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The Woolster

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Posts posted by The Woolster

  1. Top 5 reasons why arguing on a forum is stupid:



    5. The person you’re arguing with doesn’t know anything relevant or useful anyway


    4. Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.


    3. When it comes right down to it, you don’t care what the person you’re arguing with has to say.


    2. The only thing anybody’s ever been persuaded of from an argument is that the other person is an asshole.


    1. Don't argue with idiots. They'll only drag you down to their level............ and beat you by experience.


    I wish I had seen this post about 20 minutes ago. Unfortunately I think I am in too deep now

  2. Pottery and Rafapology? Ooh, you're a scientist!




    HAHA! This did make me laugh when I saw it yesterday.


    I have a very typical Jewish mother, and she has been texting me and calling me for the last week or so to check if me and the missus (who is preggers) are ok, but I have just kept forgetting to get back to her. I just got this text from her "Are you OK? You've got an Ology but you can't phone you mother!"


    Thats quite funny for her, but also a bit of a coincidence!

  3. There's absolutely no need to be calling people names and trying to appear smart when replying. Just apply logic and debate the points you wish to make. That'll make it much more interesting.


    Earlier in this very thread, you called someone an idiot. Now that may be a statement of opinion, but it also name calling. I said you was repetitive, that is merely a statement of opinion and not calling you any type of name, although some would regard it as fact. I suppose did say that you are humourless, apologies if that upset you.


    And why do you despair at the education system in response to one of my posts. What can you conlude from my post about my education? Do you think that inferring that I had a bad education, and therefore am unable to comprehend things could be interpretted as name calling?


    Can you accept that you have been somewhat hypocritical there?


    Right there is one of the reasons I get frustrated with some of our fans - it's absolutely ridiculous to make that statement. BOTH are intrinsically linked - One is part of the other. It's like saying People can run marathons, therefore people who require heart transplants should still be able to run a Marathon. That people can run marathons does not effect the heart and therefore there is no link. One is has an absolute direct bearing on the ability to do the other.


    Do you understand causality and effect? The lack of transfer funds is an effect of the financial situation at the club, which itself is due to the club being bought using debt and having very little capital injected by the owners.


    Just because 2 things are intrinsically linked, it does not mean they can't be discussed in isolation. If I asked you about what causes the tides of the sea, would you be able to tell me about the gravitational pull of the moon without telling me that we can play around in the waves and go surfing?




    The Article was very very clear in mentioning that the Leeches have had to pay £78 Mill in interest - an overall loss of £92 Mill over two years. I then dug a little deeper into those figures and pointed out that a £92 Mill loss over two years - of which £78 Mill was interest payments - would have equated to £65 Mill available for the transfer budget which would have allowed us to possibly take the next step. I'm not going to apologise because you either missed or were unwilling to accept that.


    There are lots of other threads discussing whether Benitez has had enough transfer funds. Would it not be better disussing it in one of those, and by all means use the facts you have found out from this one, so that this thread could be left for something that, in my opinion, has not seen much discussion?


    Can you see how that by bringing transfer funds into the subject, and whether the squad is good enough for 4th or not for that matter, may be annoying?



    And there, right there is where you have completely missed my point - I wasn't suggsting that our transfer policy had caused our financial situation - where have you grasped that one from? - I've said, very very very clearly throughout that the financial situation AND THE FACT THAT WE'RE PAYING £78 MILL IN INTEREST PAYMENTS has dictated our transfer policy. i.e. There ISN'T one!


    No, you missed my point. I did not say that you did suggest that, I am saying the our financial situation, and what I think was the more important aspect of the the article, how we can most effectively see off the yanks, can be discussed in isolation from the transfer funds and the quality of our squad.



    Given that you do come across as reasonable I honestly believe that had you read my initial posts you would have agreed with what I said then. You've confirmed as much in these posts.


    Perhaps that is because I am reasonable. However, I have also seen a number of other posters who I consider to be reasonable, from both sides of the Rafa arguement, take issue with you recently. Have you noticed any of their comments to you? Would that not suggest that it is possible that you are being unreasonable?


    I am not taking issue with what you say, I would say I am on your side of the arguement with regards to Benitez, but that is neither here nor there, what I do take issue with is that you say the same thing, with the same hysterity, all the time, and everywhere.


    I know there are a lot of questions there, but seeing that you take umbrage when people don't answer your questions, I do hope you will answer all of mine.


    Apologies to everyone else for carrying on this pointless arguement.

  4. It's impossible to mention the financial situation at the club without mentioning the transfer policy as the transfer policy is directly related to the financial situation at the club. There's absolutely NO WAY they can be seperated. The first line of your reply to me attempted to do exactly that:


    You said:

    "But the article hasn't got anything to do with what the yanks have spent or not, it is about the financial problems of the club"


    The article mentions this and indeed gives figures £78 Mill in interest payments TO DEAL WITH THE FINANCIAL SITUATION AT THE CLUB over two years. Which, as I said means that effectively there is £65 MILL that has been taken away from the transfer budget that could have allowed us to take the next step and win the prem.


    That was all in my posts you replied to and tried to seperate the clubs financial situation from transfers. I'm not making it about Rafa - my point is and has been throughout the thread that the Leeches have denied the Manager Approx £65 Mill in transfer funds that could have taken us the next step.



    All this is for another thread, and that is what my point is.


    And you still haven't answered my first question.


    I don't know why I'm gonna bother with this, but here goes. You are right that the transfer budget is related to the financial situation of the club, of course it is. But the transfer budget in itself does not affect our financial situation, and that is why it can be discussed as a seperate issue. For instance Utd have a significantly larger debt and interest payments than us, however they are able to still spend huge amounts because they have a big stadium which enables them to service their debt.


    Our transfer policy has not caused the mess we are in, it is a consequence.


    Can you see the difference and how it is more than possible to discuss cause and effects as seperate issues?





    Boycotts are the ONLY way to get the Leeches attention - they don't care about popularity, they don't care about trophies (other than trophies bring prize money, they don't care about marches, they don't care about demonstrations. MONEY is what they care about and if that income is threatened they WILL take notice. It may effect the way a potential purchaser views us but to be honest I would accept that. If a potential purchaser pulls out of the negotiations because of the passion of the fans - they're the wrong sort to be custodians of OUR club.


    I also agreed with the original articles premise that the quickest, safest way to get them out was to give them the profit they crave. I don't see any way around that.


    Well done, now that you are on topic, I can say that I agree with much of what you say.


    I think people need to realise that boycotts will very probably mean that they are here longer. However I think it is worth the risk of them actually being here longer if it is becasue what we have done is what is right and we have made our voice heard.

  5. That would only have an effect on the Rafa situation and whether he thinks he can work under the new (if they are new) conditions or not, and if he feels he cannot he could possibly have a chance at constructive dismisall I think.


    It would unlikely have an effect on C&A leaving though, if anything, it could mean they are here longer if they Rafa leaves and they have to pay him off. They are likely to have a target return on equity that they are looking for, that includes both the profit from sale and profits (or loss) they earn whilst the still own us. Any payoff means that it will take longer for them to hit their target, as well as making us less attractive to potential investors, as in all likelyhood it would mean a furhter increase to the clubs debt to pay him off.

  6. You've changed tack here - my reply was to you saying you can't understand what the Transfer funds have to do with the financial situation.


    Read my posts it should clear that up for you.


    As you have repeatedly mentioned to other posters about them not answering questions, perhaps you can answer the one I asked you?


    At no point did I say that I don't understand what transfer funds have got to do with finances, 1, because I do, and 2, because transfer funds have nothing to do with the article. Neither does whether the squad is good enough for 4th, 7th, or 20th, but for some reason you seem to be discussing that a lot on this thread too.


    Here are some other questions for you, what do you think is the best way to get rid of the yanks? Do you think boycotts will affect the way a potential buyer will see us? Do you think we should accept that C&A will have to make a big profit if we want them gone as soon as possible?


    Now see if you can answer them without mentioning Rafa or transfer funds

  7. I despair of the education system I really do, in your response you acknowledge the article is about finances - then go on to try and remove "transfer funds" from the discussion about "Finances"??


    If it wasn't so tragic it would be funny.


    What has transfer funds got to do with the best way to get rid of the yanks?


    The article is not about whether Rafa has had the funds to spend on players. I am firmly in the camp that he has not, however I am able to seperate different subjects, even if they are in the same broad area, something which you are obviously unable to do as you are turning every thread into the same subject.


    And my education was just fine thanks.

  8. Really - you really don't understand the link between the Leeches spending policy (i.e. there won't be any) and the fact that the team finished 7th?


    But the article hasn't got anything to do with what the yanks have spent or not, it is about the financial problems of the club, and how the writer thinks the best solution to get rid of them is probably the most unpalatable to us, and that is to stop the boycott and/or protests against them.


    Unfortunately, I think there is some truth in what he says.


    Also, unfortunately, you are more repetitive than Catch 22. At least Catch has humour and often raises valid points

  9. There's probably fault on both sides. I doubt either are easy to work with.


    Is right.


    If this hand gesture is true, why is Gerrard arguing with Rafa in the first place? What is he arguing with him about? And what does he say to provoke the gesture? I can't see Rafa giving it the big 'I am' just doing it for the hell of it. The could be a few things he said to him, but the most probable I can think of to cause such a reaction is that Stevie has told Rafa he wants him sacked.


    Thats if it happened of course...

  10. It was too long, couldn't be doing with reading it. Someone give me the gist of it, and not a sarcastic one either.


    We are in the shit financially, and that we need new owners, but unfortunately the quickest way to get rid of C&A is to make the club itself as attractive as possible to potential buyers, and that means everyone, boss, players and fans showing a united front to make it a club worht buying, and that if we want C&A gone, we should accept that they will have to make a profit out of it.


    EDIT: Unfortunately however, the thread is now about whether the squad is good enough for 7th.

  11. I'm not too worried about the likes of Torres being "sold off" and I'll tell you why: In a perverse way, Torres staying actually helps the Yanks stay at Liverpool.


    They're only still here as they're able to borrow against the assets of the club - ie the players and the stadium.


    If torres leaves then that's a huge chunk of asset equity walking out the door.


    Yes, selling him would be a short term cash injection and could pay of a considerable chunk of credit, but leveraged finance doesn't operate on paying off your debts in large chunks, it operates on simply managing them in small doses.


    For that reason alone he's going nowhere.



    So we can all breath easy....


    Errr, your description of how leveraged finance works is wrong. FACT.


    By its very nature, LBO finance makes its returns by paying back its debt in large chunks, as the investment horizon for leveraged finance deals is generally relatively short, say about 5 years. The most common way the that an LBO makes its profit is to buy something, increase its value over the 5 years, and then selling it at a higher value, paying off all the debt and whats left being profit. There may be debt in the company afterwards, but that is 'different' debt, and the acquisition debt has been paid in full, in one large chunk.


    A more relevant example of how leveraged financiers can get their returns would be asset stripping/divestment/spin-off, where they believe that the individual assets are worth more seperately than what they have had to pay for the whole. In this case, they would sell the asset, and use the proceeds to reduce debt, in a large chunk, so that they can make a return quicker, and also because without the sold asset, they business will generate less profit/cash to service their debts, so they need to be reduced.


    Just thought I'd let you know like


    You are right about Torres staying keeping the yanks in longer though

  12. That's actually a fucking excellent post mate, and does raise significant doubts over the oft-repeated mantras we hear on this site.


    The 70% figure also fits better with what we actually see, rather than what the statevangelists try to force down our throats.


    It's clear that if anyone really wants to debunk the arguments made off the back of these stats thoroughly though, they are going to have to become an expert in these studies, which sounds like a lot of effort to me.


    Really the burden of proof should be on the people making the extraordinary claims not those who are skeptical of them.


    Anyway, I will try to read that article when my hangover is less vicious ;)


    It should be remembered though that 70% is still very very high. And as I pointed out, I think there is less correlation for mid table clubs, which in effect brings the result down to 70%, and it could infact be much higher for us.


    I did try to figure out how I could calculate the standard deviation for last season, and not sure if I have done it right, but got a standard deviation from the expected position of 4.7. In other words, on average, each team was 4.7 places away from where wage rank would suggest.


    But the thing that stood out for me, was that the difference between the 6th highest payers and the 17th highest payers was £20m, whilst the difference between us and Arsenal is also £20m, the difference between Arse and Utd is another £20m, and the difference between Utd and Chelsea is £30m. And that really is a significant amount and shows that task we have to finish higher than 4th.

  13. Woolster or Catch, do you happen to know what the standard deviation is in these stats?



    I haven't a clue. To be honest, although I know where it comes from, I haven't read the analysis that Catch goes on about, I'm just trying to explain the stats in more laymens terms, as I learnt stats as a layman and I know they can be hard to get your head around. The way I have explained it may not even be right as stats are not really my strong point (which also might make the rest of what I am going to say bollocks...).


    I have found a recent article by one of the authors though.


    FT.com / weekend columnists / Simon Kuper - Magical managers have no effect on league


    The main thing I would take from it is that in any 1 season, the correlation between wages and league position is actually only 70%, which why we see team like Newcaste getting relegated. The 90% is over the long term, so perhaps Catch shouldn't be so repetitive with that point...


    And that is why I would argue against what they say about managers not making a difference. Over the long term managers (generally) change, so you would have an 'average' manager, and would assume that managers are all of the same level. They quite clearly aren't. Over the short term, a manager, I think, would make up a lot of the 30% thats wages don't account for, and not the luck, injuries, bad referee decisions that they ascribe it to (although to be fair, they probably know more about what they are doing than me...).


    I also think that how they correlate wage rankings with league position is the wrong way to go about it as there is not enough variance in data and the results, it can only be 1 to 20, and that the way the Fink Tank does it by correlating wages with points is better as you can then compare points difference from where you would expect.


    Also, although I have no stats to back this up, I would say it is likely that there isn't a linear relationship, and that wages have a higher correlation for teams at the top and at the bottom of the league, and for mid tables there are other stronger factors. Which is why the top 4 stay as the top 4 each season, the promoted teams are usually the ones that get relegated unless they are able to spend big, whilst the mid table teams can often vary in position quite a lot from season to season.


    Shit, I'm starting to sound like Catch, or even worse, Tomkins :eek:

  14. I didn't think 'luck' was even acknowledged in scientifc research?


    Luck is a huge part of scientific/mathmatical research. It will often be called randomness, which is in effect just luck, and explains evolution, changes in stock markets, how a large group of people will react to something like a fire in a building etc

  15. The enjoyment of football is slowly being sucked out of me with all this science and statistical data bobbins. Where's the romance in using wage bills to predict the league table before a ball has even been kicked? Status, ability, desire to win and good managment don't seem to matter anymore.



    But they do matter, they matter imensly, its those things can't easily be measured with a number, and part of them will acutally be reflected in the wage numbers, which is why it comes out at such a high number.


    But if it gets you down, just ignore it and watch the game, as it isn't about stats, its just some of us saddos are more statistically inclined.

  16. Strange assertion given your faith in statistical outcome.


    Not really, models are very rarely 100% accurate, there is always a part that is unexplained. In football, a lot of this would be luck. Luck should even itself out, but this probably over a period a lot longer than a season. Which is part of why I think the term "the best team always wins the league" is a misnomer, as proved when Arsenal won the league in 89. But there are other examples as well.

  17. I'm not saying it does though, I'm saying it disproves the addlebrained idea that any such correlation puts a ceiling on our finishing position!


    Whether or not the stats have been collated and tested properly would strengthen or weaken the 90% or whatever it is today. My cynical position is to question whether they have been, which so far no-one has been prepared to answer.


    Good post by the way.


    5th definately isn't the best we can do, but I think it is fair to say that it is what we should expect if everything else is equal. But not everything is equal, we have a great manager, and that is why we often finish above expectations. This year he has not been as good, but a managers performance, like a players, can sometimes be above or below average.


    I think it would actually be easier to understand if it was to calculate expected points instead of expected position. In very basic terms, you could say that a team with our wages should expect to score say, 75 points, which would explain 90% of our points scored. The other 10% would be 7.5 points, but this could be + or - from the 75 points, depending on whether the other factors were positive or negative for us. Giving a large swing of 15 points because the last 10% is very important.


    The Fink Tank in The Times, do a manger of the year every season, which is based on expected points dependent on wages, and how many points the manager has added. I think it is pretty well explained. Fergie came top last season, with Rafa 2nd. Moyes has actually come top on a couple of occasions...


    The graphic in the link shows all the managers


    Sir Alex Ferguson is Fink Tank manager of the year | The Fink Tank - Times Online


    Sir Alex Ferguson is Fink Tank manager of the year


    They always ask the wrong question. When I tell people that I am about to reveal the Fink Tank Manager of the Year, I am usually asked “Who?” or sometimes “Why?” or most often “What are you serving for dinner and can I come?” But the right question is “How?”


    I am going to tell you the identity of our Manager of the Year and you will have your own opinion of whether that feels right. But the correct way to judge if the result is correct is to judge whether the basis on which we made the calculation is correct. In other words, you need to think about how we did it, rather than who we picked. The result merely follows from our method of calculation.


    So let me explain the thinking behind our method. First, we believe strongly that a calculation is better than a subjective judgment.


    Subjective judgments based on newspaper reports or single incidents are inclined to give too much emphasis to individual events that happen to be at the front of people’s minds. This is what psychologists call the availability bias.


    Second, you can’t use raw data on club performance to choose a manager of the year, because this ignores the elephant in the room. Money is the single most important driver of performance. You have to be able to model the relationship between the money spent and the team’s performance if you are going to isolate the impact of the manager.


    Third, looking only at money, performance and expectations excludes many things that people might like to include. Press relations, say, or nimbleness in the transfer market. But our view is that these things don’t matter unless they impact on a team’s results. Who cares if someone is good in the transfer market unless they produce good results?


    Finally, the period over which they produce good results is important.


    Having a manager of the month is absurd, because the results of one month of games tell you almost as much about luck as they do about management.


    There is a good argument that even a year is too short. But it is reasonable to take a look each season.


    So, Dr Henry Stott, Dr Mark Latham and Dr Ian Graham began by plotting the number of points obtained by each club against their estimated player wage bill. This allowed a curve to be drawn that shows how many points you would expect a team to score given the amount of money they were spending. As you move towards the top end you have to spend more and more money to gain anything extra in the way of points. That is even more true this season than it was last season.


    Finally, we excluded managers who had been in charge for fewer than 15 games because we didn’t think there was enough data to judge fully.


    This year’s Manager of the Year is Sir Alex Ferguson, the first time he lifts the prestigious trophy. Even though Manchester United’s wage bill is vast, his performance exceeded the expected performance by a wide margin. Rafael Benítez came second, his best Fink Tank Manager of the Year performance. Tony Pulis and Phil Brown have also had exceptional seasons. David Moyes finished near the top again.


    It is worth noting that Sam Allardyce did better than expected given the Blackburn Rovers wage bill despite not having a chance to play the transfer market properly.


    Luiz Felipe Scolari finished in the bottom segment, though controversially above Gianfranco Zola. Guus Hiddink was excluded because he wasn’t manager for long enough. But if he had been included? He would have come second.

  18. You're reducing the argument to nonsense. The point is that NONE of the top four teams finished in their "expected" positions last season. Or the season before. Or the season before that. If it's so fucking inarguable, riddle me that.


    That doesn't actually disprove the 90% odd though does it. In fact, on a very basic stats level, it would prove it, as from memory the output of the regression, which is the analysis where the 90% comes from, will be the one that has the least squared errors. Taking last season as an example, Utd finished 1st, an error of +1, we were 2nd, an error of +2, Chelsea 3rd, an error of -2, and Arse were 3rd, an error of -1. So the sum of those errors = 0, and infers that the regression has a very good fit.


    The regression is a line of best fit through a sample, but none of the sample actually have to be on that line for the regression to be significant.


    When I did stats you always had to do a confidence interval of the the output as well, usually to 90% or 95%, as there will always be errors. I wouldn't be surprised if the 95% confidence interval for expected positions is about + or - 2 places. So, even when were 4th highest payers, we only had a small chance of winning the league.


    Haven't done any stats for a while though, so I may not be completely right.


    I think have a problem with the 90% explanation as it makes everything else seem insignificant, whereas statistically, that 10% is still very significant.

  19. Whether you have a man on the post or not is usually the goalkeeper's call. Our marking scheme is tweaked for pretty much every game, so this wasn't a great surprise.


    Who said it would it be a Keeper's call?


    Dunno about anyone else, but I haven't noticed anyone defending on a goal post for a while, so wondered if Rafa is trying to address the goals scored from set pieces problems that we've had.


    Personally I think it is good for one or 2 on the goal line for inswingers, but out swingers you can see how it is meant to work with that goal that was dissalowed against Everton, everyone stepped up, leaving the attacker in front of the keeper and interfering with play whether they get a touch or not.

  20. I think Rafa will have been well preped and spoken beforehand about what questions were okay and what questions were off limits. You don't get an interview like this without have some dialogue between both parties beforehand. I'd imagine so anyway.


    Or perhaps he is hoping to come across as more open, as one of the complaints from the press about him is that he is cold and hasn't tried to build a relationship with them. He could just as easily have said he would answer anything, especially as the questions are coming from a red who works for a paper that I would say is pro Rafa. In his interview with Tomkins, Tomkins I think mentions how surprised he was with how open Rafa was to answer anything, perhaps its just more of the same.

  21. Could it possibly be that in an interview, an interviewer asks questions and Rafa answers them? Meaning that Rafa doesn't actually choose what to talk about? I'm sure we were all interested to know Rafa's viewpoint on the Barry/Keane/Alonso saga and I appreciate that he has given answers. But instead it has to be inferred that Rafa is trying to make Rick Parry look bad, and he's a deluded freak who is trying to curry favour with the national press because we are on a bad run of form?


    Was just about to say the same, have seen so many posts asking why he is speaking about it now, but he is being interviewed, therefore he is answering questions, how can so many not see this? If he avoided answering the question, wouldn't he have just looked worse?