-up will pocket €9 million, while the third and fourth-placed finishers will take home €8m and €7m, respectively.

https://en.as.com/soccer/what-do-the-winners-of-the-nations-league-finals-get-how-much-prize-money-n/
Money doesn’t that much difference in national teams except for lining up executive pockets and getting some additional funds for player development.
 

Vinho Tinto

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Having said that, you run the tournament enough times, it might gain some prestige.
The suits are more likely to scrap this once they see a bigger bag of coin to grift from. I just don't see the prestige of this even growing to a World Baseball Classic level while it is around. As a fan, I do appreciate that the totally meaningless friendlies have been minimized a bit.
 

InstaFace

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didn't they give the Nations League finalists some sort of leg-up in World Cup qualifying, like if they failed they got an extra repechage sort of chance?
 

fletcherpost

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didn't they give the Nations League finalists some sort of leg-up in World Cup qualifying, like if they failed they got an extra repechage sort of chance?
Six posts upthread is a link that details the prize money and qualification benfits of Nations League Success. I summarized in same post.
 

InstaFace

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Six posts upthread is a link that details the prize money and qualification benfits of Nations League Success. I summarized in same post.
Right but last time around, the top 2 teams by UEFA Nations League ranking who would not have otherwise qualified for the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers playoffs got a spot in those knockouts, purely on the basis of NL ranking. So I was expressing surprise that they'd seemingly gotten rid of that benefit.
 

fletcherpost

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Right but last time around, the top 2 teams by UEFA Nations League ranking who would not have otherwise qualified for the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers playoffs got a spot in those knockouts, purely on the basis of NL ranking. So I was expressing surprise that they'd seemingly gotten rid of that benefit.
Ah...I see where you're coming from.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Random question...Got a friend in town who is a huge England fan. Trying to find a spot to watch them play North Macedonia at 2:45 today in Boston. Banshee said no, Elephant and Castle said only french games.

Phoenix Landing isn't answering. Can I get any help?
 

Kliq

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A lot of places are closed on Monday, I would say Clery's on Dartmouth Street but they are closed.
 

InstaFace

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Mexico coach Diego Cocca fired, after his low-talent roster got their ass handed to them by the US (of course) several days ago.

View: https://twitter.com/miseleccionmx/status/1670834605434322957


They did win the 3rd-place game 1-0 over Panama, on a 4th-minute goal from LB Jesus Gallardo (yellow cards for the match: Mexico 6, Panama 5), so at least he got to go out with a win. Happy trails, Diego!

edit: I see it was posted in the USMNT thread, but I'm leaving it here too, as a marker.
 

67YAZ

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Another top Spanish manager off to the Prem. Bournemouth’s statement in hiring Iraola who did a fantastic job at Rayo Vallecano.
.

View: https://twitter.com/afcbournemouth/status/1670793827915907074?s=46&t=XvGOrrWIyL-5CHVVL_0JYQ
Just so tough for Gary O’Neil. He salvaged a squad that was widely projected to be among the worst in EPL history and kept them up with 4 matches to spare. And now he’s been cut loose after many jobs he’d have been in the mix for have been filled.
 

67YAZ

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Demarai Gray switches to Jamaica and makes the Gold Cup squad. This gives Jamaica a front 3 of Bailey-Antonio-Gray, which is really pretty good if Antonio can stay healthy for the rest of this cycle. Second best in CONCACAF, IMO.
 
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the1andonly3003

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Just so tough for Gary O’Neil. He salvaged a squad that was widely projected reinforced daily by Scott Parker to be among the worst in EPL history and kept them up with 4 matches to spare. And now he’s been cut loose after many jobs he’d have been in the mix for have been filled.
fixed that for you

but yes, tough business for Gary O'Neil...is he the Rick Renteria of PL managers?
 

swiftaw

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Sheffield Wednesday also parted with their manager today despite them achieving promotion a few weeks ago.
 

Dummy Hoy

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fixed that for you
Thank you for that.

He did nothing to keep Fulham up, took the best team in the championship to a mediocre 4th place in the covid year (no fan pressure), played the same system all year no matter the circumstances. He kept up the appearance (I think it was Roger Bennett who always said he looked like a WWI flying Ace) of being in charge but I watched that team a bunch that year and they never really impressed, talent aside. But then in the playoff final against Brentford (and Thomas Frank, who I think is an excellent tactical manager) Fulham changed their tactics and line-up and scrapped their way to a 100th minute bomb of a free kick and a Mitrovic (?) goal to win 2-1. One hit wonder like Lampard v. Leeds.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Thank you for that.

He did nothing to keep Fulham up, took the best team in the championship to a mediocre 4th place in the covid year (no fan pressure), played the same system all year no matter the circumstances. He kept up the appearance (I think it was Roger Bennett who always said he looked like a WWI flying Ace) of being in charge but I watched that team a bunch that year and they never really impressed, talent aside. But then in the playoff final against Brentford (and Thomas Frank, who I think is an excellent tactical manager) Fulham changed their tactics and line-up and scrapped their way to a 100th minute bomb of a free kick and a Mitrovic (?) goal to win 2-1. One hit wonder like Lampard v. Leeds.
He did take Bournemouth up as well, so his trick seems to work at the Championship level. His Fulham vs. Silva’s is instructive as to why the latter is a reasonable EPL manager and he gets easily found out at that level.
 

67YAZ

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As posted elsewhere, Canada Soccer is considering filing for bankruptcy. It has been dragging out CBA negotiations with both men's and women's squads while also burning through its cash on hand. There's reports that Gold Cup and Womens' World Cup expenses will put the organization underwater and unable to organize friendlies for the remainder of 2023.

At the heart of it is the deal Canada Soccer signed with Canadian Soccer Business (CSB) in 2018. Here's a primer from the Athletic, but the short of it is that CSB is based on the old SUM in US. CSB run the Canadian Premier League and conducts most of the revenue-generating business for Canada Soccer; in return, CSB pays Canada Soccer about $4m per year. That's just not enough to sustain Canada Soccer, and though there is a small annual escalator in the payments, the contract with CSB runs through 2028 with CSB holding a 10 year option!

In short, Canada Soccer signed a horrific deal with CSB and has almost zero leverage to improve terms...except maybe bankruptcy. I have no clue about Canadian bankruptcy law, but maybe this could give Soccer Canada leverage to reopen the CSB contract. Or maybe generating public outcry with talk of bankruptcy will get the government directly involved in brokering a better deal. Hopefully there's a major brekathrough soon because all the incredible success Canada has had on the pitch lately - women's gold medal, men topping CONCAF qualifying - could be forcefulluy blunted in a couple months.
 

67YAZ

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Update - Canada is applying for a $5m interest-free loan from FIFA. It’s bananas that they need this to survive.
 

InstaFace

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Ukraine, Israel and Spain have qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics in the UEFA qualifiers, joining hosts France. They had 3 bids, but the 4th semifinalist is England, who is ineligible to play in the Olympics (they're not "Team GB", though I wonder why that should DQ them...). So all 3 are through.

Ukraine has never made the Olympic football tournament, and Israel last made it in 1976.
 

DJnVa

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Royal Reader

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Ukraine, Israel and Spain have qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics in the UEFA qualifiers, joining hosts France. They had 3 bids, but the 4th semifinalist is England, who is ineligible to play in the Olympics (they're not "Team GB", though I wonder why that should DQ them...). So all 3 are through.
There's a degree of unfairness in there being four entrants who could qualify on behalf of the GBR Olympic team. I think the compromise in women's football is to only allow players from the individual nations who qualified in their own right. For men's football, the Scottish/Welsh/NI federations veto a British team existing however constituted, because no-one cares enough about Olympic football for it to be worth the perceived threat to the independence of the smaller Home Nations.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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It feels inexcusable.
Canada Soccer receives funding from the Federal government as well - $5 million last year. But the government has taken a dim view of their management and have ordered Canada Soccer to undergo an external audit of their finances dating back to 2017. They also have to submit to an external governance review.

Canada Soccer has agreed to all this (they really have no choice)

https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.6856009
 

Zososoxfan

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Can’t just lazily say “top 5 leagues” anymore- Dutch come in like a wrecking ball, France now on the outside looking in

View: https://twitter.com/ESPNFC/status/1676184082747670529?s=20


come to think of it, would you rate a mid table Eerdevise side against its Ligue 1 counterpart? Yeah I think you would.
What cracks me up about this is that France (and French-speaking nations that France is willing to take players from) have been producing the best players in large quantities for the past decade. It's hard for me to compare Ligue 1 with the Eredivisie and the Portuguese Primeira, where you 3 clubs that have traditionally fought at the top in Ajax, Feyenoord, and PSV, and Porto, Sporting, and Benfica respectively. Not sure how the midtables or overall quality compare though. Based on league TM value though, Ligue 1 smokes both the Eredivisie and Primeira. Even if you discount Ligue 1 by $1B to account for PSG silliness, Ligue 1 still has ~double the value, and that's borne out by the average club value data, with Ligue 1 at (E)185M, Primeira at (E)74M, and the Eredivisie at (E)58M.

Interestingly, the Eredivisie has significantly less foreign players (~40%) compared to the other 2 (~55%). The Prem obviously leads the way at 70%, which is about 10% more than the next most in Serie A.
 

InstaFace

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Can’t just lazily say “top 5 leagues” anymore- Dutch come in like a wrecking ball, France now on the outside looking in
...
come to think of it, would you rate a mid table Eerdevise side against its Ligue 1 counterpart? Yeah I think you would.
I would not. Performance of the top teams in European competition <> performance of every team up and down the standings. Eredivisie is a famously top-heavy league.

If you look at GFR, which is SPI-based, Eredivisie has the highest SPI standard deviation of any league in the top 16 (up through MLS, only behind #17 Scotland which is also famously top-heavy). But more importantly, the average team SPI of #5 Ligue 1 (61.30) is very close to #4 Serie A (62.90) and very far from #6 Eredivisie (52.60). Here is a blended table ranking of their teams (Ligue 1 vs Eredivisie), pretty clear trend.

Likewise, KickAlgor, the other ranking that I think does the best job I've seen, has #5 Ligue 1 at 544k points and #6 Portugal at 314k, #7 Eredivisie at 244k. They have Ligue 1 as being well behind #s 2-4 (ESP/GER/ITA), which are all relatively close to each other around ~847k. It's true that gap between 2-4 and France at #5 has increased in the last few years, but Ligue 1 is still comfortably above any risk of dropping in the rankings.

(edit: Zoso's TransferMarkt-based indicators above are useful data too, here, although player valuation can get a bit circular-reasoning since it's kinda a self-perpetuating loop of crowdsourcing opinions)

The trouble with UEFA's rankings (And also a weakness of SPI, to be fair, though it's mitigated) is that it relies principally on the performance of the top teams in the league in continental competition. And while that's certainly a decent signal and better than nothing*, it's easily misleading if you don't blend it with other signals. And UEFA's ranking is based 100% on that performance in continental competition.

Ligue 1 might be the "NL Central" of the top European leagues, but they are still in the big leagues.

* Now, 538's SPI also takes into account the relative performance of those top teams vs their own domestic competition who are not playing in continental cups, which says something meaningful too, and helps tease out some of the noise and get at league depth. Either way, there's a lot more context available out there than just having a few national champions competing for UEFA trophies.
 
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candylandriots

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This is a welcome announcement. Players being called offside when their fingernail was past the defender was silly.

Maybe a slight overcorrection, as a toe overlapping the defenders outstretched arm may be a little much, but overall I like it.
Now it will just be a different body part measured to the millimeter ;)
 

InstaFace

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Now it will just be a different body part measured to the millimeter ;)
yes, but if the spirit of the rule is "you can't be lurking by the goal, you have to at least start from being level with the defense", then this rule change merely adds a reasonable margin of error. If you cut it so close that we have to parse your heel and the defender's shoulder, you were definitely going past the spirit of the rule, and I will no longer have any sympathy for the plays waved off as a result. If teams start coaching their forwards to place themselves, not a half-step behind the last defender they can see, but a half-step ahead of that defender - and I'm sure some of them will do so - then imo they've lost the moral high ground. Just try to stay even with the defender, that's the key part of the rule that makes the game better and more watchable. If you're following that spirit of the rule, then the technical implementation change, here, will largely let you attack from that. A bunch of plays that would've been ruled just offside previously, will now play out and be fun and exciting football. Just, please, don't try to squeeze it for an extra inch.