God, you know those days when you just stare through your Twitter feed and begin to wonder whether you even like football anymore? Then you end up doing one of these.
Lots of little things for you to try on. First, Major League Soccer schedule time! I have this thing with fixture lists, in that they don’t really much matter to me. You play this team at this time, you travel a lot, you watch home games, some months are more difficult than others. But as for meat in story sandwich, this is basically over-mayonnaised tuna. What the hell does it matter for example that TFC will be away, then home again, then away again against two Canadian teams and then an American one? It doesn’t matter. All that matters is if the team is shit or not, and we won’t have an idea of that until the Combine/SuperDraft/SupplementalDraft/MegaSuperTopDraft/SecretSpiritAnimalDraft. If you really need to look though, be my guest, loser.
Staying in Major League Soccer, by which I mean Toronto FC News, because really there’s only one city in Canada and one team in the league, amirite, Calgary? This kit really hammers that message home.
Do you want to do this? Who should be nominated? I’m seriously asking.
In MessiRonaldo news, Sir Alex Ferguson says a nice thing about Ronaldo, Brooks Peck puts the words we think he thinks in our heads, Messi posted a low-resolution photo of his enormous trophy cabinet, and here’s a pretty video of Messi:
And here’s another video of Messi laughing at Ronaldo for making up an excuse over why he managed to get Bruno Alves to vote for him instead.
As for this endless bullshit about Ronaldo versus Messi, please give it a rest, friends. In the fullness of time, if you think that one player must be heralded as better than the other no matter the cost that this heralding has on your sense of dignity as a human being making their way in the world—because who really cares about making this case considering almost none of you has ever personally met either Messi or Ronaldo, and if you have, you haven’t spent enough time with them to form a reasonable opinion of them despite whatever you think the images on the TV tell you about the two players—well, if you think that, you need to take a walk in the woods. Take some deep breaths. Realize that we can only say a finite number of words, cloaked as we are in this veil of tears, and that we may as well strive to make those words mean something important, to make the world a better place. Okay? Thanks.
This rule could be applied equally to Real Madrid fans criticizing the one manager who was able to overcome a systemic inferiority to Barcelona last season and win the La Liga title, because he’s a loud mouthed “distraction,” whatever in the hell that means.
This London football-themed subway map is just gorgeous.
Finally, Zach Slaton’s latest analytics sermon is here, and as ever, is worth your time. It makes the slightly incredible case that the entirely of a team’s success once you minus out the TTV tab (a metric based on wages + transfer outlay) is down to the leadership of the manager, hence Man United’s unlikely success.
This is a bit simplistic, as there are a host of other factors, which includes everything from luck to the work of the training staff, but certainly the manager is at the centre of the most meaningful work. The work itself though is vital and worth examining via the usual channels, whether tactical or statistical.