The EFL/Carabao Cup : My B team is better than your B team

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Chelsea pretty dominant so far, 1-0 and could easily have been two.

Their ability to rotate players in and out without their level dropping too much is really impressive. Six changes from the side that played Liverpool, and all of that is with both first choice wingbacks injured.
 

DJnVa

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Well that was gross.

See if you can pull one back and hope you can pull even at home next week and take it to PKs.
 

DJnVa

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Same issue for Spurs that they've had for years. They just don't have the ability to keep and progress the ball against a team that really presses with intensity and organization.
But see, that's Conte's plan before his meeting with ownership re: transfers. Show them.

I like have an "industrious" midfielder. But they can't really all be that style.
 

OCST

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Oh, my goodness. That will live in infamy. right up there with the butt fumble and the ball bouncing off Canseco's head.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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But see, that's Conte's plan before his meeting with ownership re: transfers. Show them.

I like have an "industrious" midfielder. But they can't really all be that style.
Doesn't help that Hojberg has been pretty bad at doing even that for the past month now, he is not the indomitable iron man that Spurs managers seem to think he is and appears utterly shattered.
 

DJnVa

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Doesn't help that Hojberg has been pretty bad at doing even that for the past month now, he is not the indomitable iron man that Spurs managers seem to think he is and appears utterly shattered.
I mean, he was, for a season. But he can't keep doing it.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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My hot take is that whoever does the boss-the-midfield-do-the-dirty-work job takes a physical beating. Seeing much the same with Doucoure this year, who led the PL in km covered, was tearing it up, got hurt and has been not so good. Ran himself into the ground.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Hojbjerg is sort of a victim of his own durability and indispensibility for club and country. He played 4323 club minutes last season, including (incredibly) every single minute of all 38 PL matches. This season he has already cleared another 2000 minutes for Spurs. And he tends to play a lot for Denmark too when he goes on international breaks because they don't have many midfield options as good as him.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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These tests have a false positive rate of like 2%. I'm sure they happened to get like 5-6 of them at once.

Honestly, this would be a massive scandal if it happened in American sports, a team inventing a Covid outbreak so they could reschedule a game to a time when they were healthier and more rested. Goodell would be taking away first round draft picks.

View: https://twitter.com/afcstuff/status/1480216863149805573
 

SocrManiac

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Unless you’re suggesting faked tests (which is a completely different animal), I think you’re angry at the wrong group. The FA doesn’t have a clear, consistent protocol for dealing with this. As such, teams do what they do: try to create an advantage wherever possible.

I’m not willing to make the leap that Liverpool are fudging their results, especially without knowing what the test is, how it’s administered, how it’s interpreted, and how it’s communicated. I’ll also acknowledge they’re leveraging to get the outcome they desire. All that said, this isn’t some grand conspiracy to protect themselves against Mighty Arsenal in a competition nobody gives a shit about.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Unless you’re suggesting faked tests (which is a completely different animal), I think you’re angry at the wrong group. The FA doesn’t have a clear, consistent protocol for dealing with this. As such, teams do what they do: try to create an advantage wherever possible.

I’m not willing to make the leap that Liverpool are fudging their results, especially without knowing what the test is, how it’s administered, how it’s interpreted, and how it’s communicated. I’ll also acknowledge they’re leveraging to get the outcome they desire. All that said, this isn’t some grand conspiracy to protect themselves against Mighty Arsenal in a competition nobody gives a shit about.
Liverpool have looked absolutely shattered physically for the last two weeks, have a bunch of players leave for AFCON, and then a day later have an outbreak of false positives in their remaining first team players, which occur with a probability of like .02 (or less with PCR), allowing them to rest most of their first team for 10 days. They then don't publicly mention anything about the false positives and the fact that there was no outbreak at all for nearly a week, despite the fact that an organization like this surely has some kind of testing arrangement such that they're getting same-day results even of PCR tests and are doing daily testing. They initially shut down first team training last Tuesday based on tests conducted that morning so if the tests were actually false positives they almost certainly tested again Wednesday (and probably did) and known at that point that the results weren't actually positive (unless you think those p=.02 odds somehow kept hitting over and over for the same players). But instead they don't say anything and go through with this whole charade of shutting down the training center until Friday despite almost certainly knowing by that point that it was a farce. The whole thing is just ridiculous and makes the club like a total clown show.
 
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Pesky Pole

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I still don’t understand this alleged conspiracy theory to avoid mighty Arsenal on Thursday (who just lost to Nottingham Forest in an equally meaningless cup). The fixture congestion doesn’t get any better for them with the reschedule and they are still going to be missing the AFCON guys. They’ll still play the kids against Arsenal the next two Thursdays because they don’t have any choice but to push for Premier League points first. So Max Woltman, Melkamu Freoundorf, Boaty McBoatface and Elijah-Dixon Bonner are still coming for you.…there is no avoiding them (I may have made up one of those).
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I still don’t understand this alleged conspiracy theory to avoid mighty Arsenal on Thursday (who just lost to Nottingham Forest in an equally meaningless cup). The fixture congestion doesn’t get any better for them with the reschedule and they are still going to be missing the AFCON guys. They’ll still play the kids against Arsenal the next two Thursdays because they don’t have any choice but to push for Premier League points first. So Max Woltman, Melkamu Freoundorf, Boaty McBoatface and Elijah-Dixon Bonner are still coming for you.…there is no avoiding them (I may have made up one of those).
Nice job not addressing any of the actual facts at hand. For example, when do you think a club that does daily testing with same day results found out that it’s false positives returned last Tuesday were false?

In terms of motivation, the fact that your title challenge is basically done by January probably plays into it.

That a Liverpool fan would dismiss both domestic cups as meaningless is a tellingly insufferable look for a supporter of a club that not too long ago was on a 27 year title drought. My guess is that Klopp doesn’t share your feelings., and will play his strongest team on Thursday.
 

Pesky Pole

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So to answer your question, teams had been doing daily lateral flow tests on training and match days. Until recently, they were also doing PCR tests twice weekly. Earlier this week, the Premier league did away with the PCR tests. PCR tests were only to be administered for symptomatic positive lateral flow cases. Everyone else was to isolate for 5 days and retest. Not optimal for player safety but thats another thread somewhere else.

i won’t try to defend false positives other than to say lateral flow are not as good as antigen or PCR. They were showing 3% false positives before Omicron and there is empirical evidence to suggest this number is higher with Omicron. Given they are done in players car, anything is possible.

As for the League, I’m concerned with top 4 more than winning the League. Without our AFCON players, I want to stay clear of top 4 jeopardy.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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So to answer your question, teams had been doing daily lateral flow tests on training and match days. Until recently, they were also doing PCR tests twice weekly. Earlier this week, the Premier league did away with the PCR tests. PCR tests were only to be administered for symptomatic positive lateral flow cases. Everyone else was to isolate for 5 days and retest. Not optimal for player safety but thats another thread somewhere else.

i won’t try to defend false positives other than to say lateral flow are not as good as antigen or PCR. They were showing 3% false positives before Omicron and there is empirical evidence to suggest this number is higher with Omicron. Given they are done in players car, anything is possible.

As for the League, I’m concerned with top 4 more than winning the League. Without our AFCON players, I want to stay clear of top 4 jeopardy.
The league adopted the new testing protocols starting this past Thursday, two days after the tests at Liverpool, and as far as I have seen the protocols mandate that all players testing positive via lateral flow take a PCR to confirm. The notion that Liverpool had what they thought was a huge outbreak based on lateral flow tests conducted last Tuesday but didn't actually retest any of the players until today, which is the implied theory I'm seeing in your post (correct me if I'm wrong), seems like a massive stretch.

Imagine the Patriots announced a huge outbreak on a Friday, pressured the league to postpone a big game, and then the following Wednesday Bill Belichick said at a press conference that actually it was all false positives and only one of their players had Covid but they had no idea until that morning. Goodell wouldn't let the Patriots draft until 2037.
 
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Mighty Joe Young

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So … if I’m reading this correctly the laughable theory is that Liverpool FC faked a bunch of Covid tests in order to postpone a League Cup game for a week? Faked Covid tests … think about what you are suggesting.

Lets see ..

Reward: game postponed and Liverpool gain … a whole week vis a vis Arsenal. None of their injured players will return within that time frame. The AFCON players won’t return until late January (unless common sense prevails and they cancel the tournament). They still had to play this weekend against Shrewsbury. And half the rested players would probably not play against Arsenal anyways. Criticize Liverpool for not taking the domestic cups seriously all you want ..
it’s a fair cop but, at least they are consistent in this. So, if you logically don’t care about a competition why would you make up fake Covid results to avoid playing in it?

Risk: no training this week for Shrewsbury, or Arsenal next week. Yet more fixture congestion. Another week risks the chance another set of guys test positive (AA is out now). Word gets out they did fake the tests … all hell would break loose. Fines, suspensions , reputations ruined. Unless you think Klopp was in on it (seriously?) he would quit.
 
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Pesky Pole

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The league adopted the new testing protocols starting this past Thursday, two days after the tests at Liverpool, and as far as I have seen the protocols mandate that all players testing positive via lateral flow take a PCR to confirm. The notion that Liverpool had what they thought was a huge outbreak based on lateral flow tests conducted last Tuesday but didn't actually retest any of the players until today, which is the implied theory I'm seeing in your post (correct me if I'm wrong), seems like a massive stretch.

Imagine the Patriots announced a huge outbreak on a Friday, pressured the league to postpone a big game, and then the following Wednesday Bill Belichick said at a press conference that actually it was all false positives and only one of their players had Covid but they had no idea until that morning. Goodell wouldn't let the Patriots draft until 2037.
The new guidelines don’t call for PCRs for asymptomatic positives…just isolation. You do appear to be correct on the Thursday effective date though so totally my bad on that timing.

if it was the Pats, yes. If it was the Chiefs, Roger would apply a wet washcloth to Mahomes forehead and make cookies.

Plus Liverpool simply asked the FA who agreed. They presumably asked for details on the situation before they agreed. I’m still no seeing the big advantage here.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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So … if I’m reading this correctly the laughable theory is that Liverpool FC faked a bunch of Covid tests in order to postpone a League Cup game for a week? Faked Covid tests … think about what you are suggesting.

Lets see ..

Reward: game postponed and Liverpool gain … a whole week vis a vis Arsenal. None of their injured players will return within that time frame. The AFCON players won’t return until late January (unless common sense prevails and they cancel the tournament). They still had to play this weekend against Shrewsbury. And half the rested players would probably not play against Arsenal anyways. Criticize Liverpool for not taking the domestic cups seriously all you want ..
it’s a fair cop but, at least they are consistent in this. So, if you logically don’t care about a competition why would you make up fake Covid results to avoid playing in it?

Risk: no training this week for Shrewsbury, or Arsenal next week. Yet more fixture congestion. Another week risks the chance another set of guys test positive (AA is out now). Word gets out they did fake the tests … all hell would break loose. Fines, suspensions , reputations ruined. Unless you think Klopp was in on it (seriously?) he would quit.
More likely, they exaggerated the number of positive tests in their public statements to make it seem like a postponement was more reasonable under the "14 players and you must play" rule while making their own private request to the EFL (chaired by, checks noted, ex-LFC CEO Rick Parry), then either dragged their feet on retesting the players (as they were supposed to under the old testing regime) and/or kept the results quiet when they did.

What's your alternative theory? They just happened to independently hit seven 3-in-100 shots on the same morning, then never bothered to find out that the players weren't actually positive until today? Does Jurgen Klopp know this week's powerball numbers?
 

SocrManiac

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Bad batch of tests? New guy administering the test? Positive person administering the test?

You’ve yet to provide any sane motive that justifies the risk of getting caught.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Multiple clubs (not mentioned which ones) are requesting that the EFL investigate Liverpool over the testing/postponement issue, according to this Athletic article. I wouldn't hold my breath over an actual investigation given the identity of the EFL chairman but it just shows that isn't conspiracy theorizing. Clubs are asking reasonable questions given a very unusual looking situation.

One thing this article claims is that Liverpool did conduct multiple rounds of followup PCR tests of the players who first tested positive, which is what would make sense given the prior testing regime (and also what would make sense in general given these players are effectively assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars). So it seems a lot of the questions being asked by clubs are the same ones I was asking earlier in the thread about when the retesting occurred, whether they knew prior to the fixture, etc. What the article says in this regard doesn't really add up completely to me (basically, the article claims that a second of PCR tests showed the same false positives, then only they were revealed to be false on a third round, this seems super unlikely). But the scenario Pesky Pole advanced where they simply didn't retest the players until the weekend does not seem to have occurred (at least according to this Liverpool-based journalist and his sources).
 
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PedroSpecialK

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Preface: I'm probably wrong on the math below.

The second round of tests being PCRs and having a series of false positives is a lot more believable than there being > 1 false positive on the first round of lateral flow tests; we'll never get complete information, but I wanted to explore the likelihood of 2+ false positives from the same batch of lateral flow tests. A possible scenario:

- A set of players returns positive lateral flow tests (IIRC the initial reports said 3 players?) - 0.5% false positives among symptomatic subjects, 1.1% false positives among asymptomatic subjects according to this resource. Assuming that none of the subjects that tested positive were symptomatic, and knowing TAA was actually infected, we're talking about two likely false positives among a test pool of ~30? Odds of 2 false positives in a row are ~0.0121%, 0.011*0.011/(1-0.011)^30 = 0.0168% chance of 2 false positives being incurred among any set of 30 tested players / staff using LFTs.

- A couple of assumptions - I imagine these tests are occurring daily across all 20 squads, and have been carried out for ~150 days (I know they changed testing standards recently and am lazy) - that means this 0.0168% chance has 3,000 independent opportunities of coming to fruition; unless I am completely misunderstanding probabilities (which, I cannot stress enough, is the likely outcome), it seems there's an over 50% chance of there being exactly 2 false positives on a set of 30 LFTs, if the same tests are executed 3,000 times. Obviously, there are an untold number of other variables that I'm not accounting for there, but when the testing volumes get to where they are these days, it's at least possible.

- The part that seems to introduce doubt about Liverpool's version of the story is arguably the more believable one, i.e. that the second round of tests had the same amount of (or more) false positives - from what I could find, albeit likely outdated (Jan '21 publish date), this paper indicates that false positive rates in PCR testing can be as high as 5%. With ~30 tests, 0.05*0.05/(0.95)^30 yields a 1.16% chance of exactly two false positives - almost 100 times more likely than the LFTs. The combined probability of 2 false positives out of 30 in a series of LFTs, followed by 2 false positives out of 30 in a series of PCR tests, is about a 0.0000197% chance when each series of tests is executed once. Increase that by however many thousand instances of full teams being tested day-over-day, and you'll get a much larger number.

Is something up? Possibly - though I think we need more clear information on the volume of positive tests per testing cycle, time between tests, players who tested positive in each round (i.e. did the LFTs capture end-of-infection positives for one series of players, who then tested negative on the PCRs with other false positives cropping up?) etc.

I will say, I have no love for FSG - I didn't renew my club membership in light of the Super League bullshit, I think their model of finding the right talent to maximize their bang-for-buck is not suited to title chases against oil wealth, and that the club's recent success can be attributed to Klopp and Edwards, etc more so than any otherworldly ownership benevolence - but they are far greedier than they are stupid. I have a really hard time believing that an ownership group that's already taken a big black eye in the last 12 months would risk something so brazen and short-sighted - especially given this would not even get them out of any type of fixture congestion! Pushing the second leg back a week now just means the FA Cup tie against Cardiff is in limbo - but they haven't historically placed much emphasis on it anyway.

EDIT: Forgot to calculate out w factorials given finite number of tests per run. Oh well. Like 67 says, if it’s deliberate kick them out of the competition.
 
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Mighty Joe Young

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Multiple clubs (not mentioned which ones) are requesting that the EFL investigate Liverpool over the testing/postponement issue, according to this Athletic article. I wouldn't hold my breath over an actual investigation given the identity of the EFL chairman but it just shows that isn't conspiracy theorizing. Clubs are asking reasonable questions given a very unusual looking situation.

One thing this article claims is that Liverpool did conduct multiple rounds of followup PCR tests of the players who first tested positive, which is what would make sense given the prior testing regime (and also what would make sense in general given these players are effectively assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars). So it seems a lot of the questions being asked by clubs are the same ones I was asking earlier in the thread about when the retesting occurred, whether they knew prior to the fixture, etc. What the article says in this regard doesn't really add up completely to me (basically, the article claims that a second of PCR tests showed the same false positives, then only they were revealed to be false on a third round, this seems super unlikely). But the scenario Pesky Pole advanced where they simply didn't retest the players until the weekend does not seem to have occurred (at least according to this Liverpool-based journalist and his sources).
So … I think the salient point in that article is that the second round (PCR) tests also returned false positives and were done by an independent lab. Pretty hard to fake that. There’s also the possibility that the third round (which only had one positive -AA- had some false negatives?

Regardless, the independent test will get Pool out of any jeopardy I would imagine.

As y’all have pointed out the skepticism (and unlikelihood) of all this is shared by other clubs and not without merit. Especially as many of them have requested postponements and we’re denied (which was just stupid)

edit: the article’s author Simon Hughes is no Liverpool sycophant (unlike the likes of James Pearce who, while a decent journo is a tad biased)
 
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Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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So … I think the salient point in that article is that the second round (PCR) tests also returned false positives and were done by an independent lab. Pretty hard to fake that. There’s also the possibility that the third round (which only had one positive -AA- had some false negatives?

Regardless, the independent test will get Pool out of any jeopardy I would imagine.
I was confused by this part of the article to be honest. The way the article was written left it unclear to me whether it was the same players that were positive on the second round of tests. If so, two straight sets of false positives seem very improbable, to the point that I don't quite understand how they decide those positives are false based on a subsequent test that is negative (a false negative is much more likely than a false positive, never mind two straight false positives). My guess is that this journalist probably does have some sources but doesn't really know the full picture yet.

At this point I think its prudent to just wait and see what other information comes out.
 

67YAZ

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They should investigate thoroughly and, if any wrong doing is found, throw the book at Liverpool. I say this as an LFC fan. COVID is too serious to be part of some elaborate gamesmanship.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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I was confused by this part of the article to be honest. The way the article was written left it unclear to me whether it was the same players that were positive on the second round of tests. If so, two straight sets of false positives seem very improbable, to the point that I don't quite understand how they decide those positives are false based on a subsequent test that is negative (a false negative is much more likely than a false positive, never mind two straight false positives). My guess is that this journalist probably does have some sources but doesn't really know the full picture yet.

At this point I think its prudent to just wait and see what other information comes out.
One would assume they only tested the positive players in the second round of (independent) tests. Maybe they decided to do the whole team+staff ? That would have been the prudent thing to do. In this case staff probably means anyone working at Axa - which is probably close to a 100 people.
 

Kliq

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I think Spurs best hope in this game is for Kepa to make a huge mistake to let us in the game.
 

Kliq

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Spurs have had a decent bit of the ball to start the game, but this backline of Tanganga, Sanchez, Davies, Doherty feels pretty shaky, and they have Gollini back there instead of Hugo.
 

Kliq

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Tanganga loses Rudiger and Gollini does NOTHING by coming off his line. Feels like this one is over already.
 

Kliq

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Rudiger just insanely fortunate that wasn't a penalty. Holy smokes.
 

Kliq

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Alright Lucas, need three goals in this second half, you know what to do.
 

Kliq

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VAR does its job there. I can see how from Mariner's angle why he may have thought that was a foul on Kepa, but clearly he beats Lucas to the ball.