Boxing Day and Beyond

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Jan 10, 2004
20,425
The 718
Everton have been absolutely stupid on this. Don’t contribute. Be mad at the FA all you want about a lack of consultation, whatever that means, but your club are embarrassing yourselves in this very stupid reaction to a Covid outbreak at another club.
There's nothing stupid about wanting to be consulted before a game at your own ground is postponed without you being told. Among other things, at the time Everton was one of only a few grounds where 2,000 fans were allowed to attend, so Everton had gone through the routine of opening the arena and having their own players and staff there to prepare, and fans had to be turned away at the gate - fans who had to travel on public transport to get there. But City had time to talk to the FA beforehand. That's unacceptable.

If you think that's stupid and wrong, I don't know what to tell you other than I strongly disagree.

There’s no fucking gamesmanship to finding out that additional players are testing positive and not being sure whether playing would just result in more spread to Everton players.
The rules are that you play if you can field 14 players. I think those rules are unreasonable and I favor shutting the whole thing down. If those are the rules, though, then they should be followed. My commentary re: City being able to handle it better than just about any other side is something I believe to be true. ut it's irrelevant for the current analysis so I won't stand on it.

Your take is awful and wrong. The implication seems to be that City are somehow fearful of Everton and using a Covid outbreak to avoid playing an injured Everton side. You should know by now that I’m not bullish on this City side but the idea that City is seeking some competitive advantage by piling up even more fixtures later is laughable.
I think it's entirely possible that City or another side might engage in gamesmanship.

Manchester to Liverpool is a one-hour trip. I think it's likely that they travel the night before and stay at a hotel, it's possible they travel day-of. This was an 8 pm start. If they traveled day-of, they must have gathered to leave well before 4 pm, which is roughly when Everton found out that they weren't going to play.

We knew that Walker and Jesus had already tested positive. They are likely testing daily or close to it. They would have tested the day before or the day before that. It's unlikely on these facts that they didn't know that they had an outbreak until a few hours before the game, and even if they did the club hosting the game should have been the first to know, not the last.

So although I can't of course prove wrongdoing, it's consistent with these facts that they might have said "we're banged up anyway, let's just call it off and get some additional rest."




Under no circumstances do I want a team to risk COVID safety. But if a) the 14-player rule is being disregarded and b) the home side is not being consulted, then it can't be ruled out.

I'm not implying anything about City's opinion of Everton, it could be Burnley.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
20,425
The 718
Interestingly, City returned to training today.
See, that smells really bad. If they're not able to play on Monday, I don't see how they're able to gather on Wednesday.

This is the scenario that is before us:

-as of Sunday, there is no outbreak
-as of 3 pm Monday, there is an outbreak
-as of Wednesday, there is no longer an outbreak

Not only is that very bad re: the threat to health of City's players and staff (if concern about that is more than sanctimony), it's implausible on its face. So yes, the "let's get our players some more rest before Chelsea" becomes not only possible, but it's the Occam's Razor explanation for this set of facts. Call me 'stupid' if you like.

More to the point, this kind of ad-hoc stuff is bad for the logistics of moving teams around, it's bad for the competition qua competition, it's very bad for public health. Shut it down.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
20,425
The 718
have most bottom half teams been playing 5atb vs Liverpool or just the trend with Big Sam back?
the bigger the bus, the easier the parking.

Wasn't Klopp complaining that WBA played with a 4-6-0 and that was really weird, or something like that?
 

PedroSpecialK

Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa
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Dec 12, 2004
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I think for once he didn't complain about their style, just said they were tough to break down and earned their point.

This team would not be challenging for a European spot without Fabinho, immense effort to close down Wilson and deny the pass across the 6' box when Phillips got beaten cleanly
 

teddykgb

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Jul 16, 2005
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Chelmsford, MA
See, that smells really bad. If they're not able to play on Monday, I don't see how they're able to gather on Wednesday.

This is the scenario that is before us:

-as of Sunday, there is no outbreak
-as of 3 pm Monday, there is an outbreak
-as of Wednesday, there is no longer an outbreak

Not only is that very bad re: the threat to health of City's players and staff (if concern about that is more than sanctimony), it's implausible on its face. So yes, the "let's get our players some more rest before Chelsea" becomes not only possible, but it's the Occam's Razor explanation for this set of facts. Call me 'stupid' if you like.

More to the point, this kind of ad-hoc stuff is bad for the logistics of moving teams around, it's bad for the competition qua competition, it's very bad for public health. Shut it down.
You've lost your mind.

City are without Walker, Jesus, Cancelo, Ferran Torres and Ederson. It creates a problem at RB and isn't ideal at GK but the idea that City is concerned about creating a rest period prior to Chelsea is complete paranoia. I cannot stress this enough -- City could have fielded an XI which is more than capable of playing and winning the match and with only a normal amount of strained depth against Chelsea. City are already facing a ridiculous fixture crunch while being behind in the league fixture list and having both cups still to play. There is no advantage to be gained by pushing this fixture to later when it'll be even harder to deal with fixture congestion and City will face the same problems if not worse. Your basic premise is flawed -- City aren't gaining an advantage here so why on earth would they conspire to do this? You keep acting like City sat on information in order to somehow screw Everton. It was their normal protocol and there just isn't a lot of time between matches. As I said earlier, if you think the FA should be better at communicating with Everton, whatever, but cancelling it was the right thing to do and it's absolutely crazy to me that you think City was sat there trying to engineer some outcome. They're flying by the seat of their pants like everyone else is because there's a pandemic.

City apparently got this traveling to Arsenal at some hotel where they had a pre-match meal. They come back and test a few players positive, quarantine those players, and play against Newcastle. This gets triggered because after playing Newcastle (where everyone remaining tested negative), they turn up more positives which means the original quarantine had been too late and other players could have been affected. I have absolutely no idea why you'd want City to field an XI of people who may or may not have Covid to play against your team and possibly place you in the same or worse predicament in a week from now. The appropriate response from Everton should be relief that they're not going to have to deal with some City player infecting one of their players and introducing it into their squad and possibly decimating their season. Instead it's been a whinefest because you really want 3 points. Malicious compliance would have had City rock up with an XI of players who may or may not have Covid and your players and staff get to wonder if they got this new highly contagious strain. Why is this what you and your club want? Remember, it's not just City's players, it's also staff, and these people don't deserve to have to work around a team of players who may be the source of an outbreak.

City did return to training today because they did another round of testing with no additional positives and this stupid league insists on trying to play the Chelsea fixture as well. Without additional positive tests, there's no momentum to do the right thing and quarantine the team so they have to try to prepare for the match. It's equally stupid and likely partially a result of the idiotic backlash to cancelling the Everton match. This entire scenario already played out once with Villa and Newcastle and it was not a big situation. This was only compressed because of the compressed schedule.
 

PedroSpecialK

Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa
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Dec 12, 2004
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Cambridge, MA
Need to see Shaqiri / Thiago in the second half. This is some drab stuff two matches in a row without much rotation against similar defensive setups.
 

PedroSpecialK

Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa
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Dec 12, 2004
26,178
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5 outstanding chances, 3 great saves by Darlow and two absolute sitters missed. Credit to Newcastle, Schar in particular was a man possessed.

I'll never understand Klopp's subs - Wijnaldum for Jones in a game crying out for creativity, then a 20 minute cameo for Thiago and a 3 minute cameo for Shaqiri. And another game where nearly every chance except Salah's miss was a result of a cross.

edit - not to mention Jota's needless involvement against Midtjylland costing him two months. He would've been a bit of a help the past couple matches
 
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Blundatola

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Jun 9, 2008
515
Chicago
Newcastle are p[laying a 7-2-1 at the moment. This is brutal to watch
Clearly you haven’t had to watch Newcastle much this year. Today was total football by our standards. Matty Longstaff returning has made our midfield at least a little competitive.
 

bosox4283

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Mar 2, 2004
4,128
Philadelphia
Twice weekly? I'm surprised they aren't tested every other day!
Agreed. While one can bemoan how money and power can buy a better testing plan than the average person can get, billionaire owners in a billion-dollar league should use that clout to test all the time.
 

PedroSpecialK

Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa
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Dec 12, 2004
26,178
Cambridge, MA
Given how little Ashley spends, I can't for the life of me understand the grief Steve Bruce gets, even from the Newcastle faithful (gripes about playing style aside) - the club spent its major transfer outlay in the past two years on Joelinton to play him out of position at central striker for most of the past two seasons. The other significant incomings over Bruce's tenure are Allain Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson, and Jamal Lewis (all three combined for a shade over the Perez transfer fee), and Andy Carroll / Ryan Fraser / Jeff Hendrick on free transfers.

He's got them safely staying in the league (14th again), and they nearly snagged a winner of Clark's header.
 

coremiller

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Jul 14, 2005
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Given how little Ashley spends, I can't for the life of me understand the grief Steve Bruce gets, even from the Newcastle faithful (gripes about playing style aside) - the club spent its major transfer outlay in the past two years on Joelinton to play him out of position at central striker for most of the past two seasons. The other significant incomings over Bruce's tenure are Allain Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson, and Jamal Lewis (all three combined for a shade over the Perez transfer fee), and Andy Carroll / Ryan Fraser / Jeff Hendrick on free transfers.

He's got them safely staying in the league (14th again), and they nearly snagged a winner of Clark's header.
Because the team is terrible. They're 18th in NPxGD, they were 19th last year. In particular, their attack is dreadful: they are 19th in NPxG and they were 19th last year. They've managed to stay out of a relegation fight only through some good fortune. it's true that they haven't spent a ton of money, but teams like Leeds and Brighton and Villa have hardly spent huge fortunes either and they are much better than Newcastle.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
20,425
The 718
We'll agree to disagree but telling me I've lost my mind is bullshit, as is telling me that I want anyone to get COVID, or that I'm engaged in a whinefest because I want 3 points. Don't tell me what I think when it contradicts what I've already said.

FWIW I don't think Everton gets three points, Everton doesn't beat City's second string right now; in case you didn't know 4 of our best players are out, and we have no Europe and are out of Carabao, so we don't have to worry about fixture congestion later. Getting the game out of the festive period only helps us. But I already said that.

This is simple:

1. A team facing an outbreak and on its way to another club's ground alerts the host club. As per your own well-taken observation, staff are involved too. Well, City didn't blow the whistle in enough time to prevent Everton staff and fans from congregating. Yes, of course City should be concerned about infecting Everton players, staff, etc. Unless its testing program is utterly inadequate, however, it's vanishing unlikely that City learned that it was too infected to play only four hours before gametime. Two cases were already known. So pick up the phone sooner.

2. It's also vanishingly unlikely that any squad is too infected to play on Monday evening but healthy enough to train together 36 hours later. An outbreak of sufficient magnitude for the first should preclude the second.

If you're saying that City is back to training because the league wants them to play Chelsea but was ok with canceling Everton (without telling Everton), then thank you, you proved my point. Which is that the current regime, such as it is, is ad-hoc, subjective, and prone to abuse.

No more from me on this. Feel free to think of me what you like.
 

JayMags71

Member
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It's also vanishingly unlikely that any squad is too infected to play on Monday evening but healthy enough to train together 36 hours later. An outbreak of sufficient magnitude for the first should preclude the second.
It really should be that simple. Realistically, Big Sam is right that the EPL should shut down for two weeks (at least) to see if there’s any chance to get this latest outbreak under control.
 

teddykgb

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Jul 16, 2005
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Chelmsford, MA
I just don’t understand what you want to have happened. The minute City get positive tests on match day after quarantining the first batch of players they effectively have 0 players available. The players played and trained together after the first positives. When more players test positive the entire team is presumptive positive. You’re proposing or at least insinuating conspiracy when there isn’t one unless you think City faked a 2nd wave. Is your complaint that Everton found out two hours too late?

City should not be playing this weekend. You can resolve the “entire squad presumptive positive” with a series of tests in the following days, which is what they’re trying to do. But the league is threading a needle here and it’s unnecessary. I sincerely doubt City are eager to play this match but the league is intent on handling this poorly.

The 13 man rule and the entire treatment of this acts like a Covid case is analogous to an injury like a pulled hamstring. The problem is that you can’t unknowingly give a pulled hamstring to your teammates (except probably Jack Wilshere). It isn’t that the City team was too unhealthy to play — it’s that there is no good way to determine who definitively doesn’t have the virus to transmit without multiple days of testing to see if it is spreading
 

Zomp

Dope
Dope
Aug 28, 2006
12,726
The Slums of Shaolin
Liverpool and Chelsea draw.

Spurs are skidding.

City are faking covid to duck Everton.

United score in Fergie time to win it from our superstar who is single handedly curing world hunger.
 

67YAZ

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Dec 1, 2000
3,197
Why in the fuck did I record this match & eagerly await watching it this evening? Blecht.

Klopp should have taken a page from Pep and pretended to have a COVID outbreak last minute in order to get some recovery in.
 

swiftaw

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Jan 31, 2009
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So there is a rumor floating round today that Kyle Walker had a big Christmas Party in London which was attended by many players (apparently Sancho hired a private jet to attend) of which 11 have now tested positive for COVID.
 

Zomp

Dope
Dope
Aug 28, 2006
12,726
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"pulls a Suarez"?

Are you trolling or do you really want to reopen the conversation and compare the two? Not sure if you were around for the original incident, but I can assure you people didn't cover themselves in glory...
 

SocrManiac

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Apr 15, 2006
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So there is a rumor floating round today that Kyle Walker had a big Christmas Party in London which was attended by many players (apparently Sancho hired a private jet to attend) of which 11 have now tested positive for COVID.
If this is the case, he needs to be banned for the remainder of the season. Anybody found hosting something similar should be banned as well. I’m on the fence about attendees, but I could be swayed either way.

I’m not sure how Neymar Jr.’s gathering gained approval (COVID-19 protocols at a NYE party? Riiiiight), but this type of behavior is just overprivelidged nonsense.
 

teddykgb

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He’s got priors so it wouldn’t shock me but that’s also why the rumor would include him. He caught a lot of blowback for his foray into the escort industry so I’d like to think he’d think twice but these are footballers so he may not even have thought once
 

67YAZ

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Dec 1, 2000
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So there is a rumor floating round today that Kyle Walker had a big Christmas Party in London which was attended by many players (apparently Sancho hired a private jet to attend) of which 11 have now tested positive for COVID.
Remember his sex party a few months back? What a fantastic teammate! Way more fun than Jordan Henderson.
 

Pesky Pole

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"pulls a Suarez"?

Are you trolling or do you really want to reopen the conversation and compare the two? Not sure if you were around for the original incident, but I can assure you people didn't cover themselves in glory...
I was complete trolling. i remember the incident well and the guy who bites people didn’t exactly have any credibility with me . Suarez was the most unlikeable star on any team I ever supported.

That said, Cavani knows exactly what he was saying.. It’s a racial slur in Uruguay, just like it was when Suarez said it. If it was up to me, these guys would all get 20 games every time this crap happens.
 

Kliq

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Mar 31, 2013
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I've seen Soucek score more big goals than I can remember. Remarkable for a holding midfielder for a mid table side.
 

fletcherpost

sosh's feckin' poet laureate
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Jul 15, 2005
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Eric Bailly is a decent player, but man he is so reckless with his body. I get he's up for it, but he's never gonna have the career his talent deserves if he can't learn to be a bit more - I dunno - careful. Utd need him to stay fit and healthy.