Blog template Rock the Crossbar: June 2006

Rock the Crossbar

Friday, June 30

Gushfest for Johno

Yernited teds + interweb. Euugghhhhhh.

Who's the next Gareth Southgate?

Well, the friggin' Germans have done it once more. I watched, in anguish, as the clock ticked down in the second period of extra time against Argentina. I knew what was coming: those guys just never lose penalty kick shootouts. I selected England over Argentina in the final, off the mark as usual, but now my worst nightmares appear on the verge of being confirmed for the seemingly millionth time. England will beat Portugal, then Brazil, only to fall to Germany in - you guessed it - a shootout. It was bad enough actually rooting for Argentina today; having to suffer through the prospect of Germany winning the WC on their own soil (again) will be unbearable. The fact that Terry wears the #6 now is a bit of a consolation. As for the first quarterfinal match, FANTASTIC commentary by Balboa regarding Lehmann. For those of you not fortunate enough to hear the wit and wisdom of this member of the US Soccer Hall of Fame (apparently, you need not be a member of an actual championship team at ANY level to qualify), well, you're missing genius.

Wednesday, June 28

Concacaf and other World Cup Places

Saw this great article on football365 - thoughts from non-Europeans? Anyone else feel Concacaf was crap and could do with losing a place , God forbid I have to watch Costa Rica or trinidad again in 4 years - combined record in 2006, 1 draw, 5 losses.

Result Just In: Old World 8, New World 0

After nearly three weeks of action, a pause for breath. We have seen 56 games over 19 days eliminate 24 of the sides who came to Germany full of hope that they would still be here. And it's time to return, conclusively, to a subject mentioned earlier on in the competition: Europe's continuing right to nearly half the places in the World Cup. Some major European names are out. Holland and Spain both gone in the last 16, the Czech Republic not even getting that far, undone by Ghana. But, none the less, the overwhelming message of this World Cup has been the strength of the game's traditional powerhouses. Of the teams who have been world champions, only Uruguay were missing from the original 32. And, with the defeat of Spain in Hanover on Tuesday night, the last of those sides made it through: Italy, (West) Germany, Brazil, England, Argentina and France are all in the last eight. The other two places have gone to European sides. Though perhaps the presence of Ukraine is a surprise, they had the good fortune to pass the Group H booby prize, a meeting with France, to the side that whacked them 4-0 in the tournament opener. This level of success for Portugal, semi-finalists and finalists in the past two European Championships, is overdue. All of which is bad news for the aspiring nations. The old world order in football remains the world order. Asia had a semi-finalist and a team in the last 16 in 2002. Now they have to rely on new friends Australia to claim anything from the knock-out stages. Last time, Mexico lost to the United States in the last 16. Now, their extra-time defeat to Argentina sees CONCACAF slip back badly, too, as the USA, Costa Rica and Trinidad & Tobago were already out. Paraguay went out in the first round, Ecuador in the second: no South American team outside the big two has reached the last eight since Peru in 1978 (and they had the huge advantage of playing Ally McLeod's Scotland). Africa's hopes of a third quarter-finalist, to follow Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal four years ago, were slim after an unfavourable draw saw the best teams (Ghana, Ivory Coast) pitched against stronger opposition than the weaker sides (Angola, Togo, Tunisia). Ivory Coast succumbed, Ghana succeeded brilliantly against the Czech Republic and were brave against Brazil after a disastrous start, but were powerless in the end. The others, Angola especially, were not disgraced, but failed none the less. So, for the third tournament in a row, since the total teams reached 32 and Africa's allocation became five, just one of that quintet made it out of the group stage. Why does all this matter? Well, as I've written before, the allocation of places in the finals is a matter of constant debate. For this tournament, Oceania were initially granted an automatic spot, only for South American lobbying to see that decision reversed. Justice was done when Australia beat Uruguay, at least, but there's plenty more polticking to come over what happens now. For instance, with Australia now in Asia, what happens to Oceania? Will New Zealand, barring upset, inherit the play-off with the fifth team in South America? Or will Asia try to lay claim to it, to add to the existing play-off with a CONCACAF side? After all, with so many countries competing for just four automatic spots, the presence of the Aussies makes life harder. And the next World Cup is in South Africa, the first in the continent. One place will go to the hosts. Should the rest of Africa have just four places to compete for? It was such pressures that saw a 16-team event increased to 24 in 1982 then 32 in 1998. How do you square the obligation to give reasonable representation to each continent with the need to have the best teams? The easy target is always the largest allocation. Shave a team off Europe and they will still have the most teams by some distance. But the strong results of the UEFA sides demonstrates that such a move would weaken the competition. Africa had four first-round failures from five teams; Europe had four first-round failures from 14 teams. In fact, if any continent has earned an increase for 2010 it is Europe. That won't happen, even if Germany and France beat Argentina and Brazil to give the UEFA countries a clean sweep of the semi-finalists. But to cut Europe's allocation would be to damage the competition's credibility. The rest of the world had a decent chance and there should be no reward for failure.

Monday, June 26

Arsenal to sign Beckham?

Ashley Cole says he'd be a 'good fit'.

LAMPARD

Frank's goals helped us qualify. I'm told he's had the most shots in the world cup. Frank Lampard needs to be dropped.

Last game he was woeful. Infact all the WC he's been woeful - but against Ecuador he was *very* woeful. How many bad shots and easy through balls did he mess up? It always broke down when it went through him.

4-5-1 is always stylistically challenging. We have five players trying to play one in. Fairly easy to mark when you have the lack of invention and movement England displayed.

England Action Plan:

  • Drop Lampard.
  • Play Crouh up with Rooney, slightly withdrawn.
  • Carrick to stay in the side.
  • Hargreaves to stay as right back.
  • Carragher to be kept as a utility sub
  • Walcott for Rooney after 70 mins

Sunday, June 25

12-Pack to the Winner!!!

Who can tell me what is written on the front of this t-shirt? I will gladly buy you a 12-pack of suds for the answer, or where I can purchase one. I'm not sure what's best - the fact that this guy is wearing an RAF t-shirt during the WC in GERMANY, or the fact that the gestapo-clad policeman looks like Darth Vader. Great collection of hooligan shots at the link listed below. Glad to see the bird in photo #2 still has a hold of her smokes while handcuffed! http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/0,5538,PB64-SUQ9MTQ2MjImbnI9MQ_3_3,00.html

Wisdom - First half of England match with Marcello

Simon you are missing so much. We've learnt: - No need to be concerned about only bringing four strikers because Gerrard can play centre forward -In a game like this injuries don't matter. As a player you do what you need to do to play. If that means taking aspiring or Advil, you take it -Regarding Gerrard's shot well over the bar: Gerrard had the accuracy he only needs to get it down a bit

Back from Deutschland

Apologies for the prolonged absence. I'm sure GAC and Ian have been waiting to heap all sorts of abuse on me. When I left for Germany, I had the misguided notion that I would want to find Internet cafes wherever I was rather than, oh I dunno, watch three matches a day surrounded by knowledgable fans who were shocked to run across Americans with reasoned opinions. The Czech match was, of course, shocking. It felt so much like watching us play Poland in 2002 - boys v. men - and from the fourth row off the corner flag it wasn't pretty. I do think if Reyna scores early in that game it's a very different story, but that's football. He didn't, we were listless, and two very disturbing things emerged: Donovan's lack of leadership (although he did shout a bunch during the first half) and Beasley's listlessness (due, in part, perhaps, to being switched back and forth). Only Convey left me encouraged. Between that game and the Italy match, we made our way to my ancestral home in the heart of Luxembourg's industrial south (all of 15 minutes from the nation's capital). Sadly JESUS will have to wait. Turns out the club is basically a knock-off of a far more famous one from Turin. Jeunesse? Juventus? Duh. From there it was off to Zurich, and all I can say is "Hello, Euro 2008!" What a great city. And from there it was on to Kaiserslautern. While there are questions to be asked of players and Arena from that match, and I remain upset with the referee, this represented a step forward for us as a football nation. Our fans put Italy's to shame, and our boys won the respect of many, many neutrals that night. Donovan showed up, for once, Reyna pushed the ball, and even Beasley looked like he cared. He still looked far too tentative, however, and left supporters wondering what he was waiting for. After the match, Eddie Lewis came out to say hello and on his way back across to the dressing room was nearly tackled by an over-zealous security guy who mistook him for a pitch invader. Can only imagine the international incident that would have followed. From there it was on to Munich before the Ghana match. The penalty call was absolutely horrible. I don't believe I've seen a World Cup with more matches ruined by - or at least unduly determined by - poor officiating. Still, Donovan failed to take the game, Beasley was tentative, and we played with questionable tactics. There's more to say, but that's it for now. If you haven't read it already, check out the column below from Ives Galarcep. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=372268&root=worldcup&cc=5901

Saturday, June 24

SPOILER Germany-Sweden

Germany deserve their lead, but how much do I want to smack this idiotic grinning ref?! A lot. Terrible sending off which basically has wrecked the rest of the match. I had hoped FIFA would sort the refs out by 2nd round, but this does not bode well.

Friday, June 23

The Queen is Dead!

I lament the international retirement of one Claudio Reyna, captain. Fans of the USA side that performed so admirably, so gracefully, and so proficiently in terms of tactics and technique over the past three matches in the group phase are going to miss this living legend. He really did his best to put soccer "on the map" in the states. We will miss his charm and candor during interviews, his passion and leadership on the pitch and in the clubhouse, his willingness to play through pain and injuries. Most of all, we'll miss his ability to hold possession in the midfield, spring players with laser-precision through balls, win 50/50 challenges and attack 1v1 with success against the best defenders his qualifying region has to offer. Pass me a tissue, please. This is a bit too much for me to take on the heels of yesterday's loss to Ghana. I found this picture of Reyna in action and hope you all enjoy it. Look at the determination on his face as he dices up a few Italians! Wow! I don't know what we're going to do without him - kind of like the feeling I had (pit of my stomach, growling, aching, nausea) when Lalas, Agoos and Dooley all hung up their boots. How will Team USA ever recover? (it's amazing how freezing action with high def makes actual matches LOOK like video game fantasy recreations in which loser scrubs can dominate)

Richard Hughes prepares to apologise

Hughes spouts bollox Just recently someone who will remain nameless - (to spare his blushes, I will assign him the moniker Richard Hughes) recently commented that Arsenal are cheats. See link above. Only today, this has been completely disproved and thanks to the BBC you can all see how in fact that Arsenal werent involved in any wrong-doing whatsoever. I sit here at my keyboard knowing that any minute Richard Hughes (alias) is about to write a long apology and declare himself an Arsenal fan.

Arsenal Probe clears Wenger's great to watch side

Thursday, June 22

The game that had EVERYTHING

Best game of the cup and wont be surpassed - a brilliant to watch 2-2 draw. The game has 2 missed penalty calls by Graham Poll, both would have gone to Australia. There is a goal which is off-side that Australia get away with , there are 3 reds, sensationally one man got 3 yellows before his red as Poll really lost the plot. Croatia nearly went up 3-2 after Poll mistakenly let the Croat stay on and had Croatia scored it would have been the most controversial goal of recent years. This game is magic and well worth catching the highlights of - i will post some highlights when I find them as FIFA's own dont show the controversial stuff. Graham Poll wont ref again at this World Cup - he was a disgrace! At one point there are even 2 balls on the pitch. Incredible match. And did I forget the Australian goalkeeper who was called up as Schwarzer was dropped? Well this goalkeeper is the ALL TIME worst keeper in World Cup history, gifting Croatia one goal, not dealing with the free kick and coughing up the ball twice to the Croats to nearly give them a third! Magic.

Donovan - 'ang 'im 'igh

Donovan, as I predicted provided no leadership - http://rockthecrossbar.blogspot.com/2006/06/fk-off-you-psy-donovan.html . Will the blinkered US supporters finally cut him loose or just point to the shocking penalty kick given? I enjoyed the last twenty minutes especially: Landon's dead ball kick and his run in the box and feeble pass to teammate who gets dispossessed. I really hate Landon Donovan

SPOILER USA-Ghana

USA playing pretty well - BOGUS penalty at end of half, these refs are so bad!! How can FIFA justify these bastards?! It should be 1-1, I am starting to think it is political - i.e. we don't want the US to advance. Absolute bollocks. Dempsey has been great, Landon has been nowhere, Beasley looking OK... c'mon USA, prove these anti-US refs wrong. Beautiful ball from Beasly and a great finish from Dempsey. Utter shite, SHITE call on the late pen. Very angry at that - ref should be strung up on a short rope. What a bastardinho, what a dumbshite - on this level calls like that are not acceptable. A lame first goal from Ghana (we should have cleared it, no idea what happened to Reyna, but typically he has cost us) and an even lamer 2nd... US getting all the bad luck IMHO. Will take a brilliant 2nd half to recover. I had been rooting for Ghana before this game as an outside underdog - but now... please, two goals for the USA. Landon - last chance you wanker, do something!

Wednesday, June 21

England V Sweden and that goal...

here is that goal again and the rest... BBC provides the commentary - picture not great but its good enough to see Owen and Coles moments..

Sunday, June 18

Enhancements and Talking Points

Hope everyone is enjoying the world cup. One enhancement and then some musings. I've added site meter to the blog code so we can see who is visiting and when and where they come from both in terms of referrals and physical location. The link is at the bottom of ever page, or you can access it here: http://www.sitemeter.com/?a=stats&s=s25molby My favourite hit comes from a google search for "john harkes is an asshole". Nice to know we cater to that market. Also Who ate all the fries, a US perspective soccer blog linked to us: http://www.whoateallthefries.com/ http://www.whoateallthefries.com/2006/06/less_than_24_hrs_to_opening_ga_1.html Cheers Miss Charlie. I have no idea who you are but welcome and feel free to comment. Perhaps one of our contributors can swing by and say "hi" to them. We could have our first blog-friend. AaaaaahhHHHHH! In t'other news from rumour mill:
  • Fergie told porkies about Rooney's injury and asked him not to go
  • Kuyt to Liverpool done? Marseille still want Cisse...
  • I scored two on Satdee. Fuggin Gerrin there!
  • Crouch's bird sent home after angel's dandruff pictures are found (Miss Charlie?)
  • France make me laugh. I mock you, Frenchies!
  • Found myself cheering for the US vs Italy. Italy will low on skill by high on diving and I felt that most of the calls that went against the US (both red cards and the offside goal) were questionable - so feel hard done by but proud of that that performance. I will be submitting this pararaph towards my green card approval.

Saturday, June 17

And the rest of the teams

Obviously America V Italy had quite the drama tonight, or trauma depending on your perspective. Much better from the Yanks today who need a win over Ghana and the Czechs to lose to Italy if they have a realistic chance to get through. For my money, all 3 reds were fair.

All teams here can still qualify and i fancy Ghana and probably Italy who dare not lose to the Czechs or they are done. Argentina are who everyone now favours after they demolished Serbia and scored some great goals - Serbia barely touched the ball all game and were atrocious. Argentina likely will eliminate Mexico in the next round and should have Germany or Sweden in the Quarter.

Brazil so far disappointing and have a fat tub of Ronaldo to carry and that will hurt them as everyone knows he isnt good enough at this level - if he plays on, Brazil wont retain, if they play a runner like Robinho they will go much further.

Germany are good and fun to watch which is unusual - at home they could go as far as the final in this form and Spain too are off to a great start. All in all its a great tournament with all the minnows getting knocked out early , the later rounds will produce some mouth watering matchups.

England's performances

Well 2 games done and we are already through - 2 very different games. One a dull affair in the heat against a team who have no clue how to attack and never troubled us once we went ahead - job done but not exciting. Then a late dramatic win over a team that can only attack by praying and miracle counter attacks. Deserved win but marred by shocking passing and slow dull build ups. Doesnt instill confidence and we have a 50/50 chance still of facing Germany. Sweden next and we will rest Crouch and either Grerard/Lampard and take a tie I think. We can get better and always play to the level of the opposition I feel so we have a lot to offer yet.

The World Cup in England

Hey lads. I am home in England and am loving the World Cup here - flags everywhere, and I mean everywhere, never seen England quite like it. England shirts on loads of people, flags, media coverage - commentators that dont drive me mad. Its such an improvement. Now here is something interesting - Budweiser are sponsors of the World Cup and have paid for a lot of adverts here on one TV Station. Before each half you see a clip of 2 American commentators and they do and say stupid things - its hilarious and very mocking of Americans - in fact if I were American I would be offended. The one I saw tonight had the other asking what a nutmeg is and the other didnt know, then he asks "whats a shimmy?" and the other replies "No idea there either". Another commercial showed them asleep in the commentating booth and another had them yelling about a one timer. Amazed budweiser put these ads together - fantastic stuff though.

Thursday, June 15

F$%k off you p$%sy - Donovan

I hate this f%$ker. Look at his quotes below. I have started to explain his atttude to clueless yanks in words they'll understand: the MLS is high school, Europe is college. Landon couldn't handle the pressure of playing in a league where everyone is talented and went back twice to the safe confines of MLS (high school) where he's a big fish in a little pond. Now he's asked to work hard and provide leadership but he has never pushed himself so he does nothing. If this pussy was the typical Brit / Yank in the early 1940s we'd be speaking German as our first language. On if the game plan was to blame: “We can look back and say whatever we want now. Not enough guys came to play and that’s what mattered.” On the World Cup opening with a disappointing result: “There’s two ways to look at it. You’re at a World Cup, and for a lot of us – especially the MLS guys, since January this has been the date that has been circled and it’s disappointing. That being said, it’s not over. It’s going to be hard, but it’s not over and we don’t want to have this memory be terrible.” On the attitude of the team after the loss: “It’s hard to keep your head up right now because we are disappointed, but you have to turn around. This is the way this tournament goes. I remember we lost by two goals to Poland last time and still got through, so you have take the positives. But whatever happens in the Italy game result-wise, it was embarrassing tonight and that shouldn’t happen.” On his play: “I didn’t get the ball enough. When I did get it I made some decent plays, but not enough. I don’t think I had a shot on goal, and playing 45 minutes as a forward that’s my job.”

Monday, June 12

RTC best mascot competition

THE GALLOPING MAJOR -- vs -- SIMON BURKE There's still time to vote (or add other entrants..)

Drink it up, suckers!

I might as well put this up now, at halftime, because I won't have time later today (my sides are splitting from laughter and I have to go to the hospital). The wizard is out from behind the curtain, bhoys, and who does he appear to be? Reality has set in...kind of like seeing the shadows of a B-52 flying overhead and understanding "this is it." Beautiful game, indeed. Here's a cool page to view - a bit of irony? Oh yeaahh!!!! http://www.strangecult.com/pisser/koolaid.html

Sunday, June 11

The World Cup Begins

Well the Cup is under way - 8 games played and so far a couple of good games, a few disappointing ones and simply Godawful TV coverage. The commentating on the games has been very offputting - either pumping out human interest stories, ridiculous stats or having to listen to baseball commentator transplants. It was so dour (and baseball like) during the Mexico game today that I switched to Univision. I cant understand Spanish but at least I felt some excitement listening to them. The studio coverage is obliterated by hundreds of commercials. I have 2 outlets thankfully, one: I listen to as much BBC Radio between games as possible so I can hear real analysis. Two: Fox Soccer Channel is doing excellent coverage via Sky Sports News and a World Cup half hour update every night at 8 hosted by dare I say it , Max Bretos. He has the advice of Bobby McMahon and Paul Cagliuri (who is very good too) and its a breath of fresh air from the ABC/ESPN horror show. At least I get to hear Adrian Healy/Tommy Smythe in some games and JP Dellacamara/John Harkes in some others but the rest of them are all horrible. That bird, Foudy cant say 5 words without stuttering and today said you can tell how great these teams are by how many players they have in the Bundesliga? Not one team from there made the CL Quarter Finals.. Jeesh.

Friday, June 9

Who doesn't belong?

Remember those learning games you played in kindergarden...the teacher would show you a picture of an apple, an orange, a banana, a pineapple and a pick-up truck and you would have to point to the item that just didn't fit? Well, it seems that the homepage for ESPN.com is in the business of educating its readers. I've been staring at this picture for a good ten minutes now trying to figure out who doesn't belong. I've narrowed my choice down to the guy with the eight-head who is trying to pull off the "I'm a character on the tv show 'Lost' with my facial hair" look. He's the same guy gazing up into the heavens, or possibly at the scoreboard: Czech Republic 5 - USA 0; Italy 5 - USA 0; Ghana 0 - USA 0. Please help! Oh, and one more thing...ESPN writer Jen Chang "claims" that the USA is a "team to watch." Read this moronic column here: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=370380&root=worldcup&cc=5739

Wednesday, June 7

Angola - Bios of each player

I don't know GAC, cracker jack squad Angola has. Many top clubs represented among their ranks. http://www.rfi.fr/actufr/articles/077/article_43698.asp

US beats Angola 1-0, allegedley

The US is in Germany and played Angola in a closed door training game allegedley winning 1-0 though Steve Cherundolo and Eddie Lewis picked up slight knocks though they are expected to recover. What do you think of that GAC?

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/sport/weltfussball/special/710/65645/index.html/sport/weltfussball/ticker/fussballwm/teilnehmer/gruppee/news/top2/iptc-bdt-20060606-370-dpa_11859112/article.html

Tuesday, June 6

The Harsh Reality

Back in the day, I remember Soccer America describing reactions in the French press to our being awarded the 1994 World Cup with warnings that the U.S. would one day become a footballing power and that people could either embrace that fact or fear it. Regardless of timing (and, for that matter, results in this World Cup, which I remain hopeful about), I happen to agree with that assessment and stand by the bet I've offered previously: that we will win our first World Cup before England wins its second (keep the 2010 rubbish to yourselves, please, as I've never actually "drank the Kool Aid"). In that spirit, I thought this was a pretty good take on things all told. http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/worldcup06/2006/06/06/get_ready_to_dislike_america.html

Monday, June 5

World Cup - Germany a den of depravity

It's not enough that the US population at best has an indifferent attitude to the World Cup. The US government has to associate the World Cup with the human sex trade. As Chirac once scolded Eastern European countries, the US missed a good opportunity to keep their mouths shut. http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/06/05/human.trafficking.ap/index.html

World Cup Final Four

Okay lads - I was going to do some elaborate spreadsheet but I couldnt be bothered - however I have 2 questions:

Who will be the semi finalists at this year's World Cup? Who will the final be between and who will win it? You can have a point for each semi finalist - A further point for the runner up and 2 points for the winner - 7 points in all.

Sunday, June 4

Penalties

I didn't like that Crouch took that penalty against the Jamaica game. There's a classic story that Beckenbauer tells about chosing who would take the kicks for some penalty shoot-out where of all people, Sepp Meier volunteers. Der Kaiser pushed him away and told him to get back and into the goal calling him an asshole. That's really what should have gone on with Crouch. Clearly, Lampard is a good penalty taker. His miss was odd, and it was important to get him back on form. He should have taken the pen. But this is England and a player that wouldn't be in the first eight got to do it, "because he was on a hat trick." Typical. England will likely face pens at some stage, as they did in 90, 96, 98, and 04. Sven should have his five selected now and have them and Robbo and Calamity practicing nothing but pens when we get to the knock-out stage. Who would you five be? Would Crouch figure? Because those five must all score in any pen shootout situation. If England loses after Rio misses penalty number ten that's one thing, But if they miss two out of the first five AGAIN, I'll kick the telly in. Don't give me those excuses about not being able to practice in a game atmosphere and pens being a lottery. If they truly were a lottery, then England would occasionally win one and Germany would occasionally lose one.

Globe article on Donovan

There was a quote by Donovan stating he was not good - that was the truthful part. The writer though was wearing knee pads, e.g.: "But what if the man formerly known as Kid has a monster Cup, wins the Golden Ball that goes to the most outstanding player, and leads his mates to an unimaginable triumph?" I'm sure this will brighten GAC's day if he hasn't seen it already http://www.boston.com/sports/soccer/articles/2006/06/04/american_know_how/

Saturday, June 3

God Loves Soccer!

I also hate parades, marching bands, choirs, clowns, zoos, carousels, glee clubs, people who wear an ipod shuffle around their necks, close-talkers, sidlers and people who don't root for the wildest women's college soccer team ever: Liberty University! Jerry Falwell even designed the kits! Read more: http://www.libertyflames.com/index.cfm?PID=10854&TeamID=5 Oh wait, there's more: the team has its own blog...I mean, these wacky Christian girls really know how to have a good time. http://www.libertyflamessoccer.blogspot.com/

Jesus Saves...

Crouchy buries the rebould... http://www.jesusandtheworldcup.com/ ...and no I didn't do a "doesn't like crosses" joke.

Bruce Arena = Drunk

The bottle of wine pictured here costs 52,121 Euros. It is a 1999 edition of a 1799 Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Of course, its value is nothing compared to the hero of Sam's Army. "Claudio's like a fine wine," Arena said. "He gets better with age. He'll be more prepared for this World Cup than the last one and he knows that this is one of his last great opportunities as a player." Well now, isn't that a comparison? It's bad enough that this bum stinks up the Eastlands AND the USMNT...but to have the mumbling midget say this really takes the cake. Can't wait for the drubbbings by the Czechs, Itals and Ghanjans!

Jamaica

....Well the domination of Concacrap continues with a 6-0 murder over one of Concacrap's representatives at the 1998 World Cup (a tournament in which another Concacrap representative finished dead last). This opposition was weak for sure but I looked at their qualification history and found that they drew twice with the best team in Concacrap. 1-1 both times. England however dont do draws with these teams and finished them off 6-0 with ease and a horror penalty miss that had me laughing. Last year our C team pasted a Concacrap team on their own patch - in a couple of weeks we face another one of their teams as we put an end to the argument about how easy it would be for us to qualify out of this region.

Friday, June 2

Come On.. COME ON!

Alrighty the unofficial England World Cup song is out by a band called Sham 69. I have a link to it here... http://www.esnips.com/web/merskampsBusinessFiles

which i will leave up a couple of days before I get done for piracy. Sheer class.. perhaps the greatest song ever...

FA clean house

Breaking News David Dein will no longer be Premier League representative at the FA. He has been replaced by David Gill. No further news available, but the row over the appointment of the England manager, and last night's Newsnight Beverengate expose probably did not help his candidature. ...as predicted, by me, yesterday.

Thursday, June 1

Cheating Arsenal to be kicked out of CL?

Fifa has launched a probe into whether Arsenal have broken regulations which may leave the club exposed to possible expulsion from the Champions League. BBC Newsnight has learnt that a police probe in Belgium has concluded Arsenal made secret payments of £1m to Beveren.... from... http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/5037494.stm Perhaps Spurs will get in after all...