Blog template Rock the Crossbar: May 2006

Rock the Crossbar

Tuesday, May 30

CROUCHY and Gerrard

)0e$ N07 C0^^pu73!

Gerrin there Crouchy. Did Lampard play today? Twat.

Monday, May 29

June 12, 2006

"All the talking is done. We'll have to step on the field June 12 and show what we're about," U.S. coach Bruce Arena said. Can you feel the momentum building? Can you sense the excitement? I can. It's the same feeling I had when I was outside Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport (LA) in 1982 waiting in line to see Van Halen for the first time. Or, even better, it's like the anticipation I felt at my first junior prom in high school as my date gazed into my eyes as she walked down the stairs in her new dress (and as her father gave me that "don't touch it" look). Check out this photo and please notice the glory, the brilliance, the passion of Landycakes! I thought the kit looked a bit Costa Rica-ish, but hey, beggars can't be choosers. Sure, we dropped a nail-biter to Morocco, but we took care of Venezuela and Latvia in dominating style. I'm so excited about playing the Czech Republic, Italy and Ghana! Who's with me?

Friday, May 26

"Oh Dear", Said Wenger, Ferguson and Rafa, "Lets plan for our 07/08 campaign instead..."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/5000208.stm

World Cup Fantasy League

A friend of mine in Austin (TX), Nigel Bowman, has put together an online fantasy competition for the World Cup. Feel free to forward this out to as many football/soccer fanatics as possible! Just go to the link below and you should be able to enter your team there. If you already have a team registered, then just sign up to join the league. http://fado-tigin.companyleague2006.com/(t1z2wcemgagtgo55rf2wfqz2)/Index.aspx The League name is: "Jules Rimet Still Gleaming" [Private League #999] PIN# [you MUST have this to sign in]: 506 The entry fee is $10. Nigel's email is thunderfc@swbell.net. Please contact him so that you can arrange payment.

Thursday, May 25

England B (Spuds) 1-2 Belamurderers

Just got done watching the B International. Interesting game, quite enjoyable though felt bad laughing at Robert Green and then realising he wont be going to the World Cup. Its one of the all time keeper blunders considering he had been on the pitch only 4 minutes. Thoughts: Michael Carwreck is a lot worse than I thought he was, he couldn't hit a pass tonight, was utterly appalling and a lot in England were calling for him to play for England but this will now be rethought, he needs another game to show if he is any good at this level. Jenas - crap, Dawson - Crap, Defoe - mostly crap. High praise from Burke for Crouch who was brilliant and so was Aaron Lennon, a Spud who actually looked good. Downing for me was pretty disappointing as I was led to believe he is very good on the left, but he is average at this level. Walcott didn't get much time but looks like he needs to assert himself more with his teammates - still what I did see I liked, just hope to see more. All in all not terrible and obviously missing 7 starters in this team. Hungary on Tuesday will be the real game. B International alright, the commentator was a BBC bottom of the barreller, denoted by his annunciation of "Argentinia" Yes there is now an I in it apparently. Also those Belarussians are vicious bastards - some terrible fouls in the second half. Wont have them back for a friendly.

Nominations to Rename the Blog

1. Holy Moley What a Goalie!!! - Saw the same sign on tv. I think this is a Canuck hockey expression. No offense Canucks. 2. Drink the Kool-Aid - I wonder if it was really Hi-C... 3. Long Time Companions - and redevote the blog to "soccer lovers" Beasely and Donovan Suggestions welcome.

EU looks at Football

The EU is planning on exempting football from competition rules. If they don't make the excemption, Man U and the rest of the G14 could negotiate broadcast rights directly thus depleting the coffers of the other clubs. The EU at the behest of the UK reviewed football and recommends salary caps. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Not granting the exemption would be the death of football across much of the UK and the Americanisation of the sport. On the flip side, not sure if UEFA can police itself. The UK needs to stand firm invoking national interest in the EU changes course and grant the exemption. If the French can draw redlines around media, the UK should take a stand to ensure the Football League survives. Down with the G14 and daft EU regulations Not generally too sanguine about the EU. Their mission has lost its way as this generation can not conceive of the Germans and French ever fighting each other again. Throw in the elites forcing Turkey into the Union and promising entrance to Romania and other Eastern countries and it's easy to understand why the common man dislikes the project http://news.ft.com/cms/s/4404953e-eac2-11da-9566-0000779e2340.html http://www.eupolitix.com/EN/News/200605/0f93bd8b-85b4-4d5c-a35a-298c3b12204f.htm

Wednesday, May 24

Drink the Kool-Aid-Arena states match unlike WC match

“Well, I think you have to look at the game. We have players that will create chances. I don’t think you will see a game in the World Cup that will look like this one tonight. It wasn’t good tonight, but we are a little leg weary, we’re over-trained. We pushed them a little hard.” “Our team looked a little tired at times and I thought our passing was poor tonight. (We had) an inability to cross the ball. Tough to break down the Moroccan team that got 8, 9, 10 players behind the ball the whole game. Give them a lot of credit. They took their chance well. We didn’t do a good job creating chances, our last pass was poor, and our crossing was poor tonight. After 90 some-odd minutes, that is the difference in the game.” So the US lost because Morocco did not play in WC fashion? McBride comments: On Arena’s comment that you are “unlikely to see a game like this in the World Cup”:“You probably aren’t going to have team’s sitting back and hoping they are going to get a breakaway. But again, as soccer goes you sort of how to figure out a way to win the game, and we probably didn’t do that well enough.” Teams will always push forward even if ahead or only needing a draw? On what the team can learn from a game like this:“It shows us something. There is always something you can take from this game and learn from it and hopefully make us better.” What is it Brian?

Not Good Enough

Arena's decision to drop Twellman sure is working out. Never mind that the Moroccan goal last night was scored against the run of play and likely because Cherundalo gifted the goalscorer possession in a dangerous area. At the time, we had McBride, Donovan, Beasley, Dempsey, Johnson, and Convey all camped out in their half and couldn't score. That's simply not good enough against Morocco, let alone the Czech Rep. and Italy and possibly Ghana too. The Mad Hatter must cobble together something that works and in the next two games or it's a likely 3 and out.

Tuesday, May 23

Non American joins Arsenal

What's this Rosicky who signed for Arsenal like then? He is Czech and played for Borussia Dortmund. Thoughts Simon. Can just see him helping defeat the US thus increasing Simon's pleasure http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sport/football.html?in_article_id=387387&in_page_id=1779&ct=5

USA Today article on Beasely and Donovan

By pure happenstance glanced the cover of the US today on train. Apparently, Donovan is engaged to an actress Biance Kaliljich or something. Not much else of note for most here http://www.usatoday.com/sports/soccer/national/2006-05-22-donovan-beasley_x.htm

NEW MANU KIT: RTC EXCLUSIVE!

Here we have RTC's very own John O'Toole modeling Manchester United's new goalkeeper's Kit. Nike has been keeping this under wraps for a while, but even in this raw image we can see some of the enhancement’s they made:

Extra shoulder padding.

Removable helmet.

Front grill belly guard.

An un-named Nike source said, on the condition of anonymity, ”It’s going to be like parking a freeking bus in front of goal! Sweeeeeet! Guh-guh-guh!” Apparently Nike are exploiting advanced composite technologies used in NASCAR to make this new kit. Hat tip to United and Nike for pushing the envelope once again. I think we can all agree, we’ve never seen a kit that captures the spirit of Manu so well.

BBC's Fighting Talk

This is a 55 minute pundit show which i listen to every week and quite enjoy. Its a bit Anglicentric in terms of culture but there should be enough here for everyone. Each week a host and 4 pundits talk about the latest goings on in sport in a quiz show format, its comedians and BBC presenters getting together for a bit of a laugh. This week had a former hurdler, Kris Akabusi who is annoying as hell but it was still an entertaining episode. I podcast it but its available on the Beeb's website for those who dont want to do any work. http://www.bbc.co.uk/fivelive/programmes/fightingtalk.shtml

Monday, May 22

Wenger - defender of pure football

For those who feel Wenger never sees anything , this is quite astonishing.

http://www.people.co.uk/sport/football/tm_objectid=17108970%26method=full%26siteid=93463%26headline=exclusive%2d%2dwenger%2dlashes%2dcheat%2deboue-name_page.html

Congratulations Simon!

I'm sure Watford's glorious promotion takes some of the sting out of Arsenal's defeat in the Champions League, so I just wanted to say congratulations to you and your hometown team. It must be extra special for you living in the States with an American being named Man of the Match for your beloved Hornets. Congrats!

Friday, May 19

A bit belated, but very funny all the same "What goes 'Beep . . . beep . . . beep . . . beep."' Answer: Arsenal's open-topped bus reversing back into the garage.

Thursday, May 18

Rock the Crossbar

Jonathan Kraft, effectively Chairman of the Revs, apparently had this to say today on WEEI..."Ultimately we'll have a soccer only stadium, and those that have been invested for a while (long term season ticket holders) will benefit and we'll see the atmosphere that we saw at the World Cup." I'm not holding my breath, but this suggests that the Krafts have more than a clue (klue?).

Henryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Newspaper reports have the man staying at Highbury - he is signing on Friday. He gave an interview to the Sun and the lad is staying! BRILLIANT - English football is saved.

Alarming

This is how we do things on the poor side of Manchester after finishing, uh, low in the EPL. We sell kits for next season with (wink, wink) SEXY ads! Brilliant marketing. This is the latest offering at the official MCFC site. It's a nice splash-page, sure, but it would be so much better to see some hot and talented transfers in those new, yet to be unveiled kits instead of the folks I see here without them. I do fancy the bird on her phone leaning up against the pole! Comments?

Hey Jens Lehmann

the minute you came off your line
I could see you were a man on a mission
a psycho goalie!
big afro, or a perm?
you look like David Hasselhoff
You make me squirm
now let me get right to the point!
Samuel Eto fished you, that we all can see..
Hey Jens Lehmann!!!
Red card, early shower for thee.

I feel for Arsenal. A final vs. Barca (and make no mistake, this years team is an excellent vintage - they will certainly be remembered as greats) is hard enough without playing 70 mins with 10 men and your second string goalie. Barca weren't the breathtaking force that I thought they'd be - although if this is due to arsenals discipline or them misfiring I can't say.

I disagree with Johno that 'this was arsenals big chance' - they've got to the final, which they've never done before - surely progress on the path to winning it. They help the whole league out - by being finalists they keep our national coefficient high and safeguard our 4 CL places for years to come.

I thought Henry could have been more gracious in defeat, but then again I’d be bitter too. His comments about not seeing anything from Ronnie are true, but not very sporting. Noteworthy factoids:

First ever CL final Red card Lowest ever possession from a team in the CL final (or highest ever, if you flip it) Rijkaard joins an elite list who have both played in and managed a team that has won the CL. (Stevie G is next) Now the big question is, will Henry stay? If he doesn’t, what does that do to Arsenal?

Shocking FIFA News

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/soccer/05/17/bc.soc.fifarankings.ap/index.html?section=si_topstories How can we possibly be tied with SPAIN!? At least we outrank those Brit bast*rds. tfic.

Sign the Petition

Have you seen the line-up of commentators that ESPN is going to throw at us for the World Cup? Derek Rae and Tommy Smythe aren't the worst of it at all. 'Cello's there. We saw yesterday how good 'Cello was last night in the CL Final. Derek Rae-"Cello, which is your favorite CL Final?" 'Cello-"Uh, well...last year's was pretty good." Brilliant. With 4 years notice, this guy is what they've got in store for us? And he's supported by the ilk of Julie Foudy. Great teeth to be sure, but c'mon! Not that it's going to do any good this year, but enough signatures might get ESPN thinking about casting the net a little more selectively. http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/World_Cup_Announcers

Wednesday, May 17

Oh no!

Truly sorry for you Simon. Think your back four acquitted themselves well. That should put you in good stead for next year. Realise being man down but very ineffective counterattack. Why was Ljunberg the only one it seemed that could advance the ball forward along with Henry? Ljunberg took a beating battling for the club. Tommy idiot boy kept banging on about Henry yelling to Wenger to bring on Reyes. It has to be concering if those two fall out. On the brighter side, since Campbell's goal didn't win it, no small furry creatures will die tonight most likely following celebrations.

The Neville sisters

The big game

So the time draws near - on paper the best final in years so guaranteed to be a 0-0 or a Barcelona slaughter of us. Two more hours and I am out of here to go enjoy the 2 hours before the game and then suffer through the actual game. Is any non-gooner on here actually hoping we win? The Barcelona supporting linesman has been given the boot thankfully - looks like the swansong for Pires and Cole so I hope they leave us on the ultimate high. I expect to lose but I can pray.

Tuesday, May 16

Liverpools new Striker at Melwood

Exclusive footage.

Monday, May 15

This team is so weak, man!

I thought that Brazil was supposed to be a "superpower" in soccer? Who are these guys? This team is pretty pathetic. I mean, it would have been rad if the USA could have been placed in their group. I think we would whip them. And, here's a question, why so many dudes with just one name? Who wants to be called "Fred?" Does this mean that Madonna and Cher can play, too? Oh, and that's Miss Brazil in the picture. I think she would make a pretty fair striker, or stopper if needed. Why don't they just go ahead and name her to the roster with the rest of these bozos? Brazil clearly have no chance of success in Germany this summer. More bong rips to follow, dude. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=368015&cc=5739

Chelsea gets Ballack

It's not a surprise I guess, but doesn't Chelsea's rapacious appetite for simply every name in football leave you with the view that the only reason to go to Chelsea is to cash in? I think it's a troubling sign that someone like Ballack and maybe others have no more ambition than to simply be a interchangeable cog in the machine that Chelsea is now. And at a time where you can see that going to Chelsea like SWP did has been a mistake. You can actually see the seams on the club bursting with the individual talent they have now, so adding Ballack and maybe Sheva will only hasten the onset of lazy obesity that the club is in danger of taking on. I bet even now Kenyon's saying, "I'll have a Ronaldinho, a Rooney, and a bucket!" For Chelsea and their billions, it's just a tiny wafer after all.

Sunday, May 14

incredible

What a game yesterday, whether you enjoyed the result or not I have never seen a game have so much going for it - howlers from a dodgy keeper, cramp from half the participants that forced defenders to take most of the penalties, attacking football and that goal by Gerrard which will be forever remembered as will Harewoods crippling miss. I hope Sven puts Gerrard forward this June because he is simply incredible. God clearly is a Liverpool fan after Istanbul and then this one.

Saturday, May 13

Landon Donovon - US playmaker

The NY Times is calling him the US playmaker. It seems Arena is expecting him to take the lead this World Cup. What did GAC call it, the three & q? I would prefer him not being in the set-up at all. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/13/sports/soccer/13soccer.html

Friday, May 12

As requested - More Slade

More pictures of Theo's bird http://www.krtinternational.com/photos/preview/express_live.htm?page=7

Thursday, May 11

Cleaning house in Manchester...

Oh, well, let's all hark back to the notes from the 4/28/06 "Silly Season Starts Here" blog strain with the picture of Sir Alex. I recall that I graded the majority of the MCFC roster in one of my more insightful comments. At the time, I was ridiculed. Some of you went so far as to question whether I actually watched football or not. Eat crow, bhoys! I gave an "F" to Riera. He's gone. I gave an "F" to Musampa. He's gone. Sommeil was a waste of flesh and I didn't even bother to give him a grade at the time. Now, he's gone, too! It's a beautiful day. We dispersed seven other bums. All we have to do now is sign our #8 (pictured, should be on the England squad), about eight other quality field players, a top notch keeper to unseat the calamitous one and, obviously, continue to keep the greatest fans at the greatest grounds in the world happy. Go on, Pearce!!!

Wednesday, May 10

Colbert Would Call It Truthiness

Fantastic stuff from a site I'd never heard of previously. http://thebrushback.com/soccer_full.htm

Vital stats on Walcott

That's his bird and we also learn that he missed Owen's goal in 98 because it So was past his bedtime. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=385671&in_page_id=1879&ico=Homepage&icl=TabModule&icc=Showbiz&ct=5

More Fun At Spurs Expense

Tuesday, May 9

The England Poem

Have you seen this? A Liverpool poet named Roger McGough has written a poem for the England Team's campaign in Germany. Just read this rubbish... REASONS FOR WINNING Win it for the fans whose happiness will depend on it Win it for Sven whose career may well end on it Win it for the nurses and local authorities Win it for the poor and ethnic minorities Win it for the girl awaiting the operation Win it for the firefighters racing back to the station Win it for the late train and the overcrowded bus Win it for granny who can't understand the fuss Win it for prisoners banged up in their cells Win it for couples in seedy motels Win it for young mums pushing their buggies Win it for saddoes, asbos and druggies Win it for the dads who can't bear to lose Win it for Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz Win it for young Rooneys-in-the-playground, learning new tricks Win it for old heroes at Wembley, the class of sixty-six Win it for the ex-pats, all the fans overseas Win it for the viewers at home. Please. Win it for the ordinary man in the street. But above all, win it for yourselves You've got the world at your feet. Reasons for winning. No pressure. Bloody hell, Ralph McTell was born too early. Makes you pine for the John Barnes rap.

We love Martin Jol

Never let it be said that Arsenal fans arent charitable. We have donated a chair to big Martin jol so he can watch the Champions League final in comfort. Tottenham have just requested the West Ham game be replayed. Fat chance.

Monday, May 8

Sven names the provisional squad

England's provisional squad: Robinson (Tottenham), James (Manchester City), Green (Norwich), G Neville (Manchester United), R Ferdinand (Manchester United), Terry (Chelsea), A Cole (Arsenal), Campbell (Arsenal), Carragher (Liverpool), Bridge (Chelsea), Beckham (Real Madrid), Carrick (Tottenham), Lampard (Chelsea), Gerrard (Liverpool), Hargreaves (Bayern Munich), Jenas (Tottenham), Downing (Middlesbrough), J Cole (Chelsea), Lennon (Tottenham), Rooney (Manchester United), Owen (Newcastle), Crouch (Liverpool), Walcott (Arsenal). Five standby players: Scott Carson, Luke Young, Nigel Reo-Coker, Jermain Defoe, Andy Johnson Lakenheath Old Boys

Sunday, May 7

Vas y Titi

The Ultimate Spurs nightmare. They get beaten at home, Arsenal win their last ever game at Highbury with a hat-trick from Henry that guarantees participation in the CL next year. Ole-Ole!!! http://media.soccerclips.net:81/upload_music/7thibtfi9qyn.mp3 TURN YOUR SPEAKERS ON!!!

Thursday, May 4

McLaren the new gaffer

I suppose this would be less disruptive as he's already in the England camp. I can't stand his sh%t eating grin when he gives interviews. Thoughts? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sport/football.html?in_article_id=385134&in_page_id=1779&ico=Homepage&icl=TabModule&icc=England%20job&ct=5

Wednesday, May 3

SCREWED

http://chicago.fire.mlsnet.com/photogallery/0529_dcne/8_sm.jpg What IS Arena thinking? Brian Ching is the most ponderous forward in the MLS, a great lumbering goal hanger who needs more chances before scoring than Andy Cole, Kevin Phillips, and Kanu combined. Yet Twellman, who is more lively than 10 of Ching is left out after game after game of ripping it up for the USA. What could Arena possibly see in Ching over Twellman?

Monday, May 1

England

Ahh, one of my favourite pictures that - alas it doesnt look like happening 40 years on after a disastrous weekend. Rooney as much as I hate him is clearly the best English player we have and no Rooney = no Cup much like no Landon = no mockery for America. With concerns over Rooney, Owen, Cole, Campbell (who was crap again today against Sunderland) and now Terry who stupidly played while hurt on Saturday, i have to say this is the worst build up ever to a World Cup we actually have a chance at. Very grim. So do we take Rooney? Terry Butcher says no but for me I would take him as he can win big games, Defoe, Vassell etc , they are just international filler. Just have to hope we get to those big games to get Rooney involved.

Good riddance Sunderland (mention of todays games)

Watched Sunderland roll over today against Arsenal, and they were very good at niggly fouls and pushes and ankle tappers once the ball had gone. I was at the 85th minute and delighted to see the back of them , then came some horror tackle from their nameless faces on Diaby. Terrible foul and just a yellow - replay clearly showed it was worthy of a prison sentence. Delighted to see these hoofers goig down, teams like that don't belong in the Premiership. Also keep eyes out for Luke Cattermole of Boro - another fella who cant time a tackle. He was kicking us when we trounced them 7-0 and he has a quality foul on Park today...

What Have You Been Reading?

A good place to start this thing going that's not footie related might be asking what have you been reading lately. I got tipped to this book "Tulia" by Nate Blakeslee about a situation in a small town in Texas, where in one night 20 % of its black residents got rolled up in an anti-drug sting. But as it is turning out, the safeguards in the system completely failed and a corrupt and incompentent justice system put away innocent men simply because an admittedly troubled undercover cop gave testimony that they were guilty. On the bookshelf next is Adam Langer's "Washington Story" which is the next installment of a reported triology of books following 2004's "Crossing California." The great thing about "Crossing Ca" were the high school scenes. It's like it was Langer sitting next to me and cracking jokes at LHS instead of Mark Enderle and Alan Vanderpyl. As for footie related books, don't miss the opportunity to read David Winner's "Those Feet" which is essentially his theory supported by great anecdotes of why the English play the style of football the way they do. What have you read that you enjoyed? Lakenheath Old Boys