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A Horse Named Stranger

Football: pool in to the Final Spur of the season

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5 hours ago, ljkeane said:

He was leaving either way so you might as well enjoy winning the trophy.

I know, but in weighing which team to finally pick, having your star's name be so cool did have at least a 1% impact.

:P

5 hours ago, Consigliere said:

It's a major trophy and should be celebrated. Don't listen to those entitled cretins on social media who think that every trophy other than a league or CL title is a mickey mouse cup.

That's pretty much exactly what I was hearing in the wake of the win. Chelsea fans who know more than me were seeming to react with a muffled "yay?" 

5 hours ago, Mexal said:

It happens. You'll get a tidy sum for Hazard, you'll replace him with a few players and you'll continue to compete, both in CL and PL. And you get to celebrate a trophy on top of that, one that Arsenal and their fans would have relished, if only to make it into CL.

Yeah, I felt bad when I learned that knocked you guys out of CL. Speaking of which, I think tomorrow will be my first CLF. Bring on the #cans! 

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Maurizio Sarri has reportedly told Chelsea he wants to leave. Do not blame him at all. Even with winning the EL he hasn’t convinced the entire fan base that he’s right man for the job. If he ends up getting the Juventus job he will have landed himself a better job, too.

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8 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

That's pretty much exactly what I was hearing in the wake of the win. Chelsea fans who know more than me were seeming to react with a muffled "yay?" 

Nah, man, I don’t get why any Chelsea fan would shrug off winning the Europa League. It may not have had some of the more household European clubs competing in it, but any trophy where you have to beat Arsenal in the final is a good trophy to win.

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12 minutes ago, Jordan La Cabra said:

Nah, man, I don’t get why any Chelsea fan would shrug off winning the Europa League. It may not have had some of the more household European clubs competing in it, but any trophy where you have to beat Arsenal in the final is a good trophy to win.

Fair enough. The analogy I was given probably won't mean much to people here, but thankfully @Mexal will get it because it's another sport he follows. Here in the U.S., college basketball isn't the most watch sport during the regular season, but often it feels like the entire country comes to a standstill when March Madness begins. It's a 64 team single elimination tournament. Mex and I both went to schools which expect to make the tournament most years. Additionally, there's a second 64 team tournament called the NIT. It's not watched on nearly the same level, and teams like ours would be disappointed to be placed in it. A couple years ago my team won it when we failed to make the main dance. Nobody cared. There was little talk about it. The American Chelsea analysts I was listening to compared it to that, but it's worth noting that he's a total Chelsea snob.

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On a not so serious note.

Conciously picking Chelsea as your team, I am not sure which series of life choices is more questionable, having friends who voluntarily worked for Paul Ryan or picking Chelsea as your favorite football club. I can see how one stumbles into a friendship with a Ryan staffer, but choosing Chelsea.

 

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Now I understand what the NIT is.  Someone else made the same reference on Thursday when I described the Europa League.  I had never heard of the thing, although I follow pro sports more than college.

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Stat of the day. Combined 87 years since the 'champions' league finalists were champions. 

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One could propose to accurately name it The Very Good Teams League Followed By A Cup, but I think it would fall flat.

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13 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Fair enough. The analogy I was given probably won't mean much to people here, but thankfully @Mexal will get it because it's another sport he follows. Here in the U.S., college basketball isn't the most watch sport during the regular season, but often it feels like the entire country comes to a standstill when March Madness begins. It's a 64 team single elimination tournament. Mex and I both went to schools which expect to make the tournament most years. Additionally, there's a second 64 team tournament called the NIT. It's not watched on nearly the same level, and teams like ours would be disappointed to be placed in it. A couple years ago my team won it when we failed to make the main dance. Nobody cared. There was little talk about it. The American Chelsea analysts I was listening to compared it to that, but it's worth noting that he's a total Chelsea snob.

I can see where they are coming from with that analogy but the Europa League is still considered a big competition in football. There are only two UEFA competitions in club football with a group stage and knock out format, the Europa League and the Champions League.

While the Europa League isn’t as strong in terms of the level of competing teams, it still usually has a good mix of some bigger teams that missed out on CL qualification from England, Italy, Germany, Spain and France. Then, after the group stage of the CL is completed, 3rd placed teams from groups can be demoted to the EL for the knock out stage. This year, for instance, Napoli fell into the EL from the CL, but it was very nearly Liverpool that fell into the EL instead of Napoli. Last year, Atletico fell in from the CL group stage to EL knockout stage and went onto win the competition. When Chelsea last won the EL in 2013, we fell in by coming third in our CL group that season.

Going by the teams that entered the EL at the group stage this season, Chelsea probably were the strongest team and should have been the favourite to win it. That maybe changed slightly when Napoli fell in from the CL.

If Chelsea started this season in the CL instead, we’d probably have had around 10 teams more likely to win the CL than us, though, which probably gives a fair idea of the difference in the level of the EL compared to the CL.

 

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Good luck to our liverpool and spurs fans. Whoever wins or loses, try to behave with some dignity tonight on social media. Some of my acquaintances have already been cringey bell ends, don't be that person. 

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Posted (edited)

As an American I would like to apologize to our friends in Europe and around the world for Imagine Dragons.

 

Could those of you who are more savvy with football than me say if that penalty was the right call?  Seemed to me like it really hit the chest area more directly ergo a tough call for Tottenham, but the commentators seemed to think it was right. 

Edited by Triskele

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I just don't see any reason for these handball rules of today.

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Just now, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Nha, clear penalty. The arm had no business being up there, where it was.

That's the thing - it did. 

Sissoko's communicating.

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Good for him, but that was a handball 10 years ago. With his arm stretched out, he really has no reason whatsoever to complain if he concedes a penalty this way.

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Can't say I support an interpretation where kicking the ball into an arm gives a penalty when the arm is there for a reason. 

 

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Spurs way ahead on possession stats.We're a bit too disjointed for my liking at this point.

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